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What great confusion there is over the word “church”! Satan
comes to steal, kill, destroy, deceive, and counterfeit, and he comes
with his body, the false church. But the gates of hell will
not prevail against the true Church, the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Church” means “called-out
There are only two churches in this world - the true Church and the
church that poses as the true. One is the Temple of God (Ephesians 2:21-22),
and the other is the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9). There are many
thousands of organizations, each parading as the true Church of God,
with names of blasphemy. But there can only be one true Church. Where
is it? Can we tell? Do we know? We must know. And when we know the true
Church, we will also know the false.
“Church” means “called-out ones”: The Greek
root words are “ek,” meaning “out” or “from,” and “kaleo,” meaning “to
call.” It means there is a group of people called out. Called out
by whom? By God.
“No one can come to Me unless the Father Who has sent Me draw
him, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44 MKJV).
Called out from what? They are called out from:
The works of darkness:
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light
in the Lord;
walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness
and righteousness and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather
reprove them” (Ephesians 5:8-11 MKJV).
“For He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated
us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Colossians 1:13 MKJV).
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him
Who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1
Peter 2:9 MKJV).
The world, which lies in wickedness:
“Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone
loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that
is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1
John 2:15-16 MKJV).
“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness” (1
John 5:19 KJV).
Union with unbelievers:
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 MKJV
(14) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship
does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what partnership does
light have with darkness?
(15) And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does
a believer have with an unbeliever?
(16) And what agreement does a Temple of God have with idols? For you
are the Temple of the living God, as God has said, “I will dwell
in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall
be My people.”
(17) Therefore come out from among them and be separated, says
the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing. And I will receive you
(18) and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.
Mystery, Babylon the Great:
“And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her,
My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins, and that you may
not receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4 MKJV).
Saints live not in make-believe,
but in reality; not in religion, but in reality.
Who is Mystery? She is the great harlot, false religion, which poses
as the Bride of Christ, the true Church. She is the false church, the
bride of Satan, his synagogue. God calls out of her all those who would
walk with Him.
The true Church is the saints of God. They are not extraordinary persons
of great religious works. They are not people “canonized” by
the Catholic Church. They are not people whose bodies have been dug up,
a century or so later, to see if corruption has been stalled or arrested.
They are not people proven to be “saints” because signs or
miracles occurred in relation to them after their deaths.
The saints of God are simply true believers in Jesus Christ, people
who have repented of their sins and submitted to Him as Lord in all of
their lives. The saints are those who live not for themselves, but for
Him, if they are walking in the Spirit. They live not in make-believe,
but in reality; not in religion, but in reality. Reality is what the
true Church is all about.
Saints of God are not of the world, though they are in it. They don’t
go by carnal reasonings, and they aren’t motivated by the same
things that motivate unbelievers. Saints are ordinary people who have
come into contact with, and rulership under, the Lord Jesus, confessing
Him before men, before the world. They have received His Spirit and are
being formed in His image, while He, more and more, manifests Himself
through them in whatever way He chooses, much of the time unknown to,
and unnoticed by, the world.
There is no partisanship with
if they walk in the Light.
Saints are sons and daughters of God. Their lives are hid in Christ,
not advertised by God or man to the world. Any advertisements are a sham
- an attempt to promote the selfish interests of men and their organizations,
which have been formed presumptuously in the Name of God. Saints worship
the Lord Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth, not in show and ceremony.
They don’t “go to church,” because they are the Church
- the Body of Christ - 24 hours a day. Obedient saints are not hearers
only, but also doers of what God requires of them.
Saints love one another, by nature. This is not a worldly, romantic,
social, or fleshly love, but a spiritual essence springing out of a life
from the Head of the Body. Jesus said, “By this all shall know
that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another” (John
13:35 MKJV). There is no partisanship with God’s people, if they
walk in the Light as He is in the Light.
