Fred R. Coulter—March 3, 2007

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We will finish it up with a comparison between Matthew six and some of the prayers in the Psalms—and you will see that they follow right along with the outline that Jesus gave concerning how to pray. Let's come to Matthew 6 again—as that is the base. And what this also does, this also helps us to understand how we can take parts of the Bible and expand it with putting 'line upon line, here a little there a little; precept upon precept,' so that we get the full picture. And obviously, even when we get done with all fourteen on the Keys to Answered Prayer, it's going to have to be: What is your initiative? What is your relationship with God?—because it has to get down to that. How do you apply yourself and let's think of it this way because this is very important for us to consider. And what I want you to do is just look at the news. Look at all the problems that are happening in different places in the world and ask yourself the question: How much of an opportunity do these people have to pray and to study. If you're hit by a hurricane everything is gone. The most you can pray is 'God, save me.' And if you're hit by a tornado and your house is torn up, everything you have is gone!

So let's ask the question: If we don't really use the time that God has given us with the peace that we have and really grow in grace and knowledge and develop our relationship with God through prayer and study, what's going to happen when difficulties come upon us, and we don't have the opportunity? I think about that all the time when I'm waking up, getting up in the morning, and I'm thankful that everything is fine. Our house is here, nothing has happened, no thieves, no robbers, no riots in the street, no soldiers marching up and down the streets. And I think, boy! I need to take every day and make it the maximum possible that we can do. And I think likewise with prayer.

We can give all the keys to answered prayer, but unless it becomes a part of your Christian walk and relationship with God and fellowship with God, on a regular and increasingly deeper basis, then what are we going to do when the tough times really get here? A tough time for us is like the electricity goes off; or we're stuck for two hours in a traffic jam. I remember one time—I think it was last year—I think is was during the Feast of Trumpets or maybe it was Pentecost: We're going home and the whole freeway is stopped because there's been a bank robbery. And what the robbers did was take the money and throw it out the car, scatter it all over the freeway. So here the highway patrol comes and they shut down the freeway—thousands of cars go on this freeway, 680 South, down near San Jose. And it shut down and you get into this stalled on the freeway. And I'm sitting there thinking, what would happen if there was a real disaster and everybody's trying to escape. Well, no one's going to escape because you're all going to be parked on the freeway. And after a while it gets real irritating. Well, how long is this going to take? Others ahead of us are stopped in the cars, so they get out of their cars and they look up and try to see where the end of it is, so you know, you get some idea of how it is; and we were stuck for two hours in the closing down of the freeway! And look upon that and say, 'Man, that was a tough deal!' Well, no that wasn't a tough deal. Compare that with how some brethren, such as those over in Ethiopia and some of those in other parts of Africa, that are assaulted by hateful people, that come in to kill them while they're having Sabbath services.

Then I think about well, what do we need to do? How do we need to use the time? And I look and see, because God is harvesting a lot of brethren, and like one man said, wherever he goes he see a lot of senior citizens—and he's one of them and I'm one of them. And we have seen God call a lot to the end. And He will be calling a lot more to the end. And so, we don't know how long we have. We don't know any of these things. We can look and see the things that are happening and to us it looks really, really bad, but we really have no comparison as to how bad is bad—especially when you look at the fly-over of the ruins of the cities of Germany when WWII ended. There was hardly a building that you could even live in. The roofs were gone, there were parts where all the bricks were down. The street was full of debris and everything like that. And they had to start from scratch.

So I was thinking on this, especially in relationship to this. We need to conclude thoroughly, that we've all been Laodiceans from day one! And what we need to do is be repenting every day and be zealous every day because that's what God requires of us. And you can think about things that come along suddenly. When I was having breakfast there at the motel I saw this report where there was this little college and they had a baseball team—it was down in Georgia and I think it was a little town of 4200—and here the bus is going along. They don't know what happened, there are no skid marks, but what happened, the bus went right off the freeway, off an overpass, smashed down on the street below and killed four of the ball players. And you look at that and you think: Whew!

  • How quick things can go
  • How fragile that we really are
  • How much we need God

—and all the things that we need to fight and work against in this world.

So let's come here to Matthew 6:13—we went through "And lead us not into temptation… [but the next one is] …but rescue us from the evil one… [We are living in a time now where we need deliverance from theevil one! 'Rescue'—now that's part of the whole mission of Christ.

Let's come here to Luke 4—here's the statement Christ gave on preaching the Gospel after He was tempted by Satan the devil. And you can just put in your notes there: Luke 4 and Matt. 4—temptation of Christ by Satan and go ahead and study that. But right after that, let's begin here in Luke 4:16—and let's understand something that's important, which is this: One of the most important days in our relationship with God is the weekly Sabbath—and you add to that the Passover and the Holy Days. Because God has designed it this way: the Sabbath day God will respond to you how you respond to Him. If you, through prayer and study, and really keeping the Sabbath day, draw close to God and use it—as I have said before—as a day for being instructed in the University of Eternal Life. Because that's what it is. Then the Sabbath day will become much more full, much more meaningful, because God is doing a spiritual work, which He does on the Sabbath day with each one of us. So the Sabbath day becomes a very important day in drawing close to God; a very important day of stepping out of the world.

So right here we have in Luke 4:16: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. And there was given Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written… [Here's the whole mission statement of Christ and the Church, right here.] …'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me… [And God puts His spiritual presence in every Sabbath—doesn't He? And we are to be led by the Holy Spirit of God. And praying becomes an exercise of the Spirit of God in you, going back to God and the Spirit of God coming to us. That's why it says in Rom. 1:1 that 'the just shall live by faith'—from faith to faith. Our faith to God, God's faith to us. And we need to live that way. So the Sabbath day becomes very, very important.] (So he says): …for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor…" (vs 16-18).

