Yesterday I heard a sermon in which it was pointed out two things –One — Jesus is The Truth, and two the Church is to spread The Truth to the world.
Immediately I thought of how the Church today portrays the truth surrounding these two truths, and how erroneous that concept has become in its portrayal.
Today we are taught that the truth entered the world 2000 years ago, and He the personification of God The Lord Jesus (the Christ, the Word) then established His Church to spread The Truth about Himself. These concepts are true, but misunderstood.
Why do I say that? If The Lord Jesus who came 2000 years ago is The Truth, did The Truth not exist before then? And if the Church is the instrument Jesus is using to spread Himself (The Truth) was truth not in existance Or being spread prior to His coming to earth 2000 years ago?
Acts 7:37,38, Here we read about the “church in the wilderness” in the Old Testament…”This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 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.”
Certainly the Truth existed before Jesus came to earth. He is the manifestation of the truth that already existed and who was already revealing Himself to mankind through His Church. To this already existing Church there were about 3,000 “added” on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:42). So did The Church and The Truth already exist before Jesus coming and the day of Pentecost? You be the judge, but remember the truth is not always taught in the pulpits across America and around this world.
Why do I say that it already existed before Pentecost? Israel herself was often throughout OT scripture referred to as the Ekklessia. The Hebrew Word was Qahal. After Jesus entered paradise on the day of His death it is said that captivity was led captivity captive when He ascended. Remember John the Baptist died knowing that Jesus was present on earth. Moses Himself had met with Jesus before His crucifixion. Where did he return after that meeting. The Messiah was present and ready to deliver them. The Ekklessia was relocated along with paradise following Jesus finished work on earth. On Pentecost 3000 were added to the church.
Paul states that as a result of our salvation as Gentiles that we now have become one new man with these saints of Old Testament Times (Ephesians chapters 2-4).
In fact, paradise which was in the belly of the earth before Jesus died, was taken with Him to the Father when He ascended. If we die in Christ before He returns, we go to be with Him and the saints in paradise where all saints now reside — one new man, one bride, one body, one church. And we are one Olive Tree.
You put forth a good thought in this post Dear Jerry.
Very often, the word “Church” as used in the scriptures means “called out ones; a people set apart for God’s Name, for God Himself”. It turns out that the nation of Israel who were delivered from Egyptian slavery share this meaning. God separated them to be His own special people; a people meant for the showcasing of God’s magnificent Person.
Everything that Lord Jesus speaks about His Church in the New Testament is revealed in a way (either plainly or symbolically) in the “Church” in the wilderness. However, it doesn’t just end there.
The Old Testament was the shadow of the the real object that was soon in view. The same way the Old Testament wilderness “Church” were a glimpse of the New Testament Church. There are very clear differences however, since the New Testament Church has much greater capacity to represent the purpose for which God has separated them, compared with the Old Testament Church.
It was on the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2 that this New Testament Church received the most defining “Parameter” for its setting apart: “indwelling of Holy Spirit”.
Of the pre-existence of Truth; scripture makes it clear that Lord Jesus had always been, beyond all ages past. This is before He stepped into the world, clad in human flesh. In fact, He was the rock that followed the Israelites in the wilderness and gave them water to quench their thirst (the illustration of Paul). Its hence certain that the “Truth” has always been. However, the “Truth” was manifest in a way He never has been manifest prior. “The Truth was made flesh” and dwelt among us”.
As seen thus far, there has always been a revelation of God in ages past. In this age however, a greater revelation of the person of God and the people set apart for Him has been set in motion. This means a new start of a different level in a new age. For this new age, the Church was born at Pentecost, while for the “Truth”, He has always been but revealed Himself to us in an astounding way: in flesh and blood.
I hope this hasn’t been too lengthy.
It’s always delightful hearing from you Dear Jerry.
Lots of Love to you,
More of Lord Jesus to you.
Luminous, I appreciate your comment, I’ve been pondering the church differences you brought up here in your reply. So, my questions to you are these —
1. In light of Jesus statement to the Jews in Matt 10– I have other sheep that are not of this fold. them too I must bring that there would be one flock and one shepherd over the flock. And in light of Paul’s seeming understanding of this concept in Eph 2 where he sees us Gentiles as outsiders before we trust ourselves to Messiah, and no longer outside when we are safely in Him (we are then one with the saints), can we really say that we are a different church or a part of the called out and chosen?
2. It is written in Isa 53 as we understand it, that Jesus is crucified, and then in Isa 54 we see that Israel has been widowed and I have determined from scripture that their widowhood arises out of the crucifixion itself. Then in chapter 54 of Isa, we see the promise to Israel to once again be married to their redeemer who of course is Jesus the Messiah. Would this not be a promise for the one new man made up of the two Jew and Gentile to be both as one bride?
3. Jesus reveals in Revelation 19, that the bride has made herself ready, would this not coincide with the consummation that Paul described in Romans 11, when the Olive tree is made complete by the final ingathering of the Jews after all Gentiles are saved and in the tree? Would it not then be true that all Israel (beginning with the saints of the church in the wilderness) would be saved and that we are included?
4. Would it not seem reasonable and logical that if God has only one way of salvation (Jesus); then He would have only one church and one bride, and one nation to rule and reign with Him?
5. You also brought up a new age for the church beyond Pentecost. How do you see the evidence presented in scripture for this new age?
Thanks, love to you in Christ, Jerry
Thanks a lot Dear Jerry. I spent sometime trying to understand the theme of your questions and I think I got a better understanding of them.
1. In John 10, Lord Jesus speaks of other sheep which He would bring into the fold. Frankly, it is definitely one fold and one Shepherd. The disciples and the other sheep were altogether parts of the one fold.
2. With respect to the reference to Isaiah 53 and 54, both the Jews and Gentiles are united together in one bride.
3. The final product (the Bride) would include brethren from all dispensations.
4. Yes, it is reasonable.
Before answering your fifth question, I will like to state that my first comment on this post does not set apart two different churches ultimately at the consummation. Even before the wilderness experience, God has been gathering to Himself people from the ages past who would be members of the Bride for His Son. By this, I mean brethren like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc. On their own and together with their families, they also constitute members of the Church, although they happened to live at a time before the wilderness experience. Therefore, before, at the time of the wilderness Church, and afterwards, the gathering of the saints to form the Bride of the Lamb has been ongoing. Hebrews 12:1 calls these earlier brethren “a great cloud of witnesses”. With this background, I may now attempt question 5.
5. Hebrews 11 speaks of how some patriarchs and matriarchs walked with God. Verse 40 of the same chapter speaks of how God has prepared something better for the saints (in the “age of the Spirit”), such that those of earlier dispensations will not be made perfect without us. The distinguishing factor which I have pointed out by using the term “age of the Spirit” is to emphasize what Hebrews 1: 1-2 states. There is a beginning of the “Church that was set in motion by Grace and Truth by Lord Jesus”. Hebrews 1:1-2 distinguishes the beginning of this age and the difference for the other ages past by stating that “IN THESE LAST DAYS, God has revealed Himself to us through His Son, no longer through the prophets as the former used to know.
Hoping to keep it short. God bless you Dear Jerry.
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Luminous, I appreciate your response and thoughts. And I am on board with your thoughts. The only thing that I would add, just for clarity for anyone else who might read this, would be the definitions of the English words ages vs dispensations. Jesus spoke more than once of this age vs the age to come or the next. In so doing He gave characteristics of both ages. I have spoken to this on another post on the ages. When He speaks of the next age or the age to come it is not speaking of the church age to come. The church is really a dispensation or an administration within God’s plan. Dispensational theology, I believe often confuses these two terms to the detriment of the readers understanding. Advise if you have other thoughts. Thanks Luminous, and God bless.
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Thanks for asking for clarity Dear Jerry.
The word “age” refers to a specific period within which a specific purpose(s) is accomplished using specific methods (my own words). It occurs over four hundred times in the entire scriptures.
The word “dispensation”, as used in my earlier post is a synonym for “age”.
I hope my definitions are not ambiguous.
More of Lord Jesus to you.
Thanks Luminous, so tell me are you a Dispensationalist concerning escotology? If so what might your basis be?
Hello Dear Jerry.
When I saw your question on dispensationalism, I had to do a little background study of what the word meant as well as its general implication in theology.
Here in Nigeria, many (including me) do not have a sophisticated theology as in the USA.
I see dispensations pointed out in scriptures and there is a great deal of literal truth in scripture as well. In addition, there is a lot of symbolism which only the Spirit can reveal to us in a transforming way.
I cannot say if I fit into all the parameters for which Dispensationalists are known, but that aside, I seek Truth and Lord Jesus beyond all.
I believe you will get to know me better as the days go on.
More of Lord Jesus to you.
Luminous, I love your answer. We are seeking the Truth as the Holy Spirit sees fit to reveal it by making the scriptures become clearer to us. I look very forward to getting to know you better dear brother. I hope that if I ever offend you or others in any way with what I might post, that you will hold me accountable. And I am honored to be able to get to know you brother.