|RETURN to Landmark Independent Baptist Church Homepage
The Greatest Organization
by Pastor Keenan Witcher
(Glory in the Church)
Heritage Baptist Church
P. O. Box 6004
Roswell, NM 88202
Time and time again the Bible clearly teaches that the greatest organization
of both time and eternity is the church that Jesus built during His personal
ministry. Jesus not only came into the world to die upon the cross of Calvary,
but He also came for the purpose of calling out, establishing, building,
teaching, and equipping His church in order that she and she alone would
carry out His Kingdom business in this world. Before Jesus ever ascended
into heaven He had completely established His church. And that was before
the day of Pentecost!
I. THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT IS THE GREATEST INSTITUTION IN
THE UNIVERSE BECAUSE SHE IS THE ONLY ORGANIZATION THROUGH WHICH GOD GETS
Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout
all ages, world without end. Amen.
“Unto Him be glory . . .” WHERE? “. . . IN THE CHURCH
. . .” “Unto Him be glory . . .” IN WHAT? “ . . .
IN THE CHURCH . . .” God appointed the church as the only medium through
which He was to get glory. The inspired, the infallible, the pure, the
unchangeable, the perfect, the eternal, the authoritative Word of God says
that God gets His glory in one organization and one organization only and
that organization is the glorious church that Jesus Christ personally established
during His sojourn upon this earth.
In this verse we find one of God's great eternal principles taught.
When the Bible specifies one thing it automatically eliminates everything
else. This principle applies both to doctrine and practice. When the Bible
says that salvation is by grace that automatically eliminates all other
ways. When the Lord said that the ark of the covenant was to be carried
with staves on the shoulders of the Israelites that eliminated all other
methods of moving it. That eliminated ox carts. But the Israelite leaders
thought that they had found a better way, a new method, an easier way,
a faster way, a modern way, a more convenient system and that new idea
that they came up with caused the death of a man. So when someone comes
up with a religious organization other than the one that is specified in
the Bible you had better get away from it before you get hurt. Avoid it
like the plague. Do God's work God's way or don't do it at all. Do His
work according to the Scriptures. Serve God in and through the Church that
Jesus built. Isaiah 55:8,9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD, For as the heavens are higher
that the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than
When the Bible says that God is to get His glory in the church that
eliminates all other organizations. When the Bible says that He is to get
His glory in the church by Christ Jesus that eliminates all other men.
The Lord has never had any problem explaining Himself or making Himself
understood. The Lord said what He meant and He meant exactly what He said
when He said, “Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus . . .”
He did not say unto Him be glory in the denomination:, He did not say
unto Him be glory in the missionary committee meeting; He did not say unto
him be glory in the convention or the association. He didn't say unto him
be glory in the Christian research center or in the Mission society. But
He said, “Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus through
out all ages, world without end.” All of these organizations which
have been invented by men are no better and no more scriptural than the
ox cart that the Israelites used in moving the ark of the covenant.
Notice the text verse again. “Unto Him be glory in the church . .
.” You spell His glorious organization C-H-U-R-C-H. It is not
spelled SBC; it is not spelled ABA; it is not spelled BMA; it is not spelled
NABA; it is not spelled YMCA or YWCA. Neither is it spelled CBS nor TBN
nor PTL. There is only one religious organization in the New Testament
that had God's approval and that organization is the CHURCH THAT JESUS
II. THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT IS THE GREATEST ORGANIZATION IN
THE WORLD BECAUSE SHE IS AN ETERNAL INSTITUTION.
Ephesians 3:10,11 “To the intent that now unto the principalities
and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold
wisdom of God according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ
Jesus our Lord:”
These verses teach that the church is a very important part of God's
great eternal plan. Since the church is an eternal institution she could
not have possibly originated in Los Angeles, California in the early part
of this century, nor in 1884 with Mary Baker Eddy, nor in 1830 with Alexander
Campbell, nor in 1740 with John Wesley, nor in 1536 with John Calvin, not
in 1534 with Henry the Eighth, nor in 1520 with Martin Luther, nor in 590
with Gregory the First. Neither did she originate on the day of Pentecost.
