As designed by God, bread is called the very "staff of life". So essential is it that Christ even likened Himself and what He said to "the bread of life" (John 6:35,63) But just as men pollute the physical, so they also "pervert the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-7)
How many of us ever give a thought to the range of spores, viruses and other micro-organisms we inhale with each breath of air or ingest with every bite of food? The body normally takes care of such things without a qualm and we get on with our daily lives totally oblivious — the body fighting off potential invaders without a problem. But the way in which this is done is quite remarkable. Let me quote a short extract from a book on our immune system called, "The Body Victorious" by Lennart Nilsson:
"Scratches on the skin, bacteria in the throat, and sore, infected sebaceous glands — all these are everyday occurrences, and, as such, are entirely undramatic. After a few days, we are fit again and all is forgotten. ...If, however, we could become as tiny as cells or bacteria and visit the sites of the superficially undramatic events, we would experience them as they really are — life-and-death struggles between attackers and defenders, waged with a ruthlessness found only in total war.
"Suddenly the site of the injury, previously so peaceful, is transformed into a battlefield on which the body's armed forces, hurling themselves repeatedly at the encroaching microorganisms, crush and annihilate them. No one is pardoned, no prisoners are taken — although fragments of the invading bacteria, viruses, rickettsias, parasites, and fungal microorganisms are conveyed to the lymph nodes for the rapid training of the defence system's true bloodhounds, the "killer cells". These cells learn in detail, molecule by molecule, how to recognise the adversary, whereupon they launch their offensive."("The Body Victorious" by Lennart Nilsson)
It is the automatic nature of the above process that is so astounding. Provided we take certain steps — have enough sleep and rest; eat nutritious food; cope properly with stress; exercise moderately; avoid poisons and injury — in other words, obey the various laws God has made for our physical bodies — then our immune system just works! But begin to break those laws and principles, and major adjustments have to be made to "get back on track" in the physical area of health. Should we fail to do so, we become ill and if we persist in our unhealthy direction, we eventually die! What can be totally ignored by a healthy person can so suddenly become a crisis in the malnourished and stressed.
The irony is, that this is also true — in an incredibly parallel way — in our spiritual battleground as well. Provided we take the steps needed...i.e. use the Sabbath rest each week for its full purpose; eat a nutritious spiritual diet from God's Word each day; properly digested with meditation; cope with stress by going to God, in faith, during our trials; exercise, that is live what we learn not merely on the Sabbath and/or among brethren, but within every aspect of life; avoid the poisons and injury from people and organizations that are clearly no longer under God's Government and Way; come out of the world as taught — in other words, obey the various Laws God has designed for our spiritual lives — then our spiritual immune system also..... works!!
The problem is that in both the physical and spiritual areas today the human race is very sick and we truly exist as the last degeneration. At the heart of the problem lies the fact that both our physical and our spiritual food has been corrupted. The accumulated debris of 6,000 years under the toxic hand of Satan has destroyed our physical and our spiritual DNA — the very fabric of what we are, and the food we ingest — making us easy pray for cancer and other degenerative illnesses in both spheres.
An area where this is particularly true is in this unique area of bread — the very staff of life. Being used by God as a symbol of His Living Word it has obviously become a prime target for the god of this world: Satan the Devil (II Corinthians 4:4). Not only has the actual wheat from which it is made been genetically adulterated, accompanied by rising levels of wheat intolerances in so many people today, but then man corrupts it yet further by reducing the level of nutrition found within it by processing it into white flour as opposed to using the whole-grain God designed:
"The milling operations impoverished the flour in a manner that even today the average consumer scarcely appreciates. By crushing the grain, the rolling mill destroys the cellular structure of the grain and alters its biological pattern. The rolling mill reduces both the quality and the quantity of the proteins. Good-quality proteins are removed with the germ and bran; only poor-quality protein remains in the refined flour. For example, the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, essential for growth, are reduced. Also, the balances of minerals are disturbed. For example, the ratio of potassium to magnesium is altered, as are the ratios of potassium to sodium, zinc to cadmium, and iron to zinc. The grain contains valuable unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, and in using the rolling mill, the grain loses about half of its fat content. Wheat germ, which is lost in the refinement process, is one of the richest sources of vitamin E ...
