Audio - 16 Nov 2019

Latest Audio - 2019-11-16

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World Tomorrow
by Mr Armstrong
Christ's Parable, continued
given 13 June 1979 - played Wales UK 16 Nov 2019
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Sermon
by Jon Bowles
Fit For the Kingdom
given Wales UK 29 Apr 2006 - played Wales UK 16 Nov 2019
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News Review - 15 Nov 2019
fallOfTheWall

Thirty years ago - Berlin 1989 - the end of an era…

The Fall Of “The Wall”

To the world at large, this event seemed to come out of a clear blue sky, totally unexpected, like “…a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh SUDDENLY at an instant” (Isaiah 30:13).

But in hindsight, the “cracks in the wall” were there for all to see!

Steps To Unity

June 12, 1987 President Reagan, in a speech in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, demands: ‘Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’

July 17, 1989 Border controls lifted between Hungary and Austria. GDR citizens flee to the West

October 7 During a visit to the GDR, Gorbachev urges reform

October 18 Erich Honecker, East Germany’s head of state, resigns

November 4 500,000 people demonstrate in East Berlin, demanding reform

November 9 The Politburo announces that East Germans are allowed to move freely into West Germany

November 10 The Brandenburg Gate is opened

October 3, 1990 Germany reunited!” (margaretthatcher.org)


All these events led up to an even bigger change in world politics, the collapse of the Soviet Union, just over one year later, on 26th December 1991

The Man Of The Moment: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev

“Concessions made by Mikhail Gorbachev, a Soviet reformer who came to power in 1985, were key to the agreement.

Axel Klausmeier, director of the Berlin Wall Foundation, said Gorbachev’s policies of ‘glasnost’ (openness) and ‘perestroika’ (reform) were a clear break from the Brezhnev doctrine — a policy that aimed to ensure that Warsaw Pact countries (the Soviet Union and its satellites) would not diverge from the political course set out by the Kremlin.

With Gorbachev, said Klausmeier, suddenly there was a new policy: ‘No matter what happens in our socialist brother countries, these states are responsible for themselves.’

Increasingly, civil rights activists felt emboldened to push for glasnost and perestroika in their own countries. In Poland, contacts between communist leaders and the union pro-democracy movement Solidarity, which was still officially banned, began as early as the summer of 1988.

Those contacts led to the so-called Round Table Talks, in which not only members of the political opposition took part but also representatives from the country’s highly influential Catholic Church.

The Vatican Involved

“[Europe’s] leaders talk continually of POLITICAL union – which means, also, military. So far they have been unable to bring about full political union. This will be made possible by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, who alone can be the symbol of unity to which they can look.” (The US and GB in Prophecy – Chapter 14)

Among those church representatives was Karol Jozef Wojtyla, who, as Pope John Paul II, openly displayed sympathy toward the Solidarity movement during the three trips he made to his homeland as Pontiff. His authority as head of the Catholic Church strengthened the belief among opponents of the communist government that a positive turn of fate might be at hand.

In September, tens of thousands of citizens began gathering in the streets of Leipzig each Monday for demonstrations. October 9, 1989 — which saw 70,000 people gather to peacefully protest for change — is largely seen as the high point of the demonstration movement… when the government did nothing to intervene, the opposition had the feeling they had won.

A few days later, the head of the East German state and general secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), Erich Honecker, was forced from power and replaced by Egon Krenz, who signaled a willingness to meet with civil rights activists.

Soon after, on November 4, Berlin’s Alexanderplatz became the site of the largest demonstration in the country’s history.

Five days later, on November 9, 1989, it was Schabowski who announced East Germany’s new travel policy. In doing so, whether intentionally or not, he had ordered the toppling of the Berlin Wall. Not a single shot was fired at the border. The door to freedom was flung wide open — and it could never be shut again.

Back in 1952, nine years before the Berlin Wall was built, The Good News warned:

Russia may give East Germany back to the Germans and will be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria to complete the ten nation union.” (The Good News - April 1952)

In the months that followed, people across the entire Eastern Bloc fought for their freedom. Things eventually came full circle when the Soviet Union collapsed in late 1991. But the first step was taken when Gorbachev came to power in 1985. Six years later, in 1991, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” (dw.com)

The Fall Of The Wall

“In was amid that atmosphere of reform that, on the evening of November 9, 1989, Gunter Schabowski, an East German government official, made a surprising announcement at a press conference.

‘Permanent relocations,’ he said, ‘can be done through all border checkpoints between the GDR [East Germany] into the FRG [West Germany] or West Berlin.’ This news was set out as an incremental change in policy. But, after reporter Riccardo Ehrman asked when the regulations would take effect, Schabowski replied, ‘As far as I know, it takes effect immediately, without delay.’

Schabowski’s press conference was the lead story on West Germany’s two main news programs that night, at 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm, with the takeaway being that the Wall, while it still stood, was no longer the firm dividing line it had long been. That night, anchorman Hanns Joachim Friedrichs proclaimed, ‘This 9 November is a historic day. The GDR has announced that, starting immediately, its borders are open to everyone. The gates in the Wall stand open wide.

1985 – The message never changed!

“Do not discount the possibility that this resurrection of the medieval Holy Roman Empire may start by some arrangement to reunite East and West Germany first. Before World War II, a mutual accord had been made between Germany and Russia. History often repeats itself.”
(The Plain Truth - October 1985)

This was all the East German populace needed to hear. Citizens flocked to the border en masse sometime around 9:00 pm and found that, after initial confusion, the border guards were indeed letting people cross. This was a crucial flashpoint in the history between the two sides, as the guards could have easily fired on the crowd. However, according to historian Mary Elise Sarotte in her book The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall, no one among the East German authorities wanted to take the personal authority of issuing orders leading to the use of lethal force.

By 11:00 pm, Harald Jager, the commander of the Bornholmer Strasse border crossing, let the guards open the checkpoints, allowing people to pass without their identities checked.

Over that weekend, more than 2 million people from East Berlin visited West Berlin to participate in the mass celebration.” (time.com)

The Rise Of A New And Dangerous European Power?

“By the morning of November 10, the GDR is dead. That day, Anatoly Chernyaev, an advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev, writes in his diary: ‘The Berlin Wall has collapsed. This entire era in the history of the socialist system is over… That is what Gorbachev has done. And he has indeed turned out to be a great leader. He has sensed the pace of history and helped history to find a natural channel.

23:55 Somewhere in the chaos, a young Angela Merkel has made it through the Bornholmer crossing. From the west side of the Wall, she phones her aunt in Hamburg – and then, presumably, joins the celebrations. This is the night that sets Merkel on her path to be chancellor of Germany. She will later join the new East German party, Democratic Awakening, and there begin her political career.

23:35 Nearby, NBC’s Barrie Dunsmore is supposed to be making a similar live broadcast. Instead, he can provide only his voice while his staff try to book a video link.

At this point in history, satellite lines for video are very limited, and must be booked hours, if not days, in advance. Tonight, for obvious reasons, they are chock-a-block. Nobody had expected this to happen, so nobody had booked a satellite.

23:06 By now, Margaret Thatcher is watching the news from Berlin on TV. The next morning, she says:

‘I think it is a great day for freedom. I watched the scenes on television last night and again this morning because I felt one ought not only hear about them but see them because you see the joy on people’s faces and you see what freedom means to them; it makes you realise that you cannot stifle or suppress people’s desire for liberty and so I watched with the same joy as everyone else and I hope that they will be a prelude to the Berlin Wall coming down.’

But amidst all this, Thatcher - who was a young adult throughout the Second World War - was worried. Memos from the next few months show her deep unease about German reunification.

If both Germany’s were allowed to join, she feared, it would mean the rise of a new and dangerous European power.(telegraph.co.uk)


The Iron Lady’s View on German Reunification:

‘“We beat the Germans twice, and now they’re back,” she told a meeting of European leaders a month later.’ (telegraph.co.uk)

“What Will Sovereign United Germany Be Like?”

“On the eve of reunification, which took place on 3 October 1990, a joint dispatch by the British ambassadors to East and West Germany forecast ‘the likely nature and aspirations’ of the new united country.

‘Germany is again in the ascendant. With the scars of 1933-45 still vivid in many memories, this has not surprisingly caused concern in other parts of Europe,’ stated the dispatch from Patrick Eyers, the ambassador to East Germany, and Mallaby.

‘Twice bitten, thrice vigilant. Germany’s neighbours naturally wonder how far the Germans have really changed since 1945, and whether following unification there will be another shift in the behaviour of a nation that so often has proved volatile. What will sovereign united Germany be like?’(theguardian.com)

Mrs Thatcher Feared A Resurgent Germany

“The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 marked the end of the Cold War and paved the way for communist East Germany to be reunited with West Germany, ending the division that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.

