Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
-1 John 2:27
If you would like more information on these topics, I recommend the following resources here at creationliberty.com:
The Book of Acts of the Apostles (or Acts for short) was written by Luke as a treatise of eye-witness testimony, and sent to a man who held a station of unknown governmental office. It documents Christ's ascension to heaven, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit to those of the faith as a sign to the Jews, the miracles performed by Christ's disciples, the suffering, persecution, and death of those who preached Christ openly, and some of the operations of the church in the early days.
[v1] The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,Luke, the author of Acts, is writing to a particular person named Theophilus. As far as I'm aware, the only other mention of Theophilus in the Bible is in Luke's "former treatise" (i.e. a treatise is a written composition on a particular subject), which is in Luke 1:3. The Book of Luke is Luke's treatise of "all that Jesus began both to do and teach." In Luke 1:3, Theophilus is referred to as "most excellent," which indicates he was a man of governmental office who had likely inquired about Jesus Christ, since the events surrounding His crucifixion at Calvary, and the testimonies of His resurrection, were most peculiar. Thus, it is not unreasonable to consider that Theophilus had requested further details of the church's actions to satisfy personal curiosity and to have a record of the events from a reliable eye-witness for the purpose of creating bylaws, since the punishment of Christians (for doing nothing more than teaching) was a matter that would have been somewhat frequently raised in congressional hearings.
[v2] Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:The giving of commandments through the Holy Ghost will be documented in the next chapter. This is a preface to Theophilus of what this treatise will be about, and connecting it to the former treatise Luke wrote to him.
[v3] To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:The word 'passion' has a number of definitions; the most common usage today being a great feeling of excitement, hope, joy, grief, love, hatred, etc. In this context, passion is a suffering of physical torture.
passion (n): the impression or effect of an external agent upon a body; that which is suffered or received
(See 'passion', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved May 8, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
[v4] And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.The Lord God was placing them in position to fulfill the prophecy of His sign to the Jews in the central city of Jerusalem.
[v5] For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.This also supports one of the purposes of baptism; a symbolic action that physically represents the spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is not to say that we receive the power of speaking a so-called "heavenly language" (i.e. the Satanic gibberish of the Pentecostals and Charismatics) when we are baptized, as some cults teach, but that it is symbolic of the receiving of the blessings of the Lord Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit.
(Read "Speaking in Tongues vs Charismatic Gibberish" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
[v6] When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?Israel was under Roman control at the time, which is why they asked Christ the question about tribute in Mat 22:17. The disciples were asking Christ about the time when God would restore Israel to keep His promise.
[v7] And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.Meaning, these things would happen at a later time, and the Lord God did not permit them to know when it would come to pass.
[v8] 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 all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.Christ was telling them to take things one step at a time because it was not yet time to restore Israel. For now, they needed the authority of the Holy Spirit behind them to give a testimony to the Jews throughout all Israel, and also to the Gentiles throughout all the world.
[v9] And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.Christ returned to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. (See Heb 10:12, Heb 12:2)
[v10] And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;This passage does not specify who these two men were, but given the knowledge of what they say in verse 11, they are from heaven. It seems likely these were two angel messengers sent to tell them these things.
[v11] 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.They stood watching, trying to see Him with their physical eye, when "seeing" Christ must now be done by faith. This statement to the "men of Galilee" was made to help them understand that they wouldn't see Christ return until the appointed time He told them about (Mat 24:30), and that there was work to do, so they need to get busy.
[v12] Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.In Jewish tradition, it was said that one could travel no more than 2,000 cubits (roughly 0.56 miles or 0.91 kilometers) on the Sabbath Day, and this was based on Jos 3:4). This was used as a unit of distance in their culture, similar to how we might measure distance in "blocks," because a city block is commonly understood in our culture.
[v13] And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.The upper room of a house was a place of privacy. All the disciples had forsaken or denied Christ, but they all gathered together in a room because of their faith, except one, Judas Iscariot, who could have chosen to join the others, and would have had their forgiveness as well as Christ's, but chose to abandon the faith.
