Fundamental Faith "Marks of the Apostolic Church"


Elder John P. Young

As we recall from the Scriptures, the days when the Lord Jesus Christ walked here upon the Earth among His apostles and disciples; the Scriptures testify how He appeared bodily (see 1Tim 3:16), finished the work of eternal salvation for His elect on the cross, and builded His church upon “The foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Himself as the head and chief cornerstone.” (Eph. 2:19-22) We remember how His proven truths were declared in His preaching, and through the inspired doctrine of His apostles; and those who were evidently called, or born again, as witnessed by repentance, and confession of faith in Christ, were baptized in water through the Holy Spirit of God to serve Him in His Church.

These were witnesses to the truth of the testimony of Christ. As the apostle John said in 1John 1:1-4, “That which was from the beginning, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”


The fundamental duty of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, is to worship her Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and in Truth; to enjoin the things which were received from the apostles of Christ for the perfecting of the saints, and walk as obedient disciples of the Lord; that the Church might be throughly furnished in the the Word of God. The Church of Christ is bound by the Word of God, to continue in the duty of publishing and practicing the gospel of Christ, by her walk according to the pattern given by the Lord and His apostles in the Scriptures. She also is the only militant body on Earth which has authority to judge according to the Word of God, and to administer the ordinances of the Church as enjoined to her by the Lord Jesus Christ; and to maintain a gospel discipline in the body according to the commandments of Christ.

The “Marks” (Landmarks), or identities of the fundamental order and worship of the militant Apostolic Church, are those which identify her as a body of saints, who are come together in unity of the Spirit, to walk and worship according to the commandments of Christ. Some might use twelve “Marks,” while others might use more, or less to describe the true walk and worship of the militant Church. How many there are should be consistent with how many are needed to express a true and complete identity of the true and faithful Church of Christ, which is according to the word of God. The Church of Jesus Christ is identified by her true obedience to the Word of God in doctrine and in practice. Her landmarks may be seen in her labors to walk obediently to the teachings of our Lord and His apostles according to the Scriptures; remembering that the “Marks” of the Apostolic Church are not so because of what the Church has decided to do, but rather by the obedience of the Church to what Christ has commanded to be done.

Some examples of the Marks of the Apostolic Church, can be viewed below. Read the Marks and then compare them to what you see being practiced. Remember, the Marks of the Church are an identity expressed by what is being practiced. Christ said: “Be a good neighbor.” If I am not being a good neighbor, then I will not bear that mark or identity.

These Marks should be found in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, because they are what is being practiced by the Church. If a Church does not practice what the Lord said to do, then it will not bear the Marks of the Apostolic Church: The Church of Jesus Christ, is identified by what she believes and practices, and not what she is called by men!