People of The Living God

Hebrews 11

 

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February 2012



 

TIMELY ADMONITION

Randall Walton

        Modern society is about to outdo itself in technological genius and expertise.  It is difficult for the average person to keep up with all the masterful inventions which keep flying from entrepreneurial drawing boards in the more advanced nations of the world.

        Now we have smart cars to tell you everything you need to know about how to get from here to there, how far you’ve traveled, when you may expect to arrive at your destination, how many more miles you may go on your remaining fuel, etc.  Microchips are so reduced in size that an electric current can accomplish in micro-seconds the task that used to take hundredths of a second.

        The same microchips can be used to store a vast amount of information, and can make said information available immediately with the mere touch of a finger on a sensitive area of plastic.  It almost seems as if the world tomorrow has metamorphosed before our very eyes!

        Wouldn’t it be great if we could say all of man’s ingenuity has helped create a better society, a happier people, a more spiritual populace?  Such is not the case, however.  All of the negative features of a debased culture are in evidence everywhere and in every segment of man’s realm of existence.  It seems that man’s inventions have a clever way of making man a victim rather than a victor.  There is within the human breast a convoluted tendency to idolize all things materialistic to the degree of near worship.  The more complicated an object is, the greater the interest, the enthrallment, the fascination, and finally the veneration and adulation.

        And people become attached to “things.”  We measure our GNP on the abundance of “things” produced.  Our mean wealth is based upon our ability to accumulate “things.”  The challenge which faces every inventor is the necessity to produce more attractive, more intelligent, and more salable “things.”  When these better “things” are introduced to the public, they are expected to generate tremendous enthusiasm among prospective buyers so that they will pay any price to obtain these wonderful “things.”

        Thus, people unwittingly enslave themselves to the tyranny of weekly/monthly payments for “things” they don’t need, which soon wear out and have to be replaced (once we’re fascinated by a certain product, it becomes a “necessity”).  And the spiral continues incessantly all the while pulling its victims into the vicious vortex of its diabolical grasp until they are in a total stupor, unable to tear themselves free from the whirlpool of destruction

What Else Is New?

        But that’s only a part of the story.  Now there are elements at work which are plotting to use man’s ingenious works against mankind – so the slave becomes the master.  Rather than fulfilling their intended role as public servants, they are about to be used to spy on people’s private lives and to keep tabs on where you are and what you are doing.  The machinery to accomplish the task is already available, and is being used in some instances.

Many of these electronic devices to be used on trucks and automobiles are touted to be used to control traffic flow to prohibit congestion and traffic jams.  On the surface this sounds great for urban dwellers, but, ironically, the same system can be utilized for surveillance of the car and its occupants.

        Identifying microchips placed on cars can be used to debit the owner’s bank account for the use of toll roads, or even mileage taxes, while at the same time recording into a central computer base your exact whereabouts night or day!  Such a system would be beneficial for tracking stolen vehicles, but is that all it would be used for?

        We have mentioned but a very few of the multitude of electronic devices which can be potential Gestapo-like contrivances for total control of the populace.  People used to snicker at the prospect of Big Brother and his all-seeing eye, but it is no longer a joke.  The possibility of such is already fact. The probability depends upon some national or international catastrophe or emergency which can be considered just cause for implementing such means.

What To Do?

        The dangers lie in the use of these wares to subjugate and bring under control the populations of the world.  And in view of certain powerful elements clamoring for a one world government with a centralized world headquarters, such devices would become a real necessity, for only through surveillance and round-the-clock penetration into private human affairs can such a world government become a reality.  We do not predict such a development as this, but it is possible that individual nations may find it necessary to utilize such drastic means as a way of stabilizing their economies, preventing mass starvation, and forestalling revolution.

        The only assurance for the people who know God is to draw closer to Him and to become obedient to the words and sayings of their King, Jesus.  He, Himself, emphasized the imperativeness of following assiduously His every command (Matt. 7:21-24).

        It is very strange that “Christianity” seems to be the only religion in the world which teaches its membership that it is permissible to disregard the words and commands of its founder.  The followers of Mohammed are very strict in their adherence to the Koran.  Other religionists have the same dedication to their “faith;” so much so, they are willing to wage war and to die for their beliefs.

        But Christians are taught to revel in their liberty from the law and commands of God.  Theirs is an “anything goes” way of life.  The blessed words of their King are spurned, rejected, and relegated to another age, another people. The result is a people who are trying to maintain a position of neutrality – neither for nor against their Messiah.  He has pronounced judgment upon such a condition and has promised that He will “spew out of His mouth” all those who are lukewarm.

        We urge every Christian to study the commands of Jesus, put forth every effort to comply with them, and to teach others to do the same.  This is the only way of assuring hope in the troubled days that are just ahead of us.

 

 

WE SHALL BEHOLD HIM!

Randall Walton

God has promised many blessings upon His people.  The blessings of God are indisputable and they are positive.  We are continually praising the Lord for His mighty and glorious acts, and we rejoice in the Lord for His bountiful goodness and longsuffering, for His patience with us.  It is not enough to praise Him, but we do give Him praise and adoration for all His goodness and His mercy to those of us who know the Living God.

We are well aware of the men (and women) who are giving out the messages of the “rapture” of the Church.  It is a popular doctrine, one of which deceives many Christians!  It is no wonder that a lot of people accept it as if it were a true, and somewhat Scriptural doctrine.  But it is not scriptural at all!  There is nothing in the Scriptures which indicate that there will ever be such a thing as the “rapture” of the church!  It just is not in the Holy Bible!  The very word “rapture” is nowhere to be found in the Scriptures!

So, where did this ‘rumor’ get started?  God’s good Book is the Book of redemption, of remittance of sin, of hard–hearted sinners, of mercy and grace, and of remorse and of companionship.  I realize that it is important, that it is the solid rock on which I stand, all other ground is sinking sand!

