ACTS 5:1 ( ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA )

At the end of the last segment I know that I said the titles of this would be: ( Desiring the blessings but, not willing to pay the price ). However, the first few verses in this chapter are so filled with ( spiritual food ) that needs to be revealed that, even after writing a whole segment, I felt impressed by God’s Spirit to slow down and try and seperate the things seen here and allow his spirit to speak to the hearts of his people.

Therefore, let’s start by pointing out what had just happened in the last verses of ( Acts 4: 36-37 ) 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, ( 37 ) Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

According to this verse; Barnabas was a man that was in the center of the things, Israel, as a nation did ( by religious law ). The fact that he was a ( Levite ) says the he was in with all those that was apposing Jesus as Messiah. If you go back in the Old Testament you will see that ( the Priest ) , the tribe of Israel that administered the law, was the tribe of Levi. Yet, he believed so strongly that Jesus Christ was the Messiah that he willingly sold all his possessions and laid them at the Apostles’ feet.

By comparison, it would be like a king giving up his authority, selling all he had and becoming a normal citizen. This was a very powerful statement to those that looked at him as superior to them and, also to those of his equal. The apostles knew this man and, evidently pretty well. According to what they surnamed him; it appears that when the apostles suffered disappointments, he would console them with encouraging words.

I’m going to say something here that appears to be true but, I can’t prove it. Joses, being surnamed Barnabas had responsibilities in the religious aspect of the Nation of Israel. More than likely he did what he was supposed to do within his office. By what is being said in this verse, it appears that he had studied the Old Testament and knew that all that had transpired in the last few days was the fulfilling of scripture. Even as he watched the apostles as they followed Jesus he encouraged them, according to this verse.

At this time he sees a need for him to denounced all that he has ever stood for and, join the cause of Christ, willingly laying all he had on the line. Not only all his possessions but his ties to the religious leaders as well, being a Levite.

We go straight from that event, seeing a well know man give his all in ( Acts 4:37 ) to ( Acts 5:1 ) with Ananias and Sapphira being virtually unknowns and seeking to make a statement; just as he did. The word of God is filled with pictures and types that God desires for us to see and to grow spiritually by these verses and, we’ll see more as we move on. However, we need to truly unfold all that we can see here.

There is a metaphor given about Jesus Christ stretching out his hands on the cross. I states that with one hand he reached up to heaven to God the Father and, with the other he reached down to man pulling them together on his Cross. Here, we see somewhat the same picture. The time, Christ has purchased the Church with his own blood. At this moment,; that Church is standing between the religious mindset of Israel and the common man. A choice has to be made, who are we going to follow?

Joses the Levite just made a choice. He proved his choice by his actions. What he did can be seen as a example of what every Levite or, person of authority should do at this time but, it’s still a choice that each person has to make. God the Father made a choice to choose the Nation of Israel to be his people. Because of that nation’s choices it has brought them to this point in time. Back in Daniel ( 9:24-27 ) we see this: ( Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.( 25 ) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. ( 26 ) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. ( 27 ) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the ablation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consumation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

I wrote all those verses to simply make this point. The Messiah has just been ( cut off ) and the ( sixty- nineth ) week has ended. I’m going to put one more verse here to finish my point. ( Romans 11:25 ) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

If you read ( Romans 11 ), Israel has been cut of, placed on a shelf. That’s what happened when Jesus Christ died on the Cross. Israel, as a nation will remain ( cut off ) until ( the fulness of the Gentiles are all in ). The Church has just been born on the ( Day of Pentecost ) and, we do not know how long it will take for it to be ( all in ), meaning, every person that will become a member of that body by being ( born again ). When the ( fulness of the Gentiles ) are in then, God will take Israel off the shelf and she has One more week ) to complete.

Although, Joses the Levite might not understand all of this completely, he believes that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and he will making a powerful statement to the leaders of Israel. However, each person has to make their own choice. As we get into Acts, God has offered Israel the first chance to become members of the Church. ( it says to the Jew first ).

We must understand that ( Israel as a Nation ) and ( the Church ) are two completely differnt aspects of the will of God. The nation of Israel will inherit the earth. One day, right here on this earth, Jesus will be the KIng of Israel and, the earth will be their home. The Church, the body of Christ has its own home. We read about that place in ( Revelation 21 ). To better understand what we are seeing; although Jews are people of the Nation of Israel and, one day their nation will inherit this earth does not change the fact that they can also be born again and, a part of the bride of Christ. They can also live in the city described in ( Revelation 21 ). It’s the Nation of Israel that will inherit the earth. People live and die but, that nation will live forever.

Between ( Acts 4) with what we see Joses the Levite doing, the choice he is making and, ( Acts 5:1 ) with Ananias and Sapphira, we see the choice that has to be made. The nation of Israel is either going to ( sell out ) like Joses the Levite or; remain like Ananias and Sapphira.

In the sense in Believing and trusting God, the choice has always had to be made. It’s never been a time when putting your trust in God was not a necessity for each person to make a choice to be obedient to God. Where, Joses the Levite understood that simply being a jew was not enough, Ananias and Sapphira could not see that. They still thought that they were blessed by God just because they were Jews. If you think, by way of example that just because your mom and dad are members of a Church that you become a part of God’s family, you are badly mistaken, doesn’t work like that.

Before we close out this segment, let me give you something to think about. Let’s say, way back in ( Genesis 12 ) when God promised Abraham that his seed would be the father of a great nation, Isaac was born and Israel was born. What if Israel would have ( sold out ) all to God’s will at that time? Can you see how that all the people of this world would be under the leadership of the Nation of Israel?

Now, I know that all of this was in God’s complete plan. It’s always been God’s will for people to follow him, be submissive to him by choice not by force. Now we come to where we are in ( Acts ). The Church has just been born. When all is finished; Israel will inherit the earth and, The bride of Christ will be living with Jesus Christ ( her husband ) in a city of gold suspended above this earth. The earth wil be ( His Footstool ) ( Acts 7:49 ) Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is my place of rest? You can reference that verse back to scripture in the Old Testament.

Please understand, all of Israel, right after the day of Pentecost could have been born again and, became member of the Church. It was to ( the Jew first )( Acts 1:8 ) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.( Romans 1:16 ) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also the greek.

My point is this. Jesus Christ is King of Israel and the Church lives with him in our home. We, as the bride, his wife could be called ( Queen ). by marriage. Doesn’t that mean that Israel choose not to take, what we took by choice? We live in heaven, in a city suspended above earth and, the earth is the footstool of the King.

Please, don’t misunderstand. I say that just as humbly as I know how, meaning no disrespect. Israel is God’s chosen people and, actually it’s all because of them that we have salvation, thank our Lord for that. However, to the full extent of understanding, it is impossible for flesh to be pleasing to God. In order for any of us to please God, we must die to our fleshly will and seek to yield to him. That is the whole picture in a nutshell. Israel in the flesh, rejected. The Church in Spirit, yielded.

Always remember, if you are born once, you will die twice. If you are born twice, you only have to die once. Every born again believer is born the first time in our flesh. We could call that a type of Israel as a nation. The second time we are born is by the Spirit of God, the new birth ( born again ) that birth is the birth that God honors and lifts high into the heavens. The ( Spirit man ) is always placed above the ( physical man ). The sooner we learn that concept the more spiritual blessings we will have in this life.

One more point. At some point in the Old Testament the Nation Of Israel rejected God the Father. That being, in the mind of God. As far as God was concerned, they died at that moment. God doesn’t look at life and death like we do. As long as I am in sin ( unsaved ) ( not born again ) God see me as dead. The very second I am ( born again ). From that minute on, I will never face what God defines as death or dying. In the mind of God, I died to my flesh the second I was born into his family.

This is just one aspect of what I see in these verses. The next segment will deal with: ( ACTS 5:1 ) ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA– HUSBAND AND WIFE

ACTS 4:24 ( GOD’S POWER IN THE HANDS OF CHILDREN )

I’d like to explain why I come up with this title. It’s not because it’s a bad thing for God’s power to be in the hand’s of children but, because it is the beginning of the Church age and, we need to understand the challenges these people faced. I personally believe that ( babes in Christ ) are; in many ways the most powerful of all as long as they are seeking to become mature believers at some point.

I’d like to share a story about this. This actually happened at the Church I was saved in. A brother in Christ, a good friend of mine often gave this testimony. The Church we attended was pretty new and, before I started to attend it this man didn’t attend either. He would bring his little boy, Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. He would drop him off and. then come back to pick him up. According to his testimony, each time he would come to pick him up, he would be playing in the yard with the other children. Almost everytime he would have to go and round him up to go home.

On this one Wednesday night, his little boy came out of the Church, came straight to his truck, got in and said; daddy, tonight I got saved, I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart and save me. I don’t want to see anyone die and go to hell and, I’m starting with you. This little boy was about six or seven years old. According to this man, from Wednesday night until Sunday morning, his little boy never stopped telling him about Jesus Christ. In his testimony, didn’t no body have to tell him to get up and come to Church on Sunday morning.

Right after I got saved, this man became my Sunday School teacher and was a powerful witness for Jesus Christ and, that; just as a babe in Christ. As a matter of fact; he and the class he taught started a visitation program in our Church that went on for many years.

Let’s first look at what these people replied to the chief priest and elders: ( 24-31 ) 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: ( 25 ) Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? ( 26 ) The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. ( 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, ( 28 ) For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy councel determined before to be done. ( 29 ) And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, ( 30 ) By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. ( 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 spake the word of God with boldness.

First of all. just as a country boy’s way of seeing this; I’d say these people just looked at these leaders and said, ( who to you think you are )? And also, it sounds to me like these leaders are attempting to simply continue what ( Herod, Pontius Pilate, whith the Gentiles and the people of Israel had sought to stop.

I call these people, these young believers ( children ) because we are experirncing the beginning of a new age and, they are the people that God has ordained to lay the foundation as it begins. They are seeing it ( in child like faith ) and, that is the way that God truly desires for us to see his will. In reality, why would the heathen rage? Why would the people imagine vain things? Why would any person have a desire to stop what they are experiencing? They have just witnessed a man that could not walk, stand to his feet, they are seeing the very power of God work even through their own lives and, they are speaking with a power they have never had before in their lives. Why would anyone have a desire to stop that kind of victory in the lives of people?

As a believer for now, almost forty-five years, I still wonder the same thing? When the power of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ and, people filled with the Holy Ghost of God can transform any man from being a drug addict, a thief, a murderer, and every other sin known to mankind, why would any person desire to stop that? Actually, the answer is simple.

