People of The Living God

Psalms 8

 

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January 2010



JESUS – BOTH LORD AND CHRIST

Randall Walton

There are many things which can be said about the early or the first church after Jesus was caught up in the clouds of glory and went to the right hand of the majesty on high!  The people’s hearts were knit together in love for each other, and they shared their premises with the others of God’s kingdom.  It was a glowing, bountiful outpour of the Holy Spirit upon the people, and they glorified the Lord who had so wondrously dealt with them.  But the one thing which identified these people above all those who encountered them was that they were led by the Holy Ghost in everything they did!

        What does it mean to be led by the Holy Spirit?  Compare, if you will, the amazing differences between the people of that era and the prevailing practices of the present day “church” which claims to follow Jesus Christ.  The differences are appalling!  To begin, let us take notice of the sermon that Bro. Peter gave concerning Jesus and His glory which was so becoming of Him.  Peter lifted Him up above all the fleshly pursuits of normal men in that He stated that it was impossible for death to hold Him captive, and that God had blessed Him so highly as to call Him both Lord and Christ.  He also referred to David’s assertion that “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool” (Acts 2:34,35).

        Yes, Jesus was lifted up and exalted above all human flesh; for He was, and is, still God, and He reigns as He is seated at the right hand of God (I Cor. 15:25).  Not the left hand as a queen, but at the RIGHT HAND, as a reigning, superior Being over all His enemies (Eph. 1:19-23).

        The very next action of Peter and John was when they went into the temple and met a man who was crippled all his life and was now above 40 years of age (Chap. 4:22).  They, Peter and John, gave all the glory to Jesus (Chap. 3:13,16) as the true Healer.  They took no credit to themselves, but honored the Savior who made it all possible.  It was through Him, through His wonderful name, that the man was instantly healed – he walked, leaped, and praised God and glorified, also, the One who had healed him.

        Of course, the Sadducees rose up and had Peter and John put in jail so they could question them the following day.  But Peter was “filled with the Holy Ghost” (Chap. 4:8) and answered their questions by giving all the glory to Jesus.  He stated firmly that Jesus was both Lord and Christ and that Jesus had overcome all His enemies; in fact, He had conquered them and put them under His feet!  But the results were seen as the multitude of believers prayed and lifted up their voices in one accord.

        The building where they were gathered shook under the power of the living God, and the bonds of the Spirit were made stronger as they approached the throne of grace.  “Great grace was upon them all”!

        It was in this powerful atmosphere that the presence of the Holy Spirit was so pronounced.  “They had all things common.”  No one called anything his own, but they all shared their many blessings.  “Neither was there any among them that lacked; for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:32-36).  By this time there were over 8,000 people who were so joined together (Acts 2:41; Acts 4:4).

        There was one couple who decided to deceive the apostles and only turn in a part of the money which they had received.  “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land.”  Ananias thereupon “gave up the ghost.”  About three hours later his wife came in, and she testified that they had received the same amount that her husband had claimed.  “Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to temp the Spirit of the Lord?  Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.”  She also “yielded up the ghost” and died there before Peter.  Notice, there was no funeral for these rebels.  God was in complete control through His apostles.

        Then it is stated that “by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people, and they were all of one accord in Solomon’s porch.”  The Spirit of God was at work among the people, and multitudes of believers were added to their midst, both men and women.  They brought forth the sick into the streets “that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.”  And a multitude of sick folks and those who were vexed with unclean spirits were brought in, “and they were healed every one” (Chap. 5:12-16).

        This was a wonderful show of the unity and harmony which these folks had exercised in those days.  The sad part is that it didn’t last long, for in the first verse of the sixth chapter “there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.”  The solution of the twelve apostles, while laudable, was perhaps not the plan of the Spirit of God.  They said to pick seven men of “honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (verse 3, chapter 6).

        This solution, though they did not pray about it first, seemed to hold the division in place for a time.  There was some success, but let us remember that this “solution” was not necessarily the opinion of the Holy Spirit.  It would have been far better had they sought the Lord first and allowed the Holy Ghost to speak to them concerning the problem.  It is true that when man attempts to go ahead before giving the Spirit a chance to speak, trouble is usually the result.

        Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost” (chap. 6:5), lost his life because of the dispute over his explanation.  While martyrdom may often be the only answer to a specific problem, it is also true that he might have been a real pillar in the house of the Lord had he not been sacrificed by the many men who belonged to some of the outstanding denominations of the day!

