News Review - 31 Mar 2023
China The Peacemaker

The Middle East - realigning its major powers…

China The Peacemaker

China has just pulled off the most amazing political coup in the Middle East, yet the event has been virtually ignored in the Western media.

First, Russia and China signed historic agreements. China and Russia are now allies,

“…With China being the largest industrial power in the world and Russia the largest supplier of critical commodities.” (

Then China brokered a peace deal with Saudi Arabia and Iran. This could change the whole political landscape in the Middle east. All this suggests a waning influence of the US in the Middle East. This could also result in an end to several wars in the Middle East.

You Have Witnessed History Today In Moscow

“There are moments in time that change the world. Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 was one of those. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 was another, as was 9 November 1989, when the wall in Berlin, Germany, erected by the Soviets, was torn down. And you have witnessed another one today, with Russia and China signing historic, unprecedented agreements.

Prior to 1642, Russia and China had no diplomatic or military interaction. From 1652 to 1689, China’s armies drove the Russian settlers out, but after 1689, China and Russia made peace and established trade agreements.

In the intervening 334 years, China and Russia never established a de facto alliance. At times they were at odds and, during the last 50 years, US policy made it a priority to keep a wedge between Moscow and Beijing. That is over. China and Russia are now allies, with China being the largest industrial power in the world and Russia the largest supplier of critical commodities. Their political union marks the end of Pax Americana and the US domination of the international order.

America’s vain attempt to sabotage the Putin/Xi summit

The pitiful state of America’s power was on display as it tried in vain to sabotage the Putin/Xi summit: Statements that any Russian-Chinese agreements will not matter… Hasty organization of the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Ukraine on the day of Xi’s visit… Announcement of hasty deliveries of new weapons to Ukraine… all to keep media attention from the Russia/China story.

This is a Game Changer

The world we have known will no longer have the United States as the first among equals. In the same way that World War II marked the end of the British imperial empire, today’s events in Moscow are a death knell for the United States being able to act as the global policeman who imposes order on unruly countries.

The Biden Administration is flailing in its response to this new alliance. The loss of American influence in the world is not going to happen overnight, but the process has started. Remember this day. It will change the lives of your children and grandchildren.” (

A New Order In The Middle East?

“On March 6, 2023, representatives from Iran and Saudi Arabia met in Beijing for discussions brokered by China. Four days later, Riyadh and Tehran announced that they had decided to normalize relations. This landmark agreement has the potential to transform the Middle East by realigning its major powers, replacing the current Arab-Iranian divide with a complex web of relationships, and weaving the region into China’s global ambitions. For Beijing, the announcement was a great leap forward in its rivalry with Washington.

It was not supposed to be this way. It was the United States that had encouraged Iran and Saudi Arabia to start discussions, in 2021, in an effort to reduce tensions between the Gulf rivals, advance nuclear talks, and bring an end to the conflict in Yemen. Tehran and Riyadh held five rounds of direct talks, and informal conversations continued thereafter. Then, during his visit to Saudi Arabia in July 2022, US President Joe Biden urged the Gulf Cooperation Council — an intergovernmental union of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — to join with Israel to contain Iran.

But the Saudi government turned to China instead, viewing President Xi Jinping as a better mediator with Tehran. Involving China, the Saudis believed, was the surest guarantee that a deal with Iran would last, since Tehran would be unlikely to risk jeopardizing its relations with Beijing by violating such a deal. Xi discussed the issue with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to Riyadh in December 2022 and then met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Beijing in February 2023.

Intense discussions between Iran and Saudi Arabia followed, during which the two sides agreed to bury the hatchet and normalize relations. For both countries, Xi’s personal intervention was critical. Both have long-standing political and economic ties with Beijing, and the Chinese president was, therefore, able to act as a trusted broker between them.

Now, according to the new agreement, both sides will reopen embassies, and the Saudi government will end its support for the Iran International television channel that Tehran holds responsible for domestic dissent.

Both sides will uphold the April 2022 cease-fire in Yemen and begin work on a formal peace agreement to end the civil war in that country. Iran will cease supplying Houthi rebels with arms and persuade them to halt their missile attacks on Saudi Arabia. In addition, the deal calls for enhanced economic and diplomatic ties between Iran and the GCC countries, and for Iran and its Arab partners to begin discussions on building a new regional security framework. Moreover, China will continue to oversee all of these steps.” (

Saudi Arabia Is In Discussions To Join The BRICS Coalition With China And Russia

“Saudi Arabia, the largest US export market in the Middle East, invited Chinese President Xi to visit Riyadh in March as relations with the US have faltered since Joe Biden was elected, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to a report from CNN, US intelligence agencies have assessed that Saudi Arabia is now actively manufacturing its own ballistic missiles with the help of China, a relationship that could lead to domino effects across Middle East countries.

