Pastors Report - 1 Dec 2017
snakeOverNaziBanners

Satan's Insidious Technique:

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said ..." (Genesis 3:1)

A Sobering Book:

Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading a book entitled: Edith's Book ("Edith's Story" in the US) written by a lady called Edith Velmans. Mrs Velmans was a 15 year old Jewish teenager - Edith van Hessen - when Germany invaded Holland in 1940 and, like Ann Frank, kept a diary of her thoughts as the war progressed. Unlike Ann Frank (whose father eventually published her diaries for her posthumously) Edith van Hessen hid in plain sight – posing as a Dutch girl: Nettie Schierboom – and personally survived to tell her story. But the thing that struck me most when reading her account was the insidious way in which the restrictions were implemented by the German authorities. The word "insidious" could have been crafted for the technique used, as by definition the word means: to proceed in a gradual subtle way but with very harmful effects . As her father wrote to her, "It's strange how much you can bear, if your doom is parcelled out to you in small doses. It's just like poison: if you start taking it very gradually, increasing the quantity drop by drop, then your body will eventually get used to it."

Too late:

It was at this stage that many in the Jewish community finally recognised the imminent danger they were in from the immediate German goal – to round up all healthy young Jews, whatever their gender, for exploitation in their labour camps. Many people were reaching this conclusion at the same time. In Amsterdam Ann Frank's family went into hiding on 9 July when her sister Margot received a call-up notice. Their neighbours joined them a week later. Edith van Hessen herself left her true name and her former home behind on the 19th. The number of hidden Jews in Holland was estimated to have been around 24,000. Of these 8,000 were betrayed, 16,000 survived. Of the 60,000 people sent to Auschwitz from Holland 500 returned. Of the 34,000 whose destination had been the Sobibor concentration camp, only 19 survived. Overall, only one in five Jews in Holland survived.

The Spiritual Dimension:

The vital thing that we within God's Church need to recognise, is the spiritual dimension behind the technique being used. Whether the German authorities deliberately planned what they were doing or not, the spirit behind their actions remains very clear. Just as we are told by the apostle Peter that, "prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy [Spirit]." (II Peter 1:21) – In a similar way, the insidious decrees against the Jews that Edith Velmans witnessed as a teenager did not arise merely by the will of man, but evil men of Satan spoke as they were moved by an unclean spirit. And will indeed continue to do so:

  • And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
  • For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:13,14)

Even Adolf Hitler did not begin as the raving megalomaniac he later morphed into. In an interview by James O'Donnell recorded in the August 1970 edition of Reader's Digest, Albert Speer recalls when he, as a young architect, first heard Hitler speak: "The man was moderate, rational able to dominate, in a very soft voice, all the questioners," Speer recalls, "I had expected a brown shirted fanatic, but instead I saw a man in a well fitting dark-blue suit, who acted like a statesman." This understanding of the spiritual dimension behind the gradual change becomes particularly important when we consider the prophesied future that this world appears poised shortly to enter.

Central to the events of this end-time is a decree, or series of decrees, resulting in the imposition of the mark of the beast by force. But the question is, in what way will this most likely be implemented? When we recognise the spiritual dimension in the process, and recognise how we are not to be ignorant of Satan's devices (II Corinthians 2:11), the technique is unlikely to be an overnight, out-of-the-blue decree but rather something very similar to what took place in Holland under the Nazis: a step-by-step insidious tightening of the screws until eventually the full horror is inevitable:

  • And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
  • 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 13:16-17)
A Present Danger:

Recognising the great probability that this insidious technique of Satan will be used to impose the above decree on the world, and that such a step-by-step process takes time, there is a great likelihood that the beginning stages will start to be clearly seen before God's people flee. With this in mind – certain signs appear to be already present! Note these three news articles – how the Pope lambastes Christian fundamentalism (which would certainly include keeping the Sabbath and holy days) – the relentless attack on cash (enabling the authorities to turn off someone's ability to buy and sell) – and Poland's official promotion of Sunday keeping:

Pope Francis Declares That Christian Fundamentalism ‘Is A Sickness’

VATICAN - Is a belief in the strict, literal interpretation of the Bible “a sickness”? Pope Francis appears to think so. Just a few days ago, multiple reporters heard Francis describe fundamentalism as “a sickness that is in all religions” – including Christianity.

But precisely what is fundamentalism? If you go to Google, it is defined as “a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.” So does Pope Francis really intend to “combat” those that believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible? ... During his papacy, Francis has made it a point to reach out to leaders from all sorts of different religions. But apparently his “tolerance” does not extend to those that believe that the Bible is actually true. ( themostimportantnews.com - 23/12/2015 )

Cashless society closer than we think

AUSTRALIA - Denmark has predicted it'll be the first country in the world to get rid of notes and coins altogether. They'll be replaced by plastic and tap and go technology as soon as next year. And Australia might not be far behind. ( au.news.yahoo.com - 13/07/2017)

Poland’s Christian Government Votes to Phase Out Sunday Shopping

Poland’s parliament has voted to slowly begin the process of abolishing Sunday shopping to allow workers to spend more time with their families. Although the major change — which reverses decades of movement on turning Sunday from a holy day of rest into an ordinary day of shopping and work — has been criticised as putting jobs at risk, the government hopes it will improve quality of life for ordinary Poles.

