I’d like to explain why I come up with this title. It’s not because it’s a bad thing for God’s power to be in the hand’s of children but, because it is the beginning of the Church age and, we need to understand the challenges these people faced. I personally believe that ( babes in Christ ) are; in many ways the most powerful of all as long as they are seeking to become mature believers at some point.
I’d like to share a story about this. This actually happened at the Church I was saved in. A brother in Christ, a good friend of mine often gave this testimony. The Church we attended was pretty new and, before I started to attend it this man didn’t attend either. He would bring his little boy, Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. He would drop him off and. then come back to pick him up. According to his testimony, each time he would come to pick him up, he would be playing in the yard with the other children. Almost everytime he would have to go and round him up to go home.
On this one Wednesday night, his little boy came out of the Church, came straight to his truck, got in and said; daddy, tonight I got saved, I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart and save me. I don’t want to see anyone die and go to hell and, I’m starting with you. This little boy was about six or seven years old. According to this man, from Wednesday night until Sunday morning, his little boy never stopped telling him about Jesus Christ. In his testimony, didn’t no body have to tell him to get up and come to Church on Sunday morning.
Right after I got saved, this man became my Sunday School teacher and was a powerful witness for Jesus Christ and, that; just as a babe in Christ. As a matter of fact; he and the class he taught started a visitation program in our Church that went on for many years.
Let’s first look at what these people replied to the chief priest and elders: ( 24-31 ) 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: ( 25 ) Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? ( 26 ) The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. ( 27 ) 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, ( 28 ) For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy councel determined before to be done. ( 29 ) And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, ( 30 ) By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. ( 31 ) And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake the word of God with boldness.
First of all. just as a country boy’s way of seeing this; I’d say these people just looked at these leaders and said, ( who to you think you are )? And also, it sounds to me like these leaders are attempting to simply continue what ( Herod, Pontius Pilate, whith the Gentiles and the people of Israel had sought to stop.
I call these people, these young believers ( children ) because we are experirncing the beginning of a new age and, they are the people that God has ordained to lay the foundation as it begins. They are seeing it ( in child like faith ) and, that is the way that God truly desires for us to see his will. In reality, why would the heathen rage? Why would the people imagine vain things? Why would any person have a desire to stop what they are experiencing? They have just witnessed a man that could not walk, stand to his feet, they are seeing the very power of God work even through their own lives and, they are speaking with a power they have never had before in their lives. Why would anyone have a desire to stop that kind of victory in the lives of people?
As a believer for now, almost forty-five years, I still wonder the same thing? When the power of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ and, people filled with the Holy Ghost of God can transform any man from being a drug addict, a thief, a murderer, and every other sin known to mankind, why would any person desire to stop that? Actually, the answer is simple.
Satan and, his demons hate you.. They have no love for you at all and, could care less if you burn in hell for eternity. However, they also don’t want God to have you either, they get upset when God’s blessings are on the lives of believers. I often put it this way, if you think you have a ( will of your own ) then you are deceived. Every move you make is determined by either, the spirit of antichrist or by the power of God, there is no middle ground. When we look at the people on this day, we can call them children or, babes in Christ. We can say that; the chief priest, the elders and religious leaders are considered to be ( mature leaders ) but, we must see the leadership and, where it’s coming from. The bottom line is that ( the rulers of darkness ) desired for the ( Spirit of truth ) to be silienced. Satan has to use a body just like the Spirit of God does. It’s up to you to whom you yield your members.
When Peter and John came out of the temple and revealed what the religious leaders had to say, we see tho whom these young believers choose to yield their members. The people spoke as one and prayed. It was so powerful that the place they were assembled shook. ( Acts 4:31 ) 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.
I want to point out here that, once again we see the term ( Filled with the Holy Ghost ). This time it says that; because of that fact, ( they spoke the word of God with boldness ). These people here that I am calling children are the spiritual leaders of the day. The don’t have a title like ( elder ) or ( high priest ) but, they are willing to speak, what they know of God’s word, boldly.
If we make a comparison here, what can we see? These believers only had knowledge gained from the Old Testament to draw from, that is, as far as the written word was concerned. However, they could take what they had read and the things that they were able to see, by faith and believed it. They also stood on what they believed. Although the religious leaders had read the same things and basically seen to same things, they could not allow themselves to believe it by faith. Jesus Christ made this statement to Thomas when he appeared to them right after his resurrection. ( John 20: 29 ) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
The people on the day of Pentecoat and thereafter actually had the tremendous priviledge to see the word that they had read for years, unfold right before their eyes. But, they still had to believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, by faith. We can say that the average person in Israel didn’t see Jesus as their Messiah. They did not, and still to this day; think that the Messiah is come. I make that statement to point out that it’s not much different in them and our mindsets today. It all has to believed by faith.
Jesus did however point to Thomas; you have seen me, touched me, talked with me and, it still took all this for you to believe. People today, feel the conviction of God’s word when it is preached. They feel the presence of the Holy Spirit within them and, believe by faith that Jesus Christ is all he said he was or is.
