Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Acts Church: "None Among Them was in Need"

Whenever I open my bible and pass through the book of Acts, I often come across this powerful phrase: None among them (those connected with the Acts church) was in need." Powerful! I often stop and look afar and reflect, and then God opens my mind and the Acts church suddenly appears right before me, as it were. God often does that when we talk.

God is not a liar. When he says "none" or "no one" in the Acts church was in need, he means it. You can count on it. Unlike today, you hear of church members who go bankrupt or jobless, or who are starving, or who are sick and do not have the means to seek a doctor and all the church could do is "pray" for them. And then they justify that by saying prayer is powerful and its the best help anyone can have. 

Jesus did pray a lot, but he didn't just pray for everyone. He fed multitudes and healed all the sick (and I mean all) and produced money when needed. So did the Acts church. They didn't just pray for the needy. In fact, none among them was in need because the church was able to provide all their needs. Today, Christian churches are known for solicitations or begging. And they're not ashamed of it. There are church buildings that were built through begging, and they're proud of it, calling it the power of God.

In fact, I know a lot of pastors and their families who live with poverty-line salaries. And they accept that as God's will. In the bible, nobody in church begged or lacked finances. None among them was in need. NONE.

No wonder nobody listens seriously to churches anymore. People join churches to escape boredom, problems, or be applauded on stage or recognized for doing this and that, nothing more. No one joins churches to surrender everything "at the apostles feet, and the apostles in turn gave to all according to their needs."

The Apostles Used Offerings for People's Daily Needs

Today, they use offerings to build church buildings, projects, and other things like that. Not the Acts church. It's priority was the people's needs. People seriously connecting with the church were able to "meet daily at the temple and in homes" because their needs were met daily. Imagine that? Believers then met "daily," not just Sundays. For sure, their needs then were no different from the needs of church people today. They also needed to feed their families and send their kids to school and pay some bills. 

But they were not stuck to some job or employment so that they could only attend church on Sundays. The Word says, they met daily. That's God's plan for true believers. Today, church people get to enjoy church only on Sundays because their companies or employers own their lives from Monday to Saturday, more than 8 hours a day. In the Philippines, a lot have to work abroad and mess up their lives there just to have food on the table. And they never question that--they think it's God's will for them. Anyway, churches and fellowships in the Middle East were instrumental to the salvation of thousands, they reason, so it's probably God's will for us to work and work there.

But if you go back to the bible and do the basics there, you'd see that God has a simple formula so that no one in church will be in need--if we radically believe the Word. The problem is, no one dares believe this, and Christians would rather continue with their usual routine, enjoy the comfort and safety, rather than risk God's radical ways and formulas. And their theologians would scare them with doctrines and human theologies about the "dangers" of God's pure ways. So they stay in Egypt and think it's good to build there and totally forget about the Promise Land. So they all die in Egypt, or in the wilderness (because while they try to make some steps going to the Promise Land, their hearts are still in Egypt), thinking they have done God's will.

They prefer the onions and meat and spices of Egypt. In other words, they want to just beg and solicit to have church funds and pray for their poor brethren, which James says is dead faith. They're just content at being slaves of their bosses 6 days a week and giving God one day. They don't want to bother with the flowing honey and milk ("flowing" denotes a continuous free supply) of Canaan.

Acts Church Secret

The secret of the Acts church was:
  1. They surrendered all their material possessions at the apostles' feet.
  2. No one claimed any ownership to anything. They all shared everything and considered all in the church as rightful users of church properties. Of course, this was administered by the leadership of the apostles and prophets. 
  3. They allowed the apostles to distribute the money to any who had need. No questions asked.
  4. Instead of going to employment daily, they met daily and devoted themselves to the apostles' teachings,  fellowship, communion, plus prayer. They did nothing but that. 
  5. They sold their goods (2.45). They had "goods" they sold. The Acts church was into marketing. We get some idea of this in Paul's "tent making." In Greek, "Selling their properties and goods" (huparxis) denotes proprietorship. They were in business. No wonder they never solicited or begged.
You see, the reason why they never begged and were able to give to each one according to his or her need was that, they donated their wealth to the apostles and they did a business. 

If you're radical enough to believe this, your church should be doing a business. For me, God designed network marketing business for the church. It's perfect for the church. This business became available in these last days for a reason. It's the ideal business to be in if you want money for Kingdom building use because it gives the potential to earn big with a small capital. It's power made big in weakness.

Of course, you need to look for a respectable networking company and business. Pray, do your research well, and then step out in faith once God gives you the go signal.