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When Is The Church Not The Church?


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#1 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:27 AM

When we use the bible word church to describe the place of fellowship.

 

When we use the bible word church in part of the title of our place of fellowship.

 

My whole point is to get you thinking about how you use Bible terms in un-biblical ways.

 

The more we call our places of fellowship churches the more we put credence to the Roman Catholic teaching that the church is a building or place of fellowship instead of the body of Christ.  When we do such we are subtly affirming that membership in a local "church" equals salvation"  it also puts credence to works over faith.

 

What is the church?

 

and How they are to assemble?

 

These are not clearly taught that is why it has deteriorated to what we do today in calling our fellowship the Independent Baptist Church of "what so ever and ever".  The Bible never used the term church in that way. 

 

 I am going to paste here a teaching on the church written by a KJV Bible Believer.  Using only the word of God.  and hopefully if any of you read it you will see why I challenge you to use biblical terms and word when we speak. and to desire to practice those things you learn as well.

 

 



#2 HappyChristian

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:29 AM

 

 

When we do such we are subtly affirming that membership in a local "church" equals salvation"  it also puts credence to works over faith.

Not true.  



#3 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:31 AM

Not true.  

 

 

I will post a great article by a KJV Bible believing man.

 

Then afterwords we can answer your questions.


Edited by AVBibleBeliever, 23 July 2014 - 09:31 AM.


#4 HappyChristian

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:34 AM

I don't have any questions. I'm just saying that statement is false. That's all.  :smug:



#5 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:49 AM

the following article is by George Anderson, a real KJV Bible believing man of God, he respects God words and hold them in high regard because they are true, pure and right words. 
 
He as we should all speak like God speaks, that is true words, pure words and right words Our words should reflect the divine nature we now possess.  I know at time I lack in this but who of us really doesn't? 
 
please be blessed and read this then make some comments
 
 
DOES THE WORD “CHURCH” IN THE BIBLE = A BUILDING?

Before sincere Bible believers can refute a false teaching (a false doctrine) we must always first determine the scriptural definition of the words we are dealing with. The following is a good rule to remember: The definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.

Knowledge of the historical church of God (as portrayed within the pages of the Holy Bible) is practically unknown amongst most modern day Christians. There are nearly as many reasons for the lack of this knowledge as there are Churches, Denominations, and Sects within the professing “Christian” world. The proliferation of the numerous Churches, Denominations, and Sects within the professing “Christian” world and their various beliefs and practices concerning “the church” has only served to cloud the scriptural record concerning the historical church of God and confuse or obfuscate the truth about its formation, composition, and practices.

Much of the confusion over Scriptural Truth stems from the “baggage” that people carry at the moment they are saved. By “baggage” I mean all of the things that they have been taught, believed, embraced, and accepted as “truth” BEFORE God saved them, and regenerated them, and they became His children (i.e. “saints, and of the household of God” – Ephesians 2:19).

When a person is saved (born again) God doesn’t take a magic wand and “erase” every false way that they may have believed, embraced, and followed before they got saved. He doesn’t take an eraser and erase every false doctrine that they may have accepted before they got saved. And herein lays one of the primary reasons for many of the differences amongst the brethren (even amongst genuine Bible believers).

Just exactly WHAT is some of that BAGGAGE?

•     Media (Television, Radio, Internet, etc.)
•     Schooling, Education (or lack thereof)
•     Friends, Social Organizations, Clubs, Gangs, etc.
•     Country, State, City, Town, Neighborhood, etc., (where a person lives)
•     Government Lived Under (“Democratic”, Socialist, Communist, Dictatorship, etc.)
•     Social Leanings (Left, Right, Independent, etc.)
•     Political Leanings (Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, etc.)
•     Religious Upbringing or Teaching (or lack thereof)
•     Home Environment

Even a person’s individual disposition, inclinations, and tendencies will affect how they think:

•     An Avid Reader or a TV Junkie, etc.
•     Physically Active or a Couch Potato, etc.
•     Career minded, Hobby minded, Entertainment minded, Family minded, etc.

In the modern world, most of the things listed above are referred to as “Culture”; and for the vast majority of people in the world culture trumps everything in their life. And although all of these things do not make us who we are, they definitely influenced us in the past, and more often than we like to admit – they often influence us still.

In the not too distant past in the Western world, “Religion” and Family was the predominant influence on most people in determining their “belief system” (or “world view”); that is no longer true today. In the Western world, the Media; Schools; Friends; and the Government have become the predominant influence in most people’s lives today (not necessarily in order I presented), while “Religion” and Family are generally secondary or even further down the scale.

You may not be aware of it, but HUMANISM has become the undeclared and unofficial secular “religion” of ALL of the governments (and most of the people) in the Western world (with no exceptions). This means that most people who get saved in the Western world today are already Humanists and have already accepted and embraced much of the Humanist Philosophy (Psychology foremost) BEFORE receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

These facts have grave consequences for Christians who genuinely believe in the Holy Bible (i.e. The King James Bible). The fact is, genuine Bible believers are going to be marginalized as “Bible thumpers”, “kooks”, ”fanatics”, “bigots”, “racists”, and “homophobes” more and more as time goes by for not “believing like everybody else does”; and for not conforming to Society - i.e. Western “Culture” [Romans 12:2].

Even those people coming from strong “religious” backgrounds (Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, etc.) have been heavily influenced by Humanism and Psychology (without conscientiously being aware). What do you think the Muslims are so afraid of in the Western world? Humanism! Muslims can see the “corrupting influence” of Humanism in the Western world and want no part of it!

So you’re probably wondering by now: What’s the point? The point is that, when a person from America gets saved, they generally have a whole lot of baggage (Humanism, Psychology, etc.) that they have accumulated, and they sometimes have great difficulty “jettisoning” all of it.

The “baggage” that we have accumulated along life’s way will often determine how we “define” and understand the “meaning” of WORDS. The following are just some examples:
 

The meaning of the word CHURCH

•  Most people in America think of a “church” as being both a building and a particular Sect (or Denomination) within what is known as the “Christian” world.

•  Most Catholics think the word “church” means: “the one and only holy Roman Catholic Church” - to the exclusion of all others. (And that a building is a “church”)

•  Most Protestants think the word “church” means: whichever particular Denomination or Sect they belong to. (And that a building is a “church”)

•  Most Evangelicals generally think the word “church” means: whichever particular Sect or Denomination they belong to. (And that a building is a “church”)

•  Landmark Baptists believe the word “church” means: the local Baptist church that they belong to – to the exclusion of all others. (And that a building is a “church”)

•  Southern Baptists (with some exceptions) think the word “church” means: a church within the “Southern Baptist Convention”. (And that a building is a “church”)

•  Most Independent Baptists believe (with some exceptions) the word “church” means: a local assembly of professing Christians – (And that a “church” is made up of people – and CANNOT BE A BUILDING!)

•  Plymouth Brethren believe (with some possible exceptions) that the word “church” means: a local assembly of professing Christians and that there is a larger church - the body of Christ, which is made up of all born again believers. (And that a “church” is made up of people – and CANNOT BE A BUILDING!)

