The Church of Christ, the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of Christ are One and the Same

By Wendell Tenison

Introduction:

After Noah begat three sons, God Almighty destroyed the earth with water, because it was filled with violence.

Gen 6:11-13 "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence......And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth......And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."

Three hundred and seventy two years after the flood, God chose a man called Abram (later Abraham) to be the father of a chosen people whom God separated from all other nations and they would be called the children of Israel. All others would be considered by God as heathens, because of their disobedience the same as those before the flood. This nation of the Jews and the law of Moses would last until the death of Christ.

Col 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"

The promise of God to Abraham was two-fold, the first, to the Jews the promised land that flowed with milk and honey; the second, was far more reaching that through the seed of Abraham, that is Christ, all nations of the earth would be blessed.

Gen 22:18 "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

The nation of Israel would last for fifteen hundred years and after that a new nation would be born not of flesh and blood, but wholly spiritual in nature. The only requirement for one to be a Jew was to be born fleshly into the Jewish economy. The new spiritual kingdom that God would establish would require a spiritual birth in order that all nations could flow into it. This would include both Jew and Gentile. Jesus said, other sheep I have (Gentiles) which are not of this fold (Jews). I will bring them together and there will be one fold and one shepherd.

John 10:16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

The prophecy of this new system of religion was foretold by Micah the prophet and confirmed by our Lord in that all nations will flow into it and be given the remission of sins beginning at Jerusalem.

Micah 4:1-2 "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it......And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

Luke 24:47 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."


Since the crossing of the Red Sea and into the promised land by Israel, the Gentiles were without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise (that is, Abraham), having to hope and without God in the world.

Eph 2:11-13 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;.....That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:.....But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

  • When did this new kingdom arrive and what would it be called?

    The prophet Joel prophesied of an event that took place on the day of Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ. The apostle Peter along with the other eleven, says, this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.

    Joel 2:28-29 "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:.....And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit."

    Acts 2:16-18 "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;.....And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:.....And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:"


    The Jews who murdered Christ were convicted by Peter's preaching and asked, what shall we do? Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

    The first time this new kingdom was called by a name was on the day of Penetcost. This new kingdom was called the church and the Lord added to it daily such as were being saved.

    Acts 2:47 "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

  • By what specific name would this church be called?

    First of all, Jesus said, he would build his church.

    Mat 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    The apostle Paul in the last chapter of his Roman letter is admonishing them to salute the brethren in various places and advises them that the churches of Christ salute you.

    Rom 16:16 "Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you."

    Paul made no distinction between the body of Christ and the church of Christ.

    Eph 1:22-23 "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,.....Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

    The church and the body are one and the same, therefore, they are both the body of Christ and the church of Christ.

    Col 1:18 "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."

    This time Paul says it in reverse, but still there is no difference, they are the same.

    Jesus said, he would build his church, therefore, the church of Christ is the body of Christ.

    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:"

    If we missed the first time, Paul says it twice more.

  • To become a member of the church of Christ, the one he built, one must be married to him.

    The nation of Israel (Jews) were married to the Lord, but because of their committing adultery against him, he gave them a bill of divorce.

    Jer 3:8 "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also."

    Jer 3:14 "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:"

    Jer 3:20 "Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD."

    Jer 31:31-32 "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:.....Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:"


    Israel was bound to God in marriage by the law of Moses, but when Christ took the law out of the way, Israel became dead to the covenant of marriage and were free to marry another, that is, Christ. Paul explains this by way of example of man and woman who are married, but if the husband dies, the woman is free to marry again.

    Rom 7:1-4 "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?.....For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband......So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man......Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."

    As long as the Jews were married to God, they could not be married to another, that is, Christ. If that were the case, our Lord would have been guilty of spiritual adultery.

    2 Cor 11:2 "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."

    In no uncertain terms, the saints of God are married to Christ.

    Men may have a problem being married to Christ, whereas women do not. In the aspect of the spiritual marriage to Christ, men and women are neuter gender, whereas, in other aspects of the new creature in Christ, they are not.

    Gal 3:27-28 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ......There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

  • The new birth into the new kingdom makes one a new creature.

    First, Jesus said, in order for one to see the kingdom of God, he must be born again. Born of water and born of the Spirit. Of course, this is a spiritual birth that creates the new inner man.

    John 3:3-8 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God......Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?.....Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God......That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit......Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again......The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

    Second, Peter said, we are born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God.

    1 Pet 1:23 "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

    Third, we are a new creature in Christ.

    2 Cor 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

    Gal 6:15 "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."


