What is the name of this Church ?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by dan p, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. dan p

    dan p
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi to all , and in Acts 8:1 , we have Saul consenting to the death of Stephen .

    Two things stick out in verse 1 ;

    #1 , this Church is in Jerusalem .

    #2 , And most of the Church were scattered .

    #3 , EXCEPT the ones who stayed behind , the Apostles .

    Then in verse 3 , Saul , he made Havock of the church , entering into every house , and haling men and women committed them to prison .

    Then , in Gal 1:13 , as Paul looks back , " how that beyond measure I persecuted the EKKLESIA/ASSEMBLY of God .

    What , then is the name of this EKKLESIA/ ASSEMBLY mentioned in Acts 8:1 and in Gal 1:13 ??

    #1 , was it Jews only ?

    #2 , combo , of Jews and Gentiles , and if so, give a verse !

    #3 , Can it be called the Assembly of God ? Gal 1:13 ??

    #4 , Were the called an Christian Assembly ??

    #5 , Is it a Messianic Assembly ?

    #6 , Does it make a difference ??

    What say you ??
     
  2. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Up to that point the assembly was assembling only in Jerusalem. God sent them a persecution to scatter them, that they might be in obedience to the Great Commission (Acts 1:8). The assembly at Jerusalem was meeting primarily in the Temple but they soon got kicked out of that and was forced to meet in houses. Their background at first was Jews but then quickly spread to Gentiles after Acts 8. It really doesn't matter for we are all one in Christ.
    Paul states in 1Cor.10 that there are the Jews, the Gentiles, and the church of God, the three classifications. Once they became Christians they left their Jewish religion and their paganism behind. They were one in Christ.
     
  3. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    During the time of Acts, there was a Jewish denomination in Jerusalem and a gentile denomination away from Jerusalem mostly organized by Paul. After 70 AD the Jerusalem synod was destroyed and the gentiles gained control of Christianity.
     
  4. thegospelgeek

    thegospelgeek
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is strong evidence that it was First Free Will Baptist of Jerusalem, since it split into so many other churches.
     
  5. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no "Jewish" versus "Gentile denomination" ever mentioned in Scripture. There is only one possessive owner and that is "the churches OF CHRIST" which were all churches like faith and order with the doctrine of Christ.

    The church that was persecuted IN Jerusalem was scattered. However, the scattering does not seem to be like throwing a rock into some chickens and they run in all directions.

    The Leadership stayed in Jersualem (Acts 8:1-4) and therefore this was not a chaotic scattering because it is the leadership that is generally sought out first in a persecution. Luke consistently uses the masculine gender to describe those which were scattered and ultimately uses the term for males in contrast to females in describing the preachers that went out (Acts 11:20).

    Note also that Acts 8:1-11:22 is encapsulated by the same statement that introduces and concludes it (Acts 8:1,4 and 11:19-22).

    Furthermore, the church at Jerusalem monitored and responded in order to complete the great Commission command (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42) begun by the missionary enterprises of its preachers (Acts 8:14; 11:22).

    Finally, note that Philip is set forth as an example of those that went abroad preaching (Acts 8:5-40). Here is a male church ordained man (Acts 6). The consequence of this persecution upon the church at Jerusalem was the formation of many "churches" throughout Judea and Samaria (Acts 9:31) as well as the first Gentile church at Antioch (Acts 11:20-28).

    Hence, I believe that God used Saul to motivate the church to obey the commission rather than a haphazard scatterings of members without any direction or supervision by the church in Jerusalem.
     
  6. dan p

    dan p
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    One question ???

    Hi Dr Walter , and I have one question for all , Were those in the Acts period KEEPING the Law ??

    Were they NOT Law keepers ?? Does not Acts 21:20 prove that they were Zealous of the Law ???
     
    #6 dan p, Jul 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2010
  7. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is nothing wrong in Paul or any human keeping the moral law as sin is the consequence of breaking that whether lost or saved.

    Jews who lived under the Jewish government in Palestine were obligated to keep whatever civil law given by God that Rome would allow.

    There is nothing wrong for the Jewish believer to observe certain ceremonial laws since they are simply instructive of New Covenant realities unless observing them would be seen as repudiation of the New Covenant as in the case of circumcising Titus who was a gentile as that would repudiate justification by faith since he was not Jewish. The same would be true in offering up sacrifices under the law.
     
  8. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    Danp...

    You have all of these different referances of individual churches, along with general referances to "THE" church, because sometimes the writer is referring to an individual church, while other times he is referring to the "universal" church.

    All believers alive on earth at any particular time.
     
    #8 Alive in Christ, Jul 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2010
  9. dan p

    dan p
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    What assembly ??

    Hi to all , and I believe that #5 , is the correct answer .

    The context does NOT show any Gentiles or the Body of Christ or Christians !
     
  10. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    The congregation was the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem.

    The persecution sent its members scattering. Some wound up in Damascas, others wound up elsewhere. They started new congregations where they were. Damascus Baptist Church, Antioch Baptist Church.

    Local churches. Not the Universal Church. There is no such entity.
     
  11. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    Surely you are joking??

    Right??

    Oh oh. Are you NOT joking???

    I'm sure your opinion on that amuses our Lord a little bit, since he has a wonderfull, glorious world wide CHURCH of blood bought believers.

    Sharing Christ..blessing others...making converts and disciples...and welcoming them into whichever local gathering of believers they are yoked with.

    No universal church??? :eek:

    THANK GOD for the universal church!!! :thumbs:

    What a beautiful thing it is.
     
  12. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly! Not "Baptist" in the sense of a generic title that everyone under the sun with every kind of belief system embraces today but "Baptist" in its historical and Biblical significance as with John "The Baptist."
     
  13. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    You might use the term "family of God" to describe what you are trying to define, but not the word "church," which has the underlying word "ekklesia" which ought to have been translated "assembly" as it was three times in Acts 19.
    Ekklesia means assembly, and that is all. It is impossible to have a universal assembly. It is impossible to have an unassembled assembly. It is contradiction of terms. If it is universal how does it assemble? Where does it assemble? Who is the pastor? Who are the deacons? Who does the preaching? How is the Communion Service observed? Who baptizes? And before what witnesses? Who takes up the offering?

    There is no such thing as a universal church (assembly). If you want some clarity on this start reading Darby's translation which translates the word ekklesia consistently as assembly. The KJV translators were Anglicans who were bound by political correctness to translate the word as church. Our English word church has about five meanings which makes it very confusing for the reader, and obviously for you.

    I will build my church (assembly) which started with the disciples. That became the foundation of the assembly at Jerusalem. Later they were scattered and other churches (assemblies) were started elsewhere. They were always local churches, never denominations, never organizations, never a universal church. There is no such animal taught in the Bible. The word means assembly, and that is all.
     
  14. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly! The term "ekklesia" is used in the concrete and abstract senses (institutional or generic or collective). The concrete sense always by context has reference to a particular geographical located church ("the church which is at"). The abstract senses are always found in the singular with the definite article and are used primarily in an instructive context ABOUT the Church or in contexts that is inclusive of all particular churches as one in kind ("the church") or considered as an institution "my church".

    The concrete uses are the majority or about 97 out of 115 of its uses in the New Testament. Thus the abstract uses are few or about 18 times.
     
  15. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jesus Christ...

    He doesnt say "churches", no...He says "CHURCH".

    Paul...


    "Church", not "churches"


    Paul again...


    "Church", not "churches"




    Of course I am not against local churches. I am a member of one of them.

    But there is really only one church here on earth.

    Gods Church. The Universal Church. All of the Spirit filled, blood bought believers.


    Praise God!
     
