by Mr. Armstrong
The Sermon on the Mount - 2
broadcast 2 May 1979 - played Wales 29 April 2017
|"Did you know that what has been recognized as the greatest sermon ever preached was actually not a sermon at all, but merely a matter of Jesus Christ talking to His disciples? And, what He told them in that so-called sermon on the mount -- the greatest sermon ever preached -- had to do with world conditions and with the world tomorrow. Let's look at it......." (3.0 Mb)|
by Jon Pippy
God's Spiritual Temple
given Toronto Canada broadcast Wales 29 Apr 2017
|God is in the process of building his spiritual temple to which Christ is destined to return - his true church. But there is much we can learn about the process by looking at the detailed instruction given to construct both the tabernacle and the physical temple previously. (9.6 Mb)|
Many times the above scripture impacts us in a negative way – as we put the emphasis on the need to reach what we feel is an impossible goal. But turning it around for a moment ... let's think about what it means; that God is perfect. How does this perfection impact His lifestyle, His approach to everything? What IS perfect righteousness? Mr Armstrong puts it this way in his sermon, Hungering For God's Righteousness – 11th of June 1983:
"I wonder if you've ever thought about this thing of hungering and thirsting FOR GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. I remember just recently it hit me in a different way than I ever saw it before. I thought about God Himself. He has that righteousness, and He certainly doesn't have to have any hurt conscience. He doesn't have to have any fears or worries about having to reap what He sows. He has perfect faith... If we just had God's righteousness, what a wonderful feeling it would be in our minds! Even then, harm might come to us – persecution, accidents in this life; but at least we wouldn't be bringing them on ourselves. We bring so many things on ourselves, and we don't realize it."
Such perfection of character clearly fits His perfection in other areas of existence also:
A glance at some definitions of 'perfect' can be daunting : "Conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: Excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: Exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose: Entirely without any flaws, defects or shortcoming: pure or unmixed." (Dictionary.com)
A challenge to say the least, and yet we are told, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) – perfect as this Almighty, Everliving God Himself! Is it possible to be without any flaws, defects or shortcoming, let alone mirror a Being who has had no beginning? Who fills heaven and earth – the unfathomable expanses of the universe - and yet also knows when each sparrow falls? Thankfully we have been given a vivid example of how this can – and will be done!
No matter your calendar age at this moment – young or old – at one time every single one of us reading these words was no bigger than the period/full-stop at the end of this sentence. Barely visible to the naked eye. You and me. As it says so often in the Psalms ... Selah. Just think about that for a while.
Now, after being injected with life from its father, in 40 short weeks that bundle of "jelly" developed according to a Plan. At the very outset it hardly looked human, but as time progressed, and under instruction formed by the Creator God, that minute cell took on the attributes of its parents, and grew from a humble, insignificant beginning into a physical being the same as its father or mother. This commonplace, awesome miracle should prove to us that, with God, nothing is beyond His creative ability and – if we have the eyes to see – indeed all is possible within the spiritual creation also!
King David did indeed contemplate this miracle and stood in awe of the Master Potter behind it:
With Unleavened Bread so recently behind us, what did we learn during those seven days? Did we see ourselves becoming steadily more aligned with our Father in heaven – year on year – with His perfection of character? Getting rid of sin? Or did we rather become discouraged, having seen yet more areas still to be overcome – year on year – perhaps even struggling to cope with totally new and different trials that we have not had to face before?
And the question then is: when is our character expected to become perfected anyway? In this frail human life? Is true godly perfection even possible now – or only finally possible upon our resurrection to Spirit Life? And seen within Scripture the answer is very clear: both aspects are true, and both are utterly vital!
Hebrews chapter 11 – the faith chapter – ends with a statement which shows very clearly that the luminaries of faith mentioned in the preceding verses did not and will not obtain perfection before us – showing that such perfection is yet future:
So the timing of that final perfection – our finish line – is clearly the first resurrection to Spirit Born Life as is borne out in the book of Jude:
And the same finish line is indicated in the book of first Peter:
Although it is clear from scriptures such as those above that it's only at the point of the resurrection – and our spirit birth into the family of God – that true perfection will finally be achieved, it should be regarded much more as the culmination of a lifetime of growth rather than the sudden flicking of a switch. This Mr Armstrong brings out in his explanation of how our physical begettal, growth and birth is so precisely a mirror of the spiritual:
Are you really comprehending this? Are you? And mortal man, if he repents, surrenders unconditionally to God and God’s government, accepts in living FAITH Jesus Christ as personal Savior, can receive God’s gift of His HOLY SPIRIT – the very life, essence, nature, mind and power of God – BEGETTlNG him now as God’s own (yet unborn) Son! If he then GROWS spiritually (II Pet. 3:18), overcomes and endures, he shall – at Christ’s soon coming, be changed (or resurrected if he dies) from mortal to immortal (I Cor. 15:44-54).
And then – IF the very CHARACTER of God has been developed within him – his vile material body will be instantaneously changed (converted) into one “like unto his [Christ’s] GLORIOUS body”!(Phil. 3:21.) But your vile character will not then be instantaneously changed – THAT change must take place NOW in this life! So THAT is the supreme heritage of MAN – if he is willing! (Missing Dimension in Sex - chapter 5)
So, the perfection of spiritual character is an ongoing lifelong process, looking forward to the finishing line with patience. As James instructs us, we must "let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:4) – Just as Paul himself also found:
Undoubtedly, part of the problem in this process of developing perfect righteous character is that we as human beings are not consistent. Some days we feel like we can take on the world – while other days we can't even take on ourselves. Such inconsistency was true even of Abraham, the "father of the faithful"! He believed God when he was instructed to leave Ur of the Chaldees – readily changing from being a city dweller to an essentially nomadic existence, journeying toward a land yet to be shown to him. Even after waiting until his father had died in Haran he once again resumed his journey leaving his brother Nahor behind – still implicitly trusting and believing God to guide his steps. Yet when in Egypt during a famine his faith wavered, and he allowed Sarah to be taken into Pharaoh's household/harem – using deceit and failing to trust God for protection. And later, in a very similar incident with Abimelech he again fell short of "perfection" in the area of faith.
But as we read the account in Genesis of the life of Abraham, we can see God didn't give up on him. God's hand was continually guiding and working with Abraham – even as he was tested to trust the Eternal far beyond anything that was humanly viable – that he and Sarah would have a child, even though Sarah had been barren all her life and now they were aged 100 and 90 respectively. But that was not all. He then was severely tested by being told to sacrifice his son – a son through whom the Eternal had specifically promised His covenant would operate (Genesis 17:21). Only when he had passed that test did God then truly know Abraham's heart of hearts – through which his perfection will eventually be complete:
We can also see the same hand of God fashioning and moulding Jacob throughout his life in the various trials he went through. As a young man – partially under the direction of his mother Rebecca – he selfishly inveigled both the birthright and the blessing away from his brother Esau; only to have his uncle Laban do something very similar to him in having him first marry Leah rather than Rachel as agreed. You can't help but wonder how he must have reflected on his own previous devious actions as he smarted from Laban's duplicity!
Even after his name had been changed from Jacob (Supplanter) to Israel (a prince of God) – as he wrestled with the One who would become Jesus Christ (Genesis 32:28), – and very shortly after appearing to him in Bethel, where he was promised incredible national greatness (Genesis 35:11), the Eternal still allowed Rachel to die in childbirth with Benjamin (Genesis 35:18).
What we need to understand is that God could see the much bigger picture – Jacob's position and ultimate perfection within the very Kingdom of God – and so He even stayed silent and refrained from intervening as He witnessed his struggle and sorrow with the apparent death of his beloved son Joseph at age 17 – and allowed him to mourn for well over two decades thereafter:
The trouble is, none of us as human beings can see the whole picture, just a few small pieces of the jigsaw, so to speak, but God knows how it will all fit together, and be ultimately for our good, our perfection. (Romans 8:28)
Abraham and Jacob are but two of the inspirational examples of faith, previously mentioned, "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." (Hebrews 11:40) They may not yet have been made fully perfect, as they are still waiting the resurrection. But we do clearly see them as having been fashioned and moulded – perfected – throughout their entire lifetime .... now fully ready to effectively serve in the Kingdom of God.
And is it any wonder that we too should find ourselves suffering trials and facing a deluge of problems – when we begin to grasp the TRUE purpose of this present physical, chemical existence? The development of perfect, holy, righteous Godly character is the very reason we find ourselves on this earth – and in training right now!
Indeed, the definition of the word used for "perfect" in the Greek (telios, Strongs 5056) throws more light on the subject: " brought to its end, finished: Wanting nothing necessary to completeness: Consummate human integrity and virtue: Full grown, adult, of full age, mature". And it is God, as the Master Potter, who does the finishing, the completing, the maturing ... the perfecting – with our tacit agreement – through Jesus Christ the perfect living Word.
