Spend Your Time Wisely

Spend Your Time Wisely

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How to coax a much higher yield from your most precious commodity.
From the October 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Each day, you start with a full bank account—an account filled with time. And each day, you spend all 24 hours of it. One of the smartest investments you can make is to stop and take stock: You’re paying out a lot of hours. What are you gaining in exchange?

Paul understood the value of time—and how to spend it. In Romans 13, he admonishes us to awake out of sleep—because we know the time! As urgently as he lived his life, Paul’s words are even more poignant today, when time is so short before the return of Jesus Christ! The key to redeeming our time for something of real value is to live as Christ lived in these urgent days (verses 12-14).

Yet there is a reason why that simple principle is so hard to live by. Satan is doing everything he can to tempt you to nickel-and- dime your life away—or worse. He knows that you cannot serve both God and mammon (Matthew 6:24), and that a friend of the world cannot be a friend of God (James 4:4). So he wants to make you spend your time on anything but God.

So how should we spend our precious time? On the one thing that lasts: God’s character!

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” To spend your time wisely, God must come first in your life! You must give God your very best time! Then He’ll be involved in how the rest of your time is spent.

To keep this law, you must organize your time investment strategy around God. Every day, you need to carefully budget how much of your valuable time you spend on various activities. An hour is a precious thing. Don’t fritter it away!

In a recent study, a group of participants were asked to complete just 20 minutes of exercise at any time within the following week. Only 29 percent of the people took the time to do so. A second group was told how exercise reduces the risk of heart disease. In that group, 39 percent found the time to exercise. A third group was asked to exercise on a specific day, at a specific time and at a specific location. In that group, 91 percent completed the assignment (Tony Schwartz, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working).

“By defining precisely when we’re going to undertake a behavior, we reduce the amount of energy we have to expend to get it done,” Schwartz wrote. “Often, when we make a commitment to a new behavior such as exercising, we fail to recognize that unless we set aside a specific time to do it, it’s unlikely we will. In part, that’s because there is another behavior we’re more accustomed to doing, out of habit, or because there is something easier and more pleasurable we could do. Each time we have to think about whether or not to do an activity—in the face of other temptations and potential distractions—we deplete our limited reservoir of will and discipline. If you have to consciously think for very long about doing something, it’s unlikely you’ll end up doing it for very long. …

“The more challenging the ritual—physically, mentally, or emotionally—the greater the need to be precise in implementing it.”

This same principle holds true for our spiritual rituals. The more challenging it is to carve out time for our daily spiritual needs, the more precise we must be in locking it into our schedules.

The Apostle Paul charged us to use this life to “present our bodies a living sacrifice” unto God (Romans 12:1). In the Old Testament, there were no living sacrifices. They were all dead. To be a living sacrifice, we must first put to death the lusts of the flesh and, by sacrificing the self, keep them dead (Romans 6). Secondly, we must lay down our lives—our energy, our effort, our time—to support God’s purpose.

Just like us, Jesus only had 24 hours to work with every day. It was His practice to rise up a “great while before day” to allow plenty of time for His prayer (Mark 1:35). He studied God’s Word, He trained His disciples, He fulfilled God’s will. He spent all His time doing those things that pleased the Father.

Now God says to us, You follow those steps—you organize your lives the way Jesus Christ did (1 Peter 2:21). And if you overcome like He did, you’ll rule with Him on His throne (Revelation 2:26).

When Christ returns to restore His government on Earth, He will need qualified leaders to assist Him in ruling the nations. (See also Daniel 7 and Luke 19.) How we use—or misuse—our time will determine how God can use us in His Kingdom (Luke 16:10-11).

Christ is about to return. God is about to give human beings power and authority and eternity—an unlimited amount of time. That’s a yield that is well worth learning to discipline ourselves and budget our time around Him today!

A New Pharaoh

A New Pharaoh

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Egypt has transformed into a radical Islamist state. What will be the consequences?
From the October 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Give Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi credit. In August, as the world fretted over Syria, debated U.S. presidential candidates and watched the London Olympics, Morsi smoothly orchestrated the most significant development in Egypt since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Watching Morsi work was a sight to behold. In a matter of mere weeks, he: 1) severed Cairo’s three-decade allegiance to the U.S.; 2) wrested control of the government away from Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces; 3) appropriated for himself the power to influence the country’s new constitution; 4) established Egypt as Iran’s most powerful regional ally, literally embracing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; 5) delivered the Suez Canal and the Red Sea into the hands of Iran and radical Islam; 6) began courting China to replace the U.S. as his bankroller; and 7) trashed Egypt’s historic and pivotal peace treaty with Israel, the 1978 Camp David Accords. He did it all before his presidency was two months old—and he’s still on a roll.

In geopolitical terms, Morsi shifted the entire balance of power in the Middle East. In prophetic terms, he thrust the region and the world one giant step closer to World War iii.

Ousting the Military

The new president’s first major move occurred on August 12, when he announced that he had “retired” a handful of key leaders within Egypt’s military establishment, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (scaf). The men included the defense minister, the army chief of staff, and the commanders of the navy, air defense and air force. Virtually all these heavyweights were holdovers from the previous administration under President Hosni Mubarak. They were relatively pro-Israel and pro-Western, key intermediaries between Egypt and America. More importantly, they were political and ideological counterweights to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ever since Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011, Western experts insisted that as long as thescaf held key government positions, there was no reason to fear Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood groundswell he rode into the presidency. “For decades, Egypt’s military served as America’s prime channel of engagement with Cairo,” Nathan Guttman wrote in Forward, an American Jewish newspaper. “When the Mubarak regime came to its end, the administration was reassured by the fact that the nation’s transition was overseen by the military through thescaf. [Former Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed] Tantawi’s long-standing relations with American generals and civilian officials made him Washington’s go-to man even after the Muslim Brotherhood won the country’s first democratic elections and Morsi became president” (August 18).

Today, these bulwarks are gone.

Information on their successors is sparse, but the fact that Morsi handpicked them suggests they have been vetted by the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s new defense minister, Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, is reported to be either a member of the Brotherhood or have close ties to it. One thing is sure: Morsi has radically limited the influence of his opponents.

“This is a big moment of transformation in the history of Egypt,” said Zeinab Abul-Magd, history professor at the American University in Cairo. “Now, officially, [Egypt] is a Brotherhood state. Now it is official they are in full control of state institutions.”

