The average person believes that church is some kind of structured building with a steeple on top or some kind of religious symbol on its facade. For many, and for the most part, the church plays no part in their daily lives. And God certainly isn't part of their conscious thoughts. Most focus on material things and what ever is in their personal interests. It doesn't matter whether the world likes it or not, the CHURCH does exist, but WHY? And what purpose does it serve?
We need to realize that there is a Great Master Plan that God is working out here on the earth, AND, the CHURCH is an important part of that plan.
To understand what, and why, the CHURCH, we have to keep in mind the events that led up to the establishment of the CHURCH. We must not lose sight of who and what God is. (For a detailed explanation, send for our Correspondence Course.) God is a spirit being. He is the Great Creator! God is now reproducing Himself through mankind. Few today understand this marvelous truth.
Satan was formerly the anointed cherub, Lucifer, whom God had enthroned on this earth. But, Lucifer rebelled against God and the government of God ceased to exist on this planet. God did, however, allow Satan to remain in power on that throne. God will not remove him from that position until a successor has qualified to replace Satan.
Pertinent to the purpose of the CHURCH is what happened upon creation of the first man. Adam rejected God's way of life and followed Satan's way of life. God then made Adam's decisionbinding on the whole human race until the restoration of God's government over the whole earth.
The human race would be allowed to follow the way of Satan for a duration of 6,000 years, UNTIL, the second Adam (Jesus Christ) comes to restore God's government on this earth. During the six thousand years God would specially call and give His Holy Spirit to just a few to serve Him in preparation for the coming Kingdom of God.
God called and brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt (which is a type of sin) and gave them His laws. They were to be a model nation to the other nations around them (Deut. chapter 4). He also called Israel firstfruits. (Jer. 2:3) This presupposes that God's harvest of nations was to continue and that Israel merely represented His starting point, and not God's stopping point.
Now, this brings us historically to the time of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and His founding of the Church of God. We must keep in mind that God is reproducing Himself through human beings. The physical creation of man began with Adam, the first man. But, the spiritual re-creation of man began with Jesus Christ, the second Adam. Christ qualified to replace Satan as world ruler, by proving that He would obey the Government of God and rule the earth by God's law.
For Jesus Christ to restore God's government over the earth, He needs a qualified and organized staff of God Beings to assist Him in ruling the nations. These called out ones will have rejected the god of this world (Satan) and his false religious system and will have proved loyal to the Government of God and the righteous ways of God during their life time.
In God's supreme Master Plan His CHURCH was designed toprepare that dedicated and organized staff of God Beings. TheCHURCH, then, is the instrument God will use for His overall purpose ofreproducing Himself. Those God has called out of this world into His CHURCH are spirit-begotten, and, finally will be the BORN FAMILY of GOD. This family shall form the ruling Kingdom of God ON THIS EARTH.
( II Cor. 6: 14-18) "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. (Verses 17 & 18) "Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty." From these four verses you can see that God has called some out of this world, but WHY?
We live in a world of awesome progress, but we also live in aworld of appalling troubles, evils, sorrows, suffering, anguish, violence and war. The world's population is discontented andunhappy. Probably more than half of the world is illiterate; millions live in abject poverty, filth and squalor.
We must come to understand that everything started with God. (John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." These two spirit beings had life, self-inherent life, with no beginning of days or end of life. Their job was creating. They had love for each other. They were in perfect agreement. There was leadership. God, theFather, was in charge and the Word did what The Father told Him to do.
Ephesians 3:9 tells us that the Word would later become Jesus Christ and that it was Christ who created the angels and the entire universe.We also know that Lucifer, the anointed cherub, was put on a throne on this earth and one third of the angels were put under his authority. These angels, along with Lucifer, rebelled against the Creator. They turned from the way of give to the way of get and take, to hate, instead of love, to vanity, coveting, (wanting to get), to jealously,envy, rebellion against authority, to strife, violence and destruction. Lucifer and his angels ascended up to heaven in an attempt to knock God off of His throne and rule the whole universe, instead of just the earth. They lost the war and were cast back down to the earth. As a result, the earth's surface becameruined and full of darkness (Gen. 1:1-2)
From Gen. 1:26-31 we see that God made man. But, man was not given eternal life. Adam and Eve had a temporary, chemical, physical existence. If Adam had taken of the tree of life he would have been given self-inherent life from God. God would have started the CHURCH right in the Garden of Eden. Satan would have been banished and God would have given Adam the throne of the earth-- had he made the right choice.
