The Acts 2 Church: Flow in Flexibility

A Sermon Series by Rev. Aaron Powers based on the book by Rev. Toby Morgan

1 Peter 2:21: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:”


There is a great threat against the church.

Oh, there are many threats…no doubt.

Yet the greatest threat may surprise you!

It is not the devil…SHOCKING!

Oh yes, the devil is a threat…but not the greatest threat.

I can say that because Jesus already defeated him at Calvary!

Jesus said, in John 12:31, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”

So, Satan is defeated.

It is not “Just the day that we are living in…”

Yes, times are getting worse.

Jesus said it would happen in Matthew 24:8-12, “All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

Who is Jesus talking to there?

He is talking to CHRISTIANS! 

Many people say that this is speaking to the Jews…but not specifically because non-Christian Jews are not going to necessarily be hated for Christ’s namesake but CHRISTIANS who bear the name of CHRIST ARE!

This is hard…I know. 

But, again, it is not “just the times” as an excuse because there is hope in Matthew 24 too!

Matthew 24:13-14 says, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

NOW…let us link the words of Peter in Acts 2:17-21 with the times where we are now living!

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

SO…even though that sounds bad, it also sounds like a glorious race to the end and a powerful outpouring until then!

“Just the days we are living in…” seems to be a catchphrase for those who wish to hide away until the Rapture takes place and that is not pleasing to God!

The greatest outpouring of the Spirit of God will take place regardless of the condition of this world; and, as a matter of fact, the worse the world, the greater the outpouring!

The greatest outpouring of the Spirit of God will take place regardless of what the devil thinks about it; and, as a matter of fact, the more he fights it, the better the outpouring will be!

Listen to me…Satan will watch POWERLESS to stop God’s move as the Holy Spirit of God flows before the Rapture of the Church.

Satan cannot stop what God puts in motion.

BUT… there is a force on the Earth that greatly hinders the work of the Holy Spirit and unfortunately, it is the CHURCH.

Don’t get mad at me!

I have Bible to back it up!

2 Chronicles 7:13-15 says, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.”

If MY PEOPLE…that is not to America.

That is not to Mexico.

That is not Canada.


It is God’s will to fill ups with the power of the Acts 2 Church. 

It is up to US to accept God’s will for us!

God longs for His people to allow His Spirit to move through us to bring hope into a broken world with the message of the Risen Lord!

That is why the Holy Ghost was poured out in Acts 2!

Jesus said, in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Witnesses of what?


The Holy Ghost was not given for Pentecostal gymnastics of running, jumping, and shouting.

NO…that is the effect of the Holy Ghost on the body!

The Holy Ghost is given as PROOF of the Resurrection!

He has given to be POWER to be witnesses!

He has given power to be HIS witnesses!

He has got to come with power…for He IS the Power of God!

So please, with that acknowledgement, do not be mad at me when I tell you to go with the flow because that is exactly what I AM doing…

I am going with the flow of the HOLY GHOST!

That is what the early church did and we had better do if we are going to have the power, authority, signs, wonders, and miracles in these last days as they did in the church’s first days!

Point 1:  The Flexibility of the 1st Century Church

Bishop Toby Morgan said, “I think that the single greatest hindrance we face comes from our inflexibility.  It rises from our inability to follow the ever-changing flow of the Holy Spirit.  We have become to…entrenched in our methods.”

What the good Bishop is saying is that sometimes we become to bound to our way to let God have HIS way and when we do, He will write ICABOD over the door and LEAVE.

The Acts 2 church did not have time for debates over this group’s rights and that group’s desires.

They did not have time to have sweeping assembly to decide the wall paper color.

They had to move at the direction of the Holy Spirit!

Think about four major areas, at least that they had to deal with extreme change.

  1. They had to shift HOW they had church.
    1. They had to change their entire religious mindset from daily, weekly, monthly sacrifices for ONLY them to acceptance of one sacrifice for all people for all time.
    2. You may think that is easy…you’d be wrong.
    3. What we are speaking of is the fact that their entire LIVES were changing.
    4. I remember when people got upset and left the church because someone put up projectors and told me I was going to stain the wall with the cartoons I was showing in the church.
  2. They had to shift WHERE and WHEN they had church.
    1. No more temple and synagogue worship because they were thrown out.
    2. House churches became the first mode for indoor worship and simply meeting in fields and under trees pulled together for outdoor worship (in places where it was legal).
    3. Also…they were spreading OUT of Jerusalem…they could BE the church EVERYWHERE!
    4. Worship moved to Sunday instead of Saturday because of the Resurrection.
  3. They had to shift the LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE of their church.
    1. They went from priests and teachers to fisherman-followers of Jesus who were taught by the Holy Ghost what the priests could not teach!
    2. They had to develop in the five-fold ministry a structure for stability that could endure WITH flexibility because their leaders were constantly being MURDERED!
  4. They had to shift what they TAUGHT in church.
    1. Everything changed in their doctrine!
    2. They continued in the teaching of the Apostles based upon the revelation of Jesus from the Old Testament as they forged the New.
    3. They went from hoping their sin was covered to understanding their sin was gone and the power of sin broken from their hearts!
    4. They were learning with ON THE JOB training because NO BODY had ever done what they were doing!

They did not have an ORG-CHART like we do to show who is doing what and where.

They did not have a sound system or livestream to maintain.

They did not have carpet and pews heat or air conditioning to complain about.

You know, at least with the Primitive style congregations today, it is hard to complain about it being too cold in the church in the summer time when there is no AC system in the church!

The first church did not know from one day to the next how many to expect in the worship service setting.

They did not know if five or five thousand would show up.

Logistics did not matter.

They did not have church growth manuals.

They did not have lectionaries and prayer books.

They did not have commentaries and sermon central from which to enthrall the masses!

But… they were not empty handed; Spiritually nor were they at a loss for theological materials!

They had a song book…the book of Psalms.

They had the scriptures…the Old Testament.

They had the letters of the Apostles…which circulated among the churches.

They had the teachings of Jesus!

They had a relationship with the Father!

They had the POWER OF GOD living in them and in operation when they met!

This FORCED them to be flexible!

AND…you may wonder, what was the result of such flexibility?

Did the churches fail?

Did the Apostles quit?

Did the system collapse?

Well, no, the churches were very successful in the first century and believers around the world are the testimony of their success.

The Apostles ALL, except for Judas Iscariot, with great personal sacrifice, laid down their lives for the sake of the Gospel.

The system could not collapse because there was no system at that time, but as long as the Word of God and Power of the Spirit ran the churches, they not only survived but they THRIVED!

What is the end result?

Unfortunately, even as close as we are to the end, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over and it ain’t over yet!

BUT…in the mean time, the result of the power driven church that flows in divine flexibility is testified by the community in Acts 17:6 part b, “…These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;”11

I pray that this is OUR testimony again!

I pray that this city, this country, this WORLD will see the church and proclaim that the CHURCH turns the world UPSIDE DOWN and once again orients the passions of people towards Heaven!

Point 2:  What Happens When We Are Too Rigid?

We face today simultaneously, in our world and nation, opportunity and ruination and it all hinges upon one discission.

That discission is whether or not we will be flexible enough to follow the wind of the Spirit or are we so rigid that we will break under the Spirit’s power?

I can hear it now… “Preacher, you don’t have BIBLE for that!”


And actually, I have the words of JESUS for that!

John 3:8, Jesus said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

I tell you the truth, WE CANNOT FIGHT THE SPIRIT.

Try and stop a Tornado.

Try and stop a Cyclone.

Try and stop a Hurricane.

You cannot!

I cannot!

There are at least three responses to the Spirit’s winds. 

The first response is Rebellion.

  1. This does not work out well and ultimately fails.
  2. Disaster waits for those who try to resist the Spirit.
    1. Some signs of resistance to the Spirit:
      1. Pride
      2. Lack of Accountability
  • Forcing my way
  1. Lack of respect for leaders (parents, teachers, pastors, etc) and resistance to their Godly direction
  2. Lack of respect for God
  1. This results in:
    1. Sinful actions and attitudes
    2. Fear
  • Depression and Anxiety
  1. Loss
  2. Judgement from God

We can try and resist the Spirit, but Ultimately, His will will be accomplished in the end!

Acts 6:9-10 says, “Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.”

What was the end result?

They murdered Stephen.


BUT…this is bifurcated because death for those who disobey will be sinful and those that die in sin will be lost.

HOWEVER, if you or I die in the service of God at the hands of sinful men and women while righteously standing for God and His Word, then we shall, as Stephen, see Jesus standing at the right hand of God ready to receive you and I as we are ushered by angels into His presence and our blood will be on their hands!

The second response is Ignorance.

  1. This is missed opportunity for we are ignoring the move of the Spirit.
    1. We are COMMANDED not to do this!
    2. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says simply, “Quench not the Spirit.”
      1. This quenching means not to put out what He is doing in your heart, life, and church!
    3. When we quench the Spirit, it breaks His heart!
      1. Ephesians 4:30 says, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Both of these responses are RESISTING the Holy Spirit!

I wonder, how many times the Spirit of God has visited our church, ready to pour out the healing oil and wine and we…

  • Forced our agenda over His and insisted on having our way
  • Shoved aside God’s desires for our cravings for entertainment and time limits
  • Brushed aside the touch of angel’s wings for our own inflexible ideas about worship the way we like it
  • Grieved His Spirit by our comfortability with the lost outside the doors of our church
  • Desired human approval over the Spirit’s approval

We are simply foolish if we think for one second that God will be or can be stopped by our refusal to accept His great Holy Spirit.

While He will not force Himself upon us, He will move on and settle somewhere that desires His Spirit!

The third way to respond is to SURRENDER!


