Trump Shocks Europe (Standing Watch) 19 min. video
A Disastrous Miracle (Sabbath Meditations)
his book titled ‘It Is Toward Evening’, Vance Havner tells the story of
a small town that made its living entirely from growing cotton. It was
not a great living; nevertheless, it was a living. Then calamity struck
as the boll weevil invaded the community, destroyed the economy, and
threatened to ruin everyone. The farmers were forced to switch to
peanuts and other crops that eventually brought them greater return than
they would ever have made by raising cotton. Ultimately, what they
thought was a disaster became the basis for undreamed of prosperity. To
mark their appreciation, they erected a monument to the boll weevil. To
this very day in that little southern town, that monument stands as a
celebration of that disastrous miracle.
Too often we want to forget
painful memories ... tribulations in our life, don’t we? We want to move
on to good times and leave the past behind. I think one mistake we in
the Christian world make is to focus only on all of the ways we’ve been
blessed while we gloss over the trials and tribulations that have been
visited upon us. But God doesn’t want us to do that. He wants us to
recognize the trials that we suffer as blessings in themselves ...
events that serve to prepare us for greater service to Him.
5:10 tells us, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His
eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect,
establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
God wants us to mark the
path of our growth. He wants to use our disasters to produce miracles in
our lives. The suffering that we endure often serves a far greater
purpose than the good times that come our way. The blessings that come
as a result of His purpose being fulfilled are eternal.
it’s difficult to pretend we enjoy going through hardship. I’m sure the
farmers in that small town weren’t having a good time watching the boll
weevils eat their livelihood. But if they could have seen the end of the
story, the prosperity that would ultimately come out of disaster, they
would have no doubt had reason to rejoice while the boll weevils were
As God’s children we do know the end of the story, don’t
we? In the midst of trouble, in the midst of hardship, we know that God
is working out His plan. We don’t need to wait for that miracle to be
completely fulfilled to rejoice. We can erect a monument of gratitude in
our lives to daily express appreciation to Him for his deliverance from
trials and the incredible miracle that He is accomplishing in us
through His Son.
A Window to Our Society (Morning Companion)
Missouri is home to the Truman Presidential Library. When I lived in
that neighborhood I was a frequent patron of the place, and this
die-hard conservative became a fan and admirer of a guy I probably never
would have voted for.
On one of my forays into the facility the
curators had on display a looping video with clips of television
programming from the early 1950s. Other artifacts from the popular
culture of the day were figures from our entertainment industry who were
effectively acting as unofficial ambassadors of American good will
abroad. Louis Armstrong. Bob Hope. Bing Crosby. Gene Kelly. Fred
Astaire. Quite a parade of popular culture and values depicting
optimism, family, integrity, and standards.
Our popular culture was a
window to our society, seeking to highlight what was good about our
country and values. Go to YouTube and watch some of those old TV shows.
You’ll see an image of America that the world saw through the window of
our media. True, we did not always lived up to our standards, but at
least we knew what those standards were.
Take a look at the window to
the world that the United States projects today. We are the largest
producer and exporter of both Bibles and pornography, an interesting and
blasphemous dichotomy if you think about it. Our ‘tolerance’ of every
aberration - or, better said, our promotion of every aberration - and
the propagation of it abroad, paints a troubling picture of who we have
become to more traditional cultures around the world.
If I were
sitting in some Middle Eastern country, it would not be some dopey 14
minute video clip about the Prophet that would enrage me. It would be
the importation of materials designed to turn my daughters into harlots.
I too would be tempted to level the charge of ‘Great Satan’ against
such a culture. Don’t think this is not a factor in what we see in the
Indeed, if I were the real Great Satan, I would be
trying to infect the world, but especially the nation that has more
Bibles than any other book on its shelves. I would offer them, more than
any other nation, a healthy dose of heroin for the soul. I would do
everything I could to enslave them to their passions. I would drug them
up, sex them up, beef them up, and entertain them up, all at taxpayer
expense. I would distract them from little things like integrity,
honor, service, and work. I would fill their minds with a curious mix of
apathy, dependency, and fear instead of hope, faith, and self control.
Then I would control them and their votes.