However, by listening to his wife, Eve, and taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam chose the way of self-acquired knowledge. The god of this world (Satan) now influenced everything Adam and Eve did. It was Satan who influenced Cain to kill Abel. It has been Satan who has been influencing the children of Adam and Eve ever since.
This world, and the self-professing Christian world, does not realize that this is Satan's civilization which he startedthrough the first Adam when he sinned. It includes this world's false education, its false religion, its system of governments and economies and its social customs. This world, along with its false religions, does not realize that when Adam made the decision to eat of the wrong tree, God then closed up the Holy Spirit from Adam and his off-spring. God would not allow Adam to eat of the fruit of the tree of life after he sinned. The Holy Spirit was cut off from mankind until God made it available again through Jesus Christ, the second Adam-- but only to those called of God into His CHURCH.
From the Book of Joel, chapter 2:28, we see that the Holy Spirit will not be poured out on the majority of mankind until after the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.
John tells us in (Rev. 13:8) that the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world (That is when the first Adam made the wrong decision). The Word of God would die for the sins of the world. Before Jesus Christ could fulfill His mission on the earth, He had to qualify to take over the throne of this earth. Read Matt. 4: 1-11. After He had qualified to replace Satan as world ruler, Jesus began to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. (Mark 1: 13-15).
Jesus Christ then called His disciples (Mark 1: 16-20 and Mark 3:14). Christ called His 12 disciples (students) before He started His New Testament CHURCH. Jesus taught and trained the 12 disciples so that they could become teachers. Then, He could start the CHURCH around them (foundation). They would be the teachers for those God would call into His Church later.
It was on the Day of Pentecost that the disciples were finally converted and received God's Holy Spirit.By receiving the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ now had trained teachers.Teachers that knew and understood the TRUTHS Christ taught. Read Acts 2:47.God added to the CHURCH daily and those called were taught by the Apostles.
Today, those who are members of God's one and only TRUE CHURCH are begotten children of the World Tomorrow. Christ came to start a new civilization and members of His CHURCH will help Jesus Christ rule and teach the right way to live when Christ returns. Members of that TRUE CHURCH are now in training so they can help teach the millions and even billions during the millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment period.
One thing we must remember, is that we will not be given eternal life before God tests or tries us to see if we are going to obey the government of God ( Ps. 11: 4-5, Jer. 17:10 and I Cor. 3:13). Members of God's CHURCH have to make a decision just like Adam did as to whether or not they will obey God. And, God will test their hearts to see if they are truly converted to His way of life prior to their birth into the Family of God.
Jesus Christ gave His apostles a two-fold commission,: (1) To preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God around this world as a warning and witness. (2) To feed the sheep.Those that have been called into God's Church are students so they can be taught to become teachers. The fact is, teachers must be taught before they can become teachers.
The real and awesome purpose of the Church is to produce teachers of millions and even billions of people in THE WORLD TOMORROW, so they too, may learn the way to become spirit-born members of THE GOD FAMILY!
The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the head of the CHURCH. Therefore, He rules the church. But, does Christ have various operations in His Church? Read I Corinthians 12: 4-6, also Ephesians 2: 19-22 and 4: 15-16. We see that the CHURCH is organized.
God reveals that His CHURCH is the spiritual mother of spirit-begotten Christians. Those in God's CHURCH are children of God-- but not yet born into His Family. The human reproduction, the begettal, the period of gestation and then finally birth are types of spiritual reproduction. In fact, human reproduction picturesspiritual salvation. Is it possible to receive salvation outside of God's one TRUE CHURCH-- the "Mother" of His spirit-begotten children through whom they are being fed spiritual food? NO! It is not possible.
In Matthew's gospel, Christ said, "I will build my church,”-- not churches having many different beliefs and teachings. That one TRUE CHURCH began in A.D. 31 with the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit on the disciples who were assembled with one accord in one place.
At Jesus Christ's soon coming, His wife-to-be shall have made herself ready and will enter the New Covenant marriage with Christ. The door will then be shut to all those who falsely assumed they were ready when the bridegroom comes to marry His church.
Jesus Christ will tell these people: I NEVER KNEW YOU! Should you not consider finding THAT CHURCH and becoming a part of it?