Tag Archives: New Testament church

I. B. Bible Doctrine of Church

 


Click here to go to Short Answers to Some Important Questions

The New Testament of Jesus Christ: His Executor Named and Empowered (October 2018 short essay)
Is a Church a Hospital for Sinners? (012819 short essay)
For links to more essays on the church, click here.

Links to lessons:

Conclusion


Click here to go to Short Answers to Some Important Questions. 
Click here to go to links to the written lessons.
Click here to go to links to the 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.

Click here to to to Why Understanding and Applying Church and State Law Is Important for Believers and Churches

Click here to go to Articles, Essays, and Other Resources Related to the Doctrine of the Church, Incorporation, 501c3, Etc.

Click here to go to Essays on the Bible Trust Relationship: Links to Essays and Other Resources


 

A Church Is a Mystery, an Assembly, a Spiritual Body


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine of the Church.
Click here to go to the written lessons.
Click here to go to the 5 minute video lectures.


Jerald Finney
Copyright © January 1, 2018


The New Testament teaches that the New Testament church is a mystery hidden in past ages and therefore not revealed in the Old Testament. That the Gentiles were to be saved was no mystery (Ro. 9.24-33; 10.19-21).[i] The mystery was the divine purpose to make of Jew and Gentile a wholly new thing—the church made up of local autonomous New Testament bodies in this age—and in which the earthly distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears. (Ep. 2.14, 15; Co. 3.10, 11). Jesus Christ established His local assembly while he walked as the God Man on earth and appointed His local assembly as executor of His Will or Testament. For more on this, see, e.g., The New Testament of Jesus Christ:  His Executor Named and Empowered. The revelation of this mystery which was foretold but not explained by Christ (Mt. 16.18) was committed to Paul.

Just as the church in the wilderness was an assembly called out by God, an ecclesia (see Ac. 7.38), so the New Testament church is an assembly of called-out ones. Israel was a true church, but in striking contrast with the New Testament ecclesia. Israel in the land is never called a church; they were not assembled after they entered the land. Born-again believers are admonished not to forsake the assembling of themselves together, not to forsake the local church, the only assembly of believers on earth (He. 10.25).

The institution of the New Testament church or assembly is made up of local, autonomous assemblies. Christ will gather all members of his earthly family together in a general or universal assembly in the heavenly Jerusalem (He. 12.22-24) at the marriage of the Lamb (Re. 19.7-10). Before that, there will be no universal assembly or church.

All Bible references to a church here on the earth refer to an autonomous local body of Jewish and/or Gentile believers and not to a universal or catholic church. Nowhere in the New Testament is a church here on the earth ever referred to as anything other than a local spiritual body and nowhere does Scripture teach that a church is to have any type authority above it other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Some examples of references to churches as they existed in the New Testament follow quoted in endnote [ii].

Adherents can do no more than quote Matthew 16.18 or 1 Corinthians 12.12-13 out of context in support of the universal church doctrine. 1 Corinthians was written to a local autonomous church, with principles to be applied by all churches. One must analyze the verse in context of all immediate verses as well as all New Testament doctrine to ascertain its meaning; such an examination gives absolutely no support to a universal church doctrine for this age. See [iii] for links to more resources, a webpage with teachings and links to more sermons, and an article on C. I. Schofield’s “True Church” doctrine.

In his seven letters to seven local autonomous Gentile churches (in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica), the church, the “mystery from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God,” (Ep.3.9) is fully revealed, and fully instructed as to her unique place in the counsels and purposes of God. Through Paul alone, we know that a church is not an organization, but an organism instinct with His life, and heavenly in calling promise and destiny. Through him alone, we know the nature, purpose, and form of organization of local churches, the right conduct of such assemblies, and the commandments for the earthly walk of the members.

A church is a spiritual body made up of many members (Ep. 4, 1 Co. 12). Each member is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and has a proper place in the local body. Christ sets some in the body as apostles,[iv] prophets,[v] evangelists, pastors, and teachers; “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ep. 4.12). The members are to speak the truth in love that they “may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ep. 4.15-16).


Click here to go to Bible Study of Ephesians. Ephesians reveals the institution of the church as God’s masterpiece. It is more wonderful that any temple made with hands, constructed of living stones, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1 presents the church as a body.

Articles, Essays, and Other Resources Related to the Doctrine of the Church, Incorporation, 501c3, Etc.

The Local Church: A Building or What?

Bible Studies of various Books on the Doctrine of the Church.

The Biblical Doctrine of the Church


Endnotes

[i] A mystery in Scripture is a previously hidden truth, now divinely revealed, but in which a supernatural element still remains despite the revelation.

[ii] New Testament verses:

  • “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied” (Ac. 9.31).
  • Paul said, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house. (Ro. 16.5)” Notice that the church refers to the local body of baptized believers. The house was just the place where they met; it was not a church.
  • Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Paul … Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s” (1 Co. 1.1-2).
  • “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place….” (1 Co. 14.23).
  • “The churches [Not “the church of Asia”] of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house” (1 Co. 16.19).
  • “Paul … unto Philemon … and to the church in thy house” (Phil. 1-2).
  • “… [T]hat 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 Ti. 3.15).
  • The Bible defines “house of God”: “For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house; as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken of after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (He. 3.4-6).
  • In Revelation, the Lord speaks to “the church of Ephesus” (Re. 2.1) “the church in Smyrna” (Re. 2.8), “the church in Pergamos” (Re. 2.12), “the church in Thyatira” (Re. 2.18), “the church in Sardis” (3.18), “the church in Philadelphia” (Re. 3.7), and “the church of the Laodiceans” (Re. 3.14).

[iii] Defining the word Church: Local, Visible, Institutional, never Universal; Origin of the Universal Church Exposed: Constantine, Augustine & Scofield; Rightly Dividing Baptisms: Is 1 Corinthians 12:13 Spirit baptism or water baptism?. For more in depth teachings and sermons on the church, go to the following webpage and scroll down: The Biblical Doctrine of the Church. See also, the article, Scofield’s headnote to “Ephesians” and margin notes on his false “true church” doctrine.

[iv] The word apostle, means “one sent forth,” and is is used of our Lord He. 3:1. Elsewhere it is used for the twelve who were called to that office by our Lord during His earth ministry; of Paul, called to the apostleship by the risen and ascended Lord, and of Barnabas Ac. 14:14 specially designated by the Holy Spirit Ac. 13:2. Of Matthias, chosen by lot by the eleven to take the place of Judas Iscariot, Ac .1:16-26: “And he was numbered with the eleven.” Ac. 1:26
The “signs” of an apostle were (1) They were chosen directly by the Lord Himself, or, as in the case of Barnabas, by the Holy Spirit (Mt. 10:1-2; Mk. 3:13-14; Lk. 6:13; Ac. 9:6; 13:2; 22:10,14-15; Ro. 1:1). (2) They were endued with sign gifts, miraculous powers which were the divine credentials of their office (Mt. 10:1; Ac 5:15; 16:16-18; Mt 28:8-9). (3) Their relation to the kingdom was that of heralds, announcing to Israel only Mt. 10:5-6 the kingdom as at hand and manifesting kingdom powers Mt. 10:7-8. (4) To one of them, Peter, the keys of the kingdom of heaven, viewed as the sphere of Christian profession, as in Mt. 13, were given Mt 16:19. (5) Their future relation to the king will be that of judges over the twelve tribes Mt 19:28. (6) Consequent upon the rejection of the kingdom, and the revelation of the mystery hid in God (Mt .16:18; Ep. 3:1-12), the Church, the apostolic office was invested with a new enduement, the baptism with the Holy Spirit Ac. 2:1-4; a new power, that of imparting the Spirit to Jewish-Christian believers; a new relation, that of foundation stones of the new temple (Ep. 2:20-22) and a new function, that of preaching the glad tidings of salvation through a crucified and risen Lord to Jew and Gentile alike. (7) The indispensable qualification of an apostle was that he should have been an eye-witness of the resurrection (Ac. 1:22; 1 Co. 9:1).

[v] The church was “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone (Ep. 2.20). These “prophets” were New Testament prophets; to the Old Testament prophets, the church remained a mystery.

  • The mystery of the church, “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ep. 3.5).
  • “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (1 Pe. 2.4-6).

Introduction to New Testament Church Doctrine


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


Click here to go to all lessons on the Bible Doctrine of the Church.
Click here to go to the written lessons.
Click here to go to the 5 minute video lectures.


Jerald Finney
Copyright © January 1, 2018


These short lessons will reveal the truth about Christ’s true church and churches and in the process of doing so will also shatter myths fostered by religio-political lawyers, pastors, establishments, politicians, and theologians. “The house of God, which is the church of the living God,” is to be “the pillar and ground of the truth,” and not a bastion of the lies of Satan.[i]

Untold damage to the cause of Christ has been caused by unbridled allegorization or spiritualization of Scripture by Catholics and Protestants. Some of those religions, due to their heinous theologies (false interpretations of Scripture) have, since the early fourth century:

  1. prostituted religion by joining hands with the state and continuing to call the resultant religious organizations “churches;”
  2. violently persecuted and murdered others, including true believers who stood on God’s Word in spite of persecutions and martyrdom, down through the last 2,000 years;
  3. lied about the history of true believers and churches whom they tried to stamp out and obliterate using every conceivable means, including barbaric torture, murders of horrific proportions, imprisonment, conficscation of property, and banishment.
  4. destroyed or confiscated and held the writings and documents of those persecuted ones in their libraries;
  5. continued their tactics as far as possible, absent the persecutions, against God’s true churches.

Satan and his demons never give up. They continue to attack on all fronts. Because of great religious victories by true believers in America, the efforts of true believers and churches can no longer be thwarted by the atrocious persecutions of the past. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution and corresponding provisions in the constitutions of every state protect freedom of religion, conscious, press, association, and speech from persecution.[ii]

But Satan never ceases to fight. He unceasingly uses any and all tactics to hide the truth about establishmentarian[iii] theology, history, persecution, and goals.[iv] Perhaps Satan’s greatest tool of warfare is lies, as always. He keeps people in the dark through lies. Most of mankind hate the light (truth, Jesus Christ[v]) and come not to the truth lies because their deeds are evil.

On the other hand, even most believers do not come to the truth. They have not taken the time to study the credentials, motives and teachings of “Christian” revisionists. The father of those revisionists is the devil, the god of this world. He controls the institutions of the world—civil government, secular media, and secular education. Most believers do not continue in the Word of God and studies of the Word of God, much less legal, earthly, historical facts. They have become easy prey for that old serpent and his army.

Let us never join, through ignorance of the Word of God, history, and law with those religions who have prostituted God’s church. God wants His children, and especially pastors, to take the time to study preeminent Bible issues (1 Ti. 2.15) and relevant historical and legal facts concerning the doctrine of the church.

These lessons will provide a good starting point for those who wish to step out of the dark into the light of Christ. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Ro. 13.12). “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (Jn. 3.21).


Click here to go to Bible Study of Ephesians. Ephesians reveals the institution of the church as God’s masterpiece. It is more wonderful that any temple made with hands, constructed of living stones, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1 presents the church as a body.

Articles, Essays, and Other Resources Related to the Doctrine of the Church, Incorporation, 501c3, Etc.

The Local Church: A Building or What?

Bible Studies of various Books on the Doctrine of the Church.

The Biblical Doctrine of the Church


Endnotes

[i] John 8:39-45: “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”

[ii] See, ESSAYS, ARTICLES, AND OTHER RESOURCES RELATED TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, INCORPORATION, 501C3, ETC.

[iii] Establishmentarian definition: “Adhering to, advocating, or relating to the principle of an established church; a person adhering to or advocating this.”

[iv] The history of religious freedom in America and the past, present, and future of the efforts of the religious Calvinists, Catholics, and Charismatics to return America to the days of Old World establishment and persecutions are chronicled in The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus/A Case of Premeditated Murder/Christian Revisionists on Trial/The History of the First Amendment.

[v] John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Lesson 1: The Church Is a Spiritual Body (Ephesians)

The Church is a Body – Ephesians 1
(38 questions on the Bible Doctrine of the Church and the American application of that Doctrine with answers at the end) 
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons) 

Click here to go to Lesson 2
Added on March 20, 2017

Answers follow the questions.
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

1. The theme of Ephesians chapter 1 is that a church is a ___________.

Questions 2-7 below are from Ephesians 1.1 which says: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:”

