|Live Services||Becoming Bold; Fruits to be Desired|
|Editorial||A Proper Perspective towards God’s Gift of the Holy Spirit|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||Why did Jesus call Himself “The Son of Man”?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
Becoming Bold; Fruits to be Desired
Saturday, June 8, 2019, Kalon Mitchell will present the sermonette, titled, “Becoming Bold,” and Michael Link will present the sermon, titled, “Fruits to be Desired.”
Sunday, June 9, 2019, is a Holy Day—the Feast of Pentecost. Services will be broadcast live in the morning and afternoon. Morning services will begin at 10:00 am Pacific Time, and afternoon services will begin at 3:00 pm Pacific Time. Morning: The sermonette will be presented by Robb Harris, titled, “Are We Always Half-Empty?” and the sermon will be presented by Dave Harris, titled, “What Is the Church?” Afternoon: Offertory will be presented by Thilo Hanstein, and the sermon will be presented by Norbert Link, titled, “What Exactly Is the Holy Spirit?”
A Proper Perspective towards God’s Gift of the Holy Spirit
by Norbert Link
The Church of God will be keeping the Day of Pentecost this year on June 9, 2019, celebrating the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit. All of those who have been blessed with this special gift even before the Feast of Pentecost, on that very day, or ever since, were carefully selected by God. They were not rewarded for what they had done; God was not prompted to call them to salvation because of their “tremendous righteousness.” Rather, God the Father brought us to Christ because of His own Will, and He made that decision long before our birth, before we had done anything good or evil.
The Apostle James tells us very clearly: “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:18). Those whom God has foreknown and predestined to be called in this day and age with the goal of being conformed to Christ’s image, are called firstfruits, because they are being called first in comparison with the rest of mankind who will be called later. But we repeat: Belonging to the firstfruits does not mean that God chose us because we were in any way better or more righteous than others.
Comparing our calling with God’s election of Jacob, Paul tells us in Romans 9:10-12, 16:
“… when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children [Jacob and Esau] not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, ‘The older shall serve the younger.’… So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”
Our calling is based on God’s Will and His mercy. In Ephesians 1:3-5, 9, 11-14, Paul continues to explain to us:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons [better: sonship] by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will… having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself…
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, [which] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
When God called us whom He had predestined for this very purpose, we responded to Him and began as the “first,” before the rest of mankind, to trust in Christ, and after genuine repentance of having broken His laws and after accepting Christ’s Sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins and believing the gospel of the Kingdom of God, we became baptized and received the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, which guarantees inheritance of eternal life in the Kingdom of God IF we stay faithful.
As the firstfruits, we must strive to live a godly and holy life, being undefiled with “women” and without deceit and fault in the eyes of God (Revelation 14:4-5). As those who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we eagerly wait for the redemption of our physical body by becoming immortal sons and daughters in God’s Family (Romans 8:23).
Drawing a parallel to the calling of Israelites and Gentiles to the spiritual Body of Christ, Paul is also telling us that we must be careful not to glory about ourselves (compare 1 Corinthians 1:29), for “if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy” (Romans 11:16). God will, in His due time, call everyone to salvation, and so, Paul warns us, “Do not be haughty, but fear” (Romans 11:20), adding, “… you should not be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion” (verse 25). Paul explains as well that God can and will cut us off, not sparing us, if we neglect so great a salvation, adding in 1 Corinthians 10:12: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
Nobody who has received God’s Spirit needs to fall. As firstfruits, we can and should make it into His Kingdom, but we must view ourselves with the proper humble perspective–not as those who deserved to be called, but as those who have received God’s undeserved mercy and pardon to become trustworthy and faithful. And as God’s true and dedicated unpretentious servants, we will act humbly and do whatever we can to participate in God’s great Work for His Church in these last days–to help in preaching and proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God as a witness in all the world (Matthew 24:14), and to help in making ready God’s people prepared for Christ (Luke 1:17; Revelation 19:7; 21:2).
by Norbert Link
We begin with reports surrounding President Trump and the D-Day commemoration; report on political upheaval in both Austria and Germany; note the growing cooperation between Russia and China while the relationship between the US and Germany becomes more frayed.
