True Jesus Church
Based on a sermon by Eng Guan Tay—Singapore
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
After some years, churches began to be called after the place where they
“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
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
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.”
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
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
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
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
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.