    Fourth, we are God's building.

    1 Cor 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."

    Fifth, Paul said, though the outward man perish, the inward man is renewed day by day.

    2 Cor 4:16 "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."

  • The body of Christ is the same as the church of Christ and the kingdom of Christ.

    We have already seen how Paul made very clear that the body of Christ and the church of Christ are one and the same, Eph.1:22-23; Col.1:18, 24.

    Our Lord only built one church of which he is the head and Paul compares Christs' headship to a man who is the head of his wife. Also, Christ is the Savior of the body.

    Eph 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."

    We learn that there is only one body that Christ built. If Christ being the head, but having more than one body, he would be called a freak.

    Eph 4:4-6 "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;.....One Lord, one faith, one baptism,.....One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

    We are called in one body.

    Col 3:15 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."

    We are reconciled in one body.

    Eph 2:15-16 "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;.....And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:"

    We are baptized into one body.

    1 Cor 12:13 "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

    We are the body of Christ and members in particular.

    1 Cor 12:27 "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."

    The body of Christ is not one member, but many.

    1 Cor 12:14 "For the body is not one member, but many."

    The bread that we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

    1 Cor 10:16 "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?"

    The body of Christ has many members and that body being one.

    1 Cor 12:12 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ."

    Now there are many members, yet one body.

    1 Cor 12:20 "But now are they many members, yet but one body."

    Being many members in one body, yet not all members have the same office and every one members of one another.

    Rom 12:4-5 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:.....So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."

    There should be no schism in the body.

    1 Cor 12:25 "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."

    Whether one member suffer, all members suffer with it and if one member rejoice, all members rejoice with it.

    1 Cor 12:26 "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."

    When we break the bread, our Lord said, this is my body, of course, spiritual.

    Luke 22:19 "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."

    1 Cor 11:24 "And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me."


    Certain members of the church were appointed by Christ to serve in different capacities for the edifying of the body of Christ.

    Eph 4:11-12 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;.....For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

    When God joins a man and woman as one flesh in marriage, this is a great mystery, but the same is true regarding the joining of Christ and his bride the church. As Adam and Eve were one flesh, the same is true in that we are one spirit with Christ and members of his body, his flesh and his bones.

    1 Cor 6:17 "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

    Eph 5:30-32 "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones......For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh......This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."


    One who eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in communion unworthily is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

    1 Cor 11:27 "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."

    In other words, he is guilty of murdering the body of the Lord. How is one guilty of murdering the body of the Lord? The apostle John answers the question by saying, he who hates his brother is a murderer.

    1 John 3:14-15 "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death......Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."

    He and his brother are members of the same body of Christ. If one hates his brother, he hates the body of Christ and therefore, he is guilty of murdering the entire body. The brother who hates another is following the steps of the devil whom our Lord said, was a murderer from the beginning.

    John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

  • The kindom of Christ is the same as the church of Christ and the body of Christ.

    First, when Jesus said he would build his church, Matt.16:18, he would give the keys to the kingdom to the apostle Peter.

    Mat 16:19 "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

    Our Lord told the Pharisees that the kingdom of God would not come by observation, but was within them.

    Luke 17:20-21 "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:....Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

    The Lord Jesus also said, there would be some standing there who would not taste of death until they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

    Mat 16:28 "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."

    We have been called unto his kingdom.

    1 Th 2:12 "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory."

    We have received a kingdom which cannot be moved.

    Heb 12:28 "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:"

    We have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son.

    Col 1:13 "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"

    There is no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ for the wicked.

    Eph 5:5 "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

    Paul and others were in the kingdom of God.

    Col 4:11 "And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me."

    There were those who were counted worthy of the kingdom for which they suffered.

    2 Th 1:5 "Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:"

    There were those who had entered the kingdom of God.

    Acts 14:22 "Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."

    As the apostle John was about to see visions and write the revelation of Jesus Christ, he said, he was in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.

    Rev 1:9 "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."

    In the end of the world, Jesus will send his angels and gather out of his kingdom all who offend and do iniquity and cast them into a furnace of fire where there will wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Mat 13:40-42 "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world......The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;.....And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

    The same is found by the apostle Paul where he wrote to Timothy how that at his appearing, Christ will judge the quick and the dead and his kingdom.

    2 Tim 4:1 "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;"

    In the end of the world, Christ will deliver up his kingdom to God when he shall have put down all rule and authority.

    1 Cor 15:24 "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power."

    Click to Return to Articles Page


    © 2011 by Wendell Tenison