Now everyone who has the Spirit of God has been anointed with the Spirit of God and the begettal of the Spirit of God and we all have a part in doing this in preaching the Gospel to the poor. That doesn't mean just the ones who are physically poor. It does include those, but those who are poor spiritually, as well, because He names them.] …He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted… [Now I just made some notes because I'm going to do a sermon on how to heal a broken heart and broken spirit, because that's important. And that's in every generation] …to proclaim pardon to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind… [and of course, that is more spiritually than it is physically.] …to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed…" (vs 16-18).

We need to be delivered and rescued from Satan the devil. And who is the one who does the crushing? Human beings who are instrumentalities of Satan the devil and Satan himself. And we are living in an age now that is so fraught with lies and deceit and people deceiving and being deceived even more and more and more. A lot of people don't understand that when things like, as we've seen here, when there are sensational things on television—but whenever the news is concentrating on some sensational thing of some great sinner in this world who's notorious for their behavior, understand this: Satan is working behind the scene on other things, because he's always there. And we are going to see an increase in Satanic activity, which we'll cover here in just a minute, that is going to lead to absolutely terrible and horrific times. And I always think of the Scripture when I read…like one minister just recently read: 'prophecies are speeding up.' No, they don't speed up! They're right on time. He says they're speeding up so he can receive more money from the brethren. And I think for ten years we experienced it being said, 'We're in the gun lap.' And we're 30-years removed from that. So I tell you, if that's the gun-lap, I'd be exhausted!

"…deliverance those who have been crushed… [and especially in this generation.] …to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord'" (v 19). And of course, the acceptable year or time of the Lord is anytime that God makes known His will to you.

All right, let's come here to Colossian 1:9—I love these long sentences of Paul but they make it little awkward in English. "For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding… [When you have a good prayerful relationship with God and you're studying and praying and you use the Sabbath to the benefit of spiritual growth, then God will fill you with the knowledge of His will and all wisdom and spiritual understanding. And this is exactly the desire that God wants us to have and will do for us, especially in a time when there's relative peace as we have it now.] …That you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God" (vs 9-10). And even though we still look through a glass darkly, we see it more clearly than they did 30 years ago, 40 years ago, 100 years ago, 200, 500 years ago. Because God promised He would reveal and give understanding of these things in the end-time.

Now here's what prayer is going to do: "Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory… [He's given you of His Holy Spirit and in that sense you share in the glory of God—that little bit, whatever the Holy Spirit of God that is in you.] …unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light…" (vs 11-12).

And that's why the prayer starts out and it ends up: 'Your kingdom come'—it begins; and it ends up: 'Yours is the power and the kingdom and glory.' Because if we keep focused on what the inheritance really is, that we don't belong to a church corporation, we belong to the body of Christ; and that we have not been called to be good citizens, necessarily, in this world—of course, we are. But if you're just a good citizen in the world, you can be carnal as the day is long and know nothing about God. But we've been called to the greatest inheritance that there is: Eternal life in power and glory in the first resurrection and we'll be in that special firstfruits category for all eternity! So that's why when you look and see if there's anything you need to give up or leave behind, don't worry about it. Walk away from it.

Now notice v 13: "Who has personally rescued us… [Now 'personally' is there because that's a middle voice verb. That God Himself, you could also translate it that way] …Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness… [Remember what Jesus said, 'to open the eyes of the blind.' Well, if you're blinded by darkness, you can't see.] …and has transferred us unto… [Now, we're not 'into' the Kingdom of God, because 'flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.' Translated gives the impression—as it is in the King James—translated 'into'—kind of gives you the impression that somehow you've been swooped up and brought to heaven. But it doesn't mean that.] …transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love."

 Now God has full authority in your life and it's still true, whether people believe it or not, God has full authority in your life always—every life, everywhere in the world, whether for blessing or whether for cursing; whether for life or whether for death. No one can get away from God. No one is free from God. If you're living in sin, you're under curses. If you're living according to the laws of God in the letter of the law, you have certain physical blessings because God promised that—not because of any good thing on your part. If you have the Spirit of God, and you're under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of God, you have been called to grow in grace and knowledge and to let God qualify you for eternal life. And there can't be anything greater than that.

But the great enemy is—and there are enemies out there—Satan the devil! And the great enemy wants to derail God's plan. Now, let's come here—we know where it says, just put in your notes there: Rev. 12:9—have you got that memorized? 'And the dragon, that old serpent, Satan the devil, was cast down and his angels were cast down with him, who is deceiving the whole world.' Now when you're watching the news I want you to think about that. Let's plug in another Scripture here: 2-Tim. 3:13, where those who are sinning are 'deceiving and being deceived'; 'but wicked men and imposters shall become worse and worse.' Take those two Scriptures and just watch the news, and you will see it in action. This world is being set up for the greatest deception the world has ever known. Now, a little aside on that, which I'm going to give a sermon here pretty quick Man, it sounds like watching the daily affairs in Congress—doesn't it? Deceiving others and being deceived themselves. When you give yourself over to lies and you believe lies and you live lies—just exactly like this whole global warming thing is. That's a lie to enslave the whole world under the authority of a world government.

