Now in this series that is going out to the churches, we have gone through Romans and Galatians and I Corinthians and II Corinthians and all writings of the apostle Paul. And one remark I might make about the books that were inspired by God, but written by Paul is that most of these writings are corrective. Now thereís one scripture that says that God corrects every son or every person we might say whom He loves ó every son, of course thatís speaking of those in the church not of the world. By the way that is interesting that there is nothing that I know of in the Bible that says that God is really correcting the world. He pretty much lets them go their own way. But people misunderstand Godís correction and Godís punishment.
In this world if a man commits a crime, we want to make him suffer. In other words we want revenge we want to get even. If he did something weíre going to make him suffer for that. Now God doesnít want any of us to suffer. Godís punishment is always corrective not getting revenge not getting even. The old idea and incidentally it was the pagan religion and itís an idea on which Judaism was founded. Judaism is not the religion that Moses received from God.
Judaism is a perversion of it, itís taking the rituals that God had given to Israel, which they thought were a little irksome and they didnít like to do, and using the pagan idea that whatever you have done that is wrong. You must punish yourself an equal amount, suffer to expiate and make it right. And I have heard that they even had boards for someone to walk on. And they would drive nails through so that the sharp part of the nail was sticking up on the upper side, and people had to walk barefoot on that and the nails would tear right through the flesh, and right into the bone of the foot, just to punish themselves.
Now God does not punish us in order to equal what we did. Thatís why Christ came and died for us. Christís sacrifice does not apply unless or until we repent of what we have done. Now just being sorry you did it is not repenting.
A lot of people do not understand what repentance is. Repentance really means turning around and going the other way. Repentance is a change of mind. It says that God repented, but it doesnít mean that God had done wrong and was repenting of a wrong He had done. He changed His mind about something. And repenting really means you changed your mind about the way youíve been living. You decided it was wrong and youíre going to turn around and go Godís Way and live Godís Way from now on.
Now thatís all God wants. Youíve been doing wrong and itís hurting you and Godís punishment is to prevent you from having to go on hurting you anymore. If you turn away from it and you donít do it and donít continue to bring all that punishment on yourself then, by accepting the blood of Christ, He paid that penalty in your stead and you donít have to pay it. Youíre left free from that moment on. All God wants is that you change the direction of your life and begin to live a different way.
Now I know, maybe youíve committed certain sins in the past and they bother you and they trouble you, but have you repented have you turned from them? Have you confessed them to God? Have you asked God to forgive? Have you accepted the blood of Christ in payment for it, if so itís washed out? God isnít thinking about it anymore. People think if you ever committed a sin now theyíve got something on you. Theyíll, theyíll use it theyíll use any way they can on you. We have all committed sin.
And thatís the first thing we are going to go into in this lesson today. We have all committed sin and all God wants is that we quit doing it. The whole thing about the Christian religion is a way of life.
There are two ways of life, thatís what I am continuing to put in the Wall Street Journal Advertising, in the advertising pages. One way is give, thatís the way of I call it give, and it means out flowing love, itís love to God and love to neighbor, but that is away from yourself. Self-love or lust is the opposite direction. And people misunderstand love and some people call lust, in sex, love, especially a lot of teenagers today. That isnít love at all thatís lust.
Love is a spiritual quantity that goes out to the one you love, of doing something for the one that you love not just for something for yourself and your enjoyment. So the way of out flowing love is the way of co-operation and the way of helping and serving and sharing.
Now the opposite of that, I term get and it is simply the way of self-centeredness instead of humility and obedience to God. It is the way of coveting and wanting to get for yourself, it is the way toward others of a feeling of opposition of jealousy and envy and of competition. And the world is full of competition. We glorify competition. In this world competition is a wonderful thing.
The real author of competition is Satan the Devil. Of course the world doesnít believe thereís any Satan. And thatís something that I hope we can get into, I donít know if weíll have time to get into all of it today. Some of you will have to catch a plane, now, Iíll have toÖ Iíll try to keep that in mind, by-the-way, so that you can get back on time.
But now we finished last Sabbath, there werenít very many here, but we did finish the first chapter of Ephesians and there really is a great deal in that. If you just read it carelessly, youíll think well, he didnít say much of anything in that first chapter. Well if you were here last Sabbath, I think you would think Paul said quite a lot in that first chapter, but you have to stop and really get the meaning out of each verse as you go along.
But now coming to the second chapter:
Ephesians 2:1 And you, [he is speaking now remember to the church, when he says you, he is speaking to the members of the church. ] You hath He quickened [That is made alive through the Holy Spirit, is really the meaning of quicken and sometimes it means resurrected, or made alive is the meaning of it.]
Let me see in the Revised Standard, it says here made alive.
Ephesians 2:1 (RSV) And you He made alive. [That probably is in better modern English.] Who were dead in trespasses and sins
Now, Paul is writing this as a letter. How does he know that every single individual, some of them might have been converted since Paul was up there? How did he know that they had been dead in trespasses and sins? Because all have been? You can just say that you donít have to check up on each individual. You can be sure that any and everybody has been going that way. In other words the way you live and itís the way that brings on trouble, it brings on strife.
