Church Prophesied / Church Established
Good morning. It's good to see each one of you.
Today we start a gospel meeting, and, you know, gospel meetings are difficult things to do these days. It's hard to get people's attention. They're distracted by all kinds of things.
I’ve got a cell phone. I could be anywhere in the world standing right here with a cell phone. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing sometimes, but it is what it is, whether we like it or not.
When we talk about gospel meetings, what I encourage you to do is to come night, Monday through Thursday. I'll have PowerPoint. I'll have some photographs for you to look at, and we'll try to do some lessons along the way.
It'll be more informative or instructive of restoration history, but we'll talk a little bit about the Bible along the way because that's what we're talking about, right? It's about trying to get back to the Bible. A lot of people are just (I don't mean to be offensive by this at all), but a lot of people are just woefully ignorant of the Bible, even though they carry it around. Maybe they have it in their home. They just don't know the contents of it. They may know some things that they've heard
Our neighborhoods are changing. There was a time where you talked to your neighbors all the time, and you pretty much knew where they were coming from. If a stranger came into town and started saying things that was unorthodox, you knew it, and you would be warning people. I’ve got to tell you, we have strangers come in all the time through this, the internet, and we have neighbors we don't even know.
We have no idea where they're coming from. We have no idea what they're watching, what they're listening to, what they're hearing, what they believe. It used to be that in our society, from what I was told, about a decade or so before I was born, you could pretty much count on people in your neighborhood believing there's a God, and Jesus is the son of God, and the Bible is the word of God. Now, they are all over the place. You generally have people, even if they didn't go to church or even if they lived a life that made you wonder why they believe what they say they believe, they still held to those basic beliefs.
Our country is not that way anymore. Our country has gone from basically—the academic term for it, I guess, would be ecumenicalism. What they used to call that back in the day or what they still do, is one church is as good as another? You've seen that as matter of fact. I didn't live here in Chardon, but in some of our towns they have a big old sign out and all the different religious groups have a sign on it, and they'd have that tagline, welcome to our city.
Join the church of your choice. It's a common place. I mean, it's a city welcoming you. I understand that, but most of those religious groups held to those viewpoints. Today we have what would be more accurately called pluralism.
Pluralism is the idea that one religion is as good as another. We have people that think that it doesn't matter what religion you have. You can be a Buddhist, you can be a Hindu, you could be a Muslim, you could be a Mormon, you could be a Catholic, you could be a Jew, or whatever. They all lead the same place.
I've become attuned to some of the music that I've been listening to. When I was a teenager, I didn't really pay much attention to the lyrics or really care that much about it. My parents would be upset because they were listening to the words. I wouldn't pay any attention to the words. Some of the music I listened to was George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord. It sounds good until you start listening. If you know the phrases that he's saying in that song, he's advocating Hinduism and things like that. The gist of that song is, I'm going to meet my sweet Lord.
I can go there through all kinds of different religions. We have been bombarded by that stuff for decades, and it really had an impact. Our school system has let us down.
When they started forcing the Bible out and silencing religious people not letting them talk or lead prayers, when they started doing those kinds of things, the moral foundation of our country started to crumble. Now it is on the verge of collapse.
If you've been watching the news at all, some people are so disheartened by the news, they turn it off. I can't stand to watch it anymore. It's very discouraging when you see what's going on. We cannot stop doing what we need to do, and that is to evangelize.
There is a philosopher, his name was, George Santayana. He wrote a little book called The Life of Reason. I'm sure the words are familiar to you. The first part may not be, but I put that part in here because I thought it was sort of important. He said, progress far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute, there remains no means to improve, and no direction is set for possible improvement. When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Here's the phrase: “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We forget there's no retentiveness. That's what he's talking about.
We've forgotten our moorings as a nation. When you had a major president stand up and say, we're no longer a Christian nation, some people were cheering. People that understood what that really meant were weeping, mourning. We should be because we're losing our moral foundation.
There are those who fail to realize that the church and the kingdom are referring to the same institution.
Some people don't realize that the Old Testament prophesies about this. It's getting to the point where some people don't even know there's an Old Testament.
