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Sermonette; Oct 13, 2018
The Immutability of God

Ronny Graham reviews seemingly non-sensical changes made over the past year in professional football (such as how to lawfully tackle the quarterback), in NASCAR, and in the superfluous legislation regarding hate crimes. Some changes, such as the weed-whacker and the miniaturization of the computer, are indeed positive, but too many are superficial or counterfeit advances. One of the rock solid, dependable characteristics of God for which we can take comfort is His immutability—He cannot lie or become capricious like we humans in our carnal state. God does not change; it is impossible for God to change. We could greatly profit from meditating on His immutability, determining that we also meld into that wonderful characteristic of perfect stability. Perfection cannot be improved upon. God's called-out ones should not allow deadly carnal nature, the world, or Satan's broadcasts to derail their trek to godly immutability.

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CGG Weekly; Aug 19, 2016
Dealing With Change (Part Three)

David C. Grabbe:  Despite the Bible’s repeated injunctions to put God's commands into practice, doing God's sayings cannot justify us—only the blood of Christ has that power. ...

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CGG Weekly; Aug 5, 2016
Dealing With Change (Part One)

David C. Grabbe:  When we were baptized and gave our lives by covenant to God, we committed ourselves to a lifetime of change. This change would be partly internal ...

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Sermonette; Oct 4, 2015
Unprepared

Joe Baity, reminding us that after we have left the Feast, all the events will be happy memories, cautions us against the onslaught of the normalcy bias, a wired-in response to adapt and accept worsening conditions in the world as normal. The world's churches, though traumatized and frustrated by the abortion and same-sex marriage decisions of America's highest court, have nevertheless tacitly assented, with some denominations actively embracing the decision. Israel is about to take a major beating for this foolish and deadly course of action, putting itself in the crosshairs of the curses in Deuteronomy 28.Physical Israel has reached a point of no return in its spiraling depravity; economies are collapsing, radical Islam is on the rise, coercive, collective, socialist agendas have succeeded in stealing the wealth of productive people, giving it to unproductive people. A police state is emerging in this land with the power to 'monitor' e-mail and telephone conversations while violence on the streets make cities unsafe for habitation. Nuclear reactor accidents have threatened to destroy marine life in the Pacific Ocean and elsewhere. Are we, as God's people, prudently preparing in the onslaught of these coming disasters? Are we prepared to see the United States cease to exist even before the outset of the Tribulation? As a test, God will probably allow us to stay in the thick of things as physical Israel self-destructs. Only those close to God will be able to handle the turmoil. No carnal solutions offered by survivalists will ultimately save us from these calamities. Jesus Christ reminds us that without Him, we can do nothing. God's called-out ones are urged to stay alert and vigilant.

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Commentary; Sep 20, 2014
Dealing With Change

John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that we have an ambivalent attitude to change, resisting it when it upsets our equilibrium or desiring it when we are in dire straits, proclaims that God deliberately places change in our lives to bring about spiritual growth toward perfection. The second law of thermodynamics teaches us that all matter is in a perpetual state of decay unless energy is expended to halt the process. God's command to Adam to dress and keep the environment indicates the dynamics of this principle. Our offspring would be stalled at a premature state of their developmental process if they did not weather tests and developmental tasks, some of them extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable. God as our Parent is no different; He will not curtail change in our lives until we are conformed into His image. God is the author of change in order to bring events to the conclusion He wants.

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Sermon; Nov 24, 2012
Stand Fast in a Changing World

Kim Myers, reflecting on his experiences as a youth in Lakewood, California, suggests that life has changed tremendously since then. The houses were less spacious, but paradoxically there were more offspring living in those houses. Today, women are more prone to work outside the home than to be homemakers. Parents formerly felt more secure allowing their children to take extended day trips, via bicycle, away from home, even involving hitchhiking. . Technology has radically changed communications, including telephone, television, computer, etc. Jobs were more plentiful for young people then than they are now. From then until now morality has degenerated exponentially as families have been destroyed. As God's called-out ones, we have been warned to keep alert, watching for the return of our Savior, not living in careless ease. We should love our brethren as we would our physical families, not gossiping about them, refusing to be offended by their behavior. We have been mandated to remain faithful in order to qualify to be in God's Kingdom. America has just re-elected the most corrupt and most ungodly government in history, paving the way for the next possible turn in events—the Great Tribulation. This series of events should sober us, making us watchful, giving us a keen sense of urgency, realizing that every day matters.

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CGG Weekly; Mar 11, 2011
Repentance: The Genuine Article (Part Two)

Richard T. Ritenbaugh:  While people can make positive changes in their lives, true repentance—the kind that counts toward salvation—only occurs after God has invited a person into a relationship with Him. ...

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CGG Weekly; Mar 4, 2011
Repentance: The Genuine Article (Part One)

Richard T. Ritenbaugh:  In the American presidential campaign of 2008, eventual winner Barack Obama ran on a platitudinous platform of hope and change. His supposedly soaring rhetoric captured the support ...

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CGG Weekly; May 22, 2009
Change and Responsibility

John W. Ritenbaugh:  My last essay addressed the fact that change is always present in every person's life. ...

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CGG Weekly; May 8, 2009
Change and Constancy

John W. Ritenbaugh:  How often do we wish that, when life's events are producing pleasure, satisfaction, and a sense that all is well in the world--at least in our world--things would remain that way forever? ...

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Article; November 2008
Are We Ready for Change?

The apostle Paul describes the Christian life as a process of change: from the old man to the new man. Human beings, though, typically resist change because it is difficult. Bill Onisick provides advice on how we can make the process of change more organized and perhaps a bit easier too.

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Feast of Tabernacles Sermon; Oct 2, 1999
Unity (Part 5): Ephesians 4 (B)

John Ritenbaugh reminds us that the doctrines entrusted to us through Herbert Armstrong's apostleship remain a major plank in the foundation of our faith. Adopting a revolutionary stance (Proverbs 24:21) for the sake of change, variety, or relieving boredom will systematically destroy the faith once delivered. Through the sanctification process, we incorporate Christ's righteousness by obedience, prayer, study, bearing fruit, sacrificing, serving, and yielding to God's Spirit, enabling us to develop character. In the current scattering, God is testing us to see whether we will hold fast, resisting heresies and false doctrines. Our vision must be kept alive and ever growing or our zeal, motivation, and unity will wane.

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Sermon; Jul 2, 1994
How to Combat Future Shock

John Ritenbaugh focuses upon a phenomenon described by Alvin Toffler as Future Shock, a stressful malady caused by an inability to accommodate or adjust to rapid change. Over-stimulation and rapid change (accompanied by the death of permanence) eventually produces apathy and future shock. The antidote to future shock (or attaining the way back to permanence) includes (1) becoming goal oriented toward permanent things (Matthew 6:33), (2) making sure of permanent values (Deuteronomy 4:40; Hebrews 13:8) (3) working to build wholesome habit, custom or routine (Exodus 31:13), and (4) building quality human relationships (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24; 27:10; Ecclesiastes 4:9)

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Sermon; Sep 11, 1993
Ecclesiastes and the Feast of Tabernacles (Part 1)

John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon a generally pessimistic treatise, read in the annual cyclical Jewish tradition, during the Feast of Tabernacles, illustrates the disillusionment that love for this world will inevitably bring (I John 2:17). Realizing that the world is passing away, our priorities should be on fearing God and keeping his commandments. The temporary booths (short lived and quickly deteriorating) at the Feast depicts our temporary and impermanent, often unpleasant and disappointing (Hebrews 2:10) earthly pilgrimage or sojourn, contrasted with the permanence of Christ's rule and our future eternal life. (Romans 8:17-18). Without living for God's purpose for us, this life is absolutely meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 12:14, Hebrews 1:10-12)

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Sermon; Nov 28, 1992
Truth (Part 2)

John Ritenbaugh asserts that only a converted person humbles himself before the truth, making a conscientious, unflagging effort to follow the light of evidence, even to the most unwelcome conclusions, resisting desire, passion, and prejudices acquired through our culture. Human nature is hostile to God's truth, but rejecting truth leads to idolatry and a debased mind (Romans 1:28). We have been redeemed from the traditions and philosophies produced by corrupt men, inspired by demons, the patterns of thinking and conduct that are at odds with the truth of God. We have to desperately fight the perverse downward pull of human nature (inspired by the culture into which we are immersed) to ignore the truth.

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Sermon/Bible Study; Feb 13, 1990
Abraham (Part 5)

In this study, John Ritenbaugh teaches us that Abraham's iron clad faith was developed incrementally as a result of calculating or "adding it all up," matching the promises of God (perceiving His overall intent) with the current situation, realizing from his ongoing relationship with God, that it was impossible for Him to lie. We learn from Abraham's experience to trust God even when we have incomplete data. We learn from Abraham's experience, that when we attempt to take the expedient way out (embracing a carnal or worldly solution), we will run into grave difficulties- forcing us back to the fundamentals of faith. As descendents of Abraham, we must learn to trust God, forming an on-going relationship with Him, realizing that God's ways and the world's ways do not mix.



The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

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