Sermon given 1 January 2005

God's Power in Man and for Man

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

I'd like you to imagine and just think in your mind a little bit; that you are in a desert and in this particular desert there's rocks and sand - not acres of sand - but there is a fair amount of rocks and there is a mountain range that is behind you. And it's night time, it's been a quite cold night. The dew has been there and in the desert that is about the only moisture that you are actually going to get. The children have been a little bit fractious. You are there and you are fairly cold; they are starting to fuss a little bit. You fled there with several thousand others.

In addition to that, you can see the kind of grey light of dawn. I don't know if you stayed up at night and you've then come to the time when the dawn actually starts, and it's cold. There is a kind of coldness about it, just before the dawn starts. There is a very kind of grey light that starts to come across. You are at the foot of these mountains. You are in this desert and you can see just the start of this grey light starting to come.

And in the distance you can also see the light of vehicles, helicopters, of an army. In that light, you know that they are armoured personnel carriers, tanks, there are presumably helicopter gunships that they are keeping with them as they come towards you. You can see them get closer as the light also is coming from the sun; you can't see the sun yet but the sun is in the process of rising. You can start to see this grey light just starting to come and these vehicles are actually coming closer and closer towards you. And as I say, there are several thousand perhaps with you at that particular time, watching this army as it comes closer.

At that time - you can actually see them and they are very, very close by now - somebody starts to sing. The psalm that they sing is Psalm 46. I would like to close this service with Psalm 46 because it's in the book, we all basically know it. But you know, this psalm might well be referring to an event like this, it says:

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea [all these physical things, we are not going to fear, we are going to remain on track, we are going to have our minds focused]; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah [the waters are often likened to armies, to people, to nations]. There is a river [here is a different type of waters, this is a different type of nation, this is a different type of people], the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High." (Psalm 46:1-4)

Here is this contrast. You have an army coming towards you, of the waters of the nations, and here is the river of Zion watching this. Psalm 46:5:

"God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early [if you go and look at the actual translation of this, Strong's H1242, particular right early, it gives the idea of the morning light; when the morning light comes]. The [nations] raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The [Eternal] of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." (Psalm 46:5-7)

The ones who understand - the "United States and Britain in Prophecy" {1}... who are the people of Jacob. Psalm 46:8:

"Come, behold the works of the [Eternal], what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease [they can see beyond what is just about to happen, they can see what is eventually going to occur from this God] unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot [the armoured personnel carrier, the tank] in the fire. Be still [where do we see that before? We see it back at the time of the Red Sea; be still], and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the [nations], I will be exalted in the earth [you have got to get your focus put right, look forward; look at what is going to happen in the future, where God will be exalted in the earth]. The [Eternal] of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." (Psalm 46:8-11)

That's where it all is. Selah, [Strongs's H5542 and H5541,] means "think about this". Just meditate and think and know these things that you are actually looking at. And as somebody begins to sing this everybody else joins in. And at that time, as the sun just starts to rise, the ground opens up and the army disappears and the helicopter gunships also disappears into it and the ground closes up. There is a breeze comes from behind and takes the dust away. Obviously as this happens, the air moves down, the air comes from behind and the hair on the back of your neck starts to go up. With the air, yes, but also from what you have just witnessed!

These things are real. These things Mr Armstrong was talking about are real; and they are still real today. Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed whatsoever. The thing that has changed is this little group and these other little groups that are listening in. But the question I want to ask is; Okay, here is this little group or this few thousand people - I don't know how many there will be - but these few thousand people that are there witnessing this event, how do they get there? What is important to God in the journey from this point to that point? What is God really concerned about?

Now Mr Armstrong in The Autobiography, 'The Autobiography Chapter 35 ’ page 591 He says the following:

"When Almighty God does something Himself, by His own power alone, He does it in a manner so mighty and so vast our minds cannot comprehend it [that's what these people will have looked at, will have actually experienced]. But when God does a work through human instruments, He always starts it, like the proverbial mustard seed, the smallest..." 'The Autobiography Chapter 35 ’ page 591

So, in human beings, when He is working through human beings and He should be working through you and through me right now. He starts it the smallest. He says, from that point:

"...But it grows to the BIGGEST!!"'The Autobiography Chapter 35 ’ page 591

Eventually, this small seed will grow to become the very Kingdom of God, itself. But we have got to get the right balance between these things. We have got to make sure we understand that when God does something Himself, it will be mighty, but when He is working in us, it's small because the glory has got to go to God. It does not go to us. We do not go ahead and get the glory.

