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The Way of the Church – Volume One: Understanding the Eight Aspects of the Church from a Biblical Point of View
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   “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men says that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,’” Matthew 16:13 to 18 (NKJV).

   All the servants of God: the Prophets, the Priests, the Levites, the Scribes, and the Kings in the Old Testament time have prophesied and spoken many things. Some of these people foretold the coming of the Messiah and the work He will carry out. Others spoke about the initiation of the Second Covenant, and the salvation of the gentiles. And still few others prophesied God’s intention to have a family. However, none of these great servants of God have ever had a complete revelation about the matter of the church in their days of prophecy. For this reason, we will never come across this popular but mysterious word “CHURCH” when reading the Old Testament.

   Our Lord Jesus, who was the first person to use the word “Ecclesia” or “Church” as recorded in the Bible, had only mentioned it twice during His three and half years’ ministry on earth.

   Matthew 16:13 to 18 indicates that our Lord Jesus Christ brought His disciples out of Jerusalem to Caesarea Philippi where the influence of Judaism was so weak, there He  spoke to them for the first time about the Church and  said,”… I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

   Again, the second time Jesus spoke about the church was in private. The Bible says that His disciples came to ask Him of the person who will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1). It was in this private meeting that our Lord Jesus revealed a little more about the church that He said He will build (Matthew 18:15 to 20). This time, He spoke about how we ought to handle issues in the church, and how members of the church must gather and seek Him diligently. I believe that our Lord Jesus has a lot of such meetings with His disciples, expounding the matter of the church to them. Hence, He could tell them to teach the believers what He has commanded them when He was ascending into the heavens (Matthew 28:20). The Lord Jesus was certain that His disciples understood His plans and could execute them successfully and even teach others to do likewise.

   It must be understood that everything about the church is a mystery. For this reason, Apostle Paul said, “This mystery is great, but I speak with regards to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32 RcV). As Christ is a mystery and it requires abundant grace for one to know Him and give himself to Him (John 6:65), so is the church Jesus is building. The church is a mystery that cannot be understood unless the Heavenly Father showers abundance grace upon us and open the eyes of our hearts to behold it. I pray and believe that the heavens will be opened so that we will have a complete, healthy, and scriptural understanding of the church.

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