  1. Paul says he is an apostle. An apostle is the highest ____________ a church has ever had.
  2. A church today cannot have an apostle today because they cannot meet _____ ____________.
  3. The requirements of an apostle are that: (a) The apostles received their commission directly from the living lips of __________. Paul made that claim. He said in Galatians 1.1, “_______, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)” The disciples named___________, but the word of God never states that Jesus made him an apostle. (b) The apostles saw the ______________ after His resurrection. Paul could meet that requirement. 1 Corinthians 9.1. (c) The apostles spoke directly with the Savior. Paul met that requirement. Acts 9.3-6. (d) They expounded and wrote Scripture. See John 14.26, 16.13; Galatians 1.11, 12. (e) They exercised supreme authority. See John 20.22, 23; 2 Corinthians 10.8. (f) The badge of their authority was the power to work miracles. Mark 6.13; Luke 9.1, 2; Acts 2.43. (g) They were given a universal commission to found churches. 2 Corinthians 11.28.
  1. Paul rested his apostleship on the _________ of ______ rather than any personal ambition or will of ______ or request of a _____________. For more on this, see, e.g., Galatians 1.15, 16; 1 Timothy 1. 12, 13; 1 Corinthians 1.1; 2 Corinthians 1.1; 1 Colossians 1.1; 2 Timothy 1.1.
  2. Paul addressed this epistle to the ___________ which are at ____________ and to the ___________ in Christ Jesus.
  3. A saint is a ___________ and a believer is a ___________.
  4. In Ephesians 1.3-6, we learn that God the _______________ planned the church.
  5. In Ephesians 1.7-12, we learn that God the _________ paid the price for the church.
  6. In Ephesians 1.13, 14, we learn that God the ________ ____________ protects the church.
  7. God the Father set ___________ “at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all _____________ and ___________, and _____________, and _______________, and every ________________ that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put _____________ things under his feet, and gave him to be the _____________ over ____ _____________ to the ___________, Which is his ___________, and the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1.20-23.
  8. God clearly states in His word that He wants to be over _____ things to the church.
  9. Which church in the New Testament was under any authority other than Jesus Christ?
  10. What church in the New Testament went to any civil government for non-profit corporation and/or tax exempt status or for recognition, organization, favor, power, or any other perceived advantage?
  11. Who provides the basis for non-profit corporation and/or Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) status?
  12. Who creates the corporate part of a church who is a non-profit corporation?
  13. Who defines a non-profit corporation church?
  14. Who is the authority or authorities over a non-profit corporation?
  15. Who is over a church who is a non-profit corporation?
  16. Is any church in America required by civil law to attain and receive non-profit corporation and/or Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) status?
  17. Does any civil law require a church to obtain non-profit corporation and/or Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) status?
  18. When a church asks for and receives non-profit corporation status, does the state of her incorporation become her authority for many matters?
  19. If the answer to the last question is “yes,” will the authority allow Bible arguments in deciding the controversy?
  20. What is the term for the relationship created by non-profit corporation status?
  21. What is a non-profit corporation contract?
  22. Which New Testament church in the Bible contracted with the state through incorporation and/or tax exempt status?
  23. Who is the controlling party of the contract created between the non-profit corporation and the state of incorporation?
  24. What rules come with 501(c)(3) status?
  25. Who officiates over a dispute which a non-profit corporation takes to her state authority?
  26. According to whose plan is a church who is a non-profit corporation operated?
  27. To whom does a church who is a non-profit corporation report?
  28. To whom does a church who is a non-profit corporation pay a yearly fee?
  29. To whom does a church who is a non-profit corporation go for resolution of many matters?
  30. What officers does a non-profit corporation have?
  31. What are the only church officers authorized by the New Testament?
  32. What New Testament church had any of the following officers: CEO, President, Secretary?
  33. What New Testament church had corporate trustees?
  34. Does corporate and/or 501(c)(3) or 508 status combine church and state?

Answers

For help with questions 15-38 click here to go to Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?

