LCG: Thanksgiving and Our National Mission


November 24, 2011 is the date for the American holiday of Thanksgiving this year.  Here is some of what LCG’s Richard Ames wrote about it in his commentary today:

By Richard F. Ames | Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on our blessings, our purpose and our future. How thankful are we? Have we used the blessings God has given us to fulfill our national purpose and mission? Or do we even know our mission?

In 1863, the year when Thanksgiving became a national holiday in the U.S., President Abraham Lincoln stated that “it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God… and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the holy scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”

Today, while most Americans profess to be religious, many are living very secular lives. We have forgotten our roots; our heritage! We have neglected the foundation of truth and divine instruction, the Bible. As long as we were a Bible-reading society, we reflected the morality of God. Listen to this statement from Green’s Short History of the English people: “No greater moral change ever passed over a nation than passed over England in the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. England became the people of a book and that book was the Bible. It was read by every class of people. And the effect was amazing. The whole moral tone of the nation was changed” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 817).

Recent events have motivated many to begin seeking God. They are searching for meaning, understanding, and purpose. The Bible, God’s word, can make a significant difference in our personal and national lives. Jesus said in John 15:3 (KJV): “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” Yes, the Word of God influences our behavior and our character—and cleanses us morally. We, as a nation under God, must get back to reading the Bible and the word spoken to us by our Savior. We need to be living by the Bible. As Jesus said in Luke 4:4: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” Are we indeed living that way of life?

The Tenth Commandment from God Almighty to all humans on earth states: “You shall not covet” (Deuteronomy 5:21). Our greed, our covetousness and our licentiousness will lead to irreversible penalties. As the Apostle Paul stated, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap!” (Galatians 6:7). And what a nation sows it will also reap!

We need to repent of our greed and covetousness. If we are truly thankful people, the Creator God expects that we will fulfill the mission He has given us. He expects that we will give the truth of the Bible to other nations! Jesus instructed the Apostles to have the attitude of giving in Matthew 10:8: “Freely you have received, freely give.”

Jesus told the Apostles to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). He told them to “preach, saying, ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 10:7). The Church of God continues to fulfill the mission Christ gave it. We in this Work are striving to give the good news of the coming Kingdom of God to the world. As Christ opens the doors, we walk through them in faith.

The Living Church of God provides its publications free of charge to those who request them. Tomorrow’s World magazine is also free and features news trends in the light of Bible prophecy, as well as Christian-living articles and how to meet the challenges of a secular world. Tomorrow’s World television program is broadcast throughout the United States, Canada, and other nations. Tomorrow’s World radio program is broadcast in English, French, Spanish, and in the Afrikaans language in South Africa. Tomorrow’s World magazine and other literature are also available on the Tomorrow’s World Web site at Church members and co-workers, around the globe, support the preaching of the gospel to the world!

The world desperately needs the truth of God. It needs the gospel Jesus of Nazareth preached, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. You can pray that the gospel will go out in greater power around the world. As Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). Individually and nationally, we need to fulfill our God-given mission. As truly thankful people, we all need to be involved in the work Jesus Christ is doing!

And while the gospel warning message will be made quite clear to the English-speaking peoples (especially since the Living Church of God is based in the English-speaking U.S.A.) prior to Daniel 11:38 and the Great Tribulation, because the Anglo-American nations are not likely to heed that warning, they will have to answer for their lack of response (cf. Ezekiel 33:7-9).

Let’s briefly look at a warning in Isaiah 30:12-13:

12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:

“Because you despise this word, And trust in oppression and perversity, And rely on them, 13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you Like a breach ready to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.

Of course, more and more, the Anglo-American nations are trusting in policies that encourage perversity. Prostitution is legal in New Zealand, Australia, and parts of the USA. New Zealand, interestingly, has the highest promiscuity rate for women in the entire world according to one study (New Zealand women most promiscuous Sydney Morning Herald AAP – Oct 13, 2007. The Anglo-nations have seen rises in homosexuality and are often changing laws to accomodate this biblically prohibited practice.  Since the Roe vs. Wade pro-abortion decision, the USA has became the greatest debtor nation in the history of humankind.  Yet, abortion is wrong (see Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose) and a terrible national sin. And on March 9, 2009 President Obama lifted a ban on embryonic stem cell research (see LCG on Stem Cells) another morally wrong sin; he also refused to support the law of the USA in 2011 concerning marriage in order to satisfy homosexuals, which is not something the Bible supports.  And then there are sins of pornography (including the widely accepted “soft porn for female “celebrities”), promotion of covetousness, and the promotion of violent sports that many in the Anglo-nations no longer realize is sin.

Though there is oppression in these nations (especially racial), the Hebrew word used for it in Isaiah 30:13 can also be translated “unjust gain.”  This can include not just the historical exploitation of of various peoples, but can probably also include the fact that the economies of the Anglo-American nations for the past few decades has been benefiting from the gains of foreigners loaning money to it.

While all should give thanks to God, those in the Anglo-American nations should also realize that because of who were the majority that they descended from, they who have received the blessings of the children of Israel, will also receive the cursings the Bible warns of:

43 The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. 45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed…47 “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. 51 And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you. 52 They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you (Deuteronomy 28:42-45,47-52).

National repentance is needed soon as the cursings are starting to be realized.  And those who repent should try to support finishing the work (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20).

As far as thanks go, notice something from the Old Testament:

34 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
35 And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation;
Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.” (1 Chronicles 16:34-35)

This is a warning that even after the Gentiles take over, that those taken over should still praise God as He ultimately will deliver. I would suggest that it is better to praise and thank God sooner than just later.  And while all peoples everywhere should thank and praise God, unless the USA and its Anglo-allies repent nationally, they will soon find out what the times of the Gentiles will be like. And events, including the national debt of the USA, are lining up with the fulfillment of end time prophecy.

But God does have a loving plan that many simply do not understand (see The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church and Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).  And God’s plan is something all should be thankful for.

I should also add that some are critical of Thanksgiving, but I want to quote something from a secular source as well as from LCG related to giving thanks:

The meaning of Thanksgiving: Why our bodies and brains pay us back for being grateful

Actually ‘giving thanks’ – expressing gratitude to another person, whether verbally, physically, or even in the form of a letter – has profound effects on us, not just mentally but physicallly. Ungrateful people are actually cheating themselves, scientists believe.
By William Williams…

Although Thanksgiving is a natural occasion for us to reflect on our attitude of gratitude, it is a holiday invented by mankind. God Himself has given His people an annual series of Holy Days that are even more meaningful, yet have rarely been practiced. Those Holy Days are true gifts from God. If you want to know more, please write or call for our free booklet, The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan, and learn about how God’s Holy Days can change everything you ever knew or thought about “the holidays,” and show you what most to be thankful for.

While we are to give thanks to God, and giving thanks has health benefits, human-made holidays are not as important as biblical ones.  Real Christians know this, but they also know that they have reasons to give thanks, despite what is happening in the nations.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Thanksgiving: A Time To Give Thanks and Praise the LORD Is this American holiday appropriate? Why or why not?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the Living Church of God?
LCG: Homosexuals Gaining Ground “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality?  Can homosexuals change?
LCG: Pornography, Who’s Tempting Whom? This is some information about the prevalence and dangers of pornography from the Living Church of God.
CG7 on Pornography
This is an article excerpt from the Church of God, 7th Day-Denver about pornography.
Is American Football Evil? Is the most popular spectator sport in the USA something that Christians should watch? What do the Bible and early writings show?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Will the Gentiles dominate? What happens when the Gentiles take over?
Prophecies of Barack Obama? Are there biblical and non-biblical prophecies about Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account?

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