This article was written by Denise Nyenhuis. It is a good basic introduction and contains truth from God's holy word.
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” Ephesians 3:14, 15. The family of God is both those saints who have gone on to their eternal reward and those saints who are still here on this earth. God has named this family the church. His church!
Paul in Acts 20:28, exhorts those whom the Holy Ghost has made overseers or Pastors to, “feed the Church of God.” God has called Pastors to lead His family into the truths of His word. His desire is for His family to be gathered together. God says, “Gather my saints together unto me;” Psalms 50:5. God does not want His people scattered or divided. “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:1, 2. God is not pleased with those who rise up and cause division among his people or church.
God is aware that there will be false pastors who will scatter the flock. Yet He will not abandon His Church. “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:3,4. God promises those who are truly seeking Him with their whole heart and called to be saints that He will not leave them desolate. God will “gather the church together,” He will bring His family together to be led by true shepherds. Who will feed them with the living words of truth.
God has ordained Pastors to lead his people, yet they are followed only as they follow Christ (1st Corinthians 11:1). Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18. Christ was saying that He would build a church. This verse also shows us that the church will never be destroyed. In Acts 20:28 we see that Jesus purchased the church, “with his own blood.” The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was the foundational act which paid for the church of God.
The Church of God is not just “another church among churches.” She is not a denomination nor is she undenominational. She is not Catholic, Protestant or Jewish. There is no earthly head quarters, conference or human organization to promote her. Her members do not join by any unscriptural method such as hand-shaking, card-signing, confirmation or baptism; but rather have been added to the church by the Lord. Acts 2:47 says, “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” The Church is made up of saved people. Those who are living holy, righteous and obedient lives. Those who have been saved or delivered from their sin. Matthew 1:21 says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” The purpose of Jesus’ death on the cross was to free us from the life of bondage to sin and thereby add us to God’s Church.
Dear friend, the majority of those in denominational religion do not hold the testimony that they are delivered from all sin. God clearly shows us in 1st John 3:9, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin:... he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” 1st John 3:8 states,“...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” What are the works of the devil but sin! Even the Greek word for the Church (ekklesia) is significant. Ekklesia means, a calling out. What has the Church been called out of? She has been called out of sin! Called out from the evil of this world! Therefore we can see that God’s Church is a body of people who have separated themselves from sin. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” 2nd Corinthians 6:14-18.
Christ built a holy Church, a sinless church, a church without spot or blemish. “...Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27. Any “church” or organization that does not meet this standard is not a part of God’s church. They are not the church of God.
Revelation 21:2 and 9 describes the church as a bride prepared for her husband, the Lamb’s wife. Jesus has purchased her, cleansed her and is preparing her for himself. Waiting for the day He will present her to His Father. “For the marriage of the Lamb (Christ) is come, and his wife (the church) hath made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7.
The question is have you made yourself ready? Are you a part of the church, the lamb’s wife? If the church is like a bride then she can commit spiritual fornication by listening to a false pastor, who preaches a false Christ. A church in such a backslidden, adulterous condition is the definition of Babylon.
The first Babylonian church was the “Roman Catholic Church of God.” They left the true doctrines of Christ and began to include heathen beliefs as part of their religion. The dictionary even defines “Babylonian” as: “A Roman Catholic.” Since the 1500’s the Catholic church has split up into many false religious groups called Protestant denominations. Again the dictionary definition of “Denomination” is: a sect, a division. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ... that there be no divisions among you.” 1st Corinthians 1:10. The church of God is not a sect or a division. The church of God is one body endeavoring for unity, Ephesians 4:16.
Friend, do you find yourself in a Babylonian church? Are you one of God’s family held captive by false religion? Are you a part of a nominal “Christian” religion that teaches that everyone sins? God tells you in His word what you should do. “Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:1-4, 2nd Corinthians 14:15-17.
Remember, the word church means called out. People need to separate themselves from sinning religion, as well as separate themselves from sin. If you have separated yourself and come out of sin and false religion what must you come to? God’s promises are still true. His desire is to gather His scattered children and bring them home; home to the church of God to the gathering of His people; to the church that lives the truths of Bible salvation; to the church that preaches all the Bible; to the church who will worship God in the beauty of holiness.
By Denise Nyenhuis