Audio - 20 Jul 2019

Latest Audio - 2019-07-20

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World Tomorrow
by Mr. Armstrong
Rules of Success 2
made 1980s - played Wales 20 Jul 20199
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Sermon
by Ian Henderson
Working Out Our Own Salvation
given Wales 20 Jul 2019
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News Review - 19 July 2019
CurseOfKings

Wars… taxation… secret societies… powerful elites… government corruption… judicial cover-ups… permits… licences… diversity… multicultralism and… sex trafficking… all the end result of…

The Curse Of Kings

Mankind has always had a problem with government. The problem started nearly 6,000 years ago in the Garden in Eden, as Mr Armstrong explained:

“God laid before man the knowledge of his law – his WAY! He compels man to CHOOSE! Would man want God to FORCE him to go God’s way, contrary to the desires of human nature? Never! He would cry out, ‘God is unfair!’ Man wants the right of free choice.

So to fulfill his PURPOSE, the Creator marked out a duration of 7,000 years. The first six of those millennial ‘days’ were set aside for man to CHOOSE whether to OBEY God’s law – that is, voluntarily come under GOD’S GOVERNMENT – or work out his own ideas of HUMAN government. Man chose to reject God, his government and his law. He elected to follow the desires of his carnal self-centered nature.” (The Plain Truth – September 1984)

Modern Day Israel, Britain And America, "FINISHED"!

Paul Craig Roberts writes:

“The Western World Is Finished: Over and Done With. The white world is overrun with immigrants taught by Identity Politics to hate white people and all their works.

‘Vladimir Putin wonders why countries with core white populations decided to destroy themselves with unimpeded immigration of different cultures and races.’

‘Why is it racist for governments to consider the interests of their core white populations? ’

‘Suicide of the Left: America Destroyed by Diversity.’

‘Multiculturalism has a free hand to erase the history of the core white population.’

‘Diversity and multicultralism are the weapons that were used to destroy Western civilization’.” (paulcraigroberts.org)

Our Corrupt World

Every day in the news, one of the key words is corruption. And as the following article points out, it permeates our whole society!

Power corrupts. Anyone who believes differently hasn’t been paying attention.

Politics, religion, sports, government, entertainment, business, armed forces: it doesn’t matter what arena you’re talking about, they are all riddled with the kind of seedy, sleazy, decadent, dodgy, depraved, immoral, corrupt behavior that somehow gets a free pass when it involves the wealthy and powerful elite in America.

In this age of partisan politics and a deeply polarized populace, corruption — especially when it involves sexual debauchery, depravity and predatory behavior — has become the great equalizer.

All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lord Acton, British historian (acton.org)

Take Jeffrey Epstein, the hedge fund billionaire/convicted serial pedophile recently arrested on charges of molesting, raping and sex trafficking dozens of young girls.

It is believed that Epstein operated his own personal sex trafficking ring not only for his personal pleasure but also for the pleasure of his friends and business associates. According to The Washington Post, ‘several of the young women… say they were offered to the rich and famous as sex partners at Epstein’s parties.’ At various times, Epstein ferried his friends about on his private plane, nicknamed the ‘Lolita Express.’ This is part of America’s seedy underbelly.

In fact, a recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals allowing a 2,000-page document linked to the Epstein case to be unsealed references allegations of sexual abuse involving ‘numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister, and other world leaders.’

This is not a minor incident involving minor players. This is the heart of darkness. Sex slaves. Sex trafficking. Secret societies. Powerful elites. Government corruption. Judicial cover-ups. Once again, fact and fiction mirror each other.” (rutherford.org)

Bizarro World: The Herd Has Truly Gone Mad

The following article attempts to answer the question, “How did we get in such a state”? Note at the end of the article, the author points out correctly that… “OUR SPECIES’ VERY EXISTENCE IS AT RISK.”

You’re not crazy. The world we now live in is. Like me, you may often feel gobsmacked when looking at the world around you. How did things get so screwed up? The simple summary is: the world has gone mad. It’s not the first time.

For the leaders of the people have misled them. They have led them down the path of destruction. (Isaiah 9:16 NLT)

History is peppered with periods when the minds of men (and women) deviated far from the common good. The Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, the rise of the Third Reich, Stalin’s Great Purge, McCarthy’s Red Scares — to name just a few.

Like it or not, we are now living during a similar ERA OF SELF-DESTRUCTIVE MASS DELUSION. When the majority is pursuing — even cheering on — behaviors that undermine its well-being. Except this time, the stakes are higher than ever; OUR SPECIES’ VERY EXISTENCE IS AT RISK.” (peakprosperity.com)

Endless Economic Growth Is Unsustainable

The Bible tells us… Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; ” (Proverbs 29:18 NKJV). Because mankind has rejected God, they have become the masters of their own destruction. That is very obvious in the field of finance.

“We’re at the point where we’ve sabotaged our future by taking on too much debt, while at the same moment, we’ve started to run dangerously low on the resources necessary to run our modern way of living, straining key ecosystems in the process.

But rather than change our behavior, we’re doubling down on our faith in growth, creating dangerous financial bubbles that threaten to ruin our economy when they burst.

And worse than that, we’re depleting our remaining precious resources — such as energy deposits, rich topsoils, underground aquifers, ocean fisheries, key commercial minerals — at rates that can never recover in our lifetime.

At this stage, it’s unrealistic to expect our government to ride to the rescue in time, if at all — even if it weren’t dysfunctionally focused on protecting the very status quo that’s killing us.” (peakprosperity.com)

Ancient Israel Goes “Off Track”

“As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba.

But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.

Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. ‘Look,’ they told him, ‘you are now old, and your sons are not like you. GIVE US A KING TO JUDGE US LIKE ALL THE OTHER NATIONS HAVE.’

Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance. ‘Do everything they say to you,’ the LORD replied, ‘for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.’

‘Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them’.(1 Samuel 8:1-9 NLT)

Submission To The Authorities

It is interesting to note that while God allowed man to go his own way - trying to govern himself - God is still in control, as the Apostle Paul explained to the Church at Rome…

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.” (Romans 13:1 NLT)

The Curse Of Kings

God had Samuel explain to the people how their king would rule… but they would not listen!

“So Samuel passed on the LORD’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. ‘THIS IS HOW A KING WILL REIGN OVER YOU,’ Samuel said. ‘The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him.’

‘He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use.’

‘He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and YOU WILL BE HIS SLAVES. When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, BUT THEN THE LORD WILL NOT HELP YOU.’

But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. ‘Even so, we still want a king,’ they said. ‘We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.’

So Samuel repeated to the LORD what the people had said, and the LORD replied, ‘Do as they say, and give them a king’.” (1 Samuel 8:10-22 NLT)

A “Totalitarian State” In The Making

While we are to obey those in authority, we are reminded of the warning which God gave through Samuel. Those in authority want to totally control the population, as the following article illustrates:

“How independent are any of us, really? We like to think we live in the ‘free-est’ nation in the world, but do we really? Think about it.

You never own your home outright, even when the mortgage is paid off. Every year, you must make your extortion payment to the city or trust me, you won’t be living in that house for long.

The same thing with your car. If you don’t pay your annual extortion payment on your vehicle and pay a hundred bucks for a tiny sticker that gives you permission to drive it, it will be promptly towed away by the city with the government’s blessing. Then, like a hostage negotiation gone wrong, you’ll have to pay even more money to cover their theft and storage of YOUR vehicle.

TOTALITARIANISM refers to an authoritarian political system or state that regulates and controls nearly every aspect of the public and private sectors. Totalitarian regimes establish complete political, social, and cultural control over their subjects, and are usually headed by a charismatic leader.(philosophybasics.com)

On a regular basis, you must pay a fee and ask the government for permission to do any number of things, such as driving a car, traveling outside the country, running a business, adding another bathroom to your home, or even catching a fish for dinner.

Permits and licenses are big revenue generators from start to finish – and if you proceed without asking permission, they will extort more money from you in the form of fines. If you refuse to pay the fines (or if you can’t) they’ll kidnap you and lock you in a cage, where you’ll be forced to perform manual labor for 10 cents an hour for whatever length of time the legal authorities feel is sufficient to teach you a lesson.

‘UTOPIAN’ describes a society that’s conceived to be perfect.
‘DYSTOPIAN’ is the exact opposite — it describes an imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible.
(vocabulary.com)

There are places in our nation where you can’t use your property the way you want. There are areas where you cannot collect the water that falls on your land. There are places where you aren’t allowed to detach your home from the grid. There are places that dictate where your vegetable garden can grow (or even if you’re allowed to have one), places that won’t allow you to hang your clothes out to dry, and places that make it illegal to sleep in your car.

The bottom line is, some places in the United States are freer than others, BUT WE’RE ALL STILL SERFS PAYING FEALTY TO LORDS.

They have most people convinced that they must follow the food pyramid, the vaccine schedule, and the rules that force us to have licenses for every darned thing we do. We must pay for and be granted permission to feed ourselves, transport ourselves, build shelters for ourselves, unite in matrimony, and even to own pets.

We’re ruled by fear and manipulation.

Like some kind of frighteningly authoritarian parent, they assure us that it’s for our own safety, these breaches in our independence, and that we must comply or face the consequences. They ground us by taking away our licenses. They send us to our rooms that just happen to be located in for-profit prisons. They don’t ‘allow’ us to pursue life, liberty, and happiness because once we taste that sweet freedom, we won’t want to be under their oppressive thumbs anymore.

But some of us have seen the corporate government for what it is: a bully that reigns through fear of reprisal and grievous harm. They hold over us these fears:

  • We will die if we don’t eat things that were inspected and approved by them.
  • We will be jailed, fined, or have our children taken from us if we don’t toe the line, vaccinate them as ordered, medicate them as recommended.
  • We are unable to figure things out for ourselves because we are not ‘experts’ and therefore we must suppress our own judgments and bow to their far greater knowledge.
  • We will die if we don’t follow their expert health and nutrition advice.
  • We’ll be murdered by scary foreign terrorists if we don’t allow the TSA to fondle our private parts and perform x-rays that show us naked before we fly.

Some people fear these things and believe these tales so thoroughly, they allow the government to enforce ridiculous, unconstitutional laws ‘for our own safety.’ They say, ‘Better that I give up my rights as a human being and save the world from a terrorist’.” (theorganicprepper.com)

God Always Warns! A Dictator IS Coming

Before the fall of ancient Israel in 721-718 BC, God’s prophets were warning of the coming disaster for many years!

Before the fall of Judah, 604–585 BC, God again warned for many years of the coming national calamity.

Back in the first issue of the Plain Truth magazine, February 1934, Mr Armstrong asked, “IS A WORLD DICTATOR ABOUT TO APPEAR?” We are now very near to the return of Jesus Christ - to take over the rulership of the whole world. But first, a dictator is to arise, the Bible refers to him as the Beast! HE USHERS IN A TOTALITARIAN DICTATORSHIP THAT WILL HAVE ABSOLUTE POWER.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,” (Revelation 13:8) - Just as the people used to worship the Roman Emperors!

He will have total control of the population… And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:17)

The end result of this dystopian world is that mankind fights Christ as He returns, in a disaster so great that… “…unless that time of calamity is shortened, NOT A SINGLE PERSON WILL SURVIVE. But it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones" (Matthew 24:22 NLT)

Utopia IS Possible - Utopia IS Coming – And Soon

“Yes, Jesus Christ very soon is going to return to this earth. He is coming in power and glory. He is coming to rule all nations! But he is not going to do this ruling, supervising, all alone, by himself. He is coming to set up world government. It will be a highly organized government. THERE WILL BE MANY POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY.” (Mystery of the Ages - Chapter 7)


“GOD ALMIGHTY… has the power and the wisdom to make utopia a reality!

This is the very message God sent Jesus Christ to proclaim to the world. It is the ‘Gospel’ – the GOOD NEWS – THAT CHRIST WILL RETURN WITH THE POWER OF GOD TO BRING US UNIVERSAL PEACE AND PROSPERITY!

Few today understand that God has allotted mankind six thousand years in which to rule himself. During this time, God has kept hands off the affairs of men. He has allowed man to pursue the course that seems right to him (Prov. 16:25). God has given man the opportunity to prove, by experience, the basic inadequacies of any form of human government.

God is allowing humanity to prove to itself that NO human form of government can bring us world peace!” (Correspondence Course - Lesson 4)

Our Part In The Future

How important are “God’s chosen ones?” Here is something to consider. At the climax at the end of this age, mankind is only saved from total extinction because of God’s “chosen ones.”

“…unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened FOR THE SAKE OF GOD’S CHOSEN ONES.” (Matthew 24:22 NLT)

But it is worth remembering just WHY we are the "chosen"! As the apostle Paul brings out: " But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.... (I Corinthians 1:27-29)

As quoted above; "[only] GOD ALMIGHTY… has the power and the wisdom to make utopia a reality!" So too, only God Almighty has the power and wisdom to change such foolish, weak, base and despised human clay into His spirit-born sons - called to replace the vanity-filled, chaotic, satanic "kingly system" of this present world.

Only with appropriate humility will we eventually be ready – fit to rule with Christ for 1,000 years – and help bring about that Utopia!

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:... AND THEY LIVED AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS.” (Revelation 20:4)


YOU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE IT!

It will happen, regardless.

It is sure – the world’s only sure hope.

This advance good news of tomorrow is as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun.

Humanity won’t bring it about – it is going to be done to us. Humanity is going to be forced to be happy – to enjoy world peace – to see universal abundance and joy fill the earth.

UTOPIA? WHY NOT.

Why should it be an imaginary or impossible pipe-dream? There is a cause for today’s world chaos and threat of human extinction. That cause will be supplanted by that which will bring a utopia that is real, that is successfully functioning!” (Tomorrow… What It Will Be Like - Chapter 1)

Pastors Report - 12 July 2019
End Time Arrogance

End-time Arrogance…

"And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory." (Revelation 16:9)

Seven Last Plagues:

At the end of this age, when Jesus Christ has actually returned to this earth and His saints have already been resurrected, it is prophesied in Revelation that a significant proportion of mankind will still maintain an unbelievable arrogance against the God who gives them life and whose word maintains their very existence:

  • And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
  • And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
  • And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds ...
  • ... And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. (Revelation 16:9-11,21)

There can be little doubt that these individuals – and particularly those of the beast power – will actually know Who it is they are cursing! For three and a half years two witnesses will have been prophesying against the Babylonish system, as the human representatives of the Creator God prior to their murder and resurrection – seen by all the world – three and a half days later. Yet the arrogance of mankind will seemingly be unabated.

Multiverse Arrogance:

However, we shouldn't be that surprised. Looking at the amazing universe in which we find ourselves it is now widely recognised that all we see and quantify had a clear beginning – normally calculated to be around thirteen and a half billion years ago. Beyond that time we enter the realm of the 'singularity' – i.e. in layman's terms, a single point where time, matter and space begin. And for all we currently witness to exist as it does, that singularity had to have each one of 26 or so different constants finely tuned to precisely what we find, from day one. Yet there is absolutely no reason for them to be as they are – except to make this reality in which man, or something very like him, can exist.

The only way the rabid materialist can get around this fine tuning without some form of intelligent design being involved is to come up with the excuse that our particular universe must be only one of an innumerable multitude ... and we just happen to be in this one – as this is the only type that could have given rise to creatures like us. The only problem is there is not a single shred of evidence to support this theory! All we see and quantify – and all the laws of physics – lie in this universe in which we find ourselves, and as explained by Tulane University physicist Frank Tipler:

"People who imagine that they have a universe generator like that are actually assuming themselves to be God Himself! They are assuming that they can dictate what is out there in reality – that they can dictate that these other universes actually exist. But the laws of physics as we have tested them in the laboratory assert there are only these laws of physics with these particular constants . You do not have – unless you are God – the freedom to create these other universes. The universe is as it is, and we determine what the universe – all of reality now – is by doing experiments. There are no experiments indicating that there are other laws out there that generate other universes. You can imagine such things but you are just doing that – imagining. If you claim that they really exist, you are claiming that you yourself personally are God. You are not being an atheist – you are believing in God! You are believing that you're God. You sir, are crazy." (4.20 minutes into interview)

Spiritual Origin:

But what we within the church must constantly be aware of is the spiritual dimension and therefore the source of this frame of mind. Just as the modern astronomers who stridently maintain the existence of multiverses can only do so by dabbling in the realm of declaring that they themselves are God ... so too Satan had the same mindset:

  • For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
  • I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:13,14)

If you notice just how many 'I''s there are in the above two verses, you can see what an arrogant frame of mind he exhibited. This wasn't a one- off, "flash in the pan" aberration. This disdain and contempt for his Maker filled his mind and gave rise to his infamous rebellion, and it's the same conceited and scornful attitude currently being broadcast – and increasingly so as we approach the end of his 6,000 year reign.

  • You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.
  • Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. ...
  • Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor... (Ezekiel 28:15-17 NIV)

Little wonder then that we find the initial ruler of Babylon – the first world empire and the very pinnacle of Satan's system – absorbing the very same arrogant and conceited mindset. Nebuchadnezzar – the head of gold in his dream – had to become a grass-eating beast for seven years specifically to humble him. Note how similar his words are compared with Satan's:

  • All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
  • At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
  • The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? (Daniel 4:28-30)

And a similar pompous arrogance has not been at all uncommon amongst politicians and world leaders ever since.

Gay Pride:

Such satanic arrogance can be seen in a variety of situations but one area in particular is highlighted by the apostle Paul in Romans chapter one. Having first established how the Creator's eternal power and Godhead should be self-evident (verse 20) Paul then goes on to castigate those who, in their contempt, refuse to acknowledge the Creator. This disdain, in denying the Higher Power that is clearly over them, leads to a twisted and perverted mindset on the most basic fact of life ... that of God having made us male and female for the purpose of reproduction and family life. Paul's words are so up-to-date regarding our 21st century society, they could have been written yesterday:

  • ... that which may be known of God is manifest [to] them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
  • For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
  • Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
  • Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools ...
  • ..For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
  • And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Romans 1:19-22,26,27)

But not content with this alone we now witness a choice in terms that, in blatant contempt and total disrespect towards God, they thumb their noses at Him. For it seems inconceivable that whoever initially chose the term "Gay Pride" was not fully aware of "pride" being one of the primary problems that God specifically highlights in Ezekiel that led to the downfall of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah:

  • Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
  • And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. (Ezekiel 16:49,50)

In their arrogance they seem to be challenging God to do something about their perverted lifestyles, as brought out by the apostle Peter:

  • Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
  • And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
  • For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
  • Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
  • But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (II Peter 3:3-7)
A Spiritual Problem:

In Christ's closing words at His last Passover, He talked specifically to Peter, (who gave the above warning) giving him the specific commission to strengthen the brethren against Satan's desires:

  • And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, [plural] that he may sift you [plural] as wheat:
  • But I have prayed for thee [singular], that thy [singular] faith fail not: and when thou [singular] art converted, strengthen thy [singular] brethren. (Luke 22:31,32)

The apostle Peter was not writing to the world at large or even primarily to the church of his day. It is very much for the end time church that these words have been preserved, down through the millennia. The arrogant spirit that we are currently witnessing in so many facets of our society today unfortunately also has its effect on our lives as well. As Paul warned Timothy, the last days are going to be dangerous times – spiritually – for God's church, as we too must deal with the satanic broadcast:

  • Understand that the last days will be dangerous times.
  • People will be selfish and love money. They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud. They will slander others, and they will be disobedient to their parents. They will be ungrateful, unholy,
  • unloving, contrary, and critical. They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won't love what is good.
  • They will be people who are disloyal, reckless, and conceited. They will love pleasure instead of loving God.
  • They will look like they are religious but deny God's power. Avoid people like this. (II Timothy 3:1-5 CEB)
Pride of Laodicea:

Not only is it important that we "avoid people like this" as Paul admonishes above, but also be "bringing every thought into captivity" to make sure we've not taken this all-pervasive spirit of unbridled arrogance on board unwittingly. This is particularly important during this end time as Mr. Armstrong warns us regarding the self-important and spiritually self-sufficient attitude of Laodicea:

"I know thy works that thou art neither cold nor hot [here is the lukewarm church]: I would [that] thou wert cold or hot [now here are people that know the truth, here are people that think that they have everything spiritually that they could want]. So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth [says Jesus Christ]. Because thou sayest [this is what the people of this church think; because thou sayest], I am rich, and increased with goods ... " (Revelation 3:15-16). In other words, spiritually rich, 'We have knowledge that the people have not had before.' You know at the end time knowledge is to increase and the wise are to understand but none of the wicked would understand. If these people were not people that were obedient to God and that had repented of their sin, which is the transgression of God's laws, of God's rule, God's sovereignty, they would not be His church. These are commandment keeping people or they wouldn't be called the Church of God in the first place ...

... it is only those that keep the commandments of God that could have this knowledge. Now here are people who have this knowledge. Here are people that know things that the apostles couldn't know. Here are people that look down on the other people in the world. They look down on even popular churches, [or other church groups?] shall we say, that don't have all of the knowledge that they think that they have, and they say; "Well we're better than they are. We're spiritually rich and increased with goods," speaking of spiritual goods, in other words, knowledge, understanding. "We have the knowledge, we are very important because we have these things." And in their own conceits they have grown spiritually lukewarm.

They're not exactly cold, but neither are they very hot, they're losing out on zeal. They're not really doing the work of God at all.

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment [which is always the symbol of the righteousness of saints (Revelation 19:8), the righteousness of God, which is the righteousness that God gives to us through and by His love, His Holy Spirit, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by His Holy Spirit. The very love that does and will fulfil His law – white raiment], that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;" (Revelation 3:17-18) (WT - True Church of Revelation 2 and 3)

There is a real danger of this Laodicean spirit – under the instigation of Satan – exhibiting itself along the lines of "we have HWA as our father [apostle] ... " as per John 8:39, where the Pharisees arrogantly claimed Abraham as their father. And Christ's response was... "If you were Abraham's children you would DO the works of Abraham." How true today also! Are we really "getting it", as far as the two trees and the two diametrically opposed ways of life are concerned? And "getting it" doesn't just mean understanding it academically, but putting God's outgoing mindset of The Tree of Life into practice in our everyday lives, as a prelude to teaching the same in the World Tomorrow.

Active Humility:

So vital is it for us to have the very antithesis of an arrogant, superior attitude that once a year we are actually instructed to wash one another's feet before taking the emblems of the Passover. This is done as a specific reminder of our need to maintain this essential character requirement in our lives throughout the rest of the year. When Christ blessed the children, He used the opportunity to get the same vital lesson across; "whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein" (Luke 18:17). This comes immediately following the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, which deals again with the subject of arrogant self-importance versus humility;

  • Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
  • The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
  • I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
  • And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
  • I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:10-14)

God is not mocked and should we be tempted to be arrogant and proud we would do well to take note of the following:

  • Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
  • The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
  • For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: (Isaiah 2:10-12)

When we realistically consider our present position, what does any human being have to be arrogant about? "Vanity of vanity, all is vanity," Solomon was inspired to write, and the word "vanity" used in this passage at the beginning - and end - of Ecclesiastes, carries with it the sense of emptiness, meaninglessness, nothingness ... our physical chemical existence is no more than a vapour, a breath, as brought out in James: "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14). And as Paul admonished the Corinthian church: Who says that you are better than anyone else? What do you have that you didn't receive? And if you received it, then why are you bragging as if you didn't receive it?" (I Corinthians 4:7 CEB)

If we are wanting to have a part in turning this chaotic, arrogant and deviant world right-side up in the near future, we'd do well to take note of Christ's example: "...being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself..." (Philippians 2:8) ...and also that of King David, and approach our transient, temporary physical life in the same way:

  • LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.
  • You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. ...
  • We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
  • And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. (Psalm 39:4-7 NLT)
Transcript - 12 Jul 2019

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