Origin of the Church
Table of Contents
- PREORDAINED CHURCH
- NATION OF ISRAEL
- BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH
- AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH
- THE END OF THE CHURCH
What is the origin of the Church and what was the church beginnings? God ordained the Church from the foundations of the world, and predestined its purpose. He chose his people before the foundations of the world, and this includes the participation collectively as the whole body of believers, this is the origin of the church.
Even as he made selection of us in him from the first, so that we might be holy and free from all evil before him in love – Eph 1.4
So if any man is in Christ, he is in a new world: the old things have come to an end; they have truly become new. – 2 Corin 5.17
God’s Foretold Plan
God foretold the origin of the church, His plan for His people before He made it happen. He told His prophets throughout the Old Testament that He would choose and make a people out of every nation to be His own. These people make up the Church at it is known today.
Even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints. – Col 1.26
Now to him that is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, 26. but now is manifested, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith: – Rom 16.25-26
God’s original plan was to choose a nation through which He would bless the world.
I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing; 3. and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. – Gen 12.2-3
God foretold that the Gentiles will be called out of the World, and He would become their God. This was the foretelling of the origin of the church.
It shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, that standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek; and his resting-place shall be glorious. – Isaiah 11.10
God foretold of a new covenant that He would give to His people, and it applied or was passed to the Church in the New Testament.
Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith Jehovah.
33. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: – Jeremiah 31.31-33
In that he saith, A new covenant he hath made the first old. But that which is becoming old and waxeth aged is nigh unto vanishing away. – Heb 8.13
NATION OF ISRAEL
Original Groundwork for the Origin of the Church
The national of Israel throughout the Old Testament had a different function than the Church of the New Testament. However, throughout the Bible, there is an ancient framework (or structure) revealed that is demonstrated in the Church today. Before Christ came, God used and spoke through the nation of Israel as His chosen people. So the people of God (the Israelites) where differentiated from the rest of world, and the two separate groups where known as:
- Jews – God’s Chosen People
- Gentiles – All the rest of the people groups in the world.
The ordination of the Church, even though officially began with Christ, was made in preparation by the workings of God throughout ancient Israel as we see in the history of the Old Testament. Everything that was given to the Hebrew people was a shadow and/or symbol of things to come in the Church, which is the completion and fulfillment of them. This includes the workings of the law, ordinations, festivals and holy days, etc. that where all to be observed.
Whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles? 25. As he saith also in Hosea, I will call that my people, which was not my people; And her beloved, that was not beloved. – Romans 8.24-25
Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the law; 5. who serve that which is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses is warned of God when he is about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern that was showed thee in the mount. – Hebrews 8.4-5
For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect them that draw nigh. – Hebrews 10.1
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: 17. which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s. – Colossians 2.16-17
The Birthright of Gods People
The nation that God chose in Abraham is not of physical birthright which the Jews have, but is of spiritual birthright from God to all those who have faith:
He came to those which were his and his people did not take him to their hearts. 12 To all those who did so take him, however, he gave the right of becoming children of God–that is, to those who had faith in his name: 13 Whose birth was from God and not from blood, or from an impulse of the flesh and man’s desire, but of God. – John 1.11-13
For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he should be heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith. 14. For if they that are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of none effect:
15. for the law worketh wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there transgression.
16. For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace; to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. – Romans 4.13-16
Know therefore that they that are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed. 9 So then they that are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.
11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God, is evident: for, The righteous shall live by faith; 12 and the law is not of faith; but, He that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 that upon the Gentiles might come the blessing of Abraham in Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. – Gal 3.7-14
By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear. 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh… – [Heb 11]
The fulfillment of this covenant or promise of God would come through the Messiah
I, The LORD, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. – Isa 42.6-7
Jesus predicted the building of the Church
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. – Matt 16.17-18
BEGINNING OF THE ORIGIN OF THE CHURCH
The age of the Church began right at Pentecost. This event took place in the book of Acts chapter 2. When Jesus came it was the end of the age of the Jews, and the age of the Church began when Jesus ascended and sent down the Holy Spirit. The Church age is the time frame on the earth in which God works through the believers in Christ to accomplish His work.
But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified. – John 7.39
And they of the circumcision that believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 10.45
When the Holy Spirit came, he came to all believers that were called to apostleship in Acts 2. This was to fulfill Gods ordination that the origin of the Church would be founded upon the apostles of Christ. If the Holy Spirit had fallen upon all believers, it would have been spread sporadically and not founded upon the apostles of Christ. As it was God’s will for the early Church to be founded upon the apostle’s doctrine, for we know that God does establishes things in an organized and perfect design to keep things in order.
To this day the apostles still hold the original authority given to them by God, to lead the Church in pure doctrine from the Lord; this is accomplished through the writings of the New Testament. It was from the Apostles whom laid their hands on believers to receive the Holy Spirit that many others received the Holy Spirit. God did at other times cause the Holy Spirit to fall on other believers as well without the Apostles after the Pentecost.
And they continued steadfast in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. – Acts 2.42
Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: 16 for as yet it was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. – Acts 8.14-17
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples: 2 and he said unto them, Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed? And they said unto him, Nay, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit was given. 3 And he said, Into what then were ye baptized? And they said, Into John’s baptism.
4 And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him that should come after him, that is, on Jesus. 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. – Acts 19.1-6
The apostolic beginning was only to create an introduction into the world for the new covenant from God, there was no succession on or of the first apostolic authority, nor was there any need. Apostolic authority was only needed for the foundation of the Church, as the Church’s authority today still stands on the writings of the apostles in the New Testament.
So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, 20. being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone; – Eph 2.19-20
AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH
Jesus gave His children all authority in heaven and earth, and that whatsoever believers ask, agreeing together in accord to the will of God, by faith it will be done for them. The church has the authority to bind or loosen anything upon the earth as they have the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Every act that the church does or that believers do on earth is to be done for the purpose of building up the kingdom of God, and tearing down of the enemies strongholds.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16.19
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. – Matthew 18.18-20
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. – Matthew 21.21-22
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. – Luke 10.19-20
Authority in God’s Will
This authority is not to be spent on personal or fleshly passions, but rather used in accordance to God’s will and purpose in the world. Those who try to use God’s authority for anything sinful, or for anything that is not in accord with His will, will be denied by God of their request. This is why it is critical to pray in all things, practicing wisdom knowing God’s word, seeking His face so that God may be the one to bless whatever it is that is desired to be accomplished.
You do not have, because you do not ask. 3. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. – James 4.2-3
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. – 1 John 5.14-15
THE END OF THE CHURCH
What is the Destiny of the Church
Once the Church has been completed (number of the believers comes to fulfillment), Christ will return and rapture His people to heaven. This will in turn leave behind all unbelievers on the earth and God will soon to begin the next age of the earth.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. – 1 Thess 4.16-18
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (or – until the full number of the gentiles comes to Christ – NIV). – Romans 11.25
After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, – Acts 15.13-16
They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. – Luke 21.24
Judgment of the Church
On judgment day God will examine each person’s life to determine what they really believed in and what was in their heart, and to conclude what their motives really where for everything they did. All true believers have already passed form death to life, and will not be judged for their names are written in the Lambs (Jesus) book of life. However, all believers will be judged by Christ and will be rewarded according to their works and faithfulness.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; – Romans 14.10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. – 2Corin 5:10
Rewards for Believers
Every believer will pass before Christ for judgment. There are many gift and reward mentioned in the Bible for those that are faithful, and the removal of gifts for those whom are not.
REFERENCES – Origin of the Church
Systematic Theology – In One Volume; Norman L. Geisler. Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN.