Acts chapter four. And when you reach Acts chapter four,
just signify by saying amen. In acts chapter four, we'll begin
with verse thirty- two. And I'm in the amplified Bible
tonight. So I know many of you are in the King James. So
read along with me. In verse thirty two, it says,
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
33. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them
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.
Let us pray.
Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for
the opportunity to be in Your house tonight. Father, let Your
Word go forth unhindered by the forces of flesh, by the
powers of darkness.
Hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see
You, and Father, not me. And as I decrease, I ask that You
would increase. And let the words of my mouth and the
mediation of my heart, Lord, be acceptable in Thy sight, oh
Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer. In Jesus' Name, amen.
You may be seated in the house of God.
When you look at everything that is said in this great chapter
of the book of Acts, God brings it to the conclusion of saying,
"Here is what I want my church to be. Here is what I want
my church to model. Here is what I want my church to look
All believers were one in heart and in mind. No one claimed
that any of his possessions were his own. But they shared
everything that they had. With great power the apostles
continued with the testimony of Jesus Christ. Much grace,
much favor, much loving kindness was given unto the church.
When we look at the church (glory to God) in the book of
Acts, this is what the New Testament church is supposed to
look like. This is what the New Testament church is
supposed to be like. We're supposed to mimic the first
church (glory to God) in the book of Acts.
There are three essential ingredients of the church in the book
of Acts. And the first thing was unity. The second thing was
generosity. And the third thing (glory to God) was that they
had a great witness about Jesus Christ, the testimony of who
When we look at this great book, there's nothing said about
doctrine. Many of us are looking at the doctrine of the
church. But when we look at the book of Acts and the first
church, there was nothing said about doctrine.
They all had all things common. And they gave to each one
as they had need. It's speaking of the church-the church in
it's real nature, the church in it's real personality, what the
church is really all about.
I'm supposed to be able to give to you. You're supposed to
be able to give to me. I'm supposed to be one with you.
You're supposed to be one with me. We're supposed to
testify of the grace and truth of Jesus Christ together. One
mind. One heart. The Bible says one faith, one Lord, one
baptism. It's all about oneness in the body of Christ. It's not
about individuality. But it's about togetherness.
First of all, the church is to have unity. All the believers were
of heart and one mind. What if fifty-five million Christians
got together in America, and we decided to pool together our
resources? What if we got together all fifty-five million of us,
and we decided to have one testimony? What if we pulled
together all fifty-five million of us and we believed the same
thing? Nothing would be impossible unto us. Unity is what
we are supposed to have.
In the book of Ephesians chapter four, in verse three it says,
"Be eager, and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony
and oneness of, and produce by the Spirit, in the binding
power of peace."
We ought to strive earnestly to keep oneness in the house of
God. I know that you got trials right now. I know that you got
tribulations right now. I know that you got something on your
mind right now.
But I'm supposed to feel you when you're going through.
You're supposed to feel me when I'm going through. I'm
supposed to rejoice when you rejoice. Do you hear what I'm
There was unity in the house of God. They were together.
They didn't have their own agenda. They weren't ambitious
to be exalted. Do you hear what I'm saying? But they looked
out for the good of each other. They watched each other.
They look after each other. That's what it's all about.
Listen. They had much grace given to them because of their
unity. Unmerited favor was given to them because they were
together. They were not afraid to share with each other.
In the body of Christ we've become afraid to share with each
other. Because sometimes people hide what they really have.
Oh, hello, somebody. But whatever they had, they bought it
and set it at the apostles' feet. They unified themselves.
You know what happens when we unify? When somebody
comes to bring deceit, the Holy Spirit is going to take care of
In chapter five of the book of Acts, Ananias and Sapphira
came walking in. Let me tell you something. When you
really share what you have, you don't have to worry about
nobody deceiving you about what they really got. Because
what's going to happen is, the Holy Ghost is going to expose
them for who they really are.
They dropped dead because they were not being truthful.
Don't worry about what somebody else has. You just give as
much as you can give, and let God take care of the rest.
Saints of God, they were unified. Do you know what that
means? That meant that they stood back to back. And when
the enemy came in, he was seen from every part of the circle.
Because there was oneness.
You've been thinking that you're in this thing all by yourself.
But somebody's just looking to be one with you.
Unity in the house of God. Don't just come to the house of
God just for you. But come to the house of God for
somebody else. Come to be a blessing and not just to get
blessed. Oh, I feel the Holy Ghost. Come to offer to God's
service. Come to unify with the saints. Come to be one with
the saints in the Spirit of God.
They had the same testimony. They put all their resources
together. They were of the same faith. There was no
denominationalism. There was nothing to separate them.
In Ephesians chapter four and verse ten, it says, "He who
descended is the very same as He who also hath ascended
high above all the heavens, that He, His Presence might fill all
things, the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest.
"And His gifts were varied. He Himself appointed and gave
men to us, some to be apostles, (special messengers), some
prophets, (inspired preachers and expounders), some
evangelists, (preachers of the gospels, traveling missionaries),
some pastors (shepherds of His flock), and teachers.
"His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the
saints, His consecrated people; that they should do the work
of the ministry, toward building up Christ's body, the church;
that it might develop until we all attain oneness in the faith,
and in the comprehension of the full and accurate knowledge
of the Son of God;
"That we might arrive at really mature manhood, the
completeness of personality, which is nothing less than a
standard height of Christ, on perfection, the measure of the
stature of the fulness of Christ, and the completeness found in
Oneness. Look at your neighbor and say, "Unify." Unify. It
would be amazing if we could unify. It would truly be
amazing if we could really come together. It would truly be
amazing if I could welcome you and you could welcome me.
It would be amazing. Not having respect of persons, but
oneness with the whole body.
Saints of God, the Lord is speaking. Earlier He said a house
divided cannot stand. No matter what's going on in your life,
stop trying to isolate yourself.
I was talking to my wife today. And I started saying some
things to her. And she just looked at me. I said, "I'm
expressing my feelings." And it was truly awkward a little
bit. Because I said, "I'm going to open up completely, and
just give it to you the way that it's in me."
Because I'm seeking that true oneness. I'm opening up
myself to any and everyone. I'm not going to put up a wall
because I fear that you might hurt me. I decided that I'm truly
crucified with Christ. Do you hear what I'm saying?
It's time to take the walls down. If someone hurts you, then
let the Lord deal with them. But if you truly want to be one,
then you're going to have to open up yourself. Do you hear
what I'm saying tonight?
Stop holding back your love because of fear of rejection.
Stop holding back your love because you fear that you're
going to be hurt, or you're going to look foolish. Open
yourself up for whatever is on it's way. That's how we're
going to attain unity and oneness in the body of Christ.
You've got something in your past that hurts you to the bone.
That's why you have that wall up. That's why that defense
mechanism triggers so fast. Take it down. Come on, let's
unify like the first church did.
The second thing is generosity. First it was unity, and then it
was generosity. No one claimed that their own possessions
were exclusively theirs. The Bible says if your brother asks
for your coat, give him your coat. It wasn't exclusively theirs.
Whatever they had need of, someone had it to provide.
Let me tell you this. Many of us hold up our own blessings.
Because somebody has a need. And God has ministered to
your heart. But you've held back your hand. But in the first
church there was generosity. Nothing was owned by one
person. They gave it freely, willingly, whole-heartedly,
without worrying about tomorrow, allowing tomorrow to take
care of itself.
"You talk like a foolish man, pastor."
Well, it takes the foolish things of the world to confound the
wise. Generosity. Does that bother you? Turning the other
cheek. Does that bother you? Does it bother you?
Whenever a preacher starts talking about the book of Acts,
especially these verses in chapter four, about giving to every
man as every man has need, there's a silence that begins to gri
the house of God. We clench our fists and hold on to
everything that we have, for dear life.
Release your hand, and let it go. It's going to return to you.
After some days it's going to come back to you. That's what
it said in Ecclesiastes. It'll come back. You don't have to
worry about it. And even when you give it, if you're really
still holding on to it in your heart... Hello, somebody.
(Tongues.) You're going to miss your blessing still. Release
it and let it go in the Name of Jesus.
They were generous. We're not generous any more. Listen at
that word. Generous. Can you reach inside of yourself and
say that, "I'm a generous person"? Or can you say within
yourself, "I'm really selfish"? It's real, isn't it? Or can you
really say that, "I'm in every line to get, but I'm never in a
line to give out"?
They were generous. And that's why the Holy Ghost moved
the way He moved. He looked at their hearts. And He saw
that they were able to give. Give from a pure heart, not
worrying about tomorrow, but letting tomorrow (I feel the
Holy Ghost tonight) take care of itself. If He can feed the
Generous. Generosity. Put it in your vocabulary.
Generosity. Give it away, and stop worrying about it. They
were generous. When you've been with Jesus, you can have
that mentality. When you truly been with Jesus, when Jesus
is really your supply, you can have that mentality.
I'm a generous person, but my wife has always been
generous. She would give suits out of her closet that I would
look at and say, "I know you're not giving that away."
She'd bake cakes. And I have to admit it. She said, "I'm
taking this to church."
And I said, "No you ain't."
It's tight, but it's true. Am I all by myself in the house of
God? Real generosity. She cooked dressing on
Thanksgiving. After it was all gone, she made some more,
and trying to give that away. That's real generosity.
Real generosity is when you really want to give so bad, and
you don't have anything to give. And it hurts on the inside.
That's real generosity. That's what they did. They sold their
land, everything they had, to be a part of the move of God.
That's what Jesus told that rich man. He came to Jesus and
said, "I want to follow You."
And Jesus said, "Go sell everything that you got." Hello
somebody. And that man went away sorrowful. And Jesus
said, "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a
needle than a rich man to make it into heaven."
We're not even rich, and we can't even pass through... You
don't hear me.
Saints, they were generous. They were generous.
Sometimes we have automobiles. And we won't even give
folks a ride to church. Hello, somebody. One person riding
in the car. What is it about us? What is it? We're just having
a little heart to heart tonight. What is it about us? What are
we truly holding on to? They were generous.
Went to Pitsview last night and preached. God moved by His
Spirit. Came around to give the offering. And when I put my
offering in, I looked into the plate. It wasn't nothing but
dollar bills up in there. All them folks up in that house. What
is it? What's on our minds? What is on our minds?
Generosity. When we're truly generous, the Kingdom of God
can truly go forth without any restrictions. It can go forth
without any restrictions.
When was the last time God spoke to you to give all that you
had, and you did it? When was the last time God didn't have
to speak to you, and told you, and you just gave all you had?
My God, my God. Where is our mentality?
They were generous. Generosity. That's what it's all about.
It's not about the preacher living in a mansion, driving a Rolls
Royce. That's what we're really worried about. Hello. Let
the Lord take care of that preacher if he's not doing the right
But when the congregation... Listen. If the people want to
buy that preacher a Rolls Royce, then let them do it. And you
hush it up about it.
It's so true. We're not only tight with what we have. We
went to be tight with what everybody else got. Don't give
that. But they didn't have that mentality.
They were establishing a work. And they knew that Jesus
was in it. When you know that Jesus is in it, it's good ground.
If it wasn't good ground, His Presence, it wouldn't even be
there. It'd be just as dry. But when He moves, you can know
that He is pleased. When He tells you and I to get it right
when we're not right, you know that He really loves us.
The third thing was that they had a great witness. In Acts
chapter four, and verse thirty three...
End of side 1
They had a great witness. They had a tremendous testimony.
And everybody could see it. But the testimony had to start
among them. See, we can't go out and have a real testimony,
except the testimony start among us. Do you hear what I'm
saying? It's got to start right here first. And then we got to
let them see it. But if it ain't real here, it ain't going to be real
there. Hello, somebody.
They had a great testimony. They saturated Jerusalem. Then
they went to Judea and Samaria. And then to the uttermost
parts of the world. They started at the house, and then they
took it out yonder.
Our testimony has got to be, when they walk through that
door, they can see the light. Do you hear what I'm saying?
It's got to be real here. Our love has got to be real here. Our
faith has got to be real here. Our testimony has got to be real
right here in the house of God, in the body of Christ. It's got
to be real right here. We got to be unified right here.
You know when a witnessing team goes out and they're not
really unified, they can't really be affective. Hello. But if
they leave here unified, they'll go out there unified, with a
great testimony. And each one of them can add to what the
other one has said. It'll be like a burning fire on the inside
trying to wait for their turn to speak, when it's real among the
saints of God.
Unity, generosity, and a great witness. That's the model
church. Unity, generosity, and a great witness. That's a
powerful thing. Can't no devil in hell stand against that. It's
time to unify.
You know, it's one thing when you're the pastor and people
have needs, and they come to you about their needs. They
expect the pastor to do something. But what if they come to
you? What you going to do? Hello, somebody. Are you
going to tell them it's too late, to come back tomorrow? Or
are you going to see what you can do?
And if you can't help them, can you at least make a phone
call? Hello, somebody. Can we really look out for each
other? Can we really fast for each other? You've got to fast
for each other. It's got to be real.
Sometimes I fast for you, and you don't even know it. Fast
for each other. Pray for each other. Don't just ask somebody
to pray for you, but pray for somebody else. Unify. That's
what it's time to do. It's time to get together. It's time to
come together on one accord, in one place, with one
testimony, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the
Is that your testimony tonight? Or is your testimony about
your lack? Or is it that Jesus is truly Lord, regardless of
what's going on in your life?
I know some folks that barely have a dime. But every time
you see them, they're always the same-on fire. Sick in their
body, and on fire. Still trying to tell you about the Lord. And
they the ones sick. That's their testimony.
What's your testimony? What's your testimony? Think
about it. (Tongues.) What's your testimony tonight?
(Tongues.) Where's your testimony? Is Jesus your
testimony, Him crucified and being raised from the dead? Is
He your testimony? Stay focused, stay focused, stay focused,
Is He your testimony tonight, that He sits on the right hand of
the Father interceding for us, that He shed His Blood on
Calvary? Can you be glad about it? I'm glad about it.
I want to see His face. I want to see His face one day. He
said only the pure in heart shall see God. I want my heart
pure. Because I want to see God. I don't have time to hold
nobody in heart with un-forgiveness, because I want to see
I don't have time to let these cares keep me down, to consume
my mind. I want to see God. I do. I want to sit at my
Savior's feet and worship and worship all day and all night,
and worship and worship and worship and worship Him.
That's my heart's desire. I don't care what's going on in my
life. I want to worship Him.