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Biblical principles concerning the institution of the church and local autonomous churches

Contents:

1. Sermons by Pastor Jason Cooley on the doctrine of the church:
2. Jerald Finney’s Bible Study notes on “Biblical principles concerning the institution of the church and local autonomous churches”
3. Teachings of others on the local vs. universal churches controversy.

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1. Sermons by Pastor Jason Cooley dealing with the doctrine of the church:

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"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil...." Romans 13.1a

SeparationOfChurchAndState

2. Jerald Finney’s Bible Study notes on
“Biblical principles concerning the institution of the church and local autonomous churches”

“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.” Mt. 16:18

“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” Amen. Ep. 3:21

Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s. Lk. 20.25; also, Mt. 22.15-22 and Mk. 12.13-17.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit sayeth unto the churches.”  Rev. 3.22

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Rev. 22.16.

It hasn’t changed: “The prophets prophesy falsely and the Priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jere. 5.31.

2 Thes. 1 esp. “3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, * * *. 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy or the kingdom of God for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. [On the persecuted church see also, the last division below: From, The Voice of the Martyrs, August 2005, p. 2, “You Will Always Have Your Groupies” p. 25.]

During my early self-studies on the biblical doctrine of the church, I studied the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible. After years of study, I have made corrections to those his notes on the church which I had included in my studies. Those corrections are reflected below. I have now organized the notes for easier examination and study. I recommend reading the article in section IX. first.

Contents:

  1. General (with corrections to Scofield’s notes) p. 1
  2. The Body p. 15
  3. House of God/The Building Is Not the Church p. 17
  4. Scofield’s false “true church” doctrine: line of verses (margin notes) with corrections  p. 19
  5. Bride of Christ p. 20
  6. Scofield’s line of “local church” verses (margin notes) with corrections  p. 23
  7. Scofield’s line of “visible church” verses (margin notes) with corrections  p. 23
  8. Organization, headship, elders, deacons, and other members of the body p. 24
  9. From, The Voice of the Martyrs, August 2005, p2, “You Will Always Have Your Groupies” p. 25

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  1. General (with corrections to Scofield’s notes)

The church that sets out to spiritualize the world will soon find that the world will secularize the church.  When wheat and tares compromise, it is the wheat that suffers.  Light and darkness, right and wrong, good and evil, truth and error are incompatibles, and when they compromise it is the light, the right, the good, and the truth that are damaged. W. Graham Scroggie, born 1877, twelve times the Bible teacher at the famous Keswick, England conference, They Knew Their God, Vol. 5, 194 cited in “The Berean Call, February 2006, 5 (This also quoted in “Separation-Holiness” file).

The rules for the church and for the Jewish religion are not the same.  It is a mistake to Judaize the Church.  The following is from Dr C.I. Scofield, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, First Edition, January, 1896, p 12:

“It may safely be said that the Judaizing of the Church has done more to hinder her progress, pervert her mission, and  destroy her spiritually, than all other causes combined.  Instead of pursuing her appointed path of separation from the world and following the Lord in her heavenly calling, she has used Jewish Scriptures to justify herself in lowering her purpose to the civilization of the world, the acquisition of wealth, the use of an imposing ritual, the erection of magnificent churches, the invocation of God’s blessing upon the conflicts of armies, and the division of an equal brotherhood into ‘clergy’ and ‘laity.’”

N1 t0 Ge. 2.23, p8 “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Eve, type of the Church as bride of Christ Joh 3:28-29; 2Co 11:2; Eph 5:25-32; Re 19:7-8. Margin: Woman “Isha,” “because she was taken out of man” (Ish) Ho 2:16)

N1 to Gen. 11.1, p18: “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” (The history of Babel (“confusion”) strikingly parallels that of the professing Church. (1) Unity Ge 11:1 –the Apostolic Church Ac 4:32-33; (2) Ambition Ge 11:4 using worldly, not spiritual means Ge 11:3 ending in a man-made unity–the papacy; (3) the confusion of tongues Ge 11:7 –Protestantism, with its innumerable sects. See Isa 13:1, note.)

N1 to Ge. 36.31 p53 (It is characteristic of Scripture that the kings of Edom should be enumerated before the kings of Israel. The principle is stated in 1Co 15:46. First things are “natural,” man’s best, and always fail; second things are “spiritual,” God’s things, and succeed. Adam–Christ; Cain–Abel; Cain’s posterity–Seth’s posterity; Saul–David; Israel–the true Church, etc.)

N1 to Exo. 8:25-29, p 80 (The compromises proposed by Pharaoh are those urged upon Christians today.  The first says in effect: “Be a Christian if you will, but not a ‘narrow’one—stay in Egypt.” Invariably it ends in world-conformity, world-pleasing, and seeking the world’s money for God (Psa. 50.9-17). Cf. 2 Cor. 6.14-18; Gal. 1.4.)(This also quoted in “Separation-Holiness” file).

N1 to Ex. 25.9, p101 “According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” (The tabernacle, speaking comprehensively, is explained in the N.T. as typical in three ways: (1) of the Church as a habitation of God through the Spirit Ex 25:8; Eph 2:19-22; (2) of the believer 2 Co 6:16; (3) as a figure of things in the heavens Heb 9:23-24. In detail, all speaks of Christ: (1) The ark, in its materials, acacia-wood Cmt. on Ex 26:15 and gold, is a type of the humanity and deity of Christ. (2) In its contents, a type of Christ, as: (a) having God’s law in His heart Ex 25:16; (b) the wilderness food (or portion) of His people Ex 16:33; (c) Himself the resurrection, of which Aaron;s rod is the symbol Nu 17:10. (3) In its use the ark, especially the mercy-seat, was a type of God’s throne. That it was, to the sinning Israelite, a throne of; grace and not of judgment was due to the mercy-seat formed of gold and sprinkled with the blood of atonement, which vindicated the law, and divine holiness guarded by the cherubim Ge 3:24. Cmt. on Eze 1:5 See PROPITIATION, Cmt. on Ro 3:25)

N1 to Ex. 40.34 p125 [Corrected]. “Exodus 40:34  Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” (Cf. Eph. 2.22.  What the Shekinah glory was to the tabernacle and temple, that the Spirit is to the “holy temple,” the New Testament churches, and to the temple which is the believer’s body (1 Cor. 6.19).

N1 to Le. 4.12, p130 “Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt.” (Cf. Ex 29:14; Le 16:27; Nu 19:3; Heb 13:10-13. The last passage is the interpretative one. The “camp” was Judaism– a religion of forms and ceremonies. “Jesus, also, that He might sanctify separate, or set apart for God the people with or ‘through’ His own blood, suffered without the gate” temple gate, city gate, i.e. Judaism civil and religious; Heb 13:12 but how does this sanctify, or set apart, a people? “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp Judaism then, Judaized Christianity now–anything religious which denies Him as our sin-offering bearing His reproach” Heb 13:13. The sin-offering, “burned without the camp,” typifies this aspect of the death of Christ. The cross becomes a new altar, in a new place, where, without the smallest merit in themselves, the redeemed gather to offer, as believer-priests, spiritual sacrifices. Heb 13:15; 1Pe 2:5. The bodies of the sin-offering beasts were not burned without the camp, as some have fancied, because “saturated with sin,” and unfit for a holy camp. Rather, an unholy camp was an unfit place for a holy sin-offering. The dead body of our Lord was not “saturated with sin,” though in it our sins had been borne 1Pe 2:24.)

N5 to Le. 23.16, p. 156 [Corrected] “Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.” (The feast of Pentecost, Le 23:15-22. The anti-type is the descent of the Holy Spirit to form the church[es]. For this reason leaven is present, because there is evil in the church[es] Mt 13:33; Ac 5:1,10; 15:1. Observe, it is now loaves; not a sheaf of separate growths loosely bound together, but a real union of particles making one homogenous body. The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost united the separated disciples into one organism. 1Co 10:16; 12:12-13,20.)

N1 to Le. 23.17, p157 [Corrected] “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.” (The wave-loaves were offered fifty days after the wave-sheaf. This is precisely the period between the resurrection of Christ and the formation of the local church at Pentecost. Ac 2:1-4; 1Co 12:12-13. With the wave-sheaf no leaven was offered, for there was no evil in Christ; but the wave-loaves, typifying the church, are “baken with leaven,” for in the church there is still evil.)

N1 to Nu. 16.10, p188 “And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?” (The “gainsaying of Korah” was intrusion into the priest’s office (“no man taketh this honour unto himself,”) Heb 5:4. It was an attempt to create a priestly order without the divine authority Heb 5:10. The modern analogue is Nicolaitanism Re 2:6,15 the division of an equal brotherhood Mt 23:8 into “clergy” and “laity”; a vastly different thing from the due recognition of ministry-gifts  1Co 12:4-31 Eph 4:8,11,12 or of elders and deacons 1Ti 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9)

N1 to Numbers 22.5, p196 “He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:” “Balaam is the typical hireling prophet, seeking only to make a market of his gift.  This is “the way of Balaam” (2 Pet. 2.15), and characterizes false teachers.  The “error of Balaam” (Jude 11) was that he could see only the natural morality—a holy God, he reasoned, must curse such a people as Israel.  Like all false teachers he was ignorant of the higher morality of vicarious atonement, by which God could be just and yet the justifier of believing sinners (Rom. 3.26).  the “doctrine of Balaam” (Rev. 2.14) refers to his teaching  Balak to corrupt the people whom he could not curse (Num. 31.16, with Num.  25.1-3 and Jas. 4.4). Spiritually, Balaamism in teaching never rises above natural reasonings; in practice, it is easy world-conformity. See Rev. 2.14, note. See N2 p1332.”

N2 to Nu. 23.7, p198 (The state of God’s people was morally bad, but this was a matter concerning the discipline of God, not His judgment.  The interpretation of the prophecies here is literal as to Israel, typical as to Christians.  Though Christ “lifted up” (John 3. 14) our standing is eternally secure and perfect, though our state may require the Father’s discipline. (1 Cor. 11.30-32; 2 Cor. 1.4-9; cf. vs. 10-13); meantime, against all enemies, God is “for us” (Rom. 8.31)).

