The Church’s Eternal Purpose in Human Redemption

Doug Post

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Gen. 3:15)

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph. 3:10-11).

The Plan of human redemption is the Great Theme of the Bible. After mankind had fallen from his exalted estate, God gave a promise of salvation as noted above (Gen.3:15). This is called the protoevangelium or first gospel, i.e., the first good news—the first ray of hope given in the Bible for the remedy for sin.

The Patriarchal Period

The Age of the Fathersthe Age God spoke to the Fathers. There are at least seven identifying distinctions of the Patriarchal Period:

  1. No written law

  2. No designated day of worship

  3. No specified place of worship

  4. Animal Sacrifices offered

  5. Fathers served as priest for the family

  6. Nomadic people building altars wherever they went

  7. Saved by grace, faith, and law

There were ten generations from Adam to Noah as found in Genesis 5: (1) Adam (2) Seth (3) Enosh (4) Cainan (5) Mahalalel (6) Jared (7) Enoch (8) Methuselah (9) Lamech (10) Noah.

Mankind lived much longer during this period, but also became very corrupt and God was “sorry” for having made man (Gen. 6:6) and decided to destroy all life upon the earth by a great flood. However, Noah found favor (grace) in the eyes of the Lord. God commissioned Noah to build an ark which saved Noah and his family, the only eight souls on the earth. Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives.

After the flood waters receded and the earth had been purified, those eight souls came out of the ark. They began to replenish the earth. Every person on earth is a descendent of Noah through one of his three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Japheth had seven sons: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. They became known as the “Coastland People” or “Isles of the Gentiles” (Gen. 10:5). Essentially, they settled in Europe, but especially in western Europe as they began to migrate and settle. Most of the white skinned people in the world come from this group.

Ham had four sons: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. Cush is another name for Ethiopia. Mizraim is another name for Egypt. Put is synonymous with Lybia. Canaan is associated with the land of Canaan. Most of the darker skinned people in the world come from this group.

Shem had five sons: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. Elam became known as Persia or Iran. There were Elamites in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. Asshur became Assyria. Arphaxad became the Chaldeans. Lud became the Lydians in Asia Minor. Aram became the Arameans know as Syria today.

Here we see how world geography and the races of mankind originated and unfolded, which is certainly corroborated by world history. Actually, the Bible corroborates world history.

The focus of the Bible is now placed upon the family of Shem and his descendants. The genealogies of all the peoples of the world is not necessary because emphasis is now directed to a certain lineage of people from which our Lord Jesus Christ came.

There are ten generations from Adam to Noah and ten generations from Noah to Abraham: Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Selug, Reu, Nahor, Terah, Abram. Abraham then bore a son, Isaac, who was the “son of promise.” Isaac bore a son named Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel. And he had twelve sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.

The Mosaic Period

Those 12 sons were the progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel. They went down into Egypt because there was a famine in the land. Joseph had been, previously, sold into slavery. This is how the Jacob or Israel’s family got into the land of Egypt. At this time Joseph was close to Pharaoh, rising to great stature and prestige among the people of Egypt. However, the Bible tells us there arose another Pharaoh who did not know Joseph (Exo. 1:8).

The twelve sons (tribes) of Jacob (Israel) had gone from honored guests of one Pharaoh and of Egypt, into slavery and captivity with another Pharaoh and of Egypt. Then Moses was born, later identifying as a Hebrew, and led the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt. They crossed the Red Sea and came to Mt. Sinai, where God gave them the Law, which began by the giving of the Ten Commandments: (1) You shall have no other gods before Me (2) You shall make no idols (3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (4) Keep the Sabbath day holy (5) Honor your father and your mother (6) You shall not murder (7) You shall not commit adultery (8) You shall not steal (9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (10) You shall not covet. This was followed by 40 years of wilderness wandering.

The Law was not given universally but was only for the Israelites (Exo. 20:2). Whom did God bring out of Egypt? Those who went down into Egypt. There were no Japhetites or Hamites, only descendants of Shem or the Shemites, known as Semites. They came from Noah, Shem, and in particular Arphaxad. This shows the Law of Moses, and in particular the Ten Commandments, was given to the descendants of Shem.

