RADIO CAMPAIGN NOW BEGINNING TO BEAR REAL FRUIT. HARVEST RIPE FOR RAISING UP OTHER SABBATH SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES IN VARIOUS COMMUNITIES.
NEW SABBATH SCHOOL
Raised up at Vancouver, Wash.
ALL Church of God brethren everywhere will rejoice, .... (unreadable) .... anew, to hear of the great progress in the work, especially as a result of The RADIO CHURCH OF GOD, and The PLAIN TRUTH magazine.
As a direct result of these two powerful and far-reaching agencies, a new Sabbath School has just been raised up at Vancouver, Washington. The first meeting will be held at the home of Sisters Weening and Mapes in Vancouver, Sabbath June 26th.
Only Typical of Harvest Ready for Reaping in Other Places.
Brother R. W. Burnett is superintendent of the new Sabbath School. Sister Burnett will act as adult class teacher, and the children's teacher will be selected when they meet.
The Vancouver Sabbath School starts off with eleven adults and eight children. However, there are a number of other interested people in and near Vancouver, and it is hoped that several more will soon be added to the number there as soon as they can be personally contacted.
This splendid work in Vancouver is only typical of the condition in many communities as a direct result of the radio work, and The PLAIN TRUTH. Indications, based upon correspondence and some personal contact, are that new Sabbath Schools or Churches will be raised up in the near future also, in Corvallis, Portland, and other communities. Also we hope to see substantial additions made to the churches at Oregon City, Dever, and Eugene, as a result of radio interest.
How the Vancouver Sabbath School was Established
It is surely a matter for great rejoicing that the radio work, accompanied with the publishing work, has arrived at the stage where it is beginning to bear visible, tangible fruit in an important way. The Vancouver experience is typical. It is an interesting story -- one we feel you brethren will want to hear.
It all began one Sunday morning when the Burnetts lived near McMinnville, Ore. They were Sabbath keepers, and members of another church. On this particular Sunday morning, they happened to turn the dial to our program. They were not, at that time, at all interested in the programs of any other church, but the music caught their ear. They enjoyed it.
The next Sunday they decided to tune in again to hear the singing of the Radio Church Quartette. Before they realized it, they were beginning to be interested in the preaching. About the third Sunday they wrote us a letter, asking one or two questions, and requesting our literature. This established personal contact, and a series of Bible studies by mail followed, on such subjects as the day of Christ's resurrection, the millennial reign on EARTH, etc. Eagerly they accepted the Bible truth, and hungered for more.
As a result of accepting Bible truth, Brother Burnett was cast out of the organization to which they had been affiliated, and Sister Burnett came out with him. Soon they felt they belonged with the Church of God.
Then one Sunday, after they had moved to Orchards, Washington, Sister Burnett, together with her daughter and son-in-law, Brother and Sister Robert Bair of Portland, met us at the KWJJ studio in Portland, and were given the right hand of fellowship by those of us who made the trip to Portland. Later Brother Burnett was given the right hand of fellowship in the same way at Portland, and their son, Laurie earnestly expressed the desire to be baptised at the first opportunity.
Sister Burnett came to Eugene for the Passover, attending Eugene and Dever churches the following Sabbath, and on Friday June 17th the editor and Mrs. Armstrong visited the Burnetts at Orchards, and Laurie was baptised near the home of his sister at Battle Ground, Washington.
Others Much Interested
In the meantime, others in and near Vancouver had become much interested in the truth, thru the radio messages and The PLAIN TRUTH magazine. We had been receiving letters from some who had accepted the Sabbath, expressing a desire for a Church of God to be raised up there.
A few of these were recently visited, and EVERY ONE visited, so far, has come into the new Church of God Sabbath School. Some were not at home when we called, and some we have not yet had time and opportunity to visit. We believe there are still several others who will come into the new Sabbath School as soon as we can visit them in their homes, become acquainted and thoroughly familiarize them with the true FUNDAMENTALS of God's Word.
We earnestly hope and pray, and believe, that the little Sabbath school now started at Vancouver may become a live and growing new Church.
We thank and praise God for this increase. Each of us can do only our small and humble part. It is GOD who gives the increase. All credit, glory and praise belongs to HIM! Praise His name!
The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers -- laborers God can use, and bless, whether they labor as ministers or with their PRAYERS and their tithes and offerings to support the work -- are FEW -- so few! The day is far spent. Time is short! Let us put our shoulders to the wheel, with a great united PUSH in the work GOD is blessing with real results, with extra effort and sacrifice during these closing days.
