Flee Glee

Avoid being crushed by the radical homosexual juggernaut.
From the February 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

It is a pop-culture phenomenon. It’s one of the most popular shows on television, and the top entertainment series among teens. It’s a spellbinding musical comedy, set on a bright, beautiful campus, that follows the day-to-day antics of a high school glee club. Sounds sweet and innocent, right?

Well, last November, an episode of Glee—which airs in prime time and is adored by millions of children and teens—depicted two male homosexual teenagers losing their virginity.

Unpleasant as this subject is, it is important to discuss. For sure, it would be easier to remain silent, to ignore this sordid show, to join the majority in being “open minded” and “tolerant,” or in the very least, quiet. But that is exactly why this toxic show is so popular.

More significantly, that’s how the creators of Glee—activists of the radical homosexual juggernaut conquering America—want you and me to react.

Tragically, that’s how most people are reacting.

Whimpers and Gripes

Take the Parents Television Council, the leading television watchdog in the United States. The ptc slammed the Nov. 8, 2011, Glee episode as “reprehensible.” Not because of the flagrant teenage homosexuality—it said “the gender of the high school characters involved is irrelevant”—but because it celebrated “children having sex.”

The ptc is right, of course. Celebrating teens engaging in sexual activity on tv only promotes it in real life. But where was the similarly stinging rebuke of teenage homosexuality, a theme that pervades Glee, and especially that episode?

Liz Perle, the editor in chief of Common Sense Media, was even more blasé. “Homosexuality is a part of life in our kids’ world—no matter what your family’s beliefs are,” she stated. Instead of criticizing Glee, Perle encouraged parents to watch the episode with their children and educate them on homosexuality. How’s that for advice from the head honcho of “Common Sense Media”?

Although a handful of mostly Christian organizations and bloggers had stronger criticisms, the reaction of “conservatives” to the episode was feeble. Meanwhile, the liberal activists responded with effusive praise for Fox. “The actual sex aspect of the story lines [was] treated quite delicately,” wrote Kevin Fallon at the Atlantic. Entertainment Weekly described the episode as “incredibly moving.” The prevailing opinion was that Fox nailed it, that this milestone in television history was handled beautifully, with dignity and sophistication.

To be sure, the “conservative” reaction was pathetic. What was more astonishing (and telling), however, was that most “conservatives” didn’t even recognize their defeat! Homosexual activists, on the other hand, loudly celebrated what they knew was a milestone victory for homosexuality on network television. “The remarkable, if not revolutionary other element here,” wrote Fallon, “is that the decision by gay teen characters to lose their virginities is given equal weight to that of a straight couple. … From the nerves to the passion to the actual footage of the act, Blaine and Kurt’s first time was given the same consideration, weight and respect as their straight counterparts—a milestone for network tv” (emphasis added).

The success of that Glee episode, and the feeble reaction it elicited from “conservatives,” was certainly a measure of how widely accepted homosexuality has become. Be assured too, the activists in Hollywood noted the silence of the “conservatives” and are already planning their next “milestone.” Right now they’re thinking to themselves, Ifwe can get away with showing teenagers engaging in homosexual sex on prime-time television, what can’t we do?

A Whole New Meaning to the Term

This was a victory for the radical homosexual juggernaut too—one more step in a comprehensive strategy for making perversity mainstream.

Much like the forefathers of the movement did with the word gay, the activist creators of Glee chose a title that invokes joy and conjures a mesmerizing world of teenage fun. From there, the show’s creators associated homosexuality with glee. Each episode overflows with well-dressed, perfectly complexioned, vibrant teens—mostly waif-like, hairless, pink-shirt, tight-jean-wearing metrosexuals—living a carefree life. Each episode is peppered with catchy, delightfully sung show tunes, smartly choreographed (albeit effeminate) dancing and, of course, plenty of teenage sex. Glee is a teenager’s paradise, a world without shadows or blemishes, without law and authority, without financial or moral constraints—and without consequences.

There’s no recognition of the fact that homosexual relations are far more dangerous to physical health than heterosexual relations. There is nothing said about how homosexual teens are more than twice as likely to experience depression. There’s no mention that between 30 and 40 percent of homosexual teens have attempted suicide, that the suicide rate among homosexual teens is three to four times higher than among their heterosexual peers. Are we not concerned about such effects? Do we really want our teens involved in such self-destructive behavior?

In fact, Glee puts homosexuality on a pedestal. Like so many of the homosexuals on tv, Glee’s homosexual characters are usually the happiest, the trendiest, the most popular, the best dressed, and the most sophisticated and cultured.

The message is subtle but strong: The homosexual lifestyle is something to aspire to!

In many ways, Glee is the perfect example of how the broader homosexual movement operates. The goal of this movement is to remove the historic stigma attached to homosexuality, to change the core values about marriage and family, to cultivate the cultural acceptance of homosexuality. To make homosexuality as natural and normal as eating, or driving, or heterosexuality (sidebar, page 11).

There is a direct connection between entertainment like Glee and the homosexual movement’s ruthless and mostly unimpeded invasion of Western society and culture, of our politics and legal system, and of our educational system. The homosexual juggernaut has followed a simple but effective formula. First, get people to accept homosexuality on the screen. Once that happens, most people will accept it in other parts of their lives, in their textbooks and courthouses, and in their tax codes and cafes.

Consider homosexuality’s advance in Western society. Since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex “marriage” in 2004, six states have jumped on the bandwagon. Last July, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring public schools to teach students about the contributions of “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [lgbt] Americans” to U.S. history. In New York, a curriculum is being developed that will educate middle and high schoolers in homosexual practices and other unmentionable fetishes. Meanwhile, across America, legal and other actions are being carried out against ministers, students, parents and virtually anyone who opposes homosexuality.

Britain is under assault too. In Liverpool, homosexual hangouts are now identified by rainbow emblems on public signs. The British government is throwing the book at hotel owners who refuse homosexual couples, registrars who refuse to marry homosexuals, foster parents who oppose homosexuality, and adoption agencies that won’t assign children to homosexual couples. The government is also rewriting school curricula to condone and promote the lgbt lifestyle.

In Australia, the state of Queensland last November voted to legalize same-sex civil unions. Five of the nation’s eight states and territories now recognize homosexual unions. It is now just a matter of time before same-sex “marriage” legislation, which would require a change to the Marriage Act on the federal level, is introduced.

Meanwhile in all these nations, the large majority of the populace—having already been brainwashed by the media into accepting homosexuality—does nothing!

Why Is Glee Victorious?

One of the main reasons for the homosexual movement’s success is the weakness, manifested in silence and inactivity, of its victims. Despite the way it appears on television, most people today are not homosexual. And although the number of people supporting homosexuality is rising, a large number still oppose it. Why then, are the vast majority of people, even “conservatives” and supposed Christians, silent? Why do so many oppose homosexuality inwardly, but very, very few have the moral fortitude and willpower to stand up to it?

Author and columnist David Kupelian addressed these questions in the November 2010 issue of Whistleblower. “Very simply,” he wrote, “most people in today’s America, including conservatives, are afraid of ‘the gay issue.’ Although most know deep down there’s something wrong with homosexuality, they don’t want to be called ‘intolerant,’ ‘bigoted,’ ‘hateful,’ or ‘homophobic.’”

