[Mystery of the Ages Index]
Mystery of the Church
PERHAPS the greatest mystery of all will not seem, at first glance, to be a
most readers of this volume. The reason that is true is the fact that the true
meaning of the Church is as little understood as the Bible itself. The
revelation of that
mystery must come as a shocking truth. The real truth about the Church, the
reason for its
origin, and its purpose has remained hidden from even the professing Christian
This is inextricably interwined with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a fact
the mind of the reader that the gospel of Jesus Christ was not proclaimed to
from about A.D. 50 until the year 1953. The apostle Paul foretold this when he
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the
god of this
world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the
gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II
Millions have read over this passage without grasping its real meaning.
Church Exclusive to Creation World
The term church is applicable only to the Christian religion. (The Christian
is generally understood, is the largest religion in the world in number of
adherents.) Other religions may have mosques, synagogues and temples. But is
the Church a
building? Many assume it is, which assumption reflects their ignorance of the
meaning of the Church. But in this volume we are concerned only with the
Church. For when
stripped of its mystery, the Church is of paramount concern to all peoples of
The Church, founded by Jesus Christ, has an all-important meaning to every
human life that
ever lived. Yet almost no one has ever known that meaning.
Even within the Christian world, apostasy, division and changing times have
the true original meaning and purpose that now is indeed a mystery.
The word church is an English-language word translated from the original Greek
"ekklesia." Ekklesia means called-out-ones. Old Testament Israel was
called by the term "congregation." In some respects the word
synonymous with the word church. Yet there is a distinct difference between
church and congregation. The congregation of Israel was separate, as a
But they were not called-out-ones spiritually in the same sense that
characterizes the New
What has been hidden from even the professing Christian world is the real
purpose of the
Church -- the real reason why Jesus Christ, the second Adam, founded the
Real Purpose of Church
To the shocking surprise to nearly every reader of this volume, I will state
the Church was not and is not. It is not the instrumentality by which God is
"save the world." Few may realize it, but Jesus made no attempt to
or to invite people to "give their hearts to him" or to "accept
their personal savior."
On the contrary, he "called out" -- drafted -- twelve disciples. The
disciple means student. These twelve were students being taught by Jesus the
of the kingdom of God. This involved the entire purpose of God in creating the
on this earth. That meaning had been rejected, lost, by the first created man,
At this point let us recapitulate. God is the Creator and Supreme Ruler over
creation. He had placed the archangel Lucifer on earth's throne to administer
government of God. God's government is based on God's law. God's law is a way
of life --
the way of outgoing love.
God's government was repudiated by Lucifer, who became Satan, and Satan ruled
opposite way of life -- rebellion, self-centeredness and conflict.
Adam, the first created human being, was given opportunity to receive eternal
with obedience to God and total submission to the law of God and God's
could have replaced Satan on earth's throne. He rejected the government and
way of God.
Thus Satan was left on the throne where he still rules as of this day. Adam
and the human
family were kidnapped, deceived into living the self-centered hostile way of
Thereupon God closed off the tree of life and the Holy Spirit of God, until
the second Adam, should conquer and replace Satan on earth's throne. At his
appearing on earth as the human Jesus, Christ came, not to seize the throne,
conquer Satan, qualify to replace him on the throne, and to ransom the
with his shed blood.
Now, why the Church? Christ came also to call out selected and chosen ones
world to turn from Satan's way into the way of God's law and to qualify to
Christ when he comes to replace Satan on the throne of the earth. Those called
Church were called not merely for salvation and eternal life, but to learn the
God's government and develop the divine character during this mortal life in
Seven annual festivals were given to Old Testament Israel and were ordained
true meaning had long remained a hidden mystery. They picture God's plan of
the divine plan by which God is reproducing himself. The Passover pictures the
Christ in payment for the penalty of human sin repented of. The seven days of
of Unleavened Bread picture the Church coming out of sin, even as Israel came
Egypt. The Day of Pentecost, originally called Feast of Firstfruits, pictures
as the first to be begotten and born as children of God during the Church age.
of Trumpets pictures the Second Coming of Christ to take over earth's throne
and to rule
all nations. The Day of Atonement pictures the putting away of Satan. The
Tabernacles pictures the thousand-year reign under the rule of Christ and the
children of God. The Final Great Day pictured the final judgment which will be
Chapter 7. Let's return now to the subject of this chapter, the Church.
The Institution of the Church
What is the Church? Why is the Church? The institution of the Church, at first
may not seem to be a mystery. The modern Western world takes the fact of the
churches for granted, as a part of the world's civilized life.
WHY the institution of the Church in the world? -- WHY was it started, and for
If you ask people in the non-Christian world where other religions are
accepted they would
probably have no answer. They know little about the Church. Those in the more
and liberal areas of traditional Christianity would probably say the Church
as an emotional lift, having a psychological influence on those who have not
evolutionary theory as accepted in modern higher education.
If you ask those who follow one of the evangelical Christian denominations
probably say that the Church is God's instrument in his effort to save the
world from an
eternal hell fire. It has been assumed by those people that the Church is a
soul-saving station to get people "saved." If the Church came into
an instrumentality for "getting people saved," then, I ask, by what
God try to save people prior to Christ's founding of the Church? Jesus did not
until 4,000 years after Adam and the original sin. If God is and has been
convert the world, what means did he use during that 4,000 years between Adam
As we have seen in Chapter 3, God closed the tree of life at the foundation of
The Holy Spirit and salvation were shut off from the world during all these
But in view of the facts revealed by God Almighty in his Word, covered in the
chapters, all these suppositions are wrong. They only give vociferous
testimony to the
fact expressed in Revelation 12:9 that the whole world has been deceived by
devil. Their minds have been blinded to the truth about God's purpose for
stated in II Corinthians 4:3-4.
The existence of the Church, then, does indeed become a mystery to nearly
everyone on the
face of this earth.
News concerning some church appears frequently in newspapers and on newscasts.
think of a church on some near corner, or perhaps of some denomination in the
the fact of its existence would not occur to the mind to be a mystery. But
when we ask,
why do churches exist, how did the Church as an institution come into being? -
- what is
its reason or purpose for its existence? -- does it make any difference
whether, or to
which church you belong? -- then, indeed, it becomes a mystery. The average
person has no
The facts of the Church's origin and its purpose are revealed in that book of
the Holy Bible. To make clear that mystery may well require more pages in this
any other subject.
My Personal Experience
I am reminded of my own personal experience, probably typical of many others.
were members of the Friends Church, commonly known as the Quakers. The family
Quakers for many generations. I was taken to church from babyhood, taking it
as a normal part of life. I was in church every Sunday because my parents took
me. As a
routine habit I continued until age 18. It never occurred to me to question
why we should
attend church or how the church came into existence, or what was its real
I never went through the experience in those years of being
"converted." As I
grew into the teens, I was told that I had a birthright membership in the
church. I was
led to take it for granted that I was an immortal soul and that when I died I
really die, but rather pass away into heaven where I would have no
only a life of idleness and ease in sublime glory forever and ever. But I was
religiously or doctrinally interested. I simply took churchgoing and a
religious phase of
life for granted. But I had no special or deep religious or spiritual
interest, and by age
18 I started in the advertising business, lost all interest in religion or the
God and gave up regular church attendance. I still believed in God -- that is
to say, I
took the existence of God for granted since I had been taught of God's
Then at age 25 I had met and married that one and only particular young woman.
more seriously interested in the things of God. We began to feel that we
should join a
church. My wife's ancestry had been part Quaker and part Methodist. There was
church in the neighborhood where we lived in a Chicago suburb. We joined a
church because it was located within walking distance, we liked the
personality of the
minister, and we liked the membership socially. I think our experience was
millions of others. But it never occurred to me to ask or even wonder why we
ought to go
to church, or why the institution of the church had ever come into being. Like
others I assumed that the "good people" went to church and so ought
The Church in Relation to Past History
And so now I ask, does anyone question the reason or purpose for the church as
institution? I ask, DOES ANYONE KNOW WHY there are churches? Is there a REASON
for it? The
very existence of the church known as "Christianity" is one of the
mysteries of our time. This very subject brings to mind again the fact that,
lived through and seen events of the past 6,000 years that led up to the
present, we do
not grasp the real meaning or purpose of the Church. In this chapter we shall
Church in its TRUE relationship to all the events described in the first five
this book. Again, what is the Church?
Most think of the CHURCH as a building with a sharply sloping roof, a steeple
heavenward atop and a cross on its face. Indeed Webster defines the word
church as a
building. It was something altogether different when originally founded.
People suppose a church is a building to which people -- some of them -- flock
morning for "worship." They think people go to the church. As
founded in the New
Testament, the Church went to a building, at first a private home. And the
assembled on a Saturday, not Sunday.
The churches of today have changed drastically from Christ's pattern! This
fact, also, is
cloaked in mystery, understood by virtually no one. But for WHAT PURPOSE did
the Church? What has happened to it since?
Some may know Christ started the Church. But who and what is Christ? And if he
founder of the Church, for what purpose did he start it? But Jesus founded
Church. Yet in the Western world today there are many different churches --
Protestant, independents. And within them many denominations, sects and
congregations, each with its differing beliefs, teachings, rituals and
The Church started out as one Church. As it is recorded in I Corinthians 12
consisted of many members, but only the one body -- the one Church -- of which
Christ was the Head.
At the outset of this chapter we are primarily concerned with four basic
constitute a mystery that needs to be revealed with understanding.
1) Who and what is Christ? Why did he appear on earth?
2) What is and why was the Church brought into existence?
3) What is the gospel the Church is commissioned to proclaim?
4) What is the history of the Church? Why is Christianity so different today
than at its
inception in the first century?
Institutionally the CHURCH is thought of today as a religious organization,
society. One -- if "good" -- is supposed to join the "church of
choice." Of course there are the "good guys" and the "bad
and the "good" go to church. But does it make any difference which
A Minister without a Pastorate
I am reminded of an incident of more than 50 years ago. I was still in Eugene,
ex-minister came to me who had just recently been married. His wife had money,
but he was
too proud to let her support him. He had not been employed in the ministry for
but now needed a job.
"Do you know of any pulpit vacancies in Lane County?" he asked.
"I want to
support my wife, and she wants to remain here in Lane County."
"Well, yes," I replied. "I do know of one vacancy, but that
you because that is a Christian church, and you are a Methodist with different
"Oh, that won't make any difference," he assured me. "I'll
doctrines they want me to preach."
But does it really make any difference what we believe? Let the Word of God
The Church seems to be something concerned with worshiping with others.
refers to the worship of God.
But if GOD is related to the Church, what is his relationship? How did the
All this is a mystery to today's world.
Back in the early part of 1927 when my intense Bible study was bringing me
conversion, I asked myself such questions. I supposed questions of that sort
the average mind.
In the New Testament Greek, the Church is called the "ekklesia," a
meaning called-out-ones -- an assembly, a congregation, a gathering, a group.
There is no
sanctity to the word ekklesia. The name of the Church, however, used 12 times
in the New
Testament, is "Church of God," which denotes that it is GOD'S Church
NAME attaches sanctity. The Old Testament Church was the "Congregation of
Israel," a human man.
Why Jesus Founded the Church
The first place in the New Testament where the word church appears is Matthew
where, speaking to Simon Peter, Jesus said, "I will build my
church." As noted
above, the inspired Greek word for church was "ekklesia," meaning
called-out-ones. Stated in more clear English language, Jesus said "I
will call out
of Satan's world disciples, to grow into the altogether new and different
will be God's kingdom." And in Ephesians 5:23 it is stated that Christ is
the Head of
So this we know. Whatever the Church is, it belongs to GOD and its name is the
GOD. Jesus Christ is its founder, and he its living HEAD.
But if it is GOD'S Church -- if Jesus Christ founded it and today heads it --
something IMPORTANT TO GOD, and therefore VITAL THAT WE COME TO UNDERSTAND! We
in mind what went before -- what led up to it -- to understand WHY the living
created it -- WHAT it is, and where it fits into the divine PURPOSE being
worked out here
Church of the Old Testament
Old Testament Israel had a function preparatory to ultimate establishment of
OF GOD. The first mention in the Bible of the Church, in time of existence, is
where it speaks of "the church in the wilderness" at Mount Sinai,
So Old Testament Israel was the "Church." Most generally in the Old
Israel, as a Church, is referred to as the "Congregation of Israel."
However, as we shall see, the Church of the New Testament is entirely
different and has an
entirely different purpose than the Old Testament "Congregation of
Almost no one has understood that the gospel could not be proclaimed to the
could God's called congregation of people have the Holy Spirit UNTIL Jesus a)
qualified by overcoming Satan, and b) had been glorified after ascension to
And that is something not even the theologians and church leaders of our day
It is, indeed, a mystery, which needs to be revealed and understood. Now let
clearly who and what is Christ.
We have already seen in chapter 1 that Christ, in the eternity before the
world came into
being, was the "Logos" who also was God, and as Jesus, was born as
the Son of
God. Now as the Son of God just what was Jesus? He was called the second Adam
15:45). Why should he be called the second Adam? The first Adam had the
taking of the tree of life, which meant God-life -- obeying God and thereby
Satan on the throne of the earth. Jesus came to do just that, to qualify to
on that throne and to start the government of God on the earth through those
from Satan's world. He came also with a message from God called the gospel.
gospel means good news. And actually, his gospel -- the message sent by him
from God --
was the good news of the kingdom of God. And the kingdom of God, as we shall
see, is to be
the restoration of the government of God over the earth and the ousting of
Satan from that
Jesus came also to build the Church. And he came to pay the ransom price for a
world and by that price -- his death -- to pay the penalty incurred by all
Jesus -- Earth Ruler and king
Next, what nearly all "Christians," including theologians, do not
was born to become a KING!
On trial for his life before Pilate, Jesus was asked, "Art thou a king
And Jesus answered: "Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I
born, and for
this cause came I into the world ..." (John 18:37). Jesus also said
"My kingdom is not of this world ... [else] would my servants fight"
that this is Satan's world. Jesus came to call people out of this world to be
teach and rule under him when he becomes King and takes over the throne of the
Prior to the begettal and birth of Jesus, God had said to his mother-to-be,
Mary, by his
angel: "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a
shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of
and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he
over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his KINGDOM there shall be no
1:31-33). His gospel was the good news of that kingdom -- the kingdom of God.
