|Restoration of all Things
|Out of the Abundance of the Heart
|Are there any scriptures that show the Holy Spirit is symbolized with oil?
Restoration of all Things
Norbert Link will be speaking this Sabbath on the sometimes misunderstood topic of the “restoration of all things.” What does the Bible mean with this phrase and when is the time of its occurrence?
The services can be heard at www.cognetservices.org at the appropriate time, just click on “Connect to Live Stream.”
Out of the Abundance of the Heart
by Rene Messier (Canada)
In Matthew 12:34, Christ made this timeless statement, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” What He is explaining here is that eventually, what we really are will be revealed by what we say. Christ also pointed out that it is not what goes into the ears that defiles us, but the words that come out of the mouth.
How can we make sure, then, that our heart is in harmony and conformity with God? Philippians 2:5 states, “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.” What mind was that? It was the mind of God. When Christ’s mind is ours, then our thoughts will be His thoughts, and our words will be His words. Then, we need not be ashamed to speak our minds on any given topic.
On the other hand, if we refuse to develop within us the mind of Christ, we deny Him. Christ told us, though, that when we deny Him, He will deny us. We are going into the winter season. A fair amount of time will pass till we reach the spring Holy Days. It is really important for us to draw close — and remain close — to God, especially at this dark time. The darkness of the winter months is also a reflection of the darkness of this entire world, which is right now in total chaos. Anyone who just picks up a paper or listens to the news should be able to see this. It seems like Satan is on a rampage, which would indicate that time is getting short.
We must not allow that the darkness of this world influence or overtake us. Instead, we must build a strong relationship with God, which is developed by talking to Him, and letting Him know what is on our minds, and what our hopes and our dreams are. James 5:16 tells us that, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” All of us must be vigilant in our prayers, especially during this coming winter season. At the same time, we are not to neglect our Bible study, since that is how we get to know our God better. In prayer, we speak to God our Father. During Bible study, our Father speaks to us, through His Word, Jesus Christ.
Finally, let’s not forget meditating about what we read in God’s word, praying to God to make the meaning clearer to us. Sometimes, it requires fasting to show God how desperately we want to know Him and His way of life.
Let us all fight the winter doldrums by developing a close and personal relationship with God and Christ. Then, the mind of Christ will be in us, and we need not be ashamed about what we speak.
This Week in the News
In a speech in Denver, Colorado, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel commented on the present threat of world terrorism: ” ‘[This] war must be won or we will be lost,’ he said. ‘With suicide killers in Israel, Jordan, Bali, the threat of unimaginable biological terrorism–it means a danger to the whole world’.” (As reported in the Rocky Mountain News,October 29, 2002.)
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, U. S. president George Bush described the events as “war”. Some, at the time, thought his statements to be a bit extreme. However, what has emerged in the intervening months is a shocked acceptance that religion is behind the attacks on the United States and the many horrific murders in other nations. Many writers have identified the attackers and their accomplices as Islamic fundamentalists, waging their peculiar war against the “infidel” secularism of the West.
As the world once more dips deeply into implacable violence, it is chilling to note that 22% of the world’s population is Muslim (about 1.2 billion), and it is growing progressively larger.
With war against Iraq now an almost certain conclusion, ever-increasing numbers of Islamic extremists are sure to seek revenge on a frightening scale. These kinds of events are on the near horizon for people all around this world. Germany has just issued a warning that terrorist attacks can be expected there, and that they would be a certainty, if Germany were to support a war against Iraq in any way. We will also see soon the arrival of a powerful Islamic leader, referred to in Scripture as the “king of the South.” He is commonly known in the Islamic world as the “Mahdi,” the expected Muslim messiah. The Bible predicts that this Islamic leader will engage in a confrontation with the West, and especially with the future leader of a United Europe, referred to in Scripture as the “beast” or the “king of the North.” This confrontation will lead to outright war in the Middle East (Daniel 11:40-43). Understand, only God’s direct intervention through the return of Jesus Christ will now stop what will eventually threaten the existence of all life in every nation. And if we do understand, then let each of us follow the admonition to be among those who “sigh and cry over all the abominations…” (Compare Ezekiel 9:4).
In an Associated Press article appearing this past week, an interesting projection about buying on line shows the subtle if not unstoppable advance of a Unified Europe: “Europeans will spend more money online this holiday season than consumers in other regions, including North America, according to projections released Monday by a research firm.”
In spite of necessary pecuniary adjustments that the European citizens had to make, since the Euro was introduced, it is still interesting to see the economic wealth available to the Europeans, in addition to the technical sophistication and familiarity that the average citizen enjoys in an ever modernizing Europe. In addition, millions of Euro dollars are currently being wasted by certain fractions within the European powers-to-be on ill-conceived and poorly administered programs. It is easy to visualize the potential of a centralized European government, which would be run by a more money-conscious — and more powerful — central administration. These trends, along with many other incremental advances, forecast an ever more dominant European Union–one that will soon overshadow even the might of the United States and the United Kingdom.