There’s no doubt that fear is part of it. But fear doesn’t always mean capitulation. Fear can be conquered. The soldier on the battlefield has plenty to fear, but his devotion to the cause enables him to overcome his fear. “There is no fear in love,” wrote the Apostle John, “but perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).

If you look back over the past few decades, you’ll notice that the emergence of homosexuality into the mainstream has occurred simultaneously with a cultural devaluing of traditional marriage and family. This is not a coincidence.

Both the birth of the homosexual movement and the current cultural disregard of traditional marriage and family can be traced back to the 1960s. This was an era marked by the pursuit of freedom from sexual repression, gender inequality and traditional roles. For many, this meant attacking the institution considered most responsible for infringing on sexual freedom and women’s rights: traditional marriage and family.

So, beginning in the ’60s, traditional marriage fell under near-constant attack from feminists and intellectuals, from politicians and the media, and eventually, even religious leaders. The assault on marriage has been wildly successful. While the number of people marrying remained high, the role of marriage in society and the value people placed on it waned. Soon, the results of the war on marriage were evident: skyrocketing rates of divorce, single motherhood, abortions and promiscuous sex.

But there was another effect: The homosexual movement blossomed.

The movement gained traction in the wake of the June 11, 1969, “Stonewall riot,” when a group of homosexuals patronizing the Stonewall Inn in New York revolted against a police demand to disperse. Then it made great strides during the 1970s and reached new heights when it bullied the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 into removing homosexuality from its list of official mental disorders. Although it suffered some setbacks during the ’80s, largely because of aids, it was gaining ground again by the early ’90s, thanks to the calculated efforts of homosexual activists.

Twenty years later, we’re at the point where homosexual teenagers lose their virginity to each other in prime time and no one bats an eye!

Without traditional marriage as thedefining influence governing human relations, new ideas—and age-old perversions—crept into the mainstream. As the value society placed on heterosexual marriage and traditional family diminished, the more prone people became to condoning alternative relationships—most notably homosexuality.

The cultural embrace of homosexuality is a direct result of our rejection of traditional marriage!

Like the soldier on the battlefield, if Americans understood the importance of marriage, if they valued it as the institution critical to national success, they would be motivated to fight for it. Sure, they might fear the repercussions of taking on the homosexual juggernaut—but their love of traditional marriage would overpower that fear!

In 2 Peter 2, the Apostle Peter warned that in the time immediately prior to Christ’s return, all sorts of horrible sins, particularly homosexuality, would be prevalent. In verse 6, God even compares today’s world to ancient Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities overloaded with sexual perversions. In verse 7, Peter recalls that God “delivered just Lot, [who was] vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.”

Notice the word vexed. It means exhausted with, or afflicted by, or grievously pained. Lot, as editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in his booklet The Epistles of Peter—A Living Hope, was tormented “by the appalling homosexuality that saturated his surroundings.” Even when radical homosexuals threatened to beat down his door and kill him, he boldly refused their demands. Verse 8 explains why Lot was repulsed by the rampant homosexuality: “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.”

Lot’s abhorrence of sexual perversion was a measure of his righteousness.

What a powerful condemnation of our society today. Our cultural embrace of sexual immorality is a measure of our wickedness.

What Is the Solution?

When you understand the reason for the homosexual movement’s unimpeded advance into Western culture, the strategy for confronting it is obvious. It’s not a solution most people will willingly embrace. But you can, and should!

The solution is coming to deeply value and understand the God-ordained institution of marriage and family!

This doesn’t mean simply getting back to marriage the way it was in the 1930s or the 1800s. Though marriages for the most part were healthier and more productive in the “olden days,” they were far from perfect.

The first and most important step you can take to avoid being crushed by the homosexual juggernaut is to learn to understand and value marriage the way God does.

The Bible clearly reveals that God created marriage, that He created specific roles for the man and woman, and that He created family. In Genesis 1:26 we learn that man was created in the image and likeness of God Himself. We are not part of the animal kingdom, and God did not create us to behave like animals. In Genesis 2, we learn the reason God created females. Verse 18 recalls that God looked at Adam, the first man, and said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

In verse 22 it is recorded that God “made a woman [not another man], and brought her unto the man.”

Finally in verses 24-25 we see the first marriage, officiated by God in the Garden of Eden: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” How clear: God created marriage!

Why did God want men and women to marry? Perhaps the best explanation is found in Ephesians 5. Verses 20 through 31 of this chapter discuss the marriage relationship, specifically the roles of husband and wife. Notice how the Apostle Paul concludes this passage in verse 31: “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

That is an incredible statement—but there it is, canonized in the Word of God: Physical marriage is a type of a higher, spiritual marriage, the now-imminent marriage between Jesus Christ and His spiritual bride. This doctrine is the nucleus of Herbert W. Armstrong’s groundbreaking book The Missing Dimension in Sex.

“God blessed mankind with the holy God-plane institution of marriage—the very picture of the Christ-Church relationship,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in that book. “God endowed mankind with the God-plane institution of the family and the home—the very type of the Kingdom of God into which we may be born. Thus God ordained that even in this mortal life we may experience the blessing of family life, to prepare us for life in the Kingdom of God!”

That statement, rooted in Scripture, explains the vital importance of traditional marriage and family!

As you come to understand God’s view of marriage and family, it’s important that you start purging from your life and mind anything that undermines this perspective.

Why not start with your tv diet? Remember, shows like Glee are deadly. It’s so easy to get caught up in the emotion, in the visual, sensual appeal—and to forget that brightness is not evidence of purity; that smiles are not always signs of happiness; and that the perfect harmonies and slick dancing are not the result of a healthy, stable lifestyle. In 2 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul writes, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

The devil is appealing; he can sing like Pavarotti and dance like Astaire—but he’s mean and miserable; he is the ultimate mastermind behind the radical homosexual movement!

Another tip: Make sure God, not the media or the fashion industry, is shaping your definition of what it means to be a man or woman. It’s no coincidence that Glee, and pretty much every other television show these days, is missing the barrel-chested outdoorsman, a man with hair on his chest, a deep voice, strong gestures, a love of sports, art and fine music, a likeable personality and quick intellect, and a respect for and willingness to serve women. In other words, anything resembling the traditional, masculine man!

If you really want to know what it means to be a man, study the lives of David, and Daniel, and Jesus Christ. If you want an idea of what it means to be a godly woman, study the biblical example of Hannah, and Ruth, and Proverbs 31.

Another way to stand fast and avoid being crushed by the homosexual juggernaut is to be like Lot. Strive to live righteously, to study and obey God’s laws, to pray daily, and to repent of sin. The more we think like God, the more repulsed by homosexuality we will be, and the more motivated we will be to keep it out of our lives!

Finally, here is something you can do right away. Request and then study deeply Mr. Armstrong’s free books The Missing Dimension in Sex and Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? These books connect the many passages elucidating God’s laws about marriage and family. Once you’ve read these books, and come to understand God’s mind-stretching purpose for marriage, you’ll find yourself equipped, energized and motivated to defend yourself against the homosexual juggernaut.

In the meantime, start with something simple: Flee Glee!

The End of the Free World

The End of the Free World

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The peoples that have defined the world for two centuries face an uncertain future. What’s ahead for the U.S. and Britain?
From the February 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Read This First—A Note From the Trumpet Staff

Ten years ago, in our January 2002 edition, the Trumpet presented an overview of biblical prophecy. Called “The Coming World Crisis,” this special issue featured articles on each of the major global powers foretold in Scripture to play a significant role in end-time events. We are now in the process of converting it into a booklet to offer to Trumpet subscribers.

