The Family of Man vs. The Family of God

Before sitting at my computer to write this editorial, I decided to
catch the mid-day national and international news on television. There
was a breaking story in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India. Eight
(8) bombs had been set off on trains in Mumbai with the result that
hundreds of people were either killed or injured!

It seems no
matter where one looks today, turmoil is erupting somewhere in the
world. The United States and Britain, as well as other nations, are at
war in Iraq; and within the country of Iraq, factions have erupted into
civil war. The Gaza Strip has become a powder keg as emotions between
Israel and Palestine are about to burst. Iran continues to cause
concern for all peace-loving nations. And there seems to be no peace
anywhere within the Middle East. In fact, we are presently witnessing an outright war in that region.

And now, Korea has begun flexing
its muscles, causing anxiety throughout that part of the world, with
Japan, China, and South Korea all being put on alert by the actions of
the North Koreans.

What is happening within the family of man? Why does there seem to be no peace on the earth? Where did this all begin?

God created mankind some 6,000 years ago, He explained to the original
human parents of all mankind the Way that would lead to peace in the
world. But Adam and Eve chose at that time to reject God’s instruction,
choosing, rather, to walk in the way of “good and evil.” Thus, having
rejected the Way of peace, mankind has reaped the fruit of their
choice! The history of mankind reflects the result that was derived
from their choice!

As prophesied, mankind finds himself on the
brink of total annihilation. Many see no hope for the future of
mankind. Yet, the Eternal God has a totally different idea for the
future – a specific and glorious purpose for man’s destiny!

is in the process of building and enlarging His own Family through
which the creation will be preserved into the future. God the Father
will build His own Family on the foundation already laid by the first
of the firstfruits of God’s Family, Jesus Christ. Jesus became the
chief cornerstone of a foundation of strength, based upon the
principles God has established whereby all must live. It is the same
foundation which was rejected in the beginning by Adam and Eve!

have been called to become firstfruits within God’s Family. We must be
walking in the Way Christ walked while on the earth – He being the
First of the firstfruits! We are to learn of that Way as we prepare to
become future sons and daughters in that Family of God.

Will we
be diligent in following that Way? It is possible through the power of
God’s Holy Spirit of which we received an earnest payment following our
baptism and the laying on of hands of God’s ministry! We must never
reject that Spirit and, as David did, we should be praying that God
will not take His Holy Spirit from us! In fact, we should be asking Him
for more of His Spirit, which He says He will give us if we ask in
faith! It is through that power working within us that we will enter
the Kingdom as born-again members of the Family of God!

We must
not fail in this calling as we grow from being members of the family of
man to become members of the Family of God! If we are faithful, we will
be changed to become as Christ is – at the seventh trump!

Satan Wants You

God established the standards whereby He desires
for all men to live their lives. Satan, the enemy of God and man, has for his
main purpose to persuade mankind not to live their lives by God’s standards.
Thus, he has fostered off onto mankind his own ways, whereby he has beguiled man
to live by them. Most of the world has been tricked by these devices of

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Adherance to Truth Equals Conversion

Christ tells us in John 18:37 that “Everyone who is of the truth
hears My voice.” That statement from the mouth of our Savior implies
that those who hear His voice respond to Christ’s words in a positive
manner.One who does not respond, positively, to Christ’s words is still of this world, which is Satan’s world.Every person called of God has been called to become converted from
the ways of this world to the ways of truth! The key to this conversion
is one’s response to the truths Jesus Christ proclaimed!

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Does Your Life Reflect You as “Firstfruits” of God?

Paul writes to the Corinthians of his day and he cautions God’s
people down through the ages: “… for you are still carnal. For where
there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and
behaving like mere men” (1 Corinthians 3:3)?

God has called His
people to become firstfruits of the Spirit, which is pictured by the
Feast of Pentecost. As we approach Pentecost for the year 2006, let us
never forget the overall purpose of our calling, which is to become as
God is!

Yet, Satan continues his pursuit to cause havoc in the
Church of God; creating an atmosphere leading to divisions and strife
amongst the people of God. He does this by spreading a spirit
throughout the church, causing many to continue to be influenced by the
principles which govern the people of this world. Thus it becomes more
difficult for one to consistently apply the principles which God has
proclaimed to us whereby we ought to live our lives! Satan’s approach
results in a spirit of strife, emulation, and contention, even for the
people of God!

Envy is a fruitful cause of strife and divisions.
It is alive in the church of God. Thus Paul warns us to not allow such
contentions, disputes, dissentions, and quarrels to continue to affect
us as they do people of the world. We are to be coming out of the ways
of this world!

Paul tells us in this verse that when we allow
such within our lives we are walking as mere men, being filled with the
unruly approach of this world rather than being filled with love; being
united and harmonious as members of God’s family are to become and as
God the Father and Jesus Christ are today!

Christ prayed to the
Father (in John 17:17-23) for those who comprise His Church. In this
wonderful prayer for you and for me Christ prayed that the Father
sanctify us by His truth. As we are living by the principles of God’s
truth, Christ prayed that we become “one” as He and the Father are
“one.” One mind, one body, one Spirit – in truth! Christ gave us His
Spirit such that this is a true possibility!

