|Live Services||The Pre-Existence of Christ|
|Editorial||The Road Ahead|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||How did Christ become a human being?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
|Forums||Taking a Moment|
The Pre-Existence of Christ
On April 26, 2014, Brian Gale will give the sermon, titled, “The Pre-Existence of Christ.”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at www.cognetservices.org (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
The Road Ahead
by Rene Messier (Canada)
Having just gone through the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, what lies ahead for us? The next holy day is Pentecost, which is some fifty days away and pictures the church receiving the Holy Spirit for the first time. We understand that some few received it in Old Testament times in order to fulfill God’s purpose, but it was generally not available until given to the Church on Pentecost in 31 AD.
Unleavened bread helped us to focus on the necessity of getting leaven, that is sin, out of our lives. Failing to do so can and would be detrimental to our future positions in the kingdom of God and even being in God’s Family. Sin, like leaven, if not dealt with will grow and eventually completely overcome a person. If not removed with the help of God’s Spirit in us, this can lead to the unpardonable sin and our destruction. Satan as the god of this world is very subtle and usually doesn’t attempt a major overhaul in our thinking but rather puts seeds of doubt, resentment or jealously in our hearts. If we are not careful to put them out in the early stages of their growth, it could be our undoing.
The society we live in is held captive by Satan:
“…whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Satan is seeking prey—and that includes us:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
We can overcome Satan:
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Notice, we must submit to God, which implies effort on our part in order for the devil to leave us alone. We must put our trust in God to help us.
Remember, also, that we must be diligent in our effort to get the good news of the Kingdom of God out to this world! The return of Jesus Christ is the only true hope for mankind. At the same time, we must continue to be vigilant in keeping sin out of our lives and in drawing close to God so that He can and will draw near to us:
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).
We can be assured that if we follow this admonition we will be successful in fulfilling our calling, and we will thus be guaranteed a position in the glorious kingdom of God. That is our hope; that is our destiny—-let’s ensure that we do not let down, but rather go on to glory in the future God has promised!
Our reports focus on the growing militarism of nations in Asia and Europe in the face of President Putin’s aggressive moves and the apparent continuing weakness of the United States. We present an article challenging “an outrageous new book” making claims about Hitler’s influence on the formation of the modern EU. We conclude with a report on the role of so-called miracles and signs within the Catholic Church, and a short article, along with our comments, regarding Jewish observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and other of God’s commanded Holy Days.
This Week in the News
NATO’s Half-Hearted Response
Newsmax wrote on April 17:
“The Obama administration is sending ground troops to Poland in response to Russia’s moves in Ukraine… The move… was agreed to as part of an expansion of the NATO presence in the region. The New York Times, meanwhile, said the troops would participate in small exercises in Estonia as well as Poland… The Army exercise is far short of what Poland Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski suggested earlier this month, when he said he wants NATO to deploy two combat brigades with as many as 5,000 troops.”
The “Tentative” Agreement
The Washington Times wrote on April 17:
“Secretory of State John F. Kerry reached a tentative agreement Thursday with Russia’s foreign minister to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine by disarming militias, but tensions remained high as three pro-Russian separatists were killed in clashes and Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kiev of plunging the country into an abyss.
“In the first such talks since Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine last month, the diplomats in Geneva agreed that all sides would refrain from violence and that all ‘illegal armed groups will be disarmed.’ Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the agreement ‘ compromise of sorts’…
“The document didn’t address the 40,000 Russian troops who the U.S. says are massed on Ukraine’s eastern and southern borders. President Obama expressed skepticism that the agreement would hold… Mr. Putin scoffed at the renewed threat from the West. ‘They badly want to bite us, but their opportunities are limited,’ Mr. Putin said. ‘If they try to punish us by putting us into a corner on our knees like naughty children, they will cut the branch they are sitting on.’”
What Putin Really Wants
The New York Times wrote on April 17:
“Even as the world’s top diplomats were gingerly drafting a tentative accord to ‘de-escalate tensions’ in Ukraine, President Vladimir V. Putin was on national television here, brashly declaring Russia’s historical claims over Ukrainian territory, reiterating a threat to use military force and generally sounding a defiant, even mocking, tone toward the United States. Mr. Putin, appearing cool and confident during a four-hour question-and-answer show, referred repeatedly to southeast Ukraine as ‘new Russia’ — a historical term for the area north of the Black Sea that the Russian Empire conquered in the 1700s. And, he said, only ‘God knows’ why the region became part of Ukraine in the 1920s, signaling that he would gladly correct that error… Mr. Putin pointedly asserted that he had the authority to invade Ukraine, but added that he hoped it would not be necessary.”
