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Act 5,1-16

(133a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> God is holy >> The Father is holy – Killing Ananias and Sapphira was like Nadab and Abihu, who offered strange fire before the Lord. Leviticus 10,1-3 says, “Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the Lord spoke of when he said: 'Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.’” Moses was the most humble man in the Bible second only to Christ; he regularly talked face to face with God. This doubled as a measure of God’s expectations on Moses, and that expectation was best seen in his one mistake at the rock of Meribah. The children of Israel were thirsty, and of course they complained about it instead of voicing their needs by faith. Num 20,7-12 says, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.’ So Moses took the staff from the Lord's presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, ‘Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?’ Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.’” In Exodus 17-6 Moses brought forth water from a rock the first time on Mount Horeb by tapping the rock with his staff, but instead of listening carefully to the voice of God and speaking to the rock as he was commanded, he tapped the rock as he did at Mount Horeb, and by that simple error Moses lost his opportunity to lead Israel into the promise land. It goes back to the statement God made in Leviticus that when He shows Himself as holy, He expects the people to be treated as holy. God expects much from those who have been given much (Lk 12-47,48). God gave much to the Church in the days of the apostles, and for this reason He expected much from the people. God became angry with Moses because he developed an arrogant attitude, as though he could make water come from a rock. Another example comes from Joshua chapters six and seven; Achan violated the ban and kept some things for himself in the conquest of Jericho. God commanded the children of Israel not to keep anything for themselves, but all the spoils of war belonged to the Lord. This single act of disobedience caused the whole nation of Israel to be defeated before their enemies at Ai. Joshua later identified and destroyed Achan along with his family and possessions for his insubordination. The closer God gets to his people, the more we need to revere Him.

Act 5,1-13

(73d) Authority >> Respect positions of authority >> In the Church

Act 5,1-12

(88h) Thy Kingdom Come >> Fear of God >> Fearing the judgment of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Fear the sovereign hand of God on your life – This was a message to the Church to treat God as holy. A day is coming when God will begin working in His church again and finally deliver us from our self-induced apostasy, and when He does, signs and wonders will return as in the days of the early church, and God will require us to treat Him as holy. There are those among us who are merely playing church and are not prepared for such a divine encounter with God, and they will go the way of Ananias and Sapphira, but many will simply leave the Church, knowing their hearts are not with the Lord. They are the ones who call these the good ol' days, but these are not good times for those of us who are seeking God and His truth, for the apostasy that has gripped the Church is a vast spiritual dessert. Many who call themselves Christians are spiritually dead (whether they are saved is not for anyone to judge). Once God cleanses His church and delivers us from doctrines that have handicapped our faith and cleanses His Church from false brethren who do not serve the Lord in their hearts, the sun will suddenly break through the clouds and shine on us, and we will wonder why we hadn’t seen it earlier.

Act 5,1-11

(4j) Responsibility >> The choices you make >> Accountable for your deeds

(40l) Judgment >> God is glorified >> God defends His righteousness through judgment – When God worked closely with the children of Israel, sin was met with reprisal; likewise, the more God reveals Himself to us, the more He expects of us. This was the situation in the days of Ananias and Sapphira; He demanded the people treated Him as holy. Look at the things God allows in the Church today; the only explanation the Scriptures give is that God has withdrawn from us, and for this reason we are not consumed. What can we say about the televangelists who come tumbling down the mountaintop from sin, crying and weeping in repentance because they got caught? We can be sure the only reason they are not dead is because God is a million miles away from them, and if anyone wants to reinstate these TV fakes, we can be sure they are trying to restore someone just like themselves. People are living however they want and God says nothing about it. The Church is so distant today that we are like the children of Israel in the days before their captivity to Babylon. The fact that we can do things without consequence is actually a sign that God is nowhere near us, or more likely we are nowhere near Him.

(56a) Paradox >> Lose by gaining >> Gain your idea of wealth to lose God’s wealth

(110a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through you >> Word of knowledge >> knowing their thoughts by the mind of Christ

(147h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> God uses His power to be destructive

(181k) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Self deception >> Deceiving and being deceived – Ananias never told Peter that the money He brought to him was the full price of the property, though his wife did. Far as we know he just handed him the money under false pretense, but Peter knew what was in his heart. He wasn’t trying to deceive Peter, but God, which was the crux of the issue. A lot of people think if they can tell themselves a lie and believe it, that God cannot judge them, because their conscience is not violated, but they are borrowing from the antics of the reprobate mind when they practice these mental calisthenics, and if this is the direction they have chosen, then so be it. According to the twisted minds of those who would blaspheme the Holy Spirit, the way of lying to God is to believe their own lies, which invariably leads to lying to other people; this manifestation of lying to others completes the conspiracy against God. However, it backfired on Ananias and Sapphira, for they overlooked one important detail: God was working closely with the apostles, as in the days of Moses and was establishing an expectation of holiness among them. In the current state of spiritual delirium that we are living, many people routinely lie to others, lie to themselves and to God, and He never does anything about it, and so they think they have gotten away with sin because there were no consequences, but nobody is getting away with anything, not in Moses' day, not in the apostle's day and not ever, for a day is coming when God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus (Rom 2-16).

