It Isn't Easy
On September 24, 2005, Dave Harris will give the sermon, titled, “It Isn’t Easy.”
The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at 12:30 pm Pacific Time (which is 2:30 pm Central Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
Why The Name?
by Norbert Link
Recently, the new leadership of the Worldwide Church of God announced that they would change the name of their organization–claiming that “Church of God” is not a Biblically mandated name. The real reason for this change is, of course, to break with any historical link associating them in any way with the late human leader of the Church, Herbert W. Armstrong. In a sense, it is not regrettable that Worldwide change its name, as this will only make “official” the fact that their organization is clearly no longer part of the “Church of God”–the spiritual Body of Christ (compare Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23; and Colossians 1:18).
At the same time, somebody asked me why we, in the USA, are calling ourselves, “the Church of the Eternal God.” As the true Church of God has long understood, the correct Biblical name is “Church of God,” or a variation of that designation. Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17:11-12 that the Church would be kept in “Your name”–that is, the Father ‘s name; and the name of the Father is God (compare 1 Corinthians 11:3). The name of the Church is mentioned twelve times in the New Testament. Six times, it is identified as the “church of God” (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 10:32; 11:22; 15:9; Galatians 1:13; and 1 Timothy 3:5). In two instances, parts of the “church of God” are named in connection with a place or location (1 Corinthians 1:2 and 2 Corinthians 1:1–“the church of God which is at Corinth”). In two places, when referring to all of the local congregations collectively, the Bible speaks of “the churches of God” (1 Corinthians 11:16 and 2 Thessalonians 1:4). In one place, the Bible speaks of all the local congregations in Judea (1 Thessalonians 2:14: “the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus”). Finally, in one instance, Paul addresses the Church of God as “the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15), describing the nature and character of God the Father.
When we re-organized in the USA more than four years ago, we decided to register under “Church of the Eternal God,” describing another aspect of the nature and character of God the Father–the fact that He is “eternal.” Due to legal requirements, we could not register as “Church of God,” or even “Church of the Living God.” But the name “Church of the Eternal God” was available to us. This name is, in deed, very Biblical.
Deuteronomy 33:27 refers to God as the “eternal God.” The Hebrew is “qedem”–“what is before in time and place.” 1 Timothy 1:17 refers to God as “the King eternal.” Romans 16:26 speaks of the “everlasting God.” The Revised Standard Version says, “eternal God.” In Hebrews 9:14, the Holy Spirit is described as “eternal”–as it is the eternal power emanating from the eternal God Family (both the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ). Romans 1:20 speaks about God’s “eternal power and Godhead.” In Isaiah 57:15, it is said that God “inhabits eternity.” Genesis 21:33 speaks of the “Everlasting God.” The New International Version and the Living Bible say, “Eternal God.” Jeremiah 10:10 calls God “the living God and the everlasting King.” The New International Version says, “… eternal King.”
So we see that the name, “Church of the Eternal God,” as part of the spiritual body of Christ, is truly a Biblical name. With this assurance, let us continue to do the Work of God as powerfully as we possibly can, and to obey God the Father and His Son in all respects.
This Week in the News
German Elections–A Nightmare!
The most recent German parliamentary elections last Sunday threw the country into a nightmare of unexpected proportions–which are unparalleled since the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany, after World War II. Neither Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder nor challenger Angela Merkel received the absolute majority of the votes.
Der Spiegel Online published several articles on September 19, with headlines such as: “Germany Loses Its Own Election” or “Merkel’s Bitter Defeat.” AFP echoed these sentiments by publishing this headline on September 19: “Political turmoil in Germany.” On September 20, AFP spoke of “election chaos” and “political stalemate.”
What happened, exactly?
