The Beatitudes #1

By Fred R. CoulterApril 13, 2013

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services! We're going to find out how we can do what Jesus said. Jesus said that lawlessness will multiply and that the one who endures to the end shall be saved. I've got a whole stack of things about how prophecy is being fulfilled in a broad way in about everything that transpires.

I want to concentrate on being able to strengthen us spiritually because that is the only way that we can endure and that we can survive and that we can make it to the end.

Let's come to the book of Romans because here is a key. Let's understand some basic things that are very important. In God, everyone/everything that there is on earth lives and moves and has its being in God—everything!

Those who are true Christians are the ones who have the Spirit of God within them. As we saw during the Feast of Unleavened Bread that we are actually a dwelling place for the Spirit of God:

  • The Father
  • Jesus Christ

This gives us a connection right to God, directly. Let's see how we can use that and take advantage of it and what we need to do.

Romans 1:16, Paul writes: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes… [we have to have the faith; we have to have the belief] …both to the Jew first, and to the Greek. For therein… [in the Gospel] …the righteousness of God is revealed… [It's not something you come to. It's not something that you have a religion, you have a belief, you have a faith. But if you don't have faith with works, your faith is dead.] …from faith unto faith…" (vs 16-17).

This is very interesting in a literal translation from the Greek, which is this: the Greek word translated unto is pronounced 'eis,' and it can mean unto, direction,into, to become part of.

"…revealed from faith unto faith, according as it is written: 'The just shall live by faith'" (v 17). Let's see what else is also revealed. The first revelation comes to us. The second revelation is knowledge—which also comes to us—that the world does not understand.

Verse 18: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed…" People don't believe the Bible. They don't believe what God has set before every human being in blessings and cursings, etc. But we see it because it's revealed. We look at the things that are going on and we know that that is a result of sin, and we know that that is a result of Satan the devil.

Yet, we have to live in the world. Jesus prayed to the Father, 'I don't pray that you take them out of the world'—though many times we wish we were. That won't happen until the resurrection. But we have to live in it. We need to look to God because the prayer was, 'I pray that you protect them from the evil one.' One of the tools that we have is the shield of faith.

Verse 18: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness." God is more than fair. God is righteous and He has given a witness to everyone. Whether they take advantage of that witness or not, that's between them and God. That's between them and their choices.

Verse 19: "Because that which may be known of God…" You can find God. What did Jesus say? He said, 'Seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened; ask and it shall be given.' But He also says to the wicked, 'You have to forsake your ways and your thoughts.' So it may be known.

"…is manifest among them, for God has manifested it to them" (v 19). We have many, many things out there as witnesses to the world. They're never going to be able to say, 'Lord, why didn't you tell us?'

As I mentioned, I don't know whether it was here or not, but last time I went down to Southern California, I always stop by Randy Vild's, and since we're working on the Bible-reading projects he showed me some websites that have versions of the Bible that are read. There are literally dozens of them, all of them as a witness.

Let's see the kind of faith—from faith unto faith—that we need from God. There is belief and faith that people have because they believe in Jesus. When Jesus was healing, remember He told them, 'Your faith has healed you.' That's not the spiritual faith that we receive with the Spirit of God. That is the belief; that's the start.

Here is what we want to receive from God. These are the things, which alone can come from God because they're fruits of the Spirit. As human beings without the Spirit of God we can partially fulfill some of these things in the letter of the law. That is true. But to have it as part of your character, that is an entirely different thing.

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23). All of this comes by faith.

Let's see what kind of faith that is. We combine this with the Spirit of God; we combine it with the Word of God, and this helps us in every way. Gal. 2:20 is the way we can endure, because it is said of Jesus that He 'endured the shame of the cross for the joy that lay ahead of Him.' Likewise, we are going to see our world completely turned upside down. We've seen it happen in various countries for various reasons. It always happens to any country or empire that is sinning against God so great that His judgment must come upon it to destroy it.

Here's the kind of faith; here's our relationship with God, Galatians 2:20, Paul said: "I have been crucified with Christ…" That's through baptism, conjoined to the baptism of Christ. Then we are also to crucify the passions of the flesh. We have our part. When we sin and the things come upon us, we go after it and overcome it, repent of it, crucified as it were.