A GREAT HARVEST IS READY FOR REAPING. Let us REJOICE! Let us PRESS ON!
The all-day meeting the first Sabbath in May was held in the Dever school house with 108 in attendance. The June meeting was at Harrisburg. The first Sabbath in July the all-day meeting will come to Eugene church, at which time it is anticipated all records for attendance will be shattered.
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On the day of Pentecost Eugene Church met in holy convocation at the home of Brother and Sister White in Eugene. A brief service was held in the morning, one of the usual delightful basket dinners was enjoyed at noon, with preaching service and special music in the afternoon.
The Dever brethren met at the home of Brother and Sister Henion on all three holy days, -- Pentecost, as well as the two festivals during the days of unleavened bread.
At Passover time, Eugene brethren assembled at the home of the pastor on the evening of Abib 14th in the most solemn and sacred service of the year. Fifty-five partook of the sacred supper on this date, with five or six taking it a month later on the 14th of the second month. Dever brethren met at the home of D. T. Henion, and the entire Oregon City membership met at the home of W. A. Dillon, in Oregon City. On the 14th of the second month the editor and wife met with eight other brethren from scattered localities who had been unable to partake of the Passover at the proper time, administering the supper at the home of W. A. Dillon in Oregon City.
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Brother and Sister John Kiesz visited Oregon briefly on their recent trip from Toppenish, Washington, where Elder Kiesz held a successful meeting, to Lodi, California. They visited at the home of the editor Friday afternoon and night, June 10th, attending Junction City church Sabbath morning, and going with the editor and wife in the afternoon to Dever, where Elder Kiesz brought the message, -- an excellent sermon which struck home to most of us. Returning to Eugene, Elder Kiesz preached Saturday night at a specially called meeting at Eugene church, leaving early Sunday morning for Lodi, accompanied by Elder Rob Barnes. Everyone was glad to welcome them back in our midst, and sorry they could not remain longer. Brother and Sister Kiesz are now on their way to Eureka, S. Dak., to attend the Camp Meeting at that place.
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On Sunday night, June 12th, an illustrated lecture on the Great Pyramid was given at Eugene Church by Evangelist B. P. Kallor of Los Angeles. The church was packed, with several unable to find seats. Radio listeners came from more than fifty miles. The Radio-Church quartette sang two of their beautiful anthems.
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The editor is booked for a speaking tour through Washington and British Columbia during the last of July and fore part of August, speaking at a number of points including Tacoma and Bellingham, Washington, and Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. He will attend the convention of the Anglo-Israel federation at Vancouver, where he will be one of the speakers. An attendance of 2500 to 3000 is expected. He will be accompanied by Mrs. Armstrong, and Beverly, who will sing.
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Sister Croffoot has just recently returned from a six-weeks' visit to Kansas where she found prospects for a good crop this year to be excellent. Crater Lake was visited on the return trip.
Phyllis Day is working in Hillsboro, Oregon, staying with her sister Beatrice. She says she certainly misses the inspiring fellowship of Eugene Church.
Bobby Vernam has just recovered from an attack of tonsillitis. Still working in Eugene.
Brother and Sister W. E. Conn recently suffered a serious misfortune, losing by fire 900 baby turks. They have met other similar misfortunes of an economic nature. Let all the brethren join in praying earnestly that God will make this up for them, and cause them to prosper.
Sister Sarah Owen, one of our newest members given the right hand of fellowship only a few weeks ago, has been visiting her daughter in Portland. Grete Christensen also spent two weeks in Portland with her aunt.
Brother and Sister Elmer Fisher enjoyed a visit with Mrs. Fisher's sister and husband from Minneapolis, Minn., and brought them to church on the Sabbath.
Sister Fisher recently spent several days visiting relatives in Portland, and was with us at the radio studio on the Sunday the right hand of fellowship was extended to Brother R. W. Burnett, of Orchards, Washington.
Bro. and Sister J. O. Spires, Sister Frances Goldson, Sister Day, Bert and Irene Chapman, Mary Engle, and Wilma Christensen helped in the office the first week in June, wrapping, addressing, and mailing the June PLAIN TRUTH magazine.
The husband of Sister Florence Snyder died in May. Funeral services were conducted by Elder Armstrong, the Radio Church Quartette singing.
Elder and Sister Pete Bartschi went to Dever Church Sabbath, July 18, and Bro. Bartschi preached.
Elder Armstrong and family spent the week of June 15th to 21st calling on radio listeners at Vancouver, Orchards, and Battle- Ground, Washington, and in Portland. It was a real pleasure to visit with several from whom such splendid letters have been received.
