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? 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. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. Acts 5:3-5
One of the clear scriptures that the Holy Spirit is God is Acts Chapter 5. Here we see a married couple , Ananias and Sapphira , sold a piece of property to give the profits to the Church, which sounds like a good thing. However they lied to the Holy Spirit about how much they made, and hid some of the money for themselves
Peter called them out on their sin, and when Ananias confessed his sin , immediately died. This event obviously brought great fear among the Church. I believe God used this moment to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit is God and as Jesus taught “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin” (Matthew 12:31)
As Peter stated “You have not lied to men but to God” , its very clear that the Holy Spirit is God and we should pay honor and respect to the Holy Spirit as we do the Father and Son.
And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 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. Acts 5:6-9
Then his wife Sapphira tried to lie to the Holy Spirit also and was immediately struck down with death. As Peter said “How can you tempt the Spirit of The Lord”? Again it demonstrates the deity of The Holy Spirit. Again this sent a strong message to the Church, the fear of God was among all of them!
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. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. Acts 5:10-11
As it stated “A great fear came upon all the Church” Do you think God was trying to send a message? The message is The Holy Spirit is God and Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven or tolerated. How many false prophets and religions should read this chapter! Scripture is clear The Father , Son, and Holy Spirit is God Amen!
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:32-33
One of the reasons to study the book of Acts is because it gives you a great view of what the Church looked like in the 1rst Century. Often we hear people debate what is the Church? What does a real Church look like? What are the requirements for a Church? If you study the book of Acts, it will answer all these questions and ideas. First thing to note is the word Church is typically derived from the Greek word Ekklesia which means “group of called out believers” or more simply “Christians” the Church is a community of Christians
So when you first understand that the Church was not an organization or corporation but it was a family, it was a community of Christians who took care of one another. As it shows us in the scripture, the Church was united and everyone took care of each other. Nobody was in need of anything because the Church took care of each other as a family.
Secondly their faith in Christ was the central foundation that kept them all together. They didn’t become a “member of the Church” for social or political reasons, they were believers and part of the Body of Christ that loved one another just as Christ commanded us to
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. Acts 4:34-35
Notice everyone in the Church , sold all of their possessions and shared the profits among the body of believers. Can you imagine your Church doing this today? Can you imagine your Pastor asking everyone to sell all their stuff and give the profits to the Church to distribute among the members? This shows you how far the Church has strayed from where we were. You would share your money or possessions with your family members, because you love and trust them. But how many people in your Church would you do this for? Alot of Christians won’t even talk to some members of their Church
We need to get back to the Church of Acts, we need to get back to a family of God. How do we do this? Its only through Jesus Christ that we can become Born Again and humble ourselves. This is why studying the book of Acts is eye opening , how far we have fallen as the Ekklesia
Jesus wants us to love one another, to forgive one another, to be a family. Remember if your going to Heaven, your not going alone, your fellow brothers and sisters will be there also. We need to get back to the 1rst Century Church in Jesus name Amen!
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. Acts 4:23-26
Again the Apostle Peter quotes the Old Testament (Psalm 2) to show how Jesus is the fulfillment of Christ. As prophesied by David and all the prophets of the Old Testament, Jesus fulfilled all things. When the religious leaders were challenged by the Apostles, they had no response because you can’t deny the Word of God and everything that was fulfilled by Jesus
The religious leaders were trying to make examples of the Apostles by challenging them but what they actually did was strengthen the faith of the Christian believers. If the religious leaders couldn’t even disprove that Jesus is The Christ, then who would? Nobody because Jesus fulfilled the entire Old Testament!
For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. Acts 4:27-30
What made the Apostles preach with such boldness? Why were they willing to give up everything for the movement and even willing to lose their life for Christ? Because they knew Jesus is The Lord and it was reinforced by the signs and wonders performed by Christ and the Apostles through the Holy Spirit!
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. Acts 4:31-32
Notice after the Church prayed together in unity, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They preached the gospel with boldness and they took care of each other as a family, as the body of Christ was meant to
May your faith be strengthened by the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the signs and wonders God performed through him and the Holy Spirit. May the Church be united and strengthened in Jesus Name Amen!
