【Bible Study】Acts 05: What comes from man is corrupted, what comes from God is Incorruptable


In this chapter, in Jerusalem, there was a great revival that was started by Peter. However, these things are usually like a rollercoaster; people are very fervent for a while, and then the excitement all drops.

I find that the church is very eager to embrace revivals. If you study the history of Christian revivals, you will find that this chapter is very commonly used. People have their own aspirations on how revivals should be, but you must know that God doesn't like this kind of noise.

People who study history are quite intelligent. When Paul was studying for a doctorate, his professor was none other than Gamaliel. In his time, Gamaliel was like a teacher of Social Sciences, and was very smart. Although Gamaliel was a Pharisee, what he said in this chapter is very interesting.

But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:34-39 NIV)

Paul followed Gamaliel and learned from him. If Paul was no good, how would Gamaliel accept him as his student? If a person's purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. So how do we know if things are of human origin, or of God? It is too hard to tell. I am always very concerned about whether the things I do are or human origin or of God. I fear that I do things in the way of humans. I cannot be like Peter, or else it will fail.

Everytime we, or the church, should make decisions, we need to analyze if it is by God or by human. It is a very difficult concept. I don't want to take our church on a rollercoaster of revivals. I want to do what God wants.

When I wrote the 101 course, I struggled for 3 months. When I wrote the 201 course, I struggled for 6 months. I was trying to find out what the will of God was.

If their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, it will not fail.

Some things come from man, and some things come from God

Luke followed Paul, and was very sure that the things he did came from God. Paul's gospel and letters have impacted churches all over the world for thousands of years, hence, they were kept in the Bible.

Peter knew that Jesus was the Messiah. But when Jesus told him that he was going to go to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and be buried, Peter was reluctant and rebuked him. He forgot that Jesus was going to be resurrected.

Earlier, Jesus also told Peter that his name would be Peter, he would build the church on the rock, and that the powers of hell would not be able to overcome it. Later, he told Peter that Satan got behind him.

Why? Because Peter was trying to please people, and the records show it. Many things are done from human origin. Just because Peter did it, doesn't mean it came from God.

Don't think that I have everything right either. I always want to dip my toes in the water before I explore something new. I don't have any idea of the path ahead, but I make my decisions as I go, pondering, asking God for guidance.

For example, praying loudly is very emotional, but in the end, it got property management and even police involved. But it is just emotions, even if it feels good. With these adjustments, I began to go more and more on the right path. I prayed to God to hinder me if I made bad decisions. If God wanted to stop us, he would have stopped Eve from eating the fruit.

Understanding God in theology is very important.

How many things are of human origin? Or how many are of God? If all of them were from God, that would be perfect. When people ask God for advice, they have already made the decision in their heart. God knows that he couldn't stop them if he wanted to. If you want to do something, do it. Good luck.

This is the viewpoint of Gamaliel, but actually, I agree with it a lot.

Were the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira from God?

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” (Acts 5:1-8 NIV)

I think this question is a little tricky. Does God care whether you tithe or not? There are many people who have decieved God, and haven't died, so does it really matter?

What kind of God is our God? He is very generous, and doesn't really care about money. Some people wonder how Peter knew that Ananias had kept some of the money for himself. I feel that he must have been inspired by the Holy Spirit. Can the Holy Spirit really reveal this? Whether this was inspired by Satan or the Spirit of God, no one can say for sure.

I have hosted some newcomers who say that the money collected by their church was not used to build the church, but for eating and drinking together. But I know one thing. If it comes from human origin, it will fail. So if they are eating and drinking together, they will have a problem. If it comes from human, it will be corrupted, and corrupted by God.

There is no point in this kind of church. God's kingdom is not concerned with eating and drinking, but building up the church and becoming like God. If it was useful, Jesus would have done it already.

So my conjecture is this: Ananias and Sapphira's deaths were not of God. Then how did they die? Because they were considerate of human needs and not of God's. People in the church need to know that Satan is the one who is decieving us. We need to know God with all our understanding and stand up against Satan's lies.

Is the sharing of all things from God?

