Saturday - 12 MAY 2001



All right, if you have your Bibles with you tonight, we’re going to pick up where we left off. Last week, we finished Ephesians chapter 1, verse 3. And this week, I want us to begin in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 4. And of course, Ephesians chapter 1, verse 4 is one of the most open verses about the subject of being chosen and elect of God before the foundations of the world.

Let’s go to Ephesians chapter 1, verse 4. To make it easier on myself, I’ve got my nice, large-print Bible out here, so I can see now. So remember last week, we talked about Ephesus being the center of worship of Diana. It was really called the "cult of the virgin," and that’s where Paul got into a lot of trouble, because he was trying to stop this idolatry worship. And unfortunately, it almost cost him his life, and that’s what happens when you go against the religious system. It’ll be like us going against the church today –the religious part of the church. So we get nothing but trouble, and unfortunately, you know, it’s trouble for them that they choose to walk away from the Word and to hold to false gospels. But let’s take a look at Ephesians chapter 1:4. As I said last week, I’m going to be turning my Bible with you. I did not print out the verses in my notes, so this way, we’re all kind of in sync and nobody’s ahead of anybody. All right, Ephesians chapter 1:4: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"

Now, what I like to do is when I study a passage, I like to take the Words and look at the meanings of them. Because if we look at the meanings of the words, it opens up the sentence. And of course, we would all agree that words make up a sentence. And it’s important that we look at those words. And especially when we’re dealing with a foreign language, such as Greek or Hebrew, it is important to look at those words and to see what they mean, because they’re very colorful languages --as one word may contain a lot of nuances. We have some of those in the English language. For example: "reservation." If you have a "reservation," you can go. But if you have "reservations," you should stay home. See what I’m saying? That’s the way the English language is. Well, the Greek language is like that, too, and there’s a word in the Hebrew ---and I forgot which one it is at this point– but the word actually means a curse or a blessing. And it’s meaning is determined by the way it’s used. So we always have to look at context of words. And we had that little bout going on Reformed Watchmen [Christian list/chat group] about that –that it’s very important to look at the words very, very closely. One of my favorite ways of teaching that is, when you look at 1 Peter 2:10 ["Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."], where God says before that we were not A people, but we are now THE people of God. You see, there’s a difference. "A people" meant they’re different groups of people, but "THE people of God" means there’s only one select group, and that is God’s chosen, redeemed elect.

Now let’s look at Ephesians chapter 1:4, and let’s look at some of the words in there that’s going to open this up, and then we’re going to look at quite a number of Scriptures. So there’s a good possibility we may not get out of this verse this week. But I’m not in a hurry, because there’s so much meat in Ephesians, that we want to go around different parts of the Bible and we want to try to bring these Truths together. If we don’t bring them together, then what happens is that we leave a string here, a string there, and unfortunately, we will have a little bit of misunderstanding, instead of understanding. So that’s why I like to bring these words together. Now, let’s take a look at the first phrase there: "…He hath chosen..." It’s the Greek word: "eklegomai". And it means very simply, "to choose, select, or elect." It goes back to the word "eklektos" or "eclectic." You’ve probably heard those particular terms. And we always get accused –King James people– always get accused of having an "eclectic text." That’s the type of text that someone picked and chose what they wanted. So we see here, that it’s used in the proper term, "eklegomai." "Eclectic" means "to choose, select," according as God has chosen --"select" or "elect."

And When did He do the choosing? You know, it never ceases to amaze me whenever I talk to someone who is a free-will, they always say that if you "accept the Lord," Then you are God’s elect. Well, you know, it doesn’t work that way, because if you are God’s elect, then you are His "elect" – that means you have been chosen, selected, or elected. Now, the verse goes on to say: "…according as He has chosen us in him..." You see, there’s another key: "…as he hath chosen…." I do not understand WHY so many skip over that word. "…he hath chosen…" -- NOT "…WE have chosen…" "…he hath chosen us…" -- and there’s that word again: "…in him before the foundation of the world." The word "before the foundation" is "pro katabole". The word "pro" means "before." So it means "before the foundation," or "in the beginning." So I think this is interesting. Usually, when you think of a beginning, you think of the beginning as some place where you actually start. But here, even BEFORE God started the world, He already chose His people. He already KNEW who His people were. Before Adam and Eve, God had already filled the book of life in with the names of those He planned to save. And I think that’s what scares a lot of people because they’re afraid that their loved ones may not be part of the elect, and they might go to hell. But you know, whether a person can accept it or not, God still has that book. And that’s not going to change. And it NEVER did, it NEVER will.

Now I’ve been out in business for a lot of years, and been involved in quite a number of projects. Even in business when a project is ready to be started. The people are picked to partake in that project before it begins –NOT after it is under way. So it’s the same thing in God’s salvation plan. He chooses those whom He’s going to save and then elects them to go out into the world and carry His salvation plan to the other elect. So, we have a little inkling of God’s salvation plan, even out in the business world. What corporation is going to start some type of a project, and then pick the people AFTER the project gets started? The problem is the project would never get started if you pick the people after. You have to pick the people BEFORE. And this is what God is doing. He’s picking His elect throughout the ages to continue to go forth and teach, and preach, and find His elect…

This isn’t part of the lesson, but go with me to Acts chapter 13, verse 36. This verse is very important. Because in Acts 13:36, the Bible says: "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:" Now, here was David. And we’re going to look at David in a little bit. "…David, after he had served his own generation…" Now that’s a key, a key principle. And I think I sent this out in Zion’s Gate Devotional a couple of weeks ago about serving our own generation. We can’t worry about what happened last generation. We have to prepare to hand down to the next generation. OUR responsibility is to SERVE this generation, to send forth the Gospel in any way we can. And that is OUR responsibility to our generation. And as we are faithful to our generation, God begins to move to build the next generation, until finally, eventually, He gets to the point where it’s the LAST generation. You know, the Bible speaks about the generation of evil. Of course, that’s the time from Adam up. But there’s also generations – you know, one generation passes on to another, to another, to another, and that’s what I’m speaking about. You know, the parents hand down to the children, and the children grew up, hand down to their children, and those children grow up, etceteras, etceteras, etceteras. So, we see that it’s very important that God chooses His people BEFORE His election program starts.

Now, turn with me to Matthew chapter 25, verses 32 to 34. And there we read: "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" There’s that word again: "foundation." We see that the LORD has already prepared the kingdom for His sheep, because the goats that He does NOT plan to save will have their own kingdom. And that’s the kingdom of hell. And that’s what’s going to happen to them. They shall be in hell for eternity. But God has a special kingdom. And that’s His kingdom for His elect. Notice what it says in verse 34: "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom…" Okay, you see what the word here is "blessed"? Remember what we saw last week in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 3? --That "God hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings." He didn’t leave anything out. God’s blessings are TOTAL in spirituality. Now those who feel that through signs and wonders and tongues --that God is giving MORE-- are really violating Scripture on this level also. Not necessarily because they’re looking for signs and wonders, but also, they’re making God out to be a liar. God says that He is going to bless us with all spiritual blessings. And in verse 34, He says, "come ye blessed." That’s "Come ye, children, inherit the kingdom." It’s part of the inheritance of the believer, prepared from the foundations of the world.

Now, there are two verses in Revelation that we need to look at to sort of see exactly what the essence of being before the foundations of the world. These are two other verses which shed a little bit more light on this. Turn with me to Revelation chapter 13, verse 8. And there we read: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him…" [and that’s of course, Satan] "…whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Now, there we get a little inkling into the salvation plan: God’s salvation plan was initiated in eternity, and in principle, Christ was already slain BEFORE the foundation of the world. That means --in principle already-- those whom God has chosen for salvation, their sins were already paid for --in principle-- BEFORE the foundation of the world. And when the Lord Jesus Christ came on the scene, He completed the salvation plan of God, and He used the word "It is finished." In other words, He used the word "tetelestai", and that means "it is finished, "or "it is completed."

