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When did the church begin?

Jim_Alaska

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When did the church begin? 

 

I think we would all agree that the English word “church” originates from the Greek word, “Ecclesia”. Without going into great detail I believe that we can also agree that this Greek word basically means “assembly.”

Ok, if we agree so far then we can move on to what assembly we are referring to when discussing the word, “Church.” I think it logical to begin with the promise of the church.

We find the promise here: Mat. 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

In this promise Jesus defines what church he is talking about; He said it would be his church and that he would build it. If we take Jesus at his word we can eliminate any other church, or assembly, if you will. We can also affirm that his church did not exist before this because the words “I will build” are in the future tense.

We find the first members of his church mentioned here” 1Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

We find that he chose these apostles here: Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.

Since the office of apostle is then a “church office,” we can safely say that when he chose the twelve this is the beginning of “his church.” There are many scriptures that show that his church was in existence during his personal ministry on earth. They do not show the time of the actual beginning, but they affirm that it existed at that time. There is no scripture that comes right out and says; “The church began at this time.”

There are many that think that the church began on the day of Pentecost. But a serious study will show that the church existed before Pentecost. I’ll just mention a few here. Jesus is with his disciples here as they partake of The Lord’s Supper: Mat. 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

 30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

He sang this hymn with them in the midst of the church: Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance.
Just the fact that they partook of The Lord’s Supper presupposes that there is a church in existence at this time.

The authority of disciples in church capacity was placed in the church during Christ's earthly ministry. Mat 18:15.  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

They had the church commission to preach the Gospel before Pentecost Mrk. 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Anyway, this part about the church before Pentecost is just a freebee. It doesn’t really speak to the issue of when the church was begun, but rather, when it wasn’t.



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Thank you for the fine study. I am glad that I belong to the Lord's assembly :grouphug: (church).

It is also refreshing for you to bring out 1 Corinthians 12:28 (most folks forget this verse). :thumb:

God bless!

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4 hours ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

My church started in the 70s ;)

Jordan, if I am reading your reply correctly you may need to brush up on church perpetuity. Just because your church started in the 70's does not mean it is not the Lord's church.

Church perpetuity works this way; A church sponsors a mission work, or sends out a missionary. Once a mission is established and grounded they petition their sending church to be organized into a New Testament Church.

An organization service is held, after which the mission work is then a totally Independent New Testament Church. In this manner the church that Jesus built is perpetuated down through the years.

Incidentally, the book, "The Church That Jesus Built", is a must read for all Independent Baptists.

God bless you as you serve Him.

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54 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Jordan, if I am reading your reply correctly you may need to brush up on church perpetuity. Just because your church started in the 70's does not mean it is not the Lord's church.

Church perpetuity works this way; A church sponsors a mission work, or sends out a missionary. Once a mission is established and grounded they petition their sending church to be organized into a New Testament Church.

An organization service is held, after which the mission work is then a totally Independent New Testament Church. In this manner the church that Jesus built is perpetuated down through the years.

Incidentally, the book, "The Church That Jesus Built", is a must read for all Independent Baptists.

God bless you as you serve Him.

I know brother. I just felt like expressing some humor. It was a joke.

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The First Baptist Church of Jerusalem began on the shores of Galilee when Jesus called his first disciples to follow him.

 

 "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him." - Matthew 4:18-22

 

The first two disciples following Christ met the biblical definition of a New Testament Church, so it technically began with verses 19 and 20.

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These two disciples do not meet the definition of a church Sure, they were followers, but not a church. The church began when Jesus called out his Apostles as the scripture says. 

1Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

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Swath, Paul the Apostle plainly said that Apostles were placed in the church first.  1Cor. 12:28  

We see this when Jesus chose the twelve:  Lu 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

I believe I know what you are thinking, but if you could provide scripture showing these two comprising the church it would help

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That's right Jim, those first four men are the first Apostles, saved and baptized believers covenanted together to grow in grace and spread the good news and they had the greatest preacher of them all too!

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My only addition is that whilst the Lord did say "I will build my church" this does not necessarily mean that the church wasn't already in existence.

For instance, I am in the middle of building a house. An enemy comes to me and says "You will never finish that house". To which I may rightly enough reply "I will build my house sir, and your discouragement will not stop me".

