Seed of a Worldly Church
In the past, placing God above all required sufficient courage
to endure cruel persecutions. Frequently it meant severe suffering
and even death. So it was in pagan times and so it continued
to be in allegedly Christian times.
it seems so different! But is it really? Religion has become
fashionable for a people dwelling in comfort and abundance.
You have heard it said that it makes no difference to what
Church you go so long as you go to the Church of your choice.
Church-going is fashionable; nearly everybody belongs! Why
be different? Is this God’s appeal to your heart, or
is this man’s appeal to your weakness to conform? It
is the latter!
is man who tells you to go to the church of your choice. God
leaves you no choice. He says, "There is one body, one
faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all." (Eph.
4:4-6) If, therefore, God is to be worshipped and placed above
all, we must arise and seek the "one body, one Spirit,
one hope one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father."
put God above all when paganism was popular meant opposition.
To do so when the Papacy reigned meant opposition. Has it
suddenly happened that it no longer means opposition? Could
it be that everyone has now decided to put God above all and
all we have to do is conform to devout society?
is still united against the faithful. You will be marked as
an extremist if you insist on weeding out tradition, errors,
and human philosophies from your worship of the true and living
God. Quickly you will be told that nobody knows what the Bible
really teaches and that you are better off just accepting
what the clergy present since they should know best. Many
feel that it makes no difference what you believe so long
as you do good and live decently; that is all that counts.
These and other misleading and hurtful arguments will be hurled
at you if you indicate an intention of fathoming God’s
will for you. If you are like most people, you will succumb
to these arguments and conform — just be another person
who endeavors to worship a God he doesn’t really know
and believe something or anything just so it is generally
not so if you are God’s! The Bible says, "God is
a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit
and in truth." (John 4:24) Adoring worship is not enough.
You must worship in "spirit and in truth." God is
not interested in any other form of worship. Men have said
that nobody can really know God’s truth and God’s
plan of the ages, but God promises to open to those who sincerely
"knock." "He that cometh to God must believe
that He is, and that He is rewarder of them that diligently
seek Him." — Heb. 11:6
is the most intelligent Being in the universe. He is the author
of intelligence. Yet, in most religious worship, traditions
and ceremony are emphasized. What little doctrine is found
is reduced to a memorization of certain confessions of faith.
Everyone is called a believer but few know what they believe
and fewer still know why. Human intelligence is encouraged
to free expression in all other fields but seems to have diminished
in the present mass religious appeal. This lack of study,
knowledge and true understanding is covered with a blanket
of good works — as though Christianity were merely a
do-good religion. No one has the right to do wrong. Everyone,
whether Christian or otherwise, has a responsibility to do
good. The true Christian, in placing God above all, goes further
— dedicating his life to know and to preach God’s
Bible does outline His truth. Creation, not blind evolution
is the Bible’s opening claim for man. Created perfect,
man soon succumbed to temptation and sinned. Death, the penalty
for sin followed. The unborn race in Adam shared in the condemnation.
All were lost, committed to the sorrows and heartaches of
life under sin, pain and finally death.
due time Jesus came to ransom Adam and his family from death.
God’s justice was satisfied to accept Jesus’ sacrificed
perfect human life for the release of condemned Adam and all
his children. Therefore, all that was lost because of Adam’s
sin will be restored to man. God’s favor and perfect
life will again belong to man.
restoration and salvation awaits the Kingdom to come on earth.
Then Christ shall raise the dead and deliver men from the
bondage of death, ushering them into the glorious privileges
of the sons of God. While the Kingdom waits its due time,
God is selecting and preparing those who shall live and reign
with Christ when the Kingdom does come to earth.
outline of God’s plan was the faith once delivered to
the saints, and which was beclouded early in Church history.
Not until the Reformation did the quest for truth and reform
seek again this faith of the saints. — Jude 3
Reformation that sought to remove creedal errors and practices
by a return to the oracles of God’s Word has all but
died. The new look is that of extreme religious tolerance
— not because brotherly affections have increased, but
because it is the only way for divided churches to unite into
federated strength to become a world power like that of the
mother church. Certainly tolerance is good. True Christians
never did nor ever will persecute anyone. Persecution stems
from the spirit of antichrist. Acceptance of error is quite
another matter! Contradictory teachings mean unquestionably
that someone is wrong. Should judgment and discernment cease
to exist for the sake of unity? Unity with serious errors
can be a dangerous combination. The Reformation came about
because the faithful reformers such as Luther, Melanchton
and others wanted the pure truth. They obeyed God and His
Word instead of the then united Church. It was the quest for
truth that brought the divisions. To try to create unity without
finding it first in the truth of God’s Word is wrong
and a rejection of the Reformation principles.
man who loves God above all would ever allow another person
to do his studying for him. If the Reformation’s cry
"the priesthood of all believers" were practiced,
each Christian would become a minister to study and teach
under the ordination that God alone bestows. (Isa. 61:1-3)
The Christians of Berea were exemplary in this respect, "they
received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched
the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
(Acts 17:11) This sincerity, commended so highly in the Bereans
of old, is scarcely found today when someone else’s
word is good enough in religion.
