40th Anniversary of Fred Coulter's Resignation

from Worldwide Church of God

Day of Atonement—October 1, 1979

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Did you catch the significance of the times in which we're in? This is this morning's paper—my wife pointed this out to me this morning—there are three significant articles:

Bitterness Marks The End Of The Panama Canal Zone: In an unmistakably funeral mood, their eyes misty, throats tightened by nostalgia and bitterness, the Americans who have long operated the Panama Canal, Sunday marked the demise of the Canal Zone. At midnight Panama recovered jurisdiction over the 533 square mile strip for the first time in 76 years. And the American enclave, as well as an entire way of life, came to an end.

It's true to the prophecy that God said He would break the pride of our power! That has been broken long ago. We are now in the process of becoming the tail, and no longer the head. And to re-emphasize that:

Events Clarify Cuban Stance

And we have enemies right at our door. Our leaders, in their weakness, have agreed to keep them.

Pope Visits Irish Holy Spot

How many here have been following the travels of the pope? You watch. As I saw last year when he was coronated as pope, I knew that this man was going to be—just by looking at him, by seeing him, by just feeling the momentous events that were taking place—that Satan had gotten permission to put the man there that he wanted to bring the Catholic Church to the fore.

That is why Satan has created confusion, debauchery, liberalism, drugs, dope, sex, war, terrorism, so that he could raise his man to the scene and say what the pope is saying.

I think it's very significant that we find out what he said. I think it's very significant that on this Day of Atonement as we're all gathered to be at-one with God, the pope lands in Boston. Let me read a little bit of what he has said here. It knocks Ireland.

Pope John Paul II took his peace pilgrimage…

I hope you saw where the two million Irish were out there. They were singing, 'John Paul! John Paul! John Paul! John Paul!' In English that is momentous as it is an Italian: Viva Papa! Viva Papa!

…and there he gave a forceful denunciation of terrorism and said, "Murder is murder, no matter what the motives or the ends."

Of course, you know Satan is able to quote Scripture in a true and proper place.

So the pontiff called on Northern Ireland to end the conflict, this great wound now afflicting our people. And he appealed to the Virgin Mary to cure and heal it.

We are seeing the momentous events taking place. Maybe we are right now at that point of Rev. 6 where the first seal is opened and the first horse, a white horse, symbolizing righteousness, and sitting on it he goes forth conquering and to conquer.

Now you see Satan's plan: that he has deprived the world, brought it to it's knees in the swill and the sickness of moral depravity, and then to raise up his leader as a minister of righteousness, and 'the world is going to go after him.' That means we have a grave responsibility and commission from God!

As we're here on the Day of Atonement, and we're fasting, and we're here to say goodbye, which is not easy, and the circumstances are not pleasant. As someone remarked to me, 'to the room, to the time, to the Sabbath and the Holy Day; Act Two, Scene Two.'

Being able to say goodbye, realizing that the calling of God into His service, there are opportunities and areas of responsibilities. As I look back—of course, whenever we look back we have to look forward, too—I've been here four years and four months. You know and I know that these have been very

  • difficult years in the entire Church
  • difficult years in the world
  • difficult years in your own lives

Through all of the trauma—the trials and the blessings—realize that the ultimate end purpose is that God creates in us:

  • His love
  • His character
  • His righteousness
  • His goodness

And there's one thing that I realize:

  • a ministry is not a job
  • a ministry is not a salary
  • a ministry is a calling and a service
  • for God's heritage
  • for God's flock
  • for God's people

—because they are His!

I've had a lot of people ask me—because I've had to endure personally quite a few things: help all of you with your problems, your trials, the births, the deaths, the sickness, your ups, your downs, your aches, your pains, your joys, your sorrows—'Well, how can you do that?' I said many times:

  • there's something greater than all of us, and that's God
  • we need not focus in on the problems, but focus in on the solution

Sometimes the solution is more painful than the problem; but sometimes the result will be better. Only with God's Spirit and His mercy and love, and staying close to God's Word are we able—in this age and this time, in these circumstances—to stay close to God.

I think this Day of Atonement where we're fasting, we're staying close to God, and we need to keep that always in mind that that's why God has us do this once a year. As long as we are human beings, and as long as we breathe, there are bound to be difficulties. There are bound to be problems.

I've striven in the ministry that I have been called to—as other ministers have been called to in God's work and church—to faithfully teach and preach God's Word; to faithfully serve God and His Word, whether for my own personal good or my own personal hurt.

With the difficulties that have been within the Church and the changes that have been within the Church, it has presented a very difficult situation, indeed. I always tried to be honest, open, truthful and forthright. I hope anybody that has opinions to the otherwise would reconsider.

