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George 09-06-2008 04:53 AM

Did Jesus Christ Come To Start A church, etc.?
 
Re: Did Jesus Christ Come To Start A church, etc.?


Aloha brother Scott,

You enquired about:
  • Did Jesus come to start a church?
  • Or a new church?
  • When did the church first start?
I will try to answer your questions in the order asked.
  • Did Jesus come to start a church?
In order to understand the Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry and the reason for His coming to earth we must first review some Scriptures in order to understand the “context” of His coming. And in order for us to do this we “must” rightly divide the word of truth” [2Timothy 2:15] according to God’s “guidelines”:

Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Isaiah 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

The Bible testifies that from the “FALL” of Adam up to the “CALL” of Abraham (Approximately 2,000 years) God chose to bless certain men as “Individuals” according to “Conscience”. To be more exact – God chose to bless certain of the descendants of Seth (NOT Cain!) and spoke to them in dreams and visions [Job 33:15]. {He walked with Enoch & Noah!}.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. After the Flood God chose to bless Shem, one of the three sons of Noah (Who descended from Seth – NOT Cain), and certain of Shem’s descendants, right up until the “CALL” of Abraham. (He chose NOT to deal with Canaan {Ham} or Japheth) All during the time from Seth up until Abraham, God blessed certain individual men (all within the line of Seth) according to “Conscience” – there was no “Scripture of truth” or written “Oracles” of God. And yet, certain men knew God and knew something about His words (Oral – Not Written), as witnessed by the fact that Abelknew” which sacrifice was more appropriate (“excellent”) and pleasing to God [Hebrews 11:4]; Sethknew” how “to call upon the name of the Lord” [Genesis 4:26]; Enoch actually “walked with God” [Genesis 5:22-24]; and Noah also “walked with God” [Genesis 6:9].

Job was “aware” of God’s “laws” and “words” at least 500 years BEFORE God had Moses begin to write them down!
[Job 22:22 “Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.”] - What was it that David said about God’s word? [Psalms 119:11].

And again, Job wasn’t only “aware” of God’s “laws” and “words” – he also “knew” where they came from, i.e. “His mouth” – “His lips”: [Job 23:12 “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”] “Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth”; “the commandment of his lips”; “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” - What was it that the Lord Jesus Christ said about God’s word? [Matthew 4:4 & Luke 4:4] God actually SPOKE to Job – [Job 42:7]. {Job and his “friends” knew over 170 things about God, God’s words, God’s Justice, Sin, Creation, the Flood, Adam, etc., etc., that the average Christian in America knows little or nothing about today! see: “The Most Extraordinary Man In The Bible” on my web site}

When God chose to CALL Abraham, He also chose to change the way in which He would deal with men. Up until Abraham God dealt with “Individuals” (within the line of Seth) according to “Conscience”; from Abraham on up to the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, God would be dealing - first with a FAMILY {Hebrews}; then with a TRIBE {TRIBES = The 12 sons of Jacob and their descendants}; and eventually with a NATION {Israel}.

You will notice that God EXCLUDED Ishmael from the promises He made to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants (both physical & spiritual), just like he EXCLUDED the descendents of Cain, Canaan (Ham), Japheth, etc. God later EXCLUDED Esau from these promises also and chose to bless Jacob (Israel) and his descendants instead.

You might be asking: What is the point of all of this? The point is that for the next 2,000 years God chose to deal with just one people upon the earth (Hebrews-Israelites-Jews); and in doing so He gave them His Scriptures (the Oracles of God); His Prophets; His Priests; His Kings (the kingdom of heaven) – all to the EXCLUSION of any other scriptures, prophets, priests, and kings (or any other people – for that matter).

Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Of the 66 Books of the Holy Bible at least 64 were written by Hebrews-Israelites-Jews. The 39 Books of the Old Testament were all written by Hebrews-Israelites-Jews. Of the 27 Books of the New Testament 25 were written by Hebrews-Israelites-Jews (with Luke, the physician being the only possible exception). The Bible is a peculiarly Jewish Book, and that no one can deny! And contrary to what we Christians believe, most of The Book is about the Holy God of the Hebrews-Israelites-Jews; and about their Scriptures; their Prophets; their Priests; and their Kings.

