The church originated not in the mind or imagination of man but, rather, in the mind of the infinitely wise God. In fact, man, left to his creations, could not have created such an institution. Jeremiah, the great prophet of old, proclaimed, "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps" (Jeremiah 10:23).
After sitting at the Lord's feet for perhaps three and one half years, His chosen apostles still did not understand the idea of the establishment of the church. In ignorance, they asked, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). He answered, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:7-8). When the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2:1-4), they, with one accord, preaching the Gospel, baptized the multitudes, and the "Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47).
The establishment of the church was not dependent upon the wisdom of men. The apostles preached only what was given to them by the Holy Spirit. The church was established on the first Pentecost after the death of Christ (A. D. 33). Therefore, as to the date of its establishment, the church in which we claim membership must have had its beginning in A. D. 33. Churches such as the Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc. have much later dates of establishment: hundreds of years even more than a thousand years after Pentecost. What conclusion must be reached in light of this information? These churches and all others with like dates of establishment cannot be the true church of Christ.
Furthermore, the church was designed and built by that great Architect, Jesus the Christ. He stated, "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock (Peter's rock-bed confession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Mt. 16:16) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" Mt. 16:18). The wise man wrote, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalm 127:1). The Lord adds the saved to His church (Acts 2:47). Just as it is the case with the establishment date, so it is with its builder. If a respective church was built or established by man, it cannot be the true church of Christ!
Additionally, the church must have been established in Jerusalem. Isaiah the prophet revealed this truth nearly seven hundred years before its establishment. He wrote, "... For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2:3b). Acts chapter two that great hub of the Bible records the place of establishment to be, indeed, Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-5ff). Present-day denominational churches have been established in a multitude of places, including the United States. What, then, are we to conclude about these churches? They cannot be the true church of Christ!
The original church, established by authority from God (Mt. 28:18), on the first Pentecost after the Lord's death, built by the Son of God (Mt. 16:18), beginning in Jerusalem, was given everything necessary for its existence and perpetuation. Peter wrote, "... as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge (Bible) of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (2 Pet. 1:3). The church is "complete in Him" (Col. 2:10). The Bible, our only creed Book, completely furnishes man unto every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The church is, indeed, divine in origin! 69 East Thistle Dr., New Martinsville, WV 26155.
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