How many churches are there? What saith the scriptures?
I believe the scriptures presented in articles #10 and #11 say the following things.
(1) There was only one church in God's plan from times eternal (Eph. 3:10-11).
(2) God through the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, and Jesus, only promised us one church (Isa. 2:1-3, Micah 4:1-2, Zech. 6:12-13, Daniel 2:44, Daniel 7:13-14, Mat. 3:1-2, Mat. 4:17, Mark 1:15, Mark 9:1).
(3) The apostles of Jesus were to eat at the Lord's table in one church (Luke 22:29-30).
(4) Christ while here promised to build only one church (Mat. 16:18). He also said, there shall be one fold or one church (Jo. 10:16).
(5) Christ died, for only one church (Eph. 5:25). Yeah, he died, so that all people might be reconciled unto God, in one church (Eph. 2:11-16).
(6) All the people baptized by the inspired apostles and prophets were baptized into only one church (I Cor. 12:13).
(7) God added the saved to only one church (Acts 2:47, Col. 1:13).
(8) The enemies of Christ persecuted only one church (I Cor. 15:9).
(9) The friends of Jesus suffered for only one church (Col. 1:24).
(10) God set apostles, prophets, elders, teachers and evangelist in one church (Eph. 4:11-131.
(11) God made his Son Jesus the head of only one church (Eph. 1:20-23).
(12) All of God's people, as many, were only one church (Rom. 12:4-5).
(13) The Apostle John and all of God's people in seven cities of Asia, were all members of one and the same church (Rev. 1:9- 11).
(14) Now finally, after all the teachings of Christ had been revealed and preached to the whole world, the Apostle Paul wrote, there is one God (Eph. 4:4-6). In this same scripture, he also wrote, there is one church.
Oh yes, my readers, the scriptures which I presented from the Old Testament through Acts, chapter One say: One church is coming; and declare there shall be only one church.
Then some of the scriptures I presented from Acts, chapter one through Revelation, chapter Twenty-two show in many different ways that Christ as he had promised, built only one church. Whereas others said in plain words, there is one church. So how can I say, that God from 33 AD to 90 AD, had more than one church.
The purpose of this article shall be to present scriptures (which I believe) will show the scriptural impossibility of any other church ever being established.
According to John 15, all of God's people are branches; which are attached to Jesus, the one and only vine God has. So there was no way for some of God's people after 90 AD to separate themselves from the others and become another group or church. You see since there was only one vine, then their only choice was to remain with the others or cease to exist. Because there was no other vine to which they could attach themselves.
God's writers of Zech. 6, Isa. 2, Micah 4 and I Pet. 2 say he thinks of his people as living stones, which make up his house or church. However, according to Isa. 28:16 and I Cor. 3:10-11 God has provided us with only one foundation. Jesus in Mat. 7:24-27, says a house without a foundation is destined to fall. So all of God's people must remain as one house. Because if some break away and form another house, they will be a house without a foundation.
According to Rom. 12:4-5 and I Cor. 12:12, 27 God thinks of all his people as being many members, but one body. Yet, he has given only one head (Eph. 1:20-23, Eph. 5:22-23, Col. 1:24). Now inasmuch as these two things are true, then it necessarily follows that no portion of that (church) body which was established by Jesus, could have broken away from the others, and formed another body. Because a body without a head to direct its members is nothing. No, since God had provided them with only one head, then their only choice was to remain together and be just one (church) body.
It is a well-known fact, that the destiny of sheep on the open range without a shepherd is destruction. Likewise it is a well-known scriptural fact that God thinks of his people as sheep (Mat. 15:24, John 10:1-9, John 21:15-18). Then too, it is a scriptural fact that God has given all his sheep only one shepherd; and that one shepherd is Jesus (Jo. 10:1-16). Again, inasmuch as these things are true, it must necessarily follow that all of God's sheep were compelled to remain (as they were in the beginning) one fold or one church. Otherwise, those who broke away would be a flock without a shepherd.
Again according to John 3:29, God thinks of all his people as being members of one body which is the wife of one husband. Then according to both John 3:29 and Rom. 7:1-4, the one husband is Jesus. So once more I must say, since Christ was the one and only one. whom God ordained to be the husband of the church, there was no way for some members of the church Jesus built to break away and become another (church) wife. No, they had to remain with them and be a part of that one wife, or else be a wife without a God recognized husband. This would have been spiritual adultery.
God also thinks of all of his people, who are his church, as being a kingdom (Acts 2:47, Col. 1:13). Yet, he has ordained that Jesus and only Jesus will reign over this kingdom from its beginning until the end of time (Dan. 7:13-14,1 Cor. 15:22-28). So if during the days of the apostles some of the people of the only kingdom of that time should have broken away and started another kingdom, they would have been a kingdom without a God recognized king.
The people who made up the one church which Jesus built and for many years after 90 AD was the only church in the world, were the people who had need of being taught both before and after becoming children of God (Mat. 28:18-20). But by whom did God teach them? Deut. 18:18-19 and Acts, chapter three, say it was Christ. Then too, Heb. 1:1-2 says God speaks to the people through him. Then Jesus in Mat. 23:8 declares he is God's only teacher for this age. Then Paul, in I Cor. 1:13, says that Christ is not divided. That is, he says God's only teacher does not teach some one thing and other just the opposite. So if some of that one group had broken away and started another church, they would have been a church without a God ordained teacher.
By: Tommy Hodge