The Only Church That Is Saved True Jesus Church (II)
H.H. Ko Heidelberg, Germany
In the previous issue, we discussed the definition of church and
the true church s spiritual essence. Historically, we can view the
church within time and space; spiritually, we can look at the church
in heaven. The Bible tells us that, in the spiritual realm, the church
has been a reality even before God created the world; she is the
mystery hidden in Christ, through whom all who believe can be
reconciled to God. At Pentecost, the church became a historical
reality through the downpouring of the promised Holy Spirit.
Part II of this series continues to examine the true church from a
spiritual angle. Based on her spiritual essence, we will discuss what
makes the church unique. In addition, we will look at biblical
analogies that support the concept of the one and only church of
Uniqueness of the church from the perspective of HER spiritual
The One True God Had in Mind the Only Church Before Time Began
; this truth is an indisputable axiom. Time and again, God has
proclaimed His oneness to His people in simple and unambiguous ways
(Deut 6:4; Zech 14:9; Mk 12:29; Jn 5:44, 17:3; Rom 16:27; 1 Tim 1:17,
6:16; Jude 25).
Because of His omnipotence and omniscience, God has an immutable will
unfathomable by human beings, who are limited by time and space. Hence,
He proclaimed through prophet Malachi: For I am the Lord, I do not change (Mal 3:6); He will not lie nor relent. The
unchanging will of the only and unchanging God is the most fundamental
source of the church s uniqueness.
Apostle Paul, having the mind of Christ, gained in-depth understanding
of God s will; in the following Scriptures, he expounds how God
manifested His will and His foreknowledge that preceded time itself
through the church in Jesus Christ:
[W]ho has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according
to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was
given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. (2 Tim 1:9)
[I]n hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before
time began. (Tit 1:2)
[B]ut has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which
was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior.
Peter too had a clear understanding of this truth:
[E]lect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in
sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the
blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. (1 Pet
God s unchanging will has predetermined that the elect, in the
dispensation of the fullness of the times, might be gathered together
with all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on
earth (Eph 1:10). The oneness in Christ refers to the realized church
in God s salvation plan, comprising redeemed believers gathered as
Christ s one body.
The Only Savior Jesus Redeemed the Only Church with His Own Blood
In the Old Testament, whenever God's people met with affliction, they
would call upon God with one heart, addressing Him as Savior (Ps 18:2,
22:19, 121:2; Isa 43:3, 45:15, 60:16; Jer 14:8). At the same time, God
would declare to them even I, am the Lord
(the self-existing); [a]nd besides Me there is no savior (Isa 43:11;
cf. Isa 45:21; Hos 13:4).
Today, the Lord Jesus Christ, foreordained before the foundation of the
world but manifested in these end times (cf. 1 Pet 1:20), continues the
salvation work, which was started in ancient times. The scope of His
work has become deeper and wider. Not only does He save His people from
physical and mental affliction, He even uses His own blood to redeem
the mankind from their sins (Mt 1:21; Acts 20:28). Thus, He paved the
way for the realization of the church among men, for Revelation 5:9 10
tells us that those whom Christ has redeemed with His blood were made a
kingdom and priests to God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior (cf. Lk 2:11; Acts 5:31; Rom 11:26;
Phil 3:20; 1 Tim 1:1; Tit 1:4, 2:13). Moreover, He is the only Lord
(Jude 4) and the only God (Jude 25); He is also the living God, who is
the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe (1 Tim 4:10). The
precious blood that flowed from His side when He was hung on the cross
became the fountain of redemption for God s people.
Just as Jesus side was pierced, from which blood flowed for the
church s redemption, Adam s side was opened when God took one of his
ribs to form the first woman. As Paul writes: Husbands, love your
wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the
word (Eph 5:25 26). Hence, Christ s relationship with the church is
that of a husband and wife an absolutely monogamous relationship where
the two become one flesh (cf. Jn 19:34 35; Eph 5:25 26; Gen 2:21 25).
