Acts 4

4:1-7. Arrest.
8-12. Answer to Rulers.
13-18. Decision.
19-20. Answer to Rulers.
21-. Release.
-21-22. Miracle. Result.

Acts 4:1 And as they

(I.e. Peter and John.)

spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple,

(Officers of the Levitical Temple guards. See Luke 22:4. Cp. Jer.20:1.)

and the Sadducees,

(The were the aristocratic and conservative party politically; and, doctrinally [generally speaking] they negatived the teaching of the Pharisees, even denying the doctrine of the resurrection. Neither of these sects had any existence, as such, till the return from Babylon. The Lord was opposed by the Pharisees. Now the opponents are the Sadducees, because of their hatred of the truth of the resurrection, of which the Apostles were witness. See 1:22; 23:6-8.)

came upon them,

(So here comes Christianity and the Apostles stating that Christ rose from the dead, and these Apostles teaching that there is life after death for the soul, you have a real problem. There is a religious difference where there is no compromise.

When you cross the religious community, and you go around performing miracles in the name of a man that they just crucified, Jesus Christ, then these Sadducees are ready to fight. They knew that these miracles were the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit of the Living God, and the teaching of such things will dry up their offering plate; and they knew that it was time to act. This is why the religious community even today will stand in the way of truth, and you would have a better time planting a seed outside the religious community, then where their minds are set with religious traditions set by men.

Most churches are so steeped in their narrow doctrines, and self-righteous in their denominations, and divisions that they just can't get into the oneness that this early church had. These Sadducees were just as set in their doctrines, which believed what when the flesh body died, so did the soul.)

2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached

(Gr. katangellô = to bring word down to any one, bring it home by setting it forth.)

through Jesus

(Hebrew - Yahshua, or Iesous in the Greek.)

the resurrection

(Gr. Noun. anastasis = is either transitive or intransitive, according to the tense &c., and means to make to stand up, i.e. to raise up, or to rise up, arise, rise again.)

from the dead.

(This is where they [the religious leaders] part with God, if it goes against the traditions of men, they can have nothing to do with it. You see the problem here was that the Apostles taught that there was life after death.)

3 And they laid hands on them,

(I.e. Peter & John.)

and put them in hold

(= ward. See 5:18 and 1 Cor.7:19.)

unto the next day: for it was now eventide.

(Nice religious community, right!?)

4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word

(Gr. logos = the word spoken, as a means or instrument, not as a product.)


(Gr. pisteuo = to have faith in.)

and the number of the men was about five thousand.

(There is safety [amongst believers] in numbers.

Remember on Pentecost day there were one hundred and twenty believers in that room, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and now within a week that number had grown to much over five thousand. The men alone numbered five thousand. Stop and think on that. This wild fire is happening now in Jerusalem, and many of them are going to be heading back home, taking the gospel of Christ with them. You know this is making the Religious community go mad. It is undermining their traditions, and starting something that is out of their control.

Why is this possible? Because of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. People are being changed and healed right before their eyes. This is not a dead religion, or even similar to to the form that they have been teaching in their traditions. This teaching that is promoted by the Holy Spirit is offering life, and health, and an eternal life hereafter.)

5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,

(An assembly of the Sanhedrin. Cp. Matt.26:3. Mark 14:53, and see note on Mark 2:4.)

6 And Annas the high priest,

(Not appointed by God, but by a Roman governor. Not a Levitical priest. Caiaphas was the high priest [as successor of Aaron]; while Annas was the Nasi, or head of the Sanhedrin, and thus associated with Caiaphas in government. This explains John 18:13,24 and here in Acts.)

and Caiaphas,

(See John 11:49-53; 18:13.)

and John,

(Nothing certainly known of him. Dr Lightfoot supposes him to be Johanan Ben Laccai, a famous Rabbi of that time [Works, viii. p. 392].)

and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred

(= race. Gr. genos. Not the same word as in 3:25.)

of the high priest,

(= high-priestly race. Gr. archieratikos.)

were gathered together at Jerusalem.

(There is a problem here with this family that heads the religious community, They have a man that was laying at the door of the temple for forty years begging for alms that is now running around the streets calling attention to another power. All the people knew him, so they can't hide him, but he claims that the resurrected Christ did this healing.

As they passed by that lame beggar and threw alms in his cup, day after day, not one of them could do a thing for him, because they simply did not have God.)

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

(I.e. "What are your credentials, doctorate?". This is an important question for us today. We had better realize the power is in the name of Jesus Christ.)

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, "Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

(Notice he did not slight them. Annas, Caiphas, and the other church leaders weren't appointed by God, nor elected to office by Israel. They were appointed by the Romans.)

