The Many Voices of God!

In Hebrews 3:7 and in Psalms 95:7 we read, “Today, if you will hear My voice, Do not harden your hearts…” God speaks to us in numerous ways; yet the Scripture tell us in John 5:37 that no man at that time had ever heard to voice of God nor seen His form! Do we, today, hear God’s voice and understand His purpose such that we can truly follow in His Way?

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God's Desire to Dwell with His People!

The Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day represent something very special to our God! They represent a future time when all of mankind will have had an opportunity to become members of the Family of God. God will dwell on the earth with all who have qualified by their repentance, baptism and living their lives in a manner worthy of the calling with which they were called!

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Show Yourself Friendly!

How many true friends do you have today? What does it take to establish a friendship, to be a special friend to another human being, and how does one ensure a lasting friendship? There are some basic principles we should consider if we are to have true, lasting friendships!

To begin with, we are told by Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel, in Proverbs 22:24, to “Make no friendship with an angry man…” When we do make such friendships, we put ourselves in jeopardy of picking up the bad habits of such a person, which could affect our spiritual lives (verse 25).

James 4:4 tells us “…that friendship with the world is enmity with God…” Additionally, we are told in that verse that “Whoever … wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Strong words, these! Certainly, we don’t want to begin friendships at odds with God! Of course, we all have friends in the world, but we must not do, as many in the world do, in order to maintain these friendships. If we properly apply the right principles in all our friendships, we have a good start in establishing the right type or kind of relationships which should last eternally!

We are told in Proverbs 18:24 that “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” In Proverbs 17:17 we read that “A friend loves at all times…” To want to have good friends is a right and proper desire, and we should seek to establish friendships that will be lasting, never forgetting our admonition that we should, ourselves, be friendly.

In James 2:23, James quotes the Scripture, Genesis 15:6, which says, that Abraham believed God, “…and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” James adds: “And he was called the friend of God.”

We see in these Scriptures where true friendships should begin. Jesus said to His disciples, “…I have called you friends…” (John 15:15). That relationship extends down to His faithful disciples today!

Our friendships must be based upon the principles of God, and we should make ourselves friendly, especially with all who desire to live their lives based upon the principles God lays out in His Word! Of course, as we have noted, we have friends in all walks of life, and as long as those friendships do not hinder our relationship with Christ, we should continue in them, as we continue to exemplify Christ in our lives. In setting a right, Christian example in our lives, we should be applying the Christian principles we have learned in this Way in all our dealings with others; thus, we should never be without an abundance of true friends in this life!

And now, with the Feast of Tabernacles fast approaching, we are going to have a wonderful opportunity to renew friendships with brethren we have not seen for a number of months, and at the same time we have the opportunity to meet and cultivate many new friendships. We must not let this opportunity pass without taking full advantage of it. Let us all apply the Godly principle of showing ourselves friendly, and let’s all come away from this feast having developed many new friendships with brethren of like minds! Keep in mind the Scripture in Galatians 6:10, wherein we are told: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

At the feast this year, take every opportunity presented to you to show yourself friendly!

Our Calling — A Privilege

It is a privilege to be part of and to have a part in God’s Church! This privilege provides an understanding of the Plan of God and of His Way of life, including the Truth of God’s Sabbath, the Holy Days, tithing, and the spirit in man. We must not take this privilege for granted!
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The Way Of Give

Jesus Christ set an example of the way those called of God are to live their lives. That way exemplified the way of give – as opposed to the way Lucifer (Satan) lives his life, which can be summed up as the way of get. We must follow Christ’s example, living our lives in the obedience of God and in ministering to others, especially those of the household of faith!

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Does Your Life Reflect Christ

When a person is called of God, God expects that person to learn to live a life based upon His Way. Having been given God’s Spirit, His Truth, and an understanding of His Way, a Christian is to come to live his/her life as the Father and Jesus Christ live. A Christian must truly come to understand the way of truth and must begin directing his/her life in that Way. This should become the goal to which the Christian dedicates his/her life.
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Where did Cain's wife come from?

We are told, in Genesis 4:1-2, of two sons born to Adam and Eve, i.e., Cain and Abel; and of the respective relationships of these two sons with God. This is a very familiar story to all. But once the story of Abel’s death through the wicked hands of Cain is told in the first fifteen verses of Genesis, chapter 4, we read in Genesis 4:16-17 of Cain moving to the east of Eden and of the conception of his wife.

In this short historical account of events, it is not revealed to us how much time elapsed, nor are we told of the time sequence of the events recorded in the verses that follow. We only know that the human race continued to increase over the face of the earth.

Genesis 3:20 explains this question in part, quite succinctly: “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” Although we don’t fully comprehend how God guided the increase of humans on the earth, it is apparent that His purpose was to establish the entire human population through Adam and Eve. Eve, herself, was created from the rib of Adam (Compare Genesis 2:22-23). In the recent emergence of science, we understand that cloning can actually be used to reproduce life forms. Of course, much more was involved when God first formed man of the dust of the ground and created mankind, both male and female.

It is clear from Scripture that Adam and Eve had children other than Cain and Abel. We read of Seth being begotten when Adam was 130 years old (Genesis 5:3); and we see in the very next verse that Adam lived another 800 years and begat sons and daughters. The total number of sons and daughters, who were begotten of Adam over his 930 years total, is not revealed to us.

Thus, Adam and Eve were the first man and woman on the earth and Scripture reveals they were created by God. Scripture does not reveal that any other human beings were so created. In Genesis 1:28 God commanded the man and woman to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over… every living thing that moves on the earth.” Adam and Eve were the ones who were to multiply, and it was their offspring who were to fill the earth–God did not create any other human being in the way that He created Adam and Eve.

Beyond the genetic, social and moral problems arising from inbreeding in modern times, we know that God places tremendous importance on the family structure. In reviewing the New Testament record, we note that Paul admonished the Church of God at Corinth that: “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles–that a man has his father’s wife” (1 Corinthians 5:1). This Scripture does not expressly say that this relationship existed between a mother and her son, although this is possible; but it may also imply that the relationship was between the young man and his step-mother. The issue would then be one of morality–not genetics.

Returning to the Old Testament times of Adam and Eve, and based on all the revealed information we have, we must conclude that Cain married a female descendant of Adam–perhaps one of Adam’s daughters, or even one of Cain’s nieces. We understand that God had not declared such a union to be contrary to His will at that time. As newly created, physically perfect human beings, a danger of genetic problems did not really exist. Notice in Genesis 20:12 that Abraham explains to Abimelech that Sarah, in addition to being his wife, was his sister, the daughter of his father, but not the daughter of his mother (i.e., his half-sister). Even though Abram had married his half-sister, that of itself is not conclusive evidence that such a marriage was permitted. Abram could have sinned by marrying Sarai, but we don’t read that God condemned him for that.

In light of the fact that God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply, and that God expected Adam and Eve’s descendants to multiply; we must conclude that it was not wrong, at the time of Adam and Eve, nor during Noah’s time (compare Genesis 9:1), to marry someone closely related by blood–a practice which God would later expressly prohibit.

That God directly intervened in man’s populating the earth is clearly evident from the fact that God controlled the lifespan of mankind. However, Genesis 6, verses 1 and 2, indicates that the family structure was already in jeopardy–it appears that the people of this later time were marrying in ways that would be very harmful to mankind. The key issue here is that mankind was marrying whomever he wanted–implying rejection of God’s commands.

However, God did bless marriages with children. Note, for example, that God granted Abraham and Sarah the child Isaac. At this point marrying within families (a relative) under certain circumstances was still allowed. When the lineage of Abraham and Sarah through Isaac grew into the nation of Israel, God established laws to govern them, including laws that specifically set limits on whom one could marry and how the family was to be structured.

Apparently, certain laws governing incest did not become established until the time of Moses. Any such requirement of God is not revealed until Leviticus 18:6-17, where God described–from that time forward–those type actions as “wickedness.” Verses 9 and 11 specifically forbid marriage with one’s step-sister, or with one’s half-sister, and verse 6 forbids incest between father and daughter and between a brother and his full sister (compare The Nelson Study Bible, comments to verses 6, 9 and 11).

It does appear, therefore, that Cain did in fact marry a female descendant of Adam, perhaps one of his sisters or nieces. And it is evident from the Biblical facts that all of mankind is descended from Adam and Eve.

Lead Writer: Edwin Pope

What Does God Require?

When God calls an individual to His Way, revealing to such a person Who He is; and when God opens that person’s mind to His Truth, resulting in that person’s repentance of his/her past sins and acceptance of Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior; following baptism, such a person receives God’s Holy Spirit at the laying on of hands of God’s ministry. What does God then require of such person?

Is there a benchmark, a standard whereby one can know and understand that if he/she is diligent in maintaining such a standard, God will be pleased with that life? And if there is such a benchmark, can it be found in God’s Holy Scriptures, showing God’s clear and precise statement of His expectations of such a person?

The answer to those questions is, of course, an emphatic yes! One doesn’t have to go to the New Testament to find such a clear, precise statement. It can be found all the way back in the book of Deuteronomy as God was dealing with His chosen people, Israel! Since God does not change, His requirement of ancient Israel is the same requirement He has for you and me in this day. This spiritual requirement is found in Deuteronomy 10:12-13, where God plainly reveals what He expects of His chosen people, including you and me:

1) To fear the LORD your God.

2) To walk in all His Ways and to love Him.

3) To serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

4) And, to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes… for your good.

Much of God’s Word reveals to us instructions as to how we can accomplish these tasks in a way that is pleasing to our God. These requirements by God of you and me must become our number one priority during this physical life, as exemplified in the physical life of Jesus Christ. If we will be diligent in our approach to fulfilling these requirements, God will ensure through His Spirit our ultimate success!

Do Not Quench the Holy Spirit

During these serious times just prior to the Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to establish the Kingdom of God, we must be ever alert to all that is going on around us, and we must take extra care that we do not quench God’s Spirit in our lives!Play Video

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Our Commitment

When we accept God’s calling, repent of our sins, and are baptized with the laying on of hands of His Ministry, He commits to us His Spirit, His faith, the knowledge of His truth, and His promise to always be there for us as long as we are faithful to our commitment to Him.

But how committed are you, today, to God and to His Way of life, as you struggle in this evil world, which at this time is ruled by Satan the devil, the prince of the power of the air?

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