by Mr Armstrong
broadcast in the 1980s - played Wales 25 Feb 2017
|"... millions will be celebrating Easter next Sunday. But listen to this shocking truth: the resurrection of Jesus Christ did not occur on an Easter Sunday morning or any other Sunday morning! It's commonly supposed that Jesus was crucified on Friday and therefore it's been called ..." (4.2 Mb)|
by Jon Bowles
Fruit of the Spirit - Gentleness and Goodness
given UK 6 June 2009 played Wales 25 Feb 2017
|This is the sixth of a series of sermons on the "Fruit of the Spirit", taken from Galatians 5. It deals with the fifth and sixth characteristics mentioned (Gentleness and Goodness), and examines: The two Greek words; Scriptures that use the word for gentleness; Scriptures that use the word for goodness; The need for both. (10.0 Mb)|
Secret courts… secret government agencies… surveillance… censorship… intimidation… harassment… torture… brutality… widespread corruption… entrapment… indoctrination… indefinite detention! Is this a description of…
To compare modern day America with Nazi Germany is surely the stuff of conspiracy theorists, or is it? Questions are being asked about who really rules America - the President - the National Security Agency [NSA] - or the FBI? In a world where fake news is the new norm, how do we discern between the truth and fiction?
Jesus Christ gives us the answer: By their fruits you will know them!” (Matthew 7:16.) This is key.
Look at what is happening.
Watch what they actually do, not what they say!
The following article is a case in point:
“After President Trump won the election, Obama quietly expanded the NSA’s ability to spy on innocent Americans just days before leaving office.
Seeing as how the deep state, which includes the NSA and FBI, appear to be leaking all of Trump’s private phone calls with foreign leaders and took down General Michael Flynn by spying on his calls and leaking them to their friends in The Washington Post and The New York Times, the story is being looked at in a completely new light.
Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said. ‘Seventeen different government agencies shouldn’t be rooting through Americans’ emails with family members, friends and colleagues, all without ever obtaining a warrant’.” (infowars.com)
“Fascism, Communism, Marxism and Socialism are far closer bedfellows than practitioners would have you believe. Their pervasive influence has been felt in the US from nursery schools all the way to the White house. The historical ties between these ideologies are difficult to ignore, and they are still very much present in public life and policies for many of the world’s citizens.
The Third Communist International (Comintern) met to discuss the factional break-up of various groups, in their meetings they decided that all enemies of their organization should henceforth be called ‘Fascists’ in an effort to create and spread fear driven propaganda. And this is still the policy today. Stalin did after all join sides with Hitler. This one act of ‘naming’ has led to huge general confusion (as disinformation is intended to do) about what each designation really stands for.
They all believe in Big Government, everything by the State for the State, and that power should be held in the hands of the few ‘experts’ who will think only of their dear working classes.
Now let’s consider the Democrat Party. If you were to have a look at their 2016 platform, you’d see that (behind the Identity Politics box-checking), the aims are to move the production, quality and control of the job market into the hands of either the State or a State designated body.
They aim for the Utopia of a fair society where we are all equal and look only to the state for redress. These platform promises are eerily similar to those promised by the Communists, Socialists, Fascists and Marxists. Fascism is alive and well in the US today, most people are just looking for it on the wrong side.” (investmentwatchblog.com)
“Lately, there’s been a lot of rhetoric comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. The concern is that a Nazi-type regime may be rising in America.
That process, however, began a long time ago.
In fact, following the second World War, the US government recruited Hitler’s employees, adopted his protocols, embraced his mindset about law and order, implemented his tactics in incremental steps, and began to lay the foundations for the rise of the Fourth Reich.
Sounds far-fetched? Read on. It’s all documented.
As historian Robert Gellately recounts, the Nazi police state was initially so admired for its efficiency and order by the world powers of the day that J. Edgar Hoover, then-head of the FBI, actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police — the Gestapo.
The FBI was so impressed with the Nazi regime that, according to the New York Times, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen.
All told, thousands of Nazi collaborators — including the head of a Nazi concentration camp, among others — were given secret visas and brought to America by way of Project Paperclip. Subsequently, they were hired on as spies and informants, and then camouflaged to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown.
As if the government’s covert, taxpayer-funded employment of Nazis after World War II wasn’t bad enough, US government agencies — the FBI, CIA and the military — have fully embraced many of the Nazi’s well-honed policing tactics, and have used them repeatedly against American citizens.
