Russia Threatens USA with Nuclear War! (Standing Watch) 10 min.video
Appointed Times (New Horizons)
appointed times [Heb. mo’edim] are generally considered to be a
burdensome yoke placed on ancient Israel to keep them subservient to
their God. How wrong!
Take, for instance, that so ‘Jewish’
observance, the weekly seventh-day Sabbath. The origin of this
‘appointed time’ long predates the founding of the nation of Israel (of
which the Jews were but a part). It coincides with human beginnings and
was bestowed on mankind as a blessing, keeping us in mind of the one and
only God’s awesome power in the creation of the universe and thus our
dependence on Him to supply every need (Mark 2:27). Sever the
relationship with the one true God and all goes haywire!
festivals were commonplace in the ancient world, celebrating the
harvests, and as such they were tied to the observance of the stars and
planets. In describing the act of creation, ‘God said, Let there be
lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night;
and let them be for signs, and for seasons [Heb mo’ed, an appointed
time], and for days, and years’ (Genesis 1:14).
Before Moses God’s
faithful ‘walked’ with Him, willingly and freely choosing to worship Him
as He prescribed, and to follow His guidance - the ‘Law of Life’.
Joseph serves as an example, choosing under temptation not to ‘sin
against God’ (Genesis 39:1-9). When God chose to establish Israel as His
model nation (c.1500BC) these ‘Laws’ became the foundation of their
national Constitution (Exodus 20) and, as with any nation, penalties
were imposed for transgressions of the law.
Note Isaiah’s prediction
for the conditions at the end of man’s rule: ‘the earth is profaned
under those living in it, because they transgress laws and violate a
statute, and break the everlasting covenant [Genesis 9:17 - for ‘all
flesh’]. On account of this a curse has devoured the land; and they who
live in it are held guilty’ (Isaiah 24:5-6).
There is an
unrecognized but unbreakable link between recognition of the Creator
through His revealed form of weekly and annual worship - and our
personal and national stability.
Celebration (Morning Companion)
document from Lentulus, a supposed first century Roman official,
purports to describe Jesus. In part it reads, “He rebukes with majesty,
councils with mildness, His whole address whether in word or deed, being
eloquent and grave. No man has seen him laugh.” There is one small
problem with the letter: It’s a fraud. There was no Lentulus, and the
Jesus of the Bible bears no resemblance to the forlorn image that this
Take the concept of rejoicing. Jesus’s parables
depict it time and again. The woman who finds a lost coin calls a party
and celebrates. The shepherd finds a lost sheep, and he calls together
his friends and neighbors to rejoice with him. He spoke parables about
wedding feasts, and once when he attended a real, live wedding feast, he
turned water into wine so that the party would continue. These parables
and examples don’t come from the temperament of a man who walks around
in perpetual gloom.
On the heels of the parable of the lost sheep and
the lost coin, Jesus illustrates a celebration through the parable of
the Prodigal Son. After his repentance and return home, the father
declared: “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on
his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it.
Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is
alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.
(Luke 15:22-24 NIV)
Here we see Godly ways to celebrate. First, bring
out your best clothes and adornments. Splurge for the occasion. Call
together your friends, for good things should be shared with others.
“Kill the fattened calf” and enjoy the good things in life. Verse 25
says there were music and dancing - and surely laughter. There is
nothing unbiblical with celebrating the joys of life. Ecclesiastes says
to “rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in
the days of your youth.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
God even gave special
days of rejoicing, where people were to celebrate in a manner similar to
that found in the parable of the Prodigal Son. Of one such time of year
we read: “Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days, after you
have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. Be
joyful at your Feast - you, your sons and daughters, your menservants
and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the
widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the Feast to the
Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God
will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands,
and your joy will be complete.” (Deut.16:13-15 NIV)
Imagine seven days of celebration! For everybody! Our world could use a time like that.
Practicing Pure Religion (Sabbath Meditations)
to James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father
is this: to...mumble, mumble, mumble...keep oneself unspotted from the
Striving to stay unspotted from world. Being zealous to
overcome sin. Yes, got that one down! Rejecting worldly teaching and
immorality and holding onto Truth? Check that! That’s my life! That’s
what I really care about!
What’s that? Oh, that little part I mumbled
through? Let’s see, “to visit orphans and widows in their trouble.”