  1. The theme of Ephesians Chapter 1 is that a church is a body.
  2. Paul says he is an apostle. An apostle is the highest office a church has ever had.
  3. A church today cannot have an apostle today because they cannot meet the requirements.
  4. The requirements of an apostle are that: (a) The apostles received their commission directly from the living lips of Jesus. Paul made that claim. He said in Galatians 1.1, “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)” The disciples named Matthias, but the word of God never states that Jesus made him an apostle. (b) The apostles saw the Saviour after His resurrection. Paul could meet that requirement. 1 Corinthians 9.1. (c) The apostles spoke directly with the Savior. Paul met that requirement. Acts 9.3-6. (d) They expounded and wrote Scripture. See John 14.26, 16.13; Galatians 1.11, 12. (e) They exercised supreme authority. See John 20.22, 23; 2 Corinthians 10.8. (f) The badge of their authority was the power to work miracles. Mark 6.13; Luke 9.1, 2; Acts 2.43. (g) They were given a universal commission to found churches. 2 Corinthians 11.28.
  1. Paul rested his apostleship on the will of God rather than any personal ambition or will of man or request of a church. For more on this, see, e.g., Galatians 1.15, 16; 1 Timothy 1. 12, 13; 1 Corinthians 1.1; 2 Corinthians 1.1; 1 Colossians 1.1; 2 Timothy 1.1.
  2. Paul addressed this epistle to the saints which are at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.
  3. A saint is a believer and a believer is a saint.
  4. In Ephesians 1.3-6, we learn that God the Father planned the church.
  5. In Ephesians 1.7-12, we learn that God the Son paid the price for the church.
  6. In Ephesians 1.13, 14, we learn that God the Holy Spirit protects the church.
  7. God the Father set Christ “at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, and the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1.20-23.
  8. God clearly states in His word that He wants to be over all things to the church.
  9. No church in the New Testament was under any authority other than Jesus Christ.
  10. No church in the New Testament went to any civil government for non-profit corporation and/or tax exempt status or for recognition, organization, favor, power, or any other perceived advantage.
  11. The state of incorporation provides the basis for non-profit corporation and/or Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) status.
  12. The law of the state of incorporation creates the corporate part of a church who is a non-profit corporation.
  13. The state of incorporation defines a non-profit corporation church.
  14. The state of incorporation through her courts (and maybe the Lord Jesus Christ for some churches in some matters) is the authority or authorities over a non-profit corporation.
  15. The state of incorporation through her courts (and maybe the Lord Jesus Christ for some churches in some matters) is over a church who is a non-profit corporation.
  16. No church in America is required by civil law to attain and receive non-profit corporation and/or federal (Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3)) tax exempt status.
  17. No civil law in America requires a church to obtain non-profit corporation and/or Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) status. On the other hand, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and corresponding state constitutional provisions protect churches from civil government entanglement (corporate and/or tax exempt status). Churches must seek such status, of their own free will, from the civil government.
  18. When a church asks for and receives non-profit corporation status, the state of her incorporation becomes her authority for many matters.
  19. If the answer to the last question is “yes,” the state authority will not allow Bible arguments in deciding the controversy.
  20. The term for the relationship created by non-profit corporation status is contract.
  21. A non-profit corporation contract is an agreement between the state and the church.
  22. No New Testament church contracted with the state through incorporation and/or tax exempt status.
  23. The state is the controlling party of the contract created between the non-profit corporation and the state of incorporation.
  24. What rules come with 501(c)(3) status? Five rules come with the status. I have listed and explained those rules in my writings.
  25. A court of the state of incorporation officiates over a dispute which a non-profit corporation takes to her state authority.
  26. A church who is a non-profit corporation is operated according to the non-profit corporation laws of the state of incorporation.
  27. A church who is a non-profit corporation reports to the state of her incorporation.
  28. A church who is a non-profit corporation pays a yearly fee to the state of her incorporation.
  29. A church who is a non-profit corporation goes to the courts of her state of incorporation for resolution of many matters.
  30. A non-profit corporation must have officers such as President, CEO, treasurer, etc.
  31. The only church officers authorized by the New Testament are pastors, deacons, and elders.
  32. No New Testament church had any of the following officers: CEO, President, Secretary, etc.
  33. No New Testament church had corporate trustees.
  34. Church corporate and/or 501(c)(3) or 508 status combines church and state.

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 1 on the Doctrine of the Church

Introductory Questions
(9 questions with answers at the end)
Added on March 20, 2017

Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

  1. In what verse(s) does the Bible record the out calling of the church?
  2. Please quote the verse(s) referred to in question 1.
  3. Those verses (in the prior 2 questions) record the words of whom?
  4. What New Testament writer explains, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, how, when, or of what materials, that church would be built?
    a. Jude.
    b. Luke.
    c. John.
    d. Paul.
  5. What New Testament writer, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, explains what should be the position, relationships, privileges, and duties of that church?
    a. Jude.
    b. Luke.
    c. John.
    d. Paul.
  6. Where is the doctrine of the church developed?
    a. The book of Jude.
    b. The writings of Luke.
    c. The writings of John.
    d. The Epistles of Paul.
  7. What Epistles present a composite picture of the Christ, the church, the Christian life, and the interrelationship and functioning of all?
    a. Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Philemon
    b. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon (the prison epistles)
    c. Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, Titus
    d. Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, Philemon
  8. The epistle to the Ephesians is written to the church at _________________.
  9. The church, as an institution is made up of _____________, autonomous, _______________ bodies.

