Apologetics Articles
(A Defense Of The Christian Faith)


Shared With You By
Kraig Josiah Rice
Bread On The Waters (BOW)
www.breadonthewaters.com

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"We Are The Only Church" Doctrinal Error
Gnosticism

"We Are The Only Church" Doctrinal Error

Some churches or denominations claim they are the only one. My group is the only group. We are right and you are wrong- and so it goes. This view of exclusiveness is from the flesh and not from the spirit. I don't remember Jesus saying anywhere that His grace is only for a select few in a certain group. How can a church member limit God's grace to only his or her group? This kind of churchanity can keep it's members in legal bondage (legalism). If you cross their boundaries you will probably get judged and ex-communicated out of the flock. There is little grace, understanding, and second chances given in many of these groups. Where legalism runs high, love usually runs low. A lot of church folks have been hurt by this practice of religion over relationship. Nevertheless, they bend the holy scriptures to make the Bible give them credibility. Some legitimate Bible expositors claim this is false doctrine. Some think it is cultic. Some think it is typical churchanity. Some think it is a form of mind control. No matter what your view on it may be, it is biblical error and should not be practiced or tolerated. Let's take a look at how these groups do this.

Here is some teaching from one of these church groups. Certain ideas and scriptures are slanted to help prove their point. See if you can discover where they go wrong:

"ONE FOLD— A UNIVERSAL CHURCH

Theme: The appeal of the gospel is for both unity of effort and universality in scope.

Purpose: That we may strive toward unity of effort and the universal appeal of the gospel.

THE BIBLE LESSON

Mark 16:15; John 10:16; 17:20-23

Key Verses

John 17:20-23:

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Golden Text: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Matthew 24:14

As Christ and God are not divided, so His Church is not divided. To think the denominational structure of the religious organizations of the world are in harmony with the plan of God is to assume something foreign to the Scriptures. There are literally thousands of denominations today with varying beliefs. Some denominations do not even believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. There are many denominations which do not accept the Word of God. There are many who place the Bible along with other books which they claim to be up to par with the Word.

One may be assured this is not God's will. Division is not a characteristic of the Body of Christ. There was one Church set in order by Jesus Christ. He gave the doctrine and precepts by which the Church is to be governed. There is still only one true Body of Christ today, and the Church is destined to display the lamp of truth for the world to see. One day all saved people will be gathered into the Body of Christ and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd.

THE UNIVERSAL ASPECT OF THE GOSPEL (Mark 16:15)

The Great Commission must be carried out by the Church. This does not mean that everyone does not have a commission from God to try to win the lost to the kingdom of God. Any person who is saved through the blood of Jesus Christ is just as saved as those who are members of the Body of Christ. However, the Great Commission in its fullness must be preached by the Church. There are many great preachers today winning multitudes to Christ. Many of them, however, are preaching only a saved experience. The Church is obligated to preach the full plan of salvation and the idea of the one universal Church which operates by the love of God.

The command to the Church is to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. In our modern age of technology it is possible to preach to millions of people. However, the need to go personally is not diminished by our inventions. Personal contact cannot be improved upon by any means. Radio and television may help to spread the gospel, but it is not the sole answer to the task that must be done.

TO BE ONE FOLD AND ONE SHEPHERD (John 10:16)

In talking about the one fold and one Shepherd Jesus was speaking primarily to the Jews. It can be seen that He indicates the Gentiles will be in that fold. Undoubtedly, Jesus is looking ahead to another time when He talks about the other sheep. There are many good Christian people walking in all the light they have. Many of them have never understood the idea of Christ's Church and have never had this preached to them. The time will come when these honest people who desire the truth will understand the divine Church. The love of God will operate in their hearts and they will join themselves to the Body of Christ.

JESUS PRAYS FOR UNITY (John 17:20-23)

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He prayed a prayer that reached out far into the future. This prayer will ultimately be answered in its entirety. He prayed for those who would believe on Him through the word of the disciples. This means those believers who hear the Word in its accuracy.

The crux of the prayer of Jesus was for the unity of believers in one fold. That this unity is not the case today is evident because of the continued development of new denominations and factions. Unity is the prevailing characteristic of the idea of Christ. It is His will that perfect unity come about through the unity of His Church. This thought is shown by the fact of the unity of Christ and God. Those who deny Christ and claim to believe in God believe in neither Christ nor God because they are not divided.