Psalm 11:3 - When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Practice Makes Perfect (First Century Christianity)
good friend is helping us add a room to our basement. OK, he’s actually
doing it and we’re helping him. He’s very experienced in the trades and
can overcome challenges that would cause me to hire a contractor in
minutes. The room is being built with metal framing instead of wood.
Just the way he knows how to trim/cut the pieces to fit made no sense to
me until I saw him do it. I was totally confused.
competence didn’t start out as competence. He had to learn and begin to
apply the knowledge shown to him. He had to be motivated and possess the
work ethic to better himself, mastering one task after another, until
you see the mature professional he is today. As I am sure you’ve
guessed, there’s a scriptural parallel to this:
“Many will say to Me
on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your
name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then
I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO
PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS’. Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine
and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on
the rock.” Matt 7:22-24
Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes.
Most of us were brought up on lawlessness, or at least following a false
law. We were taught that it didn’t matter what we ate, that we needed
to go to church on Sunday, that Christmas and Easter were the highest
days of the year, and a host of other doctrines of men. In fact, we
practiced lawlessness. It was a way of life. Our time was marked off by
pagan holidays and the pleasures of the world. At some point, though, we
met someone who lived differently or we read something that didn’t
compute. At some point, we came into contact with people who had
actually acted on the words of scripture. They were different and that
difference was alluring.
Many of the things we were learning were
very confusing.What do you mean the day actually starts at sundown? What
do you mean about resting on the Sabbath day and abstaining from work
and commerce, what good would that do? Somehow, though, we felt
compelled to work through the confusion. God is not the author of
confusion, as Paul wrote in 1 Cor 14:33, albeit in a different context.
the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His
lovingkindness is everlasting. Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the
LORD, Or can show forth all His praise? How blessed are those who keep
justice, Who practice righteousness at all times!” Psalm 106:1-3
that I have spent some time practicing the righteousness of the Law, it
comes naturally, just like watching my friend construct a wall. He has
done it so much and for so long, that it is second nature. He is
experienced at it because he practices it. This is how one gets
experienced following the ways of God, by practicing them.
And I also have an idea how to put up a metal framed interior wall.
The World is Changing (OzWitness)
are there so many bad men, Grandad?” My 8 year old grandson brought
up the subject, and I could not help but remember how much the world
has changed in my lifetime; how for example it was possible to drive
overland from Britain to Singapore and then on to Australia and be
remember a beautiful old lady in my congregation regaling me with her
epic drive in a 1930s Rolls Royce from Britain to Jerusalem and her
showing me the old stone relic in her garden which she brought back
in the Rolls, which must have weighed half a ton. Not a chance of
I received two calendars as gifts, and the first thing my wife
noticed was that, in both cases, Sunday had been changed from the
first day to the seventh day of the week on each calendar - one of
very many small changes designed to undermine the truth. Just little
changes, gradually introduced, which eventually add up to a
completely changed world, which is not even aware of its departure
from what was once normal, unless we look back, as I can do over many
these small changes have also added up to what is often a
complete reversal of right and wrong, to the extent that the criminal
today can end up free while the victim is jailed, and the commandment
keeper is made a criminal while the commandment breaker is now
regarded as politically correct.
of this has happened since World War 2, though previously the
recognition of what was right and wrong had largely stayed the same
‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put
darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for
sweet, and sweet for bitter!…Which justify the wicked for reward,
proudly display their liberal correctness]
and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!’
has not happened by accident. The Bible explains that a time will
come when Satan the devil will become very active, because his rule
here is nearing its end. It is called in the Bible ‘the last
days’, ‘the latter days’ or ‘the end time’. It will be
recognised because of the rapid growth of evil, and its instigator is
the god of this world.
