Hope For A Dying World

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2 Hope For A Dying World The Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith is a group of believers who search the Scriptures to discover the Truth as taught by the Apostles in the first century. We believe that we have a message of vital importance for everyone, and this message is written with the hope that it may enable others to find peace that passeth all understanding in Christ Jesus. Our beliefs concern salvation from our mortal condition; we recognize no head of our church except the Lord Jesus Christ,... Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body (Ephesians 5:23); and we believe that the Kingdom of God soon will be established on the earth. The doctrines of the Truth are 1. The Bible, God's holy, inspired Word; 2. man, his mortal condition; 3. one eternal God; 4. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God; 5. the Holy Spirit, God's power; 6. the Kingdom of God on earth with Jesus as the King; 7. the resurrection through Jesus Christ; 8. the rewards of the righteous and the wicked; and 9. the commandments of Christ. Humanity is mortal and subject to death--real death, the end of life. The dead know not anything... (Ecclesiastes 9:5).... All are of the dust and all turn to dust again (Psalms 49-12). To this mortal condition the promises of God hold forth contentment in the present life as well as hope for a perfect world to come. We believe the quoted Bible passages illumine the true aspects of life and death, not confused by the theories and mysteries of men. We, the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith, believe that the Bible was written by the authority of God. The Apostle Peter wrote that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:21). The Bible is the only revealed message of God, Thy word is truth (John 17:17). Now is made manifest and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the-

3 commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith (Romans 16-26). The Bible clearly teaches that man is; mortal--subject to death because of sin. The Apostle Paul states in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Long ago, King David of Israel sang, Praise ye the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. David exhorted against putting trust in man, for his breath goeth forth, he returneth to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish (Psalms 146:1-4). Solomon, the wise son of David, discusses man's mortality in depth in Ecclesiastes: For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man bath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity (Ecclesiastes 3:19). Man is mortal; but only God is eternal and immortal. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen (I Timothy 1:17). I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isaiah 45:5,7). The Apostle Paul says plainly that there is but One God and Father of all, who is above all (Ephesians 4:6). There is also One Lord (Ephesians 4:5), the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only begotten Son of God. To a young Jewish woman, Mary, it was announced by a messenger of God, or an angel, that the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). You might ask, What then is the Holy Spirit? The

4 Bible clearly teaches that this is the power of God, not another person or being. The apostles, or helpers of Christ Jesus, received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, that they might witness unto their Lord to the uttermost part of the world (Acts 1:8). This passage would have no meaning if the Holy Spirit were a person. The glorious message to you and to me, mortal and sinful though we may be in God's sight, is that His Son made an atonement (or a covering) for us. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him (or Jesus) the iniquity of us all. He (Jesus) bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:6,12). But God raised His Son (or resurrected Him) after a cruel death on the cross that Christ might fulfill another role in God's plan for the earth. Jesus is to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords in a literal Kingdom upon the earth when He returns. He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20,21). In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed... and it shall stand forever (Daniel 2:44). At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord: and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord to Jerusalem (Jeremiah 3:17). Jesus taught the gospel (or good news) of the kingdom, for the Apostle Matthew testified that Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 4:23). This apostolic teaching was to be the restoration of the Kingdom of God over Israel, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? was asked by the

5 apostles after the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:6). During His ministry there were twelve apostles, as well as other believers, who forsook all to follow Jesus. To them Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life (Matthew 19:28,29). The Kingdom of God will be a literal kingdom with a king (Jesus); those who will rule with Him (the faithful); a capital (Jerusalem); a territory (the earth); and a length of time during which it will last (everlasting). But the apostles who were promised a part in the kingdom are dead, in their graves. King David, who looked forward to the Kingdom, is both dead and buried (Acts 2:29). For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool (Acts 2:34,35). There were countless other faithful believers who accepted the promises made by God from the beginning. Paul, writing to the Hebrews, said These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth (Hebrews 11:13). How will these faithful receive their inheritance? Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live (John 11:25). Through Him, there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (Acts 24:15). The faithful of all ages will receive everlasting life at the second coming of Jesus for He said, Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be (Revelation 22:12). Alas, not all that have known the Truth will be found acceptable at His return. It is stated in I John 2:28, And now, little children abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. Paul warns in Romans 2:5-7

6 concerning the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God who will render to every man according to his deeds. Those who do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish (Romans 2:8,9) will end in eternal death. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord... when he shall come... (II Thess. 1:8,9). It is evident that the blessed hope that we profess is through faith in Christ Jesus, the Son of God. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). This good news, or gospel, was preached thousands of years ago to faithful Abraham, who believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Galations 3:6). We try to pattern our faith after Abraham's for they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham (Galations 3:7). And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham (Galations 3:7-10). The promises of the gospel to Abraham consisted of land as an everlasting possession and a multitude of seed (or offspring) through which the whole earth would be blessed. The Lord said unto Abram... Lift up thine eyes and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever (Genesis 13:14,15). And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 28:14). Paul speaks concerning the seed of Abraham. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to thy seed, which Christ... For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galations 3:16,27,29).

7 Then faith is required to be a seed of Abraham. Also, one must confess the Lord Jesus as it is written, If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9). The seal of this faith is baptism (to immerse). in the Acts of the Apostles, it is stated that when they (hearers) believed Philip (a preacher) preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (Acts 8:12). After baptism the believer walks in newness of life, obedient to the commandments of Jesus who said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). Baptized believers, obedient to Christ's example at the Last Supper, practice membership communion on the first day of each week. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come (I Corinthians 11:23-26).

8 The unity that develops from such fellowship strengthens our commitment to Christ. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them (Acts 20:7). These are the exceeding great and precious promises that may be yours, dear reader. We, as well as many other peoples of the world, recognize the confusion, despair, and chaotic conditions that exist in the world today. However, the Truth as has been set forth offers the only hope for mankind in a dying world. We invite you to come and to reason with us. Our prayer is that these words may guide you into a knowledge of God's Truth.

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