A Word from the Authors of the Assembly Messenger:
"Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her" (Eph.5:25). If Christ so loves the Church that He willingly went to the terrible death of the cross so He might righteously possess her as His bride for eternity, we should also deeply love the Church. We should love it so much that we will find out all we can about it and then seek to please the Lord in our conduct in relation to it.
Yet the Scriptural doctrines (teachings) concerning the Church or Assembly are seldom emphasized today in the Christian community. There may be a general understanding among some Christians that the Church is spoken of as the body of Christ. Yet the Scriptural doctrines concerning church-fellowship are known by only a very few and actually practiced by still fewer. The great mass of what is today called "the Church" is a sad counterfeit of the plan so plainly taught in the Bible.
Even among those who claim to emphasize and follow so-called Assembly Truth, there are widespread variations in beliefs and practices which thrive on lack of knowledge on the part of those being led astray. How can dear fellow-believers be helped to know and to practice "Assembly Truth" to the glory and honor of the Head of His Church, our Lord Jesus Christ? The apostle Paul told his spiritual son, Timothy, in a time of disorder in the early Church, to "preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching"
It is our exercise to follow Paul's directions in relation to the Church by means of a Newsletter sent out free of charge in the United States and Canada six to twelve times a year. We desire to proclaim the truths of the Assembly in today's English to our brothers and sisters in Christ of all ages. We desire for them to have a greater appreciation of that Church which Christ loves. We further desire the Newsletter to help adjust thoughts and church-practices to closer conform to Scripture. The emphasis of the Newsletter will be limited to the Biblical teachings of the Church and its related practices. We believe the need for the moment is Assembly Truth. We will publish selected letters to the editor if kept under 150 words, written in Christian kindness, and signed. We will comment on those letters as deemed helpful.
Currently, Bob Costen and Roger Daniel are responsible for the content of this Newsletter, acting as both writers and editors. But the final authority is always the Word of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Thes.5:21) and we would always seek to turn you to that Word of God.
This first edition will begin at the beginning - What is the Church? - because there are so many wrong views circulating throughout professed Christianity. We can only touch the highlights of this subject in the six pages of the Newsletter, but we pray it will be helpful and will encourage you to study the subject on your own. The next issue, the Lord willing, will take up When Did the Church Begin?
There are no copyrights on the material in these Newsletters. In fact, we encourage you to copy them for others and use the material for any godly purpose. The New King James Version (NKJV) is copyrighted by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and is used with their permission. Most quotes, unless designated otherwise, are from the NKJV. The letters JND stand for the very accurate translation by John Nelson Darby which is not copyrighted.