The Beautiful Church of God
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.
The Holy Spirit and the Church are in agreement. They say the same thing. Here they are both saying Come. To those who are thirsty, Come.
To whosoever will, Come. Take the water of life freely! Yes, to all who are thirsting for deliverance from sin and darkness, Come.
Come to Jesus! In Matthew 11, it says,
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.!
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I believe that this message is not only for sinners but even for us who are saved. Jesus is yet calling us to
Come to him! There will never be a time when we do not need Jesus! Would you like rest for your weary soul? Then come to Jesus!
Jesus tells us he will give us rest! Are you tired? Come to Jesus! I have never read in the Bible where Jesus said to any person, get away from me.
Recently I was sitting with my pastor outside before service one Sunday and we were discussing what the church is and what it is not.
My pastor got up and went into his office and brought out a book entitled “Life and labors of D.S. Warner”, and read this to me.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TRUE CHURCH
“The true church of God, comprising all Christians, has in her normal state under her divine head certain essential characteristics which make her exclusively the church, the whole and not a part.
These might be expressed as follows:
1. Possession of divine spiritual life. If the church does not possess this she is not Christ’s body and therefore not the church. She must know the Spirit of God.
2. Disposition to obey all Scripture and to let the Spirit have His way and rule.
This constitutes her safety in matters of doctrine and government.
3. An attitude receptive to any further truth and light. This safeguards against dogmatism and a spirit of infallibility and intolerance, against interpreting Christianity in the light of traditions and old ideas.
4. Acknowledgment of good wherever found and the placing of no barrier that would exclude any who might be Christians. This makes salvation, a holy life, and a Christian spirit the only test of fellowship, and disapproves all human standards of church membership and fellowship.” This was written by A.L. Byers, a preacher who lived about 120 years ago.
A.L.Byers is also the author of the book, Birth of a Reformation, life and labors of D.S. Warner. He knew Warner personally.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Notice here in verse nine that the angel is telling John Come here, and I will show you the bride, the Lambs wife. The Church.
And the rest of this 21st chapter and into the 22nd describes the beautiful Church of God just before Jesus returns to receive her.
How beautiful is the church!
Let’s remember that when we are reading about how beautiful the church is, we are reading about ourselves and how beautiful we look to God in his sight! The beautiful life of Christ shining thru our earthly temples.
And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. A CITY MADE OF PURE GOLD PURE refined!
And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
John Wesley’s Notes for Revelation 21:19.20
“21:19 And the foundations were adorned with precious stones – That is, beautifully made of them. The precious stones on the high priest’s breastplate of judgment were a proper emblem to express the happiness of God’s church in his presence with them, and in the blessing of his protection.
The like ornaments on the foundations of the walls of this city may express the perfect glory and happiness of all the inhabitants of it from the most glorious presence and protection of God. Each precious stone was not the ornament of the foundation, but the foundation itself.
The colors of these are remarkably mixed. A jasper is of the color of white marble, with a light shade of green and of red; a sapphire is of a sky – blue, speckled with gold; a chalcedony, or carbuncle, of the color of red – hot iron; an emerald, of a grass green.
21:20 A sardonyx is red streaked with white; a sardius, of a deep red; a chrysolite, of a deep yellow; a beryl, sea – green; a topaz, pale yellow; a chrysoprase is greenish and transparent, with gold specks; a jacinth, of a red purple; an amethyst, violet purple.
The beautiful Foundation of the Church of God!
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God”
False religion says this is a literal city Jesus is going to build when he returns to reign on the earth for a thousand years. The New Jerusalem measuring 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles long and 1500 miles high. This measurement would cover about two-thirds of the United States.
The reason the church came from heaven is because that is where the Holy Ghost came from in Acts 2 and also where Jesus said He came from. Heaven! Heavenly places in Christ Jesus! Jesus is the Head of His Church!
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Walls and gates represent the children of Gods Salvation and Praises! Isa 26
1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee:
but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
A 216-foot thick wall! That is one STRONG WALL!
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
A CITY MADE OF PURE GOLD!
And in Rev 22. And again, Exactly What was the church saying? What were they teaching?
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.”
This here is a Christian spirit on display, Both the Spirit of God and the Christians were saying, “Come”, not get away. Who should come? Only who we think are worthy? No. Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely!
Come where? Come take the water of life freely!! Come to Jesus. They were not promoting themselves, they were
lifting up the name of JESUS!
As we read in Byers book on the Birth of a Reformation about what the church of God is. Here in point number four it says.
4. “Acknowledgment of good wherever found and the placing of no barrier that would exclude any who might be Christians. This makes salvation, a holy life, and a Christian spirit the only test of fellowship, and disapproves all human standards of church membership and fellowship.”
Romans 14 1-6, 10,13,19
1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
God used a preacher called D.S. Warner to call out the saints who were in Sectarianism, or Babylon from 1880 to 1895.
