Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

The Global Church of God in the UK sent out a letter in May and June to the entire mailing list of over 2,400, with an offer to receive booklets, to be put on the list to automatically receive all new booklets, to receive the Statement of Beliefs, audio sermon tapes, member and co-worker letters and the weekly Update. The mailing produced an additional 103 people, not church members, being added to the circulation list to receive one booklet, or a combination of new booklets, tapes, letters and updates. Dozens of Statement of Beliefs were sent out together with hundreds of booklets. Responses are still being received.

Below are some of the comments received following this mailing.

“Very many thanks for the informative and very interesting booklets which you are kind enough to let me have and which I am happy to show to acquaintances and friends.”

“Thank you for your letter and offers of God’s truth. I would like some of your booklets (seven are listed) and sorry to ask for so many plus tapes and Statement of Beliefs. Do you charge for the tapes? I yearn for the Word of God. You are right–the world is on a self-destruct way of life and yes, we do need Jesus Christ to set up His Kingdom of God on earth. Man seems to be getting more and more selfish and not keeping God’s Commandments. Thanking you again.”

“May I convey my thanks for your booklets that you sent upon my request. I am horrified to find that I (as well as many others) have been led astray in many respects and aspects from the true path/way that God has set out for us: paganistic practices allowed in certain areas concerned with Christian values and so on. Also the keeping of God’s Holy Sabbaths and weekly Sabbaths on and at the correct times. There is far more that struck me as I continued my studies of your booklets. In some instances, I found that my ultimate conclusion about God always having been, and is and shall be forever, was in one of your booklets in black and white. This gladdened me very much.”

“Please find enclosed a contribution. Many thanks for your superb booklets.”

“Thank you for your letter. Please note that I do not believe on the Trinity and I have no church as most churches regard this as a heresy. So if you are different, I’d love to hear from you.”

“I received your books, ‘Europe in Prophecy’ and ‘America and Britain in Prophecy’ and found both very interesting and thought provoking. With the recent election of the new Pope (a German religious leader) it got me thinking again about the prophecies, so I joined your mailing list on the internet. I would like to ask that if you have any other free books or any other future publications please could you send them to me.”

“Thank you very much for your letter and tape (sermon). They were very welcome. As an ex-member of Worldwide, and now struggling alone, I am happy to receive all the materials I can get. Once again thank you and God bless you all and the work.”

“I have read many of your booklets in the past and think they are excellent and they have been very helpful indeed in helping to understand the meaning of Scripture.”

“I recently received a few of your books and found them very interesting. I was amazed to realize that most of the Christian churches don’t take the Bible literally. I am a member of (Church mentioned) and now rethinking their teachings on the Holy Ghost as the third member of the Godhead and their holy days. I would love to read the rest of the books I never ordered. Please send me the booklets listed on the opposite page. Thank you.”

What is the meaning of the two loaves, mentioned in Leviticus 23 regarding the observance of Pentecost?

Here is the specific reference in question: “‘You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD'” (Leviticus 23:17). The vital key found in this Scripture that will lead to understanding what (or more specifically, who) is being represented by these two loaves appears in the last sentence: “‘They are the FIRSTFRUITS to the LORD.'”

As God introduced the observance of this Feast Day to the children of Israel, we note that several different names were used in explanation: “‘…the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field'” (Exodus 23:16); “‘And You shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvests…'” (Exodus 34:22); “‘Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the LORD at your Feast of Weeks…'” (Numbers 28:26). (Compare, also, Deuteronomy 16:9-12.)

Following His resurrection, Jesus Christ carefully instructed His disciples “…not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me'” (Acts 1:4). Continuing in Acts 2:1-4, we read that this waiting period culminated on the Day of Pentecost–the transliterated Greek name for the Feast of Weeks, meaning fiftieth:

(1) “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (3) Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. (4) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

When the New Testament Church was founded, all Church members were Israelites. One of the two loaves in Leviticus 23 pictured, identified or foreshadowed–as part of the firstfruits–converted Israelites (including those few righteous people in Old Testament times, who had been called and converted by God). Acts 2 contains the record of a partial fulfillment of the meaning of Pentecost; however, consider, also, what Peter was inspired to say by way of explanation. He quoted from the prophet Joel (Compare Acts 2:17-21; Joel 2:28-32). Note, in particular, the broadly inclusive statement found in Acts 2:21: “‘And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.'”

