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      I would like to start with a brief outline of how the morality of our nation was when my wife and I were growing up. Until the start of WWII morality was quite strict. Some may not realize it but there was no such thing as teen-agers. Until age 16 you were a boy, and at 16 you became a man; that is, you worked at jobs just like a man.
      At sixteen I worked in the sheet rolling mill for the Aluminum Co. of Canada, Ltd. in Kingston, ONT. We worked a 48 hour week, and the young men did the

      Except in the case of adultery divorce was illegal. But then, as now, there were those who wanted to divorce and remarry. These people would go to Reno, Nevada in the United States and get divorced and remarried there. If they returned to Canada and the original wife put in a charge against her husband, he would be charged with bigamy, but I don't remember the punishment meted out.
      Homosexuality was illegal,

Continued on page 22

MINI-STUDY

SEVEN CONDITIONS TO ANSWERED PRAYER

     As Christians and avid Bible readers, we all know that there are many examples in the Bible of answered prayer.  We have seen that God answered the heart-felt prayers of people such as Abraham,

If you are eligible to take the PASSOVER, but unable to meet with one of God's congregations at the prescribed time, you should keep it in your own home alone or with other eligible members of your family.  The Passover should be kept at home only when it is not possible for a member to ob

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  THE CHURCH OF GOD

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     Many brethren now "attend" TCOG Sabbath services via the telephone hookup or on the computer. Eagle Net has provided the telephone service to us at no charge for several years, and we continue to thank them for this blessing.       
        The lines have already been secured for the Passover and the spring holy days, and if you wish to be part of these services please

contact a minister for the numbers you will need.
For the computer service you will need to go online at
www.t-cog.org. The services begin each Sabbath at 2 PM CST. The holy days will be online, but the Passover service will be by telephone hookup only; one service will be on Eastern and the other on Central time.

VOLUME 6, ISSUE 1

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WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD?

Continued from page 1

possible for Almighty God the Creator---it is also the means to His ultimate supreme PURPOSE! His final objective!
     But HOW?
     I repeat, such perfect character must be
developed. It requires the free choice and decision of the separate entity in whom it is to be created. But, further, even then it must be instilled by and from the Holy God who, only, has such righteous character to endow."
     This primary goal that God has set is composed of two parts. The first part tells us what is to be done -- the creation of right character. Second is how this is to be accomplished -- through free choice.
     God, by choice, has made man a free moral agent. That is, we were created as independent beings, having the ability to think, to plan, to build, to solve problems of great complexity, unlimited, to choose right from wrong, and therein lies the great secret. (mystery?) With few exceptions God has allowed man to do his own thing, and man has written a terrible record of destruction, torture, and death. The very record of man's history proves that he was given free choice, even if it meant making the wrong choice.
     The clarion call by God about Abraham in Gen. 22:12, "Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me," is the

factual demonstration of this principel. In fact God tested Abraham with something more dear to him than his own life; that of his son, requiring him to make the most difficult choice of his life.
     How is this at work within the church, and how does it affect that government?
     Becoming a part of the Body is not our own choice. This decision is made independent of us. John 6:44-65, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." In John 15:16 we read, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit."  The apostles James and Paul breathe more life into this understanding. James 1:17-18, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of light, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures."
Eph. 2:8, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God."
     When considering these scriptures it is hard to see free choice. If the Father calls us and gives us our faith, how can this be free choice? That is a correct understanding. At this point

received the Spirit of adoption (Sonship) by whom we cry out, Abba, Father."
     The creation of God's family holds the secret to His government. If we are to understand this truth it is necessary to understand how God is creating this family; which is tied to the most central element of that plan.
     Every family is composed of individuals, so it is the development of the individual that is key. The family cannot live in peace or happiness unless each individual has a mind developed to live in a harmonious way.
     When unfolding all the layers surrounding this core question we find that Herbert W. Armstrong stated the answer succinctly in his book Mystery of the Ages. (page 69 in the hard cover, and page 58 in the soft bound.)
     Quote: "But there was one super-important quality that even God's creative powers could not create instantly by fiat--the same perfect, holy, righteous CHARACTER inherent in both God and the Word!
     This kind of character must be DEVELOPED, by the CHOICE and the INTENT of the one in whom it comes to exist.
     So mark well this super-vital truism--that perfect, holy and righteous
character is the supreme feat of accomplishment

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there is no choice on our part; but from here forward choice plays a fundamental part.
     Here is the explanation. A child left on his own could conceivably grasp the fundamentals of mathematics; that is, to add and subtract, but without a teacher it would be utterly impossible to learn an existing language. The father chooses the ones to be called. This is very carefully done, that none should fail. I Tim. 2:3-4, "for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth."
     The Father does two things when calling. First He gives us a desire to know why we live - why we walk this earth. Secondly He starts the process of understanding His way of life. He opens our minds to comprehend what is in His word, the Bible. Like a child learning a language.
     Wouldn't everyone just understand this truth by reading? After all, they only need to pick up the Bible and read it. Jesus tells us in Matt. 13:11, "Because it has been given unto you," (the called of God,) "to know the
mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given." But to the rest it is given in parables, that "Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand."
     The fact that the vast majority of this world does not understand what God is about demonstrates that it is a mystery unless revealed. You can go to the religious authorities of this world and they will not be able to tell you what God is doing or why.

The human mind must be opened to understand.
     Paul uses this word "mystery," which means hidden or secret truths, twenty times in six of his letters, and John uses it four times in the book of Revelation.
     Eph. 1:1-5 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,………verse 9, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He proposed in Himself,…….."
     These scriptures show that the Father's plan from the very beginning was to call some to become holy, as He is holy. To become sons by Christ, because it was His will. He made known to us the mysteries of His will. (He opens our minds to understand truth.)
     But what do we mean by righteous character?
     From Mystery of the Ages, page 58 (soft bound), "Perfect, holy and righteous character is the ability in such separate entity to come to discern the true and right way from the false, to make voluntarily a full and unconditional surrender to God and His perfect way--to yield to be
conquered by God---to determine even against temptation or self-desire, to live and to do the right.

And even then such holy character is the gift of God. It comes by yielding to God to instill HIS LAW (God's right way of life) within the entity whoso decides and wills."
     The foundation scripture for this statement by Mr. Armstrong is Matt.5:48, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." Luke 6:36-40, "Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful." And, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher." Eph. 4:13, "Till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;" Heb. 1:3, "Who (Christ) being the brightness of His (the Father's) glory and the express image of His (the Father's) person."
     In a sermon given by Mr. Armstrong on Dec. 17, 1983 entitled MISSION OF THE PHILADELPHIA CHURCH ERA, he made the following statement: "Now God's purpose was to reproduce Himself. To reproduce Himself. But God is, first of all a PERFECT SPIRITUAL RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER! And man could not be made God until the very CHARACTER of God had been implanted within him. And it wouldn't be character unless the man himself made the choice to receive it. And unless it came with the man's, not only consent, but by his own will even. And yet it had to come from God, and God would give it to him, but a man had to make the decision

