Friday, November 10, 2006

Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall - Chapter 3 - TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES

Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall

Chapter Three
Truth or Consequences

The Bible warns of an upsurge in satanic activities. We’re told that his invisible sway has affected all nations, deceiving the whole world (Rev. 12:9). It’ll soon threaten Earth’s very existence! Dark storm clouds are gathering, preparing to cover every continent—but there is a silver lining.

As global tensions increase, and threats of confrontation escalate, we might very well wonder whether humanity will survive. UNLESS there’s a GOD to intervene, we have a bleak future indeed—a DEAD PLANET! Will Earth become a nuclear fireball? Will charred bones—aftermath of unleashed atomic fires—and the smoldering ruins of a suicidal civilization be all that’s left?

What’s this world coming to? Its prophesied end. God told Adam and Eve the facts of life and they chose death. We’ve all rejected what’s good for us and insist on doing our own thing. Everybody has chosen to snub God and eat the forbidden fruit.

The Eternal Creator God, in His dealings with men and nations, has always afforded us a choice. Man has been made a free moral agent and isn’t an idle automaton. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon mankind to CHOOSE what they are going to do: follow God’s Book of Life or go it on their own. But a sobering RESPONSIBILITY accompanies that freedom of choice.

The Great Lawgiver has decreed that man must assume responsibility for his actions, and in a sense, for the collective actions of the nation as a whole. The Supreme Judge of the Universe has now chosen—in these last days of civilization (as we know it)—to call mankind to an accounting. Where will we stand? Where will YOU stand? It’s time we find out. This is a LIFE and DEATH situation!

God is again about to offer His Holy Spirit (the Tree of Life) to mankind. But God is first, as a witness, thundering to our lethargic world that we’ve been deceived. We’ve got to WAKE UP to what’s really going on, and be warned about catastrophic events ready to strike. We’d better take action and make drastic changes.

In order to escape atomic annihilation, we’ve got to turn around
and go the other way. We’re headed in the wrong direction! The fate
of our nation hangs in the balance. The choice of continued freedom
and national existence is up to Washington (London, Jerusalem,
Pretoria…) and every British-Israelite capital to decide.

Will we act now to halt America’s decline in the face of the dangerous European ascent? It’s extremely urgent that we recognize the serious significance of worsening world conditions and its relationship to the U.S. scapegoat—IF we’re to avert a crisis situation and violent confrontation with an INDEPENDENT EUROPE. Regardless, God will remember His many promises to offer us His Holy Spirit again. We can either learn our lessons now (by believing the Bible about imminent national destruction)—or reject God’s warning and scoff at it, as usual, only to have a RUDE AWAKENING in concentration camps. What will it be?

Our Dying Civilization

We’re living in a sick world. This dying age desperately needs God’s Tree of LIFE and its healing qualities (Rev. 22:2). Will we get help? Or will we go on like sheep to the slaughter? Why see how close to the edge we can get? Why deliver our loved ones into the rough hands of those who hate us? Why surrender to enemy terror and the savage state of near extermination?

Yes, from that selfish act in Eden, the whole course of history was set, and the entire world has been swept away. That “crime of the centuries” opened up the floodgates of hell. We’re still suffering its consequences. The daily newspapers and evening news testifies that we’re WITHOUT EXCUSE! Our own way has not been better! Civilization is about to die—the end result of going the WRONG

In the face of such a frightening torrent of sin, there appeared One Man who dared to stand up against it. By divine conviction, He defied the “impossible” by living in harmony with the Tree of Life, despising the lie of the Tree of Death and rejecting its “advances.” By that One Man’s bold action and divine initiative, the way has now been reopened to the Tree of Life (1 Pet. 2:21).

The Tree of Life and its immortal fruit had been off-limits, closed to mankind, because God refuses to impart God-Life to “hardened criminals” (Heb. 3:13). But now, through Christ, we can have direct access to that Tree and to the Father (whom mankind still doesn’t know). We’re afforded the priceless opportunity to live a new and different life, in loving obedience, having been rescued from our old ways and forgiven our ignorance.

Through this comparatively chosen few—who’ve had their eyes opened to see this world for what it really is, in contrast to what it can become with God’s Help—God has prepared the foundation for His coming Kingdom (John 14:1-3). Just as Satan took advantage of Adam’s deceived descendants (to fill the earth with violent lies and a corrupt system), God will utilize those enlightened in Christ to teach the truth and administer proper justice (Rom. 5:19).

A Nation of Drug Addicts

Presently God’s truth is suppressed. Pagan superstitions have clouded Christianity and dulled too many minds (2 Cor. 4:4). We haven’t been enlightened by God’s truth—we have been DECEIVED by Satan’s lies! His serpentine ministers have been working overtime and have drugged our nations into a comatose state. They’ve poisoned churches with venom and smitten fools with “love.“

WAKE UP, AMERICA, lest you die in your sleep! America’s hour has arrived to receive her last WARNING! If we stumble, England and Israel will fall too!

We haven’t known the liberating truth of God—instead we’ve been chained to tradition. We’re about to come to a grinding halt, due to an “oil shortage” (Matt. 25:8). That proper understanding is only available by an acceptable attitude and response (Ps. 111:10)—a biblical standard we’re supposed to uphold (Isa. 62:10), not just stand by and watch as it’s tossed to the side by rambling ministers (Acts 5:29, 32).

