True Jesus Church
|True Jesus Church|
The True Jesus Church is a Christian Church that originated in Beijing, China during the Pentecostal movement in the early twentieth century. The TJC is currently one of the largest Christian groups in China and Taiwan, as well as one of the largest independent church in the world.
Established in 1917, the church’s early adherents in Hebei and Shandong were influenced by certain charismatic practices of the Apostolic Faith Mission in China, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, especially faith healing, baptism of the Holy Spirit, footwashing, and Sabbath keeping.
The TJC was founded by Paul Wei (Wei Enbo, 1877-1919) in 1917. Its early leaders included Zhang Lingsheng (1863—?), who convinced Wei that the church should maintain a seventh-day Sabbath, and Barnabas Zhang (1882-c.1960), who eventually left the group in 1929 and established a rival movement in Hong Kong.
In mainland China most of the True Jesus Church congregations are members of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, and usually meet on Saturdays in TSPM church buildings as separate sabbatarian sub-congregations. However, since TJC practices such as healing and tongues are "frowned upon" in the TSPM other congregations are independent Chinese house churches.
Taiwan and the United States
Outside China member churches of the TJC look to the central synod of the TJC in California. In 1967 TJC church leaders from outside mainland China met for the first World Delegates Conference in Taiwan, and an international headquarters was established in Taichung, Taiwan, where a seminary was opened. The headquarters was subsequently moved to California in 1985.
In the United Kingdom, True Jesus Church congregations were established as a result of immigration patterns in the 1960s and 1970s, coming largely from Malaysia and Hong Kong, the latter especially from Ap Chau. This would result in a number of congregations being established throughout the country, particularly in Northern England and Scotland, such as Leicester, Newcastle, Sunderland, Elgin, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
The church believes that the sacraments must fulfil three requirements according to the Scripture. Firstly, they must have been performed by Jesus Christ himself as an example. Secondly, the sacraments must be directly related to one's salvation, eternal life, entering the Heavenly Kingdom, and having a part with Jesus. Lastly, they must be of the sacraments which Jesus Christ instructed the disciples to perform as well. There are ten articles of faith that the True Jesus Church holds in order to worship God correctly. According to them, one must speak in tongues as evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. The mode of baptism also determines salvation. The correct mode should be with the head facing down (in the manner of Jesus' death) and only in natural ("living") water.
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