Breitbart wrote on April 17:
“Russia has achieved a strategic psychological victory over NATO in the Ukraine with the announcement by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva that an agreement had been reached with Ukrainian and NATO member diplomats to ease tensions in the country…
“Over the last few weeks, NATO has been shown to be economically unstable, fully dependent on Russian energy, and lacking a meaningful military deterrent. Russia has brutally humiliated NATO and has strategically reemerged as the dominant nation in Europe… After succeeding in annexing the Crimean peninsula from the Ukraine by popular demand, Moscow sought to bait the Ukrainian government into violent reprisals against pro-Russian protestors and government building occupiers in eastern and southern Ukraine. But unlike the Crimea where the support for Russia was overwhelming, eastern pro-Russian protests were often met with large pro-Western counter-demonstrations. Without the supportive political conditions to welcome a military intervention, Russia fostered the maximum amount of turmoil in the hope the Ukraine military would violently retaliate against both paramilitary groups and civilians.
“The Ukrainian government did begin an ‘anti-terrorism’ campaign in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to drive out mobs of pro-Russian forces that had barricaded themselves inside federal buildings near the Russian border, demanding the government disarm… Russia has succeeded in stopping any further talk of Ukraine joining NATO and must be ecstatic with the state of paralysis in the nation that was already facing financial insolvency and default. The International Monetary Fund had already approved a loan in March that required politically painful austerity spending reforms. Those reforms include doubling of residential natural gas prices and adopting a floating currency exchange rate that will devalue the buying power of worker’s salaries and pensions.
“With a highly contentious Ukraine presidential election coming on May 25th, Russia will be able to criticize the legitimacy of the vote count and feed bitter historic antagonism against politicians in the western Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. If continuing protests cause the elections to be delayed, Russia can push for a break-up of the country or a decentralization of power. Either event would strengthen Russia’s position and humiliate the credibility of NATO as a friend and ally to other Eastern European nations.
“President Vladimir Putin is enjoying a 75% approval rating at home since the beginning of his muscular response to Ukraine. As a former KGB operative, Putin has the luxury of choreographing events in a way that emphasizes his defiance of perceived Western meddling in other nations’ internal affairs. Fearing a scenario like the Ukraine, I expect a number of countries to move away from NATO and re-establish ‘ harmonious relationships’ now that Russia has reemerged as the dominant power in Europe.”
One People Before God?
Deutsche Welle wrote on April 20:
“In an interview with NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin dreamed of restoring Moscow’s former geopolitical and territorial power. According to excerpts of the interview released ahead of Sunday’s broadcast, Yatsenyuk said: ‘President Putin has a dream to restore the Soviet Union. And every day, he goes further and further. And God knows where is the final destination.’…
“Pro-Russian activists remain in control of government buildings in more than a dozen eastern cities. They have rejected the terms of Thursday’s Geneva deal, in which Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine agreed that activists must lay down their arms and end their occupation of administrative offices. The separatists insist they will remain where they are until the ‘illegitimate’ government in Kyiv – established after the fall of pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych – steps down. They have also reiterated calls for a referendum on joining the Russian Federation.
“… proof that tensions remain high came from religious leaders on opposing sides of the conflict, who delivered deeply political Easter Sunday messages. The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church condemned Russian ‘aggression’ and said ‘evil’ would be defeated. ‘God cannot be on the side of evil, so the enemy of the Ukrainian people is condemned to defeat,’ Patriarch Filaret told worshippers in Western-friendly Kyiv. Across the border in Moscow, Russian Church Patriarch Kirill, called on God to put ‘an end to the designs of those who want to destroy Holy Russia’. He said that while Ukraine was ‘politically’ separate, spiritually and historically’ it was at one with Russia, and he prayed that it would benefit from authorities that are ‘legitimately elected’. ‘We are a single people before God,’ he added.”
Russia Fortifies in the Far East
RIA Novosti reported on April 18:
“Russia will build more than 150 military facilities on the Iturup and Kunashir islands, part of the Kuril chain disputed by Japan, a senior military commander told reporters Friday.
“’All decisions on the construction of military stations on the Iturup and Kunashir islands have been made and approved,’ said Col. Gen. Sergei Suvorkin, the head of Russia’s Eastern Military District.
“’All essential facilities, more than 150, will be built before 2016,’ he added.