So, what I want to do today, is I want to talk about this aspect. This aspect, how when you are looking at God's power IN man, it's the smallest. When you are looking at God's power FOR man, then it is huge and mighty. It's that aspect that I want to look at today as it relates to us today. I want to look at the number of previous examples, or the points I want to deal with, and there are five of them:

Moses (PLAY FROM 09:10)

Let's have a look at Moses first of all. Turn over to Exodus 2. Now when we look in Exodus 2 and we see what happened at the beginning of Moses' life, you can think to yourself, well why didn't God just allow it to continue on, because here was somebody who actually became a General? In the beginning of Moses' life, his sister, presumably it was Miriam, but his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter:

"... Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child, and nursed it." (Exodus 2:7-9)

So, Moses was protected by God at that time, and he became the very son of Pharaoh's daughter. So, he was pushed into the courts of Pharaoh. You think, well, that's wonderful! That's marvelous! Well that's the way God is going to go ahead and free Israel. Here is this man, and this man – God has pushed him into a certain position and this is how He is going to do it. He is going to use this man in a mighty way. He's a General after all. According to Josephus, he became a General. His campaign down in the South was legendary. He used various techniques, I won't go into them now, of defeating the armies in the South. Here is this great man. But that's not the way God works. Why? Because he is a man. He is a human being. God doesn't work in a huge, mighty way through a human being. He is a human instrument and it's got to start small. So, what does He actually do? Exodus 2:15:

"Now when Pharaoh heard this thing [about Moses killing this Egyptian], he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well." (Exodus 2:15)

So, here was this great General who, aged about 40, fled for his life. He fled into an area that was the badlands presumably, of the Egyptian dynasty at that time. He fled into that area, probably a mountainous area that he was going ahead and fleeing from Pharaoh. It says in Exodus 2:21:

"And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land." (Exodus 2:21-22)

He was an Egyptian. He had grown up in Pharaoh's court, but God saw fit to actually have him transplanted into this area, and he became a stranger in this particular area, a desert area. It wasn't the sophistication of Egypt. In Exodus 3:1 it says:

"Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law..." (Exodus 3:1

So here he was, keeping sheep for 40 years. The great General! This one that was going to rescue Israel. What happened? He's keeping sheep. You can learn a lot from sheep - you can, you can learn a lot from sheep. But it wasn't the kind of thing that man would do. Man would stick him in the Courts of the Pharaoh's. He would go ahead and work him through the ranks. He would have his politics and all the rest of it. Rise him to a certain place and free Israel. That's not the way God worked. He got him keeping sheep. So, we see this principle in action, right here right now. If you would turn over to Exodus 6:1 where it says:

"Then the [Eternal] said unto Moses [here is Moses asking, who is this God that is going to do this?], Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the [Yaweh]: (Exodus 6:1-2)

I am the Eternal One. The One Who Was, and Is, and Will Be to come. There is no other because this particular individual was Jesus Christ and yes, the Father is there with Jesus Christ. But there is no other besides these Beings, no others of that calibre. Exodus 6:3:

"And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of [El Shadi, the Great Blesser, God Almighty as its translated here], but by my name [Yahweh, the I Was, I Am, I Will Be] was I not known to them." (Exodus 6:3)

Well I'm not going to go into this particular aspect; how in fact He was known as Yahweh, because Abraham did actually call a mountain Yahwehjira, "...Abraham called the name of that place Yawehjireh: as it is said to this day..." (Genesis 22:14). So He was known as Yahweh. But He was not known as Yahweh because Yahweh carries with it the fact that He can go ahead and do whatever He wants. He's not just a Great Blesser. He is the One whose power reigns, whose power is totally insurmountable. He was about to do that; but up to that point, when He was dealing with the man that He was going to use, the man was keeping sheep.

The man was starting in the smallest, in the lowest, in the most insignificant way possible. He had a stammer or had a speech impediment of some description. He had to get his brother to go ahead and help him on that score. God was starting in the very smallest way. So, if we look at what actually happened - turn over to Exodus 14:13 - we see here is this man who had been humbled and led by God and started so small; and yet here was this One, Who Was, Who Is, Who Will Be, the Eternal, the One whose power really reigns. Here it says:

"And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still..." (Exodus 14:13)

We just read that over in Psalm 46:10, stand still. Just stand and watch what's about to happen. There is nothing you can do. You're between a rock and a hard place; at least a rock and the sea, because the rock actually came down to the sea at that point. Apparently, that particular point, if you look at where the most likely place for that is, it's about 800 feet deep. It's not just wading through the reeds with a bit of stuff balanced on your head. It's about 800 feet deep. On either side it drops by thousands of feet, and apparently, they have actually found chariot wheels in the bottom of this particular location.

So, you talk about, we need to see something and we need to see it now! It's something that needs to be done, and God was about to reveal Himself. Here was this Being who had never revealed Himself. He had revealed Himself as the Great Blesser. He didn't reveal Himself as this Eternal One with the might that He had, but He was about to do it here. He had done it in the plagues of Egypt and here was yet another case. He said in Exodus 14:14:

"The [Eternal] shall fight for you, and ye [will shut up!] you shall hold your peace." (Exodus 14:14)

You will just keep your mouths shut, and watch what happens, because there is nothing you can do. There is no human source of strength in this particular case. The human strength had to keep sheep for forty years; to get himself out of the way, so then they can be used in this process to be able to actually guide God's people, but watch in fact, what God is going to do. Imagine, you were there. Imagine that you were the one alongside. You see these armies coming. You saw the cloud maneuver itself behind you. You still have water in front and the mountains at the side. What do you do? But you see, God revealed Himself, He acted, as Mr Armstrong said:

"When Almighty God does something Himself, by His own power alone, He does it in a manner so mighty and so vast our minds cannot comprehend it. But when God does a work through [man]..." 'The Autobiography Chapter 35 ’ page 591

Then that's a different story because man has got to get out of the way. Turn to Revelation 12 because there is a parallel between this event that I started out with, and what we see in this area of the Red Sea. In the area of the Red Sea it was water. In the area of this event that we read here it says in verse 14:

"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [three and a half years], from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood [Revelation 17:15 - that is people; waters of the flood, presumably an army] after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." (Revelation 12:14-15)

In other words, the army would just simply sweep down to bring the thousands back. I say thousands - I presume it's thousands, it may be only hundreds, I don't think so. I believe there are many more within the Church of God. Revelation 12:16:

"And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed..." (Revelation 12:16-17)

This is in the Tribulation. That is the way we have always understood these verses. No reason to believe anything else. That is the way it is. So there will be a group; there will be a group of people who will be there and who will witness this.

If we look at the example of Moses, we see that the people, when you are looking at the way the people that were being used by God - they, ie. Moses had to go out and keep sheep. There was nothing mighty. He had the opportunity to be mighty, but God didn't use that. He doesn't go down that route when you are looking at human beings.

Abraham (PLAY FROM 19:49)

Let's go back again to Genesis 12 and have a look at Abraham. Here we see Abraham and the culture at that time was that the fact that he was going to go ahead and have a dynasty arising from him; children and so on. It was much more so than even today, much, much more so than today. Here it says:

"Now the [Eternal] had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth [bless themselves, as the Hebrew actually says]. So Abram departed, as the [Eternal] had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran." (Genesis 12:1-4)

Now he probably departed from the Ur of Chaldees well before that. He went to Haran, which is in the North, and then at age 75 left Haran, going to the Promised Land. What age he was in Ur, we don't know, but he left Haran at 75. It wasn't for another twenty-five years before he actually received anything remotely near a blessing of a son. We look over in Genesis 15:1 it says:

"After these things the word of the [Eternal] came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." (Genesis 15:1)

And he says, look, how come? I haven't any children and this servant is going to inherit everything that I have worked for. Yet you said; I will make you a great nation. It doesn't make sense. He couldn't see this. Genesis 15:4:

"And, behold, the word of the [Eternal] came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars..." (Genesis 15:4-5)

Can you tell how many stars there are? You go out on a clear night, presumably around here in Tennessee you go out on a clear night away from the actual lights of the city and you can look up and the Milky Way is just, milky. It's just a mass of stars that goes across the heavens. He said, look up, look at the stars. Can you count them? The obvious answer is; no. You can't even see them all. Today, it's just an innumerable multitude. In Genesis 15:5 He says:

"...tell the stars, if thou be able to number them and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. [you won't be able to number them, you'll come to a point where you will see something, you'll be able to witness it; it will be almost like the stars]: And he believed in the [Eternal]; and he counted it to him for righteousness. [Verse 18] In the same day the [Eternal] made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:" (Genesis 15:5-6,18)

He didn't have any land; he was wandering around in tents. He didn't own anything. Here he is starting as small as you can imagine, and over here in Genesis 17:1:

"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine [99 years old], the [Eternal] appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God [the Great Blesser; the El Shadi]; walk before me, and be thou perfect [set yourself before me, to walk and be perfect; be entire, be complete]. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly [he still hadn't had a child]. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee." (Genesis 17:1-5)

But he still had no child. It was as small as you could possibly imagine in this particular situation. It talks about how he would basically be a stranger in the land. It will be yours. You can read about how in fact, when Sarah died, he had to buy a small plot of land. He didn't receive the promises as it says in Hebrews 11:10. He didn't receive the promises at that time. He had a child. He probably saw his grandchildren, but he didn't really see the promises.

If you turn over to Ezekiel 37. You see, when God does something; when He acts the way in which He has sifted the nations of Israel through the nations, and not one grain will fall to the ground. Who do you think is going to be with Christ when this event actually takes place? It will be Abraham. Where do you think he will actually be? What do you think he will see? He will probably see, not just the area from the Euphrates to the River of Egypt, but he will see the United States. He will be able to fly across the United States. He will be able to fly across Canada. He will fly across Australia, and the British Isles and all the other areas where we have settled as his people, as the actual nations of Israel. As we fly across the nations and we see the nation itself, below and it is very sparsely populated. But when this event takes place it says here:

"Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord [Eternal]; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the [Eternal], when I have opened your graves, O my people..." (Ezekiel 37:11-13)"

Remember; "here you shall know that I am the Eternal, the One Who Was, That is, and Will Be to come." It's the power of God as Mr Armstrong said, doing something by Himself on His own power alone, in a manner so mighty and so vast, our minds cannot comprehend it.

But to start out with, what did Abraham have to go through? Abraham had a work in himself that had to be done, and it started small. What did he do? He wandered around. He tramped around this particular area and he had flocks and herds and he lived in a tent, and he believed God. That is what God required of him because God knew - Jesus Christ as He was there, dealing with Abraham - knew that down through the millennia, there would be a time when He would stand there with Abraham and he would see this great army come up, like the very stars themselves, into houses that had been prepared over a thousand years, and He would be able to actually deal with Abraham at that time, and just say; "Look, this is what I said, here it is."

