Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 30, 1951

The Church In Prophecy

L. W. Mayo, Portersville, California

"The American Christian Review" there is a little bit of discussion going on between brother J. L. Hines and a Mr. J. Bourne. The topic for discussion is Premillennialism. This Mr. Bourne is, at the time, in the affirmative. Brother Hines refers to him as "brother Bourne." This I shall not do. I am not a brother to a man who does not believe the kingdom of Christ is in existence now. If he is not in the kingdom and I am in the kingdom (according to what we believe on the matter) we have our citizenship in different kingdoms hence we are not brethren. I don't even appreciate it when they call me brother.

In this debate mentioned I notice this paragraph. "But what was it I said? You asked, Is the church a subject of Old Testament prophecy? I said, No. I then said it is not easy even now to see references to the church in the Old Testament. (That may not be word-for-word; I have no copy at hand.) The answer is still, No. There is no prophecy of the church in the Old Testament." This statement was made by Mr. Bourne.

It might be that Mr. Bourne is unable to see any prophecy of the church in the Old Testament, or it might be that it is rather difficult for him to see such; but if he did not have his eyes hooded with premillennialism and blinded with materialism he could see such prophecies easily. Let's notice a few. Isaiah 2:2-4 — "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD'S HOUSE SHALL BE ESTABLISHED in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say COME YE, AND LET US GO UP TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD, TO THE HOUSE OF THE GOD OF JACOB." In verse 2 it is plainly declared that in the last days "the mountain of the Lord's house would be established." And in the 3rd verse it with equal force stated that "people would go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of God of Jacob." In verse 2 the word Mountain signifies "government," hence, the government of the house of the Lord was going to be established. And in verse 3 the same idea is stated with the thought that people were pressing into this government and into the house of the God of Jacob." Forasmuch as the government of the Lord's house was to be established and people were going to go up to the Lord's house its self, it surely falls as a matter of prophecy that God's house was going to be builded along with the establishment of the government of the house of the Lord. It is not hard to see this. Then if one will just turn to the "easy to see" statement made by Paul in 1 Tim. 3:15, saying: "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;" he can "easily" see that there is clear Old Testament prophecy concerning the church. God declared that the "HOUSE OF GOD WAS THE CHURCH OF GOD." He also, in Isaiah 2:2-4 spoke of the House of God and its government several hundred years before the coming of Christ. Hence, there is one clear prophecy of the church in the Old Testament prophecy.

The thought of Isaiah 2:2-5 is repeated almost word for word in Micah 4:1-3. After Micah has discussed the "mountain of the Lord's house;" and the fact that "people would go up to the house of the God of Jacob" he goes on to state something concerning the kingdom in the same connection. Remember now that Micah has called it "the house of the God of Jacob" which is the church of the living God. 1 Tim. 3:15, but he adds, in verse 8 "And thou, 0 tower of the flock, of the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion, the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem." In this connection he refers to the "House of God" "which is the church" as the "kingdom" and said that it would be established at the same time the government of the house of God would and that was in Jerusalem. This is not too hard to see either.

Our next prophecy is found in Isaiah 66:5-14. We only quote a part. Let's read verses 6 and 7. "A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompense to his enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a MAN CHILD." Now just when did all this take place? "A voice of noise from the city"— this finds its fulfillment on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit had come upon the apostles the records says; "now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together." Acts 2:6 Then was the "voice of noise from the city." But next it says "a voice from the temple." This was fulfilled when the people heard the apostles, in the temple, speak the wonderful works of God. It was also on the day of Pentecost that in Jerusalem, without Jerusalem's expectancy, the "MAN CHILD" was given birth to. The question then is: what was this "Man Child?" Just turn to Eph. 2:15-16 and the answer is easy. Here is how it reads: "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one NEW MAN, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." Isaiah 66:6-7 prophesied that a "MAN CHILD" would be born. Paul declared that the law was removed to make both Jew and Gentile into "ONE NEW MAN" and then declared that this "ONE NEW MAN" was that by which the Lord had reconciled both unto God, and calls it "One Body." Then we see in Eph. 1:22, 23 that "the church, which is his body." Hence the "Man Child" or the "one New Man" was the body of the church. This is certainly not hard to see. I do not doubt that Mr. Bourne will admit that the church was set up on Pentecost. Hence we notice in Isaiah 66:8 that "as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children." Forasmuch as upon the day of Pentecost the church had its beginning and three thousand souls were added to them that day it is evident that Isaiah 66:8 was fulfilled then. So it is clear to see again that the church is a subject of Old Testament prophecy.

It must be true that God had purposed the church from eternity, for we read in Eph. 3:10-11 "To the intent that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Hence, God from eternity purposed through Jesus Christ the work that would be done by the church for which Christ shed his blood. Yes, the doctrine of Premillennialism is "God dishonoring."