N 2 to Ps. 51:7, p623 “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Hyssop was the little shrub 1Ki 4:33 with which the blood and water of purification were applied. Le 14:1-7; Nu 19:1-19. Cleansing in Scripture is twofold: (1) Of a sinner from the guilt of sin; the blood (“hyssop”) aspect; (2) of a saint from the defilement of sin–the water (“wash me”) aspect. Under grace the sinner is purged by blood when he believes Mt 26:28; Heb 1:3; 9:12; 10:14. Both aspects of cleansing, by blood and by water, are brought out in Joh 13:10; Eph 5:25-26. “He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet”; “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it redemption by “blood, “hyssop,” the “bath” that He might sanctify and cleanse “it with the washing by the word”: answering to the “wash me” of verse 7.).

N1 to Song of Solomon 2.2, p706 “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” (How poor are the similes of the bride as compared with those of the Bridegroom. To Him she is a “lily among thorns; she can only say that He is “as the apple tree among the trees of the wood.”).

N1 to Song of Solomon 5.6, p708 “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.” (Observe, it is now the Bridegroom Himself who occupies her heart, not His gifts–myrrh and washed feet Joh 13:2-9.).

Isa. 42.1-7 & N2 p750 [With corrections]. “The prophets connect the Gentiles w/Christ in a threefold way: (1) as the Light He brings salvation to the Gentiles (Lk. 2.32; Acts 13.47, 48); (2) as the “Root of Jesse” He is to reign over the Gentiles in His kingdom (Isa. 11.10; Rom. 15.12). He saves the Gentiles, which is the distinctive feature of this present age (Rom. 11.17-24; Eph. 2.11, 12). He reigns over the Gentiles in the kingdom-age, to follow this. See “Kingdom (O.T.),” Gen. 1.26-28; Zech. 12.8. (3) Believing Gentiles in the present age, together w/believing Jews, constitute “the institution of the church made up of local autonomous New Testament churches which is His body” (Eph. 1.23). See Eph. 3.6, note

N1 to Zec. 5.6, p969 (The local application of Zechariah’s ninth vision is, therefore, evident. The Jews then in the land had been in captivity in Babylon. Outwardly they had put away idolatry, but they had learned in Babylon that insatiate greed of gain Ne 5:1-9; Mal 3:8 that intense commercial spirit which had been foreign to Israel as a pastoral people, but which was thenceforward to characterize them through the ages. These things were out of place in God’s people and land. Symbolically He judged them as belonging to Babylon and sent them there to build a temple–they could have no part in His. The “woman” was to be “set there upon her own base” (Zec 5:11). It was Jehovah’s moral judgment upon Babylonism in His own land and people.
Prophetically, the application to the Babylon of the Revelation is obvious. The professing Gentile church at that time condoning every iniquity of the rich, doctrinally a mere “confusion,” as the name indicates, and corrupted to the core by commercialism, wealth, and luxury, falls under the judgment of God (Rev. 18.).)

  • THE FOUR GOSPELS, P989-91 [with corrections]. “IV. The Gospels do not unfold the doctrine of the Church. The word occurs in Matthew only. After His rejection as King and Saviour by the Jews, our Lord, announcing a mystery until that moment “hid in God” Eph 3:3-10 said, “I will build my church.” Mt 16:16,18. Christ, in Mt. 16.16, 18 was speaking of the institution of the church to be made up, until the marriage supper of the Lamb, of local autonomous churches. His personal ministry had gathered out the believers who were, on the day of Pentecost, by water baptism (see AC. 2.41, 47) made the first members of “the local New autonomous churches which is his body” 1Co 12:12-13; Eph 1:23. The church spoken of in Ac. 2.47 was the church at Jerusalem.
  • “The Gospels present a group of Jewish disciples, associated on earth with a Messiah in humiliation; the Epistles an institution made up of local autonomous spiritual bodies, associated with Him in the heavenlies, co-heirs with Him of the Father, co-rulers with Him over the coming kingdom, and, as to the earth, pilgrims and strangers 1Co 12:12-13; Eph 1:3-14,20-23; 2:4-6; 1Pe 2:11.” …
  • “Christ is never called King of the church. “The King” is indeed one of the divine titles, and the churches in their worship join Israel in exalting “the king, eternal, immortal, invisible.” Ps 10:16; 1Ti 1:17. But believers are to reign with Him. The Holy Spirit is now calling out, not the subjects, but the co-heirs and co-rulers of the kingdom 2Ti 2:11-12; Re 1:6; 3:21; 5:10; Ro 8:15-18; 1Co 6:2-3.”

N1 to Mt. 2.2 p995 “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (“The King” is one of the divine titles Ps 10:16 and so used in the worship of the churches 1Ti 1:17 but Christ is never called “King of the Church.” He is “King of the Jews” Mt 2:2 and Lord and “Head of the churches” Eph 1:22-23 Cmt. on Mt 16:18 Cmt. on Heb 12:23 Mt 16:18; Heb 12:23.)

Mt. 2.19-20: “19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from the m, and then shall they fast in those days.”

N2 to Mt. 5.2, p999. The Sermon on the Mount gives neither the privilege nor the duty of the churches.  These are in the Epistles.  E.g., regarding forgiveness * * *.  Nevertheless, there is a beautiful moral application to the Christian: * * *

N1&2 to Mt. 16.18, p1021 “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.” (N1 There is the Greek a play upon the words, “thou art Peter petros–literally ‘a little rock’, and upon this rock Petra I will build my church.” He does not promise to build His church upon Peter, but upon Himself, as Peter is careful to tell us (1Pe 2:4-9) 2 church)(N2 Gr. ecclesia (ek==”out of,” kaleo ==”to call”), an assembly of called out ones. The word is used of any assembly; the word itself implies no more, as, e.g., the town-meeting at Ephesus Ac 19:39 and Israel, called out of Egypt and assembled in the wilderness Ac 7:38. Israel was a true “church,” but not in any sense the N.T. church–the only point of similarity being that both were “called out” and by the same God. All else is contrast. Cmt. on Ac 7:38 Cmt. on Heb 12:23. Margin: hell See note, Cmt. on Lu 16:23.)

N1 to Mt. 16.19, p1022 “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Not the keys of the church, but of the kingdom of heaven in the sense of Mat 13., i.e. the sphere of Christian profession. A key is a badge of power or authority (cf) Isa 22:22; Re 3:7. The apostolic history explains and limits this trust, for it was Peter who opened the door of Christian opportunity to Israel on the day of Pentecost Ac 2:38-42 and to Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. Ac 10:34-46. There was no assumption by Peter of any other authority Ac 15:7-11. In the council James, not Peter, seems to have presided Ac 15:19; Ga 2:11-15. Peter claimed no more for himself than to be an apostle by gift 1Pe 1:1 and an elder by office 1Pe 5:1.

The power of binding and loosing was shared Mt 18:18; Joh 20:23 by the other disciples. That it did not involve the determination of the eternal destiny of souls is clear from Re 1:18. The keys of death and the place of departed spirits are held by Christ alone. Margin: kingdom Cmt. on Mt 3:2)

Mt. 18.15-19. Discipline in the pre-Pentecost church. “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. 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. 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. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”

Mt. 18.20. The simplest form of a local church before Pentecost and before Christ, mainly through the apostle Paul, unveiled the doctrine of the church. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” This was an assembly in Christ’s name prior to Pentecost and before the doctrine of the churches was explained thereafter. It would have been, therefore, a primitive form of a local church.

N2 to Mt. 26.30, p1022 “Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.” (The disciples had been proclaiming Jesus as the Christ, i.e. the covenanted King of a kingdom promised to the Jews, and “at hand.” The church, on the contrary, must be built upon testimony to Him as crucified, risen from the dead, ascended, and made “Head over all things to the church.” Eph 1:20-23. The former testimony was ended, the new testimony was not yet ready, because the blood of the new covenant had not yet been shed, but our Lord begins to speak of His death and resurrection Mt 16:21. It is a turning-point of immense significance. Margin: Jesus Omit “Jesus.”)

N1 to Mt. 10.2, p1008 “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; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (… (6) Consequent upon the rejection of the kingdom, and the revelation of the mystery hid in God Mt 16:18; Eph 3:1-12 the Church, the apostolic office was invested with a new enduement, the baptism with the Holy Spirit Ac 2:1-4 a new power, that of imparting the Spirit to Jewish-Christian believers; a new relation, that of foundation stones of the new temple Eph 2:20-22 and a new function, that of preaching the glad tidings of salvation through a crucified and risen Lord to Jew and gentile alike. (7) The indispensable qualification of an apostle was that he should have been an eye-witness of the resurrection Ac 1:22; 1Co 9:1.)

N2 p1012 to Mt. 12.18[- 21]: “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. Matthew 12:19-21: He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” (This too is most significant. The rejected King of Israel will turn to the Gentiles (cf.) Mt 10:5-6. In fulfilment this awaited the official rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, and the final rejection of the risen Christ. Lu 24:46-47; Ac 9:15; 13:46; 28:25-28; Ro 11:11.)

Mt. 13 gives 7 parables, called by our Lord, “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” See N1 p1014 (These parables, taken together, describe the result of the presence of the Gospel in the world during the present age, that is, the time of seed-sowing which began with our Lord’s personal ministry, and ends with the “harvest” (vs. 40-43). Briefly, that result is the mingled tares and wheat, good fish and bad, in the sphere of Christian profession.  It is Christendom.).

N3 & 4 p1016 (Excellent on “leaven” (Remember the distinction between the institution of the church and the local churches when reading Scofield’s note.).

N3 to Mt. 13.45, p1017 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:” . As Israel is the hid treasure, so the[institution of the] Church and the coming universal church which is to be established at the marriage of the Lamb to all true believers is the pearl of great cost. Covering the same period of time as the mysteries of the kingdom, is the mystery of the [institution of the] Church Ro 16:25-26; Eph 3:3-10; 5:32. Of the [institution of the] Church and the local autonomous churches, a pearl is a perfect symbol: (1) A pearl is one, a perfect symbol of unity 1Co 10:17; 12:12-13; Eph 4:4-6. (2) a pearl is formed by the accretion, and that not mechanically, but vitally, through a living one, as Christ adds to the churches Ac 2:41; “>5:14; 11:24; Eph 2:21; Col 2:19. (3) Christ, having given Himself for the pearl, is now preparing it for presentation to Himself Eph 5:25-27. The kingdom is not [the institution of] the church or the coming universal church, but the true children of the kingdom during the fulfilment of these mysteries, baptized by one Spirit  1Co 12:12-13…. Margin: kingdom Cmt. on Mt 3:2.)

  • N4 p1017-18 to Mt. 13.47. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:” (The parable of the Net (Gr. drag-net) presents another view from that of the wheat and tares of the mysteries of the kingdom as the sphere of profession, but with this difference: there Satan was the active agent; here the admixture is more the result of the tendency of a movement to gather to itself that which is not really of it. The kingdom of heaven is like a net which, cast into the sea of humanity, gathers of every kind, good and bad, and these remain together in the net (v. 49) and not merely in the sea, until the end of the age. It is not even a converted net, much less a converted sea. Infinite violence has been done to sound exegesis by the notion that the world is to be converted in this age. Against that notion stands our Lord’s own interpretation of the parables of the Sower, the Wheat and Tares, and the Net.
  • Such, then, is the mystery form of the kingdom. Cmt. on Mt 3:2. Cmt. on Mt 6:33. It is the sphere of Christian profession during this age. It is a mingled body of true and false, wheat and tares, good and bad. It is defiled by formalism, doubt, and worldliness. But within it Christ sees the true children of the true kingdom who, at the end, are to “shine forth as the sun.” In the great field, the world, He sees the redeemed of all ages, but especially His hidden Israel, yet to be restored and blessed, Also, in this form of the kingdom, so unlike that which is to be, He sees the Church made up of local autonomous spiritual bodies until the marriage of the Lamb, His body and bride, and for joy He sells all that He has 2Co 8:9 and buys the field, the treasure, and the pearl. Margin: heaven Cmt. on Mt 3:2)

1st mention of the church is in Mt. 16.18—See N1 p1021, N1 p1022.

Discipline in the future church. Mt. 18.15-19. Simplest form of a local church . Mr. 18.20, N2 p1029.

In Mt. 16.18, refs. Christ announced His purpose to “build” His church, another “mystery revealed through Paul which is being fulfilled contemporaneously with the mysteries of the kingdom.  The “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” and the “mystery” of the church (Eph. 3.9-11 occupy, historically, the same period, i.e. this present age.  See N3 p1226 (Kingdom summary—gives the order of the development of Kingdom truth in the NT)

  • N1 p1021 to Mt. 16.18 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “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.” (1 There is the Greek a play upon the words, “thou art Peter petros–literally ‘a little rock’, and upon this rock Petra I will build my church.” He does not promise to build His church upon Peter, but upon Himself, as Peter is careful to tell us (1Pe 2:4-9)). Here, Christ speaks of the institution of the church which is to be made up of local autonomous spiritual bodies until the marriage of the Lamb. The epistles clearly show that for the time being, Christ works through his local autonomous churches, not a universal visible or invisible church organization or body. Only Christ knows which of the self-proclaimed “churches” are truly “churches” in the New Testament sense. Obviously, judging by the word of God, a studied believer can discern some of the counterfeits.
  • N2 p1021 to Mt. 16.18 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate]: “2 Gr. ecclesia (ek==”out of,” kaleo ==”to call”), an assembly of called out ones. A universal visible or invisible church cannot assemble on this earth today, an obvious fact. The word is used of any assembly; the word itself implies no more, as, e.g., the town-meeting at Ephesus Ac 19:39 and Israel, called out of Egypt and assembled in the wilderness Ac 7:38. Israel was a true “church,” but not in any sense the N.T. church–the only point of similarity being that both were “called out” and by the same God. All else is contrast. Cmt. on Ac 7:38 Cmt. on Heb 12:23 Margin: hell See note, Cmt. on Lu 16:23.).”
  • N1 p1022 to Mt. 16.19 “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Not the keys of the church, but of the kingdom of heaven in the sense of Mat 13., i.e. the sphere of Christian profession. A key is a badge of power or authority (cf) Isa 22:22; Re 3:7. The apostolic history explains and limits this trust, for it was Peter who opened the door of Christian opportunity to Israel on the day of Pentecost Ac 2:38-42 and to Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. Ac 10:34-46. There was no assumption by Peter of any other authority Ac 15:7-11. In the council James, not Peter, seems to have presided Ac 15:19; Ga 2:11-15. Peter claimed no more for himself than to be an apostle by gift 1Pe 1:1 and an elder by office 1Pe 5:1. The power of binding and loosing was shared Mt 18:18; Joh 20:23 by the other disciples. That it did not involve the determination of the eternal destiny of souls is clear from Re 1:18. The keys of death and the place of departed spirits are held by Christ alone.  Margin: kingdom Cmt. on Mt 3:2.)
  • N2 p1022 to Mt. 16.20 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.” (The disciples had been proclaiming Jesus as the Christ, i.e. the coventanted King of a kingdom promised to the Jews, and ‘at hand.’ The churches, on the contrary, must be built upon testimony to Him as crucified, risen from the dead, ascended, and made ‘Head over all things to the churches’ (Eph. 1.20-23). The former testimony was ended, the new testimony was not yet ready, because the blood of the new covenant had not yet been shed, but our Lord begins to speak of His death and resurrection (v. 21).  It is a turning –point of immense significance. Margin: Jesus Omit “Jesus.”)

N3 to Mt. 21.44, p1029 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Christ as the “Stone” is revealed in a threefold way: (1) To Israel Christ, coming not as a splendid monarch but in the form of a servant, is a stumbling stone and rock of offence. Isa 8:14-15; Ro 9:32-33; 1Co 1:23; 1Pe 2:8; (2) to the institution of the church, Christ is the foundation stone and the head of the corner 1Co 3:11; Eph 2:20-22; 1Pe 2:4-5; (3) to the Gentile world-powers (see “Gentiles,” Lu 21:24; Re 16:19 He is to be the smiting-stone of destruction Da 2:34. Israel stumbled over Christ; the church is built upon Christ; Gentile world- dominion will be broken by Christ. See “Armageddon” “>Re 16:14; 19:19. Margin: Or, Whosoever falls on this stone shall be crushed together i.e. the Jews Isa 8:14; Ro 9:32-33; 1Co 1:23 but on whomsoever it may fall, he will be scattered as dust (Gr. “winnowed,” i.e. the Gentile nations, Da 2:34-35,45 Cmt. on Da 2:35.)

N1 p1149 & 1150 to Acts 2.4 in part and corrected to correspond with biblical teaching, p1149 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” … Every believer is baptized by the Spirit and God. The Lord desires every believer to be baptized into a local New Testament church. 1Co 12:12-13, imparts gifts for service to every member of the local New testament church body 1Co 12:7-11,27,30, guide the members in their service Lu 2:27; 4:1; Ac 16:6-7 and is Himself the power of that service Ac 1:8; 2:4; 1Co 2:4. The Spirit abides in the company of believers who constitute a local church, making of them, corporately, a temple 1Co 3:16-17. …).

N1 to Ac. 2.14, p1150 “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:” “… Peter and James explained that David himself understood that the dead and risen Christ would fulfill the covenant and sit on his throne; not as did Rome first followed by some Protestant commentators, that the covenant and promises were to be fulfilled in the church in a so-called “spiritual” sense, Peter shows Ac 2:25-32 from Ps 16. that David himself understood that the dead and risen Christ would fulfil the covenant and sit on his throne Lu 1:32-33. In precisely the same way James Ac 15:14-17 met the same difficulty. See “Kingdom (O.T.),” Zec 12:8 (N.T.), Lu 1:33; 1Co 15:24..

THE LAST DAYS, THE CHURCH, ISRAEL: N1 p1151 to Acts 2:17 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “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 young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” (A distinction must be observed between “the last days” when the prediction relates to Israel, and the “last days” when the prediction relates to the churches 1Ti 4:1-3; 2Ti 3:1-8; Heb 1:1-2; 1Pe 1:4-5; 2Pe 3:1-9; 1Jo 2:18-19; Jude 1:17-19. Also distinguish the expression the “last days” (plural) from “the last day” (singular); the latter expression referring to the resurrections and last judgment Joh 6:39-40,44; 11:24; 12:48. The “last days” as related to the church began with the advent of Christ Heb 1:2 but have especial reference to the time of declension and apostasy at the end of this age 2Ti 3:1; 4:4. The “last days” as related to Israel are the days of Israel’s exaltation and blessing, and are synonymous with the kingdom-age Isa 2:2-4; Mic 4:1-7. They are “last” not with reference to this dispensation, but with reference to the whole of Israel’s history.)

N1 to Ac. 2.17 p1151 above, distinguishes the “last days” when the prediction relates to Israel, and the “last days” when the prediction relates to the church.

N1 to Acts 7.38, p1158 “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:” (Israel in the land is never called a church. In the wilderness Israel was a true church (G. ecclesia = called-out assembly), but in striking contrast with the N.T. ecclesia.)

N1 to Ac. 15.13, p1169. Dispensationally, Acts 15.13 et. seq. is the most important passage in the NT. It gives the divine purpose for this age, and for the beginning of the next.  (1) The taking out from among the Gentiles of a people for His name, the distinctive work of the present, or church-age. The church is the ecclesia—the “called-out assembly.” Etc.

 “The Epistles of Paul” on p1189 [Corrected]. The Epistles of Paul develop the doctrine of the church.  In Mt. 16 our Lord announced the outcalling of the church, but wholly without explanation as to how, when, or of what materials, that church should be built, or what should be its position, relationships, privileges or duties.  Through Paul alone we know that a local church is not an organization, but an organism, the body of Christ; instinct with His life, and heavenly in calling, promise, and destiny. Through him alone, we know the nature, purpose, and form of organization of local churches, and the right conduct of such gatherings. Id.

N2 to Ro 11.25, p1205 [Corrected]: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (The “fullness of the Gentiles” is the completion of the purpose of God in this age, viz. the outcalling from among the Gentiles of a people for Christ’s name. Cf. Acts 15.14; Eph. 4.11-13; 1 Cor. 12.12, 13. It must be distinguished from “the times of the Gentiles.” (Lk. 21.24).)