God has promised to keep His people who are faithful and true.  There will be no branches or barriers which will separate the faithful ones from Him.  God will send His Son, even the Lord Jesus Christ, to gather the righteous into the everlasting kingdom of the Living God.  Don’t think that God will leave the door ajar to allow hypocrites and agnostics into His Kingdom.  The hypocrites and agnostics will perish.  God will abundantly pardon the truly repentant, and what joy there will be when the saints go marching in.

There will be persecution and devastation, a time of turmoil, trouble, anxiety, and truth smashed to the ground.  As the apostle Paul put it, “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Tim. 3:1,2).  Things are bad today, but they are going to get much worse as time goes by.  Men will have a great desire to cope with the situation.

But all the while, Jesus is standing by, ready and willing to avenge His followers.  We must follow Him.  He has all the answers to all of our problems, and we shall continue to hold fast until He comes.  We must watch and be ready to enter in!

And then when He comes, We Shall Behold Him!

 

 

THE GOVENOR

Randall Walton

        “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel” (Matt. 2:6).

        This verse is found in the context of the record of Jesus’ birth and is a quotation from Micah 5:2.  The Governor referred to is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who was born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judea.  The fact that He is called Governor is a point that must not be overlooked.

        This word comes straight out of the Greek into the English as hegemony: to lead, to command (with official authority), to have the rule over!  This was the divine mission which was given to Jesus from the heavenly Father.  He came to rule over God’s people.  And rule He did.  He issued dozens of commands for His people to obey.  The fact that His commands were grossly ignored does not detract from nor diminish His authority to rule.

        This authority was demonstrated throughout His 3½ year ministry.  He had authority over every sickness and disease, and even death.  He commanded the winds and waves to obey Him, and they did.  He even told Pilate, the Roman ruler, that he had no power over Himself unless it was given him from above.

        Demons fled at His word; devils recognized His power and authority and spoke out concerning Him.  Only the religious hypocrites stood up against Him and His authority.  Their traditions had them bound in ritualistic captivity; they could not see the truth because of the blindness of their spiritual eyes.

        Throughout His ministry, He preached the good news of the kingdom of God.  The kingdom, He said, was not a political nor a physical dominion, but was of a spiritual nature.  “The kingdom of God is within you,” He declared.

        Rather than demonstrate any kind of military expertise, He extolled the virtues of the peacemaker, the merciful, the poor in spirit, the humble, the servant, those who were persecuted.  He invited people to join Him in a peaceable relationship with God: “take my yoke upon you and learn of me,” He stated; “I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”  He alone among all humankind could offer rest, peace and contentment to others.  After all, He was the Governor, or ruler.

        It is supposed by many that Jesus came to restore the old sinful kingdom to Israel and/or Judah.  Such was not the case.  The kingdom message was to go to every nation upon the earth with instructions to the hearers that they were expected to obey everything He commanded His followers to do (Matt. 24:14).  The term “Israel” does not apply only to the natural descendants of Jacob or Abraham.

        Every true believer is an Israelite.  The Romans, who were Gentiles, were instructed by Paul that God had grafted them into the olive tree known as Israel (Rom. 11:7-25).  “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Rom. 10:12).  We who have been born again of the Spirit of God are the children of Abraham (Gal. 3:7)!  It matters not about flesh and blood (which cannot inherit the kingdom – I Cor. 15:50), but whether we have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ.  “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God” (Rom. 9:8).

        This means, then, that the Governor was sent to rule over all who would become His followers, not the physical descendants of Abraham alone, but all who would come to know Jesus by the way of the New Birth.  This also means that all the commands, orders, laws, and dictates which He uttered are to be honored and obeyed by those who claim His name.

        Jesus reiterated the necessity of adherence to His words again and again during His ministry.  He warned that everyone who did not obey His words would be destroyed-lost-condemned (Matt. 7:24-29; John 12:48).  In the face of such warnings it seems incredible that professing Christians would consider His words so lightly.  It is as if they believe that He didn’t mean what He said.

        Mark this well: the judgment will be held on the basis of the words of Jesus Christ, the Governor sent down from heaven to tell mankind how to please the heavenly Father.  To ignore His commands is to reject both Him and His wonderful salvation.  We admonish you to study His words today, then do all that you can to apply them to your daily life.  Only by so doing can you be assured of standing guiltless before the judgment bar of Christ.

 

 

TRUTH – A SURE FOUNDATION

Randall Walton

        We take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to all of you who have helped us with both your prayers and your financial support during the past year.  Numbers of people have written telling us that they pray for us on a daily basis.  We are truly grateful for your interest and concern and ask that you continue to remember us in your prayers.  Your gifts have been encouraging, also.

        Mankind is confronted with both good news and bad news.  There are two major movements at work in the earth today, one of which is directed by the Living God, the other by the forces of evil.  Both of these are globe-encircling in their scope and coverage, and are equally supernormal insofar as their activity is concerned.

        On the one hand, God is working in the hearts and lives of His people to bring forth a state of unity, harmony and compatibility.  He is determined to have a people who will glorify Himself and will honor Him with their lives, not their lips.  “Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth,” Jesus prayed in John 17:17.

        This process of sanctification is an on-going project.  The word of the Lord is a most powerful instrument in the perfecting of the finished product: “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).  Those who embrace God’s truth will soon find that a reformation is taking place within their soul.  Shackles and fetters of error and tradition are dismantled, and the soul is freer to “draw nigh to God,” (and He will draw nigh unto you).

        Walking in truth is not for the timorous nor the wavering.  “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-11).  We need only to examine the lives of those who have gone on before – Peter, James, John, Paul – and others who have wrestled against principalities and powers and their own stubborn wills.

        God’s word was of utmost importance in the lives of these men of God, and it is no less a factor in these last days.  The sad fact is that so many people discount the important part which the word of God has to play in the great conflict which faces humanity.

        Paul emphatically declared a solemn principle concerning the judgment of God in the ranks of humankind: “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thess. 2:10b-12).

        The really bad news, then, is that we are living in a day when truth is being rejected in exchange for lies.  Great masses of people are opting for myths, fables, and fairy tales.  In addition to nominal Christianity, there is the ever-increasing acceptance of Eastern influence with its occultic involvement.  God not only allows this to be, justice demands that every person be given the right of free choice!

