The Church

An Important Reminder —How Leaven Pictures Sin By George M. Kackos

 (Source)

God offers Christians vital lessons through the Days of Unleavened Bread. What do these days picture, and how can they help you lead a happier life?

The apostles were jolted! First, the sound of a violent windstorm filled the house where they were meeting. Then, almost before they had time to think, glowing flames of fire began leaping upon them. Continue reading…

Why did God put you into His Church?

Comment: The following article is a MUST READ! Since the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, the chosen apostle of Jesus Christ, the Worldwide Church of God has been under SEVERE PERSECUTION. Out of the ministry arose FALSE BRETHREN speaking perverse things.  The Worldwide Church of God is not a “legal corporation”. It is an unincorporated SPIRITUAL ORGANISM! When ministers “departed from the way”(Malachi 2:8), they gained control and  authority over the “legal corporations”. When this happened, they began to re-invent themselves, re-branding their “legal corporation” into a completely and utterly DIFFERENT Church! Others went out to create their own groups, doing the same thing. True members were CAST OUT, true ministers were MUZZLED, ostracized and put away. More and more the true Church was PERSECUTED just as it was in the first century! The Word of God says the end shall not come unless there comes a “falling away” first. Today, churches are “set up”. Different groups have rose up, each claiming to be the true Church, but each with a different “identity”. They want to build themselves a work, where THEIR IDENTITY is elevated. But God labels such works “WICKEDNESS”(Malachi 3:15), and such is the Great Falling Away of 2 Thes 2. The book of Zechariah pictures these days, where men are doing their own “puny, insignificant” works, the “day of small things”. Those of the true Church despise these days, because these works are NOT OF GOD! The Work of God is GREAT! And in the hands of Zerubbabel(Herbert W. Armstrong) God’s Work was GREAT! Zechariah 4 pictures TWO ANOINTED ONES, over the same CANDLESTICK. Revelation 1:20 pictures a candlestick as a CHURCH. Revelation 11 pictures the TWO WITNESSES, as “two candlesticks”, which can only mean one thing. ONE CANDLESTICK IS: PHILADELPHIA The SECOND ONE IS: LAODICEA Zechariah 4 pictures TWO ANOINTED ONES over ONE CANDLESTICK, the Philadelphia Era. Herbert W. Armstrong was one of them. There is a SECOND apostle of the Worldwide Church of God coming. Today, the Church is under persecution from Satan the Devil(Revelation 12:13). The next apostle will be THE MAIN WITNESS of the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11. He feeds the same candlestick in Zechariah 4, the same “golden oil”. This article from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong pictures what we now face. He goes into detail on why the Church was called to do! We were called to get back of him, the apostle, who was sent forth unto the nations with the true gospel! Are we fulfilling our calling today? Or are we joined with some other church, fooling ourselves? In relation to the scripture pertaining to the TWO WITNESSES, I think Exodus 23:20-22 is pertinent. Herbert W. Armstrong fulfilled the role of the Elijah MESSENGER who would come before Christ’s second coming to PREPARE THE WAY! This next apostle, will be used by Christ to “KEEP YOU IN THE WAY, and to bring you unto the place I(God) have prepared”(Place of safety promised in Revelation 3:10; Revelation 12:14). Are we now doing our part in fulfilling our calling? The Worldwide Church of God must fulfill it’s calling! And in order for God’s Word to be true(and it is), those of the Church will be and ARE doing their part, and will continue to exist for the next apostle to be raised up! It will not be some other Church, with a DIFFERENT identity, but the same Worldwide Church of God! Exodus 23:20-22 explains that this messenger has “my(Christ speaking) name”. Revelation 3:8 has Christ praising the Worldwide Church of God(Philadelphia Era) for NOT denying His name! And if there is only ONE WORK, and ONE CHURCH, that blows out of the water what these COG groups are doing! The Worldwide Church of God is persecuted but STILL ALIVE doing the Work of God, backing and supporting Christ’s chosen apostle! WHAT ABOUT YOU?   PREFACE

HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG

PRESIDENT and PASTOR February 21, 1974

Dear Brethren of God’s Church: I have just completed what I feel is the most important article (in letter form) to God’s people in a year, or probably ever, because it sets forth as never before why God has called and put us in His Church NOW, instead of later. I ask you to read every word very carefully, then read it again — and STILL AGAIN when it comes out in the May issue of The Good News. Satan is attacking against you and against the Living Christ and His Work. Your eternal life may depend on thoroughly understanding this!

