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by Jonathan Gardner
Members Of A Team
given Wales UK 15 Jun 2024
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by Ian Henderson
Right and Wrong in the Church
given Bristol UK Pentecost 27 May 2012 - played Wales UK 15 Jun 2024
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News Review - 14 Jun 2024
Unam Sanctam

It’s been called "…One of the most frightening documents of history…"

Unam Sanctam

November 18th, 1302 - Unam Sanctam is one of the most frightening documents of history and the one most quoted as THE PRIMARY DOCUMENT OF THE POPES CLAIMING THEIR GLOBAL POWER. It is an express trust deed.

The last line reads: ‘Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.’

It is not only the first trust deed in history but also the largest trust ever conceived, as it claims the whole planet and everything on it, conveyed in trust.” (

We need to understand how the Roman Catholic Church thinks. What many will not realise is that it teaches that to gain salvation a person MUST be subject to the Roman Pontiff, as the previous article points out, but where did the quote originate?

Pope Boniface VIII: 1294-1303

“Pope Boniface is probably the only Pope in history to admit that HE DIDN’T EVEN BELIEVE IN GOD, and declared himself an atheist. He was described in the catholic encyclopaedia as ‘scarcely any possible crime omitted – heresy gross and unnatural immorality, idolatry, magic, simony…’


Boniface tried to make himself the most powerful man in the world and released a Papal Bull which declared that everyone was subordinate to him even kings, it said ‘Now, therefore, we declare, say, determine and pronounce that for every human creature it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the authority of the Roman pontiff.’ (

The genuineness of the Bull is absolutely established by the entry of it in the official registers of the papal Briefs, and ITS INCORPORATION IN THE CANON LAW.(

Pope Pius V In 1570

“‘He who reigns in heaven’, stated Pope Pius V in 1570 when excommunicating the Queen, Elizabeth I of England, ‘to whom is given all power in heaven and on earth, gave the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, OUTSIDE OF WHICH THERE IS NO SALVATION, to be governed in the fullness of authority, to one man only, that is to say, to Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and to his successor the Roman Pontiff.’” (

April 29th 1945 - Unam Sanctam In Action

Excerpts from The Plain Truth Magazine, December 1948
NOW it Can Be Told! …behind the scenes at the San Francisco Conference!

Here is part of a report by Mr Armstrong as he attended the San Francisco conference at the founding of the United Nations.

“The Catholic hierarchy was well aware that the United Nations conference was producing nothing but strife and bickering, and was destined from its inception to end in total failure. Yet world leaders were pronouncing it THE WORLD’S LAST HOPE – with the only alternative ANNIHILATION OF HUMANITY!

And in this solemn hour, amid the psychological build-up of this impressive service, this dynamic Catholic speaker with ringing voice offered these world politicians the LAST STRAW for their drowning nations to grab, when they should later see their world Organization sinking into oblivion.

Without divine help, he assured them, the United Nations structure is doomed to collapse. That divine aid was offered through the Roman Catholic Church. Without the guidance, supervision, authority of the Catholic Church, he told these men, they were laboring in vain. There could be only one appraisal of his sermon – IT WAS A MASTERPIECE!

Few of the ten thousand in that vast audience recognized that they were actually seeing launched before their very eyes a CAMPAIGN TO RULE THE WORLD! Here in this masterful address, so impressively delivered before world leaders, was the psychological seed destined to unite under Catholicism a Europe that will resurrect THE ‘HOLY’ ROMAN EMPIRE!

‘To the individual citizen,’ he continued, the Catholic Church, says: ‘You must understand that civil government is ordained by God, deriving its AUTHORITY from Him. You must obey its laws. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”’

Then to the civil governments – meaning those world statesmen high in authority in many nations seated before him – the Catholic Church says: ‘YOU MUST UNDERSTAND YOUR PLACE in the divine scheme of things! GOD IS FIRST.’

