Is Your Church The Same As The Apostolic Church

Who and what are "Christians" and what is the "Christian faith"?

Some may look up a dictionary, commentary or similar book, while others may simply form their own idea or accept the teachings of others.

The following is an attempt to show who and what were considered “Christians” and the "Christian faith", according to whom the Word of God testifies were in fact “Christians”.

“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Acts 11:26

So what did these people, who the scriptures support as being true “Christians” actually believe?

The following are some quotes of Ignatius(30 AD-107 AD), the anointed Bishop of Antioch who replaced Euodius who was Bishop for a short time after Peter received his martyrdom. Ignatius was a student of the apostle John and like all anointed Bishops, he met the following biblical criteria,

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;” 1 Timothy 3:2

“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Titus 1:9

If we then truly have faith in the Word of God, we know these were true “Christians” and Ignatius was “apt to teach” (1 Tim. 3:2) the “sound doctrine” (Titus 1:9) that these true “Christians” held.

As you read the “sound doctrine” (Titus 1:9) of the following, ask yourself, if you believe the same faith as the true “Christians” acknowledged by the “Word of God”. If not, then ask what or who has taught you a different faith to that of whom the scriptures testify are true “Christians”.

Remember, these are not my words or interpretations of the scriptures, but those of Ignatius, a true “Christian” who learnt these from a true apostle, who was truly “born again” in the Holy Spirit (evidenced by the fact he was anointed a Bishop) and because he was “apt to teach” the “sound doctrine” of Christianity (also evidenced by the fact he was anointed as a Bishop).

As for the questions I have asked, I do not desire or expect any answers. I placed them simply to illustrate some possible deviations from what the original “Christians” held in faith as the Holy Spirit inspired them.

If you disagree with, or reject the faith of those whom the scriptures acknowledge as “Christians”, then that is your prerogative.

If, on the other hand, some would like to know what the original apostolic faith was, by a genuine Holy Spirit filled and anointed teacher of the original apostolic Christian Church, being the “Body of Christ” according to the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God, then to you, this may show if what you have been taught aligns with that original faith.

If it doesn’t, then decide for yourself who is the more reputable teacher, the Holy Spirit within Ignatius, or the spirit teaching through someone else today?

“In like manner, let all reverence the deacons as an appointment of Jesus Christ, and the bishop as Jesus Christ, who is the Son of the Father, and the presbyters as the sanhedrim of God, and assembly of the apostles. Apart from these, there is no Church. Concerning all this, I am persuaded that ye are of the same opinion.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians Chap. 3

Question 1. Does your gathering have a duly anointed Bishop?

Question 2. If so, are they acknowledged as having the anointed authority under God as did the apostles?

Question 3. If not, the Holy Spirit teaches through Ignatius that there is no Church, so why are you there?

Question 4. Does the spirit inspiring you, inspire the same faith or “opinion” as the Holy Spirit inspired within those the Word of God acknowledges as true “Christians”?

“It is therefore befitting that you should in every way glorify Jesus Christ, who hath glorified you, that by a unanimous obedience “ye may be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment, and may all speak the same thing concerning the same thing,” and that, being subject to the bishop and the presbytery, ye may in all respects be sanctified.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians Chap. 2

Question 5. Through your faith, are you “perfectly joined together in the same mind” as what the Holy Spirit inspired within the original Christians?

Question 6. Is that “mind” also in accordance with the Bishop and Prebytery, being the anointed Priests and Deacons?

Question 7. Does your gathering have acknowledge the “Presbytery”, being an ordained and consecrated priesthood?

Question 8. Do you believe that unity of faith has a bearing on sanctification?

“Let no man deceive himself: if any one be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two possesses such power, how much more that of the bishop and the whole Church! He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Church, has even by this manifested his pride, and condemned himself.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians Chap. 5

Question 9. Does your gathering have an “Altar”?

Question 10. Do you gather with a Church?

“Now it becomes you also not to treat your bishop too familiarly on account of his youth, but to yield him all reverence, having respect to the power of God the Father, as I have known even holy presbyters do, not judging rashly, from the manifest youthful appearance [of their bishop], but as being themselves prudent in God, submitting to him, or rather not to him, but to the Father of Jesus Christ, the bishop of us all. It is therefore fitting that you should, after no hypocritical fashion, obey [your bishop], in honor of Him who has willed us [so to do], since he that does not so deceives not [by such conduct] the bishop that is visible, but seeks to mock Him that is invisible. And all such conduct has reference not to man, but to God, who knows all secrets.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians Chap. 3

Question 11. Do have reverence for your Bishop?

Question 12. Do you judge your Bishop according to himself, or offer him the respect due because God instructs us too?

Question 13. Do you obey your Bishop out of loyalty to the man, or in obedience to God?

Question 14. If you have no Bishop, then how do you submit to God in relation to His appointed and anointed authorities?

“Keep yourselves from those evil plants which Jesus Christ does not tend, because they are not the planting of the Father. Not that I have found any division among you, but exceeding purity. For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren. If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange opinion, he agrees not with the passion of Christ.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians Chap. 3

Question 16. If you attend a gathering that has no anointed Bishop over it, then why are you attending an “evil plant”, not planted by God through His apostles by their anointing of the first Bishops?