WITH GREAT LOVE, in Jesus’ name, Herbert W. Armstrong Continue reading…

EXCERPT: How one falls away

Excerpt from “Satan, Deceive and Use Me…NEVER!!” by Herbert W Armstrong

One is walking along in a thickly wooded forest on a moonless pitch-dark night. But just ahead of him is an experienced guide with a lighted lantern. If he follows that lighted lantern, he will be led safely out of the woods. But if he turns aside a step or two and hesitates, the light continues on out of his sight. Then he isreally lost. If one turns aside from God’s truth on just one point, or one doctrine, and does not quickly repent, the light of God’s truth moves on. In his self-centered effort to find the light of truth, he now walks blindly in wrong directions. He takes more and more steps in the wrong direction. That is, he proceeds into more and more error, all the while losing more and more of what truth he had. God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is “a lamp unto our feet” to guide us out of the darkness of error and into the daylight brightness of TRUTH. The oil that produces the light in the lamp or lantern, causing it to light up to our understanding, is the Holy Spirit (of Psalms 119:105, Matthew 25:1-13). So comprehend the illustration. We all were lost in the dark woods of sin. On first realization of it, with repentance and belief, we received the first portion of God’s Holy Spirit. The Bible begins to light up. It is as many as are led by the Spirit of God that are the begotten sons of God . (Romans 8:14) The Spirit of God, by lighting up the Bible leads us a step at a time, into more and more truth. And a step at a time out of error and sin. But if and when you reject one point of truth, it is like stepping aside in the dark woods. You are no longer being led bythe Spirit of God opening the Bible to right understanding. The light – the Spirit of God – leaves you. God’s TRUTH marches on! It leaves you behind. You are in darkness again. Lost again in the darkness of sin! You stumble around in the thick dark woods trying to find the lighted lantern. But every step you now take is taking you farther away from the lighted lantern proceeding on the SURE path out of the woods. In other words, if you reject one point of truth, or take one step aside into one point of error – unless you repentimmediately and get back to the light – you will take more and more steps into erroneous beliefs, and one by one give up the points of TRUTH you had seen and accepted. Take the example of some ministers who left God’s Church. Some tried to incorporate new “churches” of their own. But they were not GOD’S churches. These men had all rejected one or more points of truth, or Church doctrine. They almost immediately began to add new points of false doctrine of their own – not of God. Soon they began rejecting points of TRUTH. Perhaps it was tithing. Perhaps healing. Perhaps voting in this world’s governments. Perhaps it was God’s Government in the Church. Soon they were rejecting God’s annual Holy Days and Feasts. Soon they were rejecting more and more of GOD’S TRUTH and turning to more and more FALSE doctrines and errors. THEY, PROFESSING TO FOLLOW CHRIST in their new way, WERE GOING FARTHER and FARTHER AWAY FROM HIM. They were going closer and closer to Satan and Satan‘s WAY. Now HOW DID IT ALL START? It started, in every case, by taking one step in Satan’s direction – compromising – becoming “liberal” – or resenting and rebelling against GOD’S GOVERNMENT in His Church – or letting a spirit of SELF enter in – it could be self- righteousness or self-centeredness in COVETING POWER. More than one has been led into spiritual darkness by coveting POWER in God’s Church. Unfortunately, conferring on leading ministers such rank or titles as “Evangelist,” or “Vice-President,” went to some heads, sparking a coveting of POWER in the Church. It almost seems strange – it was NOT in these men a lust or greed for more money – it was a coveting of POWER – of the TOP SEAT – of AUTHORITY – or of the resentment of authority over them.
]]>

Sermon: How Does God View Government Today?

Sermon: How Does God View Government Today?

Speaker: Mr. Dean R. Wilson

Date: Unknown – Possibly 1979

Summary: How Does God view Government Today? How Does He view Government within the Church? Outside the Church? What About Romans 13? What would happen if there is no Government?(Hint: He goes into why Splinter groups and explains plainly the different Church of God groups today) [su_audio url="http://sermons.wwcg-archives.com/Dean%20Wilson/How%20God%20Views%20Government%20Today%20-%20Dean%20Wilson.mp3" width="100%" autoplay="no" loop="no" class=""]

DOWNLOAD LINK

 ]]>

Which Is the True Church?

Which Is the True Church?