Do you grasp what he meant by that? The Catholic position is that God speaks and rules on earth though the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church! Whatever the pope binds on earth is bound in heaven. Whatever he looses is also approved in heaven. His title is ‘Vicar of Christ,’ which means actually, ‘RULING IN PLACE OF CHRIST.’

In effect, then he is Christ on earth. The Catholic position is that the pope is, therefore, supposed to be the KING of kings, and the LORD of lords, by divine authority. He is supposed to be IN AUTHORITY over all kings and civil governments.

Only The Church Can Deliver Nations From Chaos

He thundered to them the text, ‘EXCEPT THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE, THEY LABOR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT.’ Here were these nations at San Francisco trying to build a great world structure WITHOUT GOD – WITHOUT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH! It was doomed to failure, he warned them, as long as they left GOD out of it!


And PROPHECY says they will succeed!(The Plain Truth, December 1948)

The “Woman” And The “Beast”!

Mr Armstrong explains:

The Roman Catholic Church has claimed that the Kingdom of God IS the Roman Catholic Church, that the Pope IS in the place of Christ, (that) the Second Coming of Christ has occurred, (and) he is ruling the nations of the world. And they ruled for 1,260 years the nations of Europe, and they call it the HOLY Roman Empire. That’s why the Bible speaks of her in such terms of rottenness, of filthiness.

Revelation 17:3-5 ‘I saw A WOMAN SIT UPON A SCARLET COLORED BEAST [Now the beast is the civil government, the political government. The woman is a church] …And upon her forehead [the church’s forehead] was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS…’

Note: The Woman ‘sits upon the Beast’, controlling the Beast!

In other words, the Babylonian MYSTERY religion, the ancient PAGAN ‘BABYLONIAN MYSTERY RELIGION’ – now called, falsely, ‘Christianity’ and claiming to be the original Church. And notice that: THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS who came out of her protesting and calling themselves ‘Protestant,’ in protest. And God calls them ‘harlots,’ brethren. Now, they are deceived. They don’t know it. I am not calling them names. I am reading you what God says. It is God who is doing. God has a right to call them names if He wants to. I am not doing it.” (Sermon - November 27, 1982)

2005: Pope Benedict Calls On Europe To “Revive Its Roots”

“Speaking before yesterday’s Angelus prayer to a group of some 8,000 pilgrims in Les Combes, in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta, where he is vacationing, the Pope recalled Europe’s deeply Christian roots and challenged the continent to return to them.

Benedict then turned to the pilgrimage made by ‘Servant of God John Paul II’ in 1982 to Santiago de Compostela, where he performed a solemn ‘European act’ during which he pronounced these memorable words:

‘I, bishop of Rome and pastor of the Universal Church, from Santiago, address to you, old Europe, a cry full of love:

Return to yourself!

Be yourself!

Discover your origins.

Revive your roots.

Experience again those authentic values that made your history glorious and your presence in other continents beneficial.’(

2014 - The Unchanged Catholic view On Europe

“Pope Francis has criticized Europe… ‘Europe is tired. We have to help rejuvenate it, to find its roots. It’s true: IT HAS DISOWNED ITS ROOTS. But we need to help it find them.’(

Back in 1982, Pope John Paul ll told Europe to revive its roots. “Experience again those authentic values that made your history glorious and your presence in other continents beneficial.”

Over 30 years passed, but the message from Pope Francis was very similar: “Europe is tired. We have to help rejuvenate it, to find its roots. It’s true: it has disowned its roots. But we need to help it find them.”

The message that he is sending out is that unity can be achieved - only through the Catholic Church. The roots to which he refers are the roots of the Holy Roman Empire. (554-1814 AD)

The ‘Roots’ And ‘Authentic Values’ Of The Roman Catholic Church

The Pope is referring back to the time of the Holy Roman Empire - a time when Catholicism ruled much of the world. Doctrine was imposed. Those who did not obey were branded as heretics - and handed over to the civil authorities for punishment - which was usually severe!

