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PHILADELPHIANS DO NOT LET ANY MAN TAKE THEIR CROWN
Due to Bitterness Against God or Man
Another reason members may become lukewarm or be offended and leave God’s Church is that they have turned bitter against God and the Church because of bitter experiences with some members, ministers, evangelists or other leaders in the Church.
After bitter experiences these members, some of who may have left the Church already, felt that this could not be God’s Church because many people were so carnal, who were hurting them and others. These former and current members may not have realized that most of those hurting them were mainly tares or infiltrators, which would have included ministers and evangelists as well. But these members also need to examine themselves to see if they were offended at right advice which was bluntly given, but sounded very offensive. They should realize that such friends who give correct advice which may not be palatable but is essential for their long term well-being are rare to find.
What are some of the ways in which members in the Church may have been offended by others?
One way would have been to be belittled, isolated and looked down upon. This was done by the tares in the Church and not genuine members. One tactic that hurts absolutely the most is always jerking one’s face away whenever looking at the target person. The person feels as if something is drastically wrong with him or her, or has done something horribly wrong to offend someone. Imagine the impact on the person’s mind who is subjected to this behavior every time he comes to Church, not from one person but many in the Church. The person soon begins to feel isolated, inadequate, worthless, unloved, uncared for and very discouraged in the Church. Even suicidal thoughts may begin to come into the person’s mind. Do you know that this is a tactic used by the infiltrators in the Church and in American society to drive the person mad?
There were many tares in the Church engaged in this tactic. Many Americans were subjected to the same tactic by German infiltrators in America. This tactic is very effective and painful to bear. The author knows this from firsthand experience because he has been a constant victim of this tactic for 33 years that he has been in the USA. He was so isolated that he felt he was literally left alone in the world and no one cared for him. He had suicidal thoughts constantly and felt worthless. He is still subjected to the same treatment, but is inured to it because he now knows where such people are coming from.
Many people in the Church have been hurt in the process of seeking a mate. One of the purposes of the infiltrators in America has been to limit the population of Americans of Israelite descent so that they could overtake the country. One of their tactics for accomplishing this was to prevent Americans of Israelite descent from marrying. They used every trick that Satan could devise to do this. They led men and women along for years in relationships which they thought would blossom into marriage. But then they suddenly went away and married someone else. For many, such breakup of relationships occurred more than once, which left them embittered, leading them to give up seeking to get married. Many simply got too old trying to find a mate, but met with heartaches many times in their lives. Then in other cases infiltrator men married women and after one or two children divorced them, leaving them and the kids to fend for themselves. This happened in America at large, and people in the Church were subjected to the same tactics by the tares. Many in the Church have become old and have never married. Those in God’s Church who have experienced this bitterness should remember that they were not alone. The whole nation went through this pain and suffering along with us. The author too has shared in this suffering for more than three decades.
In other cases, some have deliberately misguided genuine members to literally destroy them with their advice. There have been examples when a member was seriously sick but had health insurance coverage. Such members were chided for lacking faith in God to heal them by continuing to have health insurance. They were urged to demonstrate their complete faith and trust in God to heal by getting rid of their insurance. As a result those with terminal illness canceled their health insurance without obtaining counsel and advice from more people, including their minister. They trusted the words of their tare friend more than their minister. One can only imagine the hard life they had after losing their insurance coverage because no insurance company would ever cover them again because of the pre-existing condition.Some may have been misguided by their minister, including in dating and marriage issues. It can be a bitter experience. In most of these cases, the minister was a tare in the Church. Such ministers were preying on the flock, trying to drive the members out of the Church. The author has dealt with one such minister who was engaged in literally driving him mad. So he is speaking about this from first-hand experience.
Others have been subjected to harassment that only Satan and the demons could devise. Most Americans of Israelite descent were being discriminated against and denied decent employment and promotion opportunities. This added to their feelings of inadequacy. They have been ridiculed with snide remarks, smirked at, looked down upon, or worn down with constant advice, implying that they were lazy and not working hard enough to improve themselves, or trying to get a better job or were talked about constantly behind their back. Satan’s agents have myriads of ways of making a person feel worthless. Such an experience would embitter most people. The author again is writing from first-hand experience.