The counter-revolution in how Poland will approach the working week, taking it back to a system that would be more easily recognisable to Poland’s pre-Communist ancestors, comes among a series of other changes by Law and Justice, a nation’s conservative, nationalist, and Christian political party. ( breitbart.com - 28/11/2017)

Satan's Initial Rebellion:

But it is not only the imposition of hostile decrees where this insidious technique is used - it is just as effective in the overthrow of righteousness as well! In his rebellion, Satan's aim — his hoped-for end result — was to overthrow God Himself. He was to "ascend above the heights of the clouds; [to] be like the most High." (Isaiah 14:14) But do we imagine this all happened overnight? Clearly not. Such a rebellion would have taken time. It had to have been a slow, incremental, brick-by-brick operation, gradually winning increasing numbers onto his side. But the individual result was the same: the overthrow of the Government of God within the mind – as Mr Armstrong explains:

What caused the angels on earth to sin, to turn to lawlessness? Certainly the ordinary angels did not persuade this great superbeing to turn traitor. No, it was in him that iniquity was found. But, after how long? We don’t know. God does not reveal that! It could have been any number of years from one or less to millions times millions.

And then, even after Lucifer himself made the decision to rebel and try to invade God’s heaven to take over the universe, it is not revealed how long it took him to persuade all of the angels under him to turn traitor and follow him.

I know well the method he used. He uses the same method still today in leading deceived humans into disloyalty, rebellion, and self-centered opposition against God’s government. First, he turns one or two to envy, jealousy, and resentment over an imagined injustice – then into disloyalty. Then he uses that one or two, like a rotten apple in a crate, to stir up resentment, feelings of self-pity, disloyalty and rebellion in others next to them. And, as each rotten apple rots those next to it until the whole crate is rotten, so Satan proceeds...

... But think how long it must have taken the soured and embittered Lucifer to turn millions of holy angels into resentment, bitterness, disloyalty, and finally open and vicious rebellion. It could have taken hundreds, thousands, or millions of years. This was all before the first human was created. ( Mystery of the Ages – page 85 )

Demolition:

Whether our societies are to be hit by a sudden catastrophe or left to the insidious drip, drip over a period of time, the results will be the same: destruction. Here in the UK, and particularly in the industrial heartland of the Midlands, many large, tall brick chimneys left over from the industrial revolution have become unstable and have needed to be demolished over the years. If there are no buildings nearby, the demolition will often be done using controlled explosions and the entire edifice ends up on the ground in seconds. But sometimes there are other structures surrounding the chimney and a different technique has to be employed. Steeplejacks fix ladders to the outside of the chimney and climb several hundred feet to the top. Then brick by brick they progressively remove the structure — throwing the results down the middle of the shaft without any risk to the surroundings. But the point to emphasise is that either way — either by explosion or by slow degrees ... brick-by-brick — the result is the same. Demolition!

So it was when we witnessed the apostasy with the drip, drip of an idea here, a slight change of doctrine there, a new paradigm somewhere else, until the righteous organization had been totally destroyed — demolished, and a church of this world - this society, this age — appeared in its place. And so it is today within the Western world as well. Time honoured values are changing. Moral standards are being eroded. All via the drip, drip of an idea here, a film there, a new teaching requirement somewhere else, until what was once, albeit humanly, a basically moral society is totally destroyed — dismantled — and a grotesque end-time, Tribulation-bound travesty appears in its place. And how has it been done? By subtle, gradual but progressively declining, slow but sure degrees.

Families:

Nowhere has this relentless attack been more evident than against the family. I was talking with an elderly Polish lady in her 90s a few years ago. She carried a truly unique viewpoint in that she was able to assess what is currently taking place in the West from the perspective of having lived under both Nazi Fascism and Soviet Communism in the past. She pointed out to me that before the German invasion of her country a Polish family could comfortably manage on the single salary of the husband, leaving the wife free to manage the home and care for the children. But when the Nazis took over it all changed. Both husband and wife were then forced to work — leaving the state to indoctrinate the children. The same happened under Communism. Without both parents working the allocation of a government-funded apartment would not be forthcoming. So there was little choice but to comply and once again, the state was thus free to indoctrinate the children. What she clearly saw in the UK and in the US today is exactly the same. Whether it is by financial hardship or the imposition of vaccination, the goal is the state control of every child's mind and the sidelining of their parents. It is the rise of yet another totalitarian state.

