THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH OF CHIRST

THE INTRODUCTION

Our Lord said, "Upon this rock (the fact that I am Jesus Christ) I will build my church (the New Testament Church of Christ); and the gates of hell (the powers of Satan) shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Now, our lives are precious because Christ built the New Testament Church so that we could walk in the pathway of righteousness. Therefore, we should learn more about the Divine Nature of the New Testament Church because it is easy to be deceived by religious error. Remember: All Scriptures which are used in this article will be taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

THE DIVINE REIGN OF THE CHURCH

1. This is a Divine Prophecy of the Church. Isaiah said,, "It shall come to past in the last days (the Christian Dispensation), that the mountain of the Lord's house (the church) shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:2-3).

2. This is the Preparatory Work of the Church. Matthew said, "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (the fact that I am Jesus Christ) I will build my church (the New Testament Church); and the gates of hell (the power of Satan) shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:13-18),

3. This is the Establishment of the Church. Luke said., "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that the Lord God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in this heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhorts, sayings, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:l-47),

4. This is the Existence of the Church. The Hebrew writer said, "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom (the Kingdom and the Church have related concepts and values in the scriptures) which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:28-29),

5. This is the Final Destination of the Church. Paul said, "Then cometh the end (the end of this world), when He (Christ) shall have delivered up the kingdom (the Church) to God, even the Father; when He (Christ) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power (of Satan). For He (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:24-26),

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ is Divine in its nature because the gospel plan of salvation originated in the mind of God. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that you could become divine (godly) in being a New Testament Christian.

THE SPIRITUAL NATURE OF THE CHURCH

1. The Church is called a Spiritual House because God has a spiritual family upon the earth. Paul said, "These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15-16).

2. The Church is called a Spiritual Temple because we are the temple of God upon the earth. Paul said, "Now, therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are build upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:19-22).

3. The Church is called a Spiritual Assembly because we are the assembly of God upon the earth. The Bible says, "Ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect" (Hebrews 12:22-23).

4. The Church is called a Spiritual Body because we are the body of Christ upon the earth. Paul said, "For by one Spirit (the Holy Spirit) are we all baptized into one body (the church) whether we be Jews of Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (Colossians 12:13).

5. The Church is called a Spiritual Kingdom because we are reigning (ruling) over the powers of Satan upon the earth. Jesus said in reference to the nature of His kingdom, "My kingdom (My church) is not of this world" (John 18:36).

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ is Spiritual in its nature because this Kingdom is not of the world. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that you could become a spiritual person in being a New Testament Christian.

CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

1. Christ is the Builder of the Church because He built the Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, "Upon this rock (the fact that I am Jesus Christ) I will build my church (the true Church of Christ) and the gates of hell (the powers of Satan) shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

2. Christ is the Purchaser of the Church because He purchased the Church with His own blood. Paul said, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25).

3. Christ is the Foundation of the Church because we are built upon the foundation of Christ. Paul said, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11).

4. Christ is the Head of the Church because He rules the Church. The Bible says, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head (the ruler) of the church; And he is the saviour of the body (the church). Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything" (Ephesians 5:22-24).

5. Christ is the Saviour of the Church because He will save the Church eternally in heaven. Paul said, "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He (Christ) is the saviour of the body: the church" (Ephesians 5:23).

Now, there is a wonderful relationship which exists between Christ and the New Testament Church of Christ because Christ built the Church. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that you could develop a spiritual relationship with Christ your Lord in being a New Testament Christian.

THE CHURCH AND CHRIST

1. The Church is called the Bride of Christ because we are spiritually betrothed to Christ. The Bible says, "So ought men to love their own wives as their own body. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church. For we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones (Christians are spiritually betrothed to Christ). For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and be joined unto his wife, they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:28-32).

2. The Church is called the Body of Christ because we are members of His Church. Paul said, "God hath put all things under his feet, and gave Him (Christ) to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of Him (Christ) that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23).

3. The Church is called the Kingdom of Christ because we are citizens of His Kingdom. Jesus said concerning the Divine Reign of the kingdom, "My kingdom (My church) is not of this world" (John 18:36).

4. The Church is called the Flock of Christ because we are sheep in His sheep fold. Paul said, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made your overseers, to feed the church of God, which He (Christ) hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).

