The smoking gun, of the Church’s birthday

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by stilllearning, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. stilllearning

    stilllearning
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    Recently on another thread, the subject of the importance, of the chronology of the Church’s birth, once again became apparent.

    This question is important, in order to correctly interpret Scripture.
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    The “smoking gun” that is referred to in the title, is just that;
    There is Scripture, that precisely nails down the exact time, that the Church actually started.

    I found this, while I was taking a closer look at Matthew 16:18.......
    “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    First we need to nail down, what exactly is “the Church”?
    It is certainly more than simply “a called out assembly”.

    When your talking about the Church, as local assemblies, they are more than just buildings, or groups of people.
    At it’s basic element, the Church is a place where God’s people meet, to lean about the Lord and get prepared to go and tell the world about Him.

    Could an assembly be called a Church, if it’s intent was to “keep Jesus a secret”?
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    I have said all of this, because there are many who call the Lord and the 12 disciples, a Church, yet notice the instruction, that the Lord kept giving His disciples.....
    Matthew 16:20
    “Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”

    No, this was not “the Church”.
    The Church could not start, until God’s people had God’s permission, to tell the world about Jesus.

    Which brings me to.......
    Acts 1:8
    “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

    --------------------------------------------------
    Therefore, it is clear, that the Church did not exist, before Acts 2:4-ff
     
  2. OldRegular

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    You are wrong. The Church began when the first person was redeemed from the penalty of sin.
     
  3. Benefactor

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    Great Post: Also, the passage in Matthew clearly put it future of the time that remark was made, "will build".
     
  4. Benefactor

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    Another good example folks of this view disregarding the language of the text, how about that.
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    Well, I'll have to say that I have never heard this argument before.

    Nice try, but no cigar.

    Jesus established his church during his earthly ministry. The twelve disciples were the material of that first group.

    They were ordained. (Mk 3:14)
    They had a commission (Mt 3:10ff) which limited them to Israel only, then a broadened commission (Mt 28:19-20) which included everyone.
    They had a Head.
    They had a treasurer
    They assembled regularly.
    They had the ordinances (baptism and the Lord's Supper)
    They had instructions for church discipline.

    The church Jesus established also was empowered. Even the disciples marveled that "the demons are subject to us." They were able to heal the sick as well.

    Although Jesus did caution his disciples not to tell others that he was the Messiah, Jesus himself had no such reluctance.

    By the time Pentecost arrived, everything was already in place and in operation. Jesus' church even had a business meeting prior to Pentecost.

    The 3,000 saved on the day of Pentecost were added. To what were they added. The church already in existence.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    But not necessarily three years into the future. How about the next day?
     
  7. Benefactor

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    Well Tom you are a Calvinist, I don't expect anything different from most Calvinist, but a few do accept that the church started at Pentecost in the Acts account.
     
    #7 Benefactor, Aug 9, 2009
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  8. Tom Butler

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    Oh, I recognize that a large number of people, including all dispensationalists, fix the start of the church at Pentecost. Some of them are Calvinists. For them to adopt my view will be difficult because it will destroy their eschatology as well as their ecclesiology.

    The position I hold regarding the founding of the first church has nothing to do with Calvinism. Although some Calvinists do share my view.

    The main argument for Pentecost comes from the dispy view which cites I Cor 12:13 "For by one spirit we are all baptized into the body." They equate this with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.

    But a valid reading could just as well be "For IN one spirit we are all immersed into the body." I would be hesitant to build an entire ecclesiology around that verse.

    I have sought to show that the congregation at Jerusalem had nothing on the day of Pentecost that it did not already have before Pentecost. If one says it was empowered by the Holy Spirit, then he must also explain the power exhibited by that little traveling band, who healed the sick and cast out demons--and to whom Jesus said "receive ye the Holy Spirit."
     
    #8 Tom Butler, Aug 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2009
  9. HankD

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    I personally like to use an anaolgy (which are sometimes called parables in the Scripture), RE:the following.

    I would liken the Church to a ship, Christ being the architect and engineer. Pentecost was the commissioning day, the ship was built and prepared, the apostles were already on board, the Spirit of Christ from thence opened the vessel to the world (accompanied with evidential signs and wonders) after Peter's sermon.


    HankD
     
  10. Mexdeaf

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    Tom, I agree. I heard a preacher say one time that the church could not have started before Jesus came because it was unknown and it could not have started after He left because it was already goin', so it had to have started while He was here.

    Hank, excellent illustration.
     
