The Difference In
A Resurrected Christ
Is The Difference In
A Resurrected Church
"And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus (Luke 24:3), He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee..." Here we see the resurrection of Christ according to prophecy as referred to in the Scriptures, when the Lord, Himself, called His disciples' attention to His death and resurrection several times, saying that He was to die and be resurrected in the fulfillment of the Word of God. There are two parts of this that I would like to point out in this month of April, which is the first month of the year in Hebrew and is called Abib. In revealing Christ in the present days in which we live, it is necessary to use His other body, which He formed before leaving this world on Mt. Hattin, October 23rd, in the second year of His ministry. The Body is called THE CHURCH OF GOD.
Paul declared in Ephesians 5:29-32, "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church." In the light of these Scriptures, in order to see Christ in the mystery according to the Revelation of the Scriptures it is necessary that there be a resurrected Church as well as a resurrected Christ. Then, if we have a resurrected Christ, it is necessary that we have a resurrected Church.
When Christ was resurrected from the dead, he arose to finish His work and to appear in His glory. Then it was necessary for the Church to follow him and to go down in the Dark Ages. Having been buried in heresy, false doctrine, and man-made laws and creeds, it was to arise again to finish its work and to appear in its glory. One could not think of its appearing with principles any different from those of the early church, including Apostles, Prophets, and all other offices and gifts that existed during the first century in the church that Jesus built.
Sufficient evidence is produced in the Christian's record that The Church of God ceased to function in A. D. 325, when Constantine led it to the Roman Empire to be the church of the state. At this instance, it became the Roman Catholic Church, and here the body of Christ was taken down from its cross (promontory) and was buried until the time when prophecy was to be fulfilled to bring about a resurrected church. Martin Luther did not do this, neither did John Wesley, nor did other man-made organizations that came about by a point of doctrine, for all types of churches were man-made organizations called denominations.
Now, let's move to our day and follow some more events. In the latter part of the 19th century, a group of men from the Baptist and Methodist churches, led by R. G. Spurling, felt that there should be a movement that was outlined in the New Testament operating in these last days. They formed themselves into a body, but they were not yet the church. They were only in the process of creation of a body. To be The Church of God, it was necessary to be resurrected by the same Spirit that existed in the early Church. They at this time were called the Holiness Church at Camp Creek and had not received the Spirit of the Body yet. It was a body of people, but was not yet resurrected as the Church. As Jesus' body laid in the tomb, it was necessary for the spirit to return to the body and be resurrected in the body and to go into action again. So was it necessary for the Spirit of the Body of Christ, the Church, to return to a formed body of people; then, they were to be resurrected and brought to life, to be THE CHURCH OF GOD in action again.
In 1903, there was a man named A. J. Tomlinson, who was a searcher of the Bible, a Quaker, yes more than a Quaker -- he was a Prophet. God had revealed to him that there was to be another body of people in these last days to be the same church as was pointed out in the New Testament. In his search from Indiana to North Carolina in the hills of the Smokies, he came upon this body of people, the Holiness Church at Camp Creek, led by R. G. Spurling. Just as eagerly as A. J. Tomlinson was looking for The Church, this body of people was wanting to be The Church. Yet, they did not know how to process the Scriptures that were to be fulfilled, because only the Word of God fulfilled could resurrect the Church. It was necessary to have a Prophet to bring this about, and A. J. Tomlinson was that Prophet.
Here is the way it happened that the Church was resurrected. When Prophet Tomlinson met with the group, he questioned them as to what they stood for, and they said that they stood for the whole Bible, the New Testament as their faith and practice. A. J. Tomlinson jumped to his feet and said that -- that would make it THE CHURCH OF GOD and asked why they called it the Holiness Church at Camp Creek. And to this they agreed, that it would be THE CHURCH OF GOD. Through this agreement and covenant with the man of God and the little body of people, the spirit of life of the Church entered into the body, and it was now no longer the Holiness Church at Camp Creek, but THE CHURCH OF GOD, risen in action again. Neither R. G. Spurling nor A. J. Tomlinson organized it, but the Church was resurrected in the fulfillment of the Word of God. Psalm 132:6, "Lo we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood." Isaiah 60:1-2, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee."
Following this process, A. J. Tomlinson joined the group and became the first member to join the Church this side of the Dark Ages. It was he who found the Church and led it for forty years according to a Prophet's date. At this present time, we are in the process of God's house, and as in all other ages, he only brought the third part of it through the fire and purified it and made it perfect according to the Scriptures. This third part is destined to be purified and brought through the fire to be the Church without spot, blemish, or wrinkle, but a glorious church being ready for the Lord's return.
Since we are the third part this side of the Dark Ages and are not a man-made organization, and since we are the only church that can be identified as the risen Church with the New Testament pattern--that is having apostles, prophets, and offices of the early Church--we have a perfect right to claim to be the Divine Institution, the Divine Body of Christ, the Resurrected Church. You believe in a Resurrected Christ, then believe in a Resurrected Church.
Let us climax by reading Ephesians 1:22-23, "...And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all."
* 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 5 : Number 10 : April 1963.
All grammatical and typographical errors have been corrected except for direct quotations from the Author. Thought content of said article has not been changed.