Mary and Bob Bair, Portland, have a little son, Teddy Bair, born June 2nd in Portland. They are members of the Church, brought in recently thru the radio. Mary is the daughter of Bro. and Sister R. W. Burnett.
An all-day meeting was held June 13th at Oregon City Church. Sister Johnson was away, visiting her daughter in Salem, but all other members were present, and enjoyed another splendid meeting.
Great Camp Meeting at Eugene
Noted Speakers and lively interesting program planned for great Convention.
TENTATIVE Plans are laid for a great convention, to be held at Eugene, Oregon, August 1st to 28th, inclusive.
We regret that circumstances make it impossible, at this writing, to announce this wonderful meeting definitely. Tentative arrangements have been made for use of a splendid large auditorium, seating between 500 and 600 people, with ample camping grounds for those who wish to bring a tent, and with numerous cabins, in all price ranges, either on the grounds or within about two blocks easy walking distance. A most reasonable price has been agreed upon with the owner, provided the place is available at that date. It is believed that it will be, but cannot be made absolutely certain for about two weeks.
In the meantime we feel this tentative announcement should be made, for it would be too late for many of our people to plan to come if announcement is delayed. We hope to make definite announcement by the middle of July.
Some of the ablest, most spiritual and successful ministers in the church of God are expected to be here -- some whom most of us have never met but always have wanted to hear. In fact, we hope to be able to announce a big surprise just a little later.
As guest speakers, arrangements have been made to bring to Eugene two or three men of national reputation -- speakers with timely, lively, vital messages who are accustomed to speaking before large audiences over America, England, and Canada.
Special music is planned, including the Radio Church mixed Quartette, and the newly organized Radio Church MALE QUARTETTE.
It is planned, .... (unreadable) .... to make this meeting DIFFERENT! It will be lively, interesting, dynamic, truly spiritual. It is impossible to have a really spiritual meeting, to receive real benefit and enjoy the fullness of God's Holy Spirit when self-seeking, jealous, antagonizing elements are present. A spirit of PEACE, and sweet fellowship in LOVE will prevail at this meeting. The program will not DRAG! There will not be a dull moment. The day will not be overcrowded with services, but every portion of the program will SPARKLE with interest, life, and helpful edification.
Plans first were laid for this great assembly at the Feast of Tabernacles gathering in Eugene last fall. It was then planned to hold Camp Meeting at Feast of Tabernacles time this Fall, but the date falls too late (Oct. 9th to 16th) for most people to attend, and so the August date has been adopted tentatively. However, in event the auditorium cannot be secured at this date, it is possible an eight-day convention may be planned for Feast of Tabernacles time, if enough can come at that time.
It will be a RARE TREAT, to hear the able speakers who will be here, and to have part in the altogether new and different and INSPIRING type of program that will simply LIFT you to higher spiritual ground.
Many interested radio listeners, and new Church of God members brought in thru the radio, the Plain Truth magazine, and personal evangelism, are expected to come. YOU will want to plan NOW to be here the full eight days.
Brethren, never was there a time when God's people SO NEEDED to come together in peace and love, and SEEK THE LORD, and let Him bring about a sweeping revival right in our OWN hearts! Surely this is the very FIRST need of every one. More important than daily cares and burdens. PUT THIS FIRST! Plan to COME!
Will you not communicate with the editor, in the enclosed self-addressed envelope, BY RETURN MAIL, so we may know how many are INTERESTED, and trying to plan to come? And then we will notify you personally as soon as the meeting is a definite certainty. We know you'll be enthusiastic over these wonderful plans!
WHAT IS THE BIBLE BASIS FOR UNITY?
The TRUE Church of God must have UNITY! But what is the BIBLE BASIS for that unity?
ROME'S basis of unity is DOCTRINE! Every Catholic priest is forced to speak as he is TOLD -- all SPEAK THE SAME THING! This is the basis for unity in every Protestant Church -- the basis of BABYLON -- of SATAN! GOD'S basis is LOVE! "Tho I understand ALL KNOWLEDGE, and have not LOVE ...."
The radio work is known as the RADIO CHURCH OF GOD conducted by Herbert W. Armstrong.
KORE, Eugene, 1420 keys., 10:A.M.
KWJJ, Portland, 1040 keys, 4:P.M.
The PLAIN TRUTH Magazine is issued monthly, in conjunction with the Radio Church of God, sent free, without subscription price, to all who request it. Supported by the tithes and free- will offerings of God's people. Its circulation is enjoying phenomenal growth, and this publication now carries the last message to the world to more people outside of the Church of God membership than all other Church of God publications combined! If you, too, would like to receive it monthly, address Herbert W. Armstrong, Box 111, Eugene, Oregon.