Yet, the greatest blessing is God's Spirit, my wife and family and serving the people in God's Church. Since being here in Monterey, God has blessed us tremendously, spiritually and materially. But as we look at the spiritual treasure that God wants us to have, my wife and I fully count—as what this day picture—that any physical thing for the sake of the true service of God can be left wherever it may be. God has given me opportunities in this area of service in the Church. God has given me an opportunity to write A Harmony of the Gospels, which I hope fully represents the Truth of the life of Christ, as best as could be expounded with God's Spirit, with the knowledge of the doctrines that we have and understand that come out of the Bible.

God has blessed me with an opportunity for some experience in the area of radio, a little smattering of television, and I'm thankful for those opportunities, and realize they don't come all the time. When I talked to Mr. Armstrong about it—after having been accused very vociferously and in a very negative way concerning it—he said he was very glad I had the time, he was very glad that I was able to do it, and he was 100% for me in that situation.

Being here today—the day, the time—when we as people fast is really is not the important thing as far as the physical is concerned, because there is a meaning to the Day of Atonement, in attitude and heart, that's very important.

God says in Lev. 23 that on the 10th day of the 7th month you shall have a Sabbath, and you shall afflict your souls. That means fasting, humbling, yielding to God, as the day in which no one does any work or labor. It is a day that if a person is not right with God he is cutoff!So, let's focus in on our heart, our mind and our attitude.

Why did God choose fasting, anyway? Have you ever wondered? I think through the time we've been here in

  • serving all of you
  • praying for each other
  • praying for the work
  • praying for Mr. Armstrong
  • praying for God's intervention in healing

that this church, as inspired by God's Spirit, has developed an attitude of prayer and fasting. I think it would be absolutely true to say that I hope before God that we have done the best we can in it!

Why does God have us fast? Because when you don't eat and drink, you know there's something missing! God has us fast because we won't die with one day of fasting. That's why He doesn't have the Feast of 'Hold Your Breath.' But what is really food and drink? There's a spiritual symbolism and significance and meaning to it. Food and drink are the essentials of life! When we don't eat and when we don't drink—when we fast—we're acknowledging to God that everything we have comes from Him,everything physical that there is:

  • the air
  • the water
  • the food
  • our homes
  • whatever possessions we have

It also teaches us another very vital lesson: there is something missing that we cannot obtain physically! There is no food you can eat, there is no drink you can drink, there is nothing in this physical environment that is going to fill that void, because that void can only be filled spiritually! That void can only be sustained by God!

Yet, the desire is there, and as you see the world in this coming year flocking after the false prophet, flocking and searching after the answers for life, they think that in the man of the pope they will find it, only to be disillusioned to find that the end is the same hypocritical thing that it has always been and will lead into the Great Tribulation!

That's why God is going to let so many millions die and suffer. He in His love will resurrect them because they have been deceived. But all humankind is going to learn the lesson that the things that they need are not obtainable physically, but spiritually! That's where it counts! The biggest undefined need is that everybody wants to be needed, wanted and loved; regardless of whether he is young or old, rich or poor, or, as the Bible says, 'free or bond.' This world will soon be in the bondage of spiritual Egypt and mentally controlled.

This day, in our attitude toward God on a day of fasting, God is telling us that we need Him:

  • His way
  • His mercy
  • His love

He is telling us also that

  • He needs us

—because without us, God's plan cannot be finished. Without accomplishing the good work that He has started in us, there will be no rulers for the Kingdom of God in the world tomorrow. That rule is going to be a rule of love, yet, a rule of strength.

The whole purpose in your life, in a sense, can be personified in this day: to be at-one. I think the greatest significance of it is that Satan is going to be put away! It has a greater significance for us, too, because after the resurrection and the coming of Jesus Christ and being born into His Kingdom, that means that we, brethren, who qualify for the first resurrection, will forever be without sin; and we will forever be with God!

That's why we have to come to want God's way more than anything in this world, more than any desire that there is; especially for us because we know!

  • How does God look at it?
  • What is God looking for when we fast?
  • Is it just a ritual that we go through?

And say, 'Okay let's see, from sundown to sundown I'm going to fast, and I can hardly stand the day, because I really would rather eat; I'd really rather have a big bunch of food. I have a headache because I missed my cup of coffee this morning'; whatever. What does God look at? God is concerned in the attitude, because there's something that happens when a man realizes that he is insignificant!

I think lots of times that we could look at that negatively, but let's look at it positively, and the good that can come.

Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD, 'The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where then is the house that you build for Me? And where is the place of My rest?'"

