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Church, First Century

Go to Bible verses about Church, First Century

Back to the First Century (Part One)

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reminding us to take God's words seriously, cautions that all His words have great depth, having far more applications than appear on the surface. His word unfolds in layers, like the peeling back of an onion skin. After the upheaval and d. . .

Is There a True Church?

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Many 'church of God' organizations claim to be part of—or even the only—church of God. The Bible reveals specific characteristics of God's church.

Letters to Seven Churches (Part Ten): The Church

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Ups and downs, blessings and trials, have characterized every era of the church. God's people are always battling something negative between the brief highs.

Is There a True Church?

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

God's true church cannot be found without revelation nor can one join the organization; God calls and places each member in its appropriate place in the Body.

Purpose-Driven Churches (Part 3)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Outcome based religion exalts numerical growth and feeling good over the truth of God, promoting the use of modern psychology over 'divisive' biblical doctrine.

The Source of Church Characteristics (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 all existed simultaneously and the characteristics of five of them will apparently be extant at the return of Christ.

Jesus Christ: First Savior, Second High Priest, Third King

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.

What Is the Church's Work Today (Part Three)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reiterates that biblical history substantiates that God does not always have the church perform the same functions continually, but sometimes drastically alters the course according to needs and conditions. The perceived detours are necessa. . .

"I Will Build My Church"

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, focusing on Peter's proclamation that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God, recognizes that after this awesome insight, Jesus realized that He could begin building His church. Sadly, the church that public. . .

Hebrews, Love, and the Ephesian Church

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .

Letters to Seven Churches (Part Two): Ephesus

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

The Ephesus church effectively battled various heresies, for which Christ commends it. However, the members lost sight of the reason, having left their first love.

Is Passover on the First Day of Unleavened Bread? (Part One)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Matthew, Mark, and Luke each seem to put Passover on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but a closer look reveals the consistency of Scripture.

The First Day of Unleavened Bread (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Passover takes place at twilight as the 14th of Abib begins. Unleavened Bread begins 24 hours later on the 15th of Abib. The Passover is a preparation day.

Recapture Your First Love!

Article by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

First love is the purest kind of spiritual love we as humans can demonstrate. It is a love that truly shows one's heart is completely given to God.

The Seventh Thunder

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

In Revelation 10:3-4, John tells of seven thunders—seven distinct, sequential reverberations of God's message to mankind. The seventh thunder is sounding now.

A Distant Reflection

'Prophecy Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Considering the events and trends exhibited in the modern church of God, will it follow the disastrous example of early second-century Christianity?

Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Two)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in fulfilling ours, which includes keeping God's commandments.

Acts (Part 27)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Seven)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

The epistle of Hebrews is so vital to Christians in the first century and now because it explains the unique place and power of Christianity's High Priest.

The Duality of Prophecy

'Prophecy Watch' by Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)

Many biblical prophecies have a type and an antitype, a former fulfillment and a latter one. If we really want to understand prophecy, we need to understand this concept.

Contend Earnestly

Article by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

All the signs point to Christ's imminent return, yet the Bible warns us not to let down. Hebrews 10 exhorts us to strive to please God and finish our course.

The More Things Change

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

We tend to think of the early Church as a 'golden age' of unity and momentum. But early church members experienced problems similar to what we face today.

Hebrews: Its Background (Part Seven)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, examining the socio-cultural milieu before the writing of the Epistle to the Hebrews, explains the difficulties experienced by the new Jewish converts to the Gospel. The powerful testimony of the recently risen Christ, combined with the ap. . .

The Wisdom of Men and Faith

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh asserts that the pressures and conflicts that the church has undergone is part of a larger Zeitgeist (spirit of the time) that has embroiled institutions religious and political institutions worldwide. The mindset reflects (and is a functio. . .

Do We Have 'Eternal Security'?

'Ready Answer' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Are we 'once-saved, always-saved'? Once God grants us His grace, are we assured eternal life? The fallacies of the doctrine of 'eternal security' are exposed.

Hebrews: Its Background (Part Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the tumultuous time recorded in Acts is analogous to the current factional secularism, where God's Church is operating in the shadow of religious structures claiming to be "faith-based," but in fact denying God's L. . .

Damnable Heresies

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Many heresies have crept into the church over the past several years. Here is how Satan works to introduce heresy into the church, and what we can do about it.

Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen (Part One)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Jesus Christ warns us to hold fast to true doctrine. Secular historians help us discover the identity of the small flock repeatedly rescued from apostasy.

A Truth About Revelation 2 and 3

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

In the Day of the Lord, Christ stands in the midst of all seven churches. We are to learn from the lessons from all seven, not get sidetracked by eras.

Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong?

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh shares the significance of Herbert W. Armstrong's role in the church. Increasingly, some fail to realize Herbert Armstrong's stabilizing role in God's church. The scattering we have experienced since his death has been a blessing from God, . . .

No One Else Matters (Part Two)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Sin has tainted the most faithful leaders. Most (perhaps all) church leaders have skeletons in their closets, but we follow them as they follow Christ.

Where Did The Original Apostles Go?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

The Scriptures are largely silent about the exploits of the apostles other than Paul. We have only general comments concerning their spheres of activities.

Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Four)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Christians often spend so much time engaged in their present-day trials and tribulations that they fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past. In the New Testament, God has supplied His church with multiple examples of the . . .

Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Three)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. One of the most critical was to explain God's opening of eternal life to the Gentiles.

Suffering Disgrace For Christ's Name

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, asking why Christians must endure such horrendous persecution and struggle, asserts that Paul warned in Acts 5 that the church would always be in danger of deception from within and opposition from without. "Opposition from without&quo. . .

Unity (Part 1): God and HWA

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

In this lead-off sermon of the 1999 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh draws an instructive though disturbing parallel between the warning given to Belshazzar and the warning given to the greater church of God. A major contributory cause in the splittin. . .

What Is the Work?

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting that our concept of time is vastly different from God's, indicates that our spiritual pilgrimage (including our participation in the work of God) is largely a matter of faith, not sight. If we see God in the picture, we will not. . .

Acts (Part 2)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh maintains that our historical and theological roots are advanced in a polished, literary, chronological narrative, perhaps designed as a trial document authored by Luke. It defends the apostle Paul and the early church, with a larger purpos. . .

False Gospels

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

A major clue for discerning false gospels is that any teaching attempting to change the nature of God or Christ or their doctrines is anti-Christ and false.

A Search for Identity

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God gave His approval for the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God into numerous groups, allowing heresies so He could see who really loves Him.

Acts (Part 1)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh explores the possibility that the book of Acts, in addition to its role in continuing and advancing the Gospel or Good News, could well have been assembled as an exculpatory trial document designed to vindicate the Apostle Paul and the earl. . .

Hebrews: Its Background (Part Four)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that most of us resemble the Samaritan woman in our understanding of the value of our calling, maintains that our relationship with God is our sole protection from carnal human nature and the deadly pulls of the world. Whatever . . .

Does Doctrine Really Matter? (Part Eight)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Faith is difficult enough to maintain on its own, but greatly confused when the pastor dilutes correct doctrine with 'benign' false doctrine from the world.

Preparing the Bride

Booklet by John W. Ritenbaugh

A Statement of Purpose and Beliefs of the Church of the Great God

Guard the Truth!

Booklet by John W. Ritenbaugh

The true church of God is an invisible, spiritual organism, of those people that have and are led by the Spirit of God, who hold fast to apostolic teaching.

Acts (Part 12)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh initially explores the work of Paul and Barnabas developing the church in the cosmopolitan city of Antioch, the location from where the term Christian originated. The twelfth chapter, an apparent flashback, focuses upon the execution of Jam. . .

Man's Greatest Challenge (Part Four)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh continues the theme of the difficulty we have in this age to distinguish truth from error. Satan's biggest targets for disinformation are God's called-out ones. As the apostles turned the world upside down by the Gospel, Satan's implante. . .

What Is the Work of God Now? (Part Four)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The scattering of the church was an act of love by God to wake us from our lethargic, faithless condition. The feeding of the flock is the priority now.

Hebrews: Its Background (Part Three)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Jesus handpicked the twelve apostles for a specific work, notes that there is a strong possibility that God has also handpicked each one of us to fulfill a particular role in the Body. Like an engineer on a building proje. . .

Facing Times of Stress: Persecution

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.

'Go Ye Therefore Into All the World...'

'Ready Answer' by Staff

When we sing this popular hymn, are we singing a lie? No, this is a commision to apostles, and right now we are doing what God desires of us.

Avoiding Superficiality

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Success in spiritual things does not consist in growing large and powerful, but humbly living by faith, overcoming, and yielding to God's shaping power.

The Handwriting Is on the Wall (1996)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God initiated the scattering of the church for our ultimate good. When the revelation of God was replaced with the wisdom of this world, God intervened.

Acts (Part 22)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Sabbath Command (as well as all of the Ten Commandments) was made for both Jews and Gentiles (all of mankind). Throughout the book of Acts, Gentiles are faithfully keeping the Sabbath along with the Jews. Paul's insisten. . .

Acts (Part 11)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh explores the conversion of Cornelius, a Gentile. This event is nearly as pivotal a benchmark as the original Pentecost because the Gentiles at this point are given the same portal of salvation (repentance, belief in Christ, and receipt of G. . .

From Faith to Love

Sermonette by Clyde Finklea

Peter provides not only an effective antidote to corrosive heresies, apostasy, and false teachers, but also a practical formula for spiritual growth.

Creator, Sustainer, Head (Part One)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

The book of Hebrews resonates for the church of God at this time due to the strong parallels between our circumstances and those of the first century church.

Don't Give Up!

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting that the book of Hebrews was written for a group of people living at a time of the end of an age (the end of Jewish life in Judea), suggests that this nation is also languishing in an end-time decline. People are in a general ma. . .

The Beatitudes, Part One: The Sermon on the Mount

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

The Sermon on the Mount is as vitally important today as when Christ preached it. It contains the way we are to live as God's representatives on this earth.


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