Do You Teach Bible Doctrine?

Christ Jesus said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me”. There is only one doctrine (teaching) and that doctrine is the Word of God. God's people do not operate under a belief system but under truth. It is not about what we believe but what is pleasing to God.


 What is the Church & the Trinity


Often, someone will ask, “what denomination are you”, or “who do you fellowship”. This article is to help clarify these questions and to answer the question "What is the church and the Trinity". To begin, one must understand that this congregation is just one of many: Each congregation belongs to the heavenly kingdom—the Church of God— governed by its King, Jesus Christ. 

Type of Church
Under the Christ, the many congregations are united and organized. Christ Jesus said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me”. There is only one doctrine (teaching) and that doctrine is the Word of God. God's people do not operate under a belief system but under truth. It is not about what we believe but what is pleasing to God.

The books of the Bible are the recorded instructions that God provided to make sure that His disciples do everything decently and in order. Fellowship exists automatically with those who walk in the light of truth. The Richwood congregation endeavors to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace that exists in Christ.

The Church of God does not need reformed, restored or rearranged. The Church—the Bride of Christ—is pure, without spot or blemish. She is beautiful and healthy. The remnant of the Church is greater than the beginning. Just as Jesus fed the multitude with two fishes and five loaves, and then collected 12 baskets of remnants, so too is the Church today. It is glorious and wonderful; its walls need expanded to accommodate those serving God.

One cannot separate the Church from Jesus Christ. To do so would mean pulling people from heaven. Those held in Christ’s hand cannot be removed. There is one body, the body of Christ - the Church of God. Apostle Paul said, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” There is one family; those in the body of Christ. The Church of God is made up of all those in heaven and all those serving Him here on earth.

Concerning the Trinity

God
He alone is God. The commandments tell us that, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me”. Jesus Christ said, “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” God is the God of Jesus, the God of mankind and the God of all. Concerning this, these three agree as one: God the Father, Christ the son, and the Holy Spirit. We too must be in agreement with God. That one God is called the Ancient of Days, the Majesty on High, God the Father, and the invisible God.

Our Lord Jesus, speaking of God the Father said, "Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape". Paul said, "God...Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person" obtained a more excellent name than the angels. Jesus reflects all of God the Father. Paul continued and said Jesus "is the image of the invisible God, ...For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell". Jesus was given the complete authority to act as God, by God the Father. Again, the scriptures tells us, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead [divine nature] bodily".

John said, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him”. Jesus holds all the power of God and acts in that capacity as a son and heir. Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" and then he said, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Jesus has been given the power of God and is a separate entity than God the Father. Jesus said, "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority...I can of mine own self do nothing...because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me". All the authority and power of God the Father is given to Jesus Christ his son. This is what the scripture means when it says that “God was manifest [revealed] in the flesh [of his son Jesus].” Apostle Paul said that after Christ had conquered all, "Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."

There is only one God and even Jesus is in subjection to Him. We must all be in subjection to God, through the directions of the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent. 

The Son of God
As members in the Church of God, the Richwood congregation lives by the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ is the son of God, in His divine birth, sinless life, death, burial and resurrection, in His exalting to the right hand of God, and that He is reigning over all that exists.

The lost and disobedient person cannot enter into the Kingdom of God—the Church of God—until they ask forgiveness, stop sinning and allow Jesus Christ to deliver him or her out of his or her sins. People's only hope of redemption is through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Those in the Church of God practice the holy ordinances, and water baptism, as commanded by our Lord. Water baptism is required for anyone wishing to enter into the Kingdom: this Kingdom is now and not in the future. 

The Holy Spirit
There is a present ministry and guidance of the Holy Spirit, by whose anointing the disciple of Christ is enabled to live a pure and holy life. If a person does not have the Holy Spirit, they are “none of His” and will not be in the resurrection of life. There is a resurrection of the saved and the unsaved - Those that have done good unto the resurrection of life and those that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. All who are filled with the Holy Spirit are in the Church of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.


See: What is the Church of God

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 Where do you attend camp meeting?


Paul, speaking to the Corinthian church says, "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is  Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? ... Therefore let no man glory in men. ...ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's" (1 Corinthians 3).

We have fellowship with those who walk in the light. We do not align ourselves to any man, group, or association, but to Jesus Christ. We attend camp meetings, revivals and spiritual events based on who is living Holy and on whether God is, or can be, exalted above man: not based on pledging allegiance to an individual.

Each of us must be in subjection to one another, and this congregation fully follows that Bible principle. We understand that we must not forsake the gathering of ourselves together but we will not gather under the name of a man, only under God. If God is lifted up, we will be there if at all possible.

 Is secular schooling, college education & seminary okay?


Secular Schooling

The most important schooling that takes place is in the home, by the mother. A mother should be positive, supportive of the Gospel, her husband, and God. A mother who is not submissive and supportive of the father will raise rebellious children who will leave the faith. An assertive mother may cause male children to be feminine and repressed. A negative mother will create hostility, bitterness and resentment in her children. It is scriptural for a mother to be a keeper at home and to love her husband and her children. The more a child is trained outside of the home, the harder time it will have in being a child of God. The most important time of training in a child's life is up until it is between 4-6 years old. What it hears and sees from the mother during this time will determine its character for the rest of its life. After its character is formed, then knowledge fills its mind. The more it sees the reality of serving God, from Godly parents, the more likely it will be to serve God when it is older. Hannah told God to give her a son and she would see that he served God. That is a mother's Goal in life (Deu 4:9, 6:5-9).  

College Education

A traditional college environment will most likely destroy everything in your child's life that is good. I have concluded that if one must attend college they would be well advised to choose a non-profit college that offers online classes. I have been down both routes and the online college offers the same level of training without as much ungodliness. I earned my associate degree hours in a regular classroom setting and then the next degree I received was online. The online degree requirements were more difficult and the level of education was the same quality, if not higher. If one insists on attending a brick-and-mortar school then the Trade schools and vocational schools seem to be a better environment than either a state university or a for-profit university (college).  I have watched as family after family lost their children in the traditional college setting. I have had parents tell me that it was college that turned their children from God. This week, I read an email where the father was lamenting his daughter’s fall into sinfulness due to the college she attended. Sending your child (or attending yourself) is a decision that should only be made with diligent and fervent prayer. The wrong decision could cost your child their faith. Luke said, "For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself?"

Seminary Education

I set under my father's teachings for nearly 30 years. He was a ministerial instructor. He taught me the things that he taught the ministers in several foreign mission fields, how to preach, study and present sermons. Samuel had a school for prophets, the priests of old were trained, and Moses taught Joshua. Even Jesus trained 12 men and then told them to train others. Paul trained Titus and Timothy. Learning about God does not have to be in a formal setting but it is necessary for a minister to have training. Apostle Paul said to first let the men be proved and not to place a novice (minister) into leadership. It seems like many today feel that they should not be proved or taught. However, turning to outside seminary's and men who are not holy will most likely waste a person's time.  I was offered a full scholarship to one particular seminary but turned them down because they did not use the King James Version Bible. Ministers need to be educated in God's word. One must study the scriptures as Paul told Timothy to do. God will not call a man to lead a congregation without first training him and equipping him to do the job. Many congregations are in trouble today because novice ministers took the reins of leadership. 

America is unique in the fact that it has separation of church and state. For example, the new constitution of Kenya, Africa says that a minister cannot teach/preach without a degree. This is one of the main reasons that I have sought higher education for myself: Some countries that I minister too require a degree. I want to reach the most amount of people with God's Holy word that I can.  I chose to obtain my lower degree in Organizational Leadership and my higher degree in Biblical Studies (from a Bible college, not a seminary). I did attend a seminary for a certification in church history and missionary work. After sitting under my father, who God blessed with a depth in scripture, I found the seminary to be less than rewarding. I would never recommend attending an outside seminary based on my personal experience.  

It is my desire to see an education platform established here in America, from behind the pulpits of our congregations, which will train men in holiness and in presenting God’s word effectively. This type of training is both an American tradition and a Biblical one. It is called apprenticeship. Preachers need to be trained to “go out” and not to “stay put”. The Gospel message is a message that is taken to people.

-Pastor Nathan Harding

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 Do you teach unity?


Unity is a product of Holiness. One must "endeavor [work] to keep the 'Unity of the Spirit'. This is not the unity of man, the unity of fellowships, the unity of congregations, or the unity of ideas. We work to stay in the one spirit which is found in the one body. The body is the Church of God and the spirit is the Holy Spirit. No one grows apples; they grow healthy trees. The apples are a product of a healthy tree. It was the unfruitful tree that was hewn down and cast into the furnace. No one creates unity, it is a product of being in the spirit. We do not preach unity as a cause but as an effect. 

If unity is lacking, then one must work to get people into the spirit. This is done by lovingly preaching the firm truth of God's word and showing people where they can grow in grace and knowledge. If people see the light of God's word, they will naturally have fellowship and be in unity*. 1 John says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." In the Church of God (one body) dwells the Holy Spirit (one spirit) and those who are in that spirit are fitly joined together**. We must all work to stay in the spirit and not to be distracted by the secular things. If you want apples, grow healthy trees: If you want unity, get people in the Spirit. 

*Psalms 133 speaks of unity from the head to the foot and over all of Mount Zion.
**John 19:36 speaks of the body of Christ being unbroken 

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 What is your background?


Neither this congregation (nor its Pastor) traces its roots to Zwingli,  Martin Luther,  John Calvin,  the Wesley brothers,   John Winebrenner, D.S. Warner, the Anderson movement, Cleveland Tennessee, or even to anyone else who's names are common in today's Christendom. 

We are not Roman Catholic (our roots extend beyond theirs), we are not Protestant (we were never Roman Catholic or of the Church of England), we are not Reformers (the church we belong to never apostatized and is pure).  There are many good brothers that we know and respect who have, and still do, associate with the sectarianism that surrounds many of those listed above, but that is not our background. We trace our roots back to Jesus Christ, through the 12 apostles, and teach the word of God without regard to men's philosophy. 

Our fellowship is with those who walk in the light. Our desire is that all people can walk in the truth of God's Holy word. We are not of man but of God. We are built directly on Jesus and the 12 apostles as long as we walk in truth.

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 Do you speak in tongues as a sign of the Holy Spirit?


No; however, the Holy Spirit can translate a person's language much like he did for Balaam's donkey. The Holy Spirit, in times past and in our present day, can interpret a person's native language to the hearers if needed. This does not mean that one must speak in gibberish. Tongues means languages. The language of the speaker never changed. It was those listening who heard in their own language. The scriptures teach that if people cannot understand your language to keep silent. 

The Holy Spirit is received when one enters into the Holy City New Jerusalem. The spirit only dwells in the people who are in that city. We are all stones built one on another, and together we all make up the habitation of God. He dwells in His people and they in Him. The spirit is no longer given selectively but is given to all who enter this habitation or city. People who do not have the spirit are none of His. 

You know that you have the spirit because it is given by faith to those who enter the Kingdom. The spirit will bear fruit unto righteousness and good works. It produces love. It is a still, small voice that guides a person's actions. A holy life will let others know that you are in the city.

 Is the Internet Okay?


Many people's schooling and jobs are conducted through the Internet. Even banking transactions are conducted online - this is done by the bank regardless if a customer is online or not. Most job applications must be completed online and several places provide computers for that purpose right on location even if one were to walk into the employer's office. The Internet is a source that other things plug into. It is the things that plug into the Internet that one must defend themselves against. Some of these things are Facebook,  the moving picture industry, books, news and advertisements.

If the Internet is filtered (christian people are well advised not to access unfiltered Internet sites) and is used for business (such as operating a telephone, database, controlling a thermostat, paying bills, and other non-entertainment activities) one might be able to remain holy and have it. It is when you accesses the unfiltered part of the Internet for entertainment purposes that it becomes a problem.

Pastor Harding has taken the personal stand that he will not have an unfiltered Internet connection in his home (this includes via cellular telephones, tablets, computers, etc). It is not okay for the christian person to drop the standard of Holiness to participate in secular things. Brother Harding has also made it clear that he uses the Internet for necessities (banking, etc) and not for entertainment.

Anything that introduces a person to filth is wrong. If your Internet connection is introducing you to ungodliness then you must shut the thing down to remain Holy in God's sight. 

 What denomination are you the most like?


We are not a denomination and are not related to any. We are disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ, who teach the Bible in its entirety. We do not have a name. We are simply believers in Jesus the Messiah and Almighty God. Jesus taught us that the doctrine He taught was not His but it was God's. Our doctrine's are not of man but of God. 

Jesus Christ established the church (which the Biblical writers call:
The Church of Christ, 
The Church of God, 
The Kingdom of God
The Bride, etc
and we trace our roots to him (see "Church of God" and "Camp meeting"above). 

There is only one truth and that truth is found in Jesus Christ. Scripture can be taught incorrectly if man gets involved in trying to interpret the word of God.  Jesus alone is the interpreter of the Holy Scriptures and without His divine revealing, the Bible cannot be understood. To understand the scripture, one must seek God to find understanding.

