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ACTS CHAPTERS 3 &4

KJV    NAS

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1-3 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. 2 And a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.

 

Act 3,1-12

(143c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> The public >> The disciples ministered publicly – The man healed was somebody that everyone knew, unlike Oral Roberts and those of his caliber, who would stage healings at his revival meetings, who after he laid his hands of him would leap up and throw away his cane or crutches or  walker or wheelchair, and would jump around the stadium and perform other shenanigans, pretending to be healed. This could not have happened, since the man was born crippled and was over forty years old, probably having lived in the community his whole life, and parked himself in front of the synagogue begging alms every Sabbath over a course of many years. No one would go through the trouble of setting up a 40-year staged healing. There was no other conclusion anyone could draw other than a bona fide miracle, being the reason it was such a persuasive healing.

Act 3,1-10

(145d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Healing >> Jesus heals through the Church – The problem with so many people in their inability to receive healing from God is they have a choice not to receive it. They can want it with all their hearts, but because they have a choice, they so often choose not to be healed. There is something keeping them from receiving it; some say it is sin, but what is more often the case is that the commitment to be healed is like jumping into a swimming pool; they think it is going to be a bad experience. The temperature of the air and of the water represents the level of commitment we must have before we will jump. If it is a 90 degree day and the water is warm, it is not much of a commitment to jump into the pool, but the cooler the air, the more distant we are from God, and the cooler the water, the less appealing is the whole idea. If we jump, it will change everything, including and especially our relationship with God, and many are not ready for that. Based on this perspective, being healed is a lot like getting saved, many people are not ready for that either. This is especially poignant when we remember that healing is an aspect of our salvation. When we attempt to receive something directly from God, whether it be a miracle, an anointing or a spiritual gift, a transition will occur from the natural realm to a new and more intimate level of the spiritual realm. This kind of change is never comfortable to the flesh, but is paradise to the spirit.

(229f) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> God uses us to cause the growth – It appears that after the resurrection and ascension of the Lord, essentially nothing had changed, at least not externally, but many changes were happening on the inside of these men. God was establishing His kingdom on the earth on a spiritual level, starting in the hearts of Jesus’ disciples, who had gone through a metamorphosis in the terrible experience of seeing their Lord and master crucified as their chrysalis, and now after the Holy Spirit had been sent into the world they were emerging from their trauma as His apostles. life went on as usual for a while, continuing the routine that Jesus started of entering the synagogue and preaching the word of God to the people. This was Peter and John’s intension as they were entering the synagogue and met this man who was crippled from his mother’s womb. It was unbeknownst to those around them the treasures that God had invested in His twelve apostles, until they spoke them into existence. The only observable change was they spent a lot of time together. Other than this, along with an occasional miracle, sign and wonder, life went on as usual.

(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 – We may believe in God prior to receiving the gift, but there is a difference between believing in God on a theological basis and believing in Him in terms of receiving something from Him, for then we will have believed in Him based on personal evidence that has been given us. By grabbing this man and yanking Him to his feet, Peter made it a little easier for him to receive his healing. He didn’t have time to sit there and think about it, giving the devil opportunity to put negative thoughts of unbelief in his heart. Another thing, this was the beginning of the gospel of Christ and was one of the first recorded miracles that the apostles performed. Hence, for the same reason Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom at the beginning of His ministry, strengthening people’s faith to receive the signs, wonders and miracles that He would later perform, so because no one was familiar with the apostles preaching the gospel of the kingdom with power, the crippled man needed a little help in his faith. Had the man been accustom to signs, wonders and miracles and receptive to being healed, Peter would not have had to grab the man and pull him from his chair.

Act 3,1-8

(216a) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> Being healed without delay

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4-10 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, "Look at us!" 5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene -walk!" 7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. 8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

 

Act 3,4-10

(122j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness in adverse circumstances >> Do the will of God in the face of adversity

Act 3,4-8

(97e) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Facing in the direction of the Lord >> Focusing your attention on the word of God – If the man were healed and started leaping and jumping without knowing how it happened because he wasn’t paying attention, how would he even know to praise God? Giving our full attention is an important aspect of receiving from God. He wants to impart things in us while we are fully present. He wants us to be there to witness the miracle of transferring His kingdom into our innermost being. The primary witness of the things God is doing in us... is us. It is irrelevant whether God could have healed the man without giving his full attention to the apostles, since this is not how God works. One of God’s main objectives is to restore our minds as He restores our bodies and other aspects of our lives, but the mind is the primary target on God’s priority list of fixing, healing and redeeming ventures. He wants to impart His truth in such a way that we understand Him on a conscious level so that our minds might come alive and be healed of our dead thoughts that conflict with His life-filled truth. 

(115g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Laying on of hands >> Seeing signs, wonders and miracles This man who was healed had been lamb from his mother’s womb; He never was able to walk his whole life. Peter possessed the healing power of God in his mouth and in his hands. Note that he grabbed the crippled man’s hand and pulled him from where he was sitting, eliminating the occasion to contemplate whether or not to obey the command. He was either going to stand on his own two feet or when Peter let him go he would crumple into a heap, so the man had to make a quick decision before his feet hit the ground whether he would receive his healing or not.

(121b) Expectation (Key verse)

(121f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Hope >> Expectation >> Expecting good things based on God’s character >> Expectation based on God’s generosity

(249g) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> The infinite and eternal wealth of God >> God’s perception of wealth >> Our hope in this life

Act 3,6-8

(9e) Responsibility >> God strengthens us from our weaknessesThese verses go with verse 16

Act 3-6

(67f) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> Name of Jesus >> Performing miracles in Jesus’ name -- This verse goes with verse 16

(150g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Confessing Jesus >> Confessing what Jesus has done -- This verse goes with verse 16

Act 3-10

(88i) Thy kingdom come >> Fearing the power of God is the beginning of wisdom

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

11&12 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. 12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, "Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?

 

Act 3,11-26

(7d) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defend the word by preaching it

Act 3,11-23

(149b) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> Repentance – Peter very succinctly laid down the basic principles of the gospel in splendid detail in these verses. There is an adage in evangelism, ‘we must get the people lost before we can get them saved,’ and this is what Peter was doing when he told the Jewish people they disowned the Lord after Pilate decided to release Him, which cut them to the quick. It was the fault of the people that Jesus was crucified, not their government; Pilate was actually  better than the people he governed, yet Pilate ended up disowning Him too, regardless of his good intensions. Someone could have argued with Peter and said, ‘I didn’t disown Him; I wasn’t’ even there.’ Peter would have had an answer for him, for he was there and he never heard a voice of support, not even his own. Had anyone protested Jesus’ crucifixion, they would have hung him on a cross next to Him. One of the criminals crucified next to Jesus was the only person to support Him. “‘Don't you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong’” (Lk 23-40,41). Peter denied Him three times that he even knew Him, and that made him a sinner in need of a savior. The criminal on the cross who asked Jesus for eternal life was the only person who did not disown the Lord that day, yet he was not hanging next to Jesus because of his righteousness but because of his sin. Disowning the lord or being a criminal is the same to God.

Act 3,11-20

(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 – Peter immediately dispelled the notion that power had originated from him, directing the people instead toward the truth, that Jesus Christ who dwells within him through the Holy Spirit made this man whole. From there he preached a sermon, basing it on this miracle they all witnessed, using it as a springboard, essentially drawing an arrow from the healing to the salvation of Christ. He made sure to give the gospel its rightful emphasis, not on signs, wonders and miracles but on forgiveness, offering a formal invitation to eternal life and the Kingdom of Heaven. This man could have remained a cripple and still gone to heaven by believing on the Lord Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit as Peter and the rest of the apostles did. The miracle of healing was not the basis of the man’s salvation, but the basis of Peter’s sermon about the gospel of Christ. Miracles, signs and wonders get people’s attention, proving that not only is there a living God who is willing to heal our bodies and interact with us, and is present, but also that the one who performed the healing and is preaching the gospel knows Him personally. Peter used the healing as a sign of His authority, not to perform healing, but to preach the gospel of Christ, emphasizing the fact that his message of the gospel was not a matter of personal opinion, but the very oracle of God.

Act 3,11-15

(109j) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of truth is our teacher – Peter walked with Jesus for 3½ years, being one of his closest disciples, yet Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach the gospel of Christ as Peter preached it that day. When the Lord was still with them, they preached the gospel, but it wasn’t the same gospel that Peter preached after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit in His place. The Holy Spirit taught Peter the gospel that He preached; therefore, who other than the Holy Spirit should teach us the gospel that we preach?

(149a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> The resurrection -- These verses go with verses 24-26. The motive for wanting Jesus crucified was they wanted power over God. He claimed to be the Son of God, so they had Him crucified just to see if they could do it, similar to being amazed at the immense size and obvious age of a giant sequoia tree and cutting it down to count its rings. If they succeeded, then that proves either He was not the Son of God or that they were stronger than God. So the cross represents a direct rebellion against the very person and authority of God. The cross proves that if the throne of God were obtainable by dethroning the one who sits upon it, we would attempt to take it by force, but the resurrection of Christ voided man’s rebellion and has ironically become God’s formal offer to mankind to share in His glorious throne, only on God’s terms.

Act 3-11

(123k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Physical affection with spiritual motives

Act 3-12

(77f) Thy kingdom come >> Humility >> Refusing the glory of man >> Rejecting the worship of men

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13-15 "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 "But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

 

Act 3,13-15

(45e) Judgment >> God’s Judgment >> On believer’s sin >> Through His Son >> On the cross – Peter did not try to convince the people they were sinners through the law, but merely reminded them of their denial of Christ, yet he was not a hypocrite for accusing them of the very thing he also did (Mat 26,69-75), in that Jesus died for sinners. Therefore, if they are sinners who receive Jesus as their savior, what are they who reject the gospel of Christ? Anyone who rejects the gospel has denied the Lord His rightful place in their hearts, and those who deny the Lord without repentance have the Jew as their example, who lost their place and their nation. What hope does anyone have after rejecting so great a salvation (Heb 2,1-4)?

