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The Laodicean Church Teaching Part 4

...Continued From Part 3

by Timothy Kitchen Jr on Friday, March 16, 2012 at 7:09pm

Mark of the Beast - Dec 11 1982 - Herbert W Armstrong "Brethren, we are the last thing triggering just before the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation is going to be brought on by this United States of Europe. It is not going to come by Russia, but by them. They will be a greater power than Russia or the United States. Now then, let's get back to some other things. I was reading out of the 6th chapter of Revelation just a moment ago. Now let's get back to the beginning of the 7th chapter. I want you to notice a few things. Revelation 7:1 Now after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding [up] the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth... THE 144,000 (PLAY FROM 1:02:58) Now, they are the winds that blow on the trumpets -- the trumpet plagues that come just before. As a matter of fact, the trumpet plagues are the 7th seal. And the 7th trumpet is the 7 last plagues, and Christ comes at the time of the 7 last plagues. Now comes the sealing of the 144,000. And then, separate from that and a little later, is this (beginning with verse 9). Revelation 7:9-10 After this I beheld, and, lo, A GREAT MULTITUDE, which no man could number [The 144,000 appeared to be this Church, brethren. And we're not that big yet, but we are getting that big, fast. "I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number"],of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and [different languages] ...stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes [He sees a vision that represents things on earth.], and palms in their hands; (10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. Revelation 7:13 One of the elders [in verse 13] answered, saying unto me, What are these [that] are arrayed in [the] white robes? ... (14) [And he said] ...Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came OUT OF [THE] GREAT TRIBULATION, [Now, modern translations say "the" great tribulation.] and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. That would be the Church. That would have to be the Laodicean Church that will follow this Church and come out of the Great Tribulation. Now, I want you to notice something in Revelation 20 and verse 4. Revelation 20 starts out with the angel taking Satan the devil and binding him a thousand years; but in verse 4: Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus [Martyrs -- both way back there several hundred years or over a thousand years ago, and those yet to be martyred during the coming Great Tribulation.] {6}, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his [name], neither had received his mark [Now there's the mark of the beast again.] upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Those who refuse to have the mark of the beast will reign with Christ a thousand years. Now, plainly, the martyrs over a thousand years ago refused that mark. And there are others that are to be martyred in the future -- in the next few years, maybe within a year and a half or two years from now. It could be that soon. So now let's go back to Revelation 14. The martyrs over a thousand years did not {7} receive the mark. Now let's see, Revelation 14 and verse 1. Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having [the] Father's name written in their foreheads. Now where's the mark of the beast to be written? The mark of the beast will be stamped in the forehead and in their hand so that they can't buy or sell, or can't hold a job and have money to buy or sell. Now take verse 4, just to skip and get the important ones. Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; [and] they are virgins. [That is, spiritually speaking "not defiled with." In other words, with the churches of this world; but are virgins from that point of view, plainly referring to this Church.]These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Again: we are the firstfruits, brethren. How many times do we see that, and we get that on the day of Pentecost. Now, beginning with verse 9: Revelation 14:9-10 And [There were now two angels with messages.] the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand [Here it is again, about the mark of the beast.], (10) the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb [at the Second Coming of Christ]. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THE MARK OF THE BEAST, you're tortured. You may be martyred. IF YOU DO RECEIVE THE MARK OF THE BEAST, then this [banging on the Bible] is going to happen to you! And brethren, every one of you may personally in the next 1 to 5 years, maybe 10 years... I can't set a date. But it's VERY, VERY IMMINENT NOW. And the time has come to WARN. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION. You'd better know what is the mark of the beast. Revelation 14:11-12 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day (n)or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name [the mark of the beast]. (12) Here is the patience of the saints: here are they [Now these do NOT have the mark of the beast.] that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. THE MARK AND THE COMMANDMENTS (PLAY FROM 1:10:40) On the one hand are those who have the name of God in their forehead and, when it comes to work and things, they have the commandments of God. And one of those commandments tells you what day you can't use your hands in work, and that day is the Sabbath day. IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD! Now why would Satan the devil use a church to try to make you break one of the commandments of God? Satan is a great deceiver! Satan is a great deceiver. I want you to notice there are two classes. One will {8}not have the mark, and they will be martyred. And many things are going to happen to you by the police and the police state, and they are going to take over this country. If you are not killed in the war and the famine and pestilence that is coming and prophesied to come almost any time now, then you are going to face this. But if you REJECT the mark... Let's see. Revelation 12:17. (12:17; I don't remember why I put that right in here.) Let's get that. Revelation 12:17, oh yes, that's it. Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have [the faith, or] the testimony of Jesus Christ. That's the Word of God, the Bible. And what churches do have it? Brethren, I had to find out (way back there 56 years ago now) that the churches do not believe the Bible. They do not follow the Bible, but they preach precisely the opposite of the Bible. And when it comes right down to following the Bible, this is the only Church I know! The Sardis Church did as far as they went, but they didn't go far enough. They didn't even know what is the true gospel. They didn't know what will happen during the Millennium. They knew there would be a Millennium all right, but they didn't have the true gospel of the Kingdom of God. They don't know we could be born of God. They had the Bible as far as they've got it, but they only have a little of if. But now the martyrs did NOT have the mark of the beast. Those who obey the human government may save their human life, but they are going to suffer all these plagues that I've read to you here from God and will not make it into the Kingdom of God. Those who obey God may be tortured. Let me tell you what kind of torture. They used to run needles right up under your fingernails and thumbnails, into the quick. And boy, that does hurt. All right, now let's get down to... I wanted to prepare you. Now I'll give you one. They would tie a rope around your wrists together. They would tie another rope around your ankles holding them together. The one rope would be hitched up to one horse. The other rope from your feet would be hitched to another horse. And they'd start the horses in opposite directions, and they'd pull you until they'd pull you apart. Actually would pull your legs, or your arms, right out of their sockets until you're pulled apart. That's the way they tortured people, until they died. It's so fiendish that I'd hate to tell you some of the things that have happened. And those things have happened, and former people have gone through that in order to keep the commandments of God. Now the two-horned beast is merely a sort of enforcer. They enforce the mark. They compel obedience. And they don't kill anyone. They... You'll notice that they "are drunk with the blood of the saints." But they didn't kill them. They "caused them to be killed." They just simply announced them "anathema from Christ," and the government killed them; but they ruled the government.

Now, they are going to compel disobedience to God. But they are not going to compel you to lie. They are not going to compel you to commit adultery. They are not going to compel stealing. They are not going to compel you to covet your neighbor's goods or your neighbor's wife. They will not compel you to dishonor your father and mother. They will not compel you to have other gods. (They might to worship idols, and they might not.) They won't compel you to use profanity. But I tell you what they will compel you to do -- to observe Sunday, instead of the Sabbath. " Mark of The Beast - Dec 11 1982 - Herbert W Armstrong "I am going to tell you one of two things is going to have to happen to you, every one of you; and we're going to face it collectively as a church, but each is going to face it individually also. You are going to be tested. If you try to save your life, you are going to lose it for all eternity. You may have to give your present life in order to make the Kingdom of God. Are you going to try to live on and save it? Or are you willing...? There is one place in the 12th chapter of Revelation where, after Satan has had the battle in heaven once again and has been sent back down to earth, where the "saints loved not their lives unto death." And that's speaking