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ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)

Publisher of the
"Watchman, What of the Night?" (WWN)
.
- 1970s
- 1980s
- 1990s
- 2000s

All the Specials and Commentaries are in the last file of the year. There are 4 files for each year: jm=Jan-Mar; aj=Apr-Jun; js-=Jul-Sep; od=Oct-Dec

WWN is a thought paper that was published monthly continuously from Jan, 1968 to the end of Dec. 2006 . by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Mississippi, Inc.(ALF), with William H. Grotheer as the Editor of Research & Publication.

The Nov. 1977 issue discusses "What is the "Watchman, What of the Night?"

SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
"Another Comforter", study on the Holy Spirit
1976 a Letter and a Reply: - SDA General Conference warning against WWN.
Further Background Information on Zaire -General Conference pays Government to keep church there.
From a WWN letter to a reader: RE: Lakes of Fire - 2 lakes of fire.
Trademark of the name Seventh-day Adventist [Perez Court Case] - US District Court Case - GC of SDA vs.R. Perez, and others [Franchize of name "SDA" not to be used outside of denominational bounds.]

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Manuscripts

Interpretative History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, An
- William H. Grotheer

Bible Study Guides
- William H. Grotheer

End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation

Excerpts - Legal Documents
- EEOC vs PPPA - Adventist Laymen's Foundation

Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer

Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer

In the Form of a Slave
- William H. Grotheer

Jerusalem In Bible Prophecy
- William H. Grotheer

Key Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
- William H. Grotheer

Pope Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
- William H. Grotheer

Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer

Seal of God
 - William H. Grotheer

Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
 - William H. Grotheer

SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer

STEPS to ROME
- William H. Grotheer

Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
- William H. Grotheer

Remembering
Elder William H. Grotheer

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BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary

OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:

Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear

Additional Various Studies --
"Saving Faith" - Dr. E. J. Waggoner
"What is Man" The Gospel in Creation - "The Gospel in Creation"
"A Convicting Jewish Witness", study on the Godhead - David L. Cooper D.D.

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

Spiritual Gifts. The Great Controversy, between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and his Angels - Ellen G. White

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy

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Due to his failing health, Elder Grotheer requested that ALF of Canada continue publishing thoughts through its website www.AdventistAlet.com which now has developed into frequent Blog Thought articles plus all of the Foundation's historical published works written and audio.

As of 2010, with the official closing of the ALF of USA , The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website www.Adventist Alert.com is the only officially operating ALF branch established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.

We are thankful for the historical legacy that is now available through

The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada, 1526 Haultain Street,
Victoria, BC V8R 2K4 Canada

Tax deductible receipts are still given for all gifts as usual.

To Support
Donate

The MISSION of this site -- is to put the articles from the thought paper "Watchman, What of the Night?" in Essay form. It is not our purpose to copy WWN in whole.

Any portion of the thought paper may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from WWN, Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada."

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Blog Thoughts
by Raymond A. Cutts
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Fantasy, Fiction or Fact?
Is there anything factual or tangible in heaven? Many believe heavenly things are all fanciful, figurative and fictional, with crazy concepts of angels and those who have passed on, floating on clouds strumming harps. However, when we read the account in Revelation chapter 5, John’s vision of opening the door into heavenly sanctuary, he does deal in many figurative descriptions, but he is definitely not dealing in fiction. It is all factual! We know as a Biblical fact that God dwells there on His throne. We also know that Christ, after His death ascended to heaven and sits in that throne room at the right hand of God. Luke wrote of this in Acts 7:55 when he retold the experience and vision of Stephen, at his stoning. Daniel wrote in Daniel 7:9-10 about the same basic scene. Few have little concept of the magnitude of the temple in heaven as compared to its model constructed on earth by the Jews. For Revelation 5:11-12 relates to us that not only were there the four creatures and the twenty-four elders on their thrones before the supreme throne of God, but an innumerable company of angels stood also in this temple throne room. The text reads “ten thousand times ten thousand,” which in quick calculation adds up to one hundred million, but then adds “and thousands of thousands.” To this we might also add, this room is also to hold all the redeemed from earth after the second coming of Christ. Yet, in all of this, the main object of attention in this throne room is the Lamb of God [Christ] and the shedding of His blood for all humanity, “slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” The question is – what will enable you to be there? Study this out, as fact not fictional fantasies.

The Model Man – Christ
Christ, as our example to follow, our model man, came as the lowliest of the low in humanity. Christ came as a servant; for God told His prophet in Isaiah 42:1 “Behold my servant, whom I uphold … I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles;” and in verse 7 says “for a light of the Gentiles.” Yes, he came as a servant, but what kind of a servant? At the feast of the Passover recorded in John 13:4-5 it says of Christ, that he “took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet.” This job in the Jewish household was not done by Jewish servants, but by foreign slaves, the lowest of humanity in Israel. Paul in Philippians 2:7 reinforces this thought in saying of Christ that He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant … humbled himself, and became obedient unto to death.” As a human Christ found Himself able to communicate and give hope to the lowest of the low by His example. In John 5:19 and 30 Christ said of Himself “the Son of God can do nothing of himself,” and “I can of mine own self do nothing.” While bearing this form of humanity for our redemption, Christ was fully dependant on the power of God for His life. Christ as a man had to grab hold of God’s divinity though the Holy Spirit; this privilege He extends as the only way for us to follow. That is why Paul says to us in Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” He really is our life’s example, and model man, because He truly can sympathize with all our woes and troubles.

Who and Where?
Who and where, are questions asked of Christ in Revelation 7:13 with the answer in verse 14. It reads “what [who] are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? … These are they which came out of great tribulation;” a people, righteous souls, redeemed by Christ from the earth. These same questions and identical answer could also be applied to the 24 elders in Revelation 4:4. For they also were “clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold;” the two tokens given only to those who have, through Christ, fought the good fight in life, and have gained the victory over sin. In the next chapter, 5:9 this group says to Christ “thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” The 24 elders are now already in heaven, before the final battle and Christ’s second coming. Yet, from the garment and crown they each have, it is obvious that they have participated in the Christian warfare with sin. So, there is another question in regards to who this special group is. Paul knows who they are, for in Ephesians 4:8 he speaks of Christ translating them to heaven. He said “when He [Christ] ascended on high, he led captivity captive.” This goes back to an event after the resurrection of Christ that Matthew refers to in Matthew 27:52-53 “the graves were opened, and many [not all] bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many.” This select group was led by Christ from the captivity of death, directly ascending into heaven, and is now seated on 24 thrones before the throne of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. This is the vision of John, and this is the group. So now we can understand just who this group is, and from where they originated.

“Fullness of the Time Was Come”
At this time of the year the eyes of many are focused on Israel, especially the city of Bethlehem, in regard to the birth of Christ. Truth be known, Christ’s actual birth is three months different and not on December 25. This date was adopted into the church as a compromise with pagans to join Christianity. The date December 25 is actually the date ascribed to the birth of the sun god. However, to the text mentioned in the title, it is from Paul’s writings in Galatians 4:5-6 “when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that are under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Christ, born a Jew, lived His entire life obediently under all the different Jewish laws, but at His death, as our supreme sacrifice, He brought the ceremonial law to an end [the veil in the temple was torn down by God]. But, as to “fullness of the time,” this “time” had nothing to do with the natural birthing time of nine months being fulfilled. It was “time” in regard to the prophetic time pointed out in the Old Testament. In studying the prophecies of Jeremiah and especially of Daniel, the year, the season of the year and the exact city were pointed to with accuracy. There was no reason why the leadership of Israel could be unaware of these facts of prophecy. This is witnessed against them, when the three heathen kings, the magi, came into Jerusalem following the star; they went directly to the priestly leaders and received directions to where Christ, the Messiah, was to be born. Amazing, those heathen men better understood Bible prophecy, and in searching for truth, were more obedient to it than the chosen guardians of God’s truth. Let us today be found worthy, aware of the truth and the prophetic times to come.