•  Most Independent Bible churches believe (with some possible exceptions) that the word “church” means – a local assembly of professing Christians – (And that a “church” is made up of people – and CANNOT BE A BUILDING!)

•  Many “Fundamentalist” Christians think that there is only one kind of “church” in the Bible – i.e. the New Testament "church of God” - but a thorough search of the scriptures reveals there are different kinds of churches [Acts 7:38; Acts 19:37].

•  The definition of the word “church” is as varied as the number of Sects, Denominations, and Cults claiming to be “Christian”. (I gave just a few examples – And there are so many “variables” within a particular "Christian" Denomination or Sect that it is practically impossible to nail down exactly WHAT they really do believe about the word “church”!)

So, what is a genuine Bible believer supposed to believe concerning the meaning of the word “church” in Scripture? In order to know what the true scriptural definition of the word “church” is, Bible believers must set aside the “baggage” that they may have and forget all of the varied “speculations”, “opinions”, and “beliefs” they may have learned from others (including “Christian” Schools, “Christian” Colleges, “Christian” Universities, “Christian” pastors, and “Christian” commentators), and search the Holy Scriptures [Acts 17:11] for the answer to the question. The Bible is its own best “Dictionary” whenever it comes to any issue of spiritual importance.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

The first thing a genuine Bible believer must do before he begins to study the historical church of God is to settle the matter of FINAL AUTHORITY on the subject and determine in his heart and mind not to be influenced by sources outside of the Holy word of God. For the record: I believe that the King James Bible is God’s written Final Authority on earth in all matters of faith and practice - which includes all circumstances, situations, and undertakings, i.e. all of “the issues of life” [Proverbs 4:23] - be they spiritual or secular.

Bible believers must be familiar with the history of man as presented within the pages of the Holy Bible (i.e. the King James Bible), and be willing to accept the scriptural record as the Final Authority on the subject - regardless of what a particular “Christian” Denomination (or Sect) may claim, or a “Christian” School (College or University) may teach, or “Christian” men (pastors, teachers, commentators, etc.) may say.

In order to know about and understand the nature of the historical church of God, sincere Bible believers must undertake to study the historical church of God solely within the pages of the Holy Bible and have a good understanding of the following scriptural subjects:

•  a study concerning God’s Covenants with various men who are depicted in the Holy Bible (from the Creation up to and including the formation of the church of God);

•  a study of the Lord God’s specific call of Abram (i.e. Abraham) and God’s choosing the Hebrews (i.e. Israelites/Jews) as His special covenant people;

•  a study concerning the “kingdoms” in Scripture (especially the Davidic Kingdom);

•  a study concerning the definition of the word “Gospel” in the New Testament;

•  a study comparing the church of God with the Bride of Christ;

•  a study of the transitional nature of the Book of Acts;

•  a study of Paul’s Epistles and their relation to the church of God;

• a study concerning the call of the Apostle Paul (i.e. Saul), “the apostle of the Gentiles” [Romans 11:13], and his ministry to the Gentiles (establishing churches of God throughout the Mediterranean area); and the difference between the Apostle Paul’s ministry to the “uncircumcision” and the Apostle Peter’s ministry to the “circumcision” [Galatians 2:7].

Any endeavor undertaken by Bible believers to determine “what is truth” concerning the historical church of God (as portrayed within the pages of the Holy Bible) without a thorough knowledge of the foregoing subjects and the spiritual ability to discern and understand how to rightly divide the word of truth [2Timothy 2:15] can only end in confusion and error.

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  

The word “church” is found 77 times in 76 verses in the Holy Bible. Interestingly, it is found only 3 times in 2 verses in the Four Gospels [Only in Matthew - Matthew 16:18; 18:17]; while it is found 18 times in 18 verses in the Book of Acts (written by the Apostle Paul’s faithful companion Luke), 42 times in 42 verses in the Apostle Paul’s Epistles, 7 times in 7 verses in the General Epistles (2 times in Hebrews; once in James; once in 1 Peter; and three times in 3 John), and 7 times in 7 verses in the Book of Revelation (written by the Apostle John).

[Matthew 16:18; 18:17; Ac 2:47; Acts 5:11; 7:38; 8:1,3; 11:22,26; 12:1,5; 13:1; 14:23,27; 15:3-4,22; 18:22; 20:17,28; Romans 16:1,5,23,27; 1Corinthians 1:2; 4:17; 6:4; 10:32; 11:18,22; 12:28; 14:4-5,12,19,23,28,35; 15:9; 16:19; 2Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13; Ephesians 1:22; 3:10,21; 5:23-25,27,29,32; Philippians 3:6; 4:15; Colossians 1:18,24; 4:15-16; 1Thessalonians 1:1; 2Thessalonians 1:1; 1Timothy 3:5,15; 5:16; 2Timothy 4:22; Titus 3:15; Philemon 1:2; Hebrews 2:12; 12:23; James 5:14; 1Peter 5:13; 3John 1:6,9-10; Revelation 2:1,8,12,18; 3:1,7,14]

NOTE: Between them, Paul and Luke wrote about the word “church” a total of 60 times out of the 77 times that the word shows up in the Holy Bible. Or to put it another way: Paul and Luke mention the word “church” nearly 80% of the time that it shows up in the New Testament.

The word “churches” is found 37 times in 36 verses in the Holy Bible. It is found 4 times in 4 verses in the Book of Acts (written by the Paul’s faithful companion Luke), 20 times in 20 verses in Paul’s Epistles; and 13 times in 12 verses in the Book of Revelation – i.e. 12 times in 11 verses in the First Three Chapters of the Book and only 1 time in 1 verse in Chapter 22, the last Chapter of the Book of Revelation (written by the Apostle John).

[Acts 9:31; 15:41; 16:5; 19:37; Romans 16:4,16; 1Corinthians 7:17; 11:16; 14:33-34; 16:1,19; 2Corinthians 8:1,18-19,23-24; 11:8,28; 12:13; Galatians 1:2,22; 1Thessalonians 2:14; 2Thessalonians 1:4; Revelation 1:4,11,20; 2:7,11,17,23,29; 3:6,13,22; 22:16]

NOTE: The word “churches” is absent from the Four Gospels and the General Epistles (including the Book of Hebrews). Paul and Luke wrote about the word “churches” a total of 24 times out of the 37 times that the word shows up in the Holy Bible. Or to put it another way: Paul and Luke mention the word “churches” 65% of the time that it shows up in the entire New Testament.

The words “church” & “churches” combined show up a total of 117 times in 115 verses in the Holy Bible. The breakdown is as follows:

•     Paul = 62 times in 62 verses

•     Luke = 22 times in 22 verses (Interestingly, Luke does not mention either word in his Gospel)

•     Paul & Luke combined = 84 times in 84 verses

•     John = 20 times in 19 verses

•     Paul, Luke, & John = 104 times in 103 verses out of a total of 114 times in 112 verses

•     All others (The Four Gospels & the General Epistles) = 10 times in 9 verses

QUESTION: IF the word “church” is only found 3 times in 2 verses in the Four Gospels and only 7 times in 7 verses in the General Epistles, while the word is found a total of 67 times in the Book of Acts, Paul’s Epistles, and the Book of Revelation, WHERE do you suppose a Bible believer should concentrate his studies in the Holy Bible if he wants to learn about the word “church”?

