House Church Talk - speaking, church meetings

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Wed May 19 04:21:57 EDT 2004

Hi Glenn S.

Had most of the day off today because of rain, so have been working on your 
suggested assignment.
Your suggestion to make an exhaustive list of church gatherings has made me 
aware of some things I'd never observed before!  Among the various 
gatherings of saints in the book of Acts, I have noticed not just 3 but 5 
distinct KINDS of church meetings!  These include: whole church meetings, 
house church meetings, gospel meetings, church leader meetings, and 
emergency or relief meetings.

1. Whole church or city wide church gatherings.  These are always conducted 
in keeping with the regulations of  I Cor.14:23-40.  There is no mention of 
vocal participation of women, breaking of bread congregational tongues or 
congegational singing.
Acts 2:46a     With one accord in the temple
Acts 6:2-6      Meeting to to arrange for care of widows
Acts 8:15-25   Peter and John at Samaria, Samaritans receiving the Holy 
Acts 9:26-28   Saul with saints at Jerusalem
Acts 11:22       Jerusalem church sends Barnabas to Antioch
Acts 11:23-24  Barnabas exhorts saints at Antioch
Acts 11:26        Barnabas and Saul assemble with the church and taught
Acts 14:21-23  appointing elders in every church
Acts 14:27        missionary report at Antioch
Acts 15:12-29   to make decision re. circumcision of Gentiles ,
Acrs 15:30-32  delivering the epistle to Antioch and exhorting
Acts 15:35        Paul Barnabas and others preaching and teaching at Antioch
Acts 18:11       teaching the Word of God at Corinth for 18 months
Acts 18:23       strengthening disciples in Galatia and Phrygia
Acts 20:20       public teaching
Acts 21:4,5       meeting disciples at Tyre, prophecy and prayer
Acts 21:7          saluting and abiding with disciples at Ptolemais

2. House church gatherings include women speaking, breaking of bread, 
tongues speaking not limitted to one speaker at a time etc.  All such 
gatherings are where normal, daily, Christian relationships are nurtured. 
Thus scriptural commands that guide in personal relationships are applicable 
in all such gatherings.
Acts 2:1-4     120 men and women speaking in tongues
Acts 2:46b     Breaking bread from house to house
Acts 4:23-31  Prayer meeting,  being filled with the Spirit
Acts 9:17,18   Ananias and Saul: Saul receives the Spirit and is baptized
Acts 10:48       baptism, fellowship
Acts 12:12-17  Peter interrupts prayer meeting!
Acts 15:35        Paul Barnabas and others preaching and teaching at Antioch
Acts 16:15       Lysia's hospitailty to Paul and Silas
Acts 16:34        eating, rejoicing
Acts 16:40       comforting the brethren in Lydia's house
Acts 18:2,3      Paul working with Aquila and Priscilla
Acts 18:7,8      hospitality
Acts 18:11       teaching the Word of God at Corinth for 18 months
Acts 18:23       strengthening disciples in Galatia and Phrygia
Acts 18:26       Aquila and Priscilla expounding the word to Apollos
Acts 20:7-11    preaching, breaking of bread, eating and talking
Acts 20:20       teaching house to house
Acts 21:8-14    Paul and company at Caesarea in Philip's house, Philip's 
daughters prophesy

3. Gatherings for gospel testimony often include just two believers, but 
sometimes more. They are always in places where the unsaved were already 
present in their own "natural habitat"!  Early Christians never attempted to 
gather the unsaved in meetings convened by the saints! The Lord Jesus 
instructed His disiples to go into the world two by two to proclaim the 
Acts 2:14-41  Peter and the rest of the apostles preaching, baptizing
Acts 4:5-22    Healing in the temple
Acts 5:29-41  Peter and apostles before council
Acts 8:38        Philip baptizing the eunuch
Acts 10:44-47  preaching in Cornelius' house, Spirit poured out, speaking in 
Acts 13:5          Barnabas, Saul and John preaching at Salamis
Acts 16:13-14  by riverside at Philippi, Lydia saved
Acts 16:16-33  Paul & Silas cast out spirit, imprisoned, jailor/ household 
Acts 13:6-12    Saul reproves Elymas
Acts 17:4         new believers consorting with Paul and Silas
Acts 19:4-7     preaching to disciples of John, receiving the Spirit and 
speaking in tongues
Acts 19:9         Paul separates the disciples and disputes in the school of 
Acts 19:18-20  book burning and the Word grew and prevailed

4. Gatherings of church leaders: i.e. apostles; apostles and elders, 
prophets and teachers etc
Acts 3:1-4:4   Peter and John to temple to pray,
Acts 8:14        Apostles send Peter and John to Samaria
Acts 11:4-18   Peter reporting in Jerusalem on the conversion of the 
Gentiles in Caesarea.
Acts 13:1-3     Prophets and teachers sent Barnabas and Saul  as the Holy 
Spirit had instructed them
Acts 15:5-11   re. circumcision of gentiles
Acts 20:17-38  meeting with Ephesian elders

5.Gatherings of saints to deal with physical needs or emergencies such as 
poverty, destitution of widows, sickness, death, famine, persecution or 
Acts 2:44,45  Together, selling possessions, distributing according to need
Acts 6:2-6      Meeting to to arrange for care of widows
Acts 8:2          Stephen's burial
Acts 9:32-35   Peter w/ saints at Lydda,  sickness/healing
Acts 9:36-43   Dorcas's death and raising from the dead
Acts 11:28-30  prophecies  concerning famine and the church provides famine 
Acts 12:5        church prayer for Peter when he was imprisoned
Acts 14:19,20 Paul stoned, apparently to death. rose up as disciples stood 
around him.
Acts 20:9-11   young man falls to his death, is raised.

Activities in church gatherings in Acts included: being filled with the 
Spirit, speaking in tongues, preaching the Gospel, baptizing new converts, 
making distribution to the needy, breaking bread, prayer, healings, 
testifying before councils and authorities, caring for widows, burying the 
dead, sending men appointed to specific ministries, exhorting one another, 
reporting what God has done in other places, providing famine relief, 
teaching, prophesying, reproving evil,  appointing elders, casting out evil 
spirits, comforting one another, strengthening one another, exponding the 
scriptures, burning books, raising the dead, instructing elders etc.

Activities such as teaching, prophesying, preaching may take place in whole 
church, house church and emergency/relief meetings.  Gospel testimony may 
take place in whole church, house church gatherings as well as anywhere the 
unsaved are found of their own accord.  Some emergencie/relief  meetings may 
be whole church gatherings (Acts 6) but not all are.

Any comments?

Your brother in Christ,

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