Working of the Church
Book of Acts
Some months back there was a group of people which attended our Church Sunday Service, they called themselves Acts 29. It was pleasing to hear these people were so impressed by the book of Acts that they believed the Lord was continuing the mighty works as recorded in this book.
Luke a historical documenter of the events managed to get to the details accurately for he was a close companion of Paul. Being with Paul he had accesses to the key witnesses of the events. Paul a well rooted person in the knowledge of the Kingdom of God being his spiritual guide had great effect on Luke. We see although Luke was of the same calling like Mark and Matthew yet he took efforts to highlight and clear further certain events or matters concerning certain individuals. He made sure things are not misunderstood by reading the previous 2 Gospels.
In the book of Acts we also see the same dedication of Luke in documenting the important events which took place in the 1st stage of the Christian Church. Like someone correctly put it, 'it is more like a photo album of snapshots'. Our photo albums have pictures of events which are important to us. By looking at these photos the whole event comes to our mind. Similarly by piecing these snapshots we can get an idea what all happened during this period of the Church.
These events are important because till date it has been the best period of the Church. Although it was a very short period it had contributed in a great way to the growth of the Church throughout the world. If one reads the letters to the Churches in the book of Revelation which are letters to the stages to the Christian Church, this stage the first stage gets away with the least rebuke till date. The name given to this stage in these letters was Ephesus which means 'permitted'. By reading Acts we see why this name was given to this Church. Everything good or bad contributed to the growth of the Church in a great way. The Lord allowed or permitted things to go against His people but these helped in spread and strengthening His people and adding many to His congregation.
We also see the 'we' factor been used a lot in this book. No doubt there were some difference of opinion among the leaders but yet they worked together as a team solely for the purpose.
During this time there were many who claimed to be appointed by Jesus or claimed to be close to Him but this Church did not get mislead by them. Luke we find did not give much importance to document these people. This Church did latter move into a spirit of self-righteousness for which we see a warning given by the Lord with the consequence being that He would take away His Spirit from being an active part of the Church. This did happen and the Church latter moved to the stage we called today as the dark age of the Church or as written in the letters as becoming the temple of Satan, it was given the name Smyrna which means 'myrrh' a perfume also used as a poison to kill.
We who have moved from the Thyatira phase (means 'odour or affliction' phase when the Church came out of the Catholic Church a temple of Jezebel) are in the Sardis phase (means 'red ones' where only a few are really in the Lord) will be moving into the best stage of the Church of Christ which is Philadelphia (means 'brotherly love' which sees the real glory of God when all denominations come together as one) need to give utmost importance to these records of Acts to as to learn and improve.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we thank You for those whom You used to give your Word unto us and also those who documented events and understandings of your Word. Lord, direct our path and help us learn from the good and bad events that were connected to the early Church. Help us to come together as one Body and be in your Name so that your glory be manifested amongst your people....
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripturesr ]
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
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