Solution to Overcoming

Fred R. Coulter

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Because Galatians is such a complicated book, as we have done each time, let's go back do just a little review. We've gotten quite a ways into Gal. 5, but let's just understand some very important things here:

Galatians 5:1: "Therefore, stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free"—from religion. The reason being is that most of the things that are done in relationship to people thinking about God is done in 'religion.' You're free from religion with all the religious requirements. Just look at Catholicism with all of theirs; Judaism with all of theirs; Islam with all of theirs; Hinduism, Buddhism. We are free from that!

"…and do not be held again in a yoke of bondage" (v 1)—because 'religion' is a yoke of bondage. God's true way, through Christ, is not a yoke of bondage, neither is it a religion. It is a way to live, that you may have relationship between you and Jesus Christ and God the Father on a one-to-one basis. That frees you from all of that, and also frees you from all of the Protestant things, too—all religions!

Verse 2: "Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you become circumcised… [for justification or salvation] …Christ shall profit you nothing!"—because only the resurrection of Christ can give you life. The removal of a little bit of flesh cannot give you life. "…if you become circumcised…"—you can say any physical thing!

How are you justified before God the Father? That's to whom you should be justified! You do not want to be justified to a man or to a church or to an organization. You don't want to do things for men because they tell you so. That's not a matter of being rebellious, that's how religions operate. That becomes a political thing.

The more I understand about the Catholic confession, the more I understand that falls into exactly the same category—the category of works, politics and advantage of the hierarchy over the individual.

  • How are you justified?
  • What is the means?
  • Repentance!

That's how you are justified! You repent to God the Father, and you are justified to Him through the sacrifice and the resurrection of Christ. Nothing else can justify you! Whether you wear a hat or not, if you're a woman. God does say something about long hair. That is in the Bible. And one of these days—I'll warn all you women—I'm going to give an in-depth sermon on that. Enough said, but it is still there. That's not to justify you. That is because by creation God has determined that that is so. You cannot be justified by any other means:

  • by Catholicism—by confession, because if you confess to a man you haven't confessed to God
  • by Hinduism—you've lived a bad life so now you're going to come back as a flea
  • by Buddhism—because you sit there in your works of justification and devoid your mind of thinking to where there is nothing left in your mind

—and as Deepak Chopra says, listen to the silence, which is a contradiction in itself.

Through all of these works, the sum total of all of those things, in all of these religions is to fulfill Gen. 3 and Satan's message to Adam and Eve, 'you shall become gods.' That's pretty strong, but that's just the way that it is. When Delores and I are talking, she tells me when a fact is true, and I acknowledge it. She says 'that's the way the mop flops, the jelly rolls and the cookie crumbles.' That's the way the Word of God is!

Another thing we need to understand concerning understanding the Scriptures: If you are new to studying the Bible, the first place to go to is Matthew, Mark, Luke and John! Then go to the seven General Epistles. Then read the major parts of the Old Testament. Then come and tackle Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. You do not understand the Scriptures by going to the difficult ones when you know nothing. That's the problem with Protestantism. That's the first place they go and dump it on someone new and say, 'See, you have liberty in Christ and you don't have to be circumcised.'

  • Those who keep the Sabbath do not demand circumcision
  • We believe in keeping the Holy Days
  • We believe we are justified by faith through the sacrifice of Christ alone, because He has given us this freedom

But we'll see in just a little bit concerning keeping the commandments of God.

Verse 3: "Again, I am personally testifying to every man who is being circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law." That's concerning Judaism and its various pagan forms of it. If you do the same thing in any other religion, you have a duty to do everything in that religion in the way that they say, and you have nothing in the end because you have rejected Christ. You can do everything that they say, and you haven't gotten one scintilla closer to God, not one! God is not concerned with that kind of thing.

In my experience in the Church, the longer that I live and the more that I see these things and now with a little gray hair I can say the longer I live, the more that I see that this is absolutely true in everything:

Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where, then, is the house that you build for Me?….'" Where is the 'religion' that you will create in My name?' If you create a religion in the name of God, it is your 'religion' not God's! God didn't tell you so, and that's where all false doctrine comes from. These Protestants don't know it, but they've been so infiltrated—and the Seventh Day Adventists, too, by the way—they are not coming in there to come back to the Catholic Church. They could care less about people coming back to the Catholic Church out of the Protestants and Seventh Day Adventists, because what they want to do is destroy them.

The best way you destroy them is with false doctrine! We could probably go back, if we knew the truth on these things, and see where the Jesuit infiltrators and the Catholic infiltrators… I'm reading a book: The Vatican Assassins—they even did it with the pilgrims; they had their agents with the pilgrims and in that all those changes in doctrines have their source right with the agents of Satan.