At that time when Gods people were scattered in what was called then holiness churches.
Many different names, some were church of God following John Winebrenner and others. But the point is that when God showed Warner the church, Warner did not reject all the PEOPLE in these sects. Why? Because he knew that is where Gods people were at the time, and even he himself was in most of his life.
God sent Warner back into these many sects to preach “Come out of her my people”. And people came out of those holiness groups by the thousands.
God had used many of these holiness groups to teach his people Salvation, justification, and Sanctification from sin. These groups were living a very high standard of holiness, both justified and Sanctified, But as God continued to move in his church and was trying to bring about Unity, nearly all the holiness groups at the time rejected it because they did not want to leave what they called “our church”.
And again when the compromise was setting in around 1915 many who were church of God were letting down the standards and pride was creeping in. God was trying to bring the church up to a higher state of holiness and to remain holy. But as time went on the compromise became rooted and eventually the church went to sleep. This is what is known as the silence in heaven in the book of Revelation.
Many of the ministers stopped preaching the things they used to preach, and the world crept into the church, and eventually we see the Anderson Church of God movement falling into full-blown apostasy.
The seventh seal opened and had to deal with this silence. Again, the trumpet had to be blown, “come out of her my people”. Many left the Anderson movement to stand with God, and stand against the silence and the lukewarmness that had affected the church.
Today we have many groups called the church of God. Should we reject them, or should we say Come as the Spirit says in Rev 22?
Because that is where many of Gods people are right now, and that is all they have known their entire lives, their group called the Church of God.
We must work with them just as God worked with Anderson for decades trying to get them to repent. God worked with the first seal and pleaded with them to repent. I believe for decades God worked with them and tried to get them to change and have their love revived for him.
Peter had to be taught to receive the brethren. Only God knows the heart, here was a Gentile whom God had received, look at his testimony! Let’s look at Acts 10.
1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
Now lets see what God thinks about us humans rejecting what he has cleansed and received.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Our traditions and who has taught us is who we are today. Some of those traditions are wrong though, and some things that people have taught us are wrong too!.
But, it was brother full of the Holy Ghost who taught me that!! Brother full of the Holy Ghost was wrong!
Anyone can be wrong. Years ago I read somewhere in a publication called the gospel trumpet that D.S. Warner taught the devil was once in heaven.
So because God greatly used him am I to believe everything he taught, just because of that? Now we know that most of what D.S. Warner taught was from the Lord, but he, being human, did not have every point of doctrine right, but as we said before Warner did not reject you if you did not have every point of doctrine right.
His test of fellowship was based on if you were living a Holy Life, and if you had a Christian Spirit. All of us are growing and learning when it comes to the Bible and teachings. We must not pass judgment on folks who are in the learning stage, cause all of us are in a learning stage too.
I believe that all of us will always be in the learning stage. As a good minister once preached, He said, “we never graduate from the feet of Jesus.”
Some will not receive you if you do not stand and live by the Bible teaching of Dinine Healing. They make it a test of fellowship. This is wrong.
As we read in Romans 14, those that are weak in the faith RECEIVE ye. Who art thou that judgest another mans servant, to his own master he stands or falls. We must be patient with folks because we do not know their background. God does though, and He works with them. So should we.
The Spirit and the Bride are saying COME, not get away from me!
We should not be like Diotrephes In 3John 9 it says, “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church”.
Oh my! What a spirit!
16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
I don’t want to be guilty of sowing discord among the brethren. There will always be misunderstandings, but God help me to be just as kind, patient, and merciful to my brethren as God is with me. But as the Lord says, our ways are not like His ways, Isa 55
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The heavens, or stars, are over twenty trillion miles away, oh, and that is just the NEAREST star to us, besides our own sun.
THAT is how much smarter God is than us!! Think about that,,,
I am completely amazed at the Love, Patience, Kindness and Mercy of God. I was thinking recently just how amazingly merciful God has been to me. And then I think of us frail humans and how quickly we are to judge people unworthy when they make a mistake.
Somebody does something we do not agree with and we are ready to shun them, we are ready to avoid them and cut them off from our fellowship. Is God like that? I know he is not by experience, and because I have experienced Gods Love and Mercy firsthand. I can’t help but to try to be the same way with people.
I know God is the MOST patient, most kind, most loving, and the most Merciful person I have ever met, and I want to be just like Him.
As children of God, lets try to be like God is to us. I think it grieves Gods heart when He looks down upon his children when they have disagreements, and instead of working them out, they cease fellowshipping and cut each other off.
As a father it grieves me when my children do not get along. How much more it must grieve God.
Study John 17 and you will see that Jesus burden of the Unity He wants to see among his children.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 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.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
The Spirit and the Bride say, COME. What are you saying?
May God Bless You!
Jesus Peace be With You.