A Heightened Dedication – Pt 5

After 4 weeks, False Prophet Ronald Weinland has a new post up, reposted below for your comments.  I haven’t looked into God’s creating Adam and Eve as naked but telling them to “dress and keep” themselves.  Guess they didn’t fully understand that until Satan helped out and they realized they were naked.

————— Ron’s nonsense —————————————–

The most important thing God told the first two created humans was that they were to “dress and keep” themselves, but they did not have the ears to hear. Mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve, was the primary focus for all of God’s creation, although God’s creation of Adam and Eve (just as any individual) was not completed simply when they were created as physical beings. Their creation was to have continued beyond the instantaneous physical one that gave them physical life, and a creation “in them” was to have continued over their lifetime.

God let Adam and Eve know from the beginning that they each had been given great personal responsibility directly from Him to “dress and keep” everything that had been placed within their environment and control. The most important part of all that was that they were to “dress and keep” themselves. If they had done so then everything else in life would have fallen into its proper place, as they would have been striving to do everything in accordance to God’s ways, in complete unity and harmony with Him.

Although they were created in a kind of neutral state, it did not take long before their own motivations began to set in. As a result of being made physical, they were by nature drawn to selfishness. That is the actual “nature” of a physically created human mind in a physical body that is living within a physical environment. A way to begin seeing this more clearly is to understand how a baby quickly develops traits of selfishness. If they are hungry, they will let you know. If they are uncomfortable or unsatisfied, you will know it. The development of selfish nature only becomes stronger as one matures physically. That is the natural progression, from birth, from being created in such a manner. Yet all of this was by Devine design.

The natural created state of mankind would be to resist God’s ways and to instead embrace their own ways due to a natural selfish nature, yet it needs to be understood that this response to God (to naturally resist) would always be the result of “free choice,” as a matter of a person’s own free will.

So from the beginning, Adam and Eve began to base their choices and decisions in life upon their own selfish desires and did not make choices and decisions based upon their confidence in, and agreement with, God’s ways, nor of any desire to glorify, honor, and place God first.

A Continuing Creation
All that was created within the animal kingdom was created in a kind of robotic, preprogrammed manner, with no free will given to it that would enable the ability for thinking and reasoning. Instead, that creation responds automatically to conditions in life by a specifically unique nature that God gave (programmed within) each variety of species in His creation.

Geese and ducks do not reason and plan for the necessity to fly south for the winter. Neither does a squirrel reason and plan for the necessity to gather nuts for the winter in order to survive. Animals and birds do not follow precise patterns of migration because they have figured out how to do so. They do so because they have been preprogrammed by the Great God who created them with such nature, instinct, and abilities. Having such an understanding of God’s creation truly makes evolutionists and many scientists look like awesome fools who harbor great intellectual stupidity on one part, while having a good level of actual intelligence on the other.

Within His great power to create life, it needs to be understood that God cannot instantaneously create a free moral agent (a being with free will) to be in full unity, agreement, and oneness with Him. If any being were created instantaneously to be in full agreement and of the same thinking as Him, they would have to be created robotic by nature with no free will. Yet God desired to create a family that would be in unity and harmony with Him. God desired that each one in His family would live the way of peace and His kind of love as a result of each one’s own personal motivation and willing choice. To do this, they could not be instantaneously given holy righteous character that is only in God Himself. Such cannot be instantaneously created, but it can be created over an extended period of time.

Holy righteous character can only be created through God’s direct power actively working in the spirit of man – in one’s mind – to help transform one’s thinking that originates from motivation that stems from selfish human nature to motivation that originates from agreement and unity with God and all His ways, truth, and thinking. There is still much to be revealed and learned about this process, but God has granted us a clearer insight into this process than at any other time in human history.

This process of spiritual transformation of the spirit in mankind, which is a process of God’s “ongoing creation” to create Elohim – a God Family – is only possible once someone has been called by God and has received the impregnation of His holy spirit within their human spirit. From that point, holy righteous character can then be created through a means of one making consistent and continual “personal choices” in life that stem from the acceptance and desire they have of actively seeking to exercise “personal responsibility” in living God’s way. When such choices are genuine, honest, and true then God gives the means for the creation of holy righteous character through the working of His holy spirit with the spirit in them (the spirit in mankind) to bring about a transition in one’s very thinking.

Thus Adam and Eve, because of yielding to their own selfish nature, cut themselves off from being able to continue in the process of God’s creation that could have transformed their human mind and thinking to that of God’s. The choice to follow one’s own selfish nature is simply the way of mankind, and since such choices are opposed to God’s ways, they simply result in sin. All mankind has sinned, except for one – Jesus Christ. So in God’s timing and according to His purpose, He determines when He will call (invite) a person into a relationship with Him for the purpose of a “continuing creation” that has been ongoing from the beginning in order to bring about Elohim through the transformation of the mind in those who are called. This is an “ongoing creation” in the development of a new mind and not of one that is instantaneously created.

God clearly reveals that mankind’s own ways are not of Him, but are actually against His ways. Isaiah and Paul both speak of this.

“‘For my thoughts [ways of thinking and reasoning] are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ says the Eternal” (Is. 55:8). Simply put, both ways are opposite to each other in motive and intent. God’s thinking and ways are outgoing to the benefit of others, but mankind’s thinking is inward (selfish) to the benefit of self above others.

As it has been recently pointed out, this is why God makes it clear that man’s ways must be changed. The mind of mankind is to become healed of selfishness. That is what is being spoken of when God says, “I have seen his [mankind's] ways [that are selfish by nature], and will heal him” (Is. 57:18).

Paul addresses it even more directly by stating, “Because the carnal mind [the ways, mind, and thinking within human nature] is enmity [hostile, opposed] against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, and neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). By nature, the human mind and thinking is opposite of God’s. This is true to the degree that the human mind is actually hostile and naturally opposed to God’s ways, so that God’s ways can only be seen as a threat, an obstacle, and a great interference to how one wants to live life their own way.

One’s Greatest Responsibility
Throughout this series, we have focused on many aspects of God’s instruction concerning what it means to “dress it and keep.” Adam and Eve did not grasp what this meant, and they could not see that the primary focus of its application should have been upon their own self. Now, we are going to focus more fully upon what this means as a “personal responsibility” toward themselves that God has given to each of us individually.

True change in the conversion of human nature can only be accomplished by a person’s free choice and practice of yielding to God’s ongoing creation that comes through the spiritual transformation of the mind. Upon making the decision to repent (Gk. – to think differently), and to actively work on one’s own conversion and change in spirit, then one has accepted the greatest responsibility that is given in human life. When called (invited) by God to begin the process of a spiritual transformation within one’s mind, then God is at that time offering a person the choice to participate in a “continuing creation” to become part of His spiritual family – Elohim.

Once such a calling is offered to anyone then they must choose to accept the greatest responsibility offered to any human. It is a matter of willingly choosing to yield to obey, honor, and strive to glorify God and His ways of life, while fighting against one’s own selfishly motivated human nature, which resists doing so. This begins the process of learning to fight against being motivated by selfish human nature. It also begins a process of learning how to judge according to God’s way and then of practicing (applying) that judgment to one’s actions (way of living). As one then grows in greater spiritual insight and wisdom, through many different experiences, a person can begin to change from a selfish motivation, to a motivation that responds in agreement and unity with God – with His ways, thinking, truth, and mind. Yet “personal choice” is always a factor.

The spiritual growth that comes with accepting ever greater personal responsibility to “dress and keep” one’s self leads to greater acceptance and desire to honor and glorify God in one’s life – in one’s actions, example, and way of living. This involves (includes) a deeper understanding and appreciation of what it means for us to be included as part of the Temple of God. This in turn gives much greater importance to scriptures that reference such reality and fellowship in life that God offers.

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy them, for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] you are” (1 Cor. 3:16-17).

It is not possible that the human mind of itself can grasp what is stated in these verses. Such understanding and deepening appreciation of this is something that one will grow in spiritually throughout their lifetime. Even with God’s spirit it is difficult to fathom the awesomeness of what it means that we are part of God’s Temple that is to be kept holy, as God dwells in it.

“And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols [that which is raised up above or before God]? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from among them [become removed from the ways of the world], and become separate, and do not touch the unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:16-18).

We are responsible for working to remove ourselves from the ways and practices of this world. It is up to us that we not blend into this world as though we are part of its ways, that we not conform to it, but that we be transformed away from it. We desire that God will dwell in us and walk with (in) us in all that we live.

This not only applies to how we live differently as a matter of not sinning as the world does around us as we seek to obey the laws of God, but it also includes many other aspects of life. There are many choices made in life that can be a matter of sin and there are some sins that are not as obvious as breaking one of the Ten Commandments, which clearly state specific sins. One can sin by simply dishonoring God, and often such matters are not as clearly revealed as with the physical application of the Commandments.

Much comes down to one’s basic desire and intent (motivation) for the choices one makes. It comes down to where one’s level of desire is to honor God and to glorify Him in how one lives.

“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the holy spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own [to do as you please, as you will, apart from God's ways and will]? For you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Building On A Framework
This series has been focusing upon the need for each member of the Body of Christ to accept greater personal responsibility in “dressing and keeping” what God has given to them, within their environment, that falls within their own control. A vision concerning greater change that can take place in our lives – in our thinking – is being given to us in this Year of Dedication. Now is the time to respond more fully to God and Christ with a “heightened dedication” by actively building upon a framework that is being shown to us in this series.

We are being given an opportunity to draw closer to God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ. As we apply ourselves to a heightened dedication, we will experience a heightened spiritual transformation in God’s continuing creation in us. Before proceeding with the final part of this series, there is one paragraph that needs to be repeated about this transformation process:

“We are now being given deeper insight into how this process can be more fully captured, enhanced, and lived as we learn more clearly about taking control of life, rather than letting life control us. In reality, when a person allows a motivation of selfishness to continue to exist on any level, then they are not in true control of their life. They are not free from that bondage as long as that specific portion of selfishness is controlling them.”

It also needs to be repeated again, as it has already been stated in different ways, that in the instruction to “dress and keep” what God has placed within our environment and personal control, our focus should first be upon ourselves, of “dressing and keeping” ourselves in God’s way. Certainly, the most obvious in all this concerns what we first focus upon when God calls us, which is physical and spiritual obedience to the Ten Commandments, as we also live in faith and obedience, while seeking to be in greater unity with truth He reveals to us. Some of this has already been mentioned in this series, and it is also something we have focused upon and grown in since we were first called, but there is more we can focus upon.

That which we are going to now cover is spiritual in nature, as it has to do with the way we think, and why we make some of the kinds of choices and decisions in life that we do. Although much of this is not a clear matter of right and wrong, as is more easily seen in the application of the Ten Commandments, it is still spiritual just as so many of the attributes and characters of God are spiritual, originating from the holy spirit in nature.

In all that will be addressed in the remainder of this post, we will only be scratching the surface, but what is covered will give us a basic framework that can be applied to many other areas of life, so that we can continue to build upon them in a more refined manner.

