Fred R. Coulter—August 13, 2011

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Sabbath services. Before we get into the topic we're going to cover today, I want to cover just a little something concerning international banking and the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

Several years ago they were saying that the euro was going to replace the dollar as the reserve currency. Then they said we'd need a basket of currencies and it was—what they call the BRICs—Brazil, Russia, India and China were demanding that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) come up with a basket of currencies, which included the dollar for an international reserve currency. They never could get that going. At the present time, Europe is in very deep trouble concerning the euro and the economies there, because of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy.

While they set up a central bank, they did not set up a central banking system. What do I mean by that? I mean that they allowed all of the nations to continue to sell their own bonds for their countries. That meant that they could go ahead and borrow and borrow and borrow. And now they are way above whatever limit they can be—so America you better pay heed, because we're getting close to the same thing. But our situation is different than in Europe. So what has happened, and the reason that the Germans are so against all of this is because they are hard working, they have an economy that is going well, and it is going to take the money that they have in euros to then buy the bonds from these nations.

Let me explain the different in the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve, because this will help you understand why they can't get rid of the dollar yet. The difference is this: Europe cannot sell European euro bonds authorized by a central government in Europe, nor can they print money, that is print euros, whenever they need them. So, this means that they are very deficient in their monetary policy and it may result in the collapse of the euro, is what they're afraid of at the present time.

Just to let you know what kind of interest rate that Greece is looking at now for those who buy their bonds, they're looking at 16%. Plus on a par basis, meaning for 100 euros, you can buy, or whatever the Greek national currency is or these other five nations' currencies are, they discount them. Meaning that for 100% you can buy 100% of the bond clear down to 84%. Which theoretically means with that 16% discount, in the first year—if they make their 16% interest payment for the year—that the bondholder has made 32% already. Of course, that 16% discount then is amortized over the life of whatever the bond is.

The Federal Reserve is entirely different, and it's an international bank, separate from the United States, even though it's called the U.S. Federal Reserve. That's like sending in a product made in China saying 'Made in the U.S.A.'—has nothing to do with the government. It's just a facade. The Federal Reserve Bank is the richest entity in the world at the present time. The next richest entity is over in Basil, Switzerland, and that's called the Bank of International Settlements, or BIS. Next to that then is the IMF, which is 40-50% U.S. anyway.

What happens is, Congress gets a budget and then, where are they going to get the money for it? Well, the money comes from taxes! If they don't have enough taxes right now, we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend as a U.S. government. What they do, they issue bonds or U.S. Treasury certificates. These treasury certificates are sold on what they call an 'open market.' Various people, countries, entities, banks, and so forth come in and buy the bonds. They get a certain rate, sometimes they're discounted, like I said that happened to the Greek bonds; sometimes they are at a premium.

During all the collapse that was going on, the ups and downs in the last two weeks, there were two days in a row, maybe three days in a row, where the cost of a 30-year U.S. treasury, rather than being par of 100% were being purchased for 112%; meaning that they were paying a 12% premium in addition to the face value of the treasury. Plus they were only getting 4% interest, which then means in the first year, they lost 8%. When the country gets in real trouble, then the bonds become less and they are discounted from par. And the interest rate rises.

Let me tell you something why the U.S. Federal Reserve at this particular time is almost an impregnable financial institution. And 'impregnable,' I mean that it is so strong that when Europe had the problems they had last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve was loaning money to Europe. Rush Limbaugh heard this and he said, 'How are they loaning money to Europe? They're printing it.' No! They can print it. They can print dollars and they do, but they didn't print the money for those loans.

How do they do it then? Well, as an international separate entity bank, they run the Federal Reserve just like any other bank, but no one can audit them! No one can know what they are doing. No one can find out how much money they actually have.

Let's add in another thing that they have. Buying stocks and bonds today—we've explained that—you only have beneficial use of those stocks listed in a digital account, which may be printed out on paper. But you don't own the stocks. Allodial title is held in the Depository Trust Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Federal Reserve Bank. This will help you understand why the stocks have gone down, but they bring them right back up; they go down and bring them right back up, because of the reserve requirement for lending by the Federal Reserve Bank.

Let me finish this about the Depository Trust Corporation. All original debt certificates and stocks and bonds, government that they own, government securities that other corporations and bank own are all on deposit at the Federal Reserve. And they just do the digital buying and selling and accounting.

It's just like if you bought a house and have a mortgage. You have beneficial use of the house, but you don't own the title, which are called 'allodial rights'; same way with a car. If you buy a car and are making payments, the one who holds the note—the bank or the finance company—actually owns the car, but you have the beneficial right to use it as long as you make the payments.

