Who is God’s Church

By John Thiel

We are to walk with God with His word. We have looked at walking with God on a personal level and we will now look at it in a corporal level to recognise where Jesus is walking with His people. We live at the very end. As we look back to when Jesus was with the disciples He says:

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

How is it possible to walk with someone you don’t see? Jesus made reference to this when He said you will not see me anymore but you see me. Yet a little while and the world sees me no more. The world can’t comprehend what it is to see Jesus when He is not here physically. You will know at that day when I leave, that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

The disciples went out to proclaim that.

John 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

In answer to the question, how is that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us and not the world. There are many who know of Christianity but they don’t see Jesus. Who is it that will see Him? If a man love me he will keep my words and it is that person who my father will love and we will come unto him and make our abode with him. It was to the disciples and all thereafter who had determined to live obediently to the words of Jesus that would experience the walk with Jesus.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

To have the presence of Jesus and to walk with him, was the privilege of the disciples and all who would be under their teaching.

It is the presence of Jesus in every believer and in the company of believers that constitutes true Christianity. It constitutes true Christianity under the tuition of those who have been faithful in the past. Our hope depends on that as Jesus expressed, go teach what I have told you.

What a hope big with immortality does it place before the believing soul. God with us in Christ Jesus to accompany us every step of the journey to heaven. The Holy Spirit with us as a comforter, a guide in our perplexities, to soothe our sorrows, and shield us in temptation. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” {ML 290.2}

See how important the walk with Jesus is? It means everything to us. If we have a sense of the absence of Jesus it is a horror. When Joseph and Mary lost sight of Jesus, they had to go back and find Him. If we lose Jesus it takes pain staking effort to find Him.

God’s Church

For a church to be recognised as Gods church, Christ must be in its midst. The people who walk with Jesus as individuals,the Lord will bless and care for but to be a church, Christ must be in their midst as a church. Jesus is walking among the candlesticks.

These words fall from the lips of One who cannot lie. The picture reveals eternal vigilance. Christ is in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, walking from church to church, from congregation to congregation, from heart to heart. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. If the candlesticks were left to the care of human agents, how often the light would flicker and go out. But God has not given His church into the hands of men. Christ, the One who gave His life for the world, that all who believe in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life, is the true Watchman of the house. He is the Warder, faithful and true, of the temple-courts of the Lord. We have reason to thank God that we are not dependent on the presence of earthly priest or minister. We are kept by the power of God. The presence and grace of Christ is the secret of all life and light. . . . {UL 207.2}

It is not the minister that is standing before you that the Lord has to rely on. It is important that the minister be in harmony with God but God is taking care of His people. He is the head of the church. God is the watchman over His church. This is very important. To make this statement important and valuable:

God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). {UL 315.5}

It is those who keep the commandments and who love God.

Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church. {UL 315.5}

Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus there presides, let it be in the desolate place of the earth, in the wilderness, in the city enclosed in prison walls. The glory of God has penetrated the prison walls, flooding with glorious beams of heavenly light the darkest dungeon. His saints may suffer, but their sufferings will, like the apostles of old, spread their faith and win souls to Christ and glorify His holy name. The bitterest opposition expressed by those who hate God’s great moral standard of righteousness should not and will not shake the steadfast soul who trusts fully in God. . . . {UL 315.6}

Jesus said I’m going to be with you even unto the end of the world. Who are those that He is with? It is those who love God and keep His commandments. It is those who Jesus said in answer to the question, why do you reveal yourself to us and not the world? We mustn’t forget that He will be with the rebellious but not in the form of a church but in trying to win them to a church. God is very close to every human being as individuals, but where His church is, He said I will be with you unto the end of the world. He gave the promise I am going to be with you to the end of the world.

The work of the ministry is no common work. Christ is withdrawn only from the eye of sense, but he is as truly present by his Spirit as when he was visibly present on earth. The time that has elapsed since his ascension has brought no interruption in the fulfillment of his parting promise,–“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” {ST, April 7, 1890 par. 6}

Time has not eroded that.

God has provided light and truth for the world by having placed it in the keeping of faithful men, who in succession have committed it to others through all generations up to the present time. {ST, April 7, 1890 par. 6}

In early Adventism in the fifty years is what He is talking about. It is them and those in succession that it is them who He passes it on to.

These men have derived their authority in an unbroken line from the first teachers of the faith. Christ remains the true minister of his church, but he delegates his power to his under-shepherds, to his chosen ministers, who have the treasure of his grace in earthen vessels. God superintends the affairs of his servants, and they are placed in his work by divine appointment. {ST, April 7, 1890 par. 6}

This gives understanding of where Jesus is in what church. We can tell as He goes through the history of the churches. In each successive generation of those who received the torch before. As the faithful few continue they will disassociate form those who used to be the ones, Jesus says I am with you right through to the end. The people who are His chosen minsters who will continue to uphold that which has been delivered to the saints.

Jesus showed the fishermen in His time. With such He would be with to the end of the world through successive generations.

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

This is the promise through successive generations. We saw it in the time of the apostles and we see it in our last time in which we are living. What kind of treatment of these kind of people do we see of those who do not accept them like the Jewish church did not accept the disciples and how were they treated through successive generations? We who are seeking to know how to walk with Jesus are receiving the powerful indication it is the ministry that is walking with Jesus according to doctrines already presented as they uphold this, the Lord chooses them as the authority of His church.

The promise of walking with them coming to church and receiving Jesus in their midst, is two or three with whom He is, that is Gods church. It is not the denomination that is His church but the faithful people. It is the people who are obeying the words of Jesus in the same way as the faithful ones have done it in the past. We can tell if Christ is with us when we read Jude 1. These are the people:

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Our assurance that we are part of that company will depend upon our faithfulness to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. That is not too difficult to know if Christ is among us. We know how the deterioration of the doctrines took place and how it was destroyed under the period of Thyatira and how the apostles came and restored it again and till its full restoration among the advent people. Who among the advent is standing on that platform? Then the authority of Jesus and his church is yours.

The time has come when things must be called by their right names. The truth is to triumph gloriously, and those who have long been halting between two opinions must take their stand decidedly for or against the law of God. Some will take up with theories that misinterpret the Word of God, and undermine the foundation of the truth that has been firmly established, point by point, and sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The old truths are to be revived, in order that the false theories that have been brought in by the enemy may be intelligently met. There can be no unity between truth and error. We can unite with those who have been led into deception only when they are converted. {UL 88.2}

It is a precious message that Jesus wants to walk with us. He will walk with and bless every individual even if they are not part of Gods church but if we want the full rays of God upon us, we need to be a part of those who were before us. It will establish in us confidence that Jesus is with us in His church. As we have been travelling through the experiences from the Adventist circles or from where ever we have come from and we realise this is the platform where I’m to stand so I can be in the presence of Jesus when I go to church, we have this assurance that it is the Lord Jesus walking with us. Jesus could have come at the turn of the century but like the children of Israel we are wandering. Are we assured? Do we know that we are in that path?

Amen.

Posted on July 25, 2013, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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