A New Pharaoh

Following Mubarak’s ouster and the election of a new parliament (December/January 2011), the scaf created new laws to limit the ability of either the president or Islamists in parliament to dictate Egypt’s new constitution.

Morsi nullified this new constitutional declaration on the very same day he fired Egypt’s military leadership, and replaced it with a declaration of his own. Unsurprisingly, it equips Egypt’s president with wide-ranging legislative and executive powers, as well as a leading role in drafting the new constitution. The job of writing Egypt’s new constitution will undoubtedly be led by an individual faithful to Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist ideology.

The message from Morsi August 12 was clear: The one who decides how much power Morsi has—is Morsi.

“Morsi has become Egypt’s absolute ruler, enjoying dictatorial powers that surpass those of his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak,” Gamal Essam El-Din proclaimed in Cairo’s Al-Ahram Weekly (emphasis added throughout).

“The decisions of August 12 make Morsi the new pharaoh of Egypt,” warned Salah Eissa, editor in chief of Egyptian newspaper Al-Qahira. “After ridding Egypt of a military dictatorship, we are about to see it replaced by an Islamist one.”

Where are those who condemned Mubarak for being dictatorial and supported his overthrow? Why aren’t they calling for Morsi’s head?

Embracing Iran

After he sacked his political opponents and augmented his presidential powers, Morsi wasted no time in laying out what he plans to do with his power as he revealed Egypt’s new foreign-policy objectives.

On August 14, the president visited Saudi Arabia for an emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss the crisis in Syria. The Al-Ahram Weeklyrevealed ahead of the summit that Morsi and Ahmadinejad were scheduled to talk on the sidelines of the meeting.

Official footage of Morsi’s arrival showed him greeting the summit’s host, Saudi King Abdullah. The camera cut away to show the arrival of other dignitaries. When it cut back, Morsi and Ahmadinejad were hugging and air-kissing each other.

This is not insignificant. This is the first time in more than 30 years that the leaders of Egypt and Iran have embraced like this!

President Mubarak refused to even speak with Iran’s leaders. After Egypt signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1979, Iran cut off relations with Cairo. At the time, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was a resolute enemy of Iran’s Islamist regime. He called Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini “a lunatic” and “a disgrace to Islam,” and he welcomed Iran’s exiled shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to live in Egypt. Soon after, Sadat was assassinated. Khomeini proclaimed his killer a martyr, and Iran named a street in Tehran after him. The two states were archenemies.

Now Iran and Egypt are warmly embracing each other!

But Morsi wasn’t done cozying up to Iran. The next week, he traveled to Tehran to participate in a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. nam was created in 1955 during the Cold War to give support to the causes of the developing world. Today, the organization has 120 member nations claiming to not be aligned with any major world (Western) powers. Its purpose, as stated in the 1979 Havana Declaration, is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries.”

Before Morsi flew to Iran, Sabri Amer, a former leading Egyptian parliamentarian, told Iran’s Fars News Agency, “Morsi’s presence in Tehran conveys this message to the U.S. and Israel, that the era of Egypt’s political obedience to Washington and Tel Aviv has ended.” In the interview, Amer lamented that while Mubarak was in power between 1981 and 2011, “all the decisions and policies in both areas of domestic and foreign policy were made through coordination with the U.S. and the Zionist regime.” But now the conditions have changed, he proudly stated, “and the era of the ruling of the Egyptian regimes which were allies and loyal to the West has ended.”

Just before Morsi’s visit, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, Egypt’s assistant foreign minister for economic affairs, stated, “Egypt in its new conditions wants establishment of the best relations with all the world countries, including Iran ….

Egypt’s gravitation toward Iran is a game-changing development for Iran and radical Islam. Egypt is the largest Arab state in the Middle East. It possesses enormous stockpiles of advanced U.S.-manufactured weapons. It controls one of the most important sea lanes in the world. And it controls the southern border of the Jewish state.

And now, thanks to Mohammed Morsi, Iran can count Egypt as a friend and ally.

Trashing Egypt-Israel Peace

One of Morsi’s most significant moves occurred two days after he fired the military leaders and set himself up to rewrite the constitution. On August 14, Mohamed Gadallah, Morsi’s chief legal adviser, told an Egyptian newspaper—no doubt at the president’s behest—that Morsi was currently “studying” the possibility of revising the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty. Morsi wants Egypt to “implement its full sovereignty over the Sinai Peninsula,” he said. Yes, this contradicted Morsi’s many promises that he would respect all international treaties signed by Egypt.

That statement is a big step toward World War iii!

Israel’s survival as a sovereign country depends heavily on Egypt’s willingness to uphold the Camp David Accords. As Stratfor ceo George Friedman observed a few years ago, “The only thing that could threaten the survival of Israel, apart from a nuclear barrage, would be a shift in position of neighboring states. [And] the single most important neighbor Israel has is Egypt (June 19, 2007).

On August 22, Ahmad Sabi, key adviser to the Freedom and Justice Party—an Islamist party connected to the MB—stated: “I support amending the Camp David Accords, which is a mark of shame upon the Egyptian people. This agreement has been a heavy burden … undermining Egypt’s sovereignty” (memri, September 3).

It was not a coincidence that this news leaked just after several Islamist terrorist attacks occurred in the Sinai Peninsula. Under the Camp David Accords, Israel agreed to withdraw troops from the Sinai in exchange for a peaceful relationship with Egypt. The agreement also limited the number of Egyptian troops in the region. But Morsi used the Sinai terrorist attacks as a pretext for marching back into the Sinai. The military began operations against the militants on August 8, and in the weeks that followed sent hundreds of troops into the Sinai, together with tanks and heavy equipment.

Obviously, this alarmed some in Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for Cairo to remove the tanks and aircraft it had deployed in the region. “Many Israel government officials are concerned that Egypt may be exploiting the anarchy in the Sinai to convince Israel and the United States it must maintain an armed presence with weapons and manpower beyond the limits stated in the 1979 peace treaty,” Arutz Sheva reported (August 19).

Remarkably, the U.S. seems unconcerned about this development—and virtually everything else Morsi has done. In fact, the New York Times reported that Washington is working with Morsi’s government to beef up security in the Sinai. America, it seems, is oblivious to the dangers of exposing Israel’s southern border to a hostile Islamic regime.

The influx of Egyptian troops and weaponry into the Sinai is already reality. Next will likely come the revision of the Camp David Accords, then a complete occupation of the Sinai Peninsula by a radical Islamist who is forming a partnership with the king of radical Islam.

Israel’s enemies are gaining critical territory—and fast!

Pay close attention to events in the Sinai. The call for full sovereignty over a demilitarized region like the Sinai is startlingly reminiscent of another anti-Jewish radical. On March 7, 1936, Adolf Hitler delivered a speech in the Reichstag in which he announced that “Germany no longer feels bound by the Locarno Treaty.” Established in 1925, Locarno delineated postwar territorial boundaries in Europe. After he renounced Locarno, Hitler dispatched troops to retake the Rhineland—then Austria—then the Sudetenland—then Poland. We all know what happened next.

Watch Egypt closely. Mohammed Morsi has shed his moderate cloak and revealed himself for what he really is: a devoted Muslim Brotherhood member and an anti-democratic, anti-Israel, anti-Western, radical Islamist determined to oversee an Islamist renaissance in Egypt and the consolidation of Egypt as a radical Islamist state. That is, a man with the skill and power to help set off world war!

Egypt Unites With Iran and Fulfills a Bible Prophecy

The first part of our prophecy about Egypt has now been fulfilled!
From the October 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

In August, a dramatic, far-reaching change occurred in the Middle East. And it was prophesied.Yet, despite the magnitude of this development, leaders in America and in the Western world in general seemed mostly unaware of it. Those few who did notice didn’t talk about it much, or had little worthwhile to say.

But the truth is, this event is going to change the course of history.

Egypt has been at peace with Israel for more than 30 years—since 1978, when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin formalized the 1978 Camp David Accords. Over the last 20 years, I have been explaining the prophecy in Daniel 11 which says that Egypt would fall to radical Islam, ally itself with Iran, trash its peace treaty with Israel, and become a violent enemy of Israel and the United States.

In August, that prophecy was fully and totally fulfilled! It is now reality!

Egypt and Iran are now allies. Egypt, the largest Arab nation in the Middle East—a nation with billions of dollars’ worth of military assets—is now allied with the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

What does this mean for the Middle East and for the entire world? This is the new reality, whether we like it or not.

But that’s not all. There is another problem that is going to make the situation much worse. Egypt is only part of a huge, devastating prophecy unfolding in the Middle East.

Iran and Egypt are going to have a great deal to do with sweeping Libya and Ethiopia into that radical Islamic camp!

This too is prophesied right there in Daniel 11. In this pivotal prophecy, God is showing us exactly what is happening in the Middle East—but few are willing to listen to God.

We should be paying attention, because the Western world’s Middle East policy is going to have some serious consequences. To start with, the fulfillment of that Daniel 11 prophecy will certainly cause gas prices to skyrocket. But we are also going to see events in that region spark World War iii!

Libya and Ethiopia Are Next

Daniel 11:40 reads, “And at the time of the end [that is, just before Jesus Christ returns] shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” Several other biblical prophecies show that the “king of the north” is going to be a German-led European power—a modern resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. This European empire will throw mighty power—“strong ships”—at the king of the south. The king of the south, as we explain in our free booklet by that title, is Iran and radical Islam. This verse describes that European power conquering Iran!

This event could happen in a very short time. So there is about to be another big change in the course of history in the Middle East, in Europe and in the world. These are awesomeprophecies that we all need to be aware of, and they are going to affect the lives of every single person on Earth in a very short time.

But notice verses 42 and 43. These dramatic verses tell us what to expect next in the Middle East: “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt ….” Notice how the emphasis is on Egypt.

The next part of the scripture is almost like an afterthought: “… and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” Libya and Ethiopia (including Eritrea) will be at the steps of that king of the north, the German-led European power.

The emphasis here in verses 42 and 43 is on Egypt—then we have Libya and Ethiopia. This shows that Egypt is the big conquest! It is the REAL power behind Libya and Ethiopia, which suggests that it is going to have a heavy hand in swinging those two nations into the Iranian camp.

We need to understand the enormousimpact that Egypt working with Iran will have in the Middle East and even globally. This Iran-Egypt axis is going to change the game in the Middle East—particularly in Libya and Ethiopia.

Put simply, this means that we can expect Egypt—with Iran’s help—to lead Libya and Ethiopia into the Iranian camp!

This is very alarming because of the power Egypt has. For years, America has given Egyptbillions and billions of dollars’ worth of military aid. The Egyptians are certain to use their formidable military power to swing much of the Middle East toward Iran.

Here’s what Barnes’ Notes says about this passage: “A conquest of Egypt was almost, in itself, a conquest of Libya and the Ethiopians.” That’s exactly right! The real powerhouse here is Egypt. Iran and Egypt are going to work together to swing Ethiopia and Libya into that Iranian-led “king of the south” camp—and they’re going to do it with a lot of violence! They’re very good at creating violence.

Even this commentary understands this—yet America’s leaders do not. In fact, while Egypt and Iran continue to align, and as they draw Ethiopia and Libya into their camp—even as they openly threaten Israel and commit some of the most atrocious acts that have ever been done in Egypt—the U.S. continues to support Egypt. Washington acts like it doesn’t even know those terrible things are happening. It even keeps supplying Egypt with military aid (money it essentially has to borrow from China first!). Egypt is about to really begin throwing its weight around, and it has the military to do so—a military that Americans have paid for!

America helped greatly in removing Hosni Mubarak from power. The U.S. should have been supporting Hosni Mubarak. I tell you that removing him was a gravemistake that leaders from both political parties in the U.S. do not really understand. They simply don’t grasp how things work in the Middle East.

Egypt’s Transformation Complete

Watching events in Egypt during August, Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick wrote one of the most alarming articles you could ever read. “On Sunday [August 12], new president Mohammed Morsi completedEgypt’s transformation into an Islamist state,” she wrote (August 16; emphasis added throughout).

Glick was referring to President Morsi firing the commanders of the Egyptian military, which was his only real opposition in the country, and replacing them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists—then doing the same with all the editors of the state-owned media.

The radical terrorist Muslim Brotherhood is now in control of Egypt! And to think, members of both of America’s political parties helped bring this about!

