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THE BIBLE: THE FINAL AUTHORITY

by James Daniel




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A prerequisite to New Testament teaching.


The following outlines are intended to teach those who are drawn to Christ by God, to procure a better understanding of what it means to be a Christian according to the Bible - John 6:44John 6:44 [King James Bible]: 44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.. If your not drawn to Christ, in that, you have no interest in what the Bible teaches, then this is not for you. On the other hand, however, if your a false teacher, i.e., a Catholic priest, a cult leader, an independent charismatic preacher, a Pentecostal, religious or baptist pastor, a Mormon, a Jehovah's Witness, Orthodox, Muslim, Hindu, Protestant, or any other of the false religions in the world, then this is for you. Now just so we set the record straight, it's vitally important to predicate upon what it means to be a Chrisitan. Christianity is not inherited, as if, by some kind of traditional preselection, such as, Roman Catholicism produces little Catholics and Protestantism produces little Protestants. No one can become a Christian without first obeying the gospel, inasmuch as, no man can inherit the sins of his father. I suppose like the false Catholic doctrine of original sin (or the so called Adamic nature) - Ezekiel 18:20Ezekiel 18:20 [King James Bible]: 20. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.. According to the Bible, only those that have obeyed the gospel have the right to be called Christian. Anything that is produced outside the realm of Bible doctrine has no legal right to be called Christian. The solemn declaration, therefore, is that members of the church of Christ alone are Christians in the true sense of the word. They are the one's that have been added to the church because they do what the Lord said to do - Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. Since the church is the Lord's, and the Lord does the adding to the church, then it's only reasonable that we conform to his will by doing what he says to do. The next question is which church is the right church? Well, the Bible answers that in - Romans 16:16Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.. Why anyone will argue with that stumps me to no end. It's what the scriptures teach. False religions are there to suit the needs of those who do not want to conform to the doctrine of Jesus Christ. The god of this world will provide for the needs of all those who reject the Son of God. Indeed, from the outset, the church of Christ has been the religious pariah of world religions. Indeed the pariah of the world. Even him (that is, Christ), by whom the world was made, knew him not - John 1:10John 1:10 [King James Bible]: 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.. And by that same token, it upsets me in no small way to see the amount of false teaching that exists with regards to the religion of Jesus Christ. Very few are Bible literate, and most of that is subjectively self-induced. The facts speak for themselves. All the while, there are those who have a tendency to go over and beyond what the Bible teaches, and to that end are utterly lost in their subjective approach to the first and secondary principals of the oracles of God. You see, the church of Christ is an autocracy. In other words, Christ alone has absolute rule over his church - Colossians 1:18Colossians 1:18 [King James Bible]: 18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.. That means, "Thus saith the Lord" is non-negotiable.


We all know of those who try to get away with as little as possible. They prefer others to do the work for them. The proper word for that is lazy. Well that's not how it works. You work for your keep with God. There's no shortage of things to do. One could say expedient and it wouldn't be too far of the beaten track. Well it's not very expedient doing nothing. The Bible has a word for that. It's called slothful - Proverbs 19:15Proverbs 19:15 [King James bible]: 15. Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.. Then there are those who claim to be faithful Christians without ever doing anything faithful. Well that's just plain old self-induced dysfunctional ideology. Sounds a bit like the lost in translation scenario to me. Take the parable of the servant who hid the one talent - Matthew 25:18Matthew 25:18 [King James Bible]: 18. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.. Well it just doesn't work like that. Then you have those that have never obeyed the gospel and yet claim to wear the good name of Christ. Now that's just going a bit too far. One is either in Christ or out. One is in Christ when he has obeyed the gospel. When one obeys the gospel the Lord adds him to the church - Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. Then one must remain faithful all the days of his life. Take Roman Catholics for example. They have absolutely nothing to do with what it means to be a Christian. What they practice is Roman Catholicism (the teaching of the Catholic church). They do NOT teach New Testament doctrine. Now that's all well and good if that's what THEY want to believe, but they shouldn't call themselves Christian. Nor indeed should they claim to be the one true church because their not. Catholics and likewise are just believing themselves to hell when the reject what the Bible teaches. Rejecting God's word is not how it works with God. In all honesty, priests are nothing more than educated liars. They do not represent the God of the Bible. They follow a wroughted form of the levitical system that has long since vanished. In fact, the levitical system had nothing to do with the Gentiles (non-Hebrews, non-Jews.). In other words, the Roman system is fixated on some kind of Old Testament ritual. In fact, most Roman Catholics are desperately ignorant of the gospel. That suggests an ignorant faith. Indeed merchandised as a source of income to those at Rome.


Now it's not that unreasonable to say that not everyone believes what the Bible teaches. At the end of the day we are accountable for what we choose to believe. Believe it or not, unbelief is a belief in itself. Unbelief is also a sin against almighty God - Romans 11:20-23Romans 11:20-23 [King James Bible]: 20. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.. If more people took the time to learn what the Bible teaches, there might well be less false churches to contend with. Mind you, it's even more plausible to say that the majority of Bible teachers are false teachers. Division exists because false teaching exists. False teaching exists because the Bible is not respected as the final authority in religion. Besides, the way men are taught the Bible today just doesn't line up with what the Bible itself teaches. That's not to mention all the confusing Bible versions we have, and especially in the English language. Absolutely no need for them. God used to overlook ignorance in the past; but not anymore - Acts 17:30Acts 17:30 [King James Bible]: 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:. That said, there's a sizeable minority who do take the word of God to heart. I mean really to heart. Others though, not unlike myself, do care very much what Bible they use to their ministering. Either way, we are the same that have heard, believed and obeyed the gospel. That is the church. The church of Christ - Romans 16:16Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you..


So what of all the other religions that claim to be Christian? Are they really Christian? Well the simple answer is no. There's only one way to be a Christian. Obey the gospel. Anything else will always be something else. In other words, it didn't come from God. The main reason denominational (or divided) so called Christianity exists is because they don't respect the Bible as the final authority. Mind you, some of them display a remarkable defiance with regards to forsaking the commandments of almighty God. They portray a false image to the world of what it means to be Christian. The world being ignorant as it is welcomes the foolishness of denominationalism because it knows no better. Besides, Christendom so called, amounts to nothing more than an arrogant display of subjectivity and self-will. The will of God hardly comes in to it for some.


"CHRISTIANS" ARE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST


Christians follow the teachings of Christ. Not the teachings of men. That's what it means to be Christian. Christians believe and obey what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches Christ. Christians are disciples of Christ, therefore they learn to be Christlike. They learn of Christ when they read the Bible. They do what Christ has said to do when they obey what the Bible teaches. Fake Christians, on the other hand, follow everything except the Bible. The Bible refers to what they do as being carried about with every wind of doctrine - Ephesians 4:14Ephesians 4:14 [King James Bible]: 14. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;. Fake Christians allow for women preachers. The Bible condemns that - 1 Corinthians 14:341 Corinthians 14:34 [King James Bible]: 34. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.. Fake Christians deny the Lord's supper as a commandment. Some even go so far as to say it's optional. Fake Christians water down the importance of baptism in one's salvation. Fake Christians go far beyond anything the Bible allows for. What's more, fake Christians know well that the Bible condemns what they do. Fake Christians are just truth deniers. Paul said if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins - Hebrews 10:26Hebrews 10:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,. So what exactly was Paul saying? If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. So was Paul saying we can lose our salvation? If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. I think that answers it.


We're also warned of forsaking the assembling of ourselves - Hebrews 10:25Hebrews 10:25 [King James Bible]: 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.. The only day mentioned for assembly is the first day of the week - Acts 20:7Acts 20:7 [King James Bible]: 7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.. No other day is mentioned. Therefore no other day is authorised. That answers that too. I'm sure you've read about the sons of Aaron? They offered to God something that was not authorised - Leviticus 10:1-2Leviticus 10:1-2 [King James Bible]: 1. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.. Look what happend to them. We also need to consider what it means to rightly divide the word of God - 2 Timothy 2:152 Timothy 2:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.. To rightly divide is to understand the difference between applicapable and inapplicapable scripture. For example, the gifts of the Spirit which were relevant to the first century church. The scriptures say that God established his word with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles - Hebrews 2:4Hebrews 2:4 [King James Bible]: 4. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?. Yet some still wrestle with the scriptures - 2 Peter 3:162 Peter 3:16 [King James Bible]: 16. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.. Are you one of them? Paul condemned false teaching - Galatians 1:8-9Galatians 1:8-9 [King James Bible]: 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.. False teaching comes in many forms. One prolific form is that of personal beliefs. Personal beliefs have no place in the religion of Christ. All such things make for a subjective faith which is not of the faith of Christ. With subjective beliefs anything is possible. Well that's not what the Bible teaches. If you want to saved then you need to do it God's way. It's that simple.


WHO WANTS TO BELIEVE A LIE?


The bottom line is that anyone can take a Bible and teach whatever they want. It's estimated that there are over 43,000 so called Christian denominations in the world today. No doubt there are probably a lot more, but it gives us an idea of how large this apostate and unauthorised multitude has become. Given that most people are fairly ignorant of what the Bible teaches, it's no wonder that so many are fooled into believing the doctrines of men over the word of God. You'll notice one of the first things that false teachers try to do is argue about words or interpretation. Many of them try to debunk the King James Bible on this wise. Their contempt is on the grounds that the King James translators were uninspired men. That might well be the case, but the same could be said of any version or translation of the Bible. However, I disagree to a point. The same appear to overlook the fact of who is in control. Have they not heard of the providential hand of God in matters pertaining to men? I'd imagine even moreso concerning the things that pertain to God. I'm of the firm conviction that the foreknowledge of God has already determined certain events throughout the history of man and his kind. The English translation of the King James Bible being one of those events. Now it doesn't surprise me one bit to see religionists and false teachers trying to debunk the King James Bible. After all, the King James Bible won't allow for their apostate teaching. That kills them, so they retaliate by attacking the King James Bible as either being inaccurate or outdated. You see, apostasy is to turn one's back on fundamental teaching, such as that of the first principals of the oracles of God. In other words, the teaching that saves one's soul. Paul said not to strive about words - 2 Timothy 2:142 Timothy 2:14 [King James Bible]: 14. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.. It's certainly a testimony to the King James Bible having gone unchallenged for over four hundred (400) years. That's the English language King James Bible. The same King James Bible that declares the gospel accounts as "according to." Since we're on a roll here, I also wish to affirm that my King James Bible (which is the same as the original 1611), introduces the book of Hebrews as from the apostle Paul. If Paul's name was never mentioned, I for one would have known it was Paul's writing just by the sound of it. Any fool can see that Paul is the writer of the book of Hebrews. If the writer is unknown as some claim, then why do they put it in their Bibles? It's somewhat foolhardy on their part to say such a thing in the first place. I suppose, in another sense, it compliments what they're already dishing out to the unsuspecting and ignorant. Even some of our own are at this. Moreover, the King James Bible had it's origins from an old English dialect, and today, amazingly, is the most used of all the Bible versions we have. Indeed, English is the most widely spoken language in the world. I'd say that speaks for itself. Hooray!


