WHERE Is the True Church?
by Herbert W Armstrong
Jesus Christ said, "I will build my church." He did not say
"churches," denominations, "sects." He said the gates of hell would
not prevail against that Church. Somewhere that original true
Church exists today. But WHERE? WHICH? WHAT is the Church? WHY is
it? Here is the eye-opening plain TRUTH!
WHAT about this whole church question -- as it concerns YOU? WHERE IS
the original true Church that Jesus Christ founded -- the one the
living Jesus Christ STILL HEADS today? That is the question that
haunted me, back in 1926 and early 1927.
I had been reared, like many of our readers, in one of the
respected and older Protestant denominations. From infancy I was
taken to Sunday school and church. I was told that I was "saved"
because I had a "birthright membership" in the church. I didn't
know much about what my church believed but I don't remember
worrying about that.
But by age 18 I lost interest, and seldom attended after that.
On leaving school I entered the advertising profession. I was
ambitious. I craved STATUS. So I worked hard, studied continually
to improve my abilities, drove myself relentlessly toward that goal
Then, after nationwide occurrences totally beyond my control
had twice taken businesses I had started, I was angered into an
intensive study of the Bible for the first time in my life. So far
as the Bible was concerned, I had always said, "I just can't
UNDERSTAND the Bible.
Strange -- I had always craved understanding -- but about other
things. The Bible seemed to me a dry, dull, dead Book that NOBODY
could understand. I assumed, of course, that the churches had
received all their beliefs, teachings and customs from the Bible --
but then, I just had no interest in religion.
But finally, early fall of 1926, I was challenged! I was
doubly challenged! My wife had taken up with "religious
fanaticism" -- that is, it seemed fanaticism to me! She claimed she
found it IN THE BIBLE -- but I knew well that was impossible, because
it was a belief and practice utterly CONTRARY to the churches.
"All these churches can't be wrong," I said. "They get their
teaching from the Bible, and this fanaticism of yours is contrary
to what they teach."
"Well, maybe they teach contrary to the Bible, then," my wife
insisted, "because I got THIS out of the BIBLE!"
Argument was no use. She said if I'd show her where the Bible
taught differently, she'd give it up, but not otherwise.
At the same time a sister-in-law challenged me in regard to
the theory of evolution. I had never happened to study evolution in
school or college. She said I was just plain IGNORANT if I didn't
believe in evolution! This stung my pride! Me IGNORANT? What an
"All right," I answered, "I'll study into the evolutionary
theory thoroughly, and if you're wrong, as I know you are, I'll
PROVE IT to you, and make you eat those words!"
Proving God Exists
I had always believed in GOD though I knew little about him, and
just was not concerned about "religion." Of course, I had never
researched the question deeply and thoroughly, to PROVE whether God
exists, or whether evolution is true. Few ever have. I just took
God for granted, and supposed evolution was a false theory. Nearly
all who believe either in God or evolution have assumed their
belief WITHOUT PROOF!
But that was no longer good enough for ME! Now I had to KNOW!
It became an almost night-and-day study of the Bible, and of
in-depth research in books on evolution, geology, paleontology,
biology, physics. I delved into the writings of Darwin, Haeckel,
Huxley, Vogt, Chamberlain. I did research into radioactivity. That
proved there had been no past eternity of matter, but CREATION! I
studied the creation account in Genesis. It was a six months'
intensive research, that often involved studying until 1 or 2 a.m.
But in the end I PROVED the existence of GOD and the infallible
inspiration of the Bible; I disproved the evolutionary theory and
did make the sister-in-law "eat those words!"
But in the argument with my wife, I LOST! She was right. I was
wrong. It was by far the bitterest pill to swallow that had ever
You see, it meant not only confessing I was wrong. That is
hard enough for the carnal mind. But I had now learned HOW wrong I
was, not only what I had believed through assumption, but what I
had done and what I was. I had thought I was pretty good! Human
nature always thinks that. I learned human nature is just plain BAD
I thought immediately, "If I accept Bible teaching, and begin
to LIVE by it if I give in to accept Christ, become converted, live
a Christian life, what will all my former business associates and
In my mind, it meant GIVING THEM ALL UP -- for good!
It meant conversion! And that is something I don't believe
happens really, and fully, without an inner struggle. It certainly
didn't in my case. It meant GIVING UP! It meant giving up
everything my heart had been set on my life goal. It meant
forsaking my way of life -- a total about-face! Actually it meant
giving up my IDOL, though I didn't see it that way, then. It meant
UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER to God. It meant giving up MY LIFE,
actually, and GIVING IT TO GOD!
In the end, I did it!
But now I faced a NEW CHALLENGE! In this intensive study, I
had found that "all these churches" CAN BE WRONG! I found that, so
far as I knew of what the church I was reared in believed, it was
diametrically contrary to the Bible.
Where Is the True Church?
Now the question came, WHERE is the TRUE Church -- the one Jesus
Christ founded -- the one he HEADS today -- the one that carries out
his MISSION -- the one he said he would never leave or forsake?
I had been shockingly disillusioned! It had been virtually a
traumatic six months.
When I read Romans 6:23, I stared at that verse in my Bible in
shocked, incredulous disbelief! It said, "For the wages of sin is
DEATH.; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord." I had always believed the wages we earn for SIN was just
the opposite of DEATH. I had been taught that what we get paid for
SIN was ETERNAL life in hell fire! This verse says eternal life is
something we can only receive AS A GIFT from GOD.
But No! Surely no! We already have eternal life -- so I
supposed -- we are immortal souls! I learned that many theologians
INTERPRET that verse -- that is, they PUT A DIFFERENT MEANING INTO
IT. They change the meaning of the words to make them conform to
their belief instead of letting God's Word change their belief to
conform with God's Truth. They manufacture a new definition of the
word death. They define death to mean "separation from God." I
looked at this verse again. On the one hand, for sin, we get death.
On the other hand, the opposite of that penalty is ETERNAL LIFE.
