Below is an email sent out this week, by Warren Zehrung, from the Sabbath Church of God on a topic I felt was important. So I include in today’s post. – Editor

 

You are the Church! Too many do not understand the concept of “Church.” On the entire face of the earth, Jesus Christ has only one Church – the Church of God. One of the first things we learned when we were being called was that the Church of God was not to be found by looking for those buildings with steeples and a cross on top. We learned, “The church is not a building.” The question became then, not, what is the church, but “Who is the Church?”

 

Today, there are many substitutes masked as God’s True Church. It behooves us to be extremely careful when we are looking for the Church Jesus established. Who is the church?

 

Is it the place where believers gather to worship? Or is the church the people – the believers who follow the lead of God’s Holy Spirit? How we understand and perceive the church is quite important in determining how we live our faith. The Church is not prepared to meet Jesus Christ at His return. This must be addressed by the Church.

 

One reason that the Church is not prepared is because the bigger offshoots of the Worldwide Church of God desire no association with any of the other groups with the same foundational beliefs. Even though they used to keep the Sabbath together, attend the Feasts together, and follow the same basic doctrinal principles shared by other Christian churches, they now choose not to reconcile with one another.

 

Each one of the Worldwide Church of God offshoots incorrectly claims to be “The Church.” Individual ministers still refer to their various organizations as “The Church.” More specifically they teach that their church is synonymous with their headquarters or their home office. They say, “Let me check with the church,” as they dial up their headquarters.

 

In changing the Scriptural definition of the Church to mean a specific organization, these leaders are relegating the members to an insignificant, unimportant and improper status. Make no mistake about it; the brethren are “the Church,” according to the Bible. The purpose of the ministry is to serve the members – not to champion the corporate organization. There are not going to be any political corporate organizations separating the saints in the Kingdom of God.

 

The true Church is the collective body of individuals, called out from the ways of this present evil world, who have totally surrendered themselves to the rule of God, and who, through the Holy Spirit become the begotten sons of God.

 

“You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” (Romans 8:9)

 

Brethren, we are the Church! We are built up to be a spiritual house. The Church is not an earthly structure, nor a man formed organization. The Church is: the people of God.

 

The Church people are you and I because we are Christians that are led by God’s Holy Spirit. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Children of God.” (Romans 8:14)

 

Every one of the political corporate organizational offshoots, when put on the spot, will grudgingly give lip service to the fact that there are “other brethren” out there some place – but they will steadfastly maintain that theirs is the controlling organization – the church with the authority – to the exclusion of all the others.

 

Brethren, do we realize; will we admit, that God’s people are scattered all over the countryside? Some of the church leaders are reluctant to think about the scattered brethren because they are too busy with revisionist history – telling now how they stood for the truth when the Tkaches were changing our beliefs. In actual fact, some of the leaders were instrumental in disfellowshipping, firing and putting-out the faithful, believing, true saints who were standing tall for God’s Truth. Those harsh ministers only left their secure berth at Worldwide when their jobs were assured within the new organizations.

 

Do we possess the zeal for the truth of God that we should be displaying? Are we calling on everyone who can hear the “witness” messages to “Repent?” Are we helping one another to prepare for the very difficult times that are just ahead of us and prepare for the return of Jesus Christ? How many of the brethren are primarily concerned with where this world is rapidly heading? How many engage in spiritual conversations at the conclusion of Sabbath services? These are functions of the Church.

 

Brethren, we need to stand tall in this dark world. We are not yet prepared for the return of Jesus Christ – and that should scare the socks off us. Most of us have been in the Church for decades – and we feel that we have a pretty good idea of what constitutes the Church. Jesus said that in these last perilous days the Church would go off course. With that in mind it is good that we look into the word of God and understand “Church” from God’s perspective. And so we ask this question: Who is the Church? Jesus said:

 

“…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

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