God Continues Faithful

        In chapter 8, we have the account of Philip who was also full of the Holy Ghost (Acts 6:5).  He had gone down to Samaria and “preached Christ unto them.”  The people responded mightily to his message, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  “And there was great joy in that city.”

        Peter and John were sent for, and they came down to Samaria to further the message of Philip.  With the laying on of their hands, the people received the Holy Ghost.  Then the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip and told him to go “toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza.”  There he saw an Ethiopian eunuch in his chariot reading and trying to understand the words of Isaiah (53).  “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot,” which he did.

        Philip then explained the Scriptures to this man who, when he saw some water, said, “See here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized.”  So Philip baptized the man, and as soon as they were come up out of the water, “the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more” (chap. 8:38,39).

        Chapter nine presents the conversion and reformation of the man Saul (Paul) who had been a staunch persecutor of the saints of God.  It may seem somewhat odd to us, but Jesus Christ truly conversed with that man and told him what to do!

        At the same time, the Lord was preparing a man to meet Paul and instruct him in the things of God.  Ananias argued with the Lord as if He, the Lord, didn’t know nor understand what kind of a man Saul was.  But he gave up and obeyed the Lord when He said he (Saul) was a chosen vessel unto Him.  Ananias laid his hands upon Saul and prayed, and there fell from his eyes, as it were, scales, and he received his sight.

        These men received direct leading from the Holy Spirit and were under His divine orders.  In the early days of the saints, they walked in obedience to every command that was given them.  Peter prayed and asked God to restore to life a certain woman named Tabitha, and He did!  On another occasion, he said to a man, “Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: Arise, and make thy bed.  And he arose immediately.”

        In chapters 10 and 11 we have the account of Peter, Cornelius, and his household being accosted by the angel of the Lord and the Spirit of God.  Cornelius’ faithfulness to God came up before God for a memorial, and God made provision for Cornelius and his entire house to be saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit!

        Cornelius was told by the angel to send men to Joppa and bring Peter back to his house.  At the same time, Peter was on the housetop of his friends’ house when he became quite hungry.  There, he had a wonderful experience with God when the Lord spoke to him telling him to “kill and eat.”  Peter objected because he told the Lord that he had never eaten anything common nor unclean (as were some of the animals which he saw in the sheet).

        God was gracious to Peter because of his background and it took three times of the Lord speaking to him to “kill and eat.”  I realize that this brings up a different topic, but did God mean that it was now all right to eat formerly forbidden meat?  It just so happens that the men from Cornelius’ home came to the door and asked to see Peter.  When they relayed their message to Peter, he went along with them and journeyed to Caesarea where Cornelius lived.  The question still remains a question.  Was God preparing Peter to meet a house full of Gentile believers, or was He showing that God had not only shared His salvation with Gentiles, but had cleaned the meat, or the bodies, of those who at one time had been refused?

        When Peter started talking about Jesus to Cornelius’ household, the Spirit of God descended upon the people and they were not only saved, but they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as well!  As Peter explained to the Jews who questioned him: “what was I, that I could withstand God?” (chap. 11:15-18)  God showed that He was superior to all the ideas and opinions of mankind.

        Agabus was a true prophet who showed by signs that there was to be a great dearth (famine) throughout the world.  He signified “by the Spirit” that this was going to happen.  And it did take place in the days of Claudius Caesar (Acts 11:27-30).

        Peter became the object of much prayer being made for him.  He was in prison between two soldiers, bound with two chains.  During the night (as prayer was being made on his behalf) an angel came in and immediately the chains fell off his hands.  The angel then SAID unto him, “Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals.  Cast thy garments about thee, and follow me.”  Peter obeyed the angel’s voice, but he thought this was just a vision.  But when the gate of the prison opened of its own accord, he realized that he was a free man!  A perfect escape!

        The church in Antioch was made up of “certain prophets and teachers.”  “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost SAID, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”  Here is a case of direct guidance and direction.  The Spirit of God knew of great needs among the people and they needed help to know what to do.  “So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost.”  This really stands out because it is so different from the way it is today.  Few people wait for the Holy Ghost to speak to them; they pick out some plan to minister and there they go.  Why should they not wait for the Spirit to speak to them?  This is the only way to follow the Spirit’s leading!

        Chapter 16 is a vivid and glowing account of the leading of God in the ministry of His servants.  The sixth verse says, “now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.  And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia and help us.”

