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STUDY NOTES
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01

Introduction: You belong to a church—the body of Christ

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MAIN IDEA

God desires for you to be part of a local church. The local church is where the power and giftings of the Holy Spirit are manifested and where you receive much of God’s provision for your life.

key scriptures

2 Cor. 8:23, Matt. 18:20, 1 Cor. 12:27, Eph. 5:30

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • The Lord is showing us more about the treasures and riches He has deposited in the church. The church refers to the many-membered body of Christ where the power and giftings of the Holy Spirit are manifested.
  • God esteems the church as the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 8:23)—this shows how dear the church is to God. He does not want us to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25). During this time of the pandemic, we might have gotten used to attending church online and receiving God’s Word from the comfort of our home, but let’s look forward to gathering together physically once again once we are allowed to do so. While we can receive directly from the Lord, He wants us to belong to His church where His provisions for our every need are found.
  • Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” This gathering is not just a casual meeting but a gathering initiated by the Holy Spirit. This gathering of people is the church.
  • When God looks at us, He sees us as the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27, Eph. 5:30). Christ has a glorified body with healthy flesh and bones in heaven today, and we are members of that body! We need to identify ourselves in Christ. The more we see Jesus, the more we become like Him (2 Cor. 3:18). As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). This is the eternal truth of God’s Word, and the truth will always outlast the facts. While it may be a fact that you are having pains in your body, the truth is that you are one with Jesus. As you keep identifying yourself with Him (e.g. saying, “As Jesus is healthy and strong, so am I in this world”), this eternal truth will outlast every temporal fact.
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02

The origin story of the church in the Book of Acts

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MAIN IDEA

The church is a powerful expression of the person and the power of Jesus. He speaks and works miracles through the church.

key scriptures

Luke 1:35, Gal. 4:4, Acts 2:1–2

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • The church is an expression of Jesus to the world. 
  • Both the birth of Jesus and the birth of the church happened in the fullness of time (Luke 1:35, Gal. 4:4, Acts 2:1–2), at specially appointed times.
  • The birth of the church is recorded for us in the book of Acts. The book of Acts was written by the disciple Luke, who also wrote the Gospel of Luke.
  • Luke was a physician who noted down details (e.g. details about healing miracles) that other Gospels did not include. As a detailed person, he also recorded details in the book of Acts regarding the church.
  • Don’t be discouraged when you see problems in the church today. Despite how imperfect the church is, being in the church is crucial to having the needs in your life met. Many times, the Lord delivers supply to your area of need via the church. To be saved is wonderful; now God wants you to belong and be planted in His church.
  • In the Gospel of Luke, Luke wrote about the 30+ years of Jesus’ life on earth. In the book of Acts, Luke wrote about the first 30 years of church history. There is a parallel.
  • Today, the church is the expression of Jesus. He speaks and works miracles through the church.
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03

Experience the power of the Holy Spirit in the church

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MAIN IDEA

Today, the Lord still does miracles, signs, and wonders in the church through His Spirit. As members of the church, let us depend on the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability and power to carry out God’s work.

key scriptures

Matt. 28:18–19, Mark 16:20, Acts 10:19, 8:29, 13:2, 16:7, Matt. 5:13–14, Eph. 5:18–19, 25, Acts 2:4

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • The Lord has given us His authority (Matt. 28:18–19). That’s why there is power when we pray in the name of Jesus! There is power when we pray for the sick and use the name of Jesus to call forth the healing of diseases. It’s not about who we are, the amount of knowledge we have, or the walk we have with the Lord. The power lies in the name of Jesus alone!
  • When the disciples went around to preach the gospel and heal the sick after the Lord had physically ascended to heaven, the Lord continued to work with them (Mark 16:20). He did not work apart from them or directly without them. In the same way, the Lord continues to work with us today through His Spirit.
  • Today, one of the ways the Lord works with us is through prayer. When we pray, we enforce the victory that Christ has already accomplished through His finished work, and miracles follow.
  • We see the Holy Spirit very clearly in the book of Acts. While the book is called “The Acts of the Apostles,” we can also see it as “The Acts of the Holy Spirit” because it was the Holy Spirit who led the apostles in their ministry. The apostles simply followed the Spirit.
  • In the time of the early church, the Holy Spirit was continually working and guiding the apostles on what they should do (Acts 10:19, 8:29, 13:2). The Spirit showed them when to do the right thing at the right time (there was even once when the Spirit did not allow Paul to preach somewhere because it was not the right time (Acts 16:7)). In the same way, we should be led by the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
  • What Jesus did during His ministry on earth—going around doing good, healing all who were oppressed—He is still doing today through the Holy Spirit and through His church where the Holy Spirit dwells.
  • Jesus calls us the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13–14). During His time, salt was used to preserve food from being corrupted. Worse darkness has been held back from the earth because we, the church, have not yet been raptured. Because of the Holy Spirit who is at work in and through us, we bring blessings and hold back destruction wherever we go. This is also true of our presence in our individual spheres of influence (e.g. at our workplace, in school).
  • The anointing of the Holy Spirit makes things effortlessly easy when we flow with Him. Just like how oil lubricates creaky door hinges, there is a flow when the anointing of the Holy Spirit is upon us. He teaches us all things and leads us in the ways we should go.
  • Relationships need the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18–19, 25). When we are filled with the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will cause us not to grumble or speak unedifying words to others. Instead, our relationships will prosper when the anointing of the Holy Spirit is upon us!
  • The Bible records that the people were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost when the church of Christ was born (Acts 2:4). They could only speak in other tongues because the Holy Spirit gave them the ability to. In like manner, we ought to depend on the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability and power to carry out God’s work!
  • Another parallel between Jesus and the church: Jesus had favor with people and increased in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52). Similarly, the church had favor with all people and the Lord brought increase and growth (Acts 2:47). Today, God’s focus is on the body of Christ, through which He blesses the world.
  • The key to building a strong church filled with grace and truth is to build the church on these three foundations:
  • (1) The centrality of Jesus: Set your life (this includes your daily living, what you say and do) and teachings to revolve around Jesus and magnify His glory. When you occupy yourself with Christ, He puts you at the right place at the right time and guides you to do the right thing.
  • (2) The Church: The church is dear to the Lord’s heart. We need to be occupied with what is on the Lord’s heart.
  • (3) Israel: It is a misconception that Israel is no longer relevant today. It is faulty doctrine to deny the importance of Israel. The Bible talks a lot about Israel because it is a nation dear to God’s heart. The Lord has not forgotten or forsaken them. Also, as we read and teach the Word, it is important to discern what is addressed to Israel and what is addressed to the church.
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04

What are the four pillars of the church?

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MAIN IDEA

The four pillars of the church highlighted in Acts 2—(1) the apostles’ doctrine, (2) fellowship, (3) the breaking of bread, and (4) prayers—give us insight into building a strong church and strong individuals within the church.

key scriptures

Acts 2:41–43, 20:7, Luke 22:19, Acts 2:43, 46–47

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in (1) the apostles’ doctrine and (2) fellowship, in (3) the breaking of bread, and in (4) prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”
    — Acts 2:41–43 NKJV
  • These are the four pillars of the church. These pillars make the church strong and flow with the will and purposes of God. These activities, which are important for the benefit of our own individual lives, take place in the local church.
  • The early church gathered every Sunday for the purpose of breaking bread (Acts 20:7). Even though they had the greatest preacher, the apostle Paul, their focus was not merely to listen to the preached word but to partake of the Lord’s Supper. The holy Communion is one of the highest forms of worship unto the Lord. It is the way the Lord Jesus Himself wants to be remembered (Luke 22:19). The holy Communion is also dear to our heavenly Father’s heart because it reminds Him of His beloved Son, Jesus. Not only that, but the provision God wants us to receive is found in the holy Communion! We don’t need to chase after answers from the world when we can receive them by the Lord's ways.
  • The apostles witnessed and performed many signs and wonders as they leaned on the four pillars of the church (Acts 2:43). When we continue steadfastly in prioritizing these four pillars, we too can experience God’s abundant blessings!
  • As the early church continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, breaking of bread, fellowship, and prayer, the Lord added to them daily (Acts 2:46–47). These are the keys to experiencing God’s wisdom and favor daily in our lives.
  • In last week’s sermon, The Keys to Counter the Four Horsemen, Pastor Prince shared about how the tabernacle of Moses and the tribes of Israel surrounding it was a picture of our Lord Jesus and the local churches. In that sermon, he also expounded on how the four horsemen (a picture of the enemy’s attacks in different areas of our lives) would attack the tabernacle in four directions. God’s answers to countering the enemy’s attacks in our lives are found in the four pillars of the church!
  • From an aerial view, we see the bronze altar and laver at the east side of the tabernacle, the table of showbread at the north, the menorah at the south, and the altar of incense and the ark of the covenant at the west.
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05

Pillar #1: Listen to Christ-centered teachings

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MAIN IDEA

Christ-centered teachings bring the blessings of the new covenant.

key scriptures

Eph. 5:26

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • The east of the tabernacle is where the bronze altar and laver are found. The bronze altar is a picture of the cross of Jesus Christ while the laver is a picture of us being washed by the water of the Word (Eph. 5:26). The water of the Word refers to Christ-centered doctrine. The apostles’ doctrine, therefore, refers to Christ-centered teachings based on the finished work of Christ.
  • Since the evil spirit of false doctrine is what will attack the church from the east, the Lord placed the bronze altar and laver there to show us the importance of listening to Christ-centered teachings. Any other teaching that devalues or omits the finished work of Christ is false doctrine.
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06