Under Biden, the American leader is openly mocked on the international stage. US allies are now aligning with China. Saudi Arabia announced in March it was considering accepting the Chinese yuan instead of the US dollar in future transactions. This is the move Steve Bannon and the War Room have been warning you about for the past year. It will end US dollar supremacy — and it was facilitated by Joe Biden, Democrats, and the Uniparty members.” (

When GCC Met Brics

The main ‘weapon’ China used was trade! If the nations of the Middle East join the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – they will create the biggest single trading block on the planet!

GCC countries- Gulf Cooperation Council - United Arab Emirates · Kingdom of Bahrain · Kingdom of Saudi Arabia · Sultanate of Oman · State of Qatar · State of Kuwait.

Just look at one ‘advantage’ – Russia, working with the GCC countries, would control the world’s oil/gas market!

Russia And China Officially Announce A "New Global Reserve Currency"

“China and Russia are taking their shot at the US dollar. And as often happens with consequential news in the United States and the West, no one seems to notice or even care. Since the beginning of the year, I have been writing about the possibility of Russia and China challenging the US dollar’s global reserve status. Now, it’s happening.

It shouldn’t be any surprise to those paying attention that Russia and China are strengthening their economic ties amidst continued Western sanctions on Russia as a result of the country’s war in Ukraine. What may surprise some people, however, is that Russia and the BRICS countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, are officially working on their own ‘new global reserve currency,’ RT reported in late June. Nobody even seemed to notice.(

China's Xi Calls For Oil Trade In Yuan At Gulf Summit

“President Xi Jinping told Gulf Arab leaders on Friday that China would work to buy oil and gas in yuan, a move that would support Beijing's goal to establish its currency internationally and weaken the US dollar's grip on world trade.

Xi was speaking in Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hosted two ‘milestone’ Arab summits with the Chinese leader which showcased the powerful prince's regional heft as he courts partnerships beyond close historic ties with the West.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and economic giant China both sent strong messages during Xi's visit on ‘non-interference’ at a time when Riyadh's relationship with Washington has been tested over human rights, energy policy and Russia.

Any move by Saudi Arabia to ditch the dollar in its oil trade would be a seismic political move, which Riyadh had previously threatened in the face of possible US legislation exposing OPEC members to antitrust lawsuits.” (

Iran, Saudi To Restore Ties In Major Step For Middle East

“Regional powerhouses Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed Friday to restore ties and reopen diplomatic missions in a surprise, Chinese-brokered announcement that could have wide-ranging implications across the Middle East. In a trilateral statement, Shiite-majority Iran and mainly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia said they would reopen embassies and missions within two months and implement security and economic cooperation deals signed more than 20 years ago.

Riyadh cut ties after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in 2016 following the Saudi execution of revered Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr - just one in a series of flashpoints between the two longstanding rivals.

Friday's announcement, which follows five days of previously unannounced talks in Beijing and several rounds of dialogue in Iraq and Oman, caps a broader realignment and efforts to ease tensions in the region.

‘Following talks, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions within two months,’ said the joint statement, which was published by both countries' official media.

The detente between Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, and Iran, a pariah for Western governments over its nuclear programme, has the potential to reshape relations across a region characterised by turbulence for decades.

Iran and Saudi Arabia support rival sides in several conflict zones including Yemen, where the Huthi rebels are backed by Tehran and Riyadh leads a military coalition supporting the government. The two sides also vie for influence in embattled Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. He also said Tehran, which has backed Damascus during its 12 years of conflict, would join efforts to reconcile Syria and Turkey, which has long supported rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

There has also been a rapprochement between Riyadh and Ankara since the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pushed hard to revive ties, a move analysts describe as largely driven by economic considerations.” (

How The China-Brokered Saudi-Iran Deal Will Change The Middle East

“Last week, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced a landmark deal, brokered by China in Beijing, to formally restore diplomatic relations. The agreement saw the two sectarian arch rivals in the Middle East agree to put aside their differences and to normalize ties. It was the first ever deal of its kind overseen by China, framing itself as a peacemaker, and showing that its commitment to have good relations with every country in the region is not just based on rhetoric but actual substance. Some have described it as a sign of a ‘changing global order.’