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Act 5,1-10

(19d) Sin >> Mocking God Without a cause >> Motivated by the flesh

(22n) Sin >> Pride comes before a fall

(25j) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Thief >> Stealing from God – God dealt severely with liars and deceivers in the days of the apostles, i.e. Ananias and Sapphira lost their lives pretending to be devout Christians. They were not required to give a cent to the Church, meaning they could have been wealthy Christians, though back then that was not fashionable. Wealth and Christianity were not compatible in the first century in that money is emblematic of all that is wrong with the world, but now in the last century we have reconciled them, using a big hammer on the delicate doctrines of the faith, making the Church struggle with two opposite ideas seeking to agree. Ananias and Sapphira did in fact sell their property and gave some of the proceeds to the Church, which was honorable and would normally indicate faith and vision; however apparent, they wanted to look spiritual to their friends, but they didn't want to live like them, so they devised a plan to secretly retain some of the money, while telling everyone they gave the subtotal of their liquidated property. They became a caricature of every cult leader and prosperity teacher who walked the earth ever since, who wanted to live more luxuriously than their fellow congregants. This answers two questions (1) why God was so harsh to Ananias and Sapphira, and (2) what God thinks of people who try to marry His gospel to the love of money (prosperity teachers). The apostles didn’t care what they did with their money; it was deception that concerned the Lord, their ulterior motives, as though they were buying the people’s respect and admiration. Had the apostles let this go, Ananias and Sapphira would have manipulated the saints into thinking God had blessed them by evidence of their money, stealing the affections of the saints and introducing false doctrine into the Church, and their ilk would have multiplied into the prosperity teachers of our day, who use their interpretation of the gospel to strip-mine the saints. See also: Prosperity teachers; Act 19,13-20; 187j

(157i) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Having a reprobate mind – The Bible teaches that we can either seek the glory of men or the glory of God; Ananias sought the glory of men, which means he had no regard for the Lord. Were Ananias and Sapphira disobedient Christians or were they common sinners trying to infiltrate the Church? There is evidence of salvation and there is evidence of being hell-bound, then there is the alleged gray area of the disobedient Christian, who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, but they are also seeking the things of this world. This so-called "theology" is born of apostasy. The reason people believe we can be disobedient Christians is that apostasy says we can; however, apostasy does not speak for God but for men who are in bondage to sin, and it speaks for the demons that have helped establish these ideas in the Church. There are a lot of people who fool themselves into believing they belong to God when they don’t. The phrase “Knowing God” is confounding to many; they don’t understand how anyone could actually know God, but the Bible says we can know Him through the Spirit, and the Book of Acts emphasizes this point, bringing the Holy Spirit to the fore like no other book of the New Testament.

(169h) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God >> Love to be noticed by men – Ananias and Sapphira sold off their property and gave some of the proceeds to the Church, but the complaint that Peter had, and God concurred with him, was that they were being deceitful. Many other people were liquidating their assets and giving the full sum to the Church, and they were being greatly exonerated for their faith, so when Ananias and Sapphira saw this, they wanted people to honor them too, but they kept back some of the money because they wanted to afford a better living standard than the Christians. They accepted resources from them, getting some of their money back, while supplementing their socialistic income with their own money. Peter didn’t care that they kept back some of the money for themselves, saying in verse 4, “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?” They were seeking praise among people who were giving their all to the faith, but what even more offended the Holy Spirit was that keeping back part of the money was reflective of keeping back their hearts from God. He used this couple as an example to the rest to show just how offensive it is to be a lukewarm Christian, partially committed to the faith. In the third century Catholicism pushed its roots deep into Christianity, and so the truth was slowly and inevitably lost. After this, it would have been pointless for God to discipline the Church, for the people wouldn’t have learned anything from it, any more than a six-month-old baby would learn anything from a spanking, or like the scene in the movie "Titanic", setting the clock to the proper time while the boat was sinking.

(174h) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Form of godliness >> Self righteousness >> Appearing righteous before men – The moral of this story is not that we should give all our money to the Church, but that we should be honest with God and with His people. Peter wasn’t angry with him that he kept back some of the proceeds for himself; he was angry that Ananias wanted him to believe he was giving it all. Like the Pharisees who had Jesus crucified, Ananias wanted to appear righteous before men, seeking praise from men

(186c) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Cursing the Holy Spirit >> Lying to the Holy Spirit – Ananias and Sapphira lied to God, lied to themselves and lied to Peter in that order, and they paid the ultimate price of their lives. This is one of two examples in the New Testament of God killing people (the second is the death of King Herod in Act 12-23). The example of Ananias and Sapphira play a large role in understanding the concept of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and the reprobate mind. Why did God kill this husband and wife? He was working very closely with his apostles and with the Church at the time, and the Bible teaches that the closer He works with His people, the more He expects from them.

(203d) Denying Christ >> Dishonor God >> Lying to God

(218b) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> You cannot control the judgment of God >> You cannot control how God responds to rebellion

Act 5,1-5

(97b) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about yourself >> An uncooperative attitude

Act 5,1-4

(74f) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is man’s central value system >> Where value interprets the man

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Act 5-3

(212g) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> God is all knowing >> Nothing hidden >> God knows your heart

Act 5,7-10

(84k) Thy kingdom come >> Your words can lead to your own demise >> They will condemn you

