Audio - 17 Mar 2019

Latest Audio - 2019-03-16

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World Tomorrow
by Mr Armstrong
The True Church (3)
broadcast in the 1980s - played UK 16 Mar 2019
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Sermon
by Jack Jackson
Preparing For Passover
given Florida USA broadcast Wales 16 Mar 2019
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News Review - 15 Mar 2019
artificialIntelligence

Algorithms… neural networks… machine learning… deep learning… cognitive computing… bits… qubits… atoms, ions, photons, electrons… welcome to the strange new world of:

Artificial Intelligence

Suddenly, it’s everywhere!

Artificial intelligence (AI) is used in robotics and self-driving cars. Use of AI in banking has reduced fraud and crime. AI has also been applied to video games. Artificial Intelligence is used in the design of aircraft - computer scientists have even created AI programs capable of writing their own code. The list seems endless.

“Artificial intelligence makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks.” (sas.com)

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

The machines haven’t taken over. Not yet at least. However, they are seeping their way into our lives, affecting how we live, work and entertain ourselves. From voice-powered personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, to more underlying and fundamental technologies such as behavioral algorithms, suggestive searches and autonomously-powered self-driving vehicles boasting powerful predictive capabilities, there are several examples and applications of artificial intelligence in use today.

However, the technology is still in its infancy.

What many companies are calling AI today, isn’t necessarily so. As a software engineer, I can claim that any piece of software has AI due to an algorithm that responds based on pre-defined multi-faceted input or user behavior. That isn’t necessarily AI.

A true artificially-intelligent system is one that can learn on its own.

We’re talking about neural networks from the likes of Google’s DeepMind, which can make connections and reach meanings without relying on pre-defined behavioral algorithms. True AI can improve on past iterations, getting smarter and more aware, allowing it to enhance its capabilities and its knowledge.

Today, we’re talking about the pseudo-AI technologies that are driving much of our voice and non-voice based interactions with the machines - the machine-learning phase of the Digital Age.” (forbes.com)

Understanding AI Jargon

To try to begin to understand modern technology, we must first understand the “jargon” - the buzzwords used by those involved.

“Many of AI’s revolutionary technologies are common buzzwords, like ‘natural language processing,’ ‘deep learning,’ and ‘predictive analytics.’ Cutting-edge technologies that enable computer systems to understand the meaning of human language, learn from experience, and make predictions, respectively.

Understanding AI jargon is the key to facilitating discussion about the real-world applications of this technology.

Jargon check: What is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a step by step method of solving a problem. It is commonly used for data processing, calculation and other related computer and mathematical operations.(techopedia.com)

The technologies are disruptive, revolutionizing the way humans interact with data and make decisions, and should be understood in basic terms by all of us.

Machine learning, or ML

Machine learning, or ML, is an application of AI that provides computer systems with the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. ML focuses on the development of algorithms that can analyze data and make predictions.

Deep learning

Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that employs artificial neural networks that learn by processing data. Artificial neural networks mimic the biological neural networks in the human brain.

Neural networks

Neural networks enable deep learning. As mentioned, neural networks are computer systems modeled after neural connections in the human brain. The artificial equivalent of a human neuron is a perceptron. Just like bundles of neurons create neural networks in the brain, stacks of perceptrons create artificial neural networks in computer systems.

Cognitive computing

Cognitive computing is another essential component of AI. Its purpose is to imitate and improve interaction between humans and machines. Cognitive computing seeks to recreate the human thought process in a computer model, in this case, by understanding human language and the meaning of images.

Natural Language Processing or NLP

Natural Language Processing or NLP, allows computers to interpret, recognize, and produce human language and speech. The ultimate goal of NLP is to enable seamless interaction with the machines we use every day by teaching systems to understand human language in context and produce logical responses.

Computer vision

Computer vision is a technique that implements deep learning and pattern identification to interpret the content of an image; including the graphs, tables, and pictures within PDF documents, as well as other text and video. Computer vision is an integral field of AI, enabling computers to identify, process and interpret visual data.” (innoplexus.com)

Artificial Intelligence: How It Really Works

“It all started out as science fiction: machines that can talk, machines that can think, machines that can feel. Although that last bit may be impossible without sparking an entire world of debate regarding the existence of consciousness, scientists have certainly been making strides with the first two.