Ro. 16.25 “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,”

  • Introductory Notes to the Epistles of Paul, p1189 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate]. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul have a very distinctive character. All Scripture, up to the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion, looks forward to the cross, and has primarily in view Israel, and the blessing of the earth through the Messianic kingdom. But “hid in God” Eph 3:9 was an unrevealed fact–the interval of time between the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ and His return in glory; and an unrevealed purpose– the outcalling of the ecclesia, the churches which make up the institution of the church. In Mat. 16, our Lord announced that purpose, but wholly without explanation as to how, when, or of what materials, that institution of the church should be built, or what should be its position, relationships, privileges, or duties. [this institution of the church is made up of local autonomous New Testament spiritual bodies or churches].
            All this constitutes precisely the scope of the Epistles of Paul. They develop the doctrine of the institution of the church which, until the marriage of the Lamb, will be made up of local autonomous New Testament churches. In his letters to seven Gentile churches (in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica), the institution of the church, the “mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God” (Eph 3:9), is fully revealed, and fully instructed as to her unique place in the counsels and purposes of God.
            Through Paul alone we know that the church made up of local autonomous spiritual bodies each not an organization, but an organism, the body of Christ; instinct with His life, and heavenly in calling, promise, and destiny. Through him alone we know the nature, purpose, and form of organization of local churches, and the right conduct of such gatherings. Through him alone do we know that “we shall not all sleep,” that “the dead in Christ shall rise first,” and that living saints shall be “changed” and caught up to meet the Lord in the air at His return.
    But to Paul was also committed the unfolding of the doctrines of grace which were latent in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Paul originates nothing, but unfolds everything, concerning the nature and purpose of the law; the ground and means of the believer’s justification, sanctification, and glory; the meanings of the death of Christ, and the position, walk, expectation, and service of the Christian.
    Paul converted by the personal ministry of the Lord in glory, is distinctively the witness to a glorified Christ, Head over all things to the institution of the church which is presently made up of local autonomous spiritual bodies.
    The chronological order of Paul’s Epistles is believed to be as follows: 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy. Hebrews has a distinctive place, nor can the order of that book amongst the writings of Paul be definitely fixed.

1 Co. 3.9-11 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (See also, vs. 12-19).

1 Cor. 3.16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

1 Co. 12.12-28, 31. (vs. 12-28, 31 deal w/the true church; v.28-31 deal w/the local church.) “12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. * * *. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. * * *.”

2 Co. 11.1-4. “1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

1 Co.12: A church is a body with many members.

Ep. 1 “17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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: 22 And hat put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

Eph. 1.22-23: “19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” When properly interpreted within the context of New Testament teaching, it is obvious that “the church” is presently an institution made up of local autonomous spiritual bodies.

Ep. 2.14-18. (6) Jew & Gentile one in Christ: “14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

Ep. 2.19-22: “19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner Stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the spirit.”   In Exo. 25.8, God tells Moses, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”  N1 p101: The tabernacle, speaking comprehensively, is explained in the NT as typical in three ways: (1) of the Church as a habitation of God through the Spirit (Ex. 25.8, Eph. 2.19-22) * * *.

N1 to Eph. 3.6, p1252 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” (Of course, this Epistle, contrary to Scofield’s headnote, was written to a local autonomous spiritual body and bodies and was to be applied by those bodies, not to a so called universal church. That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” (That the Gentiles were to be saved was no mystery Ro 9:24-33; 10:19-21. The mystery “hid in God” was the divine purpose to make of Jew and Gentile a wholly new thing and in which the earthly distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears Eph 2:14-15; Col 3:10-11. The revelation of this mystery, which was foretold, but not explained by Christ Mt 16:18 was committed to Paul. In Paul’s writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church.

Ep. 3.1-12 [with corrections to Scofield’s heading to make it biblically accurate] The institution of the church a mystery hidden from past ages. “… Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; …” [Bold emphasis mine.]

Ep. 4. The local assembly as a spiritual body. One cannot have members working together unless one has an assembly. Each member of the assembly has a gift which has a purpose. Ep. 4:16  “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Ep. 4.15 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

  1. 5:25-26 “He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet”; “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it redemption by “blood, “hyssop,” the “bath” that He might sanctify and cleanse “it with the washing by the word”: answering to the “wash me” of verse 7.). [Ep. 5.25-26 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”]

N1 p1254 to Eph 5.25. Christ’s 3 fold love work for the church.  “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. * * *” Eph. 6.25-33.

Ep. 5.23, 25-27, 29-32: “(23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (29) For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause  shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”N1 p1254 to Eph. 5.25-32: (Christ’s love-work for the church is threefold: past, present, future: (1) For love He gave Himself to redeem the church (v.25); (2) in love he is sanctifying the  church (v.26); (3) for the reward of His sacrifice and labor of love He will present the church to Himself in flawless perfection, “one pearl of great price” (v.27; Mt.13.46)).

N1 p1255 to Ep. 5.32 “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:30-31 are quoted from Ge 2:23-24 and exclude the interpretation that the reference is to the church merely as the body of Christ. Eve, taken from Adam’s body, was truly “bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh,” but she was also his wife, united to him in a relation which makes of “twain. . . one flesh” Mt 19:5-6 and so a clear type of the church as bride of Christ. 2Co 11:2-3. The bride type are Eve Ge 2:23-24 Rebecca Cmt. on Ge 24:1. Asenath Cmt. on Ge 41:45. Cmt. on Ge 37:2. Zipporah Ex 2:21. Cmt. on Ho 2:2. Margin: mystery Cmt. on Mt 13:11.).

Introductory notes to Philippians: “* * * The theme of Philippians is Christian experience.  Soundness of doctrine is assumed.  There is nothing in the church to set right.  Philippi is a normal New Testament assembly—“saints in Christ Jesus, with the bishops (elders) and deacons. * * *.”

N1 to Ph. 1.1, p1257: “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:” (Churches (local) Summary.  A local church is an assembly of professed believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, living for the most part in one locality, who assemble themselves together in His name for the breaking of bread, worship, praise, prayer, testimony, the ministry of the word, discipline, and the furtherance of the Gospel (Heb. 10.25; Acts 20.7; 1Cor. 14.26; 1 Cor. 5.4, 5; Phil. 4.14-18; 1 Thes. 1.8;  Acts 13.1-4). Such a church exists where two or three are thus gathered (Mt. 8.20). Every such local church has Christ in the midst, is a temple of God, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3.16, 17). When perfected in organization a local church consists of “saints, with bishops [elders] and deacons.)

Col. 1.12-20 24: “12-14, 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: “16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

1 Timothy gives a clear revelation for the guidance of the churches as the end of the apostolic period approaches. “That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God.”

The church is the pillar & ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3.15.

Headnote to Titus. WRITER The Apostle Paul (1.1)
DATE Practically the same with First Timothy
THEME Titus has much in common with First Timothy. Both Epistles are concerned with the due order of the churches. The distinction is that in First Timothy sound doctrine is more prominent 1Ti 1:3-10 in Titus the divine order for the local churches Tit 1:5. The permanent use of these Epistles lies in this twofold application, on the one hand to churches grown careless as to the truth of God, on the other, to churches careless as to the order of God’s house. The importance of this order is made solemnly emphatic in that the tests by which true elders and deacons may be known are repeated 1Ti 3:1-7; Tit 1:6-9. There are two divisions: I. The qualifications and functions of elders, 1.1-16. II. The pastoral work of the true elder, 2.1-3, 15.

“THE JEWISH-CHRISTIAN EPISTLES” p1289. “. . . [T]he Judaeo-Christian writers view the churches as a professing bodies in which, during this age, the wheat and the tares are mingled (Mt. 13.24-30).  Their writings, therefore, abound in warnings calculated to arouse and alarm the mere professor. A word of caution is, however, needful at this point. . . . The men in Mt. 7.21-23 are not conscious hypocrites—they are utterly surprised at their exclusion.”

He. 2 “12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” 12 “23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” [Bold emphasis mine]

The first covenant had ordinances of divine service, & a worldly sanctuary. He. 9.1. “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; He. 9.11.

N1 p1304 to He. 12.23 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” (Church (true) Summary. The universal church (to be established at the marriage of the Lamb), will be composed of the whole number of regenerate persons from Pentecost to the first resurrection (1 Cor. 15.52), united together and to Christ. See Hebrews 12:22-14.”

He. 12:22-24  “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”

1 Pe. 2:6-7  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

3d John (Historically, this letter marks the beginning of that clerical and priestly assumption over the churches in which the primitive church order disappeared.  John addresses this letter to a faithful man in the church for the comfort and encouragement of those who are standing fast in the primitive simplicity.  3d Jn. Deals with the personal responsibility of a member of the local church in a day of apostasy.)

In Jude, the apostasy (2 Thes. 2.3 note) of the professing church is predicted, & the cause & course described. In 2d Timothy & 2d Peter, the apostasy is treated as having already set in.

  • HEADNOTE TO THE REVELATION: [Some things corrected. this is Scofield’s headnote to Revelation and must be compared to the Word of God in order to discern what is true and what is false in the headnote. Jerald Finney includes those corrections in his writings concerning the institution of the church and local New Testament churches.]
  • WRITER: The Apostle John (1.1)
  • DATE: A.D. 96
  • THEME: The theme of the Revelation is Jesus Christ (1.1), presented in a threefold way: (1) As to time: “which is, and which was, and which is to come” (1.4); (2) as to relationships–the churches (1.9-3.22), to the tribulation (4.1-19.21), to the kingdom (20.1-22.21); (3) in His offices–High Priest (8.3-6), Bridegroom (19.7-9), King-Judge (20.1-15).
  • But while Christ is thus the central theme of the book, all of the events move toward one consummation, the bringing in of the covenanted kingdom. The key-phrase is the prophetic declaration of the “great voices in heaven” (Re 11:15), lit, “The world kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ has come.” The book is, therefore, a prophecy (Re 1:3).
  • The three major divisions of Revelation must be clearly held if the interpretation is to be sane and coherent. John was commanded to “write” concerning three classes of “things” (Re 1:19):
  • Things past, “the things thou hast seen,” i.e. the Patmos vision, 1.1-20. II. Things present, “the things which are,” i.e. things then existing. The temple had been destroyed, the Jews dispersed: the testimony of God had been committed to the Churches (1Ti 3:15). Accordingly we have seven messages to seven representative churches, 2.1-3.22. It is noteworthy that the church is not mentioned in chapters [but believers are] 5.-18. III. Things future, “things which shall be hereafter,” lit. “after these,” i.e. 4.1-22.21. The third major division, as Erdman (W.J.) has pointed out, falls into a series of six sevens, with parenthetical passages, making, with the church division, seven sevens. The six sevens are: 1. The seals, 4.1-8.1. 2. The seven trumpets, 8.2-11.19. 3. The seven personages, 12.1-14,20. 4. The seven vials (bowls), 15.1-16.21. 5. The seven dooms, 17.1-20.15. 6. The seven new things, 21.1-22.21.
  • The parenthetical passages are: (I) The Jewish remnant and the tribulation saints, 7.1-17. (II) The angel, the little book, the two witnesses, 10.1-11.14. (III) The Lamb, the Remnant, and the everlasting Gospel, 14.1-13. (IV) The gathering of the kings at Armageddon, 16.13-16. (V) The four alleluias in heaven, 19.1-6. These passages do not advance the prophetic narrative. Looking backward and forward they sum up results accomplished, and speak of results yet to come as if they had already come. In Re 14:1, for example, the Lamb and Remnant are seen prophetically on Mount Sion, though they are not actually there till Re 20:4-6.
  • The end of the church period (2.-3.) is left indeterminate. It will end by the fulfilment of 1Th 4.14-17. Chapters 4.-19. are believed to synchronize with Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Cmt. on Da 9:24). The great tribulation begins at the middle of the “week,” and continues three and a half years (Re 11.3-19.21). The tribulation is brought to an end by the appearing of the Lord and the battle of Armageddon (Mt 24:29-30; Re 19:11-21). The kingdom follows (Re 20:4-5); after this the “little season” (Re 20:7-15), and then eternity.
  • Interpreters of the Revelation should bear in mind two important passages: 1Pe 1:12; 2Pe 1:20-21. Doubtless much which is designedly obscure to us will be clear to those for whom it was written as the time approaches. Margin: angel Cmt. on Heb 1:4
  • N1 p1346 to Rev. 18.1: [In Rev. 18 we see the last form of apostate Christendom] Babylon, “confusion,” is repeatedly used by the prophets in a symbolic sense (see Isa. 13.1, note).  Two “Babylons” are to be distinguished in the Revelation: ecclesiastical Babylon, which is apostate Christendom, headed up under the Papacy: and political Babylon, which is the Beast’s confederated empire, the last form of Gentile world-dominion.  Ecclesiastical Babylon is “the great whore” (Rev. 17.1), and is destroyed by political Babylon (Rev. 17.15-18), that the beast may be the alone object of worship (2 Thes. 2.3,4; Rev. 13.15).  The power of political Babylon is destroyed by the return of the Lord in glory.  (See “Armageddon,” Rev. 16.14; 19.17)  The notion of a literal Babylon to be rebuilt on the site of ancient Babylon is in conflict with Isa. 13.19-22.  But the language of Rev. 18 (e.g. vs. 10, 16, 18) seems beyond question to identify “Babylon,” the “city” of luxury and traffic, with “Babylon” the ecclesiastical centre, viz. Rome.  The very kings who hate ecclesiastical Babylon deplore the destruction of commercial Babylon.