When you talk to your friends and your neighbors, you really can't assume that they know anything about the Bible because they didn't have the teaching that their parents had when their parents took them to vacation Bible school and things like that. You can't hardly get people to go to those things. There're exceptions to that, and hopefully people will be awakened to the fact that if we're going to have a righteous land to live in with things like justice and equity, it's really going to be contingent. It's really going to hinge on our allegiance to God and His Word. We need to go back and educate people on things that maybe we've known for practically all our lives.
For me personally, I couldn't tell you a time that I didn't know these things, and that's just baffling. How can people not know this? A lot of them don't. The ignorance that people have is just astounding.
I always like to say, don't underestimate ignorance. Don't underestimate it. And we need to be patient, and we need to be kind, and we need to be informative. In Matthew 16:17 through 19, there are some people that don't understand that the church of Christ and the Kingdom of Christ are the same institution. They think that the church was established, but that's not what God wanted to do. What he wanted to do was establish a kingdom, and they say he's going to do that after the Rapture and the tribulation battle of Armageddon. You've heard those terms, right? They make great movies and television shows about it.
People are captivated by that stuff. Books like the Left Behind series, are all premillennialism. I would love to say that it's all false.
In Matthew 16:17 through 19, what I want us to do today is see that the church and the kingdom are the same. I want you to see that the Old Testament prophesied the establishment of the church and the kingdom. In the New Testament, those prophecies were fulfilled. If you have some pen and paper, you can jot these things down.
How can I even try to explain that to somebody? That's what I want to help you do today because you have to have a good knowledge of this and you have to be able to explain it to people where they understand it and you can't make it complicated. Hopefully these things will help you. In Matthew 16:17 through 19, it says, and this is Jesus speaking. Jesus answered him, blessed are you, Simon Bar, Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter. And on this rock, I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I'll give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. And whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
If you're not adverse to writing in your Bible, you may want to do this, circle the word my church and circle the word the kingdom of heaven. Notice that those terms are used in the same passage. I mean, he's talking about the same institution.
You see, the church and the kingdom are the same thing. You may say, Well, David, there's a difference between a kingdom and a church. You'd be right. In the New Testament there are a lot of metaphors that are used to describe what Jesus established. One of them is an assembly, a group of people, not a building.
It's a group of people. That term is aplasia. That's the term that our Bibles translate church. We also have a king. We have a constitution. We are servants to that king. That's why the church is described as a kingdom.
We're brothers and sisters in Christ. God is our father. Jesus is our brother. We are brothers and sisters to one another. We're a family. The church is also described as a family. there are several of these pictures, these metaphors that are used to describe the exact same institution. People try to say church is one thing and the kingdom is the other. I want to point out that the idea says, I'll give you the keys, to the kingdom.
Some people, mistakenly think that Jesus built the church on Peter. He didn't. It's not what he said. What Jesus is saying is Peter statement is the foundation of the church. The foundation of the church is that Jesus is the Son of God, which is what Peter just said. That's what he's talking about.
Look up the term cornerstone in the New Testament. What's a cornerstone? A cornerstone is a foundational stone. Back in the day, way back, they would take a lot of care to put a cornerstone in place properly because the whole building would be resting on that stone. You may say there's different cornerstones.
Most buildings have four. It also says Jesus is the chief cornerstone. I'm not talking about Peter here. He's talking about what Peter said. If you look at some lexicons they will point out that the tense of the verb there is really will have been bound in heaven, will have been loosed in heaven.
The Catholic Church has it wrong. What they say is the church was founded upon Peter and the authority for what goes on in the church rests with Peter. Then they point out a progression of people that were head of the church. Let me ask you a question. How many heads does a body have?
One. Who is the head of the church? Christ. I mean, it says it right there in the scriptures. Peter is not the head of the church. Will have been bound will have been loosed where? In Rome? No, in heaven. Because that's where Christ is at. He's not saying, hey Peter, you know what? You're going to be the first. I'm going to put you in charge and the church is going to be your church and it's going to be by your rules. I've got other things to do in heaven. I'll just let you take care of things here. That's wrong. That's totally wrong. Incorrect if you don't like the word wrong.
Premillennials treat the church as a substitute or a parenthesis for the kingdom. Now, you might find those terms offensive. Substitute, parenthesis, I don't really like those terms. What I want you to understand is that is their terms, that's the words they use, parenthesis and substitute. I have their literature, that's what they call it.
They fail to realize the importance of the church. In Ephesians 3:10-12, it says to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places according to the eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in him. That’s Ephesians 310-12. You really need to know that passage. You need to memorize it. Notice it says the manifold wisdom of God would be revealed through the church?
The premillennialism system says that God really wants to establish a kingdom, but he couldn't do it. He came up with a plan B—substitute parenthesis—thing and he called it the Church. That's supposed to be the manifold wisdom of an omnipotent God.
Does that sound like manifold wisdom to you? To me it sounds like God couldn’t accomplish what God set out to do. Remember when Jesus said about a man that builds a tower and he doesn't sit down and count the cost to see whether he's able to build it or not? He can’t do it. What happens? Everybody comes and laughs at him, right? What a fool.
Yet the premillennials say God wanted to set up a kingdom, he couldn't do it, so he had to come up with the church. What's the difference?
Premillennialism is false.
Some fail to realize that there are such descriptive terms of the church. In Ephesians three I want to point out to you is according to the eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ. Notice that he accomplished it. Does that sound like a parenthesis plan B substitute to you? He accomplished it. There's no reflection on what God was able or unable to do.
The problem is premillennialism is false.
That kind of a teaching, the implications of it, in my book really close to Blasphemy. The church was prophesied in this. I want you to look at three chapters in the Old Testament that talk about the prophecy of the church. I want us to talk about one chapter in the New Testament that talks about the fulfillment of the church.
I picked these four chapters for a reason. The passages are Isaiah chapter two, one through four; Daniel chapter 2:44 through 45; Joel chapter 2:28 to 32; and then Acts chapter two. I picked these on purpose because I want you to be able to explain to people when you talk to them easily and quickly that the Old Testament prophesies the establishment of the church and the kingdom, and the New Testament shows that it's been fulfilled. Well, David, how am I going to do that?
I can't remember that well so in Acts chapter two in my Bible I have written down these Old Testament passages on the margin. I go and I write those in other passages. I use my Bible that way.
I don't necessarily rely on the references the publisher provides. Sometimes I do a good job of that, sometimes I don't. I like to make my own. It helps me remember.
In Isaiah chapter two, one through four. Let's read through that. Isaiah, chapter two, one through four. The word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, now shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of the Lord's house will be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, and we shall walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord. From Jerusalem, he shall judge between the nations and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords in the plowshares, and their spears and the pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.
Isaiah's prophecy was about 740 to 680 BC. That's about when Isaiah wrote this, He worked when the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah still existed, but he lived to see the demise of the kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BC.
There are things from his prophecy we learn. I'll read these lines that I underlined in this passage. One is latter days, not right now, when Isaiah wrote it; the Lord's house, (whose house is it?) The Lord's, not Peter's; the top of the mountains, no other institution will surpass this institution; all nations, (Do you know what that means?), it's not just going to be for the Jews, but all nations.
We have ways of describing the world as far as people. We have Jew and Gentile. That's basically the way they looked at it. You're either a Jew or you're Gentile. Gentile actually means nations, so all nations.
Isaiah is saying there's a time when the Gentiles are going to flow into the kingdom. Notice the law shall go forth from Zion. The law? The law of Moses was already out there. It's going to be a different law.
The word of the Lord from Jerusalem, that's where it's going to start. Underline those terms and you think about those things. The Lord's house, the latter days, the top of the mountains, all nations, a new law. It's going to start in Jerusalem. The word of the Lord is going to come forth from it. You have new ways and new paths. Keep those thoughts in your mind.
Next was Daniel, chapter 2:44-45. In the days of these kings, the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people. It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inevitably, as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, that it broke in pieces, the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold. The great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain and his interpretation is sure.
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, someone else had a dream. But we're talking about Nebuchadnezzar's dream. He had a dream and he assembled all his wise people, magicians and all that. You know what he's doing? He's assembling people that today trace the roots back to the occult.
We’ve talked about the horoscope and tarot cards, all that New Age stuff. They call it New Age. It's not new age, it's old. It goes back to Babylon. And what he's doing is telling all these New Age people like we would have today, come in. Tell the astrologers, my dream. They say, tell us the dream, we'll give you the interpretation. They had all these books that they would look at and say, this aspect of the dream means… You tell us the dream, and we'll go and look it up for you. It's basically what they're saying.
Nebuchadnezzar was pretty shrewd. He said, no, you have to tell me the dream and give me the interpretation. They said nobody can do that. Nebuchadnezzar is pretty smart, but there was somebody that was able to give him the information.
