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POWER TO BE WITNESSES.pdf

POWER TO BE WITNESSES.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT


" And when they hail prayed, the place was shaken wheie they were as-
sembled together; and they were all felled with the Holy Ghost, and they
spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that be-
liei ed 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 apostle 1 s feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need." ACTS iv. 31-35.
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT


" And when they hail prayed, the place was shaken wheie they were as-
sembled together; and they were all felled with the Holy Ghost, and they
spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that be-
liei ed 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 apostle 1 s feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need." ACTS iv. 31-35.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 02, 2013
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POWER TO BE WITNESSES. BY REV.

WILLIAM ARNOT " And when they hail prayed, the place was shaken wheie they were assembled together; and they were all felled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that beliei ed 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 apostle 1 s feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need." ACTS iv. 31-35. THESE feeble Christians in the upper room moved the Hand that moves the world. The place was shaken, but not the people. The ground trembled, but they had found another resting-place. God is our refuge. " When they had prayed, the place was shaken." It is after, and in answer to the prayers of his people, that the Lord arises to shake the earth. Quick and strong vibrations have of late been felt in the political sphere. Some mighty thrones have fallen under the shock, especially the anomalous throne of Peter s pre tended successor at Rome. The supports of the Pope s temporal power in Austria and France were succes sively undermined, and the kingdom that leant on them has accordingly fallen. Prayers have long been ascending to the Lord of hosts for the downfall of that great tyranny, and at last the sword that has often been stained with the blood of saints has been wrenched from the usurper s hand.

The shaking of the ground after the prayer of this persecuted company was a sign that their prayer had been heard. They had expressly acknowledged God as the maker of heaven and earth. In answer to this portion of their prayer, he gives them a token that al mighty power is at hand for their protection. The commotions of our day are encouraging rather than otherwise to the disciples of Christ: " He that believeth shall not make haste." Hollow hypocrisies are shaken down, in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain erect (Heb. xii. 27). But besides this symbol of power, a more specific answer was given to their request; for "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word with boldness." They did not fear their enemies, but they distrusted themselves; They dreaded not dan ger, but they dreaded lest danger should shake them from their steadfastness. Now they have obtained what they asked, and they are at ease at ease as is the magnet of the compass on board ship in a surging sea steady when all else is moving fixed because loose fixed to its pole in the distant heavens, and all its holds slackened from below. The steadiest thing on a shaking world is a disciple whose life is hid with Christ in God, and whose heart is loosened from its cleaving to the dust. His weight hangs on heaven,

roo The CJiurfli in the House. and the shaking of the earth under his feet does not imperil his position, or disturb his repose. The apostles stood forth as leaders. They were en dued with great power; and yet all that was required of them was to be witnesses of a fact. Their power was exerted in giving " witness of the resurrection of

the Lord Jesus." Christ had specially promised them power to be his witnesses, and now that promise was fulfilled. Peter has recovered from his weakness now. It is no more " I know not the man." The main characteristic of their witnessing was not great eloquence, or great learning, but great power. When you travel by night through a mining district, you see mighty volumes of flame throbbing fitfully from the mouth of lofty furnaces, and illuminating for miles around the nocturnal sky. This phenomenon is the ordinary accompaniment of power, but it is not the power. You must approach the bottom of the furnace, and examine whether miniature streams of white hot lava are coursing forth in prepared channels along the smoking ground. This this is power. The heat in the heart of the furnace is melting the ore, and the metal, separated from its dross, is flowing out pure. The great flickering flame is not by itself the proof of power. In like manner there is often a blaze issuing from a really effective ministry of the gospel, which attracts the gaze of a miscellaneous multitude; but there is also sometimes such flame flung up against the clouds where there is no melting heat below. We should not despise the conspicuous and dazzling ac companiments, for they may be the sparks that nat urally and necessarily rise from a melting heat; but neither should we trust in them, for they may be the pithless flash from blazing straw. God grant the great power in secret, with or without the visible demonstration. The power seems to have been a special gift be stowed upon the apostles, but a suitable portion was imparted also to the whole company, "great grace was upon them all." A specific example of the grace displayed by the disciples is immediately recorded the grace of liberality and brotherly love. This is a great grace, and, like other great things, rare.

Poiver to be Witnesses. 101 They abandoned themselves at that time to a ruling passion. They did out-of-the-way things; they were singular people. If they turned the world upside down, they had themselves first of all undergone the same change. Instead of the native and habitual greed of the old man, gravitating to self as matter gravitates to the ground, there appeared the self-sacrificing love of the new man the man created anew in Christ Jesus for the very purpose of producing fruits like these. In this new appetite the new man takes after Christ. Ev ery creature after his kind, and the new creature too. It is good to be singular in the world, when the singu larity consists in greater conformity to the Saviour s will and way. Not singularity for its own sake that is a contemptible thing; but the courage to obey the law of Christ, although obedience should make you singular. The disciples now experienced the truth of the Mas ter s prediction, " In the world ye shall have tribula tion." No promise had been given of exemption from danger. The world was not so changed that the dis ciples should not need defence; but they were so changed that they possessed within their own souls a complete defence against the world s assault. L Their protection consisted of these two wove*nifcto^ ckl& namely, courage to bear witness of Christ, and brotherly love among themselves. Towards those who werc\ without, unflinching courage; towards those who w.ojre within, open-handed charity. The fejorld had cause to say two things with equal emphasis regarding them first, behold how these Christians defy us; and, second^ behold how these Christians love each otr\or, Alas for the Church in our day! Surely ^ Wfe , are weak on the two points where they were strong cour

age to bear witness for Christ, and fervent charity among ourselves. The atmosphere of the society in which Christians live seems to have grown thicker in these last days. It is like a frozen sea, in which all things grow hard and cold. The breath of life seems to freeze. A melting is needed the baptism of fire. 1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books 2. ALL WRITINGS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=1000

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