Now, it certainly was clear, if ETERNAL LIFE is the very opposite
of DEATH, then DEATH cannot mean eternal life!
I was shocked to find that in many -- if not most -- teachings of
Jesus Christ and the New Testament, the churches now teach the very
opposite, and follow opposite customs and practices! I was
confused! My head was swimming!
But there it was, in plain language. I read that SOULS can
die! "The soul that sinneth, it shall die"! (Ezek. 18:4, 20). It
was important enough to be stated twice. Then my startled eyes
read, in Revelation 16:3: "And every living soul DIED in the sea."
That said SOULS can DIE. Then I saw where Jesus said souls can be
DESTROYED! But "... rather fear him which is able to destroy both
soul and body in hell [Gehenna]" (Matt. 10:28).
It began to look like the churches were wrong, after all! But
did not Jesus Christ found his CHURCH? He surely did, and I found
where he said the gates of the grave would never prevail against
it -- IT COULD NOT BE DESTROYED! I found where Jesus Christ said he
would never leave nor forsake it -- where he would always be "in the
midst" of it. I found where he was the living HEAD of it! Jesus
Christ was resurrected from the grave. HE IS STILL ALIVE!
So WHERE was the Church he was guiding, directing, and using?
I was perplexed. But I kept searching. I continued studying.
I found this discovery of new -- to me -- truth the most fascinating
and interesting pursuit of my life. It was like finding new gold
nuggets -- new riches -- only these were spiritual riches.
But I was not to learn WHERE, and WHICH, is the one true
Church Christ founded for some time. I learned that Jesus called
his disciples, who were to become the foundation of the Church, to
come out of the world and "be separate" (II Cor. 6:17-18). Also
Jesus said to God his Father that he did not even pray for the
world (John 17:9). In Matthew 24:1-3 he was talking about the END
of the world. I found the world spoken of in the Bible as "this
In due time I came to realize that even though the world,
especially in this 20th century, has made AWESOME progress and
advancement, yet it was shot through and through with APPALLING
EVILS. And the evils are multiplying. WHY this paradox of good and
I was not to learn the PURPOSE of the Church -- the reason Jesus
started it -- until I learned the truth about the very foundation of
the world itself.
Who, What Is God?
I had to learn, first, not only proof that God exists, but WHO, and
WHAT God is. Many of the churches of traditional Christianity
believe God is a Trinity -- God in three Persons. The religion of
Judaism believes God is one Person. Some believe God is mere
"Principle" -- or a better something within each human.
But I found God reveals himself in the Bible. In John 1:1-5,
we read of "the Word." Verse 14 says the Word was made flesh and
became Jesus Christ. The Word was with God, and the Word also was
God. How can that be? It is as if there was John, and John was with
Smith, and John also was Smith. John might be Smith's son, and
Smith is the family name.
I learned that in Genesis 1:1, it is revealed that God created
the heavens and the earth. But Moses wrote that verse, and the
English word "God" is translated from the Hebrew "Elohim" as Moses
wrote it. "Elohim" is a PLURAL word -- more than one Person. In verse
26 of that chapter, Elohim said: "Let US make man in OUR image,
after OUR likeness." The word God, then, is the FAMILY name of the
GOD FAMILY. And although cattle were made after the cattle kind
(verse 25), man was made after the GOD kind.
In the New Testament we learn that God's Spirit in us
witnesses with our spirit that we are the begotten sons of God.
Jesus is the Son of God, and the Church is to be married to him
(Matt. 25:1-13; Rev. 19:7). So God is actually a FAMILY, into
which, through Christ, we may be born. In Romans 8:29, it is stated
that Jesus was the first to be born of many brethren. He was born
very God "by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4).
Since the first man, Adam, was of the GOD kind, could he
possibly have been made GOD?
What Man IS
God is composed of Spirit -- he IS Spirit (John 4:24). But he made
MAN of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). God breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life and man (dust) became a soul -- the dust
of the ground became a soul. The man had only a temporary
existence, kept alive by the breath of air, and circulation of
blood -- and continually refueled by food and water out of the
But God is revealed as IMMORTAL -- having self-containing and
Yet we see God offered Adam immortal life, through the "tree
of life" in the garden of Eden.
But God did not purpose to give this inherent immortal life to
the man unless and until the man received the very holy, righteous,
spiritual and perfect character of God. And this the man had to
choose for himself -- else it would not be righteous character. The
other special symbolic tree was that of "the knowledge of good and
evil." God commanded Adam not to eat of that tree, lest he die.
That was therefore a tree of death. But the tree of LIFE also was
a tree of knowledge -- that is, of spiritual knowledge as imparted
When Adam chose the tree of death, he took to himself the
knowledge of good and evil.
Let me explain at this point that other scriptures reveal that
God created man with a human spirit in the man. Job 32:8 says
"there is a spirit in man," and verse 18 says this spirit in man
constrains him -- suggests, sparks, impels. I Corinthians 2:11 says
one could not possess human knowledge save by the spirit of man
which is in him. Man is wholly matter -- not spirit. The soul is
matter from the ground. But there is a spirit IN that soul, howbeit
only human spirit. This spirit imparts the power of intellect to
the human brain.
Let me explain at this point, the recent science of brain
research has shown that human brain is very similar to animal
brain. But animal brain is governed by instinct, cannot think,
reason, plan, devise as man can. Animal brain cannot know good from
evil -- cannot have appreciation of music, art and literature. The
human spirit adds the psyche to human brain.
WHY, then, did God place the human spirit within humans, and
not in animals? The answer is a profound TRUTH! The human spirit
within man is the only real value of a human life for it is the
means by which a human may be united with God. On repentance and
belief those called by God may be BEGOTTEN of God, to be BORN as
children of God -- very God -- part of the GOD FAMILY. God's Holy
Spirit may thus unite with the human spirit. Thus, as in Romans
8:16, God's Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are
children of God -- now begotten of God and to be born at the
resurrection as spirit beings.
As God was later to reveal in this intensive open-minded study
of his Word, the human FAMILY, started by Adam was, potentially,
the GOD FAMILY through which God purposed to reproduce himself. And
human reproduction is the very type of God's divine reproduction.
But this has been revealed knowledge too profound for a sinning and
Satan-deceived rationality to comprehend -- except to those God has
called and who have been by him begotten through his Holy Spirit.
This tremendous TRUTH leads to understanding of WHY the Church, and
WHICH IS the one true Church of God!
Now back to the garden of Eden and FOUNDATION of this world.
The Foundation of This World
The first human, the man Adam, was led by his wife Eve to disobey
God, and reject the tree of LIFE. The tree of life would have
united him with God. But upon his choice, God closed OFF the tree
of LIFE from Adam and his family -- UNTIL God would send Jesus, the
SECOND ADAM, to make possible reconciliation of humankind with God.
Actually the PURPOSE of God's Church is to reconcile man -- unite
man -- with God.
Eve had believed Satan. He said she would not die -- she was an
immortal soul. She believed that, and her children have believed
that lie ever since. Adam followed her in choosing SELF-knowledge
of good and evil, rather than God-REVEALED knowledge following the
human spirit, rather than receiving and being led by God's divine
Stated another way, they were kidnapped by Satan, and followed
the WAY OF LIFE, knowledge and understanding of the kidnapper
rather than their potential Father, whom they disbelieved.
But -- GOD'S PURPOSE SHALL STAND! God will yet ransom back his
kidnapped potential family.
But since the human family in Adam had chosen the way of
SIN -- and since sin brought upon them suffering, anguish,
unhappiness and death, God shut off the tree of LIFE, lest they
gain eternal life in pain, sorrow, misery and suffering. Eternal
LIFE would, through Christ, be yet made possible for all who later
would make the right choice, through the second Adam.
So, it was then decreed, at the very FOUNDATION of this
present human world and civilization (Rev. 13:8), that Christ, the
"lamb of God" should come and be sacrificed to redeem the lost. At
the same foundation of this world that started from the human Adam,
it was decreed that "it is appointed unto men once to die, but
after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). But how could a man be judged
after he had died?
That is described in I Corinthians 15:22-21: "For as in Adam
all die, even so in Christ shall all [the same all] be made
alive" -- by a resurrection. This is described in Revelation 20:11-12
as the Great White Throne Judgment. The "book of life" is opened in
that judgment. Those judged guilty, as all will be, shall learn
that Christ the second Adam has come and paid their death penalty
in their stead. And if they then repent, the tree of LIFE will be
open to them. They may yet be begotten and then born as sons of
God, converted into the GOD FAMILY.
However, in the meantime all have died and remain dead until
The Second Adam
In God's due time, some 4,000 years after Adam's sin and the
foundation of this world, God sent his Son, Jesus, born of the
human Mary, and sired by God. He came as the second Adam. Unlike
the first Adam, he chose the tree of LIFE.
Jesus was born through the Holy Spirit of God. He was filled,
without measure, by God's Spirit. He had the close relationship
with God that THE FIRST Adam rejected. He was begotten and humanly
born of God. He said: "I have kept my Father's Commandments (John
15:10)," whereas the first Adam rejected them and chose instead his
own human good, as well as evil. Jesus thus chose the tree of LIFE.
Jesus said, "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). This is
the first place in all the Bible the word church is used. If we are
to answer the question of the title of this booklet, "WHERE Is the
True Church?" we must pause here to ask, What IS a church? Just
what did Jesus build? WHY should there be a church? Is there one
church which Jesus built -- or many? Is the church divided into many
denominations, sects and divisions? Or is there only the ONE
original true Church which Jesus built?
Why the Church?
The New Testament of the Bible originally was written in the Greek
language. The English word church is translated from the original
Greek word "ekklesia." It means "called out ones" -- from ek (out),
and klesia (called). The Greek word means "a calling out" to meet
together, especially as a religious congregation. It does not mean
a building with sharply sloping roofs with a steeple atop pointing
to heaven, with a cross on its facade.
Symbolically the Church is referred to as the household (or
family) of God (Eph. 2:19-21), and a building which grows into the
holy TEMPLE to which Christ shall come at his return to earth as
King of kings, ruling all nations of the earth.
But WHY the Church? WHY call its members out from those of
this world? That is answered by another question. What's wrong with
this world? It was founded on a faulty foundation. It is shot
through and through with evils, causing human suffering, anguish,
frustration and death.
In traditional Christianity there seems to be the concept that
God created Adam a perfect immortal spiritual being -- that Satan
came along and wrecked this perfect spiritual mechanism -- and that
Christianity is God's attempt to repair the damage, and make man as
good as Adam was before Satan wrecked him. That is TOTALLY FALSE
and contrary to biblical revelation.
It has been shown that God created man MORTAL, with only a
temporary animal existence kept alive by the breath of air, the
circulation of blood, and continually refueled by food and water
from the ground. Man rejected the tree of LIFE, which was freely
offered him. Man never obtained immortal self-containing life.
Instead man embarked on the way of life that results in pain,
suffering, discontent, unhappiness, anguish and death. A
civilization of organized society was built on that foundation. I
compared this civilization to the structure of a building, built of
faulty materials, on a rotten and crumbling foundation
God is NOT trying to repair this decaying and rotting
superstructure we call civilization. God sent his own Son, Jesus
Christ, as the SECOND ADAM, to START ANEW, a totally different new
structure of civilization.
A World Held Captive
Let me picture it yet another way. God said: "Let US [God and the
Word] make man in our image, after our likeness." God made man
after God's own kind, just as he made cattle after the cattle kind,
and every animal after its own kind. But God formed man of the DUST
OF THE GROUND (Gen. 2:7), having temporary existence by the breath
of air. God told the mortal man that if he sinned he would SURELY
DIE. Man was not and is not an immortal soul, but a temporarily
existing soul. But he could have become a child of God. Had Adam
taken of the tree of LIFE he would have received the immortal LIFE
of God, injected into him. God's Spirit would have entered him,
joining with his human spirit, uniting him to GOD as God's SON an
actual member of the GOD FAMILY.