Der Spiegel Online explained:
“German elections are over and both Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his challenger Angela Merkel are claiming victory. In truth, both did poorly — but they may end up leading Germany together anyway. It will be a coalition of the losers… Angela Merkel’s results… are nothing short of catastrophic. In June, just after she was nominated as the Union’s candidate for the chancellery, surveys indicated that she had a shot at an absolute majority of over 50 percent… Gerhard Schröder, on the other hand, was a lame duck all summer. After calling for snap elections in May, virtually every pundit in the country assumed the chancellor was rapidly heading for early retirement… His result on Sunday, while still one of the worst in the history of his party, represents the SPD’s high-water mark of support since… 2002… All of which means that Germany, on the Monday after the election, has two chancellors, no coalition government and little in the way of a plan how to resolve the situation. It was an election without a victor…
“Even worse, it isn’t clear that the upcoming coalition negotiations will result in a government able to govern… At the end of the day, more Germans voted for parties to the left of the political center (a total of 51.1 percent among the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party) than for those to the right (45 percent for Merkel’s Union and the neo-liberal FDP.)… Now, it seems the country will be led by the WEAKEST GOVERNMENT IN ITS POST-WAR HISTORY… In a Monday editorial, the Wall Street Journal opines that ‘the ‘sick man of Europe’ is likely to remain bedridden for a while longer.”
“Germany’s parliament has to meet by October 18 to elect a chancellor… After the election stalemate on Sunday, everything points to a grand coalition. But can the two major parties reform Germany? And who would lead, Schröder or Merkel?… This was the election outcome NO ONE EXPECTED… Schröder seemed completely in his element on Sunday evening, coming across like a MAGICIAN who believes that EVERYTHING IS WITHIN HIS POWER… The greatest fear of many conservative Southern German politicians may now be a reality: the outcome of German elections may be decided in the East [when 219,000 residents will vote in the city of Dresden on October 2]… The current breakdown of seats in parliament is SPD 222, CDU 225. So those three seats could make a big difference and transform Dresden into the German kingmaker.”
The international reaction to Germany’s election fiasco was one of utmost astonishment and bewilderment.
The Associated Press wrote on September 19: “Germany’s benchmark stock market and the euro dropped amid gloom over the muddled outcome.” It also explained that “If the new parliament cannot elect a chancellor in three tries, President Horst Koehler could appoint a minority government led by the candidate with a simple majority.” He could also dissolve the parliament and order new elections–which would then take place, in all likelihood, in the spring of 2006.
AFP added: “European partners looked on with concern as the euro slumped, pressing the German parties to resolve the standoff as soon as possible. ‘With all respect for the internal sensitivities of (Germany) I urge the German leaders to find as soon as possible a stable solution for Germany,’ EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said. ‘WITHOUT A DYNAMIC GERMANY, EUROPE CANNOT RECOVER.'”
The article speculated about three possible coalition options:
”  An unwieldy left-right ‘grand coalition’ grouping Social Democrats and Christian Democrats [Both Merkel and Schroeder rejected this concept];  A center-left alliance bringing together the Social Democrats, Greens and the Free Democrats, known as the ‘traffic light coalition’ for the party colors red, yellow and green [The Greens rejected this concept];  A left-center-right alliance linking up the Christian Democrats, the Free Democrats and the Greens. Wags have dubbed this the ‘Jamaica coalition’ as its party colors would match the Caribbean country’s flag [The Free Democrats rejected this concept.].”
On September 21, 2005, Der Spiegel Online reported about the first major casualty in the aftermath of the German election. In its article, titled, “Fischer takes a bow,” the magazine stated: “The first serious casualty of the German election mashup is Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who formally retreated from any leadership position yesterday… Saying he saw no way for his Green Party to stay in government, he renounced his claim to a cabinet position in any new coalition and even stepped away from a leadership role within the Greens… His withdrawal suggests that life under Angela Merkel as chancellor would be intolerable for Joschka Fischer, and that continued life under Gerhard Schröder also looks… impossible.”
As German-speaking peoples will play THE predominant role in Europe, heading the last resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire, it is incumbent on us to watch the political developments in Germany.
