Make your own free website on Tripod.com
God's own special people
Bible Student's Page
Home
God seeks the true worshipers
God's own special people
It doesn't follow
Can Faith Without works save?
Christmas: a pagan celebration
Dedicating our children in the service of the Lord
God is your throne
Conflicting beliefs about the destiny of the dead
Is the Trinity a biblical doctrine?
Have you ever asked why? #9
Have you ever asked why? #8
Have you ever asked why? #7
Have you ever asked why? #6
Have you ever asked why? #5 (about the Mormon Church)
Have you ever asked why? #4 (about the Protestant)
Have you ever asked why? #3 (about the Catholic Church)
Have you ever asked why? #2 (about the Catholic Church)
Have you ever asked why? #1 (about the Catholic Church)
Once Saved, Always Saved?
What the Bible teaches about death
Biography of Bro. Felix Manalo
Why Mary should not be worshipped
Mankind's last hope for salvation
Verses that prove that Christ is NOT God

RUBEN D. AROMIN

This is an article that appeared in the July 2001 issue of the God's Message Magazine

EIGHTY-SEVEN YEARS ago, on July 27, 1914 to be exact, the Church of Christ was registered with the Philippine government, and since then, its growth and achievements have been tremendous.  In its early years, many chastised and belittled the Church, but in spite of fierce opposition, it continued to spread throughout the Philippines and eventually astonished the most staunch of critics by establishing congregations outside the Philippine archipelago.  Houses of worship of the Church of Christ rose in different parts of the world.  And people of various nationalities and backgrounds became aware of the Church and joined it.  The malicious remarks once muttered against the Church slowly were replaced by praises and admiration from people from every sector of society.  Governments recognized the Church because of its various social and civic projects for the purpose of serving the community and fulfilling the commands of God.  Scholars, both religious and secular, admired the Church for its dynamism. And many asked, "What makes the Church so successful?" To answer the question, one cannot avoid but turn to the Holy Scriptures since it is here that the success of the Church of Christ in these last days lies.
 
When it comes to man's service to God, one must understand that although many religions strive to serve Him, only the chosen of the Lord will be worthy before Him and will receive His help and success that comes from Him:
 
"Remember that the Lord has chosen the righteous for his own, and he hears me when I call to Him." (Ps. 4:3, Today's English Version)
 
God chooses those who belong to Him. The choosing or setting apart of people to serve and call unto God is also taught by the Lord Jesus Christ:
 
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." (Jn. 15:16, New King James Version)
 
Christ underscores here the importance of being chosen. For a person to be able to call upon the Lord and serve Him in a manner acceptable to Him, he must first be chosen or appointed in the service (I Tim. 1:12, TEV)
 
A person may be fully convinced that He is already serving God and calling on His name - as countless people today would likewise think - but if he is not called or chosen, his services will only end up in vain.  Only God's chosen people have the right to render valid and acceptable service to Him.
 
The right of Israel

Israel was the first nation of God which He chose to serve and worship Him.  Apostle Paul delineates the rights and privileges that only the people of Israel enjoyed during their time.  In his letter to the Romans, he stated this clearly:
 
"They are God's people; he made them his sons and revealed his glory to them; he made his covenants with them and gave them the Law; they have the true worship; they have received God's promises." (Rom. 9:4, Ibid.)
 
As God's people, the Israelites had the privilege to be called His children. He gave them His laws and the right to perform the true worship. Not only did they have the covenant of God; they also had His promises with them.  All the rights and privileges enjoyed by ancient Israel proceeded from the fact that this nation was chosen by Him:
 
"Do this because you belong to the LORD your God.  From all the peoples on earth he chose you to be his own special people.
 
"The LORD did not love you and choose you because you outnumbered other peoples; you were the smallest nation on earth.  But the LORD loved you and wanted to keep the promise that he made to your ancestors.  That is why he saved you by his great might and set you free from slavery to the king of Egypt." (Dt. 7:6-8, Ibid.)
 
The Israelites belonged to God and He considered them His own special people.  The Bible says that God chose and loved Israel because He wanted to keep the promise He made to their ancestors.  This was the promise He gave to Abraham and to his descendants - that He will be their God (Gen. 17:7).
 
Israel's right and privilege to serve God is founded on the everlasting covenant God made with Abraham.  This right and privilege was exclusive to the ancient Israelites at that time as was testified to by Naaman, a commander of the Syrian army.  Although an outsider in the nation of Israel, he had witnessed and experienced the power of God who favored Israel over all other nations:
 
"Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, 'Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore,  please take a gift from your servant'." (II Kings 5:15, NKJV)
 
The Israelites then were the only ones considered by God as His people, but they turned unfaithful.  They turned away from Him and, thus, forfeited their right and privilege as God's chosen people (Dan. 9:11).
 
The calling and election of the Church of Christ
While the Israelites enjoyed the right and privilege to serve and worship God by virtue of their election, the same was true with the Church established by the Lord Jesus Christ or the Church of Christ.  The early Church was God's replacement for Israel when the latter turned away from Him.
 
The members of the Church of Christ in the first century were sure of their calling and election based on the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, as what Apostle Peter said to the first-century Christians (II Pt. 1:19, 10, King James Version). The prophecy testifies to their being chosen and elected by God.  One of these prophecies is written in Isaiah 61:1-3:
 
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." (NKJV)
 
This prophecy was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ whom God had sent into the world to preach the gospel of salvation.  The above-mentioned prophecy not only testifies about Him but also about the beneficiaries of His saving mission.  Christ and those whom He will save are "the planting of the Lord" for the glory of God.  During His ministry on earth, Christ clarified this:
 
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. ... I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. ... By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. ... You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." (Jn. 15:1, 5, 8, 16, Ibid.)
 
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you."
 
Christ is the true vine planted by the Father.  So, His authority springs from God.  The vine (the Lord Jesus) has branches (the chosen and appointed). The branches, being chosen and appointed, have the right and privilege to call unto God and to receive what they ask for.  In the illustration of Apostle Paul, Christ, the vine, is the head of the body or of the Church and the branches are the members of his body or Church (Col. 1:18; I Cor. 12:27; Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation). The members of the Church of Christ are recognized by God as the work of His hands as specified in the prophecy thus:
 
"Also your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified." (Is. 60:21, NKJV)
 
Hence, the members of the Church of Christ in the first century had a strong basis in their right to serve and worship God and to inherit His promises.  But the Church of Christ in the first century, like its predecessor Israel, had also fallen in the way of apostasy.  It also turned away from the faith as Christ and His apostles had forewarned (Mt. 24:4, 9, 11; Acts 20:29-30; I Tim. 4:1, 3: II Pt. 2:1-3, thus, losing the right and privilege to deify God.
 
"Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' And to the south, 'Do not keep them back!' Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth."
 
The right of the Church of Christ in these last days
Like Israel and the Church of Christ in the first century, the Church of Christ in the first century, the Church of Christ which emerged in the Philippines in these last days and which has spread in different parts of the world, is also chosen by God.  It also enjoys the same right and privilege to serve and worship Him which is also firmly grounded on biblical testimonies.  Here is one of the numerous prophecies testifying to the Church of Christ in these last days as God's chosen people:
 
"'You are My witnesses', says the LORD, 'And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He.  Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me'." (Is. 43:10, NKJV)
 
God prophesied that His chosen servants would witness that He alone is God and that there is no other God before Him nor shall there be any after Him.  They are His sons and daughters from the ends of the earth as pointed out in verses five and six of this same chapter of Isaiah's book.  The prophecy says:
 
"Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' And to the south, 'Do not keep them back!' Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth." (Is. 43:5-6, Ibid.)
 
God's sons and daughters would emerge at the ends of the earth from a far off place in the east.  In the Moffatt Translation, the designated place of their origin is the Far East.  The Philippines, where the Church of Christ emerged, is in the Far East (Asia and the Philippines, p. 169).  The prophecy specifically indicates the time of the emergence of God's chosen people - at the ends of the earth.  When is the period "ends of the earth"? Let us first distinguish the expression "end of the earth" from "ends of the earth." When will the time "end of the earth" and "ends of the earth" take place?  The Bible enlightens us thus:
 
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Mt. 24:3, KJV)
 
The "end of the earth" or the end of the world is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is different from the "ends of the earth."  The emergence of God's chosen servants from the Far East would not be at the world's end because, by that time, all life here on earth would be extinguished.  God's chosen people would emerge at the "ends of the earth." When is this? The Lord Jesus tells us this:
 
"So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors." (Mt. 24:33, NKJV)
 
Christ pointed out the events signifying that His second coming is near. When they take place, it is "at the very doors" or " at the ends" of the earth.  Hence, the period "end of the world" is the time when the "end of the world" or the second coming of the Lord Jesus is near.  What are these events signifying the "ends of the earth" which is also the time God's chosen people would emerge in the Far East?  In verses six and seven of the same chapter, Christ spoke of two successive wars that are of global proportions.  He was referring to the wars that took place in 1914 commenced the period "ends of the earth" which was also the time the Church of Christ was registered with the Philippine government.
 
Undoubtedly, the members of the true Church - the Church of Christ that emerged in the Philippines - are the prophesied servants of God in these last days.  They have been elected or chosen by God.  Because of their election, they received the right and privilege to serve God as had the Israelites and the first-century Christians.  It is on this election that this Church attributes its success.