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Jesus built his Church

Before his crucifixion Jesus declared to build his Church.

Matthew 16:18…and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 

And Jesus did start to build the Church after his resurrection and ascension to heaven from where he sent the Holy Spirit to empower those who will become part of the Church.

Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The first to be so empowered with the Holy Spirit were Jews.

Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven…

:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

:47…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The Church Jesus built is not some structure made of wood or stone or metal. It is not a physical building into which anybody can just enter.  The Church is the Body of Christ composed of members, those who have been gifted with the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

The head of this body, the Church, is Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:23Christ is head of the church…

“Churches” of God

While the Church of God refers to the one Body of Christ composed of many members, a group of members located in certain places is also referred to as a church. Hence, there is a church of God in Corinth, another one in Galatia, another in Thyatira, etc.

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth…

These groups are referred to collectively as “churches of God”.

1 Corinthians 11:16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Always, “church” or “churches” refer to people and not to buildings.

Church membership opened to the Gentiles

Membership in the Church of God is by God’s calling and not by a person’s application to become a member of it. 

Unless God draws a person to Christ, that person cannot go to Christ.

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…

It is not that God is partial to some. Everyone will be called to undergo the process of continuing his creation. It is just not at the same time. Some will be chosen in this age while the rest in the ages to come.  Death in the meantime is not a problem since resurrection is assured by Christ’s own conquest of death by his own rising back to life (Romans 5:10).

While collectively a person’s election, salvation and the doing of his part in the Godly image creation process is a great favor and privilege, it is by no means a walk in the park. It is a life of struggle to swim against the tide so to speak. It is a life of overcoming the pulls of this world. 

For this reason many of the Jews did not positively respond to God’s call by exercising their freewill to say no.  So God opened salvation to and called into his Church the Gentiles.

Romans 11:11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.

Acts 11:1 Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God…

:18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Not all who are associated with the Church are in the Church

When God forms a group of his called out ones, Satan does his part by putting people who are still under his spell of deception to mingle with them.

The parable of the wheat and tares illustrates this point.

Matthew 13:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

As the wheat and tares are difficult to distinguish one from the other, so do the real Christians from those who are in name only.  Hence, the “churches of God” have persons who are in the church and those who are only with the church.  To avoid erroneously putting out those who are in the Church, the elders are not to put anyone out unless a person’s actuation is so obvious to reveal his true identity of being an outsider (1 Corinthians 5). The sifting out will be made at Christ’s return.  

Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 
37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Numbers dominate in the churches

The bible records of instances where the “tares” could not stand the “wheat”.  And they left the church.  But their leaving the church is a welcome development.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

At other instances, the “tares” dominate and expel the “wheat” from the church. Even John experienced being not received in one church he visited.

3 John 1:9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

And churches dominated by “tares” exist and even “flourish” to this day. 

The “tares” dominated churches claim to preach and do wonders in Jesus’ name

Regardless of the proliferation of churches bearing the name of God or Christ or whatever, or teaching doctrines purportedly from the bible and performing miracles in Jesus’ name, their true color is not hidden from Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Jesus warns one to be wary of these “false prophets” and to know them by their works (“fruits”).

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

The twin attributes of the Church Jesus built

While the pretender churches practice lawlessness (Matthew 7:23), the members composing the one body of Christ “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

And the “testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy”.

Revelation 19:10…“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

So where is the Church Jesus built?

Though composed of many members, Jesus built only one Church which has presence practically in “all nations”. 

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

The members composing this one body of Christ are:

  1. scattered throughout the world.

Many have since died who, together with the living, will rise to meet the returning Christ in the air.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Once they are airborne, the angels will gather them from the four winds, from one end of heaven (sky) to the other”.

Matthew 24:30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

And they will land with Jesus Christ in the Mount of Olives to begin the government of God on the whole earth.

Zechariah 14:4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east.

1 Thessalonians 4:17…And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

2. in places from where the gospel of the kingdom is preached throughout the world as a witness unto all nations.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations…

3. in various places feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the sick and those in prison. 

Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory…34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

4. in places where they practice the pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father.

James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

5. in places where new and still immature converts are patiently taught and nurtured.  

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able…

Identifying traits of the individual members of the body of Christ

While the members composing the Church of God form only one body of Christ, they are widely distributed in different groups, where wheat and tares can co-exist, in practically all nations.  The identifying sign of the individual member is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in him.  Without this ingredient in a person, he is not a Christian. Not his.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

As the Christian submits to the lead of the Holy Spirit, he bears the fruit of love.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love…

It is wise to stop reading the verse up to the word “love” and notice the singular “is” preceding it.

