August 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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God's Government On Earth
and The Exclusive Church!

Many have preached, and are still preaching, that the church is God's Government on the earth!

The ministerial hierarchy of these church groups claims that one man CAN be the head of God's Church on this earth and thusly OVER everyone else who is placed into the church through the gift of God's Holy Spirit.

Of what is the Body of Christ composed?

There are so many differing and argumentative beliefs about this subject that I thought I would "jump into the fray" and put in my "3 cents worth" about all this. My thoughts about this are worth MORE than 2 cents because I am a very long time student of the Scriptures and have become somewhat an amateur theologian in the process.

Perhaps you can tell by reading the articles I have written that I don't take the job lightly at all, but feel a very profound responsibility to preach the Truth as shown in God's Holy Word.

To begin, we need to determine how Jesus established His Church. Did He build it upon ANY man?

Many, many people believe the church was built upon the Apostle Peter because of scriptures in Matthew.

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."

Many sermons have been built on this scripture trying to prove or disprove that Peter was "this rock" upon which Christ would build His Church.

In order to come to an understanding we need to look at the context of this verse.

Mat. 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
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.

Before the quoted verses above Jesus was asking His disciples who all the people thought He was? The disciples said some thought He was Elijah, some thought He was John the Baptist, some Jeremiah, or any number of other people.

Jesus asked His disciples (verse 15) who THEY said He was. Simon Peter stated that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God!! Jesus responded that Peter had not come to this conclusion on his own, but the understanding had been revealed to him from God The Father in Heaven.

Now we can see what the subject of this "rock" is. Jesus told Simon Barjona that he was Peter (Petros = a rock or a stone, a little bit of rock) and that He (Jesus) would build His Church upon the Rock (Petra = Craig of a rock, boulder) which had been revealed to Peter by God the Father.

That Rock was Himself. It was also the Rock in the Wilderness which took care of the Israelites for 40 years.

Deut. 32:4 "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

John 1:1 shows us that this one, referred to here as the Rock, was none other than the One who became Jesus Christ. Jesus WAS The Word, the God of the Old Testament who led the Israelites out of Egypt and took care of and nurtured them during their time in the wilderness. He was the Pillar of a Cloud during the day, and a Pillar of Fire during the night to lead them out Egypt (a type of sin) into a land which He had promised.

We followers of Christ today are wandering about in "the wilderness" and being led to that Land of Promise, the Kingdom of God. Whenever we receive God's Holy Spirit we become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ who is the FIRSTBORN from DEATH into the Kingdom of God. (Col. 1:18)

More than that, when we are given God's Holy Spirit, we are begotten (not yet born again) into His Family.

We have become A PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST!! We don't know yet exactly what we shall be because we can only see through "a glass darkly".

1 Cor. 13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
Rom. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Yes, once a person is BEGOTTEN by God's Spirit, that person becomes a Child of God, not yet born, but still an HEIR of God to receive the same INHERITANCE that Jesus received when He was BORN into that Family. That process of physical life to spirit life is said, by God's Word, to be the time when we are BORN AGAIN. We go from physical to spirit, from corrupt to incorrupt, from MORTAL to IMMORTAL!!

1 Cor. 15:54 "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

Death is "swallowed up" because death has no hold on Spirit Life, don't you see?

That verse also states and shows that human beings, mortals, MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY!! It is NOT something they have right now!! There is NO IMMORTAL SOUL in mankind, don't you see?

Now, back to the Body of Christ.

Once we REPENT of our past sins, once we are BAPTIZED by being placed UNDER water (which represents a grave - we become buried with Christ - Rom 6:4; Col 2:12), we are then GIVEN God's Holy Spirit which makes us His Child and places us into the Body of Christ.

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."

Once we are "baptized into one body", God (and of course Jesus) places us in that Body where it pleases Him.

Verse 18 "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him."

This Body of Christ then, is the "church of God" mentioned a few times in scripture. The word "church" is from the Greek word "Ekklesia", meaning "called out ones." Those who receive God's Spirit have been called out of this world, and INTO the Body of Christ. Can ANY ONE of these human beings, who have been called out of this world and placed into the Body of Christ, then LEAVE the Body and BECOME the Head?

NO!! THE HEAD OF THE BODY IS JESUS THE CHRIST!!

Col 1:18 And He is the Head of the Body, the church (the Ekklesia): who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; THAT IN ALL THINGS HE MIGHT HAVE THE PREEMINENCE."

