Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lesson 3: Prophecy in New Testament Churches - Part 2.

Continuing my series of discovered study notes on the Gift of Prophecy today by Dr Ern Baxter.

Through the centuries preaching has become an art, or, if you prefer, a science. As the wisdom of man builds the sermon, the effectiveness and miracle power of the gospel is often absent. The power of the New Testament preaching of the first century was great for most of the preaching and teaching must have been prophetic. Note that Paul, although learned and able with human ability, forsook oratorical ability that he might preach with demonstration and power of the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Peter also wrote that if we speak, we must speak, we must speak as the oracles of God. If we minister, it is to be by the ability that God giveth. 1 Peter 4:10-11.

Caesarea is mentioned often in the book of Acts. It was an important harbour city and there a powerful church was planted that must have been great in its powerful prophetic preaching and in the ministry of prophets and prophetesses who ministered there.

1. Philip settled in the city of Caesarea.

Acts 8:39-40 - After the great revival at the city of Samaria, Philip ministered to the Eunuch of Ethiopia, and then he was caught away by the Holy Spirit and settled in Caesarea.

2. The Apostle Peter ministered to Cornelius and his family at Caesarea.

Acts 10 - By vision and revelation the apostle is directed to minister to many who are filled with the Spirit and baptized in water. Thus a church was founded.

3. Peter returns to Caesarea.

Acts 12:18-19 - After Peter is miraculously delivered from prison at Jersualem, he goes to Caesarea and ministers there.

4. The Apostle Paul and the Prophet Agabus visit Caesarea.

Acts 21:8-16 - It is interesting to note the ministry to Paul in this church. Philip is still there after all these years and it states that he had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. Agabus the prophet comes down from Judea and ministers to Paul about his coming persecutions. In fact, these persecutions were prophesied about in every church that Paul passed through. Acts 20:22-23.

5. Discussion.

In these days, will we see apostles and prophets journeying through the churches as they travelled in the early churches? Yes, we are beginning to see these things now.

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