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Revive Israel Ministries
An Acts Two Congregation
©May 2, 2010 Asher Intrater

We just finished a conference for Ahavat Yeshua, our congregation in Jerusalem. We spent the weekend at kibbutz Nachsholim to strengthen our relationships and reaffirm our vision for an Acts Two community. Let’s look at some aspects of that first congregation.

  1. Jerusalem - They met in Jerusalem. The first will be last. The re-establishment of a Messianic community in Jerusalem is part of God’s purposes in these end times as we approach Yeshua’s return to Jerusalem. While the principles of Acts Two are applicable everywhere in the world, the location of Jerusalem does have strategic biblical importance (Matthew 23:37-39, Isaiah 2:1-4, Joel 2:32).
  2. Holy Spirit – The congregation started with the group experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This event marked a turning point in God’s dealing with mankind. From before creation, God’s intent was to dwell in a group of human beings by His Spirit. God’s dream had its initial fulfillment at that moment.
  3. Power Experience – They not only received the Holy Spirit, they were also baptized in fire. They spoke in tongues and began to preach, praise, and prophesy. There could be no congregation without that experience. Although they appeared somewhat “strange” to those around them, they obeyed Yeshua’s instructions to receive power from on high.
  4. Pentecost (Shavuot) – While true believers can receive the Holy Spirit at any time, this first outpouring happened in a certain setting. The holy day of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) was the “appointed time.” We celebrate the biblical feasts as an opportunity for a breakthrough in revival, evangelism, and teaching prophecy.
  5. Balance on Jewish Tradition – How much Jewish tradition to be included in our congregations is a hotly debated subject among Messianic Jews. People tend toward polemic reactions, totally for or against. But the biblical New Covenant view is one of balance. The early apostles lived within the culture of our people, yet were not submitted to all rabbinic laws (Acts 4:19, 15:10, 21:20; Romans 11:28).
  6. Bold Evangelism – Shimon (Peter) and the other disciples did not hesitate to preach about Yeshua’s crucifixion and resurrection.  There is spiritual opposition to proclaiming Yeshua’s name here in Israel, but He will always be the center of our message: "Yeshua of Nazareth (2:22), this Yeshua whom you crucified (2:36), in the name of Yeshua (2:38)."
  7. World Vision – The early disciples saw their message as the beginning of world evangelism (Acts 1:8) and their experience with the Holy Spirit as the beginning of world revival to be fulfilled in the end times (Acts 2:17). We share that vision and hope that the Messianic community in Israel can be a spark of revival and an encouragement to evangelism for believers in every nation.
  8. Hebrew Language – The apostles addressed their people as one of their own (Acts 2:14, 22, 29). They spoke to them in Hebrew (Acts 6:1, 21:40, 22:2, 26:14). Our worship, teaching and community activities are conducted in Hebrew. The Hebrew language, like the State of Israel, died almost 2,000 years ago and has come back to life. The restoration of Hebrew is parallel to the resurrection of Yeshua.  The gospel is received much more readily here in Hebrew. The use of native language and the training of young leaders represent a transition from a colonial mission to apostolic breakthrough in any nation.
  9. Local Core and Immigrants – Israel is a nation of immigrants. Most believers in Israel today are still immigrants. Yet that is beginning to change. The Acts Two congregation started with a core of 120 local disciples. To them were added a new group of 3,000, who were mostly immigrants: "devout men from every nation under heaven" - Acts 2:5. In their community, the majority were immigrants, while the local disciples represented the core leadership.
  10. Community Life – The early disciples shared their lives in complete partnership. They saw everything, both material and spiritual, as a common possession. They did not “attend an assembly,” but rather “participated in a community.” Their relationships went beyond the meetings. They saw one another as family (John 19:26-27, Mark 3:33-35).
  11. Covenantal Relationships – To reach that level of shared living, the early disciples lived by principles of covenant, loyalty, and integrity. They knew how to build trust, communicate with one another, confront sin in love, submit to authority, and commit themselves to long-term relationships.
  12. Large and Small Meetings – There is much discussion today about whether to meet in large meetings or small meetings. The early believers did both (Acts 1:15; 2:1, 41, 46). The larger meetings had a dynamic power expression, and the smaller meetings allowed for intimate relationships and accountability.
  13. Supernatural Giving – The early disciples gave money radically, even selling their possessions. The first stage was to help fellow members stay out of debt. The second stage was to promote a world vision as directed by the apostles. They literally "laid the money at the apostles' feet" - Acts 4:35, 37, 5:2. This supernatural generosity demonstrated provision, not for their lust and comfort, but for the kingdom of God.
  14. Apostolic leadership – The early communities of faith were led not only by pastors, but by all of the 5-fold ministry: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Acts 1:11; 2:42; 4:36; 5:18, 29; 8:14; 11:1; 13:1; 14:14; 15:6; 15:32; 16:4; 20:28; 21:8; 21:9; Ephesians 4:11). The variety of these leadership offices allowed for multi-dimensional growth in the kingdom of God.

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