How do banks lend money? They do it on what is called 'reserve requirements.' That is, they look at their balance sheet and they look at what are assets. Now, all deposits in a bank are assets of the bank. All holdings that they have, whether beneficial or not, are also assets of the bank.

Let's see how they lend. If they have a 10% reserve requirement, they can loan out 90% of their asset total—not talking about monetary wealth—assets on the books. When they make the loan—just take $100,000 loan—they loan $100,000, but they only have to keep 10% as reserve for that loan outstanding. If the person they make the loan to takes the money and puts it into another bank, that $90,000 becomes part of their reserve. But if they re-deposit it in the same bank they borrowed it from, and issue checks on it, that $90,000 becomes again—because it's a new note—an asset and they can loan 90% of that. And likewise, they can do 90% of everything that they hold title to.

How much does the Federal Reserve have in assets to loan? I remember a hearing when they had 'Uncle' Ben Bernanke up there, I think it was a little over a year ago, and they said, 'Mr. Bernanke, what is this $500-million transfer to New Zealand?' Gottcha! But he weaseled out of it. He said, 'Well, these are just bank transfers and credits.' Well, the bank in New Zealand needed the $500-million because their reserves were low.

Let's look at the asset potential of the Federal Reserve Bank, and let's see why they can rescue the whole world, if necessary—between that and the BSI in Switzerland. And also know, Basil, Switzerland, is a sovereign entity within the sovereign state of Switzerland. They are not subject to the laws of Switzerland. They are not subject to the international laws unless they make an agreement to be subject to their laws. Just like the Federal Reserve here. What are the total assets that the Federal Reserve has? They control the gold in Fort Knox, if there is any left, which we don't know!

And every time someone brings up the thing, 'Well, how much gold is in Fort Knox?' We get these pictures, which go clear back to the '40's showing how they handle the gold bars and put them in compartment to compartment, and so forth. Plus they have the crown jewels from Eastern Europe there in storage, too, so that becomes an asset. During WWII they had all the crown jewels of England, so that was an asset. Everything in the Depository Trust Corporation is an asset. What is the total amount of stocks and bonds that they have? $24-trillion! Plus they hold about $7-trillion in U.S. treasury bonds, so that makes it $31-trillion. How much gold is there? We don't know! But let's put $10-trillion on that; so that's $41-trillion. Let's be very penurious and only add $9-trillion more on that for any other notes that they hold as assets, bringing it to a total of $50-trillion.

How much money at a 10% reserve can you loan without multiplying the return on deposit back to the bank? $4.5-quadrillion! Just on that. Now you understand why they can't do in the dollar. No one has the capacity to match the power of the Federal Reserve. Whenever there's a global downturn, who do they turn to, to help them? The Federal Reserve!

Every time they loan out, they gain an asset. So you see what this system really is. Now eventually it will collapse. Eventually there will be a world currency, and we have already talked about that. So at that time, all the central banks will pool their reserves together and they will be able to establish a one-world currency. It's like in the book, The Day After the Dollar Crashes, and if you want that book you can get it on There will be paper money, coin money, and digital money.

This is why they hold a chokehold on every financial system in the world. The Chinese are not that powerful—stop imports and they collapse. The Germans are probably the next most powerful to the United States, but they don't have the ability on their own to do what the Federal Reserve can do. So that will give you a little insight on the Federal Reserve Bank, and what they do and why no one can find out.

Ron Paul has been calling, for 20 years, for an audit of the Federal Reserve. He's not going to get it, because there's one thing that is true: The one who owns the gold or has the money makes the rules. How are you going to pass a law, which demands that there is an audit? And even if they submitted to an audit, don't you think they have a second set of books ready for an audit, that they can say, 'Well, okay, here it is.' And it has nothing to do with what they're really doing. It only shows a little portion of what they are doing. If you think Bernie Madoff was a bad man, you haven't seen anything.

So, this is why they couldn't let the things collapse. But also know this, the super elite knows when the market is going up so they make money on that. They know when the market is going down, so they make money on that. And the super elite are the ones who you might say are the chief ones of the Committee of 300. If you've never heard of that, go online and look up Dr. John Coleman, download his information. (

The super elite, in order to keep up on how much resistance there is by people in the world, they give information to Dr. John Coleman and he writes his various things and it goes out to a lot of people. The reason they do this is not for information for the general public, but to see the level of resistance that people have to it, and the level of belief. They give him the information and they say, 'Ah, no, that's not true.'

