Summary: The book of Acts was written to show what God can do with ordinary people who are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Fly High – Acts part 4

On the lighter side of life:

The Secret Service is preparing to issue a cease-and-desist order to stop a Christian ministry’s use of a gospel tract designed as a "million-dollar bill," after someone tried to deposit one of them into a bank account, reports WorldNetDaily. Last week, the controversy began when three agents visited the Great News Network in Denton, Texas, and threatened to arrest staffer Tim Crawford for hiding evidence in a counterfeiting investigation. They then took with them 8,300 tracts and left behind their business cards and a receipt. Though Great News Network distributes the tracts, they did not originate them. They are produced by evangelist Ray Comfort’s Living Waters Ministry.

The U.S. Code requires any novelty currency to be at least three-quarters smaller or one-and-a-half times larger than normal and to be printed in black and white on one side. But, Great News Network director Darrel Rundus argues that "million-dollar" bills can’t be counterfeited because they don’t exist. And the tracts — which include a "not legal tender" disclaimer on the front — present the Christian salvation message on the opposite side. He says he won’t be deterred from distributing the tracts in the future. "Show me the law we’re breaking," he said.

The Great News Network’s attorney in the case, Brian Fahling of the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy, said he believes the tracts conform to the code and will ask a federal judge in Dallas to issue a declaration. "Apparently some cognitively challenged individual attempted to deposit one of the ’bills’ into his account, and the Secret Service decided that was enough for them to treat the bills as counterfeit," said Fahling. "By that type of reasoning, if someone should attempt to deposit Monopoly money in a bank, the Secret Service could seize all the Monopoly money held by Americans. Surely the Secret Service has more important things to do." (The Pastor’s Weekly Briefing []).

Thesis: The book of Acts was written to show what God can do with ordinary people who are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Scripture Text:

Acts 2: 42a - 43:

42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…

43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.

Acts 5:12-42:

12The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.

17Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20“Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.”

21At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23“We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.

25Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.

27Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

29Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

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