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Something happened at the first Pentecost. The Jews, gathered from all over the world could see the people who had been filled with the Spirit of God and said they looked like they had drunk sweet wine. Whoever saw the disciples, wondered at their behavior and deeds.
New wine is different from old wine. Old wineskin complies with old wine, but new wineskin is necessary for new wine. New wineskin needs to be filled with something new and this is the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.
„do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father ” … „but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses…”
The Gospel can be preach only with the power of the Holy Spirit. It is only new wineskin that is able to hold new wine. The Spirit of God has been doing something since the first Pentecost not only with our bodies but with the body of the whole Church as well. Something new has begun in the Church, too. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and we as living stones are built into these Church. “As living stones you have to build up to a spiritual house”.
In order to have the Church powerfully built up as a healthy body according to the plan of God, it is necessary to have the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the biblical ministries functioning in a healthy, biblical way. Organization structures taken over from the world still functioning in the Church are not suitable for this purpose, for „no man puts new wine into old wineskin: else the new wine does burst the bottles and the wine is spilled and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new wineskin”. (Mar. 2.22.)
A dying “church” can vegetate within old structures, but the Church which consists of the army of the called disciples empowered with authority demands new wineskin (new structures: organizational forms), because otherwise it will burst the old one.
Christian organizations with different names usually led by one person have the following deformities:
- There is only one person (pastor, churchleader) who God can usually speak through, or else power will slip out of the hands of the appointed leader.
- One personal rule in a church makes an apostle impossible to function, because the pastor will close all ways through which the apostle could supervise the church and such intentions of the apostle would be taken as manipulative intrusions.
The Church that was created at the first Pentecost came into existence on the basis of the New Testament which had outlawed the high priest system of the Old Testament.
In the New Testament Church
- all born-again believes are authorized priests by the Word, therefore they are not an audience, but ministers.
„But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who had called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;” (1 Pe. 2.9.)
„How is it then, brethren? when you come together, every one of you had a psalm, had a doctrine, had a tongue, had a revelation, and had an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” (1 Co. 14.26.)
- all believers have the same power the first sent out disciples had.
God, in the first place, is not quantity but quality-centered. We can see that through the example of the group of Gideon.
The Church doesn’t need members merely registered in the church, but rather ones that realize the command of Jesus: „teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Mat. 28.19-20.)
What did Jesus teach and has been teaching the disciples through the Holy Spirit ever since? What was and similarly recently must be the authority the disciples were given (first the 12 and later the 70)?
The authority of the disciples – in the name of Jesus – has not changed since that time, because we know that „Jesus is same yesterday today and forever”. This empowerment is for the following: to heal the sick, to raise the dead and to cast out demons.
The first 120 the disciples, who prayed together after Jesus had died at the first Pentecost, empowered by the Holy Spirit turned the world upside down in a generation’s time. We need the same power and authority in every believer’s life so that we can spread the Gospel the way we were commanded in Jesus’s mission command. The aim of believers’ growing in faith and knowledge is to become disciples.
And those who believe will be followed by miracles:
– they will drive out demons in the name of Jesus,
– they will speak in strange tongues,
– if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they won’t be harmed,
– they will place their hands on sick people and these will get well.
We have to understand that the one person high priest like ministries and sometimes offerings are Old Testament practices. God created the apostolic, prophetic, etc. ministries in the phase of the New Testament by the pouring out His Holy Spirit to prepare the saints for their ministries. The Church of God does not consist of passive church members who always need to be served to, but disciples, who themselves without exception serve according to the measure of their gifts.
It is an important task to restore psychically hurt church members, but too much engagement with the psychic self can lead to an extreme growth of the psychic man resulting in emotionally dependent Christians. Contrary to this, the Church needs spiritually free, matured Christians, who have become disciples.
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