Update 231


A Key to Faithfulness

On February 18, Edwin Pope will give the sermon, titled, “A Key to Faithfulness.”

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

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Are You a Patriot?

by Robb Harris

Many of us probably have friends or neighbors who would consider
themselves to be patriotic, and supporters of the United States of
America. Maybe they take the time to display the flag on the 4th of
July, remember the men and women who sacrificed in the wars of this
country, or with pride hold their hand to their hearts when the
national anthem is played.  Service to one’s country still holds
true as a virtue and serving those around you are still ideals held by

But are these the ideals to be held by Christians? 
And should Christians practice patriotism?  The answer is,
Yes!  But to whose country should we show our true allegiance?

the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, through God’s Spirit, interpreted
the king’s dreams, and because of that service was made “ruler over the
whole province of Babylon” (Daniel 2:48). Continuing in verse 49, we
read that Daniel appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego to be “over
the affairs of the province of Babylon.”

In that particular case,
for God’s specific purpose, He chose to have men performing civil
service for a foreign county (as they had been deported from Judah to
Babylon), who also had God’s Spirit guiding them. Undoubtedly, they
performed their duties as was prescribed by the appointments Daniel
gave to them.  But when decrees were set before them to disobey
God, by worshipping an idol of gold, what was their response? 
“…let it be known to you, O King, that we do not serve your gods, nor
will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:18).

came before ALL men for these three, and because of their belief God
saved them from their trial, and the king honored them greatly (Daniel

What are our duties, then, in our respective
countries?  While we are to honor and submit to those in
authority, we are not to obey them when their demands conflict with
God’s instructions.

But we are expected to be patriots–patriots
of a kingdom that has yet to be set up, but is no less real.  We
are “…ambassadors for Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:20), and as
ambassadors we are required to show complete patriotism for God’s
soon-coming Kingdom. Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippines 3:20).
While coming out of our earthly country, in a spiritual way, we are
desiring a better country: we are waiting for God’s heavenly kingdom to
be set up here on earth (Hebrews 11:14-16). We are to be patriots of
God’s very Kingdom.

A patriot is defined as: “One who loves,
supports and defends one’s country.” Can that be said of us in how
proudly we “show our colors” to those around us? Matthew 5:14 states:
“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be

It is our responsibility and duty, not just to ourselves, but to mankind as a whole to let the light of God’s truth so shine.

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“Democracy Is Great–Or Maybe Not”

On February 15, MSNBC published an article discussing democracy in certain countries. The article was titled, “Democracy is great–or maybe not.” It continued:

“Democracy is a great idea. Or maybe not. The early returns are in on the Bush administration’s strategy of trying to democratize the Middle East and elsewhere. The news isn’t as the president and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would have hoped. All around the world, countries and peoples–Iran, Lebanon, the Palestinians, Venezuela, Bolivia–keep having elections and keep electing candidates committed to terrorism or virulent anti-Americanism. The victory of Hamas, a group listed on the State Department’s terrorist roster, in last month’s Palestinian balloting is only the most recent in a run of elections leading to bad outcomes. ‘Bad’ from the point of view of those opposed to terrorism and anti-Americanism; ‘good,’ of course, from the point of view of Hamas.

“On Wednesday, several members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanded that Rice explain whether her strategy is working in the interests of America. Are the elections making the world safe for democracy and for America?… While neither Rice nor any of the senators seemed to come away from Wednesday’s sparring session fully satisfied or clearly victorious, the hearings showed that the committee is growing even more weary and wary of the Rice-Bush democracy crusade.

“Implied in some of the senators’ questions was this idea: The logical outcome of that crusade might be a geo-strategic situation in which the people of the world, if free to elect who they want, choose anti-American leaders, and the United States — beset by antagonists — will be worse off than it was in the old days of authoritarian governments. But Rice seemed undaunted in her enthusiasm for democracy as a subversive force against dangerous regimes: she used the opening comments of her testimony to request $75 million in funds to support democratic groups in Iran, groups which presumably would lead to the peaceful overthrow of the mullahs in Tehran.”

The Bible predicts that anti-Americanism–as well as anti-British feelings–will increase worldwide. The Bible also tells us the reasons for this development. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.”

No More Marriages in Canada?

According to a report published by LifesiteNews.com on February 7, “Prominent American conservative commentator Stanley Kurtz has uncovered a chilling plot for Canada–the former Liberal government, in collusion with liberal courts, has been attempting to ‘abolish marriage’ entirely. The first obvious reality is that the past Liberal governments, with the courts, have already caused critical damage to marriage–the advent of so-called same-sex marriage is a major step towards abolishing marriage. A next step will be legalization of polygamy, as the Liberals have already considered…

“As Kurtz describes, ‘Legalize gay marriage, followed by multi-partner marriage, and pretty soon the whole idea of marriage will be meaningless. It’s like this,’ he adds. ‘The way to abolish marriage, without seeming to abolish it, is to redefine the institution out of existence. If everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage.’ Kurtz explains that the introduction of polygamy, arguably because that would appeal to Muslims in our multicultural society, would lead to ‘the creation of a modern, secular, “non-patriarchal” relationship system that would allow for marriage-like unions in any combination of number or gender.'”

Laura Bush and the Pope

On February 9, 2006, Zenit published the following report about Laura Bush’s comments following her visit with the Pope:

“I just was very, very privileged to have the chance to meet His Holy Father, the new Pope, Pope Benedict… it was a huge privilege to have the chance to meet him and to bring the very best wishes of the people of the United States and of the president, of course, to him… we talked about religion, and we talked about the separation of church and state and religion… I talked about how many, many people in the United States are religious… He gave me a beautiful rosary, and I gave him a silver bowl from the president and me.”

The Bible predicts that the Catholic Church will become the most influential religion in the world–including in countries which are presently non-Catholic. The meeting between the Pope and Laura Bush, and her evaluation of this meeting, is therefore very interesting and telling. We need to note, however, that the growing influence of the Catholic religion will not foster true understanding of the truth of the Bible.

All-Time High US Trade Deficit

ABC News reported on February 10 that the “Commerce Department Reports U.S. Trade Deficit [or Trade Gap] Soars to All-Time High of $725.8 Billion in 2005.”

The article continued: “The chief culprit in pushing the deficit up last year was record global oil prices and increased U.S. demand because of a loss of Gulf Coast production following Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. foreign oil bill soared to a record $251.6 billion, up 39.4 percent from 2004… Analysts predicted that the 2006 trade gap will be even worse, with Global Insight forecasting it could hit $810 billion, reflecting lagging economic growth overseas that could hold back U.S. exports… Economists worry that if foreigners suddenly decide they want to hold fewer U.S. assets, they could send the value of the dollar, stocks and bonds all plunging… critics contend the trade deficits have contributed to the loss of nearly 3 million manufacturing jobs since mid-2000 as U.S. companies moved production overseas to lower-waged nations. Many economists believe those manufacturing jobs will never come back.”

The Daily Mail added on February 11:

“The US racked up its biggest ever trade deficit last year, leading to renewed fears that the world economy could be hit by a slump in the dollar… The dollar slide against the Euro and the Yen immediately after the numbers were released, on fears the US will struggle to finance its appetite for foreign goods… The deficit has tripled since President George W Bush took office, making it a major political headache… The possibility of a major slump in the dollar is one of the nightmare scenarios for global political leaders, because it could force a big boost in US interest rates and make it far harder for Americans to continue their debt-fuelled spending binge.”

USA Prepared to Strike Against Iran?

The Telegraph reported on February 12:

“Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran’s nuclear sites as a ‘last resort’ to block Teheran’s efforts to develop an atomic bomb… The prospect of military action could put Washington at odds with Britain which fears that an attack would spark violence across the Middle East, reprisals in the West and may not cripple Teheran’s nuclear programme.”

On February 11, WorldNetDaily had reported that “Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today echoed his earlier threats to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ by telling a mass demonstration in Tehran, commemorating the 27th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, that Palestinians and ‘other nations’ will remove Israel from the region, adding a warning to the West that harsh measures against the nation’s nuclear program would result in Iran walking away from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.”

The Bird Flu in Europe

The Independent reported on February 12:

“Scientists have confirmed that wild swans in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria have tested positive for the deadly strain of bird flu. More than 20 swans in the three countries have died from the H5N1 strain which experts say was probably brought by cold weather in the Balkans… H5N1 has killed birds in 20 countries and infected at least 166 people, killing 88 of them. The ‘majority’ of the 17 dead swans found in southern Italy tested positive for the lethal strain and all three swans found in northern Greece were killed by it.”

On February 14, Reuters added:

“Three more countries said on Tuesday they had detected cases of deadly bird flu in wild swans, with Germany, Iran and Austria the latest to find the virus that has killed 91 people worldwide… Germany said it would bring forward to February 17 a ban on keeping poultry outdoors, and Italy said police had impounded more than 80,000 chickens and 7,000 eggs from farms in the south that were not respecting health norms… Across Europe and into Africa, countries have reported sharp drops in poultry sales as the number of outbreaks grows… The virus could soon spread further into Europe as migrating birds return after wintering in Africa, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization… said.”

AFP stated on February 14:

“The French food safety agency AFSSA warned of a heightened risk of the deadly bird flu virus reaching the country, and called for poultry to be kept indoors wherever possible… France is Europe’s biggest poultry producer, with free-range birds accounting for 17 percent of its production — as well as western Europe’s main crossroads for migratory birds, potential carriers of the virus. According to a member of the AFSSA expert panel [Jean Hars], it is only a matter of time before bird flu arrives in France… ‘All migratory species either fly over or stop in France,’ he added, warning that the deadly virus could be carried by pigeons, sparrows or birds of prey as well as by geese and ducks.”

Major Storm in the USA

The Associated Press reported on February 12:

“A major storm slammed the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states on Sunday with nearly 2 feet of windblown snow, nearing record levels as it blacked out thousands of customers and shut down air travel from Washington to Boston. Wind gusting as high as 60 mph blew the snow sideways and threatened coastal flooding in New England… By late morning, 22.8 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park [in New York], the city’s second heaviest snowfall on record, surpassed only by the 26.4 inches that fell in December 1947… More than 80,000 customers were without power in Maryland… More than 60,000 customers were blacked out in northern Virginia, some 15,000 homes and businesses had no power in New Jersey… Most airlines canceled all flights at LaGuardia Airport, some of them until Monday… Hundreds of flights were canceled at Kennedy and Newark airports.”

Katrina Response a “National Failure”

AFP reported on February 13:

“The US administration led a ‘national failure’ in its response to Hurricane Katrina, while millions of dollars were lost to fraud after the disaster, Congress charges in an upcoming report. Emergency planners failed to act on warnings before Katrina laid waste to New Orleans and the surrounding region last August. They then failed to give speedy help, House of Representative lawmakers assert in excerpts of a damning report to be released in full on Wednesday. President George W. Bush’s administration also faces scathing criticism from a Congress watchdog which says millions of dollars in Katrina aid were given to people who provided false identities and addresses… [The report says:] ‘At every level — individual, corporate, philanthropic and governmental — we failed to meet the challenge that was Katrina.'”

Collaboration With China to Censor the Internet

BBC News reported on February 10 that “The internet giant Yahoo has been accused of providing China with information that led to the jailing of a second internet writer. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders claims that Yahoo released data which led to the arrest of Li Zhi. The online writer was jailed for eight years in 2003, after posting comments that criticised official corruption. Last year Yahoo was accused of giving information to Beijing which led to the imprisonment of reporter Shi Tao… Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako insisted that in its dealings with China, the company ‘only responded with what we were legally compelled to provide, and nothing more’… But she added that: ‘The government of China is not required to inform service providers why they are seeking certain information, and typically does not do so.'”

The article continued: “The Chinese government enforces strict laws on internet use, blocking content it considers a threat, including references to the Tiananmen Square massacre and notable dissidents… Four major US-based companies–Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Cisco–have been accused of collaborating with China to censor the internet…  US lawmakers are due to meet later this month to discuss the ethical responsibilities of US-based internet companies doing business in China.”

The Associated Press reported on February 14:

“Google Inc. and other U.S. Internet companies under fire for assisting in China’s censorship efforts are insisting they must obey Beijing or risk limiting access to their most promising market… China encourages Internet use for education and business, but the government also runs what is widely regarded as the world’s most sweeping and successful effort to control the Internet. Thousands are believed involved in efforts to scan the Web and impose filters that block access to material deemed subversive or obscene. Companies that host Web logs are required to ensure their customers obey censorship rules.”

