Trials come as a result of the behavior of the people

Fred R. Coulter—November 2, 2019

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[#1 of two separate sermons given on November 2, 2019]

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

You have in your hands—regardless of the Bible that you have, and in spite of the difference that men try to make in it, if you go to the Word of God in Hebrew and Greek and properly translate it—the greatest book in the world!

  • it tells you things that you would never understand
  • it tells you about the love of God
  • it tells you about the wrath of God
  • it tells you about the punishment of God
  • it tells you about the forgiveness of God
  • it tells you about the history of the past
  • it gives you prophecies of history in the future
  • it tells you what happens to kingdoms and kings
  • it tells you what happens to individuals

Today we're going to do this in two parts:

  • the Word of God is like fire.
  • how God has hidden the most important thing in the Bible

Yet, you have to dig for it! The Word of God is true and living!

  • it talks about individuals
  • it talks about families
  • it talks about cities
  • it talks about countries
  • it talks about the whole world

No other book in the world can do that and be absolutely accurate with no errors! Here's something to understand concerning the Word of God, and once you understand this, and you realize it and live by it, then you're going to be in a good relationship with God. What it will help you to do is to not get lifted up in vanity and pride!

As we read Heb. 4:12[transcriber's correction] remember the two most important things in everything. I was talking to an elder the other day and also explained this to him. I said, 'What we all need to do as elders is to remember:

  • We have nothing we didn't receive!

Everything we have came from God[transcriber's correction] and a lot of it has come through other people. You came through your mother and father. Each one of us is the manifestation of the one flesh of our mother and father. We have direct evidence all of our life that that is true right in the middle of our bellybutton. So, don't get lifted up! You were a speck of dust.

  • In God we live, move and have our being!

He's given us free moral agency and choice. What would the world be like if we were all robots. Men are working hard to make robots to do all kinds of things. Well, God created the universe! Try that on for size!

Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is living…"

John 6:63: "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life."

Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…"

  • you can't get away from it
  • you can't run from it
  • you can't hide from it

David said, 'If I to heaven, You're there. If I go to the depths of the earth, You're there. If I sit down, You're there, if I stand up. You're there. If I walk and talk, You're there!' Powerful! Also, by His power He commanded and it was created! That's a tremendous thing to understand!

"…piercing even to the dividing asunder of both soul and spirit, and of both the joints and the marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart" (v 12).

There's no other book that can do that. If you take the Psalms, that will help you mostly to connect with God with your heart and mind in a special way. If you go through the Proverbs, that will tell you right from wrong, good from evil, and it explains things that people need to understand for everyday living. Then if you get into the Prophets, there are prophecies, and there are also prophecies and things that are not in the Prophets.

Verse 13: "And there is not a created thing that is not manifest in His sight…" Think of that! Nothing! Manifested in the sight of God: the heavens, the earth, everything on the earth and in the waters under the earth.

"…but all things are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account" (v 13).

What is that account going to include? The secrets of the heart! You may be able to fool men or women. You may be able to put on a nice front while you hate them. But God knows the heart. Here's what we do: We don't run away from God because of all of His power and ability. We draw close to Him because of it!

Verse 14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a High Priest Who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but One Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet, He was without sin" (vs 14-15).

There's nothing on earth like this! Isn't that amazing? Look at all the people in the world who trust in the elite until Trump came. Now they don't know what to do! You think that's something, what's it going to be when Christ returns? God is going to take all of us and transform us into spirit beings and we're going to rule the world. The elite will be bowing down at our feet to worship God. That's going to be something!

Verse 16:"Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need"—every single day!

Now let's look at another aspect of God's Word, which combines many different aspects and many different things. If anyone thinks he or she is going to escape, or that they can get away from God. Never going to happen!

Jeremiah 23:23: "'Am I a God Who is near,' says the LORD, 'and not a God afar off?'"

  • When was it that you had your first prayer answered?
  • Can you remember that?
  • Where were you?
  • What were you doing?

Just little ole me or you, just a speck of something in the universe on this earth, and God heard and He answered! That's an amazing thing! He didn't come down in a flash of fire, but he gently led you because you were seeking Him. If you seek Him according to His Word, you will find Him!

Verse 24: "'Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him?' says the LORD. 'Do I not fill the heavens and earth?' says the LORD." Yes, with everything He's created! Not His body.

Jews look at that and say that God is in everything! That's pantheism! God is the wall, in the floor, in the tree, in the rug, in the car, in the bus, in the plane, God is in you! Nonsense!

Verse 25: "I have heard what the prophets said, who prophesy lies in My name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed.'"

Almost everyone on TBN sooner or later says, 'I dreamed…' Even some who are supposed to be ministers of God. What has those dreams led to? One was a big rock in Oregon!

