By Tom L. Ballinger

This series of studies includes the Introduction and Part I through Part VIII.
Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V - Part VI - Part VII - Part VIII


The “Christian religion,” the largest and most influential of the world’s religions, is found not to be in the Bible. What we have, today, in Christianity is not the subject of Old Testament prophecy, nor is it a true development of New Testament truth. The “Christian Religion,” with all of its’divisions, sects, and denominations, is not the result of the pure, unleavened, revealed Word of God. It is, in fact, the natural outgrowth of confusion, darkness, and error. This is a hard statement to make. This statement sounds absurd to some and a shock to others, especially to those who are devoutly or emotionally, attached to the “Christian Religion.” Only those who have “ears to hear” can comprehend the truth of this statement.

A study of “Church History,” when viewed in the light of the rightly divided Word, reveals that every sect, division, and denomination has, as its’ source, the same foundation. They all, to one extent or another, are the outgrowth of the theology of the so-called “Church Fathers.”

The World Book Encyclopedia states that the foundation upon which “Church Fathers” founded the Christian Religion was “the life and teachings of Jesus.” The life and teachings of Jesus are not the basis for true Christianity. The Lord Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, and He confirmed the promises God made to the fathers of Israel (Rom. 15:8). His life was one of a Jew under the Law of Moses. He proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was at hand. That was the primary theme of His pronouncements.

The audience Christ spoke to were Old Testament Jews. They understood full well what He meant concerning the Kingdom of God. The announcement that the Kingdom of God was at hand was not a new concept to the Jews at the time. Every prophet of God spoke about it (Acts 3:21), and by so doing, they had already set forth a period of time when the earth and all of the nations upon it would be governed by God (Psalm 67:4). It was an ancient body of truth set forth under the New Testament descriptive term: the Kingdom (Government) of God.

The “Church Fathers” never came to grips with the fact that believers, during the Acts period, had a foretaste of the coming Government of God (Hebrews 6:4-6). The fathers paid no attention to the Apostle Paul’s startling announcement of Acts 28:28. Since the Kingdom didn’t come, along with all of the concurrent events surrounding it, they spiritualized the Kingdom of God and stole the blessings promised to Israel and appropriated them to the church.

The “Church Fathers” did not build their visible church organization upon the One Foundation laid down by the Apostle Paul.

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).

The rise of the Christian religion, as we know it, did not have its’ roots in the New Testament or in the Scriptures of the Mystery. Its’ roots go back to the very end of the first century. This was after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Christians previously turned away the Apostle Paul who was the Lord’s instrument to explain what God was doing when He suspended His dealings with the “Israel of God.” The Church Fathers failed to recognize that an unprophesied dispensation was ushered in at the close of the Acts period. This resulted in utter confusion and darkness. Consequently, the “Fathers” laid a foundation based upon error. The error was that the church was to be God’s replacement of Israel and was to assume Israel’s promises.

This error gave rise to anti-Semitism which has persisted unto this very day in many quarters. The “Church Fathers” became churchmen, and their doctrine has continued to produce churchmen for the last two-thousand years. Churchmen, or said another way, men of the church have never embraced the revelation of the Mystery which is the capstone of all the revelations of God. Why? Perhaps it is because Ephesians and Colossians makes no room for them because there is no church hierarchy in the Dispensation of the Mystery. (Refer to my previous four-part PW Online studies, “The Word - Church”).

Churchmen, at times, may be granted glimpses of Present Truth, but until they become “unchurched,” they will never be given “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of” the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 1:17).

An application can be made to churchmen and churchpeople as Paul did to the Jews in 2 Corinthians 3:13-16;

“And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.”

In the mid 1960s, we began to see glimpses of truth for today, but it was not until 1968, when we became “unchurched,” that the veil was taken away. As long as we tried to have one foot in the Acts 28:28 camp and the other in the mid-Acts camp, the veil remained over my heart. By the providence of God, I was led out of the church camp where my only support, or prop, became the Word of God.

There’s a gargantuan difference between a man of the church and a man of God.

In closing, it should be said; in the studies which follow, we will try to show the conditions as they existed during the Acts of the Apostles during Paul’s time as the prisoner of the Jesus Christ for the Gentiles and the time after the destruction of Jerusalem.


Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V - Part VI - Part VII - Part VIII

Tom L. Ballinger