The Church:Past, Present, Future Prt. 2

Psalms 19:   KJV
1  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Psalms 97:   KJV
6  The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

Luke 19:   MSG
37  Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:
38  Blessed is he who comes, the king in God’s name! All’s well in heaven! Glory in the high places!
39  Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”
40  But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”

For us to truly understand the purpose, place and why of the church we first must understand our place as a Christian.

We are more than just a warm body that occupies a seat in some building with others.  We were created for a purpose, that is to show to the world God’s glory in us.

When God created Adam it was not just so God would have something to admire, for He had the whole of all creation for that.  He created Adam so that He may have someone to fellowship with.  Someone to know the Father’s glory.  He created Eve so that Adam would not be alone in the garden, but to have an another to fellowship with also.  They were to live to fellowship with God and also each other.

When they disobeyed God and sin came into the picture, the direct fellowship that they knew was broken.  The place they lived in that gave them all they need to sustain life was now a place to look back on of where they were cast out of.

God needed a plan, a plan that would restore that fellowship between Him and man.  So He sent His son in the form of a man, a man without the sin nature.  God’s glory in the flesh.

John 1:   KJV
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.

Christ was more than just a man, he was the very essence of God in the flesh.

John 14:   KJV
1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Christ knew His destination, which was the cross.  He understood that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.  That He would become the sacrifice for the salvation of all mankind.

Hebrews 10:   KJV
1  For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3  But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4  For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6  In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8  Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9  Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
15  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Christ death and resurrection prepared a way for us to enter the holy of hollies, to know God in His fulness and glory.

The veil that once hung in front of the holy of hollies which kept man from entering the holy place was now torn from top to bottom.

Matthew 27:50-54 KJV
50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

The birth of the “church” was about to take place.  For God was about to visit man with the Holy Ghost. God was going to show His glory to man that was never known before.  

John 16:   KJV
7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9  Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10  Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13  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.
14  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Prophecy was soon to be fulfilled in the most unlikliest places with one hundred and twenty dejected people, with the world listening and watching as God’s glory descended in the form of “cloven tongues of fire”.  That day is now called “the day of Pentecost”.  For all those there, their lives would never be the same.

Joel 2:   KJV
28  And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29  And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Acts 2:   KJV
1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

That upper room was the birthplace of the “church”.

On the next article I will address how God showed His glory through the early church.

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