Satan and, his demons hate you.. They have no love for you at all and, could care less if you burn in hell for eternity. However, they also don’t want God to have you either, they get upset when God’s blessings are on the lives of believers. I often put it this way, if you think you have a ( will of your own ) then you are deceived. Every move you make is determined by either, the spirit of antichrist or by the power of God, there is no middle ground. When we look at the people on this day, we can call them children or, babes in Christ. We can say that; the chief priest, the elders and religious leaders are considered to be ( mature leaders ) but, we must see the leadership and, where it’s coming from. The bottom line is that ( the rulers of darkness ) desired for the ( Spirit of truth ) to be silienced. Satan has to use a body just like the Spirit of God does. It’s up to you to whom you yield your members.

When Peter and John came out of the temple and revealed what the religious leaders had to say, we see tho whom these young believers choose to yield their members. The people spoke as one and prayed. It was so powerful that the place they were assembled shook. ( Acts 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 spake the word of God with boldness.

I want to point out here that, once again we see the term ( Filled with the Holy Ghost ). This time it says that; because of that fact, ( they spoke the word of God with boldness ). These people here that I am calling children are the spiritual leaders of the day. The don’t have a title like ( elder ) or ( high priest ) but, they are willing to speak, what they know of God’s word, boldly.

If we make a comparison here, what can we see? These believers only had knowledge gained from the Old Testament to draw from, that is, as far as the written word was concerned. However, they could take what they had read and the things that they were able to see, by faith and believed it. They also stood on what they believed. Although the religious leaders had read the same things and basically seen to same things, they could not allow themselves to believe it by faith. Jesus Christ made this statement to Thomas when he appeared to them right after his resurrection. ( John 20: 29 ) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

The people on the day of Pentecoat and thereafter actually had the tremendous priviledge to see the word that they had read for years, unfold right before their eyes. But, they still had to believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, by faith. We can say that the average person in Israel didn’t see Jesus as their Messiah. They did not, and still to this day; think that the Messiah is come. I make that statement to point out that it’s not much different in them and our mindsets today. It all has to believed by faith.

Jesus did however point to Thomas; you have seen me, touched me, talked with me and, it still took all this for you to believe. People today, feel the conviction of God’s word when it is preached. They feel the presence of the Holy Spirit within them and, believe by faith that Jesus Christ is all he said he was or is.

I contend, in all that we see, we are still contending with ( babes in Christ ). Each person that believes, whether it was on that day or, in the days we live have to responsibility to allow the spirit of God to teach them and, grow to maturity. In the last few verses in this chapter we’ll see a group of people that are on fire for Jesus Christ. In these verses ( I believe ) we see mistakes made by these people. They were sold out on the very fact that Jesus Christ was their Messiah, their King and, that he was soon returning to set up his kingdom.

Children in the flesh and, babes in Christ both make mistakes in judgement. At this time, we have to also consider the Apostles as children as well, don’t we? You don’t have to agree with me on these verses but, at least hear me as we watch them unfold. Let’s begin with ( verse 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 they possessed was their own; but they had all things common.

In this verse we clearly see that these people are in one accord, they are loking at themselves as one. However, are they missing the fact that when Jesus Christ returns as ( the Messiah ) isn’t he the Messiah to all of Israel, even to those that don’t believe he is their Messiah? Yes, is the answer and, although these few people by comparison to the whole Nation of Israel have all things common will not change that fact.

What we are actually witnessing is a seperation of these people from the Nation of Israel and becoming a body of their own. We call it the Church, a completely different body. The things they are doing might not be wise in a physical sense or financial sense but, spiritually it will work out for God’s glory. In their minds and hearts, they are building ( the Church ) ( the body of Christ ) and that is yet to be seen, it is just the early stages of that body. Now, let’s read the next few verses: ( 33-37 ).

( 33 ) And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. ( 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, ( 35 ) And laid them at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. ( 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, ( 37 ) Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Now, I wonder, were the things done in these verses under the inspiritation of the Holy Spirit? If you say, ( it was inspired by God’s Spirit ) then tell me, why don’t we do it today? What would be the difference today? I will argue that; it was something that needed to take place but, it was not necessarily something that God inspired them to do. ( I believe this is one of those things done in a childish manner meaning, that a child would make dicisions such as these. As we go through the ( Book of Acts ) I will often use this verse of scripture: ( Romans 8:28 ) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are called according to his purpose.

Not one of us today, nor in that day are wise enough to always hear and understand to voice of God, given to us by his Spirit. We make the best dicisions that we know how to with the knowledge of Christ we have. I’ve made dicisions in years gone by that I would not make today. At the time, I truly thought it was the thing to do but, as I matured I realized differently.

God can take our child like foolishness and work it for his glory. The question was then and, is now; just how much to you love God, are you called according to his purpose? To define ( called according to his purpose ). Is you life more about working for him or for you? If you are called according to his purpose then, your life reflects things for him, not you.

I can see how that all of these people in these verses had God’s will in common, they had one mind and, it was all about seeking his will. Some of the things they did might have been in ignorance but they were truly doing all they did for his glory.

The title of this segment is ( the power of God in the hands of children ). I’ve tried to lay out some things relating to that concept and, to also let ot be known that no matter how spiritual we might become; we are still ( just children ) in the eyes and mindset of God.

Looking at the last few verses here and, what they all did, I believe was a very important part of their walk with Christ and, within that concept, the way that the rest of Israel seen how ( SOLD OUT ) these people were to the cause they stood for.

Let’s consider it on this wise. Each person is born in this world; we are citizens of this world at birth. The only difference in the people around the ( Day of Pentecost ) and the people of the rest of the world is the fact that they are also ( citizens of the Nation of Israel ) ( God’s chosen people ). Therefore, when they believed that Jesus Christ was the ( Messiah to come ), when they placed their faith in him, they became ( members of the Church ). They seperated themselves from this world and their own people and began their journey with Christ.

I, also was born. ( March 21, 1951 ) That day I became a citizen of this world. In ( November, 1975 ) I was born again ) I was born into the ( family of God ) ( the Church ) ( the body of Jesus Christ ). All three things mentioned are, one in the same. That Sunday morning, although I still lived in this world, I became an ambassador of Jesus Christ. This world became, ( no longer my home). My home is a place that Jesus said he was going to prepare. Would you agree with me that; just as it was important for the people at that time, the very first members of the ( Church ), to seperate themselves from their people and this world; it’s just as important for me to do the same?

That seperation needs to be real and, needs to be seen as real by the people around you. Your friends, your family, your co-workers and even the Church members you attend Church with. These young ( Church members ) made mistakes; so will I and all the rest of believers but, the seperation from this world must be real and, if not, then the spirit of God is dead within you. If it was ever a time when these few people needed to let their seperation and devotedness to Christ it was right then. I’d say that it is the same with every believer. If people cannot see a change in you from the day of your new birth, then I’d say they more than likely; never will.

One more point. To whom do you have ( things in common with )? Your friends, your family, your Church, who? Is you relationship and walk with Christ obvious to the people around you?

These people had a defining moment in their lives, a nation, a world, even the people around them could see it and a choice was made not to fellowship with the things of old.

The next segment will be ( Acts 5 ) DESIRING THE BLESSINGS BUT; NOT WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE.

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.

ACTS 4:17 THE DESIRES OF THE RELIGIOUS WORLD.

As we left off in ( Acts 4 ) the last time we see where the religious leaders, that council had set the Apostles Peter and John aside so they could talk privately about what to do with them. Just to recap. in ( verses 15-16 ) But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves. ( 16 ) Saying, What shall we do with 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.

Let me start with this verse: ( Ephesians 6:12 ) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principilities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

One of the first things I noticed about this as I read it was the secrecy. These men went to a private place to talk. This Bibles says: ( Ye shall know the truth and the truth, shall make you free ) ( John 8:32 ) Everything Jesus Christ done, he done out in the open that is, all but pray and, often he did that openly. The complete word of God is written to us, all about him and there is nothing hid from us, nothing done in secret.

I’ll just add this to give you something to think about. My wife and I; a few years ago visited a Church a few times that believed in speaking in tongues. I don’t speak in tongues and, don’t see it as a particular gift for today. My wife however, believes in speaking in tongues and I don’t have a problem with it. The morning we went to this Church this is what the pastor said to his people. If any of you feel a need to relay a message in tongues, go talk to one of our deacons and, they will hear what you have to say and decide whether it needs to be said or not.

I just wonder, does anyone else see a problem with that? Is that not a picture of what we are studying right here in Acts? Can you give me any scriptue for what happened there? I don’t want to get into another study here but, what man decides what is needed on a given day and what is not? I can tell you situations where revival broke out in a Church and, the pastor never got to speak. The reason for that is, it’s not the pastor we need to hear from. it’s the Holy Spirit. I can see how, in this instance, while the Apostles Peter and John were Locked up, the Spirit of God was alive, well and very active outside the meeting of the council. In more ways than not, it’s the same thing in our local Churches; that is, if the people in that Church are Spirit filled. What happens within that building, while it might be a good thing; can also be very minor.

The religious world has a desire to control, who speaks, where they speak and all that they say. In this segment it’s my desire to point out how I believe that the religious world has infiltrated our Churches today. I believe the process began in the very early days of the Church and, it has become more scientific over the years, also more deceitful. Let’s look at two verses of scripture.

( Galatians 2:4 ) And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.

( Jude 1:4 ) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condenmation, ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can’t simply read by verses like we see in ( Acts 4: 14-18 ) and act like they don’t exist. We see in the letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to Galatia that it had began even back in the very early days. Now, I want you to notice something in these two scriptures. In ( Galatians 2:4 ) it explains that the false brethren were ( brought in ) and in ( Jude 1:4 ) it says they ( crept in ). We see the enemy at work. It actually doesn’t matter how they get in, the damage is done.

So, let’s consider the letter to the Galatians. Now, this is just my theory about how it worked then and also, now. The Apostle Paul came to that city with great passion, preaching to true gospel of Jesus Christ. In this segment, I’m going to explain what I believe that envolves. Since he preached with that Holy Ghost conviction, many people truly were born again. However, some of the people that made a profession of faith doubted what he preach and disagreed with him on some points. In the verses we are looking into in Acts; so you remember they were working ( behind close doors )? Well, although these peop,e didn’t agree with all the Apostle Paul was teaching, they didn’t just leave did they and, they also kept their thoughts to themselves until the time they seen an opening to began to sow their discord. The Apostle Paul said this about those that ( preach another gospel ) ( Galatians 1:8 ) But though we or an angel from heaven, preach another gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, ( LET HIM BE ACCURSED ).

We see in ( Jude ) that often they simply crepe in. They see a situation where the spirit of God is moving and souls are being saved so they simply decide to become a member and then, began to disrupt. In this case, it’s still behind ( closed doors ) because they don’t let you know their true intent.

The Apostle Paul is saying that these kind of people need to ( Go to hell ) be accursed. I call this ( spiritual abortion ). I’ll get to that a little later but, we think that is hard. Consider, these are people that purposely deceive people and cause them to die without Christ. They hide truth from the lost and cover up the only true way to salvation. To God the Father; that is no small thing and, Jude and Paul recognizes this, so do I.

