Sid:My guest is red hot for the Messiah his name if Pastor Robert he’s Senior Pastor of Glory of Zion Outreach Center in Denton, Texas, but more and more he’s traveling the nations with a member of his church.  You’re probably familiar with him Chuck Pierce. Robert Heidler’s specialty is talking about what the first church was like and how we literally had the foundations stolen from us.  In fact I want to quote from his new book, his new book is titled “The Messianic Church Arising” be sure I am urging you to get a copy of this one because he has revelation on the feasts from a freedom viewpoint that will end up with such enhanced intimacy with God you must, you must, you must get a copy of this book. I’m reading from the book now and here’s a quote. “If the average Christian today could step into a time machine and visit the church at the end of the first century their greatest surprise would not be the dancing, the eating, or even the miracles.”Which by the way he explains masterfully what that first church was really like and oh do I crave that first church.  And then he goes on to say “the most surprising thing to most Christians it’s not going to be the dancing, eating or even the miracles it would be the Jewishness of that first church.”Robert as you explained all this week you didn’t have a clue about the information you’ve put in your book, help us out a little bit, tell me what the first church was like and I believe as you believe in your book if we can restore some of what that first church was like we’d get some of those same results.

Robert:Amen Sid.  Well let me just sort of kind of paint a picture for you of, you know, I’ve studied for years what the early church was like.  Like I’ve read many of the original sources and most people have a very false idea of what the early church was.  A lot of people sort of assume that on the day of Pentecost Peter went out and rented a big building and put up a steeple on top and put up a sign that said the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem.  And that’s not what the early church was.

Sid:Why was that?

Robert:Because that wasn’t their concept.

Sid:Among other things as you put in your book there was no such thing as a steeple.

Robert:They did not have steeples!

Sid:And the Baptist didn’t exist, but go ahead.

Robert:But they did baptize but they met together wherever they could, primarily it was in homes although they also met in larger groups when they could.  But they would meet together in homes and they would usually get together and the first thing they would do is just celebrate.  They would have flutes and liars and tambourines and sing and dance.  They would usually start by dancing Jewish style ring dances.  Clement Alexandria in the third century describes the way the church worshiped this way he said “The daughters of God lead the church in a ring dance, the righteous are the dancer, the music is the song of the King of Universe, the maiden’s strike the lyre the angels praise, the prophets speak the sound of music issues forth they run and pursue the jubilant band; those who are called make hast eagerly desiring to receive the Father.”  And that’s how the church worshipped, it was just a free joyful intimate celebration that most homes had a big open courtyard in the center and they would crowd you know 20-30-40-50 people into there and just celebrate the fact that they know the God of the universe.  Then after the time of praise they did something else that was surprising to us, they brought out food.  And they used…

Sid:Well, it shouldn’t be surprising; I come from a Jewish background and I mean for any problem in life it’s cured by food.

Robert:(Laughter)

Sid:Chicken, matzo ball soup. (Laughter)

Robert:But they met in the evenings so that they would bring out food and they would…and it was called the love feast.It would begin with the woman of the house would light the candles and say a special prayer of thanksgiving.  One of the leaders would stand up with a cup and bless the Lord and pass it around for each to drink, then he would take a loaf of bread and give thanks for it and pass it from person to person which is familiar to any Jew because that’s what happens on Shabbat but that was the Lord’s supper in its original context.  They would come together to eat, they’d take the bread, they’d take the cup and doing so it was taking the Lord’s Supper together.  And then it got more exciting because as they continued to share and to pray and to sing the word says the presence of God would come down into the midst of the group.  And literally the power of God would come down in 1st Corinthians 14 Paul describes what would take place that there would be healings there would be prophetic words.

Sid:You know when your description in your book you talk about one of the regulars had invited a neighbor whose daughter, and of course this is fiction but sanctified fiction, whose daughter was blind.  And the presence of God would just flow into that group and then what would happen?

Robert:Well, let me read that paragraph I actually have that page open here; this is describing a typical scenario based on what we know on early church writers.  It said “At one point a man introduces a family who have been sitting quietly near the back of the crowd, they’re his neighbors you could tell by the look on their faces that this is their first time here and they’re not sure they’re in the right place.  And the man says, They have come tonight because their 12 year old daughter has contracted an illness that has left her totally blind and they’ve come for the church to pray for her; and those with the gift of healing come and stand with the elders as they anoint the little girl with oil and pray and suddenly the little girl begins to cry and with tears running down her cheeks she cries out “I can see, I can see!”  And the mother crouches down and hugs her daughter and within four or five minutes the entire family is saved giving their hearts to Jesus.”  And you know that’s fiction but it’s based on true accounts of what was very typically what would happen in the church.  It was a normal thing for the church to see miracles.People would come into the church and they would say “There is a real living supernatural God here and I want to know Him.”

Sid:You talk about the love, they openly exhibited to one another.

Robert:Yes it was a family, as a matter of fact they called it, they didn’t call it a church service they used the word that literately means the reunion.   And so once a week the family would have a family reunion and they would come together and rejoice together in the life that they have in Jesus.  And the good thing unlike most family reunions anyone who believed would be part of their family and would come in and rejoice.

Sid:I go to a lot of hotels where they have families that gather for a reunions and they all where the same tee-shirts and they love one another and I’ve bumped into a lot of these recently in hotels but boy our family is so big.

Robert:(Laughing)But you know all over the city like Rome at the end of the 1st century there would be literally hundreds of groups like this all over the city meeting together in homes, eating together, rejoicing together.

Sid:You know what I’m wondering Robert, and I know that you’ve probably speculated on this, the only way really, the only way we can fulfill the scriptural requirement of equipping people for the acts of ministry so everyone’s a participant versus a spectator is the house church.  But then these house churches need impartation from people in fivefold ministry and then we would have maybe the church of the city where the best fivefold people would equip people for the works of ministry.  I mean it’s so simple it doesn’t have to be so complex.

Robert:Exactly, you know one of the problems so many house churches today are isolated and the New Testament they were part of like a network and apostolic network where they had all the advantages of a small group who knew and loved each other, but they had all of the resources that were common to the church for impartation and training and teaching.

Sid:Well, maybe we should just follow the paradigm of the home schooling thing where you know they’re kind of isolated, they’re teaching their own children but then they network with one another.

Robert: That’s biblical Christianity and you know that’s not wrong to have a church and the church can be a wonderful resource center for those that are meeting in homes but the life of the church biblically is always home centered.

Sid: Switch gears for a moment because you cover so many areas in your new book “The Messianic Church Arising.” How did we come up with replacement theology meaning that the church has replaced all the wonderful promises God made for the Jew in Israel?

Robert:Well, I think it’s a lie from the pit of hell actually it came in because in the days after the Jewish revolts in 70 and 130 the Romans just developed a hatred of anything Jewish.So for the Gentile Christians writers the thought of Christianity being Jewish was something that they did not want to accept.  And so they developed that theology that yes in the Bible it talks about the Jews but now we are God’s people and God’s gotten rid them.

Sid:So that became the politically correct statement of the church.

Robert:The only trouble is that it invalidates every promise God ever gave because God said “No matter what Israel has done I will not reject them.”

Sid:I’ll tell you what I believe and I’ve got this based on my study of scripture the single dividing line of the church in the last days will be your position on the Jew in Israel.  But oh, what you have encompassed in this book will change the whole paradigm or of the church it’s called “The Messianic Church Arising.”

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