Beginner’s Care Package

Fred R. Coulter—July 6, 1985

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In going through this study, man is a varying degree of the mixture of the knowledge of good and evil. That's what man is, all the way from the gross extremes to being devious. We'll cover a little bit about human nature here in just a minute. But first of all, in order to kind of classify these different things that we go through, what I've come up with is this: for a work; any work, good or evil:

  • Origin—Who did this come from?
  • Motive—What is the purpose behind the work?
  • Appearance—What does it appear like?
  • to people
  • to God
  • Effect—What is the effect/result?

So, you could take those four categories, and you might want to add another one or two to it as we go along.

Just for example, when we are studying the Bible we're going to find that this will help us understand so much in the Bible and help us understand our own circumstances and different things as we go along.

Hebrews 11:24 says concerning Moses, and why he did what he did: "By faith Moses, after becoming a great leader, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter…"

That appeared to be, just as far as the appearance of Pharaoh's court, that appearedto be a stupid thing, a bad work. After all, who would want to reject being the son of Pharaoh? The motive though was good, because God was inspiring Moses' motive. It was based on a good motive. The origin was good because it came from God. The effect was good because Moses was used to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Verse 25: "Choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God…" You can categorize that, too. The appearance is pretty bad: leave the court of Egypt to go live in Sinai desert. You've got to be kidding! Think about it: If you had a nice home that was all air conditioned and you had people to wait on you, you had all the money you wanted, all the food you wanted, anything you wanted to do. You get up out of that and you walk out to the Mojave Desert and you find an adobe hovel out there, and you go live out there and say, 'Hey, this is better.' It doesn't make sense from a human perspective.

"…rather than to enjoy the temporary pleasure of sin…" (v 25). To enjoy the pleasures, the appearance is good. It appears good to have something that's pleasurable. The effect can be either good or bad, just depending on how it is viewed, but the final effect is death, 'the wages of sin is death.' So, though the appearance is good, the effect is evil, it ends in death. The motive, if he chose to stay there, would have been because of covetousness. The origin would not have been of God, but would have been of Satan. So, he didn't do that.

Verse 26: "For he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt…" That's the whole perspective. Remember, the end result of anything that is truly good has got to come back to God! It's got to be in the realm of the spiritual benefits that last for eternity.

Job had a lot of good works; he did a lot of good things. If you read through there, I would just have to say he was, as the Bible said, perfect. I think if you read all the things that he did to help people, to counsel people, to give, to do all those things, he outdid everyone a hundred times over.

But God said that was not good enough for eternal life. Eternal life cannot be done to be earned by a good work. God has to give it! He requires good works.

If you hear me say, 'There is nothing you can do—which you can do—to cause God to give you eternal life,' don't think I'm saying we can merrily go off and do anything we want to. No! That isn't what I'm saying at all.

  • God requires all the commandments to be kept
  • God requires that we do all the things that is required, and then go above and beyond
  • love God
  • love the brethren
  • love our enemies

Those are the things; God looks to the heart. You'll see all the way through here God looks to the heart. That's why there are different appearances and motivations for different things as they come around.

Verse 26: "For he esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt because he was looking intently to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he persevered, as if he were seeing the One Who is invisible" (vs 26-27).

We know that Moses is going to have a tremendous reward in the Kingdom of God. But he really had a miserable life for 80 years of his life. He lived to be 120: 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in Sinai with Jethro He married the eldest of the seven daughters, and out there shepherding sheep for 40 years; and then another 40 years leading the children of Israel around the wilderness of Sinai. He had to be out there another 38-1/2 years, because the children of Israel didn't want to go in when God said to go in.

He had 80 years of misery. Then he got frustrated right at the last, just before they were ready to go into the 'promised land. Instead of commanding the rock to bring forth water he beat the rock, and God said he would not be going into the 'promised land.' 'I'll let you climb this mountain and you can look at it, but you aren't going in. He had to count the riches of Christ greater than anything else.

When we get through with all of this, this will help us to understand more about human nature and more about the things that we do. But what it's going to help us do is it's going to help us get along with each other a whole lot better. We have no problems getting along with each other; thank God; I'm happy for that. Feel great for that, after some experiences we've had all I can say is it's good to be home.

I want to give you two examples of good works/evil works. The first one is really terrible hypocrisy. Both of these are side-by-side.

Article: Parents Who Went On TV to Plead For Baby Indicted In Her Slaying

They were indicted for the slaying of their baby.

A couple who pleaded tearfully on television…

People look at that and they're sympathetic. Oh, the tears, how they loved their… A good work? Yes, on the surface, a good work! But we will see that that was a mask, a guise, a ruse to divert from the sin that they committed. It's called an ideological mask. All politicians use that all the time. On the Fourth of July they have the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It shows a little bit of the political hypocrisy that goes on. Right here is the worst classical example I've ever heard of, or even known of.

…for the life of their missing four-month-old daughter were indicted Friday on charges that the father sexually abused the infant girl before the mother beat her to death. The six-count indictment returned by the Providence County grand jury also charged George G. and Donna J. Richard with lying to police investigating the November slaying of their only child, Jeri-Ann.

Mrs. Richard, 33, was charged with first-degree murder. Her 34-year-old husband was charged on sexual assault of a child under 13. Both were also charged with filing false police statements, two counts of conspiring to obstruct justice, and obstructing justice. Arraignment is scheduled for July 24 in Superior Court. The murder and sexual assault charges are capital offenses carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison.

That's too good for these people! Here's what they did:

The Richards reported that their blue-eyed daughter was kidnapped November 11, telling the police she was snatched from her crib by an intruder who apparently entered their apartment through a window while they slept nearby. Four days later, hours after the tearful couple had made television appearances to plead for their baby's safe return, Jeri-Ann's beaten and raped body…

Now, this is a four-month old!