This leads to understanding that the subsequently enumerated good traits are just but the manifestations of “love”.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

A mature Christian can easily be identified through the manifestation of any or all the traits springing out from love. Like light, it cannot be hid.

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

And like salt, a Christian adds the needed flavor to a gathering.

Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth…

The members of the body of Christ keep the commandments

These are not the 10 commandments which were given, generally, to a people not equipped with the Holy Spirit. The commandments the Church of God keeps are more difficult, or shall we say, challenging to obey. 

Among these commandments are those which Christ emphasizes, in comparison to those in the 10 commandments and other laws given to the children of Israel, “But I say to you”. 

Matthew 5: 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

The members of the body of Christ struggle to:

1. not show off their charitable deeds

Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

2. pray unnoticed   

Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

3. be forgiving 

Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

4. fast in secret

Matthew 6:16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

5. spend their resources on matters that further their Christian life   

Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

6. combat worry

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

“Where is the Church Jesus built” now in terms of spiritual maturity?

In the face of trials and tests of faith, the spirit indwelt persons struggle to emulate Christ in handling adversities. 

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

They study the Word of God to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

They learn from the attitudes of the seven churches and see for themselves where they stand and listen to Christ’s instruction on how to make up on the deficiencies. 

1. the Ephesian attitude is losing the first love

Revelation 2:2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 

The corrective instruction: 

Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…

2. the Smyrna attitude is that of being persecuted 

Revelation 2:9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 

The corrective instruction:

Revelation 2:10…Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 

3. the Pergamos attitude is that of holding on to the abhorred doctrines and committing forbidden acts.

Revelation 2:13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 

The corrective instruction:

Revelation 2:16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. 

4. the Thyatira attitude is allowing foreign doctrine to be taught within 

Revelation 2:19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 

The corrective instruction:

Revelation 2:24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 

5. the Sardis attitude is likened to that of being dead

Revelation 3:1…“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 

The corrective instruction:

Revelation 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 

6. the lukewarm attitude of Laodiceans 

Revelation 3:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 

The corrective instruction:

Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 

7. the ideal attitude is that of the Philadelphians

Revelation 3:8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

The promise of protection from the coming great tribulation:

Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 

The Church members are admonished to periodically examine and test themselves as to whether or not they are still in the faith.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

If you are that member of the one body of Christ, it is best to hear Jesus’ admonition to the seven churches.

Revelation 3:13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

The question “Where is the Church Jesus Built” will always be an unanswered question, if ever asked, by those of this world

For one to know where the Church is requires first knowing who Jesus is. But the world in general did not know him when he manifested as a human.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

By not knowing Christ, the world does not know God. But those in Christ’s body know God by knowing Christ.

John 17:25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.

By not knowing God, the world does not know those who compose the body of Christ, the Church.

1 John 3:1…Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Eventually, every one will be drawn by God to Jesus Christ, each to his own order or set schedule. Some in this age, the rest, in the age that follows the age to come.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

Unless a person is called to be saved and the Godly image creation process is continued in him in this age, he will have no interest in the Church and would not even ask the question, “Where is the Church Jesus Built?”

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FORUM

genetophile: Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

“Churches” of God

While the Church of God refers the one Body of Christ composed of many members, a group of members located in certain places is also referred to as a church. Hence, there is a church of God in Corinth, another one in Galatia, another in Thyatira, etc.

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth…

These groups are referred to collectively as “churches of God”.

1 Corinthians 11:16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Always, “church” or “churches” refer to people and not to buildings.

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Correct bro. Correct.

Doming: I agree with you Mr. almeda.

EMA: I’m glad to know we agree up to this point.

don robert: Hmnnnnn, bagong pala isipan ito, Mang Epi? I will re-read and discern your post and see if I have some comments. I am not sure, but Mang Adme (Admiral to some) had also discussed this or referred to it by way of explanation, before.

EMA:  Comments are welcome don.  

It is by subjecting a bible student’s understanding of a bible teaching to the tests of another’s relevant and probing views where he and the other can also grow in knowledge. 

Proverbs 27:17…iron sharpens iron.

die hard!!!: Yes, I agree with you Bro.

EMA: Welcome to PRMO bro. 

PacStorm: Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Always, “church” or “churches” refer to people and not to buildings.

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Matanong ko lang.

If the church refers to the people anyway and not to the building where they practice their religion, why do priests/pastors and the churchgoers themselves spend so much of their time and money beautifying their houses of worship? 

Wouldn’t the money raised from all these donations and fundraising activities be better spent helping their less fortunate brethren? That way, they will be improving their souls rather than their surroundings. 

