(In our last blog, we were discussing what the glorious church is not. We continue, and then will state what is.)
The glorious church does not mix the Kingdom of Heaven gospel with the gospel of grace preached by Paul.
The glorious church is not one that claims it practices Matthew 28:19, 20. All the commissions, including Acts 1:8, are Jewish, and consist of the Kingdom of Heaven ministry. No church today is, or can obey those commissions. That is easy to prove. No church preaches or practices “all things” Jesus taught His disciples.
The glorious church is not one that Jesus built while on earth. That church ceased to exist once Israel was set aside. A new apostle was chosen. A new gospel was revealed. A new mystery was made known. A new set of church epistles were given to Paul, and all this was done, not by Jesus on earth, but as the Lord from heaven. The glorious church is not one that fails to follow the teachings of Christ through Paul.
The glorious church can never be one that can’t rightly divide the Word of God. “ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.
WHAT IT IS THE GLORIOUS CHURCH?
Since the phrase, “a glorious church,” is found in the context of the mystery, we must be true to the text.
The first thing we notice is that the Lord wants the church to be morally pure, and that comes through the proper application of the Word. Just as a bride is to be pure on her wedding day, the Lord wants His church to be morally clean. The goal is for it to be holy and without blemish. The text is taken from the practical section of Ephesians. Doctrine, does not insure purity of life. There must be correct doctrine, and then correct application. Just as a man is to leave father and mother, and love his wife as his own body, so Christ loves the church, and gave Himself for it.
“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:28-32. It was not a mystery that a man and his wife were one body. The mystery was that the church would be one body composed of Jew and Gentile. The church is said to be “bone of his bone, and flesh of His flesh.” This mystery was unknown from before the foundation of the world, and was unknown until revealed to and through Paul. Most Christians do not understand the literalness of this truth.
There are those who teach that the glorious Church are Baptist churches who follow Baptist polity and doctrine. Anyone can set polity, and doctrines for his own church domination, and then search for a text to prop it up. This is what most dominations do.
One writer cites John 17:4, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” John 17:4, to mean that Jesus finished the work of building the Baptist Church. This a liberty that not even Joseph Smith would take with the text. The Glorious Church is not a denomination, nor does it exist today. If it does, no one know its name.
In conclusion, the church of which Paul speaks did not start or exist in the four gospels or early Acts. The church of which he speaks was a mystery until revealed from heaven to Paul.
The church in the O. T. and the gospels was the Kingdom of Heaven church, and has no part in the existing church. It is the church that will be completed in the Millennial Kingdom, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
The problem is, the brethren cannot rightly divide the Kingdom of Heaven from the Kingdom of God. They can’t discern the difference between the gospel Jesus and His disciples, and the gospel preached by Paul. They don’t know what John’s baptism signified, (I’ve yet to receive an answer to that question.) and how it differed from Paul’s baptism. They cannot separate the Kingdom gospels from the church epistles, or the Jewish epistles. Neither can they prove from history an unbroken chain of church purity from its beginning until now.
The church will indeed be a glorious church at the glorious appearing of Jesus, for those who have been saved by the glorious gospel. He will change our vile bodies like unto His glorious body. That well be a glorious day when the glorious church gets to glory! THAT IS WHEN IT WILL BE A GLORIOUS CHURCH!
Sad to say, from the practical aspect, the church is anything but glorious. Most of the brethren place the church today as the Laodicean church. The first half of Ephesians is doctrinal, and explains our glorified position in Him. The second half of the book, admonishes us to live a practical life that brings glory to Him. Only at the rapture, will the church truly be A GLORIOUS CHURCH!
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Great article Pastor, very well said…