Jesus prayed, “Your will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” If
there is no partisanship in Heaven, we ought not to support, or partake
of, such on earth, and we won’t if we are the Lord’s, worshipping
Him in spirit and in truth. But He is the Workman, and He will call out,
purge, and sanctify all who are His. Those that are His will have fellowship
together; they will encourage, exhort, reprove, rebuke, admonish, pray
for, and work with, one another, directed by the Head of the Body of
which they are inescapable members.
Since the beginning, many saints have fallen prey to falsehood and have
practiced religion in the Name of Jesus Christ as though they worshipped
Him. As a result, they have suffered untold consequences; they have suffered
the plagues and wrath of God. Their hypocrisies have always found them
out. Many saints (children of God) died in their sins, as in Noah’s
day when they took persons of the world in marriage, having been forbidden
to mix with the world and instructed to keep separate instead.
of God is without earthly banner or government registration.
Yes, saints have perished because of sin - willfulness, iniquity, and
selfishness. Doctrines in “Christian” circles teach that
such cannot happen, that a saint is one who is ever saved; one who cannot
fall, or if he does fall, he will not remain fallen, because he has eternal
security. Men have their chosen Scriptures to support their arguments
and can be very convincing, but they fool only themselves and those who
love iniquity. They cannot fool the sincere worshipper of God.
This much is true and should end all debate about whether a saint can
be lost or not: If he believes and obeys the Lord, he will not fall or
perish. Only rebels tempt God; only phonies and hypocrites deliberately
sin, thinking they can get away with it. But only in obedience is salvation
guaranteed; in disobedience one is not fit for the Kingdom of God - destruction
The Church of God is without earthly banner or government legalization
or registration. Though formed of men, it is not fashioned by men. Imagine,
Jesus’ spiritual Body formed by carnal man, the sinner; the Creator’s
Body formed by His creatures! Can anything be more absurd?
Jesus Christ doesn’t need a license by sinners in order to operate
on His own earth, so that He can save sinners and be a witness to them.
Does God need permission from His creation to do it good, when it cannot
redeem itself, when it is thoroughly opposed to God, as the Scriptures
teach, and for which cause it needs a Savior? Since when does Heaven
need man’s permission to speak and to live in truth? Again, I say,
widow asking for a receipt from the Temple priest for
a tax credit!
Are not truth and righteousness a responsibility of all men under God,
not merely something they do if permitted by other men? In this way,
the Body of Christ rules on earth and is not subject to the ordination
of men, though members of the Body of Christ obey the laws of this world
where those laws do not contradict or oppose the laws of God or His will.
Let me tell you this: Any structure or organization that has a name,
a license from the government (whatever earthly government it may be),
fancy church buildings and hirelings for leaders (that is, priests, pastors,
and teachers on staff with salary), religious garb of any kind, canned
prayers and church services where you can count on a program of some
sort, usually on Sundays, as well as other days of the week, when people
get all dressed up to attend, various “ministries” specializing
in youth, college, career, children, slums, or any other narrow focus,
that structure or organization is not the Church of God.
“But we register with the government, not because we feel we need
its permission, but so that we can have tax deductions for tithes and
offerings,” you may say.
Oh, that’s just great! Imagine the widow giving all her living
and asking for a receipt from the priest at the Temple so that she and
the priest will get a tax credit from the Roman government! Imagine those
in Acts selling their possessions for the benefit of the Church, and
getting receipts from the apostles and elders so that they can submit
them to Herod for financial advantage!
Imagine Jesus saying to Peter, “Before you get the church going,
make sure you register with the government so that you can give out tax-deductible
receipts. Otherwise, God won’t be able to bless you as much financially,
and some of your people won’t give as much.”
Have not governments
throughout history persecuted the saints of God unto death?
You may say, “We get a license only because the government is
trying to protect society from cults and charlatans. It isn’t a
bad thing. The fact that we can get a license shows we are legitimate.”