of our time, and our people, and those of the Laodicean Church to follow us almost immediately. And the Laodicean Era of the Church has not yet come, but it will; and I think that we are doing a whole lot to raise it up. " Mark of The Beast - Dec 11 1982 - Herbert W Armstrong "Now Daniel 2 shows it finally coming down to the toes of the feet; but you see one of those feet is planted on Eastern Europe, and one on Western Europe. And it comes down to the final end -- of the Second Coming of Christ and smashing this whole succession of Gentile governments on the toes of the feet. That's the ten kingdoms that are going to go together in Europe perhaps next year, perhaps the year after. Now I can't set dates; and, if it doesn't happen till two or three years from now, don't say how Mr. Armstrong said it was going to be in 1983. I didn't say that. I say it could. I didn't say it will. Now if someone tries to say I said it, I've got all you as witnesses. I didn't. They've tried to say, back in 1972, that I said things I did not say. Some people thought I said the Second Coming of Christ is going to occur then. No, I could see reasons why I thought this empire might go together at that time. And our Work will stop very soon after this Holy Roman Empire has this next, and last, resurrection. And OUR WORK WILL STOP and then will come the GREAT TRIBULATION. AND OUT OF IT AND DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION will rise up the Laodicean Era of God's Church. But this Church...Well you are either going to risk death, or your going to take the mark of the beast -- one or the other, unless we are taken to a place of protection and safety; and there are two places in the book of Revelation that certainly indicate we shall be. But it's going to take a miracle. Now it took a miracle from God to get the Israelites out of Egypt way back there in the days of Moses. He had to strike a rock, and water came out of it. And He may have to perform just as great miracles again this time. You had better begin to believe in miracles, because your very existence may depend on it. " CoWorker Letter July 24 1983 - Herbert W Armstrong "Now let me tell you WHY I know God has HELD BACK end-time world events -- and WHY he will cause things to snap together suddenly when least expected and bring this world suddenly to its END, and the coming of Christ in supreme power and glory to rule ALL NATIONS, ushering in the KINGDOM OF GOD and the WORLD TOMORROW! In Revelation 7, God suddenly holds up the plagues of the Day of the Lord, UNTIL certain events happen -- the sealing of the 144,000 and the emergence of the Laodicean Church. He has held events back before. Yet he says that, when HIS time comes, he will make a speedy work in the end time and cut his work short. In Matthew 24:32-35 Jesus said that when we see world events now occurring, we are to KNOW that this END is very near - within this generation. Yet of the day and hour (verse 36) we cannot know. Yet when it strikes it will strike suddenly, unexpectedly, like a trap that springs shut on a hapless rat without warning. If one knew at what hour a thief would come in the night to burglarize his house, he would have watched and been ready to resist him. We have been seeing these end-time world events coming for several years now. God has delayed -- held up world events. Yet he will SUDDENLY cut his work short, and END things, as unexpectedly and suddenly as when the trap springs on a rat before he can move. When Europe suddenly unites, our work, which Christ is doing with and through us, will quickly be over, and Christ's coming very soon thereafter. "

What Lies Ahead NOW! - Good News Jan 1984 - Herbert W Armstrong "What Lies Ahead NOW? by Herbert W. Armstrong page 1 Good News January 1984 Time is very short! Here is what is about to happen. WHAT LIES AHEAD, vital to us in God's Church, in the next very few years? Bible prophecy does not pinpoint precise datesor even the precise yearof forecasted events. But there is an important prophecy in Revelation 10. The apostle John saw, in a vision, an angel come with his hand lifted to heaven, saying, "There should be delay no longer" (verse 6). Then a voice from heaven told John to take and open a very small book in the hand of the angel, and eat it. In his mouth it was sweet as honey, but in his stomach very bitter. Then the voice said to John, "Thou must prophesy [preach or announce] again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, AND KINGS" (verse 11, Authorized Version). Now what is the TIME setting of this prophecy? It is sometime PRIOR to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, at which time Christ shall come. That is clear in verse 7. Also it is followed immediately by the 3-year mission of the two witnesses. Their 3 years BEGIN with the Great Tribulation. So the TIME of this prophecy is just shortly before the work of the Philadelphia church is finished. After that shall come the Great Tribulation, and the Day of the Lord, with supernatural disturbances in the sky. The Laodicean era of the Church shall rise OUT OF, through and in the latter part of the Great Tribulation. They shall be IN it, and turn to God out of and during it (Rev. 7:9-15). They come out of it and are converted as a result of it, which will open their eyes to the fact that what the Philadelphia church proclaims was true, although now, while we proclaim it, they are not heeding. So Revelation 10 shows that when our Work appeared to be close to finished more than a decade ago, God held up world events, and I was commissioned to NOW go with the Kingdom message to many KINGS, or many nations, speaking different languages. That is what, as I now look back, I have been doing, especially since 1972. Now where are we in the time sequence of prophecies? More and more it becomes apparent that we are right at, or even very shortly past, the event of Revelation 12:7. This is an event in the end time, after the Middle Ages pictured in verse 6. Verse 7 reveals a fierce battle in heaven. Once again Satan and his demons have swooped up to attack God on His throne one last satanic try. Michael the archangelsame rank as former Lucifer, now Satanis pictured with his angels fighting against Satan and his demons. As Lucifer and his angels tried to invade God's throne in heaven before the creation of man, so Satan has made this one last try to conquer GOD. But Satan again was to lose this battle, and he and his demons were cast back to earth (verse 9). This was to occur just prior to the Second Coming of Christ, the resurrection of saints to salvation and establishing the Kingdom of God on earth (verse 10). But those of God's Church are at this time to overcome Satan by the blood of Christ and the Word of God (verse 11); but because Satan knows he now has but a short time to defeat God on earth through God's Church, even after he failed in the heavenly war with Michael (verse 12), he was immediately to persecute this CHURCH (verse 13). Ever since my conversion, I have suffered persecution from men, though inspired by Satanand so have many of you. But never before did Satan strike the CHURCH AS A BODY until the lawsuit launched against the Church Jan. 3, 1979. It surely seems that fulfilled verse 13. But our Work is not yet completed. This prophecy indicates it will be soonand apparently during the decade of the '80s though we cannot set definite dates. Yet WE SHOULD BE WARNED! We should realize our time for completion of Christ's great commission is now very short, and growing shorter daily.

I have warned you all, Satan is now FURIOUS. He is mighty. He is subtle, clever and can deceive and outwit the best of us. He is HARD AT WORK AGAINST THE WHOLE CHURCH RIGHT NOW in ways you know not. But the Church NEEDS your urgent, faithful FASTING AND PRAYING! Continue this prophecy. Next, when our great commission is in God's sight completed, we are to be takensymbolically flown on the two wings of a great eaglewhich could mean by a friendly government made friendly to us by my contacts with heads of so many governmentswe shall be taken to a place of protection from the Great Tribulation, which is the furious wrath of Satan (verse 14). While we are in this place of safety 3 years, the two witnesses shall be preaching to the whole world, protected from Satan. But Satan in his mad wrath will then make war with the REMNANT Church. This has to be the Laodicean era of the Church (verse 17). Finally, what of the Laodicean era of God's Church? Remember, it, too, is GOD'S Churchhaving the commandments of God and testimony or Word of Jesus (Rev. 12:17). But that era of the Church is pictured in Matthew 25. Matthew 24 shows the signs Jesus showed would occur prior to His Second Coming. Matthew 25 shows the time just before Christ shall return. It pictures the Laodicean church as 10 virgins who took their lamps (their Bibles) and went forth to meet Christ at His coming. But five of themhalf of the Churchtook their lamps (Bibles) but without oil to light the lamps (having the Holy Spirit to UNDERSTAND the Bible). Some translations indicate they were losing the Holy Spirit, because of negligence, lack of prayer, lack of fellowship with the brethren and with God and Christ and being overcome with materialistic and worldly interest. Are some of us like that, even now? While theythe backsliding half of the Church are trying to get back closer to God, the coming of Christ shall take place, and the door into God's Kingdom shall be SHUT in their faces! WHAT A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY! It could happen to you or me. Brethren, we're living in more terrible, troublous times than you realize. Do NOT FOR A MOMENT GET TO THINKING TIME WILL JUST KEEP GOING ON AND ON. It won't! Satan knows how short time is. He is now striking at destroying THE CHURCH. WE ALL NEED TO BE FASTING AND PRAYING as never before that God will restrain Satan. TIME IS NOW VERY SHORT. This Work is launched on the GREATEST AND MOST POWERFUL THRUST FORWARD IN ITS 50 