The Manifold Wisdom Of God
The Kingdom Whole Gathering
“... the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,”
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord," Colossians 3'16.
The Whole Gathering is made up of those who meet in House Gatherings of a certain location. The name comes from two scriptures:
Whole is found in 1 Corinthians 14'23: "... if the whole Ekklesia of Christ (Assembly of Called-Out Ones) comes together in one place ...".
Gathering is found in 2 Thessalonians 2'1: "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him".
Basically it is a reminder that Saints are called out of the world to meet together till Jesus comes (1 Corinthians 11'26).
Disciples came together to break bread on "... the first day of the week" (Acts 20'7). Also the Saints collected an offering for others (1 Corinthian 16'2) "on the first day of the week".
John the Elder said he "... was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day" (Revelation 1'10).
Believers honoured and worshipped their heavenly Father and celebrated Christ, and His resurrection, giving thanks to Him as Children of God. They also celebrated His Creation and their own new creation.
The word of Christ in the scriptures of Acts 2 to Revelation 3'22 reveals that true Believers involved Whole Gathering express a variety of ministries, such as:
Worshipping the Father in Spirit and Truth
Giving thanks together.
Celebrating the Lord's Supper-Table.
Remembering Christ until He comes again.
Being filled with the Spirit.
Participating in the manifestation of the Spirit.
Ministry of the gifts of the Spirit.
Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
Singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord.
Singing with grace in their hearts to the Lord.
Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
Submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Manifesting the fruit the Holy Spirit.
Preaching the Word of Christ and the Kingdom of God.
(For more see The Spirit In The Whole Gathering on the Menu.)
COULD THESE THINGS HAPPEN TODAY?
How was it that such ministries happened among the early Believers? The immediate answer would have to be: "... by the working of the Holy Spirit".
But why are such gatherings not experienced today? Could it be because Believers do not expect or anticipate such workings of the Holy Spirit?
Peter refers to the involvement of the Holy Spirit. He refers to:
"... those who have preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven ...", 1 Peter 1'12.
In fact, he was the first to do that very thing on the Day of Pentecost. As well as Peter there's John, Philip and the others who went to Samaria. And Aquila and Priscilla, Timothy and Paul too.
"... my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power," 1 Corinthians 2'4-5.
And what was the aim of his preaching?:
"that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God".
Further to that he explained:
"I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power," 1 Corinthians 4'19-20.
"... I am not ashamed of the good news of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation ...," Romans 1'16.
"For the word of God is living and powerful ...," Hebrews 4'12.
Also Paul said about Jesus, who is the Lord, the Anointed One, the word of God, that He is:
"... the power of God and the wisdom of God," 1 Corinthians 1'24.
The Greek word for "power" is dunamis which means power and ability. According to Strong's Concordance it is used 72 times in the Kingdom scriptures of Acts 2'1 to Revelation 3'22.
Should present-day Believers expect, or anticipate, this kind of ministry, then?
The Believers who took part in the very first New Covenant Kingdom prayer meeting obviously did. And the Holy Spirit affirmed them and made sure it was recorded for all to read.
They were direct and fervent as they asked for, and expected to see, God working in power. The participants of the first Kingdom prayer meeting:
"... grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness," Acts 4'29-31.
Could it be that it is unbelief that prevents Believers from receiving these powerful ministries of the Spirit? After all, unbelief is a powerful thing. Look what happened when Jesus went "to His own country":
"Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.
And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching," Mark 6'5-6.
Many did not accept the Lord's teaching. Let us remember that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" Romans 10'17.
Some time after Pentecost there were Believers, notably in the city of Corinth, who expressed the Holy Spirit's miraculous workings through them to others. Nevertheless, their behaviour was out of order. Paul corrected them but did not bar them from continuing. Instead he said:
"... earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way".
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
"Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy."
(1 Corinthians 12'31;13'13;14'1)
BEING DISPOSED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Lord's Called-Out Disciples were disposed to the Holy Spirit working. Very early on they had heard Him say:
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11'13.
When Believers come together in a Whole Gathering in Jesus' name Paul said ...
"... the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all," 1 Corinthians 12'7.
The disposition of the early Believers was what might be called naturally spiritual and spiritually natural. That is, they were very much every-day natural human beings. At the same time they were born-again Spirit-filled Believers
They expected and anticipated the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. (See The Spirit in The Whole Gathering 1&2 on the Menu.)
WHAT IF WE DID?
Suppose Believers gathered today in the same manner of openness as those early Saints? Would the Body of Christ enjoy the same blessings today?
"Now the Lord is the Spirit;
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with unveiled face,
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image
from glory to glory,
just as by the Spirit of the Lord,"
2 Corinthians 3'17-18.