In the last few decades, what we see in our physical lives with abortion and, even birth control is, without a doubt because of ( spiritual abortion ) that began in our local Churches. It’s within our ability to stop true spiritual birth from taking place. Common sense will tell you that if you stop a child from being born then, that child will never have children. It’s exactly the same way in our spiritual lives, if you never truly get born again then, you will never have any spiritual children. You might get people to join your religious organization or Church but, that’s far from being born again, truly being filled with God’s Spirit.

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

The title of this segment is ( The desires of the religious world ). The number one desire of all religion is to stop people from speaking in the name of Jesus. ( I believe ) this goes much deeper that we like to consider or, that most people understand. My desire is to attempt to show all that is being stated here.

Jesus Christ gave his life for all sinners on the Cross of Calvary. On the third day he arose from the grave and forty days later he ascended into heaven and, is now setted at the right hand of the Father. He has now been sitting their for around two thousand years. Therefore, where is the power of God now?

When Jesus walked umong men he, cause the blind to see, the lame to walk, even raised people from the dead. Now, the Apostle Peter has the ability to simply speak his name and do the very same thing. Now, other than the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul, can you show me any other person in the New Teatament that had the ability to do this? However, what is the one thing that the other people could do as well as every born again believer today? Those of that day and we alike have the ability to ( speak in his name ). Outside of that council that day, while no one was being made to walk and the blind was not being made to see, the one thing that was happening, they were speaking in the name of Jesus Christ. Because of this many people were believing and trusting in the name of Jesus.

Think about this. As each person believed, what were they expecting? With that in mind; the day you were saved, what were you expecting? These people were expecting Jesus Christ to return at any time and, they acted on that simple belief. Don’t we do the same thing? I’ve been a believer now for 45 years, looking for the return of Jesus Christ and, I still believe he is going to return and set up his Kingdom right here on this earth. I’ve grown a lot and matured as a believer over the years by the very spirit that lives within me. The people of that day were no different, as time moved foward, they made a decision to either allow the spirit of God within them to teach them or, they listened to the religious world and remained babes in Christ or unsaved.

Now, let’s look at what they told Peter and John and, how those two responded. ( Acts 4:18-20 ) And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. ( 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. ( 20 ) For we cannot but speak the things which we seen and heard.

I didn’t write ( verse 17 ) but in that verse it says: ( let us straitly threaten them ). But, we see in ( verse 20 ) that they say: ( we cannot but speak the things that we seem and heard ). As a believer, I see this statement as something inspired by the Holy Ghost. Do you remember in ( Genesis 3:1 ) Now the Serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree in the Garden?

Satan made God’s word a question. Whether it is the leaders of the religious world or, simply our weak flesh, he still seeks to do the same thing today. The power of God is within each born again believer. We call it the Holy Spirit but, unless we are willing to ( only speak of the things he tells us to say ) then, to whom do we actually serve? These religious leaders threatened Peter and John. As we continue we will see some of the things they threatened them with but, the question is, today; what are you threatened with?

I’d like to name some things that ( I believe ) men are threatened with today that actually weakens the cause of Christ. My stand is that Peter and John stood on what they knew to be true. As the Holy Ghost revealed new things to them they altered their understanding of what needed to be taught to the people. If those people were wise they listened as the Spirit spoke through the men that they followed. At this time, that is, right after the day of Pentecost. it was most important for the people to listen to what Peter and John taught and, yield to that teaching. That is, not because of John or Peter but, because of the Spirit that led them from within. They were not following Peter and John but, the Holy Ghost of God. Peter and John just happened to be the mouth pieces of that Spirit.

Now, let’s get to some things that I believe are ways that men are threatened today: ( 1 ) Pastors are threatened with losing their job or livelihood. When Peter and John were preaching; their whole passion was hearing and saying what the Spirit of God told them to say. At this point in scripture, we don’t even see any mention of any money changing hands for the preaching of God’s word do we? These men didn’t preach as a part of their livelihood, they done other things to feed their families and themselves. Their preaching was a passion.

We could almost write a book on this one thought. How did we get to this place? By way of teaching, I want you to notice something here. Peter and John went into the temple. What these two men preached was Holy Ghost sent. However, they could not stay in the temple could they? The religious leaders wanted them to leave. Therefore what do we see as a problem here? The building and not the message has become the god. That might lead us to our second way of threatening. ( 2 ) We have made our institutions more important than the message or the messenger. This can be seen in two different lights. While we do love our Church buildings and organizations, it’s people that control those entities. Therefore the people decide what is taught or done inside those buildings. Peter and John stood inside such a building and made this statement: ( But we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard ).

Although men today might not be threatened with prison time death for preaching, actually this threat is more damning because of where it causes people to spend eternity. If Peter and John are put in prison but, the word of God is still preached then, the people are still given truth. However, If they submit to the will of the religious leaders then the people are the ones that lose. Let’s consider something here. If a pastor says he is led to come to preach in an area but, once he comes to a specific Church, the people of that Church rejects him. Why not simply leave the building, go across the street and preach anyway? Does God call men to buildings or communities?

That brings us to: ( 3 ) We are now threatened with education. We either get education or we can’t pastor in our religious institutions or Churches. As a matter of fact, most Churches don’t even want their Sunday School teachers simply teaching from scripture. They want them to use literature from a given source. So, in reality; they want the educated people to tell the uneducated people what we need to say.

I’m going to teach this in just my ( country boy ) way of saying my heart. Let’s read somthing in: ( Revelation 2:6 ) But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. This is Jesus Christ speaking.

I show you this verse because of the word ( Nicolaitanes ). But if we go back a few vreses we see this: ( 2 ) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

The Bible also says here. speaking to the Church of Ephesus that he has somewhat against them, ( that they had lost their first love ). ( Verse 4 ) What might that be? That first love would be me, or any believer simply sitting and listening to God the Father, one on one. God, through his Spirit talking and instructing me or you.

You see, the religious leaders wanted the people to listen to them. The Apostle Peter and John desired for the people to hear what the Spirit of God was saying. As we continue through you will see that the Apostles grew in their understanding of how the Church would work as they listened to God’s Spirit. We could use the ( Book of Acts ) as template of our own personal growth from being a babe in Christ until being spiritually mature. It all starts with the birth of the Holy Ghost within us. As he instructs, we grow.

Thye doctrine of the ( Nicolaitanes ) was that laity or priests taught the people, and that not necessarily by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles Peter and John are leaving the temple or, Church not having to stamp of approval of its leaders on them but, the power of God is with them. The absolute greatest threat to any believer is ( the fear of being wrong ). If we allow the fact the we don’t have all the answers keep us from preaching the gospel then we have already failed.

When these apostles left that temple that day and, all the people that believed outside, they had no idea how God would form ( His Church ). This is simply the first ( line upon line ) ( precept upon precept ). It is exactly how you build your own personal spiritual walk. ( Isaiah 28:13 ). Each believer must preach the gospel. We must be willing to be wrong, correct that wrong and continue to move toward spiritual maturity, just as these did or, at least some of them.

My ( country boy ) way of saying it can be found in the gospels. ( Matthew 25:24-25 ) Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: ( 25 ) AND I WAS AFRAID, and went and hid my talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

So, if I give him back just what he gave me, what good is that? We need to step out, plant, take chances and seek to multipy. Be willing to make mistakes, fix those mistakes and move foward. If we sit in our perspective Churches and are just ( fed with the Manna ) of the religious world, God is not, nor will he ever be pleased with that mindset.

So. we move foward. The next segment will be: ( Acts 4:23 ) PETER AND JOHN LEAVE THE TEMPLE

ACTS 4 ( THE LEARNING AND CONVICTION CONTINUES )

As we head toward ( Chapter 4 ) let’s look first at the last verses in ( Chapter 3 ) ( Verse 25 & 26 ). Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. ( 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.

As I seek to teach through Acts; It’s my desire that the Spirit of God speak to you, teach you in all things. Looking at these verses, we see that the people that we are going to be speaking of in ( Acts 4 ) are Jews. They are the people of the prophets. Abraham had taught them that , ( in them ) all the kindreds of the earth shall be blessed. Now, let’s compare these verses to what he is saying here. ( Matthew 28:18-20 ) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. ( 19 ) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: ( 20 ) Teaching them to abserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Jesus was speaking to his eleven disciples here and, we see in: ( Verse 20 ) in ( Acts 3 ) it was the them first that he sent Jesus to bless, turning every one of them from their iniquities. I only make this point to show that, even at this time the Apostle Peter is speaking to Jews only and, the message that Jesus gave in Matthew was to the Jews. To them gave he the responsibility to take the gospel to the world.

On the day of Pentecost there were people there from ( every nation under heaven ). Each one of those people had the responsibility to carry that message being, filled with the Holy Spirit to the nation that they were from. Now the Apostle Peter has preached a second message and, it’s still the responsibility for these people to carry this message to every person possible.

Let’s consider a few things here. Actually, what did these people know? Basically, they knew Jesus Christ and him crucified. They now knew the resurrection story and the valve of that resurrection. They, each of them had a lot to learn but, it was their respnsibility to learn those things as the word of God ( the new economy ) became available. Therefore, it is actually no difference in those people and, the very first day you, or any person is born again. On that day, we know the salvation story. It’s up to us to seek the knowledge of God and to carry that message to the world.

Now, let’s see what happened in ( Acts 4:1-2 ) And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducces, came upon them, ( 2 ) Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

I wonder here, what ever happened to the man that was healed. that was lame from his birth. I guess that the religious people would not have cared if every person was healed of something as long as they didn’t preach Jesus and his resurrection from the dead. We see that it wasn’t the average people that sought to stop the gospel but, the religious people of the day. I still contend that it’s no difference in Jesus saying: ( unless you eat my flesh and, drink my blood ye cannot be my disciple ). The Apostle Peter was facing the same battle and, we still face it today. We’ll sit in our Churches and ask for prayer for ever sickness known to man, every problem in families known to man but, never hear one prayer for the lost and undone without Christ, never seek to be a witness for the resurrection of Christ.

As we look on down in ( chapter four ) we will see this man mentioned again however, Jesus Christ is still the main reason for speaking of him and, it is still preached that they are the reason for his crucifixion. As we look at ( verses 3-4 ): And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day, for it is now eventide, ( 4 ) Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed: and the number of men was about five thousand.

Let’s recap now what has transpired. The Apostle Peter has now preached two messages. At the end of the first message; the people said, What shall we do? The Bible tells us that three thousand people believed. Now he’s preached a second time, because of this message the religious leaders have locked them up but, after this message; five thousand men believed.

He said there ( the number of men was about five thousand ). Why would you suppose he would use that terminology here? In my mind; it’s leadership. What happens when leaders do what they are supposed to do? We see the same terminology in ( Matthew 14: 21 ) And they that had eaten were about five thosand men, beside the women and children.