Christ was crowned with glory. The Bible declares that all power was given to Him in heaven and in earth. The Lord shared this glory with His disciples. Therefore, His prayer centered around the idea of unity for His people. This means a unity of Church doctrine, and walking by the same regulations.

THOUGHTS WITH MEANING

The religious world today is characterized by disunity. During the apostolic days there was only one church— the Church of God. It was the natural thing that when they became members of the Church, they joined the Church of God. The local churches were not disconnected units teaching whatever they desired, they had a unity of doctrine. It was prophesied that the early Church would go into apostasy and this was fulfilled in A.D. 325 when it accepted the Nicene Creed rather than theocratic government. From this time it ceased to function as the Church.

In the Middle Ages the Church at Rome was the only religious body to speak about. No other group could lawfully assemble. This was not the Bible Church. Much of the teaching was based on superstition and tradition. After the Reformation there came into existence a multiplicity of denominations teaching various doctrines.

The culmination of the Reformation was the arise of the Church of God. Therefore, the same Body which was established by Jesus Christ is existing today. One day the prayer of Christ will be fulfilled when there shall be "one fold and one Shepherd."

EXPLANATION HELPS

Verse 21: That thou hast sent me. That the world may believe that You sent me on a mission.

Verse 23: That they may be made perfect in one. They, having been brought to the state of completeness with respect to oneness, may persist in that state of completeness that the world might understand that You loved them as You loved me.
(Wuest)

DISCUSSION POINTS

Was the Great Commission meant only for the disciples? Is there a continuing need to seek to fulfill the Great Commission?
(verse 15)

Who are the other sheep to whom Jesus refers?
(verse 26)"

This article quoted from the
ETERNAL LIGHT, White Wing Publishing House, LESSON 12, MARCH 20, 1983

  • A Look At God's Church

  • A Correct Biblical View Of God's Church

    Lie once and
    One thousand truths will be doubted

    GNOSTICISM

    Some years ago I ran across a religious group that I thought propagated the ancient heresy of gnosticism in modern times. I could not find anything about it in my town so I wrote to one of my bible college professors, Rev. Norman Arnesen. He sent me this writing that I now share with you. It really helped me out a lot.

    GNOSTICISM

    "Gnosticism was a dangerous heresy that came into existence in the second century. The term Gnostic comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means "knowledge." The Gnostics claimed special or secret knowledge. They believed this secret knowledge alone could give a true interpretation of the nature of God.

    One feature of gnosticism was the elevating of a limited number of people to special blessing or privilege, while others, the majority, were doomed to destruction. The Gnostics taught that matter was evil. Therefore Christ could not have been fully God because God would not have taken on sinful human flesh.

    "The Supreme Being, Bythos, dwelt infinitely remote from the world and could not be touched by it. Since matter was inherently evil Bythos could not have created the world directly. So the Gnostics presented a series ef emanations from the Supreme Being. Each emanation or "aeon" created another just like him only a little lower. Each was supposed to bear all the characteristics of the Supreme Being. But the farther away the "aeons" were created from God, the less of His characteristics they manifested. Finally one who was far enough away from the Supreme Being created the world with all its sinfulness. But in this creation were the germs of holiness and goodness, which were always at war with evil trying to break free.

    To the Gnostics Jesus was a mere man. He was taken over by the Christ from heaven for His work on earth. This heavenly Christ returned to heaven just before Jesus was crucified, so it was only a man who died on the cross.

    How unlike God's declaration of His own Son. Matthew 3:17 says, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And Paul says in
    Colossians 2:9: "For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

    This article quoted from the
    © Copyright 1980 by the Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Missouri.


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    shared with you by Kraig Josiah Rice
    www.breadonthewaters.com

  • Apologetics Index

  • Index Of Indexes

  • Encouragement when you are hurting

  • The 7 I Wills that God has promised you

  • How to overcome discouragement

  • Keep looking to God for deliverance

  • A Bible Study About Miracles
    Do you need a miracle to happen in your life? God still works miracles. Maybe He has one for you...

  • Testimonies
    Here are various testimonies that will help you with your faith.

  • You are the apple of God's eye


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    As of March 02, 2007