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

(199j) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> Unwilling to receive Christ >> Rejecting Christ as the Messiah

(210c) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Jesus is our sacrifice >> God uses sinners to sacrifice His son

Act 3-13,14

(18a) Sin >> Unrighteous judgment >> Condemning Jesus

Act 3-13

(12k) Jesus is a servant (Key verse)

(13c) Servant >> Jesus serves His Father >> He is the servant of God – This verse goes with verse 26.

(98f) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith à Suffering à Glory of Christ) >> The cross -- This verse goes with verse 18

(141h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ life -- This verse goes with verse 18

Act 3-14,15

(37a) Judgment >> The cross >> God judged the sin of the world through Christ – This murderer, Barabbas, whom they released in place of Christ, represents the one who would disown the Lord, a sinner, the very person who would call for His death. Let the murderer go free and kill Jesus to destroy the object of their guilt, but the guilt they had in His life cannot hold a candle to the guilt they will have in His death. It turns out after Jesus was raised from the dead He made their rebellion utterly futile, and then offered them forgiveness and eternal life, so that now God represents them as the one going free, the scapegoat. There are miles and miles between a murderer who wants to be free of all consequences of his actions, and God offering us forgiveness and setting us free from our disobedience and unbelief to become the children of God who will inherit eternal life to live with Him in paradise forever and ever.

Act 3-14

(133b) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> God is holy >> Jesus is holy

Act 3-15

(39d) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection

(53d) Paradox >> Opposites >> Of life and death >> Life died

(144g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Trinity bears witness of Jesus >> Father bears witness of His Son

(254g) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is the life of the Spirit >> Jesus is the substance of God’s life >> Jesus conquered death because He is life

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16-18 "And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17 "And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.

 

Act 3-16

(9e) Responsibility >> God strengthens us from our weaknessesThis verse goes with verses 6-8

(67f) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> Name of Jesus >> Performing miracles in Jesus’ name -- This verse goes with verse 6. Peter was very quick the give glory to God; he didn’t want people worshipping Him, though three hundred years the Catholic Church did. He performed the healing and nobody worshipped him because of the words he spoke to them, saying that It wasn’t him. The virtue that healed the man originated from the man whom they had crucified, and was raised from the dead and has given us His Spirit, who works through those who believe in Jesus. When we associate Jesus Christ with the miracles that He performs for the sake of His gospel and persuading people of His plan of forgiveness and His offer of eternal life to all who are willing to receive it, He desires that all who are called may reach out and take hold of that which is life indeed (1Tim 6,17-19).

(114g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Obeying the Holy Spirit >> Implementing the revelation of the Holy Spirit

(115b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Working God’s grace through Christ >> We receive the anointing through Christ

(150g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Confessing Jesus >> Confessing what Jesus has done -- This verse goes with verse 6

Act 3,17-26

(23a) Sin >> Pride closes the windows of heaven – Pilate gave up Jesus for crucifixion condemning his own conscience. Isn’t that the very definition of sin, doing what you know is wrong, and wasn’t that the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when they ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil? They knew it was wrong to have Jesus crucified, because they knew He had done nothing wrong.

Act 3,17-19

(175j) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Ignorant of what God means >> Ignorant of the meaning of God’s word – The person eligible for salvation is the one who commits sin in ignorance, not the one who commits sin in full knowledge. However, everybody knows what he is doing when he sins, otherwise it wouldn’t be sin. For example, the Law increased sin’s transgression (Rom 5-20). Consider also the first sin in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, if God never told the man not to eat fruit from that tree, if the man ate from it, he would not have sinned, because the knowledge of sin would have been absent. So sin is literally defined by knowledge. We all know what we are doing when we sin, so what does this word “ignorance” mean? There are levels of knowledge, and there are levels of ignorance, and our communion with God defines these levels. When the Holy Spirit, who is an aspect of God, speaks to us and we ignore Him, it is blasphemy. Therefore, blasphemy is the antithesis of sinning in ignorance. We break the Law and we have still sinned in ignorance compared to sinning against God Himself, such as what Adam and Eve did when they ate the forbidden fruit. Had they not eaten from the Tree of Knowledge but committed any other imaginable offence, it wouldn’t have been a sin, because it didn’t pertain to God’s commandment. They were totally free, except for the Tree of Knowledge, and they had a propensity for righteousness, yet their curiosity got the best of them and they ate from the forbidden tree, and the rest is history.

(193d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Turn from your evil ways >> Turn from sin to God

Act 3,18-22

(44a) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Complete >> It is finished >> Fulfill God’s will – Everything has been prepared; the way of salvation has been made, like Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast. Peter was saying that supper was ready and the dinner bell was ringing, and all that remains is to come. God butchered His own Son, and now the table is set, and we receive Him at communion; we eat His flesh and drink His blood that we might be accepted in heaven before the Father. Peter said that the people acted in ignorance, and not only they but also their fathers, referring to generational sins that stem throughout the millennia. Mankind has acted ignorantly throughout his existence, but now the time has come to obey Christ and be saved and to enjoy times of refreshing from the Lord. There is no demand made on us, except to attend the feast; it is a gift from God; all we must do is receive it, but of course people are too involved in their sins to receive Christ these days. They start counting all the plans they would have to break in order to attend the feast. Jesus said about His day, “Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” (Jn 4-35). In the first century people came to Christ by the thousands, even though there was persecution. In America there is hardly persecution, yet people still don’t come to Christ. What would they do in the midst of persecution? If they didn’t join the Church, they would persecute it.

Act 3-18

(98f) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith à Suffering à Glory of Christ) >> The cross -- This verse goes with verse 21

(141h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ life -- This verse goes with verses 21-23

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19 "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

 

Act 3,19-26

(210j) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> God welcomes the Gentiles to the promise of Israel – “In your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” speaking to Abraham. Of course, he was speaking about Isaac first, because he was the only child born to Abraham. And then from Isaac would come Jacob, and from Jacob the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. From them a multitude like sand on the seashore, which no one could count traveled the exodus from Egypt in digression to the promise land. Israel made war with the people dwelling in their land, uprooting and utterly destroying whole tribes that once lived there, and it made the rest of the world afraid of sinning, yet all the families of the world were blessed through them. The gospel came through them to all the families of the earth, and the gentiles were blessed throughout the next two millennia. Some say that Christianity was the cause of war that killed many families of the earth, but these so-called holy wars were perpetrated by the Catholic Church, which claims to be the one and only true Christian Church, but hardly fits the definition. Rather, their beliefs are pagan and their doctrines contrived, and their leaders not Christ-like. Instead, the true Christian Church is spiritual in nature, and God alone knows its members.

Act 3-19,20

(30i) Gift of God >> Favor by His grace >> He does not take your sins into account -- These verses go with verses 25&26. Repentance is associated with times of refreshing. Talk to people about repentance, and they will consider it a negative word. In today’s church we can hardly talk about sin, much less in the world, yet if it weren’t for sin, we couldn’t be Christians, because God would not have had a reason to come and die on a cross, and we have received Him as savior and Lord. Sin cannot be wiped away apart from repentance. Practicing sin makes for very complicated circumstances in a Christian’s life, yet probably each of us has experienced this. When we first got saved, we were probably riddled with sin, and then little-by-little we eliminated one sin after another through God’s help, until there were no longer any sins that we practiced. We still commit sin but we are not in bondage to anything, and when we sin, we immediately ask God’s forgiveness. Repentance comes first, then cleansing and then times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord. Times of refreshing is associated with the presence of the Lord; we cannot experience His presence while we are practicing sin. Every Christian commits sin every day, but we don’t practice sin, meaning that we don’t do it on purpose, because we know that it doesn’t honor God, and we have dedicated our lives for the very purpose of honoring Him. We are unhappy when we sin, and we do everything in our power to eliminate it. God expects us to stop practicing sin, but He doesn’t expect us to completely stop sinning. It goes back to the foot washing symbolism; Jesus said, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean” (Jn 13-10). Dust collects on our feet as a natural consequence of walking down a dirt road; there is nothing we can do to avoid dirt, mud and grime. When it says He will send Jesus Christ appointed for you, it is referring to the Holy Spirit. Jesus is in heaven; He hasn’t returned to earth since His ascension 2000 years ago. If anyone thinks he has seen Jesus Christ, at most he has seen an angel; he hasn’t seen the Lord Himself, because He has never returned. Therefore, sending the Holy Spirit is tantamount to sending Jesus Christ, for the two are one and the same.

(35f) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> Father sends the Holy Spirit – Peter was talking to Jews when he said “repent and return.” Had he said that to the gentiles, it wouldn’t have made sense, because they never knew God, hence they couldn’t have returned. God called the Jews through Abraham centuries before Peter. The entire nation of Israel had backslidden and was scarcely following the Lord. It is interesting that Peter told them to return as though the old covenant were still in force. When they returned to God, they returned to a new covenant. Peter called for times of refreshing to come from the presence of the Lord, suggesting that prior to this there was oppression. The Romans oppressed Israel, though mostly they were oppressed by their own sins. God wants to refresh our souls, not just to save us but to give us a good life, leading us from our darkness into a relationship with Jesus Christ, based on faith and obedience in the Holy Spirit. God has declared anyone free from sin, who repents and returns to the Lord, not just as the work of the Spirit, but also as the work of the Father Himself, who sent His Son in the first place. God personally has declared man to be without sin, those who have believed on the name of Jesus and have committed their lives to following Him into His eternal Kingdom.

(117f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Rest in Jesus (Sabbath) >> Rest in His mercy

Act 3-19

(103d) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> God’s cleansing power >> Cleansing power of the Holy Spirit

(104i) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart shall see God >> Shall see Jesus >> Being in the presence of Jesus

(120b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Forgiveness >> God forgives us when we become accountable to Him >> When we repent – The sins we’ve committed are all in the past, and the past is forgiven. Now it is time to seek the Lord for a brighter future and receive the gift of eternal life. There is no more hostility toward us from God, only open doors and open arms. If we weren’t sinners, God couldn’t forgive us, and if God does not forgive us, then we can’t go to heaven, for God only receives and accepts forgiven sinners into His kingdom.

