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)