The Selfless Entity of God’s Church

John Thiel, Beholding Christ Series, Part 13, mp3

Scripture Reading: John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

Do you know where Gods church is? Are we not in the fold of the flock? Are we not being fed? Why do we need to ask this question? The question we are asking is to deal with the idea of whether we believe and say we are the church to others. What is the true entity of Gods church? How can Gods church be identified as such a terrible time as this where every generation that has passed there is a church that has been left out of that generation where it’s not Gods church anymore whereas it was once upon a time? How do we identify the true condition of Gods true church? The church on earth is identified. The church is identified as the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

As the true people of God are members of the body of Christ they are admonished;

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

Here is a meditation in reference to the body of Christ. There is a danger of not holding the head in its connection with the body. That all the different parts of the body are in danger of not harmonising with the head. They are to be knit together to the head the source of the nourishment, direction, life and wisdom. The head is meant to be the source of this but the danger of not holding to the head where there is a voluntary humility but a vain puffed up attitude. Is it possible that those who are studying the word of God and believe in Gods church can become puffed up because they are Gods church?

There is such a thing as voluntary humility, we are Gods church so we will be very humble but underneath we are very proud that we are Gods church. Voluntary humility puffed up in humanity. If we are Gods church then we have Christ as our head and if his mind and his attitude is connected with the body, what will the body be doing? What will the body be saying? If a church is truly Christ’s body, how will it regard itself? What will it think of itself?

If you know that you are part of the body of Christ, what will you think of your position and of your condition within that body? As the scripture says, there is a people who do not hold the head in its connection with the body and its bands. If we are in danger of doing that and we believe we are the body of Christ, what will the mind of Christ communicate into us regarding the thinking of itself? The mind of Christ is in the head and the body is to be in connection with the head. What will the body of Christ the true church or God have in itself? Will it not be the mind attitude of Christ? Let us examine the attitude of the head in reference to the body of itself.

The Disciples Had a Problem

The disciples had a problem. They were the body of Christ. He chose them and they were church leaders, those who were attached to Jesus. What sort of a mentality did they have which Jesus had to correct and rebuke? This is for us to examine.

Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

What was the problem with the body of Christ back there in its connection with Jesus? They were Gods church and anybody that did what they were meant to be doing, they had a mentality of, you are not meant to do that, you are corrupt, we are pure. How did Jesus connect with this mentality? Did his brain agree with that? No, he said you should not forbid him if he is doing something in harmony with us you should not condemn him even though he is not a member with us. This is important to understand of the mind of Christ.


The church of God on earth in the time of Jeremiah had the same problem. Jeremiah had to do what Jesus did to the disciples.

Jeremiah 7:2 Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all [ye of] Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.

They worshiped in the temple, Gods temple and they came to worship and hear what the head had to say to them.

Jeremiah 7:3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, [are] these.

Do Not Say “The Temple of the Lord Are We”

The message for this time is not, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we.” Whom does the Lord receive as vessels unto honor?–Those who co-operate with Christ; those who believe the truth, who live the truth, who proclaim the truth in all its bearings. {RH, October 22, 1903 par. 8}

What does it say under inspiration here? Just what we read in Jeremiah and what Jesus said to the disciples. Who do you think you are forbidding this man who was casting out devils in the name of the Lord? Just because he is not part of our company, who gives you the right to say, we are the ones to do the job? If they are not against us, they are for us. This mentality is the present truth. This is not the time for the temple of the Lord are we. It is important we do not retain that mentality because we are living in a time where there are so many churches and with that kind of mentality, we will enter into debate as to who is Gods church. Instead, the mentality of Jesus mind is, if you are my people you will cooperate with me and you will believe the truth but you will not only believe the truth because if you are truly Gods church you will live the truth.

You will proclaim the truth in all its bearings. Yes God does have a church and we don’t need to go to all the other churches to hear the word of the Lord as they have some truth and error. They do not teach the truth in all its bearings so we don’t need to go to them but we are to hear the word of the Lord as it was handed down to us from all the faithful people in the past. Those who cooperate with Christ and proclaim the truth in all its bearings are the body.

Did Jesus Flaunt His Position?