Jesus had just blessed five loaves of bread and, two fishes with which he fed all these people. Notice here that the men are numbered differently than the women and children, making the same point as in ( Acts 4 ). When you can get the leaders of a family, a Church or anything else to do what God has ordained them to do, things, great spiritual things will begin to happen. Hypothetically, let’s say that Jesus blessed the food that day. He gave it to his disciples and, they gave to each man. It then became the responsibility of that man to take the food to each member of his family. Spiritually speaking, it the very same picture, it’s the man’s responsibility to spiritually feed his familt

If we will ever learn that the true power of any believer is never in what we think it is then and, only then will the power of God be seen in us. When men stand and allow the power of God to lead them then, the women and children will have something to follow. That is the picture we see here. While the Apostle Peter and the Apostle John are locked up in the next few verses, to whom is given the leadership role of those outside? Why of course, the Holy Spirit of God. That Spirit is following the chain of command beginning with the men.

But now, let’s follow the scripture and watch the Apostle Peter speak again. Still, he is the one speaking. This chapter will take a while to teach because the tide is turning, the rule of law, so to speak is changing and the power of God id beginning to take over. The rulers have power in word only. Watch this; The two Apostles are locked up, that would be Peter and John. Now look at all the men that are there to question them. (5 )And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, ( 6 ) And Annas the high priest, and Caiphas, and John, and Alexander, ans as many as were kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.

As I write this my mind goes to a trip we took to Florida once. We seen a man handle a little Alligator, very small, small enough to hold in his lap. He showed us that he could take his fore finger and thumb and keep his mouth shut. He said the greatest strength an alligator has is when he closes his mouth not when opening. He also said; however if you are holding an alligator’s mouth shut that weighs 400 pounds with your two fingers then whose going to be holding the tail and body he is going to start swinging?

Isn’t it the same picture here? These religious leaders have two men on hold but, who is stopping the more than five thousand outside as they are talking inside? They failed to realize the power of God when it lives within the heart of every believer.

This is also the power of the true Church. A preacher might be placed in prison but if the people that are born of that same spirit will do their job then, the power of God cannot be contained by any man or group of men. Look at this verse: ( Acts 4:7 ) And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power or, by what name, have ye done this? Would you agree with me; that this very question might bring into question what power they were working under. Also, look at the next verse: ( Acts 4:8 ) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel.

Can you see there; where the Holy Ghost is and also, where he is not? What good are religious leaders or, elders if they do not possess the power of God? I’d like to add here; if you think that ( the religious ruling class ) has gone away today, you are badly mistakened and deceived. My dad, in his latter years once told me that neither Satan, nor those that follow him will ever give up. He was correct about that. What happens is that ( he is transformed into an angel of light ). ( 2 Corinthians 11:14 ) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

What I’m about to say here is something we never hear. However, we must understand this battle for the souls of men. Starting here, we must be willing to hear the Spirit of God. That, above every man or person that might speak, write, preach, call himself and apostle and, by the way, that includes me. Every word I write, teach or say must be weighed under the inspiritation of the Holy Ghost of God. I’m just a man, Peter was just a man, John was just a man, your pastor is just a man. Any one of us can be swayed by Satan and, we can be wrong in what we say.

Jesus Christ in ( John 16:13 ) didn’t say that I or, your pastor, your Sunday School teacher, or any other spiritual or religious leader would guide you into all truth did he? He said that ( THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH ) would do that. He said that: ( HE WOULD NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF ) but ( WHATSOEVER HE SHALL HEAR ) ( THAT SHALL HE SPEAK ): and ( HE ) ( WILL SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME ).

As you look at the conversation that is about to happen between the Apostle Peter and the religious leaders, what do you think the real problem is? The real problem is: ( TO WHOM HAS THE AUTHORITY ). Now, listen to this: ( Acts 4:8 ) Then Peter, ( FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST ). Do you see there that Peter has no authority, neither does he desire any. It’s the Holy Ghost of God that is in authority. Just who is that Spirit in authority of? Peter. Peter’s desire is to completely yield himself to the Spirit that is within him.

Now, once the Spirit has a body and, is given a voice then what other people do with what that Spirit says is a choice. We know from reading thus far in Acts that over eight thousand people have heard that message and, recieved it.

We see the transformation of people here, we also see the way that the Spirit works. That Spirit now can be upon any person that is willing to allow it to be upon them. I want to show you a verse here: ( Romans 12:1-3 ) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. ( 2 ) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ( 3 ) FOR I SAY, THROUGH THE GRACE GIVEN UNTO ME, TO EVERY MAN THAT IS AMONG YOU, NOT TO THINK OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK; BUT TO THINK SOBERLY, ACCORDING AS GOD HATH DEALT TO EVERY MAN THE MEASURE OF FAITH.

I high-lighted that last verse because we often hear the first two verses but, we seldom hear the third verse. I like to say it this way. If I am transformed by the renewing of my mind and, I am not conformed to this world then, that is a good thing unless, I began to think I am better than someone else. If I think I’m special because I am the teacher, pastor, preacher, deacon, Apostle, elder or simply just because I’m born again then the spirit that is within me is a mute point. I am no better than the least of all, I am the least of all. The only thing about me that is worth your time is the Spirit that speaks from within my sinful body.

Therefore, if we put the next few verses in perspective, this is what I would say. The Apostle Peter is speaking and telling them that the man was healed by Jesus Christ, the man that they crucified and God raised from the dead. He, being Jesus Christ. He is the one that was set at nought by ( you builders ) but he is now the the head of the corner. There is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.

All that I have to say is exactly the same way. It’s never me I desire for you to see or hear, it’s only Jesus Christ and, that power comes from the Holy Ghost within me. At least twice now God has given the Apostle Peter a platform. Both times he lifted up Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost within him. That is exactly what every born again believer is supposed to do. It’s not about an office or position. Actually we have no power. God gives us gifts and, we should use those gifts for his Glory but only he can do the transforming necessary to save souls, we must recognize that fact and keep ourselves humble before him.

As we move on down, let’s comepare two phrases that have been said by men. The first was in ( chapter 2, verse 37 ) Men and brethren, what shall we do? Now the Apostle Peter has preached his second message. Look at the change in what is said. ( chapter 4, verse 16 ) saying, what shall we do with these men?

My question would would be, what difference does the men make? Even if you kill them, it doesn’t change the Holy Ghost. There is not now, nor has it ever been but one voice to hear. That’s the voice of the Holy Spirit. Because of an unwillingness to hear him, people remain lost and, also denominations are born. Can you see here that, at this time in scripture a denomination is going to come into being?

Denominations will be born right here in the book of Acts. However, the only reason that it happens is because of men misunderstanding the Spirit of God or, simply not being willing to submit to him or, the leadership of another person.

I stand firm on the concept that it’s not but one truth. The word of God is not left to private interpretation. ( 2 Peter 1:20 ). Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. Now, notice the verse before this one: ( verse 19 ) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day star arise in your hearts:

The same man that held the ( Keys to the Kingdom ) also wrote this, The Apostle Peter. The dark place that the light had to shine was his heart, my heart and, your heart. That day star can arise in your heart but it’s not easy, it takes study and a willingness to seek out truth far beyond any denomination or person. My desire is to teach that truth but, it still takes the Holy Ghost of God to shine it in the heart of any believer. Just as the Apostle Peter didn’t have all the answers on the day he was preaching, I don’t have all the answers today either, I’m still seeking to find them and, each person that reads anything I say should seek beyond what I teach to know truth. Why? Because it is of no private interpretation.

The word ( interpretation is speaking of people like me, you, preachers and even the Apostles. Why do I say that? Because the word of God is a letter written from God the Father to each of us. God the Father has no reason to interpt the letter he has written, he knows what he means and, he sent his Spirit to teach us what he says in truth, not in the way we interpt what he says. Each denomination has its interpretation of truth but, that doesn’t make it truth does it? The truth has ( no interpretation ) it is truth. Each of us shouds seek that truth and, then stand on the truth we know. However, If you show me that I’m wrong and, that inspiried by God’s spirit then I should be perfetly willing to see that truth as revealed through you by God’s spirit.

When we tie ourselves to a denomination then, we are not willing to do that. We simply settle for less than truth and, live a defeated spiritual life because of a denomination. As you look at the two messages that the Apostle Peter has preached, can’t you see his willingness to change, to hear God’s Spirit? If you will notice, the religious people were not willing to hear were they? They were not willing to change. meaning, they were not willing to yield to God’s Spirit.

The whole point in looking at this is to show how denominations started in the beginning of the Church age. The Apostle Peter was filled with the spirit of God just as other people were on that day. As the days pass, he is willingly changing as he gets a better understanding of the Spirit that now guides him. That’s the very same thing that happens to a new born believer. We know little about God’s Spirit when we are first saved but as days go by, we learn and yield to that spirit. If we are like the religious rulers of that day and refuse to yield then we become a religion within our own ranks. Once that happens, it doesn’t matter whether you confess to be saved or not. If you are willing to be led by the wrong spirit then you are controlled by that spirit.

God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth; ( John 4:24 ) Denominations are also spirits and, far too aften we get caught up in following those spirits. In the next segment we are going to get into some of this but, we must try the spirits to see whether they are of God. ( 1 John 4:1 ) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

We’ve already looked at some of these verses but I want to make note of a few things. Look at ( Acts 4:13 ). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. That name he is speaking to these religious men about is Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter pointed out this, described exactly, in detail what they had done to him and, gives Jesus Christ all the credit for the impotent man being made whole. He also makes this point. ( verse 11 ) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

This is a very important verse and, one we still need to consider today. When the Apostle Peter made this statement to these religious leaders. These religious men thought they had something that, in reality was torn down by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and, they are the people that destroyed it. Jesus looked at his disciples one day and made this statement. ( Matthew 24:1-2 ) And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for the shew him the buildings of the temple. ( 2 ) And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

I realize what he is saying here and, it will all come to pass but, I can also see a metaphor here as well. The day of Pentecost was the beginning of something that they could not see clearly as of yet. The building; metaphorically speaking, that was just beginning had Jesus Christ as the ( head of the corner ). The religious leaders were leaving themselves out of that building and could not see it because of their religious blindness.

Every born again believer is a building block in and on that building. As I make that statement, I also realize that what kind of block each believer becomes is his or her choice. ( 1 Corinthians 3:10 ) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

I confess, as a believer that over the years I have witnessed to people and said things I shouldn’t said in my ignorance but as I grew and matured as a believer I altered my message. That’s not to say the the need to know Jesus Christ as savior was not to be preached but the understanding of him and how to deliver the message needed to be altered. We can see that in the Apostle Peter as well as we go through this book.

