Profitable Work!

At my last job, my employer had all the employees account for every 15 minute block of the day. While this is a common practice in fields such as law and accounting, I had never come across it in my line of business: computer networking. Learning this system was a pain in the beginning…and in the end and all points in between. I would much rather have been working on some technical issue beyond my understanding or with a problematic customer. But nonetheless there was no getting around it.

During the course of this exercise I was forced to look critically at what I did during the day at all times. Naturally it should go without saying that the boss was interested in a term that I became intimately familiar with–“billable hours.” This was time that the company was able to charge the customer for work that I did. With this realization, I quickly came to some conclusions about the typical work environment.

First was that when someone says that they are “busy” that does not necessarily mean that they are “working.” When someone says that they are “working” it does not necessarily mean that they are being “profitable.” When I was being micro-managed, I suddenly became accountable for everything that I was doing for the company and it really made me consider my every action.

As we come into the Passover season we need to be asking ourselves this same thing–even more seriously than we have been doing throughout the past year. If we say that we are busy, are we busy laboring and striving, not in vain, but according to the good work that God has begun in us (Philippians 1:6; 2:6 )? If we say that we are working, are we doing a work which is good and profitable (Titus 3:8)? Only each one of us individually can answer these questions and we must do so carefully and prayerfully as we will soon have to give an account (1 Peter 4:5).

Romans 8:18

At the local coffee house that I frequent, I’ve gotten to know a few of the regulars pretty well. Recently, one of them had to go through a second bout with his pancreatic cancer, the same type that killed Steve Jobs last month.

Because of the nature of this type of cancer, this man’s doctor said that they would continue to administer the chemo for as long as he could stand it. There was a good chance if they were not able to kill it off this time around, then this may be his last chance to do anything about it.

In his early 50’s and in good shape, he was ready and willing to pull out all the stops. After about eight rounds of treatments (some can only handle two) it was all that he could take. Now all that was left was to sit and wait and see what the outcome would be. He didn’t have to wait too long before the doctors gave him a clean bill of health! He had won his battle.

In the course of this ordeal, he lost about a year of his life fighting the disease, racked up bills of nearly $200,000, and lost 10-20% of the feeling in his finger tips. He considered all of these worthwhile sacrifices, especially in light of the outcome.

Now understand, he had no guarantee that he was going to make it through this adversity. But he felt if he could, then perhaps he would continue to enjoy life for much longer, even as long as his father had, which would be another 30 years.

This man endured an incredible trial in order to continue in his gift of physical life, albeit for a fleeting amount of time in the scope of things. Now think of the assurances that we have for the future. What should we be willing to go through for the gift of eternal life in the Family of God? Nothing can compare with that.

The Enemy Within

“Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte [sic] for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

Abraham Lincoln spoke these words in 1838 and they were never more true than they are today. The true cause of the demise of the United States would not be from without, but from within. The prophecies of the Bible foretold this before President Lincoln did and even before there was a country called the United States. God knew that His people would depart from Him even though He had blessed them more than all other peoples of the world. They would not follow His ways and would stray from His Word as they had before. Because of these problems inside the country, God will use a foreign power to destroy it from the outside as well, just as He has done in the past with the ancient houses of Israel and Judah.

Now we see this coming to fruition and culminating in our generation. This country is imploding because of a departure from Godly values as it commits moral suicide. “We the people” have forsaken God and only care about our vain and selfish pursuits (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Presently we reap the consequences of this behavior, a way of life that we are not meant to live and that is no good for us or those around us. In doing this we have become our own worst enemy and will accomplish what no alliance, country or individual has been able to do.

As Christians we have “discerned the signs of the times” and know that we are living in the last days. “[K]nowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11). Do we hear the call to action?

We cannot be a part of the problem. We cannot be the reason why God will allow impending events to happen. We must proceed with a life of repenting and setting an example of what to do as well as being a witness for those around us. It is a huge responsibility that God has placed on each and everyone of us, but He knows that we are up to the task!

Is the Bible Relevant Today?

