by Ian Munro
"I Vow To Thee My Country"
given Wales UK 30 Aug 2014
|The sermonette title comes from a well-known British anthem originally focussed on the sacrifices made during World War 1. But as we look forward to our country - the Kingdom of God - many of the sentiments it contains also apply. (2.0 Mb)|
by Jon Bowles
The Edge of Relationships - part 2
given Wales UK 30 Aug 2014
|This sermon continues from last week and points out that we can learn much from the physical creation. This is because the same Word defines both the physical and spiritual. The sermon deals with: the edge of a relationship with God and; the edge of a relationship with fellow man. (13.3 Mb)|
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." (II Corinthians 2:11)
We know that in these last days of this present evil age, it is prophesied that Satan, in blind anger, will do all he can to derail God's Plan, and his main target will be the church. Though invisible, his broadcast is incredibly powerful and not one of us is immune to being adversely affected by it! We are warned in many places to be on our guard, and to avoid being a "castaway" from either neglect or from having our minds poisoned. To avoid the latter, it is vital to understand our enemy.
In many translations other than the KJV the word in II Corinthians 2:11 translated as "devices" (Greek: noema - Strongs 3540), is probably more correctly rendered as "schemes". We can even see this in the KJV as well, for in the five other places where the word is used it has been translated as "minds" or "thought":
The devices, the schemes that we can witness are more the visible extensions of an individual's thinking ... their mind. So what kind of thinking — what is going on in the mind of this unclean spirit that we need to be aware of and avoid? For as Christ makes very clear:
Taking it to the ultimate, one thing is apparent from scripture; any who are demon possessed are also insane which clearly indicates the hugely deviant and twisted mindset to be found within the demonic world. We can see this in the account of the 'legion' of spirits which Christ cast out of the individual who lived naked among the tombs of Gadarenes. As Mark's account tells us: "always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones." (Mark 5:5) It is even seen in Lucifer himself who, when he sinned, also "corrupted [his] wisdom" (Ezekiel 28:17) . After all, a decision to attempt the overthrow of his Almighty Maker who lovingly gave him absolutely all that he was can only be described as insane. And from the above account of the self-harm of the individual of Gadarenes, amongst many others, it is clear Satan and his kind have a blind hate of humanity.
But what happened to first bring about this insanity in Lucifer? The rest of verse seventeen of Ezekiel 28 gives us the answer: "Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and your corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor".(NIV). The problem was his focus went askew. His centre changed. Instead of being obedient to "the first and great commandment ... Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matthew 22:38,37) ... vanity grabbed him and his own beauty and brightness perverted his perception of reality and HE became the centre in his own deluded mind, the centre of his universe.
And what are some of the effects of this insane, depraved mindset today? In education they are indeed legion — from the kindergarten through to university level — perverting the very perception of reality in a very similar way as occurred in Satan himself. Nothing is allowed to trump the arrogant self-conceited position of (their own) human intellect. Such blinkered thinking therefore fills our universities in virtually every scientific discipline — ruling out even the acknowledgement of there even being a Creator God.
They will consistently and vehemently suppress any such truth in unrighteousness before they even begin to assess the evidence. Even though intelligent design within the creation is screaming at them from every quarter they stubbornly rule-out the very concept of God as an unscientific inadmissible option! And why would they do such a thing? Because today's entire evil age rests on this unseen Satanically-insane mindset which was and still is perverted in a similar way. So the "first and great commandment" must therefore be sidelined at all cost:
This great push to establish evolution as the answer to all we see and experience permeates every facet of society. But why this great drive to do away with intelligent design? Well, the last thing Satan wants is for the world to recognise the Creator God and to give Him the honour and thanks that is His due, and he also knows that the constant drip, drip, drip of evolutionary thought can also weaken the faith of the church. After all, if we are constantly told we are nothing special, and can only believe in what can be tested and tried physically, where does that leave us when it comes to divine healing or protection?
Having elevated himself above God, Satan's next step of disobeying the second command, of "loving neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 22:39-40) almost goes without saying. But Satan's neighbour is not merely fellow angels. When we read the account in Revelation 22, verses 8-10 we see a stark contrast between the mindset of the holy angel who was sent to the apostle John — and who regarded himself as a fellowservant with John — versus the devil (a word that means 'slanderer') who actively pulls others down using his deviant words:
In Revelation chapter twelve we see this corrupt individual trying to drive an accusative wedge between us and God, but this same concept — divide and conquer — is also one of his most useful and effective tools between brethren. Human relationships can be a minefield and we must be aware of how easily we can be derailed from the unity God seeks in His church.
Having hatred towards another clearly cuts us off from God. As in Lucifer, it too arises from a change of focus, a change regarding who is the centre of our world and it clearly is not God. In the case of breaking the command: "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself", this can take the form of a feeling of superiority at one extreme but very often it can take the more dangerous form of a root of bitterness, possibly based on feelings of "poor me", due to a real or imaginary slight. Both cases involve a change in the centre that displaces ourselves to the top — above our brethren, a move from give to get, from God's way of life to that of Satan himself.
And the solution in all cases is the same: To reinstate The Great Majestic God over us all collectively once again — back in His rightful place once more, and to overcome any accusations that may have been placed within our mind by the devil ... the slanderer ... by unreservedly applying "the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 12:11) to cover all sin. Such repented sins must not only include our own but also those of our brethren who also struggle to overcome in this life. They are very much a work in progress ... just like us! For as Paul had to remind the Corinthian Church:
Jesus Christ — as the Eternal Logos of old who created Lucifer and gave him life — is fully aware of the Devil's subsequent failings. For He would have been involved first-hand in discovering the catalogue of deceit and lies that led to Satan's spiritual demise, and it is clear from the book of Proverbs how utterly distasteful He finds that way of life.:
No wonder He was so angry with the people of His day who exhibited the same mindset:
So if we are to block Satan in his desire to corrupt and destroy us, we need to recognise distorted thinking coming from a lying mind. And not only in others, but ourselves also, knowing we have the same proclivity! Let us examine the first recorded lie in scripture and we will see how God — who cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18, Titus 1:2) — chooses names and titles for valid reasons. For in scripture, the first depiction given of Satan in his lies is that of a serpent or snake:
That single verse tells us a huge amount about the lying approach the Devil uses. A snake never approaches anything in a straight line! His devious subtlety towards Eve is thus laid out in crystal clarity by his initial question; which was technically true, but at the same time the very antithesis of God's original meaning. For God's intent was to give — pressed down and running over, "saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat" — avoiding just one ... for their own good and benefit. But Satan erected a 'straw-man' by wresting that word of God away from its clear intent to present it in another totally false light — a clear magician's misdirection!
All around us we can see this lethal mixture of politically-correct baffle-gab, pseudo-truth and lies in every facet of society ... including religion ... and as we do, we need to realise that such pseudo-truth is very much part of the predator's camouflage — to disguise his true intent. For we are warned:
The way Satan operates as this predator is indeed as deadly as a roaring lion, but he rarely acts in an open, overt way. Rather he remains hidden, camouflaged. He stalks like a snake — a subtle broadcasting mind in the background that seeks to influence and corrupt others from the pure positive Word of God — and thus devour spiritually. Mr Armstrong puts it this way:
... 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?)
With time running out for this present evil world, and our "salvation nearer than when we first believed", we cannot afford to let down in any way, especially in our vigilance against the wiles, the schemes, the mindset of our arch enemy. And having recognised the self-centred, perverted, insane, accusing, depressive, dishonest, predatory mindset .... how do we deal with it? After all, we have no such power by ourselves. Fortunately, we are given the answer in Ephesians:
The situation in the State of Israel is causing uproar around the world. Anti-Semitism rears its ugly head in Britain, France, Germany and several other nations. Yet Israel is a nation under attack, striving to protect its citizens. Why then are so many against Israel?
