The period of time between the first century and the present twentieth century
January 1, 1984 Burlington, Washington USA Special Meeting
We are often asked who started this church? Heb. 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." Jesus gave us God's eternal plan of salvation in its fullness. He is both the author and finisher. Jesus being the finisher there is no more room for anyone else to add anything.
Then, we are sometimes asked, "Why don't you speak of older ministers of the faith of Jesus in past generations." God's answer to this question is found in 2 Cor. 4:5, "for we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord and ourselves your servants for Jesus sake." So, it is not the will of God for us to be preaching about ministers of past generations. We preach Christ.
Also we are sometimes asked about the period between the first and second coming of Christ, but especially the period of time between the first century and the present twentieth century. We have no written records on earth of God's work in the world during this period. God’s records are written in heaven. Malachi 3:16. Luke 10:20. Revelation 20:12. Any who would suggest a written genealogy record is necessary between the first and twentieth century would fall into the category of 1 Timothy 1:3, 4. "As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mighest charge some that they teach no other doctrine. Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do."
We shall consider three illustrations. First, Gen. 1:12...wheat seed. Wheat has always been wheat. If you. were a wheat farmer, and I was a wheat seed merchant and you came to me to obtain a truckload of wheat seed, it would not be necessary for me to put into your hand a historical brochure with a written record of when and where that wheat has been grown in past years in several states and countries of Europe and the near East and back to the garden of Eden, for that wheat seed to grow wheat. Every wheat seed a is a living historical brochure of wheat clear back to Gen. 1:12.
And so the spiritual lesson is: Jesus said in Luke 0:11, "The seed is the word of God." The word of God has always been the same seed. Whether anyone believes and receives the seed of the word of God makes no difference in this respect, for God's truth is God's truth if no body believes and receives it or a few do or many do. As with wheat seed, there could have been times in the centuries of time there may have been no wheat seed planted. but it was still wheat seed. And if farmers took wheat out of the granary and planted it again there would be wheat growing and harvested again in the world.
So it may have been there were times in centuries past if there was no one in the earth believing and receiving the seed of the word of God for a time and then God was able to raise up true ministers like Jesus established to sow the seed of the word of God, then there would be the godly harvest in the world again. It is just that simple certain.
Second. A pattern. You make a suit of clothes by the pattern and follow the pattern closely then the suit will be like the pattern. If you make ten suits or a hundred suits or a thousand suits and follow the pattern closely then they will all be like the pattern and like each other. And so in the spiritual. Jesus is our pattern. Rom. 8:29,"be conformed to the image of Jesus." The word “image” here comes from a word that meant "pattern." So anyone in any century going back to Jesus the pattern and following the pattern closely will have the ministry and salvation and church like Jesus.
However if anyone was to make a suit of clothes by the pattern and then put the pattern away in the drawer and then use suit number one as some of the pattern for suit number two; and then suit number two as some of the pattern for suit number three; and then suit number three as some of the pattern for suit number four; and continue to use this method in making nineteen suits of clothes, the last one would not even resemble the pattern or the first suit of clothes that had been made by the first pattern. And there is the answer for all the confusion in the world today that is so different than Jesus, the original pattern, and the first century ministry and church that was made by the first pattern. If nineteen suits of clothes were made by this last method, how would suit num¬ber twenty be made like suit number one? Answer: Set all the other suits aside and go back and get the original pattern out of the draw and then make suit number twenty by the first pattern; and then suit number twenty will be like the first pattern and the first suit made by the first pattern.
Also, spiritually. In this twentieth century we go back to Jesus, the first pattern and his ministry and faith and spirit and love and teaching and example and everything, and then we will have all this is in Jesus and Him who is the first pattern, and also we will have in the ministry and church everything (the same as) the first century church that was made by Jesus, the first pattern. I hope there were people did this in the centuries between the first century and twentieth century, but we have no records and we do not know. God knows…Whether they did or did not does not make bit of difference to our salvation. The pattern in Jesus was always there waiting for the sincere and. honest to go back to.
Thirdly, in the Old Testament there were two ministries. First the Levites and priesthood of Aaron ministry and secondly the prophet ministry. (Jeremiah and. Ezekiel were both priests and prophets.) There was an unbroken chain of ministry from Aaron to Christ but there were missing links in the prophet ministry during this same period of time from Moses and Aaron to Christ. Transferring that as an object lesson over to the period of time between Christ and now, there was an unbroken continuance of the priesthood ministry of Christ in heaven from the first century to the twentieth century. Heb. 7:25, "He ever liveth to make intercession to God....." However we have no written record on earth concerning the New Testament ministry that was established by Christ during the period between the first century and the twentieth century. Whether there were or may not have been broken periods and if so when, God knows and that is sufficient.
Matt. 16:16-18. If people receive true revelation from the Father that is the rock foundation of salvation of Christ and not having any need of an apostolic succession of recorded history. Sufficient for that. The main thing we wish to give fresh consideration to this morning is better learning to pray as Jesus prayed and as He taught us to pray.
First, Hebrews 10:19, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus." It is the blood of Jesus that makes it possible to offer true prayers to our Father.
TTT Editors Note: The history of a fellowship that is approximately 100 years old, hardly qualifies as "endless genealogy."