Turn with me to one other verse that gives us a little insight into that. Revelation 17, verse 8. And these are two verses which are very good to show to somebody that believes in free-will. You can always ask them very simply, "Did you accept the Lord BEFORE the foundation of the world? Where were YOU before God created you?" In Revelation 17:8 "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." Now, when you go into a church today, don’t you ask, "What are some of the doctrines they hold?" I mean, not only signs and wonders, but the ecumenical gospel, the free-will gospel, and all of these. And you wonder, you say to yourself: "I wonder if this one or that one is written in the Lamb’s book of life?" And we ask that question today. You got somebody who claims they’re saved --and I meet people like this all the time-- they claim they’re saved and you know, they quote the Bible, and the next hand, they’re swearing. So you know, where is your stability in your testimony? So we wonder: "Is this one written in the Lamb’s book of life?" This is why on the last day when God is going to separate the sheep from the goats, He’s going to say to the ones on the right, ‘Come to the kingdom prepared from the foundations of the world,’ because God knows who His is... His are (I’ll get it right). So anyway, Revelation 17:8 gives us a bit of insight, and that’s a good verse to show to somebody that God chooses BEFORE the foundations of the world, and that the only reason people can come to an understanding of the Gospel is simply because God has made it plain to them that they were chosen –so that their mind can be illuminated by the Holy Spirit to understand the Scriptures, just as the two on the road to Emmaus.

Now, when we talk about being chosen, let’s take a look at Psalm 78:70 "He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:" David was a chosen vessel of God. The word, "David" means "beloved." And even the Lord Jesus Christ is called the "beloved of God." And that’s why God even pre-figures the Lord Jesus Christ with David. And also, Psalm 33:12. With that, God not only talks about choosing individuals before the foundations of the world, but He chose the whole nation. In other words, He chose ALL His believers. Psalm 33:12: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." Now, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…" I once remember when I was involved in political Christianity. I used to look at this verse, and I used to say that this was talking a lot about the United States. And the reason I was saying that was because you look at our founding fathers, the pilgrims, and how our nation did have a great Christian heritage. The atheists turn around and say, "Well, we were never a Christian nation." But you know, one of the reasons I love to go to old cemeteries is because there’s a lot of hope written on those tombstones --especially about the Resurrection, if you take a look at those tombstones from the early 1800’s or the 1700’s. You won’t see them on the white ones, because normally the white ones have already faded. But look at the brown ones, the sandstone, and you will see some excellent sayings on there about the Resurrection: "Here lies my body in the dust awaiting the resurrection of the just." Sayings like that. And I think that when we look at something like that, we can be sure that we have a nation that is chosen of the LORD. But that nation is not the United States, or any particular nation. It’s not Israel, it’s not the United States. It’s the CHOSEN nation of believers. That’s the nation that’s chosen, because WE are the blessed nation whose God is the LORD and the people whom He has chosen for His Own inheritance. He hasn’t chosen every American for salvation. He hasn’t chosen every Israelite for salvation. He hasn’t chosen every Russian, every Chinese, for salvation. So the nation He has in view that He’s chosen IS the nation of believers.

Now, turn with me to Psalm 105, verse 6, which is another important verse which teaches us a little bit. And we’re going to get into this study tonight on Abraham, okay? Because when we talk about being saved from the foundations of the world, according to that He has chosen us in Him, it behooves us to understand a little bit about the covenant of salvation that God made with Abraham. And it does NOT apply to the corporate nation of Israel. It only applies to the corporate nation of believers. And we’re going to see that, and why that is so. Now, let’s look at Psalm 105:6: "O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen."

Now, in Jeremiah 30, verse 7, I believe it says that there’s come a time of Jacob’s trouble. ["Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it."] And it has nothing to do with the Arabs invading Israel. We are in the time of Jacob’s trouble right now, because you and I, as true believers, are seeing the apostasy in the churches. We’re seeing friends of ours fall to these false movements --movements that, unfortunately, have no source in the Scriptures. And the time of Jacob’s trouble is that we cannot find a place to fellowship. We cannot find two Christians who hold a stable Gospel, because they’re holding all kinds of different versions of the Bible, and everyone says something different. There’s no continuity, there’s no stability. You go into a normal church, and you’ll see 20-30 different versions of the Bible. So when the Pastor gets up there and preaches out of his version, everybody’s confused as to what to believe: "Did God really say this?" or "How did He say that?" Or "I’m confused, what does that mean?" So, unfortunately, we have a very bad situation, and we are in the time of Jacob’s trouble... because Jacob’s trouble is when you and I, as true believers, are troubled at what is going on in the world of the church… or rather, I should say, in the church of the world. And that’s why we have to come out of them. That’s why God commands us [to] come out of them. And it’s not only in 2 Corinthians 6 [2 Corinthians 6:17 KJV - "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…"], also in Revelation 17 and 18. He tells us to come out of them, come out of them! Babylon, Babylon the Great has fallen! And that’s unfortunate, because the church is falling left and right.