In Fear Of Hurricane Rita
As The Associated Press reported on Thursday, September 22, 2005, “Traffic came to a standstill and gas shortages were reported Thursday as hundreds of thousands of people in the Houston metropolitan area rushed to get out of the path of Hurricane Rita, a monster storm with 170 mph winds. More than 1.3 million residents in Texas and Louisiana were under orders to evacuate to avoid a deadly repeat of Katrina… Forecasters said Rita could be the strongest hurricane on record ever to hit Texas. Only three Category 5 hurricanes, the highest on the scale, are known to have hit the U.S. mainland–most recently, Andrew, which smashed South Florida in 1992.
“Galveston, Corpus Christi and surrounding Nueces County, low-lying parts of Houston, and mostly emptied-out New Orleans were under mandatory evacuation orders as Rita swirled across the Gulf of Mexico, drawing energy with terrifying efficiency from its warm waters… Meanwhile, the death toll from Katrina passed the 1,000 mark Wednesday in five Gulf Coast states. The body count in Louisiana alone was put at nearly 800, with most of the corpses found in the receding floodwaters of New Orleans.
“Crude oil prices rose again on fears that Rita would destroy key oil installations in Texas and the gulf. Hundreds of workers were evacuated from offshore oil rigs. Texas, the heart of U.S. crude production, accounts for 25 percent of the nation’s total oil output. Rita is the 17th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, making this the fourth-busiest season since record-keeping started in 1851. The record is 21 tropical storms in 1933. The hurricane season is not over until Nov. 30.”
Breakthrough With North Korea?
Der Spiegel Online reported on September 21, 2005: “Nuclear talks with Kim Jong Il have muddied again. Less than 24 hours after negotiators announced a ‘major breakthrough’ with North Korea over its nuclear program, Pyongyang has backpedaled. Monday, North Korea agreed ‘in principle’ to quit building nuclear weapons, and the U.S. agreed (also in principle) to recognize the government in Pyongyang and to back a peace treaty between North and South Korea that would formally end the Korean War. (Shooting stopped after an armistice treaty in 1953.) Everyone has celebrated the breakthrough — ‘If we weren’t in the middle of election results,’ wrote the German newspaper Die Welt Tuesday, ‘North Korea would be front and center’ — and it looked as if Kim Jong Il would let in all-important arms inspectors, to make sure he couldn’t build any warheads.
“But now strange noises have emanated from the North Koreans, who are believed to have about a half-dozen untested nuclear weapons. They suddenly swore not to give up their nuclear program until the US offered a civilian light-water reactor, for nuclear power. The US gave North Korea two water reactors in the 1990s, when the Clinton administration made a now-collapsed agreement with Pyongyang.”
Iran On The War Path?
Der Spiegel Online reported on September 21, 2005: “The European Union on Tuesday warned about ‘offenses and lapses’ in Iran’s nuclear program and suggested that the UN Security Council should take up the case by investigating Tehran’s nuclear sites. Iran [hit] back by saying it would resist any sudden inspections. Russia and China moved in behind the mullahs, and now a showdown seems to be looming… Germany, France, and Britain seem to have lost their patience, and their draft resolution yesterday asking the Security Council to investigate Iran’s ‘offenses and lapses’ turns up international pressure on the mullahs to prove they have no weapons program. Iran, of course, sits on an ocean of oil and natural gas, but claims to need nuclear energy.”
AFP added on September 20: “Responding to European efforts to haul Iran before the UN Security Council over ‘breaches’ of international atomic safeguards, Larijani also said Tehran would link its oil business and other economic trade with individual countries based on whose side they took in the dispute.”
The Washington Post stated on September 20:
“Iran’s president said yesterday that his country is ready to share its nuclear know-how with other Islamic countries, the latest setback to a U.N.-backed effort to halt Tehran’s nuclear programs… With the Russian president at his side, Mr. Ahmadinejad replied, ‘A powerful Russia is Iran’s best friend, and a powerful Iran is Russia’s best friend.'”