"…yet, I live. Indeed, it is no longer I; but Christ lives in me. For the life that I am now living in the flesh, I live by faith…" (v 20).

Look at everything that the Apostle Paul had to go through. I think everyone who wants to set himself up as an apostle better read those chapters and find out. You really want to call yourself an apostle? Read 2-Cor. 11. Just try just this one: beaten with rods 39 stripes 3 times on your back. Just try that one, let alone treading water in the ocean for a day and a night.

"…I live by faith—that very faith of the Son of God... [The reason it is translated this way is because it is in the possessive case in the Greek—'tu pistu'—of, coming from, to us.] …Who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness… [right standing with God, justification with God, righteousness in the mind and heart and spirit and in action] …is through works of law… [Judaism] …then Christ died in vain" (vs 20-21).

Let's look at some things here that we need to do, that we can understand. Let's come here to Mark 11, where He talks about prayer. This is really quite a thing that we have here when we understand what it is in the Greek. Here again it's in the genitive case.

Mark 11:20: "And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. Then Peter remembered and said to Him, 'Look, Master! The fig tree that You cursed has dried up.' And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have faith from God'" (vs 20-22). Literally that means have God's faith, which means it must be given. That's what God has to reveal.

Verse 23: "For truly I say to you, whoever shall say to the mountain, 'Be taken away and be cast into the sea,' and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said will take place, he shall have whatever he shall say." That's what we are going to need in the days ahead.

Note Psa. 91, the Psalm of God's protection. There are many other Psalms you can go to and we'll go to some of them, but that is the key thing. I talked to one woman on the phone and she said that where she lives that now after I mentioned this before in the past, she said, 'I read that Psalm every morning as part of my prayer.' She probably does it before she turns the news on.

What happens when you don't have enough faith? This kind of faith comes spiritually:

  • through prayer
  • through study
  • through living

Mark 9:17: "Then one from the multitude said, 'Master, I brought my son who has a dumb spirit to You; For wherever it seizes him it dashes him down' and he foams and gnashes his teeth, and is withering away. And I spoke to Your disciples, in order that they might cast it out, but they did not have the power.' And He answered him, saying, 'O faithless generation!.…'" (vs 17-19). Just the opposite of what we are to have: faith unto faith. Our faith toward God; God's faith back to us with His Spirit—from faith into faith.

"'…How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.' Then they brought him to Him. But when the spirit saw Him, it immediately threw him into convulsions; and he fell down on the ground and began rolling about and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, 'How long a time has this demon been with him?' And he said, 'From childhood. For it often throws him both into the fire and into the water, that it might destroy him. But if You have the power to do anything, have compassion on us and help us'" (vs 19-22).

Notice Jesus' answer, v 23: "And Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to the one who believes.'" Here is where we need to start lots of times, too, with what we're doing—right?

Verse 24: "And the father of the little child cried out at once, saying with tears, 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.'" What did he do right there? He recognized Truth, he recognized he didn't have enough faith! He repented right on the spot and said, 'God, help me!' All right there.

After He cast him out and later the disciples came into the house, v 28: "And when He came into a house, His disciples asked Him apart, 'Why were we not able to cast it out?' Then He said to them, 'This kind cannot be made to go out by anything except prayer and fasting'" (vs 28-29). There's another added ingredient:

  • prayer
  • study
  • fasting

We are going to see how we develop the faith that God wants us to have. How it come from what little faith we have and we build with the Spirit and help of God to do the things that He wants us to do.

We're going to concentrate on the Beatitudes here in just a minute. But first of all, we know that He said that He didn't come to abolish the Law or the Prophets (Matt. 5:17). We are told that if they are taught, whoever teaches them, that one will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 5:20, Jesus says: "For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." That's a tall challenge—isn't it? Most people don't know what the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees actually was. It was really self-righteousness from their own traditions. He is not telling you, you don't have to keep the commandments of God. He is telling you that the way that the tradition of the Jews was, in interpreting these things, will not get you into the Kingdom of Heaven.

He gives a couple of examples here that are very important. We'll go through a couple of those and then we will see His conclusion at the end of the chapter.

