Our Checklist

When I get a lot of things to do—like packing for a trip or tasks at work starting to pile up—one of the best ways for me to deal with such situations is to create a list of the things that I can check off and stop worrying about as I accomplish them. It is quite helpful to see the things that need doing and be able to prioritize and make plans for what needs to be done.

Our Christian lives can in a way also be viewed as lives with checklists. We can line up our spiritual priorities and start to execute them. But the one thing about Christianity is that it is not “a one time and done” occurrence. We have to constantly be re-evaluating and re-looking at our lives and everything that we do, all the while keeping hold of the things we know and holding on to them tightly.

Paul says that we are to be consistently looking at all areas of our lives with a spiritual checklist in mind to see how we are doing. Notice 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

Nothing stays the same! As children, we continue to grow and to learn more and more. As we get older, our bodies start to change. As adults, life never is the same— it is always changing. There are always new challenges. Recently, it has seemed that the challenges are coming with faster speed—and more of them at the same time! There is no sign of them slowing down either!

What we may have had to check off as a younger Christian may not be the same as what we have to concentrate on now!  But that is a good thing. We are to be maturing and growing in the use of God’s Spirit in our lives. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says: “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

So what does our checklist look like now? What is on there that we are working towards?

Thankfully, God the Father and Jesus Christ do not change. So, the checklist, from their standpoint, doesn’t change, either.

Numbers 23:19 tells us: “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” When we have the understanding that He is the same “yesterday, today and forever,” then there is a good baseline that we can grow from.

I have always found this truth extremely helpful: God doesn’t change. What He has said applies to everyone—for all times. Yes, the world is different now from thousands of years ago. But none of that really matters. The same principles and laws still govern all of us.

This truth allows all of us to be unique and have differences, and yet, all are still on the same playing field. Just because someone is ordained doesn’t mean that someone who is not is not as important to God. There is no favoritism with God. It is all based upon how well we are following our checklists and remaining close to God and allowing Him to lead us through this life.

Our Christian lives can be varied from individual to individual. Not everyone is doing the same job or has the same gifts. But how important all those jobs are! God is looking at how well we are each growing in our individual ways. Remember the widow with the two mites, the smallest amount of money, yet she gave it and Christ said she was more blessed because she gave all she had. Maybe it can feel at times that we aren’t doing enough, or that there is something more which we must do. This may be so, but the reality is that we should go back to our spiritual checklists and make sure that we are hitting all of our boxes and then, if we are, see about adding some new ones to help us to continue to grow in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

There are many Scriptures that can give us a good checklist of areas to be looking at. It would be a good idea to search the Bible and come up with a list to look at. The Ten Commandments is a great starting place. It really regulates the fundamental basics for us. Another great place is Romans 12. There are so many additional places to look at. But if we are not looking and studying and making sure that we are checking off those important and essential requirements which are listed in those and other Scriptures, then we will just drift through life, without having a concrete baseline. If we are not attentive, then, as it says in Matthew 24:12, our love could grow cold. We need to make sure that we are hitting all of the marks.

Godly Precision

About two months ago, we had the hottest day ever recorded in the UK.   On the 19th July this year, 41.3 degrees centigrade (106.34 Fahrenheit) was recorded in Lincolnshire.  The following day was pretty much on a par with that until the weather started to normalise.

There are, of course, places across the world that have higher temperatures than that.   We read on Wikipedia that “the current official highest registered air temperature on Earth is 56.7 °C (134.1 °F), recorded on 10 July 1913 at Furnace Creek Ranch, in Death Valley in the United States.”

Just as a flavour of the damage caused in the UK by this intense heat, Yahoo News wrote:

“Firefighters are unaware of the full extent of the damage caused by blazes which affected houses, schools and churches across London, with crews describing scenes as ‘absolute hell’.

“Residents were being evacuated from their homes and people were taken to hospital amid fires in the capital as temperatures soared to more than 40C on Tuesday afternoon.”

It just shows how just a few extra degrees can cause havoc in different parts of the world.

An ex-atheist – but one who came to understand that there is a great Creator God wrote these interesting observations:

“The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze.  Any closer and we would burn up.  Even a fractional variance in the Earth’s position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible.  The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph.   It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.

“And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull.  The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.”