Christians often lament the worldliness in their Church, or
the commercial atmosphere that overshadows their worship.
They often confess the sad lack of doctrinal teaching from
the pulpit. Everywhere it is apparent that, while Church attendance
and revenues are high, real Christianity is fading like a
flower in the modern Church.
Wheat and Tares
was a time when God was satisfied to let the true Christians
and the imitation Christians dwell together. That day is no
more! Study Matt. 13:24-30, 37-43. This account covers the
parable of the Wheat (true Christians) and Tares (imitation
Christians). Tares, at times, look very much like wheat but
produce nothing of value.
this parable, Jesus identified himself as the one who sowed
the good seed. He said, "the field is the world, the
good seed are the children of the (heavenly) kingdom; but
the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that
sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world
(properly translated age)." This teaches that God was
willing to allow the true and imitation Christians to be together
until the "harvest" which is the end of the age.
Then he would separate them and gather those that are His
to the heavenly garner and the imitations are "burned"
or destroyed to the condition of false profession.
lesson of the parable is plain. The separation of the "wheat"
from the "tares" is at the "end of the age."
That time is now. According to Jesus, the end of the age was
to be a time when there would be "distress of nations,
with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s
hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those
things which are coming on the earth." (Luke 21:25,26)
With intercontinental ballistic missiles, hydrogen bombs,
germ and radiation pollution facing a hate-filled world, there
is little question that this is "the end of the age."
For Christians this means a time of separation, an unwillingness
to be grouped with those who are not wholeheartedly God’s.
It is a time for searching investigation of the heart and
also a searching investigation of God’s word to know
the present work of God and the present course of the faithful
surrounded by a thousand lukewarm Christians on one side and
ten thousand imitation Christians on the other. —Psa.
now see the "binding" of the "tares" into
"bundles" taking place. From everywhere people are
being gathered into sects, denominations, organizations and
cults. Under this irresistible mass appeal to conform, the
"binding into bundles" continues against the hour
when the "fire" of trial shall try every man’s
work of what sort it is. — I Cor. 3:13-15
Out of Her, My People"
lesson of the parable of The Wheat and Tares is that we are
in the time of harvest, and that the harvest is a time of
separation — the "wheat" from the "tares"
or more plainly the true Christians from the pretenders. Even
more forceful and persuasive is the prophetic word on this
Rev. 18:2-4 we hear this message: "Babylon the great
is fallen, is fallen, (from God’s favor) For all nations
have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and
the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,
and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the
abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from
heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
straightforward reasoning simplifies this lesson. Literal
Babylon had fallen some 600 years previous to the time that
this prophecy was uttered ruling out its application to literal
Babylon. This "Babylon" affected the nations of
earth with the "wine of the wrath of her fornication."
This depicts "Babylon" as a harlot and the rulers
of earth as her paramours. Verse 13 states, among other things,
that she merchandised the "souls of men." And verse
23 tells that once the "light of a candle" shown
there. Finally verse 24 fixes her guilt in pronouncing her
hands covered with the "blood of prophets, and of saints,
and of all that were slain upon the earth."
