by Tony Alamo
“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that JESUS began both to do and teach, Until the day in which HE [JESUS] was taken up, after that HE through the HOLY SPIRIT had given commandments unto the apostles whom HE had chosen: To whom also HE showed HIMSELF alive after HIS passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of GOD: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the FATHER, which, saith HE, ye have heard of ME. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the HOLY SPIRIT not many days hence” (Acts 1:1-5).
“But ye shall receive power, after that the HOLY SPIRIT is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto ME both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
JESUS knew that there would be great persecution against the church, against the brothers and sisters in the LORD. Therefore, they needed the Baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT, the fire, which gives the zeal to preach and to be able to endure the persecution which follows all on fire people of GOD. Many were murdered, including the very zealous Stephen, and many were put into prison for their zealous faith in CHRIST.1 They also had the power of GOD to keep their minds centered and meditating in Heaven, not on earth, after the HOLY SPIRIT came upon them.2JESUS gave commandments to the apostles whom HE had chosen by the SPIRIT. These commandments were no doubt instructions as to how to operate the only church of GOD on earth, the temple, the body of CHRIST. One of the commandments was to live according to GOD’S economy. Everybody today believes they are able to control their own lives, their own economy, but it doesn’t look at all as though they can do it.
The true economy of GOD is this: first of all, everyone must be saved (John 3:3-7). Acts 2:1 states, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Today, hardly anyone is together in the SPIRIT. They are not in the SPIRIT, of one accord, nor are they gathered in one place by the SPIRIT. Everyone is scattered, doing their own thing, and they are not following the commandments of the LORD. Then they wonder what is wrong.
There were one hundred twenty people that were Christians, including the eleven apostles and Mary, the mother of JESUS, who together, of one accord, waited for the promise of the FATHER in the name of JESUS. “And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, and began to speak with other tongues, as the SPIRIT of GOD gave them utterance” (Acts 2:2-4). Men from many countries observed this powerful work of GOD being done, and heard the one hundred twenty people speaking other languages, the wonderful works of GOD.
They thought they were drunk, but Peter, anointed and filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, began preaching to them. At the end of his message, he said, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that GOD hath made that same JESUS, whom ye have crucified, both LORD and CHRIST. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our GOD shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:36-41).
This is the economy of GOD, and it is the same today as it was then. The church that I pastor has operated this way for forty-eight years. We have never missed meals, we have always had a place to sleep, and we have always paid our bills. Everybody lives in their own apartment or house, and they all have their own furniture and appliances. The LORD instructed the apostles to tell all the newly born-again Christians filled with the HOLY SPIRIT to stick together because they are the Body of CHRIST.3 This was the first church. It was not the Catholic cult. The real church of GOD must be filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, or it cannot be the church of GOD.4 The members of the true church of GOD cannot lie, and this church will not have false doctrine, like the Catholic cult and other false religions.
When the SPIRIT of GOD moved into three thousand new souls, people made of dirt,5 they became filled with fear. They knew that it was GOD who had done this miracle to them. It was no big deal for them to give tithes and offerings.
Acts 3:2-8 shows another miracle. A man lame from his mother’s womb was sitting “at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising GOD” (Acts 3:3-8).
As Peter and John spoke unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple, the Sadducees came upon them and put them in jail, but GOD delivered them, and when they were let go, they went to their own company and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them (Acts 4:1-23).
“For to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, LORD, behold their threatenings: and grant unto THY servants, that with all boldness they may speak THY WORD, By stretching forth THINE hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of THY holy child JESUS. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, 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. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the LORD JESUS: and great grace was upon them all. 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, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 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, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 4:28-37).
The HOLY SPIRIT that was living now in all of these Christians had agreed to live according to GOD’S economy. Today, we do the same exact thing. We have carpenters, plumbers, electricians, bakers, farmers, cooks, drivers, mechanics, truckers, babysitters, and people of all trades so that we are able to support one another in the safety of Christian fellowship, which gives us a serene life beyond measure.
Our teachers would never teach your children that homosexuality is a third sexual preference, or tell your children that sex before marriage is okay. They would never condone abortion—murder, adultery, stealing, lying, or any type of sin.
We are able to live without paying enormous prices for people to labor for each other. However, in this perfect setting of Christian love in the Bible, we see a man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira (Acts 5:1). They did not trust the LORD to shield them through trials and persecutions, so they sold a possession and kept back part of the price for themselves. No doubt, they felt that persecution would separate them from the others so they would lose communication with the apostles and the elders. They were so weak that they decided to hold back some money for a nest egg to support themselves whenever they would backslide away from the church and the elders. They did not trust the LORD, so they lied to the HOLY SPIRIT that was dwelling in the apostles and all of the others (Acts 5:4). Because of that, they both dropped dead and were buried (Acts 5:1-10).