I need to give a sermon on that. I've got so many sermons I need to give. But anyway, as I've mentioned before, the same equivalent rate that the temperature has gone up on the earth, it has gone the same way on Mars and there is no human life, there's no CO2  The Mars rovers are the only vehicles that are up there. And how could those two little things cause the temperature of Mars go up the equivalent that it is on the earth? The truth is they don't have catalytic converters—and I've got the material at home that I need to study up on—the sun is doing it because there is an increase in sun activity and sunspots. When the sun gets hotter, the earth gets warmer. Only stands to reason—right? And there are also things coming from outer space. And the scientists, what they're pretending to do is be God! How can you predict the temperature a hundred years ahead of time when you can't even be accurate from day-to-day on the weather in the local area. So don't believe one thing about this global warming. That's one of the great deceptions coming. So Satan is deceiving the whole world, and this is one of the devices that he uses.

Now, let's come to 2-Corinthians, the fourth chapter. One of the things you need to do is know the enemy. You need to understand that. Just like Patton, one of his favorite sayings was when he entrapped Rommel, he said: 'You blank-blank, I read your book!' So the way you know the enemy is read God's book, because He describes him more accurately than anything else in the world. One of the devices that Satan uses, which you hear on the news every day, which is this: every problem is a crisis. And crisis strikes fear into the hearts of people, which means that they're willing to give up more liberty and freedom, and they're willing to let someone rescue them—when actually they're running into the grasp of Satan the devil. Now, there are some things that are crises. If you have a hurricane go through your town, just like it did on Thursday through Enterprise, Alabama, here just a couple of days ago, you have a crisis. That is a crisis! But these are politically devised things to get more and more control of people. I also need to give another sermon on immigration and the combining of Canada, United States and Mexico. What they need to do is lie about the border patrolmen and put them in jail, let's the crooks sue from Mexico, confiscate American property. One rancher lost an $800,000 ranch to a drug dealer who sued in Mexico. So what you see with Satan's way is everything upside down.

Now please understand: the only one Who can solve it is Christ! You can try and straighten things out politically all you want, but what is the most important thing that the Day of Atonement teaches us? The Day of Atonement teaches us that as long as Satan is around and not removed there will be continually sin—which means this: any political or movement that people will do, will, at best, have a temporary affect, because unless you remove the author of sin you're never going to get rid of sin. That's why we need to be rescued from Satan the devil. That's why the Sabbath is so important. Because, you see, take the Sabbath, and use the Sabbath like this day has a great canopy over it that the world can't see. And that canopy covers your life, and it puts you in a special relationship with God. Or you can say that the Sabbath day is a day like you are invited into the tabernacle of God, where He will teach you His ways. And with that canopy of protection, then you also ask God to protect you during the week, so that Satan doesn't come along, deceive you, manipulate you, stir up your life, stir up emotions, and as we'll see, stir up other people against you and things like that, because that's what he is there for—and Satan uses his ways, plus people, to do what he wants to do.

Now, 2-Corinthians 4:1—now, some of these Scriptures we've used before, but it's necessary to repeat certain Scriptures from this point of view, because we need to let God identify the enemy and how he works. "Therefore, having this ministry… [Which is what all the elders in the Church of God are to do. And if the ministry of God does not teach the people of God, but allows them to be captured by Satan the devil, deceived through false doctrines and things like this, God's judgment is going to be upon them very severely!] …according as we have received mercy, we are not fainthearted. For we have personally renounced the hidden things of dishonest gain… [Now, that's what the Sabbath and prayer and relationship with God is: to denounce the hidden things of dishonesty and deceit and carnal nature, and pride and vanity, and all of those things. Here it is 'dishonest gain, physical gain, to try and get things from people.] …not walking in cunning craftiness… [You don't have a political agenda, you don't have something secretly hid in the depts. of your understanding that you're going to spring on everybody.] …nor handling the Word of God deceitfully…" (vs 1-2).

That's an interesting statement—isn't it? Because you can take the Word of God, which is the Truth, and if you handle it deceitfully and wrongly put it together—guess what? You're not using the Truth properly, and just like a combination to a safe, if you don't have the right combination it isn't going to open. So if you have the wrong one—you can take even the Bible—just like the Protestants and the Catholics. The Protestants say, 'Well, the law is done away.' Then they narrow it down to 'just believe'—and they read a Scripture here, read a Scripture there, and hey, that's the whole thing they have with their religion. Or the Catholics say, 'Well, we have a greater revelation, which was given to us, so therefore we can do all the things that we do. We can worship idols, pray to saints. We can have the Eucharist. We can believe all these myths and lies because God's given it to us to do so.' And they handled the Word of God deceitfully. Next time you see something that is put out by the Catholics or the Protestants, examine it and you will see that many times, just like Satan did, they quote the Scripture correctly and come to a wrong conclusion. Now, I will have to say this: one caveat, that there are some Protestant organizations which specialize in helping people biblically overcome problems in life—and they do an excellent job in that. And I would have to say this: they're able to help a lot of people. However, that's only straightening out their lives in the world. Because if you can help straighten out your life in the world, that's better than having a messed up life in the world. But, they can only go so far because they don't keep the Sabbath. They don't keep the Holy Days, and so forth.

"…but by manifestation of the Truth… [and that the thing we need to use all the time. The Word of God: Truth. The Spirit of Truth and so forth.] …we are commending ourselves to every man's conscience before God…. [In other words, every single thing that a minister or elder or teacher does must be based on the Truth of God. And woe be to the one who twists and turns the Word of God. We'll see that a little later here.] …But if our Gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing; In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe… [Belief is not just a one-time belief. Belief is an on-going, growing belief through faith. Because if you believe part of the Truth and the rest error, what do you have? You have non-truth. It appears good because there's part Truth. It would be like this: Eating organic bread that has been prepared with arsenic in it. All the organic material in there doesn't do you any good, because the arsenic is going to get you. So it has to be the whole Truth, the Truth, nothing but the Truth. Now, if it's hidden]: …it is hidden to those who are perishing; In whom the god of this world [Satan the devil] has blinded the minds of those who do not believe lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (vs 2–4).