"…was discovered in an alley a block from the family's apartment. An autopsy showed the infant had been a victim of chronic sexual abuse. A later FBI analysis of the crime scene determined that the body was placed in the alley in a manner to indicate that there was a close, personal relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. The police reported the body was carefully positioned with a folded diaper under its bettered head, its arms crossed on its chest, and tree branches covering it.

So to cover up what they did, they get on TV, they lie, and they say, 'Oh please return our baby.' There is a very good example of an apparent good work on the surface, what it looks like. So what we're trying to do, the appearance of everything that you see is not necessarily the reality of what's occurring!

Some people are very good liars. You could not tell when they're lying or when they're telling the truth. Just picture yourself now as someone who viewed that. Maybe you're sitting there clutching your four-month-old baby. The parents just tearfully cry, 'We were sleeping in the bedroom and someone just came and stole our daughter away from us. Oh, whoever it is, whoever you are, please bring it back!' They knew very well that they had done the things that they did and killed the baby and left it out there. An ideological mask!

Here's the other one. This is a little more humorous:

Utah Convict Sues Prison for Allowing His Escape: Salt Lake City

A killer who claimed the Utah State Prison allowed him to escape with two other convicts is suing the prison for trauma suffered while free. Walter J. Wood contends his constitutional rights were violated when he inadvertently wandered into an escape-in-progress situation.

Wood, fellow murderer Wesley A. Tuttle, and kidnapper Darrel E. Brady strolled from the prison in civilian clothes.

Oh, the clothes just happened to fall on them!

Tuttle and Brady were captured within hours, but Wood eluded authorities for six months. Wood complained in the lawsuit he filed this week that his reluctant escape…

So reluctant he stayed away for six months. I wonder who on earth his attorney is. This is so bad you can't believe it.

…put him in several life-threatening situations…

Poor little baby.

…"Because of extreme fear of being shot to death, I was forced to swim several irrigation canals."….

Poor kid! Kids do that all the time. I imagine they were all of 20-feet wide at the most. Isn't that about what most of these huge ones are, twenty feet wide? I know that area up around Salt Lake City, and I don't think they could be more than 10-feet wide up around there.

…[He] attempted to swim a raging Jordan River…

Now, I know the Jordan River up there is not raging. I mean, even in a terrible, terrible rainstorm it's not raging.

…And exposed himself to innumerable bites by many insects. "At one point I heard a volume of gunshot blasts, and this completed my anxiety," wrote Wood, acting as his own attorney.

No wonder! He's acting as his own attorney; can you believe that?

The lawsuit seeks $2 million in damages…

Yes. I'm going to spend the rest of my life in prison and spend my $2-million. Gotta be kidding!

…And just punishment for all prison personnel involved in allowing inmates to escape.

Here's a perfect example of taking something evil, escaping from jail. He's a convicted felon anyway, a killer, and now the poor little dear has his nerves all just torn apart. How is he going to survive the rest of his life? Terrible!

Now maybe you understand what I'm talking about, an evil good work. This is an evil good work. It is using the good court, the good laws for an evil purpose. This other one here is a good work on the surface to cover up evil. So that is, in both cases an evil good work.

In order to understand about good works/evil works, and so forth, we need to understand about human nature. So let's review about human nature and where it puts us with God. God does not deal with each person exactly the same, and we'll see the reason why. God is interested in the heart!

Jer.17:9 is one you should all have memorized. You all know it tells about human nature, and it tells about the way that human nature normally is. There are degrees of severity of goodness and evil that that people have in their own personality. But just to give you an example: today we have so many people that are going around looking to cause trouble.

Recently here at Great America in Santa Clara they would not allow a girl in who had her hair cut and all pegged up in these spikes, with half of her face black and half of it green, and looking like a weirdo. So now there's a lawsuit. But they gave the example of what happened down in Magic Mountain in Los Angles when they had an all-night graduation party for seniors in high school. There were twelve people stabbed, because there were gangs of kids out there looking for trouble. Once a person gets into evil and continues in it, they must—in order to justify what they are doing—become more and more evil. That's they way Satan leads a person into it. The ultimate is here:

Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things…" The easiest thing in the world to do is lie to yourself. The easiest way that you justify something that you are doing that you know is not right, is you justify it by accusing someone else of doing something worse. We'll see a couple examples of that here in the New Testament.

Verse 9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" That's the extreme. There are people who sell themselves to evil. There are people who just give themselves over to it. And we can think of many kings that are listed in 1st & 2nd Kings. We can think of Ahab, Jeroboam and Manasseh. Ahab and Manasseh both repented after they had done all of the evil things that they did. Some of the others never repented of any of the things that they did. So, there are degrees to which human beings will be involved in evil.

Now let's see the least degree of an evil heart. We know that for children, God calls them innocent children. But the evil in children can be stirred up at a very early age by exposing them to a lot of evil. That's why you can find young kids in the streets of the cities who are hardened criminals, say at age ten and twelve, because they have been brought in to that situation. You can say in some cases they were forced into it. But in almost every case a person has to agree with it to go along with it. Otherwise they come up with a silly sounding thing like this convict, suing the prison for allowing his escape.

John 1:48[transcriber's correction]: "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said concerning him, 'Behold, truly an Israelite in whom there is no guile.'"

If you look it up in your Interlinear you will find that this is the same word that is used for deceit. So, a person can, just of their own choice choose to be honest, choose to be ethical. Of course, when they do, whose laws are they following in the first place? They're following God's laws! So that good—though it's in a person who has 'the law of sin and death' in them, and though there's a mixture of good and evil in every person—has more good about their character and more good about their personality than they do evil. We're going to see some other examples here about evil people, or sinners, or whatever. And we're going to see just exactly how that fits into the whole overall perspective.

