Fred R. Coulter—December 3, 1994

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up] [Back]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

We defined that the Bible shows that there are two righteousnesses:

  • the righteousness of the letter of the law, which God requires of every human being
  • the righteousness that leads to salvation, which can only come through Jesus Christ. That righteousness no one can earn!

We went through and showed how even Job in his perfection could not even earn that. This is really loaded tremendously with so many things:

1-John 3:4: "Everyone who practices sin… [practicing, living in, ongoing] …is also practicing lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness." In other words, against law!

Showing the difference, v 5: "And you know that He appeared in order that He might take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin… [this is not just saying church members; this is anyone] …anyone who practices sin has not seen Him, nor has known Him. Little children, do not allow anyone to deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous" (vs 5-7).

Then it shows the contrast, v 8: "The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has beensinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil." When did the works of the devil begin with mankind? Adam and Eve!

Let's go through and cover a couple of other things so that we can understand as we're going along. There's something we need to understand about God:

James 4:12: "But there is only one Lawgiver… [God is Lawgiver; God gave laws that are required of all human beings] …Who has power to save and to destroy…." This is very important and also profound in our understanding concerning how God deals with human beings.

Romans 4:15: "For the law works out wrath; because where no law is, there is no transgression." This is a principle that applies with God. It is a principle that applies even in the world.

Can they convict you of something whereby there is no law, which defines what you did is a crime? No, they can't! They cannot! That's part of the problem they've had with some substance abuse. They've listed all the illegal substances, then someone comes up with another substance, which is not on the list and they can't convict them; because where there is no law there is no sin. So, it is the same way with God: where there is no law He does not judge. We're going to see that God required of all human beings to keep the first righteousness, which are the commandments of God in the letter. God requires that of all human beings; otherwise, there would be no sin.

Romans 3:9: "What then? Are we of ourselves better? Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALL—with being under sin." So, if there was no law, and the law was only for Israel, then how could God judge the Gentiles for not keeping the law? There would be no sin!

 Verse 10: "Exactly as it is written: 'For there is not a righteous one—not even one! There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way…'" (vs 10-12).

I was sent something very interesting, and it's from part of a 20-volume set called The Origins of Judaism. With the menorah, the three candles in the middle represents the 'mother god of life.' When they have the whole thing in a special way that they do it, it's a Christmas tree called the tree of life. It is something! It blew my mind! To understand some of the teachings of the things of Judaism, go back to the 'mother goddess' and 'mother earth' and the 'tree of life.' All have sinned—Jews and Gentiles!

Verse 12: "'They have all gone out of the way; together they have all become depraved. There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one! Their throats are like an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit; the venom of asps is under their lips, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.' Now then, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law… [Who is under the law?] …so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (vs 12-19).

This first righteousness—righteousness #1—is required, but it cannot bring eternal life. That's why it says, v 20: "Therefore, by works of law there shall no flesh be justified before Him… [because it's all required] …for through the Law is the knowledge of sin.

Let's add some things and think about it as we're going through. Since God is Lawgiver, is there anything that God does that does not have a lawful purpose? Even when God has created all that there is to create, it runs by law—doesn't it? Everything that God has created runs by law! So, we find that God made heaven and earth. We find that God said, 'Let there be light and there was light.' He separated the light from the darkness. Was His Word a command? God said! Was His Word then law? Yes! God said! All the way through you can find that with everything that there is: with the air, with the water, with the animals, with the land, with the birds, with the fish, with everything that there is there are laws connected with it. Same way with man; man is made in the image of God.

Now, God got done with everything that He had made, Genesis 1:31: "And God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was exceedingly good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

It dawned on me when I was studying Gen. 2, God starts out with the commandment that all human beings forget the swiftest. He reveals the Sabbath Day! That's why Jesus said that He was 'Lord of the Sabbath' because it was 'made for mankind.' Therefore, you can say the Sabbath—and all the commandments of God—are universal moral laws that God requires of all human beings. That's why He put it first, because it is the most neglected. It is the most often transgressed, and it's going to be one of the first ones that Satan's going to come along say, 'You don't need to do that.'

God shows that specifically by creation He made the Sabbath. Genesis 2:1: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And by the beginning of the seventh day God finished His work, which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He rested from all His work which God had created and made" (vs 1-3).

