There are many religious groups that teach you MUST attend and be part of their body to go to heaven. Unbiblical false groups like Roman Catholics, Baptists, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses all teach this in their man made doctrines.
There are also various groups that have things very correct biblically but still teach this ill theology they use to control people in their pews.
One such group is Mark Bullen at Living Faith Christian Fellowship in Brookfield Mo
See this testing link on them:
This article below challenges and teaches why going to or being a member of a church does NOT save you.
In my first teaching/video I did to refute Mark was on his role as the lone Bishop in charge and he calls himself chairman of the board there.
In that article/video we covered the unbiblical teaching of one Bishop ruling over everyone. In that video/teaching we showed it is NOT the model of the true NT body but one made up by man. We also warned of that kind of false teaching and unchecked power leading to even more dangerous ways over time. Well sadly here is the proof of that warning.
The subject of our next video/teaching here is to get at truth and lovingly help others out of error is one that actually perverts the gospel saying;
God's way to save your soul is being in and going to a church.
In Mark Bullen's writings he makes some good biblical points of truth and we applaud him for that. But amazingly he also makes some claims that we would be in complete sin if we did not speak out against such ways and teachings that will (and is) deceive others.
Mark likes to use the word program over and over claiming God has a church program to save your soul. The word program is NOT found in scripture nor is "Marks idea" of God's NT body. Marks program is a bishop ruling system of the assembled body. While we agree 100% with Mark that God designed the NT body and how it should function ( which he leaves in various places ) he has twisted the gospel of Jesus Christ now adding to it..... church membership and attendance.
Here is a quote right from Marks own book: Apostolic Faith and Biblical Christian Living pg 18
This is an amazing statement that needs to be addressed and tested:
*First, what is it that God promises will save His people?
In the old testament there was animal sacrifices and now in Christ we have the final perfect sacrifice!
It is the gospel good news of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross and faith in Him not a church system that saves a man. (Good works and obedience do follow a true faith no doubt but it does not save you. It is evidence God is in you.)
*If you search the word gospel (means good news) in the writings/epistles of Paul who God called to labor for the NT body, you will see it is always associated with faith and obedience to and in the cross of Christ NOT, a church system.
Paul does say this in 1 Timothy 3 and it is often abused by power hungry church leaders.
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
If we use scripture to interpret scripture, who is the truth?
The church or Jesus Christ?
John14:6 says He is the truth and He saves His people not a church system!
(His body does act as a pillar and what does a pillar do? It upholds things and in this case its the truth.)
Jesus nor Paul ever preached you must join a local church; to be saved.
There is ONLY one body of Christ not MANY to join all over.
1 Corinthians 12
Mark Bullen has over laid his bishop ruling church program / theology and has added to the saving gospel of Christ by saying you must be in a church system under men to be saved!
This is not biblical and it deceives people. It is a left over false way of roman catholicism, Luther/the reformation, many cults to come and even the Baptists that Mark once was part of.
Mark is acting as a blind guide here and Jesus warned about those. Sadly, they all go into the ditch and we want better for them.
Note: to be clear, scripture does say we are to obey God's Word as fruit we know and love Him. Hebrews 5:9 and John 14:15 and many others others; that is biblical. But to tie one's hope of salvation to men and a church system is more than unbiblical, it is a plain demonic lie.
(Again baptist, mormons, jehovah witnesses and roman catholics all teach that as well but God's Word just does not teach it. )
*The issue is this:
To say you MUST be under a human leader and in his church system program to gain salvation is totally un-scriptural and beyond even simple twisting the Word to get there. It is a false gospel/added to gospel; that Paul warned of in Galatians 1 and it is accursed.
It is a good and godly thing to have a fully biblical body with godly elders to oversee. That was indeed in existence in the first century via the powerful move of God's Spirit, but today in most all areas, sadly it is not so. Where are all these godly bodies with true godly men as examples NOT over lords? (Mark disqualifies himself from that list via poor doctrine.)
It is so rare today to find the true biblical body as we may well live in the falling away that Paul spoke of. Jesus said FEW will find eternal life and He asked will there be any faith on earth when I return, see Matthew 7 and Luke 18.
God's Word can NEVER contradict itself and yet Mark makes the Holy Word do that here.
Let me explain why:
Mark says you MUST be in a body and under a man to be saved.
The bible never teaches this at all.