Pillar #2: Fellowship with other believers

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MAIN IDEA

Fellowship in the local church brings supply and abundance in areas of lack.

key scriptures

Prov. 3:9–10, Hag. 1:6, 9, Mal. 3:10, Mark 5:1–20, 2 Cor. 8:23, Mark 4:20–22, Prov. 28:22, Prov. 13:11, Luke 11:33, Matt. 5:15, Exod. 10:22–2, Luke 11:33

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • The south of the tabernacle is where the menorah is found. The menorah represents the church of Jesus Christ, which is the place of fellowship.
  • The evil spirit that will attack the church from the south is famine and lack. God’s answer to countering lack in our lives is through fellowship in the body of Christ.
  • Wisdom for finances: sow into the house of God (Prov. 3:9–10, Hag. 1:6, 9, Mal. 3:10). One of the ways to be involved in the local church is by tithing and offering other forms of financial support. The verses above reveal how sowing into the Lord’s house will bring about abundant harvests in your own life. This is one of the ways to counter famine or lack.
  • Support and reach out to each other in the church: Another form of fellowship also includes meeting the needs of one another by gathering together around the person of Jesus. The demoniac in Mark 5 lived among tombs and mountains; he was alone. Likewise, in these last days, a device of the enemy against the church is to isolate individuals. Some Christians avoid the church because they feel jaded or have been disappointed by failings in the church. While it is true that no church is perfect, God still calls it the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 8:23).
  • Let your light shine in the church—use your gifts, anointings, and revelations to serve the people in God’s house. Mark 4:20–22 KJV: “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.”
  • In ancient Israel, a bushel was a basket/container for measuring things like wheat, which were bought and sold. The bushel in this verse represents the negative side of commerce, which is the love of money. The Lord does not want us to be consumed by the hunger for money. He that is hasty to be rich has an evil eye (Prov. 28:22), and this includes any means to get rich quick (e.g. gambling). The Lord’s way is for us to increase by labor, not by dishonest shortcuts (Prov. 13:11). There’s nothing wrong with commercialism, but having a love for money will put out your light just like the candle put under the bushel.
  • The bed in this verse can represent laziness or sexual immorality. This represents how such sin destroys the light that God wants to shine forth in our lives.
  • “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.”
    — Luke 11:33 KJV
  • Once God lights you up (e.g. He gives you a revelation that blesses your life), He wants to put you in a position of influence in the church where you can shine His light and glorify Him! You can also influence others to use their gifts to glorify Jesus.
  • Not only will the church be blessed when you use your light to serve in God’s house, but your entire household will have light as well (Matt. 5:15, Exod. 10:22–23).
  • Our light will also shine as a testimony of God’s grace to those who are observing the church (Luke 11:33).
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07

Pillar #3: Partake of the holy Communion

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MAIN IDEA

Partaking of the holy Communion brings health and healing.

key scriptures

1 Cor. 11:29–30

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • The north of the tabernacle is where the table of showbread is found. The enemy that attacks the tabernacle from the north side is death and disease. The table of showbread is a picture of the Lord’s Supper. The holy Communion counters sickness and disease in our lives.
  • We have received many testimonies from people who have received healing through the holy Communion.
  • When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are to partake of it worthily (1 Cor. 11:29–30). This means to discern (1) that His blood has cleansed our sins and (2) that He took our diseases in His body (Isa. 53:5). If we discern this, we are partaking of the Lord’s body worthily and giving glory to Jesus, and we will not be weak, sick, or die before our time.
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08

Pillar #4: Pray in the Spirit

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MAIN IDEA

Prayer brings peace in your family and relationships.

key scriptures

Acts 2:42, 19:6, 6:7

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • The west of the tabernacle is where the altar of incense is found. The enemy attacks this side of the tabernacle with war and strife.
  • The altar of incense is a picture of prayer. We overcome strife and conflict in our lives through prayer! Instead of trying to convince people with our words in an argument, the wiser thing the Lord wants us to do is to pray. It’s hard to remain angry with someone when we pray.
  • The early church focused on a specific prayer (implied by the use of the definite article (“the”) in Acts 2:42 BLB, “they were steadfastly continuing in . . . the prayers.”) This special prayer is tongues (Acts 19:6).
  • As we pray in tongues, strife will cease.
  • This pillar of prayer includes both praying in our known tongue and praying in the Spirit.
  • As the early church continued steadfastly in the four pillars of the church, the word of God spread greatly (Acts 6:7).
  • We need to continue prioritizing the word of Christ. Keep on listening to the apostles’ doctrine (new covenant teachings). The more we meditate on God’s Word, the more we will see His blessings manifest in our lives!

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