By Wendell Tenison
Prov 28:9 "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." Click to Return to Articles Page
Once upon a time there was a denominational preacher who was soliciting funds and approached a gospel preacher of the Lord's church for a donation. The gospel preacher said, if you will replace the name on your church building with "This is the Church of Christ", I will donate. To that the denominational preacher said no. The gospel preacher said, if you will replace your sign with "This is not the Church of Christ", I will donate. Again, the denominational preacher said no.
In no uncertain terms, the scripture will clearly show that the church of Christ, his kingdom, was established on the day of Pentecost, A. D. 33 and will remain alive until the coming of our Lord on that great day of judgment.
Alexander Campbell was not the founder of the church of Christ!
The following is an excerpt from one of the sermons of John Stacy; "I am not a Campbellite"
"Many church books and encyclopedias list Alexander Campbell as the founder of the church of Christ. The authors of such books assume that all churches owe their origin to some man. That may be true of denominations, but it is not true of the Lord's church. The church of Christ began 1755 years before the birth of Alexander Campbell. It has been established from an old book of business minutes dated 1669, that there were in that year, eight congregations of the church of Christ in Northwest, England. They called themselves churches of Christ, practiced baptism by immersion, celebrated the Lord's Supper each Sunday, and had elders and deacons.
In 1735, John Davis was preaching New Testament Christianity. This was twenty-five years before Alexander Campbell's father was born. There was a New Testament church in Dun-Gannon, Ireland in 1804. The Rocky Springs church of Christ in Bridgeport, Alabama began in 1807. Alexander Campbell came to America in 1809 as a Presbyterian. He was immersed in the Baptist church in 1812."
This is another excerpt from David A. Padfield's, "Christianity Before Alexander Campbell". see www.padfield.com
In 1818 a church of Christ in New York sent a letter to the churches of Christ scattered over the earth. The letter was sent to five congregations in England, Scotland and Ireland asking for their statement of views and practices. After receiving the response, the letters were later printed in the Christian Baptist, a paper edited by Alexander Campbell. The following is Campbell's critique:
"The faults and blemishes of those who have attempted a better order of things, are not without benefit to us who inquire after the ancient order of things. Many of these societies have progressed well, all things considered: and their attempts and efforts, however they may be disapprobated, are more real importance to be known that the doings of Luther and Calvin, and other reformers from ancient popery."
Alexander Campbell had great disdain for the Lord's church in that he attributed its beginning from the Pope and the Catholic church. Alexander Campbell began his religious life as a Presbyterian, then after arriving in America he joined the Baptist church for several years with high esteem and finally he fathered his own church in 1827, known as the Christian Church, later called the Disciples of Christ. It is understandable why the Baptist have no love for him.
The church of Christ and the kingdom of Christ are synonymous:
Only Jesus could build his church and Peter would be given the privilege to open the doors of the kingdom on the day of Pentecost, A. D. 33.
After 3,000 souls obeyed the gospel to be baptized on the day of Pentecost, the Lord added to the church daily as they were being saved.
Paul was speaking in the present tense of himself and all others who were translated into the kingdom of Christ. One popular false doctrine afloat today is that Christ came to set up his kingdom, but the Jews refused it, so instead the Lord established his church. They say, the kingdom is still to come. Perhaps these messengers of Satan should send the apostle Paul an e-mail and tell him that he and the Lord did not know what they were talking about.
Those who pedal the false doctrine that the kingdom has not come even to this date, are saying, that Christ is King alright, but without a kingdom.
When is the end of the world? When Christ returns with his mighty angels with flaming fire taking vengance on them who know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2Thess.1:7-9. Jesus the Christ will not gather out of his kingdom that does not exist. There are a great many church members in his kingdom who do greatly offend and are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. In the words of Vernon Gruver, they believe that their ticket is already punched, but to their suprise they are going down the broad road that leads to destruction.
The seed, the word of God has not lost its power to reproduce the same Christian as it did on the day of Pentecost:
The good seed is the word of God. Can it still produce legitimate children of God? The answer is yes.
If I plant the same seed that Paul planted, will it spring up in the hearts of men knowing that only God can give the increase? The answer is yes.
Can I be born of the same incorruptible seed as they were? It is the corrupted seed of God that produces a hybrid or bastards. If so, would the Lord add me to the same church as he did those on Pentecost? If so, what would be the name of that church? We are about to find out.
Was Israel married to God? If so, by what name did they wear?
There is no question about it, Israel was married to God.
Without any shame, Israel played the whore before her husband God, but not without consequence.
Why did God change the name of Jacob to Israel? Once married to God, according to the ordinance of the Almighty, they must wear his name. The "el" of Israel is one of the names of God. The same held true in the beginning; and God called their name Adam. In other words, Mr. and Mrs. Adam, Genesis 5:2. God was not about to let his wife Israel wear the name of any man. Will Christ be of the same mind toward his wife? let us see.
The institution of physical and spiritual marriage:
In the beginning, God created the institution of marriage for man and woman. It is very clear as to how God accomplished husband and wife as one flesh. This is the first institution of marriage that God created.
The second time God created an institution of marriage is what we just learned in the previous readings when God married Israel. Unlike the marriage between man and woman, this union between God and his wife was spiritual. This marriage lasted only about 1500 years and was limited to one special nation. The qualifications under this arrangement was that one had only to be physically born into the family of God.