We’re headed for disaster! We’ve been deceived and don’t even realize it yet. We’ve been misled by siren songs and religious lullabies (Isa. 30:10). Sugarcoated sermons (lacking real substance), pretty prayers, and nice thoughts can’t save us! Many, unable to be sustained on such an unhealthy diet, will succumb to malnutrition and die, their bellies bloated with their preacher’s hot air (Amos 8:11, 2 Pet. 2:18). All the altar calls in the world can’t save a single soul—if they’re only coming back to human traditions and not to God (Hos. 7:14, 16).

No Holding Back

God understands many are sincere, but sincerely wrong, having been led astray. That’s why God has raised up this Work to “CRY ALOUD, SPARE NOT, lift up your voice like a trumpet [warning of war], and show My people [the Church/Synagogue] their transgressions [cause of coming war], and the House of Jacob [the Nation] their sins” (Isa. 58:1). We need honest individuals to explain
what our nation is doing wrong, to show us where we’re off-track, and point us back in the right direction. You’re reading the “instructions” right now!

GOD’S CHURCH MUST COME OUT OF THE CLOSET and get the Word out to the GENERAL PUBLIC—not just preach to a converted audience or attempt to reach only the “religious” world. God’s ministers need to quit hiding behind the podium and TAKE IT TO THE STREET! Otherwise God will hold such people responsible for the deaths of millions! Why would God warn His own people about this scenario if it weren’t possible? It is possible. God’s servants are to speak out and be heard.

God’s Church has been charged to get the Word out to all the world and make disciples (students) within every nation, teaching them to follow Jesus’ teachings. What did Jesus teach? He boldly proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God, the immortal Family of God-Beings soon to reign over all the earth. He also taught His students how to live a life that graces the Gospel and
compliments the Kingdom. We’re to become more godly, more Christ-like, more Kingdom-like, daily, in anticipation of its Dawn.

But Jesus also warned of TURBULENT TIMES to occur just before His landing on the Mount of Olives to liberate Jerusalem and secure David’s Throne (leading to Israel’s deliverance). We know that certain prophecies were not to be fulfilled until these “last days.” Therefore their sealed messages weren’t to break their silence until the appointed time (Dan. 12:9). With the advent of the nuclear age,
we’ve been living, for the first time in history, with the weapons of mass destruction that can erase all life from off planet Earth (Matt. 24:21-22).

The early Church preached the Gospel, but within the framework of addressing issues and concerns of their time and place. For example, they emphasized Jesus’ necessary death and resurrection. (The biblical approach is to offer “meat in due season,” custom-made messages that are tailored for the times. We’re to become “all things to all men,” using current events as a prop and a podium). They preached Christ and Him crucified, and didn’t deal with Jesus’ prophecy about Jerusalem’s imminent fall and the Temple’s destruction. Why? It wouldn’t affect the daily lives and national affairs of their Gentile audience.

However, today the European Beast is taking shape and form before us, while the American, British and Jewish peoples continue their nosedive to oblivion. Both of these intertwined events were clearly prophesied (Lev. 26 Deut. 28). And it’s only with our God-given understanding of biblical prophecy that we can see where these trends are rapidly heading.

Both Daniel and the Book of Revelation reveal a Gentile confederation of nations to emerge upon the world scene just before Messiah comes, wrecking havoc upon Israel and opposing the Heavenly Army (Dan.7, Rev. 13 17). These prophesied headlines will directly affect the lives of every member of God’s Church and Israelite nations! Therefore these “geopolitical” prophecies are most personal and pertinent.

It was necessary for God to first IDENTIFY ISRAEL today (the so-called Lost Ten Tribes) so the Church could deliver His message to them, preserved by the Prophets for our time. We’re to warn the sinful Israelite nations that the Holocaust was only a preview of what’s to come! The Holocaust punished some and persecuted others. Many different groups and organizations (for better and for worse) have helped to restore Israel’s identity. But Herbert W. Armstrong was the most influential, through his inspiring book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, as God ordained (Isa. 49:6). How else could we go with the Gospel to the “lost sheep of the House of Israel” unless God directed us? How could we warn about the imminent “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” unless God sent us?

Many professing-Christian ministries today are lost in their own little religious worlds (Ezek 34:4-5). They still don’t know or care who Israel is or reject our identity (yet express great interest in our Jewish brethren), although God expects His shepherds to help remind Israel of our biblical roots and responsibilities and regather them as “One Nation under God,” a truly “United Kingdom” (Ezek.37: 22). It appears that they’re happy believing they’re Gentiles (with their
counterfeit Christianity) and don’t want to return to biblical ways and days, preferring their perverted scatter-brain traditions (2 Chron. 30:10, Hos. 1:9).

Early Warning System

Although we can’t know the exact time or date of World War III, we can know when it’s very near! Jesus taught that the end time would be very similar to Noah’s time and how it was in Sodom and Gomorrah. Didn’t Noah know what was about to happen? Wasn’t Lot warned about imminent destruction? YES! Biblical precedent provides the proof that God’s People won’t be left without a clue (Amos 3:7).

God’s Church, His called-out ones (drafted to be delightfully different and wonderfully weird, living “ahead of our time”), are called Children of Light (1 Pet. 4:4, 1 Thes. 5:1-6). We haven’t been left in the dark, in stark contrast to those around us who know the latest weather report but miss the significance of the times. Too many remain oblivious (Matt. 16:2-3) to the fact that a EUROPEAN
STORM IS BREWING! Many won’t realize it until its HIT HOME and they’re devastated!