Judgment Motivated To Honor God
As we proceed through a few examples that will be given of how to better “dress and keep” ourselves in greater unity and oneness with God, there is one basic factor that will aid in all decision-making. This factor concerns learning how to distinguish righteous judgment from self-righteousness. One is simply based upon and motivated by one’s own selfishness and one’s “own” opinion. The other is based upon making decisions and judgments that are the result of seeking to keep God’s truth, judgments, character, qualities, and ways as the primary focus for such reasoning. This is the kind of mind that seeks to honor and glorify God by how one is living. One way seeks (or yields) to put self first and the other seeks to put God first.

The best way to begin understanding these differences more deeply is to begin seeing how this is to be applied to the smaller or simpler things in life. If one does not grasp this and know how to apply this in the easier matters of life, then one will not know how to apply right decision-making to the more difficult and complicated matters of life.

One example that we are going to examine first would indeed seem to be of small importance in life. This example was at one time mentioned in a past post concerning matters of government during the history of the era of Philadelphia. It was about the use of makeup. For those who did not experience this history in the Church, it might seem a little unimaginable that such a seemingly small thing could have become such a large issue within the membership of the Church.

This issue of whether or not the use of makeup would be allowed resulted in the manifestation of attitudes and spirit that were not at all in unity and agreement with God and His Church. This small matter revealed far deeper spiritual problems that needed to be revealed within the environs of the Church. This controversy escalated in such a divisive manner that it mushroomed into far more serious issues and it eventually resulted in the removal of thousands from fellowship in the Church. So never underestimate the importance to your overall spiritual life and well-being concerning what one would generally consider the small things in life. This one example alone reveals how little things can and do reflect one’s true overall spirit.

Through this experience regarding the wearing of makeup, the Church has come to appreciate and better understand that such decisions made in the Church result in our refinement that produces truer unity and agreement with God. It also results in understanding moderation, balance, and soundness in thinking and judgment that only God can fully reveal and give to us. This example of makeup should teach and emphasize the importance of striving to govern our lives in all things in life, for even the small things must be under our control, or else they will control us. Having such control and being able to govern our lives in greater unity with God requires God to continually live and dwell in us because of ourselves we cannot “think” as we should.

It is good to notice that there are many decisions that we must make in life in which there is no written law that specifically tells us what to do, as with the decision to not wear makeup. We are to learn how to judge and make right, sound, and spiritually healthy decisions in our life, which requires that we learn to judge the motivation for such decisions.

In the matter of makeup, there is no law written that covers its use; therefore, there are several things to be learned from such an example as this. The obvious one for the Church became a matter of whether or not an individual was in unity with God’s Church and God’s government in decisions that are made by the Church, even in administrative issues as well.

Sharpening One’s Judgment
In the matter of makeup, there are principles that one can learn which may also apply to other areas of life. There is no need to go into an extensive examination of the subject, but rather to “get to the point” of the important issues that one needs to address. And by applying these things, one who seeks to honor God can improve upon how they judge and make decisions concerning whether God is being placed first in different aspects of their life.

It is good to ask, “Why was there a question about makeup in the first place?” It is because its use over the centuries was highly associated with a wrong use as an alluring enhancement for sexual attraction. However, that wrong use and purpose does not mean that it couldn’t have an acceptable and right use as well. This distinction was difficult for most to understand during that period of Philadelphia.

This brings to mind another example in which people have had such opposing views, and that is about the use of alcoholic beverages. Some religious groups totally forbid it, claiming it is against God’s will. Even this nation (the United States) went through a period of time known as Prohibition, where it was illegal to make alcoholic beverages of any kind. Rather than going into all the stir over the issue that has existed through time, it is simply better to look at what kind of use can dishonor God and what it means that a right use can honor Him. Simply the fact that one seeks to not dishonor God in any way in the use of anything is a matter of honoring God.

There are plenty of examples in scripture that reveal that alcoholic beverages are not forbidden by God. This has led the Church to better understand the principle of moderation in its use. Lack of moderation, acting irresponsible in its use, and drunkenness reveal dishonor toward God in that God is not in the consideration and judgment of such actions.

Whether one chooses to have a glass of wine, a mixed drink, or a beer is simply a matter of free choice. This is just as it is with what one chooses to eat for a meal (with the understanding that no unclean food is a matter of free choice). It is in the “process” of making the decision whether it’s right or wrong that determines whether the intent and motive is to honor God (whether God is in the forefront of such thinking and choices). Certainly, the misuse of alcohol dishonors God. However, alcohol can be used in right balance when done so in a responsible manner. Its misuse has caused incredible grief and suffering through time. This misuse often leads to addiction and total lack of control over its consumption. The misuse of alcohol and drugs are associated with nearly half of all traffic deaths in the United States, where each year traffic fatalities are numbered into the tens of thousands.

Over the course of a meal, if someone chooses to consume an alcoholic beverage, most people will have no symptoms of drunkenness. If a drink or two are consumed over a period of an hour to two, most of the affects of any alcohol will have fully dissipated. Choosing to drink or not to drink alcohol is a free choice. But it is not a free choice to have a quick meal with a couple of drinks and then quickly place one’s self behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle. In some instances of eating a meal and consuming an alcoholic drink, a person may still be in good form while visiting with others, but they may not be as sharp in skills which are necessary to maintain when it comes to driving. Proper time for the dissipation of alcohol should exist before someone places themselves into the kind of responsible position that is required when driving. If such freedom is abused, this can potentially have a very wrong impact and consequence upon one’s own life and that of others.

As alcohol has had such a history of misuse, this does not take away from the fact that when used responsibly it is perfectly fine to enjoy such beverages if one so chooses. Simply because far too many people choose to misuse it does not mean it should be prohibited. This misuse in general is just a sad commentary on today’s society. This now brings us back to the subject of makeup. Just because many people have misused it through time, as an enhancement for sexual attraction, does not mean it should be prohibited.

Makeup can be used to enhance natural features, but it can also very easily be used beyond moderation to something that tends to enhance sexual attraction. To address this correctly in one’s life, a person must go before God, in spirit and in truth, and seek His help to properly discern the difference. A sound way to measure such a thing is to seek that which reflects something between light use and that which draws closer to moderate use. In doing so, one would then be acting in a responsible fashion before God. One should guard against going beyond the point of moderate use to that of heavier use, just as in the consumption of alcohol.

The use of makeup does not dishonor God unless one goes beyond a balance in moderation. Rather than judging one another, each person must go before God to seek that balance. Just as the Church teaches it is fine to wear makeup in moderation, it is also fine not to wear it. One is not more righteous or better than the other.

It is also wise, when striving to determine matters of moderation, spiritual soundness of mind, and that which honors or dishonors God, that one pays extra close attention to any related statements on a specific subject that has been made by the Church. If the Church has given direction in any matter, then one should recognize that importance, especially if one truly grasps how God works in and through the leadership of His Church.

Once again, it is necessary at this point to end here in “Part 5” of this series. This is to give time for this material to more completely become mentally (in knowledge and understanding) and spiritually (in reasoning and soundness of thinking) digested and absorbed. It was originally thought that this series would be much shorter, but God has continued to give more. This is so His Church can be better equipped to make this Year of Dedication greater in what can be produced in one’s life if one so chooses to more fully apply to their lives what is being given.

A Heightened Dedication – Pt 4

Now 3 weeks after Ron’s “Christmas present”, he finally has another post.  Seems that he doesn’t like people playing computer games during sabbath services.
Ron’s revelations reposted here for your comments:
——- False Prophet Ronald Weinland’s post ———————
It was previously covered how important it is to begin teaching children at a very young age to exercise personal responsibility in small things around them that directly affect them. These are the beginning years in the formation of one’s mind, thinking, and reasoning, which is far more important than what people know when it comes to the development of godly qualities in the very spirit in mankind.

For families in the second and third generations of the Millennium, the ability to apply more of what God is now giving will become much the norm; however, it is often for many who have been called into God’s Church, that a parent cannot get that early and most formative process started at the beginning. This will also be true for parents called into the Church at the beginning of the Millennium. Instead, a child (or children) will be at various ages when a parent is called.

It is expedient for every parent to begin as quickly as they can to help their children to experience and learn to live by godly qualities and characteristics in their life. In this manner, they can potentially have these qualities developed within them as they learn of the value and benefit of it in life. This takes great discipline on the part of a parent, who in turn, will need to actively administer love, instruction, and discipline with their children throughout this process. The older a child, the more difficult the task may be, as their minds have already been largely established in specific patterns of thinking, attitude, reasoning, and living; yet it is a parent’s responsibility to strive to do so. However, even in all this, it needs to be understood that each child still has “choice” in such matters as to whether or not they will accept such qualities and characteristics as part of their way of life.

In some areas of this process of a parent working to help mold such attributes into their child’s thinking, a parent will find it valuable to also incorporate a system of reward verses punishment (discipline). Far too often, I’ve witnessed an unbalanced attitude expressed by some who consider rewarding a child as being a form of bribery, and therefore have judged it as being wrong, especially when it comes to using some monetary means as a part of a reward system. This is not true.

I’ll never forget the incredible impact an elementary teacher had on our son when she was looking for a means to motivate him in a particular subject. After certain achievements, she gave him baseball cards, which she had learned were important to him at that stage in his life. Different systems of reward and discipline often change with age. At one stage, we also used a system of monetary reward when it came to his grades in school. If grades were at certain acceptable levels, he would receive a monetary reward according to a specific level of accomplishment, but if the grade level were below an acceptable level, he would have to pay us. For him at that specific stage of his life, this worked quite well, and he grew in qualities that helped to develop better levels of drive, work ethic, value, planning, and creativity.

Parents need to focus on what kind of things or activities will help motivate a child in a right direction until a good quality can potentially be developed in them. In this manner, a child then becomes better equipped to then choose to live by such a quality. It is in this manner that such can become a factor of their “own thinking.”

When working with systems of reward verses punishment (discipline), a parent must seek God’s help to be “balanced” in this, just as any adult must seek to be balanced in many areas of their own life. Balance determined from one’s self, from one’s own thinking and with normal human nature, is rarely true balance. Learning true balance and soundness of thinking (decision making) is something an individual must grow in spiritually throughout their life.

In working with young children, it involves working with raw human nature. The work involved is striving to establish right characteristics that are in harmony with the mind of God. Often times, the use of giving a reward after specific accomplishments can go a long way to help begin establishing right patterns of thinking. It is after they have “experienced” the benefit for a time, and then through that process have begun “proving” the practice of such quality a parent is striving to teach, that a child is then more easily able to make the choice for themselves to live by such quality and characteristics in the future. God works with adults, especially in the beginning, in much the same manner in leading them to “prove” His ways with the prospect of reward, fulfillment, and the receiving of other profitable benefits from living His ways. This is not bribery.

Children Focused on God
From the beginning, mankind has failed to grasp God’s command to “dress and keep” what He gave to them. The greatest and most miraculous experience that mankind can witness in all of God’s creation is that of the birth of a child. For a parent, that God-given area of personal responsibility is far greater than they can comprehend simply through their own ability. Only within the Church are many now beginning to grasp this in a far deeper way, but there is much more to be built upon in all this. Now is the time to strive to incorporate and improve upon the exercise of personal responsibility toward one’s own children, especially in this year of a heightened dedication to God.

Once a child leaves the womb, breathes air, and has life, that is the moment a potential future member of the God Family is born. Aside from themselves, there is no greater responsibility in life given to a parent to “dress and keep” than to raise a child in the ways of God.