Combined between that and the Jews they thoroughly and successfully subverted, took down and destroyed the Worldwide Church of God. Right here in Hollister there is a longtime Seventh Day Adventist couple that I know. They were really nice and sweet and we sent our children to the Seventh Day Adventist School, because we didn't want to send them to the public school and they went to their summer camps. I tell you what, they put to shame the summer camps of the Worldwide Church of God. The Worldwide Church of God summer camps were nothing but a political mish-mash—unbelievable!

The Seventh Day Adventists have camps that they have bought through the years and they had three camps close here in the Sierras. They have what they would call the Pathfinders. Rachelle, Stephen, David and Jonathan all belong to the Pathfinders and they all went up there to the summer camp. As a matter of fact, when we took Stephen up for summer camp, Rachelle came along for the ride and when we got there she said she wanted to stay, at age five.

Well, you have to be six. She was very persuasive; she stayed for three weeks. The reason I'm bringing this up is because, in their own way, God will bless all Sabbath-keepers for keeping the Sabbath in 'Spirit and in Truth' to the best of their knowledge. But most of the other false doctrines that have come into the Seventh Day Adventist Church have come from Catholic infiltrators. Now they have this local church so confused that these people resigned—the older couple—and they have done exactly what the infiltrators wanted them to do: Give up everything!

He told his son that they have thrown everything out and he really enjoyed his ham dinner. That's what all these false doctrines eventually lead to. I got another call from someone else who said that he talked to someone in San Bernardino that the Worldwide Church of God says that the Old Testament is no longer valid, that we don't need to follow anything in it.

We need to understand that the Old Testament is the foundation for the New Testament. So, all the things that people come along and add to, they are gimmicks and carnal tricks that you do not need to love God and obey Him; that's what Galatians is all about. You need the kind faith and you need the kind of love that comes from God's Spirit and that is what is pleasing to Him. Here's what God says about all those physical things, and let's understand: this is New Testament doctrine in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where, then, is the house that you build for Me?…." You think about that. What great thing can you do for God? We thought the great thing we could do for God was to send out millions of Plain Truth magazines, be on thousands of radio stations, build colleges, build empires; and so does the Catholic Church, the Protestants, the Muslim, Hindus and Buddhists!

  • What are you going to do for God?
  • Are you going to make something for Him?
  • You would have to make it out of what He's created!
  • What great thing is that?

God can create physical things so beautiful, wonderful and spectacular that it will pale into insignificance anything that we can do, as far as what we can build, make, write, say or do of ourselves.

The thing is He has made us for His purpose, but men want to make God for their purpose! It's all just the opposite.

"'…And where is the place of My rest? For all these things My hand has made, and these things came to be,' says the LORD. 'But to this one I will look…'" (vs 1-2). This is what God is interested in, and this is what we're talking abut in Gal. 5. You're justified by repentance. You're justified by faith. You're justified by getting on your knees before God the Father and do just like the publican and say, 'O God, save me, I am a sinner.'

"…'But to this one I will look, to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit and who trembles at My Word'" (v 2)—not at religious doctrine! Do you understand the difference? It has to be the Word of God

  • rightly divided
  • rightly put together
  • rightly understood

That doesn't come because some 'expert' says so. It comes from the Word of God. The way you understand the Word of God is that you go to God and say, 'O God, help me to understand Your Word—

  • You have inspired it to be written
  • You have preserved it
  • You have given it here

—help me to do, even as Christ did nothing of His own.' Think on that! If there's any one human being on the earth who could have done anything he wanted to, and would have been justified in doing so, would have been Jesus Christ. But He did not! We need to think of that in relationship to all the things we see around us.

We need to understand that false doctrine comes from Satan! He tries to make it look real good; tries to make 'Oh, that's wonderful!'

Notice that Paul says, Galatians 5:3: "Again, I am personally testifying to every man who is being circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law."

Verse 2: "…if you become circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing!"

Verse 4: "You who are attempting to be justified by works of law, you are being deprived of any spiritual effect from Christ. You have fallen from grace!" Let's see the fall from grace. He shows what right standing with God is through repentance in:

Isaiah 66:2: "…But to this one I will look, to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit and who trembles at My Word." That's to whom God looks to. Not some great thing! Not some great missionary thing! Not some great work!

  • if you go to physical things to justify yourself, rather than repentance
  • if you go to tradition to make you in right standing with God, rather than repentance
  • if you go to sacrifices, rather than to God through repentance
  • if you go to circumcision, rather than God through repentance

then v 3 applies: "He who kills an ox…"

  • Did God command sacrifices? Yes!
  • Is that part of the Law? Yes!
  • What if you are not repentant?
  • What if you do it as a ritual so that you can show God 'how good you are?'

"…is as if he killed a man; he who sacrifices a lamb is as if he broke a dog's neck; he who offers a grain offering is as if he offered swine's blood; he who burns incense is as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways…" (v 3). You haven't chosen God's way, that's why!

What I want you to do is think about all of the things that you have experienced in the way of seeing men doing their own ways and claiming it's the will of God. I want you to think about all of those things. Then I want you to read this:

John 5:19: "Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself, but only what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, these things the Son also does in the same manner.'" As the Son of God, as the One Who was God in the flesh, if he would have done anything on His own, as a human being, or done anything that other human beings have invented in the way of 'religion,' He would have sinned! Do you understand that?

The reason being is that He would not be holding to the standard of God. He would lower Himself to the standard of sinful men who are following their own ways and not the ways of God, though they do it in the name of God.

The next time you see anything concerning the pope, watch! He's had his reward. He has been seen. He has accomplished nothing spiritually. He has no contact with God whatsoever, except as head of the Catholic Church to fulfill God's will, He may have to intervene from time to time directly like He did with Baalim—that would be it—to fulfill His will to carry out the evil of Babylon the Great, because that is the will of God.

The reason it is the will of God is because if men want it, God is going to give it to them! Did you know that? God sometimes works the opposite in the way that we think. Some people think: Why didn't God prevent this, or prevent that, or prevent the other thing? He didn't because men want it that way! That's a result of wanting it their way and not God's.

I was talking to a woman and she said, 'Well, God looks at the heart.' I said, 'Yes, God looks at the heart. But most people don't understand what their heart is.' That's the big problem.

Verse 30: "I have no power to do anything of Myself; but as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father, Who sent Me." That where we all need to be: that we are seeking and doing the will of the Father!

Let's look at something else that people have done in religion. One of the very first things that Jesus said was that He knew that there would be people taking His name. Didn't He say, 'Take heed that no one deceive you'? How many times has Jesus said, 'Take heed that no one deceive you'? How do they deceive people? We've seen people deceived—haven't we? We have seen things true to what Paul says here, not only in circumcision, but if you follow a 'religion' Christ will profit you nothing!

We've seen them come in and take away what they have. I was just absolutely flabbergasted that people who sat for years and heard about the commandments of God for years and years now believe the lie that the Old Testament is no longer valid for us today.

  • Can Satan take it away? Yes!
  • Will God let him take it away? Yes!

Satan will come and steal that which is sewn in your heart (Matt. 13).

He warns the false prophets, but he tells us the way we are to enter is 'the straight and narrow gate,' because 'broad is the way and wide is the gate that leads to destruction' and the majority of people are going there (Matt. 7:12-13)—that's where they're going. 'Oh, God knows my heart.' But if you're not repentant He knows your heart is evil!

Matthew 7:20: "Therefore, you shall assuredly know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name?….'" (vs 20-22).

  • 'Look, I was a great famous preacher out here. I brought millions to Christ.'
  • Another one will say, 'Lord, we built buildings.'
  • The pope will say, 'Look at this great temple St. Peter's Basilica. Look at all this great art that Michael Angelo did for us.'
  • The Mayans and Egyptians will say, 'Look at the pyramids we built for You, and the mummies that we made, and the pictures that we drew.'
  • The Buddhists will say, 'Look at our temples covered with gold and we took a vow of poverty so that we would be righteous.

"'…And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?'" (v 22).

Yes, the Dalai Lama had his tour right here in the Bay Area this week. Everyone was 'ohhhh.' Let me tell you something:

  • to have compassion for other people—which God expects all of us to have
  • to have understanding of people—which God expects us to have

without the true God and Christ, is idolatry! You're just looking to do it of yourself and for this big, fat Buddha.

I never, never will forget when they had this interview of the Dalai Lama and the reporter asked him a question and the Dalai Lama said, 'I'll have to ask my boss' and there's this little, fat Buddha sitting right in front of him to whom he prays six hours a day, and it's going only to throne of Satan, not to God.

Verse 23: "And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness.'" You reject the laws and commandments of God! The laws and commandments of God are the primary thing to start with.

I went through the whole thing in the series Refuting Sunday-Keeping #14 (What is the Administration of Death?). That will explain to you why we have to keep the commandments of God, and yet, still have faith. In order to keep the spiritual intent of the laws and commandments of God, it takes the Spirit of God and faith!

  • it takes faith to keep the Sabbath

It doesn't take any faith to keep Sunday! They have no faith; they're faithless because they keep Sunday. They may believe they have faith. They do in a way. They have faith to reject the commandment of God, and faith to sin, which is a false faith. They do not have faith in God!

  • it takes faith to keep the Holy Days
  • it takes faith to tithe
  • it takes faith to overcome your human nature
  • it takes faith to pray
  • it takes faith to study

Otherwise it's just an exercise in a physical thing. It profit you nothing!

Isaiah 66:3: "…Yea, they have chosen their own ways… [whatever way it may be] …and their soul delights in their abominations." All of them! Here's the way that God brings His judgment: God let's the wicked prosper. Not as a blessing to them, but to see if they're going to learn anything. Then those that really defy God, like Job and the Pharaoh, God let's them get up really high. He'll give them warnings all along, but He has something great in store for them. I think we have not comprehended the return of Christ in relationship to that. How far God is going to let this whole Babylonian—the great system—really rise and rise, because He's going to destroy it forever!

Verse 4: "I also will choose their delusions… [they're always caught in their own schemes] …and I will bring their fears upon them…"

If you've never seen the movie Godfather III watch it from this point of view: It shows the involvement of the Catholic Church in a very profound way. That's the way it is.

  • Do you fear war?
  • It's coming!
  • What's the best way to bring your fears upon you?
  • Prosper so much that you are fearful of losing it!

Jeremiah 6:13: "For everyone from the least of them even to the greatest of them is greedy for gain… [They want more and more and more!] …and from the prophet even unto the priest everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace" (vs 13-14). That happening today.

Verse 15: "Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?…."—any abomination you want to name. A lot of the scientific technological advancement that we have today are an abomination before God! Most notably the cloning of human beings. God always gives them a warning—doesn't He? Always gives them a warning; yes, He does!

"'…No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush; therefore they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,' says the LORD" (v 15). So, sure enough God is going to visit.

Verse 16: "Thus says the LORD, 'Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths where the good way is and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls…. [that is the true way of God] …But they said, "We will not walk in it." Also I set watchmen over you, saying, "Hearken to the sound of the ram's horn." But they said, "We will not hearken."'" (vs 16-17).

Notice God's judgment, v 18: "Therefore hear, you nations… [This is not just for the Jews, but this is for the nations!] …and know, O congregation, what will happen to them." That's for those of the Church of God who are among the nations.

Verse 19: "Hear, O earth; behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts…" I want you to think of it as a worldwide thing as a whole, and then think of Israel as a subdivision of the whole—that is the ten tribes of Israel. All you have to do is watch television and you know what's going to happen. Television is the fruit of their thoughts and that's what's going to occur. What is the fruit of their thoughts? All the devastation, killing, demonism and satanism—everything that you see reflected there. God's judgment is coming!

 "…because they have not hearkened to My words, nor to My law, but have rejected it. To what purpose does frankincense come to Me from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet to Me" (vs 19-20). They're doing their own way!

That all fits into the thing of circumcision and religion, and yet, the very ones that condemn the Sabbath and Holy Days and accuse us of enforcing circumcision are practicing those things—not circumcision necessarily, but the physical things equivalent to it, doing their own ways and making Christ of none effect.

One Protestant minister said—the one who finally discovered that altar calls never worked—95- percent of those whom he had come to the altar all went back into the world. He finally discovered that you have to be baptized and you make a covenant with God. At least he got that point right. I heard him say on a tape, out of his own mouth, 'Altar calls are worthless!' But yet, it's the great works. Agent for the pope Billy Graham, do you hear? That's why they inspired him to do it, to have multiple false conversions so that the people would give up on God and Christ!

Do you understand that that's why these things were done? The best way to get people to give up on God is to have them follow false doctrine and become disillusioned, or supposed to be converted but never change. God is going to bring it all about.

Galatians 5:4: "You who are attempting to be justified by works of law, you are being deprived of any spiritual effect from Christ. You have fallen from grace!"
Can you be justified by Sabbath-keeping? No! But God commands it—doesn't He? If you love Him, 'keep My commandments.' We do not look to what we do in Sabbath-keeping for justification; we look to Christ! But with His faith, we have the faith to keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days because God commanded it and that is His way, which He has chosen for us!

  • He calls us; we walk in His way!
  • He gives us His Spirit; we follow where the Spirit leads us!

