Is it God’s Will that We Join or Become a Member of the True Church of God in the Bible?
owadays, we often hear preachers say that the church and religion are no longer important because, what matters, according to them, is relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. And via this relationship with Christ, man would become worthy in the sight of God. They also claim that the church could not save a man.
If you are a keen student of the Bible, you would readily discern that such are claims and beliefs of impertinent people, those who have a very obscure understanding of the Bible. Of course, the church per se could not really save a man. But why is the church necessary? In the first place, is it needed or not?
If we will only exercise logic and common sense, we will not be misled. By using our common sense, let us see for ourselves if the church is needed. Common sense tells me that if it is not important, then, our Lord Jesus should not have established it! If the church is not needed, it would appear that our Lord Jesus Christ does not exercise common sense. Why build a church when it is not needed after all? It is just like installing a post, or a pillar that did not reach up to the roof. Of what use is that pillar if that is the case? If it is unnecessary you better discard it, otherwise, your head might just bump into it. If you insist in having it there, that is a proof of your lack of common sense.
But let us find out from the Bible if a man has any need for the church. And if the church is needed, should we make ourselves a part of that church? What do the Born Again pastors mean when they said that the church could not save a man? Actually, that is how they entice people from joining their “fellowship,” or “crusade,” or “ministry”. If we are going to ask the Bible about the importance of the church, which was established by Christ during the first century AD, the Bible will answer us truthfully. Do we have to join the church, or do we just have to ignore it? Is there a truth to the common belief that so long as a man prays fervently and he is not doing anything wrong to his fellowmen, regardless of your religious affiliation, he would still be saved? Is it in accordance to the will of God? This is what Deuteronomy 12:5 says–
“But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, thither thou shalt come.”
Where are we supposed to go, according to the Lord God? The Bible says that–
“unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose…”
Who shall choose the place? God, of course! Did He give any specific directive? Did God give His consent that we can go anywhere? No! There is no sense if you will just go anywhere. It would appear that you are the god because, despite His directive, you still go where you want to go.
If your son tells you that he will go wherever he wants to because he is already 10 years old, will you give him your consent? Actually, even if your son or daughter is already in his/her age of reason, you still would not let your children go wherever they want to because you love them. But greater is the love of God to all of us that is why He would not permit us to be just anywhere. Being a God of justice, He will not allow you to go anywhere you want. What the Bible says is clear–
“unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, thither thou shalt come.”
Let me give you an example. For a time, Adam and Eve served God. They were not bad in the beginning. And while they were in service to God, they were kept safe in a place chosen by god, and that was the Garden of Eden. Gen. 2:8, 15 says–
“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward of Eden … And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden …”
Did you see where God intended man to live? Spiritually, physically, and biologically speaking, God wanted man to live where plants grow abundantly. For the man of God to be healthy, Adam was put in a place chosen by God. He did not place him in an environment that would be hostile to him like the Sahara desert. And neither did He place him in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Adam was meant to be taken care of by God in the Garden of Eden. There was a specific place that God assigned for Adam – the garden. And there, he could freely eat the fruits of the plants except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
In other words, during the duration of Adam’s service to the Lord, he stayed in the place where God wanted him to be. But when Adam and Eve transgressed, they were sent out of the Garden of Eden.Genesis 3:23 says–
“Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden …”
This means that the Garden of Eden is a place of obedience. If you disobey, you will be thrown out. And it is after God has thrown you out that you can go wherever you want to. You can now be a vagabond like Cain. You can now go wherever you please because you refuse to be taken care of by God. You see, God has an administration over man, and Adam and Eve used to be under God’s direct administration when they were still in the Garden of Eden. But after their transgression, they were sent away. It is very important that we realize this. This truth could also be reflected in the “Pasyon” of the Catholics:
“Sapagka’t pastor kang tunay Nitong mundong kabilugan Ang obehang sino pa man Kung di masok sa bakuran Hindi mo masasakupan.
