F.G van Gessel, born on December 9, 1892 at Blitar, East Java, was a Ducth Citizen who however, never went to his native country till the day he died. No body had expected that God would later use him for the church and today`s generation sake both in Indonesia and all over the world.
Strongly urged by God`s calling, he gave up his high ranking position at a Dutch goverment-Run oil Company at Cepu in 1923. Prior to his calling he got a vision in which he saw the Lamb of God-the Heavenly Bridegroom, as depicted in Revelation 19 : 7 and 21 : 9-10. This vision confirmed his commitment to serving the Lord. It is important to note that the ministry of 2 American missionaries of Dutch origin, Cornelius Croesbeek and Richard van Klaveren, contributed to his awakened spritual life and his wife`s baptism with the Holy Spirit.
To satisfy his earnest desire to intensify his ministry, Rev. Van Gessel, accompanied by a group of ministers, when to pray and fast at Pacet near Mojokerto, East Java for three days. However, he got no revelation during the three-days retreat. Upon returning home, as he was reading the Bible, the Holy Spirit came upon him and revealed something great based upon John 1 : 14. Instead of reading,”And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...”, he read it as follows,”And the Word was made flesh, and TABERNACLED among us”. The word “Tabernacle” is derived from the Greek word “Skenos”, meaning “To rear up a Tabernacle or to Tabernacle. This was beginning of the revelation of the Tabernacle Doctrine of which the ultimate fulfilment is the Bride church prepared for the Heavenly Bridegroom, namely Christ, the Lamb of God who loves her forever and ever. The true Bride Message is based on the Tabernacle Doctrine, teaching the construction, formation and edification of the Body of Christ which the book of Ephesian describes as the Bride church (Ephesian 1 : 22-23, 5 : 28). This God – Inspired revelation is near-ending by nature (John 4 : 14). Grounded on his teaching, Rev. Van Gessel’s ministry in Surabaya was greatly developed and spread to other regions in? Indonesia.
In addition to the teaching of the Gospel the Matthew in the order of the Tabernacle, he also taught the Tabernacle Doctrine at the Bible school in which Rev. In Juwono was one of the students. He passed away at the age of 66 on June 21, 1958 in Hollandia, Nieuw Guinea, now called Jayapura, Irian Jaya. Before his demise, Rev. F.G van Gessel managed to finish arranging the books of the both the Old and New Testament in the order of the Tabernaclein accordance with what God has inspired and revealed to him. Because this work was solely centered upon God-given revelation instead of man’s thoughts, its accuracy and truth are beyond doubt. All Glory be to Him who has taken the book and opened its seals. Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory, power, honour and worship (Revelation 5 : 7-14). On Juni 11,1958,ten days before his death, Rev. van Gessel managed to bequeath this doctrine to his son-in –law Rev.C.J.C.G.Z Totaijs who has been spreading this teaching in Holland.
It was Rev van Gessel’s earnest wish that Rev. Totaijs, Rev.In Juwono and the orther ministers promulgate the Bride message and the Tabernacle Doctrine. Despite countless struggles, Rev. In Juwono has managed to maintain its existance in Indonesia supported by his fellow ministers since Rev. Van Gessel’s and Rev. Totaijs’ subsequent departures to Niuew Guinea.
Late in 1969, Rev. Totaijs and his wife left Holland for Indonesia to meet with Rev. In Juwono and his Congregation after a twelve-year absence. The purpose of their visit was to maintain the fellowship and cooperation in spreading the Bride Message and the Tabernacle Doctrine in Indonesia where both ministers are supported by orther ministers and the Department of Religius Affairs via its Christian Protestant Guidance and Counselling Division. From 1969 to 1989, Rev. Totaijs and his wife visited Indonesia 18 times.
The spreading of the Bride Message of the Tabernacle Doctrine is carried out through non-profit interdenominational crusades, seminars, fellowship meetings, not the mention a series of Bible classes with no other motive except to proclaim the Bride Tidings to as many people as possible. As a result, broken homes are restored, marital disputes get settled, social problems are solved, spiritual lives get reawakened and ministries are intensified in one way or another. Those who have accepted and applied the Bride Message and the Tabernacle Doctrine have had firsthand experince of all these things which lead to the formation and edification of the Body, with Christ who fills all in all as the Head (Ephesian 1 : 22-23; 5 : 11-16).
By the grace of God, this message has reached 15 out of 27 provinces in Indonesia. While in Holland it breaks through the border, reaching other European Countries, even Africa.
In 1982, the Lord gave us an oppurtunity to preach and teach the Bride Message and the Tabernacle Doctrine to our fellow Christian at Rizal Memorial Covered Arena in Metro Manila, the Philippiness. Our group comprising 425 participants, mostly Indonesian. While the rest from Holland safely landed in a chartered Garuda’s Boeing 747 at the Manila airport where we were warmly welcomed. Among the participants was the Director General of the Christian Protestant Guidance and Conselling Division of 5 provinces in Indonesia. During the crusade the Lord chose a minister called DR.E.a (Nene) Ramientos, who has since become a preacher of the Bride Message in the United States, through a quite extraordinary experience.
