History

 
 

History of the Lord's Church

(All scripture is from the New King James version)

The Lord's Church/kingdom was prophesied throughout the Old Testament by many Prophets.

  • Genesis 3:15
God told Satan, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."
  • Genesis 21:12
But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.
  • Galatians 3:16

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed,"[a] who is Christ.

Footnotes: a. Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 24:7

The covenant between God and Abraham promised that God's Seed (Christ) would come through Abraham's seed and would someday deliver a critical blow to the head of Satan.

Not only did the Old Testament prophets foretell that God's Seed would come through the Jewish nation, but also predicted the establishment of God's kingdom by His Son.

  • Isaiah 2:2-3

2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

In Acts 1:3, we read that Christ, after His resurrection, taught His apostles for forty days concerning His church/kingdom.

  • Acts 1:3

to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

  • Acts 1:4-8

4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

  • Luke 24:46-49

46 Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high."

These apostles following Christ's command, waited in Jerusalem for the "Promise of the Father" and the "Power from on high."

  • Acts 1:12

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey.

  • Acts 2:1-5

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other [*] tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.

Note: "Tongues" in verse 4 refers to languages since these men from "all nations heard them speak" in his own language."(Verse 6)

Thus in Acts 2, we read the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that the "word of the Lord" would go out from "Jerusalem" to "all nations", and also the fulfillment of Christ's prophecy: "the promise of the Fathers"/"the Holy Spirit/Power from on high."

  • Acts 2:32-33
32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

Peter in this first gospel sermon on the Day of Pentecost pointed out that this was the fulfillment by the Old Testament prophet Joel.

  • Joel 2:28

"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh..."

Peter continues his sermon in Acts 2:

  • Acts 2:36-38

36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  • Acts 2:41

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

Here Peter explains what they must do to be saved/to become a member of God's kingdom/the church and thus sons of God and his heirs of Abraham.

  • Galatians 3:26-29

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

  • Romans 6:1-6

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Peter continues his sermon in Acts 2:

  • Acts 2:47

...praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

    • Note: Verse 47 was not a continuing of Peter's sermon, but a rendition recorded by Luke.

This is the first mention of the word "church" and note here that God added members to His church after they had been baptized into Christ (verse 41). Thus three thousand became members of the church on this day and thus heirs according to the Promise and also Abraham's seed.

Furthermore in Acts 2 the apostles and millions of Jews (verse 5, 9, 10, 11) were witnesses of the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15. When Christ resurrected from the dead and consequently established His Kingdom/the church (a kingdom that would never end - Daniel 2:44), He delivered a critical blow to the head of Satan.

  • Daniel 2:44

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

Note: "days of these kings" was prophesied by Daniel (2:34-45) as the Roman Empire. Here would be four kingdoms from the destruction of Jerusalem till the establishing of God's kingdom: (1) Babylonian (verse 38), (2) Medo-Persian, (3) Greeks/Alexander the Great & (4) Roman Empire - symbol was iron.

CONCLUSION:

The Old Testament prophesies in Joel 2, Isaiah 2 and Daniel 2 were fulfilled in the New Testament in Acts 2. On the Day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. during the reign of the Roman Empire, God's kingdom was established with power from on high in the city of Jerusalem and was spread to Judea, Samaria and the end of the earth.
In the New Testament, Christ himself stated that He would build His church and that He would give the keys of the kingdom to His apostles. He spoke with Peter as follows:
  • Matthew 16:15-17

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Question: What truth had been revealed to Peter by God? Was it not that Jesus is the Messiah?
Answer:
  • In Matthew 16:18-19 Christ continues:

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Question: What was the rock upon which Christ would build His church?
Answer: Must we not conclude that "the rock" was indeed Peter's confession that Jesus was the Christ? Matthew 16:16

Christ continues in Matthew 16:19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Note the tying together of "kingdom" and "church" in this passage.

Question: What were the keys to the kingdom to which Christ referred?
Answer: We must logically conclude if the kingdom is the church, then the keys must be the plan by which man could enter this kingdom - the plan of salvation.
 
Question: When were the keys given and by whom?
Answer: The keys were given to men of every nation on the Day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. (Acts 2) by Peter and the other apostles when they answered the question: "What shall we do?" (Acts 2:37)
  • Mark 9:1

And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power."

  • Matthew 3:2

John the Baptist preached, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

  • Colossians 1:13-14

Paul stated "13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."

  • Matthew 13:11

He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

  • Ephesians 2:12-22

12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Just prior to Christ's ascension to the Father, His apostles like many today were looking for an earthly kingdom.

  • Acts 1:6

Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"

Christ's answer is in Acts 1:8; "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Many renown Premillinialists refer to the age in which we are living as "The Mystery Age", "Gap" or "Parenthesis" and state that Old Testament prophets did not prophesy the church and that Christ having been rejected by the Jews, failed in His mission on earth to establish the prophesied kingdom of God and as a kind of afterthought substituted the church.

Question: Is it possible for God to fail?
Answer: Was it not God's plan from the beginning of the world to send a Savior to deliver salvation, not only to the Jews, but to men of all nations and races? Was it also not His plan to provide the perfect lamb which took away forever the sins of mankind? Was the vehicle of this divine plan not the church for whom Christ died?
  • John 18:36-37

36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

  • Ephesians 5:23

For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

  • Ephesians 5:25-26

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

  • Ephesians 5:27

...that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

  • Ephesians 5:30

For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.

  • Colossians 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 may have the preeminence.

  • 2 Corinthians 11:2

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Christ told Pilate that He is King but not king of an earthly kingdom.

Question: Of what is He the King?
Answer: In the preceding scriptures the truth that is revealed by Hs word is that He died on the cross for the church in order to become the Savior of this body which must remain a holy bride without the blemish of sin until His return to receive this bride and for the purpose of taking her to heaven to worship at the throne of God throughout eternity. (1 Corinthians 15:24)
 
- Provided by Ronnie Gregory


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