As we continue to read this account in Acts 2, Peter preaches about repentance, baptism and the promise of God’s Holy Spirit. Verse 39 again opens up the scope of the opportunity that God is presenting: “‘For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.'”

Peter addressed “…all the house of Israel” (Acts 2:36) on this momentous Day of Pentecost, but God would soon send him to preach the same message of salvation to another representative group of people. The circumstances of this occurrence are found in Acts 10. Through remarkable revelations, God caused Peter to go to the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. Here is what Peter said: “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him'” (Acts 10:34-35). Peter continued to explain the message of salvation to those assembled, and “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word” (Acts 10:44).

Note this reaction: “And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also” (Acts 10:45). However, this development was not readily accepted by those of the circumcision–that is, those of Israelite descent who were believers. We find that Peter carefully explained what had happened, and we find this statement in Acts 11:18: “When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.'”

The Bible reveals that God is not calling everyone, now! Rather, He is calling some to be firstfruits, and that includes those who are descendants of Israel and those who come from among Gentiles. These are being offered an opportunity for salvation in the first resurrection, and they are called firstfruits:

James 1:18: “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures”; Romans 8:23: “…we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption [better: sonship], the redemption of our body”; Revelation 14:4: “These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.”

In Leviticus 23:17, speaking of the two loaves, it is said that “‘They are the firstfruits to the LORD.'” Again, in verse 20, the bread is called “‘…the bread of the firstfruits.'”

The second of the two loaves in Leviticus 23 refers, then, to the other part of the firstfruits–converted Gentiles.

We find in Luke’s account that Jesus specifically chose men during His lifetime on earth to be apostles (Compare Luke 6:13). Following His return to the Father, Jesus Christ continued to choose individuals to assist in building and administering the Church of God. Speaking to Ananias about the man called Saul (later named Paul), Jesus said, “‘…for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel'” (Acts 9:15). Later on, Paul makes this statement in explaining his own calling: “But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised [Gentiles] had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised [Israelites] was to Peter” (Galatians 2:7).

In this context, let us consider the remarkable statement found in Romans 15:16, Authorized Version: “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost [Spirit].” In addition, other translations support this understanding of Paul’s testimony:

“…so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God” (NIV); “…so that gentiles might become an acceptable offering” (New Jerusalem Bible); “…to offer the Gentiles to him as an acceptable sacrifice” (Revised English Bible); “…so that the Gentiles, when offered before him, may be an acceptable sacrifice” (Century Translations in Modern English).

Speaking of the sacrifices associated with the Feast of Weeks, God says: “‘The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest'” (Leviticus 23:20).

Verse 22 of Leviticus 23 is, at first glance, seemingly out of place. However, this verse unlocks the understanding of the Gentile role in the promises that God made to Abraham and his descendants. Here is the verse: “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.'”

The story of Ruth, the Moabitess and a Gentile, is part of God’s Word. You can read the very interesting details in this short book, but the particular events surrounding Ruth’s gleaning in the field of Boaz are of particular significance (Compare Ruth 1:22; 2:1-2). Ruth was the mother of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David and in the lineage of Jesus Christ! Through the provision of God’s law, this faithful Gentile woman was accepted as a part of God’s chosen people. It is interesting to note that Jews specifically read from the Book of Ruth on the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot).

Now consider another very revealing account regarding this concept of gleaning. When Jesus was asked by a woman from Canaan to heal her daughter, Jesus replied: “‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel'” (Matthew 15:24). Also, He said: “‘…It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs'” (verse 26). Note this remarkable statement from the woman in response: “And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table'” (verse 27). At this, Jesus said to her: “‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire'” (verse 28).