The Church of Jesus Christ originated in eternity past in the loving heart
and infinite mind of an all knowing and all wise God as He laid out the
time ages. The church is an eternal organization which was projected into
time when the Son of God, the originator of the church, came into this
world and began to call out and assemble the disciples which John had baptized.
Thus he formed the First Baptist Church.
God is a God of planning and order. The church wasn't established on
the spur of the moment neither was she an after thought with God. Baptist
churches are not accidents. God planned His church and He planned on getting
glory in Her by Christ Jesus throughout all ages—WORLD WITHOUT END! The
existence of the church can be dated from Eternity B.C. to Eternity A.D.
What an existence!
The church had a great beginning. She has a marvelous history. But her
future is even greater, because she is destined to glory. Ephesians 5:25-27
love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for
it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by
the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having
spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing but that it should be holy and without
blemish.” Jesus is coming again and when He does He will receive His
church unto Himself and present her to Himself a glorious church that is
absolutely perfect because He is going to cleanse every spot and iron out
every wrinkle. What a glorious destiny awaits the Church of Jesus Christ.
Some say the church is out of date. What effect can time possibly have
on an eternal institution? The church has been surviving modernism ever
since her beginning. She has withstood the ravages of time, fire, sword,
inquisition, and she will survive communism, and the New Age. And she will
be here when Jesus returns with her lamp trimmed and ready. Matthew 16:18
“. . . the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
III. THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT IS THE GREATEST ORGANIZATION
IN THE WORLD BECAUSE SHE IS THE HIGHEST INSTITUTION OF LEARNING IN THE
Ephesians 3:10 “To the intent that now unto the principalities and
powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom
Have you ever really noticed this passage? (Read it again.) One of God's
eternal purposes for the church is to make the manifold wisdom of God known
to the angels. The church is the university for the angels of heaven. What
an awesome responsibility! It is not God's purpose for her to teach secular
education. It's not in accordance with His eternal purpose for the church
to be an entertainment center or a baby sitting organization. But back
before time ever began, back before anything or anyone existed but God,
way back in the council halls of eternity and without the advice of men,
God purposed with Himself and within Himself that His church would make
his manifold wisdom known unto the celestial beings in heavenly places.
Therefore the ideas of earthly man who is limited by time is nothing in
comparison with God's majestic eternal plan.
Some like to boast about their degrees and about where they attended
college. Allow me to boast, I have attended church all of my life and it
is the highest and the most important institution of learning that has
ever existed and that will ever exist. I along with the other members am
a professor at the Universe University. All of the angels have the same
major—THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD. A manifold gathers things together into
one unit. The manifold wisdom of God gathers many things into one unit.
Ephesians 1:9,10 “Have made known unto us the mystery of His will, according
to his good pleasure which He hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation
of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in
Christ; both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”
Christ is the manifold of God's eternal plan. Christ (NOT the church) is
the One in which all things are going to be gathered together in.
Therefore as the angels look down from heaven and see a church gathering
together, they see a great preview of God accomplishing His eternal purpose
in Christ as He gathers all things together in Him in the dispensation
of the fulness of time. Without a shadow of a doubt the Lord's churches
are the biggest and greatest institutions in world because of their curriculum
and their student body.
IV. THE CHURCH IS THE GREATEST INSTITUTION IN THE WORLD BECAUSE
SHE IS THE BODY OF CHRIST.
Ephesians 1:22,23 “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave
Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the
fulness of Him that filleth all in all.”
A popular heresy today is that the body of Christ is a world-wide, invisible,
mystical organization made up of all the saved. That's one of the biggest
lies that has ever been hatched in hell. It doesn't matter what Charles
Stanley says; it doesn't make any difference what James Robinson says;
and it certainly does not matter what C. I. Scofield says in his notes.
The only thing that really matters is what the Word of God says. The Word
of God very plainly says that the body of Christ and the church are one
in the same.
“. . . the church, which is His body.” The Bible also
teaches that a church is a local congregation. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20
two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of
them.” Study the context of this verse and you will quickly see that
Jesus is talking about His church and only His church. The church that
I'm a member of is like the body of Jesus, “. . . not a bone . . . shall
be broken.” The so-called universal church is like the hacked up and
scattered body of Nimrod who is one of the forerunners of the anti-christ.
The Lord is the head of His church. This great truth eliminates all
organizations, clicks, clans, and individuals either inside or outside
the church that would rule over her. Christ rules His churches with His
Word and by the Holy Spirit as He leads in accordance with the Word of
God. It is the Lord's church. It's not our church; it's not my church;
and it's not your church. It's His church and she is to be completely submissive
to the Lord and to him alone.
A man told me twenty years ago that open communion was all right if
that was what a church wanted. I asked him if the church had the right
to go against the Word of God. He still has not answered me. A new Testament
church is subject to the Lord and His Word just like the wife is subject
to her husband. Women’s lib didn’t start in the secular world. It probably
started somewhere in a Baptist church when the membership ignored the Word
of God and started doing what they wanted to do. Down with women's lib
and forget the idea that a New Testament church can sever herself from
her head and do as she pleases. I’m Baptist not Catholic. I believe in
the infallibility of the Bible not in the infallibility of the church.
I believe in the authority of Jesus Christ and not in the authority of
Since Jesus is the head of his body, then our headquarters are not Nashville,
or Texarkana, or Springfield, or Canterbury, or Rome. Heaven is our headquarters
for the Head of the church is seated in the heavenlies at the Father’s
right hand. All other organizations are earthly but the church Jesus built
is a heavenly organization and that makes the church the greatest organization
Since the local church is His body then a local church contains
100% of the Spirit of Christ. “Which is His body, the fulness of him
that filleth all in all.” What a rich and enlightening passage of Scripture!
This should make everyone who loves church truth rejoice. A similar passage
about the physical body of Christ is found in Colossians 2:9. “For in
him dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The Spirit of Christ
is present in the heart of every saved individual in a special way. Our
bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. But the Spirit of Christ indwells
the actual body of Jesus in an extra special way—IN HIS FULNESS. The same
thing is true of the church body. The Spirit of Christ is concentrated
in the church in the very same way He is in the physical body of Christ.
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the
knowledge of him; The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that
ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the
glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness
of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty
power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised Him from the dead, and
set him at his own right hand in heavenly place, Far above all principality
and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only
in this world, but also in that which is to come; And hath put all things
under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” The
same power, the greatest power of all, the power that raised Jesus from
the dead and set Him at the Father’s right hand is the very same power
that is in its fulness in the church. When God raised Jesus from the dead
He used all of His power. He didn’t withhold any of it. He did the same
with the church. Oh, that the eyes of our understanding might be enlightened
in order that we might understand the fulness of His presence and the fulness
of His power in the CHURCH.
How God’s people need to realize what the church is and that Jesus is
in our midst in the fulness of His presence and the fulness of His power
when we assemble together by His authority. Only a church can claim this
promise. This promise wasn’t just made to anyone and everything. It was
made to His church and His church alone. We are in much the same position
that Moses was when he saw the burning bush. He heard God say, take off
your shoes you are standing on holy ground. When you go to church you are
standing in the fulness of His presence. You are treading on sacred ground,
so take your shoes off—show some respect—be serious—behave yourself in
the house of God.
V. THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT IS THE GREATEST ORGANIZATION BECAUSE
SHE IS THE ONLY THING THAT HAS EVER BEEN BAPTIZED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Acts 1:4-8 “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them
that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of
the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized
with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days
hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying,
Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he
said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which
the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after
that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me
both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost
part of the earth.”
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was to come at a certain place, to a
specific group, at a particular time, and for a singular purpose. Let us
notice five very important things in these verses of Scripture. FIRST
—the baptism of the Holy Spirit was to take place at the city of Jerusalem
in the nation of Israel. “. . . they should not depart from Jerusalem
. . .” SECOND—the baptism of the Holy Ghost has already taken
place, some 1,960 years ago. “. . . ye shall be baptized with the Holy
Ghost not many days hence.” THIRD—an organization, not individuals,
was baptized in the Holy Ghost. “And being assembled together with them.”
FOURTH—The baptism of the Holy Ghost came because it was promised!
“. . . but wait for the promise of the Father, . . .” and FIFTH—The
Holy Ghost baptized them for the purpose of enabling them to carry our
the Great Commission worldwide.
“But ye shall receive power. . .”
How the religious world twists and misuses this great event that took
place on the day of Pentecost. Only the Lord’s true churches can rightfully
claim the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Only the churches which can trace
their lineage back to the ministry of Christ can claim the baptism of the
Holy Spirit. All other claims are false claims. Let me quickly say that
we cannot claim any of the miraculous gifts such as speaking in tongues
because they all ceased with the completion of the New Testament. Paul
said when speaking of these gifts that when he became a man he put away
childish things. We don’t need the toys of the infant church. In the Bible
we have everything that the mature church needs. Therefore the childish
Pentecostals, charismatics, and Bapticostals need to quit riding stick
horses and playing tiddly winks. They need to quit their jabbering and
grow up and speak plainly.
The power was given in order to enable the church to do world-wide mission
work. The power wasn’t given in order to give the church members a good
feeling. It wasn’t given so they could have something to jump and shout
about. Neither was it given to cause them to make fools out of themselves.
But the church was empowered for a very, very important reason and that
reason was to enable her to carry the gospel to the uttermost parts of
The Holy Spirit came on the church because God promised that He would
“. . . wait for the promise . . .” The Holy Spirit was not
prayed down neither was He worked up. He came on the church because God
promised that He would send Him and He promised Him only to the church
that Jesus built. He wasn’t promised to the Pentecostals not the charismatics
therefore they cannot get the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They cannot have
it. A man ended a funeral sermon with the following question: “Have you
been baptized by the Holy Ghost since you were saved?” I wanted to stand
up and say: “No, I haven’t, but I’m a member of the only organization that
was baptized by the Holy Spirit more than nineteen centuries ago.”
If the charismatics want the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let them pray—let
them pray louder. Let them shout, let them shout louder and longer. Let
them sing—let them crank up the music. Let them dance and even go into
a trance. But regardless of what they do—regardless of how hard they try—they
will never get the baptism of the Holy Spirit. For the baptism of the Holy
Spirit has already come and gone and they were not at Jerusalem on the
day of Pentecost to receive it. They were not even in existence. They are
almost 2,000 years too late and thousands of miles away. There is only
one way for them to claim baptism of the Holy Spirit. They can do it by
repenting of their sins and of their false doctrines and by trusting Christ
as Savior and getting baptized at the hands of an old-time Baptist Church
and becoming a member of her.
Since this great power has been entrusted to the Lord’s churches let
us use it for the right purpose. Let us carry the gospel to the uttermost
parts of the world. Let us baptize those that get saved. Let us teach the
church to observe everything that the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded.
Then let us claim His great promise— “. . . I am with you alway, even
until the end of the world.”
“UNTO HIM BE GLORY IN THE CHURCH BY CHRIST JESUS
THROUGHOUT ALL AGES, WORLD WITHOUT END.”
Available as a printed tract from:
Landmark Independent Baptist Church
P.O. Box 847
Archer, FL 32618-0847
RETURN to Landmark Independent Baptist Church Homepage