By now, everyone should recognize that there is much more about personal responsibility that is to be exercised in our lives. The building blocks are there that can be used and applied to every area of life that falls within our personal control. This includes areas of our home (residence), belongings, finances, use of credit, transportation, work place, job/employment/occupation, and more. We are to consider and seek to correct how we address matters of “dressing and keeping” those things around us that involve qualities and characteristics reflected in creation that actually reveal God’s thinking and His “spirit.” Most of this involves how we think toward much of this physical world around us that falls within our personal control or presence, which itself is also a matter of responsibility for the “example” we set toward those around us. It is another matter altogether, of incredibly great importance, that we begin to grasp the kind of responsibility God has placed on parents and their responsibility to “dress and keep” their children in God’s ways.

Once called, it is indeed a parent’s responsibility to actively work to mold their child (or children) in God’s ways and for teaching them that God and His ways are to be first in their thinking. It has already been pointed out how to begin this process of working with a child at a very young age to help develop right godly qualities in their thinking. However, when it comes to teaching them the importance of putting God first in their life, a parent needs to recognize that the most powerful means they have to do so is within the environment of God’s Church. Even if a parent were able to masterfully teach a child personal responsibility in “dressing and keeping” their environment, and they were able to have instilled in them such right patterns and qualities of thinking, that would all be for naught if a child is not taught and disciplined in keeping God first, especially within the environs of God’s Church. Indeed, the church environment is one of the most important areas where a child can be worked with to begin thinking in a manner that places God first.

This too begins in the smallest of ways. A child can be disciplined at a very young age to be quiet, still (calm), respectful of others around them, to speak to others (address/acknowledge others), to participate to whatever level they can for their age within a church environment. This includes teaching a child to learn familiarity with their Bible and looking up scriptures, as well as taking notes to help reinforce what is being said. This obviously includes teaching a child from a very young age to be listening to sermons and receiving whatever they can from what is being stated, even in the simplest of matters that they may be capable of gleaning. Such things as this do not just happen, and it does not come easy, but instead it requires a parent to exercise strong focus, attention, hard work, time, interactive conversation, explanation (teaching), discipline, love, etcetera.

As a Church pastor over a few decades now, and dealing with hundreds upon hundreds of people, I have seen the full gamut of parents working with children from active involvement to that of virtually no involvement at all. This is from a personal witness of seeing literally nothing being done to that of truly good examples of those parents who have been actively engaged in teaching their children many of these qualities, behavior, and values in life, where the Church is viewed as their family, and of them learning personal responsibility within that family.

In examples of those parents who have not engaged their own child or children well, or not at all, in rearing them to see the Church as their family, I have witnessed that which is even more negligent and defiling. In times past, there have been many parents who actually went in just the opposite direction. They not only did not engage in “dressing and keeping” their children in God’s ways, but they actually turned them away from God and His Church.

Sometimes a child will turn away on their own regardless of how good a job a parent does, but for those parents who are primarily responsible for turning their child away, that is incredible shame, hideous neglect, and sin. Because of a parent’s idle or negative involvement in nurturing their child as they should, that child can often begin to find attending Sabbath services as being a burden, unfulfilling, and an unwanted place to be, whereas many children look forward to coming together with others on the Sabbath.

In beginning to develop positive characteristics or traits in a child’s thinking, including the Sabbath and church attendance being a delight and something to look forward to each week, a parent needs to seek God’s help to know how to motivate their child toward such a direction.

The most powerful means available for a parent to influence a child in their thinking toward Church services, members, and the ministry, is that of the personal example of a parent themself. Too often I have witnessed how parents have spoken negatively about sermons, ministers, and others in such a manner that their children learn the opposite of what they should. Instead of the mind being molded as it should, it becomes negatively judgmental, more self-righteous, superior to others, critical, unloving, uninvolved, and uncaring. The wrong kind of mind is formed and fashioned in them, so it should be no wonder when they became adults that they then turn away from God’s Church. Much is often learned simply from a parent’s own example and attitude toward such things as the Sabbath, the ministry, and the Church.

So indeed, a child is to be taught to put God first, especially in an environment where this can be more readily taught and then for themselves to more easily learn. They are to be reared to respect God and to show respect to His Church and His government. This does not just somehow happen in life. A parent who fails to teach respect to be given to God are themselves failing to show respect and proper worship to God.

Several months ago, God and Christ drew my attention to the need to get rid of electronic devices from the environment of Sabbath services (before, during, and after those services). The exception to this is that children who are not yet in school can use such devices, and since school-age varies in areas, it has been decided that children from age six and up are not to use these devices. This was beginning to become a Church-wide problem as a result of the negative influence of society in the misuse of modern technology. Slowly, a negative and unbalanced use of such things began to creep into the environment of Sabbath services. This obviously does not include those devices being used for note-taking or bible programs that can be used during services. It does include electronic games being played by children and too often used as a kind of babysitting service for older children, where a child has no direction of focus for the real purpose of being in such an environment that is commanded by God. The wrong use of electronic devices also includes such things as texting and use of cell phones in areas of fellowship before, during, and after services.

It is at times like this, and in an environment when an administrative decision concerning change is made, that a parent has an excellent opportunity to teach qualities of value, respect, balance, unity, order, and so much more to their child. If not careful, a parent can also teach just the opposite.

There is a story I would like to tell you that helps to drive home the importance of some of what is being covered here. After this past Sabbath was over, my wife told me how she had made it a point before services began to visit with one of the children who is of elementary school-age. She mentioned to this child how she would like to see him begin taking some notes about what he was hearing in the sermon. Just as other children who had previously been playing with video games in the Sabbath service environment, this boy had been doing the same. As this change concerning the use of electronic devices was beginning to be addressed in the Church, it presented an opportunity to positively influence him to become motivated with a better focus toward Sabbath services.

My wife mentioned to this young boy that if he would start to take notes on the sermon, and after services bring those notes to her, and that if they reflected that he was listening and growing in that skill, then she would give him a certain monetary reward. After services he brought her the notes and was excited to show her what he had done. She asked him if she could keep the notes to show them to me. He stated yes, but he was eager to first show them to his father before giving them to her. After reading the notes myself, it was clear that he could be worked with in this new endeavor and that he was receptive to positive change. It was also evident that he was indeed able to grasp some of what he heard in the sermon.

Yes, even at a very young age, children can be taught and reared in a manner that helps them to be molded in ways in which their acceptance of personal responsibility becomes “normal.” During those years of helping to mold and fashion their minds in a positive manner, they will also be able to begin developing qualities and characteristics that are more in harmony with God’s very thinking and spirit. Certainly, it is clear that they will be filled with carnal human nature, as all people are until human life is complete, yet when they are young they can be fashioned and more prepared for the potential impregnation of God’s holy spirit that can be received later in life when they are called. They can be better prepared to come into unity with God and to more successfully engage in battle against their own selfish human nature.

Predetermined Personal Responsibility
In my beginning years in the Church, I had the opportunity to go to one of the three campuses of Ambassador College (a college of the Worldwide Church of God), which was located in the area of St. Albans, England (just north of London). That was in 1972, at the same time that Herbert W. Armstrong was being given knowledge and truth that there was a “spirit in man” (not of God’s holy spirit) that made mankind different from the animal kingdom. That “spirit in man” made the mind of mankind unique, as it gave a living being the ability to have the capacity to learn and a have memory, along with individual thought, reasoning, independent choice, creativity, etcetera. This was also the same time that Mr. Armstrong had a book published that explained this newfound knowledge more thoroughly. It was entitled, The Incredible Human Potential.

In one of the bible classes at Ambassador, I remember a class discussion at the time regarding Adam and Eve and the manner of their creation. We were also learning of this “spirit in man.” The present truth and focus at that time on that subject was that they were created neutral, which is true in part. It was understood that they had been created with free choice as free moral agents to determine their own choices for how they would live life. They were placed in as perfect of an environment as could be given to two physical human beings, yet they did not choose God and His way of life.

In that class, the instructor left us with the idea that since they had not chosen God, that it was as if God then slapped Himself on the forehead and asked, “What shall I do with mankind now, since they have not chosen me?” It was as if God then needed to come up with a plan whereby mankind could then be saved from sin.

Yet it was predetermined (preplanned) before mankind was ever created that they would need a Passover – that a Son of God would be born among mankind to be both their Passover and Messiah (Christ).

On one occasion, Paul was teaching the Corinthian Church about God’s purpose for the creation of mankind and His plan, which included giving His holy spirit to those in His Church so that they could “see” the things of the wisdom (mind, thinking, truth) that are of God, which others in the world who did not have His spirit could not see. It is good to see the whole context of what Paul was teaching. There are two verses that reveal much about what he was saying:

“But we [the ministry, the teachers sent from God] speak wisdom [that comes from God] among those who are being perfected [those called by God and begotten into His spiritual family], yet not the wisdom of this world, nor [nor from any wisdom] of the princes [leaders] of this world who come to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God ordained before the world unto our glory [to the glory of those in the Church], which none of the princes of this world knew, for if they had known they would not have impaled on a stake [wooden pole] the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:7-8).

The Greek word translated as “ordained” in this verse literally means “to limit in advance, to predetermine” and is most often translated into English as “before ordained, determined before, or predestinated.” In this verse, the word “before” that follows this word “ordained” literally means “in front of and/or prior to.”

Paul is clearly stating that at a time that was “before” (in front of, prior to) the age of mankind God had already “ordained” (predetermined, predestinated) that mankind would need to receive His holy spirit into their life in order to “see” what was spiritual, and that those who did not receive of His spirit would not have the ability to “see” on a spiritual plane. Paul said that the ability for someone to see these mysteries (this wisdom, mind, thinking, and truth from God) was reserved for those who would be given of God’s holy spirit as a glory in their lives. Further, Jesus Christ is being described as the Lord of glory, as the one through whom this glory (this revealing power) of the holy spirit would come.

Paul clearly magnified this same thing by what he told the Ephesians:

“According as He [God the Father] has chosen us [those in the Church] in him [Jesus Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be [become] holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestinated [Gk. – predetermined, before ordained] us [those in the Church, those among mankind who are called by God to become part of His family] unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:4-5).

It was always God’s purpose and plan to create mankind of physical matter in a physical environment, and that by doing so, mankind would turn inward and be inherently selfish and sinful by nature. God knew mankind, by nature, would not choose Him and His ways. This is true from the very beginning with Adam and Eve who were not able to remain neutral for very long. As mankind was created in such a manner, they would be given a Passover through whom they could then repent of sin once they were called (Gk. – invited) by God to be begotten spiritually into His Family. At such a time, one could then objectively begin to choose God and His ways if they willed to do so.

Only when someone is called (invited) by God to enter into His “God Family” (Elohim) can one begin to focus upon and develop a spiritual mind with God’s holy spirit. This is the process of the transformation of the mind itself that is spoken of by Paul in Romans 12.

All of what has been covered in this series to this point now brings us full circle to the most important thing God instructed Adam and Eve. God told them to “dress and keep” all that He had place in His garden – their environment – that was within their control. Of everything that was placed within the garden, God’s primary focus and purpose was upon the creation of mankind, as they were being created to have the potential to become Elohim.

