by Mr Armstrong
Melchizedek - part 5
broadcast around 1980 - played UK 20 Sep 2014
|"Where is Jesus Christ now? And what is He doing? We haven't heard much about what Christ has been doing. Where did He go? What's He been doing? Has He been idle or has he had a job to do? ..." (4.4 Mb)|
by Mr Armstrong
1 Corinthians 8 and 9
given 23 Aug 1980 - Played UK 20 Sep 2014
|Begins: "Now we covered the first 7 chapters of first Corinthians - and the 7th was one of the very outstanding chapters. Now we come to the 8th ..." Mr Armstrong then goes through these two chapters and in the process uses the examples of healing and how some were condemning him to illustrate his points. (10.3 Mb)|
Years may roll by, but God's reward remains: "to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:" (Romans 2:7)
Back in the 70's and 80's many of us wondered — and worried — if there would be time to marry and bring up a family before the return of Christ. And yet here we are, some of us grandparents now, who could not have imagined then, with the Work at its height, that we would still be battling on in 2014 .... and once again preparing to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in this present age! Yet Solomon with wisdom declares: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1) For as we wait for the return of Jesus Christ, we need to keep in mind that just as there is indeed a limited time for work and a time for the Feast in this world – so in a similar way there is also a limited time for this present age and a time for the Kingdom of God.
The word translated as 'patient continuance' in Romans 2:7 is a very interesting one. It comes from the Greek word 'hupomoné' (Strongs: 5281) — a word that implies much more than mere uninvolved resignation. It literally means: 'an abiding under' — or what we in our modern vernacular might express as "hanging right on in there" ..... or "keep on, keeping on" — as it is a word that implies remaining in a position or activity, regardless of any adverse circumstances that may come along. It therefore very much fits the position we find ourselves in today — the patient continuance of "holding that fast which we have" (Revelation 3:11) while recognising that the return of Christ remains imminent and that "His reward is with him, and His work before him." (Isaiah 62:11)
This patient continuance is not limited to the end-time church by any means. Throughout the history of this present age the people of God have had to learn to trust Him, and to do so continuously through some intensely precarious periods of time. Few more so than the early apostles — including the apostle Paul who was specifically warned by Christ of the "great things that he must suffer" (Acts 9:16) . And as nerve-racking as fighting with lions, being shipwrecked, stoned and fleeing for his life must have been, he also felt under pressure because of the "care of all the churches" (II Corinthians 11:23-33) .... having great concern and love for those given into his charge. He alludes to some of these hardships when writing to Timothy in the context of the end-times, pointing out to him how "patient continuance" continually formed an integral part of effectively handling the problems he faced:
And so it must be for all of us. Particularly when facing trials of varying kinds this patient continuance in handling each trial in the right way is part of our present training. From a wealth of personal experience the apostle Paul, when writing to the church at Philippi, shows how it is done:
Patient continual prayer – with thanksgiving, even in the most severe adversity – allows us to develop the peace Christ speaks of both here through the apostle Paul and also in the gospel of John when He says: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) Having overcome the world once in human flesh, Jesus Christ illustrates clearly that He both can and will do so again as our living and active High Priest and personal Saviour — or rescuer — during times of trial.
And this is how the peace that passes all understanding is obtained. We take — and leave — our burdens with Him (Matthew 11:29-30) and this peace then flows down from God, via His Holy Spirit. This peace then saturates our mind, driving out fears and worries, and should also flow out of us in Spirit-led, faith-filled actions. But for this process to be effective, "patient continuance" in prayer is vital. This is why this word is so often used in the context of trials:
Being driven to our knees during trials thus forms a vital part of our training. This is particularly true as we approach the culmination of Satan's rule on earth. The world situation is prophesied to become so dangerous, so precarious in the years ahead that unless Christ steps in, planet Earth will become devoid of all life forms. (Matthew 24:22). But it will be because God's elect remain as His elect — in patient continual prayer, knowing where their true strength comes from – that the world will not end in cosmocide (same verse). This is why in the context of the end-time events discussed by Matthew 24 and Luke 21, we also find the need for endurance and this form of patience being emphasised:
To keep on keeping on in the face of events that will be leading to the greatest time of trouble this world has ever seen, is going to take a great deal of 'relaxed faith'. Mr Armstrong comments on this need to relax in the hands of the Master Potter in his sermon on Aversion Therapy. It is very much the same for all the qualities we require – they must come from God, if they are to be of real value, including this kind of ongoing patience:
... God is the Potter and we are the clay and He can fashion and mold us; we are the work of His hands but we must submit. ... We must relax and let God form and shape us His way and He will do it. I, years ago, used to take some osteopath treatments, and I learned that the osteopath couldn’t do what he wanted to, in his twisting of my body and massaging and one thing and another, if I didn’t just completely relax. And that’s what we have to do in God’s hands. And I tell you, what He has in store for us, people in this world have no idea! It is, well, it is not just fantastic; it is awesome and clear beyond any human understanding or realization now – The Awesome Human Potential. (Aversion Therapy Sermon — October 16, 1982)
The kind of long-term patience needed is the same kind that God Himself has. We can see it all around us in the exquisite nature of the creation. Intricate detail and craftsmanship that we witness in so many areas of the natural world must have required a form of patience that is clearly well beyond anything a human naturally possesses. Could this be one reason why God is so intent on developing this quality within each one of His children? We know we are being prepared to be born into the creating family of God, and so many spiritual qualities are needed as vital requirements if we are to be like our Father and Elder Brother, and patient continuance – being able to stick with something through thick and thin – appears to be of paramount importance.
We most certainly will need to exhibit patience and longsuffering with the people we will be working with in the Millennium. Many times throughout the Bible we can see examples of Jesus Christ, as the God of the Old Testament, being patient with the individuals He was working with. He didn't jump on them the very first time they sinned but gave them space to change, to repent. Even when David decided, against God's command, to number Israel in II Samuel 24, Joab and his helpers took 9 months and 20 days to complete the project .... plenty of time for David to change his mind if he wanted to. Indeed, God is not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance .... and gives us time to do so.
This is undoubtedly why we find ourselves once again keeping the Feast in this present age – still waiting for the return of Christ – but having to exhibit the same kind of ongoing patience that Christ Himself is exhibiting with us — and the world — right now. The scripture in Romans chapter 2 talks not only of patient continuance but "patient continuance in well doing" – including the way we interact with each other — each being a work in progress in God's hands. This is also brought out by Paul in Romans 15 where he encourages us to patiently apply what we find written in Scripture to these personal interactions:
This is undoubtedly why this kind of patience is found in several lists of the spiritual qualities we need to be developing:
But the irony is that the only way to develop the kind of spiritual fruits God requires of us, is to do so using the patient continuance that itself is one of those fruits! And the parallel with growth and harvest is continually found in Scripture. The parable of the sower is certainly one such occurrence in that Christ points out: "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience <5281>. (Luke 8:15) Similarly James tells us "that the trying of your faith worketh patience <5281> but let patience <5281> have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:3-4) and concludes by pointing out:
Along with the patriarchs and God's people throughout the millennia, we count ourselves as strangers and pilgrims on this earth. Our home is that heavenly country mentioned in Hebrews 11:13-16, a goal shared with those that patiently endured sometimes horrendous trials, and have yet to claim their reward. Like them, we are seeking "for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life". This is very much also "the patient waiting <5281> for Christ" mentioned in II Thessalonians 3:5 and the admonition of Hebrews chapter ten: "For ye have need of patience <5281>, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (Hebrews 10:36) .
This 'abiding under' or "hanging right on in there, come what may" has to become our continual, 24/7 position and reaction as the years — and problems — roll by. It is very much in that context that we should regard the events of the past 40 years and even our current pre-Feast trials. The lessons in ongoing patience we learn at this present time are undoubtedly going to be vital in the near future. Learning to trust God in our current trials can be regarded as essential training for the prelude to the greatest time of trouble ever to come on the world. At that time the birth contractions will begin in earnest and we will need to take encouragement and consolation in the Scriptures to a degree we've never had to before:
I hope the examination of this one Greek word has helped to place our present trials in their broader, more accurate context. Under the expert tutelage of both God and Christ they are not only helping to prepare us for our ultimate role in the Kingdom of God, but also as we deal with one another at this time as well. And as we come together for the Feast this year let us exercise this godly patience with one another — knowing how much we would want the same from God! In doing so, we will be better able to collectively come before God and Christ, genuinely rejoicing together as one family.