Yeah, well, I suppose that's there too. But let’s get back to that Truth
thing! That’s where it’s at! That's what God really cares about!
Because it looks to me that serving those who are in need, reaching out
to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction, isn’t ranked
somewhere way down at the bottom of some spiritual to do list. It’s
right up there. It’s one of two things that God says are equally
important in identifying those whose religion is pure.
place in God’s Word where we are exhorted to love and obey His law, to
seek after truth and reject the things of this world, you can find
another where we are commanded to give selflessly in service to others.
Isaiah 1:17, one of hundreds of scriptures like it, we are commanded to
“Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the
fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”
Scriptures like this one
make it abundantly clear that becoming like our Elder Brother isn’t
measured solely by our progress in mastering a list of do’s and dont’s.
It’s about developing His heart and mind within us. It’s about caring
passionately about the things He cared about. You want to get to know
the Lord more fully? You want to be more like Him? Get passionate about
the things He was passionate about.
Passionate about Truth? Yes, of course.
But also passionate, big time, about people, especially the needy among us.
“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.” Psalms 68:5
can’t overlook them and think you’re are becoming like Him. You can’t
go to church on the Sabbath, read your Bible, share a few platitudes
over coffee and cookies with your friends and then go home and think
you’re walking in the footsteps of your Savior, because you’re not.
the less fortunate around you, in your communities, in your church,
isn’t simply something you do once in a while at a weekend Church
activity. It’s not something you do if and when you have the time,
resources and inclination. It is not an optional part of the program. It
is the program. And whether or not we’re fully engaged in that program
has eternal implications.
“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit
the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was
hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was
a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was
sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me ... inasmuch
as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to
Me.” Matthew 25:34-40
My prayer this Sabbath, for myself and the rest
of God’s people, is that the Lord would help us to be more like Him.
That He would put just as great a passion in our hearts for serving the
widow and fatherless as we have for holding on to His Truth. That we
would be as zealous for defending the needy as we are for defending His
Law. That each of us would give ourselves fully to practicing pure
Famine of the Word (Legacy Institute)
world is changing rapidly. We know that someday there will be a famine
of the word. Amos 8:11-12 says: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord
GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a
thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall
wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall
run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”
is a crime in Canada to talk about what God says about homosexuality in
the Bible. How long before preachers and televangelists start being
imprisoned for so-called “hate speech”? The LGBT and atheist lobbies
are gaining in strength daily and any mention of God or Jesus as an
important part of the fabric of our Western society is targeted. God
must be removed, they say!
A recent PEW research survey shows that
an alarming number of Americans are just giving up on God. “Half of
Americans who have left their church no longer believe in God, leading a
surge of nearly one quarter of the nation who have no affiliation with
any religion, according to a new survey.”
For those who have stopped
looking for the Word of God, a famine of the Word will not affect
them—that is, until they realize they need God and start to seek out
those who are preaching and teaching His Holy Word.
Will they find
Him? Not if the media, internet and other public forums are all
controlled by those who want to erase God out or our Western
This famine will affect the whole world, not just the
U.S.A. All of us involved in preaching the Gospel to the whole world
must step up our efforts to make the Word of God available to many, many
more who thirst for the Truth.
It is getting more and more
difficult to bring young people from Burma here to Thailand to prepare
them to return home and preach the Gospel. Satan always uses governments
to squelch the true Gospel message, even if those governments do not
even know they are being used as tools of Satan. Satan is the god of
this world, never forget!
Legacy cannot and will not stop preaching
and teaching the word of God. There is much more work to be done. We may
just have to do it in a different way. One door closes and another
Suspended and Disfellowshipped (Children of God)
is a strange phenomenon that is an entrenched part of the culture of
the Church. This trend existed to some degree for those of us
who were a part of the Worldwide Church of God organization.
