SPEAK AS THE ORACLES RADIO Program #128
NEW TESTAMENT
CHRISTIANITY
RESTORED 3
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Remarks on Righteousness

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Fundamentals of Faith

Salvation in Christ

The church of Christ
Adapted from Ira Y. Rice

XI. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.


An hiatus in God’s revealed will to mankind was reached on that great and notable day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
For it was upon THAT DAY that not only the GREAT COMMISSION activating the NEW TESTAMENT became of
force, resulting in the establishment of the CHURCH, which Jesus had promised “I will build,” but, concurrently,
the KINGDOM OF GOD —foretold by prophets and preached by John and Jesus as “at hand” — at last was “set
up.”


As far back as the prophet Daniel (approximately 600 years before Christ), as we learned from our study of Daniel
2, God had revealed there were to be four great kingdoms in succession — and that in the days of the FOURTH
kingdom, the God of heaven should set up “A KINGDOM, WHICH SHALL NEVER BE DESTROYED; AND THE
KINGDOM SHALL NOT BE LEFT TO OTHER PEOPLE, BUT IT SHALL BREAK IN PIECES AND CONSUME ALL
THESE KINGDOMS, AND IT SHALL STAND FOR EVER.”


Daniel identified the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar — the BABYLONIAN EMPIRE as being the FIRST of the four
kingdoms aforementioned.


Tracing down through world history, we found that the MEDOPERSIAN EMPIRE came second, the GRECIAN
EMPIRE third, and the ROMAN EMPIRE fourth.  


Thus, according to Daniel’s prophecy, it was to be in the days of the Roman Empire — the fourth kingdom — that
the Kingdom GOD was to establish should be “set up.”


It was during THIS PERIOD — the days of the Roman Empire — that John the Baptist came preaching, “Repent
ye: for the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is AT HAND” (Matthew 4:17).


A little later, in His model prayer of Matthew 6, Jesus prayed, “Thy kingdom come” (verse 10).


And still later He told His disciples that some of them would not die until they saw the Son of man (Himself)
coming “in his KINGDOM” (Matthew 16:28). They were to SEE the KINGDOM OF GOD come WITH POWER (Mark
9:1).


They were to tarry in JERUSALEM until the “POWER” came (Luke 24:49). They were to receive the “POWER”
when the HOLY SPIRIT should come upon them (Acts 1:8).


When the day of PENTECOST was fully come, the HOLY SPIRIT CAME ON THE APOSTLES. And from that day
in Acts 2 ONWARD the KINGDOM OF GOD is never again referred to as something yet future, but as something
already IN EXISTENCE, hence ESTABLISHED, or, as Daniel phrased it — “SET UP.”


Thus Paul told the church at Colosse that God had translated him and them “out of the power of darkness … into
the KINGDOM of his dear son” (Colossians 1:13).


And John, to the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 1:4), said he was their brother and companion in tribulation
and “in the KINGDOM” (see verse 9).


Since ALL the scriptural conditions for the setting up of the kingdom of God were met on the day of Pentecost in
Acts 2 —and all later references to the kingdom point to its establishment as already accomplished — it follows
that the SAME DAY the Lord EMPOWERED THE APOSTLES, MADE THE NEW TESTAMENT OF FORCE, SET
HIS GREAT COMMISSION IN MOTION, and BUILT HIS CHURCH — on that SAME DAY He SET UP HIS
KINGDOM!


In fact, when one examines carefully the Scriptures pertinent to the point, the conclusion is almost conclusive
that the CHURCH and the KINGDOM are ONE and THE SAME.


Hence to be a MEMBER of the one is to be a CITIZEN of the other. They are just two different appellations
referring to the same institution.


In evidence of this, we noted Matthew 16:18-19, wherein Jesus told Peter, “upon this rock I will build my
CHURCH,” promising in the succeeding verse to give to him the “keys of the KINGDOM of heaven.”


Peter used those keys of the KINGDOM for the first time on Pentecost in Acts 2 —and those who did what he said
were added to the CHURCH (verse 47).


Members of the CHURCH are called a “ROYAL (i.e., kingly) priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9) and “KINGS” (Revelation 1:
6). Jesus Christ, who is the “HEAD” of the CHURCH (Ephesians 1:2223) is also “KING OF KINGS.” So the members
of the church, being KINGS, must be the KINGS he is KING OF: hence the members of the church — Christians
— make up the “kingdom of God” (Hebrews 12:28).


