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What is the One True Church?

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us...” — John 17:20, 21

It is often asked, “What is the right denomination?” There are hundreds, if not thousands of denominations all claiming to be this one true church, but does God recognize any of these as His representative on earth?  This subject should be approached prayerfully and honestly. If there was but one church in the beginning, established by our Lord, there should be but the one church in the end — the church triumphant in glory. Colossians 3:4

The word church was first used in the New Testament and is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which means a calling out. Jesus said to his disciples, “I have chosen you  out of the world.” (John 15:19)  The true church is a company of believers who, in accepting the invitation of Christ, have become sanctified or separated from the world, worldly pursuits and worldly organizations. 

Those of the early church bore no denominational names, but were simply identified by their location. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, …sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” (1 Corinthians 1:2)  These sanctified individuals in various communities set themselves apart from the world and dedicate their lives to God through the merit of His Son.  Thus, the true church is not a place to go to, nor is it a denomination to belong to. The church is the gathering of sincere believers.  Paul emphasized this when he confirmed that Jesus’ followers were baptized only into Christ and not into an earthly organization.  There is but one baptism, and that is into Christ. Thus, it is a misconception that one joins or is baptized into a particular church denomination. Ephesians 4:4-6; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3, 4

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31 comments to What is the One True Church?

  • There is no one true Church or religion. Here is why? Because The Most High God did not send his son into the world to establish a religion, he sent him to start a “Brotherhood.”

    Religion divides. A Brotherhood binds us all under one Father in heaven. It was to that one Father that Christ directed persons. No religious organization does this today because they are NOT Brotherhoods.

    Cain an Abel were different, but were Brothers nonetheless.

    What makes one a true follower of God is one who has the mind of Christ. He did not belong to any religious organization and neither did any of his disciples (that is, those he taught). Yes, those disciples congregated themselves into groups depending on the region they lived, but they NEVER called themselves by some fancy religious titles. In fact, they NEVER called themselves Christians. Jesus never taught them to be known by such titles and they never referred to each other by such a title. It was a title others who WERE NOT followers of Christ gave them as they held them in derision. The title is similar in use and scope to the “N-word” used today by many who hate Black people. The N-word is not a title Black people made up and gave themselves.

    There are over 44,000 contending “Christian” denominations who teach Christ different and oppositely; yet, they all claim they have the truth.

    No religious organization today has the truth or is the truth. The reason why is very simple. Jesus Christ is “the truth” not any religious organization or book by any name.

    Jesus is not contained within the confines of religious organizations as they are contentious and divisive and not Brotherhoods.

    True followers of Christ would know that their Master is not “with religious organization” but “outside of them.” They would also know that he alone is their Teacher, not books and religious organizations.

    They would view the people in the entire world as Jesus did: As persons without a Shepherd and lost.

    They would have the same loving and forgiving mindset that Christ had: He asked the Father to forgive those who persecuted, tortured and put him to death. Why? Because they were ignorant. Because they did not know what they were doing.

    Jesus NEVER taught his disciples to get persons to join some religious organization. He taught and commanded them to make disciples to “him.” (Matt 28:19-20)

    Sadly, many insist upon revering and following behind religious organization – and the men and women within them – rather than the PERSON of Christ himself.

    Christ ask that we become his disciples, not disciples of a book(s) or religious organizations. Those things are not our teachers, Christ is. He is our ONLY Teacher.

    If any do not see that Christ is not within “religious” organization, then they are still enslaved while thinking they are free.

    • Bret (B.S)

      Jerome;

      I certainly agree with you that there is no earthly organization where true Christians are enrolled as members… Why because we must of the household of whom he chooses..

      Php 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

      Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

      Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

      So our membership according to the inspired scriptures is in the household of God and it is writen upon our hearts, an adoption and heirship that we share…

      Not sure what your point is but looking at your past comments they seem to be exhaustive…

  • Daz

    Hi Peter, thankyou for letting me know, if that is the case then I can fully understand the action you took, there is no place for racism!
    Thanks again Peter….

    Warm & loving regards,
    Daz

  • William Draper

    Is there one true religion, I would say yes , mostly described by the words of Christ, ISAIAH ch 2 is misinterpreted by JW ,this shows more than one so called religion being considered acceptable , The NT shows various disagreements amongst the brothers and sisters , yet they were to WORK AT BEING AT PEACE being united . JOHN THE BAPTIZER still had HIS disciples , which were not exactly in full harmony with Christ, they asked later whether Christ really was who he said . we can be assured though that they didn’t treat each other as Apostates for measeley differences . The NT is clear on a congregational arrangement, and many are blessed to be part of such , but also many problems also develop , it does seem that every structure distorts things out of what. Has become Tradition, every group could be proved to be in error on something

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hello William, I have followed you brothers comment over the weekend.
      I wanted to make you aware of an app called Christian Resources. I am listen to the talks on the app now and it is so informative for those of us that were witnesses.
      http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2013/05/25/mobile-apps-text-audio-bible-talks-studies-the-scriptues-and-more/
      It is also listed on the web by that name. If you go under audio sermons and click on let’s say “Chicago Convention”, you will see a lot of different discourses, some on the nominal church system and on about any subject you can think of. Hearing the brothers use scriptures and reason might help get an answer to your question.
      This is memorial season for us and many of the brothers have attended conventions over the weekend and gave talks, Br. Peter was one. They also have preparations to make by Thursday’s Memorial. But I am just so sure you will find this site amazing. Also to the far right under adio you will see this link that will take you out on your computer, http://bibleresources.info/ then click on the audio tab. Take Care

  • I find nothing wrong with talking about Br. Russell. God allowed him to speak about the scriptures, and much clear truth has come of it…so I take most of it as being from God. True, men will always add some of their own color to it, but that does not change the truth.

    What Br Russell did led to this site of Bible students. It is my belief, The Watch Tower, Bible and Track society, is an attempt by Satan to mislead those seeking the truth. It has not only misled many, but because of that organization many have turned their backs on God.

    The Bible Students is not a religion. It is a group of people who believe in God the Father, and his Son, our Lord Jesus…which are the only two requirements for life.

    One proof God has no organized religion is; “They can all be proven false.”

    • Jacqueline

      Domenic I saw on a website that a poll of places where there are 100 atheist will reveal that over half have become so because of being a witness or in some way affected by them. I agree that this organization was a plant by Satan to make people hate God and definitely not acknowledge Jesus. Are they different from other religions in some ways more deadly. Catholicism in the past started off like the governingbody is now. We know what their reign of terror was like during the dark ages, no one could buy or sell without their permission. I hope God will not let them rise so high. My family would be better off stuck in a nominal religion of Christian origin rather than the witnesses but I know it will all work out in the end. The more organized a group becomes the more they will restrict a relationship with God. Having had that experience within the witnesses I would not associate if the Bible Students were this way. I have traveled to many of the small convention to be in the presence of my brothers. I confess they are not restrictive. They listen and let each other express themselves and have no qualms about them not seeing subjective matters the same. Yet I see a unity of being brothers. I should write a book about my experiences but here I hope that I can convey that the organization changed and corrupted some of the clear truths. It seems they are doing it on purpose as some of their strange doctrines defy the thinking pattern of normal individuals. Take Care Jacqueline

    • Barry Ward

      Hi Domenic. I have met B. Students in both USA and UK. My personal feeling is that the WT/JW’s might well have played a representative roll to God (Jehovah) in spite of their obvious corruption of Christianity, because the world wide preaching work has always been the distinguishing identity of the Christian church. How is that possible? The scriptures are clear that Satan’s objective is primarily exactly the corruption of the true church. in other words the Christian church can be identified by it’s mix of truth and lies. Unfortunately for those JW’s who recommend remaining inside, the scriptures are unambiguous that remaining inside results in eternal death. It is impossible to remain inside and retain a Christian conscience. The command is to “Get out”. No other contemporary church has performed a comparable scripture teaching program, and no other church has fostered the fears loyalty to one another, which is another identifying mark of the church. Barry Ward.