Now, the seven-day cycle of one week does not fit in with anything. It doesn't fit in with the monthly cycle of the moon. It doesn't fit in with equally divisible numbers with the year—as the earth goes around the sun. It is a special, perpetual, eternal sign that God is Creator! When you go through and you look at all the languages of the world, it all reflects back to Saturday is the Sabbath. I think, even in Spanish, Saturday is called 'Sabado.' I have a whole list of languages where Saturday is the Sabbath and everybody knows it. Why? Because it comes from creation!

Now then, it gives us a more detailed account of the creation of Adam and Eve, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the garden that God created.
Verse 15: "And the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it." This shows we're all responsible; we have things to do. We have to work. What does the New Testament say about work? If you won't work, you don't eat—New Testament doctrine. So, Adam was to dress it and keep it.

  • God made us to work!
  • God made us to think!
  • God made us to talk!
  • God made us to create!
  • God made us to build!

To do all of these things because we're made in the likeness and image of God.

Verse 16: "And the LORD God commanded the man…" When God spoke, it's a command! What is one of the names of Jesus Christ? The Word! He brings the Word of God! When He speaks is it of God? Yes! Same thing here

"…God commanded the man, saying, 'You may freely eat of every tree in the garden" (v 16). Not only that, before He said, 'Now look, here's the whole world, have dominion over it. Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.' Now He says, 'I'm putting you in this garden and you can eat of every tree except one

Verse 17: "But you shall not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for in the day that you eat of it in dying you shall surely die."

Then we come to the detailed creation of Eve and lo and behold, what do we have out of this? The law of marriage! Do we not, when there's a wedding ceremony, read this as part of the Law of God in binding that marriage? Yes, indeed!

Genesis 3:1: "Now the serpent was more cunning than any creature of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Is it true that God has said, "You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?"'" What is one of the first things that people come across in their belief in God? Someone is going to say you don't have to believe that; that's not necessary; God is expecting too much of you. But God has given everything!

Let's analyze this account just a little bit. Remember: Where there is no law there is no sin! If God says something, is it a law? Yes, it is! God commanded! He said don't do it. Someone came along and said 'it's all right to do.'And you know how the appeal was: It's going to make you wise; you're not going to die; you're really going to be like God. You can take that same philosophy and apply it to so many, many different things.

  • Did they break the first commandment? Yes, they did!

They put another god before the true God!

  • Did they break the second commandment? Yes, they did!

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil became their idol; that's what they wanted!

  • Did they break the third commandment? Yes, they did!

They accepted the blaspheme of Satan!

  • Did they break the fourth commandment? It doesn't tell us directly!

What does James say? If you break one point of the law, you've broken it all!

  • Did they break the fifth commandment? Yes!

God being their Creator!

  • Did they break the sixth commandment?
  • Did they break the sixth commandment? Yes, they did!

They brought the law of sin and death to all human beings!

  • Did they break the seventh commandment? Yes, spiritually!

Plus we don't know what all they got into, except they found that they were naked and they were ashamed!

  • Did they break the eighth commandment? Yes, they did!

They stole, right on down to the tenth commandment, they coveted!

So all the commandments of God were broken in this incident. Remember, where there is no law there is no sin! Was there sin? Were they cast out? Yes, they were! God then gave them hope with the promise of the coming Messiah. What else did sin do?

  • Sin removed them from the presence of God!
  • Sin removed them from the blessing of God!

Furthermore, it brought death to all human beings and now they had to go out and work in 'sweat of their brow' to produce whatever it was they had to produce.

All of this is to show that God's commandments are universal moral laws which apply to all human beings and God expects them to be kept. What do we have in Gen. 4? The difference between Cain and Abel! You know the whole account there. Abel brought an offering according to the commandments of God, which was a firstling of the flock and it was accepted. Cain brought an offering of the ground, of his own choosing, rather than what God had required.

Genesis 4:5: "But He did not have regard unto Cain and his offering. And Cain was extremely angry and his countenance fell." There you go, if you don't do it God's way, why get mad at God? Is he going to change God? Are you going to make God do something? I mean, think of it!

Verse 6: "And the LORD said to Cain, 'Why are you so angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, shall you not be accepted? But if you do not do well, sin lies at the door….'" (vs 6-7).