Matthew 10:40—here we have by choice, a person decides to do something: "The one who receives you receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him Who sent Me…. Obviously God the Father] …The one who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive the reward of a prophet; and the one who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive the reward of a righteous man" (vs 40-41).

God is going to take care of all of those things. God is going to ultimately judge the hearts of everyone (Rom. 14).

Verse 42: "And if anyone shall in the name of a disciple give to one of these little ones to drink a cup of cold water only, truly I say to you, he shall in no way lose his reward."

There are varying degrees of things that God is looking to. But notice that in every case it has to do with a pure motive. Or we could say a right heart!

This is why, even in dealing with our children, if they do something that is just out of a motive to have fun, and there's no evil intent to it, though evil may result out of it. They snuck some firecrackers, or something like this, and they get out and they blow some out in the garage, and lo and behold, the garage catches afire and it burns down the garage.

There was no evil intent in that. One thing led to another, and, 'let's have some fun,' and lo and behold, the garage is gone. But if they, on the other hand said, 'We're going to take care of this. We're going to spray gasoline all over here, and then throw a match in there and run.' That is an evil intent!

God is interested in the heart and in the intent! And we'll see this all the way through as we go along.

If a person is going to help someone and to really do good, not thinking they will do good and then be thought well of by other people. If you do good to really do good, that's fine; God will honor that. It may or may not count for salvation; that depends on the rest of your life. Obviously, here He's talking about those then who are called to salvation in the way of receiving a reward.

There are many good things out here in the world that are going on now, people doing good things for one another. There may be someone or a lot of people right now helping out the sick, helping out the widows, helping out the poor, and that's fine. Whether that counts for salvation or not, God is the One Who's going to have to judge that! Whether God has called them, what their heart is, all of these things involved.

Let's see on the other hand something that looks really good that people think, as you view it, is good. Jesus is saying virtually the same thing that we're saying right here right now.

Matthew 7:21 "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." That's right after the section where it says:

Verse 15: "But beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing…"

So, here is a work. The origin is evil; the appearance is good, because they're coming in sheep's clothing; the result is evil, because they will lead you from God instead of to God.

"…for within they are ravening wolves…. [we need to catch the inward part, your heart] …You shall know them by their fruits. They do not gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, do they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree cannot produce evil fruit, nor can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that is not producing good fruit is cut down and is cast into the fire. Therefore, you shall assuredly know them by their fruits" (vs 15-20).

But you can't just accept something that is on the surface that looks good. I mean, some of the nicest, most friendly people you'd want to meet are the real connivers. How do you think con men do the work they do? They have a multitude of trickeries that they use to con people out of money or property! It looks good.

You can't always go by on what you think the record is. Therefore, you have to really just ask God for discernment and understanding. Because something that looks good and sounds good on the surface may not be good at all.

Now here's the opposite example, v 21: "Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven…"

Isn't it true that unless you acknowledge that Jesus is Lord you're not going into the Kingdom of Heaven? That is true; you have to acknowledge that He is Lord, to the glory of the Father! Here are people who are saying, 'Lord, Lord,' and Jesus said they're not going to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, "…but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven" (v 21). In other words, even if you acknowledge that Christ is Lord, it isn't going to do you any good unless you're doing the will of the Father. Then He gives an example.

Verse 22: "Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name?...." On the surface that looks good, sounds good. 'I bring to you these prophecies in the name of Jesus Christ!' And maybe some of them come to pass.

"…And did we not cast out demons through Your name?.…" (v 22). Stand up there and say, 'In the name of Jesus Christ, I command the demons to come out of this person now!' They're gone!

"…And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?" (v 22). Here's the appearance: wonderful works, casting out demons, prophesying in the name of Christ. I mean, you can't have it any better. For the appearance, it can't be any better than that!

Verse 23: "And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you…'" That's going to be a strange twist of events. Christ is looking to the heart, not looking to the outward appearance, not looking to the things that have been done; but to the person's heart.

"…Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness" (v 23). Greek: 'anomos,' which means against law.

There are a lot of people who preach in Jesus' name who say that you don't have to keep the commandments. Are there a lot of people who cast out demons who say it's all by grace? It's true, it is all by grace, but what is the motive behind it? It's kind of like this prisoner here. Once saved, always saved?

I talked to a man who found out through someone else that I was a preacher. This fellow's a good 'religious' person, graduated from Brigham Young University and is a good, righteous Mormon. So, he was asking what we believed in. I said we believe in the Bible. I had to go through and explain a few things, and then I got down to really what God is looking to is your heart and your standing before Him; that's the most important thing.

Let's see what Jesus said to His disciples. When we get done with this you're going to understand why Jesus said, 'When you do your righteousness don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.' In other words, do it from the heart, spontaneously, and don't plan for any result that's going to come back to you. That's what it means.

Luke 11:1: "…one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us how to pray, as John also taught his disciples.'" So, He taught them, and then He gave them a couple parables about being persistent in prayer.

Now I've mentioned about how that people use vain repetition in prayers and have great long lists that they just go over and over, and that without a clock and without a list they can't pray, and a lot of that can get into vain repetition. But here it's talking about that you be earnest, and that you keep importuning God until you get the answer. But so many other things just can be so much rote.

Jesus gave this promise here, v 9: "And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you…" God will give and provide. I think we're learning to walk more and more in faith as we're going along; walk more and more in the grace of God as we go along. Each of us are trusting that God is going to lead and help in the way that God sees fit, then we don't have to worry about interrupting anybody's life to tell them how to live.