God is telling us that on this Day of Atonement He is not interested in physical things. God can create a physical universe by thinking and it's there. God can reproduce worlds, suns and galaxies and they are there; but they're empty, they're hollow, they're missing something. They're missing the Family of God!

That's why God says, v 2: "'For all these things My hand has made, and these things came to be,' says the LORD. 'But to this one I will look…'" This is what is important; this is the attitude we need to have for this day:

"…to him who is of a poor and contrite spirit and who trembles at My Word" (v 2)—willing to follow God's Word, and willing to follow God's way, regardless of the consequences! I say that the near future is going to prove us whether we mean it or not.

Isaiah 58:3: "They say, "Why have we fasted, and You do not see?…" We're not going to force God to do something that God is not going to do!

"'…Behold, in the day of your fast you pursue your business and exploit all your workers. Behold, you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness …" (vs 3-4).

That's the opposite attitude that Christ wants. That's the opposite attitude that God wants—isn't it?

Let's see the attitude God wants us to have. We know we're all going to have trials and difficulties. I don't know, it just seems as that in those that one trial prepares us for the next. How many have found that to be true? Yes it does!

Psalm 34:1: "I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall always be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant; and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard, and saved him out of all his troubles" (vs 1-6). When they come there's a good psalm to turn to.

Verse 7: "The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them. O taste and see that the LORD is good…" (vs 7-8). That's why we have this Day of Atonement.

Jesus said, 'He who comes to Me must eat My flesh and drink My blood'; because Christianity is not a 'religion,' it is a way of life! The things that we do are not ritualistic; they're meaningful in the spirit; they're meaningful in our lives and our eternal destiny. That's why he says, "O taste and see that the LORD is good…"

"…blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. O fear the LORD, all you saints, for there is nothing lacking to those who fear Him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. Come, hearken to me, you children; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Who is the man that desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth" (vs 8-16).

But there's one thing that God always does: He lets the wicked prosper! He lets them think that they have won. We will see that repeated in the world scene with the events that are coming. He lets them think that they have won, but then He cuts them off!

Verse 17: "The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the broken-hearted and saves those who are of a contrite spirit" (vs 17-18).

That's the whole purpose of the attitude for the Feast of Atonement. That's why it's called a Feast day, though it's an affliction day. We afflict ourselves physically, but we feast spiritually. We see the physical things, and yet, evaluate the spiritual consequences!

As the day of oneness with God and drawing close to Him, it will also signify that time to the world when they will have the same opportunity; when Satan the devil will not be there. You won't have to walk down the streets and see the sick, the lame, the blind, the halted, the smog, the dirt and the filth. You won't have to read about murder, rape, accidents, plane crashes or kidnappings. It won't be! And it can't happen until the world is at-one with God. It never has been, but that day is coming.

Verse 19: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous… [yes, in this time] …but the LORD delivers him out of them all."

God shows what kind of fast that He looks to, what kind of attitude that we need to have. It is certainly true! At this Feast of Tabernacles—that's approaching—we need to approach it with fasting and with prayer.

Joel 2:12: "'Therefore, even now,' says the LORD, 'turn to Me with all your heart…'" That's what God is interested in. He wants your heart! He wants your mind!

That's why you have the physical body that you have. You have it for a spiritual and eternal reason. But this physical body is going to pass away, and this physical body is going to be gone! I saw a woman that I hadn't seen in years, and she just made a remark, 'Well, we all change—don't we?' We do!

I think with the Day of Atonement, and we focus in on that the physical things will never succeed, we all realize that we have no control over: birth, aging, taxes, or death—

  • whether you're happy
  • whether you're miserable
  • whether you're rich
  • whether you're poor
  • whether you're a man
  • whether you're a woman

that is true!

That's why with this Day of Atonement God says He wants us to "…'turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.' Yes, rend your heart and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God…" (vs 12-13).

  • that's what we need to do
  • that's what it is concerned about
  • that's the only way we can be at-one with God.

God doesn't need the physical things. He can make those. The earth is His footstool, and yet, the world powers struggle over it:

  • to control it
  • to fight and war over it
  • to have it
  • to use it
  • to abuse it
  • to manipulate
  • to control
  • to deceive
  • to own
  • to possess
  • to only have it and die

You read the history of every great leader in this world and they have died, and many of them ignominious deaths. Why? Because the flesh profits nothing!

That's why when God has called us and we have His Spirit He is concerned about our hearts and our minds. He doesn't want the tearing of garments. He doesn't want physical ritual. Even as He told the Pharisees, 'that even though they blew the trumpets, and even though they sounded the alarm when they put in their amount into the treasury, that the heart was more important than the amount! So, God wants your heart and turn to Him.

"…for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil. Who knows if He will return and repent and leave a blessing behind Him…" (vs 13-14).