Over the years, we have been hearing a lot about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. But how do we differentiate between these three rather abstruse terms, and how are they related to one another?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the general field that covers everything that has anything to do with imbuing machines with ‘intelligence,’ with the goal of emulating a human being’s unique reasoning faculties.

Machine learning is a category within the larger field of artificial intelligence that is concerned with conferring upon machines the ability to ‘learn.’ This is achieved by using algorithms that discover patterns and generate insights from the data they are exposed to, for application to future decision-making and predictions, a process that sidesteps the need to be programmed specifically for every single possible action.

Deep learning, on the other hand, is a subset of machine learning: it’s the most advanced AI field, one that brings AI the closest to the goal of enabling machines to learn and think as much like humans as possible.(futurism.com)

How Artificial Intelligence Is Used

“From voice-powered personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, to more underlying and fundamental technologies such as behavioral algorithms, suggestive searches and autonomously-powered self-driving vehicles boasting powerful predictive capabilities, there are several examples and applications of artificial intellgience in use today.

Today’s so-called AI systems are merely advanced machine learning software with extensive behavioral algorithms that adapt themselves to our likes and dislikes. While extremely useful, these machines aren’t getting smarter in the existential sense, but they are improving their skills and usefulness based on a large dataset. These are some of the most popular examples of artificial intelligence that’s being used today.” (forbes.com)

In-Store Cameras Spot Shoplifters Before They Steal

Here is an example of behavioural algorithms in use – to spot potential shoplifters!

“It’s watching, and knows a crime is about to take place before it happens. Vaak, a Japanese startup, has developed artificial intelligence software that hunts for potential shoplifters, using footage from security cameras for fidgeting, restlessness and other potentially suspicious body language.

While AI is usually envisioned as a smart personal assistant or self-driving car, it turns out the technology is pretty good at spotting nefarious behavior. Like a scene out of the movie ‘Minority Report,’ algorithms analyze security-camera footage and alert staff about potential thieves via a smartphone app. The goal is prevention; if the target is approached and asked if they need help, there’s a good chance the theft never happens. Shoplifting cost the global retail industry about $34 billion in lost sales in 2017…” (technocracy.news)

Danger Ahead?

All new technology has a downside. As the following article points out, the question is - “ WHO is setting the standards?

“AI does not truly think. AI does not enact the power of choice in its decisions. AI does as it is programmed to do.

The actual effectiveness of AI as a means to help humanity is questionable. AI is primarily about ‘learning algorithms’, or machines that are programmed to learn from experience. The problem is that a learning algorithm is only as effective as the human beings that program it in the first place. That is to say, learning is not always a cause and effect process. Sometimes, learning is a spontaneous epiphany. Learning is creative. And, in some cases, learning is inborn.

And this is where we get into the crux of how the image of AI is being inflated into a kind of electronic god; a false prophet.

AI is being inserted not only into chess, but into everything. Mass surveillance is impossible to manage by humans alone; the amount of sheer data is overwhelming. So, one core purpose of AI for the globalists becomes clear – AI is meant to streamline mass surveillance and automate it. AI is meant to scour social media or electronic mail for ‘key words’ to identify potential miscreants and opposition. It is also meant to monitor public sentiment towards specific issues or governments. The goal is to gauge and eventually ‘predict’ public behavior.

This all boils down to the idea that AI will one day be able to identify criminals before they ever commit an actual crime. In other words, AI is meant to become an ‘all seeing eye’ that not only monitors our behavior, but also reads our minds as a force for pre-crime identification.

The question is not whether AI can actually tell us who is a future criminal. AI is obviously incapable of accurately predicting a person’s behavior to such a degree. The question is, WHO is setting the standards that AI is looking for when identifying potential ‘criminals’?

Who gets to set the rules of the chess game? If an algorithm is programmed by a globalist, then AI will label anti-globalists as future or current criminals. AI does not truly think. AI does not enact the power of choice in its decisions. AI does as it is programmed to do.(alt-market.com)

AI Will Get Into Wrong Hands

“Just like a coin which has two sides, AI also has a positive side and a negative side to it. IT security professionals can use AI to detect malicious activities quickly. You can reduce false positives by 90% with the help of AI driven response and machine learning algorithms.

