|Vol. VII Number 17||May 18, 2003|
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,
23 Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
24 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
The above chapter has several important points that are made concerning the apostles victory in Jesus.
Ananias and Sapphira were both likely filled with the Spirit when they sold their property to give to the church. I say this because Peter and John seemed to expect better of them. Peter seemed shocked that they would have conspired to lie to them and God. If they were not filled with the Spirit of the Lord, I don't think that Peter would have been as incredulous as he is. I say this because Peter is asking them why have they allowed Satan to fill their heart with such a lie. If Ananias and Sapphira were not filled with the Spirit, and not saved I think that Peter would have not been surprised by the lie and would have refused the gift. He also would have told them to repent and be fully saved. This goes along with Hebrews.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Therefore when Ananias and Sapphira lied there was no more sacrifice for their sins. Thus when the Christian back slides his end condition is a lot worse than when he was first saved. For when a Christian backslides he is rejecting all of his knowledge of the Lord and he is turning his back on the truth of Jesus Christ. When Ananias and Sapphira rejected the Lord after they knew the truth the judgment of the Lord was upon them.
The Apostles lived by the power of the Lord. When they walked down the street the people knew that they had the power. The people see the power of the Lord emanate from the born again Christian. Like your coworkers will ask you to pray for them even though they are the farthest thing from being a Christian. They will come to you when all other avenues of hope have failed. They see something in your life that they don't have and they know you have what they need.
Have you ever had sinners ask you to pray for some real needs? Have people who don't even like you asked you to pray for them? This has happened to me on occasions and when the Spirit of the Lord touched them they knew that they felt a power that they never felt before. Even today the world seeks out the true Christian for they have the power of the Holy Ghost to change their lives.
Throughout history the true believer has had to confront the indignation of the religious establishment. This has happened both in the Old Testament, New Testament, and up to the present. The religious establishment see the born again Christian as a threat to their power. No matter what the intentions of the organization were when it was founded, it will evolve to an organization that is self perpetuating. An organization that has its roots in serving the Lord will evolve to one that will seek its own growth and prosperity.
This is the reason why many churches fought against the in filling of the Holy Ghost. This is why many organizations have fought against baptism in Jesus Name as dictated by Peter in Acts 2:38. When an organization's doctrine comes in conflict with the Bible they will do everything to uphold their doctrine rather than consider the Word of God. This is what has happened in the past and is what is happening even today. The religious establishment is afraid of the believer who really holds the Bible as the true Word of God and not the leaders who tell them that they know better.
This may sound absurd to many living in the United States, but there are believers in the world who are in prison for their belief in the one true God. There are prisoners who are in prison for preaching on the streets the word of God. Once when I was preaching at K&A here in Philadelphia I was accosted by a police officer who threatened to show me repentance with his club. Even today there is a lot of resentment to the Word of God by the world.
The world considers freedom as the ability to live in sin and do all of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Just do a Google search for hedonism and you will find a plethora of vacation cruises and resorts. Is this freedom or is this debauchery? The world today wants to live out every evil desire that is in their heart, while castigating the Christian for their beliefs.
3014 E Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134
Church Office Phone: (215) 634-3637
Published by: Rev. LeRoy D. Cressy (215) 535-4037
|Sunday School||. . . . . . . . . . . . . .||11:30 AM|
|Sunday Morning Worship||. . . . . . . . . . . . . .||12 NOON|
|Sunday Evening||. . . . . . . . . . . . . .||6:30 PM|
|Wednesday Evening||. . . . . . . . . . . . . .||7:30 PM|
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