  • God is the One Who has to illuminate you.
  • God is the One Who has to open your mind.
  • God is the One Who has to give you light.

And what is light? You can do a study in the Bible on light—light and lamp. 'You're Word is a lamp to my feet'—etc. Christ is 'the Light of the world,' and so forth.

Now, v 5: "For we do not preach our own selves…" Very interesting. For you in the Church all you did was hear about a single man who was the big, exalted mucky-muck. The only one in the world. And how different was he from the Pope? Virtually not. You don't preach yourselves, because if you preach yourself, you're preaching vanity, lust and greed, because that's what human nature is—right? And if we do anything it's because God has given us the ability, opened the door, made it possible to do it. So why should we take any credit about it? It's just like Paul. Paul didn't say, 'I'm going to be humble.' God made him humble in his life, which has to happen in our lives. And being humble is something that is an expression of your relationship with God. You don't have to think: 'Well, I need to be humble.' And then, if you put it on, and act humble, then you become what is called in the world, a sycophant. God doesn't want that. He wants true humility, which is not centering on self.

Now continuing here, v 5: "For we do not preach our own selves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake because it is God Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, Who shined into our hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (vs 5-6). So that's how it's done.

Let's notice a little something else here, because I think it shows what Paul went through. And I'm convinced of this: God put all the apostles through very trying and difficult lives so that they would totally rely on the power of Christ. And that what they were destined to write, like Paul has written—and all the other apostles—would be entirely the words of God, because God knew that 2,000 years down the road these words, combined with the Spirit of God, have to have an impact upon us today. So they went through things that none of us have gone through—and for a very special purpose.

So he says, v 7: "Now we have this treasure in earthen vessels… [that is our  bodies. And the treasure is what? The Spirit of God, the knowledge of God, the Truth of God, etc.] …in order that the supremacy of the power may be of God, and not from us. On every sidewe are hard pressed, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies…. [So the whole purpose—now notice the dedication that Paul had, because God gave him that resolve. God gave him His Spirit to do this.] …For those of us who are living are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh" (vs 7-11).

Now, let's carry this a little further and see how these things work. Let's come to Ephesians, the second chapter. Let's see where Satan the devil is called 'the prince of the power of the air.' Now we know this and we've heard this, and these Scriptures we have used over and over again, but let's also remember today we are facing the greatest onslaught of the power that Satan has as 'the prince of the power of the air' than ever before. A hundred years ago, of you wanted to get away from everyone, you could go find some place and go get away, and no one would bother you. Today you can't. It's in the air everywhere; it doesn't matter where you are. You're driving in your car, and you even have the radio off, all the radio waves are coming in to you—television waves, micro-telephone waves, all of those things are coming, plus the thoughts that Satan sends in addition to it. But you just think about all of the electronic means that Satan has to keep people captured. Especially with radio and music and now they have the iPOD plug-in.

And yesterday, I was driving up the freeway and it was…you get on the freeway at four in the afternoon and you're going slow because right here on Highway 80 the traffic all bunches up. So I'm driving along and here comes this car up alongside me and I hear this noise: Boom! Boom! Boom! You know you've had that in your neighborhood. Some car goes through and the whole house is vibrating because he has the extra base. Well, think what that is doing to the individual. And that's exactly what Satan wants. Satan wants everything that he has out there, including all of his thoughts to penetrate every cell of your being. And that's why rock music is so awful and rap music and MTV and M-radio and everything. Anyway, I'm driving along and I hear the Boom! Boom! and here this guy's in the car next to me and he's driving and he's sitting there and his head looks like a screwy top that is spinning and wobbling back and forth and ready to fall down. He's driving along like this and I'm thinking: man, does he not concentrate on the highway, indeed! He doesn't have a thought as to what he's doing. Boom! Boom! and I thought: what an empty-headed thing for people to get into. But that's the way that people are.

Ask yourself the question: How much of the time does Satan occupy your mind? Look at the people in the world, they can't go without music. They have it in their cars, they have it at home; you go to the department stores, they've got in the halls as you walk down the mall; they've got it in every department store. You go to certain sections and it's for young people so they've got rap music and rock music so that people can get in there and through this they know that they can market them and get them to sell more. Satan is occupying their minds! And they don't know it!

Here it aptly describes "the prince of the power of the air" Ephesians 2:1: "Now you were dead in trespasses and sins… [We've been called out of that.] …in which you walked in times past… [we're not to walk that way. The problem with Laodiceans is this: they have one foot in the world and one foot in the Church and they think they're close enough to God, so in time of trouble they can go to Him. Yet, they're close enough to the world so they can get along with the world. Now, yes, we're to get along in the world that we don't cause offense, that is true. But, 'he who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God,' as James wrote.] …according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air… [who is what, we just read? The god of this world!] …the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience" (vs 1-2).

Now I wonder what would have happened if that fellow, driving past me—and we went side-by-side for quite a while because the traffic was really slow; and so he was really into it with the music; and he was moving his head back and forth at least a foot, and his shoulders were moving and his whole body was going. And I thought, I wondered if there was a highway patrol that would come along unmarked, whether he would be pulled over for reckless driving or not. Because how could you have your mind on what you're doing? I mean, if you're in close traffic like that you've really got to watch what's going on, you can't be distracted.] …the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience…"—and that's what you see.

