Ecclesiology (Part Two)


ECCLESIOLOGY (Part two)

INTRO: In Review, Ecclesiology is the study of the Church of the Living God, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.

The Church was BIRTHED in Jerusalem. The Church was SPREAD THROUGH THE PERSECUTION OF THE SAINTS OF GOD. The CHURCH must be a PREACHING CHURCH:

JESUS CHRIST HAS THESE WORDS FOR US ALL.

Luk 14:23  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

AND WE MUST BE FRIENDLY TO ALL LOST BUT NOT TO CONFORM TO THEIR WAYS.

Mar 5:19  Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I.) The Church at ICONIUM:

This area was later called Konia and is now in modern day TURKEY. The Gospel is spreading.

Act 14:1  And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

There are some things that God hates, and there are some things that are abomination to Our Lord God. Listen to what He says and see what happened at this Church.

Pro 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

We must notice that (he that soweth discord among the brethren) is number seven and is an abomination to the Lord.

   a.) This Church was a SOUL WINNING CHURCH:

Act 14:1  And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, [that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed].

Our Lord God has these words for us:

Pro 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. 

We should GO OUT LOOKING FOR THE WOUNDED, THAT NONE BE LEFT BEHIND:

Eze 39:28  Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.

   b.) This Church took a public stand:

Act 14:2  But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
Act 14:3  Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

No Matter What Others May Say, We Have This Truth Of God:

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

   c.) There were great signs and wonders:

Act 14:3  Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and [granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands].

In our day we can be Disciples but The Apostles of Jesus though also Disciples were granted powers that none since them have NOR CAN HAVE!

Mat 10:1  And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Mat 10:2  Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Mat 10:3  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Mat 10:4  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

There are no more Apostles:

Act 1:15  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
Act 1:16  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Act 1:17  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
Act 1:18  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
Act 1:19  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
Act 1:20  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
Act 1:21  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Act 1:22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Act 1:23  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
Act 1:24  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
Act 1:25  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Act 1:26  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

There are none that fit this description in our day. The Apostle John had these words for us.

1Jn 1:1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
1Jn 1:2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
1Jn 1:3  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

You can see there ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BE ANY APOSTLES IN OUR DAY AND THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH APOSTLETIC POWERS. These men touched Jesus Christ. Jesus touches US ALL BUT WE CANNOT  TOUCH HIM UNTIL WE GET TO HEAVEN.

   d.) There is a reason for the bad things that happen to us all:

Act 14:4  But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
Act 14:5  And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
Act 14:6  They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
Act 14:7  And there they preached the gospel.

Notice through persecution of the saints of God, the Gospel was preached to others exactly when God wanted it to be Preached. God’s will was done.

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

   e.) The lessons we can learn from this Church:

(1) The Bible gives us EXAMPLES to learn by.

(2) It is BETTER TO BE SOUL WINNERS.

We cannot be ASHAMED TO BE A CHRISTIAN:

Mar 8:38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Rom 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

AND BLESSINGS COME TO THE FAITHFUL:

Pro 28:20  A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

Rev 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

II.) The Church at LYSTRA:

This was a ROMAN COLONY. This also is now in Modern Turkey. A Roman Colony was actually people that were transplanted from Rome itself. A Roman detachment would be assigned for their protection. As in any military town there are usually many evils and Lystra was an evil city. THESE PEOPLE WERE CONFUSED.

Act 14:6  They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:

   a.) This Church was organized by the Apostle Paul:

Act 14:12  And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.

   b.) This Church was a REJOICING Church:

Act 14:8  And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
Act 14:9  The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
Act 14:10  Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

God says:

Psa 47:1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Rejoicing in the Lord may not mean we are saved but GOD SAYS IT’S OK TO REJOICE AND EVEN COMMANDS IT.

Psa 98:4  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
Psa 98:5  Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
Psa 98:6  With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

COMPARE THESE VERSES:

Isa 55:12  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Luk 19:37  And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
Luk 19:38  Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
Luk 19:39  And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

AND JESUS SAID:

Luk 19:40  And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

   c.) Society is IGNORANT OF SPIRITUAL TRUTH:

Act 14:12  And [they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius], because he was the chief speaker.