QUESTION: IF the word “churches” cannot be found in the Four Gospels or in the General Epistles, and IF the word is only found in the Book of Acts (written by Luke), Paul’s Epistles, and the Book of Revelation (written by John) for a total of 37 times in 36 verses, to WHOM should sincere Bible believers go to if they want to learn about the word “churches” in the Holy Bible?

The first mention of the word “church” in the Holy Bible is found in Matthew 16:18. And the meaning or definition of the word “church” in the context of Matthew 16:18 has been hotly contested  or debated amongst “scribes”, scholars, and professing Bible believers for centuries.

Since the Lord Jesus Christ disputed with the scribes (i.e. the scholars) of His day, and often corrected, admonished, reproved, and even rebuked them, we can safely dispense with the speculations and educated guesses of the scribes (i.e. the scholars - both past & present) as to the meaning of the word “church” today.  However, there are some sincere Bible believers (both past & present) who claim the word “church”, as found within the Holy Bible, can mean a building.

Let us first examine the verses in the New Testament where the definition of the word church (or churches) may not be easily understood and may need to be clarified. And since the Bible is its own best Dictionary whenever it comes to any issue of spiritual importance, let’s first look at the verses where the word “church” is used – but which clearly are NOT in reference to “the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” – Acts 20:28.

Remember: The definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.


Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

The word “church” cannot be found in the Old Testament and yet Stephen spoke of “the church in the wilderness” in reference to the Nation of Israel. What kind of a “church” was this? It couldn’t possibly have been a blood bought church of God attended by professing Christians, because it would be approximately another 1500 years before the One and Only Head of “the church” would show up to establish His church, and there wasn’t a single “Christian” within 1500 years of the events that took place in the wilderness! Within the context, Stephen’s use of the word “church” in Acts 7:38 lays the groundwork for the Biblical definition of the word.

In regards to the Israelites (Hebrews-Jews), historically they were first a FAMILY (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - and NOT ever referred to in the Holy Bible as a “church”); and then they became a TRIBE, or TRIBES (The 12 Sons of Jacob and their offspring - but they still were NOT referred to in the Bible as a “church”); and then, under Moses’ leadership, they became a NATION (referred to by Stephen, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as “the ‘church’ in the wilderness” – ONLY ONCE!)

QUESTION: What was peculiar about the NATION of Israel “in the wilderness” that was not true about Israel - before that time, after that time, or at any other time in their history?

ANSWER: It is the very first time that the descendents of Israel (i.e. Jacob) gathered together as a nation, and it is the ONLY TIME in the entire history of Israel that the ENTIRE NATION was ALL-TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE AT ONE TIME, which was just BEFORE they entered THE PROMISED LAND.

So what does that tell us about the word "church" - according to the Holy Scriptures?

A “church” is a particular group of people gathered (or assembled) together in one place for a specific purpose (in this particular case – the entire nation of Israel, gathered together for the  purpose of worshiping God, i.e. to “Hold a feast unto the LORD”; to “Sacrifice unto the LORD”, and to “Serve the Lord”).

Notice: The nation of Israel at that time did not consist of only faithful believers - just like any church today, does not necessarily consist of only faithful believers. (Remember – the First "church" in the New Testament had “a devil” for a treasurer! There may be lost people in a "local church” – there are no lost people in “the body of Christ”.)

The word “church” in Acts 7:38 is a FIGURE (or Type) of what was to come - i.e. the blood bought church of God. And all of the things that happened unto them (tribulations, trials, & tests) were written for our (Christians’) admonition [1Corinthians 10:1-11] and for our learning [Romans 15:4].


Acts 19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.

In the case of Acts 19:37, if someone wants to privately interpret the word “churches” to mean “temples” (i.e. buildings instead of people), they should be extremely careful since the use of the word “churches” throughout the rest of the Holy Bible clearly is confined to multiple churches within a Roman Province or Region. And in addition, many of the corrupt new translations change the word “churches” to “temples” (a.k.a. the New American Standard, etc.). The fact is robbers do not “rob” buildings; they “rob” from people. Buildings do not own things, people do.

The word “churches” (plural) in Acts 19:37 is used by the town clerk of Ephesus in reference to groups of people (i.e. idol worshipers) - NOT buildings. And so we have:

The word “churches” equals groups of people) gathered together in various places for a specific purpose (in this particular case - assemblies of pagan people worshiping a “Female Deity”, sacrificing to a “Female Deity”, and serving a “Female Deity”. Sound familiar?

Remember: The definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.


Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Since the Lord had not yet “FINISHED” [John 19:30] the work of Redemption (i.e. He had not shed His blood, nor had He died, nor had He risen again from the dead), “the church of God” which He “purchased with his own blood” [Acts 20:28] could not have been in existence at the time that the Lord spoke these words. From the context, it is obvious that Christ was addressing his disciples about issues that existed during His earthly ministry, He was not speaking about the synagogue, nor could He have been referring to the Jews’ Temple with the priests, etc., or He would have said so (as He did on several occasions – e.g. Matthew 8:4; Mark 1:44; Luke 5:14; 17:14).

In the context of the verse, the definition of the word “church” cannot have a broad application to the entire nation of Israel, because God already had made a provision for dealing with these kinds of problems in The Law - via the Temple and the Jewish priesthood [Matthew 5:22-24]. In the context of Matthew 18:1-20 Christ is specifically addressing His disciples (not the nation of Israel in general). The definition of the word “church” in Matthew 18:17 would have to be limited to just Christ’s followers (during His earthly ministry – Matthew 18:6, 10, 14, 19-20) because they were the only ones being addressed and the only people who were apt to follow His instructions.  

If this “church” was a blood bought New Testament "church of God”, why the reference to the “heathen man” or the particular reference to “a publican” - references (that were peculiarly “Jewish” in nature) to people outside of the nation of Israel (i.e. “heathen man”), or a Jew (i.e. “a publican”) who was looked down upon as a common sinner? Although there are “heathen” in many of the so-called “Christian churches” today – there are no “publicans”! However, there were Jewish “publicans” in Christ’s time, which were part of the Israelite culture; and the Jews considered all other people (even the Samaritans – i.e. part Jews) as “heathen”. And so:

The word “church” here signifies a particular group of people gathered together for a specific purpose. (in this particular case – the Lord Jesus Christ’s followers during His earthly ministry)

The word “church” in Matthew 18:17 certainly is NOT “the church of God” consisting of born again children of God (i.e. “Christians”), since the Lord Jesus Christ had NOTFINISHED” the work of Redemption yet: He hadn’t died, nor had He shed His blood (in order purchase the church of God – Acts 20:28), nor had risen again from the dead. There were no Christians present at that time.

According to the foregoing definition of the word “church”, Matthew 18:17 is NOT “doctrine” for a New Testament church of God; but since it doesn’t run contrary to any church doctrine taught by the Apostle Paul (Paul taught similar scriptural principles in 1Corinthians 5:1-13 and in 1Corinthians 6:1-8), I see no harm in this practice, if a Bible believing church deems to employ it today.