Imo, all we need for a house of worship is a sturdy foundation and a good roof over our heads, di ba? Anything more than that is plain vanity. Check out the Vatican, for example. They can do without a lot of their fancy gold accoutrements  

I’ll stop na before I get excommunicated 

EMA: The bible being the basis, it is no longer “if” but that “the church refers to the people” as a whole who have been given the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). 

Again the bible being the basis, “helping their less fortunate brethren” is “practice” of “religion”.

James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Reasonable outlays for a place to regularly meet and fellowship are to be determined in relation to the more important outlays which directly impact on the practice of religion as specified in James 1:27 and the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom of God as a witness to all nations.

aleks3: Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Identifying traits of the individual member of the body of Christ

While the members composing the Church of God form only one body of Christ, they are widely distributed in different groups, where wheat and tares can co-exist, in practically all nations. The identifying sign of the individual member is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in him. Without this ingredient in a person, he is not a Christian. Not his.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

As the Christian submits to the lead of the Holy Spirit, he bears the fruit of love.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love…

It is wise to stop reading the verse up to the word “love” and notice the singular “is” preceding it.

This leads to understanding that the subsequently enumerated good traits are just but the manifestations of “love”.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

A mature Christian can easily be identified through the manifestation of any or all the traits springing out from love. Like light, it cannot be hid.

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

And like salt, a Christian adds the needed flavor to a gathering.

Matthew 5: 13 “You are the salt of the earth…

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I agree.

dukotboy: very enlightening thread, salamat po!

EMA: You’re all welcome. 

aljas: Kadyot lang Eps, nililibog mo lang ang mga tao sa definition mo.people who worship inside the church are congregant. Church is the building where congregate worships.  

EMA:  “Truth is stranger than fiction”.  

But I am not the one making the confusion. It is the one who taught the wrong concept of “church”. I’m pointing out what the bible refers to when it mentions “church” or body of Christ – people.

Those whose idea where “church” refers to a building and who are not familiar with the bible meaning of it would surely get confused. 

The Church of God is likened to a person’s body composed of many spirit indwelt members.

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 

This body of Christ is the church.

Colossians 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

Like the human body, it has a head. The head of the church is not any other man. The head is Christ. Even if Christ now is in heaven, he remains as the Church’s head.

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

When the bible talks about church, it refers to people whose head is Jesus Christ.

Of course, anyone can have his own definition of church and have a human head. But I adhere to what the bible says.

aljas: Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

But I am not the one making the confusion. It is the one who taught the wrong concept of “church”. I’m pointing out what the bible refers to when it mentions “church” or body of Christ – people. Those whose idea where “church” refers to a building and who are not familiar with the bible meaning of it would surely get confused.

———————————–

that’s the downside of the invisible business. People can always make up their own imagination but not what they see.no wonder why believers can’t even agree to each other.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

The Church of God is likened to a person’s body composed of many spirit indwelt members. 

———————————–

then why bother build a church. that money could have been well spent on some charitable works.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

———————————–

…and yet as I said before, you all bible believers can’t agree that’s why there’s so many religion all over the world.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

This body of Christ is the church.

———————————–

So I guess this flashy buildings are all to attract clients. I get it.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Colossians 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

———————————–

nowadays,it’s the other way around. the church members are catering the comforts of the church leaders. 

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Like the human body, it has a head. The head of the church is not any other man. The head is Christ. Even if Christ now is in heaven, he remains as the Church’s head.

———————————–

that’s odd. CEO taking indefinite leave?

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

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this won’t sit well anymore among women’s rights group. 

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

When the bible talks about church, it refers to people whose head is Jesus Christ.

———————————–

I guess that’s how it was when there’s no funding yet. ” Money changes everything”-Cindy Lauper
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azy1F083ubU

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Of course, anyone can have his own definition of church and have a human head. But I adhere to what the bible says.

———————————–

of course. when it’s invisible, anything to say about it is possible.

EMA: aljas wrote:

that’s the downside of the invisible business. People can always make up their own imagination but not what they see.no wonder why believers can’t even agree to each other.

———————————–

Not all of those who say they believe the bible believe the bible. There are also others who received teachings supposedly from the bible but didn’t bother to verify whether what they were told were so.

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aljas wrote:

then why bother build a church. that money could have been well spent on some charitable works.

———————————–

We’re not talking of the same thing.

———————————–

aljas wrote:

…and yet as I said before, you all bible believers can’t agree that’s why there’s so many religion all over the world.

———————————–

Keep yourself from adding to the number.

———————————–

aljas wrote:

So I guess this flashy buildings are all to attract clients. I get it.

———————————–

Keep on guessing. You’re still too way off.

———————————–

aljas wrote:

nowadays,it’s the other way around. the church members are catering the comforts of the church leaders. 

———————————–

You have a basis in your observation with the “churches” you have in your mind.