Re. 19.7-10:  The marriage of the lamb. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

N1 p1348 [Corrected]: The “Lamb’s wife” here is the “bride” Re 21:9 the general assembly and church of the firstborn, identified with the “heavenly Jerusalem” Heb 12:22-23 and to be distinguished from Israel, the adulterous and repudiated “wife” of Jehovah, yet to be restored Isa 54:1-10; Ho 2:1-17 who is identified with the earth Ho 2:23. A forgiven and restored wife could not be called either a virgin 2Co 11:2-3 or a bride..

N2 to Re. 19.19, p1349 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” “The day of Jehovah (called, also, “that day,” and “the great day”) is that lengthened period of time beginning with the return of the Lord in glory, and ending with the purgation of the heavens and the earth by fire preparatory to the new heavens and the new earth Isa 65:17-19; 66:22; 2Pe 3:13; Re 21:1. The order of events appears to be: (1) The return of the Lord in glory Mt 24:29-30; (2) the destruction of the Beast and his host, “the kings of the earth and their armies,” and the false prophet, which is the “great and terrible” aspect of the day Re 19:11-21; (3) the judgment of the nations Zec 14:1-9; Mt 25:31-46; (4) the thousand years, i.e, the kingdom-age Re 20:4-6; (5) the Satanic revolt and its end Re 20:7-10; (6) the second resurrection and final judgment Re 20:11-15 and; (7) the “day of God,” earth purged by fire 2Pe 3:10-13.
“The day of the Lord is preceded by seven signs:; (1) The sending of Elijah Mal 4:5; Re 11:3-6; (2) cosmical disturbances Joe 2:1-12; Mt 24:29; Ac 2:19-20; Re 6:12-17; (3) the insensibility of the professing churches 1Th 5:1-3; (4) the apostasy of the professing churches, then become “Laodicea” 2Th 2:3;(5) the manifestation of the “man of sin,” the Beast 2Th 2:1-8; (6) the apocalyptic judgments (Rev. 11.-18.). ” Margin: make war Armageddon (battle of). See note, “>Re 16:14; 19:17 Cmt. on Re 19:17.

The only ordinances are baptism & the Lord’s Supper. See A Short History of the Baptists, Henry C. Vedder, Judson Press, Valley Forge, 1907, p 28-29 for the three things needed for an ordinance of the church: (1) Must be a command of Christ himself. (2) Addressed not to individuals, but to Christians at large, and obviously intended to be obeyed for all time. (3) There must be evidence that the command was so understood and obeyed generally in the apostolic churches.

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  1. The Body

N5 to Le. 23.16, p156 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate]. Le. 23:16: ”Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.” (The feast of Pentecost, Le 23:15-22. The anti-type is the descent of the Holy Spirit to form the church at Jerusalem. For this reason leaven is present, because there is evil in the church Mt 13:33; Ac 5:1,10; 15:1. Observe, it is now loaves; not a sheaf of separate growths loosely bound together, but a real union of particles making one homogenous body. The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost united the separated disciples into one organism. 1Co 10:16; 12:12-13,20.).

N1 to Le. 23.17, p157 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate]. “Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.” (The wave-loaves were offered fifty days after the wave-sheaf. This is precisely the period between the resurrection of Christ and the formation of the church at Jerusalem at Pentecost by the baptism of the Holy Spirit Ac 2:1-4; 1Co 12:12-13. See “Church” Mt 16:18; Heb 12:22-23. With the wave-sheaf no leaven was offered, for there was no evil in Christ; but the wave-loaves, typifying the institution of the church, are “baken with leaven,” for in the institution of the church there is still evil.)

Ro. 12.1-15.33” “3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching: 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Etc. through 15.33.

1 Co. 3.9-11. (1) The local body is holy: because washed and justified. The epistle was written first to the local church at Corinth, and generally, to all local church bodies. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (See also, vs. 12-19).

Part IV. The sanctity of the body, and marriage(1 Cor. 6.9-7.40). 1 Co. 6.9-12. (1) The body is holy: because washed and justified. 1 Co. 6.13-18. (2) Because the body is the Lord’s. 1 Co. 6.19-20. (3) Because the body is a temple.

1 Co. 6 “15 Know ye not the your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” Rom. 7 “23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”

1 Co. 7.20-24 “20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.  23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.”

1 Co. 12. Part  VII. Spiritual gifts in the local body for ministry and worship (1 Cor. 12.1-14.10).

1 Co. 12.12-31: Every believer in the local assembly or body has a definite ministry. “12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

Ep. 1 “22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

Eph. 2 “15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for the make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace:”

Eph. 2.19-22. “19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Eph. 4.1-32: The walk to be worthy the position (vv1-3); The seven unities to be kept (vv 4-6); The ministry gifts of Christ to his body (vv 7-11); The purpose of the ministry gifts (vv 12-16); The walk of the believer as a new man in Christ Jesus (vv 17-29); The walk of the believer as indwelt by the spirit (vv 30-32).

Eph. 4 “4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, an in you all.” “11 And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; vv12-16.”

Ephesians 4.11-16. The purpose of the ministry gifts.

One body: Eph. 1:22-3; 1 Cor. 12.12, 13; Col. 3.10, 11; Heb. 12.23 note (from Note 2 p 1251); Eph. 2.19-22; p 1189; N1 2 p 1021; N2 p 1022; N3 p 1226; N1 2 p 1253; ***N1 p 1257***; Eph 3 (the institution of the church a mystery hidden in past ages); Christ & the church; Eph 5.23-33; ;N1 p1257 (definition of local church); Col. 1.18, 24-26; I Tim. 3 (Elders & deacons, etc.); N1 p1276; Titus (the divine order for local p1304.

N1 to Eph. 3.6, p1252 [with corrections to the note make it biblically accurate] “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” (That the Gentiles were to be saved was no mystery Ro 9:24-33; 10:19-21. The mystery “hid in God” was the divine purpose to make of Jew and Gentile a wholly new thing–“the institution of the church, in which the earthly distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears Eph 2:14-15; Col 3:10-11. The revelation of this mystery, which was foretold, but not explained by Christ Mt 16:18 was committed to Paul. In his writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church.)

N1 to Ep. 5.31-32, p1255 “Verses 30, 31 are quoted from Gen. 2.23, 24, and exclude the interpretation that the reference is to the church merely as the body of Christ. Eve, taken from Adam’s body, was truly “ bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh,” but she was also his wife, united to him in a relation which makes of “twain . . . one flesh” (Mt. 19.5, 6), and so a clear type of the church as bride of Christ (see 2 Cor. 11.2, 3). The bride types are Eve (Gen. 2.23, 24); Rebecca (Gen. 24.1-7, note); Asenath (Gen. 41.45; note under Gen. 37.2); Zipporah Ex. 2.21). See Hos. 2.1-23, note.

N1 to Ep. 4.11, p1253 [with corrections to the note make it biblically accurate] (see vv 11-16) “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” (In 1Co 12:8-28 the Spirit is seen as enduing the members of the local body of Christ with spiritual gifts, or enablements for a varied service; here certain Spirit-endued men, viz. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, are themselves the gifts whom the glorified Christ bestows the institution of the church which is made up of local spiritual assemblies or bodies. In Corinthians the gifts are spiritual enablements for specific service; in Ephesians the gifts are men who have such enablements.

Col. 1.15-19 “15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 2 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”

Col 1.24 “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:”

Col. 2.9-10 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”

Col. 2.18-19 “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”

Col. 3 “3:10-11  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”

N1 p1304 to Heb. 12.23 [with corrections to make it biblically accurate] “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” (Church (true) Summary. The universal church (to be established at the marriage of the Lamb), will be composed of the whole number of regenerate persons from Pentecost to the first resurrection (1 Cor. 15.52), united together and to Christ. See Hebrews 12:22-14.”

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  1. House of God/The Building Is Not the Church

N1 to Ex. 40,34, p125 [with corrections] “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” (Cf. Eph 2:22. What the shekinah glory was to tabernacle and temple, that the Spirit is to the temple which is the believer’s body. 1 Co 6:19. Cf. Eph 2:22. What the shekinah glory was to tabernacle and temple, that the Spirit is to the ‘holy temple,’ the Church, and to the temple which is the believer’s body. 1 Co. 6:19.)

