This Ekklesia “Called Out” Still Stands Today, This is the only one the gates of hell do not prevail against!
In entering upon the study of The Church of the Living God, there is an essential that should first be considered: and not only first, but first and last and all the time. That essential is, The Place of The Holy Spirit.
The Church according to the new order of the eleven apostles, all of whom had been personally chosen, and called, and taught for three years, and ordained, and commissioned, by the Lord Himself, to go and preach the Gospel in all the world, were not allowed to go anywhere nor to preach at all till they were endued with power from on high in the baptism with the Holy Spirit. And they must tarry in Jerusalem and wait for that baptism.
At Pentecost that Baptism come. The Holy Spirit took His place, which was the first place of all. Then they preached the Gospel and the work went on. And that work went on with always the Holy Spirit in His own place, and that the first place of all and over all and through all and in all. This is God’s way with His Church and in His Church, and it must be our way.
Let us trace for a little distance, this way of the Lord in and with His own Church: before man usurped the place of the Lord, and machinery the place of the Holy Spirit.
The second chapter of Acts is the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, Peter’s sermon telling that this was the fulfillment of the prophecy by Joel that God would pour out His Spirit “upon all flesh,“ and the call to all to repent and be baptized “and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
The third and fourth chapters tell of the healing of the lame man at the gate of the temple, of Peter’s sermon to the crowd that gathered and of Peter and John being arrested and imprisoned by the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees of the Sanhedrin, of the trial next day by the great council where “Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost,” made answer; and being let go, the two apostles went to their own company where they all together prayed “and were all filled with the Holy Ghost.”
The fifth chapter tells of the trick of Ananias and Sapphira in the matter of their agreeing to deceive as to the sale and gift of their property. And this was “to lie to the Holy Ghost,” and “to tempt the Spirit of the Lord.”
The consequences were immediate and dreadful. Then the apostles were all arrested by the high priest and council and were imprisoned for trial again. “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors and brought them forth, and said Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this Life.” Again they were arrested and brought before the council “and all the senate of the children of Israel,” where again Peter “and the other apostles” preached the Gospel and declared. “We are witnesses of these things, and so also is the Holy Ghost whom God hath given to them that obey Him.”
The sixth and seventh chapters tell of the choosing of men “full of the Holy Ghost and Wisdom” to have charge of the “business” in the daily ministration;” and of Stephen “ a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost” speaking before the council with his face shining “as it had been the face of an angel,” and of his “being full of the Holy Ghost” and looking up into heaven and seeing “ the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.”
Origin, A T Jones with a little change in the introduction.
1Jo 4:4 ¶ Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.