HOW TO BECOME AND MANIFEST THE ANTIOCH CHURCH IN 21ST-CENTURY CHURCH: From Jerusalem church to Antioch church for the church age today.
IN THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH AT JERUSALEM
Gospel moves from our Lord Jesus to Apostle Peter, and then from Apostle Peter, the gospel moved to the Apostle Paul for the Gentiles for the church age today.
Becoming and manifesting the Antioch church in 21st-century church! How? Continue reading.
The Antioch church is a church pattern or model to follow for the 21st-century church.
The church at Jerusalem started off okay but turned away from having the heart of God for Gentiles to becoming and manifesting Christians with zero tolerance for Judaism. Jerusalem church is not mentioned again after Acts chapter eleven (11) because she (Jerusalem church) accommodated Judaism in her practice of Christianity in the early church – the early Christian Church had deep ties to Judaism – adhered to Jewish traditions while maintaining faith in Christ Jesus.
Tradition holds that the first Gentile church was founded in Antioch: Acts 11:20–21 KJV “,And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.” It is in Antioch according to the Bible record that the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christians: Acts 11:26 KJV “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
To the Gentile Christian believers, the Antioch church is the mother of most, if not all, the Gentile churches in the world today. It is perfect to use the Antioch Church as our model New Testament Church for the 21st-century church and beyond if our Lord Jesus Christ tarries in His second coming (rapture).
It was from Antioch that Apostle Paul started on his missionary journeys.
The calling of the Apostle Paul by our Lord Jesus Christ rooted in establishing and keeping with the New Testament practice that is completely free of Judaism (the Law of Moses) – John 1:17 KJV and Romans 10:4 KJV “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ… For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth (the New Testament Christians).” The death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ eliminated and replaced the Old Covenant/Testament with the New Testament – Hebrews 8:13 KJV “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” The New Testament practice that is completely free of Judaism (the Law of Moses) is the pattern of the Antioch Church (not of the Jerusalem Church).
It is worthy of note that the Apostle Paul wrote practically all of his epistles to the Gentile churches — to Corinth, to Rome, to Philippi, etc. He wrote almost no letters to the Jewish believers!
Paul established Christian churches throughout the Roman Empire, including Europe, and beyond – even into Africa.
Christianity was first regarded by the Romans as sect within Judaism while the Jewish community viewed it as the “Jesus cult” or “Jesus Movement” within Judaism. Most of the first Christians were Jews who saw themselves as Jews and as followers of a Jewish sect maintaining faith in Jesus Christ and didn’t see themselves as Christians because the first time the word “Christians” was mentioned in the Bible was at the Church in Antioch (Acts 11:26). They worshiped at the Temple and followed the laws of Moses and were circumcised. Gentiles were required to become Jews before they could become Christians – this is the pattern of the early church in Jerusalem by the Jewish Christians before the Lord Jesus Christ primarily commissioned the Apostle Paul for the Gentiles – Acts 9:15 KJV “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he (Apostle Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.”
THE GENTILE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (ANTIOCH CHURCH) AND THE JEWISH CHRISTIAN CHURCH (JERUSALEM CHURCH)
Tradition holds that the first Gentile church was founded in Antioch.
The apostle Peter was the one who defended the inclusion of the Gentiles (non-Jews) into the Christian Church at the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem as the church started with the Jews – Acts 1:8 KJV. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” Apostle Peter’s ministry was primarily to the Jews, as the apostle Paul’s was to the Gentiles. That is, at the Council meeting in Jerusalem, it was agreed that Peter would be the principal apostle to Jews and Paul the principal apostle to Gentiles for Jesus commissioned him to be the apostle (herald) to the Gentiles (non-Jews).
Is your church patterned after Jerusalem church or Antioch church? Or is the foundation of the pattern of your church mixed?
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? – Psalms 11:3 KJV “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
The foundation of the church you are attending matters a lot – very important, very crucial! The foundation will surely affect and shape your Christian life. The church supposes to help you grow and develop on the foundation of (1) having a personal walk and intimate relationship with God, (2) helps you discover your calling (your sphere of influence) in life and (3) empowers you as well to fulfill that calling. With these requirements met, then you are in the right church.
PATTERN OF THE RIGHT CHURCH BY MODEL OF THE ANTIOCH CHURCH
This right church is the assembly of the Christian believers who are God’s parliamentarians in nature to enforce the principles and practices of the Kingdom of God on earth – Hebrews 12:23 KJV “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”
Worldliness (the world system) has entered church and the world is teaching the church its ways instead of church teaching the world the Kingdom way for the will of God to be established on earth for the reason that the true children of God (the true Christian believers) are the salt of the earth and the light of the world – Matthew 5:13-16 KJV “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
How is your church patterned; after Jerusalem church or Antioch church or mixed? This speaks of three (3) foundations – know and understand the difference between the three in order to know the right foundation for the Gentiles. There are different dispensations in the Bible.
