ACTS 4:23 — PETER AND JOHN LEAVE THE TEMPLE

AND THEY BEING LET GO, THEY WENT TO THEIR OWN COMPANY, AND REPORTED ALL THAT THE CHIEF PRIEST AND ELDERS HAD SAID UNTO THEM.

As we look at this, I think we need to start with why they were let go. I want you to pay attention to a phrase we see in ( verse 21 ). BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE. I want to make a point here; there are three different ways of looking at leaders. ( 1 ) we’ll call this one a conservative. This always, in a spiritual light seeks to know truth. When he finds that truth; he is perfectly willing to stand in that spot, no matter what it might cost him in any way. ( 2 ) Moderates: These people stand in the middle of the road, whatsoever is the best thing to stand on at a given time is where they stand. In other words; you can’t depend on them for truth unless it is beneficial to them. They’ll also stand on a lie if it is beneficial for them at the time. ( 3 ) Liberal: This is someone that believes a lie or, non truth. Although it is not the truth, at least they will take a stand on what they believe.

Although the religious leaders in that room, in my personal opinion, were ( liberal ) as defined, didn’t they take a ( moderate ) stand? And, the two Apostles took a very conservative stand. Where the religious leaders were concerned about what the people thought and, made their decision based on that, however, the Apostles stood on their principle even if it cost them their life. Possibly, the religious leaders had to moderate because of known truth, as a matter of fact; that’s what they said. ( Acts 4:16 ) Saying, what shall we do with these men? for in deed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerisalem; and we cannot deny it.

Having moderation abilities can be a very good asset. We all need the ability to moderate but, it must always be toward the truth, as that truth is revealed unto us by God’s Spirit. It’s when we refuse to do that; that denominations are formed.

Can you see how the stand that these two Apostles took inspired, motivated the people outside the Temple? What if these two would have feared and yielded to the religious crowd? If you will notice it says this: ( for We cannot but speak ). Even in the room with the religious leaders, these two men stood as one. Often, we think about Jesus Christ and the fact that he stood firm all the way to his death on the cross. I thank God for the fact that he didn’t fail and, I’m sure all of you do as well. However, even at the beginning of the Church age the men, like Peter had a responsibility to now build what Jesus Christ gave his life for. Now the fruit must be multiplied and it starts with the Apostle Peter and the other Apostles. At some point we are going to have to clarify the responsibility of the first eleven Apostles but, for now we know that the Apostle Peter is the main spoksman. The reason Peter is the main spokesman is because Jesus gave him the ( Keys to the Kingdom ). He is unlocking the door of the gospel to the world.

As most of the people that follow me already know I always seek to find the mysteries and hidden wisdom in every part of God’s word. We see this concept in ( 1 Corinthians 2:7 ) ( But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto his glory ).

I continually show this verse because I see how God designed his word. It like it is so that a believer has to desire to see his wisdom and to dig deeper than just what we read. I also repeatedly make this statement: ( which God ordained before this world unto his glory ). That phrase ( before the world ) is telling us that all God has is right in front of this world, they ( the world ) just can’t see it. As a matter of fact, our flesh is part of this world therefore, unless you truly desire to feed your inner man, you can’t see it either, even as a believer. You must have a spiritual desire to see and understand what God desires to teach and, how you cometo the basic understanding of his concepts.

Now, as I teach this; you see if you see the ( mystery ) ( hidden wisdom ) that ( I believe ) is here. The Bible says in the verse we are looking into; this: AND THEY BEING LET GO. Peter and John were locked inside a building. The religious people would not let them out. Can you see a picture there of the Holy Spirit of God being inside of you and, not being able to get out. Remember the verse ( before the world )? It doesn’t matter whether he is locked inside the ( Nation of Israel )( inside a Church house ) or ( inside of your body of flesh ) if he cannot be seen or heard then he is to none effect.

