CHURCH OF CHRIST BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE
THE CHURCH, ITS ESTABLISHMENT
To the student who wants to know the will of God, there can be no more
important lesson than the study of the establishment of the church of Jesus
Christ. In chapter 16 of the book of Matthew, in the heart of His personal
ministry, Jesus asked the soul-searching question of His disciples in regard to
His divinity. He asked "Who do men say that I the Son of man am?" In verse 16,
Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." By
way of reply, the Lord declared, "Upon this rock I will build my church and the
gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The careful student has already
found that many times the doctrines of men are at variance with the teaching of
God. This is especially true in regard to the establishment of the church. Many
say that it is unimportant, unnecessary, and incidental, but notice the three
great principles that are emphasized in the foregoing conversation in Matthew 16:
(1) That the church is directly connected to and rests on the divinity of Christ.
(2) It was to be built by Jesus Christ and not by man.
(3) That it shall be triumphant over hell.
The institution that rests upon the divinity of the Son of God was established
by His divine power and was so important that death, hell and the grave could not prevail against it.
Let us consider the following reasons why we need to know the time of the establishment of the church.
(1) We need to know the time of its establishment that we may properly identify it as the true church.
(2) We need to know the conditions laid down for membership in the church at the time of its establishment.
(3) From these we need to be able to determine if members of this heaven-sent institution can be found on earth today.
FILL IN THE BLANKS WITH THE PROPER WORDS:
1. Isaiah said in Isaiah 2:2,3, "And it shall come to pass in the
days........., for out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the
of the from ."
2. In the last days, when the law goes forth from Zion and the word of God
from Jerusalem, the Lord's will be .
We are told here where the Lord's house is going to be established. In the
same place that the law goes forth, Jerusalem. Notice this will take place
in the last days, that is, during the last dispensation. We are now living
in the last days.
3. We read in Micah 4:1-2, "But in the it shall come to pass
that the mountain of the of the shall be established in the top
of the mountains....and the of the from ."
Again we notice that the Lord's house will be established when the law goes
forth and the law is to go forth from Jerusalem. In the "last days" the church
or the Lord's house was to be set up in the city of Jerusalem.
4. In Joel 2:28,"It shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out of my
upon all ." And in verse 32verse 32. "and it shall come to pass
that whosoever shall on the of the shall be delivered."
5. In the second chapter of the book of Acts, Peter said in verses 16 and 17,
"This is that which was spoken of by the ."
Summary: Thus the careful student finds out that the church or house
of the Lord was to be established in the city of Jerusalem in the "last days"
when God poured out His Spirit upon all flesh.
THE CHURCH WAS NOT ESTABLISHED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST NOR DURING THE PERSONAL MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST.
1. In Matt. 3:2, John the Baptist preached that the kingdom was .
2. In Mark 1:15, Jesus taught that the kingdom was .
3. In Matt. 10:7, the twelve were taught that the kingdom was .
4. In Luke 10:9-11 the seventy were told to preach that the kingdom of God is "come ."
5. In Matt. 16:18, Jesus said, "Upon this rock I my ."
6. In Matt. 6:9-10, Jesus taught the disciples to pray, "thy ."
7. In Mark 9:1, Jesus said, "There be some of them that stand here which shall not
taste of death till they have seen the of come with power."
That promised power came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and it was in
the city of Jerusalem (as promised by the prophets)therefore the church,
Kingdom of God, house of the Lord was established in Jerusalem on the
day of Pentecost. (Approx. the year 33 A. D.)
8. In Luke 22:18, Jesus said, "I will not drink of the fruit of the vine
until the kingdom of God ."
9. In Luke 19:11, they thought, "that the kingdom of God should ."
10. In Acts 1:6 they asked Christ, "Will thou at this time again the
Summary: Thus we see that the church or kingdom of God was not established in the personal
ministry of Christ nor by John the Baptist, but was constantly spoken of as being in the future.
(a) It was prophesied in Isaiah 2:2-3 that the kingdom was to begin and the law was to go forth
from what ?
(b) This was fulfilled in Acts 2 , when the day of was fully come in the city of .
(a) Jesus prophesied in Mark 9:1 that the kingdom was to come with .
(b) This was fulfilled in Acts 2 when the fell upon them.
III. In Acts 1, Jesus said, "Ye shall receive ,after that the
is come upon you and you shall be ."
IV. In Acts 2:4, when the Spirit came the apostles began to with other as the gave them utterance.
Thus we see that the Church of the New Testament began on the day of
Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of Acts. This was in the city of
Jerusalem, where the spirit came with power in the lifetime of many of those
that Jesus addressed in Mark 9:1. We know that the Church could not have been
established after the day of Pentecost for we are told in Acts 2:47, "And the
Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
***All Bible texts and quotations are taken from the King James Version.