John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Why The Name...CHURCH OF GOD'S FAITHFUL
Why The Name... CHURCH OF GOD'S FAITHFUL
We became incorporated under the name Church of God's Faithful back in September 1997.
I have been around quite a long time and knew from Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings that the True Church should bare the Father's Name (John 17:11). Mr. Armstrong wrote several articles exposing the error of the Protestant Churches that took their names from a particular method used in their church service, for example: Baptist, Methodists, Congregationalists, etc. Mr. Armstrong plainly taught that the Roman Catholic Church is not a biblical name nor is it correct to use the name of a man as part of the church's name, such as Lutheran, Wesleyan, St. John's, St. Peter's, or any of dozens that different groups have chosen to identify their church apart from other denominations.
We had prayerfully considered all of this and, I feel, were inspired to choose the name Church of God's Faithful. Now understand WHY we were given this Name!
At the last count I have heard, there are over 300 churches, groups, and associations that were formerly part of the Worldwide Church of God, who have split off and re-split again and again. Many of these have adopted names using "Church of God" as part of their official title---such as International Church of God, United Church of God, Global Church of God, Living Church of God, Restored Church of God, Steadfast Church of God, Church of the Great God, Church of God of the Firstfruits; Church of God in Truth; Church of God's Patience; and on and on. And there are several large churches of the world that take the title, Church of God.
Just because a group includes "Church of God" in their title does NOT make them the True Church of God. The split and splintered "daughter" churches that have emerged from the "mother", Worldwide Church of God, are victims of a similar tactic Satan used in separating the Roman Catholic Church and her "Protestant-Daughters". These separately organized and contentious daughters of the WCG now have their own leaders and governing boards that refuse to cooperate with other separately organized and contentious leaders and governing boards of other daughter-churches. Some claim these arguing groups are the "Churches of God" while a few believe their organization is the one True Church of God!
Picture in your mind a meeting of the leaders of the split and splintered daughter-churches trying to decide who is the most important, who should chair the meeting. Imagine the confusion that would permeate a meeting composed of the "leading evangelists and pastors" as they all sought the position of THE leader.
Arguing and contentious churches are not "Churches of God", they are "churches of god". Jesus Christ is the Living Head of His One True Church. Matthew 16: 16-18 tells us: "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
The Church of Jesus Christ will be built upon the rock-solid foundation of revealed Truth! John 17: 17 declares: Sanctify them through your Truth, Your Word is Truth. And of course, Jesus Himself is defined in scripture as the Word and Truth (Rev. 19:11 and 13). See also I Corinthians 1:10.
Therefore, what does the Name Church of God's Faithful really mean? Why would we be given this Name?
Revelation 1:5 states: "And from Jesus Christ, who is the Faithful Witness..." Thus when God gave us the Name, Church of God's Faithful, we did not understand the tremendous blessing he was giving us. We knew we were "called" and "chosen" and must be "faithful" to the end, that as a tiny remnant we must trust in the Lord as Revelation 17:14 and Zephaniah 3:12 state. These scriptures are written upon the official seal of the CGF. We knew a Christian's goal was to grow up into Christ in all things (Eph. 4:15), thus for seven years we assumed the "Faithful" of God's Church were we, the members. But the actual meaning of this name was not revealed until the Feast of Trumpets of 2004! We are members of the Church of God's Faithful---the Church of God's Faithful Witness---Jesus Christ! We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of which He is the Faithful Living Head! That is the meaning of this wonderful Name.
Jesus, the Son of God has revealed His presence in His True Church not only through this wonderful Name, but also through New Truth He continues to pour upon this small Church. Truly, through His presence we have grown in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18). The "knowledge" of Jesus Christ IS "New Truth", by the grace of God. If a church is not growing in New Truth, Christ is not in that church! This is a sure method of proving where the True Church of Jesus Christ is! His Church can be identified by New Truth! The Church of God's Faithful is set apart by truth. Again, John 17: 17 plainly tells us: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
The name "Church of God" simply means "God's Called-Out-Ones." We were inspired to include the word, "Faithful," in our official title but did not comprehend the depth of its meaning until very recently. Now we thankfully and humbly do understand we are the Church of God's Faithful---the Church of Jesus Christ!
Some have criticized us for the wonderful name God has given us. WHY? They, like us, have not understood the inspiring overall meaning of the name---Church of God's Faithful. I hope this paper has helped you to understand!
Perhaps a portion of Paul's salutation in Ephesians 1:1-3 would be appropriate to express my appreciation for the NAME God has given us at this time in the Day of the Lord: "...to the saints... and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings..."
Robert Ardis, November 2004
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