Isaiah 1:18 has this marvelous directive from our Creator: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord ….”It then continues with this promise, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
God is addressing His own people. The Hebrew reads, “Come and reason with me.” He is pleading with His people who have fallen away, but also with us who are doing His Work today.
In God’s Church and at God’s college today, we use this verse as a guiding principle. We strive to reason with God. This is, in fact, a good definition of true education.
This world doesn’t believe this today—but soon they will. We have the tremendous honor of being called out of this world to prepare to teach mankind to reason with God.
God truly does want us to reason with Him. He is not asking us to accept something we cannot reason is right. He isn’t trying to force anything on us. God wants us to use our minds. He wants us to use the human spirit—and to use the Holy Spirit, reasoning with Him.
The way man is reasoning today is bringing this world to a final catastrophe. Something must be done to correct this! Isaiah 1:18 is the solution.
This passage continues, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” (verse 19). That is an absolute promise from God. “Good” here means cheerfulness, wealth, happiness. If we reason with God, we will enjoy the best of everything!
“But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (verse 20). God says we must choose. If we refuse Him, we face terrifying consequences. That is reality.
This verse shows the future of the United States, Britain, the Jewish state in the Middle East and really the whole world! But thankfully, after that punishment, we will teach them the wonderful truths our Church members and college students are learning today.
“How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers” (Isaiah 1:21). This “faithful city” is Pasadena, California, where God’s Church was headquartered for decades under Herbert W. Armstrong. God’s people had righteousness, truth and judgment. But they largely turned away from God, and now they are murderers because they’re not doing the work that we were called out of this world to do. Ezekiel 33 says that if we refuse to deliver God’s message, we’re guilty of murder! When God gives us His truth, we are indeed held accountable. We must apply what we are learning.
The Laodiceans have lost God’s view. They are suffering one crisis, disappointment and failure after another. Why? Because they are not reasoning with God.
“Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water” (verse 22). All those spiritual riches have become dross, degeneration and waste—of no value. The dross left over from silver or gold is thrown away. That is the condition the Laodiceans are in—because they wouldn’t reason with God. They had opportunity, and they threw it away.
“Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them” (verse 23). God’s people certainly strive to look after physical fatherless and widows. But God is talking about a lot more than that.
The Laodiceans are spiritually fatherless and widowed. They have left God the Father. The world as a whole doesn’t have God the Father. A family cannot get along very well without a father. And that is certainly true spiritually.
The Laodiceans have also rejected their Husband, Jesus Christ. This is an unparalleled calamity!
Those of us today in God’s Church, however, have the opportunity to understand and gain God’s thoughts and think like God—to actually reason with God! That is the most thrilling experience a person can have!
We practice pure religion (James 1:27). But that is far more than simply visiting physical widows and fatherless. Doing that is just a type of getting this message out to the world. That is why we are here. God has mercifully called us out of this world. And He will reward us, even today, if we do His Work and warn this world on His behalf! But if we fail in that, we become murderers!
To do that job, we must learn to really use our minds. We must reason with God.
Examples From the Court Case
One resource says the word “reason” in Isaiah 1:18 is like “a covenant lawsuit or the connotation of legal confrontation is clearly attached to this term.” In our six-year court battle with the Worldwide Church of God (wcg), we saw a lot of reasoning—some of it just human reasoning with the human spirit. But even that can be quite impressive. Our lawyers in that case were excellent at reasoning. They know how to use the human spirit. Their whole lives they have been reasoning and reasoning and reasoning. They don’t get everything right all the time, but they were brilliant at using human intellect.
We had one particular lawyer in Canada who was a brilliant lawyer. But in time I realized that he would not listen. What a terrible flaw that was!
If you’re going to reason with God, you must learn to listen. That is more important than talking. If you want to become a great lawyer for God or a great judge for God, you must master listening.
As we went through the court case, we reasoned with God and stepped out in faith. We brought Him into our thinking all we could, and followed His lead. And He blessed us in so many ways—including revelation He gave us prophesying our victory! It was phenomenal because we stepped out and reasoned with Him.
The Laodiceans, too, reasoned during the court case. I was astounded at how subtle and convincing their reasoning was in trying to defend their lies. They were definitely lying, but they were really good at it. As God says, that was all engineered by the devil (2 Thessalonians 2).
Of course, by reasoning with God, we out reasoned them. It wasn’t easy, but we were able to out reason them and outfight them because we had the power of God with us. And we eventually won everything!
The Bible warns that we are to have another clash with the man of sin (Amos 7). So we must understand the way these wicked men reason and learn from our court case experience.
Depths of Satan
In Revelation 2:24, Christ warns about “the depths of Satan.” Satan has depth in his evil reasoning! This is why it is especially important to reason with God: Otherwise, Satan will out reason us every time.
When we were in the court case, I believe we dealt with more “depths of Satan” than I have ever seen.
In the depositions, our lawyers questioned wcg leaders on something Michael Feazell had written in 2001 about church government. He writes in The Liberation of the Worldwide Church of God that Joseph Tkach Jr. “began the process of reviewing and revising church bylaws in early 1996.” Some of these changes included establishing “a term limit for the pastor general” and giving a board “responsibility for choosing a successor” (Worldwide News, July 23, 1996). Yet during a 2002 deposition, these same men had to admit that nothing had changed: Joseph Tkach Jr. was still pastor general six years after they committed to changing the government structure.
They were never going to give up that absolute authority. Why? Because their objective was to cast truth to the ground and keep it there. They hate God’s government. They wanted to refashion God’s one true Church into just another form of mainstream Christianity. So they had to be careful to retain authority over the church—to have power to destroy God’s truth!
That is the devil’s ultimate goal. His whole mind and all of his passion are directed at destroying the truth of God! And he is certainly willing to use and abuse authority to do so.
The Laodiceans said it was their “Christian duty” to keep Mystery of the Ages out of print because of “doctrinal errors.” Doing so, they insisted, was an expression of love. In reality, it was an outright expression of hate! You see that plainly if you are reasoning with God.
Satan wants so badly to keep this truth from the world. Our victory in the court case was spectacular when you really understand what Satan was trying to do.
Our lawyers further asked in the depositions, “Can you explain why it took so little time for Mr. Armstrong’s successors to change the fundamental doctrines of the church, but so long to change the hierarchal form of government?”
The Laodicean leaders answered: Because we’re a church and the spiritual things are more important to us. They weren’t concerned about government, you see, they were concerned about “spiritual things.” As if government isn’t a spiritual thing! Mr. Armstrong said government is everything. They say government is nothing. The government of God is everything—but to them, it’s not even spiritual. In reality, after God, God’s government is the most spiritual thing there is.
God and His Family will administer the government in the World Tomorrow. That is the gospel: the good news of the coming Family that will administer the government of God.
The First Commandment is all about government! (Exodus 20:3). What Christ called “the first and great commandment”—the most important commandment of all—is about government (Matthew 22:37-38). Yet those men had the gall to say it’s not even spiritual. Their thinking is purely from Satan. We must be able to out reason such thinking. To reason with God, you must reason lawfully, because that is love.
In another deposition, one Laodicean minister said, “I don’t think a form of government of any type is spiritually healthy or unhealthy.” They parade themselves as if they are so full of love. Isn’t a government structured on God’s law healthy? They don’t believe so. They have rejected God’s law, and have gotten their “love” straight from the devil. God’s government is the only healthy government there is! Every other government is inspired by Satan—unhealthy, and leading to eternal death!
So many of these men were once full of judgment. But see what they have done. Do the calculations. These are the depths of Satan!
When you face troubles in your life, you need to recognize how much Satan might be causing those. Reason with God, and seek to understand the true source of your problems.
In the court case, we exposed Satan. He hates that. He disagrees with God’s assessment that he is evil. He likes people to call him “god” and worship him as though he is good and loving.
Satan installed a man within the Church of God who put himself in the place of God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). He said, in effect, There is no law—look to me! And if you don’t reason with God, you end up worshiping a man. That is what the Laodiceans did. They paraded their exalted reasoning, but all they were doing was worshiping Satan and his man.
This same wicked reasoning infects politics today. Radical leaders know their reasoning is wrong. They are dishonest, and they know it! But they think the end justifies the means. That is Satan’s reasoning. He has followed this same formula for thousands of years.
Those Laodicean ministers knew how to use their minds. They were sharp and quick-minded. They had depth. But it was the depths of Satan. And we were able to cut their reasoning to pieces because we were reasoning with God.
God used the court case to educate me in a lot of ways. What we learned will help us teach the world about the devil, God and true justice.
Reason With God
When we went to court for the works of Herbert W. Armstrong, a few people left our Church. But if you look at the fruits, and you study God’s Word and what He has revealed, then you see that we were in court because we were reasoning with God. We were walking by faith. And God gave us a spectacular victory.
In your own life, if you reason with God, you will win the critical victories!
We must follow the law of God in our lives. That law tells you how to date, how to lead your marriage and family, how to be an excellent employee. When you’re obeying the law, everything will work out the way it should. We love that law because we see the fruits of obeying it. We see how it works in our lives. It is dazzling! That doesn’t mean there won’t be trials—there will be. We need those trials to learn how to better reason with God. It draws us closer to God and helps us to see things from His vantage point.
It’s not natural to reason like God. But we must learn to do so. When you date, do you reason with God? When you get married, do you reason with God? When you work, do you reason with God? When we don’t do that, we will lose. Satan is a master at reasoning, and there is simply no way we can win against him!
The Apostle Paul wrote that we must be “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). “Imaginations” would be better translated “reasonings.” This is talking about human reasoning. That kind of reasoning exalts itself against the knowledge of God. You must overcome that reasoning and bring every thought to the obedience of Christ. Then you are reasoning with God.
So often at ministerial conferences, when the ministers would begin reasoning, Mr. Armstrong would say, Stop the human reasoning and let’s see what God says. We still tend to reason humanly, but we are here to learn to reason with God. That is critical.
When God inspired direction for Moses on selecting leaders, He said the men should be able—men with a certain ability and competency. But even more importantly, they must fear God (Exodus 18:21). That requires a lot of reasoning with God, which must be harnessed with God’s law. Before you can do anything in God’s Work that will be effective, you must fear God. No matter how much ability you have, if you don’t fear God, you will just be muddling around in the wilderness. Fear God, build the character of God, and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities God gives you.
Reason with God. If you’re willing to do that, you will win great battles.
Courage to Work
After Mr. Armstrong died, wcg leaders decided to stop printing Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? because “of the inevitability of having to identify the Catholic Church as the whore and Europe as the beast.” They said that “the Church has been consistently backing away from this confrontational approach.”
That “confrontational approach” happens to be the approach of the apostles and prophets throughout history who gave their lives for God’s Work!
It takes courage to do the Work of God. When the book of Revelation talks about a beast, you must tell the world about it! That beast is rising right now! We have to tell them about it—that is why God called us today! He tells us to warn Israel and the world, and says that if we fail, we are guilty of their blood (Ezekiel 33:7-8). We certainly have to get ready to rule the world with Christ. But if we don’t publish that message today, we will not be ruling in the future.
Realize, we are the spokesmen for God on Earth today! We are the Bride of Christ. We speak for our Husband and our Father. That is our job!
The Laodicean leadership lost all concept of why they were called. They lacked the courage to deliver the message. They feared proclaiming God’s truth. They feared calling the Catholic Church the whore of Revelation. They lacked faith to step out and do what God commanded of them. Fear caused them to lose it all.
God has not called you to a life of ease. God is going to test you. Consider this: After being cast down, Satan went after the Church (Revelation 12:13). The next verse says that God protects His people “from the face of the serpent” (verse 14)—that means the front part of a head. He’s looking right at us, staring us down! We saw this vividly in the court case. But his attacks will reach such intensity that God will have to get us out of here and take us to a place of safety. We will have to depend on God to protect us from the face of the serpent!
2 Chronicles 20:15 says, “… Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” The battle is God’s! That is an absolute promise from the Creator of the universe.
If we get a right perspective and are reasoning with God, we cannot fail to see the excitement in the Work of God and to be elated about that! We have a special opportunity to get this message out just before Christ’s return! We walk by faith, not fear. There are always trials and tests. But this is the greatest opportunity you will ever have! If you will reason with Him, He will give you rewards that will dazzle your mind for eternity!
We are being judged now to determine our eternal reward. I am sure that in the Last Great Day, those resurrected will say, How exciting it must have been to live in the last hour, just before the Second Coming! And surely we would say, Words cannot even express it!
The Apostle Paul struggled to convey his excitement. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” he wrote (Romans 11:33). The word “wisdom” means you know how to apply the knowledge of God and make it work in your life.