It is vital that we understand, at this point, that Jesus, during his human
life, was both
God and man. In Isaiah 7:14, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was prophesied as the
was going to bear a son. That Son's name, in this prophecy, was to be called
which means "God with us." In other words, Jesus was God as well as
He had no human father. God Almighty was his father who begat him by means of
Spirit. But though Jesus was actually "God with us," he was also
human like all
other humans. He was subject to being tempted just as all other humans are
Although he was actually God in the human flesh, yet in his ministry he
functioned as a
human. Remember, he was the second Adam. It was necessary for him that he, as
reject the "forbidden tree" and accept the tree of life. It was
he, as the first Adam might have done, choose to rely completely on God the
fact, God was actually Christ and Jesus obeyed the Father completely. He
wrest the throne of the earth from Satan.
Jesus Was God
Why was it necessary that Jesus be actually God in the human flesh? Why was it
that he be God? Why was it necessary that he be human? As God, he was the
Maker of all
mankind. In Ephesians 3:9 it is revealed that God created all things by Jesus
Jesus was born as a human, his life as our Maker was greater than the sum
total of all
human lives. Since it is humans who have sinned and come under the death
law required human death as the penalty for human sin. But, as our Maker Jesus
only human whose death could pay the penalty for the sins of all humans.
In no other way could the Creator God have redeemed a vast humanity condemned
penalty of death.
Jesus Beaten for Our Healing
We need to bear in mind that though Jesus was God in the human flesh, he was
even as you and I. He could suffer the same physical pains. He had been
condemned to death
by the Roman governor Pilate on clamorous demand of shouting Jews.
He was a strong, vigorous, young man of about 33 years of age, in the peak of
Because he had never broken even a law of health, he suffered the process of
dying as no
other human ever did. He had been up all night without sleep during the trial
Pilate. Pilate, later that morning, delivered him to be scourged before being
Scourging consisted of being stripped to the waist, bound over in a bent
position, tied to
a post. He was beaten by whips made of leather thongs weighted down by pieces
broken shards of bone and sharp jagged pieces of metal attached at intervals
of four to
five inches, along the leather thongs. They were designed to imbed themselves
the flesh as the thongs wrapped themselves around the body. He was whipped
until his flesh
was torn open and even his ribs appeared. Scourging was intended to weaken the
they would die quickly on the stake of crucifixion. As foretold in Isaiah
visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of
This indescribable scourging was endured that believers might be healed from
transgression, sicknesses or disease (Isa 53:5; I Pet. 2:24). What a terrible
own very Maker paid that we might, by believing, be healed. Yet nearly all
believers totally ignore what their Savior provided for them, and instead of
him, put their faith in human doctors, drugs, medicines and knives.
Jesus was so weakened by this terrible chastisement that he was unable to
carry his cross,
as he was required to do, but for a short distance. Another was appointed to
carry it for
The Most Painful and Despicable Death
Outside the city walls, at the Place of the Skull (Golgotha), Jesus was nailed
cross. He was humiliated, spat upon, ridiculed, and jeered at.
More than that, because at that moment he had taken on himself our sins, in
order to pay
the penalty in our stead, he was forsaken by even his Father, God. As he hung
cross, helpless, a soldier stabbed him with a spear, he screamed in pain
Moffatt) and then died. He did this because you and I have transgressed the
law of God. He
paid the supreme possible sacrifice for you and for me.
One more supremely vital truth. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead was
that of a
human being and the only one that could make possible the resurrection of
dead, to immortal life.
Now another vital prophecy. In Isaiah 9:6-7: "For unto us a child is
born, unto us a
son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name
shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of
Peace. Of the
increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of
upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with
henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform
the government would be on his shoulder. Jesus is going to be King over all
the earth. And
one of the purposes of his coming was to announce that kingdom. Jesus' gospel
was not only
good news -- it was an announcement or good news proclamation of the coming
God. What a tragedy that a "traditional Christianity" has forsaken
and lost that
vital and glorious gospel message and substituted their own gospel about the
Jesus was born as a human, to become a KING, ultimately to establish the
KINGDOM OF GOD,
ruling the whole earth with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD! But that RULE required more
individual JESUS. The king, president, prime minister or ruler over every
with and through a more or less vast organization of others who rule various
departments under him. Likewise, Christ must have an organized government with
others trained and qualified to rule under him. Jesus said, "I will build
church" (Matt. 16:18). The Church was to consist of many to be called out
world to be taught and trained for numerous governmental positions under
Christ when he
comes to rule over all the nations. Jesus -- Spiritual Savior
Jesus came also as spiritual Savior, to save God's people in their due time
sins, that they might be BORN into the very divine FAMILY OF GOD (Matt. 1:21).
Remember, the tree of life, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, had been cut off from
the foundation of the world after the sin of Adam. What the world does not
that the Spirit of God was cut off from humanity as a whole UNTIL the second
removes Satan and restores the government of God on the earth.
As for humanity as a whole, it was appointed at the time of Adam's sin for
humans once to
die and after death, by resurrection, shall come the judgment (Heb. 9:27).
The Holy Spirit was not given to the people of ancient Israel. Since God
called and raised
up prophets for a specific purpose preparatory to the salvation of humanity,
necessary, in order for them to perform their called function, that an
exception be made
and they be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
In the same manner since God through Jesus was now calling out his Church for
function preparatory to the establishment of his kingdom and government over
it was now necessary that the same exception be made for the Church and that
empowered by the Holy Spirit.
God emphatically did not empower the prophets with his Spirit merely for the
giving them salvation. Likewise, God did not call saints out of this world
their salvation and entrance into his kingdom. Otherwise God would be a
persons to have called the few of his Church at this time, while refusing to
If God is opening salvation to the few in his Church only to give them
salvation, while he
excluded the preponderance of the world as a whole until later, then God
be a respecter of persons, discriminating against the world as a whole. Jesus
no man can come unto him except God the Father draws him (John 6:44). A
Christianity believes precisely the opposite. This false Christianity teaches
that God is
calling and trying to save everybody in this present time. If that were so,
then Satan is
certainly winning a great victory over God. For the overwhelming majority of
little or nothing about Christ or salvation through him.
A Time Order for Salvation
God's master plan calls for offering salvation and eternal life to every
person ever born,
but his plan calls for doing that in a time-order.
Those called out of the world and into the Church at this time are called for
purpose and a specific work. This specific work was to make possible the
training to aid in the conversion of humanity as a whole. They are called at a
they are persecuted and fought against by Satan and by the rest of the world.
The rest of
the world will be called at a time when Satan is removed and they are aided
and helped by
Christ and the saints then made immortal in the kingdom of God.
Satan has blinded the minds of the unbelieving world and the professing
"Christianity" to this fact (II Cor. 4:4). Satan has deceived the
including a professing traditional "Christianity" (Rev. 12:9).
Neither professing Christians nor their scholarly theologian leaders today
major PURPOSES for which Jesus Christ came!
Why Jesus Came
Jesus did not come to save Satan's world while Satan sits on the throne
Jesus will save the world at his Second Coming, when Satan shall be put away.
did Jesus come more than 1,900 years ago? Not to rule, not to reign over all
to save the world while Satan still rules over them.
His human birth was the arrival of the "second Adam." He had come 1)
where the first Adam failed, to replace the former archangel Lucifer on the
THRONE OF THE
EARTH, ruling with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. He had come 2) to announce the
establishment of the KINGDOM OF GOD and teach that prophetic good news
(gospel) to his
chosen future apostles. He had come 3) to take on himself, as our direct
penalty for our sins by his death on the cross -- that we might share in that
he had come 4) to be resurrected from the dead by God, making possible ETERNAL
for the people of God and after his Second Coming for all who are willing, of
humanity, who have ever lived on this earth. And he had come 5) to establish
to be trained to rule under him.
Meanwhile, Satan's Rule
Meanwhile, for 4,000 years since the first Adam, the wily and evil Satan had
invisibly swaying and ruling a mankind CUT OFF from all contact with and
knowledge of GOD!
He still sits at that throne of POWER -- though not administering God's
subtilely swaying all humanity to live under the precise opposite to the law
government -- that is, the ways of vanity, coveting, competition, strife and
instead of God's way of outflowing love, cooperation, peace, happiness and
Immediately after the birth of the Christ-child, Satan sought, through the
King Herod, to physically slay the future KING (Matt. 2:13-15). But God warned
Mary to flee with the Christ-child into Egypt until King Herod was dead.
When Jesus was about age 30, he was ready to begin choosing his apostles, and
and teaching them his message from God to man -- his gospel. But first, it was
that he QUALIFY to replace Satan and set up the KINGDOM OF GOD, by overcoming
This perhaps was the most important, momentous, decisive confrontation and
fought in all time in the universe. It is described in detail in Matthew,
The Titanic Battle of the Ages
Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights -- with neither food nor water. But in his
weakness he was made spiritually strong. Satan now used his most cunning,
masterful powers of deception. He must have thought he really could outwit and
strike down the Christ. Satan knew well he was now fighting to prevent his
all the earth.
Satan struck his first blow at what he regarded as the most vulnerable points
physically and spiritually. Surely a man without food or water for 40 full
days would be
weakened to yield to almost any temptation for food. And the most vulnerable
weakness is VANITY!
"IF," sneered Satan tantalizing -- he used that effective little
word IF --
"IF thou be the Son of God" -- a normal human would have been
indignant. He would have defiantly hurled back: "What do you mean, IF I
be the Son of
God? I'll show you that I am the Son of God!"
But Satan in this first attack, said, "IF thou be the Son of God, command
stones be made bread." In other words, "The Son of God can produce
PROVE to me you are the Son of God! You are desperately hungry. Perform a
yourself by a miracle!"
But Jesus only answered by quoting and obeying the Word of God: "It is
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the
Satan's first and most effective strike was parried. But Satan never gives up.
Jesus into Jerusalem and sat him on a high pinnacle of the Temple. He
QUESTION that Jesus was the Son of God.
"IF thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He
shall give his
angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up,
lest at any
time thou dash thy foot against a stone." Now Satan quoted Scripture. But
misapplied it, twisted its contextual meaning, just as Satan so frequently
scholars to do.
Jesus came back to him, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the
God." This is quoted from Deuteronomy 6:16 and refers to tempting YHWH
But still Satan did not give up. Next he took Jesus atop a high mountain,
showing him all
the kingdoms of the world and their glory. "All these things will I give
thou wilt fall down and worship me."
Jesus did not deny that Satan was now over the nations of this world. This was
temptation for gaining immediate power. Satan well knew Jesus would inherit
kingdoms more than 1,900 years later. But he tempted Jesus to take Satan's
word that he
would turn them over and give Christ world power IMMEDIATELY. But Jesus
decided it was
time to END this titanic battle for the rulership over the earth.
Jesus now snapped out an ORDER -- a COMMAND showing that he was MASTER over
"Get thee hence, Satan!" he commanded with supreme AUTHORITY! Satan
defeated. But Satan did not give up. Nor has he given up yet. He battles
CHURCH still today!
Jesus Had Qualified
Jesus Christ, the second Adam, had QUALIFIED! Never until that minute could
the GOOD NEWS
of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD be announced to the world. Now the Son of God
conquered Satan -- had QUALIFIED to reestablish GOD'S GOVERNMENT and set up
the KINGDOM OF
GOD on the earth! But now the CHURCH must also qualify to rule with him!
Jesus came, among other purposes, to call out of the world his CHURCH. Those
had been in -- and OF -- this world. Each had brought on himself by sin the
PENALTY. But God had created ALL things by the WORD who became Jesus Christ.
Jesus' life was greater in value than that of all humanity collectively!
Picture a human son of the wealthiest, most powerful man on earth. The
tycoon's son is his
heir -- to inherit his immense wealth. He has been allocated a sizable portion
already while an heir. This young man feels deep affection for another young
friend has committed a crime, plunged into debt for millions of dollars, which
pay. He is deeply repentant but unable to save himself from imprisonment for
the theft. In
compassion for his friend, the son pays the multimillion-dollar debt out of
his own money.
His guilty friend's debt is PAID IN FULL. His guilt -- his tremendous
obligation -- no
longer hangs over him -- he is freed from that obligation and its heavy
All humanity had followed father Adam -- had brought over it the supreme DEATH
Before Jesus (the "WORD"), now the Son of GOD, could found his
called out of the world into that CHURCH must be freed from the supreme DEATH
that they might inherit ETERNAL LIFE!
One of the purposes for which Jesus came as a human to earth was to PAY THAT
that supreme DEATH PENALTY -- for those called into his Church not only, but
free ALL HUMANITY each in his due time!
But since that DEATH PENALTY he would pay for sinning humanity would END his
paying it was reserved as his final human act after all other purposes of his
had been finished. Nevertheless this gives the reader a grasp of HOW GREAT is
who came to found the CHURCH OF GOD!
Continually bear in mind that, although his earthly ministry began when he was
years old (in his HUMAN life) yet he was the EVER-LIVING -- the ETERNAL -- who
existed. How GREAT was that 30-year-old human life!
And this Jesus, who had grown up in the town of Nazareth, had since human
and overcome SATAN -- had rejected Satan's self-centered way of
"GET," and in
the final titanic confrontation had QUALIFIED to RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD
establish on earth the KINGDOM OF GOD, to rule that government! Where the
first Adam had
failed to do this, Jesus the second Adam succeeded.
"Peter" a Title Designating Leadership
Immediately after the decisive battle to overcome Satan, two of the disciples
of John the
Baptist saw, with John, Jesus. Jesus asked them to follow him to his home. One
was Andrew, son of Jona. He called his brother, Simon bar-Jona.
Jesus looked on Simon, and said to him, "Thou art Simon the son of Jona:
be called Cephas [in Greek, PETER]," meaning a stone (John 1:42).
In Mark 3:14, 16, we read: "And he [Jesus] ordained twelve, that they
should be with
him, and that he might send them forth to preach .... And Simon he surnamed
surname is, according to Webster, "an added name derived from
The surname Peter had for centuries been a surname or TITLE, designating a
LEADER, HEAD or HEADQUARTERS. Peter was the first and chief apostle. An
"one sent forth, to proclaim or preach."
So, at the very beginning of his earthly ministry, preparing the FOUNDATION
Church, Jesus Christ chose his chief human apostle and the other original 11.
the prophets whose writings were preserved from the days of God's first chosen
Congregation (and NATION), Israel, were to form the very FOUNDATION of God's
himself was to be not only Founder but HEAD, and chief "corner
stone" of the
CHURCH (Eph. 2:19-21; 5:23).
