One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

Part 2

Ezekiel 22:26:

“Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.”

 

 

In my last article I wanted to show that there should not be divisions within the church.  The different denominations within the Christian faith are at best confusing and at worst an abomination.

This was Paul’s question to those who would divide the church. 

1 Corinthians 1:13:

Is Christ divided?

There are those who believe there is nothing wrong with having different denominations. There are those who feel that it doesn’t matter if one is a Baptist, or a Catholic, or a Presbyterian, or a Seventh Day Adventist, ect. ect. ect.  Many argue that as long as we believe in Yahoshua {Jesus} everything is OK, there are those who claim that the name of your denomination doesn’t determine your salvation. 

In today’s Christian culture there are more men than ever who claim to be ministers of Yahoshua {Jesus}.  Many of them lead what are called “Mega Churches”.  These are churches that have become so big they are now entities within themselves.  The churches may belong to a specific denomination, but as in Paul’s time it seems the people who attend these churches have a tendency to look more to the men who lead them, than to the denomination in which they belong.

1 Corinthians 1:11-12:

”For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren…. that there are contentions among you.  Now I say this that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul, or I am of Apollos’, or ‘I am of Cephas’, or ‘I am of Christ.’”

Does this sound familiar?  More and more people today are saying the very same thing.

So what is the truth of the matter?  With millions of Christians across the globe there certainly must be different congregations.  Not everyone can worship in the same building or at the same place, but does that mean we should have different denomination’s, be called by different names, or believe in different doctrine.  The bible is very clear on this subject.

1 Corinthians 1:10:

”Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Yahoshua the Christ       { Jesus Christ}, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

1 Corinthians 2:16:

For ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

There is only one Christ. He is the same yesterday to day and forever. {Hebrews 13:8}

He only has one mind and He only speaks one message.

I tried to show in my last article that the church is not a building.  The church is the disciples of Yahoshua {Jesus}.  The church is made up of those He has called to come out of the slavery of sin into the slavery of righteousness. 

Romans 6:18:

And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. “

The church is not a building made of mortar or brick or wood.  It is a spiritual building with Christ as our chief cornerstone.

 

1 Corinthians 3:9

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.”

Psalm 118:22:

The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”

Ephesians 2:19-21:

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahoshua {Jesus Christ} Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,….” 

This is the simplest Biblical definition of the church, but to fully understand the makeup of the church and its purpose we must understand the Holy Spirit.

The church began on the Feast of Weeks or more commonly known as the day of Pentecost.  This was the day when the Holy Spirit was given to all who believed.

Acts 2:1:

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

Acts 2:4:

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

This was the beginning of the church.  The disciples whom Yahoshua {Jesus} had called received the Holy Spirit.  If you read on in the text you will see that the Spirit gave them the ability to speak different languages, but that was not what was important. What was important was what the Holy Spirit had them say.

Acts 2:38-39:

Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yahoshua the Christ {Jesus} for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

All those who believed were to be baptized in the name of Yahoshua{Jesus}, not the name of Peter, or the name of Paul, but in the name of Yahoshua{Jesus}  They were to be baptized the same way, and they were to receive “The Same Spirit”;”The Holy Spirit.  And it was to be freely given to all whom God called.  So now we have a group of people called by God and given the Holy Spirit.  I asked earlier,” What was the purpose of the Holy Spirit?” Let us see the answer.

Ephesians 4:3:

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. “

Unity!!!!!!

I will say that again; unity!!!!!

The very first purpose of the Holy Spirit is to keep the church united.  It is the glue.  The Holy Spirit is the identifying mark of the disciples of Yahoshua.  If you do not have the Spirit of God you do not belong to God.  If you do not have the Spirit of God you are not part of His church.  There is only one Holy Spirit and its first job is to keep the church united.  It is what makes the church one.

1 Corinthians 3:16:

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

When I look at the church to day I do not see unity, I see division, but God is one and His church is one so how can this be?  There are many who do not know, or who may have forgotten that the reason there are denominations is because “they do not agree with each other”.  I do not wish to go into the history of the so-called Christian churches but the fact is different denomination’s teach different things.  They are not united, they are not one faith.  The reason for this confusion is because people who claim to be Christians do not realize who they are or should I say who they are claiming to be.  In my last article I showed that the original believers were Israelite’s, today they are more commonly known as the Jewish people.  It was not until later that God called the gentiles to the faith.  It was after the gentiles were given the Holy Spirit that the people who followed the teachings of Yahoshua {Jesus} were called Christians.  It must be remembered that people called Christians were made up of natural born Israelite's and those of the gentile race.

The term Christ means “The Anointed One”, and those who followed Christ became known as Christians, or to put it another way those who follow “The Anointed One”.  I believe it is because of the word Christian that people do not realize who they really are.  I am not saying that to use the term Christian is wrong, because that term actually unifies all the believers in Christ whether a Jew or Gentile, but I believe there is a better term to describe the followers of Yahoshua {Jesus}.  That term is “Spiritual Israelites”.

Any human being who lives upon the face of this earth comes from Adam and Eve.  They are the mother and father of us all.  We can follow the genealogy all the way to Abraham; who was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob, and whose name was changed to Israel.  God in His own word says that He chose Jacob {Israel} as His special people.  The tribe of Israel became His family and only the tribe of Israel.

Psalm 135:4:

“For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.”

Deuteronomy 7:6:


“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”


Amos 3:2:

You only have I known of all the families of the earth….”


Hebrews 13:8:

“Yahoshua the Christ {Jesus} is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

God chose Israel above all people on earth to be His people.  God does not change.  If Israel is the only people God chose, then how is it that the gentiles have also gained access to the Holy Spirit?  It is because God adopted the gentiles into the family of Israel.  God made the gentiles part of the tribe of Israel, not through physical means, but through the giving of the Holy Spirit. They became Israelite’s through adoption.


Paul compares this adoption to the pruning of branches from the tree.  We can read of this in the book of Romans chapter 11.  I shall for lack of space not go through the entire chapter, I ask that you read that on your own, but I shall pick a couple of pertinent verses to emphasize my point.

Because of Israel’s disobedience to God, He prophesied that they would be punished with diseases, famine, and eventually sold into slavery.


Deuteronomy 28:68:

“And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will redeem you.”{Emphasis  mine}


It is this disobedience that Paul was speaking of when he explains why God has chosen the gentiles to receive the Holy Spirit. He begins by explaining that God will not cast Israel away entirely, but He shall leave a remnant, a small portion of His people for Himself.


Romans 11:2:

God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.”


Romans 11:5:

“Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

And it is because of Israel’s fall that the gentiles have been given the great opportunity of salvation.


Romans 11:11:

 “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.” 


Paul then describes the salvation of the gentiles with the pruning and grafting of branches onto a tree.  He explains that if the root of the tree is holy, the root being Yahoshua {Jesus}, then the branches must be holy, and if the gentiles were grafted onto that Holy Tree as branches, then they also have become Holy. 


Jeremiah 11:16-17:

The Lord called your name, Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit……And its branches are broken. For the Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah….”


Romans 11:15-20:

If the root is holy, so are the branches.  And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.


The gentiles have now become part of the same “Green Olive Tree”.  If Israel is Israel, because they are part of this Holy Tree, then anything that is grafted onto that tree must also become Israel.  Gentiles have become Israelite’s, or should I say “Spiritual Israelites”, not born in the family of Israel, but adopted into the family of Israel through the giving of the Holy Spirit. 


Romans 8:14-15:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”


Galatians 4:6-7:

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.


Galatians 3:6-7:

“Just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.”


Galatians 3:14: 

“That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Yahoshua the Christ {Jesus}, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”


The gentiles have now become the children of Abraham, and if they are the children of Abraham they are also partakers of the promise.  They have been grafted onto the holy tree; which is Yahoshua {Jesus} our Lord.  All who have the Holy Spirit have been made a part of the family of Israel, we are all united as one, we are all “Spiritual Israelites”, having the same Father, and worshipping His Son our Savior Yahoshua {Jesus}.

If this is the case should it not be that we all speak the same thing, teach the same doctrine, and are called by the same name.  When our Savior returns to this earth and He shall return, He will be looking for His church will He find it, will you be a part of it?


1 Corinthians 3:17:

“If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”


Until next time,


Peace



All scripture referenced comes from The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. unless otherwise noted.  All emphasis added is mine.  The name Yahoshua is added by me.