Verse 5: "For we through the Spirit are waiting for the hope of righteousness by faith." What is the righteousness by faith? Eternal life by the resurrection from the dead!

Verse 6: "Because in Christ Jesus neither is circumcision of any force, nor uncircumcision; rather, it is the inner working of faith through love." We covered the two kinds of faith:

  • You believe because God says so
  • You act upon the command of God because He says so and have the faith to follow through to do it

It's faith through love. We're going to see love here several times, and 'live by the Spirit' and 'walk by the Spirit' as we go through this.

Verse 7: "You were running well. Who hindered you, persuading you not to obey the Truth? This persuasion is not coming from Him who calls you" (vs 7-8). Understand all of these things of religion are not coming from Christ, but from men.

Verse 9: "A little leaven leavens the whole lump"—and we have seen it! Not only does it leaven the whole lump, but when the whole lump is leavened, God smashes it and destroys it into crumbs. There is nothing left.

I said, cynically, about ten years ago that unless Worldwide Church of God repented it would just be a footnote in history. Ten years later it's almost a footnote in history. Everything else is gone! It's soon to be a footnote in history, and you wait, they will change the name!

(go to the next track)

Brethren, this is very important. That's why when we go through these studies we continue until we finish. When there are very important things that we need to cover, we need to cover them. This is important, people are missing the whole point. They're into the same kind of 'feel-goodism' that the world and the religions of the world are into.

  • God is into character building!
  • God is into love!
  • God is into faith!
  • God is into hope!
  • God is not into 'religion'!

Galatians 5:13: "For you have been called unto freedom, brethren…"

  • freedom to love God
  • freedom to worship God
  • freedom from sin
  • freedom from a guilty conscience
  • freedom from the penalties that come because of sin

so that you can

  • love God
  • worship God
  • keep His commandments

If you don't keep His commandments, you're in bondage, you're not in freedom. That's what Christ said: If you obey the Truth it will set you free!

As we saw last time, the Jews said, 'We're in bondage to no man.' Yes, you are! 'Whosoever is the servant of sin is in bondage!' That's what Christ said. We've been called to freedom, brethren.

"…only do not use this freedom for an occasion to the flesh… [whether it be for circumcision, whether it be for physical rules and regulations] …rather, serve one another with love" (v 13).

That's the whole thing! Serve one another with love. That's why it's very important that when you look at how God has scattered the Church—which He has—you need to quit clinging on to these physical things that you held onto: hierarchy, organization. God wants that stripped away from you so that you come to Him first!Then He can bring us back together bit-by-bit when we've learned to love Him and love each other and have the true concern for each other the way that God wants, through His Spirit.

Verse 14: "For the whole law is fulfilled in this commandment: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Which then refers to the last six commandments. Jesus said that 'this is the whole Law and the Prophets. For people to say, 'you have law, we have love; you have works, we have faith' it's the other way around. I tell you what, as committee #1, I'm not going to sit still for that any longer under any circumstances anywhere.

Matthew 7:12: "Therefore, everything that you would have men do to you, so also do to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets." That's the whole reason why they were written. If you serve one another in love, where do you find out where that love is? Who defines what the love is? God does! That's what the Ten Commandments are for. Then to love God are the first four commandments.

We need to understand this! We need to realize this! I want you to learn this so well that if it comes up you will be able to answer those people correctly from the Word of God. Too many people think that if they have a warm fuzzy feeling in their heart—they have good thoughts toward God—that they have love. NO!

Jesus said, John 14:15: "IF you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments." Take the opposite of that: if you don't keep His commandments you don't love Him! Since Jesus was the Lord God of the Old Testament, He's the One Who gave the Ten Commandments—isn't He? You can talk about love all you want, but unless you love God first—which is expressed by keeping His commandments—you cannot possibly love your neighbor. You may be good to him, but if the opportunity comes to steal from him, you may do that. Or an opportunity comes to slander him, you may do that—because you don't love God first! That's what's so important concerning loving God.

This is why John had to write these things, because there were sentimental, stupid people—religionists—going around in his day and destroying the Truth of God by a false doctrine of a false love, with a false Christ. We are living at the end of that being multiplied through the centuries.

1-John 5:2: "By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments." This needs to be said over and over and over again today so that people will really know. You have to love God and keep His commandments. You have to love God first with all your heart, mind, soul and being.

Verse 3: "For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and… [all you sanctimonious Protestants, hear up!] …His commandments are not burdensome." It's not the 'harsh old law of that 'God of the Old Testament.' You have swallowed a false doctrine put out by the Roman Catholics who have infiltrated your churches and have turned you into mush!

