“Churches of God”, or “Church of God”
WHERE is that true One Body of Called-out Ones?
Yeshua broke bread and said, “THIS is my body”. A couple years ago I gave a series of sermons about the Body of the Messiah, the Church of God, being one body (Eph. 4:4). What is that Body? Where is the Body of Christ today?
Someone recently in discussing the situation referred to the “churches of God”. I don’t know about you but that struck me as odd. After all, Jesus, whom I call by his given name Yeshua, did not say “I will build my churches” (Matthew 16:18) but “I will build my CHURCH” – singular. The word “church” is ekklesia in the Greek, meaning “called out ones”. It is an assembly, a group. It has nothing to do with an organization or a building. Somewhere out there are PEOPLE who are His people, who see HIM as their leader and follow His teachings. They love one another and come together in peace. You won’t hear these people attacking other children of Yahweh or really anyone. They are people who know they have been forgiven of a lot, and how then can they disparage anyone else? They are filled with adoration for their Savior, and joyfully praise and worship Him. They can’t stop talking about Him and His ways.
The Ekklesia then, is ONE body (not a bunch of bodies or churches) (Col. 1:18). Our King is coming to marry ONE Bride, not five or ten or a thousand. On top of all that, I simply cannot envision our Lord and Master marrying a “Bride” made up of people who – for the most part – want nothing to do with one another. No way! No, in fact He teaches us – paraphrased: “By THIS shall all know you are my disciples, by the fact you love one another so much, just as I loved you” (John 13:34-35). But instead, we all too often see Christian church groups NOT loving one another. Instead we see too many believers who call themselves followers of the Savior -- attacking one another, splitting the brethren from other brethren, and basically NOT fulfilling the biggest sign He gave. He had other signs, and I’ll speak on that again soon. But so far – how are we doing as far as proving to everyone that we surely are “his people”?
How do you think Father feels when He sees us, His children, behaving this way? It certainly doesn’t make me feel happy to know what He is feeling! Any of you who are a father or mother, or are a grandparent, know what I mean. How about WE make some changes? How about we start bringing Abba great joy to see us coming together? How about we keep our Husband-to-be Yeshua happy and get along better with one another?
So here’s how I believe Scripture teaches it. The Body of Christ is composed of any and all who have and are led by His Spirit, wherever they may attend (Romans 8:9, 14-16). There are other signs of a true believer and I’ll speak on it soon. Be watching for that new audio. The Body of Christ is the Ekklesia of God, and scripture says His name is Yahweh. I don’t mean an incorporated “church of God’, as there are hundreds of those.
The true “church of God” is not ANY of the incorporated organizations of men – though there may well be many in some of those corporations who are a part of the spiritual one body of Messiah. Too many of these organizations are being run like a business or enterprise, instead of remembering we are a family; we are brothers and sisters. We have one leader, and that is Yeshua, the Son of God. HE is the head of His called-out ones, His one body, His church. So true believers are always looking to HIM for guidance and direction, not to any man or woman.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
With this in mind, remember you belong to Christ (Mark 9:41 read it!). You do not belong to this or that “church of God”, you do not belong to the Catholic church, the Lutheran church, the Nazarenes, or Baptists. NO. If you are an obedient believer living by faith, you believe and belong to Him. Remember that I also believe and teach that a true disciple will also follow His teachings. The word “disciple” comes from “discipline” – teachings, beliefs, instructions. So I keep Sabbath, the holydays, and believe we are to walk as He walked (1 John 2:4-6). Otherwise, how can I say I “know him”?
If your church organization keeps you away from other believers, or doesn’t let you discuss the Bible openly, or is suing other believers, or doesn’t show love and forgiveness to all people, especially repentant people, or …. Maybe it’s time to ask our leader where He really wants us.
I have no interest in hearing about who is attacking whom or what they’re saying. None. Don’t involve me in it. I do have a ton of interest in hearing how people are being served by Yahweh’s children. I do perk up when I hear brethren visiting other church groups and not confining themselves to just one organization.
Remember, a church organization is not the “true” church. That is not the body of Christ. I’m not saying you shouldn’t attend where you attend. I’m saying, realize you have many more scattered brothers and sisters in Christ who meet in other places.
So where is the one true body of believers? They are one in spirit. I do NOT believe they are meeting at just one organization or church. The “one body” is made of the obedient children of Yahweh who are filled with His spirit and seek the leading of His spirit. They live by faith. These people do not look down on others who have some differences of understanding than they have. Someday, these children will be brought together in happy union. Right now the Body of Christ is scattered.
I think the time is coming when Yahweh’s children will come together. And maybe we should stop saying we belong to this or that group, but instead say, “I belong to Christ” (Mark 9:41), for indeed HE paid for me, HE bought me, and so HE owns me. My church group didn’t buy me and pay my sin debt. So they don’t own me, or you. But Yeshua did. So, “my beloved is mine and I am my Beloved’s” (Song of Solomon 6:3).
If you would like to hear several of my sermons about becoming one body again, and how we are to do that, please check out this website and go to the sermons on One Body starting November 2009. Or, go the link “audio messages and transcripts” and you’ll see a grouping called “One Body”. The five sermons I gave, one a month, are all there. I recommend you check them out.