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Author Topic: Acts 4:32-37, 5:1-11  (Read 2913 times)
JudgeNot
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Jesus, remember me... Luke 23:42


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« on: January 26, 2004, 11:29:41 AM »

I think the following is an interesting piece of history from the early church (from the KJV):

Book of Acts, Chapter 4:
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 he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
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 down 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.
Book of Acts, Chapter 5:
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
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.
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?
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.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
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.
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.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.


The text has obvious lessons; the most apparent being the consequences of lying to the Holy Spirit.  It also teaches us, more covertly, that there is a Godly way of managing assets.  
However, I have another question:  Do these passages also point to socialism (or even communism in its purest form) as being a proper way to live our lives?
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2004, 04:58:55 PM »


Book of Acts, Chapter 4:
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 he possessed was his own; but they had all things common....

However, I have another question:  Do these passages also point to socialism (or even communism in its purest form) as being a proper way to live our lives?


JudgeNot:

This is an excellent question but the words "socialism" and "communism" are most inappropriate. The heart of communism is atheism, therefore it is called "dialectical materialism". In any event, communism never practised this, and always had an oligarchy at the top keeping the masses in subjection and poverty.

The fact is that the first church which was in Jerusalem was so powerfully under the control of the Holy Spirit, that these believers literally believed what we believe intellectually and only sometimes apply practically. They believed that the local assembly is a family, since all born-again believers are in "the family of God" -- "the household of God" (Eph 2:19; 3:15). Therefore the "family" should share everything.

That is why it was only normal and "natural" [supernaturally natural] that Jerusalem church "family members" share their earthly possessions with each other, just as any human family gladly and willingly shares everything if there is genuine love within the household.

The Jerusalem church is presented to all believers of all ages as THE MODEL CHURCH, and that is why we have such a detailed description of everything they taught and did.  Christ had said to his disciples "ALL YE ARE BRETHREN" and " A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE UNTO YOU, THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU,THAT YE ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW THAT YE ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YE HAVE LOVE ONE TO ANOTHER" (Jn.13:34,35).  Notice how the Lord repeaated the same phrase "Love one another" three times in two sentences, since He knows our selfish hearts, and how difficult it is for us to truly love one another as He loved us. Therefore this sharing of worldly goods in the Jerusalem church was an expression of God's love to other believers through total unselfishness. This was "BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST".

Today, we have a lot of selfishness among believers, and once Sunday services are over, there is often little or no connection with others in the same local church.  This reflects the fact that worldly thinking controls Christians today more than the Holy Spirit.  In a genuinely Spirit-filled Church, there would be absolutely no lack to any individual, since those with more than enough would share willingly and lovingly with those with little of this world's goods.  God would richly bless such a church, since this would be obedience to His "New Commandment".

God's plan for local church families is revealed in the book of Acts.  Modern Christianity has departed from this, although some Christians, such as the Mennonites, the Hutterites, and the Amish [WHO HAVE ISOLATED THEMSELVES FROM MODERN CHRISTIANITY], try to maintain this type of "church-family" structure according to God's Word.
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JudgeNot
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2004, 05:34:13 PM »

Quote
“…the words "socialism" and "communism" are most inappropriate. The heart of communism is atheism, therefore it is called "dialectical materialism".”

I knew I’d get that response from someone, and I do agree with your assessment.  I just couldn’t think of a more “apt” description of the communal living the passages advocate.  Smiley

Thanks, Sower, for you thoughtful response - it makes sense.  Hopefully the thread will start a semi-heated discussion.  (Michael_legna & Petro are soooo entertaining when they get going.)  Grin
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ollie
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2004, 08:41:02 PM »

Christ told a certain rich man to sell what he had and give to the poor in order to gain access to the kingdom of heaven

Paul tells us that if we see someone have need of material things and we ignore it then we do not have that which is greater than faith or hope. It is charity.

Now we have the church practicing loving one another in Acts. Those that are prosperous sharing with those that are not prosperous, therefore no one is in want.

Christ said pick up your cross and follow me and all these things shall be given you that you have need of, food, clothing, shelter, etc. We are not to be concerned for them. Perhaps this is God's way of how these material needs, things, are given through all having all things common so want does not interfere with our carrying the cross for Christ.

Just some thoughts on it.


Ollie
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Reba
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2004, 10:35:22 PM »

Hey i thought i responded to this  post early this morning.... From here the site has been having problems today....



Judge,

there was NO government involvement in what they did.  Just because some things were recorded does that imply they are to be followed?
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JudgeNot
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Jesus, remember me... Luke 23:42


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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2004, 11:39:20 PM »

Reba,
Have you got the hiccups???   Grin

I'm NOT talking about "government involvement"!!!!!  Lord save us ALL from government involvement!!!!  Did you say that just to raise the hairs on the back of my neck?Huh  (Hey -did you do that on purpose?  Was I married to you once???)

I'm asking about a communal way of life.  If that means a government run way of life, I offically quit!!!   Lord come for me now!!!!!! Grin
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Reba
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2004, 12:09:27 AM »

 A tall glass of water and the hicups are gone! hehe  told you it was messed up  Tongue


Quote
However, I have another question:  Do these passages also point to socialism (or even communism in its purest form) as being a proper way to live our lives?

Socialism and communism are forms of government.  Angry so you brought it up.  

Scary huh ya never really know who is posting!


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Fewarechosen7F
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2004, 02:29:12 AM »

Quote
The text has obvious lessons; the most apparent being the consequences of lying to the Holy Spirit.  It also teaches us, more covertly, that there is a Godly way of managing assets.  
However, I have another question:  Do these passages also point to socialism (or even communism in its purest form) as being a proper way to live our lives?

May be that we should first learn the lesson of being of one mind. :)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2004, 02:56:45 AM by Fewarechosen7F » Logged

Anne
ollie
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2004, 06:40:59 PM »

Quote
The text has obvious lessons; the most apparent being the consequences of lying to the Holy Spirit.  It also teaches us, more covertly, that there is a Godly way of managing assets.  
However, I have another question:  Do these passages also point to socialism (or even communism in its purest form) as being a proper way to live our lives?

May be that we should first learn the lesson of being of one mind. Smiley
That also should be had in common. Of one mind in Christ, that is.
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