That goes for all the Churches of God, too! God has His Spirit—His seven Spirits—that go through the earth seeking who is standing for Him; seeking who loves Him. When the Spirit sees you, what report does it take back to God?

  • You say you love God!
  • You say you love Jesus!
  • You say that He is your Savior!
  • You believe that He is God in the flesh!

Listen up to these words, John 14:21: "The one who has My commandments… [has understanding of them] …and is keeping them… [practice as a way of life] …that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him. Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, 'Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?'" (vs 21-22). He gave the answer right here.

Verse 23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word… [that's how God manifests Himself to you, through His Spirit, by keeping His Word—all of His commandments, all of His words.] …and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.'" That's the only way you have Christ. That is upon repentance, baptism, receiving of the Holy Spirit, and all of that is wrapped up in this one statement:

Verse 24: "The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the Word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me." If you don't love God and keep His commandments, then you are rejecting God the Father.

Notice what happens, and did we not experience this in the Church of God when it was disintegrating, Galatians 5:15: "But if you bite and devour one another, watch out lest you be consumed by one another." Has that not happened? That's what all of this kind of religion breeds sooner or later. If you consume one another you're really in deep trouble.

Verse 16: "Now this I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh…. [v 18]: …But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law—that is subject to the death penalty.

Verse 25: "If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit." Right there in the space of ten verses—vs 16-25:

  • walk by the Spirit
  • led by the Spirit
  • live by the Spirit
  • walking by the Spirit

That frames everything that Paul is going to say. That's how you overcome. If you walk by the Spirit of God let's see how you do that: Here's how you walk by the Spirit of God, because the battle is in the mind first. We know we have to struggle with the flesh and Paul brings this out here:

2-Corinthians 10:1: "Now, I Paul am personally exhorting you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. On the one hand, when present with you I am base; but on the other hand, when absent I am bold toward you." He's cynically throwing their own words back in their face is what Paul is doing with this. The two most cynical Epistles of Paul are 1st & 2nd Corinthians. So, he's a little cynical in this.

Verse 2: "But I am beseeching you so that, when I am present, I may not have to be bold with the confidence with which I intend to show boldness toward some, who think that we are walking according to the flesh." That means doing everything politically; only doing it for the effect—doing one thing for one person, doing another thing for another person—having a different standard. No! We're not walking according to the flesh.

Verse 3: "For although we walk in the flesh… [we do have a physical body] …we do not war according to the flesh." We have a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:10-18). We are to be strong in the power of God. We're to resist Satan the devil. We don't war after the flesh.

  • You cannot overcome spiritual problems with psychology!
  • You cannot overcome lust and sin by giving in to it!

Verse 4: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God… [you have not strength unless it comes from God] …to the overthrowing of strongholds… [the strongholds were right in there between the temples] …casting down vain imaginations…" (vs 4-5). Where every sin begins! If you're led by the Spirit and you're casting down vain imaginations then you are not going to fulfill the lust of the flesh, whatever it may be.

There's only one cure for fornication and adultery: FLEE! Don't sit around and imagine it! There's only one cure for whatever: chewing snuff—don't buy it; smoking—don't buy it; don't pick up stubs, and if you do I hope you light the filter. Having smoked in the past, I've done that. I know what it's like to wake up in the morning and you've got to find a cigarette. You find a stub and you light the wrong end! It's almost like getting gassed! Terrible! Whatever it may be, you have to cast down that imagination. You have to ask God!

"…and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…" (v 5). All of those who are dealing in false doctrine, pay attention! You are dealing in your own exalted thoughts and high things that are against the knowledge of God. It's exactly what you're doing!

I'm not the reservoir of all knowledge concerning the Bible, neither do I consider myself so. There are many ministers out there, I'm sure, who understand the Word of God and are teaching it. But what I know is that what they know, they know; and that's the way that it will be. If there's truly something new we need to learn, we'll learn it. Have we not learned many, many things according to God's Word, the right way? Yes! By not going off half-cocked and saying, 'Oh, I have a thought!'

Here's what you do to bring every thought into captivity. If you get a pull or temptation, you grab hold of that and you put it right in front of you, and you have a talk with yourself and God. That's a stupid thought, that's a sinful thought, and why do you want to do that? Then you pray and say, 'God, help me to overcome.' If you're led by the Spirit, you'll not fulfilling the lust of the flesh. If you walk contrary to the Spirit for a while, guess what you're going to do? Fulfill the lust of the flesh! But you bring every thought into captivity,

"…and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ" (v 5). What is the obedience of Christ? If you love Me, keep My commandments! The obedience of Christ is to bring it all before Him:

  • ask Him to help you
  • ask Him to strengthen you
  • ask Him to intervene

He will!

