Audio - 04 Dec 2016

Latest Audio - 2016-12-03

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Split Sermon
by Ian Henderson
The Same Author Genesis to Revelation
given Bristol UK 3 Dec 2016
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Special Music
by PaulaH/SylviaD
Ps 91 - Within Your Secret Place
sung Bristol UK 3 Dec 2016
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Split Sermon
by Jon Bowles
Counting the Unexpected Cost
given Bristol UK 3 Dec 2016
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News Review - 2 Dec 2016
bewareYouAreWhatYouEat

Reduced fat dairy… margarine… soda… aspartame… deli meats… high fructose corn syrup… monosodium glutamate… white flour… commercial fruit juice… GM breakfast cereals…

Beware: You Really ARE what you eat!

Welcome to the Age of Foodless Food. Welcome to the age when much of our food is “processed for profit” - where shelf life is far more important than nutrition. Welcome to the age when “industrially produced food” is less expensive than “natural food”.

In the Western world today, obesity is a major problem, along with diseases such as cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, kidney disease, asthma… the list goes on and on.

The Question Is – Why?

The following article gives us a clue on where to start looking:

“As Americans gather around Thanksgiving tables, chances are that the healthier parts of their menus — the tossed salads, broccoli casseroles or steaming bowls of roasted brussels sprouts — were grown here in the Salinas Valley. Yet one place the valley’s bounty of antioxidants does not often appear is on the tables of the migrant workers who harvest it.

Public health officials here describe a crisis of poverty and malnutrition among the tens of thousands of farmworkers and their families who tend to the fields… 85 percent of farmworkers in the valley are overweight or obese, partly because unhealthy food is less costly, said Marc B Schenker, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies the health of farmworkers.

The people who grow our food can’t afford to eat it, and they are sicker because of it,’ said Joel Diringer, a public health specialist and advocate for farmworkers.” (nytimes.com)

Foodless Food

As the article points out, “the people who grow our food can’t afford to eat it, and they are sicker because of it!” And the result is that the vast majority of these workers are obese and sick! The following article takes a look at the “cheaper” industrialised food – and its effect on people:

“Author Michael Pollan has a great quote that goes, ‘Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.’ This is so relevant to the food landscape we modern folks are faced with these days. Take, for example, something like gummy bears. Are they edible? Yes. Are they food? Well… they’re food-like.

“One dietician gave this advice, ‘My BASIC RULE in diet is: Eat only those natural foods that will spoil – and eat them before they do’.” (The Plain Truth – January 1982)

So many of the ‘foods’ we consume are processed to the point that they don’t nourish our bodies in the ways that food should. In fact, many of them contain artificial ingredients that can be quite harmful. Here are a few that you might want to stay away from.

1. Lunch meat

High-quality, free-range and grass-fed meat can be a healthy part of your diet. However, deli meats contain nitrites, because food manufacturers use sodium nitrite to cure the meat, and to prevent the growth of bacteria. When combined with the amines in the meat, nitrites create nitrosamines, which, it is believed, may be carcinogenic.

2. Reduced fat dairy

Over the last few decades, many of us have been made to believe that the fat in dairy products is unhealthy. But recent science is beginning to suggest that this may not be the case. Quite the contrary, actually – in reality, it’s reduced fat dairy that you want to steer clear of. Reduced fat dairy products often contain artificial ingredients that mimic the texture of fat. And, especially with products like yogurt, they tend to contain a lot of sugar, to make up for the flavor lost when the fat was removed.

3. Margarine

Again, due to the idea that dairy fat is ‘bad,’ products like margarine, which is a vegetable oil made into a solid state through the process of hydrogenation, are healthier options. It comes from vegetables, it must be better, right? Not exactly. The problem with margarine is that it contains trans fat – the result of hydrogenation. And trans fats are associated with an increased risk of heart attack. Margarine is also thought to lower HDL (good cholesterol), raise LDL (bad cholesterol), and increase your risk of diabetes.

4. Soda

We all know that soda is high in sugar – most often in the form of high fructose corn syrup. And too much sugar can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, and other conditions. Soda also contains artificial flavors and colors, which are thought to be associated with a range of negative health effects. Soda is believed to be linked to heart disease, reproductive problems, kidney issues, asthma, and the dissolving of enamel on the teeth.

5. High fructose corn syrup

As many point out, the increase of HFCS consumption on a societal level generally corresponds with an increase in obesity and diabetes. To much sugar in the diet can also lead to metabolic syndrome, high triglyceride levels, and an increased risk of heart disease.

