HISTORY OF THE
OF THE ABRAHAMIC FAITH
THE CHURCHES OF GOD (headquarters Morrow, Georgia) in many parts of the world form a unique segment of the religious world with which you as a seeker for truth should be familiar. While small in size, its contribution to Bible understanding has been great. In many ways its leaders have pioneered a reawakening in the understanding of Bible truths that were long hidden in the darkness of human traditions and philosophy.
What it is not.
Where it began.
What it is.
What this means to you.
THE CHURCH OF GOD
What It Is Not
The Church of God is not a "Reformation Church." It does not trace its origin to the Reformation nor to Reformation leaders. The Church of God has its taproots in the Word of God and not in the revolt of the church.
The Church of God is not a "founded" church; that is, it was not established by any one leader. It does not trace itself back to any individual other than Christ. It has no prophet or prophetess, nor a single founder. It has had outstanding leaders in its past history, but it did not radiate out from any one person.
The Church of God is not a "splinter church"; that is, it did not break off from any older, established denomination. While the family tree of many churches shows them as branches of other denominations and those denominations as branches from others, etc., the Church of God was never so affiliated.
Where It Began
The Church of God as it is known today came into being as small groups of individuals in England and North America who, through personal Bible study, became convinced of the doctrinal truths that are set forth as the Statement of Faith. In most cases, these groups and their leaders did not even know of the existence of the others.
In the mid-1800s, however, some of the leaders, Joseph Marsh in Rochester, New York, the Wilson family who had migrated from England to Geneva, Illinois, and other leaders in Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, began to publish papers which gained wide circulation. Through these publications the small groups of Bible students and individuals became aware of one another and began to exchange correspondence. Circuit preachers visited back and forth among these various local groups, and new churches soon grew up in other places.
Over a period of years, groups of churches formed state conferences and eventually a General Conference was organized in 1921.
What It Is
Churches of God are congregational in government. They maintain complete local independence. There is close cooperation, however, in the maintaining of publishing facilities, the operation of Atlanta Bible College, and the mission programs of the Church of God. There are established standards for the ministry, cooperation in the work of the Sunday schools and the Berean youth fellowships, and close fellowship between the scattered members of the Church of God.
The Church of God places great emphasis upon the Word of God, and Bible preaching and teaching are prominent. Bible classes and Bible study groups are the backbone of its work.
The Church of God is "adventist," in that it believes in the literal, visible second coming of Christ. It is "baptist," in that it believes in adult immersion for the remission of sins. It is "congregational," in that it has a congregational form of government. It is "conditionalist," in that it believes that man will inherit immortality on the condition that he accepts Christ as his Savior and is found in Him at His coming.
It is "unitarian," in that it believes that God is one, the Father, the Creator, who is above all, and that Jesus Christ is His Son who came into existence by the power of God by birth to the virgin Mary. It is "fundamentalist," in that it believes the Bible is the only inspired Word of God, and adheres to it only as authority for faith and doctrine. It is "premillennial," in that it believes Jesus will come before the millennium and that the Kingdom of God will be established on the earth when Jesus comes.
It is of the "Abrahamic faith," because it believes that the promises made to Abraham will be fulfilled in the church and in the faithful of Israel through Christ. "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29).
What This Means to You
We are living in an age of crisis when all thinking persons are contemplating world events and their present and future place in the scheme of things. With the threat of war, morality and ethics at a low ebb, and economic uncertainty, no person can long hide his head in the sand and say, "This does not affect me."
The Church of God can help each person find a place in this life and a secure hope for the future. Standing upon the promises of God and trusting implicitly in the grace of God, the believer can find a solid foundation for this life and for life in the age to come.
With confidence in the ability of God to lead and bless His own even in crisis times, and with assurance in the promises of God for a better day to come, the child of God has a distinct advantage in this life. With proper understanding of the Word and will of God, the Christian also has a challenging and rewarding work in this life to witness for the Lord in life and word. Christ offers to the believer a full, rich life now, and hope for an eternal life in the perfect Kingdom of God on earth in the age to come.
The Church of God can help you find the way to this new life and the stability that it offers. It does not offer psychology or philosophy or schemes for social reform or legislative proposals or the solutions of authors, but the plan and will of God revealed in His Word, the Bible, presented in an easy to understand and practical way.
If you attend a Church of God, you will find the people are friendly, dedicated, and interested in the spiritual welfare of their neighbors. Services emphasize worship, Bible study, and Bible-based sermons. You will find a friendly welcome and great personal benefit in the Church of God.
PENNELLWOOD CHURCH OF GOD
3459 REISER S.W.
WYOMING, MICHIGAN 49315