Whether the Europeans felt intimidated by Iran’s threats or not, they have now decided to “drop [their] harsher stand on Iran,” according to an article by The Associated Press, which was published on September 22, 2005. The article stated: “The European Union on Thursday offered to delay its drive to bring Iran before the U.N. Security Council for its suspect atomic activities if Russia and China will agree to a new resolution that criticizes Tehran for violating nuclear commitments. If an agreement is not reached, however, the EU, backed by the United States, planned to force a vote on the tougher resolution.”
On September 21, 2005, gulfnews.com reported: “Incredible though it may sound, there are signs that Tehran may be preparing for a military confrontation with the United States and has convinced itself that it could win… The surest sign yet is the military build-up under way in the five provinces bordering Iraq… Iran is estimated to have 250,000 troops in the area, its biggest military build-up since the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988…The Islamic Republic is a fragile structure in a zone of political earthquakes. Logically, the last thing it should want is war. Nevertheless, former President Mohammad Khatami has warned that Tehran may be boxing itself into a position in which it will either have to surrender or fight.”
Bird Flu Outbreak Will Kill Millions
Reuters reported on September 20, 2005: “The initial outbreak of what could explode into a bird flu pandemic may affect only a few people, but the world will have just weeks to contain the deadly virus before it spreads and kills millions. Chances of containment are limited because the potentially catastrophic infection may not be detected until it has already spread to several countries, like the SARS virus in 2003. Avian flu vaccines developed in advance will have little impact on the pandemic virus. It will take scientists four to six months to develop a vaccine that protects against the pandemic virus, by which time thousands could have died. There is little likelihood a vaccine will even reach the country where the pandemic starts.”
Additional Ridiculous US Spending…
The Associated Press reported on September 19, 2005, that “NASA estimated Monday it will cost $104 billion to return astronauts to the moon by 2018 in a new rocket that combines the space shuttle with the capsule of an earlier NASA era. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, in unveiling the new lunar exploration plan announced by President Bush last year, said he is not seeking extra money and stressed that the space agency will live within its future budgets to achieve this goal. He dismissed suggestions that reconstruction of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina might derail the program first outlined by President Bush in 2004.
“‘We’re talking about returning to the moon in 2018. There will be a lot more hurricanes and a lot more other natural disasters to befall the United States and the world in that time, I hope none worse than Katrina,’ Griffin said at a news conference. ‘But the space program is a long-term investment in our future. We must deal with our short-term problems while not sacrificing our long- term investments in our future. When we have a hurricane, we don’t cancel the Air Force. We don’t cancel the Navy. And we’re not going to cancel NASA.'”
Is it too naive to politely ask, “In what POSSIBLE way are we investing long-term in our future by spending 104 billion dollars to return astronauts to the moon???” This appears an incredibly ridiculous waste of money in the face of serious natural and man-made disasters plaguing the USA. [As we prepare this Update, Hurricane Rita, now declared to be a category 5 storm, is expected to hit Texas by early Saturday morning. It is highly anticipated by experts that additional strong hurricanes will hit the USA this year.]
Scotland Most Violent Country In Developed World
On September 19, 2005, TimesOnLine reported that Scotland is “the most violent country in the developed world, with people three times more likely to be assaulted than in America. England and Wales recorded the second highest number of violent assaults while Northern Ireland recorded the fewest. The study, based on telephone interviews with victims of crime in 21 countries, found that more than 2,000 Scots were attacked every week, almost ten times the official police figures. They include non-sexual crimes of violence and serious assaults. Violent crime has doubled in Scotland over the past 20 years.”
Mismanagement In Louisiana
The Los Angeles Times wrote on September 17, 2005, that “Senior officials in Louisiana’s emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck. And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998.
“In March, FEMA demanded that Louisiana repay $30.4 million to the federal government. The problems are particularly worrisome, federal officials said, because they involve the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the agency that will administer much of the billions in federal aid anticipated for victims of Katrina.”
