Sabbath Message 8/2/35/120

Dear Friends,

This message is an update to the Sabbath Message issued on 9/2/29/120 (06 May 2006). 

During these days of the Omer count leading up to Pentecost, 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 washed one another’s feet on that night, we signified and pledged our dedication and service to one another, and committed to follow in the footsteps of the Messiah. 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 that 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.

For those who are new to the Faith, we are now nearing the completion of another seven-year cycle which began at the end of the Second year of the Third cycle of the 120th jubilee with the Christian Churches of God (CCG) holding its first service on the First Day of the sacred year or 1 Abib in 1994, being the beginning of the Third Year of the Third Sabbath cycle.  At the beginning of what was to be the first cycle of the church, focus and attention was given to developing the First Great Commandment of loving God and developing a closer relationship with Him. This seven-year cycle culminated in 1998 with the Reading of the Law at the Feast of Tabernacles, which had never occurred before within the current Church of God system.  The Reading of the Law in Texas was accomplished in obedience to the Scripture in Deuteronomy 31:9-12 which states:

9. And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel. 10) And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11) When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12) Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:  (KJV)

It has been said at the beginning of the current seven-year cycle following the Reading of the Law in 2005 at the Feast of Tabernacles in Canada that our focus should be on the Second Great Commandment of loving others to the level that 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 Law 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)).

During Passover this year in Texas, it was stated that the next seven-year cycle our focus is to be on the Law of God. As the temple of God, we must strengthen our understanding in all aspects of the Law and its ramifications in our daily life.  We have been instructed in new details about the Temple that God is constructing, and we are to keep the details of the Temple’s structure in mind.  See the study paper Rule of the Kings Part IIIB: Man as the Temple of God (No. 282D).

We must be prepared to make our stand against the diabolical forces currently at work which seek to destroy all understanding of His Laws.  As we anxiously await the arrival of the two Witnesses, we must be prepared and ready as priests in the Temple under the Messiah to assist them. 

The Reading of the Law this year at the Feast of Tabernacles will take place in Thailand and elsewhere all over the earth.

[At the suggestion of the Malaysian Conference who will act as hosts, Thailand is the assigned feast site for the nations of Asia and Australasia and the World Conference Officers: ed.]
We are called by Eloah, our Father, and given to Messiah (Jn. 6:44). Messiah reveals the Father to us (Jn. 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 our fellow man.

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. 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 they all sacrificed much in their personal lives, and they 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 the pioneering members in Australia who the Messiah used in bringing us to the Christian Churches of God.
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. 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 the 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)

The next seven-year cycle is critical as we are to solidify our understanding in God’s Laws and our position in the structure of the Temple He is constructing. Let us not fail. Let us in unity hold fast and defend the faith that was once delivered and entrusted to the saints.  Grow and progress in the understanding of God’s Laws, and remain steadfast in obedience to Him.

Tom Schardt
Coordinator Southern California