There’s precious little time left to help sound the alarm and let the sirens go off! We’re supposed to serve as God’s EARLY WARNING SYSTEM (Jer. 44:4). From the Watchtower of Faith we’re able to see what’s on the horizon and pick up on our spiritual radar screen the clear and present danger Europe presents. We know
what’s going to happen, based upon biblical facts, and declare it with confidence (Rom. 4:17).

If we don’t help warn the world, giving everybody a chance to escape, we’ll be held accountable for their deaths (Ezek. 3:18). Isaiah 42:19 warns about God’s servant going blind and His messenger going deaf. Isaiah 56:10 rebukes blind watchman and dumb watchdogs that don’t know how to bark and are asleep on the job. Obviously God didn’t “hire” them that way!

This is so serious that God must warn us about it (and you’re being warned right now), because apparently many won’t pass this part of our Christian test, deserting our posts, and running like Jonah! Such Christian-doves will get swallowed up in the belly of the Beast! There’s nothing new under the Sun: just as Jesus’ closest friends fell asleep just before His trial and crucifixion, it appears some will nod off just before our Church and nations are scourged.

An important part of Jesus’ teachings— relevant to this generation—are the WARNING SIGNS of what’s about to strike (Luke 21:36), so everyone can prayerfully watch and seek shelter before it’s too late. But we’re to share His survival course with others so they can know what to look for and expect and how to receive around-the-clock protection by trusting in Him. We can help save lives and prepare people for what’s just ahead (Jude 23), whether it’s World War III or the Lake of Fire.

Signs reveal what direction we’re heading and how close we’re getting to that destination. We’re to share our God-given light of understanding with the world that they may be warned. That is our solemn privilege and responsibility. How nations or individuals respond is not our responsibility, it is between God and them. Ezekiel’s warning message is the same as Jesus’ and Paul’s: repent or face God’s judgment. Likewise, Revelation’s message is to repent of such things as murder, occult practices, immorality, idolatry, etc. and begin to obey God’s commandments and hang on for dear life to Jesus’ teachings (in attitude and actions, in word and in works). However, God has decreed that His final warning to the world before the Storm breaks should be directed to His People Israel, now identified as prophesied, and that it should include exposing the European Beast as a satanic system opposed to God’s saints and government.

IF God preferred that we stuck to a general message of salvation rather than to warn about a specific POLITICO-RELIGIOUS POWER rising in Europe, then He wouldn’t have given us such inspired details in the Bible! Those who think otherwise are vainly dismissing the Prophets and Revelation as unnecessary! They think they’re so smart but actually they’re fools (Rom. 1:22 Job 38:2).
God knows what He’s doing. Anyone can preach a generic message, but only the Children of Light can understand the fine print in God’s Word and reveal His Secrets to mankind.

All the magicians put together, in the times of Joseph and Daniel, couldn’t provide the right answer to the questions of their day (Gen. 41, Dan. 2:30), yet those two witnesses gave God the glory and revealed information that could only come from God. Likewise, God expects us to share HIS DIVINE REVELATION (Isa. 48:6). This deeper understanding and special relationship with God and His Word ought to be evident to outsiders as something truly unique (Deut. 4:6-7 John 15:15).

May God’s Church share all the teachings of Jesus with everyone. Those priceless teachings about the Kingdom of God, faith and forgiveness, also warn about frightening events that’ll signal the end of this age and help usher in the Wonderful World Tomorrow.

May we faithfully explain the spiritual significance of today’s bad news (through the light of biblical prophecy) and emphasize the GOOD NEWS that we have a Savior from sin and a Deliverer from men!

Don’t compromise God’s message to appease us—that’s not love. Challenge our conventional thinking. Get us good and angry. You might save us! We need our sins clearly defined and spelled out, because we wouldn’t guess the half of them. They’ve been whitewashed. The Enemy has cleverly embedded them in religion.
He knows that’s the last place most people would look. But religion is a big part of our downfall!

God hasn’t written us off—yet. For the most part, God’s been letting us stumble on in our own ways, and simply pay the price and exact the natural consequences of our actions (Jer. 2:19). God hasn’t intervened (as a general rule), but has basically followed a hands-off policy. But God is now taking an active interest in our affairs, and with decisive action has brought our Israelite nations into JUDGMENT!

God charges us with constant violations, and presents our mounting infractions as evidence against us. We’re now required to act upon what God’s revealing and make due restitution. We’re now obligated, as never before, to change or stand corrected. We’re now held accountable for what we know (unable to claim ignorance), and are henceforth responsible for all that we choose to do (John 15:22).

God’s making His SENTENCE known! We can try and ignore it, but it won’t go away. We’re free to reject it and return to our old ways of thinking but God has graciously warned us to avoid those “condemned buildings.” He doesn’t want anybody trapped inside (2 Kgs. 10:23, 2 Pet. 3:9).

Our PROBATION is intended to give us the necessary time to prove that we’ve changed course, that we want what’s right—it’s not a written excuse to continue in wrongdoing (Gen. 19:17). Pardon isn’t permission. Mercy is an opportunity. God doesn’t excuse those who would abuse this grace period (Rom. 2:4).

We can’t keep living a lie once God’s shown us the truth. We’re WITHOUT EXCUSE. God’s stripping away every distortion and wants the facts to speak for themselves. We can’t honestly disagree with God’s words or reasonably argue against His wisdom (Acts 6:10).