But the problem is, we don't become as alarmed as we should because this evil is introduced so slowly. Like the Jews of Holland, society remains blissfully unaware until it is too late to do anything about it. Take dating as an example. Note this comment from Mr Armstrong:

"I distinctly remember one incident – after I had passed twenty. A girl I frequently dated and I were being driven to her home by a young man with his girl friend. In those days all cars were completely air-conditioned – they were open cars. It began to rain. We buttoned on the side-curtains. To hold the curtain down, on my girl friend’s side, I was obliged to stretch my arm over the seat behind her. I shall never forget the difficulty I experienced in keeping my arm far enough to the rear to avoid any contact with the back of her neck. I was terribly afraid she would think I was “fresh” if any part of my arm touched her! Today’s bold young people will get a real laugh at this. Yes indeed – TIMES HAVE CHANGED!" ( Missing Dimension in Sex)

And times most certainly have changed! Just in my lifetime, the notion of "living in sin" has all but disappeared. Whether you marry or just cohabit is of no consequence, and hardly an eyebrow is raised if the partner is of the same sex, or is in the process of changing from one sex to another! Note this opening section from an article in one of this week's newspapers, and as you read, ask yourself, how did we move from the above frame of mind exhibited in Mr Armstrong's generation — to this!!

Guides allows boys who identify as female to shower with girls

UK - The Girl Guides will allow boys who identify as female to shower with girls, it has emerged. For the first time, Girlguiding's official guidance instructs guide leaders to allow members who were born male but now identify as female to share changing rooms, toilets and sleeping quarters with girls when away on excursions. The 107-year-old organisation updated its rules, which apply to members aged from five to 25, to allow transgender girls to "share accommodation with other young members if they wish" and use the same facilities. ( telegraph.co.uk - 29/11/2017)

The Church:

Just as false education lies at the basis of the collapse - so right education lies at the basis of what God determines needs to be built. Proverbs 29:18 literally says, "where there is no vision the people are let loose, but blessed is he, the keeper of the law" or as the RSV translates it, "where there is no prophecy the people cast off restraint" - or " no revelation" as the NIV has it - and that is indeed what we see. However imperfectly understood a scriptural-based vision of the future may be, or basic understanding of one day facing the consequences of your actions in a Day of Judgement, it does give a degree of righteous restraint within society. Get rid of one ... and you lose the other. Destroy the vision, the revelation ... and you lose the restraint. And without restraint "the people" then decide — portending disaster: "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."(Proverbs 16:25). And that is what we are witnessing daily on whatever newsfeed we choose ... misery, death, destruction. The inevitable results of being swayed by the satanic broadcast.

The problem is that we too have grown up in the present society — as one more frog in the ever-so-slowly heated pan! We too have been affected by the educational indoctrination we have had — both within the educational system and also by the steady drip...drip...drip within the media thereafter. And it is not only the fear of being "taken in" and receiving the mark of the beast that we should be concerned about, but also a softening of our spiritual backbone, our values, our personal standards. Being one of the lemmings that blindly follow the crowd and finally end up leaping off the cliff!

Capture the Vision:

And the only antidote to such ungodly brain-washing - and to "recapture true values" - is to do what Proverbs 29:18 implies and more fully recapture the vision! Get closer to God, build on "the revelation" - our understanding of His word. Evaluate what we see or read according to what God reveals in the Bible. (II Timothy 2:15). Doing so takes prayer, Bible study and meditation. That means it takes time. Just as what we see within society today has come about by subtle but progressively declining, slow degrees, so the spiritual qualities God is building in each one of us also take both time and patience. We won't become spiritual giants overnight. But that vision of the future is actually far more real than this present evil age and will sweep away all we currently endure to establish the Kingdom of God (Daniel 2:44; 7:18). This should certainly spur us all to do as Paul encouraged Timothy - in order to take our part in the Temple that is currently under construction.

  • ... while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
  • But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
  • and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
  • All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
  • so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:13-17 NIV)

Throughout the Bible, God has warned His people not to be like the nations around them....to "come out of them, my people", lest we suffer the same fate!

  • Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
  • And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
  • Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
  • (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
  • That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
  • For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. (Leviticus 18:24-29)

As much as we might think we have not been affected by the subtlety of Satan's insidious campaign, the chances are there most certainly are areas we would do well to examine. The time is coming when our faith will be sorely tried, our determination to follow God's way, regardless of the consequences. As God admonishes - and encourages us - through the prophet Jeremiah:

  • Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
  • For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
  • Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
  • For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
  • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
  • I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:5-10)

And if the fruit in our life is according to God's Way, we have the assurance of being part of the governing Family that will finally bring righteousness and peace to this satanically deceived world, making sure there will be no more concentration camps, no more heartache, but eventually everlasting joy for all mankind.