(228d) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> We are comforted in the presence of God >> God comforts us in His company

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

20&21 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. 

 

Act 3,20-26 

(245i) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of God’s righteous judgment >> Manifestation of Jesus’ victory over sin – This period of restoration is in reference to the age of Millennium, when Jesus finally comes to literally establish His kingdom on the earth. This is what the people of God have been hoping and praying would happen since the ancient prophets first brought it to their attention hundreds of years before Christ, but until then we will remain in the age of grace, described as a time of refreshing in the presence of the Lord. We are grateful that God has established a restoration in us by sending His Spirit, but until Christ physically takes over this world, the kingdoms of men will continue bringing wickedness and shame on one another, and for this reason the age of grace doesn’t seem very refreshing. Had the kingdoms of the earth taken full advantage of the cross throughout the last 2000 years, people could have achieved heaven on earth, but the sinful nature is too restless and cruel to allow that, and man’s heart is too disobedient to ever see it come to pass under his control. When the age of Millennium finally comes, Jesus will establish His righteousness on the earth. It will be a glorious and wonderful age, but Peter is preaching about a spiritual age of restoration that must come first.

Act 3,20-23

(67d) Authority >> Jesus at the right hand of the father >> He delegates authority – This is quite an amazing statement from the Old Testament: Moses was aware that his ministry was similar to that of Christ, the Great High Priest. Moses had a brother, Aaron, whom God appointed as Israel's high priest. They were both Levites, but God reserved Moses as Israel's leader and judge, yet his relationship with God more resembled that which we would expect from Aaron, though Aaron never came close to God as Moses did. No other man on earth before or after him except Christ spoke face to face with God. For one thing, God never saw a need to do that again, but secondly there was no one since Moses who was humble enough to place so much authority in him without it going straight to his head, whereas Moses, that never happened with him. The runner-up would be Elijah, who was the companion of Moses at Jesus’ transfiguration, whose anointings will also compose those of the two witnesses of revelation chapter eleven. Moses never felt special; he was really an anomaly that way, when in fact he was special because he didn’t think of himself as special. What makes us special is that we don’t act like other people, so if we want to be special to God, then we must not assume the common attributes of man, but serve God with a whole heart instead.

Act 3-20,21

(42c) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Overcoming sin

(237d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Receiving the kingdom in God’s time

(254j) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Salvation of Jesus’ Spirit We know that once Jesus ascended to the Father, He has not returned to the earth, but remains seated at His Father’s right hand, so when Peter said that God would send Jesus Christ, he meant He would send the Holy Spirit in His place. This verse speaks in no uncertain terms about Jesus being identical to the Holy Spirit and vice versa, so Peter was able to say that when God sent His Spirit, it was equivalent to sending His Son. This equivalence is not the same as Jesus telling His disciples, “he who receives you receives Me” (Mat 10-40). There he meant, ‘he who receives you is tantamount to receiving Me,’ that is, ‘whoever is willing to receive you is also willing to receive Me.’ In contrast, here Peter was saying that when someone received the Holy Spirit, it was not similar to receiving Jesus, it was identical to receiving Him. They are receiving someone who is so much like Jesus that He virtually is Him! Anyone who does not believe in the trinity has no excuse because of verses like this; they just choose not to believe it. What is worse, they devise clever ways to get around these verses by inventing doctrines to replace the trinity, adding to their guilt of unbelief.

Act 3-20 

(220d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> Divine appointments

(238g) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> Jesus will never leave us

Act 3,21-23

(141h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> It bears witness to Jesus >> Prophesy about Jesus’ life -- These verses go with verse 13

Act 3-21

(98f) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> (Faith à Suffering à Glory of Christ) >> The cross -- This verse goes with verse 13

(131k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Working together for one cause

(214g) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> Dispensation of God’s revelations >> Dispensation of the last days of time

(233a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Seeking the goals of the kingdom >> Seek the goal of the resurrection

 

22-26 "Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. 23 'And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.' 24 "And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 "It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.' 26 "For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways."

 

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Act 3,22-26 

(210ha) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Salvation is from the Jews >> The Jew first >> Jesus was a Jew – To the Jew first and also to the gentile nations the invitation of the cross is extended to partake of the tree of life, which stands in the paradise of God, representing Christ. Peter is bringing the gospel to the Jews, who deserve to hear it before any other nation or people. The gospel belongs to them, who actually disowned the Lord, who committed the greatest sin of all. The rest of us have disowned the Lord on a more symbolic level, whereas the Jew literally disowned Him, making their sin greater than any other nation of the world. The beauty of God’s grace, therefore, is that it seeks out sin to forgive it, and in forgiving it, destroys its power, and in place of the sin bestows an anointing. This suggests that the Jew potentially can receive a greater anointing than the average gentile Christian. The greater the sinner, the more the gospel belongs to him. This is why the accuser of the brethren, Satan, is intrinsically wrong, and is why our feelings of guilt regarding forgiven sin is a lie from hell. Next time the devil condemns you for the past, remember that sin itself is proof we are forgiven, that sin itself is proof God loves you and that sin itself is proof God has bestowed an anointing on your life that has the power to overcome the world. You remind the devil of that!

Act 3-22,23

(29i) Gift of God >> God is on our side >> God identifies with us >> Jesus is our brother – We should understand this word “brother” to mean fellow Christian. In the days of Moses, when this prophecy was made, the word "brethren" meant a fellow Jew, any citizen of Israel. That makes all the gentile nations of the world neighbors, and we know that God forbade the Israelites to integrate into the neighboring nations to keep their generations pure and to avoid their idolatry, just as Christ has commanded the Church to remain separate from the world, “‘Come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘and do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you’” (2Cor 6-17). It is clear that Jesus distinguished the Jew from the gentiles by the Canaanite woman whom Jesus hesitated to help, just because she was not Jewish (Mat 15,22-28). So the Jews were His fellow countrymen, but His brethren were even further defined as those who believed in Him for eternal life. This context is consistent throughout Scripture, yet people have misinterpreted the Scriptures to say that his brethren and our brethren refer to those related in the flesh, fellow believers or even strangers off the street. No, the scriptural meaning of the word brethren refers to fellow believers in the faith.  

(40h) Judgment >> Judgment of Christ >> God’s word judges the world >> It does not obey Him

(47d) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell is a place of destruction – This is a strong warning from God. If we do not believe in Jesus Christ as our savior and receive the Holy Spirit as the pledge of our eternal inheritance, then we will be utterly destroyed from among the people. In Old Testament terms it meant to be destroyed as in stoned to death, whereas the New Testament interpretation is eternal destruction in hell.

(48l) Judgment >> Jesus’ enemies are destroyed >> Enemies of the truth

(51d) Judgment >> Judging the Church with the world >> Warned to heed the word of God – This prophecy, spoken in Deuteronomy 18,15-19, was in reference to Jesus Christ. This fact makes the majority of Old Testament scripture hinged on this one verse, referencing also Exodus 20-19, “For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, "Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” This verse testifies that Israel sought Moses to intercede for them in order that their sins might not increase in severity. They were wise to understand this. Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 18 essentially tell us why God sent His Son in the first place: the people were unwilling to relate directly with God, so He sent Jesus to us, His glory cloaked behind human flesh that we might feel more at ease communicating Him. Instead, we killed Him, proving our hatred of God, both in Moses’ day and Jesus’ day, and we are no different, for Israel represents us all before God. Everyone who did not listen to Moses was destroyed, such as the entire generation that died in the wilderness. The list is long of the works of Moses that God performed through him, yet men in his day were so arrogant to think they were just like him. It wasn’t just the people who lived in the days of Moses to which this verse pertains, but to us all. “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law” (Rom 2-12). Whether we are barbarians without law or sinners under the law, if our works contradict the word of God, we will be utterly destroyed from among the people.

(66h) Authority >> Jesus’ authority >> His cross is the power of God

(88c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith produces works >> Relationship between faith and works >> Faith without works is dead – This verse prophesied about the coming of Jesus Christ, yet it doesn’t characterize the current version of Christ according to Hollywood and some of the pulpits in our churches today. Instead they depict Jesus as a man who was butchered for us so God might pour His grace on us, and our only obligation is to receive it. How many people believe in the grace of God, but when we look a little closer into the things that Jesus said, many of us are like the rich man who hung his head and walked away without receiving what he needed from God. Being accountable to the grace of God is not a popular a subject. If our lifestyle contradicts the word of God, it nullifies His grace. Many of us are willing to receive His grace, but who is willing to heed His grace. This is what this verse is saying; if we don’t heed the word of God, we will be destroyed from among the people, whether or not we believe in God. This whole thing about easy-believism has infected the Church with perverse lifestyles and belief systems that allow those who consider themselves Christians to live no different from the world. It allows them to pursue their interests in the love of money and to feed the lust of their flesh with any and all forms of pleasure and still be Christians. The only difference between them and the so-called unbeliever is a set of doctrines they claim to be true, but the Bible doesn’t teach this as true faith.

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Act 3,24-26

(149a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> The resurrection -- These verses go with verses 11-15

Act 3-25,26

(30i) Gift of God >> Favor by His grace >> He does not take your sins into account -- These verses go with verses 19&20

Act 3-26

(13c) Servant >> Jesus serves His Father >> He is the servant of God – This verse goes with verse 13.

(54g) Paradox >> Opposites >> If repentance is a blessing, why do we need to be coerced?

(193g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> God grants repentance

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org

 

ACTS CHAPTER 4

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1-6 As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. 5 On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.

 

Act 4,1-22

(180cb) 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 bold than their cleverness

Act 4,1-14

(183j) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Truth is the enemy of the spirit of error >> Spirit of error interrogates the truth – What would have happened had the religious leaders of Israel received Jesus Christ as their Messiah? They would not have been at odds with the apostles as they were in the Book of Acts. They were responsible for Him being crucified, yet the people had a motive too; when He came to Jerusalem, they expected the Kingdom of God to appear immediately, but when they saw that Old Testament prophecy would not be fulfilled according to their interpretation of it, referring to the up-and-coming Millennium, the multitudes called as one voice for His crucifixion. They missed the Old Testament prophecy the first visitation of their Messiah come to them as the lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. The genuine gospel of Christ when preached through the Holy Spirit has the power to bring the religious world to it knees. The Scriptures named the high priests and then turned them into the greatest villains of all time. Prior to the visitation of Christ they were the most respected people in Israel. 