The Period Of The Inquisitions

Between the years 325-1800 there were various ‘Inquisitions’ in several countries. It is difficult to obtain an accurate figure of those who were exterminated – the low end of the scale is around 5 million – with other estimates of over 100 million. While the Jews seem to have been a special target – the Roman Catholic Church had the civil authorities murder anyone who went against the teaching of the Church.

We understand from prophecy that there will shortly be another great Inquisition – the Bible refers to it as the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) – when many will again be killed for going against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. (Revelation 6:9-11)

The Roman Catholic Church Is Headed Back To Its “Authentic Values”!
We have been warned…

Roman Catholic ‘Roots’

Mr Armstrong explains:

“So here we have pictured a government – a RELIGIOUS government – appearing as CHRIST’S government, masquerading as the KINGDOM OF GOD, actually ruling the civil Roman Empire, after A.D. 554. Was there such a government? Indeed there was! And only one!

Prior to 554, Justinian had written a letter to the pope, acknowledging his supremacy in the West. And when he restored the empire in the West in 554, the popes dominated the Western Empire from Rome. The Roman Empire, thus restored to continue until 1814 (1260 years), became known later as ‘The HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE.’ We read in history that the popes were accepted as the ‘Vicars of Christ,’ which means ‘IN PLACE OF Christ.’ The teaching was that the Second Coming of Christ had occurred – Christ had returned to earth, as king of kings and as lord of lords, in the person of the popes. The millennium had begun.

For the entire 1260 years, the emperors accepted the popes as such, ruling the nations with a ‘rod of iron’ as Christ is to do WHEN He really comes. CONSEQUENTLY THEY ACKNOWLEDGED THE SUPREME RELIGIOUS POWER OF THE POPES.

The Church was organized as a GOVERNMENT – as a dual, two-fold government (symbolized by its two horns or kingdoms – for ‘horns’ symbolize kingdoms also – see Dan. 7:24). It embodied CHURCH government, and it also was a STATE, or civil government, always occupying a certain amount of territory over which it, alone, ruled as an independent sovereign state – in addition to actually ruling over the vast civil kingdom called the Holy Roman Empire.

Even today, it is a separate, independent, sovereign state. Most nations send ambassadors to the Vatican, just as they do to the United States, or to Italy, Britain or the USSR [Now Russia].” (Who Is the BEAST?)

2017: The EU - Seeking Divine Intervention!

“EU leaders will turn to the POPE over plans to revive the struggling bloc. European leaders are set to hold an historic meeting with the Pope later this month when they head to Rome to unveil their make-or-break plans to revive the struggling EU.

Brussels chiefs are hoping THE PONTIFF CAN PROVIDE THEM WITH THE ‘LEADERSHIP’ THEY ARE LACKING to help solve the debilitating crises tearing the bloc apart. The 28 heads of government will meet with Pope Francis on March 24, the day before they all gather in the Italian capital to celebrate the 60th birthday of the EU and launch its ‘rebirth’.

One pro-EU think-tank official said that, with Barack Obama gone from the White House, THE HEAD OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS THE ‘ONLY MORAL AUTHORITY’ European politicians had left to follow. The news that the EU’s most powerful men and women are seeking divine intervention from the Pope may raise eyebrows amongst critics who feel they have no answers to the bloc’s growing problems.

And now diplomats have told EurActiv that EU leaders will discuss the plans with Pope Francis in Rome ahead of holding their own heated debate on which ‘pathway’ to choose.

Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, told delegates at a conference in Valetta that the Pontiff could ‘provide leadership that politicians miss’ as the bloc grapples with crises as varied as migration, terrorism, economic instability and Brexit. He added: ‘I do think he [Pope Francis] is the ultimate world leader that within the circumstances has the skills and the vision to say things that transcend the obvious and banalities we all say in politics.’” ( )

Pope To EU Leaders: ‘Tear Down The Walls’