From the discussion above, we understand that there is only one church
that has her origin in the precious blood that flowed from the side of
the only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Only Promised Holy Spirit Guides the Only Church into All Truth
In God s salvation plan, the descent of the promised Holy Spirit on the
day of Pentecost marks the beginning of the church era. Through the
church, God declares His manifold wisdom to the principalities and
powers in the heavenly places (Eph 3:10). Moreover, He is to receive
glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever
and ever (Eph 3:21). Paul was deeply moved by this revelation and
In the New Testament era, the church was established under the guidance
of the Holy Spirit and built on the foundation of the apostles and
prophets. The Holy Spirit established only one church, for [t]here is
one body and one Spirit (Eph 4:4). Since the church has received the
only promised Holy Spirit, she is able to enter into all truth and
uphold the faith that was once and for all entrusted to her.
During the apostolic church era, some heeded the spirit of error and
became false disciples. They became the servants of Satan and started to
spread heresies in the church (1 Jn 4:6; 2 Cor 11:12 15; 1 Tim 1:3).
Their message spread like cancer, they strayed concerning the truth, and
they overthrew the faith of some (2 Tim 2:17 18).
However, the promised Holy Spirit guided the apostles to specify
principles of apology and spirit discernment in order to uphold the
truth and preserve the only true church.
In summary, the church may be diversified and multiple when we look at
her from a social perspective. However, if we look at the church s
spiritual essence, she is always one.
BIBLICAL Evidence of One and Only Church in the form of
Based on the above discussion, there is only one church from the
spiritual perspective. Not only is this important truth positively
proven in the Bible, God has also given us many parables/metaphors and
analogies through which this truth is made more distinctive. We will
only mention four out of the many evidences: the church is the body of
Christ, the church is the bride of Christ, Noah s ark, and the only
promised son of Abraham amongst his many sons.
The Church Is the Body of Christ
Apostle Paul once stated that Christ s body is the church (Col 1:24).
Afterwards, he proceeded to expound that the church is His body, the
fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 1:23). These two Bible verses
show that Christ is the head of the church:
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He
is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the
firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the
preeminence. (Col 1:17 18)
Since Christ is the head of the church (Eph 5:23), the entire body is
led by Him. Believers are members of this body, and although there are
many members, there is only one body (1 Cor 12:12 13). Moreover, there
is only one faith within the body of Christ (Eph 4:5). Today, there are
many different denominations under the Christian umbrella. They are
not of the same faith. For instance, a church that baptizes in the name
of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost does not have the same faith
as the church that practices baptism in Jesus name. Therefore, the body
of Christ, which has only one faith, can never include all Christian
Since Christ is the head of the church and the church is the body of
Christ, their relationship is always a one-to-one relationship. For
there is only one head and one body. Christ is always one and His body,
the church, is always one as well. How would you react if you saw
someone with one head but two bodies?
The Church Is the Bride of Christ
As far back as the Old Testament time, God already referred to the
Israelites, His chosen people, as His bride (Isa 54:5 8, 62:5; Jer 2:2).
In the book of Hosea, God likened those chosen people who rebelled
against God s commands to an unfaithful wife; in fact, the Israelites
brought unparalleled tragedy upon themselves through their relentless
unfaithfulness (Jer 3; Ezek 16).
In the New Testament time, the Lord Jesus, the Word incarnate, continued
to use the symbolism that described the relationship between God and His
people in the Old Testament time, He too likened Himself to a bridegroom
(Mk 2:18 20). In Ephesians 5:22 33, Paul, who had a profound
understanding of the mystery of Christ, expounded the deeper teaching of
the husband wife relationship between Christ and His church after
describing the relationship between spouses. He spelled out the
expectations of the church as the bride, which is her faithfulness
towards Christ, the husband to whom she is betrothed (2 Cor 11:2 3).
The book of Revelation, in which God prophesies about the last days,
also draws the analogy that the True Jesus Church, the ark of the last
days, is the Lord s wife (Rev 19:7, 21:9).
Monogamy is the only principle when God instituted marriage. The Lord
Jesus Christ is the husband of the church and the church is His bride;
the Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only, therefore, there is only one
church this truth is self-evident.
Noah s Ark
In Noah s time, [t]he earth was corrupt before God, the earth was
filled with violence and [t]he end of all flesh has come before God,
[b]ut Noah found grace in the eyes of God (Gen 6:11, 13, 8). The New
Testament refers to Noah s ark as a prefiguration of the true God s
[W]ho formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine
long-suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being
prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through
water. There is also an antitype which now saves us baptism (not the
removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience
toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Pet
This prefiguration tells us there was only one ark that was built
according to the specifications of God, only one family that was saved
by entering into the ark, and that this one ark was the only way to
salvation during the great destruction in the ancient times. Therefore,
there is only one church through which salvation is guaranteed before
the day of God s great wrath.