        Paul and Silas ended up in prison, but at midnight as they prayed and sang praises to God there was a great earthquake and all their bands were loosed.  The outcome of all this was the salvation of the keeper of the prison (and his household).  Man had evil intentions, but God had good in store for these two men.

        The point we are trying to put over is the fact that in the first, early, church people depended upon the Spirit of God and His angels to interfere in the matters of leading and guiding, or as Paul stated in Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”  Friends, if you are victimized by a well–meaning pastor, or a group of men and women, don’t continue on in such a state as this.  God never intended that His people would be subject to one man nor a group of men (and women) who would decide their fate or their future.

        It is entirely possible for individual people to be led by the Holy Spirit!  And they are the sons of the living God.  We are living in some really tough times, and we believe that they are going to be tougher still.  So many people are out of work, and the situation does not look good.  People need the leading of the Spirit of God individually so they will know what to do and when to do it.  Just as God led the people in the Book of Acts, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He is willing and eager to lead those who are willing to allow Him to lead them.

        We are not saying it is easy; we are only stating that it is a matter of life and death, and that people need to hear from heaven about God’s will for their lives.  A good place to begin is in following the commands and sayings of Jesus Christ.  Once you have become obedient to Him and His word, the sooner you will make yourself eligible to receive more leading from the voice of God.  Remember, Jesus said the wise person is he who reads or has the words of Jesus in the good Book, and who obeys the good words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ in His messages.  So be it.  Amen.

 

 

LOOK UP

Randall Walton

        The citizens of the world are faced with some of the most disastrous times the world has yet seen.  Just the other day, a well–known economist said he expects the decade of the teens to be the worst in this century.  The entire economy is supported on a policy of debt, borrowing from future generations to finance today’s extravagances.  Financial planners have long warned that the government could not keep spending more than it takes in.  But politicians who are eager to hold public office have kept promising the people greater handouts and less taxes in order to get themselves re–elected.

        Now we are encountering a debacle which is making other crises look mild by comparison.  The present economic problem is worldwide; it is not confined to the U.S. alone.  It is everywhere.  And the facts are that no one knows what to do about it.  In the past, the immediate remedy for a situation such as we have today was to pump more money into the economy by lowering interest rates, but so far the economy has not responded to this tactic.

        The financial expert mentioned above expects some relief between now and election day, but he is predicting some very serious troubles beginning in 2010 and lasting through the rest of the decade.

        And what does all this mean for the Christian world?  How will they cope with a depressed economy and rising unemployment?  With crumbling empires, governments in turmoil, collapsing economies, wars threatening, and a New World Order in the making, there is only one place to turn: the Word of God and Jesus Christ.

        He Himself stated that “when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).  Notice He did not say “the rapture draweth nigh;” your redemption, or deliverance, or salvation is near.  In the very midst of all the raging storms which are coming our way, we can experience true peace and comfort if we will look up and behold Jesus.

        There is no doubt but that we will see a One World Government which will be headed by The Antichrist who will desire to annihilate all true followers of Jesus Christ, but we are to look up and lift up our heads and in so doing, see our King and Saviour, Jesus.  “My sheep know my voice,” He said, “and a stranger they will not follow.”

        Do you know His voice?  Does He speak to you?  Do you have ears to hear His voice, both His written words and His audible voice?  Attention must first be given to His written message before we can expect to hear from Him personally. But to those who make a habit of following His words and sayings as they appear in the Scriptures, He will speak and will show them what to do.  If you do not now practice obeying the words of Jesus, it is high time you begin doing so.

        Deliverance will come (not in a secret rapture), but will only be for those sheep who have followed the Shepherd’s voice.  Following Him means to live as He lived, walk as He walked, go where He leads, do what He said and says, obey His every commandment.

        Practicing religion is not the same as practicing obedience.  The Pharisees of old practiced religion, and they were very good at it.  Wherever they went, people knew who they were by their dress code and their demeanor.  They were piety personified; they dutifully went about their religious obligations faithfully and with perseverance.  They tithed and fasted conspicuously; they prayed on street corners and offered their sacrifices publicly.  But Jesus said they were whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones.  He labeled them a generation of snakes and hypocrites.  Their religion was a stench in the nostrils of the Almighty, for they professed but did not obey God.