Reuters added on February 14: “Google Inc.’s Chinese search engine, for example, blocks many terms associated with topics related to democracy or independence for Tibet, part of China, and Taiwan, a self-ruled island which China considers its own.”

Atheist Lost Court Case in Italy

BBC News reported on February 10:

“An atheist who sued a small-town priest for saying that Jesus Christ existed has had his case thrown out of court. The judge said Luigi Cascioli should himself face charges for slandering Father Enrico Righi. Mr Cascioli sued Father Righi in 2002 after the priest attacked him in print for casting doubt on the legitimacy of the Christian gospels… He brought his case under Italian laws that forbid conning the public. He said he was now considering taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights… The priest countered that millions around the world had long believed in the evidence that appeared in the Gospels as well as thousands of other religious and secular writings.”

Berlusconi’s Outrageous Remarks

Reuters reported on February 12 about some outrageous comments by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi: “‘I am the Jesus Christ of politics,’ Italian media quoted him as saying at a dinner with supporters on Saturday night. ‘I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone.’… Pierferdinando Casini, a sometimes uneasy Berlusconi ally and outgoing speaker of parliament, distanced himself. ‘I live on Earth. I don’t want to mix foolish things with serious things,’ the Ansa news agency quoted him as saying when asked about Berlusconi’s Christ comments. On Friday, Berlusconi compared himself to Napoleon, saying only the French emperor had done more for his country.”

British Army under Fire

The Times reported on February 13 that “Islamic leaders demanded last night the swift prosecution of British soldiers caught on video beating Iraqi youths, as the scandal provoked further fury among Muslims… Tony Blair promised that the allegations would be investigated ‘very fully indeed’ but said that the overwhelming majority of British forces behaved properly and deserved public support… Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that the images posed a danger to 8,000 British troops already in Iraq and the 3,000 pledged for Afghanistan… Anas Altikriti, former president of the Muslim Association of Britain and an Iraqi, said that he had heard of many similar attacks.”

The Double Standard of the Islamic Press

Der Spiegel Online reported on  February 10, 2006, “Even as the Muslim world protests against the Muhammad caricatures printed in the West, a number of Arab newspapers publish virulently anti-Semitic cartoons. But nobody’s paying much attention. After all, Jew baiting in the Arab world has become the norm.”

The article continued:

“A quick glance at the Anti-Defamation League’s Arab Media Review from July to December 2005 illustrates the point. A cartoon depicting the Jewish Star of David superimposed onto a swastika appeared in the Saudi Arabian paper Al-Yawm in late November. A December cartoon in Al-Bayan, a paper from United Arab Emirates, shows a grinning Jew playing with a globe-shaped yo-yo. [Other cartoons portray the] popular anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews control the United States, the United Nations, Denmark, Europe and the world. And that’s before the Muhammad caricature scandal cranked up the volume of Muslim indignation. Since the beginning of February, there has been a tendency to conflate the appearance of the Muhammad caricatures in the Western media with Jewish perfidy. For example: a cartoon from Bahrain calling for a boycott against Danish products showed a Danish flag emblazoned with a Star of David sticking out of a chunk of havarti cheese. The cartoon’s title? ‘The Penetration of Zionism to Denmark.’…

“Even as the Muslim world continues its calls for mass protests and boycotts of Danish products, Jew-bashing continues unabated in the Islamic press. Indeed, in perhaps the most insulting bit of cartoon combativeness, the Iranian paper Hamshahri at the beginning of the week launched a contest to find the 12 ‘best’ Holocaust cartoons — ostensibly to test Europe’s commitment to freedom of speech by challenging editors here to republish them just as they did the Muhammad caricatures… But that’s a fine line to walk. Israel is a favorite target of the Arab media and many in the region see the Jewish state as a thorn in the side of the Middle East. There is no shortage of cartoons depicting incapacitated Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with blood on his hands as he gleefully slaughters Palestinian…

“A November cartoon in the major Egyptian daily al-Ahram — a paper which officially ‘does not commission or support anti-Semitic material in our newspaper’ according to a spokeswoman for the English version — provides a concise illustration. It depicts the United Nations, in human form, hunched under the crushing weight of a number of UN resolutions passed against various Middle Eastern countries. On top of the pile sits a Jew wearing a Star of David hat holding a bloody axe. Although the Jew is unobtrusively labelled ‘Sharon,’ it is clearly meant to indicate Jewish domination of the UN and by extension — especially given the globe-shaped head of the UN figure — the world.”

Mixed Rules for Free Speech in Europe

The Christian Science Monitor reported on February 8:

“The violence over cartoons satirizing the prophet Muhammad has highlighted often inconsistent rules in Europe governing free speech, tolerance, and the boundaries of public expression. Muslims in particular charge that hate-speech laws are implemented unfairly. Many countries, they say, do not abide anti-Semitic outbursts, but will tolerate cartoons that to many Muslims are deeply offensive… 

“Roger Koeppel, editor in chief at German newspaper Die Welt, which published the cartoons last week, says that European societies have a right to make their own choices. ‘Every society has the right to have taboos, the things they don’t talk about,’ he says. Mr. Koeppel says the cartoons were not published to annoy but to question a growing tendency for press self-censorship in delicate matters. At times, he says, it may appear there is a double standard. ‘Evenhandedness cannot be a goal,’ he says. ‘It has to be clear that the majority culture rules and the minority culture has to accept the rules. If the rules are not acceptable, no one is forced to live there.’… Europe is generally warier of free speech than is the US, with its First Amendment. Laws against inciting hatred and violence have sprung up in countries such as France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark, resulting in criminal cases, convictions, and, in the case of foreigners, expulsions.”

More Violence in the Isamic World

The Associated Press reported on February 15 about the ongoing and still growing spirit of violence in Muslim countries: “Gunfire and rioting erupted Wednesday as more than 70,000 people joined Pakistan’s biggest protest yet against Prophet Muhammad cartoons, burning movie theaters, a KFC restaurant and a South Korean- run bus station. Three people died and dozens were injured in two cities, police and witnesses said. The massive crowd went on a rampage in the northwestern city of Peshawar, torching businesses and fighting police, who struck back with tear gas and batons. It was the third straight day of violent demonstrations in the Islamic nation… Intelligence officials say members of outlawed Islamic militant groups have joined the protests, and may be inciting violence to undermine the pro-Western government of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf… Police also battled protesters in the northwestern town of Tank, where 2,000 people rallied and set fire to 30 shops selling CDs, DVDs and videos, said police officer Attiq Wazir. One policeman was reportedly injured when a protester opened fire to resist arrest. Suspected militants have previously warned music shops in the town to close–saying music and videos are against Islam.”

The article continued:

“Elsewhere in Asia, hundreds of protesters from the small Muslim minority ripped apart and burned Danish flags in a rally at the Danish honorary consulate in Manila, the Philippines capital. In Muslim-majority Malaysia, the government ordered Guang Ming, the country’s third largest Chinese-language newspaper, to halt publication of its evening edition for two weeks as punishment for printing a photograph in which the cartoons were visible. And in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia’s importers association said it was boycotting Danish goods to protest the publication of the cartoons in Denmark.”

Evolution Sunday vs. God

The Chicago Tribune reported on February 12 about “Evolution Sunday.” If that wasn’t bad enough, the article continued to point out that “Evolution Sunday” was celebrated by nearly 450 “Christian” churches. The article explained this incredible event, as follows:

“Nearly 450 Christian churches around the country [USA] plan to celebrate the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin today with programs and sermons intended to emphasize that his theory of biological evolution is compatible with faith and that Christians have no need to choose between religion and science… Darwin’s theory holds that all life on Earth, including humans, shares common ancestry and developed over millions of years through the mechanisms of natural selection and random mutation. The concept is repugnant to many conservative Christians because it conflicts with their belief that man was specially created in the image of God.

“‘Evolution Sunday’ has drawn participation from a variety of denominational and non-denominational churches, including Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Congregationalist, United Church of Christ, Baptist and a host of community churches.”