Therefore Adam and all his children were the potential
children of God. Then Satan came along, and through mother Eve
induced Adam to submit to being kidnapped. Satan had kidnapped
God's own POTENTIAL children. But by their deliberate disobedience
of God, rejection of God's offer of sonship, and turning to the WAY
of Satan, man not only chose the way of life and type of
civilization of the kidnapper, he brought upon himself and his
family the penalty of sin -- DEATH.
THINK WHAT THIS MEANT!
Man was allowed to make his own decision -- either LIFE eternal
by obeying God and taking of the tree of LIFE -- OR, DEATH by
disobedience and taking of the tree of death. Adam disobeyed.
God could not suspend the penalty he had said plainly would
follow disobedience. So what did God do? How would God even yet
rescue his potential children from the kidnapper? Not by
compromising with HIS LAW and suspending the penalty. BUT, by
decreeing at that very foundation of the world that he would send
his own Son, Jesus Christ, to live without sin and then, not having
brought the penalty of death on himself, Jesus would pay the
penalty of human sin -- DEATH -- in man's stead.
So, thereupon, God also decreed at the very foundation of the
earth that, as in Adam all humans would die, because all humans
have sinned so IN CHRIST, the SAME ALL might be made alive by a
resurrection from the dead, AFTER their penalty had been paid for
them by Jesus Christ.
So man's only HOPE is through the Resurrection from the dead
and due to the fact Jesus paid their death penalty in their stead.
BUT -- AND THIS IS IMPORTANT! God could not reopen the TREE OF
LIFE to humans in general UNTIL after Jesus had come and paid the
death penalty for humans -- all of whom have sinned.
God did not send Jesus to pay this penalty for some 4,000
years -- now nearly 2,000 years ago. Meanwhile, billions of people
had lived and died. So the PLAN of God (God's MASTER Plan) for
fulfilling his PURPOSE of reproducing himself through humans, had
to begin with Jesus, the second Adam. God had allowed this world to
be founded by the first Adam. He started the very foundation of
God's world through Christ, the second Adam. He started it by the
one man Jesus. Jesus said he would build his Church. The Church is
the embryonic beginning of God's new civilization.
Just as God established his government on earth through the
Cherub whom we call Lucifer, whom God set on the throne of the
earth, so God's new civilization will be the government of God
reestablished on earth through Christ and the Church. So God
started the NEW civilization -- or government -- through Jesus, with
the 12 apostles Jesus selected, called and chose out of the
generation then living, in the first century A.D.
But the Church had to start small and grow. It started with
the 12 apostles, and the 120 baptized the day of Pentecost A.D. 31,
the day the Church was founded.
Jesus said, "I will build my Church" (Matt. 16:18). In
Ephesians 2:21, the Church is called a building -- actually the
spiritual temple of God. It had a FOUNDATION (verse 20). Its
foundation is Jesus Christ, along with the apostles and prophets
Now consider this teaching of Jesus: "Therefore whosoever
heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them, I will liken him unto
a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain
descended, and the Floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon
that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And
every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not,
shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the
sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds
blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall
of it" (Matt. 7:24-27). Jesus was referring to the Church, built
upon the FOUNDATION of Christ, ("and that rock was Christ" -- I Cor.
10:4). Also to this world built upon the "sand" of Satan the devil
and Satan's ways of vanity, self-centeredness, lust, competition
and strife -- the way Adam chose -- the WAY on which this world was
FOUNDED. Jesus was going back to the FOUNDATIONS of the world, and
of the Church. He likened them to buildings.
The building that is the world and its society and
civilization its systems, customs, governments and ways, is a
superstructure, as mentioned before, shot through and through with
faulty materials and workmanship. And God is going to let that
building (the world built on MAN'S concepts of good and evil)
FALL -- and GREAT IS GOING TO BE THE FALL THEREOF!
God says, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain
that build it" (Ps. 127:1).
SATAN, not God, built this house. Jesus did not come to REPAIR
the improperly constructed building that is this world. He is not
trying to save the superstructure built on the foundation of Satan.
Instead, Jesus said: "Come out from among them [of this
world], and be ye separate" (II Cor. 6:17-18).
Jesus chose his apostles to be part, with him, of the
foundation of AN ENTIRELY new building -- a NEW WORLD ALTOGETHER.
Coming -- A New Civilization!
What was Jesus' Gospel -- his MESSAGE? What did he teach? Not about
himself and himself only -- but about the KINGDOM OF GOD -- which is
the born FAMILY of God, which will RULE ALL NATIONS with the
GOVERNMENT of God, at Christ s return and Satan's removal.
To be born, humanly, each of us first had to he begotten from
the sperm of human life that eminated from our human father's body.
It impregnated the human ovum within our mother. But at
impregnation we were only begotten -- not yet born. We were an
embryo. After some four months we had developed sufficiently to be
called medically a fetus. We then had to grow physically until
ready to be actually born as a human.
This process of human birth is the precise type of being
Spiritually born of God. Each human might be called, by analogy, an
ovum. To be born of God, the divine sperm which is the Holy spirit
of God, from his very person -- must enter into US, impregnate us. We
are then begotten -- a divine embryo. We are begotten within our
spiritual mother -- the Church of God. The Church is "Jerusalem
above, the mother of us all" (Gal. 4:26). Then we are fed
spiritually through the mother, the Church, on the spiritual food
of the Word of God. But we are only begotten -- not born until we
"grow in grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ" (II Pet. 3:18). It is all clearly explained in our free
booklet "Just What do you mean ... Born Again?"
Jesus explained to the Pharisee Nicodemus (John 3:3-6), that
to enter the Kingdom of God we must be born again. Born of GOD. And
what IS God? It has been shown above that God is a divine FAMILY.
But, as Creator of the universe, God also is RULER over his
creation. God RULES with GOVERNMENT. All government is based on a
foundational law. A law is a code of rules of conduct -- regulating
the relationships between individuals or groups. God's law is God's
way of life, and that way is LOVE. It is outflowing love toward and
in relation to others. For the conduct of human life, it is love
toward God, and love toward man. That is the basis for the
spiritual CHARACTER of God.