6. Aspartame

You may be thinking, if HFCS is so bad, maybe an artificial sweetener would be a better option. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Aspartame, for example, may be linked to an increased risk of cancer. The science here is not definitive, and the FDA maintains that there is not an association. However, there is some research suggesting that aspartame might be linked to a higher risk of certain cancers.

7. Monosodium Glutamate

MSG has gotten a bad rap – and for good reason! But what many of us may not realize is that, despite the fact that we know it is associated with a number of health conditions, it is still present in many foods, including boxed chicken broth, cheese spreads, potato chips, and more. Incredibly, it can even be found in some baby foods. So what does MSG do to your body? It is an “excitotoxin” that excites your cells to the point of damage. This can even cause brain damage, trigger or exacerbate learning disabilities, and some believe it may be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, though more research is needed.

8. White flour

You’ve probably heard that refined carbohydrates are less healthy than whole grains. That’s the case largely because the fiber found in whole grains is stripped from refined carbs. And that impacts the way your body processes them. As a result, refined carbohydrates like white flour can increase your risk of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. In addition, gluten is inflammatory, and a diet high in gluten is sometimes thought to be linked to health risks associated with inflammation, as well as digestive issues.

“Take wheat. Wheat is almost a perfect food. It contains all 16 major food elements, in near perfectly balanced proportion. But they take that perfect grain of wheat apart, rob it of the 12 mineral elements, and turn it into white flour – containing the four carbohydrate elements.

Why?

Well, if they were to give you real WHOLE wheat flour, it would spoil after so long a time. And in the BIG BUSINESS distribution system, the flour may not reach the consumer until after it spoils. That would mean a loss to the food industry.(The Plain Truth – January 1982)

9. Commercial fruit juice

It would seem to make sense that fruit juice would be healthy. After all, we know that fruit has a wide range of health benefits. And we often hear about people going on juice cleanses and detoxes. But the kind of juice found at most grocery stores is not healthy. Most of it is heat pasteurized, which many believe strips the juice of many of its nutrients. Also, much of this juice contains added HFCS and food coloring. So really, when you buy commercial fruit juice, you’re just buying sugar water. Instead, look for juice that has no added ingredients, does not come from concentrate, and preferably is unpasteurized (checking out a local juice bar is probably your best bet for juice that has not been pasteurized).

10. Breakfast cereals

We all know that the marshmallow-laden cereals we ate as kids aren’t healthy. But others — those that contain whole grains, for example — are definitely touted as health foods. But that’s simply not the case. For starters, most cereals are loaded with GMOs, especially those containing corn. Also, cereals are put through a process called extrusion to give them their shape — that’s how the grains are shaped into Os and puffs. But extrusion strips the grains of most of their nutrients and denatures the fatty acids, making the cereal essentially toxic. Not to mention the fact that most cereals contain a host of artificial ingredients, and most of the cereals that contain whole grains also contain refined grains.

“Today nearly everything we eat passes through man’s hands – or his factories – before it comes to the consumer. In the interests of bigger profits the gigantic food industry is giving us a diet of FOODLESS ‘foods’.(The Plain Truth – January 1982)

It can be a challenge to navigate our contemporary food landscape. And many of the foods that are marketed to us as being healthy are anything but. A good rule of thumb is just to eat real food. If it’s processed, skip it. This one tip will take you a long way toward a healthier lifestyle.” (thealternativedaily.com)

The Proof Of The Pudding…

“When we think of Amish people we think of a simple life, free of modern advancements. Most of us view them as foolish for not using the advantages of convenient technology and even look down on them for not conforming to the norms of mainstream society. But if we look at the statistics, the Amish are much healthier than the rest of America. They virtually have no cancer, no autism, and rarely get sick. What are they doing different from the rest of America? Let’s look at some of the things they are doing different.

A recent study published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control has revealed that Amish people have virtually no cancer within their population, and are considered the most healthy people in America.

Researchers from Ohio State University originally launched a study on the Amish population to see whether rates of cancer would be higher due to their lack of conventional medical care. What they found, however, shocked them.

Here is why the Amish Rarely Get Sick or get Cancer

The Amish have chosen the traditional wisdom of our ancestors over our ‘modern’ way of living. They live by the practices of past generations.

1. The Amish Don’t Get Vaccinated.

Did you know that Amish people rarely have any learning disabilities or autism. Instead of crediting their lack of autism to the absence of vaccines, mainstream society credits it to a superior gene that the Amish possess. In spite of constant pressure from the government, the Amish still refuse to vaccinate.