We are followers of Jesus who study the Bible to find an understanding of how he wants each of us to serve him. We use the King James Version of the Bible. The scripture often refers to those meeting in a particular area as the "Church of God". In the Bible tradition, we often refer to ourselves as a part of the church (body) of God. 

 What does it mean to be ordained?


There are two basic types of ordination: Spiritual ordination and secular ordination.

Spiritual Ordination  (assigned by God)

Ordained—as used in the Gospels—means to "to make". In modern language, we would say a person is "assigned to a position" or "set apart for a purpose".

Mark 3:14-15 says, "And he [Jesus] ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils".

Ordination does not come from man but through God. God will ordain a man to preach (or to herald) the Gospel. Along with that appointment will be special anointing on the man's life to carry out the task assigned to him. 

God will often use a person to appoint others to the ministry, guided by the prompting of the Holy Ghost: Much like the prophet Samuel anointed David as King under God's authority. God evidenced his calling on Elisha after taking Elijah up in the whirlwind. Today, God still does the same thing with His ministry. God will prove the calling. Only God can withdraw this spiritual ordination.


Secular Ordination  (ecclesiastical endorsement)

Ordination from a congregation is different from ordination from God. According to state law, an ecclesiastical endorsement (normally a letter stating that the person ministers for the congregation) is required before the state will recognize a person to solemnize marriages. Some secular institutions, such as hospitals and schools, also require "ordination" or proof of ecclesiastical endorsement. Many of these places require education and ministerial training (including a certification in counseling) prior to allowing a person to act as a minister.

To remain compliant, the Richwood church of God offers an ecclesiastical endorsement, through Richwood Chapel, so that the pastor or minister can perform his or her duties as required. 

According to Ohio state law, this endorsement is valid as long as the minister is in good standing with God, the congregation, and the community and is a current and active member of Richwood Chapel. To remain compliant, the congregation withdraws its endorsement automatically if the pastor/minister does not meet the requirements. If the congregation's endorsement is withdrawn, then the state license also becomes invalid.

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 What does the Bible say about musical instruments in worship?


God enjoyed David's playing of the harp and the new testament saints sang the Psalms (which were hymns written to music). Israel sent singers before the ark and musicians after it.

Jesus himself told the parable of the prodigal son and how the father said to make merry. Jesus  was using the story to illustrate what heaven is like when a soul is born again. Jesus said in that parable, "T here is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth". He then  tells us that when the son drew near he heard music. The Revelation letter talks in different places about musicians entertaining God by playing instruments and singing.

Please read the tract " Musical Instruments in the House of Worship " by Pastor G. William Harding. The Bible is very clear on this matter under both the old and new covenants (testaments). 







 Is Richwood a break-off or split from another congregation?

No. God appointed us to begin a work in Union County, Ohio and this was completely independent of any other congregation.


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 Do you believe in and teach about Hell?


Yes. The Bible clearly teaches the reality of hell. Death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire along with the devil and his angels. This punishment of the cursed is eternal and irreversible. Jesus Christ saves us from having to sin and through Him (who holds the keys to both death and hell), one is able to escape this second death. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".

 What is the Church of God?


The Church of God is the body of Christ. It is where all the believers are gathered together in spirit. Jesus Christ is the governing authority or head of the body.

When a group of people are called the church of God, it is because they have been born-again (saved out of sin) and are now living holy  as members of the spiritual kingdom which Christ rules over. The name Church of God means "an assembly of God's people." A more practical interpretation is, "a group of people serving God."

The Church of God should not be confused with the local congregation. The local congregation is the disciples of God in a particular area. The Church of God comprises everyone who has received forgiveness of sins and is living pure and holy before God. No single group of people makes up the entire body of disciples. The Church of God is not a denomination: it is not a religious sect.

The meeting place (here we call the building The Richwood Chapel) exists to provide a comfortable place for local people to hold public worship services. Moses called it the tabernacle, Solomon the temple, Jesus called it the house of prayer, and the Jews the synagogue. To call a denomination or religious faction a "church" can become confusing. Organizations and people may fall away from God, however,  The Church of God never will. They are united as one.

Calling oneself "the Church of God" helps one focus on God as the leader. You must allow God to be your leader. The disciple of God plants and waters but it is God who both gives and gets the increase, God who does the gathering.