"be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you" (I Peter 3:15)
I am not sure how many of you have seen the recent decree below — but it is symptomatic of what has become an increasing clash between the Ways of God and man's end-time governments.
Presidential Proclamation -- LGBT Pride Month, 2016
... I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. ( whitehouse.gov — 01/06/2016 )
More and more we see values that have stood for millennia being trampled in the dust. Knowing how God condemns sexual deviancy of all kinds makes confrontation between the people of God and the end-time governments inevitable. Even marriage — the very crucible of society — is continually under attack, having been redefined in all 50 states, placing the people of God on an inevitable collision course with the authorities.
For this reason, understanding the passage found in I Peter 3:15 "... and be ready always to give an answer to every man ..." becomes very important to us. But what is the verse really talking about? That we are ready to win every argument? That we have our legal teams correctly briefed? Or is there more to understanding this passage than meets the eye from the above phrase alone?
Before examining this section in I Peter let us first look at a related passage in Luke 21, which is particularity important because it's talking about giving an answer in the context of end-time events. It is the corresponding passage to Matthew 24 and Mark 13, where Christ says;
Christ says that He is going to be with us at that time — when we are going to have to give a formal account of what we believe — and it says don't worry about it, don't premeditate. He will fight our battles for us. It is our faith in His power to do this that is all important. So how does this square with the passage in I Peter 3:15?
To understand any passage it must be read in context. Let us therefore do this by beginning at the start of the section in I Peter 3:8;
So once again, as in Luke 21 the verses just prior to I Peter 3:15 give a context of being brought before authorities. In reality, it is very similar to what we read in Luke. What Peter is saying is that we are to continually act as an ambassador — a representative — of the Kingdom of God. And it is only in that context therefore that verse 15 can be correctly understood.
The beginning of verse 15 holds the key;
This is the key to the entire verse — it is in the context of sanctifying the Lord God in your hearts — and only in that context that we then must .... be ready always to give an answer ["defense" NKJV] to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (I Peter 3:15)
But there are a number of other important aspects within this verse that also need to be highlighted;
The question is, how is it done? And done properly? What does the religious-sounding phrase "sanctify the Lord God in our heart" actually mean?
"Sanctify" is a very interesting word. It actually has the same root as the word "Holy" — the Greek word hagios — the word that is used in the title "Holy Spirit". The word "saint" also has the same root. And this particular word — hagiazo, which is translated as "sanctify" in I Peter 3:15 — is something built into the very beginning words of the sample prayer by Jesus Christ for us, as a topic that we should be discussing with God the Father every single day:
The word Hallowed, is this word: hagiazo. As part of the very beginning segment of our prayers each day we should be amplifying this point before God — talking about how His very character is completely and totally righteous .... completely and totally Holy. It is important to do this at the very beginning of each daily prayer so we first get to grips as to Who it is we are actually addressing!
But it goes far far beyond this, because our first words are "Our Father". Having just addressed this Holy Being as OUR Father — collectively and individually — then we also need to discuss how WE are to become holy like Him! We need to discuss how WE must sanctify, how WE must hallow His name as His children. The way in which we do this is not by memorising great lists of scriptures, though it would not be wrong to do so. It's not by working out what we are going to say when we are brought before authorities. That is not what it is talking about at all. Rather, it is to think as He thinks ... to act as He acts ... to be as He is ... "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (I Pet 1:16). As we're encouraged in Philippians; "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus".(Philippians 2:5)
It is vital we appreciate what our calling as a saint is all about. We're called to be holy ones, who on a daily basis put God at the very centre of their lives. It's making sure that the very spirit of God is there, actively working. And when it is — and only when it is — will we then also be ready to give the right kind of answer — a sanctified answer!
In John 17 we find this word "sanctify" used again..."Sanctify them through thy truth" (John 17:17) Christ said, and what is that truth? "Thy word is truth". So how do we do this? Well, we get our noses into the scriptures, certainly ... but we don't do so merely as the means to win arguments. We do so to make that word a Living Word — just as Christ was The Living Word — putting that Word into effect in our life as He did.