Verse 6: "And having a readiness… [be on guard] …to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled." That's how you do it. That's how you walk in the Spirit. That's how you live in the Spirit.

The easiest way to get sucked in by a temptation or a lust is to sidle up to it. Kind of get next to it and let it purr a little bit with you. Kind of let it give you that kind of warm feeling and the dangerous thought that you can handle it—whatever it is. What happens is that when a temptation comes, if you bring that thought into captivity and expel it when it comes then you have gotten rid of the first step to sin. Sooner or later you have come to the point of saying, 'I don't need that! I don't want that!' Do your repentance with a thought, not after the action. That will help you a lot.

James 1:12: "Blessed is the man who endures trials because, after he has been proved, he shall receive a crown of life…" That is if he overcomes and brings every thought into captivity of Christ. If we war after the spirit and not after the flesh and just tie all of those things together right here in this verse:

"…which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Do not let anyone who is tempted say, 'I am being tempted by God'…" (vs 12-13). God does not bring temptations of evil upon us. God sets before us:

  • life and death
  • good and evil
  • right and wrong
  • truth and error
  • commandments and sin

He does not entice us. The devil is the one who entices us with evil. God gives you the choice.

"…because God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one with evil… [What does He do? Gives you the choices!] …But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and is enticed by his own lust" (vs 13-14).

  • Step #1—temptation comes
  • Sept #2—lust

'Oh, that wouldn't be such a bad idea. Maybe that will work. You know, I haven't had a cigarette in a long time—or whatever it may be—I haven't committed adultery for six months. Since I'm a minister, God has got to forgive me.' NO! There is the lust! Then the enticement comes, 'maybe that's not too bad after all.'

Verse 15: "And after lust has conceived… [it's a process] …it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is completely finished, brings forth death." That's exactly what Paul is talking about in 2-Cor. 10 and in Gal. 5.

2-Corinthians 10:6: "And having a readiness… [being on guard] …to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled… [what you have to do] …Are you looking at things according to their appearance?…." (vs 6-7). You may be wrong. You might look at someone, look at his face and they have this terrible look on their face. The biggest thing that we do when we look on the outward appearance, we make an inner judgment. 'Well, that person looks mean. That person is hard. I know that person has got to have a bad attitude. If you look like that you've got to have a bad attitude.'

Such might not be the case. Example: Before I had my hip operation, my hip was really suffering. I was really in pain. I ground down five-eights of an inch off the bone. I was in pain for a long time. I was walking down the hall, really in pain just to walk down the hall, and Rachelle comes by and she said something, and I was really grumpy and short. She says, 'Dad, have you ever seen the movie Gummy Old Men? I said, 'No.' She says, 'Well, you're both of them!' I wasn't grumpy or mean, I was just in such pain that I had no other reaction. If you just judge things by the outward appearance, chances are you're going to be wrong.
They did of Paul—didn't they? I can just hear the false prophets: This guy [Paul] writes these letters, he is bold, excoriating. We know him when he's here. He's weak and he's not too tolerant of a guy anyway, and if he were really of God why would God let him be stoned and have those scars and maybe a limp. If he's really of God why can't he speak better. Look at us; we can speak. We're nice; we're gentle. We'll let you do what you want to do. After all, if you're justified in Christ, it's okay.'

Look at the pope; he has this look and what do you have? Everyone thinks he's righteous! And today the pope is in such pain he can't help it, He's serving the devil, He's wholly deceived, completely without understanding.

"…If anyone is persuaded in his own mind that he is Christ's… [They were saying, 'I'm of Christ, Paul isn't. How could he be?] let him reconsider this …concerning himself; for exactly as he is Christ's, so also are we Christ's" (v 7). That's why it has to get down to your personal relationship with Christ.

That's why if we compare ourselves among ourselves, we're not wise, we're stupid; we're making the mistakes of the world. This is how you walk in the Spirit:

  • keep the commandments of God according to the Spirit of the Law
  • you pray
  • you study
  • you draw close to God
  • you maintain that relationship all the time

Galatians 5:17: "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh…" It sure does! You don't do the things you want to, and the things you want to, you don't do (Rom. 7), and you have the 'law of sin and death' in you. You have this fight going on.

"…and these things are opposed to each other, so that you cannot do those things you wish to do" (v 17). That is always the struggle, and we will have it as long as we are in the flesh. I have it; you have it; everyone who has the Spirit of God has that fight and battle.