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aljas wrote:

that’s odd. CEO taking indefinite leave?

———————————–

The things of the spirit are purposely hidden from you aljs. Spare your effort in trying to look for it.

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aljas wrote:

this won’t sit well anymore among women’s rights group. 

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The truly bible believing husband and wife adhere to this home government set up. The husband who finds this set up strange has a wife who calls the shots.

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aljas wrote:

I guess that’s how it was when there’s no funding yet. ” Money changes everything”-Cindy Lauper
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azy1F083ubU

———————————–

Those who don’t know guess.

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aljas wrote:

of course. when it’s invisible, anything to say about it is possible.

———————————–

You are at liberty as well to have a say.

aljas: Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

The Church of God is likened to a person’s body composed of many spirit indwelt members. 

———————————–

then why bother build a church. that money could have been well spent on some charitable works.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

We’re not talking of the same thing.

———————————–

then what is it? you said “the church of God is likened to a person’s body composed of many spirit indwelt members”, so why bother build a beilding?

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Keep yourself from adding to the number. 

———————————–

I’m not Eps. I’m just saying.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

This body of Christ is the church.

———————————–

So I guess this flashy buildings are all to attract clients. I get it.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Keep on guessing. You’re still too way off.

———————————–

so what’s the purpose of the flashy building?

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Colossians 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

———————————–

nowadays,it’s the other way around. the church members are catering the comforts of the church leaders. 

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

You have a basis in your observation with the “churches” you have in your mind.

———————————–

I’m telling the way I see it Eps.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

The things of the spirit are purposely hidden from you aljs. Spare your effort in trying to look for it.

———————————–

So you say Eps. It’s odd the leader is nowhere to be found and members are made to fill the void.

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

The truly bible believing husband and wife adhere to this home government set up. The husband who finds this set up strange has a wife who calls the shots.

———————————–

you’re mindset is as ancient as your book. marriage should be a partnership, not who should be or shouldn’t be. both should discuss the shots together. afterall, whatever that shot may be, it’s affects the entire family. many years ago, women are held down only to some household chores. we wouldn’t have realized their potential as a significant contributor to the society if we’re all stuck to the Bible. I just wonder Eps, when you’re out playing tennis, what’s your wife doing?

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Those who don’t know guess.

I can only guess for something that happened over 2 thousand years ago especially when most stories involves some magical momnets 

———————————–

Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

You are at liberty as well to have a say.

———————————–

So you are Eps. 

EMA: aljas wrote:

then why bother build a church. that money could have been well spent on some charitable works.

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A valid question for those who have built to answer.

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aljas wrote:

then what is it? you said “the church of God is likened to a person’s body composed of many spirit indwelt members”, so why bother build a beilding?

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By Church, I refer to people while what you have in mind is a building.

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aljas wrote:

…and yet as I said before, you all bible believers can’t agree that’s why there’s so many religion all over the world.

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Not all who say they are bible believers are bible believers.

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aljas wrote:

I’m not Eps. I’m just saying.

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Good.

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aljas wrote:

So I guess this flashy buildings are all to attract clients. I get it.

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Still missing the point.

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aljas wrote:

so what’s the purpose of the flashy building?

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Ask those who build it.

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aljas wrote:

nowadays,it’s the other way around. the church members are catering the comforts of the church leaders. 

———————————–

The verse was quoted to show the bible meaning of “Christ’s body”.

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aljas wrote:

I’m telling the way I see it Eps.

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I repeat, the “churches” you have in your mind.

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aljas wrote:

So you say Eps. It’s odd the leader is nowhere to be found and members are made to fill the void.

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In my group no man fills in the position of head of the Church which is not vacant. 

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aljas wrote:

you’re mindset is as ancient as your book. marriage should be a partnership, not who should be or shouldn’t be. both should discuss the shots together. afterall, whatever that shot may be, it’s affects the entire family. many years ago, women are held down only to some household chores. we wouldn’t have realized their potential as a significant contributor to the society if we’re all stuck to the Bible. I just wonder Eps, when you’re out playing tennis, what’s your wife doing?

———————————–

My wife is my junior partner in our tennis doubles game. 

While the husband is head over the wife, he has a great responsibility to love his wife as his own body. And he is accountable to Jesus Christ. 

Ephesians 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 

By appointing the husband as head of the wife in mutual submission for the other’s welfare, disputes are settled. A dispute can never be settled if no one’s voice would prevail. Far from being “ancient”, the Philippine Family Code which became effective in 1988 echoes the leadership of the husband over the wife:

Art. 96. The administration and enjoyment of the community property shall belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement, the husband’s decision shall prevail… 

When the husband and wife are equal in authority at home, there will be a lot of deadlocks and family growth suffers. Boards of directors and trustees of corporations are odd in numbers to avoid and break ties.

