We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. — Winston Churchill

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Right Way to Give and the Wrong Way

In those early days the Church of Christ in Jerusalem was like a great family; for each one was full of love for all the others. No one said of any thing that he owned, "This is mine," but the had all things together, as belonging to all. Those who owned lands or houses sold them, and brought the money, and laid it down at the feet of the apostles. This was not because a rule was made commanding it; but because each member loved the rest, and wished to help them. The money that was given in this free way the apostles divided among those that were poor, so that no one among those who believed in Christ was in need.

There was one man especially who gave away all that he had to help the Church. His name was Joseph, but he was called "Barnabas," which means "The one who encourages," because he was so helpful and cheering in his words. Barnabas sold his land, and gave the money from it to the apostles, that they might help with it those who were poor; and Barnabas spent all his time, as well as his money, in doing good.

But there was another man in the Church at Jerusalem whose spirit was not that of Barnabas, to give up all and live fully for the Lord. This man, whose name was Ananias, wanted to have the name of giving all, while he kept a part for himself. Ananias sold some land which he had owned, and agreed with his wife Sapphira to give a part of the money to the apostles for the Church, and to keep back a part for themselves. This they had a right to do, or even to keep it all. But they agreed together to act as though they were giving all the money, and that was agreeing together to tell a lie.

Ananias brought his money and laid it down before the apostles. But Peter, by the power of God, saw what was in the thought of Ananias, and said to him, "Ananias, why has the evil spirit filled your heart to tell a lie by your act, in keeping back part of the money? Before it was sold was not the land your own? And after it was sold, was not the money in your hand? You have tried to tell a lie, not to man, but to God; and God will judge you."

As Peter spoke these words, Ananias fell down before him, and in a moment was laying dead upon the floor. The young men in the meeting took up his dead body, and wrapped it with long rolls of cloth, and carried it out and buried it as was the manner of the Jews.

Death of Ananias

After three hours Sapphira, the wife of Ananias, came into the room. She did not know that her husband was dead, for no one had told her; such was the fear upon all.

Peter said to her, "Tell me, did you sell the land for so much?" And he named the sum that Ananias had placed before him.

Sapphira said, "Yes that was the price of the land."

But Peter said to her, "How is it that you two people agreed together to bring down Godís anger upon you? Those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out also!"

Then Sapphira fell down, struck dead by the power of God. The young men coming in found her dead; and they carried out her body and buried it beside her husband. A great fear came upon all the church, and upon all who heard how Ananias and Sapphira died. After that no one dared to try and deceive the apostles in their gifts to the Lordís church.

And every day the apostles went to the Temple; and standing in Solomonís Porch, they preached to the people about Jesus, and salvation through his name. They wrought many wonders also in healing the sick. From the houses those that were sick were brought out into the street, lying on beds and couches, so that as the apostle Peter passed by, his shadow might fall on them. And from the villages around Jerusalem they brought people that had diseases, or were held by evil spirits; and by the power of God in the apostles they were all made well.

All these wonderful works brought great multitudes to hear the apostles, as they spoke in Solomonís Porch. Very many believed in Christ as they heard, and men and women in great numbers were added to the church.

But all these things, the wonders wrought, the crowds brought together, and the people believing in Christ, gave offence to the high-priest and the rulers: for they were the ones who had led in sending Jesus Christ to the cross, only a few months before. These rulers sent their officers, who seized all the twelve apostles, and thrust them into the common prison of the city. But at night, an angel of the Lord came and opened the doors of the prison and brought the apostles out, and said"

"Go and stand in the Temple, and speak to the people all the words of this life."

Then, very early in the morning, just at the breaking of the day, they went into the Temple and preached to the people. On that day the high-priest and all the rulers met together, and sent to the prison-house to have the apostles brought before them. But the officers who were sent did not find them in the prison. They came back to the rulers and said: "The prison we found shut and locked, and the keepers standing at the doors; but when we opened the doors and went inside we found none of the prisoners there!"

When the captain of the Temple and the rulers herard this they wondered greatly; for they could not understand it. Then came some one, who said, "The men whom you put in prison are standing in the Temple and are teaching the people!"

Then again the captain of the Temple went with his officers, and again took the apostles, but without doing them any harm, for they were afraid that the people would stone them if they dealt harshly with these men, whom all held in high honor. They brought them into the hall where the rulers were met together. The high-priest said to them:

"We told you not to speak in this name, or about that man; and now you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are trying to bring the blood of this man upon us."

But Peter, in the name of all the apostles, answered the high-priest;

"We must obey God rather than men. You put Jesus to death, hanging him upon the cross. But the God of our fathers raised him from the dead, and lifted him up to be at his right hand as a Prince and a Saviour, to give the forgiveness of sins. And we declare these things: and Godís Holy Spirit tells us that they are true."

When the rulers heard these words they were made very angry, and thought of causing the apostles to be slain. But there was among them one very wise man, named Gamaliel, a man who was held in honor by all the people. Gamaliel asked to have the apostles sent out of the hall, while he would speak to the rulers. When the apostles were taken away, Gamaliel said:

"Ye men of Israel, be careful in what you do to these men. If what they say comes from themselves alone, it will soon pass away; but if it be of God, you cannot destroy it, and you may even find yourselves to be fighting against God. My advice to you is; do no harm to these men and leave them alone."

The rulers agreed with these words. They sent for the apostles, and caused them to be beaten; then they commanded them again not to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. The apostles went forth from the meeting of the rulers, happy in suffering for the name of Jesus. And in the temple and among the homes of the people they did not cease from preaching Jesus as the Saviour and the Lord.


Front Matter

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God