January 6, 2017 Brethren Letter
A few years ago, I awakened from a dream thinking about God’s Truth. I had dreamt that I was being ridiculed and mocked for my Biblical beliefs. After most of the crowd had walked past me, one last person sat down next to me and said, “I don’t agree with these people mocking you like this. But tell me, why do you still continue to believe what you believe?” My answer was, “Because, I believe God!”
Brethren, God’s Truth is SO IMPORTANT, that we should LOVE it with every ounce of our being! No matter what we face, we must remain steadfast in our loyalty and faithfulness to God, and His wonderful TRUTH (I John 4:6; Matthew 7:13-14; III John 4)!
In 2008, I wrote an article entitled: “Never Surrender the Truth.” I’m including that article here, tonight.
Have a wonderful Sabbath!
Your Brother in Christ,
NEVER SURRENDER THE TRUTH
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing-grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!” Winston Churchill, June 4, 1940
On June 4, 1940, Winston Churchill delivered this famous quote during a speech given at the House of Commons, following the evacuation of British and French armies from Dunkirk in the face of Hitler’s advancing German armies throughout France. These words determined the course that the British people would take during the next four years of perhaps the most terrifying and trying times of British history.
Four years later, in December of 1944, the Germans launched their largest offensive of World War II on the Western Front – “The Battle of the Bulge.” The failure of this massive attack largely rested on the resistance of the American forces holding the town of Bastogne on the southern shoulder of the Bulge.
The town of Bastogne was strategically located at the center of the road network of the Ardennes, which made it vitally important to the outcome of the offensive. General Eisenhower instructed the 101st Airborne Division to hold the town at ALL costs. An interview with Lt. General Harry Kinnard revealed a particularly riveting encounter between the acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division, Anthony Clement McAuliffe, and the German forces which surrounded the town of Bastogne.
According to Lt. General Kinnard, McAuliffe’s forces entered Bastogne on the night of December 18th, lacking equipment, winter clothing and footwear. By December 21st, they were completely surrounded and the field hospital was overrun by a German attack. In addition, they were not able to receive air re-supply due to horribly bad weather … extremely cold and snowy. On the morning of December 22nd, a German surrender party, consisting of two officers and two “NCO’s” (non-commissioned officers), approached the division perimeter carrying a white flag. The two officers and “NCO’s” were taken to a nearby platoon command post, and while the enlisted men were detained, the officers were blind-folded and taken to the main command post where they presented the following surrender ultimatum.
To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.
The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.
There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.
If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours’ term.
All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well known American humanity.
The German Commander
The acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division, Anthony Clement McAuliffe, was faced with a crucial decision. His men were poorly equipped with no supplies; tired and weary from coming off recent heavy combat in Holland, and burdened by horribly cold and snowy weather. His choices seemed overwhelming – surrender or die. He nevertheless sent his message back to the Germans. His aide, Col. Harper, took the typed message back to the company command post where the two German officers were detained, for delivery to their commander. This is what Commander McAuliffe wrote:
To the German Commander,
The American Commander
Anthony Clement McAuliffe held his ground, allowing no room for compromise. He was of the same mindset as British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who said, again, “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end…we shall never surrender!” Churchill also said in a speech dated October 29, 1941…
This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Evidenced by many, many miracles, we can see God’s hand in the outcome of World War II. The allies won the war. That’s a matter of history! In like respect, we, too, must apply these same principles as a spiritual warrior and soldier of Jesus Christ. We, too, are “soldiers” involved in a war – soldiers for a heavenly Kingdom! As II Timothy 2:3 reads, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
REFUSE TO COMPROMISE
Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was like the apostles of old – he was consistently well-grounded in his tenacity and resolve. As a spiritual soldier of Jesus Christ, he refused to compromise – he refused to surrender to any opposition of the TRUTH of God. In his “Personal” article of the December 1976 Good News magazine, Mr. Armstrong wrote,
… during these 43 years, I have frequently been pressured to compromise – ‘just a little’ – with God’s TRUTH.
You see, God had called me to this tremendous responsibility in no ordinary manner. As Moses and others had been prepared before being called to God’s Commission for them, so was I. In no ordinary or usual manner, God revealed to me His TRUTH. When He committed His Great Commission to me with this precious TRUTH. … if we begin to compromise with God’s TRUTH even in (the) smallest, slightest manner, we have allowed Satan to get a foot into the door of the Church, and soon he will push open the door (he is stronger than we) and take over the whole Church.