Steadfastly standing on the prophecies written in the Bible, Rev. Van Gesssel once foretold that the Bride Tidings would have reached an international scale before the second coming of the Lord. Rev. Totaijs, Rev.In Juwono, DR. Ramientos and many other ministers are unanimously convinced of its speedy fulfilment.
Another opportunity to spread this message was pressented to us during the 1983 World Evangelism Congress by DR.Billy Graham in Amsterdam.Rev. In Juwono asked DR. Ramientos along with his wife to represent him in the international congress and the contact other participating ministers whom he knew to invite them to attend Rev. Totaijs’ church service. There they first learned about the Bride Message and the Tabernacle Doctrine. Rev. Totaijs’ sermon and the DR. Ramientos’ testimony made a great impression on those ministers from various countries of the world. In their oral as well as written testimonies, they explictly stated how much they appreciated and needed this actual teaching. Holland’s Bride Tidings International (BTI) was born in the same year to accomodate their aspirations.
In 1986 Holland’s BTI had an opportunity to hold their first international gathering called Bride Tiddings Congress in Leeuwenhurst, Noordwijkerhout, apporoximately 30 km southwest of Amsterdam, Holland. As a result of this congress, Holland’s BTI received many invitations from various countries to hold similiar congresses, among others in Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria, and the Philipiness. By the grace of God, all these invitations have been accepted and ministered by Rev. Totaijs and his team.
In 1988, after the Bride Tidings Crusade and Seminar in Medan, North Sumatra in late 1987, the Lord made a way for us to hold the second international Conference (BTIC). The idea of holding this international conference was initialed by Rev. In Juwono and is wholeheartedly supported by Rev. Totaijs and Holland’s BTI as well as DR. Ramientos. What the Lord has done so far and what He is still going to do are all in accordance with His plan.
The first BTIC had already provided in October 23-30, 1988 in Surabaya, Indonesia. The conference attended by more than 1000 pastors and evangelist from Indonesia and 23 other countries in the world.
In May 12, 1989 our beloved Pastor In Juwono, the head minister of Bride Tidings International Indonesia went home with the Lord. He was at the peak of his ministry and at the portals of his vision from God to reach the whole of Indonesia and the rest of the world with the Tabernacle message and the Bride Teaching when he was called home to be with our dear Bridegroom, Jesus, whom he loved very much. Without suffering from any sickness, except for a couple of hours before his passing away, in an intense love relationship with the Lord, he was promoted into glory forever.
He was like the apostle Paul who said,”... For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labour...” (Philippians 1 : 12, 22)
However, this movement of Bride Tidings to edify the Body of Christ is owned by God and what is of God cannot be destroyed even by death, but lives on for God until it reaches its final goal that is His perfect and glorious Bride ready for Him at His coming.
With the absence of Pastor In Juwono, the Bride Tidings International Conference’89 in Surabaya, in November will still going on except for the slight change of the speaker. Pastor In Juwono, who was supposed to be the one of the conference speakers, will be subtituted by his successor, namely Pastor Pong Dongalemba and Pastor Paulus Jedid-Jah. The rest will be carried out to the schedule.
Last May 22-27, 1989 Bride Tidings International Indonesia had been invited by Methodist Evangelical Church of Philippines (IEMELIF) to hold all of their “Joint Spiritual Retreat” which was performed every 4 years, in Baguio City. This Conference was attended by more than 400 ministers and evangelist from the country. God blessed this conference with the abundant of the Tabernacle and Bride Teaching. This conference was ministered by Rev. C. Totaijs from the Netherland, Rev. Dr. Nene Ramientos from USA, Rev. Pong Dongalemba and Rev. Paulus Jedid-Jah from Indonesia. On May 28,1989 we also held Bride Tidings Crusade at Luneta Park Manila, Philippines. This is a crusade of Love, Peace and Reconciliation which was ministered by Rev. Paulus Jedid-Jah from Indonesia.
The Lord’s first coming was meant to save the world He loved, whereas his second coming is intended to perfect His beloved Church. Have we prepared ourselves and our churches to meet His coming as the King of Kings, the Lord of lords and the Heavenly Bridegroom ?
Since the time is at hand and the Word of Prophecy must not remain sealed, we have been moved to hold this second international conference in November 7-16, 1989 in Surabaya, Indonesia. It is our mutual task to realize the body of Christ with its diverse gifts and ministries and to present the church as a chaste virgin to Christ (Ephesian 4 : 11-13 ; 2 Corinthians 11 : 12).
Based on Revelation 22 : 17, saying,
“ And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”
we have invited you attend the Bride Tidings International Conference 1989 with its actual theme :
“Behold, the Bridegroom is Coming !”