The following article, about Anglo-America, is reprinted in full and unaltered from that issue. It is our hope that you will benefit from reading its astounding preview of world events—now in many instances a post-view. We believe it powerfully demonstrates the inerrancy of the Bible. Its timeless nature is made all the more exciting as you consider the astounding events that have taken place just over this past year.

As you read, remember the shocking economic collapse experienced by the U.S. and Britain in 2008. Remember the hundreds of financial institutions—including giants Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—that either failed, or were bailed out or nationalized. Consider the 9 million jobs that have been lost, the millions of homes that are being foreclosed upon, the record high food stamp usage, and the growing divide between rich and poor. And remember that another, greater crash is guaranteed to hit soon.

As you read, don’t forget the heightened social unrest spilling onto the streets in America and Britain. For five days in August, animal-like mobs of rioters in London burned businesses and homes, hospitalized police officers, looted shops, assaulted citizens, and even killed people. That same month, in America there were the race riots in Milwaukee that more closely resembled something out of tribal Afghanistan. More recently, the Occupy Wall Street movement has made dramatic headlines. Every day it seems that people are getting angrier—and looking for someone to blame. Authorities reported record gun sales in November, up 35 percent over the previous year. Violence is taking over the streets in many of our cities, and people are getting desperate for protection.

As you read, consider that America’s military—the institution that perhaps the most Americans take pride in—is reaching a critical breakpoint. After more than a decade of war, troops and equipment are stretched like never before. The average age of fighter aircraft is 24 years and rising. For naval vessels it is even higher. Hundreds of aircraft and vessels are operating far past their expected operational lifetimes. With the broken economy, massive military spending cuts are guaranteed. America’s military is set to shrink rapidly. In Britain, a country once renowned for its navy, its armed forces are so shrunken that it no longer has even a single aircraft carrier.

And as you think about the prophecy in this article, know that America and Britain are now less able than at any time in their history to cope with these problems. Think of the moral decline that has taken place over the past decade, and what that has done to our leadership. Think of the in-your-face homosexual agenda being forced on the nation. Think of the breakdown in traditional families. The consequences are becoming more apparent each year. America’s jails are full. Depression and health issues plague society. One in four women take at least one drug for a mental health issue. These problems are beyond our ability to fix.

But there is a solution to our problems. God promises to protect and prosper those who commit to obey Him and keep His laws. He promises to give answers to even our biggest problems. We hope the following article will help you see the urgency in God’s work today and that it will motivate you to action. This world needs solutions—God’s solutions—more than ever. And we hope you will continue to be a part of that.

The End of the Free World

One of the most astounding secrets of the Bible—that the United States and Britain are two of the most prominent nations mentioned in prophecy—may initially appear startling, or even preposterous, to some of our readers.

Yet, while never mentioned by their modern-day names, the prophecies about these nations that have come to pass are so numerous, they provide one of the most convincing proofs of the validity of God’s written Word! A startling statement, but provable beyond the shadow of a doubt.

These nations are dramatic, living examples of prophecy being fulfilled.

Tragically, these nations have a history of being quick to forget. Even knowledge revealing their identity and their role in history might have been lost forever in the corridors of time, had God not restored this truth to His Church through the late Herbert W. Armstrong.

But still more important for your sake than the prophecies already fulfilled are the prophecies yet to be fulfilled. The future of these nations, as portrayed by God’s prophets, is a terrifying one. Yet scriptures like Isaiah 55:11 remind us that God’s prophecies are sure.

We now can see the seeds of these vital prophecies being fulfilled, in world events, and exposed on the pages of this magazine!

Now, more than ever, before it is too late, you must have a clear-eyed view of what to expect in the years ahead—to get a grasp of what God forecasts for the American and British peoples.

To say that the effect these prophecies will have on your life will be dramatic would be a grave understatement!

Here is why.

Identity of U.S. and Britain

First, before we can understand the prophecies pertaining to the United States and Britain, an understanding of the identity of these countries in the Bible is essential.

The abundant material blessings eventually bestowed on the U.S. and the British Commonwealth of nations were initially conveyed to the biblical patriarch Abraham because of his obedience (Genesis 22:16-18). He then passed them on to his son Isaac, who later did the same with his son Jacob. In due time, Jacob conferred this birthright promise to his son Joseph’s sons—Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh was to become one great nation, and his younger brother a company of nations. One day, materially, these nations would become stupendously rich and powerful, above any other nations.

For proof of why Britain (together with some of the British Commonwealth nations) and the United States of America can be identified in the Bible as Ephraim and Manasseh—part of the lost 10 tribes of Israel—request a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, written by Herbert Armstrong.

The Bible is a book essentially about Israel—its history and its future. Given that the modern descendants of the Israelites are known, the key to understanding biblical prophecy suddenly jumps into view.

That includes an understanding of those future events which are certain to soon hit this world!

Prophecies Already Fulfilled

One of the most amazing stories of history, that of the unparalleled growth and prosperity of the United States and Britain, and the unprecedented, startling speed of their appearance on the world scene, takes us straight back to those promises made to Ephraim and Manasseh. Following the unwinding of these prophecies from their earliest phases makes a fascinating study.

Think of it! At the height of their power, these two countries possessed nearly three quarters of all the world’s cultivated wealth and resources. For Britain, the sun never set on its empire. In fact, it became the greatest territorial expanse in history, and the United States the greatest single nation.

Just as your Bible prophesied would be the case, no people have enjoyed greater blessings of prosperity and freedom than the modern nations of Israel.

However, the conditions on which these Anglo-American promises were made—the active part of the equation—depended on obedience to God, the awarder of such spectacular and abundant blessings. God kept His part of the bargain. Israel did not. God’s agreement with ancient Israel specified that, in such a case, curses for disobedience would follow on the heels of the blessings.

What the world has witnessed in these nations, especially over the last few decades, is an unequalled moral decline—and consequently, the gradual removal of God’s blessings. How clearly reality in both the U.S. and Britain reflects this truth!

Isaiah prophesied of the decline of strong leadership—nationally and within families (Isaiah 1:4-6; 3:1-12). Family strife, abusive parents, delinquent children, adultery and divorce are commonplace in the Western world. God also prophesied that sexual perversions would abound—comparing American and British society to ancient Sodom (Isaiah 3:9).

God prophesied of a decline in military strength and will (Leviticus 26:17-20). The facts speak for themselves. Both Britain and the United States are currently withdrawing from their role as the world’s peace brokers and turning the job over to a willing German-led European Union, which has begun to take on U.S.-led peace challenges in the Middle East, Bosnia and Afghanistan. Right now, despite the far superior size and capacity of its military, the casualty-shy U.S. feels particularly wary about acting forcefully enough to win a decisive battle.

Also prophesied for America and Britain was the gain of strategic sea gates (Genesis 22:17) only to be lost as these nations reaped curses for disobedience. This too has already largely occurred. The 20th century saw Britain’s and America’s loss of sea gates such as the Suez Canal, Malta, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Cape of Good Hope and the Panama Canal. Gibraltar will undoubtedly be added to the list soon, as Britain is being bullied by the European Union to relinquish control of this strategic territory, under threat of horrendous fines.

To anyone with a truly open mind, who knows the identity of Israel in prophecy, the fact that God is allowing Britain and America to reap the corrective consequences of their actions should be increasingly obvious.