To put it mildly, it is bad news for the United States and deals a massive blow to the near-unlimited geopolitical sway Washington has long held over the region via its strategic relationships with countries such as Saudi Arabia. Additionally, it effectively ruins a US led campaign to pressurize and isolate Iran and hinders American efforts to shape regional politics in Israel’s favor via the Abraham Accords.

It is no surprise that the Western media is calling the Chinese-brokered deal a ‘challenge’ to the international order, but what order is that? The ability of the US to dominate the Middle East? Perhaps brokering peace is a good thing. Since the decline of European colonial empires, the United States has been the sole military hegemon in the Middle East, using a network of partnerships from Israel to the Gulf States to sustain domination over the region and allowing the US to exploit its energy resources.

In order to maintain this position, the US has long needed adversaries in order to perpetuate an ongoing security dilemma and force reliance on it as a security guarantor, which is also beneficial to the US military industrial complex. These policies have accumulated decades worth of wars, insurgencies and attempts at regime change.

It should be understood that the world has changed in ways which now lead these states to perceive that unparalleled US dominance, which is its unequivocal foreign policy goal, is no longer in their best interests. They have found a new, bigger partner in Beijing who not only can buy more of their oil, but also doesn’t have a foreign policy doctrine premised on evangelizing its ideology or creating war throughout the region. As such, when the US delivered an ultimatum to the United Arab Emirates that they will block the export of F-35s if they don’t drop Huawei from their 5G networks, Abu Dhabi told Washington where to go.” (

How Does The China-Brokered Saudi-Iranian Normalization Affect Israel?

“Although the US government itself has not reacted with open animosity to the sudden change in regional dynamics, the Israelis are publicly interpreting this as a negative development. What the deal undoubtedly does is prove the weakness in Israel’s regional capabilities, along with the waning influence of the US. Israel’s security concerns regarding Syria and Lebanon may be heightened if the Chinese-brokered agreement delivers a more peaceful approach inside both of these nations.” (

Yemen Peace Talks Intensify After Iran-Saudi Deal

“UN envoy has visited Tehran and Riyadh after the agreement brokered by China. Diplomatic efforts to broker a peace in Yemen accelerated after Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations last week, the UN special envoy Hans Grundberg has reported to the Security Council. ‘Intense diplomatic efforts are ongoing at different levels to bring the conflict in Yemen to an end,’ Grundberg said on Wednesday, after returning from Tehran and Riyadh.

Iran has reportedly agreed to stop supplying weapons to the Houthis of Yemen, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing anonymous US and Saudi officials.

The UN estimates the years-long conflict in Yemen has claimed at least 377,000 lives, of which 150,000 were due to violence and the rest from starvation and disease. About four million people have been displaced.” (

China, Framing Itself As A Peacemaker

A quick review of the main points…

“It was the first ever deal of its kind overseen by China, framing itself as a peacemaker… Some have described it as a sign of a ‘changing global order’…

To put it mildly, it is bad news for the United States …it effectively ruins a US led campaign to pressurize and isolate Iran…(

Early in July last year…

“Saudi Arabia Is in Discussions to Join the BRICS Coalition with China and Russia. US allies are now aligning with China.(

Later in the same month…

Russia And China Officially Announce A ‘New Global Reserve Currency’. Russia and the BRICS countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, are officially working on their own ‘new global reserve currency’, RT reported in late June. Nobody even seemed to notice.(

“China's Xi calls for oil trade in yuan at Gulf summit - a move that would support Beijing's goal to establish its currency internationally and weaken the US dollar's grip on world trade.(

“On March 6, 2023, representatives from Iran and Saudi Arabia met in Beijing for discussions brokered by China. Four days later, Riyadh and Tehran announced that they had decided to normalize relations. This landmark agreement has the potential to transform the Middle East by realigning its major powers… For Beijing, the announcement was a great leap forward in its rivalry with Washington.(

Saudi Arabia and Syria to restore ties …after a landmark Chinese-brokered deal set the path for normalization of relations between the Saudi kingdom and Iran, bitter rivals who backed opposing sides in Syria’s civil war.” (

“Yemen peace talks intensify after Iran-Saudi deal. Diplomatic efforts to broker a peace in Yemen accelerated after Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations last week…” (

Iran, Saudi to restore ties in major step for Middle East… could have wide-ranging implications across the Middle East.” (

Japan And Germany Are Again Preparing For War

In prophecy, China and Russia only come into the picture right near the end, when they attack Europe. But the fear and uncertainty about the future right now is spurring other nations to re-arm – including Germany and Japan!

“The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called this moment a ‘historic turning point.’ In Japan, a famous comedian named Tamori coined the (somewhat obscure) phrase ‘new prewar,’ and it has been widely used to say much the same thing: That Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced both countries to take their own military preparedness more seriously.

Germany’s turning point and Japan’s ‘new prewar’ are far from meaningless. The first hesitant, cautious, painful steps toward taking on more responsibility for their own defense have been taken.” (

End Time Events Gather Pace

Along with the banking crisis in America, a national debt of $31 trillion and rampant inflation, we can now add a huge loss of political power and influence in the Middle East. Established allies have switched sides, sidelining the US.

Focus On ‘Ground Zero’

Right now, we must not take our eyes off of the Middle East – and in particular – Israel. This is the centre of end time events. Israel, a country on the brink of civil war, now faces a situation where they are once again surrounded by potentially hostile Arab nations. Those Middle Eastern nations now have both Russia and China as allies!

The situation in the Middle East has just changed – suddenly – out of ‘a clear blue sky’!
…and there is probably more to come!

WATCH – as God works out His plan!

Pastor’s Report - 24 Mar 2023
A Reminder Of Our Debt

A Reminder of our Debt...

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15)

In just over a week, on the evening of April 4th, is the Passover. Through its emblems of the bread and the wine we will once again be reminded of the transcendental price that had to be paid to grant forgiveness of sin. Sin of all kinds – both physical and spiritual. But for that forgiveness to apply to us, we too must forgive, as clearly indicated within the sample prayer: "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" (Matthew 6:12). To make sure this is at the forefront of our minds before partaking of the Passover emblems, we will once again be given the opportunity to reflect on the humble frame of mind required through the act of footwashing.

Our Supreme Example

In the scriptural account of Christ implementing the footwashing ceremony, the apostle John first spends several verses reminding us of the uniquely elevated position held by Jesus Christ at the time He instituted the ordinance:

  • Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
  • And supper [having occurred], the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;
  • Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
  • He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
  • After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. (John 13:1-5)

Here was the Messiah, the "anointed one", on the cusp of a trial so great that He would shortly sweat blood in anticipation of it, yet maintaining sufficient presence of mind to convey this vital ordinance to us all, out of the deep abiding love He has for His people. He was fully aware of the satanic conspiracy that Judas Iscariot had given into. He was also fully aware of the glory He once held with the Father to which He was about to return – regaining the power and honour of His previous exalted position, to become the firstborn of the God Family – with the whole creation soon to be in subjection once more to Him. Every planet, every star system, every galaxy, everything! Yet with all of that in His mind – and because of the hope and joyful anticipation of having us join Him – the King of kings, and Lord of lordsHe washed feet! Just as He was willing to divest Himself of the glory He had initially to become virtually a microscopic non-entity in Mary's womb, so at the end of His life He reflected this identical state of mind as well. And it was THIS mindset that He wanted to dramatically convey to us via footwashing:

  • Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves:
  • do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
  • Have this attitude [mind] in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus,
  • who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
  • but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
  • Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:3-8 NASV)
The Context

Although footwashing is not mentioned in the other three accounts of this pivotal Passover service, the context in which it was implemented most certainly is. That context is found in Luke 22, and it is only by putting together this account with that of John's in chapter 13, that the full picture emerges. The disciples were bitterly wrangling over who was "top dog", the very antithesis of what was – and is – really needed in those God is training for high positions in the future.

  • ...there was an argument among them about which of them was the greatest.
  • And he said, The kings of the Gentiles are lords over them, and those who have authority are given names of honour.
  • But let it not be so with you; but he who is greater, let him become like the younger; and he who is chief, like a servant.
  • For which is greater, the guest who is seated at a meal or the servant who is waiting on him? is it not the guest? but I am among you as a servant. (Luke 22:24-27 BBE)

The apostles present that night were destined for elevated future positions of leadership and rulership over Israel (verses 29 and 30) They were to be some of the key Millennial rulers with their names embedded in the foundations of the New Jerusalem! And if they were going to be able to competently fill such positions determined for them by Jesus Christ, it was absolutely imperative that they begin to develop the same mindset AS Jesus Christ – who was just about to prove the full extent of His humble service by giving His very life for the sins of all mankind:

  • If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
  • For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
  • Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
  • If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:14-17)
Our Huge Debt

The Passover is all about the forgiveness of sin – our sins, both physical and spiritual – and the tremendous price exacted on the living Word of God to settle our debt. An aspect of the footwashing that we would do well to take careful note of, is its position at the start of the entire Passover service through which we seek forgiveness – knowing that to be forgiven we ourselves must genuinely forgive from the heart. This we find graphically illustrated a parable Christ gave in responce to Peter's question: "... Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?" (Matthew 18:21)

As Christ explains via the parable of the two debtors, the burden of debt we owe to God is far, far beyond our ability to repay, but thankfully our "creditor" is more than willing to forgive our massive liability. But the problem is, are WE willing to forgive the comparatively infinitesimal "debts" owed to us?