In Deuteronomy 5:6, Moses repeats the Ten Commandments. The word Deuteronomy means “the law repeated” or “second law.” Moses writes: “And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day” (Deut. 6:15). Yes, God said to make the Sabbath holy in Genesis, but it does not say when or to whom. However, when we come to the giving of the Ten Commandments, we find out when and to whom. This was when it was made sacred and for the remembrance of the Semites being in Egyptian bondage.

Christ’s Personal Ministry

The Patriarchal Period lasted about 2,500 years until the Law of Moses was given at Mt. Sinai. The Law was in effect for 1,500 years until the coming of the Christ. Jesus came to remove the Law whereby all men, both Jew and Gentile, could be saved. He came to fulfill the Law, not destroy it (Matt: 5:17-18). Once Christ accomplished that which He came to fulfill, literally “fill out,” namely His death, burial, and resurrection. Since the Law lasted until Christ (Gal.3:19), making Him the end of the law (Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:19-28; Heb. 10:9-10; 2 Cor. 3-4:15; Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 2:14; Rom. 7:1-6).

Doing what He came to do, by doing what He did—dying for our sins on the cross—the Law was fulfilled, and its authority removed from existence. Not one jot or title passed away till this was accomplished (Matt. 5:17-18; Gal. 3:19). During His ministry, Jesus promised to build His church/kingdom (Matt. 16:18). After He ascended to heaven, and when the day of Pentecost had fully come the church/kingdom came into being.

Christian Period The New Covenant—The Gospel—The Faith

No person was forgiven of sin by animal sacrifices under both the Patriarchal and Mosaic Periods or, quite simply, under the Old Covenant. Sin was forgiven when the blood of Christ was shed for the remission of sins, that the obedience of the faithful under both the Patriarchal and Mosaic systems in the Old Covenant (Rom. 2) were forgiven (Heb. 9:15). The arms of the Lord on the cross reached back in time and forward into the future. Upon His resurrection Christ was declared the Son of God (Rom. 1:5). Christ was glorified upon His ascension and sitting at the Father’s right hand (Acts 1:9-11).

Under the New Covenant Period, those seeking and finding salvation entered the kingdom, which is synonymous with being added to the church (Acts 2:47). Anyone not in Christ is not in the church. Called to salvation by the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14), the first century Christians were God’s people by virtue of being “in Christ” (1 Thess. 2:14). Their new identity was the result of obeying the gospel (1 Pet. 4:17; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; cf. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, etc.). They were “baptized into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13), which is the one church (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4).

Anyone not in the church is not in Christ, because that is where the saved are (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:23) and where salvation is (2 Tim. 2:10; 3:15). To be in the church means to be in Christ, and to be in Christ means to be in His church. What is ascribed to one (Christ) is ascribed to the other (body/church). Quite simply, Luke’s inspired “added to the church” (Acts 2:47), is defined by Paul’s inspired, “baptized into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13). Different expressions meaning the same thing. Moreover, the previous verse must be considered: For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ” (1 Cor. 12:12). In contrasting the physical body and the spiritual body. Just as the physical body has many members yet “are one body, so also Christ”—the spiritual body. This is an example of metonymy, meaning within the context “the body” and “Christ,” are one and the same—synonymous.

Comparing the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian Periods

Under Patriarchal Period

  1. No written law

  2. No set day of worship

  3. No specific place of worship

  4. Nomadic

  5. Fathers were priests

  6. Animal sacrifices

  7. Saved by grace, faith, and law

Under Mosaic Period

  1. A written law

  2. The Sabbath (7th day)

  3. Tabernacle and later the temple

  4. Given the Land of Promise

  5. Levites were the priests

  6. Animal sacrifices (always a necessity for the shedding of blood, see Cain and Abel). Hebrews 9:22 is a Divine principle given. Law in effect for 1500 years until the time of Christ

  7. Saved by grace, faith, and law

Under Christian Period

  1. A written law—The New Covenant/Gospel/The Faith/The Word/The Scriptures

  2. First Day of the week (Sunday)

  3. Church assembling together in various localities across the globe

  4. Worship where they live—typically permanent

  5. Every Christian is a priest

  6. One Blood sacrifice for all time

  7. Saved by grace, faith, and law

The Kingdom/Church Concept

Under the New Covenant period, the kingdom/church serves as the sphere where all the saved reside. In one sense the kingdom or church has always existed. It existed in purpose in the mind of God. It existed in Promise. It existed in prophecy and it existed in preparation. Once the New Covenant went into effect (Heb. 9:15-17). Kingdom is associated with authority and dominion as ruled by its king. There is no such thing as a king without a kingdom. In fact, the primary meaning of “kingdom” is “kingship.” It is royal power of kingly rule. Kingdom more often refers to “reign” than to “realm,” or to “dominion” rather than the “domain” (See Dan. 4:30-31; Luke 17:20-21). God’s kingdom involves the individual’s heart, wherein His law or Word rules the heart (Heb. 8:10, 10:16; Jer. 31:33). This refers to submitting to His Word (John 6:44-45; cf. Luke 8:11-15; Rom. 10:14-17; cf. Rom. 1:16-17).