LETTERS FROM THE MINISTERS
FROM ELD. P. BARTSCHI
"Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name."
The Church of the living GOD in the north-west is steadfastly growing, and the work is very progressive. We enjoy the regular services with the Church at Eugene which is working together in unity and in love. The Lord is marvelously blessing the work of Bro. Armstrong and the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom is spreading fast by radio and publishing work, and thousands and thousands hear the last message to the world, and God is adding unto the Church such as should be saved.
We which have the privilege to come together every Sabbath are really feasting on the love and fellowship which all of us enjoy so much. But the isolated ones, and those who get the comforting news by radio are deprived of such blessed privilege, and therefore we write these lines.
"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that YOUR JOY may be FULL."
We are enjoying the freedom we have, to advance in our Christian warfare and to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The harvest truly is plenteous and laborers are needed. God is looking for laborers and the laborer is worthy of his hire.
Come and visit with us and enjoy the fellowship and love which is extended to all who have a desire to live by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The CHURCHES OF GOD are strictly undenominational. We are not affiliated with any denominational project. The true CHURCH OF GOD is not a sect, a division, or a denomination. We have no ambition to build up a denominational machine or organization. We are not independent, but we are DEPENDENT upon God. We wish to promote nothing further than to spread the last warning Message with power to the multitudes, to be used in the salvation of such as God calls, and humbly to minister to as many of those called-out ones whom God has added to His Church, and who wish to assemble with us in peace and harmony based on LOVE, for our mutual edification. We recognize that all born-again souls become members of the spiritual Body of Christ, the true CHURCH OF GOD. We believe in The Commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus Christ.
LETTERS FROM THE MINISTERS
FROM ELD. CLAUDE W. ELLIS
To the Saints scattered throughout the land: Grace and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ:
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us all in our tribulation. (II Cor. 1:2-3).
I am truly thankful to God for His wonderful Plan of salvation and that He included me in His "whosoever will, may come," -- that I, with you, can be called a child of His. Blessed be His name. God has certainly been blessing our feeble efforts in the work here in Oregon and we especially thank Him for the generous blessing on the radio Church.
I am proud to have been a member in this part of God's work since it first went on the air. I have watched it grow, but I am sure the far-reaching results and the good done will never be known until the hidden things shall be revealed, but we have seen many souls saved for His name, and the last Message declared to many thousands.
We surely do appreciate the fellowship of the saints here, and the love that exists between brethren here in Oregon, being as one great family striving to attain. I truly thank God for the privilege of meeting with, and serving these brethren, and for the opportunity of working with Brother Armstrong.
Brethren, the devil is truly going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but God has promised strength to the honest in heart that they may not be deceived.
Nevertheless the Lord admonishes us to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Brethren, we desire your prayers that this work may leap forward under the divine guidance of God, and we might be humble, usable in His hands, and that the true Message may go powerfully to a lost world and many souls may be saved for the honor and glory of His name, then we know His Word will not return unto Him void.
FROM HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
To our Dear Brethren everywhere, Greetings in the precious name of God's Son:
Surely, dear brethren, we are now in that period known as "the TIME OF THE END," when God's people are, each of us individually, being tried and tested, so that we may be purified (Dan. 12:9-10), and that we may be made ready, and righteous, and holy, for the soon coming of our Lord. (Rev. 19:7-8; Heb. 12:14).
Here in Oregon we are privileged to enjoy such blessed fellowship together at Eugene Church, and also the Churches at Dever and Oregon City, also meeting about once a month with those of Harrisburg Church. It is inspiring -- it is a glorious JOY to partake of such peaceful fellowship where real love is manifest, and shines from the faces of God's people.
Yet, even here, where we are so privileged, -- where we hear preaching and admonition every Sabbath -- where we can mutually help and pray for one-another -- even here I know practically every individual and every home is now experiencing some real trial or test, sufficient to try the souls of the stoutest characters.
It is the sifting time. Sterner tests are ahead. Our ONLY HOPE of going safely thru, and enduring to the end as overcomers is in TRUSTING HIM -- in learning the lesson of COMMITTING our trials to HIM -- the lesson of FAITH. And this comes from really getting to KNOW the living God, and we can only KNOW Him if we are in CONSTANT PRAYER. How much MORE do you dear brethren who are isolated, standing alone, need this contact with God, which can come only thru much earnest prayer. Let us PRAY MORE! And we need your prayers for this work. It is a work of faith, and our faith is tried to the limit. Brethren, pray for us, that God will keep us humble, that He will hold up our feeble hands and keep us pressing on, and that this great work now reaching many thousands may continue in even greater power and usefulness. How dependent we are upon HIM! Praise His name! His grace is sufficient for our every need. God bless you all. May He keep you always true and steadfast, your affections and thoughts on the things above, your faith in HIM!