Act 4,1-12

(149a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> The resurrection – Before the gospel, man’s understanding of God referred only to this life; there was little if any teaching about heaven in the Old Testament. Although Psalms and places in Isaiah spoke about heaven, it made no mention of man going there. The old covenant concerned itself only with this life, and then the new covenant came and brought “life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2Tim 1-10). The Church had to create new concepts in people’s minds before they could believe in Jesus, yet people were highly receptive to it. For example, the resurrection of Christ is the most important aspect of the gospel, yet the first century had to initially build that concept in people’s minds before they could believe in the gospel, because this idea didn’t exist. No doubt people thought about living forever, such as searching for the fountain of youth, but coming to life after the body had died and decayed into the ground was not something anybody even considered until then. Although the thought was certainly intriguing, no one knew how to believe in something like this, so the resurrection was a challenge in relating the gospel much as it was an attraction.

Act 4,1-3

(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 cross would be no threat at all without His resurrection. The preaching of the resurrection was a huge threat to the religious leaders of Israel, because they were the ones who condemned and crucified Jesus Christ and they also knew that He rose from the dead, though they denied it. They made up stories about it, and placed guards around His tomb, handpicking them. Instead of killing the guards, which they normally would have done had they failed in their duties, they instead gave them money to keep the story under their hats. Therefore, the resurrection from the dead cuts both ways, both in the fact that they crucified the Lord of glory, and also by the fact that they themselves will be raised from the dead one day to be sent to an everlasting punishment. The resurrection from the dead is indeed their greatest threat.

Act 4-1,2

(39c) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Preaching the resurrection – The religious leaders of Israel did not want the apostles to teach the people about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are not the only ones who don’t want to hear about the resurrection from the dead, though it is the hope and promise of the Christian, yet the resurrection does not pertain to the believer only, but also to the unbeliever. When God raises the dead and gives the condemned a spiritual body that cannot die, He will then send them to hell with it. The Bible teaches that God dwells in smoke and fire, which is the environment of hell, the ultimate environment in which mortal man is incapable of surviving, being absolutely inaccessible to us. Like the burning bush that drew Moses’ attention in the wilderness, God will give the damned an eternal body that cannot be destroyed, and then throw them into the eternal flames of the lake of fire, His preferred environment, only they will not fare so well with it. The Bible also teaches that God will send the redeemed through a fire that will burn up the chaff, and that which remains will be their reward (1Cor 3,11-17). God will also send the condemned through the fire that will consume everything, but like the burning bush, they will not be destroyed. God is happy in this environment, but the damned are continuously destroyed in it. This is why the religious leaders of Israel rushed to the scene when they heard these guys were preaching about the resurrection. 

Act 4,5-20

(7d) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defend the word by preaching it

Act 4,6-14

(123a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness to speak the word by the Spirit – Peter spoke by a boldness that was not his own. When he opened his mouth, the words gracefully flowed off his lips without impediment or hesitation. God had driven the truth so deeply into him that it became his very essence. All he had to do was open his mouth and the truth just poured from him. He became a vessel through which God worked, contributing only his will, and the Holy Spirit did the rest. This was not the work of Peter to tell them these things, but the work of God. Peter was a screw-up; everything Peter did and said was wrong until the day of Pentecost, then everything changed. This is the power of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. The Scriptures offer one last example of Peter’s foibles before God would make him into someone who would help literally change the world. Just prior to Pentecost in selecting the twelfth apostle by drawing straws, Peter eliminated Paul as the twelfth apostle, if God wanted to take him seriously, for the sake of Matthias who was never mentioned again (Act 1,12-26).

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7-9 When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well,

 

Act 4,7-20

(71j) Authority >> Ordained by God >> God ordains us through His commandments – Annas the high priest wanted to know by what authority they were doing these things. This question was irrelevant in light of the miracle that had just transpired. They should have been asking them how to get saved. Their question was relevant in one way, though, in that God operates by a system of authority. However, their motives were evil in that their question contained implications that they were encroaching on their turf by an authority that was foreign to theirs. They were essentially asking the apostles for their credentials. ‘We’re high priests here, who are you?’ Peter didn’t offer any credentials other than the boldness of the Spirit that God put in his heart. Credentials were the high priest’s truth, but faithfulness and obedience were the apostles’ credentials, in whom God chose to display His power. The purpose of credentials are to keep track of the people who have submitted to the proper channels of authority, but we don’t need credentials with God, because He has a good memory and is able to keep track of those who belong to Him. Nevertheless, those who would aspire to be pastor of a church nowadays better have credentials, because most churches won’t even consider a candidate without them, even though Jesus didn’t have any, nor did any of his apostles, except Paul, albeit useless to God. People don’t trust regular folks to know the truth or to pastor their churches, but prefer board certified people in their pulpits, but credentials do not guarantee any of these things, and have a limiting factor of the board members who certify them; who knows if they know the truth? The credentials of the priests were their lineage as Levites, and their authority was the Old Testament. The credentials of the apostles was the indwelling Holy Spirit, and their authority was their anointing that transformed them, enabling them to speak the truth with boldness.

Act 4,7-10

(67f) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> Name of Jesus >> Performing miracles in Jesus’ name – Peter attributed the healing to the name of Jesus, but more specifically it was the work of the Holy Spirit, who performs the work of God in the age of grace. Peter gave credit to the name of Jesus, because He is the authority of the Holy Spirit, while the Holy Spirit is the power of Jesus’ name, and the Father has authority over all. Without the name of Jesus the Holy Spirit would have no identity, but in the name of Jesus the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son, who in turn glorifies the Father. Without the name of Jesus maybe Ala healed the man or Joseph Smith or Buddha. When Peter associated the name of Jesus with the healing, there could be no mistaking it was the God of Israel who performed the healing. When Jesus was here in the flesh, He didn’t heal people in His own name, but in His Father's name, focused His entire ministry on glorifying His Father, merely speaking the word and it happened, because He was Jesus, in contrast to the apostles who were careful to associate the name of Jesus with every miracle they performed.

Act 4,8-14

(110c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit speaks through us in times of persecution – Mostly, the anointing dips into the repository of our knowledge of God and brings the truth to our remembrance, but sometimes the anointing makes us say things we didn’t know until we said them; in this way He is our teacher. The anointing put the Pharisees to silence; Jesus did it numerous times, and now His apostles are doing it. They didn’t know what to say; they were completely at a loss for words, which is saying a lot. The Pharisees of the time were no different from the modern day Pharisees of today, and we all know we can’t shut them up, suggesting it was quite a feat. It is not easy to silence people these days; their arrogance is greater than their knowledge, which makes them think they are right about everything. 2,000 years have transpired and has allowed the Pharisees of our day to arm themselves with answers to just about any debate we could throw at them, but a day is coming when the mouths of modern-day Pharisees will be shut again. The anointing is coming.

Act 4,8-12

(110l) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spiritual substance and truth >> Spiritual substance follows the truth – After Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection and ascension came Pentecost when He sent the Holy Spirit, who is the very essence of God’s kingdom, and so in that sense the Kingdom of God did come in all its glory, the spiritual essence of it which accounts for about 99% of heaven, just like our own spirit is the essence of ourselves. We have a body that gets most of our attention; we scrape our arm, so we put a band aid on it; we spend hours primping it; we use it to communicate with one another and to display the latest fashions on it, but when we die, there that body lays in a casket, motionless and good for nothing, headed for decay. It will be buried in the ground so no one knows how bad it smells and how ugly and disgusting it is without our spirit living inside it. This is what happens when the essence of ourselves leaves our bodies. It just shows how important we are to our bodies; we are the very essence of it. Without our spirit our bodies cannot live; conversely, without our bodies functioning properly, it will evict our spirit; either way, when we leave, our body dies, and in the same way the Holy Spirit is just as important to the Kingdom of God. For God to send the Holy Spirit, which is the essence of His kingdom, was to send 99% of His kingdom, but man in his sinful flesh is so tied to the natural realm that he needs that last 1% of the physical aspect of God’s kingdom to feel that God is truly among us. All that remains of the Millennium is for Jesus to come here in person and establish Himself as king of this planet, but He is already here in the Holy Spirit, but that is not good enough for most people.

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10-12 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead -by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 "He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. 12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

 

Act 4-10,11

(139i) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Tear down the old to rebuild the new – Peter called them builders, who were the religious leaders of Israel, who were called by God over the centuries since Moses to build His truth in the hearts of His people. The Levitical priesthood were charged with the responsibility of keeping the Old Testament, and were consequently mandated to diligently teach these things and prepare the people to receive their Messiah as a humble servant when He came. They were supposed to be diligently studying the Scriptures in order that they might come to the proper conclusions and have the insight to see God’s plan for Israel and for mankind in general, but all they saw was what they wanted to see. They were looking for a bodacious God who would come with flashes of lightning, fire and smoke and ferocious anger and trumpet blasts, but instead they were flanked by a humble servant in the Son of God. 

Act 4-10

(67e) Name of Jesus (Key verse)

(241i) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecution to the death >> Kill Jesus >> Kill Jesus by the predetermined plan of God >> The apostles taught about His death – The only act of obedience the priests performed were in crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ according to the predetermined plan of God, but they don’t get any credit for that. They were not operating through faithful obedience, but through the sinful flesh governed by greed, lust and pride, and there is no honor in obeying these things.

Act 4-11

(182b) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Self deception >> Believing you know God when you don’t – God raised Him from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit in His place for all to receive Him who believe, thereby receiving the Kingdom of God in its full essence. By this, those of His enemies are completely in the dark about God, being allowed to continue believing that nothing ever came of Christ’s visitation. God allowed them to believe they got the best of Him, for when they paid the soldiers to perpetuate the story that someone stole the body from the tomb, they believed it themselves, but in their heart of hearts they knew the truth, and God judged them for acting against it. People like them actually think they can create the truth instead of searching for it as one would search for a lost coin; if they can’t find it they can’t make another one, for it was one of a kind, just as the truth is one of a kind. It even has a name, Jesus Christ! The truth does not belong to people who make up stories and then believe them.

(201d) Denying Christ >> Jesus is an offense >> Truth offends error >> The word offends peoples’ sinful lifestyles – Jesus was the exact representation of God in his heart of hearts, but Israel was never obedient long enough to get to know Him, for through their stubborn rebellious attitude they only saw the angry God of the Old Testament, as when Jesus turned over the tables of the moneychangers and drove them out of the temple with a whip. Jesus came to show them the way, but they wouldn’t listen to reason. Had the religious leaders done their job and instructed Israel to watch for a humble savior, the irony of it, they would not have crucified the Lord, which was the predetermined plan of God, and Christ would have established His thousand-year reign for them instead. He would have done whatever they let Him do, but because they resisted Him on every level, He let them crucify Him for the sake of those who would believe in Him for eternal life, thus rejecting the people who rejected Him, who at every moment and at every step passed up every opportunity to repent. They refused to believe because of their belligerence, their lust and greed and stubborn will, their pride and ego and their arrogance. The wickedness of man is contemptible in the eyes of God, who knows a better way to live and came here to show us, and we killed Him for it.

Act 4-12

(67g) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> The name of Jesus is the salvation of God

(208d) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The expectations of God >> God expects us to follow Him

(210g) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Jesus is our savior >> Jesus is the only savior

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13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

 

Act 4,13-20

(18k) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Unable to distinguish between good and evil >> God’s works are evil

(75i) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Controlling people in the dark >> Hiding the facts – Peter spoke to them with a Spirit that they did not possess, a Spirit they may have been jealous and wanted, but one they could not receive because they did not believe. They would have immediately abused the anointing, converting it from a gift to a curse, and from a tool of evangelism to a weapon to further enslave the people.

(76b) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Seeking authority for security >> Motives based on desire for power – The religious leaders of Israel didn’t want the apostles giving glory to God after they crucified this man and He wouldn’t die, then after He ascended to heaven He somehow was still here. They didn’t want the apostles spreading the word that the man they crucified was responsible for the miracles they were performing, because they were the ones who controlled society and told people what to believe, and they didn’t want the apostles intruding on their authority. More and more people followed Jesus, but other than that He had no political or religious authority, unlike the Pharisees, the scribes and the chief priests, whose place in society was embedded in Jewish history for centuries. Some of their positions were ordained by God Himself, whereas from man’s limited point of view Jesus just showed up one day, and He also structured the Church to be separate from the social framework of human authority, yet the Church insists on sticking their long noses in political issues where it doesn’t belong.

(87d) Thy kingdom come >> Obey all the will of God >> Church obeys all of the Father’s will

(154a) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> No excuse >> There is no excuse for rejecting Christ

(175f) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Dodging the issue (willful ignorance) >> Evading the word of God

(185d) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Mystery of lawlessness >> Denying Christ in spite of His proven identity

(198a) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Man withers when he is in control >> Unteachable >> Resisting the knowledge of God – Peter and John were untrained men. That was intentional on Jesus’ part to choose disciples without degrees in higher learning, whom He would have to retrain and whom others would have imitated and felt the need for a college degree in order to feel spiritual. Regardless of any would-be training, it simply would have competed with the knowledge of God that Jesus wanted to instill in His disciples. It is interesting that the Pharisees were able to discern the apostles’ lack of formal training, but were unable to discern God’s truth, while in a position of spiritual authority. How did they know they were untrained men? Perhaps the way they were dressed gave them away or their choice of friends. They were not intellectuals and they lacked poise in issues of social affluence. More than anything, what betrayed them was their language, not their vernacular or dialect, but their conversation. They never heard anyone speak the way they did, except the disciples of Jesus. They simply did not recognize their knowledge. 1Jn 4-5,6 says, “They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” There was no school of thought they were mirroring; the things they were saying were new. Peter and John were not regurgitating the social philosophies of their time; rather, they were blazing a new trail, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.

Act 4,13-18

(16k) Sin >> Continuing in sin to avoid the light >> Suppressing the truth they cannot deny – The Pharisees were angry with the apostles for preaching Jesus and using His name in the proclamation of the gospel and for healing the beggar who was known by all to be crippled. Normally, miracles, signs and wonders get people's attention to hear the word of God, but this doesn't work with religious psychopaths. The Pharisees were infuriated, but what bothered them all the more was the confidence of Peter and John by which they spoke. The Pharisees killed Jesus and they wanted Him to stay dead, and He wouldn’t lie down for them. If they couldn’t kill the man, the next best thing was to kill the apostles, but that was not a viable option because of their growing popularity, nor had they committed any crime, so they tried to kill their message, but Peter piped-up and said it was not possible for them to stop talking about Jesus. They were utterly compelled by the Spirit. They were only following orders, for it was the Spirit of God who was working through them.

Act 4,13-16

(149j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Authority of the rhema given to evangelism >> Being prepared by God personally – Peter and John went about preaching the word of God during the first century, and as Jesus said, the fields were white with harvest (Jn 4-35), and so many thousands of people got saved, because they had thee things going for them: they had the knowledge of the truth (having spent 3½ years with Jesus); they had an anointing, and they lived in a generation that was open to the gospel. We could know the truth and append an anointing to it and preach the gospel to a people who were not open to it, and the only result would be persecution. The anointing does two things: it teaches us what to say and it empowers us to say it. It is not enough to say something meaningful if we say it in a way that appears we don’t really believe it, and it is the very definition of a charlatan to say something in a meaningful way without there being any substance to his words. We need both truth and boldness from God. The anointing gives us both these qualities. 

(185h) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Responding with contempt to the Holy Spirit >> Resisting the Holy Spirit – The religious leaders of Israel recognized the apostles as having been with Jesus, and they recognized that a noteworthy miracle had occurred. In other words, they recognized the Holy Spirit, but they did not recognize the words that He spoke anymore than they recognized the truth in Jesus. They knew He rose from the dead, because they were the ones who made up the story that His disciples came and stole away the body right under the noses of highly trained guards, whose life was on the line if they were found slack in their duties. When the rulers and elders and scribes came together to discuss this matter, believing in Jesus never on the table, nor was the admission that this was undoubtedly the work of God. Believing in Jesus was not even as a remote possibility with these guys. They knew the miracles that Jesus performed; they knew the Spirit by which Jesus spoke; they knew the Scriptures, that He fulfilled many prophecies of the Old Testament; they had all the proof they needed that this miracle was from God, but there was no way they were going to believe in Jesus. It is interesting that they acknowledged the fact that the disciples spoke in the same Spirit as Jesus, that they actually acknowledged the Holy Spirit, though refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. Ironically, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate manifestation of God’s kingdom. Not everything Jesus did was a miracle, but everything the Holy Spirit does is a miracle. Jesus said lots of things throughout His life, but the Holy Spirit will shake us to our foundation whenever we hear His voice. The words of Christ had this effect under the anointing, because He spoke by the spirit of His Father. To deny the truth that the Holy Spirit revealed was to condemn their souls. It is the unpardonable sin, there is nothing more evil than rejecting the truth that the Holy Spirit reveals, and this is what was happening to the religious leaders of Israel. Peter was revealing the truth to these guys through the power of the Holy Spirit, and they were denying it, condemning their souls to hell. Peter and the apostles were not responsible for them going to hell, but they played a part in the severity of their eternal damnation, and they knew it and hated them for it.

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Act 4-13,14

(35h) Gift of God >> God gives Himself to us >> Gift Of The Holy Spirit (Pentecost) >> The anointing – If some of our great orators of the past were to come back and preach the gospel to our generation, it is questionable whether they could get anyone to respond to them at all. It is unfortunate in the world today that nearly everything we say has virtually no effect on anyone. They say that some of the most renowned Christian orators of the past would stand at the podium and preach the gospel during days of revival, some would merely read prepared sermons while hundreds of people were being converted, and we still have copies of their sermons. So, why don’t we read their sermons and rekindle a revival in our day? It would probably sound common and mundane, so what is missing that these men had such an impact on their world, yet we have the very words they used to single-handedly inspire a nationwide revival that was often felt around the world? What is missing is the anointing! The thing about the written word is we cannot inscribe the anointing on a piece of paper. We can write about the anointing, but we cannot instill paper with the anointing. The anointing was made for men’s hearts, not for inanimate objects. The anointing is a little like how computers work. Take a Word document, for example, it takes the program Microsoft Word to initially write the document and create the file, and we can send that file to somebody else, but in order for him to read it, he too must have Microsoft Word installed on his computer, otherwise the file just contains a lot of unreadable zeros and ones. The anointing is like this in that the writer of the Bible was obviously inspired, and it takes an anointed reader to decipher the words before the message can be successfully conveyed. Jesus, who had the fullness of the anointing, spoke the Word and His words are still inspiring to those who are endowed with an anointing. Others can read His words and not understand the first thing He was saying, simply because they are not born-again or filled with the Spirit, and so they have no way of interpreting the words.

(109i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit the teacher >> Spirit trains us to be like Jesus – Some try to imitate boldness by speaking loudly with a certain look on their faces, but true boldness can express itself as a quiet confidence. The deep and abiding knowledge of God’s truth is the only thing that can give us confidence like Jesus had and His apostles. It says they observed the confidence of Peter and John and recognized them as having been with Jesus. This confident boldness is the trademark of the anointing. The first thing noticeable about Jesus when He entered a room was His confidence, His clarity of mind. We can be masterful in any field of knowledge, and it doesn’t create boldness. We can be confident and articulate in our assertions, but boldness is something else. It is the result of the anointing that God has placed on our lives through the Spirit who dwells in us. The anointing is the result of combining the Holy Spirit with the word of God, allowing these two to fellowship in our hearts, bringing them together in prayerful study of the Scriptures throughout our lives. A person can be filled with the knowledge of God by memorizing Scripture and reading his Bible, but it doesn’t guarantee that he will be inspired. As born-again believers in Jesus, we who are committed to the Scriptures obey them through a life-commitment to prayer, listening for the Holy Spirit to teach us about the word of God. Anyone who does this will develop confidence in their knowledge of God as the trademark of the anointing.