Just an “interesting” comment: All of the signs, wonders, and miracles that God has performed in the Bible through a person, have been performed by Hebrews-Israelites-Jews. This is true both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. I do not know of a Gentile New Testament Christian that performed any signs, wonders, and miracles, or who was said to have possessed these extraordinary powers.

We can now come to the birth, life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, with the understanding that (because of limited space) I cannot list the approximate 100 verses of Scriptures that were fulfilled at His first coming. (Except to point out that all of these prophecies were made by Jewish Prophets about a Jewish Messiah; a Jewish King; and a Jewish Saviour.)

Please check out the following comparison: {All estimates from Swordsearcher}


NAME ..................................................APPROXIMATE NO. OF VERSES

Israel (Nation, or individual) .................................... 2,291

Jerusalem .................................................. ......................764

Judah (Nation, or individual) .......................................750

Hebrews (Jews, Israelites) .................................330

Levites (Includes Levi) ............................................... 306

The Tabernacle .................................................. ............297

The Temple .................................................. ...................182


David .................................................. .............................968

Moses .................................................. ............................772

Jacob .................................................. .............................332

Abraham .................................................. .......................216

Joseph .................................................. ...........................214

Isaac .................................................. ..............................119


(Christ’s) Church (Includes plural) .................... 115

Paul
.................................................. ...............................154

Peter.................................................. ..............................153

John .................................................. .............................128

What does this all mean? Simply, we, as Christians, ought not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. The Bible is not all about ME or US (as Christians) – It’s all about Almighty God and His Holy word; It’s all about The Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom; It’s all about God’s plan for the ages (which He made before the world began). We are blessed to be a part of it all because His people (Hebrews-Israelites-Jews) - rejected The Father (in the Old Testament); rejected His Son (in the four (4) Gospels); and rejected the Holy Spirit in the first Nine Chapters of the Book of Acts. It was only after the Nation of Israel’s rejection of Almighty God (as a NATION) did God turn to the Gentiles {and I thank God that He did, because it made it possible for me to become a son of The Most High God (His child); a member of God’s Family (Household); and a partaker of God’s promises, that He originally made to Abraham.}

We Christians haven’t permanently displaced Israel (Hebrews-Israelites-Jews - God’s earthly people) forever. Look at the shape that the church is in today (approximately 2,000 years since Christ’s resurrection). Do you honestly think that we are any better than the Jews in Jesus’ time? Can you honestly believe that if it weren’t for the Grace of God that any of us would be worthy of the Gift that God has bestowed upon us? I trow not!

Did you notice something? For approximately 2,000 years God dealt with certain individual men according to conscience; and then for approximately 2,000 years God dealt with the Hebrews-Israelites-Jews (a Family-Tribe-Nation) who eventually rejected Him and apostatized [John 1:11]; and since then, for approximately 2,000 years God has been dealing with Christians (churches), whose history has been one of gradual unbelief, disobedience, rejection, and eventual apostasy. Has anything caught your attention yet? Notice that nothing ever changes? Over the past 6,000 years, it hasn’t mattered how God has chosen to deal with mankind under all of His Covenants – it always has led to unbelief, sin, rejection, and apostasy! Always – without exception!

We now come to the Lord Jesus Christ’s birth:

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Notice: That all of the preceding verses (Matthew 1:1-17) have to do with the physical “seed” of Abraham (The “firstHebrew), and then the physical “seed” of David (God’s choice as - Hebrew King of the entire Nation of Israel). The record is clear – Christ was born of Mary (a Hebrew virgin maid descended from King David – Joseph (Mary’s husband), a Hebrew, was also descended from King David, but Joseph’s physical “seed” could never inherit the kingdom because of Jeconiah’s sin.)

So, so far we have a Hebrew history of a Hebrew bloodline, running from Abraham (the 1st. “Hebrew”); to David (God’s “Hebrew” king); to a child (Christ) miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and an “Hebrew” virgin maid. {There isn’t a “Gentile” in site – except for a couple of “Gentile brides” married to “Hebrew” husbands (Rachab & Ruth).