“Morsi gave himself full control over the writing of Egypt’s new constitution,” Glick continued. She quoted Israel’s former ambassador to Egypt as explaining that, with these moves, Morsi “now holds dictatorial powers surpassing by far those of erstwhile president Hosni Mubarak.”

If you thought Mubarak was evil, wait till you see Morsi in action.

In the early months of 2011, when Egyptians were protesting and the Western world was self-righteously demanding that Mubarak resign, the Trumpet was warning—based on Daniel’s prophecy—that this was the worst mistake the United States could make. But no one listened. Who today listens to God and what He prophesies—the God of the Bible who wants to save us from all this suffering?

“This is a coup,” lamented Middle East expert Barry Rubin. “Morsi is bound by no constitution. He can do as he pleases unless someone is going to stop him, and the only candidate, the military, is fading fast, far faster than even we pessimists would have predicted” (PJmedia.com, August 11).

Have you seen some of the atrocities being committed under Mohammed Morsi? Egypt’s new leaders are destroying the freedom of the press, and even going so far as to crucify some of their opponents! (“Shockingly Rapid Radicalization,” below). This is a black, bleak nightmare! This is so ghoulish that you wouldn’t even expect it to happen in this age. But it’s happening in Egypt today!

America helped bring it about—but we don’t like to talk about that, for obvious reasons.

The rest of the Middle East is shaken by what is happening. Saudi Arabia also gave millions of dollars of aid to Egypt, but very much wanted Hosni Mubarak to remain in office. Peoples and nations greatly fear events in Egypt now that that nation is backed by a powerful Iran. There is a lot of deadly peril there that America simply refuses to see, and we continue to act as though nothing happened in the Middle East. This level of ignorance is almost beyond belief!

“Egypt will certainly seek to export its Islamic revolution to other countries,” Glick warned.Exactly right. That is just what will happen—and it is exactly what is prophesied: Egypt is going to export its revolution to Libya and Ethiopia. This is already well underway in Libya. But the radicals in Egypt will ensure it is shaped and molded to fit their plan.

All of this is taking place along the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, which is one of the most important trade routes in the world. If you think your gas prices won’t go up, you’d better take a close look at what’s going on in the Middle East.

“The U.S.’s astounding sanguinity in the face of Morsi’s completion of the Islamization of Egypt is an illustration of everything that is wrong and dangerous about U.S. Middle East policy today,” Glick wrote. Can anybody logically disagree?

Ms. Glick lives in Israel, and she knows how dangerous it is now.

A Treaty in Jeopardy

As all these events were happening, Egypt was simultaneously moving its military into the Sinai Peninsula, which adjoins Israel. This was no small gesture.

In the late 1970s, America strongly prodded Israel to give the Sinai back to Egypt. Israel agreed, but only on the condition that Egypt agree to a formal peace treaty. Egypt did. Ratified in 1978 at Camp David, the Egypt-Israel peace treaty has been the foundation of the peace that has existed between Israel and Egypt ever since—for more than 30 years.

Now, that peace treaty is being broken. Egypt deploying tanks in the demilitarized zone of the Sinai Desert—and right next to the Israeli border—directly violates the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

We knew that promise would be brokenbecause prophecy says so.

The Jewish state, America’s most important ally in the Middle East, is in deep trouble. It is very unhappy with America, and justifiably so. The U.S. felt it had to hurry in there and help thrust “dictator” Hosni Mubarak out of office. The sad truth is, we made the same mistake that we made in 1979 with Iran, pushing out Shah Pahlavi and empowering the Islamic Revolution. Now, here come the Egyptians—and America helped it all to transpire!

Egypt’s transformation into a radical Islamist state will also have enormous consequences for America. “The U.S. is far more vulnerable to interruptions in the shipping lanes in the Suez Canal than Israel is,” Glick explained. Yes, Egypt controls the Suez Canal, and it can impost a high tax on the oil or do just about anything it wants to. That bodes very badly for the United States.

Considering the power Egypt has—and the fact that all its resources will now be at the disposal of the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world—what do you think that will do to Israel and to America? Egypt and Iran can easily export their terrorism. They already have chemical weapons and biological weapons—and soon Iran will have a nuclear bomb. This world is in a terrible predicament!

In America it is election season. Many people speak as though they believe that getting a certain candidate or political party into office will save America. But the reality is, no political party can save us from a nuclear disaster that we have no control over, or from many otherproblems facing America. Only God can do that!

A Fulfilled Prophecy

In a January 2006 letter to co-workers, I wrote: “We have said for years that Egypt has been a friend to the West, but because of this prophecy [Daniel 11:42], we also said that could change. … As the MB grows more popular it will strengthen its ties with Islamic powers throughout the region—especially Iran. … [W]atch for Cairo to distance itself from America. Should the MB ever take control, there is no doubt that a strong alliance between Iran and Egypt will be built.”

That is a fulfilled prophecy.

Can you begin to see how the events described in Daniel 11 are now coming to fruition? This prophecy is pivotal to your life. It’s about the king of the north and the king of the south confronting each other in war, and the king of the north winning and subduing Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia. Verse 44 shows how this war is going to spill into other nations: The king of the north will grow nervous about news out of the north and the east—because of what the Russians and the Chinese are doing. He will then move to confront this Asian horde.

Can you see? Events in Egypt are thrusting us into a great world war!

Daniel 12:1 prophesies that this conflict will produce the worst time of suffering ever on Earth!

But there is hope and beauty in this prophecy, too. The passage from Daniel 11:40 to the end of the book in Daniel 12:13 is all one vision. These events take place right before the coming of the Messiah. And it all ends with the coming of the Messiah! That’s the best news this world has ever heard or ever will hear. Above all, we need to deeply understand that!

This prophecy also says that those who help publish this message to the world are going to shine like the stars forever and ever! (Daniel 12:3).

That could be you—if you submit to God and support His end-time work.

What a vision! If we believe God and help Him do His work of turning many to righteousness, God is going to reward us in a way that is hard to even imagine!

Why Most People Don’t Understand Bible Prophecy

Are you also missing out because you have yet to discover this eye-opening fact?
From the October 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Biblical prophecy is a mystery—even to most people who read the Bible! This subject is tremendously important, yet it is also tremendously confusing. Why? Because Bible prophecy is locked. And the vast majority of people do not have the one vital key that unlocks the prophecy.