YEARS. NEVER have I and the whole Work needed your prayers and continued EXTRA financial backing as now. We are launched on the greatest PUSH FORWARD ever. PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! " Could You Be Denying Christ? - Good News Aug 1984 - Robert C. Smith "Could YOU Be Denying Christ? Why did Jesus Christ express such concern toward those He called "lukewarm"? Why did He say He would rather they be "cold"? By Robert C. Smith The Good News, August 1984 The young man's attitude and approach to Jesus Christ was not childlike! Jesus had just taken little children up in His arms, and blessed them. Jesus said, "Of such is the kingdom of God," then reiterated, "Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it" (Luke 18:16-17). The young ruler, holder of substantial prestige and honor, sought from Jesus that final ingredient that would, in like manner, qualify him for God's Kingdom. With a guise of humility, he admitted to keeping the Ten Commandments "from my youth." He was quick to point out his good points, and seemed desirous of knowing if there might be anything else he should be doing if any such thing remained.

He didn't expect the answer he received. His cloak of humility slipped a bit when he approached Jesus with a salutation of subtle flattery: "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (verse 18). Jesus reacted: "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God" (verse 19). When Jesus heard the profession of righteousness, He reminded the young man that in spite of all his marvelous accomplishments, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me" (verse 22). Typically unchildlike, the young man received the admonition sorrowfully and went away, for he was very rich. Or he thought he was (verse 23). He professed a desire to live righteously, but his fruits did not bear out the profession. He asked what he might do to prove his intentions, but when Jesus' reply did not meet his approval, he walked away. He was guilty of bearing false witness! James was inspired to write, "A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8, Authorized Version). The young man wanted the Kingdom of God, but he did not wish to relinquish his positions and possessions. He wanted to "have his cake and eat it, too." He had forgotten Jesus' words as revealed in Luke 14: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (verse 26). The young ruler was not willing to forsake all in order to be Jesus Christ's disciple.

Jesus wants us hot In an admonition to the future Laodicean church, Jesus said: "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:15-16, AV). Jesus is telling any with such an attitude, in essence, "I wish you would be hot, but if you will not be hot, I would rather have you be cold!" If we as Christians are hot, we will be all the way into pulsating with, excited with, breathing, eating, sleeping this way of life. We will have our arms locked around the tree of life Jesus Christ being the trunk or vine, and we the branches where we may be dressed and nourished by the Father, the vine-dresser (John 15:1-6). If we are lukewarm, we will be slowly simmering to death. We will be lacking real warmth or feeling of enthusiasm (the word enthusiasm comes from the roots en and theos, literally meaning "God in you"). We will have little involvement. We will be just barely there. The person who continues to be lukewarm right up until Jesus Christ's return simply will not make it into God's Kingdom. The person who is hot, on the other hand, will literally burst into eternity as a member of the Family of God. But what about being cold? Why would Jesus rather we be cold than lukewarm? Jesus answers that for us in I Corinthians 5:1-5: "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you... and you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. [Therefore] deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

The person who is hot is all the way in God's Church. The person who is cold is all the way out of God's Church but may yet be saved through the crucible of life in Satan's world. He may come to real repentance before the return of Jesus Christ, and experience that marvelous change into the God Family in the twinkling of an eye at Jesus' coming. The flesh may be destroyed, but the spirit will not be relegated to that eternal death. But what about the lukewarm person? Jesus said: "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked" (Revelation 3:16-17). Jesus reminded them that they only thought they were rich, when, in reality, their spiritual poverty was made obvious by their conduct. They professed to be something that they were not. The lukewarm attitude If we say we are Christians, we will be living as Jesus Christ does. We will walk as He walked, in absolute harmony with God the Father in everything pertinent to this way of life. We will willingly abide by the rulings and teachings of the Body of Christ, into which we have been mercifully added. We will be truly rich in