What was the “occasion” of Christ’s birth?

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

This was one of many prophecies (all prophesized by “Hebrewprophets in the “HebrewScriptures) that were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. {If you don’t keep the Jews & the Gentiles & the Church of God separate (“rightly divided”) in your study of the Bible you will end up taking Jewish Promises; Jewish Commandments; and Jewish Prophecies and applying them to the Church or Christians!}

We then come to the “testimony” of the “wise men” (from the “east” – where Job & Abraham came from?} :

Mt 2:1 ∂ Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Mt 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.


Were the “wise men” mistaken when they said they were searching for the KING OF THE JEWS? I don’t think so! The Lord Jesus Christ was born the King of the Jews, and that is what nearly all of His earthly ministry was about – by His own “testimony”. {As I will demonstrate – from Scripture}

The Lord Jesus Christ’s “testimony” of John the Baptist:

Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

What of John the Baptist’s [a “Hebrew” prophet] “testimony”:

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Notice the reference to the “kingdom of heaven” (NOT the Gospel of the Grace of God).
Notice the reference to Abraham (the 1st. “Hebrew”) and to Abraham’s children (All “Hebrews”).
Notice John’s “testimony” about himself and about the Lord Jesus Christ [Matthew 3:11].
Notice the absence of any reference to the Gentiles or the Church.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Notice the reference to the preaching “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (NOT the Gospel of the Grace of God).
Notice John’s “testimony” about himself and about the Lord Jesus Christ [Mark 1:3, 7].
Notice the absence of any reference to the Gentiles or the Church.

Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Luke 3:15And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

Notice the reference to the preaching “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (NOT the Gospel of the Grace of God).
Notice the reference to Abraham (the 1st. “Hebrew”) and to Abraham’s children (All “Hebrews”).
Notice John’s “testimony” about himself and about the Lord Jesus Christ [Luke 3:16].
Notice the absence of any reference to the Gentiles or the Church.

We now come to the Gospel of John – which is somewhat different (NOT “contradictory”) from the first three gospels - referred to as the “Synoptic” Gospels = i.e. “a common view”.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.


9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20
And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22
Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24
And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25
And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26
John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27
He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28
These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
30
This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31
And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
35
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Notice John’s “testimony” about himself and about the Lord Jesus Christ [John 1:6-8, 15, 19-27].

Notice John’s additional “testimony” about the Lord Jesus Christ: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” andBehold the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36), NOT found in Matthew, Mark, or Luke.

Notice John’s additional “testimony” about his (John’s) purpose: “
but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.” (John 1:31), again - NOT found in Matthew, Mark, or Luke.

Notice the absence of any reference to the Gentiles or the Church.

To summarize John the Baptist’s (the last, and greatest,Old Testament “Hebrew” prophet) “testimony”:

John came to the Jews (only) as a Hebrew prophet - to fulfill the Hebrew Old Testament prophecy.

John came to the Jews (only) as a Hebrew prophet (in fulfillment of Hebrew Scripture prophesy) as a voice crying in the wilderness.


John came to the Jews (only) as a Hebrew prophet preparing them for the their Lord and King.


John came to the Jews (only) as a Hebrew prophet preaching
the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins – NOT THE Gospel of the Grace of God.

John came to the Jews (only) to “manifest” (reveal) Jesus Christ unto the Nation of
Israel - NOT to the Gentiles or to the church.

John testified to a “truth” (that Christ would be:
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” - a hidden mystery), unknown to Jesus’ disciples until AFTER His death, burial, and resurrection: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” [1 John 2:2].

Except for the “glimpse” that ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ was to be “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”, the rest of the Scriptures clearly indicate that Christ’s ministry on earth was strictly limited to the Nation of Israel, which He, Himself, stated in Matthew 15:24:

Matthew 15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
24 But he answered and said, I am NOT sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

I am NOT sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.- Could it be stated any clearer? It wasn’t until AFTER the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the final rejection of God (the Holy Spirit - in His Saints {specifically Stephen} Acts 7:1-60), that God began to turn unto the Gentiles. (1st. to the SamaritansActs 8:1-25; then to the Ethiopian Eunuch {a Gentile “proselyte” Jew?} - Acts 8:26-40; and finally to the Gentiles – Acts 10:1-48).