Britain Angry With USA
Mirror.co.uk wrote on September 19, 2005: “Hundreds of tons of British food aid shipped to America for starving Hurricane Katrina survivors is to be burned. US red tape is stopping it from reaching hungry evacuees. Instead tons of the badly needed Nato ration packs, the same as those eaten by British troops in Iraq, has been condemned as unfit for human consumption… The food, which cost British taxpayers millions, is sitting idle in a huge warehouse after the Food and Drug Agency recalled it when it had already left to be distributed. Scores of lorries headed back to a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, to dump it at an FDA incineration plant…”
The article continued:
“Food from Spain and Italy is also being held because it fails to meet US standards and has been judged unfit for human consumption. And Israeli relief agencies are furious that thousands of gallons of pear juice are to be destroyed because it has been judged unfit.”
It seems, no matter what the USA is doing these days, it is creating more and more enemies for itself, even turning its allies and supporters against it. This should not surprise us, if we understand Biblical prophecy. Current events HAVE BEEN written in advance in your Bible, and you NEED TO KNOW what they are. Please read our new free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of England and America,” which is posted on the Web and is being printed at the present time.
Britain Angry With Europe
TimesOnLine reported on September 14, 2005, that “Brussels has been given the power to compel British courts to fine or imprison people for breaking EU laws, even if the Government and Parliament are opposed. An unprecedented ruling yesterday by the supreme court in Europe gives Brussels the power to introduce harmonised criminal law across the EU, creating for the first time a body of European criminal law that all member states must adopt. The judgment by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg was bitterly fought by 11 EU governments, including Britain, and marks a dramatic transfer of power from national capitals to Brussels.”
It is interesting that Tony Blair, even though the current–mostly silent–President of the European Parliament, did not prevent this development from occurring. This is another nail in the coffin of Britain’s participation in the “United States of Europe.”
The Catholic Church And The Devil
On September 14, 2005, MSNBC published an almost unbelievable report about most recent developments within the Catholic Church. The article stated:
“At the end of his weekly general audience on Wednesday Pope Benedict greeted Italian exorcists who, he disclosed, are currently holding their national convention. The pope encouraged them to ‘carry on their important work in the service of the Church.’ Problem was that until the pope spoke few people outside the inner circle knew that a convention of Beelzebub-busters was going on, presumably in Rome.”
Even though not commonly known, the article continued to explain: “The Roman Catholic Church has shown growing interest in exorcism in Italy. In 1999, the Vatican issued its first updated ritual for exorcism since 1614 and warned that the devil is still at work… A Vatican university announced last Thursday that for the second year running it will hold a course on exorcism and Satanism for Roman Catholic priests.”
Many people in Protestant churches pray to Jesus Christ, while Mary and various saints are also addressed in Catholic prayers. What is the Biblical teaching regarding whom a Christian should talk to in prayer?
There is indeed much confusion regarding how to pray and to whom one should pray; however, the Bible clearly reveals that the followers of Jesus Christ should direct their prayers, first and foremost, to God the Father.
When asked about how to pray by one of His disciples, Jesus was very specific regarding to whom prayer was to be offered: “So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven ‘” (Luke 11:2). In the full context of His instruction about prayer, we find this final comment: “‘If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! ‘” (Luke 11:13).
Jesus teaches that we should address our prayer to the Father, and in so doing, He is pointing to the ultimate relationship that God is creating with mankind! In the account in Matthew concerning Jesus ‘ instruction about prayer, we read, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him ‘” (Matthew 6:7-8).
Note that Jesus says that the heathen think that their prayers are heard. That also applies to those who are deceived and believe that they are practicing Christianity! Jesus warns that many will say that they invoked the name of Jesus as a part of their religious practices; however, Jesus states: ” ‘And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” ‘” (Matthew 7:23).
When Jesus and His disciples came to a city of Samaria, He discussed worship with a woman from the area–a Gentile. Jesus stated: “‘…Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth ‘” (John 4:21-24).