Iíve been trying to put in some to the Wall Street Journal ads. There seems no limit to what man can do in the physical and material realm. The marvelous things weíve done. Iíve said in ads recently, if a Lincoln, an Emerson or a letís see I used a great financier name there, Vanderbilt, could come back to life; they all died before I was born and before the end of the last century. And I had one in the realm of finance and one in the realm of politics and government and one in the realm of literature. And if they could come back, they would just think it was awesome; the things that are done today.
Why they would even think television is an awesome thing. You just sit there and look in a box and you see what is going on somewhere else in the world and itís transmitted instantaneously from half way around the earth by satellite. We fly men to the moon and back, and some of the modern machines like the computer, theyíre blockbusters, theyíre brain shatters, the things that we can do and yet theyíre not always perfected right away and men make a lot of mistakes in that.
And there are imperfections, but man keeps at it and finally he succeeds in things like that. But the same man that can do those things canít even manage his own family at home. He canít get along with his wife, or he canít get along with his children, or he canít get along with his next door neighbor.
And then we have groups that donít get along with one another. Men against women today. We were just thinking up some things that Mr. Rader was helping me get together, a group of things last night for a Wall Street Journal ad Itís the women now against the men, but there are divisions now and troubles between parents and children, between black and white, between capital and labor, between male and female and it just seems that there is just this contention. Person against person and our troubles we donít realize are spiritual in nature. The achievements in this world are physical and material in nature.
Now that is only common sense that is not a maudlin religion, a sentimental religion. That is down to earth common sense. That is factual and the religion that Jesus Christ brought and if the true religion after the name of Christ or after the name of God has to do with the way you live. All of our troubles in the world come from the way weíve been living. And religion begins with repenting, thatís changing the way you live. Itís just that simple. The blood of Christ only applies, if you have done it.
They tell people just receive Christ, get on the getting side not the giving side. Get Christ, accept Christ, receive Christ, let Christ come into your heart. You get, get, get, take. But they donít have anything to say about sharing and giving and obeying God. Obeying God, what does God want you to do? Does God want you to do something you ought not to do? God does not want you to do one thing that is not good for you. Everything God wants you do is something that is good for you or He wouldnít want you to do it, because God is love and God loves us; more than we love ourselves by far, and in a way that we donít even realize.
Now then, itís just this simple, you have to turn around go the other way, you have to change your lifestyle, change you way of living, give up the way youíve been living, give up the way of this world, itís all wrong. How did Paul know that they had been dead spiritually? They were spiritually dead.
Now all of these things that have to do with our happiness or with the troubles in the world are spiritual in nature. The things we can accomplish, the things we can achieve are physical and material in nature. That we can do, but when it comes to spiritual things, we are just helpless, utterly helpless.
I think when I watch things on television, when I have seen it, itís on Friday night so I donít look at it too often, but I have looked at it and sometimes I think maybe might be a good way to spend that part of the Sabbath. Washington Week I think they call it. Itís on our channel 6 here in Tucson, which is Public Television. It is not one of the networks a commercial network, but it is a group of the chief newspaper correspondents or writers of the larger, greater newspapers in Washington.
You will nearly always see a man from the Washington Post or the other Washington newspaper on it. Nearly always youíll see someone from the New York Times, very often from the Los Angeles Times, sometimes the Chicago Tribune, and quite often the Baltimore Sun and they sit there, five of them, they sit around the table and discuss the events of the past week. Now they discuss it in an intellectual manner and those men are knowledgeable men. Or you get a group of chief executives of great corporations. And they are men of great knowledge, they are men of great ability, but when it comes to spiritual things they are helpless. They are less than little children.
And yet they feel and filled with vanity because they have achievement in the material world. And they think theyíre pretty great because theyíve accomplished this and that and the other thing. But the things that are most important of all are the spiritual values and in this world we have lost this true value. The true values are spiritual. And society has lost that.
Now Paul was able to say that you were spiritually dead, because everybody had been. As in Adam all die and all have sinned in Adam. And all of Adam's children and he knew that. Now why? Weíre going to learn that as we get right into the next verse.
Ephesians 2:2 wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world.
Thatís it and people donít want to be disturbed. They want to go on in this world. They think this is a pretty good world. There was a man Mr. Rader and I were talking about, Mr. Rader saw him the night I was speaking in Cairo, and this man is an executive and very highly paid executive. He is a very successful man and he is able to live in very good style. He respected Mr. Armstrong, he said. My position and I was able to speak before this group of very important people over there in Cairo.
I guess many of the most important people in Egypt and all that, but he didnít agree with me in saying that things are bad in the world. With fifty percent or more of people are illiterate, fifty percent are poverty stricken living in filth and squalor, all the crime that is going on around the world, homes being broken up, our civilization going to pieces. He says I think this is a pretty good world.
In other words heís well fixed financially, heís got it made, heís able to live good. He said, what do I care If 2 billion people are going hungry? And if too big a percentage of their little children are starving to death. I donít know about it and I donít want to know, that isnít hurting me. Iím not suffering. What if they are illiterate? What if they donít have what Iíve got, Iíve got it. I only love me, see I just care about myself.
Let me tell you that man is riding to a fall and he doesnít know it. And heís riding to a very great fall, his time is coming. Heís going to rue those words. I think I may I think it may be a good idea to run an ad in the Wall Street Journal. I wonít mention the manís name, fact I canít mention the manís name because Mr. Rader didnít tell me. I donít even know his name. But there was such a man and he probably will read the ad, but I wonít identify him and I think itís the subject of a very good ad, because he is a Wall Street Journal man. He thinks this is a pretty good world.
Now thatís the way with people if they hear Godís Truth, they say well I think this world is pretty good. Iím getting along alright in it and I donít care about anyone else. I tell you, as long as we all feel that way brethren, the world is in bad shape. Until we do begin to care a little about our neighbor and about others. In the meantime we might as well realize they donít care anything about us either. And youíre going to come to the place where youíll find that the others feel like you did, and they feel like that toward you, and they donít care about you when you need them.
So he says: Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world.
Now what is the course of this world? How is this world walking?
Ephesians 2:2 Öaccording to the prince of the power of the air, the spiritÖ[heís talking about not a human being but a spirit. This is spirit being,] the spirit.
Ephesians 2:2 Öaccording to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works, now works in the children of disobedience.
And we all did do it, thatís the children of disobedience of the people in the world and we went along with the world and we were part of it. Why then who is leading this world: the spirit of disobedience, the prince of the power of the air. Now how does the prince of the power of the air get to us? How does he work?
There are a dozen big sermons and long articles written, I mean in that subject right there, we stopped to look at it. The people have been deceived. He is talking about Satan the Devil. Now it isnít, it isnít popular to believe in a Satan anymore. The world likes to forget about him and we come to that in the third chapter. Itís a mystery and people donít understand it. A mystery is something you canít see in, you canít feel, you canít taste, you canít smell and you donít understand. Itís mysterious to you. So a lot of people just donít believe it exists. But you turn back here to, the twelfth chapter of Revelation and it talks about here in the seventh verse:
Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon: and the dragon fought and his angels.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:
Now in the twentieth chapter of Revelation you find it really explained a little more concretely. The twentieth chapter:
Revelation 20:1-2 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2)And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
Now that will happen pretty soon, it has not happened yet. But the Devil has deceived the whole world. The Devil is now working in the children of disobedience. Those in the church were dead while they went that way, the way of the world. The Devil has led the world in the way of get. The way of competition, the way of I love me, I donít love you. And the whole world is going that way and it likes that way, and it wants to keep on going that way and the world is in trouble. And itís in deep trouble.
Itís like a man though, is in a dream, it might even be a night mare and he doesnít want to be awakened from it. He wants to go on dreaming it until he is finished with his dream. And there are too many like that. Now letís go a little further. Letís take second Corinthians the eleventh chapter is what I want. Second Corinthians thatís back a few pages Ė Paul said here in the eleventh chapter of second Corinthians. To the people at Corinth he had written this:
II Corinthians 11: 3 But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Now thereís a reason why I read that just in that order. First we all were once in this world and swayed by the world, as the Devil has been influencing and leading the world. How does the Devil do it? Well I want to come to that in a moment, but he swayed mother Eve and heís been swaying the world ever since. Now it is Satan the Devil and he has deceived the whole world.
Now Paul was afraid here that those in the church might be beguiled. They had once come out of the way of Satan and chosen the way of God or the way of give instead of get. And now heís afraid lest they be beguiled and go back into that way again. Thatís precisely what has happened in the church of God in some of our top leading men. Our leading ministers, some of them. And yet they be, why theyíd get so indignant and say, donít you tell me that Satan ever got to me, Satan never could get to me. Well Satan did get to every one of them. After they had once overcome him, they fell down before him again. And Satan did get to them. And Paul was fearful lest Satan get to those that had come out of the world and had come to Christ and they go back and the Devil would beguile them again
Now heís the prince of the power of the air. That gets back to all of this about the fact that we are made of the dust of the ground, but there is a spirit in man. And in going through the book of Corinthians: the very second chapter of I Corinthians, we read how in man there is a spirit; that is there is a little portion of spirit in every person. And that spirit of itself, canít see, itís your brain that sees through the eye. That spirit canít hear anything, your brain hears through the ear. Itís a sense of vibration.
And the spirit canít smell, itís your nose that smells, but of course, itís your brain that really does it through the nose you might say. And the knowledge all comes through the brain. And the only knowledge that can come through the brain is that that can come through the senses of sight or hearing or smelling or tasting or feeling. And you cannot see spirit, you canít hear spirit, you canít taste it, smell it or feel it.
So the average person does not know anything about spirit, but there is a spirit in man and that spirit imparts the power of intellect through the physical brain. The physical brain sees the physical brain canít remember everything it sees. We can remember it about as much as an animal. A dog can remember certain things. An elephant can remember even better than a dog. Animals can remember certain things. They know their master. They know a certain other dog. They do know certain things, but they canít think, they canít reason.
They canít undergo the thinking process. Iíll tell you why. The knowledge that comes to their mind is not stored up and they donít have a computer that stores up that knowledge and will give them instant recall of this and that and the other knowledge that they got yesterday, last year, a year before or several years before.
The spirit in man is a computer and that spirit programs or your brain programs into the spirit whatever knowledge comes to it that it sees or that it hears or that it smells or tastes. Itís stored in the computer. You tell me to look back when I was three years old instantly I think of a great grandfather and great uncle that were both in their nineties and one of them I remember fell down my grandfatherís stairs. And the fall killed him: he was about ninety-three years of age.
Instantly I remember that and I may not of thought of it for years and years. You mention five years old ó I think of a mourning doleful clang of a school bell one block away from where we lived at that time. Oh that was the most mournful sound, that old school bell. I went to kindergarten there when I was five years old. I remember that, that wasnít stamped in the grey matter of my brain; contrary to the psychiatrist. That was stamped in the spirit. It had to be, because in the resurrection we donít come back in this body.
This body dies and that physical brain goes and itís gone, it rots, it decays. But thereís something in you thatís going to come back in the resurrected life that will remember everything and youíll still have the same character you have and thatís all retained in that spirit in everybody Ė but thatís a mystery Ė people donít understand it.
Here are these men that sit discussing the Washington Week, and the events that happened in the world and in the nation, in the week. Theyíre very knowledgeable men. Some of them are men of great accomplishments. Maybe they bring in a chief executive of a billion dollar corporation or something like that, course theyíre really proud of themselves. Theyíre men of accomplishment and they are filled with vanity. I know them Ė Iíve known them ever since I was, let me see, I began dealing with them when I was twenty-two years of age. And I first knew the first one when I was nineteen. And Iíve been knowing plenty of millionaires ever since.
They are just human beings like the rest of us, but some of them have accomplished more in life than the rest of us have Ė but theyíre pretty proud of that. Theyíre very knowledgeable of it. Theyíve got a lot of self-confidence, which a lot of it is vanity, but they donít know their weakness. I always I learned and somewhere I read when I was Ė I donít know whether I was eighteen or twenty, or even sixteen at the time, but I read this and I remembered it all my life, it is a wise man who knows his weaknesses and his limitations, as well as his strengths.
I have always tried to realize Ė everybody, whether he knows it or not, has an inferiority complex. But most men try to ride right over it and let vanity crowd any feeling of inferiority out of their mind. And they keep telling themselves that Ė I am successful; I am a great man; I am big; I am powerful, and they get to really believing it.
Did you know that the most ignorant people in this world are the most highly educated? Because theyíre educated in materialistic knowledge, thatís all you get in the colleges and universities of this world. Materialistic knowledge. They have lost the true values. They donít know anything about the spiritual values.They donít know the way of life. They donít know the cause of all of our troubles. They donít know why weíre not getting along well in the world. They donít know whatís wrong with our civilization. They just donít know. They themselves are so weak, and they donít know their own weaknesses. Theyíre very conscience of their strengths.
I have always known my weaknesses, but Iíve tried to learn that I can know my strengths too. And I know where my chief strength is and itís not in here. Itís up above and it comes from God and from Christ and thatís where the great strength really is. And everybody can tap that source of strength if he wants to. But you have to go Ė well thereís the old saying in the Bible Ė two cannot walk together except they be agreed. You canít walk with God or with Christ unless you agree with them.
Iíve had to suffer a great deal, because I canít walk with my own son, itís because he doesnít agree Ė he has said publicly, I never did agree with my father. Well that hurts! But I have to agree with what God says and if someone else doesnít agree with it, I canít say well, Iíll agree with you and disagree with God.
Iím going to walk with God and with Christ and sometimes thatís a little hard and you canít always walk with everybody in the world who doesnít agree with that. You just canít. I never let a day go by without praying for reconciliation, because I believe in the family relationship and it should be kept inviolate Ė but you canít walk together except you be in agreement. And I wonít compromise on agreement. Thatís one thing I have not been willing to compromise with Ė the Truth of God. And anyone who really knows me knows me knows that, that in the ministry in the work of God I have never compromised and I wonít compromise. Others may be willing.
Well now, that spirit in man. God is a spirit. Satan is a spirit. Satan gets to us through the spirit when we are little. Iíd like to turn back for just a moment now, before we go on to the next verse to, let me see, I think its Ezra the first chapter.
Ezra 1:1-2 Now in the first year of Cyrus the king of Persia, [this goes way, way back five hundred years before Christ.] that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Eternal stirred up the spirit of Cyrus the king of Persia, [and this was in his very first year as king. He had just taken over the throne. It had been the Chaldean Empire and now the Persian Empire had taken it over.] That he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, (2) Thus says Cyrus King of Persia. The Eternal God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
And he gave this proclamation to send people back. How did God speak to him? He didnít go there and speak to him Ė He stirred up the spirit in Cyrus. Cyrus had this human spirit in him and God being a spirit being could communicate to the physical brain of Cyrus through the spirit in Cyrus. Only a spirit Ė howís a spirit going to reach a brain? It can reach a spirit, but the spirit thatís already in you, is in connection with your brain.
Now if God could reach Cyrus through the spirit stirring up the spirit in Cyrus, the Devil can do it. Heís a spirit being and he is the prince of the power of the air. And Satan is stirring up the spirit in every human being if we will let him and it begins when you are Ė I donít know whether itís one, two, or three months old. A little infant, a baby, as soon as that little infant mind begins to think, Satan a spirit, works on that spirit in that little baby and puts into that baby a little bit of the attitude of self-centeredness.
You take a couple of babies about nine months old, put them on the floor in a room together and put one toy there that each one is going to enjoy. And watch and see them go after it, and youíll see that already Satan has gotten selfishness in there and they were not born with that. That is not an inherited characteristic that is a characteristic that is put there by Satan in every individual. You were not born with it.
That is the start of what we call human nature, getting into human beings. And it starts with every infant. From the time of infancy and we grow up and by the time we are sixteen years old, Satan has got us mature in his way.
Now there are two kinds of maturity, I would say three types of maturity. One type of maturity, you are of age by the time youíre sixteen in the Devilís way of selfishness. And some of the worldís greatest crimes are caused by sixteen year old kids. A kid can be really dangerous at age sixteen. Now Satan doesnít influence everyone alike and a lot depends on what had been the teachings of that child as he grew up too. And many, too many cases Satanís influence has been counter acted, because itís not only heredity but itís also environment that influences us, and what we are and environment includes every external influence and that includes that of Satan. It also includes the teaching of parents the teaching that you get from other kids your own age Ė your peers and everything else that affects a growing child. But there is one age you come to a maturity of the Ďgetí way of life, by age sixteen.
Now you come to maturity we call citizenship or voting age, around twenty or twenty-one and I think theyíre setting it at eighteen now. And in some places they let you vote at eighteen. I believe itís a little different, isnít it, in different states and in other places. However, you canít get a drink in a public place until youíre twenty, because they donít think theyíre quite able to handle themselves that way until theyíre twenty.
Now there is still another age of maturity and that is in maturity of leadership before other people and that is age thirty. Jesus was thirty when He began to preach. In Israel before the priests were leaders over the people, they didnít reach that until age thirty, but they were old enough for the military at age twenty. So there is more than one kind of maturity, but there is a way in which kids certainly reach complete maturity in Satanís direction by age sixteen. And Satan has got you pretty well by that age.
Now, you notice, hereís what Iím trying to say. Satan is the prince of the power of the air. He surcharges the air and itís just in the air. Here is a great big television set that my wife got me for an anniversary present on our last anniversary, and itís a larger screen than any other we have in the house. You turn that on and I can get any one of the Ė what have we got, five, four or five stations that we have here in Tucson. See thereís, four, and six, and nine, and eleven and yeah, the five. Five here Ė there are seven different channels in, oh what do you call it, the thirteen and below in Southern California, but there are a number of ultra-high frequencies besides that. And I donít think we have any ultra-high here, but we have one on channel six that gives us the same type of programming as you get on ultra-high in LA, but itís all right here in the room, only we donít see the picture, and we donít hear it if you donít tune it in on the right channel on the right wave length.
And Satan Ė what Satan is trying to communicate is here only he doesnít communicate in words, you donít hear anything, you donít see anything, itís not in pictures, itís not audible, itís not in words and you donít see it and you donít feel it. But he transmits impulses and attitudes. And he sways us in certain directions and he transmits the attitude of self-centeredness, the desire to get, the desire to love yourself and not care about what happens to anyone else. And that is the trouble and what has caused all of the trouble in the world and it has all come from Satan.
Well, now I tell you, thereís a whole Bible study right there in the first two verses of this chapter if we want to stop there. Iím back in Ezra. I better get back here to Ephesians. Now, we all were among those, but weíve been pulled out it and changed our way of life and Satanís way, which is Ďgetí to the way of Ďgive.í But just like Paul said to the Corinthian church, he was afraid lest Satan would get to them again and get them back that way.
Now: Ephesians 2:3 Among whom [in the world] also we all had our [says conversation, but it means our conduct.] in times past. [our way of life.]
We went the same way of life, same life style as they whatever the world does; we must do the same thing. And in the world now women all have to wear pants today like men, and the fact that God says that woman shall not wear the kind of garments or clothing that pertains to a man or a man must not wear the kind that pertains to a woman. We donít pay any attention to that, thatís God, so we donít listen to God. We donít walk with God. We donít want to listen to Him. Weíre going to go the way of the world and wonder why we are having troubles.
The Bible says itís a shame for a man to have long hair, but men say, what do I care what God says? Iím not walking with God, Iím walking with the Devil, Iím walking with the world. Iím going to go the way of the world and in the world itís fashionable for young men to have long hair today. Now the Devil is trying to make us unisex. The Devil is doing two things Ė heís dividing men and women and now we have the womenís lib movement and the ERA and women want their rights up against men, instead of having love, compatibility, getting along with each other.
On the one hand Satan is trying to unify us so we are all together you canít tell from behind whether youíre looking at a man or a woman today. Theyíre wearing trousers and they got long hair, you donít know whether itís a man or whether itís a woman. Because they're breaking the laws of God and then we wonder why weíre having troubles in the world. We can quit having the troubles if we want to quit breaking Godís laws. Itís just that simple.
Thatís the message Iím putting in the Wall Street Journal. Iím reaching the hard headed men that rule and run the country and the finances and the business of the country. I know the kind of men Iím writing to and theyíre reading what I write and some of them are beginning to think a little bit. The trouble is they donít want to think any way except in the groove they have been going in. If theyíre successful, they donít want to change it, they want to keep on if they are making money they love it.
But soon we are not satisfied. Iíve never know a man that loved money that had enough. The more he gets the more he wants and the more he gets the more he wants still more, even more than he did when he didnít have that much. Heís never satisfied. Like the slogan of the cigarette maker had here several years ago, that was about three decades ago or more. "They satisfy" Ė oh, I remember that it was Chesterfield Ė "they satisfy". Well they donít satisfy, donít kid yourself.
They always take the slogans that ought to apply to the way of God and use them on things in this world. I donít know if you ever noticed that or not. Iíve noticed they advertise with slogans that belong to the things of God. And the Devil has used them in merchandising. Well, we also had our conduct in that way in times past and were by nature the children of wrath. Now that nature started in us and was developed in us, not by birth, he didnít say by birth. But we begin to be partakers of the nature of God when weíre converted. And we didnít have that nature at all to begin with, nature is not something you are born with, but something that is instilled in you.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, [and spiritually dead, you could add that word and thatís what it means.] hath quickened [that is made alive.] us together with Christ, [and he says,] (by grace are you saved;) Now thatís verse five. Let me see that in the Revised Standard, verse five. Turn the page.
Ephesians 2:4-5 (RSV) But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, (5) even [whom or even] when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. [Then] (by grace are you saved,) [he adds.] That is we are to be saved by grace, we are not yet saved, but we shall be and it is by grace. But God, who is rich in mercy, now even when were dead in trespasses and sin. Now I read that, now verse six.
Ephesians 2:6-7 And hath raised us up together, [and thatís a simile there of raising Christ up from the dead and we are raised up from being spiritually dead and to being alive by having the spirit of God within us.] hath raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (7) that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Now we come to a verse that is often misquoted. I used to get mad really when I used to hear, and this goes clear back to oh about 1930. When I used to hear, I forget the manís name nowóThe Old Fashion Gospel Hour coming in on radio. We didnít have television yet and he would read this.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
There you see thereís no works in religion, the law is done away. You donít have to obey the law of God anymore at all, itís done away, Not of works, lest any man should boast. I SAID WHY DONíT YOU READ THAT NEXT VERSE! I USED TO SHOUT THAT INTO MY RADIO SET. But of course he didnít hear it because it didnít go back out the radio set. It wasnít a microphone it was a transmitter and now read that next verse. Not of works lest any man should boast, but it goes right on. Thatís not the end of the sentence.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship.
Yes, Heís the master potter and we are the clay and He is molding and fashioning us and our character in the way He wants us to be.
Ephesians 2:10 We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before hath ordained that we should walk in them.
Created and God is molding our lives to good works. We are to have good works that we should walk in them. They never read that verse. They want to say there are no works whatever.
When he says not of works heís talking about the fact that we donít earn it ourselves, but there are Ė is a way of living and we have to repent of the wrong way of living and turn to Godís way of living. Now living the way of God is not what saves us. You canít earn it, God gives it to you if you will do that. Itís just like, I might say to a grandson. Heís going to school anyway and I just say, now if you graduate Iím going to give you this very fine watch as a graduation present. So he graduates, now it is a gift, but he didnít earn it. I didnít owe it to him and pay it to him as a debt. God doesnít owe us salvation and eternal life He doesnít give it to us as a debt. We donít earn it. Itís His gift, but He wonít give except to those that will obey Him and they canít get that through their heads.
Now we are not saved by our works Ė we are saved by grace, but we are rewarded according to our works. Now you donít even get salvation, in other words salvation is the gift of eternal life. Youíre changed from mortal to immortal, youíre changed from a human being into a God being. And thatís Godís gift to give you that kind of life. But once you do it, once He has saved you and once you are there, the reward you will have, which means what kind of a position you are going to have, because weíre going to have a job to do.
But weíre going to be spirit beings we are going to enjoy doing it and weíll never get tired, weíll never be weary and we'll always be doing something thatís happy to do, and it will be nothing but accomplishment and achievement. Itíll be the kind of achievement where the realization will exceed the anticipation. Today the anticipation always exceeds the realization whether people realize or not, it really does. And then itís going to be a little different, but the one who will have the greatest reward according to what he has qualified himself for in this life.
This life is to qualify us for that, and if we donít even do anything to qualify, we wonít even get there in the first place. But if you do get there thatís the gift of God. Itís not anything God owes you He doesnít owe you anything. But He is generous and will give it to us, if we repent of going the way that is contrary to His law and will walk with Him and be in agreement with Him and go His way. If we will turn from get to give in other words. And then we have qualified ourselves for a bigger job or responsibility and weíll get it.
Now that makes me think of a brother-in-law of mine one time, who didnít like my idea of religion. To him it was just my idea and I know that Ted always looked on it as a boy he always said thatís just dadís religion. And of course there was Sam Smithís religion and John Jonesí religion and Bill Smithís religion I suppose and he thought this was dadís religion. Well, anyway this brother-in-law said, if I understand it, you say that the traditional Christianity says that weíre on a railroad trip and the end of the line Ė thatís when you die the end of your lifetime and your life is this railroad ride.
Now at the end of the line there is a switch set that shoots the track straight down to hell, but if somewhere along on the train ride of your whole life you get the password you accept Christ then the switch will send you on up to heaven. And when you get up there all you do Ė you donít have any responsibility, you donít have anything to do, youíre just there to see Christ in all of His glory and you think how wonderful it is. No more responsibility, no more work, nothing to do anymore. He says now thatís your idea of what they believe. I said, yeah thatís a pretty good description of what they believe.
Well, he says, now if I understand what you believe is this - weíve got to change the way we live, which we like and we donít want to change it from the way we like and to the way you tell us weíve got to go. And weíre preparing to hold a great responsibility, and the more we do in this life, weíll be rewarded by our works and weíll have that much bigger a responsibility thrown on us, but weíll still have to be here on earth and weíll have a job to do and weíll have a greater responsibility. He says now is that the difference in the way you believe from what they believe. I said, well thatís just your way of putting it Ė but I guess thatís about it. Well, he says, I donít like your religion, I want to go to heaven and have nothing to do. I donít want any responsibilities.
So I guess thatís what he thinks is going to happen, only thing thereís no promise anyone ever will go to heaven, so I know heís not going to go there. But, the last I heard of him heís still alive anyhow. Thatís at least thatís good, but heís not enjoying his life anymore, he hasnít enjoyed it for a long, long time. He has nothing to do. He has no responsibilities. Heís all retired and too old to work anymore, so he just sits around in the house all day with nothing to do. And of all men he is most miserable.
Well the last time I saw him he says Herb, he calls me Herb, of course heís my brother-in-law. He said boy he says I wish I had something like you do. He said youíre, youíre traveling and youíre busy all the time. Youíve got something on your mind and he says that keeps you busy and keeps your mind occupied. He says all I can do I can just sit there all day long. I can look at television if I want to, but thatís all. I havenít anything to do. Iím retired I canít work I canít do anything. He says itís the most boring thing in the world. So heís getting what he wanted in his old age and he doesnít like it and it isnít happy and it isnít paying off like he thought it would. Well thatís the way it is.
Now, Ephesians 2:8 Öby grace are you saved through faith.
That faith is not of yourselves if even that faith is the gift of God. People try to work up faith and wonder why they donít have faith. You canít work it up. Believe in God, repent and turn to Godís way of life and believe in Him and He will give you faith. Faith is a gift of God and faith is come by the spirit of God and its Godís gift.
Ephesians 2:9-10 [but it is] Not of works lest any man should boast [because or,] (10) For we are His workmanship. [Not our own works but] we are His workmanship created in Christ,[ or being created] in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before hath ordained we should walk in them.
See, thatís verse ten, let me see how that is in the Revised Standard,
Ephesians 2:10(RSV) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God hath prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Created for good works, so good works merely means good deeds or doing good things. In this case itís talking about deeds, now in Galatians very often Paul speaks of the works of the law. Thatís where he uses ergon of the law Ė ergon is the Greek word and heís always speaking about the ritualistic law. But thatís not what heís speaking of here.
For now. letís see now verse eleven:
Ephesians 2:11 Wherein remember that you being in time past Gentiles. [Now heís talking to the church up at Ephesus, they were all Gentiles up there. They were a different nationality.] in time past Gentiles in the flesh. [That is by physical birth.] who are called Uncircumcision to that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands.
In other words they were circumcised by menís hands in the flesh and thatís all fleshly and material. But they were born by flesh birth as Gentiles.
Ephesians 2:12 That at that time, [while you were still Gentiles,] you were without Christ being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel. [The commonwealth means a nation.] the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise.
Now there are covenants of promise that pertain to Israel and not to Gentiles. Now the eleventh chapter of Romans explains that, and how the Gentiles are branches of a wild olive tree and the Gentiles are Ė each nation is a tree. And Gentiles are a wild olive tree, but Israel was the natural olive tree. And the promises are for the natural olive tree and the individuals or the branches of the wild olive tree that are Gentiles; and theyíre broken off from their tree and grafted, contrary to nature, into the natural olive tree. Because the promises become to Israel and we become Israelites through Christ. I guess you get that simile there.
Ephesians 2:12 At that time you were without Christ being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.
And thatís the way most people are today, whether they are Israelite, Gentile, or what.
Ephesians 2:13-14 But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off. [And at that time they were spiritually dead as heís been saying, and you were far off from Christ.] are made near by the blood of Christ. (14) For he is our peace, who hath made both one. [That is Jew and Gentile in this case.] and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. In other words there was a wall or partition separating them nationally and racially you might say.
Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in the ordinances. [Abolished in is flesh the ordinances, that they had to do in the Old Testament.] for to make in himself a twain, [or of the two Gentile and Jew in this case because Israel had really gone far off and it was only the Jewish part of Israel that was still back in the Middle East at that time.] to make in himself of the twain [of the two] one new man so making peace;
Ephesians 2 16-17 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: (17) And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were near.
The same gospel of peace to Israel and to Gentile or to Jew and Gentile alike.
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by the spirit unto the Father.
Now here heís mentioning God the Father and another thing in traditional Christianity they donít mention much about God the Father, itís just Christ. You just receive Christ and thatís all there is to it. They leave the Father out because the Father is the one who gave the law and they donít believe in the Fatherís law. But youíll notice thereís so much about God the Father and Christ is the way to get to God the Father, and itís God the Father that we have to get to. Christ taught us how to pray He said when we pray, pray our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy name, but we pray in Christís name.
Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
Now a household is a family. Here we are called a nation and we are also called a family: a household or a family. And we also in the church are called a nation. Weíre a nation, weíre a family, now letís read on and youíll see we are something else.
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. [And the apostles are of the New Testament and the prophets are of the Old,] Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; (21) in whom the whole buildingÖ
Now we are a building. Now you see a while ago we were two different nationalities, now weíre of one nation. We were of two different households, now weíre of one household, one family. So the church is a family; the church is a nation; now the church is a building. And notice that we are also compared to a building, but itís one building.
Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.
We are the temple to whom to which Christ is coming. Christ is coming for His church and to His church, and we are to be the foundation of the Kingdom of God. And be in the Kingdom of God, of course the foundation is the apostles, and the prophets and Christ is the chief cornerstone of the building. But the temple Heís coming to, or the building is the church and the building is also a nation and the building is also a family the family of God. You notice all those things that the church is right there in that one verse.
Ephesians 2:22 In whom you also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. For this cause I Paul, [beginning chapter three now.]
Ephesians 3:1 the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles.
I could spend a lot of time on that. Paul is a servant of Christ and like a prisoner, but he wasnít in prison. And he was only a prisoner by his own decision and he was willing to be and wanted to be. Not that Christ held him as a captive or anything not that type of prisoner.
Ephesians 3:2 If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: [or toward you.]
Now letís see how that is in the Revised Standard.
Ephesians 3:1(RSV) For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Jesus Christ on behalf of you Gentiles Ė assuming...
Now wait that may mean he was a prisoner or in prison when he wrote this, I donít know, Paul was put in prison once or twice and that may be the meaning here.
Ephesians 3:2-3 Öassuming that you have heard of the stewardship of Godís grace that was given to me for you, (3) how the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
Now I wanted to get to that, it is a mystery, in the King James it is how that by revelation - by revealing it, in other words, from God through Christ.
Ephesians 3:3-5 Öhe made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, (4) Whereby, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) (5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
Iíd like to read that again in the more modern Revised Standard. This word mystery ó mystery is something you donít see and you donít understand, because you donít see it, and the world cannot understand the mystery of God, and of the church, and itís all so much nonsense to the world. They canít see it and they donít understand it, because they have only the one spirit of man and without the Spirit of God they canít understand spiritual things.
The spirit in man does not give you spiritual understanding, now I thatís what I forgot to say a while ago when I was talking about the spirit in man. The spirit in man only gives you carnal physical material understanding. But to have spiritual understanding you have to receive the Spirit of God. Now the things then of the Spirit of God and of the church are a mystery and just a lot of foolishness to the world Ė just a lot of ridiculousness.
Iím trying to write ads in the Wall Street Journal to men that are ó men that think they are so big; so great; so far above that kind of thing. Iím trying to put it in their language and so that it makes sense and yet I can only go so far because they, their minds can only understand so far and without God's spirit they cannot and will not understand, I know that.
But Iím going to bring them far enough they can see the difference between give and get. And Iím going to make that plain to them, but I canít convert them. I donít expect to do that and I donít think God is calling them to be converted right now and that isnít what God has sent me for, but God wants it to be as a witness before them. And itís going to and it is a mystery.
Now the things of Satan are a mystery. We read in II Thessalonians about the mystery of iniquity where it says it doth already work. That is a mystery too, they donít understand about Satan and what heís doing to them, because that is a spirit. Thatís an evil spirit and they donít understand that and yet theyíre following the ways of that evil spirit and they just do not understand. Thatís the main thing I wanted get into and get it in this lesson. We donít need to go on the rest of way in that chapter today, because I want to take the time to go into it verse by verse when we do. And Iíll do that next Sabbath, but I wanted to get that.
The truth of the gospel is a mystery and I have to know that. Now Iím trying to put it in sensible language that one who canít understand the mystery. canít see it spiritually. can see it at least carnally. Thatís as far as I can go to the world, but thatís what Iím trying to do.