Now Satan knows only too well that confusion is a precursor to discord. Indeed there's no shortage of that with the religious denominations of today. One says this and the other says that. What does that tell you? Discord is strife, disagreement, and hostility. Yet the Bible teaches one faith - Ephesians 4:5Ephesians 4:5 [King James Bible]: 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,. That doesn't sound like the setting of the church we read about in the Bible. In all honesty it's the furthest thing. The Bible says that the church were of one mind - Philippians 2:2Philippians 2:2 [King James Bible]: 2. Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.. As for denominational churches opposed to the church of Christ, well, the one is taught after the precepts of men, and the other after the word of God. The one shall be saved (those who believe and do what the Bible teaches), and the other shall be lost (those who don't). The immediate emphasis at this point is on the lack of sound teaching that exists amongst wannabe Christians - Matthew 7:22-23Matthew 7:22-23 [King James Bible]: 22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.. A wannabe Christian is one who thinks there's an easy way to be a Christian. There's no easy way. There's just one way. Moreover, the scriptures warn us that only few will be saved. No doubt a large number in it's own right. It's therefore in our best interest to understand why these things are happening and how we can best avoid them. One way to look at this, is that, we tolerate way too much false teaching - 2 Corinthians 11:14-152 Corinthians 11:14-15 [King James Bible]: 14. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.. Now there's way too many variables involved in answering these kind of questions in a short space; but invariably, it nearly always boils down to false teachers and false teaching going unchallanged and unrebuked. There's too much at stake for this to be allowed to continue in it's current vain. Mind you, it's the solemn duty of the Lord's church to confront all false teaching regardless of where it comes from.


We also need to be clear concerning what the Bible says about God's will for all men to be saved - 1 Timothy 2:41 Timothy 2:4 [King James Bible]: 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.. It's not saying that all men will be saved. The Bible teaches no such thing. If the truth be known, the Bible teaches only few will be saved - Luke 13:23-24Luke 13:23-24 [King James Bible]: 23. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.. So why is that? Well men are stubborn. One characteristic of man's sinful nature. Men also have a tendency to live according to their own subjectivities. Others are hard to teach, or they just won't listen. It's like the old saying: "You can please some of the people some of the time; but you can't please all the people all of the time."


Now it seems that most people are wilfully ignorant that man is a composite being. That means he has both a body and a spirit. James said that the body without the spirit is dead - James 2:26James 2:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.. Therefore at some point one shall depart the other. The question is what happens then? Now some scoff at the thought of living on into eternity. Others deny the judgement to come and the existence of an eternal fiery hell. The Bible doesn't - Matthew 13:40-42Matthew 13:40-42 [King James Bible]: 40. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.. God himself is a Spirit and no man has seem him. Let's take carbon-monoxide for example. It's called the silent killer. You can't smell it, nor can you see it. Yet it can kill you. Therefore we shouldn't write off so quickly what we cannot see, nor indeed the things we don't fully understand. No man has ever refuted the accuracy and authenticity of the scriptures at any time. Many have tried, but failed. That in itself is a testimony to the working of God. For even God himself could swear by no greater - Hebrews 6:13Hebrews 6:13 [King James Bible]: 13. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,. The false prophet Muhammad took many verses from the Hebrew text and formulated what is known as the Qu'ran. Muslims believe that he is the true prophet, not Christ. Therefore, they deny Christ and believe a lie. Roman Catholicism was originally the church of Christ at Rome, hence the book of Romans in the New Testament. They began to apostatise and now you have what is known as the Roman religion. They reject the Bible as the final authority concerning the things that pertain to God. See where it's got them. It seems that men forget who the author of the Bible is. At the end of the day, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation whether men want to hear that, or not - Romans 1:16Romans 1:16 [King James Bible]: 16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek..