Answers

1. Matthew 16.18.
2. Matthew 16:18-19: “18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
3. Jesus.
4. d. Paul, in his Epistles. In his letters to seven Gentile churches (in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica).
5. d. Paul, in his Epistles. In his letters to seven Gentile churches (in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica).
6. d. The Epistles of Paul.
7. b. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon (the prison epistles)
8. The epistle to the Ephesians is written to the church at Ephesus.
9. The church, as an institution is made up of local, autonomous, spiritual bodies.

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Expose And Reject The Teachings and Methods of Church Organization Con-Artists and Charlatans

Jerald Finney
May, 2016

This article concerns those who falsely claim legal expertise in the area of church/state relations and ends with Bible justification for standing against forces of darkness which invade the arena of church organization in America.

A remnant of believers in America seek to do all things the Bible way, God’s way. One perplexing and somewhat complex matter for those believers concerns the organization of a New Testament church. Believers who study and believe the New Testament quickly come across passages which make clear that Christ wants his churches to be under Him only. Some of those believers, including some of God’s good pastors, seek help in organizing churches. Tragically, many come in contact with and rely on charismatic pseudo-Biblical/legal experts.

Truly, a believer must be well-studied in both the relevant Bible and legal principles in order to intelligently and correctly organize a church such that she remains under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ (Scripture) only. Knowing the Bible without true legal competence is a recipe for disaster. For example, the Ecclesiastical Law Center alleges Bible as opposed to legal solutions to church organization, but due to legal incompetence organizes churches legally, not Scripturally.

Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies often stated that he wanted to be a brain surgeon. Some pastors are wannabe “lawyers,” some even going so far as to claim lawyer status even though they never produce any reliable proof of such and even though a diligent examination of their attempts to keep churches under the authority of God and the Scriptures only belie their claim. Of course, few if any believers have the time to check out what they are told about such matters and many follow people who are skilled “Christian” con-artists and charlatans. Most get to liking and even loving their misguided mentors and many lash out at anyone who would try to discredit them. It is hard to confront uncomfortable or damnable truths about those one loves.

Complicating the matter is the fact that many “Christian” lawyers either prove to be incompetent or are trained in the law but not studied in the Bible. Their standard for all matters in faith and practice is not the Bible. Their authority for all matters is the law. As they amass their earthly fortunes, they teach and apply legal, not Bible, principles. For example, David Gibbs relies on the Internal Revenue Service, not the Bible, definition of “church,” and instructs churches to become legal, not spiritual or New Testament entities. These spiritual/legal con-artists, while deceiving and being followed by multitudes, also cause some to distrust all lawyers without further examination.

For years, this lawyer shied away from confronting false teachers. For example, he knew for many years that the Ecclesiastical Law Center (“ELC”) was not qualified to deal with church and state matters even though they falsely claim to have “Bible” as opposed to “legal” solutions to church organization. His attitude was that it is up to believers seeking help to sort out and apply good versus bad advice; and, additionally, he did not wish to attack the ELC because he knew and liked one of their leaders who spoke at his church on the subject of church organization several years before he delved into an extended study of Bible (first), and historical (second), principles and methods of church organization. After completing that study, he studied law to assure that he correctly navigated around the legal landscape in a manner which did not inadvertently result in organization of a church as a legal, as opposed to spiritual only, entity.

However, after coming in contact with many of good men of God who were deceived and who parroted the ridiculous rhetoric, the false teachings, and the foolish and unlearned questions of the ELC and after witnessing relentless and untrue ELC attacks against others over a period of years, this author finally took the time to do an examination of the ELC and their teachings. The result was an online booklet, Ecclesiastical Law Center Exposed.

The corporation sole and Internal Revenue Code § 508 method of church organization is another scam used by skilled but unethical charlatans to deceive the unwary. Critique of “Church Freedom and the Corporation Sole” Website exposes that fraudulent deception.