I think every one of us would wholeheartedly agree with David, as he expresses his ultimate desire:
Rivers becoming a toxic waste dump… excessive mercury levels… radioactive contamination… gender-bending chemicals… hormone disrupters… cancer-linked weedkillers…
Without water, life as we know it could not exist on earth. The oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all earth’s water. Only 0.5% of the world’s water resources are available to provide for the freshwater needs of our planet’s ecosystem and population. So you would think that this vital resource would be greatly prized and highly protected!
When you read the following articles you will quickly realise that mankind in general has little respect for this vital resource, with many of the world’s great rivers being little better than open sewers!
“The mighty Mississippi River is sometimes called the Colon of America. At the mouth of the Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico lies a so-called Dead Zone of 6,000 to 8,000 square miles due to pollution.
The Yellow river in China has become a toxic waste dump. It is not unusual to see human corpses floating down the Ganges river in India yet it is a major source of water for around 400 million people.” (soapboxie.com)
“Millions of Americans may be drinking water with unsafe levels of industrial chemicals, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. These chemicals, known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances or PFASs, have been linked to high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression - and even cancer. Introduced more than 60 years ago, PFASs are a category of man-made chemicals that degrade very slowly, if at all, in the environment.
‘PFASs are organic compounds that are really useful’, said Xindi Hu, lead author of the new study and a doctoral student at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. This usefulness means these chemicals are used to make such items as food packaging materials (such as pizza boxes and popcorn bags), fabrics, nonstick cooking pans and firefighting foams.
As a result of their ubiquity, the chemicals migrate into air, household dust, food, soil and ground and surface water, and they eventually make their way into drinking water. The problem with PFASs is that they remain in your body for a long time. Though other chemicals can be excreted within hours, it takes about 3½ years for your body to get rid of just half of whatever amount you ingest, Susan M Pinney, a professor in the department of environmental health at University of Cincinnati explained, speaking of one particular PFAS she has studied. If you are exposed day after day, they will accumulate in your body.” (cnn.com)
“After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, with Cesium 137 contamination in Sweden, Norway and to a lesser extent, Finland, all faced a marketing disaster for their food industry (especially for reindeer meat) from the increased radioactive contamination, over and above previous Russian atmospheric nuclear testing.
Chernobyl’s Cesium 137 was carried by wind and spring rain patterns in high concentrations to central Sweden and Norway and within days, Swedish and Norwegian scientists measured dangerous levels of Cesium in the atmosphere. As a result Sweden raised the Cesium concentration limit for marketability. In May 1987, the limit was raised to 1,500 Bq/kg, which thereby classified most herding areas as safe.
Then, post Fukushima, the Japanese Ministry of Health decided to more than double the maximum allowable exposure for nuclear workers from 100 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts. Then in 2011 under new public radiation limits, Japanese children can now be exposed to 20 times more radiation than was previously permissible. The reasoning here is that it was necessary in order to keep schools in the Fukushima region open. Just raise the limits and the children are somehow safe!
Now we have the US EPA significantly raising the allowable limits of radioactive contamination in America’s domestic drinking water. Whatever the case it is so convenient that the biological effects of radiation can be altered simply by increasing the allowable ‘safe’ limits.” (emfacts.com)
“In a bid to show the public that there is no reason to be concerned about exposure to popular herbicide glyphosate – produced by Big Agri Giant Monsanto – Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) volunteered to take a urine test to see if glyphosate was in their systems.
As reported by Reader Supported News, 48 MEPs from 13 different European Union countries participated in the test to see if they had been exposed to the cancer-linked weedkiller – and now the results are in. According to the test results from the accredited Biocheck Laboratory in Germany, ‘all participants excreted glyphosate by urine.’ That’s right – every single one.
Spearheaded by the Green Party in the European Parliament – who are hoping for a ban on the toxic herbicide across the EU – the experiment found that on average the MEPs each had 1.7 micrograms/liter of glyphosate in their urine – which is 17 times higher than that found in European drinking water (on average 0.1 microgram/liter).
This shows that glyphosate is entering our bodies not only from drinking water, but from the food chain… Meanwhile, the US government continues to allow glyphosate to be used in public spaces, for agriculture and even in your back yard.” (naturalnews.com)
“This is reality – all of China’s grains, vegetables and fruits are irrigated with untreated industrial waste-water. The Yellow River, which is considered unusable, supports major food producing areas in the north-east provinces. Many Chinese farmers won’t even eat the food they produce, if you can believe that. That’s because it’s clear that China’s water pollution issues are so pronounced that it threatens the country’s entire food supply.
Chinese farmers have said there is no available water for crops except ‘dirty water.’ As part of the country’s industrial prowess, it is also one of the largest producers (and consumers) of fertilizers and pesticides, Water Politics reported.
The site noted further that as China’s industrial might grows, so too does the level of contaminants in the country’s water supply. Lakes, rivers, streams and falling water tables are becoming more polluted by the year.” (govtslaves.info)
The following article warns people about eating fish caught in reservoirs. What about a warning about drinking the water?
“Authorities are warning that bass at several of the most popular fishing destinations in Arizona and California have accumulated excessive mercury levels. In California, 180 reservoirs are contaminated with high mercury levels.
The board is now urging the reservoirs’ owners to post voluntary warnings about eating the fish that are at the top of the food chain, such as bass. These fish tend to accumulate the most mercury, posing a particular risk to children and pregnant women. Even though the warnings are intended to help protect human life, those who depend on the income brought by tourists and sportsmen to the bodies of water in question are reluctant to post voluntary warnings and draw attention to the matter.
Big Bear Lake, which is nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, welcomes millions of visitors each year for recreational activities that include not only fishing but also sailing and jet skiing. Some anglers believe that the bass are being unfairly singled out in an effort to protect the endangered and native species they consume.
One real estate agent in Big Bear points out that mercury advisories could adversely affect property values, saying that he would not be opposed to getting rid of the bass altogether to skirt the problem.” (naturalnews.com)
“Salmon caught in the Puget Sound were recently found to be contaminated with a toxic cocktail of 81 drugs and chemicals. Tissues of the juvenile Chinook were tested and researchers were blown away by what they found.
Drugs these fish were on included:
Prozac, Zantac, Advil, Benadryl, Lipitor, Cocaine, Flonase, Aleve, Tylenol, Paxil, Valium, Birth control pills (estrogen), Zoloft, Tagamet, OxyContin, Darvon, Nicotine, Caffeine, Fungicides, Antiseptics, Anticoagulants, Cipro and other antibiotics galore…
Why? Because the process used in waste-water treatment facilities does not filter out all the drugs that are eliminated by humans into the water supply en masse on a daily basis. That water is then reused, contaminated more, taken up by crops and the animals that eat them, and it ultimately winds up on our dinner tables to be eaten and recycled once more.
Researchers had already concluded drugs in the water were turning clams into hermaphrodites…” (thedailysheeple.com)
“The success of the globalists in perverting the minds of Western youth is evident in a new study by the Innovation Group, which found that most people between the ages of 13 and 20 – what the mainstream media and social engineers have dubbed ‘Generation Z’ – no longer believe in strictly-defined gender identities like ‘male’ and ‘female.’
This lack of clarity about biological identity is a product of two things: relentless media propaganda and chemical poisoning with gender-bending chemicals found in plastics, herbicides and pesticides sprayed on our food, and environmental pollution. Chemicals like bisphenol-A (BPA), glyphosate, soy and other hormone-disruptors are altering human genes and producing next-generation ‘robot’ humans with no gender, and thus no identity.
Food, water, air: It’s all tainted with endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that, more often than not, mimic the effects of estrogen, meaning they deplete testosterone and create hormone imbalances that not only confuse children, but also affect their growth and development.
Young girls are becoming more ‘masculine,’ while young boys are becoming more ‘feminine’ – an alchemy of the two sexes both physically and mentally that’s changing the landscape of culture and civilization.” (naturalnews.com)
“India’s environmental watchdog has concluded that a spiritual festival held in the country last March caused more than $6 million worth of damage to the Yamuna River that could take a decade to fix. An expert panel, established in 2010, was appointed by India’s National Green Tribunal to investigate.
The group concluded in its report released Wednesday, that the Art of the Living Foundation’s World Cultural festival held last year had destroyed the bed of the Yamuna river – considered sacred by Hindus – and adversely affected 170 hectares of surrounding floodplains. The massive event was attended by some 3.5 million people and left the area ‘completely destroyed, not simply damaged’ the Hindustan Times cited the report as saying.” (rt.com)
“Pope Francis has warned that we could be moving toward ‘a major world war for water.’ He did so when addressing participants at the concluding session of an international seminar on ‘the human right to water,’ held at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences on February 23 and 24 .