(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

(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 4-13

(43e) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to Christ’s ministry to the world

(82l) Thy kingdom come >> Power of prayer >> Prayer anoints your life in the word -- This verse goes with verses 24-31

(121l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence >> Confidence in God >> Confidence in God as you fulfill your ministry Confidence and faith are synonymous with each other, though they are not the same. Faith is a substance that comes from heaven, and God has commanded us to protect it from sin, because sin erodes our confidence in Him, and a lack of confidence has a negative effect on our faith. Sin makes us feel unworthy of God, and if we feel unworthy, how then can we receive faith from Him? God wants us to have confidence in Him, and He no doubt wants us free from sin, but even more, Jesus wants us to experience His freedom to do righteousness. 1Jn 2-28 says, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” The boldness of Peter and John among men and their confidence in Jesus was the result of their freedom not just from sin but also freedom to do the will of God. When a person is in bondage to sin, he is also restricted from doing the will of God, but a person who experiences God’s freedom not only can do His will but also receive an anointing to perform His will with power. God sent an angel to deliver Peter and John from prison because they enjoyed the freedom of Christ, and the angel instructed them to go right back to the synagogue and continue teaching the whole message of this life (Act 5-19), and in Acts chapter twelve it talks about God sending an angel to rescue Peter from prison to be reunited with his friends, because he enjoyed the freedom of Christ. This took tremendous confidence in God and boldness in the face of their enemies.

(254i) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Holy Spirit >> Holy Spirit is life >> Spirit of Jesus – Jesus spoke to the religious leaders of his time with confidence and boldness, and the apostles had the same Spirit of Jesus who was Jesus! Holding credentials given by men was just a piece of paper like the straw man received from the Wizard of Oz, never gave anyone the boldness of Peter. No amount of education and training could do this. It wasn’t just what the apostles said, but also the way they said it that had such an impact, communicating to the religious leaders of Israel that Peter and his friends knew Jesus. We think everybody knew Jesus and his disciples back then, but the thugs who arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane needed a guide to identify Him. Jesus did not have a Hollywood face or the looks of King Saul, but a very ordinary appearance, which helped Him blend into the crowd. He didn’t use His aura to get around at night; He may have had a glow about Him sometimes, but that came and went with the circumstances. There was nothing special about His appearance, and he picked His disciples with similar physical attributes, so they would not be easily identified. The religious leaders were familiar with the Spirit of Christ; they didn’t know the disciples by sight, but they knew Peter once he opened his mouth and spoke the word of God with boldness.

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14-18 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. 15 But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, 16 saying, "What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 "But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name." 18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 

 

Act 4,14-20

(240j) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Taking away the key of knowledge >> Suppressing the truth – Not for a minute did the enemies of the gospel consider believing in Jesus through the undeniable proofs that were presented to them. Not one of them considered the possibility that what these men were saying was true, or wanted to take part in what God was doing. They were incapable of believing in God, so even if a miracle occurred under their noses, they wouldn’t stop to consider the possibility that the message associated with the miracle was from God. The Pharisees and chief priests who were involved in crucifying the Lord Jesus encapsulated the reprobate mindset that is so warped they are not even eligible for salvation. They said with their own mouth that they could not deny to the people that a noteworthy miracle had occurred, but they denied it to their hearts. We are talking about a hardness of heart that is virtually impossible to fathom. Occasionally we meet people like this, and they are the stuff of horror movies.

(242g) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Worldly pressure >> World pressures you to forsake God

Act 4,14-18

(186b) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Cursing the Holy Spirit >> Consider the work of the Holy Spirit to be sin

Act 4-16

(148e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage of the public eye -- This verse goes with verse 21. Not for one minute did the apostles consider obeying the religious establishment, but told them pointblank that they would disobey their command, saying that they themselves would not obey it either if the circumstances were reversed. God uses miracles to prove both His message and His messengers as genuine. They could not argue against the doctrines that the apostles were publicly preaching, because God placed His stamp of approval on their message by the miracle the apostles performed. After a miracle has been performed anyone can point to the man of God and affirm that he is believable because miracles came from his hand.

Act 4,17-22

(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

Act 4,17-20

(69g) Authority >> Righteous judgment >> Meditate on discernment >> Judging what is right

(71a) Authority >> Believer’s authority >> We have authority from God to evangelize the world >> We have an anointing to preach the gospel – Jesus died for sinners (1Cor 15-3). The question is, are you a sinner? How can anyone answer that without altering his life? If he says “no”, then supposedly Jesus didn’t die for him, but now he has a gaping hole in his conscience with pus secretions leaking from it. Why does the gospel evoke an open sore at the mention of Jesus Christ as the savior of the world? His name elicits the notion of being a sinner. Jesus said in Jn 6-53, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.” Everybody who gets saved must admit to himself and to God that he is partly responsible for the brutal murder of His Son, for Jesus sacrificed Himself in order to save us. That shouldn’t bother the unbeliever, for just the opposite is true with him; he didn’t receive the benefit of the cross, so theoretically he is not responsible for his death; however, he makes his sacrifice null and void, so to him Christ died for nothing, which is actually worse. Now he will face eternity without Christ.

(94h) Thy kingdom come >> God’s perspective >> His perspective on the witnesses of Jesus

(150g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Confessing Jesus >> Confessing what Jesus has done

Act 4-17,18

(67i) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority >> Preaching the gospel in Jesus’ name – When the Pharisees, the chief priests and the Scribes commanded the apostles to stop preaching in Jesus’ name, they wanted this man to disappear, because they had His blood on their hands. Before they crucified Him they said in Mat 27-25, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” They wanted Him dead because He was infringing on their false religion, disrupting their lives and means of income. There was a changing of motives between crucifying Christ and commanding His name never to be spoken again. They figured that if the name of Jesus disappeared, His blood would disappear off their hands. They crucified an innocent man, and they knew it, so regardless if people quit talking about Him, His blood would remain on their hands until they fell on their face and asked His forgiveness, or else He will call them to account on judgment day. There is no ridding His blood any other way. Unrepentant sinners running from God are like running from the sun; fast as they run from Him, eventually they run right into Him and keep running into Him until they meet Him face-to-face on Judgment Day.

(201e) Denying Christ >> Jesus is an offense >> Truth offends error >> The gospel offends the religious establishment – Jesus is just as much an offense in our time as He was then, for He will forever remain an offense to the unbelievers of this world. We understand why He was an offense in the days of the apostles, because the chief priests and Pharisees were the very men who had Jesus murdered, but why is He still an offense 2000 years later? It reduces to conscience. People spend an inordinate amount of time and effort patching up their conscience, instead of fostering a good conscience. Typically, they live however they want and deal with consequences later, developing philosophies and new friends that help them feel better about themselves, and then comes the evangelist and tells them about Jesus, and all their stabilizing efforts fall apart.

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19-22 But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." 21 When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened; 22 for the man was more than forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

 

Act 4-19,20

(6c) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Jesus’ yoke of evangelism – Like a slave who has no will of his own to stop harvesting his master’s crops but goes into the field whenever his master commands him and returns from the field whenever his master commands him, the slave only does what he is told. The apostles were the slaves of Christ, so does that mean they had no will of their own? Slaves basically have a choice; they can deny their master and face the consequences, but what consequences would the disciples faced had they denied Christ and stopped preaching the gospel? They would have resisted the Holy Spirit who was compelling them to do His will. Everything was so well defined for them, had they resisted, they would have immediately found themselves blaspheming the Holy Spirit and being guilty of an unforgivable sin. So we see that the disciples’ choice reduced to the option between life and death, between heaven and hell, between obeying the person they loved with a supernatural power from God and with the hope of eternal life, or throwing it all away to please a posse of unenlightened degenerates. It wasn’t much of a choice.

(61j) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> We cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard: We are addicted to preaching the gospel / We are mandated to preach the gospel When Peter said, “We cannot stop!” he meant he was both mandated and addicted to preaching the gospel. He was compelled by the Spirit to do so, like a heroine addict who cannot stop shooting junk into his veins. The apostles were speaking to the Jews as though they were junkies of the gospel, but simultaneously he was speaking to them in terms of having Christ’s yoke of evangelism around his neck. 

(90b) Thy kingdom come >> God convicts us >> Conviction leads us in the way of faith – All of mankind would be hinged upon the apostles’ work. They were giving the gospel a good sendoff, because God knew after the original apostles fell asleep savage wolves would rush in to take their place. Giving the gospel a good push into its uncertain future was like pushing a canoe into a lake and seeing it almost immediately stall; its initial energy you put into it would quickly fade and the boat would set there on the lake just out of reach dawdling by the shoreline going nowhere. So the Church really needed a good sendoff, and by the time the apostles were done, they had nearly reached the entire known world with the gospel of Christ, and there were many people who caught fire after them and continued propelling the gospel of Christ, and this flame has continued to flicker throughout the eons, but there are so many factions in the Church today that anyone who has a remnant of the Spirit is met with distain by the people of God, because according to some it is impossible to know the truth anymore.

(216d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God takes advantage of your love for Him >> Being addicted to the Holy Spirit – If they didn’t preach the gospel of the kingdom, the glory and power of the Holy Spirit would have built up inside them as Jeremiah 20-9 says, "If I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it." Paul also said in 1Cor 9-16, "I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel." If the apostles didn’t preach the gospel, their spiritual lives would begin to disintegrate. Paul and Peter and all the apostles virtually became addicted to obeying the Holy Spirit, and their immediate benefit was closeness with God. They actually felt closer to the Holy Spirit than they ever did with Jesus Christ in the flesh! They became addicted to His spiritual presence with His word always on the tip of their tongue, always ready at a moment’s notice to speak the undefiled Word of God. Signs and wonder came through their hands during various times of their ministries, but this was a small thing compared to their relationship with Christ. They were willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order to maintain that connection with Him. They would do anything for Him, just like an addict would do anything for his next fix.