Really? Are you not aware of the blatant false churches formed in the
name of religion, licensed by the governments in Canada, the U.S. and
around the world? Even Satan worshippers can be licensed in the name
of religious freedom.
I tell you, getting a license from the government is not a mark of legitimacy
before God, but the very opposite. If the world is willing to grant a
license, the world accepts the licensee. But Jesus said that His true
followers would be hated and persecuted by the world.
Are not Buddhists, Muslims, Baha’i, and many others registered
by the government as legitimate religious organizations, yet you would
say they are deceived and deceiving people? But in some ways, are you
not as them, if you are a member of a religious organization registered
with the government?
Have not governments throughout history, religious and otherwise, persecuted
the saints of God, the true Church, unto death, sometimes slaughtering
whole cities to destroy perceived threats to their dominion
and authority? I tell you, the piper will demand payment, and you will
not be spared; neither will your children nor your children’s children.
Do you believe me?
The true Church is a living organism.
For more tell-tale signs that a group, ministry, or organization is
part of the false church, lacking any legitimacy before God, read The
True Marks of a Cult.
The Church of God is seen,
yet not seen. Members are real, but not found in a formal organization.
When they meet, they do not have church services.
There will be prayer, a discussion of spiritual matters, as well as mundane,
some Bible study, gifts manifest, song, and ministering to one another.
A few of these elements or activities could be missing from time to time.
It is God Who leads and directs; the Shepherd makes the decisions, and
the sheep follow. Much of the time, they don’t meet in person,
but they function in spirit as the Body of Christ nonetheless, everywhere
they are, in all that they do, together or apart, He being ever with
and in them. The true Church is a living organism.
There are not nearly as many saints (true Christians) as is supposed.
There weren’t many in Noah’s day, Abraham’s day, any
other day, and not many today. Vast numbers profess faith in Christ,
but few, very few, are for real.
Some are living in sin, and one can hardly tell if they are true believers
or false brethren. For all intents and purposes, these sinning Christians
are like the phonies, yet the grace of God purposes to deliver them by
election. They can be in the harlot system for a time, but they will
eventually come out in obedience to God, or perish. Those being called
out are in conflict with the children of darkness in varying degrees,
depending on how much they have responded to God’s call.
There are many examples of saints of God being
alone for periods of time.
Those who are the Lord’s and walking with Him are without earthly
banner, without legal license, and without man’s will or doing.
Saints are not baptized into the Body of Christ by water, but by the
Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). The true Church is mystical – it
includes saints here on earth and those who have passed on in Christ.
Though it is composed of flesh and blood members, it is not acknowledged
by the carnal man. The Church is the living Temple of God, made without
Church members or saints may be alone for a time. They may not know
that there are others. Elijah thought he was the only one, and then the
Lord informed him that He had reserved unto Himself 7,000 others whose
knees had not bowed to Baal and whose mouths had not kissed him.
There are many examples of saints of God being alone for periods of
time, such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, many prophets, John,
and others. There is nothing at all strange about a saint being alone
(at least not to God or other saints).
It is taught in the false church that one must not be alone, for he
will fall prey to the Devil as a stray sheep. The opposite is true. If
one remains as a true believer in the fold of any organized church, he
will die, because that organization is one of the thousands that mimic
the Body of Christ; the wrath of God is upon such organizations, and
it will be poured out until they are destroyed.
The harlot church loves pomp, ceremony, ritual, formality, power, fame,
greatness, physical prosperity, and the respect and praise of men. So
it gets a name and license, erects a fancy building (as fancy as it can
afford), holds services, produces uniform study literature, and organizes
all sorts of activities to “win souls” and raise money. The
leaders of the harlot church are trained and taught in Bible schools
or seminaries by men, not by God.
world didn’t love the saints then; it doesn’t love
the saints today.