What would happen if you took someone like that, for example, and said: 'What's occupying your mind?' Man, this music is great! Is he blinded? Is he given over to it? Is his life the way it is, captured by Satan the devil? Yes, indeed!

Prayer is so fundamentally important, because it is the essence of our spiritual lives. That is the power and key of our spiritual lives—then comes study.Study without a prayer relationship with God on a daily basis, and what you do all the time, study then can become where people get vain in their knowledge, rather than humbled with the knowledge of God. So prayer is the key! That is the key.

Now, as we're going through here, as I mentioned, what occupies your mind? Now, you'll have to sit down and think: radio, television, worry, problems, difficulties—what occupies your mind? Well, you have to take all your problems and all your difficulties and take them to God. Now, there is a proper kind of concern, which you might say, you're worried. There is an obsessive concern where you try and carry the burden yourself, rather than put it on God. And what happens then, you become obsessed with whatever the problem is; and that modulates or downgrades your relationship with God because you're not putting the burden upon Christ. Jesus said, 'Come to Me. Cast your cares upon Me. For My burden is light and My yoke is easy—or My burden is easy and My yoke is light.' Cast it all on God.

Don't become occupied in an emotional thing in your life so much—now, I know that there are those who lose husbands and wives and there are those who lose their sons and daughters—and you love them very much and you're very attached to them. If they've died in the faith, rejoice! Be thankful! Yes, you're going to be lonely. Yes, there's a vacuum that needs to be filled. Let that be filled with the Spirit of God. But don't let the emotions of anything drag you down and keep you away from God. You need to go to God to have the strength to be able to carry through with your particular situations.

And lots of times you enter into a thing in your life that it's like walking 'through the valley of the shadow of death.' And remember, there's light at the other end if you're following God. So always keep that in mind, but don't let things occupy your mind, as we were discussing here, because that of Ephesians 2:2: "…the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience; Among whom also we all once had our conduct… [and we will see here is how Satan appeals] …in the lusts of our flesh… [And we all have lust of the flesh—don't we? Various kinds of lusts.] …doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world" (vs 2-3).

Now let's analyze this a little bit and let's see how Satan appeals to lust. He never comes along and says, 'Hey guy or hey gal, this is evil.' He comes along and says, 'This is good. Try it, you'll like it. You'll benefit from it.' Now remember this: yielding to sin and a temptation of the devil is a message from the devil that you will get a benefit from sinning when he knows you'll get a curse—because you're deceived.

Now, since the world is obsessed with sex and is perhaps one of the greatest lust things that takes place in the human mind and human flesh—male and female—let's just state this: the ecstasy of sex is the same mechanically, whether legitimate or illegitimate. And once people get hooked on that, illicit sex, well, they think it's great, and it's of a benefit to them. Then they get hooked. And look at the world today, it's given over to all kinds of illicit sex everywhere. Adultery is commonplace. How on earth—and you see this on television all the time, they're after these sexual predators—how on earth can they go after sexual predators when, beginning in kindergarten, they start preparing the kids for sexual activity as soon as they are able? How can you go against pedophiles when that's taught in schools? Satan knows that if your mind is preoccupied with sex, and it's everywhere. You can't even watch an innocent ad anymore without some kind of sexual overtone. You can't even watch what is supposedly the best news channel by their own proclamation—FOX News Network—without seeing some kind of pornography on there in just reporting the daily events. Everything is so influenced with sex, because Satan knows if he has your mind fixed on sex he's got you! And that's how he destroys every empire.

And remember, as we have studied before, back in Lev. 19 it says 'do not prostitute your daughters lest the land be filled with violence.' And how that women are the key to morality in any society. Just look what we have today: women are the sexual aggressors, more than men. Things willed by the flesh, willed by the mind. Then it talks about being saved from that. So, Satan always starts out: it looks good, it's a benefit; it's pleasurable. I mean, you can go clear back and plug all of this in to Gen. 3—can't you?

Another way that he enters in, it's funny, humorous—and that's the whole stuff on which cartoons are built, for kids. Or it's thrilling, dare-devil, excitement—or when you get to a certain point, some people get to a certain point, they are captivated and captured by evil. And they must be evil to the worst degree possible. Whence comes serial killers, serial sexual predators, and then they give themselves over to evil. Who is this man up in Washington, in order to save his own life—now think on this! He didn't want to die. He was called the 'Green River killer,' I think it was. He said, 'Ok, if you let me live I'll confess to every one and show you where I did every one.' So he did. They become obsessed and give themselves over to it. And he could not go through life any longer without experiencing killing someone. So he said, 'If you release me, I'll do it again.' Because something happens to the mind. They're so captivated by Satan the devil.

Now let's also understand this: Satan uses other people. Or you could put it this way, 'partners in sin'—how many ever involved. And here's what he appeals to. Now it says, 'the things willed…by the mind.' And what is the driving will of a carnal mind? Deceit! The human heart 'is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked' (Jer. 17:9)—right? So it's very easy. Bring something funny. Bring something where there's gain. Bring something where it's an advantage to you. Bring something where you can get rich without working—just by these lotto tickets; or go to the horse races; or go to the casino; or go online. And Satan knows he's going to give you some winnings so you think, 'Oh boy, this is great!' But it's all rigged to take it from you. So he appeals to the deceitfulness of the heart.