5. The Church is called the Candlestick of Christ because we are the light of the world. John said, "I turned to see the voice that spoke unto me. And being turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle." Then Jesus said unto John, "The seven candlesticks which thou saweth are the seven churches" (Revelation 1:12-20).

Now, there is a wonderful relationship which exists between the New Testament Church of Christ, and Christ because the Church is the Bride of Christ. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that you could become spiritually betrothed (spiritually married) to Christ your Lord in being a New Testament Christian.

THE DIVINE NAMES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH

1. The New Testament Church is called the Church of God because God planned the Church. The Lord God said, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He (Christ the Lord) shall bruise thy head, and thou (the Devil) shalt bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). Paul said, "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified (set apart) in Christ Jesus" (1 Corinthians 1:2).

2. The New Testament Church is called the Churches of Christ because Christ built the Church. Our Lord said, "Upon this rock (the fact that I am Jesus Christ) I will build my church (the New Testament Church) and the gates of hell (the powers of Satan) shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Paul said, "The churches of Christ salute you" (Romans 16:16).

3. The New Testament Church is called the Church of the Firstborn because we are a new creature in Christ. The Bible says, "To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven" (Hebrews 12:23).

4. The New Testament Church is simply called the Church because we are called out of the wicked world. Paul said, "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church (the ekklesia) the manifold wisdom of God" (Ephesians 3:10).

5. The New Testament Church is called the Kingdom of Heaven because our citizenship is in heaven. Our Lord said, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19).

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ s called by Divine Names (not by human names) because the Church originated in the mind of God. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that your congregation could be Divinely Named in being a congregation of the Lord's Church.

THE BIBLICAL NAMES OF CHURCH MEMBERS

1. Members of the Church are called Christians because we are one like Christ. Peter said, "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf" (1 Peter 4:16).

2. Members of the Church are called the children of God because we are the children of God by regeneration. The Bible says, "For ye (Christians) are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:26-27).

3. Members of the Church are called brethren because we belong unto the same spiritual family. Paul said, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault. Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).

4. Members of the Church are called saints because we are sanctified. The Bible says, "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints" (Romans 1:7).

5. Members of the Church are called disciples because we are learners of Christ. Luke said in reference to Christians, "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26).

Now, members of the New Testament Church of Christ are called by Biblical Names because you should not wear a human name. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that you could wear a Biblical Name in being a New Testament Christian.

MEMBERSHIP INTO THE CHURCH

1. We must hear the word of God because our faith is produced by hearing the word of God. Paul said, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

2. We need to believe in God because He is our Creator. The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists), and that he (God) is a rewarder (a promise keeper) of them that diligently seek him", i. e. God (Hebrews 11:6).

3. We ought to repent of our past sins because we have sinned against God. Our Lord said, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5).

4. We should confess the Deity of Christ because He is our Redeemer. Luke said, "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the Eunuch said, see, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:36-38).

5. We must be baptized into Christ so that we can put on Christ. The Bible says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).

THE REASONS WHY BAPTISM IS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION

1. Baptism is a commandment of God. Peter said, "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, can any man forbid water; that these (the Gentiles) should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we (the Jews)? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:47-48).

2. Baptism is for the salvation of our souls. Peters said, "While the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:20-21).

3. Baptism is the act that puts us into Christ. The Bible says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).

4. Baptism is the act that destroys the body of sin. Paul said, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ, was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life, For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Romans 6:3-6).

5. Baptism is act that saves us. Our Lord said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16).67

6. Baptism is the act that washes away our sins. Ananias said unto Saul, "Why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

7. Baptism is the climax of the New Birth: the Spiritual Birth. Our Lord said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again (in a spiritual way), he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water (be immersed in water), and of the Spirit (the teachings of the Holy Spirit), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:3-5).

8 . Baptism is Divinely Authorized by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our Lord said, "Go make disciples out of all nations, baptizing them in the name (the authority) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:18-20).

9. Baptism is for the remission of our past sins. Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name (the authority) of Jesus Christ for the remission (the forgiveness) of your sins" (Acts 2:38).

A. Baptism is a burial in water. The Bible says, "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).

B. Baptism is a resurrection from water. Luke said, "And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized (immersed) him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him not more; and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:38-39).