Importance of a Firm Foundation
Prior to age 30, Jesus had been a carpenter -- also building with stone as
well as with
wood. He well knew the FOUNDATION should be laid first, before the structure
But Jesus had himself chosen his apostles. He said to them later, "Ye
have not chosen
me, but I have chosen you" (John 15:16,19).
Now Jesus began proclaiming the gospel MESSAGE God the Father had sent into
the world by
him as God's Messenger (Mal. 3:1).
We read of it in Mark chapter 1: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus
Christ the Son
of God .... Jesus came into Galilee, preaching [proclaiming, teaching] the
gospel of the
KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is
repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:1,14-15).
And, from Matthew, "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their
and preaching the gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 4:23).
This prophetic message (gospel) of the KINGDOM OF GOD will be explained in
Chapter 7. It was the GOOD NEWS of the future establishment on earth of the
GOD, restored and administered by the divine GOD FAMILY -- the KINGDOM OF GOD,
the present evil world of Satan.
Jesus' proclaiming of this amazing future news -- combined with his miracles
turning water into wine and others, caused great excitement. Immense crowds
and his disciples. He was teaching his disciples to become the future
apostles, while he
preached this message to the public.
Why Pharisees Opposed Jesus
The news proclamation had spread to Jerusalem. There the Pharisees, scribes
became alarmed by it. The Pharisees were a Jewish religious sect some of whom
minor -- yet to them important -- government offices. The Roman Empire then
Palestine. The Romans sent a district king and a limited occupation army to
in Judea. But the Romans set some of the Jewish Pharisees in offices of lower
under the Roman king. These were well-paying political jobs, and these
Pharisees did not
want to lose their jobs or their power over the people. These Jewish rulers
chief priests completely MISunderstood Jesus' gospel message. They knew he
government that would take over and rule ALL NATIONS of the earth. What they
was the TIME and NATURE of that kingdom of God. And a professing
still misunderstands it today. They assumed Jesus was a subversive, intending
immediately in his human lifetime, to overthrow the Roman Empire and set up
Immediately they feared being accused of sedition and disloyalty, losing their
probably being executed as subversives. So they opposed and denounced Jesus.
Traditional Christianity has really never understood this basic reason for
opposition and persecution of Jesus. The Pharisees included unscrupulous
At the time of the first Passover to occur during Jesus' ministry, the spring
of A.D. 28
(almost exactly 100 time cycles -- 1,900 years -- before I kept my first
went up to Jerusalem for the Passover.
While there, a notable Pharisee named Nicodemus came to see Jesus secretly by
feared having fellow Pharisees know he had talked personally with Jesus.
Nicodemus said, "Rabbi, we know [we Pharisees know] that thou art a
teacher come from
The Pharisees KNEW JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH! They were familiar with Isaiah 7:14,
9:6-7, Isaiah 53. The Pharisees KNEW Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. But
only one Messianic appearance. So they supposed he was planning to overthrow
Of course Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he launched immediately into
that the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling all nations, could not be set up UNTIL the
time of the NEW
SPIRIT BIRTH -- the time of the RESURRECTION!
The "Born Again" Question
Jesus answered immediately, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a
man be born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
But Nicodemus did not understand this. He knew that being born was an actual
parturition from the womb of the mother. Today's theologians do not know even
deny a real second birth as a spirit being. They spiritualize away the real
assuming that merely saying that one accepts Christ as his Savior constitutes
again. In this, Satan has deceived them and in turn they have deceived
millions of others.
Nicodemus said, "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the
into his mother's womb and be born?"
Jesus now made the meaning PLAIN -- but Nicodemus did not receive his
PLAINNESS of speech,
nor do theologians or religious leaders today.
"Verily, verily," replied Jesus, "... except a man be born of
water and of
the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the
FLESH; and that which is born of the Spirit IS SPIRIT" (emphasis mine --
The Pharisees knew about water baptism. They had used it for years in
proselytes to Judaism. They knew of John the Baptist's baptism -- a baptism of
"for the remission of sins" (Mark 1:4). Jesus' meaning should have
been PLAIN to
Nicodemus -- that water baptism was an initiatory rite preparatory to the
start of being
BORN of the Spirit.
Jesus made it doubly PLAIN when he said, "That which is born of the flesh
flesh." That which is born of humans IS mortal HUMAN -- composed of flesh
-- composed of MATTER from the ground. "That which is born of the Spirit
SPIRIT" -- no longer human but composed of SPIRIT, immortal! No longer
matter or flesh.
Jesus explained even further. "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must
again." Then he compared one born again to INVISIBLE WIND -- invisible to
"The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do
whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the
Spirit" (John 3:8, RSV).
But Nicodemus did not understand such plainness of speech, nor do religious
Our free booklet "What Do You Mean -- Born Again?" should be read by
reader of this book.
To this representative of the Pharisees Jesus referred to the
"spiritual" phase of the kingdom of God. That kingdom will NOT be
mortal humans! It is NOT composed of mortal flesh-and-blood persons who have
"accepted Christ" and joined a church of their choice! Yet millions
members are deceived about that today.
These millions of church members do not understand WHAT the Church IS, nor WHY
PURPOSE -- the REASON for it!
Compare Jesus' explanation to Nicodemus with the "resurrection
chapter" of the
Bible, I Corinthians 15: "And so it is written, The first man Adam was
made a living
[mortal] soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was
which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is
first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As
earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are
that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also
image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot
kingdom of God ..." (I Cor. 15:45-50).
I repeat again and again, GOD IS REPRODUCING HIMSELF! The popular teaching in
today is that THE CHURCH is the kingdom of God. But "flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor. 15:50).
Once Again: Why the Church?
But WHAT, then, IS the Church? And WHY is the CHURCH! Why should there be the
To many -- and probably most -- the Church plays no part in their lives.
Indeed God plays
no part in their lives. God is not consciously in their world. Just people,
things and interests. Of course, far back in the subconscious recesses of many
lie the dormant supposition that God exists. But he does not seem REAL to
That means also that the average person has no conception of what he is, why
he is, or of
any purpose or meaning for his being alive.
Yet the CHURCH, too, does exist. But, again, WHY? WHAT is it, really? What
PURPOSE does it
We have seen that there is indeed a PURPOSE being worked out here below.
stated that before the United States Congress. There is a REASON for the
humanity on the earth. And for the working out of that PURPOSE there is a
MASTER PLAN. The
CHURCH is an important part of that plan.
Never lose sight of the setting that led up to the raising up of the Church.
Keep in mind
WHO and WHAT God is -- the divine creating family, now reproducing himself in
Bear in mind further: In order for Christ to RESTORE God's government over the
would need with and under him a qualified and organized personnel of GOD
proved their loyalty to the government and righteous ways of GOD!
God's CHURCH was designed in his supreme master plan to prepare that dedicated
organized personnel of GOD BEINGS. The Church, then, became God's
aiding him in bringing about the salvation to humanity.
Remember God has set out a 7,000-year master plan for accomplishing his
purpose. We have
stated that his purpose is to reproduce himself. But actually reproducing
converting the world from sin into God's righteousness. It means instilling
potential children the perfect spiritual character of God. They would become
sons in the God family.
And just as God has not created all at once, but in successive stages, so he
salvation to the world in successive stages. The Church is a necessary
preparatory to, and in order to, bring salvation to humanity. Therefore, once
it be emphasized that the purpose of the Church is not merely to give
salvation to those
called into the Church, but to teach and train those predestined and called
Church as instruments God shall use in bringing the world to salvation.
Church a "Teachers' College"
Let us illustrate by an analogy. Many states in America have state teachers'
states could not start or conduct schools until they had first trained
teachers for those
schools. The Church may be called God's teachers' college to prepare rulers
for the kingdom of God when God does offer redemption and eternal life to the
world as a
The CHURCH was planned to be God's instrumentality for calling predestinated
out of this world to be trained for positions of leadership in the world
they shall teach and train others. That is why in the New Testament, the
Church is called
the first fruits of God's salvation.
All this necessitated certain vital steps -- one at a time -- in the procedure
supreme master plan!
Now we remind the reader that the Holy Spirit was closed to humanity at the
time of Adam's
sin at the very foundation of the world. It was closed to humanity as a whole
the second Adam should restore the government of God and unseat Satan from the
the earth. That fact is made clear by Jesus' statement in John 6:44, applying
Church age, that no person could come to him except the Father that sent him
That is why repeatedly in the New Testament those in the Church are referred
to as having
been called or chosen. That is why the Church is called a chosen generation.
That is why
predestination is mentioned twice in the New Testament -- that the called were
predestinated to be called. Indeed, they have been drafted. They are not
True Christians: Draftees -- Not Volunteers
It is only through Christ that sinning humanity may be reconciled to God the
must first come to Christ. But no person can come to Christ except God the
and, through his Holy Spirit, draws them.
That may come as an astonishing new truth, but the more you study the New
how this truth is constantly borne out throughout the New Testament, the more
will become to you.
No wonder the Church and its purpose has been a mystery. Satan has blinded the
minds of a
deceived and counterfeit Christianity.
Anyone who "joins the church of his choice" has not come into God's
One cannot just "join" the TRUE Church of God. One is first selected
by God the Father through his Spirit, brought to a complete heartrending
changed in his total life-style, and has also not only believed in and
Christ as personal Savior, but also has believed Christ. Remember Christ is
the Word of
God. Jesus was the Word of God in Person. The Bible is the same Word of God in
believe Christ is to believe what he says -- in other words, to believe God's
So, once again, WHAT and WHY is the CHURCH? The Church is the called out (from
begotten children of God. It is the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:23).
It is the
spiritual organism that shall be the "Bride of Christ" after its
immortality. Then it shall be married to Christ! It is the spiritual TEMPLE to
Christ shall come at his second appearing (Eph. 2:21).
The Church could not be actually founded UNTIL Jesus had ascended and been
7:37-39). But in a sense God began calling out some to form the foundation of
with Abraham and the prophets of the Old Testament -- even, perhaps, with
Abel, Enoch and
Noah (Eph. 2:20).
And Jesus, immediately after qualifying by overcoming Satan, began calling out
apostles. They were to form, with the prophets, the very FOUNDATION of the
Christ who himself is the real foundation and HEAD of the Church (I Cor. 3:11;
The average person has no conception whatever of the tremendous, supreme
achievement Almighty God has undertaken in REPRODUCING Himself ultimately into
spiritual GOD BEINGS! Or of the many-faceted stages of development
necessitated in this
pinnacle of all divine accomplishments!
God's Plan: A Step at a time
God could not hurry. It required a master plan, which must proceed a step at a
required PATIENCE and never-deviating determination on the part of the divine
Few UNDERSTAND this!
God put it in my mind and heart when I was a child only 5 years old to desire
literally crave UNDERSTANDING! Solomon desired wisdom and God gave him wisdom
who ever lived. What, then, is the necessary prerequisite to receiving
UNDERSTANDING? A good understanding have all they that do his
111:10). The one test commandment is the fourth -- keeping God's Sabbath. My
resulted from a struggle to resist that commandment! But when a merciful God
-- brought me to surrender to him on that point -- he revealed also the
observing his ANNUAL Sabbaths and festivals. These picture the seven major
in the great master plan. (This truth is explained in our free booklet
Holidays or God's Holy Days -- Which?") Through this and other revealed
the Holy Bible, God gave me UNDERSTANDING of the working out of his great
also the necessary part of his CHURCH in fulfillment of that glorious purpose!
After Adam's rebellion, with Satan still on earth's throne, only God could
have known how
gradually, cautiously, a step at a time, must be the procedure.
Such righteous men as Abel, Enoch and Noah undoubtedly were used to play some
part in the
ultimate creation of the KINGDOM OF GOD. But the Eternal began laying the
foundation of that ultimate GOD Family through the patriarch Abraham. Isaac,
Joseph formed part of that prefoundation.
Then through Moses, God raised up the nation Israel -- God's first
Congregation or Church.
That Old Covenant Church was given God's government, but NOT his Holy Spirit!
were not begotten to become future GOD BEINGS. Yet ancient Israel fulfilled a
part in God's supreme program.
Nevertheless, during those years, God continued to call and prepare individual
become part of the FOUNDATION for his CHURCH.
The Church -- First Harvest
And WHAT, then, was to be the CHURCH? As pictured by the third of God's annual
(festivals) it was to provide the FIRST ACTUAL HARVEST of mortal humans being
into Spirit-composed GOD BEINGS! Again, the Church is the instrumentality
prepared to be
used with and under Christ in completing God's wonderful purpose of saving
reproducing himself. However, the CHURCH is the BEGOTTEN (not yet born)
children of GOD.
But the CHURCH shall be the firstBORN harvest (Heb. 12:23) (Christ being the
Pioneer) at Christ's coming in POWER and Glory!
Through the years from Abraham until Christ, God had called out of Satan's
and prepared PROPHETS, as the preliminary co-foundation of God's CHURCH! Jesus
the main foundation.
During Jesus' 3 l/2 year earthly ministry, he called out, chose and trained,
with, the second co-foundation, his original 12 apostles.
During his human earthly ministry, Jesus announced publicly the future KINGDOM
OF GOD. He
taught and trained his apostles as he proceeded.
But he DID NOT CALL to salvation the public to whom he preached. He spoke to
frequently in parables. And WHY in parables? To cloud, to hide from them the
(Matt. 13:10-16) that was given to his chosen apostles to understand. There
was an all
important reason why God's plan, a step at a time, did not, as yet, call for
world. God first called out the Church to be converted and changed to become
priests (Rev. 5:10) under Jesus WHEN Jesus comes to save the world.
Consequently, much of
the truth was revealed to the Church, which was being trained to assist Christ
the world. But the time had not yet come to reveal these truths to the world.
world's churches are teaching doctrines diametrically contrary to this truth.
Completion of Jesus' Earthly Ministry
By the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus had completed preparations for
Church. He had finished the work he, as a human had come to do. Then he gave
his life on
the cross. He took on himself our human guilt for our sins.
Understand, however, Christ did NOT take on himself Satan's primary share in
sins. Satan will continue to pay his own penalty throughout all eternity!
The FOUNDATION for the Church of God had been laid. Christ himself is the Head
cornerstone the main foundation. His apostles, with the prophets, formed the
The apostles were chafing at the bit to GET STARTED -- to go forth proclaiming
message. But God has wisely used restraint, with patience, taking a proper
step at a time.
So Jesus cautioned his apostles to what! "Tarry ye," he commanded
"in the city of Jerusalem, UNTIL ye be endued with power from on
Ten days later came the annual Day of Pentecost, originally named the Feast of
On that day the Holy Spirit came! On that day THE CHURCH WAS FOUNDED!