For God to extend his grace to the entire world was impossible seeing that a natural birth was required. Therefore, in order to accommodate all of his creation an opportunity to return unto him, a spiritual birth had to be implemented world wide. This being born again into a spiritual kingdom by water and the Holy Spirit, Jn.3:3-8.
This being true, God would have to ordain another spiritual marraige which would replace the former. The bridegroom this time would be the Son who would cleave unto his wife and they would become one flesh just as Adam and Eve, but of a spiritual nature rather than natural. The wedding was arranged when God sent his Son, Jesus the Christ and the invitations were sent out. This is the second time that God established a great spiritual institution of marriage. This is the prophecy of Micah fulfilled in that all people shall flow unto it, Micah 4:1.
Here we find the first and last Adam. Of course, the last Adam is Christ. Next we find in these verses the first and second man. Christ also the second man. The very first man was united in marriage; what about the second man? It goes without saying that he also was united in marriage. But how? By the same way that God created the first woman.
When our Lord was in deep sleep upon the cross, God took of the blood and water which flowed from his (the same as with Adam) side and created for him a woman. This new creation would be called the wife of Christ, because she now is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Therefore they have become one flesh.
This is confirmed in the first epistle of John.
There you have it; we are the creation of God in Christ Jesus unto good works.
This is truly a great mystery how that Christ and his bride are one flesh. There are no singles in the church of our Lord. Our Lord does not commit spiritual adultery by sleeping with those who claim to have joined his body without being created by God as a part of his wife in accordance with the strict guidlines of his new testament. Those bidden to the wedding of the Son of necessity must have on the wedding garment. Otherwise, they will cast into outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Many are called but few are chosen, Matt.22: 9-14. If we are not married unto him, then we are none of his. Spiritually we are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. To deny that is to thumb our noses at the great institution of spiritual marriage and ordinance of God.
As the bride or wife of Christ, by what name do we wear? Some man, woman or other wordly name? Let us see.
Unfortunately, some of my brethren deny that we are married to Christ, but are espoused or engaged to him as Mary was to Joseph before Jesus was born. American law defines marriage as a contract the same as God considered marriage a covenant of the Jews, Malachi 2:14. This false doctrine is saying that there can be no covenant relationship with Christ since it would be unlawful to have spiritual intercourse before marriage. Neither can one who is not married to Christ commit spiritual adultery or fornication against him. Another thing that this doctrine advances is that we are not one flesh and one body in Christ of which he is the head as Paul so plainly declared to the church in Ephesus as pointed out earlier in this discussion.
Since the marriage of the Jews to God had been terminated as a result of the death of the law of Moses by Christ nailing it to his cross, Col.2:14,, they were now free to marry another, even to Christ whom God raised from the dead. God raised up Christ from his deep sleep as he did with Adam. As a result, they both found a newly created woman in their possession.The Gentiles also have been given the honor of marriage to Christ. Now there is neither Jew nor Greek, but all one in Christ Jesus, Gal.3:27-28.
There is one husband and one wife for life. No court in this world can dissolve the marriage between Christ and his bride. However, many who are married to Christ have put him away after the manner of the law of Moses and the wisdom of this world.
Here John the Baptist is saying, the bride is not mine, but she belongs to the bridegroom. Our Lord is extremely jealous in the event that his wife should wear the name of another man, namely John the Baptist, or any other for that matter.
The Holy Spirit and the bride of Christ (his church) envites all to come.
To answer the question by what name does the wife of Christ wear; of course his name.
By the ordinance of God regarding the instutution of marriage, the bride of Christ must wear his name.
The church of Christ which belongs to him is the body of Christ. Why, because he built it and paid for it with his blood, Acts 20:28.
Now Paul reverses the order; the body of Christ is the church of Christ. The church of Christ and the body of Christ are synonymous terms and cannot be separated. About 25-30 years ago the TV preachers all of a sudden figured out that the scripture made reference to the body of Christ. The "body of Christ" became their buzzword in all of their appearances. Did they ever once say that the body of Christ is the church of Christ? Absolutely not! Our Lord said, and if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch, Matt.15:14.
Col 1:24 "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:"
This is the third time that the apostle Paul says that the body of Christ is the church of Christ. I still ponder the question as to why so many religious people hate the bride of Christ.
The church of Christ is the body of Christ, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. I would die and go to a devil's hell if I ever took the name of another. You can take it to the bank.
There as many bodies or churches as there are Holy Spirits, hopes, Lords, faiths, baptisms and Gods. An elementary student can figure that out.
By one Holy Spirit are we all baptized into one body. Not 500 or more, but one. There is only one body of whom Christ is the head. Otherwise, one head with many bodies would be called a freak. But that is exactly what the denominational societies has made our Lord, a freak. One head with many bodies.
How is it that denominational societies bitterly deny the name of the wife of Christ? To deny the name of the wife of Christ is to deny the husband. Again, our Lord said, whoever denies me before men, him will I deny before my Father which is in heaven, Matt.10:33.
The name Christian in the secular world is a proper name, but from a biblical standpoint it is not. The disciples at Antioch were not called "First Christians", but Christians only. The Greek word for Christian literally means a follower of Christ. Therefore, the name Christian cannot be the proper name of the bride of Christ. Some of my brethren say, that church of Christ is not the name, but only shows ownership. Is the bride of Christ nameless? If this is true, I am waiting for my brethren to show me in the scripture what the name of the bride is.Under no circumstance is the name of the bride nameless!
© 2006 by Wendell Tenison
Prov 28:9 "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination."
Click to Return to Articles Page