The Apostle Peter has a very important responsibility in laying the foundation of the Church. If you will notice he is speaking to the leaders; religious leaders here and, his last message was to people that were going to take the gospel around the world. That message has to be stedfast, unwavering. In the next few verses we see that the religious leaders noted that a miracle had taken place. So, let’s look at a coulple of things here. ( Acts 4:13 ) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Let’s stop here and rest awhile. People that know and follow me are very aware that I study and teach only the ( King James ) Bible. At the same time; I do not force that on anyone else. I stand and proclaim my stand. As far as I’m concerned, It’s not my responsibility to force my belief on any person. It’s my responsibility to teach and proclaim Jesus Christ and him Crucified, to proclaim truth.. How you, as an individual, makes a decision to stand before God, is your choice. My desire is to help you see truth to the best of my knowledge.

( I believe ) the different english translations of God’s word is or, can be confusing. It’s just like denominations and what men teach. It all can be confusing and, God says he is not the author of confusion. ( 1 Corinthians 14:33 ) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the Churches of the saints. Would you agree that, the very fact I have to bring that up, even denominations; can be confusing?

Looking at this verse, I want you to see what it says in the ( New international Version ) compared to ( King Jame Version ).When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and took note that these men had been with Jesus.

I want you to notice these two words here. ( realized ) and ( perceived ). What is the difference in those two words? If I perceive something about you, it doesn’t make it true. But, if I realize something about you that make it a fact.

Again ( I believe ) that this verse and how it’s changed in scripture has played out to the mindset of our religiuos world today. The educated mindset in our Churches has weakened the power of God in in the average Church because of the perception that; if one is not educated then they are ignorant and unlearned. Those types of people in the religious world need not be heard, therefore Peter and John needed to be shut up. When a man simply listens to what the Spirit of God has to say and, seeks to relay that message to his people then, that man needs to be shut up.

Think! Basically speaking, in every Church, every denomination today it is a reguirement that the pastor have at least an associate degree; Why is that? In virtually every Sunday School room the teachers teach out of a Sunday School quarterly written bt another person; Why is that?

The reason for that is because a man that simply studies God’s word and seeks to preach or teach what the Holy Spirit tells him to speak is ( realized ) as being ignorant and unlearned. That ( perception ) is wrong but, the religious world cannot see that. If you have been with Jesus, without verbally saying it; they want to shut you up. That ( perception ) is wrong but, the religious world cannot see that.

To try and tie this together, let’s compare something we see in the gospels. ( Luke 2:46- ) And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. ( 47 ) And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. ( 48 ) And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing, ( 49 ) And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

I show you that and ask, what college or university did Jesus attend? I say often, I am not Jesus Christ however, is it not true that the very same spirit that lived within Jesus Christ also live in every born again believer? If not, I beg you to show me the difference.

I completely understand that ( God’s Spirit was born in Jesus from his birth, he didn’t have to learn it, we do but, once we are born again the desire to know that truth is there within each of us.

We will continue to go through ( Acts 4 ) in the next segment. It will begin in ( verse 17 ) We’ll call it ( THE DESIRES OF THE RELIGIOUS WORLD. )

ACTS CHAPTER TWO: THE TRANSITION BEGINS

( Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

In this chapter we will see the transition of the Godhead. As we have mentioned, in the Old Testament, God the Father spoke. Often, he would put his Spirit upon a person and use that man to reveal his will. In the gospels, God the Son spoke and, as we move into the book of Acts we will see that His Spirit will be placed on any person that is willing to receive Him.

We see in this verse; ( when the day of Pentecost was fully come ). We can look at this phrase in two distinctly different ways. First of all; the people in that room were waiting for that day. Like we’ve talked about, Jesus was with them after he arose for forty days. When he went up unto heaven he told them to go and wait for the promise. We talked about how we recognized that it would be ( ten days ) because of the ( day of Pentecost ). Therefore , as we read this verse, as it relates to these people, that period of time is now ( fully complete ).

We also can relate this verse to the complete journey of the nation of Israel. From the very first time they ( as a Nation ) went through the feasts mentioned in ( Leviticus 23 ) this day was on the horizon. I can’t say they all understood that fact but, scripture bears out that fact. We also see that in ( Hebrews 9:8-9 ). Of course, that knowledge was given as part of the New Testament, not the old. But, there were men that studied the Old Testament and recognized these facts as time moved on.

As a matter of fact, Luke; the author of this book was possibly one of those men. Another I might mention is Simeon in ( Luke 2:25-26 ). We see in those verses that he was waiting for these things to come because he had studied and knew these things.

( I believe ) that we, even today have built a religious system and, that of our own choosing that satisfies us. People in Church exactly like the people of Israel get caught up in the religious aspect of what is happening and stop studying for themselves. Just as in Israel; the ( day of Pentecost ) did ( fully come ) so will ( the day of Salvation ) one day ( fully come ) for those that are born again. I make the point that our salvation is in three tenses. Past, present and future. To define that: I, myself ( was saved ) in ( November, 1975 ) that the day my salvation journey began. I ( am being saved ) that’s ( present tense ) from myself. Daily I die a little more each day to the sin ( that so easily besets me ). And, one day my salvation will be complete when I stand before the one that gave his life for my sin. As a matter of fact; what began on the ( day of Pentecost ) will end when Jesus Christ come and receives ( the Church ) in the rapture.

Right now, at this moment we are waiting for the return of Christ just as the people in the upper room was waiting for that day to ( fully come ). These things in our Church economy are simply not taught today. The average person in Israel was left in ignorance by the spiritual leaders of that day. Our Churches are doing the very same thing today, not preparing us for that day. There is however, one tremendous difference. When the ( day of Pentecost ) was fully come, the people of Israel still had an opportunity to ask Jesus to be their savior. When ( the rapture ) takes place at the end of this age, those that are not born again will not have another opportunity to be saved. That however, is a different study. Right now we will move on in this chapter.

The next part of this verse says ( they were all with one accord in one place ). I want to tell something here that ( I believe ). This, that we see here is a picture. I can see how that It was important for these ( 120 believers ) to be at this one place and also, to be in one accord. The author of Acts being ( Luke ) penned this down because of what was seen in the upper room at that moment however, ( I believe ) that all across Jerusalem and, beyond; the Spirit of God filled every person that was born again at this time. We often assume that it was simply the people in this room but, I can see how that other people beyond this point could have been filled at the very same moment. I say ( I believe ) this because ( I can’t prove that fact from scripture. At the same time I say this; I also know that there are other places in Acts that reveal certain things that would cause me to wonder about this. So, I have to teach that which I can prove from scripture. Contrary to what I say ( I believe ) I’ll show you this verse.

( Acts 18:25 ) This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spake and taught diligently in the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. Now, let’s move on down to ( Acts 19:2 ) He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?

Looking at these two verse, you would think that it’s very possible that only the people in the upper room on that day received the Holy Ghost. With that being said; can you see how well meaning people can teach without being under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? As we move forward from this verse, it’s at least two things that are on my mind and heart. First of all; you, as an individual, study behind me. It’s my desire to teach always under the inspiration of God’s Spirit and to help people ( of like mind ) to understand scripture. The second thing; ( make your calling and election sure ) ( 2 Peter 1:10 ) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and elecrion sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

We must remember; at my very best or, no matter how wrong or right I am as I teach, it’s all about the Spirit of God. That Spirit must be in you as well. Teaching, and receiving a spiritual message is actually what we are going to see in the next few verses or, through this chapter. I love to seek out things that are hard to see in scripture such as; the difference in the ( Holy Ghost ) and the ( Holy Spirit ). AS we lok at ( verse 2 ) I believe we call see this. Look at this verses:

( 2 ) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. ( 3 ) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. ( 4 ) And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What we can recognize here is that something is being seen, heard and felt. The most powerful point to be seen here is that God could have done all of this without anything being seen, heard or felt. That fact is what ( I believe ) to be the basic difference in the ( Holy Ghost ) and the ( Holy Spirit ). As I sit here and write, teach this segment in Acts; if I tell you I have the spirit of God in me but, you can’t see it, what good is that to you? Can God use me without me allowing him to be seen? In the old economy, ( the Old Testament ) the people of Israel were looking for something, to see something, to know that God had forgiven their sin for another year. If it was nothing to be seen then how did they know God had moved to forgive? On this day; the actual true ( Day of Pentecost ) something is being seen however it was much different that anything they had ever seen before.

Please understand, as I teach this; I am continuing to learn as well. The holy Spirit keeps stirring within me as I think and reason. As we read about what just happened here, just how many people actually seen the event? I can only assume it was just the one hundred and twenty believers that were gathered in the upper room. However, we also know that what happened in that room, to those people didn’t stay in that room did it? A noticeable change had taken place. In ( verse 12-13 ) it says: And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what meaneth this? ( 13 ) Others mocking sais, These men are full of new wine.

I’d like to relate this day to something in the gospel of John ( John 3:7 ) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. Here Jesus Christ is doing the speaking. He has just made a spiritual statement to Nicodemus; now, he must teach him what this statement means. Here in ( Acts 2 ) something spiritual has just happened. Now, someone has to teach and help the people understand what has just happened.

I feel that I must teach some things here as well. If we are going to simply describe what has just happened: God, in the form of the Holy Ghost, just showed up. now look at this: ( Luke 1:8-12 ) And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, ( 9 ) According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. ( 10 ) And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. ( 11 ) And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the alter of incense. ( 12 ) And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

I only point this out to make the point of the lack of spirituality at that time. I realize that Zacharias was not the High Priest but, I don’t believe that the Lord was meeting the High Priest behind the veil at that time either. At some point in the Old Testament God had stopped meeting the Hight Priest behind the veil, the people just didn’t realize that fact. I had simply become a religious ceremony each year.

Basically, what was happening was that each year the people would bring their sacrifices, offer them for their sins and, go back home and continues the same as they were. That is not what God ever intended for Israel to do. I often use the saying: God saves us ( Just as we are ) But God doesn’t expect us to ( stay ) Just as we are. If you believe that; if you go to Church, say you get saved, get baptized, go to Sunday School and Church, tithe, is all it is to salvation, then you my friend are badly mistaken and you are just as the children of Israel were in the day just before the birth, death, resurrection and day of real Pentecost. Most Church people, even the pastors and Church leaders are just like Zacharias, if something spiritual actually happened, it would cause great fear in them. On the day of Pentecost; something spiritual happened and, the people wondered, what in the world is going on? They had never seen this before.

I don’t mean to drag this out but, it’s very important to understand. God wanted to meet with his people and Moses at the foot of the mountain. So, let’s start with this verse: ( Exodus 19:8 ) And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

If you continue to read here you will see that Moses talk to the Lord, told them what the people said. God the Father told Moses to tell the people to come to the foot of the mountain, he told them to set up barriers and not to touch to foot of the mountain, lest they die. As Moses talked to the Lord; the Lord was adamant for him to get down because the people were going to break through and die. The people could not even obey the law before the law became law.