by Herbert W. Armstrong

Plain Truth Magazine, June-July 1982

  WHY SO MANY churches? Why any church at all? Are all really GOD’S churches? “There must be one TRUE Church,” I said 55 years ago, “but where is it?” I had just been shocked, dumbfounded, disillusioned, to see with my own eyes in the Bible that the respected Christian church in which I had been reared taught the very opposite in most respects from the plain teachings of Christ and the Holy Bible. I had supposed the churches of the Christian religion had received their beliefs from the Bible. Haven’t you? Then I asked myself, candidly, WHY so many different churches, teaching different doctrines? And why ANY church at all? I read in the Bible where Jesus Christ said, “I will build my church.” But for what PURPOSE? Like I did until then, most people simply take the existence of churches for granted, never wondering whether there is any need of PURPOSE for them. It was early 1927, before World War II, that these thoughts challenged me. It was during that war that Winston Churchill said before the United States Congress, as I have so often quoted, “There is a PURPOSE being worked out here below.” Most people never think about that, or have any realization of the real PURPOSE for humanity’s presence on the earth, or of the AWESOME, incredible human potential. I was to learn that the Church is, indeed, God’s instrumentality for working out that supreme PURPOSE! Yet humanity has been lulled to sleep, deceived, blinded to this great PURPOSE! “The god of this world [Satan the devil] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ . . . should shine unto them (II Cor. 4:4). But WHY did Jesus Christ start the Church? Look at the world int which he was born, and in which he lived. It was the same world in which you and I live today, except for two changes: 1) This same world has made AWESOME progress, especially during this 20th century — in terms of technology, science and industry; and 2) it has undergone APPALLING retrogression in troubles and evils. All the fantastic progress has been in the materialistic area — working with matter from the ground. All the retrogression has occurred in the SPIRITUAL area — man dealing with man. Why did Jesus found the Church? To become Gods instrument for working out his grand PURPOSE here below — ultimately to make SPIRITUAL progress and glorious benefits far more awesome than materialistic progress has been! To correct and eradicate the troubles, evils, discontents, sufferings of this world’s humanity — to replace them with contentment, happiness and joy, constant eager anticipation of further glorious accomplishments, both spiritually and materially — and to give a then happy and glorified humanity ETERNAL LIFE in vigorous and joyful accomplishment! What was wrong with the world in which Christ started the Church? What’s even far more wrong today? We need to understand how civilization started. It started with the creation of MAN! God has created vertebrate animals, each after its own kind — “cattle after their kind” (Gen. 1:25), dogs after the dog kind, elephants after the elephant kind. Then God said (verse 26), “Let us make MAN in OUR image, after OUR likeness” — after the GOD kind. But man at that physical creation was not given GOD-LIFE — immortal, inherent, self-containing life. He was given only temporary physiochemical existence, the same as as animals (Gen. 2:7). However, God offered him eternal GOD-LIFE! But the man was required to make a choice. It was God’s purpose that the divine GOD-CHARACTER must first be developed within MAN. He was made in the form and shape of God, unlike animals. But man was first created with only an animal (temporary) existence. His existence is sustained by breath of air, like animals. His temporary life is supplied by a heart circulating blood throughout his body, like animals. But, being made in the image of GOD, man was given the power of MIND! His mind, like God’s, must direct his motions and actions, whereas animals were equipped with automatic INSTINCT. Man’s mind was supplied by a spirit within man-a human spirit that imparts the power of psychic intellect to the physical brain. Yet this spirit imparts only the mental ability to acquire materialistic knowledge-knowledge to work with matter from the ground. But God created man to NEED another Spirit-the Holy Spirit of God-that can impart to the mind power to comprehend SPIRITUAL knowledge-knowledge to have a relationship with the spiritual GOD, and to have a right relationship with other PEOPLE. In many places of the Bible this human spirit within every human is mentioned. In Job 32:8, “there is a spirit in man.” In verse 18, “the spirit within me constraineth me”- and in I Corinthians 2: 11, no human could know, or have the knowledge possessed by MAN, except by the spirit of man which is IN the man. Likewise, no man can comprehend spiritual knowledge but by the Holy Spirit of God-which may be given to him as God’s gift upon genuine repentance and belief. It is needed to comprehend spiritual knowledge and character. In verse 9, same chapter, spiritual knowledge cannot enter the carnal mind through the eye, ear or five senses, but, in verse 1 0, God reveals spiritual knowledge by and through his Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the very impregnating Spirit of eternal life — GOD-life — self-containing, inherent life. This was offered to the first, created man and woman — Adam and Eve, in the incident of the tree of LIFE, and the forbidden tree of the “knowledge of good and evil.” When Adam rejected the tree of LIFE, and took to himself the acquisition of spiritual knowledge (good and evil), God CLOSED OFF THE TREE OF LIFE from mankind — WITHHELD THE GIFT OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT (Gen. 3:22-24)-until the second Adam, Jesus Christ, should Come and pay the penalty of human sin in man’s stead! So, starting with the human Adam, man built the man-made CIVILIZATION, swayed, influenced, impelled by the invisible Satan the devil! Beginning with Adam, equipped with acquirable materialistic knowledge ONLY — lacking knowledge for a right relationship with human neighbor or with God, man built his own system of teaching or educating his children. Thus as the system of education developed, it remained limited to materialistic knowledge. After trial and error man learned how to produce AWESOME progress in materialistic and mechanical fields. But he retrogressed in his ability to get along with fellow humans-and he had no close relationship with his Maker. Man simply was NOT developing the divine GOD-character within him! Man developed his own RELIGIONS, swayed by Satan, who appeared as an angel of light, but deceived the whole world (Rev. 12:9). Man formed his own gods out of wood, stone, other materials. This world’s religions were developed. Man organized his own ideas of GOVERNMENT- to regulate the lives of his fellows. Yet man was impelled by self-centeredness, the spirit of “GET” — of vanity, covetousness, jealousy and envy, competition, strife, violence and W AR — of REBELLION against the way of God, or God’s way of life. God’s way is LOVE-the way of “GIVE” instead of “GET” — the way of cooperation, serving, sharing. And so human governments seek selfish advantage over other governments and end up in controversy, WAR and DESTRUCTION! Man built his own economic system — all contrary to God’s way. And the whole world’s economy is sick today. Half the world is illiterate, destitute, poverty stricken, living in filth and squalor-many starving to death. Man’s social system is based on “GET” — vanity, greed, self-interest and self-gain at the expense of fellowman. Into such a world came JESUS CHRIST, the only begotten son of GOD — actually God in human flesh, yet capable of death. Jesus said, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.” WHY? MAN’S unhappy civilization of discontent, unhappiness, frustration, human suffering, started with the physical ADAM, influenced by Satan. The CHURCH is God’s instrument through which he is building the NEW civilization of the KINGDOM OF GOD — the WORLD TOMORROW — a world of humans changes through God’s power into GOD BEINGS! A world of dynamic happiness and PEACE! But how did Jesus START God’s Church? In a sense, he had started it long before, through the prophets of ancient Israel. They, with the apostles, became the very FOUNDATION of the Church, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). The writings of the prophets were already written and being preserved. But Jesus now called DISCIPLES. They were not apostles — ones “sent forth in power and authority.” A disciple is a student — a learner being taught. And Jesus called 12 of them. Actually he called 14 — but only 12 were to become official. The other two were alternates, to be chosen later if one of the official 12 dropped out. Jesus did not start the Church through these students. He taught them the doctrines of GOD’S world to come, so that they, upon “graduating” from his teaching after three and a half years, could, with the writings of the prophets, become the FOUNDATION upon which to build God’s Church. But the Church was not founded until Jesus had been crucified in payment of human sins, resurrected and ascended to God’s throne in heaven as head of the Church, and its High Priest. Christ has been serving in that capacity ever since. Adam had rejected eternal LIFE through God’s Spirit, through which God would reveal his SPIRITUAL WAY OF LIFE — the way of LOVE! And remember, God had CLOSED OFF human access to God’s Holy Spirit. The nations that developed on earth had no access to God’s Spirit or eternal salvation. Such nations as Egypt, Babylonia, Greece or ancient Israel had no access to “salvation” or eternal life — no access to comprehension of revealed SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE. Let me emphasize here, by repetition, humanity did not know — have the knowledge of — how to live with man or with God. Largely, man had lost knowledge of God. God revealed himself to ancient Israel — revealed to that nation HIS WAY OF LIFE — but, because that way was spiritual, it was never comprehended nor lived by Israel. Generations of humans came and died — “unsaved”! But, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this [by resurrection] the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Again, “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all [the same “all”] be made alive [by a resurrection)” (I Cor. 15:22). In that judgment, humans shall be called to account for what they did —- all their sins. But they shall learn that Christ paid their penalty in their stead, and, on repentance, faith, receiving God’s Spirit at last, growing in grace and spiritual knowledge, they, then at last, may receive immortality in God’s Kingdom, just as called Christians may now. One of God’s prophets — a pre-founder of the Church — foretold, ” … it shall come to pass after ward, that I [God] will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28). But it was not in God’s master plan to pour out his Spirit upon ALL flesh at the founding of the Church. Jesus Christ was and is the ONL Y door through which we may be reconciled to GOD and receive eternal life through his Spirit (find salvation). But Jesus said plainly, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me &aw him” (John 6:44). No MAN CAN! Unless chosen and drawn by God through his Spirit, none can come to Jesus and receive God’s Holy Spirit. God’s Church started on the day of Pentecost with only the 12 APOSTLES and about 108 other believers — although another 3,000 were baptized the same day. But WHY start the Church so small? Remember this principle: Whatever God does in his own supreme supernatural power he does in a stupendous way: But whatever God does through humans always starts the very smallest and grows. Jesus trained 12 — taught them as students — so that they could teach the larger number in the Church GOO’S WAY OF LIFE. Likewise God’s Kingdom — to become’ tremendously big — started and today IS small. WHY? Just as Jesus called 12 students to be taught, so that they could teach the Church, so the Church — the TRUE Church of God — has remained comparatively small, because they are called as DISCIPLES or STUDENTS, to LEARN God’s way of life, so that the Church, to become God’s KINGDOM, shall be able to teach multiple thousands of millions in the coming millennium and final judgment. The Church is the affianced Bride of Christ, to be changed to God beings and married to him at his Second Coming. Jesus spoke of it as the grain of mustard seed, starting the smallest, becoming the greatest. The world today is SATAN’S world. The WORLD TOMORROW — the Kingdom of God — shall ultimately become much larger than Satan’s world. The smaller number of the Church are all DISCIPLES — students — learners, GROWING in grace and spiritual KNOWLEDGE (II Pet. 3: 18), being now educated spiritually and trained in spiritual LIVING to teach and rule over the WHOLE WORLD after Christ’s coming! To the Church, Christ himself says: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21). And, “he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron . . . .” (Rev. 2:26-27). We shall be kings and also priests, and shall reign ON THE EARTH (Rev. 5:10). This world —- civilization — started actually by Satan through Adam. God’s Kingdom (his divine FAMILY) was started by CHRIST, through the Church. As Adam and his children were the material Satan used to build this world, so the Church is the spiritually begotten material CHRIST is using to build (create) the KINGDOM OF GOD-the happy, peaceful WORLD TOMORROW! What is the Church? The Church is simply that spiritual ORGANISM of those CALLED OUT of Satan’s world — out of Satan’s WAY OF LIFE, into GOO’S WAY OF LIFE! “Wherefore COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM [of this world and its ways], and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (II Cor. 6:17). “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . ” (Rom. 12:2). “GROW in grace, and in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3: 18). Yes, 55 years ago I searched for the ONE TRUE CHURCH. It did still exist, but had lost much of the original TRUTH taught by the original apostles. They learned the TRUTH from Christ and the writings of the prophets. Jesus IN PERSON was the personal Word of God. The Bible is the SAME Word of God in writing. God taught me through that Word of God — the writings of the apostles and the prophets. Because I GAVE myself to him in complete surrender to his will, he used me to build back up that one TRUE CHURCH!]]>

♛ MOVING FORWARD "On God's Track"

 

FROM MINISTERIAL SERVICES

[Original Publication] 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. Continue reading…

OPINION: Remember what was taught unto you. Hold Fast to it.

 Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote: “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.” (1 Corinthians 4:14-17)

In the same way, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, the apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote: “I don’t know any reason why God should have chosen me. I’m no better than anybody else. I’ve known all kinds of people with more ability than I have, better personality, better appearance, better everything than I have. But God didn’t choose any of them. He hasn’t used any of them. So He had to take someone who wasn’t quite so good and use to bring YOU THE TRUTH THAT YOU HAVE HAD. And all of you directly or indirectly are my children in the Lord, because you got the knowledge directly or indirectly through me. Christ got it to me; but Christ is the living Word, and I got it through the living Word in print, in writing, just as the early apostles did.” (Sermon: The Need for Spiritual Knowledge, given August 29, 1981)

The Worldwide Church of God was begotten through the gospel preached through Herbert W. Armstrong, the apostle of Christ. Any true minister, or true brethren, will BRING YOU TO REMEMBRANCE of what Christ’s apostle taught! If he or she leads you to a group that teaches CONTRARY to what was taught, then they are not bringing you to remembrance.

REMEMBER WHAT WAS TAUGHT UNTO YOU. HOLD FAST TO IT.(Revelation 3:11) For the apostle of Christ has laid the foundation, which is Christ, and WE OUGHT TO GROW UPON THAT FOUNDATION FORSAKING NOTHING, NEITHER TURNING TO THE LEFT NOR TO THE RIGHT, BUT SOLIDLY BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION, RIGHT IN LINE WITH THE MEASURING-LINE!    ]]>

Let God Fight Your Battles!