A little leaven leavens the WHOLE LUMP! In my position, as chosen by the living CHRIST to be first under Him in AUTHORITY over the Church and the Work, I have been charged with the commission of KEEPING GOD’S WORD. Keeping it inviolate – NO COMPROMISE! I have NEVER compromised with God’s TRUTH – regardless of the cost or the circumstances. I never shall!
Mark 13:10-13 tells us, “And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end (loving the TRUTH of God – to the very last breath) shall be saved.”
Again, in the words of Winston Churchill,
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end…We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be … We shall NEVER surrender!”
To any “commanders,” or false apostles, under Satan’s sway, we too say, “NUTS!” We will NOT surrender the TRUTH of God!
THE TRUTH OF GOD DEEP WITHIN YOU
Why do we have the truth we have? It’s not about intellectualism, as many might think. In Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote on page 350 (original hardbound edition)…
One thing there will not be in the millennial Headquarters Church is a doctrinal committee of intellectual “scholars” to decide whether Christ’s teachings are true doctrines.
There was no such doctrinal committee in the first century Headquarters Church at Jerusalem. All teaching came from Christ through the apostles – and a few times Christ communicated to the apostles via the prophets (of which there are none in God’s Church today since the Bible for our time is complete). God’s Church today, as in the first century, receives it’s teachings from the living Christ, through an apostle, just as in A.D. 31.
Just how much value is God’s Truth – the doctrines of His True Church – to us? Do we hold them in high esteem? How closely do we keep them in our hearts and minds? In no specific order, here are some of the basic doctrines of God’s TRUE Church — doctrines the TRUE Church will NEVER SURRENDER!
1) God’s Government 2) “Church of God” Name 3) The True Gospel 4) Who and What God is 5) Why Man Exists 6) The Spirit in Man 7) The “Firstfruits” 8) The Kingdom of God 9) Understanding of God’s Holy Spirit 10) The Seventh Day Sabbath 11) Holy Days 12) What it Means to be “Born Again” 13) Identity of Israel 14) Tithing 15) The Purpose for Second and Third Tithe 16) What Sin is 17) TRUE Repentance 18) Baptism 19) Laying on of Hands 20) What a TRUE Christian is 21) The Unpardonable Sin 22) Grace and the Law 23) The Three Resurrections 24) Understanding of Heaven and Hell 25) The Healing Doctrine 26) What Real Faith is 27) Dietary Laws
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:44-46). We must treat the TRUTH of God like a precious gem!
WINNING THE SPIRITUAL WAR
In a Brethren and Co-worker letter dated October 25, 1985, Mr. Armstrong wrote,
WE are in a spiritual WAR – on the firing line with CHRIST as our general – firing spiritual bombs of GOD’S TRUTH – the message of Christ’s own GOSPEL – to make this whole world CONSCIOUS of the GOOD NEWS of Christ’s soon coming and His KINGDOM, to rule the happy, peaceful WORLD TOMORROW! There can be no letting down – no slacking – no quitting in this war!
What would happen in a war if an army, by a sudden burst of effort, surged forward to win a single battle, then laid down their arms and decided to take it easy or go on furlough? They would then LOSE THE WAR! Christ said it is only he who endures to the end who shall be saved! LET US CARRY ON, more determined than ever – more dedicated and devoted to Christ’s great mission than ever! We must not win a partial battle, and then lose our war. LET US NOW PLUNGE ON HARDER THAN EVER TO FINAL VICTORY!
Brethren, we must realize that we are in an intense spiritual war, against an insidious enemy who will stoop as low as possible to defeat us, both individually and collectively. Sometimes when standing up for the TRUTH, we might have thought we were “all alone”. But each of us has faced a spiritual battle at one point or another, and we can be assured that we are all in this war TOGETHER! (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Remember, Winston Churchill said, “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end…We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be…We shall NEVER surrender!”
Mr. Armstrong set the standard for us to follow when he said, “NO COMPROMISE! I have NEVER compromised with God’s TRUTH – regardless of the cost or the circumstances. I never shall”.
Again, as he also said:
Christ said it is only he who endures to the end who shall be saved! Let us carry on, more determined than ever – more dedicated and devoted to Christ’s great mission than ever! We must not win a partial battle, but then lose our war! LET US NOW PLUNGE ON HARDER THAN EVER TO FINAL VICTORY!
Finally, Mr. Armstrong wrote in a Brethren and Co-Worker letter written April 18, 1984, “I have looked into God’s Book to see how it all comes out at the end – and I find that WE (in God) WIN!” Brethren, let us NEVER SURRENDER the TRUTH of God!