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and want it. And the same thing faces all of us today."
     As shown in Hebrews, Christ was an exact reflection of the Father. If the Father had walked the earth He would have reacted exactly as Christ did in the same circumstances.
     The Father's approval of Christ is first recorded in Mark 1:11. "Then a voice came from heaven, 'You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'" Christ's confirmation is seen in John 15:10. "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love." God's commandments are a reflection of His love.
     It is self evident from the scriptures that developing God's character through free choice by the individual is the prime directive of the Father. Therefore,
ALL OTHER BELIEFS AND DOCTRINES MUST BE IN SUBJECTION TO THIS CENTRAL TRUTH. Many truths of God's word are followed to some extent by those who claim to represent the Father and Christ. Mr. Tkach, after Mr. Armstrong died, made a list of 18 truths that he felt were restored by Mr. Armstrong. Conspicuously absent from this list is God's prime directive. Yet in Mr. Armstrong's sermon of 12-17-80 (quoted above), in which he summarizes what truths he restored, his starting point was the creation of Godly character through free choice. If anyone would emphasize any of these18 subjective truths, making it the shining light that leads to eternal

life in the Kingdom of God, they would lose their direction. If one of the 18 truths listed by Joe Tkach, such as government, takes the place of God's prime directive - character through free moral agency, or if the prime directive is dropped altogether, as was done on the list of 18 truths, one can and will be led astray.
     As government is the subject of this writing, it can easily be understood that the carrying out of "top down" government that would twist these truths to gain control over the Body of Christ would not facilitate God's purpose for mankind.
     If God's church and ministry were shown how all truth stems from this elemental truth, it would go a long way in bringing conformity and clarity to what and how God's word is to be taught; how God's government is to work, and how every decision is to be made. It would act as a homing beacon, and the church would never get off track. It would bring a degree of unity that has not been seen since the death of Mr. Armstrong. It is the perfect measuring rod for what and how things are to be taught, and for what and how things are to be done.
     Government in the church is important - but it is NOT EVERYTHING! It must take its place as one of the tools used to reach the ultimate goal. It is needful to understand that government is an action word - a verb with the following definition from the Oxford English Dictionary (1981).
#1 - (see senses of the word) a.) The action of ruling; continuous

exercise of authority over the action of subjects or inferiors; authoritative direction; or regulation; control, rule. b.) the action of ruling and direction of the affairs of state; political rule and administration.
     When it is understood that government is the implementation of something, the putting into action, it is easier to grasp its place in God's plan. If government is the carrying out of action, then that action must be controlled, or chaos results.
     In the history of the past 100 years we have witnessed unspeakable atrocities carried out by "top down" governments without controls. Hitler's Third Reich, Stalin's Communist Russia, Edie Amine's Uganda, and Mao se Tung's China are all examples of government in action from the top down without control. This horrible result is the true picture of what happens when man decides what is best for man on his own intellect, outside of the principles of God's way of life.
     It then follows that the government within the Body of Christ, as carried out by men, must be controlled. But how? 
GOD'S LAW CONTROLS GOD'S GOVERNMENT.  Therefore, the spiritual law is superior to the government, and the law becomes everything. Why? Because it is the reflection of God. It is His character. Without the control by law the government runs amok.
     Mr. Armstrong makes the following statements in Mystery of the Ages. "The very fact of law presupposes GOVERNMENT. Government is the administra

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tion and enforcement of law by one in authority. This necessitates authoritative leadership - one in command. Pg 48-49
     Bear in mind that the government of God is based on the LAW of God, which is the way of life of out flowing LOVE, cooperation,
concern for the good of the governed. And this law of God produces peace, happiness, cooperation through obedience. Pg. 50
     Satan has deceived the entire world in regard to the very nature of who and what God is - as well as of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Also of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, based on the spiritual LAW OF GOD. And further, of what and why man is, what salvation is, how it is received, what is the true gospel, what and why the church is, and what of the future! Pg 54
     But doctrinally, remember what the church is called to restore - the kingdom, government, and the character of God. What was taken away? God's law, the foundation of His government and the very essence of God's character and divine life." Pg. 273
     God has given us the LAW for the protection of every person under that government. Government run under God's Law is never intrusive. This is why David was so enamored with theLaw. He loved it because he understood its deepest ramifications. Life without the character of God's Laws would not be worth living.
     When we look for this government structure and its operation in the New Testament it is

not readily apparent. However it is certainly there. God did not leave us to flounder around with experimentation regarding His government, but left us with concrete direction and examples.
     Most of God's people have heard or read what Mr. Armstrong had to say about government being restored to God's church. He strongly made the point that God's government was a "top down structure." This is not difficult to substantiate in God's word. I Cor.11:1-3, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
      Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you.
     But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."
     Notice that the NKJ version is being quoted, which rightly tells us to "imitate" Paul
only as he imitates Christ. The KJ version uses the word "follow," and carries a very different connotation. When "following" an individual you accept them as a guide or leader without question. You carry out their instructions. Example; "Christ is leading ME, therefore you follow ME" or "If I tell you to do something, you do it."
     Under these conditions there is no way to accurately determine or measure that leadership; but when Paul says to imitate him as he imitates Christ, you can easily determine by comparison with the hundreds of actions recorded of Jesus' life, covering every aspect of human

endeavor, how it is to be measured. We have His written word as our guide. It is when we follow a man that we can be led astray. When we imitate we have a clear picture of how to conduct our lives because we have an unchanging guide, God's word.
     As we continue to read verses two and three we find that God the Father is the head of everything, and Christ is second in command. It cannot be more plainly stated that Christ is the head of every man, and man is the head of woman. "Man is the head of woman" can only be understood as being in marriage. The judgment made by the Eternal in Num 27:6-8, passing the inheritance to the daughters if no son is born to their father, demonstrates that a woman is an independent entity in God's eyes.
     This structure of authority is but a very bare outline; but is not to be broken by any man or woman. John, in chapter 15 further clarifies this structure in verses 1-8, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
     You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
     Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
     I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit,

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for without Me you can do nothing.
     If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
     If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
     By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be My disciple." Just as we found in I Cor. 11:1-3 the Father is in charge. He removes the unprofitable servant. He keeps the health of the whole vine by trimming it to bear more fruit, by putting us to the test. After Joe Tkach, Sr. was put in charge of the WWCG he was put to the test to hold fast to the truth. When he began to change the doctrines, each minister of the Body was then put to the test to see if he would hold fast. Would his position in the corporate church, the WW Church of God, be more important than the truth? Would the prestige of the office, the power of his position, and the monetary remuneration he received, overpower his love of God's truth? Unfortunately few of those leading the way had the intestinal fortitude to stand, and thus the test passed to the individual brethren.
     The vine feeds the branches. When we stop taking nourishment from the vine we die spiritually, and the second death is our future. How is it that Christ feeds the branches?
     The answer to that question is clearly spelled out in Eph. 4:11-

16, "And He Himself (Christ) gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers." For what purpose did He do this? The verses that follow reveal the answer. Verse 12, "for the equipping of the saints," (That is, to provide the called out ones with the road map, or knowledge and understanding, for them to attain everlasting life.)……"for the work of the ministry."
     This entails all that is required for the orderly running of the Body of Christ. This would include when, where, and how church services are held; what projects will be carried out, and what monies will be spent; who will receive financial aid, and the organization of that aid. It will include the reaching out to this world with the idea of opening a path to salvation for those who are being called by the Father, and the production of the written word and its content, the utilization of the internet, or any other modern technology of communication; an accurate recording of income and expenses, and making this information available to any member of the Body who supports this effort.
     It should be noted that any group claiming to be THE one true Body, but is unwilling to show where and how the income is spent, must be hiding something that would cast a shadow on their imitating of Christ. Openness is a base of trust. The Body must be able to trust those leading the way.
    Continuing with verse 12…. "for the edifying of the Body of Christ." The key word here is edifying, which is #3619 in