Remember, where there is no law there is no sin! Not only that, he was in an accusative attitude toward God. We know that this could not have been the offering of the firstfruits of the ground, because God would accept that. Where you have the firstling of the herd, you know there has to be the law the firstling of the firstfruits. Do you think that God is only going to give the firstfruit requirement to Israel alone and not give it to Adam and Eve? There couldn't be any sin! Then Cain gets mad and he gets jealous and he rises up and he kills his brother. Was there a penalty extracted for it? Yes, there was! It wasn't the death penalty, but he was sent out to be in the worst part of the earth, called the 'land of Nod' or the 'land of wandering.'

Gen. 6—here's a whole universal sin! When I get articles on tinkering with the genes, and what they are trying to do, makes you wonder when it says in Matt. 24 that 'as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man.'

  • What were they doing?
  • How bad was it? What was it that they were actually able to produce?
  • Did they have a civilization like ours, or greater? We don't know!
  • How bad was it?

Genesis 6:5: "And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.… [constantly, from his youth up] (It was so bad): …the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart" (vs 5-6).

That's pretty bad! When you go back and you understand that 'God doesn't delight in the death of the wicked.' How many times have we gone through and seen that God would hold back His hand of correction if there were someone who was righteous. But here, God was so grieved; no telling how bad it got! Could they have had a technological society like we have today? Could have! I see no reason why not. There's nothing new under the sun.

Verse 7: "And the LORD said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the crawling thing, and the fowl of the air; for I repent that I have made them.' But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (vs 7-8).

Now, it's got to be really, really bad in order to also destroy all the animals. This makes me wonder if they were not tinkering with the genetics. Are we tinkering with the genetics today? Oh, yes! Yes, indeed! Many of the things that we have that we just accept for normal: tomatoes, apples, corn, beans, wheat, rice, all has been tinkered with to make it 'better.'

Now, what if they decide to make a kosher pig? Let's cross the genes of a cow and a pig! Now what are you going to do? What would you call this? A palf! You're kind of stuck with a problem. In the movies they're beginning to portray this: half man/half beast. Could that have been a reality back then? Why destroy all life? I don't know! You can't say for certainty, but if there's any indication what they're doing today is what they were doing then, then it's something!

Gen. 11—after the Flood. There's the whole story again—peat and repeat—doing it again. This time God scattered them! Confounded their languages and scattered them! Going through and understanding righteousness #1 or the first righteousness, we need to understand that God expects all human beings to keep His laws, i.e. namely, the Ten Commandments. When He's dealing directly with the people that He's dealing with—being it Adam and Eve, or Noah, or Abraham, or Israel, or us—it's the same thing.

Exodus 19:5: "Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed…" What have we just read about what God had done? God commanded the man.

  • Did not God speak those words? Yes!
  • What is the Bible really a copulation of? The words of God, given by the One Who is called the Word of God!

He says: "…obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant…" (v 5).

What is this telling us, really? This is telling us that obeying the voice of God goes through every one of the covenants of God! And since God is Lawgiver and God commands, when He speaks, it becomes law!

  • He spoke to Adam and Eve, they didn't obey His voice!
  • The world that was before the Flood, they didn't obey His voice!
  • The world that was after the Flood, they didn't obey His voice!

—or keep His Word and His commands! So, again, He says, "…if you will obey My voice indeed and keep My covenant…"

There are some very important things concerning the life of Abraham. Now we begin to blend in the two righteousnesses in the life of Abraham, based on

  • belief
  • faith
  • the spirit
  • the letter

Genesis 12:4: "Then Abram departed, even as the LORD had spoken to him…." Everything that Abraham did, when he obeyed God, he followed along and was commended for.

Genesis 13:13: "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against the LORD, exceedingly so." Where there is no law there is no sin!which means they knew the Law of God; which means they knew the laws regarding sex. If there's any one thing that God requires of a nation, is when those laws are turned upside down and destroyed and begins affecting people's lives in a very profound way, God's judgment is not very far behind.

So, we find out Abraham went into Egypt and he was afraid because his wife was so good looking, at whatever age she was—let's just say 65 at that particular time—that the Pharaoh would take his wife from him to become the Pharaoh's wife. So, he said, 'Let's lie about this a little bit and say you're my sister.' Well, in fact she was kind of a half-sister by second cousin, something like that.