Act 5,11-16

(50da) Judgment >> Last Days >> Great Endtime Revival >> Jews lead the world into revival >> Israel prophesied to believe in Jesus at the end of the age – In the last days Christians will build camps in the wilderness throughout the world among nations that have not heard the gospel as comprehensively as the developed nations of the world have heard. The last days will be their time to hear the gospel in power, and great multitudes will come and be saved. These camps are places designated by God to protect His people from the antichrist and his hoard, who are coming to destroy them, but since they are in the wilderness of third-world countries, His influence (technology) cannot as readily reach them. God’s angels will line the perimeters of these camps and stave off any assault, and many will come to be saved from the antichrist and from his mark. God will protect them in these camps; the camp leaders will be Jews, the 144,000 as prophesied in the book of Revelation, and the Two Witnesses will remain in Jerusalem to defend the holy city, and they will be given authority to perform signs and wonders to destroy their enemies. For 3½ years the 144,000 will call manna down from heaven upon the camps to feed the people as God did for the children of Israel in the days of Moses, and the Two Witnesses will call down fire on their enemies and release the plagues of the Trumpet judgments in like manner (Revelation chapters 8&9). See also: Great endtime revival; 129b

(129b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing the fruit of evangelism >> Spiritual fruit – This passage corresponds with the coming Great Endtime Revival in three important ways: (1) they were all in one accord in a state of unity. (2) It was a unique time for the first century Church, not just another day in the times of the apostles, but a unique time even for them, being a time set by God as a fruitful period when signs, wonders and miracles abounded. (3) The fear of God existed among the people, not just among those who were being saved, but also among those who stayed aloof. These three characteristics will return to the Church in the last days. See also: Great endtime revival; 50da

(131n) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Power of God seen through unity – It was a great time to be a Christian in the days of the early church. There were signs, wonders and miracles taking place among the apostles and among some of the more devout men of the Church, and there was unity among the people, which was just as great a sign as the miracles themselves. We should know by now that unity, being so rare, is a sign from heaven that God is working among His people. There are those who form circles and get along with people in their groups; that is not unity but friendship. Friendship is a wonderful thing, but unity is something else. Unity is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, the result of spiritual fellowship, whenever there is agreement with God's word in an environment of prayer. Treating God as holy is integral to unity, along with signs and wonders.

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Act 5,12-16

(67n) Authority >> Doing God’s work under His authority >> Ministry of helps >> Help God

(146k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Purpose of Miracles, Signs And Wonders >> Get peoples’ attention to hear the word – We have the Book of Acts and Peter and the other apostles performing tremendous miracles, and then we have the epistles that Paul wrote, who carefully explained what it takes to have a relationship with God in a new covenant era. The observer might think that through all these signs, wonders and miracles, having a relationship with Jesus would get lost in the mix, but just the opposite. The apostles and the fledgling church were so into God that the miracles actually took a back seat to their faith in Jesus, explaining why Paul so carefully laid out God’s plan of salvation for us, though God performed innumerable miracles through him. The only thing that mattered to Paul was Jesus Christ in his heart and saving as many souls as possible. Miracles are only a way of getting people’s attention and keeping the body healthy, and they sure got the attention of the people living in the area, which got the attention of the religious leaders of Israel, starting in verse 17.

(246h) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Demonstration of God’s kingdom >> God demonstrates His glory >> Demonstration of His healing virtue

Act 5-12

(72h) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> More Authority The More Responsibility >> Closer we get to Jesus the more authority we have – Jesus made many promises in John chapters 14 through 17. Jesus spoke about His people maintaining a deep and abiding relationship with the Father through Him, sadly one we almost never see. People these days have a lackadaisical attitude toward their own faith, and this is why we don’t see the promises of God fulfilled in the Church! What makes Him God after the fact that He created all things is that He subjects the creation to Himself. If God did not do this, He would not be God in the classical sense; rather, He would be a person who was pushed around by the things He made. Instead, God is utterly in charge and in control of everything, and this is how God subjects His church to Himself even if we don’t serve Him: by the conditions to the promises He made to us. If we don’t meet His conditions, then His promises are null and void. Therefore, we have no one to blame but ourselves if we have not submitted to Him and thus do not see His hand in our lives. When we look at the language Jesus used to deliver His promises, such as, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do” (Jn 14-13), if we met His conditions and committed our lives to Him as He expects, we would be utterly under His control, so that whatever He asked of us we would do. God is not interested in doing His will without us; He has a plan for our lives, and He will not implement it unless we work with Him.

(147e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Divine works of God >> Signs and wonders – When we compare this passage to the words of Jesus in the gospel of John chapters 14 through 17, He made many promises to us, and they were manifested in the first century through the apostles and elders of the Church. What about the rest of the people? It doesn’t say others were performing signs and wonders. Then later in the book of Acts, signs and wonders are less reported. Rather, it becomes a story about Paul on his missionary journeys and being thrown in jail and talking to governors. That is not to say that signs and wonders completely stopped, but in the beginning it talks more about them than anywhere else in the Bible, not even in the epistles did the writers talk much about signs and wonders. God used them to validate the gospel as an authoritative witness as the evangelist went from town to town preaching the gospel of the kingdom, but once the gospel was established in the people and the people in the churches, signs and wonders became less common.

Act 5,14-20

(185d) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Mystery of lawlessness >> Denying Christ in spite of His proven identity – It is important to note that signs, wonders and miracles were not all that got the attention of the religious leaders of Israel, also the growing popularity of the apostles and their newfound faith that was rapidly spreading throughout the region. What would bring about this level of jealousy in the high priest and Sadducees, these enemies of the early church? Couldn't they have faith in Jesus too if they wanted? So of what was there to be jealous? Actually, having an opportunity for faith with the rest is not exactly true, for they had already committed themselves to a spirit of unbelief, and there was no turning back from it. They did not admit they were wrong or confess that the apostles had a thing going with God or sought to join their faith. That would never happen, and so they were jealous because they were incapable of faith. It goes back to the very thing that God hated most about the children of Israel during the days of Moses, stubbornness. Plus, maintaining a faith in Jesus requires a conscience, which the religious establishment completely lacked, thus disqualifying them on yet another level.