It is necessary for Christians to stay in the Body of CHRIST.6 We are the Body of CHRIST, the church. CHRIST has provided everything for us in the church. HE has given “some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of CHRIST: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the SON of GOD, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of CHRIST” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
People like Ananias and Sapphira were simply disciples, not apostles. However, they had the tendency to think that they were apostles, and they broke away from the hierarchy (leadership) of the church. If the followers of CHRIST are to continue in the church, they must follow in the Apostle’s doctrine. There can be no deviations. However, when persecution came and the people were sometimes scattered, they began believing they were the apostles instead of the disciples and no longer consulted the apostles. This is very wrong. If you fall away from the Apostles’ doctrine, you have fallen away from grace, and you have fallen away from the HOLY SPIRIT. You need to get back if you can. You can do this if you repent, if you haven’t gone too far.
The hierarchy is called and chosen for the purpose of your perfection. It is written in Ephesians 4:11-12 that “HE [JESUS] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” So how could you expect to become perfect if you left the church where the people responsible for your perfection are only there and nowhere else? So don’t despise those who rule over you. If you do, you fall away, and none ever come back. If you don’t know the LORD, then begin to know HIM now by saying this prayer:
My LORD and my GOD, have mercy upon my soul, a sinner. 1 I believe that JESUS CHRIST is the SON of the living GOD. 2 I believe that HE died on the cross and shed HIS precious blood for the forgiveness of all my former sins. 3 I believe that GOD raised JESUS from the dead by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT 4 and that HE sits on the right hand of GOD at this moment, hearing my confession of sin and this prayer. 5 I open up the door of my heart, and I invite YOU into my heart, LORD JESUS. 6 Wash all of my filthy sins away in the precious blood that YOU shed in my place on the cross at Calvary. 7 YOU will not turn me away, LORD JESUS; YOU will forgive my sins and save my soul. I know because YOUR WORD, the Bible, says so. 8 YOUR WORD says that YOU will turn no one away, and that includes me. 9 Therefore, I know that YOU have heard me, and I know that YOU have answered me, and I know that I am saved. 10 And I thank YOU, LORD JESUS, for saving my soul, and I will show my thankfulness by doing as YOU command and sin no more.11
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Ananias and Sapphira Lied To The Holy Spirit footnotes:
1. Acts 5:12-20, 7:2-60, 8:1-4, 12:1-17, 14:19-20, 16:19-34, 2 Cor. 11:23-27, Heb. 11:35-38, Rev. 1:9, 2:8-10, 6:9-11 return
2. John 14:15-21, 26-27, Rom. 8:35-39, Col. 3:1-3, 1 John 4:4 return
3. Acts 2:42-47, 20:28-30 return
4. Luke 24:46-49, John 14:15-17, Acts 4:29-35, Rom. 8:6-10 return
5. Gen. 2:7, 18:27, 1 Kings 16:2, Job 4:17-19, 10:8-9, 13:12, Psa. 22:29, 103:14-16, 146:3-4, Eccl. 3:19-21, 12:7, Isa. 64:8 return
6. John 15:1-8, Rom. 12:1, 4-8, 1 Cor. 12:4-28, Eph. 2:14-22, 4:1-7, 11-16, 5:23-32 return
1. Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:10-12, 23 return
2. Matt. 26:63-64, 27:54, Luke 1:30-33, John 9:35-37, Rom. 1:3-4 return
3. Acts 4:12, 20:28, Rom. 3:25, I John 1:7, Rev. 5:9 return
4. Psa. 16:9-10, Matt. 28:5-7, Mark 16:9, 12, 14, John 2:19, 21, 10:17-18, 11:25, Acts 2:24, 3:15, Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:3-7 return
5. Luke 22:69, Acts 2:25-36, Heb. 10:12-13 return
6. I Cor. 3:16, Rev. 3:20 return
7. Eph. 2:13-22, Heb. 9:22, 13:12, 20-21, I John 1:7, Rev. 1:5, 7:14 return
8. Matt. 26:28, Acts 2:21, 4:12, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 return
9. Matt. 21:22, John 6:35, 37-40, Rom. 10:13 return
10. Heb. 11:6 return
11. John 5:14, 8:11, Rom. 6:4, I Cor. 15:10, Rev. 7:14, 22:14 return