©August 9, 2009 Asher Intrater
A simple vision in my heart is three golden goblets, each filled with fine wine, with Hebraic writing engraved on the side. The three goblets represent the three sections of Acts chapter two. Acts 2 serves as the template, model, and pattern for building our congregation in Jerusalem, Ahavat Yeshua (Jesus' Love).
The first goblet or section of Acts 2 is verses 1 through 13. The wine here is the supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit during a time of prayer and praise. This encounter seemed bizarre to some of the passers-by, even thinking that the congregants were cult members drunk on wine (verse 13). Yet this baptism in spirit and fire was the source of everything that was to follow, both in the congregation and in their mission world wide.
The second goblet or section of Acts 2 is verses 14 through 40. The wine here is the preaching of the gospel message with boldness, explaining the prophetic gifts of the spirit, the death and resurrection of Yeshua, and the need for repentance, holiness and submission. The confrontation is so bold it causes one to tremble but is also filled with heart-breaking compassion.
The third goblet is Acts 2, verses 41 through 47. Here the wine is fellowship and community. The early saints shared their lives together spiritually – in prayer and teaching – as well as materially - in finances, food and hospitality. They were united in one heart, enjoying grace and togetherness.
People were attracted to salvation by these three goblets. To some the supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit got their attention. To others the bold preaching of the word pierced their hearts. To others the loving relationships drew people to be added to the community on a daily basis.
All three of these goblets have a Jewish setting. The first goblet of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened on the Jewish holy day called Shavuot, the feast of Weeks, known to many Christians as Pentecost. This holy day was coordinated with the gathering of the first fruits of the harvest, and takes place at the same date calculated to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
Peter's message was based on scriptures from the psalms and the prophets. His confrontation was not one of an outsider, but of one speaking to his own people. He referred to his audience as, "Fellow Jews (verse 14)," "Men of Israel (verse 22)," and "brothers (verse 29)."
In the community life, we see the early congregation attending the Temple in Jerusalem almost daily (verse 46). They lived their lives among their people, speaking their language, and finding grace with those in the city around them (verse 47).
When we have these three goals: supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit, bold teaching in the name of Yeshua, and shared community life together; and all three within the Jewish historical context of the faith, we will fulfill the pattern given us for a new covenant congregation.
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