If someone is truly sincere, truly seeking God, truly wanting what God wants them to have, then you don't have to be 'buttinskies' and tell everybody to do this or that, or the other thing. You teach them what God's Word says and if God's Spirit is in them, and if Christ is in them, they're going to want to do it. You can't force it into them by fear. It just can't be done. We've seen that, we've experienced that.

"…ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives… [a promise] … and the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, it shall be opened" (vs 9-10).

Notice the next three verses because this is very important in relationship to understanding human nature. That means we also have to understand ourselves.

Verse 11: "But which of you who is a father, if a son shall ask for bread, will give him a stone?…. [no] …Or if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he shall ask for an egg, will give him a scorpion?" (vs. 9-12).

This tells us, for all of those who are conscious about health, that bread, fish, eggs are good to eat.

Notice what Jesus said to His own disciples. Now, you had to have a certain good motive of heart to follow Christ. He said some pretty tough things.

Verse 13: "Therefore, if you, being evil…" Now that's a pretty tough saying; telling His own disciples they're evil, and that is evil by nature. Any human being, given the choices of evil, will end up in the same deprivation as any other human being. You may not have chosen that so far. Or a person may have decided to reject that kind of behavior, so their degree of evil is not that intent.

But Jesus said, v 13: "Therefore, if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father Who is in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

That helps us understand why there are ideological masks, why people like to cloak themselves in the things that look and sound right. This is why people hire agents. They hire agents, and what do the agents do? They dress everything nice; they have a spokesman!

Ronald Reagan could not get along without a spokesman, because he would say things that are not good for his image. 'We can't have that, so we have to have everything all filtered out and planned out and stated ahead of time, because you aren't going to show yourself off as good as we would like to project you.'

I imagine there are times that he just grits his teeth over it, but he goes along with it because he knows politically that is true. But no one's going to fool God! The only agent you have for you to God is Christ. He is the best Agent because He is going to deal with you in Truth and He is going to deal with God the Father for you in Truth, so there won't be any ideological masks there.

Now we will see just a reiteration of something that we read a little bit earlier, but with just a little bit different slant on it. There are certain things that we can do. We do have choices.

Matthew 12:33: "Either make the tree good and the fruit good…" There comes a point when you need to have things done right. How do you make a tree good? That's a parable referring to human beings! The tree has roots, and if the roots aren't any good, and if the roots are not having good nourishment then the tree and the fruit is no good. Where should our roots be? Our roots should be grounded in Christ! Then it will be a good tree. Then it will bring forth good fruit. Otherwise, it won't. It will be just like these two accounts I read of here. What good are either one of them?

Verse 33: "Either make the tree good and the fruit good, or make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt; for a tree is known by its fruit. Offspring of vipers, how are you able to speak good things, being evil?...." We'll see a little bit more about the Pharisees, and Christ has an awful lot to say about the Pharisees.

"…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man…" (vs 34-35). A person can be called good. Jesus said, 'Call no one good; there's none good except the Father.' But He's talking about a person who chooses good and is good by the fact that they choose what is good and what is right, not that they are inherently good of their own.

Verse 35: "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out good things; and the wicked man out of the wicked treasure brings out wicked things." That certainly is true. We saw two examples of it right here today.

Let's see an example of good, this is the account of the good Samaritan. Of course, the Jews had nothing to do with the Samaritans. We're going to see several examples of good and evil/evil and good, and apparent righteousness/righteousness before God, which is true righteousness.

Luke 10:25 "Now, a certain doctor of the law…" Oh boy, they're some people who are just picky, arguing with God. I said at the beginning of the Bible study that there are those people that take Scriptures and argue with God. And guess what? Someone came back and started arguing with God! It's just amazing. Sometimes you can't believe it.

Verse 25: "Now, a certain doctor of the law suddenly stood up, tempting Him and saying, 'Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' And He said to him, 'What is written in the law? How do you read it?'" (vs 25-26).

One of these times I'm going to get the point. I think I'm almost at the point now, that when I'm provoked I'm going to ask questions instead of a frontal assault. I think I got that almost in my head now. Jesus always asked a question. Here's a frontal assault.

Verse 27: "Then he answered and said, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.'"

Now those are the classic good things that a human being should do, and it's found in the Law.

Verse 28: "And He [Jesus] said to him, 'You have answered correctly. Do this, and you shall live.'…. [notice the lawyer]: …But he, desiring to justify himself…" (vs 28-29). That's where people cling on to their evil. They justify themselves.

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Verse 29: "But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?' And taking it up, Jesus said, 'A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and was encircled by thieves; and after they had stripped him of his goods and inflicted him with wounds, they went away, leaving him half dead. Now, by coincidence, a certain priest went down that road…" (vs. 29-31).

You go back and you read all the laws of what a priest is to do. If he's on duty he's not to touch any dead body; he's not to touch anything that has any blood on it; he's not to contaminate himself, lest when he make the offering that he be profaned. Are those the Laws of God? Yes! True! He gave them the Laws of God!

I'll tell you what he should have done when we get to the end of it, because it would have been very simple. Jesus is telling him that the priest should have helped the one who was wounded. So what should the priest have done? He should have gone back and said, 'I helped a man who was wounded. Just count me out for duty this week, I'll pick it up next week.' No problem! When people get so nitpicky in doing right, even though it's the Law of God, when there is a greater need beyond a ritual or a statute or a judgment, then that greater need falls into the category that Jesus said, 'I want mercy, and not sacrifice.'

Here is an example of sacrifice, of ritual: 'I will do the sacrifice rather than show the mercy.' That's what happened with the priest.
Verse 31: "Now, by coincidence, a certain priest went down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side…. [and walked away] …And in like manner also, a Levite… [who was the priest's helper] …when he was at the place, came and saw him…" (vs 31-32)—walked over and looked at him! He saw someone who was naked, who was wounded, who was obviously in need.

