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I feel I must immediately have a real heart to heart talk with my growing family of readers and co-workers, sharing with you thoughts that came to my mind — while they are still fresh and vivid. It concerns the MOST IMPORTANT thing in life and eternity for YOU. But at the moment, I was thinking about myself. Every person — yes, even you — is his own worst enemy. All my life I have been impelled to fight my worst enemy — that troublesome inner SELF, which by nature is desperately wicked. I was not born with a mild, submissive, weak–willed inner SELF. Had I been, I probably never could have been used as God’s instrument in bearing His message to you. My mother has often mentioned I was a very strong-willed boy; and while I was still young enough to be under parental discipline, I caused her and my father no end of trouble. Since growing into the age of self-discipline, this same evil, determined inner self has caused ME no end of trouble. And I should add that since I gave that self over to God, it surely must have tried His patience! That brings us to the point. The thought that came to my mind concerned this very troublesome inner self. How, came the question, can I myself ever become finally SAVED, and inherit eternal life in the Kingdom of God, with such a powerful, seemingly irresistible inner force of evil constantly pulling the other way? When God says “there shall in no wise enter into it (the Kingdom of God) anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Rev. 21:27), it surely seemed impossible that I should be able to “overcome,” and “endure unto the end.” But the same instant the answer flashed to mind — GOD will save me! I can’t save myself. When I look at this troublesome, naturally evil self, so human and full of faults and weaknesses, so beset by temptations of pride and the flesh, with all its limitations and shortcomings; knowing that to be finally saved I must GROW in grace and God’s knowledge — must develop in righteous holy character — must overcome this SELF and temptations and weaknesses — and must ENDURE thru trial and test and opposition and discouragement unto the end — well, when I look at it this way, it seems utterly HOPELESS to expect ever to be saved. And I wondered, as this thought flashed thru my mind, how many of my readers and co-workers are tempted to look at it the same way — to feel a sense of futility and helplessness — perhaps to become discouraged and lose faith? Ah, that’s the key word — FAITH! Our plight isn’t hopeless at all! Of course, of ourselves it IS impossible to be saved. But with GOD IT IS CERTAIN — if we yield to Him and TRUST Him. We shall be saved, NOT by our own power to overcome and develop perfect characters, but thru FAITH IN GOD’S POWER! But right here is where 999 out of 1,000 become deceived by the fables of this time. And when the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch! Because we CAN’T save ourselves — we CAN’T master the evil inner self — we CAN’T always resist every temptation — we CAN’T keep God’s holy Law perfectly — and, of ourselves we would fail to overcome, to grow in spiritual character, and to endure to the end; the false teaching is going out that JESUS DID THESE THINGS FOR US — that we don’t need to do them. Millions today believe that God imputes Jesus’ righteousness to us, counting us as righteous when we are NOT! There couldn’t be a more soul-damning delusion of the devil! No, Jesus didn’t live a good life for you, in your stead! You are not excused from keeping God’s commandments, living a righteous holy life, overcoming, growing in spiritual character, and enduring in spite of all opposition, persecution, trial and test unto the end. You and I must actually DO these things in order to be saved! Here is the great mystery! Since we MUST do these things to be saved, yet are utterly UNABLE to do them, it is natural to conclude either that God sent Jesus to do it for us and excuse us from accomplishing it, or else to become discouraged and be tempted to quit trying. The true-answer is the KEY to salvation! We can’t save ourselves. GOD will save us! But how? Not by saving us IN our sins — not by deceiving Himself into counting us righteous by imputing Jesus’ righteousness to us while we remain UNrighteous — BUT BY SAVING US FROM OUR SINS, by giving us His very own Spirit — His POWER to overcome these cantankerous selves, His Love to actually fulfill His law, His PEACE to avoid strife with enemies and resentment and bitterness at their injustices, His PATIENCE to endure! We can’t save ourselves — GOD must save us! But He does it by CHANGING us, thru His indwelling divine supernatural power, from what we have been into the holy, righteous characters He wills to make of us! He does it by forgiving past sins not only, but CLEANSING us from sinning now and in the future! God does not look upon our hopeless plight — our evil natures, our weaknesses and inabilities — and say, “Poor, helpless humans! Since they are unable to master and overcome their evil natures, to keep my Law, to endure trial and test and temptation, and to grow into holy characters; I’ll be merciful and have my Son do it for them, and save them just as they are in all their sins.” Instead, God who knows our every weakness, and who Himself is RESPONSIBLE for this human nature in every one of us, sent His Son into the world to proclaim HIS MESSAGE to us that we must yield to GOD’S government over our lives — that we must REPENT and turn FROM our filth of the flesh and pride of mind and heart. He sent His Son into the world to be tempted in all points as we are — human as we are — to prove that a human CAN, with the help of the Spirit of God, live without sin — TO SET AN EXAMPLE FOR US THAT WE SHOULD FOLLOW HIS STEPS and live also without sinning! He sent His Son into the world to die for us, — not living a good life in our stead, but paying the penalty of all our past sins in our stead — that we might be reconciled to God, so that we might receive His Spirit, begetting us as His SONS, so that God thru the power of His Spirit may CHANGE us from mortal sinners into immortal holy sons of God! Some hotels and restaurants, catering to tourists who may be in old clothes and dirty from traveling, post a sign, COME AS YOU ARE! The favorite “invitation” or “altar call” hymn sung by the popular denominations in revival or evangelistic services is JUST AS I AM. But BE NOT DECEIVED — GOD WON’T RECEIVE YOU JUST AS YOU ARE! You can’t sit down at His immaculate holy table with your wrinkled, soiled clothes and dirty hands, which symbolically represent the human sinning condition. No, you must be first WASHED in the blood of the lamb Jesus Christ — and before Jesus as your Saviour and Mediator with God can wash you of the filth of your sins, YOU MUST FIRST REPENT OF TRANSGRESSING GOD’S HOLY LAW, WHICH MEANS TO BE SO SORRY THAT YOU FORSAKE YOUR WAY AND THE WORLD’S WAY, AND TURN TO A LIFE OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S LAWS AND WAYS! Of course, you’ll have to come AS YOU ARE to Christ for CLEANSING from the filth of your past life — but CONFESSING your filthy, sinful condition, asking HIM to cleanse you and to wash you in His blood, because you can’t cleanse yourself — so that He may present you chaste and pure and spiritually clean to His Father, that you may then receive the indwelling POWER of God WHICH WILL ENABLE YOU TO OVERCOME, and keep God’s law, and live as His sons ought to live! Jesus showed by his life that we CAN, if we rely upon God in faith for the power to do so, live the way of God’s will as expressed in His Spiritual Law! Of Himself, even Jesus said He could not do it — “the Father that dwelleth in me,” He said, “HE doeth the works.” And again: “The works that I do shall ye do also.” And so it was that, almost the same instant the temptation to doubt the final result came to my mind as I thought of my own weaknesses, faults, and limitations, the answer flashed strong and firm: GOD WON’T LET ME FALL! “He may punish me more yet to chasten and teach me and to make me righteous, but He won’t let me fail — He will impute His very own righteousness BY IMPLANTING IT INTO MY LIFE until, thru His power energizing me, I’m really living it — ETERNALLY! And that comforting and definite ASSURANCE of the final result, based on God’s own unbreakable PROMISES, just warmed my heart and made me feel good clear thru — and so I had to come immediately to the typewriter to share this glorious assurance with all of YOU! Read Jude 24, and II Peter 1:10.
Source: The Plain Truth Magazine, August, 1963 – Personal from the Editor by Herbert W Armstrong]]>
DESPITE TROUBLES TODAY- PEACE, PROSPERITY, HAPPINESS IN THE WORLD TOMORROW!