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ must teach the correct way by which a person must be born again in a Spiritual Way so that he can enter into the Kingdom of God. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that you could become born again in the proper manner: the Spiritual Way.

THE ACTS OF WORSHIP FOR THE CHURCH

1. Vocal music (acappella music) is a worship service of the Church because we are glorifying the Lord our God. The Bible says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing (not singing with some musical instrument, but simply singing) with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16). Paul said, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing (not singing with some musical instrument, but simply singing) and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19).

THE BEGINNING OF INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC IN THE CHURCH

Now, instrumental music was not used in the worship service of the early Church because instrumental music is not Divinely Authorized for New Testament Worship. However, instrumental music was later introduced into the worship service of the church many years after the Church had been established. It was added to the church in about 670 A. D. Nevertheless, instrumental music caused a religious division in the church which already had apostatized from the truth of God concerning many different doctrines. Thus, we should not use instrumental music in our worship service unto the Lord our God because the Lord our God has not authorized instrumental music to be used in the worship service of the New Testament Church. Therefore, vocal music only is a worship service of the New Testament Church because we can express our praises unto the Lord our God for the Divine Blessings which we are receiving in being citizens of His kingdom.

2. Prayer is a worship service of the Church because we talk to the Lord our God in our prayers. Luke said, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). Paul said, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6 ). The Bible says, "Let us therefore come bodily unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

3. The Lord's Supper is a worship service of the Church because we are to remember our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection from the grave. Luke said, "Upon the first day of the week (Sunday is the Lord's day), when the disciples came together to break bread (to partaker of the Lord's supper), Paul preached unto them" (Acts 20:7). Paul said, "For as often as ye eat this bread (the unleavened bread is his body), and drink this cup (the contents of the cup contains the fruit of the vine, and the fruit of the vine is his blood), ye do shew the Lord's death till he come" (1 Corinthians 11:26).

4. The giving of our money is a worship service of the Church because we are proving our love for the Lord our God. Paul said, "Now concerning the collection (the giving of your money) for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week (Sunday which is the Lord's day) let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come" (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

5. Faithful gospel preaching is a worship service of the Church because it increases our faith in the Lord our God. Paul said, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ must worship God according to His revealed will because you can not Scripturally add to the word of God, nor can you lawfully take from the word of God. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that you could worship the Lord your God according to His reveal plan of New Testament Worship.

THE DIVINE ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH

1. The Church is autonomous because it is self-ruled. Luke said, "And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed" (Acts 14:23). Is it scriptural for one congregation to rule over another congregation? Is it scriptural for one man to rule over a congregation? Is it scriptural for one elder to rule over another elder? Is it scriptural for one bishop to rule over another bishop? Is it scriptural for one priest to rule over another priest? How can the clergy and laity class of people Scripturally exist in the New Testament church? How could a Ranked Hierarchy (a centralized head) Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church? Each congregation of the New Testament Church is autonomous (self-ruled) because we are equal in reference to our own creation and redemption of life. Therefore, Christ (not a redeemed man) is the head (the ruler) of the Church. The Bible says,"Christ is the head of the church, and he is the saviour of the body" (Ephesians 5:23).

2. Dedicated elders have the spiritual oversight over the local congregation because God does not want one man to rule a local congregation. Paul said, "For this cause left I thee in Create, that thou shouldest set in order the things which are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I have appointed thee" (Titus 1:5). Peter said, "The elders which are among you I exhort, whom am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords (rulers) over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" (1 Peter 5:1-4).

3. These are the qualifications of the persons who are working in the Church.

A. These are the qualifications of an elder. Paul said, "This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil" (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

B. These are the qualifications of a deacon. Paul said, "Likewise, must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 3:8-13).

C. This is the responsibility of the preacher. Paul said, "I charge, thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust 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. But watch thou in all things, endure affliction, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry" (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

D. These are the exhortations for the teachers. The Bible says, "When for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14).

E. This is the role of the membership. "Paul said, God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor; to that part which lacked: That they should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular". (1 Corinthians 12:24-27).

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ must be Divine Organized (self-ruled) so that no one redeemed man can not rule over the Church. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that your congregation could be Divine Organized autonomous (self-ruled) in matters of New Testament Christianity.