Look at the next part of this verse: ( they went to their own company ). The people outside of that place were just people, people just like Peter and John, people made of flesh and, every one of them were seeking to know, to learn, to understand. Now, the last part: ( they reported all that the chief priest and elders had said unto them ). Whether it be, people coming out of a temple, people coming out of a Church or the Spirit of God coming out of you, aren’t we suppose to report all that is said unto us? And, that being from the power above us?

( 1 Corinthians ( 3:16 ) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? Looking at that verse and, as I seek to relate it to what is happening in the verse we are dealing with, what message did Peter and John bring out of the temple? We’ll look into that but we already know that what the temple, metaphorically speaking, told them to do was, not to speak in Jesus name. The temple that you live in is basically going to tell you the very same thing. If you are going to exalt Jesus Christ with the temple you live in it’s going to have to come from within and boldly come out of your flesh.

If the Church you attend exalts Jesus Christ it’s going to have to come outside of itself to do so. Since we know what the message was that ( the temple ) told Peter and John to relay; can you imagine how much more powerful the gospel message could have been if ( the temple ) would have put its stamp of approval on the message of Peter and John? What if the chief priest and the elders would have invited all the people in and began the exaltation of Jesus Christ right their in the very temple of God?

The Apostles are now having to leave the temple and take the message of Jesus Christ to the world. Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone with the twelve apostles, each block of that building being the born again believers that desire for Jesus to be their Lord. Where does that leave the chief priest and elders? This question can take us to another place in scripture. I can clearly see how we can get so locked up in religion that we are blinded to the absence of the very Spirit we say that leads us. And, it’s all because of the weakness of our flesh and to whom we yield power. ( Revelation 3:20 ) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Many of our Churches today have locked Jesus Christ outside of the building and will not allow him to come in. The Holy Spirit of God is not welcome. We have created a Jesus Christ of our own personal liking and, even without knowing it, blinded our own spiritual eyes. ( 2 Timothy 3:5 ) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ( 2 Peter 1:9 ) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot se afar off, and hath forgotton that he was purged from his old sins.

something to consider

My heart goes out and, is heavily burdened for those within our Churches that are blinded to real truth and those that have a form of godliness but actually deny the true power of God. In the average Church that have as their doctrine ( Jesus Christ ) most of the members of those Churches will tell you they believe in Jesus Christ, they have joined that Church and, they have been bapized, However, if you asked them if they are going to heaven when they die? Their answer is ( I hope so ). Within that statement, aren’t they denying the power that God has to save them Just as they are? To save them to the uttermost?

There are many people that say they don’t use the King James Version of the Bible because they can’t understand it. If that is your stand, my question to you would be, do you understand to version you read? Aren’t you denying that; the Holy Spirit that you say lives within you can take a book written on a fourth grade reading level and teach you from that book? My stand is that if the Holy Spirit of God can’t teach you from one Bible, no matter which version it is then, he can’t teach you from any version, you; more than likely, are not seeking his teaching ability at all.

My stand is that, within our Churches today; we do not seek the wisdom or leadership of the Holy Spirit. We actually don’t want Jesus Christ anywhere close to what we do. We seek the approval of man and, that pleases us.

When Peter and John left the temple, they left the praise of men and they come out to their own and, sought to listen and yield to the Spirit of God. We, often are still inside that temple and doing the things we do for the praise of men and God is not please with what we are doing. Look at this verse: ( 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 ) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye seperate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. ( 18 ) And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord almighty.

Peter and John just left the temple. They, at this moment and , with all the people that believed Jesus Christ and have received his Holy Spirit are ( seperating themselves ) they are ( coming out ) from among them and beginning to reufuse to ( touch the unclean thing ).

This seperation is a very important part of the foundation of the Church. The Church is in its infancy, just been born and, it has a lot to learn. What would you say has to be the very first thing these new believers must learn? ( I believe ) that what I’m about to say was true for those people in those days, the days of the early Church and, it’s just as important for us today. The one difference might be that it was more vivid and real then than it is now. The very first thing that every new born again believer must learn to do is to hear the Spirit of God as he speaks to their hearts.

