Article Based on a sermon given UB 6 April 2018

Words Fit to Teach

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

I'd like to thank the sermonette speaker for an introduction to my sermon, as one scripture - guarding your mouth - is certainly something which I'll be dealing with. But one scripture which is key during Unleavened Bread is Exodus 13:7, which has a great deal to say to us as far as our mouths are concerned:

"Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters [the focus of this passage is actually eating unleavened bread during the time of Unleavened Bread]. And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the [Eternal] did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt [it's pointing the sons and grandsons back to that event]. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes [very similar to the 'mark of the beast' which is a mark on the right hand and forehead and this also is a mark, a sign, on the right hand and memorial between your eyes; and the reason for it though is] that the [Eternal's] law [the words, guarding those words] may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the [Eternal] brought thee out of Egypt." (Exodus 13:7-9)

The question I want to ask today is; why the law in the mouth? What is the Law in the mouth for? Why the mouth, specifically? Now, it's partly answered by the context, if you notice it says; "And thou shalt shew thy son in that day [from that mouth, you're actually going to show your son, you're going to talk, and explain, and illustrate, the various events that have come up and arise], saying, This is done because of that which the [Eternal] did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt." (Exodus 13:8). It goes on in other areas as well. Notice verse 14:

"And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the [Eternal] brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:" (Exodus 13:14)

So, 'why the law in the mouth' is partly answered by the context. The context is to teach children and is certainly mentioned here in Deuteronomy 6:

"Hear, O Israel: The [Eternal] our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart [notice, the words of God, and it's words being commanded this day, referring back to Deuteronomy 5, the Ten Commandments; it says]: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)

So, why the law in the mouth, when you're looking over in Exodus 13? It's because you're taking that word and you're actually teaching. Now, because we are going to be kings and priests in the future this has a great deal to say to each and every one of us. Turn to Malachi 2:

"And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the [Eternal] of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth [so what was it there for? It was there to be taught to the people, and we are to be kings and priests, and so the law of truth needs to be in our mouths], and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips [that includes ourselves in the future] should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the [Eternal] of hosts." (Malachi 2:4-7)

So why the law in the mouth? So the law, the Torah, God's pointing, it frames all the words that are coming out of that mouth and they are coming out of that mouth to teach. To teach the young ones, certainly, and in the case of the Old Testament priests, to teach the rest of the population as well. In the case of ourselves, it's a case of; what are we going to teach in the future? It's interesting that Mr Armstrong, in the sermon that he gave in 1985 on Pentecost, his last Pentecost sermon, entitled 'Why the Firstfruits?', it says:

"In other words, Jesus came to QUALIFY TO RULE in the place of Satan. He came to call a firstfruits out to become teachers and to become rulers and governors (like He is, with Him when He sits on the throne); and rule the others, and teach the others when God starts to save the world. He didn’t come to teach us just to be saved. He came to teach us TO BECOME TEACHERS!" 'Why the Firstfruits'

So, it very clearly says there, why the firstfruits? he answers the question - to become teachers. He goes on, he says:

"Has my teaching been in vain, brethren? Sometimes I wonder. I get terribly discouraged. I don’t think you get it. I think so much Protestantism has rubbed off on you that you just don’t understand the truth when I give it to you. And it is really Christ giving it to you through me, because I’m certainly not competent to give it to you. Of myself, I could not do it at all."

"Why are we the firstfruits? WHY? I’m not talking about what, when, or how, or anything else; but why? We are the firstfruits to become teachers to teach others. The Church is school. And we are to be taught the way of God, the way of life; and to be taught of God’s program–of God’s program to reproduce Himself..." 'Why the Firstfruits'

So, the answer to the question he posed, which is; "Why the Firstfruits?" is to become teachers. But the question is; why the law in our mouth? The answer is to become teachers of that law. He said, basically; "WHY? I’m not talking about what, when, or how, or anything else; but why?" Well, basically, what I'm talking about is how and what. And that how and what is the Law of God, it's the way of God, it's the mind of God.

So, the question to ask, the real question that we need to be constantly aware of is; Are our words fit to teach? And the title for the sermon; 'Words Fit To Teach', because that's what we are needing. The areas I'd like to go into are:

1) Christ as the Living Word, because He's the example that we look to and He's the example that we need to be referring to continually.

2) Words in due season, because in Matthew 24, it talks about words in due season as something that needs to be going on right the way through to the end.

3) Babylonian syncretism, because Babylonian syncretism is Babylon, or Babel, or mixture of the languages; it's not taking that pure word and delivering that pure word according to its intent its spiritual intent. But Babylonian syncretism is something that is a problem within the Church, the wider Church certainly.

4) Speaking the truth in love, because that Living Word - the Living Word being Christ Himself - expressing Himself through ourselves, should be speaking that truth in love.

5) Teaching God's law in the future, because that's the purpose as far as why the law in our mouths? So that we've got words fit to teach.

Christ the Living Word (PLAY FROM 08:52)

So, Christ the Living Word. Let's turn over to John 1:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Now we know this Word, in the Old Testament, as the Eternal. So why does John not say that in the beginning was the Eternal? Why doesn't he say in the beginning was Grace? Or, in the beginning was..... there are so many adjectives that could be used to describe this particular Individual; and yet, the one word 'Word' or 'Logos' was used. And if you think about it, He could have been called absolutely anything, but it goes on in verse 14:

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

So, this Word was a certain kind of word. That law in the mouth - that law in the mouth that's got to be there to be taught in the future, to have words fit to teach in the future - it has got to be filled with grace and truth, because that's the way Christ was. That's the way that Christ is. And so, when we are looking in the future, at how this world will be shaped, fashioned, reformed - socially and spiritually - it's going to be filled with the words that come out of our mouths. And they had better be filled with grace and truth as Christ was. John 1:15:

"John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me [he recognized that He was the Eternal One] And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given [through] Moses, but grace and truth came [through] Jesus Christ." (John 1:15-17)

But notice, it's grace and truth; and the grace and truth comes through Him using words. How do you express grace and truth? You've got to have words, words that are fit to teach. And He's giving us an example and that example is something that we need to take note of; because we are going to have to have words fit to teach in the future. And the reason why the Law has got to be in our mouths is so that we have got the words fit to teach in the future.

Pentecost is all about Firstfruits. Why the Firstfruits? Well, to be the teachers. But what are we going to teach? What's the core of what we are actually going to be teaching? That core is the Law in our mouths. Turn over to Luke 4:4, it's interesting, it says in this confrontation with Satan:

"And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (Luke 4:4)

Now if that is the case, and Christ lived a life without sin then He lived by every word of God. He lived by every word, and we can see that word being expounded in verse 16 where it says:

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet [Isaiah]. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book..." (Luke 4:16-20)

He closed it in mid-section, just before it goes on to the end time and the fulfilment when Christ comes the second time. Luke 4:20:

"And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." (Luke 4:20-21)

He said a good deal more than just that, but that scripture; "...anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives..." (Luke 4:18). Here are the words fit to teach that were in Christ's mouth and verse 22 says:

"And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?" (Luke 4:22)

But if we are looking at this for an example; the words coming out were gracious, they were loving, they were excellent. Again the question we all need to ask ourselves is, are our words fit to teach? Because we are going to have to teach in the future, Pentecost is all about being teachers. What we teach is the Law in our mouths, the expression of that law, the expression of that way of life. So we see the positive side here.

Now turn to I Peter 2:18;

"Servants, be subject to your masters [the word 'masters' here is Strong's 1203 'despotes' from which we get the word 'despot'] with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted [means 'punched' Strong's 2852] for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled [including and particularly when He was being crucified, because it said; "...He saved others; let him save himself..." (Luke 23:35)], reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:" (I Peter 2:18-23)

In this case, the expression of the Christ, as the Living Word, is the lack of negative comments that are there - again, words fit to teach. This character that Christ is, and was, at that time, is the same character that will be putting the entire world onto its correct track again. And part of the words fit to teach, is that there is no negativity there; "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:" (I Peter 2:22)

We need to ask ourselves, is guile found in our mouth? Do we say one thing, but mean something different? Do we slide comments in there to try and elevate ourselves, the snide comments, to push somebody else down? "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again..." (I Peter 2:22-23). Do we? Do we revile again? It's so easy, even privately. Do we "good-mouth" those that hate us and despitefully use and persecute us (Matthew 5:44)? It's not just a tall order, it's an impossible order for a human being - it's impossible for a human being; but again, with God's help, all things are possible.