"…and passed by on the opposite side" (v 32). In the Jewish society, or in the society with the temple, the two most respected citizens were the priest and the Levite. They held the two highest offices in the land. They were to lead people to God. How on earth can a priest or a Levite lead someone to God when they don't have the right kind of heart toward their fellow man? So, this is why Jesus gave the parable.

Verse 33: "But a certain Samaritan…" Now, you couldn't have said anything worse to a Jew. Because you know that the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Here comes this dirty, slimy, greasy Samaritan on his donkey, trailing down the trail. You know, just kind of picture it in your mind. Maybe even flies hovering over his head as he goes along, who knows?

Verse 33: "But a certain Samaritan, as he was journeying, came to him; and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion." God is interested in your heart and your emotion. He had compassion on him.

Verse 34: "And he went to him and bound up his wounds…" I just imagine that the guy who was lying there, the priest looked from a distance and walked on. I don't know if the victim saw him, but the Levite went over and looked right at him, and the guy probably groaned, 'Help!' But the Levite probably said, 'Oh, I have to go offer a sacrifice,' and goes on his way. Then here comes this Samaritan. He saw his wounds, had compassion on him:

"…pouring on oil and wine; then he put him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him" (v 34). That takes a lot of effort; that takes a lot of work, and brought him to an inn, his own expense.

Verse 35: "And when he left on the next day, he took out two silver coins… [denarius] … and gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, "Take care of him, and whatever you may expend above this, I will repay you when I come back." Therefore, which of these three seems to you to have been a neighbor of him who fell among the thieves?" And he said, 'The one who showed compassion toward him.' Then Jesus said to him, 'You go and do likewise'" (vs 35-37).

In other words, don't stand there and ask a stupid question, 'Who is my neighbor?' Anybody that has need, that's your neighbor, whether you know them or not!

Now let's look at another example. When you read and study the New Testament, go through and see that every time Jesus has an encounter of some kind He deals with the origin, the motive, the appearance, and the effect! Let's keep those four things in mind. It will really help you see the love and compassion that Jesus Christ has, and that's how He wants us to act. That's how He wants us to be.

Matthew 9:10: "Then it came to pass when Jesus sat down to eat in the house that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples."

This looked bad, for those righteous Pharisees this was bad. This woman who was a sinner touches Him, and 'if this Man were a prophet, He would know…' Then Jesus asked him a question, he said, 'Yes, Master?' The purring, fawning, 'Oh, yes, yes, yes!'

Verse 11: "And after seeing this, the Pharisees said to His disciples, 'Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and sinners?'…. [He didn't answer that question either] …But when Jesus heard it, He said to them, 'Those who are strong do not have need of a physician, but those who are sick. Now, go and learn what this means: "I desire mercy and not sacrifice.".…'" (vs. 11-13).

In other words, all those little ritualistic things that were added to the Laws of God to separate people and destroy love, mercy and compassion are against the Laws of God, though they appear righteous by religious leaders, are just so much dung. Now you can understand why.

When I first read Isa. 58 it was hard for me to understand it, but it's crystal clear now.

Isaiah 58:1: "Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram's horn, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet, they seek Me daily…" (vs 1-2). Isn't it interesting that people still seek God even though that they are just living in sin?

"…and seem eager to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and one that did not forget the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they seem eager to draw near to God" (v 2).

'Oh yes, we're going to offer a sacrifice today, everyone, we're going to have a feast,' or 'Today is the Day of Atonement, the most Holy Day of the year.'

Verse 3: "They say, 'Why have we fasted, and You do not see? Why have we afflicted our soul and You take no knowledge?' Behold, in the day of your fast you pursue your business and exploit all your workers. Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness…"

That's sure true of human nature. Here's human nature, religious human nature in the raw! This is why Jesus went and ate with sinners and publicans. He did eat with some of the Pharisees and scribes, and so forth. But that's all they were doing. They were fasting for:

"…strife, debate and the fist of wickedness you cannot fast as you do this day, and expect to make your voice to be heard on high" (v 4).

Isaiah 64:6. "But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.…" Now you'll understand why the righteousnesses of the scribes and Pharisees were as filthy rags, because their heart was not right. The whole thing is, God does not care what the outward appearance of what you may be doing. He's interested in the motive and in the heart! That's the whole key thing, motive and heart! Otherwise it's just like filthy rags.

"…And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (v 6). When you find that you should keep the commandments and they are righteous, and then you go back and read that all of our righteousnesses are as an unclean thing and a filthy rag, and then you read the book of Job, you think: How's anyone ever going to make it?

Honestly, when I first read the book of Job I thought God was wrong. Really! I knew that wasn't right. It took me a long time before I really have understood the book of Job. I think I understand more than I have in the past.

Now let's see this righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees would not eat with publicans and sinners. What good did all of that righteousness do them? None! Jesus said:

Matthew 9:13: "Now, go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.'.…" That's the whole key thing: mercy, compassion and doing the things that God wants and not the sacrifice of 'religious ritual.' Or we could say today, not the sacrifice of 'playing church.' There are a lot of people that 'play church': Protestants, Catholics, Church of God people.

"…For I did not come to call the righteous… [Paul said none is righteous] …but sinners to repentance" (v 13). We're going to see that's the key all the way through.

Now let's look at an example of a good work, a righteous sacrifice, a proper judgment. John 8—the first eleven verses where they came and they brought a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, the very act. They're taking God's Word to use as a club again. It's right, it did say that adulterers and adulteresses were to be stoned. Didn't the Law of Moses say that she was to be stoned? And you know the result of it!