So far the message of this article to believers and churches seeking help in organizing New Testament churches is, “Beware of false teachers and unskilled pseudo-lawyers.” Do your homework. Look at qualifications and testimonies. Seek truth and apply it, even if you must confront false methods and teachings of others you love. Base all conclusions on Bible precepts and verifiable facts.

Now to the question, “Why is this article justified, under God?” What is the Bible basis for exposing deceivers? As soldiers of the Lord, one is to contend against the forces of darkness, to fight the good spiritual fight of faith. Only a few of many verses which support this conclusion are quoted:

Speaking of deceptions within the churches, Jude wrote: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith 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…. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities…. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” Jude 3-4, 8.

Ep.6.10-12As to Christ’s relationship with his churches, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27. Speaking to the church at Corinth, he said: “For I am jealous over you  with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-3.

Fight the good fight. Keep the faith. Expose false methods and teaching in all matters, including the preeminent  area of church organization. Make sure you get it right. Is not the Lamb of God worthy of your diligence efforts to keep his body pure and undefiled?

Corporation: A Human Being with No Soul

15

Jerald Finney
Copyright © July 29, 2014

Some define corporation to mean “a human being with no soul;” of course this statement makes an important point even though it is not literally true. A corporation is not a human being, but it is an “artificial person” (a legal fiction) who acts legally, by, for example, entering into contracts, buying and selling property, suing and being sued. And, as an “artificial person” with no soul, the corporation, whether profit or not for profit, will act accordingly. Human beings with souls in a corporation act within an unnatural, soulless, Godless, state-created fiction; because of the contracts created by their act of incorporation, all disputes can be taken to secular courts where only man’s law and rules will be tolerated; do not try to argue God’s law in that environment. The “church” non-profit corporation will be polluted to some degree, greater or lesser, by the immoral, soulless part of the two-headed monster.

“Christian” churches, wiccan churches, planned parenthood, etc. are all under the same non-profit corporation status.

Many secularists understand the nature of incorporation. The statements in a recent article on corporations “Corporations had been viewed as artificial persons for millennia” (click the blue title to go to the article) gives some of the characteristics of incorporation. I urge the interested reader to read that article. The article concerns business corporations; but, although some of what the article says cannot be applied to church incorporation, much of what the article says is applicable to non-profit church corporations. I have explained the intricacies of church incorporation in the Section VI of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (PDF, Online Version, Ordering Information) and in Separation of Church and State (PDF, Online Version, Ordering Information). Those resources thoroughly analyze church incorporation for the believer who has an open mind, some degree of intellect, and some Bible knowledge and wisdom about the principles of church, state, and separation of church and state—those requirements eliminate most believers and pastors, especially fundamental Baptist pastors.

5Some of the assertions in the article are applicable to non-profit corporations but some are not. The following are applicable to church incorporation (Quotes from the article are in parentheses. The bold material in brackets [] below are my notes, comments, and additions.):

  • Corporations had been viewed as artificial persons for millennia, the debate over whether they should be afforded the same rights as humans had been raging long before the United States created, or the 14th Amendment was adopted. The degree of permissible government interference in corporate affairs was controversial from the earliest days of the nation.”
  • LegalEntityStatus“Corporations as legal entities have always been able to perform commercial activities, similar to a person acting as a sole proprietor, such as entering into a contract or owning property. Therefore corporations have always had a ‘legal personality’ for the purposes of conducting business while shielding individual shareholders from personal liability (i.e., protecting personal assets which were not invested in the corporation).”

16[I cover “limited liability” for church corporation members in the article “Spurious rationale for church incorporation: limited liability/Incorporation increases liability of church members.”].

  • 6Corporate personhood is the legal concept that a corporation may be recognized as an individual in the eyes of the law. This doctrine forms the basis for legal recognition that corporations, as groups of people, may hold and exercise certain rights under the common law and the U.S. Constitution. The doctrine does not grant to corporations all of the rights of citizens.”
  • “As a matter of interpretation of the word ‘person’ in the Fourteenth Amendment, U.S. courts have extended certain constitutional protections to corporations. Opponents of corporate personhood seek to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit these rights to those provided by state law and state constitutions.”

