By Terry W. Benton

In the first century you had churches in different locations, but all the churches were taught the same thing and practiced the same thing, and if they drifted away from that teaching they did not have God (2 John 9-10; 1 Cor. 4:17; 7:17). There was one standard and body of teaching, the apostles’ Spirit-guided words (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 14:37).

There were no such things as different creed books for different churches. The scriptures completely furnished the man of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17), and if anyone spoke, they were to “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). If anyone deviated from what the apostles taught, they were to be accursed (Gal. 1:6-10). All the churches were to claim the ONE FAITH (Eph. 4:3-4) and contend earnestly for it (Jude 3-4). Following the doctrines of men made your worship “vain” (Matt. 15:8-9; Col. 2:8) and robbed you of your reward in heaven.

All the churches were to recognize only ONE HEAD or authority over the church (Eph. 1:18ff) and have the same mind and same judgment (1 Cor. 1:10f). Dividing under different men instead of uniting under Christ was rebuked. As the years passed men began to change one thing and then another (1 Tim. 4:1-3). These changes were not done with God’s approval. These changes were from the influences of evil. The only way to have God and Christ is to get in Christ and abide in His teaching, the New Testament (2 John 9-10) and refuse to fellowship those churches that settled on something different than the pure teaching of the scriptures.

The standard was set in the first century. All those churches taught the same thing and were rebuked when they ventured away from that standard. God has not changed His mind about this. Let’s get back to that pure standard. If you can’t find such a local church, then start one in your area. No name but Christ’s name. No organization but local organization (Phil.1:1), no form of worship except what you can read and prove was done by apostolic example and approval. No creed book but the Bible. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism (Eph. 4:3-4), “as in all the churches” that God approved.

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