Many ask: Who publishes The REAL TRUTH? Here is the answer, which is part of a compelling story of an organization empowered by a deep conviction, derived from understanding that genuinely happy lives can be a reality now—and that a wonderful world is soon to come!
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In 1979, a newspaper reporter contacted a pastor serving a large church congregation in the Northeastern United States, requesting to interview the pastor and attend services. An article was to result from the reporter’s interview and his impression of the services he attended. At that time, the Church had come to national attention, and most were generally unaware of its beliefs.
However, the promised article for the newspaper’s Sunday edition never appeared. Wondering why, the pastor called the reporter, who confessed that he had originally intended to indict the Church as a cult, but no longer had the heart to do so. When asked why, he explained that seeing so many friendly, happy people disarmed him, and this caused him to abandon his article.
This Church also held the world’s largest annual multi-site convention, with over 120 sites spanning the globe. Wherever the Church gathered, it made an enormous impression. One example: The Georgia State Patrol assigned to the convention site at Jekyll Island, Georgia, indicated that the more than 10,000 church members there were much more manageable than a few hundred people meeting for a nearby law officers convention.
The cooperation of the attendees and the fact that the Church appointed its own traffic, parking and security officials meant the Georgia State Patrol needed no additional help. All other conventions (including the law officers’ convention) required substantially more patrolmen, with numerous difficulties for those responsible for maintaining order.
Invariably, reporters everywhere noted that these conventions were a delight to host. They enjoyed seeing so many well-mannered families enter local convention centers. “Unpretentious,” “down-to-earth,” “happy” and “sincere people radiating an inner peace” were often-used terms describing this Church.
Why is this missing in today’s world? What did these people know that everyone else does not? Is there more to this than meets the eye?
All people long for happy, peaceful, abundant lives. But how many today actually enjoy this kind of wonderful life?
Knowledge is exploding! Mankind has produced astonishing materialistic progress. Breakthroughs in science and technology have never been greater. But have they been able to bring a rich, full, joyful life to everyone? Have education and the knowledge explosion brought it? Has religion succeeded in producing peaceful, abundant lives worldwide? Have governments found the answers to mankind’s truly great questions? Are statesmen providing the example leading to the way that produces true happiness?
In every case, the clear answer is NO!
Vast new frontiers of expanding scientific knowledge have not brought the happiness that leaders prophesied would accompany it. Neither have laborsaving devices, which were supposed to bring people more leisure time to “enjoy themselves.” Instead, mental illness, drug addiction, despair, suicide, alcoholism, self-pity, and other forms of escapism—and general discontent with life—abound everywhere.
Immorality and human degeneration have never been worse. The world is filled with problems—famine, poverty, civil unrest, disease, pollution, religious confusion, war, terrorism, crime, debt, ignorance and political upheaval. And things continually grow worse.
Marriage is under assault as never before. Adultery is exploding—traditional home and family life is blurring, in danger of becoming extinct. The vast majority of families are now broken, confused and out of control, with countless children growing up without both parents. Teen-aged pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are fast becoming the norm. Parents feel helpless in raising moral children in today’s immoral world.
Thousands of wars have been fought in the name of religion. Hundreds of millions of lives have been wiped out in the name of peace! Still there is no peace! Humanly-devised solutions always fail to bring lasting peace—anywhere in the world.
At every turn, mankind has bungled and botched all efforts to solve its truly great problems. As a result, humanity suffers from every conceivable evil and ill. Misery, confusion, unhappiness, discontent, and even desperation abound.
But there is a way that produces true happiness and peace. Some have found a way of life and are living and following this way that yields joy, contentment, prosperity—and lasting fulfillment.
Yet there are only a few. Why? The answer lies in a basic law.
There are many unseen laws that govern life. For example, everyone understands the law of gravity. If one accidentally drops a brick on his foot, the result could be broken bones. If a skydiver jumps from an airplane, and the parachute fails to open, the result is certain death. This is easy to understand.
