Deacons’ and Preachers’ Bible Research Meeting
A Bible Research Seminar was
conducted by the GA of Malaysia and Singapore in 1970. The following
are answers by Dn. Hsieh Soon Tau to questions from the Central Region
Churches. The result of this seminar was not published because of its “controversial
nature” reckoned by some renegades of the KL group, which is now considered a
thing of the past, released for your information.
In order to keep the answers to
their original form we have decided not to add or to delete any part of this
article, so that a full view of Dn. Hsieh was truly represented at the time
when the seminar took place.
Can other churches also receive the Holy Spirit?
Ans: a) Before the True Jesus Church was established, the Holy Spirit
had descended in USA,
the result of which had initiated the Pentecostal Movement.
b) It is not the Holy Spirit if
the teachings of any other Church oppose the basic faith of the TrueChurch
(1 Jn 4:1 & 6).
Where was the first downpour of the Holy Spirit
in the Latter Rain Period - America
Ans: a) In 1900, the Holy Spirit descended in
the cities of Kansas, Texas, Oklahama, etc. Later, the Pentecostal
Movement began in other countries as well.
b) In 1909, Chang Lin Sheng from
the province of Shantung
met with the members from the Apostolic Faith Union in Shanghai, and on December 21, he received the
Holy Spirit. In the spring of 1918, he went down to the True Jesus Church in Tientsin to work with Paul Wei.
c) In 1910, Chang Lin Sheng
preached to Barnabas Chang. On March 1911, Barnabas Chang received the Holy
d) On January 27, 1919, Barnabas
Chang and Chang Lin Sheng baptised
each other facing downwards in the water. Later, they baptised thirty over
e) On August 17, 1916, Paul Wei
contacted the members of the Apostolic Faith Union in Peking.
A few days later, his illness was cured. A few months later, he received the
Holy Spirit. On November 20, 1917, he decided on the name, The True Jesus
f) In February 1919, Paul Wei
went to Shantung to preach throughout the
province, together with Barnabas Chang and Chang Lin Sheng.
What is the evidence of receiving the Holy
Ans: a) Speaking in tongues (Acts 10:44-46).
b) This is in line with the
condition of the first downpour of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost
(Acts 10:47; 11:15).
What is meant by “to be filled with Holy
Ans: a) In the Greek original “to be filled” is
a verb which implies that an action is done sporadically in the past. It also
suggests an action done in the present continuous tense.
b) The action that happens
sporadically in the past is a sudden action (Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9).
c) Action in the present
continuous tense suggests a continuous action or experience happening (Eph
5:18). In this manner it will bring forth spiritual fruit.
What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Ans: a) The word “gifts” in the original text
means “rewards from grace”.
b) The gifts of the Holy Spirit,
according to 1 Cor 12:8-10, amounts to nine. These
are all the pre-requisites needed to establish a church.
When we speak in tongues, do we speak in
Ans: a) In the ‘Chien-Wen-Li’ (of the Chinese Bible), it is known as
‘spiritual tongue’. Whereas in the ‘Kuo-Yu-Ho-Ho’ version (of the Chinese
Bible) it is ‘provincial tongue’, and in the Greek original, it is ‘glossa’ -
meaning tongue, and thus it is ‘sound of the tongue’.
b) So long as this ‘sound of the
tongue’ is uttered through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, whether the
sound made is in the rolling action, or in stammering manner or in the style of
speech intonation (ie, in language form), they are all the same.
Can we have crosses, pictures of Jesus Christ
and the Last Supper?
Ans: As long as one does not revere (worship) the pictures as idols
it makes no difference whether one has them in one’s home or not.
How do we remember the Sabbath Day and keep it
Ans: The Sabbath in the New Testament is a
Sabbath under grace (Mk 2:27 & 28). It one is free to decide, one should
attend the Sabbath service, if circumstances do not permit, the Lord will
Ans: The purpose of a silent prayer is to put
the congregation in a calm and reverent mood for service. But it does not need
to he done so often in one service.
Can a woman speak in Church?
Ans: a) The Ho-ho version (of the Chinese Bible)
states: “I will not allow women to speak” (1 Tim 2:12).
The translation from Li Cheng
Chung version: “I will not allow women to teach men in public.”
The English Bible also translates
it as ‘teach’.
b) To deliver a sermon is
different from teaching.
To deliver a sermon is to speak
on behalf of God and the speaker can he of either sex (1 Cor 14:31). Teaching
means being a leader. A woman should not over-ride authority in church (1 Tim
c) ‘A woman can preach with head
covered’ (1 Cor 11:5).
It is thus evident that women
then can preach as long as they veil their heads.
Must the congregation wait for the service
leader to begin first and then all start to pray?
Ans: The service leader will first utter : “In the name of Jesus, we pray”. Only then does the
congregation begin to pray. When the service leader sings the closing hymn or
recites the Lord’s prayer, the congregation ought to
do the same, only then will there be order in the service procedure.
Must we use the Lord’s prayer?
Ans: a) The contents of the Lord’s Prayer
represent our aspirations and contain many precious teachings. Up till now, the
aspirations have yet to be fulfilled so we should still recite the Lord ’s Prayer together.
b) In ancient times, the Lord’s
Prayer was used as one of the programmes in the service (Mt 6:13).
Must women use their veils when they attend
Ans: a) It is only necessary during prayer and
preaching (1 Cor 11:5).
b) The women in Corinth originally had the custom of wearing
veils. This is because these women at first had the misconception that in
Christ they are equal to men so they discarded the custom. Therefore, Paul
rebuked them, and clarified that such equality only refers to matters of salvation
(Gal 3:28). It does not refer to equality in family life or life in church.
c) To wear a veil denotes
humility and submission (1 Cor 11:3). (People in places where the veil is used
can carry on with the custom hut it need not be forced upon, in places where
the veil is not used.)
d) The intention is far more
important than the action itself. If one merely wears the veil hut does not
manifest humility and submission, what is the purpose then? If one does not
wear a veil but yet manifests these two virtues, then is it not equivalent to
wearing a ‘veil’?
e) Foot-washing is a sacrament.
Apart from putting into practice the teachings from this sacrament, the act
itself should not he neglected. Wearing a veil is not a sacrament, so, as long
as the teachings (of humility and submission) are put to practice, the act
need not be emphasized.
Must we pay tithes?
Ans: Jesus taught us that paying tithes is
something we ought to do (Mt 23:23). Thus, we should pay tithes so that the
Lord’s house may be bountiful.
Do we believe in such a thing as “holy water”
for members to drink if they are sick?
Ans: a) The Bible does not record the use of
“holy water” for healing the sick.
b) The efficacy of healing any
sickness depends on faith (Jas 5:15). If only one has faith, one can be healed
without drinking holy water. If one does not have faith, then drinking the
water is also ineffective.
Do we cast out the evil spirit from those who
Ans: a) To cast out
evil spirits is a common method used by Jesus in curing the sick (Mt 9:32-33;
However, it is not required on
every occasion to do so (Mt 8:3, 13, 15; 9:6-7, 22, 29 & 30).
b) Whether one should cast out
the evil spirit from those who are sick depends on the guidance of the Holy
Spirit at that particular moment.
Must we kneel down to sing closing hymns?
Ans: a) The closing hymn follows the end of the prayer to close the
service. If one stands up to pray, then of course, one should continue to stand
in singing the closing hymn. If one kneels to pray, then it is logical that one
continues to kneel down for the closing hymn.
b) In March 1926, the gospel was
preached from Mainland China
and at that time the congregation stood up to pray and sang the closing hymn.
c) In 1929, Dn. Tsai Seng Mm from Taiwan
stayed for two months at the GA headquarters in Shanghai. At that time, the members from the
various churches in Shanghai
city knelt in praying and also in singing the closing hymn.
d) In March1936, Eld. Thomas Kuo came to Taiwan to organise a one-month
Bible Study seminar. It was only then that, in Eld. Kuo’s service the congregation knelt to pray and to sing
the closing hymn.
e) The following Bible verses
show that one may kneel to pray and praise God (2 Chr
6:13-15; Ps 95:6-7; Dan 6:10).
Must blessings be given after each church
service, house gatherings and funeral service?
Ans: a) A member in coming for church service
will be blessed by God and it is not necessary to give additional blessings.
blessing is given after every service, the same words are repeated then the
significance of blessings may be lost.
Must our members wash “one another’s
Ans: The most important teaching from “washing
one another’s feet” is to love one another, to forgive one another and to serve
others. Therefore, the act itself is not required.
Are the elements of the Holy Communion really
the body and the blood of Jesus Christ after prayer?
Ans: a) Jesus said, “This is my body; this is my blood” (Mt 26:26
& 28). It is thus evident that the bread and grape juice, after blessing,
becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus.
b) This transformation is not in
the physical but spiritual sense (Jn 6:52-56; 60:63; 1 Cor 10:3; Jn 6:48-51).
Must only the leader bless the elements of the
Holy Communion and the congregation remain silent?
Ans: The purpose of this is to let the
congregation remember the Lord’s sufferings so that they will receive the Holy
Communion with thanksgiving.