The following verses demonstrate the exclusivity of the Jews and the Nation of Israel in God’s plans for this time, and in Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry.

John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Except for the Roman centurion: [Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10]; the woman of Canaan [Matthew 15:21-28]; and the Samaritan Woman at the well [John 4:1-42] the Lord restricted His earthly ministry to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”. [John 18:20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.]

Did the Lord Jesus Christ come to the Nation of Israel as their legitimate King?

John 18:33Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To THIS END was I born, and for THIS CAUSE came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Jesus Christ’s “testimony” is crystal clear: He was born and came into the world to be King – King of the Jews!

Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
Mark 15:2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.
Luke 23:3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.

John 19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

In summary of the Scriptural “testimony” presented thus far: {I have summarized John the Baptist’s “testimony” already}

Jesus Christ was born the only “legitimate” King of the Jews in fulfillment of Hebrew Scriptural prophecies.
Jesus Christ came into this world to take David’s throne (a Hebrew king) and be King to the Jews.
Jesus Christ’s ministry on this earth was almost exclusively to the “lost sheep of Israel” (the Nation of Israel – Hebrews/Jews/Israelites).


Jesus Christ was born a “Saviour”: First to “his people” – Israel:
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 13:23 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

Jesus Christ was born a “Saviour”: next for the Samaritans:
John 4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Jesus Christ was born a “Saviour”: finally to the Gentiles i.e. “the world”:
1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Titus 1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

The answer to your first question:
#1. Did Jesus come to start a church? YES – but only AFTER His rejection by His people (the Jews – the Nation of Israel). God in His foreknowledge, knowing in advance that the Jews would ultimately reject their King and Saviour, made provision to extend His offer to the Gentiles, temporarily setting aside His people {the Jews} until He can gather together a Gentile “BRIDE” for His son, after which He will return and claim His Kingdom and take His rightful place as King – not only of the Jews, but of the whole world.
[John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: ]

The answer to your second question:
#2. Or did Jesus come to start “a new church”? NO – Jesus Christ has only ONE CHURCH (The Body of Christ – The Bride). He did not establish His church until AFTER His rejection by the Nation of Israel; and AFTER His death, burial, and resurrection. There was no New Testament Church on earth until AFTER the death of the Testator.
[Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.]

{This is why we must be extremely careful in “rightly dividing the word of God” especially when it comes to the Gospels, since most of the words spoken in them are directed at Jews (the Nation of Israel) and not the church.}

Remember WHO? Like the “Wise Old Owl” we should be asking:
WHO – Said that?
WHO– Was he speaking to?
WHO– Does this apply to?
WHO– Should follow and obey?
WHO– Is this written to?

The answer to your third question:
#3. When did the church first start? Better, brighter, and more capable men than I have debated this issue for centuries. Based on my limited knowledge of Scripture, I believe the church of God began at Pentecost. It began with only pork abstaining, Sabbath observing, circumcised Jews; and expanded out to half-Jews (the Samaritans); and finally spread out to the Gentiles (all the peoples of the world).

The church was revealed to Peter and the original Apostles, but it was not fully understood until God revealed the mystery of the church to the Apostle Paul.

This is a very long “Thread” (even for me :D), and I haven’t included even half of what I could have - if I had the time and space. I hope this may be of some “help” to you and not too confusing. :)

chette777 09-06-2008 05:11 AM

As I read through this wonderful work you did George. I found myself, dropping my head in recognition that God has blessed me with the most undeserved gift I have ever received. I lifted my hands in praise to my Lord Jesus For what he has done. and I find myself humbled in the presence of an Almighty God.

May all praise be to his name forever and ever. AMEN!

Forrest 09-06-2008 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by George (Post 7438)
[COLOR=Blue] What does this all mean? Simply, we, as Christians, ought not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. The Bible is not all about ME or US (as Christians) Ė Itís all about Almighty God and His Holy word; Itís all about The Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom; Itís all about Godís plan for the ages (which He made before the world began). We are blessed to be a part of it all because His people (Hebrews-Israelites-Jews) - rejected The Father (in the Old Testament); rejected His Son (in the four (4) Gospels); and rejected the Holy Spirit in the first Nine Chapters of the Book of Acts.

Brother George, like Brother Chette, as I read your post I am humbled and deeply moved with the mercy, grace, and goodness of God which is given to me through Jesus Christ!

Your comments do raise a question. Since I've become a recipient of the New Covenant of promise, by believing and receiving Jesus Christ, how do the Holy Scriptures written in the Gospel of John (one of my favorite books) apply to me? Or do they? Can I apply them as a converted gentile?

peopleoftheway 09-06-2008 04:07 PM

Wonderful stuff George! I have many of your essays to be printed when I get myself a new printer (I prefer to print and read with my Bible in hand). As always it is laid out very clearly, easy to understand even for us un-scholarly types :) This forum is very lucky to have you, God has most certainly blessed you with knowledge, as he has many on this site.
You remind me very much of my Grandfather, all his life he was always studying and writing essays about the Bible, a very blessed man indeed, although old age has crept in and he does not write as much (shakey hands) but his mind is sharp as it was 50 years ago. He has been my teacher and I will miss him dearly when the LORD calls him home, keep it Up Brother George, I am always encouraged by your posts.

George 09-06-2008 06:42 PM

Re: Brother Forrest's Inquiry
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Forrest (Post 7447)
Brother George, like Brother Chette, as I read your post I am humbled and deeply moved with the mercy, grace, and goodness of God which is given to me through Jesus Christ!

Your comments do raise a question. Since I've become a recipient of the New Covenant of promise, by believing and receiving Jesus Christ, how do the Holy Scriptures written in the Gospel of John (one of my favorite books) apply to me? Or do they? Can I apply them as a converted gentile?


Aloha brother Forrest,

Your question is most appropriate, and I will try to answer it to the best of my ability. First off, we are given a commandment to:
[2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.]
  • Study - "the word of Truth"
  • We Study - to seek God's "Approval"
  • Study = "Work" {i.e. "workman"}
  • We Study - so that we won't be "Ashamed"
  • When we do Study - we MUST rightly divide "the word of truth"
{I have checked out dozens of the "versions" in English and this command is absent in every single one that I have looked at.}

Please notice that God did NOT say: "rightly dividing" between the Old Testament & the New Testament; or "rightly dividing" between the Books of the Bible; or "rightly dividing" between the Chapters of a Book. He commanded that when we study God's word, we must work at - "rightly dividing the word of truth". Since the whole Bible equals the "word of truth" (i.e. Scripture = God's words), then we must "rightly divide" the words of God (wherever they are found) and place them in their proper context.

In contrast to Matthew, Mark, and Luke (which present the Lord Jesus Christ as Israel's King; God's Servant to Israel; and God's Man - all about His earthly ministry), the Gospel of John presents Him as God in the flesh, and as such there is much more that can be applied to the Christian than the previous three. However the "WHO" principle always applies to any verse and in any book of the Bible. If a verse can be applied to the Christian without violating a clear Biblical principle applicable to a Christian - by all means apply it. On the other hand, if in making an application to the Christian, it runs contrary to doctrine clearly applicable to a Christian - then don't make the application. {A study of how the Apostle Paul took Old Testament Scriptures and sometimes applied them to Christians and the church is very instructive in this matter).

There is no "magic formula"; or "methodology"; or "theological construct" that one can memorize or adopt in order to study in this manner. That is the "Achilles Heel" of Christian education. Christian educators (Primary, High School, & College) think that God's words, can be taught like any "secular" subject and so they (the educators) try to teach God's principles and precepts, using the same methodology ("Socratic" = Questioning & Doubting) as secular teachers, with the result that there are thousands of "graduates" from these schools who have Bible "knowledge" ("facts" & "data"), but they don't have a love of the Truth, nor do they trust in the Bible as their final Authority. And often times they are practically incapable of "spiritual discernment" because they either fail or refuse to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in "rightly dividing the word of truth", or are so thoroughly "indoctrinated" in whichever "Sect" or "Denomination" that they subscribe to, that all of their "understanding" is filtered through a pre-conceived denominational bias (that may, or may not be true).

God has given us an "outline" on how we are to go about - "rightly dividing the word of truth", and it is found in:

Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and therea little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.


This kind of study is wholly dependent on a sincere heart motive to want to truly know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (regardless of the consequences); and the Holy Spirit leading and guiding the believer into the all truth (regardless of what a particular Sect or Denomination may believe).

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." [John 16:13]
1 John 2:20
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

God's Holy word must be studied according to God's commandment [2Timothy 2:15]; and "rightly dividing" must be done according to God's directions [Isaiah 28:10-13]; and then with the "anointing" and "unction" we have received from Him, the Holy Spirit can guide us into all Truth. [1Corinthians 2:1-16]. Does that mean that I know everything there is to know? Of course not! But it does mean that God can show the ordinary, unschooled, Christian (that's me! :rolleyes:) things that Ph d's from Bible Seminaries don't know.

Now that's not a reason to be PROUD, but it is a reason to praise God for his wonderful mercy and wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are NOT, to bring to nought things that are:
{That's me! - Verses 26-28}

29
That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Do you see "our calling" brethren? That sure doesn't describe the average graduate of a "Bible" Seminary! We have confused "worldly wisdom" with the Wisdom of God. We have accepted "worldly standards" in place of God's. We have emulated the world to the point where real spiritual discernment, understanding, and wisdom is lacking in ordinary Christians and especially the so-called Christian "Celebrities" and church leaders.

Perhaps an example of a study I did for most of 2006 and part of 2007 may be of some help. I did a study on the "Biblical" heart - where I set out to learn all that I could about what God had to say about the "heart" that is so often talked about in Scripture (approximately 880 verses). I down-loaded all of the verses with the word heart in them (thanks to Swordsearcher) and ran through all 880 verses several times - collating, categorizing, compiling, and cataloging them. But, in the course of my studies, I discovered that I had to also search out what God had to say about the mind (108 verses), and the conscience (30 verses), all of which I downloaded and did the same as I did with the verses on the heart.

But that wasn't the end of it. In the course of my studies I discovered that the heart, mind, and conscience are all a part of man's "Faculties" - each having a separate purpose and function.


The HEART = our "Motivator"
The MIND = our "Facilitator"
The CONSCIENCE = our "Regulator"

But, that still wasn't the end of it! I then wondered: well what about the soul and spirit of man (since I already know as much about the body as I care to know :confused:), I then searched out all of the verses in the Bible where the word soul showed up (498 verses) and again downloaded all of the verses and
collated, categorized, compiled, and cataloged them also. And finally I did the same with the word spirit (134 verses - separating out man's spirit, in contrast to an animal's spirit; evil spirits; and the Holy Spirit). And from that study I discovered that the three attributes of man (body-soul-spirit): that many Christians are aware of, are what constitutes our "Substance".

The BODY = our "Tabernacle" or "Temple"
The SOUL = our very "Essence"
The SPIRIT = our "Life"

And so, a study that I thought might take me a few weeks, ended up taking several months and literally hundreds of hours, and recently I have thought of some additional material to add to the 235 page study.

Basically I learned that man is a SPIRITUAL BEING {Unlike any other creature in God's creation}, who possess a HEART, a MIND, & a CONSCIENCE (Our "Faculties"); and a SOUL, & a SPIRIT (Our "Substance"); all of which reside within our BODY. And that of the six attributes of man - Five are "Spiritual" (they cannot be seen, heard, touched, tasted, smelled, or felt).

Because of that study I learned a great deal about the attributes of man (His "Substance" & his "Faculties") that has helped me understand myself and others more; and that study has also enabled me to be able to refute the perverse influence of Humanistic psychiatry and psychology that is "leavening" many churches today.

A student in a Bible College or Seminary cannot do this kind of study (He doesn't have the time & all of his studies are already chosen for him - predigested and all laid out in an orderly fashion). Is it any wonder when those of us who have not matriculated come along with something "different" from the "standard fare" that we are treated like pariah's and heretics by the modern day Scribes and Pharisees?