2. The Amish Eat Organic, Locally Grown Food.

The Amish not only avoid prepackaged and processed food, they actually grow all of their food using organic farming methods. They raise their own animals; their food is natural and gmo free. It’s important to note that they eat seasonal food during the harvest months, and save the rest by canning and fermenting. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are nutritionally higher in value. They are filled with anti-oxidants that are of great benefit to our health. Anti-oxidants fight free radicals, which helps you stay healthy and young. Thus, the lack of ADHD, food allergies and asthma can be undeniably contributed to their diet.

“God made organic substances, grown through food, to be naturally absorbed into the bloodstream to replenish broken-down cells and supply tissue, healthy flesh and blood.” (The Plain Truth – January 1982)

3. The Amish Eat Plenty of Healthy Fats.

The Amish have a very low obesity rate despite their high fat diet. Their eating habits by all means are not low fat. They eat plenty of butter, meat, eggs, raw dairy. Foods like butter and raw grass fed dairy contains a lot of fat soluble vitamins such as A, E and K2. It’s important to note that Vitamin K2 is very insufficient in modern diets. All that low fat nonsense has depleted our bodies from these essential nutrients. Vitamin K2 is particularly important as it is involved in calcium metabolism. Vitamin K insufficiency leads to many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and even cancer.

4. The Amish People are Physically Active.

Compared to the overall 31% obesity rate in America, the Amish only have a 3 percent obesity rate. Since they don’t use cars, or any modern technologies, their level of physical activity is very high: men averaged 18,000 steps a day and women 14,000. They walk a lot and are truly involved in physical labor which reflects in their extremely low rate of cardiovascular diseases. Accodring to David R Bassett, PhD, FACSM, a professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, ‘The Amish were able to show us just how far we’ve fallen in the last 150 years or so in terms of the amount of physical activity we typically perform. Their lifestyle indicates that physical activity played a critical role in keeping our ancestors fit and healthy.’

5. The Amish Live Stress Free Lives

Stress is probably the number one culprit to our health problems. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels get elevated which is extremely dangerous for your health in the long run. Health problems associated with stress include heart disease, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, high blood sugar levels, elevated cholesterol and obesity. The Amish live in a stress free community. They live slow paced, patient lifestyles.

They don’t compete with each other; they created a egalitarian community for themselves where their lifestyles are based on equality, cooperation and harmony. The Amish live the same way they lived 300 years ago and we can definitely can learn some lessons from them. They live toxic free, self sustainable lives. They are not plagued with various diseases and they are much healthier than the rest of America.” (livingtraditionally.com)

“WHAT, then, are the specific CAUSES?

One physician said to me, ‘We doctors are kept so busy treating sicknesses and diseases that we simply have no time to study and research into the CAUSES.’

But some of the most noted physicians and surgeons have given thought and study into the CAUSES. And leading doctors have said that 90 to 92 percent of all sickness and disease results from FAULTY DIET! Some of the them have said that the average Western meal is a dietetic HORROR! Few people, it seems, realize that FOOD has any connection with health or sickness.(The Plain Truth – January 1982)

The Real Problem Is Spiritual

In the beginning… God: When God created our present world, He “…saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good (Genesis 1:31). “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food (Genesis 2:7-9).

When God had finished creating, He said all that He had created was “very good”! This included man – as well as his food supply! But there was one no-go area - “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”!

We all know what happened. Man decided to take to himself the ability to decide what was good, and what was evil. We are in this state right up to the present day! Man decided to follow Satan – and reject God!

Mr Armstrong made this very clear:

“The Word of God to man tells us that Satan has DECEIVED THE WHOLE WORLD! (Revelation 12:9)

HOW is the whole world deceived? The foundational LAW – the very Constitution – of the government of God is a WAY of life. It might be summed up in the one word LOVE. But God’s LOVE is an OUT-flowing concern for the good of those loved! It is the way of ‘GIVE’ – of serve, of cooperate, of share.

But this world – following Satan’s WAY – is on the WAY of ‘GET.’ The way of ‘ME,’ of vanity, lust, coveting, greed – of envy and jealousy – of competition, strife and violence – of rebellion against authority.

The way of this world may be summed up in the three-letter word GET. That attitude – that motive – that approach – is the CAUSE of all this world’s evils, sufferings and death.” (The Plain Truth – October/November 1980)

GREED!

Now we come to the basic problem: Greed!