HOW the RADIO WORK and The PLAIN TRUTH Magazine is SPREADING THE LAST WARNING MESSAGE TO MANY THOUSANDS
Think of it! An audience of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE listening to the true CHURCH OF GOD MESSAGE, once every single week!
It is difficult, we know, for those not intimately connected with this work, right here in the office in Eugene and seeing all the scores and scores of letters as they roll in from this vast audience, to realize as all what a great and powerful and effective work God has made possible thru the modern facilities of RADIO and the PRINTING PRESS.
Few, even of the brethren here in Eugene Church, have any real conception of he magnitude of this work.
We believe the brethren scattered abroad would like to hear more about it.
Briefly, the radio work which is the CHURCH OF GOD over the air, is called The Radio Church of God. There are two broadcasts every Sunday, at 10:A.M. over KORE, Eugene, a 100 watt station covering the upper Willamette Valley, and again at 4:P.M. over the more powerful Portland station, KWJJ. We have selected Sunday because more people can be reached then.
The Eugene broadcast for the time being is reduced to 15 minutes, but we still have the full 30 minutes over the larger station, KWJJ, from Portland.
In that 30 minutes a full evangelistic service is broadcast. It is a rapid-fire program, in every sense a radio production, employing principles of radio technique, yet it is purely evangelistic. KWJJ announcers tell us The Radio Church is the best and most interesting program that goes out over their station thru the week -- religious or otherwise.
The typical program includes at least five singing members, opening greeting, prayer, opening announcements, sermon, and closing announcements -- yet it flows so smoothly and rapidly that 18 to 23 minutes of the 30 is devoted to a vigorous sermon.
The music has been furnished by the Radio Church Quartette, a mixed quartette, with Beverly Armstrong, soprano, Mrs. Armstrong, alto, Claude Ellis, tenor, and Alfred Frese, bass, with Velma Ellis at the piano. The quartette has worked very hard on these programs, averaging two to three rehearsals before each program. Each program is carefully planned and rehearsed in advance, which is the real secret of its rapid-fire smoothness. The quartette has been especially good, and qualified music critics have said it is good enough for a national net-work. The music is inspiring, and never drags. Now a MALE QUARTETTE has at last been assembled together, Leland and Larry Chase joining with Claude Ellis and Alfred Frese, and it shows promise of becoming a very outstanding male quartette, as all four voices match and blend perfectly. We are really enthusiastic over the possibilities of this male quartette, and so are the men who compose it.
The Radio Church has grown and developed, until it now undoubtedly has the largest audience of any religious broadcast in the Pacific Northwest.
Based upon surveys, and mailed received, the present audience over KWJJ alone is estimated at more than 100,000 people. We have had letters from listeners in all parts of Oregon and Washington, northern Idaho, and the three western provinces of Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
The PLAIN TRUTH magazine is sent FREE, without subscription price, as an evangelistic magazine to all radio listeners who request it. The circulation of this paper is growing phenomenally, and is already getting into the thousands, undoubtedly carrying the last Message to more people, outside Church of God brethren, than all other Church of God publishing work combined.
A very heavy mail is received. The radio and the magazine are establishing an intimate and personal contact with hundreds and hundreds of interested people. Many of these lead to Bible studies, and in turn these have led to conversions and bringing members into the Church. The mail, with the publishing work, keeps us busy in the office, in a down-town office building, daily except Sabbaths and Sundays.
Sister Starkey, of Eugene Church, has been in the office as Secretary since last summer. Since she has moved farther from Eugene, Beverly Armstrong is taking over the secretarial duties in the office.
N.B.C. and C.B.S. tests show that only one out of a thousand radio listeners will respond to a broadcast by requesting free literature, yet we often receive from 100 to 150 letters in a single week, all of which must be answered. This in itself is a big work.
Conversions have taken place at home beside the radio during our broadcasts. Many have been converted and brought into the church as a result of this work. New ones are coming in all the time.
None connected with this work takes any of the credit or glory. It is God's glorious work. It is HIS BLESSING, and that alone, which has brought results. To HIM, and Him ALONE goes all credit, honor and glory. Praise His holy name! He will bless all who will really serve HIM, follow Him, and let Him work in and thru them.
