I will never cease in the grace of God, and will never grow weary of declaring the one true gospel, and it is, the Christ, Yeshua, died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures. The scriptures are the Old Testament, Genesis through Malachi. As Peter wrote, the word or the scriptures of the prophets preached by the gospel. The scriptures declared by the Christ’s death for our sins, His burial and His resurrection the third day.
There is one assembly, it is the general assembly of the living God. It is the body of Christ. And the assembly of the living God is made up of assemblies located by God in cities or towns. The assemblies are called by the town they are “at” or who makes up the assembly (of). For example, the assembly at Corinth, made up of people from various towns and lands, but located at Corinth, were called by Paul “the assembly at Corinth”. Most of the assemblies were called as this, an assembly “at a particular location”. Many of the first generation believers moved from the town of their birth or where they were residing because of persecution, or to attach to the one true gospel. Contrast this with the assembly of the Thessalonians. In this instance the assembly is made up of people, the chosen ones of God, mainly consisting of the inhabitants of Thessalonika, and not many transplants, at least at the time. The “at” or “of” would be based on the majority of the members of the assembly, and an intimate knowledge of the assemblies. Paul had this intimate knowledge, a personal relationship. And so it is with the assembly “at” or “of” a certain place. And the place is where God puts the candlestick, or assembly. This is not a decision of man but of God. There is first a minister (and this man is chosen of God) who preaches the gospel, and then those who attach themselves to this form of teaching by grace (and they are chosen of God). All are chosen of God! And then as the gospel continues to be preached there will be gifts of the spirit and grace upon grace, and elders and diakonos (deacons or servants), and prophecy, and understanding, as long as the gospel is preached by the will and grace of God. And if the one true gospel is not preached, there shall be division, and works of the flesh and no mourning. Eventually on this course the candlestick will be moved from its place. (Read Revelation) And the children of grace, if it is God’s will, will be allowed to attach themselves to another candlestick. I pray that I would not be presumptuous of this. For if the gospel ceases to be preached in assembly, will all fall away? Perhaps God will grant grace for one to preach the gospel once more in that assembly, and there be repentance. Or perhaps He will let those who remain in grace (if indeed there are) go to an assembly where the gospel is preached.
All said, in the grace of God, the assembly is called by the place it abides and this only by God, and that alone. And it is judged to be in the grace of God by the preaching of the one true gospel in its midst. “Christ among you (plural), the hope of glory.” And Christ is among you by the preaching of the gospel. And if I hear the gospel even in envy and strife, and it is preached not in love, I will rejoice, for the one true gospel is preached. (Philippians) But better in love.
Now speaking about denominations. The word demonination is derived from two Latin words which literally mean “name from”. It came to mean a religious sect in the early 1700’s. Thus denomination means spiritually “to take a name other than Christ’s.” Do not be deceived by those who call themselves “Assembly of God” or “Church of Christ”. They are denominations and apart from Christ. Whatever the name they may go by, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Pentocostal, Baptist, Orthodox, etc, they are all “antichristos”-“against Christ”. Messianic Judiasm is another denomination contrary to Christ. The Roman Catholic Church, it is no church, and should be seen as an earthly power. It is barren of Christ. Their leader is a king, an earthly king who calls himself father and a pope. Some call themselves non-denominational. Be not deceived they are of the non-denominational denomination. They are all contrary to Christ. They are full of all manner of envy and strife and division, greed and the love of money. They are contrary to Christ. May all the true children of grace by the will of God repent of demoninationalism, repent of divisions and schisms if they can.
As a test of the spirit, let each child of grace declare the one true gospel (that I know I preach) by the grace and will of God and see if indeed these who call themselves by names other than “the assembly at or of a certain place”, are against Christ. They will reject the one true gospel in this generation of judgment. For it is written, “the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so.” “Beware of man!” For the falling away has occurred already, and the man of sin, the anitchristos has been revealed. The day of Christ is at hand! And it could be that an assembly of God bewitched before the candlestick is removed could be filled with division and schism. “Knowledge is arrogant, love edifies, if any man think he knows anything, he knows not as he ought.”
And there is another word I will touch on called a “movement”. The gospel has been preached to those who follow movements and they found contrary to Christ. Their movement or doctrine has taken on greater weight than the gospel itself. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Doctrine is not the power God. It is from the preaching of the one true gospel (I know I preach) sound doctrine comes forth, not doctrine bringing forth the gospel. Sola Fidea, universalism, calvinism. armenism, preterism in any form, revivalism, they are all contrary to Christ. There is only one movement of God and that is the movement of God’s Spirit that brings forth the preaching of the one true gospel (that I know I preach).
And I will speak of revival. If there must be a word revival, it is what occurs when God gives grace by His will to any man. The man who was dead in his sins is made alive. That which was once dead, is now alive. Where there was unbelief, God brings forth an able minister to preach the one true gospel. God Himself can declare the one true gospel, and yet He purposes the assembly to witness to this conversion or revival (one brought from death to life). There will not be a conversion without the witness of the assembly of God-look at Paul’s conversion. And by the same grace people attach themselves to that form of teaching which many call heresy, and this heresy is called the one true gospel. But there is an assembly of God where the one true gospel is preached with gifts of the Spirit.
There is only one denomination, named by the He who they follow, Yeshua, the Christ. Let every child of grace call himself a follower of Christ, a member of the general assembly, and an assembly at a particular place. There is one movement of God, and it is the gospel preached by the Spirit of grace and the will of God.