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by Ian Munro
Modern Day Education
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by Ian Henderson
Where Are We Now in Prophecy?
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News Review - 31 Jul 2015

a great defeat for Israel?a defeat of historic proportions for the United States?a marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons?


After ten years of negotiations with Iran, the P5+1 nations - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States plus Germany – finally have come to an agreement with Iran on the future of it’s controversial nuclear program.

But, is it a good agreement?

Does it promote peace in the Middle East?

Will it stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

Most important of all – does it fit in with Bible prophecy?

There are two forces in the Middle East trying to set up an Islamic Caliphate – Shiite Iran and Sunni ISIS. The two branches of Islam have the same goal, and adopt similar methods of obtaining control. Their ultimate goal is a Muslim world. This is what the West seems to fail to fully realise.

A point to note: In most of the media, President Obama is taken to be the main negotiator. The other nations involved - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany - are rarely mentioned!

Iran appears to be the more dangerous of the two, having established a credible nuclear industry capable of producing all the materials necessary to produce nuclear weapons. They also have intercontinental ballistic missiles, which with a little more refinement, will be capable of sending those nuclear weapons anywhere in the world.

As a result, the Middle East is now a very dangerous place, as the following article points out.

The New Middle East

“Barack Obama has produced a New Middle East, but it ain’t the one he intended.

Democracy has not blossomed as called for in his Cairo speech of 2009.

The new Egyptian government that the American President cheered and supported is now in the dust. Its President, Mohamed Morsi, is facing a death sentence, imposed by a court under the newer Egyptian government, and hoping for a reprieve to life in prison. The newer ruler, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, operates in the mold of Hosni Mubarak, whose supporters accused Obama of ‘throwing him under the bus.’

Syria is competing with Iraq, Libya, and Yemen for headlines, with bombing and bullets rather than ballots determining their future. Reports are that 30 organizations are waging war in Syria, with observers unable to sort out a tangle where everyone may be against everyone else.” (

Reaction From Israel

Since Iran’s stated goal is to destroy Israel, we first look at Israel’s reaction to the deal. What follows are excerpts from an interview with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu by Steve Forbes…

“STEVE FORBES: Prime Minister, President Obama has said that if there isn’t a deal with Iran it will mean war. What we’ve learned about the deal is not reassuring. What’s your take on this?

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I think if the deal goes through we’re in danger of war, and it might be the worst kind of war we can imagine. Within a decade it will be free to enrich uranium on an unlimited basis. And it will be able to make the fissile core for dozens of bombs – indeed, hundreds of bombs – which it can then put on the hundreds of ICBMs it already has.

Under this deal Iran is going to get $100 billion to $300 billion, which it will be able to use to fund its terrorism and its aggression in the region – its aim being to destroy Israel. Given Iran’s history of aggression, I’d say that this double bonanza of a guaranteed pathway to a nuclear arsenal and a jackpot of money to continue its aggression actually make the danger of war, even nuclear war, a lot greater.

SF: You make a very important point. Even if Iran sticks to the deal, which is highly problematical, in a decade it will be a major global nuclear power, and it will have ballistic missiles.

BN: Iran is producing them, and guess what? Within a few years they will be able to reach the Eastern seaboard of the United States. And then every point in the United States. But this deal will also enable Iran to tip those missiles with nuclear weapons, with atomic bombs. And I think it’s a huge mistake to allow the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world, Iran, to have nuclear weapons, as well as the capacity to give such weapons to its terrorist surrogates.

This is a big, big mistake. Not only endangering Israel and the entire Middle East but the entire world, specifically the United States. The mullahs, the dictators in Tehran, they call us the little Satan; they call America the big Satan. You are their ultimate target, and you should not give such a terrorist regime the weapons of mass destruction. Because I think the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. Here you have a militant Islamic state, Iran, arming itself with nuclear weapons and receiving a huge cash bonanza in the bargain. That’s a mistake.

SF: Iran clearly wants to become the dominant power in the Middle East. We see its proxies operating everywhere. Iran seems, ultimately, to have its eyes on Saudi Arabia’s oil, not to mention Iraq’s.

BN: And the holy places.

SF: What happens if Congress doesn’t derail this deal?

