April 20, 2002
This week Dave Harris will be speaking about events in the life of King Hezekiah of Judah. The sermon, entitled “Deeds of Faithfulness,” will begin at 2:30 P.M. in the Central Time Zone.
We have posted the Net Service schedule for the next two Holy Days and the weekly Sabbath in between. We will be broadcasting TWO services on EACH Holy Day. Edwin Pope, Norbert Link and Dave Harris will be speaking on the meaning of the Holy Days and issues related thereto.
"Sin Begins In The Mind"
by Edwin Pope
Well, brethren, the Days of Unleavened Bread are upon us. The feast of Passover begins at sundown on Tuesday, March 26, and ULB begins 24 hours later. These days picture our coming out of sin. We know that “Sin is the transgression of the law.” (I John 3:4) God’s law is the law of “Love,” and is defined by the Ten Commandments.
But Christ tells us (Mark 7: 20-22) “What comes out of a man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within and defile a man.”
The problem, then, begins in the mind. Notice (James 1: 14-15) “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Thus, it is in the mind where we must begin in our effort to come out of sin.
So it is temptation that we must concentrate on, brethren. Temptation begins in the mind. Temptation begins with the things we think about, things we contemplate in our minds. It is here where the lusts of the flesh are conceived. And it is here where sin is born.
And we know this requires that God’s Spirit be in our minds, if we will ever be able to overcome the lust of the flesh. Once we have God’s Spirit, we have a fighting chance to do this. We must utilize that Spirit which God gives us at baptism, through the laying on of hands of the ministry, after we have repented of our past sins. (I Tim 4: 14) We must, then, change the way that we do things “…that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8: 4)
How do we do that?
We must fill our minds with thoughts of God’s Way of Life. “Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth.” (Col 3: 2) To do this we must be drinking in of God’s Truths from His Word, the Holy Bible. We must meditate on these things and make them so much a part of our lives that when we do begin to go off in our minds from God’s thoughts, from His Ways, we immediately replace those thoughts with God’s Truth, thus thwarting Satan’s effort to see us go contrary to God’s Way.
We must remember, brethren, to hold fast to that which we have been given, that no man (including ourselves) steal our crown.
This Week in the News
–As the world’s focus continues to center on the Middle East, momentous events that were virtually unthinkable in the recent past are now falling into place. A Vatican news source on the Internet reviewed comments from Rabbi Michael Melchior, Israeli Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and leader of the Meimad religious party in Israel. What he sought from the Pope was the Vatican’s support.
Behind the scenes, the Vatican has welded worldwide cooperation among this world’s major faiths. There is a kind of “position paper” on every major issue–the two Koreas, Russian religious freedom, wars and their resolution, etc. Although the recent scandals involving Catholic priests in America have drawn the attention and comments of the Catholic hierarchy, they portray these scandals as an American issue–one that is merely an outgrowth of society. Calls for a change in celibacy rules for priests have not penetrated the entrenched traditions that currently hold sway.
We now see the “need” for a stabilizing force in the Israeli-Arab debacle. Once again, American troops are being suggested. However, the more likely influence will begin to flow from Europe and the Pope as he exercises his unmistakable stature and global influence. It appears that the Jews must yield to outside help in the search for a peaceful approach or lose their hard fought respect among the world’s nations.
— The European Union made clear that they will seek compensation for President Bush’s tariffs on foreign steel. The EU is supported in this by Japan, Brazil and Australia. The EU claims that they will incur losses of $2 billion annually over the three year life of the tariffs, according to an article in Yahoo! News of March 16.
— President Bush defended a politically charged Pentagon proposal (Nuclear Posture Review, NPR) to create new types of nuclear weapons and expand the nation’s list of potential nuclear targets, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times of March 14.
— The Times in Great Britain reported on March 18 that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher published a new book, advocating that “Britain must start to quit EU.” Mrs. Thatcher wrote that most of the problems that the world has faced, including Nazism and Marxism, have come from mainland Europe. The Times continued, “Lady Thatcher stops short of calling for a total withdrawal from Europe, preferring to retain some existing arrangements while opting out of ‘present and future mechanisms which harm our interests or restrict our freedom of action.'”
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