Worldwide All Over Again?Written by David Ben-Ariel
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Didn't Mr. Flurry warn that we were slipping into a Laodicean attitude when he had his unfortunate incident with alcohol? Didn't he say, after prayerfully wracking his brains to understand why God had allowed that to happen, that we have to be careful not to get proud due to our abundance of revelation (II Cor. 12:6-7)? Have we learned that lesson? Has he? With his preoccupation with all his religious titles and self-promotion, we really have to wonder and be most concerned!
Holy, righteous CHARACTER is more important to God than all revelation in world! We definitely need gifts of Holy Spirit, but God says we should want FRUITS of his Holy Spirit even more! GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT! (I Cor. 14:1) I'm convinced God's about to empower His people like never before, but wants us to be spiritually ready (having learned from Corinthians' mistakes), and our ministers mature enough not to get in way! (Joel 2:28; I Thes. 5:19)
As far as revelations go, God can inspire unconverted men like Caiphas and speak through donkeys! All truth is from and belongs to God, so why should some become puffed up with pride that they're something special rather than just an instrument serving God's purpose? And why get bloated with self-importance when God can quickly pop that balloon? (I Cor. 4:6-7).
Warnings from History
If what happened in Church during 70's was a warning of what could happen in 80's what about 90's? Having survived our Worldwide ordeal, are we now home safe (Jude 5)? Let us pray and examine ourselves this new century: Do we love God or fear men (Acts 5:29)?
God has an ordained government for His Church, but it can graduallly fall to Satan - made over in some man's image - if we blindly follow it and forget that it's also a means to an end, and not and end in itself! Isn't that how God's Church got off track? The Mother spoon fed brain-dead! We need Father! When Church government stops directing us to God and substitutes doctrines or a personality cult instead (III John 9), and refuses correction, God's glory has left such a bankrupt administration! Will God destroy very government He's installed because we've failed to use it properly? Some are actually worshipping government rather than Governor!
Didn't God level His Temple, stop sacrifices, and disband priesthood? Didn't he empty House of Israel and scatter Judah? Wasn't Jerusalem-headquarters forcibly shut down? Even Hezekiah had to destroy brass serpent God told Moses to make, because they had perverted its purpose (II Kings 18:4). Too often, that which God had intended to become a blessing, became a curse! Such historical warnings don't curry favor with "the top brass, " but it's evident God would rather work through a very faithful few than let many misrepresent Him! (Jer. 26:18; Eze. 5:3-4)
What have we learned from our WCG experience? Haven't some since scrambled for positions of power, while others claim we're all equal? (Num. 16:3; I Tim. 1:7; James 3:1) God isn't an anarchist, and neither should we be. We mustn't throw out baby with bathwater, just because of abuses of power! Proper leadership encourages us to "be all we can be," within God's law; it encourages us to think and become like our leaders, and able to teach what we've been taught—after all we're PRIEST-KINGS IN TRAINING. (Matt. 10:25; Heb. 5:12; 2 Tim. 2:2, 15).
The proper use of God's government never plays politics or acts jealous, but truly has everyones' best interests at heart. (I Cor. 14:26) We're all members of God's Royal Family, therefore we ought to respect each others' part in God's plan and place in God's Church. (I Cor. 12:18)
I truly believe in GOVERNMENT FROM THE TOP DOWN—and it starts with GOD THE FATHER! That's why we must always OBEY GOD, even if it means we must disobey men! Wasn't it ministers who told you to throw Malachi's Message away? Wasn't it Church leaders who threw out faithful? Didn't we just take their word for it, rather than check out what GOD had to say? Don't be fooled again! Do you now CONSULT CHRIST, or are you still playing "follow leader"? Which is truly learning how to follow God's government? Have you finally learned this lesson? Or did you ask your minister for permission to read Beyond Babylon? Worldwide all over again? Not if you continue to read and apply Malachi's Message to yourself! That's only way to prevent a "repeat performance". Hopefully, once was enough!
David Ben-Ariel, an American author who has travelled widely and who has lived throughout Israel, shares a special focus on the Middle East and great interest in Jerusalem, reflected in hard-hitting articles that help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out www.benariel.com
I RODE BY MY OLD HOME CHURCHWritten by Irvin L. Rozier
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I helped David Pittman, whose Daddy S.L. was a deacon, with his farm. David grew tobacco, corn, soybeans, pecans and raised hogs. We worked hard but had fun working and we always ate good dinners. David's wife, Ruby, his Mama. Mrs. Pittman, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Harper, took turns cooking for us. We ate like kings! When Wednesday rolled around, we always knocked off early so we could go to prayer meeting. They were well attended and Lord answered many a prayer put up at these meetings.
When I was 19, I joined Army and stayed for several years. Whenever I would come home on leave, I would visit with my old friends at Youmans Chapel. In 1987, I was released from Army and moved back home. My three children and I (I was a single parent) started attending Youmans Chapel. I taught Sunday School and sometimes would preach...behind that very same pulpit where my Daddy had once stood. The pastor, Rev. Lowell Lee, was a spirit filled man of God, and greatly encouraged me to preach God's word. Later, Brother Lee, retired, and then Lord moved me to other places. I no longer attended Youmans Chapel, yet I would go there on occasion. The last time I preached from that old pulpit was New Year's Eve, 1993, at a watch night service. There were only a few of us there, but presence of Lord was very special that night.
Now old church sanctuary is mostly used for youth. A big new building, including many Sunday School rooms, a large social hall, pastor's office, reception area, and more sits on some of land where I used to help David farm. Most of farms in that community are no longer there. In fields where acres of crops once grew stands subdivisions. The Youmans Chapel community has rapidly filled with people and I hope church is still a shining light on that small hill. Things change, people come and go, but Lord changes not. Sometimes I feel like change is not for better...like that old expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Yes, as I rode by church, I remembered my childhood days, that small sanctuary full of people of all ages, lifting their voices to heaven as they sang about Jesus. Times were less complicated then, and in my humble opinion, churches were, too.
"O, I'd like to go back to that old country church, to hear them songs of praise...I'm redeemed by love divine, glory, glory, Christ is mine, all to Him I know resign, I have been redeemed. In sweet, by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore."
Isaiah 46.9 "Remember former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,"
Copyright 2005 Irvin L. Rozier
Author of My Walk with the Lord, www.selahbooks.com, various other articles and poems (do a google or yahoo search on my name), preacher, retired military