| Man alive. How did I ever get along with five?|
When I was a kid growing up in the age of black and white TV I always looked forward to 4 p.m. . Because on the weekday this is when the cartoons cane on. And in the late fifties and early sixties a lot of commercials were feared for kids that watched the cartoons during that time. I remember the commercials for Slinky, the spring that would go down the stairs. Then of course there were the commercials for Bosco and Ovaltine. That would encourage your taste bud to ask Mom for Ovaltine and Bosco chocolate mix.
One of the commercials that really got my attention was the sticky fingers commercial. This was about a finger that one would hold in their right in between their index and forefinger. You could shoot little bullets or darts out of this finger. (This is before the age of politically correct toys). You could write secret messages with his finger. And they were probably other things you could do with it that escaped my mind right now. But the little jungo of the commercial was,
...Man oh man, how did I ever get along with five...
But now some of you are probably wondering brother Blaine what is the relevance of this in a Christian forum? Why does trip down memory lane from an aging baby boomer?
Has anyone ever wondered when reading the book of Acts how the early church ever got along without a complete Bible? Indeed the early church did not have the completed New Testament? To the best of my memory the church did not get the complete Bible until around the mid 300s. Give or take.
Yet when we read the book of Acts which covers about the first 30 years of the first-century church. We see the gospel going out and marvelous signs and wonders. We see the gospel going out bringing many to saving faith and life in the Lord Jesus Christ. All of this done without a complete Bible. All of this done without a complete New Testament. We see the Holy Spirit working to bring people to saving faith and life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
So how did the first century Church do it? How did they do it without the completed scriptures?
I am posting this question because there has been some discussion on the Mount of Transfiguration thread about the use of the Bible. So since we have the completed Bible. Are we any better off than the Church of Acts? Or is the Church of Acts somehow substandard to the church in America because we have the completed scriptures? One would have to wonder exactly how the Church of Acts accomplish what they did without the methodologies and the Bible's we have today?
Let me take the question one step further. What about the persecuted Church? There is some parts of restricted Nations that did not have access to a Bible or a new testament. But they do have access to maybe portions of scripture. Yet we see the Holy Spirit operating in a dynamic that we don't see here in America. How is this happening?
Forum I would like to know your thoughts. And please I do not wish to see this threat locked down. So let us keep our post respectful toward one another. I know some of you have passionate thoughts about the Bible. But again let us keep the posts respectful toward one another.
So exactly how in the first 30 years of the first-century church they accomplished what they did without a completed Bible?
| 2016/6/2 10:29|
| Re: Man oh man. How did I ever get along with five?|
Because their spiritual eyes were open and the Messiah and God's plan, recorded throughout the OT was revealed to them.
Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
What scriptures do you think Jesus "opened" to the disciples?
In addition, they had the letters of the Apostles and were a culture that spoke a lot to one another and transmitted the letters via the spoken word.
They were always in the marketplace and meeting in homes repeating and reciting the revelation of Jesus Christ to one another.
| 2016/6/2 10:35|
| Re: Man oh man. How did I ever get along with five?|
Yes, obviously we are blessed to have the full Word of God, the book of Romans to help us understand the Gospel, the Gospels to know the words of Jesus, Revelation to know how Jesus dealt with & spoke to the early churches in the east in that day & also how it all will end one day. We have the epistles for encouragement, instruction, exhortation, doctrine, right teaching, etc. But yes, the fact is, when it says "the Bereans were more noble...they searched the scriptures to see if these things were true.." And we applaud them & hold them up as our example, even they had at that time only the Old Testament scriptures to be checking against. And there are countless examples of people even in our modern day in the east being radically Born Again without one page of scripture. But it's also interesting how much many of them cherish/ed getting even a single page from a Bible! This should remind us we serve a Living God, who is a Spirit, who transforms us into converted Born Again saints not by just by decisional conversion only based on what "we know", but through a SUPERNATURAL rebirth of His Spirit & His doing.
Don't misunderstand - the Word of God is of utmost importance! We DO have access to it now. "To whom much is given, much will be required." And we have been given unlimited access (affordably & conveniently), online Bible apps, etc., etc. So let us cherish His Word as "A lamp unto our feet & a light unto our path" (Psalm 100 I believe), & let us sow this Word into others, & help get it into the hands of those without such free access, particular in the parts of the world where it is banned &/or despised. But let us remember we were Born Again (if we are), we live & move & have our being, & we were washed (if we were) in the blood of the Risen Living Lamb of God, not just by mentally assenting to some doctrinal facts (true they are) about Jesus we read in the Bible. The New Birth is a deposit of God's Spirit within us as we come to Him in faith!
I have heard many stories of those without Bibles praying and praying and God getting His Word in thee hands trough supernatural means. So let not one side say the Bible is unimportant or irrelevant (or be misinterpreted as saying such) & let not the other side say or act as if having a Bible is more important than having the Living Christ living within by the Spirit!
| 2016/6/2 10:48|
| Re: Julius and Jeff |
Brothers good thoughts brought up in your posts
| 2016/6/2 11:27|
| Re: |
They HEARD and received from various sources (Apostles, Teachers, etc) to one another. They discovered the riches of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament when their spiritual eyes were opened by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Much of what they learned, they HEARD. They had "ears to hear".
Php_4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and HEARD, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Col_1:4 Since we HEARD of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
Col_1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye HEARD before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col_1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye HEARD of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
Col_1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we HEARD it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col_1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have HEARD, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
1Th_2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye HEARD of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
2Ti_1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast HEARD of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti_2:2 And the things that thou hast HEARD of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Heb_2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have HEARD, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Heb_2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that HEARD him;
| 2016/6/2 11:47|
| Re: |
Blaine, brother, I LOVE the analogy to the jingle.
I too hope not to set debates into spin here.
My heart has been asking a similar question these past few days. I haven't even read the transfiguration thread. I did start fresh in Acts, though. I'm going to read and re-read Luke-Acts until I change. What that means exactly I don't know, but I am convinced that there is something in those two books that God will use to do something in my spirit, to change me, grow me, convict me, gift me --- something!!! So, that's where I am for now.
Thank God we have the full Bible in this society! But, do we have the fellowship of the Holy Ghost? Are we living as one with one another as Jesus prayed in John 17? We have the whole library, but do we live fully in the Author? No. No, I don't. I can't speak for you all, but I know me.
Do we live in fellowship with the Spirit of God? Believers with less than the whole Scripture available to them do.
Do we live as one with one another as Jesus prayed in John 17? Believers with less than the whole Scripture available to them do.
I am completely broken up over the seemingly impenetrable wall of self-deceit and worldliness in the American church. In our home, we are doing what we sincerely heard the Lord tell us to do, but we've grown from 12 or so to about 6 in the last 2 years. God gave us a word months ago -- be patient. We feel A LITTLE like we imagine the first disciples MAY have felt -- being told to wait but not fully understanding what for. We don't know what we're waiting on really looks like. So, we are asking ourselves if we have heard God correctly.
My wife and I were sitting on the back porch one evening last week and opening our hearts to each other about it all. We are so ---- at the end of our ropes. I told her that not a day goes by hardly that I don't envision myself running to the courthouse square (in our little town) and just yelling at every church building to the top of my lungs to repent and get serious. I confessed to her --- and I confess to you all, too and I don't justify this in the least --- that I get so mad at the situation that sometimes I feel like Al Pacino felt in that scene from Scent of a Woman ("I'd take a flamethrower to this place..."). Where's the integrity? Where's the character? Where will we hold ourselves to account for selling out? We'd be better off if we had no place to lay our head, no place to open our varied favorite translations of the Bible, no place to meet in peace with people who are expert gamesmen with the Word of God, forced into nothingness with others who have nothing but Him. So, yeah. That's how I feel.
I want to pray for God to force us into such straits in this nation that when one of us says to another, "May the God of peace sanctify you wholly," that we receive it in despair and not spin off into whether sanctification is a second blessing, separate work of grace, instant, progressive, Wesleyan or Calvin-ian (to invent a word). That when we speak of Him, the Spirit of God gives such life to us and what we say that our hearts burn within us as if Christ had just arisen freshly from the tomb to walk with us. To be to that place ---- and I hope and hold on to the hope that there IS a place ---- where He is truly all in all to us all and that be everything to us and not just words and platitudes and tautologies.
I've got to stop.
| 2016/6/2 11:50||Profile|
| Re: The scriptures Jesus opened (edited)|
25 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
26 - "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into His glory?"
27 - And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27)
It seems that whatever He shared that Moses and all the prophets provided the foundation.
Paul's defense before King Aggripa,
19 “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
21 For this reason some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to put me to death.
22 So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what Moses and the prophets said was going to take place; NOTHING BUT WHAT MOSES AND THE PROPHETS SAID WAS GOING TO TAKE PLACE;
23 that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:19-23)
Paul went straight to Moses and the prophets in his defense before King Agrippa.
27 "King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do."
28 And Agrippa replied to Paul, "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian." (Acts 26:27-28)
Later, during Paul's house arrest,
23 When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.(Acts 28:23)
Paul took the same route - the foundation of his witness came from and was built on Moses and the prophets.
| 2016/6/2 11:56||Profile|
| Re: Tim|
My brother so hear your heart. I wish I could offer you encouragement. I too am in the same situation. I have been without a church home here and Little Rock for a number of years. And yes like you I am in the middle of the Southern Christian culture as you. There's a Southern Baptist Church on every corner. But our hearts cry. Where are the Jesus followers?
Perhaps the remnant meeting that Greg is encouraging may causes us to network more with one another.
Brother feel free to write or call me. My contact information is below this post. At least perhaps we can encourage one another by email or phone.
| 2016/6/2 12:08|
| Re: brother Tim|
"I am completely broken up over the seemingly impenetrable wall of self-deceit and worldliness in the American church. In our home, we are doing what we sincerely heard the Lord tell us to do, but we've grown from 12 or so to about 6 in the last 2 years. God gave us a word months ago -- be patient. We feel A LITTLE like we imagine the first disciples MAY have felt -- being told to wait but not fully understanding what for. We don't know what we're waiting on really looks like. So, we are asking ourselves if we have heard God correctly."
Brother Tim, this passage jumped out at me from your post. I do not want to sidetrack this thread from the OP so if you feel led please shoot me your email address so we can discuss privately what you are experiencing. I believe this is not only common but what God is allowing to happen. We are in a transitional phase right now (the body of Christ) and that requires much waiting. Contact me and I will share more with you about our own house church experience. Blessings!
| 2016/6/2 12:16|
| Re: Davidb|
But David if I remember correctly those were the Jewish leaders that were coming to Paul. If so. Then it would make sense that he would use Moses and the law to preach Jesus to them. For they would already be familiar with the Torah.
How would Paul deal with the Gentiles? How would he preach Jesus to them? Acts 28:30-31 says,
... And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all open this, unhindered...
That would have been one marvelous Bible study to be in on if I could call it such. I wonder what Paul would have been teaching and perhaps even demonstrating?
Posted just wondering.
| 2016/6/2 12:18|