Act 5,14-16

(145b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Methods of healing >> Unique methods of healing

Act 5-15,16

(146h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Disciples have authority to cast out demons

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Act 5,17-42

(29e) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> Delivered from wicked rulers

Act 5,17-32

(121l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence >> Confidence in God >> Confidence in God as you fulfill your ministry -- These verses go with verses 40-42

(149i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Authority of the rhema given to evangelism >> Receiving authority from God personally

Act 5,17-25

(100b) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance >> Persevere in preaching the gospel -- These verses go with verses 40-42. While the authorities were attempting to bring out their prisoners for prosecution and sentence, God had already broken them from the jailhouse and commanded them to return to the temple and continue teaching and preaching, the very thing that got them arrested. This had the intended effect; it greatly intimidated their enemies. This is one of the last times we hear about the Jews persecuting Peter and John; soon after this their enemies lost their nerve, and they did not know what to do with them, but note that a few years later when Paul arrived on the scene, they would not allow him even to set foot in Jerusalem without causing an uproar in risk of his life. The difference between him and the other apostles was his education. Paul was once a Pharisee, and for this reason the religious establishment had a special hatred for Paul converting to Christianity. It was one thing for the common man to convert, for in the mind of a Pharisee they didn't know any better, but for Paul to convert was treason. Someone might ask why they wanted to stop the gospel? In the mind of a Jew, the gospel was a direct slap in the face by God Himself, in that they were the ones who had Him crucified, and now the apostles were preaching a gospel asserting that He had risen from the dead.

Act 5,17-20

(15c) Servant >> Ministering spirits >> Angels give help in time of need – See Act 12,7-11 for commentary.

(15e) Servant >> Angels are messengers from God >> They are sent to impart information – With the message comes freedom, but the kind of freedom the apostles experienced that day was more than spiritual freedom, it was literal freedom from their enemies. This was an added benefit encountering an angelic messenger; he pulled them from their latest jam while visiting. The fact that an angel came and delivered them indicated that their enemies intended to slay them, and God was by no means done using His apostles. The angel accomplished two things: he set them free, and he instilled fear in their enemies, knowing that breaking out of that jailhouse by their own wits was impossible. Going right back to the same location and preaching the gospel that got them arrested in the first place, invoked intimidation in the high priest and the Sadducees. Had they broken from jail by their own power, the apostles would have become fugitives, jumping the fence over the boarder headed for Motown. Their enemies would have actually preferred this instead of being proven the ones on the run from God. The fact that they were still there and unafraid, doing what got them in trouble in the first place with a growing number of converts with signs and wonders to their account, the high priest and Sadducees found themselves in a tight spot not knowing what to do. They backpedaled instead of martyring the apostles, making request of them, ‘We told you to stop preaching and teaching in this name; are you intent to bringing this man’s blood upon us?’ Peter told them, “We must obey God rather than men.”

(71j) Authority >> Ordained by God >> God ordains us through His commandments -- These verses go with verses 27-29. Peter and the other apostles were preaching the gospel and performing miracles in such a way that thousands of people were coming to the Lord, and they were all Jews. Then the high priest and the Sadducees locked up Peter and some others in the public jail, but in the night an angel came and rescued them, and they went right back preaching the gospel in the temple and from house to house in the vicinity where they were arrested. God ordained His apostles through the commandment they received from the angel, being bold enough to go right back teaching and preaching in the name of Jesus, receiving this boldness as eyewitnesses of His resurrection and under the tutelage of His 3-year ministry.

(147f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Divine works of God >> Spiritual manifestations

(152d) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Fruitful results prove apostleship As it turned out nobody else even came close to copying the apostles in their promotion of the gospel. The first and second century Christians were loyal and dedicated, but most were nowhere near that of the apostles. In fact, the second century Christians were the first to lose the anointing, which was key to the gospel. Remember the dove that lit on Jesus' shoulder at His baptism? It represented the anointing, which is elusive like trying to make a dove remain on your shoulder. Go through the teachings of the second century Christian writings and we see that teachings about the anointing are conspicuously absent. See also: Reformation did about as much harm as good; Mk 6-12; 193b

(180ca) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Be shrewd as wolves and more innocent than they appear >> Fighting off wolves with a clever innocence >> Being more clever than their sin

(201e) Denying Christ >> Jesus is an offense >> Truth offends error >> The gospel offends the religious establishment

Act 5-17,18

(24g) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Envy >> Angry at God because of their poverty

(242g) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Worldly pressure >> World pressures you to forsake God -- These verses go with verses 23-33

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Act 5-20

(150f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Confessing Jesus >> Confessing Jesus as the son of God -- This verse goes with verse 29

Act 5,21-24

(20i) Sin >> Doubting miracles – The knowledge of Jesus’ resurrection was not disseminated throughout the religious establishment, because good news of the gospel traveled slowly among the disobedient, while lies and deception traveled fast among those who are ready to believe a lie. The apostles sprung from jail was a miracle in lieu of the level of security that was imposed on them. If the prison was made secure as it was in Peter's case (Act 12,5-11), there were guards outside the prison; there were guards inside the prison; there were guards standing next to the cell, the cell was securely locked and the prisoners were fastened in chains. They knew that a natural explanation could not account for them being free, so the unbelievers knew a miracle had occurred but were not about to admit it. After Gamaliel’s advice to leave the apostles alone (Vs34-39), persecution began to subside until the dispersion in AD 70 when Christians were expelled from Jerusalem.