You see, whilst the building is not yet finished the phrase "I will build my house" can be used in reference to the completion of the task, not necessarily only to the beginning of the task.

Aside from that one minor point, I agree with study. Thanks!

Edited by DaveW

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Acts clearly to me records the start of the first church at Pentecost. The Lord had risen and poured out the Spirit, elders were established and the assembly was visible and local for the first time. Couldn't have been prior to this because no assembly of believers were based anywhere prior to this nor were any elders established and left behind to lead. The Lord and His Apostles were traveling town to town. IE, to think that the first NT church was before Pentecost is to believe in the universal "church" and not the local NT church as being "the Church".

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Pentecost was the empowering of the already existing church. The disciples were instructed to wait for this empowering. The church was already in existence at pentecost.

The following are some scriptural evidences that the Church did not begin in the days of Abraham, or on the day of Pentecost, but rather during Christ's earthly ministry. The Church clearly existed before the day of Pentecost.

1. Jesus Christ said, "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18) which He did during His earthly ministry.

2. The authority of disciples was placed in the church during Christ's earthly ministry (Matt. 18:15-19).

3. Jesus sang the praises of God "in the midst of the church" (Heb. 2:12; Matt. 26:30).

4. They had a commission to preach the Gospel before Pentecost (Matt. 10:5-7).

5. They had "the keys of the kingdom of heaven", and these were given to His church (Matt. 16:18-19).

6. They were baptized believers before Pentecost (Matt. 3:5-6; Jn. 4:1).

7. They had authority to baptize before Pentecost (Jn. 4:1; Matt. 28:18-20).

8. There was an ordination service before Pentecost (Mk. 3:13-14).

9. There were apostles before Pentecost; and the office of apostle was a church office (Eph. 4:11; I Cor. 12:28; Lk. 6:12-13).

10. They had a church roll of 120 members before Pentecost (Acts 1:15).

11. They had the Great Commission before Pentecost (Matt. 28:18-20).

12. About 3000 were added unto His church roll on the day of Pentecost; You cannot add to something that does not already exist Acts 2:41).

13. They had a business meeting before Pentecost (Acts 1:23-26).

14. They had a church treasurer before Pentecost (Jn. 13:29).

15. The ordinance of the Lord's Supper was instituted and observed before Pentecost (Matt. 26:26-30).

 

"... that he went into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day he called unto him his disciples and of them he chose twelve whom he named apostles. --- Luke 6:12-13.

"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles. --- I Corinthians 12:28.

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49 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Pentecost was the empowering of the already existing church. The disciples were instructed to wait for this empowering. The church was already in existence at pentecost.

The following are some scriptural evidences that the Church did not begin in the days of Abraham, or on the day of Pentecost, but rather during Christ's earthly ministry. The Church clearly existed before the day of Pentecost.

This depends totally on what you are referring to as "the Church" Jim.  Your evidence below applies mainly to the universal church. That is the "church" that God sees. However, the local NT church began at Pentecost.

I do believe that both the universal and the local NT church exists and both are absolutely Scriptural. The universal church is the one that God sees but we cannot. The local NT church is the one we see, join and serve the Lord on earth in and through.

 

1. Jesus Christ said, "I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18) which He did during His earthly ministry.

Indicating the Church was not built yet so this is not evidence of an existing local NT church Jim. However it could be referring to the future first local NT church Peter lead. Of which all others got their start from (hence the Lord's usage of MY CHURCH)

 

2. The authority of disciples was placed in the church during Christ's earthly ministry (Matt. 18:15-19).

Verse 20 explains the context of our Lord's passage here Jim. Not referring to a local NT church as we know it since the Lord says where two or three are gathered, He is in the midst. This refers more to His universal church and not an organized local NT church with offices.

 

3. Jesus sang the praises of God "in the midst of the church" (Heb. 2:12; Matt. 26:30).

The Hebrews passage refers to the universal church again. The second passage is not relevant to this conversation.

 

4. They had a commission to preach the Gospel before Pentecost (Matt. 10:5-7).

Irrelevant to the conversation IMO. But if you insist it is then it is obviously referring to the universal church that only God can see again, not the local NT church

 

5. They had "the keys of the kingdom of heaven", and these were given to His church (Matt. 16:18-19).

Universal reference again, not a local NT church, with offices and stationary, etc.