Although the first mention of the word “church” in the Holy Bible is found in Matthew 16:18. I have saved my comments on Matthew 16:18 for last because it is one of the most difficult verses in the Bible in regards to rightly dividing the word “church”:

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.


There are numerous definitions of the word will in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary – all of which are determined by the context in which the word is found. Concerning the definition of the word “will” in Matthew 16:18 the context of the verse indicates that the following Webster’s 1828 Dictionary definition is the proper definition.

WEBSTER’ 1828 DICTIONARY

7. Will is used as an auxiliary verb, and a sign of the future tense. It has different signification in different persons.

1.     I will go, is a present promise to go; and with an emphasis on will, it expresses determination.

     2.  Thou wilt go, you will go, express foretelling; simply stating an event that is to come.

3.  He will go, is also a foretelling. The use of will in the plural, is the same. We will, promises; ye will, they will, foretell.

I believe that the word “church” in Matthew 16:18 is in reference to the blood bought “church of God” (i.e. the body of Christ) that the Lord Jesus Christ was going to build after His death burial, and resurrection - but which was not yet in existence. At this point in time in the Lord’s earthly ministry Christ’s disciples were referred to as the “children of the bride chamber” – NOT THE BRIDE! They could not have been both [Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34]. All of the rest of the verses in the New Testament with the words “church” in them plainly indicate that:

The historical “church of God”, as found within the pages of the Holy Bible, is a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) meeting in a particular place for a specific purpose (i.e. to worship and to glorify Almighty God; to edify the brethren; and to fellowship with each other).

On Earth: God has a church; and He has chosen to manifest that “church” locally – BUT the so-called “localchurch is not all there is to “the church of God.” [Acts 20:28]
 


#6 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:51 AM

continued from above

THE APOSTLE PAUL’S ADDRESSES TO A CHURCH OR CHURCHES

Remember, the definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.

1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
{Is Paul addressing a building or is he addressing a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people?}

2 Corinthians 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
{Is Paul addressing a building or is he addressing a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people?}

Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

{Paul addresses his Epistle to “all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons”, and then further on he refers to them as a “church” [Philippians 4:15]. If the "church" at Philippi communicated with Paul was the "church" a building or a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints)? Can a building communicate with people?}

1 Thessalonians 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
{Is the church of the Thessalonians “which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ”, a building or is it a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people? Can a building be IN “God the Father” or IN “the Lord Jesus Christ”?}

2 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
{Is the church of the Thessalonians “which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ”, a building or is it a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people? Can a building be IN “God the Father” or IN “the Lord Jesus Christ”?}

Galatians 1:1  Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

{Is the Apostle Paul addressing multiple buildings or is he addressing several groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}


The phrase “the church” in Scripture
Remember: The definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.

IN THE GOSPELS
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
{Is the Lord going to build a building?}

Matthew 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

{Were the disciples supposed to “tell it unto” a building? Is a building able to speak and make judgments?}


IN THE BOOK OF ACTS
Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

{Did the Lord add people to a building?}

Acts 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
{Did great fear come upon a building?}

Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
{Was the “he” (i.e. Moses) of Acts 7:38 in a building in the wilderness?}

Acts 8:1  And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
{Was the “persecution” spoken of in Acts 8:1 against a building “which was at Jerusalem”? The “they were all scattered abroad” is in reference to “the church which was at Jerusalem”. Is the “they” a reference to buildings or to people? Were buildings “scattered abroad” or were people "scattered abroad"?}

Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
{Did Saul make havock of a physical building? The testimony of Scripture states that Saul entered “into every house” . . . “haling men and women” and he “committed them to prison”, there is no testimony of him ever damaging or destroying the buildings.}

Acts 11:22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
{Did a building in Jerusalem have “ears”?}

Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
{Did Saul and Barnabas “assemble themselves witha building?}

Acts 12:1  Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
{Did Herod “vex certain” of a building?}

Acts 12:5  Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
{Can a building pray?}

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
{Were the prophets and teachers in a building? What significance would that have?}

Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
{Did they ordain elders in every building?}

Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
{How can a building be “gathered together”?}

Acts 15:3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
{How can people be “brought on their way” by a building?}

Acts 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
{Can a building receive people?}

Acts 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
{Is “the whole church” a building? Can a building send people?}

Acts 18:22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.
{Did the Apostle Paul “salute” a building?}

Acts 20:17  And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
{Did the Apostle Paul call the elders of a building?}

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
{How can someone “FEEDA BUILDING? Did God purchase a building “with His own blood”?} [Ephesians 1:1-14]


IN THE APOSTLE PAUL’S EPISTLES
Romans 16:1  I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
{Was Phebe a servant of a building in Cenchrea, or was she a servant of people?}

Romans 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
{Is Paul greeting a building or people?}

1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
{Is Paul addressing a building, or is he addressing people?}

1 Corinthians 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
{Does a buildingesteem”, or do peopleesteem”?}

1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
{Can we offend a building, or do we offend people? Notice: “Give none offence, neither to the Jews (people), nor to the Gentiles (people), nor to the church of God (people – not a building)”.}

1 Corinthians 11:17  Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
{Paul did not say “when ye come together into the church” (as into a building) he said “in the church”. I shall have more to say about the use of the word “into” in Scripture later on.}

1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
{In their personal conduct “in the church”, did the Corinthians despise a building or people?}

1 Corinthians 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
{Did God set some in a building, or did He set some in a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. “the body of Christ”)?}

1 Corinthians 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
{Can a building be edified, or are people edified?}

1 Corinthians 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
{Can a building receive edification, or do people receive edification?}

1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
{Can a building be edified, or are people edified?}

1 Corinthians 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
{Is Paul speaking about a building, or is he speaking about people?}

1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
{Is Paul speaking about a building, or is he speaking about people?}

1 Corinthians 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
{Is it a shame for women to speak in a building, or is it a shame for women to speak “in the church” - i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (saints)?}

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
{Did Paul persecute a building, or did he persecute people - i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (saints)?}

1 Corinthians 16:19  The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
{Did the buildings of Asia “salute” the Corinthian believers, or did the various groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) in Asia “salute” them? Was there a separate building in Aquila and Priscilla’s house, or was there a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) in their house?}

2 Corinthians 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
{Is Paul addressing a building, or is he addressing people, i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (saints)?}

Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: {Did Paul persecute a building, or did he persecute people - i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (saints)?}

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
{Is the Lord Jesus Christ “the head over all things” to a building, or is He “the head over all things” to a group of blood bought believers in Christ, i.e. “His body”?}

Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
{Is “the manifold wisdom of God” to be known by a building, or is it to be known by thechurch” - i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints)?}

Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
{Is Paul speaking about a building, or is he speaking about people i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (saints)? How does Almighty God receive glory from a building?}

Ephesians 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
{Is the Lord Jesus Christ the Head of a building or people? A husband (a person) is the head of his wife (a person) EVEN AS Christ (a person) is the Head of the church, (a group of blood bought believers in Christ, i.e. people, not a building). Is the Lord Jesus Christ the Head of a building or people?}

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
{Is a building subject to the Lord Jesus Christ, or is a group of blood bought believers in Christ, i.e. people, subject to Him?}

