Act 4:1 ¶ And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and
the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
COMMENT: In the spiritual warfare to win
souls, every man anointed of Christ will discover the Devil
using "wickedness in high places" to fight them if they ever
make a success of their preaching as Saint Peter did in the
temple, leaving little or no time to pull in their fisherman's nets
before the Adversary comes as a roaring Lion seeking whom he may
Act 4:2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached
through Jesus the Resurrection from the dead.
COMMENT: The priestly order known as
the Sadducees did not believe
in the Resurrection and were grieved the people were being
taught otherwise. So they came upon the Apostles Peter and John,
and the healed man; with the Captain of
the temple who was in authority over it.
Act 4:3 And they laid hands on them, and put [them] in hold
unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
COMMENT: And immediately without any concern
for the well being of the healed man or of other Israeli's who might
be in need of healing; they arrested the two Apostles and the healed
man and held them overnight.
Act 4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed;
and the number of the men was about five thousand.
COMMENT: Now in your wildest imagination, it
probably did not occur to you that Saint Peter had gathered a
multitude of five thousand Jewish men in the glorious temple of
God with the creative healing God gave the lame man, but the temple
was no small place; neither will it be in the world to come when
the Resurrected of all nations will go to Jerusalem to worship the
Lord of glory, we know as Jesus Christ! So there was no keeping
the miracle healing secret in Jerusalem nor in all of Israel,
and this was apparent to the rulers of the Jewish religion in
those days where "wickedness in high places" reigned behind the
Act 4:5/6 ¶ And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers,
and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas,
and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high
priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
COMMENT: The creative healing of the lame man
and the persuasion of five thousand Jewish men in the temple was no
small matter for the wicked Jewish religious leaders to consider.
They quickly came together and as many as were of the kindred of
the high priest because it was from them future high priests might
be chosen; therefore they were greatly concerned for their
clan's inheritance of such a high and prestigious office with so
much wealth and power attached to it.
Act 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked,
By what power, or by what name, have you done this?
COMMENT: By asking by what power had the
Apostles worked a creative healing miracle on the lame man, the
rulers of Israel's religion thought to accuse the Apostles of
healing by the Devil's power even as they had previously attributed
healings performed by Christ as being by his power; and in asking
them by what name had they performed a creative healing miracle,
they hoped to discredit them regarding the name of Jesus Christ
whom they were responsible above all the Jews for crucifying.
Act 4:8/9 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them,
"You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day
be examined of the good deed done to
the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
COMMENT: Now we can hear what it really
means to be Spirit filled with the Holy Ghost!!! Peter knew no
fear nor apprehension about what to say to men highly esteemed
by the Jewish population. He quickly acknowledges who they are
without rendering any respect or flattery, and gets right into
his message making it clear they are being examined for a good
deed and not an evil deed.
Act 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
you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him does
this man stand here before you whole.
COMMENT: Then without any hesitation, he
boldly pointed out their guilt before telling them by what name
the lame man was healed. For had he said the lame man was healed
in the name of Jesus Christ, they would have stormed upon him
with accusations before he could have pointed out their guilt.
Peter used the healed man as evidence standing before them whole
before they realized they had entraped themselves against a man
far wiser than them.
Act 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you
builders, which is become the head of the corner.
COMMENT: Saint Peter is a preaching machine.
Once he got started. it was difficult to stop him. He had just
pointed to the healed man and was now saying, "This is the stone
which was set at nought of you...." and they thinking he meant
the healed man had to be puzzled, but not for long; for it soon
became apparent he was speaking of Jesus Christ. Peter went on
to magnify the name of Jesus, saying:
Act 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.
COMMENT: This is all the message Peter needed
to make his case clear to all of Israel, there surely being some
who would leak the truth of the hearing out to the Israeli public.
So the rulers either made a signal for him to stop or he stopped
on his own accord and left them to consider his message which
strongly affirmed their need of a Saviour too; and this kind of
publicity altogether they did not desire.
Act 4:13 ¶ Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,
they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus.
COMMENT: Isn't it amazing how we live in
a country with many thousands of learning institutions where
students are made ignorant of God; particularly those who
graduate from Seminaries, and the rulers of Israel
were similar products of the legalistic and dogmatic
ritualistic religious thinking and practices of their day.
They looked down on "unlearned and ignorant men" such as
the son of fishermen, Peter and John, whom they would not
have given audience the day before the miraculous healing
of the lame man. And they took note the two uneducated men had
been with Jesus whom they had crucified by the hands of Pilate.