Act 5,23-33

(186g) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> The reprobate >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> After they reject God’s faith how can they believe?

(242g) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Worldly pressure >> World pressures you to forsake God -- These verses go with verses 40-42

Act 5,24-28

(122i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness in adverse circumstances >> Speak the truth in the face of adversity – Normally, once a guy broke from prison he would become a fugitive for life, but these guys walked back to the temple and kept teaching the people about Jesus, the very place where the authorities arrested them. This took a lot of nerve. They didn’t care what the authorities did to them, because they received instruction from the angel. When a person is in a bind like our apostles, it is often difficult to know what to do, but they were told what to do, so the difficult thing was for them to do what they were told. God asked a lot from His apostles, and it took incredible courage to obey Him, yet their boldness resulted in greatly intimidating their enemies, who thought that if they could get the apostles to fear them, this Jesus-faction would come to a quick and decisive end, but the apostles did not fear them because God was on their side.

(247k) Priorities >> God’s priorities >> The will of God >> We play our part in the will of God >> Doing the will of God – The apostles feared God, knowing that His will was the safest thing to do, and that doing anything else was walking from the light that was shining on them and venturing into darkness. Had this been their own idea, they may have gotten themselves killed, but because God was behind it, all the cards were stacked in their favor and against their enemies. The safest place for them was the portico of Solomon preaching and teaching the word of God. That morning it didn't matter if anyone was listening and getting saved through their teaching; it was only important that their enemies were listening.

Act 5-24

(16k) Sin >> Continuing in sin to avoid the light >> Suppressing the truth they cannot deny – The "authorities" threw Peter and his friends in jail from jealousy. An angel came and helped them, so the next time they saw the apostles they were miraculously back on the street preaching the gospel. Instead of wondering how they got past the bars of their jail cell and past the jailers, they merely wondered what aftermath the situation would bring. The apostles could not get the religious establishment to think seriously about God to save their souls. No matter what they did: heal the sick, raise the dead, it didn’t matter; they were impervious to the truth of the gospel.

Act 5,26-33

(201f) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Jesus is an offense >> Jesus offends the world >> The cross offends the world – The words of the apostles cut them to the quick because they knew they couldn’t admit they were wrong or repent, and for this reason heaven was not on the table for them. They were destined to spend eternity in hell, incapable of receiving the free gift of salvation from God; it simply wasn’t made for them. They went from being the noblest of all Israel to being completely sidestepped. Israel was the only nation in the world that was created by God and for God, yet its leaders would receive no potion or inheritance in the new thing that God was doing, and it infuriated them that He was cutting them out of the deal through their own blackened hearts. They led a wealthy life of nobility, but now they were in the process of losing everything; all their hatred was directed toward God. They never served Him anyway, so nothing really changed. They hated God before this, but now their hatred was manifesting, the truth coming to the fore while the apostles made fools of them. They knew they were spiritually bankrupt, any hope in God evaporated, their earthly future destroyed, much more their eternal future, and the apostles were responsible for it all. They were reprobates, having hardened hearts, having denied the faith, rejected the truth, and now they wanted to kill the apostles, keeping in line with their forefathers, as Jesus said about them in Mat 23-37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you.” They wanted to kill the messengers to stop the message, because they knew that all these things would work to their own demise. 

Act 5-26

(148e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage of the public eye

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Act 5,27-42

(28b) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects us through our faith Once Pentecost came and the disciples were filled with the Spirit and walked in a divine anointing, they did things that were just as dangerous as the night of Jesus’ betrayal, yet nothing happened to them because God protected them through their faith in the truth. God protects the gospel, and He protects those who are dedicated to it, because He has made an investment in them, and He uses them to accomplish His work in the world. If we want God’s protection on our lives, the best way to receive it is to become irreplaceable.

Act 5,27-33

(175i) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Dodging the issue (willful ignorance) >> Dodging the issue to get out of trouble – The religious leaders of Israel were cut to the quick by these words, proving they believed their message, or they wouldn’t have wanted to kill them. They knew the apostles were telling the truth. They knew Jesus rose from the dead and was Israel's Messiah. It enraged them that God thought they needed saving after tricking them into murdering His Son for the sake of their own redemption. That is, they thought they were on God's side; they thought God was happy with them, when in fact the exact opposite was true. Not only did they need saving as sinners, they also needed to repent of their unbelief, and this was the part that kept them from receiving their Messiah. They could have humbled themselves and confessed their sin to receive Jesus' blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin after committing such atrocities against Him, but pride held them in bondage to unbelief.