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Acts 4:13-15
The religious leaders were baffled how these uneducated Apostles could know more about God then them, however they didn’t understand that these men were filled with the Holy Spirit. Not to mention, these men were trained by The Lord himself for over 3 years. Any educational system can’t compare to the knowledge of the Creator of Heaven and The Earth
So what can the religious leaders say to discredit the Apostles, well the fact they had evidence of the crippled man healed in clear sight of everyone. For the religious leaders to rebuke the Apostles, they would be rebuking God , as it was clear God was with the Apostles
Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:16-18
There is power in the name of Jesus, this was very clear and evident, so the religious leaders demanded that the Apostles dont preach in the name of Jesus anymore! Makes you wonder, if Christianity isn’t true then why are the religious leaders so threatened by the name of Jesus? Remember the name that was given above all names is Jesus (Philipians 2) Every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus Is Lord!
But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. Acts 4:19-21
The Apostles were telling the religious leaders, “we didn’t make Christianity up, we are just telling you what we’ve seen and experienced” The Word became Flesh and lived among us, the Apostles were eyewitnesses to God becoming human and fulfilling all the Messianic prophecies
The evidence is clear, the scriptures are very clear, Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. If anyone wants to deny that then they must deny the evidence that God has presented us in Jesus Christ! Amen!
And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Acts 4:3-7
How do you start a revival or build a Church? Its simple you preach the gospel of Jesus Christ filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter and the Apostles began preaching the gospel in the streets and it turned Jerusalem upside down. Notice there were about 5,000 men who became Born Again because of the Apostles preaching
But also dont be mistaken, anytime you preach the name of Jesus, the demons are going to get stirred up. The religious leaders were furious with the Apostles and were looking for a way to shut them down. As we know when God is for us, who can be against us? They asked the Apostles, by what name or power are you doing this? Its all in the name of Jesus and its powered by the Holy Spirit
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Acts 4:8-11
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, referenced the healing of the crippled man earlier. How was this healing possible, because of the Lord Jesus Christ! As Peter tried to explain, Jesus is the long awaited Messiah from the Old Testament. The Christ that Israel actually rejected and crucified on a cross! As Peter referenced Psalm 118:22 “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” Jesus is the chief cornerstone that was rejected by Israel
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
How can Israel be saved then? By the Torah? By the good works of the religious system? No , the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ! As Jesus stated “Nobody is good but God alone” (Mark 10:18) All our good works are filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6) The only way we can be reconciled back to God is by the blood of Jesus Christ
Even today the world doesn’t want to hear the gospel, everyone wants to be justified and righteous in their own eyes, not until you humble yourself and come to true repentance can you understand the salvation of Jesus Christ, Amen!
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. Acts 3:13-15
Some of the most powerful sermons you’re ever going to read are in the book of Acts, here Peter is trying to reveal to Israel how Jesus is the Messiah and they killed him! The same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the same God of Matthew, Mark , Luke and John. Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God who fulfilled over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament
But as Peter stated, Israel denied their Messiah in the presence of Pilate, also they chose to release a killer named Barrabas rather than release their Messiah Jesus. And rather, they had the Holy One of God , crucified on a cross as a common criminal
And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:16-19
Even though it’s shocking to here, that the Son of God, the Messiah was crucified on a wooden cross, it was also prophesied throughout the Old Testament, and was necessary for the Son of Man to pay the ransom for our sins. The Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world
So what should we do now that we know this? Repent and be Born Again, by faith trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Then you will be baptized by the Holy Spirit and become a Child of God!
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Acts 3:20-22
As Peter demonstrates from Deuteronomy, even Moses prophesied about the coming of Jesus, that God would raise up One who was greater than Moses, greater than all the prophets, the Son of God in the flesh!
Israel has the prophecies about their Messiah, yet they missed him. Are you missing The Lord today? Do you realize Jesus Christ came to save you also? Have you repented and received him or are you still ignoring him?