        Truth is available to everyone.  The Lord has revealed His power and godhead to every creature under the sun (Rom. 1:20).  Whether they acknowledge Him and honor Him is a matter of their own volition.

        The greater damnation is not reserved for the savages of the jungle who never recognize the “Great Spirit,” nor for those whose very culture is anti-God.  It is true that they will not inherit eternal life; but the worst fate of all awaits those to whom the word of the Lord has come and who have not received a love for the truth!  Their rejection of the word of God is the same as if they rejected Him!

        As Christians, we should carefully examine and scrutinize every religious movement which claims to be of God.  It is perfectly proper to question and measure those who profess to represent Jesus Christ.  Of course, the standard by which we are to evaluate is none other than the WORD.

        As with any standard of measurement, one must be acquainted with it before he can correctly use it.  This is one reason we urge readers to study and search the Scriptures.  See for yourself what God has stated in His Book.  Ask the Lord for enlightenment and comprehension, and be willing to obligate yourself to the truth as He reveals it to you.

        “Prove all things,” Paul said.  That is, put them to the test.  This includes doctrines as well as institutions.  “Hold fast to that which is good.”  That which is not founded upon the sure foundation of the plain words of Jesus and the apostles is to be rejected; that which agrees with “the whole counsel of God” should be embraced.  In your acceptance of the truth, you may find yourself quite alone, ostracized, ridiculed, abased; but what does it matter, if you are in step with the Master?  He Himself affirmed that “Strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto eternal life, and few there be that find it.”  Far better to be with the few who walk in truth, than with the many who are headed for destruction.

        We urge you to consider the words of Jesus with care and to apply them to your own daily life.  In so doing, you will be providing for yourself a foundation which cannot be shaken.  For confirmation of this, read Luke 6:46-49.

 

 

ABOUT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS

Randall Walton

        Over the years we have received a number of letters regarding our depiction of Passion Week.  Several people have expressed difficulty in understanding the schedule of events as they were presented.  We have tried in previous articles to show the events of that Week in a very simple manner by referring to the highlights of the more well-known events surrounding the trial, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord.

        Further explanation is offered herein.  We establish the time of His death by first determining the time of His resurrection.  This is done by consulting Matthew 28:1,2, which decisively places the time of His resurrection at some point between 3 P.M. and sundown on Saturday, the Sabbath.  “In the end of the Sabbath” does not mean “early Sunday morning.”  (Since the Sabbath ended at sundown, and not at midnight, in the end of the Sabbath must be before the sun has set.”

        Then, using Jesus’ prophecy in Matt. 12:40 concerning His being buried for three days and three nights, we count backward from the time of His resurrection three days and three nights and arrive at the late afternoon of Wednesday!  Wednesday, then, is the day He was crucified.

        He ate the Passover the night before with His disciples; therefore, Wednesday was the correct day for the Passover; that is, from sunset Tuesday to sunset Wednesday.

        However, the Jews were incorrect in their reckoning the Passover feast, for the day which should have been observed by them was their preparation day, and they hurried to get Jesus’ body from the cross before sundown, before their feast was to begin.  There is no way Jesus could have been wrong in His reckoning of the time for the Passover to be observed, and He did observe it!

        Thus, He was crucified at 9:00 A.M. on Wednesday, He hung on the cross for six hours, and died at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  Between 3 P.M. and sunset He was taken from the cross and buried, and He remained there for no less than 72 hours (3 days and 3 nights).

        If this pattern is altered in any way, then the prophesies of Jesus concerning Himself were incorrect.  It is mathematically impossible for Jesus to have risen at any time past sunset on Sabbath, unless, of course, Jesus made a mistake, or if He didn’t know what He was talking about.  But we believe He did not make a mistake, and we also contend He knew the facts and stated them perfectly.

        Reference has been made to the two men who were walking to Emmaus on Sunday, the first day of the week, and their conversation with Jesus who joined them there on the road.  They were explaining to Him about the events of the past few days and they made the following statement: “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done” (Luke 24:21).

        Now, while the record of these men’s statement is true and inspired, what they said was not true.  For one thing, to what were they referring when they said “since these things were done”?  Did they mean Christ’s death, or did they mean His resurrection?  In either case they were incorrect.  If that day were the third day, then the first day would have been Friday!  But that refutes the record of Matt. 28:1,2, and puts everything out of focus.  There is no possible way of squeezing 3 days and 3 nights between Friday and Sabbath, nor even between Thursday and Sunday (you end up with 2 days and 3 nights.)

        Lest anyone be offended by our stating that those two men were mistaken, let us reaffirm our belief in the authenticity of the Biblical record.  The Bible gives us the actual facts of what people did and said, but that does not mean that everything people said was correct.  For example:

        In John 12:27-30 we have a divine record that a voice was heard from heaven which said, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”  People who stood near and heard this voice said it had thundered.  Others who heard it said that an angel had spoken to Him.  Were those who said it had thundered correct in their analysis?  No!  But the record of their statement is true.

        Those who said an angel had spoken were also wrong, but the record of their saying it is right.  By the same token, or reasoning, Luke gave us an accurate account of what those two men said, but what they said was incorrect.

        Another issue which someone raised was the verse in Mark 16:9 which says, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene.”  Here we have a case of a misplaced comma (punctuation was not included in the early manuscripts).  In order for this verse to agree with Matthew, Luke and John, there should be a comma after the word “risen,” and the one following the word “week” should be deleted.  The result is: “Now when Jesus was risen, early the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary.”

        Thus, the statement concerns not the time of Jesus’ resurrection, but the time when He appeared to Mary, which, incidentally, was shortly after sundown Sabbath (“early the first day” began at sundown Sabbath).

        When the matter of the resurrection is considered, there are some basic facts which must be remembered:

        1.  Their reckoning of time was different from ours.  Each day began and ended at sunset, not at midnight.

2.  The Jews’ Passover feast was observed one day later than when Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples.  As the “Lamb of God,” He was sacrificed on the correct Passover day, which was the Jews’ “preparation day” (John 19:14,31,42).