My whole point in sharing this is to help you to see that it has to be something inside of you that causes you to even have a desire to be pleasing to God. That is exactly what these people on this day are witnessing in these people. If you consider; If I tell you I have the spirit of God in me, what good is that if he cannot be seen? I’ve made this statement before but it fits well here too. Israel were saying and also believed that they were God’s people ( just as they were ). Something needs to be seen, God desires to be seen in every man’s flesh.

To the Jewish people, this was the ( Day of Pentecost ). We see that says in ( verse 5 ) Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. These people had come because this was a ( feast day ). They were suppose to be there. As far as they were concerned; it would be a normal ( feast day ). Now, look at this next verse: ( 6 ) Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together. and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. We’ll add the next verse as well: ( 7 ) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying on to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?

The first thing I want you to see is that when theses ( 120 ) believers came out of the upper room; they were different than when they went in, I was noticable to the people outside that room. Most of the next few verses can also be tied to this as well. I’d like to take a little time here to explain a few things. If we go back to ( verse 4 ) it says ( they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance. ) ( I personally believe ) that these people were speaking in a known language that these people outside understood. Can you imagine, as you look down at all the different nationalities represented in Jerusalem, just what this sounded to these people; all that spoke the same lauguage?

We”ll get back to that but, we also see the word ( tongue ) used to discribe how the Holy Ghost looked when it fell on the ( 120 ) believers. ( verse 3 ) And there appeared unto them cloventongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Since Luke is writing this, we’ll just say he was someone standing and watching this unfold. As he stood there and, the Holy Ghost fell, it looked like a tongue that reach out and touched each person in the room. So, we see the word ( tongue ) used in two different ways in this same chapter.

However, the focus here in these verses is that the believers were given the gift of tongues as in, the ability to communicate with people on that dat that were not able to speak their language. ( I believe that any one of the believers could have walked up to any person, no matter what language they spoke and witnessed to them in their own language that day. I also believe that the ability todo that continused for some time after that day. It actually wasn’t that the people speaking in a different language was it? They were actually speaking in their normal language but, the person hearing them were understanding it in their own language. Look at what they say in ( verse 7 ) And they were amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these Galilaeans?

My desire is to teach spiritual lessons and, to get the reader to search even deeper. So, let’s consider something here. All the people that were there that day, that spoke the same language that these 120 believers did, what did they hear? They heard the very same message that every other man did in his own language. God’s purpose was to get the message out to every person that they might take it back to their perspective towns , countries and villages. My point is that; even the people that spoke the same language needed to hear the ( New Testament ) message as well.

( I believe ) if we look back to ( Genesis 11:1-10 ) where God ( in physical sense ) seperated the languages and, that for a reason. he is actually doing the same here, it’s just in a ( spiriual sense ). Just prior to that event, what happened? ( God destroyed the earth with water ). A big event. Now, just beginning the new world; he changes the languages, physically. Just before this event with the languages, what happened? A big ( spiritual event ) death burial and resurrection. Now there’s a new message. Every person at that event ( the day of Pentecost ) will not hear and except that message, doesn’t mean he never will but, just not that day. On that day, what seemed to confusion, was not confusing to those that believed. In both cases; it became the responsibility of the people that understood to teach those that did not. Also, Wasn’t it now, Israel’s responsibility to take the gospel to every nation under the sun?

Look at all the places that are mentioned in ( Romans 2:9-11 )> I says in ( Verse 5 ) And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under the sun. There’s a spiritual lesson here. Again ( I believe ) that on a normal ( day of Pentacost ) these people came to the feast, went through their normal ( religious ceremony ) and went home. They went back to their nation or place they dwelled and basically never changed a thing. Isn’t that what we do on an average Sunday morning? We simply go to our perspective Church, go through our normal Sunday morning religious ceremony and, go home. Basically, we never talk about any spiritual change or event that happened that day at all during the week, do we? Can you think of why that might be? It is because of the lack of the Spirit of God. On this ( day of Pentacost ) it’s going to be different. The Spirit of God is here and, some will hear that spirit.

Right in the midst of all this; the Apostle Peter stands and begins to speak. This is something that is different than a normal day of Penacost. As a matter of fact, the last few might have been some different. In ( Luke 2: 46-47 ) And it cam to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them , and asking them queations. ( 47 ) All all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And in ( Luke 19:35 ) And they brought him to Jesus:and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they sat Jesus thereon. This event happened just before the crucifixion when Jesus was coming into Jerusalem.

All this was because the true event was happening. It was not a mere type anymore. The was the true sacrafice, true resurrection and the true day of Pentacost.On this day of Pentacost; the Apostle Peter is going to stand up and speak. We see this in ( verse 14 ) of ( Acts 2 ). But Peter, standing up eith the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem,be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

The question might be; why Peter? In closing this part out we will adreess that point once again then, we will address the message in the next segment.

We have already talked about the reason it was the Apostle Peter in an early segment but, I feel we need to look at it right here as well. ( Matthew 16:18-19 ) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ( 19 ) And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

In the early segment, I went into the fact that the gospel was to be offered unto the Jew first. Here, on the day of Pentacost we see the gospel being offered to the Jesw first. As we move on through the ( Book of Acts ) we will see the keys used at least twice more. Jesus had given Peter the keys to unlock the gospel truth to every group of people. The Jews here. as a nation have a chance once again to except Jesus Christ as the King of Kings and the Lord of Glory. As we will see, there are many that do but, as a nation, he is still rejected as their King.

The next segment will be: Peter’s first use of the ( Keys to the Kingdom )

ACTS 1:14 ( ONE ACCORD )

( Acts 1:14 )These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

As we look at this verse; these people were truly excited and, anxiously awaiting something. I can see how their prayers were very sincere with great passion. The word ( supplication ) means ( the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.

If you put yourself in that place at that time, what could it be like. Less than fifty days ago, the man you are trusting in was crucified. For the last forty days you have seen him alive and, even talked with him, now he is gone again. You are ( waiting ) but for what? In your prayer, what are you praying for? What are you humbly begging for? Consider, the same people that crucified Jesus Christ because of their distain for him; don’t like you either and, you have no idea what to expect. The power from on high hasn’t arrived yet, can you trust him?

Can you imagine; for ten days, remembering all that Jesus Christ has said unto you, trying to put it all together and understand what is in the future? At least they are in one accord, they are sticking together.

I’ve already spoken of the fact that they were expecting Jesus to establish his kingdom at that time. They were in ( one accord ) expecting that to happen. I want you to consider something here that we seldom think about and, many never even notice. What is the difference in the ( kingdom of heaven ) and the Kingdom of God )? In the ( King James ) Bible, the phrase ( kingdom of Heaven ) is only used in the gospels in the gospel of Matthew. We see it in the Old Testament and, also in the book of Revelation but, in no other gospel. Jesus Christ spoke of the ( Kingdom of God ) in all four gospels. He was making a distinction of two completely different places but, his apostles didn’t completely, if at all; understand that fact. Many people today still don’t see that fact.

Let me show you a verse of scripture: ( John 16:12-13 ) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now, ( 13 ) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you all things to come.

In ( Acts 1:14 ) that Spirit hasn’t come yet therefore, there is still some confusion and, that confusion will last for a while. It will however began to help them understand the difference in what they are waiting for.

I have written something explaining, in full the difference in the ( kingdom of heaven ) and ( the kingdom of God ). At some point I’ll try to put it on this site but, the short version is this. The ( Kingdom of heaven ) is a place, the nation of Israel will inherit it, right here on this earth, the whole earth will be their kingdom at some point. The people in the upper room were expecting it to happen in short measure, at that time. The ( Kingdom of God ) is where God lives. Would you agree, if you are born again, that’s right there in your heart, for one place? Jesus was teaching that concept of himself in the gospels but, the apostles and disciples could not grasp, as a rule what he was teaching.

It takes the spirit of God to reveal truth. One very strong reason that Jesus Christ, in the gospels and, as it continues in the first part of Acts was teaching the way he was is because of Israel, as a nation was deliberately blinded ( a vail over their spiritual eyes ) by God the Father. ( Romans 11:25 ) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

As we go through this, the whole study, there will be some very strong points made about the ( kingdom of God ) and the ( Kingdom of heaven ). Who is saved and, possibly, who is not. No one can say for sure but, still the points have to be made.

As we look back from this time, the time they were gathered in the upper room; it’s a lot we can learn about their mindset and why The Apostle Peter preached the message he preached. For instance, What was the message of ( John the Baptist )? I want you to notice these two scriptures: ( Matthew 3:1-2 ) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, ( 2 ) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ( Matthew 4:17 ) From that time Jesus began to preach, and say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. When we see the word ( repent ) here. What were both, John the Baptist and, Jesus Christ asking the people to repent of? With this question and, as we go into ( Acts 2 ) we will see the difference in what is being said within that term.

The responsibility of John the Baptist was to prepare Israel for the coming birth and ministry of Jesus Christ. He was born around three months before Jesus Christ, we see that in ( Luke 1 ). John the Baptist preached a message of repentance. In the early ministry of Jesus Christ, he preached the very same message. The reason for that is that Jesus Christ, in every way, whether it was as Israel’s king or for salvation, it was always first offered to the Nation of Israel. I want you to remember ( the message of repentance ) here. As we move forward we will see that again. However, in this verse, the kingdom of heaven message is still fresh in their minds and, they truly believe that Jesus Christ is coming back to set up that kingdom in the very near future.

The Apostle Peter; seeing all this and, also seeing something that needed to be corrected, preached the message that he preached at that time. The Bible says that they were ( in one accord ) that day. I wonder about something here. If, they were truly in one accord, why did they pick two men to vote on? In ( one accord ) shouldn’t it be as simple as one man? There’s a point we need to see here. There is a difference in being ( in unity ) and ( uniform ). If we say ( we are in on accord ) then, what are we in on accord about? One of the greatest problems here and also; in many Churches is, who is actually doing the leading? In these verses we already know that it’s not the spirit of God don’t we? That being, because he ( the Spirit ) hasn’t been sent yet.

( I believe ) that all of the people on that day, in that room were in ( one accord ) as far as the return of Jesus Christ, nothing beyond that concept. If we look over in the epistles we can find this verse. ( Ephesians 4:13 ) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the pond of peace. ( I believe ) the people in the upper room did this, even without the spirit. They choose two men the lot fell on one of them and they moved on, no argument about who he was. However, I can also see the possibility that, in that room; some there doubted that the vote needed to take place, they simply didn’t argue about that fact.

Let’s put this in a Church setting. Each year most Churches pick new deacons and, Sunday School teachers. Anyone that desires to can present a candidate for any position. At some point a vote is made and no one argues about the outcome. So, does that mean the whole Church is in one accord? If so, one accord with what? do you see what I’m saying? We can be in one accord with the fact: ( let’s just move on ). Everything we just done can be wrong but, let’s move on to something else and get back to normal.