Act 4-20

(156j) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> You will know them by their words

Act 4-21

(148e) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage of the public eye -- This verse goes with verse 16. The apostles used their growing popularity as a buffer to protect them from their persecutors. Jesus did the same thing, so this is a common strategy to avoid people who hated us. They wanted relief from their enemies so they could continue preaching the gospel unhindered, and while this is a logical and reasonable request, it doesn’t always have the best results. Had God answered their prayers immediately, the gospel may have fallen into disrepute in the very hands of those preaching it. He did eventually answer their prayers, but God wanted to continue using their persecution to further the gospel, for persecution always has the opposite effect of its intent. The people thought they needed persecution to end so the gospel could more effectively spread the gospel, but what God knew was that persecution was already busy spreading the gospel in the public eye with more power than if it were unhindered. Once God finished using their persecution, He finally answered their prayer, and He judged His persecutors by judging the entire nation for rejecting the gospel.

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23-26 When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM 25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, 'WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS? 26 'THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND, AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.' 

 

Act 4,23-31

(48b) Judgment >> Eternal judgment >> God's eternal judgment on the world – The persecutors of the early church were Jewish zealots; what happened to them? The entire nation was taken away, dispersed and removed from their own homeland for nearly 2000 years, and they became pilgrims just like the Christians they persecuted, wandering the earth, people without a nation, and they were persecuted everywhere they went. So when we think about the judgment that God imposed on the enemies of His Church through their rejection of the gospel and the prayers of the saints, His judgment was extremely severe. It is better, like Paul said, to judge ourselves to avoid being judged (1Cor 11-31), for if we defer responsibility to Him, the consequences He imputes will be far more severe than the simple act of repentance He asked of us.

(194d) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to God from your enemies

(242f) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting Jesus – Consider the power of this prayer: we have a recollection of God’s answer in our history books! The reason this is so powerful is that we are taking His word, not our own thoughts, into prayer and asking Him to do what He already said would happen. The apostles accurately interpreted Psalm 2-1,2; they didn’t misquote it or force it into a different context to mean something else, but took the proper context of God’s word as it was written and directly applied it to their situation. In other words they were telling God that this was a prophecy against their enemies that was being fulfilled in their own lives, that the rulers really were doing exactly what these verses say, reminding God that the rulers gathered against the Lord and against His Christ. In other words, they were telling the Lord that their enemies were fighting against Him and not against them. That is, they took themselves out of the equation. They reminded the Lord that their enemies were subverting His gospel and inhibiting His cause, not their cause. They were not asking Him to fight for their purposes but for His purpose. They were not asking God for something they wanted, but for something He wanted, and that is a powerful prayer.

Act 4,23-26

(130b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Being in one accord >> Having one voice

Act 4,24-31

(28k) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects us through prayer

(82l) Thy kingdom come >> Power of prayer >> Prayer anoints your life in the word -- These verses go with verse 13. This prayer of the early Christians summarized the prayers of the First Century Church. Note that at the guidance of the apostles the disciples prayed against their enemies, asking God to “take note of their threats” (v29). They were appealing to God to do something about their persecutors. Essentially, they threatened their enemies with God through prayer, quoting Scripture against them. They didn’t try to tell God what to do, but let Him decide for Himself what He should do about the situation. The Pharisees and chief priests who were persecuting the apostles also persecuted Paul throughout his entire ministry; they beat him relentlessly, threw him in jail and flogged him, causing Paul say that he had received the brand-marks of Jesus on his body (Gal 6-17). They came to be his status symbol, His mark of an apostle.

(111h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Kingdom of God revealed >> Word plus signs and wonders – This is an example of combining the Holy Spirit with the word of God by praying the Scriptures. The resulting earthquake represented God’s endorsement on the life and faith of his disciples, and also their practice of taking the written word of God with them into the Holy of Holies and using it in prayer. This kind of prayer leads into a Most Holy Place with God. The people literally prayed the word of God. Note that there is a difference between praying according to the Bible and literally praying the Scriptures. Just because we don’t often see this doesn’t mean the Bible doesn’t advocate it. For one thing, the Bible throughout its content speaks about the word of God and prayer, only not always together like this. Moreover, the Spirit and the word are regularly mentioned together in dozens of ways, and how else are we supposed to access the Spirit except through prayer? Therefore, the implication in each case where the Spirit and the word are mentioned together is in reference to praying the Scriptures. Not only that, the entire book of Psalms consisting of 150 chapters, the longest book in the Bible, is a book of prayers, and it too is the word of God, so in that sense Psalms teaches us to pray the word of God. Without question, the writers of the Psalms (mainly David) penned his verses while in a state of prayer, and it is also how we read them, and it is also how the apostles and the First Century Church used them in this particular case, in a state of prayer. So in many ways the Bible teaches us to pray the Scriptures, even though it is only mentioned in the Bible once, here.

Act 4,24-26

(245e) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literal manifestation of Jesus Christ >> Manifestation of Jesus’ second coming – This prayer of the early Christians summarized the prayers of the First Century Church, and note that at the guidance of the apostles the disciples prayed against their enemies, asking God to “take note of their threats” (v29). They were appealing to God to do something about their persecutors. Essentially, they threatened their enemies with God through prayer, quoting Scripture against them. They didn’t try to tell God what to do, but let Him decide for Himself what He should do about the situation. The passage they used in their prayer quoted from the Old Testament was a prophecy meant for the second coming of Jesus Christ, but the First Century Church borrowed it to use against their enemies at the beginning of the age of grace, indicating that the beginning and the end of this age will have similarities. It also shows how they interpreted Scripture back then, using it as a spiritual manifestation in the apostle’s time and as a literal manifestation at the end of the age, when the world takes its stand against the Lord and against His Christ.

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27-31 For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. 29 "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus." 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

 

Act 4,27-33

(131n) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Power of God seen through unity

Act 4-27,28

(219j) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Predestination >> God’s calling is our destiny – It was predestined from the foundation of the world that Israel would reject their Messiah. We have heard phrases such as that certain things are destined to happen and that we have a destiny, and then there is predestination, which is one step beyond our destiny. Our destiny is what we were created to do, whereas predestination is regardless of human will; essentially it has already happened; it is set in stone. Whether we fulfill our purpose or not, God knows, hence the biblical interpretation of predestination: knowing the beginning from the end. That spells the difference between destiny and pre-destiny. God is not restricted to time; in His mind everything has already happened. God virtually knows everything, not based on prediction, but can virtually or literally or somehow travel through time to the future to see what will happen, and of course He has a clear recollection of the past. It is an interesting concept; God was not responsible for Israel rejecting Him; He only knew they would, as though He had it planned from the beginning, albeit through His foreknowledge. After all, they were the ones who rejected Him; He certainly didn’t reject them. Predestination has a false connotation of manipulating the circumstances, whereas the majority of cases in predestination in the scriptures is simply based on foreknowledge. It is impossible to blame God for what anyone does, yet many have tried; people blame God for every travesty that happens under the sun, just because He was aware that it would happen and had the power to stop it. People frequently run over animals with their cars, though they could see what was about to happen and had the power to stop it, yet they are usually traveling at high speeds and swerving or slamming on the breaks to avoid hitting the creature might an accident that could kill people. This in some way approximates the reason God allows bad things to happen: all the circumstances of the universe run on a chain reaction sequence of space and time, and to break a link would effect all the circumstances downstream, so that God would become responsible for the things that happened instead of man, and God gave this world to man to do with it however he sees fit. If God stepped in, He would invariably change the circumstances to possibly kill just as many people as would have died had He simply allowed the cards to fall as they may, so it’s a lose-lose situation for God to get involved in man’s unbelief. However, where there is faith, that is another story. This allows God to intervene, and instead of blaming man for what happens, those who believe in Him get the credit while God gets the glory. Now it is a win-win situation for God to get involved where there is faith.

Act 4-27

(13c) Servant >> Jesus serves His Father >> He is the servant of God – This verse goes with verse 30.

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Act 4,29-33

(115d) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through your ministry >> Through your calling >> In preaching the gospel The very first deception of the Church that occurred almost immediately after the apostles fell asleep was the belief that the dispensation of signs, wonders and miracles had ended. If this were true, then Jesus should have told us that His promises had a time limit, but He mentioned no expiration date on His word. It wasn’t God’s willingness or His ability to perform miracles that have drained, but man’s faith to believe in His manifested kingdom. Man was willing to believe in God for a season before he lost his nerve, and now man’s dispensation of faith has ended, but the problems of the Church extend far beyond that. The faith that is able to manifest signs, wonders and miracles is based on all aspects of God’s truth. A set of handpicked doctrines consisting of the precepts of men have replaced a couple very important truths, which was enough so that people would lay their hands on the sick and nothing would happen. The two aspects of God’s truth that immediately fell to the wayside were the idea of working with the grace of God, accompanied by our understanding of the Holy Spirit's connection with the word of God. The earthquake was the result of praying the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit is our access to God and prayer is our access to the Holy Spirit, so when we pray the Scriptures, we are associating the Holy Spirit. When God reveals His word to us by the Spirit and we obey what He says, this is working the grace of God.

(149h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Authority of the rhema given to evangelism >> Preaching the gospel by the power of God – There is something about boldness and confidence that really sends a message to people when we do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not just what we say, it’s also how we say it, and that with the veneration of God. Therefore, we can say something with all boldness and confidence and give more credence to something than it deserves, which is the tactic of all confidence men (con-artists). Discerning them is not always easy because they have honed their skill, but there is always one thing missing in religious conmen; they don’t have the words to back up their confidence. Sometimes it is difficult to see beyond their confidence that they really have nothing to say, but with those who carry a bona fide anointing, the confidence they transmit accentuates their message. The words are great by themselves, but when they add boldness and confidence to them, it supercharges the word of God, sending the message straight to the heart. Their audience can deny the message, but they cannot ignore boldness.