THE DIVINE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

1. The Church must evangelize the world because it is lost in sin. Our Lord said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:18-20).

A. The Lord wants all persons to be saved because He died for each persons. Peter said, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

B. The Lord can hold the righteous responsible for the death of the wicked. Our Lord said, "When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou (the righteous) dost not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his evil way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. If thou warn the wicked to turn from his evil way; if he does not turn from his evil way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul" (Ezekiel 33:8-9).

2. The Church must worship God in the proper manner because we can worship the Lord our God in vain. Our Lord said, "It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10). Our Lord said, "For God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Our Lord said, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).

3. Members of the Church must serve the Lord in the right way because we must be dedicated unto the Lord our God. Peter said, "Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:5-8).

A. This is the way by which you should restore any person who has departed from the truth of God. Paul said, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).

B. This is the manner in which you should help those persons who are in need. James said, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27).

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ must accept the Divine Commission from Christ the Lord. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that your congregation could carry out the Divine Commission of Christ the Lord.

THE DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH

1. Christ has total authority over the Church because God gave Him that authority. Our Lord said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:18-20).

A. Christ is the Saviour of the world. Luke said, "There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:8-11).

B. Christ is the head (the ruler) of the Church. Paul said, "God hath put all things under his feet, and gave Him (Christ) to be the head (the ruler) over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23).

C. Christ will be the judge of the world. Paul said, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that which he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).

2. We will be judged by the words of Christ because He has revealed unto us the words of life. Paul said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).

A. We can not added unto the word of God. John said, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18).

B. We can not take from the word of God. John said, "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:19).

3. The words of Christ are authoritative because He spoke unto us by the inspiration of God. Paul said, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name (the authority) of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Colossians 3:16-17).

A. The word of God will instruct our soul. Paul said, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God, may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

B. The word of God will convert our soul. Peter said, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Peter 1:22-23).

C. The word of God will edify our soul. Paul said, "I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).

D. The word of God will discipline our soul. Paul said, "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts 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" (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ must accept the Divine Authority of Christ the Lord in all of its religious activities. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that you could accept the Divine Authority of Christ the Lord in being a New Testament Christian.

THE DIVINE ACCEPTANCE OF THE CHURCH

1. The Church must be glorious for its Divine Acceptance because the Church is forbidden to follow false doctrines. Paul said, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth" (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

2. The Church must be spotless for its Divine Acceptance because we can be deceived by the false teachers which are among us. Peter said, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you; who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be even spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" ( 2 Peter 2:1-3).

3. The Church must be holy for its Divine Acceptance because the gospel of Christ can be perverted. Paul said, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:6-9).

4. The Church must be faultless for its Divine Acceptance because the word of God can be twisted out of context. Peters said, "And account that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things are hard to be understood which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16-17).

5. The Church must be flawless for its Divine Acceptance because the Divine Powers of God and the Divine Powers of Christ can be denied. Jude said, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation (the first principalities of New Testament Christianity), it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith (the whole gospel system) which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ" ( Jude 3-4).

Now, the New Testament Church of Christ must obey the laws of God and the laws of Christ for its Divine Acceptance. Therefore, you should be a member of the Church so that your congregation could uphold the laws of God and the laws of Christ in matters of your own creation and redemption of life.

THE CONCLUSION

THE RELIGIOUS INSANITY OF MAKING A RANKED
HIERARCHY TO RULE IN THE LORD'S CHURCH

(THE WRITING OF THE NICENE CREED)

1. According to Church History, the Nicene Creed, which is a human creed, was written in the year 325 A. D. so that a Ranked Hierarchy could officially rule in the Religious World for all generations to come because the Nicene Creed literally enhances the Great Apostasy which exists in the world today.

2. That Creed was written by 318 uninspired bishops and was presided over by the Roman Emperor Constantine. Now, that Creed merrily makes God to be the First Person in power, rule and authority; Christ to be the Second Person in power, rule, and authority; and the Holy Spirit to be the Third Person in power, rule, and authority. The damnable heresies of the Nicene Creed simply makes a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in Heaven among those Heavenly Persons who created and redeemed our own body, Soul, and Spirit free of sin.