One of the many wrong decisions made by man was to pervert the food chain for profit. The result is sickness and disease.

Our food is under attack. Grown in ‘dead earth’, fed with artificial fertilizers, sprayed with herbicides, sprayed and pesticides, sprayed with antifungals and finally irradiated – and possibly genetically modified - and that’s just the ‘fresh’ products. The rest goes through some industrial process, ending up as foodless food! And then we wonder why we are sick!

The Solution Is Not Far Off!

Today, we can’t drink the water, we can’t breath the air and we can’t eat the food! What we need is a complete change, and that change is coming… a New World Government, leading to a completely different way of life!

Christ, the King of kings. Perfect in character, absolute in honesty, integrity, faithfulness, loyalty and trust; filled with outgoing concern for the governed – their welfare and salvation; total knowledge, understanding, wisdom. Complete love, mercy, patience, kindness, compassion, forgiveness. Yet, possessing total power, and never compromising one millionth of an inch with His perfect law – which is the way of love. He will enforce God’s Law – God’s Government on earth. He will compel haughty, carnal, rebellious humans to yield in complete submission to God’s Government.

No one will be deceived – as the vast majority of mankind is today. All will know the truth. No more religious confusion. Eyes will be opened to the truth. Humans will become teachable. People will start living God’s Way – the way of outgoing concern for others – the way of the true values – the way of peace, of happiness, of well-being, of joy.

Crime, sickness, disease, pain and suffering, gone. Poverty, ignorance banished. Smiles on people’s faces – faces that radiate. Wild animals tame. Air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, gone. Crystal pure water to drink; clean, crisp, pure air to breathe; rich black soil where deserts, mountains and seas formerly were, producing full-flavored foods, and fantastic beauty in flowers, shrubs, trees. A world filled with happy radiating humans, guided, helped, protected, and ruled by former mortals made immortal – and all the humans realizing that they, too, may inherit everlasting life in supreme happiness and thrilling joy.

What a fabulous picture!(Tomorrow… What It Will Be Like - Chapter 7)

Pastors Report - 25 Nov 2016
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Watching In Context ...

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (Matthew 24:32-33)

Watching only ourselves?

I remember at one time coming across a sermon which attempted to deal with the subject of watching. The problem was, the entire thrust of the message was that the only thing we in God's Church should be concerned with regarding the subject, was to remain alert to our own spiritual condition. The watching of world events was played down, disparaged and summarily dismissed as an almost worthless exercise. The focus of attention was very much inward and not on events occurring in the world at all.

Yet the passage above from Matthew 24 is very clear. We are to 'look' – as if looking at a fig tree – at the events going on around us in order to be cognisant of the times in which we find ourselves.. There is a danger that we could get sidetracked, overtaken by the cares of this life, so we're warned to keep alert, keep our eyes open to world conditions – ..."when ye shall see all these things, ".(Matthew 24:33)

Watching only world events?

The other side of the coin is that sometimes church members are virtually trying to figure out the who, what, why, when and how of end-time prophecy so they can be one step ahead of anyone else and be ready to flee when the time comes. But six times in the gospels we are warned not to seek to save our physical lives – or we shall lose them! For example, "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." (Luke 17:33) ... found within the end-time context of being taken to a place of safety.

Paul warns us that there is something far more important we must remain rooted to:

  • If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
  • ...Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
  • For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
  • but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.(I Corinthians 13:2,8-10 NIV)
The spiritual conditions:

Watching world events in their spiritual context is the key, as there are most certainly spiritual aspects within this watching process that if ignored renders the entire action futile. To see these spiritual aspects with clarity, we must place the subject into the overall context of why is mankind on the earth – why we are here at all? And when I say 'here' I'm initially referring to the current age – immersed in a satanic broadcast and with so many evils. In almost every case there is a spiritual dimension to what we observe happening around the world each and every day.

The chaos, deviancy, madness and wretched unhappiness we see has almost always grown from a spiritual root – some form of breaking God's all-encompassing, perfect law in one form or another. Witness the devastation of the city of Aleppo and the sheer misery of its inhabitants, living, or rather, existing amongst the rubble – and we can clearly see that there are no winners when it comes to warfare – it always brings destruction. Yet there is always a spiritual root to war – described in James chapter four. God is deliberately allowing all of this – even to a point where mankind would totally destroy himself were Christ not to appear in the nick of time – and He allows it as a vital form of aversion therapy for all of us, as Mr Armstrong explains:

Man was started on the wrong way. Man is being given a great dose of aversion therapy. You see what I mean? We have got to come to the place where OUR STOMACH’S SO FULL OF THE ROTTENNESS OF THIS WORLD WE DON’T WANT ANY OF IT; WE WANT TO VOMIT IT UP. And I don’t know anyone who wants to go out and swallow up his own vomit again.