Let’s revisit two verses of scripture that we have already used. In ( Acts 2:37 ) the people asked ( WHAT SHALL WE DO )? In this can you see where the people have heard the Holy Spirit as Peter preached and earnestly desire to make a change? Now ( Acts 4:16 ) the religious leaders said: ( What shall we do with these men )? Can you see that, after they heard a message, it’s not the Holy Spirit they are seeking guidance from? They are not looking to change anything about themselves but, someone or something else.

I often say this and, I’ll say it here: It’s not me; I desire for you to hear. My desire is for you to hear God’s Spirit and yield to him if he is moving you by what I write. It’s not my desire to receive any money from you or, that you join any denomination but that you simply allow God’s Spirit to work in your heart and help you see the truth in God’s word.

We are leaving the temple and, seeking guidance from the Spirit of God. We live in a fleshly temple. That temple, if we are born again houses the very Spirit of God. God, through and by his Spirit desires to transform that temple he lives in into a ( house ) ) fit for the master’s use.

( I believe ) one of the best pictures of being born again can be seen as we read the book of ( Isaiah ) and that, as it relates to himself. If you read the first five chapters in Isaiah; he says this often. ( WOE UNTO THEM ), He’s speaking about the Nation of Israel but, once he get to ( Isaiah 6 ); read what happens. In ( Verse 5 ) he changes and it becomes ( WOE IS ME ). You can read as much as you like but, the true experience with the Holt Spirit of God causes us to look at ourselves and to see the real need we have in our flesh. It’s not my brother, not my sister but, me O, Lord; standing in the need of prayer. I, Marshall Clayton, realize that in my flesh I am, and can never be anything good. The only thing that will ever be good about me is the Spirit of God that lives within me. I must hear him and, speak what he tells me to speak. If I allow you to see me, you have seen nothing. It’s his light, his glory that must be revealed through the flesh of me an, every man.

If you read on down in ( Isaiah 6 ) Look what happened. ( verse 6-9 ) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the alter: ( 7 ) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips: and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. ( 8 ) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us. Then sais I, Here am I; send me. ( 9 ) And he said, Go, and tell the people, Here ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

This happened just as soon as he ( Isaiah ) seen himself. ( Verse 5 ) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

We could argue here that Isaiah just came out of the temple and, he just allowed his fleshly body to allow the Spirit of God to come out of his temple. My point is that change has to take place. If we are not willing to allow God’s Spirit to direct us then we are simply religious and are not led by the Spirit of God.

Let’s back up and notice what Peter and John said. ( Acts 4:20 ) For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. When we speak of coming out of the temple, being led by God’s Spirit and, then we read this verse, just how far can or, do we take this verse? Peter and John said: we cannot but speak what we have seen and heard. God told Isaiah to say this: Go, tell the people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but percieve not. Do you think the people wanted to hear that? We have built many religions by simply, using scripture but, making it say what people desire to hear and, not revealing what the Spirit of God wants to say to the people.

As Peter and John leave the temple, they; as well as we must be careful not to rebuild another temple made by the doctrines of men. The truth from God’s word is not something the world desires to hear, nor do they want to understand it. I think I’ve made this distinction before but, if you will notice the message that came from inside the temple is ( THOU SHALT NOT ) speak in his name. Religion is full of ( thou shalt nots ) but actually never really gets into the real meat of God’s word.

I’m going to make this point and we’ll move to the next segment. Many religions and denominations teach us to stay away from the ( sin of commission ) meaning to not commit sin but, few teach us about the ( sin of omission ) meaning the ability to hear God’s spirit and, not to omit to do the things that he asks us to do. Isaiah said; ( Hear ye indeed but understand not ), ( see ye indeed, but perceive ye not ). God’s word is often; deeper than we desire to swim and, higher that we desire to climb. Therefore we settle for what a religion or denomination has to offer. That a good example of the ( Sin of Omission ).

All this has to do with leaving the temple and seperation. What are we going to build now, and how? In the next segment we will look at how the people responded to what Peter and John reported about what the chief priest and elders had to say. We’ll call this segment: ( ACTS 4:24 ) GOD’S POWER IN THE HANDS OF CHILDREN.

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