I.       The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, is the mother of us all, the New Jerusalem,[1] and the Bride adorned for her Husband, [2] and consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof. She is the body and the fullness of Him that fills all in all.[3] Made clean, holy, and just, she is commanded to come out and be separate from the world.[4]

II.       Her children, which are also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consist of all those throughout the world that profess the true faith;[5] and of their own children:[6] and constitute the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[7] the house and family of God.[8]

III.       Unto this catholic visible Church Christ has given the ministry, prophecies, and ordinances of God for the gathering and perfecting of the saints in this life to the end of the world—and does, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual to her.[9]

IV.       This catholic Church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible.[10] And particular Churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.[11]

V.       The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error;[12] and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan.[13] Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth to worship God according to His will.[14]

VI.       There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ.[15] Yet Christ has appointed men to hold ecclesiastical authority within it: seasoned Christians,[16] men above reproach, of one wife, believing children not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination,[17] sober, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, reasonable, able to teach,[18] full of the Spirit and wisdom.[19] These leaders are to be submitted to, obeyed, and highly esteemed because of their work.[20]


[1] GAL 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.[2] REV 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

[3] EPH 1:10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. COL 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

[4] 2 COR 6:17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you LUK 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” JER 42:10 If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you. 11 Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand. 12 I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and let you remain in your own land. 13 But if you say, ‘We will not remain in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God 14 and saying, ‘No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall not see war or hear the sound of the trumpet or be hungry for bread, and we will dwell there,’ 15 then hear the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: If you set your faces to enter Egypt and go to live there, 16 then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow close after you to Egypt, and there you shall die. 17 All the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to live there shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. They shall have no remnant or survivor from the disaster that I will bring upon them. 18 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: As my anger and my wrath were poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You shall become an execration, a horror, a curse, and a taunt. You shall see this place no more. 19 The Lord has said to you, O remnant of Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Know for a certainty that I have warned you this day 20 that you have gone astray at the cost of your lives.

[5] 1CO 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1CO 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. PSA 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. REV 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. ROM 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

[6] 1CO 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. ACT 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. EZE 16:20 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, 21 That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? ROM 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. GEN 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

[7] MAT 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. ISA 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

[8] EPH 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

[9] 1CO 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. EPH 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. MAT 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ISA 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

[10] ROM 11:3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” REV 12:6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

[11] (REV 2-3 throughout) 1CO 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

[12] 1 COR 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

[13] REV 3:9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. ROM 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.

[14] MAT 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. PSA 72:17 May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! 102:28 The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you. PSA 1:6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

[15] COL 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. EPH 1:22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church

[16] 1 TIM 3:6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

[17] TIT 1:6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.

[18] 1 TIM 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

[19] Acts 6:3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

[20] HEB 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. 1 THES 5:12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.