That day symbolized the very firstfruits for God's kingdom. God's feast days
spiritual harvest. The very first portion of God's spiritual harvest of humans
be born of God -- made GOD BEINGS -- is THE CHURCH! That's why even those who
born into the kingdom of God at Christ's return starting with ancient prophets
are part of
the CHURCH OF GOD. Even prophets of Old Testament times are part of the
FOUNDATION OF THE
CHURCH (Eph. 2:19-21).
All -- prophets, apostles and Church brethren in whom resides the Holy Spirit
-- shall be
resurrected and/or changed to immortality at Christ's coming in GLORY and
Thus the WHOLE CHURCH constitutes the very FIRST of all humans who shall be
AGAIN into the kingdom of GOD. They shall be GOD BEINGS!
How DECEIVED (Rev. 12:9) have been all those who think they already have been
again." The reader should request our free booklet 'Just What Do You Mean
Salvation Now Only for Minute Few
Now before proceeding further, UNDERSTAND WHY only the minute FEW have so far
to salvation -- WHY the world as a whole has been CUT OFF from God -- WHY the
not been yet judged -- WHY neither "saved" nor "lost"!
Unless or UNTIL a son of Adam could qualify where Adam failed -- could
conquer SATAN -- could pay the penalty of human sin and ransom the world from
none could restore GOD'S GOVERNMENT -- none could be given eternal GOD-life!
The supreme master plan for working out GOD'S PURPOSE -- reproducing himself -
- called for
the self-existing "WORD" to be born of human flesh as a son of Adam.
that plan called for him to be born as the only begotten Son of GOD!
The Messiah, and he alone, would be able to overcome and conquer Satan -- to
replace Satan ON THE THRONE OF THE EARTH! Only through him could the sons of
reconciled to GOD, receive God's Spirit, become GOD'S sons -- become the GOD
whom God should have finally reproduced himself.
What a superb incredible master plan for such a SUPREME PURPOSE! How GREAT IS
GOD WHO DESIGNED IT!
This wonderful plan of God therefore of necessity called for the sons of Adam
to be NOT YET JUDGED! God left them to their own devices -- knowing full well
willingly and willfully follow automatically Satan's "GET" way.
But meanwhile they would not be finally judged, but "reaping what they
They would live this sinful life, die, and God would RESURRECT them in a
resurrection to JUDGMENT in the end of the 7,000 years of the master plan.
having atoned for their sins -- Satan having been removed -- Christ and the
kingdom of God
having restored the government of God over the earth -- then they could be
repentance, to reconciliation to GOD, to becoming, on their then free choice,
And THAT'S WHY God has kept the world as a whole CUT OFF from him, even as
progenitor Adam had cut off himself and his human family.
Why a Mystery to the World
As the apostle Paul was inspired to write, in Romans 11: "I would not,
ye should be ignorant of this mystery" (and it is a mystery to the world)
blindness" to these mysteries has happened to this world -- even to its
"Christian theologians" -- UNTIL the kingdom of God has been
established in rule
of the earth!
"For," continues Paul, "as ye [Christians] in times past have
God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these
also now not
believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For GOD hath
all in unbelief, that he might have mercy UPON ALL"!
And at this point Paul shouted out in writing: "O the depth of the riches
both of the
wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways
out!" (Rom. 11:25, 30-32).
True, the apostle wrote the above concerning ISRAEL, and I have applied it to
humanity -- but it is truly applicable.
God called and prepared the Old Testament prophets. He has called and still
prepares the CHURCH to overcome Satan -- whereas those now blinded, uncalled
and cut off
from God have NOT had to overcome Satan. WHY?
WHY the CHURCH?
That we may QUALIFY to rule WITH and UNDER CHRIST in the kingdom of God --
that we may
prepare the way for the ULTIMATE CALL AND SALVATION OF THE WORLD!
At this point let me quote two passages from the direct word of Jesus, which
apply ONLY to
To the CHURCH of this twentieth century Jesus says, "To him that
overcometh will I
grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down
with my Father
in his throne" (Rev. 3:21).
Then again to the CHURCH Jesus says, "He that overcometh, and keepeth my
the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them
with a rod of
iron ..." (Rev. 2:26-27).
In that passage of Scripture Jesus showed plainly why some are called out of
into the Church at this present time. Not because he is trying to save the
world, and we
are part of the world. Not just that we may be saved and make it into his
kingdom, but, as
Jesus also said in Revelation 5:10, to be kings and priests and reign with and
Christ when he sets his hand to bring salvation to the world.
Thorough Conversion Necessary for Church
I cannot repeat too emphatically that those being called into the Church now
are not being
called merely and only for salvation. Nevertheless, in order that they may be
priests, as actual God Beings aiding Christ in the salvation of the world,
those in the
Church themselves must be genuinely converted.
I cannot make this truth too plain. I fear many, even in the Church, do not
comprehend just what is a real conversion.
Conversion takes place in the mind, and that faculty of mind we call the
heart. This could
never be fully understood without an understanding of the actual makeup of the
as explained in Chapter 3 of this work. It could never be understood, until
was revealed through the Bible, of the human spirit in man and the actual
the human mind.
As the human mind differs from the animal brain by the addition of the human
the converted person differs from the unconverted person by the addition of
How much greater is the capacity and output of the human mind than that of the
brain? The realization of that difference should make clear to us the vast
between a converted mind being led by the Holy Spirit, and mind of the
One does not receive the Holy Spirit until he has first of all repented. God
repentance (Acts 11:18). The second condition to receiving the Holy Spirit is
means not only believing in God and in Christ, but since Christ is the Word or
of the God family, it means believing what he says.
Repentance means a change of mind. Godly sorrow is a much deeper sorrow than
godly sorrow leads to repentance. It involves not only heartfelt sorrow for
past sins, but
a total change of attitude, of mind and direction and purpose of life.
repentance is more concerned with future conduct than the past. The blood of
atoned for the past. Repentance is not penance. Nothing you can do can make up
guilt. The blood of Christ has paid the price of past guilt. It has washed the
A converted person is a person with a totally changed, or converted mind. A
in which the very mind of God is joined with the human mind. As God says
apostle Paul, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
2:5). The Holy Spirit is the spirit of a sound mind, which is a completely
It has made an about-face in its desires, purposes and intentions.
Error of Traditional Christianity
The "salvation" in what is called traditional Christianity does not
change one into a new and different person. Too often ministers and
people that if they have just "received Christ," "accepted
"given their heart to the Lord," towhee are saved They are already
again. It is as if some mystic switch has been flipped and the person will be
instantly up to heaven upon death, which so many believe is not really a death
God, in the Bible, teaches no such thing. God reveals that as in Adam all die,
even so the
same " all" in Christ shall be made alive by a resurrection from the
Meanwhile, God reveals the dead are totally unconscious.
In ancient Israel God gave them knowledge of his law, but not his Spirit.
Their minds were
not converted or changed. They were still carnal. And the natural mind is
God (Rom. 8:7). There was no conversion in ancient Israel -- no salvation. The
chapter of Ezekiel reveals how those of ancient Israel will receive the Spirit
of God, if
willing, in the Great White Throne Judgment.
One receiving and led by the Holy Spirit is a changed person. He has undergone
of the mind. Until the knowledge of the human spirit in man was revealed, and
Spirit can unite with human spirit, true salvation could not be fully
Christian must grow and develop in grace, spiritual knowledge and godly
Why Church Called First
At this juncture let me explain further why the Church is called the first
fruits of God's
salvation. Far from being a discrimination against the overwhelming majority
of the world
not yet called to salvation, it is for the very purpose of calling the rest of
to salvation. Once again let me remind you there is a definite order in
sequence in God's
plan for saving the world -- for reproducing himself.
Jesus Christ is the first of the first fruits. He is the firstborn of many
Cor. 15:23; Rom. 8:29). The Church is being called to be changed, developed in
and finally born at Christ's Second Coming as God Beings, to be kings and
Christ when he will set his hand to save the world.
In a sense, then, the Church shall become co-saviors with Christ. Two things
were required of Christ to save the world. First it was necessary for him, who
Maker of us all, to die for all, thus paying the death penalty in our stead.
No one could
do this but Jesus Christ alone.
But many have not realized that we are not saved by the blood of Christ. You
will read in
Romans 5:10 that we are reconciled to God the Father by the death of Christ,
but we shall
be saved by his life -- by the resurrection. I am writing this particular
passage on what
the world calls "Easter Sunday." Today, the churches and the
said much about the resurrection of Christ, but virtually nothing about the
of all who shall be saved, and of the resurrection by which people may be
Jesus alone could make the sacrifice in payment of our past sins. But the
world must look
for salvation through his life after his resurrection. The Church is the
of Christ to be married to the Son of God on his return, after the
resurrection of those
in the Church. After we have attained to the resurrection of the dead, as the
wife of the
Son of God, and members of the God family, we shall be not only heirs and
Christ, but in a sense, co-saviors.
The family of God will grow. As kings and priests, the Church in the
resurrection will be
co-rulers under Christ in restoring the government of God over all nations.
But we shall
also be, as priests, co-saviors with him in saving the world.
Why Firstfruits Necessary
Now why was it absolutely necessary that the Church be called out of the world
salvation during this Church age, while the rest of the world was left in
darkness and deception?
Before Jesus could qualify to become our Savior and future King, it was
necessary for him,
as the second Adam, to do what the first Adam failed to do -- to overcome
Satan and to
choose the mind and government of God instead. If the Church is to rule with
and under him
-- if the Church is to be priests as well as kings, aiding, under Christ in
world, it was also necessary that those in the Church must also qualify by
That will not be required of the overwhelming majority of others when
salvation comes to
them. Salvation will not come to them until after Satan has been put away. So,
you see, it
was far from discriminating against the rest of the world, when Jesus said,
can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John
6:44). It was
necessary that the Church be called at a time when each member had to turn
and overcome Satan. Otherwise we of the Church could not qualify for the
position of becoming kings and priests in the kingdom of God during the 1,000
explains the WHY of the Church -- its great PURPOSE.
Is the Church Organized? -- if So, How?
But WHAT is the CHURCH -- HOW ORGANIZED -- HOW does it function? When I came
brethren of the Church of God, there were questions among the leaders
nature of Church organization. At that time, 1927, the Church was organized on
of a biannual general conference. Each local congregation could send one
member to the
biannual general conference and thus had one vote in election of officers,
Church doctrine and Church policy. A local congregation could consist of as
few as five
But division over Church organization and government began about 1930. By 1933
was divided right down the middle. Two leaders organized a new Church,
departing from its
headquarters at Stanberry, Missouri, setting up its new headquarters at Salem,
Virginia. They adopted a system of organization that they erroneously called
This new organization consisted of twelve men named as apostles -- designated
twelve." Seven men were appointed to the office of deacon, the chairman
of whom was
the treasurer handling the money. Then there were "the seventy" --
leading elders. This was copied from the ancient Sanhedrin in Judaism.
However, there were
not enough ordained ministers within the church to make up more than half of
The Roman Catholic Church is organized on the hierarchical system with the
pope in supreme
authority, a college of cardinals next in authority, a curia at headquarters
Vatican with archbishops, bishops and priests.
The Presbyterian Church is organized with the presbyters or ministers in
Congregational Church delegates top authority to the congregation
"government by the
consent of the governed."
And so it goes. The churches of this world of Satan are organized according to
devised patterns. But the Bible gives explicit directions in regard to Church
Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. God's form of government is, indeed,
God the Father is head over Christ -- the sole Lawgiver and supreme authority.
God explains in I Corinthians 12 functions, offices, administrations and their
GOD set them in his Church.
"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant
there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences
administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations,
but it is the
same God which worketh all in all .... But all these worketh that one and self
Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one,
and hath many
members, and all the members of that one body, being many, ARE ONE BODY: so
Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we [in
the Church] be
Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free ..." (I Cor. 12:1, 4-6, 11-
One Church with One Government
Notice especially, there is only the ONE CHURCH. Not MANY churches. The CHURCH
divided. There is only one Church. Not a parent church and many little
that have split off in disagreement. Divisions splintering off are NOT STILL
CHURCH. It is the CHURCH that is to marry Christ in the resurrection at his
coming -- not
disagreeing churches -- not groups who have broken off! Not a parent church
daughters. That will become more obvious as we continue.
So notice, too, the Church conducts VARIOUS OPERATIONS. For these in the ONE
are also various Administrations or executive departments, with an executive
each department or operation (verses 4-6). Remember, an executive
administrator DOES NOT
SET POLICY OR PROCEDURES OR Doctrines. He administers -- he carries out and
what has been already set from above.
Even in this world, in the United States the President does NOT MAKE THE LAWS.
administers the policies as functions authorized by Congress -- enforces the
laws made by
Congress. Administrators are set in the Church merely to supervise, direct,
policies, procedures, doctrines assigned to them from above.
The ONE Church, undivided, is emphasized again in verse 20: "But now are
members, yet BUT ONE BODY" -- ONE UNDIVIDED CHURCH! Even GOD is composed
of more than
one Personage, yet but the ONE GOD! GOD, remember, is the divine GOD FAMILY.
Those in the
Church are already begotten sons -- begotten members of that GOD FAMILY. But
not yet BORN
as GOD BEINGS!
Notice verse 25: "That there should be no schism in the body; but that
should have the same care one for another."
To administer these many operations, God -- not a vote of the members
"hath set some
in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers."
Or, as stated
in more detail in Ephesians 4:11 (RSV): "And his gifts were that some
apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers.
An apostle is "one sent forth" with Christ's gospel message,
supervision of proclaiming that message to the world by means and persons
himself. Also an apostle was given supervision over all the local
churches (I Cor. 16:1). The apostle Paul had oversight over the churches of
world (II Cor. 11:28).
The prophets set in the foundation of the Church are those of the Old
writings were used to form a considerable part of New Testament and gospel
functioning. No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative,
preaching functions in the New Testament Church.
Evangelists were leading ministers, proclaiming the gospel to the public, even
local churches and having supervision over some churches under the apostle.
evangelist may hold executive functions under the apostle in the Church
work today. An evangelist is not necessarily stationary. Pastors are
over a local church or contingent group of local churches. Then there were
placed in the
Church teachers -- not necessarily preachers. Yet all ministers and teachers
elders in other New Testament texts. Therefore, in God's Church today there
preaching and non preaching elders. Preaching elders pastor local churches.
elders, not preaching, are called local elders in the Church today.
