"See That Ye Be Not Troubled..."

Clearly, you and I are living in the times prophesied by Jesus Christ of Nazareth — a time of “trouble such as never was since there was a nation.”

We could awaken any morning to find that a major nuclear war has erupted between India and Pakistan; that up to fifteen million have died, and that the fertile lands in Kashmir over which the two combatants are squabbling have been rendered unfit for human habitation for generations! As I write, the leaders of the two nations seem to be moderating their rhetoric a little; backing away from such threats as “unleashing a storm ”-- a clear warning about the use of nuclear bombs.

Yet, we are warned that a “miscalculation” by either side could lead to disaster. Jesus Christ said, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

“All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8). We have been living in a time of war for many decades! Since the time my parents were married, the world was convulsed in two WORLD wars. Immediately following World War II, there was war in Greece. In only three years, war broke out between six Arab countries and tiny Israel, which had declared Unilateral Independence. In only five years, the Communist North Koreans invaded South Korea.

Since World War II, there have been at least sixty five wars, some of them fierce, protracted and bloody, such as America’s horrible experience in Vietnam, Russia’s experience in Afghanistan, and the 8-year war between Iraq and Iran in which more than 1 million died. Most of the wars were fairly local, and contained, such as violent overthrow of government, bloody insurgencies, and government pogroms, such as those carried out in the Balkans.

The Gulf War, though short lived, carries with it to this day consequences far beyond our shallow “victory” in which we left one of the world’s most dangerous men in power.

No thinking person can doubt for a moment that we are living in the “time of the end” of prophecy; that we are living in a time of “wars and rumors of wars!”

Daniel was told by the archangel, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:1-3).

This prophecy is the SAME as the time prophesied by Christ, since each describes a time absolutely unparalleled. The scriptures in Daniel beg the questions: Is YOUR name written in the book of life? Are YOU involved in the WORK OF GOD which is “turning many to righteousness?” Have you solved the BIG QUESTION of your personal life?

Jesus Christ also prophesied, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (Matthew 24:9,10). Anger, rancor, bitterness, hatred has become all too commonplace among members of God’s church! When Christ said “they shall deliver YOU up to be afflicted” He was not speaking of the world, but of His own disciples! When He predicted “then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another” He was still speaking of His own disciples!

Consider the conditions occurring here and there among some who THINK they are members of God’s true Church; who THINK they are converted Christians! Some have recoiled away from others, judging, condemning, accusing, and not realizing that they, the accusers, are judged as guilty before God! Unless they learn to FORGIVE, and to LOVE, they will never be in God’s kingdom!

Christ continued, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

“And because iniquity [sin! lawlessness!] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:11-13).

Many in God’s church are unaware of the powerful effect upon them from Satan’s world around them. This is not God’s world; not God’s civilization. Satan is the “god of this world” who has deceived all nations (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9).

I have mentioned in several sermons the clever television commercial of some years ago wherein a stout little lady, looking at her fast-food hamburger, shouts, “Where’s the beef?” Then, showing how the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit are “Love, Joy, Peace” (Galatians 5:22), I said God’s people need to ask, in every contentious or problematic situation, “Where’s the LOVE?”

Truly, the LOVE of many HAS WAXED COLD! Like the sleepy virgins of Matthew 25, many have allowed the world around them to lull them to sleep, spiritually, and they do not show LOVE toward even their own fellow Christians! I could, without much effort, easily come up with more than a dozen instances of estrangement, shunning; situations where former brethren simply WILL NOT SPEAK to each other! What each individual sows, so shall he reap.

After describing all these troubles; wars and rumors of wars; including the problems affecting God’s church, Christ nevertheless said, “And this gospel [the GOOD NEWS] of the kingdom [the WORLD-RULING GOVERNMENT OF GOD] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:9-14).

Notwithstanding splits, schisms and divisions, the GOSPEL WILL BE PREACHED!

Some were led to believe the Gospel had been preached around the world. Some assumed the “work” of the church was OVER; that every nation had heard. Nonsense! The BILLIONS of people in China, India, Japan, and in all Islamic countries HAVE NOT HEARD A WORD of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Go out among the public, and engage people in conversation. Find out how many of them expected the Soviet Union to implode; how many expected a United States of Europe to emerge; how many expected the reunification of Germany. Find out how many expect a united EUROPE to invade the Middle East in a forceful “peacekeeping” role!

Find out how many expect EUROPE to become the most dangerous ENEMY of the United States! I would be amazed if you can find ONE IN TEN THOUSAND who think any such thing!

The true GOSPEL; that is, the announcement that Christ is coming to this earth to CONQUER it; to RULE it with a rod of iron for a thousand years JUST HAS NOT REACHED THE MASSES to any great degree!

But a FALSE “gospel;” a sanctimonious, smarmy, sentimental story “about” Jesus has! Millions “believe” in “another Jesus,” and in an entirely different “gospel” (Galatians 1:6-9). They know NOTHING about the REAL Jesus Christ of history; the Christ of the Bible!
They do not know WHEN He was born! Millions suppose He was born on December 25th, when He was actually born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, in the autumn. They do not know the CIRCUMSTANCES of His birth! Millions suppose MARY was “immaculately conceived,” and very, very few know that Jesus Christ was the “Logos” or the “Spokesman” of Divine Elohim Who said “Let there be light,” and said “Let US make man in OUR image” (Genesis 1:26; John, 1st chapter). They know nothing of the pre-human existence of Christ.

They do not know to which RACE He belonged! The Bible says several times He was a Jew; both in His genealogies, and in plain statements! They do not know what He looked like! Millions have pictures they bought in Bible book stores which are pure conjecture of artists! The “Jesus” of fanciful, mythological nominal “Christianity” is a complete fake, a farce, who never lived! The REAL Jesus looked like any ordinary Jewish young man of His day, and had “no form nor comeliness that, when we see Him, we would desire Him.”

They do not know why He came! He did NOT come to bring the world a “new religion!” He did NOT come to reform the synagogue! He did NOT come to abrogate God’s laws! Millions suppose His primary purpose was to “nail the Ten Commandments to the Cross!” He did not die on a “cross,” which is a PAGAN symbol, but died while nailed to an upright pale, called a “stauros” in the original Greek of your Bible! His arms were pinioned over His head, which was why the soldiers broke the sufferers' legs, to prevent them from heaving themselves up to get a breath! See Bullinger’s Companion Bible for the proof.

They do not know what He taught! Millions have swallowed the “only believe” theory; thinking salvation is so easy, it only requires you to “come forward” in an evangelistic campaign, or to “confess Jesus publicly.” Millions think the formula for salvation is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!” But Jesus Christ said to REPENT! Peter said REPENT, and be baptized, and you shall receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

Millions do not know Christ was the greatest PROPHET who ever lived; that His powerful prophecies, like those listed above, lay before us a step-by-step series of events leading to the destruction of civilization as we know it, and the CONQUERING of this evil, Satan-led world by Christ at His second coming!"

They do not know WHY He died, or HOW He died! Millions suppose He died of a broken heart! Some have blasphemously suggested He was STONED to death! Many think His death was a hoax; that He was merely in a “swoon,” and that His disciples PLOTTED with Him to fake His death! Millions do not know He died because THEY HAVE SINNED; have BROKEN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! Millions do not believe He was really DEAD, but was ALIVE, “preaching to spirits in hell!”

Millions do not know HE IS ALIVE today, and on a COUNTDOWN from heaven, planning to come back to this earth at the exact moment when, IF He did not intervene, mankind would destroy himself, and there would not be a man, woman or child left alive!

When you DO NOT KNOW that much about someone, how can you say you KNOW Him? If you have not yet read my book, “The Real Jesus,” please Email us, or call 903 561-7070 and ask for your free copy!

Now, LOOK, for a few moments, at the incredible conditions all around us in this world!

True to Christ’s predictions, in many regions of the world, particularly in Islamic countries, but also in such Catholic countries as Mexico, even nominal “Christians” are being vigorously persecuted; many are being slain by bombs and machine guns. How strange it is that just prior to mentioning how the good news of His coming Kingdom would be proclaimed abroad, Christ would insist that because so much SIN would prevail in the world, the LOVE of many of God’s own people would “wax cold!”

THAT HAS HAPPENED!