We report on the plea by Pope Francis for EU unity; note the ongoing battle for control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and highlight President Trump’s dissatisfaction with Israeli politics; we conclude with warnings about earthquakes and the terrible plight of our planet.
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
Mr. Trump Goes to Britain
ABC News wrote in June 2:
“President Donald Trump departs Sunday for a five-day trip to Europe, heading first to the United Kingdom for a three-day state visit before continuing on to Ireland, where he will meet with the prime minister and visit one of his Trump-branded properties and pay his respects at Normandy on the 75th anniversary of D-Day…
“While the UK’s internal politics couldn’t be more complicated on their own, the president has already shown in an interview to the British news outlet The Sun that he isn’t likely to keep his opinions to himself… The president criticized May’s handling of Brexit in the interview, telling the Sun that she should have ‘negotiated from strength’ by making more demands of the EU during the course of negotiations…
“Beyond the issue of Brexit, the president has also waded into the leadership contest for the next prime minister, expressing his favor for Boris Johnson, who is vying to be the next prime minister, calling him a ‘friend of mine’… The president has also offered praise for Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who actually campaigned alongside Trump during the 2016 campaign as the two drew parallels between Trump’s anti-establishment campaign and the UK’s Brexit vote…”
Express wrote on June 2:
“US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson revealed the Americans will be ‘ready to go’ with a trade deal with the UK as soon as Brexit is resolved, claiming preparations for an agreement have already been ‘lined up’… Mr Johnson argued the USA and the UK will have a ‘great relationship whatever happens’ with Brexit. The US official claimed Donald Trump’s office was already in talks with the UK trade department to secure a post-Brexit US-UK trade deal and deliver it in a speedy manner…
“It comes after Donald Trump called on Britain to leave the European Union without a deal if Brussels refuses to meet its demands, as he urged the Government to send Nigel Farage into the negotiations… In his second extraordinary intervention into British politics ahead of this week’s state visit, the US president suggested the UK should ‘walk away’ from talks and refuse to pay the £39 billion divorce bill if its requests are not met… Mr Trump added that if he was in charge, he would not pay the EU divorce bill, and he claimed it is not too late to ‘sue’ the EU to give Britain greater ‘ammunition’ in the talks.”
Marking the 75th Anniversary of D-Day
The Washington Post reported on June 5:
“British royalty and leaders from around the world gathered here Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, honoring the men and women who participated in what is still the largest naval, air and land operation in history.
“President Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May were among the 16 world leaders who attended events throughout the day to mark the anniversary of the allied invasion of northern France.
“The commemorations began in the morning at an amphitheater, near the Portsmouth harbor, where Queen Elizabeth II wore a bright pink dress and sat next to Trump and Prince Charles, her son. Leaders from Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland and Slovakia were in attendance.
“Addressing the crowd from her box, the queen said that when she attended events marking the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, some thought they would be her last. ‘But the wartime generation — my generation — is resilient, and I am delighted to be with you in Portsmouth today,’ she said.
“‘On behalf of the entire country — indeed the whole free world — that I say to you all, thank you,’ she said…
“Trump’s trip to Britain was many things, but it was not dull. He was treated to a good dollop of royal pomp, while tens of thousands of Londoners took to the streets to register their dislike for him…
“On Wednesday, Trump tweeted: ‘Could not have been treated more warmly in the United Kingdom by the Royal Family or the people. Our relationship has never been better, and I see a very big Trade Deal down the road.’”
In spite of controversy, the amazing connection between the US and the UK was on full display during this commemoration. However, circumstances will arise which are prophesied to break this bond in the near future!
Brigitte Bierlein New Austrian Interim Chancellor
Deutsche Welle wrote on May 30:
“President Van der Bellen has named Brigitte Bierlein interim chancellor to take over for the outgoing Sebastian Kurz… Bierlein will serve as chancellor until elections in September. Bierlein, a constitutional judge [and sitting president of the Austrian Constitutional Court], will become the first woman to lead the country.
“Bierlein will be tasked with assembling a parliamentary-backed Cabinet and overseeing a caretaker government until new elections are held…”
BBC added on May 30:
“From 2003, she served as Vice President of the Constitutional Court. She held the position until she took over the presidency in 2018, her candidacy backed by Mr Kurz’s right-wing coalition government.
