The Awful Result Of Keeping Back Part
(Helpful to Sunday School Lesson of January 25, 1920, Acts 5:1–11)
“Kept back part.” Primarily this lesson is on lying to the Holy Ghost, but the reason for the lie is in these little words. Many are lying to the Holy Ghost who are not killed in our day; but they started by keeping back part. They promised to go all the way with Christ. They said they made a full surrender, but they kept back part. Oh, examine your heart. Have you kept back part?
“Satan filled thine heart.” Remember Satan hates us, going about as a roaring lion. We are to take his place in the heavenlies with more power than he has ever known. He does not hate us because we are good or because we are doing good works; he does not hate any man on the earth that does good works; in fact, he rather encourages them, if, by doing good works they keep away from salvation and becoming a part of the Body of Christ. It is this Body that is to possess the heavenlies with Christ which he despises.
Remember the heavens were filled with sin before the earth was filled with sin as it is. Satan fell before Adam fell; therefore the heavens were unclean before the earth was cursed. God, in redeeming men through Christ Jesus, is not to restore them to what they were in Adam, but to make them joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Before this crowd is caught away with the Lord, and the heavens cleaned, the devil is cast down to Earth. Being on the earth he will hate those who are going to possess the earth, so all of his attack will be centered upon the Jews, God’s chosen Earth people.
Just now he is fighting you. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood (with Earth conditions), but against principalities and powers, the rulers of (this Earth) darkness” that are in the heavenlies. Let us be willing to wrestle. You cannot wrestle if you have kept back part of the price. Give up fully to all this life from above and covet nothing of the earth.
“Was it not thine own?” Jesus never coerces us for a gift. There was no coercion with Ananias and Sapphira. Others were bringing it willingly, compelled with divine love. Heavenly things had become so rich and royal that they brought their little earthly things and piled them together. Ananias and Sapphira had not caught the heavenly vision, but wanted to act as if they had and go along with the company that had seen the heavenly vision. Oh, do not act a part. If you are not fully given up to God do not say, “I am as good as others,” or try to talk and act like Spirit-filled people; but have a definite Holy Ghost consecration of your own. Go aside with Him until He is the Lily of the Valley, fairer than all the world. Then, if you bring Him these things that are your own, you will gladly trade and say with Paul, “Things that would be gain to me I count them but loss.”
“And she said, Yea.” How awful must have been the feeling of her heart as she stood before this man, Peter, only lately filled with all the fullness of God in the Holy Ghost, and answered “Yea” when it was “Nay.” How the word must have echoed around in her brain while a cold chill settled over her soul. What an awful death is this at the hands of the Holy Ghost—not a bruise nor a blow, one little word cut her life-cord—one lie to the Holy Ghost in this great hour of His manifestation and power, and might and miracle working.
This was not a little idle slip, this “Yea.” Through the nights and days they had fought back and to “My property or Christ?” “My way or His way?” They had decided together privately to let the devil in, to sell their land for what they wanted and also belong to the Church. OH, HOW MANY SO-CALLED CHRISTIANS ARE TRAVELING ALONG IN SPIRITUAL CHURCHES AND SNEAK OFF TO THE THEATRE AND SNEAK OFF TO THIS JOY AND THAT JOY, AND THEN SHOW UP AT MEETINGS WITH A BRAZEN FACE. OH, THAT THEY MIGHT SEE THEY ARE NOT LYING TO MEN BUT TO THE HOLY GHOST! THEY ARE KEEPING BACK PART, they are playing two sides of the game. They have their life, but THE BLESSED HOLY GHOST IN ALL HIS FULLNESS IS NOT WITHIN THEIR BREASTS.
“And great fear came upon all the church.” The great life-giving Jesus is also the Judge of all the world. The keys of death are at His thigh and the gift of life is in His hand. How terrible is the wrath of God! Let us pray for fear of God to come upon those who are calling themselves “Christians” in our day, and playing with the world, playing with the great promises of God, using the words “surrender” and “consecration,” and “sanctification” and “Holy Ghost filling” as mere shibboleths and so many words, with their hearts far from these things. Earnestly let us pray for the fear of God, the fear of a holy, loving God who will not call black white and “cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance.” Since there is blood to cleanse, sin cannot be condoned.
“Lord, send a holy fear; send it now.”