Three Great Missions #2
Fred R. Coulter—May 16, 2009

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Now we're going to cover the third important mission that we're involved in. This is directly related to what God is doing to us and through us and with us, and our response back to God.

Let's come here to Ephesians 2. Here's what we need to realize, brethren: God has not called us to be religious people; God has not called us so we can win friends and influence people. God has called us to be His sons and His daughters forever, and to receive eternal life—and He's doing the work in us, but we must also work with Him. That's why He's given us:

  • a mind
  • the spirit of man in our mind
  • the Holy Spirit
  • the thinking process,
  • the love process,
  • the emotional process,
  • the building process.

—all of those things. God has given us a mini-mind like God, so we can do, so we can create, so we can build, because God is doing and creating and building in us. Quite a magnificent thing, because the greatest thing that God is doing is re-creating Himself in us—that's why we're made in His image.

Now Ephesians 2:8 (pg 1,190): "For by grace you have been saved through faith… [Now God's grace is magnificent! It's like an umbrella under which we live, where we receive

  • God's love,
  • God's Spirit,
  • God's instruction,
  • the molding of God within our minds

to create in us eternal character.] …and this especially is not of your own selves… [Now we have things we need to do, but not of our works, 'lest anyone should boast.' Now if you want to know where boasting will get you, read Job—not very far. God wants you to work with His Spirit in you. He loves you, and you need to love Him, and work in harmony and cooperation with Him. Then He'll bless you.] …it is the gift of God"—because you can't earn it.

Let me ask you a question: Are we all going to die? Can you prevent it? No! Can you delay it? Yes, if you take care of yourself, follow God—true—but are you still going to die? Yes! Since that is true, why do people believe that their works themselves can give them eternal life, when you cannot control your own death? Now that's simple to understand—isn't it? That's why it's a gift of God.

Verse 10 is the key. Now you've heard me preach on this before, but I want us to really grasp it and understand it, because we need to understand this as we have never understood it before; especially for all of those who have in the past been trained in a corporate church where you run to the dutiful minister, and he is the one who takes care of you. This is the key: God the Father Himself, the Ruler of the universe, with Jesus Christ at His right hand, has called you, has given you His Spirit, and He loves you, and He is creating in you His character.

It is expressed this way: "For we are His workmanship…" (v 10). And even the physical bodies we have, He created—right? Yes, He did! He says that God's Spirit creates us in the womb—correct? Now you know why God hates abortion, and now you know why God is judging this country right now for killing over fifty-million innocent babies, still in their mother's wombs, and in some cases born alive and killed outside their mother's wombs—because God created them for His purpose. We can be thankful there's a second resurrection. God has made provision for it because of Satan the devil and the evil of men. Now notice what God is doing, and I want you to understand then why a personal relationship between you and God the Father—through prayer and Bible study and through God's way of living—is the whole key to everything.

Now think about when He created Adam, what did He do? He formed him out of the clay of the earth, called the dust of the earth—right? Are we not clay and dust? Yes, we are. Isn't it interesting that our minds are like soft clay, and

  • that's for the purpose of being trained
  • that's for the purpose of thinking
  • that's for the purpose of what God is doing.

He gives every human being the spirit of man; then those that He calls, and those who repent, He gives His Spirit added to it. As Jesus said, 'If you love Me, you will keep My word and My Father and I will come to you and We will make our abode with you.' Between you and God, think of that!

Here's what He's doing, v 10: "…created in Christ Jesus… [The mind of Christ, the Word of God.] …unto the good works…" As found in the Scriptures:

  • faith, hope, and love;
  • obedience and truth;
  • mercy, compassion, and understanding.

That's what God wants; and also the strength of God

  • to stand for Truth,
  • to fight for the Truth,

and to understand that regardless of whatever trial may come along, 'all things work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.' I'm reading you what this purpose is. Just like as a potter, can mold the clay, so God in His workmanship on you and on me and all of those who belong to Him, is preparing us for the greatest job, the greatest work, the greatest thing that's going to be, that we, when Christ returns, are going to rule on the earth.