Verse 21: "You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit murder; but whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.' But I say to you, everyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be subject to judgment…." (vs 21-22). Add in here Eph. 4, 'Be angry, but sin not,' and 'Don't let the sun go down on your wrath.' Jesus even healed in anger (Mark 3).

So, this is having an evil disposition. "…Now you have heard it said, 'Whoever shall say to his brother, "Raca," shall be subject to the judgment of the council.' But I say to you, whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be subject to the fire of Gehenna. For this reason, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (vs 22-24). He says in other places then, 'If you don't, do you think your prayers are going to be heard?'

How can you recognize every Christian man? Jesus said this, so let's read it. The answer is not found right here. It's found in the first part of Matt. 5 and the rest of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Why did He say to do such a drastic thing? The lesson is, you can't do it on your own! That's the lesson! Every man would say, 'This is unfair.'

Verse 27: "You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (vs 27-28). Hey, gals, don't say God's picking on women.

Verse 29: "So then, if your right eye shall cause you to offend, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is better for you that one of your members should perish than that your whole body be cast into Gehenna." You can tell every Christian man who has tried to overcome, he's gouged out his eye. If he offended the second time, he gouged out the other eye. NO! He is showing you the impossibility of overcoming sin within. That's what He's doing.

Verse 30: "And if your right hand shall cause you to offend, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is better for you that one of your members should perish than that your whole body be cast into Gehenna."

Let's see the conclusion of the whole matter, which then is a true statement by Christ and a projection of the whole New Covenant. But you need all the rest of the New Testament to fill in the blanks.

Verse 48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." You can't be perfect as God is perfect unless first you have the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and unless you're keeping the commandments of God the way that He has commanded, and unless you're growing and overcoming and you endure to the end to the resurrection. Then we will be perfected! Is that not the whole sum of what's in the Bible? Yes, indeed!

Let's come back here to the first part of Matt. 5 and let's see the things that will help build toward that perfection, through the Spirit of God. These are private teachings to His disciples. Later the multitudes came and circled around because they found Him.

Matthew 5:1: "But seeing the multitudes, He went up into the mountain; and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying" (vs 1-2). These are teachings for us so that you don't have to gouge out your eye, and you don't have to cut off your hand, and you don't have to cut off your foot. You have conversion of the mind.

We're also going to see, with what we're going to cover here, the unity of the Old and New Testaments, how they are blended together. Many things that are spiritual are stated in what is called the Old Testament, but they are not completely understood until the New Testament and the Spirit of God.

The poor in spirit:

Verse 3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." That means they're going to be in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Let's look at some things that define for us being poor in spirit. We're going to start in the Old Testament. Psalm 10 is a very, very great Psalm for today when we're looking around and seeing all the things that are going on and all the troubles and difficulties besetting everyone. We have enough of those ourselves, even within the Church—right? You analyze the prophecies of the seven churches in Rev. 2 and 3 and you see that Satan is not giving up on any of them by trying to get to them.

Now here is how it feels. Here is what the world is like. This is what it seems like to many people. This is why there are so many atheists. This is why there is weak faith. This is why there are the haughty spirits.

Psalm 10:1: "Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride pursues the poor…" Just to let you know, it's coming. All evangelical Christians, which we are called, are called now and labeled as terrorists. Granted we're down lower on the list, that is true, but sooner or later we will come higher in the list.

Mack told me that one of his friends told him that his child came home from school and there is some information that they want to put a chip in the hand of all of the students. Yes, indeed! When we refuse the mark of the beast, will we not be enemy #1? Did not Jesus say that we would be hated? I remember going back when I first came in the Church and I wondered, 'How are we going to be hated when we're going to have the best behavior around compared to the world?'

  • We underestimated Satan
  • We underestimated people
  • We underestimated evil

"…let them be taken in the schemes that they have imagined" (v 2). God does that, yes, indeed! But also when Jesus returns they're all going to get caught in their schemes. What did it say in Gen. 11, the tower of Babel, all together, one language? He said, 'Let Us scatter them abroad, because now nothing that they imagine to do shall be withheld from them.'