An Unholy Trinity

Atheists and agnostics, due to an ignorant “intellectualism” that has closed their minds to common sense, have arrogantly attempted to deny the Creator’s existence. They’ve foolishly rejected the facts of nature for the superstition of vain theories (Rom. 1:22). They’re deceived, having devoured the forbidden fruit that promised them a “higher education” (Gen. 3:5). They’ve simply been brainwashed—blinded by a stubborn pride and ensnared by ego.

The scientific community (those members who reject supernatural evidence) have taken advantage of the respect society has shown them. They’ve abused their authoritative positions to preach belief in their unholy trinity: evolution, humanism, and ethical relativism. Those illegitimate children (of Einstein’s theory
of relativity) deny God’s existence, insist that there aren’t any absolutes, and consequently judge everything by human standards (1 Tim. 6:20, Rom. 1:18-20).

But they’ve got it all wrong! They’re still searching for the “missing link” to confirm their faith! They know they’re “not all there.” They’re incomplete without that conclusive proof. But they’re looking in the wrong direction. We’re to look up to God and consider our awesome potential (Ps. 8). Prisoners of the past, their
fossilized minds are oblivious to our Link with the future. Man’s connection with animals is basic: we’re both made of matter (Gen. 2:7, 19). But man’s relationship with God offers unlimited opportunities! Christ is the Missing Link (Gen. 28:12). Not between man and animals, but between God and man. He
enables us to rise above ourselves, partake of the divine nature, and anticipate our transformation into glorious spirit (1 Cor. 15:49-53). Human beings, through the purifying process of conversion (Ps. 82:6), become God-Beings! Mortals made immortal—not through evolution, but by a resurrection!

Scientists are welcome in God’s Kingdom also. They’re not the only ones who’ve been confused about their “calling.” Unfortunately, religious superstitions (and scandals) have been a stumbling block to atheists, and have prejudiced their minds against all religion. That pitiful fact doesn’t justify narrow-minded men, but it helps us to understand some of their concerns.

Catholics and Protestants

What about TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANITY? Has it escaped from Satan’s clutches? Avoided his international deception? Are we hesitant, even fearful, to slaughter that sacred cow? The golden calf (of cherished beliefs) must also go through God’s fire to test its authenticity. Will it hold up? God commands us to “PROVE ALL THINGS” (1 Thes. 5:21). It’s a lifelong process of refining.

Haven’t most of us taken our doctrines for granted? Trusted our Church leaders to tell us the truth? Didn’t the entire Protestant movement result from a serious cross-examination of their Catholic mother? Did they find everything in order or disarray? Could the Protestant groups also be wrong? Is it impossible for them to be filled with error and deceit? Shouldn’t we check it out? Don’t we owe it to
others and ourselves? We’ve nothing to lose and salvation to gain! Let’s dare open our eyes to see such “time-honored” traditions for what they are (Acts 17:11). But first let’s examine the record of ancient Israel, “the Church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38).

God had repeatedly warned Israel to beware the Gentile influence about them. Moses stressed the importance of not underestimating the religious pull of the pagans and exhorted Jacob to resist their evil and steer clear of Canaan’s customs.

Nevertheless, Israel became polluted by too close of contact with the ways of this world, and subverted from within by that “mixed multitude” that had followed them out of Egypt. Obviously, too many had only physically left Egypt, but secretly, in their hearts and minds, remained behind (Acts 7:39).

God jolted Israel when He rejected their religion (as it had become) and forced them to face reality: they were fired! God’s “Private Tutor”—trained to help mankind—had quit going by the Book! Their lesson-plan, trying to receive accreditation from others, began to include more human ideas, at the expense of God’s truth.

Jacob lost his credentials, forgot his background material, and neglected his own education.

Much to their DISBELIEF and ANGER, God exposed Israel as steeped in pagan superstition. That embarrassing revelation wasn’t well received. The fact that God branded their worship as unacceptable was especially hard to swallow. He rejected it as an unfit mixture. They had forced desegregation integrating paganism with God’s truth. God condemns such diluted worship, regardless of
motives (Deut. 12:30).

Deaf, Dumb and Blind!

Israel had smugly come to view herself as rather advanced, superior in culture and civilization, which they were—as long as they obeyed God (Rom. 2:17). But they were blind to their true spiritual condition. They were ignorant that beneath the glitter and glamour of success, sin was eating away at their nation’s very
foundations (Amos 6:1-8).

As Isaiah lamented, “Who is blind but My servant, or deaf as my messenger…?” (Isa. 42:19). How unfortunate, but true, that God’s Church and nation throughout history, have suffered from various BLIND SPOTS. We know so much, and yet so little!

Patriotic prophets urged Israel to forsake men’s traditions for God’s commandments (2 Kgs. 17:13). Usually, such stirring appeals to return to the law and covenant of God (our true Constitution) fell upon deaf ears. Everybody was content with the status quo: if it was good enough for others, it was good enough for them, but it wasn’t good enough for God!

Israel didn’t want their boat rocked. They wanted to remain deaf, dumb and blind! They were happy with their national holidays, family traditions and childhood memories: so they were irritated with God’s people and attacked His message. They carried on in their stubborn ways, until they were carried away (Ezek. 6:9), carted off like cattle into foreign lands!

Ancient Israel’s example proves it’s not only possible but probable, for individuals and entire nations to become deceived! Israel’s religion was meaningless. They were only going through the motions. As far as God was concerned their worship was worthless. He didn’t want anything to do with it. God hated their dead faith and despised their hypocritical hymn singing (Amos 5:21-23). Since they refused to lose their old-time religion to find God, they lost their land and found themselves in exile (Jer. 9:13-14).

God’s intense hatred for religious sin still burns, and His stiff sentences against pagan blends (destined to go up in smoke) remains in effect (Rev. 19:3). Just because some of these things might not seem all that important to us, doesn’t mean they’re not serious to God. After all, from His vantage point He can see things more clearly and keep them in focus. He’s in a better position to put things in perspective. The Bible shares God’s views, if we wonder how He looks at any particular subject (Isa. 55:8-9).

If and when we’re not in harmony with the law and order of God’s universe, or out of sync with some scripture, we’re encouraged to have an attitude adjustment and/or religious alignment (Acts 3:19-21). We’re freely offered, on a daily basis, to have our biblical balance restored and our spiritual senses recharged (Isa. 55:1).

The Plain Truth

God intended for Israel to preserve His law in its purest form. They were instructed to be intolerant towards any tampering with the Torah, and thereby safeguard themselves against deception. This preventive measure would keep its simple (though profound) precepts from becoming complex, its original intent from becoming obscured, its statutes from becoming suppressed or twisted to the confusion of Israel’s citizens. God hasn’t budged on this issue either (Deut. 12:32).

God condemns those ignorant scholars or “editors” (Malachi 2:12) who attempt to alter or delete any of the material found within His Instruction Manual for mankind. There’s no such thing as “higher criticism”—except in vain imaginations (Isa. 40:13). We’re to embrace the basic foundational doctrines that are clearly evident in Scripture. God doesn’t require everyone to master degrees to understand His Word (1 Cor. 2:10), but does command us all to stick close to the trunk of the tree and reject anything that contradicts sound teaching (Isa. 8:20). That’s the surest way to avoid innumerable interpretations, religious confusion, and ultimate deception (Prov. 16:25). Those rebels who reject GOD’S PLAIN
TRUTH for their own vague “understanding” are misleading others. They’re looking at things from a “different angle” all right—they’re seeing things through the serpent’s eyes!

God decrees the death penalty for treacherous pastor generals (who wage war against truth), for false apostles (sent by Satan), and lying ministers (who betray Christ). Satan deceives the entire religious world by misrepresenting God! Satan the Devil means, “The Enemy who slanders.” And too many have believed his “white lies!”

God understands the inability of some to comprehend that it’s actually possible to be “religious” for nothing. That explains the reason why God has recorded many biblical cases to state His utter contempt for various religious practices.

Israel’s rejection of truth for tradition resulted in their DEPORTATION AND DEATH—reminiscent of Adam and Eve. Such bitter experiences are supposed to teach and help us to learn from others mistakes.

Would God allow a WAR to disturb our peace? Let something drastic happen to shake us to our senses? Threaten Rome’s revival and Israel’s downfall if we remain complacent in our customs?

Torn Between Two Lovers

Speaking of our religious ancestors, God says, “Did you offer Me slaughtered animals and sacrifices during forty years in the wilderness, O House of Israel? You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the [”Jewish?”] star of your god Remphan, [icons] which you made to worship and I will carry you away beyond
Babylon” (Acts 7:42-43).

Israel was trying to live in sin and stay married to God at the same time. They were torn between two lovers. They had agreed to a monogamous relationship, but now they wanted the best of both worlds. However, God made it clear from the beginning that He wouldn’t settle for an “open relationship.” It was all or nothing! (Deut. 6:5).

Joshua had to deal with this issue of half-hearted love and divided devotion. Elijah had to tell us to make up our minds. Jesus said you can’t serve two masters—it only leads to confusion! And yet traditional Christianity, every holiday season (Isa. 52:11), continues to mix and match PAGAN customs with biblical truths! Why TAINT the truth?

Israel was toting around idols while claiming to love God. If they would’ve believed the Bible verses against idolatry, they could’ve gotten rid of their excess baggage and lightened their load. Evidently, they were like Catholics today who justify their icons, and Protestants who hang on to their mental images and idolatrous pictures of a longhaired, sleepy Jesus! Both interfere with the
worship of the true God who condemns attempts to make Him visible before Christ’s Coming! We’re to walk by faith, not sight (Deut.4:15).

The first commandment deals with coming to a proper understanding of WHO AND WHAT GOD IS. Obviously, this remains a mystery to most since they continue to expose their ignorance by breaking the second commandment!

Remember the golden calf incident? They were so close to the truth (Mt. Sinai), and yet so far away! They brazenly declared: “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt…” and Aaron pontificated, and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD” (Ex. 32:4-5).

Spineless Ministers

While Moses was away, Aaron, who had withstood mighty pharaoh, now gave in to Israel’s demands and constructed their golden calf! Meanwhile, God was instructing Moses to appoint Aaron as high priest, and yet here he was following the crowd! How many ministers today go along with trends they know aren’t right? And sanction sin by their silence? They’re more afraid of their congregations than the judgment of God!

Was Israel’s homage acceptable to the true God? The One who really freed them? Did He simply dismiss all their religious celebrations as “harmless?” Does God accept worship today that’s done “in His Name”—even if the holidays are invented by apostate men?

