The purpose of this post is to give a brief analysis of the history of the Christian church, both before and after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
The first five books of the Bible – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were all about the establishment of God’s church with the nation Israel, essentially through the leadership of Moses and Aaron. These books established the priesthood, the various sin atonements, and even the ceremonies. It established the law and ordinances of God and all the practices of the nation of Israel.
Yet, when Christ arrived, almost the entire religious establishment rejected Him. It was no longer the religion of God the Father, it had apostated to a legalistic cult of Judaism.
After Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, the new Christian church – “The Way,” flourished and spread throughout Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and even the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Yet, shortly, even the new Christian church apostated to the Church of Rome’s Catholicism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church which even among themselves split in the Great Schism of 1054.
Again, what happened?
Certainly, Satan’s main adversary is the Church of Christ and he will do anything he can to destroy it. In Acts 26:18 we read “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God…” Without a doubt, Satan does everything possible to apostate the works of God and the Church of God is an example of his dealings.
The Church of Jesus is a decentralized entity that has its purpose and function in and only in the word of God, the Bible, and its leadership in a plurality of Elders.
Satan encourages a centralized church form that, from a human perspective, can readily become more powerful. Thus Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
Around the 1500s schisms off of the Roman Catholic Church began to appear, creating some of the great denominational institutions of today.
- The Anglican or Episcopal Church – England
- The Methodist Church – England (reforming the Anglican Church)
- Salvation Army, Christian and Missionary Alliances, Church of the Nazarene
- Church of God, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal, Foursquare, and Charismatic
- The Reformed Calvinists (Presbyterians) – John Calvin, although French, had his teachings flourish in the Netherlands
- Baptists – Southern, American and National, etc.
- Congregationalists – Puritans
- The Lutheran Church – Martin Luther, Germany
- The Anabaptists – radical wing of the protestant reformation, Switzerland
- Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish, etc.
Christianity continues, however, even today as decentralized in government, and existing within the five Solas of the reformation:
- Sola Scriptura – by Scripture alone,
- Sola Fide – by faith alone,
- Sola Gratia – by grace alone,
- Solus Christus – by Christ alone, and
- Soli Deo Gloria – to the glory of God alone.
In reality, the history of the true church of Jesus Christ would read like Foxe Book of Martyrs.
This is the true church of Jesus Christ.