As we go through the book of Acts, you will see that it’s very few times that many people are in ( one accord ) with the spirit of God. In The Old Testament; God the Father spoke, very few listened. In the gospels; God the Son spoke; very few listened. Starting in the book of Acts; God the Spirit speaks; very few listen, even today.

I’m going to make another point here. is it possible here that when they cast lots, all the lots fell on Matthias? You would think not because there were two chosen. The point is that the Spirit of God is a divider. He ( the Spirit ) cause each of us to have to make a choice, to choose between one or the other. Sometimes the reason that choice is so easy is because the Spirit of God is not present, even in a local Church. Look at what Jesus says: ( Luke 12:51 ) Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.

Can you see a contrast there? Remember the verse: ( Luke 2:14 ) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. I shared with you that Jesus Christ was teaching them about the Kingdom of God; at the same time he was speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven. In the Kingdom of Heaven there will be ( peace on earth, good will to man but, within the Kingdom of God, there will be division, even in our own flesh, a battle rages. Let me ask a question, right this minute, is the spirit of God within you in ( one accord ) with you own flesh? If so. how do you relate to those around you? Can that be a problem? In most cases, talking to most people, I can simply say ( I know I’m saved ) I know I’m going to heaven when I die ) and, that becomes a problem. Do you see what I’m saying?

There are many things more we might could say and relate to the verse in ( Acts 1 ). I’d say that these people had the best of intentions however, they just like us, have to wait on the spirit before we move. It’s all a learning process, in them as well as in each of us. You, as an individual can read, study and, go far beyond what I’ve done in this one chapter. But, I’m moving on to ( Acts: Chapter Two )

JUDAS: ACTS 1:9 AND BEYOND

As we continue to look in ( Acts 1 ), we see in ( verse 15 ) that Peter stood up and began to speak. The message he brings to the people in the room is all about Judas; the apostle that had killed himself. Here, I’m going to attempt to show why Jesus picked this man and, the need for him to be absent on this day. As you continue to read in this chapter, you will see that the people in this room did pick an apostle to replace Judas. We see that in ( verse 26 ) Look at what it says: And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Do you realize that this man is never mentioned again in scripture? Just on a spiritual note here; I’d like to make a comment. Any person that desires to be a member of a church can actually be voted on and, join that Church. We can say ( they are numbered ) with the members of that Church. However, that doesn’t mean that every memeber of ever Church is known or recognized by Jesus Christ does it? In order to be known by Christ, recognized by Christ, you must be born again. Church members might know you, even highly approve of you but, if you are not born again then you are not know of Christ.

The eleven remaining apostles of Jesus Christ was picked and selected by Jesus Christ himself. Man cannot pick and choose apostles, only Jesus can. Peter, being the man he was actually stepped outside his abilities here. He was suppose to wait ( for the promise ), and he got ahead of himself here. He brought a good message and, it was basically true but, he or, the members of that group did not have the authority to pick a replacement for Judas who fell.

We know from scripture that Judas’ fall was not surprize to Jesus Christ. He even said; ( that scripture might be fulfilled )( John 17:12 ) While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest meI have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. Actually, we could say that even Judas was ( numbered with the eleven ) because Jesus knew from the beginning what he would do.

What scripture was it that was fulfilled? I feel that this is worth studying. ( I believe ). I often put those two words ; set apart like that because I can’t prove everything I going to say from scripture. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be proved out but, I haven’t found the answer yet, maybe you can. I love to seek and find hidden wisdom and mysteries. ( 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 often also use that verse of scripture to show that it takes the spirit of God to teach me and, every person that is willing to search out things in his word. Look at this verse of scripture. ( 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 ) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; ( 28 ) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: ( 29 ) That no flesh should glory in his presence.

God, on purpose; did not design his word for the world to understand. He designed it so that only the spirit within us, his spirit within us can see the things he wishes to reveal and, also we, even born again believers must have the desire to know him and his will. God’s desire is to use people to teach and, my prayer is that he can use me but, the true responsibility of any teacher is to stir the spirit within you and get you to search scripture that you may learn beyond what any teacher might teach, including me.

God the Father has the ability to use any person for his glory. That is proven in scripture. Even if you call youself and atheist; God will use you to your own demise. Now, look at this verse.( Acts 1:25 ) That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

Where was that place? Can we simply assume he went to hell? There are people that will say that; just becauce he hanged himself, he went to hell, is that correct? We see in the book of Judges another man; Samson that killed himself. He pushed two supports on a building and caused them to fall on him, did he also go to hell?

God, by his spirit desires that we see something here. It becomes our responsibility to search and find it, comparing scripture with scripture. As we continue to go through all of these things, we will seek answers to many questions but, let’s consider this: just how close can any person get to hell without actually going there? What do I mean by saying that? It’s almost like we are taught today that salvation, the simple fact of saying we believe in Jesus Christ causes us to be exactly where God wants us to be within his will and, while salvation is a good thing, it’s not all God desires from us.

As we teach through the book of Acts, we see the beginning of the will of God for this earth as it relates to the Church. We see Peter here making a decision, he was partly correct. Judas had fallen and he needed to be replaced but, it was not their responsibility to decide who that man would be.

I’d like to start this by giving what ( I believe ) to be the fulfilling of scripture that Jesus is speaking of in ( John 17:12 ). Peter says in ( Acts1:16 ) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. It seems he was referring to ( Psalm 41:9 ) Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

I see how this verse is possibly speaking about Judas but; I also believe it goes much deeper than that. ( I believe ) the true Church; those that are born again, all the way back to the beginning, are the spirit and the people that God truly desires to fellowship with. Flesh is simply a vessel. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Nation of Israel or just the flesh of one indidivual that the spirit of God is alive in.( The Church ) is a call out group of people that represents the actual will of God, we are people that make it our purpose in life to do and seek his will and his will alone. That has been in the mind and heart of God from the very beginning of time. ( Revelation 13:8 ) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

In this verse, he is speaking of the people that will be worshipping Satan; that is except those ( whose name are written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world ). I show you this verse just to make my point that; from the foundation of the world, it has been God’s desire to have people sell out their flesh to him, to seek to do his will. ( The Church ) is simply the final or last link in the unfolding of that in all of scripture.

We can see a picture of the whole concept of the Church all through the book of Genesis. That is because it has always been in the mind of God. It’s not intended to be easily seen but, it can be seen. This is were ( I believe ) we see the ( fulfilling of scripture ) mentiond by Jesus and by Peter in Acts. Abraham has one son after the promise of God. ( Isaac ) Isaac had two son ( Esau and Jacob ) Esau was ( after the flesh ) Jacob was ( the spirit man ) ( second born ) just a picture of you in your flesh and you being born again. That spirit man Jacob, had twelve sons. These twelve sons are the twelve tribes of Israel.

Now, let’s see what happens to these twelve sons. I’ll try to point out scripture for this. Do you remember when Jesus said this: ( Matthew 19:30 ) But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Joseph was the eleveneth son born to Jacob. At that time he was the last one born to Jacob.Now, look what Joseph said to his brothers. ( Genesis 37 ). I’ll just write this one verse but, you should read the whole account through the rest of this story. ( verse 5 ) And Josepth dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

Joseph is a type of Jesus Christ. Just like Joseph, he was, as far as the riegn of Israel and the law was concerned; the youngest born. In other words, Jesus was born in the last years of the time of the law. Jesus was the ( fulfillment of the law ) As you read, you will see that Joseph’s brother left him for dead, even thought he was dead yet he became their savoir, just like Jesus Christ. As you keep studying, you will notice that when ( Israel ) the brethren of Joseph went to Egypt because of a famine, who did they find? Their youngest brother they thought was dead and also, they hated. At the time that Jesus Christ lived and was in Israel, they could not see their need for him but, there is a day coming they will see that need as a nation. But, before we get to that time; we must finish the ( age of grace ) which we live in now and, Israel must go through the ( seven years ) of tribulation period. At that time, Jesus will return. Just when Israel thinks it is no hope for them, Jesus Christ will return in the flesh and be their savior, meaning; the savior of that nation.

This next step is where ( I believe ) that the fall of Judas comes into the picture. With Judas being dead, that means it’s eleven apostles. So, who should that man be? As you continue to read in ( Genesis ) understanding this story, look at this verse ( Genesis 42:13 ) And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan: and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.

Joseph has just learned that he has a younger brother, his name is Benjamin. Within these twelve sons of Jacob is the whole picture of the unfolding of Israel and ( the Church ) the body of Christ. ( I believe ) that the death of Judas, no matter how we might look at it is a picture of what is being taught in the last part of Genesis.

When we look at the ( twelve apostles ). Each apostle was not picked from different tribes of Israel. We know this because some of them were brothers. The one that died ( Judas ) can be seen as a type of Joseph that was sold to Egypt and, after he was sold to Egypt, another was born ( Benjamin ). With that being a fact, who then is actually the ( apostle ) that will replace ( Judas ) that fell?

The fact that Joseph did not know his youngest brother Benjamin is a picture of the fact that Israel could not see the ( Church ) that Jesus Christ would die on the Cross for also and, that beyond the fact that he was the King Of Israel. All these things were hidden in the Old Testament. As I make these comparisons, I realize that there are many types that can be seen, even within a single person. For instance; Joseph in this instance can be see as God the Father or, God the Son. I realize that I don’t see it all, maybe you can but the fact that Joseph was in Egypt; assumed to be dead by his father and, another son, Benjamin was born without Joseph having that knowledge is a picture of Israel not being able to see the Church. In these Chapters in Genesis we can actually see Israel and the Church coming together, all because of Jesus Christ.

At this point in Acts, as we see these things unfold. At this point even Peter cannot see all that God is doing. Since we have brought Benjamin into this equation and tied him to the death of Judas, I feel this will be a good point to teach about what person it is that actually becomes to twelfth apostle. Since this fact actually takes place in to ( book of Acts ) and, it will be a while before we get to it , we’ll simple point out a few things about this man.

The twelfth apostle, the man that will set in judgement over the tribes of Israel ( the tribe of Benjamin ) will be the ( Apostle Paul ). I said he would judge ( Benjamin ) But I cannot prove that. I do however, know that he was from the tribe of Benjamin. ( Philippians 3:5 ) Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

The man we are speaking of is not even mentioned until ( Acts 7 ). Look at this verse ( 58 ) And they cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. If you will notice in ( Acts 7 ) that Stephen mentioned this or, at least the twelve patriarchs in the message he preached just before he was stoned to death.