We don't know how far they went before the Flood. All we're told is that it was like in the days of Noah and in the days of Sodom. We don't know what that was like. We have a clue with Sodom, because two angels came in to rescue Lot and his family and the whole community of homosexuals gathered around in a riot because here was some brand new men that they had never met. They wanted to take them out and have them. The angels took care of them. But it shows you the attitude and isn't that attitude what is coming down now? Yes, indeed!

Verse 3: "For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, and blesses the covetous but despises the LORD. Through the pride of his countenance the wicked will not seek God; in all his thoughts there is no place for God" (vs 3-4). This is what we are being confronted with.

Verse 5: "His ways prosper at all times. He is haughty, and Your judgments are far from him. As for all his enemies, he sneers at them…. [Sounds like some of our political leaders? And some of the attitudes of the super elite in the world? Yes, indeed!] …He has said in his heart, 'I shall not be moved; from generation to generation, I shall never be in adversity.' His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity. He sits in the hiding places of the villages…" (vs 5-8). Spies! Only takes one phone call, you don't have to identify yourself. See how contrary that is to the Word of God? 'In the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses.' Yes!

"…in the secret places he murders the innocent… [abortion] …His eyes are on the watch for the helpless. He lies in wait secretly like a lion in his den. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags him off in his net. He crouches and bows down, and the hapless fall into his mighty grasp. He has said in his heart, 'God has forgotten…'" (vs 8-11). We're going to come to that time. Right now they are against God, but notice the attitude that they have even if they understand about God.

"'…He hides His face; He will never see!'…. [here's our cry]: …Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up Your hand; forget not the humble" (vs 11-12). We're poor in spirit. We're not out there trying to change the world and save the world our way.

Verse 13: "Why do the wicked spurn God? He has said in his heart, 'You will not call into account.' You have seen it, for You behold mischief and vexation to repay it with Your hand. The poor commits himself to You; You are the Helper of the fatherless" (vs 13-14). We commit ourselves to God.

This also tells us this. It gives us an example how we are to pray for our enemies:

  • that they would repent
  • that they would leave us alone
  • that they would be far from us
  • if not, for God to strike them down

But God has to do that. It can't be that anyone advocates, 'You go out and take God's Law into your hand and you start doing God's business for Him.' That's God's business. God is perfectly capable and able to take care of any adversary and knock them down even at the last minute.

Verse 15: "Break the arm of the wicked and the evil one; seek out his wickedness until You find none. The LORD is King forever and ever; the nations have perished out of His land. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble… [that's another expression of poor in spirit] …You will prepare their heart… [God is the One Who has to do this. It's a spiritual operation.] …You will cause Your ear to hear, To defend the fatherless and the oppressed, so that the man of the earth may no more oppress" (vs 15-18). That's quite a thing!

God is looking down on the earth. He knows everything that goes on. Remember the sermons that I gave on the Holy Spirit of God, the Seven Spirits of God. God has His eyes going 'to and fro in all the earth.' He knows what's going on. When a sparrow falls, God knows it and all the hairs on our head are counted. Some of you have more precious hair than others because you don't have much.

Here's what God is looking for. We need to understand that God the Father and Jesus Christ are actively involved all the time with the whole world, because God's plan right now is being worked on the earth.

  • Are there prophecies to be fulfilled? Yes!
  • Are there wicked people that are going to come up? Yes!
  • Are They going to let them prosper? Yes!
  • Are His people looking to Him in everything? Yes!
  • Does He know us? Yes!

We have God's Spirit in us; we are a temple of God. These things are important to really understand in developing and building the faith—from faith into faith.

  • Your faith to God as strengthened by His Spirit
  • God's faith back to you to strengthen you even more

Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne… [You can read that back in Rev. 4 and 5.] …and the earth is My footstool. Where, then, is the house that you build for Me?.…" There are many, many temples.

The other night I was watching Andrew Zimmer, the one who eats all kinds of bizarre foods. I was shocked to find out that he is actually a Jew. He went to the area of Kashmir, which is the disputed area between India and Pakistan. It showed the great banquet that they had. It was all Muslim so it was clean meat, mostly lamb, and what they did to feed the poor.