Further proof that firstfruits from among the Gentiles are represented by one of the two loaves may be found by examining more about Jesus Christ’s role. Shortly following His birth, this testimony about Jesus was given by Simeon: “‘A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel'” (Luke 2:32). Jesus, knowing the unfolding plan of God, stated: “‘And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd'” (John 10:16).

In one of the Messianic prophecies, the all-encompassing role Jesus was to fulfill for the totality of mankind is revealed: “Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth'” (Isaiah 49:6).

Paul offers this compelling overview of God’s plan of salvation–starting with the firstfruits and including both those of Israel and of the Gentiles (that is, the rest of the nations): “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands–that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11-13).

Then, in Galatians 3, we find this summary–a kind of capstone for us to understand that God will accept both the loaves represented in Leviticus 23, that is, not only the firstfruits of Israel, but the firstfruits of other nations as well:

“(26) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (27) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (29) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Thus, we can see that the two loaves represent the firstfruits of all of mankind called and chosen by God the Father to be included in the first resurrection at Christ’s coming. The waving of the two loaves on the Day of Pentecost pictured this harvesting of God’s firstfruits.

As God’s great master plan is revealed in His Holy Days, we find that an even greater harvest of all of the rest of humanity will follow! For more information about the Feast Days of God, please read our free booklet, “God’s Commanded Holy Days.”

Current Events

Religious Crisis in Europe

As the Associated Press reported on June 21, 2005, “Pope Benedict XVI rails against Europe in his first book published since becoming pope, chastising a culture that he says excludes God from life and allows innocent lives – the unborn – to be taken from God through legalized abortion.”

The article continued:

“Ratzinger takes as a starting point the decision of European Union leaders to exclude a reference to Europe’s Christian roots from the preamble of the proposed EU constitution, whose future remains uncertain following its rejection by French and Dutch voters in recent referendums. The Vatican had campaigned to have the reference included, part of its attempts to stem what it sees as a continent of increasingly empty churches that is often hostile to religion. ‘Europe has developed a culture which, in a way never before known to humanity, excludes God from public conscience, either by being denied or by judging his existence to be uncertain and thus belonging to subjective choices, something irrelevant for public life,’ Benedict writes. He dismisses arguments that inclusion of the reference would have offended Jews and Muslims, saying they are more offended by Europe’s attempt to deny a historic fact.

“‘It’s not the mention of God that offends the followers of other religions, but precisely the attempt to build a human community absolutely without God,’ he writes. He says Europe needs more people like St. Benedict of Norcia, the fifth and sixth century monk who is a patron saint of Europe. The Benedictine order that followed his teachings became the main guardian of learning and literature in Western Europe during the dark centuries that followed the fall of the Roman Empire.

“Looking at current culture in Europe, Ratzinger acknowledges it would be easy to resign oneself to the fact that abortion is a legal right in much of Europe. But he concludes that there is no such thing as a ‘little homicide’ and that when man loses the respect for life, ‘inevitably he ends by losing his own identity.'”

Middle Eastern Crisis

The Washington Post reported on June 21, 2005:

“A rare meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ended bitterly Tuesday… [T]he leaders clashed over Abbas’s efforts to confront such militant groups as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the release of additional Palestinians from Israeli jails and the reopening of the Gaza airport that Palestinians see as key to the future of the local economy after the pullout… The meeting Tuesday was meant to serve as an opportunity for the two leaders to better coordinate security and economic preparations for the Israeli withdrawal from all 21 settlements in Gaza and four in the West Bank.”

The European Crisis

As Reuters reported on June 22, 2005, “Britain will try to change the European Union’s agenda toward economic reform and away from farm subsidies when it takes the EU chair on July 1, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Wednesday. He was speaking amid continuing recrimination over the failure of a summit last week to agree on a long term budget for the 25-nation bloc… Straw said he believed Britain could heal the EU’s rifts during its six months in the presidency, but diplomats said lectures about British economic success compared to other countries was unlikely to calm tempers.”

