Introduction: How did the people who lived with Jesus worship? The
early church was filled with people who had the opportunity to hear
Jesus teach. Did they receive some special insight from our Lord?
Can we import into our worship what they used in their worship?
Let’s dive into the Biblical account and see what we can learn!

  1. The Instruction

    1. Read Acts 1:1-3. What two subjects did Jesus discuss
      with His followers after His resurrection? (That He was
      truly resurrected from the grave, and the Kingdom of

      1. Was Jesus the only teacher involved? (No. The text
        reveals that Jesus ascended to heaven “after giving
        instructions through the Holy Spirit.”)

    2. Read Acts 1:4-6. After His post-resurrection instruction
      about the Kingdom of God, did Jesus’ followers clearly
      understand? (No! They still thought that the Kingdom of
      God was to be brought about by a revival of the Kingdom
      of Israel.)

      1. How do you explain that the disciples still had this
        wrong? (This shows that we can sometimes have great
        difficulty understanding the truth – even with the
        very best teachers.)

    3. Read Acts 1:7-9. Why didn’t Jesus say, “You dopes! Why
      have you not been paying attention?

      1. Is it possible that the disciples did not have it
        wrong? (Read Revelation 21:1-3. A time is coming
        when Jesus will make all things new on earth,
        including bringing from heaven the New Jerusalem.)

      2. Notice in Acts 1:8 that Jesus refers to His
        followers being His witnesses “in Jerusalem, and in
        all Judea and Samaria.” What should this tell His
        followers about the kingdom? (That the Kingdom of
        God is not just Israel, but Samaria and all the

      3. What does this teach us about worship in the early
        church? (They were still resolving major gospel

    4. Let’s look again at Acts 1:8. We learned that the Holy
      Spirit was already working with Jesus to instruct His
      followers. What is Jesus promising when He says “you will
      receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you?” (This
      suggests degrees of power with the gift of the Holy

      1. Read again Acts 1:5. What does it mean to be
        “baptized with the Holy Spirit?”

    1. Read Acts 1:12-14. For what do you think they were
      praying? (The restoration of the Kingdom to Israel. The
      power of the Holy Spirit.)

    2. What lessons do we find here about worship? (They were in
      prayer. We need to pray for a correct understanding of
      the gospel. We need to pray not just for the Holy Spirit,
      but to be baptized in the Spirit, to receive great

  1. Fulfillment

    1. Read Acts 2:1-4. We saw that the Holy Spirit worked with
      Jesus to give the last series of instructions to Jesus’
      followers. What is different now? (The Holy Spirit has
      come in power.)

      1. What were the signs of the Holy Spirit coming in
        power? (The wind sounded like a hurricane. Fire
        rested on each of them. They had the miraculous gift
        of speaking in foreign languages.)

      2. This has never happened to me. Has this happened to
        you? All sorts of churches have pictures of fire on
        their signs and logos, but no actual fire in their
        church. As far as I can tell, I have “regular” Holy
        Spirit. I have never experienced “high power” Holy
        Spirit. Why? (I have been in meetings where I
        thought I distinctly felt the Holy Spirit, but I’ve
        neither heard the wind nor seen the fire.)

        1. How did these disciples receive such power?
          (Two things. They were promised it, and they
          prayed fervently for it.)

    2. Have we been promised the Holy Spirit in power?

    3. The listeners said ( Acts 2:12) “What does this mean?
      Let’s read what Peter says that it means. Read Acts 2:14-18. Have we been promised the Holy Spirit, not just
      regular power, but high power? (Yes! If two thousand
      years ago qualified as “in the last days,” what would we
      call our time now? If Joel 2 says this promise applies to
      those in the “last days,” the only reasonable
      understanding is that it applies to us.)

      1. Recall the two ingredients for the Holy Spirit
        coming in power? Promise was one, and fervent prayer
        was the other. Have you fervently prayed for the
        Holy Spirit to come in power?

    4. Let’s read on. Read Acts 2:22-24. What is this? (The
      gospel message.)

      1. What role did high power Holy Spirit play in this
        worship/evangelistic service? (Read Acts 2:32-33.
        The Holy Spirit was proof of the truth of the
        message. It got the attention of the others, it
        proved that Peter was not just drunk and making this
        stuff up.)

    5. Read Acts 2:37-39. What other role does the Holy Spirit
      play? (The Holy Spirit helped to convict the listeners of
      their sins. (See John 16:8-11.) The Holy Spirit was also
      a promised gift.)

      1. Was Peter promising regular or high power Holy
        Spirit as a gift in Acts 2:38? (Have you ever
        purchased something and when you got it home it did
        not begin to perform the way it did in the store?
        What did you do when that happened? I cannot see how
        Peter was doing anything other than promising what
        they had just seen — high power Holy Spirit.)

    6. Read Acts 2:40-43. What a wonderful response! Three
      thousand were converted in one day! Notice the reference
      to high power Holy Spirit in verse 43. What does this
      suggest? (Everyone was in awe over the wonders and
      miracles. But, it seems that only the apostles were doing

      1. Should we conclude that high power Holy Spirit is
        (was) only available to the leaders?

      2. Read again Acts 2:17-18. Are leaders being described
        here? (No. Just the opposite. The young and the old
        have the gift. Women have the gift. “All people”
        have the gift.)

      3. Friend, I do not know the answer as to why high
        power Holy Spirit is not present today. I want to
        hear the wind, see the fire and experience high
        power Holy Spirit. I think we need to fervently pray
        for this and see what God will do! In the meantime,
        let’s explore this issue further.

  2. Another Evangelistic Meeting

    1. Read Acts 17:16-21. What kind of reaction is Paul getting
      to his preaching? (It seems to range from skeptical to
      mildly curious.)

      1. Would things be different if Paul had high power
        Holy Spirit working with him?

    2. If you skim over Acts 17:22-31, you will see that Paul
      preaches the gospel to them based on the evidence of
      nature. His message is similar to Peter’s at Pentecost.
      Peter cited the Bible and Paul cites nature. Read Acts
      17:32-34. How many converts does Paul have? (Just a few.)

      1. Peter had high powered Holy Spirit and 3,000
        conversions. Paul did not have it and had a few
        conversions. Is something wrong with Paul? (Read
        Acts 9:17. Paul (Saul) is “filled with the Holy

      2. Read Acts 18:4-5 and Acts 18:8-11. Who is with Paul
        in his evangelistic preaching? (We fault Paul for
        not having the power connected with Pentecost, but
        God says that He is with Paul’s preaching.)

      3. Since God says that He is with Paul in his
        preaching, why is high power Holy Spirit not

  3. Advice on High Power Holy Spirit

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. What is the relationship
      between spiritual gifts and love for others? (We are told
      not to lose sight of the goal. The true goal is not high
      powered Holy Spirit. These gifts of the Holy Spirit are
      tools to advance the gospel. The heart of the gospel is
      loving God and our fellow humans. Matthew 22:37-40.)

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 14:1. What attitude should we have
      about high power Holy Spirit? (We should desire (and pray
      for) all the power of the Holy Spirit that God is willing
      to share. But, we need to recognize that the gifts of
      the Holy Spirit are tools for us to bring others into the
      Kingdom of God.)

    3. Friend, will you fervently pray not only that high power
      Holy Spirit will be given to you and to your church, but
      that the Spirit will give you a heart of love towards

  4. Next week: Worship in the Book of Revelation.