“Pope Francis will meet with the leaders of all EU nations at the Vatican on March 24 ahead of the bloc’s special summit in Rome, Vatican sources said Thursday. The March 25 summit will mark the 60th anniversary of the bloc’s founding treaty. The pope has already received EU leaders at the Vatican in May 2016 when he was presented with the bloc’s Charlemagne Prize for his contribution to European unification. In a speech at that ceremony he called on them to ‘tear down the walls’ and build a fairer society. Invoking the memory of the EU founding fathers’ pursuit of integration in the aftermath of World War II, the pontiff said they inspired because they had ‘dared to change radically the models’ that had led to war. The pope also made a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in November 2014.” (

The Pope’s Political Base in America

“He is not just the Pope of the world’s Catholics, no, not by a long shot. Francis has stepped out of the shadows and with each new undertaking continues to shore up his base of political power and influence.

But far more dangerous for American conservatives, this new pope’s message will be regularly delivered by those clerics to America’s power elite: Six of the nine members on the Supreme Court are Catholics, including the chief justice. Three Catholics are in the direct constitutional line of succession if the president dies. Twenty-four of our 100 Senators are Catholic. So are 163 of the 435 members of the House. Add in their Catholic spouses, children, parents and friends, and this new pope is himself a global superpower.

His radical, revolutionary ‘exhortations’ will be influencing billions of all faiths worldwide, demanding not pious rhetoric but action to solve world problems.” (

In Times of Crisis, All Roads lead to the Vatican

The leaders at the founding of the United Nations paid little heed to the Catholic grab for power at the time. But in 2017, with European politics in big trouble, Europe’s leaders all went down to the Vatican!

They were LOOKING TO THE VATICAN for the leadership which they lack!

When we read these news articles, can we understand what is happening?

Can we see prophecy being fulfilled?

The Vatican: The Symbol Of Unity

“This [full political union] will be made possible by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, who alone can be the symbol of unity to which they can look.” (US and GB in Prophecy - Chapter 14)

Right Now - The Build-up To Chaos

“…I can see now the event that is going to trigger THE FORMATION OF THE MEDIEVAL HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE … I believe that some event is going to happen suddenly just like out of a blue sky that is going to shock the whole world and is going to cause the nations of Europe to realize they must unite.

Well, now I think I can see what may be the very event that is going to trigger it and that is the economic situation in the world.


Possible Upcoming News

With the financial system broken, banks closed, trade stopped… the whole world will be in upheaval. In the Middle East, the Jews could start the sacrifices - and the Arabs respond - China could take advantage of the situation and attack Taiwan and in all this a divided Europe goes to the Pope for help and “moral guidance”! This time around, the Church wins out - and takes control.

The combined army roars down into the Middle East, stops the sacrifices and takes over all the oil reserves. The rest is history!

Future news headlines: “Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4)

A Very Short Time Frame!

Within 45 days, the Holy Roman Empire is revealed - Jerusalem is surrounded and the sacrifices stopped! (Pastor General’s Report – November 20, 1979)

The 10 kings receive power for 1 hour with the Beast of Revelation 17:12 - and they unite - and give their power and strength to the Beast (verse 13).

What changes their minds? Where does this unity come from?

Revelation 17:17 gives us the answer:

“FOR GOD HATH PUT IN THEIR HEARTS TO FULFIL HIS WILL, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, UNTIL THE WORDS OF GOD SHALL BE FULFILLED.” (Revelation 17:17)

A Return To The “Roots” And “Authentic Values”

Politicians in Europe already accept that the Pope is a great moral authority.

When times get tough, they all head to the Vatican.

Times are going to get tough - really tough!

“When the financial structure breaks down, all civilization is going to break down.”

Then the Holy Roman Empire is formed, and it returns to it’s “roots”.

The “authentic values” are instituted…

And the Great tribulation will begin as Unam Sanctam is applied!

Unam Sanctam…

“IS one of the most frightening documents of history”

“It is the primary document of the Popes claiming their global power.

It demands that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

OR ELSE be branded as a heretic!

And from history, we all understand what that means.

Unam Sanctam is the foundation upon which the Great Tribulation is built!

