Our name is “The Church in Temecula.” This is a description indicating who we are in the city of Temecula, which is as simple as it appears in the New Testament Bible. We bear no other name besides the name of Jesus Christ. When we say we are the church in Temecula, we embrace all the genuine believers in Jesus Christ in the city of Temecula even we do not have chance to meet and fellowship with them. We seek fellowship with all the Christians.
1. To practice the church life in the manner prescribed in the New Testament;
2. To edify and perfect Christian believers with teachings of the scriptures;
3. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people;
4. To seek universal fellowship with Christians in the name of Jesus Christ;
5. To minister spiritual and temporal needs to the people in need according to brotherly love inspired by God in His word;
6. To promote the proper Christian community life according to God’s will;
7. To engage in the coordination with all the Christian believers for the building up of the Body of Christ universally; and
8. To carry out and fulfill God’s eternal purpose revealed in the Bible for His pleasure and glory.
• We stand on the Holy Scriptures, not according to any traditional interpretation, but according to the pure Word of God;
• We stand on Christ, the living rock, the foundation stone, the Head of the Body, and the life, content and reality of the church;
• We stand on the genuine oneness of the Body of Christ which is actually the triune, organic, living God Himself. We are not sectarian, nor denominational, nor non-denominational, nor inter-denominational but simply “the church” in a given locality/city that includes all the genuine believers in that locality/city, following the practice of the apostles concerning the establishment and existence of the local church in that locality/city, which is seen as the pattern in the beginning stage of the church life in the New Testament Bible;
• We stand on the ground of the oneness of all believers in the given locality/city; we recognize and receive all the blood-redeemed and Spirit-regenerated believers in Christ as members of the church in that given locality/city.
• To preach the gospel of grace and of the kingdom to the world that all may be saved;
• To minister Christ as divine life to believers that they may grow in Christ that Christ will have the preeminence in our all things, and will be the centrality and universality of our Christian personal life and church life that God can be expressed and glorified;
• To establish the local church in each city that the believers may become a local corporate expression of Christ in practicality;
• To release the living and rich truth of God from the Holy Scriptures that the believers may be nourished and come to the full knowledge of the truth and grow into maturity as full-grown men in Christ;
• To meet together on the unique ground of oneness in the given locality/city as the church of God and seek fellowship with all other genuine believers in Christ locally and universally;
• To recover the Bible truth and normal church life practices which had been lost throughout the past centuries for carrying out God’s New Testament Ministry;
• To build up the church as the Body of Christ locally and universally so that the Bride may be prepared for the coming back of our Lord Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom, so that the kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, God’s eternal purpose may be fulfilled, and the New Jerusalem, as the marvelous treasure of mingling of God and His chosen, redeemed and transformed people, in the new heaven and new earth may be ultimately consummated for eternity.
OUR VISION CONCERNING CHURCH
If we read the Bible carefully, we will know that the Lord’s desire is to build up His church in this age as He declared in Matthew chapter 16, verse 18: “I will build my church…” This is the greatest prophecy and promise in the New Testament Bible. The purpose of discipling all the nations is to bring the material for the building of the house of God, the church. (Matt 28:19, Hag 1:8, Eph 2:22) It is revealed in the Bible clearly, only through the built church, that the multifarious wisdom of God will be made known to the authorities of darkness, and at the same time the authority of Satan shall not prevail against it. (Eph 3:10, Matt 16:18) God fulfills His eternal purpose by building-up His church in this age. (Eph 3:11)
The church is the Body of Christ, an organic entity of divine life in Triune God. Anything not out of Christ or anything not taking Christ as the content, or anything invented by man according to man’s imagination, preference and tradition is not the church. Any thing more or less than what the Bible has revealed to us in practicing the church is not genuine church either.
There is clear pattern recorded in the New Testament concerning the existence and practice of the church. In the New Testament, we can see many specific phrases like this: “the church which was in Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1), “in Antioch, in the local church”, “to the church of God which is in Corinth” etc. God use the city as a ground and limitation for the local church. This is God’s wise and sovereign arrangement to keep His testimony on earth in practical oneness among all his believers in a city. Nothing bigger than a city, so it won’t become organizational; nothing smaller than a city, so it won’t become divisive
A local church is the manifestation and expression of the universal Body of Christ, which includes all genuine believers in a specific locality, usually a city, according to the Bible. Just as apostle Paul practiced, writing the epistle to the church in Corinth (1 Cor 1:1), and to the churches in Galatia, (Gal: 1:2 Note: Galatia was a province, including many cities.) apostle John practiced the same, writing seven epistles to the seven churches in Asia. Those seven churches were taking seven cities as their boundaries for the ground of their existence as seven local churches respectively. One city, one local church – this is what we see in the New Testament.
If we touch the building-up of a local church as the part of the universal church, we cannot but have to touch the matter of oneness, for in the church, everything is “one.” “One Body, one Spirit, one hope…one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father…” (Eph 4-6) The Lord wants this oneness to be realized among His disciples. That’s why the Lord had a long prayer before He went up to the cross in John chapter 17, praying desperately to the Father for several times that there may be oneness among the disciples. The way the Lord build up His church is to dispense His divine life into us that we may grow until we all arrive at the oneness of the faith and arrive at the full grown men. (Eph 4:12,13) Today the principle of oneness should be applied to every local church in a city, for if there is no oneness, there is no reality of the Body of Christ, no building-up of the church.
According to the Bible, there should be no divisions in a local church. Divisions or sects is considered as fleshy by apostle Paul in the Bible (1 Cor 1:10-13, 3:3-5, Gal 5:19,20) and is abhorrent in the sight of God. A local church, no matter how many different members meeting together, even though the inclusiveness being limited by some practical factors, should embrace all the true believers in that city so as to be the genuine and unique testimony of Jesus in that city. This is the truth and normal practice concerning the local church in the Bible, and no one can deny this.
Then, how do we follow the pattern and apply the church truth in a city today? The basic principle is to go back to the Bible – we do not do the things that the Bible has not taught us, neither do we fall short of what Bible has taught and left us as a pattern for us to follow. For the normal practice of the church life today in the city of Temecula, what we need is just simply forsake our respective private names, our preference and our man-made traditions…let all the Christians in Temecula come together and meet together and declare that we are “the church in Temecula,” a shining golden lampstand in this city. (Rev 1:20) By this simple practice, the Father will be expressed and glorified and Satan will be put to shame. Also by this practice, the Lord’s prayer in John 17 can be fulfilled and His heart’s desire can be satisfied.
Please do not think to keep another name besides the name of Jesus is not a big deal. We are gathered into the name of Jesus; (Matt 18:20) and the church in Philadelphia is praised by the Lord for “they have not denied My name.” (Rev 3:8) A church bearing any special name will break the Body of Christ into pieces. We simply do not need a special name to distinguish us from other children of God, for this will definitely make us divisive and make us a sect, a human religious organization, not a church.
All points mentioned above are the truth, biblical pattern, and normal practice in the Bible and should not be compromised by the truth followers. If we are seeking for Father’s will and determine to do Father’s will, we should have no hesitation but to pay the price to follow it for God’s glory and for the kingdom reward. (Matt 7:21-23)
We beseech that whoever has a chance reading this article would bring this vision concerning the church to the Lord with much prayer in a serious manner and would seek the leading of the Lord with much grace and faithfulness that the Lord may have a free way in many of us to fulfill His purpose in this age.