Many are unaware of how the rotten, filthy society has rubbed callouses on their consciences; how Satan’s modern world has made inroads into their minds and hearts! You and I live in the age of TOTAL TRASH in “entertainment,” literature and art! We live in a time of a vast, Satan conspiracy against anything that is good, decent, moral, and Christian.

There is a Satanic conspiracy against normal homes and families; against marriage; against our children and grandchildren!

Increasingly, the “gays” and various special “rights” groups are making huge inroads into every facet of society!

God showed his OUTRAGE against that kind of behavior when He sent Divine FIRE down upon perverted, wretched, sinning Sodom and Gomorrah! Isaiah says of our people today, “The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves” (Isaiah 3:9).

As God shows in Romans the 1st chapter, perverts bring upon themselves the natural result of their perversions, suffering different kinds of horrifying diseases, including AIDS, which has become epidemic all over the world!

Yet, Jesus Christ says when “all these things [the things of the Tribulation] BEGIN to happen (and they HAVE!) then LIFT up your heads, for you know your salvation is nigh!

Many are living in FEAR; in abject terror! Just this morning a commentator on a major television channel said his own mother, who lives in a small Midwestern town, fears that the “Al Quaeda” fighters might come to her own home!

Who, what do you fear? We are bombarded daily with warnings of yet another terrorist attack, or many of them. We are told the Al Quaeda network is regrouping; that top leaders under Bin Laden have spoken of additional attacks against the US and Britain soon.
The head of the FBI, speaking of terrorist attacks in America warns, “It is not a matter of whether, only a question of when.” The Vice President warns us, the head of Homeland Security warns us. It could be another flurry of hijacked airplanes, or rented light planes, flown by Muslim “students” freely admitted to the US by the incredibly confused, inept, inefficient, useless agency, the “Immigration and Naturalization Service,” or the “INS,” which is a joke.

Now, they tell us, the targets may be the Statue of Liberty, the Capitol Building or the White House. Or it may be major sports events, or city water supplies, or shopping malls or movie theaters.

Now, they warn us, “suicide bombers” may begin to blow themselves and their victims to bits here in the United States. We are warned of possible truck bombs, of car bombs, or the poisoning of our water and food. Daily, hundreds, or thousands, of illegal immigrants cross into the US. Recently, the families of 14 illegals who died of dehydration in the desert sued the Federal Government for $1.75 million for each dead illegal alien, saying the government had the responsibility to put up “water stations” along the routes taken by the illegals, so they will not risk dying of thirst! This is like a car thief suing the owner of the car for not leaving enough gas in the tank for the thief to make good his escape!

We are warned about “ dirty” nuclear bombs; conventional bombs with radioactive rods from nuclear reactors fastened to them, which would spread radioactive materials over a large area. And then there is the constant concern about our children and grandchildren in schools which have become potential killing grounds; about drugs, about homosexual teachers “coming out” in class; about school boards and state boards of education foisting on children books about sexual experimentation, and “how to determine their sexual preferences” from kindergarten and the first two or three grades!

When one considers all the hazards; collapsing bridges, road rage, car jacking, kidnapping, the derailing of trains carrying toxic or explosive materials; crime, traffic accidents, and dozens of threats to life and limb, there is plenty to fear.

How should we handle it? How do we live with such fears? How do we continue to function like normal human beings in the midst of daily warnings and threats?

We do so by SETTLING THE BIG QUESTION FIRST! That question is: “ARE WE SAVED?” God tells us, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:11-13). This is in the positive past tense! Paul wrote, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be [the carnal mind is our natural, human mind; our fleshly brain with its human thought processes].

“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:6-11).

HOW can you be saved? Peter said, “...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Read carefully my booklet, “The Three-Part Formula For Salvation.”
Once you have settled the BIG QUESTION in your life, then DEPEND on Paul’s beautiful and bold statement about fear: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18), and went on to say, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [warfare!]?

“As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39)."

See that ye be not troubled! Instead, let us just DO GOD’S WORK! WATCH, of course; PRAY, every day! Make sure the big question is completely settled in your own life, and then make equally sure you are engaged in “bringing many to righteousness,” busily involved in the work of proclaiming the wondrous Kingdom of God to the suffering millions all over this sin-sick world!
 

Garner Ted Armstrong
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