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aljas wrote:

I can only guess for something that happened over 2 thousand years ago especially when most stories involves some magical momnets 

———————————–

Still not hitting the target. 

The bible is about the past, the present and the future. The future written in the bible is slowly but surely becoming the present and then the past as prophecy unfolds. Citizens and immigrants, like aljas, in the US are unaware of the past, oblivious of the whys of the present, and more so as to what lies ahead of the US. These are all in the bible. Believe it or not. I know it’s not.

joshua_20:  Who is or are the Foundation of the Church? Can anyone answer this. Thanks

EMA: The bible provides the answer – Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

genetophile: And “Church” here doesn’t refer to a building or a religious organization. It refers to the body of believers.

Hence, there could be “human founders” of a Christian group among businessmen, a parish in Cebu in late 1500’s, a worship group in a remote island in the South Pacific, etc.

EMA: You got it gene. 

joshua_20:  I agree with you Sir Almeda, However, there is more than this. The Bible said in Ephesians 2:20 “Built on the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets and that Christ Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone. The New testament Church are built on Apostolic/Prophetic Foundation. And this is the good thing, Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone. This is the original pattern that God wants us to build the Church in the right foundation. If not, the presence of God will not dwell.

EMA: We should already be settled on the founder or the one who built the Church, Jesus Christ.

The “foundation” in Ephesians 2 is in the sense when compared with the “foundation” on Moses. Ephesians 2 talks about Gentiles who were already called to be part of the Church to join Jews who were once grounded on the law of Moses. 

Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

The Grace Communion International (formerly WCG) has this comment:
http://wcg.org/lit/bible/eph/eph2.htm

“Consequently, you [gentiles] are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (v. 19). Through Christ, we are members of God’s family.

Paul then shifts to a different metaphor: “Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (v. 20). Moses is not our foundation. The apostles and prophets are—and Paul is probably speaking of New Testament prophets, as he does in Ephesians 3:5. But even more important than this foundation is the fact that “Christ Jesus himself [is] the chief cornerstone.” He is our primary point of reference.

“In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” (v. 21). Our unity is in Christ, and as we are growing in him, we are a place of acceptable worship.

“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (v. 22). As we are in Christ, through faith in Christ, through seeing ourselves as his people, we are growing closer to one another, and God is living in us by his Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is living in us, then God is living in us, for the Holy Spirit is God.

grean villacarlos: But this believers bro must have the unbroken line from the time of the Apostles up to the present day, right.? We can’t just claimed that we part of the church that was Christ founded because we believed in him. Everyone uses this phrase and yet have different belief. 

Before Christ ascended into heaven, his words to his apostles are: Matt.28: 17-20 And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Going therefore, teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

He never says, I will be with the person who read on this part of scripture and believed in me until the end of time. 

And Bro, please take note on this words: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. 

And according to John: But there are also many other things which Jesus did which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.
John 21: 25

I agree with your definition about the Church, but being a believer as part of the body of Christ does not denied the fact that Christ teaches everything to his apostles and from his apostles there must be successors. And it should be until the end of time as he promised to be with them until the end of time. Not just half way thru someone will pop up and claimed we are part of that body and we are the real one because we follow what the bible says.

EMA:  Jesus promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. The Church Jesus built continues and will continue to exist even up to Christ’s return.

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

The Church continues to exist as God calls people to become part of it replacing those who die in the meantime and more to carry on its work.

Notice also the past tense Jesus used when he spoke about what to be taught till the end – “I have commanded you”.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The teachings are complete. What is to be taught to the babes in Christ now should be what had already been taught by Christ and commanded to be taught. The teachings now should be the same as what Jesus taught and recorded in the bible. These should not clash.

What John refers to in John 21 that were not written were the “many other things that Jesus did” the lessons of which would merely corroborate to what are already written. 

John 21:25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

grean villacarlos: Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Jesus built his Church

Before his crucifixion Jesus declared to build his Church.

Matthew 16:18…and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

And Jesus did start to build the Church after his resurrection and ascension to heaven from where he sent the Holy Spirit to empower those who will become part of the Church.

Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The first to be so empowered with the Holy Spirit were Jews.

Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven… 
:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
:47…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The Church Jesus built is not some structure made of wood or stone or metal. It is not a physical building into which anybody can just enter. The Church is the Body of Christ composed of members, those persons who have been gifted with the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

The head of this body, the Church, is Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:23…Christ is head of the church…

Comments are welcome. 