That was Daniel. Daniel was a prophet during the Babylonian captivity. He spoke to the exiles and the King of Judah. He prophesied from about 605 to 536 BC. This prophecy is around 604 BC. It's over 550 years prior to the establishment of the church.
From this prophecy, we learned there's a progression of kingdoms. The bronze, the gold, the bronze, the silver. Those are references to major kingdoms that were on the scene and about to come forth. For example, Babylon. He tells u, You, O king, are the head of gold. You are the Babylon.
He was the head of the Babylonian empire. What happens? The Babylonians eventually fall to the Meds. He goes through the Babylonians, the Meads, the Persians, the Greeks, and then you have the Romans and the Caesars. What God has given Nebuchadnezzar and the interpretation through Daniel is a timeline out into the future. He's telling them, in the days of these kings, these Roman kings, the Roman Empire was different than all the other empires. They had provinces, and they had all these different kings in these different provinces. In the days of these kings, I'm going to set up a kingdom, so you want to take note of that and pay attention. It's going to be like no other kingdom.
It would never be destroyed, and it would consume all these other kingdoms. So you want to remember those passages, those thoughts. In Joel, chapter 2:28 through 32 they shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And on my men's servants and on my maid servants, I will pour out my spirit in those days, and I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, there shall be deliverance, as the Lord said, among the remnant that the Lord calls.
Notice there again the expression all flesh. I'm going to pour out my spirit on all flesh. One thing to pay attention to is that does not mean that the Holy Spirit was poured out on every person.
What it does mean is the Holy Spirit was poured out on every type of person, the Jews, the Gentiles, the sons and the daughters, the young and the old. It's going to be for everybody, not that everybody's going to get that and notice that distinction. You may want to pay attention to that part. I will pour out my spirit in those days, whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved from Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. That's where it's going to start. Then notice a remnant there whom the Lord calls.
Joel was written about 835 BC and the Kingdom of Judah is where he was at. It's during the divided kingdom period which is 800 years before the establishment of the church. Another thing I want you to take notice of, let me just read this phrase to you again. I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into the darkness, and the moon and the blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
That's some pretty fanciful language there, isn't it? What in the world is he talking about? Some people hear that kind of language and say, he's talking about the end of the world, but he's not. Talking about end of the world is called apocalyptic language.
It's very vivid and very descriptive language of major changes that are coming. The end of the world would definitely be a major change, but it uses that language for other major events. What major event will that be? Let's just go on.
What we have established from three chapters of the Old Testament look through Acts chapter two and you’ll read it. We don't have time to read it, but you'll see, we have a kingdom that will be established on a mountain.
Jerusalem was on Mount Zion. Remember the references to Zion. Nations—not a single nation—shall be a part of it. You read through the audience there that Peter is addressing, and it talks about all these different nations that are there. New paths will be walked as directed by the Lord.
The kingdom will never be destroyed like earthly kingdoms. The Holy Spirit is poured out. A new law goes forth. We start seeing that these things are occurring. One of the things that you may want to back up and look at is Luke 24:44 through 49.
In Luke 24:44-49 is an important passage to in mind as we tie these prophecies in this fulfillment together. Jesus makes a statement to his apostles. He tells them things. He's already been crucified, he's been in a grave, he's resurrected, he's getting ready to ascend, and he makes this statement to them. These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms concerning me. I'll stop right there.
Did it happen the way God said it was going to happen or not? Jesus said it did. Premillennialists say it didn't. Premillennialism is false. Sell your Hal Lindsay books or throw them in the trash and a whole bunch of others, they're false.
He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then he said to them, thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and the repentance and remission of sin shall be preaching his name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you're endued with power from on high.
When I look at that passage, I look at it as Jesus saying, you know those things back in Isaiah two and Daniel two and Joel two, they're getting ready to happen. Everything is right on track notice in Acts 2:14 through 21. Let me read you some of that.
But Peter, standing up from with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words, for these are not drunk as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.
Do you know what he quotes? He quotes Joel 2:28 through 32, including blood, fire and all that stuff. This is it. This is the fulfillment. You need to be able to explain that to people.
Basil Overton (he passed away), was one of my dad's instructors. I can remember him saying that what you have here is triple inspiration. Triple inspiration. That sounds sort of odd.
He said this is where you put it. Luke recorded (actually we should say Dr. Luke, because Luke was a medical doctor) what Peter quoted on Pentecost from Joel Two.
Peter also quoted David on Pentecost. This means there's triple inspiration in Acts two. Peter was inspired. He quoted David and Joel who were inspired and Luke who wrote Acts was inspired. Triple inspiration. It's true.
People that claim they believe the Bible have to acknowledge it's true. It's so plain. What happened? The Holy Spirit was poured out. Immersion was given for the forgiveness of sins. People were encouraged to call on the name of the Lord as Joel prophesied. People were repented of their sins. They were baptized. They were added to the church. The accumulation of several Old Testament prophecies and New Testament as well, came to Pentecost.
Let me give you some additional things to think about in the little bit of time we have left.
You may have trouble convincing people of this. Let me give you some additional passages. Matthew 16:28 assuredly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the son of man coming in his kingdom.
Did that happen or not?
Either it happened or we got some really old man around here somewhere.
Matthew three, one through three. John the Baptist is preaching. In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Is at hand means it's at the door. It's coming. Was John the Baptist a false teacher? Was he a false prophet? Was he a false preacher? No.
Matthew 4:17 from that time Jesus began to preach and to say, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Was Jesus a false prophet? Was he a false teacher? You see what I'm saying about blasphemy? It's blasphemy if you say that kind of a thing, but that's what pr Premillennialism does by implication.
In Mark one four through 15. Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God and saying, the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.
Matthew ten five through seven, Jesus sent out twelve people to preach. These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying, do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you preach, go preach, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Where did the church start? In Jerusalem. Have you ever thought about the providence of God and that kind of thing and how he knew?
Why did they have all these people in Jerusalem during that time? Jerusalem was a multinational national city, but that's not it. There'd be feast going on. There was a Passover. They had three major feasts that people were supposed to go to Jerusalem to observe.
One of them was Passover, but that wasn't the only one. There was the feast of booths or the feast of tabernacles or the feast of ingathering or Pentecost. Pentecost was one of those major festivals that people from all over the world were Jewish by religion had to come to Jerusalem.
God's timing is perfect. Man's understanding sometimes is not. Mark 14:25, Jesus at the institution of the Lord's Supper said, surely I say to you, I will no longer drink the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
After the establishment of the Church, there was a time when the apostles, when Jesus, was walking on the earth, they kept on asking things like when's the kingdom Solomon or David's kingdom coming back, when are you going to do that? Jesus basically tells them, it’s not for you to know what God's going to do. You follow what I'm telling you to do. The interesting thing, even all the way up to the Ascension, you read right before Jesus goes to heaven, and they're still asking them about that. Did you ever noticed after Acts, chapter two, that question never comes up again?
Why? Because the kingdom was established. They understood that. If you look at passages like Colossians, chapter 1:13 through 14, Revelation, chapter one, verse nine, look at those passages. The kingdom is in existence. It has been established.
Did God do it or not? To recap a little bit, you have the right men, all nations. They're all there. Acts one, verse eight. The right place is Jerusalem. the right time in the last days, incidentally. The last days. Some people say we're living in the last days. That's right. We're living in the last days. We've been living in the last days since Pentecost.
Some say, no, preacher, I'm talking about the last day. Oh, you mean the last day of the last days, right? Yeah. We don't know how many days are in the last days. Make sure you pay close attention to that in your reading.
We don't know when the last day is, but we do know we're a part of the last days. It's an important distinction to keep in mind. It's the right power, the Holy Spirit, the right message, repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins, the right name, Jesus Christ, the right audience, all nations. The Church was prophesied in chapter two of three books of the Old Testament and fulfilled in chapter two of one book of the New Testament. And you need to be able to explain that to people.
I hope I've made that very easy for you to do. Now, you may say, Well, David, I explain it to people, but they won't accept it. Your job is to explain it to them. It's their responsibility to accept it.
God has given us free will to make the decisions, but we will give an answer for the decisions that we make or do not make.
Do not allow people's refusal to obey the gospel or to listen, to be licensed for you to keep your mouth shut. You have to tell them. You have to tell them. Hopefully, some of these passages have been something that you can use to show people these fundamental truths. Thank you very much.
Where and when we meet
Chardon, Ohio 44024