The Church - Ephesians 4:11

by Oscar M. Baker (originally published August 1949)
    During His earthly ministry our Lord chose 12 apostles. These were to carry on the ministry of proclaiming the kingdom after the Lord’s death. They were to occupy till he came again. Then He would have things prepared and would receive them unto Himself. He would place them on 12 thrones so that in the kingdom they might rule over the 12 tribes of Israel.
    At Pentecost the 12 received power for this commission. To Peter had been given the keys to the kingdom. To all was given the power to bind and to loose. They had power of judgment, not only as to good and evil spirits, but even judgment of life and death over men. An example of that was the case of Annanias and Sapphira. The power of healing was connected with the gospel of the kingdom. Since the work was to be done in haste and the Lord would return soon, they were given the power to speak in different languages.
    The assembly of which these 12 were the heads was called the Church of God. It began with calling of the 12 and ended at the pronouncement of Paul at Acts 28:28. This church was not the same as the church in the wilderness as found in Acts 7:38. It followed that church.
    Peter made the first use of the keys on the day of Pentecost. He there opened the doors of the kingdom to the Jews. About 8 years later he used them again. This time he opened the doors of the kingdom to the Gentiles.
   Since the time covered by the Acts, the kingdom has not been offered to anybody. A new church is being offered. It is the Mystery of the Ephesian and Colossian epistles. The leaders of this church were chosen by the ascended Lord. They were prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Do you appreciate this truth?