Now, let us look at Abraham’s seed. We read here, "O ye seed of Abraham his servant…." Now to understand the seed of Abraham, we have to go back to Genesis. So, turn with me to Genesis, and we’re going to look at chapter 12, verses 1 to 3. In Genesis 12:1-3, we read this: "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee…" Now, God wants us to get out of our country, too. And that’s the country of unbelief. And to come into that nation whose God is the LORD. And He says in verse 2,3: "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. " Now, the reason this is not talking about Israel is because Israel does not bless all the families of the earth... because in Abraham’s seed, we see that all families shall be blessed. Now, He says: "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:" Well, the nation of Israel is not a blessing, because you CANNOT go over to Israel right now and spread the Gospel and speak of the things of the LORD, because you’ll get thrown in jail. So that’s why I cannot see how so many people count them as God’s ‘chosen people’ when they are not --- because they’re NOT chosen. If they were chosen, they would be speaking the things of the LORD. Instead, they HATE God, but they don’t know it.

Now, we see in Genesis 12:1-3 that God says: "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:" Now, we know he’s talking about the family of believers because He says in 2 Thessalonians chapter 1, verses 7 to 10, that God says He’s going to take those that do not obey the Gospel and take vengeance on them ["And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day."] And that’s a very, very strong set of verses in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10. But here we see in Genesis 12:1-3, He begins to say, I’m going to bless thee and the whole nation --the whole world-- is going to be blessed in thee.

Now, let’s take a look at Genesis chapter 13, verses 14 and 15. In Genesis 13:14,15, God introduces a new word here in response to the covenant. He says, verse 14: "And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:" Did you ever realize the word "news" is the acronym for North, East, West, and South? Well, anyway, in verse 15: "For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever." Notice what word He added there: "for ever." Now, what is the only thing that we’re going to take out of this world that’s going to last for ever? And that is salvation. Salvation is the only thing that we’re going to take out of this world. And that’s why He begins to add here: "and to thy seed for ever," because He’s not talking about a physical nation. He’s not talking about a physical covenant. He’s talking about an ETERNAL covenant. Of course, the only eternal covenant that God has made is the covenant of grace with His people.

Now, let’s continue on in Genesis chapter 15, verse 18. And in Genesis 15:18, it says here: "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:" [verses 19-21]: "The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites." He’s taking all this land, and giving this in a figure ‘unto thy seed,’ I’m going to give this land… but He doesn’t use the word, "for ever" here, because He used it before. So, now where we’ll see the term "covenant with Abram," we can now be sure that He’s talking about an eternal covenant.

Well, what other Scriptures do we have that helps us along the way? Take a look at Genesis chapter 17, verses 6 to 8. In Genesis chapter 17:6-8, the Bible says: "And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." All right, now first of all, take a look at: "And I will make thee exceeding fruitful…" He’s going to make us fruitful by seeing other people come into the kingdom --the other elect that we witness to and those we send the Gospel to. And those people are going to become saved. And as a result, when they become saved, then they, in turn, go out and they witness to other people. But here’s an interesting verse at the end: "…and kings shall come out of thee." Now He’s not talking here about kings of Israel, or kings of Judah, or kings of other nations. Well, who’s He talking about? Keep your fingers in Genesis 17, and turn your Bibles all the way to Revelation chapter 1, verse 6, because this is a very important verse. Again, it gives us insight into the Abrahamic covenant and the eternality of that covenant. In Revelation 1:6, we see this: "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Do you see what He says? "And hath made us kings." Now, the new versions changed this to "kingdom": "And has made us a kingdom and priests…" Well, that’s the wrong term. The term "basileus" in the Greek is the term "kings." He’s made us kings, you see, because we rule with the Lord Jesus Christ. God is a king, and we are princes as a result, but He’s going to give us a kingship. So you see, when He says here He’s made us kings and priests, we see that’s the fulfillment of the promise that He made to Abraham when He says, "…and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee..." So what God is saying here is that this is the eternal covenant of grace.