        To a great degree, this describes modern Christianity which professes “to know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).  The average Christian is so involved in the world, its pleasures, its habits, its finances, its material goods, its way of life, that they have neither time nor desire for the way of Jesus Christ.  They are so caught up in the cares of this life that they have little interest in the state of the church.

        The greatest calamity which can befall any people is for them to be in a state of unpreparedness for some catastrophic event such as the U.S. was when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  Had our military forces been on the alert and deployed for battle, the enemy would never have inflicted such heavy losses in life, equipment and ships as they did.  We were as a great sleeping giant oblivious to the sounds of impending war and destruction, much the same as the church is today.  While some are crying “Peace, Peace,” others are appeasing the people with their message of: “We will not be here.  We will be raptured out first.”

        Consequently, the church sleeps on, awaking long enough to play a few religious games, then back to sleep again (Matt. 25:5).  It is now time that every saint look up to Jesus, search the Scriptures, turn in obedience to the words and commands of their Lord, Jesus Christ, and be ready for the great time of trouble which looms nearer every day.

        It is time for God’s people to humble themselves, seek the Lord with all their hearts, and return to the words of the Lord.  Or as the prophet Zephaniah put it: “Seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zeph. 2:1-3).

 

 

 

THE SECRET PLACE

Randall Walton

        What happened to Al Gore’s “heat problem”?  It is COLD here in middle Tennessee and has been for about a week, and there is more to come!  Where, where is Mr. Gore right now?  Of course, there are other places with more severe weather than we are experiencing, but it is difficult to justify this cold with a thermal overcast when we hear reports of really cold throughout much of the mid–western states and into Canada.

        It is possible that God is preparing us for a real cold wave in advance (Last night it was about 8 degrees here).  We know and understand that judgment will come our way soon because of the depth of the sins which our nation allows.  It is easy to assess the degradation and downfall of a great number of our citizens who practice adultery, live–ins, pornography, abortions, and other forms of debauchery, sinfulness, and ungodliness.

        It is a coincidence that there seems to be no real cure–all for all the rejection of God’s holy law.  Most people (and we say this with much caution) find it difficult to say “NO” to the call of the world to join in with the crowds who are committing all this sinfulness.  It is as if they believe that God will overlook their pernicious ways, and will love and adore them regardless of their behavior!  But that is NOT the testimony of God in the Scriptures.  It is true that God forgives and forgets provided the individual is willing to stop his/her sinful ways, but there must be repentance and a determination on the part of the sinning one to overcome and be reconciled to God.  Without true, honest repentance, and a determination to conquer one’s sinful ways, God is justified to refuse to forgive and forget because the person has not met the conditions which are set forth.  “If we confess our sins (this means being really sorrowful for the sin), he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

        You cannot fool God.  He knows the heart condition of every one of us, and He stands in judgment against all ungodliness in our hearts.  He is just, also: He will not point out sin which is not there; but make no mistake, He sees and knows the condition of the heart and He deals with it accordingly.  He stated most plainly that “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24).

        There is no point in trying to outsmart our Creator.  Sin is sin no matter how hard we may try to cover it up or excuse ourselves.  God does not excuse us, and it will not work for us to try to excuse ourselves.  Sin must be dealt with!

        “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (II Thess. 1:7-9).  Plain, isn’t it?

        God is all merciful, true, but He sees right through a heart which is trying to have its own way and somehow appease the living God who sees and understands everything exactly as they really are.

        These are days during which to reappraise our standing with the living God.  It is now, in this time, which we know as day, that we should look to ourselves and closely examine our own lives to make sure that what we are doing is in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is also our Lord and Savior and Master, to make sure that we are fulfilling His divine will in regard to our claim of following Him.  We are running out of time, and we must know through His blessed words the will of God for us in this day of perplexity, uncertainty, and question.  Are you satisfied with your walk with God; does it bother you that you are not more spiritual than you are; does God ever speak to you personally; does He show you His divine will; does He convict you about your behavior, your attitude, your realization of the plan of the living God; does He speak to you in words you can easily decipher; has He become your best friend, your Companion, the Everlasting Arms to uphold you in these evil days?

        If not, you need to spend more time in prayer, seeking and praying to God, renewing your vows and words of consecration to Him, devoting yourself in prayer for others, seeking God until you KNOW Him personally and until He reveals Himself to you in everything.  It is up to you to “make your calling and election sure,” that nothing may be able to quench the Holy Spirit from your heart and your soul and your life!  God bless.

