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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mutually Agreed Destruction

Highlights of Background Information:

. . .Peter and John were at the temple
and Peter was about to heal a lame man, begging for money at the gate.  

. . .Before healing this man, Peter assured him that he was going to give him something more valuable than money...more precious than even "gold or silver"...establishing the the context of this entire account in the Book of Acts...that spiritual life and being healed by the Word and power of Christ is of eternally greater value than any amount of money

. . .So we might conclude that the following account regarding Ananias and Sapphira, found also in this context, may likely follow the pattern established...possibly addressing something even more significant than just a greedy desire for money. 

. . .The preaching of Peter and John "grieved" [#G1278 = offended/upset] the religious leaders, so they put them both in prison.

. . .But as a result of this persecution, the Word was received and
approximately 5,000 were saved...because "...all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Rom.8:28)

. . .However, after Peter and John were threatened by their religious accusers/incarcerators, they were ultimately compelled to release them, because of lack of evidence...finally admitting that these two men had really, done nothing wrong.

. . .So the Brethren rejoiced, offering unified praises to God for delivering Peter and John from their enemies and petitioning God to continue granting them the freedom to speak His Word.

"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

. . .God responds to their prayer by pouring out His Spirit upon them.

. . .As a result of this outpouring of the Spirit, the hearts of the Brethren are greatly affected, creating a unique type of unity, further demonstrating that their love for Christ and one another was, again, of greater value to them than money...or anything else they possessed. . .

However. . .

. . .while there is godly unity. . .

. . .evil unity also exists. . .

. . .proving that unity. . . 

. . .is not always a good thing:

"But a certain man named Ananias,
with Sapphira his wife,
sold a possession,

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."

Acts 5:1-2

However, we are told that while believers were assembled, they were in one accord and "they had all things common,"...BUT... after Ananias and Sapphira sold their property and the money was actually in their hands...something 

At that point, their hearts, were no longer in harmony with the Spirit of Christ and Spirit-filled brethren...the two of them now created their own unity...outside of the will of the Spirit of God...and this newly created self-centered unity, birthed in their hearts a mutual desire to fulfill God's will their own way...which was ultimately going to cost them their physical as well as eternal lives.

Each first re-established self as the god of their life, then united, mutually agreeing to give one another permission to rebel against their initial agreement with the Spirit of God.  

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

In this way, Ananias and Sapphira, were not only (1) rebelling against the Holy Spirit themselves, but (2) were usurping the position of God over one another by helping one another to justify their presumptuously perceived "right to sin" in this way...which was quickly evidenced by the continued mutual sin of lying to Peter when questioned regarding the amount of money they were actually contributing.

"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."

-Acts 5:3-4

Ananias and Sapphira had no reason to lie about the money.  They could have gone to Peter and the Church and requested to reserve a portion...As Peter had said, it was their do with as they pleased...But then, they would have had to admit that they really did not trust God to supply all of their, perhaps pride was the first thing that motivated them to change their course in life and leave the narrow road for the broad road to destruction.

"And Ananias hearing these words
fell down, and gave up the ghost:
and great fear came on all them
that heard these things.

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.

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."

--Acts 5:5-10

...Like the seed of the Word of God that fell on bad ground, Ananias and Sapphira let thorns grow up to choke the gift God desired to give eternal gift...way more valuable than gold or silver:

"And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares 
and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection." (Luke 8:14)

They die because they:

(1) lied to God/Holy Spirit.

(2) lacked trust in God's Word/promise to provide every they went back to making the things of the world their god...trusting money/riches to supply their needs.

(3) protected their self-sufficient, mutual, commitment to preserve appearances/pride. 

"And great fear
came upon all the church,
and upon as many

as heard these things."

--Acts 5:11

Like the early Church, this account given by Luke should instill the fear of God, reminding us to consider the consequences of the many ways professing christians today take the matter of obedience to the Word of God too lightly.

. . .and then encourage others to unite with them so they can, in a unified effort, continue assuring one another not to worry about offending God by sinning...saying  that God does not expect obedience, because we are under "grace,"..."No one is perfect" ..."everyone sins everyday all of the time". . .

. . .taking giant steps backwards...away from...cultivating and nurturing a genuine relationship with Christ. . .instead of yielding to the perfecting process of God by seeking power and wisdom from the Word of God to overcome, grow, and mature according to His well-documented intention found everywhere in His Word. . .

. . .thus taking us right back to the de-volving process, which the devil introduced in the beginning in the Garden of Eden. . .  

. . .questioning whether complete respect for and obedience to God's the Preeminent Priority in our really required:

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

. . .And they spiritually died.

The passage from Genesis above
 is the first picture 
God provides in His Word,
warning about the "Evil Unity"
of Adam and Eve
that led to their
 "Mutually Agreed Destruction"
Below we see
the last, End Time, picture
showing the results of 
"Evil Unity"
ultimately leading 
all of mankind

Mutually Agreed Destruction

               "How did we end up here??"

Friends. . .

...Please do not be deceived...

...Do not find unity with those who do not have a high enough regard for Christ and His Word to make them obviously Preeminent in their lives.

...Many presuming they are going to be saved from the wrath and judgment to come, will actually be left behind.

...Your physical life, as well as your precious eternal life is at stake.

...The hour is late...Now is the time to evaluate whether we actually have a genuine, saving, relationship with Jesus Christ. . .according to all He has written in His define what this really means.

...Be sure...scroll to the top of this page and click on the gift wrapped in gold on the left.

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