Strong's. This word can mean the act of building, or building as a process; also that which is built, the building. This word is used in Matt. 24:1 as "buildings of the temple." Its spiritual use can be seen in Rom. 14:19, "Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." It is also used in II Cor.10:8, "For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed."
     In Eph. 2:21-22 Paul uses this same word when he describes the spiritual temple being built from all in the Body of Christ, …"in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the spirit."
     Eph.4, Verse 13 gives a specific purpose for the above organizational structure, and that is to become like Christ, who is our example of the Father, taking us back to our central truth. Verse 13, "Till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
     Here Paul is hammering home that single most important purpose of the Father; creating His character in us. In verse 1 of this chapter Paul beseeches us to walk worthy of the calling. That is, by free choice, to make the right choices in our lives.
     Verse 14, "….that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with

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the total care of those in the household.
The New American Standard Bible reads, "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?"
     Now let's look at the Greek words translated "rule," "obey," and "submit" as used when speaking of governance in the church. In Strong's the word rule (#2583) is used five times in the New Testament. Four times it is translated as rule, and once as line. Here we see rather diverse translations for the same Greek word. The meaning of this word is "anything straight used in examining other things, such as a plumb line in building."
     In II Cor. 10:13, 15-16 we find the NKJ translates the word " sphere," that is, measuring out the geographic area that Paul was working in. The KJ uses the word rule here, which gives the impression that he ruled over them as a monarch.
     It is used in Gal.6:16, and Phil. 3:16 as a measure of our behavior. This should bring to mind what was quoted from Eph. 4, "To the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Christ is the one who has set the standard for us to follow.
    Strong's #4291 reads, "To cause to stand before, to set over." Paul uses this word twice in his first letter to Timothy. I Tim.3:4, "One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence." The key to understand

ing this leadership comes to life when the word reverence is looked at. This is one who not only has the ability to perform well his duties as a citizen but also to adhere to the highest principles and ideals of man and God, thus drawing respect and approval. If a man has done this in his family he will have a good chance of doing the same thing in the Body of Christ.
     There are three basic parts needed to accomplish this; discipline that holds the line, teaching that tells the why and how, and leadership which demonstrates by accomplishments as carried out in life. Paul continues to make the point that if a man is unable to lead his own household down the right path he certainly can't lead the Body of Christ. This supports the Father's main goal for mankind.
     The next word to consider is found three times in the 13 chapter of Hebrews as #2233, meaning "to lead or go before, go first, lead the way." This is its primary meaning. Metaphorically, "to lead out before the mind, i.e. to view, regard, esteem, count, reckon, these are the actions of the things spoken of." Its first use is in verse 7, "Remember those who rule over you."
     Again this terminology lends credence to a monarchial type of government, one subject to the whims of the monarch. The Diaglott gives a better rendering as, "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; and viewing attentively the result of their conduct, imitate their faith."
     The second use of this word

is found in verse 17, "Obey those who rule over you and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls." The first word "obey" #3982 has a very interesting meaning in the original Greek, a meaning that cannot be translated with a single English word. The Word Study Dictionary NT, II Mid 1 possessive; meaning to let oneself be persuaded, to be persuaded. (B) To assent to, obey, follow. Thus the true understanding should be gained.
     We are then persuaded not only by words, but also by the conduct of those leading the way, that we give our assent to obey. There is a responsibility of the individual to be persuaded of the truth, (God's word.) Once this happens he should be giving his whole hearted support to those leading the way. Responsibility is then given to the individual to recognize the true man of God, not only by hearing his words, but also by observing his actions. He then is to conduct himself in a Godly manner.
     Completing verse 17 of Hebrew 13, "……as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you." Those leading the way will be held responsible for the way in which they deal with the problems of the brethren. When dealing with one who is antagonistic it is much easier to err by responding in kind, or because one holds back, waiting for a more amenable attitude. The job becomes a joy when you are working with brethren who are whole hearted in their desire to walk God's way.

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     It has already been pointed out that God's spiritual law controls His government. This is an eternally important understanding that should be kept upper most in the minds of those responsible for the care and feeding of God's flock.
     Because the ministry is fundamentally responsible for the implementation of God's government within the church, they can never go beyond what the law prescribes, or fall short of its requirements.
     In Deut. 17:17-20 God gives the kings of Israel an absolute direction in their governance. "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.
     Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.
     And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,
     That his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel."
     Not only were they to follow the laws, but also the statues, which are the expansion of the laws to cover the questions arising from the day to day interaction of the people. They were the

"how to" and "wherefore," the "nuts and bolts" of his governing.
     Today these same laws and statutes are there to control and guide the government within the church. In Matt. 5:17 we read, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." The phrase, "but to fulfill," has been used by the religious authorities to claim that Christ has fulfilled the law for us. Therefore it is not applicable to us. The fact that heaven and earth have not yet passed away seems to be lost to them. By this statement of Christ's the law still stands for us today.
     He continues throughout the rest of the chapter to clarify how certain of the commandments were to be understood. Yet the religious authorities of today insist that Christ did away with the law. When a lie is repeated often enough it is believed without putting it to the test. Why would Christ elucidate the commandments if they were no longer in effect?
     In Matt 19 the young rich ruler asked Jesus how to have eternal life. His answer was to "keep the commandments." It is quite clear that God's laws, along with the statutes and judgments, which clarify the meaning and applications of those laws, were meant for man to adhere to throughout all of the ages of man's existence.
     Therefore, if each individual is required to follow these pre


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the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you.
     
You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
     Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal Peor; for the Lord your God has destroyed from among you all the men who followed Baal of Peor.
     But you who held fast to the Lord your God are alive today, every one of you.
     Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.
     Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
     For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?
     And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?
Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have

seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grand-children." Verse 14, "And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess."  It should be clear that these same instructions should be taught and followed today in God's church, with the same result - peace, unity and harmony in the Body.
  Verse 15 of Matt. 18, "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you, and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother." There is a corresponding direction given in Lev. 19:17-18, (Moffett Bible)
"You shall not cherish hate against your fellow countryman; what you must do is to warn him of his fault, lest you incur guilt yourself. You shall not avenge yourself, you shall not bear a grudge against your fellow citizens, but love your neighbor as you love yourself; I am the Eternal."
     The parallel of these two scriptures is obvious. If one is having a problem with a brother, go to him privately and attempt to settle it. It should be obvious that this is for the good of both parties, and the Body as a whole. For if any part of the Body suffers the whole Body suffers. It is difficult to go forward in an atmosphere of discord.
     Ps.141:5 shows the attitude needed when approached with a grievance. "Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him reprove me; It shall

be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it." It is not easy to accept that OUR actions may not reflect those of the Father. It should be remembered that either party could be wrong. It behooves them to settle the matter privately when possible. Prov.25:8-10, "Do not go hastily to court; For what will you do in the end, when your neighbor has put you to shame? Debate your case with your neighbor himself, and do not disclose the secret to another; Lest he who hears it expose your shame, and your reputation be ruined."
     The second step is verse 16 of Matt. 18, "But if he will not hear you, take with you one or two more,  that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." Christ goes back to the instructions that He gave His people in Deut. 19:15, "One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established." This is an important step and must be followed, and it must be done in private with no public disclosure. The witnesses chosen should be discreet, knowing the laws of God. When asking one to be a witness it is important that they are not persuaded to one side or the other before the matter is discussed; but that they come as impartial witnesses. It would be easy to choose your own friends to accompany you, but this could cause the other person to perceive that vengeance is in the mind, rather than to have the matter settled equitably, so that the meeting can end on a friendly note.