But while the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe represented a triumph for the West, Mrs Thatcher feared a resurgent Germany would dominate the Continent.

Charles Powell, her long-standing foreign adviser noted, ‘The way in which the Germans currently used their elbows and threw their weight about in the European community suggested that a lot had still not changed.’ He added: ‘In sum, no-one had serious misgivings about the present leaders or political elite of Germany. But what about ten, fifteen or twenty years from now?

‘Could some of the unhappy characteristics of the past re-emerge with just as destructive consequences?’(telegraph.co.uk)

Thirty Years Later…

Are some “unhappy characteristics” of the past re-emerging?

“Europe must also learn the language of power." This is the attitude of a German-led Europe.

“Incoming EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, has set alarm bells ringing with a bullish speech in which she suggested the bloc was ready to ditch ‘soft power’ and flex its ‘muscles’ in a bid to ‘assert itself on the world’, in an indication that she is ready to push for a European army.

‘Soft power alone won’t suffice today if we Europeans want to assert ourselves in the world. Europe must also learn the language of power. That means on the one hand developing our own muscles - where for a long time we could lean on others, for example in security policy.’ She added: ‘We must go our own European way with confidence’.(express.co.uk)

Germany Should Establish An “Ability To Act" Globally

“German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has unveiled a proposal to increase spending on the armed forces and establish an organization styled after the US National Security Council that would execute a more assertive defense policy.

The defense minister stressed that the German parliament, the Bundestag, would remain in charge of determining when to send soldiers into harm’s way. But she argued that accelerated parliamentary consideration should be available when the question is on the table of whether to participate in missions led by the United Nations, NATO or together with ‘European partners.’ At the end of the day, Kramp-Karrenbauer argued, Germany should strive to establish an ‘ability to act’ globally commensurate with the country’s status as a powerhouse in Europe.(defensenews.com)

Germany Should Be Deploying Its Military Abroad

“Germany should be deploying its military proactively abroad, instead of ‘staying on the sidelines’, according to the country’s Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is also Merkel’s successor as head of the ruling conservatives CDU.

‘A country of our size, with our economic and technological power, our geostrategic position and global interests, cannot just stand on the sidelines and watch,’ she said. ‘Germany must participate in international debates and drive them forward,’ the German Defense Minister argued, as cited by DW.” (european-views.com)

Germany’s Military Is Deployed Abroad!

Africa: In addition to German advisers stationed in Mali, German military serves as part of an EU mission to Mali. Around 840 German soldiers actively participate in the mission at the moment. Somalia: The Bundeswehr is also involved in the EU’s Operation Atalanta mission designed to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.

NATO: From peacekeeping to deterrence, Germany’s Bundeswehr has since been deployed in several countries across the globe in defence of its allies, including Afghanistan..

More interesting prophetically, is the German Base in Jordan.

“250 German soldiers, six fighter jets and an aerial refuelling tanker are moving from Turkey to Jordan. Colonel Frank Gräfe is in charge of coordinating the move.

Since December 2015, Germany has been part of the global coalition against the so-called ‘Islamic State’ group (Counter Daesh). The soldiers of the German Armed Forces had been stationed at Incirlik air base in Turkey, supporting the coalition with a tanker aircraft and reconnaissance flights.

In early June 2017, Germany’s federal government decided to withdraw from Incirlik because the Turkish government had refused to allow members of Germany’s parliament to visit the base. Instead, 250 soldiers, six Tornado fighter jets and a tanker will be stationed at Al-Azraq air base in Jordan.” (deutschland.de)

German Politics Changing

On the night the Berlin Wall came down, a young Angela Merkel entered West Berlin through the Bornholmer crossing. Just 16 years later, in 2005, she was elected Chancellor of Germany.

A shrewd political survivor, she cultivated the image of a prudent and pragmatic leader and was once dubbed the Queen of Germany and even the Empress of Europe. With her "grand coalition" government increasingly unstable, her last years of power look set to be fraught with difficulties. However, until she leaves, Mrs Merkel remains one of the longest-serving heads of the CDU, and of modern Germany itself.

The Rise Of The Right

The situation is now made far more complex with the rise of the right wing AfD party. Their sudden rise has shocked many. As the following article points out, there could even be collaboration between the party formally led by Mrs Merkel, the CDU, and the AfD, unthinkable until now! The entire political spectrum is now shifting to the right.

