How would you KNOW if a God-called man like Peter, Paul or John were to conduct a ministry today? In today's Babylon of denominations, sects, cults and "weirdo" 'hippie groups, is there a way to be SURE if a man is truly speaking as a minister of the Eternal God?
IF THIS were the year 30 A.D., and you took a trip to Jerusalem, you might see there a throng gathered around an ordinary-looking young man about age 33. He would be preaching a certain message — startlingly DIFFERENT from what is generally accepted as "Christianity" today! You would see no halo around this young man's head. There would be no sign pinned on Him identifying Him as the Messiah, the Son of God. But you would be astonished! His doctrine would be so different from what you had been accustomed to hearing. He would speak dogmatically — with assurance — with power and AUTHORITY. Coming from the modern, 20th century society, being accustomed to religious and political figures who hem and haw, backtrack, compromise, etc. — you would probably say: "Well, who does this man think he is, anyway?" Back at that time, in 30 A.D., before His death and resurrection, how would you have checked up on Christ Himself? Would you have gone to the leaders of the established religious denominations to see whether they endorsed Him? They would have told you: "He is a false prophet." Or would you have done as the Bereans were commended for doing when they heard the Apostle Paul speaking the same doctrines and truths which Jesus had preached? "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11). Would you have really SEARCHED your Bible to prove the words of the Apostle Paul? Will you be willing to search your Bible today to prove the truth of our teaching — or that of any other person?
Christ Set a Perfect EXAMPLE
Most professing "Christians" talk about Christ as some sort of hero and Saviour, but they refuse to acknowledge His Gospel, His teaching, and His example. They picture Jesus as a sweet but helpless little baby at Christmas time, or as a dead Saviour hanging on a cross, or as a resurrected Saviour who has gone "way off to heaven" at Easter time! Their conception is that He came to die for men, but that His teaching carries NO AUTHORITY today! Your Bible says the exact opposite! In John 1:4, we find that Jesus' life was the "light" of men. It was to show them God's way to live. Peter was inspired to write, "... Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (I Peter 2:21). Read I John 2:6. It is more properly rendered in the Moffatt translation. Speaking of Christ, John wrote: "He who says he 'remains in him' ought to be living as he lived." Jesus is our perfect example! If we say we are Christians — that we "remain in Him" — we ought to be LIVING as He lived! Are you? If you don't believe in and try to follow Jesus' example, you don't understand what Kind of God the true God is. You are unaware of how to worship and obey the God and Father of Jesus Christ. What was Jesus' example? Jesus' entire life is a perfect example of OBEDIENCE to God's Law and His rule. He said... "I have kept my Father's commandments..." (John 15 :lo). His own teaching was simply a magnification of God's Law (Isa. 42:21). Actually, He came in the flesh to magnify His own Law — the Ten Commandments! Remember? He was the God of the Old Testament who gave the Ten Commandments and dealt with Israel (I Cor. 10:1-6). When He came in the flesh, Jesus — the true Jesus you would have seen in 30 A.D. — KEPT God's Law to set us an example. He was our "light," our example. A true Christian is simply one who follows Christ — who follows that example.
Jesus Revealed a Definite WAY OF LIFE
It becomes quite clear that Jesus' teaching and example reveal a WAY OF LIFE. It is a way of reverence and OBEDIENCE to the Living God. It is a way of outgoing concern, respect and consideration toward fellowman. This way of life — if universally practiced — would bring absolute PEACE among men and nations! It would maintain and increase the warmth and LOVE in every marriage and home — virtually ENDING the twin evils of broken homes and juvenile delinquency. With this WAY OF LIFE prevailing, there would be NO NEED WHATEVER for armies or navies, policemen or spies, locks or keys, or the millions of overlapping "checking" systems of our business and commercial world — including contracts, papers and records in triplicate, etc. This would free minds, bodies, money and tax dollars to really SOLVE the few problems that might yet remain — NOT just talk about them! That's why the basis of this way of life — God's LAW — is called the "law of liberty" (James 2:10-12). Yes, LIBERTY! But so many "religionists" argue, reason and moan that God's Law is "too hard" — a "yoke of bondage." Or that it is "impractical." Or that it is "done away." Yet it is the ONLY way of life that can — and WILL in a few short years - bring PEACE and JOY to this troubled world!
