Christian Churches of God

No. CB69

 

 

 

 Sanctification of the

Children of God

 

(Edition 2.0 20060527-20100913)

 

In this first year of the Sanctification of Nations we will review how the children of God’s elect, those who are baptized into the body of Christ, are sanctified and set apart.

 

 

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA

 

E-mail: secretary@ccg.org

 

(Copyright ă 2006, 2010  Diane Flanagan, ed. Wade Cox)

 

 

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http://www.logon.org and http://www.ccg.org

 

 

 

Sanctification of the Children of God

 


Since the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Church in 30 CE, the children of the elect – those baptized members of the Church – have been set apart. In this paper we will consider this aspect of how the children of believing parents are blessed and sanctified.

 

First we need to look at what the word “sanctification” means.

 

Sanctification means:  to make holy or sacred; to set apart for holy or religious use; to hallow; to purify from sin; to make the means to holiness (The Living Webster Dictionary, 1977).

 

So we learn from the dictionary definition that sanctification is setting us apart for a holy purpose. Now let us see what the Bible tells us about being sanctified.

 

From 1Corinthians 7:14

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (KJV)

 

The Contemporary English Version (CEV) for 1Corinthians 7:14 reads:

Your husband or wife who isn't a follower is made holy by having you as a mate. This also makes your children holy and keeps them from being unclean in God's sight.

 

Here we see Scripture telling us the children of a believing parent are set apart and considered holy. God considers the children of the elect very special.

 

Holy is SHD 40, Hagios: holy, set apart, sanctified, consecrated. It has a common root. Hag, with hagnos (53) chaste, pure. Its fundamental idea is separation, consecration, and abstaining from earth’s defilement. (Notes from the NASV Key Study Bible.)

 

Separating from the world

 

When we go to the Feast, we begin to realize how we are blessed and cared for by God. Our friends at home may still be in school; they do not know who God is; they keep false days of worship and do not understand the Plan of God.

 

The children who come to the Feast are able to participate in the Bible lessons and activities. They have fun with friends and family all growing together to learn how to worship the One True God more completely. By our beliefs, we are truly separate from the world. God has blessed us with something special that not many people have.

 

We see that if a child has at least one parent that believes in the One True God, keeps the Commandments of God, and worships on the correct days the child is set apart for a holy purpose and has God’s protection.

 

From John 17 we learn that we are sanctified by truth.

John 17:17-19 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

 

Sanctify is SHG 37, Hagiaso to hallow, sanctify, …Hagiazo means to withdraw from fellowship with the world and selfishness by first gaining fellowship with God and toward God. (Comments from the NASV Key Study Bible.)

 

Be it adults or children it is when we understand the truth that we can truly start obeying the One True God and receive His blessings. We do withdraw from the world and three times a year we go to where God places His Name to keep the Feasts of God. Each Sabbath and New Moon we gather with those who are likeminded to learn how to keep God’s Law more perfectly. It is all a process of coming out of the world and sin and growing in grace and truth.

 

In Scripture, we find some children or young people were brought into the service of the Lord at a very early age. Jeremiah and Samuel are two examples of this. Samuel (SHD 8050) means "his name is El". Hitchcock states Samuel means “heard of God”.

 

The peculiar events connected with Samuel’s birth are recorded in 1Samuel 1:20. Hannah, one of the two wives of Elkanah, who came up to Shiloh to worship before the Lord, earnestly prayed to God that she might become the mother of a son. Her prayer was graciously heard and granted; and after the child was weaned she brought him to Shiloh and consecrated him to the Lord as a perpetual Nazarite (1Sam. 1:23-2:11).

 

Here Samuel’s physical needs and training were attended to by the women who served in the tabernacle, while Eli cared for his religious culture. Probably, twelve years of his life passed away. "The boy Samuel continued to grow, and was in favour both with the Lord and with men" (1Sam. 2:26; Lk. 2:52).

 

1Samuel 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, [being] a child, girded with a linen ephod.  As Samuel grew older he counselled the people in the law of God and dealt with many difficult issues.

