Monthly Archives: May 2016

Is ‘Brexit’ the Cure for Britain’s Sickness?

In less than four weeks, Britain will vote whether to leave or stay in the European Union. Those campaigning to leave the EU see the vote as Britain’s last chance to regain sovereignty and come out from under the German-dominated union. But will leaving the EU be the solution to Britain’s problems? On today’s show, Stephen Flurry discusses the real source of Britain’s troubles.

Advertisements

Mediterranean Battle Escalating Into World War III!

https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/13891.24.185.0/world/world-war-ii/mediterranean-battle-escalating-into-world-war-iii

573ddba7!h.300,id.14057,m.fill,w

Watch the Mediterranean! BIBLE PROPHECY SHOWS THAT IT WILL BE A MAJOR STAGING GROUND FOR BATTLES THAT WILL ESCALATE INTO WORLD WAR!

However, prophecy also shows that this is ultimately very good news. As other passages in Daniel tell us, Germany’s dominance of the Middle East will end just as quickly as it began. This king of the north is destined to fall—because he will dare to fight Jesus Christ Himself! “[A]nd he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but HE SHALL BE BROKEN WITHOUT HAND” (Daniel 8:25).

With the armies of man defeated, Jesus Christ will reign supreme, ensuring that no man-made dreams of dominance will again threaten the peace of the Earth!

God Doesn’t Charge Interest

https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/182.20.7.0/economy/god-doesnt-charge-interest

Jesus Christ will return and restore God’s government over all the earth. As King, He will administer and enforce God’s commandments, statutes and judgments. This world will be given a fresh start. The problems of the world will be solved; the wounds healed; the debts canceled.

Notice Luke 4:16-19: “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Christ was quoting Isaiah 61:1-2. And the last part of that quote, “the acceptable year of the Lord,” is an allusion to the jubilee year. But He’s talking about a much greater jubilee—a millennial jubilee.

Imagine! This time around, Christ will raise up His spiritual nation, Israel, to be built on the foundation of the same laws He revealed thousands of years ago. And Christ will begin this millennial reign by first restoring the jubilee! Everyone will have a clean slate financially—all debts will be canceled. Christ will then determine fair and equitable boundaries in which all will live. All will be given their fair portion—their inheritance. Micah 4:4 says every man shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree. In God’s nation, all citizens will own property. And as God always intended for ancient Israel, all laws, including financial laws, will be based upon the supreme law of love—the way of give.

We should point out that, anciently, Israel did charge reasonable interest rates on short-term loans to foreign countries. But they were a carnal people who did not have God’s Spirit. They didn’t have God’s love. In the World Tomorrow, however, God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. All will be expected to live the way of give. No more interest on loans. No more skyrocketing inflation. No more poverty that grows worse with each passing generation. No more financial disasters like what has happened in Russia. No more recessions.

There will be peace, happiness, prosperity and abundance for all mankind. What a beautiful time that will be! If you would like an in-depth look into this future utopia, defined in Acts 3:19 as the “times of refreshing,” please ask for your own free copy ofMystery of the Ages. The final chapter of this 363-page book gives a concise, yet detailed, description of this coming age. Most people do not know how much the Bible describes this refreshingly new society. Mystery of the Ages puts these many biblical passages together in one uninterrupted narrative so that you might understand the Bible. Write for your free copy today to get a glimpse of tomorrow’s world—a time when God’s economy will be set up to prevent poverty and reward those who work diligently.

What Do You Mean ‘Baptized With Fire’?

https://www.pcog.org/articles/2539/what-do-you-mean-baptized-with-fire

Much confusion exists about the baptism with fire. Here is the plain, biblical truth.

John the Baptist declared: “I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy [Spirit] and with fire” (Luke 3:16). Most professing Christians have heard of water baptism and the receipt of the Holy Spirit. Although interpretations vary as to what this means, there is a general consensus among those who proclaim to follow Christ that it is something that is desired, even needed. But what about the mysterious baptism with fire? When does it take place? And is it something a Christian should seek?

Tongues of Fire

Those who say one should seek baptism with fire erroneously associate it with the “cloven tongues like as of fire” that appeared on the disciples on the first day of Pentecost (Acts 2:3). The expression “like as” in this verse means just that: as if it were. It doesn’t say fire descended on these disciples.

Similar to the outward appearing of a dove descending on Jesus Christ after His baptism and the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” this visual sign, resembling flames of fire, accompanied the first outpouring and receipt of the Holy Spirit on Christ’s disciples, who were now commissioned to do a work throughout the entire Earth.

These disciples did not waste any time in using this special gift. “And they were all filled with the Holy [Spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now … the multitude … were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judæa, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God” (verses 4-11). God started His Church as an international work. His message was clearly understandable to these people who had traveled from far and wide to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

Who Did John Address?

But let’s go back to the account of John the Baptist. Matthew 3:5 tells us that all Jerusalem and allJudæa came to hear and see John the Baptist. Did they all come in a repentant attitude, seeking salvation? Certainly not!

Droves of people came to see John preach and baptize in the wilderness. For many, it was out of curiosity over what everyone was talking about. Many looked on baptism as a ritualistic washing. So John’s preaching was not only to those who genuinely sought repentance, but also to the unrepentant, hypocritical religious crowd. Notice what John said of this latter group: “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matthew 3:7-10).

It is important to note that John said that He who would come after him—Jesus Christ—would be the one who would baptize with the Spirit and with fire.

Immersed By Gehenna

John did not baptize all who came to hear and see him—not even in a water baptism. He first demanded, as does God, fruits of repentance. Many of the Pharisees and Sadducees who heard John preach were hypocritical and unrepentant; they did not produce good fruits. John said theywould be baptized with fire, or immersed in gehenna fire, unless they would repent. John commented that they were awaiting “the wrath to come.”

It is obvious that the account of Acts 2 was not a description of this wrath to come. Instead, that gehenna fire, or the wrath to come, refers to the lake of fire, which the Bible states is the second death(Revelation 20:14).

What is the penalty for those who refuse to quit sinning? Mark 9:43 gives us the answer. Christ was not speaking of literally severing limbs, but rather to stop using them to commit sin! The word translated hell here is from the Greek gehenna, not the more commonly used hades, which means the grave.Since Jesus Christ states that these unrepentant sinners “go into [gehenna], into the fire,” it can be inferred that those who go to gehenna receive punishment by fire. Mark reinforces this in verses 45 and 47. Gehenna clearly refers to fire.

Notice what the Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course states in lesson 6 concerning gehenna: “This Greek word is derived from the name of the narrow, rocky Valley of Hinnom, which lies just outside Jerusalem. It was the place where refuse was burned up. Trash, filth and the dead bodies of animals and despised criminals were thrown into the fires of gehenna,or the Valley of Hinnom. Ordinarily, everything thrown into this valley was destroyed by fire—completely burned up. Therefore, Christ used gehenna to picture the fate of unrepentant sinners!”

In Malachi 4:1-3 and Revelation 21:8 we see this ultimate fate of all the incorrigibly wicked described as a devouring lake of fire.

Gathering Grain, Fanning Chaff

Notice Matthew 3:11-12: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy [Spirit], and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Jesus Christ is depicted here as having a fan in His hand. Fans were used to separate the wheat from the chaff. Once the grain was harvested, a fan was used to separate the wheat kernels from the chaff. And the fate of the chaff is to be burned with unquenchable fire.

In the parable of the tares, Christ stated: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:30). The wheat obviously represents the saints, and the tares (or chaff) are the unrepentant sinners. Christ privately educated His disciples on this meaning. “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world” (verses 37-40). This was a prophecy for the end of this world.

An Earth-Encompassing Fire

Letting the Bible interpret the Bible, the floor of Matthew 3 is the same as the field of chapter 13—it represents the world. Notice how similar the wording is used by both John and Christ. At the end of this world, when God has set His hand to save all mankind, those who still refuse to amend their ways will be gathered and immersed—baptized—with fire, which consumes them. Their lives were chaff—a fruitless existence. God will purge out any rebels.

God certainly does not delight in this immersion by fire. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). But for those who refuse to repent, Peter goes on to describe, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (verse 10).

During the prophesied lake of fire, “the elements shall melt with fervent heat,” and incorrigible sinners and their works shall be burned up and be as though they never were. This planet will beimmersed by fire, and its physical surface will be burned up. This is a baptism we all should fear, not seek. Instead, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (verses 11-14).

Only by a full immersion in water as an outward symbol of an inward attitude that wants to live in newness of life, and a fruitful life fueled through baptism with God’s Holy Spirit, could we ever be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless—and avoid the baptism by fire!

Proving the Truth About Sex

https://www.pcog.org/articles/2533/proving-the-truth-about-sex

Exposing lies that are ruining young people’s lives

You and your peers are being lied to. Deliberately, boldly, repeatedly. By people who say they want to help you. But their lies are destroying many young people just like you.

Who is lying to you? Health educators. What are they lying about? Sex.

These educators are feeding students misinformation that makes young people think they are safe when they indulge in high-risk sexual behaviors. They are depriving people of the facts!

One study shows that when a teenage girl is sexually active, she is more than three times as likely to be depressed—and nearly three times likelier to have attempted suicide! Sexually active teen boys are eight times likelier to try to kill themselves.

Will sex ed teachers tell you that? Not likely. They are committed to ideas that reject Christian teaching on sex and marriage—so committed that they cover up truths that prove them wrong.

Someone called “Anonymous M.D.” has exposed these lies in her book, Unprotected. She is an Ivy League-trained psychiatrist working at a prestigious American university. The thousands of people she treats are bright students—but their lives are physical, emotional and spiritual disaster zones.

She calls herself “Anonymous M.D.” because she knows that if other psychiatrists and sex educators find out who she is, they will persecute her.

This book describes the hormone oxytocin that is released in a female’s body during sexual activity and while nursing a baby. God designed this hormone to benefit a married woman: It is proven to increase a woman’s attachment, devotion and trust for her husband and her nursing child. What does this hormone do when it is released during premature sexual relationships? It boosts a young woman’s emotional attachment and trust to a young man who has no intention of ever loving her and providing for her! She is left vulnerable and devastated with heartache!

Did you know that millions of college students are contracting sexually transmitted diseases? They have been taught that they can have “safe sex,” so they are engaging in terribly risky sexual activity, thinking they will be fine. Yet even while these young people get these gross infections, educators downplay the proven harmful, sometimes incurable, and even fatal health effects of stds!

Health center pamphlets say such infections are “very common … almost everyone gets [one] at some time. [H]aving only a single lifetime partner does not assure protection. [A]nyone who has ever had sexual relations has a high chance of being exposed to this virus.”

Can you detect the horrendous lies in these statements? Some stds, including hiv, almost only affect people who engage in unnatural sex acts. Also, the younger a woman is when she becomes sexually active, the more vulnerable to infection she is. However, some people simply won’t accept theseproven facts because that means they have to change their behavior!

Don’t believe these lies! Believe the Creator and designer of sex, who tells you how and when to use it in a way that will be healthy and good and will protect you from the agony these young people are suffering.

You don’t need to fear these diseases—if you obey God’s law! That means waiting to have sex until you are married, and marrying someone else who waited until marriage.

Anyone who believes God’s laws are “done away” should honestly consider the curses plaguing young people who break them.

These professionals also ignore the fact that stds can make people infertile—unable to have children. Apparently these people are concerned only with preventing parenthood; they don’t care about ensuring a woman can have children when she wants them.

Unprotected also speaks of the pain suffered by women and men who decide to abort their babies. Many experience symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder for years after they kill their unborn child. For some, this pain grows over time. Still, pregnant young girls who go to a professional counselor don’t hear these facts. They are told that murdering a fetus is a simple procedure like a tonsillectomy.

These lies are destroying people, sabotaging students’ educations, and creating emotional and spiritual wrecks.

What do you think God thinks about these lies? He says He is wrathful against the “wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18; Revised Standard Version).

Young people: Please reject these lies! Don’t bet your future on what a sex ed teacher says or what your friends think is safe. Look at the facts. Think hard about why the Creator of sex has given you laws about it. Think about the students at God’s schools, and how they can receive true education, unpolluted by the distracting and destructive trysts and dangerous “experimental” behavior that other students are suffering from.

You need the facts. You need to remain committed to obeying God’s sex laws and to rejecting sexual sins. The facts prove that God’s eternal, beautiful, simple spiritual laws still produce happy, healthy lives today.

Right now, a teen is heartbroken because of what she let a guy do to her. Another is crying in pain because of his std. Another feels like a murderer because of her abortion. This is happening by the millions. But if you dump the lies and embrace God’s laws on sex, this doesn’t have to be you.

These People Need Our Hope

https://www.pcog.org/articles/2534/these-people-need-our-hope

Are you ready to give it to them?

How much hope do you have in your life? Perhaps you haven’t thought much about that before. What are the things that you hope for the most? Here in the West, we live pretty privileged lives. We don’t hope we’ll have dinner tonight or hope we’ll have a bed to sleep in. These are just things weexpect—that we perhaps take for granted.

Here’s another question: How much hope are you prepared to give? You are aware of people out in this world who are suffering horribly—leading hopeless lives. Have you ever thought about how much hope you are prepared to give them? Let’s make this more personal by examining the lives of a certain young group of people who desperately need hope.

Have you ever heard of a large group of teens and preteens fighting in Africa to topple a corrupt government army and to govern their land according to the Ten Commandments? The desire for such a rule sounds noble and just.

But it is not as simple as that. Actually, these children and teens are part of a ruthless militia, having been violently kidnapped and indoctrinated. Theirs is not a valiant freedom-fighter group, battling for the cause of the poor and oppressed. While fighting for an apparent byline of “rule by Ten Commandments,” this group throws every single commandment out the window in the process. The horrors that the young people in this group go through are nearly incomprehensible.

These are young people our age and younger who should be living a fun, educational, happy life—not toting around guns. Who shouldn’t be married at 12 years old. Who shouldn’t be abused no matter what side they are on. Who shouldn’t be in such a state of mind that they are able to tortureand kill other innocent human beings. Can we see the real nature of man (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 8:7) and that “the way of peace they know not” (Isaiah 59:8)?

How do we even begin to teach these people? The time is nearly here when they will be tugging at our clothes, begging to be taught (Zechariah 8:23). This has to be real to us. It is not pretend. It has to drive us to study the Word of God more deeply—to know it and be able to teach it inside and out. These are people who will need great comfort and love—because whatever love they had in their little hearts to begin with has been beaten out of them. Are we going to be ready to give it to them?

How well we know the Bible reveals the level of hope that we have in us (1 Peter 3:15). These people need so much hope. So keep up the study. Keep up the training. Pray for God to nurture thehope that is in you so you can pass it on to others and be a bright, burning light for the world to see (Matthew 5:14-16). And really be appreciative of the things you have. We are so blessed, especially here in the Western nations. We must never take even the small things in life for granted.

Let’s really put diligence into our calling. These people need our hope. And they will be seeking it very soon.

Have You Experienced Times of Refreshing?

https://www.pcog.org/articles/2546/have-you-experienced-times-of-refreshing

The Apostle Peter taught what would be the wonderfully consoling result of repentance and conversion.

The Apostle Peter made one of the most wonderfully inspiring statements in the Bible shortly after commencing his ministry early in the Ephesian era of the Church.

Looking out at the crowd of Israelites gathered around himself and the Apostle John, all just having witnessed the dramatic healing of a lame beggar, Peter cried out, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21). In verse 19, that wordrefreshing comes from the Greek anapsuxis, which refers to a refreshing revival, or newness of life!

The offer is still current! And it will remain so, for all humankind to hear it—ultimately!

It will remain so until the last person born of woman hears that message and makes a conscious choice to either accept it or reject it.

Taken in its full context, including verses 21 through 26 of Acts 3, Peter’s cry to those people was in actuality a precise summary of the gospel message, and it referred to actions required of us in order to gain salvation:

Repent.

Be converted.

Receive absolute forgiveness of sin.

Be renewed, refreshed in the Spirit of God.

Let the Word of God—the risen Christ—live in you.

Heed the words of the prophets.

Joyfully anticipate Christ’s return.

In a member and co-worker letter dated Oct. 29, 1976, Herbert W. Armstrong referred to Peter’s declarative statement in the following terms: “There is no more central, pivotal passage in the Bible than this.”

Why did Mr. Armstrong place such emphasis on it? Because it reveals the very beginning point of the fulfillment of man’s incredible human potential!

As Mr. Armstrong described it in a sermon given on Dec. 17, 1983, “Restitution means ‘restoring to a former condition, a former state or condition’; ‘restoring what had been taken away.’ … So now I ask you, what is Christ coming to restore that had been taken away? What had been taken away was the government of God. The government of God! And, if you know the whole Bible, that’s the whole story of the Bible. That’s the whole purpose. Everything!”

Thus God’s very purpose for creating us cannot even begin until we personally yield to the Father, through Jesus Christ, and permit Him to begin this restitution in our lives.

On the grander scale, the very plan of God for all mankind cannot go forward till Christ returns, with the saints of God—the converted firstfruits who have stayed the course—and then begins the “restitution of all things” on Earth, eventually to reach beyond this globe into the entire universe!

It therefore behooves us all, as the firstfruits of God’s Family, to deepen our understanding of this “central, pivotal passage” in our Bibles, so we may more diligently fulfill God’s purpose in our daily lives. Mr. Armstrong emphasized the special importance of this process of personal salvation to us thus: “Brethren, the world doesn’t understand the awe-inspiring things God is preparing for us. The time is our generation. The one thing above all else in God’s mind right now is restoring His government to this Earth” (co-worker letter, Sept. 29, 1976).

Let us then briefly study the Apostle Peter’s powerful statement and refresh ourselves in the knowledge of the whole process of our personal salvation. In so doing, we shall be refreshed in understanding just how God is going about His great task of “restoring His government to this Earth.”

Repent

John the Baptist prepared the way for the brief ministry of Jesus Christ in human form. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1-2).

That is the same message the Apostle Peter declared on the day God raised up the first era of His Church, saying, “Repent, and be baptized … in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy [Spirit]” (Acts 2:38).

But, repent of what?

No one explained it better than Mr. Armstrong. He answered that very question in his book The Incredible Human Potential: “Repent [of] sin. And what is sin? ‘Sin is the transgression of the law’ (1 John 3:4). What law? The law that the carnal mind, hostile to God, is not subject to—the law of God (Romans 8:7). Again, we read of ‘the Holy [Spirit], whom God hath given to them that obey him’ (Acts 5:32).”

Mr. Armstrong then went on to expound on just what is real repentance, and how it is granted. “Yet no one can, of himself, say: ‘Oh now, I see—I must repent. All right, I hereby repent.’ One does not just decide casually, as a matter of routine, to repent. Why?

“Jesus Christ said that none can come to Him, except the Spirit of the Father draw him (John 6:44, 65). God grants repentance (Romans 2:4). God calls one, and convicts the mind and conscience by His Spirit, working on the mind externally. Usually a real struggle goes on within. The person has been shaken to know he has done wrong—that he is wrong—he has sinned—he is a sinner! He is brought to real repentance, not only for what he has done, but for what he now sees that he is. It is not easy. The self never wants to die. To repent is to make an unconditional surrender to God—toobey His law!”