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
{Does the Lord Jesus Christ love a building, or does He love a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people?}

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
{Are these verses speaking about a building, or are they in reference to a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people?}

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
{Does the Lord Jesus Christ cherish a building, or does He cherish a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people?}

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
{The “we” of Ephesians 5:30 is in reference to the church in verse 29. Is Paul speaking about a building or is he speaking about people, i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints)?}

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
{Is the “great mystery” that Paul is speaking of about the Lord Jesus Christ and a building, or is Paul speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ and a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Philippians 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
{Did Paul persecute a building, or did he persecute people, i.e. a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints)?}

Colossians 1:18 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.
{Paul states that the Lord Jesus Christ is “the head of the body, the church”. Ephesians 5:29-30 identifies the church as members of His body. Is Christ the Head of a building? Or is He the Head of the church - a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His body) i.e. people?}

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
{Paul clearly states that His (i.e. Christ’s) body - is the church. Is Christ’s body a building, or is His body a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people?}

Colossians 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
{Was there a separate building in Nymphashouse, or was there a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) in his house?}

Colossians 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
{Is Paul speaking about a building, or is he speaking about people?}

1 Thessalonians 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
{Is the church of the Thessalonians “which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ”, a building, or is it a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people? Can a building be IN “God the Father” or IN “the Lord Jesus Christ”?}

2 Thessalonians 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
{Is the church of the Thessalonians “which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ”, a building or is it a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people? Can a building be IN “God the Father” or IN “the Lord Jesus Christ”?}

1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
{Is Paul speaking about a man (a bishop) taking care of a building, or is he speaking about a man (a bishop) taking care of a group of blood bought believers in Christ?}

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
{The Apostle Paul speaks about “the house of God, which is the church of the living God”. Is “the house of God” (“which is the church of God”) a building, or is it a group of blood bought believers in Christ (His saints), i.e. people? Can a mere building be “the pillar and ground of the truth” or is a group of blood bought believers in Christ “the pillar and ground of the truth”?}

1 Timothy 5:16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
{Is a building to be “charged” to relieve widows, or is a group of blood bought believers in Christ to be “charged” to relieve widows?}

Philemon 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
{Was there a separate building in Apphia’s house, or was there a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) in his house?}


IN THE GENERAL EPISTLES
Hebrews 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
{Is the Lord going to “declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst ofa building, or is he speaking about a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Hebrews 12:23 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,
{Can “the general assembly” be a building “of the firstborn, which are written in heaven”, or is it a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
{Are the elders called from a building, or from a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
{Does a building “that is at Babylon, elected together with you” salute people, or does a group of blood bought believers in Christ salute them? Can a building be “elected together with you”, or is a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints) elected?}

3 John 1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: {Was the Apostle John speaking about Gaius’ “charity” before a building, or was he speaking about Gaius’ “charity” before a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

3 John 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
{Did the Apostle John write to a building, or did he write to a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

3 John 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
{Did Diotrephes physically cast some of the brethren out of a building, or did he cast some of the brethren out of a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)? Diotrephes sounds a whole lot like the dictatorial “Imperial pastors” of today!}


IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
Revelation 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
{Did the Apostle John write to the angel of a building, or did he write to the angel of a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
{Did the Apostle John write to the angel of a building, or did he write to the angel of a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 2:12  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
{Did the Apostle John write to the angel of a building, or did he write to the angel of a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 2:18  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
{Did the Apostle John write to the angel of a building, or did he write to the angel of a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
{Did the Apostle John write to the angel of a building, or did he write to the angel of a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 3:7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
{Did the Apostle John write to the angel of a building, or did he write to the angel of a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
{Did the Apostle John write to the angel of a building, or did he write to the angel of a group of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}



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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:53 AM

continued still

 


The phrase “the churches” in Scripture
Remember: The definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.

IN THE GOSPELS
NO VERSES


IN THE BOOK OF ACTS
Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
{Did several buildingsrest”, or did several groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints) “rest”?}

Acts 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
{Did the Apostle Paul confirm several buildings, or did he confirm several groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
{Were multiple buildingsestablished in the faith”, or were multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints) “established in the faith”? Were multiple buildings "increased in number daily", or were multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints) "increased in number daily"?}


IN THE APOSTLE PAUL’S EPISTLE’S
Romans 16:4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
{Did all of the buildings of the Gentiles “give thanks”, or did all of the groups of blood bought Gentile believers in Christ “give thanks”?}

Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
{Did the buildings of Christ “salute”, or did groups of blood bought believers in Christ “salute”?

1 Corinthians 11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
{Can buildingsseem to be contentious”, or can groups of blood bought believers in Christ “seem to be contentious”?

1 Corinthians 14:34  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.
{Are women tokeep silencein buildings, “for it is not permitted unto them to speak” in buildings, or are women tokeep silence” in groups of blood bought believers in Christ, “for it is not permitted unto them to speak” in groups of blood bought believers in Christ?}

1 Corinthians 16:1  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
{Did the Apostle Paul give an order to multiple buildings, or did he give an order to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

1 Corinthians 16:19  The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
{Did the multiple buildings of Asia “salute”, or did multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints) “salute”?}

2 Corinthians 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
{Is “the grace of God bestowed on” multiple buildings, or is “the grace of God bestowed on” multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

2 Corinthians 8:18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
{Did all of the buildings givepraise”, or did multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints) givepraise”?}

2 Corinthians 8:19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
{Did multiple buildings choose who was to travel with Paul, or did multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints) choose who was to travel with Paul?}

2 Corinthians 8:23 Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.{messengers???}
{Were Paul’s fellowhelpers “messengers ofmultiple buildings, or were they “messengers ofmultiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ, (i.e. His saints)?}

2 Corinthians 8:24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
{Was the Apostle Paul concerned about the Corinthian Christians’ showing the proof of their love before buildings, or was he concerned about them showing the proof of their love before multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

2 Corinthians 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
{Was the Apostle Paul concerned about “the care of all themultiple buildings, or concerned about “the care of all themultiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ throughout the entire Roman Empire?}

Galatians 1:1  Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
{Was the Apostle Paul greeting the multiple buildings of Galatia, or was he greeting multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ throughout the Roman Province of Galatia?}

Galatians 1:22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
{Was the Apostle Paul “unknown by face unto” the buildings of Judaea, or was he “unknown by face unto” multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ throughout the Roman Province of Judaea?}

1 Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
{Are the churches of God in Judaea multiple buildings, or were they various groups of blood bought believers in Christ throughout the Region of Judaea? Would the brethren have become followers of buildings, or of people? Can buildings be IN “Christ Jesus Christ”?}

2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
{Did the Apostle Paul and his companions glory in the believers in Thessalonica in the buildings of God, or did he and his friends glory in the Thessalonians in groups of blood bought believers of God?}


IN THE GENERAL EPISTLES
NO VERSES


IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
{Is the Spirit speaking to multiple buildings, or is He speaking to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
{Is the Spirit speaking to multiple buildings, or is He speaking to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
{Is the Spirit speaking to multiple buildings, or is He speaking to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
{Is the Spirit speaking to multiple buildings, or is He speaking to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)? Can a building "know" anything, or do people "know" things?}

Revelation 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
{Is the Spirit speaking to multiple buildings, or is He speaking to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
{Is the Spirit speaking to multiple buildings, or is He speaking to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
{Is the Spirit speaking to multiple buildings, or is He speaking to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
{Is the Spirit speaking to multiple buildings, or is He speaking to multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
{Is the angel testifying unto multiple buildings, or is the angel testifying unto multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints)?}

Remember: The definition of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage.


