THE "EDEN" of THE NEW TESTAMENT by Andrew Strom There is hunger inside man for the lost paradise of Eden which we were cut-off from through the fall. A place of harmony, purity, sharing, love and communion with our Creator. A place where sin has been purged and selfishness overcome - where people live together in true unity and love. A place that has a touch of 'heaven' about it. But few of us seem to realize that the CHURCH is supposed to be something of an "Eden" like this. Please read the below passage carefully - even if you know it well. It is describing the early church as it was in the beginning- THE "EDEN" of THE NEW TESTAMENT - Here it is: Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV)- "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles´ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Do you see the touch of "heaven" going on in the above passage, my friends? Can you see why I refer to it as being "Eden"-like? There are a lot of people who say we can "ignore" the description of the early church in Jerusalem - as though it is not any kind of 'ideal' to emulate. "Just put it out of your mind," they say. We live in "modern" times, after all. But I beg to differ. When there is chapter after chapter of Acts devoted to the way this church lived, I have to believe it is there for a reason. And it is not so we can simply "ignore" or cast it aside. After all, this was the church literally founded by Jesus and the apostles. In many ways it is the best biblical pattern of "normal" Christianity that we have. Surely we ignore it at our peril. So what are we to make of this hint of "Eden" today? Simply that there is supposed to exist on earth a fully "redeemed" people - a people of purity, love, sharing and harmony - a true touch of "heaven" on earth. Not perfect - but truly and deeply redeemed. A body of people who have been made so "clean" by the preaching of the Apostolic gospel that the Spirit of God is pleased to dwell among them in power. And that is the key to it right there. You notice that at the founding of the Jerusalem church, Peter preached to them a piercing gospel that "cut them to the heart". They were deeply convicted and deeply repentant. They then had a powerful encounter with God's Spirit of Holiness - His Holy Spirit. This purifying and cleansing is the secret to so much of what followed. The old "apostolic" gospel preached under an 'apostolic'-type anointing is what brings this kind of transformation to people. And it is the key to the "Eden"-like atmosphere that imbued the Jerusalem church. Combine a truly "cleansed" people with the POWER of the Holy Spirit, and that is the type of result you get - as so many Revivals down the ages show us. This is precisely the kind of thing Jonathan Edwards was referring to when he wrote: "This work of God... soon made a glorious alteration in the town: so that in the spring and summer of 1735, the town (Northampton, Massachusetts) seemed to be full of the presence of God: it never was so full of love, nor of joy, and yet so full of distress, as it was then." This "Eden" experience occurs first in individuals, then in groups, and can even occur across entire towns. I wonder what is standing in the way of such an "Eden" occurring today, my friends? -PLEASE COMMENT on this topic at our website below- http://www.revivalschool.com/ God bless you all. -Andrew Strom. ( prophetic@... ).