2. In the world to come, all the church is together, but they are also assembled.
2. Visible universal – Catholics. These churches followed after because they rejected the truth of the Bible.
3. Invisible, universal – Protestants Reformers. These churches did not like the definition of the word “church” used by so called radicals to the right – which are Baptists (although they were called many different names), and they did not like the Catholic (universal) church, so they dubbed their universal church “invisible” instead of “visible”.
2. The word “Ekklesia” appears 116 times in the New Testament, 113 times it is translated “church” or “churches” and three times it is translated assembly:
b. All of these times concern the riot in the city of Ephesus over the supposed plot by Paul and the disciples to destroy the economy created by the manufacture of idols to the goddess Diana.
b. The word churches are always used when reference is made to more than one church.
b. Matthew 18:17 – singular.
c. Matthew 18:17 – singular.
d. Revelation 1:11 – plural.
e. Revelation 1:20 – plural.
f. Revelation 1:20 – plural.
g. Revelation 2:1 – singular.
h. Revelation 2:7 – plural.
i. Revelation 2:8 – singular.
j. Revelation 2:11 – plural.
k. Revelation 2:12 – singular.
l. Revelation 2:17 – plural.
m. Revelation 2:18 – singular.
n. Revelation 2:23 – plural.
o. Revelation 2:29 – plural.
p. Revelation 3:1 – singular.
q. Revelation 3:6 – plural.
r. Revelation 3:7 – singular.
s. Revelation 3:13 – plural.
t. Revelation 3:14 – singular.
u. Revelation 3:22 – plural.
v. Revelation 22:16 – plural.
2. It is the Greek word “hierosulos”, Strong’s number G2417, which means “Robbers of churches”.
3. This Greek word is only used one time in the entire Bible.
b. There is no such thing as one huge, visible, or invisible husband or wife.
c. All of these husbands and wives are local, and visible.
d. There is also no such thing as one huge, visible, or invisible church.
e. All these churches are local, visible, and singular.
f. There is no doubt in my mind that in eternity, God has a special place for all his churches, just like he has a special place for Israel.
g. In eternity all the church will be gathered together as one – but they will still be local and they will still be visible, just as Israel will be local and visible.
b. One is the general assembly – Israel.
c. The other is the church of the firstborn – the local churches of this earth put together in heaven.
2. Colossians 4:15 – “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.”
2. I believe it is important to study the form of the word “assembly” to clearly understand there is a difference between people gathering together and gathering together in church capacity.
b. Matthew 26:57 – And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. Here these hypocrites are gathered together to commence a illegal trial for the purpose of convicting Christ of being God.
c. Matthew 28:12 – And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, This assembly is also not a church, but a gathering together of people to determine a course of action.
d. Mark 14:53 – And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. These chief priests and elders and scribers were gathered together to consider how to kill Christ.
e. John 20:19 – Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. The early church is gathered together. The word “assembled” is much better than the word “church”, which does not make sense in the sentence.
f. Acts 1:4 – And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. Jesus is here gathered together with his church, which is an assembly, and gives them instructions.
g. Acts 4:31 – And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. This church was gathered together, and God blessed their assembly and the prayer they collectively prayed for strength.
h. Acts 11:26 – And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. These people did not “church” themselves together, but gathered together in an orderly assembly for the purpose of worshipping God.
i. Acts 15:25 – It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, James states in this letter that the church being assembled together have considered the issue at hand and gives the following advice.
j. Hebrews 10:25 – Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. This passage is clearly speaking of assembling (gathering together) in church capacity.
k. Hebrews 12:23 – To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
l. James 2:2 – For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; James did not use the word “church”, but the Greek “sunagoge”, which is also translated “synagogue”.
b. It must be that the invisible or visible universal church, all boards, associations, and conventions, have no word from God at all.
c. We ought to be careful what we put our stamp of approval on.
b. If an individual wants to receive instruction from God he must put himself in the place where instructions are given.
2. Verse 2 – The local church at Corinth is the recipient.
3. Verse 4 – Paul thanked God for that particular local church.
4. Verse 10-13 – Paul rebukes and instructs these baptized believers as a church, a local particular group of baptized believers in Corinth.
b. If the church is universal, visible or invisible, this command is impossible.
c. Many believe there are two churches – the big universal church and the small local church.
3. Acts 8:1 – “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.”
4. I Corinthians 4:17 – “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.”
5. I Corinthians 14:23 – “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?”
6. III John 9 – “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.”
7. I Tim. 3:5 – “(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
2. In order for the three thousand souls to be added to the church, the church had to already be in existence.
3. Verse 42 – Those who were joined to them continued with them in all things they already had.
b. They are obeying the will of God in giving themselves to the Lord, and to Paul.
c. It is also apparent they have already given themselves to one another, as they are all in the same church.
3. I Corinthians 5:12-13 – “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
b. God judges those outside the church, while the church judges those inside its membership.
c. The most severe punishment any church can give is to exclude a believer from its fellowship, which is also removing the umbrella of God’s protection from them.
B. The next step in obedience; after salvation, is scriptural baptism.
2. John 4:1-2 – Jesus taught his early church to baptize those who believed the gospel message.
3. Acts 2:38-47 – On the Day of Pentecost and afterward, the Jerusalem church baptized believers.
4. Acts 5:13 – The Bible records that some believers were not baptized, thus did not become members of the Lord’s church because they were afraid.
5. Acts 8:12 – Philip baptized these people into the membership of the church at Samaria.
6. Acts 16:25-34 – The Philippian jailer was baptized into the membership of the church at Philippi.
2. Acts 20:7 – This church observed the Lord’s Supper each Sunday.
3. A person who is not a member of a local Baptist church cannot take the Lord’s Supper with that particular body.
2. Verse 2 – The only ordinances that are recorded, as being observed by any of the churches of the New Testament, are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
3. Foot washing is never mentioned in the scriptures as being observed by any of the churches or the apostles in the New Testament.
2. Romans 16:17-20 – “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
b. If we would stay true to God’s doctrines, we must forsake the doctrines of men.
b. The supper was given only to churches, never to those outside the assembly.
c. There is a responsibility of the church to judge its own members of public sins and discipline any person who is ineligible to take the Lord’s Supper.
d. There is also a responsibility of each individual to judge himself of any secret sins, unknown to the congregation.
b. They must first get rid of the grudge; then take the Lord’s Supper.
c. Matthew 5:23,24 makes it abundantly clear that if we hold something against a brother, God will not accept our worship, whether this worship is in a regular worship service, daily prayers, or the Lord’s Supper.
6. I Corinthians 4:17 – “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” There are trials in this world if we serve God only, but the eternal benefits are well worth it all.
2. No one has the right to change His law concerning the church and its ordinances.
2. John 15:12 – “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
3. I John 4:21 – “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
4. I Thessalonians 4:2 – “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.”
5. II John 6 – “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”
6. Galatians 6:2 – “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
7. All the epistles.
2. Every member is saved for a purpose by God’s grace.
2. Spiritual gifts are not to be desired tin order to prove you are saved.
2. There is no such thing or person mentioned in the New Testament kind of churches as the “pope” of Roman Catholicism!
2. Acts 15:22 – “Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:”