Question 17. As the Holy Spirit within the original “Christians” inspired the faith that to be with Christ we are numbered amongst those who are with an anointed Bishop, then what spirit would inspire us to remain apart from a Church with an anointed Bishop?

Question 18. If you are apart, are you willing to repent and join with the unity of the original Church?

Question 19. Are you presently a member of a gathering that was the product of someone who caused a “Schism” within the original Church.? For example, a group that sometime in the past has left the original Church, or another gathering that descended from one that did.

Question 20. Do you follow any “opinions” that are “strange” to the faith as was inspired by the Holy Spirit indwelling within the original and true Christians?

“As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavor that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Do ye therefore all run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians Chap. 7

Question 21. Do you preach or gather to anything else in God’s name that is without a Bishop?

Question 22. Do you preach or gather with and to anything without having the blessing of an anointed Bishop?

Question 23. Do you gather as “one” as into “one temple of God”, being the original Church that has maintained the original faith?

Question 24. Do you believe that there can be many Churches teaching many different versions of the Christian faith and all are valid, or do you acknowledge only “one faith” as says the Word of God, being that of the “Christians" testified of in the scriptures?

“Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. Do ye all then, imitating the same divine conduct, pay respect to one another, and let no one look upon his neighbor after the flesh, but do ye continually love each other in Jesus Christ. Let nothing exist among you that may divide you; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians Chap. 6

Question 25. Do you study the “Word of God” being presided over by God’s anointed authority or only by personal interpretation?

Question 26. Are you divided in your beliefs?

Question 27. If you are divided in your beliefs, do you acknowledge the authority of God, being His anointed Bishops to determine such divided issues?

“These things [I address to you], my beloved, not that I know any of you to be in such a state; but, as less than any of you, I desire to guard you beforehand, that ye fall not upon the hooks of vain doctrine, but that ye attain to full assurance in regard to the birth, and passion, and resurrection which took place in the time of the government of Pontius Pilate, being truly and certainly accomplished by Jesus Christ, who is our hope, from which may no one of you ever be turned aside.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians
Chap. 11

Question 28. Have you accepted a “vain doctrine” that conflicts with the original faith?

Question 29. Have you “turned aside” from the original faith?

“Wherefore, as children of light and truth, flee from division and wicked doctrines; but where the shepherd is, there do ye as sheep follow. For there are many wolves that appear worthy of credit, who, by means of a pernicious pleasure, carry captive those that are running towards God; but in your unity they shall have no place.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians Chap. 2

Question 30. Have you fled from the fruits of division to join with an original Church?

Question 31. Do you recognize and reject “wicked doctrines” that conflict with the original faith?

Question 32. Have you been taken “captive” by “wolves” who “appear worthy of credit” but preach in confliction to the original faith?

Question 33. Have you been taken “captive” by “wolves” who “appear worthy of credit” but gather to something other than an original apostolic Church?

“Be on your guard, therefore, against such persons. And this will be the case with you if you are not puffed up, and continue in intimate union with Jesus Christ our God, and the bishop, and the enactments of the apostles. He that is within the altar is pure, but he that is without is not pure; that is, he who does anything apart from the bishop, and presbytery, and deacons, such a man is not pure in his conscience.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians Chap. 7

Question 34. Are you too “puffed up” to come into unity with God’s appointed authorities, being rightfully anointed Bishops of the apostolic Church?

Question 35. Are you “pure”, by being within an “altar” of an apostolic Church which has a Bishop who can trace an unbroken line of anointed succession of authority from a true apostle?

“Flee, therefore, those evil offshoots [of Satan], which produce deathbearing fruit, whereof if any one tastes, he instantly dies. For these men are not the planting of the Father. For if they were, they would appear as branches of the cross, and their fruit would be incorruptible. By it He calls you through His passion, as being His members. The head, therefore, cannot be born by itself, without its members; God, who is [the Savior] Himself, having promised their union.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians Chap 11

Question 36. Are you a member of an “evil offshoot” which is a gathering that broke away from the original apostolic Church?

Question 37. Are you a member of the fruits of an “evil offshoot”, being a gathering that descended from a group that broke away from the original apostolic Church?

Question 38. Does the gathering you attend bear evil fruit, such as teachings that conflict with the original faith or further divisions?

Question 39. As Christ is the “Head” of the original apostolic Church, and the scriptures state there is only one Body, then if you are not a member of the original apostolic Church, who is your “head”?

“The love of the Smyrnaeans and Ephesians salutes you. Remember in your prayers the Church which is in Syria, from which also I am not worthy to receive my appellation, being the last of them. Fare ye well in Jesus Christ, while ye continue subject to the bishop, as to the command of God, and in like manner to the presbytery. And do ye, every man, love one another with an undivided heart. Let my spirit be sanctified by yours, not only now, but also when I shall attain to God. For I am as yet exposed to danger. But the Father is faithful in Jesus Christ to fulfill both mine and your petitions: in whom may ye be found unblameable.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians Chap. 13

Question 40. Do you accept the original teaching of the original faith being the commandment of God to remain subject to the Lord’s anointed authority being the Bishops and Presbytery?