So indeed, the most important thing they were to do was to “dress and keep” themselves – mankind – the very focus and purpose of all God’s creation. The need to accept such personal responsibility in “dressing and keeping” one’s self was predetermined before creation itself. We have already covered such responsibility concerning this instruction in regards to God’s truths, ways, and laws, as well as those things within our control that are in our personal environment. How each person addresses the personal responsibility to “dress and keep” themselves will be the focus of “Part 5.”

A Heightened Dedication – Pt 3

False Prophet Ronald Weinland’s last post in this series was published the day before Thanksgiving, and his new post now on Christmas morning.  Reposted here for your amusement/disgust and commenting.

—————— Weinland’s posting ————————————————–

From the very beginning, God gave instruction that whatever was placed within the environment and personal control of an individual they were to “dress it and keep it.” This reveals the kind of “personal responsibility” that God gives to each person blessed with life.

It was stated earlier in this series, in reference to when God created Adam and Eve, that “everything that was needed to sustain, enhance, and enrich human life was available in the Garden of Eden.” In order for a person to experience the kind of life that God was offering Adam and Eve, one would need to accept and then exercise personal responsibility over whatever fell under their control within the environment they lived – to dress it and keep it.

By now, it should be clear that this means an individual is to work and labor, even to work to have a willing spirit of servitude toward God (to dress), and an individual is to observe, to take heed to, and to keep, even to protect and guard, God’s way of life (to keep).

So what were Adam and Eve to work and labor to observe and keep concerning God’s way? What did God place within His garden that was given to them as their personal responsibility within that environment?

The Spirit of God’s Ways
When a person first begins to learn of God’s way of life and then decides whether to begin living it, choices have to be made as to whether to begin obeying the laws of God and to begin repenting of sin. If a person begins to make such choices, then they will begin to focus upon the outline of the law contained in the Ten Commandments. They will begin to address basic instruction on how to live life in one’s relationships.

As the first four commandments reveal how to have a right relationship with God, a person will generally begin to see that if one is going to follow God’s true way of life, it begins with obedience in keeping the seventh-day Sabbath and the annual holy days of God. One also begins to make choices of obedience to the last six commandments that directly concern all human relationships.

This is where major change first begins to take place in one’s life after being called by God. As an example, when a person is called within an environment of traditional Christianity, they begin to make such decisions as to cease observing false holidays like Christmas and Easter and to begin embracing God’s true holy days. They also have to address turning away from any observance of Sunday worship to that of the seventh-day Sabbath, which also means that a person has to take a stand on not working on God’s holy days.

In addition to these changes that involve a right relationship with God, a person will have to begin addressing changes in their life that must be made so that one is in unity of obedience with those last six commandments. This may involve matters of sexual misconduct, and/or matters of stealing, lying, hatred, and other wrong conduct and loose lifestyles that must be repented of and changed.

These are the “primary areas of life” that one focuses upon as they enter into a process of repentance, baptism, change (conversion), and spiritual transformation that begins to remold the very thinking of one’s mind. Indeed, obedience to these laws are the primary means whereby a person can be transformed in spirit (in thinking) in order to grow in unity and oneness with God’s spirit, ways, and His kind of love. As one grows in transformation and stronger obedience to God’s laws, one can grow in ability to see, understand, and come into greater agreement with “the spirit” of the law.

So from the very beginning of one’s relationship with God, a person must learn to “dress and keep” God’s laws. One must work to apply God’s law to their life, and most of that work involves an active battle against one’s own human nature and own ways of seeing and doing things that are based on selfishness. This work involves an active participation in keeping, guarding, and protecting God’s true ways and God’s truth. It is a matter of holding fast to the tree (the source) of life that God sets before us so that we can be changed from the way of selfishness – of get – to the way of God’s love – of true giving.

However, there is really much more to this process of transformation that can now begin to be added to one’s thinking regarding change and learning to think differently. God is now beginning to magnify a deeper understanding of the spirit of His way of life. This has to do with other areas of life in addition to a generalized focus on obedience to the Ten Commandments and upholding and living by the truths of God. These other areas of life also need to be at the forefront of one’s focus concerning how to live God’s way of life more fully. This is because there is more to God’s way, which reflects right thinking, soundness, balance in life, and a healthy focus toward life itself. Once a person begins to more fully grasp and then exercise such thinking and living, then one will come to see an even greater magnification of “the spirit” of God’s laws and way of life. This is further “spiritual refining” that God is offering us in which we can grow and experience much greater healing within the mind.

This is a matter that concerns the instruction to “dress it and keep it.” This instruction most certainly includes what was just covered about working and laboring to keep (observe and protect) the Ten Commandments and how one lives in all relationships, just as from the beginning in all that was given to Adam and Eve, this was the primary focus God gave through the tree of life in their midst that they were to dress and keep; however, it includes much more. This instruction is leading us to understand the need to address that which is physical around us (in our environment) that is actually our responsibility to care for and dress and keep as well. God created mankind as physical human beings within a physical environment. Such responsibility to care for that environment is often overlooked or underrated in importance when it comes to exercising a right relationship with God and Christ, and a right relationship with others in the world around us. Yet these are vastly more important than anyone has generally recognized. Focusing upon this will indeed help lead one to see and capture a vision of a greater magnification of God’s laws and way of life.

When Christ first came and began to teach about God’s ways and His law, he began to “magnify” the law, which primarily could only be seen on a physical plane, but he began to reveal a spiritual plane and intent.

Christ stated the following: “Do not think that I have come to destroy [to do away with] the law, or the prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Mat. 5:17).

He went on to explain his words by giving examples of a greater purpose and intent in living by the law that was more than just a matter of what was largely perceived as a physical system of “do(s) and don’t(s)” for human conduct. Instead, he revealed that obedience – living God’s way – begins in the mind, in the spirit, and is a matter of how one thinks.

“You have heard that it was said by them of time long ago, You shall not commit adultery. But I am saying to you, that whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart [in the mind and thinking]” (Mat. 5:27-28).

The Next Step
Once again, after nearly 2,000 years, Jesus Christ is revealing a spiritual magnification of God’s word and way of life. He has chosen this time just before his second coming to do so. This is being accomplished by learning what happened from the very beginning and the response of mankind to dress and keep what God had given.

It bears repeating that apart from God Himself being in their midst, that which stood out the most before Adam and Eve were the two trees which were described as being in the midst of the garden. They were to have nothing to do with the one, and the other they were to follow the instruction to dress and keep it. We know the story well and the outcome of their disobedience.

Adam and Eve did not begin a process of true spiritual growth and development in their life as they quickly became cut-off from ready access to God and His spirit that otherwise could have dwelled in them. So they never progressed to experiencing the fullness, richness, and kind of joy in living God’s way within the environment of all that God had placed within the garden, not even in each other. They never experienced the kind of full life offered to them by dressing and keeping all that God had placed within their personal control and responsibility. Instead, they were separated from God and removed from the Garden of Eden.

The tree they rejected was the Tree of Life. It revealed God’s laws and how to have strong healthy relationships with God and with others. It was the means to a continual revelation of God’s “way of life” that would lead to becoming at one “in spirit” with God Himself. It would take them beyond the need for “law” that is necessary to regulate human behavior in order to experience right relationships with God and mankind. Instead of a continual need for law to regulate human behavior, one can actually grow spiritually in thinking and come into greater oneness, agreement, and unity of spirit with God’s spirit – His mind and His Word – with all life and with all that is created, both physical and of spirit. Law is needed to regulate human behavior, but in God’s Family, behavior that is in agreement with God is just a way of life that functions at one with God’s holy spirit.

Besides the Tree of Life that Adam and Eve were to dress and keep, what else did God place in their environment that was their responsibility to also dress and keep? Stating this in another way, what else was in their environment that they were to dress and keep that reflected God’s being – His mind, thinking, purpose, and spirit?

All of their physical surroundings, and all of our physical surroundings cry out to the greatness, glory, majesty, and beauty of the very mind and thinking of the Almighty God. We can learn more about the very mind, thinking, and spirit of God by those physical things that surround our lives. Certainly, the laws that God gave to regulate human behavior reveal much about God and His way of life that is based on true peace, true family, and a true “giving” kind of love. However, there is more that also reflects God’s very thinking, His ways, and His mind that is contained in our physical surroundings and in how we are to “see” such things.

From the very beginning, God revealed that He did not create the earth in the condition it was in when He came upon the scene, a second time, to once again make the earth orderly, beautiful, and perfectly synchronized in balance, time, and cycles in order for vast varieties of life to exist. However, between the time of the original creation of the earth that was first made to be inhabitable for life, and the time God refashioned, remolded, and reestablished the earth back to its original condition, Satan and the demonic realm had tried to destroy all that they could and the earth became waste, desolate, and void of all ability to sustain any kind of life.

“For this is stated by the Eternal, who created the heavens [universe], God Himself who formed the earth and made it, He established it and He did not create it in vain [Heb. word ‘tohu’ meaning desolate, to lie in waste, in emptiness, in confusion], but He formed it to be inhabited [habitable], I am the Eternal and there is no one else” (Is. 45:18).

Clearly, God first created the earth in perfection and to be habitable for life.

Genesis 1 is the account of God correcting what Satan had done and of Him putting the earth back into its original state and of then creating vast varieties of life that had never existed before. In the first verse, the story begins with the original state of God’s creation. “In the [should be ‘a,’ as there is no definite article ‘the’ in Hebrew] beginning God created the heaven and earth” (Gen. 1:1). The earth, moon, sun, and rest of the universe had long before been created by God.

However, from the time of the literal creation addressed in this verse, Satan set out to destroy what God had created. By the “time” mentioned in the following verse, we are thrust ahead to when God comes on the scene to reestablish the proper condition of the earth following the aftermath of Satan’s destruction.

“And the earth was without form and void [Hebrew words ‘tohu’ and ‘bohu,’ meaning in chaos and confusion, in waste and destruction, desolate], and darkness was upon the face of the deep [the sun did not reach the surface of the earth]. Then the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). This begins to describe how God started to refashion what was already here so that light from the sun could once again shine on the earth.

So the Almighty Eternal God set everything back into perfect harmony in order to provide for an incredibly abundant life to potentially be experienced by that which was the focus of His greatest creation yet – mankind. After creating Adam and then Eve, God placed them in His specially prepared environment (His garden), and they were told to dress it and keep it. They were then given responsibility of caring for His creation.

The Creation Reveals God
It should not be a difficult thing to grasp how the creation around us cries out to the greatness of God and of that which reflects His being – His mind, thinking, and very spirit. There are numerous words that should jump out at us as they cry out and declare such thinking and spirit which are of the Great God who created everything. Consider some of those words, such as: order, harmony, balance, planning, productivity, work, healthiness, liveliness, true beauty, expressive creativity, design, quality, discipline, life-giving, cleanliness, completeness, replenishing, joyful, timeliness, organized, attentive, and so much more.

Such words help define and reflect the very thinking and spirit of God Almighty. This is the kind of spirit and thinking we need to embrace and seek to develop more fully in our life in a balanced and sound manner, as this is what needs to be reflected more in our actions in life as a result of how we think, as we seek to come into greater unity and oneness with the ways of God and Jesus Christ. Such balance and soundness can only come from God through the power of His spirit. The human tendency of far too many, as one focuses on any one of these particular words and how such can be applied to their life, is to go to extremes and to be “unbalanced” in how they apply such quality to their life. Some of these will likely be addressed in the next post.