…the Dow Jones Industrial average is at an all time high at over 17,000 …the London FTSE is also at an all time high at around 6800…
With the Dow Jones Industrial average at an all time high at over 17,000 and the London FTSE also at an all time high at around 6800, things are great, aren’t they? Why then are many experts so negative in their outlook? Here is a comment from someone “in the know”:
“I’m occupying a vantage point that allows me to see what is going on inside the top Fortune 50 companies. I have never seen such rot before.
Of the 50, at least 30 have debt at 120% of cash. Most have cut capex, R&D and maintenance by 80%. Most have been borrowing money to do stock buy-backs, while simultaneously selling off business units and doing layoffs.
Of the 50, at least 20 have 100% insider selling. For some, you would have to go back decades to find a point where all of the acting board of directors are selling. In essence, they are paying the mortgage with their credit cards. Without bookkeeping games, there are no solid earnings. There will be no earnings growth.
Executive compensation based on “stock performance” is killing corporate America. A black swan is not needed to make it fall, a gentle breeze will do just fine.” (charleshughsmith.blogspot.co.uk)
The article above states that… “without bookkeeping games, there are no solid earnings. There will be no earnings growth.” To understand why, we need to look at the terms used in the article.
“Most have cut capex, R&D and maintenance by 80%.” ‘Capex’ – or capital expenditure – is money spent to acquire or upgrade physical assets such as buildings and machinery. This tends to be a very large expense. But to grow, a company has to spend money on buildings and machinery.
‘R&D’, is research and development. To keep their products competitive, research and development is essential, as is maintenance. Neglecting these three items can, however, TEMPORARILY BOOST COMPANY PROFITS.
Stock buy-backs (share repurchase)
“A program by which a company buys back its own shares from the marketplace, reducing the number of outstanding shares. Share repurchase is usually an indication that the company’s management thinks the shares are undervalued. Because a share repurchase reduces the number of shares outstanding (ie supply), it increases earnings per share and tends to elevate the market value of the remaining shares.” (investopedia.com)
“Insider selling” refers to the selling of a company’s stock by individual directors, executives or other employees for personal gain.
“Selling off business units and doing layoffs” – selling off assets brings in cash ie “profit”. Laying off staff saves expenditure, again TEMPORARILY BOOSTING PROFITS.
The reason that the experts are so negative is that they can see that what is going on in the top companies is all aimed at TEMPORARILY boosting company profits. There is little real growth!
When a major company cuts ‘capex’, ‘R&D’ and ‘maintenance’, while also selling off assets and reducing staff numbers, the resulting “profit” can run into hundreds of millions of dollars/pounds. The apparent profit boosts share values on the stock exchange – and the earnings per share.
When a company buys back some of its own shares, this also boosts the value of the company on the stock market. It also increases the earnings per share. It is common for companies with extra cash to buy back shares – but here is when the whole system jumps the rails.
As the article points out, many of the top companies are financially unsound, so they are borrowing “cheap money” to buy back the shares. They are going into debt to create temporary profits. This creates the quick profit that keeps them in business – and sends the stock market to an all time high.
While the value of the shares is artificially high, along with the earnings per share, individual directors, executives or other employees are quietly selling off their shares at a huge profit.
Many ‘experts’ understand that the whole financial system is largely corrupt. Governments also understand that the whole financial system is largely corrupt. So why isn’t someone doing something about it?
Yet again, the answer is simple: the financial world keeps civilisation going – disrupt the financial system and civilisation as we know it will collapse. Over the last few years, we have witnessed the major banks manipulating the underlying systems themselves to maximise their profits.