Christianity emerged from Judaism. That is, Jewish Christianity started with the Jews. Jewish Christianity is the foundation of early Christianity in Jerusalem, which later developed into Christianity at Antioch. In the New Testament we have the Jewish Christians that still practice some spiritual activities of Judaism like circumcision that observed in the Law of Moses. They mix Judaism with Christianity – Acts 15:5 KJV “But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed (Jewish Christian believers), saying, That it was needful to circumcise them (Gentile Christian believers), and to command them (Gentile Christian believers) to keep the law of Moses.”
The foundation of Christianity of the Antioch church is right and is without Judaism of religious practice of the Law of Moses – the Apostle Paul worked and laid on this foundation – 1 Corinthians 3:10 -12 KJV “According to the grace of God which is given unto me (Apostle Paul), as a wise master builder, I (Apostle Paul) have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble.”
The Jerusalem church in Jerusalem was made up of Jewish Christians. The Jerusalem church mixed the practice of Judaism with Christianity. But the church at Antioch is completely free of Judaism – Acts 15:1, 5 KJV, and Galatians 2: 7-9 KJV “And certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved…But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses…..But contrariwise, when they (the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem) saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (the Gentiles – non-Jews) was committed unto me (the Apostle Paul), as the gospel of the circumcision (the Jews) was unto Peter (the Apostle); For he (Jesus Christ) that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me (Paul) toward the Gentiles: And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me (Paul) and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we (Paul) and Barnabas) should go unto the heathen (the Gentiles), and they (the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem) unto the circumcision (the Jews)” It even got to the point that Apostle Peter acknowledged and said some things in all the epistles of Apostle Paul to Gentiles are hard to understand as his ministry is primarily to the Jews (the circumcision) 2 Peter 3:15-16 KJV “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood…”
The Antioch church is a complete Christianity by the standard of what the Lord Jesus Christ called church; the church that is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth – 1 Timothy 3:15 KJV “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
First and foremost, Judaism is a religion while Christianity is not. Christianity is the nature of God and way of life. The genuine church began in Antioch. It is in Antioch that the believers (saints) are called Christians – Acts 11:26 KJV “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
Grace takes care of all the works of Judaism. Grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense which is available for every human being (humanity) through Jesus Christ – Titus 2:11 KJV “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” The whole concept of salvation in its fullness is found in the Antioch church established and powered by the Lord Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul for the Gentiles – for the church age today.
The church history called the Antioch church the breakthrough church because this is where the practice of true Christianity started and the foundation was laid. The Jerusalem church lost spiritual content of the practice of true Christianity with time. The Jerusalem Church lost contact with the reality of Christianity without Judaism which is found in Antioch church. The church in Antioch is the spiritual standard for the church ministry on earth. Many pastors don’t know this spiritual truth of the Antioch church. They don’t know this pattern for running church ministry on earth – and this is reason why we have failed Christianity in many countries. Many churches mixed the practice of Old Testament with the New Testament and the Christianity becomes polluted and corrupted.
THE SIGNIFICANT IMPORTANCE OF THE ANTIOCH CHURCH FOR THE CHURCH AGE TODAY
Know and understand that the New Testament church is a Gentile entity patterned after the Antioch church. The church age is the dispensation of grace with the Holy Spirit.
The church in Antioch never used Oliver oil as anointing oil in the New Testament – no anointing oil is used in Antioch church. It is from the Antioch church that the true gospel of the practice of true Christianity spread to other churches in the New Testament. For instance, all the epistles of the Apostle Paul to the Churches (Romans, First Corinthians, Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First Thessalonians, and Second Thessalonians) never mentioned the use of the Oliver oil as anointing oil. All these churches never used anointing oil in the church, in any of their spiritual activities because they have the understanding of the Holy Spirit with the dispensation of grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many pastors confused the book of James where oil is mentioned and used in prayers – and this had brought doubt to the church, the body of Christ. They failed to understand that James was writing to Jewish Christians who were abroad in foreign lands (outside Israel). Even, James himself never left Jerusalem church in Jerusalem (the church headquarters as at that time). James was a Jew and was ministering to the Jewish Christians in foreign lands by writing to them in the book of James. James knew and understood that Jews always asked for signs for them to believe (the reason for mixing Judaism with Christianity for the Jews) – 1 Corinthians 1:22 KJV “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.” The use of oil (not anointing oil) is purely as a sign to help the Jews to believe and have faith – James 5:14 KJV “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”
You can never find the words “anointing oil” but only the word “oil” in the New Testament (King James Version Bible – KJV). This is the reason why the Antioch church never used anointing oil in all their church spiritual activities. The use of anointing oil is of religious activity (never spiritual activity).