It is interesting that in the Welsh Bible, the word "Holy" is translated as "Clean". So God's Spirit — the "Holy Spirit" — is translated as the "Clean Spirit" — the total opposite of an unclean spirit. It could also just as legitimately be translated as an active Cleaning Spirit as well. This pure, cleaning aspect of God's Character is also indicated when Christ through Paul says in Ephesians 5: That he might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] with the washing of water by the word." (Ephesians 5:26) The Word of God — given via God's Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21) — is here being used to sanctify, to cleanse. This is done by that Word "bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5)
It's a matter of making sure we are first cleaned up by the washing of water by the word and the action of God's Spirit — as Living Waters — within us. Then, as part of the affianced Bride of Christ — as Sons of God in embryo — God can speak through us now. For humanly, as Christ points out:
This is why it says we need to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts as it is there that we must be cleaned up! Only when both Spirit of God and Word of God (which is the sword of the Spirit, i.e. what the Spirit can then use) are present and active can we possibly be ready to give an adequate answer, for what THEN lies within us is the indwelling of God Himself (John 14:23) — who "will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." (Luke 21:15)
Such a "mouth and wisdom" is by no means apologetic or mealy-mouthed. Note the example we are given of Stephen. After laying out the history of the Jews to whom he was speaking, God's Spirit within him inspired the following damning indictment;
But the point is that the above condemnation was coming from God. It was not some clever argument Stephen had concocted as it says "But he, being full of the Holy [Spirit], looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55) The words delivered to the authorities at that time were flowing from the Spirit within him that was using God's Word as its sword.
For Hebrews 4 declares:
So how do we become " ready always to give an answer to every man..."? Certainly not by concentrating on having all our academic arguments at the ready — for Hebrews 4 is talking about the Living Word, the Logos, the actual Messiah, who is far more powerful and convincing than any puny arguments that we may come up with. And as it goes on to say; "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession [to the faith we profess — NIV]."(Hebrews 4:14)
It is walking the walk that is important. We need to make God's word a Living word, with God's Way of Give within us, flowing from us — taking on God's Lifestyle! Yes, that lifestyle will include daily Bible-study, so the Spirit has its sword sharp and at the ready. But the key to this verse in I Peter 3:15 is that beginning phrase — the sanctification of God in our hearts. Only by daily doing this could we possibly be ready, being plugged into the vine! For we will then be ready always to give an answer... and be able to do it God's way — with meekness and with fear. And should we be called upon, should we be dragged before the courts, then we'll be given "a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." (Luke 21:15)
Micro-aggressions… trigger warnings… safe spaces… calming music… cookies… Play-Doh… video’s of frolicking puppies…
Welcome to our
It’s all about self. We now live in a world where everything turns on Me, Myself and I. In years gone by, when people went on holiday, they took photographs of the places the visited. Today – it’s all about the “selfies” – the person is the central point, not the view.
We now have those living various “alternative lifestyles” who flaunt their way of life as though they were righteous and superior, asserting their “rights.” They demand to be recognized as “normal” – and, with the weapon of political correctness, are forcing others to accept their way of life – or else!
They must not be criticised under any circumstances, and they must be automatically shielded from anything that could remotely be considered harmful or offensive, as the following article points out:
“Why do so many of our young people instantly break down in tears the moment anything seriously offends them? Have we raised an entire generation that has been so coddled and that is so spineless that it is completely incapable of dealing with the harsh realities of the modern world?
At colleges and universities all over America, students are now demanding ‘safe spaces’ where anything and everything that could possibly make them feel ‘uncomfortable’ is banned. And ‘trigger warnings’ are being placed on some of our great literary classics because they might cause some students to feel ‘unsafe’ because they may be reminded of a past trauma.