There are also words that cry out and reflect just the opposite, which can reveal a wrong kind of thinking and spirit – the kind that brought this earth to a condition of destruction, waste, confusion, and desolation. These words tend to reflect thinking that is contrary to God’s ways and His spirit. So it should be rather easy to see what is reflected in that which is just the opposite to the actions and ways of God’s spirit. Such words are those like: destructive, wasteful, chaotic, disorderly, uncleanliness, confusion, disarray, ruin, sickly, clutter, neglectful, unfruitful, flawed, cheap, disorganized, lethargic, lazy, nonproductive, unsound, discord, reckless, unhappy, murderous, inactive, etcetera.

God’s instruction to dress and keep His creation should have great meaning for us as we consider what it means to work at caring for what He has placed within each individual’s personal control as one’s own responsibility. It does indeed include some of the smallest things in life, and that is why it is so important to begin learning such things at a very young age. The reason for this is because such things have much to do with the very formation of one’s thinking and spirit. This is why it is so important to begin teaching children about areas of responsibility that are theirs. These are small in the beginning, but highly important for aiding the formation of right thinking and focus toward life for the future.

A child can begin to be taught about qualities of cleanliness, discipline, order, organization, and work ethics by learning to care for the smallest of matters in their personal surroundings thereby they can begin learning to take on the positive and productive quality of “personal responsibility” in life. To serve as only one example, a child can begin at a very young age to be taught to pick up their own dirty clothes and put them in a laundry container and then hanging up their own clean clothes.

Sadly, there are many who never learn such traits and qualities in life as they were never taught them and/or never had such responsibility enforced in their life. This is especially true concerning boys who far too often “learn” to rely on mommy to do everything for them. There are many married men who shamefully grow up having a wrong vision and deep lack of understanding of the right and true role of a female in a family. In reality, they (females) tend to be viewed as “less” than them (the male). Wives then are “expected” to clean up behind a husband (who hasn’t been taught) as he leaves his dirty underwear and socks on the floor.

To such a man, this is a very small and relatively unimportant thing. But in reality, it is a symptom of a very big thing that is not right in one’s thinking. It compounds the problem by distorting how to love others as well. If this applies to anyone in the Church, that person needs to see that this involves a “spirit” in thinking that is resisting an area of healthy change that needs to come into greater harmony with God’s spirit, His way of thinking, and way of life. This specific symptom also reveals wrong thinking toward women. This is only one small example of a far greater problem that is so big and it has been perpetuated to the extreme for nearly 6,000 years now, just as the example given here is multiplied many times over in all kinds of instances and occasions in life.

Hopefully, this very small example alone can begin to help magnify the importance of going beyond the “laws” of God, which indeed must be lived, to that which involves “right thinking” based on qualities that are in God and are revealed through His very creation. As one grows and understands these qualities as being godly in nature, they will also grow to see that these are based on God’s kind of love (agape) that reveals the true nature of His spirit.

It is not the purpose of this writing to go into all the vast numbers of examples in life that exist where characteristics are reflected in creation which reveal the mind and thinking of God. This is something for individuals to examine in their own life, and begin to build upon, and then to grow more spiritually in oneness and unity with God. This is just the beginning of building blocks that can be used to spur greater spiritual oneness with God as individuals build upon this understanding and how to apply it to themselves individually and their families.

That which needs to be understood in all this, at this point, is that each individual’s response to some of the smallest of things in life reflect their mind – the way they think, which is of one’s very spirit. Wrong thinking in many of the small things of life need to be addressed in order for greater transformation of the mind to take place for it to come into greater unity and harmony with God. This is needful so that as members of God’s family we can rightly deal with the bigger things of life in an ever-growing godly manner. If we learn to become more faithful in the little, then we are learning to be able to be faithful in much.

[Pt. 4 will follow.]

Inset Post: Regional Changes

False Prophet Ronald Weinland has a blog post up.  Seems that some of his members are disrespecting the 2nd and 3rd ranked prophets (Laura and Audra).
A reminder that there is a “Ministry” page linked at the top of every page on the blog.  The information is indirect and therefore may be inaccurate or outdated.  Please provide any corrections in an email or a comment on this posting.
———————- Weinland’s post —————————————-
A letter has been or is in the process of being sent to the different regions of the Church to update everyone on who is currently serving in the ministry in the specific region they are located. It explains some of the changes that have been underway in much of the restructuring within the ministry and the reasons for them. Hopefully, it also serves to clarify some of the organizational format of the Church concerning God’s government, current structure, and some of the duties of various parts within that structure.

This inset post in the midst of our current series, A Heightened Dedication, is the basic content of that letter being sent to all the different regions. The same information is being placed in this inset to hopefully help some who read this post that did not receive the letter itself. This letter was sent to each member from the individual who is over the region where they were located. In all regions, there is ultimately one individual who is responsible for an area, as a matter of organizational structure, and of God’s government being administered in that region. This is in addition to the duties specifically given their level of ordination. Some of these ministers vary in ordination and in their role within God’s government, which means that they carry different responsibilities due to specific ordinations. As an example, the regions in the U.S. and Canada primarily have senior elders who have been placed in responsibility to function as coordinators. However, in New Zealand and Australia, everyone is under a senior evangelist, and in Europe everyone is under a prophet.

Within the current structure of the Church under Jesus Christ, it is led, administered, and governed by a team of two individuals, where one is an apostle and prophet, and the other a prophet. The Church follows the pattern for government that is outlined as the primary structure given in scripture through the apostle, Paul. As in the time of the Philadelphian and Laodicean Eras in the Worldwide Church of God, there are some modern-day descriptions within that structure that better describe how the Church functions today. The primary positions of apostle, prophet, and evangelist do not vary. However, God may not always utilize some functions (ordinations) during specific periods of time.

In the Worldwide Church of God, there was never the role of a prophet within God’s work at that time. Since the Apostasy, God has been reestablishing the various roles and responsibilities that He works through in His ministry. Only as of this year was the role and work of a pastor reestablished in the Church.

At this point, it should prove to be helpful and informative to clarify the governing structure of the Church that exists in God’s ministry today.

Order and Structure of the Ministry
In the primary order and functions listed by Paul, it begins with the first role under Jesus Christ, which is an apostle. This is followed by a prophet.

There is more for the Church to learn concerning the role of a prophet. Many still seem to have a very limited grasp of this and tend to think that all prophets are given prophetic events to declare or that they are given revelation of recorded prophecies directly from God. Many of the prophets of old were given prophecy concerning future events, but most of what they were given and what they recorded was not known to them. That which they did know was very limited and often had a “type” of fulfillment that was being addressed in their immediate time, but was recorded for greater purpose to be fulfilled in the future.

However, the primary function of most of these well-known prophets, as well as many other prophets whom God worked through, was that of spiritual insight into a wide range of matters and of declaring the administration of God’s way toward those who would receive it. This was on a physical plane with the Israelites in dealing with very physical matters, but having spiritual importance. The Israelites did not have God’s spirit dwelling in them like the Church (spiritual Israel) has today.

This should not be lost on the Church at this time. Other than myself, being both an apostle and prophet, there are two prophets through whom God is working whose primary function within His Church is the administration of His ways. They are given spiritual insight as prophets to discern and then administer God’s will and that of Jesus Christ toward the ministry first, and then the Church as a whole.

As I have temporarily been removed from “direct” contact and involvement, my “indirect” contact and administration of the Church has helped to reveal (make manifest) things I would not have otherwise been able to see and learn in this specific area of government. By this, I mean that I do not deal with the administration of most matters of the Church through direct communication with individual members and ministers as in the past. Instead, I give to both prophets my input for such guidance, direction, and instruction that is to be given brethren when such need arises. However, because of this indirect administration of some matters in the Church, and the fact that such communications come directly from a prophet who is female rather than directly from me, it is much easier to see things I would not see to the same degree. That which I have seen is that far too often there is resistance manifested toward a woman, where these same individuals would not have responded to me in the same manner. Yet it is the same government of God in action. In addition, there are other matters that both prophets administer, due to a heavier work load placed on them, where God directly gives them judgment and insight to deal with various situations that arise in the Church. Again, because of some of the responses they receive, it is evident that there is too often resistance, and it is simply because they are women.

The reality is that God is now far more fully bringing to light the importance of how He governs and the necessity for each person to see Him and not just a physical leader, and then to yield to His government, rather than to resist it. God is also revealing hidden prejudices and pride during a time when He is showing the rightful role for women in family and His Church. There are men and women alike who are resisting that revelation, and therefore, resisting His government that now includes women over them. However, God is bringing this to light in each person’s life so that where it is needed, individuals can repent, begin to make changes, and thereby become more fully transformed in thinking.

The process of God bringing this to light in the life of an individual who is resisting Him can be a painful experience as one comes face to face with such reality. The pain is one where pride and ego suffer for a time until such is conquered through genuine humility and one is brought more fully into subjection and agreement with God.

The series of sermons on Personal Responsibility and Rebellion, and the way they fit so perfectly with current posts, should be incredibly enlightening, sobering, corrective, inspiring, and received in a serious and fearful manner. God is having us focus upon these things so we can come to see the need to become far more fully dedicated to Him and the purpose He is working in our lives at this time.

Now, continuing with the order of structure of God’s government within the Church, following that of an apostle, then prophet, is an evangelist. The role of an evangelist is that of being the “primary support” between the work of the apostle and prophets with that of the rest of the ministry and Church. Their role in that “support” structure is a more direct and recognized one within the Body of Christ that includes upholding, promoting, protecting, and of teaching and expounding upon the administrative matters, doctrines, and truths that come through God’s prophets and apostle.

Following the ordination of an evangelist is that of a pastor. Within the Philadelphia Era (WCG) and on up to the Apostasy, pastors were ordained within God’s Church whose role consisted largely of preaching and administering to the needs of larger localized church areas. During that time, this role was given to those who were classified as preaching elders and pastors, where pastors were of a higher rank than preaching elders. This administering to the needs of a congregation generally involved working more directly in a one-on-one manner of counseling, giving guidance (direction and/or correction) to others, as well as much preaching through sermons and bible studies. The counsel, guidance, and/or intervention in some people’s lives was needful in times of trial, wrong behavior, family problems, unease or problems between members, and other areas of life where intervention from the ministry was needful. Such intervention on a more personal plane and with direct contact was necessary in order to help produce greater unity, peace, order, and oneness within the Body of Christ.

In local regions in the past, this role of pastor was enhanced through preaching, as many of the situations that would arise that needed guidance of a pastor could be addressed to some degree in Sabbath sermons. This aided a pastor with the ability in a larger localized church environment to address some of these matters that needed to be dealt with in a congregation when such situations were occurring within an area. This often included covering spiritual areas dealing with various kinds of sin in life, family matters, fellowship among the members, etcetera. Preaching was also a needful way to address certain topics during those periods, which was the primary means of nurturing the Church each Sabbath.

