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Acts 4:34

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Neither was there any among them that lacked - It was customary with the Jews to call the poor together, to eat of the sacrifices, but as the priests, etc., were incensed against Christ and Christianity, consequently the Christian poor could have no advantage of this kind; therefore, by making a common stock for the present necessity, the poor were supplied; so there was none among them that lacked. This provision therefore of the community of goods, which could be but temporary, was made both suitably and seasonably. See Bp. Pearce, and see the note on Acts 2:44.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

That lacked - That was in want, or whose needs were not supplied by the others.

As many as … - The word used here is employed in a large, indefinite sense; but it would be improper to press it so as to suppose that every individual that became a Christian sold at once all his property. The sense doubtless is, that this was done “when it was necessary:” they parted with whatever property was needful to supply the needs of their poor brethren. That it was by no means considered a matter of “obligations,” or enjoined by the apostles, is apparent from the case of Ananias, Acts 5:4. The fact that “Joses” is particularly mentioned Acts 4:36 shows that it was by no means a universal practice thus to part with all their possessions. He was “one” instance in which it was done. Perhaps there were many other similar instances; but all that the passage requires us to believe is, that they parted with whatever was “needful” to supply the needs of the poor. This was an eminent and instructive instance of Christian liberality, and of the power of the gospel in overcoming one of the strongest passions that ever exist in the human bosom - the love of money. Many of the early Christians were poor. They were collected from the lower orders of the people. But “all” Were not so. Some of them, it seems, were people of affluence; but the effect of religion was to bring them all, in regard to feeling, at least, on a level. They felt that they were members of one family, and they therefore imparted their property cheerfully to their brethren. Besides this, they were about to go to other lands to preach the gospel, and they cheerfully parted with their property that they might go and proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. See the notes on Acts 2:44.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The disciples loved one another. This was the blessed fruit of Christ's dying precept to his disciples, and his dying prayer for them. Thus it was then, and it will be so again, when the Spirit shall be poured upon us from on high. The doctrine preached was the resurrection of Christ; a matter of fact, which being duly explained, was a summary of all the duties, privileges, and comforts of Christians. There were evident fruits of Christ's grace in all they said and did. They were dead to this world. This was a great evidence of the grace of God in them. They did not take away others' property, but they were indifferent to it. They did not call it their own; because they had, in affection, forsaken all for Christ, and were expecting to be stripped of all for cleaving to him. No marvel that they were of one heart and soul, when they sat so loose to the wealth of this world. In effect, they had all things common; for there was not any among them who lacked, care was taken for their supply. The money was laid at the apostles' feet. Great care ought to be taken in the distribution of public charity, that it be given to such as have need, such as are not able to procure a maintenance for themselves; those who are reduced to want for well-doing, and for the testimony of a good conscience, ought to be provided for. Here is one in particular mentioned, remarkable for this generous charity; it was Barnabas. As one designed to be a preacher of the gospel, he disentangled himself from the affairs of this life. When such dispositions prevail, and are exercised according to the circumstances of the times, the testimony will have very great power upon others.
Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 360

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer ... all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith ... worth more than gold, ... may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6, 7, NIV. LHU 360.1

When we are tempted to place our affections on any earthly object that has a tendency to absorb our love, we must seek grace to turn from it, and not allow it to come between us and our God. We want to keep before the mind's eye the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for us. We must not allow our houses and lands, our business transactions and worldly enterprises, to come between us and our God. We should keep before us the rich promises that He has left on record. We should study the great waymarks that point out the times in which we are living. We know that we are very near the close of this earth's history, and everything of a worldly nature should be secondary to the service of God. We should now pray most earnestly that we may be prepared for the struggles of the great day of God's preparation. We should rejoice in the prospect of soon being with Jesus in the mansions He has gone to prepare for us. Jesus can supply your every need, if you will look to Him and trust in Him. As you behold Him, you will be charmed with the riches of the glory of His divine love. The idolatrous love of things that are seen will be superseded by a higher and better love for things that are imperishable and precious. You may contemplate eternal riches until your affections are bound to things above, and you may be an instrument in directing others to set their affections on heavenly treasures. You can help them to see that money spent needlessly is wasted, and worse than wasted; for it might have been used in presenting the truth to souls who are ready to perish. If the spendthrift is redeemed, it will be by having an object placed before him that will show him the sin of wasting his Lord's goods. The Lord requires His servants to trade upon the goods that He has put in their charge. The talents which He has given to them are to be improved by exercise. The money placed in their hands is to be put out to the exchangers.... Those who rightly value money are those who see its availability in bringing the truth before those who have never heard it, and by this means rescuing them from the power of the enemy. The soul who accepts the truth will find his love for earthly things dislodged. He sees the surpassing glory of heavenly things, and appreciates the excellency of that which relates to everlasting life. He is charmed with the unseen and eternal. His grasp loosens from earthly things; he fastens his eye with admiration upon the invisible glories of the heavenly world. He realizes that his trials are working out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, and in comparison to the riches that are his to enjoy, he counts them light afflictions which are but for a moment (The Review and Herald, June 23, 1896). LHU 360.2

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 230

*****

The plan of Systematic Benevolence is pleasing to God. I was pointed back to the days of the apostles, and saw that God laid the plan by the descent of his Holy Spirit, and by the gift of prophecy counseled his people in regard to a system of benevolence. All were to share in this work of imparting of their carnal things to those who ministered unto them in spiritual things. They were also taught that the widows and fatherless had a claim upon their charity. Pure and undefiled religion is defined, to visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction, and to keep unspotted from the world. I saw it was not merely to sympathize with them in their affliction by comforting words, but to aid them, if needy, with their substance. God has given health to young men and women, and they can obtain a great blessing by aiding the widow and fatherless in their affliction. I saw that God required young men to sacrifice more for the good of others. He claims more of them than they are willing to perform. If they keep themselves unspotted from the world, cease to follow its fashions, and lay by that which the lovers of pleasure spend in useless articles to gratify pride, and give it to the worthy afflicted ones, and to sustain the cause, they will have the approval of Him who says, “I know thy works.” 2SG 230.1

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 70-1

This chapter is based on Acts 4:32-37 to 5:11.

As the disciples proclaimed the truths of the gospel in Jerusalem, God bore witness to their word, and a multitude believed. Many of these early believers were immediately cut off from family and friends by the zealous bigotry of the Jews, and it was necessary to provide them with food and shelter. AA 70.1

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 137

Of the apostolic church, in those bright days when the glory of the risen Christ shone upon them, it is written that no man said “that aught of the things which he possessed was his own.” “Neither was there any among them that lacked.” “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 4:32, 34, 33; 2:46, 47. MB 137.1

Search heaven and earth, and there is no truth revealed more powerful than that which is made manifest in works of mercy to those who need our sympathy and aid. This is the truth as it is in Jesus. When those who profess the name of Christ shall practice the principles of the golden rule, the same power will attend the gospel as in apostolic times. MB 137.2

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