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    November 21, 1906

    “The Church of Christ” The Medical Missionary, 15, ns21, pp. 172-174.



    IN the order of the Church of Christ the book of Acts occupies the same position as that of the book of Genesis in the order of the earth and the world.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 172.1

    As no science, philosophy, or progress in the things of the earth and the world, can ever be true or safe that leaves out the Creation, the Fall, the Flood and the Peopling of the Earth, of the book of Genesis, so likewise no advancement or order of things in the church can be true or safe that leaves out the sole headship of Christ, and the sovereignty and reign of the Holy Spirit, in the book of Acts.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 172.2

    In his last talk with his disciples before the cross Jesus, after having told them that he was going away, said, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 172.3

    It is by the Holy Spirit that Christ comes to us and dwells in us. For thus it is written, “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory... grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might, by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” Ephesians 3:14-17.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 172.4

    Accordingly, to his disciples he continued, “At that day [the day when the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, should come to them] ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.1

    Then the first thing in the book of Acts, on the day and occasion of his ascension, is the statement that he “being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” “Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.2

    They did as they were commanded, and the second chapter of Acts is the story of Pentecost.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.3

    The third and fourth chapters is the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful gate of the temple, Peter’s sermon after it, and the arrest of Peter and John by the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees of the Sanhedrim. The next day Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrim, the elders, the scribes, the priests, and the high-priest and his relatives.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.4

    “Then Peter filled with the Holy Ghost,” made answer. The Sanhedrim and their company, though compelled by the Spirit to take knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus, yet “straitly threatened them” and “commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” The brethren being let go went to their own company and all together prayed “and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.5

    The fifth chapter is the account of Ananias and Sapphira, in the matter of the sale and gift of their property, in which they agreed together to deceive. And this was “to lie unto the Holy Ghost,” and “to tempt the Spirit of the Lord.” The consequences were immediate and dreadful. Next the apostles were all arrested by the high-priest and council and put in the common prison. “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.6

    The sixth and seventh chapters is the choosing of men “full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom” to have charge of the finances and daily distributing, and of Stephen, “a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost,” speaking before the council with his face shining “as it had been the face of an angel.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.7

    The eighth chapter is the preaching of the gospel in Samaria and their receiving the Holy Ghost, “the angel of the Lord” telling Philip to go from Samaria to the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza, and as he arrived there a man in a chariot was passing, reading the book of Isaiah at what is the fifty-third chapter, and “the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.” Philip did so and preached unto him Jesus; the man believed and was baptized, and went on his way rejoicing; and “the Spirit caught away Philip and he was found at Azotus.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.8

    The ninth chapter is the conversion of Saul by the appearing of the Lord Jesus himself, his being “filled with the Holy Ghost;” “the churches walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Ghost;” and the raising of Dorcas from the dead.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.9

    The tenth chapter is an angel of God speaking to Cornelius in a vision and telling him to send men to Joppa for Peter who would come and tell him what he ought to do; of a vision given to Peter to prepare him for the coming of the men; the Spirit telling him that the men had arrived and that he was to go with them; of his going with them and preaching to the house of Cornelius and of the Holy Ghost falling on all them that heard the word.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.10

    The eleventh chapter is Peter’s rehearsing the preceding experience to those at Jerusalem who were so full of prejudice and bigotry that they could not believe that God could save anybody but themselves. But when Peter had told the blessed story, even they held their peace—at least for a while—and glorified God that he had granted repentance unto the Gentiles. Also the preaching everywhere of those who had been scattered abroad by the persecution that arose about Stephen; the church at Jerusalem sending Barnabas to Antioch to help “for he was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith;” of Barnabas’s going to Tarsus to seek Saul; of Saul’s coming to Antioch; and of the coming of the prophet Agabus who foretold the coming of a dearth.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.11

    The twelfth chapter is Herod’s imprisonment of Peter, the church’s praying for him, of his being delivered by “the angel of the Lord;” of Herod’s being smitten by “the angel of the Lord.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.12

    The thirteenth and fourteenth chapters is “the Holy Ghost” saving to the church at Antioch, “separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed;” of Saul “full of the Holy Ghost” rebuking the sorcerer; of the preaching in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia; of preaching to almost the whole city, the next Sabbath; of the Jews’ contradicting and blaspheming, and therefore the turning of Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles; of the disciples “filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost;” of the healing of the impotent man at Lystra; and of their return to Antioch “whence they had been recommended to the grace of God,” and their calling the church together and rehearsing “all that God had done with them.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.13

    The fifteenth chapter is the settlement by the Holy Spirit of the controversy as to circumcision; and the sending forth of the letter beginning “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and us.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.14

    The sixteenth chapter tells that Paul, Silas and Timothy were “forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia;” therefore they assayed to go into Bithynia, “but the Spirit suffered them not;” and they came down to Troas, and there in a vision a man of Macedonia appeared to Paul and said, “Come over into Macedonia and help us;” and “immediately” they endeavored to go, and went.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.15

    Persecutions drove them out of Macedonia, and chapter seventeen tells of Paul in Athens, and the eighteenth in Corinth where “the Lord” spake to Paul “in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace, for I have much people in this city.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.16

    Chapter nineteen tells that Paul, having coming to Ephesus, found there some disciples and asked them, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” They replied, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” Then they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and Paul laid his hands on them and “the Holy Ghost came on them.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.17

    In the twentieth chapter, Paul is on the way to jerusalem and at Miletus called to him the elders of the Church of Ephesus; and in his words to them he said “the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me;” and take heed to “yourselves and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.”MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.18

    In the twenty-first chapter, when Paul came to Tyre, the disciples “said unto Paul through the Spirit that he should not go up to Jerusalem;” and when he came to Caesarea, the prophet Agabus took Paul’s girdle and bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this girdle.” He went on to Jerusalem, and beginning in the twenty-first chapter and reaching to the end of the book there is one of the most remarkable chains of the direct providence of God that ever occurred in the world. And in chapter twenty-seven “the angel of the Lord” stood by Paul on the ship in the awful storm and assured him of his own safety and also of all the others that were on the ship; and in the twenty-eighth and last chapter of this wonderful book, among the very last words we find Paul saying to the Jews who had come to hear him, “Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,” etc.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 173.19

    From only this mere sketch of the book of Acts it is perfectly plain that the one thing that stands out clear and plain and prominent above all other things, throughout the whole book, is that the Holy Spirit was the grand sovereign, reigning, and guiding Personage. And next to that great thing there stands clear, plain, and prominent throughout, the splendid truth that the Christians constantly recognized that sovereignty, reign, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. If they had not done this, the record could not have been what it is; for then the experience would not have been what it was.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 174.1

    Let Christians again so recognize the sovereignty, the reign, and the guidance, of the Holy Spirit over and in themselves and over all things in and to the church, then again will experience prove what it was at first; for He is the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. Such only is the Spirit’s rightful place with individuals and with the church; and he needs only the recognition of Christians in that place, to prove himself all that he ever was in that place that is supremely His.MEDM November 21, 1906, page 174.2

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