Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lesson 2: Prophecy in New Testament Churches.

As I mentioned on Thursday, I have found these awesome 22 study notes by Ern Baxter on the gift of prophecy and it is my hope to reproduce them here in the public field for whatever use may be found - mainly cell notes.

It is good to look back to the New Testament times and see how those powerful churches came to be and to study the various ministries that gave those churches such a strong foundation. One of the great churches was the church at Antioch of Syria. For many centuries, it was to be one of the strongest missionary churches of the Christian era, and even today many thousands of Greek Orthodox priests claim their ordination came through apostolic succession from the ministry of the church. How was this church founded? What ministries helped to lay its foundations?

1. The beginning and early ministry to the church at Antioch.

- Acts 11:19-30 - v 19-21 - Persecution scattered believers who witnessed and won a large number to Christ.

- v22-24 - The church at Jerusalem sent Barnabus, the apostle, to minister to them.

- v25-25 - Barnabus brought Paul from Tarsus for a year's ministry. Later Paul is named among the prophets and teachers.

- v27 - Prophets from the church at Jerusalem came and ministered to the believers at Antioch.

- v28-30 - Agabus, the Prophet, prophesies at Antioch.

2. The Missionary work of the church at Antioch was directed by Prophecy and Revelation.

- Acts 13:1-4 - Note the five prophets and teachers named and see how the Holy Spirit moved and prophesied through them. Indeed the early church was divinely directed.

3. In our services, let us always seek for the Holy Spirit to speak and direct.

It is so important for each of us to know God's will and plan for our lives. Each believer must be called by God to his or her place of ministry. In the restored New Testament church, we are set in the body of Christ as it pleaseth Him. The church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.

Tomorrow: Prophecy in New Testament Churches - Part 2.

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