"...To obtain "pure" white flour, Schroeder noted, Western man removes from wheat 60 percent of the calcium, 75 percent of the phosphorus, 85 percent of the magnesium, 77 percent of the potassium, and 77 percent of the sodium present in the original grain of wheat. Even more serious, according to Schroeder, is the loss of trace minerals: 50 percent of the chromium, 86 percent of the manganese, 76 percent of the iron, 89 percent of the cobalt, 68 percent of the copper, 78 percent of the zinc, and 48 percent of the molybdenum. The vitamin losses that result from refining wheat are dramatic, too: 77 percent of thiamine (vitamin B1), 80 percent of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 81 percent of niacin (vitamin B3), 72 percent of pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and 86 percent of vitamin E. Other fractions of the vitamin B complex, such as biotin, inositol, folic acid, choline, and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), are all reduced." (A Whole Foods Primer By Beatrice Trum Hunter page 68)
In a parallel way, our spiritual "Bread" has also been corrupted. There too, its very DNA has been changed by academics such as Westcott and Hort who "genetically altered" the accepted Greek texts on which most modern translations have been based. Only by going back to "traditional varieties "— not modern texts based on spurious ancient manuscripts — do we have any hope of avoiding that corruption. In addition, the so-called "christian" religions of this world further deplete whatever nutrient content is left by effectively dismissing vast passages as "done away" — particularly in the Old Testament. All that then remains is a worthless pap of white feel-good protestant phrases — instead of the corrective nutrition of having to live by every Word of God as we were commanded originally. (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).
This humanly-processed spiritual "bread" is therefore leaving mankind and even the wider Church of God malnourished and wide open to spiritual attack — lacking any appropriate auto-immune resources to cope. The whole True Bread of God must live in human flesh (John 6:51,56-58). The full, unleavened, original Word of scripture — digested with the Water of God's Spirit — are the two primary foodstuffs to build a strong Spirit-led mind that can indeed withstand whatever invading spiritual-bacteria, viruses, rickettsias, parasites, and fungal spirit-organisms that may attack it (Mark 13:21,22).
That spiritually nutritious word flows from the Father via the Living Word or Logos who spoke only as the Father directed (John 8:28). This Being was in the beginning with God as one of the very members of the God-Family — and remains to this day as our living and active High Priest. He is The One who created all things and even currently upholds them by the word of His power (John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1:3) And it is the same "word of his power" that He uses within each of us, as a Master Potter, to accomplish His greatest creation ever — Perfect Holy Divine Character within human clay — "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." (Ephesians 5:26-27)
Just consider how truly GREAT such words of scripture given by this Living Word are! No wonder He points out:
The same Logos also gave the Old Testament scriptures — which is why the apostle Paul records:
And Christ Himself declares:
This Living Word of God is described as "the sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17) . This is because it is indeed, " quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) Once digested — with its full spiritual-mineral content, into a truly converted heart — God's Word gives an immunity second to none ..... by "casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5)
This is also why Mr Armstrong continually stressed that it is not enough to just believe IN God, we also must unreservedly BELIEVE God. What He says within the pages of scripture. What we need is very much a "whole-grain" approach to God's Word. To accept. without reservation, the entire spiritual intent of what God says in the Bible and try to honestly apply it to whatever subject we deal with. In a world that has been raised on a diet of sugar-laden spiritual white pap — a sick world and struggling Church whose spiritual immune system has almost totally collapsed — that unrefined, Living, whole-grain Word, honestly aligned with the Spirit-led foundation laid by God's apostle — is exactly what such a world — and God's Church today — so desperately needs.
“Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of ‘Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the Heavens’. ” (wikipedia.org)
“Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year in the biggest economy in the world. Full from their Thanksgiving feasts, millions of US shoppers descend on stores across the country on the Friday after the holiday, hoping to save on their Christmas shopping. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, broke the Black Friday tradition in 2011, when it opened its store on Thanksgiving evening. Ever since, retailers have been in a race to catch up and now, 33 million Americans said they planned to shop immediately after turkey.
But don’t worry - this time, retailers have come up with a name themselves: ‘Grey Thursday’.” (bbc.co.uk)
“It has been called ‘America’s most disturbing holiday’. Black Friday is the day when millions of average Americans wait outside retail stores in the middle of the night in the freezing cold to spend more money that they do not have for more cheap Chinese-made products that they do not need.
It is a day when the rest of the world makes fun of Americans for behaving like ‘rabid animals’ and ‘zombies’ as we indulge in a tsunami of greed. It truly is a shameful orgy of materialism for a morally bankrupt nation. It is being projected that approximately 140 million Americans will participate in this disgusting national ritual this year.
Sadly, most of them have absolutely no idea that they are actively participating in the destruction of the economic infrastructure of the United States.
The amount of merchandise that is purchased on Black Friday is absolutely staggering. For example, just consider how much stuff is sold at Wal-Mart alone… Wal-Mart said it recorded more than 10 million register transactions between 6 pm and 10 pm Thursday in its stores and nearly 400 million page views that day on walmart.com. It sold 2.8 million towels, 2 million televisions, 1.4 million tablets, 300,000 bicycles and 1.9 million dolls. Big-ticket electronics like big-screen TVs and new videogame consoles were among the top sellers.
“ Good job America. You are a nation that is utterly consumed by materialism and greed, and you don’t even realize that you are destroying yourself with your own foolishness. ”
But each and every year, Black Friday also seems to bring out the worst in many people, and this year was certainly no exception. The following are just a few of the national headlines about the rioting and the violence that we witnessed…
- ‘Holiday shopping season kicks off with fights, arrests’
- ‘Violence flares as shoppers slug it out for best Black Friday deals’
- ‘Watch Screaming Mobs Fight Over Televisions At Wal-Mart’
- ‘Two Arrested After Stabbing Over Parking Space At Wal-Mart’
- ‘Rialto Walmart Thanksgiving brawl sends one police officer to hospital’
-‘Walmart Ejects Customer For Filming Violent “Black Thursday” Mobs’
- ‘Cops: Shoplifting suspect shot after dragging officer’
At the beginning of this article, I stated that those who go shopping on Black Friday ‘are actively participating in the destruction of the economic infrastructure of the United States’. How could that possibly be? Aren’t they helping the economy by spending their money? Actually, it isn’t that simple.
Just think about it for a moment. Where are most of the ‘advertised specials’ that people go crazy over on Black Friday actually made?
If you guessed ‘China’, you would be correct. In fact, it is very difficult to find any ‘Black Friday specials’ that are actually made in the United States. When you buy stuff made in China, you support workers and businesses in China. As I mentioned in a recent article, the US economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported from overseas. Overall, the US has run a total trade deficit with the rest of the world of more than 8 trillion dollars since 1975. So when you look around and see lots of unemployed people, it should not be a surprise to you.
And every single American that went shopping on Black Friday and bought Chinese-made goods actively participated in the ongoing destruction of the US economy. Good job America. You are a nation that is utterly consumed by materialism and greed, and you don’t even realize that you are destroying yourself with your own foolishness.” (blacklistednews.com)
As President Abraham Lincoln said in proclaiming ‘Thanksgiving’ a national holiday around 150 years ago, it was to be a day of… ‘ Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwells in the Heavens ’.
However, America today is a changed country. Many are not only forgetting God – they say that they can survive, in spite of anything that happens, without God!