Now, let's come to Psalm 120. Now the reason we're going through all of these things is so that you can be on guard. Because keys to answered prayer are not just certain little things that you do; what you find it is, it's a whole program of living God's way and overcoming human nature and overcoming Satan. Now you can put down four 'Ss' you need to overcome:

  •  Sin
  • Self
  • Society
  • Satan

You can look at it as the double Gestapo. Instead of the SS this is the SS-SS—double skull and crossbones and the end is death! And you can also add to it—we could probably develop more Ds, but let's just start with two of them: deceit and death.

Now Psalm 120:1: In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and He heard me…. [We need to be rescued from Satan. That's the whole thing that in play.] …Deliver my soul… [We ask God to deliver us or rescue us from Satan the devil and he's not the only enemy. All of those that serve Satan are also the enemy though they may not be after you at this particular time.] …Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue…. [Why? Because that's the first step into sinning! And Satan wants you to believe lies.] …What shall be given unto you? or what shall be done unto you, you false tongue?…. [You can tie that in with James 2—'with our tongue we bless God!'—get up off our knees, turn around and curse those who are made in the image of God. Because you can't have, coming out of the same fountain, blessing and cursing. You can't have sweet water and salt water. But that's what you would say is the schizophrenia of human nature: trying to be deceitful and expect the blessings of God. So here he's learned the lesson.] …what shall be done unto you, you false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper. Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech…" (vs 1-5). So then it gets to other places there.

All right, let's look at another one: Proverbs 27:6—and part of our daily prayer has to be, and maybe many times during the day: 'deliver us, help us, be with us, guide us, God, lift us out of the troubles and difficulties. Give us understanding, give us discernment, give me Your Spirit.'

Proverbs 27:5: "Open rebuke is better than secret love." Now this is why people don't like, what they would consider the nasty parts of the Bible, because it corrects them. They don't want to be corrected, because after all, 'I'm a good person.' Let's look at what happened with Judas Iscariot and to prove the point. God knew what was going to happen with Judas Iscariot. And what did Jesus say to him and he was really an enemy when he came and kissed him. He said, 'Friend, are you betraying me with a kiss?' "Open rebuke is better than secret love." So let God's Word have its correction with you and in you. And when you're praying, ask God to open your mind so you can be corrected with God's Spirit; be corrected with God's Word. Because who is your greatest friend? Christ!

Verse 6: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend… [Who's going to tell you the truth even though it hurts.] …but… [here's the way Satan works.] …the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Don't believe all the flatteries. If someone comes along with a flattering tongue, beware!

Now let's look at some other Scriptures here. Let's come to Psalm 50, and let's see how the workings of Satan and evil men, see how they work—because Satan has his servants. Satan has people dedicated to his causes. And remember: the causes look good, there's a benefit, it's pleasurable, or it's funny, or it's thrilling, or you get captivated by evil.

Psalm 50:15—this is quite a Psalm here—we'll cover quite a bit of this Psalm. "And call upon me in the day of trouble… [That is, call upon God] …I will deliver you… [Because that's what we're talking about: being delivered and rescued from Satan.] …and You shall glorify me. But unto the wicked God says, 'What have you to do to declare My statutes, or that you should take My covenant in your mouth? Seeing you hate instruction, and castest my words behind thee" (vs 15-17).

every Protestant ought to read that and think about that very deeply. And everyone who judges God and casts away most of the Bible, ought to read that. Why do you even mention God's name? Now, they may appear righteous, just like it says there in 2-Cor. 10: that Satan 'appears as an angel of light'—and so do his ministers. He's got ministers, people working for him. Not just his ministers in theology. Wherever there's an official carrying out Satan's will, they're a minister of Satan the devil.

"When you saw a thief, then you consented with him… [That's why they have to run news stories when anyone is honest enough—like there was one man several years ago who found a bag of 30 or 40 thousand dollars that fell out of an armored car and no one was there and he picked it up—and no one would be able to trace it—and he turned it in. And he got scathed by how many people for being honest!] …When you saw a thief, then you consented with him, and have been partaker with adulterers" (v 18).

Let's just stop here for a minute and compare the Sabbath of the righteous and the sabbath of the wicked. The Sabbath of the righteous begins when? At sundown Friday—right? What do you do? That's Holy time. You begin observing the Sabbath. Maybe you study, maybe have a special meal. Maybe you have a special prayer. But what are the wicked doing? I thought of that when I gassed up my car here, yesterday just before I checked into the motel. Here's a guy out there, vacuuming his car, getting it all ready, and the music is going—the whole gas station was vibrating because he had to hear his music. And like one comment was made, they want it to go through them. They don't want to hear it. They want to feel it. And what was his mind on? Fixing up his car for a Friday night date. And so, Satan's sabbath of sin equates with the TRUE Sabbath of God—doesn't it? All the Friday night activities, dances, parties, drugs, sex activity, Friday night—right? Then what do you have on Saturday: sports, sports, sports, sports, and more sports and sports. And you have movies, and you have games and you have all of these things. You have 'sales' so that people can go out and get their sales on Saturday. So that's Satan's sabbath—to destroy the knowledge of the True Sabbath. Then he says: 'Well, we'll take Sunday off.' At least for 20 minutes for the drive-in golfers.
And anyone who proclaims that they keep Sunday is an absolute liar because you cannot keep Sunday as the Sabbath, because Sunday is not the Sabbath and Sunday is used as a day for their own activities, their own thoughts, their own interpretation of the Bible, if they are religious; or consumed with sports. Now you do this the next time you watch a little basketball or whatever college activity, and you watch all of these students. I don't know how they do it. They, all through the whole game they go whooooo, whoooa, woooooe. Or if you watch a famous team like Duke—they go: duke, duke, duke, duke—all during it. And students there are all razzed up with the music, with the energy, with everything that is there—and their team is winning, and they're all painted in this blue and white for Duke. I'm just using that because I saw part of that the other night. And the students, they are ABSORBED in this. That's also part of Satan's sabbath—isn't it? Friday nights? That's when it's on, Friday nights.

