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Acts 5 – 6

Acts 5

Ananias, and Sapphira lie to the assembly and lie to God.

Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 5:2 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.

5:3 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?  5:4 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. 

The issue was not the land or the price which both belonged to Ananias and Sapphira; the issue is that they lied about the sum to deceive and impress the brethren and lied before God. 

Those organizations and elders which try to deceive the brethren today should take notice of God’s position on that matter.

5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

5:7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

5:8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 5:9 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. 

God has delayed his judgment of the corporate church groups in patient love, but the time of our correction is drawing near.

5:10 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.

When God’s judgment of great tribulation is come upon the wicked in our midst; the brethren will learn to fear God and to seek God’s will.

5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

This event requires some comment.

From time to time I receive messages telling me that I should not rebuke sin and should not cry out because Christ forgives and we are to overlook sin.

This is a primary FALSE teaching which is being used to teach tolerance for sin and the introduction of heresies into the congregations.

We are commanded to rebuke all sin and to eject willfull sinners and those who are heretics who will not tolerate sound doctrine.

We are to reject false doctrine:  NOT tolerate any false thing and so encourage heresy.

Titus 3:10   A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

We are to cleave to and teach sound doctrine; and NOT allow and tolerate false doctrine and false teachings within the midst of the congregations.

Titus 1:9   Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Titus 2:1   But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

2 Timothy 4:1   I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and [the true Doctrine of God’s Word] doctrine.

2 Thessalonians 2:15  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions [of God] which ye have been taught, whether by [the apostles direct words and teachings] word, or our epistle. 
 
What traditions are we to keep?  The false traditions of men?  or the teachings of the Apostles which are canonized in the Holy Scriptures?

Now consider this Jesus, who after covering the people with the lamb’s blood and leading them out of Egypt baptizing them in the sea:  DESTROYED those who were willing to turn back into Egypt!

Consider how Jesus Christ is a great warrior and WILL destroy the armies of the earth at Jerusalem on that appointed day. 

No, he will not wave his hand and wink at sin:  HE WILL DESTROY THE UNREPENTANT REBELS!

Consider how this Jesus will DESTROY all of the unrepentant wicked at their appointed time:

Revelation 20:12    And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books [the scriptures] were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books [scriptures], according to their works [according to their obedience and zeal for the commandments and teachings of Christ].

20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works [actions in KEEPING all the teachings and commandments of Christ].

20:13 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

ONLY those who live by every Word of God shall be in the resurrection to spirit and eternal life.

Revelation 22:14   Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

22:15 For without are dogs [A man of impure mind, an impudent man, in the sense of Nicolaitanes preying on their fellows,], and sorcerers [This is rebellion against God], and whoremongers [Spiritually following idols instead of following our Husband; spiritual adultery], and murderers  [Including the spiritual murder of turning people away form their zeal for God], and idolaters [serving the false traditions of men], and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.  [Including lying by omission and by deception.]

Brethren telling a partial truth to deceive about the whole truth is LYING 

There are very many LIARS among the leaders and elders; and yes even some of the brethren, in the Ekklesia today.  Such men will NOT be in the resurrection to spirit unless they repent.

Jesus Christ is not some effeminate pansy who will overlook sins and let us do as we please!  He is a Mighty Warrior who went before Joshua and threw down the walls of sinful Jericho!  He is the one who will throw the beast and false prophet alive into the fire and who will destroy ALL unrepentant sinners at the judgment!

Jesus Christ is burning with zeal for God the Father and his Father’s house [the Ekklesia], and is determined that no uncleanness shall pollute his people!

Jesus Christ would NEVER tolerate sin, false doctrine or any uncleanness in his Father’s  Ekklesia.

Tolerate false doctrines?  Tolerate false teachings in the congregations?  Mix God’s Word with the abominations of the unconverted [heathen]?  NEVER!  NEVER!  NEVER!  The men who do this are worthy of eternal death in the lake of fire; if they do not repent quickly.

Ananias, and Sapphira are examples of what Christ will do to those who lie, or who pervert his teachings of sound doctrine, or break any part of the Word of God. 

The apostles were mighty to preach the TRUTH of God and to fight all false teachings, heresies and error!

Acts 5:12 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).

The religious leaders resisted the disciples, but many people did believe the truth of their preaching.  These called out folks did not retain their own heresies; NO they repented and followed the sound doctrines of Jesus Christ and the Word of God the Father!  False teachings were NOT TOLERATED!

5:13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 5:14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 5:15 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. 5:16 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.

