When the people heard the word of God from Peter, they decided to stay together as one in the early church. You must learn to live together with others (peaceful co-existence) as one in the church, State, and Nation; as people in the early church did. The Holy Spirit gave full punishment (death) to Ananias and Sapphira when they defrauded the church to commit crimes such as telling lies, fraud, cheating, stealing, offering bribes, or any form of corruption/examination malpractices otherwise they will be severely punished by the Holy Spirit as it happened to Ananias and Sapphira. You must always report criminals like fraudsters, 419ers, crooks, and all those who commit examination malpractices to the appropriation authorities for full punishment. Jesus used the Holy Spirit to help Peter fight and eliminate fraud in the Church. You must learn to pray to Jesus to use the Holy Spirit to help you Peter fight and eliminate fraud in the Church and our Nation.
Togetherness in the early Church (Acts 2:41-47)
After Peter’s speech on the day of Pentecost, about three thousand Jews who had come to celebrate the feast of Pentecost became Christians and did not go back to where they came from. They stayed in Jerusalem with the apostles. They formed the early Church. They’re social and religious characterized by four things: Togetherness; fraud; murmuring and the selection of the deacons. There was a sense of togetherness and belonging among members of the early church. They were of one heart and mind. They did everything in common. They worshipped and prayed together. They celebratedtheLord’sSupper(Holy Communion) together. They all gathered to hear the apostles preach about Jesus. They shared everything and nobody said what he had was his own. The rich among them sold their property and brought the proceeds to a common fund that was administered by the apostles. The apostles use the money to meet the needs of everybody.
Fraud in the early Church(Acts 5:1-11)
‘Fraud ‘ is a form of cheating or stealing that results from dishonesty. It is a way of denying others their share of the Church, State, or Nation through deceit and corruption. Nowadays, people in our churches and society engage in widespread fraud to enrich themselves. Some people who collect tithes for the church or taxes for our Nation keep part of the money collected for their personal use. Such acts are fraudulent. As fraud(bribery and corruption) is rampant today in our churches and nation, so it happened in the early church.
Not all the members of the early Church were honest. Some of them, like Ananias and his wife Sapphira, were bad people. The two of them agreed to sell their property and bring all the money to the common fund. But after they had sold the property, they surrendered part of the money and kept the rest for their use. The husband came first and lied to Peter that he had brought the entire amount of money. Peter told him that by defrauding the Church, he had lied to the Holy Spirit. Immediately, Ananias fell and died. The people carried him away and buried him. After a while, Sapphira came and also lied that they (husband and wife) had brought the entire amount. Immediately, she also died and was buried beside her husband. And great fear came upon all the members of the early Church.
Murmuring in the early Church(Acts 6:1-2)
To murmur is to whisper in low tones to express displeasure; especially when a group of people realize that things are not being done the right way the authorities are partial or they are being discriminated against. To murmur is also to grumble to show discontent. We grumble and write in the daily newspapers to complain when our institutions, local Government, or State are neglected by the Federal authorities. We become unhappy and grumble when our parents and teachers show more love for one child than the other. Murmuring, grumbling, and unhappiness in the church, State, or Nation can result from partiality or discrimination. There was discrimination among the members of the early Church.”Discrimination is the act of giving preferential and special treatment to a selected group of people while denying others their rightful share, treatment, or privilege. Discrimination is bad when practiced in the church or nation and can lead to social unrest (militancy) with unpleasant consequences.
Discrimination in the early church came about the distribution and other things. Those among them who were Jews from Jerusalem and Palestine were given special treatment. For instance, they were food and other things that they needed. But Jews, where Jerusalem and Palestine (Grecian Jews) especially the widows, were treated differently. They were discriminated against. For instance, they were not given the food and other things that they requested. As a result, the Grecian Jews murmured and complained bitterly about the discrimination.
Selection of the Seven Deacons (Acts 6:7-7).
To solve the problem of discrimination or partiality in the distribution of food and other items among the early Christians, the apostles discussed matters. Peter said the apostles could not leave the work of God to supervise the distribution of goods. Therefore, he advised that they should choose seven men(deacons) who would supervise the distribution of the goods, and ensure that nobody was discriminated against. Peter then stated the qualities of the seven deacons: First, they should be men of good repute, that is, men of good character. Second, they should be men of wisdom and understanding. Third, they should be men filled with the Holy Spirit.
After announcing the qualities of the would-be deacons, the members of the early Church chose seven men to become deacons.They were Stephen,PhilipProchorsu,Nicanor,Timon,Parmenas and Nicolaus.With the choice of the seven deacons, the discrimination and the grumbling in the Church stopped
Religious and Moral Lessons
God wants you to fight and eliminate fraud and corruption in the Church and our Nation. You all know that there is so much fraud and corruption in the Church and the nation. But you are all afraid and lack the spiritual courage to fight and eliminate it. Only Jesus can give us the spiritual courage to do it.
Therefore, God wants all of you to pray to Him through Jesus to give you the spiritual courage to fight and eliminate fraud and corruption in the Church and our Nation.
God wants you to avoid discrimination in the Church and society: You all know that there is widespread discrimination in the Church and society. There is rampant discrimination based on religion, denomination, race, tribe, nationality, and gender. But the problem is how to successfully avoid such. Some people have tried to avoid such and failed. This is because they did not pray to Jesus to give them the spiritual courage to avoid discrimination. God, therefore, wants all of you to call upon to give you the spiritual courage to successfully avoid discrimination in the Church and in the society, to promote peaceful co-existence oneness in the Church and Nation.
Discrimination in the Church and society is bad because it promotes division instead of unity and peaceful co-existence. You must learn to pray to Jesus to help you, along with the Holy Spirit avoid discrimination since it promotes division instead of unity and peaceful co-existence in the Church and society. The seven deacons were chosen because they were filled with the Holy Spirit which had given them good character and wisdom. As you grow up you should learn to ask Jesus to give you good character and wisdom to become a leader in the Church or Nation. During National elections in our country, we should endeavor to chaos men whom the Holy Spirit had given good character, wisdom, and understanding for our progress, prosperity peaceful coexistence as a Nation.
After Peter’s speech, people, about 3000 of them, stayed together (peaceful co-existence) to form the early church. There was a sense of togetherness and belonging among members of the early Church. The rich among them sold their property and brought all the proceeds to a common fund that was administered by the apostles. They all lived a communal life. There were however some bad people among them. Ananias and Sapphira, who were rich, sold their property and held back part of the proceeds that were meant for the church. Ananias and Sapphira denied committing fraud to Peter. Fraud is a criminal act of telling lies to cheat and steal which is a sign of dishonesty. The Holy Spirit gave full punishment(death) to Ananias and Sapphira who committed the crime(fraud). The Holy Spirit will punish us, like Ananias and Sapphira, if we engage in such fraudulent acts like telling lies, stealing, cheating, examination malpractices, or any form of bribery and corruption against the Church, State, or Nation. God wants all of you to pray to Him through Jesus to use the Holy Spirit to help you refrain from committing any fraudulent acts against the church, State, or Nation to avoid His wrath. For He (the Holy Spirit) would punish all those who are not Godfearing and who engage in fraud and corruption like He did to Ananias and Sapphira.As much as there was fraud, so much so was there discrimination in the early church. The discrimination led to murmurings in the early church. The discrimination came about during the distribution of food and other things. The problem of discrimination was solved by the appointment of the seven deacons. God doesn’t want any of us to practice discrimination in our lives; since doing so, can lead to unpleasant consequences in the church, home, school, community, State, or Nation.