In this day and age, our overly coddled young people have come to expect that they should be automatically shielded from anything that could remotely be considered harmful or offensive, and as a result we now have an entire generation that is completely lacking in toughness. That may be fine as long as you can depend on Mom and Dad, but how in the world are these young men and women going to handle the difficult challenges that come with living in the real world?” (endoftheamericandream.com)
“Political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct), commonly abbreviated to PC, is a term which, in modern usage, is used to describe language, policies, or measures which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society.” (wikipedia.org)
“The lexicon of college has changed: students now speak about ‘micro-aggressions’, ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘safe spaces’.
The notion of the ‘safe space’ first emerged to describe a place of refuge for people exposed to racial prejudice or sexism. But the phrase has changed meaning to the point where now it often implies protection from ‘exposure to ideas that make one uncomfortable’, according to Nadine Strossen, a prominent law professor and former head of the American Civil Liberties Union.
At Brown University – like Harvard, one of the eight elite Ivy League universities – the New York Times reported students set up a ‘safe space’ that offered calming music, cookies, Play-Doh and a video of frolicking puppies to help students cope with a discussion on how colleges should handle sexual assault.
“The real world is tough, and we need to teach our kids to be tough. Trying to recreate a kindergarten environment for men and women that are supposed to be adults is not going to help anyone.” (endoftheamericandream.com)
A Harvard student described in the university newspaper attending a ‘safe space’ complete with ‘massage circles’ that was designed to help students have open conversations. This hesitancy to engage in the dialogue of debate – and, in its most extreme form, the sense that hearing opposing opinions can cause damage to the psyche – has seeped from the campus to the classroom.” (telegraph.co.uk)
“Claire Fox, head of a think tank called the Institute of Ideas, has penned a coruscating [sparkling] critique of ‘Generation Snowflake’, the name given to a growing group of youngsters who ‘believe it’s their right to be protected from anything they might find unpalatable’.
She said British and American universities are dominated by cabals of young women who are dead set on banning anything they find remotely offensive.
“As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.” (Isaiah 3:12, NKJV)
Some time ago Fox was giving a speech to a group of young women during which she brought up the subject of rape, and she was completely stunned by what happened next…
‘Some of the girls were sobbing and hugging each other, while others shrieked. The majority appeared at the very least shell-shocked. It was distress on a scale appropriate for some horrible disaster. Thankfully, however, I wasn’t in a war zone or at the scene of a pile-up – but in a school hall filled with A-level students.
What had provoked such hysteria? I’d dared express an opinion that went against their accepted way of thinking. In the western world, political correctness is often taken to absolutely ridiculous extremes in an attempt to keep people from being exposed to anything that could remotely be considered offensive.’
Now that we have defined ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings’, I am going to define a term that I used in the title of this article.
‘Wussification’ is the act of turning someone into a ‘wussy’. And urbandictionary.com defines ‘wussy’ in the following manner…
‘ A person with no guts. A person who whines all day and sits around and cries like a little baby for years over nothing. Will blow anything out of proportion and create drama to forget about their sad miserable lives. ’
“‘There is a strand of self-absorption and fragility running through this generation; all too ready to cry “victim” at the first hint of a situation they don’t like,’ [Claire Fox, Director of the Institute of Ideas] concluded.
‘We need a younger generation that’s prepared to grow a backbone, go out into the world, take risks and make difficult decisions. Otherwise the future doesn’t bode well for any of us’.” (dailymail.co.uk)
The real world can be exceedingly cold and cruel, and our young people need to be equipped to handle whatever life will throw at them.
Unfortunately, we have raised an entire generation of overly coddled boys and girls that have never learned to become men and women, and as a result society as a whole will suffer greatly.” (endoftheamericandream.com)
“It makes me sad that these teens and 20-somethings have become so fearful that they believe a dissenting opinion can pose such a serious threat. But can we really be surprised when it’s us who have taught them to think this way? We tell children their wellbeing is paramount, but we are also guilty of mollycoddling them. There’s a constant emphasis on their vulnerability, which is proving toxic.
Children are more restricted than ever when it comes to taking physical risks - one of the ways previous generations built resilience. Thanks to health and safety mania, leapfrog, marbles and conkers are now considered unsafe.