 

 

A NEW WORLD ORDER

Randall Walton

        One of the high points of several politicians’ speeches of late (including our own U.S. President), has been a direct reference to a “New World Order,” a somewhat ambiguous remark that leaves one wondering what all may be hiding up these political sleeves.  It’s fairly certain that these different voices do not have the same goal in mind when they speak of the expected new system of global operations.  The intended long–range objective of the communists is still a world order in which they are the dominating and ruling power.

        There is no reason why we should believe Mr. Putin has been converted from his atheistic beliefs and is about to embrace democracy, as we Americans understand democracy.

        Neither should we be so naïve as to believe any form of a “world order” could ever achieve success in solving the world’s problems.  Mankind in general has rejected the only One who is capable of providing peace, security, happiness, prosperity and abundance.  Professing Christians are a dwindling minority, and TRUE Christians are a minority within that minority.

        The largest and most powerful religious entity today is that heterogeneous group which adheres to the teachings of Mohammed and are known variously as Mohammedans, Muslims, Moslems, or Islam.  But they are more than a religion per se: there is an element of nationalism and racial conflict which has tended to bring a certain disorder to their ranks.  Since the majority of them are Arabic or of Arabic descent, there has been a semblance of unity among them on the basis of race, but this unity has eroded significantly of late because of national and political independence.

        Thus, while the Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, Libyans, Iraqis, Jordanians, etc., are both Arabic and Mohammedan, their own natural concerns have stood in the way of much harmony (The Iranians, while being Moslems, are non–Arabic, which places them in a separate category).  But, if all the Moslem countries were to unite around a common point or goal, such a force would be quite formidable.  That such an unthinkable possibility might become a reality is somewhat frightening, but it could very well come about.

        It is a fact that the religion of Mohammed is making great inroads in the free countries of the world.  Great Britain is currently undergoing vast changes in its social structure as many Britons are becoming Moslems, and Mosques are being constructed throughout the country.  The same is being done in this country but on a far less scale (over 4 million Muslims and over 650 mosques).  The upshot of all this is that as Moslems and mosques increase, Christian ranks are on the wane and division and sectarianism are on the increase.

        It remains a spiritual disease that Christianity is separated into over a thousand different sects, all of whom claim that they are the exclusive representative of the God of heaven.  The Scriptures plainly teach that there is but one body, or one true church, and that we are all members of one another.  What will it take to bring us to the realization of that mighty truth?

        Perhaps persecution is the only answer.  As the “New World Order” becomes formulated and assumes greater power and authority over people’s lives, Christians will be forced to take a stand for Scriptural standards or else compromise.  The Word does indicate that a great “beast” system will arise and subject the nations of the world to its control.  How this will come about is not clear, but there is little doubt that the pleas for a “New World Order” are a precursor of that system.

        Christians everywhere need to start recognizing the common goals which they share.  Theology and doctrinal opinions are not sufficient for these days.  Jesus Christ Himself should be our rallying point, not a philosophical idea nor a tangential theory.  We need to remind ourselves of those heroic souls in Hebrews 11:32-38 who underwent the ultimate torture and persecution for their faith’s sake, or of the thousands of martyrs who suffered at the hands of the barbarous Romans for the crime of being Christians.  In such dreadful circumstances as those, little or no thought is given about individuals’ doctrinal convictions: the main concern is their common salvation in Jesus Christ, their Lord and Saviour.

        It’s time for those who LOVE God to practice loving each other.  There is no doubt that the New World Order will be inaugurated soon, and it will not exist for the benefit of the people of God.  Already our Bible is under attack, our moral standards are questioned (we are too conservative and prejudicial against immorality), our Lord is daily blasphemed and belittled, our children are scoffed.  The Old Time Religion is considered repressive and stifling, a carry–over from an unenlightened era, mainly for the “ignorant and unlearned.”  Our voices are an increasing grate to the nerves of the intellectual establishment: we won’t shut up about such explosives as evolution, abortion, homosexuality, adultery and other such modern mores and dogmata.

        John the Baptist lost his head for adhering to similar principles, and we can certainly expect the same reaction from the “wicked and adulterous generation” as resistance begins to increase toward an abrasive minority.  “And the dragon (satan, the devil, the head of the “beast” power) was wroth with the woman (the true church), and went to make WAR with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17).

        Where do you stand today?  Are you ready to join ranks with a despised remnant who may not believe every point of doctrine exactly as you do, but who nevertheless love God and you with all their hearts?  Are you ready to “love your neighbor as yourself,” to follow Jesus Christ, and to “take up your cross, deny yourself daily,” and be His disciple indeed?

        This is what it will take to stand in these evil days just ahead of us.  We exhort you to seriously study the sayings of Jesus, and then put forth valiant effort to measure up to those divine standards.

 

 

SHOULD DRUGS BE LEGALIZED?

Haven Bradford Gow

        A news story in the July 31, 2003, Arkansas Democrat–Gazette pointed out the results of a 2002 survey by the Department of Human Services.  According to the study, “In Arkansas, 46.1 percent of 8th graders, 66.5 percent of 10th graders and 76 percent of 12th graders had drunk alcohol at least once.  Nationally, 47 percent of 8th graders, 66.9 percent of 10th graders and 78.4 percent of 12th graders reported having drunk alcohol.  The percentage of students reporting using illegal drugs at least once were similarly close to but below the national data.”

        In his book Moral Dilemmas (Word/Nelson), J. Kerby Anderson, president of Probe Ministries, points out: “Almost two–thirds of all American young people try illicit drugs before they finish high school.  One out of 16 seniors smokes marijuana daily, and 20 percent have done so for at least one month sometime in their lives.  A recent poll found that adolescents listed drugs as the most important problem facing people their age, followed by crime and violence in school and social pressures.”  Regarding marijuana, an article in the Journal of the AMA revealed that marijuana users had “55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries, and a 78 percent increase in absenteeism.”  Still another study found that 35 percent of all car accident victims had traces of marijuana in their blood.

        If alcohol is legal, should drugs also be legalized?  Audine Haynes, executive director, Washington County Anti–Drug Task Force, Greenville, MS, responds: “Just because alcohol is legal doesn’t mean we should legalize drugs, because drug abuse has harmful personal and social consequences.  Some think marijuana is harmless, but pregnant women consuming marijuana can cause harm not just to themselves but also to their unborn children.  Marijuana use also leads to long–term memory loss and also can lead to impotence.”  Mrs. Haynes adds: “If drugs are legalized, we will be making it easier for people to kill themselves and cause devastation to their families.  It definitely will lead to more crime and also an increase in child abuse and neglect.”

        To be sure, people of good will can disagree on what is the best and most effective approach to deal with this nation’s drug problem.

        Judge Margaret Carey–McCray of Greenville, Miss., says the so–called War on Drugs has been a glaring failure; she says it is a waste of resources to put non–violent drug offenders in prison; instead, she favors the “drug court approach” that emphasizes rehabilitation and making restitution to society through community service.

        Like Judge McCray, Judge Keith Starrett, circuit judge for the 14th Judicial Court District in Mississippi, favors the drug court approach, which, as Judge Starrett pointed out in the April/May 2002 issue of Mississippi Lawyer, “is basically a program that takes non–violent, non–drug dealing, lower level felony offenders who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and places them in a drug treatment program with intensive, long–term follow up, continued reporting to the judge and stringent drug testing…All participants are required to work a minimum of 30 hours each week at full time employment or community service.”

        The drug court approach is a praiseworthy and well–intentioned effort to deal with this nation’s drug problem.  At the same time, though, these questions remain: Has the domestic war against narcotics really been a dramatic failure?  Or, are some scholars correct when they claim that the U.S. government’s War on Drugs really has led to the recent decreases in the crime rates?

        According to Professor Stephen Easton, former U.S. attorney in North Dakota and now associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, “Despite the current conventional wisdom to the contrary, the federal war on drugs, when it has been pursued zealously in the past quarter century, has been successful in decreasing the rates of illegal drug use.”  He points out that “Prisons…incapacitate drug traffickers.  If you wanted to sell drugs, would you choose to set up shop in a jail cell?”  Also, “Incarceration sometimes rehabilitates dealers who are also addicts.  The controlled environment and harsh living conditions inside prison, along with prison drug treatment programs, help inmates kick their habits.”  He adds: “Without a doubt, incarceration is an expensive proposition, but it works.  Recent history teaches us that de–escalation of tough law enforcement, including less imprisonment, leads to wider drug use, with all of its tragic and expensive consequences.”

        Clearly, legalizing drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, PCP and LSD is not the right way to go.  As retired FBI agent William Kelly observes, legalizing drugs will lead to more drug use and abuse and, therefore, more addicts.  A 28–year–veteran of the FBI, Mr. Kelly says increased drug use and abuse will exacerbate already existing social problems like domestic violence, child abuse, drug–addicted babies, burglaries and robberies.

        Man is by nature a social animal; we need other human beings, and they need us.  From these elementary truths, we can understand that we possess social and moral obligations that sometimes require us to subordinate our private, selfish interests and pursuits for the sake of the common good.  By keeping harmful drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, PCP and LSD illegal, the state is asking us to sacrifice a little bit of freedom for the moral well–being of society.  This is a valuable and much–needed lesson for us to learn.

 

 

2010! WOW!

Randall Walton

        It is almost unbelievable that we have arrived at 2010 A.D.  But, we shouldn’t be too surprised.  After all, God has a definite program and mission to be fulfilled, and it will be done according to His divine leadership and glory.  We are truly thankful for the mercies of the Lord as they come our way, and we remain rejoicing in Him for all His benefits along the way.

        The year 2009 was notable for many of the blessings as well as the undesirable outcomes of the Federal government in trying to put over one of the greatest socialist programs in the history of our nation.  This Bill, over 1800 pages long, has not been gone over by most of the Representatives and Senators in power at the present time.  It is our opinion that the Federal government has no business tampering with the status quo and upsetting a large portion of our senior citizens who have a difficult time making ends meet.

        We have taken a stand in earnest prayer that this Bill shall not pass, that it shall not become lawful in this nation because of its far reaching import, for it would not only become impossible to support, it would be the usurping of power which does not belong to the Federal government.  Please join with us in prayer that this Bill in its present form shall not pass the approval of the Senate and the House of Representatives!

        We say little in this paper regarding political issues, but that does not mean that we have no opinions about the course our nation takes on important issues.  We are prohibited by law to express our opinions on every issue which arises, but we do have absolute desires and opinions on many subjects, and we intend to express these opinions more and more as time goes by.

        We are apolitical in our views; however, this does not mean that we acquiesce to everything which is said and done in Washington, D.C.  We do have convictions and opinions, and we are totally opposed to the Federal government being used to brow beat our senior citizens with a message of despair, defeat, and death.  It is totally unchristian, ungodly, unmerciful, and unreasonable.  So we are opposed.

        We are concerned also about our Chief Executive bowing before foreign Administrators and apologizing for our past acts which were considered at the time as beneficial because many American lives were saved through our behavior.

        Nearly every veteran of World War II was glad and overjoyed when the Japanese surrendered after two atomic bombs were dropped upon them.  My unit, after having served in France, Germany and Austria, was scheduled to go to Japan in LST’s, and we were practicing making invasions on the west coast of California when the bombs were dropped.  To say we were glad and overjoyed is a vast understatement.  Let it be known that we were most happy that the end of the war had arrived.  The carnage and death of the American troops would have been catastrophic to say the least, and we were glad that we didn’t have to go!

        We understand the role of the terrorists who have been allowed access to many of the safeguards placed to apprehend said terrorists.  It is a sad state of affairs that a well–known terrorist was allowed to board one of our commercial flights with the intention of blowing the airplane and himself to bits.  Fortunately, his plan failed and he was disarmed after an attempt on his part to commit suicide and murder of a plane load of passengers!

        We are living in a period of time known Biblically as the last days.  We are witnessing wholesale murder and suicide in many foreign nations as the pressures increase, and the stakes are very high.  We wonder how we can avoid more deaths and more killings and still have troops at home to give us at least a semblance of protection from outside our borders.  There are many things which we must leave for the military to decide, but let us not grow weary with the burdens which face us daily, and the threat of war and destruction which comes our way from several different sources.

        We are in the middle of a gigantic recession, and it appears that it will get much worse before it gets better.  We will have to deal with hunger, famine, and joblessness, as well as high prices on consumer goods.  People are already having problems paying their bills – rent, electrical, water, gas, gasoline, clothing, shoes, etc., – and someone will have to take care of these poor who find no recourse for their needs.  God has laid it upon us to provide as much as we possibly can.  We are dedicated to providing help as much as God makes it reasonable and possible.  Please pray that the Lord will give us the means to meet the needs of the poor of this world.