  11. Havensdad

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    Sorry, no dice. Jesus gave instruction to His church before His crucifixion.

    Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    Notice, He didn't say "That is, after I make the church".

    Also, you are missing two other things. First, God's people have ALWAYS been called the "called out ones", or "assembly" ;the actual word used in the LXX (Greek Old Testament) is 'ekklesia', which is the same word used in the New Testament.

    Secondly, the word translated "build", does not mean "build from scratch", necessarily, but it can mean to increase: like adding an addition on to your home, or 'building' your muscles...

    2b) to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness
    2c) to grow in wisdom and piety


    The fact is, that the verses explicitly deny that the Church started at Pentecost, for 3000 souls were ADDED to the church that day; it does not say three thousand souls STARTED the Church that day.
     
  12. Lux et veritas

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    I don't think OR is guilty of what you are accusing him of at all. Was there a church in the Old Testament? Luke says there was. In Acts 7:38
    This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
     
  13. stilllearning

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    Hello Tom Butler

    Nice to hear from you.

    Your 7 evidences of a pre-pentecost Church, are interesting.......
    And although 5 of the 7, could be attributed to any organization on earth, lets take a closer look at #2.
    What was their commission........
    Matthew 3:10-12
    V.10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    V.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:
    V.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.

    These are the words of John the Baptist, talking about how the Lord’s original purpose was to bring God’s people back to God, by repentance.
    Jesus sure enough, sent his disciples out to the Jews, preaching “repent”.
    So what; This wasn’t “the Church”.

    As for the “broadened commission” you talked about; (Matthew 28:19,20)
    This is about the same occasion as my reference to Acts 1:8.
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    You also said.......
    Well here are just 3 statements that I could find of the top of my head......
    Matthew 16:20
    “Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”
    Mark 8:30
    “And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.”
    Luke 9:20-21
    V.20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
    V.21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded [them] to tell no man that thing;

    This hardly sounds like Jesus was “cautioning” them not to tell others that he was the Messiah. He was emphatic about it.
    And show me one place, where Jesus, call Himself, the Messiah.

    The closest He ever came, was in Mark.......
    Mark 14:61-62
    V.61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
    V.62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

    Now don’t get me wrong;
    Jesus made it very clear that He was the Messiah, to the woman at the well etc.
    (But for a Church to be “the Church”, it’s members #1 occupation will be to proclaim Jesus, as the Christ, the Anointed one, God in flesh, etc.)

    And this just did not happen, until pentecost.
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    As for your statement......
    They were added to the 120, that were in the upper room.



    I don’t to mean, to come off as “hard nose” about this subject;
    But placing the Church, before pentecost, causes a lot more doctrinal problems, than it solves.
     
  14. Havensdad

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    O.K., so what "Church" were people supposed to bring their grievances to, in Matthew 18?


    Riiiiggghhht.....Which is why a book on dispensational theology looks like schematics to the Space Shuttle. Sorry, but eliminating all of the verses that speak of the church before Pentecost, causes MANY more problems than it solves.
     
  15. stilllearning

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    Hello Havensdad

    You asked.....
    The Church that was created in Acts 2:.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Of course I am not talking about eliminating all of the verses that speak of the church before Pentecost;
    But I realize that Jesus was giving the disciples instructions for the future.
     
  16. Winman

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    The church is referred to in the OT.

    Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

    This verse is a restating of Psalms 22:22

    Psa 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee

    However, it was not Jesus's church until he purchased it with his own blood.

    Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

    So, I would say the church truly began when Jesus arose from the dead and offered his blood to the Father.

    Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    If Jesus purchased the church with his own blood, he did it before Pentecost. And he purchased the only church in existence at that time--the one he established at the beginning of his ministry. This will also be true of each subsequent New Testament church, since Paul in Acts 20:20 is referring specifically to the congregation at Ephesus as having been purchased with the blood of Jesus. That purchase included every believer in that congregation.
     
  18. saturneptune

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    The smoking gun of the creation of the first Baptist Church is in John 12 when Martha, sister to Lazarus, invented the first pot luck meal.
     
  19. Tom Butler

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    Well, that little factoid ought to put this whole issue to rest, eh?

    You watch, though, somebody is going to argue that this was not pot luck, but the first instance of taking the preacher home to dinner.

    And somebody else will insist that the first pot luck meal was five loaves and two fishes.
     
    #19 Tom Butler, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2009
  20. Mexdeaf

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    ROFLOL! :laugh:
     

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