The next time we see Saul is in ( Acts 9 ). We can see him mentioned in ( Acts 8 ) but in ( Acts 9 ) is where we see that man actually speak to Jesus Christ and, excepts him as his personal Savior. One other thing I will mention about this man; Paul. ( Ephesians 3:3 ) How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; ( as I wrote afore in few words, ( 4 ) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ )

You should make it a point to read that whole chapter but, I want you to see that: the picture of Benjamin not being known in Genesis or, known by Peter and the rest of the people in the upper room was made known to the Apostle Paul at the appointed time. As you read through the epistles written by the Apostle Paul, in almost everyone of them, in the very first few verses; he is trying to make the point that he is an apostle. Look at the first few verses in this book: ( Ephesians 1:1 ) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of Go, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

One of the most profound examples . I believe is seen in ( Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle,( not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead:)

Benjamin is a picture of ( The Church ) that is hidden in the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul is ( The Apostle ) to the Gentiles. ( Romans 11:13 ) For I speak to you Gentiles, insomuch as I am the apostle unto the Gentiles, I magnify my office: He, being the Apostle to the Gentiles was hidden in the very beginning.

I’m going to make a statement here and, you can take it for what it’s worth. Israel was no different than the average group of people in any local Church. They had their minds made up as far as what they excepted as truth and to whom it was to come from. They refused to see how God would allow Gentiles to come into the fold. They had a hard time believing the Apostle Paul was someone that Jesus Christ actually called to be a part of their ministry. Are we not the same way in our Churches and, what we except as truth? To whom we except that truth from?

The problem the Apostle Paul had and, we also have today is getting people to understand ( how to ) hear the Spirit of God as he speaks to their hearts and, also ( to move ) in the direction he is leading. It’s just like you reading what I’m writing here. You or, no one has to believe what I have to say but, allow God to teach you and show you what is truth. Once he becomes your teacher and, you learn to listen to him then, every person can be used to teach you right and wrong, That’s because you discern right from wrong as guided by God’s spirit and not by any man.

In ( Acts 1) a transition has begun. We will look a little deeper into this chapter and see if anything else needs to be pointed out. The transition from law to grace was a hard step, we still struggle with it today. This is something that many can’t understand. It’s much harder to live by grace than it is to keep the law. Living by law; people see you as being good but, grace has nothing to do with keeping the law but, a desire to hear the Spirit of God and, move in the direction he is leading.

Speaking of ( leading ). Look in ( Acts 1:14 ) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

So, let’s assume here that every person that was there being; ( 120 ) people as seen in the next verse, was ( in one accord ) and ( praying ). I’m going to take this verse and start another segment. I can see something here that truly needs to be taught and understood. It’s not that it can be seen in this verse but, as we move forward in the ( Book of Acts ) it is something that truly will help us see the Church as it unfolds and, teach us the difference in the mindset of the people on that day and our mindset today.

Therefore, the next segment will be on ( Acts 1:14 ). We will call it ( Acts 1:14 / One Accord )

ACTS 1:9 AND BEYOND

( Verse 9-10 ) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. ( 10 ) And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; ( 11 ) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing, up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

I can only imagine all the feeling, all the spectrum of emotion that these few people felt, can you? Here’s a man called Jesus Christ. These people have walked with him, talked with him for many years now. In the last few weeks they have seen him crucified, buried and, raised from the grave. Not only that; they have seen people come out of the graves, felt earthquakes, seen rocks rent, even the veil of the temple torn into, something that; to them was unheard of. You can read that account in ( Matthew 27: 50-54 ). Now, they stand and watch as this same man is simply lifted up into heaven.

As I read about these things and try to imagine just how these people felt I wonder, just how were things just before the birth of Christ? We know Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist was struck dumb just before his birth but, what about the hundreds of years before these events? Just how much did things happen of this nature before the birth of Christ? The point I’m making is that I believe that the period of time just before Christ was much like it is now, that is; as far as life just being normal.

If we seek to place ourselves with these people on that day, we would probably be gazing up into heaven as well because it was not a natural event. It wasn’t something that happened everyday. Even as they stood there it says that two men in white apparel came and, also spoke to them. Just how strange would that be? I say all this to make the points that need to be made in the next few verses. If you remember, Jesus had told them ( not to leave Jerusalem ) ( and wait ) for the promise of the Father.

Now, let’s look at a verse of scripture here. ( 2 Peter 3:8 ) But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. When Jesus was speaking with them, at any time; they didn’t realize how God looked at time. I say these things to try and relate to these people and their actions in the next few verses. I can see their faith exploding within them and the great anticipation as they went through the next ten days waiting. ( I believe ) that it would be a great attribute to the Church if we sought to prepare ourselves for his coming again like these people did. It might have been ( ignorant faith ) but at least it caused them to move and prepare. They could not see what would transpire over the next few days and years of their lives but, neither can any of us, can we? They we so excited about the return of Christ that they made some mistakes in judgment. They had no idea it would be over two thousand years before he would return, at least in a bodily form.

I’m going to try to finish this chapter in this segment so, let’s back up a little and think about something. In ( verse 5 ) Jesus Christ tells them that they shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. In ( Matthew 28 ) he also tells them to go, and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and, the Holy Ghost. First of all, did they understand what he was saying? Can you explain what he is saying, even today? Consider, just because something is said;does not mean you understand all it is saying.

While questions of this nature might seem very insignificant and, maybe, to some degree; doesn’t matter, it does give us insight to some things we might need to consider today. I say, it’s worth looking into. First of all, one of the other disciples should have stood up and stated; we need not do anything right now, Jesus instructed us to ( wait ) for the promise of the Father. However, we know that Peter often stepped out in front as he did here. We see that all through the gospels. While I’m speaking of this; let me point something out. ( John 13:23 ) Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. ( 24 ) Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

I’ve often wondered here why Peter didn’t ask Jesus, they were all sitting in the same room. ( I believe ) that it makes a point of whom is closest to Jesus. That; in a spiritual sense. Can you see what I’m saying? I also believe that the disciple leaning on the bosom of Jesus was John. That same John was in the upper room with Peter when Peter began to speak in the upper room that day. That’s just a thought. I do however believe that Peter made another mistake in judgment on this day about picking a disciple to replace Judas. I’ll try to give you my reasoning here and, you can allow the spirit of God direct you as you read.

Since I mentioned Judas here, let’s start with him. Judas will be the topic of discussion in the next few verses. He was picked to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ. He also told the location of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. We see that in ( Matthew 26:15 ) In ( Matthew 27:5 ) we see that he went out and hanged himself. One of the first questions here might be; just why did Jesus pick him? Jesus, knowing all things would have known this. ( I believe ) there’s a spiritual answer to all things. We just have to study, under the inspiration of God’s Spirit to be albe to see those things. Just as we used the book of Leviticus to show the ( day of Pentecost ); we can also seek the answer to this in the Old Testament. I can’t say that I have found it, other than to say ( that scripture might be fulfilled. ( John 17: 12 ) Jesus called Judas ( the son of perdition ). He also said that he lost him. Why? That scripture might be fulfilled.

In ( Acts 1:15 ) we see that Peter began to speak. Why Peter? As we go through these verses, we will see that Peter’s primary concern was the fact that Judas had fallen and, in Peter’s mind, they needed to pick a man to replace him. Peter was always doing things of this nature. If you remember; when they were on the ship and they seen Jesus walking on the water, it was Peter that walked out to meet him. ( Matthew 14:26 ). It was Peter, when they came to take Jesus that cut off the man’s ear. ( John 18: 10 ). Of all of the Apostles of Jesus; Peter, James and John were the names we see most mentioned in the gospels and always in that order if they are named together. When Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the mount of tranfiguration and they seen Moses and Elias, it was Peter that wanted to make three tabernacles. ( Matthew 17:4 ).

In all these cases, I don’t believe it was under any kind of authority that he is speaking or doing the things he was doing and, that; even here in ( Acts 1 ). That being said, it is in scripture and, it’s here for our instruction and to teach us. The Bible says in ( Roman 8:28 ) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

Therefore, when we have scripture, such as we see in ( Acts 1 ) then, if or since we love God, it works together for our good. Everything Peter did, worked for good for those that love God.

So, now we’ve seen two things that we need to look into in this segment. ( 1 ) Judas hanging himself and needing to be replaced and, ( 2 ) Is it Peter that should be talking or making this dicision?

I’d like to finish this segment on the fact that Peter was speaking, right or wrong or, both. In the next segment I’ll devote the whole segment to Judas and why his death transpired and, to whom the man is that took his place. It’s all relevant and, not one thing is a mistake.

God has the ability to use people just like they are for his glory, even lost sinners and, people that aren’t actually willing to help the cause of Christ. I’m reminded of Pharaoh in Exodus. Moses told him that God said to let his people go. Pharaoh refused to do so. God used his defiance for his own demise and, for God’s glory. Even the twelve patriarchs, the sons of Jacob, those sons chose to destroy one of their own, Joseph and, God used it for his glory.

Peter was a man that was very out spoken and, often moved without considering who it was that was guiding him. He often caused himself trouble because of simply who he was. We could argue that we all are just like Peter. If you remember, Jesus told them to go to Jerusalem and ( WAIT ) for the promise. Here, in the last part of ( Acts 1 ) we see Peter speaking but, he didn’t wait for that promise. Yet, Peter being who he was, rushed to do things because of the knowledge he had learned from Jesus. In Peter’s mind, Christ would do just what he said he would do, just as the two men dressed in white apparel said he would do. He would return. The problem is ( WHEN ). Peter thought that since Jesus had commanded them to go to Jerusalem and wait that in just a few days he would be returning to set up his kingdom right there in Jerusalem.

The most important aspect of understanding scripture is the Holy Spirit of God within you. Without that spirit, we all will make common mistakes in judgment and that, even by of our spiritual leaders. If you will notice, in this chapter the majority of the people took sides with Peter. They listened to what Peter had to say and, they all appeared to have voted without any argument about what actually needed to happen. Do you see how easy it is to simply listen to people and, go along with what they think?

Peter knew at least two things that were for certain. First of all, he knew that in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus would need all twelve of his Apostles. We know this because of ( Matthew 19: 27-28 ) Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? ( 28 ) And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That they which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The second fact that Peter knew was that Jesus had told them that he would have the ( Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven ) ( Matthew 16:18-19 ) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ( 19 ) And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Let’s also add the next two verses in to make a profound point. ( Matthew 16: 20-21 ) Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Jesus Christ. ( 21 ) From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and raised again the third day.

This account was given before the crucifixion. We know that after the crucifixion that Jesus told them to ( Go and teach all nations ). ( Matthew 28:19 ) Therefore, something changed, did they understand all of that. I would say, no and, it would take the coming of the Holy Ghost to help them see it. However, Peter did know these things, he just moved a little to soon.

As we continue to look at these things we will see and know the truth. In the next segment I’ll look into ( Judas and, why Jesus chose him, knowing he would fall. That doesn’t mean I’ll be correct but, it will give you something to consider and you, guided by the Holy Spirit; you can decide whether I’m correct or not. ( JUDAS: ACTS 1:9 ) AND BEYOND.