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          As they go through the steps toward reconciliation it should be obvious that courage is required. It is much easier to talk about someone behind his back than to confront him face to face even if in private. Christ does not give any other option - either His instructions are followed or we cannot call ourselves His disciples. To harbor animosity toward another is sin.
     The third step is found in verse 17, "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector." This may seem harsh and unforgiving, but sin cannot be tolerated by God or the Body of Christ. It must be done so that the individual will be jolted into seeing his sin, and then correcting the problem. It should be clear that this whole process is being carried out to facilitate the Father's prime directive to develop His character by choosing the right way. The choice remains with the individual. The reality of the persuasion lies in the word of God. If the individual has committed himself to that way of life it will convict him and he will change. This third step brings to bear the total wisdom of the group to persuade each individual to act in a Godly manner. It is not a popularity contest in which a vote is taken; it is a matter of opening God's word in both testaments to see which law, which corresponding statute, and which of the judgments applies, and then going forward in unity with that decision.
     It cannot be expressed too strongly that this is not a popu

larity contest! No matter how good a person he may have been in the past, no matter how much good service he has given to the brethren, no matter that he may be an elder, no matter that he is leading the Body, a judgment not tainted by the above must be rendered solely on the facts established. Christ essentially gave these same directions in Lev.19:1-2, 15, "And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.' Verse 15, You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. But in righteousness you shall judge your neighbor." Num.35:24, "Then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood according to these judgments." Note that they are to follow the guidelines laid down in the judgments, and that the matter was brought before the congregation.
     Deut. 19:15, "One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established." A minimum of two witnesses are required in any matter. I Tim 5:19, "Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses." Paul holds to the same requirement as given in Deuteronomy.
     There must be an absolute commitment to this process by all the brethren. Christ, our head, has given these instructions to His Body of Believers. Can we disregard this directive and still


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sin is so grievous that even the Gentiles recognize its evil. Yet they were unable to come to grips with it. Sin is the transgression of God's law. (I John 3:4)
     Paul goes on to list a litany of sins in I Cor.6:9-10, all of which were proclaimed sin by Christ in the books of the law. These early chapters of I Corinthians are a strong directive for the implementation of Matt. 18. Then in the book of Galatians he shows that he followed Christ's instructions in his own dealings with Peter and some of the other apostles. Gal. 1:18-19, "Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother."
     What was under discussion at this time between these two men? Two places in Acts need to be looked at. First, in Acts 9:26-30 we read that the brethren feared to have anything to do with Paul until Barnabas took him to the apostles, (mainly Peter,) and testified to his conversion. His attempt to convert the Hellenists had resulted in their attempt on Paul's life, so the brethren sent him to Caesarea and then to Tarsus.
     Acts 22:17-21 further elucidates what happened on this first visit to Jerusalem. "Then it happened, when I was returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a trance, and saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.' So I said, 'Lord, they know that in every synagogue I

imprisoned and beat those who believe on You. And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.'"
There can be no doubt that Paul would have told Peter of the vision, and that coupled with the attempt on Paul's life resulted in his being sent out of the country to the Gentiles.
     Picking up the story in Gal. 1:20, Paul makes a rather curious statement as an apostle. He affirms that what he is writing is the truth. He uses his office and the written word to confirm his presentation of the facts that led up to his confrontation with Peter in Gal. 2:14. This statement is made because he is giving a formal, legal presentation. Paul finishes the chapter by explaining that though the brethren of Judea would not be able to recognize his face, they did recognize the success of his work among the Gentiles, and that he now was with them preaching the gospel.
     This is Paul's formal explanation, showing that he was following exactly what Christ prescribed in Matthew 18 as the initial step in his private presentation about the Gentiles to Peter.
     Gal.2:1-2 shows he took two witnesses with him to confirm that they understood what he was teaching to the Gentiles, and they were in total agreement. Verses 9 & 10 show that James, Peter, and John were in agreement with what Paul and Barnabas were doing. This is the second step of Matt.18 - the witness phase - being followed by

Paul.
     The crux of the problem is seen in Gal.2:11-13, "But when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy." Here we see Peter, Barnabas, and the converted Jews actually breaking God's law. This was not just some minor slight, but went against the law of God. Lev. 19:34, "But the stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God." These men were sinning, but they did not recognize it. Paul brought them before the congregation to point out their problem,
     In the prior meetings they had given lip service, but failed to carry out God's way in real life situations. Obviously they did repent of what they were doing, as no further action needed to be taken.
     The inescapable conclusion is that the instructions of Matthew 18 are an integral part of the government within the church of God. They must be followed if we are to be true disciples of Jesus, and of His way.
     Whether there is a disagreement between two members, or between a member and a highest

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positioned elder, this procedure must be followed. As I Tim.5:19 shows, Paul allowed an elder to be brought before the congregation when two witnesses confirmed the allegations. It cannot be stressed strongly enough; first personal contact, second contact with witnesses, and third the matter is brought before the congregation. The assembly's decision is to be made solely based on the law, statutes and judgments of God's word; not on personal preferences or personalities.
    Does Matt.18:18 allow decisions to be made contrary to the laws of God? "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." As the NKJ translates this verse, there is no law, statute or judgment that could not be abrogated or changed by man's decision. Then those changes made would be confirmed by God in heaven. How could this be possible when Christ said that He came to make no changes in His Father's law? If Christ could make no changes, how could anyone else make changes?
      The following explanation from a book called "The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge" will answer this question. However, the explanation is technical, but it shows why it is wrong, and how it should be translated.  "Greek, dasate, 2nd person plural, 1 - aorist active subjunctive. Shall be (Greek) estai, 3rd person singular, future middle indicative. Bound (Greek) dedmena, perfect passive participle, nominative plural neuter. The same unusual form

is found in Matt. 16:19. Burton (NT Moods & Tenses, section 94, pg.45) also gives Luke 12:52 and Heb.2:13 as instances of what he terms the "periphrastic Future Perfect." It may be more literally rendered "shall (or must) already have been bound" ye shall loose (Greek) lusate, 2nd person plural, 1 aorist active subjunctive. Shall be (Greek) estai, 3rd person singular, future middle indicative. Loosed (Greek) lelumenna, perfect passive participle, nominative plural neuter. More literally this may be rendered "shall (or must) already have been loosed." In the Greek text important distinctions in tenses are made here, so that the participles may be more literally rendered as indicated. The sense is that the apostles were to loose and bind what already had been permanently loosed (permitted) and bound (forbidden) in heaven; thus the apostles carried out their teaching in accordance with what was already taught by Christ, as the mandate of heaven; heaven did not merely ratify the earthly decisions of the apostles.
     Instead of giving the apostles or the Body of Christ in general the right to change the laws, it in fact prohibited them from making any changes, period. This translation carries true to form with the earlier words of Christ in Matt. 5:17, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." We cannot forget -
GOD'S LAW CONTROLS GOD'S GOVERNMENT!  It is this same law that must be inculcated into our minds, thus controlling our actions, which is our character, and