        3.  He was to be resurrected “the third day” (Matt. 16:21; Matt. 17:23).  He was to be resurrected “after three days” (Mark 8:31).  He was to be resurrected “3 days and 3 nights” after His burial (Matt. 12:40).

        The only way He could fulfill the three above stated prophecies was on the Sabbath day, late, late, before the sun set.  According to Matthew 28:1,2, this was precisely the time the women came to the tomb and found it empty!  Any calculations which deviate from this pattern, we correctly judge as inaccurate and not according to the Scriptural record.

 

 

“PERILOUS TIMES SHALL COME”

Randall Walton

        In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he stated that “in the last days perilous times (hard to bear, grievous) shall come.”  He then enumerated an impressive list of conditions which would be prevalent in the times which he referred to as “the last days.”

        I can well remember this passage in II Tim. 3:1-7 being used way back in the thirties as proof that we were then living in the last days.  Many preachers used this as one of their most popular texts: it was an effective weapon to use to “scare” people to embrace religion, especially if it were tied together with the “Imminent escape” doctrine.

        But, in retrospection of those days of deep financial depression and uncertainty, those years seem nearly idyllic in comparison to the past decade.  While it is true that there were undesirable conditions which existed throughout the world, the situation described by Paul was only applicable in a small way and in specific areas.

        For example, drugs were then a medicine which was bought at the “drug store” along with a hamburger or other sandwich, and where folks went for a cup of coffee or a lemonade.

        “Coke” was short for Coca-Cola, not a white powder designed to knock you out and enslave your soul.  Opium was something that the Chinese used but kept to themselves.  Marijuana was unheard of.  In rural areas, “dope” stood for any soft drink, while tobacco had not yet been certified by the Surgeon General to be harmful to one’s health; it was never laced with LSD, angel dust, or any other hallucinogenic substance.  That junk did not exist then.

        Sex before marriage was considered a disgrace; people who did such things were looked upon as highly immoral and unworthy of trust.  Abortion?  It wasn’t a part of the vocabulary.  Neither was pornography!

        College campuses had separate restrooms and bedrooms for their co-ed student bodies; students could be expelled for sexual misconduct; an at-school (or college) pregnancy was a sure ticket homeward.

        There were some divorces, but they were frowned upon by society in general.  It was generally conceded that a man who could not weather the storms of marital life was unreliable in other areas as well.

        Homosexuality either didn’t exist or was well hidden.  Occasionally, you might hear of a “queer,” but the discrimination against such was quite fierce.  It really wasn’t safe.

        One of the worst “crimes” in school was to chew gum during class, or to whisper to your neighbor!  Teachers were addressed as “Ma’am” and “Sir,” never by their first names, nor by “huh” or “yeah.”  And teachers dressed like teachers, not as students, nor rogues, nor bums.  The only male teacher to be seen without coat and tie was the coach, and that on rare occasions.

        In those days, you could tell the boys from the girls, from the back as well as the front; hairdos were considered either feminine or masculine, not bi-sexual.  And kids seemed to like their parents!

        You seldom ever heard of kids running away from home.  Home may not have been much, but it was still home, and there was “family” there.

        I’m not trying to glorify those days at all.  After all, there were those who were impressed with the degraded conditions which existed then, so much so that they thought the end was just around the corner.  But those of us who were there and are now here can make some fairly valid comparisons between the two eras.

        Crime has always existed in various forms, but the violence and terrorism which dominates the world today did not abound in such proportions.

Cause & Effect

        Since World War II there has been a steady (though sometimes erratic) increase in religion, both Christian and non-Christian.  In this country, there are new church buildings everywhere, and they are constantly being enlarged.  There are many congregations which boast over 2,000 members.  On the basis of statistical evidence one would think we have become a very spiritual nation.  But such is not the case.

        We have more reason now to believe that we are living in the last days than ever before.  If Paul’s message to Timothy is a fair gauge of last day conditions, certainly we must be there.

        But, how do we explain the side-by-side increase in religious interest, moral degradation, and violence?

        The answer is found in John 14:23: “If a man love me, he will keep my words.”

        Being religious, then, is no indication that a person loves Jesus Christ.  The evidence of love is obedience to His words!  Just as going to a movie does not make a person a “movie star,” so also, going to church does not make a person a Christian.  A Christian is one who loves Christ, and he who loves Christ takes delight in obeying Him.  The problems which we witness in society today are the result of total disregard for the words and commands of Jesus, for if His words were obeyed, those conditions would not exist.

        If Jesus’ words were followed, couples would not be breaking up, unmarrieds would not be sleeping around, crime would not be rampant, drugs would not be in demand, there would be no homosexuality, no wars, no violence, no hunger or starvation, no lack of any kind.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

        Jesus has the answer to every possible problem; after all, He is God!  For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).  To reject His words is to reject Him, also.  Yet, this is precisely the condition which prevails in the so-called Christian world.  Too many people are looking for the minimum allowable service to the King.

        It is true that a remnant will be saved (Jesus referred to these as “few.”) (Matt. 7:14).  This is because so few are willing to conform their lives to the pattern laid out by the words of the Master.  We have never claimed that it is an easy thing to do, but that it is possible.  If it were not possible, then He has commanded us to do that which can’t be done.

        We admonish you this day to consider carefully the sayings of Jesus, our Lord, King, and Saviour, then put forth every effort, with His help, to put those sayings into practice, for “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me” (John 14:21).

 

 

JUDGMENT ON THE WAY

Randall Walton

        “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living water, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).

        Anyone who is a student of the word, particularly the Old Testament, has no trouble beholding the terrible apostasy of ancient Israel.  One can only stand amazed as he surveys how the descendants of Abraham forsook and rejected the God who had shown Himself so strong on their behalf.

        After leading this mass of people (probably around two million) through the Red Sea on dry ground, the Lord fed them daily for forty long years.  He supplied them with plentiful water in a dry desert and preserved their clothing for that same forty years.  All the while, He beat back their enemies and watched over them by day and night with a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire.