The Libor rate scandal: This is an alleged massive price-fixing scandal, arguably the biggest ever. The LIBOR (London Inter-bank Offered Rate) underpins about $350 trillion in derivatives.
Banks have also been fined enormous sums of money for various misdemeanours ranging from money laundering to sanctions breaking, fixing credit card interest rates and currency exchange rates.
The stock market and the banks are being investigated for allegedly fixing the prices of various commodities, including gold, silver and several other metals.
Governments have also added to the corruption. Their idea to stimulate the economy is called “quantitative easing”, which simply means creating money out of thin air! America is creating new money at around $1,000,000,000,000 (that’s $1 TRILLION) per year! Anyone can see that this has to end in tears!
What does one TRILLION dollars look like?
See the difference between $1 billion and $1 trillion here (pagetutor.com)
One of the main problems is that nations, as well as private individuals, spend more than they earn, so they survive on credit. The more credit you have, the more interest you pay – until you have to borrow money to just pay the interest. So the simple answer is to print more money.
As the following article points out, there does seem to be a 7 year cycle. Economic disasters seem to fit the 7 year cycle! Is there a reason?
“Large numbers of people believe that an economic crash is coming next year based on a seven year cycle of economic crashes that goes all the way back to the Great Depression. In my previous article entitled ‘If Economic Cycle Theorists Are Correct, 2015 To 2020 Will Be Pure Hell For The United States’, I discussed many of the economic cycle theories that all seem to agree that we are on the verge of a major economic downturn in this country.
Here are just a few of the theories:
But there is an economic cycle that I did not mention in that article that a lot of people are talking about right now. And if this cycle holds up once again in 2015, it will be really bad news for the US economy. Looking back, the most recent financial crisis that we experienced was back in 2008. Lehman Brothers collapsed, the stock market crashed and we were plunged into the worst recession that we have experienced as a nation since the Great Depression.
Prior to that, the last time that the stock market experienced a major decline of that nature was during the bursting of the dotcom bubble seven years earlier. 2001 was a year of recession for the US economy and of big trouble for stocks …a little event known as ‘9/11’ happened that year.
Seven years before that, in 1994, investors experienced the worst bond market of their lifetimes. The following is how Reuters recalls the carnage… ‘The 1994 bond market massacre is remembered with horror by those who lived through it. Yields on 30-year Treasuries jumped some 200 basis points in the first nine months of the year, hammering investors and financial firms, not to mention thrusting Mexico into crisis and bankrupting Orange County.’
Going back another seven years brings us to 1987. Anyone that lived through that era remembers ‘Black Monday’ and the horrible stock market crash very well.
The next major economic crash prior to 1987 was in the early 1980s.
In 1980, the S&L (Savings & Loan) crisis was blooming and everyone was talking about the "stagflation" that we were experiencing under Jimmy Carter. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates dramatically to combat inflation, and this helped precipitate the very deep recession that we experienced early in Ronald Reagan’s first term.
Seven years prior to 1980 brings us to 1973. To many young Americans, that year does not have any significance, but older Americans remember the Arab oil embargo and the super long lines at the gas pumps really well. In addition, a recession began in 1973 which ended up stretching all the way until 1975.
And those that have studied these things say that the pattern keeps going back all the way to the Great Depression. Many correctly point out that the stock market crash which began the Great Depression was in 1929, but actually the worst year for the stock market during the Great Depression was in 1931. And 1931 fits perfectly into the cycle.
So we have this pattern of economic crashes occurring approximately every seven years.
But there is an additional element to this cycle which makes it even more extraordinary.
As Jonathan Cahn has pointed out, this seven year cycle also lines up with the seven year ‘Shemitah cycle’ that we find in the Bible. For those not familiar with it, during the Shemitah year the people of Israel were commanded to let their land rest for a full year. It was also supposed to be a time of releasing of debts. But for the most part the people of Israel did not observe the Shemitah year, and in the Bible that is mentioned as one of the reasons why they were exiled to Babylon for seventy years.