Surprisingly, today, with the Church widely scattered, there remains
a good sized segment of the brethren who are fearful of being “put
out” of the Church.
it is not the lawbreakers or heretics who are afraid of being
rejected, marked or disfellowshipped, it is the truth-seekers who are
trying to find other true believers who have not let down and become
lukewarm. These concerned brethren with valid questions are the ones
most likely to arouse the ire of controlling ministers, who suspect
them of rebellion against their organization. There is something
inherently wrong with the membership being controlled and restrained
by the means of fear tactics.
find the Biblical practices of suspension, and marking in the
Scriptures. The questions we should understand are these: When is
someone supposed to be suspended; and what is supposed to be achieved
by putting a member out of the congregation like this? What would
cause a person to be marked or disfellowshipped? Those who are living
Christian lives should never be afraid of asking questions or
standing for the truth.
is nothing to fear. Those who have been disfellowshipped from
corporate organizations for political reasons have not been removed
from the Body of Christ. We were warned by Jesus Christ that we would
be disfellowshipped – but woe to the perpetrators of those
Jesus said: “These
things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be scandalized.
They shall put you out of the synagogues [meeting places]: yes, the
time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God a
service.” (John 16:1-2)
are topsy-turvy in God’s Church in these last days. Instead of the
corporations or colleges being the sole repository of right doctrine
– it has fallen to the faithful brethren to also be defenders of
the truth. It is often the dedicated brethren who are standing in the
gap for doctrinal purity.
when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation,
it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye
should earnestly contend for the faith which was once
delivered unto the saints.”
tells us in both the Old and New Testaments to be a holy people:
unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto
them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.”
is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
(1 Peter 1:16)
“holy” means that we should each be set apart from sin and
uncleanness. We are supposed to be a Godly people. When a member is
engaging in sin, he becomes unholy, and should not come among the
faithful brethren. The Scriptures do not instruct us to disfellowship
a brother or sister in this case, but to suspend their contact
with the faithful brethren until such time as they repent of their
Corinthian congregation was not mature or well developed spiritually.
One of Paul’s most important responsibilities before God was to
promote the spiritual growth and development of the Church
congregations that he pastored. In this epistle, Paul did not address
this problem on account of the immoral man, or his father, whom he
had so grievously wronged (Leviticus 18:8). Paul’s purpose in
writing was for the welfare of the congregation – for the care of
the congregation – to enable them to spiritually mature to the
point of handling their problems themselves.
though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his [the sinner] cause that
had done the wrong, nor for his [the father] cause that suffered
wrong, but that our care for you [the congregation] in the sight of
God might appear unto you.” (2 Corinthians
had told the congregation to handle the problem with the fornicating
sinner themselves – by putting him out – suspending
him until he repented.
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and
my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such
an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit
may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
(1 Corinthians 5:4-5)
the other hand, had the sin involved been heresy, Paul would
have handled the situation differently. When someone has gone off
doctrinally and seeks to spread heretical doctrine among the
brethren, the much more stringent measure of disfellowshippment is
called for. The church does not condemn people – but people do
man that is an heretic
after the first and second admonition reject;
[shun that person] Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and
sinneth, being condemned
of himself.” (Titus 3:10-11)
two clear warnings and Scriptural admonitions, Paul brought a matter
before the entire Church – to protect the flock. When we follow the
Scriptures – we are under God’s authority. If we handle things
contrary to the Scriptures – we have departed from God’s
we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that
ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and
not after the tradition which he received of us. And if any man obey
not our word by this epistle, note
that man, [distinguish] and have no
company with him [disfellowship], that
he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6,
faithful minister will not let loyalty to an organization, or to
another man, nor any ulterior motive influence his judgment when
dealing with a member of the Body of Christ. Too many ministers have
thrown around disfellowshippments like a gunfight of wild cowboys at
OK corral. They cause the brethren to believe that these very serious
matters are handled in a haphazard way – which they never should
someone must be suspended or disfellowshipped there must be ample
evidence and witnesses who attest to the sinful behavior on the part
of the sinner that warrants the appropriate action. Fasting, prayer
and counseling with every warning and admonition must be a part of
the process. It is reconciliation to the greater Body of Christ that
is of the highest priority. Only after a person is apprised of the
sinful and erroneous conduct and given opportunity to correct it,
should the disciplinary action be taken for the purpose of preserving
the holiness of the congregation.
Life is Good (First Century Christianity)
Oftentimes we look around
and only see the strife in the world and the contention in the
assemblies that believe like us. There is one sure fire way to cheer
oneself up and have a positive attitude, and that’s to refuse to
participate in the doom and the gloom.
