Who Was Jesus?

On Saturday, January 17, 2004, Norbert Link will be discussing the grossly misunderstood topic of the nature of Jesus Christ, when Christ was here on earth. The sermon is titled, “Who Was Jesus?”

The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time (which is 2:30 p.m. Central Time). Just click on “Connect to Live Stream.”

Goals of Child-Rearing

God places tremendous value on human life. He has a great purpose in mind for mankind to the point He was willing to allow Jesus Christ to empty Himself of the very God Essence and to come to this earth in the form of a flesh and blood human being in order that God’s purpose should be fulfilled. As a part of His purpose, God has charged us, as parents, to see that our children be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

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"Destined To Become Family"

Having just returned from a few days in Boise, Idaho, where my wife and I spent Thanksgiving this year with our daughter and two of our grandchildren, I am reminded once again of the importance of family and why God gives such credence to this institution throughout His written Word.

God shows, in Exodus 20:12 that we are to show honor and respect to our parents, even stating that obedience to this command is rewarded with long life, no doubt taking into consideration that obedience to this command is a requirement for eternal life in His Kingdom. He illustrates in Malachi 4:5-6 that He intends sending the prophet Elijah, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord for the purpose of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.

In Ephesians 5:22 God shows that wives are to submit to their husbands and in verse 28 that husbands are to love their wives as they love themselves. In chapter 6 of Ephesians, verses 1-3 children are told, again, to obey and to honor their parents and, in verse 4, fathers are admonished not to provoke their children but to bring them up in the Ways of God. Additional instruction is given to family members as to the way they should conduct their lives together as they seek to build the family relationship in obedience to their God.

Man was created some 6,000 years ago with the ability to reproduce himself after his own kind and able to replenish the earth and to rule over it (Genesis 1:26-28). Prior to the creation of man, this world was inhabited by angels (Psalms 148:1-6). Angels ruled on the face of the earth under the leadership of the arch-angel, Lucifer, whose name was changed, later, to Satan, after his rebellion from God’s Ways (Isaiah 14:12-14). Satan continues to rule this world, today (John14:30). (See also, Luke 4:5-9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2-3).

However, it is not God’s purpose that the world should be under the rule of angels, forever. In fact, angels are created to be helpers to mankind, especially as men are called to God’s Way for the purpose of salvation. Angels are created beings who will never have an opportunity to be part of a family. They neither marry nor are given in marriage and they are not capable of the reproductive process (Luke 20:34-36).

Yet, God has an ultimate plan of rulership which will exist down through eternity. The Family of God will rule this world throughout eternity, and God is presently in the process of creating sons and daughters to be a part of that family. God is reproducing Himself through the conversion process of which we now have a part. And when one is called of God, it is for that very purpose! We read in Ephesians 3:14-15, “For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” Of course, the present family in heaven consists of God the Father and Jesus Christ. The family present on earth today includes all of those who are begotten members of the family who received God’s Spirit upon baptism and the laying on of hands, whether living or having died “in Christ” and now awaiting the resurrection. These, along with any who are called and chosen in the future and remain faithful to God and His Way will be born of God at the time of the “resurrection of the just” which will occur at Christ’s second coming.

In Hebrews chapter 2, verses 10-11 we read; “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren…”

John tells us in 1 John 3:2; “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” And Paul reveals in Ephesians 1:4-6; “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.”

In the meantime brethren, we must ourselves continue to be faithful to God’s Way, faithfully building and caring for our own family relationships. If we do these things we are destined to become members of the Family of God!

How Are We Doing

Are we fulfilling what our Heavenly Father is requiring of us in order for us to achieve the results we desire in the calling we have received? Is the knowledge we have received helping us in the transformation of the way we think and act? As this transformation is taking place, do we see positive results in our lives as to growth and change, as we learn the Way of God? Are these results we are achieving pleasing in God’s sight? How are we doing?

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Where to Now

As we get back into our daily activities, having returned from eight wonderful days observing the Feast of Tabernacles, we must be ever mindful that our calling from God is a calling to live a certain way – a way which is contrary to the ways of this world. We must not allow the cares of this life to distract us to the point that we fail in this tremendous calling.

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Where to Now?

On Saturday, November 8, 2003, Edwin Pope will be presenting the sermon, “Where to Now?”

Looking to the Future

Are we seeking eternal life or are we facing eternal death? Those are the critical questions facing God’s people at this time. These questions are not to be taken lightly. Are our major objectives directed to this world or to the world to come? We each are making our choice as we live our lives today!

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A Place of Refuge

The Church of God has taught for many years that in the plan of God – He will provide for a place of refuge – or as some have said – a place of final training for God’s people during the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. What does the Bible tell us about such an idea?

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4 Great Enemies of Faith

Why would Christ have asked the question in Luke 18:8 of His people; “…when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Christ noted, specifically, four great enenies of faith in the process of training His disciples for the job He had for them to do. He knew we would all have to overcome these four enemies for faith to remain a viable force in our lives.

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"Will We Be Grateful?"

One thing that God hates is a rebellious house — a rebellious people — a people who have been taught truth, but refuse to follow that truth. God spoke to Ezekiel and said to him, “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 12:2).

One of the major problems in Israel at that time was that the prophets of Israel, whose responsibility it was to relay God’s message to the people, followed their own spirit instead of the Spirit of God (Ezekiel 13:1-3). They had “… not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord” (verse 5). They had not stood for God’s truth before the people. They prophesied, but God stated He had not sent them with the message they proclaimed (verse 6). He said that what they were doing was futile (verse 7).

God had a desire for a people who would stand for His way of life. He has not changed in that desire, and desires such a people, today!

We see in the 22nd chapter of Ezekiel, verses 23-30, that God hated what was being done by His people, by virtue of their rebellious acts. He says that His people were devoured and His holy things profaned, all because the priests did not make known the difference between the clean and the unclean (verse 26). They even hid their eyes from His Sabbaths! How clear that these same problems have existed in recent years among the people of God.

And so, in verse 30, God states that at that time, He “… sought a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap…” before Him, “on behalf of the land,” that He should not destroy it. And yet, He was unable to find such a man to do that.

We have seen down through the history of God’s people, many of those who have been faithful to God, and who have stood firmly for God’s truth and His way. Noah was such a man, as were Abraham and Moses. God’s way was taught in their words and in their actions. Of course Jesus Christ is the prime example of One Who stood in the Gap for God’s way, even to His death! The apostles, except for one, were firm in their stand for God and were promised tremendous future blessings because of their loyalty to God (Matthew 19:27-29).

You and I have been called at this time, brethren, to stand in the gap for God’s way. Will we be faithful? Let us pray for one another for the strength, the power, not to let down at this critical time in history; but to be a light in this world of darkness as Satan is taking every opportunity to see that we fail in this wonderful calling we have received from Almighty God.


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