3. That Creed also makes the Clergy and the Laity Class of people to exist in their man-made churches upon the earth because they changed the Divine Organization of the Lord's Church so that one redeemed man could rule over other redeemed men in a religious way. How could one elder or bishop Scripturally rule over another elder or bishop? How could one priest Scripturally rule over another priest? How could one redeemed man Scripturally be more righteous than another redeemed man? How could one redeemed man Scripturally be more holier than another redeemed man? How could one redeemed man Scripturally be the head (the ruler) of the Lord's Church upon the earth? This simply means that we can not Scripturally make ourselves to be greater than another person nor can we Scripturally make ourselves to be less than another person. This is why, according to the Scriptures, each congregation of the New Testament Church must be autonomous (self-ruled) and under the oversight of its qualified elders or bishops.

4. The making of a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in their man-made churches demonstrates the religious folly of the Religious World because they make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in their man-made organizations. Therefore, a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in Heaven among those Heavenly Persons who created and redeemed our own body, Soul, and Spirit free of sin, nor can a Ranked Hierarchy Scripturally rule upon the earth among the persons who have been created and redeemed. Let me illustrate:

A. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because Christ (not a redeemed man) is the Head (the Ruler) of the Lord's Church. Paul said, "He (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning,, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence", i. e. being first in power, rule, and authority (Colossians 1:18). Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally Rule in the New Testament Church of Christ, this greatly enriches the whole being of our own Redeemed Nature of life because a redeemed man can not rule over the Lord's Church.

B. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because each congregation of the Lord's Church must be autonomous (self-ruled) and under the leadership of its own qualified elders or bishops. Luke said, "And when they had ordained them elders (more than one person) in ever church, and had prayed, with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed" (Acts 14:23). Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally Rule in the New Testament Church of Christ, this greatly exalts all aspects of our own Redeemed Nature of life because a presiding elder can not rule over other elders or bishops, nor can a presiding priest rule over other priests in the Lord's Church.

C. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because all New Testament Christians are made to be kings and priest unto God so that the Lord can help them to rule over the forces of evil. John said, "Unto him (Christ) that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. And hath make us kings and priest unto God and his Father; unto him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Revelation 1:6-7). Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally Rule in the New Testament Church of Christ, this greatly magnifies the total sum of our own Redeemed Nature of life because no redeemed king or priest can be any greater in power, rule, and authority than another redeemed king or priest in the Lord's Church.

D. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because no one religious man can be first in power, rule, and authority which concerns his leadership in the Lord's Church. John said of Diotrephes who wanted to be first in power, rule and authority, "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence (wanting to be first in power, rule and authority) among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth prating against us with malicious words; and not content therewith, neither doeth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church" (2 John 9-10). Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally Rule in the New Testament Church of Christ, this greatly upgrades the whole being of our own Redeemed Nature of life because no one redeemed man can be first in power, rule, and authority in the Lord's Church.

E.
A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because we can not make any priest (a religious person) to be our Spiritual Father upon the earth. Our Lord said, "Call no man (a religious person) your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, who is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally Rule in the New Testament Church of Christ, this greatly amplifies all aspects of our own Redeemed Nature of life because no one redeemed man can be our Spiritual Father upon the earth. For an example, we can not make any church leader to be called: Father Jones, Father, Brown, Father Burke, and etc.

F. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because we can not made any redeemed man to be our Reverend upon the earth. The Psalmist said concerning the Divine Name of God, "Holy and reverend is his name" (Psalms 111:9). Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally Rule in the New Testament Church of Christ, this greatly enhances the total sum of our own Redeemed Nature of life because we can not make any church leader to be called by this Religious Title. For illustrating purposes, we can not make any church leader to be called Rev. Jones, Rev. Brown, Rev. Burke and etc.

G A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because the distinction of the Clergy and the Laity Class of persons can not exist in matters of the New Testament Christianity. Paul said to the Church at Corinth which was making the characteristics of the Clergy and Laity Class of persons to rule in that Church, "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal"? (1 Corinthians 3:3-4) Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally Rule in the New Testament Church of Christ, this greatly extols all aspects of our own Redeemed Nature of life because the Clergy and the Laity Class of persons can not exist in matters of New Testament Christianity.

H. A Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because we can not pray to any angel or a loved one who has departed this life. Paul said, "Let not man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility (making others to be greater than you are in a religious way) and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind" (Colossians 2:18). Therefore, since a Ranked Hierarchy can not Scripturally Rule in the New Testament Church of Christ, this greatly elevates the total sum of our own Redeemed Nature of life because only the Lord -not an angel nor a departed loved one - can help us to overcome the forces of evil.

Now, the Church does not save a person from his past sins because Christ the Lord is the Saviour of sinful man. So then, when a person become a New Testament Christian by obeying the gospel of Christ, the Lord will add him unto His New Testament Church. of Christ. The Bible says, "The Lord to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). However, the Church which consists of its redeemed members will be presented unto God in heaven when the world comes to an end. The Bible says, "Then cometh the end (the end of this world), when he (Christ) shall have delivered up the kingdom (the Church) to God, even the Father; when He (Christ) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power (of Satan). For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed shall be death. For he (God) hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God, i. e. the Spiritual Nature of God may be all, i. e. to each Person who has been redeemed and in all", i. e. of each Person that has been redeemed (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Therefore, the New Testament Church of Christ consists of those redeemed persons who will be saved eternally because the Church will be presented unto God in heaven when this world comes to an end.

Our Lord said, "Ye shall know the truth, and THE TRUTH shall make you FREE", i. e. of sin (John 8:32).

QUESTIONS

PLEASE ANSWER TRUE OR FALSE

THE DIVINE REIGN OF THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Did the prophets prophecy of the coming of the New Testament Church of Christ?

2. T - F: Did Jesus Christ do the preparatory work for the Church upon the earth?

3. T - F: Was the Church established in Jerusalem in the year 33 A. D?

4. T - F: Is the Church (the Kingdom) now in existence? 

5. T - F: Will the final destination of the Church be in heaven?

THE SPIRITUAL NATURE OF THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Is the Church called a Spiritual House?

2. T - F: Is the Church called a Spiritual Temple?

3. T - F: Is the Church called a Spiritual Assembly?

4. T - F: Is the Church called a Spiritual Body?

5. T - F: Is the Church called a Spiritual Kingdom?

CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Is Christ the builder of the Church?

2. T - F: Is Christ the purchaser of the Church?

3. T - F: Is Christ the head (the ruler) of the Church? 

4. T - F: Is Christ the foundation of the Church? 

5. T - F: Is Christ the saviour of the Church?

THE CHURCH AND CHRIST

1. T - F: Is the Church called the bride of Christ?

2. T - F: Is the Church called the body of Christ?

3. T - F: Is the Church called the Kingdom of Christ? T

4. T - F: Is the Church called the flock of Christ?

5. T - F: Is the Church called the candlestick of Christ?

THE DIVINE NAMES OF THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Is the Church called the Church of God?

2. T - F: Is the Church called the Church of Christ?

3. T - F: Is the Church called the Church of the Firstborn?

4. T - F: Is the Church called the Kingdom of Heaven?

5. T - F: Is the Church simply called the Church?

THE BIBLICAL NAMES OF CHURCH MEMBERS

1. T - F: Are members of the Church called Christians?

2. T - F: Are members of the Church called the children of God?

3. T - F: Are members of the Church called brethren?

4. T - F: Are members of the Church called saints?

5. T - F: Are members of the Church called disciples?

MEMBERSHIP INTO THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Must we become a New Testament Christian by hearing the word of God?

2. T - F: Must we become a New Testament Christian by believing the word of God?

3. T - F: Must we become a New Testament Christian by repenting of our past sins?

4. T - F: Must we become a New Testament Christian by confessing the Deity of Jesus Christ?

5. T - F: Must we become a New Testament Christian by being baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins?

A. T - F: Is baptism a commandment of God?

B. T - F: Does baptism save the soul from its past sin?

C. T - F: Is baptism is the act that puts us into Christ?

D. T - F: Is baptism is the act that destroys the body of sin?

E. T - F: Is baptism is act that save us?

F. T - F: Is baptism the act that washes away our sin?

G. T - F: Is baptism the climax of the Spiritual Birth (the New Birth) so that we can enter into the Kingdom of God?

H. T - F: Is baptism Divinely Authorized by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

I. T - F: Is baptism for the remission (the forgiveness) of our past sins?

1). T - F: Is baptism a burial in water so that we can duplicate our Lord's death, burial and resurrection from the grave?