AI will land into wrong hands and cyber criminals with malicious designs will abuse it to fulfill their motives. With automation, armies of cyber attackers can launch lethal attacks with greater success. This will force enterprises to fight fire with fire and invest in AI powered security solutions capable of protecting them from such AI driven attacks.” (zerohedge.com)

Computers: Origins

“IBM’s Thomas J Watson famously said ‘I think there is a world market for maybe five computers,’ in 1943. That’s probably because, at the time, a computer filled up an entire room.

Here we are now, decades removed from the naysayers who thought classical computers would never catch on, and we’ve got more raw processing power in our phones than all of the supercomputers that ran the Apollo space program combined.

Quantum computing has, so far, followed a somewhat similar trajectory.

Currently IBM, Google, Microsoft, Rigetti, and a handful of other companies have quantum computing systems that are very much like the old room-sized supercomputers of last century. They’re huge, they require obnoxious amounts of power, and they’re only feasible in a laboratory environment.

And there is no shortage of researchers, tech journalists, and experts who’ll tell you that quantum computers will never be feasible electronics for consumers. If you listen to these people, you might think there’s only a worldwide market for about five of these giant systems.” (thenextweb.com)

Computers: The Next Level

We are told that the next level of computing is quantum computers.

“We live in a world where technology is changing rapidly. We are facing new technologies daily. These technologies are changing our lives and helping us to live better. One technology that is constantly changing is the computer. For years, we have used these miraculous devices in cars, banks, at work, home, and in school.

This type of computer has been known to us as the ‘classical computer’. The first classical computer was developed in 1936. Now with the onset of the 21st century, we are looking at a new type of computer. This computer is called a ‘quantum computer’.

So why the quantum computer?

When we refer to ‘quantum’, we are talking about atoms and molecules. The properties of atoms and molecules allow us to be more precise in measurement and processes. So to have a computer made of atoms and molecules, we can do tasks that are faster, more accurate, and more refined.(scientificamerican.com)

Working With The Building Blocks Of The Universe

This is where technology becomes the sci-fi reality of today.

“A quantum computer harnesses some of the almost-mystical phenomena of quantum mechanics to deliver huge leaps forward in processing power. Quantum machines promise to outstrip even the most capable of today’s — and tomorrow’s — supercomputers.

They won’t wipe out conventional computers, though. Using a classical machine will still be the easiest and most economical solution for tackling most problems. But quantum computers promise to power exciting advances in various fields, from materials science to pharmaceuticals research. Companies are already experimenting with them to develop things like lighter and more powerful batteries for electric cars, and to help create novel drugs.

The secret to a quantum computer’s power lies in its ability to generate and manipulate quantum bits, or qubits.

What is a qubit?

Today’s computers use bits — a stream of electrical or optical pulses representing 1s or 0s. Everything from your tweets and e-mails to your iTunes songs and YouTube videos are essentially long strings of these binary digits.

Quantum computers, on the other hand, use qubits, which are typically subatomic particles such as electrons or photons.

Generating and managing qubits is a scientific and engineering challenge. Some companies, such as IBM, Google, and Rigetti Computing, use superconducting circuits cooled to temperatures colder than deep space. Others, like IonQ, trap individual atoms in electromagnetic fields on a silicon chip in ultra-high-vacuum chambers. In both cases, the goal is to isolate the qubits in a controlled quantum state.” (technologyreview.com)

The Mystical Qubit?

This is where this new technology gets VERY complicated.

A “bit” is either 1 OR 0.

A qubit can be 1, or 0, or both at the same time.

Confused?

As the renowned physicist Richard Feynman is reputed to have said:

If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.

Man is now playing with the building blocks of the universe - atoms, ions, photons or electrons - it’s just like electricity, we can use it but we don’t really understand what it is!

“Today’s computers… work by manipulating bits that exist in one of two states: a 0 or a 1. Quantum computers aren’t limited to two states; they encode information as quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in superposition. Qubits represent atoms, ions, photons or electrons and their respective control devices that are working together to act as computer memory and a processor. Because a quantum computer can contain these multiple states simultaneously, it has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than today’s most powerful supercomputers.” (howstuffworks.com)

What’s Next For AI And Quantum Computers?

“It is truly hard to say what we should expect from two areas of research that are advancing at lightning speed. At present, it seems like the first area of research to be most impacted by the melding of these two subsets of computer science will be big data.