Given that people are largely ignoring the correction meted out thus far, what can we expect to occur in the future?

Prophecies to Be Fulfilled

Old Testament prophets like Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Hosea provided specific detail about what is to happen to the United States and Britain. Their prophecies were sometimes dual, with a lesser fulfillment to happen in their day. But they were mostly written for the end time, just prior to Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.

Ezekiel, for instance, wrote about Israel’s future destruction and captivity well after ancient Israel had already gone into captivity. Other prophecies could not have been fulfilled during the lives of the prophets. God even explicitly told certain prophets that their words are for the end time (see Jeremiah 30:2, 24; Isaiah 30:8; “the time to come” reads “the latter day” in the Hebrew).

In these prophecies, God refers to the end-time nations of Israel as the “house of Israel,” “Jacob” or “my people.” Some prophecies refer specifically to the house of Judah—the modern nation of Israel in the Middle East today—but often, the general prophecies can be applied to Israel and Judah, since Judah is a tribe of Israel.

Armed with this knowledge, we can get a clear picture of the future of America and Britain from Old Testament prophecy. Tragically, the story told there is very bleak.

In addition to prophesying the decline of the greatest superpowers ever to exist, the fruits of which are being seen now, the Bible says the decline will culminate in the tragic devastation of these two countries. The U.S., Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and others will see utter defeat in a coming world war—what the Bible calls the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22).

In comparing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to modern-day Israel, Isaiah foretold that Israel would suffer the same fate as those two evil cities—with only a few righteous to be saved (Isaiah 1:7, 9).

Here is how these events will play out, as the Bible foretells, just before and throughout this future tribulation. The outline can be found in Ezekiel 5. Through Ezekiel—whose prophecy was for the “house of Israel” (Ezekiel 3:5)—God says that a third part of America and the British nations will die by pestilence and famine, a third by nuclear attack on the land, and the final third taken into captivity.

These are prophecies to sit up and take note of! This is the plain Word of God, printed in your Bible! Surely, it should merit your attention!

Pestilence and Famine

Ezekiel 5:12 states, “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee ….”

Earlier in chapter 5, Ezekiel was told to go through a physical ritual that pictured this event: “And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled …” (verses 1-2).

In his new booklet, Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, our editor in chief wrote, “The word pestilence just means destruction or death (see the Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon). One definition of the root word is ‘to lay snares, to plot against, to destroy.’ So this pestilence could be a plague of violence or burning—not necessarily a physical disease at all! It can be defined as a plague of violence and rioting—such as the Los Angeles riots in 1992 or as the violence of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks! Why would the first third be burned with fire (verse 2), if it refers to a disease epidemic?

“The pestilence, or plague of violence, will cause many health problems that lead to famine. Sewage disposal will be disrupted. Gas lines will be broken. Jobs will be lost. Society will unravel and the collective panic will bring a stock market disaster! It will get so bad that violence and famine will take millions of lives!” It will take a full third of lives, in fact! This is death on the scale of tens of millions of people! Write for a free copy of this booklet for more information.

The siege spoken of in Ezekiel portends an economic disaster, for God speaks of removing Israel’s financial blessings (Hosea 2:8-9). The Bible shows that this famine will get so bad, people will turn to what seems unthinkable in our current prosperity: cannibalism (Ezekiel 5:10).

Watch the American and British economies carefully. The U.S. economy, in particular, is an ever expanding bubble—ready to burst anytime. It has been kept afloat by superficial means, particularly heavy consumer spending. When the terrorist attacks struck on September 11, the fragile economy was revealed for what it was as consumer spending took a huge blow. Yet, it all began to pick up as the U.S. entered a retaliatory mode and the holiday shopping season struck.

America will not be so resilient when it suffers this kind of pestilence prophesied in Ezekiel 5. With one third of the population falling as casualties of domestic violence, the world’s largest economy will barely be a shell of what it used to be.

Of course, all this seems too unbelievable to be true! How could such a fate befall America? Well, before September 11, who would have believed that such terrorism could occur on U.S. soil? It was so unbelievably shocking. Yet, it happened. The terrorist attacks, the rioting and racial tensions already experienced in both Britain and the U.S. are signs that this plague of violence is imminent. We should watch these things, so this destruction does not catch us off guard (Luke 21:36).

As Mr. Flurry’s Ezekiel booklet points out, we should watch for increased racial tension in the nations of Israel. Increasingly over the last ten years, British and American newspapers have been spattered with stories about bloodshed over conflicts between racial groups.

The race riots in Cincinnati, Ohio, last April and Britain’s Bradford riots of six months ago were only a precursor of how major Western cities could fall to such violence in the near future—violence so great as to cause the death of one third of these countries’ citizens.

‘The Sword’

After the pestilence and famine, Ezekiel 5:12 says, “a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee ….” The next event will be a military attack against the end-time nations of Israel. Hosea 5:5 says that Britain, America and Israel will all fall together.

Yet, how could this prophecy come to pass, particularly against America, which is still by far the most militarily superior nation in the world?

We can expect to see something undercut the U.S. military might—perhaps more terrorist attacks or even cyberwarfare and cyberterrorism.

The U.S. has downsized its defense program to the point where it can no longer fight a war on two fronts. The current campaign in Afghanistan may look impressive, but prophecy indicates that what is left of America’s strength will be “spent in vain” (Leviticus 26:20). Perhaps this war on terrorism will have exhausted American forces by the time the real enemy attacks.

Britain is suffering from a similar military contraction. The Daily Telegraph reported on June 11, 2001, “The Royal Navy can barely meet its nato obligations, let alone think of mounting any campaign in Britain’s interests far away ….” As God prophesied in Isaiah 3, the “mighty man” and the “man of war” will continue to fade into non-existence.

The economic wounds previously discussed will most likely contribute to the lack of military strength and response at this point in time. Consider the implications of another of Ezekiel’s prophecies: “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof” (Ezekiel 7:14). It appears certain that, at some future point, Israel’s military will be so crippled that an armed takeover by another country will occur.

But who will attack the United States and the British nations? When you understand Bible prophecy, you realize that these countries’ foreign policies have been off the mark when predicting which countries pose the real threat. It will not be the Russians. It will not be Iraq. It will not be North Korea.

The Bible actually shows it is those with whom Israel has formed a close alliance—its “lovers” (Lamentations 1:1-2; Hosea 2:13).

Ezekiel 23 reveals these “lovers” to be the Assyrians (verses 5, 7, 9, 12)—end-time Germany. Germany, by this time, will be leading a united Europe, a resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—the prophetic beast power of Revelation 13 and 17.

God will use the German-led European Union to punish the U.S. and Britain: “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets” (Isaiah 10:5-6).

At this point, we can pause and make another point about what to watch in the times ahead: These verses provide prophetic proof that Britain will not remain in the European Union! Britain’s sense of national identity is in tatters. It is increasingly dependent on Europe for its financial well-being, and yet it is doing the balancing act of maintaining its sterling markets in the face of a Europe that officially adopted the euro as its means of exchange this month. Still, Britain has failed to find a comfortable role for itself in Europe.

Britain will be left out. Europe is prophesied to conquer Britain. In Isaiah 28:3, God refers specifically to Britain (Ephraim) being trodden underfoot.