        It seems that their hearts should never have ceased being grateful for all that He did for them, but such was not the case.  The books of the Old Testament are a veritable diary of their terrible failure to honor and obey God, or to be thankful for His mercies and patience.

        Have you ever asked yourself how you would have reacted to all the circumstances and privations which faced those tribal people?  It is quite possible that we all would have done little or no better than they.

        For substantiation of this assertion, consider how modern Israel, i.e., the church, has forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters; and the present-day church knows nothing about hardship, testings, or grueling living conditions on the scale which those people were obliged to endure.

        Most Christians delight in calling this nation (United States of America) a Christian nation.  There is no doubt that the founders of this nation intended that it become and be a society of Christian believers which would hold to high moral principles, reverence the Bible as the Word of God, and promote such moral principles among the young who were of school age.

        That dream failed early on as the standard for measuring the quality of the nation changed from moral goodness to the value of its gross national product (GNP).  And as the nation grew wealthier and bigger, it forsook the fountain of living water to a greater degree.

        We boast of nearly two hundred million church members in this country; but worldliness has replaced godliness, while loose living has taken the place of holiness.

        Proof of our having forsaken the Lord is found in the attitude of people toward the Bible, the word of God.  Since the publication of the Authorized Version (King James) in 1611, there have been numerous revisions, new translations, and many interpolations of the Holy Scriptures.  Several of these (per)versions were obvious attempts to make the Bible more palatable to modern man, to lessen the applicability of its obligations, to deprive it of its authentication, to bring it down to earth-man’s level.

        When it is not regarded as worthless folklore, it is considered no more than mere secular history colored by the personalities of its many authors.  Even in religious circles which claim to believe in the sacredness and inspiration of the Scriptures, there is a great effort to play down its importance as the standard for the conduct and behavior of people’s lives.

        Several polls have shown that most people spend more time watching TV than they do praying, worshipping, and studying their Bibles.  It is evident that God is considered very low on the priority scale; as if He is an afterthought, or something you think about only in an emergency.

        Without a doubt, there are individuals scattered about who sincerely desire to please God and to walk with Him, but it is evident that they represent a very small minority.  The majority have forsaken Him in deference to other things: a career, a home and family, wheels, money, prestige, sports, entertainment, politics, etc., all of which adds up to the fact that today’s people are no different from those who lived in the days of Jeremiah.

Broken Cisterns That Hold No Water

        Water is a life-sustaining element, an ingredient essential, not only to good health and well-being, but to life itself.  This holds true in spiritual matters as well as the physical.  Jesus said, He that believeth on me as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly (or inward parts) shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).  John went on to explain that He was speaking of the Holy Spirit which was not yet given.

        But the broken cisterns cannot receive nor contain this water of the Holy Spirit.  They are the works of men’s hands: “they have hewed them out.”

        Man has substituted his own ways in place of the ways of the Lord and, in so doing, has forsaken the living One and provided for himself a false hope.  It is understandable that the people of the world would do this, but when those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ succumb to things earthly, devilish, and carnal, then we know that judgment is not far off.

        Judgment comes in several different aspects in ways which directly affect people’s lives: natural disasters – earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, epidemics, plagues, etc.  God uses various means to try to reach the heart of man, and these natural calamities are possibly the only things which will cause man to call out to God.

        It is high time that God’s people go back to the Bible, back to the word of God, back to the ways of the Lord, back to His commandments and His will.  There will be a great increase in the number of and severity of judgments in the earth, and the Scriptures do not promise God’s people a secret catching away prior to these judgments.  There is some Scriptural evidence that God will provide for His people during that time, but it also points to the grim fact that only those who meet the standards of the Living God will be eligible for that provision.

        Let us return to the Fountain of Living Water, now!

 

 

THE FATHER’S WILL

Randall Walton

        Jesus, in a most amazing statement, placed very severe limitations upon the kind of people who will be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven.  “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).

        In this day of superficiality and lukewarm religion, such a statement of exclusivity seems grossly ludicrous, to say the least.  Modern teachings of universalism and easy salvation – “all roads lead to God” – make this saying of Jesus seem extraneous to the extreme.

        Yet, He was none other than the only begotten son of the Heavenly Father, whose claim was that He was merely the messenger of the Father: “I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him” (John 8:26).

        Therefore, the authority by which Jesus spoke was given Him by the Father, who audibly commanded the people to pay heed to the words of His Beloved Son!  The words of Jesus are the words of the Father; therefore, anyone who rejects the words of Jesus also spurns the Heavenly Father’s words.

        Entrance into the kingdom of heaven is contingent, then, upon one’s adherence to the will of the Father.  Jesus stated most emphatically and categorically that the only ones who will gain admittance into the kingdom will be the ones who practice obedience to the Father’s will – all others will be turned away!

        The awful moment of this pronouncement should be solemnly contemplated by everyone who considers himself/herself a Christian.  Too many of us have been playing roulette with the grace of God under the false assumption that God does strive forever, and that we will not reap as we have sown.

        But, our assumptions do not alter the words of God.  He will not always strive with man, neither will He revoke His law of reaping/sowing for the careless and disobedient.

What Is The Father’s Will?

        The Will of God can be found in the Word of God: they are synonymous.

        Since the message of Jesus is the message of the Father, then we can know the Will of the Father by reading the Words of Jesus.  They plainly spell out the Will of God in most graphic terms.  They tell us what to do and what not to do.  Moreover, only those who do this are eligible for the kingdom of heaven.

        In addition to following the will of the Father as revealed through the words of Jesus, God’s Will for our own personal, individual lives can be known by each of us.  Few people spend time seeking the Lord to know His Will before making their decision for a lifetime vocation or career.  Yet, every Christian should devote His life and energies to the cause of Jesus Christ according to the Father’s Will, not according to his own preferences.

        Most people choose a particular pursuit for economic considerations, or for special interests, then they ask God’s blessings upon that which they have chosen to do, as if God is obligated to expend His resources in support of their programs and plans.  This is generally known as putting the cart before the horse, a most untenable and ridiculous circumstance.

        Everyone who claims to follow Jesus Christ should spend time seeking guidance and counsel from the Lord in order to know the Father’s Will for their own lives.  It could be that instead of a preacher, you should be a plumber, or vice versa.  And it is terribly important that each of us know the Father’s Will for ourselves personally, then do it with all our hearts.

        If everyone who professes to be a Christian were totally committed to doing His Will, the world could be a better place to live.  Unfortunately, it is not that way.  But let every person be fully aware of the fact that the Master has stated that only those who conform to the Father’s Will shall gain admittance to the heavenly kingdom!

        What more can we add to that?

 

 

HOLY WORD OF GOD!

Randall Walton

        Mankind has always been involved in the relentless pursuit of material gain, both in possessions and money.  The acquiring of wealth is the driving ambition of virtually all mankind, a drive which is common to nearly all Americans because of our emphasis upon affluence and “success.”

        Sad to say, many American Christians believe that wealth is God’s badge of honor, His stamp of approval of their lives, His sign and seal of certification!  But they evidently only read those few Scripture verses which become very pliable in the hands of a skillful manipulator.

        The thirst for wealth, whether in the abundance of things or purchasing power, is nothing other than covetousness, which the Scriptures say is idolatry!  This sin is self-perpetuating; that is, those who are caught up in this are never satisfied.  When one goal is reached, another takes its place, much like an endless roller coaster.

        If a neighbor buys some new gadget, this acts as a launch pad for others to do the same: a new car, a new house, an addition to the new house, new furniture to match the new house, new wardrobe to go with the other amenities, etc.

        Since most people do not have ready cash to pay for their covetousness, they bow down to the installment plan whereby they are charged exorbitant interest rates and thereby imprison themselves to a burdensome and demanding system of periodic payments, thus becoming virtual slaves to a diabolic means of material possessions – all of which is diametrically opposed to the words and sayings of Jesus.

        “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”: (Luke 12:15).  It is clear that most Americans don’t believe these words!

        “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth” (Matt. 5:19).

        “Take no thought (be not anxious or fearful) for the morrow” (Matt. 6:34).

        In addition to the apparent disparity between the words of Jesus and the practices of the average American is the effect which the “abundance of possessions” has upon most people.  It is a fact that the human heart becomes attached to material things (which is why covetousness is called idolatry), so much so that the love of the possessions gradually replaces the love for God in the heart and affections of the believer.  The result is a life devoid of the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit.

        This accounts for the superficiality of the Christian religion in this country.  People are religious but not spiritual!  The message contained in the letter to the church of the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:14-18) is certainly applicable to this present time, a time of lukewarmness, neither cold nor hot.  To be “rich and increased with goods” is certainly no standard to be followed, yet this is the goal and ambition of the average professing Christian.

        It is appropriate that we measure ourselves by the word of God and not by the standard of living which is established by our federal legislators and society.  A Christian’s life should be governed by God’s standards and nothing else.

        One way to control the situation is to buy nothing which you cannot pay for with cash, and to limit purchases to what you need, rather than buying whatever appeals to you.  This is one sure way of staying out of debt.

        As time goes by, it becomes increasingly more important to remain debt free.  We believe that a great economic crisis is looming ahead, and those who will be most prepared to meet the challenges and hardships of that time will be those who have taken seriously the words “owe no man anything”!

 

 

OBEDIENCE IS LIFE

Randall Walton

        It seems necessary for us to repeat over and over the absolute necessity for the followers of Jesus Christ to fully obey the commands which fell from the lips of our blessed Saviour.  It saddens our hearts when we observe the utter disregard for, and the complacency toward, the message of the Master by the majority of professing Christians.

        Disobedience to God’s voice has always been gross sin.  This is one of the indispensable lessons which has been taught to us through the experience of ancient Israel, of which Paul said happened to them for examples unto us, that we should not make the same mistakes which they did (I Cor. 10:1-12)!

Paul’s Warning

        The Apostle reminds the body of Corinth (which, therefore, applies to us) of Israel’s blatant disregard for the word of God.  He states the nature of their sins and tells of the drastic results for their transgressions.

        Now, we are being told that God doesn’t work that way any more.  Now He is all grace, mercy, and love – no more of that stern judgment.  If this is so, then those things did not take place with Israel for our examples, and Paul was wasting his ink by saying so.  We really need to settle this in our hearts!  Did Israel’s mistakes serve as warnings and examples to us or not?

        If not, then we might as well go ahead and have our fun and enjoy the lust of the flesh to the full, because God will overlook it all and eventually beg us to accept His love and grace.

        But if Paul was correct (we say he was), then the fate that befell Israel by the judgment of the living, loving God, will be meted out to all those who reject the voice of the Lord.  “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” (II Thess. 1:7-8).

Two Classes Of Sinners

        Pay close attention to this message: there are two separate classes of people who are designated to receive the vengeful judgment of Jesus when He comes.

        1.  Those who do not know God.  These, of course, are the unsaved, the sinner and the ungodly.  Religious affiliation is not involved at all.  Many people think that because they go to church regularly they have won God’s favor.  Church membership does not guarantee that a person knows God or will ever come to know Him.  The whole world knows about God; even a professed atheist has been known to call on God in a crisis!

        The problem is that so few ever surrender their wills and their lives to the Lord in a measure appropriate to really introduce them to God.  They have a head knowledge about Him and may even become thoroughly indoctrinated in theology, but still fall short of knowing Him.

        To know Him is to fellowship with Him, to converse with Him, to be in His presence, to be aware of His holiness, His righteousness, His majesty.  And John stated that “hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (I John 2:3).

        What about the untold millions of people who do not keep His commandments, both the unbeliever and the professed believer?  “He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:4).

        It is quite plain, then, that knowing God and keeping His commands are complements in a walk with God.

        2.  Those who do not obey the gospel!  This class of people is one of the most tragic of all, for they have no doubt heard the Good News (the gospel of the kingdom) but have rejected it because its demands were too great.  Consider the commands of the King, Jesus. In many instances they appear unreasonable, unjust, contrary to human ability to do.