That's why it's a good time to re-evaluate everything that you thought you had stood for as a Christian, everything you thought God has called you for. A good time to look at the life of Jesus Christ and evaluate:

  • what He did
  • what He said
  • what His attitude was
  • how He conducted His life
  • what that has for us in meaning for this day

Now, it could very well be, but it doesn't say that this temptation and fasting was on or near the Day of Atonement; but it could very well be. This day of fasting for us, the lessons out of Luke 4, are very important because:

  • it tells us the attitude that Jesus Christ had
  • it tells us the attitude that we need to have
  • it tells us the attitude that can only come from God

We can only furnish part of it. God has to furnish the other half of that with His Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:1: "And Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing in those days; and after they had come to an end, He hungered" (vs 1-2). Forty days!

Now, you can just imagine what kind of shape He was in physically. You can just imagine how much weight He lost. You can just imagine how gaunt and thin and miserable that Jesus was as a human being, because the Son of God was going to have no pride in the flesh. That's why He met Satan in this condition.

Verse 3: "Then the devil said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, command that this stone become bread.' But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God"'" (vs 3-4)

That's the meaning of this day when it says, 'taste and see that the Lord is good.' God's Word is more important, God's Spirit is more important than physical life.

That is why in this age of materialism, as we kaleidoscope down in the vortex of all of the prophecies that are rapidly shooting out in front of us, it's going to end in the martyrdom of Christians. It's going to end in the martyrdom of Christians who are rich and increased with goods and naked and blind. If they love God, they can't love the flesh! Man shall not live by bread only—food alone—but by every Word of God.

Verse 5: "Then the devil led Him up into a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time" Just like on a great panoramic screen:

  • every nation
  • every people
  • every kindred
  • every tongue
  • every civilization
  • all the powers
  • all the troops
  • all of the mechanisms
  • all of the beauty
  • all of the gold
  • all of the wealth
  • all of the buildings

—everything!

Verse 6: "And the devil said to Him, 'I will give You all this authority, and the glory of them all; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I desire.'"

Jesus was tested to see if He would sell the salvation of the world for the control of it. Maybe the devil even told Him, 'I know You're the Son of man, but if You worship me, You can rule now. I will let You rule the world, but You must worship me as God.'
Verse 8: "But Jesus answered and said to him, 'Get behind Me, Satan; for it is written, "You…''"

That is not talking to Satan, because Satan is never going to worship God. He's quoting the Scripture where the Scripture says you to mankind. As a human being He was quoting the Scripture to Himself, saying, 'God says you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.' He was saying and rebuking Satan in a straightforward way, that 'you are not God.'

Verse 8: "But Jesus answered and said to him, 'Get behind Me, Satan; for it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve."' Then he led Him to Jerusalem and set Him upon the edge of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down from here; for it is written…'" [chapter, verse, Scripture; I got it right here it says]: …"He shall give His angels charge concerning You to keep You; and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone"' (vs 8-11).

Verse 12: "But Jesus answered and said to him, 'It is clearly stated, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God."' Now, when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from Him for a time" (vs 12-13).

I imagine when that was over, the account in Matthew says that angels came and ministered to Him, that He was so weak, physically, that He could barely raise His hands; He could barely stand on His own two feet. I imagine if we go back to Psa. 84 we could get a good idea of what Jesus was thinking about at that time. Maybe this is what He was thinking about. Maybe this is what He had on His mind.

I know one thing in the experience of being a minister, in serving people here in Monterey and the other congregations I have been, that when the time of deprivation, sorrow, sadness, sickness, disease, pain and misery strike, that is the time when people really look forward to the things of the Kingdom of God, when they really look forward to those spiritual things of God.

I imagine how Jesus was then. I imagine Jesus could look down and see how thin He was and how weak He was, and I imagine His hands were trembling and His mouth was thick and tight and almost filled with, like it was, with cotton or sand.

Psalm 84:1: "How lovely are Your tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!"

  • How pleasant they are, God!
  • How right they are, God!

Verse 2: "My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."

  • David knew what was important
  • he knew what was right
  • he knew what was good

Verse 3: "Yea, even the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah" (vs 3-4). Blessed shall it be:

  • when we are in God's house
  • when we are in God's kingdom
  • when we are there with Jesus Christ and God the Father

Verse 5: "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You; Your ways are in their hearts."

Psalm 15:1: "LORD, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell upon Your Holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the Truth in his heart; he does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the LORD; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change it" (vs 1-4). His word is his bond; he means what he says!

Verse 5: "He who has not put out his money at usury, nor has he taken a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things… [the right things] …shall never be moved."