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel does not know, my people doth not consider.>
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, [lawlessness] a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.” (Isaiah 1:2-4)
Following is an article giving a specific example of how the Word of God is misused and misunderstood by America’s leaders!
“‘In the aftermath of the [September 11] attack, the nation was stunned,’ Jonathan Cahn [author of the best-selling book “The Harbinger,” and pastor of the Jerusalem Center in Wayne, New Jersey] said. ‘Everyone was trying to make sense of what had happened – this unprecedented attack on America. The very next day, September 12, then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle presented America’s response to the world.’ And what did he say?
Daschle said: ‘America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. … I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.’
The Senate majority leader then went on to read Isaiah 9:10. ‘Daschle has no idea what he is doing here,’ explains Cahn. ‘He thinks he’s offering comforting words to a grief-stricken people, but he is actually embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, proclaiming the ancient and ominous vow of the leaders of that nation. He doesn’t realize it, but he is actually inviting more judgment on the nation.’
“The Lord sent a word against Jacob, And it has fallen on Israel. All the people will know - Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria - Who say in pride and arrogance of heart: ‘The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars’ .” (Isaiah 9:8-10 New King James Version)
It might be of some significance that Daschle, one of the most powerful men in the nation when he spoke those words, later fell into disgrace – to the point where he couldn’t even serve in Barack Obama’s Cabinet.
That might have been the end of the story, if no other top leader in the nation uttered those strange and obscure words after 9/11. But that’s not the case.
On the third anniversary of the attack, September 11, 2004, another powerful US senator who would eventually also suffer a disgraceful fall from the public stage, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
This time, John Edwards’ entire speech was built on a foundation of Isaiah 9:10: ‘Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s Word to get us through,’ he said.
He then read Isaiah 9:10. He went on to talk about how America was doing just that – rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars.
Later, in his first State of the Union Address, Barack Obama took up the same theme.
On February 24, 2009, President Obama echoed the defiant tone of the verse, saying in his address to Congress: ‘I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.’
In context, the verse records Israel’s national leaders uttering a vow of defiance following an attack by Assyria. The leaders vowed that the nation would not repent and humble itself before God’s disciplining hand, but would defy His judgment and rebuild without Him.” (wnd.com)
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle should have continued to read on – because the rest of Isaiah chapter 9 reveals much more. It shows the end result of disobeying God! It also explains the root cause of the problem!
“Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, And spur his enemies on, The Syrians before and the Philistines behind; And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth .
For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts. Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel, Palm branch and bulrush in one day .
The elder and honourable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
Why does God do this? Verse 16 gives the answer.
For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed. ” (Isaiah 9:11-16 New King James Version)
The problem comes from inside America – at the top!
And it’s not just the political leaders - the bankers (who are, according to US Attorney General Eric Holder, ‘too big to jail’) have been responsible for outsourcing much of America’s industry to China and other Far Eastern countries in search of bigger profits. The result is that America has been flooded with cheap goods – which people fight over on Black Friday, at Christmas, Easter and Halloween. What the bankers seem to have forgotten is that when you put people out of work, they have no money to buy the cheap goods from China. With around half of the US population on some government benefit, that time is fast approaching!
As opening article above noted:
“Millions of average Americans wait outside retail stores in the middle of the night in the freezing cold to spend more money that they do not have for more cheap Chinese-made products that they do not need. Good job America. You are a nation that is utterly consumed by materialism and greed, and you don’t even realize that you are destroying yourself with your own foolishness.” (blacklistednews.com)
But there is much more revealed in Isaiah Chapter 9
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. ” (Isaiah 9:6-7 New King James Version)
In the very near future, Christ will return to take control of all world governments. When the disciples asked Christ for a sign that the end of this world age was near, He said: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14 King James Version)
That prophecy has been fulfilled!
Mr Armstrong, God’s end time apostle, made this quite clear in a Co-worker letter not long before he died.
“It is now true that this Gospel has been proclaimed within EVERY NATION ON EARTH… NO OTHER CHURCH has proclaimed THIS true Gospel at all!” (Co-Worker Letter - January 4, 1985)
That gospel or good news is the message Christ brought. The tragedy is that the world has been deceived into believing a Gospel ABOUT Christ, while totally misunderstanding what He said!
The message was: “Repent – and believe the good news of the coming Kingdom of God!”
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. ” (Mark 1:14-15 King James Version)
“America’s uniqueness is based in the Christian consensus of the Founding Fathers, who penned documents guaranteeing religious and personal freedom for all. But as early as 1830, a group of atheists, socialists, Unitarians, and other freethinkers planned the gradual secularization of this nation through control of public education. These ‘friends of education’ set out to make education mandatory, write their own curricula, and control the teachers’ colleges.
Who can deny that their basic doctrines of ‘scientific humanism’ or ‘atheistic humanism’ currently dominate public education in America? This, more than any other factor, has relentlessly changed our ‘Christian consensus’ into a ‘secular consensus,’ producing the moral meltdown that is rapidly destroying our people and our nation’s freedoms, integrity, happiness, and even safety.” (theatlantic.com)
There is a cause for every effect!
“The CAUSE of all unhappiness and wretchedness is WRONG education, and LACK of the knowledge that can be received only from the revelation of the Creator – in His Word.
Simply because the world has thrown away the BASIC TEXTBOOK of true education – the Holy Bible! The world has gotten all mixed up. The world … has not realized just WHAT the Bible IS!
The Bible IS the FOUNDATION of ALL KNOWLEDGE – and the true APPROACH to the acquisition of all discoverable knowledge. It is our Maker’s INSTRUCTION BOOK of needed knowledge acquirable from no other source.” (The Plain Truth – September 1981)
Here is what God has to say about knowledge!
“ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee… ” (Hosea 4:6)
Mr Armstrong warned: These are not normal times!
“It’s time to wake up! These are not normal times! After nearly 6,000 years of comparative quiet, the whole world suddenly erupted in world-shaking VIOLENCE beginning in 1914. But we have seen NOTHING, yet, compared to what is soon coming!
Suddenly knowledge has increased.
Scientific knowledge, technological development, instantaneous communication, rapid transportation, frightening inventions have resulted. Man has learned at last the secret of the atom. Man has learned how to unleash powers and forces and energies of nature that can destroy human life from off this planet! At this same time, God Almighty is opening up new knowledge. Mysteries of God, never before known or understood by man, are now revealed to God’s true servants!
What Does All This Mean?
It all means that a purpose is being worked out here below! And the time has come for the Eternal – the Creator-RULER of the universe – to reveal to us HOW world events, from here, are going to work out the tremendous CLIMAX of that divine PURPOSE! The whole earth is now shaking with convulsions, preparatory to the mightiest happenings of earth’s history!
We are now in the very CRISIS AT THE CLOSE of this present evil and unhappy world!” (The Book of Revelation Unveiled at last!)
“ The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. ” (Isaiah 9:7)
by Mr Armstrong
Obey God's Law - Part 2
broadcast date unknown - played UK 30 Nov 2013
|"Once again ... here we are coming into the time of Lent. Pretty soon Good Friday and Easter will be rolling around. Now where did we get those things? Why do we observe them? Why does anyone observe Lent? Where did it come from?..." (4.3 Mb)|
by Mr Armstrong
Transition From Sardis to Laodicea
given 24 June 1983 - played in Wales UK 30 Nov 2013
|"What I want to give you is the history of the transition of the Church between the Sardis era and the Philadelphia era. ... Brethren I want you to know, there was no just sudden ending of the one and beginning of the other. There was a transition, when one gradually - over a period of some few years - merged from the one into the other....."(Full Transcript) (11.4 Mb)|