The sharing of all things does not come from God. In the Bible, there was never any logic, because it would have appeared in Moses' time. Peter invented this himself, and any idea that comes from a human will be corrupted.

We need to know that this gospel cannot be added to or set aside, because if you do, you will lose your share in the promise. So I want to say that this idea cannot come from God.

Is great fear seizing the whole church from God?

Another thing I am curious about is that great fear seized the whole church. If this happened, would you still be brave enough to go to that church? What is there to fear at our church? If you fear God, then nothing bad will happen to you. I am confused.

If you are a normal person, doing normal things, is there anything to fear?

Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. (Acts 5:11 NIV)

If you think this is from God, wouldn't all of us be afraid right now? The result is that no one else dared to join them. I think that Peter did a very confusing and warped thing. It must have come from him, and all who rely on the flesh belong to Satan. Isn't that scary?

Become a normal person, and don't be fearful. Why do you think there is anything to fear?

More and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. Is this from God?

Why is this under question? In Jesus' time, many people followed him, into the thousands. But when Jesus died at the cross, there were not many people there. When Jesus ascended, there were about 500 people watching him. But those who returned to Jerusalem to pray were around 120 people.

I used to be envious of churches that had large congregations. I used to think that more people meant a better church. Not anymore. I go into those churches and I see a whole bunch of people doing business, networking, and selling products. There were also people setting up dates and trying to meet their "soulmates".

I knew we could not have that in the church. God does not want a multitude of people. He needs people to build the church, who love him, and are willing to sacrifice themselves for him.

And age doesn't matter, because Joseph was very young. Furthermore, all those old people died in the wilderness and weren't saved.

Can you pick out some people who love God like those in our church? I don't think so. I set a vision for our church; I want people who are treasures, who love God. I see many churches getting new believers all the time, for people to pray to enter heaven. Am I handing out admissions to heaven?

Peter's church had many new believers join him every day. But everything that comes from human desire is bound to be corrupted. In Paul's time, he had to bring donations from around the world to the church in Jerusalem, because it ended up in poverty. Everybody sold what they had, and eventually all the money was used up. They didn't end with anything more than mere religion.

The church in Jerusalem was very angry with Paul, because of his letters. Can these people be Christians? They were not only poor, but they were lacking spiritually. Peter raised a group of gluttons, but now they had nothing at all. Can these things not be corrupted?

All of them were healed. Is this from God?

One thing is from God: all those who were sick and tormented by impure spirits were healed.

Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. (Acts 5:16 NIV)

So Peter did a whole variety of things, some of his own creation, and others from God. That is what happens when a human tries to do things their way. All sorts of reformations have appeared throughout history. But even if the churches became better, there are still human elements combined with those of God. This is the tragedy of this age.

In the future, we don't want human elements in the church. We are still learning and changing, and there is a ton of work to be done. We need to run the race, and understand God.

Don't think that solely because you are a human you cannot do things right. Peter still accomplished a few right things in the church. So, after he was captured, an angel of God freed Peter and commanded him to "stand in the temple courts" and "tell the people all about this new life".

God's will is for us to tell the gospel of life to everybody! The gospel of life is for us to get rid of the desires of the flesh, to attain the fullness of God, and to restore the image of God. And then I tell you, if we are persecuted for the name of Christ, we are worthy.

Being persecuted for the name of Christ is from God.

If we are persecuted for the name of Christ, if we are shamed, if we are wronged, it is normal. We must know that the world hates Christ and hates God, without reason. He did no wrong. If we continue to walk this path, we must choose to battle against the greatest enemy of God, Satan.

Learning a lesson from history.

What is from God, and what is from man?

We no longer want to pursue the so-called "great revivals". What we pursue is the apostle Paul’s down-to-earth approach, building the glorious church of God step by step, and gradually dealing with the evil habits of the flesh in us. There are so many evil habits of the flesh in us. If you are willing to deal with them, I will help you. If you are unwilling to deal with them and want to be garbage in the eyes of God; carnal, extremely selfish, and only caring about yourself, then I wish you good luck.

While other churches are pursuing numbers, we want to help one, two or a dozen people. Because if you can't help one, how can you help ten thousand?

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