9 If we this day be examined

(Cp. Luke 23:14.)

of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;

(Gr. sôzô. Cp. John 11:12.)

10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole.

(Cp. Matt.12:13. Tit.2:8 "sound". There were a number of Sadducees among these rulers. They didn't believe in life after death. Peter's statement was bound to "light their wicks".)

11 This is the Stone Which was set at nought of you builders,

(a reference to Ps.118:22.)

Which is become the head of the corner.

(Lit. unto a head of a corner, i.e. a corner-stone. Cp. Isa.28:16. The Holy Spirit is speaking. Think of the pyramid. The capstone is not there. He will be that capstone when He returns.)

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

(These rulers considered Christ worthless. They crucified Him. And now His name, Jesus Christ, is the power that brings about salvation. Some people worry about those other nations that do not know God. Don't get overly excited or nervous, we have the entire millennium to go through [i.e. the 1,000 year reign of Christ].)

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,

(Gr. idiôtęs. Lit. private, i.e. unprofessional.)

they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

(They didn't study with them, but they [Peter and John] did study with Yahshua, the best seminary in the world! They possessed a much higher knowledge.)

14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

(They couldn't discredit it. How could they dispute the power that had healed a man that had been paralyzed for 40 years? They couldn't.)

15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council,

(= Sanhedrin. See note on Mark 5:22.)

they conferred among themselves,

(They did this in secret. When you find types like these today - vote them out of office if they are against God.)

16 Saying, "What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.

(The people in Jerusalem witnessed the miracle. What would these appointed Roman leaders do about this?)

17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name."

(Why would a religious community snuff out good news? They are against God! There is nothing new under the sun. They are trying and have taken God's name out of our schools. They don't want the pledge of allegiance to "one nation under God". They want to remove God's name from our coins. Do you think the apostle will stop speaking in the name of Jesus? Will we stop speaking in the name of Jesus today? No way!)

18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

(This will happen to you if you teach against the traditions of men.)

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.

(Do you think the apostles thought it more important to listen to men or God? A servant of God always listens to God.)

20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

(The truth is going to prevail. The apostles were going to speak the truth regardless of what the fake church rulers thought about them doing so. We, as servants of God, should do the same, today.)

21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people:

(The people had seen the healing of the man by the gate Beautiful.)

for all men glorified God for that which was done.

(The church leaders feared the people who would rebel against them, after they witnessed a miracle they knew was of God. The people realized the fact of the work of can-do type people. Don't forget, done of course by the Holy Spirit through His can-do people.)

22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.

(This is a long time to wait on this miracle of healing, and the entire community except for the Kenite religious leaders of the temple, showed their excitement and praise right along with this man. Think of the thousands of other lives that this healing has touched over the many centuries since it has been recorded here.)

23-31. Return of the Apostles.

23. Report.
24-30. Prayer.
31-. Answer.
-31. Testimony.

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

(The truth of God's Word is better applied and taught when you have the experience to relate it to those you are teaching.)

24-30. Prayer.

24. God's power. Creation.
25-. Word by David.
-25,26. Man's rage predicted.
27,28. Man's rage accomplished.
29. Word by Apostles.
30. God's power. Healing.

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

(Used of Yahaveh. Gr. Despotęs. Like Kurios, it denotes owner; but includes when used of God the exercise of more absolute, unlimited and despotic authority and power in heaven and on earth. It is derived from deô = to bind, and pous = the foot.)

Thou art God, Which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

(Not only was the 40 year old man rejoicing, all who knew of the miracle were rejoicing and worshiping God.)

25 Who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said,

(This quotation is from Psalm. 2:1,2.)

'Why did the heathen

(= nations, Gr. ethnos.)

rage, and the people imagine vain things?

26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers

(I.e. Jews [i.e. Kenites not of our brother Judah].)

were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.'

(Do you think the actions of the rulers shook God up? David wrote this prophecy in Psalm 2. The apostles knew this prophecy was being fulfilled. The heathen were raging. No, God wasn't shook up. Make a note of Psalm 2:4, "He That sits in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision". That day is coming.)

27 For of a truth against Thy Holy Child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed,

(See note on Luke 4:18.)

both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles,

(= nations, Gr. ethnos as in v.25)

and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

28 For to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done.

(Showing God was totally in control, i.e. stipulated before these events would transpire. God's plan has and always will come to pass as it is written. Have you read? Have you absorbed?)

29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy word,

(God hears these prayer request, as well as all those that you submit to Him. The enemies of God's children are the enemies of God. When those plot to do evil to you, it is time to leave it up to God. He has given us the promise in Romans 12:19 "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

Don't worry, friend.)

30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy Holy Child Jesus."

