Notes and References
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Acts of the Apostles
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Acts Chapter 5:14-42
We are finishing up Acts chapter 5
14And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
Interesting distinction here - both men and women.
15Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
16There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
How many were healed? EVERY ONE! No one left the meeting disappointed. No one left untouched by God. No one felt remiss or unloved. No one had to question, “Why not me Lord?” These are kingdom miracles promised by Jesus to the apostles. Greater miracles these apostles would do than Jesus had done while on earth.
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Jesus is speaking only to the 12 apostles during the Last Supper. “He that believeth” are only eleven of the twelve. Judas betrays Him. This scripture is not for every believer. You or I have not seen the miracles that these men did by the Holy Spirit (Oh, I have seen miracles and answers to prayer in my lifetime. I am living my answered prayer as we speak, but nothing like these apostolic miracles). There are only two possible solutions to my question, because God cannot lie.
- People who claim to be believers today are not truly believers. OR
- This statement of Jesus was not meant for all believers, but to only the apostles.
Context is everything! I know I nag about that a lot, but it is important.
FREED FROM PRISON BY AN ANGEL
17Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
18And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
19But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
20Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
Again we see a kingdom miracle by an angel this time opening the prison. This kingdom gospel must be preached and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Where were the apostles told to go by the angel? To the streets? In the byways? Africa? No!!!! The temple! And who is at the temple? Jews! This reaffirms the commission of the twelve to preach to the Jew, the House of Israel at the temple.
21And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought.
22But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,
23Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
24Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
25Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
26Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
The apostle’s fame and notoriety is growing so much so that the Captain of the temple feared being stoned by the people, if harm came to the apostles publicly. Secretly or away from the people they were later beaten.
PETER AND THE APOSTLE’S RESPONSE
27And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
The gospel of the kingdom had filled Jerusalem, but not all the people repented, which was the requisite for the return of Jesus. Again Peter gave his loving seeker friendly message to the leaders, “Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree”.
Peter also shows the kingdom role of Jesus as, “a Prince and a Saviour”. To “give repentance to Israel”. For what? Their sins? No! “Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree”, is the reason Israel needs repentance. We must read in context. Do not put your church doctrine in these verses. Then after repenting for killing Jesus, they will also have their sins forgiven.
Peter also reaffirmed the apostles were witnesses and also is the Holy Spirit. Again I want to emphasize that not only are they witnesses of Jesus’ earthly ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, but also witnesses of the rejection of Jesus the Mashiac, by Israel, thus the judgement for the destruction of Israel in 40 years is justified.
33When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
34Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
35And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
36For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
37After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
38And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
39But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
40And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
42And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Where did the twelve apostles meet and teach daily? In the temple and in every house (again emphasizing not all houses were sold) and they ceased not FROM THEIR COMMISSION.
I want to stress that we as believers are that of the faith, which was revealed unto the Apostle Paul first, a mystery held secret from the foundation of the world, that Gentiles would receive salvation through faith.
Not all the New Testament words from Matthew to Revelation pertain to us as Gentiles. The epistles of Paul, give us the doctrine of FAITH ALONE in Jesus, and by faith being transformed, by the transformative power of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, from being wholly heathen into a new creation, to become the children of God. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, as earnest, so that we will have everlasting life!