The Manifold Wisdom Of God
The Kingdom House Gathering
[FAITH, HOPE, LOVE :: EDIFICATION, EXHORTATION, COMFORT]
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them,” Matthew 18'20.
"Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus." "... greet the Believers assembled in their house." Romans 16'3,5.
The first time the Lord used a house for His work was to do with the first members of the Body of Christ.
On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled "all the house where they were sitting," Acts 2'2.
In doing this, God showed that He had turned away from the Old Testament Jerusalem-based, Temple-centred Judaism.
This foundational Body of Believers, His Ekklesia or Called-Out Ones, were the first of His new Christ-based spiritual Temple. They had been in that ordinary house waiting for the Promise of the Father (Acts 1'4).
From then on those who were being "called into the fellowship of His Son" (1 Corinthians 1'9) started to develop a pattern:
"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," Acts 2'46.
"Daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ," Acts 5'42.
"As for Saul, he made havoc of the Called-Out Ones, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison," Acts 8'3.
Peter "came to the house of Mary ... where many were gathered together praying," Acts 12'12.
"The Ekklesia of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the Ekklesia that is in their house," 1 Corinthians 16'19.
"Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and Nymphas and the Ekklesia that is in his house," Colossians 4'15.
"... to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the Called-Out Ones in your house," Philemon 2.
Nevertheless, Believers were open to using larger buildings. When Paul met with opposition in Ephesus and:
"... some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
And this continued for two years, Acts 19'9-10.
GOD'S NEW TEMPLE IN HOUSES
So God had finished with the Temple of the Old Covenant. However, it was standing physically until AD70 when it was destroyed by the Romans. And, by the Holy Spirit He describes the New Covenant Kingdom Temple:
"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit," Ephesians 2'19-22.
At the primary level a Kingdom House Gathering provides a spiritually healthy place for new Believers to take up Peter's exhortation:
"... as new born babes desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ," 1 Peter 2'3-5.
HOUSES FOR HIS HOUSE
Interestingly, the Lord's People themselves are called a house, His House. In a comparison of the Old and New Covenants the writer to the Hebrew Believers says:
"Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward,
but Christ as a Son over His own house whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end," Hebrews 3'5-6.
Holding fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope
Confidence and rejoicing in the hope are vital to help His House grow. House Gatherings can be ideal to facilitate all-round ministries such as:
* considering the scriptures * fellowshiping * serving one another * hospitality
* witnessing * receiving anyone wanting to make a fresh start in life
* discipling/nurturing new and young Believers * welcoming inquirers
* encouraging one another * and more