4. They had Christ as Head (Matt. 23:8; Mark 1:1; John 1:29).
Since the Lord Jesus Christ is the one doing the teaching, preaching, healing, and everyone is following Him, it is prima facie evidence that He is the Head. However, in the context of the supposition S. E. Anderson seeks to prove, this point proves nothing; either by itself, or in conjunction with the other evidence.
However, we could and should rightly understand that this proof also undermines S. E. Anderson’s contention that the New Testament church and Israel are separate covenanted institutions and are not the same. Now, let me be clear here; I do not believe that the New Testament church and Israel are in one and the same covenant as the Scripture is express that they are not. There is a time coming in which they will be joined together — in the new heaven and new earth as parts of the New Jerusalem.
In examining this, we should understand that it was the Word, who would take the office of Christ that the elders of Israel ate and drank in front of on Mount Horeb.
Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink. (Exodus 24:9-11)
Now we know that this is the Word as John, chapter 1 is express that no man can, or will see the Father.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:15-18)
Since we know that no one ever sees the Holy Ghost, and the Scripture is plain that no man shall ever see the Father, then it is also plain that the God of Israel was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
In addition, there is another verse in the New Testament that coupled with the above proof would plainly teach the Universal Church theory.1 Even though the following verse is found in the first epistle to the Corinthians, the statement is a generally applicable statement to all men everywhere.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (I Corinthians 11:3)
What this point actually demonstrates is that the Lord Jesus Christ is doing the mission work to build His church, and that He is the Great Shepherd. Since He is the standard by which we must judge ourselves, His example in this is to be taken to heart, and followed diligently.
- The idea of a “universal church” is just that — an “idea.” The theory of a universal church has no actual support in Scripture, unless you choose to take verses out of context, distort the meanings of words, and defy plain logic. [↩]