DECEPTIVE FALSE RELIGIONS


In fact, a considerable number of the world's population are subservient to the dominant false religions of our day. Now I don't want to go into too much detail about the Islamic religion because it's neither here nor there; however, it's still one of the more obvious false religions we have to contend with. The Islamic religion is dangerous, controlling and ultimately hell bent on destroying all other religions, and especially those that associate themselves with the Christ of the Bible. Islam do not worship the God of the Bible. They call their God "Allah." The Bible calls God "JEHOVAH," or Father. Nor is Islam an Abrahamic religion as some claim. Islam is said to be the second largest false religion in the world. It's estimated that 1.8 billion practice the religion of Muhammad. That's nearly a quarter of the world's population. They also hate Jews like there's no tomorrow. The religion of Christ was found upon the principals of love. Love that had it's origins in the heart of the Creator. The root of Islam has it's origins from the bloodline of Hagar. Ishmael, born of Hagar, the son of Abram, was born out of wedlock - Genesis 16:15Genesis 16:15 [King James Bible]: 15. And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.. Abram is Abraham before God changed his name - Genesis 17:5Genesis 17:5 [King James Bible]: 5. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.. Now that bloodline led to Muhammad, their so called prophet, and founder of Islam, who was born April 22nd 571 A.D. That's nearly six-hundred (600) years after Christ established his church, the church of Christ. You'll also notice that a large portion of the text in the Qur'an (Quran and Koran) was taken from the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. Muslims believe the Qur'an is the word of God transmitted through the prophet Muhammad. The facts prove that the opposite is true. In fact, historically, the record proves that the religion of Jesus Christ was long established before Islam was ever conceived. They claim that Muhammad was the last prophet sent by God. My problem with that, is that, such claims suggest that God got it wrong the first time. The thing is, God doesn't get it wrong. Men do. That's why you have the likes of Islam in the world today. The sad part is that so many are caught up in this false religion that claims to supersede the revelations of Jesus Christ. The only foundation the Islamic religion has is the testimony of one man. That would hardly stand in a court of law today. It took forty (40) men over fifteen-hundred (1500) years to compile what we now know as the Bible. As for the Qur'an, well, they claim that the angel Gabriel revealed God's will to Muhammad, sporadically, over a period of twenty-three (23) years. Big difference! It seems that the odds are stacked against Islam with regards to what is fact, and what is true. I'd safely say that the angel Gabriel had better things to be at than rendering further revelation to Muhammad. In fact, Paul said, that if any man, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel than that which they have preached, let him be accursed - Galatians 1:8Galatians 1:8 [King James Bible]: 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.. I suppose it's one of the reasons why Muslims try to force the religion of Islam on anyone that has the unfortunate experience to cross paths with the sons of thunder. No one in their right mind would run with open arms to be a member of the religion of Islam, that's for sure. The ultimate conclusion is that the Qur'an is not the word of God, nor indeed of any god because there is only one God. Moreover, the religion of Islam does not worship the same God as Christians. That's a lie. The Bible teaches only one God, and his name is NOT Allah - James 2:19James 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. cf. 1 Corinthians 8:61 Corinthians 8:6 [King James Bible]: 6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.. The Bible mentions the one name of the one God as JEHOVAH - Psalm 83:18Psalm 83:18 [King James Bible]: 18. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth..

Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman - Galatians 4:30Galatians 4:30 [King James Bible]: 30. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.. God said to Abraham that he should hearken unto the voice of his wife - Genesis 21:12Genesis 21:12 [King James Bible]: 12. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.. He did. Christ was born of the bloodline of Isaac. Christ was borne out of Bethelehem of Judah. So all the generations from Abraham to Christ were forty two (42). Now apart from Islam, it's estimated that in 2018 at least 2.2 billion plus call themselves Christian. Calling oneself a Christian doesn't make one a Christian, just the same as calling oneself a dog doesn't make one a dog. You know, the Devil used scripture several times; but that didn't make him a proclaimer of the truth. Just because men quote the Bible now and then doesn't make it preaching after a godly sort. If they preached the truth in the first place they wouldn't be where they are. You see, most people prefer a religion that they are comfortable with. Others of course make it up as they go along. Well that's not the way it works with God. It seems that a sizeable number of wannabe Christians prefer the so called lazy way to heaven. Either way, they'll be hard-pressed if they think their going to heaven outside an obedient faith. You either do it God's way, or not at all. There's no two ways about it - 2 Thessalonians 2:10-122 Thessalonians 2:10-12 [King James Bible]: 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness..


We hear a lot about church denominations and various church councils and what have you? The world looks to such churches as if they are some kind of religious authority in the things that pertain to God. In fact, they have no authority, well, not in the things that pertain to God, that's for sure. As for the church of Christ, she has what is called deligated authority. That authority comes in the form of oversight. Indeed, there is no authority beyond that in the Lord's church. Denominational churches ignore Bible authority almost on all fronts, and to that end are utterly in bondage to Satan. They have their own structures apart from what the Bible teaches. Foolish men think they can violate the commandments of almighty God and get away with it. Not so. Paul said that if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins - Hebrews 10:26Hebrews 10:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,. Christian or no Christian, if anyone teaches false doctrine they sin against the word of God. All sin is condemnable; but to speak as "thus saith the Lord" when he said no such thing? That is to tempt the Lord - 1 Corinthians 10:91 Corinthians 10:9 [King James Bible]: 9. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.. It's estimated that at least 151,600 people die per day. That's a lot of people and should serve to warn us that longevity is not forever. The Bible, and in particular the new testament; is the only authority in all things that pertain to the church and the doctrine. God has one church inasmuch as there is one God. The reality is that the faith of Jesus Christ is standalone. Your either in or your out.