 

6. They were baptized believers before Pentecost (Matt. 3:5-6; Jn. 4:1).

Irrelevant to the conversation IMO

 

7. They had authority to baptize before Pentecost (Jn. 4:1; Matt. 28:18-20).

Also irrelevant to the conversation (as with 6. above the practice of believers baptism later became a local church ordinance but in no way proves a local NT church existed at this time) there is no other evidence that would indicate it in the context.

 

8. There was an ordination service before Pentecost (Mk. 3:13-14).

Same as 6 and 7 above

 

9. There were apostles before Pentecost; and the office of apostle was a church office (Eph. 4:11; I Cor. 12:28; Lk. 6:12-13).

Same as 6, 7 and 8 above

 

10. They had a church roll of 120 members before Pentecost (Acts 1:15).

2 or 3 assembled together or 120, the Lord was in the midst of them at the time but still no evidence of a local NT church with offices "yet" but read a little further and you will see this was the base from which the first NT local church started from on the day of Pentecost.

 

11. They had the Great Commission before Pentecost (Matt. 28:18-20).

Same as all above.

 

12. About 3000 were added unto His church roll on the day of Pentecost; You cannot add to something that does not already exist Acts 2:41).

The 120 was the base that this passage references as you brought up in point number 10.

 

13. They had a business meeting before Pentecost (Acts 1:23-26).

See 12.

 

14. They had a church treasurer before Pentecost (Jn. 13:29).

LOL

 

15. The ordinance of the Lord's Supper was instituted and observed before Pentecost (Matt. 26:26-30).

As with baptism, the Lord demonstrated what local NT churches were to do after His departure. In no way is this evidence that a local NT church existed at the time.

 

"... that he went into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day he called unto him his disciples and of them he chose twelve whom he named apostles. --- Luke 6:12-13.

"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles. --- I Corinthians 12:28.

I think your contextual interpretation is off on this one Jim. IMO this means they are the first officers or the first elders or leaders of the first NT local church started on Pentecost. All subsequent offices in this list were not a chronological role call of who got saved or joined the church next but a rank order per say in church offices.

 

 

Edited by wretched

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Wretched,

I have to wonder just what kind of Independent Baptist Church you attend. Independent Baptists have, always denied the existence of a universal church.

I don't appreciate you putting words in my mouth; I have never believed in a universal church, no such church is mentioned in Scripture.

You deny almost every point I made, but provide no scripture to back your claims.

Two or three gathered together is not a church. Jesus did promise to be in their midst, but this is not teaching that they were a church. You and I can gather together for something such as prayer or soul winning, this does not make us a church. We would even be from different churches, so this is not (A) church.

I stand by every point in my devotion and have taught this for almost forty years in different Independent Baptist Churches.

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14 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Wretched,

I have to wonder just what kind of Independent Baptist Church you attend. Independent Baptists have, always denied the existence of a universal church.

To be frank with you I can't remember anyone preaching on this type of subject in the 20 some IFB churches I have been a member of throughout the world.  How many IFB churches have you been a member of Jim? And did they specifically care about this topic? I am guessing so since you made this statement. Just because the churches you have known have preached on it, doesn't make it correct or even Scriptural for one and for two it certainly doesn't speak to what other IFB churches preach on it. Although let me reiterate that I have never actually heard anyone preach on it either for or against.

I don't appreciate you putting words in my mouth; I have never believed in a universal church, no such church is mentioned in Scripture.

Quite the contrary Jim. Most of the Scriptures you site as when the local NT church began reference no actual NT local church (if so what town was it in??) so you are either claiming a universal church exists or you are misinterpreting the Scriptures: Which is it?

You deny almost every point I made, but provide no scripture to back your claims.

The Scriptures taken in context that you site as evidence denies your associated commentary with them Jim as I state in each denial. I was simply checking your Scripture in context.

Two or three gathered together is not a church. Jesus did promise to be in their midst, but this is not teaching that they were a church. You and I can gather together for something such as prayer or soul winning, this does not make us a church. We would even be from different churches, so this is not (A) church.

In your previous point #2 you use Matt 18:15-19 as evidence that the local NT church existed during Christ's earthly ministry. Verse 20 in that context (the very next verse) reveals that our Lord was referenced when 2 or 3 people are gathered, He is in the midst. Doesn't say the First Baptist of Jerusalem or give any other location. Nor does any of your other points "evidence" EXCEPT when we get to Acts and Pentecost and the first local NT church ever recorded in Scripture in Jerusalem. After this point in Scripture, every single local NT church is NAMED Jim (think about it). Prior to that Jesus referred to all believers everywhere as His Church or Flock or Fold.

I stand by every point in my devotion and have taught this for almost forty years in different Independent Baptist Churches.

And this somehow makes it accurate? That is the problem with traditions of men my friend. Anybody can fall into it.

I think the problem that came about over the liberals using the term universal church is that they don't understand that it only exists to God. Only Jesus can see all His people at once spread out over the globe. The liberals use the term to excuse attendance, giving and working for the Lord at a local NT church. However, just because some seriously in sin Christians and/or religious lost people misuse the term doesn't make it anathema.

When Jesus was here He always referenced all believers as His Church or His Flock or His Fold because that is what all of us are to Him. He establish the local NT church with it offices and ordinances for our growth, service, protection and edification AFTER His departure at the same time He sent His Spirit as our Comforter.

We can disagree, no biggy

 

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6 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

 

Pentecost was the empowering of the already existing church.

 

Wretched misses all the actions taken by the members of the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem, they were fully set up and functional and even voted in a new member before Pentecost.  

Ruckmanites believe in the universal, invisible church.  Wretched's is wrong again and the church was already in existence when the Lord talked about Peter, the rock and the building of his church.  Jesus said HE would build the church, and he did so during his earthly ministry.  Pentecost was just the Holy Ghost empowering the church as He did with the tabernacle and temple.  It's not that complicated folks.

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52 minutes ago, swathdiver said:

Wretched misses all the actions taken by the members of the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem, they were fully set up and functional and even voted in a new member before Pentecost.  

Ruckmanites believe in the universal, invisible church.  Wretched's is wrong again and the church was already in existence when the Lord talked about Peter, the rock and the building of his church.  Jesus said HE would build the church, and he did so during his earthly ministry.  Pentecost was just the Holy Ghost empowering the church as He did with the tabernacle and temple.  It's not that complicated folks.

Study Acts 1 and 2 more closely and you will see that you are wrong with this notion that the church was established with elders, ordinances, discipline, or anything else before our Lord's ascension and the day of Pentecost. The local NT church organized and became functional afterwards, not before. BTW, they voted on a new Apostle to replace Judas in chapter one not a church member?? Mattias was already present and numbered with the 120 which was obviously of the flesh and not of God. They jumped the gun without any authority. Only God chose Apostles. But how could they know any better, they were still unregenerate at the time. Just 40 days before they were down in the dumps, broken and broken hearted over our Lord's death. They had no clue what the Lord's mission on earth had been at all.

This ruckamite nonsense gets old guy and seems to be your only argument (with everyone who bothers to entertain your arguments) whenever you can't understand Scripture. Most of the time I doubt you have any idea who ruckman or any other person is whom you reference when you are over your head.

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No Wretched, the matter is settled forever with me, I don't need to study that again.  You take the hyper-dispensational line which I reject completely as heresy.  I studied Ruckmanite teachings for several years and found them at odds with God's Word, I must reject them too as heresy.  But don't get me wrong, even a broken clock is right twice a day.  The Apostles were unregenerate?  Now that's a new one!

The Apostles were the original church members.  Jim and I can disagree as to which verse shows the beginning of Christ's New Testament, Local, Visible, Church but neither of us is deceived into believing of a Catholic or Universal and Invisible (Protestant) church.  

One thing I've noticed with these Ruckmanites, for the most part they're quite prideful and sincere in their belief that they can better "Rightly Divide" the scriptures than the average ho-hum baptist.  Now if they'd only follow Paul and humble themselves.  Ruckman was a deceived man who attempted to apply Protestant church/bible doctrines with the King James Bible within Independent Baptists; another bridge builder to the one world church.   

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12 hours ago, swathdiver said:

No Wretched, the matter is settled forever with me, I don't need to study that again.  You take the hyper-dispensational line which I reject completely as heresy.  I studied Ruckmanite teachings for several years and found them at odds with God's Word, I must reject them too as heresy.  But don't get me wrong, even a broken clock is right twice a day.  The Apostles were unregenerate?  Now that's a new one!