We were warned by God’s end time apostle, and he summed up as follows:

“The sevenfold INTENSITY of punishment now soon to come upon the American and British peoples is simply the prophesied GREAT TRIBULATION! It will be the most frightfully intense PUNISHMENT, and time of TROUBLE, ever suffered by any people!

By God’s direction and authority, I have laid the TRUTH before you! To neglect it will be tragic beyond imagination! To heed it will bring blessings, happiness and GLORY beyond description!

The decision is now YOURS!(US and GB in Prophecy - Chapter 14)

Pastor’s Report - 7 Jun 2024
The Power Of Pentecost

The Power of Pentecost

"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49)

In just over a week, on Sunday June 16th, we will once again be celebrating the Day of Pentecost, and the memorial to the start of the New Testament church. In the above passage found at the end of Luke's gospel account, Jesus Christ focuses on the power that was to be given at that time. As we read those words, our minds invariably will go to the account in Acts 2 and the physical manifestation of this power; such as the rushing mighty wind, tongues of fire and the speaking in tongues, and perhaps also what Christ mentions at the end of the book of Mark:

  • And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
  • They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17,18)

All these are physical, visible results of the Holy Spirit, and with such things worldly christianity appears quite comfortable. But there was also a power that was given on that day that far exceeds any of these observable, tangible manifestations we might find mentioned in the scriptures, and that was the power -- the ability -- to become a very son of God.

  • But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)
An Impossible Dream?

But let us consider for a moment just what that entails. On the positive side, becoming a son of the living God means we'll have the same kind of life that the Father and Christ possess; self-containing life, in a spirit body, with all the power of a very God-being.

  • He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule (Philippians 3:21 GNT)

But we must also appreciate that God isn't going to grant that kind of reality-changing power to us, unless He is 100% confident we will use it wisely and righteously ... i.e. possessing a God-plane mind that of necessity must go with it. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5)

And to the world, that can appear to be a totally unrealistic goal, as they reason: "Isn't that taking things a bit too far? Asking too much of weak human beings? OK ... Christ never sinned but He had been with the Father from eternity and was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth! Are we really expected to walk as Christ walked, who was fully man but also fully God? Who led a sinless life, never gave in to temptation, never ever broke God's law, even mentally? An unreasonable concept surely?"


And many of the churches of this world use those precise arguments to justify their stance on the law of God being nailed to the cross! "After all, God is a loving God. He understands, doesn't He? 'For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust' (Psalms 103:14) and so He cannot expect us to be perfect." They then conclude this has to be why Jesus came -- to keep the Law for us in our stead, abolishing it as a requirement for flawed humanity. But as Mr Armstrong says in the article I reproduce below ... "There couldn't be a more soul-damning delusion of the devil!"

If we read the context of that passage from Psalm 103, we find that it is not about God sanctioning us to no longer have to keep His Law, but His mercy and pity for us in our struggle to be obedient to Him. He says:

  • Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
  • For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
  • As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
  • For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
  • But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
  • To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. (Psalm 103, 13-18)

The world sees the huge gulf between what Christ achieved and what we humanly even struggle to achieve as totally insurmountable. But what they don't understand is the truly transforming power that was given to weak and sinning human beings on that Day of Pentecost, 2000 years ago.

Jesus Christ

Christ readily admitted that on His own, He could do nothing. (John 5:19,30) So it stands to reason that God doesn't expect more of us than He did of Christ! We're not placed here to fail. God is not willing that any should perish! (II Peter 3:9, John 6:39) Yes, we are in a world where sin forms an integral part of our daily experience as human beings. We have been specifically placed here during this age overseen by Satan to learn the effects of sin first hand. Aversion therapy! More often than not, what we suffer is the result of our own sins. But a large proportion of our trauma also arises when others around us and associated with us break God's Law. And in both cases, we learn.

But it was into just such a world that Jesus Christ also came. He is the example God expects us to follow, for within such a world He did indeed live an entirely sinless life: "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15).