Paul was ecstatic because of the depth he was getting out of God’s truth. He was deeply happy even amid his trials. He didn’t allow himself to get distracted by the physical; he pushed all that aside. He even recommended not getting married because of the present distress! (1 Corinthians 7:25-26). He was willing to make such sacrifices because he was so thrilled to learn the depths of God. That’s not to say we should never date and get married. We need strong marriages and families in God’s Church. I’m just trying to illustrate a point. Get your priorities right, and then let God give you that mate. That will help you in ways you cannot even imagine.
You also must control yourself sexually. Paul did, and so can you and so must we. That’s the law. Follow God’s government and the law—the healthy, good and righteous structure that makes us happy and successful.
The Human Spirit
Look at the Bible’s account of God creating human beings. The more I read these verses, the more impressed I am by them: “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion …” (Genesis 1:25-26). Animals were made after their own kind, but man was made after the God kind! He gave us the human spirit, which supplies us the power of intellect. That makes us so different from animals, which merely have a brain.
Why do we have intellectual power? Because it’s the only way God can connect Himself to you with the Holy Spirit. He didn’t make animals to be born into His Family. That is not their purpose. But it is your purpose.
The very elect not only have the likeness of God, but we have the image of the very character of God. Consider how far beyond the animal brain the human spirit is: With God’s Spirit, you are equally as far away from a carnal-minded man! We have the very character of God. We have a godlike mind!
There is a transcendental difference between man and animal. And when you add the Holy Spirit to the spirit of man, it is a godlike mind!
But we must reason like God—reason with God and use that mind as He intends. Then everything works out beautifully. Even when things look bad, all is working out—that is where faith comes in. That must be part of your reasoning. If we had no trials and tests, we wouldn’t reason with God. Those trials serve a great purpose. Let Christ’s mind be in you and become perfect like your Father in heaven is perfect.
Satan works hard to get our minds focused on the body. But God says what sets us apart from the animals is the human spirit! That’s where our great potential is. If you get all wrapped up in the body, you’re just like an animal with lust wrapped up in it, which leads to disaster!
The human spirit keeps you awestruck when you really think about it! Herbert W. Armstrong’s booklet What Science Can’t Discover About the Human Mind explains this truth. There is a reason why we put that on the list of 18 works we wanted besides Mystery of the Ages. You need to read that little booklet and master it.
I was at college when Mr. Armstrong had that truth revealed to him. He had a hard time convincing even the ministers that was true because we had the Protestant concept of the immortal soul in our mind all these years. It took quite a while for people to see that what Mr. Armstrong had written was right! That was such wonderful revelation for the Church. But I had to study it quite a lot before I fully understood it. I wasn’t getting it the way I should.
Don’t ever think you absolutely know our books and booklets. There is always so much depth to get out of what God has given to these last two eras of His Church.
God is working in your life and my life. He keeps stretching our minds and our understanding and getting us to reason with Him, to think like Him and use this godlike mind—to think like God.
We are a family. We are God’s worldwide Work. We have been called a small work. But just 33 years ago, we had a mere 12 people! Look at the growth God has given us. Look at the work that we’re doing. And we are here not to rule over some country in the world today. We are here to change and to rule the world, and then the universe beyond that!
Unparalleled punishment is coming on this world as it is. A flood of problems and troubles is cresting behind a cracked dam that is about to cascade upon the nations! And God is getting us ready to bring people through the Great Tribulation and offer them real hope! What an honor and a privilege we have!
When the wcg was at its apex and had regional directors all over the Earth, Mr. Armstrong stated at a regional directors’ conference, “It ought to cause all of you to realize what kind of a work you’re in, how great it is, and how far ahead of anything else on Earth it is, of anything on Earth now or that ever has been on Earth” (Worldwide News, Feb. 4, 1985). That is a stunning statement!
“This is the age that counts,” he continued. “This is the age that is preparing the ones that I think will be foremost in helping Jesus Christ when He comes to initiate and start a new civilization on this Earth.” And consider what a great deal more God has revealed to us in this era even beyond what Mr. Armstrong knew!
“That civilization is being started in the Worldwide Church of God today,” he said. “It’s an entirely new civilization. There has never been anything like it on Earth, unless it was in smaller degree in the early Church in the first century.”
Christ is going to rely on us to teach the world the truth and teach them how to reason with God! We will show them how to make their lives happy, joyful and productive. What a calling! Learn to reason with God today in your own life, and prepare for that magnificent teaching opportunity!