———————————–

Interesting Thread Torni…  

According to some reference, most of today’s Christian Churches has its founder.
Iglesia ni Cristo – Felix Manalo

Seventh Day Adventist – Ellen Gold White

Jesus Christ of Later Day Saint – Joseph Smith 

Just to name the few… basically there are now more than 22,190 Christian Sects and Denominations including the Roman Catholic Church. 

The only Church that has no clear founder is the Roman Catholic Church. I stated no clear “FOUNDER” because I am a catholic and I don’t want to be bias. I will supported my statement with facts from World History and Encyclopedia. I know you won’t agree with me, but you are free to repute my claim. 

Please provide any standard reference that says the Catholic Church was founded by so and so… 

In the case of the Catholic Church, below are the references taken from the History & Standard References: 

The New Book of Knowledge, Page 287 “Roman Catholic Church” –the history of the Roman Catholic Church begun in an upper room in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago. About 120 persons were gathered there. They were followers of Jesus Christ, and they were awaiting the coming of Holy Spirit he had promised to send them from heaven. The day on which the Holy Spirit came down is considered the birthday of the Church. The Church may be described as the society that Jesus founded, which is vitalized by the Spirit of God and organized to a structure which he establish. The history of Roman Catholic Church traces the destinies of that society from its beginning until now.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts <Edition 2009> Page 688 “Roman Catholics” –traditionally founded by Jesus who named St. Peter the 1st vicar, developed in early Christian proselytizing, especially after the conversion of imperial Rome in the 4th century.

The Old World and America, Page 100 “More than 1900 years ago, Jesus Christ Son of God, came upon earth to save mankind. After His atoning death on the cross He rose glorious and immortal. Before leaving this world to go to the Father, Our Lord founded the Catholic Church and gave to that Church the command to teach all nations.”

The History of Our World, Page 147, “Jesus, the founder of the Christian religion….”

The New Webster’s Dictionary of English Language <International Edition> Page 155. Catholic = of the original Christian Church before the schism between East and West // of the Roman or Western Church after this schism and before the reformation.

International Encyclopedia, Volume 20, Page 520 “Roman Catholic Church” There are two equally valid definition of the Catholic Church, comparable to the twofold nature of Jesus Christ, its founder, who was both human and divine.

Young Students Encyclopedia, Volume 17, Page 261 “Roman Catholicism” the largest of the Christian denomination is the Roman Catholic Church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD,…”

Compton’s Encyclopedia & Fact-Index, Volume 20, Page 2024 “Roman Catholic Church” For the first thousand years after the death of Jesus Christ, all Christians were members of one religion – Christianity. There were no separate sects, or branches, of Christianity as there are today. The word “catholic” means “universal,” and for those first thousand years, all Christians were members of the Catholic Church.

Microsoft Student 2009 DVD (an Ebook)

Traditionally, the church is said to have four marks, or notes: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Grollier Encyclopedia, Volume V, page 106 “Catholic Church (Gr. Katholikos, universal, general). Term generally applied to the Divine society founded by Jesus Christ, and endowed by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost.

EMA: grean villacarlos wrote:

Interesting Thread Torni…  

According to some reference, most of today’s Christian Churches has its founder.

Iglesia ni Cristo – Felix Manalo

Seventh Day Adventist – Ellen Gold White

Jesus Christ of Later Day Saint – Joseph Smith 

Just to name the few… basically there are now more than 22,190 Christian Sects and Denominations including the Roman Catholic Church.

———————————–

People claim or are accorded the honor as “founder” of certain groups as you have enumerated. Maybe they are right when the one “founded” is the particular group referred to.

The point of this thread is about the Church Jesus Built which was founded by Jesus Christ himself.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

If you reread the above quoted discussion, the Church does not refer to any one group but to people who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God and are so knit together as one body by such spirit. These people are spread out and could be members of the various groups which call themselves Christians. Not all persons who are identified in a particular Christian group are really Christians (parable of wheat and tares). 

Membership in a particular Christian group does not make one a Christian. A Christian is one who has the spirit of God. Unless a person has the spirit of God, he is not Christ’s. “Not his”.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

There may be many groups but there is only one Church of God which Jesus built.

———————————–

grean villacarlos wrote:

The only Church that has no clear founder is the Roman Catholic Church. I stated no clear “FOUNDER” because I am a catholic and I don’t want to be bias. I will supported my statement with facts from World History and Encyclopedia. I know you won’t agree with me, but you are free to repute my claim. 