The words church and kingdom do not have the same lexical meaning, but when it comes to word usage, they are synonymous. Because they do not mean the same thing does not, therefore, mean they are not the same thing. Words may have vastly different meanings yet refer to the same. The words church and body have different meanings, yet the church is called “the body” of Christ (Eph. 1:22). The church is also called the “house of God” (1 Tim. 3:15), a “temple” (1 Cor. 3:17), “building” (Eph. 2:21), and “household” (Eph. 2:19). These various terms emphasize different features of the church—its family, worship, fellowship features, etc. Likewise, when the church is called a kingdom its governmental feature is brought into prominence.

A study of the above passages reveals the church and the kingdom are identical in the Chief Executive, His laws, His subjects, and His territory or realm of influence. It is impossible for one to be in the kingdom and not be in the church and equally impossible for one to be in the church and out of the kingdom. Members of the church are citizens of the kingdom and vice versa. Christ does not have one institution on earth called the “kingdom” and another called the “church.” The law of admission into both is the same and the laws governing conduct of subjects are identical. Both are confined to earth while their Chief Executive is in heaven and the heart of the subject is the realm of influence in this world. Church and kingdom are found to agree in the following particulars: 1) The source of authority or the Head, 2) the laws, 3) the subjects, and 4) the territory. Each of these are essential elements to the kingdom’s existence.

When Jesus said He would build His church (Matt. 16:18) He immediately said He would also give the keys of the kingdom to Peter and the apostles. Keys are used to lock or unlock doors. The specific doors Jesus has in mind in this passage are the doors to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is laying the foundation of His church (Eph. 2:20). The disciples will be the leaders of this new institution, and Jesus is giving them the authority to, as it were, open the doors to heaven and invite the world to enter. Jesus said, unless one is born again, he will not see the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3-5). Preaching the message of the gospel, providing the terms of entrance and the demands of its citizenship, are the keys of/to the kingdom.

In Matthew 16:19 Jesus wanted to know from His disciples/apostles who the people though He was. After various answers, He then asked them, “But who do you all say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Peter stood answering for the group saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus then specifically addresses Peter concerning the giving of the keys of the kingdom, so it is significant that, in the book of Acts, Peter figures prominently in the “opening of doors” for both Jews and Gentiles. It is Peter’s preaching that is captured in Scripture, in Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost as well as in Acts 10 in the conversion of the first Gentiles. The same key (preaching the Word) unlocked the door to the kingdom for both Jews and Gentiles.

Again, the identity of church/kingdom is revealed in Matthew 16:18, 19 where the Lord declares, “I will build My church” and saying to Peter, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” In one breath He calls it “My church” and in the next “the kingdom of heaven.”

Confine the reign of Christ to the abode of men and it is impossible to distinguish between the kingdom of Christ and the church of Christ except as to the feature emphasized in each term. To further emphasize, the duration of both should be considered. No one argues the church will continue beyond the second coming of Christ and judgment, for men will cease to be “called out” from the world “by the gospel” with that event (2 Thess. 1:7-10), but at that point shall Christ deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-26); thus the church ceases on this earth at the same time the kingdom comes to an end on this earth.

It is objected that Peter speaks of “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:11). True enough, but that is not the “kingdom” under consideration here for the context shows that kingdom is one that shall be entered as a result of adding the so-called “Christian graces” (2 Pet. 1:3-10). That kingdom will not have the same laws nor the same territory nor men in the flesh as subjects, nor will Christ reign in that kingdom in the same relationship to the Father as He reigns now (1 Cor. 15:24-26).

Definitive Proof for Kingdom/Church Being the Same

In order to help establish that the church and the kingdom are the same, attention is called to various prophecies of the kingdom/church. The first such prophecy is 2 Sam. 7:12-14. Nathan informs David:

And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.