Newscasters, journalists and politicians talk around the clock about the horrendous events that are flashing all around us. But which of them understands what is going on? Which of them can tell you where these events are leading?

The Bible actually makes the ultimate outcome of current events inescapably clear, but its explanations are completely confusing unless you have the key that unlocks them.

To understand this key, we have to look back at the Old Testament.

Israel Fighting Jews?

2 Kings 16 actually shows where the confusion began. It has to do with the identity of Israel. Today, when we think of Israel, we think of the Jews. But there’s something missing here.

Did you know that the first time the Jews are mentioned in the Bible, they are at war with Israel? The Jewish nation was not the same thing as Israel—it was actually fighting Israel!

Anciently and biblically, Israel and Judah were two very distinct entities. And they still are.That’s what so many don’t understand: the modern identities of Israel and Judah. That is the key to understanding Bible prophecy!

Ancient Israel was composed of 12 tribes. Judah was only one of those tribes. Today, we know who Judah’s descendants are: the Jews. But where are the other tribes? Have they just evaporated forever? Not at all!

No, Israel is not extinct. These “lost 10 tribes” are actually some of the world’s most important nations existing today!

This passage in 2 Kings 16 explains what happened. Israel was a united nation consisting of 12 tribes under the rule of King David and his son King Solomon. After Solomon died, 10 tribes of Israel rebelled from the tribe of Judah and the capital of Jerusalem. The tribes of Benjamin and Levi stayed with the Jews. The other 10 tribes established themselves in Samaria, north of Jerusalem.

Israel and Judah became two separate nations. This one fact is crucial to understanding Bible prophecy.

“At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews from Elath.” This is the very first time the word Jews is written in the Bible. “[A]nd the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day. So Ahaz [the king of Judah] sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me” (2 Kings 16:6-7).

The king of Judah contacted a foreign king to ask him for help in fighting Israel! How could they be warring against each other if Israel is just another name for Judah? This was well after the kingdom split. Israel was—and still is—separate from Judah!

Today, there is a nation in the Middle East called Israel. But that nation only represents two tribes of Israel: Judah and Benjamin—along with many or most of the Levites. Those are the tribes that remained in Jerusalem when Israel rebelled and seceded. The modern nation calledIsrael does not include the descendants of the 10 tribes that broke away in the 10th century b.c. and migrated to Samaria (northern Israel).

This war in 2 Kings 16 ended with Israel (the northern 10 tribes) being defeated and enslaved by Assyria. “Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only” (2 Kings 17:18). Israel was so faithless and sinful that it enraged the God of love! Because of the Israelites’ terrible sins, God became so angry that He forsook them and allowed them to be conquered by Assyria.

Assyria conquered the nation of Israel from 721 to 718 b.c. (verse 23). Israel was taken captive, and only Judah was left (verse 18).

We need to think soberly about these verses because they also apply to us. This is the end time. The nations of Israel still exist. And they are still continuing to anger God with their terrible sins! The book of 2 Kings is one of the former prophets. That means this verse is not just about an ancient nation, it also carries a prophetic message for us today—if we understand Bible prophecy! God says the Assyrians will conquer Israel again (see Isaiah 10).

Fruitless Investigation

Bible scholars have looked into what happened to ancient Israel. Historian and scientist Werner Keller is one of the chief scholars on the topic. He includes a lot of solid information in his book The Bible as History. Here is his view, which many other scholars share: “The people of the northern kingdom and their kings with them disappeared, were absorbed into the population of these foreign lands, and never emerged again in history. All investigation into what became of the 10 tribes and who had their home there has so far come to nothing” (emphasis added).

Is that true? The northern 10 tribes of Israel did get taken captive. Israel did lose its identity. Israel never did reemergeas Israel. But Israel did not disappear! How could millions of people simply vanish? They have to be somewhere.

Bible scholars know where the tribe of Judah is. “Jew” is just a shortened version of Judah. Modern Judah is where the modern Jews are! They were never totally lost. But most, like Keller, believe that the 10 tribes fell into history’s abyss. So, how do we know that these intelligent scholars are actually wrong?

Because Jesus Christ tells us so.

Christ’s Commission to the Apostles

About 750 years after Assyria enslaved Israel, Christ gave His apostles a specific command to go to a specific group of people. If you understand this, you’re going to understand Bible prophecy.

Turn in your Bible to Matthew 10:5-6 and read: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles [Christ would send the Apostle Paul there later], and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Christ Himself said that!

Werner Keller and other scholars don’t understand this. But if we believe Christ, we have to believe that “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” were somewhere on the scene during Christ’s day. That was more than 700 years after they had been enslaved.

Christ was certainly not referring to the Jews. They were there where He was, in the same place the Jews are today. Their identity wasn’t lost then, and it is not lost today. Israel, however, had been absorbed into the Assyrian Empire, and these tribes did lose their identity. But Christ—and many others—knew they were out there. So where were these tribes, exactly?

Jesus Christ wants us to know the truth about ancient Israel. Several of the Old Testament prophets, and even Christ Himself, prophesied that the modern peoples of Israel would endure the worst time of suffering ever just before His Second Coming. That’s why Christ wants you to understand Bible prophecy! And in order to understand those warnings, you must know who the peoples of Israel are today!

Where Did the Apostles Go?

In his article “Where Did the Twelve Apostles Go?” Herman Hoeh looked into the intriguing history of Parthia to find out where Israel went (Plain Truth, May 1964).

Dr. Hoeh wrote that around 700 b.c., a group of people suddenly appeared around the Caspian shore who had been enslaved to Assyria. They were called the Parthians, a name that means exiles. These exiles eventually ascended to power and prominence in the land of Parthia around 250 b.c.

These peoples were none other than the “lost” tribes of Israel!

They remained in the land where they had been Assyria’s slaves until the early third centurya.d. Then, the Persians drove them northwest into what is Europe today. And that is exactly where you will find most of those lost tribes of Israel right now, in 2012.

Josephus, the prominent first-century Jewish historian, was well aware that Israel had settled in the land of Parthia. “But then the entire body of the people of Israel [the 10 “lost” tribes] remain in that country [they never came back to Samaria]; wherefore there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the 10 tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers” (Antiquities of the Jews).

