“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him…”. (Ephesians 1: 9, 10)
Do you realise that there is a Church in heaven and there is also a Church upon the earth? God’s eternal Church is one body of believers but having two realms or parts, one in heaven and the other in the earth. Do not make the mistake of thinking that there are two Churches; there is only one eternal Church but it has two parts. There is only one body of believers; some are in heaven and some are on earth, but the Church is not separated by distance or time, life or death, their universal and endless union is based on their relationship with the eternal Head of the Church- the Lord Jesus Christ. It is composed of those who are alive in the earth and also those who are dead in Christ. The saints who died with this vision of the glorious Church and were given to its outworking in their lives, constitute that part of the Church in heaven. Likewise, the saints who are alive now and given to God’s workings comprise the Church in the earth. Though part of the Church is made of mortal humans, they are not earth-bound, but they have been lifted up in the spirit and made to sit in Heavenly places with Christ. We need to settle this in our hearts very clearly. There is a part of the body of Christ that is here, which is the mortal Church; the other part of the body of Christ, in heaven, which is the ‘immortal’ Church. But they both have the same head, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We further need to see that the Lord has only one continuous Church. Christ has only one Church. He loved her and gave Himself for her. The Church birthed in Pentecost and portrayed in the book of Acts is the same Church today. It is operating under the same headship, governed by the same principles. Beloved, the Church at the time of Pentecost and the twenty-first century Church are not two different churches but one and the same Church. The Lord has only one Bride; He has only one Church; His Church was birthed in the earth on the day of Pentecost in the first century, and it continues to live even now. In the book of Acts we can see the manner in which the Church was submitted to the Head, even the Lord Jesus Christ. There was no Jewish Church nor a Gentile Church but one Church consisting of Jews and Gentiles. All race and distinctions were dissolved they became a part of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ through their repentance. They became citizens of a new race of people that may be loosely termed as a ‘Church race’, fellow citizens of the ‘Church Nation’.
The Apostle Paul says, “Now therefore ye are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). They became citizens of a new nation called the ‘Church nation’. The Lord Jesus said that the kingdom of God shall be taken from one nation and they shall be given to another nation which brings forth fruits. (Matthew 21:43). We need to know that when the Church was birthed, a people were gathered by the Holy Spirit and they became a new nation called the ‘Church nation’. Just as those, who are born in India, are known as Indians, even so those who are born in the Church nation have the universal identity of Christians. The New Testament gives us a vivid account of how they were united under the headship of the Lord Jesus. Oh, it was a remarkable work of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost was not just the fiftieth day after His resurrection. It marked the beginning of a historic work of God in the earth. It is as significant as the birth, the death and the resurrection of the Lord. The same Church continues to this day and it will progress on till the end of this age. She has the same headship, is to be governed by the same principles and endowed with the same power and privileges. Glory to God!