The One and Only Promised Son of Abraham Amongst His Many Sons
Based on biblical genealogy, a family tree always starts with the
father, i.e., the son of XX (father s name), for example, the son of
Adam, the son of Noah, the son of Shem, etc.
Family ethics gives eight men the rightful claim to Abraham as father;
these eight sons were Abraham s physical descendants (Gen 25:1 6; 1 Chr
1:28 34). Yet, from a spiritual perspective, they are categorized and
If we look at the sons of Abraham who came through Keturah, the wife he
took in his old age after Sarah had died, the message we gather from the
Bible is as follows:
Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore
him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. All these
were the children of Keturah. (Gen 25:1 4)
Although these six men originated from Abraham, they were called the
children of Keturah (Gen 25:4; 1 Chr 1:33) instead of the children of
Abraham ; indicating that they did not have a part in God s promised
blessings. They were excluded from God s salvation plan that was to be
accomplished through Abraham. We see that in the end, Abraham gave all
that he had to Isaac. But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the
concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them
eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east (Gen
If we were to examine the sons of Abraham from the viewpoint of those
under the law, we would see that Abraham has two sons, just as Paul
said: Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the
law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: one by a bondwoman,
the other by a freewoman (Gal 4:21 22).
Yet, God told Abraham directly: Take now your son, your only son Isaac,
whom you love (Gen 22:2). In the eyes of God, Abraham had only one
son Isaac, whom he had received through promise.
Isaac was born of Sarah, the freewoman, symbolizing the Jerusalem above,
the kingdom of God (Gal 4:23 26). To be part of God s kingdom, we must
be born from above of water and the Spirit (Jn 3:3,5). Those who are born of water
through baptism in Jesus name will receive the promised Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit testifies that we are children of God and His heirs (cf.
Joel 2:28 29; Acts 1:5, 11:15 16; Rom 8:15 17; Eph 1:13 14); we must be
baptized in the name of Jesus to wash away our sins and be reborn as the
sons of God (cf. Acts 2:37 39; Gal 3:26 29). The True Jesus Church
preaches and practices in accordance with this, and is thus the
Jerusalem above and mother of us all.
Other churches with differing beliefs and practices are symbolized by
Hagar, whose children are not numbered amongst the children of promise.
[To be continued ]
Box text 1:
Principles of Apology and Spirit Discernment
Principle of Apology
a. Paul s absolute principle: What we have preached to you
Principle of discernment:
Is it in accordance with the apostles teachings? (Gal 1:6 9)
b. Jude s principle: Once for all
Principle of discernment:
Is it in accordance with the faith that was once for all delivered to
the saints? (Jude 3)
c. The Bible s final absolute standard
Principle of discernment:
Is the truth discussed or told, whether deduced or inspired by the
Spirit, based on the Bible as the ultimate absolute standard?
Testing the Spirits
a. Peter s principle: experience/spiritual tradition
Principle of discernment:
Have they received the Holy Spirit just as we have? (Acts 10:44 48;
b. John's principle #1: truth/tradition of the word
Principle of discernment:
Does the spirit listen to us? Does it believe in the same truth as we
do? (1 Jn 4:1 6)
c. John's principle #2: unity/one body/orthodox church organization
Principle of discernment:
Did they go out from us? (1 Jn 2:18 22)
Do they submit themselves to the church? Do they promote harmony,
unity, and a spirit of being one body among members? (cf. 1 Cor 3:1 5;
Jas 3:13 18)
Box text 2:
Analogies That Illustrate The Unique Nature Of The Church:
the church is the house of Christ (Heb 3:6),
the church is the house of God (1 Tim 3:15; Heb 10:21),
the church is the household of God (Eph 2:19 22; 1 Pet 2:4 5),
the church is the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16 17),
the church is the kingdom of God (Rom 14:17; Col 1:13),
the church is God s flock (Ps 80:1; Ezek 14:15; Jn 10:1 30),
the church is God s vineyard (Isa 5:1 2,7; Mk 12:1 12; Jn 15:1 8).