Only since the fall holy day season this year has the role of pastor been reintroduced to God’s Church. This is part of setting the stage and making preparations for the Millennium. It is also to assist the Church now in being able to address such matters more directly in whatever scattered area they arise. This role at this time can be perfectly fulfilled as a more direct means of pastoring/shepherding specifically where needed, with no need for public preaching to enhance that role in any specific congregation as in the past.

God has qualified a woman to carry out such duties now for a three-fold purpose. First, it is because of the help that is needed now within the Church that can be administered through this role. Second, it is also to reveal that such a role can actually be effectively fulfilled without the aspect of preaching. Third, it is to reveal the need for women to serve in such a capacity and not just men. Both are needed in order to far more effectively fulfill the need of such a function due to the kind of varying and specific needs that sometimes arise simply because of different situations, circumstances, and experiences.

Lastly, we come to the ordination of elders. This is a single ordination with three different levels of structure. First, there is the entry level into the ministry, which is an “associate elder.” They may anoint any member who is ill and who requests such service. They may also baptize any who have been approved for baptism by someone over them. After this, there are other duties they may carry out in service to the Church area they are in when it is appointed to them by someone over them. Such areas of service and responsibility can vary widely from area to area.

The next level above that of an associate elder is an “elder.” This is simply the next step of being an elder that carries a little more responsibility and/or duties that might be given. Associate elders and elders do not of themselves counsel or direct members in any fashion unless specifically directed to do so by someone over them. Various matters do arise in church areas where an elder will need to contact their superior to see how to handle a matter. Those over them may deal with it or direct the elder how to do so. All of this is only a simplified description that carries a wide variety of situations and service that an elder might be given responsibility to administer.

One of the primary things concerning associate elders and elders that they themselves need to understand, and the Church is to understand as well, is that theirs is an entry level into the ministry that carries restrictions, yet authority. They learn to serve and minister as they are directed by those over them, where basically, nothing in this “beginning stage” is determined or directed from self, but from the government structure over them. This is where a heightened training and service begins for a minister.

It might be helpful to explain a little more about the role of an associate elder and elder, especially when considering God’s structure of government in a church area. Essentially, there is no government authority carried by such elders except for specific occasions where they are assigned to carry out some function or responsibility given to them by a senior elder or by some other minister that is above a senior elder. Of course, members are to respect and support whatever the associate elder or elder has been given to fulfill as their duty. Associate elders and elders do not counsel or expound on doctrine unless given the responsibility to do so in a specific case. If someone has doctrinal or Biblical questions they may go to an associate elder or elder who may then direct them to some sermon, topic, or other publication that will give an answer. If associate elders or elders have questions where they need help in dealing with any Church matter, then they simply contact the minister who is assigned over their region. As mentioned before, that may be a senior elder, senior evangelist, or prophet. It should also be noted here that associate elders are not “under” elders, as elders do not pass along responsibilities or duties to an associate unless told to do so by those who are over them, and then it would be communicated that they were asked to pass along such information.

Thirdly, there is the function of a “senior elder.” Here, there are far more responsibilities and duties that are entrusted to a minister. By this point, an individual has learned more fully how God’s government functions and one knows that if they are uncertain about how to administer a matter that they will go to those over them to find out. Other normal routines have been learned and when a person knows what to do, they can simply do it. They have been learning to not rely upon self (one’s own opinions or ways), but to rely on what they have been taught concerning how to administer specific areas of God’s government.

Senior elders may be given a certain region to help administer in that area for the Church. They may be given other administrative duties that are a matter of direct Church Administration. Simply put, senior elders have an important role in helping to carry out duties for the administration of God’s government and ways in His Church.

Reasons for Restructuring
The experience in the Church concerning the ministry during the Worldwide Church of God and up to the time of the Apostasy was that an ordination, or specific office in the ministry, was mostly viewed as a life-long placement. However, since that time, God has had a different design and purpose in what He is working within the Church. Big changes within the ministry began to be made in 2007 and 2008. Now God has once again been leading us to make numerous changes through a streamlining of the ministry in order to better serve His specific reason and purpose for such changes. As He does so, we are simply to learn from it and support it.

Since just before this past fall holy day season up until now, there are over 50 ministers who have been directly affected by these changes and reorganization. The largest group this is affecting consists of those who are being removed/retired from the ministry. There are others being moved from sr. elders to elders, and from elders to associate elders. Within this period of time, God has also been ordaining a few to new placements within the Body to enhance the administration and service of His Church.

As a whole, God is now preparing and training a group within the ministry who will become quite active as we go into the final stages of this end-time. Many of these are simply being readied for specific responsibilities once the Millennium is established.

As we approached May of 2012, many within the ministry were beginning to slow down as a result of age and/or a matter of health issues. That has only become magnified as time has continued on and will become far more of an issue now that we know Christ’s actual coming is in 2019. Such issues dealing with health and/or age have simply restricted many from carrying out certain duties. This would also likely restrict them from being able to serve in what is coming.

The reality is that there is much that is coming upon the world that is going to require a new generation in the Church to deal with it. God is not placing that weight upon an older generation or upon anyone with certain physical limitations. It is time for a new group to fight in the forefront and to be molded into what God has planned for them in the Millennium. This group that is older and/or dealing with more serious health issues are those who comprise the largest number being directly affected by these changes. It is within this group that many are being removed/retired within the ministry.

There are also other reasons some are being removed/retired from the ministry or being moved to a reduced role. For a few, it is simply a matter that the need for such service as a minister does not or will not exist where they are located. In other cases, it is a matter of stepping aside so that others can be inserted who need the experiences that can only be gleaned, learned, and molded into them by serving for a period of time in the ministry. This is God’s work in us and it is by His design. God uses many means to mold and fashion those things that are necessary to prepare us for specific places within the temple and within the structure that will be the foundation for the Millennium.

Lastly, and affecting a very few, these changes are a result of correction and should lead one to a renewed sense of urgency, soberness, and pursuit of greater spiritual alertness and growth.

This is a great “Year of Dedication” for God’s Church. This streamlining of the ministry should work to enlighten, sober, encourage, motivate, and serve to help each one of us to focus more fully on the incredible importance of this special year. The changes addressed in this letter, along with the current series of sermons being given by the senior evangelists, and that which is contained in the current posts, is serving to strongly propel us into this coming year in a very positive and powerful manner.

The Church is deeply thankful for all those who have faithfully been serving within the ministry. So much of the strength of the Church is dependent upon such faithfulness and true spirit of service they give toward God’s people. This thankfulness is extended to those who are continuing in the ministry and those who have given of themselves for so many years and are now being removed/retired from direct ministerial service, but who will most assuredly continue to be a strength and stable example to God’s people in the Church areas they are located.

Changes In Your Region
Each region has been or is being notified of those ministers who are currently serving in it. This will serve to keep everyone informed of the government structure within the ministry in his or her region and who is part of that structure. This is not a time for anyone to try and figure out or speculate the reasons for those who have been removed/retired or given less responsibility. It should be a simple matter of humble acceptance and support on each person’s part of what God does in His Church.

For Sale: Prophet’s Hovel

Audra_frontAlmost 8 years ago in 2007,  Audra moved into her own duplex just a few miles north of where the Two Witnesses live in a home on a golf course. The following year, Audra married Chris Little and settled in for a life of wedded bliss.

But in 2012, Christ failed to heed his second invitation from Ron to return. This meant that instead of being converted to a spirit being at Christ’s return, Ron had to go on trial for criminal tax evasion just a few weeks later. Although Chris attended Ron’s sentencing hearing in November of 2012 and sat beside Audra and about a dozen other church members on the side of the courtroom behind Ron and his 3 high priced attornies, the wedded bliss was about over.

By August of 2013, Chris and Audra were divorced.  Audra quickly recovered from the breakup, reportedly dating even before the ink was placed on the divorce decree and by February of this year was married to Edwin Van Horne.  Since Edwin lives in the Netherlands and reportedly has stable employment, the Van Horne’s live there and Audra comes to the States occasionally to show the flag and be ordained to higher rank in the visiting room at a Federal Correctional Institution.

Audra_entranceSo what to do about the condo?  Around a month ago, it went on the market.  Below is a clip of the realtor information.  Not listed among the selling points is that it is owned by the 3rd ranking prophet of God.  It does mention a short sale.  If what Audra paid matches the $140,000 tax valuation, she’s going to have to come up with some money to be able to sell it at the asking price of $125,000.  Too bad Audra’s prophecy skills don’t cover the decline in the real estate market.
———– Realtor’s description of Property —————————

Incredible unit 3 finished levels, wall of windows. Shower, sep whirlpool bath. Wood burning fireplace. Short sale. Buyer to check schools. Sold as is.

General Information

  • Beds: 2 Bed
  • Price: $125,000
  • Property Type: Single Family Home
  • Stories: 2
  • Baths:2 Full, 2 Half Bath
  • Lot Size: 1,742 Sq Ft Lot
  • Style: Traditional
  • Garage: 1 car garage

Bedrooms

  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Master Bedroom Dim: 14 X 13
  • Bedroom-2 Dim: 12 X 11
  • Bedroom 2: 12×11 Level: 2
  • Master Bedroom: 14×13 Level: 2
  • Master Bedroom Features: Wall-to-Wall Carpet, Bath Adjoins, Walk-in Closet, Dressing Area

Bathrooms

  • Full Bathrooms: 2
  • Half Bathrooms: 2
  • Bath 1 Features: Shower, Tub

Kitchen and Dining

  • Dining Room Dim: 11 X 10
  • Dining Room: 11×10 Level: 1
  • Dining Room Features: Wall-to-Wall Carpet
  • Formal Dining Room: Yes
  • Kitchen: 13×12 Level: 1
  • Kitchen Features: Vinyl Floor, Wood Cabinets, Pantry, Counter Bar, Walkout

Other rooms

  • Entry Dim: 10 X 4
  • Family Room Dim: 20 X 19
  • Kitchen Dim: 13 X 12
  • Laundry Room Dim: 14 X 13
  • Living Great Rm Dim: 20 X 12
  • Entry: 10×4 Level: 1
  • Entry (Foyer): Wood Floors, Closet, Open Foyer
  • Family Room: Yes
  • Family Room: 20×19 Level: Lower
  • Family Room Features: Wall-to-Wall Carpet, Fireplace, Walkout, Wet Bar
  • Living/Great Room: 20×12 Level: 1
  • Living/Great Room Features: Wall-to-Wall Carpet
  • Rooms: 7
  • Basement Feat: Finished, Walkout, Fireplace, WW Carpet
  • Basement: Full
  • Laundry Room: 14×13 Level: Lower

Interior Features

  • Cable Tv
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Recess Lights
  • Garage Door Opener
  • Attic Storage
  • 220 Volt
  • Possible Short Sale

Building and Construction

  • House Style: Traditional
  • Levels or Stories: 2
  • Construction: Brick
  • Foundation: Poured
  • Roof: Shingle
  • Windows: Insulated, Aluminum
  • Levels: 2 Story

Exterior and Lot Features

  • Patio
  • Deck
  • Views: Woods
  • Lot Square Footage: 1742

Garage and Parking

  • Number of Garage Spaces: 1
  • Garage: Attached, Front, Oversized
  • Parking: Driveway, Off Street

Heating and Cooling

  • Heating: Electric, Heat Pump
  • Cooling: Central Air
  • Fireplaces: 1
  • Fireplace: Wood, Ceramic

Utilities

  • Water Source: Public
  • Sewer: Public

Appliances

  • Oven/Range
  • Dishwasher
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave

A Heightened Dedication Part 2

A little delay reposting this, early Thanksgiving dinner with friends.  A lecture on psuedo-spirituality from an expert on the topic for your perusal and commenting.  Be sure to take your irony supplements before reading.