Artificial intelligence and quantum computers, once fused, will most likely improve each other — artificial intelligence tasked with improving quantum computing processes and vice versa. This means analysis of giant data sets will become more manageable, and perhaps, more efficient as time goes on and as these technologies progress.” (insidebigdata.com)

Quantum Computers And Artificial Intelligence To Solve ALL This World’s Problems?

“Quantum computers will not only solve all of life’s most complex problems and mysteries regarding the environment, ageing, disease, war, poverty, famine, the origins of the universe and deep-space exploration, just to name a few, it’ll soon power all of our A.I. systems, acting as the brains of these super-human machines.” (forbes.com)

This World’s Problems WILL Be Solved!

Back in 1981, Mr Armstrong explained:

Our problems and troubles ARE SPIRITUAL IN NATURE, but our minds, incentives and concepts are physical and material. Sure we can send men to the moon and back – we can explore Saturn and Jupiter at fairly close range, and receive photographs of the Martian surface from unmanned spacecraft – we can produce computers and the most intricate mechanical aids. BUT WE CAN’T SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS or eliminate our evils!” (The Worldwide News – June 15, 1981)

This Civilization CAN’T Be Saved!

This Civilization WILL not be saved. Today’s world is totally motivated by Satan. He is the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4). He has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9).

As Jesus Christ ascended back up to heaven, an angel gave the Apostles, and us today, this promise:

“‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday HE WILL RETURN FROM HEAVEN in the same way you saw him go!’” (Acts 1:11, New Living Translation)

That Return Is Not Far Off!

This Satan-led society is about to be replaced by Jesus Christ when He returns to take over the rulership of the whole world. Here is an eye “witness account”, which the Apostle John saw in a vision:

“The Rider on the White Horse… was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war… his title was the Word of God… From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod… On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lordsTheir entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse…

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon — that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan — and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished.” (Excerpts from Revelation 19:11-21 and 20:1-3, New Living Translation)


“Man wants desperately to save the society he has established upon this earth. BUT THIS SOCIETY – THIS CIVILIZATION CAN’T BE SAVED! Man, himself, is bringing this world to destruction.

God Almighty will soon step in, and create a new, peaceful, and happy society – the world tomorrow.(Tomorrow… What It Will Be Like)

Pastors Report - 8 Mar 2019
ourVitalPassover

Our Vital Passover...

"Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, 'Father, save me from this hour'? But this is the very reason I came!" (John 12:27 NLT)

A Problem of Perception:

Some years ago I was talking to a young lady of about 12 or 13 years old, who had never, in her entire life, seen a modern aeroplane close up. Her total experience of the modern jetliner was the faint outline that is just visible in front of its vapour trail 5 miles overhead. However, I happened to have a short video clip taken inside a plane I had just flown in to reach her country, which I then showed her on my laptop computer. In it, lunch was being served by the air hostesses who could be seen walking down the two aisles that separated the multiple rows of nine seats that spanned the wide-bodied jumbo jet. But try as I may, the young lady simply could not believe that this was taken inside a plane. She insisted that what I showed her must have been within an airport ... Or a station of some kind ... Or perhaps some kind of building – but the fact that it was inside an aeroplane, simply would not compute. She just could not accept it.

But aren't we all so much like her – in regard to God's Plan for mankind? Our awareness of "the above" is so clouded by the present "around" that we fail to truly grasp the enormity of what God is in fact saying to us. And this can also even be true of what He wants us to understand as we prepare for another Holy Day season and particularly the Passover. Take for example the destination of what the Holy days depict – our being born-again – totally transformed – into the spirit born sons of God. Do we really grasp what is being offered? All things, with life inherent and as the very sons of the Almighty God, as these scriptures promise;

  • And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away ... He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:4,7)

  • And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:49-50)

  • For our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)

But, are these scriptures so familiar that we don't really comprehend what is being offered to us, and therefore how incredibly vital is the coming Passover?

The Power of God

We can be so swamped by the cares of this life and the trials and stresses that we underestimate at best, and ignore at worst, the astounding power of the One who calls Himself our Father and His firstborn Son Jesus Christ. Satan has human beings running around in little circles, just trying to keep body and soul together in most cases, and therefore without the time, let alone the inclination to mediate on just WHO created the reality we're sitting in and why.