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law of God that controls these decisions and the actions of those leading the way.  The Body acting as one unified whole can bring to a guilty conscience the willingness to correct his way. If not, that one is set out of the Body by consensus. This is not done in secret or without witnesses, but in an open hearing. Humans in general hate to be caught in a mistake or a lie, or in any circumstances that would reflect poorly on themselves. The higher the position, whether in the church or without, the more one will do to cover the error. When reaching the highest echelon one thinks himself infallible, or feels he must appear so to others. Many times he will do whatever he can to cover for himself and to hide his mistake and weakness. If this requires the destruction of another individual, that is acceptable in his eyes because, after all, he must protect his infallibility and reputation. In his wrong thinking he is willing to sacrifice another, justifying his actions by saying that it is for the "good of the people." God's way is to recognize our weaknesses and mistakes and correct them.
     This is precisely why Christ instituted Matt. 18. When one leading the way follows this direction with the brethren he understands that he also is subject to the same law and procedure. Thus it shows his true conversion, because he voluntarily placed himself under the government of God, regulated by the law of God. With heartfelt conviction he understands that God's way, outlined by His law, is the only way for a true Christian to conduct their life. He vol

untarily places himself under those laws, statutes and judgments along with his brethren.
     This procedure is not meant to resolve doctrinal issues. Doctrinal clarifications are to be accomplished through conferences, following the example in Acts 13 and Acts 15. The Acts 13 conference reflects the desire for direction from God in carrying the gospel to other nations, i.e. the work of the church. Acts 15 was to show us how a doctrinal issue is to be resolved.
     It should be clear that conferences are held with the specific purpose that Christ, the head of the Body, will guide the minds of those attending to resolve issues so God's work can move forward. When putting on the mind of Christ we set aside our own desires and thoughts.
     There have been seven conferences since the inception of this little flock called The Church of God. These conferences were not to establish any new doctrine, but to confirm our beliefs, and in some cases add to their validity new knowledge that would repudiate the gainsayers of recent times.
     When these past conferences were held we were not truly aware of the fact that they were the government of God in action. The idea was to follow the example in Act 13, and every conference was started with a day of fasting - opening with prayer to implore the Father and His Son to open the minds of those present to better understand His word; to give understanding and direction so that what was taught to the brethren would be the will of God.


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     An agenda for the topics and plans to be discussed was prepared well in advance of the conference, and was sent to all who were invited to attend. Along with the ministers and deacons, others who were knowledgeable or had particular expertise or skills in certain areas were invited. A general invitation was given to any other brethren who wished to come.
     Spiritual or doctrinal items were always discussed on the fast (first) day of the conference. One man would make the initial presentation and then the topic was opened for discussion among those present. No one was prevented from speaking. The following is a partial list of topics brought up at the conferences.
     Was Mr. Armstrong the Elijah?
     God's Calendar, Which Day is Pentecost & Is Passover on the 14th or 15th?
     What is the Government of God?
     Divorce & Remarriage
     Porneia - It's Meaning and Application to Divorce & Remarriage
     The Gifts of the Spirit
     When all input was given to the subject under discussion the man considered to be the "elder Elder would conclude with a confirming summation. For example, in the case of, Was Mr. Armstrong the Elijah? "It is clear that God has shown us through this man's life's work that he fulfilled the office of Elijah, restoring all things to us that would lead us to eternal life."

     The conference is clearly part of God's government. Christ nourishes the branches through His word, given to those who are responsible for leading the Body. These are doctrines proven and clarified for the very purpose Paul stated in Eph.4:12-16, "……..for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ - from whom the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."
     God's government in the body was given for an overall purpose - to support the Father's prime directive - the creation of righteous character through free choice.
Therefore that government is subject to the laws, statues and judgments as given to us by the Word of God. It cannot be added to, or taken from what God has spoken.
     In Matt.7:15 a very poignant warning is given. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Jesus is saying that you cannot measure a man's righteousness by his


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to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'" They neither teach nor practice God's law as He directs in Matthew 18, or they are practicing lawlessness by using their own measure of right and wrong, disregarding the Word's direct command on how the Body is to become like the Father.
     When we allow the desire to reach out to this world to become our primary motivation, it clouds our judgment and we lose sight of the inherent purpose of the organized body; that of enhancing the development of the individual through the teaching and application of God's spiritual law.
     
The government of God and how it is to be applied within the church must be controlled by God's law as directed by our head, Christ.

By: Don Roth


   








     
     

Sermon Summary 

God's Word on Astrology

Continued from page 1

ered there, one of which began to tell my family that she was planning to give classes on astrology at her home across the street.
We had met the neighbor and her husband about a year earlier, after we had moved into our new home.  We held an open house party for friends and  neighbors and it was there we discovered  this lady was heavily involved in astrology, including the reading of horoscopes, palm reading, study of the metaphysical, and tarot cards.  What a surprise!
While discussing this recent encounter with our neighborhood astrology teacher, my wife told me the lady had asked our daughter when she was born (a polite way to really ask, "What is your astrological sign?").  This reminded my wife of a similar incident that happened to her in high school when she was asked what her "sign" was, and the person was shocked when she replied, exclaiming to her, "No!  You're not!  You can't be…you don't fit the profile!"
Well, astrology is big business in the United States.  Many Americans, Canadians, and British people read their horoscopes daily in the newspapers, often just for a little harmless "fun", although many are heavily into believing that the stars actually have an influence

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on the site while "horoscope" was the seventh most searched word.
Finally, more people believe in astrology than in any other single religious denomination.  9 in 10 Americans asked know their astrological, or "zodiac sign".   
PROMINENT BELIEVERS
Surprisingly enough, several United States presidents have been firm believers in astrology.  Perhaps the most open of these men was President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy.  Sydney Omarr, a prominent astrologer whose column appeared in more than 300 newspapers across the country, praised Nancy Reagan for consulting an astrologer before making major decisions.  He further stated that "only the ignorant" would laugh at the First Lady's awareness of astrology.
Mr. Omarr also told the Wall Street Journal during an interview that the Reagans were not the only high level Washingtonians to have looked to the stars.  He told the Journal that both President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger were also "gung-ho" on astrology.
As for Ronald Reagan, like Calvin Coolidge, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt before him, astrology appeared to be tied into life itself, and  important decisions required at least a quick glance to the stars.  The Philadelphia Inquirer, for example, insisted that " the signing of the U.S./Soviet treaty eliminating medium-range nuclear missiles" had been signed at 1:30 p.m. on December

8, 1987 based on advice from an astrologer.  In addition, many papers reported the story that Ronald Reagan had postponed his inauguration 9 minutes as governor of California on January 2, 1967 based on astrological calculations.
WHAT IS GOD'S VIEW?
Just what does God think about the subject of astrology?  Is it just a little harmless fun that doesn't matter to anyone?  Or does it have validity, purpose and meaning in our lives?  We need to look at this subject from God's perspective.
From an article in the January 1981 Good News Magazine titled "Astrology: Should You Let The Stars Guide Your Life?"  we  see an interesting definition of astrology.  "Briefly put, adherents claim astrology is a method of anticipating or foretelling events by calculating the effect the sun, moon, stars, and planets have on human activities.  Supposedly, the relative positions of the heavenly bodies at the moment of a child's birth influence the child's character and personality.  Plotting the movements of those heavenly bodies, it is thought, will reveal an individual's destiny."
Psychology Today (Feb. 1976 issue) focused on the crux of the matter when it referred to the conclusions of science writer Lawrence Jerome: "Arguments against the rationality of astrology's claims miss the point, he says, because astrology isn't based on science or logic.  It is a system of magic. Astrologers since Greek times have tied their art to whatever scientific facts came to hand, Jerome said, more


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nected with the magic, the occult, and astrology that God actually forbids according to His Word.  Once we examine the actual meanings of each of these, it is easy to see how they are all tied together under the heading of astrology.
In Leviticus 19:26 and Deuteronomy 18:10, we see a warning against enchantments.  Enchantment is defined as the practice of magical arts, and the casting of spells.  Lahat - the Hebrew word for enchantments - is listed as "a blaze, magic".  Nacash, another Hebrew word, is defined as "to hiss, i.e. whisper a magic spell".
Witchcraft is the second practice God forbids mankind to be involved in.  We can find examples of witchcraft in II Chronicles 33:1-2, 6.  Witchcraft is defined as the practice of dealing with evil spirits, black magic, and sorcery.  The Hebrew word Kashaph, means "to whisper a spell, to inchant or practice magic, sorcerer.  Pharmakeia, the Greek word for witchcraft, holds it's definition as "medication (pharmacy), i.e. magic, and sorcery".
This brings us directly to the third forbidden practice by God…sorcery.  Sorcery is the use of supernatural power over others through the assistance of evil spirits or witchcraft.  Kesheph (Hebrew) means "magic, sorcery, witchcraft".  Mageia (Greek) means "magic, sorcery".  Jeremiah 27:9-10.
The fourth practice God forbids is soothsaying.  We can find this listed in Micah 5:12,

practice God forbids mankind to dabble with.  Wizardry, as found in Leviticus 20:27, is the art, skill, or practice of a sorcerer or magician; witchcraft or sorcery.  The Hebrew word for wizardry is Yidde'oniy, meaning a knowing one, specifically a conjurer.
Deuteronomy 18:10 - 12 describes a particularly evil practice to avoid.  Necromancy is the practice of communicating with the "spirits of the dead", in order to predict the future, as well as black magic and sorcery.
Looking back over the last seven occult practices God actually forbids, it is easy to see a particular pattern or word evident in almost all of the above definitions, and that is magic.  Magic itself, described in Exodus 9:11, is the eighth wicked practice of the occult God describes in the Bible, and is defined as the art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.  The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or to control events in nature.  The Hebrew word for magic is a horoscopist or magician.

Almost everyone has heard of a snake charmer, but how many of us know that the word  charmer is mentioned in the Bible (Isaiah 19:3) as one more subject that God finds fault with?  "Charmer" is defined as an action or formula thought to have magic power, the chanting of a magic word or verse or incantation.  Other definitions include a Hebrew definition reading "a necromancer".
Prognostication, the

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practice of foretelling by indications, omens, or signs, is another practice God forbids.  We can see information concerning prognostication in Isaiah 47: 12 - 14.  Yada, the Hebrew word for prognostication, defines it as "to know, cunning, discern, discover".
The practice of foretelling futures by indications, omens, signs, astrology, and the charting of horoscopes is actually known as "observing times".  This practice is mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:10.  Anan, the Hebrew word for this  activity, means to cover, to cloud over, to act covertly, practice magic; an enchanter, observer of times, soothsayer or sorcerer.
Finally, the last of the twelve practices God forbids is astrology (also known as star gazing), found listed in Isaiah 47: 11-14.  This is the actual practice of divination by studying the positions and aspects of heavenly bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of human affairs.  There are more than one Hebrew words for this practice: Ashshaph, meaning astrologer, to lisp, practice enchantment, a conjurer;  Habar, defined as a horoscopist or astrologer, and Chozeh, a gazer on the stars.  Notice that this is defined as a gazer on the stars, meaning someone who looks on the stars for a meaning, not an astronomer, who studies the actual physical attributes of the stars and planets.
GOD DIRECTS
OUR PATHS         
It would pay us all to remember, that while over 50% of

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come one flesh'? 'So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.'" This proves that God, and only God, truly joins any two people in marriage, and it is a man and a woman that He joins.
      Equality Rights - 15.1 - Every individual is equal before and under the law, (Again, excepting Christians,) and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and in particular without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability. (If this is being enforced then the right of homosexuals should not trump the rights of Christians.) You will note that it is not just the homosexual part, but a concerted attack on Christianity itself.
      Part VII - General - 52.1 - The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.
      After WWII Prime Minister Trudeau stated that the government has no business in the bedroom of the nation, and the slide into immorality was underway. Abortion on demand was brought in. Laws against homosexual activities were repealed. Trudeau bragged about smoking pot, and stated that there was "nothing wrong with it." When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Canada he did not dress properly to meet her. It seems there is no respect for anything left in our society, even for the

self.
      About two years ago the mayors of London and Hamilton were fined for not declaring a Gay Pride Day in their respective cities. They based this as a violation of their rights under the charter giving them freedom of religion and conscience. (What happened to the mayor's right to freedom of religion and conscience? Non-existent!
      Three years ago the Ontario Human Rights Commission penalized printer Scott Brockie for refusing to print letterheads for a homosexual advocacy group. Before his trial he had stated that he did not want the contract, but directed them to other printers who would do the job. At his trial Brockie argued that his Christian beliefs compelled him to reject the request. It was apparent that they intended to make an example of this business man. He was told that he could practice his religion at home but not in his business, and was fined $5,000.00. Businesses are being told that they do not have the right to turn down a job. Brockie did not make any derogatory remarks about the gays, but that he just did not want to print their material.
      A man in Saskatchewan was fined $7,000.00 because he paid for an advertisement in the local paper, publishing the following scriptures:
Lev.18:22, "Thou should not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination." Lev.20:13, "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall


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tempted to have the books approved as a learning resource. The school board received 1,000 letters in favor of the books, but 4,000 against them. However, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote in the 7-2 ruling on Dec. 20, "Parental views, however important, cannot override the imperative placed upon the British Columbia public schools to mirror the diversity of the community and teach tolerance and understanding of difference."
      The meaning of the word "Democracy" - (n) A nation ruled by all the people, either directly or through elected representatives. Oxford dictionary. There is no allowance for minority groups except what is voted by a majority of voters. Thus the 1,000 supporting these books should not override the desire of 80% of the people. This is not democracy but fascism.
      Here is a sample of portions of "Asha' Mums," published in 1990. Little Asha becomes embroiled in a discussion at school about her two "mothers" after bringing back a parental permission form signed by two women. Some classmates say their parents believe having two moms is wrong. But Asha tells them: "My mummies say we're a family because we live together and love each other." Unfortunately what mum says does not a family make.
      One high court judge, writing in his consenting opinion, pointed to the previous passage, which clearly purports to pronounce on the morality of same sex relationships.

      Returning to the story: "When my turn came to talk about my drawing I said, 'This is my brother mark and my mummies and me. We're on our way to the Science Centre.' Coreen said, 'How come you've got two mummies?' Because I do, I said. 'You can't have two mummies' Judi insisted. 'Yes she can,' Rita said, turning around in her seat. 'Just like you can have two aunts, two daddies, and two grandmas' yelled Diane from across the room. Diane likes to yell. 'See,' I said to Coreen. 'My mum and dad said you can't have two mothers living together. My dad says it's bad.'
'It's not bad. My mummies said we're a family because we live together and love each other,' I said. 'But how come you have two?' Judi asked. Before I could answer Terrence said to Ms. Samuels, 'Is it wrong to have two mummies?' Well…….Ms. Samuels began, but Diane yelled, "It's not wrong if they're nice to you and if you like them."
      Notice that the argument in this story is trying to instill in the minds of these primary school children that same sex relationships are an acceptable alternative. The whole story is based on the false premise that one person can have two mothers. If the teaching of false hoods and incorrect biology is going to be accepted as education, God help all of us! And all this without a daddy. A true fairy tale. It seems apparent that these people are trying to proselytize our children into this immoral life style.
      Anna Marie White, policy manager for Focus on the Fam

ily, Canada, said, "Once again, the rights of parents have been steamrolled by an activist judiciary showing complete intolerance for the views of many Canadians with deeply held religious convictions." White also said, "With this ruling, the Supreme Court has declared that regardless of significant parental concern, their children will be subject to an unwelcome and complex sexual issue."
      Opponents said the high court essentially is marginalizing parents with religious convictions. This is not confirmed, but in the last report I heard the books are still not in the class room. Parents threatened to pull their children from the system and to withhold their school taxes.
      Alberta has now passed a law that parents can send their children to private (read Christian,) schools, and take most of their school taxes with them. This is a small flicker of hope. Premier Ralph Kline of Alberta has said that if the federal liberal government passes the same sex marriage act he will invoke the "not withstanding clause," which permits a province to override a law passed by the federal government, and the definition of marriage in Alberta will remain the union of a man and a woman. Mr. Kline, a Conservative, has also stated that he will not support any candidate for the leadership of the national Conservative Party who is supporting the homosexual marriage bill. This is one premier out of 10 provinces.
      Ontario passed a similar law, but it was defeated in the last

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provincial election, and the new Liberal government has rescinded this law. Last year when a catholic Separate High School was having their prom a boy was going to bring his gay boyfriend. The Bishop refused to allow this so the boy took it to the Human Rights Commission and to court. The judge would not release his decision until just before prom time. Naturally it was in favour of the homosexuals. This is brazen defiance of the freedom of religion. I believe the Bishop should have notified the court and the parents if the ruling was that the homosexual could attend the prom, and that then there would not be a prom for them to attend simply by canceling everything.
      Recently I received an e-mail stating that the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission are petitioning the UN to make discrimination against Gays a crime against humanity. They don't seem to understand that they are committing self genocide, unless they plan to receive supplies of semen from men or produce test tube babies.
      After the 911 disaster a memorial service was held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Not once did they mention God! On Sept. 9, 1998 an interfaith memorial service was conducted for the families of the 229 victims of Swissair flight 111 in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. Carolyn Nicholson, a minister of the United Church of Canada was elected to take part in the service. She later said that the Canadian Federal Government's protocol officer asked her and a Roman Catholic priest to submit

their parts of the service for advanced approval. A native Canadian (Indian) was permitted to speak of her people's beliefs; a Jewish Rabbi read from the Hebrew scriptures, a Muslim read from the Koran. The Christian minister and priest were forbidden to mention Jesus Christ, and were forbidden from taking readings from the New Testament. Instead they read passages from the Old Testament, and as instructed, did not mention Jesus.
      As reported by the Canadian Law Times on Line: While Canadian Christians cannot openly practice their faith with the freedom of conscience guaranteed by the Canadian Constitution, Canadian Muslims suffer no such liability. Canada is now prepared to recognize and enforce Islamic Sharia Law. Under the proposal the Canadian Justice is prepared to enforce the edicts of Islamic courts in Canada.
        Homosexual Rights groups are mobilizing support for a landmark United Nations resolution that would classify abuse on the basis of sexual orientation as a human rights violation. Last year the resolution was introduced to the UN Human Rights Commission by, the San Francisco based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights group.
      After prolonged debate the 53 member commission, chaired by Libya, voted to postpone further discussion on the resolution to this year's session. Would you think that protests by Christians caused this postponement? Think again! At the 2003 session

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Answered Prayer

Romans 4:20-21
James 1:5-7
Hebrews 13:5-6
3). Obey God!
The popular belief is that we can just float by with faith alone.  This is not true!  We have to live a life of obedience, and live according to God's will.  Keeping God's law is essential if we want our prayers answered!
James 2:20-24
I Peter 3:12
John 9:31
I John 3:22
4). We must approach God with fear and humility.
We must show God that we fear to disobey or disappoint Him.  This is not the same fear of men of preeminence some other groups develop, but more a type of reverence.  We must also be humble and meek in our approach to God.  With humility, God will exalt us.
Psalm 111:10, 112:1
Luke 12:4-7
I Peter 5:5-6
Luke 18:10-14
5). Be fervent in your prayers!
When we pray to God, we must pray with depth, urgency, and deep feeling.

God wants us to pour ourselves into our prayers.  David has left us written examples of his prayers that were filled with urgency and need.  Remember, for all his wrongs, David was a man after God's own heart.
Psalms 4:1, 6:1-4
Joel 2:12-13
6). We must be persistent in our prayers.
The current worldly attitude of "I want it now!" doesn't work with God.  He wants us to be persistent in our approach to Him.  We can't pray once and just give up. We don't always know how or when the answer to our prayers will come.   
James 1:2-4
7). Always ask in Christ's name!
Christ is our High Priest.  We must pray through Him as our High Priest. When we end our prayers by praying in His name, or asking in His name, we are really meaning  "by His authority".
John 16:23-24
Hebrews 4:14

By Gary Liebold

Continued from page 2

tool for each of us.  And though we know God hears our prayers,  how do we know our prayer will be answered?  God has conditions or reasons He answers prayers, and this mini study will cover seven conditions to answered prayers.
1). We must know God's will.
In order to know God's will, we must diligently study God's Word, the Bible.  Studying God's Word will help us think more like God.  If we then know God's will on a subject, we can better pray and ask according to God's will.
II Timothy 2:15 
I John 5:14-15
James 4:1-3
John 5:30
Ephesians 5:17
2).We must believe God!
This involves real faith!  Jesus Christ had this faith and we must have the faith of Jesus Christ.  Abraham had it, too.  We must completely trust God to keep His promises and not waiver from that faith and trust!

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Instructions for Keeping the Passover at Home

Continued from page 2

un-baptized children should participate.  There should be no visiting, talking, laughing, joking or conversation.  You are meeting on the most solemn and serious occasion of the entire year.  All should come into the room reverently.
The service begins without prayer.  This service is a very sobering occasion because we are reflecting on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.  It is also, however, a most encouraging service because it reveals the love of God for His people.  We are given this annual reminder of the glorious victory over sin that is ours because of the sacrifice of the only begotten Son of God.
Those who participate in the service are expressing their faith in Christ's death on their behalf, and renewing their commitment to let Christ live His life in them.
Next, the following scriptures should be read:
1 Corinthians 11:23-30 The Revised Standard Version translates verse 30: "That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died."  They were not relying on the living Christ for their healing, and they failed to realize that Jesus Himself paid the penalty for physical transgressions of the laws governing the functions of the human body, by allowing His body to be broken open by many stripes (Psa. 22: 14-15,17).  John 6:32-58 - all.  Both the eating and drinking are directly associated with eternal life.
Read John 13:1-17.  Then, if

bread.  Jewish Matzoth, or Matzos, may be purchased at many grocery stores.  Rye Krisp is unleavened and may be used (look for the word unleavened on the package), or you may make some flat cakes, made without any leavening agent (no yeast, soda, baking powder, etc.).  Also have ready a small amount of natural, red wine.  Grape juice was never used at Passover by Jesus, ancient Israel or the original pure New Testament Church.  Be sure you obtain a natural, unfortified wine.  Alcoholic content will be between 10 percent and 13 percent.  Wines containing 19 percent to 20 percent are fortified with grape brandy and should not be used.
Be prepared to observe the sacred ordinance in the early evening, soon after sunset.  Be sure the room is prepared very neatly, and clean.  Have a small amount of the unleavened bread and very small glasses of wine (one for each person) prepared on a tray or table.  Place not more than a tablespoon of wine in each small glass, and prior to the ordinance have these emblems covered with an immaculate white napkin.
When the time has arrived for the ordinance, let the family quietly, solemnly, come into the room prepared.  Let the head of the family (the husband and father) conduct the brief and solemn service.  No unconverted,


