Saturday, June 26, 2010

WHAT IS THE CHURCH (authorized version)

What is the church?  
Most people think about the place you go on funeral day, wedding day, and Sunday morning's.  

Some of us whom are more informed in the word of God understand that the church is the people.
Therefore you can attend church service in the basement of Wal-mart because "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:18-20).

This line of thinking is at least half right. I have heard preachers make the claim that, the church took over from the nation of Israel to carry and teach the word of God. Those who feel this way point to the 2nd chapter of Acts, when the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost.

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language."

Everyone who was present when the Holy Spirit was given were Israelites. Israelite men from out of every nation under heaven.
How quickly we forget Jesus instructions to the disciples not to go into the way of the Gentiles. Even when He later told them to go into all nations and baptize, nobody wanted to do it!

Even after Jesus humbled Paul and chose him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, he did not go right away and start preaching. He also tried to only preach to Israel 
"And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles"(Acts 13:1-46).

In fact, it was the apostle Peter who preached Christ first to the Gentiles. And that happened 10 years after Jesus ascended to heaven and after the Lord gave him a vision and the Spirit helped push him.

"And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said... Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter... Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him... he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10: 1-48).


"...This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us..." (Acts 7:31-39).

Israel IS the church. It is not possible to read the Bible and circumvent Israel. Everythng was given to Israel. The law of God, the grace of God, the promises of God, even the 'Anointed One' of God came thru the children of Israel.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, the city that ruled the world at the time. Although it would be thru the ministry at Rome that Christianity would become worldwide, the Lord caused Paul to write to the puffed up church at Rome that Israel is: " brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen". (Romans 9:1-5)

FOOD 4 THOUGHT (you do the dishes): If the Gentiles took over the church in Chapter 2 why were they, that came with Peter 'Astonished' that on these Gentiles was the Holy Ghost also poured out?

May the Lord add a Blessing to the reading of His Word...


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