Is it in his mind to say here I am, I am the messiah, come to me! Is that what he was saying? While he said to his disciples come unto me all ye who labour and heavy laden, while he was saying that, did he proclaim himself? What did Jesus say? It is important we let the mind of Jesus in us. Jesus is speaking to the Jews who are upon his track all the time and always needling him;

John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

Here Jesus gives the mandate of the mental understanding about Gods church. The church has its head Jesus Christ and this attitude the church has. What we have in our doctrines are not ours. These are the doctrines of him that sent us. If you want to know the pure doctrine, you must do as God says. The people who do the will of God will recognise what? They will recognise pure doctrine, they will know the doctrine as they will see by experience that Jesus is speaking the truth.

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

Do you want to be a member of the church triumphant? If we become members of the church triumphant you will have no unrighteousness in you. How can you be sure that you will be a member of the church triumphant? What does Jesus say? If you say that you are a member of the church triumphant you are seeking your own glory.

Lucifer Forgot

Lucifer was the highest angel. What was his problem that he fell? He forgot that everything he was doing in the ministry of heaven that he was an instrument directed by the one who sat on the throne. He was the one who received the oil and he passed it on to the other. Was it his? He was only an instrument of conveyance. The two anointed ones passed the oil to the candlesticks. What are the candlesticks? The church. The oil is received from the two anointed ones and is run through the channels of the church and the light that is burning is the consequence of what? The oil which is what? The Holy Spirit. So, what is the church? We are Gods church? Or we are only just passing on the word of God? That’s all. Jesus reiterates this time and time again;

John 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

This is what Lucifer did which was not his glory. Here is the entity of Gods true church, a people who do not seek their own glory but seek the glory of him that sent them. There is no unrighteousness in them. Can we get our mind around this?

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

If I judge according to what I hear, whose judgment is it? It’s God’s understanding and you and I must copy his understanding.

John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

This is the head of the body speaking. He the head of the body says, if I was to witness of myself and say I am Christ and all my body is the true church then my witness is not true but if I let another bear witness of me, then I know that one who bears witness of me is telling the truth. That connects again with those who will do and keep Gods commandments, they will know of the doctrine. They will say there is the doctrine, there is the truth. It won’t be the church saying it, it will bear witness to those who are seeing it.

John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

The Jews did not accept Jesus and yet the Father said this is my beloved son and they claimed that they worshipped God but they rejected Jesus. Jesus said, I don’t honour myself, my honour is nothing. The head of the church is saying, don’t say the temple of the Lord are we. That is not your message. Your message is the glory of God and only of that. Let God do the glorification of His church. If the church is filled with the Holy Spirit, the very mentality of Jesus and the spirit are going to be the mind activity of the body. Here is another revelation of the kind of being that is to flow through us as his church.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

Jesus did not glorify himself, the Holy Spirit glorified him. The church that is Gods true church will be the channel of the Holy Spirit. It will not speak of itself as Jesus does not speak of himself. It will speak of Jesus and illuminate the Father in heaven and the doctrines that come from him. In other words, let the Father glorify the church. Let others testify of it. Let those who are of his church simply meekly do what Gods church does and that takes all your attention. You don’t want to have your attention on the church or yourself, you want to have your attention on the one you are actually displaying. Jesus put it very neatly as to identifying Gods church way back there and thereafter. A church is not to be occupied with itself but is to simply respond to the work of God.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

What is the church of Jesus Christ to do? We are the church? Be witnesses of themselves? If you are Gods church, then they will be occupied with one thing only, to be witnesses of Jesus. That’s all. When they went forth sent out by Jesus.

Sheep Among Wolves

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

In the synagogues? Gods church, the people who are meant to have authority. You are going to be called upon to witness of me, not of yourselves. You don’t have to study apologetics at college. You know what apologetics is? It is a study into proving right or wrong in terms of what I stand for. We are the true people who have the true doctrine and here we are apologising that sorry you are wrong, we are right. This is a perversion of the church of Jesus Christ. You are going to be brought before the people in the courts and you don’t have to defend yourself but the truth of Jesus Christ. You are going to stand in the synagogues before governors and kings for my sake. People who say they are the true line of Gods church are not correctly connecting with the head.