So then, sure enough the Pharaoh took Sarah and God warned him in a dream, 'Don't touch that woman!' So he didn't! Pharaoh got up and said, 'Abraham, why did you do this to me? I almost committed adultery with your wife. Why did you not tell me she was your wife?' What does this reveal? That Pharaoh knew that adultery was wrong! Remember the account of Joseph, when he was being seduced by his master's wife; he ran and fled. What did she do? She wrongfully accused him! Not the first case of sexual harassment.

Sometimes the verses in the first part of the Bible we just read over them because we don't think they're important. But each word in the first part of the Bible contains very weighty words, and there's a lot of substance behind them.

Genesis 18:19: "For I know him, that he will command his children and his house after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD… [God's way is expected in the letter of all human beings] …to do justice and judgment, that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him."

Justice and judgment is likened unto righteousness. If there are unjust judges, what does that reflect? Their lives are not righteous! If you're righteous, you're going to give just judgment. Why? Because you'll want to do what is right! This is telling us an awful lot.

Commandment-keeping is required by God of all people. We all receive things that we really don't deserve—don't we? Here God is saying to Isaac what He was going to do,

Genesis 26:4: "And I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and will give to your seed all these lands. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."

God wanted His way to go to all nations. That becomes very important so that all nations would know God's way.

Verse 5: "Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."

Since Christ is the 'same yesterday, today and forever,' which laws were those? All of them! That means the Sabbath. That means at least the beginning of the Holy Days. We can go through Abraham's life and pull out quite a few things concerning the Holy Days. With the sacrifice of Isaac, do we not have a type of the Passover with Christ? Yes, we do! You could probably go through and pick out some of the other Holy Days, too, that go along with it. So, there again, God expects that all people are to keep His commandments!

Exodus 19:5 "'Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation.'…." (vs 5-6). What were they to teach all the nations?

  • God's way!
  • God's laws!
  • God's commandments!

Deuteronomy 6:17: "You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you."

How did they receive this? They heard the voice of God! God spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, obey My voice!'

Verse 18: "And you shall do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD…" In other words, all of His commandments, all of His laws are right and good. What did the Apostle Paul say concerning the commandments of God? They're Holy, just and spiritual! All the laws!

"…so that it may be well with you…" (v 18). Does God want to see anybody suffer? No! Does he delight in the death of the wicked? No!

"…and so that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to cast out all your enemies from before you as the LORD has spoken. When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What are the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?' Then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh and upon all his household, before our eyes. And He brought us out from there so that He might bring us in to give us the land which He swore to our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes—to fear the LORD our God for our good always…'" (vs 18-24).

There are some Protestants that think that God gave the Laws of God to Israel to them harm, to do them hurt! Some people have written that the Sabbath was given as a sign of their unfaithfulness, and of the gross evilness, so therefore, 'we're justified in keeping Sunday.' Anything but following what God says!

"'…so that He might preserve us alive, as it is today. And it shall be righteousness… [righteousness #1] …for us if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God as He has commanded us'" (vs 24-25). You can go through and read all the things in there concerning what God was going to say.

Genesis 15:16: "But in the fourth generation they shall come here again… [out of Egypt] …for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." Think of it! God gave the Amorites another 400 years, plus some. Their sin was not yet to the full! Remember, where there is no law there is no sin!

Let's see some of those sins, Leviticus 18:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying… [Whenever your read that, think in the back of your mind: Obey My voice!] …'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "I am the LORD your God. As they do in the land of Egypt where you dwelt, you shall not do….'" (vs 1-3). Whatever it was that they did in there—their religion, way of life, idols, superstition—the more we find out about Egypt, the more we realize that they were in just gross satanism and demonism.

"'…And you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Neither shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall do My judgments and keep My ordinances, and walk in them. I am the LORD your God"'" (vs 3-4).

All the way through this section, and all the way through the book of Leviticus[transcriber's correction], God says, 'I am the Lord your God.' Whenever he says that He's emphasizing something.

Then He says, v 5: "And you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live in them. I am the LORD."

Here is all the letter of the Law, which means if it's in the letter of the law, please understand that the spirit is even more binding! What did Jesus say concerning—because these list all the sex sins—adultery? You have heard it said in past times, 'You shall not commit adultery,' but I say to you, you shall not look upon a woman to lust after her in your heart, because you have committed adultery with her already!