John 8:7: "And as they continued to ask Him, He lifted Himself up and said to them, 'Let the sinless one among you cast the first stone at her.'"

To them they thought, 'We're going to catch Him, because we are right! We have the Law of Moses behind us to back us up and prove it is right!'

But what did Jesus do? He went right to the heart, and He said, 'The one who is without sin, let him cast the first stone'! Then you know the rest of the account. No one was there! It was a crowd around and then Jesus and the woman, and surrounding Jesus and the woman was a circle of Pharisees and scribes who brought the woman. Just picture it today: Police catch someone red-handed and bring him right in. What are you going to do about this?

So, when there was no one there and Jesus said to her, v 10: "…'Woman, where are your accusers? Did anyone condemn you?' And she said, 'No one, Lord.' And Jesus said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more'" (vs 10-11)—that's the key thing.

I imagine she was scared to death. Imagine how she felt. Did Jesus change the Law here? No! They evoked the Law of Moses that said to stone the adulteress,' but you also have to stone the adulterer.

They didn't bring him with her. They caught her in the very act, but how are you going to catch her in the very act without him? That's a little strange! Maybe one of those shining-robed, broad-phylactery priests was the one who tricked her into it. Maybe that's the whole thing behind it, they tricked her into it. They said, 'Aha, we're going to get this guy.' No, it isn't that Jesus did away with the Law of Moses, because He told her to "…Go, and sin no more."

He said, "…Jesus said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.'" He couldn't condemn her, because legally you needed two or three witnesses: 'Everything shall be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses'; that's Old Testament doctrine.

So, there were many things wrong in their case. Rather than Jesus getting onto an argument over the rightness or wrongness of the case, He got to the heart of the matter by saying, 'The one who has no sin, let him throw the first stone.' Then He told the woman, "…Go, and sin no more." This is showing that adultery is still sin, and in a sense 'the wages of sin is still death,' but it's going to be administered in a proper way.

I just imagine how that poor woman felt, even though she may have been what she was, dragged up there. The whole bottom line is that they were using this incident as a means to trap Christ. In other words, they were taking something that God had given to Moses, which was to be used for good: to keep adultery out of the land, to eliminate it, to keep it to a smaller degree. They were using this to try and trip up Christ. It was an evil motive behind what they were doing and had nothing to do with truth and fact. So, that's why He answered the way He did.

Rom. 2 will tell us about the heart, the conscience, and what God is looking to. Here we get down to the heart and the core of the whole problem. It's talking about judging, condemning, and using the judgment of God. But then he goes on to show that unless your heart is right, it doesn't matter what your judgment of another person is going to be, God is going to reward you according to your heart: whether you are led to repentance by God and seek honor, glory, truth and immortality, then you receive eternal life; or whether you're hard-hearted and won't repent, then you're going to receive anguish, wrath and so forth.

Romans 2:11: "Because there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish… [separate from the knowledge of the law] …without law; and as many as have sinned within the Law shall be judged by the Law, (because the hearers of the Law are not just before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified" (vs 11-13).

  • What is he talking about?
  • What kind of doers?
  • How should you do it?
  • in a ritual?
  • just because the Bible says to do it?

You should do it because the Bible says do it, but that should not be the only motivation. You should do it because it becomes a part of you! What does the whole purpose of the New Testament to do with God's laws? To write them in your heart, in your mind and in your inward parts, so that it becomes a part of you:

  • Christ in you
  • the laws of God in you
  • the love of God in you

Here again, Paul uses the example of the Gentiles, v 14: "For when the Gentiles, which do not have the Law…" They weren't given the Laws of God. God never went to any other nation and said, 'I am God, here are My laws, follow them.' Only to Israel!

Verse 14: "For when the Gentiles, which do not have the Law, practice by nature the things contained in the Law…" In other words, these things are always a law unto themselves.

"…these who do not have the Law are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the Law written in their own hearts…" (vs 14-15).

Of all the mixture of good and evil that people have in the world, there are some who have reasonably decent societies. I know when I first saw the movie on the pygmies I was impressed. They don't commit adultery, they believe in one god, and they don't steal. Now, they don't have the Laws of God, but believe me, I'm sure God honors them for that much of what they do and what they know.

Verse 15: "Who show the work of the Law written in their own hearts, their consciences…" God is interested in the heart and the conscience! That's the only thing God can truly deal with because these are spiritual things. God cannot deal with a stick, a stone or a hard-hearted person. He's got to deal with someone who has some conscience, someone who has some heart.

"…bearing witness, and their reasonings also as they accuse or defend one another); in a day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel" (vs 15-16).

Then he went on showing here very clearly about what a true Jew was: one of the heart, not of the letter.

  • Were the Pharisees Jews by nature? Yes!
  • By physical circumcision? Yes!
  • By heart? No!

Let's take a little survey in the book of Luke and see if we can cover some of these. The book of Luke is really full of some of these examples of an evil work/a good work, an evil motive/evil imputation to a person, and so forth.

Luke 5:17: "Now, it came to pass that on one of the days when He was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come out of every village from Galilee and from Judea, including the villages around Jerusalem…" Here were all the nitpickers all gathered around. There they were.

"…And the power of the Lord was there for healing the sick. And behold, men came, carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; and they sought to bring him in and place him before Him. But when they could not find a way to bring him in because of the multitude, they went up on the rooftop and lowered him with the stretcher through the tiles into the midst, directly in front of Jesus" (vs 17-19).

