Bowie Apostolic Church
Acts 5: Continual Demonstration of Power
by From the Pastor's Desk on February 5th, 2013

Annanias and Sapphira

Acts 5:1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 
The story of Ananias and Sapphira starts in chapter 4, actually. The bible says that many believers were selling their property and giving the proceeds to the work of the ministry (i.e., laying at the apostles feet). This was not a requirement. No one ever asked them to do so. But, you must admit it really seems very noble to do something like that in public. Humanity has an inherent desire to belong to a group. Sometimes though they are not willing to sacrifice all that others are sacrificing.

Now we begin to see the state of their hearts. They were trying to look noble under false pretences. The truth is that they were not giving the entire amount like everyone else. All they had to do was tell the truth. Deceptive giving is lying.

This is a living example of one very sobering scripture in the bible: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion (Romans 9:15).” The scripture is saying that God will not have mercy and compassion on everyone. He is a God of mercy. He is also a God of judgment. Sometimes His judgment is deferred and other times it is not. This was a time of very strong manifestation of God’s power and there was no room for divisions.

A Continuous Demonstration of God’s Power

Acts 5:12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles.
As we have discovered in the previous chapters, God will demonstrate His power. Where there is continual prayer, there will be continual demonstration of God’s power. Who says that God isn’t still doing these things? Do not let our American minds and our modern skepticism defraud us of seeing what God can do. The reason why we don’t see these things today is because we as a church are not committed to spreading the Gospel as they were. We tend to want God to be dedicated to what we want while we have little to no constant, steadfast and faithful dedication to His desires, will or commandments. When we get back to His business, we will see His power.

The Ministry of Angels

Acts 5:18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 
One of the signs of the evangelistic ministry of people who are carrying the Gospel message to the world is the ministry of Angels. Angels are not just fairy tale beings. Although they are not always visible, they are always doing something for the church. They are ministering spirits sent out to serve us (Hebrews 1:14). When the Apostles were imprisoned by the religious establishment for teaching things that were in fact true, the ministry of Angels was there to miraculously set them free. The guards were still on duty. The prison doors were still shut, but through the ministry of angels there was a miraculous jail break.

The Honor of Persecution

Acts 5:41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 
The Honor of Persecution? When the average American thinks of persecution, they typically think of the violation of their civil rights. They want to fight for their freedom. In many contexts, there is something to be said for this. However, in the context of suffering for the name of Jesus Christ, it is an honor. It just doesn’t feel like it. There is no way we can bypass the suffering of Christ’s cross in our lives without also bypassing the power of Christ’s resurrection in our lives. We cannot have it both ways. To dodge persecution is to dodge the manifestation of His power.

Their first encounter with persecution in chapter 4 was met with the prayer for boldness. They demonstrated this boldness in teaching in the temple after the angel had delivered them from prison. One could say “Don’t you think they should’ve just ran?” Absolutely not. Ministry is not about avoiding confrontation or running from the slightest sign of persecution. They were under orders.

After they were whipped, the bible says in Acts 5:41 that they rejoiced to be counted worth to suffer for His name’s sake. What does this say to us about the 21st century Christian who wants everything to be smooth in their lives?


Posted in Acts, Bible 2013    Tagged with angels, power, persecution, ananias, sapphire, peter


0 Comments

Leave a Comment


Categories
Acts (28)
Tags
30 pieces of silver About the bible Abraham Agrippa Arm of the Lord Ascension Berea Bethlehem Bramblebush Caesar Corinth Counsel Damascus David Ephesus Ephratah Euroclydon Everlasting Father Felix Festus Fullness of power Galilee Golden rule Herod His suffering Integrity Isaac Ishmael Jerusalem Jotham Judah Malta Mary Messiah Moses Nathan Passover Paul Philippi Right hand of God Righteous Branch Rome Sanhedrin Saul Silas Son of God Timothy Triumphal Entry Virgin Birth ananias angels appointed time arbiter arrested asset management awe baptism betrayal boast bones borrower breaking point brockenhearted bruise business buyer caesarea casting lots centurion character child rearing colt commitment consistency construction conversion correction cosigning culture debt demon devil discernment disrespect edification edify education environment eternal ethiopian ethnic expectation facade faith family filled finances foolish foul words friends gentiles glory gospel heresy holy spirit honor hope humble humor identity idleness ill-gotten gains intimidation iron irreverence jealousy john joke justice knowledge lamb law of moses lazy learning lender lion love the Blesser love your neighbor love loyalty magician martyr mercy ministry miracle mob mocked moment name of Jesus nations negotiation no corruption obedience peace keeper peace pentecost persecution perseverance peter philip poor taste power pranks prayer preach promise prosper rebellion rebuke referee relationships reproach resurrection reverence rich man's tomb ruin sapphire satan self-promotion seller serpent sharpens shepherd ship silent before slaughter simon slave stephen strife submitted surety teacher temptation timidity truth understanding unsubmitted wealth what goes around comes around wicked wisdom words matter work ethic wounds zeal of thine house