Let God Fight Your Battles! by Herbert W. Armstrong

Personal from HWA – Published in The Good News Magazine March 1985  

The world you live in today is a very troubled world. You not only have your own personal problems, but you also suffer from the deliberate OPPOSITION and ANTAGONISM of the world around you. It is time you considered how to conquer these troubles: ◘how to be FREE from them ◘how to let GOD fight your battles instead! One lesson not yet learned   First, understand this: If the WORLD today is not happy — if world conditions are in a chaotic state, if lives are empty and purposeless, if minds are filled with fears and worries, bodies wracked with sickness and disease — THERE IS A REASON! Conditions are exactly what we make them! Mortal HUMANS, groping in the darkness of confusion, have made conditions what they are. Humanity is REAPING what it has SOWN! Only the direct and all-powerful supernatural intervention of ALMIGHTY GOD can deliver this world from all its troubles. What the world doesn’t know is that God will not cause its present ways of wrong living to bring any human utopia. Rather, GOD ALMIGHTY WILL SOON HAVE TO STEP IN AND RULE OVER THE WORLD — bringing it INTO THE WAYS of His just laws, which alone can produce this happy TOMORROW! WE, TOO, AS GOD’S PEOPLE, HAVE LESSONS TO LEARN. Even though stubborn and rebellious mankind brings upon the world even DARKER days in the immediate future, REMEMBER — it’s DARKEST just before DAWN. Take hope in the SURE knowledge that the new world of GOD’S making and RULING — is VERY near today! But in the meantime, what about You and your own private life and problems? Let us consider some of your own private, personal TROUBLES. I know that you have them! And I want to tell you something — I want to tell you GOOD news. YOU are carrying, a lot of worries and fears and troubles that you don’t need to carry! Life is simply filled with private, personal battles. We have to battle fears and worries. Some-times it seems we have to battle PEOPLE who appear to be enemies – often it’s a husband, a wife or a mother-in-law — and whether you realize it or not, You also have to battle YOURSELF! It is like having to fight a host of ENEMIES — all these TROUBLES, these CIRCUMSTANCES, these adverse CONDITIONS, these TEMPTATIONS! But there is a way you may FREE yourself from these troubles that confront you. There is a WAY OUT! YOU can be FREE from fighting all of these enemies except just ONE — your own self – and you can receive a lot of HELP and KNOWLEDGE and POWER in doing that! Here’s where that help can be found! Jesus Christ is the deliverer   The eternal Creator-RULER of the universe — the God who gives you the very air you breathe — sent His own begotten SON, Jesus Christ, into this world more than 1,900 years ago to BRING YOU THE WAY OF DELIVERANCE from all your trials, your worries, your problems. WHY, then, do some of you not LISTEN to the way He taught us? And WHY do so many people think of Him as a dead Christ hanging on a cross? GOD ALMIGHTY RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD! Jesus Christ is our LIVING Savior and High Priest, just as the Creator is a LIVING RULER OF ALL THE UNIVERSE! Do YOU REALIZE THAT JESUS CHRIST, THE LIVING, RESURRECTED CHRIST, TO WHOM IS GIVEN ALL POWER, HAS A PRESENT MISSION TO PERFORM? Do you realize that His present mission is to FIGHT YOUR BATTLES FOR YOU — to DELIVER YOU — to FREE you from all your fears, your TROUBLES and even the circumstances that beset you? Thousands of you would come to me for help in your troubles if I had time to see and talk to you — you’d come with husband-and-wife troubles, funeral troubles — every kind of trouble. Yes, you’d come to me because I’m human – one you can see — whose voice you hear. But because I’m only human, I have not the ability, the strength nor the TIME to render such a personal ministry to so many in different parts of the world. Now think this over carefully, and ANSWER THIS! WHY do you fight your own battles, when HE — the LIVING Savior — is living in ALL POWER to fight them for you? He’s REAL. He’s DIVINE. WHY do some of you go on worrying, when HE is right there in ALL THE POWER OF THE DIVINE CREATOR to FREE you from all your worries? WHY? There is one of two reasons, Either you have not fully KNOWN of this great, all-encompassing DIVINE SOURCE OF POWER that you can call on at will — you have not REALIZED what ALL-CONQUERING HELP you can have — or else you have, through lack of faith or neglect, FAILED to CALL ON that supernatural HELP in your times of need! CAN I open your eyes to see that God is a God of LOVE — that God in all His supreme power wills above all things for you to PROSPER and BE IN HEALTH and to find the way to the HAPPY, FULL, ABUNDANT LIFE? That Jesus Christ is a LIVING SAVIOR, to whom you can go AT ALL TIMES — a Savior to save you from your present everyday fears and worries, adverse circumstances, troubles, sicknesses and trials, as well as to save you from eternal DEATH at the end? Notice what Scripture commands: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). God is interested in your life now   God’s salvation is NOT something you collect only after you die. IT IS A PRACTICAL, COMMONSENSE, USEFUL salvation that starts in your everyday life RIGHT HERE AND NOW! What needless pains some have been suffering. What NEEDLESS fears and worries you may have been carrying around. What WONDERFUL TIMES — what HAPPINESS you may have cheated yourself out of, just because you have not REALIZED and taken advantage of the very PRESENT and all-powerful HELP of your LIVING Savior! Actually what is happening is that you may have found yourself faced with foes far more powerful than you. These foes may come in forms of troubles, of unforeseen circumstances, of worries, of sicknesses or even of other persons. These foes NEED not make your life unhappy. Old Testament illustration   Did you ever really think through the full meaning of I Corinthians 10:11 that the incidents in the lives of God’s people of Old Testament times were written into the Bible for OUR LEARNING AND HELP? I want now to turn to the experience of a man who lived in that time. This man found that he could RELY on the almighty GOD. This man was faced with a FAR more