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The Identity of the Church (3)

The pattern for the church is found in the last will and testament of our Lord and Savior – the New Testament. As we already noted, there are no branches, sects or subsets of the Kingdom of God mentioned anywhere by Christ, his apostles, any disciples or the writers of the NT. There are no instructions to add other parts to it or to set up assemblies based on other instructions. All assemblies were told they must follow this single…

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The Identity of the Church (2)

Only one community of Christians is identified in the New Testament. It is variously called: “the body of Christ (Rom. 7:4),” “the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3); “the Church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15), “the Churches of Christ,” (Rom. 16:16); and “one body” (Eph.4:4). That is what we should be looking for exclusively --- the one that follows the given New Testament pattern. Our salvation depends on it. The Apostle Paul wrote the church in Galatia: “For as…

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Merry Christmas!

It’s that time of year again. When thoughts of Santa Claus, reindeer and winter boughs clog up our highways, malls and minds. Our local paper just printed their yearly paean to peace on earth and good will to men. They began by listing Psalm 133:1: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” But then the article’s lead paragraph took things far afield. “Even though the Christian church is made up of different denominations,…

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Standing Up (2)

Do you believe that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit on that Pentecost morning gave them a spiritual booster shot, so that Peter and the rest of the Apostles suddenly stood their ground? What about the fact that by then they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the Christ? They had seen with their own eyes, and had watched hundreds of miracles worked by Christ. And they witnessed the finish of it all. The eternity shattering miracle: they…

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Standing Up

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.” (Acts 2:14) Now where can we go with just this one verse? Do you see anything valuable or useful in this little bit of the opening statement at the start of his first sermon? It doesn’t seem to say very much that might help us to understand…

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Words (Still) Mean Something

Authority is defined as: “The power to determine, to adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control command or determine.” (Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language). Jesus stated God, the Holy Father, He and the Holy Spirit were unified, singular in purpose, and were all deity. (Jo. 17:21, 1 Co. 8:6, 1 Jo. 2:14, 1 Jo. 5:7, and elsewhere). While here Jesus also stated that “all authority has been given to Me in both heaven and on…

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The Church Of Christ (5)

In 536 BC while Daniel was alive in Babylon, the first of the four mentioned kingdoms fell. Following this, history records that Persia and Media combined and established a government that is identified as the second of the kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 2. The Persian Empire continued until 330, when its parts were absorbed into the Macedonian Kingdom following the death of Alexander. The heirs of four of Alexander’s generals, Lysimacchus, Pompeius, Cassander and Seleucus controlled the bulk of the Middle…

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The Church of Christ (4)

In the previous post, we read that King Nebuchadnezzar had commanded all the magicians and sorcerers of Babylon to make known to him both the details of his dream and its meaning or face death. He was astute enough to know that they might try to trick him to save their lives; and he made it impossible to do that. At this point, Daniel asked the king to spare the rest; and that he be taken before him to identify…

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The Church of Christ (3)

In this segment we will take a brief look at history. In 612 BC, there was a battle for control of the Eastern world. Nabopolassar, king of Babylon had died and his son Nebuchadnezzar, now ruler, refused to align with Egypt and Pharaoh Necho. In 605 Nebuchadnezzar defeated Necho at Carchemish establishing the greatest of all kingdoms of men -– the Chaldean or Babylonian. Nebuchadnezzar overran Israel (now known as Palestine), in 601 and again in 597 effectively destroying the country and later…

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The Church Of Christ (2)

When Jesus had asked, "who do people say that I am." Peter, characteristically outspoken, gave answer: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  Then Jesus said, "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock,  "I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth, will have been bound in heaven…

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