“Thus says YHVH of hosts, the
Elohim of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from
Jerusalem to Babylon, ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens
and eat their produce. ‘Take wives and become the fathers of sons and
daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to
husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and
do not decrease. ‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you
into exile, and pray to YHVH on its behalf; for in its welfare you will
have welfare.’ (Jeremiah 29:4-7)
Today, as we are being
called out of Babylon, while we continue to live in Babylon, this verse
applies to us as well. The exiles were hauled off to a pagan land and
were commanded to do what? Have lives. Relax, plant some gardens, get
married, have kids. Live their lives. Why were they commanded to do
this? Because YHVH has a plan. They could relax, because the days of
their captivity were numbered before there was one of them. To show
their faith that He would deliver them back to the land, they had to
simply live their lives. We are to do this as well.
“I have given
them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of
the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them
out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of
the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14-16)
- and -
devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one
another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted
to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing
hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the
same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate
with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back
evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
We are to live our lives. We are to live them
within the structure of Torah as shown to us by the New Testament
writings, but we are to enjoy life. Sure, we are to repent, study,
learn, and do charitable works, but we are also to enjoy the fruits of
our labor and our spouses and our children as well.
As we prepare to
observe the fall festival of the Most High, let’s take some time to
reflect on the blessings we have been granted. Do you have an assembly
to attend, whether small or large? Then rejoice in it! Do you have a
believing spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend? Then rejoice in that blessing!
Do you have children? Are they healthy? Then rejoice! Do you have a job
that allows you to observe the Sabbath and Holy Days? Then rejoice! Do
you have a job at all that provides for your material subsistence?
Rejoice! Do you have a place to lay your head and food in the
refrigerator? Then rejoice! Do you have any friends that you can count
on? Rejoice. Do you have friends in the faith? Rejoice greatly!
time to enjoy life. Take time to thank the Creator and His Messiah for
the blessings you have. Build houses and live in them. Get married.
Start a family. And trust that, when it’s time to go wherever we’re to
go in His Name, that He’ll let us know – just like He did for the
Science Catches Up! (OzWitness)
you noticed that scientists recently have begun to discover that more
long held ‘unscientific’ beliefs which they had scoffed at, have
been discovered to be true after all? Today in one newspaper was the
news that ‘mother was right after all’. You’ll catch a
cold if you don’t put on a coat in winter! Scientists have long
claimed that coughs and colds are not caused by a drop in temperature
but more likely by warm stuffy rooms where he cold virus can spread
more easily, though now thy have recognized that our immune systems
work better when we are kept warm with coat and scarf!
‘new’ discovery mentioned in today’s news is that whole milk
may actually help to reduce blood pressure because it apparently
contains high levels of nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels, and
this improves blood flow to the heart. That information joins other
recent news that full cream milk is better for us than half cream
milk, and even that butter may be better for us than vegetable oil
I would not be surprised if that were true. Years ago I had a
recurring problem like King Henry the Eighth. Gout in my big toe!
Every year I would get an attack and have to hobble about with an
unbending toe until someone told me about cherries. OK, so it was
unscientific, but apparently several cherries each day keeps the gout
away (By the way, I don’t drink much wine or alcohol!). I
tried it, and the gout disappeared, never to return. Any cherries
will do – tinned, fresh or bottled – only a few each day and
information can point us to another source of ‘unscientific’
information that we can refer to for even more authoritative health
guidance. The Bible. The Bible is the handbook the Creator provided
with His product – us. You may not realize it but it contains
a great deal of advice on how to live long, and stay healthy.
it is simply promises – keep this commandment and you will live
long e.g. Exodus
your father and your mother, so that
you may live long
in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
it is guidance on which foods are designed to be good for us to eat,
and which bad, and elsewhere we are advised on which behavior and
attitude will help our mental state to remain healthy and avoid
psychosomatic illness. Also, God incidentally mentions things
that His people eat, and food which some shared
with God Himself, when
He has appeared on earth. Food like fish, whole grains, meat, milk,
butter, honey, which in that way gain God’s stamp of approval.
yes, as the years go by, more and more of the Bible’s teaching is
being shown to be true after all. You can be in there in advance of
science, and enjoy the health benefits before science catches up.
Just study the Bible! Joshua
this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and
night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.
you will be prosperous and successful.’