"...when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:" (I Peter 2:23)

It's interesting, the reason why He committed Himself to Him that judges righteously and the reason why He endured was for the joy that was set before Him. Remember what it says here in Hebrews 12:

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

So this is where these words are coming from; this is where the frame of mind was coming from; " Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:" (I Peter 2:23). Yes He did; but He did it for the joy that was set before Him. Because He had to have the words fit to teach in the future, setting an example for us. Why Firstfruits? To be the teachers. Why have the Law in our mouths? To have something to teach; that's what it's all about, to have something to teach. And that needs the expression, actually a rehearsal within our own lives; and part of having the words fit to teach is to be actually be applying those words right now.

Turn over to Isaiah 2:2 and just remind ourselves, as far as Christ is concerned, He lived this certain way, in human form and it's the same way, same frame of mind, the same attitude, the same character that will be in the future which will produce a Utopia. Here it says:

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the [Eternal's] house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the [Eternal], to the house of the God of Jacob [it's not just 'to the God of Jacob', because He was the God of Jacob; it's 'to the house of the God of Jacob', it's the temple , which temple you are as far as the Church is concerned]; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion [again another word for the Church] shall go forth the law, and the word of the [Eternal] from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:2-3)

So that Word is Christ as the Living Word, yes, but it is us who are actually giving those words. So, why the firstfruits? Well, to be the teachers. Why the law in our mouths? To have those living words to teach and words fit to teach. Isaiah 2:4:

"...for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the [Eternal]." (Isaiah 2:3-5)

So Jesus Christ is certainly going to be teaching in the future, but He's going to be largely teaching through us; IF, AND ONLY IF, we have the words fit to teach. That's the message, that's the core subject. The core subject is; we are going to be teachers, if we have got the words fit to teach. If we haven't got the words fit to teach, if we are not applying them ourselves now, how can we teach them? The trouble is all of us fall down on this. And yet the message; "...that the [Eternal's] law may be in thy mouth..." (Exodus 13:9). It's in the mouth as the words, as the Law, fit to teach.

Words in Due Season (PLAY FROM 22:05)

Words in due season; turn over to Matthew 24:44:

"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:44)

People send me information and I can think of one particular case, where I got this thick pamphlet of information. There were pages, pages, and pages of calculations as to when Christ was going to come. Well that is not what it is all about, it says; "You just be ready." And it's talking about ready spiritually, predominantly - predominantly, ready spiritually. "...for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:44). So, whatever calculations you make, the chances are you are going to be wrong. Matthew 24:45:

"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household [and that's the ministry], to give them meat in due season?" (Matthew 24:45)

And that, hopefully, is what I'm doing right now, and then we will have this afternoon; the Meaning of the Day from Mr Henderson. But; "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?" (Matthew 24:45). Words in due season, it is spiritual food that is being talked about.

A lady who we were talking to at one time, had to go to a certain area and had a service with another group, because she didn't have a computer, she wasn't able to log in. And so she actually went to have a service with another group. It's interesting that, during that service, it was Unleavened Bread as far as I remember, there was one service, not two, one service and there was no meal midday. Now we were talking about this the other day and the food in due season, as far as Mr Armstrong was concerned - let me just read you something:

"You ministers be sure to explain carefully [this is something we need to be doing which I didn't realize before] the Sabbath before the meaning of this night of rejoicing and then tell the brethren to bear that in mind as the background and focus of the spiritual fellowship through that particular evening. But we feel that it is better NOT to give them an outline of some kind of service...they will all get to hear from God's ministers twice the very next day, the Holy Day, anyway. So, no Bible Study or sermonizing is necessary on the previous evening." (Ministerial Services, PGR 19 February 1982)

But we do need to have a sermonette at least on the Sabbath before. We should have had that implemented and I didn't realize that at all.That's from 1982, looking back on a statement made by Mr Armstrong, back in 1972, I think it was, when it actually was changed. We were finding that people were seizing the opportunity - let's put it that way; and waxing eloquent about all kinds of things on the Night to be Observed, rather than concentrating on what the evening is all about. In March 1984, it says:

"Be sure to also remind the brethren to plan and prepare well in advance for this spring festival period so they won't come up short at the last minute because of meal needs on the first holy day. There should be two services on that day as on all holy days except Atonement." (Ministerial Services PGR 16 March 1984) {1}

That was from Mr Joseph Tkach, as the Head of Ministerial Services on the Night to be Much Observed, Days of Unleavened Bread in 1984 not long before Mr Armstrong died. And yet, he changed it; he went ahead and changed it. We need to make sure, when we are thinking about words in due season that we put the emphasis in the right place; because there are groups around at the moment, who have bought into this one-service and no meal idea and it defeats the object.