United States of Europe?
On Tuesday evening, October 29, the British news announced a move, as discussed in Brussels, to rename the European Union (EU) as the United States of Europe. A few people were interviewed and the general consensus was that which has been consistently reflected in the opinion polls– that the British and the EU do not make good bedfellows.
The next day, tucked away in the Times of London, a very small article was published, entitled “The game kicks off to name bigger EU.” The article stated:
“The future name of the enlarged European Union became a political football between Britain and France yesterday. Peter Hain, the Secretary of State for Wales and former Europe Minister, opened the scoring when he flatly rejected the names, United States of Europe and United Europe. Mr. Hain went on to say that ‘the first implies a superstate and the second looks to me like a football team,’ he told amused members of the Brussels convention that is developing a blueprint for Europe’s future. He added: ‘The European is a successful brand name, a name we are all proud of. Let’s not open an unnecessary debate.’ Pierre Moscovici, the French Government representative on the convention, quickly equalized. ‘Lots of British football clubs used the name United,’ he said. ‘The British might come to like it. People feel very affectionate towards their own football team.'”
For decades, the Church of God has been talking about a United States of Europe when others just scoffed. But, at last it seems, that scoffing has ceased. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer just used the words “United States of Europe” in an interview shown on American television on Thursday night. Maybe such events may trigger thought, if not action, in those who have read our writings over the years. Interesting times lie ahead.
Are there any scriptures that show the Holy Spirit is symbolized with oil?
There are many passages that convey and support the understanding that oil is used biblically as a symbol for the Holy Spirit.
For instance, we read in Mark 6:13 that Christ had His disciples anoint sick people with oil, and they were healed. We know that Christ healed the sick with the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 8:43-46 — the Authorized Version has here, “virtue,” but the literal meaning is, “power,” compare New King James Bible. Compare, too, Mark 5:30; Luke 6:19).
Christ gave His disciples the same ability to heal sick people by the power of the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:18), which presence is symbolized by the anointing of the sick person with oil (James 5:14).
Another example for this symbolism is found in the famous parable with the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:3, 4, 8). They all fell asleep, and the oil of the five foolish virgins was going out — that is, they were loosing more and more of the power of the Holy Spirit within them.
1 John 2:27 speaks of our anointing abiding in us. This is a clear reference to the Holy Spirit that had been promised by Jesus Christ (John 14:16; 16:13). In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul admonishes Timothy to “stir up” — or to “re-kindle” — the gift of God, referring here to the Holy Spirit.
We also read that the Holy Spirit rested upon Christ (Isaiah 11:2). At the same time, we read that the Father anointed Christ with the “oil of gladness, more than” His “companions” (Hebrews 1:9) — as Christ had received the Holy Spirit not by measure (John 3:34, Authorized Version).
In addition, Samuel anointed Saul with oil (1 Samuel 10:1), and Saul received the Holy Spirit (verses 6-9). Later, Samuel anointed David with oil, and at that moment, David received the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 16:13). In Psalm 89:20, it is emphasized that God had found His servant David, whom He anointed with His holy oil. (Compare also Psalm 23:5). As God’s servant, David would have obeyed God before his anointing to an extent. We are reminded of Acts 5:32, telling us that God gives His Holy Spirit only to those who are already obeying Him to a degree.
God also explains to us in Isaiah 61:3, that those who will be converted in the Millennium and receive the Holy Spirit, will receive “the oil of joy” — since the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of joy (Galatians 5:22; Acts 13:52).
In a more general sense, the Bible uses the word “oil” to symbolize God’s presence (We read in Genesis 28:18-19 that Jacob poured oil on the pillar stone, calling the name of the place “Bethel.” Jacob understood that God was present). “Oil” can also symbolize a consecration, or a special setting apart for a holy purpose. “Oil,” then, can refer to the Holy Spirit abiding in a person, or it can also refer to God’s presence, through His Spirit, to motivate, guide or lead a person, although the Holy Spirit might not reside in the person. When Moses was instructed by God to anoint Aaron and his sons into the office of priest, thereby using the “anointing oil” (Leviticus 8:2, 30; compare regarding the anointing oil, Exodus 30:22-33), they were set apart or consecrated for God’s holy purpose (But not many of Aaron’s descendants did actually have the Holy Spirit within them). In addition, God required the use of oil to symbolize His involvement in the consecration of the leadership of the nations of ancient Israel and Judah (although God’s Holy Spirit would only reside within a very few of the national kings at that time).
Our latest member letter, which you can find attached, was dated and sent out, Thursday, October 31, 2002. It discusses the situation in Europe and the currently shattered relationship between Germany and the United States. It also addresses our individual and collective responsibilities in these end times.
We have just received approval from the Post Office and are now able to send out the member letter and our other literature with the reduced mailing rate accorded nonprofit organizations.
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