In a pointed exchange between Jesus and some of the Jews, we find this record in John 8, verse 42: “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but he sent Me. ‘” Continuing in this account, Jesus shows that even these Jews who were a part of the physical lineage of Abraham were not true worshippers of God: “Jesus answered, ‘If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him… ‘” (John 8:54-55).
Knowing the Father is the result of being called. Here is how Jesus explains how one may come to know the Father: ” ‘All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him ‘” (Matthew 11:27).
Jesus said, “‘…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me ‘” (John 14:6). He taught His disciples that following His death and resurrection they were to pray to the Father–asking in the name of Jesus Christ (compare John 15:16; 16:23). Jesus opened the way for His followers to pray directly to the Father: “‘In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God ‘” (John 16:26-27).
In His own personal references about God, Jesus refers to Him as “Father”–particularly when praying. (Compare Matthew 26:39, 42; Luke 10:21; Luke 23:34, 46; John 11:41; John 12:28; John 17:1) The remarkable truth is that this Father-Son relationship is what has always defined these two members of the God Family, and it is the kind of relationship that Christians are promised throughout the limitless future of eternity! Please refer to our booklet titled, “God Is A Family,” for a fuller explanation.
Jesus told His disciples that He was about to return to His Father, and in this context, He said, “‘…My Father is greater than I ‘” (John 14:28). Paul adds this explanation about the plan God is working out: “Then comes the end, when He [Jesus Christ] delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:24). Also, we read in verse 28: “Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”
The Book of Hebrews explains: “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1). Hebrews also reveals that Jesus Christ opened the way to the Father, and that He continues as High Priest on our behalf when we come before God the Father in prayer: “Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25; also, compare Hebrews 4:14-16). John writes: “…And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1; also, compare Romans 8:34).
The early New Testament church was encouraged to pray, and Paul directed Christians to bring their needs and desires directly to God the Father through–that is, in the name of or by the authority of–Jesus Christ: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
There is absolutely no Biblical basis for praying to anyone but God. When John, on two occasions was so overwhelmed and filled with awe by the visions revealed through one of God ‘s angels, he reacted by falling down to worship the angel: “Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God ‘” (Revelation 22:9; compare Revelation 19:10).
However, there is at least one Biblical example when one of Christ’s servants prayed to Christ. We read in Acts 7:59-60: “And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God [note that the word “God” was added, as it is not in the original] and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin.’ And when he said this, he fell asleep.”
It is therefore not wrong to include, OCCASIONALLY, in our prayers to the Father a direct acknowledgement of Jesus Christ [besides the fact that we are to pray “in Christ’s name,” or by His authority]. After all, Christ is God, and He was even worshipped when He was on this earth, in the flesh. We receive the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son, and both the Father and the Son live in us. The Holy Spirit, however, is not God or a person; therefore, we should never pray to the Holy Spirit (see our free booklet, “Is God a Trinity?”). We can ask God for more of His Spirit to assist us in coming to the Truth and for help in living as Christ lived.
Additionally, praying to Christ should not become the major focus of our prayer life. As the Scriptures show, Christ directed us to pray to the Father–as the HIGHEST BEING in the God Family. Because the Father accepts the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf, the way is now open for us to come with confidence to the throne of God for help (compare Hebrews 10:19-22).
When we do pray to the Father, we have this guiding assurance: “And whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (1 John 3:22-23).
Lead Writer: Dave Harris
Preaching the Gospel & Feeding the Flock
Rene and Delia Messier report that on September 16, 2005, at 12:40, their youngest daughter gave birth to their seventh grandchild, Sarah. The baby weighed 8 lbs, 5 ounces. All are doing well.
A new member letter has been written and sent out. This will be the last letter before the Feast of Tabernacles. In the letter, Norbert Link discusses present world conditions and points out the solution to our problems. The member letter is now available on the web.
Our new booklet on Predestination and related topics has entered the second review cycle.
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
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Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom