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 (Manna 69: One True Church)
True Jesus Church
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True Jesus Church

Based on a sermon by Eng Guan Tay—Singapore

Main Identity

All of us have different identities. Our race, nationality and occupation identify us. Yet what is our main identity? Who do we really feel we are?

Theoretically, our main identity should be that of a child of God and a follower of Christ, which is a Christian in the body of Christ, the True Jesus Church. Why is this important? Because our main identity affects the way we behave. And it affects our world view.

Regardless of whether we are a doctor, lawyer, student or engineer, our first and main identity should be that of a child of God. Our world view should be that of a child of God. We may assume the other identities as well if they do not clash with our faith. But if they do, our main identity must surface.

Main Affiliation

If we are God’s children and followers of Jesus Christ, then we must recognize the body of Christ. The body of Christ is the church of God, and we believe that the church of God is the True Jesus Church. Thus, our main affiliation must be to the True Jesus Church. If there were a school alumni meeting, a professional seminar, a clan meeting, or a church service, we ought to know where our first responsibility lies.

It is important then to understand this organization to which we owe our first allegiance. Let us examine the True Jesus Church from two perspectives: doctrinally and historically.

The Doctrine of the Church

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

(Eph 4:4-6)

This passage talks of many “ones”. The Christian belief is the belief in the one God, one faith, one baptism, and one body. What is this one body?

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

(Eph 1:22-23)

There is only one body, and God has only one church. This is the teaching of the Bible. How this one church is interpreted is another story. But we cannot deny that from the Bible, there is only one church. In God’s eyes, there is only one church. But how do we recognize this one church?

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

(Eph 2:19-22)

The one church of God is determined by the truth that she preaches. Doctrinally speaking, this church must be built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.

But there are many churches in the world today. Some people would say that we are proud when we call ourselves the True Jesus Church. “Are you saying the other churches are not true?” We begin again by saying that there is only one church of God. Some people further say that you can take the best people from all the church and that would form the universal one church of God. I think there are hundreds and thousands of churches in this world. If you pick just ten from each church, the best ten, to form the one universal church of God, then that would be quite a big church. Now who would be top ten in the True Jesus Church, the Methodist Church, the Roman Catholic Church? Is that how God determines His church—by choosing the top ten? No. It is determined by the teachings of the church.

So that is from a doctrinal perspective. The reality is that there are many churches. Let us now take a look at history to see how the many churches came about.

A Short History of the Christian Church

Historically, there was only one church in the beginning.

And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

(Acts 11:26)

This one church began with Jesus’ disciples, and it was only much later that they were called Christians. The church had no name. There was no need for a name because there was only one church. If you were a Christian then, you had to be a believer of Jesus, and there was only one church.

After some years, churches began to be called after the place where they were.

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ….” (Rev 3:1)

Other examples include the church in Rome, the church in Antioch, the church in Jerusalem, etc. After a while, the church in Rome began to dominate the other churches. Since the churches were named after places, the Roman church decided to add another word to its name, and it came to be known as the Roman Catholic Church. They added the word “catholic,” which means “universal,” to show that they controlled the rest of the churches universally.

As the church grew, false teachings started to creep in (Gal 1:6–9). The apostles all died and so did the next generation of leaders, like Timothy. More and more non-biblical teachings came into the church, for example, the erection of statues in the church, the concept of Trinity, and the confession of sins to priests.

Historically speaking, by 400 A.D., speaking in tongues was no longer found in the Christian churches. According to the Bible, there is no descent of the Holy Spirit that seals us for the kingdom of God, if there is no speaking in tongues. We believe that the church was no longer blessed by God.

Many years later, in 1517, some people broke away from the Roman Catholic Church. This action was called the Reformation. The churches that broke away were called the Protestant Churches, stemming from the word “protest,” in that they disagreed with the teachings of the Roman church. Churches like the Lutheran Church, the Baptist Church, and the Methodist Church were the result of splitting away from the Roman Catholic Church or the Anglican Church. These are the seeds of all the different churches we see today. But, there was still no speaking in tongues.

We believe that in China, around 1917, God re-established His true church. We believe the True Jesus Church to be the revival of the apostolic church. So our concept of the historical perspective is that it began with one church; then it decayed. From this decay, many churches sprang up, but none of them was the true church. God then revived the original church, which is the True Jesus Church.

The Name of the One Church

Many years ago, we had an observer who faced parental objection. Occasionally, the mother, a Roman Catholic, would call and scold us. Once, she scolded us, saying “How old is your church? You know my church? My church is at least two thousand years old!” One of us replied, “Our church is also two thousand years old.”

Yes, the True Jesus Church is two thousand years old because our church is the revival of the apostolic church. We do not have any new teachings or any new Bible. The Scriptures we use are the writings or the words of the apostles and Jesus. We have nothing new because all we need is to return to the original. So we do not say that the members in 1917 were the founders of the church. We just call them the early workers or workers of the second phase of God’s revived church. We don’t have any great leader that we name our church after. For example, the Lutheran church is named after Martin Luther, and a Methodist church in Singapore is called the Wesley Methodist Church after John Wesley; the Roman Catholic Church was named after Rome. But our church is named Jesus church. To distinguish her from the many other churches, the church must bear the name of Jesus.