I thought it was interesting that when he came to the place where they had the real expensive restaurant that they still sat down cross-legged and they ate with their fingers. The way they explained the justification for lack of silverware I thought was interesting. It is more holistic, but it has meaning to the body if you eat with your fingers and you lick them and all this sort of thing. I thought to myself, that's a good way of explaining it, but hey, give me my fork and spoon and knife.

It was among the Sikhs and they had one of the biggest temples on earth. This part of India, those Sikhs may be some of the descendants of the patriarch Abraham through Keturah because He sent them to the east. So, here they had this big temple. You go in there and you give the gifts and all of this sort of thing, and they feed the poor.

But notice what God says, 'You going to build anything for Me?' Think about that in relationship also to spiritual character. Can we build any spiritual character just by human means and methods and discipline and that sort of thing? Yeah, you can make yourself strong. You can make yourself a faster runner or like this 14-year old from China who qualified for The Masters golf tournament. Maybe even old Tiger Woods isn't going to make it. How did he do that? By work, by discipline, by practice and practice! We have to do it with the Spirit of God, not with the physical and carnal means of human ways.

God says, v 2: "For all these things My hand has made, and these things came to be…."—same way with every human being. God has made all of them. The way that you become as God is God, is through God, not your own ways and means.

So the Lord says: "…'But to this one I will look… [all eyes are upon the earth] …to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit… [blessed are the poor in spirit] …and who trembles at My Word'" (v 2). That's all part of what we find in the Old Testament.

Track 2 or Download

Let's come to Micah 6. Let's see why God wants us to be humble, a contrite spirit, meek. Then He can teach us; we can learn; He can deal with us.

Micah 6:6: "With what shall I come before the LORD, to bow myself before God the Most High?…. [What are you going to do? What are you going to bring?] …Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?…." (vs 6-7). What is it that you can do yourself? That's why there's repentance!

He says: "…Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my life?.... [What is it?] …He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?" (vs 7-8). That's what God wants. "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

Those who mourn:

Let's come back to Matthew 5, and let's see the next one here. All the Beatitudes are important because these are the things that are going to give us the spiritual strength coupled with God's Spirit, the Word of God, prayer, study and fasting which will see us through the difficult times.

Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are those who mourn… [when you see something horrific happen] …for they shall be comforted."

What is the Holy Spirit called? The Comforter! That is the comfort that comes from God, which can come from no other source. It is the Spirit of God that will give you peace of mind, which then will help you deal with the difficulties that this causes you, whatever it may be—emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

I feel sorry for all of those who are involved in the many difficulties and problems that we have seen occur with the mass shootings and things like this. These people do not understand about the plan of God. They have no clue concerning the second resurrection. So, they have no hope! There is virtually no comfort or level of acceptance that they can come to, having lost children in such a massacre, or having lost family members in such difficult times. We need the Holy Spirit to comfort us!

Let's come to Psalm 69. This is quite a Psalm here. Think of what Jesus had to go through. Think of what Jesus had to do. Remember, He was God manifested in the flesh and it was said of Him in John 2 that He did not commit Himself to any man because He knew what was in man.

The mourning can be things that happen to others or things that happen to yourself. We need to understand that once we have comfort and have experienced the whole cycle of from tragedy and from recovery to comfort, that then we can help comfort others.

Psalm 69:1: "Save me, O God, for the waters have come in upon my soul!" These are some of the words of Christ. Remember that Jesus cried out to the Father, Who was able to save Him from death, in fear.

Verse 2: "I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing…" A lot of these things David was able to write down in the Psalms because God gave him the inspiration. You read the Psalms, all the way through. Just start reading all the Psalms, all the way through. You are going to be amazed how much trouble David was in all his life. That was a type of Christ in many of these things. Here's part of it here.

"…I have come into deep waters, where the floods overwhelm me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail while I wait for my God. Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head… [that's Christ; everyone was against Him] …those who would cut me off are mighty being wrongfully my enemies. Should I restore what I did not take away? O God, You know my foolishness…" (vs 2-5). That's David there. That's not Christ. Christ didn't have any foolishness.

"…my sins are not hidden from You. Do not let those who wait on You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not the ones who seek You be ashamed because of me, O God of Israel, because for Your sake I have borne reproach, shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to My brothers and an alien to My mother's children. For the zeal of Your house has eaten Me up, and the reproaches of those who reproached You have fallen upon Me" (vs 5-9). That tells you the attitude that Jesus had. He mourned, He groaned. We'll see that a little bit later here.