Temple to Which Christ Shall Come
Now further about CHURCH ORGANIZATION. The CHURCH is the spiritual Body of
Christ -- not a
secular or worldly organization, club or institution. Yet it is HIGHLY
Notice how thoroughly organized: "Now therefore ye are no more strangers
foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of
the Church is a FAMILY, even as GOD is a divine Family "the household of
Continue: "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and
Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building" --
is a building "fitly framed together" (WELL ORGANIZED -- all parts
functioning together in harmony and teamwork) -- "groweth unto an holy
temple in the
Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through
Spirit" (Eph. 2:19-22). This scripture plainly reveals the temple to
glorified world-ruling Christ shall come at his soon Second Coming. There is
foretelling the construction of a material temple in Jerusalem before Christ's
The 40th chapter of Ezekiel, however, describes the building of a temple after
The Church, then, is to grow into a HOLY TEMPLE -- the spiritual TEMPLE to
shall come -- even as he came to a material temple of stone and metals and
wood the first
Notice further: "... the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body
together" -- ORGANIZED -- "and compacted by that which every joint
according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh
increase of the
body ..." (Eph. 4:15-16). Compacted means knit together, compressed
closely together as if welded together. This shows ORGANIZED UNITY, Harmony!
commanded that those in the Church be so united that they "all speak the
thing" (I Cor. 1:10).
Old Testament Israel, the Church of the Old Testament, was also a nation in
the world --
though not OF the world as God organized it. Its GOVERNMENT was HIERARCHICAL.
theocratic government -- government from the top down -- the very opposite of
The CHURCH is organized under theocratic government, hierarchical in form. The
not set officials in the Church. God sets EVEN THE LAY MEMBERS in the Church
Jesus said explicitly, "NO MAN CAN come to me, except the Father which
hath sent me
draw him" (John 6:44). The world, except for the specially called, is CUT
We have just covered the truth that GOD set officials to serve on the human
Christ, in the Church. Members do not elect them. Yet in the churches of this
believe in government by the entire congregation -- "democracy" --
themselves "Congregational." Others have organized themselves into
ministers or presbytery and call themselves "Presbyterian." Some
and call themselves "Lutheran." Some follow Wesley, who was strong
"method," and call themselves "Methodist." Some learned
about baptizing and call their church after the name of that one doctrine,
"Baptist." One wanted complete universal world dominion, and called
"Catholic," which means "universal." What is the name of
True Name of Church
Jesus prayed for his Church: "... Holy Father, keep through thine own
name those whom
thou hast given me, that they may be ONE, as we are. While I was with them in
the world, I
kept them in thy name .... And now come I to thee .... I have given them thy
word; and the
world hath hated them, because they are not OF the world, even as I am not OF
the world. I
pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou
shouldest keep them
from the evil [one]. They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.
them through THY TRUTH: THY WORD IS TRUTH' (John 17:11-17).
Jesus said his true Church was to be KEPT in the name of the Father -- GOD.
in the New Testament, the NAME of this one true Church is the CHURCH OF GOD!
It is GOD'S
Church, and Jesus Christ is its guiding, sustaining, directing HEAD!
In five passages where the true NAME of the Church appears, the entire body of
the Church as a whole -- is indicated. Thus when speaking of the entire
all its individual members on earth, the name is "The CHURCH OF
GOD." Here are
these five passages:
1) Acts 20:28: The admonition to the elders is to "feed THE CHURCH OF
2) I Corinthians 10:32: "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to
nor to THE CHURCH OF GOD."
3) I Corinthians 11:22:"... Despise ye THE CHURCH OF GOD, and shame them
4) I Corinthians 15:9: Paul wrote: "For ... I persecuted THE CHURCH OF
5) Galatians 1:13: This verse repeats the one last given -- "I persecuted
Where one specific local congregation is mentioned, the true Church is called
Church of God," often in connection with the place or location. Here are
6) I Corinthians 1:2: "THE CHURCH OF GOD which is at Corinth."
7) II Corinthians 1:1: "THE CHURCH OF GOD which is at Corinth."
8) I Timothy 3:5: In speaking of a local elder in a local congregation, Paul
Timothy: "For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he
take care of
THE CHURCH OF GOD?
9) I Timothy 3:15: "... behave thyself in the house of God, which is THE
THE LIVING GOD." Here it is the Church of the living God.
In speaking of the local congregation collectively, not as one general body,
but as the
total of all local congregations, the Bible name is "The CHURCHES OF
are the final three verses of the 12 which name the Church:
10) I Corinthians 11:16: "... We have no such custom, neither THE
11) I Thessalonians 2:14: "For ye, brethren, became followers of THE
CHURCHES OF GOD
which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus."
12) II Thessalonians 1:4: "So that we ourselves glory in you in THE
Yet none is truly the Church OF GOD, unless it is GOD'S CHURCH, continuing
practice, organization, in all ways on the original biblical pattern, headed
Christ, yet belonging to God the Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit, having
fulfilling Christ's commission of proclaiming his GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF
GOD to the
world as a whole.
And there is only ONE such Church! And it CANNOT BE DIVIDED. It remains ONE.
Corinthians 1, the apostle Paul was inspired to command that all in the Church
THE SAME THING." There must be no division in what is believed, taught or
But what about all the many organized churches labeled under the category
"Christianity" -- some with millions of members? They are all
Revelation 17:5: "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and
of the earth."
Are they, then, evil? Not consciously or knowingly, necessarily. The world of
been CUT OFF from God. Satan is still on earth's throne, next in power to GOD
the whole world is Deceived by Satan (Rev. 12:9). Those deceived are not aware
are deceived. If so they would not be deceived! They may be ever so sincere in
they are right!
Are they condemned? By no means! They are simply NOT YET JUDGED -- neither
"condemned" nor "saved." Few indeed realize the magnitude
power and the extent of his Deception!
It is SATAN who is evil and diabolical. But he is an INVISIBLE being and force
and unrecognized by mortal humans.
Satan is a great counterfeiter! He appears as "an angel of light"
11:13-15). And he has his counterfeit cherishes! His ministers are deceived by
believing they are "ministers of righteousness" and of Christ (II
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his
your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if
cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive
spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not
might well bear with him .... For such are false apostles, deceitful workers,
themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is
into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also
transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to
works" (II Cor. 11:3-4, 13-15).
Notice these deceived but false churches believe they are the true church, and
ministers "are transformed as the ministers of righteousness" -- in
appear to be the true ministers of Jesus Christ. And indeed, many of them may
sincere, being themselves deceived. Yet they have neither known nor preached
Gospel of THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Matt. 24:14). Nor do they comprehend what is
written in this
book about the CHURCH OF GOD!
Many Protestant denominations, and some personal "ministries," quote
scriptures, especially concerning Christian living, faith, love, etc.,
correctly. But they
ignore numerous basic scriptures, cited in this book. Satan seems willing to
deceived have parts of the truth.
But these run afoul on pivotal truths. Usually they do not have the proper
Church of God. Neither do they know or proclaim the kingdom of God or what it
is -- that
is to say, they do not have or proclaim the true gospel of Christ. They do not
government headed by Jesus Christ, with apostles, evangelists, pastors and
They do not know what salvation is. They do not understand God's purpose or
One original Church, much persecuted and opposed, but still in existence, has
evidences proving it to be the original true Church. And even this Church,
until after the
year of 1933, had lost many of these vital truths. At least 18 basic and
have been restored to the true Church since that year.
Human Mind Alone Can't Know
Until now, I have not been able to give a clear concise explanation of
precisely what and
why is the CHURCH.
And WHY NOT? People naturally and normally think only of and about physical
things. People do not realize it, but they have been CUT OFF from God! The
unless and until it receives the Holy Spirit of GOD, cannot think spiritually
know spiritual knowledge -- cannot understand human problems, troubles, evils
of human existence.
But the CHURCH is GOD'S Church. And the things of GOD are a mystery -- not
to the natural carnal mind. So people may have some kind of human idea of what
and why the
Church is, but it is not GOD'S concept.
God has communicated to man in our day through his printed Word, the Holy
Bible. But the
real central meaning in the Bible is spiritual. And natural minds without
cannot think spiritually or comprehend spiritual knowledge. To make it still
MYSTERY, I repeat once again, the Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle, made up of
parts that, for understanding, must be put together "precept upon
precept; line upon
line ... here a little, and there a little" (Isa. 28:9-10,13). And it
addition of the Holy Spirit to the human mind to put this spiritual
puzzle" properly together. Even then it requires time, diligence,
patience. I have
not been able to give this "what and why" of the Church to the
reader all at
once briefly. I want fully to reveal the MYSTERY!
WHAT, then, IS THE CHURCH?
Why "First fruits"
It is that body God has specially called out of Satan's world. It is a body
called for a
very special purpose -- to be trained to become rulers and teachers when God
does set his
hand to convert the world. To be enabled to rule and teach the world with and
Christ. It is also necessary that they be first converted from human into
Beings, members of the divine God family. That explains why they are
repeatedly called the
"first-fruits" of God's salvation (Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:16; Rev.
14:4). The day of
Pentecost was originally called the Feast of Firstfruits, picturing the Church
called and trained for their special mission prior to the time when God will
salvation to the world. Let it be clearly understood that the time has not yet
God has opened the tree of life to Satan's world. Rather than open the tree of
Satan's world, God has selected those predestined to be specially called that
be prepared as kings and teachers, being actual God Beings under Christ when
God does open
the tree of life to the whole world. That will be the time when, as in Joel
shall at last pour out his Spirit upon all flesh.
The New Testament passage that incorrectly reads "Now is the day of
(II Cor. 6:2) is quoted from Isaiah 49:8 where it is "a day of
the day of salvation. The Greek text also does not have the word
"the." It was
inserted by translators who were deceived into believing this is the only day
The very truth that the Church is not called merely and only for salvation --
to "make it into the kingdom" as so many have expressed it -- is
affirmed in the parables of the pounds and of the talents.
Parable of the Pounds
In the parable of the pounds (Luke 19:11-27), Jesus is pictured as the rich
going to God's throne in heaven to receive the kingdom of God. He gave to each
Church a pound, representing a portion of God's Holy Spirit. This illustrates
that we must
grow in the Spirit, or in grace and knowledge, during the Christian life. When
returns to earth, having received the kingdom and being already crowned, he
those of the Church to an accounting. The one who has multiplied the portion
of the Holy
Spirit received (has grown and developed in grace and knowledge) by ten times
be rewarded by being given rule over ten cities. He who qualified by spiritual
development only half as much shall reign over five cities as his reward.
shall be rewarded according to our works or spiritual growth, but salvation is
gift. But what of the person who thought he "had it made into the
without spiritual growth and development? He shall have taken away from him
portion of the Holy Spirit -- he shall lose the salvation he mistakenly
thought he had. HE
SHALL NOT MAKE IT INTO THE KINGDOM! He WAS NOT CALLED MERELY FOR SALVATION,
BUT TO QUALIFY
to rule and teach under Christ in the kingdom, when God does open salvation to
earth. It is well to note that it will not be opening salvation to those in
It shall then be GOD'S world -- the world tomorrow.
The parable of the talents (Matt. 25) emphasizes the same truth.
Parable of the Sower
Also the parable of the sower and the seed in Matthew 13:1-9. But Jesus'
disciples did not
understand the parable. They questioned Jesus (verse 10), asking why he spoke
multitudes in parables. To his disciples, called out of the world to a special
Jesus replied, "It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom
but to them it is not given." Here is another example showing God is not
the world to understanding and salvation. Jesus spoke to the uncalled world in
hide the meaning (verse 13). He explained the parable to his called disciples
18-23). Some who are called in this Church age hear the Word of God when
preached, but do
not understand, and Satan catches away that which was sown in their hearts.
the truth when preached with joy, but lack the depth of mind and character;
persecution comes, they are offended and turn away. Others hear and initially
are so encumbered with earning a living and pleasures of the world they
produce no fruit
-- like the one who received the one pound but did not grow in spiritual
knowledge. But, of the others called out of the world and into God's Church,
spiritual fruit 100 fold, some 60 and some 30. They are saved by God's free
grace, but in
the next life in God's kingdom, shall be rewarded or given positions of
power according to their works.
That means according to fruit borne. And fruit borne means more than regular
reading, prayer, church attendance or volunteer church duties. It means
of the Spirit" as explained in Galatians 5:22-23 -- showing more love or
concern toward others, growing in joy, which is happiness running over, in
peace with your
own family, with neighbors, with all others. Growing in patience, being more
gentle toward others, goodness and faith, as well as meekness and temperance.
The CHURCH, then, is that body called out from Satan's world being prepared to
with and under Christ, the GOVERNMENT of God. That shall be a time when Satan
been REMOVED. It shall be a time when all living shall be called to repentance
salvation with eternal life through the Holy Spirit of GOD! The CHURCH,
immortal, shall be
RULING with Christ -- replacing the present rule of Satan!
The CHURCH, then, is that body of called-out-ones, who at the resurrection
shall form the
FIRST FRUITS of God's harvest. That harvest is the reaping of physical flesh-
matter-composed humans converted into divine immortal GOD BEINGS -- those in
actually has reproduced himself!
Church Still Carnal
WHY has God in wisdom gone slow -- a step at a time? Few realize HOW GREAT is
After all these years of sinning, human life CUT OFF from God, even with God's
Spirit given to those changed by initial conversion, those in the Church are
"babes in Christ" -- still far more carnal than spiritual.
The CHURCH, as initially called in this life, is NOT YET capable of RULING the
earth -- of
sitting with Christ in the THRONE where God originally placed Lucifer -- of
THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
And THAT IS WHY God has placed HIS GOVERNMENT in his Church. That is WHY God's
government is theocratic instead of democratic. That is why God has set ranks
government in his Church, apostles, evangelists, pastors, elders, both
non-preaching, "till we [in the Church] all come in the unity of the
faith, and of
the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the
the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). It is not a matter of having
"made it into
the kingdom" upon being baptized, but a matter of spiritual growth and
knowledge and in righteous character. That is WHY it is hierarchical in form -
from GOD at the top on down, not from the bottom up. Otherwise those at the
be ruling GOD!
It is the SAME government by which Christ shall rule all nations beginning
And that is WHY Satan has subtilely influenced dissidents in God's Church to
resentful and bitter over God's government -- why some have gone out of the
The churches of this world -- "traditional Christianity" -- DO NOT
speak of the
government of GOD. They do not picture Jesus as coming world RULER. They do
Jesus as coming KING -- but only as Savior. They overlook -- reject --
of Christ as King and coming Ruler, and government rule in the kingdom of God.
