December 28, 2014
Dear Members and Coworkers,
If you’ve been able to see beyond the merriment of the western world’s holidays, you already know that dramatic changes are well under way in the Middle East, in Europe and in the United States that are very much in sync with the expectations of those familiar with Bible prophecy.
Russia is in the midst of a currency crisis that, while already halving the value of the ruble this year alone is expected to get much worse in 2015. Putin’s brash arrogance is believed to be behind military provocations, not only in Ukraine but also in numerous breaches of airspace around NATO countries in addition to breaches of territorial zones around the United States. Many have wondered whether Putin would learn a lesson from the currency disaster in Russia, brought on not only by the precipitous drop in the price of oil, but also by international sanctions that are just beginning to take a toll. Will he realise the damage being done to his own patrons, or lash out to undermine what remains of relative tranquility in the Baltics and the nations of Eastern Europe?
The answer is in a new military doctrine signed by Putin and just published, declaring NATO as Russia’s top military threat. That comes from actions that have been taken in the east European theater in the wake of Russia’s seizure of Crimea, and its promotion of Russian separatists battling in eastern Ukraine. Russia sides with North Korea, Iran and the Assad regime in Syria, and is becoming ever more aggressive in doing so.
Germany sees the threats rising from the east and from the south, and according to its Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, must get about the business of becoming a strong military power despite whatever concerns may remain about its NAZI past. Steinmeier’s speeches, calling for the business leaders to get behind Germany’s efforts to become a world-class military power regardless of public sentiment, have been met with wild applause. With the United States increasingly relegated to the role of spectator, dramatically reducing military capability even as U.S. forces continue pulling away from the war on terror, we will continue to see the vacuum filled; first by terrorists, then by Europe which is in close proximity and already being inundated by refugees determined to import their unsanitary customs and dangerously volatile religious beliefs. Anti-Islamic fervor is growing in Germany and across Europe, while government officials and the mainstream media continue to call the movement neo-Nazi and racist. We have some idea where this is going.
Here in the United States, media attention has been focused on “peaceful demonstrations” with some outlets openly promoting false narratives and encouraging outrage. While the debate rages over accusations of racist police, and grievance hustlers bask in the glow of attention, we learn that the organisations and individuals who tried desperately to bring about revolution in 2011 with “Occupy Wall Street” are the same ones organising and leading current protests. Some of the signs they’re carrying, alongside “No Justice, No Peace” and “I can’t breathe,” are calling for revolution. A dispassionate evaluation of each of the two incidents used to incite protest reveals that race had nothing to do with either of them. But there is a mentality among our national leadership that believes that no crisis should be allowed to go to waste, and that stokes divisions and hatreds at every opportunity.
But no, even in the wake of the senseless murders of two NYPD officers, and the dozens of others that occur week in and week out on the mean streets of U.S. cities, the current crisis has not yet been milked dry. The goal of those actually behind the demonstrations is not justice but anarchy. When or where it stops, nobody knows. The thug element anxious to defy law enforcement now has the implicit support of some very powerful personalities, so we can expect more confrontational incidents with police. Anarchists who want society to collapse in the hope that an authoritarian government will have an excuse to step in and redistribute all the wealth will continue pursuit of that outcome shielded by the wholly concocted premise that American society, especially law enforcement is racist.
The current pope, Francis, has seen fit to weigh-in on nearly every controversy on earth. Not more than a day or two goes by without another papal appearance in the headlines. How long before he weighs in on race in America? Perhaps the most newsworthy of his exploits to date has yet to gain widespread attention. And that is his progress in bringing the protesting “Christian” denominations back into unity with the mother church. Mainstream “Christianity,” divided over critical doctrinal issues for hundreds of years, is making long strides back toward the “mother church” at Rome. Most parishioners are probably not even aware of how far along re-unification has progressed. But their leaders have taken the pope’s invitation at face value, pledging to concentrate on the matters on which Catholics and Protestants agree rather than stressing over points of conflict.
How fast this phenomenon develops, and how far it goes will be of crucial importance to Christians who are not aligned with any of the big mainstream denominations, and we are but a tiny minority in the equation. One of the big issues at stake will be the question of church authority over the beliefs and practices of the individual, and whether a preacher or pope has the ability to consign somebody to damnation for practicing their beliefs outside the teachings of the big, increasingly unified “Christian” denominations.
Aside from evidence that the big denominations are rapidly moving toward unity, there is one very definite, if illogical point on which they all depend. That is, that you have no business concluding how you worship God by reading the Bible as literal, and trying your best to align your method of worship accordingly. It has been something of a theme recently on syndicated radio religion. Sunday preachers have been sounding off against “legalism”, saying, “You cannot recommend yourself to God by some system of works!” One recently started by saying “legalistic” Christians are some of the most despicable, unsavoury characters to have around you, and ended by claiming “legalism” to be Satanic. It’s just as my Dad said on his TV broadcast. “They make it sound like trying to obey God’s Laws is the worst sin you could commit!” Is more direct persecution in the offing? Yes.
The “work” of mainstream “Christianity” is to degrade and demean (to put it mildly) people who take seriously God’s commands and try to obey them. The Work of God’s church is exactly the opposite, providing an invitation and an atmosphere where God’s word is expounded, and a warning to the world about the coming great tribulation that will culminate in the return of Christ to put down and destroy the destructive forces of evil that will have overtaken the entire earth. We hope you’ll request and enjoy the CD on offer this month, Fruits of the Work, by Garner Ted Armstrong. Our thanks to so many that continue to make this Work possible.