Sometimes you will feel really down. How do you recover from that? How do you receive comfort and understanding from that?

  • by going to God
  • praying like it's prayed here in the Psalms
  • pour your heart out to God

Psalm 13:1: "How long will You forget me, O LORD?.… [Have you ever felt like God has forgotten you? Troubles and difficulties?] …Forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my heart, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?" (vs 1-2). These are some of the ways you can pray to God, too; these very words. You have troubles, you have difficulties, whatever they are. Don't let them overwhelm you.

Verse 3: "Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes… [that comes with comfort] …lest I sleep the sleep of death. Lest my enemy say, 'I have overcome him,' and my foes rejoice when I am moved.

Here's the solution right here. If it's overwhelming, if you're mourning, if you're groaning, if you are going through things, v 5: "But as for me, I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD because He has dealt bountifully with me" (vs 5-6).

Always remember this: If you are in a dark trouble and difficulty or as we just read you're in the deep waters, or as it was said, you're sinking in the mire like quicksand and you feel helpless and everything you try to do makes it worst, everything you try to do doesn't work, this is how you are to call out to God.

  • He will help you!
  • He will make it work!
  • He will cause it to happen!

Let's also see something important here, We're coming to a time very similar to this where there are going to be very few who are doing good. This is where Psa. 91 comes in, too. This is where endurance and patience come in. Just because everything in the world around you is coming apart, just because things mount and get worse, even though you may groan, even though you may mourn, even though you may say, 'Oh, God, that's really a difficult thing to see or understand or to hear,' remember this: God watches over every single one! That's why Psa. 91 can be key to Ezek. 9. Doesn't matter, 10,000 fall at your right hand, 1,000 at your left hand.

Ezekiel 9:1: "And He cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, 'Let the executioners of the city draw near… [this is a time when God intervenes with destruction] …even each with his destroying weapon in his hand.' And behold, six men came from the way of the Upper Gate, which faces north, and each had his slaughter weapon in his hand. And one man among them was clothed with linen, and a writer's inkhorn by his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. And the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen, with the writer's inkhorn by his side. And the LORD said to him, 'Go through the midst of the city, in the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men who are groaning and are mourning because of all the abominations that are done in her midst'" (vs 1-4). You need to understand that's why Lot left, was able to escape Sodom.

Verse 5: "And He said to those in my hearing, 'Go through the city after him…'" God's protection is going to come first! How long before, we don't know. You can also liken this to the 144,000, the great innumerable multitude of Rev. 7. You can liken this to those who are taken to a place of safety (Rev. 12). You can liken this to those who are protected just where they are because God intervened with His angels. Of course, the executioners and the man with the inkhorn and the pen, those are angels of God.

Verse 5: "And He said to those in my hearing, 'Go through the city after him, and slaughter. Let not your eye spare, nor have pity. Fully destroy old men, young men and virgins, and little children and women….'" (vs 5-6).

Without the second resurrection, people cannot understand why God would do this. The reason is they don't know what God is doing. God is going to resurrect them with a new life, new body, new mind, second life in the flesh, to live where there is peace, love, joy, faith—all the things that they need to recover from this. So, we need to look to the end of the matter.

"'…But do not come near any man on whom is the mark. And begin at My sanctuary'… [right with the priests and the Levites first] …and they began with the old men who were before the temple. And He said to them, 'Defile the temple…" (vs 6-7). Here's a lesson: If people do not serve God the way that He says and they bring in their sins, because remember what happened to the temple. They brought in the idols; they brought in the homosexuals; they brought in all of these evil things right into the court of the temple of God. You need to understand why God does this.

Where were the priests who should have said, 'No, get these out of here'? Where were the Levites who were the ones to protect it? Where were they? They should have had their swords and driven them out! No, but they let it become corrupt. We can look and see that this is happening even today in what is called Christianity. It is becoming so corrupt. Look at the governments; they are becoming so corrupt. You watch the nightly news and everything is corrupt.