And that is
to say, they deliberately REJECT and OMIT the gospel MESSAGE of Christ in
and preaching! They teach that one is already saved on "receiving"
I repeat, the individual whom God calls and adds to his Church is not, at
conversion, remotely capable of being given POWER of rule over nations!
He is called a "babe in Christ." He has, if repentant and really
this preliminary human state, actually received a portion of the Holy Spirit
Indeed in Romans 8:16 we read: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with
that we are the children of God."
But we need to grow spiritually before we are qualified to rule over cities
and teach those being converted.
As the apostle Paul said to those in the first century Church who were not
spiritually: "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through
patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because
swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless
multiplying I will multiply thee" (Heb. 6:12-14).
We are already, though yet unborn, the begotten children of God. By direct
impregnated embryo or fetus in a mother-to-be's womb is already the child of
though not yet born. Therefore I remark, in passing, abortion is MURDER!
But this brings us to a most important PURPOSE and FUNCTION of the Church!
Beginning verse 22 of Galatians 4 is an allegory about the two covenants --
made with national Israel at Mount Sinai and the New Covenant to be made at
return. However, ministers in the Church are "able ministers of the new
testament" (II Cor. 3:6).
The CHURCH is a part of, and preliminary to the final making of, the NEW
In this allegory of the two covenants, the Church is called THE MOTHER OF US
ALL -- that
is, of those in the Church.
So notice the direct comparison. God is reproducing himself through humans. He
with power to reproduce ourselves. And human reproduction is the exact type of
How Human Reproduction Pictures Spiritual Salvation
Now see and UNDERSTAND how human reproduction pictures spiritual salivation!
All human life comes from a tiny egg, called an ovum. It is produced inside
mother. This ovum is about the size of a pin point. Inside it, when highly
be seen a small nucleus. But this ovum has a very limited life, of itself!
and scientists believe it has a life of only some 24 hours, unless fertilized
by a sperm
from a male.
But human life may be imparted to it by a sperm cell, produced in the body of
father. The sperm cell is the smallest cell in the human body -- about one
size of the ovum. The sperm technically named a spermatozoon (plural,
spermatozoa) -- on
entering an ovum, finds its way to and joins with the nucleus. This imparts
physical human life -- to the ovum.
But it is not yet a born human being. Human life has merely been begotten. For
four months it is called an embryo. After that, until birth it is called a
human life starts very small -- the size of a tiny pin point -- and the sperm
generates it is the smallest cell in a human body!
Once begotten, it must be fed and nourished by physical food from the ground,
mother. From this physical nourishment it must grow, and grow and GROW --
large enough to be born -- after nine months. As it grows, the physical organs
characteristics gradually are formed. Soon a spinal column forms. A heart
forms and begins
to beat. Other internal organs form. Then, gradually, a body, a head, legs,
hair begins to grow on the head, fingernails and toenails develop -- facial
gradually shape up. By nine months the average normal fetus has grown to a
approximately six to nine pounds, and is ready to be born.
A human has to be BEGOTTEN by his human father. To be born again of the Spirit
-- of God
-- one must first be begotten by the SPIRITUAL FATHER -- Almighty God.
The Amazing Comparison
Now see how HUMAN begettal, period of gestation, and birth is the astounding
TYPE of spiritual salvation -- being BORN of God -- being given ETERNAL LIFE
kingdom of God -- the God FAMILY into which we may be BORN!
Each adult human is, spiritually, an "egg" or "ovum." In
spiritual ovum is a nucleus, the human mind with its human spirit. This
"ovum" has a very limited life span, of itself -- compared to
ETERNAL LIFE -- an
average of some 70 years. But spiritual, divine immortal life may be imparted
to it by the
entrance into it of the HOLY SPIRIT, which comes from the very Person of GOD
This divine Spirit of GOD joins with the nucleus of the human ovum, which is
spirit and mind, and imparts to us also the divine nature (II Pet. 1:4).
have had only human, fleshly or carnal nature.
As the human sperm cell is the very smallest of all human cells, even so, many
begotten Christians start out with a very small measure of God's Holy Spirit
character. Many may still be, at first, about 99.44 percent carnal! Apparently
the Church of God at Corinth were (I Cor. 3:1-3). The apostle Paul said he
still had to
feed them on the spiritual milk -- not yet adult spiritual "food."
certainly were not yet "BORN AGAIN."
Now, as the physical male sperm finds its way to, and unites with the nucleus
in the ovum,
so God's Spirit enters and combines with the human spirit and MIND! There is,
before, a spirit IN man. This human spirit has combined with the brain to form
God's Spirit unites with, and witnesses with our spirit that we are, now, the
GOD (Rom. 8:16). And God's Holy Spirit, now combined with our human spirit in
imparts to our mind power to comprehend SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE (I Cor. 2:11) --
carnal mind cannot grasp.
Now we have the presence of ETERNAL LIFE -- God-life -- through God's Spirit.
manner the human embryo was an actual human life as yet undeveloped. But we
are not yet
immortal spirit beings -- not yet BORN of God -- just as the human ovum was
not yet born
of its human parents -- not yet inheritors, and possessors, but physical HEIRS
8:17). But IF God's Holy Spirit dwells in us, God will, at the resurrection,
"quicken" to immortality our mortal bodies BY his Spirit that
us" (Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 15:49-53).
Now we see how the astonishing analogy continues! As yet we are not born
divine beings. We
are not yet composed of spirit, but of physical matter. The divine life has
begotten. This divine CHARACTER starts so very small it is doubtful if much of
it is in
evidence -- except for the glow of that ecstasy of spiritual
"romance" that we
may radiate in that "first love" of conversion -- spiritually
speaking. But so
far as spiritual KNOWLEDGE and developed spiritual CHARACTER goes, there is
not much, as
The Spiritual Embryo
So now, once spiritually begotten, we are merely a spiritual embryo. Now we
must be fed
and nourished on SPIRITUAL food! Jesus said man shall not live by bread
alone, but by EVERY WORD OF GOD (spiritual food)! This we drink in from the
Bible! But we
drink in this spiritual knowledge and character, also, through personal,
continuous contact with God through PRAYER, and through Christian fellowship
children in his Church. And also by the continual teaching imparted by the
Now the physical embryo and fetus is fed physically through the mother. God's
called Jerusalem above "which is the MOTHER OF US ALL" (Gal. 4:26).
Notice the exact parallel! The CHURCH is the spiritual MOTHER OF ITS MEMBERS.
God has set
his called and chosen ministers in his Church to FEED THE FLOCK -- "for
perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of
[CHURCH] of Christ: TILL WE all come in the unity of the faith, and of the
the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13).
It is the duty of Christ's TRUE ministers (and how scarce today) to PROTECT
but yet unborn saints from false doctrines from false ministers.
The HUMAN mother carries her unborn baby in that part of her body where she
PROTECT it from physical harm; and that protection is part of her function, as
well as to
nourish the unborn child! Even so, the CHURCH, through Christ's ministers,
teaches, counsels with, advises, and PROTECTS from spiritual harm the unborn
a WONDERFUL picture is human reproduction of spiritual SALVATION!
Continue further! As the physical fetus must grow physically large enough to
be born, so
the begotten Christian must grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ (II
-- must overcome, must develop in spiritual CHARACTER during this life, in
order to be
born into the kingdom of GOD!
And as the physical fetus gradually, one by one, develops the physical organs,
and characteristics, even so the begotten Christian must gradually,
the SPIRITUAL character -- love, faith, patience, gentleness, temperance. He
(or she) must
live by, and be a DOER of the Word of God. He must develop the divine
Finally -- Immortality!
Then in God's due time -- though the person may die meanwhile -- by a
resurrection, or by
instantaneous CHANGE to immortality at Christ's coming, he shall be BORN of
God -- into
the KINGDOM OF GOD -- because GOD is that kingdom! He is no longer material
flesh from the
ground, but composed of spirit, even as God is a Spirit (John 4:24).
How WONDERFUL is the TRUTH OF GOD!
Yet, by his dastardly deceptions Satan has DECEIVED THE WORLD -- has blinded
the fact that God IS this KINGDOM Jesus proclaimed -- and that WE may be born
individuals -- as part of that divine FAMILY -- as part of the GOD KINGDOM!
How precious is GOD'S TRUTH! God designed reproduction to picture his truth in
manner and to KEEP us CONSTANTLY IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WONDERFUL PLAN OF
It is the function of the CHURCH -- as the spiritual MOTHER of Christians in
it -- to
develop holy, righteous and perfect godly CHARACTER in those God has called --
has added to the Church.
Remember, none CAN COME to Christ, except called and drawn by God the Father
Newly converted members are not brought to spiritual conversion by
"salesmanship" of human evangelists -- are not "talked
"converted" -- are not emotionally high pressured by high-powered
oratory or fervor -- or by emotion-packed "altar calls" in
to the moanful strains of a choir singing, "Just as I am, I come, I
You cannot find that sort of MODERN "Old-Fashioned Gospel" crusading
taught or used to set us an example in the New Testament! Yet people today
that is the way Christ intended -- the way Jesus initiated.
Jesus DID NOT come on a "soul-saving crusade!" to try to save at
that time all
those in SATAN'S world. He came to call out of Satan's world a people
specially called and drawn by God. Jesus said it was impossible for others of
WORLD to come to him for salvation unless specially called by God to become
teachers when God s WORLD TOMORROW has replaced SATAN'S WORLD. NEVER did Jesus
plead with anyone to "give one's heart to him." At Jacob's well in
spoke to a woman about the Holy Spirit in terms of "living water."
The woman said to Jesus, "Sir, give me this water, that I thirst
not." Here was
a direct request from an unconverted woman for salvation and the gift of the
BUT JESUS ONLY TOLD HER OF HER SINS -- OF WHAT SHE HAD TO REPENT OF! He did
NOT say, Come
to me, just as you are, in your sins."
None CAN COME to Jesus except God the Father draws him! All have sinned. Sin
GOD the Father. Sin must first be repented of -- turned from! It is much more
for guilt. It is a matter of being sufficiently SORRY to TURN FROM the sin,
Sin. This reconciles one to God on faith in Christ. It is GOD the Father who
adds to the
Church such as he calls to be saved (Acts 2:47). It is GOD who sets members in
(I Cor. 12:18) -- not the emotional oratory of the evangelist in the emotional
God sets individual members in his Church in order that his holy, righteous
CHARACTER may he developed in them. And WHY? To prepare them to he come GOD
BEINGS in the
KINGDOM (family) OF GOD, to GOVERN and RULE the whole earth with the
government of God!
But HOW does the CHURCH as the spiritual MOTHER of its members DEVELOP THAT
This brings us to the real PURPOSE of the Church. This brings us to an
WHY one cannot be BORN AGAIN outside the CHURCH.
Real Purpose of the Church
NOW MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL -- what is the REAL PURPOSE for the Church? WHY did
Christ raise it UP?
The CHURCH is the spiritual MOTHER of human converts. They are the spiritual
fetuses as yet UNBORN, although begotten by God's Holy Spirit -- already
children of GOD.
The CHURCH is God's spiritual ORGANISM, well organized, for feeding on
training and developing in spiritual righteous CHARACTER the future GOD BEINGS
-- sons of
God the Father!
For that training -- that spiritual development of God's CHARACTER, God has
Church a DUAL responsibility:
1) "Go ye into all the world" and proclaim the GOOD NEWS --
announcement -- of
the coming kingdom of God.
2) "Feed my sheep."
But in FEEDING the sheep, developing in them God s spiritual CHARACTER, God
has given them
THEIR PART in supporting, backing up, the great commission: "Go ye into
This first and great commission was given to the apostles. To a lesser extent
were used in carrying forth the message. Other leaders -- ordained ministers -
stationary, yet even the local pastor of a church may hold evangelistic
services in his
area -- not the "soul-saving crusade" type, hut lectures ANNOUNCING
PROCLAIMING as a witness the coming KINGDOM OF GOD (the true gospel)!
This ENTIRE GREAT COMMISSION -- proclaiming GOOD NEWS of the coming kingdom,
"feeding the sheep" -- is a COMBINED administration and function of
The individual lay member HAS HIS VITAL PART in proclaiming the GOOD NEWS
(gospel) to the
world. How? Not by going out and himself proclaiming Christ's message to the
or to the world. That is done primarily by the apostles, to some extent by
and to even a lesser extent in local areas by local pastors. (The chief
local pastors is supervision of and preaching to the local church.)
But the ENTIRE CHURCH OPERATION is one WHOLE, organized into various
administrations (I Cor. 12:5-6).
Part of the Lay Member
For example, what part does the individual local member have in taking the
to ALL THE WORLD? This is done primarily and directly by the APOSTLE. In this
of the twentieth century it is done also by radio, television and in PRINT!
In the first century it was done by personal proclamation. Then WHAT PART did
individual lay member have in it?
MUCH! Without this larger body of lay members the apostle could do nothing!
Notice a scriptural example: Peter and John had been proclaiming the message
at the Temple
in Jerusalem. A miracle had been performed by Peter and a large crowd had
gathered. As a
result Peter and John were thrown in prison overnight, and severely
lives were in danger. They were unnerved.
They went immediately upon release to the lay brethren (Acts 4:23). They
backing, support, encouragement of the brethren. They fervently PRAYED! Peter
sorely NEEDED this loyalty, backing and the prayers of the lay members. THEY
WERE ALL A
Take a recent modern example. The office of the attorney general of America's
populous state -- California -- had made a sudden, unexpected massive armed
assault on the
headquarters of the Worldwide Church of God at Pasadena, California. They
violation of the U.S. Constitution, that all church property and assets belong
State, and a court had secretly appointed a receiver to TAKE OVER, RUN AND
Church of the living GOD!
But when the receiver was about to enter with his staff and deputy sheriffs
the Hall of
Administration and other headquarters buildings, some 5,000 lay members, with
babies, crowded these buildings in extended and continuous prayer services.
The doors were
locked. The armed officials did not quite dare to break down the doors and
massive and orderly prayer services. After three days they gave up. The
ex-judge of a non-Christian faith, resigned. The civil lawsuit went on
burner." And the OPERATION OF THE CHURCH CONTINUED! The higher appellate
ruled that this lawsuit was without foundation and never should have been
The author, Christ's apostle, can say emphatically that the apostles,
and elders could not carry on the work of God without the loyal backing and
encouragement of the lay members.