Let's come here to Luke 4 for just a minute. You've heard me say this before, but let's emphasize it again. Let's see what Satan said, because what of what we are going to cover today will be Satan's deception and the coming mark of the beast.

Luke 4:3: "Then the devil said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, command that this stone become bread'.... [Which Jesus could, but is He going to obey God or Satan? That's the test!] ...But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God"'" (vs 3-4). And Matthew has the full quote from Deut. 8:3, which says 'that proceeds out of the mouth of God.' This is referring to all mankind, not just to Himself.

Verse 5: "Then the devil led Him up into a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time." This will help you understand who runs the world: Satan the devil! Satan the devil has to work through human beings and human institutions, as well.

But notice what he says, v 6: "And the devil said to Him, 'I will give You all this authority, and the glory of them all... [Everything that makes them what they are—their money, their people, their institutions, their religions. Everything that they are.] ...for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I desire.'"

How is he going to determine who to give these things to? This is why today we have a fiat money system. In other words, devoid of any of the Truth of God. It is worthless; it is an I.O.U. You look at any dollar, regardless of denomination, and it says, 'This note is legal tender for debts private and public.' As long as everyone has a psychological value with that note, then it has value. It doesn't have value like gold or silver or precious stones or platinum, as we have it today.

Notice how he would have received it, v 8: "But Jesus answered and said to him, 'Get behind Me, Satan; for it is written, "You... [every man, not just Satan himself] ...shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve."'" No one can receive eternal life unless you worship God, the true God.

Here's what is required and there are people who worship Satan the devil directly and these are the super elite—you might say the super-super elite—of the world. And he only allows those into that top echelon of what you might say is the Committee of 300—because of the 300 not all of them are in the top echelon—who will be devoted and worship him.

Notice what he told Jesus, back to v 7: "Therefore, if You will worship me in my presence... [The super elite do that and they are rewarded with wealth and power and prestige. These are the ones who bring the governmental and financial message of Satan the devil to the world.] ...all things shall be Yours."

That means to worship him as God. And what is Satan called in 2-Cor. 4:4? The 'god of this world'! So, this is why if anyone has a thought that you can make the system better if you just elect the right people, it will never happen! They will never be allowed up into the level that operates the power of governments in this world unless you are totally devoted to Satan the devil, regardless of what country it is, regardless of who you are.

That's why in the world 'the wicked prosper,' because it's Satan's world. That's why those who are Christians have tribulation in the world, because we are fighting and warring and overcoming Satan the devil and we don't belong to him. All the rest of the world, all the other people of the world, except those who are called of God and have the Holy Spirit of God are dupes of Satan in various degrees. From total worship of Satan, devotedly as god, to the smallest man or woman wherever they are who are just part of the system and have been blinded by Satan the devil and they don't have a clue as to where they are going.

I want you to understand how powerful your calling is and how important it is that what God is doing within us, with His Spirit, so that we can be perfected and qualify through the power of God's Spirit, by the way that Jesus Christ wants us to—Who is the Head of the Church—and to take over the world when Christ returns.

We're being prepared for that. Now just a little caveat here that you need to understand: Because of that, the most important and primary thing in each one of our lives is our personal relationship through prayer and study with God the Father and Jesus Christ on a daily basis, and then living by God's way and developing the character of God. That's what He wants with us so that when we are resurrected or transformed as spirit beings, we are not going to go astray and rebel like Satan the devil did.

What is the 'one foot in the door' or the 'nose under the tent' that Satan likes to have within the Churches of God? Stay with the organization! The organization becomes primary. And you mark these words. Every time that happens the church becomes more of a social event and the church becomes the center of things, rather than God. And who is responsible for that kind of thing but the ministers in charge, because Jesus said to Peter, remember that?

  • Do you love Me? Feed My sheep!
  • Do you love Me? Feed My lambs!
  • Do you love Me? Shepherd My sheep!

Brethren do not belong to a church organization! When brethren who have the Spirit of God gather together, they consist an assembly of the brethren, and hence are part of the Church of God. We are going to see some dramatic things take place, like I have warned previously. And unless you have a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, every single day and you maintain that, and you understand salvation is individual, it is not corporate collective. Meaning, whenever you hear, 'Stay with the organization,' you better leave, because that's the first step, 'nose under the tent' that Satan has within the Church of God.

If you haven't learned the lesson to what happened when the Church of God in Pasadena, Big Sandy, and Bricket Wood collapsed—because of sin—then you haven't learned anything and you're going to victimized again. The stakes are high, just like it was here with Jesus and His confrontation with Satan the devil.

