The Kingdom Of God, Part III
"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8
Jesus had trained His fledgling body for three and a half years, teaching them the principals of kingdom power to heal the sick, cast out demons and raise even the dead! Upon His death, burial and resurrection He told them to wait for the Promise to be poured out from Heaven to give them the same supernatural power that He had. This story in Acts is not a history lesson in church antiquity, but a model for us all to follow as believers in the kingdom of God!
The first Pentecostal church of the Lord Jesus Christ was about to be empowered with the Holy Spirit as they waited upon His presence to fall upon them. The divine design of the church should be: saved by grace through faith, baptized in water and the Holy Spirit, trained, equipped and sent into the harvest! Today we occupy a building, fill it with chairs, put a sign in the yard and hope someone shows up, but that is not the will of God for His people. We as believers in Christ are to be exact representations of Him in the earth but our mission and vision has been clouded by false teaching, tradition and doctrines of demons!
The divine plan is to reap a harvest of souls, disciple them, send them out, and then do it all over again. That is the instruction Jesus gave His twelve and they multiplied into one hundred and twenty men and women of God on fire for the building of the Kingdom of God. Jesus didn't rent a building, (or build one either) He didn't have a choir or worship team, no pews, chairs, overhead projectors, power point presentations, drama, sound systems, programs, Sunday school, elders, deacons or even a church secretary, oh, maybe one, Judas! Do you see my point, we aren't even close to what the Son of the Living God had in mind for His church!
When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 2:11,2
BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Then there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Acts 2:3,4
The engine was fueled, the power was turned on as one hundred twenty followers of Jesus were baptized in the Holy Spirit. The fire of God had fallen, something the modern day church knows absolutely nothing about any more because we're too smart and sophisticated to be babbling in some unknown language, why, what would people think if we had tongues of fire on our heads?
That's the problem, we have become too big for our britches when it comes to doing church, something this first sold out bunch of believers knew nothing about, they didn't even have Bibles and most were illiterate, but they had just received power from on high. They had given all to follow Jesus and now they had the same Spirit as He dwelling inside them, imagine one hundred and twenty people who looked like and acted like the Lord Jesus Christ, the power would be flowing like a river and it was about to explode on the streets of Jerusalem!
The first church was speaking in tongues, filled with the Holy Spirit and they were already about to experience their first miracle of multiplication when people on the streets heard them speaking in their own language, being from other lands, they were amazed. Peter, moved by the Holy Spirit began to preach the gospel of the Kingdom and the Spirit was moving mightily as thousands listened and were about to be swept into the Kingdom of God!
'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy.' Acts 2:17
"Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38
The apostle Peter proclaimed the gospel of Christ and it cut to the heart according to the Word in Acts as people were brought under heavy conviction of their sins. In anguish of soul the people cried out and said, "What shall we do?" Peter didn't lead them in a prayer nor did he say, "Every head bowed and every eye closed." Peter said what Jesus said and that was for them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The gospel of the Kingdom of God is simple, direct and to the point that if one is truly convicted of their sin and is willing to forsake their sin, confess it and turn away from it or in other words, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ he will be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Today's lukewarm attempt at preaching the gospel only asks people to pray a little prayer and "Poof" they become a Christian, something found no where in scripture and has led millions to Hell!
We have forsaken the Lord Jesus Christ and lied to people for the sake of not offending or running off any "Big tithers" in order to fill our buildings and pay our enormous overheads and Pastor salaries, something else never mentioned in the New Testament scripture. I'm sorry, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is offensive to the sinner and the good news is this: if he repents he wont go to a place of everlasting torment and suffering, being damned to Hell! The cross that Jesus was crucified on was a cruel instrument of death that killed all who were nailed to it. It is one of the most offensive things mentioned in scripture and because of what the Son of God did on it gives us the right to choose to repent and become sons and daughters of the King!
And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverted (crooked) generation." Then those who received his word were baptized; and three thousand souls were added to them. Acts 2:40,41
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin