Links to Free Literature of the Church of God International
The issue of the deity of Jesus Christ has been hotly debated for centuries. It was an Alexandrian theologian named Arius who popularized the view that the preincarnate Christ was a created being who was, both in Essence and in Person, distinct from God. His view came to be called “Arianism” and was condemned by early church councils. It is one of the Christological positions that fall under the label of “unitarianism”.
Of all the theological questions that evoked controversy in the ancient “universal church”, none was more hotly debated than the question “Who, and What, Is God?” Today, the debate continues. Some claim that Jesus Christ is “very God of very God”, while others claim that He was an archangel in His preincarnate state, or that He didn’t preexist at all. Just what does the Bible say about this? Did Jesus preexist? Does He have a right to the names and titles of divinity? And what about the Holy Spirit? Does the Bible present the Spirit as the Third Person of a Trinity?
Many are the gifts of God, but none is greater than the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is a Comforter, Helper, and Counselor for the committed follower of Jesus Christ.
Skeptics frequently argue that Christianity is (1) largely a hodgepodge of myths drawn from the futile religions of antiquity, (2) is at odds with science, and, like other religions, (3) fails to explain why God hides Himself. Admittedly, these are strong arguments. But are they good reasons for rejecting the God of the Bible?
The Kingdom of God
What does God require of a person before granting him the gift of eternal life and assurance of entry into the Kingdom? Must the truly-converted Christian, through combining good “works” with his faith, reach a certain level of spiritual perfection before he is qualified for entry into the Kingdom?
Jesus Christ came proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. He said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” He also said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Is the church and the Kingdom the same thing? Was the Kingdom of God inaugurated on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Christ? Has Christ’s Kingdom continued to expand until the present? Or is the Kingdom yet to be established?
Some of the world’s mightiest empires have come and gone, having been reduced to kingdoms of relics and sand. But the Bible speaks of a kingdom that will never endâ€â€the Kingdom of God. Just what does Scripture reveal about this kingdom?
The famous eunuch from Ethiopia was reading from the scroll of Isaiah when Philip was sent to him. Within only a few hours, the eunuch asked to be baptized. He had learned about Christ from Philip’s explanation of Isaiah’s prophecies. How was this possible? Could the eunuch have received Christ as his Savior, and been saved by grace, through understanding what Isaiah wrote? Isn’t the Old Testament “done away”? Is the knowledge necessary for salvation to be found in the Old Testament? Read, in your own Bible, the astonishing truth!
Jesus came to earth to lay down His life, but He also said He would raise it up! Are we willing to follow in His steps? Do we want to follow Him? Jesus said, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me” (John 12:26). “And If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).
According to a group of respected biblical scholars, Jesus Christ never promised He would return to this earth. The Second Coming, they claim, is a myth — a promise put on the lips of Jesus by His followers. But if Jesus Christ does not return, our world is doomed — there remains no hope!
In today”s world, many do not recognize the plain prophetic statements foretelling the coming of Jesus the Christ as the suffering servant. They ignore the specific declaration of His Messiahship, how it was to be accomplished, and what it means for mankind. This eye-opening article will prove from prophecies of the Old Testament that Jesus Christ is indeed the promised Messiah and Savior, prophetically validating Him as the coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
What does it really mean to be saved? Christians talk a lot about being saved, but saved from what, and why? Is salvation just a religious word, or does it have real meaning for modern man?
“If Christ has not been raised,” wrote the apostle Paul to the Corinthians, “then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). Yet, many liberal theologians reject the biblical accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. They claim that the resurrection narratives of the New Testament are contradictory and therefore cannot be trusted as reliable accounts of an actual event. But is this true? Do the resurrection narratives contain discrepancies? Are they irreconcilable, as the critics claim?
Written with the finger of God on tablets of stone, the commandments of the Decalogue are everlastingly binding on the creatures who bear God’s image. The Ten Commandments existed before Moses, formed the heart of the covenant law God gave to Israel, and were observed by Christ, the apostles, and the entire New Testament church. They are still in force today. They are for your neighbor, and they are for you!
In his epistle to the churches of Galatia, the Apostle Paul sternly warns those who were turning away from the One who had called them in the grace of Christ to a different gospel. Just what is this “different gospel” Paul so sternly opposed?
One of the last things any Christian would want to believe is that he is “under the law.” Surely any Christian person knows that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28). But does this mean Christians do not have to obey the Ten Commandments?
John preached it. Jesus preached it. The apostles and evangelists preached it. What is it? Repentance! It’s one of the fundamental doctrines of the true Christian faith — and no one serious about biblical Christianity can afford to neglect it. Here are the facts you should know about this vital subject.
To some, pleasurable activities such as card-playing, dancing, and movie-going fall under a category called “sin”. To others, sin is any behavior society deems unacceptable. But are these descriptions in agreement with the Bible?
Jesus Christ promised everlasting life in the Kingdom of God to “him who overcomes”. But what does it mean to be an “overcomer”?
What is a real Christian, and how do you become one? Is there anything you must do? Don’t fall for the “easy believism” of today’s popular Christianity; you need to understand real Christianity — and how to live it!
Many ask, “What can I do? How can I be used of God?” Here is the answer.
No question about it, the Bible clearly reveals that immortality is God’s gracious gift to His saints. But if immortality is a gift that is given only to the saints, why do millions believe that it is an inherent quality of the human soul? What does the Bible say about this subject?
What does God require of a person before granting him the gift of eternal life and assurance of entry into the kingdom? Must the truly converted Christian, through combining good works with his faith, reach a certain level of spiritual perfection before he is qualified for entry into the kingdom? When, precisely, can a person experience the joy of salvation, with full assurance that if he were to die tomorrow he would rise to meet Christ at His return, and live eternally in the Kingdom of God?
Over the years we have received literally thousands of questions on various biblical topics from our readers and viewers. In the past, we have addressed many of these questions in our various periodicals. Unfortunately, those new to our program and literature usually do not have access to the many questions and answers we have published in past years. For this reason, we have compiled, edited, and revised a fair number of the questions and answers we have published, and are now presenting them in this volume.
The questions have continued to come in. Here is the second volume of our Q&A series.
Is baptism necessary for salvation? When should it be done? Should infants be baptized? Should one be re-baptized in later years if one feels his first baptism was invalid? Should the living be baptized for the dead? What is the form for baptism? Sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Can you be saved if you are not baptized? Who should do the baptizing? What if you were baptized by a man in whom you have since lost faith? Should you be baptized again? Here, from the pages of your own Bible, is the plain truth about water baptism.
Life, for most of us, is filled with heartaches, disappointments, grief, and even intense pain. Even the person who “wins” in the game of life””the one who is born into a happy family, gets the best education available, lands the most rewarding job, marries the right person, has a happy marriage and wonderful children””must eventually face the reality of death. One is left wondering: Is this all life has to offer? Is it worth it?
Can a truly converted Christian ever lose his salvation? Many evangelical fundamentalists say it is impossible. A person can no more â€œworkâ€Â his way out of salvation, they say, than he can work his way into salvation. But what does the Bible say?
Did God, before the foundation of the world was laid, unconditionally predetermine who would be saved and who would not? Has your ultimate destiny already been set? Is it true, as Calvinists claim, that the elect were not appointed on the basis of their faith, good works, character, or anything else God could see within them? What about the famous “Five Points of Calvinism”?
“For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son…” John 3:16, undoubtedly the most quoted verse in the Bible. But if God loves the world so much, why does He seem to be doing so little to save it?
Sabbath and Holy Days
During Israel’s final hours in Egypt, God instituted a festival to annually remind the Covenant People of their miraculous delivery from the house of bondage. But that ancient feast proved to be more than a memorial of the Exodus.
Is the calendar that underpins God’s holy days sacred or secular? Is time holy?
Man’s fascination with spiritual ritual is endless. Archaeology, history, sociology and other disciplines deal with the superstitions and myths of societies which have disappeared. Museums around the world are laden with the religious figurines, idols, icons, and jewelry of buried civilizations. From their studies of these religious artifacts, archaeologists glean much information about the people who made and used them.
Read, in your own Bible, of the miracles that took place on the first Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection — the miracle of Pentecost!
Should Pentecost be observed on the fixed calendar date of Sivan 6? Or, should it be observed on a Sunday?
There can be no doubt that Christ, His disciples, and the first-century Christians kept Saturday, the seventh-day Sabbath. Yet, today, most of the Christian professing world keeps Sunday, the first day of the week, calling it the Sabbath. Who made this change, and how did it occur?
Some Christians observe Saturday as the Sabbath, while others, the majority, observe Sunday, claiming it is the “Lord’s Day”. But does it really matter which day one keeps? Can we know for sure which day is the seventh day? Is there any evidence that the weekly cycle has continued intact throughout all these centuries?
Many professing Christians believe the apostolic church rejected the Sabbath and festivals of the Old Testament and adopted new customs to distinguish themselves from the Jews. But is this true? What does the Bible say about early Christian practice?
In the Millennium, everyone will “go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16). But why wait? You can experience the joy of keeping God’s feast now, before the Millennium. Will you do it? Or will you let the opportunity pass you by?
In spite of the insurmountable problems of today’s world, your Bible foretells a time of massive economic and political reform — a time of global reconstruction, when the nations will “beat their swords into plowshares”. The fall holy days — the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles — reveal how God plans to reconstruct our world.
As the spring festival season approaches and we look forward to the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, there are preparations to be made. The rich and deep spiritual significance of this time calls for sober reflection, while the heart lifts with the joy, expectation, and gratitude for this very special time.
Church of God
Jesus Christ promised that He would build His church, and that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). And indeed, Jesus did build His church. He began building it in the first century, A.D., when He called and trained His first disciples, and sent them to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all nations.
Jesus Christ promised that He would build His church, and that His church would never be destroyed. But what did He mean when He said “church”? Was He speaking of an organized entity run by bishops, archbishops, and other prelates? Did He authorize “apostolic succession” to insure that His church would forever be able to trace its origins directly to the apostles? Or has God provided another means whereby one may find the true church?
Who rules the church? Was it Jesus’ intent to create a hierarchy of human government over the individual Christian? Does the Christian ministry sit in Moses’ seat for the church? This brochure explains what you always wanted to know about church government but were afraid to ask!
Many are familiar with the old hymn, “Revive Us Again”. But what does this mean? Revived to what? How and when are we revived? We hear much talk, often negatively, about “revival” — about “getting right” with God — but through misuse and overuse, this term has become blurred in the minds of most hearers today. To many, a “revival” means an enigmatic, highly emotional religious meeting.
What is the real message of the gospel Jesus Christ brought and announced to mankind? Who has the real gospel, the GOOD NEWS, that Jesus proclaimed? It’s time you knew what the gospel is really about!
The book of Revelation, also known as “the Apocalypse”, is one of the most fascinating books of the New Testament. It is filled with prophetic imagery — multi-headed beasts, strange celestial creatures, spectacular cosmic disturbances, and loathsome plagues being “poured out” on sinning mankind. But Revelation is also a book of exhortation and encouragement for suffering saints, as well as a book of admonition and warning for Christians who have strayed from the path of life. The book is addressed “to the seven churches of Asia” (Revelation 1:4), but its message is for every generation of God’s people. It’s time we listen to the voice of the Revelator! “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).
No one can deny that our complex universe is an astounding, majestic marvel. But how did it get here? Where did we come from? Does it really matter? Can it be, as so many contend, that this all just “happened” by some fortuitous cosmic accident? Or did it come about as the result of the careful design of an infinite God? Here are the facts you need to know!
NATO’s former secretary general Henri Spaak, upon signing the Treaty of Rome in 1957 — thus establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), currently known as the European Union (EU) — said, “We felt like Romans on that day… We were consciously recreating the Roman Empire once more.” How can this be? Is history repeating itself? Will the EU finally culminate in the rise of a modern-day “Holy Roman Empire”? Is it now ascending to its ultimate destiny with perdition? What does BIBLE PROPHECY say about this emerging European “beast”?
Are we living in the prophesied time of the end? How can we know for sure?
In three short chapters the book of Joel takes us from an ancient locust plague to the eschatological day of the Lord. How can two events so far apart in time and so different in content be related?
Christ promised He would return to this earth. But what will happen when He does come? What will the world to come be like?
Jesus said the men of Sodom would rise from the dead in a future day of judgment. But for what purpose? Will theyagain be destroyed by a consuming fire?
In the Christian community today, there is much confusion surrounding the word “Antichrist”. What does the Bible really say about this term? Is it something to be concerned with today? Or is it simply a quotidian expression assigned to some looming prophetic end-time leader or political world condition out in the future?
Many today wonder what is going on around the world. It appears socialistic principles are transforming the whole world. Over the most recent years, democratic “free market” nations have purchased overwhelming portions of their own business sectors and treasury bonds under the notion of saving the global economies. Is this a real solution? Or is there a more sinister motive working behind the scenes?
Intrigue is building around the anticipation of the blood moons”™ arrival. Some of our modern-day Christian prophetic prognosticators claim we should prepare for some major cataclysmic events happen- ing to Israel over the next two years””that these moons are signs of coming calamities. Are they really? What are these blood moons? And what significance do the Tetrads have?
Can anything be more fascinating, more mysterious than some of the prophecies of the Bible? The book of Daniel, with its great image composed of various metals and miry clay; the beasts with their many horns and the â€œlittle hornâ€ which came up among them to uproot three other beasts; the book of Revelation with its mysterious seals and trumpet plagues, great dragons, a woman clothed with the sun, a symbolic “bottomless pit” — surely there is much in biblical prophecy to fascinate, puzzle and mystify!