Let's see how these things are going to take place. The comment was made that Jesus did not deny what Satan said that it's all given to him and it is. The last verse in 1-John says, 'And the whole world is in the power of the evil one.' The only ones that are not are those that answered the call of God and have been called out.

Concerning a church: What do you look for? Now when you read Revelation 2 and 3, you see that five out of the seven churches had infiltrations of satanic doctrine, some of them very devotedly. And it says there to the church at Thyatira, Jesus said, 'And I will kill her children with death.' When you think about that, that means some who have been in the Church will be cast into the Lake of Fire, because if you kill them they're dead—right? So that's another way of saying the second death.

We know the first attempt to take over the Church was by Simon the Magus in Acts 8, to bring in all the paganism. And it finally was accomplished about 305 years later when Constantine set up what became the Roman Catholic Church and brought in all the paganism. There comes a time when there is a deception, a deception, and more deception, and finally you get the majority of people and then BANG! You can change. That's happened to the Churches of God.

As you look at the Churches of God today and you are wondering 'which one I should affiliate with?' The first question is: How is my relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ? Because is above and beyond and separate from an organizational affiliation!

What do you look for? What about a church corporation? Some people have written and say, 'Well, you should be incorporated as a church.' In this world you can't do business unless you are incorporated as a church, or you have to register as a voluntary association. But you still have to register. No single church organization by its corporate structure has anything to do with the spirituality of the group. A church corporation is necessary to conduct business in the world. That's how we operate. That's what Christian Biblical Church is about, just to take care of the business in the world. We have to do things in the world in order to accomplish what we are doing. That is not the Church. The Church is what Jesus Christ said He would build. Those are all the brethren that He would call.

Where does it first start? Where does it first start with each one of us? That's why we have Gospels, that's why we have the book of Acts, that's why we have all the Epistles, because it shows us how it came from Christ to the apostles, and the apostles then to the Church. But the Church is a spiritual organism, not a corporate organism. Whenever a leader of a corporate organization says, 'We are the true Church of God.' Not so! IF you do as Jesus said, you may be part of the Church of God, but the Church of God consists of the collective members as God looks down and sees His Church and Christ is the Head.

One of the fatal errors that the Churches of God have done, as we found with the one with Pergamos, is to set up a hierarchical ministerial system—and that's taken after Satan's way—where then the ministers are above the brethren. That's not so! If you're looking for a church to affiliate with or you're not happy with the one you are affiliated with, then you better start looking as to what are the controls of the ministry.

  • Do they preach the Truth?
  • Do they teach you to have a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ?
  • Are you being fed the Word of God?


  • Are you being fed corporate propaganda to keep you in the group so they can use you and merchandize you?

There are some Churches of God today who seem to be—and excuse the word—'hell-bent' on keeping members so that they can retire on the tithes and offerings of the brethren.

Let's see what Jesus said to the apostles, which applies to every single person who is a teacher or a minister, an elder, whatever. The structure goes from the individual directly to God. The structure does not go from the individual to the ministers and the church corporation, and then to God. That's the Catholic system! That is the hierarchy of Nicolaitanism.

Can you have a type of relationship with the brethren and ministers where that you don't have to have a hierarchy? Yes!

  • if you love Christ and if you teach the Truth
  • if you show the brethren what is the will of God,
  • we all come together on a voluntary basis the way that God wants it to be
  • we love and serve one another, the way that God wants it to be
  • we believe the Truth the way that the Bible says there is Truth

Understand this. The Bible is greater than any doctrinal committee. The Bible, and the Word of God alone, establishes doctrine. So you've got

  • church government
  • personal relationship
  • teachings or the church doctrine

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We'll have to save the mark of the beast for the next sermon and we'll put both on the same DVD/CD. Let's come back and look at how Jesus said the government should be set up. This is what it has to be. And this is how the blessings then, of Truth and understanding will come. It's not going to come because someone is appointed to be a pastor or an evangelist. It will come if the pastor or evangelist or teacher or elder is serving the brethren and pointing them to God.

And here's how it's done, Matthew 20:17: "And while they were going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside in the way and said to them, 'Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death; and they shall deliver Him up to the Gentiles to mock Him, and to scourge Him, and to crucify Him; but He shall rise again the third day'" (vs 17-19).