Jesus must reign over His kingdom — the church — until death itself is destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Then
He is to DELIVER UP the kingdom to God the Father, that the Father may be “all in all” (verse 28).


XII. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES — BOOK OF CONVERSIONS.


(THE FIRST CASE OF CONVERSION — ON PENTECOST.)


When it comes to a thorough understanding of the subject of CONVERSION, where else can we better
concentrate our attention than upon that BOOK of conversions — the ACTS OF THE APOSTLES!


All cases of conversion recorded in the Word of God are found in this book.


As we begin our study of the Book of ACTS, we sought to determine what facts, promises, warnings and
commands characterized EACH CASE of conversion as taught by the Word of God. Our reasoning being that if
WE (you and I) BELIEVE THE SAME FACTS, HEED THE SAME WARNINGS, and OBEY THE SAME
COMMANDS for the SAME PURPOSES as they, then we should ENJOY THE SAME PROMISES they enjoyed,
having been CONVERTED TO CHRIST the SAME AS THEY.


In the FIRST case of conversion — on Pentecost, Acts 2 — we began this phase of our Bible investigation by
bridging the gap between the giving of the Great Commission and Pentecost.


Then, after Peter had preached the first gospel sermon under the authority of the Great Commission, to the
question of that conscience-stricken multitude, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”


Peter commanded, “REPENT, and BE BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (verse 38).


“And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, SAVE yourselves from this untoward generation”
(verse 40).


Then they that “GLADLY RECEIVED HIS WORD were BAPTIZED” (verse 41).


“About 3,000 souls” were “ADDED” that day (verse 41). They were “ADDED to the CHURCH” — and it was the
LORD who did the ADDING (verse 47).


Those ADDED continued steadfastly, then, in the things which make up CHRISTIANITY.


XIII. THE SECOND CASE OF CONVERSION —AT SOLOMON’S PORCH (Acts 3, 4, 5).


On the second occasion of conversion, Peter took advantage of a beggar’s having asked an alms to heal the
beggar “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”


Knowing that this man had been “lame from his mother’s womb,” when the people saw him walking and praising
God, they were filled with wonder and amazement that he could now walk.


Thousands of them ran together unto Peter, John and the healed man in Solomon’s Porch of the Temple.
Peter denied it was by their own power or holiness that this healing had been performed. He gave God the credit,
saying he had done it to glorify His Son, Jesus.


Identifying Jesus as the one they had delivered up, denied before Pilate, and crucified, Peter declared that God
had raised up Jesus from the dead, that he and John were witnesses of this fact, and that it was CHRIST’S NAME
— through FAITH in His name — that had made this man strong.


He recognized that both the people and their rulers had crucified Jesus through ignorance; however, even
though because of ignorance, that they had made Jesus to suffer.


To BLOT OUT their SINS, Peter commanded them to “REPENT ye therefore, and BE CONVERTED” (3:19),
assuring them that if they did this they also should experience “TIMES OF REFRESHING,” from the presence of
the Lord.


He also preached REPENTANCE, saying that “God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in
TURNING AWAY every one of you from his iniquities” (verse 26). The priests, captain of the temple and the
Sadducees were grieved by Peter’s and John’s preaching and teaching through Jesus the resurrection of the
dead (4:1-2). They laid hands on them (verse 3 and put them in jail overnight (verse 3).


“Howbeit many of them which HEARD the word BELIEVED: and the number of the men was ABOUT FIVE
THOUSAND!”


Later on — also in Solomon’s Porch —“BELIEVERS” were the more “ADDED to the Lord,” MULTITUDES both of
men and women” (5:12-14).


XIV. THE THIRD CASE OF CONVERSION —THE SAMARITANS (Acts 8).


Following the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, a great persecution was brought against the church at
Jerusalem.


Resulting from this persecution, Philip left Jerusalem, went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ
unto them (verse 5).


The people of Samaria “GAVE HEED” to what Philip preached (verse 6). And when the Samaritans BELIEVED
Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were BAPTIZED,
both men and women (verse 12).


XV. THE FOURTH CASE OF CONVERSION —SIMON THE SORCERER (Acts 8).


“Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip” (verse 13).
XVI. THE FIFTH CASE OF CONVERSION —THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH (Acts 8).