Judge Not!
One of the most misconstrued texts in the New Testament is Matthew 7:1 where it says “judge not that ye be not judged.” To apply this text to God’s Word, so that it can be twisted and adulterated promoting known heresies within the church is wrong. April 2, 1977, the Los Angeles Times wrote “the teaching of psychology, that people should be ‘nonjudgmental’ toward others has resulted in heresies thriving within the churches.” Satan does not make open attacks on Christianity for that is too obvious and easy for man to repel. Satan was transformed into an angel of light and works his deceptions in disguise. The teachings of psychology are well used by him; and in this case, that of being “nonjudgmental”, is using a twisted sense of this scripture text. To take this text in this framework contradicts the writings of Paul, John and Christ. Paul wrote in Titus 3:10 “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.” To reject is the strongest form of condemnation that I know of. Now, John in 2 John 10-11 said much the same when talking of the doctrine of Christ, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” Finally, to try a person is to judge that person. Christ told John about the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:2 “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and … found them liars.” So, what is the admonition for true believers today? We are not to tolerate heresy in any form, whether from the pulpit, teaching in class, from books, television or whatever. Do not sit in the pew like a dumb watchdog that will not bark (Isaiah 56:10) for there is a great work to be done within the church.

“In the Spirit”
What does being “in the Spirit” mean? In Revelation 4:2 John states “immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” And again, in Revelation 1:10 John said “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and I heard a voice, as of a trumpet.” Just a note of clarification, the “Lord’s day” referred to it is no other day than the seventh-day Sabbath. Because, John being a Jew, knew no other day as the Lord’s special day, and there is no scriptural evidence to show otherwise. Now as to being “in the Spirit,” it is referring to being in a higher than usual state of spiritual elevation. In this case, being spoken to and shown visions of heavenly things. In Acts 9, Paul, when on his way to Damascus, was knocked down to the ground, and the light from heaven blinded him, and he heard the voice of Christ. But just prior to this, in Acts 7 another man was “in the Spirit” and had a vision; it was Stephen. Stephen was on trial for his life, and being falsely accused, was stoned to death. Stephen witnessed for Christ, and just before he died God gave him a vision of heaven. In Acts 7:55 it says of Stephen, “he, being full of the Holy Spirit (in the Spirit), looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” The vision here is of the same room in heaven (in the heavenly sanctuary) opened to John in Revelation. This same experience of being “in the Spirit” happened to many throughout Bible history. One example of many is Daniel. In Daniel 7:9-10 he records a vision of the same room in the heavenly sanctuary, “I beheld till thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit … thousand thousands ministered unto Him.” Being “in the Spirit” is being called up by God to a nearer proximity to heaven, and witnessing a foretaste of what is to come for all who patiently, strictly and obediently follow Christ and His example.

Correct, But Condemned
Revelation chapters 2 and 3 give a historical time-line overview of church conditions, of which the last four run concurrent through to the end of time. The last four – Thyatira, represents Roman Catholicism; Sardis, the Reformation church condition; Philadelphia, the Christian spiritual awakening of Bible prophecy in the early 1800’s regarding Christ’s soon second coming; Laodicea, the movement resulting from the awakening. The last two, Philadelphia and Laodicea are not condemned by God for any false doctrines. However, even though doctrinally correct, Laodicea is condemned for another reason. Spiritually “lukewarm” is the problem; in Revelation 3:16-17 it says “because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” So lax and content is this people in their spiritual knowledge that they are lacking power from God and “knowest not” of their condition. This is totally abhorrent and sickening to God, that unless they listen and heed the warning to become “hot” or fervent in their zeal to preach the truth, they will be rejected and condemned. The special truth given to them is buried under laxness and compromises for peace. Interestingly God even prefers “cold” to this “lukewarm” condition of indifference. This body knows what the special truth is, so the “cold” condition of some does not represent lack of knowledge, but a feeling of unfitness or discontent and groping or looking for guidance. God can work with the “cold” but not with the “lukewarm.” Christ, who is outside this body, says in Revelation 3:20 “I stand at the door, and knock: if any man (an individual call) hear my voice, and open the door” this individual is counseled to buy the gold, white raiment and eye-salve to turn from being “lukewarm.” The gold - is faith, hope and charity (love); and with the gold purchase white raiment – putting on the robe of Christ’s righteousness fully obedient to God; also with gold buy the eye-salve – which is the presence of Christ in your daily life by His Holy Spirit. By doing this, be correct and not condemned.

The High Priestly Prayer
John chapter 17 has been called “the high priestly prayer” of Christ, as our High Priest and only Mediator between God and man. This prayer of priestly intercession was petitioned to God just prior to Christ’s trial and death by crucifixion; and is an object lesson to us of what Christ is now doing on our behalf in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Many people today believe there are many roads that lead to God, but in John 3:36 we are told there is only one. It states “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” This is reiterated in John 17:3, that if we truly know God and His Son “this is everlasting life.” Then, in John 17:4-5 Christ brings forth that all through His life He glorified God, and asks God to glorify Him as our Mediator. Then He says “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do;” thus completing phase one in the “counsel of peace … between them both (God the Father and God the Son)” as referred to in Zechariah 6:12-13. In this “The BRANCH” (Christ) “shall grow up out of his place (heaven)” and come to earth as our Mediator and redeem man back to God. Christ “finished the work” given to Him by God, that of living a perfect life as a man to give the example for all mankind to follow. Then the veil is removed for all mankind to see in John17:5, where Christ asks for His own glory to shine forth “which I had with thee before the world was.” Then, in John 17:17 comes the true evidence of sanctification, which is not just believing and parading around in self-satisfaction shouting “I am saved; I am saved,” but as stated here, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” It is only by faith in God and strict adherence to His word that we might be saved. Finally, John 17:20 “pray … for them also which shall believe on me through their word;” this is our work, the work of witnessing to others what we have learned. What a chapter, what a message!

Tragic Cracks in God’s Truth
Oh, if only the truth of what is happening within the walls of the church, spiritual Israel, could be unveiled to the people. The tragic cracks in the wall of truth are being daubed “with untempered mortar” (seeds of error and compromises of truth). Well did Ezekiel warn the people of false spiritual prophets and leaders. In Ezekiel 13:4-16 God warns the people “thy prophets are like foxes in the desert. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord … they have seduced my people saying, Peace; and there is no peace; and one built up a wall, and lo, others have daubed it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: … I will break down the wall … it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof.” Individually, the people need to wake up out of lethargy and speak out as God said in Isaiah 58:1 “cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy (individual) voice like a trumpet and shew my people … the house of Jacob (the church) their sins.” Salvation is an individual, not corporate (as a church body) responsibility. As said in Ezekiel 14:14 and 20 “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness;” “they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” The tragic cracks in the wall of basic truth are being covered over with untempered mortar by having the people so engrossed and absorbed in church programs, activities, social functions that the real issues of truth are side-stepped and evaded, covered with this façade of activities. In Ezekiel 9:4 the “mark” or “seal” by God’s angel is placed only on those individuals “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations” that are being done under the guise of truth. Where do you stand! There is no time for preaching “peace and safety” when God says there is none to be had in this ongoing battle for the minds of men.
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I Would – I Wish
Christ said “I would thou wert” which in simple English of today would render “I wish that you were” this or that. In Revelation 3:15 Christ stated this thought that He wishes and desires man to be either “cold or hot” toward Him. Then, in verse 16 He goes on to say “because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” God abhors the “lukewarm,” self-satisfied and indifferent attitude of the majority of believers toward Him and His work; and so much so that this lax attitude is like vomit in His mouth to be discarded. To be “hot” for God and His work is what He wants the church to be. But the opposite of “hot” naturally is “cold;” so how can God be for a “cold” attitude. What is He really saying here? First of all this message is addressed to the church (or believers) and not to the outside world of disobedience. Secondly, a proper understanding of what “cold” means, in this instance, is needed. “Cold” in this case is not that of being in a state of worldly wickedness and in rebellion against God, but for God; otherwise God would not wish this condition on anyone. It is as spoken of in Job 23:3 “O that I knew where I might find Him!” “Cold” here spoken of by God, in preference of “lukewarm” indifference, is a state of longing, groping in a feeling of destitution, but with a great zeal and desire to recover the treasure of God’s closeness. That is why “cold” is preferred by God over “lukewarm” where there is no feeling of lacking anything. The fervent desire and effort of the “cold” person leads this person to God. I pray you are either “cold” or “hot” toward the truths of God.