CONCERNING THE WORD “INTO” IN CONJUNCTION WITH BUILDINGS
 

A thorough search in the New Testament of the word “into” in conjunction with various buildings reveals that the word “into” is never used in conjunction with the words “church” or “churches”. To save space, I will not list all of the verses where the word “into” precedes the word “house”, or where it precedes the word “synagogue”, but I will list the verse references for those who may be interested in further study:

There are a total of 44 verses with the word “into” preceding the word “house” in the New Testament.
[Matthew 2:11; 8:14; 9:23,28; 10:12; 12:4, 29, 44; 13:36; 17:25; Mark 1:29; 2:11, 26; 3:19, 27; 6:10; 7:17, 24; 9:28; 13:15; Luke 1:40; 4:38; 5:24; 6:4; 7:36, 44; 8:41, 51; 9:4; 10:5, 38; 14:1;  22:10, 54; Acts 8:3; 9:17; 10:22;11:12; 16:15, 34, 40; 18:7; 21:8; 2 John 1:10]

There are 10 verses with the word “into” preceding the word “synagogue” in the New Testament.
[Matthew 12:9; Mark 1:21; 3:1; Luke 4:16; 6:6; Acts 13:14; 14:1; 17:10; 18:19; 19:8]
 

NOTE: It is interesting to note that while the word “into” is used approximately 54 times to describe the action of someone (or more than one person) physically entering into a building (i.e. a house or a synagogue). However, a thorough search of the entire Bible reveals that the word “intonever precedes the words “church” or “churches”; nor is it used in conjunction with either word. IF either the word “church” or the word “churches” is in reference to a building, or buildings, there should be a few places in the Bible where a person (or persons) entered into a “church” or where they entered intochurches”; but there is no scriptural record of anyone doing so.

With the introduction of the word “into” before both the words house and synagogue in the Holy Bible, it becomes crystal clear that a house in Scripture equals a building; and that a synagogue in Scripture equals a building (which precludes the theory of the church being patterned after the synagogue, since a church is a group of people and a synagogue is a building). The fact that the word “intonever precedes the words “church” or “churches” in the Holy Bible, and that the word is never used in conjunction with either word, reinforces the teaching that the words “church” and “churchesnever refer to a building or buildings in the Holy Bible!
 

CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURAL USE OF THE WORD “CHURCH” IN THE HOLY BIBLE

Since the definition and meaning of a Biblical word is determined by context and usage: With all of the scriptural testimony I have presented in this essay concerning the word “church” in the Holy Bible, I believe that I have I have established certain irrefutable facts:

1.  No where’s in the Holy Bible is there a single verse of Scripture that clearly says that the word “church” is a building.

2.  No where’s in the Holy Bible is there a single verse of Scripture that clearly demonstrates that the word “church” means a building.

3.  No where’s in the Holy Bible is there a single verse of Scripture that decidedly indicates that the word “church” means anything other than “a particular group of people gathered (or assembled) together in one place for a specific purpose.


THE HOME-CHURCH  GROUPS’ ERROR IS INSISTING ON A DOCTRINE THAT CAN NOT BE SUPPORTED BY SCRIPTURE:

IF the following scriptural principle is true of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. His saints):

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

WHY are Christians (professed Bible believers) so concerned about WHERE we meet? Whether we meet in a house or in a barn; or in a hotel or in a condo; or in a school or in a building specifically designed for believers to worship in; or if we choose to even meet in a park or in a field; the Holy Bible states: “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”!

WHY all the fuss and concern over WHERE we meet to worship the Lord? Instead of debating and disputing over WHERE we meet, we should be concerned about HOW we meet. We should be far more concerned about WHAT we do when we meet. WHERE we meet is inconsequential compared to HOW we conduct ourselves when we do meet - WHEREVER that may be!

Home-church Christians who insist that Christians must meet only in houses (and who condemn other Christians for meeting in a building other than a house) are like the hypocritical Pharisees of old, thinking they can please God in the flesh by observing places of worship rather than following the practice and conduct of Christians in the Apostle Paul’s day in their governance and operation of the church of God, and in their personal conduct towards each other. Observing days, diet, and places of worship are not near as important as following the Holy words of God in spirit and in truth [John 4:23-24].  PLEASE REMEMBER:

  • God has no Commandment to Christians saying: “Thou shalt only meet in a house.”  
  • Nor does God Command Christians: “Thou shalt not meet in buildings other than a house.”

NOTE: The following statements of fact are in regards to the historical “church of God”, and/or the historical “churches of God”. The “spiritual” and “doctrinal” application is not under consideration, only the Scriptural historical record, historical setting, and historical context (as presented and testified to in the Holy Bible) is under consideration. Believing that “all scripture” - “is profitable for doctrine” and “for instruction in righteousness”; let us attempt to conclude this matter. According to the numerous Scriptures I have presented in this study, and the numerous Posts that I have made on this Forum in the past in regards to the subject of the “church”, the following historical facts are crystal clear:

1. Historically: In the Holy Bible, the words church (singular) or churches (plural) were never used to describe a building or buildings.

2.Historically: In the Holy Bible, the word church is always used to describe a particular group of people gathered (or assembled) together in one place for a specific purpose.

3.Historically: In the Holy Bible, “the church of God” is always a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) meeting in a particular place for a specific purpose (i.e. to worship and to glorify Almighty God; to edify the brethren; and to fellowship with each other).

4. Historically: In the Holy Bible, the word churches (with the exception of Acts 19:37) is always used to describe multiple churches - i.e. multiple groups of blood bought believers in Christ - within a region or province (or regions and provinces) within the Roman Empire.

5. Historically: In the Holy Bible, the word churches is never used to describe multiple churches within an individual city within the Roman Empire.

6. Historically: In the Holy Bible, there was only one church in each individual city within the Roman Empire. And with the exception of Matthew 16:18 & 18:17; Acts 7:38; and Hebrews 12:23, the word church (singular) is always used (within the historical context) to describe an individual church within an individual city within the Roman Empire.

This study is not an attempt to dictate to Christians as to how they should establish and form a New Testament church, or how they should worship and practice their faith. The purpose of this study is to simply present the historical church of God, exactly as it is portrayed within the pages of the Holy Bible, without any denominational or sectarian additions, subtractions, or admixture.

The first thing Bible believers must do with the historical record (as portrayed within the pages of the Holy Bible) is to discern and establish “what is truth” [John 18:38 = John 17:17], and then they must determine whether the historical record, as presented in the Holy Bible, is meant to be an “example” (or a “pattern”) for us to follow. It is one thing, if a person is ignorant of the historical record, or if they willingly choose to ignore the historical record, it is quite another if they willingly choose to change it or deny it! My purpose in providing this study is to present the scriptural historical record concerning the historical church of God, what professing Bible believers choose do with the scriptural historical record is a matter of personal conviction and cannot be dictated to them by some ecclesiastical authority [2Corinthians 1:24; Galatians 5:13].