  • Temple: N1 to 1 Ki. 6.1 and N2 to 1 Ki. 6.4 p393. * * * The N.T. invariably expounds the typology of the tabernacle, not of the temple.  The symbolism of the latter may be revealed in the kingdom-age. Scriptures given.  In the N.T., the usual Gk. Word for sanctuary (naos) is used (1) of the temple in Jerusalem (Mt. 23.16); (2) of the believer’s body (1 Cor. 3.16, 17; 6.19); (3) of the local church (2 Cor. 6.16); and (4) the true church (Eph. 2.21).  But in all these instances the thought is simply of a habitation of God.  No reference to the structure of the temple, as in the case of the tabernacle (Heb. 9.9-10.) is traceable.
  • Cf. 2 Chr. 4.20.  In the holy of holies in the tabernacle no light but the shekinah glory was provided.  In many ways Solomon’s temple manifests the spiritual deterioration of the people, and Jehovah’s condescension to it in grace.

1 Ki. 6.11-14 “And the word of the LORD came to Solomon saying, concerning this house which thou are in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.  So Solomon built the house, and finished it.”.

House of God: God tells David not to build him a house.  1 Chr. 17.4-6 (“Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in. For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?”); see also Heb. 9.1-10.

1 Chr. 22.6-16, 28.2-21, 29.1-19. David tell Solomon to build a house of God; that God had told him not to do so bc he was a man of blood; that his son will build the house bc his son will be a man or rest.

God tells David that He will build him a house. 1 Chr. 17.10-14.

2 Chr. 3.-7.22 Solomon builds the temple, the ark brought in, Solomon’s sermon, his prayer of dedication, the divine acceptance, sacrifice :& rejoicing, Jehovah appears to Solomon.

Ro. 16.5: “Likewise greet the church that is in their house.”  Notice that the church refers to the assembly of believers.  The house was just the place where they met.  It was not a church.

1 Co. 1.1-2. “Paul * * * Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s.”

1 Co. 3.9-11 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (See also, vs. 12-19).

Ep. 2.19-22: “19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

1 Co. 14.23 “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place * * *.”

1 Co. 16.19 “The churches of Asia salute you.”

Philemon 1-2 “Paul * * * unto Philemon * * * and to the church in thy house.”

Heb. 3 “4 Hebrews 3:4  For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.5 And Moses verily was faithful in all h is house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”

1 Pe. 2.5-7: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,”

He. 10. 25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

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  1. Scofield’s false “true church” doctrine: line of verses (margin notes) with corrections

Scofield got it wrong on his doctrine of the “True Church.” The Bible speaks of the institution of the church and the local autonomous New Testament church. Yes, all believers will come together at the marriage supper of the Lamb, but that will come at the close of the church age. The institution of the church today is made up of all the local autonomous New Testament churches.

Mt. 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.”
Acts 2:47:
“Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
1. Co. 12:12-28
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.   For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 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.”
2 Co. 11:2-3:
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Ep. 1.22-23:
“22 And hat put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”
Ep. 2.:19-22:
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Ep. 3.1-10:
“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”
Ep. 5:23, 25-27, 29-32: Quoted above
Col. 1:18, 24: Quoted above
He. 2:12: “Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.”
1 Thes. 4.16-17: 1
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
He. 12:23 which is the end of the line for Scofield’s sloppy “true” church doctrine: “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” [Scofield does not include the surrounding verses. He. 12:22-24 say: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Conclusion: The universal church visible church spoken or here will come into existence in the heavenly Jerusalem.]

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  1. Bride of Christ

N1 to Ge. 2.23, p8 “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” “Eve, type of the Church as bride of Christ (John 3.28, 29; 2 Cor. 11.2; Eph. 5.25-32; Rev. 19.7, 8.”

N2 to Ge. 24.1, p34 “And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.” (The entire chapter is highly typical: (1) Abraham, type of a certain king who would make a marriage for his son Mt 22:2; Joh 6:44; (2) the unnamed servant, type of the Holy Spirit, who does not “speak of himself,” but takes of the things of the Bridegroom with which to win the bride Joh 16:13-14; (3) the servant, type of the Spirit as enriching the bride with the Bridegroom’s gifts Ga 5:22; 1Co 12:7-11; (4) the servant, type of the Spirit as bringing the bride to the meeting with the Bridegroom Ac 13:4; 16:6-7; Ro 8:11; 1Th 4:14-16; (5) Rebekah, type of the Church, the ecclesia, the “called out” virgin bride of Christ Ge 24:16; 2Co 11:2; Eph 5:25-32; (6) Isaac, type of the Bridegroom, “whom not having seen,” the bride loves through the testimony of the unnamed Servant 1Pe 1:8; (7) Isaac, type of the Bridegroom who goes out to meet and receive His bride Ge 24:63; 1Th 4:14-16.)

N2 to Ge. 24.1, p34. * * * Rebekah a type of the church, the ecclesia, the “called out” virgin bride of Christ (scriptures given)* * *.

Isaac: Typical is a fourfold way (1) of the church as composed of the spiritual children of Abraham (Gal. 4.28) * * * (3) Of Christ as the Bridegroom of a called-our bride (See Gen 24 & “Church”, Mt. 16.18 & refs.)

N1 to Ge. 41.45, p59 “And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.” (Asenath, the Gentile bride espoused by Joseph the rejected one Joh 19:15 type of the Church, called out from the Gentiles to be the bride of Christ during the time of His rejection by His brethren, Israel. Ac 15:14; Eph 5:31-32. Cmt. on Ge 37:2. Margin: Zaphnath-paaneah Coptic, revealer of secret things.)

  • See Clark on Judges 3.27: “Gideon made an ephod thereof – That is, he made an ephod out of this mass of gold; but he could not employ it all in making this one garment, for it is not likely that any man could wear a coat of nearly one hundred pounds weight. It is likely that he made a whole tabernacle service in miniature out of this gold.
  • “All Israel went thither a whoring after it – This form of speech often occurs, and has been often explained. The whole Jewish nation is represented as being united to God as a wife is to her husband. Any act of idolatry is considered as a breach of their covenant with God, as an act of whoredom is the breach of the marriage agreement between man and wife. God calls himself the husband of the Jewish nation, and their idolatries acts of whoredom, adultery, and fornication. All Israel paid idolatrous worship to the ephod or sacerdotal establishment made by Gideon at Ophrah, and this is called going a whoring after it; see on Jg 8:33 (note). For a description of the ephod, see Ex 25:7 (note); and for the other garments of the priests, see Ex 28:4 (note), etc.”

Typically, the book of Ruth may be taken as a foreview of the church (Ruth), as the Gentile bride of Christ, the Bethlehemite who is able to redeem. Headnote to Ruth.

  • Headnote to Song of Solomon: “That the love of the divine Bridegroom should follow all the analogies of the marriage relation seems evil only to minds so ascetic that marital desire itself seems to them unholy.
  • “The interpretation is twofold: Primarily, the book is the expression of pure marital love as ordained of God in creation, and the vindication of that love as against both asceticism and lust—the two profanations of the holiness of marriage.  The secondary and larger interpretation is of Christ, the Son and His heavenly bride, the Church (2 Cor. 11.1-4 refs.

Je. 3.1-25. “1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. 2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. 3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. 4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? 5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest…. 20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.”

Ez. 16. esp. 26-59 speaks of “as a wife commits fornication, so has Israel.”

Ez. 23. The parable of Aholah & Aholibah, their whoredoms, the consequences, representative of Israel & Judah.

N1 to Ho. 2.2, p922 (That Israel is the wife of Jehovah (see vs. 16-23), now disowned but yet to be restored, is the clear teaching of the passages.  This relationship is not to be confounded with that of the Church to Christ (John 3.29, refs.). In the mystery of the Divine tri-unity both are true.  The NT speaks of the Church as a virgin espoused to one husband (2 Cor. 11.1, 2); which could never be said of an adulterous wire, restored in grace.  Israel is, then, to be the restored and forgiven wife of Jehovah, the Church the virgin wife of the Lamb (John 3.29; Rev. 19.6-8); Israel Jehovah’s earthly wife (Hos. 2.23); the Church the Lamb’s heavenly bride (Rev. 19.7)).

Jn. 3 “(29) He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.”

N3 to Jn. 17.2, p1139: “John 17:2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” “Seven times Jesus speaks of believers as given to Him by the Father ( vs. 2, 6 (twice) 9, 11, 12, 24). Jesus Christ is God’s love-gift to the world (Jn. 3.16), and believers are the Father’s love-gift to Jesus Christ.  It is Christ who commits the believer to the Father for safe-keeping, so that the believer’s security rests upon the Father’s faithfulness to His Son Jesus Christ.”

Ro. 7 “4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

2 Co. 11 “2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear well bear with him.

N1 to Ep. 5.25, p1254 Christ’s 3 fold love work for the church.  “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. * * *” Eph. 6.25-33.

Eph. 5.25-32: “21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.  22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject  unto Christ, so let  the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man  ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

N1 to Ep. 5.31-32, p1255 “Verses 30 , 31 are quoted from Gen. 2.23, 24, and exclude the interpretation that the reference is to the church merely as the body of Christ. Eve, taken  from Adam’s body, was truly “ bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh,” but she was also his wife, united to him in a relation which makes of “twain . . . one flesh” (Mt. 19.5, 6), and so a clear type of the church as bride of Christ (see 2 Cor. 11.2, 3). The bride types are Eve (Gen. 2.23, 24); Rebecca (Gen. 24.1-7, note); Asenath (Gen. 41.45; note under Gen. 37.2); Zipporah Ex. 2.21). See Hos. 2.1-23, note.

Rev. 19.6-8 “(7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen in the righteousness of saints.”

N1 p1348 to Rev. 19.7-10: The marriage of the lamb. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” (The marriage of the Lamb.  The “Lamb’s wife” here is “the bride” (Rev. 1.29), the Church, identified with the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12.22, 23), and to be distinguished from Israel, the adulterous and repudiated “wife” of Jehovah, yet to be restored (Isa. 54. 1-10; Hos. 2.1-17), who is identified with the earth (Hos. 2.23). A forgiven and restored wife could not be called either a virgin (2 Cor. 11.2, 3), or a bride.)

N1 to Re. 19.19, p1349 [With correction] “* * *. The day of the LORD is preceded by seven signs: * * * (3) the insensibility of professing believers (2 Thes. 2.3); (4) the apostasy of the professing churches, then become ‘Laodicea’ (2 Thes. 2.3); the rapture of believers (1 Thes. 4.17); * * *.”