Here are some examples of another unseen law that is just as real. If a person is constantly sick, it is obvious that laws of health (proper diet, enough exercise, sufficient sleep, etc.) are being broken. The effect of bad health has one or more causes. If a marriage ends in divorce, it can also be attributed to one or more causes: Lack of communication, financial woes, death of a child, sexual problems, unhappiness on the job, etc. If someone is arrested for drunk driving, it is not hard to see the cause of the arrest.
Most never identify “cause and effect” as a great LAW governing almost every action in life. They are unaware that this is a general principle at work in the world.
Every effect can be traced back to one or more causes. Unwanted or illegitimate pregnancies, crime, drug addiction, bankruptcy and a thousand other effects, can all be linked to specific causes.
But why can man not see this law at work when looking either at the world as a whole or at lives individually? Why has religion also ignored this important relationship between cause and effect?
There is a cause for the conditions of the world and its inhabitants.
However, aware of this, there are some, scattered around the world, living joyful, abundant lives. These people stand out, glowing with genuine happiness, having purpose in their lives. But this is not due to luck or chance—there is a cause! Most people ignore right causes—and, as a result, reap a host of bad effects.
The cause, for both ends of the spectrum, involves one’s way of life. Those few experiencing happy lives follow God’s Way. They are members of the Church of God, known today as The Restored Church of God, the successor to the Church described in the beginning of this article. Each member is dedicated to living Christianity!
It could be said that there are two different ways of life. One is best described as the “GIVE” way—the way of love and outgoing concern—God’s way! The other is the opposite or “GET” way—the way of selfishness and self-concern—the way of this world. For 6,000 years, man has lived his own way—the get way.
Most people are interested in enjoying pleasures and accumulating physical things. As has been observed, “Life is about seeing who can die with the most toys.” That may be true of this world, but it is not true of the Christian way.
Christ taught, “It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive.” Practicing this way of life leads to the abundance, peace, prosperity, supreme happiness and joy all seek. The Restored Church of God follows the same way that Christ and the original apostles taught.
God’s Law—summarized in the Ten Commandments—can be separated into two basic categories: (1) Love toward God, as expounded in the first four commandments. Christ summarized them in Matthew 22:37: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and (2) love toward fellow man, summarized in the last six commandments: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (vs. 39).
Practicing—living—God’s Way is the CAUSE of the happiness of those in this Church. Each member, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is dedicated to living the way of give—the God-centered way of life. The Restored Church of God is a united body of people focused on making a difference in the lives of individuals. It is determined to help others, to teach them this same way.
The happiness that true Christians experience is not a shallow, false happiness. It runs deep in the life of each member. Why? Because a God-centered way of life produces this!
God—the Creator of all life on earth—gave mankind a detailed Instruction Manual containing vital information, explaining what we are, why we are, and where we are going. While the manuals and textbooks of institutions of higher learning teach students how to make a living, man’s Maker teaches him how to live, through His Word—the Holy Bible. God’s people are dedicated to following His Word and living by every principle that derives from it. They live these principles and experience the effects—happy marriages and families, productive lives and careers, contentment and fulfillment.
But what about the rest of the world? Again, why is there so much evil today? Why the increasing crime, unrest, rioting, wars and violence? Why is immorality exploding? Why do over half of marriages in today’s society fail?
Civilization has lost—ignored—crucial information!
Humanity has lost the knowledge of God’s way of life and how to live it. Man does not know why he is, what he is and where he is going. Society has lost the understanding that brings happiness and joy. It does not know the way to peace (Rom. 3:17; Isa. 59:8).
Why is this?
As simple as this may sound, the cause of all the world’s troubles began in the Garden of Eden. God had created all things and also had taught Adam what is right and wrong—but Adam insisted on deciding right and wrong for himself. Humanity has followed Adam’s decision—and way—and been miserable ever since!