Let us be perfectly clear: A true Christian believes in the Bible. The Bible condemns the theory of evolution. One CANNOT believe in Evolution and the Bible at the same time. In addition, science does NOT prove the accuracy of Darwin’s evolution theory–just the OPPOSITE is true! For more information, please read our free booklet, “Evolution–a Fairy Tale for Adults?”

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In Update #230, you stated that only ordained men should preach in Church. Some men give sermonettes or even sermons in the Church who are not ordained to the ministry. Would you please explain this apparent inconsistency?

As a general rule of understanding, there is a difference between teaching and preaching in Church–preaching can be, and often is more of a corrective nature. Preaching, in that sense, should be left to the ministry, whereas non-ordained men can of course teach during Church services, if asked by the ministry to do so.

We should also note that the task of “preaching” includes proclaiming the gospel or good news to the world. The responsibility of preaching the gospel in all the world is reserved for the ministry or to be undertaken under the direction, guidance or supervision of the ministry. Matthew 28:19-20 points out that the Church is to first “go… and make disciples of all nations (verse 19).” This summarizes the Church’s responsibility of preaching the gospel in all the world (Romans 10:14-17), including the need of repentance, faith and baptism. Before a person is to be baptized, he or she must repent of his or her sins and accept, in faith, the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:36-38). The Church’s ministry will baptize those who respond correctly to the preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:15-16; compare Luke 24:46-47). At the time of proper baptism and the laying on of hands by the ministry, the baptized person receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is then that the Church is to fulfill the second part of its commission, by “teaching them [the converted disciples] to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).” As distinguished from “preaching” or proclaiming the gospel to the world, “teaching” the truth in depth applies to activities within the Church. We must have God’s Holy Spirit within us to grow in the understanding of God’s word (John 16:12-13), and to obtain the strength and power or might to obey God as God’s Spirit continues to give understanding through His Word (Ephesians 1:13; 3:14-21; compare Romans 1:5; 16:26).

But even in regard to teaching God’s truth to others in the Church, unordained men who have been asked to speak in Church must be careful that they don’t appear to try to fulfill the role of a minister. They are not to “correct” others, nor are they to “teach” “new” understanding, or, even worse, to challenge Church doctrines and practices.

The ministry has specific areas of responsibilities–for example, pertaining to the laying on of hands for receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17); healing (James 5:14-16); and the authority to cast out demons (Mark 16:17). All of these responsibilities, and more, are areas of accountability for which the ministry, specifically, is responsible to God.

The original twelve apostles and the seventy disciples were sent by Jesus Christ to preach–BEFORE they were “converted.” This was a unique occurrence. Later on, when the Church was established, ordinations were conducted for the express purpose of preaching and of administering the Church of God (compare Acts 6:1-7; 13:1-3).

In considering the qualifications of ministers and deacons in Timothy and Titus, it is apparent that a developmental process based on mature approaches and goals was to be in place within the Church. Paul speaks to Timothy about having deacons being first tested before being ordained (compare 1 Timothy 3:10). This has been the practice of the Church of God over the last many decades–something we continue to do in first TRAINING individuals before they are ordained. Men who are capable teachers (“able to teach,” compare 1 Timothy 3:2), and who exemplify Biblical qualifications in their lives, are the ones considered for ordination.

Preaching and teaching, when it comes to establishing doctrines and their administration, solely fall to those ordained to the ministry. However, ALL Church members should strive to have the spiritual maturity to explain the Truth–especially those introductory occasions when someone new asks a member about the Church (Compare Hebrews 5:12-14; 6:1-2; 1 Peter 3:15). As was explained in the Q&A in Update 230, ALL should likewise seek deeper and deeper understanding of those things God is revealing to those who seek Him.

All of our roles should blend harmoniously, but they still remain distinct. For instance, a really poignant question brought to the ministry may indeed lead to a deeper understanding that, in turn, solidifies doctrinal points. This is to be done in an orderly process and not just based on anyone’s whim.

Qualifications showing that God is calling someone into the ministry generally become apparent through that individual’s conduct. An over-arching consideration is given in James 3:1: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” We would note that this specifically refers to teachers of Christianity.

Lead Writers: Norbert Link and Dave Harris

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Our annual Church Conference will be held during March 10-15. Please
pray for a successful preparation of the conference. We will update our
readers about the progress.

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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

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