Another reason why the Antioch church never used anointing oil is because anointing oil never forms Godly character (God’s nature) in any genuine Christian believers; it is only the Holy Spirit that forms the character or nature of God in a true Christian believer. And this is the reason why, the word of God mentioned the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 KJV “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” It is the fruit of the Spirit that will take us to Heaven – it is not the anointing oil.
Another reason why the Antioch church never used anointing oil in ordination is because anointing oil never gives any Christian believers the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit Himself in the New Testament – 1 Corinthians 12:1, 7-11 KJV “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal…..For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
Satan has succeeded in using anointing oil to create doubt in the lives of some Christian believers! And also this oil is used in some churches for means of money-making (for business to make money in the church). Closely look at and examine the lives of all the Christians who are addicted to the use of anointing oil, you will never see the true character or nature of God in their Christian life – they are not sound Christian believers to manifest the dictates, teachings, and life of Jesus Christ – 1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
The Antioch church never mentioned, preached, taught anything about tithing – never collected any tithe because it is Old Testament practice under the Law of Moses. When the Lord Jesus Christ talked about “tithe” in the books of Matthew and Luke, then the Law of Moses was still in operation, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ was ministering under the Old Testament because He had not gone to the Cross to die, bury and resurrect – the church had not started then – the church of Christian believers started after the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even during His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples (apostles) never collected tithe!
Although I am not against the payment of tithe as long as it is being properly used for the poor and the needy in the church to the level that is no one is lacking in the church – Acts 2:44-45 KJV ” and Acts 4:32, 34-35 KJV “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need…. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common…Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”
The church that is patterned after the Antioch church-based foundation practices a true Christianity that is of pure religion described in James 1:27 KJV “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
The church that is patterned after the Antioch church-based foundation practices the true Christianity of three WEIGHTIER MATTERS of the law – Matthew 23:23 KJV “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
The church that has the Antioch church-based foundation in the practice of true Christianity focuses on the whole summary of Christianity which is six key areas in the life of every Christian after having a better understanding of a personal walk and intimate relationship with God as follows:
(1) You feed those who are hungry
(2) You give drink to those who are thirsty
(3) You cloth the shame of those who are naked
(4) You provide accommodation for those are homeless and destitute
(5) You visit the sick and take care of their sickness
(6) You visit those who are in the prison and care for them.
All these are found in Matthew 25:31-40 KJV “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” The phrase “the least of these my brethren” by the Lord Jesus Christ refers to the least Christian or poor Christian in the church in the Kingdom of God.
The church that has the Antioch church-based foundation in the practice of true Christianity teaches every Christian that whatever you have does not belong to you – your talent and gift/gifting, your skill, your money, your riches and wealth, your children, your handsomeness, your beauty, your health, etc, in fact, whatever God gives you is not yours, even your very life, everything you have is giving to you for the profit of others (for the body of Christ, the church) – 1 Corinthians 4:7 KJV, James 1:17 KJV, John 3:27 KJV and 1 Corinthians 12:7 KJV “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?….John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven….Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning…..But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” The New Living Translation (NLT) put 1 Corinthians 12:7 like this: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
It is the Antioch church that has the true pattern of what is called church. The Antioch church is the first church that laid the foundation of true pattern of the practice of true Christianity according to the dictates, teachings and life of Jesus Christ our Lord. Jerusalem church never came to the pattern of what is really called the Christian Church. Antioch Church came to the standard of what the Lord Jesus Christ called church – Matthew 16:18 KJV “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Everything about Jesus Christ physically is Jewish but not spiritually. During His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew in the physical realm but not a Jew in the spirit realm. During His earthly ministry, He was only for the Jews – and never for the Gentiles (the non-Jews) because New Testament had NOT started then – Matthew 10:5 KJV “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:”
There was no church in the Old Testament. The word “church” first appeared in the New Testament by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:18 KJV “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The kind or pattern of the standard of the church the Lord Jesus Christ is talking about here is the church patterned after the Antioch church.
Is your church patterned after Jerusalem church or Antioch church? Or mixed? Is your church a religious church mixed the practice of the Old Testament under the Law of Moses or spiritual church by the Holy Spirit with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?
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Note: Proverbs 23:23 NKJV “Buy the truth, and do not sell it…”
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