        Jesus confronted every area of man’s existence and had something cogent and relevant to say about it.  He made it very plain about what was expected of the citizens of His kingdom, and He forewarned all men about the consequences of rejecting His words:  Remember, His commands are not grievous nor unreasonable (I John 5:3).

        They are founded upon love – love for God first, and love for one’s fellow man.  They state the nature of love and the proper behavior for those who do love.  They also provide a standard of measure whereby we may judge ourselves in respect of our love toward God and others.  They are the solution for man’s inner turmoil and struggles with self and selfish desires.  And it is good news that He has given us the ability to obey them (John 1:12).

But Who Cares?

        Disregard for the words of the Lord is nothing new.  Man’s history through the ages is one of total rejection of God’s instructions and counsel.  With but few exceptions, man has been a chronic rebel, insistent on having his own way.  This present generation seems to have put forth special effort to become the most defiant and arrogant of all times.  The insolence and pride is etched into the very faces of people.  Organized rebellion, both active and passive, is a way of life for many, and this includes the ranks of those who claim Jesus to be their Lord!  They will not have Him to reign over them (Luke 19:14).  Great sermons are being preached in an effort to convince people it is all right to disregard the law of God.

Disobedience

        Disobedience comes in different garbs and sizes, but it is still disobedience.  Those who do not “obey the gospel” refuse to submit to or come under the terms of the gospel.  The Greek word that appears here is the root for “hear” with the prefix which means “under.”  The implication is that those who obey must subject themselves, or “come under” the word which is spoken.  This they will not do.

        There is another side of disobedience which is just as detrimental as the above.  The Greek root is also “hear,” but it has the prefix “para-” which means alongside, or parallel to.  This describes the person who refuses to hear.  He is within range of “hearing,” but he turns his attention elsewhere.  He deliberately closes his mind to the message in much the same way the people “stopped their ears” at the preaching of Stephen (Acts 7:57).  The end result is the same: disobedience to the word spoken!

        Still another form of disobedience is a state of carelessness and disorder.  Paul warns that the children of an elder are not to be unruly (Titus 1:6), a type of disobedience in which a child is difficult to keep under control.  He hears the rules with his ears, but his own will pulls him another direction.  This is rank insubordination, and it may be practiced either actively or passively.  Either way, it is still disobedience.

        Many Christians live this way.  They don’t actually deny the Lord nor openly rebel against His commands, but they will take the path of least resistance and look for any kind of loophole or excuse to get around what God has said to do.  They give half-hearted service to the Lord.  They are careless about their testimony before the world and are just Christian enough to avoid being classed as heathen.  These are the kind described in Revelation 3 as neither cold nor hot!

        The fourth type of disobedience is that which is called unbelief in Heb. 4:6,11 in the KJV.  Many other translations say disobedience rather than unbelief.  Israel did not enter into God’s rest because of unbelief/disobedience.  These two words are interchangeable in these passages and mean the same thing.

        Those people did not believe God.  They did not take Him seriously; therefore, they would not obey Him.  Theirs was obstinate rebellion to the divine will.  This was most vividly demonstrated when Israel demanded a king like unto the other nations.

        The prophet, Samuel, warned them that their asking for a king was a rejection of God’s kingship and rule, and he described the injustices that their king would place upon them.  “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us” (I Sam. 8:19,20).

        They really preferred their way to God’s way!  So, they openly rebelled against the rulership of the Almighty and chose for themselves an inferior way, the way of the carnal man.

Rebellion Is Still Popular

        The very mention of the word “law” in most Christian circles today is enough to start the adrenalin flowing and the carnal man raging.  The law of God is thought of as a horrible enemy, some sort of monstrous creature that will put you under terrible bondage and deprive you of your spiritual liberty.  This is one of the reasons why the words of Jesus are so despised.

        It is plain to a student of the word that the sayings of Jesus are “pure law” (C.I. Scofield), and since they are, they must be repudiated, because “we are not under the law, but under grace.”  Christians, therefore, are justified in the eyes of the modern clergy to hold high disdain for rules, regulations, orders, commands, or anything that bears the slightest scent of law; the idea is that if there is no law, then you can’t disobey it; therefore, you can’t be held accountable for it.

        But, if there is no law, then there is no sin (sin is transgression of the law, I John 3:4), and if there is no sin, then there are no sinners.  And if there are no sinners, everybody is saved!  Right?

        Wrong!  Those who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ will receive swift judgment when Jesus returns to take vengeance upon them.  “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).  To “receive” His words is to embrace them, to adhere to them…to obey them.

        We are now living in the last days, a period of time when God will “measure His temple” to make sure it meets the specifications of His standards, and those standards are laid out for us in the words of His beloved Son.

        We can expect to witness some appalling events in the next few years.  There are many militant forces building up in various parts of the world who are engaged in undeclared war with western/Christian nations (e.g., the present state of Islamic countries who are demanding “death to America,” “death to Britain,” etc.).  This venomous hatred is certain to grow until there is an eruption of violence into which many nations will be drawn.

        Will God allow this to become one means of punishing the “Christian” nations for their refusal to obey the commands of His Son?  We have proclaimed to the whole world that we are “under God,” that “In God We Trust,” and that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ to proclaim to every creature, but we have then instructed them that once they say they are Christian and join the church of their choice they’ve got a through, free ticket to God!

        How long, how long will He allow the charade to continue?  How long until the cup of lawlessness and iniquity has overflowed?  Our hope today is to return to the Book Of The Lord, the Constitution of the kingdom of God, apply its laws, its statutes and commands to our daily lives, and “teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever” Jesus commanded His disciples to do (Matt. 28:19,20).

 

 

RESPONSIBILITY

Randall Walton

        “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (overindulgence, excess, especially in food and drink), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  For as a snare (a trap) shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:34,35).

        Never before have events of mankind been measured on the scale of “the whole earth.”  We are witnessing, at the present moment, happenings in various areas of Europe and the Middle East that are global in their influence and effects.  What is taking place in the Middle East is having a tremendous parallel effect throughout the free world and independent nations.