In March, a Leeds primary school banned games of tag as children had been getting upset and having clothes torn. There’s a campaign to stop tackling in school rugby, and to assess the safety of other contact sports such as hockey. We drill children about healthy eating, so they grow up fearing sugary drinks and told that too much salt and fat will kill them. We weigh and measure them at primary school and then wonder why they become obsessed with their bodies.
Meanwhile, the old motto ‘Sticks and stones …’ is now forgotten, as we teach children that words can indeed hurt them. Bullying has been redefined to include ordinary playground verbal tussles. I remember my niece telling me, aged 11, that she was being bullied at school. I feared she was being beaten up or viciously taunted. In fact, she was being ‘excluded from her friendship group’. I don’t doubt it was upsetting for her, but falling out with your chums is part of growing up. Through it you learn to handle the difficult interactions you will inevitably face as a grown-up.
As for child protection - that’s turned into an industry that encourages youngsters to see predators around every corner. Some play parks ban adults who are not accompanying a child. Parents are not allowed to take photographs of their children at swimming galas. Teachers aren’t allowed to apply sun cream in case of inappropriate touching. There’s panic about what children might see on the web and endless concern over ‘stranger danger’.
And now there’s something new to fear. Conservative MP Maria Miller’s House of Commons women and equalities committee has launched an inquiry into sexual harassment and violence in schools. A report from the committee says: ‘In school corridors and playgrounds, sexually charged behaviour drives young people’s physical interactions.’
But a look at the ‘evidence’ suggests an expansive definition of what constitutes sexual harassment. Is giving a compliment based on looks really ‘unsafe’ behaviour? If a boy pings a girl’s bra it may be unpleasant and annoying, but is it really assault?
Of course, it’s not just women who embody Generation Snowflake and not every young person fits the criteria. But there is a strand of self-absorption and fragility running through this generation; all too ready to cry ‘victim’ at the first hint of a situation they don’t like.
We need a younger generation that’s prepared to grow a backbone, go out into the world, take risks and make difficult decisions. Otherwise the future doesn’t bode well for any of us. (dailymail.co.uk)
“A former co-worker of Omar Mateen, the man behind the deadliest shooting in US history, repeatedly tried to draw attention to Mateen’s homophobic comments and ‘unhinged’ behavior but was ignored because Mateen was a Muslim and bosses were concerned about being politically incorrect.
Florida Today reports that former Fort Pierce police officer Daniel Gilroy worked the same job as Mateen for G4S Security at the south gate at PGA Village for several months from 2014-2015. Gilroy frequently complained that Mateen ‘frequently made homophobic and racial comments’ and that his behavior was ‘unhinged and unstable,’ but bosses ignored him ‘because (Mateen) was Muslim’.
The circumstances are similar in nature to how the San Bernardino jihadists were not reported to police because neighbors feared they would be labeled racist.
According to Fox News correspondent Will Carr, a neighbor of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik did not alert authorities because ‘she did not want to racially profile,’ despite the sudden appearance of numerous Middle Easterners in the area who began to receive suspicious packages.
The Orlando gay nightclub massacre appears to be another illustration of how concerns over political correctness and the left’s refusal to admit that Islam has a violence problem – is now actually leading to innocent people being killed.” (blacklistednews.com)
Based on “political correctness”, the majority of people are now being forced to accept the will of a tiny minority of people.
“In an era when ‘anything goes’, some people are pushing the envelope to shocking new extremes. At one time, most of the debate was about one or two of the ‘alternative lifestyles’ that are out there, but now there are a multitude of rapidly growing ‘communities’ that are into things that would have been unheard of in previous generations.
Of course the Obama administration is doing all that it can to promote ‘alternative lifestyles’ these days. To say that ‘things have changed’ in the White House over the past couple of generations would be a massive understatement.
Just consider this parallel for a moment…
In May 1961, President John F Kennedy announced that we would put men on the moon.
In May 2016, Barack Obama announced that we would put men in women’s restrooms.