So forget about all the stupid politics that's going on in the world. It isn't going to solve anything, and you wait and see, whatever looks good that's coming along is only a springboard for another deception that's coming down the road. That includes 9-12. You know what 9-12 is? Well, 9-12 is Glenn Beck's organization—'we are going to save the nation through Glenn Beck.' Now he's got a lot of good things that sounds good, you listen to him. 'Well, this sounds good, we're going to do this, we're going to do that, we're going to do the other thing.' They're falling right into a death trap and they don't even know it, because there's no repentance to God.

They're just like the children of Israel. When God said, 'Go into the land.' Oh, boohoo, we're not going into the land, all those giants there; how can we handle it?' He said, 'All right, you've sinned against Me these ten times. Now, Moses you tell the children of Israel that they're going to have a year for every day that the spies were in the land. You're going to wander a total of forty years, that's thirty-eight-and-a-half more years, until everyone twenty and over have died.' So they all went to their tents that night and cried boohoo—remember that? So they got up in the morning and said, 'We'll go, we'll go.' Moses said, 'Don't go." We'll go. They went up the hill and got clobbered, because God wasn't with them. That's what 9-12 needs to learn. You have all these good plans. You can say you're going to do this, but unless you repent, God's not with you. You have to repent at the time that the occasion is given, not when you desire.

Now notice: "…unto the good works… [The commandments of God, the Word of God, the Truth of God, all the spiritual characteristics of faith and love and joy and hope and peace and longsuffering, and so forth.] …that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10).

Now let's look and see how God does this marvelous thing. Let's come to Romans 12. Conversion is a process. There is an initial conversion when you repent and receive the Holy Spirit of God, but that's just the start. It's just like if you line up for a race and you're on the starting line, and you jump up and down for joy, turn around and say, 'Hey, I just finished.' You haven't even taken a first step, let alone go and take the whole thing, for the race. So here's what Paul says. And that's why we're going to have struggles and difficulties and things that will come along, but it says here's the reason for it all:

Romans 12:1: "I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service." Because, you see, you can please God, if you love God, if you keep His commandments, if you have a personal relationship with Him, you can please God. As God looks down on the earth, how many people are doing that? How many people are crying out to God with tears, supplications, praying for one another? How many prayers went up for Wayne and for Jim and for others? I know that myself, all your prayers are why I'm here, but that means I've got to take care of myself, too. That's just the way life is. That's the way God made it. God didn't make it so we could be like the runner at the starting line and just jump over the starting line and turn around and say, 'Oh, look, I finished.' No effort.

"Do not conform yourselves to this world… [Now you see, the task is not easy. We are called out of the world, so that we are no longer part of the world, but the trick is we've got to live in the world.

  • That's why you need God's Spirit.
  • That's why you need God's Word.
  • That's why you need the Sabbath
  • That's why you need the Passover
  • That's why you need the Holy Days.

God has a Sabbath every week, because that's about how long we can go before we need to be instructed again. Isn't that true? Yes! Remember this: Life is God's continuous education program, until death. It doesn't matter how old you are, you can learn. God made us that way. It doesn't matter what your problems are, if you repent from the heart, God will forgive.] (Here's what you do): …but be transformed… [By God's inner-working power in you with His Holy Spirit.] …by the renewing of your mind…" (v 2).

That's where God is working and molding. And they've found this, as I've mentioned before: that whenever people pray, there's a certain part of their brain that gets very active. They can even measure this now. Why? Because that's going to where the spirit of man is, I'm convinced—that's my own opinion—and if you have the Spirit of God in you, that's where the communication goes back to God. Remember, God has a vested interest in every one of us, because Christ died for every one of us. And He has

  • called you
  • loves you
  • needs you
  • wants you

Who's going to run the Kingdom of God if we all fail? The Baptists, the Mormons, the Catholics? No way! Now this is not to puff us up, this is to give us great humility.

Verse 2: "…renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God." That's something! You should never, never, never, never get yourself in a position or thought that God can't help you, 'God won't hear me.' You should never, whoever is a minister or teacher, get up there and say, like I heard one man say, 'You're all are a bunch of dumb sheep and I don't know who's going to make it, except maybe me, and some of the evangelists, and I don't know about some of them.' How's that for encouragement!? No! Whenever you get discouraged, understand this: God calls you because He loves you and needs you and wants you. Even if you're alone and no one else cares for you—don't forget that; because God will strengthen you in it. Just as we read in the conference, 'the gates of hell are never going to prevail against the Church of God'—and you are an integral part of the Church of God, every single one of you, because God has a work He's doing in you.

Let's come back to Ephesians 4:17 (pg 1,191) and let's see how he writes about it to the Ephesians. "So then, I declare and testify this in the Lord that you are no longer to walk even as the rest of the Gentiles are walking, in the vanity of their minds." Now why don't you do this sometime: when you're watching the TV, sort of write that down, 'the vanity of the mind,' and just watch what they're all doing. Remember, every single thing, nearly—I have to say 99%—is scripted. Every movie you see is a fantasy out of someone's mind, except those that are truly historical. Watch the conduct of them. Look at the newscasters and 'casterests' (if I could put it that way). Look at the sports and see the vanity of the mind, how great and tough that they are. I will have to say, that just as an athlete, I admire LeBron James—from a carnal point of view—though he's in the world. He's a worker, he works; he knows what he's doing and he practices it, and he gets precise in it. He is really a fantastic player, because he has set his mind and he has set his course to do so. When you hear him interviewed, other than a little bravado, he's actually quite humble. Why? Because he's not saying how good he is, because he knows he has the goal to reach as high as he can in being a basketball player.

Now in like manner God has called us to a higher calling and so the greatness of what God calls us to should be very humbling, indeed. We don't exalt ourselves over other people. We don't carried away in vanity and things like this. God doesn't want that. What happens when that occurs?

Verse 18: "Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts." Sounds like I just read about a hard-hearted atheist, right? You know what day their day is? Atheists sued and came into court and said, 'Judge, now there's a day for St. Patrick's Day, there's a day for Christmas, there's a day for Easter, there's a day for Earth Day, and us poor atheists don't have a day. Now I want you to declare a day for us.' And he says, 'It's already there. It's April first, because God says, Anyone who says in his heart there is no God is a fool. Case dismissed!'

Verse 19: "They have cast off all feelings, and have given themselves up to licentiousness, to work every uncleanness with insatiable desire…. [That sounds like Washington, D.C.—doesn't it?] …But you have not so learned Christ; if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, according to the Truth in Jesus:… [Now he's getting into the comparison and difference between the world and us.] …That concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man… [That's why conversion is the washing of the water of the Word and that is why in repentance David said, 'Create in me a clean heart.' That the creation of God, the workmanship of God, with the washing of the water of the Word and the Spirit of God all combined together.] …which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts" (vs 19-22).

And human nature is really deceitful. As I mentioned a couple of times, one man is trying to run a special on the lies we tell, and in his research he found that the average person told three lies in ten minutes. So ask yourself this question and check yourself on it, which is this: How many lies do I tell about myself or tell to me? You will find that it starts out with a little stretching of the fact. That shows you the deceitfulness of the mind.

Now isn't it a marvelous thing! Think of the wonderful work that God is doing! That He would take us with this kind of mind—that is deceitful above everything—lead us to repentance, grant us the forgiveness, give us His Holy Spirit; and now His workmanship is to take this deceitful mind and make it pure, make it Holy. That's a marvelous work—isn't it? That is a miracle!—isn't it? That's what God is doing to us, in us and through us.

Now notice v 23: "And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind… [every single day.] …And that you put on the new man… [So you have the work to do, too. If you have sinned and God has forgiven you, go and sin no more. Now because we have sinful nature, we have to fight it, and maybe we can get it down to where we don't have overt sins that are out here that everyone can see. But, you see, the ones that God is working on to get rid of are the secret sins up in here (in the mind). That's His work, but He needs your cooperation and He needs your active participation.] …which according to God… [as God determines.] …is created in righteousness and Holiness of the truth" (vs 23-24). Now isn't that a tremendous, marvelous thing, indeed? Take a lying, deceitful mind and the ultimate conversion is Holiness and Truth. That's something! So then he says, 'Here's how you do it.' Now we're down into the nuts and bolts of what we need to do. Let's look at it.

"Therefore, let each one put away lies and speak the truth with his neighbor because we are members of one another…. [That how we love each other, too, that's part of it. This is really a key.] …When you become angry, do not sin…. [There's such a thing as righteous indignation. What happens when you get angry? There's a reaction in your body and in your mind and in your blood. You hold this anger and you build it up, and (as we will see a little later on) it becomes bitterness, or it becomes a memory, or it becomes something that actually causes your brain to conform with the neurons and everything to wire itself into wrong thinking. They now know that to be true. So what you have to do is, if you get angry, don't sin.] …Do not let the sun go down on your anger" (vs 25-26)—or wrath.

I can guarantee you this: I won't ask you to raise your hand, but have you ever gone through something that affected you so bad you went to bed and you couldn't sleep? What did you do? You mulled this thing over in your mind all night—right? As you mull it over, you become more right and the other person becomes more wrong—isn't that true? Yes! I remember when I had a particularly difficult trial, I bolted up in bed at two o'clock in the morning, and said, 'They can't do that!'—which was stupid, because they already did it—because anger does something to the mind and does something to the body. If you keep it, since all of your blood courses through your body, it actually changes the chemical composition of your blood and can carry anger through the rest of your body. So maybe make a gauge sometime. You get real angry, and you keep that anger? Then you come down with a cold. Think about it. They know that if you have a traumatic stress—and even though you kind of, how shall we say, gloss over it and don't really get it out of your mind, you fail to ask God to give you forgiveness to give that person forgiveness, and you fail to ask God to wash it out of your mind—you concentrate on forgetting it. Now, when you do, that area of your brain is going to change the wrong wiring. They now know that is true. Who is the angriest being in the universe? Satan the devil. Yes, indeed!

If you've had a bad day, you've had a stressful day, you're tired, you're exhausted, you're sort of fed up; maybe you've had an argument with your wife or your husband—that happens, admit it, doesn't it? All of you are perfect? Or maybe the boss has gotten after you, or maybe the mailman didn't get something delivered when it was supposed to be, or maybe they overbilled you, or maybe whatever it is, and you got angry. Then you let that percolate, you let that boil, and you let that fester, and you let it get up, it's going to do things to you. Instead of doing that, get on your knees before you go to bed and ask God to help you cleanse your mind, cleanse your thoughts. Don't lie there at night and toss and turn, that won't work. Here's why: because Satan the devil is Johnny-on-the-spot, 'Oh, you're right.'

Verse 27: "Neither give place to the devil…. [Have you ever thought you were so right, when something happened, that you knew you were absolutely, totally sure you were right; and you got angry and mad. Subsequently, however long later, you found out you were wrong. But the question is: What did you do to self? The devil's right there.] (Then he says this): …Let the one who stole, steal no more; rather, let him labor with his hands, working at what is good, so that he may impart something to the one who has need. Do not let any corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption" (vs 27-30).

Because when you have behavior like that with the Spirit of God in you, the Spirit of God is kind of fighting and warring against your thoughts, because it's contrary to God's way. That's why repentance is necessary. Now if you can't get a handle on it, then you go pray and you say, 'Oh, God, this is more than I can bear; help me to get a handle on it, so I can change; help me to understand what I need to do; lift the burden from off me.' God will do that, because He doesn't want you grieving His Holy Spirit. He will do that.

Now notice, v 31: "Let all bitterness… [Some people hold onto things for years and they also know this: In many, many, many cases of cancer, where it is not caused by a food problem alone, bitterness and indignation and hostility are at the heart and core of it. They actually know that held on for a long time—remember the story of the Hatfields and McCoys—it actually puts, what you would call, thinking-lesions in your brain. The Hatfields and McCoys didn't live long enough to see whether they had cancer or not—right?] …and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you, together with all malice… [That's why, brethren, if someone confides in you, never break that confidence, not even to your husband or wife, period. Between you and God and the individual. That'll save you a lot of grief. "And be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you" (vs 31-32).

Now then, there are many other things that you can do. Let's see the solution to the problem. Here's what you do. Come to 1-Corinthians 13 and we'll finish with this. Here's how then you work and cooperate with God. Here then is how you let God mold your mind and you control your thoughts, and you control your emotions concerning yourself and the other ones around you. This also helps you to be humble. There are some people who can put on an air of humility, but true humility comes because of a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. It's just there. That doesn't make you a pushover. That doesn't make you Mr. or Mrs. Marshmallow, nothing like that. Notice the recipe for doing it.

Paul starts dealing, first of all, with vanity—1-Corinthians 13:1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal…." You've heard people speak like that, haven't you? Yes, indeed. What he's saying is, love is the most important thing: your love of God, God's love to you, your love to the brethren, your love of husband and wife, your children, your family, and even the love of your enemy. You pray like the rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof, 'God keep the Czar far away from us.' And you can ask God to deal with them.

"If I have the gift of prophecy… [And everyone who is a teacher, listen up. Prophecy's not the answer. You won't understand prophecy unless you first love God. Everyone wants to be a prophet and everyone wants to have a following. Didn't we have one man say he was one of the two witnesses and 'I'll you who the other one is later—it's my wife.' Did anything he say come to pass? No!] …and understand all mysteries and all knowledge… [Just think what you could do at some university if you had all of these gifts.] …and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing" (v 2). Nothing. That's what all atheists and evolutionists need to begin with—nothing.

"And if I give away all my goods… [Now the King James says 'to the poor,' that's not there in the original. A lot of rich people give rich gifts to other rich people—don't they? Yes.] …and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing" (v 3). So here are all of the great things that people can do in the flesh, but what is it? Nothing.

So he says clearly here: "Love is patient and is kind… [Isn't that the answer to anger and wrath and indignation? Yes.] …love envies not… [You're happy for what the other person is and what they have and what they do, and you rejoice in that. You don't say, 'Oh, look at them. I wish God would bless me like that.' No, don't envy them.] …does not brag about itself, is not puffed up" (v 4). No, doesn't have the mind on itself.

"Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil" (v 5). Look at all of the character that love builds in you. This gives us a lot of work to do—doesn't it? The things that it says here that we are to do are not easy—are they? It doesn't come automatic—does it? No.

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Verse 6: "Does not rejoice in iniquity… [That's why most of the movies are not worth seeing today.] …but rejoices in the truth…. [Now here's how we keep our bearings in times of trouble and stress, right here.] …Love bears all things, believes all things… [It going to work out.] …hopes all things, endures all things… [And with that, then you have an absolute ironclad guarantee from God—it will work.] …Love never fails…. [Never fails] …But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease; whether there be languages, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part shall be set aside" (vs 6-10).

Paul gave me some good articles there for me to read on the way home, which is When I Thought as a Child. I thought those were pretty good articles. So [the apostle] Paul reflects on that, and he says: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known" (vs 11-12).

He's talking about the resurrection, which is the ultimate, epitome of love. I'll tell you the greatest love fest that's going to take place at the resurrection is going to be on the Sea of Glass. And all the saints are up there, all those that you've known, all those down through history, and what is going to be the great and grand ceremony up there after we're all resurrected before learning about where we're going, what we're going to do, what our new name is, and all of that, Jesus Christ is going to have us all assembled and He's going to present us to God the Father and He's going to say, 'Behold, the children You have given Me.' That's what love will do, brethren.

But in the meantime: "And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love" (v 13). And that's the greatest quality that God wants to build in you. So remember this:

  • walk in faith,
  • believe in hope
  • live in love

and you'll never fail.

Scriptural References:

  • Ephesians 2:8, 10
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • Ephesians 4:17-32
  • 1-Corinthians 13:1-13

Transcribed: 6-24-09
Formatted: bo—6/26/09