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.
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that unscrupulous politicians have transferred trillions of dollars of earnings to 'taking care of the poor,' evidently with the ulterior motive of creating millions of dependents (and potential voters), points out that these programs have succeeded in destroying the family structure of one major ethnic group, rendering the role of husband and father irrelevant. Former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney warned that as of 2012 48% of our populace was receiving part or all of their income from the Federal government. Dr. Walter Williams in a Whistleblower Magazine article, through a series of instructive analogies, demonstrated that socialism is a cancerous evil, robbing from the productive and giving to the unproductive, destroying all incentives for growth or real productivity. Confiscatory taxes allow politicians to legally steal from their hapless constituents, enabling them to pretend that they are benefactors when they are actually thieves. Socialism, Fascism, Communism, and any other form of Collectivism or Statism, does not bring about equality at all, but a cruel form of slavery, presided over by a smug, morally bankrupt elite. The welfare state leads to slavery of the masses.
John Ritenbaugh quotes from a shocking letter from 91-year-old former President Jimmy Carter, who asserts that we no long have a true democratic republic in the United states, but instead we are being ruled by an unelected oligarchy (rule by a few elite). Today, we have a government glued together with special interests, leveraging bribes and blackmail to advance failed social programs. No longer do we have a true representative democracy, but a small group of wealthy elite are pulling the strings, transforming our government into a leftist, socialist tyranny, allowing a handful of evil, avaricious men to tap into the public treasury, deluding the gullible public into thinking they are taking care of the people by redistributing the wealth, stealing from the productive and giving it to the unproductive, totally at odds with God’s principles of stewardship. The obstreperous demagogues promising economic goodies from the womb to the tomb have not yet matured to the realization that there is no such thing as a free lunch. We no longer have a trustworthy government. Our ethics and morality, our freedom, our wealth, our dignity, and self-respect, are rapidly eroding away under the willing guidance by a criminal oligarchy, inspired by the prince and power of the air, the current ruler of the world. The judgments of God against this corrupt system have already begun.
Martin Collins, noting that the Book of Malachi is a post-exilic transition, link, and bridge book between the Old and New Testaments, indicates the dating of the book can be determined contextually, namely that the temple had been rebuilt, and the Jews were under a civil ruler before the death of Nehemiah. Malachi, one of last Old Testament prophets, is oriented to the future. John the Baptist arrived 400 years later. The same attitudes existing at that time are prevalent today. The offenses mentioned are 1) arrogance—-mankind's thinking man thinks that he knows better than God, 2) mixed marriages, and 3) neglect of tithes. We can see these attitudes by noting the use of the words "wherein," "in what way," and "how." The Priests, asking "How?" seven times in the wrong way in Malachi. In Genesis 18:23-33, Abraham asked God "how?" with respect. Malachi lists four personal failures of the Priests in Malachi 1:6-14. The Priests 1) offered defiled sacrifices on God's altar, 2) harmed the people, 3) were responsible for disparaging the Priest's office, and 4) demonstrated a brazen defiance of God. True ministers must: 1) show a proper relationship to God—fear equals reverence; 2) exhibit a personal commitment to the truth of God's Word; 3) demonstrate of integrity characterized by Godly character and devotion, faithful and Godly, in submission and obedience; and 4) guard the truth and be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in them.
Martin Collins, observing that President Obama's speech immediately following a prior address by Pope Francis to the United Nations, occurring simultaneously on the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles, was perhaps the keynote speech of a sinister new world order (a Satanic counterfeit of God's coming Kingdom) in which the sovereignty and liberties of individual nations would be extirpated, replaced by a greatly strengthened United Nations committed to climate change legislation and a Marxist-style redistribution of wealth. In this emerging toxic socio-cultural milieu, God's called-out ones have been warned not to be conformed to the world, but to become transformed into the glorious likeness of Christ. The world view of God's church and the world's view are antagonistic toward each other. The secularist progressive humanist proponents are highly narcissistic, placing human pride and achievement over God's sovereignty, introducing relativism, a philosophical belief that all truth and standards of morality are relative. The consequences of the humanistic mindset (the mindset of the prince of the power of the air) has enervated and sickened the helpless inhabitants of the earth, subjecting them to war, degenerative diseases, and an insane reprobate mind. The entire creation groans for the Millennial Harvest, when God's resurrected saints will assist in administering God's standards of mercy, justice, and peace. When God's Holy Spirit will be poured out on mankind, mankind will rejoice.
Martin Collins alerts us to a plethora of political moves during 2014 initiated by European socialist labor unions and backed by interfaith churches, designed to enforce Sunday as the common universal week day of rest. This initiative could well lead to persecution of those who desire to keep God's seventh day Sabbath. Political parties, socialist trade unions, academicians, environmentalists, and activists for 'social justice' seem to be ganging up ostensibly for protecting society and the environment, but with the real sinister intention of getting rid of God's Sabbath. God's called-out ones need to realize that everything will work out for good for those who love God.
On the surface, socialist policies promise to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and provide for the poor, but these good things are not what socialism ultimately delivers. Richard Ritenbaugh cites the examples of twentieth-century socialist nations to expose the corrupt, controlling heart of socialism.
The Europe of the past few decades has honestly earned the label of "that vast plain of irreligion." What caused its secularization? David Grabbe shows that religion is to blame.
John Ritenbaugh points out that Amos severely chides Israel for exalting symbolism over substance, superstitiously trusting in locations where significant historical events occurred: Bethel- the location of Jacob's pillar stone and Jacob's conversion; Gilgal- the location where the manna ceased and the Israelites partook of the produce of the land; and Beersheeba —the location from where Jacob journeyed to become reunited with his family. Consequently, Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheeba became associated with hope, possession, and fellowship. Amos seems to suggest, "it's not where you are, but what you are — or what you become." Instead of superstitiously regarding these locations like the shrines of Lourdes or Fatima, God's called out ones need to make permanent internal transformations in their lives. Likewise, going to a particular site for the Feast of Tabernacles is worthless if our lives are not permanently transformed by a close relationship with God, motivating us to keep His laws, and reflect His characteristics.
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
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