 

 

DEAR READERS

        Due to the increased cost of paper and materials involved in printing the Testimony of Truth (TOT) and the continual rising price of postage, we are asking that any who wouldn’t mind receiving the TOT each month by email instead of the printed copy would notify us and allow us to put you on our email list and remove your name from the printed version.  Send your email address to testimonyoftruth@blomand.net where it will be put into a data base for the sole purpose of mailing the TOT to you.  You would then open your email and the TOT will open.  All the articles will be there with the titles and authors, just as it appears in the printed copy which you now receive through the postal service.  Your email address will be used only for this purpose and will not be distributed.

        We will continue sending the TOT each month to all who prefer to have a printed copy or who do not have internet access.  You are under no obligation to make this change.  It will be a help to the ministry here at People of the Living God if those who can and don’t mind would receive the TOT through email.  Just email your name, postal mailing address and a current email address to testimonyoftruth@blomand.net and we will drop your name from the printed mailing list and add it to the email list.  The saved funds will be used for other ministries in which PLG is involved.

        If at any time you would like to change back to the printed magazine, just send a note to testimonyoftruth@blomand.net or potlg@blomand.net and your name will be returned to the postal mailing list and removed from the email list.

        We are working diligently to get our website up and running fully, and at that site you will be able to take a closer look at the ministry of People of the Living God as well as archives of TOT, tracts on various topics, and pictures.  We are also working on getting some of our Sabbath messages and teachings online in audio form so you can listen to the sermons.  We appreciate every subscriber and pray God will continue to bless you as you walk with Him.

                                                Thank you,

                                                Bro. Randall Walton & the TOT staff

 

 

THANK YOU!!

Randall Walton

        We want to say thanks to all of you who have supported this work over the many years.  We appreciate deeply the sacrifices that many of you have experienced in order to help us pay the postage and the other many expenses regarding the paper.  It has been a real blessing to us to know that you share the load with us to see that others who are even less fortunate than we are receive the blessing of the Lord through our labors.

        God has been so good to us.  We are now sending over 5,500 of our small magazine to all fifty states as well as to many foreign nations in various areas of the world.  We are hoping to increase that number soon, and we will need the added strength and help of others who wish to enlighten people of the sad condition of the church and the state of apostasy which lies therein.

We are dedicated to the truth of God’s Holy Word and the promulgation of the same.  We hope to reach the honest souls who love God, obey His word, and follow Jesus Christ wherever He may lead.  We are living in a darkened world; darkened by gloom, misguided by men and women who do not honor God, and mistake success by the weight of the masses rather than by right over wrong.  We are seeing our Federal government sliding down a slippery slope to socialism, as if there were no tomorrows, nor any other way to turn except by the force of control.

        We pledge ourselves to the giving forth of the gospel message, the gospel of the kingdom of God, the greatest, the most powerful, the mightiest, the highest of all God’s provision for His people, the incomparable kingdom of the Living God.  The message of God through the power and authority of the Blood of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of the living God is sufficient for every need, for every desire, for every circumstance, for every situation; for therein is victory and deliverance from every care, for every burden, for every struggle, for every heartache and problem, all in the lovely and powerful name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

        Put your trust and confidence in Him and His word, always remembering that He alone has the very solution to any and all problems which may come your way!

 

 

NO LICENSE TO SIN

Harry Miller

        “He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD” (I John 2:2).  “The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  Jesus said that He “by the grace of God should taste death for EVERY MAN” (Hebrews 2:9)

        The demands of eternal justice require that EVERY transgressor of God’s LAW be punished, for it is written: “the wages of sin is death.”  IF ANY MAN sow to the flesh, he shall of the flesh REAP corruption.  Such are the “wages” for violation.  There are those who would tell us that the believer, or Christian, has been given a special license to sin.  His transgressions, they say, are not imputed unto him, but are all assumed by the Lord Jesus.  Those who hold to such doctrine must come to the conclusion that no matter what a man does AFTER he is converted he CAN NOT SIN.  If he CAN NOT SIN, then he CAN NOT DIE, and so “once saved, always saved.”

        It is quite evident that many “born again” believers DO SIN, so those who hold to this doctrine must DENY that transgression to a believer is SIN.  According to this, then, when Christ died, He did away with the legality of THE LAW OF GOD.  If this is true, then, since He died for the SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD there must now be NO SIN.  In other words it’s impossible for anyone in the world to sin!  Surely no sane person would believe this?

        An “EVERLASTING COVENANT” was made by blood, and UPON CONDITION the believing man can enter into a living fellowship with his Creator.  Day by day the blood of the covenant remains over the man IF HE WALKS as he ought to walk.  “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).