“Politically, she is considered to be right-wing with socially conservative views. Her apparently close ties with Mr Kurz’s People’s Party and Mr Strache’s Freedom Party have been noted by Austrian media…”
Kurz Ahead in Polls
POLITICO wrote June 2:
“Sebastian Kurz may have just lost a vote of confidence, but new polls show he could ultimately end up Austria’s chancellor again.
“A survey conducted for Austria’s Krone newspaper showed Kurz’s center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) at 38 percent, compared to the 31.5 percent the party won in the October 2017 national election. The Social Democrats followed with 21 percent, compared to 26.9 percent in 2017.”
The emerging leadership in Austria and Germany points to dramatic changes ahead throughout the EU!
Chief of Merkel’s Junior Coalition Partner Resigns
The Guardian wrote on June 2:
“Andrea Nahles, the leader of Germany’s junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), has announced her resignation, raising concerns that Angela Merkel’s government might collapse. Nahles, who will step down from all her political roles including that as leader of the SPD parliamentary group, said her resignation was a consequence of the poorest ever performance from the SPD in its 156-year history last weekend, when it received just 15.8% of the vote at the European parliamentary elections, 11 points down on 2014…
“Nahles’s decision plunges both the party and the future of the 15-month-old so-called grand coalition with the Christian Democrats (CDU) under Merkel into doubt. The future of the coalition now depends on the decision as to who succeeds Nahles. Anyone more to the left of the party might consider collaboration with the CDU unworkable and could push for a departure from the coalition. While a minority government might be tolerated, it is more likely that such a decision would trigger new elections, and probably lead to the premature end of what Merkel has declared is her final chancellorship.
“The CDU was on Sunday sending out the message that it was in favour of keeping the grand coalition afloat. Many SPD members were sceptical about the party entering its third coalition in four terms with the CDU… Many are convinced the SPD’s close association with the CDU has increasingly damaged them at the polls…
“The co-chair of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) Alice Weidel said the days of Merkel’s government were numbered (The formation of the grand coalition meant the AfD became the strongest opposition party in parliament).… The former SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel said the party was racked with inner turmoil, with Nahles’s resignation a sign that it needed a ‘detoxification’.”
Russia and China Forge New Ties
CNBC reported on June 5:
Under this headline, “Putin and Xi hail ‘unprecedented’ ties as US relations sour,” CNBC added:
“Russia and China appear to be intent on strengthening their alliance and fostering deeper cooperation in the face of increased political and economic hostility from the U.S.
“The bid to strengthen bilateral ties continues this week as Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Russia Wednesday for the start of a three-day state visit and top-level talks with Putin.
“Welcoming Xi to the Kremlin on Wednesday, Putin said ties between Russia and China stood at ‘an unprecedented level.’ Xi echoed that sentiment by saying that the countries’ relations had withstood ‘trials and tribulations’ over the years and were now better than ever.
World powers are shifting and aligning—all directly pointing to the fulfillment of biblical prophecy!
German-US Relationships… Never Been Worse Since World War II
Deutsche Welle wrote on May 31:
“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has just been to Berlin. The composed diplomatic courtesy shows just how far Germany and the US have drifted apart… Pompeo has visited 40 countries since he took office. Yet he has never found time for Germany until now. There was a visit scheduled a few weeks ago. However, Pompeo canceled because he had to make a trip to Iraq at short notice. Such an affront to Germany — formally such a close ally — would have been unconscionable a few years ago.
“… the areas of conflict raised their head: Iran, Syria, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the German defense budget, relations with China. To search for a topic where there is no conflict would be to search in vain. Even worse is the impression that this estrangement has long been routine…
“The German chancellor made her true feelings towards the US government abundantly clear in a now-lauded speech that she gave at Harvard on Thursday. It was a passionate plea for multilateralism, for climate protection, for the triumph of facts over lies. Not once did Merkel mention US President Donald Trump by name, but the reference was evident in every sentence.
“… in reality, the respective governments are living on different planets.”
Pope Pleas for European Unity!
