The Apple Of God's Eye

February 13, 2010

Seven Proofs Of God's True Church, Part 1

Filed under: Church - God's — melchia @ 8:09 am

Jesus said, “I will build my church”! And He did build it! No one in the Christian world denies there is a true Church of which Jesus Christ is the Head somewhere on this earth right now! Many imagine that Church is to be found in the hearts and minds of multiple millions who may represent dozens of different “faiths.” Others claim it is one great organized and political body. Others may feel it is a tiny sect with heavy emphasis on charismatic practices. Many churches claim to be “number one,” meaning they claim to be the true Church! But can you prove which church is the true Church? This series of articles presents the seven major proofs which represent incontrovertible evidence of where God’s true Church, of which Jesus Christ is the literal living Head, is working on this earth today!

Jesus warned of a great deception to arise soon after His death and resurrection, but He also said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18), and promised He would be with that Church always — it would never die out! (Matt. 28:20.) It doesn’t seem to enter the minds of most of the people of this world today, as they gullibly pursue the religion of their youth, that there really could be only one true religion — and that all others are false.

Jesus warned: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ [saying that Jesus is the Christ — not that ‘they’ are Christ]; and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5).

The Church Exists!

Almost never do you hear any of the large, “respectable” Protestant bodies claiming to be the one, the only true Church, to the exclusion of all others. This, they know, would offend their “sister organizations” in the rest of American and British Protestantism. So, rather than make such a claim outwardly, or in any evangelistic sense — they may privately “believe” this to be true — but keep it quiet among themselves. In this way, they can all reason in their own minds that perhaps every “Christian,” regardless of his beliefs and practices, can somehow be a member of the “true Church.” But this reasoning is totally false! Realize that in your Bible are plain, impossible-to-misunderstand statements identifying the true Church of which Jesus Christ is the Head (Eph. 5:23; 4:15; 1:22-23; Col. 1:18; 2:19).

PROOF # 1 OF GOD’S TRUE CHURCH: GOD IS THE RULER

Almost no religious organization on this earth really believes that God is the absolute Ruler. Many sects and denominations of organized “churchianity” try to straddle the fence between belief in a Creator and belief in evolution. Others, while claiming to believe in God as the Creator, believe in Him more as a “First Cause,” or a vague, unreal ethereal “force” which may have had something or other to do with the creation of matter — but which did not actually bring life, as we know it today, into existence.

But God’s true Church knows Him to be the Creator. “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Gen. 17:1), God said to Abraham.

God revealed Himself as the Creator, and the Ruler of His creation, to Adam. God revealed Himself as the Ruler of all the universe, the great, divine One who interferes in the course of petty, human nations of ancient kings. The ancient nations of Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Syria and Phoenicia knew of the “God of the Hebrews” as a great Ruler who directly interfered in the affairs of human kingdoms, on behalf of His people.

When God expelled Adam from the Garden of Eden, God was in charge — He was the Ruler. God had to intervene in the course of the whole world at the time of the Flood — interrupting the course of humankind and the earth itself with the most truly gargantuan, awesome, monstrous, unimaginable and fantastic miracle — the great, worldwide Flood of the time of Noah.

God came down to this earth, shortly after the Flood, to interfere in the course of human affairs — scattering the people and confusing the tongues at the Tower of Babel. In spite of petty, human plans, of noble and lofty aspirations, of the grandiose plotting or the ferret-like chicanery of carnal man — God, who is the RULER, interfered!

God intervened in the personal life of Abraham — saved Joseph from death, and met Moses “face to face” in the wilderness.

He divided the Red Sea, led His people into the Promised Land — and revealed Himself to them as their Lord, their Master, their Boss — their Ruler!

Nebuchadnezzar Learned God Rules

Notice. “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever,” wrote Daniel, on the occasion of the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream being revealed to him, “for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: he revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him” (Dan. 2:20-22).

Later, Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar: “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days” (verse 28).

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the greatest nation of that time, had to learn that “the God of heaven hath given thee [Nebuchadnezzar] a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory” (verse 37). Later, when Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up in his pompous, human vanity, refused to acknowledge God, Daniel revealed to him that he would be driven from among men, to live like a beast, “to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Dan. 4:17).

Still later, Daniel repeated this tremendous revelation to Nebuchadnezzar, saying: “…And they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (verse 25).

The God of the Old Testament, who is the Jesus Christ of the New (Heb. 1; John 1; I Cor. 10:4; Col. 1:16-17), revealed Himself as the Ruler to humankind.

Amazing, isn’t it? Ancient “ignorant” Nebuchadnezzar — the man who was the king over the supposed “ancient” Babylonian Empire — knew far more about the true nature of God than most “learned” theologians of today. He knew God was the Ruler!

Most “Christians” Don’t Know God as Ruler

Many of the false churches of this world, even though proclaiming to believe in a God who is in at least some way “authoritative,” believe God has gone way off somewhere — either unable to intervene in their personal lives, or else totally disinterested and unconcerned with this present world, and people in it. The average churchgoing professor of modern “churchianity” sees God as a type of “divinized father-figure” into whose arms he may creep in times of duress and peril. He visualizes the “grandfather-like figure” painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, or a vague figment of his own imagination.

Multiple millions of professing Christians have heard, pronounced, sung, talked of, or even used in profanity the name “God.” And yet these same millions have never even known that God!

They have not known who He is, what He is, what He is doing — have not known His qualities, His attributes, His character, or His great plan. Professing Christians have not known His intent and purpose in their lives — His great plan and purpose in this earth and the universe — have not known of His unlimited power, and His ability to intervene in the course of human affairs.