In an Article in the Daily Express August 21, 2014 - Douglas Murray explains:
“Jews are attacked here in Britain; they are blockaded into a synagogue in Paris and the chant ‘Death to the Jews’ is heard in Germany for the first time in 70 years. But too few people seem to want to notice this or admit what it means. They think this is just about Israel, or just about Jewish people. It isn’t. It is about all of us. The decision last month by the Israeli government to respond to Hamas rocket-fire from Gaza is the response any government would choose if rockets were fired at its citizens. The Israeli government has the right - as does any government - to stop the bombarding of its people. However, in recent weeks it has become plain that much of the world expects a different response from Israel. They expect Israel not to fight for the safety, security and survival of their people, but to lie down in front of the Islamic extremist enemy.
The UK government has even - disgracefully - stopped selling some arms to Israel just when the country needs such weapons most. But in expecting Israel to behave differently from the rest of us, our societies and governments reveal far more about our own state than the State of Israel.
Because the truth is that behind the demands for Israel to lie down in front of its enemies is a fatal unwillingness of our own to face the problem which is in our midst.
There are those who think that Israel is somehow the cause of the world’s problems, or that in defending themselves from Islamic extremists Israel is somehow causing Islamic extremism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The extremists of Hamas are the ideological bedfellows of the extremists of ISIS who are rampaging through Syria and Iraq, crucifying and beheading as they go.
The video of the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley by an ISIS murderer with a British accent has shocked the world. ISIS or IS are the soul-mates of Boko Haram who kidnap and kill Christian villagers in the North of Nigeria and stole 300 schoolgirls earlier this year.
They also share the exact same ideology – if not yet the same means – as those people who were found in Birmingham earlier this year teaching British pupils to hate wider British society and cut themselves off from non-Muslims. But it is this last part of the equation which many people seem so incapable of dealing with. They see the millions of Muslims who have come to our continent and see how many of them are radical. But it is a problem they fear they cannot deal with.
They believe that if Israel just gave up fighting and disappeared that the rest of us would be able to live in peace. They see the young Muslims who stormed into a supermarket in Birmingham last weekend, trashing the products and assaulting a British policeman and they think “this is caused by Israel.”
They see young Parisian Muslims throw slabs of concrete at police and set fire to cars and they think “If only Israel weren’t responding to Hamas rocket-fire.” And they see Imams in Germany and Italy preach that all Jewish people must be killed and they pretend that it is not a problem for all of us. How wrong they are. The problem of anti-Semitism and Islamic anti-Semitism in particular today, is undoubtedly a problem for Jewish people. But it is only a problem for them first. It is a problem for all of us next.
What is it that lies behind this terrible Hamas-driven rage against Israel? What lies behind the desire for Israel to disappear? Today the world is finding out. Because behind the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah which have flown at anti-Israel demonstrations in recent weeks is another flag. The black flag of jihad – the black flag most recently being waved in Iraq and Syria by ISIS.
Last month the black flag was flown from a car in London’s Blackwall tunnel as East End Muslims blocked the traffic. At the entrance to a council estate in East London earlier this month there were anti-Israel banners and Palestinian flags. And then, on top of the lot, the black flag of jihad was flown. In Oxford Street last week Islamic extremists set up stall to try to recruit people to rally around the black flag of ISIS. The black flag is not about Jewish people!
Today in Iraq and Syria it is about Christians who ISIS is forcing to convert to Islam at gunpoint or face beheading. Many Christians are being killed by ISIS for refusing to renounce their faith. On some occasions Christians have tried to save their lives by “converting” at gunpoint and ISIS have killed them anyway. And this is not only about Christians. It is also about other minority faiths in Islamist dominated countries. In Iraq it is also about the Yazidis, the Mandeans and other ancient beliefs which predate Islam.
The ambition of the jihadists – from al-Qaeda to Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and more – is to subjugate the entire world.
It is now the duty of all decent people – including decent Muslims – to turn on these barbarians and make it clear they will not win. Rather than offer up beleaguered Israel we should send another message. That the extremists will not win in their desire to take over Israel anymore than they will win in their stated desire to raise the black flag of jihad over Rome, Washington, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.
Israel is not the cause of the world’s problems. It is simply on the front line of them. But increasingly so are we all. And if we abandon Israel today then one day – too late – we will realize that in fact what we abandoned was ourselves.” (express.co.uk)
This article raises some challenging questions
It’s not just the Jews who are threatened with extermination - it includes Britain and America – as well as the rest of the world! “The ambition of the jihadists – from al-Qaeda to Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and more – is to subjugate the entire world.”
The following article provides an interesting answer!
“Have you ever stopped to wonder why 40% of people don’t bother to vote anymore? Have you ever stopped to wonder why, which ever party is in power, nothing ever gets any better? Have you ever stopped to wonder why all the three major political parties in the UK have broadly the same policies?
The answer is simple - political correctness.
This left wing ideology has very cleverly, and by stealth, replaced British politics. The PC Brigade effectively hold a gun to the head of political parties - none of the main parties now dare suggest any policy that is not politically correct otherwise the PC Brigade will label them the ‘nasty’ party.
Witness the Conservative party policy U turns. In a desperate effort to lose their ‘nasty’ party label they have become Blue Labour, a slightly diluted form of New Labour! So we now have the three main parties all occupying the same small piece of ‘centre ground’. Many people don’t vote on the grounds that it is pointless - you will get the same whoever wins.” (politicallyincorrect.me.uk)
“…for fear of being branded racist…”
“The sexual abuse of about 1,400 children at the hands of Asian men went unreported for 16 years…”
“…because staff feared they would be seen as racist, a report said today. Children as young as 11 were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers…” (dailymail.co.uk)
In our modern society, ‘political correctness’ is treated as something of a joke. Someone who is dishonest is referred to as ‘ethically disoriented’ . A homeless person is ‘residentially flexible’ while someone with body odor has a ‘nondiscretionary fragrance’ . It’s regarded by many as a bit of a laugh.
But it is no laughing matter – it is deadly serious, as the following article from the USA explains:
“Where does all this stuff – the victim feminism, the gay rights movement, the invented statistics, the rewritten history, the lies, the demands, all the rest of it – where does it come from?
For the first time in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic.
‘PC’ – Double Standards
“Michael Brown and Dillon Taylor, two young, unarmed men shot to death by police officers two days apart. But while the world knows of the highly publicized situation involving 18-year-old Mr Brown, most people outside Utah have never heard of 20-year-old Mr Taylor.”
“Critics say there’s a reason for the discrepancy in media coverage: race. Mr Brown was black and the officer who shot him was white. Mr Taylor described as white - and the officer who shot him …wasn’t white. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh blamed the discrepancy between the two cases on ‘the liberal world view’ that portrays whites as oppressors and blacks as victims. ‘In the current climate in the United States, a black person can never be the oppressor, and a white person can never be a victim,’ said Mr Limbaugh on his national radio show last week.” (washingtontimes.com)
We have seen other countries, particularly in this century, where this has been the case. And we have always regarded them with a mixture of pity, and to be truthful, some amusement, because it has struck us as so strange that people would allow a situation to develop where they would be afraid of what words they used. But we now have this situation in this country. We have it primarily on college campuses, but it is spreading throughout the whole society. Were does it come from? What is it?
We call it ‘Political Correctness.’ The name originated as something of a joke, literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only half-serious. In fact, it’s deadly serious. It is the great disease of our century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe, in Russia, in China, indeed around the world. It is the disease of ideology. PC is not funny. PC is deadly serious.
If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious.