Wherever the first righteousness is. the letter of law is required, know and understand that the spirit of the law is greater and more binding. Then God shows right here you shall not approach your mother, your father, your aunt, your uncle, your brother, your sister, your cousin; or any animal; or homosexuality—male or female.

Verse 24: "Do not defile yourselves in any of these things, for in all these the nations which I cast out before you are defiled…. [because of sin] …And the land is defiled. Therefore I visit its wickedness against it, and the land itself vomits out those who live in it. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, neither the native, nor any stranger that lives among you" (vs 24-26). What is this telling us? God expects even strangers to obey the laws!

"For the men of the land who were before you have done all these abominations, and the land is defiled. You shall not do these so that the land may not spew you out also when you defile it, as it spewed out the nations that were before you; for whoever… [anybody] …shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. And you shall keep My ordinance, so as not to do any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves in them. I am the LORD your God" (vs 25-30).

(go to the next track)

  • What are these called? Ordinances!
  • What are they based upon? The seventh commandment; You shall not commit adultery!

A sub-category of the seventh commandment!

  • Does God expect everyone to keep those laws? Yes!
  • Did even the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, the Hittites, the Jebusites all commit these things?
  • What did God do? God judged them and sent them off!

Where there is no law, there is no sin!

I want to mention this: You can read all of the Prophets and in that you will see that God has specific prophesies concerning nations because of their sins. Especially read the book of Amos. He says, 'For three sins, yea, and for four. In Syria, Damascus, in Judah, in Israel, and Ammon.' Where there is no law, there is no sin! Therefore, for those sins and transgressions, God has judgment. The whole of the prophets have to do with all the world sinning, if you want to summarize it.

I need to define, again, the two kinds of righteousnesses. We will see that always:

  • the first kind of righteousness is required of anyone converted and unconverted.
  • the second righteousness is a gift of God, which you cannot earn!

It's not required by people that God does not call. Have you ever thought of that? God has to call in order for you to have the second righteousness given to you. What did Jesus say? None can come unto Me except the Father Who sent Me draw him! Can you walk up to God and demand the second righteousness? Well, if it's a gift, the Giver has to decide whom He's going to give it to! You can't demand it from God! The first righteousness is required by everyone.

Now, let's see what Jesus says in  Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." The things pertaining to Himself and the things pertaining to all the prophecies, and those who believe He did away with the Law.

Then you have to ask that since you believe that He did away with the Law, did He do away with the Prophets? If you believe that Jesus Christ is returning, according to the prophecies, then you must believe that He didn't do away with the Prophets. Since there is judgment for sin, you have to believe that the laws and commandments of God are still in effect, otherwise, there is no sin—for where there is no law there is no sin! If Christ abolished everything, and abolished the Law, there is no sin! Therefore, you don't have to repent because there's no such thing as a sinner. You might have to go over that again.

Verse 18: "For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away… [it's still here] …one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled." Of course, everything hasn't been fulfilled. Remember what we started out with: 'If you will indeed' obey My voice!

Verse 19: "Therefore, whoever… [Just for Jews? 'Whosoever' means any person!] …shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven…"—required of everybody. Which laws? Not one jot or one title! What do you know about that!

"…but whoever shall practice and teach them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" (vs 19-20).

They kept the laws of God in the letter. What was their sin with the laws of God? You can have sin on both sides: righteousness #1 and righteousness #2!

What was their sin of righteousness #1that God required them to do? Not believing in Christ was a sin, but not pertaining to the Law. They added! What did God say? You shall not add to or diminish a word what I tell you! What did they do? They added to and made their righteousness a counterfeit of the righteousness of God #1!

This is why He is saying, "…unless your righteousness exceed what they are doing…" How can your righteousness 'exceed' the commandments of God, which are called righteous? Only if you have the second righteousness given to you! That comes with God's Spirit. Read all of Matt. 5 & 6. He shows how it should be kept in the spirit. Are those based on the laws and commandments of God? Yes! Every single one of them is!

Now we blend from the first righteousness into the second righteousness, Matthew 6:33: "But as for you, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…" You can take this and do an awful lot with this verse. Has God ever sinned? No! God created the Sabbath, and God created humans beings; He gave His commandments and His laws.