First Amendment to the United States Constitution
First Amendment to the United States Constitution

[I explain how a church, by incorporating, gives up her First Amendment status and places herself to a large degree under the Fourteenth Amendment in the God Betrayed and Separation of Church and State. Non-incorporated churches (and churches which do not become legal entities in some other manner other than incorporation) are protected by the religion clause of the First Amendment, whereas, of course, the First Amendment religion clause gives no protection to a business. The religion clause is a statement of biblical principles (separation of church and state (the establishment clause) and soul liberty or freedom of conscious (the free exercise clause).]

  • PlannedParenthood_2“The basis for allowing corporations to assert protection under the U.S. Constitution is that they are organizations of people, and the people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively.[5] In this view, treating corporations as “persons” is a convenient legal fiction which allows corporations to sue and to be sued, provides a single entity for easier taxation…, simplifies complex transactions which would otherwise involve, in the case of large corporations, thousands of people, and protects the individual rights of the shareholders as well as the right of association.”

14thAm.[Churches which do not become legal entities, unlike businesses, are protected by the First Amendment religion clause. I explain why First Amendment protection for churches is biblical and much preferable to Fourteenth Amendment protection in God Betrayed and Separation of Church and State. In fact, seeking Fourteenth Amendment protection places a church under Satanic rules and regulations; the creator of the corporation is the state and state incorporation law gives the manner of organization, the officers, etc. that the law of incorporation requires. Therefore, incorporation completely changes the nature of a church. In addition to the books linked to above, some more concise articles on this matter are “Christians Who Call Evil Good and Good Evil,” “Is Separation of Church and State Found in the Constitution” and “Laws Protecting New Testament Church in the United States: Read Them for Yourselves.”]

  • “Generally, corporations are not able to claim constitutional protections which would not otherwise be available to persons acting as a group. For example, the Supreme Court has not recognized a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for a corporation, since the right can be exercised only on an individual basis.”

[A New Testament (First Amendment)  church can claim First Amendment religion clause protection whereas a corporation cannot. Since a New Testament church, unlike a corporation, is a not a legal entity, she cannot sue, be sued, or act legally. Churches which become incorporated begin to act like corporate businesses in may ways.]

  • 9Corporations are NOT people.While it is true that what guides them is the human activity of their executives, boards of directors, managers and employees, all the human emotional factors of the people in the corporation pass through a “filter” created by the two basic rules: (a) Maximize profit (b) Do whatever is necessary to continue the business.”(Rule a should be modified when it conflicts with rule b).”

[In a church corporation, the officers of the corporation operate an entity whose organization, goals, structure, morality, piety, and officers are mandated by state law in direct contradiction to the organization, goals, structure, morality, piety, and officers given by God’s Holy Bible in the New Testament.]

  • 7“It is a slippery road to give personal rights to corporations. The corporation is an amoral entity, i.e., not governed by human moral values. It lacks guilt for what it does, or empathy for those it harms. What’s worse, this “sociopathic” entity is given the rights of a human being, but not similar responsibilities. A corporation is particularly dangerous because of its great concentration of money, power, and political influence–which it uses freely to reach its goals.”

8[These realities are clearly seen in the Catholic “church” (not incorporated), and also in incorporated Fundamental Baptist Churches. A prime example of the latter is First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. See the article “Jack Schaap, First Baptist of Hammond, Heresy and Apostasy.” One can also do a google search to see the reactions of the church lawyer (David Gibbs) and the church members of First Baptist of Hammond for more confirmation. This scenario has played out on a smaller scale in many other Fundamental Baptist Churches, including the offspring, followers, and worshipers of First Baptist of Hammond and her pastors.]

13Other parts of the article (the parts dealing with rights of corporations to make political expenditures under the First Amendment free speech clause, the role corporate money plays and should play in democratic politics, the dangers of giving too much power to corporations to allow corporations to participate directly on political campaigns as a threat to democracy) apply to some degree to church corporations. All one has to do is look at the operations of, for example, the average “fundamental church and her pastor, the average seminary or Bible college and what they teach, and the words and activities of the lawyers involved with those institutions to see the application of those matters. That is all the author will say about that in this brief article.

Fundamental Baptist tradition perceives the truth to be that churches are to incorporate and get 28 U.S.C. Section 501(c)(3) status. At the same time, that tradition preaches that the Bible is to be the sole source of truth. The reality is that the biblical doctrines of church, state, and separation of church and state disprove the first mentioned Baptist tradition. But after all, it is the perception of the truth, not the truth, that matters.