Atheists would have you believe that the universe came about through a Big Bang or some primordial soup.  But how could such a beginning with nothing guiding, directing or developing events finish up with what we have today?   How could the precision of God just happen without Him being involved which has resulted in the earth being exactly the right distance away from the sun and moon?  Creation demands that there be a Creator but man thinks otherwise and they turn logic on its head.   Godly revelation in the Bible means nothing to so many as they wallow in their own “greatness”.

In Isaiah 40:21-26, we read a comparison between God’s great majesty and mankind which shows how small and insignificant we all are: “Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.  He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless.  Scarcely shall they be planted, Scarcely shall they be sown, Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, And they will wither, And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.

“To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.”

God’s precision is seen in everything He has created and does.  Man, in general, won’t even acknowledge that there is a God.   Romans 1:18-22 sums it up perfectly: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.”

And fools they are, who fit into this category now, but they will have their opportunity, as will all people, and when they see the might, glory and the precision of all that God does, perhaps they may repent and be in the Family of God forever!

Let us hope and pray that that is the case!

With Purpose

The other night, my wife and I were discussing the topic of having purpose. We talked about how achievement and success in life come oftentimes as a result of purpose, especially for true Christians, rather than by accident or luck. In reading popular literature about how to achieve success, a common theme involves having a very clear, definitive purpose that directs decisions and motivates action. That purpose, whatever it might be for an individual, helps to focus attention and overcome obstacles that stand in between him or her and the desired results.

On the face of it, this sounds well and good. I’m sure that having a clearly defined purpose actually works to help people achieve their goals. But sometimes, defining a personal purpose can be elusive. Such a simple question as “what is your purpose?” can stop many people, including me, dead in their tracks. The question is easy to ask, but the answer demands completeness that is not so simple to provide.

Without intending to diminish the achievements of anyone who has found meaning in their own life through a clearly defined, singular purpose, I have personally found goals measured in worldly achievements to be hollow. I believe that Solomon probably felt the same. In Ecclesiastes, he wrote about all of the amazing feats that he managed to accomplish in his life. He built great houses, vineyards, gardens, orchards, and water pools. He accumulated many servants, herds of animals, silver, gold, and treasures from many lands. By all measures, he achieved great success (compare Ecclesiastes 2:1-10). Yet, he knew that those achievements lacked meaning when considering his life in worldly terms, observing, “Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.   For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil” (Ecclesiastes 2:20-21). Even with a purpose that led him to great worldly success, Solomon found a lack of meaning.

For me, purpose in life is multi-dimensional. This is why it is incomplete to proclaim that one single thing defines my purpose with detailed clarity and enough precision to make it deeply personal. In a contrasting example, some athletes may find their purpose in being the best possible ball player they can be. That one thing is enough to drive them to their success. But for me, and I dare say, for all true Christians, we want much more than what the world can offer us.

Solomon concludes at the end of his meditation on life’s meaning, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). In this simple statement, he gives us the standard Christian purpose in life. To obey God is the one thing that we all need as our guide to direct our actions so that we can successfully seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (compare Matthew 6:33). This purpose applies to all Christians. But all by itself, it is not highly personalized. The fact is, God made us as individuals, with skills, ideas, personalities, and unique proclivities that layer on top of the standard Christian purpose. To be complete, our purpose starts with God and continues with an expression of ourselves, consistent with our commitment to Him.

We all have unique qualities that make us who we are. These are gifts from God, which we are supposed to use! We do not want to be the kind of wicked servant who chooses to not use what God gives us (compare Matthew 25:24-30). The ultimate purpose in our life comes from God, “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (compare 2 Timothy 1:9). To truly define our purpose then, we must begin by understanding God’s purpose for us. We can clearly see that it consists of bringing us, as unique individuals, into His Family. Knowing this, we can be confident in having a multitudinous purpose that begins with God, fulfills our individuality, and leads to glorious results.

Act Now… Don’t Wait!

This slogan, as described in the title of this Editorial, can be seen often in advertising for the purpose of purchasing a product where one receives a special discount or an incentive for acting on the offer right away.  Most would be willing to purchase something, especially a marked-down item from the original price with incentives such as: “half off”, “almost sold out”,  “lowest price of the year”,  or “don’t wait until it’s too late!”  This is advertising “at its finest” because you don’t want to miss out on such a deal like that, right? However, this could also be stressful as this adds pressure to the buyer since time is of the essence.

