Past & Present
Where is God’s Church today and where was it in time past?
I’m going to try to make it clear from the beginning that the established religious system today, which manifests itself in the abomination called "church", is NOT of God. It is very clear, by studying the Greek words found in the New Testament, that the pattern which God intends His people to follow and live by is the ECCLESIA system, and is RADICALLY different than that which calls itself "church" in our day.
This is a highly sensitive topic for the prideful and it requires more explanation than I can fit in an article such as this.
There are so many conflicting religions claiming to be God’s true church!
The Catholic Religion claims to be the only true church. They have a long history dating way back. Jehovah Witness, and Islamic religions claim to be restored or reformed churches of the church of God.
You can plug many of todays false religions in this group. They have elements of truth but will keep a person in blindness to the true gospel and ultimately rob men of eternal life.
Catholicism and Islam are both old religions so we will start with them.
Islam doesn’t believe Jesus to be the savior much like the religion of the Jews. There are major differences that set Jews and Muslims apart just like there are major reasons that neither one can come close to being God’s “church” . I don’t have to do much explaining here since the reasons should be obvious concerning their idea of the identity of Jesus.
Catholics do believe in Jesus as our savior but adopted or invented many ideas and beliefs contrary to the Bible. The Catholic church tried to hide the truths in the bible from men by many methods. It tried to restrict copies of the bible from coming in to the hands of the commoner. They even went as far as murdering true christians.
There was a lengthy time in their history in which they persecuted the true followers of Christ so bad that the true believers basically had to have an underground movement to spread the good news of Christ. Many were killed when they were discovered.
Today an example of such a movement would be the “church”, People coming to Christ in places like China, North Korea, Iran, etc. The Gospel of our God is spreading there despite tremendous opposition and killing of converts.
The Catholic “church” tried to destroy the true “church” or followers of Christ but were unsuccessful.
They were successful however in convincing the world as a whole that they were God’s Christian Church and they are still considered the representation of the church in historical context amongst people as a whole today.
The main thing to take away from this, is that the “church” survived and was never lost like religions such as the Jehovah Witness claim and the Catholic Religion never was God’s Church! Even Jesus himself said his people would never be destroyed or lost!
You are Peter, and I can guarantee that on this rock I will build my church. And the gates of hell will not overpower it.
Now lets step back to Before the time of Jesus. Where was the church then? This too is a complicated somewhat. The church was with the religion and laws of the Jews, but because of the nature to man it had become wildly corrupt by the time of Jesus’s birth. It was so corrupt in its teachings and beliefs they missed their savior who stood before them! There were individuals who were faithful and were not made blind by their religious leaders of the time. Good examples were the wise men that saw the star and knew their savior had been born and the solid converts during the three years of Jesus’s ministry.
With the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s church transformed. It was no longer within the Jewish religion. The church or the called out is now made up of individuals who have given their life to Christ and understand his word. The Church are those who have been born again! This is a relationship made directly between and individual and Jesus. Through this relationship we are seated at the table of God through Christ.
These Individuals unite in common worship and praise of God and they work together to proclaim the good news!