In Acts 5 we see the overflow of this anointing from Acts 4 in action here. Peters shadow was healing the sick. An overflow of the anointing gave birth to unusual miracles.
‘12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. 13 And of the rest durst, no man join himself with them: but the people magnified them. 14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.’
Now the devil was angry and arranged external threat to stop this move of God. But as you read in Acts 5 you could see that would not deter the church as Gamaliel advised the council that no move of God can be stopped by the threats or schemes or blackmail of men.
‘Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to naught. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
And so in Acts 6, the strategy was changed, the devil went for internal strife, as the best way to stop the church was not from outside but from inside for a 'kingdom divided against itself cannot stand'.
Acts 6:1-4 Documents how certain parts of the church were been neglected in the daily service and ministration.
‘1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word
In the church today, the word ‘neglect’ has been at the common root of most of the strife and little bickering that has been experienced here and there. "No one came looking for me...the pastor didn't call....they don't even reckon with my service in the church..."Little side bickering that may cause major divisions and which the church leadership must respond to decisively. No matter how insignificant, side comments and rumors are not to be wished away in the church. Responsive leadership must respond and be proactive in dealing with such complaints because what is neglected today may be at the root of a problem tomorrow. The roots of dissension and bitterness must be cut off before it grows. This was what the Apostles did; they responded swiftly and cut the root of any potential division.
And then the Church exploded in Acts 6:7. But much more the anointing that was only resident on the pulpit moved to the pews! Now it was not only the Apostles that were custodians of the anointing the believers too became a carrier of Gods power!
‘7 And the word of God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly, and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Stephen gave an earth-shaking message in Acts 7 making strong impression on a certain Saul who will later become Paul and then in Acts 8 Phillip exploded in signs and wonders so much that he was supernaturally led to preach the gospel to the minister of finance from Ethiopia
‘Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. ‘26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
From here onward nothing could limit the church again!
A united church cannot be contained! A united church cannot be limited!(TO BE CONTINUED)