(179c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Jesus rebukes the Pharisees >> The world runs into the Church to escape God’s judgment

(185c) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Mystery of lawlessness >> Having no grounds for your hate >> Hating the Church without a cause

Act 5,27-32

(87d) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Church obeys all the Father’s will – These members of the council understood that the apostles had to obey God rather than men, because they felt the same way, since they too had faith in the very same God, only according to the Old Testament laws of Moses. In fact, they were supposedly defending their beliefs by arresting the apostles who were teaching doctrines they did not recognize, and in their own way they were attempting to obey God rather than men. They did not recognize the apostles as messengers of a gospel that was ordained by the same God they served, and so it was a standoff, both groups attempting to obey God according to their understanding of Him, the only real difference being their conscience. Peter and the apostles served God with a clear conscience; whereas the members of the arresting council were serving Him with a conscience that had long been shredded through greed and corruption, having ulterior motives for everything they did and merely used their religious beliefs as a front to launder their deeds. They were striving to preserve the laws of Moses on false pretense, since their religion had become a business by which they acquired power and prestige among the people. Being Israel's spiritual leaders of a theocracy, they were also Israel’s government, which added to their authority and motive for rejecting Christ.

Act 5,27-29

(6c) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Jesus’ yoke of evangelism – Peter’s answer was slightly different from Act 4-19,20, where he spoke as an addict of the gospel, this time spoke in logical fashion, appealing to his accusers’ personal faith and sense of justice, saying, “We must obey God rather than man.” This was something the Pharisees and Jews understood, for they too felt they must obey God rather than man. The Jews thought the gospel was in direct violation of their law, being unable to see that Christianity actually dovetailed with the writings of Moses. They too thought they were doing the right thing, though somewhere in their darkened hearts they knew their religiosity more resembled a train wreck. At some point in every person who doesn’t believe the truth, he must have manipulated his mind to replace the truth with a lie. The Jews had real convictions too, but their convictions were not sincere, in that they opposed the truth.

(71a) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have authority from God to evangelize the world >> We have an anointing to preach the gospel

(71j) Authority >> Ordained by God >> God ordains us through His commandments -- These verses go with verses 40-42. When the angel came and rescued the apostles, he didn’t instill enthusiasm and boldness... they already had it. Without a revelation of Jesus Christ, the angel’s words would have sounded like a painful job, but coupled with the anointing that powered their spiritual understanding of the truth, the angel supported God’s purpose and will for them. The angel told them to go right on preaching and teaching, having received the original commandment from Christ. The angel confirmed the words of their Master, indicating how important this was to God, not only to save souls, but also to get the gospel of Christ well entrenched before they handed it to the next generation. 

(216i) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God forces you through your own convictions

Act 5-27,28

(67i) Jesus delegates authority >> Preaching the gospel in Jesus’ name -- These verses go with verses 40-42

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Act 5-28

(27b) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Curse >> Deeds that return to the doer >> Blood of Jesus – Actually, they are the ones who brought this man's blood upon themselves. According to Mat 27-25 the Jews spoke in one voice with the religious leaders of Israel as their choir director, chanting, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” Possibly these very men helped instigate His crucifixion, and now they want immunity from His blood. The Christian rejoices that the blood of Christ is upon him, but that makes the Christian simultaneously guilty of His murder, but this is God’s plan of salvation. The message of the cross says that unredeemed man if allowed in heaven would try to kill God and usurp His throne. When our sin literally executed Him, it put the exclamation mark on the message, and when He rose from the dead it completed His ability to forgive us. Unrepentant sinners don’t want His blood on them, but wishing the blood of Christ off them is a greater sin than killing Him, for then God cannot forgive them after He has provided the way of salvation. People like to bury their problems; it’s not a good solution, because it tends to create more problems than it solves, especially when the man they buried won’t stay dead.

(38b) Judgment >> Blood of Jesus >> God judged man through the blood of His son – We would think that because the word of the resurrection was gaining popularity, it would come to the ears of His persecutors as good news, potentially freeing them from shedding this man’s blood, since the innocent man they murdered was no longer dead, but they didn’t believe the story of His resurrection. There can never be enough evidence for people who don’t want to believe in Jesus. Even if they saw Him alive standing in front of them, they still wouldn’t believe in Him, because believing in Jesus would infringe on their prior beliefs. These Jesus killers bypassed the opportunity to clear their conscience. Apparently it didn’t bother them to have killed an innocent man. Not even God would have held them accountable for killing His Son in cold blood had they submitted to Him, for his death was meant to forgive the sins of the whole world, starting with them, but they turned down the offer, so God held them accountable for shedding the blood of Jesus. However, the curse of unbelief is not restricted to the Jews, but to everyone who denies the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus died for the sins of the world; therefore, those who made Him die in vain through their unbelief will be held accountable for shedding His blood along with the Jews.

Act 5,29-33 

(154e) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is godless >> Witness that the world hates God

Act 5-29

(150f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Confessing Jesus >> Confessing Jesus as the son of God -- This verse goes with verses 40-42

Act 5,30-32

(67d) Authority >> Jesus at the right hand of the father >> He delegates authority – God exalted Jesus to the right-hand of His power, using Him to intercede for us by His Spirit. Our relation to God is in repentance, along with the good works that He has prepared for us. Without these we cannot relate to Him; without repentance we are living in ways that He does not approve, and without developing the hearing ear to hear what the Spirit is saying, we cannot know His will, much less do it. Without them we are lost in our understanding and completely in the dark about God. This was the world before Jesus "brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2Tim 1-10), that we might follow Him and discover the ceiling of prayer removed and the door of heaven opened.

(208a) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The kindness of God >> The cross

(209k) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Jesus is our sacrifice >> Jesus paid the price for us >> Father sent His son to the cross

(210ha) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Salvation is from the Jews >> The Jew first >> Jesus was a Jew

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Act 5-31

(193g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> God grants repentance – If we seek to obey the law by faith in God’s righteousness, He will impart His Spirit, and if we listen to His Spirit, He will grant us an anointing by which we can repent of our bondage to sin to do exploits for God. Repentance and forgiveness are not the same. Repentance is the ministry of John the Baptist and forgiveness is the ministry of Christ. Combining these two: God forgives, based on our willingness to stop sinning. bondage to sin is when we try and fail to repent in a continual process that occurs over sometimes years before a we can finally overcome our bondage. We are sorry for our sin and seek God's help. So long as we remain in an attitude of repentance, no matter how many times we fail, God will forgive us. Remember what Jesus said in Mat 9-6, “‘That you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ -then He said to the paralytic, ‘Get up, pick up your bed and go home.’” Based on this statement, what would be the difference if He said, ‘you are forgiven,’ or if He said, ‘you are healed?’ To one, God’s forgiveness is translated to healing, whether it be mental, spiritual or physical, and to another His forgiveness is translated to an anointing that enables us to become "freed from all things, from which [we] could not be freed through the Law of Moses (Act 13-39), and our victory over sin becomes the basis of our ministry toward people. If God will forgive us based on a heart of repentance, then He will also grant us the power to “fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power” (2The 1-11).

Act 5-32

(35f) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> Father sends the Holy Spirit – Peter said that God gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. That is not exactly what the Church teaches anymore. Rather, Christians tend to overemphasize the teachings of Paul focusing on the passages that speak about God doing everything for us and we just sitting back and receiving it. That is, the Church often confuses God's mercy with His "grace", mercy being the foundation of our salvation, while "grace" is the foundation of our relationship with Him. We don’t just believe in a set of doctrines to be saved, otherwise sinners could be saved without repentance. Part of the reason repentance is de-emphasized in the Church today is that people don’t know what part it plays in the gospel and how it dovetails with God's grace. Paul said in Eph 2-8,9, “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast,” and in the very next verse he continues, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph 2-10). Verses 8&9 speak about His mercy, while verse 10 speaks about his grace. Salvation is not a result of our works; instead, God gives His grace as we repent, not if we repent, meaning that salvation is based on trust, not just trusting God but also God trusting us. In other words, salvation is a marriage relationship where we marry our spouse before we know he/she will be faithful. See also: Salvation is by grace through faith; Act 15,1-12; 172h

(68g) Authority >> We have been given authority to be the children of God

(87ia) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Those who obey believe in God >> Those who obey the Holy Spirit – the Church today equates "faith" with belief, but they are not the same; actually, they are not even close to the same thing. We read the entire Bible to get a broader context of the entirety of Scripture from Matthew to Revelation before we can define these two words. The New Testament as a whole treats the word “belief” as obedience, and “faith” as a substance that comes from heaven. The New Testament tends to use these words interchangeably. James spoke about believing in terms of obedience, and so did Paul and even Jesus. Therefore, obedience is man’s version of God’s faith, and faith is God’s substance of man’s belief. That is, when we believe in Jesus, our obedience acts as a surrogate to the resulting faith we receive from Him.

(113h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Anointed through obedience

(144f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The Church Bears Witness of Jesus >> Of the Holy Spirit

(144i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Trinity bears witness of Jesus >> Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus

Act 5,33-40

(2h) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Do not touch the apple of His eye >> Do not harm His people

(110e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through you >> God chooses men to speak through

Act 5-33

(25a) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Hate the truth

(89l) Thy kingdom come >> God convicts us of sin >> Conviction reminds us to repent

(180f) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Wolves steal, kill and destroy >> Killing the sheep – The religious leaders of Israel put Peter and John in prison for preaching the gospel, and God released them, and they went right back preaching the gospel. They asked them why they were doing this, and they answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Then Peter reminded them that they hanged the prince of life on a cross and informed them that they were witness of these things. It says they were cut to the quick by these statements and wanted to slay them. Repentance was not mentioned, however, nor was it in their vocabulary; it never even entered their mind to admit that they were wrong, that they had made a mistake. These were some of the very people who had Jesus crucified, and so they wanted this man’s name to disappear, and Peter and John would not let that happen. Instead, they preached His name all the more that His crucifixion was the predetermined plan of God, and now that God raised Him from the dead as our Prince and Savior, He is still leading all Israel and the world to repentance through the preaching of His name. Their boldness provided proof of their testimony, and many believed in Jesus because of them. The religious establishment complained that the apostles were intent on bringing this man’s blood upon them, but they literally asked for it (Mat 27-25). It was fine while they had power over Him, but now that they lost their power, they were even powerless to stop His apostles.

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Act 5,34-42

(198i) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Ordained by man >> Ministries ordained by men will falter – Gamaliel’s proposition was based on the fact that he suspected the apostles were working for God and that what they were saying was true. The basis of his statement was that they needn't fight against these men, because if they are false, in time it will become apparent and the message will ultimately fade into obscurity like all the others, but the fact that he considered their message plausible suggested that he entertained the possibility of the resurrection. This means Gamaliel may have gotten saved at some point. The other Pharisees were not saying anything like this; they never entertained the possibility that the apostles were speaking the truth. Just a note, Gamaliel was the Apostle Paul's teacher as a Pharisee (Act 22-3), which supports the idea that Paul, even while he was persecuting the Church, served his conscience as Gamaliel did, suggesting that he was sincerely wrong. 