They were an enormous multitude! The scattered Israelites were so vast that Jesus commanded Peter, James, John and the rest of His disciples to go to these “lost sheep.” And the 12 apostles knew where they were. Jesus Christ knew where they were. Even Josephus knew where they were.

Notice another clue in Matthew 15: “Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David ….” This Gentile woman knew who He was. She continued: “[M]y daughter is grievously vexed with a [demon].” But Christ didn’t answer her request. He explained why to His disciples: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (verses 21-22, 24).

Jesus went on to talk with this woman, and she demonstrated such great faith that He healed her daughter that very minute. But He clearly told her that He was preparing His apostles to go to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” According to Jesus, that was His purpose.

If we listen to Christ and trust Him, we can understand why He came and what the Bible’s prophecies mean. We can actually understand this tumultuous and horrendous world around us. But we have to have the kind of faith this Canaanite woman had.

Jews Were Conquered—Yet Retained Their Identity

From 604 to 585 b.c., a little over a century after Israel went into captivity, the Jews were also conquered by Babylon. They too had turned from God, and in His wrath, He allowed them to be taken captive. However, 70 years after they had been conquered, the Jews, the Benjamites and the Levites returned (Ezra 1:5; 2:1).

Israel, however, never did. Look into the history of God’s Church in the book of Acts. After chapter 11, you read almost nothing about the original 12 apostles. You read nothing about the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

This is a very interesting part of the history. The book of Acts is one of only three books in the New Testament that does not end with Amen. The absence of that conclusive final word means that Acts still has more information to be added. A big part of that new material is going to be about the locations of the “lost sheep” of the house of Israel from the time Acts was written until Christ’s Second Coming.

The first century was not the time for God to reveal the location of the lost 10 tribes to the world. History—and Bible scholars—lost sight of those 10 tribes. The tribes themselves even lost their identity. But now, when the prophecies are most relevant, just before Christ returns—that time has come.

The revelation of Israel’s identity happened in a powerful way in the 20th century, with God’s Church sending out more than 6 million copies of The United States and Britain in Prophecy. That book is about this vital truth.

This is crucial to understand, because end-time Israel is again sick with sin and stirring God to anger. These modern nations must be warned! And we have to understand prophecy in order to know whom to warn.

Simon Peter Was in the British Isles!

Dr. Hoeh’s article traced how the original apostles traveled to the lost 10 tribes. He even examined which areas were visited by which apostles.

Where did Peter spend most of his time after those first 12 years in Palestine? Metaphrastes, the Greek historian, reports “that Peter was not only in these western parts”—the western Mediterranean—“but particularly that he was a long time in Britain, where he converted many nations to the faith.” This is speaking of Peter’s main life work to the lost 10 tribes!

Cave’s Antiquitates Apostolicae explains more on this subject of Peter’s ministry. Peter didn’t preach the gospel in Rome. That was left to the Apostle Paul. Peter did visit Rome, but he did not preach the gospel there. Instead, Peter was “a long time” in Britain; he did most of his life’s work there, preaching and teaching the gospel. So, unless Peter disobeyed Christ’s command in Matthew 10:5-6, Britain is one of the lost tribes of Israel! It is, in fact, the modern nation descended from Ephraim!

In Genesis 48, Jacob (Israel) named his name on Ephraim and Manasseh. Manasseh’s modern identity is none other than the United States of America. These two modern Israelite nations, Britain and the United States, became very wealthy and very powerful, just as God prophesied they would.

These two Israelite tribes were blessed because of the obedience and faithfulness of their ancestor, Abraham. God promised Abraham that He would bless his descendants (Genesis 22:18; 48:8-22). Look all over this Earth and all through history, and it’s hard to find two nations that were more blessed than the United States and Britain. God gave those two nations the promises of wealth and prominence that He originally promised to Abraham for his obedience. But now those blessings are being taken away because his descendants are wallowing in perverse sins.

These nations must be told who they are and must be warned about what they are doing. You can only do that if you understand these prophecies.

Besides the modern nations of Israel and Judah, the Bible also has many prophecies about Germany, Russia, China, Japan and many Middle Eastern nations. The Bible tells you what is ahead for all of these nations!

Who Else Went to the Lost 10 Tribes?

There’s something else interesting about these lost 10 tribes.

When the Apostle Paul arrived in Rome, the Jews there had not received the gospel, and they did not know what was happening with the Church that Christ had established. They only knew that it was persecuted and disliked, and they wanted to know what Paul thought about it (Acts 28:17, 21-22). This is absolute proof that the Jews at Rome had never heard from the Apostle Peter. Paul came along after the original 12, and he was the one who was preaching in the Gentile city of Rome.

In a.d. 656, Pope Vitalian decided that the Catholic Church was not interested in the remains of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul. So, the pope sent their remains to Oswy, king of Britain. Here is what he wrote to the British king: “However, we have ordered the blessed gifts of the holy martyrs, that is, the relics [the bones] of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of the holy martyrs, Laurentius, John, and Paul, and Gregory, and Pancratius, to be delivered to the bearers of these our letters, to be by them delivered to you” (Bede’s Ecclesiastical History,Book iii, Chapter 29). Even the bones of Paul and Peter ended up in St. Albans in Britain!

Another impacting part of Dr. Hoeh’s article said this: “Turn now to added proof of the apostles’ mission to the lost sheep of the house of Israel to the British Isles. From an old volume, published in 1674, by William Camden, we read: ‘The true Christian religion was planted here most anciently by Joseph of Arimathea, Simon Zelotes (or Simon the Zealot), Aristobulus, by St. Peter, and St. Paul, as may be proved by Dorotheus, Theodoretus and Sophronius.’ Well, did you catch that? Paul is now included! Had Paul planned to go from Italy into Spain and then Britain? Here is the answer. ‘I will come by you into Spain’ (Romans 15:28). He was on his way around to Spain and then on to Britain. Clement of Rome, in his letter to the Corinthians, confirms Paul’s journey to the West. But did that include Britain? Listen to the words of the Greek church historian Theodoret. He reports ‘that St. Paul brought salvation to the isles that lie in the ocean” (Book i on Psalm 116, page 870). The British Isles!

“But was that merely to preach to the Gentiles? Not at all. Remember that the third and last part of Paul’s commission, after he revealed Christ to the kings and rulers at Rome, was to bear the name of Jesus to the ‘children of Israel’ (Acts 9:15)—the lost 10 tribes. … This is a prophecy of Paul’s mission to the British Isles!”

The Apostle Paul also went to Europe to teach the lost 10 tribes!

The lost 10 tribes were important to Jesus Christ. They were important to the original 12 apostles. They were important to the Apostle Paul. They are important to God! And one of the main reasons is that their true modern identities unlock Bible prophecy!

Are the lost 10 tribes important to you? Knowing their modern identities is the key that unlocks biblical prophecy. You urgently need this precious key, because we are entering the most tumultuous period in world history—the time just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ—when those prophecies are coming to pass before our eyes!

From Sea to Shining Sea

Yet another conquest by radical Islam
From the October 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Eighteen miles. That’s the width of the Bab el-Mandab passageway, the narrow stretch of ocean separating Djibouti from Yemen that connects the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. In strategic terms, this passage is crucial. Control the Bab el-Mandab passage and you control the eastern half of one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.

That is exactly what Iran is looking to do. Few recognize it—but it’s happening under our noses. All you have to do is look at Yemen.

Easy Pickings

Remember Yemen? The Arab Spring rolled into the country in February 2011. Finally, after 12 months of massive protests, multiple defections of key military and political officials, and a failed effort to forge a power-sharing arrangement with his opponents, President Ali Abdullah Saleh resigned in February of this year. He was replaced by his vice president, Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi.

Yemenis aren’t satisfied. Regular anti-government protests continue, government officials are still defecting, political stability and unity remain elusive, and the economy is still in horrible shape.

Worse still, anti-government forces—most notably Islamist terrorist organizations—are wreaking havoc, expanding their reach and slowly wearing the government down. Within five days in August, for example, terrorists conducted three separate attacks in Yemen. One was a well-planned assault on Yemen’s intelligence headquarters that killed 20 soldiers and security personnel. In another, alleged al Qaeda terrorists bombed a key pipeline transporting natural gas; Yemen’s Ministry of Oil says attacks on energy infrastructure are costing Yemen $15 million per day. The intensity of these attacks seems to be growing.

Meanwhile, a food crisis is brewing, brought on by a rapid rise in food prices and food shortages. In July, the World Food Program reported that half of Yemen’s population could be malnourished. Nothing provokes dissatisfaction and anger like an empty gut, and some now fear that economic stress will harden the public’s anger at the fledgling government.

Yemen’s weakness and vulnerability as a nation makes for a bleak scenario—and in Iran’s eyes, a perfect opportunity.

Enter Iran

“In the past several months, Iran appears to have increased its political outreach and arms shipments to rebels and other political figures in Yemen,” the New York Times reported March 15. Tehran is reportedly supplying moral, ideological and military support to Islamist terrorists, including al Qaeda. It is known to be providing them AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, as well as material for making explosive devices.

Tehran is especially invested in northern Yemen with a Shiite organization called al-Houthi. The Houthis’ goal is to not only destabilize Yemen’s government, but also to undermine Saudi Arabia’s Sunni government. Iran is Saudi Arabia’s enemy and has stepped forward as the Houthis’ primary ideological, financial and military ally. Despite their religious differences, the Houthi and al Qaeda are united, and even reportedly are working together to undermine Yemen’s government. Both are powerful ideological allies of Tehran.

Iran’s Fars News Agency, citing a spokesman for Yemen’s Revolutionary Forces, reported that “the Yemeni people are deeply interested to establish stronger and very intimate relations with Iran” (August 21). According to Fars, the spokesman “reiterated that once the Yemeni people take back power from the Saudi-U.S. pivot, Tehran and Sanaa [Yemen’s capital] would certainly develop their ties” (emphasis added).

What does Iran expect to gain by establishing a presence in Yemen? Look at a map of the Middle East. Basically, Iran wants Yemen for the same reason it wants Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt: to control the Red Sea!

Yemen abuts both the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. It sits on the north side of the Bab el-Mandab passageway. Each of the thousands of ships that traverse this passage each year would travel within easy range of Islamist missiles stationed in Yemen. Consider the global ramifications: More than 5 percent of global oil supplies, some 2 to 3 million barrels per day, pass through the Suez and the Red Sea. Roughly 20,000 ships—an average of 55 per day—pass through the Suez Canal and Red Sea each year. About 15 percent of global maritime trade travels through the Red Sea. Talk about power and leverage.

Few see it, but ultimately, this is Iran’s grand strategy for endorsing and promoting the Islamification of Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea, and to a lesser extent, Yemen and Djibouti.

Think about the leverage Iran is gaining. It already effectively controls the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Now, in the 18 months since the Arab Spring touched off the rise of Islamist forces throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Tehran has made enormous strides in gaining influence over the Gulf of Aden, the Bab el-Mandab passageway, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. If Egypt takes control of the Sinai, which appears imminent, Iran will also gain a foothold in the Gulf of Aqaba.

It’s startling, when you think about it, the way Iran is steadily—but quietly, with few noticing—locking down the Red Sea!

What Is Real Repentance?

What Is Real Repentance?

zelg/iStock

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 October 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

You have made your share of mistakes. There are deeds you wish you hadn’t done, things you wish you hadn’t said. You have made decisions that got you into trouble, and you have paid the steep price.

You’re not alone. In fact, beginning with Adam and Eve, every human being has walked contrary to God’s way of life—except for Jesus Christ. We have all contributed to this world’s sins (Romans 5:12, last part).

We have all done “the works of the flesh.” We have all capitulated to the wrong desires of our minds and bodies. We have all walked along with this world, following “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2-3).

Since all human beings have sinned, we have all therefore earned the penalty for sin, which is eternal death—cessation of life forever! (Romans 6:23).

But God, in His great mercy, has provided a way for us to avoid paying that ultimate penalty: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

There is only one way to have our sins blotted out—only one way to enter the Kingdom of God—and it requires repentance!

Acts 2:38 summarizes the salvation process in just one verse, and the very first word of that crucial passage is “Repent”! Jesus also said explicitly: “[E]xcept ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).

But what does it mean to repent? We have to know: It means the difference between eternal life and eternal death!

The ‘Natural’ State of Man

Real repentance means real change. But why do we need to change? And what do we need to change? To answer these questions, we must first understand the “natural” state of every human being.

