What is the meaning of the restoration of the
Since its inception, has the church remained in every way an apostolic church?
The apostolic church was the one true church. However, as the Bible prophesied, “that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed.” (2 Thess 2:3)
Rebellions have occurred in the history of the church. It became perverted, depraved, worshipped idols and altered the commandments.
Jesus prophesied that false prophets and false christs would emerge to spread heretical teachings and to bring about her decline (Matt 7:15-16; 24:24-26).
Indeed, after the apostles died, the church started altering the truth and introducing many changes, including the iconic veneration of Jesus, Mary and the saints; Sunday worship in place of the Sabbath; sprinkling as a mode of baptism; the sale of indulgences; and the establishment of Christmas as a religious festival.
In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther attempted to redress the Roman Catholic Church’s deviation from the truth by spearheading a major religious reformation. However, despite his best efforts, it failed to restore the truth and the apostolic church.
Today, we are left with the legacy: many Christians remain unaware of the biblical truth of salvation, and Christianity itself has become increasingly fragmented.
How do we seek to rebuild the apostolic church?
Though the origin of the apostolic church is history, it is still possible to source it through the Bible (Jer 1:16), which provides a reliable record of the early church.
The Bible is the guide to salvation (2 Tim 3:15-16) and to the true church (Isa 8:20).
God’s requirements for the true church in the end time are the same as those for the apostolic church.
What are the criteria of the apostolic church?
1. Be “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph 2:20). This entails her upholding all of the Lord’s commandments, including the Sabbath ( Jn 14:21, 23–24; 2 Jn 9) and the apostles’ teachings (Acts 2:42).
2. Acknowledge Jesus Christ as her head (Eph 1:22; Col 1:18).
3. Preach the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1–2; Gal 1:6–9).
4. Perform water baptism for spiritual rebirth, the forgiveness of sins and salvation ( Jn 3:5; Acts 2:38; Tit 3:5; 1 Pet 3:21).
5. Enable believers to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Zech 14:17; Acts 8:17; 10:44; 19:6).
6. Have the testimony of signs and miracles (Mk 16:17–18;Heb 2:3–4).
7. Be full of charismatic gifts (1 Cor 12:4–11).
8. Be holy and set apart from the world ( Jn 17:16–19;Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 6:17–18).
9. Manifest righteous deeds, being “arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright”, as is fitting for the bride of the Lamb (Rev 19:7–8).
10. Be the salt and the light of the world, giving glory to God and edifying others (Mt 5:13–16).
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