Psa. 63 is always one of my favorite psalms. It's always the best way in the attitude to ensure that you will stay right with God, you will be right with God.

Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You! My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is."

Just picture yourself in the heat of a desert, having gone through all the mirages of the invisible lakes that are on the desert, and maybe you're about ready to die. Maybe you need some water, whatever it may be. Then you think maybe it's going come to an end. And you think, 'O God! What a tremendous thing it would be to be with You, and my flesh cries out for You!'

Verse 2: "To see Your power and Your glory—as I have seen You in the sanctuary. Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips when I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows hard after You…" (vs 2-8).

That's the way it needs to be in our life, brethren, that our souls, our hearts, our minds, our being follow hard after God!

  • don't let this world or  anything detract you
  • don't let anything detour you
  • don't let anything hold you back from following after God hard

"…Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life to destroy it shall go into the depths of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a serving for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him shall glory, but the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped" (vs 8-11).

Let's carry on what Jesus said. One of the beatitudes that we need to have, one of the things that we need to really understand, one of the things that we need to realize in the best and proper way, and this day epitomizes and pictures more than anything else.

Matthew 5:3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit…" That means that spiritually before God they are right! They come to God and say:

Yes, God, I know that in the flesh I'm nothing. I know that of my own self, my own mind, my own heart, that I am capable of doing nothing in serving You, in doing Your will and doing Your ways.'

And that we understand it comes from God.

"…for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled" (vs 3-6). And that's the meaning of this day.

  • Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness?
  • Do you hunger and thirst after those things that are right and good?
  • Have you set your heart, your mind, and your course in this life and in your Christian life that God has called you into, to do that, to seek that?

God says you will be filled. It's after righteousness:

  • righteousness is doing right
  • righteousness is doing good
  • righteousness is serving God with a right heart, mind, attitude and spirit

or

  • Do we end up like the world?
  • fighting?
  • striving?
  • backbiting?
  • bickering?

I guarantee you, spiritual murder is worse than physical. The righteousness that can only come from God, and that only God can fill, that only God, with His Spirit, can put into the void to make us see and understand His Word, and live by it. He gave the Constitution for Christian living in Matthew 5-7. Upon which, brethren, I submit that none of us at any time, or any station, have the right or the authority to change it!

Let's see what the biggest missing ingredient is that God has to give; Mark 12:28 "And one of the scribes who had come up to Him, after hearing them reasoning together and perceiving that He answered them well, asked Him, 'Which is the first commandment of all?' Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel…"'" (vs 28-29). You can put your name there, because this is what Jesus is telling us!

  • if there's any one thing that is going to please God
  • if there's any one thing that is going to put you in right standing with God
  • if there's any one thing that is of the most paramount importance in our life to achieve, it is this:

Verse 30: "'And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment." This is the primary commandment. Because on that:

  • IF you love God, you don't love your own life unto death
  • IF you love God, you can have the faith to face the future
  • IF you love God, He will be with you

Verse 31: "And the second is like this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'.…"

I think that there are an awful lot of us from time-to-time who come to the point of hatred for our neighbors, because we hate ourselves.

(go to the next track)

We hate ourselves because we don't love God. That doesn't mean to turn around like the world and say, 'The only way you can love your neighbor is love yourself.' No! The only way you can love your neighbor is to love God first, and then your neighbor as yourself! It's the only way it's going to be.

That's the biggest missing ingredient that only God can give us, because God is love. He doesn't have love; He is love! We can only possess what God gives us! Therefore, it has to come from God, and that's why we fast and pray; that's why we yield to God. Let's see what this Christian way of life and this attitude of being at one with God, and serving God, and being close to Him, should lead us to do, and how we ought to conduct our lives, and how we ought to conduct ourselves.

Romans 12:1: "I exhort you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice…"—because the flesh doesn't count!

It's only a vehicle to achieve the righteousness that God wants. It's only a physical vehicle and mechanism through which God's Spirit can work, that we may develop the character and the heart, mind and attitude of God. "…to present your bodies a living sacrifice…" The root word there is 'zoae,' which means zealous, active; implicating dedicated, because the word zealot comes from the same root.

"…Holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God" (vs 1-2).

There's something else we have to do—there are many instructions here in Rom. 12, but we won't go through the whole thing—Paul says:

Verse 9: "Let love be without hypocrisy…"—dissimulation! The most dissimulating show of love that has been recorded in the world's history: the kiss of Judas!

"…abhorring that which is evil and cleaving to that which is good" (v 9).

  • there has to be a fight
  • there has to be a struggle
  • there has to be a war

It is a spiritual war, and it is a mental battle, and it is that something that needs to be worked on all the time.