Because they taught the true sound doctrine of the Holy Scriptures without compromise or tolerance for heresy and because they spoke the truth; they offended the ministry of the day and were cast into prison.  Just as those who teach or seek the truth of God today, are persecuted by today’s ministries.

5:17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) [the Sadducees are here identified as the priests] and were filled with indignation, 5:18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.

Jesus Christ delivered them because of their love, loyalty and zeal for him and all his words!  Did they then flee away or compromise with their Outreach?   NO, they immediately went to the temple to teach all the people!

What is this fear of men today?  Where is the fear of God in the Ekklesia today?  Those men obeyed God and not any man; they taught the truth, regardless of what those in ecclesiastical power commanded.

5:19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 5:20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life [the words of life are to live by every Word of God] .

In the morning the high priest sent to the prison to have the disciples brought for judgment and when they heard that the disciples had left the prison and gone to teach in the temple, they called a meeting of the Sanhedrin [The Seventy].

5:21 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 [Sanhedrin] together, and all the senate [Sanhedrin] of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

Now consider that these men were escaped out of prison without the guard knowing, as if the angel had blinded their eyes to these men.

5:22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned and told, 5:23 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.

The religious leaders became concerned as to how this could be and how it would work out if they could not find the disciples.

5:24 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.

Then the disciples were found in the temple, and they came before the leaders without resisting when they were called.

Brethren, if we have set a good example and diligently taught and kept the truth of God, without any compromise and in dedicated zeal; we need not fear men, for our Deliver is coming with his reward for the faithful.

On the other hand if we compromise and tolerate sin and false teachings; then we most assuredly need fear  God, for God’s judgment is sure.

5:25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. 5:26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.

The religious leaders again commanded the disciples NOT to preach the gospel of truth.

5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 5:28 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 [the guilt of Christ’s death] blood upon us.

What zeal for God the Father and Jesus Christ!!!   Where is our zeal today?  Is it not swallowed up in complacent compromise and spiritual IDOLATRY for the traditions of men?

5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Peter and the disciples then witnessed about Christ and the sound doctrine of God’s Word, to the religious leaders of the day.  How very far Peter had come from denying Christ out of fear of men at the crucifixion!  May we all learn such a lesson of overcoming, faith and courageous zeal for our Mighty Eternally Beloved One! 

Personally, I believe that many in today’s Ekklesia who deny Christ by rejecting the Word of God to follow idols of men; will deeply and sincerely repent in the tribulation and become like Paul and Peter and the other apostles and disciples in a new found zeal; to learn, keep and teach the whole Word of God!  Those who are in denial today will quickly repent when the correction of the tribulation comes upon them and will remember these warnings and teachings. 

5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 5:31 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. 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

God ONLY gives his Holy Spirit to those who live by every Word of God and obey Him.

I know that the same attitude of animosity exists among many today, for these things and those who respond.  They should hear the counsel of Gamaliel and not be attacking the zealous among them.

5:33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. 5:34 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;

5:35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 5:36 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. 5:37 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.

5:38 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: 5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

5:40 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.

Being commanded once again to refrain from preaching the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ, they were released, and rejoiced that they had been allowed to witness to the Council and to suffer abuse for their zeal! 

Will God’s two servants stand before the Boards and Councils of today’s spiritual Ekklesia and others to give them a warning from God in power and miracles before the tribulation begins; so that these men will have absolutely NO excuse for rejecting the Word of God for their own false traditions?  I would think so, but we shall soon see.

5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

The apostles rejected the commandments of men and went right back into the temple to teach the teachings, commandments and sound doctrine of God the Father and Jesus Christ!

5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Oh, that every person in the faith had the love of God and his Word that Peter, Daniel, Paul, John, James, Noah, Moses and the many ancient Mighty People of God had!

Read again Hebrews 11: and run to your God, Oh [spiritual] Israel!!!

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Nineteen hundred years ago Paul spoke of physical things being made from the invisible things; which was confirmed by E=MC2 which means that energy is mass times the speed of light squared or multiplied by itself.   The opposite is also true that mass consists of energy.  The Creator God who was spirit [pure energy] made matter by converting energy to matter! 

Paul understood this by faith; which thing is today confirmed by discovery of the facts.  Matter is energy concentrated into matter.  Just like ice is a form of water and water is a form of vapor! 

11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

That is Abel is dead and yet he is spoken of to this day, and he will be raised up in the resurrection.

11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

How can we obey God if we do not believe that He is?  and how can we please God [obey Him] if we do not believe he exists?