Now it seems that for some, they go to no end in trying to deceive others about their false religious beliefs. Again Roman Catholicism is the principal malefactor. They claim there are several gospels when in fact there is only one. It's strange that anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ would clamour over texts like the Gnostic gospels for example. Clearly an attempt to overthrow the authenticity of the one true gospel. A failed attempt at that. Any sound-minded individual will see that there's no functional necessity in terms of salvation for anything beyond the gospel accouts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The more astute will notice that there's a reason why there are only four accounts of the gospel in the New Testament. Matthew wrote to the Jews. Mark wrote to the Greeks (Gentile). Luke wrote to the Romans (Gentile), and John went into details that filled the gaps in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Yet they all proclaim the one gospel. Not four gospels. One gospel. The narrative is the same. The gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God - cf. Mark 1:1Mark 1:1 [King James Bible]: 1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;. Then you have the book of Revelation. Some say it foretells the end of the world as we know it. Well that's not exactly true. The book of Revelation was written by the same John who wrote the fourth account of the gospel. Matthew, Mark, Luke and JOHN. The first three chapters of Revelation deal with matters past and the then-present: The seven churches of Asia-minor. Asia-minor refers to present day Turkey. The following nineteen (19) chapters of Revelation deal mostly with the future of the church. Much of the material appears to be highly figurative expression, however, there is little doubt that at least part of the Revelation, as prophecy, is yet to be fulfilled. The Lord instructed John not to seal the Revelation for those things were at hand - Revelation 22:10Revelation 22:10 [King James Bible]: 10. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.. In fact, 2 Peter 3:102 Peter 3:10 [King James Bible]: 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up., contradicts all of the "end times prophecies" we hear about today. Another denominational doctrine that the Bible does not teach. The scriptures do teach, however, that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in night - 2 Peter 3:102 Peter 3:10 [King James Bible]: 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.. I've never heard of a thief making his entrance known. Given the revelation of Peter, we ought, the rather, to consider what manner of persons we should be - 2 Peter 3:11-122 Peter 3:11-12 [King James Bible]: 11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?.


THE CHURCH: THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST

THE HOLY SPIRIT DESIGNATED TITLE - JOHN 16:13John 16:13 [King James Bible]: 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. cf. ROMANS 16:16Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.


Most of what we read today about the church of Christ is either fundamentally wrong, or unsubstantiated false accusation. More often than not it's just a pack of lies. In saying that, there are some churches of Christ that have turned their back on the Lord (apostatised) - 1 John 2:191 John 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.. The same have forsaken the fundamental principals of Bible doctrine - 2 John 10-112 John 10-11 [King James Bible]: 10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. cf. 1 John 2:191 John 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.. The Bible says such things will happen from time to time, so that is to be expected. They are the exceptions. We need to be mindful that the church is made up of sinners who are susceptible to sinning. Apostasy occurs when sin is allowed to get out of hand. A weak leadership can certainly contribute to that. So we need to be on our toes to defend what the Bible teaches at all costs, even if it means to remove trouble makers out of the church. It's called tough love, but more importantly: guarding the faith against spiritual peddlers and imposters.


Now the church of Christ and churches of Christ are interchangeable terms, in that, they are the same thing. The church of Christ is not a denomination as some try to claim. A denomination is something that is divided. The churches of Christ is the only church the Bible teaches. So it can't be divided. Apostate? Some of them. Cut off, where necessary. Divided? No - John 10:27John 10:27 [King James Bible]: 27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:. The record is kept in heaven, so the Lord knows those who are his - 2 Timothy 2:192 Timothy 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.. The church of Christ is the only church as declared in the scriptures. That said, the vast majority of professing Christians today are on their way to hell. That includes many in the Lord's church. He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved - Matthew 24:13Matthew 24:13 [King James Bible]: 13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.. It's also worth noting, that without the Bible we would lack all the necessary knowledge of what it means to be a Christian, let alone, a member of the Lord's church. The church are those whom the Lord has sanctified, or set apart. The church is where both the saved and the unsaved are. Unsaved in terms of unfaithfulness. Not unlike Judas Iscariot, there are also imposters in the church. They are the same who clamour for change. The same who fail in keeping with the first principals of the oracles of God - Acts 20:30Acts 20:30 [King James Bible]: 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.. That's what the Bible teaches.


Knowledge with understanding is certainly to the edifying of any individual who is diligent enough to enquire into such things - 2 Timothy 2:152 Timothy 2:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.. In fact, the one cannot strive without the other. However, knowledge, and a proper understanding of knowledge can sometimes be at odds. Oftentimes it can be completely wrong. That's when trouble ensues. A proper understanding of the Bible is impossible without proper teaching. You don't just take the Bible like some common book and conceptualise the texts as if by reason of the minds of men. The author is God. The Holy Spirit delivered the contents to forty (40) men over a period of fifteen-hundred years. They made for a record what we now call the Bible. All the books have their proper place and in exact concordance. Yet time will testify that most of those men never even knew each other. Who is the denier of the providential hand of God? Now the central personality of the Bible is Jesus Christ. The Bible is made up of two covenants. The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is no longer in effect. The New Testament is the covenant relevant to our time. The Bible calls our time the last days. It's also known as the church age. That suggests a definite limitation to the future tense. God intervened the two covenants by sending his only begotten Son into the world. God chose the Jewish nation of Israel to bring that about. The Jews killed God's Son and eventually lost their country. After that the Arab's possessed that land. That's one of the reasons why there's so much conflict in the middle-east today. Nevetheless, the scriptures must needs have been fulfilled. Christ died for the unjust. And a testament is of none effect without the death of the testator. Therefore ushering in the last time as we know it today.


We all know how simple it is to believe in something that ticks all the boxes of our own subjectiveness. It's another matter entirely when sin gets in the way. Subjecting any part of God's word to our demands is to sin against God's word, and ultimately, to sin against God. In India they have a god for nearly everything. It keeps the ignorant masses appeased. Roman Catholicism is exactly the same. When Bible doctrine is wrought to our subjectiveness the outcome takes on the character of idolatry. Men therefore form to themselves something that has the appearance of godliness, but in actual fact, is abject idolatry. In other words, it's no longer the full counsel of God. That's how Satan uses the scriptures. Always in part. When one receives the full counsel of something, they neither add nor take from it lest they render it obsolete. Did you know that the first writer, the middle writer, and the last writer of the Bible, all forbade adding to, or taking from, that which was written? Yes! Do not add to his word lest thou be found a liar - Deuteronomy 4:2Deuteronomy 4:2 [King James Bible]: 2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you., Proverbs 30:6Proverbs 30:6 [King James Bible]: 6. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. and Revelation 22:19Revelation 22:19 [King James Bible]: 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.. The contents of the New Testament is the full counsel of the revelation of almighty God for the current dispensation. Therefore, we are bound within the limitations of the current revelation - cf. Deuteronomy 29:29Deuteronomy 29:29 [King James Bible]: 29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.. Having a proper understanding of something all depends on what is taught, and how it is taught. The Bible is a closed book in terms of doctrine, not to mention, revelation. That's how we know them who preach after a godly sort from them who preach after every sort. It also shows us that there is a limitation to the amount of knowledge the Bible has to offer. God has put that limitation there. Revelation ceased with John. Now it's certainly true that a good lesson can be found in a good example, inasmuch, as a bad lesson in a bad example. Now take for example, the malefactors who were crucified either side of our Lord. It seems that the details of that account are not enough for some. They now teach that both malefactors are named Dismas and Gestas, as if that's of any use to us. The strange thing, is that, not even the Samaritan woman at the well had her name recorded in the Bible. So one has to ask, what on earth are the Roman Catholic church up to now? As for the malefactors, well, the one who asked the Lord to remember him is now said to be the "good thief." I never heard of a good thief only to think that he was good at stealing. Well, they didn't find that in the Bible. What's more, a malefactor is a criminal. Not necessarily a thief. So we need to get our facts in order before we start babbling on about something that is extra-revelational. Moreover, it only proves beyond doubt the contempt that the Roman Catholic church have toward the Bible. They have that contempt because the Bible condemns nearly everything they do.


We certainly live in the era of fake news, fake science, fake climate change, fake politics, fake sexual identities, fake marriage, fake people, and fake religious beliefs. The world is gone faking mad. It seems that honesty is one of those archaic terms of the olden days. Fake is something that is not genuine, imitates or is counterfeit. In fact, most things today are not what they appear to be. Mind you, a lot of what we see on the internet can be very suspect unless one knows what he's at. Google operates via an algorithm. An algorithm is a specialised computer program for problem solving or searching results. An algorithm is a man-made set of rules. An algorithm does not operate on the principals of absolute truth. As we all know well, truth is often referred to as relative than absolute. That can be problematic for some of us. More often than not absolute truth is contested. What I'm saying, is that, you don't always get what your looking for. Just Google the churches of Christ for example. See the amount of negative report you'll get. It's not necessary, nor indeed relative to that particular search. I say, let the facts speak for themselves. Now despite all that is the fact that Bible knowledge is the most important of all knowledge. Therefore we need to be very careful of the wells we draw our knowledge from. Would you drink smelly water? I wouldn't. As for the Bible, well, men need to know how to handle it to understand it. As mentioned earlier, the King James Bible calls it "rightly dividing." If the Holy Spirit thought it important enough to mention - 2 Timothy 2:152 Timothy 2:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. cf. 2 Peter 3:162 Peter 3:16 [King James Bible]: 16. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.; then we need to take that seriously into account. Take for example, Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, and Apollos of Alexandria - Acts 8:30-31Acts 8:30-31 [King James Bible]: 30. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31. And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him., Acts 18:26Acts 18:26 [King James Bible]: 26. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.. Both of them were taught a more excellent way because they lacked certain knowledge pertaining to those things which were necessary. Now most of us have the ability to learn; but that doesn't guarantee that we all understand what we learn, nor indeed share the same understanding of what we learn. When men disagree it's usually because their thoughts and opinions are governed by their own subjectivities. Every man, has, in his own opinion, the upper hand in terms of who knows best. When it comes to Bible doctrine, however, that's another matter entirely. God is the author of that doctrine - 2 Timothy 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17 [King James Bible]: 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. cf. 1 Corinthians 14:331 Corinthians 14:33 [King James Bible]: 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.. Therefore, it's man's duty to understand that doctrine alike because God is no respector of persons - Acts 10:34-35Acts 10:34-35 [King James Bible]: 34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him..


So how do we apply the word of God that all can understand alike? If men would properly comprehend that the object of the faith is Jesus Christ, and his doctrine is the one doctrine of the one God; then we might well have less to contend with with regards to false doctrine. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" - John 14:15John 14:15 [King James Bible]: 15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.. That's the measure by which we can know if one is truly in the faith. Samuel said that obeying the voice of the Lord was better than sacrifice - 1 Samuel 15:221 Samuel 15:22 [King James Bible]: 22. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.. Moreover, John said that the New Testament would be the measure by which we shall be judged in the last day - John 12:48John 12:48 [King James Bible]: 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.. If that doesn't get the point across then nothing will.


Finally, and again I want to emphasise the terms church of Christ and churches of Christ. They are both interchangeable terms, in that, they are the same thing. The churches make up the church, such as, that of the synecdoche principal, which is a part for the whole and a whole for the part. That is the church we read about in the New Testament. The individual churches that make up the church of Christ are self-governing and independent of each other in terms of accountability to the Lord. They're also independent of general oversight, that is, apart from the Lord. Yet they observe and teach the same doctrine because the Bible is the only doctrine that is authorised to be taught in the Lord's church, hence, the church of Christ - Galatians 1:8Galatians 1:8 [King James Bible]: 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed., cf. 1 Timothy 6:3-51 Timothy 6:3-5 [King James Bible]: 3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.. The church of Christ is unlike all other churches, in that, becoming a member depends entirely on one's obedience to the gospel - Acts 2:38Acts 2:38 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost., cf. Romans 6:17Romans 6:17 [King James Bible]: 17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.. Faith, including confession of faith in Christ, repentance, and water baptism; are of the first principals of the oracles of God. After all, the Lord is the one who does the adding to that number, which is the church - Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. Moreover, the record is kept in heaven - Hebrews 12:23Hebrews 12:23 [King James Bible]: 23. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,. That settles the matter. There's no duping the Lord with numbers that don't add up. Nor will anyone dupe their way into heaven except they go by the Lord. In the end it pays to do it God's way.


HOW DOES THE CHURCH OPERATE?


The following is what sets the church of Christ apart from all other churches; especially those that claim to be Christian. The church of Christ functions according to the pattern set out in the Bible. The church of Christ has no other option but to function according to that pattern, otherwise, it would no longer be a church of Christ. The predicate, therefore, it that no other pattern is authorised of God, only to disobey and apostatise. Apostasy is to do something other than what the Lord has said. Take, for example, the Roman Catholic mass. The book of Acts demonstrates how the church began (at Pentecost, NOT the Pentecostal church), and how it operated during the first century. That set the precedent. The church today has no reason to change any part of that pattern, nor indeed has the authority to do so. The only doctrine that is authorised to be taught in God's church is God's doctrine. That deposit of knowledge is only found in the Bible. What men teach must agree with what the Bible teaches. Anything outside of that affords a violation of the royal command - 1 Timothy 6:3-51 Timothy 6:3-5 [King James Bible]: 3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. cf. 1 Timothy 1:3-41 Timothy 1:3-4 [King James Bible]: 3. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4. Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.. God has not left us ignorant that we cannot judge among ourselves what is acceptable. False teaching should always be subject to a so called witch hunt. Handling the word of God dishonestly is something the church must strive against, inasmuch, as to cast out those that would to walk disorderly. The church has the absolute responsibility of unholding the sacred texts at all costs. Agents of change, or "change agents" as they are commonly known, have no place in the church. Nor indeed have men's opinions and ignorant assumptions. My friend, one either knows what he's talking about - Proverbs 4:7Proverbs 4:7 [King James Bible]: 7. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding., or he should keep his mouth shut for his sake, and the sake of those bewitched by his lawless doctrines. In other words, dead men preaching dead ends to a dead church. We need to be extra vigilant concerning that which is preached from the pulpit. Not all men preach after a godly sort. It's up to the church to weed out the troublemakers. Like the poison of asps, false teaching will destroy the church if left to it's own device. How we observe the scriptures is how the church will appear to those without. A Christ centred church is a church that readily embraces the doctrine of Jesus Christ. The doctrine of Jesus Christ implies no other doctrine. The church functions according to that deposit of sacred knowledge found in the New Testament. The testimony of Jesus Christ which guides the church according to the things that pertain to almighty God. I can confidently say that God will have it no other way.


AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH


Now it goes without saying that the Lord has the preeminent authority over his church - Colossians 1:18Colossians 1:18 [King James Bible]: 18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.. However, the Lord has entrusted, or delegated, certain authority to qualified men, known as elders, bishops, pastors, overseers, and shepards. They all mean the same thing, and in particular, refer to the same office. The common designation, however, is elder. You'll notice that designation is mentioned more often than the other designations, and especially so concerning the New Testament church. Therefore it's only natural for the church to follow after those same principals. Jesus said his sheep hear his voice and follow him - John 10:27John 10:27 [King James Bible]: 27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:. On that footing, we need to be mindful that the doctrine (truth) originated with both the Father and the Son. Therefore EldersElders [Definition]: Elder, or older man, as the Hebrew literally implies, was an official title among the Hebrews and the nations that surrounded them. They were men who had acquired influence primarily because of their age. In the New Testament, there are specific conditions for appointing elders. The primary condition is that they are older men. There are several references to elders throughout the Old and New Testaments. (or older men) - Titus 1:5-9Titus 1:5-9 [King James Bible]: 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6. If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8. But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9. Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers., have what is called, delegated authority. Delegation of Authority means division of authority and powers downwards to the subordinate. Therefore, the authority that elders receive (delegated), is restricted to the local church (local church of Christ) that is, hence, the appointing of elders in all the cities (where the churches were), verse 5. The office of oversight (elders) is plural in nature. More than one man at any time. No one man has that office to himself lawfully. In denominational churches we see the opposite. Unlawful designations, such as, pastors and ministers (out of context), clergy, reverencies, excellencies, popes, cardinals, bishops (out of context), father (blasphemy), holy father (blasphemy), and all the other titles that are sinful to use. That kind of authority is called disputed authority. They violate what the scriptures teach. More than one man must occupy the office of oversight in the Lord's church at any time. Outside of the Lord's church it seems that anything goes, and does go. With utmost respect for the scriptures, an elder must also be able to preach and teach. Their duty is to watch over the local church as those that will give account - Hebrews 13:17Hebrews 13:17 [King James Bible]: 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.. There's no higher office than that of the elders in a local church, except for the Lord himself - Colossians 1:18Colossians 1:18 [King James Bible]: 18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence..


Collectively, the individual churches are known as the churches of Christ. Each of the individual churches are completely autonomous (or self-governing). That means, they are independently accountable to the Lord. If a church of Christ apostatises (or turns away); that does not represent the church as a whole. After all, the church is comprised of sinners, who can sin. That's why faith and faithfulness go hand in hand. There are many churches of Christ that make up the church of Christ. Therefore, one local church of Christ represents a part of the whole, and the church as a whole is represented in the local church, that is to say, if they remain faithful. On the other hand, Roman Catholic churches answer to Rome. Big difference! Rome or heaven? Well that answers where the head of each church presides. It also answers which church is the true church. No man has authority over God's heritage at any time. Any authority is delegated authority in the form of what the Bible teaches. There's no changing that unless one belongs elsewhere. Have we to continually remind each other that the Lord knows those who are his? - 2 Timothy 2:19-212 Timothy 2:19-21 [King James Bible]: 19. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work..


Then there are deacons (younger men), who serve under the oversight of the elders. They also serve the church. After that, you have preachers, teaches, and evangelists. They are essentially the same office. Their role, of course, is self-explanatory.


THE CHURCH AND HER MEMBERS


Members are those that have been added to the church by the Lord. One becomes a member when he/she has obeyed the gospel. Now unlike elders, members do not possess delegated authority. Any problems within the church are brought to the attention of the elders. The elders have the responsibility to oversee any problems and deal with them in a timely fashion. The church must understand that problems are relevant to life. That includes the church. Nor indeed is anyone sinlessly perfect - 1 John 1:81 John 1:8 [King James Bible]: 8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.. We all sin, even as Christians. The church is made up of sinners. However, there is a difference between wilful sin and normal sin. I'll go into that another time.


Members of the church (Christians), should have a duty bound unction to preach Christ. It's called evangelising. Preaching is opening one's mouth in order to teach others. It's not only the duty of the preacher to preach (or teach); but also the universal commission to the church. The church means everyone. That's why studying God's word as often as we can is of absolute necessity - 2 Timothy 2:152 Timothy 2:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.. I've heard it said that a shut mouth saves lives. Well not in this case. You better open it wide and sound it loud. That's how men hear about the Lord. You see then, a man must learn before he can teach others. There's no such thing as an ignorant faith with our Lord Jesus Christ. Now the Bible doesn't cover everything; but neither does it leave room for guesswork - Deuteronomy 29:29Deuteronomy 29:29 [King James Bible]: 29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.. There's no such thing as a grey area in the Bible. The Bible is a book of revelation. God's will to his creation. The church is comprised of men and women that God has set apart, or sanctified, through faithful obedience to his word. Just as Moses led the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty (40) years, the Lord Jesus Christ leads his church heavenward with the doctrine which is according to godliness - 1 Timothy 6:3-51 Timothy 6:3-5 [King James Bible]: 3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.. When Moses ascended Mt. Sinai in Arabia, it wasn't long until the children of Israel made for themselves a golden calf to worship - Exodus 32:1-4Exodus 32:1-4 [King James Bible]: 1. And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.. The same can be said of the church. Unless the church keeps with the teaching of the New Testament, she'll give way to shaddow of turning. Bible doctrine is a strict discipline, and one that every child of God must needs holdfast if they want to reach heaven - Philippians 2:12Philippians 2:12 [King James Bible]: 12. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.. The Bible in no way guarantees the salvation of all members in the church. Only those who endure (remain faithful) to the end will be saved - Matthew 24:13Matthew 24:13 [King James Bible]: 13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved..


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