That's not what we need. Better to cut down the elaborate nature, if there is an elaborate nature of the Night to be Much Observed and then make sure that we have our priorities right for the next day, so that we can absorb the words fit to teach, because that's what it's all about. That is the reason why we have Holy Days, the Holy Days are to instruct us. The Holy Days are to try and focus our minds in a certain direction and words fit to teach on this particular day, are essential. And so, Matthew 24:46 says:

"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing [words fit to teach, words in due season]. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods." (Matthew 24:46-47)

So, if we turn over to John 15:1 it says:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he [prunes] it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are [pruned, Strong's 2513 means 'clean' and also means pruned] through the word which I have spoken unto you." (John 15:1-3)

Notice what it is, it's the word that has been spoken that actually prunes us. It shows us what we should be doing and what we shouldn't be doing. That's the Law of God, the Torah of God, pointing the way. What does Isaiah 30:21 say?

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:21)

Do I turn the television on or do I not? Do I get some prayer in today or do I not? Do I study for half an hour or do I read my novel for half an hour? These are the kind of questions we can ask ourselves, but are our words fit to teach? Will they be fit to teach in the future? Because those words, under the direction of Christ, are going to produce Utopia. That is what they need to be doing, and that is a tall order. That is a tall order, if we are not part of it now in our daily lives, then how can we possibly do that? John 15:4:

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me [remember, this is the Eternal of the Old Testament speaking]. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you [the word abide is just simply 'stays', stays in an active way in that sense, Strong's 3306], ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples [my students]." (John 15:4-8)

So, what's that fruit? Well, that fruit is the words that we have ourselves which are ready to teach - words fit to teach. It's interesting, Hebrews 10:25 talks about;

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25).

Well the day certainly appears to be approaching, with what's going on in the news. But what are we assembling for? We are assembling to listen to the words. We are assembling to hear words spoken to us, and those words fit to teach need to be practiced now and in Colossians 4:6 it says:

"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt [like Jesus Christ, the end time is due season, as far as we are concerned now], that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Colossians 4:6)

Now when we read that passage; we assume that's talking now as we go around our daily lives. But we can also apply it in a much broader sense as well; because eventually, in the world tomorrow, we are going to have to answer every man and so part of that; "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man [in the future]." (Colossians 4:6). In the future when we are actually assisting Christ and these words are words fit to teach. Let's turn over to James 3:2:

"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." (James 3:2)

The interesting thing is, in this section, it talked about bridling the whole body and putting a guard on our mouth, is certainly something we need to do, but how do you change the words? Eventually, you will make a slip, what's really in there will come out. You know, you come up to somebody and you say; "That's a nice fat - I mean, 'HAT'; sorry!" Because these things come out, they slip out inadvertently, the Freudian slip is real and it's genuine. James 3:2:

"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. [It's not just a case of bridling, as he goes on and explains in verse 7] For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame;" (James 3:2,7-8)

So, if we try and tame it ourselves, if we try and get words fit to teach ourselves, we will fail. It's got to come from a spiritual source; it has got to come from God Himself. God's Law is a spiritual law as Paul says; "...the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." (Romans 7:14). And the question to ask is, are our words fit to teach? Yes, but we need to recognize where they come from; and this section here in James 3:8 deals with this:

"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" (James 3:8-11)

And again, fluid - be it air, be it water - is a symbol of the Spirit of God, so is a fountain. The spiritual source for our words and the spiritual source for our thinking. James 3:12:

"Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This [so-called] wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish [the envying and strife in our hearts, because that's where our words are going to come from]. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable [we need to ask ourselves when it lists qualities like this; are the words that we utter, fit to teach, are they being...]peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:12-18)

Is that what our words do? Christ is not going to change. It's not just a case of pouring out the Spirit, the Spirit has got to go somewhere; it has got to actually be active. And as far as the future is concerned, He pours out the Spirit on all flesh, but that Spirit has got to be active, it's got to be directed. The Law is the riverbed down which the Spirit flows and it needs to be practiced and used at this present time so that we have the words fit to teach in the future.