“Following the recent election in the state of Thuringia, there is a growing chorus of voices within Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) calling for collaboration with the extreme right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Meanwhile the Left Party, which won the largest vote in the state election and can fill the post of state premier for the next five years (with its state chief Bodo Ramelow), is seeking to form an alliance with the CDU. In this way the entire political spectrum is shifting to the right.(wsws.org)

Germany’s “Hard Earned Prosperity” Under Threat

The severity of the following warning can be gauged by the language used… “emergency plans”… “a financial crisis”… “an economic collapse!”

“Brussels fears that the ‘worst is still to come’ for the EU economy, after several shock waves this week sparked fears of an economic collapse. Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a fresh warning that Europe’s economy has weakened this year. They urged Europe to prepare emergency plans to cope with a looming economic slump.

The fund issued an urgent warning the Eurozone’s economy has weakened significantly and urged EU leaders to prepare for a financial crisis.(express.co.uk)

“Nobody Expected All This To Happen…”

But we should not have been taken unawares. We were warned that this could happen way back in 1952, nine years before the Berlin Wall was even built, that Germany could be reunited. And therefore, it is vital that we remain wide-awake and alert to what is currently taking place – alert to prophecy being actively fulfilled:

“But the Bible commands, ‘PROVE ALL THINGS.’ That includes the existence of God! In the Bible, God says, ‘PROVE me now, herewith.’ The Bible says the scoffers ‘are without excuse,’ because the PROOF of God’s reality is clearly seen, even in nature. God Himself, in the Bible, offers the PROOF of fulfilled prophecies. He offers, though few experience this proof, the PROOF of answered prayer.” (The Good News – June/July 1981)

PROPHECY Is A Proof Of God and Bible

“The Bible purports to be the infallible, divine revelation of truth, revealed by the very Creator and Ruler of the universe. But can you prove it? PROPHECY is a proof of God, a proof of the divine revelation of the Bible.(The Plain Truth – February 1986)

Remember who inspired the prophecies to be written… Jesus Christ, the God of the Old Testament, He made it very clear…

“And now I have told you BEFORE it come to pass, that, WHEN IT IS COME TO PASS, YE MIGHT BELIEVE.” (John 14:29)

Pastors Report - 08 Nov 2019
A Lifetime Of Choices

A Lifetime Of Choices ...

"... 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)

A Bizarre Situation:

In Tooting, South London, just outside the front entrance to the public library, sits a bench seat that has become home for an elderly woman in her 70s from Somalia and her 30-year-old son. Sheltering from the rain by pulling a large blue tarpaulin over their heads, and combating the below freezing night-time temperatures with an array of blankets they have existed like this for the past four and a half years. Yet can someone not do something about their situation you may ask? And the bizarre answer is that they have already been offered a series of flats by the council, but each offer has been refused – without even going to look.

Living on the bench actually appears to be their choice. Even though they have been assessed as having no discernible mental-health problems and a passable grasp of English, having to deal with the multiple pressures of paying rent on time, electricity and gas and the myriad other things involved with running a conventional home seems to appear too much compared with the simplicity of the bench-life they have chosen. Their situation seems to flow from specific choices made – which is really something that is true for all of us. Our entire existence is very much designed as a lifetime of choices. (bbc.co.uk)

Even Before Birth:

You can't help but wonder what the background was in this extreme example. When in Somalia, how simple, how basic was the home the lady was previously used to? What about her parents – and her grandparents? What choices had they made in life? Is it possible the situation was something like Jonadab who decided his descendants would neither drink wine or live in houses – something they were still observing 300 years later when God used them as a positive example via Jeremiah:

  • Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.
  • The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me. (Jeremiah 35:13,14)

We just don't know, but the point is even before birth choices have been made by others that directly affect us all to a greater or lesser degree. The sins of the fathers – evil choices they have made – do indeed impact upon the third and fourth generations, just as God said they would. (Exodus 20:5)

We can see this graphically illustrated in the case of Esau, who despised his birthright – and therefore all his subsequent descendants – all for a mere bowl of soup. Such a choice may well appear trivial at the time but in this case – and so many others in life – choices made by others before our birth have very far reaching consequences. Witness the misery of babies born heroin addicts! And yet, when you think about it, a choice made many thousands of years ago has probably had the greatest effect on us all. The incident of the two trees in the Garden of Eden literally set the scene for all of our lives, very much a simple, but very wrong choice as Mr. Armstrong clearly brings out:

Adam had the “spirit in man” and access to the Holy Spirit (tree of life). What happened to Adam? He used his MIND with its “spirit of man” to CHOOSE A WAY OF LIFE contrary to the Law of God. His mind became carnal, Satan swayed it. Satan has been swaying human minds from birth ever since – all EXCEPT THAT OF JESUS! (The Worldwide News – December 8, 1980)

Carnal Wisdom:

Though not an end in itself, this physical existence we've been granted is very much to teach us the wisdom or otherwise of choices made ... ours and those of others. Many quotations end up in our general vocabulary to this end: "Once bitten, twice shy", "Think twice and cut once", and "The man who never made a mistake, never made anything". Integral to this process of learning from our choices is the ability to make mistakes. In fact, the last 6,000 years and the entire episode of ancient Israel has been specifically allowed by Almighty God to teach some very painful lessons using 'aversion therapy', and many unwise, evil and rebellious choices have been well documented:

  • Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.
  • And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
  • Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
  • Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
  • And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. (Ezekiel 5:5-9)

Knowing full well the direction mankind would take under the sway of Satan God still will not take away our right to choose. God even gave the angelic realm the right to decide which way of life to follow, as the alternative would be a creation of robots – and not individual personalities, who were sold on the way of God. Though He warns us to "choose life", the alternative direction is still very much available to us.

Rearing Children:

And the same is true for our children also. Ultimately they are going to have to make far-reaching choices themselves and our job as parents is very much to prepare them for this eventual transition. Wrapping them in cotton wool may protect them short term – but is it preparing them for life in the real world? They too – as do we all – must learn to make wise choices in this life and the child rearing we use should very much have this end in mind, from the cradle onwards. Although there will be times we'll have to tell our children, "Because I said so!" ... even a toddler can be given a little leeway to learn life lessons; e.g. that if little Johnny insists – against his parents' advice – to take his favourite but cumbersome Lego truck with him to the park, then he will have to be responsible for it and probably carry it around all day. And the chances are that Johnny will be happy to leave his truck behind next time, realising mum and dad had a good reason for their advice.

Of course, this does not mean to say that our children need to experience all the trials of life themselves, thereby learning the hard way, but they do need to be made alert to the wiser choice of learning the hard lessons via others ... i.e. "A wise man learns by another's mistakes". Constant communication within the family is vital, something that can take place around the family dinner table – a time and place to share experiences, hope and dreams, and also life lessons from the parents.

  • My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
  • Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
  • When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
  • For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: (Proverbs 6:20-23)

Sadly one of the results of poor choices made are often one-parent families – more often than not with an absent father – where the youngsters are left to fend for themselves. Not that the parents always have any good advice to pass on, often being the end result themselves of a series of wrong choices, and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of misery. But it's a cycle that God expects us to break, regardless of our upbringing. We've been assured that even if our children don't immediately take on board all that they have been taught, including God's way of life, that all is not lost! That training is still there, in their background, and one day it will come to the fore:

  • Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
  • And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (Isaiah 54:13)
God's will:

As parents we dearly long to see our children succeed in life, having made wise choices in their careers, their marriage partners, etc etc. And as God's children, He also longs to see us succeed – as the apostle John mentions "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (3 John 1:2). But it goes far beyond this physical life and well-being! As Christ says, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32)

God's ultimate plan involves "planting the heavens" with His way of life (Isaiah 51:16) – so is it too much of a stretch to regard the entire present creation and cosmos as having been specifically designed for us to learn the value of making the right choices? Even consistent 'carnal' choices can lead to a much better standard of living, health and happiness and makes good sense – teaching us in the process – but we need to go much further and choose 'God-plane' choices in our daily lives. These and these only will lead to the Spirit-born Life – and that more abundantly – that was the very reason Christ came to this earth. (John 10:10)

The Millennial Rule:

During the millennial rule of Jesus Christ so many wrong choices will become a thing of the past – choices that once led to deforestation, the universal use of plastics, dumping of industrial waste etc – our present ecological crisis. At that time wise righteous educated choices will be made, leading to Utopia:

  • Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, [wrong choices] and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
  • Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
  • Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
  • And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
  • And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
  • Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. (Ezekiel 36:31-36)

God's will is indeed that this earth becomes another Garden of Eden, but unlike 6,000 years ago, this time there will be a different spirit, a different mindset, and human beings will be taught His outgoing way of life – guided and living each and every day by God's Word. Their teachers will aid their decision making processes, especially when they come to a 'crossroads' in life, wondering which way to turn, which choice to make.