God would establish a kingdom using the seed of David (verse 12). It would be after David’s death (verse 12). This person, (David’s seed), would also “build an house for my name,” and God would “establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (verse 13). The word of God informs us that the “house of God” is “the church of the living God” (1 Tim.3:15). The person who would build a house for God’s name, would have a kingdom (verses 12 and 13). Scripture affirms the person in whom all these things were accomplished is God’s Son, Jesus Christ. The Hebrew writer quotes 2 Samuel and apples it to the Christ (compare 2 Sam. 7:14 and Heb. 1:5). These passages prove that the church and the kingdom are the one and the same, and that such was established by Jesus Christ.

Isaiah, likewise, prophesied that God’s house (the church) would be established. Some 750 years before Christ came to the earth, he wrote:

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. 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 (Isa. 2:2-4).

Notice Isaiah says that “the mountain of the Lord’s house” would be established in “the last days.” Again, the Lord’s house is the church (1 Tim. 3:15). Yet the “Lord’s house” is also the kingdom (2 Sam. 7:13). Therefore, Isaiah foretells of the establishment of the kingdom/church.

The prophet Daniel, whose life spanned the whole seventy years Babylonian captivity, received a vision of Christ’s ascension and His receiving the kingdom. He wrote:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (Dan. 7:13-14).

Daniel foresees the ascension of Christ and Him (the Christ) being brought before the ancient of days (the Father). When He was brought before the Ancient of days there was given to Him “a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve Him.” His dominion is described as “an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” This is scriptural proof that Christ became king when He ascended into heaven! Yet, this is the same time He became the head of the church. Paul wrote:

Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and game him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all (Eph. 1:20-23).

Christ became king of His kingdom when he ascended back into heaven. Yet, He became the head of the church at the same time. He did not become authority over two separate institutions. He is the head of the church and king of the kingdom.

Not only do the prophets show the church and the kingdom as the same institution, but so do the New Testament writers. Paul says that the Lord’s supper is in the church (1 Cor. 11:17-22). However, the Lord’s supper is in the kingdom (Luke 22:18). Thus, the church and the kingdom are the one and the same.

Jesus says that the word of God is “seed.” “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). God has decreed that every seed produces “after his kind” (Gen. 1:11). Observe, however, that the seed, the word of the kingdom, was planted in the first century, it produced the church. Again, this establishes the fact that the kingdom and the church are the same. The word of the kingdom produced the church!

Our Lord promised Peter that He (Christ) would build His church and that He would give unto Peter “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 16:18). Peter used these keys of the kingdom to open the doors of the church (Acts 2:36-47). Here again is evidence that the church and the kingdom are the same.

When Jesus returns, He is going to carry the church into heaven (Eph. 5:23, 25-27). It is also stated that He is going to deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father (1 Cor. 15:24). He will not deliver two separate organizations. The church and the kingdom are the same and will be carried up into heaven when Jesus returns (2 Pet. 1:11).

The church and the kingdom are seen to be the same in that one cannot enter into the church without entering into the kingdom. When one is scripturally baptized into Christ, he is baptized into the body (church). Paul wrote, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. . .” (1 Cor. 12:13). This is a person whom has been “born again.” Yet, Jesus says when one is born again, he enters into the kingdom, “Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). When a person is born of water and Spirit, he enters the kingdom of God (John 3:5). The water in this passage refers to baptism. So when one is scripturally baptized, he enters the kingdom (John 3:5), or the church (1 Cor. 12:13). The church and the kingdom are the same institution.

The following comparisons also aid in establishing that the church and the kingdom are the same.

Church Kingdom

Christ is its Head (Eph. 1:22) Christ is its King (1 Tim. 6:15)

Baptized into the church (1 Cor. 12:13) Baptized into the kingdom (John 3:5)

Everlasting (Eph. 3:4) Everlasting (Dan. 2:44)

Apostles (Eph. 2:20) Apostles (Matt. 19:28)

Washing of Regeneration (Titus 3:5) Time of Regeneration (Matt. 19:28)

Lord’s table (1 Cor. 11:26) Lord’s table (Luke 22:29-30)

Word of faith (Rom. 10:8) Word of kingdom (Matt. 13:19)

The Israel of God (Gal. 6:16) Spiritual Israel (Matt. 19:28)

The Kingdom/Church Established on Pentecost

Although the church was in the eternal purpose of God, that is not when the church was established. The account of John’s death is recorded in Matthew 14. Two chapters later one reads that Christ promised to build His church yet in the future (Matt. 16). Therefore, John the Baptist could not have built the church, as some declare, nor could it have been established during His lifetime. Jesus did not establish His church (kingdom) during His personal ministry.