In a related article, The Associated Press wrote on June 21, 2005: “Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Tuesday that Europe must choose between two futures: one as a politically united continent able to hold its own in a globalized economy and the other as an enfeebled trading bloc. In his first major speech since the collapse of talks late last week at a European Union summit, Schroeder said disagreement about Europe’s future–not its stricken constitution or budget–was at the heart of the dispute. ‘The core question is: which Europe do we want? Do we want a united Europe capable of acting, a real political union … or do we want to limit ourselves to being a large free-trade zone?’ Schroeder said… ‘I’m convinced … we need a political union. Only a political union is able to practice solidarity,’ Schroeder said.”

The EUobserver added in its article, which was published on June 23:

“Outgoing president of the EU Jean-Claude Juncker launched a blistering attack on the British prime minister laying the blame squarely at Tony Blair’s door for last week’s summit failure… Mr Juncker accused Mr Blair of using false arguments about the scale of farming subsidies and being misleading about the presidency’s proposals to try and forge a deal… Mr Juncker’s words, for which he got a standing ovation by MEPs, bring to a head an extraordinary few days of sniping between London on the one side and Paris, Berlin and Luxembourg on the other… Many believe that all London wants from the bloc is a convenient free-trade zone and will be out to make life difficult for the UK prime minister when he takes over the EU helm on 1 July.”

The United Press International speculated in an article, which was published on June 20, whether Europe could ever emerge as a political and military superpower. The author, Professor Mark Katz, stated:

“It may seem impossible, then, for an EU unwilling to engage in military intervention to become a superpower equal to the United States. But this is not necessarily the case. Indeed, it is possible the EU, despite its unwillingness to use force, could not only equal the United States as a superpower, but even replace it as the hegemonic power most able to shape the international order. The EU has the potential for doing this because it has an asset neither the United States nor any other country (or group of countries) possesses: the desire on the part of other countries to join it. We have seen already how much the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been willing to transform themselves in order to be admitted to the EU. If the EU expressed its willingness to admit any and all countries wishing to join that meet its admission standards, it would unleash an extraordinary demand for political and economic reform throughout the world.”

In addition, even though the EU might presently express a reluctance to use military force, Biblical prophecy clearly reveals that this will change.

Crisis Between USA and Italy

As The Associated Press reported on June 24, 2005, “An Italian judge on Friday ordered the arrests of 13 CIA officers for secretly transporting a Muslim preacher from Italy to Egypt as part of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts–a rare public objection to the practice by a close American ally… Italian-U.S. relations were strained after American soldiers killed an Italian intelligence agent near Baghdad airport in March. He was escorting a kidnapped Italian journalist after he had secured her release from Iraqi captors. Germano Dottori, a political analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies in Rome, said it is not unusual for intelligence agencies to have squabbles with allied countries but that he could not recall prosecutors directly involved in investigating or apprehending agents… ‘At some point the Americans will begin to think they can’t trust the Italians,’ Dottori said.”

Crisis Between USA and Europe

As the EUobserver reported on June 24, 2005, “Anti-Americanism in Europe, provoked by the Iraqi war in 2003, remains high… a new survey has shown… Europeans want more autonomy and independence from the US, and a majority of French, German and Spaniards think the US does not take into consideration other countries’ interests… 85 percent of the French believe it would be good if the EU or another country emerged as a military rival to the US… In Spain, 60 percent of those questioned said Mr Bush’s re-election made them feel less favourable to the US, compared to 77 percent in Germany, 74 percent in France, and 62 percent in the UK.”

Crisis Between USA and Iran

The Economist reported on June 25, 2005, about the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hardline religious conservative, in Iran’s presidential election. The publication stated: “Iran looks like [it is] turning its back on reform–and perhaps on the outside world. WAS it a backlash by Iran’s devoutly Muslim poor against a corrupt elite? Or was it a massive fraud perpetrated on the people by the hardline clerics? Perhaps it was a bit of both… Mr Ahmadinejad insisted there was no need for any rapprochement with the “Great Satan”, as official Iranian demonology labels the superpower [of the United States]… Young Iranians have begun to enjoy greater freedom in such things as how they dress and how they mix with the opposite sex. This now looks likely to go into reverse under Mr Ahmadinejad… Thus the prospects look bleak for any sort of breakthrough in the issue that most interests the outside world–Iran’s apparent attempts to learn the techniques for making nuclear bombs… As for trying to get along with Uncle Sam, the president-elect said during his campaign that: ‘Relations with the United States are not a cure to our ills.'”

