Jon Gary Williams
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The Church - Lesson 7

The Church in 25 Lessons

Jon Gary Williams

Lesson 7 - The Origin of the Church

It is important to know when the church began. This is significant for two reasons. First, so the church can be distinguished from both the Old Testament Jewish religion and the many religions which have been created by man. Second, to identify the laws governing the church and to know when they went into effect.

I. The church foreshadowed
A. The New Testament contains many references to Old Testament themes which 
foreshadow the church. (Heb. 9:11; 10:1)
B. Old Testament prophets desired to understand those things about which they 

were writing - things pertaining to the church. (I Pet. 1:10-12)
II. The church (kingdom) prophesied in the Old Testament. The church and the kingdom are the same. (Mt. 16:18.19)
A. Isa.2:2,3 (cf. Mal.4:1,2)
  1. In the "last days."

  2. In "Jerusalem."

  3. The New Testament era is the "last days." (Heb. 1:1,2; Acts 2:16,17)
B. Dan. 2:36-45
  1. Four kingdoms were prophesied - Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, 
  2. "In the days of these kings [Roman kings] shall the God of heaven set us a 
kingdom" (Dan. 2:44) (cf. Lk. 3:1 - this was during the reign of Tiberius 
III. In the gospels the kingdom was yet future
A. The kingdom was "at hand." (Mt. 3:1,2; 4:17; 10:7)
B. The disciples were taught to pray for it. (Mt. 6:9,10)
C. Jesus promised to build it. (Mt. 16:18)
IV. Identifying the church's beginning
A. It would come during the generation in which Jesus lived. (Mk. 9:1)

B. The "power" and the "Spirit"
  1. The kingdom (church) was to come with "power." (Mk. 9:1)
  2. The power was to come with the "Spirit." (Acts 1:8)
  3. The Spirit came on the day of "Pentecost." (Acts 2:1-4)
  4. Hence, the church came on the day of Pentecost.

C. The "word of the Lord" was to go forth from Jerusalem. (Isa. 2:2,3 Acts 2:5)
V. "At the beginning"

A. Peter said the Holy Spirit fell on some "as on us at the beginning." (Acts 11:15)
B. This refers to the apostles at the beginning of the church on Pentecost.
VI. The church after Pentecost
A. Following the day of Pentecost the church was always spoken of as existing. (
Acts 2:47; 5:11; 8:1; 11:22; 13:1; 14:27)

B. The church is not something yet future to our time. People were in it in the first 
century A.D. (Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9)