How can an ancient book, written more than 1900 years ago, possibly have relevance in our lives today? Look at where we are now – we are the most advanced society that has ever lived. How is it then that the Bible could remotely be applicable to us today?

Actually, there are several ways in which it is meaningful. Firstly, this book of books is replete with timeless principles of living that ensure that we can live a happy, full and blessed life.

There is profitable instruction throughout its pages in regard to how to do this. There are tried and true laws of health, diet, cleanliness, morality, relationships and many others that are there for us to glean.

The reason that this is still pertinent, is because in all that we have accomplished, we, as a people, have not changed nor have we been able to conquer our own human nature autonomously. Our character, the way we are and how we act, has remained the same.

This being the case, the God who made us and knows us, understands exactly what we need to have a good life. Because of this, the instruction that was given millennia ago, has not needed to change and is as appropriate for us today as the day it was written.

Secondly, there are prophecies that have yet to come about. The ones that have, are a proof of the veracity of the Word of God. The rest are now being fulfilled before our very eyes and will continue to come to pass in the near future.

As what God has foretold comes to fruition, it will announce His coming Kingdom and bring many to repentance. His Purpose will surely be seen as the Way to follow and to be.

The Bible shows the Plan of God and how we can live a better life right now. How could the Bible be any more relevant?


Nearly 145 years ago the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed by Congress abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude. It was a long time in coming, and most suppose it a thing of the past in the United States.

Yet, in this past year we have made great advances back into it! How could this be? How could such a forward looking and advanced society be heading back into what we once came out of?
The federal government, this past year, “printed” an unprecedented amount of money (that is not backed by any asset) for dubious reasons and is committed to implementing programs that cannot be funded by the current tax structure. Even those with the most basic of math abilities can see that this does not add up.

The only solution that remains for those that have now been forced to live under plans not of their choosing, is to now spend more time, money and effort working for their “master.” The question that then remains is, at what point in time do we actually quit being free and become slaves to a system that continues to demand more and more from everyone? At what point do we become “a person held in servitude” or “one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence”?

What should not be forgotten is that the majority of the people voted for and have chosen the leaders that we now have. This is what “we,” as a democratic nation, have asked for. “We” believe in this type of government and leadership, and this is what follows.
But, this is only a blip on the map of time, and certainly optimism and success will prevail! Wrong… and right!

Presently we are and have been setting ourselves up for cataclysmic failure. The economic slavery that we are coming under now is only a precursor to what is coming down the road. The real concern is that the next time it will not be under the “light” hand of our present governmental administration, but it will be from the heavy hand of a foreign entity… the beast power spoken of in the Bible.

That beast power will form out of the coalescing countries of the European Union which will soon refine itself into a core of 10 nations (or groups of nations) and will foist itself upon the world and in particular the descendants of Jacob. The EU is already exerting economic pressures on the US and will continue do so to a greater extent. It will not stop there. In fact, this will serve as a platform for its rise to a military preeminence and an instrument of religious persecution. Through these devices, a more egregious slavery will come, an epoch alluded to as the time of Jacob’s trouble (compare our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord”). It will be an event that is so terrible, that it is said “that none is like it” (Jeremiah 30:6-8).

We have seen a process here of one type of slavery leading to another. However, we started in the middle of the progression. The real beginning was with another slavery — one to sin and the father of it, Satan. Paul states in Romans 6:16, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death….” It is sin that ensnares and captures us, and we become slaves to it and to the wiles of the devil.

It is this brand of slavery that has led the people of this nation to push aside God as their leader. Those sold under sin have discarded Him and His ways and have opted once again to be led by man. In 1 Samuel 8:7-17 there is a parallel that we can see in our ancestors. In these verses God tells Samuel that it is Him that they have rejected. Samuel then goes on to elaborate many of the problems that would ensue with switching their trust and reliance to a man. And then note the last verse in this section: “…. And you will be his [the leader’s] servants.”

This course of action, being slaves to sin firstly and then slaves to the leader of their very own nation, continued to play out as they eventually became literal slaves to conquering peoples of surrounding nations.

Does this ring a bell? History is repeating itself! And prophecy, which is history written in advance, bears this out. Slavery can lead to slavery which can lead to slavery.

But the Good News is that God has made a path by which we can escape and avoid slavery. Through the death of Christ we can be released from a lifetime of bondage (compare Hebrews 2:14-15) and not have to return to this “yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1), whether physical or spiritual. The great news is that we NOW have this opportunity to be free of the shackles of a froward way of life. But there is the necessity of having “…obedience leading to righteousness” as the rest of Romans 6:16 finishes up stating. If we are willing to commit fully to pursuing God and the wonderful way of life that He has set before us (compare Deuteronomy 30:19), then we “may have life” and “have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Therefore, LET US CHOOSE FREEDOM!

Imagine This Time

Satan would love nothing more than to drive a wedge into our spiritual life and separate us from God. His ultimate goal is to do whatever he can to take us out of the Church, the body of Christ. Now, especially at this pre-Passover time of the year and at this juncture in the end-time, he is for sure doing all that he can to disrupt us in our walk towards the Plan of God.

Imagine a spirit being that has been around for eons – 6,000 years would be a short time to him. Knowing that he only had this short time, he, as an entity that never tires, would be relentless in his goal to derail true Christians. Night and day, he would accuse the brethren before God (Revelation 12:10), and he would walk around seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8; Job 1:7; 2:2).

Now imagine that this very short period of 6,000 years is almost up. How much more, if it were possible, would Satan be stepping up his effort to thwart the Plan of God?

God would love nothing more than to have us as members of His Family in His Kingdom. His ultimate goal is to do whatever He can to see that we are successful in this calling. Now, especially at this pre-Passover time of the year and at this juncture in the end-time, He is for sure doing all that He can to reconcile us in our walk towards the Plan of God.

Imagine a loving God—the Father—who has inhabited eternity with only one other Family member—Jesus Christ. After all that time, He began carrying out His plan that included fashioning the physical universe with all the laws to govern it. God also created man and gave him His laws to be governed by. He sacrificed His only Son to pay for the penalty for our sin in order that we may live and have access to His Power – the Holy Spirit which further aids us in attaining His goal for us—to grant us the awesome opportunity to qualify for a position in His Kingdom and Family.

Now imagine we only have a short time left. We are quickly coming to a crossroads – a time when God will pronounce His final judgment on the firstfruits of His creation. Then, in the twinkling of an eye, it will all be decided. Do we sense the urgency?


This is a message of the most extreme importance. Be ready to flee today …but continue to live your life like Christ will not return for many years. In other words, hurry up and wait!

Since Christ came nearly 2000 years ago, many have been expecting His return in their lifetime. How long have we been awaiting the arrival of Christ or more specifically, certain events leading up to His Second Coming? The answers will no doubt range from a very short time to many decades. But no matter how long it has been, are we maintaining a sense of urgency?

Now, the problem with the title and opening sentence of the Editorial is that we are so inundated with emails, snail mail, and ads in general that are saying the exact same thing, that the tendency for us is to tune it out. When we read the Bible, hear sermons, read Editorials, and peruse Current Events, are we inclined to do the same? God forbid!

Now here is a little test: Did any of us just skim over the last emphatic statement at the end of the preceding paragraph or did we take it to heart? Only you can answer the question and only you can be the one to decide to heed the warnings of the Bible for our time and be compelled to press forward. No matter how many times we have heard this before, NOW is the time to really do it… and so is tomorrow.

Brethren, “let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Just Around the Corner

Towards the end of their time in captivity, as the Israelites endured their slavery in Egypt, they had no idea that their physical deliverance or “salvation” was around the corner. In fact, their dwelling in the land got “darker before the dawn” as they went through some of the plagues with the Egyptians.

But in reality God was very near and was implementing His plan to deliver the Israelites from bondage.

The events of the end-time will play out in much the same way for the physical descendants of Israel. We know that circumstances will become more dire in the few years preceding the return of Christ. We know that this will be a sign that His return is near and that their physical deliverance or “salvation” is around the corner.

It seems that at this time of the year, Passover particularly, our personal lives parallel these historical and future occurrences. Great trial and tribulation come upon us… or at least great in our mind and our lives. They come because God is working in and with us. He is leading us to our spiritual Salvation and is doing what is necessary to get us there.

Just as God led the Israelites out of sin in the past, He will do so again in the future. But this time, God will offer Israel not just physical, but also spiritual Salvation. And as we go through these days, we should also focus on the certainty that God will guide us–spiritual Israel–out of our troubles as well. We can learn the lessons that God is trying to teach us and look forward to leaving them behind as we realize that our Salvation is just around the corner.

Unity of the Faith

We have the opportunity to meet once a week and now with the upcoming God-ordained Feast of Tabernacles, we will have the chance to up the ante. Including the Last Great Day we will be meeting eight days in a row which will give us the occasion to be with like-minded people.

Will we be unified? Will we all be on the same page spiritually? If we all have the Holy Spirit of God, then we will be — case closed.
There is ONLY “one body and one Spirit” because there is only “one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). So if we are of this body and have the same Spirit, then we will all be on the same wavelength. We will be unified in our approach towards Christianity and one another. We will all have a similar spiritual personality that will be exemplified in our daily actions and interactions.

In His last prayer before being wrongfully taken into custody, Jesus asked four times on our behalf:

* “…that they may be one as We are,”
* “…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You,
* “that they also may be one in Us,
* “…that they may be one just as We are one” (John 17:11, 21-22).

For Him to ask this many times when He knew that His physical life was near its end, shows us just how important this was and is. Do we assign it all due weight today?

As we fellowship with one another, realize that by the Power of God working in and through us, we can be a part of the solution… a part of the answer of this prayer of Jesus Christ.

Watch Out for the False Prophet!

Joseph Ratzinger, or Pope Benedict XVI as he is known, shocked much of the world this week by breaking with tradition. He is willingly stepping down from his office as opposed to dying in it like his predecessors have for the last 700+ years. Perhaps even more surprising, is the plethora of criticism that has followed what most consider a conservative reign.

Der Spiegel said that “his papacy failed to introduce much-needed reforms.” The Süddeutsche Zeitung writes that he has “no understanding for the third millennium” and that the “church is no longer triumphant, nor is it combative” and “has seldom needed reform as badly as it does at the end of Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy.” Die Tageszeitung, echoing similar sentiments, wrote, “It would be good if Pope Benedict XVI was the last of his kind. And if the history books could soon write: ‘The Pope’s resignation heralded a new era, the Catholic Church had understood that it could not continue as before.'”

How does the old adage go, “be careful what you wish for, because you might get it?”

The Bible predicts that there will be a great religious leader that comes from a land in the midst of the seas and from a city that sits on seven mountains. This is none other than Rome! And of course the religious leader of Rome is the Pope. The issue at hand here that many do not realize is that the great religious leader that is prophesied to come out of Rome is none other than the False Prophet.

This Pope will teach wrong doctrines and be anti-law. He will do signs and lying wonders, even making fire come from heaven. These miracles will easily fool the masses, those who will take the “mark of the beast.” He will sit in the “inner sanctuary”, and it appears that he will be sitting in a literal temple in Jerusalem at that time and even claim to be God.

Through direct influence from Satan and demon possession, this man will accomplish these things and more. He will also be able to influence world leaders — to the point that they will gather at Armageddon in preparation to foolishly fight Christ at His return.

Knowing that this is the case and that these exact events will happen, we, as Christians, are still strongly admonished to avoid being deceived by the “man of sin,” the False Prophet. Paul implies that we could succumb to the wiles of this man when he writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first….” This apostle identifies this harbinger as the end time. He actually prophesies that there will indeed be another apostasy, a move from true Christianity to false religion and that this will be at the time of this last leader of “Babylon the Great.”

The Words of the Bible are written for our benefit, to aid us in the days ahead. Not just this particular caution, but all the testimony of God. We must hear them and live them and love them in order to prevent what will inevitably befall many (1 Corinthians 10:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Will this next pope indeed be “the one?” We don’t know, but need to watch.