What was Jesus' gospel? The word gospel means "good news."
Jesus' gospel was the good news of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD -- and
that Kingdom is the GOD FAMILY RULING OVER THE EARTH AND THE
UNIVERSE. The free booklet "What Is the True Gospel?" makes this
misunderstood subject plain. Write for your copy today.
Duality in Scripture
Now once again, let's UNDERSTAND the dual relationship concerning
the first man Adam, and Jesus Christ the SECOND Adam.
The first Adam was human -- mortal. But the tree of LIFE, freely
offered him, symbolized yielding to allow divine GOD-LIFE to enter
within him. He would have received the divine LIFE of and from God.
He would have received the MIND of God by GOD'S Spirit entering him
and uniting with his human spirit. He would have had this close
father-and-son relationship with God. But Adam chose to "go it
alone." Instead of receiving sonship with God, accepting God's
offer to come into his life, injecting into him life and production
of the mind of God, he took to himself the self knowledge of good
The tree of LIFE would have brought Adam into close
father-and-son relationship with GOD. Jesus, the second Adam, had
that close relationship with God. He came to call sinners OUT of
this evil world, and UNITE them with GOD, as the first Adam and his
family could have been. Jesus came to reconcile the called out ones
Jesus taught the gospel of the Kingdom of GOD -- the ruling,
governing Family of God. Not to repair the faulty and rotten
superstructure of the building which was the expanded FAMILY of the
first Adam. But to call his Church, the expanded FAMILY of God, out
from the building that is this world, and unite them with GOD.
The God of This World
But this world is SATAN'S world. He is the god of this world (II
Satan tried to kill the infant Jesus. He tried to destroy
Jesus through the great temptation, when Jesus was about 30 years
of age. He caused the martyrdom of most of the apostles. He tried
to destroy God's Church at its very foundation. But it was built
upon the foundation of a Rock, "and that Rock was Christ" (I Cor.
10:4). The Church got off to a good start in spite of Satan's
efforts to thwart it. Jesus had said the gates of the grave would
never prevail against the Church. The rains might come, the floods,
and the winds blow in hurricane strength, but the Church would
Satan wanted to destroy it. WHY? Because this world is Satan's
world. He sits on the throne of this world (Isa. 14:13). And the
Church of God will fill the earth after Satan and his world are
destroyed. Christ, the head of the Church, will take over Satan's
throne as world ruler.
So, when Satan failed to prevent the Church from being founded
and getting off to a glorious start, what did he do next? He
deceived certain humans into seeking to destroy the Church from
within. There's a saying, "If you can't defeat them, join them. He
caused some within the Church to turn to a false and counterfeit
In Galatians 1:6-7, we read that the churches in Galatia had
turned to "another gospel." They had believed those who began to
proclaim "another Jesus" (II Cor. 11:4). These false ministers
professing to be ministers of Christ were in fact ministers of
Satan (verses 13-15).
Thus, from false brethren within the Church, Satan succeeded
finally in deceiving even the vast majority in the Church. He
succeeded in turning this majority into a growing false and
During the first few months of the true Church of God, the
opposition in Judea was Jewish. Most Jews refused to believe that
Jesus was the promised Messiah -- God in human flesh. But the 12
apostles were eyewitnesses to Jesus' messiahship. They had been
with him three and a half years before his crucifixion, and 40 days
after his resurrection. Many, though only a minority of the Jews,
believed and were baptized by God's Spirit into the Church. The
Church, during its first few years, was mostly Jewish.
Then God sent Peter (Acts 10-11) to the gentile Cornelius to
open salvation to gentiles. God raised up the apostle Paul to head
a great gentile ministry. Some Jewish converts then tried to bring
the rituals of the law of Moses, and circumcision, upon gentile
converts. They wanted "more LAW." Paul and the apostles opposed
this and cleared the issue through the Holy Spirit (Acts 15). Then
gentile false members brought in the issue of "NO LAW." They
claimed the law of God was done away -- Christ had nailed it to the
cross. They taught a false Jesus whom they represented to have done
away with his Father's commandments.
So it was, that before A.D. 50 (the Church had been founded in
A.D. 31) a fierce controversy arose as to whether the gospel to be
proclaimed was the gospel OF Christ, or a gospel ABOUT Christ.
Soon the curtain was wrung down on historic records of the
Church. It evidenced the fact that a vigorous cooperative and
systematic effort was made to destroy historic records of church
happenings of the next hundred years. It was the LOST CENTURY in
When the curtain of history is raised about A.D. 150, it
reveals a church calling itself "Christian," but one totally
different from the Church Jesus founded through his apostles in
The Kingdom Is Not the Church
Jesus' Gospel was the "gospel of the kingdom of God" the Government
of God in the hands of the born FAMILY OF GOD. The Church Jesus
founded brought God the Father into the very lives of believers.
The disciples, during Jesus' ministry, were WITH him who
literally WAS God in human flesh. After Pentecost, when the Church
was founded, those baptized into the Church BY the Holy Spirit were
also in close personal contact and communion with God and with
Christ (see I John 1:3). God, and Christ, through the Holy Spirit,
were IN the very lives of converts.
But, as the vast majority of professing Christians
apostatized, they held only to a gospel ABOUT Christ. They turned
grace into license to disobey God as Adam had done. They taught
being GOOD -- but it was only carnal, human good. Their human spirit
was not united with God's Holy Spirit -- their minds not united with
God's. They came to worship Christ. But Jesus had said in Mark
7:7-8 they worshiped him in vain, rejecting the commandments of
God, holding to their human traditions. Indeed, by today, this
perverted religion has come to call itself "Traditional
They began to build buildings they called "churches" -- with a
steeple atop, and a cross on its facade. They ultimately built huge
and ornate cathedrals. They worshiped form and ceremony in these
cathedrals -- worshiped "another Jesus," like pagans worshiping idols
of stone, but with no personal contact with GOD THE FATHER. Today,
traditional Christianity does homage to Jesus, but teaches little
or no personal relationship to GOD.