The radio and magazine work is purely a WORK OF FAITH. We have learned by sad experience that if we look to men, or a man- controlled treasury, for the funds to carry on the work, that we must do as the MEN say, who control the treasury. There is one way that honest laborers, yielded to God, may truly SERVE GOD, and that is to TRUST GOD for the money, as well as every other need, for His Work!
Our faith is sorely tried. Often it seems the work has stopped and cannot go on. We NEED YOUR PRAYERS!
WHICH is the one TRUE CHURCH of GOD?
Is There an organization, with a definite form of church government, recognized by Almighty God exclusively as HIS one and only CHURCH?
Many organizations on earth lay claim to being God's one and ONLY true Church.
Which is right?
We must remember, too, that members of each of these various organizations are entirely sincere and honest in believing earnestly that their particular is the one true Church. All, too, feel absolutely certain that this belief is sustained in THE BIBLE.
Many Roman Catholics, for instance, are so positively convinced that they belong to the one and only true Church that their minds are CLOSED to any proof to the contrary. Thus they are blinded! We can see this. But are some of US in this same condition of blinded prejudice?
IF we belong to the one and only true Church, then open- minded, honest, fair, unbiased examination of the FACTS will only confirm the truth. But if we have been deceived, had we not better accept the Bible as a source of CORRECTION and REPROOF (II Tim. 3:16), so we may become UNdeceived? Remember, a deceived man believes sincerely he is right. Surely we cannot be too careful.
The Source of AUTHORITY
The one source of authority on this question is the Bible. In it we find the only record of the founding of the true Church of God.
First, let us not assume. Let us ask, just what IS "the Church?" Is the Church a BUILDING? Is it an ORGANIZATION?
Whatever it may be, we know it is something that was purchased with the blood of the Son of God. Acts 20:28 tells us: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (shepherds, or local church elders), to feed the CHURCH OF GOD, which He hath purchased with His own blood."
Recently we heard a minister say over the radio that the Church is the BUILDING in which the people assemble for worship. This text ought to remove any doubt on that point. God did not purchase any building, or buildings, with His blood!
Another thing we learn from this text is that it was not some "church" named after a man, but "The Church of GOD" which Christ purchased. And, since we believe our readers are all sufficiently familiar with the many texts in the Bible proving the true Church should be called, as God Himself named it, "The CHURCH OF GOD," further proof on this point is not here necessary.
The Scriptures teach us that people -- individual PEOPLE -- not buildings or organizations as such, -- have forgiveness of sins thru His blood. We are justified, cleansed of all sin, by His blood. Therefore, since the CHURCH OF GOD is that which was purchased with His blood, and since it is individual souls, not collective organizations, which His blood justifies and cleanses, we must conclude that THE CHURCH OF GOD is composed of these PEOPLE whose sins are thus forgiven, and who are thus cleansed.
Did Christ's Blood Purchase Some ORGANIZATION?
The next question is, was it some particular group of people who have joined some particular ORGANIZATION, organized under a certain form, having a certain form of government (which means RULE), with certain men occupying certain offices, doing the ruling, which Christ purchased, to the exclusion of other organizations or individual people, with His own blood?
Can we believe that there is on earth today some one ORGANIZATION, whose members ALONE Christ purchased with His own blood, --- and that people who belong to some other organization, or no organization, who have fully repented, accepted Christ, been baptised, and received the Holy Spirit are excluded, and without salvation?
The Scriptures distinctly teach that the CHURCH OF GOD is the Body of Jesus Christ, of which He, and HE ALONE, is the HEAD!
Notice Ephesians 1:19-23: "And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand ... and gave HIM to be HEAD over all things to the Church, which is HIS BODY, the fulness of Him that filleth all in-all."
It should be evident to all not unduly prejudiced that the true CHURCH is not a human-governed and administered organization, but a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM!
It is A BODY! And that body is not a group of people who have organized themselves together, whose names are written with material ink on a man-kept book or a membership card -- it is THE BODY OF CHRIST!
Jesus pictured this spiritual organism in John 15:5, when He said, "I am the Vine, ye are the branches." The branches are joined, not to each other direct, but each is separately and individually joined TO THE VINE. It is only the Vine that joins one branch to another.
The life-giving sap flows from the grape-vine into and thru the branches, so they bear fruit, just as the Holy Spirit flows from Christ into and thru each member of HIS BODY, producing the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT -- LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GENTLENESS, etc.