If you can picture some Middle Eastern type up there, they're taking away the tile, and here's everybody gathered around there. Then they start letting this fellow down, right in the middle of where Jesus was teaching. Remember, there were sitting around scribes, the doctors of the law and the Pharisees. Here's Jesus teaching. And all of a sudden, right down in the middle of this, here comes this man being let down. I imagine everybody looked up and said, 'I wonder what on earth this is? Look at that.'

Verse 20: "And seeing their faith, He said to him, 'Man, your sins have been forgiven you.'" Very simple statement. Aha! Self-righteous antennae go up!

Verse 21: "Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying… [they began to reason] "…'Who is this Who speaks blasphemies? Who has the power to forgive sins, except God alone?' But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts…" (vs 21-22).

That must have been interesting on Jesus' part. He knew their thoughts. Sometimes I wish I knew that. That might save me from a lot of grief, to know the thoughts of people. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to do that. No! You wouldn't, you'd have to be God in order to handle it. I mean, truly, the human mind is so wicked, you wouldn't want to know everybody's thoughts. No! Only God could handle it. You think at first that would be good in some circumstances. But if you knew everybody's thoughts all the time, you wouldn't want…

Verse 22: "But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, answered and said to them, 'Why do you reason in your hearts?'"

That must have been interesting. Here, they're sitting there and trying to have a pious look on their face, and Jesus is reading their thoughts, and then He turns to them and says, 'Why are you thinking this?" I imagine they'd swallow once or twice. Sometimes it makes you wonder, you wonder what on earth went on in the minds of these scribes and Pharisees.

Verse 23: "'Which is easier, to say, "Your sins have been forgiven you"? Or to say, "Arise and walk"? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on the earth to forgive sins,' He said to the one who was paralyzed, 'I say to you, arise and take up your stretcher, and go to your house.' And he immediately stood up in front of them; and after taking up the stretcher on which he had been lying… [in other words, just wrapped it all up] …he went to his house, glorifying God. And amazement seized everyone, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, 'We have seen strange things today'" (vs 23-26).

He went by and He told Levi to follow Him, who was then later called Matthew.

Verse 29: "And Levi made a great feast for Him in his house, and there were a large number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. But the scribes and the Pharisees complained to His disciples…" (vs 29-30).

Here, these perpetual critics. All they did was grumble and murmur and gripe. Didn't all their criticism cause a lot of problems in the New Testament church when supposedly the Pharisees were converted? Oh yea, verily yea!

"…saying, 'Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?' Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Those who are in good health do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.' Then they said to Him, 'Why do the disciples of John fast often…'" (vs 30-33).

He has a little to say about John [the Baptist]. It's just like a technocrat. They'll even use something that they hate. They didn't like John. John called them vipers, and 'who warned you to come and flee the wrath and be baptized?'

Verse 33: "Then they said to Him, 'Why do the disciples of John fast often…'" They were so beady-eyed jealous with them eating and having a good time, and having a feast, they stood out there, and when they couldn't answer back to Jesus then they said, 'Now, why don't You fast?

"'…and make supplications, and those of the Pharisees do the same, but Your disciples are eating and drinking?' And He said to them, 'Can you make the children of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?'" (vs 33-34).

Again, He answered with a question. Very clever! He never really answered their questions, because He knew their hearts; He knew the motive! Is it good to fast? Yes! Is it good to pray? Yes! What was the origin? It was the Pharisee who was self-righteous!

The motive was to try and use something good, that appeared good—fasting and praying—to use a good thing in an evil way.

Can people use a good thing in an evil way? Sure they can! We're going to see that God will use an evil thing in a good way. One time He said, 'Let's send a lying spirit down to deceive…' Can imagine God commanding a spirit to go down there and lie? To be a lying spirit in the mouth of all these false prophets? God said, 'I create good and I create evil.' God does create evil to enforce the penalty of sin; He does create it.

When I first read Isaiah 45:7[transcriber's correction]: "…I make peace and create evil. I the LORD do all these things.'" I couldn't believe that; tippy-toed around it, God allows it. Does God allow good? No, He blesses the good! He's determined what is good and what is evil. But He will create the evil to enforce the good! So, when someone sins, He's decreed 'the wages of sin is death,' that's an evil result, He enforces the penalty of it, 'I create evil,' says the Lord. But you see, God can do that because He has the power to undo it if there's repentance. That's so very important.

Let me just clarify what I said, lest someone misunderstand me. God is God, and He is righteous, and in Him is no sin at all. We all agree to that. God has given His laws, which are Holy, righteous, just, perfect, good and true. We all agree to that. We also know that God is not sin; God cannot sin. But does that mean that God cannot enforce the penalty for sin, which is evil? It does not mean that. God can enforce that.

God creates a law, and says, 'This is good. The transgression of it is evil.' You go through Deut. 28. 'You'll be blessed if you do what is right, you'll be cursed if you do what is wrong. I, the Lord, do it.' He makes the blessings happen by blessing! He brings about the result of sin by bringing the curse, which is evil. He is creating the evil!

In that, He can use the agency of Satan the devil, the demons, human nature, or God Himself can do it directly. But He is enforcing the wages of sin, which even God says He does not like to see the death of the wicked, that it's an evil thing. But He does it because the righteousness of God and God's plan is so fantastic and so great that there is no room for that kind of thing.

I know we're getting into a rather deep area because our concept of God is more limited than we would like to admit, far more limited! I mean, God has made the fantastic universe, that's true, but probably what we know of it is so infinitesimal from what God has done.

So therefore, when God says, 'Behold, I create evil,' He does just that! If you make a law that is blessing on one side, cursing on the other side, you have to create it, and you have to enforce it. God does not like to enforce the evil. God loathes enforcing the evil, but He will do it. Even when it came time for the Flood, what does it say? It repented God in the heart because of all the evil that was there, and He was sorry that He made man. God does not like to enforce the evil, but He eventually will. In enforcing the penalty of sin with the evil, and enforcing it, God does it so that in hopes that the wicked would repent and turn to God!