Corporate or Individual
Christ’s call for His followers - is it a corporate call or an individual call? Today, the majority of Christians get so entrenched in doctrinal creeds and denominations. The trend is to have convenient little boxes to place everyone in. Are you of this denomination or that? Do you sit in your comfortable pew and strap on your belt of church membership and believe you are on your way to glory? Christ in His message to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 says otherwise. The messages to each church are not all for specific denominations, but to groups of Christians in certain time periods. The messages are, in the end, directed to the individual. Revelation 2:1-7 – Ephesus, in verse 7 says “to him (individual) that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life.” Revelation 2:8-11 – Smyrna, in verse 11 says “he (individual) that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Revelation 2:12-17 – Pergamos, in verse 17 says “to him (individual) that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna” in heaven. Revelation 2:18-29 – Thyatira, in verses 26-28 says “he (individual) that overcometh, and keepeth my works … will I give power … I will give him the morning star.” Revelation 3:1-6 – Sardis, in verse 5 says “He (individual) that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” Revelation 3:7-13 – Philadelphia, in verse 12 says “Him (individual) that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” Revelation 3:14-22 – Laodicea, in verses 20-21 says “I stand at the door and knock: if any man (individual) hear my voice … him (individual) that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” Corporate denominations can not save anybody, they are guide posts pointing directions, only God’s Spirit can point you, individually, in the correct way. It is one on one with God.

A Knowledge of God
The very nature of God will be a continual mystery to man, because God has never revealed His nature to us. Zophar, one of the comforters of Job, brings forth to us in his question in Job 11:17 “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou understand the Almighty unto perfection?” Christ said in John 4:24 “God is a Spirit.” And yet besides understanding God as Spirit we do know the Godhead as personal beings because in Genesis 1 and 2 it tells us mankind is made in God’s image. Then, in John 17:3 we are admonished to know God; it says “this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God.” Our conversion to Christ’s as His followers, and our character transformation all hinges on the knowledge of God. However, in delving into our knowledge of God, our thoughts should not be focusing on who God is in His nature, but on what God is in regard to His dealings with us. Do not attempt to penetrate beyond what God has revealed in His Word. Who God is, in His very being, will forever be a mystery, especially on earth. Maybe when we meet Him face to face in heaven this may change.

Do You Understand Your Origin?
Elihu told Job, showing his clearness of understanding their origin, in Job 33:4 when he stated “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Then he reiterates in Job 34:14-15 that if God were to “gather unto Himself His Spirit and His breath; all flesh shall perish together and man shall return again to dust.” This reflects the creation story, where the Godhead purposed together to “make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26). Then, in Genesis 2:7 “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Thus man, as a counterpart of God, made in His image, was made able to partake of God’s divine nature in his human nature and live forever. But, this capability was cut off when, through Adam, sin was allowed to enter the world. Adam lost his dominion of the world to Lucifer or Satan. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:45 points out that, Christ as the second Adam, or last Adam, redeemed what the first Adam had lost; he said “the first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam, a quickening spirit.” The word “quick” in this context means “life” - spiritual life. And so Paul speaks of Christ returning to us this “spiritual life” by His triumph over Satan. This spiritual quickening, or spiritual life-giving, brought to us by Christ’s Spirit, enables man, though weak in the flesh, to overcome sin. Paul points this out to us in Romans 8:4 “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled (filled-full) in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Only by Christ’s Spirit dwelling in you can this be done. This is God’s redemption plan for man, that is made clear, if we fully understand our origin.
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Obedience to God is “Second Nature”
C
hrist prayed “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” – John 17:3. See also John 3:36 and Revelation 22:14. To know God is to live a life of continual obedience that is “second nature” in habit from a heart-felt knowledge of Him. True obedience to God comes directly from the heart and soul, and thus identifying fully with Him and His wishes. The mind becomes totally conformed to God’s will. The divine energy from the Holy Spirit is imbued into the soul. This is the restoration of what man was originally endowed with at creation. It is true, we of ourselves, lack the power to free ourselves from the grasps of Satan. But, when we truly desire freedom from sin and Satan’s hold, all that is necessary is to cry out for the Holy Spirit’s power from above. Choose to surrender your will to God’s control. In understanding the need of help; cry out for deliverance. The power imbued will completely harmonize your will with God’s will in your life. This knowledge of God transforms the character and our actions become a revelation of His Word. Thus obedience becomes “second nature” to you. This is the sacrifice of yourself, and in so doing you are choosing eternal life rather than eternal death.

Exercise Your Free Will!
In taking on humanity, Christ placed Himself on the same basic footing of all humanity. In John 5:30 Christ stated about Himself - “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge.” In the choices of exercising His own free will, Christ was at the same risk as you and I. He was a free moral agent, as was Adam and all mankind. So, why do we fail in the same arena of conflict, and under the same circumstances, where Christ succeeded? Christ stated above “as I hear I judge.” The important point is rightly “hearing.” Paul in Hebrews 4:1, 2 tells us “the word of hearing did not profit them, not being mixed with faith.” And Paul also said in Romans 10:17 “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Here, the word for “hearing” in Greek is “akouo”- “I hear,” but it is prefixed with “hypo” – meaning “under.” Hence we get the term “hypodermic” – meaning “under the skin.” Therefore, “under hearing” refers to obedience, as obedience to God in reference to His moral law. When Christ became a man He was “made under the law” as Paul makes clear in Galatians 4:4. And Christ, being raised as Jew, lived all the laws, the ten commandment moral law as well as the laws of Moses. We are able to conform to His moral law only by faith in God to allow His truth to penetrate under our skin and into our innermost parts. This is how Christ overcame sin and gave this as our example for us to follow. We cannot transform ourselves. Eternal life in heaven can only be attained by the right action of surrendering our free will to the Holy Spirit’s control. The choice is your own!

The Existing Rebellion
In Ezekiel chapters 8 and 9 a rebellion is pointed out by the prophet, a rebellion by the people of God. A rebellion the same as exists in Christianity today. The abominations against God are sins; and “sin” is defined as the transgression of God’s holy Law as pointed out in 1 John 3:4. Worshipping idols, the breaking of the first two commandments, was and still is the problem. But not only this, worshipping the sun god whose high day is Sunday, thus breaking the fourth commandment. However, the fault is laid at the feet of the twenty-five men, the priestly leadership causing the people to err (Ezekiel 8). Then in Ezekiel 9:2-5 “six men,” angels, and one of them with a “writers ink horn” marking the forehead, or sealing, only those persons who “sigh and cry,” in other words,v cry out against the abominable sins performed within the church of God. This sealing is going on right now. The world’s salvation is at stake here. By sitting in the church pew and remaining quiet, not speaking out, we dishonor God. This is a spiritual emergency. The “mark” placed by the angel with the “writers ink horn” is a contradistinction from the “mark of the beast.” In all the compromises being made, this prophecy in Ezekiel is totally apropos for the church today.

Christ – Creator, Redeemer and Priest
The entire book of Hebrews, one of the most important study books in the Bible, is summarized in the first three verses, Hebrews 1:1-3. It reads “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,” thus dispelling the ideas of critics that the Old Testament as a myth and not inspired writings of God. Carrying on it says, that God “hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things [heir to the throne of majesty in heaven].” Then it continues, that it is Christ “by whom he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power.” Here it is show the Christ is the Creator and sustainer of the entire universe. Then it goes on, “when he had purged our sins,” thus showing Christ as the Redeemer and Saviour of all mankind. And finally, it reads that he “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” as man’s intercessor or Priest on the right hand, the seat of honor and authority, of God the Father in heaven, there mediating on our behalf. These three verses prove Christ to be our Creator, Redeeming Saviour and Priestly king, now atoning for us in the heavenly sanctuary. It shows the universal work of Christ, the second person of the God-head, in the past, present and future. These verses are just the foretaste of the powerful message of this epistle.