Act 4:14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with
them, they could say nothing against it.
COMMENT: The religious leaders were
checkmated. There was not a righteous legal move left on the
chess board of life.
Act 4:15 But when they had commanded them to go aside
out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
COMMENT: Nonetheless, they "commanded them to
go out of the council,..." so they could confer among themselves.
In this way they comforted themselves with the use of their power
and the hope there might be some way to exercise wickeness in
the high places they loved to occupy for all its power, prestige and
wealth. And were the dumb sheep of America to realize such wickedness
was taking place behind the scenes in the practice of the Christian
and Catholic religions in our country, they would be able to
extricate themselves from the dogma's and rituals taught and
practiced in our backslidden nation. So the rulers then as the
religious leaders now,....conspired against Christ and against
the well being of the people they are supposed to serve:
Act 4:16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed
a notable miracle has been done by them [is] manifest to
all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny [it].
COMMENT: They admitted among themselves there
was nothing they could do to undo the situation. Yet were they
able to unwork the miracle and put the man back to work begging
alms at the gate Beautiful, you can be sure they would have been
glad to do it to show themselves more powerful than the Apostles,
and fully in control of their religion. Since they had no power
with God nor the Devil to work such an evil miracle, they thought
to disarm the Apostles from using the name of the Lord to perform
supernatural feats. So they decided among themselves:
Act 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.
Act 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak
at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
COMMENT: The rulers of the legalistic practice
of the laws of Moses thought to make a law themselves as they were
accustomed to do in the practices of their religion, and by so doing;
they hoped to catch the Apostles in the violation of that law and
put an end to their works of God by which their positions were
threatened with all the people.
Act 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, you judge.
COMMENT: Peter and John recognize the right
or the ability of the rulers of the people to judge and go on to
Act 4:20 "For we cannot but speak the things which we have
seen and heard.
COMMENT: The two Apostles make it clear they
cannot testify other than of the things they have seen and heard.
In other words, they were immovable even as Christ is immovable.
Act 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.
COMMENT: The wicked rulers of the Jewish people
threatened the Apostles and let them go knowing there was no evil
committed, and every Israeli in Jerusalem knew of the creative
healing miracle by now and were glorifying God for that which
was done. In a few days the news would travel by word of mouth
which was the media of the day, and all Israel would know of the
wonderful miracle worked at the gate known as Beautiful
to their temple. As the rulers of the people went about the city,
they would not be heard glorifying God for the miracle however;
and this is always the case with wolves in religion; but they
would go about the business of religion and turn a deaf ear to
any mention of the healing by their constituency. And by doing so,
they would succeed somewhat in quenching the Spirit as much as it
was possible for them, of the spiritual revolution taking place in
Jerusalem and in Israel. Meanwhile, the healed man remained as
living testimony to the healing power of the Lord's name in
what had become the stronghold of the Devil in Jerusalem.
Act 4:22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this
miracle of healing was showed.
COMMENT: For forty years his crippled
condition had advertised itself in Jerusalem with his legs
dried up like sticks from never having been used to walk on.
Now he was walking
about in "perfect soundness" with perfectly normal legs
after the creative healing miracle.
Whereever he went, you can be sure he was recognized, and wherever
he was recognized; you can be sure the religious leaders would go
the other way while the people praised God for the miracle.
Act 4:23 ¶ And being let go, they went to their own
company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders
had said unto them.
COMMENT: We find the two Apostles gathered
with the 120 again.
Act 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their
voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, you [are] God,
which have made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that
in them is:
COMMENT: They all together lifted up
their voice to God. Here we suspect is a supernatural
phenomenon little is known of, where the Spirit of God moved
them all to say the same thing together in one voice. In searching
the Scriptures you should be able to find other suggestions
of this phenomenon. This
becomes all the more profound as
they continued to say:
Act 4:25 "Who by the mouth of your servant David have said,
Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
COMMENT: Sinful religious leaders among
the Israeli's raged against the Apostles and the growing Church
in Jerusalem imagining they could fight against God and win.
The 120 went on to say with one voice:
Act 4:26/27/28 "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were
gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
For of a truth against your holy child Jesus, whom
you have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the
Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
For to do whatsoever your hand and thy counsel
determined before to be done.