God says this military attack on Britain and the U.S. will not only destroy another one third of their inhabitants, but it will utterly level the cities not already destroyed by the “pestilence.” Ezekiel 6:6 mentions the cities being “laid waste” and “desolate” (see also Hosea 5:9). Even more graphic, the Bible shows that these cities will be left without one inhabitant! (Isaiah 6:11; Jeremiah 2:15; 33:10). The cities of ancient Israel were not destroyed in this manner. In fact, these prophecies could not have come to pass until the advent of nuclear technology.

How utterly astounding to imagine cities like New York, Washington, d.c., Los Angeles, London and Sydney being leveled and left empty by nuclear destruction! But it is coming!

Captivity

The third and final phase of God’s punishment toward Israel will then be carried out: “… and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them” (Ezekiel 5:12). The survivors of the pestilence, famine and nuclear attacks will be taken captive by the German-dominated Europe.

God says He will cast Britain out of His sight (Jeremiah 7:15). Hosea 9:3-6 show that they will be taken as captives into Assyria and Egypt—where the beast power will also dominate during this nuclear world war (Daniel 11:42).

The suffering of this bondage will far outweigh that of any previous time (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21). The ghoulish concentration camps of Nazi Germany in World War ii were merely a small taste of what this captivity will be like. And it will affect one third of Anglo-America—millions of people forced to suffer under the iron fist of a revived German regime!

Jeremiah 30:3 states, “For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord ….” This clearly is referring to an end-time captivity.

But, thankfully, as the last half of Jeremiah 30:3 indicates, Israel will repent as a result of these heavy trials, and God will respond with mercy. Those Israelites who do not die in the Tribulation will turn to God in heartfelt, genuine repentance (Ezekiel 6:7-9). As World War iii comes to a close, as the beast power is totally defeated, God will bring His people out of captivity from the “north country” and Egypt and other parts of the Earth (Isaiah 11:11).

The Good News

This time of unparalleled suffering will bring Israel back to God. And that is the exact reason God allows something so utterly dreadful. Of course, if Israel were to repent and turn to God now, He promises that they could completely avoid such agonizing punishment.

Ezekiel 33:11 states, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

God does not want the nations of Israel to die. He wants them to repent and to be spared from the greatest time of suffering. If that does not occur, the prophecies will be played out in full (Ezekiel 3:7).

There is nothing to suggest that America, Britain and the other nations of Israel will turn to God in repentance. Even after a tragedy like the one suffered on September 11 of last year, there was more talk of pride in the “American spirit” than there was self-evaluation, humility and repentance. But you, on the other hand, can change the destiny of your life. You do not have to suffer the unparalleled misery of the Great Tribulation.

God promises protection to those who repent and surrender to Him (Psalm 91:5-7). If you will commit yourself to obey His laws, He will count you worthy to escape all these frightful things (Luke 21:35-36). The decision is yours.

The Mourning After

The Mourning After

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Why is North Koreans’ grief over the death of Kim Jong Il so bizarrely intense? Consider the profound lesson in it.
From the February 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Spare a thought for 24 million of our fellow human beings, made in God’s image, living in North Korea, mourning the death of their Dear Leader. Their suffering has a lot to teach us.

For over six decades, the rule of Kim Jong Il and his father, Kim Il Sung, is all these people have known. Before that was decades of harsh, exploitative rule by the imperialist Japanese.

Kim Il Sung institutionalized a grotesque combination of oppression and cult of personality. He enacted Communist policies that isolated his country and impoverished his people. He outlawed dissent. He condemned his enemies and political opponents and their families to prison camps, without trial, for life. Meanwhile, he erected monuments to himself by the tens of thousands and enshrined himself in the constitution as the nation’s “Eternal President.” He suppressed all religion outside the worship of himself.

The unsettling result of this propagandism was on display when Kim Il Sung died in 1994 at age 82. His son declared a 10-day grieving period, and hundreds of thousands attended his funeral, outdoing one another with their weeping and gnashing of teeth. The crowds were so intense that some mourners actually died in the crush.

What can explain it? How can a people so tyrannized grieve so much at the loss of the tyrant?

Kim’s body was preserved and embalmed in a glass coffin for viewing—where it bizarrely remains. To this day, this corpse is legally the president of North Korea.

Kim Jong Il ruthlessly perpetuated his father’s failed totalitarian policies. He funneled much of the poor country’s money into building a massive army and weapons of mass destruction. His government’s economic mismanagement has made life miserable for millions. His people suffer from chronic malnutrition; hunger and famine are rife.

Such failure is carefully preserved through crushing authoritarianism. The government controls information, stamps out freedom of speech and the right to privacy, censors all radio, tv and news organizations, blocks outside media, and strictly monitors its citizens’ correspondence. North Koreans have no right to privacy, and no freedom of assembly or religion except to worship the Dear Leader or his father, the Great Leader.

Those who break the rules pay terrifying penalties. Korea’s gulags are chambers of horrors: arbitrary imprisonment in terrible conditions, hard labor, torture, forced abortions, infanticide, deliberate starvation, public executions by hanging or firing squad, cannibalism. The percentage of his people who have starved or wasted away in his concentration camps puts Kim Jong Il among the bloodiest dictators of the 20th century.

Yet when he died in December, we became witness to the same unearthly story: uncontrollable crying and anguish on display by a nation of mourners. “Father!” they cried—speaking not of God, but of Kim—beating their chests, convulsing, losing their balance between sobs.

It is sincere sorrow; genuine agony felt by people programmed every day of their lives to worship this man. Even as he trampled and ruined them.

This is a disturbing example of how vulnerable human minds are to deception. An intelligent adult can become conditioned to accept the perverse as normal—especially when he has no accurate gauge of measurement and propaganda colors his thinking. He can actually embrace circumstances that are beneath the God-given dignity of human beings.

The noble, longsuffering North Koreans are an extreme example. But such deception is not nearly as isolated as you might think.

The Bible reveals that all nations are under a deadly deception foisted on them by a tyrant worse than Kim Jong Il (Revelation 12:9). Satan is the deceiver of this whole world.

Herbert W. Armstrong explained this remarkable truth in A World Held Captive. He wrote of Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped and brainwashed into preferring the criminal life of her captors. “But most astonishing,” he wrote, “is the actual fact of the colossal kidnapping of all time—in which the captive for 6,000 years has willed to pursue the life and evil philosophy of the archkidnapper—Satan the devil. The willing victim in this case is the world that inhabits this planet Earth! Yet this world has been so completely deceived that it cannot realize what actually has happened to it.”

The devil’s way of life causes nothing but misery. Yet from our earliest days in life, Satan bombards us with propaganda to the contrary. He is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,” encouraging people to satisfy their lusts (Ephesians 2:2-3). Sin is bondage. When we fall into its snare, we become captive slaves (2 Peter 2:19; 2 Timothy 2:26). Yet the vast majority are duped, blinded to their plight. In their deception they are convinced of the inherent rightness and goodness of the very things that are destroying them.

People are so deceived, in fact, that when God brings this beastly, oppressive dictator to justice, Scripture prophesies a scene uncannily similar to what happened in North Korea. As much suffering as Satan’s beast power has caused, when it falls, people will “bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning” (see Revelation 18:9-11).

The story in North Korea is one of a queer and tragic type of unrequited love: people deceived into loving the cruel dictator who did not love them back. It typifies a greater tragedy enveloping our whole world. But soon—very soon—God will permanently dethrone “the god of this world” and free North Koreans and all other peoples from their captivity. He will establish a new world, a world free of deception. Jesus Christ will rule as King of kings, and as He promised, “[Y]eshall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Will Your Children Be Better Off Than You?