terrifying trouble than has ever beset you. He found the HAPPY SOLUTION. His experience will show you what you can do, this very day! Once you UNDERSTAND, you will have to learn to TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD — TO CALL UPON GOD IN PRAYER — you will have to ASK GOD for what you need — and you may have to learn how to PRAY. GOD ALMIGHTY will actually intervene in your life and help you and fight YOUR battles for you. Remember, God is no respecter of persons. He will not do more for one than another. He will do as much for you as for any person who ever lived. He will do as much for you — if you obey Him and rely on Him — as for any ancient king of Israel or Judah! You may have a problem that completely overwhelms you. You may be at your wit’s end — you may not know where to turn or what to do! It may be a family problem, a personal problem, a financial problem, a problem of sickness or disease. But let me tell you now as Jesus Christ’s apostle of a man who came upon a situation probably far more terrifying than yours — one that would throw fright and terror into the stoutest heart. The solution this man used will solve YOUR problems — put an END to your troubles. The same God who heard and delivered him will hear and deliver you — IF you will obey Him and trust Him. The fact that this man was an ancient king makes no difference. God is no respecter of persons — He will do as much for you. God is the SAME today and tomorrow as He was yesterday. This man was King Hezekiah of the ancient kingdom of JUDAH. He was an ordinary human mortal, the same as YOU today. God intervenes for a man   The vast armies of Assyria were marching westward and southward to invade Judah. The Jews were greatly outnumbered. They had no army or power to stand up against such a powerful foe. They were HELPLESS. They faced certain defeat — just as You may feel HELPLESS in the face of your troubles today. If some of you try to solve your problem or overcome your bad habits or resist sin in nothing more than your OWN power and strength, you, too, will find yourself outnumbered, overpowered and doomed to defeat! You must learn, as this ancient king did, that GOD stands ready and willing to fight your battles for you. Read his experience in II Chronicles 32, from the Moffatt translation: “It was after this, after all this loyal service, that Sancherib king of Assyria invaded Judah, besieging the fortified towns and meaning to seize them. When Hezekiah saw that Sancherib had come determined to attack Jerusalem, he and his nobles and his chiefs agreed to stop the water of the fountains outside the town… . “Then, appointing officers over the citizens, he gathered them in the open space at the gate of the city, and encouraged them. ‘Be firm,’ he said, ‘be brave, be not daunted nor dismayed for the king of Assyria or for all his host; we have with us One greater than all he has; he has a mortal force, but we have with us the Eternal our God, to help us and to fight our battles’ ” (verses 1-3, 6-8). Continuing: “His officers said even worse things against God the Eternal and his servant Hezekiah. (Sancherib also wrote letters, insulting the Eternal the God of Israel and attacking him thus: ‘As the gods of the nations elsewhere in the world have failed to save their folk from me, so shall Hezekiah’s God fail to save his folk.’) The officers shouted aloud in Hebrew to the citizens of Jerusalem on the walls, to terrify them and scare them, that they might capture the city. They talked about the God of Jerusalem as one of the gods of the nations on earth, mere handmade idols” (verses 16-19). Now notice what the king of Judah did: “King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz PRAYED over this and cried to heaven” (verse 20). They PRAYED for help. They did not know exactly HOW God would intervene. But they knew God would ACT! Here’s what happened: “Then the Eternal sent an angel who swept off all the gallant fighters, the leaders, and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria, till he had to go home in disgrace. He [later] went into the temple of his god, and there his own offspring murdered him with their swords. So the Eternal rescued Hezekiah and the citizens of Jerusalem from Sancherib the king of Assyria as well as from all other foes, protecting them on every side”(verses 21-22). That experience was written into the very WORD OF GOD for your learning and to SHOW YOU THE WAY TODAY! Perhaps You are faced with a foe more powerful than you. It may be some TEMPTATION. It may be some circumstance or condition or trouble. Some serious WORRY. Then let me ask you, WHAT ARE YOU RELYING ON to withstand the siege of this trouble — to deliver you from it? Rely on God and His power What do some of you do when some fear, worry, trouble comes up against you? Do you not first FEAR AND WORRY, and then either try to RUN FROM this trouble or else try to meet it in your own power and strength — with your own thinking and planning and doing? Do YOU ever search your own heart and life to see if it is YOUR fault? In almost every in-law or marital trouble, for example, both are at fault. Did you never realize that the very CREATOR who caused you to be born — who gives you the life you have — who called you into His truth — is able and anxious to fight all these battles for you just as He did Hezekiah’s — if you will only turn to Him and ask Him for wisdom and guidance, RELY on Him and TRUST Him with the result? Two examples   I know of a lady who, when in her middle 20s, had a problem that was MOST SERIOUS in her life. Three times this girl had been disappointed in love. She had at last been tempted to marry a man she had no right to marry. She brought her problem to me, as God’s representative. I found she was looking ONLY AT PHYSICAL APPEARANCES. She reasoned that, so far as she could see, if she obeyed God and refused to marry this man, she might never be married. I counseled her to OBEY GOD — to stop looking at the material circumstances and using human reason to disobey God. I counseled her to do, first of all, WHAT GOD INSTRUCTS IN THE BIBLE, and then to TRUST HIM for the outcome. But that girl did not RELY ON GOD — she relied on her human reason. She obeyed impulse and temptation and married the man. He