Timothy 3:1-5, ‘This
know also, that in the last
perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own
selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection,
trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of
those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of
pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’
Corinthians 4:4, ‘In
whom the god of this world [Satan
hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of
the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine
result is a world in which I fear for my grandchildren - for what it
could be like in another 50 years for those who fear the
true God. Thankfully,
it is unlikely to reach that point, before the final seven years of
the end time begin with the miraculous worldwide message of the angel
‘Then I saw another angel flying in mid-air, and he had the eternal
gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth - to
every nation, tribe, language and people. He
said in a loud voice, “Fear
and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come.
who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
after that it will be those who
do wrong who
will experience God’s wrath during the Great Tribulation, Matthew
24:21-22, followed by the return of Jesus Christ and His
establishment of the Kingdom of God here on this earth:
‘For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not
occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
“Unless those days had been cut short, no
life would have been saved;
but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. ‘Then
the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven,
saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our
Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
The Final Beast Empire (Children of God)
We are rapidly losing our right to freedom of religious expression here in the United States, but did you know that in Jerusalem it is forbidden for the men of Judah to worship on the Temple Mount? That is because the Temple Mount is under Islamic control. The Muslim community of Jerusalem has managed the site without interruption for hundreds and hundreds of years. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus said of those in Judea, and particularly in Jerusalem? ...
“They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trampled down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled ... [Trampling down with the feet is the characteristic of the Final Beast Empire.] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:24, 27-28)
We have had a preoccupation with the “beasts” of the Bible. Most of the time when the Bible uses the word beast, it simply means an animal - as in a beast of burden - a donkey for instance. But there has been an obsession by some artists to depict the beast of Revelation in religious artwork. I do not think that is particularly constructive, and in fact could be counter-productive for some. For example, if you are waiting for the emergence of a terrifying beast that looks just like the one on the cover of the August 1984 Good News magazine, you are not going to recognize the Final Beast Empire that is going to engulf the entire world.
That beast looks somewhat like a Hollywood depiction of a stainless steel, prehistoric, spade headed Triceratops dinosaur on a leopard’s body, with wild animals’ heads and horns coming out all over the place - standing in the ocean surf. An interesting fact is that the Triceratops lived only on the North American continent - and never in the Middle East. It makes great art, but it does not help us understand what we are to be looking for. Who is going to recognize the Final Beast Empire? Everyone on earth would be terrified of that fearsome monster traipsing and tramping across continents, but the truth is that the vast majority of mankind is going to be a part of this Final Beast Empire that is now shaping up.
Since Herbert Armstrong died 30 years ago (January 16, 1986), world conditions and geopolitical relations have changed drastically. Our Received Prophetic Narrative of the end-time European nations could use some scrutiny, if we are to be able to recognize events for what they really are. We are seeing China’s and the Pacific Rim’s ascendancy, the sunset of the United States’ supremacy and hegemony, all under the increasing threat of a world reaching Muslim caliphate.
An immense clash of religions and cultures is on the verge of taking place. We could easily be caught off-guard. Our Received Prophetic Narrative is not measuring up to our anticipation. Perhaps at the very last moment there will be a backlash against a Muslim refugee invasion, but that does not answer all the prophetic questions.
Today, Europe is aggressively secular, yet our classic end-time expectation is of a Europe fully under the control of the Roman Catholic Church’s False Prophet. If that were a correct narrative, and there were no other viable candidates for what religion the False Prophet is associated with, then there must be a plausible means by which a secular Europe becomes a Roman Catholic Europe. That is, unless the Final Beast Empire is not Catholic - but something else instead. Is there any evidence to support such a major shift in our paradigm? Keep in mind that the coming caliphate has as much veneration for the Catholic version of the Virgin Mary Mother of God as the Catholics themselves do.
I’m concerned that, if circumstances do not shape up the way we have always thought they would, some brethren could find themselves in a precarious position. The allure of the Final Beast Empire is going to be virtually overwhelming - and add to that the signs and wonders, and there exists a lethal mixture. We need to recognize the Final Beast Empire when it arrives in full force. Jesus said:
“Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Matthew 13:16)
This tells us that the world cannot put the Scriptural prophecy together, but we, brethren, who know the Plan of God, are able to understand the end-time sequence so much better. The point is that God intends for His people to know! Paul said it this way:
“For yourselves know perfectly that the [end-time] day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4)
In the sermon on January 9, we took a look at what God has revealed about the Final Beast Empire. [mp3 audio sermon transcript]
The Glory of God (New Horizons)
‘They shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD’ (Psalm 138:5)
commissioned Moses to construct for Him a ‘house’, a Tabernacle, ‘let
them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them’ (Exodus 24:8).
