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Joined: 2005/2/19
Posts: 46
littlefield, tx

 An interesting fact

In Acts, the original church met in one another's homes to fellowship & be taught, & pray; & they were like one big spiritual family. In fact, many of those who had plenty wholeheartedly sold all they had & gave the money to help the poor among them. Then, a short time later, the same church is arguing over who's getting the most help. In a short period of time, they went from one big spiritual family to a body torn with differences of opinion & strife. Why did that happen? What took place in the time period between point a & point b? What significance does that have for us today in the body of Christ?

wayne freeman

 2005/2/19 15:48Profile

Joined: 2005/1/26
Posts: 153

 Re: An interesting fact

What happened between point a and point b is commonplace. Something that affects us all to some degree...

[i]"I want more than what I have. I am not satisfied[/i]"

and Pride.
[i]"Why should THAT church receive that? [b][u]WE[/b][/u] haven't gotten that!"[/i]

Way of the world...throughout history.

 2005/3/8 11:59Profile

Joined: 2005/2/2
Posts: 33


Also they could in my humble opinon.Have put there eyes on the church and church growth rather than God! and lose there first love. The more we get interested in Church and not on God we run into problems. That may be something to do with it!

 2005/3/8 12:55Profile

Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re: An interesting fact

I've read many times on this forum that they met in their homes and did x, y, z. Here are some scriptures just to show another aspect to Acts church life.

Acts 2:46
Every day they continued to meet together [b]in the temple courts.[/b]

Acts 5:25
Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing [b]in the temple courts[/b] teaching the people.

Acts 5:42 Day after day, [b]in the temple courts[/b] [u][i]and[/u][/i] [b]from house to house,[/b] they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 20:20
You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have [b]taught you publicly[/b] [u][i]and[/i][/u] [b]from house to house.[/b]

GeatReal this is not directed at you in particular but just bringing a little balance to the notion that only thing noteworthy that happened in the first centruy church was in homes and that is what we should view as our absolute model. I think it is interesting that it is 'and' and not 'either/or', they both go hand in hand.

Zeke Oosthuis

 2005/3/8 13:43Profile

Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 239
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

 Re: temple courts.

Thanks for that post ZekeO, There are many today who are teaching that unless a church is an exact replica of a first century palestinian church it is in some way inferior - or even abominable.

We all discern that religion often trumps spirituality in our modern church - and it is right to want to remedy that. But rather than pursue the same Holy Spirit that made the first century churches what they were - many attempt to capture first century methodologies and models - as though God intended the church to ever after reflect first century palestinian culture!

Some, who have been disillusioned by the error (or spiritual vacuum) that often accompanies many religious systems, have turned to home churches instead. But some of these who do, are not simply disatisfied with the traditional church, but have gone so far as to be filled with contempt for the 'traditional' church. These ones often promote the -false- idea that traditional churches are not biblical {but in fact are} perverse - {they promote the false notion} that the "early church model" was always the home church.

So it was good to see that post. Sometimes people forget that the church met in the temple courts, synogogs, in public places - and also in houses (though most of the first century houses we are talking about had large courtyards where the congregation met (as opposed to sitting around on couches in someone's living room...))

You made a nice, balanced point, and I thank you for that.


edit: anything in curly braces {} was added after the fact for clarity

Daniel van de Laar

 2005/3/8 14:58Profile

Joined: 2003/9/16
Posts: 474


Good post. It doesn't matter so much where we meet as much as how we function. Every believer is part of the church of Jesus Christ, regardless of how they have church.

1 Corinthian 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Ed Pugh

 2005/3/8 17:23Profile

Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 40


Bro Zeke - I have been meeting with the Lord and the saints in my home for over 10 years now and enjoy it. I do agree with you that there is no absolute model as to how, when, or where the saints are supposed to meet together in the Lord. Hopefully, those of us who are coming out of the churches can realize this balance as well but times of change can be disorderly and unbalanced...unfortunately. God will mould his Body.

There are some clearly defined patterns and roles for the assembly though, and these must be understood and maintained to keep God's people safe from error, whatever the time or place of assembly. There is a "model" to some extent.

Steve Lindsey

 2005/3/8 17:30Profile

Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 40


Bro Dann - I agree that we need not necessarily try to capture the "methodologies and models" of the first century assemblies. However, the fruit of the traditional church has already proved itself. I think anyone who can understand language and face reality can see this. And I realize that those whose lives are bound up in the "church" are loathe to even look at the idea that the "churches" are unbiblical and (yes) perverse. When the assemblies turned aside from the Truth they indeed did become perverse by definition.

The thousands upon thousands of Denominations within the Body of the Lord - this is perversity.

The assemblies that turned aside from the pattern of true eldership (plural overseers) became, by definition, perverse. None of us is called to follow A Pastor of A Church. We are not called by any Scripture to "go to church" and listen to "sermons" from one man behind a pulpit. "Let the prophets speak, two or three....." The practice of putting religious Titles on our "rulers" is perversity.

When leaders turned back to the "shadow", the "rudimentary elements of the world", and began to command God's Priests to support the "churches" with tithes, they created a transgression and a perversity. Same thing when they began to command or at least insist that people "keep the Sabbath" by "going to church" on Sunday. The shadows have been fulfilled. The "church" is a stangely twisted hybrid of shadows and has been trying to put new wine in old skins...the wine is gone.

When the "church" began to promulgate holy days mixed with pagan tradition and Lies, it created a perversion. We are still dealing with these fables today...and it doesn't even phase us because we are so used to Lies. Bitter is now sweet and sweet bitter.

There are far too many other examples to list here.

So..while I agree that there is no set model for assembling before God, I do not agree that "church" as usual is something to be maintained or even desired. Most of its works are already burning in the fire but few have the courage to look at the smoke. The land is already darkened with it.

I love you brother and I love the Called-Out Ones of God. The "church" as we know it...that's a different matter.

Steve Lindsey

 2005/3/8 17:54Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 Re: comfort

I find comfort that these ancient ones were something like us. Too much is made of the first century church as the lost ideal in my opinion. We can't go back and observe them. All we can do is share what lessons we feel are important from that era.

In the end, it is us, not them, that are the church given to the world for such a time as this by God. It's hopeful to remember what the soveriegn Lord can accomplish through a "divided" church.

"We are but of yesterday, and already we have filled your world; cities, islands, fortresses, towns, market places, the camp itself, tribes, companies, the palaces, the senate, the forum."

Tertullian, describing the church in A.D. 200


Matter of fact, I think I'll use this quote for a new signature...

Mike Compton

 2005/3/8 19:58Profile

Joined: 2005/4/4
Posts: 342
Continental Europe


As Steven, I have been meeting in homes for years. I became totally disillusioned by all denominations. Even though there are no set rules of how to meet set out in the Scriptures - and this is normal as the Body of Christ is something organic - there are some indications concerning the way we should assemble.

Zeke0 mentioned the fact of the "temple courts", and I would like to make a few obsevation concerning this temple.

1) It was built by an unbelieving, ungodly gentile, Herod the Great.

2) I think that the apostles used to go there to evangelise the Jews.

3) The temple drops out of the picture after Acts 5, churches in homes are mentioned throughout the New Testament; particularly in Paul's epistles.

4) The temple was located in Jerusalem, in all the other cities, throughout the Roman Empire, the churches met in homes.

5) The temple was destroyed in AD. 70, thus even the church wich was in Jerusalem, had to find an alternative. But I think that even before this date, the church which was in Jerusalem met in a few homes too, (cf. for exemple, Acts 12:12 + 17).

I do not see where else the churches in the New Testament met except in homes, it was the norm then, something that just was natural. If this is true, then there would be some value in considering the backgroud of the existence of our present "church buildings".


 2005/4/4 6:47Profile

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