The ‘American Dream’ is taking a beating. Most people think today’s youth will have it worse off than we did. But they are wrong—and here is why!
From the February 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

It’s a long-cherished American dream: seeing our children enjoy a better life than we had. And from the nation’s beginning, when the founders declared the “self-evident” truth that all people have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the United States’ remarkably steady growth in prosperity has made that dream come true for untold multitudes.

In today’s dismal economic climate, though, most Americans think the run is over—that we are the generation to witness the withering of that perennial promise. Not even one in five Americans believes today’s children will be better off than their parents. Two in three say the kids will have it worse.

It looks like—as President Obama said back in January 2009, after news of especially nasty economic contraction—we are starting to experience “the American Dream in reverse.”

Such pessimism is not without justification. The nation’s economic woes are hitting young men harder than just about anyone; more and more are moving back in with Dad and Mom. Gloomy near-term factors like job losses are coupled with longer-range realities like the growing ranks of retirees and the unsustainability of Social Security. The dream of homeownership—of building equity over the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage—has become a castle in the air: Home equity has collapsed from $13 trillion at the height of the housing boom to $6.5 trillion. The wealth gap between the old and young has grown eye-poppingly wide. And evidence abounds that the nation’s economic decline is irreversible.

But hold on a moment. Before anybody leaps off a bridge, let’s step back from the brink and assess the big picture.

Two important truths will give us some much-needed perspective on the threat to the American Dream.

Just What Is the American Dream?

First, we need to challenge our assumptions about the need for endlessly rising prosperity of the sort we enjoy today.

At one time, the focus of what is more or less an “official national dream” was different. It wasn’t about any particular possessions or income level, but about opportunity being available to anyone who went after it. Even the scrappy immigrant of low station, if he worked hard, had a better chance of giving his children a leg up in America than anywhere else in the world.

But that focus began to shift in the 1930s with the shared-sacrifice principle introduced by fdr’s New Deal. If all workers pitched in, the government could establish Social Security to ensure that retirees could enjoy their sunset years free of want. It was perhaps the first time that the model American lifestyle was attached to a particular material promise.

This trend quickly took aggressive hold in people’s minds. At the end of World War ii, the G.I. Bill offered returning veterans low-interest home loans, and enterprising developers began using mass production to erect inexpensive houses for the everyman. After decades of around 45 percent of American families living in homes they personally owned, that number ballooned to 55 percent by 1950, and 62 percent by 1960. Just like that, homeownership became a new facet of the American Dream. Riding a wave of postwar prosperity, Americans also began to enjoy higher levels of car and television ownership. The aim of sending the kids to college became mainstream.

In the middle of this unprecedented upsurge in standards of living—and helping to fuel it—was a mushrooming of consumer credit. At a comparatively small $2.6 billion in 1945, the nation’s personal-debt monster grew to $45 billion by 1960—and $105 billion just a decade after that. Meanwhile, Americans’ expectations of what life should offer floated up into the troposphere: a bigger house, a second car, a fancy annual vacation. The free spending transformed what was once the world’s biggest creditor nation into, in 1986, its biggest debtor nation.

There is something magnanimous about parents wanting something better for the next generation. “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children,” the proverb says. But clearly, during these pie-in-the-sky years, the American Dream got unhinged from the virtues of hard work, responsibility and self-control. And the inherent falseness in expecting a never-ending ascent in material abundance was exposed. As Gregg Easterbrook wrote in his 2003 book The Progress Paradox, “For at least a century, Western life has been dominated by a revolution of rising expectations: Each generation expected more than its antecedent. Now most Americans and Europeans already have what they need, in addition to considerable piles of stuff they don’t need.”

Today, even as Americans consume more and enjoy more luxuries and a higher standard of living than ever, a majority of them say they consider the American Dream unachievable. Nothing is ever enough. Whatever they have, they feel entitled to so much more. Satisfaction and contentment are ever just over the horizon.

Don’t buy into this poisonous, delusional thinking. Square your values with reality. And make sure you’re passing on to your children a wealth of what really matters in life. (Our reprint article “How to Be Rich” might help. Request a free copy.)

Just What Is America’s Future?

The second truth we need to understand in order to gain perspective on the state of the American Dream involves the broader view of the nation’s economic future. Much evidence points to decline for the foreseeable future. But other even more sure proof shows that the long-term outlook is much, much dreamier.

Consider this seriously. A recent Gallup poll found 65 percent of Americans believe the Bible “answers all or most of the basic questions of life.” The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 78 percent of Americans—nearly 8 in 10—say the Bible is the “Word of God”; and of those, almost half believe “it is to be taken literally, word for word.”

That means nearly 40 percent of Americans consider the Bible literally God’s Word, and every word of it true.

Are you one of them? If so, consider this.

A full third of the Bible is prophecy. And very prominent within that prophecy are rich, vivid descriptions of a future world very different from our own. It is a world of universal prosperity. Not one in which a single nation provides opportunities to succeed for a span of a handful of generations—but in which all peoples and all nations enjoy such benefits for centuries. That is what God wants! Think of the American Dream—and multiply it by billions!

In front of the United Nations building in New York City stands a statue of a man beating his sword into a plowshare. This inspiring image comes from a passage in Isaiah. The book of Micah quotes the same passage: “nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Here, though, the prophecy continues: “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it” (Micah 4:3-4).

This is a prophecy of God installing an economic system worldwide that revolves around universal land ownership, just as it did in ancient Israel (1 Kings 4:25). In God’s society, every family will own property, the very basis of producing abundance and wealth.

“… I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord …” (Ezekiel 34:26-27). “Showers of blessing”—what a wonderful expression. Rain is a blessing only God can give, and He blesses the obedient abundantly. Their fields, crops, orchards and vines will be so productive, and yields so great, that they cannot keep up! They will still be harvesting when it comes time to sow the fields with new crops (Amos 9:13).

God says He will bless us in the city, bless us in the field, bless our health and our children, our livestock and crops, our savings, our security and all the work of our hands. These are all promises He gave to ancient Israel (Deuteronomy 28). Those people disobeyed Him and were cursed, but all of mankind will soon obey God and receive all of these incredible blessings—especially a repentant modern Israel!

Imagine quality city life being affordable. Imagine a city providing enough stable, decent jobs that unemployment is next to nil, and everyone enjoys affluence. Imagine a city devoid of run-down, impoverished slums and ghettos. “… Thus says the Lord of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity …” (Zechariah 1:17; Revised Standard Version).

Sound too good to be true? God challenges you to believe it! “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:8-10).

Believe it or not, America is specifically described within those prophecies as rejoicing in those blessings!

The British nations and the United States—the modern-day descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh—became the wealthiest and most powerful nations on Earth in this end time (because of Abraham’s obedience to God). This status and power has faded from Britain, and is now fading from the United States. But their recent status among nations is only a foretaste of even greater wealth and power to come—in God’s service—once all of Israel is living in obedience to the government of God.

“Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all …. and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:12, 14).

An understanding of biblical prophecy reveals that, yes, we are in for some extremely difficult times in the short term. But these troubles are in fact signs that we are on the threshold of that far better world! They are signs that Jesus Christ is just about to return!

