The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Taken from the book, Studies in the New Testament Church, 1976
The Church was built before Pentecost because:
1. Jesus said He would build it. Matthew 16:18, "I will build my church." The Holy Spirit "filled" it -couldn't fill what didn't exist, Acts 2:1-4.
2. He had a large group of disciples long before Pentecost (John 1:33-51).
3. He chose the twelve Apostles before Pentecost, Luke 6:12-16; Mark 3:18-19. They had a treasurer, which shows at least a simple form of organization. Though he proved a traitor, doesn't change the fact.
4. He taught them and trained them for three years, beginning with Matthew 5, 6, and 7. See also Luke 24:27.
5. He sent them out to the work, Matthew 10:1-16, etc.
6. Dr. C. I. Scofield who claims the Pentecost theory says on Matthew 18:20, "The simplest form of a local church," and Jesus had at least 12 and maybe more He sent forth to preach "The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." Seventy ("other seventy") in Luke 10:1, in addition to the twelve apostles. This makes 82 preachers, a very good sized church, at least 25 times as large as Dr. Scofield's "simplest form of a church."
7. All the above were baptized by John the Baptist or Jesus' disciples. (Acts 1:22 and John 4:1-2), and John's baptism was from heaven (Matt. 21:25). Jesus and the twelve had no other.
8. He instituted the Lord's Supper which every protestant denomination, as well as Baptists and Catholics, claim is a church ordinance. Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20.
9. He gave them the great commission before Pentecost, (Matt. 28:18-20) and this includes "make disciples and baptize them." This was to continue until the end of the age according to His promise to be with them.
10. This church met together on the first Lord's Day and received the Holy Spirit as the Comforter (John 20:19-23). This was fifty days before Pentecost.
11. They were assembled together (Acts 1:4) and received other commandments (Acts 1:8) and saw Him ascend (Acts 10:11) and continued in prayer (vs. 14) and there were about 120 of them (vs. 15). This was before Pentecost.
12. They held a business meeting and elected a successor to Judas (vs. 15-26) before Pentecost.
13. It was to this church about 3,000 were "added unto" after they were saved and then baptized (Acts 2:41). You couldn't "add" to something that didn't already exist.
14. This church Jesus said "I will build" in Matt. 16:18 is already built in Matt. 18:17, else how could you "tell" something to a church not in existence. It was a business body that early. Its actions were final.
The church was built before Pentecost or Jesus never did build a church, because He went to heaven and was not here on earth to build a church at Pentecost.