I don't know whether this "ramble" has been of any help at all - I hope it has. :)


George 09-06-2008 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by peopleoftheway (Post 7450)
Wonderful stuff George! I have many of your essays to be printed when I get myself a new printer (I prefer to print and read with my Bible in hand). As always it is laid out very clearly, easy to understand even for us un-scholarly types :) This forum is very lucky to have you, God has most certainly blessed you with knowledge, as he has many on this site.
You remind me very much of my Grandfather, all his life he was always studying and writing essays about the Bible, a very blessed man indeed, although old age has crept in and he does not write as much (shakey hands) but his mind is sharp as it was 50 years ago. He has been my teacher and I will miss him dearly when the LORD calls him home, keep it Up Brother George, I am always encouraged by your posts.


Aloha brother,

Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man - the kind that I could easily fellowship with for years. You are very blessed to have had such a Christian man in your life. And he is blessed to have a grandson that both loves him and respects him.

This kind of loving "family" relation is all too rare in America today. Cherish your grandfather - there aren't too many of us left! :)

Forrest 09-07-2008 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by George (Post 7451)
Aloha brother Forrest,
...the Gospel of John presents Him as God in the flesh, and as such there is much more that can be applied to the Christian than the previous three. However the "WHO" principle always applies to any verse and in any book of the Bible. If a verse can be applied to the Christian without violating a clear Biblical principle applicable to a Christian - by all means apply it. On the other hand, if in making an application to the Christian, it runs contrary to doctrine clearly applicable to a Christian - then don't make the application.

Yes, this answers my question. Thank you dear brother.

peopleoftheway 09-07-2008 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by George (Post 7452)
Aloha brother,

Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man - the kind that I could easily fellowship with for years. You are very blessed to have had such a Christian man in your life. And he is blessed to have a grandson that both loves him and respects him.

This kind of loving "family" relation is all too rare in America today. Cherish your grandfather - there aren't too many of us left! :)

Yes George he is a wonderful man, and im sure you could have fellowship with him for years, in fact you will have fellowship with him for all eternity :)
I am humbled by what God has shown me in regards to his word in a short space of time, im humbled also at what he has shown Elders like yourself and my Grandfather over many years of study, who rightly divide and keep the Church true for the next generation.
I had to add in this little bit of information for you George as I'm sure you and Renee have the same loving relationship as My Grandparents do, My Grandfather is a WW2 Veteran, He fought with the 8th armoured (desert rats), while he was At War he asked my Gran's sister if he could write to My Gran, she agreed and through their letters he asked her to marry him when he returned from war, She told him that if they were to marry that he would have to change his ways (He was Drunk and a fighter during the war). He did change his ways and they did get married but they were still unsaved. When he was 33 the LORD put him on his back in hospital near Death and saved him and on the very same day in the same hour, unknown to each other my Gran was saved also and they have been together now for 63 years :)

God Bless

Scott Simons 09-07-2008 08:36 PM

Thanks Brother
 
Aloha Brother George,

Thanks you so much for your time, thought and articulation. God has gifted you as a teacher.
There is much to consider with your essay.
It does raise a number of questions; however I would restrain myself in a few comments at this time, I don't want to question a few things until I analysis the essay a little longer.
I did enjoy your thought provoking essay; it is progressive in understanding the mysteries of the word of God.

If did take time to answer those questions and it will take time to interject properly and this may did to be carried on a little bit.
There were a number of things you did not address and it may have been the size limitation. If you have more can you email it, I do like long essays.

Thank you again Brother,
Aloha

Renee 09-08-2008 03:11 AM

My dear brother in Christ, People of the way,

It brought back fond memories when you told of your Grandpa and Grandma writing letters and finally marrying. George and I were separated by hundreds of miles of ocean, we bared our hearts in our letters and came to know and understand each other this way. He moved here in May of 1961 and we were wed in September. He was saved and I was not, I gave up being a Catholic for family harmony, because he stood firm in the faith. He was willing to give me up rather then be married in the Catholic Church and raise our children in that idolatrous faith. I praise God for our union of 47 years. George has been my strength in many things and many ways. Praise the Lord!

In Christian Love.
Renee


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