1. God inspired the Prophet Jeremiah to describe the core motivation of the human mind. How did he characterize the mind, or “heart,” of man? Jeremiah 17:9. Is the unconverted mind of every human being naturally inclined to obey God, or to disobey? Romans 8:7-8.

2. What are the tendencies of the “carnal” (physically oriented) mind? Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:28-32; James 4:1-3.

3. What is the definition of sin? 1 John 3:4.

Stop a moment and contrast the “natural” mind of a human being with the mind of God. God is not preoccupied with Himself. He is filled with outflowing love. He loves all people. He does not want to take from them; He wants to give blessings out of His great love and concern. He is not hostile, defiant, rebellious, resentful or selfish. He is love!

God wants all of us to eventually become like Him. Therefore, He wants us to turn from and strive to overcome the devil’s evil influence on our thinking and our actions. This is the essence of repentance. It is a doorway out of entrapment in sin and misery—and into living the happy, abundant life that God Himself leads! It is changing our very minds, our very selves—who and what we are!

An About-Face!

The original words in the Hebrew and Greek from which repent and repentance are translated mean to turn, to change direction. True repentance is a complete about-face from disobedience toward God to obedience, love and cooperation with Him.

True repentance is fully realizing that we have rebelled against our Maker, that we have broken His righteous law. Repentance means abhorring our past sins and self-willed, rebellious natures. We must truly be broken up and ready, with God’s help, to quit sinning and rebelling, and to submit to God with all our hearts.

The time of repentance is the turning point in our lives!

True Repentance Is of the Heart

1. Is true repentance a deep, moving, heartfelt experience? Joel 2:12-13.

2. Does a heartfelt, repentant attitude open the way to a close, saving relationship with God? Psalm 34:18.

3. Is spiritual repentance toward God? Acts 20:21.

Sin is against God—He is the Lawgiver whose perfect law we have broken. To repent means to be so humbled and broken up about our rebellion against the living, holy God that we turn to Him in real sorrow and plead for His mercy and forgiveness. It means abhorring our deceitfulness, our vanity, our selfishness, and crying out for His help to overcome our evil natures and to develop His righteous character.

Maybe you do see the need to repent toward God. But how do you do it?

First, understand that you cannot work up a deep feeling of abhorrence for your sins and sinful nature on your own. Real repentance is not just “beating yourself up” emotionally. It is impossible for a carnal mind to stir up the proper godly attitude toward sin on its own.

So how is it possible for a human being to come to real repentance? How can a carnal, flawed human being start to change from being self-centered to loving God more than himself and loving his neighbor as himself? This desire must come from God!

4. What actually leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4.

5. Is it God who also grants repentance? 2 Timothy 2:25. Also see Acts 11:18.

Repentance means giving up your way and turning to God’s way. It means surrender—unconditional surrender—to live by every word of God. Since the Bible is the Word of God, it means to live by the Bible. It means voluntary submission to the authority of God, expressed in His Word!

6. Does surrendering to God also mean that we are to put Him ahead of and above all else? Matthew 10:37. Does this also include our own lives? Luke 14:26.

“Hate” in Luke 14:26 means to love less by comparison, as the parallel account in Matthew 10:37 shows.

We Must Turn to God’s Law

1. How may we become cleansed of sin—made acceptable to God? Is it through Christ’s sacrifice and His shed blood? Does that blood blot out our sins and reconcile us to God? Romans 5:8-10. What must we do to have Christ’s sacrifice applied to us? Acts 3:19.

2. How did God inspire the psalmist to define “righteousness”? Psalm 119:172. It is clearly the keeping of God’s commandments!

3. Who did Paul say are justified before God—the hearers or the doers of God’s law? Romans 2:13. Did Paul make plain that although the unmerited pardon of our sins is by God’s grace through faith in Christ’s sacrifice, a Christian is nevertheless obligated to God to keep His law? Romans 3:31. Also read all of Romans 6.

4. Is the law of God good? Romans 7:12. Is it just and holy? Same verse.

God’s law is the way to peace, happiness and joy. It is God’s great gift to mankind—given to make man happy, to lead him into the full, abundant life, both in this life and for eternity. The evils mankind suffers from today are not caused by the law, but by the breaking of it!

5. How did Jesus sum up God’s law? Matthew 22:36-40. What one word sums up God’s law? John 14:15; 15:10; 2 John 5-6; Romans 13:8-10.

The whole intent and purpose of the Ten Commandments is love because “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Jesus showed that God’s law has two basic aspects. The first shows us howto love God, which is the intent of the first four commandments. The second aspect shows us howto love our neighbor—fellow human beings. The last six commandments teach us how to do this.

God’s Call to Repentance

1. What was Jesus’s message from the beginning of His ministry? Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 4:17; Luke 13:1-5. Were Christ’s disciples to preach the same message? Did Jesus say, in fact, that repentance should be preached among all nations? Luke 24:46-47.

2. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon Christ’s disciples (Acts 2:1-4), what message did God inspire Peter to preach to the multitudes gathered in Jerusalem? Acts 2:37-38. Did Peter continue to preach repentance? Acts 3:19.

The same proclamation to repent is central to the message of God’s Church today.

3. Does the Bible show there are no exceptions—that all have sins they must repent of? 1 John 1:8-10; Romans 3:23; 5:12; Ecclesiastes 7:20.

There are many who feel they are “good, humble people” who have never personally done anything really wrong and so have little, if anything, to repent of. But your Bible says ALLhave sinned! Those who think they have not sinned are actually guilty of the sin of self-righteousness!

Have You Really Repented?

Have you come to the point in your life where you want to give up walking contrary to God and surrender yourself completely to Him? Have you come to the place where you see yourself as you really are—as God sees you?

Have you “sized yourself up” against the Ten Commandments and God’s Word, and admitted where you fall short? Are you willing to keep all of God’s commandments?

Notice what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves ….” The Prophet John told the Pharisees and Sadducees to “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for [or befitting] repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

How can you examine—prove—your own self? By comparing your life, thoughts, words and actions with the Word of God.

True repentance requires a permanent change of direction. It is a total commitment to a course from which there is no turning back. It is not a temporary, spontaneous emotional response so prevalent today in religious “revival” meetings. You have learned that it is something much deeper and vastly more profound!

Have you really repented?