Please provide any standard reference that says the Catholic Church was founded by so and so… 

In the case of the Catholic Church, below are the references taken from the History & Standard References: 

The New Book of Knowledge, Page 287 “Roman Catholic Church” –the history of the Roman Catholic Church begun in an upper room in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago. About 120 persons were gathered there. They were followers of Jesus Christ, and they were awaiting the coming of Holy Spirit he had promised to send them from heaven. The day on which the Holy Spirit came down is considered the birthday of the Church. The Church may be described as the society that Jesus founded, which is vitalized by the Spirit of God and organized to a structure which he establish. The history of Roman Catholic Church traces the destinies of that society from its beginning until now.
The World Almanac and Book of Facts <Edition 2009> Page 688 “Roman Catholics” –traditionally founded by Jesus who named St. Peter the 1st vicar, developed in early Christian proselytizing, especially after the conversion of imperial Rome in the 4th century.

The Old World and America, Page 100 “More than 1900 years ago, Jesus Christ Son of God, came upon earth to save mankind. After His atoning death on the cross He rose glorious and immortal. Before leaving this world to go to the Father, Our Lord founded the Catholic Church and gave to that Church the command to teach all nations.”

The History of Our World, Page 147, “Jesus, the founder of the Christian religion….”

The New Webster’s Dictionary of English Language <International Edition> Page 155. Catholic = of the original Christian Church before the schism between East and West // of the Roman or Western Church after this schism and before the reformation.

International Encyclopedia, Volume 20, Page 520 “Roman Catholic Church” There are two equally valid definition of the Catholic Church, comparable to the twofold nature of Jesus Christ, its founder, who was both human and divine.

Young Students Encyclopedia, Volume 17, Page 261 “Roman Catholicism” the largest of the Christian denomination is the Roman Catholic Church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD,…”

Compton’s Encyclopedia & Fact-Index, Volume 20, Page 2024 “Roman Catholic Church” For the first thousand years after the death of Jesus Christ, all Christians were members of one religion – Christianity. There were no separate sects, or branches, of Christianity as there are today. The word “catholic” means “universal,” and for those first thousand years, all Christians were members of the Catholic Church.

Microsoft Student 2009 DVD (an Ebook)

Traditionally, the church is said to have four marks, or notes: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Grollier Encyclopedia, Volume V, page 106 “Catholic Church (Gr. Katholikos, universal, general). Term generally applied to the Divine society founded by Jesus Christ, and endowed by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost.

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Many Christian groups claim to be the continuation of the group who were first gifted with the Holy Spirit of God at Pentecost described in Acts 2. That one can trace a group’s origin to the first Christians is immaterial. What matters is that the persons who so claim has the Holy Spirit of God. 

There is one instance recorded in the bible where a certain group was taken over by persons who have no spirit of God (“tares”) that even the apostle John was not admitted into the fellowship. The leader of that group even dismissed the real Christians.

3 John 1:9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

That group of Diotrephes might have continued to this day but hardly part of the Church of God.

To identify which group is these latter days Church, the bible says that they “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

And “the testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy”.

Revelation 19:10…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

As the bible states, the real and the pretender Christians are known by their practices whether they conform with the bible or not.

Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits.

grean villacarlos: Torni, I just did not copied your post with too many quotes which does not support your own thread. No argue with all of those quotes. I’m with you and I agree…  

Let’s make things clear and simple. The argument of this thread is to surface which amongst of those who claimed the Church of Christ built 2000 years ago. Since there are thousand of Christian churches now a days spreading like mushrooms with only one claimed. Truth, Salvation and Eternal Happiness. Which is every Christians goal. Am I right.? 

To be honest with you torni, after 5 pages of this thread, you did not provide any concrete arguments yet to clarify – where the REAL Church that Jesus Built. As I have said those passages you had quoted doesn’t help this thread. 

Okay granting with out admitting, the Church you’ve mentioned doesn’t represent the institution, the buildings etc.. because the body of Christ represent the group of Christ believers. But this argument flaws big time. There are thousand of believers who believed in Christ and considered them self as part of Christ body with too many conflict and misunderstanding. We all know the Apostles has misunderstanding but nothing to do with regards to faith and morals. 

In my first post on this thread, I already stated the history of the Catholic based from different known references. And even if you won’t agree the foundation of the Catholic Church, which I already assumed. Now, allow me to ask you, according to what you believed, do you think the church of Jesus Christ that was built 2000 years ago are still around us, and visible.? If the answer is YES, would you mind to explain specifically. Where are they, who are they, are they baptizing the whole nation as what Jesus commanded them to do. Because Jesus promised that he will be with them until the end of time. 

I just wanna know if they started during the time of the apostles until this time. 

EMA: grean villacarlos wrote:

Torni, I just did not copied your post with too many quotes which does not support your own thread. No argue with all of those quotes. I’m with you and I agree… 

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Unless my posts are answers to questions on unrelated matters, I don’t think my posts don’t support the thread topic.