COMMENT: The first part of their group statement
is prophecy where they said in a company together: "The kings
of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together
against the LORD, and against his Christ." This is typical of the
voice of prophecy, to foretell of some future event in a context
suggesting otherwise; so the prophecy will be missed by the
vast majority of readers. They were foretelling of Armageddon
when the kings of the earth will stand up, and the rulers will
gather together in the valley of Meggido to fight against the
Lord, and against his Christ. (V26)
Of the first coming of Christ they were referring in the Spirit
to the attempt of Herod in slaughtering children in Israel in
the hope of killing the Christ child, and of other oppositions
according to what God had PREDESTINED by his wise counsel to take
place historically. (V27/28)
Act 4:29/30 "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant
unto your servants, that with all boldness they may speak your Word,
By stretching forth your hand to heal; and that
signs and wonders may be done by the name of your holy child Jesus.
COMMENT: Their prophecy proceeded into
prayer where they made supplication for the Lord to continue to
stretch forth his hand in the Apostles to heal; and to perform
signs and wonders in the name of Jesus.
Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken
where they were assembled together; and they were all filled
with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.
COMMENT: How would you like your prayers
answered by an earthquake that does not damage to the
surroundings? So many religious hypocrites claim they experienced
a great shaking after praying, but you can be sure there were no
hypocrites in this book of Acts gathering.
They were all so mightily focused on God, it was no distraction to
them; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost again! Now hear
the truth again. There are no permanently Spirit filled believers!!!
Why should you believe religious dogma when the New Testament
Scritures are so clearly set right before your eyes. This is the
same group that was filled by the Holy Ghost previously. They will
retain the fullness of the Holy Ghost until they do something to
quench or grieve the Spirit or until they are too tired to hold
onto the anointing of Christ within, then they will rest their
weary flesh and return to the same practices of holiness by which
they always expect to become
Spirit filled again.
Act 4:32 ¶ And the multitude of them that believed were of one
heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that ought of
the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all
COMMENT: The 120 + the 3000 devout Jewish
converts + the 5000 who heard and believed the Gospel of Jesus
Christ in the glorious temple + others besides were all "of one
heart and of one soul" as the holy Revolution grew in power and
in numbers threatening to convert the stale and legalistic
Jewish religion into the practice of holiness such as it was
when Moses led Israel through the desert wilderness, and all
Israel was one.
Act 4:33 And with GREAT POWER gave the apostles witness of
the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and GREAT GRACE was upon
COMMENT: Imagine waking up daily to
a life of holiness with eleven Apostles in Jerusalem and
rumors of Saint Paul out there among the Gentiles, all of them
working mirales and signs and wonders in GREAT POWER. We only
hear of a few of these supernatural feats, and to be sure;
anything the Apostles did that was questionable was kept
discreetly among them, accounting for the mention of GREAT
GRACE being upon them all; for they were all known by their
spiritual fruit rather than by the practices by which they
entered into the Spirit.
Act 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,
COMMENT: The Church in Jerusalem entered into
a commonwealth which supported them for a while until the persecution
arose which impoverished them; so in the beginning of this practice
of liquifying their materialistic possessions to share from the
same treasury according to their necessities, none of them lacked.
In unloading their homes and lands, they freed themselves up for
the full time practice of the faith without the distractions and
entanglements of secular business.
Act 4:35 And laid [them] down at the apostles' feet: and
distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
COMMENT: By laying their wealth at the
feet of the Apostles, they were delegating authority over the
commonwealth treasury over to them.
Act 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,
COMMENT: Barnabas is introduced to the
readers at this time who is later a holy man of significance
in later developments.
Act 4:37 Having land, sold [it], and brought the money,
and laid [it] at the apostles' feet.
COMMENT: Barnabas not only freed himself
from his worldly entanglement in land ownership, but the laying
of his money at the Apostles' feet was clearly an act of
submission on his part to them and to the Lord of glory who
empowered them; so they had good reason to trust Barnabus;
which soon proved to
make a difference when he introduced Saul whom they would have
nothing to do with, for fear of further bloodshed;
not knowing God was making of him an
Apostle unto the Gentiles. (Acts 9:27)
Barnabus was later set apart with Saul
who became known as the
Apostle Paul in the work which they did for the Lord together.
(Acts 13:1) Meanwhile, the laying of money from the sale of
properties at the feet of the Apostles
went on with great zeal to produce a spiritually
minded Church in Jerusalem that was not anchored to materialistic
possessions and commitments.