  16. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    Christ used the term "ekklesia" a total of 23 times in the Scriptures and three of them are found in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17. The first three uses are all found in the singular "church" and with the definite article "the" without any geographical location assigned to them.

    However, do you believe "the church" in Matthew 18:17 is the "church" in Matthew 16:18 or is it some other kind of church that Jesus never claimed to build in Matthew 16:18??? Wouldn't it make more sense that the kind he claimed to build in Matthew 16:18 is the same kind he continues to speak of every other time he uses the same word???

    Matthew 16:18 is a building context and he is speaking of a particular kind of church "my" church and thus we are to understand his use of "church" in the institutional sense. The church instittution he claims to build in Matthew 16:18 is the institution that handles disciplinary matters as described in Matthew 18:15-17 and yet "the church" in Matthew 18:17 is found in the singular with the definite article "THE church" without any geographical location and yet no one denies it is a local visible assembly that Christ must be referring to. Likewise in the next 20 uses in Revelation 2-3 and Revelation 22:16 where he never says "the Spirit saith unto THE CHURCH" at the end of each letter addressed to a particular church "which is at" but rather "the Spirit saith unto THE CHURCHES."

    The confusion is not with the use of "the church" but with the use of one of its metaphors "the body of Christ." Even though every single metaphor used to describe "the church" institution is by nature local and visible as "the church" is local and visible throughout the scriptures, for some reason, some take the "body" metaphor and try to make it universal and invisible. There are metaphors that convey universal (air, wind, etc.) but such metaphors are never once used for the church institution.



     
  17. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    "Christ in me the hope of glory."
    Paul said that. Was Paul the only one who could claim "Christ in me." Or, is there more than one Christ?

    "The Holy Spirit dwells in you."
    Again the words of Paul, directed to the Corinthians. Did only the Corinthians have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them? Or if the Holy Spirit dwells in any one of us, is there more than one Holy Spirit.

    How can there be more than one Christ; more than one Holy Spirit; more than one church?
     
  18. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your post doesnt disturb my position at all. You used the example of "Christ in me, the only hope of Glory"

    Paul certainly did say that. And it applies, referring to him personally.

    But it also applied to all the other believers...collectively...who existed during Pauls time.

    Likewise, an individual fellowship can certainly be referred to as a "church"

    Just like all the believers on earth at any particular time can indeed be referred to as the "CHURCH" hear on earth, or...the universal church.
     
    #18 Alive in Christ, Jul 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2010
  19. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    EIGHT COMMON SENSE REASONS
    WhyThe Universal Invisible Church theory
    Is a False Doctrine

    1. It’s theory contradicts its practice

    This doctrine is commonly preached and taught to be the Biblical basis for UNIFYING God‘s people in actual practice. However, in reality, even though it is common that several churches embracing this doctrine are to be found in almost every city throughout this country, and yet not once, has this theory ever been able to bring such churches together as one church body/denomination even though they exist sometimes only blocks or a few miles apart. It simply does not work.

    Surely if it were Biblical and if it were true, then somewhere at some time, it would achieve practical unity at least between the churches embracing that theory, which only exist within walking distance from each other in the same cities?????? In truth and in reality, it is a false doctrine that promotes only division not unity.


    2. It promotes division and confusion rather than unity

    Without this doctrine there would have been no basis for the excommunicated Reformers (Luther, Calvin, etc.) to respectfully call themselves churches of Christ. They would have remained simply excommunicated Roman Catholics or have had to come over to the dreaded and hated Anabaptists. This doctrine gave them a way to separate from Rome and from each other and has been the basis for countless numbers of such separations until this very day. Indeed, it is reported that there are now over 37,000 different Christian denominations in the world and five new ones are formed each week. This doctrine is the ONLY basis used for justifying the existence of each new one and thus creating further division and confusion. The character of this doctrine is seen in its only fruit – further division and disunity within Christendom. Its fruit manifests it to be a false doctrine.


    3. It’s Advocates cannot agree on its membership

    Its advocates cannot agree among themselves who is included in this kind of church. Dispensational Universal Invisible advocates deny that all the saints living before Pentecost are in this church. Amazingly the distinguishing factor according to this theory is that all saints after Pentecost to the Rapture are ―in Christ‖ and those previous to Pentecost are not ―in Christ‖ and therefore the very gospel is attacked demanding there is another salvation OUTSIDE of Christ.
    Non-dispensational Universal Invisible advocates include all the elect in all ages but then contradict themselves by interpreting I Corinthians 12:13 as ―Spirit baptism‖ which they also demand is the means to enter into their kind of church, when in fact, the baptism in the Spirit had no previous existence before the day of Pentecost. They have the problem of explaining how those saints living before Pentecost could enter into this kind of church one way and those after Pentecost another way???? One false doctrine can only lead and demand more false doctrines.


    4. It includes what God commands local churches to exclude

    New Testament churches are commanded to separate from any ―brother‖ who walks disorderly (2 Thes. 3:6) or who lives in openly known sin (I Cor. 5:11) and have no fellowship with such (2 Thes. 3:14). New Testament churches are commanded to mark and avoid heretics (Rom. 16:17). However, what many refer to as the so-called ―true‖ church embraces the very ones that New Testament Churches are commanded to separate, mark and avoid. Yet, the advocates of the universal invisible church theory claim that the local church is the visible expression of it!!

    New Testament churches don‘t receive into their membership unbaptized persons. However, the so-called ―true‖ church receives unbaptized, sprinkled, poured or immersed persons into its membership. Yet its advocates claim that local churches are the visible expression of the universal invisible church!
    This theory makes God the author of confusion. According to this theory what God demands for membership in the visible expression (local church) is not expressed in the membership requirements of the Universal invisible church. Only a false doctrine would demand such interpretations.


    5. It can’t be found in Church History before the Reformation

    If the so-called Universal Invisible Church is Biblical, then, why can‘t it be found prior to the Reformation Period?????? Why is the very first recorded discussion on the nature of the church just a few hundred years after the Apostles completely silent about this doctrine? Nearly 900 preachers from all over the known world convened to discuss the true nature of the church and the idea of a universal invisible church never surfaced among them! It was the council of Nicaea in 425 A.D. consisting of over 400 Donatist Anabaptists and over 400 churches that ultimately became the Roman Catholic Church.

    Augustine led the debate for the Catholic and tried to introduce a new concept called the Universal VISIBLE church while the Donatists rejected it and accused him of teaching two different kinds of churches, one that was local and visible and another that was universal and visible. In the Reformation the Anabaptist accused Luther of the very same thing when he introduced the ―Universal INVISIBLE church‖ theory. If this theory is Biblical then why didn‘t those closest to the time of the New Testament teach it? Why did the Donatists accuse Augustine of teaching TWO KINDS of churches if there were already two kinds of churches (one visible another invisible)?????? Why? The answer is simple. It is because it is a false doctrine invented by the Reformers 1500 years after the writing of the New Testament.


    6. It Perverts the Historical Biblical Context

    It must be remembered that during the New Testament period, all churches were like faith and order with one another and jointly referred to as ―the churches of Christ.‖ The contextual ―we‖ found in New Testament epistles were united in the same faith and practice within the same kind of churches. Therefore, it is a perversion of the historical and Biblical context to define or interpret the contextual ―we‖ in these epistles as Christians divided into contradicting denominations. This is especially true since the contextual ―we‖ found in these epistles are explicitly commanded to avoid, have no fellowship with, but place under discipline such brethren who establish another kind of faith and order or conflicting and competing denominations (2 Thes. 3:6,14; I Cor. 5:6-13; Rom. 16:17).

    Therefore, in the context of the body of Christ and the churches of Christ, the contextual ―we‖ at the very minimum refers to Christians who were like faith and order existing in the same kind of churches or what today we would call the same ―denomination‖ of churches. Yet, the universal invisible church advocates rip the pronoun ―we‖ out of its historical context and make it apply to a post-New Testament era of professed Christians existing within conflicting denominations as well as inclusive of those who have no kind of church affiliation whatsoever. The truth is that the contextual ―we‖ refer to all Christians who are members of the same kind of church, holding the same faith and order. The so-called universal invisible church theory is simply Satan‘s tool to justify those who have departed from the faith.


    7. It robs the New Testament Churches of any abstract Instruction

    It is common for a Pastor to make the statement, ―This morning I will be preaching on the church and its ordinances.‖ He didn‘t say what particular church or what particular ordinances but it is a common abstract statement that is commonly understood to mean the kind of church and ordinances practiced by that very Pastor and church. Most admit that the epistles written by the apostle Paul were circular letters intended to be passed from church to church (Col. 4:16) for common edification of all the churches since he was imprisoned and unable to return and build up each church. His letters are full of abstract language for teaching about ―the servant‖ and ―the wife‖ and ―the husband‖ and ―the laborer‖ and ―the old man‖ and ―the new man‖ and ―the body‖ and ―the church‖ and the list goes on. Such is common abstract language intended to instruct the particular person or church that reads it.
    Yet, every passage where this same abstract use of language occurs, it is robbed from New Testament churches and applied to something that cannot possibly make any kind of application of practical unity between its membership or practical assembling of its membership. Instead it justifies practical division and separation.


    8. It promotes irresponsibility and disobedience to God’s Word

    The Great Commission is about making ―disciples‖ and that very term necessarily includes discipline in New Testament faith and practice. The local visible church is placed in authority over its membership for instructive, corrective and if necessary purgative discipline (Mt. 18:15-18; I Cor. 5; 2 Thes. 3:6). However, the doctrine of the Universal Invisible Church completely invalidates any kind of church discipline whether it is instructive, corrective or purgative. The disciplined person simply tells the church, ―I belong to the TRUE church and I can worship God upon the hill or at my home or go to another church of ―my‖ choice.‖ Such a person will leave and will either join some church that promotes their sin or they will meet in their home and start a new denomination to promote their sins. Yet, they will leave and justify their departure on the boast they belong to the ―TRUE‖ Church that requires no accountability to anyone and in reality promotes disobedience to Christ. This doctrine is the safe haven for all kinds of apostasy under the guise of the ―true church of Christ.
     
  20. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    0
    The True Church​


    Those who embrace the universal invisible church theory often refer to it as the so-called true church. Of course this degrades the churches found in the New Testament as something less than true. However, in response to that charge they insist that the local church is nothing more than the visible expression of the so-called true church which is the ideal or model church described in such passages as I Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. Hence, according to this idea, the goal of every church should be to strive more perfectly to be the visible expression of the true or ideal church. The closer the visible church model‘s the true church the more scriptural it will be according to this thinking.

    Many Reformed Baptists are embracing this very concept in regard to their own church membership. John MacArthur and John Piper both argue for receiving members that were sprinkled or poured. Piper says that if his church by-laws would allow it he would accept Presbyterian sprinkled R.C. Sproul and Sinclair Ferguson as members in his church. John MacArthur made the same argument in his question and answer aspect of the debate with R.C. Sproul as John Piper‘s church makes below:

    ―10. Therefore, where the belief in the Biblical validity of infant baptism does not involve baptismal regeneration or the guarantee of saving grace, this belief is not viewed by the elders of BBC as a weighty or central enough departure from Biblical teaching to exclude a person from membership, if he meets all other relevant qualifications and is persuaded from Bible study and a clear conscience that his baptism is valid. In such a case we would not require baptism by immersion as a believer for membership but would teach and pray toward a change of mind that would lead such members eventually to baptism
    http://www.jpbc.org/pdf/Piper's_Baptism_and_Membership_Proposal-ets_version.pdf

    If the local church is designed to be the visible expression of the so-called true church and the so-called true church is the ―ideal‖ or model for all local churches to strive after, then, what would be the logical consequences of such a theory?

    Well, the so-called true church completely disregards baptism. You can be unbaptized, sprinkled, poured or immersed and be a member in the so-called true church. How is the local church an expression of such an idea?

    The so-called true church completely disregards all doctrines. You can be a sacramentalist, Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Church of God, etc., etc. in doctrine and still be in the so-called true church. How is the local church an expression of such an idea?

    The so-called true church completely disregards all discipline exercised by local churches. You can be under church discipline, and cast out of such churches, and still be a member of the so-called true church. How is the local church an expression of such an idea?

    The so-called true church completely disregards the necessity for actually assembling all of its members together on earth. You can never assemble with the so-called true church and yet be a member of it. How is the local church an expression of such an idea?

    The so-called true church does not have a Pastor, deacons, treasurer or choir, takes no offerings and yet it is the so-called true church. How is the local church an expression of such an idea?

    Therefore, if the local church is supposed to be a visible expression of this so-called true church, then, the local church should disregard baptism, disregard doctrine, disregard discipline, disregard actual assembling together, disregard church officers, disregard offerings and the like, in order to become more of a visible expression of the so-called ideal and so-called true church!

    On the other hand, why would the Lord demand such things of the local visible church, such as separation and withdrawal from ―any brother‖ (2 Thes. 3:6) who walks disorderly if the true or ideal church embraces them? Why would God require the local church to mark and avoid those who teach false doctrine when the so-called true or so-called ideal church embraces them? Is God the author of Confusion? No, this so-called true and ideal church is really the Great Whore of Revelation as this harlot is inclusive of all such confusion.

    Often the Universalite says that Ephesians 4:4 and ―one body‖ mean that the local is one with the universal as it is inclusive of the universal. However, it cannot possibly be inclusive of the universal if it is different in kind.

    For example, the ―churches‖ are local in kind but the so-called true church is universal in kind. The ―churches‖ are visible in kind, but the so-called true church is invisible in kind. The ―churches‖ are the kind that members can be removed by church discipline, but the so-called true church is the kind that such discipline does not remove any of its members. The ―churches‖ are the kind that can assemble all of its members together, but the so-called true church cannot do that. The ―churches‖ are the kind where if one member rejoices, all members can rejoice with it, and if one member suffers, all can suffer with it, but the true church cannot do this with its membership. The ―churches‖ are like faith and order in the New Testament but the so-called true church contains heretical and orthodox. The ―churches‖ are the kind that receive only baptized believers as members but the so-call true church contains unbaptized, immersed, sprinkled and poured.

    The ―churches in the New Testament are not the same kind as the so-called Universal Invisible Church. However, the Universal Invisible Church is the same in kind as the Great Whore in Revelation.

    Augustine is the author of all universal church theories. He based the universality of the church upon the parable of the tares in Matthew 13:38. The Lord said that the ―field‖ is the world and both the good seed and the tares are scattered throughout the world. However, this was a parable concerning the nature of the professing kingdom of God on earth and not the church of God. He confused the ―kingdom‖ of God with the Church of God. Martin Luther and the Reformers followed Augustine in this erroneous confusion between the church and the Kingdom. Augustine thought the ―good seed‖ and the ―tares‖ made up the visible church. Martin Luther introduced the idea that the ―good seed‖ made up the true church which is invisible while the ―tares‖ were only part of visible churches. The ancient Anabaptists (Donatists) repudiated Augustine‘s theory and the Anabaptists of the Reformation repudiated Luther‘s theory. The Anabaptists charged both Augustine and the Reformers in creating two different kinds of Churches by confusing the Kingdom of God with the Church of God.
     

Share This Page

Loading...