The Doctrine of Incorporation
by Michael Bunker
Michaels Site is at
“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. For the body is not one member, but many…Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (1Co 12:13-14,27)
July 28, 2003 - The Bible teaches plainly that the true Church of God is a Body, begotten by God and created in order to serve the Head of that Body which is Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:23). Each body may only naturally have one head, lest it be known as some freakish beast or a monster, striving against itself with contrary wills. Through this understanding we see the words of Christ with utter clarity:
“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13)
Now this word “hate” does not mean that one will have a fury or utter burning anger for one master rather it means that this servant who has two masters will not regard or obey one of his heads. He will not truly serve the one head, nor will he truly obey it. He will regard one of his heads and disregard the other. So it is clear that no truly authentic functioning body may have two heads. It may not have a “chief head” and a “lesser head”, nor may the body rightfully propose to serve a head foreign to its character and purpose.
The Greek word for the “BODY” described in these verses is “Soma”. This word was translated into Latin as “Corpus”, and was adopted into the everyday language by the early Church which described itself as the “Corpus Christi” or the “Body of Christ”. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a “corporation” is:
“a group of people combined into, or acting as one body.”
This word “Corporation” was derived from the Common Law and was directly take from the Christian understanding of the “Corpus” or Body of people.
Christ’s Body (Corporation) is ordained by Christ (John 15:16). It is headed by Him (1 Cor. 11:3). He is the lawful Creator of it (1 Peter 1:13). It is a mystery (Eph. 1:9), and it is Universal, in that it has no carnal, national boundaries (Rev. 5:9, Hebrews 11:14).
Note what Jesus says to us in His parables, specifically, in the parable of the prodigal son. We all know that when the Prodigal leaves the Father, the Bible says that he goes to “a far country”. I have heard a lot of messages preached about this far country, but read what else the Bible has to say about the Prodigal. He not only WENT to a far country, but…
“And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.” (Luke 15:15)
So, the Prodigal had hit rock bottom when he actually JOINED himself to a citizen of another country. He became incorporated with a people who served another head, and by default, he hated his own Father by disregarding Him.
James B. Jordan wrote this in his book entitled The Sociology of the Church,
“The Christian doctrine of “incorporation” is sacramental. It is the sacramental body of Jesus Christ that creates oneness of the church on the earth, and that makes her one “body,” one corpus,” incorporated into Christ and into one another… The church as a sacramental corporation has given a perspective of continuity to men, and thus man has analogously set up other corporations that provide continuity for their works…The church is already a true corporation. She is so by virtue of the sacramental presence of Christ’s body in her midst and at her heart. She does not need to “obtain incorporation” from any earthly power.”
The true corporation of God is His Kingdom made evident on earth. As we have taught on many occasions, there are two “Kingdoms” evident in the world. Jesus announced to the religious people of His day that, “…the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Luke 11:20). Jesus plainly stated that the kingdoms of this world were separate from His Kingdom. He stated that Satan had a kingdom (Matt. 12:25), and that Satan’s kingdom was not divided against itself, rather, Satan’s kingdom is opposed to the Kingdom of God. Satan has sown his seed amongst the children of God’s Kingdom (Matt. 13:38). These tare seeds exist among the Lord’s field, but are incorporated unto another head. They serve another head, while purporting to serve Christ.
When the Lord calls an elect child to be part of his Body, he first instructs Him to LEAVE His own country, as God told Abraham:
“And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee” (Acts 7:3)
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Yet the kingdom of this world creates its own “corporations”. Black’s Law Dictionary says this about worldly corporations:
“Corporation. An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state”
Here is a further explanation of State created “corporations”:
“A corporation derives its existence and all of its powers from the State and, therefore, has only such powers as the State has conferred upon it.” (Smith and Roberson’s Business Law, pages 796,931)
So a corporation is created and ruled by the entity that incorporated it, and derives its just powers from that entity.
With a few exceptions, Churches in America and around the world are incorporated by the State. In America, most so-called “churches” are incorporated by the government, and they apply to the state for protection and tax-exempt status under Title 26, USC, Section 501(c)(3). This concept of being “incorporated” by the state would have been totally foreign to the ancient church, and would have been violently opposed by the Protestant Reformers. The Westminster Confession of Faith says this,
“there is no other head of the Church, but the Lord Jesus”
The early Puritans in America concurred,
“…the true Church by the power it hath received from Christ can gather itself together when, and as often as, it pleaseth. The company of believers have power to gather themselves together for their mutual good, instruction, preservation, edification, and for the avoiding or preventing of evil, and that without the consent or authority of any extrinsical and foreign power whatever; else Christ were not a sufficient founder of his Church.” (Puritanism and Liberty, William Dell essay, “The Way of Peace and Unity”)
When the early Church refused to “incorporate” under the State, it was persecuted to the ends of the earth. Remember, it was those who rejected Christ who screamed out, “We have no King but Caesar” (John 19:15). The governments of the earth will not countenance a church that does not bow the knee to it. The attempt has forever been made to force the true Church to its knees before Caesar, or better yet, join with it as its “Lord Protector” (The State). The struggle for the independence of the True Church of God is indeed the very History of God’s people, both in bondage and occasionally in freedom.
The 501(c)(3) incorporation is a deception so cleverly devised that it has succeeded in fooling all but the very elect. It is still our prayer that the true children of the Father will wake up in that “Far Country” to which they have joined themselves as citizens, stir themselves up to leave it, forsake it and never return to it. State incorporation is the citizenship paperwork for the Kingdom of Satan. It matters not that some people write us to tell us that their so-called “church” teaches right doctrine, even though they are “creations” of the state. We are never surprised when the enemy creates close facsimiles of Christ’s true Church. Deception would not be deception without such concoctions. The world’s churches admit freely that they are creations of the State when they announce their incorporation under the State. Christ’s Body does not have two heads. We cannot serve two masters. The rage of the State will always come down upon those who do not serve it as master. The so-called “church” today, Apostate and swollen from gorging itself on the world’s dainties, refuses to accept the legitimacy of all those believers who reject the “corporate churchstate”. The Emperor Diocletian embodied the persecution that his descendants in the corporate “churches” would bring down upon all those who do not bow the knee to Caesar. In 256 a.d., Diocletian sent out an edict of persecution calling for the punishment and death of all who would presume to hold “secret assemblies for the purpose of religious worship.”
I have had Pastors tell me that they will keep their incorporated status, “until the day the Government tells me to do something that is banned by scripture”. By saying this, the Pastor believes that he has exempted himself from the sanctions in scripture, and convinced himself that he stands apart from the bulk of apostate Christianity. But let us look at his deception. The Pastor who proposes to continue to operate with two heads, refuses to recognize that only one of the heads is his creator. The state claims to be creator and lord over all those to whom it offers to incorporate. The so-called “church” agrees to this lordship by seeking protection and incorporation by the state. To say that “when the Government tells me to do something that is banned by scripture, then I will reject it”, is to deny that INCORPORATION by the State itself is banned by scripture! The words of Christ emphasize it! When a man “joins” a corporation that is headed by another (other than Christ), he joins himself to a Harlot. This corporation claims to be Christ’s bride, but she commits harlotry with another master. To join with this harlot, is to commit fornication. This is banned in scripture:
“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid” (1 Cor. 6:15)
These Pastors are causing people to join a harlot. They give lip-service to independence, while serving another head. They wake up in a “far country” and instead of coming to themselves so that they might return to the Father; they harden themselves with the rationalizations of their mind. What does this say of them?
We as Christians enter into contract with the Living God, not with the intent of disobeying Him or rebelling against Him. We do not hold out provisions against God, saying that we will rebel against Him if He requires something of us that we are not willing to give. What does it say of the corporate church “Pastor” when he enters into contract with his incorporation’s creator (the State) with the express purpose of disobeying the State if he doesn’t like what his lord (the State) requires of Him? Is this Pastor not saying, “I will serve to masters, so long as neither requires me to serve only one”?
The Body of Christ is a corporation. We have only one head. We serve only one master. To incorporate and to ally oneself with the State is to hate one master (The Lord Jesus Christ) by disregarding his claims on us and our persons.
To those in church leadership who are hearing this message. You are likely very angry with me right now. That is fine. I’ve never tried to be popular. You are either very convicted in your spirit that your state incorporation is wrong, or you will be even further hardened against God’s call of separation. We know that the carnal mind is capable of rationalizing anything. I ask you to un-incorporate your church as soon as possible. No one ever said being a Christian was going to be easy. Throw down the weapons of your rebellion and flee back to the Father. Those that do such things prove that they seek a better country.
State incorporation, at its root, is all about money. As the Lord said, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon”. Incorporation is about staying “tax free”, although it is evident that NO true church of God owes any taxes at all. State incorporation is about maximizing revenue, by giving the churchgoers a tax deduction for “charitable giving”. It’s all about the money. Offerings decrease when a church is not incorporated by the State. So at its root, this latter day “incorporation” apostasy is about the worship of mammon.
Serve one, or serve the other. You cannot serve both. Defend yourself with rationalizations and excuses. But you cannot serve both God and the State. Your head is EITHER Christ, or it is the State. To those who are currently “joined” to these incorporations, you are commanded to flee that iniquitous city before it is destroyed by a jealous God.
The only TRUE Christian corporation is God’s true Body. They are easy enough to find. You will find them being crucified by religious compromisers and stoned by State-sponsored Pharisees.
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Your servant in Christ Jesus,