In truth, there are many cases where men / people who profess/born again in Christ are NOT part of a biblical body/under a bishop and here are some examples:
*People converted in jail
*People in muslim countries who are born again and surrounded by only Islam
*People in America where apostasy is on every corner and there is no fully biblical body around
*People who start home fellowships and only have a few followers of Christ to start
*Wives and children of a unbeliever man who cannot find or even allow to go to a body
*Evangelists who travel and preach the gospel on the go without a body
*People who leave their body over sin in that body and have no other biblical body to unite with
*You live in a spiritually dead apostate area of the world ( for us that is called America )
and on and on....
A question to consider?
Has Christ abandoned those people (to hell) in those situations? Those who obey Him in every way but are left without a biblical body/ elders/bishops to be accountable to and unite with?
No and it is more heresy here folks....
Marks theology does not work in all situations so it is false!
Study in Context
I fear Mark has lost the concept of studying God's Word.... in context.
When Paul said all he said about the body's established in the New Testament Word they were alive and striving in body's and in the Word. Even in great roman persecution God's spirit moved powerfully via signs and wonders to get the body of Christ formed. Paul then appointed godly multiple elders to oversee and guide them in each city. The Apostles had such power
Men were elder/leaders but there was NO lifted up clergy class as (Mark holds to) as all men took part in gatherings. That is indeed God's design no doubt!
Now fast forward to today and the warnings of Paul and Jesus about the last days.
*In 2 Timothy 4 Paul warns of a time when they leave sound doctrine.
(there are 30,000 denominations today all teaching lies)
*Paul says when I leave wolves will come in.
(false teachers abound today like no other in history)
*Jesus warns the love will grow cold
(we see that all over the claimed body of Christ... little to no love)
*In Matthew 24 Jesus says massive deception marks the last days and false teachers saying He is the Christ will deceive many.
( America is full of massive deception... we see it as we preach all over the nation)
*Revelation speaks of an evil world system that is rising up to control and persecute God's people.
(that system is forming fast )
*The bible also talks of a time of great tribulation and scattering of His people all over the earth, man being killed and cut off from others no doubt.
You do not need to be a bible scholar to figure out the latter days will not be like when the early body was formed. God's body was forming then in power while in the last days it is dying on earth, though He always has His faithful few.
Meaning this... we can strive for the model God ordained in a NT body yes, but without other true believers (united in His Word and ways) in one location, you cannot have the body today as it was then. Paul would tell the Christians in a body with biblical elders to obey them and serve God. In the same strong voice Paul would tell a Christian striving alone in jail or cut off from other true believers around them to strive on and over come by looking to Christ as their Savior and Lord and serve God.
Same command but in different context.
It is clear, the bible warns of a great falling away NOT a revival and more biblical bodies all over the earth!
Mark is situation teaching, NOT biblically teaching and could it be it is to:
*Hold people to him and
*Draw others to move near him?
Being in a godly body is best but NOT required by Holy scripture for the hope salvation.
Baptism as a great example.
It is God's design/best for you to be baptized once you're born of God. It is a symbol of faith.
But if you could not be baptized and you died God does not withhold your hope of salvation.
The same is said for going to a body and being part of a true body of believers.
If you have it and can partake, you should. If you are cut off from it, God is able to save you still and so you strive on to serve God in obedience to scripture not MAN!
Power hungry men use "fear tactics" to hold people to them vs being a sound examples of a godly biblical man as the bible describes in true leaders.
Mark admits there was a time he left the Ind Baptist faith and wandered about seeking truth and a more biblical body. Was Mark lost to hell during that time? Why did Mark leave the Baptist faith anyway? It was over their false ways; per him. Mark did good in leaving them no doubt but today he has made a false way that he teaches that props up his lone ruling bishop system (like the baptists) and the church building system he has built right onto his house.
He is a lot more like the Independent Baptist lording over way then he will admit but his fruit is made known.
Fact is, the Apostle Paul does command true believers to LEAVE anyone ( a body or leader ) that allows or teaches sin and bad doctrine. See Titus 3, 1 Timothy 5 and Romans 16:17
A little leaven or sin ruins it all. Galatians 5:9
And Peter says we obey God before we obey any man. Acts 5:29
Paul says leave to them be in the truth and pure but Mark says if you leave you lose salvation?
I will go with Apostle Paul's and Peters inspired words thank you not that of uninspired men.
To be clear; the biblical gospel and hope of eternal life is not found in programs of man.
(Accountability, learning and training can be found there but ....NOT salvation itself via them)
It is in a saving faith in Christ's work, repenting of your ways for His Holy ways, being born again, obeying Him as fruit in holiness and enduring in that saving faith, till your end.
See the gospel in full here with scripture:
You cannot find what Mark is preaching (church system salvation via a lone bishop ) in the Holy Word as he added it to the saving gospel. Mark has blurred good New Testament body ways with salvation itself and that shows a terrible bible study form or purposeful deceit? You decide....
Revelation 22 says do not add to the Word or you may be taken out of the book of life.
Quite a warning to us all!
What Mark is describing in general (being part of a biblical body) is indeed God's design to grow up believers, we do agree with that. But it is NOT what gets you in His eternal body nor does it keep you there. It is God in you and a saving faith with obedience as fruit that does that and then; enduring in that life with good works as fruit your His, then you will obey Him. No Bishop, program or system can make you do that. The power of God is in His truth and the Word ( Christ ) not systems of men.
Listen to Apostle Paul... what is the purpose of the body gathering together in Ephesians 4
It is a training ground for those in Christ yes, but without it if you do not have one, you can still be FULLY in Christ via His Word and Spirit. He is enough.
Like Noah, we are called to be faithful and strive on even if we are alone in the faith.
Many in America and the world are indeed alone in their faith and Mark is confusing and causing them to stumble I fear. Is his goal to encourage people into moving near him so he can grow his religious system and program? (He teaches the unbiblical tithe so they do collect money.) He tried to tell us that we should move there too but thankfully we kept testing and saw through to God's truth. And yes, we do still have the hope of salvation, praised God!! (We love and obey God's Word as fruit we are His.)
While godly biblical elders do play an important role no doubt, it is the Holy Word and Holy Spirit of God that guides His people to all eternal truth/eternal life, not programs in religious buildings.
More Holy scripture:
But the anointing which ye have received from Him abideth in you, and ye have no need that any man teach you. But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.
1 John 2:27
Jesus said it leads us to all truth
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
I know that Hebrews 13 will be raised in this discussion and we do love that verse.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Let me be very clear:
If you have a biblical body and true godly biblical elders, indeed you should obey them IF they are in line with the Word. Who would not? God will hold those leaders accountable for how and what they teach precious souls as overseers. But in the absence of such godly multiple elders, what are true believers to do? Give up? Lose all hope? Drive around till they run into a true body?
Per Mark Bullen they have they lost their hope of salvation but it is a lie.
That is a ploy of man to gain control over people in the pews and we see it all over the nation.
Jesus said DO NOT DO THAT in Matthew 20 ...NO lording over allowed in His body.
Every believer should play a part in helping us all be accountable as Christs people.
It is not only Bishops and leaders that can help save a sinner from hell.
James 5:20 says ANYONE CAN:
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
God is able to see His people through all situations even standing alone in the faith without a biblical body around them.
Paul says this:
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Consider this... if what Mr Bullen is saying is true, and you need him/church systems to save you; if he as the ruling bishop there either decides to turn away from his faith in Christ or he dies and if that body ceases to exist at all, all those people at LFCF will be lost without a body to hold them accountable and per Mark.... they cannot hope to save their souls. The truth is by NOT teaching them to rely fully on Christ, the Word and the Spirit and using a open participatory gathering per 1 Corinthians 14; those saints are NOT prepared to live out and minster the Christian life fully as they have sat in a ritual pew week after week and watched Bishop Mark (and his hand picked others preach) do it for them. How sad.
This idea the Mark as a bishop or ANY man has control of the gospel / your hope for salvation
it is indeed man made heresy to be rejected!
There is ONE intercessor between man and God it is Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 2:5
Please take this away will you:
Neither I, nor Mark or any mere man controls your hope of salvation. It is God alone through Christ our Lord.
It gets even worse in this body:
Mark also teaches if your excommunicated from his church you also have NO hope of salvation.
(That will be our next video so stay tuned.)
Go here to follow all future testing on Mark Bullen:
Do not be deceived folks.
We are here to help you! See our contact info on our main website page:
Listen to the biblical gospel here:
And we have a 10 point test you can use on your own religious body and yourself to see if you are being deceived in other ways.
Let us know if we can help you.
God be praised!