The Big Difference

The big difference was that He was also God -- having the Spirit without measure (John 3:34) -- yet that in NO way lessened Him fully becoming flesh: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) As far as we can grasp from our frail human perspective, the individual who was from Eternity the Logos -- breathing Spirit for His self-contained Life -- divested Himself of it all (Philippians 2:7) to actually become a creature who instead breathed AIR for an utterly human, temporary, physical, chemical existence. Scripture clearly indicates that He, The Eternal, literally BECAME flesh!

This truth Simon Magus and his followers simply could not accept, among so many, many other things. The founder of the world's false christianity was a gnostic heretic who depicted Jesus Christ as part of a pagan trinity far, far above any contamination from "sarx" -- the Greek word for flesh. In his distorted view of the subject the personage witnessed here on earth known as Jesus Christ was nothing more than a nebulous theophany (definition: a visible manifestation of God to mankind) of the divine. He did not literally BECOME flesh! This is why Simon Magus claimed to be the Simon who not only carried the stake for Christ but then had to substitute himself as the individual on the cross, so the divine would not be contaminated by such a mundane thing as death. This is almost certainly the source of the long-haired effeminate individual depicted in this world's crucifixion scenes. It is the likeness of Simon Magus, the supposed physical substitute. But the heresy was fully recognised and exposed by the apostle John:

  • Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
  • And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (I John 4:2,3)
  • For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (II John 1:7)

The important thing to realise is that the above passages apply in two ways. First, they counter the gnostic heresy outlined above. But they also use a more progressive tense for the words translated as "is come in the flesh". Those words are therefore probably better translated as "is come and is continually coming in the flesh", and in so doing, counter the idea we don't need to keep God's Law. For the same Power of God's Spirit, used by Christ to lead a totally sinless life and given to the church on the Day of Pentecost is available to each and every one of us -- if we would just make use of it as He did. There is no doubt that Christ did indeed have extra power available to Him which enabled Him to resist all the temptations thrown in His path, but He also expects us -- through Him -- to use that identical power ourselves.

  • Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
  • To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:26,27)
  • And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
  • Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
  • I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:16-18)
Our Destiny

It is certainly true that the gulf between the God of the Old Testament -- Jesus Christ -- and ourselves is beyond gigantic. And the righteousness He exhibited contrasted with our own attempts at being righteous are almost laughable! But that is the point. God is not looking for "our own attempts at being righteous". Such righteousness is nothing more than mere self-righteousness and so totally worthless, being a righteousness that has at its basis merely a carnal desire to appear good; an incoming, self-centred, human approach.

  • But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
  • And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
  • But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isaiah 64:6-8)

But to be truly righteous, as the Father and Christ are righteous, we must BECOME part of the Family of God, as ONLY God is truly good (Mark 10:18). We, of our own devices, cannot "stir up ourselves to take hold of thee" as it says above in verse 7. We must allow God -- The Master Potter and our Father -- to transform us, willingly submitting to His guiding hands so as to become His supreme creation; His own children, with His own divine, sinless character. Impossible? Absolutely! But not with God, with whom ALL things are possible. (Matthew 19:27; Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27).

Done Before

And this is where faith comes in. It is both our faith in the sacrifice of Christ to cover PAST sins, and so reconcile us to the Father, and the faith OF Christ that then comes from God's Spirit, now living IN us, enabling each and every one of us to live a similar sinless lifestyle as our elder Brother.

  • Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)
  • That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
  • And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
  • I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me ...
  • ... And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:21-26)
  • I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The beauty of it all is that it has already taken place! As an embryo in the womb of our mother we had the guiding information within our parents' DNA coordinating the process of our growth; from an egg the size of the minute full stop/period at the end of this sentence -- joined with a sperm cell that is invisible to the naked eye -- right through to a fully-functioning 7 lbs or so human being at our birth. An impossible process? Absolutely! But with God all things are possible, and here we are ... writing this, reading this. In the same way, having been washed by the Living Waters of God's Word, those within God's Church are to become "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:27) An impossible process? Most definitely! But not when we have the faith of Christ active within us. For Christ knew, and therefore so should WE know that with God ALL things are possible. We don't have to sink into despair and discouragement, and "throw in the towel", thinking it's an impossible, herculean task we've been given, as we have this sure promise from a loving God: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

So until that day: ...

  • Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
  • To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude v24-25)

The Good News, June/July 1982

How YOU Can Overcome

By Herbert W. Armstrong

How can you overcome and master your human nature? – and keep ALL God’s commandments?

I FEEL I must have a real heart-to-heart talk with my family of readers and co-workers, sharing with you thoughts that came to my mind.

It concerns the most important thing in life and eternity for you. But at the moment, I was thinking about myself.

Every person – yes, even you – is his own worst enemy. All my life I have been impelled to fight my worst enemy – that troublesome inner self, which by nature is desperately wicked.

I was not born with a mild, submissive, weak-willed inner self. Had I been, I probably never could have been used as God’s instrument in bearing His message to you. My mother, who lived well into her 90s, said I was a very strong-willed boy, and while I was still young enough to be under parental discipline, I caused her and my father no end of trouble.

Since growing into the age of self-discipline, this same evil, determined inner self has caused me no end of trouble. And I should add that since I gave that self over to God, it surely must have tried His patience!

The troublesome inner self

That brings us to the point. The thought that came to my mind concerned this very troublesome inner self. HOW, came the question, can I myself ever become finally saved, and inherit eternal life in the Kingdom of God, with such a powerful, seemingly irresistible inner force of evil constantly pulling the other way?

When God says “there shall in no wise enter into it [the Kingdom of God] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Rev. 21:27), it surely seemed impossible that I should be able to “overcome” and “endure unto the end.”

But the same instant the answer flashed to mind – God will save me!

I can’t save myself. When I look at this troublesome, evil self, so human and full of faults and weaknesses, so beset by temptations of pride and the flesh, with all its limitations and shortcomings – knowing that to be finally saved I must GROW in grace and God’s knowledge, must develop in righteous holy character, must overcome this self and temptations and weaknesses and must endure through trial and test and opposition and discouragement unto the end – well, when I look at it that way, it seems utterly HOPELESS to expect ever to be saved.

And I wondered, as this thought flashed through my mind, how many of my readers and co-workers are tempted to look at it the same way – to feel a sense of futility and helplessness– perhaps to become discouraged and lose faith?

Ah, that’s the key word FAITH!

Our plight isn’t hopeless at all!

How we shall be saved

Of course, of ourselves, it is impossible to be saved. But with God it is certain – if we yield to Him and TRUST Him. We shall be saved, not by our own power to overcome and develop perfect characters, but through FAITH IN GOD’S POWER!

But right here is where 999 out of 1,000 become deceived by the fables of this time. And when the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch!

Because we can’t save ourselves we can’t master the evil inner self – we can’t always resist every temptation – we can’t keep God’s holy law perfectly – and, of ourselves, we would fail to overcome, to grow in spiritual character and to endure to the end – the false teaching is going out that JESUS DID THESE THINGS FOR US – that we don’t need to do them.

Millions today believe that God imputes Jesus’ righteousness to us, counting us as righteous when we are not!

There couldn’t be a more soul-damning delusion of the devil!

No, Jesus didn’t live a good life for you, in your stead! You are not excused from keeping God’s commandments, living a righteous holy life, overcoming, growing in spiritual character and enduring in spite of all opposition, persecution, trial and test unto the end. You and I must actually do these things in order to be saved!

Here is the great mystery! Since we must do these things to be saved, yet are utterly unable to do them, it is natural to conclude either that God sent Jesus to do it for us and excuse us from accomplishing it, or else to become discouraged and be tempted to quit trying.

The true answer is the KEY to salvation!

Key to salvation

We can’t save ourselves. GOD will save us!

But how?

Not by saving us in our sins – not by deceiving Himself into counting us righteous by imputing Jesus’ righteousness to us while we remain unrighteous – BUT BY SAVING US FROM OUR SINS, by giving us His very own Spirit!