———-Weinland’s Post ——————–

From the beginning, God’s desire for how people should live the life that was given to them was revealed in basic instruction to the first two who were created; however, God knew that mankind would not choose Him, but would instead choose their own selfish ways.

God’s plan was to propagate the earth over six millennia and allow people to choose their own ways and live by “the fruit” it would produce. Every religion, every government, and every economic system mankind has established has failed. Someone who reads this might say, “Yes, but today there are those that are succeeding.” Such individuals simply do not understand or see that these man-made systems are all on a countdown to failure within the next 4 ½ years, and some much sooner.

So God’s plan was to propagate the earth during the long span of 6,000 years. For those who would live within that span of time, God’s plan included giving these same people “another period of time” in which to live life again. Then, in that additional period of life, they would be granted the opportunity and the ability (means) to choose and then live by the way God desired for them from the beginning. We are now transitioning from that 6,000-year period of mankind’s selfish focus and way of living to that time when God’s intervening power, to change that horrible self-destructive course, begins to be poured out to everyone in the world.

It was pointed out in the first part of this series that this transitioning begins first in the Church. That is because this kind of change requires the begettal of God’s spirit in one’s life in order to make this necessary transition from a totally selfish nature to one that is able to develop true qualities of the “way of give” and unselfish love. One of the major changes mentioned in the last post is to bring mankind back to the original purpose God desired and has intended for the role of women in family, society, and His family.

Now, we are addressing the next great step of this accelerated transformation process that God is granting in order to bring mankind back to the intended purpose of His instruction contained in the phrase to “dress it and keep it.” This is about the need, understanding, and means (ability) to accept true personal responsibility for what God places under (within) each person’s actual control. Within the Church, this can now become enhanced and strengthened to a much higher plane.

The Garden of Eden
In the first few chapters of Genesis, God’s ultimate purpose for the creation of mankind, along with the original instruction and its actual intended meaning, is highly condensed and simplified into basic, physical terms. As an example, God’s use of the term Elohim – the God Family – from that beginning section of scripture only began to be revealed in these last days starting through Herbert W. Armstrong and then even more fully in recent years. In addition, it was also mentioned in Part 1 how God began to reveal the deeper meaning of “the two trees in the garden” through Mr. Armstrong.

All of that greater understanding and insight has led to God now revealing even far more about other matters He had recorded in those initial chapters of Genesis. God is giving this process of revelation during this period of accelerated transition from one age into another because it is necessary for the establishing of His Kingdom from the very beginning of the Millennium.

In regards to the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve to “dress it and keep it.” What does this actually mean? What is God’s intended purpose in such instruction?

When most people think of a garden, they tend to think of a small plot of land where vegetables, herbs, and some grain-producing plants may be grown. Some may also include grapes and fruit trees as part of a garden. However, this expression concerning God’s garden is massively broader than this in meaning and purpose.

This Garden of Eden was not about the care of a typical modern garden on a simple plot of land. Its meaning, scope, and purpose was far broader. It was all-inclusive of everything that was created and placed into this environment of God’s garden for mankind, with the exception of Satan who was also there. It even included the presence of God Himself, of whose garden this was.

This garden was about far more than just physical plants, trees, fruits, and vegetables. It was about God’s very purpose in the creation of mankind and of how that purpose could become a reality – how that purpose could be lived. It was about what God was planting.

Scriptures speak of God planting Judah, Israel, nations, and kingdoms. They speak of God planting His vineyard, which is not a reference to growing grapes, but is in reference to what Christ spoke of in the Book of John.

“I am the true vine (which God planted), and my Father is the husbandman (the one who plants, grows, and tends to the vineyard)” (Jn. 15:1). In speaking of the Church, Christ went on to say, “I am the vine, and you are the branches” (vs. 5).

God put within the Garden of Eden everything necessary, concerning what He had purposed for the development, growth, and further creation of the most important part of His entire creation – Elohim. So God put – planted – mankind in the Garden of Eden. After God instructed mankind to partake of the “tree of life” and never to partake of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” He followed this by giving awesomely important and necessary (highly needed) instruction concerning all that He had placed in this garden.

God gave “personal responsibility” to mankind for what He had created, and for what He had given to them, and He placed it within their own personal control. They were to “dress and keep” everything in God’s garden, with one exception. They were first instructed to have nothing to do with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had been told to reject the “way of Satan” and to eat of the “way of God” only. That is the true purpose and meaning contained in the instruction about the two trees in the midst of this garden. A physical reality was given to teach a spiritual reality.

Keep It
When God gave instruction concerning His garden, what does it mean concerning one’s responsibility to “keep it?” To help one begin to understand this, it is needful to see how this is used in scripture. The Hebrew word that is translated here as “keep” in English is also translated as “observe, take heed, and beware.” It literally means, “to hedge about (as with thorns),” with a purpose to protect and/or guard.

Within the Ten Commandments it states, “And showing mercy unto thousands of them who love me and keep my commandments” (Ex. 20:6).

The commandment for the Sabbath in Deuteronomy 5:12 is stated in this manner: “Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Eternal your God has commanded you.”

Toward the end of journeying 40 years in the wilderness, Moses gave instruction concerning the reading of the law: “Gather the people together of the men, women, children, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Eternal your God and observe to do all the words of the law” (Deut. 31:12).

There is another verse that carries great importance concerning true acceptance of personal responsibility and of God’s purpose for what we are to “keep.” In this case, the word is again translated as “observe.” It reveals the kind of responsibility and desire that all parents should have and then exercise toward their children, who belong to God, but who are in a parent’s direct care from the time of birth until they begin entering adulthood.

“And he said unto them, set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do all the words of this law” (Deut. 32:46). A child does not receive God’s ways through osmosis or at some sudden moment in time once they begin entering adulthood. For those in God’s Church to learn God’s way of life, children must be guided, led, given a right example to follow, corrected, and trained in God’s way of life. Then in time, it will become a matter of their own choice to live it or not.

Another use of this Hebrew word is stated in the following manner, “Beware that you do not forget the Eternal your God, in keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command you this day” (Deut. 8:11).

So when God gives instruction concerning His garden and what He has placed within it, it should be clear that this is about a lot more than just tending to some physical plants on a small plot of land. It certainly applies to physical matters, as will be covered later in this series, but its true context and instruction is far more about how we live life in the decisions and judgments we make, which are to be based fully on God’s ways and not on our own way or the way of others.

Dress It
Again, when God gave instruction concerning His garden, what does it mean concerning one’s responsibility to “dress it?” Knowing the meaning of the Hebrew word that is translated as “dress,” and seeing how it is also used in other areas of scripture, can help you to better understand God’s instruction here.

The Hebrew word translated as “dress” simply means “to work, to serve (as being bound in servitude), to labor.”

When the children of Israel were no longer going to be supplied with the straw necessary for producing bricks during their enslavement in Egypt, this is what they were told: “Now go therefore and work, for there will be no straw given to you, but you shall (continue to) deliver the total requirement of bricks” (Ex. 5:18).

Once again we also find that this word is also used in the midst of the Ten Commandments: “Six days shall you labor, and do all your work” (Ex. 20:9).

A very meaningful place where this is also used in relationship to the subject at hand concerning our acceptance of a heightened dedication and the exercising of greater personal responsibility in life, is what is found in what was stated to the Levites about their service in the tabernacle.

“Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers, from thirty years old and upward, even until fifty years old, all who enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation” (Num. 4:2-3).

“These were those who were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all who might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, whom Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Eternal by the hand of Moses” (Num. 4:37).

“And after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and you shall cleanse them, and offer them for an offering” (Num. 8:15).

“And I, behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel. To you they are given as a gift for the Lord, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Num. 18:6).

So once again, when God gave instruction concerning His Garden, and what He placed within it, that they were to “dress it and keep it,” there is far more purpose and meaning than the simple care of a small plot of ground.

It should become clear that mankind was charged with guarding, protecting, and keeping what God had given – what He had placed in His garden. Such a charge and the ability to fulfill it requires work (labor), along with a keen focus on service, dedication, and agreement with God in doing so. This is key to grasping right motive and intent in how we conduct (live) our life.

The question must then be answered, “Is what one lives a matter of such focus, dedication, and agreement with God?” Are the decisions and judgments one makes in life based on guarding and protecting “the way” God has given or are they about guarding and protecting “one’s own way?” On which does one focus and live life? On which does one focus and expend one’s energy, efforts, and actual labor?

Pseudo-Spirituality
From the beginning of the Genesis account, God repaired, restructured, and rejuvenated the earth as He began to create new life to exist on it. His primary purpose was to create mankind, and in doing so, He created the environment that was necessary for mankind to propagate, and He also provided the means whereby the creation of Elohim could follow.

From that beginning, it was necessary that God reveal to (instruct) mankind how to live the kind of life that would produce abundance, happiness, richness, blessings, and every fullness life can potentially offer. Living such a life could then lead to that which would become far greater – to becoming part of Elohim.

As we have been delving deeper into the truer meaning and purpose of God’s instruction for His garden, “to dress it and keep it,” the tendency of some might be one of wanting to quickly jump ahead to the “spiritual.” It might be one of thinking that a person can somehow suddenly become “more spiritual” by learning the long-hidden meaning contained in God’s word.

However, growing spiritually does not happen in such a manner. To approach these revelations as though one suddenly becomes “more spiritual” through the knowledge and insight God is granting is to approach this in a Protestant manner. Such a manner can involve the human desire to “feel better” about oneself or it can be the desire to project “being spiritual” to others by how one discusses the subject at hand.

That is the kind of manner in which the Protestant world approaches God’s word. They like to talk a lot about Christ, but do not strive to live by the truth he taught, which is more about a person having the “feel good about myself” attitude that seeks to project an image of being good rather than of actually striving to live good. It is like those who desire to be seen by others as being spiritual or elevated in importance. This is often done in an outward show, as through outward prayers, or by some method of communicating that one is fasting, or in feeling compelled to share with others verbally or through writing about one’s own knowledge or insights into spiritual matters they “see.” This is also apparent in the instance of a person who wants to be seen, or recognized, for any “service” they do for others or toward God.

These things are simply a part of human nature, and because they are, they exist in God’s Church. It is the reality of an ugly part of selfish human nature that strives, or works to “project” a perceived form of spirituality rather than actually “living” what is spiritual.

If one has been in God’s Church for any length of time, then they have seen the ugliness and awkwardness of pseudo-spirituality. It has been projected in prayers at Sabbath services, or at some Church function where someone uses the occasion to wax eloquent, and/or as an opportunity to teach and show-off one’s spiritual depth and insight. This false spirituality is too often manifested in email communications (or other electronic media) as an individual presses their own view upon others of what “they see” that God is revealing to His Church or of what they conjure up that they want others to believe that God is doing that is special in their own life. This generally means that such a person is focused more upon sharing their own insight with others rather than sharing the excitement of the true insight that God is granting His people.

