1961 Annual Address
It is again that I come to this noble body, the greatest since the days of our Lord; men and women who have dedicated themselves in the great Reformation to be like the Bible regardless to the cost, persecutions and tribulations that may come their way.
No greater effort has been put forth since the days of our Lord and the Early Church made up of the Jews to bring about the complete operation of the revelation of the Word of God and to bring a group in the Gentile Age to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, 144,000 undefiled.
In applying the many Scriptures that we are using that others have cast aside, we have come upon the riches of His glory being Gentiles chosen of God to finish up the work of Jesus in the final age. Let me quote two Scriptures at this point. "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:26-27)."
Now notice the support that is given this Scripture by the Chief Bishop of the Early Church, the beloved James in Acts 15:17-18, "That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world!"
Now these two Scriptures that I have quoted is supported by the writings of the prophets long ago. The Prophet Amos prophesied of this glory being given to the twelve tribes of the Gentiles and they would rebuild the Tabernacle of David (The Church of God). Notice what the Prophet Amos wrote (James quoted a portion of this in the 15th chapter of Acts) in Amos 9:11, "In this day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old."
This Scripture definitely pointed out a mighty program on this end being wholly promoted by Gentiles. It is out of this final Gentile program that the twelve princes of Ishmael is promised. Just as the twelve early Jewish apostles were the twelve princes coming out of Israel promised to Isaac. Then notice what Jesus had said to the Jews, "the first shall be last and the last shall be first." Ishmael, the Gentile, was born first and the Gentiles have come in at this end -- last. Isaac was born last, but Isaac and the Jews were first to receive Christ and to make up the authority in the Early Church. With such a marvelous vision I feel like getting out on top of the building and shouting, "Hallelujah! Glory to God in the highest!" We, the Gentiles, shall produce His glory!
Oh, yes, there are other Scriptures I do not want to leave out. The one in Isaiah the 60th chapter that we have used a long time. Then another Scripture in the same chapter that recently has been cleared to be used in this greater light. In the 3rd verse of the 60th chapter, it declared the Gentiles shall come to the light and kings to the brightness of its rising. Then farther on down in this chapter let me call your attention to another prophecy in Isaiah 60:7-8, "All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebajoth shall minister unto thee; they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?"
Now isn't this Scripture exactly what happened? The Kedar tribe being the dark complexioned people and the tribe of Nebajoth is the mixed tribe of all the other eleven tribes. They have been accepted upon the altar of the Lord. Further to point this out to be true, the 8th verse clearly shows this to being in the day when Isaiah asked the question, "Who are these?" Don't we have the airplane program? Don't we have the man who developed it and searched it out and produced it? Isn't he the one who wrote the vision in Fields of the Wood that was acted out by the Jews? And Hallelujah! What has happened in Jerusalem Acres is that the vision has been transferred on tables of stone written in the Gentile twelve tribes. The vision that the Prophet Habakkuk declared at the end would speak.
And now the 144,000, the measure of the stature of the fulness of a man and we know the Scripture teaches that the Church is to reach the measure and stature of the fulness of Christ. The most encouraging outlook today is that we see the end of this glory that we are to reach. Oh, the depth of this glory cannot be expressed in words, but I will try to say some words to point out our hope of glory is in sight.
John the Revelator has clearly pointed out that in the 14th chapter of Revelation, the 144,000 redeemed from among men are following this flying angel with the everlasting gospel. There is no question in our minds about who this flying angel is, we know! In the written vision described by John the Beloved in the 21st chapter of the Book of Revelation, the number prepared (living Church) to be the Bride is 144,000 living members of The Church of God that is to become God's great showcase of its final glory made up in the Gentiles.
I want our people to keep in mind that 144,000 is not all that is going to be in the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, for the Scriptures point out there shall be millions from the days of the Early Church to the end, but there will be mightier a standing army of 144,000 members without spot, wrinkle, or blemish or any such thing ready for the coming of Christ. In compliance with the 4th chapter of Ephesians, the Church does not leave here when it has reached perfection of the unity of the Faith, the knowledge of the Son of God and a perfect man, but the Scriptures here declares that they shall be no more children tossed by every wind of doctrine. They will, this 144,000, not be defiled by women (other church doctrines), but will be purged and be the Word of God in action, the fulness of Christ that fills all in all. Oh glory! I can hardly contain myself as I write.
God has also given us five gifts of the ministry: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers, to bring about this glorious Church. The ministers of other church organizations cannot receive these gifts. It is wholly for the perfecting of The Church of God.
There are many Scriptures that point out that this mighty and complete organization is to turn this world upside down in that it will shake all things. And in this great shaking will be the mighty revival that will furnish the guests to the wedding in the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel when the sun will be darkened and the moon turned to blood and whomsoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved; then the fulfillment of the Highway and Hedges program of good and bad in these mighty revivals. Out of this good and bad will come the thousands to furnish the wedding with guests. The other Scripture supporting this is Matthew 22:9-10. So the great glory that is outlined for the Gentile church in these last days is the winding up of all things, the fulness of Christ.
THE CALL INTO THE MINISTRY - My dear minister -- if you are God-called, it is time that each and everyone begin to do something in making full proof of his ministry. I am launching the biggest program that I have attempted since the Reformation. I want to open up 25 states. I need volunteers who will go to these open doors in these states and develop the Church. I am in need of State Bishops. I am going to try and give every man a responsibility in conjunction with his office in order to speed up this mighty work of being ready for the coming of Christ with this Perfect Church.
I do not have money to promise any pay, but I feel like saying with A. J. Tomlinson when he said that it was like working on a big farm. The Church of God is a plantation and we are laborers together with Him, all of us working for God in His Vineyard. The real payroll He has promised is the pay check in the end. I am aware that finances are needed to work on the field, but Jesus made this clear when He said consider the sparrow, he neither toiled nor built barns, but his needs are supplied. But the sparrow does not sit in the tree and wonder if it is going to come to him. When the Reformation began in 1957, I did not, as far as I can remember, have one dollar. I might have had, but I did not have enough that I can remember having any money much at all. I had no promise of any salary, and at the time I made my stand, I owed a grocery bill of more than $300.00. I also had other obligations such as a car payment, but I did not sit in the tree. I began to stir among the people and work for God. I will agree it was rugged and there were hard hours when it looked as though I would drown, but here I am still going.
* Article Written By: The Late Grady R. Kent, St. John II, Chief Bishop of The Church of God, 1957-1964. This sermon was taken from The Vision Speaks, Volume 4 : Number 4 : September 1961.
All grammatical and typographical errors have been corrected except for direct quotations from the Author. Thought content of said article has not been changed.
In the beginning of my ministry, I remember leaving home with fifteen cents. Some people said if I was a preacher, the woods were full of them. Other statements were made if The Church of God had to depend on men like me, it was sunk, but I knew I was called to preach. To cap it all off, I also had an impediment of speech. I stuttered and could not talk plain, but I knew I was called to preach. I left my wife and three children and began to walk and hitchhike to my destination where I felt God could use me, and God gave me some of the greatest revivals that had ever been conducted or has been since I was called to preach!
I am crying out for volunteers who will go to California, Texas, West Virginia, Delaware, Kentucky, and Mississippi. These are some of the states that we have open doors and members standing patiently waiting for someone to arrive. Then we have other states with churches already organized needing State Bishops and Pastors. Who in this assembly will go? Where are the Isaiah's of our day, "Here am I oh Lord send me!"