The Associated Press added on June 26:

“Iran President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Sunday to pursue a peaceful nuclear program — an effort the United States maintains is really a cover for trying to build atomic bombs — and said his government will not be an extremist one. Ahmadinejad also said Iran did not need the United States to help it become more self-reliant. His comments came as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld criticized Friday’s vote, in which the ultraconservative former Tehran mayor steamrolled former President Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, as a ‘mock election.’ Rumsfeld said more than 1,000 potential candidates — including all women — were disqualified from running by the country’s hard-line Guardian Council. ‘He is no friend of democracy,’ Rumsfeld said.”

Crisis Between USA and China?

As The Washington Times reported on June 26, 2005, “China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials. U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack. China’s military buildup includes an array of new high-technology weapons, such as warships, submarines, missiles and a maneuverable warhead designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses… China’s economy has been growing at a rate of at least 10 percent for each of the past 10 years, providing the country’s military with the needed funds for modernization. The combination of a vibrant centralized economy, growing military and increasingly fervent nationalism has transformed China into what many defense officials view as a fascist state.”

Ten Commandments in Crisis?

The New York Sun reported on June 28, 2005, about the U.S. Supreme Court decision, okaying a display of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol while disallowing their display in two county courthouses in Kentucky. The article pointed out:

“This aspect of the fight might well have come as a surprise to the actual authors of the First Amendment, which was a prohibition on Congress, not on the states… The policy virtues of such an approach are ‘the laboratory of the states.’ Bible belt states could post the Ten Commandments on every streetlamp, while more secular-leaning states, or those with larger populations of Buddhists and Hindus or atheists, could avoid public posting of the commandments. The drawbacks of such an approach are equally clear. The reason the 14th Amendment was passed after the Civil War was the realization that some freedoms, like the freedom from slavery, are so fundamentally American that they should not depend on what state one is in.”

The Washington Post added on June 28:

“The Supreme Court’s decisions yesterday on displays of the Ten Commandments on public property were not a model of clarity or judicial consensus. To resolve two cases, one from Texas and the other from Kentucky, the justices delivered 10 different opinions — one, we suppose, for each commandment…”

We Are A Team!

Almost exactly four years ago, on July 2, 2001, we filed the Articles of Incorporation of the Church of the Eternal God (CEG) with the Secretary of State of California, which were subsequently approved on July 5, 2001. Following this, we applied for and received federal and state tax exempt status.

There were mainly two major factors forcing us to establish CEG in the United States, and to affiliate with the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom (Global) and the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada (CGCF): (1) Our conviction to have to provide a spiritual haven for those members, co-workers and others who felt that they had no spiritual place to go; and (2) Our conviction that we must continue to preach, as much as God allows and wants us to, the gospel or good news of the soon-coming Kingdom of God, to be established here on earth by the return of Jesus Christ, as the KING of kings, and the LORD of lords.

We understood that spiritually providing for the Church or “feeding the flock” includes GROWING in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and that BOLDLY and STRONGLY preaching the gospel requires an unwavering COMMITMENT by all of us to CONTRIBUTE to the WORK of the LIVING God, as much as possible, in many different ways, as decreed by God (compare 1 Corinthians 12:12-30).

Sadly, not all who joined with us in the effort to FULFILL God’s two-fold Commission to His end-time Church (of preaching the gospel and feeding the flock) are still with us. Some left us, or we had to disassociate from them, because they simply did not have the same spirit or mindset, which we must have if we want to see that our Church organizations succeed, to the glory and honor of God!

