House Church Talk - Baptisms and Administrations

Ross J Purdy rossjpurdy at
Sat Feb 14 17:15:38 EST 2004

Hi Bruce,

> Brother Ross, If you agree that these were saved and part of the household
> of God, why would you say that they were not members of the body of
> The body of Christ is first mentioned in Romans 12:5 (A.D. 60) but the
> household of God is only mentioned in Ephesians (A.D. 68)!   If the place
> where something is first mentioned in scripture indicates when it was
> "created", then the household of God did not exist until A.D. 68!!  Do you
> see how such thinking is faulty?

Forgive my anachronistic use of "household of God." I was using it in the
broader sense that "church" is used. I think it is being used in a broader
sense in Ephesians to include all saints of all dispensations. Paul
specifically speaks of the creation of the new man in Ephesians which was to
consist of both Jew and Gentile. The Little Flock was not a part of this new
entity, i.e., those who were in Christ before Paul. I think the Jews who did
accept Jesus as Christ under Paul's ministry were transfered to the Body
once the kingdom offer was fully put aside. But assigning saints to one
corporate entity or another is nothing to be dogmatic about since they are
all redemptively in Christ and I am sure He will make sure they get to where
they need to be.

> While Paul was the first one to whom it was revealed that the nature of
> unity of the Spirit was that of a BODY, he was certainly not the first to
> whom it was revealed that there would be  A UNITY OF BOTH JEWS AND
>     To Jacob, as far back as Gen.49:10, it was revealed that there would
> a gathering (singular) of the peoples (plural) unto a man of the tribe of
> Judah designated "Shiloh" or "peacemaker". " The sceptre shall not depart
> from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and
> unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
> Isaiah speaks of the same in Isaiah 49:6."And he said, It is a light thing
> that thou shouldest be my
> servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of
> Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou
> be my salvation unto the end of the earth."
> Caiaphas, the High priest of Israel prophesied of the same thing in John
> 11:50-52 so it was yet future at that time."Nor consider that it is
> expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the
> nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest
> that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;  And not
> that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the
> children of God that were scattered abroad."
> This oneness was yet future when the Lord Jesus was here. He spoke of it
> John 10:16 and 17:11,21,22,23. (A.D.37)
> "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must
> and they shall hear my
> voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
> "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come
> to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast
> me, that they may be one, as we are....that they all may be one; as thou,
> Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that
> world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest
> I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  I in them,
> thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may
> know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

The statements of blessings including the Gentiles in these contexts do not
preclude Israel as the channel of their blessings. The other sheep of John
do not refer to the Gentiles but to the remnant of Israel who had accepted
Jesus as Christ up to this point. The kingdom would be taken away from the
rulers of Israel and given to the Little Flock (Luke 12:32).

> But in Acts 15:7-11, Peter spoke of this unity as an already accomplished
> fact and James concurred with him in Acts 15:13-17. (A.D. 55)
> Ross, can you tell us when you think the Body of Christ was "created"?
> did those who were
> already believers get into this Body?  All who are members in it are
> baptized into it by the Spirit. When did/does this happen?

Act 9:15-16 WEB But the Lord said to him, "Go your way, for he is my chosen
vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of
Israel. (16) For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my
name's sake."

Acts 9 has Saul targeted by God for a special commission, but I don't think
Paul was called to begin it until Acts 13.

Act 13:2 WEB As they served the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said,
"Separate Barnabas and Saul for me, for the work to which I have called

The specifics and nature of Paul's commission are found in his epistles, and
to be fair, that is being read back into Acts here. The reason for that is
because Acts' theme is the HS working through the apostles offering the
kingdom to Israel. The focus is on Israel being put aside. The Literary (if
you will) design of Acts shows Israel rejecting the offer of the Messiah and
messianic kingdom and thus their obstruction of God's grace to the nations.
So Paul turns to the Gentiles progressively with three pronouncements. So
then there is a transitional nature to Acts which has a shift from Jerusalem
to Rome, Peter to Paul, circumcision to uncircumcision. In Acts 28, the
literary design of Acts is fulfilled with a final turning away from Israel
to the nations, no more offer of the kingdom, no more to the Jew first. I
think Romans is placed in the canon next to explain the results of Israel's
fall. Free grace to both Jew and Gentile apart from Law keeping and
circumcision. Paul's epistles fill us in after the fact as it would be
inappropriate before.

Revelation has the bride of the Lamb, the New Jerusalem coming DOWN OUT OF
heaven TO EARTH. Earth's new capital. The Little Flock will have the highest
positions in this city and its administration over the New Earth as is
implied by the names on the foundation (circumcision apostles). This city is
the hope of the Hebrews 11 "heroes of the faith". The New Earth will be
populated by new Gentile nations. Where will the Body of Christ composed of
both Jews and Gentiles of this present administration be? In the heavenly
places as per Ephesians. I SPECULATE that we will be placed in the positions
currently usurped by the fallen angels who presently occupy them (there are
only righteous angels in hades who serve as "correctional" officers, if you
will). This arrangement allows the power and authority of God to be extended
through out the universe via the agency of His saints in the New Heavens,
New Jerusalem, and New Earth.

The Body of Christ was created a new man at Acts 13 with the start of Paul's
commission and became a perfect man (ie established/fully mature) with the
finish of Paul's ministry. During this time of maturation, the edification
gifts of Romans 12, 1Corinthians 12-14, and Ephesians 4 were fully
functional. They fully ceased with Paul fulfilling his commission to
establish/bring to full maturity the Body of Christ.

Romans 5 and 6 explains the identification with Jesus Christ through our
baptism into Him by virtue of the Holy Spirit sealing us at the instance of
faith exercised in Christ.

There you have the panoramic view. I realize there is a lot here to be
challenged but I don't intend to defend all the details and eschatology at
this point. Also, I don't want to get bogged down with the dispensational
issues in Acts too much either yet. We can get back to them later. I hope to
have shown a consistent hermeneutic at least, even if one disagrees with it
flat out. I would like to go back to John the Baptist if you don't mind,
unless you have some pressing questions or comments.

In Christ,

Ross Purdy

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