The church must also uphold the truth. Like Jesus, the church must be the true vine:

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” (Jn 15:1)

Even Jesus used the adjective “true” because it is very important. When we think about it, what is special about our church? If there would be only one thing that we could say, which would be the most important?

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

(Jn 18:37)

When Jesus was questioned, He answered that the reason He was born into this world was to bear witness to the truth. He not only came to this world to love this world, or so that people can have faith, although we know all these to be true. But when pressed to say one thing, Jesus said He had come for the truth. So if truth is above everything, why does 1 Corinthians 13 say that the greatest is love? Is there a contradiction? There is no contradiction because love is the greatest. But what kind of love? We are now talking about a different level. When we talk about virtues such as love, faith, and hope, truth is above them. For we want love, but we want true love. We want faith, but actually we want true faith.

The world is in a mess because everybody wants love but not true love. For example, gay love. The movement is so powerful that it is now taken to be the most natural thing in the world for two gay men to want to marry each other. Even in our schools, liberal minded teachers are telling their students that gay love is the most natural thing in the world. It is very hard to argue with the world outside because they do not believe in God or the Bible.

But as members of the True Jesus Church, no matter what virtues we want to obtain, they must be true. Love, faith, and hope are all very important but we must inculcate the true ones. That is why the church has the word “true” in its name, because truth is very important. Truth also distinguishes the church from other churches.

The word “true” in True Jesus Church does not only mean we emphasize on the truth, but it also helps us to understand God’s framework of salvation. Matthew 7:14 says that the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to salvation. This is the framework that helps us understand how God works. How many people entered Noah’s ark and were saved? Eight. Everybody else was killed. How many people do you think lived during that time? Very few—a very conservative estimate could perhaps be one million people in the whole world. Out of this, only eight were saved. Today, we have around five billion people in the world. If we were to calculate proportionally, God would save only forty thousand people out of the five billion in the whole world, which is very few. Certainly, such an estimate cannot provide and is not the actual number, but it does give us a sense of what Jesus meant when He said “few [will] find [the gate].” The gate truly is very narrow. Some people argue that our church cannot be the one true church because we are so few. However, after doing this simple calculation, we find that it is possible that those to be saved are so few, and so we should not reject a “small” church. This is God’s framework.

True church growth

How should the church work? The one true church, the church of God, follows the Bible, and this is very important. In trying to grow the church, let us not make the mistake of turning to others without turning to God.

In 1 Samuel 8:5 the Israelites demanded from Samuel to anoint a king for them because they wanted to be like the other nations. God was not pleased (1 Sam 8:7). The true church must look to the Bible for inspiration. It does not mean we cannot be modern, but there are some fundamentals that we have to be careful of.

For example, does the Bible mention the idea of cell groups? Think carefully, the idea of cell groups is to split the church into small groups and to appoint people to looked after them. People are very close in these cell groups. Thus, although the whole church is too big, everybody is taken care of and the church becomes strong.

It sounds like a very good idea, but why is it called a cell group? We had something similar in the True Jesus Church, but we call it a Bible study group. What is the difference between a Bible study group and a cell group? The focus of the Bible study group is to study the Bible together. The leader and the members of the group must make their decisions based on the study of the Bible.

A cell group need not do that. In fact, some of the mega churches are very successful because they divide the church into cell groups that need not study the Bible; they just organize BBQs and visit the sick. It is all about love and care. When the cell groups come together in their big church, they listen to a very charismatic speaker. Everyone comes together to listen to this one man, which is very important. When they are out in small groups, they only need to care for one another and do not have to think so much about other things. Truly, if we want our church to grow like theirs, then if we do the same thing, it will work. Just focus on care in the small groups. When we come together, we choose amongst us the best, most charismatic speaker. Everyone would be excited to come to listen. If choir practice is very difficult, we just need to get electric guitars and drums to attract people, and that is how we would grow.

Do we want to follow them? If this is the true church, then the fundamentals, like Bible study groups, must be based on the truth. And because of that, we would expect that we do not grow the way other people grow. In fact, sometimes we even want to avoid that our best speakers speak too much, because people would only come for that man, and not for Jesus; this is after all the True Jesus Church.

Also, let us not abuse the concept of “love” in the church. Weak members constantly justify their actions by saying that the church does not have love. It would be more helpful to themselves and edifying to others if they considered what is true love - it is when you think that there is no love, you practice love.

There are many people in our church who have silently given love to the weak. Their love is informed by the truth. We can do better, but if we continue to criticize the church for having no love, it does not help the church. Instead, we should say, “Because of the truth that I love, I will try to make up for the gaps that I see.”


In conclusion, it is very important for believers to understand what the True Jesus Church stands for. Jesus, just as He is in the center of our name, is the center of our organization. Truth is the basis of our belief and actions.

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Author: Eng Guan Tay