left her to commit adultery with another woman on their very wedding night. Her life became miserable, terribly unhappy. Then at another time, another similar case was brought to me. THIS young woman rejected the temptation — she obeyed God and RELIED ON THE ETERNAL to work out circumstances — she trusted HIM with the result. Her faith was tried and tested. God did not answer AT ONCE — but in due time, just the RIGHT man came into her life, they fell in love, they were married and GOD HAS BLESSED THEIR MARRIAGE WITH SUPREME HAPPINESS. The experience of King Jehoshaphat   Now I want to bring you one more case history — a REMARKABLE experience that will show you the way out of all your difficulties and troubles. If you will let GOD have HIS way in your life, then you will have begun to learn how to let Him fight your battles, solve your problems and deliver you from so many troubles you are suffering. Now, notice the experience written for OUR learning and help today: “It was after this that the Moabites and Ammonites, with some of the Meunim, made war on Jehoshaphat. Word came to Jehoshaphat that a huge host was moving against him from Edom, over the Dead Sea, and that they were already at Hazazon-tamar (or Engedi). Jehoshaphat was afraid” (II Chronicles 20:1-3, Moffatt). Is fear your usual reaction, too? But observe what the king of Judah did. “He resolved to have recourse to the Eternal, and proclaimed a fast all over Judah. So Judah assembled to seek help from the Eternal; people came from every town in Judah to worship the Eternal” (verses 3-4). Jehoshaphat did exactly what God wants you to do today when faced with any temptation or trouble — HE TOOK IT TO GOD IN PRAYER AND FASTING! And as he continued to ask God for help, he said (verses 6-10): “O Eternal, the God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven, and ruler of all realms on earth? Such power and might is thine that no one can resist thee. O our God, didst not thou evict the natives of this land before thy people Israel, giving the land to the offspring of Abraham thy friend, for all time? And they settled in it, they have built a sanctuary in it to thine honour, thinking that if evil befell them, the sword in judgment, or pestilence, or famine, they would stand in front of this temple and before thee (for in this temple is thy presence) and cry to thee in their distress, till thou didst hear and save them. “Now here are the Ammonites and Moabites and folk from mount Seir, whom thou didst not allow Israel to invade, when Israel came out of the land of Egypt — no, Israel turned away from them and did not destroy them!” There was no reason for these neighbors to be enemies. Sometimes your own neighbors become your enemies, too, don’t they? But notice what the king said to God: “Look how they reward us, coming to eject us from thy very own country which thou given us to be ours. O our God wilt thou not deal with them? We are helpless against this mighty host that is attacking us; we know not what to do, but we look to thee” (verses 11-12). God answers prayer   Now I want you to notice! Jehoshaphat cried out for God to come to their aid. Here is God’s answer (verses 14-17): “Jehaziel . . . was inspired by the spirit of the Eternal in the midst of the gathering to cry ‘Listen, all ye men of Judah, ye citizens of Jerusalem, and you, O king Jehoshaphat; the Eternal’s message to you is this: “FEAR NOT, falter not before this vast army; it is for God, not for you to fight them. March down against them to-morrow; they coming up by the ascent of Haziz,and you will come upon them at the end of the ravine in front of the desert of Jeruel. You will not need to do any fighting; take your position, stand still, and watch the victory of the Eternal,who is on your side, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not, falter not. Move out against them tomorrow, for the Eternal is on your side.” ‘ And notice that Jehoshaphat obeyed after God instructed him. Verses 20-23 declare: “Next morning they rose and moved into the open country round Tekoa. As they advanced, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen, men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! Take hold of the Eternal your God and you will keep hold of life; hold by his prophets, and you will prosper.’ “After this counsel to the nation, he appointed the Eternal’s singers to praise him in sacred vestments, marching in front of the army and chanting, Give thanks to the Eternal, for his kindness never fails. “As they began to sing and praise him, the Eternal set men in ambush against the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the folk from mount Seir, who had attacked Judah, and they were routed. The Ammonites and the Moabites turned on the natives of mount Seir, determined to wipe them out.” They turned against one another! That is how God answered Jehoshaphat. “And then, after destroying the natives of Seir, they all helped to kill one another. So when the men of Judah reached their post of attack looking over the open country, they saw the host were so many corpses stretched upon the ground; not a man had escaped” (verses 23-24). Jehoshaphat did not merely leave this trouble with God and then do nothing about it himself. First, he prayed and asked for wisdom, guidance and HELP. Then he DID WHAT GOD SAID. He had to do HIS PART but the BATTLE WAS GOD’S, and Jehoshaphat did not try to fight God’s battle. He merely did his own part. But he BELIEVED God, and RELIED on God. The point I want you to REMEMBER is that YOUR battles are not really yours, but GOD’S. If you look to Him, He makes them His battles, and HE fights them for you. How FUTILE for you to try to fight God’s battles for HIM. God says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). In the New Testament we read, “By GRACE are ye saved through FAITH” (Ephesians 2:8, Authorized Version). Yes, but the FAITH that saves us is a living faith that is practical — it WORKS — it really RELIES on God! So PUT IT TO PRACTICE! God does not promise us an EASY time during this life in this world. But He DOES promise to fight our battles for us to deliver us from EVERY trouble and affliction. WILL YOU LET HIM DO IT, AND LEARN HOW HAPPY YOUR LIFE MAY BECOME? GOD HELP YOU TO UNDERSTAND!]]>