Martin Collins, assuring us that those whom God has called will be kept safe, protected, and sanctified, reminds us that: 1) No one can come to Christ unless the Father draws him, 2) All whom the Father has given to Him will come to Him, and 3) None of those who come to Him will be lost. In the prayer Jesus offered on behalf of His disciples, recorded in John 17, Jesus also prays for those called in the future, asking for their safe-keeping, sanctification, unity, and fellowship, all referring to spiritual things—protection from evil, separation from the world, and training for future responsibilities in God's Kingdom. Before our lives conclude, we will all be assaulted by Satan, the World, and our Own flesh, making us realize that apart from God's perseverance, we would all be lost. The pressure on God's saints is greater than on any other people. God as our true Shepherd provides total protection on His called out-ones forever. He is able to find the scattered sheep whom the hireling shepherds have abandoned. Being kept in God's name refers to assimilating the attributes of God, including joy, holiness, truth, responsibility, unity and love. Joy seems to be an endangered characteristic among today's saints, in contrast to the members of the first century congregations. We may ask, "How can joy exist amidst trials and suffering?" Joy comes from taking our minds off circumstances and focusing upon the mind of Christ dwelling in us through God's Holy Spirit. With this indwelling spirit, we must develop a vertical relationship with our Heavenly Father, realizing that what He puts us through develops His attributes in us, and a horizontal relationship with our fellow offspring, avoiding the deleterious influence of the secular church, with its Marxist agenda, ignoring God's commandments, and instead creating militant social justice warriors, while neglecting the duties of preparing the Bride of Christ. God has separated us out to love and obey Him and teach others to do the same.
Not a few people, and even many Christians, think that the Bible contains some strange laws. For instance, Deuteronomy 22:11 forbids the wearing of a garment that contains different fabrics. Mike Ford tackles this particular command, contending that it contains a spiritual principle with a profound impact on Christian life.
We find the only notable mention of what we now call the Night to Be Much Observed in Exodus 12:40-42: "Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. ..."
Mike Ford explores the possible physical and spiritual significance of the prohibition to mix wool and linen which appears in Deuteronomy 22:11 and Leviticus 19:19. One explanation seems to come from the consumer protection corner, asserting that mixing fibers produces an inferior garment. Some commentaries refer to the respective offerings of Cain and Abel, suggesting that linen may represent worldliness or unrighteousness (even though the book of Revelation tells us the saints will be clothed in linen), while wool symbolizes righteousness. Some Protestant commentaries jump to the conclusion that linen refers to works while wool refers to grace, indicating that they should never be joined. Some commentaries suggest that linen signifies Egypt (even though the Aaronic priests were commanded to wear linen undergarments) and that Israelites were forbidden to mix with Egypt. Realizing that since neither one jot nor tittle will pass from the Law until heaven and earth pass away, we are obligated to look for the commonsense spiritual applications. Since this law appears with other prohibitions of mixing seed, mixing livestock, and keeping things separate, we conclude that God wants us to remain separate from the world, not being unequally yoked with any aspect of this world.
Is God an environmentalist? Should Christians care about the ecological health of the earth and its inhabitants, human or otherwise? Richard Ritenbaugh explains the Bible's position on the environmental issue.
In this sermon devoted to the Night Much to be Observed, John Ritenbaugh asserts that far from being the "pipe dream" of Herbert W. Armstrong as some have disparagingly called it, this event is a commanded part of the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread, a time focusing on God's watchful oversight as He delivers us from bondage, continuing His oversight throughout our pilgrimage. Numbers 28:16-17 clearly reveals that the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread occur on two different days. Exodus 12:40 clearly marks this event as a memorial of the covenant with Abraham 430 years prior- again emphasizing God's continuous watchful care.