I contend, in all that we see, we are still contending with ( babes in Christ ). Each person that believes, whether it was on that day or, in the days we live have to responsibility to allow the spirit of God to teach them and, grow to maturity. In the last few verses in this chapter we’ll see a group of people that are on fire for Jesus Christ. In these verses ( I believe ) we see mistakes made by these people. They were sold out on the very fact that Jesus Christ was their Messiah, their King and, that he was soon returning to set up his kingdom.
Children in the flesh and, babes in Christ both make mistakes in judgement. At this time, we have to also consider the Apostles as children as well, don’t we? You don’t have to agree with me on these verses but, at least hear me as we watch them unfold. Let’s begin with ( verse 32 ). 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 they possessed was their own; but they had all things common.
In this verse we clearly see that these people are in one accord, they are loking at themselves as one. However, are they missing the fact that when Jesus Christ returns as ( the Messiah ) isn’t he the Messiah to all of Israel, even to those that don’t believe he is their Messiah? Yes, is the answer and, although these few people by comparison to the whole Nation of Israel have all things common will not change that fact.
What we are actually witnessing is a seperation of these people from the Nation of Israel and becoming a body of their own. We call it the Church, a completely different body. The things they are doing might not be wise in a physical sense or financial sense but, spiritually it will work out for God’s glory. In their minds and hearts, they are building ( the Church ) ( the body of Christ ) and that is yet to be seen, it is just the early stages of that body. Now, let’s read the next few verses: ( 33-37 ).
( 33 ) And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. ( 34 ) 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, ( 35 ) And laid them at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. ( 36 ) And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, ( which is, being interpreted. The son of consolation, ) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, ( 37 ) Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Now, I wonder, were the things done in these verses under the inspiritation of the Holy Spirit? If you say, ( it was inspired by God’s Spirit ) then tell me, why don’t we do it today? What would be the difference today? I will argue that; it was something that needed to take place but, it was not necessarily something that God inspired them to do. ( I believe this is one of those things done in a childish manner meaning, that a child would make dicisions such as these. As we go through the ( Book of Acts ) I will often use this verse of scripture: ( Romans 8:28 ) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are called according to his purpose.
Not one of us today, nor in that day are wise enough to always hear and understand to voice of God, given to us by his Spirit. We make the best dicisions that we know how to with the knowledge of Christ we have. I’ve made dicisions in years gone by that I would not make today. At the time, I truly thought it was the thing to do but, as I matured I realized differently.
God can take our child like foolishness and work it for his glory. The question was then and, is now; just how much to you love God, are you called according to his purpose? To define ( called according to his purpose ). Is you life more about working for him or for you? If you are called according to his purpose then, your life reflects things for him, not you.
I can see how that all of these people in these verses had God’s will in common, they had one mind and, it was all about seeking his will. Some of the things they did might have been in ignorance but they were truly doing all they did for his glory.
The title of this segment is ( the power of God in the hands of children ). I’ve tried to lay out some things relating to that concept and, to also let ot be known that no matter how spiritual we might become; we are still ( just children ) in the eyes and mindset of God.
Looking at the last few verses here and, what they all did, I believe was a very important part of their walk with Christ and, within that concept, the way that the rest of Israel seen how ( SOLD OUT ) these people were to the cause they stood for.
Let’s consider it on this wise. Each person is born in this world; we are citizens of this world at birth. The only difference in the people around the ( Day of Pentecost ) and the people of the rest of the world is the fact that they are also ( citizens of the Nation of Israel ) ( God’s chosen people ). Therefore, when they believed that Jesus Christ was the ( Messiah to come ), when they placed their faith in him, they became ( members of the Church ). They seperated themselves from this world and their own people and began their journey with Christ.
I, also was born. ( March 21, 1951 ) That day I became a citizen of this world. In ( November, 1975 ) I was born again ) I was born into the ( family of God ) ( the Church ) ( the body of Jesus Christ ). All three things mentioned are, one in the same. That Sunday morning, although I still lived in this world, I became an ambassador of Jesus Christ. This world became, ( no longer my home). My home is a place that Jesus said he was going to prepare. Would you agree with me that; just as it was important for the people at that time, the very first members of the ( Church ), to seperate themselves from their people and this world; it’s just as important for me to do the same?
That seperation needs to be real and, needs to be seen as real by the people around you. Your friends, your family, your co-workers and even the Church members you attend Church with. These young ( Church members ) made mistakes; so will I and all the rest of believers but, the seperation from this world must be real and, if not, then the spirit of God is dead within you. If it was ever a time when these few people needed to let their seperation and devotedness to Christ it was right then. I’d say that it is the same with every believer. If people cannot see a change in you from the day of your new birth, then I’d say they more than likely; never will.
One more point. To whom do you have ( things in common with )? Your friends, your family, your Church, who? Is you relationship and walk with Christ obvious to the people around you?
These people had a defining moment in their lives, a nation, a world, even the people around them could see it and a choice was made not to fellowship with the things of old.
The next segment will be ( Acts 5 ) DESIRING THE BLESSINGS BUT; NOT WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE.