C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON LESSON 10 FOR DECEMBER 4, 2022 : TOPIC – EFFECTS OF TRUE REVIVAL (II)
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH Nigeria & Overseas
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: REVIVAL REDISCOVERING THE PATH TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY
JULY – DECEMBER, 2022
Unit Three: The Products And Prospects Of Revival
DECEMBER 4, 2022
TOPIC: EFFECTS OF TRUE REVIVAL (II)
Therefore “Come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17)
DIVISION II—EXPOSING AND DEALING WITH DARKNESS
God has never joked with the issue of idolatry and syncretism since the beginning of the world. In this division, what comes to the fore is the life of Simon, the sorcerer, whose sorcery was exposed, challenged and rebuked by the Apostles. The result was the humility and soberness that suddenly came upon him. The B part expounds the danger of “fashion en vogue” craze. The Athenians were enmeshed in the philosophy of gospel rationalisation, which Paul, by the grace of the Lord, faced vehemently and technically to deliver the people from. His exhortation and zeal were not a waste, as some of them were saved and cleaved to Jesus, the Giver of true knowledge—fruits of revival!
December 4, 2022
II. EXPOSING AND DEALING WITH DARKNESS
A. MAGICAL POWERS EXPOSED
B. ATHENIAN SPIRIT OVERCAME
II. EXPOSING AND DEALING WITH DARKNESS (Acts 8:5-24; 17:16-34)
Sometimes we think darkness had its own separate abode where its own inhabitants stay to perpetrate their evil acts. Yes! But many times, they are amidst us; either by creeping in, or by accepting their baits. Strange people with strange doctrines must not be allowed much time before they are exposed. We must be filled and in-dwelled by the Holy Spirit to dispossess the sorcerers, ritualists fraudsters, and every worker of iniquity in our midst. Darkness in all its forms must not be allowed to fester I will the church, including fetish and diabolical, so called, prophets of God.
A. MAGICAL POWERS EXPOSED (8:5-24)
But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!” (v. 20)
i. vv. 5-8: Sequel to Stephen’s martyrdom, the revised and focused Philip landed in Samaria, preaching the gospel. God manifested, and there was great joy in that city, a city once ravaged by demons.
ii. vv. 9-11: Along the line, Simon the sorcerer got converted. God’s power supersedes magical and demonic powers (cf. Exo. 7:8-13). However, it seemed he only partially surrendered.
iii. vv. 12-18: Obviously, these people who were once in diabolic shackles of the likes of this sorcerer, encountered the TRUTH (Jn. 14:6); Darkness can’t withstand the light of the gospel! They were no longer in bondage!
iv. vv. 14-19: As the Apostles from Jerusalem began demonstrating the Holy Spirit’s power, the true picture of Simon was exposed. Greed and desire to continue in his sorcery were still there. Revival exposes the true conditions of our hearts, so that we can change for God’s best (Heb. 4:12,13).
v. vv. 20-24: Simon was humbled and sober when the revival Apostles, who wouldn’t mortgage God’s power, ministered to the converts. God had exposed him, so that he wouldn’t be deceiving the unsuspecting. True revival exposes and silences satanic works (cf. 1 Jn. 3:8).
vi. Sinning is not the big problem to God, being imperious to correcton, whatever way it comes, is what He frowns at. We must command Simon for talking to correction when challenged. Note that the finally impenitent will find themselves in the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20; 20:15). Christians must be humble and malleable to bend to God’s way for true revival to erupt.
B. ATHENIAN SPIRIT OVERCOME (17:16-34)
For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing (v. 21).
i. vv. 16-22: Paul was moved with pity, how men and women would gather to worship the god they didn’t know. Are you sure you are serving the Living God (Dan. 11:32; Jn. 4:22)?
ii. vv. 17-20: Paul, with the wisdom of God, endeavoured to show them the God they knew not. But he came face to face with hardened Epicurean and Stoic philosophers (v. 18) who tried to rationalise the Gospel.
iii. v. 21: Interestingly, those in Athens then spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. Philosophers claim to love and search for knowledge everywhere, but the truth is, any knowledge contrary to Christ’s knowledge is fake and disastrous.
iv. These ones thought they knew, yet they still served THE UNKNOWN GOD (v. 23). What an irony? They thought they knew, when they actually knew nothing (cf. Rom. 1:28).
v. v. 21: shows us the Athenians spirit—desire for the latest i.e new things. The people of the world are crazy about the latest houses, fashion en vogue, cars, styles, trends, etc., even when these don’t align with God’s holiness. This is a sign of the end-time (2 Tim. 3:2ff).
vi. Unfortunately, churches are pursuing the latest, state-of-the-art equipment at the expense of the real growth of their members (cf. Matt. 6:33). That is the Athenian spirit, that true revival must flush out.
vii. This desire for new things has led some so called Christians into mystery religions, in search of esoteric knowledge beyond what the Bible teaches. Such have continually ended up doomed. Don’t allow what pursues the world to pursue you (Exo. 23:2)!
viii. vv. 32-34: Paul’s long exhortation and defence paid off in the end; some of them cleaved to Jesus, the Giver of true knowledge that is absent in philosophy of any kind. Revival makes men cleave to their crucified Saviour.
ix. In obedience to the Lord’s command (Matt. 28:19), we must keep going for the Master and Lord; preaching, teaching, and helping others who are billed for destruction, to come to the knowledge of the gospel and eternal life (cf. Lk. 15). How far can you go for Jesus?
1. We must take the Word so seriously, if we want true revival in our churches. Remember, God’s Word is both Spirit and Life.
2. The Christian religion is strange to our corrupt, negative, new-things-seeking world. Yet, we must do all we have to do to lighten the corrupt world and bring them to the side of Jesus.
1. The place of discipline cannot be over-emphasised in achieving true revival in our churches
2. Revival leads to expansion of the gospel territory. Discuss this in the light of Paul’s exploit in Athens.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1: What is discipline? It is control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behaviour.
ii. From history, God doesn’t condone indiscipline — remember Adam and Eve, Achan, David, the people of Israel, etc.
iii. He killed Nadab and Abihu, yet, told their father not to cry (Lev. 10:6,7).
iv. Rules are meant to be obeyed, otherwise things would go out of hand.
v. Sin is lawlessness, and spreads like wild fire, if not quickly quenched/checked.
vi. Bad eggs must be fishes out and separated, otherwise the whole may be destroyed (cf. 1 Cor. 5:1-13).
vii. Sometimes, we can excommunicate sinners who refuse to turn a new leaf, so that, like cancer, they don’t affect other parts, and the Holy Spirit has a way of quenching the Ananias and Sapphiras amongst us too.
viii. There is the need to sieve the shaft from the whole grain, to get a good, fine grains.
Pruning gives room for freshness and wellness.
x. The case of Ananias and Sapphiras made the church to sit right and tight.
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:
* What is revival? Revival is a period in which something becomes popular again after a long period of time. It is bringing something dead back to life and activity again.
* In revival, three things happen: backsliders are restored to the Lord/faith, unbelievers give their lives to Christ, and God rejoices that sinners are saved (Isa. 14:1; 60:11; Lk. 15:7; Eph. 2:12-20).
* When Paul met the Lord, he was given definite assignment to the Gentiles (Acts 9:11-16).
* Prior to the revival in Athens, the people gave heed to idolatry and human philosophies.
* But during revival of words, new and real knowledge of God is gained.
* Revival populates the kingdom of God, because those who believed cleaved to Jesus.
* Afterwards, shrines and grooves would be destroyed–the case of Gideon (Judg. 6:25-27). the case of Josiah (2 Kgs. 23:1ff).
* Cities who were once known for idolatry would be known for the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Samaria, the joy of the gospel rent the air (Acts 8:8).
* More disciples and ministers will be gained to Christ, e.g. Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:17-24).
The power of the Word of God cannot be over-emphasised in exposing and dealing with darkness in our midst. If we are expecting the end-time revival in our churches and nation, we must take God’s Word more seriously than ever. Change is inevitable. When there’s true revival, the people admit and repent of their sins, which cause them to make restitution (Lk. 19:1-10). The point of revival is the point of turnaround, abandonment of works of iniquity, and embracement of godliness (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17). It is the time of illumination, inspiration and understanding; when man can now see what hitherto has been veiled, obscured and hidden from natural minds. Above all, it is a time when the son re-unites with the Father. It’s a time of refreshing from the Lord (Acts 3:19). The children of Israel in Ezra’s days were not forced, or coerced to divorce their foreign wives; they voluntarily made a covenant with God to do away with every unholy thing in their midst, while those who oppressed their neighbours ceased to do so (Ezr. 10:1-5; Neh. 5:11,12). True revival must produce positive effects which are visible on the people, place and objects. When men change, everything else changes. That underscores the importance of man in changing the natural world. May our eyes and hearts be more opened to see and receive His will for our lives in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thank God for how He has chosen to bless us these past two weeks. We now know that God’s work cannot be done in sin, neither can we mock Him. We reap what we sow. The Word is a Lamp, Spirit, and Life, which we have to embrace in order to lighten our corrupt world; bringing them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Effects of true revival must first be visible in us, and then protrudes through us to the world we are meant to influence for Christ
May we continue to shine His light till He comes in Jesus’ name. Amen.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK TWO
Mon. Nov 28: Revive Your Work, O Lord (Hab. 3:2)
Tue. Nov. 29: Revival Restores Erring Brethren (Gal. 6:1)
Wed. Nov. 30: Revival Brings Liberty (Jer. 34:8,9)
Thur. Dec. 1: Revival Leads To Consecration (Neh. 13:1-3,30,31)
Fri. Dec. 2: Revival Restores Lost Inheritances (Jer. 27:22)
Sat. Dec. 3: Revival: Messiah Shall Restore Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25)