“The government endorsed the decision to revamp Russia’s troops on the Far Eastern Kuril Islands in 2011. A territorial dispute with Japan over the island chain, in addition to the island of Sakhalin, prompted Russia to tighten its grip on the territories…
“The four disputed islands — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai — were given to Soviet forces at the end of World War II and are still claimed by Japan.
“The two countries never signed a permanent peace treaty following the end of World War II because of the row over the islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories.”
Japan’s Defensive Concerns
Reuters wrote on April 19:
“Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan.
“The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over nearby islands which they both claim.
“Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be enlarged to other islands in the seas southwest of Japan’s main islands.’
“‘This is the first deployment since the U.S. returned Okinawa (1972) and calls for us to be more on guard are growing,’ Onodera told reporters. ‘I want to build an operation able to properly defend islands that are part of Japan’s territory.’
“The military radar station on Yonaguni, part of a longstanding plan to improve defense and surveillance, gives Japan a lookout just 150 km (93 miles) from the Japanese-held islands claimed by China.”
Pakistan-China Military Exercise
Xinhuanet reported on April 20:
“Two-week long Pakistan-China joint military exercise started Sunday near the garrison of Rawalpindi, Pakistan’s military said.
“Flags of both countries were hoisted and national anthems played to mark the opening of the joint military exercise in a ceremony, a statement from the army’s Inter-Services Public Relations said. ‘The joint exercise is aimed at sharing mutual experience and information in [the] medical field through a comprehensive training program in near real time environment,’ it said…
“The exercise will also provide an opportunity to exchange latest technological advancement in [the] medical field to improve medical operations during peace and war.
“The joint military exercise ‘Peace Angel 2014’ will certainly pave the way for further cementing the existing bilateral relations between the armies of the two countries.”
Sweden Reacts to Russia
thelocal.se wrote on April
“Sweden’s centre-right government coalition announced plans on Tuesday to pump more funds into the military if the four parties win the September elections, with an emphasis on more fighter jets and submarines.
“In an article published in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) the four party leaders wrote about the crisis in Ukraine and how Russia had now ramped up both its military and propaganda machines.
“The leaders said they had previously welcomed Russia’s attempts to embed itself deeper in the global community, despite harbouring fears that the tide could turn at any point.
“‘What we see today is a Russia that acts in a way that confirms and surpasses the fears we had then,’ the leaders of the Moderate, Liberal (Folkpartiet), Centre and Christian Democrat Parties wrote.”
Hitler and the EU
Express wrote on April 17:
“The EU was HITLER’S idea and it proves Germany WON the Second World War, claims [a] new book. “THE ‘fascist’ EU was inspired and designed by the NAZIS and is proof Hitler won the Second World War, an outrageous new book is claiming.
“’The EU: The Truth About The Fourth Reich – How Hitler Won The Second World War’ argues the single currency, the free market and even the phrase ‘United States of Europe’ were all dreamt up by high ranking Nazis, including the Fuhrer himself… It also claims the only country which benefits from the EU is Germany – just as Hitler planned.
“A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats – which its leader Nick Clegg describes as the ‘party of in’ when it comes to the EU – dismissed the authors of the book as ‘peddling outlandish myths’.
“The book, co-written by Daniel J Beddowes and Falvio Cipollini, says: ‘What is the EU for? Who really benefits? And the answer is of course Germany… We may think we won the Second World War. But we lost. It is no surprise that we are all living in the Fourth Reich. Knowingly or not those who support and defend the European Union are supporting the Nazi legacy.’…
“Under a chapter heading ‘The EU was inspired [and] designed by Nazis’, the authors claim: ‘Hitler was the man who gave bones to the dreams first expressed by Charlemagne and Napoleon but the finishing touches to the EU as we know it were put in place during World War II by a man called Walther Funk, who was President of the Reichsbank and a director of the Bank for International Settlements…’ The book argues it is no coincidence that the EU is so close to Hitler’s plan for post-war Europe.
“According to the authors: ‘In 1945, Hitler’s Masterplan was captured by the Allies. The Plan included details of his scheme to create an economic integration of Europe and to found a European Union on a federal basis. The Nazi plan for a federal Europe was based on Lenin’s belief that ‘federation is a transitional form towards complete union of all nations’. It is impossible to find a difference between Hitler’s plan for a new United States of Europe, dominated by Germany, and the European Union we have today.’…
“It is not the first time the EU has been described as a German plot to take over Europe. In 1990, Cabinet Minister Nicholas Ridley – a close ally of Margaret Thatcher – was forced to resign after he described proposed Economic and Monetary Union as ‘a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe’ and said that giving up sovereignty to the European Union was as bad as giving it up to Hitler.”