 

“… A mysterious voice came to him [Samuel] in the night season, calling him by name, and, when instructed by Eli, he answered, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." The message that came from the Lord was one of woe and ruin to Eli and his sons, who were utterly shameful and immoral. Samuel told it all to Eli, … The Lord revealed himself now in many ways to Samuel, and his fame and his influence increased throughout the land as of one divinely called to the prophetical office. A new period in the history of the kingdom of God now commenced.” (Notes from Easton’s Bible Dictionary.)

 

Samuel's devotion to God and the special favour with which God regarded him are referred to in Jeremiah 15:1 and Psalms 99:6. In Samuel, we see God working with an individual at a very early age.

 

Sanctification in relation to current world events and time-frames

 

In the paper Sanctification of the Nations (No. 77) it was explained how 2006 is the first year of the last 21 years till the next Jubilee. That correlates or matches the First day of the First month, which is a very special day in the calendar of God. See God’s Sacred Calendar (No. CB20).

 

It is from the New Moon/First day of the First month that the elect, or household of God, begin the sanctification process. It starts with the Temple of God – which we are – by prayer and fasting to keep the Lord’s Supper on the dark of the 14th of the First month, followed by the seven Days of Unleavened Bread. For more details of the 21 days of Sanctification see 21-Day Sanctification Period (No. CB82).

 

Now, let us look at what makes up eternal life. This is really a question that needs answering as an adult, but children of the elect need to understand the meaning of some of the activities that baptized members participate in.

 

What determines eternal life?

 

The three fundamentals of eternal life are:

  1. Believing and knowing there is One True God and Jesus Christ whom He sent.
  2. Faith in Jesus Christ through the knowledge of the One True God. This leads to repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit from our faith that God raised Christ from the dead
  3. Participating in the Lord’s Supper, including foot-washing, eating the bread and drinking the wine, and obeying all the Commandments. These are necessary requirements for us to retain the Holy Spirit and be in the First Resurrection.

 

Truly, it is the most important decision an adult makes each year to keep the Lord’s Supper and then discern which Body/Church to keep the Lord’s Supper with.

 

So we see that where our parents partake of or keep the Lord’s Supper determines where our parents believe the work of God is being done.

 

Let’s see if Christ gave us any examples that help explain what happens when people come in contact with the Word of God.

 

Parable of the Sower

The following text is from Mark 4:1-20, of the Contemporary English Version:

The next time Jesus taught beside Lake Galilee, a big crowd gathered. It was so large that he had to sit in a boat out on the lake, while the people stood on the shore. 2 He used stories to teach them many things, and this is part of what he taught: 3 Now listen! A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. 4 While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds. 5 Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn't very deep. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. 7 Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked out the plants. So they did not produce any grain. 8  But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants grew and produced thirty or sixty or even a hundred times as much as was scattered. 9 Then Jesus said, "If you have ears, pay attention."

 

Why Jesus used stories or parables

 

10 When Jesus was alone with the twelve apostles and some others, they asked him about these stories. 11 He answered: I have explained the secret about God's kingdom to you, but for others I can use only stories. 12 The reason is, "These people will look and look, but never see. They will listen and listen, but never understand. If they did, they would turn to God, and he would forgive them."

Christ spoke in parables so that people would not understand and turn and be saved before their time. The plan of God enables people to be brought into judgement on a progressive basis. God the Father gives people to Christ (Jn. 6:65).

 

Jesus explains the story about the farmer

 

From verse 13 Jesus told them: If you don't understand this story, you won't understand any others. 14 What the farmer is spreading is really the message about the kingdom. 15 The seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message. But Satan soon comes and snatches it away from them. 16 The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away. 17 But they don't have any roots, and they don't last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up. 18 The seeds that fell among the thornbushes are also people who hear the message. 19 But they start worrying about the needs of this life. They are fooled by the desire to get rich and to have all kinds of other things. So the message gets choked out, and they never produce anything. 20 The seeds that fell on good ground are the people who hear and welcome the message. They produce thirty or sixty or even a hundred times as much as was planted.

 

In this story of the sower/farmer, we see Christ is explaining how people come into the knowledge of the truth of the word of God. The word of God is the “seed” and Christ is the one who prepares the soil (us) so the seed can grow in our lives.

 

Clearly, from the story we see that not everyone who learns of the truth of God stays with the truth.  

 

The human heart and mind

 

We know from Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is more deceitful than anything else.