They have not known how He appears — how He speaks — have not known His expressed will! They have not, in short, known God!

God Is Known to the Elect

It is only the members of the true Church of God who truly known God. Almighty God inspired Isaiah to describe those individuals who make in “their own images” a “god” according to the figment of their own imaginations.

Speaking of the devices of the carpenter, or the goldsmith, God says, “he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand” (Isa. 44:17-18).

God says man is a worm (Isa. 41:14), and says: “All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” (Isa. 40:17-18.)

Unless a person has truly been called (I Cor. 1:26) of God, has repented, and been begotten of Him — he has not known Him to be the Creator, the Designer, Author, Architect, Beginner, of the whole universe – the Ruler over all!

God Rules His Church

God has set His own government in His true Church. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-12).

Remember, Christ is the Head of the Church (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18), and it is He who ordains His true ministers, appointing them to the offices and responsibilities of His choosing.

God’s true Church will never follow the practice of the false churches of this world who “will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts [selfish preferences, favoritisms, and personal choices] shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4).

God says, through the pen of the apostle Paul: “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” (I Cor. 12:28).

The Purpose of Authority

The only use and purpose in authority is simply because there must be government, rule, order — even when it is not always “acceptable” to the majority. The reason God gives His true ministers authority — the reason God rules through His true ministers — is that He knew that rule, that authority would not always be agreed with!

The apostle Paul said: “For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed…. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves [think themselves to be of greater capacity and responsibility than they actually are]: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you” (II Cor. 10:8, 12, 13).

Notice it. The apostle Paul said he had authority given him directly of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ, for the express purpose of the upbuilding, the edification of the true Church of God! He called it a definite rule — position of government. Was it then Paul’s personal rule? Was it Paul, acting on his own, without real authority directly from Jesus Christ? Decidedly not! He said: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Christ lived in the apostle Paul! It was Christ ruling through the apostle Paul — not Paul doing something “on his own.”

There is no clearer proof, no more concrete demonstration of the fact of the rulership of God in and through His human servants in His Church than the letters of the apostle Paul to the young evangelist Timothy, and to Titus. These epistles are called the “Pastoral Epistles.” Had the Holy Spirit not inspired them to be written, the direct qualifications (I Tim. 3) for deacons and elders would not have been contained directly in the Bible. These letters, by the very fact of their existence, prove God rules in His true Church!

What if You Can’t “Find It in the Bible”?

Many decisions Christ’s ministers must make cannot be found directly quoted in the Bible. Did the apostle Paul ever order his congregations, or those serving directly under him, to do certain things, follow certain orders or admonitions, for which he had no direct scripture in the Old Testament?

Certainly! Read I Corinthians 7, where Paul plainly said he had no direct commandment from Christ, but that he, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gave his judgment in the matter. Remember, the “letters” of the apostle Paul were regarded by lay members of that time as just exactly that. They were “letters” — personal, friendly, warm, oftentimes filled with rebukes and admonitions — but letters, nevertheless.

We now know that they were inspired of the Holy Spirit. However, many of the lay members of that time did not look upon these letters as being directly inspired of God’s Holy Spirit! If they had, they would have obeyed more implicitly. The apostle Paul had written many additional letters which are not a part of the Bible. His first letter to the church at Thessalonica was totally misunderstood by many. Had they stood in fear, trembling in awe of this letter as if it were directly from the Holy Spirit of God — they would have feared to misinterpret, or misunderstand!

God Rules Through Human Instruments

But notice how Paul encouraged the members in his care to obey the rule of Almighty God — through His human instruments: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12).

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (I Thess. 5:12-13).

The apostle Paul referred back to verbal commands he had given to the church at Thessalonica, and the Holy Spirit inspired him to write: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (II Thess. 3:10).

He continued: “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread…. And if any man obey not our word [notice this was a direct command from Paul, in the form of a personal letter, directed to one specific church] by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed” (verses 11-14).

There are many other scriptures proving beyond a shadow of a doubt the rule, authority and the government which Almighty God Himself, and Jesus Christ, who is the direct Head of the Church, exercise through their chosen and called human instruments. It is the only way for preserving unity, for keeping God’s true Church together, for keeping it protected from the wolves without, or from the roots of bitterness which creep up from within.

But, further, and even beyond recognizing the rule and the authority of God in the Church — each member thoroughly realizes and understands that God rules in his own private heart, his own private moments, his very thoughts, impulses, and his whole being.

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:20). God says: “Ye are bought with a price” (I Cor. 7:23) — that you are owned, body, soul and spirit. That is, the Christian is owned in his fleshly body, his very life (soul), and spirit (attitude, will, volition). He has truly repented and given himself to God as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2), is literally owned — just like a slave of God. He will be saying, just as Jesus Christ did, “Nevertheless not my will be done, but thine.” You will be saying, “Correct me” just as Jeremiah did. He will be saying, “Search me and try me, O God,” as David did.

Instead of the insipid, effeminate, tremulous, spineless “way of the world” of “receiving” Christ, appropriating Christ, taking Christ to be “yours” — the true Christian has accepted the fact that Christ died for his sins — and along with it, the fact that Christ’s death paid for the repentant sinner in full. The true Christian knows Christ purchased him. He doesn’t “take Christ” to be his very own — as a private, selfish, inward something which is not true Christianity — but he gives himself — utterly, to Christ. He is totally bought, purchased, completely conquered, and absolutely given to Christ as His literal slave.

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