Christ is the One Who died for the Church. Christ is the One Who then we are to follow. God the Father is the One Who originally draws us—remember? 'None comes to Me except the Father draw him'—right? It's not a church person, it is God in the Spirit of God and the faith and belief in the Truth of God by the individual that God uses to draw them through His Spirit.

Verse 20: "Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons... [Understand this: James and John were of the priestly line. The priests did have authority, that is all changing. But she did not understand that and so she wanted her sons to have a special position with Jesus. So, she came to Him with her sons.] ...worshiping Him and asking a certain thing from Him…. [You can never turn down a woman—can you?] …And He said to her, 'What do you desire?' She said to Him, 'Grant that these my two sons may sit one at Your right hand and one at Your left hand in Your kingdom.'" (vs 20-21).

Now in Matt. 17, who were the ones that Jesus took up for on the Mount of Transfiguration to see the vision? Peter! Peter had to get it right, and James and John. And what did they see alongside Jesus on the right hand and the left hand in the vision? Moses and Elijah! We don't know if they are going to be on the right hand and the left hand in the Kingdom, but at least it was a vision from God showing that—correct?

Verse 22: "But Jesus answered and said, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?'... [In other words, can you fulfill all the requirements of being the only Begotten Son of God?] ...They said to Him, 'We are able.' And He said to them..." (vs 22-23). 'No, you're not.'

Let's stop right here. Any man who claims that he is the only apostle of God today is a liar and you need to get away from him as fast as you can. Any man who claims a Biblical office, such as Elijah or Elisha, or 'that Prophet,' he's a liar and you need to get away from him as fast as you can and get all of that gobbly-gook out of your mind. That's not from God!

Verse 23: "And He said to them... [they were so presumptuous with their mother] ...You shall indeed rink of My cup, and shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit at My right hand and at My left hand is not Mine to give, but shall be given to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.' And after hearing this, the ten were indignant against the two brothers…. [They got up there first and 'we didn't have a chance.' What are they doing? I wanted that.] …But then Jesus called them to Him and said, 'You know that the rulers of the nations exercise lordship over them... [And that lordship is downward.] ...and the great ones exercise authority over them'" (vs 23 25). The great ones are what? The religious leaders! The first one, lordship, is 'katakurieuo'; the second 'lordship' is 'katakurieuo,' and authority is 'kataexousiazo.'

Verse 26: "However, it shall not be this way among you; but whoever would become great among you, let him be your servant; And whoever would be first among you, let him be your slave… [That's the opposite of a hierarchical system. Can that system work? Of course, that's the one that Jesus set up—is it not? Yes!] …Just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many'" (vs 26-28). That is a key thing.

What is the governmental structure within the Church? In a corporation you must have organization. You must have lines of authority. In the Church we have Christ Who is the Head, God the Father and Christ in us by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God all are subject to—all brethren, all teachers, all elders. And those who serve in a capacity of teaching always have to serve, not be served and not lord it over the brethren in such a way as to give this kind of thing. 'I am a minister. Who are you?' You know what the answer is? I am a begotten son of God, that's who I am! Who are you?

And yet, how many people were duped into that. Think of that. That's why now we talked about James and John, let's go back here to John 21 and let's look at Peter. And if anyone is stupid enough to believe that Peter was the first pope and went to Rome, then you have to prove by history that all Italians are circumcised on the eighth day, because he was an apostle to the circumcision. I think it's interesting, that in all probability the Apostle John added this chapter after Peter had died, so as to not embarrass him.

John 21:15: "Therefore, when they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these?' And he said to Him, 'Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Feed My lambs.'"

In the sermons and Bible studies and lessons:

  • Is the teacher, the minister, or pastor, or evangelist feeding the flock?
  • Are you being fed the Word of God?


  • Are they talking about the glories of their corporate organization?

Verse 16: "He said to him again a second time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Shepherd My sheep.'" How do you shepherd the sheep?

  • you go out before them
  • you lead the way
  • you care for them

Remember about the ninety-nine that stayed and the one that was lost? Went out after the one—right? Yes!

Every once in awhile you get some goats in there and they run off on their own. There's not too much you can do about them. However, on the other hand, please understand, there are some who are good goats, because goats were used as sacrifice, as was the animal sacrifice looking toward the sacrifice of Christ.

Verse 17: "He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things. You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed My sheep.'"

Where in these two examples that we have covered in Matthew 20 and here in John 21 do we find a hierarchical setup? I know someone's going to say, Eph, 4. All right. Let's see how Paul listed these things. And then we will take a look at how Paul considered himself. And he was perhaps the greatest and worked harder and served more people than probably any of the other apostles, including Peter.

You know exactly where I am going, Ephesians 4:11: "And He gave some as apostles..." Who were to serve. Didn't He tell them, 'You are to serve.' He also commanded them, 'Go into all the world and teach all nations.' They were to preach. Yes! They were to carry the authority of Jesus Christ, not their own.

What is the authority of Jesus Christ, but the Truth of God and the Spirit of God? And for brethren who are in the Church and have God's Spirit, how much authority needs to be exercised over them? Very little! They are to be taught to live their lives with the Spirit of God leading and directing them and you don't need to rule over them. See? We'll cover that here in just a little bit.

Verse 11: "And He gave some as apostles, and some prophets... [What are prophets? Prophets are those not foretelling things in the future exclusively, but more foretelling from the Bible the Truth of God's Word, or telling forth of the Word of God.] ...and some evangelists... [When you go out and you evangelize, you're an evangelist. When you're not evangelizing, you're still an elder. So every one of these things are functions. We'll see that in just a bit.] ...and some, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints... [What is that for? Serving the saints, not to rule over.] ...for the work of the ministry... [not to retire on tithes and offerings] ...for the edifying of the body of Christ" (vs 11-12)—which is up-building. These are all things that every individual has to evaluate, whether you are a teacher or a minister or a pastor, or whether you are of the body of Christ, being the brethren.

Who is included in the body of Christ? Notice what Paul wrote here, v 13: "Until we... [He included himself in there—didn't he? Yes, indeed!] ...Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man... [That's what Unleavened Bread pictures—the perfection of Christian growth through grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.] ...Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

That's everybody! Have ministers been led astray? Yes! Have brethren been led astray? Yes! Why? Because they didn't follow the words of Christ, that's why! They got all involved in their own importance and wanted to see who is going to be the greatest. I remember in the large church I belonged to, man, when they finally got completely corporatized, all of the evangelists were paid salaries in six figures. And even some of them were so jealous that they argued with the so-called apostle of the church as to 'why this man over here who was another evangelist had a higher salary than I did.' When I say 'I did,' I'm not referring to me. I'm speaking as if I were the person questioning that. And then you want to know why that organization no longer exists? That's one small reason!

We are to be perfected in Christ. Just put in your notes there Matt. 5:48, 'we are to become perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect.'

  • that's a lot of work
  • that's overcoming
  • that takes prayer
  • that takes study
  • that takes teaching
  • that's the goal

Today in the Protestant world, the whole thing is to be churched. 'Come to the church; come to the building; help us with community; let's build community here.' And as I gave in the sermons on Coming: One-World Religion, community is the key where they hook you into it and you're doing good works.

'Shouldn't we feed the poor? Shouldn't we house the homeless and things like that?' Yes! But you better have a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ first—isn't that true? And since they can't teach anything in Protestantism which then is controversial, or doctrinal, they virtually have no doctrines and Satan has got them hook, line and sinker. Well, some Churches of God are almost like that.

Verse 14: "So that we no longer be children... [What did Jesus say of the disciple? 'It's sufficient that the disciple become as the teacher.' Right? Is that not the goal? Yes! Are we not to have the mind of Christ? Yes! Are we not to understand the Word of God? Yes!] ...tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness, with a view to the systematizing of the error."

That's how the Catholic Church came about. And virtually in Protestantism, outside of the name of Jesus Christ and knowing that your sins are forgiven by grace, every other doctrine comes straight out of Catholicism.

Here's the key, v 15: "But holding the Truth in love..." That means keeping it, that means obeying it. That's for all of us who are 'we' until 'we all.' That's why it's important we have the Bible today. That's why it's important that we have been able to do the Holy Bible in Its Original Order and we have corrected all the mistakes of the King James Version which has led to so many problems and difficulties in understanding the Truth. It's been available all of this time, and everything that is known today was known way back when William Tyndale started translating into English.

"...may in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ" (v 15). That's the structure of the Church. If I do not do what I need to do—and I didn't ask for it. When we first started Christian Biblical Church of God we had seven brethren, three on the mailing list and my family and that was it. After all the things we had gone through, I determined in my own mind that if God wanted me to serve these seven brethren and see them safely into the grave to make it to the end so they can be in the Kingdom of God, that was fine. I wasn't going to put myself forward to do anything. But if God opened a way or opened a door, that's fine; if He didn't, that's fine. And it's still the same way today; exactly the same way today; same way for all of us, all the elders, all those who help us.

Verse 16: "From Whom all the body, fitly framed and compacted together by that which every joint supplies, according to its inner working in the measure of each individual part, is making the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." That's how it needs to be!

