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ACTS 5:1-11

“But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.’ And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it.

And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, ‘Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?’ And she said, ‘Yes, that was the price.’ Then Peter said to her, ‘Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out.’

And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things. NASB

The Old Covenant allowed these sorts of activities (lying, cheating,) in the minds of the people one just needed to escape God’s wrath by sacrificing a bird or calf, and one can be good to go. The New Covenant is very different with its interaction with the souls on earth. Where the Old Covenant required God’s people to follow very strict laws and regulations for those who were born into the “Chosen Few”, along with the very few proselytes. This New Covenant, though incorporates the laws and regulations as guidelines (Matthew 5:17-19), requires all followers to do two seemingly simple concepts: #1- “Love God with all your being.” #2- “Love all others as yourself.” (John 13:34 & Matthew 22:37)

Seemingly simple, but only for the Spirit of God; and to receive the Holy Spirit one needs to surrenders oneself completely to God. That is what the First Century Believers discovered according to Acts chapter five; God is not seeking you belongings, your accomplishments, or your body, God requires your heart–all of it. That is why it is so difficult to truly follow God when we live in such a self-centered universe which includes with emphases, our bodies.

The Bible is very clear in that and shows that it has always been about the remnant. When the Messiah speaks of the sower (Matthew 13:18-23) only twenty-five percent of the seeds make it to the harvest; and it is like that throughout the Old and New Testament (Matthew 7:14 & Isaiah 10:21). Does that mean that the entire world population cannot come to God? No, it does not mean anything of the sort. What the Bible is saying (to our family here at Cepher) regarding this subject is simply do not think that everyone you share the Word of God with is going to accept as you did. Therefore, instead of judging and condemning others for not seeing the Bible the same as you, just be thankful that by the Grace of God you view the Bible in such a way that allows you to follow the Messiah in peace and contentment.

In Acts chapter five we see that the events effected all who witnessed them; to the point that all seem to realize how serious this decision to follow God truly is, and yet their numbers continued to increase within the general membership. The relationship that the apostles had with God (Acts 5:13 & 6:1-4) is the same one true followers of the Messiah have today. The same is true with the disciples and the members of the First Century Church, their respective relationships with God are the same as those of today.

Not everyone became an apostle, and the relationship the apostles had with God was very different than the relationships the church members had with God. A very important concept to grasp is that each individual must decide what kind of relationship they desire to have with the Messiah and then surrender to it with all your heart and all your soul immediately.

Thank You!

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