Relative to the time of the establishment of the church, Isaiah prophesied that “the mountain of the Lord’s house” would be established in “the last days” (Isa. 2:2-3). The phrase, “the last days,” refers to the last dispensation of time—the Christian Period. As noted previously, there was the Patriarchal Period, the Mosaic Period, and now “the Christian Period.” There will not be another “age” or “period” on earth after “The Christian Period.” It will terminate at the second coming of Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:27-28). Hence, the Christian age is “the last days.” Peter identifies the day of Pentecost as in “the last days.” In explaining the events of that day, he stated:

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 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 men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams (Acts 2:16-17).

Peter said, “this is that.” The “that” has reference to what Joel said would happen in “the last days.” Thus, Peter (an inspired apostle) identifies the day of Pentecost being in the “last days.” But, remember Isaiah said the “Lord’s house” (the church, 1 Tim. 3:15), would be established in the “last days” (Isa. 2:2-3).

Not only does Isaiah identify the time of the church’s establishment, but he also identifies the place of its establishment. He wrote, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:3). This is exactly what happened on the day of Pentecost! Christ, of course, knew that this was to be accomplished, as foretold by Isaiah, and He commanded the apostles to wait in the city of Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). They waited in Jerusalem, as commanded and the word of the Lord went forth from Zion, as prophesied.

Daniel, likewise, foretold the time of the establishment of the kingdom. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which chronicled the events leading up to God establishing His kingdom (Daniel 2). God had Daniel to interpret the dream. In it, four world empires were discussed. Nebuchadnezzar was the head of the Babylonian kingdom, but after him there would be three other kingdoms. These kingdoms were the Medo-Persian kingdom, the Grecian kingdom and the Roman kingdom. It would be during the days of the Roman kingdom that God’s kingdom would be established. Daniel wrote:

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever (Dan. 2:44).

The day of Pentecost was during the days of the Roman kingdom. Notice Daniel wrote the kingdom “shall not be left to other people, but is shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” This same kingdom is discussed by the Hebrews’ writer. “Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28). Note he said the Christians were receiving a kingdom “which cannot be moved.” Daniel said that the kingdom would stand forever. This is the kingdom (church) that was established on the day of Pentecost, following the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As time drew near for the establishment of the kingdom on Pentecost, God sent various ones preaching, that the kingdom was “at hand.” Among those was John the Baptist (Matt. 3:1-2), Jesus Christ (Matt. 4:17), the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:7), and the seventy disciples sent out by Jesus (Luke 10:9). The time of its establishment was nearby. Jesus, however, taught that the kingdom was still future during His personal ministry. He said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). Earlier, He had taught His disciples to pray “Thy kingdom come…” (Matt. 6:10). Jesus said some of His disciples would still be alive when the kingdom of God came “with power” (Mark 9:1). Here is another identifying mark to the establishment of the kingdom. Jesus said that the kingdom of God would come “with power.” If one can determine when the power came, he will know when the kingdom came. Jesus told the apostles that they would “receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). The kingdom was to come with power. The power was to come after the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, the power came, and the kingdom came! But when did the Holy Spirit come upon the apostles and clothe them with power?

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4).

This is proof positive that the kingdom (church) was established upon the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. Before Pentecost, the kingdom/church is spoken of as yet in the future. After Pentecost, the kingdom/church is spoken of as already established. Writing to the “saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse,” Paul stated that God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear son” (Col. 1:13).

The faithful Jewish Christians in the first century knew they were in the kingdom. The Hebrews writer stated; “wherefore we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28). The apostle John affirmed he was “in the kingdom” (Rev. 1:9). He obviously could not have been “in the kingdom” if it had not been established. Before Pentecost, the kingdom/church was in the future. After Pentecost, the kingdom/church was in existence. In Acts 11:15, Peter refers to Pentecost as “the beginning.” He explained the reason for going to the Gentiles, saying, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15). “The beginning” refers to when the Holy Spirit fell upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14). Therefore, the day of Pentecost (by inspiration), is termed “the beginning.” The day of Pentecost was when the kingdom/church of Christ was established.

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