We are to "…seek His righteousness…" in Whom there is no sin! That's why we're to hunger and thirst after that righteousness. What if someone comes along and says, 'Look, I really don't think we ought to keep the commandments of God, we ought to just have love,' which is what you hear. Well, we have two answers to that: Jesus answers the question, and He really sets the stage for everything that there is. Remember, the two things that we're repeating in the 'indeed, if you will obey My voice' and 'where there is no law there is no sin!' Jesus gave the 'great law' and the commandment:

Matthew 22:37: "And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment" (vs 37-38).

That's what needs to be taught, because if you really love God then you will do what He wants. You will truly obey His voice.

Verse 39: "And the second one is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (vs 39-40). So, for those who say we ought to have love, yes, that's true, we ought to have love; but then:

  • What hangs from that love? All the Law and the Prophets!
  • Is any of it done away? No!

You can ask this question:

  • Do you believe that love is done away? They will say, 'Of course, not!'

Jesus then said, 'If you love Me keep My commandments'!

  • If you love God, what are you going to do? Keep His commandments!
  • Why? Because all of His commandments are based on love!
  • What if they still say they don't want to do that, but:
    • we're going to be selective and we're going to do what we think is right
    • we're going to use the name of Jesus because we know He is the Savior
    • we're going to go out and we're going to do lots of good works, because we know He's our Master
    • we know we're doing New Testament things
    • but as far as keeping that Law, we don't believe we have to keep the Law

Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing [practicing] the will of My Father Who is in heaven."

  • Is it God's will that you reject His commandments? No!
  • Is God righteous? Yes!
  • Is His will righteous? Yes!
  • What was God's will when he spoke to the children of Israel?
  • What was God's will when He spoke to Adam and Eve?
  • What was God's will when He judged the other nations?
  • Was it not His will, based on righteousness, that they were sinning, they were going against God? Yes!

So, you have to be practicing "…the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?'" (vs 21-22).

All of those should be done. There's nothing wrong with what they did. And that's the point! People look at those things and they say, 'Since you want to keep the commandments, how can you say these things are wrong?' No one is saying those things are not right!

  • Is it not good to cast out demons in the name of Christ? Yes!
  • Is it not good to help the poor and suffering in the name of Jesus? Yes!
  • Does that give you license to do away with the Word of God, the commandments of God? No!

So, good works on your own, using the name of Jesus, won't get you into the Kingdom of Heaven

  • Will it? Can't!
  • Why? Because that's your works!

Now, let's look at the religion of this world. What is their self-work? Sunday! They have Christmas, Easter and Hanukkah. We might as well put in Hanukkah, though the original thing was correct, it is as pagan as Christmas. Trust me! I can't give you all the details today, but it is!

Verse 23: "And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you….'" The only way you're going to be in the Kingdom of Heaven is to have a knowing relationship with Christ!

It's amazing how these verses all cross-reference; 1-John 2:3: "And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments. The one who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (vs 3-4).

Matthew 7:23: "And then I will confess to them, "I never knew you…."

  • Why?
  • How can you say you love the Lord if you don't do what He says?
  • How can you say that you live a Christian life in love if you reject the commandments of God?

You can't!

"'…Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness [iniquity]'" (v 23). Whosoever sins, transgresses the Law, for sin is transgression of the Law'—or lawlessness! Isn't it interesting that there are so may religionists who want to do away with the laws of God and still claim all of the blessings. But God says you can't do that.

Verse 24: "Therefore, everyone… [anyone in the world. That's why the Bible was written this way] …who hears these words of Mine… [if you will hear My voice; if you will obey My voice!

"…and practices them, I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the Rock" (vs 24-25). Christ is the Rock!

See how basic all of this is. We realize that this is basic, but it's also very deep and profound. What is the 'bait and switch' that happens? After you've been in the Church for years and years, someone comes along and says, 'Yea, hath God said'; and then begins introducing false doctrine within the Church. So, this applies over and over again: "…a wise man, who built his house upon the rock" {note: 1-Cor. 3, about the 'foundation is Christ' and you are building there upon.} Building implies work. Are you going to build a house sitting around thinking about it?

Pat's staying on some property with a man who's building a Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and he's got faith, because he's already got the foundation in the ground and he's hoping he will get the permit. Those of you in construction know that one of things they always do is inspect to make sure that no construction has started before the permit is issued. That building is not going to be built unless there is work.