I’m reminded of Gideon’s army, as recorded in the Book of Judges. The Midianites, the Amalakites, and the people of the East were oppressing Israel. God appointed Gideon to free Israel from this foreign occupation. Gideon doubted that he would be able to accomplish such a great task, so God had to prove to him through supernatural signs that He was with him. Still, Gideon needed help. He sent messengers to the people, and since they had undoubtedly heard about the mighty deeds which God had already done through Gideon, many came to join him (compare Judges 6:28-35). But they were clearly not all of the same conviction, and they did not have the same dedication to God’s cause. God had to reduce Gideon’s army. First, Gideon, in following God’s command, sent those home who were fearful and afraid (Judges 7:2-3). Twenty-two thousand (!) of his army returned. Subsequently, God sent 9,700 soldiers home who got on their knees to drink. Only 300 men, who lapped from the water with their tongues, as dogs lap, were allowed to stay (verses 5-7). They showed a higher degree of military readiness, being watchful and alert, as they “evidently… used their hands to bring the water to their mouths while standing upright, just as a dog uses his tongue to bring water to his mouth… in contrast to those who knelt” (Ryrie Study Bible).

God separated those who were truly committed to His cause from those who were not, either because they were afraid to fight boldly for God, or because they did not see the need to be dedicated and committed at all times. And so, we have seen that some who began with us, or who joined us later, have left us. I’m sure that they thought they had good reasons to leave, but the fact remains that they are no longer part of Gideon’s army, to stay within the picture. But the commitment of others did not waver. God has also added, and He WILL be adding, new people, and God has been blessing our combined efforts.

Through the grace and power of God, much has been accomplished. You are reading the 200th edition of our weekly Update. We have posted literally hundreds of sermons, as well as over 50 StandingWatch programs, on one of our four Websites. We have published and posted on our Websites 18 booklets in the English language, and several booklets and articles in the French and German languages. We have sent out several thousand audio sermon tapes.

All of this is a TEAM effort. And we, the ministry of CEG, Global and CGCF, are tremendously thankful for our dedicated team. Some of those who help us on a constant time-consuming basis (whether it is as editorial reviewers and the graphic designer of our booklets; regular contributors to and writers for our weekly updates, including our younger people; copying and sending out the weekly audio tapes; as well as our webmaster) are listed, by name, in our written literature and on our Websites–but there are so many more we could name. God knows who they are!

There are those who are members of our technical team, competently helping us with the design of our Websites and many other technically related issues. There are those who assist us diligently before, during, and after Church services with technical issues, including the live broadcast of our services, the recording of our sermons, and the uploading of our sermons to the Web. Some assist with opening and closing prayers, songleading, delivering sermonettes and split-sermons, special music and choir. There are those who help us maintaining and updating our Websites. Others finalize and send out our updates via email. Still others prepare and send out our hard-copy mail (including booklets, member letters and updates). There are those who are involved in producing video recordings of our sermons for scattered groups of brethren. There are those who help us with the translation of our English literature into other languages. There are our young members whom God has begun to prepare and use more and more powerfully for important tasks to come. And last, but not least, there are our ministerial wives who have been helping all of us tirelessly in many ways, including giving us much encouragement. Truly, God has given us in the ministry helpers comparable to us (compare Genesis 2:20), or, to say it, as does the New Revised Standard Version, helpers as our partners.

We could not have accomplished much, if anything, if it had not been for the true dedication of God’s people to God’s cause. That is why we would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for your sincere loyalty, help, tireless efforts, financial contributions and, most importantly, your continued constant prayers that God would send dedicated, convicted helpers into the harvest, because the harvest is indeed plentiful, but sincere selfless laborers are few (Matthew 9:37-38).

In return, we pray to God for His abundant blessings for your efforts in His Work, and for your personal lives. Even though we cannot adequately thank you for your dedication, we would like to cite to you the unshakable promise of the Head of this Church, Jesus Christ, in Revelation 22:12: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”


On Saturday, July 2, 2005, Dave Harris will be giving the sermon, titled, “Repent!”

The services can be heard at at 12:30 pm Pacific Time (which is 2:30 pm Central Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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