The angel of the angel of Lord commanded Philip to go south to the Gaza highway, leading from Jerusalem. He
saw an Ethiopian eunuch, sitting in his chariot, reading Esaias the prophet.


The Spirit commanded Philip to “Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.”


Philip ran to the chariot.


He heard the eunuch read from Esaias (Isaiah 53) “Understandest thou what thou readest?” Philip inquired.


“How can I, except some man should guide me?” the eunuch replied.


He then invited Philip to come up into the chariot and sit with him.


Beginning at the same Scripture, Philip, upon the eunuch’s asking the meaning, preached JESUS unto him
(verse 35).


As they continue their journey they came to a certain water. Evidently, in preaching “Jesus”, Philip must also
have preached about baptism — for the eunuch said, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be
BAPTIZED?” (verse 36).


Philip said, “If thou BELIEVEST with all thine heart, thou mayest” (be baptized) (verse 37).


The eunuch answered, “I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (verse 37). The eunuch then commanded
the chariot to stand still (verse 38).


Both Philip and the eunuch “WENT DOWN BOTH INTO THE WATER” (verse 38). Philip BAPTIZED the eunuch
(verse 38). Then they both came “UP OUT OF THE WATER” (verse 39).


The Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip that the eunuch saw him no more and he went on his way rejoicing
(verse 39).


In this instance of conversion, we emphasized the WILLINGNESS with which Philip obeyed the angel and the
Spirit.


Also the EAGERNESS of the eunuch to receive the Lord’s instructions and to obey him. Rather than having to be
PERSUADED to be baptized, he wanted to know why he COULD NOT be baptized!


Philip’s answer rules out INFANT baptism — or the baptism of any other being INCAPABLE OF BELIEVING.
“If thou BELIVEST with all thine heart, THOU MAYEST,” Philip said.


The implication is clear from Philip’s statement that unless one BELIEVES, he may NOT be baptized. Instead of
confessing his SINS, we noted that the eunuch was required to confess his FAITH in CHRIST (verse 37).


And, instead of substituting either SPRINKLING or POURING and CALLING it “baptism,” both the baptizer and the
one baptized “WENT DOWN BOTH INTO THE WATER,” the baptizing was done, then they both came “UP OUT
OF THE WATER” (verses 38-39).


Such a description can only harmonize with immersion — a BURIAL in water (Compare Romans 6:4 and
Colossians 2:12).


We further noted that the eunuch’s REJOICING began AFTER his baptism, NOT BEFORE. Insomuch as baptism
is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), why should one rejoice, after all, until his sins have been remitted!
XVII. THE SIXTH CASE OF CONVERSION —SAUL OF TARSUS (Acts 9, 22).


Saul of Tarsus — the same Saul who had aroused such persecution against the church in Acts 8:1-4 — being
authorized to go to the synagogues of Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem any Christians he might find there to
be punished, was on his way to Damascus, when, about noon, a light from heaven shined around him brighter
than the noonday sun.


Falling to the earth, he heard a voice, saying, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”


Saul asked, “Who art thou Lord?”


The Lord replied, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.”


Trembling and astonished, Saul asked, “Lord what wilt thou have me to DO?”


Jesus answered, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou MUST DO.”


Upon arising from the earth, when Saul opened his eyes, he found he could not see.


His companions had to lead him by the hand and bring him into Damascus. He was blind and praying for three
days, and neither ate nor drank.


On the third day a disciple of Jesus, Ananias by name, was sent by the Lord “into the street which is called
Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for behold he prayeth and hath seen
in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him that he might receive his sight.”
After some discussion with the Lord, Ananias did as he was instructed. Putting his hands on Saul, he informed
him that the Lord Jesus had sent him “that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”
Upon Ananias’ command to “receive thy sight,” there fell from Saul’s eyes “as it had been scales,” and he
received his sight forthwith.


Then, as Saul looked upon Ananias, Ananias PREACHED to Saul, saying, “The God of our Fathers hath CHOSEN
thee, that thou shouldest KNOW HIS WILL, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For
thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? ARISE, and
BE BAPTIZED, and WASH AWAY THY SINS, CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.”


Saul “AROSE, and was BAPTIZED” (Acts 9:18).


[TO BE CONTINUED]