If we refuse instruction, it means we despise our own soul. From the beginning God has used man to teach the people.
Proverbs 15:31-33 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
God spoke to Moses and taught the people. We will despise our soul if we refuse instruction from the pastor, teacher, or others. God has ordained men to lead us. People who say “no man is going to tell me what to do” are despising their own soul. The Bible is full of instruction. Proverbs says to learn from the ant. They’re never still but always busy providing food for others and storing up for the winter. The sluggard desires but never obtains because they’re not working or doing.
Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
After Adam sinned, all mankind has been born with a sinful nature. No one teaches young children to hit or bit or steal toys from others. At some point God will show them that they’re a sinner. This is called the age of accountability and it is different for each child according to when they become aware that they’re a sinner. After we’re saved or made just, the nature to sin needs to be removed by sanctification and being filled with the Holy Spirit. When we’re sanctified we give God complete control of our life. The root of sin or the sin nature is removed and then the Holy Spirit comes in.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
When the Israelites came out of Egypt, it is like when we’re saved and we come out of sin. Going into Canaan is like being sanctified. The Israelites took the evil report that there were giants in the land so they didn’t go into Canaan. They wandered in the desert until they died because they didn’t believe the good report about Canaan. Some people look at being sanctified as too hard and won’t give all to God, so they refuse to be sanctified. Someone who refuses to do what God says disobeys God. (James 4:17…him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.) We have to serve God his way and give our all, or we’ll go back to sin. Jesus prayed in the garden before he died that we’d be one. In Acts we see the disciples were of one mind.
Acts 4:29-32…Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 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 things common.
Ananias and Sapphira were there when the others received the Holy Ghost. They pretended to have the Holy Ghost but their actions showed they didn’t. If you have reservations about what you’re willing to do, you won’t receive the Holy Ghost.
Acts 4:33-5:2 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 apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses…Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Acts 5:1-2 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Peter said they lied to the Holy Ghost by pretending to have the Holy Spirit. When we have the Holy Ghost, it doesn’t mean we’ll have an easy life. Ananias and Sapphira had selfishness and covetousness in their heart. Peter said they could have kept some of the price from the land they sold if they had just said so and not lied. They weren’t lying to men but to God. They conspired together but we’re individually responsible to God for our actions. If husband or wife does wrong, we have to do right. Ananias and Sapphira died physically for their sin. Today we die spiritually when we sin by disobeying God.
Acts 5:3-11 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias…fell down, and gave up the ghost…And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about…three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she…at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and…carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
The Holy Spirit is not given unless we’re free from committed sins. Simon was using witchcraft and sorcery (using the power of the devil to do miracles) so the people were bewitched by him. It appears that Simon was saved and had been baptized. When you’re saved, the Holy Spirit walks with you. When you get the Holy Spirit, the sin nature is purged out and the Holy Spirit comes inside you. Simon wanted to give money so he could receive power to give the Holy Ghost to others. You can’t pay money to receive the Holy Ghost! God’s gifts are free, except we must offer ourselves for God without any reservations to use as he wishes. If we have reservations, we won’t get the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:14-19…the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost…Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Just because someone believes and is baptized doesn’t mean they are a candidate to receive the Holy Ghost. Simon asked Peter to pray for him that those things wouldn’t come on him, but Peter already said his heart was not right.
Acts 8:20-25 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
There’s a movement sweeping across the country that says we get saved and sanctified at the same time. Nowhere in the Bible does it say you get saved and receive the Holy Ghost in one work. The Bible says we’re saved first and then filled with the Holy Ghost. People are falsely teaching that you get saved and grow into sanctification. The temple veil between the holy place and holy of holies was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross. By this we see that Jesus made the way to enter the holy of holies or to be sanctified. People that don’t get sanctified after they’re saved will despise instruction and sin. John said some who came to see him baptizing needed to have fruit of repentance (godly sorrow for sin).
Matthew 3:8-9 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
God told Saul to go into Damascus and it would be told what he must do. He sent Ananias to pray for Saul to receive the Holy Ghost. Saul didn’t understand everything God said, but he was obedient and trusted what God said by faith.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)