Babylonian Syncretism (PLAY FROM 38:00)

But there is a syncretism, Revelation 18:3:

"For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication..." (Revelation 18:3)

It's interesting, Matthew 24:49 says that: "And shall begin to [beat] his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;" (Matthew 24:49)

This is a prophecy, and this is a problem within the Church and it goes immediately on then after this section, at the end of Matthew 24. It goes straight into the next chapter, talking of the wise and foolish virgins. (Matthew 25:1). And so, you are looking at an end-time problem, an end-time difficulty within the Church. It's been talking about words in due season, or food in due season just before that section. But Revelation 18:3 says:

"For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication [and so have certain of us - all of us - to some degree; Mr Armstrong said there's too much Protestantism in the Church. There is a problem with mixing the words, which is syncretism, yet a pure word, not Babylon, not Babel, not the confusion of words, not syncretism, and eating and drinking with the drunken], and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Revelation 18:3-4)

Now, we have come out to some degree anyway; all of us need to make sure that we are doing that on a day-by-day basis. But He is saying; "Come out of her completely, totally, utterly." Particularly because of this particular juncture and what she is about to receive, as it says in Revelation 18:5:

"For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double..." (Revelation 18:5-6)

So there is a specific time frame on this event. It's coming out of her completely at this juncture. But we need to make sure that we are coming out of her completely, to some degree, all the time, as we find elements of Protestantism, as we find elements of Catholicism, and elements of this worldly thinking. And worldly thinking is pumped out by the media.

Babylon and syncretism, mixing the truth with Babylon, with the Babylonian or Babel Mystery Religion, is something that was a controversy here in John 4:6:

"Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour [the sixth hour is about midday basically, the sun is at the highest, verse 19]. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." (John 4:6,19-20)

And here was this controversy between the Samaritans and the Jews at that time and the Samaritans looked at Mt. Gerizim, near Jacob's well, as the place of worship, it was the Hill of Blessing; and Mt. Ebal was the Hill of Cursing. Mt. Gerizim was the hill of blessing in the blessing and cursings ancient cycle that was done (Deuteronomy 27:12) . She is pointing this out to Christ in John 4:19:

"The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." (John 4:19-23)

And how do you worship in spirit and in truth? Again, it is what is coming out of the mouth, what is coming out of our words. Are we ready? Are we fit to teach? Again; "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44). That's the purpose of it; the Last Day and, therefore, able to teach in an adequate way.

Turn over to Isaiah 66:1, we are the spiritual temple and this controversy was over the temple. Even to this day, the Samaritans have a controversy with the Jews and they get up there and they say their particular version of the Law is the true version as opposed to that of the Jews'. The controversy is still there. But, here it says:

"Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house [the temple] that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the [Eternal]: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:1-2)

So this is what the actual temple, the residence of God, is going to be in the future. It's going to be an individual who "...is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2) as it says here. Isaiah 66:3:

"He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations." (Isaiah 66:3)

Again, why the law in our mouths? To be the teachers and our words have got to be fit to be taught. Notice in Isaiah 66:5, He's talking about the temple in verse one and two, He's asking where is this temple? The temple consists of the Church, the spiritual temple; that's what's being talked about here:

"Hear the word of the [Eternal], ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified..." (Isaiah 66:5)

Remember the context of this particular passage in Isaiah 66. It is talking to us, specifically. It is a reverse prophecy, starting from; "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth..." (Isaiah 65:17) going backwards in time. And then coming into our time, our end time now. This is the section that we are reading at this juncture and He's talking about the temple, the measuring of the temple; making sure that temple has got words fit to teach, has got words that can then go out and be used, and give to the world as a whole. And that's absolutely crucial. Isaiah 66:5:

"Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the [Eternal] be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple..." (Isaiah 66:5-6)

So, which temple is he talking about? Well, it's the temple in Isaiah 66:2, talking about the Church; "...to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2). He has got the words fit to teach. Isaiah 66:6:

"...a voice from the temple, a voice of the [Eternal] that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." (Isaiah 66:6-8)

Her children have that word. Again; "I will raise [them] up at the last day." (John 6:44). They are raised up at the last day for a purpose - to do the teaching. But what are they going to teach? They're going to teach the Law of God that is in their mouths. That is what these days signify as it mentions over in Exodus 13.