Verse 26: "'How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies and who are prophets of the deceit of their own heart? They scheme to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell, each one to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal. The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully…." (vs 26-28)—that's what it's to be!

What happens when you do that? God will give you more understanding, because His Word is stacked and layered in meaning, and spiritual and living! That's quite a thing!

When we were doing the translating for the Bible—I point out a couple of things in the message God's Sacred Calendar and Gen. 7—there were things very interesting, because if you handle the Word of God faithfully, and you want to translate it faithfully, you're not going to get carried away with your own ideas.

  • What's going to happen? God will inspire you to do it correctly!
  • Who deserves all the credit? God does!

Maybe we're tools to do it, but that's okay. That doesn't make us anything great. If you do well up to a certain point and then you leave everything off and you fall, what good have you done?

"'…What is the chaff to the wheat?' says the LORD. 'Is not My Word like a fire?' says the LORD, 'and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?'" (vs 28-29).

If you don't think that is true, you carefully read the book of Revelation and everything that's going to happen. By the way, we will have the chart all corrected, so you need to get the sermon series Daniel/Revelation—470 pages! That goes through all the prophecies.

We live in an age when we have the whole Word of God. God says that at the end-time the wise shall understand. That doesn't mean that we're intellectually smarter than anybody else, because the ones who are wise are the ones who love God and keep His commandments!

Verse 30: "'Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets who steal My words each one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets who use their tongues and say, "He says," when I did not say. Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams and tell them, and cause My people to go astray by their lies and by their wantonness. Yet, I did not send them nor command them; therefore, they shall not profit this people at all,' says the LORD. 'And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, "What is the oracle of the LORD?" You shall then say to them, "What oracle? I will even forsake you, says the LORD." And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, who shall say, "The oracle of the LORD," I will even punish that man and his house'" (vs 30-34).

When is this going to hit the highest point in history? At the beginning of the last seven years! Jesus said, 'There shall arise prophets and show great signs and wonders.' So much that all the nations of the earth give their sovereignty to the beast! That's pretty powerful!

Verse 35: "'Thus you shall say each one to his neighbor, and each one to his brother, "What has the LORD answered? And what has the LORD spoken?" And you shall mention the oracle of the LORD no more. For every man's word becomes his own oracle; for you have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. Thus you shall say to the prophet, "What has the LORD answered you? And what has the LORD spoken?" But since you say, "The oracle of the LORD, therefore, thus says the LORD, 'Because you say this word, "The oracle of the LORD"—after I have sent to you saying, "You shall not say, 'The oracle of the LORD.'" Therefore, behold, I, even I, will completely forget you, and I will forsake you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers, and cast you out of My presence…. [that's exactly what He did] …And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten'" (vs 35-40).

Is that not true of the Jews, even to this very day? Yes, it is! Now let's see how these things are going to come along.

Think about all the fires that are here in California. I've gotten a lot of e-mails this week, and even some phone calls, asking, 'Where are you from the fires?' We're 20 miles from the ocean and we're a long way from all the fires. But you look at those fires! It's incredible! Delores and I were talking about the fires. They can't clean up the dead stuff that falls down and accumulates because of the environmentalists! They can't trim trees any further than four feet away from the high power lines, which can grow three feet in a year.

What did God tell Adam and Eve concerning the garden? Dress it and keep it! In Europe they do that with the forests and they don't have it burning everything up! But because California has left God, and they've trusted in their own thoughts, and they have their own political agenda, and they are environmentalists and atheists look at what has happened!

Look at what has happened to the cities. The great cities of California are nothing but sewers and stretches of places for the homeless and drugs. Do you know what they do in San Francisco? They actually have public servants who take needles and they shoot-up the homeless! The homeless buy the drugs and here comes the handy-dandy helper from City Hall, 'Oh, you poor thing, let me help you.' And they give them an injection of whatever they have. They think that's kindness and goodness. NO! that's evil and wretchedness!

Isaiah 9:18: "For wickedness burns like the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns…"

  • Do all of these fires come for a reason?
  • Why do they happen? In spite of the fact of not cleaning up!
  • Why? It's a judgment of God as a result of the behavior of the people!

"…and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall roll upwards like the lifting up of smoke" (v 18).

Look at all the things concerning the fires that are burning. People have lost everything! Now, because they're so smart and intelligent, they have a plan to cut down on fires. That's why we have fewer fires this year. That plan is that wind blows they turn off the electricity! Isn't that a smart thing? Nothing works!

Think of the poor clerks who never learned to add two and two. They don't know how to do business without the electronics. Think about the building with electronic doors. How are you going to open them? Get a hatchet and smash in the glass! See how it all doubles down on them? It's a terrible thing!

Verse 19: "Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land scorched…" God's judgment against them:

  • Will you ever learn?
  • Will you ever change?

"…and the people shall be as the fuel for the fire; no man shall spare his brother" (v 19).

Here's another Scripture that describes it even more. Look what happens. Here we have the most highly educated people in the world. We have the most modern technology in the world, that the world has ever had, and they're going to make it even better.

I talked to someone about the CDs that we're getting with the Bible on them, and they said that all new cars don't have CD players. I said, 'What you do is take your CD and copy it to your computer and put it on a thumb-drive and put it into your USB port in your car and you can play it. And by the way, most of the people in the Church of God don't have new cars.' I don't! I have one nearly 30-years-old and I have one 25-years-old. Both of them have CD players.

Isaiah 5:18: "Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity… [if that doesn't spell out the 'alphabet perversion,' I don't know what does] …and sin with cart ropes; who say, 'Let Him hurry and hasten His work, so that we may see it; and let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, so that we may know!'" (vs 18-19).

Maybe his purpose is not good for you because of your evil. Beware of what you ask for!

Sidebar: Remember what Job said? A man wrote me and said, 'You ought to repent of making Job an angry man.' Unfortunately, I can't find his letter to answer him back, so if you listen to this, you've got your answer!

How did Job curse his day? If you curse your day and say how bad it is, and that you would have been better off if you had been a miscarriage, I don't think he said very softly, 'O Lord, why did You do this to me? I curse the day that I live, that I was born. And that they said that a man-child was born.'

NO! How do you think he said, 'I wish God would come down and we would go to court, and we will have an umpire or judge put his hand on our shoulders and let God know how good I am'?

Was Job angry with the three men that were there? Yes, because they brought up all sins that he didn't do! So, they didn't know. Little ole Elihu came along and said, 'Job, don't you think it's outrageous that you say that your righteousness is more than God's, and that you demand that God come and speak to you?'

Well, God did! You know what happened! Job repented! But Job was angry. Anyone who challenges God is angry and sets himself up as more than God!

Verse 20: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…" Isn't that the way it is? Look at what's happening in religion, in politics. Everything on the left and progressive is evil! 'Oh, we want to give everyone healthcare.' Why not tell everyone how to take care of their bodies and you won't need healthcare. All the trillions you want to spend would go to the people and you could lower their taxes and they would be healthy.

Oh, what a terrible thing to do; we would put the pharmaceuticals and the doctors out of business.

That might not be a bad idea. Have them teach people how to live right.

"…who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink… [add in there drugs] …who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!" (vs 20-23).

With these leftists, you dare not attack the 'alphabet perverts.' Now, think about all the fires you've been watching:

Verse 24: "Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame burns up the chaff; their root shall be like rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up like dust because they have cast away the Law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel."

Isn't that true? It's an amazing thing! Think of this: if you tell children to remember to make their bed, straighten up your room and keep it nice, and 'I will have a surprise for you.' And they do it and they get the surprise. What happens if the children pay no attention, forget it and mess it all up, and then go to mama or dad and say, 'I want my surprise.' Well, don't be surprised if they get out the paddle and find that spot on the body that's designed to help reinforce truth.

That's what they do; you can't even bring up God. Look what happens when anyone who is famous brings up about God. Kanye West the left cannot understand. In his own way he follows a lot of things of God, plus he's a billionaire and a Republican. They don't know what to do. All black are supposed to be Democrats. What are they going to do when they turncoat on all of their power brokers and not stay Democrats. Look at what he's done. Yet, they say that this is a racist nation. Try Saudi Arabia! Try China! You will see what racist is!

Verse 25: "Therefore, the anger of the LORD is kindled against His people, and He has stretched out His hand against them, and has stricken them; and the hills trembled, and their dead bodies were as filth in the midst of the streets. In all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still."

That's exactly what happens. God's anger will eventually come. Then when it comes, people are going to say, 'Lord, why are you doing this?' His answer is going to be, 'Repent!' But in the mean time it's going to be tough!

I was going through the book of Ezekiel this week, and I thought that Jeremiah had a tough 'row to hoe,' but I tell you Ezekiel did.

Ezekiel 20:30: "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Are you defiled in the same way as your fathers?…."'"

Remember what they did; the greatest sin that they had was that they offered their children in fire as a sacrifice to Molech. Now what are some of them saying that we ought to do in addition to aborting? Eat them!

"'…And do you commit whoredoms after their abominations? For when you offer your gifts, when you make your sons to pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'I will not be inquired of by you. And what comes into your mind shall not come to pass at all—in that you say, "We will be like the heathen, like the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone." 'As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, I will reign over you'" (vs 30-33).

Verse 45: "And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop a word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the field in the south. And say to the forest of the south, "Hear the Word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall burn up every green tree in you, and every dry tree among you. The blazing flame shall not be put out, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned by it. And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it. It shall not be put out'"'" (vs 45-48).