Wounds and bruises and putrefying sores from the sole of the foot to the top of the head. And they can't stop it. They know all of these things are corrupt and wrong, but they are in such a grip of evil they can't stop it. So, it's going to come to this. This will be repeated over and over again in many countries, in many cities around the world, when the tribulation starts.

Verse 7: "And He said to them, 'Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!' And they went out and slaughtered in the city. And it came to pass as they were slaying them, and I was left alone, then I fell on my face and cried, and said, 'Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in Your pouring out of Your fury on Jerusalem?' And He said to me, 'The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of blood, and the city is full of perversity. For they say, "The LORD has forsaken the land; and, the LORD does not see." And even I, My eye shall not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.' And behold, the man clothed with linen, with the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, 'I have done as You have commanded me'" (vs 7-11).

That's quite a thing! We will see more and more of this kind of thing take place. So, the only help and strength we can get is through God.

Let's come and see how things affected Jesus. Jesus had all these emotions like we do. Jesus understood even more human thinking, sin, righteousness, goodness, all of that. He understood it more than any human being could ever possibly understand. He had to see the good. He had to see the evil. He had to work with His disciples to teach them even right up to the end. What did He say? 'Why are you so hardhearted you don't believe?' Yet, when they were converted God used them.

This has to do with the account of Lazarus being raised from the dead after he had died. This is the way that people react, John 11:32: "Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw Him, fell at His feet, saying to Him, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.'" We say things like that lots of times, too, very similar to it.

Verse 33: "As a result, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in spirit and was Himself inwardly moved." That's what happens to us when we see all these things going on.

Verse 34: "And He said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.'…. [the shortest verse in the Bible]: …Jesus wept" (vs 34-35). There are things that will happen that we will weep. The only comfort we are going to have is with God.

Verse 36: "Then the Jews said, 'See how much He loved him!' But some of them said, 'Could not this man, Who had the power to open the eyes of the blind, also have caused this one not to die?'" (vs 36-37). But He did let him die—didn't He? Yes! That's why God lets so many people die.

If there is not a God with love and justice and truth to overcome everything that Satan the devil has done; to overcome everything that men have done, to have power greater than all of these catastrophes and to make them right, and to do so at a time that it will bring salvation. That's how we need to view what God is and what He is going to do because He has the power to do it.

Unless He allows mankind and all of mankind to go as far as they desire in their evil and their wretchedness, they will never be convinced that God's way is best. That's the way that God has worked it out.

Verse 38: "Because of this, Jesus again groaned within Himself…"—sorrowful at their attitude. Of course, they didn't know. They are blind. They have eyes to see, but see not. They have ears to hear, but hear not.

"…as He came to the tomb. Now, it was a cave, and a stone was laid over the opening. Jesus said, 'Take away the stone.' Martha, the sister of him who had died, said to Him, 'Lord, he already stinks, for it has been four days'" (vs 38-39). The truth is it doesn't matter if it's four days, four years, four hundred years, or six thousand years. God can correct it. No one else can.
Verse 40: "Jesus said to her, 'Did I not say to you that if you will believe, you shall see the glory of God?' Then they removed the stone from the tomb where the dead man had been laid. And Jesus lifted His eyes upward and said, 'Father, I thank You that You have heard Me'" (vs 40-41)—even the thought before the prayer. Remember where we started: the faith of Jesus; the faith from God.

Verse 42: "'And I know that You hear Me always; but because of the people who stand around I say this, so that they may believe that You did send Me.' And after He had spoken these things, He cried with a loud voice…" (vs 42-43). Imagine what it was; just picture this: The whole crowd there all 'boo-hooing,' moaning and groaning. Martha saying, 'He's already dead four days. I don't know how many detractors there were there, but here they were, said, 'Roll away the stone.' Gave the short prayer and then He commanded, 'Lazarus, come out,' and he walked out removing the wrappings around his head.

We don't know what he said, but I've often wondered, what did he think when he got out there and saw all these people? Then he looked at himself and all these grave clothes fell off of him and he was undoing it because he had been sleeping the sleep of death for four days. It's not recorded what he said, but I wonder if he didn't say, 'What are you all doing out here?' And they said, 'You've been dead four days.' Oh, really! That was something!