Also, a false spirituality can be easily projected by someone who is ordained if the use (actually the misuse) of the office is to lift up oneself in importance – to be seen by others as important. However, what becomes even more dangerous is when someone who is ordained not only wants to project such importance of themselves to others, but also actually begins to believe and act as though they truly are important. Such attitudes then result in the abuse of authority where one sees him or herself as spiritually superior to others, and they desire that others see that authority, which is exhibiting loftiness or being haughty. Within such a spirit, one can go beyond their ordained responsibilities and take to themselves the exercise of functions that are not theirs to perform. This can be done by inserting oneself into another member’s life by giving advise, personal counsel, or opinion on teachings which does not fall within the scope of their duties, but are instead the responsibility of someone who is over them.

When such a thing happens within the ministry, this often leads such a person to believe their way of administering matters within the Church is better than the way they are being shown by those over them in God’s government. Such attitudes and actions that follow are highly dangerous within the Body of Christ and they are a spirit of rebellion, which God declares is worse than witchcraft.

True Motivation – Yielding to God’s Spirit
The source for one’s judgment and decision-making determines the “actual motive” for any action that follows. This will determine whether a person is yielding to God’s word, wisdom, and judgment or whether someone is deciding for themselves what is best for them – what is right and what is wrong. If God is not the source for a judgment and decision in life, then any choice that follows will always be based on selfishness. The motive is then selfish in nature. Only when fully yielding to God and acting upon His judgment in a matter can the motive be sanctified and righteous. It is only in that kind of environment when someone is fully yielding to God’s way that God’s spirit can then work in and through a person to produce truly unselfish acts or works in life.

Pseudo-spirituality is a matter of the source of one’s motive being strictly about self and that of elevating self in some manner which is simply an act of pride and vanity. Such spirituality is more about justifying one’s own true condition than it is of actually doing (working at) and living what God instructs, teaches, and reveals.

True spiritual growth develops through the exercise of right motives and requires work while truly yielding to God’s spirit. Such transformation is a matter of faith, agreement, reliance, and trust in God’s way, which is the only source for true motives in life. Such work must be seen as a matter of one’s relationship to God where what one does is done so in an attitude of “true service” to God’s purpose in our lives – work dedicated to God. It is work that we should desire to always exercise (live) in our life – work we should always esteem, keep, and hold fast. One must embrace such a focus and then exercise a complete yielding to work according to God’s way, and in doing so, seek to guard and protect His way from our ways or from the ways of others.

By yielding to such work, our motivation will become transformed into one of more fully elevating God and His ways, to honoring God, and to more fully dedicating our life to His purpose. That is just the opposite of giving into our own way or the way of others. It is the opposite of selfishness and selfish motivation. It is the opposite of pseudo-spirituality. Work dedicated to God’s purpose is work that results from making judgments and decisions that are in agreement with how God shows us to live. Choosing to live by such agreement rather than what “seems right” to us is the way that produces true motivation in one’s life.

So, all that God is currently revealing to us does not automatically thrust us into becoming more spiritual because of new-found knowledge and understanding. Instead, it requires a response in our life as a result of that new knowledge that is then followed by far better work – work that will produce a greater and truer spiritual condition and state in one’s life. And that process begins in some of the simplest, smallest, and easily overlooked areas of one’s physical life. Much of the actual healing of our minds and the spiritual transformation we are able to grow in depends on how we address many of those things that are considered to be the “small things in life.”

So much of our spiritual state and “transformation in thinking” comes from learning to become far more faithful in the “little.” As we learn to live that way even more fully in life then our thinking and agreement with God will become far stronger, and our growth and healing will move forward much further and much faster. That will be the focus of Part 3.

Chopping Block

Several weeks ago, False Prophet Ronald Weinland announced that he was going to perform some trimming on his bloated ministry.  Comments were left on the prior post with a list of elders’ names and demotions.

It seems that demotions were communicated by letter.  A form letter at that. Here is a copy of the form letter to demoted elders  as posted in the comment:

This letter is being sent to you to inform you that you are being moved from the role of an elder to that of an associate elder. This is rather new for the Church, since our history coming from Worldwide has been different. During those days, an ordination, or specific office in the ministry, was viewed as a life-long placement. However, in this time that is now before us, there is a different design and purpose in what God is working, and we are simply to learn from it and support it. God has specific reasons for these changes and the streamlining that is taking place in the ministry. Some of that will be mentioned here, but other matters will be learned as you go forward.

At this point, there are right at 40 ministers being directly affected by these changes and reorganization, with the likelihood of a few more that will follow. So we are sending most all of you this same letter concerning this specific change, although there are a lot of others who are now being fully removed/retired from the ministry.

As a whole, God is now preparing and training a group within the ministry who will become quite active as we go into the final stages of this end-time and they are primarily being readied for responsibilities once the Millennium is established. Many of you have issues with health and/or age that simply restrict you from carrying out certain duties. This may also restrict you from being able to serve in what is coming.

In a few cases, it is simply a matter that the need for your service as a minister does not or will not exist where you are located. This also means that the need for some roles within the ministry are not now needed for the same purpose that existed several years ago and for what God was teaching and molding within the Church. Many things have changed since this process of a widely expanded ministry began.

Yet for a few of you, this is a matter of your need to more deeply examine yourself and the example you have been living that reflects upon the ministry. Ministers are indeed held to a higher standard of responsibility and example in what is reflected in our life to others around us. It is a matter of striving to be on greater guard in all that we do, say, and administer in our responsibilities toward the world around us, toward the Church, and also our personal families. Over the next year, this will be the time to make the necessary changes that have been put off or ignored for too long now.

In other cases, the change in one’s role may simply be a matter for the need of stepping aside so that others can be inserted who need the experiences that can only be gleaned, learned, and molded into a person by serving for a period of time in the ministry. This is God’s work in us and it is by His design.

Everyone being moved from the role of an elder to that of an associate elder will be receiving this “form letter”, although, some few of you are being given more than this letter. For those receiving more direct correction where it is needed, you know some of the primary matters that must be addressed and changed in your life. Others will need to genuinely examine yourself before God to see it there are things that you need to address and change. Although there are still some of you who have consistently been moving forward and growing spiritually and the change for your role in the ministry is simply a matter of some of the other reasons listed, and not primarily of a matter of correction.

Lastly, is a matter of great importance to Laura and myself. We have loved working in a more direct manner with you due to your being in the ministry. In a short time, we have been through much together. We are so thankful for all the support and service you have given to us and God’s Church. That does not change simply because you are no longer in the role of an elder, but that of an associate elder. You are in God’s ministry and yet have much before you concerning service you can render to the Church. So again, thank you!

We continue to move forward together as a family. As there is still so much that is before us as a Church, and for Laura and myself, we need and are requesting your continued prayers and support for us and the Body of Christ.

The list left in the comments had 123 names of elders on it.  From that list, the Ministry page was created, linked at the top banner of the blog.

Of that list, 12 were demoted and 16 defrocked for a total of 28 names.  As Weinland mentioned 40, there are a dozen names which are yet to come out.

The following Senior Elders demoted to Elder: Jimmy Carlisle, Angela Hopkins, Lori Williams.  Jimmy was one of the first promoted to Senior Elder back in 2008 when Ron created the rank.  I understand that Lori is a childhood friend of Laura.  Angela Hopkins was formerly Angela Wrozek before divorcing Terry earlier in the year.

The following Elders demoted to Associate Elder: Tim Tiernan, Sandy Bays, Tim Brown, Sandy Czech, Curtis    Fields, Susan Illitch, Mark and Kalee Wiesman, Ken Zitt.  All of these are long-time members, from well before the first time the Great Tribulation didn’t start in 2008.

The following Elders removed completely: George Black, Gayle Blair, Maggie Carlisle, Bill Carr, Newt Carter, Engelien Henderson, Fredda Maeker, Sam Qualls, Karen Rode.  Fredda is a long-time member, going back to the 80′s and from West Texas was a member of one of the WCG congregations to which Ron was assigned when he was first hired.

The following Associate Elders were removed completely: Cookie Fields, Brandi Light-Siedentopf, Bob Madison, Kim Oaklund, Gerald Prutsman, Keith Prutsman, Beverly VanNorman.

 

Hubris

I ran across this article which led to an “Aha” moment.  Hubris Syndrome combines aspects of different personality disorders, such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

—————The symptoms of hubris syndrome, from a scholarly article: ————–

Proposed criteria for hubris syndrome, and their correspondence to features of cluster B personality disorders in DSM-IV
1. A narcissistic propensity to see their world primarily as an arena in which to exercise power and seek glory; NPD.6
2. A predisposition to take actions which seem likely to cast the individual in a good light—i.e. in order to enhance image; NPD.1
3. A disproportionate concern with image and presentation; NPD.3
4. A messianic manner of talking about current activities and a tendency to exaltation; NPD.2
5. An identification with the nation, or organization to the extent that the individual regards his/her outlook and interests as identical; (unique)
6. A tendency to speak in the third person or use the royal ‘we’; (unique)
7. Excessive confidence in the individual’s own judgement and contempt for the advice or criticism of others; NPD.9
8. Exaggerated self-belief, bordering on a sense of omnipotence, in what they personally can achieve; NPD.1 and 2 combined
9. A belief that rather than being accountable to the mundane court of colleagues or public opinion, the court to which they answer is: History or God; NPD.3
10. An unshakable belief that in that court they will be vindicated; (unique)
11. Loss of contact with reality; often associated with progressive isolation; APD 3 and 5
12. Restlessness, recklessness and impulsiveness; (unique)
13. A tendency to allow their ‘broad vision’, about the moral rectitude of a proposed course, to obviate the need to consider practicality, cost or outcomes; (unique)
14. Hubristic incompetence, where things go wrong because too much self-confidence has led the leader not to worry about the nuts and bolts of policy; HPD.5
  • APD = Anti-Social Personality Disorder; HPD = Histrionic Personality Disorder; NPD = Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

In making the diagnosis of hubris syndrome we suggest that ≥3 of the 14 defining symptoms should be present of which at least one must be amongst the five components identified as unique.

—– Back to discussion —————-

Here are some characteristics that Weinland displays from the list above:

  •  (#6 unique) I have heard Weinland use the royal “we”, as in “we believe”.
  • (#7 NPD) Although Ron talks about “walking side by side to God’s house in counsel-blended sweet”, at the end of the day he’s not willing to accept the advice or criticism of others .
  • (#8 NPD) He has an exaggerated self-belief in what he can achieve (#8).  Millions of people will still yet join his church.
  • (#9 NPD) Weinland thinks he only answers to God.
  • (#10 unique) Ron had the hubris to think he could take the witness stand in court and get off.  Instead he just made himself look even worse, bragging about the suit the church paid for that he was wearing to court on non-church business.  And his explanations for his Swiss bank account.
  • (#14 HPD)  Ron left the nuts-and-bolts of financial accounting to Laura.

With 6 characteristics 2 of them being “unique”, in my opinion Weinland meets the criteria for a diagnosis of Hubris Syndrome.  Perhaps some of my readers more familiar with him could add to this list.