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|The place of its establishment is a matter of prophecy|
|How can one start a New Testament Church in a given community?|
1. If a person should be a member of some church that was founded in Texas, Canada, China, London, etc., he cannot claim membership in the Church of Christ, for the Church of Christ was not founded (or did not have it's beginning) in any of these places.
2. No one can be a member of the scriptural Church unless he is a member of the Church founded at the scriptural place.
3. Let us consider an important identifying trait of the Church, by noticing the place of it's establishment.
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I. THE PLACE OF IT'S ESTABLISHMENT IS A MATTER OF PROPHECY.
A. Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (KJV)
* From this text we learn:
1. The key thought is the establishment of the Lord's house. 2. It would be established in the last days 3. All nations shall have access into it. 4. It is identified as the house of God. 5. In it people will be taught His ways and walk in His paths. 6. It would be established in Jerusalem. 7. The law and the word of the Lord would go forth from Jerusalem.
* We learn from the following text that the house of God is the Church of the Living God:
1Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (KJV)
* This text contains the same prophecy:
Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (KJV)
B. Zech 1:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. (KJV)
* The previous text clearly says that the Lord's house will be built in Jerusalem.
C. The kingdom was to come with power.
1. Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. (KJV)
2. 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. (KJV)
* From the previous text, the power was to come with the Holy Spirit.
3. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (KJV)
* From this text, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost.
4. Therefore, the kingdom came on Pentecost.
D. The location where the church or kingdom would be established
1. The kingdom would be established in the same city the law or the word of the Lord would go forth from.
2. The word of the Lord would go forth from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (KJV)
Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (KJV)
3. Thus, the church or kingdom had it's beginning in Jerusalem.
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II. HOW CAN ONE START A NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH IN A GIVEN COMMUNITY?
A. Suppose I was living in a community or city where there was not a New Testament Church, how would I go about starting one?
B. One could start a Church of Christ in any given society, city, or community, by sowing the same seed the Apostles sowed on Pentecost when the Church was established.
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (KJV)
Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (KJV)
C. Since the Church is made up of the saved.
Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (KJV)
* And people are saved by obedience to the Gospel:
Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (KJV) 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (KJV)
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (KJV)
* Then when people hear the Gospel and obey it, they become members of the Church of Christ. Then can meet regularly:
Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (KJV)
* Following the New Testament teaching on the organization, worship ect. of the Church and thereby form a local congregation in any community.
D. Only by preaching the pure, simple and unadulterated Gospel of Christ can people be saved and the true Church of Christ spring forth.
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1. The beginning place of the Church is important, because if a Church has it's origin any where but Jerusalem, it is not the Church that was built by Jesus Christ.
2. Let each of us take heed concerning the kind of seed being planted, and see to it that we all are planting the same seed, the Word of God.
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