1-Corinthians 3:11: "For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ…. [the Rock] …Now if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble, the work of each one shall be manifested…" (vs 11-13).

Is work required in the New Testament? Yes! Work based upon what? Faith! James says, 'You show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.' There are a lot of people building with 'wood, hay and stubble.' When it gets real dry and it gets real hot, all of that's going to explode in their face and they're going to wonder what on earth is happening?

Matthew 7:24: "…I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock; and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; but it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock" (vs 24-25).

We have to understand that the rain and the floods and the wind are all likened to trials of life. It's going to beat upon the house. How many here have had perfect peace and calm in their Christian life? Or have you been more like the disciples in the boat as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee? Jesus was asleep and they said, 'Lord!' They went to wake Him up—'We're going to sink!' He commanded the wind, commanded the storm, everything came to a great calm, and said, 'Oh, you of little faith.'

We've all had that! The thing is, if you're founded on the Rock, your not going to fall! You may stumble, you may stagger, you may be kind of knocked out of shape a little bit, but you're not going to fall, because it was founded on a Rock.

Verse 26: "And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not practice them shall be compared to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand… [Matt. 25—the ten virgins; five wise, five foolish—correct? Again, wise and foolish!] …and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it" (vs 26-27).

There was a storm over on the east coast which was supposed to come and wipe out Cuba, but somehow it backed up and went the other way and came around on the backside of Florida, the east side, cut across Florida, went south again, then went north and wiped out all those homes right along the North and South Carolina coast. They were built on the sand dunes! It showed this one picture of this tremendous house. They had all these pillars all sunk down into the sand and here comes this hurricane—big waves, I mean, monster waves, just take your breath away—and then it started eating away. The house began to sag and then just like everything else, here comes this one last huge wave and just wiped out the house to sea and that was it.

Everyone is going to have trials. You think because you're in the Church of God you're the only one in the world who has trials? Everybody in the world has trials.

So, "…the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it. Now it came to pass that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; for He taught them as oneWho had authority, and not as the scribes" (vs 27-29). You better believe that He taught as One having authority, because He was the Son of God!

Luke 17:5: "Then the apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.' But the Lord said, 'If you had faith as a tiny mustard seed, you might say to this sycamine tree, "Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea," and it would obey you. But which of you having a servant plowing or shepherding will immediately say to him when he comes in from the field, 'Come and sit down and eat'? Rather, will he not say to him, "Prepare what I may eat, and gird yourself, and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterwards you may eat and drink"? Is he thankful to that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not" (vs 5-9).

We could add in here to reflect back to The Two Righteousnesses #1—Job, where are you? He thought that all the things that he was commanded to do should earn him something with God. It didn't!

Verse 10: "Likewise, you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, 'We are unprofitable servants, because we have done that which we were obligated to do.'" Righteousness #1 is everyone's duty to do! That's why when the young man came to Jesus and said, 'Good Master, what should I do that I may inherit eternal life?' Jesus said to keep the commandments! 'Which ones?' Go sell all that you have and come and follow Me! Now I think we'll be able to understand Romans 9 & 10 very clearly, once we understand there are two righteousnesses:

  • the letter of the law, which God requires of all human beings
  • the righteousness of Christ, which can only be given and imputed to you as a gift of God; you cannot earn it

Romans 9:30: "What then shall we say? That the Gentiles…" Gentiles is just a Jewish word which really means nations. If you have a New King James version, it probably has 'nations' there.

"…who did not follow after righteousness… [because God didn't give them the Ten Commandments; they weren't trying to follow righteousness] …have attained righteousness, even the righteousness that is by faith" (v 30). There are the two righteousnesses:

  • of the law
  • of faith

Verse 31: "But Israel, although they followed after a law of righteousness [#1], did not attain to a law of righteousness [#2]. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by works of law; for they stumbled at the Stone of stumbling, exactly as it is written: 'Behold, I place in Sion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense, but everyone who believes in Him shall not be ashamed.'" (vs 31-33).

Romans 10:1: "Brethren, the earnest desire of my heart and my supplication to God for Israel is for salvation. For I testify of them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge…. [Were they sincere? Yes! If you are sincere—but not according to knowledge—does that count? No! God is Lawgiver!] …For they, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God…. [#1 or #2] …For Christ is the end of works of law for righteousness…" (vs 1-4).