      • jacqueline (Bible Student)

        Hello Barry and thanks for commenting. I agree that a mixture of truth with lies confuses the issue. I consider the witnesses as other Christian religions . I don’t believe staying there results in everlasting destruction because now is not judgement day. They Will share in the sins and suffering, ie, witnesses share in stigma of hiding pedophiles and breaking up families.
        What they lose out on is the privilege to be of the heavenly class.
        They will in millennium get the same chance as the rest of mankind to conform on earth to the kingdom rule in joy and peace.

        • Barry Ward

          Hi Jaqueline. No one seems take much notice of the wording of Revelation. I see nothing wrong with trying to understand its meaning. Babylon the great has to be the Christian congregation corrupted by Satan. Whoever you choose, the command is to “Get out”. The consequence of staying in to share her plagues. There seems to be no attempt to understand the book. Revelation would not have been written if it has no meaning. Barry Ward.

          • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

            Barry, I think we agree, one would share in the plagues. I used to read more into than was stated. It doesn”t say they will die or go to Gehenna. A relative just told me today that persons on his job make fun and harsh comments about witnesses pedophile cases and all negative revealing dirt on the internet. His being a witness means they are talking about him also, although not talking to him. That is not a plague but certainly with all learned about the religion to stay in babylon as they get reveal will be hurtful I on the other hand can say I left for those reasons. So I understand revelation.(not what it says of course)
            Revelation is the only book where there is a penalty for adding or taking away from it’s scroll. So I am especially careful not to add to Rev. 18 and 17 chapter. I believe the greatest Reveal is unfolding before our eyes. But it is judgement on the system babylon not the individual people in there. After babylon falls it’s people can avail themselves to the millennium blessings and learned the real truth about God.

  • Judas Iscariot

    Charles T. Russell was the foundation of the faulty foundation, that is the 1914 doctrine that the organization centers itself around. The very “image” of the wild beast is within this organization. The word “image” also means representation. What is the organization appearing to represent? It would seem that they treat it as the Kingdom of God already having come. Such terms such as “spiritual paradise” are used and spiritual Gentiles (elders) are allowed to Lord over those who are considered the “Israel of God. This truly is a disgusting thing, standing in a holy place…Fleeing from “Jerusalem” is certainly appropriate at this point in time.

  • Thanks Ken and Jacqueline for your replies. NO I am not obsessed with Russell, Rutherfraud, Billy Graham, Wesley or any other wonderful proclaimers of the Gospel, because they they were ALL wrong in many areas.

    These days we have the infiltration of New Age into the Church and I am far more against that because it is being woven into the gospel. People such as Rick Warren and others are very dangerous men.

    In fact I never mention Russell unless it crops up and I have found on this site that his Volumes seem to crop up a lot.

    I am not into books who ever they are written by…the WT put me off that brain washing.

    I would far rather discuss SCRIPTURE with anyone. That is the Divine record, NOT Studies in the scriptures, the Watchtower, Purpose driven Life or any other book written by ‘theologians’.

    Since becoming Born Again we have found the dear Holy Spirit teaches us everything we need to know and that is because we know that he loves us and hears us and directs us. The Holy Spirit is Christ living within us…we are tripart beings..Body Soul & SPIRIT and because HE is living within us. I Thessalonians 5:23 The World does not know him or understand him.

    One day I will post things that have happened to us since we allowed the Lord to take us over…one thing is that we now live in Cyprus a place Christine hated when we came here in 1995 as JWs. However the Lord has given us the strength to leave 2 daughters in England and one had been diagnosed with Lung lymphoma a year before we moved over. The other daughter had a horrendous marriage and yet the Lord sent us 2,500 miles away right in the Middle East.

    We have now been here for 5 years and the Lord is doing amazing things in our lives and our daughters lives.

    Bless you all and keep searching the scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to do his work in you..