When that comes, that's going to be something! Here's why He does it. I don't know what it's going to be like this year. They say we're going to have more rain. They also say that much of Northwestern Missouri still has flood waters from last year, and that the dams up in Montana still have so much water that they're letting the water out so it's almost impossible for it to dry out. They're asking:

  • What's going to happen if we have a lot of rain this year?
  • Can we take another year like we had last year with all the floods?
  • fires out here
  • floods in the Midwest
  • heat in and cold on the east coast
  • hurricanes and tornados

When will we wake up and see that there's so much sin that causes all of these things to take place?

Is this because we get more news? Well, I don't know! I think all of these things happen periodically to warn people. When there's more sin it happens more devastatingly. When the people back off and behave a little more Godly, then God is going to accept that for the time being. But it's going to build and build until…,

I was thinking the other day, you read how Israel is going to go into captivity into every nation. That's going to be easy to do. Why? Look at all the ports that we have, all the ships that can come in one after the other and take 10 and 20-thousand people with them. How long do you think it would take to pretty well empty down the population to just a few? Just think how quickly that could go! That could be quite a thing!

Does it get worse because—as in California—they don't believe in God? That's right! We're run by a bunch of atheists and agnostics and haters of God! So, we'll just have to wait and see. All of these things kind of come and go until we reach a point that we see that it's really the last. Let's see why all of this is coming:

Ezekiel 22:17: "And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying."

How about all those atheists and agnostics who say that this book was written by men. They don't read it very well. If God came to you and said, 'I want you to write this down exactly as I tell you.' What would you do? Do it exactly! That's what the Prophets did; this is from God! But since they reject God they don't understand what they're doing.

Verse 18: "'Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me. All of them are bronze, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the middle of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.' Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Because you have all become dross…'" (vs 18-19).

Think about the extreme of being evil. Here in California, some parts of Illinois, Massachusetts and New York we see more and more evil. Look at that. When the rest of the country becomes like that, we're really in trouble!

Verse 19: "Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Because you have all become dross, behold, therefore, I will gather you into the middle of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and bronze, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the middle of the furnace, to blow the fire on it to melt it, so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will cast you in and melt you. And I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it" (vs 19-21).

  • What kind of fire is that?
  • Could that be atomic bombs?

Look at how many atomic weapons our enemies have!

Verse 22: "As silver is melted in the furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it… [that sounds like that kind of weapon] …and you shall know that I the LORD have poured out My fury upon you…. [then He says why]: …And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, say to her, "You are a land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation." There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. Her priests have done violence to My Law and have profaned My Holy things….'" (vs 22-26). Isn't that exactly what has happened? Yes!

"…They have put no difference between the Holy and the profane, and have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them" (v 26). Right back to the same thing!

How many thing can you read '…because they didn't keep the Sabbaths of God.' Notice that's plural!

Verse 27: "Her rulers in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood and to destroy souls, to get unjust gain. And her prophets have covered themselves with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies unto them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD has not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression and committed robbery, and they have troubled the poor and needy. Yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them who should build up a wall for the land, and stand in the breach before Me, so that I should not destroy it. But I did not find one" (vs 27-30). Eventually it's going to come to that!

When we look at all the natural disasters, I think if we look at as warnings so that people can repent and come to God! He gives them the choice or not. How many will? We don't know! It will go along for a while, and if there's no repentance it will come again even more strongly, more devastatingly!

We'll just have to wait and see. But we can see that all of these things are the judgments of God in hopes that we will repent because God is always respecting repentance!

What does that mean for us? We need to stay close to God, because perhaps some of the things that we are doing will please God enough—because we love Him and keep His commandments—that He will even have mercy on the people on the land for a while, because of what He wants to do, so we can bring a message to help them!

I pray that for all the Churches of God! Just think, separately—but think in the big picture—if all preach the Truth and repentance, that might hold things off for a while. We don't know how God figures things. We understand how He figures some things, but: In counting for Israel, did God drop out the 70 years and not count that? We don't know!

I was thinking that here is 2020 coming up. I remember when Delores and I would look at each other and be so happy that we weren't going to get old. Well, that's 50 years back—2022! We were hoping to go to a place of safety, and we didn't even think about how we were going to live in that rocky place.

Oh, you're going to take your Serta Sleeper with you? That will never work! So, here we are nearly 50 years later and it still looks like a long time down the road!

That's why God is in charge, and He knows what He's doing!

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 4:12
  • John 6:63
  • Hebrews 4:12-16
  • Jeremiah 23:23-40
  • Isaiah 9:18-19
  • Isaiah 5:18-25
  • Ezekiel 20:30-33, 45-48
  • Ezekiel 22:17-30

Also referenced:

  • Sermon: God's Sacred Calendar
  • Sermon Series: Daniel and Revelation

Transcribed: 11/6/19

Copyright 2019—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.