Do you know why today’s “Christianity” is so divided? Where is God’s truth being proclaimed? Read the startling answer in this article on the Protestant Reformation.
Human annihilation is nearer than we think! In a world torn by strife and hatred, man has now devised several frightful ways of which he can destroy all living things! Year by year, this condition grows worse, not better! What is the meaning of these times?
Several years ago, when Eisenhower was President, he gave his first inaugural address. He solemnly stated: “In the swift rush of great events, we find ourselves groping to know the full sense and meaning of the times in which we live. How far have we come in man’s long pilgrimage from darkness toward light? Are we nearing the light, a day of freedom and peace for all mankind? Or are the shadows of another night closing in upon us? Science seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase human life from this planet.”
Unless God intervenes, we are headed for a time of darkness so much blacker than the Dark Ages that there can be no comparison!
The results clearly indicate that men do not know the way to bring peace to this world. We are living in a so-called Christian western world. Yet it is a world cut off from God, groping in the dark, living under the constant threat of world suicide!
Why has our “Christianity” utterly failed to halt the mounting wave of personal crime among individuals and international gangsterism among many of the world’s leaders? Why do the organized church denominations have no real answer to these problems?
Fearful of the imminent use of horrifying weapons of mass destruction, many people may be wondering: “Has God forsaken us?” The answer is that we have forsaken God. And we have forsaken Him far more than most of you even begin to realize!
Nearly two thousand years ago Jesus Christ came to this earth with a message from God the Father. He preached the good news of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14). He also came to found His Church.
Jesus Christ said: “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Notice that Jesus did not say “Churches” but church – one Church. He called it the “little flock” (Luke 12:32).
Christ taught His followers to obey God’s spiritual law contained in the Ten Commandments. He said: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:19).Setting an example, Jesus told His disciples to become prefect in character as is God Himself (Matt. 5:48).
Later, He warned His followers of ill-treatment and persecution by the world. “They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time comes , that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service” (John 16:2).
But Christ commanded His servants to continue preaching His message to the end of the age. Just before ascending to heaven, He commanded: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observed all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:19-20).
What most people completely fail to realize is that the true servants of God were persecuted and were killed down through the ages for preaching Christ’s message! God’s truth was never accepted by this world!
Jesus Christ had warned: “If they have kept my saying (they killed Him instead), they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). Rather than believing and obeying Christ’s message, this world has persecuted His servants and His true Church down to this day!
After the death of the apostles, paganism was introduced into an apostate Christianity and God’s truth was stamped out by clever argument and political pressure and, when necessary, by physical force.
The historian Whatey’s comment: “Christianity began already to wear the garb of heathenism” (Church History, p. 39) Hurlbut states: “The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and worship” (The Story of the Christian Church, p. 79).
Describing the development of this paganized Roman Catholic system, the historian Hurlbut comments: “The church gradually usurped power over the state, and the result was not Christianity but a more or less corrupt hierarchy controlling the nations of Europe, making the church mainly a political machine” (The Story of the Christian Church. 80).
Do you readers realize that in spite of these startling admissions by their own church historians, most Protestant ministers still attempt to prove their historical descent from Christ and His apostles through the Roman Catholic Church?
Yet, this apostate system had departed about as far from the teaching and practice of Jesus and His apostles as it would seem possible to imagine! The historian Plummer directly acknowledges that fact: “And as soon as the revival of letters caused the contents of the New Testament and the teachings of the father to be known, it was seen that what passed for Christianity at the close of the 15th century was scarcely recognized as such, when place side by side with what we know of Christianity at the close of the apostolic age” (The Continental Reformation, p. 11).
Remember that Jesus Christ said: “I will build My Church.” In Ephesians 1:22 and other scriptures, Christ is described as the living Head of the true Church. Do you imagine that He was the Head of this apostate, paganized system which had utterly departed from almost every remnant of His true teaching and practices? Would He cause His faithful, commandment-keeping Church to descend through this foul system?
The early Protestant reformers and their later followers completely failed to recapture the faith and practice of Jesus and His apostles.
Perhaps the most basic reason why these early reformers (Calvin and Luther) and their Protestant followers have not been able to understand the spiritual truth of the Bible and to believe and practice the literal teachings of Jesus Christ is one false concept they have persistently maintained. They knew that Jesus said He would build His Church, and that it would not perish. Since they mistakenly felt that it would be a big, organized, denominational body, they immediately jumped to the conclusion that the Roman Catholic Church must be the connecting link between them and Jesus.
Therefore, much of their reasoning was based upon the early “traditions” and practices of that church which they assumed to have been untainted by human reason. They continually looked to the “early fathers” of this church for guidance on doctrinal questions.
Remember that both Luther and Calvin were reared in Catholic homes, trained in Catholic schools, and educated for the Roman Catholic priesthood! They and their followers had grown up in a Catholic world. They were literally saturated with Catholic doctrines, concepts, philosophies. As God shows in His word, they were spiritually drunk on the false doctrines of this paganized Catholic system!
No wonder they didn’t get back to the “faith once delivered”! They looked to the example of the early Catholic Church as to what that faith ought to be like. They could only see the present evils of the Catholic system in their own time. Little did they realize that the entire system was completely and totally cut off from God, from His Church and from His guidance!
Thus these Protestant reformers and their later followers have failed to restore the true message of Jesus Christ to this earth! They have only introduced more religious confusion than already existed! So God has been forced to label the whole system “Babylon the Great” or great confusion!
Today’s world, then, remains in almost total ignorance of Christ’s real message of the purpose of God, of the laws of God, of the meaning of the prophesied events which are being rapidly fulfilled at this very moment! But could this fantastic world-wide deception actually be possible? Could this be God’s will?
Our modern religious confusion was prophesied hundreds of years ago in the Bible itself! Jesus Christ warned that many false preachers would come in His name, but would deceive the people by a false message. He said: “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:5).
Hundreds of differing denominations have appropriated to themselves the name of Jesus Christ, but they have denied His message, and they have substituted paganism with its beliefs and practices for His way of life! And they have deceived the many, not the few!
Paul was inspired to warn of this great falling away from the truth: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4). Paul knew that after his death and that of the other apostles, the false ministers would come in with all of their heathen practices, heathen religious festivals, and pagan philosophies. He knew that the world would be turned from the truth to fables, fairy tales, (i.e. Santa Claus, Easter bunnies, leprechauns, cupids, and goblins.)
He warned of men in the last days, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (II Tim. 3:5). Paul knew that at the end of this age men would cease to recognize God as a power in the world affairs to be reckoned with, and that they would deny His authority in their individual lives.
The modern “form” of a so-called Christianity is a paganized form! On the outside of the package it is labeled “Christiantiy.” But inside are contained the old pagan philosophies, traditions, heathen festivals, practices and false concepts of God and the way of God. Today’s Christiantiy is totally different from the Christianity of Jesus Christ! Many recognized church historians admit this fact, seemingly oblivious to the tremendous import of what they are saying.
A recognized and respected scholar, Dr. Rufus Jones, states: “If by any chance Christ himself had been taken by His later followers as a model and a pattern of the new way, and a serious attempt had been made to set up His life and teaching as the standard and norm for the Church, Christianity would have been something vastly different from what it became” (The Churches Debt to Heretics. 16). Dr. Jones, a Protestant scholar, recognizes that Jesus’ kind of Christiantiy is not being practiced in our modern world today!
Let us candidly inquire: What is wrong with Jesus’ kind of Christianity? Did Jesus Christ know what Christiantiy ought to be like? Just who does have the authority to set the standards for Christianity? The real answer to this dilemma is that Christ Himself prophesied that the world would be deceived by Satan the Devil and his false ministers. We find Satan described as “that old Serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). It seems hard to believe but the Bible says this whole world has been deceived!
Speaking of the Babylonish false religious system which developed during the Middle Ages, the apostle John says in Revelation: “The inhabitants of the world have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Rev. 17:2). Through the spiritual wine, or false doctrines of this paganized system, the inhabitants of this entire earth have been made spiritually drunk!
