Tarentum, by Robert Johnson
The New Testament Church:
I. Planting Seed With The Original Pattern (DNA).
II. Membership In The Original Church.
III. Organization Of A Cloned New Testament Church.
IV. Characteristics Of Worship Of A Cloned New Testament
A. One of today’s most controversial issues is cloning:
Taking DNA from one person and inserting that DNA into a fertilized
egg to form an exact physical replica of that person.
1. In my mind this only becomes a problem when the babies are creating
for research or for the purpose of supplying organs for others (They
are created to be destroyed).
2. While it may be possible to give a person certain physical characteristics,
it should be noted that God gives each person an individual spirit which
is not a result of their DNA. (God is the “Father of spirits”
B. Scientists have discovered that all our physical characteristics
are a result of a certain code found in our DNA: Hair color, eye color,
size, shape and even the genetic predisposition to certain diseases
such as cancer and heart failure.
1. Plants also have a code for what they will become physically in their
2. Genetics (from word “genesis”, beginning) is the study
of our origins.
C. The history of the church is much like a family tree with
the genetic traits being the beliefs and teaches of men being inherited
by those who followed them.
1. Jesus originally established one church, which was thoroughly equipped
2. Over the years the teachings and beliefs of that church were altered
by men’s ideas and passed on to others (This has been going on
for 2,000 years).
3. From the original church was formed the Roman Catholic and Eastern
4. When the Roman church became so corrupt that even priests like Martin
Luther could not accept its teaching and practice, many attempted to
“reform” the church (The Reformation).
5. Out of the Reformation came the roots of most of today’s hundreds
of denominations such as the Lutherans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists,
6. The things that make denominations distinct and different from one
another today are the ideas and teachings they have inherited from men,
not from God’s Word.
7. Fact is, that not one of today’s denominations can be found
in the Bible and many of their teachings actually contradict the inspired
teachings and practice of the original church.
8. To put it simply there is the church created by Jesus and then there
are the churches created by and inherited from men.
D. The scriptures place a great deal of emphasis on the idea
that there is only one church, one faith and one body and that this
original faith must be maintained indefinitely.
1. Jesus prayed that all His disciples from then to now be one as He
and the His Father were one:
John 17:20-21: "Neither pray I for these
alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou
hast sent me."
2. Paul condemns divisions among the disciples and told them to all
be of the same mind.
1 Cor 1:10: "Now I beseech you, brethren,
by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing,
and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined
together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
3. John warned the first church of those who would change the church
and exhorted them to earnestly contend for the original faith they had
Jude 1:3: "Beloved, when I gave all diligence
to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to
write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for
the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
a. He reminds them of how Israel was delivered from Egypt, only to die
in the wilderness and how some of the angels failed to remain in their
first estate (Jude 1:4-6).
4. Can we be satisfied with “many” when Jesus prayed for
“one”?; Can we accept divisions as pleasing to God when
Paul said there must be none?; Is it God’s will to accept many
“faiths” when Jude said we must earnestly contend for the
C. Anyone who is serious about salvation and pleasing God must
have as their highest goal the restoration of the faith and worship
of the original church.
1. We know they received their teachings by inspiration: (2 Tim. 3:16,17).
2. We know their worship was approved and pleasing to God.
3. We know that they received salvation according to God’s plan.
4. How can any serious believer ever say, I know what my church teaches
is not in the Bible, but....?
D. I cannot help but think about how the process of cloning is like
the restoration of the Church of the New Testament.
I. Planting Seed With The Original
Pattern or DNA:
A. I am not trying to belittle your intelligence, but what do
you get when you plant an apple seed? An apple tree or an orange tree?
(Always after its own kind- Gen. 1:11).
B. According to the Bible, the seed of the kingdom is the WORD
of God (Luke 8).
1. When the Word of God is planted in a good heart it will always produce
same thing, a Believer, Disciple or New Testament Christian.
1 Pet 1:23-25: "Being born again, not of
corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth
and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory
of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof
falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this
is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
C. In order to get anything more than just a Christian, one
would have to genetically alter the seed and plant something different
in person’s heart.
1. Where is the Biblical seed (DNA) that produces Lutherans, Pentecostals
or any other “brand” of Christian?
2. Where is the origin or authorization for any denominational organization
3. Where is the Westminister Creed, the Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed
other modern rule of faith found in the Bible?
D. If we want to clone the original church, we must plant only
the Word of God found in the New Testament.
In The Original Church:
A. If you want to become a member of a denomination today, you must
comply with the terms and conditions they have devised.
1. You might be required to take a series of classes.
2. You might be required to confess and give your loyalty to some man
3. In many cases you would be told you are saved by faith only and must
yourself for baptism at some later date.
B. If you happened to ask a clone of the original church how
to be saved and become a member of the church, here is what you would
1. To be saved:
Mark 16:15-16: "And he said unto them, Go
ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth
not shall be damned."
Acts 2:37-38: "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their
heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and
brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and
be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
2. To become a member of the church? Be saved and God adds you!
Acts 2:41: "Then they that gladly received
his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them
about three thousand souls."
Acts 2:46-47: "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the
temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with
gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour
with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as
should be saved."
C. The original church might then point out several things that
happen when you have enough faith to be baptized in the name of Jesus.
1. Your sins were washed away (Acts 22:16).
2. You were buried and joined to the death of Christ and raised to walk
in a new
life with Christ. (Rom. 6:3,4)
3. You were put “into” Christ (Gal. 3:27).
4. Your sins were spiritually circumcised from you as you were buried
III. Organization of a Cloned
New Testament Church:
A. Like the original, the only “head of the church”
would be Christ:
Col 1:18: "And he is the head of the body,
the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that
in all things he might have the preeminence."
1. Each individual congregation was autonomous with elders in subjection
to the head.
B. Since Christ is the head and all authority is His, then the
only headquarters of the original church would be in heaven:
Mat 28:18-20: "And Jesus came and spake unto
them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them
to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am
with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
C. In the original church there were different offices to be
held by the leaders with certain qualifications for each office.
1. Apostles: Inspired, eye witnesses of resurrection of Christ (none
2. Prophets: Inspired teachers of Word till complete knowledge was revealed
(1 Cor. 13).
3. Teachers: Preachers: Evangelists:
4. Elders (Bishops or Pastors): Husband of one wife, believing children,
not new to the faith, given to hospitality, not given to wine, not violent,
apt to teach, etc. (Tit 1; 1 Tim 3) NOTE: Always a plurality of qualified
men, never a single “pastor.”
a. Note a preacher or evangelist was not necessarily a “Pastor”
5. Deacons: Husband of one wife, rule own house well, etc.
IV. Characteristics Of Worship
Of A Cloned New Testament Church:
A. Teaching and Preaching Word of God:
1. Careful to test the spirits and stand against false teaching.
2. Sermons known to last until midnight????????
1 Pet 2:2: "As newborn babes, desire the
sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
B. Prayer offered to God the Father in Jesus Name:
Luke 11:1-4: "And it came to pass, that,
as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples
said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in
heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as
in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And
forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted
to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil."
1 Th 5:17-18: "Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
C. Singing and Admonishing Each Other With Words (not instruments):
Eph 5:18-19: "And be not drunk with wine,
wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in
your heart to the Lord;"
Col 3:16-17: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all
wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And
whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
D. The Lord’s Supper Every First Day of the Week:
Acts 20:7: "And upon the first day of the
week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached
unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until
1 Cor 11:23-26: "For I have received of the Lord that which also
I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he
was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it,
and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this
do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup,
when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood:
this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often
as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death
till he come."
E. Giving as prospered on first day of week: (1 Cor 16:2; 2
Conclusion: There Is No Substitute For The Original:
A. Original Seed + Good Heart = New Testament Christians and
New Testament Church.
B. Let us not forget LOVE: John 13:34,35!!! Spirit and Truth!!
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