Personal by Herbert W. Armstrong [The Good News Magazine, May 1982]How did you come to be here on earth? Did you just happen, an accident of blind, unintelligent, unknowing, lifeless EVOLUTION? Or were you put here and given life by an all-knowing, all-intelligent, purposeful, living, supreme God, who designed and created the human mind and body? Let me tell you and I can prove it, and so can you if you are willing – that the great Creator brought YOU into existence on this earth FOR A GREAT AND MIGHTY PURPOSE! You were born into a world that has developed a certain type civilization. The instant you were born you knew – NOTHING! But your eyes opened, you looked about and knowledge of what you saw began registering in your memory – began putting knowledge into your mind. Your ears heard sounds, and thus additional knowledge entered through the sense of hearing. Very elementary at first, but gradually, each bit of new knowledge, entering your mind through your senses of taste, smell, feel, sight and hearing, was added to what had previously been stored there. Gradually you came to know, and take up with, the customs, ways, generally accepted ideas and beliefs of this world. You accepted them, took them for granted without question. Some of them were good – many of them were BAD. But you took them for granted without realizing they were bad. Human nature, you see, wants to BE good – that is, to believe it is good – to be considered good. It just doesn’t want to DO good. Because GOOD is the WAY of God’s invisible, inexorable, spiritual LAW. That LAW is, simply, LOVE. It is love toward God in the form of trusting and willing OBEDIENCE to God’s every command and direction, knowing it is for our highest good. It is love toward God in the form of being GOD-centered – having the mind continually (consciously or subconsciously) in contact with God, relying on God, seeking guidance from God, worshipful in the sense of gratitude, obedience, faith and complete trust. It is love toward fellowMAN – in the sense of outgoing concern, equal to love and concern for self. Now NO MAN exercises that kind of love naturally. You simply were not born with that kind of love. You DON’T HAVE IT! That is, not unless you have received it from God through His GIFT of His Holy Spirit. THAT love – God’s love – that of His Holy Spirit – travels a certain road. It is the road that leads to peace, to happiness, to confident assurance, security, well-being, ENJOYMENT without kickbacks, prosperity – every good thing the heart desires. Everyone wants that result. That is to say, everyone wants to have the RESULT of doing good. But no one, it seems, naturally wants to GO that way to DO good. That WAY – doing good – is the WAY of God’s law. This world is not FULL of happiness, peace, joy and universal prosperity. It is pretty well filled with strife in the home, in business, in politics, in war between nations. It is pretty well filled with unhappiness, frustrations, insecurity. It is pretty well filled with crime and violence, with broken homes and unhappy, quarreling homes, with sickness and disease, with frustrations, failures, tragedies. Now God is not the author of all these troubles in the world. God has, FOR A GREAT PURPOSE, made humans free moral agents, and allotted 6,000 years for mankind to make a choice – whether to accept God’s government over him, to be ruled by God’s law of LOVE, or whether to set up his own ideas of man-made government, following what comes naturally – HUMAN NATURE. That 6,000 years is about up. When it is – a very few more years, perhaps less than 10 – God Almighty is going to step in, intervene supernaturally and in divine POWER abolish governments and ways of society – rule all nations with GOD’s laws – and BRING PEACE AND HAPPINESS TO HUMANITY! HOW can that be done? It’s simple! There is A WAY of personal, group and organized living that will automatically produce that utopia. And there is A WAY that has, for 6,000 years, produced curses, war, strife and violence, frustration, failure – everything this world has. God is simply going to enforce, with divine power, HIS WAY. He is going to take over all governments, in a super WORLD GOVERNMENT ruled by the very CREATOR. It will rule by GOD’S LAWS – the WAY of love! Why do some people – even college professors and some who are intellectually inclined – become Communists? Because they see many things WRONG in this world – they want to BE right – they grasp communism as a last straw and only hope, under the delusion that THEY CAN HAVE A PART IN MAKING THIS A BETTER WORLD! They want to BE right – but they don’t want to DO right. So they grasp the straw that makes the lying and false PROMISES of producing the solution. But communism is only another IDEA OF MAN BASED ON HUMAN NATURE. It is a theoretical WAY that would destroy what little good there might be in this world’s society. It is the most false of false hopes. But YOU can have a part in actually bringing PEACE, happiness, joy and abundance to humanity. God