The Church started before Pentecost?
I was doing research for a Bible class and came across this startling article. I thought would share.
The author claims that the church did not start in Acts 2. When I read his theory, I was reminded of Wayne Jackson calling something, “results-oriented dogma.”
His purpose in the article is to explain the origin of the Baptist Church. Naturally, he finds a way to rationalize his conclusion.
When did the church begin? Let’s read his explanation:
The church did not begin on Pentecost.This is the theory of Scofield, the Campbellites, Holy Rollers and many Protestants. Something unusual happened, very, very unusual, on Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection, yes. But the book of Acts does not tell us that the church originated on that day.
Insults don’t give his writing much credibility as a serious document.
When did Jesus begin His “ekklesia”? When did He begin to call it out and assemble it? The answer: when He called out the very first persons who because the first members of the “ekklesia.”When was that? We read of it in John 1:35-51.
Here was the beginning of Christ’s calling out His assembly. Those called out had been baptized by John the Baptist one were thus “prepared” for composing the Lord’s “ekklesia.”
The church did not begin on the occasion mentioned in Mark 3:13-19; that was an ordination service. This was when the twelve disciples were “set” in the church as apostles.
Neither does Matthew 16:18 indicate the time of the church’s beginning. The Greek word for “build” means “build up” and does not refer to the initial beginning of the church.
Before Mark 3 and Matthew 16 Christ had an assembly of baptized disciples. He was their Head and they were following Him and serving Him. What else is necessary before a group is an “ekklesia”? It is true that He was not through with the church in. teaching it and commissioning it; but He had an “ekklesia,” and had had one from the day. He called those first disciples and they began to follow Him. John had “prepared” them, the Master assembled them as His “ekklesia.” God wanted it that way, John wanted it that way, Christ wanted it that way, the disciples wanted it that way, and that is the way it was. God said,”Hear ye Him;” John said,”Behold the Lamb of God:” Christ said,”Follow me:” the disciples “followed Him“That is how and when the assembly of Jesus Christ had its beginning.
Naturally, his purpose is to include John the Baptist in the founding of the church so they can use his name. So, he concocts a theory that works out the way he desires.
So, what is your reply to his theory?
I would make the following points:
1. In Acts 2, the arrival of the Holy Spirit indicated that something very important was happening.
2. Jews from all over the world were assembled (Acts 2:5).
3. The disciples had been ordered to wait for something significant to come (Luke 24:44-49)
4. Jesus said in Mark 9:1 that some of those in the crowd would see the kingdom come.
5. Jesus said He would BUILD His church, not add to an existing one (Matthew 16:18).
6. Jesus was still alive in John 1 and the Holy Spirit could not come until after Jesus died (John 16:7).
7. Jesus came to fulfill the Law and to begin a new kingdom, which could not come until He died (Hebrews 8-9).
8. The people who were baptized in Acts 2, were added to the Church (Acts 2:47).
9. After Peter baptizes the household of the Gentile, Cornelius, the Jerusalem Council questions Peter’s behavior. Peter mentions that the Holy Spirit fell upon these Gentiles. Peter says, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15). Clearly, Peter means the beginning of the Church and the arrival of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).
What further thoughts do you have as proof that the Church began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)?