Meditating on what was visible to them in the night sky, both David and Isaiah describe their understanding of the creation of the heavens as being spread out like a curtain, and indeed that is what we find when our telescopes examine the galaxies and find them all flying away from one another at a terrific speed, as if the product of an almighty explosion, commonly called the Big Bang.

  • Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain (Psalms 104:2)

  • It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:(Isaiah 40:22)

This initial creation of the universe was far from random in nature. In fact, the mathematician Sir Roger Penrose has calculated that "the Creator's aim must have been accurate to one part in 10 to the power of 10123...a number which it would be impossible to write out in the usual decimal way, because even if you were able to put a zero on every particle in the universe there would not even be enough particles to do the job". (God's Undertaker, John C. Lennox page 71)

God's Creative Word:

And where does that incredible creating power lie? We have only to look at Jesus Christ – the living Word or Logos, without whom "was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3) – to clearly see the answer:

  • And God SAID : Let there be light ... Let there be a firmament ... let the dry land appear ... Let the earth bring forth grass ... Let there be lights in the firmament ... Let the waters bring forth ... and fowl that may fly ... Let the earth bring forth the living creature ... Let us make man in our image (Genesis 1:3-26)
  • By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth . For he spake , and it was done; he commanded , and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:6,9)
The entire creation – including the myriad of vast galaxies and stars systems – came into existence and are currently held there by the words of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:3). The absolutely vital creative part of "his glorious body" therefore is His tongue. And if that is true of Him, it also must be true of us as well – both in the future and also right now, as "our vile body" is prepared for its change into life inherent Spirit-born existence as the brothers and sisters of Christ (Romans 8:29).
A Key Area

It would appear that, once glorified, it will be our words that will actually be used in the creating process. It follows therefore that, if there is a key area that we need to concentrate on in this examination process of repentance, prior to Passover, it has to be the use of our tongue. The apostle James makes its importance very clear when he says the following:

  • My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
  • For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (James 3:1,2)

And less than a year before he died, one thing Mr. Armstrong wanted to get across to us was the use and misuse of our tongues:

And what is sin? In another way, you can say sin is the absence of righteousness. That's what it is—the absence of righteousness. We sin in many ways that we don't realize. I was just thinking: one of the greatest sins is our tongue. Any of you free from ever sinning with the tongue ? Things you say? Are you always courteous, always pleasant? Always tending to make other people comfortable and happy? Always just reflecting love, and joy, and peace? We haven't attained to that quite yet, brethren. It's something we have to work for and strive for—day, by day, by day. And how do you achieve it? On your own power and strength? You aren't that strong! You don't have the power and the strength. ( "Rely on God" - sermon given UB 6 April 1985 )

From the Heart:

We read in Matthew "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:37) Why should this be? What we need to grasp is that God isn't concentrating on what comes out of our mouths just to be picky and pedantic. Not at all ... just note what Christ brings out in the preceding couple of verses:

  • O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
  • A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (Matthew 12:34,35)

He is trying to get us to see that in the future, if our character is up to scratch and our hearts and minds are on His level, He will grant us the power to also "spread out heavens as a curtain" ... can we grasp the enormous power that is on offer and the necessity to be able to adequately control that power? Yes, it is right now – in this life – where just such a vision is needed to give us purpose and direction. God is developing the character in each one of us for that very reason – so we can ultimately be entrusted with just such force and awesome power:

As we're told in Jeremiah 17:9, our heart is deceitful above all things...and we can't really know what is going on, but God can – and there is a way we can also. We can analyse what comes out of our mouths, which in essence is coming out of our heart. Can we recognise the wrong attitude shown in what we'd like to be able to say, but have to bite our tongues to refrain from doing so – at least for the time being! Is it the way of give or get that is winning the contest the majority of the time?