The Biblical use of the words found within the pages of the Holy Bible (i.e. the King James Bible) and the scriptural application of those words (Historical-Doctrinal-Spiritual) by believers are two separate issues. In order for genuine Bible believers to determine “what is truth” they must first determine HOW the words of God are used within the pages of the Bible (in order to determine their meaning) and then seek to use those same words in the same manner as they are used within the pages of The Book whenever they teach or preach, or whenever they engage in a discussion concerning spiritual issues, or in defense of sound doctrine.

As Bible believers, we must not change the way that God’s words are used (or presented) in the Holy Bible to accommodate our limited understanding of them. In addition, we must not change the plain meaning of the words (as found in context) by ADDING additional words that are not found within the text.  Instead of trying to make God’s words “fit” our doctrine, we must make our doctrine “fit” the words of God, and use those same words in the same manner as they are used within the pages of The Book whenever we teach or preach, or whenever we engage in a discussion concerning spiritual issues, or in defense of sound doctrine.


RULES OF CAUTION CONCERNING SYSTEMS OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

•  Any system of biblical interpretation which ignores the historical setting, or which fails to consider the context in which God’s words are found in Scripture, is susceptible to private or personal speculation, conjecture, and supposition; - which always leads to misdirection, error, and false doctrine – and should be readily avoided by all sincere Bible believers.

•  Any system of biblical interpretation not based on sound Scriptural precepts and principles [Psalms 33:4; Isaiah 28:0-13; 2 Timothy 2:15], or which twists and wrests the Holy words of God out of their context, or which fails to use the same words in the same manner as to HOW they are used within the pages of the Holy Bible, or which fails to incorporate Biblical words within the system should be suspect to all genuine Bible believers.

•  Any system of biblical interpretation which refers to “the originals”, or runs to the “original languages” (i.e. mainly the Hebrew and Greek) for spiritual understanding, is not to be trusted since the original sources (i.e. scribes) for the vast majority of the Hebrew & Greek manuscripts are unknown, and most of the scholars who have provided the definitions of the Hebrew & Greek words (i.e. Lexicons) were (and still are) unregenerate scribes who relied on secular (i.e. pagan) sources for the definition of spiritual words.

•  Any system of biblical interpretation which ADDS to, or SUBTRACTS from, or CHANGES the Holy words of God as found in the Holy Bible (i.e. the King James Bible) should be summarily rejected by Bible believers – regardless of who is propagating it, or the fact that there may be “some truth” to be found in it [Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19].

I believe that most of the disagreements, misunderstandings, and confusion amongst professed Bible believers over spiritual issues are due to the failure on the part of many students of Scripture to carefully observe exactly HOW specific words (such as the words “church” - singular, and “churches” - plural) are used in the Holy Bible; and the failure to take into consideration the historical context of the Scriptures (which includes the historical setting, specific circumstances, and geographical conditions or places - as they are presented in the Holy Bible).

In addition to the two major failings cited above, there is the corrupt practice of the vast majority of modern day Bible teachers and commentators of introducing foreign words or phrases (which cannot be found in the Bible) into a study, or a discussion, of a scriptural issue, which only serves to confuse the issue. The mixing, mingling, or outright substitution of foreign words and/or phrases with scriptural words is known as ADDING to the Holy words of God!

All Scripture has Three Basic Components and/or Applications:

#1 HISTORICAL
The “historical application” of God’s word: This application presents the historical setting and context in which God’s words are found in Scripture - which is the primary determining factor in establishing the meaning (or definition) of Bible words. The “historical application” of God’s words sets forth Scriptural Principles (or Precepts) which are true, and which, within the historical context, are solely applicable to the individual, or group of people, to which they are addressed - e.g. a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Jew, the nation of Israel, or an individual Christian, a church, etc.  

#2 DOCTRINAL
The “doctrinal application” of God’s words: This application sets forth a Biblical “TRUTH” which proclaims a specific Scriptural Principle or Precept - which has a specific application to a particular individual or to a particular group of people to which it is addressed.

#3 SPIRITUAL
The “spiritual application” of God’s words: This application sets forth Biblical “TRUTH” which, although it is historically and doctrinally applicable solely to an individual or group of people to which it is addressed, is used to demonstrate, or illustrate, a scriptural principle or precept which is true, but which may not (in the context) necessarily be doctrinally applicable to anyone other than the people to whom it was addressed.

The failure to take all three of these things into account, and rightly divide between them, is what has led to most of the error in the churches of God since the death of the Jewish Apostles. Bible believers are commanded to “study” and rightly divide “the word of truth” [2 Timothy 2:15].

If we receive “the word with all readiness of mind”, and search the Scriptures to see “whether those things were so” [Acts 17:10-11] we will be commended, if we fail to do so there will be no excuse!

In order to determine the truth concerning a Scriptural issue we must not confuse or conflate a general, or unspecific spiritual application (made by many of today’s preachers, teachers, and commentators) of words and phrases found within the pages of the Holy Bible with the specific historical application, or the specific doctrinal application, of those words or we will be at cross purposes. The way, or manner, in which words were used at the time they were spoken (or written) will determine the meaning of those words, because the historical context (i.e. the time, the setting, and the specific circumstances) determines the meaning of the words of Scripture, while a broader spiritual application (made by many preachers, teachers, and commentators of today) is much more general and is not specific to the time, the place, the conditions, or the circumstances in which they actually occurred.     

The wholesale failure to rightly divide the word of truth (i.e. “Expository” preaching and teaching) by many of today’s preachers, teachers, and commentators has led to the loss of genuine spiritual edification taking place in the minds and hearts of many believers. The inordinate emphasis placed upon Christian celebrities by most of today’s professing Christians and the excessive dependence upon a preacher’s, or a teacher’s, or a commentator’s personal understanding of spiritual issues has crippled true individual spiritual discernment and understanding amongst the vast majority of professing Christians today.

NOTE: During the course of this study I did not go to “the Greek” one time; nor did I consult with a “Christian” teacher (i.e. pastor, teacher, professor, etc.); and neither did I search out what any “Christian” Bible commentator had to say on the subject. My studies were confined to the Holy word of God. I have grown weary of “chewing the meat and spitting out the bones” and trying to discern truth from error from the voluminous self-described “Christian” scholars and scribes (and their books, tapes, and videos) that abound in today’s world.

I would caution all of the brethren, that they be prudent when studying any professing Bible believer’s material (including mine). I recommend that all believers’ be extremely careful when acquiring knowledge from someone, that they do not accept anyone’s personal understanding of spiritual matters. Instead, I highly recommend that all sincere Bible believers “set thy heart to understand” [Daniel 10:11-12] when they study the Holy words of God and that they seek out the Holy Spirit’s guidance for their understanding [1Corinthians 2:6-16; 1John 2:20-21, 2:27], rather than look to men (regardless of who they may be) for their understanding of God’s Holy word.