The power at that time though, is different. The power at that time is, as Mr Armstrong said, by Himself with His own power alone, in a manner so spectacular – this was the very Godhead at work. Dealing with Abraham, he was walking around, tromping around the area, moving his tents; keeping up with his herds, believing God, looking for a son. Sacrificing a son in his mind at least in the smallest possible way.

If we just look over in Matthew 13:31 where Mr Armstrong mentions about this example of a mustard seed; about the things that actually will grow. We see here:

"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds..." (Matthew 13:31-32)

Now this particular seed, I'm not sure what it's called in modern day parlance, it's not mustard. It's some kind of a seed which is very, very small and it becomes a plant and it's an Oriental plant that becomes about ten feet tall. Something higher than this room, but it is the very smallest of seeds. Exactly how small I'm not sure. Have you ever sown oregano, have you seen those seeds, they are really, really small? I think I have got the right herb anyway, but they are really, really small. Even a cabbage seed or a mustard seed in that sense – it's very, very small. Opposite us, we have ash trees. Do you have ash trees over here? You know the kind of things that fly down. The actual seed is only about that big, but you look at the size of an ash tree and it comes from something very, very small. That is the point being made here in Matthew 13:32;

"Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." (Matthew 13:32)

Something very small, but it then grows to become something very big. You look at Abraham wandering around in tents, all that time and God made sure that, that was the way it worked because He wasn't going to have man elevated as human beings. It was something that was going to start very small, but He knew that eventually with His power, He would look at an event which will take place, which is just awesome! Absolutely awesome! Abraham would be there with Him when that occurred, as a very spirit being. He could see the contrast between the two, and so should we. We should keep these kind of ideas and these concepts in mind.

Jehoshaphat (PLAY FROM 30:07)

If you turn over to II Chronicles 17 we find, even on a human level this is the case. It talks here about Jehoshaphat::

"And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. [Verse 3] And the [Eternal] was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; But sought to the [Eternal] God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel [Israel was in the North]. Therefore the [Eternal] stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the [Eternal]: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah. Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Benhail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah [here are princes going out]. And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah [and the other ones and], Levites; and with them [the] priests. And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the [Eternal] with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people." (II Chronicles 17:1,3-9)

Now was is a relatively small occurrence. It was something that took place, that Jehoshaphat did. I say small occurrence – he organized this travelling team and he sent them around the cities of Judah. Remember, they didn't have printing presses back then, these books did not exist. The books had to be hand copied and the books were the most valuable things anybody could really own. So, this book of the Law that went around was a very valuable item.

The Levites and the princes then read – remember the princes, if they were destined to become kings, would need to read from the Book of the Law and would probably have copied out the Book of the Law themselves, Deuteronomy certainly. They had their own Book of the Law, so they were going around that area in Judah and actually reading the Law so that people could understand the Law. But it was a relatively small thing and he probably never really understood the way that God would act in the future. He almost certainly didn't. He understood that this was something he had to do. This was something that he could do, and he did it. But when you are looking at what actually happened, if you turn over to II Chronicles 20:1 it says:

"It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle." (II Chronicles 20:1)

Here we see the armies that came, and Jehoshaphat basically had no recourse. He couldn't actually fight against these people. So we look here where II Chronicles 20:12 says:

"O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee." (II Chronicles 20:12)

So, it was a case of standing still; it was a case of recognizing, that no, it was not something that they could do something about, but they simply had to stand still and look to God to do something; to actually intervene in their lives. Then Jahaziel got up and prophesied within the congregation and said; "...Be not afraid..." (II Chronicles 20:14-15). It says in II Chronicles 20:20:

"And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the [Eternal] your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper [just walk, do what is necessary]. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the [Eternal], and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the [Eternal]; for his mercy endureth for ever [their entire view was to God, for Him to relieve them of this problem]. And when they began to sing and to praise, the [Eternal] set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another." (II Chronicles 20:20-23)

And they started fighting among themselves, and the whole army was wiped out. The whole army was wiped out! You read on and you find that they were gathering the spoil. They spent some considerable time gathering that particular spoil from this army that was there. Here, God acted Himself as Mr Armstrong said; "When Almighty God does something Himself, by His own power alone, He does it in a manner so mighty and so vast our minds cannot comprehend it..." 'The Autobiography Chapter 35 ’ page 591. But in the case of a man, Jehoshaphat had to do something. He had to go out and go around and send his Levites and princes around, but it was a relatively small thing. It wasn't anything great and huge.

If we just turn back a couple of pages; there in something that in fact, probably sparked this concept within Jehoshaphat, because his father - when you are looking at his father, Asa, there was a prophecy against Asa because of the way in which Asa handled the armies coming against him, and it says in II Chronicles 16:9 talking about how he defeated all the large hosts previously, but it says:

"For the eyes of the [Eternal] run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him..." (II Chronicles 16:9)

I want you to notice that; "...whose heart is perfect toward him..." (II Chronicles 16:9). In other words, it's perfectly turned. It doesn't mean to say that it's perfect. It is perfect 'towards' God. It is turned towards God. It is trying to go in the right direction. Jehoshaphat wasn't perfect, but he was perfect in being turned towards Him. So, we also need to make sure that our hearts are turned that way.