These leaders receive degrees and diplomas, sometimes dress in religious
garb, may wear “clerical collars,” and call themselves by
any variety of titles. The harlot church advertises, vaunts, and presents
itself as the true, living Church of God. Thousands do these things proclaiming
(explicitly or implicitly) that all others are off base. The harlot church
adulterates what is good, true, honest, just, and pure. It is recognized,
applauded, respected, and accepted by the world. Its leaders are often
famous and loved by many. These are all the works of men, the paths of
the destroyer (Psalm 17:4).
Jesus clearly warned that His Church would not be accepted or respected
by the world, but hated (Matthew 10:22, 24:9; Luke 21:17; John 15:18,
24, 17:14). The world didn’t love the saints then; it doesn’t
love the saints today. What is loved is of the world, not of God.
“And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before
men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among
men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15 MKJV).
Tell me, where did
you ever read of Jesus or His disciples wearing religious garb? Was it
not those with religious garb who killed Him and His followers?
When did Jesus call for church buildings? When His disciples were impressed
with, and remarked on, the structural magnificence of the Temple, did
He not downplay such?
Did He ever indicate that the disciples should build their own, when
the Temple was destroyed? Did He call on His disciples to have titles?
Did He institute formal ceremonies or rituals? Did He encourage any of
the religious garbage you see today? Not in the very least. In fact,
it was people who did such things who were His greatest opposition, and
men killed Him because He testified against them.
The saint can’t fellowship
with darkness, with those who walk in unrighteousness.
Only true believers know these things to be true. The tares love, cling
to, and defend the false church, diplomatically or vehemently. But read
about Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots, in Revelation
17 and 18, and know both her works and her end. Those in her die with
her. Those who come out, the called-out ones, are saved. They follow
the Lamb wherever He goes, not loving their lives to the death.
So many of you say you believe. You think that because you have an intellectual
acknowledgment of God, are nice to people, are a positive thinker, do
your bit in your community, and “live by the golden rule,” you
are accepted of God or He will require no more of you. Wrong! Are not
many in the world in agreement with your philosophy? Aren’t they
similar in conduct? Of course they are! I tell you, both you and they
will perish in ignorance, falling drastically short of what real Christianity
Hebrews 10:25 (“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together”)
is a verse that has been used as a bludgeon on the heads of every true
saint, when he decides to follow the Lamb outside the city:
“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with
his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto
him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For
here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Hebrews 13:12-14 KJV).
The saint cannot fellowship or assemble with darkness, with infidels,
with sons of Belial, with the tares, with those who walk in unrighteousness.
The gates of hell are all organizations that
pose as the Church of God.
But now I will inform those of you who go to church of your need to
heed that verse, the admonition in Hebrews 10:25. Note that it says “the
assembling of ourselves together.” When one goes into, or remains
in, organized religion or darkness of any kind, knowing better, that
one has forsaken assembling with the true Church. He has taken the broad
path that leads to hell.
“But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship
with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from
all sin” (1 John 1:7 MKJV).
The gates of hell are
all organizations that pose as the Church of God. Did you hear? I’ll repeat: The gates of hell are all organizations
that pose as the Church of God. They open their gates to all those without
and shut them on those within. They are the “high places” condemned
by God in the days of Israel of old.
The Lord, however, will deliver all those who not only want the truth,
but have a love for the truth. Jesus has the keys of death and of hell
and opens and closes as He wills. He will set any captive free who prefers
to worship the Creator, rather than the creature.
“Are you going to church?” is commonly asked. I say “I
am the Church!” As I am a true believer, am I not a member of His
Body, and therefore am I not the Church? I am also in the Church 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week.
“Yes, but don’t you need to get fed?” it is asked,
implying that only by going to a church service can one be fed spiritually.
But what is a church service? Jesus Christ is real, natural, and down-to-earth.
So are we, since we were created as Him. Do you really think He is asking
for a bunch of people to sit or stand around (or dance) in front of Him,
mouthing all sorts of things as though He gets pleasure out of having
His ego stroked, as though He loves your foolish flatteries?
of darkness hire for themselves preachers to tickle their ears.