Indeed, with every passing day, the United States government borrows yet another leaf from Nazi Germany’s playbook: Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Censorship. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. Indefinite detention.
These are not tactics used by constitutional republics, where the rule of law and the rights of the citizenry reign supreme. Rather, they are the hallmarks of authoritarian regimes, where the only law that counts comes in the form of heavy-handed, unilateral dictates from a supreme ruler who uses a secret police to control the populace.
Whatever minimal restrictions initially kept the FBI’s surveillance activities within the bounds of the law have all but disappeared post-9/11. Since then, the FBI has been transformed into a mammoth federal policing and surveillance agency that largely operates as a power unto itself, beyond the reach of established laws, court rulings and legislative mandates.
Consider the FBI’s far-reaching powers to surveil, detain, interrogate, investigate, prosecute, punish, police and generally act as a law unto themselves — much like their Nazi cousins, the Gestapo — and then try to convince yourself that the United States is still a constitutional republic.
Just like the Gestapo, the FBI has vast resources, vast investigatory powers, and vast discretion to determine who is an enemy of the state.
All of this is made possible by the agency’s nearly unlimited resources (its minimum budget alone in fiscal year 2015 was $8.3 billion), the government’s vast arsenal of technology, the interconnectedness of government intelligence agencies, and information sharing through fusion centres — data collecting intelligence agencies spread throughout the country that constantly monitor communications (including those of American citizens), everything from internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails.
Much like the Gestapo spied on mail and phone calls, FBI agents have carte blanche access to the citizenry’s most personal information.
Working through the US Post Office, the FBI has access to every piece of mail that passes through the postal system: more than 160 billion pieces are scanned and recorded annually. Moreover, the agency’s National Security Letters, one of the many illicit powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act, allows the FBI to secretly demand that banks, phone companies, and other businesses provide them with customer information and not disclose those demands to the customer.
Much like the Gestapo’s sophisticated surveillance programs, the FBI’s spying capabilities can delve into Americans’ most intimate details (and allow local police to do so, as well).
Much like the Gestapo’s ability to profile based on race and religion, and its assumption of guilt by association, the FBI’s approach to pre-crime allows it to profile Americans based on a broad range of characteristics including race and religion.
The agency’s biometric database has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to DNA, and is being increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime. This is what’s known as pre-crime.
Yet it’s not just your actions that will get you in trouble. In many cases, it’s also who you know — even minimally — and where your sympathies lie that could land you on a government watch list. Moreover, as the Intercept reports, despite anti-profiling prohibitions, the bureau ‘claims considerable latitude to use race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in deciding which people and communities to investigate.’
Much like the Gestapo’s power to render anyone an enemy of the state, the FBI has the power to label anyone a domestic terrorist.
As part of the government’s so-called ongoing war on terror, the nation’s de facto secret police force has begun using the terms ‘anti-government,’ ‘extremist’ and ‘terrorist’ interchangeably. Moreover, the government continues to add to its growing list of characteristics that can be used to identify an individual (especially anyone who disagrees with the government) as a potential domestic terrorist. For instance, you might be a domestic terrorist in the eyes of the FBI (and its network of snitches) if you:
Much like the Gestapo infiltrated communities in order to spy on the German citizenry, the FBI routinely infiltrates political and religious groups, as well as businesses.
Just as the Gestapo united and militarized Germany’s police forces into a national police force, America’s police forces have largely been federalized and turned into a national police force.
In addition to government programs that provide the nation’s police forces with military equipment and training, the FBI also operates a National Academy that trains thousands of police chiefs every year and indoctrinates them into an agency mindset that advocates the use of surveillance technology and information sharing between local, state, federal, and international agencies.
Just as the Gestapo’s secret files on political leaders were used to intimidate and coerce, the FBI’s files on anyone suspected of ‘anti-government’ sentiment have been similarly abused.
Just as the Gestapo carried out entrapment operations, the FBI has become a master in the art of entrapment.
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the FBI has not only targeted vulnerable individuals but has also lured or blackmailed them into fake terror plots while actually equipping them with the organization, money, weapons and motivation to carry out the plots — entrapment — and then jailing or deporting them for their so-called terrorist plotting. This is what the FBI characterizes as ‘forward leaning — preventative — prosecutions.’