Re. 21 “9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”.

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VI. Scofield’s line of “local church” verses (margin notes) corrected

Will be completed with quotations of verses later

 

Ac. 2.41: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
Ac. 8.1-8:
Ac. 9.31: “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”

Ac. 11.1-26:
Ac. 13.1-3:
Ac. 14.19-23; 26-28.
Acts 15.1, 32, 36-41:
Ac. 18.22:
Ac. 20.7, 17-32:
Ro. 16.1-5, 16,23:
1 Co. 1.2, 10-17, 26-31:
1 Co. 6.4, 5.
1 Co. 7.17, 18.
1 Co. 10.32:
1 Co. 12.28:
1 Co. 14.1-5:
1 Co. 14.35:
1 Co. 15.9:
1 Co. 16.1, 19:
2 Co. 1, 1
2 Co. 8.1, 18, 19, 23, 24:
2 Co. 11.8, 28:
2 Co. 12.13:
Ga. 1.2, 13, 22:
Phil. 1.1:
Col. 4.15, 16:
1 Thes. 1.1:
1 Thes. 2.14:
2 Thes. 1.1, 4:
1 Ti. 3.5, 15, 16:
Phm. 2:
Jas. 5.14:
3 Jn. 6, 9, 10:
Re. 1.4, 11, 20:
Re. 2.1, 7, 8, 11, 12-29:
Re. 3.1, 6, 7, 13, 22:
Re. 22.16:

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VII. Scofield’s line of “visible church” verses with corrections (his margin notes)

1 Co. 10.32: “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, not to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”
1 Co. 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.”
1 Co. 15.9: “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an  apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
Ga. 1.13: “For ye have heard of my conversation  in time past in the Jews’ religion, nhow that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:”
Phil. 3.6: “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”
1 Ti. 3.15: “But if I tarry long that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
N1 to 1 Ti. 3.15, p1276 [Corrected]: “Church (visible) Summary: The passages under this head (1 Cor. 10.32; 1 Tim. 3.15) refer to that visible body of professed believers called, collectively, “the Church,” of which history takes account as such, though it exists under many names and divisions based upon differences in doctrine or in government. The predicted future of the visible churches, except for a remnant, is apostasy (Lk. 18.8; 2 Tim. 3.1-8); for true believers, glory (Mt. 13.36-43; Rom. 8.18-23; 1 Thes. 4.14-17).

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VIII. Organization, Headship, Elders, Deacons, and other members of the body

“Those who believe in a mixed church-membership, including unregenerate and regenerate, often cite the parable of the Tares (Mt. 13.24-30). The field, they say, represents the church, and as the tares and wheat were to be suffered to grow together till the harvest, so the regenerate and unregenerate are to be intermingled in the church.  It is a decisive objection to this plausible theory that our Lord himself interpreted this parable to his disciples (Mt. 13.36-43), and declared that the field represents, not the church, but the world; the tares being separated from the wheat in the final judgment of mankind.” A Short History of the Baptists, Henry C. Vedder, Judson Press, Valley Forge, 1907, p 27 (I believe he is right about this, so that a church should not knowingly allow in tares as members, but to visit is OK.  However, I believe even true churches have tares, most likely).

At first no organization in the Church at Jerusalem. Ibid at 29. Apostles took the lead & oversight of the flock w/no need for officers felt. First step was the appointment of deacons … chosen by the entire church (thus a democracy seen, set apart to their work by prayer & laying on of hands. Ibid.  Next step was appt. of pastors to have oversight of the churches, as their numbers increased (so apostles free to give themselves to their specific work of evangelization). Ibid. We 1st learn of this office 14 yrs later when Barnabas & Paul return to Antioch from 1st missionary journey: “And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.” Ibid. “The word translated “appoint” is conceded by all scholars to signify ‘to stretch forth the hand,’ probably for the purpose of voting.” Ibid at 30.* * *.  “W/the election of pastors, the organization of the church became complete, and in the NT there is no evidence of any further ecclesiastical machinery.” id.

“The chief officer of a NT church is called by various titles, ‘bishop,’ ‘elder,’ ‘teacher,’ ‘pastor.’ The latter two seem to describe functions rather than an office, and the former two are interchangeable but not synonymous.  ‘Bishop’ (episcopus) is a term of Greek origin, and means overseer, president.  It indicates the duties of the office, which were executive. ‘Elder (presubuteros) is of Hebrew origin, and refers to the honor paid this officer. . . .  It is admitted by all scholars that in the apostolic times ‘bishop’ and ‘elder’ were the same. . . .” Id.

“NT bishop was chosen by his flock, the officer of a single congregation, and regarded as one of them and one with them. No idea of a division into ‘clergy’ and ‘laity’ appears in the NT. No priestly character or function is ascribed to either bishop or deacon, but the universal priesthood of believers is unmistakably taught.” Id.  See p 31 for plurality of elders.

“Simple in organization & democratic in govt., the NT churches were independent of each other in their internal affairs. . . .” Id. at 31.  However, there was an interdependance bc all believers form one body of  Christ

. Id. at 32. “If the former [independency], when abused, leads to centralization and prelacy, the latter, pushed to extremes, leads to disintegration, discord, and weakness. . . .” Id.

“The worship of the early Christians was simple and spiritual. . . . The distinctive day of worship among apostolic Christians was the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day. . . .” Id. at 32-34.

“There were doubtless other times of meeting in the apostolic churches, besides the first day of the week. For a brief time after the day of Pentecost, every day appears to have been a day of worship, as it even now is with churches during season of special revival; and the Lord’s Supper was at this time celebrated daily. . . . [T]here is nothing to indicate that this was regarded as obligatory. . . .  The one thing for which no NT precedent can be pleaded is the letting of months go by without a celebration of the Communion.” Id. at 34.

See “Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing,” by Robert McCurry (filed in bookshelf): “The word pastor is based on the Greek word that simply means shepherd. The NT does not distinguish between pastors, elders, and overseers—they are all the same.  The term ‘elder’ highlights their maturity and the respect they command in the church.  The term ‘shepherd’ or ‘pastor’ highlights his responsibilities to the church as a flock.  The term ‘overseer’ reiterates the same point without untilyzing the images of the sheep and shepherd.

“In summary then, ‘elder,’ ‘pastor,.’ ‘shepherd,’ and ‘overseer,’ (sometimes translated ‘bishop,’ 1 Tim. 3.1) all refer to the same person in the NT church.  They aren’t separate people or separate rolls.

“The pastor’s roll as shepherd is to feed and protect the sheep from enemies that cause them harm. Notice that the Apostles identifies these enemies by name.

N2 p188 to Numbers 16.10 “And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?” Korah: Numbers 16, Jude 11.  . “Seek ye the priesthood also.” The “gainsaying of Korah” was intrusion into the priest’s office (“no man taketh this honour unto himself,”) Heb 5:4. It was an attempt to create a priestly order without the divine authority Heb 5:10. The modern analogue is Nicolaitanism Re 2:6,15 the division of an equal brotherhood Mt 23:8 into “clergy” and “laity”; a vastly different thing from the due recognition of ministry-gifts # 1Co 12:4-31 Eph 4:8,11,12 or of elders and deacons 1Ti 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9.

N1 to Mt. 2.2 p995 “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (“The King” is one of the divine titles Ps 10:16 and so used in the worship of the churches 1Ti 1:17 but Christ is never called “King of the Church.” He is “King of the Jews” Mt 2:2 and Lord and “Head of the churches” Eph 1:22-23 Cmt. on Mt 16:18 Cmt. on Heb 12:23 Mt 16:18; Heb 12:23.)

The first deacons: Acts 6.1-7.

Elders appointed in every church. Acts 14.23.

Ep. 3.7-16: The ministry gifts of Christ to his body.

Ep. 4 “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we * * *.”

N2 to Ep. 4.11, p1253: “The Lord, in bestowing the gifted men, determines, providentially (e.g. Acts 11.22-26), or directly through the Spirit (e.g. Acts 13.1,2; 16.6,7), the places of their service.  “Some” (churches or places) need one gift, as, e.g. evangelist; “some” (churches or places need rather a pastor or teacher.  Absolutely nothing in Christ’s service is left to mere human judgment or self-choosing.  Even an apostle was not permitted to choose his place of service (Acts 16.7, 8).

Paul and the Ephesian elders. Acts 20.17-38.

“For both the prophet and priest are profane: yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. * * *. 36b for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God. * * *.” Jer. 23.11-40.

Col. 1 “18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

1 Ti. 3.1-16 gives the qualifications of elders (bishops) and deacons.

“[2 Ti. 4.14-15; Ro. 16.17-18; 1 Co. 1.10;  1 Ti. 1.18-20 quoted as examples of wolves, warnings against wolves].”

Ti. 1. The divine order for the local churches.

N1 to Ti. 1.5, p1283: “It is not at all a question of the presence in the assembly of persons having the qualifications of elders, made overseers by the Holy Spirit Ac 20:28 that such persons were in the churches of Crete is assumed; the question is altogether one of the appointment of such persons. These assemblies were not destitute of elders; but were “wanting,” in that they were not duly appointed. There is a progress of doctrine in respect of the appointing of elders. Cf. v. 5, note.”

N2 to Titus 1.5, p1283 (See Titus 1.5-11) deals w/appointment of elders. “Elder * * * and bishop * * * designate the same off ice (cf. v7; Acts 20.17; cr. V28), the former referring to the man, the latter to a function of the office.  The eldership in the apostolic local churches was always plural.  There is no instance of one elder in a local church.  The functions of the elders are: to rule (1 Tim. 3.4, 5; 5.17), to guard the body of revealed truth from perversion and error (Tit. 1.9), to ‘oversee’ the church as a shepherd his flock (Acts 20.28; John 21.16; Heb. 13.17; 1 Pet. 5.2). Elders are made or ‘set’ in the churches by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20.28), but great stress is laid upon their due appointment (Acts 4.23; Tit. 1.5). At first they were ordained (Gr. * * *, ‘to elect,’ ‘to designate with the hand,’ by an apostle; e.g. Acts 14.23, but in Titus and 1 Timothy the qualifications of an elder become part of the Scriptures for the guidance of he churches in such appointment. (1 Tim. 3.14, 15).