Most Americans have experienced another terrible problem. That problem is being broadcast the most vicious and vile threats and ordered to do or to not do things such as marry someone or not marry someone, eat too much and become obese, or resign from jobs or give up businesses. With such threats countless tens of millions of lives of Americans of Israelite descent were ruined over four decades. The author does not know how it worked because God shielded him from all such threats. That is another miracle that God works in his life on a daily continuing basis. These threats were broadcast to him but God has prevented them from being heard by him. But he can imagine the lifelong horrors and terror other people have experienced.
During all these experiences many in the Church may have lost faith in God. When Mr. Armstrong was alive, he kept the faith of most strong because God’s work was being done and was producing results. But after his death, specially knowing that Satan’s agents had taken over the Church, many simply gave up and separated themselves from the Church altogether. Such members had put their faith and trust in God and His ability to deliver from all problems. But when they were not delivered from problems and threats, they began to doubt if God really miraculously intervenes in the lives of people like they read in the Bible. Their belief in God’s promises was not strong enough to overcome such thoughts.
The author suffered all this in the fullest measure, except any threats being broadcast to him, though he was subjected to it verbally. He was told about the Mafia and the possibility of ending up in a river or the ocean bottom with a cement block around his neck. So he is speaking from personal experience when he mentions these troubles that the members were subjected to.
Life of Tribulation Promised
If you as a member of God’s Church experienced any of these horrors which embittered you against particular members or ministers, you may have felt that God was not in charge of the Church that calls itself His Church, or may even have begun to doubt if God really exists, as you did not feel His powerful intervention in your life like Daniel and his three friends and Joseph did.
If you analyzed the situation this way, then you failed to consider the kind of life God has promised the members in his Church in the pages of the Bible. You may have expected a trouble free life on a bed of roses in the Church and always expected God to intervene very quickly on your behalf whenever you were in trouble. But that is not the kind of life God promised to members. Remember that the trouble we as members have experienced in the world is not any different from the troubles people in the world experience. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Now consider the kind of life God promised us when we became members of His Church.
Our goal is the kingdom of God. Paul told us in Acts 14:22: “21 And when they [that is Paul and Barnabas] had preached the gospel to that city [Lystra], and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, 22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” So God has promised all members much tribulation rather than a trouble free life. This much tribulation can take many forms, and can seem never-ending.
But in 1 Corinthians 10:13, God has promised us that the kind of tribulation we suffer is common to man, and will allow us to go through trouble only such as we can bear. However, to test us and build our character, He may allow us to go through seemingly unbearable trouble, but is then faithful to make a way of escape for us. Such experiences in endurance build sterling character.
All of us hope that God will dramatically intervene in our lives as He did in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel and his three friends. All of us hope that God will simply pluck us out of the midst of trouble each and every time we find ourselves in it. If such has been your expectation, then you have missed reading some key verses in the heroes of faith chapter, Hebrews 11.
After discussing the examples of faith demonstrated in the lives of the patriarchs, Paul says in Hebrews 11:32-34: “32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again…” These were more examples of faith.
Then Paul continues in verses 35-39: “35…and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.”
Here are examples of men who because of their faith suffered hardships and troubles all their lives, and even lost their lives after being tortured. They never received deliverance from their tribulations. God did not intervene in their lives. They all died in faith, not accepting deliverance by compromising with God’s way of life, or forsaking God and His way. They did all this to receive a better resurrection. We too should expect this in our lives. God may choose not to intervene in our lives to test and try our faith. So if because of troubles in their lives any have become lukewarm, they need to repent and renew their faith. Otherwise they are in very serious danger of losing their eternal life. They may also have to prove their faith in the Great Tribulation through death. If any have stopped attending Church because troubles in their life offended them, they need to seriously repent, get back on track and start attending God’s Church again.
We have been commanded to follow the example of Jesus Christ our Savior. Peter the apostle stated it clearly in 1 Peter 2:21-24: “21 For even hereunto were ye called : because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled , reviled not again ; when he suffered , he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” Paul said in 1 Timothy 3:12: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Paul’s life was an example of suffering for ministers and members. He said in 1 Timothy 3:10-11:” 10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra--what persecutions I endured.”
In 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 Paul described the sufferings of ministers who served with him : “4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings…”
Then Paul described the troubles and tribulations he went through in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28: “23 Are they ministers of Christ?--I speak as a fool--I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-- 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.”
James also tells us that we should follow the example of the prophets in James 5:10-11: “10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord--that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”
James here tells us why we should follow the example of suffering, patience and endurance of the prophets: because of the end intended by the Lord. And that end is to give us His Kingdom with Jesus Christ as rulers over the entire universe for eternity. The reward is incredible and unimaginable. What can be a few years of tribulation compared to that?
Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:3: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:3-4 also tells us why we must endure tribulation: “3…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”Yes, the purpose of tests, trials and tribulation is to build character in us, to qualify us to gain eternal life as God’s literal sons and enable us to become worthy rulers with Jesus Christ. Romans 8:17-18 also reveals that destiny: “17…if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” And what is that glory? Verse 19 tells us: “19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” We shall be glorified as literal sons of God.
We should follow the advice of Paul the apostle after he described the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. He writes in Hebrews 12:1: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
If you as a member of God’s Church have become lukewarm because of the troubles you have been subjected to in the Church due to the actions of tares among us, you need to repent of your attitude. You need to lay aside every weight, every negative thought because of the troubles you have gone through and run with patience the race set before us to the Kingdom of God. The glory that shall be revealed in us and the reward are beyond imagination. Revelation 21:7 tells us: “He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” “Inherit all things”, literally means the universe.
We Should Brace Ourselves for More Bitterness and Tribulation
If a member has become offended and lukewarm because of the bitterness and troubles he has experienced in the Church at the hands of tares, and God allowed him to go through it all, then he has not understood prophecy well. He has not understood that God’s Church needs to brace itself for more bitterness and troubles in the very near future, for the Great Tribulation is almost upon us.
No one in the world will be immune from trouble in these times of greatest trouble in the history of mankind. This is what prophecy indicates. The Philadelphians in God’s Church will also experience troubles or threats before the Great Tribulation actually begins, but after the beginning of sorrows with the Third World War. That is why there will be a need for them to flee to the place of safety.
The condition that will cause this is mentioned by Jesus in John 16:2-4 (NKJV): “2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.”
Throughout the history of persecution of God’s Church, their persecutors have believed that they are doing God’s service in killing people they consider as ‘heretics.’ The Roman Church has been deceived by Satan into believing this. After the third world war when the pope starts working miracles, he will convince the world that he is doing God a service by murdering members of God’s true Church. The persecution he unleashes against God’s Church will cause the Church to flee to the place of safety.Jesus also stated in Matthew 24:9-13: “9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
While this applies mainly to the Laodiceans in God’s Church during the Great Tribulation itself, it is possible that some genuine Philadelphians, particularly ministers may even be martyred.
The Church is probably already hated by almost all nations because of its message of impending disaster and destruction of the greatest part of humanity. When the Philadelphians flee to the place of safety and the Great Tribulation begins, a great split will occur among the Laodiceans. This will be another great falling away from the Church. About half of them will compromise with the beast and the false prophet and will begin to persecute those who remain loyal to God. The compromisers will begin to betray the loyal Laodiceans, deliver them up to be afflicted and causing them to be martyred. That is the time when the compromisers will be offended against God and loyal members, will betray one another and hate one another. That is the time when the love of many in the Church will grow cold.
Only the Philadelphians, or zealous and loyal members, will be in the place of safety. The compromising Laodiceans will have betrayed the loyal Laodiceans and had them put to death. But compromise will not save the compromising Laodiceans either. None of them will survive the events of the year-long Day of the Lord. They will all die physically, and then their lives later will be forever extinguished in the Lake of Fire. And when this happens, the loyal Laodiceans will have been resurrected already and will watch the betraying Laodiceans be destroyed in the events of the Day of the Lord.Therefore, for members who have become lukewarm due to bitterness and troubles inflicted on them in the Church by infiltrators, the time to sincerely repent is now. When the tribulation is at the door, it will be too late. The door to the wedding supper will be shut on them as the parable of the ten virgins shows. They need to begin renewing and building their faith right now so that when the time comes to flee, their faith will be strong enough to answer the call.
We are all responsible for our own salvation individually, as Paul said in Philippians 2:12: “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. “ Remember the commitment we made with God at baptism. We made a commitment to surrender our lives to Him unconditionally. Jesus told us to count the cost in Luke 14:27-33: “27 And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and count the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying , This man began to build , and was not able to finish . 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassage, and desires conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.”
To obtain the incredible reward offered to every human being, particularly us who are the firstfruits, we are required to forsake all, meaning surrender ourselves to God unconditionally, to become Jesus Christ’s disciples. If any have been embittered or become lukewarm because of trials and troubles because of infiltrators in our midst or otherwise, they need to sincerely repent and renew and build their faith once again.
What kept the Author from Losing Faith and Becoming Lukewarm
As mentioned earlier, the author has experienced almost all possible troubles from infiltrators in the Church, including ministers, evangelists and lay members. He too lost his health insurance. He did not have health insurance for about 16 years. When he was subjected to troubles in the Church, he spoke against it. As a result he was asked by a minister to see a psychologist and a psychiatrist since he was accusing some of troubling him. The psychologist and the psychiatrist pronounced him crazy saying his judgment is compromised. You can just imagine the difficulty he experienced in selling his consulting and accounting services in order to make a living. It also got his health insurance canceled. He has always been harassed about dating and marriage issues, probably worse than most. But he kept his faith. Satan has used his agents in the Church and the world to paint him as mentally retarded despite his very good academic record and all the advice and suggestions he has given about economic development which the world follows. He has had long periods of unemployment and his attempts at self-employment have been destroyed. Before his present employment the longest time he had continuously held a job was less than one year. Many times in his life he has had to borrow money just to pay his living expenses and to buy food. He was constantly harassed by people around him. When he had some respite from this harassment, demons troubled him for about 19 years. Numerous times he cried himself to sleep. Because of never-ending troubles, many times he contemplated suicide but put such thoughts away quickly. The Tkaches had the gall to label him a tare. A minister who was Satan’s agent temporarily disfellowshipped him twice. Perhaps how he thought through all the troubles may be of help to some.
First of all he was thoroughly convinced that God exists and that he was in His true Church. God is also the Creator of everything and is, therefore greater than all His creation put together. All power (Psalm 62:11), knowledge, understanding and wisdom belong to Him. So any resistance against God’s will and plan is foolishness.
The author was buffeted by a demon messenger of Satan for 19 years. The demon constantly tortured him physically as well as mentally. He prayed to God to free him from this trouble and was also anointed for the problem. But the demon did not depart from him. The author then many times thought that God was not considering him worthy of eternal life. But knowing that God has created everything and has all power, rebelling against or becoming offended at God would not get the author anywhere but guaranteed eternal death. So he made up his mind that the decision whether to grant him eternal life or not was God’s to make, but he would never rebel against God or be offended at Him. He would accept God’s decision, whatever it was and rely on His mercy.
God’s plan of salvation for mankind is the only plan that makes sense. Above all he could not be shaken from his belief that God makes promises and has the power to keep them. His proof that would never shake his faith was the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Judah and David and kept them in their incredibly intricate details through nearly 4,000 years. If God makes promises, keeps them and has the power to do so, then His promises of eternal life and rulership of the universe will also be kept.
With such an incredible reward awaiting all of us, he kept his eyes always on the prize. Whenever he was beset with problems and persecutions, he kept his eyes on the future hope. Before he converted from Sikhism to Christianity, he had all his life’s questions answered to his entire satisfaction. That is why the hope of the reward has always been real to him. It will always be real to him because God’s fulfillment of promises to the patriarchs is a reality. When in extreme periods of depression and hopelessness he was forced to reevaluate his beliefs, he always reached the conclusion that his beliefs were sound and he would continue to trust in God till the very end and hope in His mercy.
We also know that our real fight is against Satan and the demons and not human beings. Our destiny is to replace Satan and the demons as rulers of the earth. How then can we demonstrate weakness by wilting under pressure and threats from Satan and his agents? God requires us to overcome Satan and the demons with His help. That will involve enduring hardship and troubles as soldiers. As soldiers in this great war, we should never ever think of surrender. Many demons willingly went along with Satan in his rebellion against God. Others were deceived into joining him in rebellion. God requires better of us. Whenever the author was burdened with unbearable troubles, these thoughts kept him from surrendering to Satan and becoming offended against God or becoming lukewarm. He was determined not to let any lay member, a minister [including one who tried to drive him mad], an evangelist or even pastor generals named Tkach to take away his crown.
The author hopes that this sharing of his thoughts during all the troubles he experienced in the Church will help members who have turned bitter against God to realize the need for repentance and renewing and growing their faith in God once again.
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