If we look over in Isaiah 51, much of Isaiah isn't just for that time back then. Isaiah is a 'now' book, very much so, it says:

"[Listen] to me, ye that follow after righteousness..." (Isaiah 51:1)

You that are trying to be turned towards righteousness; who are turning towards that. You that follow after righteousness, you that seek the Eternal; you are trying to go ahead and do what you can. And Isaiah 51:2 says:

"Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah [we just had a look at Abraham and Sarah]... [Verse 3] For the [Eternal] shall comfort Zion...[Verse 4] "[Listen] unto me, my people..." (Isaiah 51:2-4)

In other words, first of all it says; listen to me you that follow after righteousness, that are turning that way. Then it says; listen to me 'my people,' because such a people that are turning and following after righteousness become the people of God. Isaiah 51:4:

"[Listen] unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation...and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people. My righteousness is near; my salvation [my rescue] is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait...Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath [it explains the physical things are not what you focus on]...[Listen] unto me, ye that know righteousness..." (Isaiah 51:4-7)

You see how the stages occur? First of all, it's you that follow after, turning in that direction, and then it's listen to Me, My people. Now, listen to Me, you that know righteousness. You that have gone through a certain amount, that you actually understand what righteousness is all about. He then starts to say here in Isaiah 51:7:

"...the people in whose heart is my law;..." (Isaiah 51:7)

Not that just the heart has turned, but the Law is actually in there in the inward parts, it has become converted. It is converted from being directed by a human - as Mr Armstrong was saying - by what we want to do, to what God's Law determines what we must do. Isaiah 51:7 says:

"...the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings [this is talking to you and me, it isn't just talking to people way back when]. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool..." (Isaiah 51:7-8)

The armies that come towards us, the dust that that is in the early light of the dawn, what are they going to do against the Eternal God? Because they understand that Okay, He starts very small in human beings; but when He acts, there is no comparison. At the moment, it's the human being stage. That's why we have this little group; but you see, you have got to understand this and get it through our thick skulls, because eventually there will be another stage, a different stage, where we have to shut-up, sit still and watch. That time will come. Isaiah 51:8 says:

"For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation [My resue] from generation to generation. Awake, awake [wake up], put on strength, O arm of the [Eternal]; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab [Egypt], and wounded the dragon? Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep [the 800 feet of water that split and allowed Ancient Israel to go through]; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Therefore the redeemed of the [Eternal] shall return, and come with singing unto Zion..." (Isaiah 51:8-11)

It will be at that time - the very start of the very Kingdom of God in a sense, is when that Church flees from wherever. And there is the ransomed of the Eternal - Zion - and we are looking there at 'singing unto Zion' Isaiah 51:11

"...and everlasting joy shall be upon their head [it will start there and go right into the Millenium itself, there won't be a break. From that point, the 1335 days, right into the Kingdom of God itself]: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;" (Isaiah 51:11-12)

What are we? I had a piece of beef steak last night. Where did the beef steak come from? It came from a cow. Where did the cow come from? It came from grass. "Of man which is made as grass." That's all we are. Just the same. Same stuff. We're human, we're physical. Are we afraid of another hunk of grass that comes towards us? Even if it does have an Exocet missile in its armoury. It doesn't make any difference. We're dealing with a different type of Being. A Being whose word controls their existence. All He has to do is say; "Hey, fall to pieces," and they will fall to pieces, complete with Exocet missile as well. Isaiah 51:13:

"And forgettest the [Eternal] thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor [where is it going to be, when God does act in a way that He has determined of old, when He split the sea]? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the [Eternal] thy God [your God, your Mighty One], that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The [Eternal] of hosts is his name [the Eternal of armies, the ones who can fight the way no army can fight against]. And I have put my words in thy mouth..." (Isaiah 51:13-16)

Here's the small bit. The words that are in my mouth now, that are coming out of my mouth and in yours; that were in Mr Armstrong's mouth that you just listened to. "I have put my words in your mouth", and it is the words of God that went through Mr Armstrong's mouth, not the words of man, and that is something we have got to understand, and all people will come to understand that. Isaiah 51:16:

"And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand [when the armies come against the Church, against Zion, the earth will split and they will be swallowed according to Revelation 12. I have done this...], that I may plant the heavens [there's the plan, that's the reason], and lay the foundations of the earth [through the Millennium they will actually see the earth change, so that when Abraham is standing there with the One that became Jesus Christ, and flies across the United States and sees the houses which are all ready, and sees this mass of people that have come out, and He says; there they are, as the stars], and say unto Zion, Thou art my people." (Isaiah 51:16)

What did He say? "[Listen] to me, ye that follow after righteousness..." (Isaiah 51:1). "[Listen] unto me, my people..." (Isaiah 51:4). [Listen] unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law..." (Isaiah 51:7). The heart has become converted. That's what He is talking about. But it starts small, not great, huge thing. They will eventually come to something which no man can do. No man has any power at all.

He says; "Do not fear." When you are in that stage, when you are in the small stage, don't fear about it, don't get beside yourself, it will get sorted. It will get sorted, and the God that will work within each and every one of us in a small way, in the ways that we are currently having to work, will eventually work in a big way because He will work by Himself under His own power.

Christ and the Apostles (PLAY FROM 45:46)

What about Christ and the apostles? Turn over to Revelation 20:4 it says:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them [hopefully, we will be on thrones and sitting upon them], and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God ["the word is in your mouth, that you may plant the heavens, that you may establish the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion you are my people"], and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4)

This is the first resurrection. So, here we see this resurrection and we see a thousand year rule. Within that thousand year rule - turn back to Matthew 19 - it's not just going to be a case of everybody sitting on a throne. There is a structure there. There is a structure within the very Government of God. Certain specific jobs have actually been given. It says over here in verse 27:

"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore [a good carnal reaction - look what we've done, what are we going to get]? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:27-28)

Now, it's interesting that Judas Iscariot was there at that particular time. However, I can almost certainly say that also Matthias was and the other one - Barsabas - because there was about one hundred twenty altogether that followed around Christ. These two had been with Him all the way through, (Acts 1:21-23). So it says here: "...I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28). Judas Iscariot was replaced, he was replaced presumably by an individual that was there.

Here, when we are looking at this, we can see the future. We can see how they will in fact have this role, this majesty that will be there, which will be given to the twelve apostles. All you have to do is turn over the page in Matthew 20:20 it says:

"Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom [Okay, they've got thrones, fine; but I want these two right next to the source of power]. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able." (Matthew 20:20-22)

Again, remember these people had not yet become converted. They were carnal individuals. They had a carnal view of life; a carnal view of what it meant to be in the Kingdom of God. But He says in Matthew 20:23:

"And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren [because they hadn't thought of it first, that's really what it was about]. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister [your bond-slave]; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:23-28)

This was the small bit. They didn't really think about that. What they thought about was; "Oh, I'm going to be sitting on the thrones. I'm going to be sitting on the thrones next to Christ. I'm the big cheese!" That's a carnal approach. He said; "Look, there's a stage first," that all of us have got to understand and we have got a certain job to do. It's a little job. It's not such a little job! It's a jolly hard job! It's a very difficult job to become as it says here – if you are going to be great, then you had better learn to serve. You learn to have a state of mind, the heart has got to change. It's not just the Ten Commandments. What is God's Law? What did Mr Armstrong always say? He said that the Law is Spiritual. It is a change in the very heart. To get that heart changed takes a lifetime, it takes a lifetime.

We are going to find ourselves in some difficult spots in the future. Turn over to John 16. We are going to find ourselves in some fairly tight situations. As we progress through life, we will do so, and in the future also there is going to be a time when we are going to have to just stop and sit still and allow God to do what He needs to be done. If we do not learn that now in small ways, how are we going to do that when the big time comes? When the big time comes, we have an army coming towards you and you can virtually see the whites of their eyes! Are you not going to think a little bit apprehensively? Or, have we learned in the small ways now? As it says here:

"Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me." (John 16:31-32)

That was His approach, that was what Christ understood. He understood that, Okay everyone deserts Him. What did Paul do? He said; "They've all deserted me." Why? Because they could have got chucked to the lions or they could have got crucified or something like that, and everybody deserted him in Rome. He said; "They all deserted me" - as far as Christ was concerned - "but I am not deserted because the Father is with me." He had a certain confidence. He knew that relationship with God was always there. It would never be taken away from him. Whatever they did, they could never take that away. They can take everything else, but they can never, ever take that away from us; and this He said ...

"...I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have [trials]..." (John 16:33)

Remember what Mr Armstrong said, he said; "God's Law will give peace. It will give an abundance." But he says, the problem is, we put right our side; but everybody else isn't going to put right their side and that's going to give us trouble.

"...In the world ye shall have [trials] tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

How did He overcome the world? Because He understood that the Father was with Him all the time. Nothing was going to take that away from Him. You say; "It's only a small way." Yes, it is only a small way, but God is not working on the big time yet. He will. The big time will come, but we'd better learn how to operate within the small time first. Why? Because He is operating within human beings. This is the example that we have been given. An example that we should all take to heart.

Our Lives Today (PLAY FROM 54:18)

And so we come to ourselves today, we've seen examples there; but we look at ourselves today, we look at the Church today, and we see potential problems. Turn over to II Peter 3:1 it says:

"This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:" (II Peter 3:1-2)

Why? Because there's your foundation. The apostles - then - that were actually sent to the people, and the prophets of old. There's your foundation. That is what we also have. II Peter 3:3:

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts," (II Peter 3:3)

Walking after what they want. They have got their mind on what they want, and we have got to understand this. There is a difference. We have got to make sure that our minds are properly turned, and they are turned to the way God wants. As Mr Armstrong said in the tape we just listened to – he wasn't going to go ahead and preach what the people wanted. He got up and he preached what God wanted, and we have got to also make sure that we are not necessarily doing what everybody else wants; we are doing what God wants. That is important. It is important for all of us.