Can a deaconess lay
Ans: The Bible does not prevent a deaconess from
laying hands. However, according to our church tradition, a deaconess can only
lay hands on sisters, not brothers.
Can a deacon in his old age be called an elder?
Ans: a) An elder is considered an overseer,
(Acts 20:17, 28). The word “elder” denotes a qualification whereas “overseer”
denotes a position.
b) An elderly deacon, if he is in
reality performing the functions of an elder, should then be ordained as an
elder so as to be in line with the function he performs.
c) The Bible teaches that every
church ordains an elder (Tit 1:5). If an elderly deacon is not to be ordained
as an elder, then the number of elders will decrease gradually.
d) The ordaining of elderly
deacons into elders had also been done by the General Assembly in mainland China.
Can an elder-deacon, deaconess or preacher resign?
Ans: If he feels that he is not qualified, he is
allowed to resign. Of course, it is necessary to discuss the validity of the
reasons behind the resignation.
Can our members go to other churches to listen
to the gospel?
Ans: To prevent his faith from being infiltrated
by false doctrines, we should advise him not to go to other churches to listen
to the gospel.
Can our members also attend the Theological
Seminars of other denominations?
Ans: It is allowed under the following
a) If he goes on his own account
and is not officially sent by the church.
b) If the individual concerned is
firmly rooted in the basic faith of the church and will not be influenced.
c) If his primary purpose is to
understand the original Biblical text and only treats studying the doctrines of
the secular churches as secondary.
d) During the individual’s
attendance at the seminar, deacons and preachers should keep in close touch
with him, lest we should lose a fellow worker in Christ.
Can we invite other church leaders to come and
preach on the church pulpit?
Ans: We cannot.
Was the year in which the True Jesus Church was
founded in 1917 biblical?
Ans: No. There is no biblical evidence as to the
car in which Jesus was born and neither is there biblical evidence to prove when
the True Jesus Church was to he found.
Was the founding of the True Jesus Church in the
East and in China
Ans: a) There are biblical references to the
founding of the True Jesus Church in the East (Gen 2:8; 3:24; Ezk 43:1-2; 47:1;
Rev 7:2-3; Is 24:15).
b) The founding of the True Jesus
Church in China
has no biblical support.
since 1917, we have not heard of a church from the East which is more perfect
than our church, not even from the West. Thus, we strongly believe that our
church is the true church from the east which the Bible promised to emerge.
Can we practice birth control?
Ans: a) The Bible does not prevent a member from
b) Birth-control methods which go
against the faith or are harmful should not be used; other methods, however,
may be used.
Can we donate blood and receive blood?
Ans: a) The Bible prohibits one to drink blood
as there is life in blood (Lev 17:10 & 11).
b) To donate blood to others
incurs no harm upon oneself but instead benefits others. It also does not go
against the Bible.
c) Receiving blood can save one’s
own life at times. And it also does not harm the person who donates. Therefore
this is allowed.
Can church members observe festivals?
Ans: a) It is not allowed to observe days and
festivals dedicated to idols.
b) It is permissible to observe
public holidays and national celebrations other than the above.
Can church members observe Chinese funeral
Ans: One should abstain from rites of
If a husband or wife commits adultery, can the
other party live together with that person? If they do so, are they committing
Ans: a) If a wife commits adultery, the husband
can divorce her and remarry (Mt 5:32; 19:9). This teaching gives permission to
the husband for divorce and is not a definite ruling. So, if the wife displays
a repentant attitude and for the sake of the children, it is also alright if
the husband should decide not to divorce her. It follows that they can still
live together, but the church has to ex-communicate her.
b) If a husband commits adultery
and the wife should re-marry, she is considered to have committed adultery. The
person who marries her is also committing adultery (Mt 3:32; 19:9). So, if a
husband commits adultery, the wife is not allowed to divorce him and then to
remarry. If they should divorce, the wife cannot remarry as long as her husband
is still alive (1 Cor 7:10-11; Rom 7:2-3).
Can divorced members remarry? If they can, what
are the reasons? If not, can we allow the member’s wife if she is an outsider
to be baptised?
Ans: a) If the wife commits adultery, the
husband can divorce her and remarry. If the husband commits adultery, the wife
cannot remarry (Mt 5:32; 19:9).
b) If the wife has not committed
adultery, her husband cannot divorce her (Mt 5:32).
c) The husband and wife cannot
simply divorce each other. If they do divorce, they are not allowed to remarry
(1 Cor 7:10-13).
d) The unbeliever’s past sins are
forgiven once she gets baptised (Ac 2:38; 22:16). Therefore, she can receive