These people thought Paul and Barnabas were Mythical gods. Notice that this belief came from and continues to come from those that WORSHIP THE HOST OF HEAVEN. (The muslim worship Allah, really the old moon god)(This comes from the days of Nimrod and The Tower of Babel).

Proof:

Deu 4:19  And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

Deu 17:2  If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
Deu 17:3  And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
Deu 17:4  And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:

Jer 8:2  And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

God will still give them up:

Act 7:42  Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?

   d.) THERE ARE DIFFERENCES IN HEARING:

Act 14:11  And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.

PAUL WAS PREACHING JESUS CHRIST, GOD IN THE FLESH. THESE PEOPLE WERE SO CONFUSED THEY THOUGHT PAUL AND BARNABUS WERE gods COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN. THEY DID NOT LISTEN TO WHAT PAUL PREACHED.

   e.) Most people are FICKLE:

Act 14:11  And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, [The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men].

IN THIS VERSE THESE PEOPLE HAD SUCH A HIGH OPINION OF PAUL THEY CALLED HIM A god.

Act 14:19  And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

IN THIS VERSE THESE SAME PEOPLE HAD STONED PAUL AND LEFT HIM FOR DEAD.

   f.) The Lessons we can learn from this church.

(1) If you are in the WILL OF GOD, YOU CAN EXPECT A FIGHT WITH THE DEVIL.

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

(2) DON’T FOCUS ON PEOPLE BUT ON GOD!

Psa 107:39  Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.

Psa 119:133  Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
Psa 119:134  Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.
Psa 119:135  Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.
Psa 119:136  Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

III.) The Church at PHILIPPI:

Act 16:11  Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;
Act 16:12  And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

The Macedonia call from The Holy Spirit to Paul:

Act 16:9  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Act 16:10  And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

We must follow the lead of The Holy Ghost.

THERE WAS NO JEWISH SYNAGOGUE IN PHILIPPI.

   a.) This Church was organized in the HOUSE OF LYDIA. SHE IS THE FIRST PERSON IN THE BIBLE THAT WAS SAVED IN WHAT WE NOW CALL EUROPE. The Gospel continues to spread around the world.

Act 16:14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
Act 16:15  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

   b.) Paul exposed the SOOTHSAYERS IN THIS CITY:

Act 16:16  And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Act 16:17  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Act 16:18  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Act 16:19  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Act 16:20  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
Act 16:21  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Act 16:22  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Act 16:23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Act 16:24  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

GOD HAS THESE WORDS:

Mic 5:12  And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:

   c.) REMEMBER THE EARTHQUAKES:

Act 16:25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Act 16:26  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Act 16:27  And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Act 16:28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Act 16:29  Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

ISAIAH HAS THESE WORDS:

Isa 29:5  Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
Isa 29:6  Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

REMEMBER THE CROSS ON CALVARY:

Mat 27:50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
Mat 27:51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
Mat 27:52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
Mat 27:53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Mat 27:54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

REMEMBER THE DAY OF RESURRECTION:

Mat 28:1  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Mat 28:2  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

THERE ARE FIVE EARTHQUAKES IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

FIVE IS THE NUMBER OF GRACE.

THE WORD EARTHQUAKE IS USED SEVEN TIMES IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

SEVEN IS THE NUMBER OF COMPLETION.

   d.) THE ENTIRE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS WAS WRITTEN TO THESE PEOPLE:

Php 1:1  Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

   e.) The Lessons we learned from this church:

(1) Bad things always have a purpose.

Paul beaten and thrown in jail.

Act 16:19  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Act 16:20  And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
Act 16:21  And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Act 16:22  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Act 16:23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Act 16:24  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Salvation comes to the jailer and his family.

Act 16:27  And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Act 16:28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Act 16:29  Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Act 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

(2.) EVERY PERSECUTION IS WORTH IT!

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

The Bible Says:

Psa 37:12  The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
Psa 37:13  The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
Psa 37:14  The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
Psa 37:15  Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
1Pe 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Amen

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