We have got to make sure we understand what it is God wants. Many times, we ourselves will think these are all the things that God wants, and we're wrong. We get our own lists together. It is a case of continual repentance; a continual coming to understand what God wants. If we don't do that, and we start to say; "Right, this far, no further." Then we've got problems, major problems. II Peter 3:3:

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts [what they want], 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 [there's a problem there, it says very clearly what the problem is]. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing [or compacted] out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:" (II Peter 3:3-6)

It's interesting, here this world at that time, standing out of the water and in the water, and the water overflowed and the whole lot perished. What is our civilization based on? This is no new doctrine, just something that occurred to me. What is our civilization based on? It's based on technology, isn't it? It is technology. Standing on technology; standing in technology, words going through here through technology. Isn't it interesting that chances are, it will be technology that completely destroys this earth through atomic warfare, through all the various weaponry that we've got? It says: This world that stood in the water, coming out of the water was overflowed with water. In the technology, out of the technology, being overflowed with technology. Just an interesting aside that occurred to me the other night. II Peter 3:7:

"But the heavens and the earth, which are now [who made the heavens and the earth? Remember what was said in Isaiah 51? Don't fear man. What's man?], by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. [Verse 14] Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. " (II Peter 3:7,14)

Get the small things right within what we have jurisdiction over. We've got to get the small things correct. When we have got that right, God can then use us in a way that He determines and eventually we will stand and we will see God at work without any men. We will witness these things. This is what seems to be the case throughout the Bible and there is no difference today; there is no difference – this God that does not change. If we turn over to I Corinthians 1:27, it says:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise [He has 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 [Waht is God doing? He is working in small ways, confounding the wise of this world]; 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)

This is all part of the Plan. He is working today through very small people, very small groups, through very insignificant ways. Yet, He will do that to confound the wise that no flesh is eventually going to glory in His presence. If you turn over to II Corinthians 3:17, you see, what He is doing with these small people, what He is actually creating at the moment it says:

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Corinthians 3:17-18)

We are being transformed into the One who will sit on the throne with the twelve, sitting on their thrones, judging Israel. We also will be sitting on thrones, transformed into the same image as our Elder Brother. That is the process that is going on right now. Over in II Corinthians 4:6 which is the next chapter, notice it says:

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ [which is what we just read, so here is this knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ; in other words this transformation process]. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels [we are in the small stage now, in flesh and blood], that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (II Corinthians 4:6-7)

How do we handle this small stage? What are we supposed to do? Here it tells you. II Corinthians 4:8:

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed..." (II Corinthians 4:8)

Remember what Christ said? He said "they have all forsaken me, but I'm not forsaken, the Father is with me" and they'll never take that away from Him. And they'll never take that away from us.

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed [we don't necessarily understand what's going on all the time], but not in despair [because the Father is with us, because we are on our knees each day]; Persecuted [and that will come], but not forsaken [we know that we are not forsaken, it's the small stage now]; cast down, but not destroyed;" (II Corinthians 4:8-9)

Even if we are physically killed, we are not destroyed. An interesting thing I heard about the other day. You know when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly and it goes into a chrysalis? Basically, the caterpillar dissolves, doesn't it? Have you ever squashed a chrysalis? Being a little boy at one time...! Inside the caterpillar disintegrates. It becomes a mush. But you know, one part doesn't. You know what it is? It is the head, the head remains basically intact apparently. I've never put that to the experimental test yet. I'd never noticed that at the time, but apparently the head remains.

Isn't it interesting, you know, that we can be destroyed – the physical body can be destroyed, but what character God has built within us, you are never going to take that away. Man cannot take away that. God can take it away. He can destroy it completely, but man can't. It says here; "... cast down, but not destroyed;" (II Corinthians 4:9). You can't get rid of somebody who God is looking after. We have got to make sure that we hold onto that. If we turn over to Revelation 3:7 it says:

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write..." (Revelation 3:7)

The angel or the messenger; and that messenger was Mr Herbert Armstrong. As far as I'm concerned, there is no doubt about that. I cannot see anything else. How do you get greater revelation than the meaning of life? There is no greater revelation than the meaning of life. Revelation 3:7:

"And to the [messenger] of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth [notice, opens and no MAN shuts]; and shutteth, and no man openeth [no MAN opens, make note of that]; I know thy works [talking to this messenger]: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it..." (Revelation 3:7-8)

No MAN can shut it, including the Attorney General. Man could not shut that. Not possible. Why? Because God said it's not possible. You see, what we have got to understand is that there is more in these verses here that we need to understand and be aware of. Let's go on to Revelation 3:10, it says:

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience..." (Revelation 3:10)

In these sections, what happens? He starts talking to the messenger. Starts talking to the leader; and then it merges with the people that are called as a result of God working through that leader. He starts talking at the end towards the people. And here it says: "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience..." (Revelation 3:10). There are many scriptures that talk about; "blessed is he that waits, when it comes to the 1335 days" and we await with interest what in fact will occour. Revelation 3:10:

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of [trial], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:10-11).

I shut and no man opens. That is what we are looking at today. A lot of human organizations trying to open what they see as the work that Mr Armstrong did. Some of them saying they are going to do a greater work than Mr Armstrong did. They don't read what he actually did say. He said that phase of the work has come to an end. That phase of the work is over. The gospel has gone out to the world as a witness.

We are in a different phase today. We are in a small phase today, starting very, very small within the minds of individual small little groups like this. You say; "Well what is He going to do?" Well, there are hints, there are hints. If we just think on the hints of what in fact is coming. Revelation 12:7 it says:

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." (Revelation 12:7-12)

Now we understood this to be, probably, probably, not definite, but probably around the time of the Attorney General. That is what Mr Armstrong saw, that the time of this casting down. From that time forward, you know; "...he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." (II Thessalonians 2:7). We saw that occur. The Church was put back on track, but once he was taken out of the way, then the full-fledged fury came on the Church. We see the disintegration of the Church and it is a continuation of what is happening here. What do we see? We see men trying to go ahead and start organizations. That's not the stage, that is not the stage that we are looking at. What it appears is as Revelation 12:13 says here:

"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child [he persecuted the Church]. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness..." (Revelation 12:13-14)

One flows straight into the other. Persecution causes the fleeing. What persecution? Is it just what we have had so far? No, there is something else. Something will happen. I don't know what, but it indicates that persecution is the problem. If we don't learn the little ways now, what is going to happen in the future? Turn back to Luke 21:19 it says:

"In your patience possess ye your souls." (Luke 21:19)

Again, another place that says; "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." (Daniel 12:12). "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of [trial]..." (Revelation 3:10). It says Luke 21:12, if you go back there:

"But before all these [talking about the heavenly signs], they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you..." (Luke 21:12)

Now I know this also applies to the Middle Ages and times like that. Even back in the time of the apostles, because it says, you. It is talking singular to them. But it flows from there into the end time because it said in Luke 21:19:

"In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." (Luke 19-20)

And then flee. We are looking at the abomination that makes desolate, which ties in with Jerusalem being surrounded by armies. The persecution flows into that. It says in Luke 21:12:

"But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues [which were the Law Courts at that time], and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony [Strong's G3142 for a marturion]. Settle it therefore in your hearts..." (Luke 21:12-14)

Now, how do we do this? How do you settle it in your hearts? It's because we are troubled now, but we are not distressed. It's because we are perplexed, but we are not in despair. We just read all this in II Corinthians. We practice. God has put us through training. It's the little things. It's like Moses tending sheep. Have you ever kept sheep? You probably threw stones at them to start off with and wondered why they didn't follow him. You don't do that to sheep. I really have great sympathy. Here's a General used to making a command and getting the army to obey him and all these thousands of troops and he is given a flock of sheep to look after. Not one will do a thing that he says. How humbling would it be? Luke 21:14:

"Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish." (Luke 21:14-18)

Now there is something that is going to happen, don't ask me what. Is it links that we've got with some kind of Zionist movement that will cause an outrage in the world? Therefore, the Church will be hated to the degree it is? You can speculate till the cows come home. But something! Why send an army after a Church? It doesn't make sense. There is something that is going to happen that will put God's people in a prominent position and we've got to be able to stand up and be counted.

If we do not learn that now in small ways how are we going to go ahead and do that when the big time comes? We have to act in the way that we always are going to have to act, relying on God. That is the way of our life. That is the way of our entire life; "troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" (II Corinthians 4:8-9). That is what we are practicing. What will eventually happen as he says in Luke 21:25:

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea + and the waves roaring;" (Luke 21:25)

We've just seen over in the area of India and around that area, total destruction from the tsunami there. You know, earthquakes in different places, with the seas and the waves roaring – that it says is going to increase. With the heavenly signs it will increase even more. If you start getting heavenly bodies coming close to the earth, what's going to happen to the sea? You think you've got tides now? If you get something actually go into the sea, what kind of tsunami comes from that? Luke 21:26:

"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things [looking beyond these things] which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then [for us] look up, and lift up your heads [get your heads up, stand up straight, shut-up as He said before; hold your peace, stand still]; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:26-28)

It's coming, but we have got to practice now in little ways. That is what we are doing. We are practicing now in little ways. Just to close and then we will sing this. Let's just go and remind ourselves over in Psalm 46 again. As we sing this, just imagine, just think that the things we are learning now are preparing us perhaps for events like this; Psalm 46:1:

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear [we are not going to be afrightened], though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof [all nations are against us in some way]. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad [that shall have the right ways of God within it] the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High [God Himself]. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved [she shall not be overtaken by the flood]: God shall help her, and that right early [the early light]. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted [all He has to do is give the word]. The [Eternal] of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the [Eternal], what desolations he hath made in the earth [to what end?]. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot [armoured personnel carriers and tanks] in the fire. [Shut up] Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the [nations], I will be exalted in the earth. The [Eternal] of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah."

Which means, think about that.

{1} Editor's note: More information can be found in 'The United States and Britain in Prophecy