What Jesus Really Taught
Jesus came in the flesh to "reveal" the Father. He showed that God's Law would be in force until heaven and earth should pass away (Matt. 5:18). He didn't come to destroy God's Law, but to fulfill it (verse 17). And fulfill means to do or perform, NOT to do away with. When a 'young man came to ask Jesus how to be saved, he was told, "keep the COMMANDMENTS" (Matt. 19:17). Indeed, Jesus' whole ministry was one of revealing God as the supreme Lawgiver and Ruler. He preached the good news of the coming Kingdom or GOVERNMENT of God (Mark 1:14). That is the true Gospel — the good news of God's government. The very foundation of Jesus' teaching was that, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). What word? What God? Those Jews knew very well that Christ was referring to the God of the Old Testament — the giver of the LAW — the God who was to RULE Israel. The only "Word" of the true God — at that time — was the Old Testament as contained in your Bible! Jesus referred to the "Law" — the Old Testament writings — as Scripture, and He said, "the scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35). You are commanded to live by every word of the true God as revealed in the New and Old Testaments of your Bible. He is the true God.
God is RULER. If we become His children through repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), we may be "born again" (John 3:1-8) — changed into, actually born of spirit as literal sons of God! God is reproducing Himself! He — the Creator and Ruler of the universe — is begetting human beings through His Spirit to be born as His Sons — to be in His own family — to inherit eternal life. But we must first learn bow to live before God will grant us eternal life and make us His own sons. We must develop God's wisdom, God's character. We must "live by every word of God." Realizing that our Creator knows best, we should OBEY Him. To deny this is to admit a profound ignorance of the Eternal God's great wisdom and purpose! It betrays a lack of understanding of the character of the true God. The Apostle John summed it all up when he wrote of Christ — the God of the Old Testament, the giver of the LAW — "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a LIAR, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4). God Himself calls lawless ministers liars when they try to deny the authority of His RULE, the wisdom of His LAW, and the very basis of His great PURPOSE.
The WORK of GOD
Your Bible says: "Surely the Lord God will do NOTHING, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:7-8.) At the end of this age, God has ministers who WILL SPEAK the truth about the meaning of world events and what God's purpose is in human affairs. But only those who are obedient will have true understanding! For God's Word also states: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that DO HIS COMMANDMENTS..." (Psalm 111:10). Jesus spoke prophetically of the great worldwide Work His true ministers would carry out in our day: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the END come" (Matt. 24:14). Somewhere on earth today are the true ministers of God. As the end of this age approaches, they will be carrying out Christ's commission with increasing POWER. They will be making plain the good news of the soon-coming Kingdom of God. Without fear or favor, they will be explaining — not merely to individuals, but to all nations — the LAWS and way of life demanded by that coming government. They will make plain and clear the hundreds of prophecies referring directly to this end time. Through God's Spirit, they alone can be definite and SPECIFIC about the tremendous events soon to occur on this earth.
Could You RECOGNIZE...?
Think over this article carefully. Look up the scriptures. Review. A true minister of the GOD revealed in the Bible would be preaching, teaching, acting and living in a very specific WAY, wouldn't he? He might be tall or short, thin or fat, handsome or average-appearing. But he WOULD: ONE: Study and live by EVERY word of God — including the Ten Commandments of God-as a WAY OF LIFE. This would include studying and following Jesus' example in EVERYTHING! (Col. 3:17.) TWO: A true minister would teach the exact SAME GOSPEL Jesus did — the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. He would teach repentance of sin and acceptance of Christ's shed blood as a remission for those sins. But he would also teach the very MEANING of life — that we are made in God's image to be finally born into His very family, that man is to overcome and develop character so he can become like God his Father, qualified to join other spirit-born saints in literally RULING THE WORLD under Christ's direction (Rev. 2:26). THREE: A true minister would be busy in the Work of GOD. He would have a deep understanding of Bible prophecy. He would make these prophecies come alive with POWER — warning this sophisticated, modern world of Christ's imminent return, and focusing especially on the soon-coming Kingdom — the literal Government of God — to be set up in the wonderful World Tomorrow. A true minister would be totally wrapped up in proclaiming this warning message as a powerful "witness" to all nations — "and then shall the END come" (Matt. 24:14). Do YOU know where all of this is being done, TODAY? Think. Meditate. Exert the energy to PROVE these things to yourself. Frankly, there are such true ministers on earth today. They are affiliated with this magazine through the Ambassador College Graduate School of Theology. They are warm, friendly and balanced — NOT trying to "pressure" or urge people into anything. But they will call to answer your questions upon your personal request. Write us today if you would like to be put in contact with such a true minister of God. It is your life and your ETERNITY that we are talking about. And there is more concrete meaning and PURPOSE in both of these than you have probably even begun to imagine.