Question 41. Do we still acknowledge Ignatius as one of the Lord’s anointed authorities now that he has attained to God?

“I therefore did what belonged to me, as a man devoted to unity. For where there is division and wrath, God doth not dwell. To all them that repent, the Lord grants forgiveness, if they turn in penitence to the unity of God, and to communion with the bishop. I trust [as to you] in the grace of Jesus Christ, who shall free you from every bond. And I exhort you to do nothing out of strife, but according to the doctrine of Christ. When I heard some saying, If I do not find it in the ancient Scriptures, I will not believe the Gospel; on my saying to them, It is written, they answered me, That remains to be proved. But to me Jesus Christ is in the place of all that is ancient: His cross, and death, and resurrection, and the faith which is by Him, are undefiled monuments of antiquity; by which I desire, through your prayers, to be justified.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians Chap. 8

Question 42. Are you devoted to the unity of the one original faith?

Question 43. If you are not in unity with the original faith, why have you not repented?

Question 44. Do you have “communion” with an anointed Bishop that can trace his anointing back 2000 years to the apostles?

Question 45. If you cannot find a teaching of the original faith clearly in the scriptures, do you reject it based on your own interpretation of scripture?

Question 46. If you cannot find a teaching of the original faith clearly in the scriptures, do you reject it based on someone else’s private interpretation of scripture?

Question 47. If you cannot find a teaching of the original faith clearly in the scriptures, do you take the time to ask either an anointed Bishop or someone under his authority to explain why or do you simply assume it is wrong?

“See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the universal Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans Chap. 8

Question 48. Do you acknowledge the authority structure of Bishops, Presbytery and Deacons as being the “institution of God”?

Question 49. Do you only acknowledge the Eucharist when it is administered by an anointed Bishop, or by his agent?

Question 50. Do you take part in an improper counterfeit Eucharist (Communion) that has no anointed Bishop over it?

Question 51. Have you accepted a false baptism without the authority of an anointed Bishop?

Question 52. Do you baptize, or condone baptisms, falsely done without the authority of an anointed Bishop?

“Take ye heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to [the will of] God.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians Chap. 5

Question 53. Do you partake of the “one Eucharist” which shows the unity of the true faith through Christ’s Blood?

Question 54. Do you partake of the “one Eucharist” in accordance with the will of God, according to the original Christian faith as it was inspired by the Holy Spirit within the original Church of whom the Word of God testifies?

“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans Chap. 7

Question 55. Do you abstain from a true Eucharist by denying it is the true Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ?

Question 56. Do you speak against the Truth of the Body and Blood, given to us through the Eucharist?

Question 57. Do you keep “aloof” from people who deny the true Body and Blood being the Eucharist or do you have communion and fellowship with them?

Question 58. Do you avoid all divisions, such as those caused by they that deny, or denied, the literal presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist?

“If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death — whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master — how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians Chap. 9

Question 59. Do you gather on the Lord’s Day, being a Sunday according to our modern calendar?

Question 60. Do you believe you can obtain eternal life being apart from the Body of Christ, which is the original apostolic Church when the original faith denies this?

“Flee evil arts; but all the more discourse in public regarding them. Speak to my sisters, that they love the Lord, and be satisfied with their husbands both in the flesh and spirit. In like manner also, exhort my brethren, in the name of Jesus Christ, that they love their wives, even as the Lord the Church. If any one can continue in a state of purity, to the honor of Him who is Lord of the flesh, let him so remain without boasting. If he begins to boast, he is undone; and if he reckon himself greater than the bishop, he is ruined. But it becomes both men and women who marry, to form their union with the approval of the bishop, that their marriage may be according to God, and not after their own lust. Let all things be done to the honor of God.” Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp (Bishop of Smyrna) Chap. 5

Question 61. If you are married, was your marriage given the blessing of an anointed Bishop who has received his anointing through a direct line of authority from the apostle?

“Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. It is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honors the bishop has been honored by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does [in reality] serve the devil. Let all things, then, abound to you through grace, for ye are worthy. Ye have refreshed me in all things, and Jesus Christ [shall refresh] you. Ye have loved me when absent as well as when present. May God recompense you, for whose sake, while ye endure all things, ye shall attain unto Him.” Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans Chap. 9

Question 62. Do you have reverence to both God, and His appointed and anointed authorities here n earth, being the Bishops of the true, original apostolic Church?

Question 63. Do you serve the devil by preaching or practicing anything without the knowledge of an anointed Bishop such as gather to something that is not part of the original Church?

Question 64. Do you serve the devil by preaching or practicing anything without the knowledge of an anointed Bishop such as teaching doctrines or practices that are not part of the original faith?

Question 65. Do you serve the devil by preaching or practicing anything that speaks against any part of the original faith?

If any choose to disagree with the faith of Ignatius, or any of all the other Holy Spirit filled believers of the original apostolic Church that were, and are, in unity of faith with him, then ask yourself one final question being, what spirit inspires another faith to that of which the Word of God testifies?

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