        To deny the significance of these major eruptions among the populace of those suppressed peoples is to deny the existence of the powerful forces of evil as described in the Bible.  We don’t attempt to foretell every move which the “powers-that-be” will make, nor do we claim to know the exact identity of every potentate and governmental authority among the many nations of the world.  But there are a few things which stand out plain and clear, one of which is Jesus’ own prophetic word that disaster and calamity will come as a great surprise (a snare) upon humanity.

        People everywhere should know by this time that it is foolish to trust the Islamic nations.  They hold the world’s record for disregarding and abrogating treaties and alliances.  Their allegiance is to Mohammed and the teachings of the Quran, which promotes Jihad or holy war; and they are encouraged to lie, connive, kill or whatever it takes to promote their faith, making treaties only good to the degree that they aid their evil cause.  Islam’s goal is world conquest for the cause of Allah and to annihilate those who will not conform, especially Jews and Christians.  No matter what events transpire in the Middle East, their ultimate goal will always remain the same.

Atheism

        The underlying thesis of communism is atheism.  And from that one basic foundation – the idea that there is no final authority, no supreme, austere, all-powerful, all-knowing, invisible entity – has sprung forth every known sin, criminal act, and debauched doctrine known to mankind, from the hell-inspired origin of species (or evolution) to the current avalanche of amorality which is sweeping the world.

If there is no God, or creator, then evolution stands as a viable dogma.  And if evolution is a fact, then a supreme being (God) is unnecessary, for man and all other living things are able to cope without any outside interference or influence; he is fully capable of guiding his own affairs, establishing his own standards of moral (or amoral or immoral) behavior, with all final decisions coming from the master(s) of the herd.

        This (atheism) is the major premise of most of the decadent movements in the world today.  It is the chief cornerstone, not only of communism, but of humanism, the new age cult, evolution (which is a major religion), and other godless organizations.

Irresponsibility

        The doctrine of evolution places man in the role of an animal, a somewhat sophisticated animal, true, but nevertheless an evolving animal, moved and governed by instinct, fate, and happenstance, therefore, without clear and distinct guidelines for moral rectitude and responsibility.

        Some of the results of this fiendish teaching are all round about us today: sexual experimentation by the very, very young (some young, four legged animals do it, why shouldn’t we?), soaring divorce rates, wanton murder via abortion, widespread homosexuality and lesbianism; in short, whatever springs from irresponsibility.  For the only logical final conclusion one can draw from an atheistic point of view, is that man is not responsible for his actions and deeds.  Fate is the controlling factor (survival of the fittest).

        By this erroneous reasoning, right is only relative to circumstance and situation, and anything can be right so long as no harmful effects are the result of any given action.

        Thus, we have the growing belief that homosexuality is permissible, since a meaningful(?) relationship can be realized through it, and no harm is produced thereby.  Even though the scourge of AIDS was originally attributed mainly to the subculture of homosexual men, there seemed to be a sigh of relief when it began proliferating among the ranks of the heterosexuals.  It was as if this was proof that they were not responsible for the spread of this sodomite disease.

        And the cover-up is further bolstered by the attempt to “Christianize” the sodomite community (we refuse to call them “gay”).  There is no such thing as a homosexual or lesbian Christian.  The Bible is clear that all such are an abomination and reprobate in the eyes of God (Rom. 1:24-28).  If we believe the Bible is the word of God we must stand firm on this point and insist that all such repent of their evil ways, renounce and denounce such practices, and accept the responsibility for precipitating a horrible disease that could soon wipe out vast segments of our population.

        An editorial in a past U.S. News & World Report, “Epidemics and Delusions,” is concerning AIDS and the statistics regarding it.  The article states that between 5 and 10 million people worldwide are infected with the virus, and that all that is needed for a global explosion is for each infected person to infect one other person in ten years!

        A direct quote from the editorial follows: “Consider this: If a test to detect the presence of the virus had not be developed in 1984, where would the virus be now?  The blood supply was already contaminated, and there would have been nothing to stop the virus from establishing itself in the general population.  People infected by blood transfusions, not knowing they were carrying the virus, would have infected their sexual partners.  Mothers would have spread it to their children.  Many of these people, in turn, could have become blood donors themselves.  We…had…a…close…call.

        “Even so, AIDS is now in every state of the Union, probably infects more than a million Americans, and is inching beyond the high-risk groups.”

        The editorial was mainly a plea for monetary aid for more research for a cure of AIDS, but it was most interesting to find a major publication admitting to the lack of responsibility of “the high-risk groups.”

        This same air of nonchalance pervades society in nearly every aspect of life.  Responsibility is a bad word to many people, and because of this attitude, disaster waits for the right moment to strike.

        Irresponsibility is evident when certain characters in big businesses squander billions of dollars, and the taxpayers are required to pay off the debt.  Irresponsibility is rampant when women and girls are encouraged to play around sexually and use abortion as a means of birth control.  Irresponsibility is a way of life when the general population is called upon to guarantee “safe sex” to a perverted generation.

        While all of this goes on, the hands of the clock are moving inexorably to the moment when the trap is sprung.  This is no time for “surfeiting, drunkenness, and the cares of this life” to be a part of the Christians’ way of life.  While we may have no problem with drunkenness, how many of us are burdened down with the pursuit of money and the things it can buy for us (cares of this life)?  The responsibility lies upon us to see that “that day” does not come upon us unawares.  God does hold us responsible, or accountable, for our actions, deeds, and habits (Matt. 16:27; II Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10; Rev. 20:21).

 

 

2012 PASSOVER OBSERVANCE

        People of the Living God will be observing the Passover on April 6th this year.  This is figured by counting fourteen days after the first new moon after the vernal equinox.  The Passover then begins on the fourteenth day at sundown, the fourteenth day being April 5th.  People of the Living God will observe April 6th as the Passover Sabbath and the following Thursday, April 12th, as a Sabbath, which concludes the Passover season.  We realize this is not according to the calendar but counting from the first new moon after the vernal equinox brings us to this conclusion.  We send this notice to all the readers of "Testimony of Truth" who are also observing the Passover Feast.  We pray God will richly bless you during this time of praise and worship of Christ, Who is our Passover Lamb.