JD: Let’s start with the definition of the church. Give that explanation first.
DJ: Well first of all we often talk about “going to church or going to the church” and so the average person especially for those in the world the idea of church can mean different things. So for many the church is just a building where people have religious meetings but the Bible never really talks about the building where we meet as a church and only refers to the church as a building in a figurative sense.
For others the church refers to a particular group that identifies as Christians that’s not the way the term is used in the Bible. When we see the term church in our English Bibles its a translation of the greek word ecclesia which is made up of two parts ec which means out and clesia which means called. So in other words a church is a called out group of people called by God into something. We can think of it this way the church is a fellowship of believers who have been called out of the world system and now belongs to the Lord.
JD: Would you say that having a proper understanding of when the church began does make a difference concerning the prophetic truth that you and I teach?
DJ: Well Jimmy I think it’s very important and it does make a huge difference in how we understand the word of God. First if we don’t have a Biblical understanding of when the church began then we can make the mistake that some do and fail to recognize that believing Israel is the people of God in the Old Testament is not the same as the church in the New Testament. And if we make that mistake we won’t understand that the promises that God made to national Israel will be fulfilled in a literal kingdom here on the earth. We will also only think that things only intended only for the nation of Israel apply to the church as well. So that is a big problem with application and interpretation. If we hold that the church began with John the Baptist or Peter’s confession in Matthew 16 then we’ll likely began confusing the gospel of the kingdom with the gospel of salvation and we would start bringing works into the equation concerning how our sins our forgiven and how we receive eternal life. And it also means you must define a Christian as being something other than someone who was baptized by the holy sprit, into the body of Christ, into the one new man as Paul puts it in Ephesians 2 whether they be Jew or Gentile. So there are so many things this touches on. We need to get this right in order to correctly understand the prophetic word of God.
JD: David James with a Biblical understanding of when the church began.
We report this information because it is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.
My conversation with David James on when the church began is key for our understanding of God’s prophetic word. God gives us the prophetic truth for the future so that we can be prepared for that future and be ready for the Rapture and event that can happen at any moment even today.