Let's see how Peter also learned that lesson, and see where Peter also learned the lesson. Paul learned the lesson, John learned the lesson, James learned the lesson and he did go through the baptism. He was beheaded, and likewise with Peter. It is said that he was crucified upside down, probably in Babylon, because that's where he was teaching. John was spared even though he was thrown into a boiling pot of oil and nothing happened to him.

Let's see that Peter learned the lesson, 1-Peter 5:1: "The elders who are among you I exhort, even as a fellow elder..." If you are an apostle because you are sent with the authority of Christ, you are still an elder first. Everything listed in Ephesians 4 is a function, not an office. The difference between a function and an office is this: an office is something you hold. A function that is something that you do.

"...even as a fellow elder, and an eyewitness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker of the glory that is about to be revealed: Feed the flock of God that is among you..." [He learned the lesson—didn't he?] ...exercising... [rulership. No, it doesn't say that.] ...exercising oversight... [That's not ruling in people's lives. That is making sure that everything is done decently and in order and everybody has a part in that.] ...not by compulsion, but willingly; not in fondness of dishonest gain, but with an eager attitude; not as exercising lordship over your possessions; but by being examples to the flock of God" (vs 1-3).

How is someone an example to the flock? By saying, 'Well, when I go to church I'll make sure I'm an example to the flock'? No! it's how you live! Otherwise it's hypocritical and pretentious. Just like one great evangelist with a golden voice. Everyone thought, oh, he's a marvelous speaker, but he was a philanderer. Even committed adultery prior to speaking on the Sabbath and then coming and speaking on the Sabbath and lording it over the brethren! So, you see how far things can get carried away when men get carried away with authority. That's why Peter wrote this here.

Notice what we are to look to, v 4: "And when the Chief Shepherd is manifested... [That is at the return of Christ.] shall receive an unfading, eternal crown of glory." You don't have glory on this earth now.

Not like the pope. But I like the picture. You can do a lot with PhotoShop. Someone sent me some pictures of the German pope, Pope Benedict XVI. It says, 'The German pope has changed the mass.' So you turn the page and here's a picture of him. Instead of holding up the goblet with wine, he's holding up a stein of beer. The next picture is you turn the page, instead of holding up the round wafer, and that's interesting, it cannot be broken and what are we to do on Unleavened Bread? Broken bread—right? Yes! Instead of the round wafer, he's got a giant pretzel. Okay, so much for the popes. You've got to have a little fun with that.

Let's see what Paul wrote concerning ministers and showing how the ministers should be. Paul said that he considered himself the 'least of all the apostles, born out of due season, but he labored more abundantly than they.'

1-Corinthians 3:4: "When someone says, 'I am of Paul,' and another one says, 'I am of Apollos,' are you not carnal?...." They were arguing, some were of Peter, some were of Paul, some are of Apollos, some were of Christ. Is Christ divided? No! Whenever you get to following just a man for the sake of the man, rather than for what the man is teaching because it is the Truth of God, then you're carnal.

"Who then is Paul? And who is Apollos?.… [Who are we, anybody important? No! Christ says that all the nations of the earth are like a drop in a bucket. Why should people get carried away with an artificial authority that Christ never gave in the first place?] ...They are but ministers through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to each one…. [We are to teach to believe.] …I planted and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. Therefore, neither is he who plants anything, nor he who waters; for it is God Who gives the increase" (vs 4-7). In other words, only a vehicle to serve God and serve the brethren. That's what it is.

Inspiration and knowledge of Scripture does not come because you are appointed to some high office. Inspiration and knowledge of Scripture comes by prayer and dedication and serving God, and connecting the brethren directly with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

"...for it is God Who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one... [We're doing this as God wants.] ...but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.... [both the one who is teaching and the ones who are listening] ...For we are God's fellow workers... [God has determined to use human beings, but how then do those men relate to God in their private lives?] ...and you are God's husbandry, even God's building. As a wise architect, according to the grace of God that was given to me, I have laid the foundation and another is building upon it. But let each one take heed how he builds upon it" (vs 7-10). So this is showing how teaching is to be accomplished.

  • teach the Word of God
  • show you how to live your life
  • follow what God says
  • believe God
  • believe the Word of God
  • have a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ

You are to be building the things in your own lives as well. You're not going to be able to point the finger and say, 'Well, the minister said...' and Christ is going to say, 'Well, why didn't you make sure that that was according to Scripture, rather than believing something that wasn't true?'