Now think about this for a minute: Could you, in your wildest imaginations, think that you could even reach these people by saying, 'Don't you know you're breaking the Sabbath and you are sinning?' And they could say, 'How could that be when I'm having so much fun!' Captive by Satan the devil.

Verse 19 "You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frame deceit. Thou sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. These things have you done, and I kept silence… [God hasn't corrected them yet.] … you thought that I was altogether such an one as yourself: but I will reprove you… [the day of correction is coming] … and set them in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you that forget God… [Think long and hard on this] …lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver…. [And the ultimate of that is going to be what? The Great Tribulation!—right? Yes! So because it doesn't look like God is judging yet, do not be deceived. The 'day of judgment' is coming. And yes, the 'day of judgment' is now, because their very activities that they are doing in defiance against God is their judgment against them—whether they know God or not, because no one is free from God at any time. You either have the blessing of God or the cursings of God. No one can get rid of God. Even the atheists. They say, 'Well, I don't believe in God.' You're suffering from the penalty of it because your mind is stupid, though you think you're intelligent. And you have no understanding at all. Just because there's no correction.] …consider this, you that forget God lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver " (vs 19-22).

All right, let's come to Psalm 10—that's why it's good to study the Psalms, because David was a man after God's heart. And this gives you, with the Spirit of God, helps you understand the heart that we need to have as converted people; the attitude that we need to have as converted people. Sometimes you'll feel like this in the trouble that you're in:

Psalm 10:1 "Why stand You afar off, O LORD? Why hide You yourself in times of trouble?…. [and sometimes it seems like God does. But He's always there.] …The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined…. [In other words, this is always true: every evil person is caught in his own trap. Never fails! You can apply that to anything. From the top corporate businessmen in the world down to the lowest—what you might say—beggar on the street. They're always caught in their own judgment.] …For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous…" (vs 1-3).

I tell you, that sounds much like the Grammy Awards—that were what? I didn't watch any of it, but if you go through it, that's what they're doing. They're blessing each other in their sins. 'Oh, how good you are.' And one commentator said, 'They are so narcissistic that they are only concerned of what they buy and what they wear and where they got it, and they don't care about anyone except themselves and their own notoriety.

"…boasts of his heart's desire, and blesses the covetous, whom the LORD abhors. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all His thoughts. His ways are always grievous…" (vs 3-5). So think on this: Going in the way of the 'prince of the power of the air'—this is how life is! That's why it's important everyday when we are praying, ask God

  • to bless you
  • to keep you from the power of the wicked one
  • to deliver you from Satan the devil
  • to deliver you from your own sins which you repent of in prayer
  • But to let you not deceive yourself and be deceived by others of the workers of Satan.

"His ways are always grievous; Your judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them…. [In other words, all God has to do to get rid of the enemy is just puff at them: whooooo!—if it's God's desire to get rid of them.] …He has said in his heart, 'I shall not be moved… [Now, just put in your margin there, Luke 12, about the farmer who had all this crop and said, 'What am I going to do? I'm going to tear down my barns and build bigger ones. And I'm going say to my soul, Soul, sit back, retire and enjoy goods for years.' And what was the message? 'You fool! Your life is demanded tonight.' You've seen that.] …for I shall never be in adversity.'…. [Just turn off the electricity and see.] …His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity" (vs 5–7). Now, if this does not describe the coming 'beast' absolutely to a 'T'—as well as all of his helpers and so forth. You can take these Psalms and you can plug them into anything and it fits. You can plug it into religion; you can plug it into government; you can plug it into organizations and so forth.

"He sits… [He's planning evil.] …He sits in the lurking places of the villages… [Just like Satan hiding—isn't it? Remember, Satan uses other people.] …in the secret places does he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor…. [Waiting! Waiting! Waiting!] …He lies in wait secretly as a lion in his den… [licking his chops and analyzing what is happening. Waiting just like a lion for the weakest one that he can take down.] …he lies in wait to catch the poor: he does catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. He crouches, and humbles himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. He has said in his heart, 'God has forgotten: He hides his face; He will never see it. Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up Your hand: forget not the humble.' Wherefore does the wicked despise God? He has said in his heart, 'You will not require it'" (vs 8-13) But yes, God will!

Now, let's come to Psalm 36—and this is all in being delivered from Satan. Why is so important and why am I spending so much time on this? Simple! Ask the question: think about, in the past, when the largest Church of God, that has been known in modern history, had a 120,000 people attending Sabbath services and the Feast, and had an income of $200 million. What has happened to them? They fell victim to Satan because they were looking at things carnally. That's why it's important! That's a daily thing! Just as we ask, 'Give us this day, our daily bread. 'Today, Lord, deliver me! Rescue me from the evil one.' And He will!