Because of this spiritual confusion this spiritual drunkenness, most people on earth today are not able to see spiritual things clearly. They are like a drunken man with blurry vision when they try to read the Bible. It doesn’t make sense. They get confused. They may ask their minister, but usually only get an evasive answer or some pretty platitude which doesn’t really answer the deep spiritual question in their heart. The Bible just doesn’t seem to make sense to people. They don’t understand it. They don’t understand the theme in its laws and teachings, and they certainly don’t understand the prophecies of the Bible!
God has permitted Satan to implant his religion in the minds of men here on earth. He started doing that clear back at the tower of Babel. He continued it through the ancient Chaldean mystery system developed by Nimrod and his wife Semiramis. That system has spread over the entire world so that many of the same customs and practices of our so-called western Christianity are found in varying forms among the Orientals and the pagan idolaters of the far-flung tropical islands!
This heathen mystery system finally took over completely in the early Catholic Church until it became, as we have seen, simply “baptized paganism.” When the Protestant reformers were little children, they grew up as part of this system. They were taught it by their parents, friends, and teachers. They believed in it, and were even trained for its priesthood!
Both Calvin and Luther later denied that they had withdrawn from the historic Catholic Church! This was because they felt that it was God’s Church! Its basic tenets and practices they left unchanged. And even without realizing it, the pagan philosophies and false concepts of God imparted by this system guided and influenced the development of Protestant religious teachings and outlook.
Now, in this age, you have grown up supposing that all these churches are God’s Churches. You have probably thought: How can all these churches be wrong?
They can be wrong, because God says: “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Rev. 18:3). All nations have been made spiritually drunk through Satan’s deception coming down through the ancient Babylonish mystery system, into Roman Catholicism, and since to our modern Protestantism! Truly, Satan has deceived “the whole world”! The Bible means what it says more than we have realized.
May God help you see this truth! You are not going to have long to debate about it, frankly, because we are nearing the end of this age of man going his own ways on earth.
Perhaps the absolute real threat of human annihilation will force some of you to face spiritual realities in a way that you have never been wiling to do before! God grant that it may be so before it is too late!
If you are willing to admit that you may have been wrong, then, what should you do? First of all, you should review what was brought out about Christ and His Church in the first part of this article. Christ said: “I will build My Church” (Matt. 16:18). He did not say many churches – but only indicated one church, His Church! He called that Church the “little flock.” He said that they would not keep to the truth of His Church or accept it any more than they had accepted Him and His teachings. And they killed Jesus Christ!
Remember that Jesus taught obedience to God’s law based on the Ten Commandments (Matt. 5:17-19; 19:17). He told His servants to continue preaching that same message. He commanded them to go into all nations: “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20).
In His revelation of John, Jesus Christ described the last-generation remnant of His Church as those people “which keep the commandments, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17). He describes His persecuted saints as follows: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).
If you want to know the truth, if you want to be protected from the hellish times of world cataclysm that lie just ahead, then you had better seek for and find that Church! You had better find the true Church of God, the only Church Jesus built, the Church of which He is the living Head!
Has there been a small, scattered, persecuted Church which keeps all of God’s commandments and which Jesus Christ is using as His “body” today in doing His work in preaching His gospel to the world? Yes! There has been and is. But first you need to prove this and then you need to do something about it!
All of the Scriptures already mentioned should apply to God’s true Church, not just part of them. And God’s Church will be keeping all ten of the Ten Commandments contained in God’s spiritual law. You need to be especially sure of this point, and study your Bible to find out more about God’s law yourself! For, as we have seen, as that people “which keep the commandment of God.” (Send for our FREE DVD “Why Did God Gave the Law.”)
Another thing to bear in mind in regard to the true Church being scattered and persecuted is that you can’t “Join” that Church like you would some social club! In New Testament times, people were only considered members of God’s Church after they had obeyed the inspired command: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). So you have to repent of your sins and of your entire rebellious, self-willed way of life before God will put you into His Church!
After repentance and baptism, you are to practice as we have seen – obedience to God’s law as a way of life. You are to live by every word of God and to follow the literal example and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Another outstanding characteristic of God’s Church is its willingness to admit error and to change. Each human is commanded to change – to grow in grace and in knowledge (II Peter 3:18). Since the Church is only the sum total of its members, it too must continually be willing to repent if there is some minor error God has permitted to creep in, and to grow in grace and knowledge.
Therefore the true Church will be a Church continually growing into new knowledge and understanding! Its members will “hunger and thirst” after righteousness (Matt. 5:6). Because of this humble, repentant, yielded attitude, it will be filled with love and zeal and a continually deeper understanding of God’s will and of the meaning of Bible prophecies in relation to the times in which we live.
These things are so because God’s Church is yielded to and led by God’s Spirit! And Jesus said: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). Only God’s true Church really has these characteristics! And therefore only God’s true Church is filled with the knowledge, the understanding, and the love of His Spirit!
In addition to being a small persecuted Church kept completely separate from the pagan doctrines, religious holidays, and heathen philosophies fostered by “mother” Rome, and in addition also to the fact that it keeps all ten of the Ten Commandments of God, and that it has the right spiritual attitude and willingness to repent, to change, to grow, the true Church should also have the name God intended His Church to bear as one of its identifying signs.
God’s true Church was never named after some religious leader, or some particular doctrine, or some type of church government or method of doing things! The Bible shows that it was always named after God Himself! It is His Church. He owns it. He possesses it. He rules it, through His Son Jesus Christ who is also God, and a member of the God Family. Therefore, in 12 places in the New Testament it is called “The Church of God.”
In Acts 20:28, Paul told the Ephesian elders to feed “the Church of God” as he was speaking to them perhaps for the last time. Both of the letters to the Corinthian Church are addressed to “the Church of God which is at Corinth.”
Speaking of the church congregations collectively Paul writes to the Thessalonians: “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus” (I Thess. 2:14).
However, since most churches have at least a few points of truth, some of them have falsely appropriated to themselves the name “Church of God.” But they are not His Church because they do not keep His commandments, do not have His Spirit, and are not doing His work.
Just as important as having the correct name and possessing the other characteristics we have discussed, the true Church must be doing the work of God on earth today! It must be preaching Christ’s true message – His commandments, His way of life. It must be preparing the way of God’s kingdom to come and rule this earth before man destroys himself. This is the gospel Christ taught!
This Church is the one which will be warning the peoples and nations of the world of the specific punishments which God is already beginning to mete out. God’s true Church, then, will really understand and proclaim the warning messages contained in Bible prophecy as God’s last witness to a rebellious world! Do you know where to find that Church?
You are reading one of the warning messages from the true Church of God, the body of Jesus Christ, the instrument God is using to preach His message! If you do not already know, the day will come when you will know that this is the work of God’s true Church!
The warning message of God’s Church is being fulfilled daily! Scoffers will not have long to scoff! For the specific prophesied events which this Church proclaims will soon be demonstrated as a physical reality! There will be no reasoning or argument about this. You will see and feel these things happen! Look around you at the horrendous condition this world is now in. All prophesied to take place in the Bible.
The reason God has allowed today’s religious confusion is so that after 6,000 years of human misrule – bringing us to the very brink of world suicide -- man might at last “have enough” of his own ways, his own political schemes, his own religious theories.
After a time of great punishment which he has brought on himself, man will at last be willing to learn of God’s ways and laws, and to accept His rule through Jesus Christ so the world can at last have peace! (Send for our FREE DVD Pentecost or Trumpets).
God’s Church has never had many different names, doctrines and practices. He has only permitted this “Babylon” of religious confusion to develop so that man might be able – under Satan’s deceiving influence -- to try out every conceivable type of religious theory he might lust after. This is so that man might – in plain language – once and for all get his “belly full” of the foolish ideas and reasonings of carnal human, erring men. Then, perhaps, he will be willing to obey God!
Now you know why there exists such religious confusion. Now you know what the true Church of God is! This is your life! May the Great God give you an open mind to further prove and believe His truth! That truth is given on this web-site. Study all the articles we have posted and come to a better understanding of God’s Word. Pray for understanding, and for a heart willing to obey! And then, obey the truth as you prove each point. This is the most important business of your life! The END of this age is very near! It is now time to come out of this religious confusion and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ! (Rev. 18:4).