When and if a true history of the FBI is ever written, it will not only track the rise of the American police state but it will also chart the decline of freedom in America, in much the same way that the empowerment of Germany’s secret police tracked with the rise of the Nazi regime.
How did the Gestapo become the terror of the Third Reich?
It did so by creating a sophisticated surveillance and law enforcement system that relied for its success on the cooperation of the military, the police, the intelligence community, neighbourhood watchdogs, government workers for the post office and railroads, ordinary civil servants, and a nation of snitches inclined to report ‘rumours, deviant behaviour, or even just loose talk.’
In other words, ordinary citizens working with government agents helped create the monster that became Nazi Germany. Writing for the New York Times, Barry Ewen paints a particularly chilling portrait of how an entire nation becomes complicit in its own downfall by looking the other way:
In what may be his most provocative statement, [author Eric A.] Johnson says that ‘most Germans may not even have realized until very late in the war, if ever, that they were living in a vile dictatorship.’ This is not to say that they were unaware of the Holocaust; Johnson demonstrates that millions of Germans must have known at least some of the truth. But, he concludes, ‘a tacit Faustian bargain was struck between the regime and the citizenry.’
The government looked the other way when petty crimes were being committed. Ordinary Germans looked the other way when Jews were being rounded up and murdered; they abetted one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century not through active collaboration but through passivity, denial and indifference.
Much like the German people, ‘we the people’ have become passive, polarized, gullible, easily manipulated, and lacking in critical thinking skills.
Distracted by entertainment spectacles, politics and screen devices, we too are complicit, silent partners in creating a police state similar to the terror practiced by former regimes.
Can the Fourth Reich happen here?
The ruthless political assassination of Michael Flynn was just one battle of a major civil war that has erupted for control of the US government. Donald Trump and his new administration are now under relentless assault by ‘the deep state’, and at this point it is not clear who will emerge as the victor. There are many that use the term ‘deep state’ as a synonym for the intelligence community, but the truth is that it is much broader than that.
In reality, the deep state encompasses thousands upon thousands of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats that never seem to change no matter which party wins an election. Certainly the intelligence community is at the heart of this system, but there are countless others that are embedded within key government agencies and the Pentagon that deeply resent Donald Trump and the kind of change that he is attempting to bring to Washington.
Trump’s political enemies are going to go after whoever they can. Trump’s family, friends and business associates are all fair game. Politics in America has become an exceedingly dirty game, and many believe that this is an indication that our republic is in the process of failing.
What matters is that we have an intelligence community that has gone rogue and that is completely out of control.
For now, this civil war is a ‘cold war’, but we aren’t too far away from it potentially becoming a ‘hot war’.
For example, just today I saw an article by Charlie Daniels in which he warned that we could soon see ‘blood on the streets’ … I see young people interviewed on television who can’t even articulate the reason they are protesting. Others bent on destruction who probably espouse no cause but chaos. I’ve seen hysterical protestors screaming about First Amendment rights which they seem to think only protect them and those who think like them and that the opposition has no First Amendment protection and should be shouted down at all costs. The rhetoric is becoming hotter and more nonsensical, the radical element more apparent, the violence and destruction of property more common place. The pot is boiling and it’s only a matter of time before there will be blood on the streets.” (rutherford.org)
What should we be doing?
We understand that we are here as witnesses. This is not our world. We are here to observe – to watch God finalise end time events. In 1984, Mr Armstrong wrote:
“Thank God, He has called us OUT of this world and its politics. But God says He sees and watches what men do in this world – AND WE ALSO ARE OBSERVERS. But this is not God’s world…” (Co-Worker Letter – October 21, 1984)
Why are we to “observe?” We need to keep in mind our future role in God’s Kingdom, which is explained in the book of Malachi:
“Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:18).
So let’s learn to discern. Is America going in the direction of a Nazi type totalitarian State? If the reports in the media are true, it would appear that the FBI and the NSA have become a law unto themselves. It would seem that their “fruits” include surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, harassment and indoctrination, governmental overreach, abuse, misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property. As an example: There is now a fast growing world movement to push for a cashless society. This would mean that the State could control peoples’ finances – something very clearly indicated at the end-time – the ultimate goal of any dictator.
“…that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:17).
So as we watch end time events, don’t take too much interest in what is said, as much of the “news” is “infotainment”, or just plain lies.
Watch what is actually happening. Watch what they DO, not what they SAY!