Now these are the dedicated wicked, and yet, think about it, how many people—thousands—have given up on the Sabbath; given up on the Holy Days; because a man said it was okay to do. Now, since God hasn't swooped down and judged them with a harsh judgment at this particular time, they probably think it's all right. But just because God hasn't brought the judgment, don't think that the judgment is not coming. Satan has his angels of light that come along, but here's what's in their heart:

Psalm 36:1: "The transgression of the wicked says within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes…. [Now again, plug this in to the final 'beast' who is coming who calls himself 'God.' Or whoever is the exalted so-and-so that is the current media darling.] …For he flatters himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful…. [Sounds like a President that was just retired about seven years ago—doesn't it? After he served eight years. Now his wife is doing the same thing—seeking the Presidency [Clintons].] …until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he has left off to be wise, and to do good" (vs 1-3).

And these are the ones who try and come after us, too. Remember, that's why you look out there and you go online and look at all the different websites of the Churches of God, you're going to see good, you're going to see not so good; you're going to see a mixture of good and evil; you're going to see bad; and you're going to see ugly. Not only just the Churches of God, but think of what's on the internet there. Just lying! You can look at the evil of the internet, because you can take anything and use it for good or evil—but take the evil of the internet and it's just like a lion crouching, waiting, wanting to capture whoever will turn into whatever website is there.

Verse 4: "He devises mischief upon his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil." So I tell you that is something! These are some of the people we're up against in the world. And we're going to see that come about even more so in the future.

Now let's come to Psalm 52:1—Now what is tragic, some of the things that we are reading here has actually happened to those who have been in the Church of God, too, because they've given up on God. Well, let's remember this: As long as there's life, there's hope! So, pray for those who have done this. That if there's any, any, any hope of repentance, that they'll be brought to repentance.

Psalm 52:1: "Why boast you yourself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually…. [And God is greater than any man, so why get to thinking you're so good?] …Your tongue devises mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully" (vs 1-2). Now you can think about this in many areas: religion, politics. And I think one of the most deceitful things to come along upon the United States—which is punishment from God—is that the political leaders have already agreed to give up the sovereignty and constitution of the United States by amalgamating Canada, United States and Mexico—deceitfully! It was never on the news that they had that meeting, except President Bush and Fox and Prime Minister Martin from Canada were there and they had nice little meeting. What they did was agree to give up the sovereignty of the countries. And now you know the secret as to why they don't want border control.

"You love evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. You love all devouring words, O you deceitful tongue" (vs 3-4). I wonder what it's going to be like when they announce the Amero? Let's look at another one. A tragic, lying tongue which has destroyed millions of lives through water. I've got an article right here: fluoride! Rat poison! 'Oh, it's good! It's give you strong teeth.' Now, forget about the fact that it'll help cause Alzheimer's because it has aluminum in it, as well. Forget about the fact that it can accumulate in your body. Forget about the fact that it can cause other diseases. 'Don't you want strong teeth? Don't you want your children to have strong teeth?' Oh yes, when you take them to the dentist, if you're a good parent, after you've given them all the shots and everything, you take them to the dentist and what do they do? They clean their teeth and they give a fluoride coating. Oh good, their teeth won't rot. But the rest of their body may. That's how deceitful things are.

"God shall likewise destroy you forever… [Because Christ is going to return!] …He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place, and root you out of the land of the living" (v 5). So all liars are going to be gone. And what is the ultimate fate of all liars who don't repent? Lake of fire—right? If you ever expect to be in the Kingdom of God you can't lie and be a lover of lies.

Now let's finish by going Psalm 140—and this has to be part of our daily prayer. Now, in this I don't want you to walk around in fear and trepidation. I want you to have faith and confidence in God. I want you to remember that God will deliver you and rescue you, personally will do so—please understand that. And the only reason in bringing these things out is for us to understand and see the magnitude of the things that we are up against—but, we can overcome every one of them through Christ. Please understand that! Don't be overwhelmed because the world is overwhelmed by evil.

Psalm 140:1: "Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; which imagine mischief in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war…. [And of course, what is going to happen when Satan's finally cast out? He's going to make war against the saints—right? Yes!] …They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah…. [Then wherever you see 'Selah'—that means stop and think and meditate on this—let it sink in!] …Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who has purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah" (vs 1-5). Now a 'gin' is a trap. Much like you see in some of the movies, they have traps where in the pathway they make it look just like the pathway—and they did this is Vietnam. And the troops come running down there and they fall into a pit where there are spikes of bamboo—to impale the one who falls in. So, that's vivid! Or they have it where there is the trip, you trip a wire and then out-swings from a tree a device made with sharp things—from limbs and bamboo which impale you. So think of it that way. Satan wants to do that to the people of God.

Now, just to finish off here: This is one of the reasons why God has scattered the Church into many small congregations and fellowship groups—to protect them and to give us an opportunity to recover from the things that have happened in the Church; and to give us a weekly opportunity to be fortified with the Spirit of God, so that our prayers are effective. So that's why this is a vital key in our prayers: 'Deliver us or rescue us from the evil one.' And we can add on to that: 'And all the workers of iniquity.'

Old Testament Scriptures from the King James Version
New Testament Scriptures from The New Testament in Its Original Order—A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

 Scriptural references:

  • Matthew 6:13
  • Luke 4:16-19
  • Colossians 1:9-13
  • 2 Corinthians 4:1-11
  • Ephesians 2:1-3
  • Psalm 120:1-5
  • Proverbs 27:5-6
  • Psalm 50:15-22
  • Psalm 10:1-13
  • Psalm 36:1-4
  • Psalm 52:1-5
  • Psalm 140: 1-5

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 4
  • Romans 1:1
  • Revelation 12:9
  • 2 Timothy 3
  • Leviticus 19
  • Genesis 3
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • James 2
  • 2 Corinthians 10
  • Luke 12

Transcribed: 2-24-08
Reformatted: 12-01-09