Now, let’s leave the Old Testament, and as we begin to look at this, we see how this has unfolded little by little. And that’s why it’s so important –-and I cannot STRESS IT ENOUGH: WATCH THE WORDING IN THE BIBLE! Notice whenever you read two passages, if God changes a word or adds a word, that means He’s adding a NEW meaning to it. And He’s embellishing a previous thought. So it’s very important that we look at the words very, very, VERY carefully.

All right, let’s go to the Book of Galatians. And this kind of completes the understanding of the Abrahamic seed. So turn with me to Galatians chapter 3, verses 7 to 9. And the Bible says this: "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." It says it right plainly. Galatians is a great book. "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen…" Now, here’s an interesting passage: "…that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." You know, wherever Christianity --and I’m not talking about Roman Catholicism— I’m talking about true Christianity… Wherever true Christianity has prevailed through the ages, those nations have been blessed. This is why the United States has been blessed down through the ages, because you just have to read the Mayflower Compact. Read even our own State Charter here in New Jersey. It starts out: "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" … in 1844, it was written. Our nation was founded upon Christian principles, even though we had some that were not quote "Christians," but they were churchgoers. You also had deists but nevertheless, they believed in God.

So it says here in verse 9, back to Galatians: "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." So, the nations are all blessed because of Abraham, because of true Christianity. And our responsibility, I believe to keep our nation free, is NOT to slack off on sending the Gospel forth –is to be completely and totally sold out to the Lord Jesus Christ and send forth the Gospel. That’s very, very important, because nations that forget the LORD, we don’t even hear about them today. The seven churches of Asia went apostate. Obviously, even the faithful church of Philadelphia went apostate because that’s no longer around. And once it goes apostate, it goes into oblivion. And this is what’s happening today. Do you realize this? People want to stop the abortion movement. If they were teaching the True Gospel and teaching it to their children, then abortion would be stemmed. The first abortion was performed in 1971. Thirty years of abortion. If they wanted to stop abortion, the churches could’ve stopped it very simply. But they’ve walked away from the Truth. If they were teaching the True Gospel --that everyone was culpable before God for destroying a human life-- NO one, no one would abort a child. Because once the pulpits began to cool off from saying, "Thus saith the LORD," then there was carte blanche to do anything you wanted.

All right, let’s go to the next verse. Galatians chapter 3, verse 16, we read this: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made…" Notice he didn’t say to Abraham and Israel the promises made. Notice how God distinguishes in the next sentence: "He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Christ was in the lineage of Abraham. And as a result, if Christ was in the lineage, then He was the seed of Abraham. "Thy seed," which is Christ. Now, we are the seed of Abraham, but also, we are the seed of Christ, because we go forth with the Gospel and we plant that seed. Who is the seed we plant? --Churches? --Doctrines? --Confessions? NO. NOT of many seeds… ONE seed: The Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, take a look at Galatians chapter 3, verse 29. And it kind of sums up everything we’ve talked about from Genesis to Galatians. You see how two different books --Genesis and Galatians-- how they come together and give us a summation? You know, there are people who claim they can’t find conclusions or absolutes in the Bible, and it’s because they don’t want to find absolutes in fear of what they’re going to find. In Galatians chapter 3:29, we read this: "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." "Heirs according to the promise." Now, if you’re in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are saved, and have the same standing --the same footing-- that Abraham had. The same footing because Abraham was saved through the faith of Christ, we are saved through the faith of Christ and it says, "if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." And of course, we saw those promises: That He was going to make us a king… He also made us priests. There’s no need for the physical priesthood anymore-- because that’s been done away with. And those who pretend to be priests today are living a futile, existence because God never ordained anyone to be anybody else’s priest. We have ONE High Priest: The Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s go back to Ephesians 1:4. So when we look at Him, at the verse: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…" --we get a better understanding now of how God progressively identifies His salvation plan. He goes from saying: "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee…" [Genesis 12:3 KJV] into the adding of the word "for ever" and "everlasting covenant." Whenever you read those words, it means simply, the gospel of grace –the eternal covenant that He made with us.

