“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 the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 3:41-42.
The first church continued daily with one accord in the temple. They gathered in one spirit against all the spiritual hosts of wickedness. The first love was burning in their hearts. People had fallen prey to Satan for centuries, but now he had to retreat before this fire of Pentecost.
The wild beasts keep a distance from the fire
If you want to protect yourself in the jungle from wild beasts, you light a fire. The wild beasts will watch from a safe distance in the jungle, and whenever the flames blaze up, they draw back a few feet. But when the flames begin to die down, they crawl a little closer, and they continue to crawl closer, little by little, as the fire dies down. Those who are on the periphery will be the first ones to fall prey to the wild beasts. If the fire dies out completely, everyone will become their prey. This is a picture of what can happen in the church of the living God.
Paul strongly exhorts the elders to watch over the flock and to guard them against these savage wolves. Nothing should be spared to protect God’s flock, which Jesus won with His own blood. This is when we need to love Christ “more than these.” Read John 21:15-17.
The fire of Pentecost is always burning in the disciples
Satan could not do anything with the core of disciples in the first church; they were invincible. The fire of Pentecost burned in each one of them until their dying day. Even in our days beasts of prey are prowling around the church of the living God, and every once in a while you can hear growling and roaring on the periphery. However, even now there is a core of disciples in whose hearts the fire of Pentecost is burning brightly, and Satan has no power over them. For this reason everyone should be quick to come to the center where the fire is hottest.
If the fire is to burn, it must always be fed by the self-life. The fire of Pentecost has died out in hearts where an increasingly deeper acknowledgment of self is lacking. Then all they are left with is glorious memories of when they were baptized with the Spirit. The wild beasts—although they are in sheep’s clothing—ravage such assemblies.
The fire of Pentecost must be kept burning. Fervent prayer meetings are needed. All wickedness must stop with us. Let us be on guard against any breach in fellowship with the saints, because then we are finished. We can only grow the growth of the body together with the other saints, up to Him who is the head. Only in the body is the fullness of Christ. Let us be like the core of disciples in the first church who would rather be burned at the stake than sin.
Excerpt of an article first published in the BCC periodical “Skjulte Skatter” (“Hidden Treasures”), January 1938
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