Since the publication of Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth in the early 70s, dispensationalists have written volumes on such subjects as the “secret rapture”, the coming of the “Antichrist”, the significance of the establishment of the State of Israel, the “covenant” the Antichrist will supposedly make with Israel, and a “prophetic clock” that supposedly stopped ticking in the time of Christ but will resume ticking once the Antichrist appears and the church is “snatched out”. All these events, dispensationalists claim, fit within the framework of Daniel’s “seventy weeks” prophecy. But is this true? Did Daniel foresee the coming of an end-time Antichrist, who would make a covenant of peace with the Israelis, only to betray them, desecrate their temple, and wreak havoc in their nation? Are we now living in a “gap” between the sixty-ninth and seventieth “weeks” of Daniel’s prophecy? Will Antichrist’s appearance restart the “prophetic clock” and begin a seven-year “countdown to Armageddon”?
Many have made the mistake of setting dates for the Second Coming of Christ, and the results have never been positive. Yet, failed predictions have not deterred the date-setters.
Long ago, God declared, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Just who is this “Elijah” whose coming would precede the day of the Lord? Has he come already? Or should we look for him to appear in the future?
No question about it — the Bible definitely teaches that the saints will be “caught up” to meet Christ at His coming! But will this momentous event take place when the King of kings and Lord of lords visibly descends from heaven with power and great glory? Or will it occur several years earlier?
Many modernists believe that Satan the Devil is not a literal, personal being, but merely a “literary device”, or imaginary figure that personifies evil in much the same way the sickle-bearing “Grim Reaper” personifies death. But Scripture declares that a very real — and personal — devil is active in the world today, and seeks to destroy those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the teaching of Jesus.
Are UFOs real — and if so, what are they? Does the Bible speak of UFOs? Are we being visited by non-earthlings, and if so, who are they and what do they want?
With rampant growth of the occult and Satanism in our societies, and with the exploding popularity of New Age spiritualism, the spirit world is receiving more attention than every before. But is there a spirit world? Are evil spirits real? If so, what are they? Where did they come from? And what about demon possession? Does this phenomenon really exist in our world today?
Some say hell is a mythical realm contrived in the minds of superstitious men, but others say it is as real as life itself. Who is right? Is there a real hellfire? If so, where is it? What is it?
Do you have an immortal soul? Is Lazarus in heaven waiting for you? Millions claim that you do and he is! Can you prove it from your Bible?
Traditional Christian Doctrines
Balaam was a mercenary prophet of the worst kind. He was famous, self-willed, double-minded, eloquent, presumptuous, and an evil counselor. Not exactly the kind of person you would want to bring home to your family for dinner and conversation.
Unquestionably, Jesus Christ was Jewish and observed Passover. Jesus never kept and Easter in His life! So how was this holy day changed? And who changed the day He observed, chose, and instituted as the holy day for taking His sacrificial emblems, representing His body and blood? Where is the Biblical record confirming the authority for this replacement?
To millions of professing, churchgoing Christians, “Easter”, is one of the chief religious festivals. But what do eggs, rabbits, new clothing, sunrise services, and hot cross buns have to do with JESUS CHRIST?
Most of Christendom traditionally believes that Jesus was crucified on Friday afternoon, “placed in the tomb before sundown Friday night, rested in the tomb on the Sabbath (Saturday) and was resurrected on Sunday morning before dawn. Shockingly, either that tradition is false, or you have no Savior!
How is your prayer life? Is it all it should be? Is there room for improvement? Here are some helpful fools to help you be more effective in your prayer life.
Christians know that they should read, study, and obey what is found in the Holy Bible We have designed this booklet to help you comprehend and retain what you read in the Scriptures. You will learn how to study your Bible, how to avoid common mistakes, and how to mark your Bible. We will also encourage you to “blow the dust off your Bible” and read it from cover to cover in just 365 days!
John 3:16, perhaps the most frequently cited verse in the New Testament, states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?
The dictionary defines character as “moral excellence and firmness.” The highest standard of character is set forth in Scripture and exemplified in Jesus Christ. All who are serious about following Christ are exhorted to attain moral excellence through a life of trusting God and resisting the evil influences that surround us and arise from within us.
Healing is a continuous theme running through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.Yet it cannot be denied that God has extended the miracle of healing in different degrees for different purposes at different times. People have not always been healed with the same regularity or for the same reason.