In conclusion: The Holy Bible’s use of the word “church” is consistent throughout the entire New Testament. According to the Holy Bible, the overall scriptural definition of the word “church” is:

A “church” is a particular group of people gathered (or assembled) together in one place for a specific purpose.

When it comes to “the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” - According to the Holy Bible, the scriptural definition of the word “church” is:

The historical “church of God”, as found within the pages of the Holy Bible, is a group of blood bought believers in Christ (i.e. saints) meeting in a particular place for a specific purpose (i.e. to worship and to glorify Almighty God; to edify the brethren; and to fellowship with each other).


Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

 

 


 



#8 Standing Firm In Christ

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

There is only ONE Body of Christ that is made up of many members. That ONE Body is identified in the Word of God as the CHURCH. Christ only has one Body.

That said, there are also buildings called Churches in the Bible.

In Revelation, we see Jesus speaking to the angel that was sent to the Church at Sardis, to the angel at the Church at Ephesus, and to five ofther Churches in other geographical locations.

I believe those Churches in Revelation to be places of worship where members of the ONE CHURCH, the Body of Christ met. Individually, we are not separate Churches. Rather, we are all members of ONE Body, ONE CHURCH, of which every joint supplieth.

#9 Ukulelemike

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:17 AM

There are local, new testament churches, to which 98% of the NT references are written, and there is the church, overall, the full body of all believers, (despite how many may argue against that, it IS biblical). 

 

The building is not the church, though there is nothing wrong with giving a local body a name with 'church' in the title, to identify it as such. There is little difference between the church at Galatia and Bible baptist church of Herlong. We give them more of a name now, because with so many false groups calling themselves churches, we add so we can identify what we are. If I just say the church at Herlong, well, many will ask, Which One? The AOG? The SBC? The BBC? the Catholics? the mormons? We identify further in the name to show the difference. We may hate denominations, but they DO help to identify WHAT we are. Not necessarily a right/wrong issue, but a necessity today.  



#10 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:18 AM

a few food for thought questions

 

1) Why are there so many divisions of the blood bought Saints to the point they have to have so many different doctrines and practices?

 

2) Which group of blood bought Saints is correct and who is not?

 

3) Are we willing to emphasize that the church is not the place but the group of blood bought saints?  (Happy clarified that and I knew that.  My point was to get minds stirred up to think biblically about the words we use, especially when it comes to the word church or churches.)

 

4) Knowing what we have learned above how many of you are willing to forgo fellowship with blood bought Saints that are not of our Genre?  If so why?

 

5) How much can we rely on the teaching of men verse the teach of Gods word?  If you know that Gods words are pure, true and right should we not put all we learn to the text of the Holy Scriptures and not our Bible colleges, commentaries and dictionaries?



#11 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:21 AM

 

Which One? The AOG? The SBC? The BBC? the Catholics? the mormons? We identify further in the name to show the difference. We may hate denominations, but they DO help to identify WHAT we are. Not necessarily a right/wrong issue, but a necessity today.

Good point uke you are on the right track, but I think your conclusion is wrong.  Because most of what we add to God's words are not of God but men.  should we allow men to help us define who and what we are?  or Should we filter it all through solid Bible first and let God define what we are?



#12 AVBibleBeliever

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:24 AM

Not true.  

Happy we cannot know anyones heart this is for sure.  the Bible does speak of knowing them by their fruit.  I and you have seen people in the fellowships that do not have changed lives and many of them give more than a Tithe.  The unsaved in the fellowships give more money than the saved.  I got that statement from the Operation World Stats of 2001.  hence the conclusion is they are replacing faith with works for salvation.



#13 Standing Firm In Christ

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:25 AM

George Anderson???  The Ruckmanite?

Interesting that you are quoting a Ruckmanite.

I thought you said months ago you weren't a Ruckmanite?

You continuously reveal the fact that you are.



#14 HappyChristian

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:38 AM

Happy we cannot know anyones heart this is for sure.  the Bible does speak of knowing them by their fruit.  I and you have seen people in the fellowships that do not have changed lives and many of them give more than a Tithe.  The unsaved in the fellowships give more money than the saved.  I got that statement from the Operation World Stats of 2001.  hence the conclusion is they are replacing faith with works for salvation.

Your first statement here is accurate. Problem is, by that statement, you negate the statement that referring to a church "subtly affirming that membership in a local "church" equals salvation"  it also puts credence to works over faith."  And that is why I said your statement was not true.

 

Some people replace works for salvation, but simply referring to a place as a church does not affirm, in any way, that membership is equal to salvation nor does it put credence of works over faith.  That is a very broad-brush statement and it just isn't accurate - no matter who comes to that conclusion.  

 

There may be lost folk who attend our church (and, yes, I did use that word), but if so, they are in the minority, and  definitely do not give more $ or time or anything than those who are members. And, if they attend often, they hear the truths about salvation on a consistent basis - no way that anyone could assume that our usage of the word church in our name implies works.  

 

While I admit the same would not be true of other places, we cannot broadbrush and say it is the general order of things.



#15 Standing Firm In Christ

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:55 AM

 I sincerely believe we can know a persons' heart.  That which is in the persons' heart eventually manifests itself sooner or later.

If we can't know what is in a persons' heart, then why would the Apostle Peter speak of men of "like precious faith"?  Why would the Apostle Paul call anyone saints and faithful? 

Why?  Because what was in their hearts manifested on the outside.  Their actions and words revealed they were indeed "saints and faithful Brethren".

We can know whether one is saved or not, just as the Apostles also knew.



#16 HappyChristian

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:03 AM

Eventually being the key word...because there are people who claim that they are saved and live like they are who aren't. But eventually...even if that eventually is in Heaven.



#17 Standing Firm In Christ

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:20 AM

I don't believe the "eventually" will wait until one is in Heaven. 

Why would we be admonished to know them that labour among us?

Why the admonishment not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers?

I believe we can know who is and who is not a Believer, by their fruits.



#18 John81

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:28 AM

Perhaps if one is spending a great deal of time with a person it can be determined whether they are truly exhibiting evidence of salvation or not, but when encountering people only casually or even less, it may not be possible to know, at least not for an extended period of time.

 

I know plenty of folks I believe are saved that if one had looked at them at various points of their Christian life they might not have thought they were saved.

 

At the same time I know plenty of "good Christians" who appear to be evidencing the good fruit yet they have no biblical testimony of salvation.

 

Those we are closest to we should be able to tell where their heart is. We should be much closer to our fellow, local brothers/sisters in Christ but that's typically not the case, at least in America. Many of us only see fellow church members once or twice a week and very little, if any, actual contact with them. We can't know one another under such circumstance.



#19 HappyChristian

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:29 AM

Well, we'll see - eventually.  :biggrin:



#20 Bro K

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:29 PM

The local church is primary a place where Christians can meet together to be taught the Word of God.

I can WORSHIP God anytime and anyplace.

I can FELLOWSHIP with God and fellow believers anytime and anyplace.

 

"I worship God up at the Church house the same as I worship Him down at my house.

I worship God down at my house the same as I worship Him up at the Church house."






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