Neither can the individual lay member develop and build within him God's holy,
and perfect CHARACTER without the operations of the apostle, evangelists,
elders. All these various members GOD HAS SET in his Church are interdependent
dependent on one another. They form a TEAM -- an ORGANIZED SPIRITUAL ORGANISM
different from any secular and worldly organization! How, more specifically,
mutual dependency operate?
God Has Provided Modern Methods
In general, the whole operation of the Church costs money in this late
world. Facilities and methods are available to the Church for performance of
commission that did not exist in the first-century world. Without the tithes
freewill offerings of lay members the Church commission could not be performed
Without the fervent and prevailing continual prayers of all members the work
could not be
accomplished. Without the continual ENCOURAGEMENT of lay members and those
locally, those of us operating from headquarters could not bear up under the
oppositions, trials and frustrations.
Also in reverse, the lay members need just as urgently the encouragement,
counseling and leadership from headquarters and local pastors.
An example of the former: I frequently receive large cards -- often
illustrated or decorated signed by the hundreds of local members of churches,
encouragement and assurances of loyalty, backing and support. Lay members
the world simply cannot conceive fully how much encouragement and inspiration
the one Christ has chosen to lead this tremendous worldwide activity, God s
assurance of the earnest PRAYERS crying out to God continually from these
all parts of the earth inspire the confidence of FAITH to persevere in the
oversight in this great work!
Specifically, HOW is God's Church organized today -- HOW does it operate in
late twentieth century?
Christ's gospel message -- the kingdom of God -- goes out worldwide in dynamic
radio, by television, and by the mass-circulation magazine, The Plain Truth.
magazine of more than seven million copies monthly, in seven languages, is
effectively and interestingly carrying Christ's gospel. Then, sent free on
millions of copies of attractive booklets and even full books. A campaign of
full-page messages appeared as advertisements in leading newspapers, The New
The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and other
newspapers. Large space has been used in the London Times.
Then to encourage local church members and the ministry, a 14-to-20-page
Pastor General's Report is mailed from headquarters weekly to all ministers.
a tabloid newspaper The Worldwide News goes out to all members. Monthly a
full-color magazine The Good News is sent to all lay members, ministers and
co-workers. And finally, Christ's apostle sends out monthly a mimeographed Co-
letter to all members and co-workers reporting on progress in the work,
And we must not overlook a very important department, the Bible Correspondence
sent free on enrollment to lay members, and the public, giving monthly lessons
basic subjects covered by the Bible.
The author's personal travels to all parts of the world representing Christ's
personally before kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers and leaders
under them in
numerous nations perhaps ought to be mentioned.
All this is a well-organized operation carrying out the PURPOSE of the Church,
proclaiming the coming kingdom of God to the world and 2) feeding the flock.
The "loner" -- the "individual Christian," who wants to
climb up into
the kingdom some other way than by CHRIST and HIS WAY through his CHURCH -- is
trained in CHRIST'S MANNER OF TRAINING, to rule and reign with Christ in his
"Individual Christians" -- Ex-Members
Now what about the "private," or "individual Christian,"
"I don't want to be a part of the Church -- I want to seek my salvation
alone with Christ."
The answer is this: God himself laid out the plan and the method by which
humans may be,
after begettal, trained and prepared to become part of the divine personnel of
BEINGS that shall form the KINGDOM OF GOD!
The kingdom of God will be the GOD FAMILY -- a superbly and highly trained and
family of GOD BEINGS. The Church is God's special school for training those he
selected and called to be trained in his Church -- to be kings and priests, to
rule and to
teach -- for their part in that kingdom. Only those so trained in the Church
will be kings
and priests in the kingdom of God.
The person who says "I will get my salvation alone, outside of the
totally deceived. This is not the time when salvation is opened to those in
Those called now, I repeat emphatically, are NOT CALLED just for salvation.
called for a special training provided only in God's Church.
Those in Satan's world cannot train themselves outside of the Church for the
calling of being rulers and teachers in God's kingdom when Satan is removed
and the world
has become God's world.
The Church is ORGANIZED on GOD'S pattern of mutual teamwork and cooperation to
perfectly together. They shall become the GOD FAMILY as it shall exist at the
Christ's Second Coming. Remember God IS that divine family!
Take an analogy from Satan's world. A football player says: "I want to
play in all of
the games, but I'll train alone. I don't want to be part of the TEAM until the
start." Would the coach let him be part of the team in the games, without
learned TEAMWORK during practice season? Neither will God let one INTO his
family at the
resurrection who refused to be part of it now -- in the CHURCH -- in the
To those chosen to be apostles in the start of the CHURCH, Jesus said,
speaking of the
"I am the vine, ye are the branches." Those not joined with others
branches, all joined to the main vine, were NO PART OF THE CHURCH, and God the
cast them away as DEAD branches. The LIFE (spirit life impregnated now) is
with all other "branches" from the main vine -- Christ, the Head of
What about one who has been IN Christ's "spiritual BODY" -- the
Church -- and is
PUT OUT for cause (causing division or rebellion or opposition to Church
CHURCH is like a human mother who is pregnant. If there is an abortion, the
departs totally from the fetus. There is, however, perhaps one difference in
A human who goes out, or is put out of God's Church, could, on repentance and
belief, be admitted back into the body again.
What About the World's Churches?
What about the millions of members of other churches or religions? SATAN is
counterfeiter. Satan has his churches, his religions, and his ministers in
and churches (II Cor. 11:13-15). What about the millions of people in
established "Christian" churches? In the book of Revelation, the
TRUE Church is
pictured in the 12th chapter as the persecuted "little flock," many
put to death for their faith -- having to FLEE for safety from persecution,
death. In chapter 17 is pictured the big, politically and worldly powerful
headed by "mother" "Babylon the great, the mother of harlots
abominations of the earth" (verse 5). In other words, the ancient
Mystery" religion, out of whom have gone daughter churches in protest.
politically great church was the persecutor of "the saints" (verse
false church, politically great, sits astride a "beast" pictured in
as a government ruling by power of "the dragon" who (Rev. 12:9) is
This is shocking, but plainly revealed in God's Word! What about those, in
who profess being "born-again Christians"? They are Deceived! They
may be ever
so sincere. They do not know they are deceived and wrong in their beliefs. But
not now being judged! They are neither condemned to the lake of fire nor
"saved." They are among the WHOLE WORLD, swayed by the deceptions of
OFF from God!
It must be repeated -- they shall have their eyes opened to God's TRUTH if
after Christ comes and Satan is removed -- or, if dead before then,
resurrected and called
to truth and salvation in the Great White Throne Judgment resurrection (Rev.
Again, the reader is urged to read the free booklet "Just What Do You
Mean -- Born
Yes, the whole world is DECEIVED. But praise GOD! Satan soon shall be removed
eyes shall be opened to ASTONISHING TRUTH, and ultimately EVERYBODY who ever
have been called to salvation and eternal life! But when called, each must
make his own
decision. Sorrowfully as I say it, some will not repent, believe, and be
saved. This book
emphatically is not teaching a universal salvation. Some are going to finally
the lake of fire.
Meanwhile God's GLORIOUS PURPOSE must be worked out here below according to
wonderful MASTER PLAN -- a step at a time!
Teachings and Beliefs
Now we must summarize the teaching and beliefs of God's true Church.
This, naturally, is related directly to the purpose of the Church -- to call
Satan's present world disciples (students, learners) to be trained to become
priests (teachers) in God's world tomorrow when God will open the tree of life
immortality) to all flesh.
But doctrinally, remember what the Church is called to help restore -- the
government and character of God. What was taken away? God's law, the
foundation of his
government and the very essence of God's character and divine life.
In other words, the pivotal point is the SIN question. Sin is the
transgression of God's
spiritual law (I John 3:4).
Satan has deceived this world's churches into the belief that God's law was
done away --
that Jesus, rather than paying the price in human stead for transgressing the
away with it -- "nailing it to his cross."
The expression used by Protestants "nailing the law to his cross"
can mean only
one thing. This is Satan's teaching that by being nailed to the cross, Christ
the law, making it possible for humans to sin with impunity. What actually was
the cross was Christ our sin bearer, who took on himself our sins, paying the
penalty in our stead, so that we are freed from the ultimate penalty of
sinning, not made
free to sin with impunity.
The very basic teaching, belief AND DOCTRINE OF God's true Church therefore is
the righteousness of and obedience to the law of God. That law is LOVE. But it
human love. Human love cannot rise above the level of human self-centeredness.
It must be
"the love of God ... shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy [Spirit]"
Ancient Israel could not really obey God's law -- they could have kept it
according to the
strict letter of the law. But since love is the fulfilling of the law and they
human self-centered love, they could not have kept the law according to the
because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given.
This basic teaching includes, therefore, all the "fruits of the Holy
love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,
The teachings of God's true Church are simply those of "living by every
the Holy Bible.
The first man, Adam, chose to decide for himself right from wrong -- to decide
teachings, beliefs and ways of life. The world has followed that same course
years. The Church is called out of the world to live the way God, through the
Synoptic History of the Church
Finally, we come to a brief history of the Church from its foundation in A.D.
31 to the
The Church started on the day of Firstfruits called Pentecost, in June of A.D
31. The Holy
Spirit came from heaven upon the 120 disciples assembled in Jerusalem with a
display such as has never before nor since occurred.
The 120 were all of "one accord." Suddenly "there came a sound
as of a rushing mighty wind" (Acts 2:2). Have you ever been in a tornado
hurricane? I have. Wind can make a very loud sound. This sound filled
"all the house
where they were sitting." Next "there appeared unto them cloven
tongues like as
of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy
and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them
Never has such a supernatural display occurred before or since. Yet the modern
calling themselves "Pentecostal" claim to repeat this experience.
But in their meetings no such sound comes from heaven. No supernatural divided
flaming fire sit on their heads. Some do break out in a kind of gibberish
supposed to be
some foreign language, but emphatically not anything like that that happened
on this one
day of Pentecost in A.D 31. Notice what kind of languages were spoken at the
inception. Many besides the 120 were present from many countries speaking
languages. Notice particularly, of these strangers, "every man heard them
speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying to
Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in
tongue, wherein we were born?"
Now notice carefully. Every man -- that is, each individual -- heard them, the
speaking in his own native language. The Greek heard the 120 speaking the
The Parthian heard the same 120 speaking in the Parthian language. The Mede
heard the 120
speaking the language of the Medes. They understood what was being said. They
Today, in "Pentecostal" meetings one person may break out in a kind
that others in the meeting do not understand (I Cor. 14:28). It says if one
speaks in a
foreign language there must be an interpreter so the others can understand.
there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak
and to God." In verse 33 it says God is not the author of confusion. In
verse 19, God
shows the relative unimportance of "tongues" by saying: "Yet in
I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might
also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue."
When I speak to an audience in Japan or some other country, I always have an
who will interpret into the language of that country, every few words, my
message in their
language. When I speak in this kind of "tongues" I speak with
the people get the message.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
This entire modern "Pentecostal" movement is based on a total
and a deception of Satan in relation to the true meaning of the baptism of --
correctly, bathe Holy Spirit. Christ said through the apostle Paul that by one
we all baptized into the one body -- the Church (I Cor. 12:13). The word
"immerse" or "plunge into."
"Pentecostal" people have been deceived into thinking that one is
called "saved" when one receives Jesus Christ as his personal
consider "the baptism of the Holy Spirit" evidenced by speaking in
"tongues" as a subsequent imbuement of power. I have had a great
experience with these people. This "baptism" as they call it seems
their tongues in what they call an "imbuement with power," which, in
means power to speak emotionally, often braggingly.
The above explanation will not change those already hooked on this deception,
hopefully it will prevent others from becoming misled by this counterfeit
Today's customary gospel about Christ believes that simply "believing on
Christ," which is professing Christ as personal Savior, means that one is
saved. Yet Mark 7:7-9 shows that many even go so far as to worship Christ, and
all in vain
because they do not obey God's commandments -- especially the Sabbath -- but
traditions of men by which Satan has deceived the whole world.
In John 8:30-44 the Jews who "believed on Christ" but who did not
or keep his commandments were called, by Jesus, the children of their father
the devil. In
I John 2:4 it shows that he who claims to know Christ as Savior, but does not
commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.
On the original day of Pentecost, of these Jews from other countries, some
were baptized after a real repentance and belief in Christ and in his Word, on
day. A day or two later, after Peter had healed the lifelong cripple at the
gate of the
Temple, 2,000 more were baptized. The new fledgling Church grew, not merely by
which God added to his Church, but by multiplication.
But this phenomenal growth was not to continue long at such an amazing rate of
Remember, these in the Church were being specially called by God out of
Satan was sitting on the throne of this earth. He fought fiendishly to protect
and upset God's purpose to redeem mankind. Satan had sought to kill the
Satan tried desperately to tempt and disqualify Jesus at age 30. Satan did not
nor has he to this very day. He now sought to destroy the Church and if he
destroy it, at least counterfeit it and deceive his world into a false
At the very outset Satan moved on Jews to fight the Church by denying Jesus as
prophesied Messiah. At the first the Church was almost wholly Jewish. The
fought to retain the physical rituals and animal sacrifices of the law of
Very soon, while the membership in God's Church was being multiplied (Acts
6:1), there was
a great persecution against the Church (Acts 8:1). Members were all scattered
throughout Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
False Gospel Proclaimed
Soon a violent controversy arose over whether the gospel to be proclaimed was
of Christ (which was Jesus' gospel or good news about the kingdom of God) or
should preach a gospel ABOUT Christ, merely preaching the acceptance of Christ
As apostasy from Christ's truth gained momentum, much of the Church was
turning to a
different and counterfeit gospel, proclaiming Christ as Savior, but omitting
sin is the transgression of God's spiritual law, and the good news of the
kingdom of God,
removal of Satan, and restoration of the government of God over the earth and
opening of salvation to all of humanity, who, when judged, would repent,
receive eternal life as sons of God -- as actual God beings.
The apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 11:3: "But I fear, lest by any
means, as the
serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds [those in the early
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that
another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit,
which ye have
not accepted, ye might well bear with him."
Then Paul goes on and describes the false preachers as stated previously, that
in and changing the gospel of Christ right at that time.
Then we turn next to Galations 1:6-7. Paul wrote: "I marvel that ye are
removed from him that called you [you had to be called to become a member of
the Church --
no one can come to Christ, except those that are called] into the grace of
another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and
pervert the gospel of Christ." The gospel of Christ was the message about
kingdom of God. They were already turning to a different gospel.