No man can become the Head of The Body!! Jesus the Living Christ IS THE HEAD OF THAT BODY and WE are ALL a part of THE BODY!!

Don't you see? NO man has EVER been given PREEMINENCE over God's church!! That was a desire of Satan, the Devil, when He tried to force God to let him sit in a throne next to God and The Word and to place him OVER the STARS (angels) of God, and OVER the congregation (the church).

Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Satan didn't want to TAKE OVER!! He wanted to FORM A TRINITY with God and The Word!! That would have placed him in a position to DENY anyone else coming into the Family of God for he would be over the Angels of God and God's Church!! God's intention for mankind would then have been thwarted, for God has decreed that He will produce Children of Himself!! He has done that by placing His Holy Spirit into our minds and beginning to teach us how to think like Him. We are being TRAINED to take our place in God's Kingdom (Family) right now!!

DO YOU GET IT? I truly hope so!!

Can you see that the desire to be a Human Head of God's Church is directly from Satan's desire to be that too? Can you see that "Jezebel" is preaching in God's Church, teaching those people therein to accept "food offered unto idols?"

God says to the church in Thyatira, and to us by spiritual extension:

Rev. 2:20 "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds."

Brethren, Jesus the Christ is the Head of God's Church!! ALL God's begotten (not yet born) Children are a part of that Body of Christ. NO PART of the Body can be THE HEAD because JESUS IS THE LIVING AND ACTIVE HEAD of the Body!!

What about this thing of the church being ONLY ONE ORGANIZATION?

Even Herbert W. Armstrong realized, later in his life, that there were other Ekklesia in the world who were keeping God's Commandments, statutes (Holy Days) and Laws! He KNEW that ANYONE who received God's Holy Spirit was a part of the Body of Christ (which he designated as a spiritual organism). He KNEW that not all of those who had received God's Spirit were a part of The World Wide Church of God. However, in order to maintain the UNITY which HE desired in WCG, he did not preach anything about this.

Please, don't get me wrong!! I have a very high respect for Herbert W. Armstrong, his service to God and to us, and for his devotion to God's Commandments, statutes and Laws. However, he WAS A HUMAN BEING, and therefore subject to Satan's deception and to his own mistakes (just as we are subject to Satan's deception and our own mistakes).

Does that make him any less a MAN OF GOD?? NO!! OF COURSE NOT!!

As we read through the scriptures we see all of God's chosen ones had imperfections and made mistakes, some mistakes HORRENDOUS ones. The result of King David's sin with Bathsheba (and the killing of her husband) was that David lost his son.

However, David was called a "man after God's own heart." Imperfections and all!

Abraham LIED to King Abimelech that Sarah was "his sister." Yet he was called "the friend of God."

We ALL MAKE MISTAKES!! Does that make us NOT a child of God? Of course not!! God is Graceful and Merciful to forgive those things when we repent!!

With all the above knowledge, should anyone be able to claim their group is the ONLY true church? Should anyone be able to claim that unless you are a member of "their" church, you are not in God's Church? Should any man claim to be "The Head of God's Church on Earth?"

Then IS God's church the Government of God on earth?

If so, God's Government is already here and active. However, the scriptures tell us differently. We must go to the Book of Isaiah for the answer to this.

Isa 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

As we can see the government is upon the shoulders of Jesus the Christ (verse 6) and it will have no end (verse 7). We can also see in the Book of Revelation chapter 11 that God's Kingdom has NOT YET BEEN SET UP on this earth.

Rev. 11:15 "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

As we have seen, no one corporate organization is the ONLY true Church of God. The church is composed of Spirit Begotten individuals where ever they may be.

We have seen that NO MAN can claim to be the Head of God's Church because ALL spirit-begotten people are a part of the Body and one of them therefore cannot be the Head. Since Christ is the Head of The Church that is of course, a foregone conclusion.

The Government of God is STILL in Heaven where the HEAD is, and is not yet on this earth and therefore the church CANNOT be the Government of God.

So what about it? Are YOU a part of the Body of Christ, the church, even though you are not a "member" of a major, or even minor, corporate organization? Is it required in Scripture that God's Church be organized under man's laws? Anywhere?

Or are you one who considers a minister as being "over you" in the church even though scriptures tell us that ministers are supposed to be servants, and brethren?

Brethren, all of us in the Church of God MUST quit accepting the word of a man when it is not in agreement with the Word of God! And believe it or not, God has placed upon us INDIVIDUALLY the burden of determining, as the Bereans did, whether or not we are being told the truth.

With love in Jesus Name,

Ken Browder, Editor

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