Read a little further: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water BY THE WORD, that He might present it to Himself a GLORIOUS CHURCH, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it might be HOLY, and WITHOUT BLEMISH."
It ought to be apparent that God's Son did not give Himself for a building to present it to Him -- neither did He give Himself exclusively for some ONE of the many sectarian denominations or organizations, whose members EXCLUSIVELY He is going to present to Himself a glorious organization. No such organization is without spot or wrinkle. None is entirely HOLY. There are at least a FEW Judas Iscariots within all of them! And if just ONE MEMBER of the TRUE CHURCH have a spot or wrinkle, then the whole body is not without spot or wrinkle. The TRUE CHURCH that shall be presented to Christ will consist only of those individuals who are HOLY, and without spot or wrinkle.
Are we, then, to conclude that God is dispensing salvation WHOLESALE, by ORGANIZATIONS, instead of by individuals? Is there some one organization which, with its one or more Judases, will be presented to Christ and go into the Kingdom, while all other people outside this particular organization, regardless of how much they have repented and believed, no matter how holy, cannot hope to be presented to Christ and to enter the Kingdom with eternal life?
The SPIRITUAL ORGANISM
Notice Eph. 5:30: "For we are members of" -- what? Members of an ORGANIZATION? No, "members of HIS BODY." Note it! The true Church is THE BODY of Christ. A body has head, hands, feet, etc. The head directs the actions of every other part of the body. "And Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature ... And He is the HEAD of the body, the Church." (Col. 1:15-18).
Oh, brethren, can we not see it? God is A SPIRIT -- invisible, immortal! (John 4:24). Man is but FLESH (Gen. 6:3; John 3:6). Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom (I Cor. 15:50) -- we must be BORN AGAIN -- born of God, who is a SPIRIT -- born of THE HOLY SPIRIT (John 3:3). The Bible way to be BORN AGAIN, and to become a spirit being is -- what? To join an organization? To "cast your lot with this one true organization?" To "take your stand for the doctrines our organization has voted upon?" No! The conditions are "REPENT, and BE BAPTISED (in FAITH) in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST ... and ye SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT." (Acts 2:38).
IF you have the Holy Spirit you are CHRIST'S, but if the Holy Spirit is not dwelling and abiding IN YOU, then you are NONE OF HIS (Rom. 8:9), and certainly not OF His body, no matter how many organizations you have joined!
How, then, does one get INTO the true CHURCH OF GOD, which is THE BODY OF CHRIST? Does he JOIN it, like one joins a lodge or a worldly club or society? Brethren, there is not a single text in the Bible that speaks of JOINING THE CHURCH! Rather, "God adds to the Church SUCH AS MIGHT BE SAVED!" (Acts 2:47). Ministers have no doubt written out membership certificates to many who ARE NOT SAVED! Many have accepted an ARGUMENT -- many have accepted so-called "Church of God doctrine," -- many are resting and attending church on the Sabbath -- who have never been truly CONVERTED -- who have never really DIED and been BORN AGAIN, and who do not have THE HOLY SPIRIT! It is only those being SAVED -- who have THE HOLY SPIRIT -- whom GOD adds to His true CHURCH. Men may add others to their organizations, but GOD only adds those being SAVED to HIS CHURCH!
How does God put us into the true CHURCH OF GOD? "By one SPIRIT are we all baptised (put into) into ONE BODY." (I Cor. 12:13). Not by joining it. Not by some preacher writing out a membership certificate! Not by "casting your lot," or "Taking your stand." And note it! There is but just the ONE BODY!
Oh, dear brethren, can't we see the blessed TRUTH? We must first receive the HOLY SPIRIT -- and that by utter, complete, SURRENDER to God, full and genuine REPENTANCE -- by a real BORN- AGAIN EXPERIENCE -- by BEING CONVERTED -- CHANGED! If we are led by the Holy Spirit, rather than by men, then and then ONLY are we the sons of God (Rom 8:14).
Christ is GOD'S SON. God is A SPIRIT. And when we receive THE SPIRIT of adoption, and are BORN OF GOD, then we, too, become the SONS OF GOD. And GOD'S SONS are combined together, not by a man-formed organization, but by HIS SPIRIT, into ONE BODY!
Now Christ is not the body. He is only a part of the body -- He is THE HEAD! He is THE FIRST-BORN among many brethren -- the first of the Sons of God. The other sons form the rest of the BODY. The rest of us are the toes, fingers, arms, legs, etc. CHRIST IS OUR HEAD! We must go as HE directs! And THIS is the BODY OF CHRIST, the true CHURCH OF GOD!
