Story One

THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST DAYS
AFTER the Lord Jesus had gone away to heaven, the eleven disciples and a small company of those who believed in Christ were left alone on the earth. But they were not sad, as we should have expected them to be. They were very happy, for their Lord had left with them his promise to send power from God upon them. Every day they met together, and praised God, and prayed, in the large upper room where Jesus had taken his last supper with them.
The eleven disciples chose a twelfth man to take the place which had belonged to Judas the traitor. His name was Măt-thī́ as. With these were Mā́ ry̆, the mother of Jesus, and his brothers, and the women who had been at the cross and the tomb, and a number of others, men and women, who believed in Jesus as the Christ. The whole number of the company was one hundred and twenty people. In all the world these were all who at that time believed in Christ.
Ten days after Jesus went away to heaven there came a day which the Jews̝ called "The Day of Pentecost," or "The Fiftieth Day," for it was just fifty days after the Feast of the Passover. On that day the believers in Christ were all together in the upper room praying, when suddenly a sound was heard like the rushing of a mighty wind coming straight down from the sky. And what looked like tongues of fire seemed to be over the heads of all the company. Then the Spirit of God came upon them all, and they began to speak of Christ and of his gospel with a power that none of them had ever known before.
This strange noise as of a sounding wind was heard all over the city, and at once a great crowd of people came together at the place, to learn what the sound meant. There they saw these people, one hundred and twenty in number, singing, praising God and telling of his wonderful works. And there was another marvelous thing. These people who had heard the noise, and had been drawn to the place, were Jews̝ from many lands, who had come up to Jē̇-rṳ́ sā̇-lĕm to worship, some from the lands far in the east, others from lands in the west, and others from isles of the sea. Every man heard these believers in Jesus speaking in the language of the land from which he had come! It was as though in every tongue of the earth men were telling of God's wonderful work.
"What does all this mean?" asked some; and others said, "These people act as though they were drunken with wine!”
Then stood up Sī́ mon Pḗ ter, with the other apostles around him; for from that time the twelve disciples were called "apostles," which means "The men sent forth," because they were now sent out to win the world to Christ. Pḗ ter spoke in a loud voice to all the crowd of people, and said:
"Ye men of Jū-dḗ ȧ, and all ye that live in Jē̇-rṳ́ sā̇-lĕm, listen to me. This which you see is what the prophet said long ago should come to pass, that God would pour out his Spirit upon men. This is the great day of the Lord, when everyone who shall call upon the Lord shall be saved. Jesus of Năź a-rĕth, one who wrought wonders and signs among you, you did put to death oil the cross, by the hands of wicked men; but God has raised him up from death. We who have seen him living declare this to you, that he whom you killed on the cross is now the Lord and the Christ.”
Then many of the people began to see how wicked had been the deed of their people in killing Jesus, whom God had sent to them as his Son; and they cried out to Pḗ te͂r and to the other apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
And Peter answered them, "Turn away from your sins, believe in Jesus, and be baptized in his name; and your sins shall be taken away, and you shall have this power of the Holy Spirit of God.”
Then a great many people believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and were baptized by the apostles. And on that day three thousand were added to the Church of Christ. And they, too, met with the believers daily in the upper room, and worshipped in the Temple, and listened to the teaching of the apostles.
And all the followers of Jesus were like one family of brothers and sisters. Those who had money gave it to help those who were in need, and some who had lands and houses sold them, and gave all for those who were poor. All were happy, praising God, loving and loved by each other. And every day more and more of those who were being saved were united to the Church.
PART SECOND.-STORIES OF THE EARLY CHURCH,
Lesson 35. The First Days.
(Tell Story 1 in Part Seventh.)
1. Where did the followers of Christ meet after Jesus went away to heaven? In Jerusalem.
2. What day came ten days after Jesus left the earth? The Day of Pentecost.
3. What seemed to fall from heaven on all the followers of Christ on the day of Pentecost? Tongues of fire.
4. What power came upon them all? Power from God.
5. What did they all begin to speak? The wonderful words of God.
6. Who preached to the people on that day? Peter.
7. What new name was given to Peter and the other eleven disciples of Christ? They were called apostles.
8. What did the apostle Peter tell the people to do? To believe in Christ as their Savior.
9. How many were added to the church on that day? Three thousand.
10. How did all these people act toward each other? Like brothers.