Q: Why does the Church of the Eternal God exist? Why don't you merge with other Church of God groups?
A: We at CEG, along with our affiliated groups in Canada (CGCF) and in the UK (Global), are continually asked the question by Church of God people why we have not merged with one of the larger Church of God groups at a time when some seem to encourage unity among all the people of God.
Since this is an often asked question, we have attempted to give answers in various sermons and articles presented by our ministry. Still the question continues to be directed toward us as a group.
We know that when God established the Church in the wilderness, He revealed at that time certain requirements of His people which remain unchanged to this day. (We exclude from this discussion the sacrificial laws that were added, due to the transgressions of the people, which were for a time, but are no longer required after the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, compare Galatians 3:17-19).
The prophet Amos was inspired by God to raise the question with His people Israel: “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). We have asked ourselves the same question, and of course, the answer comes back loud and clear. God, in fact, refused to walk with Israel and He punished them severely because they failed to follow His commands.
Christ stated in Matthew 12:25 that: “… every… house divided against itself will not stand.” We understand that the major problem with the Church of God, first era (Ephesus), was that it “left its first love” (Revelation 2:4), and in like manner, the end-time church (Laodicea) becomes lukewarm toward God and His Way.
It is critical for the Church at the end time to be wholehearted in its approach to God’s requirements. This would necessitate a clear understanding of what God requires of His people, individually, and of His Church as a whole. God desires a people who will keep His Word and walk in His Way (Revelation 3:8).
God is clear in what He requires of those He is dealing with at any time. He told His chosen people Israel through His servant Moses: “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:1-2).
“Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the [people] who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren” (verses 5-9).
Notice, too, Leviticus 18:5: “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them…”
When a leader was established over the nation, there were specific instructions as to how he was to rule God’s people. Notice, especially, Deuteronomy 17:18-20: “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.”
God does not change (Malachi 3:6). He requires that we, today, live by His Word, which He laid out before the people millennia ago. It is our responsibility in the ministry of God’s Church to be sure there is a clear standard presented to those God has called or is calling; a standard which is unwavering as to God’s requirements of His people at this time. God’s message must be clearly presented. Through the guidance of His Holy Spirit, we in CEG and affiliates intend to do this to the best of our ability, based upon the knowledge and understanding which has been revealed to us.
This includes withdrawing from those who do not teach and practice these truths faithfully, as they have been revealed to us (1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6). We desire to fellowship with all who accept these truths and faithfully teach and practice them (John 10:5, 14-16, 27). At this time we do not see the possibility of our merging with any of the other Church of God groups. In order to be able to do so, we would first have to be shown clear evidence that the Biblical standards described herein are endorsed in theory and in practice by the leadership of the particular group; that those false teachings which were brought into the Worldwide Church of God in recent years have been totally rejected by the particular group; and that such group, as well as all of its ministers have returned to sound teachings and practices as outlined in God’s Holy Word.