    Agape David

    • Jacqueline

      Hi David and thanks for explaining yourself. I know we all will agree that there are many trying to please God and he knows that. You have indeed made a sacrifice. I am one of those stick to the family first type and it takes all types to make the Christian world go round. No religion, faith etc have it all correct. If we got it then we would not search. Wasn’t he smart to have the bible written like a mystery, who donit. It helps him train the heart and see who has the stamina and heart devotion to seek out his will. But all shall be saved in Christ if they respond during the 1000 year day of judgement. I wish you well in your ministry. Sometimes David when we have been bent one way (with the org) we bend over very far the other way. Then some steady themselves and some don’t. It will all come out in the wash as they say. Me, I don’t wiorry about it frankly, I just am glad to be able to discuss the word with others without fear of reprisal by my family and acquaintants, to have persons of like faith to learn and share. Also to be around persons that realize Jesus life benefits all mankind. Dumbing him down just made me sick. It is true we need only the bible to guide us but thank God the printing press and now the internet of knowledge allows us to take a close look at what others think about a matter and not just our own interpretation. I once had a bible student that thought holy spirit was guiding him and he did some amazing things but it wasn’t holy spirit. He was charismatic also, predicted lottery numbers and deceived many. He was an alcoholic and totally insane. When he gets on his meds he is somewhat normal, so I am just saying signs are not always an indicator of things from God. In his case he let his mind go free unbridled and did amazing sometime crazy things and survived. So I think it is okay to be a little conservative and read, listen to others whether in books or as we are doing on a fluid book (internet). Take Care David

      • I think you mean Charismatic Jacqueline…the Bible tells us to keep testing the spirits. When we get a word, vision or prophetic word from the Lord, we always make sure it is in harmony with scripture.

        Winning the lottery is not from God and nor is alcholism. We have come across people in similar situations and we just take a step back and wait on the Lord.

        Remember Jesus said, that the sheep hear HIS voice…so if we do not hear the voice of the Lord we cannot be sheep…

        Yes these forums are good, as long as we remember to bless one another and not curse. With our mouths we can do immense damage, even on these places.

        Words have power and if we curse…as do many religionists, it will come back on us…because what we sow we shall reap.

        So again warm blessings to you all and Kali Spera (Good Night)

  • Ken

    David, Jacqueline is right…..I know when I first became interested in the Bible students I was fascinated with Russell but, after awhile, I realized I was beggining to be the same way I was with the Jw GB…i.e…..elevating a man to a higher place than I should. Now I only mention Russell when I have to(not that it’s taboo to talk about him)and as Jacqueline said, I just refer to the volumes.

  • Just had a look at the very good article explaining the true church…and I aggree will all that is written in those few pages..then I came to the end part…that reads:

    “We boast nothing, claim nothing of ourselves. We
    are content to voluntarily serve the Lord and His flock to the
    best of our ability — exacting no tithes, no “honor of men,”
    no confession of authority, no compensation; hoping merely
    for the love of the Lord and of all those who are His children
    and have His Spirit. So far from forming or desiring to form
    a new sect, we ignore all sectarian systems and their claimed
    authority; we recognize only the “one Lord, one faith and
    one baptism” of the Scriptures, and we fellowship as brethren
    every person who confesses faith in the “redemption through
    the blood of Christ.” We recognize as the true church all who
    profess a full consecration to the Lord, His will and His service
    — wherever they may be”.

    These are fine words and yet that is not what you are about. You cling to a man who you revere as Gods Messenger.

    You choose to look at everything he taught as the only truth…instead of looking at Gods Word without any of his reference works.

    I have no denomination and meet with a small group of Christians who worship the Lord and preacg the Word. We look to no man and direct everything to the Father and his Son Yeshua.

    Bless you and I pray that you will look at CLEAR light, instead of through Rose tinted glasses.

    David

    • ken

      David Hall,some of us,especially exJw’s, are not quite ready to be REALLY FREE in the Lord,although the Bible students do follow the 1st century pattern much better than the JW’s…it’s hard for them to break from from a man made structured system.

    • Jacqueline

      David hello, It seems most xjw have an obsession with Br. Russell and trying to constantly bring him up as a person, so the BS answer and defend every point where they can. Don’t you see my brother that is you who is on this obsession, they merely answer back. If you never bring up Br. Russell and talk about the Bible most BS will simply refer to the studies in the scriptures just as JW will refer to the watchtower or a book, just as almost any human on the face of this earth will refer to some book that helps them to understand the Bible.
      I have been with the BS since 2010 and most debates on Br. Russell, not all, on this site are with xjw. I personnally feel that any man that contributes a great deal to the furthering of the knowledge of God under Holy Spirit is agood for nothing slave, he did what he should have. And that goes for all of us except Christ.

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