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The Only Church That Is Saved—True Jesus Church (II)
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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 God.

Uniqueness of the church from the perspective of HER spiritual essence

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. (Tit 1:3)

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 1:2)

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 exclaimed amen.

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 analogy

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 denominations.

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 salvation:

[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 3:20 21)

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 evaluated differently.

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 25:5 6).

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[1] 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; 11:15 18)


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).


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Author: H.H. Ko