THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
In Acts 11:22, we read:
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of thechurch which was in Jerusalem, and they sent forth Barnabas, thathe should go as far as Antioch.
Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, wasglad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Eternal.
So, then Barnabas departed to Tarsus to seek Saul. And when hehad found Saul, he brought him unto Antioch where they had a goodstabilized Church. Through Barnabas' preaching, many people had beenadded to the Church. It was a good foundation, a good strong coreChurch.Barnabas went over and got the Apostle Paul, brought him toAntioch and it came to pass a whole year they assembled themselveswith the Church. So, the church had already been strengthened andadded to by Barnabas' preaching. And then after it was stabilized andlarge enough and strong enough to warrant such, he went up and got theApostle Paul, brought him back down there, lived one whole year therein that church and taught much people.And so, the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.They weren't called Christians in Christ's day! What were they called?What were they called in Christ's day if they weren't calledChristians?The Bible tells you what they were called. The Bible itself showsGod knew Satan's purpose. God knew Satan had planned to counterfeitthe true church. In each stage as you read about the true church, youfind Satan trying to counterfeit. Satan trying to undermine! Satantrying to upset and trouble!Yet notice the disciples of Christ weren't even calledChristians. The true church believers were never called Christiansuntil after the death of their leader. And that's true in so manychurches. They are finally called by the name of their leader aftertheir leader dies. Here we are eleven years after Christ wascrucified, then finally the name Christian comes. We know that thetrue church was founded in 31 A.D., in the month of June, and yet herewe are, 42 A.D., at least eleven or twelve years later.This took place through Barnabas' and Paul's preaching. It tookplace in a city outside of Jerusalem, outside the influence ofJudaism, of that Mother city and Mother Church. It took place inAntioch, and they were called Christians.
The Church of God
What have they been called before this and why is God naming thetrue church right here in the Bible?The name of the church is “The Church of God.” Twelve times inthe Bible it is named this. The number of foundations is twelve:twelve apostles, twelve patriarchs, twelve gates in the New Jerusalemtwelve pillars in the new city. Always twelve! Israel will be ruled bytwelve apostles in the future. Twelve times in your Bible, God namedthe church, “The Church of God.” The very last prayer of Christ inJohn 17 says, in verse 11, “Father, keep [them] through thine own