Bible27: Informational Web Site Edited & Maintained by Bobby G. Goodman Jr.
NATURE OF THE CHURCH
The New Testament church is by
definition made up of the total of all Christians.
The Greek word translated “church” has this meaning:
“Church (1577 ekklesia)-a
gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an
assembly. “ Jesus used this word to designate the collection of those called
out of the world to serve him. Jesus
adds every new Christian to the church: Acts
2:47 “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to
the church daily those who were being saved.” (NKJ) Individual Christians are
not the church, rather each Christian is a member and all Christians together
are the church. 1 Cor 12:12-14 “For as the body is one, and hath many members,
and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is
Christ. For by one Spirit are we
all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond
or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many.” (KJV)
The word “church” is also used to designate all the Christians united
in a local area such as the church at Corinth, the church at Rome, etc..
1 Cor 1:2 “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are
sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place
call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” 1 Cor
11:17-19 “Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come
together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come
together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly
believe it. For there must be also
heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
was a single kind of church in New Testament times. Eph 1:22-23 “And He put
all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the
church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Eph
4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope
of your calling; one Lord, one
faith, one baptism; one God and
Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (NKJ)
There was only one kind of church represented by all the local assemblies. 1 Cor
4:17 ”For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and
faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach
everywhere in every church." (NKJ)
It had no exclusive, official, single
proper name. Every term used for the church was to describe an aspect of it.
LIST OF SOME OF
NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH’S
1. Jesus is the builder of
the church. Matthew 16:16-18 Acts 20:28 Eph 5:23
2. Jesus is the only
Lawgiver and head of the church. Eph
1:22-23 2Jhn 9 Acts 2:36 Matt
28:16-20 Heb 1:1-2
James 4:12 Titus 2:13-14
Phil 2:9-15 John 10:1-18
The Bible is the only Rule of Faith- 2 John 9
1Peter 3:21-22 Matthew
15:1-14, 1Cor 4:6, Col 2:6-23, 1Tim 4:6-7
The Bible was finished and unchangeable by the end of the first century.
Jude 3, Gal 1:1-11 Revelation 22:18-19
5. Each church’s local
Elders (also called bishops) enforced, guide, ruled only the local church
according to Jesus’ word. 1Pet 5:1-11 Acts
20:17-35 1Tim 3:1-7
6. The local church’s
Deacons assisted the Elders. 1Tim 3:8-13 Acts
All Christians were Priests and none were lords over others. Mark
10:35-45 1Pet 5:3, Acts 10:25-26 Rev.
1:4-7 Rev 5:9-10
1Pet 2:5-10 Eph 2:11-22
8. A person becomes a
Christian by Believing Jesus, Turning to God (repent), publicly confessing
Jesus, baptized by immersion for the remission of sins. Mark 16:15-16, Acts
2:36-47 1Pet 3:21-22
9. Faith and works of God
are required to be pleasing to God.
James 1:19-2:26 Heb 11:6 Rev
10. A weekly pattern of
worship by prayer, teaching, Lord’s Supper, vocal singing, contribution.
Acts 2:42 1Thess 5:17-25,
Acts 20:7 1Cor 10:16 1Cor
11:20-30, Eph 5:18-19, Col 3:16,
11. A pattern of church
income by members giving on the first day of the week, fee-will,
self-determined, liberal offering.
Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:32-37, 2Cor
8:10-15, Acts 5:1-6 2Cor 9:6
12. A pattern of church
spending by supporting preaching, elders, and Christian only, direct to the
Gal 6:6-10, 1Tim 5:1-16, Acts
2:43-47, Acts 4:32- 5:11 Acts 6:1-6, 1Tim 5:17-18,
1Cor 9:14 Acts 11:27-30 Romans
15:22-33, 1Cor 16:1-9 2Cor 8:1-9:15
THE ANTI-CHRIST: The anti-Christ (500) is the
adversary of Christ,
John 2:18-23: “Little children, it is
the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now
many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went
out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would
have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that
none of them were of us. But you
have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because
you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is
antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who
acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (NKJ)
1. Many antichrists rather then a single
Already existed by the end of the First century.
Came from within the church, a false brethren.
Denies Jesus as the Christ, or the Father, or both.
JOHN 4:1-3 “Beloved, do not
believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because
many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of
God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of
God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the
flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have
heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who
is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world,
and the world hears them." (NKJ)
1. Would claim to be inspired by the
Holy Spirit to prophecy.
Teaches Jesus did not come in the flesh.
Of worldly origin.
2 JOHN 1:5-9
“And now I plead with you, lady, not
as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the
beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His
commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the
beginning, you should walk in it. For
many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as
coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but
that we may receive a full reward. Whoever
transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He
who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (NKJ)
1. Contrary to the love of the brethren
and is a deception.
Does not believe that Jesus came in the flesh. (A spirit, illusion, etc..)
THE MAN OF SIN, THE SON OF PERDITION
2 THESSALONIANS 2:3-12
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to
be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as
if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any
means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the
man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself
above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in
the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these
things? And now you know what is
restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now
restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one
will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and
destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is
according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and
with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not
receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God
will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all
may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in
unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren
beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation
through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called
you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught,
whether by word or our epistle. (NKJ)
1. Opposed and exalted himself against
God and objects of worship.
Sits in the temple of God and sets himself up to be God.
The process was already at work.
Lawless, uses deception and lies, no love for the Truth.
Exist until Jesus comes again.
THE FALLING AWAY, THE APOSTASY
24:4-13 “And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one
deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will
deceive many. And you will hear of
wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things
must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And
there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will
be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will
betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will
rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many
will grow cold. But he who endures
to the end shall be saved. (NKJ)
Many would claim to be Christ.
Christian would be offended with their faith, would betray fellow Christians,
and hate fellow Christians.
Due to so much disobedience and falsehoods, Christians love would chill.
All to take place even before the destruction of Jerusalem on Sept. 2, 70 A.D.
Only those who endures past these things would be saved.
20:28-31 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among
which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God
which He purchased with His own blood. For
I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not
sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking
perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch,
and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day
with tears. (NKJ)
Some would come into the church and hurt them.
From within the Church some would teach perverse things and pull
Christians away from the church.
TIMOTHY 4:1-5 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will
depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to
be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every
creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with
thanksgiving; for it is sanctified
by the word of God and prayer. if you instruct the brethren in these things, you
will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of
the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. but reject profane and old
wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. (NKJ)
1. Once were Christians but left the
Support and teach false doctrine.
Speak lies, unconscionable.
Forbid marriage, eating of meats.
CONDITION OF THE CHURCH
2:1 - 3:22
THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS
GOOD: Tested false
Apostles and them liars. With
patience accomplished good works. Hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans as Christ
Left their first love (Christ).
Remember former state, repent, return to first works: or Jesus will
quickly remove their lampstand.
THE CHURCH AT SMYRNA
Rich towards God in works, dealing with tribulations, worldly poverty.
Comments: Do not fear, be
faithful unto death.
THE CHURCH AT PERGAMOS
GOOD: Loyal to Christ in
spite of great persecution.
Allowed fornicating idolatry in some members. Allowed some to hold the
Comments: Repent or Jesus
would come and fight them.
THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA
GOOD: Commended for many
works, love, service, faith, and patience.
Allowed false female prophet to teach and seduce Christians into
fornication and idolatry.
Comments: Jesus already
decided to make her and her disciples an example to the churches by their
destruction. Seduced Christians
should immediately repent. Christians not part of this evil to maintain their
present course until
THE CHURCH AT SARDIS
GOOD: None mentioned
a false reputation that they are good, but have no finished works. Spiritually Dead
Comments: Be careful to
strengthen what is left, holdfast to the Gospel, repent. The few faithful are
assured of salvation.
THE CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA
Small church with many works, kept the word of Jesus, have not denied
Jesus during hard times.
Review Timeline Chart 4: “The
New Testament Period” 2B.C. - 100 A.D.
Next Lesson “The Early
Church” 100 A.D. - 600 A.D.
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