Point 3:  Misconceptions about God

Bishop Morgan said, “Tens of thousands in the church are perfectly satisfied today to sit smugly and not approval at Jesus, so long as He does nothing more than knock the dust off the upper crust of their culture and make people more distinguished citizens…Likewise, many churches are fine with Jesus, as long as He doesn’t disrupt their traditions or upset their established moes of worship.”

When there is a problem that someone raises and it is a legitimate need, I hear it and address it and these do come often.

HOWEVER, when someone comes MERELY and ONLY to complain to me about this or that simply to get his or her way, there are two things I hear.

First is a baby crying or the squeaky wheel on the shopping buggy.

Second is the thought, “you are messing with my routine”.

Listen to me carefully today…

The church at Jerusalem in the second century was nearly extinguished.

While the church is still present in Jerusalem, her influence is far greater in Judea, Sameria, and the Uttermost parts of the Earth because they allowed renewal and revival!

When Christ challenged their haughty Spirit and offered them renewal and revival, they responded, “NO.”

How can I say that?

In our Bible, they are called Judaizers or what we commonly call those of the “circumcision faction”.

But… the Judaizers wanted it THEIR WAY.

Listen…that is a HARD SELL!

This is what they were saying… YOU CAN BE SAVED… BUT… YOU MUST BE CIRCUMSIZED! 

Try telling grown folks that!

Read Acts and History books to see how God responded to them!

What did God do?

Did He say, “Ok.  I will not move anymore.  I will not pour out my Spirit on anyone else.  I’m done.”

No…God moved on to the Gentile Church with POWER and DEMONSTRATION of the Spirit!

Acts 10:45 says, “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Eventually, Peter got with the program and was forced to Rome because of it!

Acts 11:2 says, “And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,”

They were turning the church into a social club and fought with Peter over it!

Peter said to them in Acts 11:17, “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

You think they got it?


The very next verse, 11:19, says, “Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

Thank God, some of the men and women of those cities happened to hear and many Jews were saved and Barnabas, one likeminded as Paul, did establish a church later at Antioch, AND… they were even first called Christians there…but it was because it spread to the GREEKS!

Verse 20-21 says, “And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.”

God has NEVER intended for a select few to be the only ones who could be saved!

The Jews ARE God’s chosen people, yes, the people through whom Messiah would come and the Abrahamic blessing be fulfilled from Genesis 22:17-18, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

That is why Jesus said to go in to ALL the world and PREACH the Gospel to EVERY creature in Mark 16:15!


God’s Spirit will not be confined by our stubbornness, hang-ups, and issues!

We have too many misconceptions about the God we serve!

We think that Jesus is a blesser of food and a teddy bear on the kid’s beds for our little “now I lay me down to sleep” prayer lives.

Jesus is not your pet that you pull out and show off when friends come over.

The Holy Spirit is not a gimmick to attract crowds or Facebook fans or Instagram followers or Tictokers…

God is not some dusty, old long white bearded granddad looking joker on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.


Jesus is the LION of the tribe of Judah!

He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

He is the Alpha and the Omega!

The Holy Ghost the unadulterated, unrestrained Power of God!

He is a KILLER.

He is the Author of Scripture!

Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, Guide, Intercessor, Conviction of God, Revealer, and Witness!


He is Creator and Sustainer of all Things!

Everlasting Father, Mighty God, Father of Lights, the Glorious God of All Comfort, the Hiding Place, the I AM, the High Tower, the HOLY ONE.


It is time that we cast off the rigid bonds of religious and cultural Jezebel mentalities of controlling God and His Spirit and once more reach out, like John on Patmos, to hear the Voice that is calling to us and SEE Him for WHO HE IS!

Revelation 1:12-16 John said, “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”

This is not a play toy we are talking about!

Yet we treat the Son of God, the Father, nor the Holy Spirit so casually!

Church, IT IS NOT WHAT I WANT that is going to change lives.

The methods change, but the message NEVER CHANGES!

Galatians 1:6-8, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Anyone who thinks that God MUST do things THEIR WAY has perverted the Gospel and made God into an IDOL.


In Closing:  Walking in their Footsteps

SO… what shall we do?

Alan Sproull shared a story just the other day. 

He said, “A church in Atlanta was honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.

After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gait to the podium.

Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak….

“When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50-odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me…”

THINK ABOUT THIS CHURCH… That pastor said he could AWAYS rely on the tears, heartbreak, pain, fear, and sorrow to paralyze him.

Many, if not most, do not know that dread that stands beside the pastors who fill the pulpit Sunday after Sunday.

Bluntly, I may not know the fear or dread that you face simply to get to church in the morning, but you ARE NOT the only one to face it!

I know that we turn to the familiar to comfort us.

We grow comfortable with the ideas, songs, forms, and routines that we like because they are comfortable!

I know that…

But we can not become so comfortable in our routines that we cannot be flexible.

When we are forced to the uncomfortable change and the great need to be flexible, we can go back to the basics that NEVER change!

The Elderly Brother said that the only thing that would comfort him when he felt that he would break was this verse….

“Jesus loves me this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong,

We are weak but He is strong…..

Yes, Jesus loves me….

The Bible tells me so.”