Reuters wrote on June 2:
“Pope Francis made an impassioned plea for Europe to stick together and revive the ideals of its founders on Sunday, saying ideologies and fear-mongering politicians were threatening its very existence as a bloc…
“He said Europe had to again ‘take up the mysticism’ of its founding fathers and overcome divisions and borders.
“‘Please let’s not let Europe be overcome by pessimism or by ideologies, because Europe is not being attacked by canons or bombs in this moment, but by ideologies – ideologies that are not European, that come either from outside or which stem from small groups in Europe,’ he said.
“Francis urged Europeans to remember how the continent was divided and belligerent in the years leading up to both world wars in the 20th century.
“‘Please, let’s not return to this. Let’s learn from history. Let’s not fall in the same hole.”
“Israeli Police Quell Temple Mount Riots After Jewish Visitors Enter for Jerusalem Day”
The Algemeiner wrote on June 2:
“Riots broke out on the Temple Mount on Sunday after the Israel Police permitted Jewish visitors to enter the site in honor of Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the reunification of the city in 1967… Police stated that they pushed the rioters back toward the al-Aqsa mosque, where they barricaded themselves. They were eventually dispersed successfully and several arrests were made.
“The Islamic Waqf, which manages the site, blasted the police and said, ‘the violation of the sanctity of al-Aqsa by the occupation is an attack on the feelings of Muslims all over the world, not only in Palestine, we call on Muslims to come to the mosque and protect it from desecration.’… Jordan, which officially administers the site, also attacked Israel, with the Foreign Ministry issuing a statement saying, ‘We strongly condemn the continued Israeli violations against al-Aqsa.’”
Trump Not Happy about Israeli Politics
JTA wrote on June 3:
“‘Israel is all messed up with their election. I mean, that came out of the blue three days ago. So that’s all messed up. They ought to get their act together,’ [President Donald Trump] said. ‘Bibi got elected. Now, all of a sudden, they’re going to have to go through the process again until September? That’s ridiculous. So we’re not happy about that,’ he said, using Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nickname.
“Trump added that the new elections could harm the chances of success for his administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan…
“Hours after the fall of Israel’s government very early Thursday morning, Trump called Netanyahu ‘a great guy’ and said of the new elections scheduled for Sept. 17, ‘That is too bad. Because they don’t need this. I mean they’ve got enough turmoil over there, it’s a tough place.’”
The Algemeiner added on June 3:
“White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that the Palestinians deserve ‘self-determination,’ but stopped short of backing Palestinian statehood and expressed uncertainty over their ability to govern themselves… The Palestinian leadership has refused to deal with the Trump administration since late 2017 when the president decided to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Hundreds of Earthquakes Hit Southern California
The Los Angeles Times wrote on June 3:
“A magnitude 3.3 earthquake was felt in parts of Southern California on Sunday afternoon, one in a series of quakes to hit the Riverside County area…
“It has been almost five years since California experienced its last earthquake of magnitude 6 or stronger. But scientists say the calm period will end, with warnings about seismic dangers ranging from the Big One on the San Andreas fault to catastrophes that could come from lesser-known faults, such as Hayward or Newport-Inglewood.
“Researchers also recently discovered that the state has experienced 10 times more earthquakes than previously known. They documented 1.8 million earthquakes in Southern California over the last decade, the vast majority so small that they had been undetectable to computing systems. Previously, only 180,000 earthquakes were on record for the last 10 years.”
A World Held Captive
The website of inverse wrote the following on June 2:
“I was born in the early 1970s. This means in my lifetime, the number of people on Earth has doubled, while the size of wild animal populations has been reduced by 60%… We have chopped down over half of the world’s rainforests, and by the middle of this century, there may not be much more than a quarter left. This has been accompanied by a massive loss in biodiversity, such that the biosphere may be entering one of the great mass extinction events in the history of life on Earth…
“To understand you are in a prison, you must first be able to see the bars. That this prison was created by humans over many generations doesn’t change the conclusion that we are currently tightly bound up within a system that could… lead to the impoverishment, and even death of billions of people.”
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.
Why did Jesus call Himself “The Son of Man”?
For a long time, the expression that Jesus used about Himself, the “Son of Man,” has been debated back and forth.
Wikipedia has this to say about this term: “Son of man is an expression in the sayings of Jesus in Christian writings, including the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and the Book of Revelation. The meaning of the expression is controversial. Interpretation of the use of ‘the Son of man’ in the New Testament has remained challenging and after 150 years of debate no consensus on the issue has emerged among scholars.
“The expression ‘the Son of man’ occurs 81 times in the Greek text of the four Canonical gospels, and is used only in the sayings of Jesus. The singular Hebrew expression ‘son of man’ (ben-‘adam) also appears in the Hebrew Bible over a hundred times.”
One commentator on the internet made these observations: “In the gospels, there are more than 80 places where Jesus refers to himself in the third person as the ‘Son of Man’. In most of those places, he is associating it with one of two prophecies concerning himself; either that the Son of Man will suffer and be killed (Matthew 17:12, Mark 8:31, 9:12, Luke 9:22) or that the Son of Man will come again in glory and final judgement (Matthew 16:27, 25:31; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26, 21:27). Often the two images are linked, and in only a very few places he doesn’t use ‘son of man’ that way.”
In Matthew 25:31, as referred to above, we read: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” Here we should note that “the Son of Man” is a clear reference from the mouth of Jesus that He, as the second Person of the God Family, will “sit on the throne of His glory.”
In the following chapter, Matthew 26:64, at His trial, He was asked if He was the Messiah. He said: “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
These two passages show that Christ referred to Himself as the “Son of Man” in connection with His future as an immortal being, not just according to His human appearance on earth nearly 2,000 years ago. However, as we will explain, His reference in this regard must not be misunderstood.
In the Old Testament, we read about this same phrase in Daniel 7:13-14: “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”
What Daniel saw in a vision of the future is in complete accord with what Jesus said about Himself in the future. This would be a good reason why Jesus used this term and a proof that He was the Messiah.
One internet commentator made these observations: “The person who is presented to the Ancient of Days here is described as ‘like a son of man.’… The Jewish people took the phrase ‘son of man’ from this vision and used it as a title (‘Son of Man’) to describe the divine savior figure they were expecting. Jesus often applied this title to himself, both to show that he was the Savior sent from God, and also, paradoxically, to show that he had given up his divine prerogatives and come to earth humbly, in human form, to identify completely with those he came to save.”
After Christ’s crucifixion, we read more instances about the Son of Man in His glory. In Acts 7:55-56 when Stephen was accused of blasphemy and gave his address, we read: “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’”
In Revelation 1:13-14 we read: “… and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire…”
There is a further reference in Revelation 14:14 which reads: “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.”
We see that even after His resurrection as a glorified being, He is still referred to, at times, as the Son of Man. In fact, we even read that there is only one Mediator between God and man—the MAN Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). In addition, He was referred to repeatedly as the “Lamb,” or the “Lamb of God,” when here on earth, but He is even now, after His resurrection, still referred to as the Lamb (Revelation 5:6) to show the tremendous sacrifice which He gave for all of mankind. All of this proves that He is still the Person which He was when here on earth as a Man. But it does NOT show that He is still a Person consisting of flesh and blood, or that He still has a physical body which was somehow made “immortal.” That is why the reference to His so-called “bodily resurrection” can be so deceiving. (Please read our Q&A on that topic, titled, “Do you teach a resurrection of the physical body?”).
When Christ, the Son of God, became Man and the Son of Man, He ceased to be a divine Spirit being. He became fully flesh. At the same time, this did not mean that He ceased to be the Person who He had always been since eternity. That is why we read that when Jesus became a Man and dwelled among us, He was still “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), referring to Him as the Person, not as an immortal God being. In the same way, when He died and was resurrected, He ceased to be a physical being. He became fully God, but again, this does not mean that He ceased to be the Person who He was when He lived as a Man. Rather, Jesus Christ—the God being—became Man, and after His death, Jesus Christ, the Man, became God—an immortal eternal God being. But as a God being, He still possesses all the memories of His experiences as a Man, and that is why He is referred to as the Man Jesus Christ who can suffer with us and who can be our merciful High Priest. He is also referred to as the Lamb now, as He died for us for our sins, and His Sacrifice has ongoing applications for us today (1 John 1:7-10).