False Signs and Wonders
The Telegraph wrote on April 23:
“A woman whose ‘miraculous’ recovery from an inoperable brain aneurysm paved the way for the late Pope John Paul II to be declared a saint at a ceremony at the Vatican this weekend has described how the Polish pontiff appeared to her in a vision. Floribeth Mora Diaz, from Costa Rica, will be a guest of honor at the ceremony on Sunday, when Pope Francis will canonise two of his predecessors – John Paul II and John XXIII, the Italian pontiff nicknamed ‘the Good Pope’ who initiated reforms to the Catholic Church in the 1960s.
“Three years ago, Mrs Mora was told by doctors in her home country that her condition was hopeless and that her death was only a matter of time. Partially paralysed, she was on pain medication and lying in bed at home on May 1, 2011, clutching a magazine with a front cover photograph of the former Polish pontiff, when he purportedly appeared before her in a vision. It was the day that John Paul II was beatified at a grand open-air ceremony in St Peter’s Square – the first step towards him being made a saint.
“‘Floribeth, get up, what are you doing here? Why don’t you go into the kitchen and see your husband?’ the vision said to her. The late Pope’s hands seemed to reach out towards her from the cover of the magazine, she said. ‘And I responded, now I feel fine, I’m going, I’m going,’ the 50-year-old mother-of-four told Il Messagero, an Italian daily, on Wednesday. She insisted that from that day on, she was completely cured…
“Even her neurosurgeon seems to be convinced. ‘If I cannot explain it from a medical standpoint, something non-medical happened,’ said Alejandro Vargas Roman. “‘[I] can believe it was a miracle.’ Since her recovery, she has become the object of almost cult-like devotion, with the faithful and people suffering from illnesses flocking to her home in a middle-class neighborhood in the town of Dulce Nombre de Cartago, 12 miles outside the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose… Her cure, which the Vatican insists cannot be explained by science, was declared a miracle last July by Pope Francis, in a move which gave the final approval for John Paul II to be canonized.
“The first miracle attributed to him was the apparent healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre. Her recovery from Parkinson’s disease after praying for the late Pope’s ‘intercession’ in 2005 had no medical explanation, the Catholic Church maintains.”
We can expect to hear more about such false signs and miracles within the Catholic Church. Biblically, these occurrences are NOT in any way connected with the working of the true God.
Jews Don’t Keep Unleavened Bread According to the Bible
JTA wrote on April 23:
“On Wednesday, just hours after observant Jews ended their eight days of Passover-mandated abstinence from all things leavened, the New York Times gave them something to chew on: an entire Dining section devoted to bread.”
The interesting thing is that observant Jews keep their own traditions, while transgressing God’s commandments (Mark 7:6-9, 11). According to the Bible, Passover had to be kept this year on Sunday evening, April 13, but the Jews kept it one day too late, while confusing it with the Night to Be Much Observed—the beginning of the first Day of Unleavened Bread in the evening of April 14. Then, the Days of Unleavened Bread were to be kept for seven days, ending on Monday evening, April 21. Somehow, observant Jews managed to keep the allotted time for eight days and ended the period one day late—in the evening of Tuesday, April 22. While God gave the Jews the responsibility to faithfully maintain the Hebrew calendar, which they did, He does not approve of their unfaithfulness in misapplying God’s laws… for example, in keeping each annual Holy Day for two days, while rejecting to observe the entire eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day (they only keep four days of the entire time span).
How did Christ become a human being?
Some doubt that Christ became human at all. Others believe that He was fully God and fully man when He was here on earth. Then there are those who teach that while the “human form” of Jesus was here on earth, the “Son of God” was still in heaven. They believe that when Jesus “died,” the Son of God continued to live.
None of these concepts are correct. As we explain in our free booklet, “Jesus Christ—A Great Mystery,” the Word or the “Logos”; that is, the Son of God—Jesus Christ—BECAME flesh. When He was changed into flesh, divesting Himself of His divinity and laying aside His divine attributes and glory, He ceased to exist as an immortal Spirit Being. Rather, He BECAME—was CHANGED INTO—flesh.
How did this happen?
We will be attempting to answer this question by first pointing out what the Bible clearly reveals, and by then deducting from these revelations the most likely possibilities, which are presenting themselves.