Examining Repentance:

In these remaining weeks before the Passover ceremony, we're encouraged to take the time out of our frenetic lives to seriously think about ourselves as compared to the "stature and fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13), hence the job of physical de-leavening we've been given. The degree of change required for our frail flesh to become a literal son of God is something that Mr. Armstrong wondered greatly whether we were "getting" or not. It involves a change of absolutely everything, from mere human dirt into an actual God being, complete with a God mind. From a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. We can't do such a thing ourselves. That is totally impossible – unthinkable, but nevertheless, WE DO have a profound and vital role in the process. And that role involves a total and complete surrender of our will to the will and direction of God. That complete relinquishing of our way – of being conquered by God – is invariably a traumatic process initially, and for some it can takes some years before we "give in". But that is repentance. That is "turning", and that is precisely what is required. Note how Mr. Armstrong brings this out:

Do you know God has to break our wills and break us? And we have to be brought to the place of surrender to Him. How many of you have gone through such an experience? Or have you just, in your own goodness, seen the truth; and said, “Oh yeah, that’s true, I’m going accept it. I’m so ‘good’ that I just want to accept it. And I’m going be a Christian from here on.” I wonder if you have really received the Spirit of God. I wonder if you get it that easily? I didn’t. The apostle Paul didn’t. I didn’t, and Paul didn’t. I had to be whipped. I had to be conquered... I had to confess and admit how wrong I had been. Not only that I had done wrong, but that I WAS WRONG; and I was wrong through and through. I had to come to a new attitude in life, a new purpose in life, altogether something new and something altogether different. ( Passover Examination (USA) )

Godly Sorrow:

When this complete surrender to the will and direction of God is in place there will be specific evidence that we are indeed repentant. Repentance is not merely being sorry for the sins committed. Though it is important to regret disobedience to God, the apostle Paul clearly showed that the Godly sorrow itself is merely a stage in the journey to true repentance;

  • Even if I caused you sorry by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it - I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while -
  • Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.
  • Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret: but worldly sorrow brings death.
  • See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be [clear] in this matter. (II Corinthians 7:8-11 NIV)

Notice what Paul stresses in verse 11 above...it is the CHANGE – of attitude and actions – that this had brought about that showed it was truly repentance. For us today, maybe it's those that were inclined to be thieves will have turned to giving to others instead. Those that tended to be harshly critical will have changed to give encouragement, the belligerent will have become peacemakers, and so on. Hopefully we all will be able to see that over the past 12 months, we too have grown closer to what God desires and requires of us.

Our Glorious Future:

In a few short weeks, the Holy Day season will be upon us once more and it begins with the Passover. And it's from this vital foundation that all the stages of the Plan of God – enacted each year within each of the seven annual Holy Days – will flow. In this way Passover – and the priceless sacrifice it commemorates – becomes the foundation, not merely of the Holy Day season to follow, but the foundation of everything. It's absolutely vital in what we are here for. It's vital in why human beings even exist!

As we read in the service each year – "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come." (I Corinthians 11:26) – partaking of the bread and the wine is to remind us of the sheer immensity of that sacrifice – the very death of the Logos of ancient times, the Eternal God Himself, the Creator. A sacrifice willingly given on our behalf for sin of all kinds. God will not compromise with sin to the slightest degree, so without that sacrifice, the events signified via the Holy Days simply couldn't get off the ground. The entire plan of God would have been stopped in its tracks.

Without the Passover, we would be left without hope in this world, just living out a physical existence, knowing eventually we would just return to dust, and that would be the end. Neither would we have the incredible privilege of contact with God the Father during that time, or the blessing of being healed of our diseases. Our life would become utterly meaningless, vanity of vanities, as Solomon commented. Thankfully, that is far from the truth!

Without that glorious body – one, like Christ's, that is capable of subduing all things to our will – we would be totally unable to do the job God has for us up ahead: From initially being the righteous King priests throughout the millennium (Revelation 20:6); To going out from New Jerusalem when the holy city comes down to earth ... to plant the heavens (Isaiah 51:16). For can we imagine, for example, being told to alter a planet's orbit that would place it in the Goldilocks zone – not too hot and not too cold – where water is able to exist comfortably in all three of its forms: as a vapour, liquid, and ice?

The plan of God and what is on offer to us mere human beings is so immense our minds can hardly grasp it. It is far more than just not being able to comprehend the size of a jumbo jet....it is more like trying to explain to a child in the womb – whose "universe" is so restricted, what lies "out there", once born – in "the land that is very far off"? In the meantime, we all have some changing to do.

  • The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
  • He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
  • He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
  • Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off. (Isaiah 33:14-17)
Transcript - 25 Feb 2019
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“Just what is an APOSTLE?”
Just what is an Apostle?

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)