God’s Spirit gives us His POWER to overcome these cantankerous selves, His LOVE to actually fulfill His law, His PEACE to avoid strife with enemies and resentment and bitterness at their injustices, His PATIENCE to endure!

We can’t save ourselves – GOD must save us!

But He does it by changing us, through His indwelling divine supernatural power, from what we have been into the holy, righteous characters He wills to make of us! He does it by forgiving past sins not only, but cleansing us from sinning now and in the future!

God does not look upon our hopeless plight – our evil natures, our weaknesses and inabilities – and say: “Poor, helpless humans! Since they are unable to master and overcome their evil natures, to keep my law, to endure trial and test and temptation and to grow into holy characters, I’ll be merciful and have my Son do it for them, and save them just as they are in all their sins.”

Instead, God who knows our every weakness – who knows and understands this human nature in every one of us – sent His Son into the world to proclaim His MESSAGE to us that we must yield to GOD’s government over our lives – that we must REPENT and turn from our filth of the flesh and pride of mind and heart.

He sent His Son into the world to be tempted in all points as we are – human as we are – to prove that a human can, with the help of the Spirit of God, live without sin – TO SET AN EXAMPLE FOR US THAT WE SHOULD FOLLOW HIS STEPS and live also without sinning!

He sent His Son into the world to die for us – not living a good life in our stead, but paying the penalty of our past sins in our stead – that we might be reconciled to God, so that we might receive His Spirit, begetting us as His SONS, so that God through the power of His Spirit may CHANGE us from mortal sinners into immortal, holy sons of God!

“Come as you are”?

Some hotels and restaurants, catering to tourists who may be in old clothes and dirty from travelling, post a sign: “COME AS YOU ARE!”

The favorite “invitation” or altar-call hymn sung by the popular denominations in revival or evangelistic services is “JUST AS I AM.”

But be not deceived – GOD WON’T RECEIVE YOU JUST AS YOU ARE! You can’t sit down at His immaculate, holy table with your wrinkled, soiled clothes and dirty hands, which symbolically represent the human sinning condition.

No, you must be first WASHED in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ – and before Jesus, as your Savior and Mediator with God, can wash you of the filth of your sins, YOU MUST FIRST REPENT OF TRANSGRESSING GOD’S HOLY LAW, WHICH MEANS TO BE SO SORRY THAT YOU FORSAKE YOUR WAY AND THE WORLD’S WAY AND TURN TO A LIFE OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S LAWS AND WAYS!

Of course you’ll have to come as you are to Christ for CLEANSING from the filth of your past life – but confessing your filthy, sinful condition, asking Him to cleanse you and wash you in His blood, because you can’t cleanse yourself – so that He may present you chaste and pure and spiritually clean to His Father, that you may then receive the indwelling POWER of God that will enable you to overcome and keep God’s law, and live as His sons ought to live!

Receive God’s power

Jesus showed by His life that we can, if we rely upon God in faith for the power to do, live the way of God’s will as expressed in His spiritual law! Of Himself, even Jesus said He could not do it – “the Father that dwelleth in me,” He said, “HE doeth the works” (John 14:10). And again, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also” (verse 12).

And so it was that, almost the same instant the temptation to doubt the final result came to my mind, as I thought of my own weaknesses, faults and limitations, the answer flashed strong and firm:

“GOD WON’T LET ME FALL! He may punish me more yet to chasten and teach me and make me righteous, but He won’t let me fail – He will impute His very own righteousness by implanting it into my life until, through His power energizing me, I’m really living it – ETERNALLY!”

And that comforting and definite ASSURANCE of the final result, based on God’s own unbreakable PROMISES, just warmed my heart and made me feel good clear through – and so I had to share this glorious assurance with all of you! Read Jude 24 and II Peter 1:10.

Transcript - 31 May 2022

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HWA Bible Study:
I Corinthians 1 and 2 20 Jul 1980
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The confusion is not merely around the Church – within the religions of the world outside – but WITHIN the very heart of The True Church itself!

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