HOW THE EARLY CHURCH LOOKS LIKE?
In what follows, we will look at how the ministry of Jesus’ disciples should work in light of what we read in the Acts of the Apostles and based on the Commandments of Jesus himself:
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. Luke 9:1-6
Where can we see this power that casts out demons and heals disease today? We must not indeed preach to people a “God” who is unknown to them. Neither let us try to convince them by the logic of vain arguments. But instead, let us bring them the Anointed King, like that donkey colt of old did in Jerusalem. Then it is up to Him to demonstrate His power on the spot by healing the sick and casting out evil spirits.
Signs and wonders: this is what is lacking in evangelization today.
Making someone say the prayer of repentance does not bring him new life, but only leads him to that intermediate state of religiosity that is ruining the Body of Christ. Many only recognize the truth insofar as they feel that something very unhealthy is coming upon the world and that it would be better to come under some spiritual authority offering a solution before the heaven falls on our heads. Eternal Life could not result from such a superficial level of recognition of who the person of the Messiah is. People need to see that the one we are about to testify to is still here among and with us. He wants to prove His presence through the visible manifestation of his power, so that our testimony reaches the depths of people’s hearts.
Because Grace does not pass through the superficial recognition of Jesus, but through the accomplishment of the three following steps:
Repentance – Baptism in Water – Baptism with Fire
Why doesn’t this work today, only sporadically?
When the greatest attack ever perpetrated against the Body of Christ was committed by Rome and its “great” Constantine, who, seeing the uselessness of the persecutions against Christians, decided to take control over the Church by becoming Christian itself, the concept of discipleship has also been severely damaged. The Reformation did not bring any significant restoration in this area until the 19th century.
Today, many people go to the streets proclaiming the forgiveness of sins, the shed blood of Jesus and they do it right. There is nothing wrong with this message. The problem is the order of things, and the fact that we are bogged down in our theological and philosophical discourses of Greo-Roman root. As in Hellenic times, Christians today raise their voices in forums and other public places to announce biblical truths and talk about the fulfillment of prophecy to people who have no clue about the Bible, the commandments or the prophets. These people have most often never read the Bible and all they “know” about Jesus is that he would have been born on a christmas day and that he was the son of the Virgin Mary.
Not knowing the prophecies, they will not realize that these are being fulfilled before their eyes. Moreover, the Hellenic way of thinking is still so deeply ingrained in even the most Reformed believers that they constantly focus on persuasion always trying to convince people via their intellect through reasoning.
Non-believers on their side retort us most often and with good reason: “I believe if I see it”. They want proof and they ask us for it. And we are often almost scandalized by that reaction; thinking that faith cannot and should not be proven. However, they are the ones who are absolutely right. And our Master does also expect the same from us. He wants us to bring Him to these people so that He can make the proof of His existence and power himself before their eyes. People are right to ask for proofs. And these proofs are none other than
the signs and wonders which, like a battering ram, can fully open the way to people’s hearts so that they can accept the Gospel of Christ.
Just as you cannot conquer a woman without foreplay, otherwise it would be rape. If she gives in anyway, it would never truly be love or marriage. At most, she would become a submissive slave who will never experience Freedom in Christ and would never truly become a fellow servant.
First of all, hearts must be opened by no other than the demonstration of the force, the power and the love of Christ. This is how it becomes clear to them that Christ is real and the only truth. This is the only way for them to come to true repentance as the first step towards the Eternal Life.
The first ministry that followed the gift of the Holy Spirit
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? Acts 3:1-12
Then Peter continues by bearing the testimony of Jesus to the ears of the people who were in the temple.
Here also, we see how much we have forgotten that the ministry can only be effective when we let
Jesus Christ walk before us and perform signs and wonders
This is how He testifies that we, His disciples, are in Him and that it is worth heeding what we are about to say.
In evangelizations today, the exact opposite is happening. All kinds of believers are going out, passing before Christ to tell others about Him. The world immediately sees that they are struggling humanely and that they are not supported by any real spiritual authority except their own or that of their churches and denominations.
Thus, they put themselves in a similar situation to that of those Jews in Acts 19:11-17, who were not in Christ and tried to cast out demons by referring to the name of Jesus.
When a servant, may he be fully in Christ, does not work according to what Jesus commanded us to do by using His power and authority, he becomes like those two Jews who were mocked and by the demons. In the other hand, those people to whom he will have brought the Word will also go by with a smile on their face. As for him, he will most often return empty-handed, weakened and exhausted – naked and bleeding as we read in verse 16.
Despite of this, if we sometimes manage to convert someone, the person goes through repentance, baptism with water, getting a new life and even receives the Holy Spirit, huge joy and blessing, but how many more would have gone through all of that if we would have done things according to the given guideline of Jesus. Moreover, in such a case, the person converted in this way will in turn pass on the Gospel with the same lack of anointing, authority and true power, having seen no other better example themselves.
Ministries are able to bear fruit this way also. But how much bigger impact would they had if they had fully obey our Master Yeshua’s Command.
They went out, cast out demons and healed the sick
Neither did Peter and John ask the cripple in the Temple if he felt guilty, if he was prepared, if he had forgiven everyone so that he could be healed. Nothing of the sort but instead
they immediately offered him healing and it happened at their command.
If Christ is the same today as it was yesterday, His Word also, then the mode of transmission also remains unchanged. So who sais that times and circumstances having changed since the time of the Acts of the Apostles, the ministry must also operate differently and that the Holy Spirit does not work exactly the same way anymore, is a false teacher.
Quite the contrary! Let the progress of science not deceive anyone. Nor are we going to believe that the constantly increasing number of university graduates is proof of the increased intelligence of modern mankind and that thus it is no longer necessary to have recourse to supernatural signs to convince poeple of the Gospel. No, scientific progress, the use of increasingly sophisticated technological aids coupled with artificial intelligence, as well as the brainwashing carried out through a largely destructive education, has so impoverished humans in spirit and at the level of the intellect – because it is constantly bombarded with useless information – that miracles and prodigals are more necessary than ever.
Because indeed, modern man is intellectually much weaker, much less intelligent and has ever more limited brain capacity than our ancestors. Evolution is a delusion, devolution is the sad reality. On the one hand because of all these modern tools taking over thought and memory such as smart phones and computers and also and above all because of Sin which is constantly growing since Adam and Eve and thus degenerating more and more the human organism including its brain.
The disciples, on the other hand, must purify themselves of the Hellenistic brainwashing that has taken place within Christendom since it was taken captive by Rome. We must put our feet on the water, believe in what Jesus can and wants to act through us. Let’s stop thinking that fine speeches will be enough to bring together all the souls waiting for the harvest. No true great awakening will take place like this.
Miracles won’t necessarily come right away or in every case. We must pray for others with perseverance until we succeed. As in all other areas of life, work, sport, here it is the same we must train ourselves. And first of all ask that our hearts should be swept out and cleansed of all these false denominational theologies to restore the original.
Discipleship is strewn with mistakes and failures and we must learn every day
It is also important to look for brothers and servants who are already involved in this work and who already have experience. They can teach us and serve as models until we become “pros” ourselves.
Has that ever crossed your mind too?
I believe anyone who is in Christ is able to sense when something is not right in his ministry. We often reassure ourselves by placing the responsibility of our failures on this world which is more and more corrupt and on the people who are more and more rebellious. This is indeed so, but on our side, we do also have a huge responsibility. The reason of our spiritual beak downs is the fact that reform always stops at a certain point and we dare not go beyond. We are not begging the Lord to restore everything, according to what is described in the Acts of the Apostles, even the way of living together with our brethren when everything was common!
So now, don’t blame yourself if you haven’t fully ministered according to how Jesus originally commanded. You also have been deceived. We have all been misled by our churches and other denominations. Let us know, however, that the Lord does not take into account the time of ignorance. Also, don’t think that everything you’ve done so far has been in vain. Because you will have at least sown the seeds. Perhaps they mostly fell into bad ground, but always remember that the Spirit, which in Hebrew is Ruah, which also means “wind”, is always able to blow those seeds and cause them to fall into better ground. so that they finally would germinate.
But from now on, let’s act so that no one has to clean up after us anymore. Let us obey and be directly led by the Spirit of Christ to the good ground by fully using in faith all the spiritual weapons given to us from above in order to make disciples of all nations.
See also: Shavuot – Pentecost