Act 5,35-37

(180a) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Wolves lead people into a cult >> Leading people for sordid gain – Gamaliel took no part in killing the Son of God but these other Pharisees did, and talking about Jesus rising from the dead haunted them. Moreover, they didn’t want the gospel to take over their business of religion. It would mean the abolition of their position as religious rulers in Israel. They would lose their job and their status in society, and it would seriously affect their pocket book. They might have to get a job like all the little people they despised. Nevertheless, they took Gamaliel’s advise, hoping the apostles would eventually disappear. After this the apostles were not so heatedly persecuted.

Act 5-39

(170c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Pursuing the glory of man turns us in the wrong direction >> Fighting God to keep the glory of man – Gamaliel was a levelheaded man who brought sense to the minds of these insane lunatics. He didn’t tell them anything they didn’t already know. They had an accurate depiction of the circumstances and knew the implications, yet they persecuted the apostles, complaining that they were intent on bringing this man’s blood upon them. In fact, those were the exact terms they accepted at His crucifixion, “And all the people said, ‘His blood shall be on us and on our children!’” (Mat 27-25) They knew precisely what they were doing and were willing to accept the consequences at the time. People hate God and fight against Him any way they can, being the case since the fall of man. At the very end of man’s rule, they will fight against God in the most literal sense, in the war of Armageddon, but until then man fights against Him in ways that are masked in various degrees of spite. At at the War of Armageddon, man will take up swords and clubs and seek to conquer the King coming in all His glory, and it will be a pathetic image of what man has been trying to do ever since Adam ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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Act 5,40-42 

(67i) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> Preaching the gospel in Jesus’ name -- These verses go with verses 27&28

(71d) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Worthiness of man >> God makes us worthy of heaven

(71j) Authority >> Ordained by God >> God ordains us through His commandments -- These verses go with verses 17-20. The level of boldness it took to go right back to the very place where they were arrested and continue preaching and teaching the gospel in the name of the resurrected Christ was asking to die, but the apostles' attitude was, 'better that than disappoint the Lord.' They didn’t care what happened to them, because their hope was on the resurrection from the dead, not just His but theirs too. God will raise us all from the dead one day and give us brand new bodies that cannot die or suffer pain and place us in a world that knows no sorrow, and we will live in heaven forever, so what’s the big deal about this temporal life? The religious leaders flogged the apostles, telling them to stop teaching in the name of Jesus and then released them. There was nothing else they could do, because the people held them in high regard. Thousands of people were being saved largely because of their boldness, and there was not a thing the religious establishment could do. Their boldness accomplished two things: it put the fear of God in their enemies and it encouraged the people to believe in Jesus.

(81h) Thy kingdom come >> Pray without ceasing >> Preach the gospel through continuous prayer

(100b) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance >> Persevere in preaching the gospel -- These verses go with verses 17-25

(121l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence >> Confidence in God as you fulfill your ministry -- These verses go with verses 17-32

(125c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Joy >> Joy is the result of investing in the kingdom >> Investing in a life of adversity – The angel who bailed them out of jail and commanded them to continue preaching the word of God could be seen as responsible for the apostles’ flogging, so not everything God commands of us will end in favor of our flesh, but if we do what He says, it will result in the glory of God, and we will share in the benefits and inheritance of His kingdom as we do our part to establish His truth in the world. Many people blame God for their unhappiness, much of which they brought on themselves, and if they complain about the consequences of their own ways, how far are they from the attitude of the apostles, who went through a flogging for obeying His will? The safest place for the apostles was dead-center in the will of God, even if it hurt, because then they know their souls are safe, and that is all that really matters. If we face hardship and persecution throughout our lives for walking on the path that He designated for our feet, we are miles ahead of the one who has an easy life but in the end loses his soul. The path to the shores of His eternal kingdom is at time fraught tribulation, yet the gifts of obedience we leave behind will foster obedience in others, who will in turn glorify God with their faith. 

(148j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Preach even if it hurts – The apostles received a flogging that must have nearly killed them with the anger that raged in their enemies. They probably received thirty-nine lashes with a cat of nine tails (over forty lashes were considered excessive by Mosaic law; Deut 25-3). Flogging Jesus before nailing Him to the cross almost killed Him, being the reason He died before the other two, and then it happened to Peter and his friends shortly after Jesus’ ascension, and they were able to rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. What an attitude of service, worth any amount of gold, silver and precious stones, and what a transformation the apostles enjoyed, who were Jesus’ misfit disciples only a few weeks earlier! To have this kind of faith is something nobody can simply conjure, but was the work of God. These guys received a revelation of Jesus Christ. God deposited something in their hearts that was so profound the apostles were willing the sacrifice their lives to maintain their grasp on it.

(150f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Confessing Jesus >> Confessing Jesus as the son of God -- These verses go with verse 20

(152a) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Enduring hardship proves apostleship

(201e) Denying Christ >> Jesus is an offense >> Truth offends error >> The gospel offends the religious establishment

(242g) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Worldly pressure >> World pressures you to forsake God -- These verses go with verses 17&18. They couldn’t stop the apostles, because they couldn’t instill fear in them. The only way to stop them was to kill them, which eventually they did, but it didn’t stop the gospel. Like their teacher, the apostles used their popularity to keep their enemies at bay as a standard device of protection throughout the New Testament.

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