A cardinal point of distinction of the one true Church from
the many professing sects and denominations is this: The deceived
churches of this world put the focus on Christ, sometimes almost to
the exclusion of God the Father. God becomes unreal -- a mystic
unreality. They are not taught that Jesus came to reveal the
Father -- that Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father that it is
the Father from whom our sins have cut us off -- -that Christ's shed
blood does not of itself "save us" -- give us salvation and eternal
life. Rather (see Romans 5:10) the death of Christ reconciles us to
God and we are saved (given eternal life) by Jesus' resurrection,
making possible the gift of God the Father through a resurrection
from the dead. Jesus' resurrection made possible our resurrection,
for he was "the firstborn [by a resurrection] among many brethren"
The true Church has Christ in the right perspective -- as
mediator between us and God the Father -- as personal Savior -- as our
present High Priest at the right hand of God the Father in
heaven -- as head of the Church -- as coming King and ruler UNDER God
Jesus, as the second Adam, came to call those drawn by God
"out from among them" of this world and even its counterfeit
"traditional Christianity," and to start a whole NEW WORLD a NEW
So, Satan succeeded in counterfeiting the Church of God which
Christ, the second Adam, founded. But the gates of the grave HAVE
NOT prevailed against it.
True, on this building founded on a Rock, the winds blew, the
floods came, the opposition beat heavily against it. Even the true
Church in the struggle to stay alive through the centuries of
persecution and opposition, lost considerable original TRUTH. But
it held fast to the true name of God the Father, whose Church it
is. It held fast to God's spiritual law, the Ten Commandments. It
held fast to the things HOLY TO GOD -- his Holy Sabbath, paying God's
tithe. For this it was persecuted. But it has weathered the storm.
I Began to Find the Answer
I have described, in the beginning of this booklet, my own
background and conversion. In that original six months' in-depth
study and research regarding God's Law, I came among a group of
brethren of that Church. They were mostly vegetable farmers in the
Willamette Valley of Oregon, in the northwestern United States.
They were humble, God-fearing people willing to make any sacrifice
to obey their great God.
But, I wondered, could they possibly be the one true Church of
God founded by Jesus Christ? They were small, of no advanced formal
higher education. Yet they were the ONLY church I could find who
held to the Word of God and his Commandments. They held faithfully
to the things that are HOLY TO GOD -- his Sabbath and paying his
tithe. They held to the true biblical NAME, "the Church of GOD." No
other church on earth held to these three pivotal basic beliefs and
practices. They were humble and sincere and would have sacrificed
their lives for these basic truths.
But WHY did God bring me into contact with these people? I
little realized the reason, at the time.
At this point I must backtrack and relate additional facts
that occurred in my own life.
As stated at the beginning of this booklet that I had been for
26 years in the commercial field of magazines and newspapers. I did
not know it then, but subsequent events have evidenced that God was
preparing me through this experience for the real calling that was
to come later.
I was married at age 25. A week or two after marriage, my wife
experienced a vision, or a most unusually impressive dream, which
at the time embarrassed me. I had not been "religious." My whole
mind and heart was in my business, living at the time in Chicago,
Illinois. In her dream-vision my wife had seen an angel come from
the sky, at a busy Chicago intersection, attracting hundreds of
people. The angel had come directly to my wife and me as we stood
in this busy intersection. He put his arms around us both, saying
the Second Coming of Christ was not far off, and God had work for
us to do. When my wife told me the dream-vision I was somewhat
shaken, for it had seemed so real to her -- yet I was embarrassed and
my only thought was to get it off my mind. If it really was a call
from God, like Jonah I wanted to run away from it.
"Why," I said, "don't you tell it to the minister of the
church on the corner, and if it means anything, perhaps he can tell
you?" I thought no more about it, but subsequently God took away my
business, and then a later business established in the Pacific
northwest, followed by this challenge that led to the intensive
The religious fanaticism (to me) which engrossed my wife
concerned the seventh-day Sabbath. To me that was fanaticism. But,
as stated in the beginning of this booklet, I had to eat crow." In
the most intensive study of my life, I failed to prove my wife to
be in error. This intense in-depth study and research proved to me
the infallible existence of God, and the absolute AUTHORITY of the
Holy Bible as the directly inspired word of God. Decades of
continued in-depth study and research since have opened a vast
labyrinth of biblical knowledge and understanding that HAD BEEN
LOST. By the shattering agony of having two successful businesses
swept out from under my feet, and this Biblical challenge, God had
softened me to the place of utter submission where I was willing to
admit being wrong -- willing to submit wholly to him, and willing to
believe what he plainly said in his Word, regardless of the
unpopularity of such belief.
Restoring the Truth
Thus the living God began RESTORING through me much true biblical
knowledge and UNDERSTANDING that had been lost through the
Now it has been clearly revealed to me how a false
Christianity arose during the first three centuries of the
Christian dispensation. Satan led human religious leaders to
proclaim a gospel of their own ABOUT Christ, substituted for the
gospel OF Christ -- Jesus' gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD. This false
Christianity became a great church and is revealed in Revelation 17
and elsewhere in the Bible, named there: BABYLON THE GREAT, THE
MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. She and her
daughter churches have preached ABOUT Christ, sometimes putting
little emphasis on God the Father.
Jesus' whole mission was to reconcile those called, to GOD THE
FATHER. There is ONE lawgiver -- God the Father. Sin is transgression
against GOD. Repentance is toward GOD, and faith is toward Christ.
Jesus came to reconcile us to the FATHER -- not to replace him.
lt is significant that, after God had beaten me down and
softened me, ripe for submissiveness to him, he caused me to be so
crucially challenged on the cardinal point of His LAW his
government his preeminancy above all else, his lordship over our
lives. Of all the points of God's law, the Sabbath is the one test
commandment. Professing, sincere Christians will freely admit we
should have no other gods before the one supreme and true God. They
will acknowledge we should not bow down to idols, or take God's
name in vain. They accept the commandment about honoring our
fathers and mothers, the prohibition against murder, adultery,
stealing, lying or coveting. They will even claim all these nine
commandments are carried over into the New Testament.