According to an article from inc.com, a new study is showing that deals and promotions affect every part of a shopping experience. They state that “the recent record-breaking sales and profits numbers from Amazon illustrate how competitive the global online marketplace has become. A recent report highlights some of the ways businesses can use deals and promotions to attract new customers and keep them loyal to a particular store or online retailer.

“A new survey from RetailMeNot shows deals have substantial influence on customer acquisition, brand loyalty and brand perception among consumers, especially among millennials. The survey found that two-thirds of consumers have ‘made a purchase they weren’t originally planning to make solely based on finding a coupon or discount’. Similarly, four out of five (80 percent) said they feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a brand that is new to them if they found an offer or discount. Seeing a good special can encourage people to buy when they otherwise wouldn’t have.

“The RetailMeNot survey found that nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of Americans say offers are a top factor when deciding where and what to buy online. And four out of five (81 percent) Americans say finding a great offer or discount is on their mind throughout the entire purchase journey… Nearly all of the consumers (94 percent) in the RetailMeNot survey said they search for a deal or offer when shopping online. Three out of five (62 percent) consumers agreed with the statement ‘they cannot complete a purchase before searching for an offer.’  These discounts and promotional levers continue to be critical for retailers who want to reach new shoppers to drive incremental sales.”

Oftentimes, these “special” deals don’t always last and these types of incentives and discounts will drive the purchaser to act right away or they will miss out.  With this analogy, we can see a similarity when it comes to our spiritual lives which is considered more critical. Sometimes, we may be inclined to act right away, but God cautions us: “Whoever believes will not act hastily” (Isaiah 28:16; see our Q&A) On the other hand, we DO have to act RIGHT AWAY by doing what is right, obeying God, and making sure that we don’t miss out on the chance of receiving eternal life.  Why would we want to delay that?   David understood this by saying, “I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments” (Psalm 119:60).

Preparation is key. Using the knowledge that God has gifted us with is to our benefit.  We shouldn’t neglect it by putting it off, but need to use it now, at all times (compare Proverbs 6:4).  If we become too negligent, this can lead to laziness, which makes it more difficult to get back on track and that is why diligence is also vital (Proverbs 13:4).

Wisdom is also fundamental for we need to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

With this special understanding, we need to be careful that we don’t fall into the category of many who will proclaim to Christ that they “knew” Him, “knew” about God’s Way of Life, yet they deceived themselves or they weren’t dedicated enough to LIVE that Way and DO what He commanded on a CONTINUOUS basis.  And Christ will respond, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:23).

We can easily get sidetracked through the distractions that surround us, and because we are aware of that, we need to have God in our thoughts and our actions continuously.  This Godly Way we live and have chosen is for LIFE, and if we fall behind at times, which does happen, we need to get back on track, because if we don’t, we could very well miss our opportunity to be in God’s Kingdom.  Act NOW and don’t wait… before it’s too late!

The First Commandment—What Is Our God?

Let us consider: If money, material possessions, prestige, sports, music, family, fun, conspiracy theories, or any combination of these things occupy our interest, time, talents and energy more than anything else, then those things will be the God we serve and worship.

For example, an extreme bodybuilder is really infatuated with his body, always exercising, gazing at his muscles in the mirror, taking many vitamins and other supplements, constantly weighing himself and worrying about how many grams of this or that product are included in his daily diet.

Now, what is the main interest in his life? Is it God? Is it Christ? Or God’s Work? Certainly not. His main interest, his God, is literally his own human flesh, which he serves and worships more than anything else.

All of us must be fervently passionate, that our time, talents, interests and zeal are devoted first and foremost to God the Father, to our personal Savior Jesus Christ, to God’s great Masterplan and to the Work of God.

When it comes to our own weak spots, they may not be so obvious, at least not to us. But Satan has many tricks, many methods to distract each and every one of us from our great goal, the Kingdom of God.

Some are literally obsessed with making money. Or with their work. Or maybe with their desire to be important.

Others are addicted to sports. Some are so busy with their families and friends, that God and the Work of God become second or even third place. And others just want pleasure or entertainment. But let’s keep in mind that if God the Father and Jesus Christ have to step back from time to time, so that another “God” can have dominion in our lives, then they are not first in our lives.

In God’s plan, there is no room for a second “God.” Matthew 6:33 tells us, to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” and in Romans 8:5-6, we read: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

How do we spend our time?

We might think of the people who spend all day caring for their garden or their house, using most of their free time in doing so—or maybe of the teenagers who are glued to the screens of their cell phones hour after hour; maybe of the ones who are constantly busy posting pictures or videos – the so-called influencers; or those who are permanently working on their cars, polishing them, admiring them and proudly showing them off to their friends.

Our lives are made up of so much time. How we make use of our time is crucial to how we live our lives. A converted Christian has committed his life to God. Have we? Do we really seek God first, when it comes to our use of time and energy? Or does Proverbs 26:14 apply to us, where we read: “As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed.”

Do we handle and organize our lives in a way, that we can regularly study and internalize the words of the Bible? Have we developed the habit of meditating on the Bible and on God’s Law? Do we seek God with all our heart, maybe with occasional fasting if necessary?

When we use these spiritual tools to draw closer to God, our lives get enriched and God becomes much more real to us. Then we also really desire what God desires; we think as He thinks, and Jesus Christ literally lives in us through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

Galatians 2:20 says: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Authorized Version).

It is only in this way, that all of us who are truly called by God can observe and keep the full intent and spirit of the First Commandment.

Initial Translation by Daniel Blasinger

Look Forward to the Future in Faith

In our Christian lives, we have many promises from God. He reminds us via the apostle Paul that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). We also know through James that “the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:15). These are promises for us mainly during this life, but what about promises for our future? What should we have faith in regarding our future? What does God want us to be thinking about as we go through our day-to-day life with both its pleasures and difficulties?

We know that God tells us to seek first His “kingdom… and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). And if we do, it is pleasing to God, but we must have the faith to believe His promises. Remember, believing God counts for righteousness as was described about Abram. See Genesis 15:6.

When we want to study faith, the obvious chapter to refer to is Hebrews 11, which is commonly called “the faith chapter.” In it, we can read about many men and women who lived and died in faith. But what did they have faith in? In this chapter, there are examples of the ancients who looked to the promises of the future, rather than just their present lifetime.

Some did receive a reward for their faith during their lifetime. Noah was warned about a flood and by building the ark saved his household. And, in fact, it is because of his faith and action that we are alive today. By faith Sarah was able to conceive a child. Through that child we have received physical and spiritual blessings today. But others did not receive the promises while they lived, but looked to the future fulfilment of them (compare Hebrews 11:13). So, what did these look forward to?

Abraham obeyed God and left his homeland to a place that he was promised he would inherit even though he did not know where he was going. He dwelt there with his son Isaac and grandson Jacob who had the same promise. They and their families dwelt in tents during their lifetime, as we can read that Isaac took Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent as his wife. See Genesis 24:67. They did not have permanent buildings to live in during their lifetime.

So, what did Abraham especially look forward to? Hebrews 11:10 explains that “he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” He was looking forward to a time when He would live in a permanent city that God would provide, not just in tents as he was living in during his life. Moses also, in faith, looked forward to the reward, “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt…” (See Hebrews 11:26).

So, all those mentioned who died in faith “…desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16). We can see glimpses of this promise, as a physical forerunner, in the Millennium; for example, in Isaiah 33:20-21. There we see Jerusalem, a quiet home, a place of broad rivers and streams. It will be so much better than what it is today. A city of peace—the name Jerusalem traditionally meaning “Possession of Peace.”

It will be where Christ will rule the earth from in stability and peace, for the benefit and blessing of all people. There will be no uncertainty as to who will be elected as the next president and whether he will do a good job or not, as there is today, but Christ will rule perfectly. And thinking about Jerusalem today, it could not be called a quiet home with broad rivers and streams today as it will be in God’s future. It has experienced many wars over the millennia and had very little peace.

But ultimately, after the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment, God will provide “…the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). And as we read in Hebrews 11:39-40: “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”

So, as we go through life with its many difficulties, we can remind ourselves that the men and women of faith mentioned in the Bible have not yet received their ultimate promise. God is waiting to share it with them and with us when we are all made perfect together. It is a promise that we should consider the most important thing in our life to look forward to—one that will be filled with joy and pleasure forevermore. So today, as we live our lives in both good times and in bad times, we should be looking toward that future Kingdom that God has promised to us and all of His people forever.

When the Truth Is No Longer the Truth!

For quite some time now, we have been in the midst of many strange scenarios with the most impossible justifications, so that it sometimes becomes very difficult to distinguish between what is a lie and what is Truth. Satan has actually managed to make God’s Truth barren to most people in this world.

