The Church

posted Aug 30, 2016, 9:16 AM by Basic Bible Doctrine   [ updated Nov 9, 2019, 6:56 AM ]
The Church is not the Old Jewish Dispensation in another form. It is an entirely new thing. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament and was unknown to the Old Testament Prophets (Eph. 3:1-6). It was first revealed by Christ and was future in His day (Matt. 16:18). Its character is described in the writings of Paul. There is no warrant for applying Old Testament prophecies and promises that apply only to Israel and Judah to the Church. The Church, representing the Body of Christ, had its origin at Pentecost and will be completed at the Rapture. It is composed only of those saved [born-again or spiritually regenerated believers] during that time. The Church is depicted as "The Church of the New Born" in the diagram and represents the true Church or Body of Christ. The Church is to become the "Bride of Christ" at the Second Advent or "The Revelation" as depicted in the diagram. The dead "in Christ" of Old Testament times are "friends of the Bridegroom" but not a part of the "Bride." The Church is being gathered out by the Holy Spirit from Jew and Gentile until the "Fulness of the Gentiles" is come in (Rom. 11:25). The Fulness of the Gentiles is the point in time when the last born-again believer enters into the Body of Christ. It is at that point in time when the Body of Christ is complete and the Rapture occurs.
The diagram shows how Israel has been "sidetracked" for the Church. When the Church is complete and "caught out," Israel will be "shunted back" to the main line and become the "head" of the nations. The "Church of the New Born" is shown in the midst of the "false professors" of the Protestant and Roman Catholic bodies. The shading shows the increase of apostasy in the professing churches, who are the "foolish virgins" mentioned by Christ in His Parable of the Ten Virgins, while the diminishing size of the "New Born" church reveals the fact that when Christ comes He will find but little of the "true faith" on the earth (Luke 18:8).
The Church is "caught out" or raptured BEFORE the Tribulation Period and then the Papacy has full sway and becomes the "Harlot Church."