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*THE CHURCH WHICH IS HIS BODY *By Pastor Joel Finck

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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Oct 2010, 11:47 am

THE CHURCH WHICH IS HIS BODY
By Pastor Joel Finck

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1 :22, 23
Many Christians believe that every time the word "church" appears in
Scripture, it refers to the same thing. This is unfortunate, for this
thinking has led to much error and confusion. The fact is, at least
three churches can be distinguished in Scripture.
The first church we find in the Bible is "the church in the wilderness"
(Acts 7:38). This was the Old Testament congregation of Israel. Some
would object to calling Israel a church, but this is exactly what the
Holy Spirit calls her. In fact the Hebrew word for "congregation, " found
numerous times in the Old Testament, is equivalent to the Greek word for
"church" (see Psalm 22:22 & Hebrews 2:12). Yet, the Old Testament
Israelite church is not the church of today.
The next church we read of in Scripture is yet future. Christ spoke of
it in Matthew 16:18 where Christ told Peter, "I will build my church;
and the gates of hell (Gk. 'hades') shall not prevail against it." This
church is still future, for it is begun with a resurrected people. The
"gates of hades" is not a reference to Satan's forces, an many teach,
but a reference to the entrance (and exit) of the place of the dead (cf.
Isaiah 38:10 where "gates of the grave" is literally "the gates of
sheol" ---sheol being the Heb. equivalent to the Gk. hades).
The third church is the church of today. Paul calls it "the church which
is his body" (Ephesians 1:22, 23). All true believers today are members
of the Body of Christ, the one true church in this dispensation of
grace. Are you a member of this church?

*"There are many dangerous trends pulling folks away*
* from true Bible Christianity. *
* Many of the newer philosophies of*
* ministry employ methods that are wholly carnal.*
* Some have adopted objectives that have not*
* one line of Scripture to support them,*
* and some employ conduct that differs little from the world. " *
*----Tozer*
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