x526.....Instead of Sundays--
In the Bible, when they assembled--they were meeting together to worship and purposely be filled with the Holy Spirit. They were empowering their ministries.
The "assembling" was like the day of pentecost--the upper room--they met together for days--until all were filled completely. But their Spiritual empowerment played out into ministry. It played out into operating as often as possible--some of them were meeting together nearly every minute of every day--(once again--there was no law or rule that "all must attend") They realized that where 2 or 3 were gathered, Christ would operate--if the presence of God was with them--then Christs' full ministry was present (see Luke 4:18).
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because
he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he
hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance
to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty
them that are bruised,"
(Luke 4:18, KJV).
They had seen Jesus operate--healing--bringing deliverance--preaching the Gospel--feeding the poor--and releasing apostles (to "set at liberty"). They did exactly what Jesus did--they allowed the Spirit empowerment to enact their anointing (their ministry)--which lead them to operate Jesus' "5-fold" purposes-- His ministry--the Gospel--healing --deliverance--feeding the poor--and making apostles. This was the reason that Jesus had said:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations:
and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his
sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25)
One of the judgments He will do will be about ministry. It will be whether or not we operated in His way--whether or not we did His ministry--more specifically whether or not we did His ministry toward the right people. (the poor--broken-hearted--captives--blind and bruised)
[Sheep Note** The dividing is done by Jesus--between sheeps and goats. Some would say--"this means we are to have pastors in our churches who are the rulers. Please note--Christ is doing the dividing--not man--and also--as with every sheep comparison--Jesus is saying that the people are "LIKE" sheep and goats. He is describing the manner of His action--not saying that pastors rule the church in this same way!]
In our churches we tend to isolate ourselves. We take our Spirit empowerment--and make it into a clubhouse. We get filled and then we get drained by the world during the week--we do not let our empowerment play out fully into Christ's ministry--we do not continue His work directly in small apostolic groups--as they did in the Bible. Rather, we think it is correct that we do not have opportunity for ministry--except on Sundays (and even then, most of us are watching!).
In the bible, the church empowered it's ministry--just the way that Jesus did--through the Spirit. Jesus had just been baptized in the Spirit before He made the statements in Luke 4:18--He played that empowerment out into very specific ministries--which He did 7 days a week. The church which followed after Him in the bible, did exactly the same thing--working in small groups--which is exactly what He did--Jesus did not work alone--he worked in apostolic groups--from the beginning to the end of His ministry.
The judgments described here are asking specifically whether we did our ministry toward the poor---(hungry thirsty)--the brokenhearted--the captives (prisoners--including those captive of Satan--meaning deliverance ministry)--and the sick (blind and bruised). This judgement relates exactly toward Jesus' description of His ministry--specifically to whom His ministry is meant to be directed.
Our common church system, and misconceptions given to us from the dark ages--lead us to waste our Spirit empowerment and anointing--to waste the ministry of Christ which is within all of us. We are filled with the Spirit and then not given the opportunity to let it play out into the areas that Christ spells out specifically. Instead we believe we are to continually and ritualistically attend church once a week--something which drains our ministries eventually.
Just think on a common sense level:
What if , instead of working so hard to get everyone in the church to meet once a week--and trying so hard to have a "grand assembly" on Sunday. what if we did this only occasionally--perhaps once every few months or weeks (as the Spirit truly lead us to). But instead we concentrated our efforts on getting together daily--in our homes or anywhere. To meet together--allow the Spirit to speak --and give us specific instructions--and then carried out those instructions in small, effective groups. This is the apostolic method that the Bible prescribes.
Think honestly--how many more poor would be fed--how many more sick would get healed--how many more people would get saved?