presence lived there for four centuries until the time of Samuel (1
Samuel 4:22), when Israel suffered the ignominy of an ineffectual and
corrupt priesthood, and defeat by the Philistines, who captured the ark
of the covenant - for which the Tabernacle was built. The ‘glory’ was
A century later the ark was placed in Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings
8:6), and ‘the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD’ (1
But two hundred years pass and God again withdrew: ‘I
will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and
seek my face’ (Hosea 5:15). God’s nation, Israel, had spurned Him
and ‘dealt treacherously’ (read ch.5) [Glory: in this context, God
through His Spirit visibly manifest, traditionally known as the
Veiled in flesh, that glory returned in the person of
Jesus Christ when he came to tabernacle among us: ‘The Word became flesh
and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory as of an only
begotten from the Father, full of grace and of truth’ (John 1:14).
is a glory he shared with his chosen disciples just before his death:
‘I have given them the glory which You have given Me’ (John 17:22).
the pattern of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the Lord dwelt over
the ark of the covenant between the cherubim, within the ‘holy of
holies’ (Hebrews 9:3). The ante-type in this era is ‘Christ in you,
the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27). It will be fully manifest in the
resurrection: ‘when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall
see him as he is’ (1 John 3:2).
Paul describes it thus: ‘When Christ,
who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in
glory’ (Colossians 3:4). John saw Jesus in glory (in veiled form): ‘his
head and his hair were white as wool or snow, and his eyes looked like
flames of fire.
His feet were glowing like bronze being heated in a
furnace, and his voice sounded like the roar of a waterfall’ (Revelation
In his first letter the apostle John writes: ‘Every man
that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure’ (1 John
3:3). It takes a lot of personal effort to ‘lay aside every weight, and
the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the
race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1)
We are not, however, alone in
the battle, for we ‘look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our
faith’ (v.2). And, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
me’ (Philippians 4:13).
A New World Currency (Legacy Institute)
currency has now been included into the basket of currencies that the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) uses to back up its Special Drawing
Rights (SDRs), which is actually a new World Currency. This is a huge
triumph for China. This move puts the Chinese Yuan on the same par as
the U.S. Dollar, the English Pound, the Japanese Yen and the Euro. This
makes China a major player in the world’s financial arena.
all international transactions have to be done in U.S. Dollars. If I
want to send money to Myanmar (Burma) or anywhere else for that matter, I
take Thai Baht to the bank and set up a wire transfer to a local bank
in Yangon (Rangoon). The Thailand bank must first convert the Thai Baht
into U.S. Dollars for the international transfer. When the receiving
bank gets the wire in U.S. Dollars, it then converts the Dollars into
the local currency, in this case the Burmese Kyat. Each time the money
is converted, there is a fee.
Being the World Reserve Currency made
the U.S. Dollar king. But that is all ending. The U.S. Dollar will soon
be replaced by a new World Reserve Currency, possibly the SDR (Special
Drawing Rights) currency of the IMF. China would like it to be the Yuan.
That is why China is buying up as much gold as it can. They want to be
able to back up their national currency with gold. This would make the
Yuan much more valuable than the paper fiat money of the U.S. which is
being printed by the wheelbarrow loads at the Federal Reserve.
is backing the U.S. Dollar? Nothing. It is thin air. The only thing that
keeps the Dollar afloat is confidence in the U.S. economy. But that
confidence is quickly drifting away. Once the Dollar is replaced by
something else as the World Reserve Currency, it will not be worth the
paper it is printed on. The Dollar will collapse and with it, the
We must all remember that God will take care of all
those who put their trust in Him. Faith is a living dynamic. We show we
have faith in God by believing His promises and demonstrating active
obedience in our everyday lives.
How long before the collapse of the Dollar takes place? I don’t know. But it is coming soon.
told His disciples: (Mark 13:28-29) “Now learn a parable of the fig
tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know
that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these
things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.”
are watching world news, you can see the obvious signs. One of the
biggest signs is the enormous debt the U.S. owes to China and other
countries. It will be nearly impossible to pay it all back. Congress
just keeps kicking the can down the road.
Believe God. Instead of
America praying and getting Him to help us even more, we are driving Him
out of our schools and universities, cities and towns, government
agencies and departments, even graveyards and war memorials. The more we
defy the Great God, the greater the crash will be. The Salt of the
Earth must draw ever closer to Him and petition His divine intervention
and great MERCY!