Let's see how God wants us to be. God doesn't want us to be as part of this society, as part of this world. What does God say about the friendship of this world? If you are a friend of the world you are an enemy of God! He says, 'Woe unto you when men speak well of you for so did they of the false prophets.'

Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering… [an atonement] …and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (vs 1-2). Let's not let the stench of the dung of sin interfere with that offering!

Verse 3: "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints; nor filthiness, nor foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming; but instead, thanksgiving. For this you know…" (vs 3-5).

  • God is saying, in His love
  • God is saying, in His Truth
  • God is saying, inspired through the Apostle Paul

—to those who thought they stand—'Take heed for those of you who think you stand, lest you fall!'

Verse 5: "For this you know, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words; for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be joint partakers with them. For you were once darkness; but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of Light, (because the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and Truth); proving what is well pleasing to the Lord; and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them; for it is shameful even to mention the things being done by them in secret" (vs 5-12).

As we see the world, like a comet streaking toward its destruction, God says:

Isaiah 58:1—we are to: "Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram's horn…"

Part of the very love of God is to warn of the sin that is there. Part of the righteousness of God is to reveal the evil that is there. The hardest thing that's going to be, brethren, is to stand up and tell the world that the pope is of the devil! They won't believe us!

"…and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins" (v 1).

Since we've come out of the world, brethren, we are affected by the world, and those things affect us, and those things affect the spiritual temple of God.
Jeremiah 7:1: "The Word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 'Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this Word, and say, "Hear the Word of the LORD, all Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship the LORD."' Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel…" (vs 1-3).

I think maybe as we're going to the Feast, and maybe as we're evaluating our lives in these times in which we live, let's think about these words:

  • to us
  • to our lives individually
  • to our lives collectively
  • to our purposes
  • to our goals
  • for our representation of God

God says, "…'Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in lying words, saying, "The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these"'" (vs 3-4).

All you have to do is read the history of the Church of God. All you have to do is realize and know and understand that God has told us—as Christians, as those whom He has called—that our choices are the things that count. I've often heard a lot of people ask:

  • Why does God allow this?
  • Why does God allow that?
  • Why does God allow the other things?
  • If there weren't free moral agency, then God wouldn't allow it!
  • What will God allow?
  • Anything but the destruction of the earth!
  • What will God allow in your life?
  • Anything you decide to do!
    • that's why it has to be right and good
    • that is why there has to be repentance
    • that is why God says that we need to amend our ways

The last people on earth that need to be saying, 'We're the people of God! We're the people of God! We're the people of God!' should be us; to say how good and righteous we are!

Verse 5: "For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor." Resolve the issues that come. Bring forth the difficulties to the light!

Verse 6: "'If you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your hurt; then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, forever and ever. Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know; and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, "We are delivered to do all these abominations"?'" (vs 6-10).

  • Shall we, brethren, really?
  • Can it really be so?
  • Can it really be true?

The greatest hypocrisy that can ever be is that if we end up like the rest of the world. Jesus didn't say that the Pharisees were wrong for having the Scripture. He did not say that they weren't there in authority. But He did say, 'Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees'—didn't He?

  • that is put there that we may learn
  • that is put there that we may understand
  • that is put there that we may learn not to do those same things

1-Timothy 6:1: "Let as many slaves as are under the yoke of servitude esteem their own masters worthy of all respect, so that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed. Do not let those who have believing masters despise them because they are brethren; rather, let them serve them even better, because they are believing and beloved who are being helped by the good service. These things teach and exhort" (vs 1-2)

All the things leading up there, all through 1-Tim. 1-5: "…These things teach and exhort."

  • What did he say?
  • What were some of the things that he said to the minister?

Let's see some of those things!

1-Timothy 4:6: "If you are teaching these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Jesus Christ, being nourished by the words of the faith and of the good doctrines that you have closely followed. But refuse profane and old wives' fables; rather, exercise yourself unto Godliness" (vs 6-7).

Then he says that bodily exercise profits a little, but that which is spiritual is best.

Verse 10: "Now, it is for this reason that we are laboring, and we are personally suffering reproach because we have hope in the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who are believers. These things command and teach" (vs 10-11).
There are certain things we have to command and teach. He also told them in 2-Tim. 3 that there are times when you have to say things that may not necessarily be pleasant. And there is a time to say them, there's a season to say them, and there is a way to say them.

2-Timothy 4:1—Paul says: "I charge you, therefore… [to Timothy, a minister] …in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be urgent in season and out of season; convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine. For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings" (vs 1-3).

You know, brethren, that could happen within the Church as well as without.

Verse 5: "But as for you, be vigilant in all things, endure hardships, do the work of an evangelist; fully carry out your ministry."

