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(KING JAMES VERSION USED IN PREPARING THESE LESSONS)
LESSON FOUR – “THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHURCH”
In Matthew 16:18 Christ said, “I will build my church.” In that text the Lord did not say WHEN and WHERE this promise would be fulfilled, but the Bibles DOES tell us, and in this lesson we will be concerned with learning that information. There are THREE reasons why we need to know the time of the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom or church (these terms refer to the same people, since the Lord adds saved people to the CHURCH - Acts 2:47, or to the KINGDOM - Colossians 1:13):
1. That we may be able to determine whether the church CHRIST built can be found on earth TODAY.
2. That we may know the CONDITIONS for MEMBERSHIP in the church – that is, conditions LAID DOWN at the time of its establishment.
3. That we may properly identify the TRUE CHURCH, and be able to distinguish it from all institutions of modern human origin.
THE TIME AND PLACE WERE PROPHESIED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
1. Isaiah 2:2-3, “And it shall come to pass in the ____________ ____________ , that the mountain of the Lord’s _________________ shall be established in the top of the mountains....for out of Zion shall go forth the _____________, and the ______________ of the _____________ from ___________________________.”
2. In this passage (Isaiah 2:2-3) it is clear that the LORD’S HOUSE was to be established in the LAST DAYS in the City of JERUSALEM. Two questions now arise:
a. What IS the LORD’S HOUSE? Bible Answer - 1 Timothy 3:15, “…to behave thyself in the _________________ of God, which is the _____________________…”
b. When ARE the LAST DAYS? Again, the Bible Answer - Hebrews 1:1-2, “God…hath in ______________ last ___________ spoken unto us by His __________,” (The age, or dispensation, in which God speaks through Christ is the LAST DAYS; but according to this passage, God NOW does that, therefore we are NOW living in “THESE LAST DAYS”!) We can even learn when “these last days” BEGAN! Observe:
1) On the day of Pentecost, AD 33, the apostles were together in Jerusalem when they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak the Word of God (Please read Acts 2:1-5). On this occasion the apostle Peter quoted Old Testament prophecy - Acts 2:16-17. He said, “But _______________ is ______________ which was spoken by the prophet ______________; And it shall come to pass in the ______________ days…” (The prophet said it would be in the LAST DAYS; Peter said THIS IS THAT which the prophet spoke; therefore THE LAST DAYS HAD COME at that time.)
2) A few years later Peter spoke of the day of Pentecost and called it “the BEGINNING.” (Please read Acts 11:15). The LAST DAYS had their BEGINNING on the day of Pentecost, AD 33, and that is when the LORD’S HOUSE (CHURCH) began.
THE CHURCH WAS NOT BUILT BEFORE THE DAY OF PENTECOST, BECAUSE:
1. In Matthew 3:1-2, John preached that the ____________________ was at ____________.
2. In Mark 1:15, Jesus said, "The ______________________ of God is at ______________.”
3. In Matthew 6:9-10, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy _____________________ come.”
4. In Matthew 16:18, Christ said, "I _____________ build my __________________.”
5. In Mark 9:1, The Lord said, "there be some of ____________ that stand ____________, which shall not taste of _______________, till they have ____________ the kingdom of God ____________ with _______________.”
6. In Luke 23:50-51. Joseph __________________ for the kingdom of God.
(In all these passages, observe that the kingdom, or church, is always spoken of as being yet in the future -- it HAD NOT been established BEFORE Pentecost, AD 33.)
THE CHURCH WAS NOT BUILT AFTER THE DAY OF PENTECOST, BECAUSE:
1. In Acts 2:41, ON the day of Pentecost, "the same __________ there were _____________ unto them about three thousand souls.” TO WHOM WERE THEY ADDED? Answer - Acts 2:47, "And the ______________ ________________to the ___________________ daily such as should be _________________.” (So the church WAS IN EXISTENCE IN JERUSALEM, and to it were added all who met the conditions of membership - Acts 2:38, "______________ and be ______________________ … for the remission of sins.” (Compare Verse 47)
2. In Acts 11:15, Peter called the day of Pentecost "the ___________________________.”
3. Every time the church or Kingdom is mentioned from Acts 2:47 through the remainder of the New Testament it is spoken of as an EXISTING fellowship.
QUESTION: If the church was not built BEFORE Pentecost, and it was not built AFTER Pentecost, WHEN was it built? ANSWER: ___________________________________________.
CIRCLE TRUE OR FALSE:
True / False 1. The KINGDOM was to come with POWER - Mark 9:1.
True / False 2. The apostles received POWER after, or at, the coming of the SPIRIT - Acts 1:8.
True / False 3. The SPIRIT came on the day of PENTECOST in JERUSALEM - Acts 2:1-5.
True / False 4. THEREFORE, the KINGDOM came on the day of PENTECOST, in JERUSALEM.
True / False 5. A church founded in the days of Abraham is the kingdom of God.
True / False 6. A church established in 1739 AD is the church of the living God.
True / False 7. A church which began in the United States is the true church.
True / False 8. It would be wise to be a member of a church built AFTER Pentecost, AD 33.
Are the lessons clear? Be sure to let us know if there is something you do not understand.
Please let us know. Lesson 5 is on "FAITH.” Tell your friends about the course!'
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