We are, in truth, the generation to witness the blossoming of that perennial promise! And that long-cherished dream of seeing our children enjoy a better life than we had will become a reality far more awesome than we ever imagined.

Does Your Résumé Demand Attention?

Does Your Résumé Demand Attention?

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Three keys for advertising yourself in a way that will get your foot in the door
From the February 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

There’s no hiding from it: The job market is pretty ugly. The sluggish economy is forcing companies nationwide, even worldwide, to lay off staff members spanning a wide range of technical and professional backgrounds. It’s a hirer’s market, and job seekers are finding it hard to nab a specific job position even when it aligns with their experience and skills.

Nonetheless, there are a few essential steps you can take to get ahead in your job search—and get to the table for that job interview.

First, what is the purpose of a résumé? Here’s a hint: Its purpose is not to get you a job. Nor is it to catalog your career history, job duties and education—or to document your skills, qualifications and proficiencies.

Its real goal is to get your foot in the door. Your résumé is an introductory sales letter that shows the hirer that you warrant a person-to-person discussion about this job position.

1. Target Your Position

Many seeking a job in today’s economy are bordering on desperation. When they sit down to write a résumé too many think, I just want a job—any job—so I’ll make the résumé general enough to cover a wide range of positions in my field. Some get frantic and ditch even limiting their résumé to a specific industry—randomly aiming their résumé like a sawed-off shotgun toward a vague, wide range of fields.

This is not the tactic to take when you write your résumé—no matter how desperate your job search may be. In fact, the more desperate you actually are, the better off you will be if you apply this key.

It is a challenge to get a job interview in today’s glum job market. However, if you take a rifle approach (instead of that sawed-off shotgun approach)—your hunt will be much more effective—guaranteed.

Pick your goal first. Do some detailed, involved, diligent research. Choose your industry, then narrow it down even more and select your position within that industry. Then, narrow it down to even the specific company (or companies) you want to work for the most that has openings for the job you have selected.

Never forget, you are in charge of your job search. Take charge and be proactive. Once you’ve pinpointed the industry, position and companies you would most enjoy (and be skilled and beneficial) working within, target your résumé specifically toward that position. Make the language and verbiage of the résumé identify and relate well with the language that company uses on its website or in its literature. Include industry- and position-related keywords throughout. Also, submit a cover letter with the résumé that addresses the company and hiring decision-maker even more directly.

Scour job advertisements on the Internet, in newspapers or on job boards—and tailor your résumé toward any specific position that interests you directly. With each different position, company and/or advertisement, tweak your résumé and cover letter accordingly.

Remember, the general rule when effectively applying this point of picking your position is get as specific and detailed as possible in your résumé.

2. Focus on Achievements

The ammo for your résumé is your achievements: your accomplishments and highlights on the job. Achievements are actions you took or results you created which were positive for your company. These career successes you and/or your employer(s) are confident and proud of can include:

• Customer satisfaction scores

• Company awards and recognitions

• Sales revenue growth

• Process efficiency improvements

• Company savings plans and implementations

• Business expansion strategies

• Vendor/client negotiations

• Client testimonials

Did you save your company thousands of dollars by finding a new supplier? Did you work five years without a work-related accident? Did you exceed your sales targets five quarters in a row? These are facts that will help you sell your skills to the hiring decision-maker.

As you highlight these achievements on your résumé, include metrics if at all possible: exact dollar figures, quantities, percentages, etc. Eyes are often drawn to numbers, dollar signs and percentages. They add details, proof and “beef” to your highlights, making them more objective and less subjective. Here are some examples of highlights that may be included on various résumés, with metrics included:

• Improved production efficiencies by 25% within a high-pressure factory environment.

• Negotiated a lucrative business deal between company and client worth $1.5 million.

• Increased sales within department by 110%.

• Cut labor costs by $25,000.

• Lowered production costs by $200,000.

• Reduced product turnover by 15,000 units per month.

• Recipient of Salesman of the Quarter company award for closing the most sales accounts in the first quarter of 2010.

The most common rebuttal I hear about including job achievements on a résumé is, I don’t have any. But in almost all cases, that simply is not true. Having written and edited thousands of résumés covering a wide range of industries, backgrounds, skills and experience, I can say that the vast majority of people who have applied themselves diligently have had a number of accomplishments and career highlights. From recent high school graduates to elementary school teachers, lawyers to medical doctors, office managers to administrative assistants, engineers to construction workers—it isn’t a matter of not having achievements, it’s a matter of recognizing them.

For example, a recent high school graduate may have been involved in a school fundraiser for a few years. If he or she is applying for anything related to sales, customer service or marketing, there should be at least a couple achievements to draw from (example: “Expanded fundraising sales by 22% between 2009 and 2010”).

A medical doctor who has written medical journal publications, an administrative assistant who could have completed 100 percent of his or her office projects within both quality and deadline parameters, a construction worker who has met his deadlines—all of these workers have had numerous achievements. Feel free to think outside the box when determining and including achievements within your résumé.

Also, be sure to set your achievements apart from the rest of the text in your résumé (with spacing, bullet points, or other formatting). Although the metrics will stand out, you want to draw attention to these achievements even more. Secondly, only include your top career highlights (a maximum of two to three per job position, as a rule). They are highlights after all.

3. Two Sets of Eyes Are Better Than One

The final key to résumé success cannot be overemphasized. As often as I hear job seekers explain that they have read over their résumés before distributing them, I hear just as many hirers and employers complain about constantly finding résumés that have multiple grammatical, spelling or various other language usage errors. In fact, in a survey I took a few years ago, scores of hirers, HR managers, employers and recruiters unanimously proclaimed that—even with automatic spell-check embedded in our word processors—this was still the most common problem they had with résumés! And every one of them dismally said they never have hired anyone with such a résumé.

So do yourself a favor before sending out your résumé to your potential employer: Review it. And then ask someone who knows the English language and writing rules even better than you do to review it as well. This point alone—if applied—will in most cases bring an interview or two!

The next time you find your job-search door seemingly slammed and locked shut—and when your résumé just doesn’t seem to be doing its job of getting you phone calls or e-mails from employers—apply these keys, and watch the door swing open with interview opportunities galore waiting on the other side.

Seven Keys to Answered Prayer

Seven Keys to Answered Prayer

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The Philadelphia Trumpet, in conjunction with the Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course, presents this brief excursion into the fascinating study of the Bible. Simply turn to and read in your Bible each verse given in answer to the questions. You will be amazed at the new understanding gained from this short study!
From the February 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

God has literally hundreds of promises written down for you in His Word saying that under certain terms and conditions, He will cause things to happen for you if you will ask Him. He promises supernatural intervention. He promises to deliver you from trouble, to supply your every necessity, to fight your personal battles for you, to heal you when you are sick and even to prosper you financially!

Why then, do the prayers of most people go unanswered? The vast majority simply do not know how to pray. The Bible reveals seven basic conditions you should fulfill to be certain your prayers will be answered. Let’s learn what they are.

1. Know God’s Will

1. To get answers to our prayers, what example did Jesus set that we should follow? John 5:30, last part. Are we also to understand God’s will? Ephesians 5:17. How can we get to know His will? 2 Timothy 2:15.

Comment: By studying God’s will, which is revealed in the Bible, you will begin to think more as God thinks. You will come to know that God is love and that His will is for our good.