In 1923 in Germany, a think-tank is established that takes on the role of translating Marxism from economic into cultural terms, that creates Political Correctness as we know it today, and essentially it has created the basis for it by the end of the 1930s. This comes about because the very wealthy young son of a millionaire German trader by the name of Felix Weil has become a Marxist and has lots of money to spend. He is disturbed by the divisions among the Marxists, so he sponsors something called the First Marxist Work Week, where he brings Lukacs and many of the key German thinkers together for a week, working on the differences of Marxism.
And he says, ‘What we need is a think-tank.’ Washington is full of think tanks and we think of them as very modern. In fact they go back quite a ways. He endows an institute, associated with Frankfurt University, established in 1923, that was originally supposed to be known as the Institute for Marxism. But the people behind it decided at the beginning that it was not to their advantage to be openly identified as Marxist. The last thing Political Correctness wants is for people to figure out it’s a form of Marxism. So instead they decide to name it the Institute for Social Research.
How does all of this stuff flood in here? How does it flood into our universities, and indeed into our lives today? The members of the Frankfurt School are Marxist, they are also, to a man, Jewish. In 1933 the Nazis came to power in Germany, and not surprisingly they shut down the Institute for Social Research. And its members fled. They fled to New York City, and the Institute was reestablished there in 1933 with help from Columbia University.” (academia.org)
Just like the Muslims, the Communist Marxists seek world domination. They started their attack right at the heart of American society – the educational system. Mr Armstrong was well aware of the situation as it was happening!
“I was saying over the air, and writing, back in 1934, that the Communist unwavering strategy was, as a first offensive toward world domination, propaganda. They began sowing the seeds of their communist atheistic education all over the United States – especially among college professors and students. They invaded American university campuses, full force, and the US universities trustingly let them in.
They made inroads into the US government structure. The State Department was a fertile working ground for their doctrines. The State Department official who authorized my credentials as a press representative attending the San Francisco (California) Conference in 1945, where the charter for the United Nations was formed, was later convicted as a Communist Spy.” (Worldwide News - 1980-01-28)
Just look at the following list. Is this not an accurate description of the situation in the USA and Britain today?
“The Frankfurt school recommended (amongst other things):
The creation of racism offences… the teaching of sex and homosexuality to children… the undermining of schools and teachers’ authority… huge immigration to destroy national identity… the promotion of excessive drinking… emptying the churches… an unreliable legal system with bias against the victim of crime… dependency on the state or state benefits… control and dumbing down of media… and encouraging the breakdown of the family.” (politicallyincorrect.me.uk)
The following article points out that ‘common sense’ may well have been killed by ‘Political Correctness’. Common Sense, Truth, Trust, Discretion, Responsibility; and Reason have been replaced by “I Know My Rights”, “Someone Else is to Blame”, and “I’m A Victim”.
“Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I’m A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.” (politicallyincorrect.me.uk)
In the article above, it stated that: “…Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses…” This sums up the real problem. Two of the main originators of the ‘PC brigade’ were Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary.
Georg Lukacs: “…considered the most brilliant Marxist theorist since Marx himself, said in 1919, ‘Who will save us from Western Civilization?’ He also theorized that the great obstacle to the creation of a Marxist paradise was the culture: Western civilization itself.”
What do you mean: Western Culture? Antonio Gramsci gives us the answer: “…the workers will never see their true class interests, as defined by Marxism, until they are freed from Western culture, and particularly from the Christian religion – that they are blinded by culture and religion to their true class interests.” (academia.org)
The Apostle Paul warns us to beware… “ …lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11, New King James Version).
We also understand where the problem comes from… “ …that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).
‘Political Correctness’ is a major ‘device’ of Satan’s deception.
The Western World is being destroyed by it.
It is entrenched in the educational system, and comes ‘gift wrapped’ in humour, but we must be aware of it for what it really is… ‘Satanic bafflegab’. The goal of which is to destroy Western Civilization… modern day Israel - Britain and America!