 

Ecclesiastes 9:3 states: the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. (NASV)

 

We learn that what is in our heart can make us good, more like God, or evil, more like Satan. Our ideas start in our heart or mind and our actions, comments and behavior follow from the thought process.

 

Mark 7:20-23   What comes from your heart is what makes you unclean. 21 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, vulgar deeds, stealing, murder, 22 unfaithfulness in marriage, greed, meanness, deceit, indecency, envy, insults, pride, and foolishness. 23 All of these come from your heart, and they are what make you unfit to worship God. (CEV)

 

Self-control needs to start in our minds. We need to daily read the word of God and pray to be more like God.

 

Will Satan try to attack us?

 

Yes! We all know Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). He comes as a roaring lion (1Pet. 5:8). Satan tries to get to each and everyone of us in whatever way possible to keep us out of God’s Kingdom. For more information about Satan see the papers Who is Satan? (No. CB60) and What is Sin? (No. CB26).

 

Typically, sin starts with the little things and grows and grows till it kills us spiritually. A little leaven leavens the whole lump (1Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9). If we do not deal with it a root of bitterness can overtake us (Heb. 12:15) and take us out of the Church.

 

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived (or tricked) me, and through it slew (killed) me. (KJV)

 

Romans 7:11 Sin used this command to trick me, and because of it I died. (CEV)

 

Remember, in the Garden of Eden, Satan as the serpent tried to tempt/trick Eve. He told her half-truths, which are lies. He said: “You surely will not die! You will be like God, knowing good and evil” Eve listened to what Satan said. She saw the fruit was good for food and the fruit would make her wise so she ate and gave some to her husband.

 

Whenever we sin we quench, hinder, limit or neglect the Holy Spirit (1Thes. 5:19; Eph. 4:30). The Holy Spirit cannot stay where sin is.

 

Even from the story of Adam and Eve we learn not to associate closely with those that do not believe like us. However, we need to be friendly and helpful to all people and be a good example to the world. The individuals who do not believe like us can lead us away from the One True God if we are not careful.

 

Romans 16:17 warns us:

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned and turn away from them. (NASV)

 

Basically, Romans 16:17 is saying that if someone is telling us things that do not match the Plan of God or goes against what we have been taught then stay away from them. Had Eve stayed away from Satan the world would be a very different place.

 

Repentance and change

 

We see from the Bible that David did many notable and wonderful deeds or actions. It is amazing how hard King Saul worked to have David killed, but never succeeded. It is even more amazing how when David was given the chance to kill Saul he did not. David respected the man in office and patiently waited on the Lord.

 

David was an outstanding example of how we should respect our leaders, both national and spiritual, and that even the angels, greater in power and might, do not bring accusations against them before the Lord (2Pet. 2:11).

 

David was a man after God’s own heart (1Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22), and even though he made some very big and serious mistakes, he repented fully when he realised his sins.

 

In 2Samuel 12 we see David clearly showed his humble acceptance of the disciplinary outcome of his sin with Bathsheba. When he realized their child was dead there was no more reason to fast and pray because the decision was made. David just got on with the next task that was laid before him.

 

The same should apply for all of us. When difficult things happen we pray, fast and ask for God’s help and intervention but then we always get on with the task or job set before us.

 

Does God punish children based on their parents’ behaviour?

 

God is not a respecter of persons no matter what the age of the person (Rom. 2:11). This means God does not play favourites. God is the perfect parent and treats everyone fairly and justly.

 

In the Old Testament, we see God clearly tells us the sons will not suffer or pay consequences for their fathers’ sins.

 Deuteronomy 24:16  The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

 

In Deuteronomy 1:26-45, we see that the adults rebelled against God, even after having seen many miracles and witnesses when they left Egypt. As a result of that rebellion, not one of the adults of that evil generation, except Joshua and Caleb, were allowed to enter the Promised Land.

 

In Deuteronomy 1:39 we read:

Moreover, your little ones who you said would be a prey, and your sons, who this day have not knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them, and they shall possess it. (NASV)

For more information about the Exodus see Moses and the Exodus (No. CB16).

 

It may seem strange to us that the Israelites would grumble and complain after seeing so many miracles, yet we are no different at all when we complain and get in a grumpy mood when things don’t go right.

 

Many of us think we know a better way or have more answers, but remember 1Corinthians 10:12 warns us: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (NIV)

 

Yet, perfect love casts out fear (1Jn. 4:17,18). Where fear, resentment, anger or bitterness are present, Satan quickly grabs on to that person and leads them out of the Church.

 

In the time of the Exodus, people said their concern was for their wives and children (Num. 14:1-4), yet in reality it is hard to tell if that was the case. Clearly, God allowed all the rebellious people to die, but He protected and guided the children into adulthood and the Promised Land. As long as we remain obedient, God will always look over us, no matter what our age.

 

Another example of adults making bad decisions is Korah’s Rebellion. In Numbers 16, we see the rebellion of the Levites – those that should have been helping with the duties associated with the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. Korah started the rebellion, yet 250 well-known men also participated with him. All of those in the rebellion died.

 

However, the Companion Bible note to Numbers 16:32, states that these did not include Korah’s sons. Also in Numbers 26:11, we read that the children of Korah did not die, and 1Chronicles 6:22-38 tells us that their descendants were prominent in the Temple worship. There are two groups of Psalms associated with them, Psalms chapters 42-49 and 84-88.

 

For more information about the rebellion of Korah see Korah’s Rebellion (No. CB47).

 

Here again we see parents making very wrong choices and God dealing with the adults, yet the children, or descendants, were used in a very positive and powerful way. 

 

What are the future roles of children, and young adults when Messiah returns?

 

Isaiah 66:20-21 tells us:

And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. 21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD. (CEV)

 

Here we see that children and young adults will be brought back to Jerusalem and used powerfully by God. See also the paper The Kingdom of God (No. CB36).

 

Never lose sight of God’s Plan! Times will get harder and harder as Satan and the fallen Host try to prevent people from obeying God.

 

Clearly, as children grow up they become responsible for themselves and their own actions. When a young person reaches the age of 20 he/she is considered an adult biblically. Then the individual can make his or her own choice regarding being baptised and discerning the Body of Christ.

 

What should we do?

 

We should:

Always obey our parents; it is the first commandment with a promise.

Ephesians 6:1-3  Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents. The first commandment with a promise says, 2 “Obey your father and your mother, 3 and you will have a long and happy life. (CEV)

 

Speak the truth in a loving manner:

Ephesians 4:15-16 Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head 16 of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all of its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong because of love.

 

Be followers of Christ; not followers of unbelievers.

Ephesians 4:17-26 As a follower of the Lord, I order you to stop living like stupid, godless people. 18 Their minds are in the dark, and they are stubborn and ignorant and have missed out on the life that comes from God. They no longer have any feelings about what is right, 19 and they are so greedy that they do all kinds of indecent things.20 But that isn't what you were taught about Jesus Christ. 21 He is the truth, and you heard about him and learned about him. 22 You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. 23 Let the Spirit change your way of thinking 24 and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy. 25 We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. 26 Don't get so angry that you sin. Don't go to bed angry 27 and don't give the devil a chance. (CEV)

 

Try to be kind, merciful and forgiving.

Ephesians 4:31-32  Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don't yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32 Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ. (CEV)

 

Be imitators of God.

Ephesians 5:1 Do as God does. After all, you are his dear children. (CEV)

 

Have nothing to do with the seeds of darkness but rather make our light shine.

Ephesians 5:6-12 Don't let anyone trick you with foolish talk. God punishes everyone who disobeys him and says foolish things. 7 So don't have anything to do with anyone like that. 8 You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light 9 and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, 10 as you try to please the Lord. 11 Don’t take part in doing those worthless things that are done in the dark. Instead, show how wrong they are. 12 It is disgusting even to talk about what is done in the dark.

 

Put on the armour of God.

Ephesians 6:11-13 Daily put on the armor of God. Put on all the armour that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks. 12 We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13 So put on all the armour that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm. Pray with out ceasing. (CEV)

 

Our place of safety is in God’s hand as long as we obey Him. We all have a job to do, and for the young it is to be obedient to their parents and do their best to learn all they can about God and His Law. Time is short and there is much to do; none of us can lose sight of the Plan of God.

 

In the end, God will be all in all (1Cor. 15:28; Eph. 4:6). At this future point in time we all will be part of God’s family as spirit beings.

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