(Because you’re the real pastor) (Of this world) (And whosoever refuses) (To enter your domain) (Will be outside your administration)
Therefore, there is a specified place of dominion. So, who was the god who taught you that you can be wherever you want to be? Definitely, he is not the God of the Bible. He is just the god invented by greedy pastors who crave for your money. They are bringing people anywhere. See if they are not really craving for your money. One pastor said, “Yes, you can go to any other church. You can listen to their sermons, you can pray with them, and worship with them. But your tithes must be given to your mother church!” Do these pastors look after the welfare of their flock? They let their flock “graze” anywhere, but they make sure that their money goes to them. It’s pretty obvious that they are only after the money. But, were the true ministers of God interested only in his members’ money? II Corinthians 12:14says–
“Behold the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you:”
For a true minister of Christ, “what you own” is not important. What matters to him is “you”. But that is not true with the pastors today. They are only after what you have – your tithes, your offerings. And that is against what the Bible teaches because the Bible said, you cannot serve God just anywhere. This is what Christ said in John 12:26–
“If any man serve, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servants be …”
Christ doesn’t want you to serve Him anywhere. You have to be where He is. So, let us ask our Lord Jesus where He is. Where shall we serve Him? Where shall we worship Him? Hebrew 3:6 says–
“But Christ as a son over his own house …”
Therefore, Christ is the head in the house of God. What is our basis? Hebrew 10:21 says
“And having a high priest over the house of God:”
Where is Christ? He is in the house of God, in fact, He is heading the house of God. In other words, if you are going to seek for God, you can find Him in the house of God. The question now is: Which is the house of God?I Timothy 3:15 says–
“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God …”
Therefore, the house of God is the Church of God, the pillar and ground of the truth. The church is the house of God. So, if you want to be governed by Christ, you are not supposed to go just anywhere because there is a specific place where Christ reigns, and that is in the house of God, or the Church of God. It is there where Christ rules. And this church of God in the Bible is what we are preaching. We are not claiming that we are that church because it was already in existence even before we were born. What we did is, we joined that Church. We made ourselves members of that Church. And we are preaching to all that, whosoever wants to serve Christ should go there because that is where Christ is. He is the high priest there. It is in the house of God, which is the Church of God, where we are supposed to have fellowship.
The question now is: Is it man’s obligation to join, or be a part of the Church being mentioned in the Bible? Let me reiterate that what I am preaching of is the Church in the Bible. People have come up with different names for the Church in the Bible, but whatever name they have conceptualized, there is but one church being spoken by the Bible. The question is: Is it God’s will that we join that Church? Is there a need for a church? Other preachers say, “Just accept Jesus.” How can you accept Jesus Christ if you are rejecting the church?
Remember Christ is the head of the church. How can you accept Jesus Christ if you are setting the church aside? Will that be possible? It is just like asking for a warm ice cream. How can you accept Christ and reject the church when Christ is the head of the church? You are beheading the church that way. You take the head and leave the body. Don’t forget, the body is the church. So, it’s pretty awkward if you will just accept the head, or Christ, and discard the body, which is the church. That is wrong!
Let us ask the Bible: Is man duty-bound to join the church that is being mentioned in the Bible – the Church of God? Can a man be saved if he is just anywhere, or, does he have to incorporate himself in the Church if he wants to be saved? Ephesians 3:6 says–
“That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs . . .” Gentiles are fellow heirs. Gentiles are those that are outside Israel. Therefore, we are classified as Gentiles. And the Bible says–
“That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body . . .”
So, for the Gentiles to become heirs, they need to make themselves part of the “body”.“. . . and partakers of his promise in Christ . . .” The Gentiles may become partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus if they become parts of the “body”. Now, what is the “body”? Colossians 1:18 says–
“And he is the head of the body, the church;;”
Which is the “body”? Its head is Christ and the entire body refers to the Church. And the Gentiles need to be of the same body. They cannot reject the church. They cannot say that they would serve God on their own, in their respective houses. That cannot be!
Christ said, Love your fellowmen; love your brethren. If you are all by yourself in your house, whom will you love? Is it yourself also? Christ said, give donations. To whom will you give your donation? Is it yourself also? Will you take money from your left pocket and give it to your right pocket? That is impertinent. You cannot be saved on your own. Submit yourself to the word of God. He said, for the Gentiles to become fellow heirs, they should make themselves members of the “body”, which is the Church being headed by Christ. Combine the “head” and the “body”, the result is the Church. You need to be a part of the body for you to be ruled by Christ, for you to be under the dominion of Christ. What will become of those who are not under Christ’s leadership? Isaiah 63:19 says–
“We are thine: thou never barest rule over them . . .”