  • And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
  • And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21.22)

But as the 'called out ones', presently in training for that time, we are well aware WE didn't choose God's way of life initially ... God chose us – the weak of the world, but He does give us the choice whether to accept or reject the calling. And if we respond positively, then we are led first to baptism ...

From Baptism On:

With the impregnation of God's Holy Spirit at baptism we should then become a new creation, looking at everything in a new way, as we're now part of the very God family, even though in embryo. (II Corinthians 5:17) This gives us an ability to think and walk on a totally different God-plane level – albeit to a microscopic degree initially! Our focus in life alters radically ... we have then made the decision that, come what may, we're determined to go God's way from that point on, placing ourselves unambiguously under the government of God, and that means our choices should change accordingly.

The ultimate goal from the step we have taken – to be converted into a God being – is humanly impossible, but with God then as our Father and Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour we can have the faith that they will make the impossible a reality over the course of our lifetime. Our lifetime of choices then changes from purely the mundane to the divine – from entirely human to godly with each choice then made according to the principle of God's spiritual Law.

  • Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

That principle is much more than a mere list of points we've personally decided to follow, but much more a desire to serve God with 'heart, soul and mind' and also an outgoing approach to our fellow human beings ... "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5) ... and a particular example of this springs to mind, one which was told to me some years ago.

A church member friend of ours needed to quickly run to the local shops to get some milk, bread or cereal for breakfast for her baby son, and asked her neighbour – another church member – if she would just take care of him for a short time. The answer was "No, sorry ... can't help. I haven't said my prayers yet". Now I am sure she reasoned in her mind that her refusal was the right thing to do according to her list of points – but how was that loving her neighbour as herself? Her focus was unwittingly a selfish one ... the choice made was to "look out for No.1" and to "look the other way" regardless of any problem caused to anyone else.

The Big Stage Drama:

What we are involved in ... assisting God in creating the holy righteous character of a God being that will lead to Real, True, Spirit-born Life-to-the-full ... is so monumental that traditional Christianity doesn't even come close. Though he didn't have any idea of the understanding we've been privileged to know, the atomic scientist Richard Feynman – one of the theoretical physicists behind the atomic bomb during World War II, and a Nobel prize winner – made the following insightful observation concerning traditional religion during an interview:

"It doesn't seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different plants, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil – which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama". ('Viewpoint' Interview (with Bill Stout) for Los Angeles KNXT television station, 1 May 1959),

The fact is the stage Feynman considered too big is, if anything, too small for the true drama – of God reproducing Himself, His Holy righteous perfect character, in frail mankind. Yet it involves quite mundane daily choices: what we choose to do; what we choose to think; what we choose to say. Such choices – now based on God's Word (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4) as understood via God's Spirit – are destined to produce a God-mind over a spirit-begotten lifetime – the very reason and purpose of our existence! Only such a God mind will survive – to live the true, abundant life for all eternity.

  • Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
  • as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
  • But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11-13 NIV)

As Mr. Armstrong brings out:

And God said, “Well, I’ve given you the choice.” Now, instead of choosing character, he chose the wrong way; and God allowed that. God is not going to force you to choose the right way. Adam was able to choose whatever he pleased, and so are we. But, if you make the wrong choice, you’ll never have the character of God. And God is able to take care of that too. (Sermon, 1978-05-13 - Creation And The Gospel)

  • I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.
  • When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you.
  • When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, [make those right choices] you will find me.
  • I will be present for you, declares the LORD, and I will end your captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have scattered you, and I will bring you home after your long exile, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 29:11-14 CEB)

Israel – with all mankind – will finally return after an even longer spiritual exile of 6,000 years since the garden of Eden – no longer making choices according to the wrong tree – but consistently choosing the Tree of Life. So with God's glorious future in mind, let's all do the same ... And choose LIFE.

Transcript - 29 Aug 2019

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Today we find the Church of God in a “wilderness of religious confusion!”

The confusion is not merely around the Church – within the religions of the world outside – but WITHIN the very heart of The True Church itself!

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Listen to Me, You who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My Law: …I have put My words in your mouth, I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, “you are My people” (Isaiah 51:7,16)