Act 4,29-31

(122b) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in God >> Through prayer The word “confidence” is directly linked to faith. If we want to see answered prayer, we must develop confidence in God, which would incite Him to answer our prayers, being that God only works through faith. If the Church were vibrantly serving the Lord, it would encourage confidence in the members, and answered prayer would become relatively common, but being that the Church is generally disobedient to the Lord, it does not engender confidence among the people. Where then is our confidence supposed to originate? We can grow confident in the Lord through our own relationship with God as students of the word and disciples of prayer, but how far can that really take us, since the Bible teaches that the people of God were meant to come together in assembly as a Church and not individuals? He hasn’t called the members of Christ to be separate from each other but to be separate from the world. Since God has called the members of Christ to pursue Him as a Church, why would He work with individuals? He would be contradicting Himself, defeating His own purpose, undoing the establishment of the Church. God wants His people to work together to accomplish the will of God, or He simply will not work among His people. He will not operate any way other than what Scripture teaches. He will not compromise His Church or His truth just because we are disobedient and rebellious. God can minister to the individual in spite of the Church, but He cannot use the individual to minister to the Church until it is ready to receive him. Anybody can have a relationship with God as close as he wants, and through that relationship minister to individuals, but when it comes to manifesting the Kingdom of God in the world, the Lord wants to reveal Himself on a corporate level through the Church, not just through a few. If the members of His body dedicated themselves to the will of God and sought His purpose fulfilled in their lives, God would be inclined to work with us, but He has the entire body of Christ worldwide in mind when He speaks about the Church. Therefore, none of these things will ever happen until God causes His people to globally unite, initiating a Great Endtime Revival. Then the people of God will serve the Lord in the way He desires and will engender a level of confidence that will satisfy His willingness to answer our prayers. Until then, all we can do is watch and pray and maintain our personal relationship with God in hope of influencing our local church where we attend and encourage some people to serve the Lord in a fuller way. That is the most we can expect to accomplish at a time of gross rebellion and disobedience in the Church.

Act 4-29

(44ka) Judgment >> Transformation process >> Fulfill your ministry

Act 4-30

(13c) Servant >> Jesus serves His Father >> He is the servant of God – This verse goes with verse 27

Act 4-31

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

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

32-37 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales 35 and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need. 36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement ), 37 and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

 

Act 4,32-37

(8h) Responsibility >> Preparing to interact with God >> Preparing for revival – It is interesting when we look at endtime prophecy that this whole process is reversed at Jesus’ return. As the early disciples later dispersed, the last day’s church will one day soon rally, creating camps and their own economies in preparation to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, who is coming to establish His thousand-year reign on the earth. Just as the apostles were confident of His return in their lifetime, though it never happened, so the Church in the last days will be confident of His return, and they will not be disappointed, for they will be led by two highly distinguished prophets and by 144,000 Jewish zealots. Therefore, it should be important for everybody to have something to offer the body of Christ during those days.

(34l) Gift of God >> Be generous like your Father >> Give to your brother – This indicates tremendous vision on part of the saints to relinquish their possessions to feed the poor among them. There are some who donate their estate to the Church after they die, but seldom prior to their death, while they are healthy and young and with a full life still ahead of them. Most people would consider what they did to have been a very poor investment, but the early saints were not economists. They were born-again Christians who loved God with all their hearts, who traded their value of money for eternal rewards. They came to the realization that God would take care of them, even if they gave away all their possessions, so long as they remained in the center of God’s will. That is not to say God promised to give their money back like we hear from prosperity gurus. The early church was not about money or earthly riches, and this is what the prosperity teachers today need to realize, whose doctrines are all pointed at amassing the unrighteous mammon, meanwhile attributing their so-called success to God. We all know the real motives of these prosperity teachers; they are a gang of greedy whoremongers, who couldn’t properly interpret the word of God to save their souls.

(72j) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> More Authority The More Responsibility >> The strong shall help the weak

(78e) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Taking God to heart >> Having pure motives and desires – The poor and those who were wealthier were alike, for they all gave what they had to the apostles, eliminating poverty in the Church. No one had possessions they called their own, for everything was common property of the group, not by compulsion, but on a volunteer basis. It was communal living; others would call it communism. It didn’t last long partly because of the dispersion, but it probably wouldn’t have lasted much longer, since it was inevitable that some people would surmise they could live off the group without being productive, and soon rules would need to be imposed that would turn into laws and then a government. It appears that establishing a Christian government was never God's will. Instead, God wanted His people marbling among the people in the world, yet not to be of the world, in order to better influence them and to avoid making themselves a target for extermination. This short period had its intended effect, allowing the people to focus on their vision of faith toward God and love toward one another, and allowing the apostles to devote all their time and energy exclusively to the word of God and prayer.

(96i) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Positive attitude about giving

(119g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Debt free

(128i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life >> Be fruitful and multiply >> Growing spiritually – The fact that people were getting saved had a great impact on the saints, the fact that their surrounding communities were believing in the gospel of Christ. Their teachings were life-altering, but it was the fact of the gospel penetrated their world, seeing people coming to the realization of Jesus Christ, constantly seeing new faces shining with the glory of God, brought tremendous encouragement to the saints, and increased their faith to believe the truth. What we should understand about this is that if we are not growing, there must be something wrong. We can have the most dynamic teaching available, but if the Church is not growing spiritually and numerically, there is something amiss. We live in a different world with different circumstances with almost everybody hearing about Jesus; we can’t very well compare ourselves with them. They introduced a brand new concept to a world that God had personally prepared to receive it, yet the principle remains; we must grow in the things of God or we will grow weary and become stagnant.

(131h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependence >> Being selfless toward one another

(215d) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> Fulfillment of God’s time >> Completion of a period of time – This period of the Church was extremely important as an opportunity for God to have His people’s undivided attention, not distracted even by a career, though there were probably some who held jobs and helped finance the Church, and everybody benefited. This period was so important as a fledgling church to give it a positive send-off in the right direction into a lost and hostile world, where people of faith after them would spend most of the next couple millennia floundering in the dark. The better relationship they developed with the Holy Spirit, the better their chances of surviving, though some were martyred.

(236h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Invest your treasures into the kingdom >> Invest everything you value – the Church had a vision from God, which superseded their value of money. They gave it all away to the apostles, whom they trusted with their lives, for the sake of those who were in need. No one had more than anyone else, making everyone financially equal. Church visions still revolve around money, but it was the early church’s vision that devalued their money. As soon as they lost their vision of faith and love, money became valuable to them again and they began to pursue it. Now centuries later, the Church has built doctrines around money so that without it, evidence exists that the blessing of God is not among people with less. Now we have a highly materialistic church, because there is no vision of unity among the people. What church could we trust with our money nowadays?

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Act 4,32-36

(117g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Vision >> Real-eyes God’s purpose for the Church >> Understand Jesus' vision of the Church – The apostles walked with Jesus for 3½ years and saw him after His resurrection and watched Him ascend into heaven, yet none of this really mattered until they received the Holy Spirit. When they combined the Holy Spirit with the truth Jesus revealed to them that He was indeed the Son of God and that He paid for the sins of the world through His own blood, a vision resulted that was so obvious they could walk by its light. Where is the vision of the Church today? For us it is a story that we have decided to “believe.” In contrast, the early church didn’t decide to believe in Jesus; they had no choice but to believe in Him; their faith was a knee-jerk reaction, which describes a motorcyclist when he starts his Harley Davidson; we need God to jumpstart our faith. We have the choice to believe in God or not believe, but to those of the early church Jesus wasn’t a belief; He was a reality that when combined with the Spirit, produced the power of God. When all the people together believed the same thing by the strength that God supplied, they had a vision of unity that the Church has not seen again. A vision like this doesn’t exist in the Church anymore; it is gone. Jesus said in Mat 5-13, ‘You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.’ Once the salt has become tasteless, that is, once we let the fire wane, how can we restart it? God has given us the authority to keep it burning by fanning the flames, but not to restart it. Only God can do that, and He has no intensions of returning until the designated time, so if the fire has extinguished after 300 AD, then the flame has been burning for 17 hundred years. We have no choice but to believe in God through a long heritage of doctrines that have scrambled the facts and introduced different spirits, until it is impossible to get back what the early church once enjoyed without help from God, and help is coming! God has prearranged a time when He will re-ignite the coals, at the end of the age, when He will establish a worldwide revival. Many millions of people will be saved during this great endtime revival.

Act 4,33-35

(23g) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Tending to the needs of the poor (this is not in relation to sin) – It says that with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in reference to evangelism, speaking with great authority and backing that authority with signs, wonders and miracles. Seeing the grace of God piercing the darkness gave the Church vision to realize that their faith in God meant more than the things of the world. Christians back then had the protection and leadership of the original apostles, affording them great security. They also had the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself, and had the truth in its purest form. As a result of these things they had unity. It doesn’t say that the people who sold their possessions and gave the proceeds to the Church were held in honor above others. Rather, with everything in place, this had a tremendous impact on the Church, giving them extraordinary vision so that their possessions were no longer valuable to them. The only thing that held meaning anymore was their faith. Contrast that with the Church today, everyone is out for himself and considers his possessions to far outweigh any significance of the gospel. People today identify with their possessions so much that they determine their personal value based on them. Essentially then, the main difference between the early church and us is most clearly seen in the discrepancy of our value system. Israel also faltered in their old covenant era, and at the center of their unbelief was materialism. This is not just one of many manifestations of unbelief; materialism happens to be the ultimate manifestation of unbelief. The love of money is caustic to our faith because it gives a false sense of security, as opposed to being led by good and righteous men who would sacrifice their lives rather then see evil befall the children of God. Today opportunists run the Church; therefore, to the degree that we love our possessions is the degree to which we have lost our vision.

Act 4-33

(111b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit and evangelism

Act 4,34-37

(73c) Authority >> Respect your leaders >> The ministry to the saints

(77n) Thy kingdom come >> God Ministers To People Through The Humble >> Humility gives a blessing

Act 4-36,37

(139c) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Urging the disciples to continue in the faith

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