Even this didn't convince many people; some did, v 45: "Then many of the Jews who had come to console Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees… ['Yes, we've got to report to the religious leaders. Yes, we are faithful even in the face of a miracle. Yes, we're faithful to them, not to God.'] …and told them what Jesus had done" (vs 45-46).

Notice their attitude, they all rushed out, came down before Jesus, fell on their knees, tearing their garments and pulling their beards, and saying, 'Oh, Lord, we've repented, we're sorry.' NO!

Verse 47: "Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council…" I love that. How many times does it say in the New Testament, 'and they gathered a council'? I always think of this. The Proverb says, 'In the multitude of counsel there is wisdom.' But you have to add something to that if there are wise people on the council. But if there aren't wise people on the council; if there aren't righteous people on the council. and if they don't want to do right, then you're going to come up with an evil judgment because of their blindness that happens.

Look at this great miracle that took place. Even Jesus was moaning and groaning. Verse 47: "…and [they] said, 'What shall we do? For this man does many miracles. If we allow Him to continue in this manner, all will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away from us both this place and the nation.' But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, 'You have no understanding" (vs 47-49). 'I have the solution' when this was determined for him to say that. I wonder when Caiaphas is resurrected what he's going to say.

Verse 50: "Nor consider that it is better for us…" Only thinking about themselves! Sound a little bit like Washington, L.D.C. (liars, deceivers, corrupters).

"'…that one man die for the people, than that the whole nations should perish.' Now he did not say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation; And not for the nation only, but also that He might gather together into one the children of God who were scattered abroad" (vs 50-52).

And what does that mean? That means those who are in the graves! And the prophecy of all those would be faithful and live and die and be put in the graves and wait the resurrection. The whole picture of everything is here. The picture of the second resurrection by Lazarus coming back to a new physical life so he could be converted and attain salvation.

The death of every human being, because God was not there to rescue them, and all accused God and say, 'Well, He didn't stop this.' Or you can go back and look at the Flood; God caused it. That's why the knowledge we have from the Bible and the second resurrection for solving the ills of the world and people's lives—remember, those people are just as important to God and His plan at His time because He created them all—did He not? Yes, indeed!

"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." Think of the comfort that's going to happen at the second resurrection. Can you imagine that?

Think of all those, one nice sunny morning there in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The civilians were just going about their business. They didn't know it was going to happen. They didn't know that a plane at 36,000 feet, which you could not hear on the ground, was going to fly in and drop an atomic bomb on them. At the instant of explosion, 100,000 were incinerated. Gone! All those who survived, all the trouble and difficulty they went through… When those people are resurrected, think what it's going to be like.

Think what it's going to be like for the Jews who were in Hitler's concentration crematorium camps. Think of the last thing that a Jew was thinking, when they were herded naked into the gas chambers. 'Now you're all going to go in there and take a shower.' All the bodies!

I think, when I see some of those documentaries on how they made the Germans go out and see what was being done—though they all knew—showing what happens when a nation becomes captive under a satanic system. The whole world's going to come under the satanic system in this world just like a great enslaving camp. That's why Christ has to return.

  • We need the Spirit of God!
  • We need the faith of Christ!
  • We need the comfort of God!
  • We need to understand what is going to happen!
  • Realize that God has called us to be an integral part of the solution in saving the world!

We're going to have to live through these times, but if we have God's Spirit and understand God's Word, then we are going to make it through.

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 1:16-19
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Galatians 2:20-21
  • Mark 11:20-23
  • Mark 9:17-24, 28-29
  • Matthew 5:20-24, 27-30, 48, 1-3
  • Psalm 10:1-18
  • Isaiah 66:1-2
  • Micah 6:6-8
  • Matthew 5:4
  • Psalm 69:1-9
  • Psalm 13:1-6
  • Ezekiel 9:1-11
  • John 11:32-43, 45-52

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2-Corinthians 11
  • Psalm 91
  • Matthew 5:17
  • Ephesians 4
  • Mark 3
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Genesis 11
  • Revelation 4; 5
  • John 2
  • Revelation 7, 12

Also referenced: Sermon Series:
      The Holy Spirit of God, the Seven Spirits of God

Transcribed: 4-22-13
Formatted: bo—4/23/13

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