Within a very short time, he has succeeded in confusing people even more, frightening them, and even driving some, if not many, into madness, culminating in suicide.

Whether it concerns the politicians of the world, the BigTech media industry, the pharmaceutical industry with its lobbyists, the judiciary, the court system, or even our circle of acquaintances and friends—far too much deceitful nonsense is being talked about; half-truths are being spread and totalitarian autocratic ideologies are being broadcast and carried out, which simply can no longer make sense for those who want peace.

News is being censored and facts twisted due to the arbitrariness of governments all over the world, and that is, shockingly, supposed to be allowed even according to the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

The LGBT+ madness is becoming more and more unbearable. Pre-school children are indoctrinated to submit to this new way of life and parents have no say in their upbringing. Boys are allowed to wear girls’ clothes, and if a boy feels like a girl, he is allowed to use the girls’ locker room to change clothes there and to shower with them naked. All of this is contrary to God’s Commandments and His Truth—a very frightening and sickening notion that is nothing but painful.

They tried to convince all mankind that multiple vaccinations against the Coronavirus would help people, proclaiming that if you get vaccinated you could not get Covid. We were even told that we would all die if we did not get vaccinated, even though many knew that these vaccinations could be very dangerous for some. If you requested to have an autopsy in regards to someone’s death with the suspicion that it could be the result from the vaccination, it was immediately undermined, and many side effects were “explained” in other ways.

I could never believe it either, until it was explained to me, that the justice system is often not about Truth at all, but about who presents the best arguments. A lawyer tells his client that it might be better to confess to a crime even though he is innocent, so that he can get a lighter sentence and the trial can be ended quickly. Or bribery is practiced with some kind of gifts, be it money or goods. Practically speaking, it is about making a deal, not about actual facts, nor about the Truth.

But let us not think that such situations are new or a present-day invention.

In 1 Samuel 8:1,3, we read: “Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel… But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.”

God hates it when there is lying involved in a matter, and when facts are perverted into injustice, or when false compromises are made. Such things are a great abomination to God. God is unmistakable in His statements and judgments.

In Deuteronomy 16:19-20, God tells us: “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (see also Exodus 23:6-8).

God’s command to mankind is obvious, but at the same time, a mystery to those who are not interested in God. But in Isaiah 1:16-17, God speaks very distinct words: “‘Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.”

To declare a lie as Truth is, to put it mildly, very shameful, degrading, humiliating and hurtful as well as devastating to any innocent victim; but for God it is a sin that leads to death if not repented of.

God tells us in Isaiah 5:20-23: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man!”

Make no mistake thinking that God will overlook such scenarios. We are in the end times where painful labor has begun—like a pregnant woman who will give birth soon.

If we are not attentive and remain vigilant, it could easily happen that we too believe the lie instead of the Truth. Christ was aware of this problem with people, and so He told them: “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me” (John 8:45). Abraham Lincoln is credited with the following statement: “It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than the truth that one has heard only once.”

This is Satan’s very strategy! We must NEVER underestimate his power! He is very sneaky and tactically very clever in his workings. Peter tells us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan often knows our weaknesses better than we do, and he will attack us where we are weakest because that is where we are most likely to fail.

When we observe world events today, we must not be deceived or influenced by media images or their statements, nor frightened by unjust human laws, nor by the justice system which supports false compromises. God is our strength in the time of trouble, and He has promised that He will help us (see Psalm 37:39).

And so we read in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”

Initial Translation by Daniel Blasinger

Most Qualified to Rule

When addressing the question as to who is qualified to rule others, we need to consider three types of beings or kinds in existence today.

There are physical beings—plants and animals and of course human beings or mankind. Since Adam, the number of human beings has been estimated somewhat over twenty billion.

Man is mortal, temporary and subject to die. From the time of Adam, man was given dominion over the earth and the animals and to take care, tend and keep the Garden of Eden and with it the plants.

In addition to the physical realm, there are spirit beings—of the spirit kind—which include the angels created by God by fiat; that is, they were willed into existence and had no pre-existence. Their numbers are in the hundreds of millions as revealed in the Book of Revelation.  Revelation 5:11 states: “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.”

That figure of “ten thousand times ten thousand” amounts to one hundred million, plus it says “thousands of thousands,” so there could be billions of angels. Angels cannot die.