(As a servant of God, you can boldly speak God's Word. You can plug into the power of the name of Jesus Christ for healings, sign and wonders. As it was at the beginning of Christianity, so it is at this time.)

31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

(Be a servant of God as Christ, our example, is a servant of God. Speak His Word boldly. The Holy Spirit was speaking through them as on Pentecost Day, and like it will be in the end times when some are delivered up before Satan. See Mark 13:9-11.)

4:32–37 Unity.

32-. Unity.
-32. Community of goods.
33. Power and Grace.
34–37. Community of goods.

32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart

(= mind.)

and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

(Notice the qualifier here, "of them that believed". What is being set up here is the ministry that shall be carried on from this time forth. The ones that are going to be the ministers, that will be sent forth are being chosen, and the process of their care is being laid out. When it is said that "they are of one soul" it should tip us off as to what it is talking about. They were thinking with one soul, because they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

Remember we are not to meditate, and think before hand what you shall say, but that the Spirit shall speak through you, that that should be spoken. When that day comes for you, the same thing holds true, when the Antichrist comes to this earth, very shortly. Then also God will move His own also with one accord to the place they should be, and give them the words to speak.)

33 And with great power gave the apostles witness

(= the testimony.)

of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

(You must realize that it was the Holy Spirit that was within them that was giving them this power they had. Never think that what ever you do for the Lord was done by you, but that time, place and the words that you spoke were all part of the work of the Holy Spirit. If it is not so, then it is not of God. You pray for the right to give service to Him, and when He places you there, and gives you the words to say, your rewards come for your obedience to be used by Him.

Your gift may be teaching, or singing, or even a handyman around the church, but what ever that gift, your rewards given by God will be for the willingness to use it, and your faithfulness to your commitment to our Heavenly Father.

Let's focus on what Paul said about this in Romans 12:3-5 "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. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."

You do not all have the same degree of faith, nor do you all have the same gifts, but God expects us to use what we have, as we are led by His Holy Spirit, so that all the body of Christ can function as a body of one. Each part of that body is needed. A man needs his eyes as much as he needs his feet, and so on; all members are needed in the body of Christ, and when one is hurt, the whole body suffers.

The evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit is that what is spoken will be with power and clarity. You will never have trouble recognizing a gift from God. However when you see it, give only God the thanks and credit for the use of that gift.)

34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands

(Gr. chôrion = field, or farmstead.)

or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,

(This was the establishing of the Church.)

35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

(This does not mean that to be a Christian you have to go out and sell your house, and bring all the money to the preacher. Tend to your job, your household and the needs of your family; but realize that these men that are committing themselves here to the ministry, will be traveling, and staying in the houses where they are teaching. Many of these men were in Jerusalem for the Pentecost day feast from around the world, and became part of the body of Christ on that day.

They were preparing themselves to be "sent forth ones", not "stay put ones", and they would travel the world in that first generation preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

The gospel of Christ is all of the good news, from cover to cover, and it is the whole story of God's plan for this earth age, from the sin that entered in the first earth age, to the eternal victory that we have living with our Heavenly Father in the eternity. Don't let those one verse Charlies short you, with an abbreviated form of the gospel.

The next next Chapter should begin here.)

36 And Joses,

(The text reads Joseph, as in 1:23.)

who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas,

(It is possible that Joseph Barnabas, or Barnabbas, is the same as Joseph Barnabbas of 1:23, and that he was reserved for a better lot by the Holy Spirit. Also known as Barney the preacher.)

(which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,)

(Or exhortation. See Luke 2:25; 6:24. 1 Chron. 14:3.)

a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

(Some ciphers such as fish brought forward at this time for security.

Barnabas we will see later was just like his name, the comforter, to Paul, as he would make missionary journeys with Paul to preach the gospel of Christ. Barnabas was a joy to have around, and loved by all.)

37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

(We see here also the reason for the selling of the land and giving of the money to the apostles, was that Barnabas would be one of them that would be supported by them as a minister of the Gospel.

Remember that all these people were doing this as a unit filled with the Holy Spirit, and led by that God's Spirit to set up the church body here on earth. How can the world be saved if they have no preacher, and how a can preacher go, unless he is sent. It is the Spirit of God that does the sending, and unless the Holy Spirit sends you, your ministry will not succeed. Only a Spirit filled ministry will be successful, for without God's Spirit leading there will be no fruit to the ministry. The Spirit places the words in the mouth that should be spoken, and that same Holy Spirit will take that seed of the Word and make it grow and blossom into useful fruit for His kingdom.

When these men went forth, Christ told them what to take on their journey, and it didn't amount to a lot. They were to stay in houses of converts, if they were welcomed, and if not, shake the dust from your feet and move on to a house that did welcome them. God takes care of His own.)

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