The Shemitah year always begins in the fall, and the upcoming Shemitah year is going to start about a month from now. Will we see things happen during this Shemitah year that are similar to things that we have seen in past Shemitah years? For example, on September 17th, 2001 we witnessed the greatest one day stock market crash in US history up until that time. It happened on the 29th of Elul on the Jewish calendar, which is the day right before Rosh Hashanah.
That record stood for seven years until the massive stock market crash of September 29, 2008. That date also corresponded with the 29th of Elul on the Jewish Calendar - the day right before Rosh Hashanah. Will the pattern hold up in 2015? Well, the 29th of Elul falls on a Sunday in 2015, so the stock market will be closed. But it is very interesting to note that there will be a solar eclipse on that day.
And as Jonathan Cahn recently told WND, similar solar eclipses in the past have preceded major financial disasters… in 1931, a solar eclipse took place on September 12 – the end of a “Shemitah” year. Eight days later, England abandoned the gold standard, setting off market crashes and bank failures around the world. It also ushered in the greatest month-long stock market percentage crash in Wall Street history.
In 1987, a solar eclipse took place September 23 – again the end of a “Shemitah” year. Less than 30 days later came “Black Monday” the greatest percentage crash in Wall Street history.
Is Cahn predicting doom and gloom on September 13, 2015?
He’s careful to avoid a prediction, saying, ‘In the past, this ushered in the worst collapses in Wall Street history. What will it bring this time? Again, as before, the phenomenon does not have to manifest at the next convergence. But, at the same time, and again, it is wise to take note.’
So what should we make of all of this? I am sure that some of you will dismiss this as pure coincidence and speculation. Others will find it utterly fascinating. But one thing is for sure - people are going to be talking about this seven year cycle all over the Internet. When they ask you what you think, what are you going to say?” (theeconomiccollapseblog.com)
There are certain rules within the Law of God regarding finance – and if you break those rules, those rules break you! Although it is not 100% historically certain that the Jews today have preserved the correct Sabbatical and Jubilee years, some sort of seven year financial cycle certainly remains clearly visible in the movements of the market. Look at the evidence!
“As Jonathan Cahn has pointed out, this seven year cycle also lines up with the seven year ‘Shemitah cycle’ that we find in the Bible. For those not familiar with it, during the Shemitah year the people of Israel were commanded to let their land rest for a full year. It was also supposed to be a time of releasing of debts. But for the most part the people of Israel did not observe the Shemitah year, and in the Bible that is mentioned as one of the reasons why they were exiled to Babylon for seventy years.”
If all debt was written off every 7 years, the world would not be in this dangerous situation. Governments, just like individual people, cannot go on spending more money than they earn – and borrowing to make up the deficit. Bankruptcy is the end result! This financial system seems near to meltdown. Here is what God’s end-time Apostle had to say on the subject:
“Now when the financial structure breaks down, all civilization is going to break down…”
“…I can see now the event that is going to trigger the formation of reunification in Europe; the resurrection of the Medieval Holy Roman Empire that we’ve been looking forward to that is prophesied to come.
…I believe that some event is going to happen suddenly just like out of a blue sky that is going to shock the whole world and is going to cause the nations of Europe to realize they must unite.
Well, now I think I can see what may be the very event that is going to trigger it and that is the economic situation in the world.
But lust or love of money, desire to get and to have more and more and more and more and never have enough, is what is possessing the world that is based on a type of living and a lifestyle of getting and everyone wanting to get more and get more and get more; and one nation wants to get more from other nations.
Now when the financial structure breaks down, all civilization is going to break down. I just wanted to say that much - maybe you can begin to see how serious this thing can become! ” (Sermon - Prophecy Part One)
The Scottish Referendum, Thursday 18th September
The 'No' result of the recent vote in Scotland has caused the entire world to breathe a sigh of relief as a ‘Yes’ result to a totally independent Scotland was widely recognised as giving sufficient uncertainty to have triggered a huge financial crisis. But the world still remains jittery for the next potential crisis, as having the debate at all has already caused unrest in the financial world. Remember the quote at the end of the opening article in this ‘News Review’?
“A black swan is not needed to make it fall, a gentle breeze will do just fine.” (charleshughsmith.blogspot.co.uk)