The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is still seeking to rid the earth of those who fear God and obey His law. Satan will excite indignation against the humble minority who conscientiously refuse to accept popular customs and traditions. Men of position and reputation will join with the lawless and the vile to take counsel against the people of God. Wealth, genius, education, will combine to cover them with contempt. Persecuting rulers, ministers, and church members will conspire against them. With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith. By false representations and angry appeals they will stir up the passions of the people. Not having a “Thus saith the Scriptures” to bring against the advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for a Sunday law. Those who fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield comes the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to the issue. Now, as in the days of Mordecai, the Lord will vindicate His truth and His people. {5T 450.2}

That is Gods church, a people who do not stand there in their position and reputation but people who are worked against by those in position and reputation. Do the people need to vindicate themselves? It is so natural, we are the ones, I’ll show you. They began in 1844 and look see, they are the ones, and I am one of them and we are the church. There is nothing wrong with going back to the pioneers and saying we recognise that as the church of that generation, but for us to say we are that generation, we are the church, that is out of the question. The final analysis of Gods true church comes from who? Who declared the church, the head of the church to be the true church and the true head.

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

Those That God Honours

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work.

To be the honoured few is to forget about your honour. It is to purge yourself from these dishonourable elements. Then we will be a vessel unto honour. God’s church is to stand to vindicate Gods truth and if they claim they are Gods church and aren’t doing it, how can they be identified as the people of God? It is the same as what God says through Jeremiah, don’t say the temple of the Lord are these, just go and do what I have asked you to do. That is all you concentrate on. It is the Father’s declaration, God knows those that are his. He is the one who identifies so that the onlookers can hear what he is saying. Remember when Jesus was baptised, this obscure carpenter of Nazareth came to be baptised, who was he? He was just a carpenter and John the Baptist recognised him straight away and said – how can I baptise you?

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Who said that? The voice from heaven. The voice from heaven was none other than the Holy Spirit speaking as the voice of the Father. The body is in Revelation 14 which is clearly identified as Jesus was. Jesus was the son of God because he was declared to be of the Father. Here is the message from heaven;

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

This is the voice from heaven, the message from heaven. A people that are identified. Who are they? God sees them as those who have patience who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. It is so declared not by them but by the spirit of God.

What a word of caution is this! How many of us can comprehend what it means? All through the Word of God cautions are given and instruction is imparted that point out to us the Way, the Truth, and the Life. “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis,” the Word continues, “which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.” Who of this company gathered here today will be among those “few names”? Here is brought to view a little company that is confessed before the throne of God as “worthy.” {GCB, June 6, 1909 par. 2}

Who confesses them? Themselves? How can we confess that we are the worthy church of God on earth? When we bring people into the church should we say are you going to say with us as we are Gods church?

They have not had a hit-and-miss religion, but an experience that has proved them as true to principle as the compass to the pole. Of such the Lord declares. “The same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life; but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” {GCB, June 6, 1909 par. 2}

Who will confess? Jesus the head of the church will confess these people as worthy. The whole mental outlook is so different and no doubt your mind will be thrown into a seesaw. Aren’t we supposed to be upholding the pure truth and aren’t we meant to promote? The only way that anyone will ever recognise that we are Gods church is if the church is actually doing what God is saying. People around you will say yes, that looks like the real thing. Not you. As in the time of Christ, there was a voice from heaven and that voice from heaven said this is my beloved son. That voice from heaven in the very last days will say it again. There is Babylon with all her sisters all claiming we are Gods church but what is the message from heaven?

Revelation 18:4 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.

A voice from heaven? How will they hear that voice?

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

When the bride is truly identifiable as a company of people who have the mind of Jesus, who truly represent the glory of God and not their own, when there is such a company, then Isaiah 60 is the message toward them and they will be identifiable by the voice from heaven.

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

Self evident? His glory shall be seen and the voice from heaven that has developed a company who have been shaken and purified until they have become so selfless, so dependent upon Jesus, they will do everything that Jesus says as simple agents of his. They will come to the point where his glory is truly there. Then He commands them arise and shine. As they do as he says the darkness around them will be able to see that they are Gods church.

Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

The selfless entity of Gods church – we want to be part of that company? Never say, I am, never say we are. Simply focus on doing and the glory of the Lord will work with us and his glory will be seen. Not ours.



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Posted on 03/02/2013, in Beholding Christ (Series), The Church of God and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. i would like to receive more sermons

  2. May the Almighty God Bless you, I have been so much blessed by this article, surely am nothing but a sinner. May God sanctify and purify me and a multitudes of people around the world who are like me. May Jesus christ rule my life, without him am nothing.

  3. Thank you for this great teaching. Isnt it wonderful to learn of Him?

  4. Mutyaba James Claude

    Thank you so much for the word

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