The Church of God of The Firstborn
|A LIFE FULL OF FAITH -- A Book on Bible Facts
Written by A. G. Etterman
THE CHURCH TO WHICH I MUST BELONG
By God's help I will explain what is meant by the church to which I must belong. God does not tell us that we must belong to any church or movement, as we are told in the churches today. And if we believe the Bible, we must do what the Bible says. If it says to do a certain thing, we must do it and if it says not to do a certain thing, we must not do it. If the Bible says it was right to belong to an organization, it would not be sin to join one, but we must do as it says, and in Acts 2:47, "Praising God, and having favour with all people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
From this we see that it is not necessary for a person to belong to the church, or be taken into an organization by a vote, or by a hand shake by the preacher, but the Lord, Himself, adds the person to the church. Thank God for the Bible, that no one needs to go astray, if they have a Bible, and a preacher that is called of God to teach them. A man who is really called of God, will not take joiners, but will preach the word of God as it is written, neither taking away, nor adding anything to it.
If ministers would read the Bible, they would know the penalty, they will face at the judgment day, for destroying God's word. Also let us be careful and not misuse the Gospel. As long as we are ignorant, God is merciful, but as soon as we know the truth, we must believe and practice it. If we know the truth, our failure to practice it is not excusable in the sight of God.
First of all, we must be born again of water and the spirit, John chapter 3, then be baptized in the water, Romans chapter 6, next be sanctified, I Thessalonians 4:3, "Then filled with the Holy Ghost as Cornelius of old." Acts 10:47, "And then live a clean and holy life every day of your life." Above all, we must live a clean and holy life every day, in order to belong to the Church of God, if we call ourselves by that name. The Bible speaks upon this in Ephesians 3:14-15, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named."
Then since the Father of Jesus is called God, as we all know, so we must be called the Church of God. However, do not think that every church that calls itself the Church of God, is the Church of God. No, there is only one Church of God on earth, the same as in heaven, and that is the great family of God, it is called by the Father's name. In this world, everyone that has accepted full salvation and is called by that name, and belongs to the Church of God of which Jesus is the head, and not some woman or man. Let me make this plain. This does not mean to stay out of the church, because every church building is good for the purpose or entering, and worshipping in. But no man or woman has the right to accept members, and every person should be free to go where he gets food for his soul, or where the Gospel is preached.
There is only one Gospel, as there is only one church, and we have proven by the Bible that there is only one church. Now the Bible speaks of one Gospel, and if the man preaches a false Gospel, he is a curse. So we must be careful as to what Gospel we listen to. There is such a doctrine in the world today that the only command that we must obey is given by Peter in Acts 2:38, Acts 3:22-26, "And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people."
This Prophet is Jesus, for Jesus' command is found in 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."
Those that baptize in the name of Jesus only, cannot be called the Church of God, because the Bible says in I John 3:24, "And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us."
His command is to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost, and these teachers of false doctrine, change the wording and of course, must be wrong. We are even forbidden to speak in such a manner. II John 1:9, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."
So those that preach such a doctrine, cannot claim the Father's name, nor belong to the Church of God. Therefore, we must be careful as to the Gospel we listen to. As we proved in the beginning, everyone that preaches the doctrine of sprinkling or pouring or acceptance by hand shaking, or voting, or any other method made by man is all wrong. These things are not for the true Church of God, and in the ministry. Everyone must watch and obey the Bible and the commandments or Jesus Christ, and then God will bless the church. Amen.