Unless we understand this connection we are bound to misunderstand the meaning of the terms “Son of God” and “Son of Man.” Christ was always the Son of God, but He became the Son of Man when He was conceived in the womb of His mother Mary.
We will show now why this understanding is so critically important, and why so many have a totally false concept of the Incarnation and associated issues.
On the website “desiringgod” we read the following in their article, “How Can Jesus Be God and Man?”
“The early church considered the Incarnation to be one of the most important truths of our faith. Because of this, they formulated what has come to be called the Chalcedonean Creed, a statement which sets forth what we are to believe and what we are not to believe about the Incarnation. This creed was the fruit of a large council that took place from October 8 to November 1, 451, in the city of Chalcedon and ‘has been taken as the standard, orthodox definition of the biblical teaching on the person of Christ since that day by all the major branches of Christianity.’”
One of five main “truths” that the Chalcedonean Creed listed was that Jesus was and is “fully God and fully man.” This is hardly surprising given that the basis of their faith is that God is a Trinity and this became a teaching of the [now defunct] Worldwide Church of God a few years after Mr Herbert W Armstrong died in 1986. However, this teaching is totally false. Christ was never and is not now “fully God and fully Man.”
Let us quote briefly, and selectively, from our free booklet “Jesus Christ – A Great Mystery”:
On page 9, under the heading “Jesus Christ Came in the Flesh” we read:
“God clearly reveals who and what Christ was when He was here on earth, and He also tells us that people have been deceived by the ‘spirit of antichrist’ if they don’t accept this clear Biblical revelation. 1 John 2:22–23 warns us: ‘Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.’”
On pages 10-11 we read: “How, exactly, did Christ come in the flesh? Was He, at that very time, ‘fully God and fully man’? Was He ‘fully God’? Or was He ‘fully man’? Notice the clear revelation of this mystery in John 1:14: ‘And the Word [the ‘Word” referring to Jesus Christ, Who in the beginning was God and was with God the Father, John 1:1–2] BECAME flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’
“God clearly tells us that the Word—Jesus Christ—who was God before His human birth, BECAME flesh. Christ came in the flesh by BECOMING flesh. This means that He became totally and fully flesh and blood, like you and I! This is CRUCIAL for you to understand! When Christ BECAME flesh, He was no longer Spirit. He was no longer fully God, because He had become fully man!
“Think for a moment about the word ‘became.’ When a poor person becomes rich, he is no longer poor. When a person becomes sick, he is, at that point in time, no longer healthy. When a woman becomes pregnant, she is, at that point in time, no longer barren. Likewise, when the Word became flesh, He was no longer Spirit. He was no longer an immortal God being as He was before.”
In this booklet, pages 10-14 deal with the Scriptures that are used incorrectly by those who think that Jesus was fully God and fully man while He was here on earth.
It would appear that, with the use of the phrase “Son of Man”, Jesus wanted to show everyone that when He dwelled among us, He was entirely human and that he was fully man. In the book of Ezekiel, the phrase “son of man” is used many times for the prophet Ezekiel, but he was just a man with no previous supernatural background. On the other hand, with Jesus, previously a supernatural being from all of eternity, it was somewhat different. By using this phrase, He showed that He, who had been God, became fully human, but He also showed that He, the Person who had lived in the flesh and who had died for us, would be resurrected and return as a glorified immortal and eternal God being–the King of kings and the Lord of lords–to rule over all mankind.
Lead Writers: Brian Gale and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Gewissheit, im Reich Gottes zu sein!” is the title for this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Certainty to be in God’s Kingdom!”
“Treffen Sie die richtige Wahl?” is the title for this Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Are You Making the Right Choice?”
“Was genau ist der Heilige Geist?” is the title of the German sermon for Pentecost, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “What Exactly Is the Holy Spirit?”
“Wo liegt Ihr Fokus?” is the title of last Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by Christoph Sperzel. English translation: “Where Is Your Focus?”
“How Much Fear and Worry Can We Endure?” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted.
“Why Do Righteous People Suffer?” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The main purpose of this sermon is not to explain that suffering can be the consequence of sin. Rather, it will be shown that and why righteous people must suffer… independently from sinful conduct. This might sound as a paradox at first sight, but it is not. Instead, we hope that this sermon will give you much encouragement and motivation.
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