Do you really believe Him to be such a fool, an egotistic, glory-seeking,
arrogant, pompous tyrant? Truly, are you not creating Him as you fancy
yourself, and in your perversity, are you not treating Him the way you
would like to be treated by men? Tell the truth, if you can, and say
it is so.
Little do such people who think this way realize that the sheep of God
have a Shepherd with or within them, and that He feeds His sheep daily
and faithfully. In the fullness of time, He also sends His apostles,
prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, who feed the sheep what
they receive from the Chief Shepherd, not lording it over them, but being
an example to them. The food gives healing and nourishment to those in
need and who ask for it. Those in true ministry from the Lord also use
the rod when needed; correction is crucial.
The True Friend gives His true friends to His sheep, so that all may
become His true friends in the end. They have no titles, no degrees in
theology (which word God hates), and are not hired by congregations or
organizations. Imagine, sheep hiring a shepherd and telling him what
he ought to do, when and how he ought to do it, and for how much!
Children of darkness hire for themselves preachers to tickle their ears,
performers to entertain them, and vessels of salve to relieve their wicked
consciences! Would it not be unspeakably more profitable to put away
sin, vanity, and the gods of pleasure and entertainment? People, these
are the whoredoms God hates! It is for these very reasons that things
don’t go well for you.
Because your preachers are eloquent and impressive, do you think God
will excuse you or justify you in your sins? Do you think you can “play
church” and escape damnation with your substitutes for His righteousness?
If you think so, you are in for a rude awakening.
People, the religious garb,
the pulpits, and the pews are Satan’s horns and tails.
And then you will say, “But how should I have known? It looked
so good, so real! They were uplifting Jesus and always talking about
being good and godly. We were singing hymns to the Lord! Doesn’t
the Bible talk about that in Psalms, Acts, and Corinthians? I thought
I was doing right! How could we have been so wrong?
“The pastor was a close friend. He helped us out a lot at times
when we needed it. The church prayed for us when we had problems. I should
have known that the counterfeit would pose as the real! What was I expecting
- sneers, horns, and tails? What did I think truth was anyway?!”
People, the religious garb, the pulpits, and the pews are Satan’s
horns and tails. The smiles and flatteries are the sneers; the regulated
dead praise and songs are the sacrifices of fools, all unacceptable to
“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God, and be more
ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools. For they do not know
that they are doing evil. Do not be rash with your mouth, and do not
let your heart be hasty to say a word before God. For God is in Heaven,
and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes
Remember Nadab and Abihu:
“You shall offer no strange incense on it, nor burnt sacrifice,
nor meal offering. Neither shall you pour drink offering on it” (Exodus
“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer
and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange fire before
the LORD, which He had not commanded them. And there went out fire from
the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD” (Leviticus
The false church teaches some truths, common sense, and law, which is
good, but never does it teach one to take up the cross in obedience by
faith, against all reason and logic, at all costs, for it would lose
its own. A house divided perishes.
Abraham was called alone, obeying through faith,
and so are all his children.
To deceive, it must have some apparent truth, but the things it gives
are dead (though appearing to be much alive in the flesh) and breed only
pride, vanity, and self-righteousness. Unless the old man is crucified
within by obedience to God’s personal directions, all is lost in
the end. By the grace of God, we stand and are kept by our Saviour, Whose
Body we are.
Much of the time, we stand alone, and so it must be as the Lord proves
us. Will we walk with Him because we choose to do so or because others choose to do so, and we wish to be with them? Do we do the right thing
or the popular thing? Abraham was called alone, obeying through faith,
and so are all his children.
There comes the time, however, when God “sets the solitary in
families” (Psalm 68:6), and then is a day of great rejoicing. It’s
a long awaited homecoming! Of these and thus is the church of God comprised.
Glory to God!
For more teaching of these matters, read The
Gathering and The
True Marks of a Cult.