This is where the Protestants come in and say, 'Yes, Christ ended the law'; doesn't mean that whatsoever. Christ is the end purpose, the 'teleios,' If you keep the law of righteousness #1, it is to lead you to Christ and righteousness #2! That is the purpose of righteousness #1. Doesn't end it! Otherwise, there would be no sinners. It's not the end of the law. He is the purpose of the law for righteousness!

"…to everyone who believes!" (v 4). Then Paul goes on to describe the second righteousness, righteousness #2, which only God can give. But he describes by beginning with the first righteousness.

Verse 5: "For Moses wrote concerning the righteousness [#1] that comes through the Law, 'The man who has practiced those things shall live by them.'" They weren't doing that!

Verse 6: "But the righteousness [#2] that comes through faith speaks after this manner: 'Do not say in your heart, "Who shall ascend up to heaven?"' (that is, to bring Christ down.) 'Or, "Who shall descend into the abyss?"' (that is, to bring Christ up from among the dead.) But what does it say? 'The Word is near to you, in your mouth and in your heart.' This is the word of faith that we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness [#2]…" (vs 6-10)—because God gives it to you.

Romans 4:21—concerning Abraham: "For he was fully persuaded that what He has promised, He is also able to do. As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness [#2]…. [Which is the righteousness of Christ; must be given, you can't earn it. It is given when you believe!] …But it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; rather, it was also written for our sakes, to whom it shall be imputed—to those who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised for our justification" (vs 21-25).

Romans 5:17: "For if by the offense of the one man [Adam] death reigned by the one, how much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness [#2]…"—that God looks at you through the eyes of Christ; that God views you as Christ.

You still do righteousness #1 and now with Christ in you—this gift of righteousness—with the Holy Spirit of God in you? It writes the laws and commandments in your heart and in your mind! How does a person behave? By what they think! That's how! This is a gift!

"…reign in life by the One, Jesus Christ.) So then, even as by the one transgression condemnation came unto all men, in the same way also, by the one act of righteousness shall justification of life come unto all men. For even as by the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, in the same way also, by the obedience of the one Man shall many be made righteous" (vs 17-19).

Why? Because Christ in you is the hope of glory! Christ in you is going to motivate you with the love of God. Can you earn that? No!

Verse 20: "Moreover, the law entered… [to show what sin is] …so that transgression might abound; but where sin abounded, the grace of God did super-abound; so that even as sin has reigned unto death, so also might the grace of God reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (vs 20-21).

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?" (vs 1-2). Then he goes through the whole thing showing:

  • why we were baptized unto the death of Christ
  • we're to walk in newness of life
  • be obedient from the heart unto the righteousness that is in Christ

Those are the two righteousnesses! Where it says in 1-John 3, that 'if you are practicing righteousness, you are righteous even as He is righteous,' because Christ is in you! That is a gift of God, which leads to the eternal life, which can only come from the righteousness of Christ! Remember, there are the two righteousnesses:

  • Letter of the law!
  • Christ in you!

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

Scriptural References:

  • 1 John 3:4-8
  • James 4:12
  • Romans 4:15
  • Romans 3:9-20
  • Genesis 1:31
  • Genesis 2:1-3, 15-17
  • Genesis 3:1
  • Genesis 4:5-7
  • Genesis 6:5-8
  • Exodus 19:5
  • Genesis 12:4
  • Genesis 13:13
  • Genesis 18:19
  • Genesis 26:4-5
  • Exodus 19:5-6
  • Deuteronomy 6:17-25
  • Genesis 15:16
  • Leviticus 18:1-5, 24-30
  • Matthew 5:17-20
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Matthew 22:37-40
  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • 1 John 2:3-4
  • Matthew 7:23-25
  • 1 Corinthians 3:11-13
  • Matthew 7:24-29
  • Luke 17:5-10
  • Romans 9:30-33
  • Romans 10:1-10
  • Romans 4:21-25
  • Romans 5:17-21
  • Romans 6:1-2

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 24
  • Genesis 11
  • Matthew 25

Also referenced:

  • Books: The Origin of Judaism (20 vol. Set)
  • Sermon: The Two Righteousnesses #1

Transcribed: 10-26-10
Reformatted/Corrected: November-December/2016