data theftTrue to the Word of Prophecy in Daniel 12:4, worldly knowledge has increased with the launching of the Super Highway paving the way for huge technological advancements in our society. But as fast as we are advancing so is the number of criminals who are “running to and fro” bilking millions in any which way they can.

Out of the many forms of theft committed, identify theft is becoming the most prevalent….A problem that is huge and extremely serious, but the rate at which it occurs is largely understated and under reported. In fact, within hours of this report, news was surfacing that the social security numbers of some 200-million people have been compromised. Information that was thought to be safe and secure in the virtual vaults of Experian. A credit reporting agency privy to the sensitive information of thousands of Americans including mine and very likely yours. Reuters 

In addition, a security firm recently announced a huge shocker revealing that the stolen information of some 360-million individuals is currently up for sale on the black market-CNET. This is not to mention recent revelations that millions more had their information stolen after shopping at several large retailers during the last holiday season.

While tech crimes are on the rise, the old fashion way of thieving is going just as strong. Criminals are reportedly duping seniors out of  millions of dollars by posing as workers from agencies such as the electric service, Internal Revenue Service and even the local cable guy. Scams are being reported somewhere in the world daily.

It all boils down to the breaking of the Eighth Commandment (Thou Shalt Not Steal). The subject was extensively discussed during Mr. Armstrong’s era as part of a series in the Plain Truth Magazine on God’s 10 commandments. In the September 1960 issue (vol-xxv), Mr. Roderick C. Meridith outlined God’s answer when this law is broken. Even at that time, Mr. Meridith wrote that “modern thievery” was at an “all-time high”, rapidly increasing and permeating every “phase of society”.  Mr. Meridith went on to state:

“With our increasing disobedience to God’s living laws, we are suffering the consequences in physical as well as in spiritual ways. In God’s Law, the most important thing is our RIGHT relationship with Him-covered by the first four commandments and the protection of the home,  the family and human life itself-covered in the next three commandments”.

Now some five decades later, continued disobedience has pushed America to the edge. While the “Great Recession” is said to have ended in 2009, the country continues to struggle. A recent report contends jobs have returned to the 2008 levels, yet their accompanying wages continue to lag CNN. What is on the rise are homelessness, hunger and escalating prices at the grocer and gas pump. There is good news however, Mr. Meredith pointed out the flip side if God’s commandment is followed.

The definite, positive application of the eighth commandment is stated in the New Testament letter to the Ephesians in Eph. 4:28…“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Eph. 4:28). On the one side, stealing is condemned in this passage. On the other, working and giving are outlined as the WAY OF LIFE the positive application of God’s command dictates. Property and possessions are to be gained by honest work-not merely to satisfy personal desires and needs-but so that any excess may be freely GIVEN to the brother in need”.

In the real intent or “spirit” of God’s Law, a man not only steals by taking from another that which is his, but by refusal to work in order to share and GIVE to others in need! The true Christian should be: “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:13)

….As God’s begotten children, we are to become like Him (Mat.5:48). And Jesus said: “My Father worketh hither- to, and I work” (John 5:17). God’s kingdom is a creating, a working,  a producing kingdom. God creates and works in order to give and share with others! For the  inspired James wrote: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down
from the Father….(James 1:17). And so the very nature of God-which we all MUST come to have  if we are to have eternal life-that nature is working, producing and GIVING. It is the very antithesis of stealing in any and every form! The positive lesson of the eighth commandment  is also summarized in these all-inclusive words of Jesus, the Christ: “lt is more blessed to GIVE
than to receive” (Acts 20:35). If, through God’s Spirit, we can truly learn to live by those words, we will have indeed fulfilled the spirit of the eighth commandment!

Well, it also happens to be GOD’S business-and He has set in motion a LAW stating: “Thou  shalt not steal.” When you break God’s LAW- It breaks you! For God’s laws are living, moving  things-like the law of gravity. When you transgress them, the punishment is automatic-and sure!”

We as God’s scattered people hardly need reminding that one of the most serious offenses against the Heavenly Father as His Chosen  would be to rob Him of His tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:11-15).  But according to Mr. Meridith, It is those smaller offenses ranging from simply cheating on a test to robbing our foods of nutrients by overly processing that can easily cause us to run afoul of the law lest we remain  diligent and aware.

It is for this reason that we give Honor,Praise and Glory to the Heavenly Father who has shined His glorious Light on us that we may understand, listen and heed the warnings given to us in God’s Word of Prophecy. It is in fervent hope that we are deemed worthy to escape all that is coming to an increasingly disobedient World. Daniel 12:10-12.