Read John 14: 13-19 & 25,26; then read John 15:25, 26; then John 16: 7-12; then Luke 22:31-35 and then think to yourself for a moment. When could this comforter coming event have happened within the remainder of the Bible? No other place than Acts chapter 2. The Spirit's pouring out is obviously far more crucial than simply "empowering the church".

Have you ever wondered why Peter denied the Lord 3 times, cursing and swearing? Ever wonder why all of His disciples lost all hope at His crucifixion, ran and hid? Seems unfathomable to a regenerated, sealed believer who possesses the Spirit of Truth in them, doesn't it. And these were His chosen Apostles to boot. It is because their faith was temporary and dependent upon sight and signs and miracles from God as throughout the OT. They were not converted, regenerated or sealed until the day of Pentecost. That is when all believers became born again, immediately there in the assembly and as the newly born Christians spread the Spirit spread with them and all who believed were regenerated from that point on. That is when the local church in Jerusalem cut the tape, that is when the followers began to truly understand the truth, that is when the world was turned upside down and not one second before it.

One thing I've noticed with these Ruckmanites, for the most part they're quite prideful and sincere in their belief that they can better "Rightly Divide" the scriptures than the average ho-hum baptist.  Now if they'd only follow Paul and humble themselves.  Ruckman was a deceived man who attempted to apply Protestant church/bible doctrines with the King James Bible within Independent Baptists; another bridge builder to the one world church.  

These are commonalities between all "ites". They are incapable of independent worship, study and decision making. I am nearly certain that most of these "ites" of any persuasion are what the Lord referred to as tares mixed into the wheat. They worship and serve the creature (pastors) more than the Creator. They care what the pastors and church members think of them more than the Lord. 

 

 

Edited by wretched

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Hmmm -

Great Commission was given before Pentecost. (Matt 28:18-20)

Lord's supper was established before Pentecost. (Matt 26:26-29)

Church discipline was established before Pentecost. (Matt 18:15-17)

Are these all church things, or things applicable to ONLY believers and not the church at all?

Church discipline is something that happens WITHIN a church - what would be the point to Jesus giving this instruction if there was no way to apply it? Seems a bit random....

Is the Lord's Supper a church ordinance or an ordinance to be done by any believer outside of the church?

Great Commission? Teach (people to become a follower of Christ), Baptise(?), then teach them how to honour the Lord and live for Him.

Anyone can show someone how to be saved - fair enough.

Who has the authority to baptise? Anyone, or a (local) church? Is baptism a church ordinance or is it not?

Who is equipped to teach others? Do we see this sort of teaching anywhere else?

2Ti 2:2  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

All of these things are Church ordinances and commands, and ALL WERE GIVEN BEFORE PENTENCOST.

Why so much instruction about how a church works and what a church should do, if there was no such thing in existence?

And why do we not see the disciples question the Lord about "This church thing that you speak of"? Maybe because they knew exactly what a church was.

And to say because they had no place to call home they couldn't be a church is a bit silly.

The church that I used to attend a few years ago met for one service in a high school, another service in a primary school about 10 miles away in a different town, and sometimes in people's houses because other places were not available - were we only as church when we could use our regular venue?

I had always thought that a church was defined by being a group of saved people who were joined together by baptism to serve and honour the Lord in an organised fashion.

Normally (but not always) that group had a Pastor, and an organised structure and service.

Well, the 12 had a Pastor (Jesus), they had an organised structure (Judas was the treasurer), they were all as far as we can tell baptised, and they were joined together to serve and honour the Lord. They didn't have a building, but so what?

How is this not a church by anyone's standard? That it is not specifically NAMED as a church is somewhat irrelevant - it has all the attributes of a church.

And there was much specific instruction and command given to that church.

If the church started at Pentecost, then baptism, the Lord's supper, and church discipline ALL were not given to the church, and all are not under the authority of the church, simply because when these were established or commanded the church (by that estimation) was not in existence to receive such.

Universal church? Not in the Bible. The Lord talks about "all saints", the "household of God" and a few other terms that include every saved person regardless of where they are, but the term "church" is never clearly applied to that group.

But to say that Jim is talking universal because he believes in a church without a building?????? Nonsense.