1 Pe. 5.2-4 “‘Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of golry that fadeth not away.’”

1 Pe. 5 “1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”

The tests by which true elders and deacons may be known are repeated in Titus (1 Tim. 3.1-7; Tit. 1.6-9).  The qualifications and functions of elders are given in Titus 1.1-16, the pastoral work of the true elder in Titus 2.1-3.15.

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  1. From, The Voice of the Martyrs, August 2005, p2, “You Will Always Have Your Groupies.”

“If we could go back in time, we could sit and worship with [the seven churches in the Book of Revelation]. These were actual congregations dotted along a horseshoe-shaped road conforming to the old Roman postal route in modern-day Turkey (Revelation 1-3).

“They all started out with a strong work ethic, patience and perseverance.  But their love changed over time.  Even today there are cold churches like Ephesus, compromising churches like Pergamos, corrupt churches like Thyatira, dead churches like Sardis, and lukewarm churches like Laodicea.  There are also faithful churches like Philadelphia and persecuted churches like Smyrna.

“It is interesting to note that five of the seven churches receive an increasingly stern condemnation from the Lord. These range from Ephesus’, ‘You have left your first love’ (2.4), to Laodicea’s, ‘You are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked’ (3.17).

“Only two of the churches, Smyrna and Philadelphia, receive no condemnation.  Why did Smyrna receive no condemnation from our Lord? Was this church without sin or failure? Of course not. It had its share of both. So why no condemnation?

“I want to suggest something.  The persecuted Church in Smyrna, whether in the book of Revelation or in the restricted countries today, is one of the purest churches on earth.  Not perfect, but pure.  Why? Because this church comes the closest to having a membership totally made up on genuine followers of Christ, not faultless, but putting Jesus first.  How do we know this? Because people who are not real Christians are not going to continue to worship and face losing everything they own for a bottom-line faith they don’t even possess.

“It is no accident that God formed the persecuted church in Smyrna.  The name ‘Smyrna’ has deep significance.  It is also the name for myrrh.  When the Magi visited the Christ child, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  While Jesus hung on the cross, the Roman soldiers unsuccessfully presented Him wine mixed with Smyrna (myrrh) as a sedative.  After the Lord’s burial, women came to the tomb intending to anoint His body with myrrh.

“Myrrh is an inert plant that is useless until crushed.  Once crushed, it gives off a marvelous fragrance.  The more it is crushed the better it smells; much like the crushed Christians in Smyrna whose fragrance is an offering to God to us.

“The Christians in Smyrna would not obey a law and declare once a year, ‘Caesar is Lord.’  They were not sell-outs to the forces in their society.  Their first bishop, Polycarp, was burned at the stake in 156 A.D., by the Roman authorities.  Before this pyre was lit, he said: ‘Eighty and six years have I served him (Jesus) and He has done me no wrong.  How can I blaspheme my King who saved me? You threaten me with a fire that burns for a time and is quickly quenched but you do not know the fire that awaits the wicked and the judgment to come and everlasting punishment.  Why are you waiting? Do what you will.’

“After 1900 years the Church in Smyrna is still around.  The ‘Polycarps’ of today meet in houses and caves and forests in places like China, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cuba, and the Arab world.  In America, evangelistic churches that reach out at home and abroad re like the Church in Philadelphia looking for ‘an open door’ (Revelation 3.8).  Some minister to the persecuted Church in Smyrna.  The two groups receive no condemnation.  We are blessed to have fellowship with the church in Smyrna.”

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3. Teachings of others on the local vs. universal churches controversy.

 

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Luke William Campbell commented on a status that you’re tagged in.
Luke wrote: “I agree that there is one body and Christ is not divided. But there is only one body in DOCTRINE and in TYPE. Any Church, if indeed a true Church, IS the body of Christ. Is it divided? God forbid that it be! The same goes for McGregor Road Baptist Church, IF it is a true Church then it IS the body of Christ. When Scripture teaches that there is one body it teaches it in the context of a local church (the Church at Corinth) and Paul taught it that THEY would be one and unified. He is not teaching them to agree with every other Christian in the world because we are “all of the same body,” (though we SHOULD, if we are all Christians) he is teaching that the Corinthian church is ONE body (1 Cor. 12:27; cf. v.13) and they were to ALL be ONE. Considering the “problem” of the “one and the many”, you must remember that the same proponents of the universal, invisible Body call it the universal, invisible CHURCH. They will say there is only ONE church. And yet is there not many churches? And are not these churches made of tripartite individuals (body, soul, and spirit), and would this not make it BOTH an invisible AND visible “assembly” (though one may truly long to know where it assembles)? Are many churches making Christ a freak? No, it is not. They will say there is only one TRUE church, and do they really mean to say that a local church, being filled with the Spirit with proper NT ecclesiology, is NOT a true church? I’d like to quote a brother for your consideration: “Furthermore, if the ‘body of Christ’ is an invisible, universal composite of Christians, there are some serious schisms in it. Fundamentalists who disdain ecumenism while embracing this ‘universal church’ concept have a real complication here. There is to be no schism (separation) in the body of Christ, (1 Cor. 12:25 ‘That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.’ If the ‘body of Christ’ is composed of all Christianity, then the ecumenists, neo-evangelicals, and the entire contemporary Christian culture are correct. (Their platform is in fact, based on, and is consistent with this very premise.) But allowing the Bible to define ‘body of Christ’ makes the issue of ‘ecclesiastical separation’ amazingly simple and complete. It also lifts the veil to a tremendously rich concept of your relationship with your church. Isn’t that how the Lord works? The complicated inventions of man cannot approach the profound simplicity of Christ.” I do not profess that those, outside of a NT Church, do NOT have the Spirit and are NOT in Christ. But if they are NOT in His local, visible assembly then they are NOT in the Church He began. You cannot get around the fact (whether you believe the Church started before or after Pentecost) that it was STILL a local assembly on the day of Pentecost and their doctrine was what they were ONE in. If one did not join themselves unto the Church JESUS started then they were not considered members of His Church, just as an eye, apart from the body, can do NOTHING, and be nothing, but a dead eye. And I have beheld those, who are not Baptists, and profess to be evangelical, who interpret Acts 2 as baptism being that avenue which added around 3,000 to the Church in Jerusalem. I will not deny that there be those who were saved outside of a local Baptistic Church. Those, physically, in the Church of JESUS are considered, by us, in His Church until the day of judgment fully reveals if they were truly a believer or not. Of course, if one was not a believer when they were baptized then their baptism meant nothing, for Scripture teaches that only those who have believed and have been washed in the blood of the Lamb should follow Him in baptism. Also, one thing I would know concerning those who deny local only, does their belief in a universal, invisible Church cause them to despise (think little of) the ordination and laying on of hands that is an intricate part of the process of God called men? If not, praise the LORD and amen, but I’ve met men who reject ordination in the local church, saying their ordination came, invisibly, from God alone and they are, therefore, rejecting the clear teaching of Scripture (and also neglecting to have the same witness that Scripture does when one’s ordination came from God and the witnesses that attested to it). I’ve also met those that refuse to be a member of a local church because they are “already a member of Jesus’ church,” and they call it “politics” when one suggest that the Bible teaches that they are to be a member of a local church. Dear brethren, I’ve literally had people tell me this and it was because of their belief in a universal, invisible church.”
Facebook August 14, 2014 at 10:14 PM
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Luke William Campbell commented on a status that you’re tagged in.
Luke wrote: “The Corinthian Church was called the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27; not an arm, not an eye). They were to cast out the wicked person (1 Cor. 5), out of their body. The whole basis of Paul’s argument was to the visible, spiritually gifted body at Corinth in chapter 12, and how they were to function as a local body. We need realize that Scripture uses language as we do. I believe there is one body as well. It is Christ body and that is the local church. Just as if one were to say that there is only one Chase bank. We mean in the institutional sense, not numerical. There is only one man on this earth. There is only one church. Part of our problem is that we’re so afraid to question men who were “traditional,” but we each stand and fall by ourselves, before the LORD. I won’t answer for Spurgeon at the judgment seat, I will only answer for me. We need not be so proud to think we understand everything, completely, about the Bible. Sadly, many think the race is already over. They would never humble themselves to admit that they could be wrong about what they believed and the backs of the men they were standing on. I am willing to consider that my position could be wrong. Could you? My searching of the Scriptures, and desire to walk with the Spirit of God, seems to strengthen what I believe continually, though. If I’m wrong then I trust the LORD to show me in due time. I agree that the Word is written to address the whole, but it is written to address the Church of Christ, primarily in the locale to which the epistle is addressed, as testified to in Scripture. When Paul talked about the WHOLE church coming together in 1 Cor. 14:23, was he addressing every church, and every believer, on the globe or the Corinthian church? According to universal, invisible church proponents the whole church would include every single saved person in the world, but that is not what the Spirit of God, through Paul, is saying. He is speaking to the Corinthian Church (1 Cor. 1:2) and the Corinthian Church was ONE body and ONE church, and it WAS the Church that JESUS started and built (in type, doctrine, baptism, Gospel, etc.). I mean not to confuse you, and I’m sorry if I have. It was His church in doctrine, not exact peoples. His Church is likened unto a man (Eph. 4:13) and we KNOW there is only ONE man on the earth. He is human. But there are many men. We don’t mean that there is only one universal, invisible man, but that there is only ONE man in type. By the way, the difficulties we have in understanding this is touching on an age old problem that philosophers had called “the one and the many.” Philosophers still struggle understanding whether every thing is one or if it is many (and before one shuts their mind to the mention of “philosophy” it means the “love of wisdom” and I do believe there is both a worldly and Godly love for wisdom… we are to love wisdom and seek after it – Prov. 2). I believe their problem is a genuine problem we should think about and realize what plagues the wisdom of men in understanding the truth, also plagues us. I believe Scripture teaches us how to understand “their problem” and that EVERYTHING is both one and many, based on perspective. There is ONE universe and it is made up of many parts. There is ONE earth, and it is made up of many bodies. Philosophers look at clouds and try to understand if it is ONE cloud or MANY droplets of water. Many conclude them to be wasting their time, understanding such things, but their problem really seems to be our problem as well, when dealing with this subject.”
Facebook August 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM
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Nate Marino (friends with Jason Cooley) commented on a status that you’re tagged in.
Nate wrote: “It is insane to force the word “body” to mean anything else that a local, visible, congregation of believers. You would have to ignore ALL the other instances of the phrase body of Christ and the context. Universal church proponents are FORCING “Body” in 1 Cor. 12:13 to mean something else than it means throughout the entire New Testament. “

 


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