God thunders the answer: “I HATE, I DESPISE YOUR FEAST DAYS…” (Amos 5:21). Pretty strong words from a God who knows what He wants and refuses to settle for less (John 4:23). The biblical God doesn’t leave any doubt as to where He stands. He’s not some poor, confused, weak deity who’ll take whatever type of worship He can get. The Creator God is ALMIGHTY—with a strong mind and
character. It’s His Way or not at all. He’s described as a JEALOUS GOD who wants our full attention (Rev. 3:15-16). Is this the kind of God you know and serve?

Israel just barely survived their “near-death experience.” Mt. Sinai almost became “Hamburger Hill!” God had enough and was ready to destroy them (with their religious bull) and start over again! Thankfully, even though some heads rolled, God accepted Moses’ merciful intervention on their behalf.

God didn’t let up against Israel’s traditional way of doing things because He didn’t enjoy watching them die. God didn’t want to see them prolong their misery. He told them (day in and day out) they were killing themselves with their religious habits, and encouraged them to return to their roots, come back to life, and remember the faith once delivered (Ezek. 20:18-20). But Israel didn’t want to kick their habit or break their addiction to deception. They enjoyed sin’s pleasures—until it finally caught up with them!

Israel was supposed to follow God’s ways, do what’s right in His eyes, and trash the empty traditions of men. In fact, all the Gentile religions are based upon human imagination. But God called Israel to be different, to rise above misguided human reasoning and embrace divine revelation. The precious possession of God’s truth is what separated Israel from all of the others. God’s unique revelation and intervention in Israel’s affairs is what sanctified them (Deut.
4:32-35). Only the truth—as opposed to human fables—is what set Israel apart as special (John 17:17).

Religious Wrongdoing

Besides Israel’s sedition at Mt. Sinai, there’s the story about a misguided man from Mt. Ephraim, named Micah. He actually stole some silver from his mother to make an idol to “worship” God! (Judges 17:1-6). How can the true God—who forbids stealing, dishonoring parents and idolatry—accept such devotions? He
doesn’t! How blind can you get? Yet to this day, the majority of people continue to break God’s clear commands to do their own religious thing.

Other worship that was worthless and condemned by God: evil Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t accepted, but despised; Nadab and Abihu (Aaron’s sons), top-ranking ministers in the Tabernacle, attempted to modify God’s religious rules, “so fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD” (Lev. 10:2); Korah, Dathan, and Abiram insisted on “serving” God as self-
appointed priests, “and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up… and they perished from among the assembly” (Numbers 16:32-33). Later Israel participated in pagan sexual rites—as seduced by that sorcerer, Baalam, the father/founder of “Interfaith, Inc.”—and God plagued them for their spiritual promiscuity: “And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand” (Numbers 25:9).

Remember: all of these bankrupt accounts, and more, were dutifully recorded for our sakes. Many have died “in the faith”—a false faith! Therefore, even if we think we’re standing on some pretty solid ground, we’d better check again! It’s better safe than sorry. Why fall for the same old deadly sins? (1 Cor. 10:11-12). Are you doing your own thing or what God says to do? When you serve God, in accordance to His commandments, it makes all the difference in the world. Will you enjoy a truly successful life or simply endure your mortal existence? Will you share in God’s blessing or put yourself under a curse?

Stay on Course

We’re not left to go it alone in this life. We don’t need to stumble into unknown territory. God—through Christ—has been there before. He knows the way. He can lead us through. He’s already made it! In fact, God even offers us a map to avoid the pitfalls. If we properly follow it we’ll know what to expect, and can be on guard against getting lost when the going gets tough. So why not take God
at His Word? Why let would-be guides take you off the track with their traditions? (Matt. 15:14).

Only God has the prerogative to set standards. Why don’t we believe that He means what He says, and says what He means? We don’t need to second-guess Him. He’s quite clear. But do we really want to understand or just play stupid? God’s true people have always been taught to practice discrimination. Yes, to know and make a difference between right and wrong, good and evil (Ezek. 44:23). And all based upon the black and white of the Bible.

God condemns those who would confuse the issues and complicate the simplicity that’s in Christ (Isa. 5:20). After all, that’s where Eve went wrong (2 Cor. 11:3). As God’s children, we’re expected to question everything and consider its spiritual source (1 John 4:1). What’s there to hide? You shouldn’t be afraid of truth, you
should beware of error! Look into your religion deeply. Prove to yourself if it squares with the scriptures or not (1 Thes. 5:21).

NEVER allow yourself to become a LOBOTOMIZED LAY-MEMBER! Don’t leave your mind at the door and quietly accept spoon-fed doctrines, or get beaten into submission by fear of ridicule, rejection, and/or questioned motivation (1 Sam. 17:29). Your salvation is a legitimate concern! Don’t entrust it to others
(Philip. 2:12). Think for yourself! Don’t fall for those ministers who only want to lord it over you (1 Pet. 5:3). Make sure you’re following Jesus Christ and not some man.

Remember Your Roots!

After Moses’ death, Israel got away from the ORIGINAL RELIGION God had given them. Moses warned them they would. They had even begun to get that restless liberal spirit when he was alive. Joshua blocked attempts to alter “Church doctrine” for awhile, by remaining faithful to the MOSAIC LAWS (that were really God’s laws), but too many, surrounded by wrong influences, chose to be led
astray by “new truths.”