Are there people who are not being ruled by Christ? What happens to these people? In Isaiah 58:11, it says–
“We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us:”
Salvation is far off from people who are not being ruled by Christ. If you want to be saved, you need to be ruled by Christ first. And for you to be ruled by Christ, you have to make yourself a part of the “body” being headed by Christ, which is the Church being mentioned in the Bible.
Now, what are you supposed to do to become a member of the “body”? How are we supposed to join the church? Do we really have to join the church after all? Romans 12:9 says–
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”
Are we commanded to “cleave” to that which is good? Yes! In the way that we are commanded to abhor evil. In other words, we really need to integrate ourselves and cleave to what is good. But there are people who prefer joining elite and prestigious organizations because most of the people that they will mingle with in those groups are the rich and the professionals. Normally, the rich join the group of the rich also. In the first place, the worth of an organization does not depend on the number of rich members it has. But do you know that their ending is very pitiable? Luke 6:24-25,20 says–
“But woe unto you that are rich for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”
Therefore, greater is the number of poor people who would become worthy of the kingdom of God. That is why, in a way, I am delighted that most of the members of our group are poor. It is a proof that the word of God in the Bible cannot be broken. The majority of our members are poor. They are without cars so they just walk; they eat on plates made of plastic. But despite that, I am very proud to tell everybody that our faith is real. We do not cheat each other, and that, we can prove to all.
God said, abhor the bad, and cleave to that which is good. And the only way by which we can be under the leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ is by making ourselves members of the “body,” or the Church. This why there is no truth to the belief of others that you can still be saved regardless of your religious affiliation. The Bible said, we need to affiliate ourselves with the church which is being mentioned in the Bible. This is what I John 1:3 says–
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us.”
With whom shall we have fellowship? With the Apostles? They are all gone; they are all dead. Stephen was stoned to death, while John the Baptist was beheaded. So, with whom shall we have fellowship? I John 1:4 says–
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
With whom shall we have fellowship? We can have fellowship with the Apostles thru their writings – thru the doctrines. Man will die but the word of God will remain. Christ said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35).
And it is in the Word that shall not pass away that we should cleave at. That is what you are supposed to accept. It doesn’t matter if St. Paul and St. John are gone because the doctrines of Christ, which they taught, shall live forever. These doctrines and teachings are what you should accept. In Philippians 2:12, it says–
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence.” Paul was telling his brethren to always obey, not just in his presence but most especially in his absence. This only proves that, indeed, a preacher may pass away, but the doctrines and the teachings shall not pass away. So, what are you supposed to do now? Let us continue the verse: “. . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Work to the fullest; work incessantly. What work are you supposed to do? Do all the teachings and doctrines taught to you – fully and completely. That is why, despite the physical absence of Christ and the Apostles, the doctrines have remained intact. They had been written. Everything that the Apostles saw and heard had been written down “for your joy may be full”. Therefore, it is the teachings that you should accept and have fellowship with.
Isn’t it that one of the admonitions of the Apostles is not to aggrieve the poor? They do not want the Christians to aggrieve the poor. Are there still poor in our society today? Yes! That means that such a doctrine should still be observed despite the fact that the Apostles who taught it are already dead. That particular doctrine continues to be a doctrine that a servant of God should follow. It remains.
The church began in Jerusalem. In the course of time, it reached Judea. Later, it also reached Thessalonia. Because the Thessalonians wanted to be saved, what did they do after hearing the word of God? I Thessalonians 2:13-14 says–
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when he received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of man, but as it is in truth the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus:”
The Thessalonians accepted the word of God. And after accepting it, they became one with the brethren in the church of God in Judea in Christ Jesus. Therefore, if we will also accept the word of God which the Apostles preached, we will also be the same with the Church of God in Judea in Christ Jesus, in the same manner that the Thessalonians became like the Church of God in Judea. The same will happen to other people in other places who would accept the word of God. They will be one in their obedience to the doctrines. If the brethren in the Church then did not engage in thieving, those who would accept the word of God today will do the same. They will not also engage themselves in thieving.