Why is God going to allow the Great Tribulation to come? It’s a time of trial and testing, a final trial and testing. And men are going to get so sick of this world and of its way, so fed up with it (just to use a little modern slang) that they never want to return to it again. That they never want to return to it again. (Sermon – Aversion Therapy – given: October 16, 1982)

Mind of Christ:

But the subject of watching in spiritual context does not end there. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ – remembered each year in the Passover memorial – begins a process that ultimately transforms – converts – human beings into Sons of God. Read that too quickly, and the full impact can so easily be missed! The words you have just read – if truly grasped and meditated upon – have absolutely astounding, transcendental, mind-blowing, incredible MEANING. To convert HUMAN CLAY INTO A GOD BEING! Yes, decaying, frail human flesh into eternal, self-existent spirit life! Just think of it! What could be greater? Yet that is the process we are currently involved in. That is what the Holy Days picture. That is the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

And watching the news must also fit into this overarching process – for although our physical bodies will decay, every aspect of our minds must be undergoing this process of conversion now . (II Corinthians 4:16-18) It is not something that merely accompanies the transformation of our bodies from matter into Spirit at Christ's return. Though our character is certainly fixed at the resurrection, it must be developed throughout our physical lives. As Mr Armstrong explained:...

The resurrected Christ was PERFECT – He was very God! But He did not grow up into perfection after He was resurrected. It was during His human lifetime, setting us the example, that He was made perfect as you read in Hebrews 2:10 and 5:8-9.

Thus it is plain that we must develop spiritual character, growing to spiritual adulthood, during this life – not after our resurrection in GLORY (The Good News Personal – March 1984)

A day by day implementation of this developing spiritual character is vital for God's people. After all, it is what this present physical, chemical existence is all about. Therefore even watching the news – what we see on TV, via the computer, read in the newspapers or hear on the radio – must be done with spiritual eyes for this vital reason as well. For the more we view using the Mind of Christ – the Mind of a God-Being in human flesh – the more accurate will be our assessment of the times in which we live.

The "Heavenlies":

Jesus Christ berated the people of His day for their lack in this area:

  • And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.
  • And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.
  • Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? (Luke 12:54-56)

They were able to correctly discern the weather from what they saw, but they could not accurately assess what they were witnessing in Jesus Christ and so forecast the direction in which the cataclysmic events surrounding Him were leading. But in God's Church, led by the Spirit of God, this must not be the case. We should be developing our ability to correctly assess the world around us – in our time – and learning to do so using God's perspective.

The apostle Paul uses a particular Greek word to describe this process – translated in Ephesians as "heavenly places" in the KJV – but more accurately translated in the Literal Translation and the Interlinear as 'heavenlies'. It indicates offices or positions that are 'on high' – observing, and eventually being able to administer all we do from God's overarching view-point:

  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3)
  • Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,(Ephesians 1:20)
  • And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:6)
  • To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,(Ephesians 3:10)
Timing:

This view of the world – from God's exalted position – is graphically described in Isaiah:

  • With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?
  • ...He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
  • He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. . (Isaiah 40:18,22-23 NIV)

Certainly, being able to literally view all from 'on high' as God is able to has an advantage we can never possess living here below. But we can nevertheless witness something similar being used by Christ when here on earth. Even though not literally on high at the time, He still used a high Godly perspective for all His assessments. Note how this was particularly the case on that fateful Passover evening in the garden of Gethsemane. When the disciples were more intent on sleeping, Christ was literally sweating blood. And He did so because He was watching – and totally cognisant of the pivotal, world-shaping events that were unfolding all around Him:

  • Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
  • And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
  • Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
  • And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
  • And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
  • Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matt 26:36-41)
The View of God:

Jesus Christ could see His entire human experience on earth drawing inexorably to its conclusion on that crucial Passover night, and the importance of His sinless sacrifice - which was to have eternal repercussions. Being God in the flesh He was able to place the looming events in the context of something decided from the very foundation of the world when Adam took to himself the knowledge of good and evil (Revelation 13:8). Conversely, for the disciples it was merely past their normal bed-time. They were totally oblivious of the view of God.