2). T - F: Is baptism a resurrection from the water so that we can live a dedicated life unto the Lord our God?

THE ACTS OF WORSHIP FOR THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Is singing (vocal music only) a worship service of the Church?

2. T - F: Is prayer a worship service of the Church?

3. T - F: Is the Lord's Supper a worship service of the Church?

4. T - F: Is the giving of our money a worship service of the Church?

5. T - F: Is faithful gospel preaching a worship service of the Church?

THE DIVINE ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Is each congregation of the New Testament Church autonomous (self-ruled)?

2. T - F: Do qualified elders have the spiritual oversight over the congregation where they are serving?

3. T - F: Should the Church have qualified deacons who will serve the needs of the congregation?

4. T - F: Must the Church have dedicated preachers who will preach the word of God in spirit and in truth?

5. T - F: Must the Church have dedicated teachers who will faithfully teach the truth of God?

6. T - F: Must the Church have dedicated members who will be faithful unto the Lord their God in all of their religious activities?

THE DIVINE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Must the Church (its members) evangelize the world which is lost in sin?

2. T - F: Must the Church (its members) try to restore those church members who have gone astray?

3. T - F: Must the Church (its members) worship God in spirit and in truth?

4. T - F: Must the Church (its members) serve the spiritual needs of its membership?

5. T - F: Must the Church (its members) minister unto the physical needs of the community?  

THE DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Does Christ have all power and authority over the New Testament Church?

2. T - F: Is Christ our lawgiver?

3. T - F: Is Christ our mediator?

4. T - F: Is Christ our ruler?

5. T - F: Is Christ our judge?

THE DIVINE ACCEPTANCE OF THE CHURCH

1. T - F: Must the Church be glorious so that it can be Divinely Accepted?

2. T - F: Must the Church be spotless so that it can be Divinely Approved?

3. T - F: Must the Church be holy so that it can be Divinely Received?

4. T - F: Must the Church be faultless so that it can be Divinely Acknowledged?

5. T - F: Must the Church be flawless so that it can be Divinely Honored?

THE AUTONOMY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH OF CHRIST

Our Lord said, "Ye do err not knowing the Scriptures nor the Power of God" (Matthew 22:29).

1. T - F: How can you Scripturally Make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because the Scriptures disallows the Clergy and the Laity Class of persons to exist in matters of New Testament Christianity?

2. T - F: How can you Scripturally Make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because Christ - not a redeemed man - is the head (the Ruler) of the Church?

3. T - F: How can you Scripturally Make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because each congregation of the New Testament Church must be autonomous (self-ruled) and under the leadership of its own qualified elders or bishops?

4. T - F: How can you Scripturally Make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because all Christians are made to be kings and priests unto God so that the Lord can help you in being a New Testament Christian to rule over the forces of evil?

5. T - F: How can you Scripturally Make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because a ranked committee of religious men is the beginning of most religious division which exists in the Religious World?

6.
T - F: How can you Scripturally Make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because you can not call any priest (a religious person) to be your father upon the earth?

7. T - F: How can you Scripturally Make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because you can not call any redeemed man to be your reverend upon the earth?

8. T - F: How can you Scripturally Make a Ranked Hierarchy to rule in the New Testament Church of Christ because you can not pray to any angel nor a loved one who has departed this life?

Our Lord said, "Ye shall know the truth, and THE TRUTH shall make you FREE", i. e. of sin (John 8:32).

Be sure that you know and understand all of the above statements and questions because this is what life is all about. You only get one chance at life so you should learn all that you can about it because life is all that you possess and life is all that you will ever possess.

Please get others to read this article so that they can learn more about the Divine Blessings of their own being of life.

We as New Testament Christians possess a created and a redeemed nature of life which we need to know about and understand fully in order to overcome the forces of evil.

May the Lord bless you and give you wisdom so that you can learn more about the Divine Blessings of the New Testament Church because it is easy to be deceived by false doctrines.

Charles G. Burke: Elder / Minister