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Acts 3 – 4

Acts 3

The True Gospel is Preached

Mark 16:17   And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

16:18 They shall take up [not be harmed by deadly creatures] serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Those are some of the signs of Christ’s disciples; today we lack such power because we have turned from Christ into the error of idolizing men and corporate organizations; we have become lax and lukewarm for the practical application of the teachings and commandments of Christ in our lives. 

We have quenched God’s Spirit by calling his Sabbath and High Days “HOLY” and then polluting them; we have rejected the Biblical Calendar of God for the unscriptural Babylonian calendar of the Rabbinate, and many elders are selfish of personal advantage instead of being humble before God to DO HIS WILL.

The list of our sins reaches to high heaven, and then we think ourselves righteous and spiritually rich and spiritually in need of nothing.

We have quenched God’s Spirit and the signs of discipleship are no longer with us.

Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour [3 pm, the hour of prayer being the lead in to the Daily Evening Sacrifice at sunset].

3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3:3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

3:4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 3:5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Peter and John must have seen this man many times and perhaps heard of his conduct. This is an example of the power of the Holy Spirit in these men who were filled up with zeal for God and God’s Word. It is those who are zealous to please and obey Christ who shall have God’s Spirit poured out on them as his disciples. 

The wisdom of the Word of God is of infinitely more value than the gold that men lust after.  

What is a man beside God? Who are we to question his Word? The Greatness of God is seen in his Magnificent Law.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul [men are converted from sin (and death)through living by the Word of God]: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple [giving knowledge of life to the ignorant].

19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Why do we desire gold and the perishable things of this world, shamefully going to law against our brothers; and have not cleaved with all our hearts and all our strength, to the Commandments of our God?

19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned [away from sin and the consequence of evil deeds]: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

There is no error in God or in his commandments.

19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret [from every hidden sin which I may not see] faults.

19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [brazen, impudent, pride and self will]  sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Acts 3:7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

This open miracle was better advertising than all of today’s media efforts and quickly brought a crowd around Peter and John.  If one is faithful to the Word of God; they will be a light of example which cannot be concealed.

3:9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 3:10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. 3:11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

Peter immediately used the situation to teach the Gospel of Salvation.

3:12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he [Pilate] was determined to let him go.

Peter tells them that this man was healed through the name of the one that they had rejected.

3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 3:16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Peter tells the people of the prophecies that Christ must suffer, and calls them to sincere repentance from sin.

3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Peter explains that “That Prophet” is Jesus Christ, who is the Mediator of the New Covenant as Moses was the mediator of the Mosaic Covenant.

Deuteronomy 18:15   The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

18:16 According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

18:17 And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Peter quotes Moses that “That Prophet” is Jesus Christ!  For this Moses was the mediator of the Mosaic Covenant and Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant.

18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me [A mediator of a covenant]; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Peter teaches Christ from the prophets

3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

Christ first went to the lost sheep of Israel, and was not sent to the Gentiles, yet later he did go to the cities of Samaria and Lebanon.

Matthew 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

Jesus heals the Canaanite.  This an analogy that in the kingdom and the resurrection to flesh even the Canaanites will have their opportunity to come to Christ and to receive the spiritual healing of salvation. They like all humanity will be delivered from bondage to Satan through the salvation of the Lamb of God in their proper time.

15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

This is one of the most moving examples of humility and faith before Christ; that I have ever heard. Imagine this conversation taking place in this era of racial pride. Imagine if you were this woman being rejected because of your race; what would your attitude be.

You, who reject the commandments of God today, because they are inconvenient to you; imagine this humility before God.

This woman is truly stunning in her love, faith and humility.

Oh, that there were even a small grain of such faith and humility in the Ekklesia today.

15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. 

For her faith and her absolutely amazing humility and importunity her request was granted.  Notice that Jesus did not need to be physically present to heal the lady. 

Acts 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, [God] saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

Peter and John are arrested for Christ.

 

Acts 4

Acts 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees [priests], came upon them [teaching in the Temple, without the priests consent], 4:2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 4:3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.

Many did believe, and the religious establishment was inflamed with jealousy and would not repent, therefore they forbade the truth of Christ to be preached. 

Five thousand had been converted to Christ by their preaching the true Gospel and the wicked were incensed, because not being willing to repent themselves they saw the truth of Christ as competition against themselves.  It is the same today as leaders not willing to repent themselves and see the preaching of the truth as competition, and seek to squelch the truth of God from being taught.

4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

The religious establishment [the Church Of God of that day] gathered to condemn Peter and John for teaching the truth.

4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.

They demanded “by what authority do you teach these things”?

4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?

Peter then declares that they do this by the authority of the one who they had crucified.  Peter does not hold back, but boldly proclaims the Gospel of Salvation.

4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 4:9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Peter quotes the prophet and declares Jesus Christ the ONLY name by which men can receive salvation.

4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The leaders acknowledge that Peter and John had been with Christ and were astounded at their bold and erudite teachings.

4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men [That is, they had no Rabbinic education as Rabbi’s; except as they had been educated by Jesus], they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 4:14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

4:15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 4:16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.

The religious establishment of the day commanded Peter and John to stop their teachings.

4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Peter and John then answered boldly like Daniel’s; and refused to obey men above obedience to God.

Why is it that so many elders and brethren LACK the courage to speak the truth of God today? To remain in good standing with some apostate organization?  That is choosing lies over truth and the god of this world [the father of lies] over the Eternal Almighty One; who IS truth!

4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Then the religious establishment sought to punish Peter and John but found no cause because of the obvious miracle done in the name of Christ.

4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.  4:22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.

4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company [the brethren], and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

Then the apostles and disciples in the area petitioned God the Father to INCREASE their boldness and strength to peach the Gospel of Warning, Witness, Repentance and Salvation through Jesus Christ!  They did not back away from proclaiming the truth;  NO!  They redoubled their efforts.

Brethren, let us REPENT of our laxity and lukewarmness and fear of men, and turn to a zealous enthusiasm for God our Father.  Let us pray along with the first century disciples for the zealous desire to do God’s will, and to proclaim his ways with boldness and strength.

The prayer of the true faithful; lovers of God the Father and Jesus Christ:  Let this be our prayer also!

4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said,

Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 4:25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 4:30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

God the righteous Father answers such prayers, if we are zealous in our KEEPING of all the teachings, instructions and commandments of Christ;  One of which is to preach the Gospel of Salvation by Jesus Christ! 

The Almighty God the Father, King of the Universe, hears and approves of this kind of prayer!

4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled [They already had God’s Spirit, this was a special additional inspiration to action by God’s Spirit.] with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul [pneuma; one mind, one spirit]: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  [They shared with each other, they did not give everything to one man.]

4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace [repentance and forgiveness and God’s spirit] was upon them all.

The disciples taught Jesus Christ was the Son of God and the resurrection of Christ; they taught  the way of salvation and eternal life, and the Kingdom of God, is to live by every Word of God!  That is the true Gospel!  

Remembering that they thought the Kingdom was imminent as the events developed towards the Jewish Roman wars: The apostles and elders did NOT enrich themselves and live like oil potentates!

They used the income to preach the Gospel and NOT to build extravagant edifices as is done today.  They used only what was necessary for their basic needs and the preaching of the Gospel, and dispersed to each person as he needed.

4:34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 4:35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

This does NOT justify false prophet’s demanding all the worldly wealth of the brethren.

There is a vast difference between extorting wealth with clever talk and the freewill giving of offerings.

4:36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 4:37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

When doctrinal diversity from the Word of God is tolerated; sin, heresy and false teachings are tolerated; and the unclean is added to the clean;  making the whole lump leavened with the uncleanness of false heretical teachings.

The wicked who turn away from rebuking sin; and turn towards tolerating heresies and forbidding to: Stand on sound Biblical doctrine, shall be greatly corrected in tribulation, and if they remain unrepentant will be destroyed in the final fire.

Those who deny this should compare the attitude and sermons today with those of Peter and the apostles and disciples from Acts 2, onward.

Do NOT mistake permissiveness for godly love: 

Do NOT mistake asceticism for humility: 

Do NOT mistake a large volume of false words for truth:

Do NOT mistake love of man; for a love of God!

It is the love of God to live by every Word of God; that is the first priority.

Love for man comes second to love for God and the KEEPING of the Word of God, which IS Godly love!  NOT the other way around.  Many have their priorities backwards!

ALL the major religions are apostate from Christ and sound doctrine, because they reject any zeal for learning and keeping the teachings and commandments of Almighty God. 

2 Comments

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  1. James – You said “because not being willing to repent themselves they saw the truth of Christ as competition against themselves.  It is the same today as leaders not willing to repent themselves and see the preaching of the truth as competition, and seek to squelch the truth of God from being taught.”

    Why is this? Do these people genuinely not know and understand the true Word of God? Or do they know it but they don’t like it?? Why would anyone intentionally turn from Christ’s Word? What is there to gain from it and do they think they can somehow get away with it? Do they not realize they are fulfilling prophecy by their turning away and teaching false doctrine to others?
    I’m sorry so many questions but it’s hard to understand how or why someone (now or in ancient times) could learn the Truth and want to go against it. It is hard enough finding the Truth as is, I would think once you find it you would hold on tight with all that you can.

    Mainly it comes down to pride; they think they know it all and will not accept the truth about anything if it is not what they already believe. They insist on believing the most astounding falsehoods (Luke 16:31) in order to maintain their pride in thinking that they know it all as per Rev 3:15. They are so obviously wrong on so many things including points of fact as well as scriptures but they are blind to truth because they cannot accept that they do not know it all. Rev 3:17 describes the leaders of LCG, UCG and COGWA with absolute accuracy. “You cannot tell me anything because I am right” [no matter how wrong I am].

    These men are very sincere and truly believe themselves right, they also sincerely [wrongly] believe that God will back them up in anything they decide, their pride will not let them see how wrong they are. The “I am right, who are you to say different?” attitude has conquered them.

    The ONLY thing that can save them from eternal death is to have the things they believe come crashing down around them in the tribulation, until they cannot deny the truth any longer. James

    Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods [spiritually], and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

  2. James, part of the issue is the trust we have in our leaders over the years till now. This is why we hardly question them on any truth we come across in the Bible contrary to what they tell us. Once the fellow has been to Ambassador College we think he knows every truth of God. So anyone who did not attend A C is considered a lay man in God’s truth. Therefore most in the COG groups do not want to hear anything which do not come from their leaders whether it is the plain truth from the Bible or not. This has made the leaders to become so vain and full of pride. They forget the Bible’s message to us on Balaam’s donkey. Numbers. 22: 30- 33. May the Lord open everyone’s eyes as Balaam’s to see His truth. No matter who conveys this message.

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