Let’s be learning to…
“discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:18.)
"Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. " (Revelation 12:12 NKJV)
As Mr Armstrong mentioned in a sermon given after the attempted coup against God's church in 1979:
Whether that was the case or not, one thing is clear: it most certainly WILL have taken place some time BEFORE the Tribulation starts – with its impact then continuing right through the time of trouble until the return of Jesus Christ to remove Satan entirely from the scene.
But the question is – are we prepared for it?
God's end-time Church membership will more than likely find themselves witnessing some truly catastrophic physical effects flowing from this unseen – yet very real – spirit-realm confrontation. The fact that Mr Armstrong equated the possible start of the satanic rampage with the attorney general takeover should make us sit up and take notice of what we too should be expecting. This would be wise, as Scripture warns us, we are not to be "ignorant of his devices" (II Corinthians 2:11) but to "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8).
Let us briefly therefore examine the attorney-general take-over as our initial example and note carefully one key point – how not only those outside the church were affected, but some inside also. Yes, the attorney general was swayed to pursue the case, as were his deputies and others with him, but the case itself first arose in the minds of disaffected ministers and members, who were swayed by emotionally-charged disgruntled and seditious thoughts, feelings and moods. The thing we all need to remain fully alert to, is the satanic source of such negative emotions – and how such divisive pressures seem destined to increase dramatically, not decrease, as we approach the prophesied time ahead of us:
Emotions as and of themselves are not necessarily wrong. It would be a boring grind of a human life if we did not experience varying feelings and moods, and God would not be promising us "everlasting joy", if that was the case. This is clearly and unequivocally brought out in Mr Armstrong's article on emotional maturity in the Good News of March 1985. (Is There a Hidden Enemy in Your Home?) God and Christ are the source of all good – including the positive emotions – He is wanting family members, not robots!
But Mr Armstrong is also very clear in explaining how Satan has taken advantage of this fact. Determined to do his utmost to derail God's Plan, he subtly attacks through attitudes, moods and feelings – not words, not facts, but predominantly emotions – both in others we deal with, such as was the case of the attorney general and membership as mentioned above, and also too often in us as well!
... Satan, prince of THE POWER OF THE AIR, stirs the spirits of humans, injecting into them attitudes, moods, and impulses of selfishness, vanity, lust, and greed, attitudes of resentment against authority, of jealousy and envy, of competition and strife, of resentment and bitterness, of violence, murder, and war. People do not recognize the source of these attitudes, feelings, motives, and impulses. As I said, they do not SEE the invisible Satan. They hear no audible voice. They do not know the attitude comes from Satan (Rev. 12:9). But they come to FEEL such attitudes, impulses, and desires. That is how Satan DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD.
People will feel depressed and won’t realize why. But those unaware of this phenomenon, with this self-centered attitude being broadcast and injected into their unsuspecting minds from earliest childhood, do, to a greater or lesser degree, absorb it until it becomes their normal attitude. It becomes habitual. It does not, of course, exhibit the same degree of effect in all minds – one person will become more evil than another. But the natural tendency is there. They come to have it naturally. It becomes their very NATURE. And we call it “human nature.”
All this is an outstanding example of just how subtle Satan is! The finest and most brilliant human minds have been deceived by it. Thus the WHOLE WORLD has been swayed by Satan into what I often term, simply, the “GET” way of life – the way that has become HABITUAL and NATURAL which we term “HUMAN NATURE.” (HUMAN NATURE - Did God Create It?)
What we are clearly not looking at is any kind of reasoned step-by-step thought process. By examining a number of specific biblical examples, I hope we will begin to grasp how Satan's end-time rampage will almost certainly be accomplished via the escalation of illogical, negatively-directed emotions – where self-centred emotion is used to cloud reasoned judgement – resulting in what can only be described as some truly insane outcomes.
And in probably the majority of cases – as witnessed in the account in Acts 19 – those stirred up in such rampages and disturbances are merely swayed by the mob and have no real idea of the issues!
When we think of such satanic influences, our minds may well go to the strutting self-important illusion Adolf Hitler had of himself. Certainly the frame of mind seen within Hitler undoubtedly came from a satanic source – even to the point of total possession in his case, bringing about the murder of many millions of people. So what we could be witnessing in Hitler is the frame of mind of Satan himself – the same frame of mind that changed his very name from Lucifer (Light Bringer) to Satan (adversary or enemy). But he didn't just become an enemy, he became an insane enemy – as in the process "he had corrupted his wisdom by reason of his brightness" (Ezekiel 28:17 paraphrased) He began thinking in a fundamentally illogical, unreasonable manner – that he, a created being, could exalt himself above the Eternal Creator God – the One who had no beginning – the I AM, the Self Existent one – and, desiring to replace such a Being, imagined he could rule over all things himself. Totally absurd!!
Yet this insanity went yet one step further as he began his attempt to influence and direct other angels towards his way of thinking. How could he possibly do that? Well, it couldn't have been through cold, hard facts! So it seems obvious that the only way to instil their resentment against God and His authority would be to corrupt THEIR WISDOM by reason of THEIR BRIGHTNESS – their beauty and splendour – so they themselves also began thinking like him, in an emotionally warped way, rather than coherently:
Now this Satan was filled with vanity, and vanity exalts itself; and he began to exalt himself above God. And so he said, “I will exalt my throne above God. I will ascend; I will go up and knock God off His throne.” Now it might have taken him millions of years, we don’t know, to convince the angels under him that competition against God would be better than obedience to God – that competition, and vanity, and thinking that you are so great that you want to be greater than anybody, and thinking of what YOU want to do instead of what you are told to do, and organizing them into an army. And so the first invasion to try to have a coup of government and take over the throne of God and knock God off His throne occurred before a first human being had been created. (The Trunk Of The Tree – Sermon October 1983 )
Once humans had been created, it took no time at all for Satan to engender that same way of thinking in their minds also. And once again the appeal was not logically-reasoned truth but was driven predominantly by the same emotional impulses of selfishness, competitiveness, resentment, vanity, lust and greed. This account of "Adam's apple" is infamous, but how many people understand the vital lesson it is bringing?
His first line of attack was to make Eve feel disgruntled with the fact that God had not given them unfettered access to absolutely every tree that was there. ("He's holding something back – it's not fair") And then resentment with the concept God had – according to Satan – lied to her regarding death. ("You are immortal already") What an injustice, she thought! This was quickly followed by the vanity of imagining herself as a god with inner knowledge – boosting a self-image. From there on it was sheer covetousness – in all its facets – that led to the eventual theft. But note carefully the feelings – not facts – that Satan used to suppress whatever logical reasoning processes Eve might have turned to. And there is no doubt that the same basic technique will be used more and more as we find ourselves in his end-time unbridled rampage.
Around the time that Samuel anointed David king in front of his family, we are told that "the Spirit of the [Eternal] departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the [Eternal] troubled him" (I Samuel 16:14) In other words, as Saul "quenched the spirit" given to him from the time of his anointing, God's spirit progressively drained away from him and eventually left him open to satanic influence. The resulting vacuum was inevitably filled. And we can see the insanity which then came to the fore very clearly when we consider the account of Jonathan's disagreement with his father over David:
In reading the above account note very carefully the emotionally-charged atmosphere and incredible lack of logic on behalf of King Saul. Having just condemned Jonathan for siding with David because it would jeopardise Jonathan's succession to the throne, Saul's immediate reaction to being questioned of what wrong David had done, was an attempt to kill him – his own son! A foolish act that, were it successful, would most certainly have denied Jonathan a future reign! But this is the only way it is possible for Satan and his demons to operate – without truth, therefore without logic, having instead to influence through emotional impulses – such as selfishness, bitterness, vanity, jealousy, competitiveness, resentment, lust and greed.
And these negative emotions can bring terrible results. In 1 Samuel 22, we can read how Saul's illogical hatred of David brought about not only the murder of 85 priests, but the total destruction of the whole city of Nob ... men, women, children and livestock. A despicable act – short on facts, but highly charged with emotion.
When we contrast Saul's illogical rages with David's quiet acceptance of God's will we find ourselves witnessing some clear physical evidence of a spiritual basis beneath. But what exactly was that spiritual basis? What was it that prompted David to react so nobly before Saul's demonic rampages? And more importantly what can we at the end-time learn from such a sterling example?
When David initially fled for his life from Saul, he deliberately made his way to Samuel, the man of God who anointed him as a teenager (I Samuel 19:18) Spending some time together in Naioth, it is feasible to conclude that Samuel would have instructed David – as a future king of Israel – to write a copy of God's Law so that he could daily read from it and put it into practice in his life, as instructed in Deuteronomy 17.
