Page 4 - September 2021 - Truth & Tidings
P. 4

he New Testament uses the word   the day of Jesus Christ, the Church will be
              “church” to describe two distinct   presented as a bride without defilement,
        Tentities. One of these is the dis-   a body without decay, a building that will
        pensational Church. The other is a local   never be destroyed, and a battalion that
        assembly gathered to the name of the Lord   will never be defeated.
        Jesus (1Co 1:2). The focus of this article is
        the dispensational Church.            The Concealment of the
                                              Church
        The Character of the Church             The subject of the dispensational
          When the word “church” is used in   Church, or to use the scriptural term “the
        the New Testament, it never describes a   Church which is His body” (Eph 1:22-23),
                                                                                1
        physical building but a body of people.   was not revealed in the Old Testament.
        The Greek word ekklesia is a compound   It was hid in God (Eph 3:9) and was a
        of the preposition ek (meaning “out of”)   mystery that was first revealed by the
        and the verb kaleo (meaning “to call or   Lord Jesus (Mat 16:18), then through His
        summon”). The various contexts in which   apostles (Eph 3:3-5). By definition, a mys-
        ekklesia is used show that it always refers   tery in the New Testament is something
        to a company that has been called out for   that was not previously revealed but
        a particular purpose.                 has now been made known. We can see
          This is the word Stephen used to de-  pictures and illustrations of the Church
        scribe the nation of Israel in the wilder-  in the Old Testament. We appreciate and
        ness (Act 7:38). It is also used to describe   delight in these, but the revelation of the
        a riotous crowd in Ephesus, and in the   Church is presented to us in the doctrine
        same passage, a body of citizens called out   of the New Testament.
        to discuss the affairs of state (19:32,39,41).
        As we noted, apart from these four refer-  The Composition of the
        ences, this word is only used to describe   Church
        the dispensational Church (Eph 1:22) and   The Church is composed of every per-
        the local church (1Co 10:32).
                                              son who is saved in this era from the day
        The Characterization of the           of Pentecost (Act 2:1) until the Lord comes
        Church                                for His saints (1Th 4:14-18). In the environs
                                              of Caesarea Philippi, the Lord Jesus an-
          There are a number of beautiful figures   nounced, “I will build my Church” (Mat
        which are used to describe the Church. It   16:18). At this point, the formation of the
        is referred to as a bride (Rev 21:9), a body   Church was yet future. The foundation
        (Eph 5:23), a building (Eph 2:21), and is   ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from
        alluded to as a battalion (Eph 6:10-18). In   the KJV.

        260 TRUTH kTidings   September  2021
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9