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THE WINE
Matthew 26:27-28
Hebrews 9:11-15
1 John 1:7 (Ephesians 1:7
and Colossians 1:20-22, if desired.)
These scriptures remind us of the two-part sacrifice of Christ for us.  1 John 3:4 (RSV)  "Sin is the transgression of law,"  as correctly translated.
Physical sin is the transgression of physical law which operates in the human body.  To pay this penalty in our stead, Jesus was scourged, chastised and beaten with stripes that tore His flesh from His body.
On the other hand, spiritual sin, which imposes the penalty of the second death - eternal death - is the transgression of the spiritual law (Rom. 7:13-14), the law summed up by the Ten Commandments. Jesus paid the penalty for both.
Then, uncover and pray over the wine, giving thanks and asking God to bless it to this sacred use as the symbol of Christ's blood, shed for the remission of our sins.  Thank God for giving us His only Son to die for us, washing us clean that we might be reconciled to God.  Thank Him for Christ's willingness to submit to His Father's will, even to death.  Each member should take a glass and quietly and reverently drink it.  Replace the glasses on the tray or table, cover them and the unused bread again with the napkin.
Then, the leader will read aloud portions from John 13:18 on through the 17th chapter of John.  Since it is rather long the leader may, in advance of the service,


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     Gen. 28:11 (KJV) reads  "And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep."
      Then in verse 18 of the same chapter it says, "And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it."
      In these two verses lies a hidden miracle of God. This was the combining of several stones into one stone - Jacob's Pillar Stone.
      Some question may be raised when studying this subject, since several translations have an incorrect understanding of these two verses.  Also, the doubt is compounded when consulting Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.  There we find the word for stone, used in verses 11 and 18 both numbered 68, giving a singular definition of stone. (Strong explains in the Preface of the Concordance that he uses the most basic and simple ground forms of the Hebrew words.) The following explanation should clear up the problem.
      We begin by looking up these two verses in the Interlinear Bible.  These two words, "stones" and "stone," are written differently in the Hebrew. However, Strong's uses #68 for both words.  From the Interlinear Bible verse 11 is translated,  "And he took stones (plural) of the place and placed them at his head." And verse 18, "And he took the stone (singular) which he had placed at his head." It is obvious that two

different Hebrew words are used, and they require different translations.
     A better translation can be found in a book called The Complete Word Study Old Testament.   Looking at the word for "stone" in verse 11 we find two numbers used, 68 and 4480.  This reflects what we saw in the difference of the two original words printed in Hebrew from the Interlinear Bible.  This is a "cluster" word.  Two Hebrew words put together, thus the meaning becomes altered.
           Word Clusters - The following is the definition for word clusters found in The Complete Word Study Old Testament. "Word clusters are groups of three or more adjacent English words which are connected with each other."
      Word clusters have been used in the following instances:  To demonstrate where three or more English words have been used to translate one Hebrew word (e.g., "be *gathered* together" [Gen.1:9]).  To show where an English word(s) has been placed between two or more English words associated with a single Hebrew word (e.g., "carry *it* down" [Gen.37:25]).  If the intervening word possesses a grammatical notation and/or Strong's number, a virgule (slash) is used to separate the respective notations and numbers (e.g., came *Joseph* near" [Gen.33:7], which is coded nipf5066/nn3130.)
      To represent where one Hebrew word has assimilated into


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then change the meaning of stones by saying that Jacob took one of  the stones.  The translators have added the words "one of".  Their explanation is the result of the Hebrew word used in verse 18, the singular word "stone."  Jacob ends up with a single stone.  Therefore, they assume he must have started with a single stone.  These translators entirely missed the miracle God performed.  This resulted in them forcing their own human reasoning into the scriptures.  To be true to God's word they should have given the correct translation, even though they may not have grasped its true meaning at the time.
      We can see how this is correctly handled by Keil & Delitzsch-Commentary on The Old Testament--page 281 of Vol.1,  "As he was traveling from Beersheba, where Isaac was then staying, to Haran, Jacob came to a place where he was obliged to stop all night, because the sun had set.  The words "he hit (lighted) upon the place," indicate the apparently accidental, yet really divinely appointed choice of this place for his night-quarters; and the definite article points it out as having become well known through the revelation of God that ensued.  After making a pillow with the stones, (Hebrew, head-place, pillow,) he fell asleep and had a dream, in which he saw a ladder resting upon the earth, with the top reaching to heaven;  and upon it angels of God going up and down, and Jehovah Himself standing above it. The ladder was a visible symbol of the real and un-inter-rupted fellowship

between God in heaven and His people on earth. The angels upon it carry up the wants of men to God, and bring down the assistance and protection of God to men. The ladder stood there upon the earth, just where Jacob was lying in solitude, poor, helpless, and forsaken by men.  Above in heaven stood Jehovah, and explained in words the symbol which he saw.  Proclaiming Himself to Jacob as the God of his fathers, He not only confirmed to him all the promises of the fathers in their fullest extent, but promised him protection on his journey and a safe return to his home (vers 13-15). However, as the fulfillment of this promise to Jacob was still far off, God added firm assurance, "I will not leave thee till I have done (carried out) what I have told thee"- Verse 16sqq.  Jacob gave utterance to the impression made by this vision as soon as he awoke from sleep, in the words, "Surely Jehovah is in this place, and I knew it not." The revelation was intended not only to stamp the blessing, with which Isaac had dismissed him from his home, with the seal of divine approval, but also to impress upon Jacob's mind the fact, that although Jehovah would be near to protect and guide him even in a foreign land, the land of promise was the holy ground on which the God of his fathers would set up the covenant of His grace. Verse 18. In the morning Jacob set up the stone at his head, as a monument to commemorate the revelation he had received from God; and poured oil upon the top, to consecrate it as a memorial of the mercy that God had shown him there." 

(End quote)
It is obvious by what these men have written that they grasped the tremendous spiritual implication of what God had done.  However, they  completely missed the physical miracle, yet left the wording intact.  They did not try to force a humanly contrived meaning into God's word.
  If we think about what God did here, it is quite easy to understand.  God knows that the reality of dreams fade from the mind, so He gave Jacob an absolute physical miracle - the combining of many stones into one stone. God gave Jacob something that he could see and feel; something that he and his posterity could keep with them down through the ages to this present time. As it was there to remind them, it is also there to remind us of that momentous occasion.
As Paul wrote in Heb. 12:1, (NKJ)  "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."

By Don Roth     

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Continued from page 3

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup shortening (creamed butter works well)
Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar and salt.  Mix.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until moist. Pour into muffin pan.  Bake at 425 F for 20 - 25 minutes.
NOTE:
For a main dish, make your favorite chili recipe.  Pour into a casserole dish and add the cornmeal batter on top, then bake.  Makes a delicious evening meal on a cold night!
     DESSERTS
Unleavened Pound Cake

½ pound butter
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter well.
Gradually add sugar, and beat after each addition.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Fold flour in a little at a time by


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government imposed  laws on these vehicles to safeguard the lives of people.
There has been a lot of death on the road due to accidents that it forced the government to have all the public vehicles to put speed-governor, safety-belt and reducing the number of passengers in all vehicles according to sizes of these vehicles.  This brought a lot of protest and resistance by the vehicles owners and this brought about the strike.
The strike has caused us passengers a lot of anguish.  The number of vehicles reduced on the road and this caused the fare to shoot up so high that it is so hard to go to town.  So we have been prisoners in our homes for sometimes now. 
The food has become so expensive that to live day to day is becoming impossible.  The burning of property and demolition of houses and transport strike has made us poorer and poorer, that affording essential things is impossible, since the economy of this country has gone down. Where I am concern, coming to

Letter From Kenya

Continued from page 3

especially around Nairobi city and its surroundings. Lots of properties  being destroyed and people killed. Some fire is to destroy documents connected with corruptions.  There is also a lot of hatred and fear between those who have grabbed public property and the victims.
Since I live outside Nairobi city, I have not been affected.  The only thing affecting those of us who live outside the city is public transport. 
The public vehicles went on strike for a month because the

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