Many people in the world don't have it because they're not even conscience of what is right and wrong. They just go on down the road doing what they are doing. God's Spirit convicts us of it so that we want to change, repent, that's what God's Spirit does; that's how He leads us. That's how we walk in the Spirit.

James 3:1: "My brethren, do not many of you become teachers… [You want to be a teacher, judgment is twice as stern!] …knowing that we will receive more severe judgment." That is now and also at the resurrection.

Verse 2: "Because we frequently offend, every one of us…. [that's human nature] …If anyone does not offend in what he says, this one is a perfect man and is able also to hold in check the whole body." Haven't met one yet.

Verse 3: "Remember, we put bits into horses' mouths in order that they may obey us, and we direct their entire bodies. Consider also that ships, being so large, and being driven by strong winds, are turned about by a very small rudder… [just a little wheel] …wherever the will of the one who is steering may decide. In the same way also, the tongue is a little member, but it boasts great things. See how large a forest is set ablaze by a little fire" (vs 3-5).

Watch your mouth; talk to yourself; watch your emotions because tongue engaged with emotions in third gear, let me tell you, is trouble! I dare say that most of our problems come from our mouths:

  • I shouldn't have said it
  • I should have said it
  • I didn't mean to say it
  • I said it the wrong way
  • You misunderstood me
  • What did you mean if you didn't mean it?
  • Why did you say it?

"…And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. So has the tongue been set among our members—the one member that defiles the whole body… [through rumors and innuendos concerning the body of Christ in any congregation] …and sets on fire the course of life, and is set on fire by Gehenna" (v 6). I tell you what, that is so good. God sure inspired Paul with that. I mean, those words are so fantastic.

Verse 7: "Now then, every species of animals and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind." They can even get whales to leap out of the water.

Verse 8: "But the tongue no human being is able to tame… [In other words, you can't do it yourself; you have to do it by 2-Cor. 10—bring every thought into captivity of Christ] …it is an unrestrainable evil, full of death-dealing poison."

Then here comes the absolutely incongruous thing, v 9: "With it we bless God the Father, and with it we ourselves curse people who are made in the likeness of God." That says it all—doesn't it? Yes! You talk about the application of good and evil. It sets right smack in the middle of our face. It's one of the things we use most often: in talking, eating, swallowing; in everything.

It isn't going to be any good to be sanctimonious and say how good you are and how righteous you are and how God has forgiven your sins. You get up off your feet and you go blaaa to your wife or your kids.

Verse 10: "From the same mouth comes out blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so!" In other words, we've got to change that. I tell you what, I hope that by the resurrection that all of us can have a greater degree of control.

Verse 11: "Does a fountain pour out of the same opening sweet water and bitter water? My brethren, can a fig tree produce olives, or a vine produce figs? In the same way, no fountain can produce salt water and fresh water. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him demonstrate his works through good conduct in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie against the Truth" (vs 11-14). That goes right back to Gal. 5:17.

Verse 15: "This wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, sensual and demonic; because where bitter envying and selfish ambition are, there is dissension and every evil thing" (vs 15-16). That's what happens when these things get loose in the Church.

Verse 17: "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace" (vs 17-18).

There is the solution, how to overcome when you have the Spirit of God in you and it's warring against your carnality, and one is lusting against the other: the flesh against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. This is what happens.

Galatians 5:17: "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these things are opposed to each other, so that you cannot do those things you wish to do. But if you are led by the Spirit…" (vs 17-18).

  • you bring every thought into captivity
  • you ask God help you to overcome
  • you build the character of God

—that's the whole purpose of it

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter
Scriptural References:

  • Galatians 5:1-3
  • Isaiah 66:1-2
  • Galatians 5:3, 2, 4
  • Isaiah 66:2-3
  • John 5:19, 30
  • Matthew 7:20-23
  • Isaiah 66:3-4
  • Jeremiah 6:13-20
  • Galatians 5:4-9, 13-14
  • Matthew 7:12
  • John 14:15
  • 1 John 5:2-3
  • John 14:21-24
  • Galatians 5:15-16, 18, 25
  • 2 Corinthians 10:1-6
  • James 1:12-15
  • 2 Corinthians 10:6-7
  • Galatians 5:17
  • James 3:1-18
  • Galatians 5:17-18

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 3
  • Matthew 13; 7:12-14
  • Ephesians 6:10-18
  • Romans 7

Also referenced:

  • Books: The Vatican Assassins by Eric Jon Phelps
  • Sermon Series Refuting Sunday-Keeping #14 (The Administration of Death)

Transcribed: 10-14-12