Have you come across an apostle who is asking money from everybody? They call it an offering. Have you read any verse in the Bible that permits a preacher to collect money, or offering, from just anybody? Proverbs 15:8 says–
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD …”
The offering of an unrighteous person is an abomination in the sight of the Lord. But the disciples of today’s false prophet accept money even from prostitutes. And they have fooled a lot of people by saying that the money, which they solicit, is for the Lord. How impoverished their god must be, that he would accept money from just anybody! Where in the Bible can you read that you can collect and accept money from all people? You cannot read any verse that tells that the Apostles collected money from passers-by.
Let us take our case for instance. If you are a person of at least a little self-esteem, you will not borrow rice from all of your neighbors. Of course, you will just borrow from people whom you think are kind-hearted and trustworthy. But definitely, you would not borrow from all of them. Otherwise, of course, you have no “delicadeza”. We need to accept what the Apostles heard, which they declared to us thru the Bible. And once we accept it, St. Paul said in I Thessalonians 2:13-14–
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. For ye, brethren, became followers of the Churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus:”
So, if you want to experience what happened to the Thessalonians, there is a “pattern” that we need to follow for us to be molded as one. We could be molded like one person, with a way of life similar to that of the first Christians. This “pattern” refers to the word of God in the Bible – the teachings of the Gospel. That is why, if the youths then did not become drug addicts, if they behaved with meekness and modesty, if they feared God, and if they loved their fellowmen, that would be the very same attitudes that those who would accept the word of God would develop. Why? Because they will be molded using the same “pattern.”
It’s just like producing pairs of pants in big volumes. Whether a thousand pairs will be sewn, there wouldn’t be any discrepancy in their lengths and widths so long as the pattern was followed faithfully. What do I mean to say? Where ever the word of God reaches, so long as the people who would receive and believe it, they will be molded in the same pattern just like the first Christians, like the first Disciples of Christ who preached the Gospel. They bore hardships and difficulties, they made sacrifices, they did not enrich themselves, nor did they build palaces for themselves. They all died poor. Unlike the present day preachers who, after preaching for three years, have already built a palace for themselves. Why? . . . because they did not follow the pattern. If only they will follow the pattern faithfully, they will not enrich themselves. An honest-to-goodness preacher will never be rich! Look at me … I began preaching since I was 17. But have I grown any richer? No! That is because I know in my heart that if you will truly preach the Gospel, you will never grow rich. How will you become rich when you do not collect all sorts of contributions like, contributions during the Thursday gathering, during the “Santa Cena”, during baptism, etc? There are no such things in the Bible. What Christ said was, “freely you received, freely give.”.” If a preacher will abide by Christ’s admonition, will he become rich? No! Instead, they will even incur lots of debts. But why is it that there are preachers who keep on getting very rich? They collect payment for baptism, confirmation, wedding, chords, candles, masses, etc. Actually, they also make money out of the dead. Even if you are already dead and your grandson wants to offer mass for your soul in purgatory, your grandson will still have to pay for it. Religion has become a very lucrative business for some pastors. Where do you think these pastors will lead you? . . . To hell! You will never be saved with such kind of teachings. They are not biblical. They are all profit-oriented.
If you want to be saved, be a part of the church that is being mentioned in the Bible. And this is what we are preaching to all. We do not have to build another church. That is why it is a must that we make ourselves members of that Church. You can never serve God just anywhere. Do not be misled. The teachings of God that could save man are in the Church being mentioned in the Bible. That is why it is necessary that we accept these teachings for us to lead a righteous life. There are laws that man must follow, and these laws are all beneficial to man.
We are not encouraging you to join us. Instead, we are inviting you to join the Church that the Bible mentions. There is a Church wherein we must integrate ourselves. How can we do it? Accept the teachings that were preached by the Apostles. Lead a life which the Apostles led. If they endured all kinds of persecution, if they denied themselves of worldly pleasures, if they did not engage themselves in drinking intoxicating drinks, if they did not womanize, if they did not gamble, you will do as they did. You will abide by everything that the Bible teaches. That is where we shall have fellowship with one another – in an organization built by God, not by man. Make yourselves a part of the Church being spoken in the Bible.