Addressing 90 experts from many countries, Francis emphasized ‘the urgent need’ to address this issue because ‘all people have a right to safe drinking water,’ but this right is not guaranteed today. He cited United Nations statistics that assert ‘each day a thousand children die from water-related illnesses and millions of persons consume polluted water.’ These ‘troubling’ statistics cannot leave people ‘indifferent,’ he said.” (americamagazine.org)
“One powerful lesson from the last famine in Somalia, just six years ago, was that famines were not simply about food. They are about something even more elemental: WATER. If there was any doubt, the recent news from Somalia or Nigeria should erase it.” (nytimes.com)
Back in the 1960’s, water pollution hit the headlines… the words are a lot more powerful today…
“Tom Lehrer wrote this song in 1960 for the satirical television show ‘That Was The Week That Was’ where he was the resident songwriter.
‘Time was an American about to go abroad would be warned by his friends or guide books not to drink the water. But times have changed and now a foreigner coming to this country might be offered the following advice…’
‘If you visit American city
You will find it very pretty
Just two things of which you must beware:
Don’t drink the water and don’t breath the air!
They got smog and sewage and mud
Turn on your tap
And get hot and cold running crud
See the halibuts and the sturgeons
Being wiped out by detergents
Fish got to swim and birds got to fly
But they don’t last long, if they try
You can use the latest toothpaste
And then rinse your mouth
With industrial waste
Just go out for a breath of air
And you’ll be ready for medicare
The city streets are really quite a thrill
If the hoods don’t get you, the monoxide will
Wear a gas mask and a veil
Then you can breathe
As long as you don’t inhale
Lots of things there that you can drink
But stay away from the kitchen sink
The breakfast garbage that you throw into the bay
They drink at lunch in San Jose
So go to the city, see the crazy people there
Like lambs to the slaughter
They’re drinking the water
And breathing the air’.”
Why has this situation come about? The short answer is – GREED!
Here is how Mr Armstrong explained the situation:
“Now then again, we get down to a philosophy of life. And as I have said to the leaders of many nations, to kings and emperors, prime ministers – there are two ways of life, or if you please, two philosophies. Only two general ways; and I have put it in language that a five or six-year old child ought to understand. The one way is the way of GIVE and the other is the way of GET.” (Sermon - October 13, 1979)
Just 10 corporations have a monopoly on almost everything you buy at the supermarket. They are out to make a profit – no matter what! When it takes at least twice as much water to produce a plastic water bottle as the amount of water in the water bottle, then we have a problem!
“Food and water were once considered to be basic rights, belonging to the individual. Sadly, this is no longer the case. The rights to food and water have been sold off to the highest bidder, commercialized and turned into an industry. Some might call it the bane of our health and wellness, others just call it Big Food. Big Food only sells us their food-like products at prices that make profits.
A mere ten companies have managed to usurp control of many popular foodstuffs and beverages. This includes Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Associated British Foods and Mondelez. Each and every one of these companies makes billions of dollars each year in revenue, and have spread their presence across the globe.” (naturalnews.com)
The world’s population is continually rising, water pollution is intensifying and still there is little action to protect our most vital resource – water!
As we continually point out, this is not God’s world, Satan is in control. And Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9)! Mankind cannot go on polluting the three main elements needed for human existence: Clean water, clean air and good wholesome food. But there is a solution coming, and that solution is revealed in the world’s best selling, but least understood book, the Holy Bible!
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God…” (Mark 1:14).
Around 2,000 years ago, Christ came to announce to the world the soon-coming Kingdom of God. The return of Jesus Christ, to take control of all of this world’s governments, is now imminent!
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE IT!
It will happen, regardless. It is sure – the world’s only sure hope. This advance good news of tomorrow is as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun.
Humanity won’t bring it about – it is going to be done to us. Humanity is going to be forced to be happy – to enjoy world peace – to see universal abundance and joy fill the earth.
Utopia? Why not. Why should it be an imaginary or impossible pipe-dream? There is a cause for today’s world chaos and threat of human extinction. That cause will be supplanted by that which will bring a utopia that is real, that is successfully functioning!” (Tomorrow… What It Will Be Like)
One of the first events to happen at the beginning of the 1,000 year rule of Jesus Christ is revealed in the book of Isaiah – and it concerns water!
“I will open rivers in high places, and fountains [artesian wells] in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah [acacia] tree, and the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree [cypress] together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the [Eternal] hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it” (Isaiah 41:18-20).
Even fish in the Dead Sea!
“And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.”
And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many” (Ezekiel 47:9-10).
As Mr Armstrong wrote:
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE IT! It will happen, regardless. It is sure – the world’s only sure hope.” (Tomorrow… What It Will Be Like)