  • “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him.
  • In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.
  • He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
  • “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’
  • Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
  • “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
  • “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded.
  • But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
  • “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.
  • Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me.
  • Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ (Matthew 18:23-33 NLT)
Sin is Against God

These past 6,000 years have been a record of human beings being unable to get along with each other, from Cain murdering his brother, right through to the Holocaust last century. And worse is to come. But in spite of what we might do or say to one another ... whether it's murder, torture, slander, betrayal, gossip, there is one basic truth that we all need to remember – Sin is against God alone.

As king David was well aware, even though he had effectively murdered an innocent young man and committed adultery with the man's wife, he cries out in Psalm 51: "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight..." (Psalm 51:4) He totally comprehended that all sin – whether ours or another individuals, is actually against God, who determines right from wrong, and not us. It's interesting to note two things re. the account of Abraham attempting to pass Sarah off as his sister, to avoid being killed. Firstly that adultery was recognised as sin all those thousands of years ago – well before Mount Sinai – but more importantly that the sin was AGAINST GOD ... and not the individual concerned:

  • But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.
  • But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
  • Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
  • And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. (Genesis 20:3-6)

We can see this again in the account of Potiphar's wife attempting to seduce Joseph:

  • And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
  • But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
  • There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (Genesis 39:7-9)

Whether we personally have been at the receiving end of some sinful action ... a "missing of the mark" as far as the Way of God is concerned, or whether it's a loved one, we have no reason to withhold forgiveness from another, as the sin is not primarily against us but God, the Lawgiver Himself.

A Ministry of Reconciliation

One thing we all must keep in mind is that the footwashing ceremony is merely a symbol of something far more profound – and far more difficult to do! Partaking of the bread and wine during the Passover service symbolises our acceptance of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ for our sins – but that acceptance is in no way confined to Passover. Receiving forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is something that we all need to have applied on a continual basis throughout our life ... whether in regard to miraculous healing or forgiveness of breaking God's spiritual law. So it is with footwashing. Depicting our willingness to do whatever it takes to serve our fellow brethren should not end with the physical act of washing feet on that night. For if it does, it's been a waste of time. It too is something that must be applied on a continual basis throughout our life in the way we treat and relate to one another.

Christ died as our Passover lamb to make possible the reconcilliation of mankind to God the Father, as Paul brings out to the church at Corinth:

  • And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
  • To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (II Corinthians 5:18-19)

But reconciliation can't end there! It must extend to our personal relationships, as brought out by the apostle Matthew:

  • Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
  • Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Matthew 5:23.24)

"Fast Forward" to the Great White Throne Judgement and the resurrection of those billions of individuals never called over the millennia. The chances are most of them died violently in warfare of some description or another. They might find themselves standing next to the Japanese guard who was terribly cruel to them in WW2. How are we going to teach forgiveness and reconciliation if we haven't got a handle on it ourselves in this life, now? Christ called Satan "the father of lies" and we might also add, the father of bearing grudges! What was the grudge that Lucifer had towards the God family? Cain towards Abel? In a book I am currently reading – "News From No Man's Land" – written by John Simpson, the BBC World Affairs editor, he recorded an incident which made me smile, but which also illustrated a vital point about we humans and our reticence to "let go" of past grievances. Mr. Simpson was reporting on the Tianaman Square massacre of 1989, and took a side trip to what he hoped was a outlying village, "untouched" by foreigners, so he could get the feel of the real China. As it happened, the headman of the village admitted that "many foreigners have been through". A disappointed Mr. Simpson asked when this had occured and was stunned to find out that ; "It was in the thirteenth century. When the Mongols passed through this part of China. They destroyed the village and killed 57 of its inhabitants".

The word "forgive" (Strongs H05545, G863) carries with it the inference of not only to pardon some "missing of the mark" against us, but also to "send away, depart". "As far as east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:11). Letting go!