Then there are God Beings—Beings of the God kind, of which there are currently two: the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They are immortal, eternal, incorruptible and all-powerful. They rule over the spirit and the physical creation in a loving, compassionate and just manner.

Who then is most qualified to rule over the physical and within the spirit world?

Mankind has failed miserably in his efforts to rule over himself and over others. Mankind has tried every possible form of government which have all failed and descended to the degree that we are headed for total destruction if God were not to intervene to end the madness, caused by human beings, by sending His Son to rule over the earth in the near future.

Human government leaders are proven liars and corrupt individuals. How can civil servants elected by the people over the course of decades accumulate a personal fortune of over one hundred million on the stock market, outperforming professional investors like Warren Buffet?  It is many times through insider trading information and corruption. Man, in his physical state, is obviously unqualified to rule over the earth and the universe.

When considering angels, composed of spirit, we note that Lucifer, the seal of perfection and the most powerful and beautiful cherub, whom God created by fiat, sinned against God.  Lucifer had been given the responsibility of administrating the government of God on the earth. He rebelled against God, taken down by his own pride, and became known as Satan the Devil—the adversary and enemy of God. One-third of the angels followed Satan in his rebellion and became known as demons or evil spirits. So we see that even the most righteous and perfect angels could and did rebel since they had been created by God with free moral agency and are not forced by God to do what is right and good.

Satan is the current ruler and god of this world, but he is an evil and terribly destructive ruler. Matthew 4:8-9 says: “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me’” (Compare Luke 4:5-7).

Christ did not dispute that Satan was the current world ruler and that he had the authority to give rulership to whomever he would choose. We also read in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that the god of this age has blinded the minds of men, “who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

Inasmuch as there is no guarantee that other angels who have not followed Satan will never sin, that leaves us with God. ONLY God—the God Family—CANNOT sin, because God has decided never to sin, and His decision is perfect and not subject to change. That is why God decided that He wants to reproduce Himself through humans to bring them into His Family, as God Beings, so that they, too, would be incapable of sinning. The God Family will grow to include billions of humans made immortal in the future.

God Beings cannot be corrupted, bribed, coerced or threatened. They will have the mind of God the Father and of Jesus Christ. As God Beings, they cannot be tempted to sin, and they never will. God the Father and Jesus Christ will not have to be concerned whether anyone in the God Family will in the future be plotting to rebel and sin, since they will be immortal members of the God Family and God Beings.

1 Corinthians 15:52-53 explains that the growth within the immortal God Family will begin at the time of the first resurrection, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

Becoming God Beings was never offered to the angels, but it is offered to those who are being called since Adam and Eve, to overcome sin, their human nature and Satan and the pulls of this world. As immortal and incorruptible God Beings, they will be totally qualified, under God’s direction, to rule over the universe and have authority over angels. They will be ruling forever and ever over the physical and the spiritual creation.

That is what the future holds for those of us who stay the course and remain faithful to our calling.

Keep on Walking with God

Have you ever experienced feelings of discouragement? When things go wrong, as they often do—at least seemingly—have you wondered whether God is really there… being really involved in your life, guiding and directing it? Did promises that God even knows about what you are thinking and what you will be saying lose their meaning, somehow, during those times?

Now, I hate to admit it but there were moments in my life when I felt exactly that way.

Surely, you and I know certain key Scriptures… Scriptures such as that all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28); that the very hairs of our head are all numbered (Matthew 10:30); that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)… but how real, how relevant, how ever-present are those promises when hard times hit us? Are we really convinced even then, that nothing… and I mean, nothing! – can happen to us, unless God specifically allows it… and that He does so for a grandiose reason and purpose?

It may become easy to dismiss or forget such knowledge and fall into the trap of believing in “time and chance”—it just “happens” to us; our misery has nothing to do with God being or not being there and watching over us!

I have found and concluded and am convinced that believing in the concept of “time and chance” is perhaps the surest way of destroying our faith in Almighty God. While “time and chance” does happen to this world, it quite decisively does NOT rule over true Christians. As we explain in our free booklet, “Human Suffering, Why… and How Much Longer?”, “True Christians are NOT in the ‘hand’ of time and chance. Rather, Solomon tells US: ‘… the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God’ (Ecclesiastes 9:1). David understood, too, that he was in God’s hands. He wrote, in Psalm 31:15: ‘My times are in Your hand.’ He knew that he was always, constantly, and completely under God’s observation, His protection, and in His loving care… as are all true Christians today. God promises that nothing will happen to us that is too difficult for us to bear (compare 1 Corinthians 10:13). This means, then, that God must be watching us every second to guarantee the fulfillment of His promise.”

