Sabbath Message 9/8/33/120



Dear Friends,


This year we have experienced unprecedented growth in the Work in Africa.  Historically, individual African groups who were previously at odds are now working together, helping and assisting one another in a unifying spirit of cooperation.  They stand as a witness to the Power and Work of God in what He is going to accomplish in the nations beginning with the African continent, and then elsewhere throughout this troubled, dying, polluted, perverted and sin-sick world. (See the study paper Fire From Heaven (No. 28).)


Now that we have successfully completed the Feast of Tabernacles that occurs in the fall-season in the northern hemisphere and with the winter months approaching, it is time, as mentioned in the recent New Moon message, to begin preparation for the upcoming Passover Holydays. 


With that thought in mind, below is a Sabbath message of 06 May 2006, that we could review and challenge ourselves to look introspectively.


This 2006 Sabbath message, in up-dated and modified form, begins:


Let us reflect on and give consideration to the meaning of our participation in the foot-washing service conducted during the Lord’s Supper. When we wash one another’s feet on that night, we signify and pledge our dedication and service to one another. The Messiah left us an example of service and love towards the disciples that we must continue to grow in and emulate. Otherwise, we will be replaced by stones who will develop the love for each other that our Father commands of His chosen ones, until all is accomplished and He has the example and light for the world to see.

It has been said of the next seven years following the 2005 Reading of the Law in Canada that our focus must be on the Second Great Commandment of loving others to the level as we love ourselves. How is this possible and accomplished to love another as you do yourself? Yes, it is only through the spirit of the Almighty God who is the source of the love we are to have for one another, and through our obedience to His Laws that this level of love could possibly be obtained. The entire basis of Christian living and Godly love must be based on God’s Law that defines and guides us in His love (see paper The Basis of Christian Living (No. 85)).

We are called by Eloah, our Father, and given to Messiah (John 6:44). Messiah reveals the Father to us (John 14:6; Mat.11:27). It is through the Messiah that we comprehend the nature of the One True God, the true nature of Messiah, the Law of God, and God’s love. This is the basis of our faith and belief system that we are to continually contend for as admonished in Jude: 1-4. It is this foundation that should separate us from all other Churches of God in existence today. How we observe the weekly, monthly, and annual Sabbaths further delineates us from other COG organizations. But, this foundation must be rooted in Godly love, first towards the One True God, and then towards each other and mankind (Matt.22:37-40).

Many of us were called out of the several differing COG organizations and mainstream Christianity. We came in contact via the Internet with the Christian Churches of God (CCG). In Africa, it is the paper copy of the Statement of Beliefs which is being passed from individual to individual, and from group to group, that is instrumental to their calling by God’s Holy Spirit.  The Africans from various Christian backgrounds recognize CCG’s Statement of Beliefs as the original doctrines of the early apostolic Church.

The information provided by CCG through its highly researched Bible study papers is instrumental in us coming to understand what we know today of the One True God, and the foundational truths by which we worship Him. We know who the Messiah used as an instrument to bring us the Bible study papers. We know that he sacrificed much in his personal life and suffered personal attacks by individuals with an evil spirit to give us what we now know to be true. Let us never forget or forsake our brother and the pioneering members in Australia, who the Messiah used in bringing us into companionship with the brethren in the CCG World Conference.

It is a constant battle against spirits in high places to defend each other and the faith once delivered. We must keep our focus on where we are going in the Work we have been called by our Father, Eloah, to accomplish. We will always be faced with detractors and those who will seek to separate and destroy us. The Work given to the ecclesia in this age must be conducted on a worldwide basis, and not limited to just a national existence (Matt.28:18-20).

18) Then Jesus came up to them, and said, "Full authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

19) Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptize them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

20) and teach them to practice all the commands that I have given you. And I myself will surely be with you all the days, down to the very close of the age." (Williams)

It is through the unifying spirit of the Almighty God that His Work today will be accomplished on a worldwide basis as each nation is brought in and unified into a single world conference, working together. This will be the pattern carried into the Millennium under Messiah when all nations will submit and be unified through the Spirit of God, or be punished until they do submit (Zech.14:16-19).

Unity of spirit and being of one mind is a key to the Godly love we are to have for each other. In Philippians 2:1-2 we read:

1) So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
2) complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. (RSV)

And in 1Peter 3:8-12, we are admonished:

8) Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind.
9) Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.
10) For He that would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile;
11) Let him turn away from evil and do right; let him seek peace and pursue it.
12) For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil. (RSV)

Our participation in the Lord’s Supper and Passover brings us into a unifying spirit and peace that is wonderful to experience. Let us continue to build on the bonds of love and unity like never before, always seeking to serve the One True God and each other. This seven-year cycle is the time for us to build on the Second Great Commandment of love towards each other and our fellow man.

Let us not fail. Let us in unity hold fast to the faith that was once delivered and entrusted to the saints.

Tom Schardt