We read that Christ existed since all eternity. There was never a time when He did not exist. He was always the second Member of the God Family, which always existed as two immortal God Beings—God the Father and the Son. But Christ, who was “slain from the beginning of the world,” BECAME a human being—consisting fully of flesh—so that He could overcome sin in the flesh and DIE. When He became a man, He ceased to exist as a Spirit Being. When He died, He ceased to live—He did not continue to live, while in the grave for three days and three nights.
God the Father resurrected Him from the dead as an immortal Spirit Being, with the glory that He had before He became flesh.
God is Spirit, and so Jesus Christ, before He became a man, was Spirit because Christ was God (John 1:1). The Holy Spirit is not a Person, but the power and mind of God, flowing from God. As long as Christ was a God Being, His Holy Spirit flowed from Him, as it did and does from God the Father. But in order to bestow the Holy Spirit on others, one has to be a glorified God Being. When Jesus became a human being, He did not have any longer the Holy Spirit on His own. Rather, it was the FATHER, who lived in Christ through HIS—the Father’s—Holy Spirit. (See our Q & A on the need of Christ’s glorification for the bestowing of the gift of the Holy Spirit). It was the Father’s Holy Spirit of power, which dwelled in Christ from His human inception without measure.
When Christ became a human being, the Father changed the immortal Spirit Being—Jesus Christ—into a mortal human being, thereby also becoming the Father of the HUMAN being Jesus Christ. Later, the Father “reversed” the process by changing the human being—Jesus Christ—back into an immortal Spirit Being.
How did the Father accomplish the change from Spirit to flesh in the Person of Jesus? Actually, this had to be an extremely unique and awesome accomplishment, so that Jesus became the ONLY-SO-begotten Son of the Father.
First, we read that Mary was found pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. It was the power of God the Father Who impregnated Mary with Jesus. To put it bluntly, from all the biblical evidence available to us, we conclude that Jesus was changed into and became a sperm in the womb of Mary. Mary’s ovum was thus fertilized, as every human baby comes into existence through the fertilization of a female egg through a male sperm. In Jesus’ case, however, the sperm was not from a human father, but it was the result of a change from immortal to mortal, through the power of God the Father’s Holy Spirit.
When a human being is conceived in the womb of his or her mother, God gives that tiny little fetus a spirit—called the spirit in man. We do not know, exactly, how this is done—whether through an individual miraculous action and intervention on God’s part, or whether through an automatic “mechanism” and “procedure” which is somehow attached to or incorporated in the male sperm and brought into motion at the time of conception. In any event, this human spirit did not exist before in its individual “capacity”—we read that God “forms” or“creates” it in man (Zechariah 12:1), apparently at the time of conception. That individual human spirit, which is created and comes into existence at the moment of conception, does of course not have any “memory” of anything prior to its “creation” in the human fetus.
It appears that this concept applies to Christ as well. When God the Father placed in Christ the HUMAN spirit at the time of His conception in the womb of Mary, it did not carry with it any memory of Christ’s prior life as a God Being—as the HUMAN spirit of Christ did not exist prior to Christ’s change into a mortal human being.
At the same time, we read that Christ, when He was a man, clearly recalled His preexistence. We do not know exactly when Christ began to “remember,” but it appears that His memory came to Him, gradually, through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God the Father.
This conclusion is based on the fact that Christ told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would remind them of the things which He had told them. In the same way, it stands to reason that the Spirit of God the Father reminded Christ of prior events in His Life as a God Being.
When a human being dies, his human spirit returns to God who gave it. It is stored in heaven to be used for the purpose of a later resurrection of the person, as it retained everything of the person, including his outward appearance, thoughts, memories, experiences and actions in his life prior to death (See our booklet, The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?). But the spirit in man is not a person, and neither is the Holy Spirit.
Still, when a person becomes converted and is properly baptized, he will receive from God the Holy Spirit, thereby giving him divine nature, potentially leading to immortal divine life at the time of his resurrection. When that converted person dies, both his human spirit and his Holy Spirit return to God, and are retained in heaven, until the time of his resurrection to an immortal spirit being.
The same happened at the time of Christ’s death. His human spirit, together with God the Father’s Holy Spirit, returned to God, and after three days and three nights in the grave, God the Father resurrected Christ from the dead as an immortal glorified God Being, using the spirit in man and the Father’s Holy Spirit to create a spiritual body with all physical and spiritual memories, thoughts and accomplishments.
But in the case of Christ, even more had to be involved.
Returning to our discussion on Christ’s physical birth, recall that we said that Christ was changed from spiritual to physical. He willingly gave up His glory and laid aside His divine attributes. The question arises, what occurred at that moment to His Holy Spirit? As a God Being, He had the Holy Spirit on His own, but He did not have it on its own when He was human.
Three arguable possibilities might be discussed.
First, His Holy Spirit simply ceased to exist. This possibility must be ruled out. God’s Holy Spirit does not simply cease to exist; in the parable of the unprofitable servant, God takes back from him that what had been given to him—the Holy Spirit—to bestow it on someone else.
Another possibility could be that Christ’s Holy Spirit changed into something mortal—the human spirit perhaps—when Christ changed into a human sperm. But there is really not much evidentiary basis for that conclusion, especially if considering the following third possibility, which is in harmony with God’s usual course of action.
This possibility is that Christ’s Holy Spirit stayed with God the Father in heaven—clearly NOT as a self-conscious entity, and most assuredly NOT as the Son of God—but as God retains in heaven his human spirit after a converted person’s death, together with the Holy Spirit given to and residing in that person, so it appears that when Christ became a human being, the Father “retained” Christ’s Holy Spirit in heaven, which Christ “laid aside.”
Subsequently, when Christ died and His human spirit and the Holy Spirit of the Father (which dwelt in the human Christ without measure) returned to the Father in heaven, both the Father’s Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ (retained in heaven) would have combined or “merged,” and when the Father resurrected Christ from the dead, He would have done so by using Christ’s human spirit, as well as the Father’s Spirit which had dwelt in Christ without measure and Christ’s Spirit which had been retained in heaven. But it was still the FATHER who resurrected Christ through the power of HIS Spirit.
But to repeat, neither the Holy Spirit nor the spirit in man are self-conscious entities or persons. When Christ died, He was dead. There was no consciousness in Him, nor did God the Father’s Holy Spirit that had dwelt in Christ continue to “live” with consciousness, while Christ was in the grave.
Likewise, Christ’s Holy Spirit that was retained by God the Father in heaven while Jesus lived on earth did not have any self-consciousness. But based on our understanding, one can clearly see how the FALSE concept of a conscious immortal soul which keeps on living after a person dies could have entered the confused mind of man, as well as the FALSE concept that the Son of God continued to exist as a conscious Being in heaven, while the man Jesus lived on earth.
Today, as both God the Father and Jesus Christ are immortal glorified God beings, both the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of Christ dwell in a converted Christian. We read that there is ONE Spirit, in the sense that both the Father and Christ are totally UNIFIED. And we also read that true Christians are to be ONE or unified, AS God the Father and the Son are ONE or unified.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
We are pleased to announce that during services of the Last Day of Unleavened Bread, Thilo and Anita Hanstein, and Christoph and Monique Sperzel were ordained by Norbert and Michael Link as deacons and deaconesses.
This week, Norbert and Johanna Link, as well as Christoph Sperzel and Anita Hanstein, travelled to Templin (near Berlin) to successfully finalize arrangements for the Feast of Tabernacles 2014. Further announcements will be forthcoming.
“Why is Putin Winning?,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary;
Vladimir Putin is winning, but WHY? Does God tell us in the Bible? WHY do we see increased collaboration between Russia, China, Japan and India? WHY does Putin reassert himself in Afghanistan and Latin America? WHY do most Americans refuse to see the parallels between Putin’s annexation of Crimea and Hitler’s land grab of Sudetenland? WHY do German companies and many Germans express understanding or even support for Putin? WHY is Russia winning in the Middle East?
Taking a Moment
by Manuela Mitchell
When I was a child, I remember a week feeling like it took a month, and a month seeming like a year. I remember my summer vacation lasting what seemed like a lifetime as I waited for the new school year to start. But, as I grew older, I discovered that time did not wait and more responsibilities were added to my schedule. Within the last few weeks, I have felt as if I could not keep up with the routines of life. There are always increased trials around the Passover season, and even the simple idea of time can be one of them.
I have found that I seem to be always rushing; whether it be before work, church, dropping my son off at preschool, or, for even recreational activities. I don’t mean to rush, and I often prepare enough time to get things done, but somehow, unexpected things find me. I have trouble sitting still; I am always up either at work or working on things around the house. There have been times when I have found myself rushing through prayer or study because my mind won’t take a rest from everything that is occurring all at once.
I know that taking a moment to recollect what is truly important in life will help me manage the time that I do have to spend on other things. Sometimes, I have to take a moment to just sit and not fret about the worries in life, but focus on God who will in time make me stronger and be more at peace with myself.
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:
United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198
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