Paul told them in 1-Timothy 6:3: "If anyone teaches any different doctrine, and does not adhere to sound words, even those of our Lord Jesus Christ…"--because, brethren:

  • the truth is, we're not an Old Testament Church
  • the truth is, we are to follow and live by every Word of God; we're to live by the words of Jesus Christ
  • the truth is, when Jesus said, that if you be sued, 'give them your cloak'
  • the truth is, 'agree with your adversary while you're in the way with him'

Those are the wholesome words of Jesus Christ!

  • the truth is, we are to 'obey the magistrates and be subject to the powers to be,' whether for good or whether for evil

Paul said that of a dictatorial government, where there were no constitutional rights:

  • as we sow, so shall we reap
  • as we live, so shall we die

If we are not dedicated—individually and collectively—at all times and in every place to uphold the sacred and Holy name of Jesus Christ and uphold what God stands for, God Himself shall have His judgment upon us; God Himself shall tell us!

There does need to come to time when there has to be a crying aloud and sparing not. And there does have to come a time when there has to be a public evaluation of our sins as a group, and each of us individually.

  • not for condemnation
  • not for judgment
  • not for vanity
  • not for vain-talking
  • not for hellfire and brimstone

But in love and strength and concern that we all make it into the Kingdom of God; that we can eternally love each other; that we can eternally be right with Him!

Verse 3: "If anyone teaches any different doctrine, and does not adhere to sound words, even those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine that is according to Godliness, he is proud…" (vs 3-4)—the Greek there is puffed up: unconverted; filled with leaven!

"…and knows nothing. Rather, he has a morbid attraction to questions and disputes over words, from which come envy, arguments, blasphemy, wicked suspicions, vain reasonings of men who have been corrupted in their minds and are destitute of the Truthmen who believe that gain is Godliness. From such withdraw yourself" (vs 4-5).

When I first got the call Friday morning from Mr. Luker about what had transpired, and about what had gone forward, I've since had a long time to really think about and pray about the things that have transpired, from the first encounter—before the Sabbath before Pentecost—and the one this week. I've had to examine my life and my heart before God Almighty!

I had to make sure that I love God more than anything there is, because Jesus Christ said, 'He who seeks to save his life shall lose it!' And on the Day of Atonement I think it's very fitting that we understand we're not going to save ourselves by physical means!

As the circumstances and events have occurred in my life, at this point in my life I would have the greatest need to hold on to something physical. I would find the greatest reasons to compromise the Truth of God to survive. When I got that call Friday morning I was very upset. I was not mad, I was not angry. I was very disappointed! In praying about it I determined that if it were God's will that I transfer, I would go, and go willingly.

But I got a call later in the afternoon stating that the most unthinkable had happened. That showed me I could no longer continue with the Worldwide Church of God in a conscientious way when I heard that Stanley Rader was ordained as an evangelist, when Mr. Armstrong said he never would! Rader:

  • who had taken God's name in vain publicly on national television
  • who has taken to himself the vengeance of God
  • who is, in vengeance, out to do in everyone who will not agree with him

I feel, brethren, that the sacred tithe money and offerings that you send in to God, to be used on the projects initiated and suggested by Mr. Rader are an effrontery and blasphemous before God, of which I suggest you read Quest Magazine.

I am sure that true to God's Word that as a church and as a work—and I'm not saying this in condemnation—I'm saying pray for them, brethren, because they need your prayers.

  • I'm not saying this because I want to hold on to something physical that I possess
  • I'm not saying this because I want to be uncooperative and not transfer
  • I'm not saying this to be dramatic and tell you to follow me

But I'm saying this because the worst evil that could ever happen is that God's Church be deceived from within!

A man, who in my judgment with the Spirit of God—though I know it is not my final judgment to make, but we shall know them by their fruits—has been placed into one of the highest offices in the Church, and we may find ourselves in very desperate trouble!.

I do know that there are sins in high places, that, as the Apostle Paul has said, are 'so despicable they are unrepeatable.' And that unless these are repented of, and our parts in agreeing with it, we shall all be vomited out of the mouth of God!

I hope and pray that there is someone in Pasadena today standing in the pulpit, calling God's people to repentance, to amend their ways! And to use the resources and power and manpower and money that God has given into the hands of the Church to preach the name of Jesus Christ around the world!

  • and we'd better sound religious
  • and we better uphold the name of Jesus Christ

Because our foe is Satan the devil, and if we try and preach the salvation of God without the name of Jesus Christ, that is another gospel that is being preached that Christ didn't send!

If we fall victim to that, Satan's coup de gras within has taken place! Evil, fear, terror, wretchedness, suspicion, doubt, lack of love and hatred will all come!

To which, brethren, I'm very sorry. My heart, my mind and my attitude go out for Mr. Armstrong personally. I've been with him; I've talked with him; I also know the circumstances involved; and I also understand, and I also know, true to what God says, unless there is the kind of repentance, which I thought was coming a year ago in June, when he said to sell Quest, and that Mr. Rader was no longer going to have any power in the Church, at which time Mr. Rader threatened to sue Mr. Armstrong. Of which, I submit, that if I had threatened to sue Mr. Armstrong how long do think I would have lasted, let alone be ordained as an evangelist?

You have seen your brothers and your sisters, and fellow ministers and deacons become prey to the devourer from within and from without!

It's time that we come to God in prayer, in fasting, and yielding to Him, that God Almighty would save His people; that God Almighty would turn us to serve Him with all our heart, mind, soul and being, and that we quit deceiving ourselves!

Just like God allowed with Job, it went on, and it went on, and it went on. I imagine Job said, 'How long, God?' Till he had his mind opened! Till he could understand what was right before God! God gives a warning! I submit to you, brethren, every one of us in the Worldwide Church of God fit into Rev. 3:14 on. God Almighty says that we are to repent—every one of us—me, you, all the way up the line!

Revelation 3:15: "I know your works that you are neither cold nor hot…" Almost double-spirited, double-minded; one standard for the people, one conduct for others; the equal and the more equal.

"…I would that you be either cold or hot" (v 15). We ought to be on fire, brethren!

Let me tell you, I called an author of one of the articles here, which is a lot of first level witchcraft practice of burning their relatives and letting their children run the ashes through their fingers, and wish the spirit well on its travel to the other side; and initiate his son into the mysteries.

I called this man; he lives in Berkeley. He is an atheist genetic Jew, who believes in Eastern Maharishiism. When we first got the Human Potential Magazine with Mr. Armstrong's article in it, this was presented to us as the thing that it would be. The switch came later, that advertises Christmas, takes the name of God in vain, and uses the tithe money of God! I'm sorry, brethren!

Verse 16: "So then, because you are lukewarm… [half in the world/half in the church, not zealous for God] …and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. For you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (vs 16-17).

And you know, brethren, I don't know any minister that has been happy. We have all been miserable! I come before you to repent of my part. I come before you not to say I'm perfect or I am free of sin, but I come before you to warn you, as a minister of God, that unless we all repent collectively as a church, that the devices of Satan have been set in motion that's going to destroy it and tear it apart!

Verse 17: "For you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire so that you may be rich; and white garments so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see" (vs. 17-18)—instead of being deceived!

And may we all say together, 'God, put our sins under the blood of Jesus Christ, that the blood of Jesus Christ forgive us for our wretchedness; that the blood of Jesus Christ forgive us for becoming wicked, and evil, and vile; that we may see.

  • God, we know You love us
  • God, we know You have called us

Verse 18: "I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire so that you may be rich; and white garments so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see"—because, brethren, God will expose us to the world and we shall be ugly, sinful, despicable, wretched! And they will look at us and say, 'You represent God?'

Verse 19: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock…" (vs 19-20).

It's true, and Mr. Armstrong is right, the coming of Christ is soon. But we'd better be about God's business and God's way, to serve God. If not, He will not say to us, 'Well done good and faithful servant.' He will say, 'Cast him into the Lake of Fire, because he was unprofitable.'

So, brethren, I appreciate your prayers. I love you. I love God's Church, and I love Mr. Armstrong. I don't say these things in any way in vindictiveness. I know after I step down from here I will be marked, disfellowshiped, branded and discredited. I understand that. But I count it, brethren, to be cast out of the Church of God for telling the truth, an honor!

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 66:1-2
  • Isaiah 58:3-4
  • Psalm 34:1-19
  • Joel 2:12-14
  • Luke 4:1-6, 8-13
  • Psalm 84:1-5
  • Psalm 15:1-5
  • Psalm 63:1-11
  • Matthew 5:3-6
  • Mark 12:28-31
  • Romans 12:1-2, 9
  • Ephesians 5:1-12
  • Isaiah 58:1
  • Jeremiah 7:1-10
  • 1 Timothy 6:1-2
  • 1 Timothy 4:6-7, 10-11
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-3, 5
  • 1 Timothy 6:3-5
  • Revelation 3:15-20

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 6
  • Leviticus 23
  • Matthew 5-7
  • 1 Timothy 1-5
  • 2 Timothy 3
  • Revelation 3:14

Also referenced: Book: A Harmony of the Gospels

FRC:
Formatted/Corrected: bo—8-7-19

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