11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is [exists], and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, [believed God and] prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world [which would not believe the warnings], and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

This is a lesson, that in the same way; those in the Ekklesia of the called out, who do not believe the warnings and turn to God in sincerity and truth will also be destroyed.

11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles [The Feast of Tabernacles requires that we dwell in temporary shelters to make the very point that if we are called of and faithful to God we are strangers in the world] ] with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God

We are to be focused on the spiritual things of the whole Word of God as Abraham was; and we are to be built on the whole Word of God; which is the Writings, the Prophets and the Apostles [the Holy Scriptures] with Jesus Christ being the Chief Stone of the foundation:  All of which were inspired by God!

Abraham believed God and therefore he acted on what God told him to do. To believe God is one thing; to actually act on what God says and to obey him, is something else.

We must believe before we can obey, but if we believe and do not start obeying, there is no sacrifice for your sin and there is no reconciliation with God for us.

As long as we continue to reject living by every Word of God, we can believe all we want and it won’t do us any good at all. We must believe and then we must act on that belief and start doing what God tells us to do.

Our reconciliation with God and our relationship with Him depends upon us keeping His commandments, and one of those commandments is to honor thy mother and thy mother.

In order to keep that commandment, we must be willing to do anything that God the Father tells us to do. Was there any law that said Abraham had to move to a different land? Was there any law that told Noah: by law you have to build this ark? No, there wasn’t.

The law is: Obey God in ALL things. We are obligated by the commandment do what our Father tells us to do, and He told Abraham to leave that land and He told Noah to build that boat. We are to obey God our Father in whatever He tells us to do. This concept of obedience goes far beyond just the commandments. Yes, we are to keep all of His commandments but we are also to love Him with all our hearts, to serve Him with all our strength and to try and please Him in every way; and that means doing whatever He says; always, always, always, at all times.

11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. [Where was there any faith in Sarah regarding this promise?   She gave herself to her husband Abraham in her old age, truisting that God would give her a son!] 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

Out of Sarah and Abraham came a son by God’s promise; out of Abram who was a very old man as “many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore enumerable. Now, if they in their great age had not believed that promise, and not added the works of faith to their belief and had not come together; the promise would have been of no effect!  The birth of Isaac was by faith in the promise of God, coupled with the works of faith!

Notice they all DIED: which means that Enoch also died. These all died in faith. Enoch was translated that he should not see death; in other words, he was moved from one place to another so that he would not be murdered or killed for his faith.  But later on he died;

11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth

Those who reject worldliness for godliness, are making a clear statement that they are not of this world and that they seek another and godly nation, the Kingdom  of God;  and if any turn aside from their zeal to keep the whole Word of God, which is the constitution of the Kingdom of God, and go back into worldliness; they are become worldly again.

11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

And that is what dwelling in tabernacles or  temporary structures at the Feast is all about. To teach us that this flesh is temporary and that we are seeking a better promised land; an eternal spiritual future.

It is to remind us that we are temporary sojourners and foreigners in this society and we must be seeking a better society and a better and spiritual Promised Land, which is found in the Kingdom of God. We are really just temporary sojourners in this flesh; and we should all be looking forward to a better and more permanent place to dwell, a change to spirit and the promise of eternal life. Which is the gift of God for all those who sincerely  repent, who turn from sin and commit to sin no more, who are reconciled to God the Father and given His Spirit.

Those who endure and overcome may then be given Eternal life in a new spiritual body at the resurrection when they are changed to spirit. However, right now we are living in this flesh, which is temporary, transitory, it will die. It will decay and we need to find a better way, and that better way is offered by God through Jesus Christ.

11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them [the faithful who believe and have the works of faith] a city [the New Jerusalem].

Abraham had received promises that Isaac would be the father of countless descendants yet not understanding the command to kill Isaac with those promises, Abraham obeyed.

11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

Figuratively speaking, he received Isaac back from the dead because he was about to kill him and God delivered Isaac.

11:20 By faith [in God’s promises] Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 11:21 By faith [in God’s promises] Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.  11:22 By faith [in God’s promise that he would bring Israel out of Egypt] Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Who? Moses esteemed who? Paul showing here that he KNEW that Jesus Christ was the God who was an Husband to Israel under the Mosaic Covenant declares:

By faith in the promise of God, Moses chose to reject Egypt and follow the God of his father Abraham.

11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Moses obeyed the call of God from the burning bush in Sinai and by faith Moses believed God and killed the Passover in Egypt.  It Moses had said I believe and had not had the works of faith in commanding the killing of the lambs; what would have happened to Israel? 

11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 

What if Joshua had said I believe you can do it LORD; and then did not demonstrate his faith with the works of faith and did not march around Jericho?