That's why the Tribulation! God is going to take care of a lot of things at the Tribulation. God has a way of storing up His wrath, and look out. That's why Jesus said, 'Why do you desire the Day of the Lord?' We're to pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' that is true. But why do you desire the Day of the Lord? It's a terrible, terrible, terrible day. Even Jesus said it was. It doesn't rejoice God at all to go through it.

Let's just take the case of David and Bathsheba. God does not stop anyone from sinning. All that took place: the conniving, the planning on Bathsheba's part, because she bathed right out underneath his window, and then on his part to send down and get her, to have her husband killed, and all that that went on, and then the correction from Nathan the prophet came and said, 'You are the one.' And David repented, and God said, 'Ok, I've put away your sin. But because you have done this, and because you've caused the enemies of God to blaspheme, I am going to wreak havoc in your family the rest of your life.'

I'm just summarizing what He said. That's what happened. God ensured that havoc was reaped in his family. It was terrible. But when by the time David got old he was worn out with all the strife that went on. Look at Absalom and the rebellion that took place, all because David did this sin. Had he not sinned he wouldn't have had any of that.

There are some people right now who are going through terrible trouble because in righteousness they sinned. Their families are just being absolutely being torn asunder, and sickness and things. Because in the name of God they perpetrated evil. I'm not going to wish anything upon anybody. Boy, I tell you, we'll learn a lesson. We will see that God is interested in our heart, and interested in what we do.

Luke 6:20: "And He lifted up His eyes upon His disciples and said, 'Blessed are you, the poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are those who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are those who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall cut you off…'" (vs 20-22). Sometimes you can be thankful that that's a blessing.

"…and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as wicked, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy; for behold, great is your reward in heaven; for their fathers did these same things to the prophets. But woe to you, the rich, for you are receiving your consolation! Woe to you who have been filled, for you shall hunger! Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep! Woe to you when all men shall speak well of you!.…" (vs 22-26). People can use a compliment. Isn't that a good thing?

  • how nice you are
  • how good you are
  • how wonderful you are

But beware when everyone speaks well of you. Beware! Because your vanity can be gotten into sin just as much on compliments as in sin. That's how deceptive human nature is.

"…For their fathers did these same things to the false prophets" (v 26). 'Oh, that was a wonderful message.' Imagine everyone when the lying spirit came from God to be a lying spirit in the mouths of the false prophets, and all the false prophets got done and said, 'You're not going into captivity. You're not going to see the evil that's going on. We're the prophets of God.' They all come up and, 'Oh, bless you. That was marvelous; oh, that was nice; oh, you're such a good boy.' It didn't happen that way!

Verse 27: "But I say to you who hear… [here is where it comes; this is what we need to aim for]: …love your enemies…" Why does He say to love your enemies? So you don't end up with the same kind of heart that your enemy has! If they could do that in the Middle East today.

  • Can you imagine that?
  • Can you imagine the Arabs and Jews embracing?
  • the Shiites and the rabbis?
  • the Hamal and the rabbis hugging each other?
  • kissing each other?
  • on their knees repenting to God?

Love your enemies! They will, one of these days. Not now; now's not the day.

"…and do good to those who hate you…" (v 27). Why? Because if you turn around and do bad to them, you're going to put yourself in their same shoes! That's why Jesus said to the woman, to those who caught her, 'You who are without sin, throw the first stone.'

"…do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other cheek also; and if anyone takes your cloak, do not forbid your coat also. Give to everyone who asks you; and if anyone takes what is yours, do not ask for it back" (vs 27-30).

That seems, on the surface, not a good thing to do. Well obviously, if it comes down to a threat on your life, let them have it. Don't worry about it. God is able to supply it. How about all these poor people who have had all their homes burned out? They're right there. There's nothing! Don't worry about it. God will take care of it.

Verse 31: "And exactly as you would have men do to you, you do the same to them also. But if you love only those who love you, what praise is it to you?...." (vs 31-32). In other words, what have you done that is gracious? Greek: 'charis'

"…For even sinners love those who love them" (v 32).

So even a false love one to another is not good enough. God wants to make sure our hearts are sincere. It's the hypocrisy of human nature that is the root of all the sin. 'Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.' Jesus said all these evils proceed from within. So therefore, if you come to God and ask God to get rid of the hypocrisy, and the guile, and the deceit, He will!

Verse 33: "And if you do good only to those who are doing good to you, what praise is it to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what praise is it to you? For even sinners lend to sinners, that they may receive as much again…. [and more] …But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest; for He is good to the unthankful and the wicked" (vs 33-35).

It's quite a statement! Our whole perspective of God has got to be broadened out tremendously. God is not going to be narrowed down into some little confines of a set of doctrines that people may have. You want ten? twenty? fifty? a hundred? two hundred? Doesn't matter how many sets of doctrine you have. If your heart is not right with God and Christ is not in you, then it's all just so much 'playing church' and so much good work to be seen of men, you've had your reward.

That's what we're talking about here, with the good works and the evil works!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 1:24-27
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • John 1:48
  • Matthew 10:40-42
  • Matthew 7:21, 15-23
  • Luke 11:1, 9-13
  • Matthew 12:33-35
  • Luke 10:25-37
  • Matthew 9:10-13
  • Isaiah 58:1-4
  • Isaiah 64:6
  • Matthew 19:13
  • John 8:7, 10-11
  • Romans 2:11-16
  • Luke 5:17-26, 29-34
  • Isaiah 45:7
  • Luke 6:20-35

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 14
  • Deuteronomy 28

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 1/19/18