Today we are about to enter an arguably even more pivotal juncture in history – the final transition between the age of Satan and the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ is about to return to this earth and bring the world out of "the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Romans 8:21) But once again, the world is utterly oblivious – because they use an entirely earthly perspective.

To illustrate the difference between a human approach to the heart-rending world conditions, and God's approach, let's ask the question, "what is an abomination today?" – and see the difference by examining two widely divergent areas: Aids and Easter.

HIV/Aids:

Most in the world would certainly describe the devastating death toll and the resulting orphaned children found throughout the African sub-continent from HIV/Aids as an abomination in this world. But would they see the chocolate eggs and sunrise services of Easter celebrations as an abomination? I doubt it! Yet witnessing these things using the eyes of God causes us to see exactly the reverse.

The word translated 'abomination' in scripture, largely implies spiritual filth. In God's eyes HIV/Aids is not the abomination. HIV/Aids is merely the inexorable sad result. Yet the reason Africa – and the world – is plagued by AIDS is because the world has not kept God's Law. Marriage is a sacred union that pictures Christ and His Church. A man therefore should have sex only with his wife. A woman should have sex only with her husband. Having sex with someone else is sin and the very purpose of this life is to learn the lesson of the miserable results of sin, or breaking the word and commands of God. "Aversion therapy", as we have seen Mr. Armstrong express it. So until the abominable sexual practises change there can be no removal of the plague.

Pagan Syncretism:

But what about mere tinfoil covered chocolate eggs and the sunrise services of Easter? Are they largely innocuous – little more than quaint customs from a bygone age? Not if we use God's Word – the Living Jesus Christ – as our guide. They are the product of pagan syncretism, i.e. mixing God's Word with pagan ideas and are a form of spiritual harlotry and the complete antithesis of how the pure Bride of Christ must behave. If we are indeed "cleansed by the washing of water by the word" (Ephesians 5:26), and now viewing events by His definition any such things are an abomination:

  • Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
  • Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
  • What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. (Deuteronomy 12:30-32)
  • And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. (2 Kings 23:13)
  • Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
  • And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. (Ezekiel 8:15-16)
End-time Warning:

So we see just watching with human eyes is not sufficient, as we are then deciding for ourselves what is good and what is evil. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment". (John 7:24) As Christ warned His disciples in Gethsemane to watch and pray just as He was was about to, so He very clearly reminds His true end-time followers to do the same: "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch!! (Mark 13:35-37)

In the verses immediately before giving the above warning, Jesus Christ ties together knowing when we are getting close, with maintaining this alert, watchful, prayerful approach. Knowing the day and hour may be something the Father reserves exclusively to Himself, but as our viewpoint is progressively changed – converted – to be the same as His, so our knowledge of His sense of timing also becomes more aligned with where HE sees the present condition of the world.

  • But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
  • Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
  • For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. (Mark 13:32-34)
Today's News:

Only by genuinely using God's perspective can we accurately fit the events into their prophetic framework. Only by genuinely using God's perspective can we tell when the end is indeed drawing towards us, even though the precise point remains reserved exclusively by the Father. For the rest of humanity such world-shaking events may come as a snare, but for those of us in God's Church who remain alert and watching via God's perspective, the very act of correctly watching also becomes a vital part of our Spiritual development – the process of being converted into a fully-formed, Spirit-born Son of the Ever-Living God.

  • And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
  • For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
  • Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:34-36)
  • But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
  • For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
  • For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
  • But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
  • Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
  • Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6)
Tomorrow's News:

Certainly the news today can be very sobering. Viewed as the world sees them, such negative events could so easily make us depressed. But they shouldn't as watching them properly is also part of the very character building process we need – that of developing the very perspective of God Himself. And God's view of allowing these evils to come close to destroying us is for the purpose of correction – not getting even! He wants to get humanity back on track so it can be blessed:

  • I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (Deuteronomy 30:19)
  • Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
  • For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.(Ezekiel 18:31,32)

No doubt part of the message given by the two witnesses at the end time will include this spiritual context – WHY such evils are befalling mankind – so lessons can be learnt, even at that late stage.

Thankfully we know that time is short, and that mankind will not be a puppet of Satan much longer. And when the necessary correction has been given – and received – then we have full confidence we will be watching something very different from today ... the World Tomorrow as it comes into being ... based firmly on the correct spiritual context:

  • Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.
  • And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.(Jeremiah 31:27,28)
  • Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;
  • Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.
  • Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
  • And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
  • And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; (Isaiah 32:14-18)
Transcript - 22 Aug 2016
Mr Armstrong

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