The world has lost sight of a decision made by Adam and Eve. They chose not to eat of the Tree of Life, which God had told them they could freely do, choosing instead to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Again, mankind ever after has followed in their footsteps—the way of get.
This explains a modern world filled with troubles, evils and ills! The knowledge and understanding of God’s Way became lost.
From Creation, until the First Coming of Jesus Christ, only a few followed God’s instructions regarding right and wrong. Adam’s son Abel chose the right way of life. Several generations later, Enoch walked with God. His great-grandson Noah was the only person of his day who followed God. His son Shem followed in his footsteps. Soon after the flood, there was Abraham, the father of the faithful. Following him were Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.
In the time of Moses, God raised up His nation, Israel. He made a covenant with the Israelites, yet soon after, they rebelled. While God attempted to have the Israelites follow His Way, they rejected Him. At the same time, the rest of the world continued in the original way that Adam and Eve chose.
This was the world before Christ—one in which only a tiny few walked with God. Almost all had rebelled, and the knowledge of God’s Way was lost to the vast majority. This was a world needing a Savior to reconcile it to its Creator. It was during this period that many prophets brought the good news of a Messiah—soon to come with a message to the world.
Jesus came not to save the world and rule as King then. But rather, He came as a Messenger with an announcement. His message was the gospel—the good news—of the coming kingdom of God.
In order to announce the coming kingdom of God, Christ had to first overcome Satan, the god of this world. This would qualify Him to replace Satan and become King of God’s soon-coming kingdom.
He also came to reconcile mankind to the Father. From the moment Adam and Eve rejected God, humanity has been cut off from God—and from the knowledge of the give way, which produces the good things in life. Being perfect, Christ gave His life for humanity. By His sacrifice—His death—He paid the penalty for the sins of all.
The kingdom that Christ announced is the world government of Almighty God, soon to come, which will rule all nations and bring everlasting peace and prosperity. This gospel message included the fact that, upon repentance and faith, people could become God’s begotten children. Then, after a lifetime of overcoming, growing and giving, these begotten children would one day be born again, entering God’s kingdom.
Christ understood and taught His disciples that of Himself He could do nothing. The Spirit of God enabled Him to accomplish all that He did. Prior to His ascension to heaven, Christ told His disciples He would send them God’s Spirit.
This event, the beginning of the Church of God, occurred in A.D. 31. Christ described the significance of that event: “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” God then gave His Holy Spirit to 120 disciples.
The Work of God also began at this same time. Delivering to the world the gospel—the good news of the coming kingdom—has always been the Work of God! Infused with the Holy Spirit, God’s people were now empowered to fulfill His mission.
Christ stated, “I will build My Church.” This goes far beyond just beginning, increasing and caring for it. There is a great transcendent purpose for the Church Christ built!
Christ’s Church has a mission. Every member is called to become a part of the exciting Work of God.
This mission—this Work of love—has a two-fold commission. The First Commission is “Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The Second Commission is to feed the flock of God—to supply each member of God’s Church with spiritual food (John 21:15-17). As God’s members are fed, they grow spiritually, allowing them to serve and dedicate themselves more to the great First Commission.
Fulfilling the First Commission is far more complex today than in the age in which the original apostles lived. However, teaching in the information age is also more exciting. Vast amounts of knowledge travel at incomprehensible speed. Within all this information is the refreshing knowledge of God’s way of life. The Restored Church of God is spreading the gospel at a rate and efficiency that the Church has never before seen. Great numbers of people can now learn as much as they want, when they want. Thousands around the world are learning sound, proven principles, straight from their Bible, helping them to live happier lives and become better citizens.
This magazine—The Real Truth—produced by The Restored Church of God, plays a vital role in fulfilling the First Commission. To learn more about The Restored Church of God and its mission, read our booklet Here is The Restored Church of God.
In the next issue of this magazine, we will further address the question: Where is God’s true Church?