The one commandment they reject and refuse to obey is honoring
God by keeping his Sabbath day HOLY. God made that particular day
holy, and told us to keep it holy.
A woman once told me she had heard that Saturday was my day,
and she hoped this was not true. I replied, "No, Saturday is NOT my
day. Sunday is my day."
"Oh, I'm so glad to hear that," she exclaimed.
"But you don't quite understand," I continued. "Sunday is MY
day, and so is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. But
Saturday is NOT my day -- it is GOD'S day."
In my intensive, in-depth, exhaustive study and research to
prove Sunday is the Christian Sabbath, I left no stone unturned. I
carefully examined every book, article or writing I could obtain
that argued against the Sabbath and attempted to establish Sunday.
I examined the religious encyclopedias, checked carefully the
original Hebrew and Greek words in the relevant Bible texts; I read
the Bible commentaries and the lexicons. I checked history.
The Test Commandment
But all arguments against God's Sabbath and favoring Sunday
observance proved just that -- arguments that couldn't hold
water -- arguments clearly in error and too often dishonest.
I found in historic records that there had been heated and
violent controversies over this very question directly and
indirectly during the first three centuries of the Church.
There had been the historic Quartodeciman controversy between
students of the apostle John and their opponents over the
Passover-Easter controversy. The whole question was finally settled
in this false church called "Babylon the Great" by the Nicene
Council, called by Roman Emperor Constantine in A.D. 325. He was
the emperor, not a churchman. Then, in the Synod of Laodicea, A.D.
365 there was decreed one of the church's most famous canons:
Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must
work on that day, rather, honoring the Lord's day. But if any shall
be found to be judaizing, let them be anathema from Christ." This
was tantamount to a death sentence because a false church, as the
symbolic "woman" which rode astride the "beast" of Revelation 17,
merely pronounced this decree, and the civil government carried out
the penalty, usually death. Thus, as in the prophecy of Revelation
13:15, the Church did not herself martyr the true saints, but
"caused" them to be killed.
Space does not allow me, in this present writing, to give a
thorough and complete explanation of the biblical teaching on the
vital importance of keeping God's Sabbath. Our free booklet "Which
Day Is the Christian Sabbath?" will present a far more complete
Briefly, however, here are some significant and high point
At the end of what is called "creation week," the following
event is revealed: "And on the seventh day God ended his work which
he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work
which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified
it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God
created and made" (Gen. 2:2-3). God was not tired or weary. But he
set an example for mankind, and put his own presence in that day.
This he has never done in regard to Sunday or any other day.
Adam rejected God's tree of LIFE, God's law, and God's rule
over him. There is no evidence that Adam's family in general kept
the Sabbath holy for nearly the first 2,500 years. But when God
called the children of Israel out of Egypt (a type of calling the
Church out of the world) God revealed to the Israelites his
In Exodus 16, the children of Israel complained they were
about to starve. God said he would send food from heaven, in the
form of manna, "to prove them, whether they will walk in my law or
no." This concerned obedience or SIN. On the sixth day of the week
God sent a double portion of manna, but God sent NONE on the
seventh day. And Moses said on the sixth day, "Tomorrow is the rest
of the HOLY SABBATH unto the Lord ...." Then on the Sabbath Moses
instructed them, "Today is a Sabbath unto the Lord: today ye shall
not find it [manna] in the field. Six days shall ye gather it; but
on the seventh day, which is the sabbath day, in it there shall be
none" (verses 23-26).
On the seventh day some went out to try to gather manna. And
God said, "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?"
Thus it was that God by a miracle from heaven showed his
people which was the true Sabbath day. And history as well as
Jewish tradition shows that the days of the week have never been
mixed up from that day till NOW.
In Exodus 31:12-18 we read God made the Sabbath an eternal
COVENANT between him and his people. It was an identifying SIGN by
which God would know they were his people, because in keeping the
Sabbath they obeyed him in a manner no others did. It identified
them as his people. For no other people but the people of God had
ever kept God's Sabbath. It identified God, for creation is the
proof of God. In six days he created life on earth, and on the
seventh day he rested and made that day HOLY TIME -- holy to GOD!
In the 56th chapter of Isaiah is a prophecy for our present
time, respecting the Sabbath. "Also the sons of the stranger,
[gentiles] that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to
love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that
keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my
covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain and make them
joyful in my house of prayer" (Isa. 56:6-7).
In Mark 2:28 Jesus declared: "Therefore the son of man is Lord
also of the sabbath" (Mark 2:28). So the Sabbath is truly THE
LORD'S DAY not Sunday.
The Sabbath, as stated above is the one test commandment -- the
one even professing so-called Christians refuse to obey. In I John
2:4 we read: "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his
commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
Sin is the transgression of God's LAW (I John 3:4).
The Original Church of God, under the apostles kept the
Sabbath. The apostle Paul preached to gentiles on the Sabbath days
for a year and six months, after he had turned from the Jews to the
gentiles (Acts 18:4-11).
As the Sabbath is the identifying sign of the people of God
(Jew, gentile or any race), so Sunday is the mark that identifies
the AUTHORITY of false Christianity BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER
OF HARLOTS -- because Sunday carries no other authority. The
substitution of the pagan Sunday to counterfeit God's Sabbath is a
primary stratagem of Satan in deceiving all nations, and
counterfeiting God's TRUTH as well as God's Church.
One of the excuses used by "traditional Christianity" for
Sunday observance is the false belief that Jesus' resurrection from
the dead occurred on Sunday. But in actual fact the resurrection
did not occur on a Sunday morning but late on a Sabbath afternoon.
For proof of this false tradition, read our free booklet "The
Resurrection was NOT on Sunday". Then read this truth in your own
Jesus said: "... in vain do they worship me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the
commandments of God, ye hold the tradition of men .... Full well ye
reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition"
This is one of the keys that unlock the door to the identity
of the one true original Church of God, established by Jesus
Christ, as it has continued to withstand the onslaughts of Satan
through the years and centuries. But it is not the only identifying
The True Name
Jesus prayed for His Church: "... Holy Father, keep through thine
own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be ONE, as we
are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy
name ... And now come I to thee ... I have given them thy word; and the
world hath hated them, because they are not OF the world, even as
I am not OF the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out
of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They
are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world. Sanctify them
through THY TRUTH: THY WORD IS TRUTH" (John 17:11-17).
Jesus said his true Church was to be KEPT in the name of the
Father -- God. Twelve times in the New Testament, the NAME of this
One true Church is the CHURCH OF GOD! It is GOD'S Church, and Jesus
Christ is its guiding, sustaining, directing HEAD!
In five passages where the true NAME of the Church appears,
the entire Body of Christ -- the Church as a whole is indicated. Thus
when speaking of the entire Church, including all its individual
members on earth, the name is "The CHURCH OF GOD." Here are these
1) Acts 20:28: The admonition to the elders is to "feed THE
CHURCH OF GOD."
2) I Corinthians 10:32: "Give none offense, neither to the
Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to THE CHURCH OF GOD."
3) I Corinthians 11:22: "... or despise ye THE CHURCH OF GOD,
and shame them that have not?"
4) I Corinthians 15:9: Paul wrote: "For ... I persecuted THE
CHURCH OF GOD."
5) Galatians 1:13: This verse repeats the one last given -- "I
persecuted THE CHURCH OF GOD."
Where one specific local congregation is mentioned, the true
Church is called "The Church of God," often in connection with the
place or location. Here are four more passages:
6) I Corinthians 1:2: "THE CHURCH OF GOD which is at Corinth."
7) II Corinthians 1:1: "THE CHURCH OF GOD which is at
8) I Timothy 3:5: In speaking of a local elder in a local
congregations Paul wrote Timothy: "For if a man know not how to
rule his own house, how shall he take care of THE CHURCH OF GOD?"
9) I Timothy 3:15: "... behave thyself in the house of GOD,
which is THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD." Here it is the Church of
the Living God.
In speaking of the local Congregation collectively, not as one
general Body, but as the total of all local congregations, the
Bible name is "The CHURCHES OF GOD." Here are the final three
verses of the 12 which name the Church:
10) I Corinthians 11:16: ... We have no such custom, either THE
CHURCHES OF GOD."
11) I Thessalonians 2:14: "For ye, brethren, became followers
of THE CHURCHES OF GOD which in Judea are in Christ Jesus."
12) II Thessalonians 1:4: "So that we ourselves glory in you
in THE CHURCHES OF GOD."
In some New Testament instances, a descriptive term is added
to the name, as the Church of God at Corinth, or the Churches of
God in Judea. And today, it is the Worldwide Church of God.
In this world, churches are named after MEN, or after the
SYSTEM men have devised, or the kind of church government MEN have
thought out, CONTRARY to God's Word, or after a significant
doctrine they emphasize, or what men hope to make it --
all-encompassing, universal or catholic. But wherever that ONE true
Church is, it will be named the CHURCH OF GOD.
But that is not all. Many have appropriated God's name, but
are not proclaiming the KINGDOM OF GOD, as the GOVERNMENT of God,
which we must OBEY -- teaching obedience to God's Law (Ten
Commandments) -- teaching REPENTANCE of rebellion and transgressing
God's Holy Law -- teaching that we may be now BEGOTTEN into the
KINGDOM (Family) of God, and may, by the resurrection, be BORN into
the GOD FAMILY! That true Church is preaching the imminency of the
coming of CHRIST as KING of kings and LORD of lords, to RULE all
nations for a thousand years on earth. Not up in heaven, but ON
THIS EARTH (Rev. 5:10).
There is only ONE such Church!
It is doing THE WORK OF GOD. It is, as Jesus said it would be,
a "little flock," persecuted, despised by the world.
God's Church does have dedicated, consecrated, converted, fully
instructed and trained, ordained MINISTERS in all parts of the
world -- available to call on you, visit you in your home, answer
your questions, explain the Bible to you -- IF YOU REQUEST IT! But
none of them will EVER call on your unless YOU of your own free
will request it! Regarding the general public, Jesus said, "Go NOT
from house to house" (Luke 10:7). Paul had visited the elders
(ministers) at Ephesus from house to house.
Neither Jesus, nor Peter, nor Paul, nor any of the original
true apostles ever approached people and personally URGED
conversion on them. God has made every human a FREE MORAL AGENT.
God compels each to MAKE HIS OWN DECISION, and the true GOD will
never force you to be converted.
But if you, of your own volitions want to know MORE about the
very Church which Jesus Christ founded, and heads today -- if you'd
like to ask questions about it, why not write your request for a
personal visit? We will have one of God's own ministers call on
you. And let me suggest that you JOT DOWN on paper the QUESTIONS
you are going to want to ask. I've learned, personally, by more
than 60 years' experience, that you'll forget them unless you do.
Hundreds and hundreds yes, thousands upon thousands -- are being
converted their lives CHANGED by this WORK OF GOD, through "The
World Tomorrow" broadcast worldwide, through the ministry of the
Worldwide Church of God, through the Ambassador College Bible
Correspondence Course, and other vital free literature we send upon
request. Some, not realizing one of God's own called consecrated
ministers could call and explain, and answer questions, have JOINED
one of the churches of this world. You cannot JOIN the true Church
of God -- the Almighty God puts you in. But if you have questions
about fellowship, doctrines or practice -- or ANY questions about the
Church or the Bible, or the Christian LIFE, write me. I cannot call
and visit with you personally any more (as I used to do and wish I
could), but God has now given me many truly called and chosen men
Weigh carefully the FACTS, according to you own BIBLE. Then
make your decision -- and take what steps GOD shows you.