obedience, loyalty, involvement, faithfulness, commitment. We will be seeking correction in prayer and Bible study, and we will accept that correction as lifesaving, without any attempt at self-justification. The Laodicean attitude talks back! Jesus remarked, "Because you say..." (verse 17). Self-justification! The Laodicean replies in other words, "You don't understand this is why I do it this way." Self-justification, whether we are right or wrong, reveals an attitude that is less than childlike. Even the patriarch Job said: "If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse" (Job 9:20, AV). The lukewarm, professing Christian will feel comfortable justifying his less-than-total commitment. He will find fault and criticize the status quo. The book of Malachi chronicles that lukewarm attitude for our admonition. The people ask, "In what way have we defiled You?", trying to justify giving less than the best in sacrifice (Malachi 1:7). In verses 12-14, God replies: "You profane it, in that you say, 'The table of the Lord is defiled; and its fruit, its food, is contemptible.' You also say, 'Oh, what a weariness!' And you sneer at it... and you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?... But cursed be the deceiver who has in his flock a male, and makes a vow, but sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished for I am a great King... and My name is to be feared among the nations." Our profession, at baptism, was to go all the way. We said, by words and actions, that we wanted God to teach us His ways. We had supposedly counted the cost. We were, at least briefly, childlike. We were, at that time, hot. Subsequent reading through the book of Malachi shows that the people had an argumentative attitude regarding marriage relationships (chapter 2) and financial obligations (chapter 3). In each case there is an attitude of being neither all the way involved in this way of life nor, on the other hand, all the way out. Rather, there is a desire to maintain an attitude that could be phrased this way: "Isn't it better that I have a little involvement than none at all? Isn't it better to have at least a facade of righteousness attending services most of the time, sending at least some money (even if not a full tithe), allowing self to succumb to drunkenness or gluttony occasionally, picking and choosing those areas of Christianity in which I feel comfortable?" Jesus Christ emphatically says that is not so. "I would thou wert cold or hot." No in-between. Not lukewarm. How serious is it? Jesus says to those who are lukewarm that He will spew them out, or vomit them up. In other words, lukewarmness sickens the very stomach of our Savior. Being lukewarm denies Christ

It takes faith to live God's way of life. Jesus inspired, "Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38). And in verses 26-27 of the same chapter, He reminds, "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries." How are we lukewarm? Jesus refers to "those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries" (II Peter 2:10). They argue. They justify! They are quick to talk back to the authority of Almighty God. And they are truly bearing false witness! Professing to be Christian followers of Christ their conduct totally violates the nature of that Christ. The Guidebook to our profession exhorts: "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.... He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6). If we walk in the way that Jesus Christ wants us to choose, we will be hot! We will have proved the dramatic existence of the creating God Family. The world and the universe around us will have been revealed to us as the manifestation of the works of a Creator, Designer, Lawgiver, Sustainer, Orchestrator, Life-giver and Responder to the needs of the creation. We will know and know that we know the veracity of the Word of God, as revealed in the pages of the Bible. We will have pored over and ingested its life-giving words of instruction. We will have proved the faithfulness of God, incorporating into our lives His every word. And we will have established irrefutably where the Church is that Jesus Christ said He would build. We will know the basic beliefs of that Church and believe them. We will know intimately the Church's basic doctrines as revealed in Hebrews 6:1-2, and will abide by them with every fiber of our being. We will be attuned to the policies of God's Church, which are generated from the top down according to the system of government God has placed in His Church, and will desire to get wholeheartedly in step with them. In I Corinthians 11, after explaining the Church teaching regarding hair length, the apostle Paul concluded with, "But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God" (verse 16). Paul stated the facts, realizing that there might be some who would not be in total agreement and who would be quick to express that disagreement, and established the authority behind those facts by adding, "We have no such