x119.......They had all things--Common

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 ¶ And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2: 41-47)

this is the definition of the4 word "common"

koinos {koy-nos'} adj

----- common 7, unclean 3, defiled 1, unholy 1; 12

1) common

2) common i.e. ordinary, belonging to generality

2a) by the Jews, unhallowed, profane, Levitically unclean

all things common;

this is the direct Greek translation of this phrase--

"auto eicon apanta koina"

This really means they all considered themselves "common"--They were all common (they did not have all things "in" common)--but rather they considered themselves all equal--that they were all on the same level--that they were all equal partners in God. There were not rankings or any of them thought themselves superior to another. They were being obedient to what Jesus had told them--

24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. (Luke 22:24-27)

There was an equality of Spirit among them. Yes they did share their material possessions as the need arose--but this verse is saying that they in fact had "commonness" amongst themselves.

As the Greek definition explains, this is the same word which means "Levitcally unclean". This was the complete breaking from the Levitical priesthood of the OT--the structure that said that only some of the tribe of Israel could be priests and serve God. Now all were ceremonially clean by the blood of Jesus--the anointing of Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost. Therefore none were any better than another with regard to serving God--with regard to ministry.

There is no mention of leadership or ranking amongst the followers of Christ at this point and they are in perfect unity--and the Holy Spirit is truly in charge.

The symbol of the early church was the fish (ichythus). Fish were common food--that is to say, fish was unclean for sacrifice, yet a food which could be consumed by anyone---a "common" food. The physical relationship between a school of fish, and the early church is quite profound. A school of fish is a swarming mass---yet moves as one--as if guided by an unseen hand. No one fish leads--yet perfect harmony is attained An unseen leader which leads all in perfect unity. A description of what Christianity is meant to be--if we dare to strive toward the high calling in God.

There was no hierarchy---since there was no "office".

Most of Christianity is based upon the concept of hierarchy. WE beleive and operate the church by the concept of an "office" of ministerial rulership. In the New Testament Greek, there is a word "hiearchy"---it only refers to the old covenant levites---the "office" (hierarchy) of the high priest. The Levites are exclusively said to operate from an hierarchy (office). Later in the new testament, the Greek word "diakonos" (which means "servant") was translated as "office" by translators of hundreds of years ago. Thus to this day we still mistakenly relate new covenant ministry (which is ALWAYS service!) with the hierarchy of the levitical priesthood. New coveant minsitry is on a common level--NOT AN HIERARCHY!!