Speaking the Truth in Love (PLAY FROM 48:36)

Ephesians 4:1:

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called," (Ephesians 4:1)

What is the vocation wherewith we were called? It's to become teachers in the world tomorrow. So, what's he talking about? I beseech you that you walk worthy of that vocation - the vocation of being teachers in the world tomorrow. Ephesians 4:2 says:

"With all lowliness and meekness [this is how it's done, the same as with Christ; He found Himself as a human being and humbled Himself...] with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;" (Ephesians 4:2)

How do you do it with lowliness and meekness? Do you just go around with your head stooped? That's ridiculous! That's not what it's talking about; it's lowliness and meekness in the words that we use, in the expressions that we have. Ephesians 4:3:

"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:3)

These are the areas that we need to be asking ourselves; whether in fact, we are doing them? Ephesians 4:13:

"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" (Ephesians 4:13)

Who positively was filled with grace and truth, and who lacked negativity, when He was reviled, reviled not again. Those two sides of the coin give the expression that we can look at for Christ's example. Ephesians 4:13:

"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love [our words have got to be speaking the truth in love], may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:14-16)

Again, what's the purpose of the Church? Why is the Church there? Why the Firstfruits? The Firstfruits are there to do the teaching; and what are they going to teach? Well, the Law in the mouth and, therefore, when is that Law going to be there? It's going to be there right from the 'get-go' as they say in America. It is interesting, Matthew 5:43 says:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven..." (Matthew 5:43-45)

Even with Satan, when you think of Satan and the Father, and what is prophesied as far as his satanic rule is concerned; not only will that come to an end, but Satan himself will be locked away for eternity. You think; well, how can you lock somebody away for eternity? You know, prisons are vile places, but what else could be done with that mindset? It's got to be locked away. It is mentioned in Revelation 20 about the age-lasting fire, it gives the indication that a demon will be locked in a fiery pit of some description. I just wonder, whether that is just so whatever is made is destroyed immediately.

But again, as far as speaking the truth in love, the agape love can mean correction and rebuke; but it is always, but always, with the best interest at heart - always. Again, is ours? Is our word to the best interest in heart? Is it trying to do the best for somebody? Even when you are to correct something? What about our children and what example do we give? Ephesians 4:21:

"If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus [the truth is expressed in words]: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another." (Ephesians 4:21-25)

Again, these are words fit to teach; if we 'embellish' the truth, what are we trying to do? Are we trying to push somebody down and pull ourselves up so often? Ephesians 4:29:

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29)

Do our words do that? Yet, these are the words that reflect the Law in our mouths, because the Law is a law of love, a law of concern, of consideration. It is; "...speaking the truth in love..." (Ephesians 4:15) all the time. Ephesians 4:30:

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God [the Holy Breath of God], whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption [and this is how it's done...]. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour [here's another one of these lists that we can go through and ask ourselves, are we really reflecting this?], and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:30-32)

And it says; "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2-3). That's what he begins the chapter with. And, if you turn over to Matthew 12:33 you know, Christ didn't mince His words when He was dealing with the Pharisees, but it still was done in love. It was still done with agape, even in correction and rebuke. It was still for the overall good:

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:33-34)

So you can put a guard on your mouth, yes, and Proverbs gives us a clear indication that a guard has got to be placed on our mouths; but if we want to solve the problem, it's got to be deeper than that. You don't control the tongue by controlling the tongue. Eventually, it will slip out, eventually, something will come up. In my experience, it's when you've done something, something has gone wrong, and you're angry about it. As it said; "...all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking..." (Ephesians 4:31). These things seem to go wrong - and the wrong nail gets hit! It's the thumbnail instead of the nail you were aiming for, and then the words are not as they should be, in many cases. Words fit to teach? No, they're not. Matthew 12:34:

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart..." (Matthew 12:34-35)

So, controlling the tongue is not controlling the tongue. Controlling the tongue is having God's converted heart; with a converted heart, then that controls the tongue. What flows out, will flow out down the riverbed of God's Law, because conversion involves the Spirit of God. Matthew 12:35:

"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matthew 12:35-36)

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

He's got to be ready to teach these individuals that come up in the day of judgment. We will undoubtedly be dealing with people at that time, that we are dealing with at the moment - what kind of impression have we left? Are those words fit to teach? Those words are not necessarily those that are going to be given in the time of the world tomorrow - it's the words that we've been speaking today that will then be referred back to by us in the world tomorrow. Can we do that? Is that the example that we have? No doubt to these questions; all of us will say yes - in part. Matthew 12:36:

"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37)

God's Law in the Future (PLAY FROM 1:00:05)

Final point; turn over to Psalm 40:1, it's an interesting Psalm. It's a Psalm of David and he talks about waiting patiently for the Eternal:

"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." (Psalm 40:1-2)

So, he's been given the law, he's been given the right approach, but it says in Psalm 40:6:

"Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required [this was quoted over in "...to do thy will, O God," (Hebrews 10:7), but I want you to notice what it actually says]. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation..." (Psalm 40:6-9)

Notice what it says; he brings out the fact that the Law of God was in his heart, but it's not just in his heart. It's the Law of God and also the word. It says here in Psalm 40:9:

"I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O [Eternal], thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O [Eternal]..." (Psalm 40:9-11)

So it's a case of, you have got God's word, and the word is doing His will, the law is within our hearts, but it doesn't stay there. It then flows out of our mouth, in our teaching. It's not been bottled up. Again, the Holy Spirit is given to us, it doesn't get bottled up and it's the same with the word of God, the same with the Law of God. It doesn't get bottled up; eventually, it's going to be preached.

Now, in the case of David, it was being preached at that particular time; he was a prophet at that time. In our case, in most cases, our primary time that we'll be using these words will be in the world tomorrow. We are going to be put over so many cities. If you get your five cities, what are you going to do with them? And, let's face it, that is what we are here for. We are here to teach. We are here to be teachers over five cities and what are we going to be teaching? Well, the question to ask is; are our words fit to teach? Because it's the Law of God has got to be there. Turn over to Isaiah 11:8:

"And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den." (Isaiah 11:8)

Now we all long for the time when this is going to be possible, certainly, people living in areas where there are snakes; Australia being one, Africa being another. My son, apparently (this is totally aside) had boxes that had been shipped over from here, over to Queensland; and he decided to leave them overnight in an outhouse. He came back and he found an eight-foot long snakeskin on top of the boxes and wondered where the actual, original owner of the skin was? He never actually found it. But Isaiah 11:8:

"And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain [this is where we are looking at these words fit to teach, and words also that won't hurt or destroy !]: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the [Eternal], as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:8-9)

So, these five cities that we are ready to teach, that's what we'll be resurrected for. And that the unleavened bread - the Law that may be in your mouths that we take at lunchtime today. We'll take a little bit of unleavened bread, presumably, with our lunch and it should remind us that it's not a case of just being ingested, being digested, but it's the fact that the word is there, it is present there, it's ready and waiting to be taught. Because that is what the purpose of these Days are. That is the purpose of Pentecost, and the purpose of our calling, and the purpose of the entire Holy Day Plan.

Turn over to Romans 13:8. Now the context of this talking about human beings; it's not talking about love towards God, but love towards human beings:

"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another [he's just talking about rendering unto all their dues, tribute to whom tribute and so on]: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law [the word 'fulfilled' is Strong's 4137 to fill to the brim, it's the same word as used elsewhere, where a net that was full of fish in John 21:6]. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet [briefly referring to relationships between man and man]; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling [same word] of the law." (Romans 13:8-10)

And that love, is what's going to make all the difference in the future. It's something that's got to be exercised now. There may well be occasions where we are dealing with people that we are in contact with now and we'll point back to the words that we issued now and what will our words be? You know, will those words be something which we'd rather not have on our slate? So let's turn back to Exodus 13:7:

"Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters [when we have some unleavened bread at this lunchtime, just remember these words]. And thou shalt shew thy son in that day..." (Exodus 13:7-8)

So, you're teaching; you're teaching your son, yes, but also the priests are teaching as well. And more than just food in due season, it's being taught by the ministry - food in due season - so that we, ourselves, may go ahead and have food in due season; preaching to those in the world tomorrow. And it's not even just that, it's so that they, themselves, have the word in due season, that they will be preaching it to the Last Great Day group. And so, it's all very much tied together.

"And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the [Eternal] did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes [in what you think, in what you do], that the [Eternal's] law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the [Eternal] brought thee out of Egypt" (Exodus 13:8-9)

So Mr Armstrong asked the question; Why the Firstfruits? And the answer is to be teachers, but I'll ask the question: Why the law in our mouth? And the answer is to be teachers of that law with the words fit to teach.


Footnote:

{1} These two quotes are from PGR's dated 1982 and 1984 respectively. They are not available on cogiw.org websites.