We read (in 1
Corinthians 15:20): “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has
become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” James wrote
the sobering words found in James 1:18 for our edification, which say:
“Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we
might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

Is your life reflective to all that you are one of God’s “Firstfruits?”

Truth – A Way of Life

The goal of being able to achieve truth as the standard whereby we live our daily lives is one of the most important aspects of our Christian Calling. God continually gives to us ability to grow in His Way as long as we remain faithful to Him and to His Truth – to His Way of life!

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Inherit the Promises Through Faith and Patience

God has called us for a special purpose. We are to develop our minds in order to be able to live our lives as Christ lived in the flesh – To think as Christ thought. In so doing, we will begin to develop within us the faith and patience of Jesus Christ. Through faith and patience we are to inherit the promises.
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The Deceitfulness of Sin

By the time you read this editorial, the Spring Holy Days will have
past. During the Days of Unleavened Bread we will have portrayed, by
our actions, the need of putting sin out of our lives and of keeping
sin out. Yet, we find, even physically, that this is a very difficult
endeavor, indeed! It is not easy at all! And why is that? Because sin
is so deceitful that it often creeps into our lives when we least
expect it! And there it is!

Perhaps it was never in our thoughts
to commit a certain sin, which crept in as we committed an act which is
contrary to God’s Way of life. Yet, the sin appeared!

In the book
of Hebrews, we read the following, relative to this deceitful nature
which is found within man: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of
you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but
exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you
be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13).

is showing to us here that with sin being deceitful, as it is, there is
a need for each of us even to exhort one another in this matter of our
overcoming in putting sin out of our lives. Never forget that we live
in a deceitful world, filled with deceitful people; and no wonder.
Satan is the great deceiver! His ministers come to deceive the very
elect! We must be ever alert to his devices!

We read in Psalm 5
that God abhors the deceitful man, one who speaks falsehood. We are
warned in the book of Ephesians to “…put off, concerning your former
conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful
lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on
the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and
true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

This can only be achieved through the power of God the Father and Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, which is in us!

recognized this fact as he fought his own problems. We read of this
trial of Paul’s in the book of Romans, Chapter 7. He recognized the
power of sin in one’s life:

“For we know that the law is
spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do
not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what
I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with
the law that it is good” (Romans 7:14-16).

Yes, Paul saw that the
law, which defines sin, was good; but he also saw that at times he
continued to walk contrary to that good law. It just happened in his
life, because of his own weaknesses.

“But now, it is no longer I
who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is,
in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but
how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to
do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice”
(Romans 7:17-19).

This was a great dilemma for Paul, as we all can understand, having come through the same type experience.

if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin
that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the
one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to
the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against
the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin
which is in my members” (Romans 7:20-23).

In verse 24, Paul shows
that he has come to understand that it is only by the power of God the
Father and Jesus Christ (through the Holy Spirit, which emanates from
God the Father and the Son) that he would ever be able to truly serve
God and to live a life of righteousness, which was his desire!

is also our desire, brethren, who have been called to the Way of
Righteousness. And it is through that same power that we will be able
to achieve our desire! As Christ said on numerous occasions, all things
are possible with our God. Never give in to the deceitfulness of this
world, and always keep this hope before you, with continual faith in
our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Is Overcoming a Priority For You?

God’s people today are a people called to overcome sin in their
lives! If one succeeds in this calling, God will give to him the gift
of eternal life as a member in the Family of God!One does not earn eternal life through this process of overcoming.
What one does earn should he fail in this endeavor to which he is
called, is what the Scripture refers to as the second death – eternal
death! This must never be our personal choice relative to our calling.
However, if we are successful in our calling through the power of God’s
Holy Spirit, God will give to us the gift of eternal life!Another very important thing one is able to earn, should he be
successful in His calling of God during this lifetime, is a position of
rulership in the coming Kingdom of God!

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As We Examine Ourselves

We are approaching the time for two of God’s annual festivals: The Passover and The Days of Unleavened Bread. As with the weekly Sabbath, there is a time established for preparation of these two festivals. And we must prepare, physically and spiritually, for each of these two.
The Passover is observed in the evening of the 14th day of the first month, which according to God’s calendar is Nisan or Abib. Passover is a one day festival. The festival God refers to as The Days of Unleavened Bread is a seven day festival, which begins at sunset as the 15th day of the first month (Nisan or Abib) begins. Each of these two festivals is significant in God’s overall Plan.
God requires as a part of the spiritual preparation for Passover that we “examine ourselves.” His concern has to do with our overall attitude in taking the Passover that we not eat of it in an “unworthy” manner. The command then is that we “examine ourselves” and that we “eat” the Passover.
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God's Kingdom and His Righteousness

Jesus Christ, while teaching His disciples principles by which they were to live instructed them that any who would follow Him should seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.
Why did Christ say this? Why is it critical for one to seek after these two things? And how is one to accomplish this requirement?
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