FROM MINISTERIAL SERVICES
It’s hard to believe, but five years have already passed since the first Ministerial Refreshing Program started. The major emphasis of the first program was to stir all of God’s ministry to support and back Mr. Herbert Armstrong in setting the Church back on God’s track. The ministry itself had to be set back on God’s track before that effort could be extended to every congregation around the world.
Perhaps many of us would be surprised to realize that it was seven years ago that Mr. Armstrong reinstituted The GOOD NEWS magazine, and began to include such articles as “And NOW–The PLAIN TRUTH Being Set Back on Track,” “CHRIST NOW PUTS CHURCH BACK ON GOD’S FINANCIAL TRACK!”, “AND NOW CHRIST SETS CHURCH BACK ON TRACK DOCTRINALLY” and “CHRIST NOW MOVES TO PUT GOD’S GOVERNMENT BACK ON THE TRACK.”
As Mr. Armstrong has so often reminded us, we must not only stay on God’s track, we must be moving forward on God’s track! As time goes on, the natural tendency is to begin to let down. If we are not careful, the sense of urgency and recommitment to the faith once delivered-that we all felt five to seven years ago can begin to fade.
The Apostle Paul warned us in Hebrews 2:l that “we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip If we do not heed this warning, we, too, will fall prey to the very same attitudes of compromise and permissiveness that took members and ministers out of God’s Church seven years ago! Let’s not forget that Satan is angry! He sees the growth in God’s Church. He sees the increase in PLAIN TRUTH circulation. He sees the increase in stations broadcasting “The WORLD TOMORROW” program. He sees the increase in the number of begotten sons of God. Satan hates this, and will do whatever he can to cause us to begin compromising with God’s truth and eventually turn us away from God.
The Apostle Paul was inspired to describe what this Satan-deceived world would be like un the “last days” (I1 Tim. 3:l-5). And it is getting worse and worse! Moral and spiritual permissiveness is escalating all around us. Don’t think you and your family can’t be affected! None of us is immune! Only God is. Unless we are tuned in to God and close to Him, we will be caught up in Satan’s trap.
I know that some in the Church will take great exception to the recent sermon about liberalism by Mr. David Hulme. Mr. Armstrong, when directing me to send it out to all churches worldwide, told me he felt the sermon was excellent, and that all our people needed to hear it. He even asked me for a copy for his own personal use. Yet I know, because I know human nature, that some, who are already compromising with this world and its ways and attitudes, will be upset, even angry, by what they hear in that sermon. They will see it as “right-winged fanaticism,” as “going overboard,” or even “dangerous.”
Why? Because Satan is the arch-deceiver. He makes black look white spiritually to whoever lacks the mind of Jesus Christ as a result of not exercising God’s Holy Spirit. Those who want to “do their own thing” instead of doing God’s perfect will hate to have light shed on their darkness (John 3:19).
You’ve probably heard many times about the frog that is placed in a pan of cool water on a stove. As the heat is gradually turned up and the water slowly gets warmer, the frog doesn’t even notice it is in danger! Slowly the water gets hotter and hotter until the frog is boiled to death, without any inclination to jump out to save its life.
How did so many fall prey to the liberalism of the 1970s? It happened slowly. A little compromise here, a little compromise there. Where did it end? They gradually drifted away from God’s truth and became part of the world.
What was David’s attitude toward God’s Law? Notice Psalm 119:10: “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” David, a man after God’s own heart, who loved God’s Law, asked God to help him not to wander from His Law. David saw that law as important–as immensely valuable. Notice verse 14: “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.” He put his joy and delight in God’s Law and what it produces.
Throughout Psalm 119 David displays the attitude God’s people should have toward His Law. As you read it, notice how often David made such statements as “keep thy law,” “keep thy word,” “keep his testimonies,” “respect unto thy ways,” “will not forget thy word,” “meditate in thy statutes,” “forsook not,” “not forget,” “heritage for ever,” etc. The focal point of David’s life was the Law of God. He held onto it with great zeal!
But the devil’s way, which is the way of deceit that some in God’s Church have gone, and some no doubt will continue to go, is to respect one’s own ways, to meditate on one’s own excesses, to forsake not one’s own personal aims, and to seek a “heritage” of self-importance, possessions, power, or a modern lifestyle of “fun and pleasure.” Once a person in God’s Church becomes consumed in these things, having devised clever excuses and explanations for himself every step of the way, he generally will despise and brand as “self-righteous” anyone who dares stand up and speak the truth about the dangers of permissiveness in the Church of God, Notice God’s view in Isaiah 5:20-23:
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
In I1 Corinthians 2:11, the Apostle Paul reminds us that Spirit-led Christians are not ignorant of Satan’s devices, of his methods of
trying to get an advantage of us. Yet in Hebrews 2:3 Paul tells us that it is possible to “neglect so great salvation.”
Let us not be ignorant of the subtlety through which Satan the adversary will try to divide and conquer. We in God’s Church, as the salt of the earth in God’s sight, are the only ones whom God has called out of the darkness of this Satan-ruled world. What a shame it would be for any of us to begin to allow “just a little” of the devil’s ways and attitudes to begin to creep into our lives, gradually snuffing out the liqht of the glorious Gospel that God has so mercifully allowed to shine on us. [End Quote]