the days of the Reformation there was no question about who
this "Babylon" was. There was only one Church that
could possibly fulfill this description. Only one Church had
and has continued to have such universal influence and carried
on such heavy traffic. Only one Church had access to the "candlelight"
of the Holy Bible and was within the hearing of the cries
of the "bridegroom," Jesus, and the "bride,"
his faithful. Finally, only one Church was so cruel and unremitting
in her bitter persecution of those who would not submit to
will for true Christians was and still is that they should
be separate from the world. Jesus said, "My kingdom is
not of this world." (John 18:36) James tells us, "Pure
religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and
to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27)
Not that true Christianity is unsympathetic to the world and
its problems. Not that they do not long to see the world of
mankind lifted up and blessed. Far from this! The gospel which
was first preached to Abraham promised a blessing to "all
the families of the earth" and the Apostle Peter tells
when this shall be. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted,
that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing
shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send
Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you: whom the
heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all
things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy
prophets since the world began." (Gen. 12:3; Acts 3:19-21)
The true Christian knows that the day of blessing and the
day of "refreshing" and "restitution of all
things" must await the return of the Lord. It is then
that Christ sets up his Kingdom. It is then that Christ removes
the Kingdoms of this world, both the civil and religious ruling
power of earth, replacing them with a new civil and religious
all Christians held to this view. They knew their part and
lot was not to try to remake the Kingdoms of this world in
to the Kingdom of God. They knew they were not to enter the
world’s politics, nor to enter its wars. They knew far
better than to incite wars and to lead bloody crusades in
the name of Christ. They knew their allegiance was to Christ
and his coming Kingdom. Until he returned they were to wait
as "espoused virgins." They believed that Jesus
would return and receive his faithful followers as his beloved
"bride." Then together "the Spirit and the
bride say, Come...And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever
will, let him take the water of life freely." (Rev. 22:17)
True Christianity still continues to cling to this message.
in the early church tired of waiting for their Lord to return
and accepted instead the opportunity to unite with the kings
of the earth. In so doing the Church became unfaithful to
her Lord and became a harlot. In Rev. 17:5 she is referred
to as the "mother of harlots." This infers that
her "daughters" are "harlots" and so we
see other churches following Papacy’s unfaithful course,
and polluting themselves in the politics of the world’s
governments. This unholy union is called Christendom or Christ’s
this is not the Kingdom. Do not believe it. Where on earth
is God’s will being done? Where is God’s will
being done in the churches? How long will we be deluded into
thinking that this is the Kingdom? The Kingdom will only be
a reality when Jesus, the "King of Kings and Lord of
Lords" reigns in power and great glory upon the earth.
This great King will have no part in present civil or religious
governments of earth. He has promised to "make all things
new." See Rev. 21:5; also Dan. 2:44.
brings us to the most important matter. What shall you do
if you are God’s? Certainly the day is past when true
Christians are expected to reform the churches. That has already
been tried. (Jer. 51:9) Babylon will not "be healed."
Only one course remains. "Forsake her" — "Come
out of her, my people." Not only are his people directed
to come out but the Lord in his mercy warns that those who
do not come out will receive of her plagues. This means the
wayward of his people shall share the sorrow and affliction
shortly to come on "Babylon." When everyone is urging
church attendance, God is calling his faithful to come out.
True Christianity has never had the world’s approval!
The course of God’s people has always been and continues
to be opposite to that of the world. James foretold this saying,
"Know ye not that friendship with the world is the enemy
of God." (James 4:4) Inasmuch as the church is in league
and friendship with the world, in its politics, in its social
affairs, in its economics, God must call His people out. But
where can they go?
their haste many have left the larger churches and joined
smaller ones. Many have left the smaller churches and joined
religious organizations. Although these smaller churches and
organizations are less worldly they still retain many of the
creedal errors of Babylon. God has never called his saints
to join an organization. His calling is, as the Psalmist so
beautifully expressed it, "Gather my saints together
unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."
true Christians love to meet and study God’s Word together.
This has led many into Bible Classes of various groups. Somehow
there remains little liberty in most Bible Classes for searching
study and discussion. Actually one of the tests of liberty
and a test also which indicates whether the group we meet
with is not a part of Babylon, is — can your understanding
of the Scriptures be heard even though it is contrary to the
fixed teachings of the group?
you ever considered a Bible study of your own — in your
own home — taking some Bible topic and finding out all
that the scriptures say on the topic, using Bible helps and
concordances, and experiencing the blessing of proving all
things, and holding fast to that which is good? (I Thess.
5:21) We urge you to do this if you are one of the Lord’s.
Private study will enhance your enjoyment in meeting with
other students of the Word who are still to be found. Comparing
your findings and fellowshiping with those who have placed
God above all is rewarding indeed.
seeking Bible helps, many of the Lord’s people individually
and collectively, have found the book, "The Divine Plan
of the Ages" a key to understanding the truth of God’s
Word. It places at your fingertips the simplest and most effective
means of study — a topical scripture-by-scripture outline
of God’s plan for man from Eden to eternity. Nothing
ever written for thinking Christians more graphically unfolds
the 66 books of the Bible. The promise-by-promise story of
man’s fall and walk and final restoration to favor with
His Creator are examined. The difference between the kingdoms
of this world and the promised Kingdom of God are compared
(Chapters 14 and 15).
is a message that will linger in your heart as you continue
to fulfill your present responsibility to God and to your