Okay, back to Ephesians chapter 1, verse 4, it says here: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy…" Now He chose us to be holy. Holiness unto the LORD. "Holy" means "set apart," "sanctified." That means we belong to the LORD. Remember last week I said that you can also be set apart unto Satan? And that’s what his people are. Those people are holy unto Satan. WE are holy unto the LORD. We are set apart. We are sanctified in the Truth. And so we are set apart unto the LORD. And HE made us holy. WE didn’t make ourselves holy. Because He says: "…as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." And that term "without blame" simply means "no blemishes."

Let’s go to Revelation chapter 14, verses 4 to 5. Now with these verses right here, I cannot understand how many Christians will take obscure passages and look at themselves and say, "Well, that applies to me" in terms of "I’m a dirty, rotten sinner. I’m still a stinking corpse, I’m still dirty." In other words, a lot of them believe that Christ did NOT pay for all their sins. Take a look at these two verses. Revelation 14:4,5. What does it say? "These are they that which were not defiled with women…" Okay, and women represent the different assemblies… [and] the woman represents the Church –we see the spotless bride. So this is not necessarily talking about physical women. Let’s put it this way: "These are they that which were not defiled with ‘false gospels’…" "…for they are virgins." That means "white," "pure." "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth…." These are the born-again believers that will follow Christ, even if it meant going to the stake or being burned on a faggot. It doesn’t matter. They will follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. And how do we know this? It says here: "These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb."

Now look at the next verse: "And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." Now we look at that, and we ask a question: Why do so many Christians desire to stand before the throne of God and be judged for their works, and be judged so they can get rewards? WHY do they want to do this? Why do they want to be judged so badly? --Because if I do one sin that has not been paid for –just one— it doesn’t matter what it is --just one-- I have to go to hell because sin and unrighteousness CANNOT come into the kingdom of God. It cannot come into heaven. But yet, what does the Bible teach? The Bible teaches VERY strongly that we are without guile –that means, NO deceit. Notice he’s saying here: "…in their mouth was found no guile…" He’s simply saying that they were without fault before the throne. And do you know that it’s easier to withhold yourself from doing an evil deed than it is from saying an evil word? …because in James [James 1:26 and James 3:5,6,8 KJV], it talks about not being able to control the tongue. But here, God is saying there is NO guile in their mouth. And if there is NO guile in their mouth, that means that they are sinless. And this is what God is telling us. My redeemed people through the eternal covenant, Mine elect, My beloved, My Davids, have ALL their sins paid for, and I view them as having never sinned. Even from before the foundations of the world --in principle-- you and I were redeemed. So, it’s BEAUTIFUL when we look at these passages. And when we look at this, we can thank the LORD. And especially the times when we look at this --when we look at ourselves and the times when we do something wrong-- we can look at this and say: "The LORD sees me as NOT committing sin. I still have a standing before the LORD. I’m still one of His. I don’t have to worry He’s ever going to throw me out." Because God WON’T throw you out… He will NOT throw you out. He’s REDEEMED you! And that is eternally. He’s NOT going to throw you out. He’s NOT going to turn His back on you. He’s NOT going to forsake you. He’s NOT going to avoid you. He may chastise you. But He will NEVER, EVER avoid you.

Alright, so, that’s basically our lesson for tonight. I didn’t think we were going to get out of Ephesians 1, verse 4. But it’s a good study in this verse, because there’s so much meat, "…he hath chosen us in him (in Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him…" And of course, you know, a lot of theologians say the word, "in love" should be attached to verse 5, and that’s okay. "…in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will…"

So next week, Lord willing, we’ll pick it up in Ephesians chapter 1, verse 5. And we’ll go from there [and] see how far we get, talking about: "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." And that’s another beautiful verse that believers can sort of like spiritually bank on –that they never have to worry about being avoided or thrown on the shelf somewhere and the LORD forgetting us. Because God has told us in many places in Scripture, He will never, never, NEVER forsake us, NEVER forget us. Even though we’re on the backside of the desert, on the other side of Mount Horeb, He’s still there. And that’s one great thing we can count on.