custom," That's it, Paul said. Obey and be hot. Disobey, justify, compromise, maintain a questioning posture and be lukewarm. Or, view the crescendo of God's burgeoning work from the outside by being cold. Being hot means agreeing with those beliefs, doctrines and policies and doing them. Being cold means disagreeing with them and walking the other way. All the way in, or all the way out! Being lukewarm destroys character. Being less than total in our commitment allows for pretense, spiritual game-playing, and bears false witness. In other words, breaks the commandments of God. "I am the Lord your God," thunders the Creator. "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:2-3). Peter said, inspired by Jesus, "For by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage" (II Peter 2:19). Anything less than total commitment produces a double-minded person, and no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). If we violate the First Commandment, we become guilty of breaking the remaining nine (James 2:10). We take the name of God by professing to be Christians, but it is in vain, or without basis, if we live contrarily. It all has to do with obedience and commitment. No commandment is excluded from violation if we are lukewarm, self-justifying and hypocritical in our profession of faith. Judgment on us now

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). God has begun a good work in us, and His desire is for us to make it into His Kingdom (Philippians 1:6). Why, then, if Jesus' desire is for us to make it, would that same Jesus express so graphically that He would rather we be cold than lukewarm? Let Jesus Himself answer that question. "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.' If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons" (Hebrews 12:5-8). Peter recorded that "the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God" (I Peter 4:17). God is not yet dealing with the masses of humanity around this world not yet judging them according to their works. He is judging His Church those who profess to be witnesses not only for Jesus Christ but of Him as He resides in us and God realizes the time is short. The principle in I Corinthians 5:5, mentioned earlier, "Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus," helps explain the answer. Jesus continues, in Hebrews 12:10-11: "For they [our physical fathers] indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Jesus Christ asks us to choose life. He knows that unless we are totally committed, we will be lukewarm, and if we are lukewarm, we will not attain to that life eternal life in the Family of God. He would rather we be hot or cold because He loves us! " ACBC (32 Lessom Edition)(1985) - Lesson 28 - Feast of Trumpets - Herbert W Armstrong "Christ Pleads With the Nations Now turn to the book of Revelation, in which is found the prophecy of the seven trumpets, symbolic of the terrifying, cataclysmic world events to occur just before Christ's return. 1. What is the time-setting of the seven trumpets -- is it a time of God's wrath against rebellious mankind? Rev. 6:16-17. COMMENT: The symbolic trumpets portray the day of the Lord -- the day of God's wrath, the time when God intervenes in world affairs to punish the world for its evil! It is the time God pleads with all flesh in the physical language humans will understand! 2. Is the time of Christ's supernatural intervention in world affairs announced by awesome supernatural signs in the heavens? Verses 12-16. Will men who have been leading lives of sin be terrified with fear and want to hide from God when they realize He is supernaturally intervening in world affairs? Verses 15-16. 3. What is the very next thing to happen after the signs of Christ's coming appear? Rev. 7:1. COMMENT: These four winds are the winds that blow the first four of the seven trumpets. The trumpets announce God's direct intervention in world affairs to spare mankind from the destruction of all flesh -- human and animal life. 4. Will God protect His faithful servants -- including those who turn to Him during this, yet future, time of world turmoil? Rev. 7:2-3. Where did these servants of God come from? Read and summarize Verses 4-14, especially noting verse 14.

5. Did these people repent of their sins sometime during or at the end of the Great Tribulation? Verse 14. COMMENT: The 144,000, as well as the great innumerable multitude from all nations referred to in verse 9, repent of their old sinful ways and turn to Almighty God in personal surrender. God then put their sins under the blood of Jesus Christ -the Passover Lamb (verse 14). "These are they," states one of the elders at God's throne, "which came out of great tribulation." These multitudes will receive eternal life, and serve God day and night in His Temple (verse 15). 6. What will happen after God's faithful servants are sealed by His Spirit, which gives them protection from the plagues announced by the trumpets that will sound during the day of the Lord? Rev. 8:1-6."