(This was meant to be a short statement, but it grew....... :lol: )

 

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As has occurred in past discussions between Brother "Wretched" and myself, I am compelled to disagree with his position that the apostles were not regenerated until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

In John 17 our Lord Jesus Christ delivered a prayer unto the Father on the night before His crucifixion.  Within that prayer in John 17:14-16, our Lord made the following statement concerning His disciples, "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."  Twice in this passage our Lord declared that His disciples were not of (that is -- out of as a source) this world in the same manner as He Himself was not of this world.

So then, in what manner was our Lord Jesus Christ not out of this world?  We find the answer in John 8:23-24, 39-47.  In this passage our Lord Jesus Christ engaged in a discussion of rebuke against the Pharisees and scribes.  In John 8:23 He declared in rebuke unto them, "Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world."  Herein our Lord delivered two parallel statements of contrast.  Against the Pharisees and scribes, He proclaimed that they were "from beneath" and that they were "of this world."  As such, we can conclude that to be "of this world" means also to be "from beneath."  However, in contrast our Lord proclaimed that He Himself was "from above" and "not of this world."  As such, we can conclude that to be "not of the world" just as our Lord was "not of the world" means to be "from above" instead.  Even so, since the disciples were "not of the world" as the Lord was "not of the world," they were instead "from above" as He was "from above."  So then, what is the only way for a lost sinner to be "from above"?  Answer -- to be "born of God," to be "born again."

Furthermore, in John 8:42 our Lord Jesus Christ declared in rebuke against the Pharisees and scribes, "If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me."  As such, we can further conclude that to be "of this world" means, not only to be "from beneath," but also to not possess God as one's heavenly Father.  Again in the opening portion of John 8:44, our Lord Jesus Christ declared in rebuke against them, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."  As such, we can further conclude that to be "of this world" means to be "from beneath," to not possess God as one's heavenly Father, but to possess the devil as one's spiritual father.  Finally, in John 8:47 our Lord Jesus Christ declared in rebuke against them, "He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."  As such, we can further conclude that to be "of this world" is to not be "of God."

Yet our Lord Jesus Christ was "not of this world," but was "from above" (as per His declaration in John 8:23).  Even so, He was the spiritual opposite of these Pharisees and scribes against which He was delivering His rebuke.  He was indeed "of God," and God the Father was indeed His heavenly Father.  In like manner, His disciples, who were "not of the world" just as He was "not of the world," must also have been indeed "of God" with God the Father as their heavenly Father.  So then again, what is the only way for a lost sinner to be "of God" with God the Father as his or her heavenly Father?  Answer -- to be "born of God," to be "born again."  In fact, to deny that they were "born of God" is to deny every occasion wherein our Lord Jesus Christ referred to the Father as their heavenly Father.

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4 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

As has occurred in past discussions between Brother "Wretched" and myself, I am compelled to disagree with his position that the apostles were not regenerated until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

In John 17 our Lord Jesus Christ delivered a prayer unto the Father on the night before His crucifixion.  Within that prayer in John 17:14-16, our Lord made the following statement concerning His disciples, "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."  Twice in this passage our Lord declared that His disciples were not of (that is -- out of as a source) this world in the same manner as He Himself was not of this world.

So then, in what manner was our Lord Jesus Christ not out of this world?  We find the answer in John 8:23-24, 39-47.  In this passage our Lord Jesus Christ engaged in a discussion of rebuke against the Pharisees and scribes.  In John 8:23 He declared in rebuke unto them, "Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world."  Herein our Lord delivered two parallel statements of contrast.  Against the Pharisees and scribes, He proclaimed that they were "from beneath" and that they were "of this world."  As such, we can conclude that to be "of this world" means also to be "from beneath."  However, in contrast our Lord proclaimed that He Himself was "from above" and "not of this world."  As such, we can conclude that to be "not of the world" just as our Lord was "not of the world" means to be "from above" instead.  Even so, since the disciples were "not of the world" as the Lord was "not of the world," they were instead "from above" as He was "from above."  So then, what is the only way for a lost sinner to be "from above"?  Answer -- to be "born of God," to be "born again."

