Are we just a Wild Olive Branch?
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth. (Matthew 6:10). This is the tribulation prayer.
Blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). Has to do with the church today.
Believer, where will you spend the ages to come, in earth or in heaven? Have you ever faced this question? Have you made your calling and election sure? We are not asking these questions of those who have no hope. They have no promise of life everlasting.
Where will Abraham spend the ages to come? He was promised a land and a seed in that land. Our Lord made note of the fact that many would come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom - on earth Mat. 8:11.
Abraham also looked for a city which has foundations (not built on sand) whose maker and builder is God. But this New Jerusalem will be on the earth. John foresaw it coming down from heaven to earth Rev. 21:2.
At Pentecost, Peter preached of One whom Israel pierced and whom the heavens must retain till the times of restoration of all things (to Israel). Not one of those who believed at Pentecost ever entertained the hope of going to heaven. Those that believe the church began at Pentecost should not hope to spend eternity in heaven when the Scriptures tell of life everlasting for that church on earth.
Pentecost was repeated in the house of Cornelius the centurion, a Roman Gentile Acts Chapter 10. All the signs and gifts had to do with an earthly program, the kingdom. They were looking for the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who, from the throne of His father, David, will rule over the nations of the earth.
In Acts 13:32 Paul is still preaching concerning the promise made unto the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and those who believed this message will have their place on the earth in the kingdom. Paul turned to the Gentile believers in the synagogue and told them that they could partake of all these blessings of Israel without circumcision and keeping of the law which the Jews were obliged to keep. This was the gospel of the grace of God.
It is simply not The Truth to tell folks today that the church began at Pentecost. It is just as cruel to tell them that it began at Acts 13:46-47. For both these teachings will keep the believer from the membership, the adoption, in the church of the dispensation of the mystery, a secret hid in God from ages and generations.
There is an invisible church today which has heaven for its home. Its Head is at the right hand of God, there awaiting His manifestation in the heavens. Then a few years later He will be manifested on the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
His church has been persecuted from the very beginning at Acts 28:28. Even before the death of Paul, all Asia had turned away from it and back to Judaism 2 Tim. 1:15. This church was hunted down and persecuted by the Byzantine church. It fled to the mountains of Europe. Rome had almost destroyed it by the time of the Reformation. Today it is again gaining ground, but is hated as much as ever, or more, by many in Christendom today.
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