Genesis 1:31-2:3 New King James Version (NKJV) “The evening and the morning,” in that order.
31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
The Early Church In Fellowship And Growth
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Shabbat, Shabbos, Shabbath, Sabbath
Next Saturday will be our monthly fellowship meal, which will also be a “Shabbat,” or Sabbath, time of worship. The scriptural authority is Acts 2:42: “and they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” In this passage those who were meeting in house churches were Jews who had very recently come to know Jesus as the Christ, their Messiah. “Breaking of bread” did not mean Lord’s Supper; it was a fellowship meal. One might ask if these early believers in Christ took time during their meals to remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus; we don’t really know. But, if there was such a time, the bread was not an “itsy bitsy wafer” and the wine was not dispensed in an “itsy bitsy sippy cup.” The Apostles had very recently been with with Jesus at the Passover Meal (Thursday night before Friday afternoon’s crucifixion of Jesus). It was from the bread and wine of the meal that Jesus spoke of His impending death on the cross. During that meal Jesus didn’t exclude anyone, including Judas who betrayed Him. The feet of Judas were also washed by Jesus, just as were the feet of the others who were present. The problems that existed in the Church at Corinth, and their fellowship meals, will be discussed later. Someone might also ask when the Apostles who were present at the Passover meal with Jesus would take part in the next Passover meal. The answer is, “at the next time of Passover,” which would be about a year from the last Passover. The Apostles did not forsake their observance of the Passover. The only clear-cut reference to an event that might be called “The Lord’s Supper” would come about twenty-six years later, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians Chapter 11. Still, that were not a time when an “itsy bitsy” wafer of bread, or an “itsy bitsy” cup of wine was used to remember the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:21:22). Nobody is going to “go hungry” for a lack of an “itsy bitsy” wafer of bread. Neither is anyone going to become drunk because they had a sip from an “itsy bitsy” cup of wine…. More to come… Also, consider this statement: “give me a list!”)
These first century believers in Christ met in homes, not of planning but of necessity. There were no free-standing buildings on street corners that had signs which read, “First Baptist Church, First Methodist Church, etc.” These early believers met in homes because they were convenient, available, and free of rent. Also, these Jews who had just recently come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior continued to attend temple worship (Acts 2:46). These Jews were born as Jews, and they died as Jews. The difference between them and their unbelieving Jewish friends was that the BELIEVING JEWS had been born again; they had the Spirit of FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT living within their born again spirits, and leading them to lives of righteousness. These BELIEVING JEWS continued their temple worship; they would not show a lack of respect for their elders. Also, there was no teaching of Jesus or the apostles for the born again Jews to desert their unbelieving Jewish friends. The Church, the born again body of Christ, has been called to tell the world of the message of CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED (1 Corinthians 2:1) Notice the simplicity and joy of these early church house fellowships (vs 46) . Notice the favor that the early believers in Christ had with their unbelieving neighbors (vs 47). Notice, also, the rapid growth of the early church that came as a result of the Lord adding to their number (the born again experience… John 3:3-8).
Come and join us for our a time of teaching, food, and fellowship next Saturday at 4:30. If you are in our local area, please consider joining us. If you are not near us; as I am aware of many of our ministry team who reside throughout and outside of the USA; you should consider having your own fellowship meals. If you do that, be sure to maintain a simplicity of fellowship. Because our time of teaching is essential to our gatherings, it is important that each person goes away with information on God’s Word that will help them to be a more effective witness. We strive for simplicity of fellowship, but we also strive for a time that is free from interference of teaching. We don’t have a nursery; we want all of our people to learn from the experience of our meetings. We ask therefore that only adults, and children of learning and obeying age, attend our gatherings. Times are very serious in our world. Our adults must be able to learn God’s Holy Word so that they can also teach their children the things of scripture that they will need to know as they face a more unbelieving and hostile world. Consider the words of the following verses of scripture that deal with the responsibility that parents have of teaching their children.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The teaching of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is called “The Shema.” Notice the pronunciation of Shema, which is not She-ma; it is more like “sha mah.” The following link will have the word properly enunciated.