And while most of the focus has been on the bathrooms, many people have not even considered some of the other very disturbing implications of Obama’s recent move… The most offensive part of the new policy is that, under the Obama administration’s federal guidance:
The plain wording of the Obama administration’s diktat is clear enough, yet it has not been reported, even by conservative news outlets. In the end, we need to face the reality that we are not a ‘good’ nation. Evil is rising in literally thousands of different ways, and yet very few people are standing up for the truth. How bad do things have to get in America before people will finally be willing to stand up and do something about it?” (endoftheamericandream.com)
In his Personal column in the August 1982 edition of the Plain Truth Magazine, Mr Armstrong warned:
“Then there’s the labor world, the domestic political world, the social world and now surfacing, reminiscent of Sodom and Gomorrah, the emboldened and defiant ‘gay’ world, flaunting their shame as though they were righteous and superior, asserting their ‘rights.’ They recognize one another instantly and form their own inner world.” (The Plain Truth – August 1982)
Fast forward from 1982 to 2016 and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender groups are now forcing their will on the rest of society. And the law is backing them up! Those who have learned the lessons of history will know that when a civilisation goes down this road, destruction is not far off.
These “alternative lifestyles” are totally contrary to the law of God and many would uphold the so-called Christian values in contrast to them… BUT Christianity in today’s world is totally off-track. Where has Christianity gone wrong?
“In the very first century, they turned to a different gospel – a gospel about Christ, but not the gospel OF Christ. Read that again. To this very day, nearly all churches and evangelists preach their own gospel ABOUT Christ, but not the gospel OF Christ about the coming kingdom of God to rule the world.” (The Plain Truth – March 1986)
The return of Jesus Christ is imminent!
Matthew 24:14 has been fulfilled – the gospel has gone out to all nations.
The “falling away” within the Church of God, prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, has occurred…
The next major event is the Great Tribulation, followed imminently by the return of Jesus Christ, to take over ALL the governments of mankind.
“It was prophesied in Daniel 12 that in the last days knowledge would be increased. This has been fulfilled, yet with this awesome progress we are experiencing even more appalling and continuous evils, which will culminate in the Great Tribulation ahead of us now.
Then, just before humanity blasts human life off this planet, God will once again send His Son Jesus Christ. This time in power and glory as King of kings and Lord of lords to rule with all the power of the Great God and usher in utopian peace, happiness and prosperity. Thank God, Satan will then be gone.
Are you ready for the return of Jesus Christ? Will you escape the Great Tribulation soon to occur? Christ said to watch and pray always, that you will be accounted worthy to escape (Luke 21:36). Now is the time of the end.” (The Autobiography - Chapter 84)
And as we see these things begin to occur, we can "lift up our heads", confident in the removal of mere political correctness - to be soon replaced with genuine truth as Isaiah 32 declares:
by Mr Armstrong
The True Church (7)
broadcast 1980s - played UK 18 Jun 2016
|Also known as: True Church in Revelation 2 and 3 - it begins:"... What's going to happen in the world from now? Is World War III imminent? Is it being started? What is going to happen? Catastrophic events are prophesied from here on. ..." (full transcript) (4.0 Mb)|
by Jon Bowles
Introduction to Book of James
given 8 Feb 2003 Played Wales 18 Jun 2016
|This begins a series of bible studies which will examine the book of James as well as healing, discerning the body of Christ and other topics. Five points are covered in the Introduction: 1. Who wrote the book? 2. Why confusion over the author? 3. Who was it written to and from where? 4. When was it written? 5. Overview - why it was written. (7.5 Mb)|
|What Jesus Is Doing Today - Part 2||WT 1980s|
|Religious Confusion and Evolution||WT 1980s|
|Religious Confusion - Trinity||WT 1980s|
|Salvation - Part 2||WT 1980s|
|The Preparation Of The Gospel Of Peace||24 Nov 2007|
|The Shield Of Faith||01 Dec 2007|
|The Helmet of Salvation||22 Dec 2007|