Even Enemies

The apostle John makes it very clear that Judas Iscariot was not only present and had his feet washed, but Christ did so KNOWING that Judas was by then fully set to betray Him, as is recorded in John's gospel account, chapter 13. This willingness to serve and humbly assist even our enemies was a command the same Jesus Christ – as the Logos of old – had built into the very Law of God given to Israel (Exodus 23:4,5 and Leviticus 19:18). Loving our enemies and being willing to serve them with outgoing concern reflects the very lifestyle of the Godhead. And it's a mindset that God seeks within every one of His children:

  • 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: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
  • For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
  • And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
  • Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

It is certainly going against the natural grain of human nature to pray for our enemies, but Mr Armstrong came to see why in his later years:

Jesus said to the people He was calling to the Church (And they had to be called by God.), He said, “Come out from among them” of this world. Come out from them “and be separate.” Live God’s Way of Life according to God’s Law–instead of Satan’s way of life according to Satan’s law of doing your own thing, of disobedience to God, of the way of get instead of the way of GIVE, of the way of competition, of the way of… Oh, what are the words that I got to think of? Of controversy, of animosity and feelings toward other people of that kind, different forms of hatred, and so on.

“Come out from among them” and have God’s love in your heart and God’s Spirit in your mind, to open your mind to understand the knowledge of God, and the things of God; and have the love of God, so that we can even love our enemies and pray for our enemies. Do you do that, brethren? I confess I didn’t for years. I didn’t quite see that. But in recent months and years I’ve come to see that as never before, and I pray first for my enemies.

As I have said many times, I pray for them first before I pray for you people because they need it worse than you do, and you don’t need it. And I love those enemies. They want to kill me. They hate me. They do everything against me they can. And really the only reason they hate me is because I love the Way of God and they don’t. They don’t realize that. They would never say they don’t love the Way of God. They just say it’s me that they don’t like. (Sermon - The Trunk Of The Tree - Oct 1983)

God Of Vengeance

But don't we read many times in the scriptures that God is a God of vengeance? Most certainly – but that is the point. Vengeance belongs to God – not to us – for only He has the full perspective needed to justly balance up the score. And part of the footwashing mindset – that is even willing to wash the feet of an enemy like Judas Iscariot – inevitably must include the faith necessary in our loving God to take care of such things in a righteous way and not the way we'd plan our reprisal! It's worth noticing in Psalm 94 that the creator God – the maker of man's eyes and ears – is certainly not blind and deaf to the evil that is being perpetrated today. God is not mocked, and the unrighteous will not escape unscathed, unpunished:

  • But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
  • Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
  • But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.
  • And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. (Luke 10:12-15)

Another important scripture to keep in mind is found in Revelation, and speaks of the end-time scenario in which we might shortly find ourselves:

  • He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Revelation 13:10)
Passover – The Start

Clearly there is a great deal more to why Christ and the Father have us wash feet as the very first thing, not only of Passover, but of the entire Holy Day season each year. The astounding Plan of God – bound up within the Holy Days – is a step-by-step enactment of the destruction of Satan's greedy, incoming, self-centred mindset as well as its replacement within the Spirit-born sons and coming Kingdom of God.

Passover is placed at the start of this process as sins of all kinds must be dealt with first – before the Plan can begin. But before everything there must be a WILLINGNESS in all of us to put aside the vanity-filled mindset of Satan, and instead humbly serve one another – in a forgiving, outgoing manner – even including our enemies. And THAT is the very purpose of footwashing, and why Christ instituted it to begin the entire Holy Day season:

  • And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
  • Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
  • The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
  • I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
  • And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
  • I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:9-14)
Audio - 25 Mar 2023

Latest Audio - 2023-03-25

mp3 rm
by Jon Pippy
given Peterborough Canada 16 Dec 2006 - played Wales UK 25 Mar 2023
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mp3 rm
by Jon Bowles
The Foundation of Passover - Part 2
given Wales UK 24 Mar 2012 - played Wales UK 25 Mar 2023
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Transcript - 31 May 2022

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HWA Bible Study:
I Corinthians 1 and 2 20 Jul 1980
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“Just what is an APOSTLE?”
Just what is an Apostle?

Today we find the Church of God in a “wilderness of religious confusion!”

The confusion is not merely around the Church – within the religions of the world outside – but WITHIN the very heart of The True Church itself!

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Listen to Me, You who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My Law: …I have put My words in your mouth, I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, “you are My people” (Isaiah 51:7,16)