And therefore the true Church of God is a BODY -- ONE body -- composed of the SONS of God, who are BORN of Him thru the HOLY SPIRIT.
And the Scriptures tell us explicitly that there is BUT ONE BODY -- but ONE true Church of God. IF that one true Church is only an organization with government administered by men in authority over other men, then whatever organization is the true body is composed wholly of saved, born-again sons of God, and no one outside this man-ruled organization can have salvation.
But if, on the other hand, the true Church is that spiritual organism composed of all, regardless of what organization they are in or whether in ANY organization, who have been converted, and are being led of the SPIRIT OF GOD, as individuals no matter WHERE they are -- then THIS is the ONE AND ONLY true Church of God, and any organization who lays claim to being the true Church is only another body -- and one different from the TRUE CHURCH OF GOD.
If the TRUE CHURCH is made up of saved individuals, regardless of WHERE they are, then THAT is the one true Church, -- that and not any organization. And the Scriptures do clearly teach this. Therefore NO ORGANIZATION on earth, as they now exist, can Scripturally lay claim to being he ONE TRUE CHURCH! It makes no difference whether it be the Roman Catholic, or some other organization!
But is not the Church organized? Should it be organized? That is not the question of this article. The point is, the Church is NOT an ORGANIZATION. So far as organization goes, there are MANY organizations -- MANY sects and denominations. And that which binds each one together, is also the very thing which separates it from others, and has caused all separation and division. This we shall discuss in a future article.
Suffice it to say here that there are SEVERAL organizations who go under the name CHURCH OF GOD.
There are several organizations who have for their main doctrinal tenet THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.
There are also a number who claim to have the BIBLE FORM of organization, and even have APOSTLES. But no one of those things or all of them stamp an ORGANIZATION as the one true Church -- because the Scriptures warn us against FALSE APOSTLES (II Cor. 11:13-15) identifying them as the ones who work deceitfully, and with pretense and hypocrisy -- and also because the one true Church IS NOT AN ORGANIZATION.
We know -- and YOU know -- there are many, not members of any sect, denomination or organization, who have been truly converted and have the Holy Spirit, and, being the CHILDREN OF GOD, they are MEMBERS IN PARTICULAR OF THE ONE BODY (I Cor. 12:27). You know this is true. There are, beyond any doubt, MANY other people who are connected with VARIOUS organizations, who, while they may not have all the knowledge, as yet, nevertheless have truly repented, received the Holy Spirit, and been born into the true family of God. They are not members of YOUR organization, but can you deny they are members of THE ONE TRUE CHURCH? DARE you deny it?
We know, too, that in EVERY organization there are SOME who do not have the Holy Spirit -- who never were truly converted, or have backslidden. And these are NOT in the one TRUE Church!
God alone knows the hearts of men. He alone knows WHO, and just HOW MANY are in His one and only TRUE Church of God. Praise God, that TRUE CHURCH is not limited to some one sectarian denomination! Praise God salvation does not come by the permission of men in some man-governed organization -- it is a FREE salvation -- open to ALL.
What a glorious TRUTH! The TRUE Church is NOT AN ORGANIZATION -- it is a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM. Brother, Sister, are YOU a member in good standing?
REPORT FROM VANCOUVER S.S.
As we come to the close of this first issue of the ENLARGED BULLETIN, we have many personal news notes written out, but no room in this number for them. Also we had hoped to give you two pages of THE MOST INTERESTING LETTERS, from RADIO LISTENERS. We know you'll ENJOY reading these. But they must be held over for the NEXT ISSUE, which we hope to have out JULY 15th.
We finally complete this issue, June 30th, a letter comes from Sister Burnett telling of the FIRST MEETING of Vancouver Sabbath School. We shall devote the remainder of the space to portions of her letter:
"Dear Brother and Sister Armstrong:
It is Sabbath afternoon, and we had such a good time together I will have to write and tell you about it. They all took a good part, and how anxious all seemed to study for the TRUTH!
We liked those two ladies at Vancouver so much, and the young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Cramer, are such fine young people. They are, every one of them, so in earnest. Bro. and Sister Cramer expect to bring others with them next Sabbath, and I will try and get others to come. It's a wonderful thing to be with a group of people who are seeking the real truths. We need song books.
Well, I am soaring, can't you feel it? I have been under something with the corners all pegged down, and it has almost broken me, but at last I am where I can fly, and the Lord keep me flying in the TRUE WAY! I feel sure we are a very happy group, and we want your interest and prayers and all the help you can give. Your Sister in the Lord, Mrs. R.W. Burnett.