The Third Angel of Revelation 14
What is it that constitutes the worship of the beast? The two statements forming the message in Revelation 14 seem to be contradictory; however, there is a preface to the message in the identification of the first beast, of which the second beast is an image. It is found in Revelation 13:18. It starts with “here is wisdom,” and follows “let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man.” The worship of the beast is the worship of a man. Even though the specifics of this prophecy point directly to one religious organization, there is a basic principle found here which is present in most religious organizations. It is that when a man or man-made dictates take priority over the heart and soul of other men’s worship of God it comes under this message in Revelation 14 of worshipping the beast. Exodus 20:3, the first commandment, says “thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” To eclipse the view of Christ, placing the views of man or man-made doctrines, traditions and ecclesiastical machinery of higher importance than God; this is the ultimate purpose of Satan. This becomes man looking to man, trusting in man for spiritual answers, instead of looking to Christ, from whom only we derive spiritual answers and hope of life eternal. Paul expounds on true faith in Romans 4:5 saying that “faith is counted for righteousness,” and in Romans 5:1 that “being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” Therefore, justification and righteousness come by an individual’s faith in God. God’s church cannot substitute anarchy for organization. The organization is from heaven, divine harmony and order are present, in which all are brethren, no hierarchy, no order of clergy, and no first minister. The highest any person can come is to the foot of the cross of Christ, where all the brethren are bowed down as equals. On earth there is only one captain – the Holy Spirit, and in heaven there is only one head of the church – Jesus Christ. To fully experience righteousness or justification by faith in Christ, it cannot be done when the third angel’s message of Revelation 14 is ignored or treated as just a theory.
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Enmity, the Natural Product of Grace
Christ endowed mankind with grace and truth as said in John 1:14 He came “full of grace and truth.” Grace is the favor of God that is not naturally earned by man. Grace has been often interpreted as an indulgence from God granted because of the problem of sin. This interpretation puts a limit on the magnificence of God’s grace. Grace is part of the glory of God which is naturally revealed in the fight against sin or unrighteousness. Grace is an energy source from God implanted into man at conversion or man’s justifying [justification]. Grace creates in man a keeping power that is supernatural coming directly from God. This keeping power, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, turns a sinful man into a sinful man by nature who can walk in truth and righteousness, obeying all God’s commands. Dispensationalists believe that the age of grace started when Christ appeared as a man. This is false, for grace came into man in the being in Eden as a direct intervention of God over the introduction of sin. This is shown in Genesis 3:15 where God said “I will put enmity between thee and the woman;” “thee” here being Satan or the devil. The word “enmity” is derived from the French “enmite” where we get the word “enemy.” “Enmity” is a mutual hatred; in this case of Satan and sin. When man came from creation “enmity” was not in his nature. This dispels another myth on the human nature of Christ, that of Him coming with the human nature of Adam prior to the Fall in Eden for Christ had “enmity” in His human nature. Without “enmity,” this natural product of grace bestowed and received by man, he could not withstand the guile of Satan. It is only through grace and its natural by-product of “enmity” that we are given the power to obey God and keep His Laws; this is the only power that can keep man steadfast to God.

The Power of Truth
John 17:17 tells us that God’s “word is truth.” Paul says in Hebrews 4:12 that truth, God’s word, is “powerful, and shaper than a two-edged sword…and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Truth is divinely sacred, powerful and the strongest force in developing a character that is righteous in the likeness of Christ. Real Christianity is when the truth of God, pure and unadulterated as it is presented in His Word, is cherished in the heart of man above all human relationships. The most powerful delusion presented by Satan is that what a man believes is of no consequence. Satan knows that the truth, as in the Word of God, is the sanctifier of a man’s soul. So, false theories, church traditions, fables and compromises of truth for the sake of unity are what Paul refers to as “another gospel” in Galatians 1:6. These are all subtle viscous deceivers that lead a man to hell. But, Christ said in John 8:32 “know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Knowledge of God’s Word, the truth, is following Christ’s example as laid down for us and this is what aligns a man with God. In education circles of today, 90% or more correct is consider an “A” student. However, in God’s economy if a student varies in one point, that student is wrong and considered “off-base.” That one point in variance is spiritually fatal, thus showing the power of God’s truth to a man. Liberality in religious faith is what all the prophets in Old and New Testaments spoke against. They were defenders of the truth, pure and uncompromised. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are to follow God! We are not to follow a man or teacher as he follows God; it is an individual experience with the Spirit of God as the unifier.

Christ’s Divine Provision
When Christ came from heaven to walk the earth as a man, what provision of divinity did He bring with Him? To be a man is to be constantly tempted by Satan, but Satan cannot tempt God. Yet, Paul in Hebrews 4:15 said of Christ that He “was in all points tempted like as we are; and in Hebrews 5:8 said that He “learned obedience by the things which he suffered.” So, when Christ came to earth He did not retain His previous omnipotence [unlimited power and influence]. For He stated clearly of Himself, as a man, in John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing.” Therefore, His human power was totally reliant on the power of God to overcome sin, as is ours. Also, when He came He did not retain His divine omniscience [knowledge to know the end from the beginning, complete universal knowledge] because He, Himself stated in Mark 13:32 “that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” He did not retain His heavenly omnipresence [present in all places at all times]. This point Christ brings forward in John 16:7 when He spoke of need of the coming “Comforter” [the Holy Spirit] to enlarge His work to all the world by the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit; a characteristic of divinity which Christ did not retain from heaven as part of His human nature. But, there was one divine provision that Christ did bring to man from heaven - His life-giving energy, which is of divine origin. This divine energy is in two parts - grace and truth. John brings this out in his discourse about the origin of Christ in John 1:14; He said, “the Word was made flesh…we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Now, for us to be free and rid of sin is for us to be filled with God’s grace and truth, pure truth, as said in John 8:32 “know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” This is the divine provision given to mankind from God in heaven, through His Son. The fruitage of this divine energy is a hatred of sin, and a great loving desire for a life of righteousness.

The Conditions For Eternal Life
The conditions for receiving eternal life at the end of living our human life are identical for those in Old Testament times as for us in and after New Testament times. The conditions that are presented by God for acceptance to heaven is that our lives on earth are lived in perfect conformity to His heavenly principles and His Law. This is very simply expressed in the Old Testament by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:13 as the whole duty of all mankind, as he stated “the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” By this “whole duty of man” we are to be judged by God at the end of time. In the New Testament, in James 2:10 and 12 this is spoken of as the “royal law” or “law of liberty,” as stated by James “For whosever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all…So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” This same standard of life for man has not changed since the beginning in Eden. Even Paul with his back and forth discourse in the book of Romans concludes in Roman 7:16 and 22 “I consent unto the law that it is good … I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” Through the indwelling of the Spirit of God, this life designed by God can be and must be accomplished, for this is the divine way of life as Christ, our example to follow, showed to us. So let us do some honest thinking. By confessing to Christ, our past sins are covered, and we are now justified by God. We are now saved from the past sins, but what about the future? We must now day by day, moment by moment, let ourselves be controlled by the Holy Spirit so as to live this desired life-style of God and be sanctified. This is the fullness of the Gospel, “the mystery” spoken of by Paul in Colossians 1:27 “Christ in you the hope of glory.”
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Promise For Teachers of Righteousness
At the end of time, as referred to in Daniel 12 where Michael stands up just prior to the final great “time of trouble,” a special promise is given for teachers of righteousness. Daniel 12:3 reads “they that be wise [margin: teachers] shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” The word in Hebrew is – hammaskilim – meaning prudent and those who teach or cause to insight. This term also appears in Daniel 11:33 with the word – maskilim – as they that understand, and are persecuted for teaching their understanding. Teaching “righteousness” is teaching right doings according to God’s Law. It brings to mind all the Christian martyrs who sacrificed their lives for teaching God’s truth. Oh, what a marvelous promise God gives that these teachers of all ages shall be raised like the stars and shine in the firmament of heaven for all to see throughout all ages and never ending! What a reward compared to sufferings in persecution, loss of reputation, loss of property, and any ease or comfort as given to those who love the world and its gains. To be such a teacher of God’s Law involves sacrifice especially where it applies to the fourth command - to keep the Sabbath hours holy. The question is continually posed - “How can you financially afford to keep the Law?” This question shows the shortsightedness of people around us, who do not understand that making strict obedience to the requirements of God needs to be of foremost consideration. The opposite of being teachers of righteousness, and the warning to them, is found in Matthew 5:19 “whosever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” And this warning comes just after Christ spoke of God’s Law, saying, He came “to fulfill” [live the Law to the full], and that not a “jot or tittle” [dot of and I or cross of a T] will “pass till all be fulfilled,” at the end of the world. What a comparison in teachers, from “least” to the most adored stars in heaven; what a promise for the teachers of righteousness.

Custom-Tailored Sanctification
God said in the beginning as recorded in Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Thus He created man imbued with power like that of Himself – an individual being with power to reason, think and act in his own accord. So, looking down the ages of time to today, we visualize Christ redeeming the human race to Himself, with the ultimate objective being the restoration of that original power. This fact is brought to the forefront where the Holy Spirit assures all God’s chosen people in Revelation 2:17 “him that overcometh … I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that recieveth it.” The “new name” reveals that of being adopted into the family of God; the “white stone” refers to when a slave was being freed from bondage was given a white stone with a new name and privileges. In our human judgment, we seem to judge sin in degrees of seriousness; however in God’s reckoning sin is sin wherein we all come short of His glory. God requires our sanctification as a prerequisite for heaven. And here is where the Holy Spirit takes charge, fitting sanctification, custom tailored, to each and everyone’s specific needs. The Holy Spirit fits us up to be presented in the royal courts of heaven, putting on the special robe of righteousness. Thus He perfects each one’s character, pure, holy and sanctified for heaven; a custom tailored sanctification renewing God’s image in us. This revival and reformation of character is real Christianity!

Hail Stones of a Talent
Revelation 16:17-21 describes the seventh plague of the series of the final seven last plagues by God to be sent just prior to Christ’s second coming in glory. In the verses it speaks of an earthquake that shakes the entire earth, islands and mountains were disintegrated, but in verse 21 a great hail storm is spoken of which says “there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent.” God has used hail storms in the past as punishment, such as the plagues in Egypt at the time of Moses, found in Exodus 9:18-35 “rain a grievous hail.” Isaiah 28:17 “the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies;” and God tells Job about His reserved treasury of hail, in Job 38:22-23 “hast thou seen the treasures of hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble;” the “time of trouble” is the time period of the seven last plagues of Revelation. I have witnessed the destruction of hail many times and seen hailstones about the size of golf balls. I was just reading in the memoires of Commodore David Porter USN [1780-1843] called “Constantinople and its Environs” where onboard his ship about a mile off the shore in the Bosporus, a hail storm hit his ship “large balls of ice falling … as though heavens artillery had been charged upon us … one man had his hand smashed … another was much injured in the shoulder … Mr. H. a blow to the leg … the most awful and terrific scene I ever witnessed, and God forbid that I should ever be exposed to another! Balls of ice as large as my two fists … my porter … had been knocked down by a hailstone, and had they not dragged him in by the heels, would have been battered to death … masses of from half a pound to a pound weight.” Now, I want you to consider the hailstone weight described in Revelation 16:21 “every stone the weight of a talent,” compared with Commodore Porter’s hailstone size of about one pound, a “talent” is approximately 34 kilograms or 75 pounds. That size of hailstones could pulverize buildings and anything standing; no wonder God says at the end of verse 21 “the plague thereof was exceeding great.” Thanks be to God that His true followers will be spared at this time of trouble, as said in Psalm 91:11 “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall and plague come nigh thy dwelling.”

Who Is “The Great Prince”?
In the book of Daniel we read of the great Prince standing for His people in the time of trouble, a delivered people, those whose names are in written in a book – the Book of Life. It reads in Daniel 12:1 “at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation … at that time shall thy people be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” There are points that are obvious in this verse that refer to the end-time just prior to Christ’s return. First, “a time of trouble … such as never was since there was a nation,” which is definitely end-time talk. Second, the people “delivered,” “every one that shall be found written in the book,” which compares to Revelation where it talks of the books opened in the final judgment scene. Now to the great prince the text refers to Him as the one who “standeth for the people” at this final time of trouble. This must represent Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of His people at the second coming. The text however refers to Him as Michael [who is like God]. Jude 9 says Michael is the “archangel” which means – the chief or head over all the angelic host. At the end of time, when the dead are raised, it is by a voice heard from heaven; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 relates that it is the voice of this archangel. And, John 5:28-29 tells us this same voice is the voice of Christ; it states “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.” Christ is called the “Prince of life” in Acts 3:15, and in Acts 5:31 “Prince and a Saviour.” In the Old Testament when God appeared to man and was bowed down to, the Jews referred to Him as an angel. Two examples of this are – first, Abraham bowed to one of the angels just prior to the destruction of Sodom [Genesis 18:1-3], and – second, Joshua bowed to the angel just prior to the fall of Jericho [Joshua 5:13-15]. So, the Great Prince and Michael appear to be Christ the Redeemer, Saviour and God the Son.
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The Hated Nicolaitan Doctrine
In the messages to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, the doctrine and deeds of the Nicolaitans is twice condemned by Christ as “hated.” Revelation 2:6 “that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans which I also hate,” and verse 15 “them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I also hate.” What were the deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitans that would cause such a strong adverse reaction from God? First, it was the combining of Gnostic mysteries of spiritualism with Christianity, which, in other words, it was a blending of Greek and Oriental philosophies with Christian beliefs. Simon Magus, or Simon the sorcerer, whose story is told in Acts 8, was partially converted to Christianity, who had a large following, was throughout history pointed to as a precursor of Gnosticism. Second, Christ proclaimed that “all ye are brethren,” with no one person to lord it over another. However, the name “Nicolaitan” is derived from two words “nico,” meaning – to rule over, and “laitan,” meaning – laity; thus a “hierarchy” where priests dictate or rule over laymen. Third, is the teaching that - we are now under grace, and in no need to obey or do the works of the Law of God. Yes, Paul in Romans 2:17 says “the just shall live by faith,” and in Romans 3:28 he says “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law,” and then he proceeds to say in verse 31 “do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid.” Does this then contradict what James brings forth about the “royal law,” the “law of liberty” [the Ten Commandment Law]? In James 2:20 he says “wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead,” and going on in verse 22 says “by works was faith made perfect.” There is no contradiction between Paul and James. When properly understood, Paul condemned the works of the Law as done in the manner of the Jews, for the outward show was not the natural fruits flowing from the Holy Spirit dwelling within the man. The works James is talking about is the works of the Law being naturally done from God dwelling within the man, a truly converted person. These three things were what Christ said He hated in the Nicolaitan doctrine.

Immortality Only Through Christ
Immortality is “only” in and through God; Paul brings this point forward in 1 Timothy 6:15-16 where he says “King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality.” Immortality is only available to man, as a gift, by that individual having Christ dwelling mentally within his or her person. We call this conversion or being saved. This is the only way man becomes immortal. This is stressed by Paul as a “must” for the Christian as he said in 1 Corinthians 15:53 “this mortal must put on immortality.” Immortality is not naturally in man’s make-up; as Paul said God “only hath immortality.” This belief separates the true follower of Christ from all pagan creeds. The immortal soul is the base tenet of Hinduism; in ancient Egypt it was written in the “Book of the Dead;” the Greeks held this belief as can be read in the writings of Plato [“Dialogues of Plato” p. 246]. This is one of the chief reasons God separated His people out of Egypt; to get away from false religious precepts. Again, when God brought His people out of the captivity in Babylon, the power on the rise was Greece with one of its main religious tenets being that of the immortal soul; God gave warning of the spiritual warfare by the prophet Zechariah. In Zechariah 9:13 the prophet said “I have bent Judah as my bow, O Zion, over your sons, O Greece, and wield you like a warrior’s sword.” Corrupt beliefs of paganism such as this run rampant through the churches today and so this spiritual warfare goes on. It is only through Christ are we to become immortal.

Character – The Mind Game
When we enter heaven, at Christ’s second coming, all that we take to heaven with us is our character. Character is made up of our personal mental traits. Christ said in John 6:63 – “the flesh profiteth nothing,” and Paul told us emphatically in 1 Corinthians 15:50 “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” Our character, is mind control; but who is in control? There are only two forces at work, good and evil; the war between Christ and Satan for human minds. It is a spiritual warfare. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are justified, but this is only the first step, for this is our title to heaven. It is just like a doctor prescribing a cure for your illness, which you quickly accept; but to be saved from the disease you must apply the prescription. So, to be saved spiritually, or sanctified, you must apply God’s Spirit in your life at all times. It is a moment by moment experience. This is defining your true spiritual self. Sanctification is the Holy Spirit imparting to us the righteous life of Christ into our character. Dwelling mentally on Christ becomes our daily life experience. Paul says it perfectly in Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Your salvation is bound up in God’s control in your mind game. So, let go, and let God have His wonderful way with your mind.

Once Saved Always Saved?
David King of Israel, chosen by God as the Heavenly-appointed leader of His people, the “man after His own heart” 1 Samuel 13:14, as a true follower of God he was in a saved condition and was justified in the eyes of God. But, once he was in this saved condition did he remain always in this saved condition? No! He let go of God when ease and selfishness set in and yielded to Satan’s snare in his lust for Bathsheba. He broke God’s Law in three commandments, - in committing adultery, - killing her husband Uriah and - bearing false witness when he lied to Nathan the prophet about his sins. One sin inevitably leads to another when we fall out of closeness to God by allowing Satan to take control of our life in any way. Being saved or sanctified is a life-time work in a day by day walk with God, allowing Him to take control of our lives by His Spirit working in and through us. On the road to salvation, the paying for indulgences for sin is nowhere found in the Bible nor is it a part of God’s plan for us. Justification by God happens once, when we accept Him as our Savior, but sanctification is a life long daily walk with God. We are saved through both sanctification and justification, not justification alone.
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Satanic Liberalism!
For a Christian to take the stance that it is of no consequence what men believe, especially as to what human nature Jesus assumed [sinless or sinful] when on earth, is a fearfully instigated form of liberalism kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. To fully understand the humanity of Christ, as our living example to emulate, is crucial to the ultimate saving of our souls. This is one the foundation stones of Christian belief. How we view Christ in His humanity affects every other facet of Christian life. Paul, in Romans 8:3-4 tells us “what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” This is how the Christian, here on earth, attains righteousness in the eyes of God; by Christ’s Spirit dwelling in us. This is true conversion! It is in the same way for us, as it was for Christ in His humanity, which Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 5:19 and 21 “God was in him … he hath made him to be sin for us [sinful human nature assumed], who new no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Our righteousness comes by faith in Christ’s Spirit dwelling in us, thus fulfilling God’s Law by living our life through the Holy Spirit working our mind and body, and the fruitage is the good works of the Law attained by this infilling. Finally, Paul again explains Christ’s human nature to us in Hebrews 2:14-17 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also took part of the same … he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren.” Ask yourself the question, what human nature did Abraham and his seed have? - Sinful or sinless human nature, which one! Also, the text says Christ was like us “in all things,” which includes our human nature. Taking the stand that it is of no consequence what we believe is one of Satan’s greatest liberalistic deceptions. However, also remember, even though Christ in His humanity was fully like us; in His divinity He was also fully God.

The Gift of Prophecy
In 2 Peter 1:21 we here the words “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” As we just read, it was the moving of God through His Spirit that brought about the Scriptures, not by the will of man. It was by the prophets of God that He communicated His truth to us and the world. It was the Holy Spirit who qualified or enabled the holy men to write or to speak. God used human agencies for His work of communications. Though the different prophets had different ways of expressing points, they all harmonized with one another revealing the perfect whole of the Scripture through the Holy Spirit. The prophecy spoken of by Peter at this point in time refers to those of the Old Testament writings. But, prophecy is a gift of the Spirit where God reveals truths to man through the use of visions, dreams and divine illuminations His words to be spoken. Also, Revelation 19:10 says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” What a marvelous collection of writings that make the whole Word, the Bible. Beware though, for Satan is ever ready to counterfeit the truths of God’s Word. Therefore, Christ warned us about the many false prophets coming to us in these end times, and that we are to pray for discernment so as to avoid and reject presentations from false prophets and teachers.

“I Die Daily”
Justification is an ever-present daily experience for anyone who has “the faith of Jesus,” as Paul declared “I die daily” [1 Corinthians 15:31. True “justification” is an actual event in time. The public sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, on the cross at Calvary is a one time event, never again to be repeated. In Genesis 22:7-8 this was the faith that Abraham had in the future sacrifice of Christ on the cross when he answered his son as to the sacrifice. Isaac asked “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son God will provide himself a lamb.” When in meditation at the foot of the cross we are faced with the fact that nobody can atone for himself. Abraham knew this fact when he stood on Mt. Moriah with Isaac. Justification is a general provision by Christ’s sacrifice for all to take advantage of, for we all have sinned. Paul puts it this way in Romans 5:18 when he said “as by the offence of one [Adam in Eden] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ in His humanity] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Then Paul gives the reason for this “justification” in Roman 3:23-26 where he states “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” This is a daily experience to the follower of Christ, to “die daily.” Your faith in, and of, Jesus justifies you, but only “if we confess our sins,” then “He is faithful and just to forgive our sins.” Thus Christ is able to present us to His Father as holy and righteous.

Importance of the Word “Still”
The word “still” in definition as an adverb or adjective according to Webster means to be without motion of any kind, in a fixed state of being. So, when we read the declaration of Christ in Revelation given to us from heaven just prior to His return to earth, the word “still” has a huge significance. In Revelation 22:11 Christ declares “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” We only have two basic groups of people here presented, not four; - the unjust and filthy, - the righteous and holy. One group is in harmony with God, the other group is totally out of harmony with God. The word “still” teaches a great principle, in that both groups come to a point in time when no change in character is further possible. As the word “still” indicates a fixed state, where no more intercession of Christ will be made for anyone; our fate is then sealed. And this time is prior to the second coming of Christ. There is no other question, research or study in the Bible that should take precedence over this event and how to be prepared for it. Does the word “perfection” come to mind? We, as true followers of Christ, are to fully reflect the image of God prior to translation. Some take the phase “changed in the twinkling of an eye” to mean that an impure person is to be changed to pure at Christ’s return, but our text above says “No” to this thought. What is changed here is changing from mortal to immortal. We are to be “righteous” and “holy” here and now, and this is accomplished only by “Christ in you,” your only hope of attaining glory in heaven. That little word “still” is so important.

Can Dry Bones Live Again?
The vision of the valley of dry bones is presented to us in Ezekiel 37. Here Ezekiel saw in verse 1 “the valley which was full of bones,” and in verse 3 God asked him “can these bones live?” Verse 4 he is told by God to “prophecy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.” Then, in verse 5 God says to the dry bones “I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live,” and going down to verse 14 God says He “shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live.” The breath of life and the Spirit are one from God, the same as at Creation God breathed into man the “breath of life,” His Spirit. Therefore, at death it is “the breath” only that returns to God. But who are these bones representing? Verse 11 says “these bones are the whole house of Israel,” and this takes in the entire body of the church, even today. Verse 10 points out that with the breath of life returning to the dry bones they revived and “stood up upon their feet.” What separated this body of people from God was the trespassing of His Law resulting in worldliness and indifference. The bones needed the reviving influence of the Holy Spirit. There are many today whose names are recorded on the church books and who are active in many church duties, but are without the active zeal of “the first love;” these souls are not recorded in the “Lamb’s book of life.” It is what we are warned of in Revelation 2:4 “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The zeal of the “first love” of God left no room for compromises of His Word. John 1 says Christ is “the Word,” and “the Word” is the Bible in whom is our life and light unto the revival of our dry bones readying us for the soon-coming everlasting salvation.
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Galilee Crisis
John 6 points out a crisis in Galilee. After feeding the 5000 with five loaves and two fishes, in verse 66 we read “from that time many of His disciple went back [spiritually backward] and walked no more with Him.” But why did this crisis appear? After the huge success of supplying food for the multitude, this potential army for Christ realized they may never more need worry for physical food by following this Leader. However, Christ was fulfilling the immediate need while counseling them to seek for “meat which endureth unto life everlasting” [John 6:27]. In verse 48 Christ said “I am the bread of life,” and then in verse 51 He continued “if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread I will give is my flesh.” The turning point came when in verse 53 He told them “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” This was too much for many of His follower to accept, especially when the church leaders reminded them that this was the son of Joseph, so how could He be bread from heaven. Thus their spiritual eyes were shut to the Word of truth, and as the text says they “went back” into spiritual blindness. Christ was trying to lead His followers from the daily material things of life onward into the spiritual realm. The same crisis is facing Christ’s followers today. That of spiritual blindness in following man-made theories and traditions and not opening our minds to God’s Word. His Word is not placed in a creedal box. It is ever moving and ever opening deeper truth to the spiritually alive follower. Let us not repeat the crisis at Galilee in going “back and walked no more with Him.” Remember what is said in Proverbs 4:18 “the path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Continuing Memorial – The Lord’s Supper
There are two monumental ordinance pillars upon which the name of Christ is prescribed; they are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both are continuing memorials and true tests of the heart, to the benefit of all of Christ’s followers, and everything connected with them entails much perfect preparation. They are not to be taken in a light manner or in a common place way, especially the Lord’s Supper or Communion is not any way a common place meal. It is a memorial of the last act partaken of by Christ with his disciples. As to the frequency of Communion, it is not defined, but the inference by Paul is, as found in 1 Corinthians 11:26 “as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup.” Partaking of the Communion supper is a renewal of faith in Christ as your Savior, and fellowshipping with like believers. Paul brings forth a very strong point in 1 Corinthians 11:27 saying “Whosoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord, in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” He speaks not about the exclusion of any person to participate, but about the unworthy commonplace manner of participating in this memorial supper. The Communion supper is open to all who believe in God, and is a heart wrenching test and trial. No matter how guilty or unworthy you feel, participation in Communion is aimed to try the heart and renew your faith in God. Christ said “Do this in remembrance of me.”

Use It or Lose It!
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 brings forth that the talents, great or small, are bestowed upon us by God are to be put to good use. And as said in verse 21 we can expect the same words “well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” But, if the talents given are not used they are naturally taken from us and only condemnation can now be expected by God. The talents given by God when used are multiplied; it comes as natural as any bodily exercise. Life’s success does not come by chance or fate; it is only by the outpouring reward of God’s Spirit for the working of your talents through faith in Christ. We are expected to use the talents or gifts received from God on a daily basis; and the requirements needed to perform them are endowed to us by God. As we use these talents He strengthens us and grants more gifts for us to use. By following Christ’s example in listening to His Spirit more and greater works will be given for us to do.

Dark Agencies
During the time of the Dark Ages and the rise of Protestantism there are five agencies of darkness revealed in the book of Revelation. First, in Revelation 12 “the great Red Dragon” [Lucifer or Satan]; second, in Revelation 13 “the Leopard-like Beast” [Roman Catholicism]; third, also in Revelation 13 “the Lamb-like Beast” [United States of America]; fourth, again in Revelation 13 “the Image to the Beast” [Protestantism that has gone into apostasy]; and finally the fifth, in Revelation 17 is “the Scarlet-colored Beast.” On this last Beast is today’s topic. Throughout this time period, the Reformation churches, understanding the time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, pointed their fingers at the Papacy as the Leopard-like Beast. So, to throw the light of prophecy off the Catholic Church two new methods of teaching were introduced, both opposite to each other, and both developed by the Jesuit Order of Catholicism. First is the “preterist” interpretation of prophecy putting all prophecy into the ancient past, the other is the “futurist” interpretation placing all prophecy far into the future. Many Protestant denominations have adopted the “futurist” view which is opposing their historical stand. Now to that “Scarlet-colored Beast,” see Revelation 17:3-7. This beast has nothing whatsoever to do with Catholicism, and its rise on the stage of history is when during the “second woe” where the “two witnesses,” the Old and New Testaments [the Bible], were destroyed for a short time of 3 ½ years [Revelation 11:7-8]. What time period in world history accurately fits this description? The French Revolution from November 1793 – June 1797. The Bible and all religion was destroyed, and the term “crush the wretch,” speaking of Christ, was heard throughout France. The dark agency behind the French Revolution was the atheistic power called “the Iluminati,” the ones illumined by Lucifer the god of Light and Reason. The Goddess of Reason was raised and marched through the streets of Paris. Catholicism attempted to crush Protestantism but the Iluminati crushed Catholicism for a short time. I have just scratched the surface of this great subject.
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“No Other Gods Before Me”
In the first of the Ten Commandments, in Exodus 20:3, God orders man saying “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Man, individually, is directly responsible to God. There is no priest or middle-man to go through to connect you to God. Christ, instructs us in Matthew 23:8-10 “be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ [our High Priest in heaven]; and all ye are brethren [all equal]. And call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.” Within Christianity today there are far too many hierarchical, man-made agencies dictating and controlling the minds of men, which God has not ordained. By carrying on in this manner it is much in the same attitude as was Uzzah laying his hands upon the ark of God to steady it [2 Samuel 6:6], as though God had lost control and needed human help to accomplish his program. In the Old Testament Israel was to be “a kingdom of priests” [Exodus 19:6] answerable to God through the High Priest in the earthly tabernacle or temple, but now in the New Testament the High Priest is Christ in the heavenly tabernacle and we are all “a royal priesthood” [1 Peter 2:9]. The Jewish nation failed in their God-given objective by casting dissidents out of their temple and synagogues with the ultimate rejection being the murder of their Messiah, the Son of God. Christian denominations do similar things today with leadership crying out “Follow Me, as I follow God,” and worship God as they direct, following their theories and their traditions instead of directly following God. This dictatorial attitude is a rejection of Christ’s agency, the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that guides a man to the truth. When men in leadership capacity step in to take mental control of other men, they, in essence are trying to take the place of the Holy Spirit, God. God is jealous, and says “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” no matter what form they may take.

Divine Sovereignty of God
The eventual redeeming to heaven of mankind is fundamental to our relationship to God our Divine Sovereign. God is love, and by His sovereignty the fullness of all blessings flow to us, as said in Psalms 74:12 God is “working salvation in the midst of the earth.” And, this salvation for man is being accomplished at a very fast pace, as said in Revelation 1:1 God revealing things “which must shortly come to pass.” The sovereignty of God throughout all earthly history has been the foremost question of all times. This question started soon after creation in Eden where Satan, the enemy of God, suggested that because our first parents yielded to him, usurping their dominion, that he is now the chosen earthly sovereign. But not all yield to this suggestion, this witnessed in every sacrifice made to the true God. It all comes down to allegiance to our Divine Sovereign where He says in John 14:15 “if you love Me keep my Commandments.” And, if you are looking forward to eternal life Jesus brings forward to you in Matthew 19:17 “if thou wilt enter into life [eternal life], keep the Commandments.” The story of Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapters 2-4 reveals a lesson on the sovereignty of God. To the king, God revealed world history from his time, in the multi-metal image, with the king himself as the head of gold. The king’s personal ambitions got in the way of recognizing the sovereignty of God and he erected an image, but it was all of gold. Later he boasted in Daniel 4:30 “is not this great Babylon, that I have built.” Then, immediately in verse 31 “while the word was in the king’s mouth” his sanity left him until he confessed to all people the sovereignty of God. This he did in a most beautiful confession in Daniel 4:34-35 giving praise, honor and glory in all things to God, and recognizing Him as the Divine Sovereign of the everlasting dominion.

Step Out of the Box
Rule, rule is the order of the day among denominations with all their traditions and creeds heaped upon the Word of God. The true Christian must step out of the box, for the righteousness of Christ is pure unadulterated truth lived out in the life of His people by the indwelling of His Spirit. It goes beyond doctrines, creeds and traditions; it is a way of life with Christ, the Living Word, in us. For Christ Himself said in Matthew 20:25-26 “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you.” We are all equal in the eyes of God, as said in Matthew 23:8 “all ye are brethren.” Living a life of righteousness by faith in God is not something that happened in history, it is to be done throughout all the history of Christianity. Satan exults when church leadership flaunts their degrees and sets creedal boundaries upon people, stifling individuality in thought. Jesus had to step outside this box and we must, too. The time is now to understand what Paul said in Hebrews 13:12-14, “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” The story of the blind man in John 9, when his membership in the synagogue was in jeopardy, chose to step out of the box and follow Christ. He was cast out of the church, but cast into the waiting arms of Christ.
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Undermining Influence of Idolatry
Idolatry in the Old Testament tended toward worshipping idols but the New Testament broadened the conception of idolatry. This is shown to be any influence drawing a man from obedience to God, and is related to us in Philippians 3:19 [gluttony] and Ephesians 5:5 [covetousness]. God is jealous over all our forms of self-gratification. When we look at the Ten Commandment Law of God [the Decalogue] we find it divided into two sections. First, the first four commands are man’s relationship to God, and second, 6-10, man’s relationship to his fellow man. This is what Christ brought forward when, in Matthew 22:36-40, He showed the two divisions and said “on these two commandments hang all the law.” It was nothing new to the Jews. However, in addressing idolatry, the first section, Commandments 1-4, taking in our relationship to God, idolatry is most heavily addressed because in this He says He is “jealous” of our worship. Even the fourth Commandment, regarding God’s particular day of worship, He says is a “sign” or “mark” of His people. Israel was repeatedly warned about idolatry within their confines, and finally God sent them into captivity in Babylon for 70 years. Then, He re-established them with the warning from His prophet, in Daniel 9:24 that a second chance was given with a time period of 70 weeks [of day/years] “to make an end of sins.” The time prophecy of 70 weeks of day/years extended from 457 BC to 34 AD. At the end of which the Jews stoned Stephen, rejecting their Messiah, and sealed their fate not individually, but as a nation. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:11-14 tells us today that “these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come … let him that standeth take heed lest he fall…wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry,” and every form and undermining influence of it.

Discovery Through the Hole
In reading Ezekiel 8 and 9 we find, in actuality, one vision. Ezekiel the prophet to captive Israel in Babylon was taken by God in vision back to Jerusalem, “the spirit lifted me…to Jerusalem,” to realize why Israel was in captivity. God told Ezekiel “behold a hole in the wall” and look. Because of the “great abominations” of Israel He had to abandon His people and said “go far from my sanctuary.” Now He shows Ezekiel why He had to do this. This is also a lesson for God’s people today. There are many points in the abominations shown, but I am going to concentrate on one - the “women weeping for Tammuz,” which God calls one of the “greater abominations” in His sight. Tammuz was the Son of the Sun-god Nimrod, the Phoenicians called him Adonis and the perfect lover-boy. All things marked by excessive sexual gratifications were his trade. This is looked upon by God as a “greater abomination” and very distasteful to Him. Modern fashion with exposing too much of the anatomy enticing sexual activity is the subject here. There is a second application of Tammuz as Son of the Sun-god shown, it is that of Mother and Son worship. The worship of Mary and Christ, her divine Son, and elevating her to a form of deity, is only one of many found in the world of paganism. Pagan religions follow this type of worship - [Egypt] Isis and Horus; [Babylon] Semiramis and Tammuz; [Asia] Devaki and Crishna; [India] Isi and Iswara; and this follows all through Europe and China. In all these, mother and child both received honors as divinity. The Melchites introduced this in Christianity at the Council of Nicea as a Trinity consisting of Father, Virgin Mary and the Son as the Messiah. All this and more abominations were shown to Ezekiel through the hole. What do you see?

“Anoint the Most Holy”
This phrase “anoint the most holy” has been applied by many expositors of the Bible to that of the person of Christ. The phrase is found in Daniel 9:24 in the unfolding of the time line prophecies of the 2300 day/years and seventy weeks of day/years both commencing in 457 BC. It reads “seventy weeks are determined upon thy people … to make an end of sins … seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” The term “most Holy” in Hebrew is “kodesh kodashim” referring to the most holy place, the “holy of holies,” or the “sanctum sanctorum” inner place in the Jewish temple; which is the same place in the heavenly temple, as one is replica of the other. These terms as used many time throughout the Bible always applies to a place, not a person. Paul refers to Christ as our mediator and priest in the heavenly temple’s first apartment, and also as our High Priest ministering in the second apartment of the temple in heaven. To rightly understand what Christ is doing now we need a good understanding of the temple services established by God through Moses and Aaron. The seventy week prophecy in Daniel commenced in 457 BC and ended in 34 AD. The end of it was subdivided into 69 weeks and one week. This last week of seven day/years was 27 AD to 34 AD when the Messiah was cut off or put to death mid-week, or 31 AD. Therefore, “the anointing of the most Holy” at the end of the seventy weeks or 490 years is the commencing of the priestly ministry of Christ in the temple in heaven – the anointing of the heavenly temple to begin the new ministration under Christ.

“The Sealing,” History Repeated
History is constantly repeating itself, as King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “there is no new thing under the sun.” Paul, in Galatians 4:26 tells Christians today that “Jerusalem which is above [spiritual New Jerusalem] … is the mother of us all.” We today are spiritual Israel! And the lessons shown to Israel of old are lessons for us today. In Ezekiel 8-9 the prophet had a vision of God’s messengers going through Israel and marking in the forehead a seal on His true followers who truly obeyed Him. Ezekiel 9:4-5 says “go … through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for the abominations that be done in the midst thereof,” and in the end “slay utterly old and young … come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.” God began the slaughter at the sanctuary, with the “ancient men,” the spiritual leaders who had led the people into apostasy from God and His laws. This historical vision of Ezekiel is to be repeated near the end of time. This same seal or mark in the forehead, of those who abhor what is being done within the church, will be applied as is foretold in the book of Revelation. This is found in Revelation 3:12 “Him that overcometh … I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God … and I will write upon him my new name.” This writing of the seal in Revelation 3:12 is opposite to the mark of the beast power [Satan] in Revelation 14:9. Going on to Revelation 14:12 reveals that God’s true followers are those only “that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” By having in us the same faith that Jesus has, by the Spirit in Him, the Spirit gives power to keep all of God’s commandments. In this repeating of history may we show the faith to have this seal or mark of God in our foreheads, the seat of our thinking.
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Principle of “The Harvest”
The term - “the harvest” is a Biblical principle taught by Christ for God’s people coming to the end of earthly time. In Matthew 13:39, as told by Christ, “the harvest is the end of the world.” Also, Christ reveals this same message to John in Revelation 14:14-15 when the angel from the temple calls to Christ just prior to His return to earth, “thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of earth is ripe.” Christ is the farmer looking toward the harvest, and the fruit of the harvest is the reproduction of Himself in the hearts of His true followers. We continually ask the question – “why is Christ delaying His return to earth?” This is why – Christ, as our Example, is waiting for the crop of His followers to be fully ripened into His image. Another point associated with the harvest principle is the fact that God is the one who gives the increase. Paul brings this forth in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 when he said “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” Here we see that the growth of the seed to the ripening of perfection and holiness is accomplished by God alone. Christ in us is our hope of glory. This is our ripening into holiness brought about by our faith in Christ. God also designed that through the agency of the church this ripening should be done, but the majority of these agencies are now moving away from the path of true righteousness, watering down the law of God and following cunningly devised fables and traditions. All of the prophecies, promises and threats from God are conditional on faithful obedience to Him. God uses these agencies only on condition of faithfully following His truth. Eternal consequences for each of us are in question here.

Quality or Quantity, Which?
In God’s economy the majority has never been right. Even though God wishes all to be saved, His true followers are always “the few,” protected and shielded by Him. At the second coming of Christ and the re-populating of heaven, what does God want, quality of persons or quantity? Throughout the entire Bible God has shown how particular He is, and states in Malachi 3:6 “I am the Lord, I change not.” And Paul says of Christ, the second person of the God-head, in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” There is no variableness with God. The question we must ask ourselves individually is, “How firmly established am I upon God’s Holy Word?” Do I get swayed by any wind of doctrine, any manifestation of spiritual presence, or religious ecstasy without subjecting these to a thorough study of God’s Word? Just how established am I? Read Hebrews 12, especially verse 14 where Paul speaks of our holiness of character, “Follow peace … and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Also the words of Solomon’s summation of a man’s life in Ecclesiastes 12:12-13 “be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” The story of the spiritual change of King Asa in 2 Kings 15:1-15 and 2 Chronicles 15:1-16 is very enlightening on the subject of quality in the worship of God. The prophet of God told Asa in 2 Kings 15:2 “The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” The quality of God’s people is shown in the rigid strictness of worship as we read on in verses 8 through 16 “put away the abominable idols out of all the land … and they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God … with all their hearts … whosoever would not seek the Lord … put to death … small or great.” Just how firmly established the King was in his faith is expressed in verse 16 when he had to remove his own mother from being queen because of idolatry. Cleanse the camp or church as did Moses in Exodus of all high or low who do not adhere fully to God’s word, supporting false doctrines or traditions of men. Moses did, Asa did, Paul did, it is no different with God today, and so we must too! Remove it or remove yourself from it. God is more interested in quality than quantity.
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Get Your Head Out of the Sand!
“Lift up your heads,” lift them out of the sand, and realize what is going on around you. Luke brings this point out in Luke 21:28 in saying to us “look up, and lift up your heads: for your redemption draweth nigh.” It is nigh, close at hand, and Luke said this immediately after reciting the events to occur just prior to the second coming of Christ. In verses 24-25 “signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars,” also that “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” All these signs are now past history, so how much time is left? We are now living on borrowed time! Matthew 24 and Mark 13 give parallel accounts of these signs, but only Luke gives the specifics regarding Jerusalem as one of the final signs. The signs in the sun and moon occurred on May 19, 1780 when darkness covered the Eastern seaboard of the USA from 10 AM till midnight when the moon showed its face, and it was blood red. This event was recorded in all the newspapers as “The Dark Day” [Boston Gazette and Country Journal, May 29, 1780]. The sign in the stars occurred as a shower of stars that fell like a snowfall for the entire night of November 12-13, 1833 [History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century, p. 328]. The final sign occurred in Jerusalem. First was the complete destruction in 70 AD by the Romans, and then the rise at the “times of the Gentiles fulfilled.” The rise of Jerusalem into Israeli power came in a succession of events, first 1948 – the establishment of the country of Israel; second 1967 – the Six-Day War with Jerusalem captured [the sign]; and lastly in 1980 the government of Israel moved its capitol to Jerusalem. This is the final sign of the series from God. “Lift up your heads” out of the sand and open your eyes to the signs of the end and new beginning to come.

Control of Self
About self control, God tells us in Proverbs 16:32 “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” The passions of the natural heart are controlled by Satan; this is why we are not to rely on feelings or emotion in decisions, especially spiritual ones. This point is brought to the forefront in Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it.” At the trial in the judgment hall, at the height of the humiliation taken by Christ, He endured with the attitude that we should have - that of patience and self-control. This attitude is the greatest evidence of nobility in a Christian. Christ met insult, taunting and mockery with no spirit of retaliation in His heart. He is our pattern to copy. We sometimes worry ourselves to frenzy when tempted by Satan, and by this fall out of harmony with Christ. 1 Peter 2:22-23 states about Christ, “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” When vexations daily assault us we should patiently endure them through dependence on Christ.

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