Almighty is going to do it – whether or not you have a part in it! But He is not going to do it alone. He is going to take certain human beings, born in the very LIKENESS of God, who REPENT of their carnal human nature – who cry out to God to CHANGE that nature and give them the matchless supreme GIFT of His divine LOVE that will travel THE WAY toward peace, happiness and joy. These are they who, through real repentance of what they are as well as what they have done, through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as well as in His resurrected LIFE and POWER, are forgiven their guilty past, given contact with God, changed, converted, receiving HIS HOLY SPIRIT, being begotten as HIS CHILDREN, receiving the DIVINE nature. In other words, they REPENT of human nature – they REPENT of hostility to authority, of resentment against God’s law. They SURRENDER unconditionally to GOD, and wholeheartedly WANT Him to rule in their lives. They CHANGE (through God’s power given by His grace) from rebellion to submission – from SELF-centeredness to GOD-centeredness. They let Jesus Christ (in Spirit) come into their lives and actually live their lives for them (Gal. 2:20). They change from THE WAY that has brought all the curses upon this unhappy world to THE WAY that will bring a brilliant, joyous UTOPIA to earth in a very few years when God sends the living Jesus Christ in all power and glory to RULE ALL NATIONS and bring the happy, peaceful WORLD TOMORROW! This CHANGE is conversion. This is what it means to become a Christian. A Christian is NOT merely one who PROFESSES Christ. God’s own instruction to us – the Bible – says that if one has not received God’s Holy Spirit, he is NONE of His – he is NOT a Christian (Rom. 8:9). God gives His Holy Spirit ONLY to them who OBEY Him (Acts 5:32). This implants within the mind the divine nature – it means a CHANGED MIND! But it does not remove the HUMAN nature. The mind governs whether the converted Christian now follows the pulls, the impulses, the desires of human nature, or whether he resists them and is LED BY the newly received divine nature. “As many as are LED BY the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). But one’s human nature cries out to be satisfied – does not like to be repressed. Just receiving God’s Spirit is not enough. One must be LED by God’s Spirit. His Spirit opens the mind to UNDERSTANDING of spiritual truth, and the KNOWLEDGE of God’s law. It opens the mind to THE WAY one should follow. God’s Spirit also is the love of God – God’s own divine love – flooding into the human heart, and flowing on out in love to God and love to neighbor. One must therefore GROW in spiritual knowledge and in God’s grace (II Pet. 3:18). He must become a DOER of God’s law – actually LIVING in THE WAY of peace and happiness and joy. This means he must OVERCOME his own carnal nature, his old habits, the temptations of the world – HE MUST BE CHANGED! He must develop toward perfect spiritual and righteous CHARACTER. The real Christian is undergoing a life of TRAINING to become a RULER in God’s Kingdom – in the happy and peaceful WORLD TOMORROW. One cannot learn everything in a minute, a day or a year. One does not become perfect at one jump. It is a continuous PROCESS. No Christian becomes perfect at the very beginning. He does not overcome or root out all the sins, the wrong habits, all at once. He must do it little by little. But, “he that overcometh, and keepeth MY WORKS unto the end,” says Jesus Christ, “to him will I give power over THE NATIONS: AND HE SHALL RULE THEM” (Rev. 2:26-27). WHY do THE NATIONS of this earth need ruling by Christ and those trained under a Christian life? Because all the unhappiness – everything WRONG with this world – has come from living THE WAY of hostility to God’s law and God’s government. Because the only way this world can have PEACE, PROSPERITY, HAPPINESS is to be forced to build a society based on THE WAY that produces these desired blessings. If you have started on THAT RIGHT WAY, don’t get discouraged because you have slipped and fallen down along the road a few times. Get up and KEEP GOING. Even if you have sinned and are truly sorry, you can repent and Christ is your High Priest to forgive. Read and study I John 1:7-10 and 2:1-2. This is written to converted CHRISTIANS. At the time of Christ’s coming, the dead in Christ will be resurrected and rise to meet the descending Christ in the air. At that instant those living who have been thus changed, begotten by God’s Spirit, will be changed in composition, from mortal to immortal – from matter to spirit – from human to divine. THEY are then to RULE with and under the all-powerful, living Christ, until ALL NATIONS beat their swords into plowshares and PEACE shines forth on this war-weary earth! Jesus Christ taught His followers to PRAY: “THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH” (Matt. 6:10)! How about it? Shall we pray that prayer? I DO!]]>
ARE We Back on the Track? – When We Lack Faith?
by Herbert W. Armstrong [Good News Magazine Oct/Nov 1981]Is it because there is no God in the homes of our families, that we rely on “the god of Ekron”? I am shocked — saddened — discouraged — hurt! I am writing this in flight. We just took off from Orr, Minn., flying back to Pasadena. At the SEP camp I spoke to 728, including 280 brethren from surrounding churches. I was informed that the youths in camp habitually demand a doctor for every little thing. It seems they have been taught at home to rely on doctors rather than God. When it is suggested that they may be anointed by a minister of God, in prayer for God to heal, as God PROMISES in James 5:14-15, they will consent, but seem to regard it as a perfunctory ritual of no effectuality, and still demand a doctor who can make them well. Their faith is wholly in the human doctor, not in God. Apparently their parents have no faith that God can keep His promises, and have not relied on God for healing their children. Brethren, I was shocked. It was like being stabbed in the heart. We are the generation looking for the coming of Christ and the Kingdom of God. We are the Bride of Christ. We have to be READY for His coming, or the door to eternal life and salvation will be SLAMMED IN OUR FACES (Matt. 25:10-12)! Jesus said, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”! Read again these solemn scriptures:”Christ . . . loved the church, and gave himself for it . . . That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27). And, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7). The Church as a whole will be ready. But the passage in Matthew 25 shows those individuals in it – or who profess to be in it — and are lukewarm and lacking in faith in God’s Word will have the door slammed in their faces! Brethren, ARE YOU READY? I believe the Church as a whole is rapidly getting ready. But apparently some are not. God says, “WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM” (Heb. 11:6) Work up faith? But some will make the excuse, “I just can’t seem to work up enough faith.” What you mean is, “I don’t believe God will keep His promises — I don’t believe God’s Word, the Bible.” God says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Jesus ministered as the Son of man. He said: “Of myself I can do nothing. The father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” Jesus had, by the Spirit of God, the GIFT of healing, as mentioned in I Corinthians 12:9. Peter had it. Paul had it. Only a few had it. But to MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH, God says: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (Jas. 5:14-15). God wants us to BELIEVE Him — believe what He says — believe He is able — believe it is His WILL to do what He promises — and believe He WILL do it! Do you have to “work up faith” to believe God is able – God will keep His PROMISES? A woman who called me to anoint and pray for her healing once said, “Well, I know God is able to heal me but I don’t know whether it is His will.” I read to her, “Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities” (Ps. 103:2-3) and I stopped there. “Do you believe that? Do you believe it is His WILL to forgive all your sins?” “Oh, yes,” she replied. “But WHY do you believe it?” I asked. “Because it says so in the Bible,” she answered. “Then do you think God lied in the other half of that verse, which says, `who healeth all thy diseases’?” How about you? Do YOU who read this believe God? Do you have to struggle and try to work up faith to believe God MEANS what He says, and will DO what He says? “Yes,” some will answer, “but what about times when people called the elders of the Church, who anointed and prayed for healing, and they were not healed?” But HOW DO YOU KNOW they were not healed? Well, they reply, because the pain was still there. They could still FEEL It. They could SEE that they were not healed. But, God answers, “We walk by FAITH, not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7). What one sees or feels has nothing to do with it. Jesus said, “According to your FAITH be it unto you” (Matt. 9:29). A trying experience I had to learn this, personally, by a trying experience. I was visiting my parents’ home. In the evening my father was suddenly stricken. Another minister was with me. We anointed and prayed for him. He did not improve immediately so we continued to pray. We prayed without ceasing all night. I prayed in positive faith. I KNEW God would heal my father. Occasionally I opened the Bible, and each time I opened it to a scripture that seemed to imply God heard and he would be healed. My faith was actually strengthened through the night. Yet at 9:40 next morning my father died. It was a traumatic shock and blow to my faith. For a while I simply couldn’t understand it! I knew God had PROMISED. I had obeyed His command in James 5:14 in implicit FAITH. I had not doubted. I prayed for understanding. I turned to the “faith chapter” of the Bible — Hebrews 11. There I was reminded again, “Faith is the . . . evidence of things NOT SEEN”(verse 1). 1 could SEE that my father was not healed. But that was not the evidence proving whether he was healed. FAITH is the evidence — the PROOF — that God’s Word is good. Then, reading on, I saw again that God had made the PROMISES on which our salvation and eternal life depend to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The only PROOF we have of eternal life is GOD’S PROMISES according to His conditions. But Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all died IN FAITH, not (yet) having received the promises. But verse 40 shows God’s promises are SURE! They SHALL receive the promises in the resurrection. There I saw the TRUTH! God opened my eyes to see. God did not tell Abraham HOW or WHEN He would fulfill His promises. He will do it HOW and WHEN He wills, not when we will. My father will have the healing I prayed for in the resurrection. That will be the next split second of his consciousness. God keeps His promises This fact — that God keeps His promises HIs WAY and in His TIME — I realize, means a great test of faith to our people today. But faith is RELYING ON GOD’S WORD! Let me repeat that: FAITH is RELYING ON GOD’S WORD! Sometimes the things God expects of us by FAITH seem IMPOSSIBLE! Look at Abraham’s case. Abraham had wanted a son. He had yielded to temptation, and sired an illegitimate son by his wife’s handmaid, Hagar. He wanted God’s promises to Abraham to be carried out through Ishmael, Hagar’s son. But God refused. God keeps His promises GOD’S way. God’s way required a miracle. When Abraham was 99 years old and his wife Sarah was 90, God caused the barren Sarah at last to have a son. All God’s promises had to be fulfilled through this son Isaac. Then God put Abraham’s FAITH in God’s word to a severe TEST. God told Abraham to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. Now most people would have used human reason. If Isaac were killed as a sacrifice, how could God keep His promises through a dead son? There was NO WAY except if God performed a MIRACLE to keep His word. But, impossible as it must have seemed to Abraham, he RELIED ON GOD’S WORD! HE OBEYED! At the very last second, God caused a ram to be caught by its horns in the bushes behind Abraham, and God told Abraham to offer the ram as a burnt offering instead of his son. WHAT A TEST OF FAITH! Believe God’s Word Yet God expects you and me today to BELIEVE HIs WORD — to RELY ON HIM to keep His promises! Jesus Christ was beaten with stripes terribly, suffering indescribable pain and agony, to pay the PENALTY of physical sin, so that you and I and our children may be HEALED. And by His stripes we are healed (I Pet. 2:24). Jesus’ suffering by being beaten with stripes was in vain unless God’s Word is good — unless we are healed! James 5:15 says the prayer of FAITH shall save the sick, and the Lord WILL HEAL. Yes, there are conditions to God’s promises. Jesus said, “According to your FAITH be it unto you.” He said to a young woman, “Thy FAITH hath made thee whole.” When you don’t believe, you do two things: 1) You nullify His promise by not performing His condition to healing and 2) you make God a liar — you don’t believe His Word! There is another condition: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:22). You must be yielded to obedience to His commandments. And you must be doing what is pleasing in His sight — and that includes BELIEVING He will do what He promised. You MUST BELIEVE God will heal! You can believe another human person if he promises to do something for you. WHY can’t you believe God will do what He has promised — what Jesus suffered a terrible beating with stripes for, that you may be healed? WHY is it hard for you to believe God means what He says — that He WILL DO what He has promised? WHY can you believe a human doctor who is a sinner (for all have sinned) — and cannot believe God? WHY? Medicines can’t heal. Drugs can’t heal and always have side effects, which often are harmful. Surgeon’s knives can’t heal. A famous doctor said, “If all the medicines in the world were thrown into the ocean, it would be so much better for humanity, and so much worse for the fishes.” According to your faith But, brethren, “According to YOUR faith be it unto you.” If you can’t believe God when He speaks and promises, you simply have no hope of salvation and eternal life! These are the LAST DAYS! These are days of trying and testing. We are taking FINAL EXAMS to see whether we make it into God’s Kingdom. Must some of you FAIL? When I was in school, in the hours before final exams, I really “crammed.” I “crammed” desperately, for I had lagged somewhat during the school year. But by the last spurt of effort, I usually got close to 100 percent in final exams — and I passed after all. Fasting and prayer often will restore faith. It will bring faith from God if you never had it before. I fasted and prayed for two days once in a serious emergency when the lives of two members of my family were at stake. I spent the first hour in prayer. The second hour in Bible reading to try to see why I lacked faith. The third hour in contemplation, self-examination, trying to THINK where I was wrong and why my faith had weakened. The next hour again in prayer, then an hour in Bible study, an hour in contemplation and so on for two days, while fasting. At the end of that time, slightly less than two days, FIVE miracles happened, and a few days later a sixth I had not asked. We are all now in the time of final exams. Looking down into this very time, Jesus said, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Brethren, are some of you going to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? King Ahaziah of Israel was severely injured and in sickness. But he sent for Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, for healing (II Kings 1:1-4). But God said through the prophet Elijah, “Isn’t it because there is not a God in Israel that you go to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?” This Baal-zebub was known as “the god of flies” — the medical god of that day. So God said the king must die because of lack of faith. Is it because there is no God whose Word is good for healing, that some of You brethren rear your children relying on Baal-zebub in the form of the doctors of our day? Which God is in YOUR home? In which do you have FAITH? Brethren, let us be READY when Christ comes. Do your cramming to learn FAITH now, for the time is short. Let’s all make it into His Kingdom!]]>
Let God Fight Your Battles! by Herbert W. Armstrong
The New Testament book of Jude is a short but vivid account of what was happening in the first century Church of God. But it also contains a timely and powerful message for today’s Christian!
Is the day of miracles past? Does the living God heal sickness and disease today upon believing prayer? Or was healing performed only by Christ and the original apostles? Did God raise up medical science for our day? What about modern faith healers and public healing services?