BN: We always have the right and the duty to protect ourselves against a regime that, while denying the Holocaust, is planning another Holocaust against the six million Jews of Israel. That will not happen. We won’t let it happen.

SF: Is this like the 1930’s?

BN: No, it’s worse, because we have the example of the 1930’s, which wasn’t available then.” (

The British Attitude – “Israel Doesn’t Want A Deal…”

The British response to Mr Netanyahu seems to lack understanding of Israel’s position. The fact that Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world today did not enter the negotiations. All the P5+1 wanted to do was to slow down Iran’s production of nuclear weapons. Mr Netanyahu wanted to see the agreement force Iran to change its “behaviour” – to stop it from supporting terrorism in the Middle East – and to cease from threatening to destroy Israel.

“British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told the House of Commons that Israel opposed any accord with Tehran and would prefer permanent conflict.

‘The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of a deal would have been welcomed in Tel Aviv’, the Foreign Secretary said. ‘The answer, of course, is that Israel doesn’t want any deal with Iran. Israel wants a permanent state of stand-off and I don’t believe that’s in the interests of the region.’

Mr Netanyahu responded: ‘We seek a genuine and effective diplomatic solution - the alternative to this deal is not war. The alternative is a better deal that would roll back Iran’s military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to changes in Iran’s behaviour. That’s the kind of deal that would be welcomed in Tel Aviv and here in Israel’s capital Jerusalem’.” (

Deal Could Force A Military Strike Against Iran’s Nuclear Program

Iran’s stated goal is to destroy Israel. Is Israel not allowed to defend itself against the threat of genocide? According to the following article, an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear installations seems inevitable.

Thanks to Barack Obama, it is only a matter of time before Israel feels forced to conduct a massive military strike against Iran’s nuclear program. When that happens, Iran will strike back, and hundreds if not thousands of missiles will rain down on Israel. This exchange will likely spark a major regional war in the Middle East, and that could end up plunging the entire planet into chaos.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sworn that he will never, ever let Iran get a nuclear weapon, and he has pledged to use military force if necessary. So what Barack Obama needed was a deal that would calm Israeli nerves while satisfying the Iranians at the same time. Such a deal may have theoretically been impossible, but that is what it was going to take to prevent war.

Instead, Obama has made a deal which has utterly horrified the Israeli government. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even called it ‘a license to kill’. So now the odds that war will happen have gone way up, but Barack Obama is too busy congratulating himself to notice.(

What Can Israel Do To Stop Iran?

Aerial: Airplanes crossed international boundaries and dropped bombs in the 1981 Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear installation and in the 2007 attack on a Syrian one, making this the default assumption for Iran. Alternatively, bombs can be delivered via rockets.

Special operations: These are already underway, with computer virus attacks on Iranian systems unconnected to the Internet that should be immune, assassinations of top-ranking Iranian nuclear scientists, and explosions at nuclear installations.

Nuclear weapons: These doomsday weapons, which tend to be little discussed, would probably be launched from submarines. They hugely raise the stakes and so would only be resorted to if the Israelis were desperate, in the spirit of ‘never again.’

Of these alternatives, I predict the Netanyahu government will most likely opt for the second, which is also the most challenging to pull off. If this proves unsuccessful, Israel will turn to planes, with nuclear weapons as a last resort.(

America Projecting Weakness – Not Strength

A “deal at all costs” is a dangerous deal. While America has mostly ignored its own “red lines”, Iran has been allowed to protect its own position. The result is that America has come across as weak to all the nations of the Middle East.

The way in which the negotiations were conducted underscored the weakness of the US. The Obama administration was willing to offer almost unlimited concessions to the skillful Iranian negotiators, ignoring all its own deadlines and red lines. It is clear that President Barack Obama was desperate for a deal in order to leave office with a ‘legacy.’

While Washington congratulates itself on a ‘successful’ result, what counts are the perceptions of the countries in the region. Alas, all of them can only conclude that America is indeed weak and has capitulated to Iran. American policy is now on a collision course with Israel.

Thus an Israeli military strike on Iran has become more likely, and in the near future — before the US puts the brakes on military supplies to the Israeli army.(

Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton

This is a defeat of historic proportions for the United States,

Iran: “…Our Policy Towards The Arrogant US Will Not Change”

Meanwhile, Iran has not changed it’s behaviour one bit. Their attitude is summed up by their Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif when he said – “we have definitely shown some flexibility - we did our best to preserve most of the red lines, if not all.” What flexibility? They protected ALL their “red lines”! America offered almost unlimited concessions to Iran, while receiving nothing in return!

“Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said during a speech to his country’s parliament on Tuesday that Tehran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 powers was a great defeat for Israel. ‘Never before was the Zionist regime so isolated, even among her own allies,’ he said. This, he explained, is why Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is so furiously ‘shouting all over the place’ and trying to stymie the agreement at any cost.

‘With this agreement, the decades-long anti-Iran propaganda of the Zionist regime is finally neutralized,’ said Zarif, who was Iran’s chief negotiator on the deal. ‘We don’t say the deal is totally in favor of Iran. Any negotiation is a give and take. We have definitely shown some flexibility,’ the minister said. ‘I tell you as I told the Supreme Leader; we did our best to preserve most of the red lines, if not all.’

On Saturday, Khamenei gave a particularly inflammatory speech just days after the deal, stating that the Islamic Republic’s policies toward the US have not changed.” (

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

The influence of the Revolutionary Guard in Iran is massive. While the regular Iranian army protects the country’s borders, the Revolutionary Guard protect the country’s Islamic system and extend Iran’s “Islamic revolution”. Many analysts claim that its political power has even surpassed the Shia clerical system. Here is their view:

“General Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, is the most prominent public critic, saying the agreement crossed ‘major red lines’ for the Iranian military. ‘We’ll never accept it,’ he told the Tasnim news agency.” (

India Fears Iranian-Dominated Middle East

The problem extends far beyond the Middle East, even India is concerned! India’s neighbour, Sunni Islamic Pakistan, also has nuclear weapons, as the following article points out:

“India’s primary concern, however, remains neighbouring Pakistan. As this nuclear deal sets a Shiite Iran on the highway to a nuclear bomb, rival Sunni-Arab nations are getting jittery about the prospect of living in an Iranian-dominated Middle East.

Pakistan would be the preferred one-stop shop from Sunni-Arab nations to acquire a ‘turnkey’ nuclear bomb. Saudi Arabia has apparently financed Pakistan’s clandestine nuclear program for decades and hopes get an ‘off the shelf’ nuclear bomb in return.

Both Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda have repeated their calls for jihad on India. With ISIS in Syria having paraded a captured Scud missile that is capable of carrying a tactical nuclear warhead, it doesn’t take much imagination to picture a nuclear-armed Arab state falling to Islamic State or its affiliates.” (

Saudi Arabia: “Regional Powers Have Lost Faith in America”

If Iran is allowed to obtain nuclear weapons, then Saudi Arabia will also join the nuclear club. This would upset the whole balance of power in the Middle East. What makes the situation even more dangerous is the fact that many claim that Saudi Arabia is also a nation which sponsors international terrorism. As Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu warned, “ the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons”. That is now a distinct possibility.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia feels that it can no longer look to America for protection. They know that ISIS wants to take over their nation. So the Saudi’s are now preparing to fight for their survival. They are testing their considerable military might in Yemen – and now feel strong enough to openly threaten Iran, as the following article shows:

“In the first public criticism of the P5+Iran deal by a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, Prince Bandar bin Sultan told Lebanon’s Daily Star the deal would allow Iran to acquire a nuclear bomb and would ‘wreak havoc in the region.’ Covered in The Times of London, the prince also told Daily Star, ‘Saudi Arabia and the Gulf powers are prepared to take military action without American support after the Iran nuclear deal’

Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two leading players in the Sunni/Shia divide and are competing for leadership of the Muslim world. The Sunni Islam Saudi Arabian monarchy fears that the Shia Islam Iranians will employ terrorists in an attempt topple the monarchy and the ruling House of Saud.

The Prince also said that regional powers have lost faith in America:

‘People in my region now are relying on God’s will, and consolidating their local capabilities and analysis with everybody else except our oldest and most powerful ally’.

“Fear of the Islamic State is evident in Saudi Arabia (the crown jewel in the Islamic State’s vision of conquest), in Jordan (the weak link), and in other countries. The danger of regional instability is greater than ever.” (

The prince was less polite in an op-ed he wrote for the London-based Arabic news website Elaph. He compared the Iran nuclear deal made by Obama to the North Korean nuclear deal Bill Clinton made. Bandar suggested that they were both bad deals but Clinton made a bad deal with the best of intentions thinking it was a good deal. Obama on the other hand knew he was making a lousy deal and made it anyway.

At his press conference earlier this week, President Obama seemed to indicate the only opposition to the P5+1 deal came from congressional Republicans, Israeli Premier Bibi Netanyahu, and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer.

The president was not being truthful. Not only is there opposition from Congressional Democrats, but one of the leading critics is Senator Bob Menendez - a New Jersey Democrat. In Israel, with the possible exception of the Arab parties, all of the political parties in the Knesset have come out against the deal. And based on Prince Bandar bin Sultan, we now know that another one of the United States’ closest allies, Saudi Arabia, believes the P5+1 deal was a blunder.(

Arms Control Agreement – Or - US Surrender?

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, had this to say about the agreement:

“Supreme Leader Ali ‘Khamenei is toying with Obama right now, humiliating him, but Obama is too self-absorbed to realize it,’ Rubin said. ‘There’s a reason why Obama doesn’t want Congress to see the agreement,’ Rubin added. ‘That is because to examine the agreement is to recognize that it’s more an unconditional surrender than an arms control agreement’.(

The final slap in the face for Israel – the US is going to protect Iran from future Israeli attack!

One way in which Israel has attacked Iran’s nuclear program is by cyber attacks. These have been somewhat successful in the past. Now, with this new agreement, that will become much more difficult.

“Israel reacted in anger Monday to a hidden detail in the Iran nuclear deal which promises Western support and training to protect Iranian nuclear facilities from attack or sabotage, Israeli media reported.

According to Israel Hayom, the commitment in Article 10 did not appear in draft versions of the agreement. Israel National News noted it was buried on page 142 of the 159-page agreement. Now, the P5+1 are promising to help Iran defend against such attacks.(

Links to Bible Prophecy

The Weakness of America:

Why is America appearing to be so weak? One reason is made clear in scripture: God warns… I will break the pride of your power…” (Leviticus 26:19, King James Version)

However, there is another reason. When Israel was about to go into the Promised Land, Moses conveyed to the people God’s instructions:

“Look, I now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations.

When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, ‘How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!’ For what great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us whenever we call on him? And what great nation has decrees and regulations as righteous and fair as this body of instructions that I am giving you today?” (Deuteronomy 4:5-8, New Living Translation)

If they obeyed God’s Law, it would give them wisdom which other nations would acknowledge. Today, the American leadership has given up on God – even going so far as to enact laws which are totally contrary to the Law of God.

And the result? Their wisdom has gone, and the other nations now see that. They realise that America is weak! This agreement with Iran is not wise. It is an absolute disaster. It will lead to “the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons”. America has forgotten the goal of Islam… both Sunni and Shia:

“Today, Jews play a central role in the end times ideology of Iran’s mullahs. They believe the Mahdi, or Islamic messiah, will return to earth, conquer Jerusalem, and massacre the Jewish inhabitants of Israel.

Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani said that while Israel is a one-bomb country, Iran and the Islamic world could survive a nuclear exchange with the Jewish state.

According to this view, the heavy losses would be worth it for the greater good of wiping Israel off the map.(

American and British policy is now on a collision course with Israel. There is another prophecy in the Bible that also seems to be coming to pass:

“Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; Together they shall be against Judah.(Isaiah 9:21, New King James Version)

Instead of protecting Judah, America and Britain have allowed Iran, a nation dedicated to the destruction of Judah, a practical route to obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran is confident of surviving a nuclear exchange with Judah. Can anyone be surprised if Judah defends itself?

Watch out for major changes in the Middle East…

They cannot be far off!

Pastors Report - 24 Jul 2015

The Positive Principle:

Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion states, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". And we find the same principle emerging for many spiritual laws governing actions/reactions as well....

An Orderly Universe:

As I type these words, 3 billion miles away the New Horizons probe is beginning a year-long process of transmitting the huge volume of collected data back to earth from its recent close encounter with Pluto and its moons. To have accurately navigated the spacecraft to the outer reaches of our solar system and its recent rendezvous can only be regarded as an astounding accomplishment for the scientific team involved. But what we should also keep in mind is that every one of the complex calculations of the journey rests firmly and squarely on primarily three simple laws – known as Newton's laws of motion – which, stated in a simplified form declare:

  • That things always travel in a straight line unless acted on by an external force.
  • That acceleration depends on two variables – force and mass.
  • That for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Using these three fundamental principles of motion as an unshakeable basis, those involved were able to then go on to work out precisely where Pluto would be over 9 and one half years after the launch date; what speed the launch rocket would need to successfully project the probe; and how much increased velocity could be expected following its slingshot-like close encounter with Jupiter.

An Orderly God:

So why am I telling you this? Because although these three simple principles are referred to as Newton's laws of motion, as it was Newton who discovered them in 1687, Newton did not create them. They – or something very like them – originally came into existence from the Mind of the Creator Himself, via the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. So these laws of motion are very much God's laws – just as much as are the 10 Commandments or any other law we find within Scripture. And praising that creative galactic genius, the Psalmist David wrote:

  • The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
  • Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
  • There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
  • Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)

As the above implies: looking up at the night sky should speak clearly to all mankind – that there is a Being so much greater than puny man. But the heavens declare much more than that. For they not only declare His glory but also "show his handiwork" – part of that handiwork being the very laws that govern what we see as well, such as these three simple yet exquisite laws of motion that allows mankind to accurately predict where the heavenly bodies will be even centuries in advance.

Laws of Spiritual Motion:

But the Psalm doesn't end there. It then goes on to draw the parallel between what we can see in the heavens and what we can see of God's spiritual values as well, and it's in the eternal things of God – the spiritual laws of motion – that we, like David, should be most interested:

  • The law of the [Eternal] is perfect, converting the soul:
  • the testimony of the [Eternal] is sure, making wise the simple.
  • The statutes of the [Eternal] are right, rejoicing the heart:
  • the commandment of the [Eternal] is pure, enlightening the eyes.
  • The fear of the [Eternal] is clean, enduring for ever:
  • the judgments of the [Eternal] are true and righteous altogether. (Psalm 19:7-9)

As we move through this life – from our present position as humans to that of our final, fully converted state, ready to inherit the very Kingdom of God – we do so subject to eternal laws very similar to the laws of motion. Certainly there are scriptural admonitions, precepts, laws, statutes and judgements by the score, but there are just two overarching principles that our Creator points us to on which every other ordinance and statute rests:

  • Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
  • Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
  • Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
  • This is the first and great commandment.
  • And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
  • On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:35-40)
Another Principle:

Notice how short they are. And yet how profound. How similar to the equally elegant and exquisite three laws of motion from the same mouth. But there is something else we should take careful note of regarding the above two bedrock commandments – what I term, 'the positive principle' also found within them. Note carefully how, unlike most of the Ten Commandments, these two commandments are expressed in a positive way, "thou shalt love ..." rather than negatively,"thou shalt not ..."

By being written in this way they imply yet another principle of their implementation; a principle which, strangely enough, is very similar to Newton's third law of motion ... namely: that we should actively seek the positive action for every negative reaction we wish to counter.

This positive principle is indeed what we find within Scripture – particularly in the New Testament – and it is therefore something it would be wise to actively recognise – and implement – during our own spiritual motion towards the Kingdom of God. Notice how it is graphically brought out in the book of Ephesians:

  • [first negative] That ye put off concerning the former conversation [conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
  • [then the positive principle] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
  • [first negative] Wherefore putting away lying,
  • [then the positive principle ] speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
  • [first negative] In your anger do not sin
  • [then the positive principle ] Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.(NIV)
  • [first negative] Let him that stole steal no more:
  • [then the positive principle ] but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
  • [first negative] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,
  • [then the positive principle ] but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. ( Ephesians 4:22-29)
Ready to Teach:

Jesus Christ was the living Word who gave the Law at Sinai, and it was prophesied that when He came in the flesh, He was to "magnify the law, and make it honourable". (Isaiah 42:21). This same Law – once magnified – would then be written within the very hearts of His people under the terms of the new covenant, so they in turn would be ready to effectively teach the same to all mankind in the Millennium.

  • And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
  • And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3)

Being able to apply the positive principle of God's law in our lives now in an effective and productive way, is very much a part of our learning process. The important thing to keep in mind is that the World Tomorrow is not going to be as it is – a veritable Utopia – merely because of a series of "thou shalt nots"! In Isaiah 30:21, we find that the job of teachers of the future is more to guide into a right direction of life with the words, "this is the way, walk ye it", rather than just mete out punishment for wrong doing!

When people are walking, living, acting in a godly, law-abiding way of life, they will automatically reap the blessings! It is important to understand that it won't be a matter of just NOT doing things. Christ pointed out this fallacy to the man in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:24-30), who did nothing with the one talent with which he had been entrusted!

"Thou Shalt Not":

Going into a little more detail therefore from the two great Commandments, we come to the Ten Commandments given at Sinai – 10 phrases that express the Eternal's Law (or Torah: Way, mindset, pointing of God) in words that have been tailored specifically to our human experience. By seeking additional scriptures that apply the positive principal to these 10 phrases we can in turn spiritually magnify the depth behind each one and augment what God is teaching us in each case:

Let us therefore examine a selected few of the "thou shalt not" commands:

Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image ....

  • (Positive) .... But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
  • God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)

The positive principle behind the Second Commandment is not merely that we should not erect an idol that attempts to limit the Holy one of Israel, but to more fully recognise the truly limitless ability and scope of God Himself. We need to meditate on the Mind that planned, devised and brought about this limitless universe. We are surrounded daily by unshakable evidence of intelligent design – something we need to take time to imbibe and think deeply about. And furthermore, we need to contemplate the Plan that has been revealed to us – that this awesome Being is capable of making out of fallible human flesh, His own sons and daughters with His own character, with His own mind. And that He plans to glorify them with resplendent, immortal spirit bodies. The truly positive principle of the Second Commandment is not merely to avoid idols – but to remain properly in awe of the Being that brought the universe into existence and is both capable and intent on bringing His glorified family into existence also.

Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain ....

  • (Positive) .... Then they that feared the [Eternal] spake often one to another: and the [Eternal] hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the [Eternal], and that thought upon his name. (Malachi 3:16)

We might think that taking God's name in vain just refers to using bad language, as is so horribly common in the world today – using His name as a swear word. But it goes much, much further than that. We too can so very easily take God's name in vain by our actions!

In our daily prayers we address Him as our Father – we being His sons and daughters – and then go on to express our desire that His name should be "hallowed", which means kept holy, or to be greatly respected. But the positive principle insists that our lives, as His children, must also reflect His name. We call ourselves the Church OF God, yet we need to take the time to meditate on what that really means – lest we also fall into the same condemnation of profaning God's Holy, righteous and perfect name – by our actions – as did ancient Israel. (Isaiah 52:5, Romans 2:24). Our daily lives – in word and deed – need to reflect our 'genealogy'!

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill ....

  • (Positive) .... Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment [the court]:
  • But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [you are worthless], shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool [you cursed fool], shall be in danger of hell [Gehenna] fire.( Matthew 5:21-22)
  • (Positive) .... Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy [from the oral law, the Talmud, not the Tanak].
  • But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
  • That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven...( Matthew 5:43-45)

Why love our enemies? Because Christ and the Father – the Family to which we aspire – are Creators. Their mindset is outgoing. Theirs is not the mind of a destroyer, of a murderer, like Satan. These are two diametrically different mindsets. One is that of a murderer filled with hatred and violence, that takes life. But the mindset of a creator is to give life. So we actively care – even for our enemies, 'good-mouthing' those that curse us, doing good even to those who hate us and praying for our persecutors. Humanly speaking, this is an impossibility, but not when we have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). This is the clear scriptural positive principle behind the command "thou shalt not kill".

Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery ....

In the western world divorce is rampant and affects one marriage in two in some areas, according to latest statistics. And pre- and post-marital immorality is to blame in the majority of cases. The idea of not even looking on a woman (or man) to lust after her (or him) would seem totally impractical and very undesirable. Yet we are told – in a positive way – in Proverbs:

  • (Positive).... Drink water from your own well – share your love only with your wife
  • Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?
  • You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.
  • Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
  • She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. (Proverbs 5:15-19 NLT)

And to the church, we are given a much deeper insight and understanding of the husband/wife relationship, the following being the wife's positive responsibility, something which is totally rejected in today's matriarchal society:

  • .... Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.>
  • For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour [rescuer] of the body.
  • Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. ( Ephesians 5:22-24)

And Paul continues to outline that of the husband:

  • .... Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
  • That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
  • That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
  • So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
  • For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
  • For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
  • For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. ( Ephesians 5:2 5 -31)

The bottom line being – as brought out in verse 32 : "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church" ....and this is what both partners need to keep in mind.

Remember, it is not merely our human love alone but the love of God that must be applied within our marriages. Christ sanctified and cleansed the Church “with the washing of water by the word.” Applying the positive principle to this concept we who have converted mates must realize that he or she too can have their sins covered by the blood of Christ. We husbands also need to converse with our wives, to share with them what is on our mind so that we are indeed “one flesh” and of one mind, and in this way, our wives will happily defer to our plans and decisions, knowing we have their best interests at heart.

Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal ....

  • (Positive) .... Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:28)

God expects us to work – 6 days a week – so yes, working is good, but the positive principle should go even beyond that – and be so “that you may have something to give to him that needeth.” God and Christ also work (John 5:17) But why? Creation is work, being our High Priest is work, but it is work in order to GIVE. And that is the key – stealing too is often work, but it is always working to get, whereas the positive principle is that we should be working to give.

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness ....

  • (Positive) .... Wherefore putting away lying, [instead of lying, what do you do?] speak every man truth with his neighbour: [and what is the motivating reason?] for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)

All our physical members – our bodily parts – work together as a well-oiled machine, each organ, limb, gland etc working towards the health of the whole. Only if it is diseased does this marvellous mechanism break down. We need to keep in mind that the Church is described as the body of Christ, and;

  • ..... That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
  • And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
  • Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (I Corinthians 12:25-27)

This caring frame of mind extends well beyond the boundaries of the Church itself. The same basic mindset applies to neighbours and even our enemies. It is inconceivable that caring members would lie and deceive one another! Indeed, the way we speak and interact with others is all-important. And the positive principle is that our words must come from a converted, spiritual mind – as Mr Armstrong explains :

It is a mind FILLED to overflowing with real LOVE for God and all fellowmen – even one’s enemies and that has sympathy, patience and kindness for others in their ideas and beliefs, their faults and mistakes, that speaks softly, gently, kindly, that seeks only to help and to serve. It is the mind that has DIED to SELF. (True Spirituality – GN June/July 1984)

Laws of Motion:

Three billion miles away the New Horizons probe is now hurtling away from us at 9 miles per second within what is known as the Kuiper Belt – an area of space, beyond the planet Neptune, similar to the asteroid belt, but much larger – that contains multiple thousands of what are known as "Kuiper Belt Objects"; gigantic lumps of ice and frozen gases at the far extremities of our solar system. Yet Newton's three laws of motion still govern all that the spacecraft will do – out into the dim reaches of time. And as it does so, we too MOVE towards the kingdom of God, governed by the SPIRITUAL laws of motion given from the same source.

These Laws of spiritual motion too are just as simple and concise as those discovered by Newton over 300 years ago, yet even more exquisite and profound. After all, the Spiritual Law of God – soon to be written in the hearts of all mankind – cannot predominantly be a negative thing otherwise it would leave a vacuum. As we move towards that Utopia, we need to understand the positive, balancing principle to apply, so that we – like David – continue to seek to understand THE WAY of God's precepts; removing THE WAY of lying; choosing THE WAY of truth; so we may run THE WAY of God's commandments when our heart is enlarged through the indwelling of His POSITIVE Holy Spirit:

  • DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
  • I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
  • Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
  • My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
  • Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.
  • I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.
  • I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
  • I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. (Psalm 119:25-32)
Transcript - 27 May 2015
Mr Armstrong

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