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grean villacarlos wrote:

Let’s make things clear and simple. The argument of this thread is to surface which amongst of those who claimed the Church of Christ built 2000 years ago. Since there are thousand of Christian churches now a days spreading like mushrooms with only one claimed. Truth, Salvation and Eternal Happiness. Which is every Christians goal. Am I right.?

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“Every Christian’s goal” should be to be conformed to the image and likeness of God. The real gospel or “good news” is that God is creating man in his image according to his likeness.

The main point of this thread is the identification of the Church which Jesus built. That the Church refers to the spirit indwelt people wherever they are dispersed in all nations and not any building.

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grean villacarlos wrote:

To be honest with you torni, after 5 pages of this thread, you did not provide any concrete arguments yet to clarify – where the REAL Church that Jesus Built. As I have said those passages you had quoted doesn’t help this thread.

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Thanks for being candid grean. I believe I have explained enough the main point.  

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grean villacarlos wrote:

Okay granting with out admitting, the Church you’ve mentioned doesn’t represent the institution, the buildings etc.. because the body of Christ represent the group of Christ believers. But this argument flaws big time. There are thousand of believers who believed in Christ and considered them self as part of Christ body with too many conflict and misunderstanding. We all know the Apostles has misunderstanding but nothing to do with regards to faith and morals.

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It is not the claim of persons that they are Christians which matters. It is the reality of the indwelling of God’s spirit in the persons which does. If 2 spirit indwelt persons disagree, it is more of on administrative matters as Saul and Barnabas did before. But in matters of doctrine, they agree.

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grean villacarlos wrote:

In my first post on this thread, I already stated the history of the Catholic based from different known references. And even if you won’t agree the foundation of the Catholic Church, which I already assumed. Now, allow me to ask you, according to what you believed, do you think the church of Jesus Christ that was built 2000 years ago are still around us, and visible.? If the answer is YES, would you mind to explain specifically. Where are they, who are they, are they baptizing the whole nation as what Jesus commanded them to do. Because Jesus promised that he will be with them until the end of time.

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Yes, the present day members of the Church continue to exist. They will even still be around when the great tribulation and persecution comes. They not only teach new converts, they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. In Revelation 12, “woman” refers to the COG.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

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grean villacarlos wrote:

I just wanna know if they started during the time of the apostles until this time. 

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They do. One branch of the COG in these latter days has its booklet, “God’s Church Through the Ages” which you can read online if you care to.
http://www.tomorrowsworld.org/cgi-bin/t … 1104363708

estongis: Epifanio M. Almeda wrote:

Jesus built his Church

Before his crucifixion Jesus declared to build his Church.

Matthew 16:18…and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

And Jesus did start to build the Church after his resurrection and ascension to heaven from where he sent the Holy Spirit to empower those who will become part of the Church.

Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The first to be so empowered with the Holy Spirit were Jews.

Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven… 
:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
:47…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The Church Jesus built is not some structure made of wood or stone or metal. It is not a physical building into which anybody can just enter. The Church is the Body of Christ composed of members, those persons who have been gifted with the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
The head of this body, the Church, is Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:23…Christ is head of the church…

Comments are welcome. 

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its in the phils.
the iglesia ni cristo?

EMA:  The identity of a person who is a part of the Church Jesus built which is the Church of God is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in that person. The Holy Spirit indwelt persons comprise the Church and they are spread out like salt throughout the earth and not confined in just one nation or humanly organized and incorporated organization as shown in the parable of wheat and tares already discussed earlier in this thread.

estongis: so you are saying with certainty that the Holy Spirit never dwelt with the manalos?

EMA: No. I’m not their judge or anybody else’s. I don’t even know them personally and I haven’t been associated with them.

Besides, it is difficult to judge whether or not a person is a “wheat” (has the Holy Spirit) or “tare” (seed of the enemy) when they associate unless a person’s deed is really obvious to be that of an unbeliever like the case of the man who had “his father’s wife” (1 Corinthians 5:1).

estongis: they claim to be the sugo, some kind of an angel of God and they deny the Godliness of Jesus Christ. that means, the manalos are greater than Jesus Christ.

EMA: To those who proclaim (preach) the name of Jesus Christ I welcome because those whom God have been planning to draw to Christ might hear and respond. 

When the person God intended to hear the call positively responds to what has reached his mind through hearing or reading, that person will eventually be led to the right teaching and not stick to the group he will eventually find to be false, if this were the case. So even if those who “preached” the name of Christ do not really belong to the spiritual body of Christ, the persons God purposed have heard the name of Christ which is the beginning of their conversion. (I’m not pointing to any particular incorporated “church”.)

As Paul says, “Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached”.

Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

estongis: good one 

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