Furthermore, in John 8:42 our Lord Jesus Christ declared in rebuke against the Pharisees and scribes, "If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me."  As such, we can further conclude that to be "of this world" means, not only to be "from beneath," but also to not possess God as one's heavenly Father.  Again in the opening portion of John 8:44, our Lord Jesus Christ declared in rebuke against them, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."  As such, we can further conclude that to be "of this world" means to be "from beneath," to not possess God as one's heavenly Father, but to possess the devil as one's spiritual father.  Finally, in John 8:47 our Lord Jesus Christ declared in rebuke against them, "He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."  As such, we can further conclude that to be "of this world" is to not be "of God."

Yet our Lord Jesus Christ was "not of this world," but was "from above" (as per His declaration in John 8:23).  Even so, He was the spiritual opposite of these Pharisees and scribes against which He was delivering His rebuke.  He was indeed "of God," and God the Father was indeed His heavenly Father.  In like manner, His disciples, who were "not of the world" just as He was "not of the world," must also have been indeed "of God" with God the Father as their heavenly Father.  So then again, what is the only way for a lost sinner to be "of God" with God the Father as his or her heavenly Father?  Answer -- to be "born of God," to be "born again."  In fact, to deny that they were "born of God" is to deny every occasion wherein our Lord Jesus Christ referred to the Father as their heavenly Father.

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12 hours ago, wretched said:

Brother "Wretched,"

As I have indicated before in relation to this disagreement between us, I believe that you have a wrong premise in this matter of doctrine -- in that you view the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit as being inseparably joined together.

Certainly, John 14:13-19, 25-26; John 15:25-27; and John 16:7-16 all speak concerning the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit.  As such, they speak concerning the comforting work, the relational work (of spiritual fellowship with the Father and the Son), the teaching work, the testifying work, the empowering work (for faithful witnessing), the guiding work, and the glorifying work which is involved in the Holy Spirit's indwelling work.  However, none of these passages specifically references the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.  Rather, the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is specifically referenced in John 3:3-21, wherein the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit is not at all referenced. 

Therefore, all of the differences between us on this matter flow out of the difference in this premise -- whether the regenerating work and indwelling work of the Holy Spirit are inseparably joined, or whether the regenerating work and indwelling work of the Holy Spirit are distinctly different. 

(Note: Although I believe that the regenerating work and indwelling work of the Holy Spirit are distinctly different, I do recognize that for the church age since the day of Pentecost the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit does indeed initiate the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit for the New Testament believer.  However, because I believe that the regenerating work and indwelling work of the Holy Spirit are distinctly different, I can further believe that Old Testament believers were indeed regenerated by the work of the Holy Spirit without ever receiving the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit at all, and that this could also be true for the Lord's disciples before the day of Pentecost.)

Concerning Luke 22:31-35, I have also indicated before in relation to this disagreement between us my belief that you have a wrong premise concerning the Biblical usage for the word "convert."  You appear to believe that the word "convert" is only used Biblically for the work of eternal salvation.  However, I have contended in the past that the word "convert" simply means to turn back from a wrong path, and that it is used Biblically both in relation to unbelievers coming to eternal salvation through repentance and faith and in relation to believers coming to restored fellowship through repentance and faith.

In James 5:19-20 God's Word uses the word "covert" in relation to a believer, saying, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."  Herein the one who needs to be converted is one who has erred "from the truth."  Furthermore, this one who has erred "from the truth" is defined as one of those whom James calls "brethren."  James is speaking to fellow believers concerning one of them as believers erring "from the truth" and needing to be converted (turned) back "from the error of his way" unto a restored walk in the way of truth.  (As such, James 5:19-20 would be speaking concerning the same need as Galatians 6:1.)  Finally, if a fellow believer is able to convert the sinning believer "from the error of his way," then that believer will have saved the sinning believer, not from the judgment of hell, but from the Lord's chastening unto death; and thereby he shall "hide a multitude of sins" from occurring in the sinning believer's life by turning him back from the way of sin and thus preventing him from further engagement in sin.

Brother "Wretched," concerning your indication that there is no point in arguing, you are correct that neither of us will move from our doctrinal position in this matter until one or the other of us changes on the points of doctrinal premise.  However, for the sake of the audience, I still believe that there may be a need for a Biblical presentation to combat what I believe is false doctrine on your part (just as I expect that you might choose to do in relation to what you believe is false doctrine on my part).

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle

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