This he must have done in order to have written the wonderful accolades in Psalm 119 concerning God's laws statutes and judgements. Included in this would probably have been the passage in Exodus 22:28 "Thou shalt not revile the [mighty ones], nor curse the ruler of thy people". This David clearly applied to King Saul – the anointed of the Eternal – allowing God's word to give practical, logical clarity of action to the Holy Spirit that was working within him. David most likely realised who or what it was that was really behind Saul's murderous schemes against him, and when he heard of Saul and Jonathan's deaths, he was able to offer the heartfelt tribute... "how are the mighty fallen".(II Samuel 1:25)
When we examine the example of what happened to Jesus Christ at the end of His human life, the emotional insanity of Satan's broadcast can be seen in the raw. Here was an individual who healed the sick, raise the dead, and as the apostle Peter told Cornelius, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy [spirit] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38) Even the Pharisees THEMSELVES agreed with this assessment as Nicodemus confessed, "we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (John 3:2)
And yet – incredibly! – not only did they disregard all of the above when stirred up by Satan, but they actively bayed for his blood in such rank hatred that they demanded Pilate release the murderer Barabbas instead:
Again the thing to notice is the lack of logic – the emotional mindlessness of the entire process. Undoubtedly, many of these individuals who were crying, "crucify him", were the same individuals 40 days later who came to their senses on the day of Pentecost. But at the time of Christ's trial Satan was able to stir them up against all reason and condemn Him to death.
Finding ourselves at a time when it is prophesied that Satan will redouble his efforts against mankind we would all do well to note how he has done this in the past and more importantly, how to counteract it. When Jesus Christ faced His direct confrontation with Satan at the beginning of His ministry, He countered each test that was thrown at Him by saying, "it is written ... " and quoting a clear principle found in Scripture that specifically, and logically applied to the test at hand. Although this appears to have been a face-to-face encounter rather than the broadcast we find ourselves dealing with, the principle of using the word of God in both cases as "the sword of the spirit" (Ephesians 6:17) remains sound:
What we could call, "the satanic sword" – the words and actions of men inspired by Satan – we find all around us ... in the media and our day-to-day interactions with the world. The word of God has been given to us to help annul this spiritual barrage. Just as the kings of Israel anciently were told to "read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them" (Deuteronomy 17:19) – so must we, as the kings and priests of the future. Daily Bible study – so the passages quickly come to mind as they did with Christ – appears to be a large part of the answer. Living by every word of God in this way helps counteract the illogical, emotionally-charged bombardment that Satan is using with great effect already in the world.
Whether or not the devil has yet come down with great wrath following the war in heaven mentioned in Revelation 12, the effects as we approach the end are prophesied to be catastrophic for all on the earth – both inside and outside the Church. When Lucifer became Satan he began thinking in a fundamentally illogical manner. We need to remember therefore that the broadcast is going to be ratcheted up through attitudes, moods and feelings – not words, not facts, but predominantly emotions – both within others we deal with, and also, via human nature, in us as well.
The effect within the world – seen to some degree already in escalating family breakdown and political chaos – will ultimately lead to the Tribulation and the movement of entire nations into suicidal warfare:
Being forewarned, we can be forearmed! There is only one offensive weapon mentioned with the armour of God in Ephesians chapter 6 – "the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17)
Through a working knowledge of God's word, and a regular supply of His spirit to aid understanding (and give us the power to implement His commands), we can cut through the lack of logic/godly-basis within the broadcast attitudes, moods, feelings and emotions that might plague us, recognising that above all, Satan hates God's church, unity and true fellowship and works tirelessly to divide and conquer:
I came across a piece of folklore the other day, that, although not strictly scriptural, seemed to me to make a lot of common sense:
One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’
Satan would have us feed on all the negative emotions, as he knows how horribly destructive they are. God tells us instead:
|The True Church (6) NEW!||WT 1980s|
|Who Is God? NEW!||WT 1980s|
|End Time Prophecies - Part 1 NEW!||WT 1980s|
|End Time Prophecies - Part 2 NEW!||WT 1980s|
|Early Church Doctrines - Part 1 NEW!||WT 1980s|
|Prophecies For Today - Part 1 NEW!||WT 1980s|
|Fruit of the Spirit - Introduction NEW!||18 Apr 2009 (JB)|