Beginning of the Called out

The Beginning of the   « Called out »

Jan 22

How the first followers of Christ assembled.

Act 2:37

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Step one : They heard the message of the Gospel

Step two : They repented. They began to change their minds. They were pricked in their hearts. They felt anguish over their sin. And they asked what to do.

they were humble and received the message. They did not say we don’t need that Jesus. Not that one that died horribly and cursedly on a Roman torture devise. No they saw that HE overcame death and rose from the grave and now was speaking to them by HIs Spirit in Peter. They repented meaning they did not beat themselves up, but they picked themselves up and turned around to take the gift. They changed their minds form centuries of wrong religion taught by their dear Rabbin and they listened to THE Rabbi JEsus.

Many Rabbis continue to teach that this prophecy will be fulfilled someday in the future when all the mixed up races of the man made Isreal repents. But that is a recent idea, a leaven of the Pharisees teaching that was injected into our doctrines.

Zec 12:10

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

This was Pentecost the day that God had been patiently waiting for since Adam gave the Creation to the enemy. This was they day that God could send His spirit of Grace. After all the work was accomplished including Jesus paying the price being nailed to the cross. This was the day that the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem received this Spirit, after they mourned for their errors. I beleive this was fulfilled then.

Jesus was pierces in his hands and feet. Thus this was fulfilled and the Jews knew Davids words

Psa 22:16

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

And they pierced his side

 Jhn 19:34

But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Jhn 19:35

And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

Jhn 19:36

For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

Amazing that they tortured Him and flayed Him for hours and then hung Him on the tree, but they could not break one single bone that the word of God was not broken.

Jhn 19:37

And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced

Act 2:38

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Repent! This does not mean be sorry for yourself. But sorry enough about what you did to try a new way. The Way is Jesus and always is. The word « repent » metanoeo  in Greek means simply to change your thinking.  You can be sorry and miserable or even flagellate yourself to death. But until you change and turn to the Light you cannot be healed or saved.

Step three : They were Baptized in the Spirit

Being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ is not just a ritual where you wash your sins away in water and pronounce the magic words of « Jesus Christ » over the person. No it means to be immersed in all that Jesus as a man accomplished up to the cross, and all the Christ accomplished being raised and ascended to the right hand of the Father. It means to be immersed in the blood that can wash away all sin, not water. It means accepting the cleansing produced by Him coming to live inside you! This is speaking of a greater baptism than water. This is the greater baptism John the water baptiser prophecied of. The baptism in the holy spirit and fire that purifies your soul. Of course the ritual of water baptism will not add or subtract from this spirit of Grace.

And with this gift of purification they received into full view the power of the Holy spirit on that day!

Step four : They were called

Act 2:39

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

They were called as well as all of us from every corner of the earth to be part of the body of the called ones, The Ekklesia, which is poorly translated as the Kirk or Church.

Act 2:40

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

« The unbelieving Jews were an untoward generation, perverse and obstinate; they walked contrary to God and man (1 Th. 2:15), » Mathew Henry

Peter was speaking directly to their generation that day.  A generation of corrupt ritual and tradition of the Rabbis that contradicted the grace of God. As Paul wrote to the Thessalonians »

1Th 2:14-16

For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

And many Jews that day did decide to save them selves from the consequence of being on the wrong side and came to be saved.

Act 2:41

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls

Not all that day received or welcomed the word of Peter. Many Jews were hardened even more and continued to fight the move of the Gospel. But that day about three thousand persons of the Jewish faith turned to Jesus and were totally immersed in the holy spirit baptism.

Step five : They Continued together

Act 2:42

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

They continued together in 1) The apostle’s doctrine or teaching 2) the full sharing 3) eating together and 4) praying.

These are foundational keys to the building of the early Christian Community all through the actions recorded by Luke in Acts. And we shall see how as this book is the guide to how the Christian community can grow.

Act 2:46

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Here we see that they continued « with one accord » not just in the temple but in meals together house to house.. But what does « with one accord » mean?  It must be a key also in building the Body of Christ since it is used mostly in the book about building the Kingdom which is this book of Acts.  It is used 11 times in Acts meaning with one mind and one mind.
   «A unique Greek word, used 10 of its 12 New Testament occurrences in the Book of Acts, helps us understand the uniqueness of the Christian community. Homothumadon is a compound of two words meaning to “rush along” and “in unison”. The image is almost musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church. »

It was used while they were waiting for the gift in Acts 1 :14

It was used on the day of Pentecost as they waited in harmony and in one place Acts 2 :1

In Acts 4 :26 when they were tested by the first persecutions they prayed in harmony for more boldness

Act 2:43

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

Fear in the sense of respect because as they fellowshipped together they were seeing the power of the Holy spirit operate many wonders and signs.

Act 2:44

And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

Act 2:45

And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

Act 2:46

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Act 2:47

Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

« See how these Christians love one another. They were concerned for one another, sympathized with one another, and heartily espoused one another’s interests. They had fellowship with one another in religious worship. They met in the temple: there was their rendezvous; for joint-fellowship with God is the best fellowship we can have with one another, » Matthew Henry

« (1.) They were daily in the temple, not only on the days of the sabbaths and solemn feasts, but on other days, every day. Worshipping God is to be our daily work, and, where there is opportunity, the oftener it is done publicly the better. God loves the gates of Zion, and so must we.

(2.) They were with one accord; not only no discord nor strife, but a great deal of holy love among them; and they heartily joined in their public services. Though they met with the Jews in the courts of the temple, yet the Christians kept together by themselves, and were unanimous in their separate devotions. »

What happened since then? Where it this love and fellowship?  We only meet once a week and on certain days and give only a percent at our convenience, because we are told to. Is that all there is? We have fallen from grace into works and try to impress God with our pitiful works instead of being impressed every day by His works.

I think that when the kings of the kingdoms of this world took control of the « Church » that the true beleivers were margiinalized and even persecuted. Those who took the easy way and not the trials of persecution were bought by the love of this world.
Centuries of injustice and crusades followed because the grace and love of the holy spirit were replaced again by man’s tradition.

In the last two centuries we have seen the rise of two economic systems.. Capitalism and COmmunism.  We can say that the Christians followed one theory or the other. But none came from God. Only love and here is the crux.

You cannot force people to compete in Capitolism without having the Love of God and men as the motive.  It is natural to the heart of flesh to be self serving and self worshipping. And make money at the cost of defrauding our brother

The Communist movement saw  this and correcte it by forcing the rich to share.  But it was not motivated by love and rather by gulags and guns. Either way is wrong and either self serving or community serving with out God and there fore without Love. God is Love remember that!

So we may say we are believers and rip off the poor. Like we do in Capitalism. But where is the love of God for the poor? We may order people to work for the community and deny God exists. But were is the love of God for the individual? Either way will not grow the Kingdom of God. They only foundation to build the Kingdom of God is to seek it first and allow the kingdoms and economies of men to follow. The Kingdom of God operates on love and the kingdoms of this world without God operate on serving man and greed.

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