2. If we pray according to God’s will, can we know that God will answer our prayers? 1 John 5:14-15.

3. After God led the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, they rebelled to the extent that His wrath was stirred! Consequently, what did God tell Moses He would do? Exodus 32:9-10. Did Moses immediately intercede on behalf of Israel and ask God to spare the nation? Verses 11-13. Did God listen to Moses? Verse 14.

Comment: Notice how Moses pleaded with God. He recalled the promises God had made to Abraham, Isaac and Israel, which revealed God’s will to multiply and bless their descendants. It was Moses’s faith in those promises—and his assurance that God would abide by them—that gave him such boldness in talking to his Creator!

4. Are we to approach God’s glorious throne with boldness? Hebrews 4:16.

Comment: When Moses prayed for Israel, he was able to pray boldly and courageously because he knew God’s will. To pray with real faith and confidence, you too must first know God’s will. You must come to know how God thinks and acts. You must understand the purpose He is working out on Earth and the promises He has made in His Word.

2. Believe God

1. According to Jesus Christ, is it essential to believe God before we can receive what we ask of Him? Mark 11:24.

Comment: Most people do not realize that a disbelief that God will keep His promises or back up His Word is simply a lack of faith.

2. Does the Apostle James, the brother of Jesus, confirm that faith is an absolute prerequisite to receiving answers to our prayers? James 1:5-7.

Comment: The person who “wavers,” or doubts God, will not receive an answer to his prayers. If you lack the faith to trust God, ask God to give it to you. After all, faith is one of the “fruits” of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22), which is a gift from God.

3. A stunning example of answered prayer is recorded in 1 Kings 18:20-39, where you read about the Prophet Elijah confronting the false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Was there any doubt in Elijah’s mind that God would perform a miraculous feat? 1 Kings 18:36-37. Did Elijah get the results he prayed for? Verses 38-39.

Comment: Notice that Elijah, like Moses, knew God’s will and gave it as a reason for God to intervene (verse 36)—never doubting that He would!

3. Obey God

To get results from your prayers, you must not only know God’s will and believe Him, you must also be willing to act on His Word.

1. What does God label the person who says he “knows God,” and yet does not keep His commandments? 1 John 2:4.

Comment: If you haven’t yet learned to accept God’s Word as the authority in your life, then you can’t really get to know God through prayer.

2. Can those who persistently refuse to keep God’s commandments really expect Him to answer their prayers? 1 Peter 3:12. What is “doing evil”—what is sin? 1 John 3:4. Does sin cut you off from God? Isaiah 59:1-2.

Comment: Here is one of the major reasons why so many prayers are not answered. God will not listen to a person who rebels and persistently disobeys His Word.

However, in certain instances, God does sometimes hear and answer the prayers of those who, in ignorance of the full intent of His law, are not conscious of their sins, but obey Him as far as they know. The lepers and cripples who came to Jesus to be healed didn’t know all of God’s truth, but they did realize that Jesus was sent from God and could heal; and they acted on what they knew.

So it is a matter of your heart or attitude. If you come to God in a humble, repentant spirit and are determined to obey Him to the best of your knowledge and ability, He will hear your prayers. But for anyone who knows the truth, there is no excuse to disobey God.

3. Can true Christians have a special confidence that God will answer their prayers if they are obedient? 1 John 3:22.

4. Fear and Humility

Too many have a self-sufficient attitude and think they can get along fine without God. They neither fear God, nor respect His Word as the authority in their lives. If people with that mindset pray, does God respond? Let’s understand.

1. What is the first prerequisite to be able to understand God and His ways? Psalms 111:10; 112:1.

Comment: To “fear” God means to revere Him—to stand in awe of Him, His law, His government and His will for us. It means we are apprehensive to disobey Him. The fear of God is not dread or terror. Rather, it springs from love. When we approach our Creator in that attitude—deeply respecting His power and authority over our lives—He will hear our prayers.

2. What kind of person does God relate to? Isaiah 66:2.

Comment: The word poor refers to humility, not poverty. God regards those who are truly humble—void of pride, arrogance and self-righteousness. He esteems those who tremble at, or very carefully observe, His words; and those who are of a contrite spirit—deeply affected by and repentant of disobeying His instructions and commandments.

On the other hand, God resists the proud (James 4:6).

The attitude of godly fear and humility is vital in prayer and at all other times.

5. Be Fervent

1. How is fervent prayer described in the Bible? 2 Chronicles 32:20; Psalm 62:8.

Comment: Notice the words “prayed and cried” (figuratively crying out, and at times literally crying) and “pour out your heart.”

It is common today among many to recite brief, memorized prayers, word for word. God is not moved by prayers of rote because they are not from the heart.

2. How fervent was Jesus in His prayers? Hebrews 5:7.

Comment: When Jesus prayed to the Father, He meant it. His prayers had deep meaning. He felt them. He was deeply moved on many occasions when He communed with God.

3. What can you expect if you pray fervently? James 5:16.

Comment: This kind of prayer “avails much”—it achieves great results! Energetic, heartfelt prayers are well-pleasing to God. When you wholeheartedly call upon God, you can expect real answers to your prayers.

6. Be Persistent

Some people, if God doesn’t answer right away, begin to lose faith and give up praying. They forget that although God promises to answer when we ask according to His will, He nowhere promises to answer right away. God does not tell us exactly how or precisely when the answer will come.

1. Is this why Jesus gave the parable of the persistent widow? Luke 18:1-8.

Comment: The New International Version correctly renders the words “not to faint” as “not give up”! Jesus gave this parable to show that even an unrighteous judge would finally hear the pleas of a widow who kept coming to him. So we should keep praying to God, even though He sometimes doesn’t answer right away.

2. Is God building patient faith into our character if we have to wait on Him to answer a prayer? James 1:3-4.

Comment: We must be persistent in prayer until God answers. If He doesn’t answer your prayers immediately, exercise patience and keep praying until He does answer.

However, don’t nag at God! He has supreme wisdom to know when and how to best answer your prayers. Occasionally remind God about your problems or afflictions; don’t cease praying about them.

God always keeps His promises—He cannot lie (Titus 1:2)—so He is bound to perform His part in His own time.

7. Use Christ’s Name

The seventh condition of answered prayer is the correct use of Christ’s name. This is a greatly misunderstood subject, and Christ’s name is often abused.

1. Is it possible to have access to the Father apart from Jesus Christ? Ephesians 2:13, 18.

2. After Jesus had been with His disciples for over three years and had taught them God’s will and how to obey it, how did He say they could petition the Father directly, for His help? John 14:13-14; 16:23-24.

Comment: These verses give us the privilege of employing Christ’s name—asking by His authority—when we pray to God the Father.

Most people misunderstand how we can ask “in Jesus’s name.” When a government sends an ambassador—its chosen representative—to another country, he is given authority to carry out certain business in the name of, or on behalf of, that government. His authority is limited to do only what the government has specifically authorized him to do. Likewise, God’s children can rightfully ask the Father for things “in Jesus’s name” when they know it is His will—that His authority stands behind it. Just rattling off the words “in Jesus’s name” to a prayer that is contrary to His will is of no avail! You need to study the Bible to know more about the principles of Christ’s will, in order that you may ask by His authority.

God wants to hear from you, but He will not force you to do anything. You must choose to rely on Him—to humble yourself, recognize your weaknesses, and depend on Him. When you do, your prayers will accomplish a miraculous change in your life. So pray to God every day—continually, regularly, fervently—and expect God to answer!