Once Israel rejected their anchor, making reference to Moses’ stand on matters less frequently, they just drifted further away. When they distanced themselves from God’s clear “Fountain of Life”—for muddled beliefs that couldn’t hold water (Jer. 2:13)—they forfeited their future and sentenced themselves to death.

God wants to set two things straight: 1. He refers to Moses as His servant, present tense, and we’d better not forget it (Malachi 4:4-5). He orders us to get back to the basics. How? By remembering what we’ve been taught and shamefully let slip: Moses’ inspired words and works! Though Moses is dead, God’s truth we received from him, as well as his blessed memory, ought to be very much alive. 2. God also tells us to expect Elijah’s prophetic work to set things back on track restoring God’s tattered truths, and building up Moses’
reputation again. We love and honor God to the degree we’re receptive to His servants. Is Moses’ influence, who foreshadowed Christ, evident in our lives?

Kosher Food for Thought

We’ve seen how Israel thought they were pretty good, a fairly religious folk, pleasing to God. But God rejected their rituals, was weary of their ways, and tired of their traditions! They left God’s input out of their religion and forgot His servants! But what about today? What about our “Christian countries?” Is Israel really a Jewish State? Or a Gentilized state of Jews? There is a difference!
Are we left to our own devices, our personal preferences, the “Church or synagogue of your choice” mentality? Or does God have something to say to us also?

Meir Kahane, former Israeli Parliament member, rabbi and author of Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews, was to the Jewish establishment what Herbert W. Armstrong was to traditional Christianity: an irritating “prophet” who spoke the plain truth! If Israel had only listened to him they wouldn’t be staring death in the face today (Dan. 9:11). I was living at Kibbutz Shoval in Israel’s Negev desert, beautifying the grounds, when I heard that he had been
murdered in New York by another Arab terrorist. When his funeral took place in Jerusalem, I was honored to attend with tens of thousands of others to show solidarity with what he boldly taught—and as a blond, stood out in the Black Sea of Haredim on TV.

Is the modern Church or synagogue really any different from that carnal “Church in the wilderness?” And if so, then why does God warn us to run for our lives, to get as far away as possible from certain practices He promises to plague? (Rev. 18:4). And why does He expose those bastard beliefs as “baptized paganism?” (Rev. 17:5).

Counterfeit Christians

Didn’t Jesus say that the MAJORITY of ministers, all claiming to represent Christ and preaching by His authority, would mislead their members? (Matt. 24:5). Didn’t the apostle Paul warn about being blinded by high-ranking theologians, respected Church fathers, and other religious authorities? And that he wasn’t surprised that such “spiritual luminaries” were actually inspired by Satan? Are you
surprised (2 Cor. 11:13-15)? Do you think it couldn’t happen? THINK AGAIN!

Weren’t we warned of a GREAT APOSTASY (2 Thes. 2:3)—to occur in God’s own Church—which would result in a counterfeit Christ, another gospel (2 Cor. 11:3-4), and a different spirit? Are you of the spirit (1 John 4:6) of truth or error? How do you know? Are you assuming you’ve been taught the truth? Can you prove it from the Bible? Have you seriously checked it out?

History records wolves in sheep’s clothing infiltrated the Church, introduced pagan ideas, and welcomed hordes of “converts” who further corrupted the composition of the Church (Acts 20:29). Embattled members of God’s true Church (Lev. 24:2), particularly John, Paul and Jude, stood as the vanguard against Satan’s attack. They urgently exposed error, warned repentance, and exhorted the faithful to hold out, confident in Christ’s Coming and judgment (Jude 3-4, 2 Thes. 1:8).

So what about today? Quite bluntly, we find a rebel church full of liars, far removed from its biblical bearings, docked at Babylon! They say they know God, and yet they repeat the lie that the “law’s been done away” (1 John 2:4). They’ve got people believing they’re “free” to do as they please, it’s all “grace” now (Jer. 7:8-10). They’re hostile to God’s law (Isa. 30:9-10), and just like their father, Satan, don’t want anything to do with obedience. Christ isn’t their Lord!
Traditional Christianity has done its own thing. They’ve been busy at Babylon, where they’ve begged, borrowed and stolen different wares from the pagan bazaar (Neh. 13:20-21). Meanwhile, true Christians decry these attempts to adopt demonic doctrines (1 Tim. 4:1), and consequently often endanger their lives!

Few realize the titanic struggle that’s taken place for control of the Church (Jude 9). The forces of good and evil have battled in every generation (Ephes. 6:12), but Christ promised that His “little flock”—though often battered—would not be beaten (Heb. 11:36-38). Our victory is assured! (1 John 4:4).

Jewish Lawyers

God’s Church foundation was to be based upon the apostolic bedrock, with Christ as the cornerstone, headquartered in JERUSALEM, the future capital of God’s government (Ephes. 2:20).

Jesus’ Jewish apostles, authorized by God, were the true Church-fathers, and as such, were experts in “Constitutional law,” qualified to biblically settle disputes and set guidelines (Acts 15:2). Counterfeit “Church-fathers,” Gentiles, based in Rome (whose appropriate symbol is the wolf)—without any biblical background—
were products of their pagan environment and subject to demonic influence (Acts 8:9).

Consequently, their diseased minds infected “Christ’s Body,” the Church, with cancerous concepts (that contradicted scripture), and weakened the defense of those who dared resist such chronic changes (Col. 2:8). Both Polycarp and Polycrates held on for dear life to those priceless teachings passed down from Jerusalem (2 Thes. 2:15). They struggled, to no avail in the West, to stem the flow of the Church’s life-blood.

This deteriorating condition caused many to lose consciousness of the foundational doctrines, and instead receive a delirious infusion of “new and improved” ideas (Ezek. 20:24-25). Those guilty of doctoring God’s law are warned of an unprecedented malpractice suit! (Jas. 3:1).

God’s strict building codes command compliance. Everything’s to be built upon the biblical basis (1 Cor. 3:10-17). The traditional way (Acts 17:30) of doing things is out! Any contractor—self-employed or commissioned—will be held accountable for any faulty workmanship, shoddy performance, or substandard measures (Ezek. 22:28). Does your church hold up or is it falling apart?

Religious confusion (leftovers from that early clash between God’s commandments and men’s ideas) is still evident today (1 Cor. 14:33). God’s sheep remain scattered, wandering in their bewilderment splintered into sects and divided into different denominations and warring factions (1 Cor. 1:13). God holds the shepherds, the religious leaders, largely responsible for allowing error to creep into the Church, but the lay-members share some blame too (Isa. 9:16). All of us must change and get with it!

Biblical Conclusions

How did Jesus’ disciples figure out He was the Messiah? Did they run and get approval from their synagogue rulers and chief rabbis? Do you think the Jewish establishment would’ve spoken highly of Jesus? Wouldn’t they have spoken against Christ? Branded him as a dissident (John 7:43)? Warned their synagogue members that Jesus was a false prophet, out to get a following for himself, and to avoid him? To ignore his cult teachings—or get excommunicated? (John 9:22).

Jesus is very pleased when we check out our leaders (Rev. 2:2). He doesn’t condemn us for putting our pastors to the test (1 John 4:1), but commends us for trying the scriptural slipper on them (Ephes. 6:15).

How do we know if our pastor general, our leading ministers, or those appointed by them are kosher or not? Do we go and ask them? Wouldn’t that be pretty stupid? Should we just take their word for it? Should we let them think for us? Is it biblical for them to tell us not to even hear someone out or read their literature? Isn’t that mind-control? Hasn’t God given you a brain? Use it or you’ll lose it!

We’re to CONSULT CHRIST. He’s the Word of God. We’re to familiarize ourselves with God’s Word, by reading it daily, to KNOW whether someone’s teachings are in agreement with it or not (Acts 17:11). We don’t need anyone to contradict what God’s personally taught us by His Spirit of truth (1 John 2:27). How could
John make the statement—”If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him…” (2 John 10)—unless he knew God’s people were studying the Scriptures and proving whether various individuals and ministries were of God?

What if the brethren didn’t allow Paul to clear his name? (Acts 9:27). Hadn’t heard him out? Didn’t take the time to see what he was doing? They would’ve NEVER been able to recognize him as family and embrace Christ in him (Ga. 2:9). In Paul’s case, a leading minister (Barnabas) did accept his conversion as real—a topic of controversy at the time—and presented his case before the Church.
The leaders examined the new evidence surrounding Paul and verified his innocence before the doubting Church.

It becomes common knowledge, after awhile, what the basic beliefs are of different groups. We don’t need “headquarters” to tell us who’s right and who’s wrong, when they’re the only ones who’ve examined any “dissident literature.” During Paul’s “trial” the whole Church knew his history and conversion—the good, the bad, and the ugly! It wasn’t hearsay: he was on public record.

Christ Unwelcome?

If something’s suspect, ask questions. Don’t stay in the dark! Expect biblically sound answers. If you get a run-around instead, or weak excuses, you had better determine if God’s glory has left your church. Don’t accept general accusations against others, or go along sheepishly for a pat on the head. Beware powerful personality cults that can easily disfellowship true Christians (3 John 9-10)! It happened before, why couldn’t it happen again? Only follow ministers who go by the Bible and do as Jesus did.

Where’s it written that Church leaders must repent? Where’s Christ promised to force their conversion? NOWHERE! Jesus tells them to get with it or He’ll leave (Rev. 2:5). He doesn’t stick around where He’s not welcome. He’ll simply raise up another organization. God’s Holy Spirit isn’t bound by any membership list!

Too often Christ is on the outside looking in (Rev. 3:20). Jesus evens threatens to turn against those within the Church who’ve turned against Him, betraying the truth (Rev. 2:16). He’ll kill those who still won’t repent! (Rev. 2:23). Christ’s surprise inspection will catch some Christians off guard (Rev. 3:3), and others will have to be purged from His Body of believers (Rev. 3:16). It makes you wonder: if God’s people just barely make it, where does that leave the rest? (1
Pet. 4:18).

The Church isn’t immune from false doctrines, and its leaders aren’t infallible. God wants to see whether we’ll follow Him or blindly follow men. We need to follow Christ wherever He might go. If He removes His Light of understanding, His candlestick and Holy Spirit, from one organization to another—we must be willing to pick up and go. Israel had to change locations many times before they
reached the Promised Land. But too many are comfortably deceived and disobeying God to remain faithful to their organization and loyal to a man! What about you?

If we don’t want to stand up for the Truth, God will let us fall for Satan’s lies. It’s our option. It’s your choice. However, the merciful cry has gone out: COME OUT OF TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANITY or suffer the consequences (Rev. 18:4). It’s a test command: those who truly are God’s people will respond to this call and FORSAKE BABYLON.

Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall

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