11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

What if Rahab had not saved the spies and what if she had not tied the scarlet ribbon [a red ribbon like the red blood of the lambs in Egypt, representing being under the protection of the Lamb of God] to her window?  have you ever wondered why a scarlet ribbon?  The red ribbon was a type of being under the protection of the blood of the Lamb of God!

11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 11:33 Who through faith [and the works of faith, doing mighty deeds in obedience to God] subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

11:34 Quenched the violence of fire [Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego], escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

All of these faithful called out over the past 6,000 years, who were FULL of the works of Faith died, and now wait in their graves for the promise of the resurrection to eternal life in the Promised Land of eternity!  Yet today, so many of the Ekklesia are afraid to take a stand to question and prove the words of men by God’s Word; afraid to learn and to keep the whole Word of God; afraid to take a stand against the deceivers and idols of men!

11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

All of these ancient called out people [and very many more since Paul] mentioned by Paul through faith did things. They didn’t say, “Oh, I’ve got faith. Praise the Lord,” and then do nothing. They had the FAITH to be DOERS of the Will and the whole Word of God!

No watering down, No compromise, No dimming of their light of example, to appease the world!

They were valiant people, courageous people, godly people, and they were made strong by the power of their belief in God and the power of God’s Spirit dwelling within them; which God gave to them because of their belief and their willingness to ACT on that belief and be full of the works of faith, to put Almighty God first and to act and do whatever God wanted them to do.

They had faith. Abel believed God and acted on that belief having the works of faith. These people acted on their faith and they did what God wanted them to do. They kept His commandments and they did whatever He told them to do.

Faith without works is dead.

They did not fear to take a stand, nor did they love this world; they looked forward to another and a better world; being willing to give up their lives in this world to follow the whole Word of God to attain that better world. While most today would not even give up a meal in a restaurant on Sabbath!

Like Esau the church of God today has sold its birthright for a bowl of pottage; for the pleasures of this world and for fear of trials.

 

Acts  6

In the sharing of goods the Greeks in Judea felt neglected and it was deemed necessary to have an official overseeing of what had been, until then, an unsupervised sharing.

Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Many elders reject this lesson today and spend an inordinate amount of time supervising summer camps, sports and other activities which should properly be left to deacons.  It is because of this that serious study of the scriptures are often much neglected by the ministry.

6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. [Elders are to be deeply in the scriptures at all times; and if their social club duties distract from that; they need to STOP doing such things and get back into the Word of God!]

6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

The principle is the same; let the good elders serve in diligent open minded study of the Word of God so that they can rebuke sin and teach the brethren.

It is NOT an elders job to organize sporting events or Winter Weekends, or even Feasts; that is for deacons.  Let the elders be diligent in the Word and in preparing to address the brethren and let the deacon’s do their job of serving in physical things!

2 Timothy 4   I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

4:3 For the time will come when they [many of the brethren] will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves [false] teachers, having itching ears;

Paul tells Timothy that the brethren will apostatize if the elders are not diligent to rebuke and reprove all sin, and exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.  Today the Ekklesia is full of apostasy because the elders have not been doing their jobs.

4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Acts 6:4 But we will [that the elders] give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

When the apostles and elders dedicated themselves to study, prayer and preaching the Word; “be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine,” God blessed them with much increase in knowledge and brethren.

It is not by watering down doctrine that the assembly is blessed, but by a dedicated love for Christ and the KEEPING of every Word of God.  And even if God withholds physical blessings for a time; remember Joseph who was an example of long suffering faithfulness for us all.  Joseph was faithful and endured in love for God and became the leader of a great nation; is that not an allegory of the called out who will be made kings and priests IF they endure in faithfully living by every Word of God? 

6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

See how the faithful deacons can do mighty works in pleasing God, setting an example for the people and preaching the salvation of Christ, and by closeness to God do mighty things!

6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

A synagogue of people from North Africa were convicted in their hearts by Stephen, and they resisted the truth and not being able to answer the sound doctrine of truth; they being pricked by the truth and rejecting it, they rose up to contend with the messenger and attacked the man who brought the message!

6:9 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. 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

6:11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 6:12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

The face of Stephen shone as he preached sound doctrine to the leaders of the people and the gospel of salvation to his judges and accusers!   This man was a true Daniel and a man like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

WHERE is the courage of faith today?  Oh how far are we fallen from our forefathers in our love of Christ and God the Father!

Daniel 3:16   Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful [are not afraid] to answer thee in this matter.

3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Acts 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

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