Verse 11: "For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ." So if people coerce you to stay in an organization or stay with the 'church,' they've got the wrong foundation—isn't that correct? And if they teach you to rely upon the ministry and not God the Father and Jesus Christ, you've got the wrong foundation—do you not? Yes, indeed!

Verse 12: "Now, if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble." Of course, the first three are improved by trials and fire and difficulties. The last three burn up. So it's incumbent upon the ones who are teaching to make sure that the brethren are able to have the tools to build the gold, silver, and precious stones. And not have a social community and a get-together where you have wood, hay, and stubble.

Verse 13: "The work of each one shall be manifested... [God's going to test everyone.] ...for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one's is…. [That's why we have troubles and difficulties.] …If the work that anyone has built endures, he shall receive a reward. If the work of anyone is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved as through fire. Don't you understand..." (vs 13-16). And every minister needs to understand this: The brethren are not your vassal-slaves. You are the slave of the brethren.

Verse 16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him because the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.... [Then he gives a warning. This is a good warning for the ministry]: ...Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks himself to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, so that he may be wise in God's sight. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God for it is written, 'He entraps the wise in their own craftiness.' And again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.' Therefore, do not let anyone boast in men... [that's what it has to be] ...Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come—all are yours; and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (vs 16-23).

Where did he say that you stay in this organization? No! He says you need to be connected to Christ and God! And isn't that what John wrote in 1-John 1, 'Our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.' Yes, indeed!

1-Cor. 4 tells us an awful lot. The comment was made that if you go back to 1-Kings 13, God told the prophet who was going to witness to Jeroboam that he was not to eat, was not to drink, he was to go to Bethel, witness to Jeroboam, and then he was to return a different way. He was not to stop, he was not to eat, he was not to do anything, except preach what God said. He went and preached what God said. Then a false prophet came along and said, 'Well, I'm a prophet of the Lord, too, and I had a message from the Lord that you can stop and eat with me.' No man can change a command of God! You understand that? And what happened? He died! That's a good lesson for all of us to learn, every one of us.

Paul understood this, 1-Corinthians 4:1: "So then, let every man regard us as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God." A steward takes care of someone else's property, to be honest, to be faithful, to increase the value of someone else's property. And we all belong to Christ. Isn't that true? Yes!

Verse 2: "Beyond that, it is required of steward that one be found faithful. But to me it is an insignificant matter that I am judged by you, or by man's standard; and neither do I judge myself. Now I am not conscious of anything against myself, yet I am not justified by this; for the One Who is judging me is the Lord. Therefore, do not judge anything before the time; wait until the Lord comes, Who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the motives of all hearts; and then shall each one receive praise from God" (vs 2-5).

Then he goes on saying here; this becomes important, v 6: "Now, these things, brethren, I have applied to Apollos of myself for your sakes; that in us you may learn not to think of men beyond what is written, so that no one among you is puffed up on behalf of one of us against the other…. [Puffing up is vanity—right? Yes, indeed!]…For what makes you superior to others? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you also received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?" (vs 6-7).

That's the way we need to look at what God is doing with us and for us. You have to look at those things. Then you have to ask:

  • Do they really teach the way of God according to the Scriptures?
  • Do the brethren love each other?
  • Do the elders love the brethren?

All of those things are visible fruits.

As we have covered here concerning Satan and his way, we also need to realize that within the Church of God we need to be aware. Read 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John. Look at the troubles that were there.

Today with the whole Word of God, we're able to go ahead and be alert to all of these devices of Satan the devil. This is what we need to do.

Let us all grow together:

  • in love
  • in knowledge
  • in understanding

Let us serve God

  • in Truth
  • in righteousness.

This is how the Church of God needs to be! Don't let Satan get a 'toe hold' or the 'nose of a camel under the tent' and begin to change things from within that are not according to the Bible.

Scriptural References:

  • Luke 4:3-6, 8, 7
  • Matthew 20:17-28
  • John 21:15-17
  • Ephesians 4:11-16
  • 1-Peter 5:1-4
  • 1-Corinthians 3:4-23
  • 1-Corinthians 4:1-7

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 8:3
  • 1 John
  • Revelation 2, 3
  • Acts 8
  • Matthew 17
  • Matthew 5:48
  • 1 Kings 13
  • 1st. 2nd , 3rd John

Also referenced:

Sermon Series: Coming: One-World Religion
Book: The Day After the Dollar Crashes by Damon Vickers

Transcribed: 8-23-11
Formatted: bo: 8-24-11

Copyright 2011—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.</p