But knowing this intellectually and believing it wholeheartedly, without any shred of doubt, even in times of serious trials, may be two different things. Christ gave all of us this clear and at the same time serious and sobering challenge: “… when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). He was not just talking about any kind of faith, but THE faith—the living faith of Christ and God the Father in us. With THAT faith, we can move mountains, and nothing will be impossible for us. But we must cultivate that faith, growing in it.

Christ never lost that special faith of His Father in Him. He never believed for one second that He was just the potential victim of “time and chance”. He never became discouraged (Isaiah 42:4). But this does not mean that He never struggled with His human nature, or that His human will was always identical with the Father’s Will. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: “…not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).  And He submitted to the Father’s Will (John 6:38)… never sinning by rebelling against it—always believing that the Father’s Will was the best for Him.

That is what we must believe too… how we must behave, and what we have always to remind ourselves of. Even if we don’t understand why some things “happen” to us, we MUST be fully convinced that whatever trials we are confronted with, God knows about them, and He is most powerful to intervene every time when it is in accordance with His Will. Sometimes, He might not act immediately, for His very purpose, but we must never doubt that God is there and that He knows what He is doing.

To accept, believe and live this Truth is not always easy. To really embrace the fact that His thoughts are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9), and that His understanding and foresight are so much more superior than ours might pose quite a challenge for us at times. And then, discouragement can creep in—even finding fault with God. Elijah thought at one time that God was unfair… that He had fought for God but that he was left all alone (1 Kings 19:14). He felt at that moment that his work was useless and without meaning and effect. Jeremiah even exclaimed that God had become to him “like an unreliable stream, As waters that fail” (Jeremiah 15:18).

But God showed them, and many others, that their perspective and concept of Him was wrong; that He had been with them all the time, and that His purpose will stand (Isaiah 14:24).  And so, God tells us today: “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isaiah 43:1-3).

With this ever-present conviction, we can walk with the invisible God as if we could see Him (Hebrews 11:27). By KNOWING that God is with us and in us, we can overcome fear and discouragement (Deuteronomy 1:21). We will not always be successful in this, and we might slip and fall, but we can get up again and keep on walking (Proverbs 24:16). And we can—and must—wholeheartedly agree with Paul when he encourages all of us: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Loved and Kept

We regularly sing a hymn during Sabbath services which is based on wording found in Psalm 119. The title is, “O How Love I Thy Law!”

Unfortunately, that title doesn’t describe how most people feel about God’s laws. For the broad majority of nominal Christians, the law of God is neither loved nor kept. Rather, many forcefully (and sometimes viciously) proclaim that the law of God is “done away!”

Doing away with the law of God makes it literally impossible to be a Christian! Because Jesus kept the law of God, He never sinned and sin is the breaking of God’s laws (1 John 3:4; Authorized Version). If Jesus loved and kept the laws of God, then so must we:

“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:3-6).

It is ironic that religious types will often proselyte others asking them, “Brother, do you know the Lord?” The “Lord” they are promoting is certainly not the Son of God revealed in the Bible, because Jesus Himself said:

‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 5:17-19).

The Worldwide English (New Testament) presents Matthew 5:17 this way:

‘Do not think that I have come to take away the law and the writings of the prophets. No, I have not come to take them away. But I have come to do what they say must be done.’”

What Jesus is explaining is very plain, very simple! First, that He had come to keep the law of God without sinning (Hebrews 4:15); and, second, that He would fulfill all the prophecies about Himself (Luke 24:44).

Jesus loved and kept the law of God. It is exactly what Christians must also do:

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

One reason people reject the law of God is that it is hard to keep—in fact, it is absolutely impossible on our own to obey God perfectly. Paul wrote of this, saying, “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin” (Romans 7:14).

Still, we are commanded to love and keep the law of God. We can do so by turning to God in heartfelt sincerity, asking Him for His help in our lives to become converted, as Peter taught:

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38).

Very, very few people are responding to God in our generation. The world is descending ever more rapidly into inextricable chaos and only the very few will break free from the stranglehold Satan now exercises as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Those who do will be those who have loved and kept the laws of God.

Does that describe us?

©2024 Church of the Eternal God