Counterfeit Called "Christianity"
Already the curtain was rung down on the history of the true Church. You read
of it in the
book of Acts, but it doesn't go much beyond that. But the curtain seems to
lift, and we
begin to get a little bit of the history in about A.D. 150. There we see a
itself Christian, but it's a totally different church, as different as night
is from day,
down from up, or black from white. But it called itself Christian.
Now we quote from a book of history, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman
Volume I and chapter 15: "The scanty and suspicious materials on
history seldom enable us to dispel the dark cloud that hangs over the first
age of the
Church." I have often called it "the lost century," because the
that Church was lost at that time.
Scholars and church historians recognize that events in the early Christian
A.D. 50 and 150 can only be seen in vague outline -- as if obscured by a thick
The noted English scholar Samuel G. Green in "A Handbook of Church
wrote: "The thirty years which followed the close of the New Testament
Canon and the
destruction of Jerusalem are in truth the most obscure in the history of the
we emerge in the second century we are, to a great extent, in a changed
In "Lectures on Ecclesiastical History" William Fitzgerald wrote:
this period of transition, which immediately succeeds upon the era properly
apostolic, great obscurity hangs ...."
In "The Course of Christian History" William J. McGlothlin wrote:
Christianity itself had been in [the] process of transformation as it
progressed and at
the close of the period was in many respects quite different from the
In "History of the Christian Church" Philip Schaff wrote: "The
thirty years of the first century are involved in mysterious darkness,
illuminated only by
the writings of John. This is a period of church history about which we know
would like to know most."
But if we look closely through this mist, we can begin to see what was
The world in which Christ founded his Church was the world of the Roman Empire
greatest and most powerful empire that had ever existed. It stretched from
Britain to the
far reaches of modern-day Turkey, encompassing peoples from many different
cultures under one system of government.
Rome's ruling hand was firm but the subject peoples enjoyed considerable
the compass of Roman law. Providing all citizens and conquered peoples paid
due homage to
the Roman emperor, they were also allowed to practice their religious beliefs
the gods of their ancestors.
After the day of Pentecost, the apostles began to follow Christ's instruction
to go to all
the world preaching the gospel of the kingdom. Once Christianity spread from
Judea to the
gentile lands to the north it began to encounter those who practiced the pagan
of Babylon, Persia and Greece.
The apostles came in contact with Simon Magus, a self-proclaimed leader in a
cult that was
deeply rooted in the mystery religion of ancient Babylon.
Simon Magus' plot to buy himself a position of influence in the early Church
was foiled by
Peter (Acts 8). But other false teachers soon followed.
In his early epistles, Paul warned the fledgling churches of Greece and
Galatia that they
were in danger of turning aside after another gospel -- a false concept of
Christ and his
The gospel of Christ was being diluted as false ministers with their teaching,
influenced by the beliefs of Babylon and Persia, steadily infiltrated the
As the first century wore on, the original apostles encouraged the members to
Jude, the brother of Jesus, urges the membership to strive for the faith that
delivered (Jude 3).
The apostle John warns the brethren to have nothing to do with those who are
false doctrines (II John 10).
Many who called themselves Christian had not been truly converted. But
period, all who called themselves Christian suffered greatly from the Roman
because they refused to worship the emperor.
The mad Nero in A.D. 64 blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians and
savagely. Thousands suffered martyrdom.
Shortly afterward, the Jews of Palestine rose in rebellion against the Roman
The rebellion was suppressed and Jerusalem destroyed in A.D. 70.
A small number of true Christians in Jerusalem fled over the mountains to the
Seven Church Eras
The book of Revelation records seven messages to seven churches that existed
in Asia Minor
toward the end of the first century A.D.
These churches -- Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia
-- were located along one of the mail routes of the old Roman Empire.
Riders would follow the route -- carrying messages from town to town.
The messages to the seven churches have words of both encouragement and
they clearly show the dominant characteristics of each of the congregations at
But these messages were intended for a wider audience than the Christians in
They are a series of remarkable prophecies, by which the future of the true
foretold in outline form, from the day it began on Pentecost, A.D. 31, until
Coming of Christ.
The history of the Church would fall into seven distinct eras -- each with its
strengths and weaknesses and its own special trials and problems.
Just as a message could pass along the mail route from Ephesus to Laodicea, so
truth of God be passed from era to era.
It was like a relay race -- in which the baton is passed from runner to
runner, each one
doing his part, until the finish line is reached.
Some time during the early decades of the second century, the baton was passed
Ephesian era to the people that God had called to the Smyrna era of his
Powerless, often persecuted, and rejected as heretics, the world lost sight of
Instead, there emerged from the lost century a church that was steadily
popularity but growing further away from the gospel that Jesus taught.
Persecution continued at various times under the Romans until the fourth
Constantine recognized the degenerate Church of that period as an official
religion of the
But the Church that he recognized was by now very different from the Church
founded. The doctrines and teachings that he had taught his apostles were now
the trappings, ceremonies, mysteries and rituals of a church that called
itself by the
name of Christ. It was essentially the Babylonian Mystery religion, now being
Christian, accepting the doctrine of grace but turning it into license. In
other words, it
was the old pagan Babylonian Mystery religion wearing a new cloak:
Once Constantine recognized them, this Church threw renewed energy into taking
to the world. Teachers and preachers went to all parts of the Roman Empire
with a message
about Christ. Thousands -- maybe millions -- heard this gospel and believed
it. But it was
not the gospel Christ preached -- his prophetic message of the coming kingdom
Emperor Decreed Doctrine of False Church
What happened to the true Church during those centuries in which the gospel
Emperor Constantine died in A.D. 337, just over 300 years after Christ was
had given his blessing to a church that claimed to be the one that Christ
Now that they were free from fear of oppression the persecuted became
of the true Church who dared to disagree with their doctrine were branded as
worthy of punishment.
In about A.D. 365 the Catholic Council of Laodicea wrote in one of its most
"Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on
rather, honouring the Lord's Day. But if any shall be found to be judaizers,
let them be
anathema from Christ." This was a virtual sentence to torture and/or
death. The false
church did not herself put true believers to death, but caused them to be put
(Rev. 13:15). This decree of A.D. 365 definitely shows that there were true
observing the Sabbath.
The small remnant of Christians of the Smyrna era fled once more -- to seek
freedom they needed to practice their beliefs.
They left few records. Occasionally they appear as a footnote of history,
heretics, ridiculed, and hounded by their enemies. But their strongest
from Jesus himself, in his words of encouragement to the Church that was at
"I know your works, tribulation, and poverty .... Do not fear any of
which you are about to suffer .... Be faithful until death, and I will give
you the crown
of life" (Rev. 2:9-10, Revised Authorized Version).
And so the baton passed from the Smyrna Christians to those of the Pergamos
These had been called to carry the truth through one of history's most
-- the Dark Ages.
The power and influence of the great universal church spread far and wide,
who clung to the truth of God ever further into the wilderness.
But they were never far from threat of persecution and martyrdom.
And so very few of the Pergamos Christians remained faithful. One thousand
Jesus had founded his Church, the exhausted remnant of the Pergamos era handed
The Thyatiran era got off to a vigorous start, preaching repentance throughout
Valleys of Southern France and Northern Italy. Many heard and were converted.
The religious authorities quickly reacted to this challenge. Leaders of the
were arrested. Some were martyred. After the death of its first leaders, the
into a temporary decline -- but emerged once more under the dynamic leadership
Waldo. For several years in the 12th century, these Waldensians flourished in
Valleys, preaching what truth they had. Booklets and articles were written and
hand. This was still before the days of printing.
As Jesus prophesied of the Thyatiran era, they had faith and they worked hard.
latter works were greater than the first.
But once again, persecution followed, as the full force of the Inquisition was
felt in the
peaceful valleys that had once provided a safe haven for the work of God.
Many that remained began to adopt the customs and traditions of the world
Europe now had many scattered groups of people calling themselves Christians.
Meanwhile, the world was changing. Printing had been invented -- and knowledge
began to be
increased. The Protestant Reformation broke the monopoly of the Church of
As religious wars swept across the European continent during the Middle Ages,
refugees fled to the relative safety and tolerance of England. Among them were
the true Church. They brought with them their doctrines and beliefs,
knowledge of the Sabbath.
The strict Sunday-observing Puritans resisted, but in spite of a rising tide
opposition, in the early 17th century, there were several small Sabbath-
congregations in England. Jesus was raising up the fifth era of his Church --
Protestant England became increasingly intolerant of dissenters, including
The true Church in England withered. But across the ocean, men were beginning
a New World.
Stephen Mumford, a member of a Sabbath-keeping church in London, left England
Rhode Island, in 1664. Rhode Island was the smallest of the American colonies,
been founded by Roger Williams, a Baptist fleeing persecution from the
Rhode Island was the first place in the world to guarantee freedom of religion
as a basic
tenet of its constitution. Finding none who kept the Sabbath, Mumford and his
to fellowship with the Baptist church in Newport. He did not proselytize, but
maintained his own belief. Several members of the Sunday-keeping congregation
convinced that they, too, should observe the Sabbath.
They became the first Sabbath-keeping congregation in America. At first they
private homes. In the historical museum at Newport, their record book is
containing names -- their contributions -- even records of their ordination
Also preserved is the simple, but elegant, meeting hall that they built in
Newport in the
early years of the 18th century. Others joined them in their belief, as God
began to call
more to his work in the New World.
A second congregation was established at Hopkinton. This soon became a
thriving church of
several hundred. A bridge today marks the spot where their meeting house once
Several thousand were baptized here on the banks of the Pawkatuk River. Then
decline set in.
By the mid-1800s, vigorous new Sabbath-keeping congregations, raised up as a
result of the
preaching of William Miller, 1831-1849, could be found throughout the American
At Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1860, many thousands were persuaded to accept
the beliefs of
the followers of Ellen G. White.
They departed from the true name -- the Church of God. Instead of the true
kingdom of God, they substituted doctrines of Ellen G. White, called "the
policy," "the investigative judgment," a "2,300 day"
"the spirit of prophecy," identifying Mrs. White as the church's
actually set the church's doctrine.
They adopted the name Seventh-day Adventists, by which name they are known to
But those who remained of the true Church of God refused to accept these
doctrines and restored certain truths that had fallen into neglect in the
They moved their headquarters to Marion, Iowa, and then to Stanberry,
magazine, The Bible Advocate, was published. Their efforts bore some fruit --
congregations sprang up across the nation.
And so it was that some time in the 19th century, a small congregation of the
of God was established in the peaceful Willamette Valley in Oregon.
They were farmers, without formal education. They lacked trained ministers to
guide them. But they had the name, Church of God, and they faithfully kept the
God's Church had come a long way across the turbulent centuries since the day
It was weak, and lacked influence. Years of persecution and compromise had
toll. Much truth had been lost. But they had stayed the course.
In the Willamette Valley, they waited. It was nearly time for the baton to
change again --
into the hands of those God would call to do his end-time work.
Restoration of God's Truth to Church
From the year 1931, exactly 1,900 years (a century of time cycles from the
the Church, this small remnant of the original true Church of God began to
take on new
life as the Philadelphia era. It had come to the "time of the end."
spiritual vitality was infused into it. The time had come for Jesus' prophecy
24:14 to be fulfilled "this gospel of the kingdom shall be [proclaimed]
in all the
world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Such
that had been lost was gradually revealed and proclaimed.
This Philadelphia era is described in verses 7 to 13 of Revelation 3. The
Sardis era (Rev.
3:1-6) was by this time spiritually dying and had become impotent in spreading
gospel of Christ. Indeed they had by this time lost knowledge of the true
meaning of that
gospel. They knew they were approaching the Second Coming of Christ, but they
knowledge of what would happen during the thousand years millennium, further
than the fact
Christ would rule.
Of the Philadelphia era of God's true Church we read: "To the angel of
...." This word angel translated from the Greek aggelos means messenger
This is not necessarily always referring to a spirit angel but can refer as
well to a
human agent. It is possible that God's principle of duality may apply here. It
to an actual spirit-composed angel that has been assigned as an overall agent
or helper of
this particular era of the Church. Or it may also apply to the human messenger
God has raised up to lead this era of his Church.
At the same time another principle of duality may apply to verses 7-13. It may
the Church of this era as a whole, and also it could apply to the human leader
raised up to this era of his Church.
Continue with verse 8: "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee
door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept
my word, and
hast not denied my name."
This era of the Church was to produce fruit. To this era -- or to its human
leader -- God
had set before it an open door. It is recorded in II Corinthians 2:12 and also
how Christ opened the door for Paul to go into other countries to preach the
Church and/or its leader had but little strength. Neither were of great and
stature in Satan's world but those of this era were faithful to the Word of
much of the original gospel truth, imparted to the original apostles by Jesus
had been lost, it was restored through the Bible to this era of God's Church
faithful in keeping it.
It is revealed in Malachi 3:1-5 and 4:5-6 that God would raise up one in the
spirit of Elijah, shortly prior to the Second Coming of Christ. In Matthew
said, even after John the Baptist had completed his mission, that this
"truly shall first come, and restore all things." Although it is
revealed that John the Baptist had come in the power and spirit of Elijah, he
restore anything. The human leader to be raised up somewhat shortly prior to
Second Coming was to prepare the way -- prepare the Church -- for Christ's
restore the truth that had been lost through the preceding eras of the Church.
Also a door
was to be opened for this leader and/or the Philadelphia era of the Church to
Matthew 24:14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all
the world for
a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
It was to be at a time when, for the first time in the history of mankind, the
mass destruction were produced that could erase all humanity from the earth
24:21-22). This also was to occur just before the Second Coming of Christ
These prophecies have now definitely been fulfilled. The true gospel has been
has now gone in power into every nation on the face of the earth.
The Church has taken on a new Spirit-empowered life. All the technological
facilities are being employed.
First radio was used, beginning on one of the smallest-powered stations in
Then the printing press. This started with an old secondhand Neostyle,
ancestor to the
mimeograph. In due time the printing press was used. The advent of television
came in 1945
-- immediately after the end of World War II. The Church began using
television in the
summer of 1955.The true gospel, for the first time In 1,900 years, has finally
proclaimed and published into all nations of the earth. The Church has grown.
first 25 years it grew at an average rate of 30 percent per year.
The first apostles would be astonished to see the size and scope of the work
means of communications the technology and the modern resources that God has
given to his
end-time work would indeed be strange to those men who first received the
take the gospel to the world nearly 2,000 years ago.
But some things would not be strange -- the Sabbath and Holy Days, the name,
the Church of
God, and the gospel of the kingdom -- these they would recognize -- handed
the ages from the time of Christ to the time of the end.
[Mystery of the Ages Index]