[v14] These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.All those who had seen Christ alive were now fully dedicated in faith that the Spirit of God would keep them and guide them, and they trusted in Christ's promises.
[v15] And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)It would have been a large house to fit 120 people in the upper room.
[v16] 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.Psa 41:9 describes one who eats bread with the Messiah, as Judas did in Mat 26:25-26, but then that one would betray the Messiah, as Judas did in Mat 26:47-49. This also shows us that the Holy Spirit has been active even in the Old Testament, but was also sent expressly by Christ to the New Testament Church to deliver understanding to the poor and needy Gentiles that were converted through repentance and faith.
[v17] For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.Judas was one of the twelve disciples of Christ. There were many other disciples of Christ, but the twelve were those who direct students that traveled with Jesus.
[v18] Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.Meaning, the field was purchased with Judas's money, the money he received for betraying Christ. The priests, who refused to take his money because it was unlawful to take blood money, purchased the field Judas hanged himself in (Mat 27:6-7), and Judas's dead body either fell from the tree, or he was cut down (in accordance with the law to cut down a hanged man before sundown - Deut 21:22-23), and he fell head first, while his bowels burst asunder.
(Read "Bible Contradictions: How Did Judas Die?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
[v19] And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.Everyone in the area knew of the field that was purchased for Judas by the priests, and what it was called. (Mat 27:8)
[v20] For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.This is referring specifically to two passages, the first being Psa 69:25, which covers the desolate habitation and letting no man dwell, meaning that it is a graveyard in which no one builds a home.
bishopric (n): office of instructing and governing in spiritual concerns
(See 'bishopric', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved May 9, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
[v21] Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,In order to fulfill the prophecy of Psalm, one of those who had traveled with them throughout Christ's ministry was to take the place of Judas as the 12th bishopric office. This person would be given the authority of the Holy Spirit to do the works the rest of the eleven were given to do and oversee.
[v22] Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.These details limited the number of people eligible for the position. It actually makes sense because Christ's movements were carefully planned by God, and only those who first believed were particularly chosen to see Him first for a reason. Thus, they would have proved themselves early on, being the most trustworthy and faithful among them, and would have learned the most doctrine from Christ, making them more experienced as elders among the flock.
From a simply logical standpoint, this would be what any employer would do. If he had 100 resumes, he doesn't want to spend all the time looking through 100 resumes, so he narrows down the selection by looking for a few key attributes, then examines those few closer, which requires less time and hassle.
[v23] And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.There were only two people among the 120 gathered who fit the description required to replace Judas.
surname (n): an additional name; a family name
(See 'surname', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved May 10, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
The second person chosen was Matthias, but no details are given on his name because there doesn't need to be. The Lord God typically gives us details to distinguish people with similar names in Scripture when He deems it necessary, but there is no other Matthias, which makes him unique enough not to warrant further description.
[v24] And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,They did not choose themselves; they only narrowed the options to those with the most experience for the job and left the decision up to the Lord.
[v25] That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.I've read that this phrasing of "his own place" was a Jewish custom similar to our American phrase "being put in your place," except they used it in the spiritual sense. This would mean that Judas was in hell, being put in the place his unbelieving spirit belonged.
[v26] And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.Drawing lots (like drawing a name out of a hat) was a method that we would consider a game of chance, but is providence in the eyes of God because He can control the actions of all living beings at His will. The drawing of lots has an outcome that is impossible for mankind to predict if set up fairly, but God can choose the outcome for Himself. (See Jos 18:10, 1Sa 14:42)
[v1] And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.They were waiting together in Jerusalem, as they had been instructed. This particular day was called "Pentecost," which was a Jewish festival known in Hebrew as "Shavuot," which means "weeks."
The celebration was seven weeks, or 49 days, which was supposed to be after the Passover. The Passover would take place, representing the Spirit of God passing over Egypt with the killing of the firstborn Egyptian children, then the seven Days of Unleavened Bread, which represented the Exodus from Egypt across the Red Sea (which is why "unleavened" represents "sanctification"), and then Shavuot being the remaining weeks of travel to get to Mount Sinai and the giving of God's Law to the Hebrews. Thus, 'penta' is Greek, meaning 'five', which represents 50 days that includes the Passover and the 49 days afterwards.
(Read "Should Christians Observe Jewish Passover?" here at creationliberty.com for more details on how the Passover celebration is offensive to the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament; See also "Why I Use The King James Bible: Contradictions in New-Age Versions - Easter or Passover? here at creationliberty.com for more details on Passover in the Bible.)
The DAY of Pentecost, however, was only celebrated on one day, because no one could afford (or suffer) a 50-day celebration. So Passover Day was celebrated, then after the week of unleavened bread, Pentecost Day was celebrated.
[v2] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.This does not specify if the sound was heard only by the Christians abiding in the house, if it could be heard by the neighbors, or if everyone in Jerusalem heard it.
[v3] And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.The tongue was parted in the middle. Deut 14:7) so they may give us some indication of what this looked like, if you can imagine the tongues afire.
[v4] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.It's important to note that this is not the gibberish of unintelligible sounds that are made by the Charismatic Church in their so-called "speaking in tongues." These tongues are languages that others can understand. (Gen 10:5) The Holy Spirit is not working on the people in the Charismatic Church because they do not have the truth of the Gospel of Christ.
(Read "Charismatic Gibberish vs Speaking in Tongues" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
[v5] And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.One of the reasons God had them wait in Jerusalem was so that there would be many people of various nations and tongues who were traveling and trading, and that they would be a sign to Israel of where God was working.
[v6] Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.Again, tongues are languages, and the Holy Spirit was causing them to speak in a manner that every man could understand in his own language, as we will see in verse 8.
[v7] And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?Meaning that these Christian men that spoke were from Galilee, as was pointed out earlier by the two men in white apparel in Acts 1:10. They were all locals, and not travelers or scholars that were experienced in languages.
[v8] And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?The words 'language' and 'tongue' are used interchangeably here, and I point this out to emphasize the false doctrine of the Charismatic Churches that teach false doctrine on speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit was in the apostles to demonstrate the authority of the Lord God upon the Church of Christ; so the Jews would know without doubt this was the power of the Almighty God.
[v9-11] Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.The Bible verifies for us that there were people traveling and trading from all over the known world, and it was not possible that this many men from local towns could have known all these languages by their own power. The repentance and remission of sins through Christ was preached unto each one in his own language.
[v12] And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?Though they saw and heard what was obviously a miracle, that is, simple men speaking things that were beyond the scope of one's experience and intellect, they still doubted. They heard the message that was being taught, and many still did not want to believe.
[v13] Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.Meaning they believed them to be drunk, which was an absurd argument. They were obviously speaking clear messages in various languages, and drunken slurs have never produced intelligible language and idiosyncrasies (i.e. features and characteristics of language unique to cultures). In other words, they were not being rational, but were "mocking," because they did not want to believe what they saw and heard.
[v14] But Peter, standing up with 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:His words were obviously spoken in Hebrew since he was addressing the "men of Judaea."
[v15] For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.Traditionally, the Jewish day starts at 6PM, but they start counting the "hour of the day" at 6AM, which means it was 9AM when this event took place. It was rare that men would be drinking this early in the day, and certainly not a large group of them that were postured, mannered, and spoken like men of sound minds. Peter was giving them more logic against their unreasonable arguments.
[v16] But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;He is referring to Joel 2.
[v17] And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
[v18] And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
[v19] And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
[v20] The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
[v21] And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
[v22] Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:After the events of the trial and execution of Christ, everyone had heard of Christ, and they were all aware of the thousands of people He had healed by His Word. Because they did not believe Him, they believed Christ was dead and it was over, but things were just getting started because His Church now follows Him up with the same works He wrought, and the same doctrine He taught.
[v23] Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:This was a serious accusation because they fully understood who Christ said He is, and if that was true (which it was), then they executed God in the flesh. This is why they will make up excuses to believe the men who spoke in tongues were drunken; because they did not want to believe the truth.
[v24] Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.The Spiritual God cannot be killed, and thus, they cannot kill Christ Himself, but this is referring to His flesh, His body, which they killed.
[v25] For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
[v26] Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
[v27] Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
[v28] Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
[v29] Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.King David, the one who wrote down Psalm 16, lived, died, and was buried long before they were born.
[v30] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;The Holy Spirit spoke of Christ through King David, and because the Jews are intimately familiar with the Psalms, learning them from their childhood, that means they are intimately familiar with the prophecies Peter is speaking of.
This is also why Matthew 1 has a line of geneaolgy starting with Abraham, going through King David, and coming down to Christ. (See Mat 1:1-17)
[v31] He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.He was reminding them that they had memorized these verses when they were children.
[v32] This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.All the men before them, who were showing the miracle of God by their speaking the languages of all men, were witnesses that Christ was raised from the dead, and that He was the Son of God spoken of by King David.
[v33] Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.They were now seeing and hearing the evidence of Christ and the Holy Spirit which He sent unto them.
[v34] For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,As we have many sects of false churches and teachers today, there may have been sects at that time who taught that King David was the one spoken of in prophecy, in attempt to give themselves an excuse not to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. "The LORD (i.e. God) said unto my Lord (i.e. Christ)" to sit on His right hand, and this is pointing out to them that it is not King David who is sitting on the right hand of God.
[v35] Until I make thy foes thy footstool.God the Father is still in the process of bringing all the foes of Christ to their knees; not that He could not do it immediately if He chose to, but that He is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance. (2Pe 3:9)
[v36] Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.The evidence of this is clear to them now, seeing all the prophecies come together on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit, sent by the Lord Jesus Christ, had passed over His flock, sanctified them, and now was guiding them, all of which the Jews could clearly see if they were only willing to see.
[v37] Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?To me, this is a powerful verse of Scripture, in that many who saw did believe because it was all right in front of them. In this context, pricked means they were stung with pain, as they realized they crucified the Lord of Glory, but being so immersed into their rituals and traditions, wondered what thing they should do (i.e. a sacrifice or oblation) for the remission of their sins.
[v38] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.They needed to repent, which would be to acknowledge, in godly sorrow, the wrongs they had done, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, who they now believed in because they saw the prophecies fulfilled in front of them. After being baptized in their belief on Jesus Christ, they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, not saying that they would all start speaking in tongues, as many false teachers have claimed (i.e. the charismatic church believes that if you don't speak gibberish like they do, you're not saved), but that the Holy Spirit would pass over them, sanctify them, and guide them.
(Read "Is Repentance Part of Salvation?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
[v39] For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.This was a powerful message to the Jews, letting them know that, although God would work among the Gentiles, He has not abandoned them; that they need only repent (in grief and godly sorrow) and turn to Christ to be saved.
[v40] And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.Peter described their generation in Israel as wicked, just as the prophets before him had described their generations.
untoward (adj): perverse, ungraceful, troublesome, not easily guided or taught
(See 'untoward', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved May 10, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
[v41] Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.In terms of the population, most would not heed the words, and ignored them, choosing not to believe, but in terms of the amount in the church at the time, which was only 120 people, there was an enormous number (3,000 Christians) added to the church almost instantly. This is miraculous itself, being that cultic religions around the world, with their false doctrine, are started very slowly, having to brainwash one person at a time to build up momentum, but the Christian Church was started with an explosion of converts all at once because the evidence was overwhelming.
[v42] And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.This is referring to proper Biblical teaching, conversation and association together in that teaching, prayer, and the "breaking of bread," which is also known as "communion." (1Co 10:16) Sadly, this would not last long because the apostles' would later have to reprove the churches in various locations for teaching false doctrine, or following after false teachers, concerning each of these four points.
[v43] And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.Not that fear came upon every soul in the world, but these wonders and signs were being first done in Jerusalem, so the context is talking about all the people in Jerusalem, not necessarily that every person saw them with his/her own eyes, but through testimony from eye witnesses, all of Jerusalem heard the truth. The fear they experienced was not all the fear of God either, otherwise, many more would have believed, but also the fear of man or the fear of conflict because there was no doubt that Jewish politics began to stir quickly out of threat to their lofty positions and authority.
[v44] And all that believed were together, and had all things common;This would be a great if it were as simplistic as it was in the early days; meaning that those who first saw these things either believed or did not, and the matter was much clearer to see, especially with the apostles alive to correct the church in doctrine. The persecution the first Christians would have had bearing down on them helped to define who had the Spirit of God and who did not. However, in the peaceful times of America today, Christ's warnings against false converts (Mat 13:19-22), against wolves entering in among the sheep (Mat 7:15), and against hypocrites and extortionists (Mat 23:25-30) are so extremely common in church buildings, it is becoming more difficult with each passing year to tell the sheep from the goats and wolves.
[v45] And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.This is not to say that they sold everything they had, otherwise, no one would have had anything left to give, but that they sold them "as every man had need," meaning that if a need could not be met, then they were willing to part with things they didn't need to provide for those in need. The unity of the Holy Spirit was so great among them, they had no thought for storing up vain material possessions, caring more for one another than for worldly stuff.
[v46] And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,Not that they took part in the sacrifices and oblations of the temple, because that was finished once by Christ (Heb 7:27), but they met in the temple to learn from the Word of God, and to preach Christ to the Jews. The meat in this context is not animal flesh, but rather the bread, just as meat can be defined in general as food. (Gen 1:29) The "singleness of heart" is not to be misunderstood as sharing emotions (i.e. it is commonly taught in modern church buildings that the heart's emotions is equivalent to the Holy Spirit, which is false doctrine - Jer 17:9), although they did feel strong emotion for one another, because emotional swaying was not the foundation of their faith, as is the common tradition for so many leavened church buildings today, but rather it is commonality among them to focus their sight on the Word of God and the narrow path of His truth (Mat 7:14), keeping the eye single as Jesus Christ told us in Mat 6:22 (i.e. the singleness of the heart is used in the metaphorical sense, as is the circumcision of the heart, which means to be sanctified and submissive to the truth of the Word), and they shared this among one another, as we should also do as the Church of Christ.
[v47] Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.This does not mean that everyone favored what they taught, otherwise, there would be no persecution, which would be a contradiction because the Bible tells us that we must suffer persecution for living and teaching Christ's doctrine (2Ti 3:12). It means that they acted with kindness towards others, with charity and grace, which improved their standing among the people of Jerusalem, and set an example for the rest of the church, that we ought to be charitable and kind to others, showing grace as we have been shown grace by Christ.
[v1] Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.As we learned in Acts 2:15, the Jewish "hour of the day" began counting at 6AM, which means the ninth hour would have been about 3PM. This was one of the Jews' traditional times of daily prayer which took place at 9AM, noon, and 3PM, which seems to be a tradition performed by Daniel (Dan 6:10) and David (Psa 55:17), and likely adopted for those reasons.
[v2] And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;Some charitable people were kind enough to carry a lame man, who had been lame from when he was born, to the temple to ask for charity, since he had no way of providing for himself. The capital 'B' in "Beautiful" indicates that was the name of the gate.
[v3] Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.Alms are charity given to the poor for their needs, like food, money, or clothing.
[v4] And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.This would indicate that the lame man had done this for so long that his mind was worn down from asking alms, so that it was just common to ask without actually looking up at the people passing by. Peter was directed by the Holy Spirit to make eye contact with the man for what was about to happen.
[v5] And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.Of course, the lame man was not expecting anything beyond food or some spare change, but it was a rare occasion for someone to stop and address him, since if anyone gave anything, they would simply give and keep walking. This still commonly happens to the poor and needy today, where of the few who may give spare change to them, most will never stop to speak with them.
[v6] Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.The disciples of Christ did as He commanded them in Mat 10:8-10; to heal the sick and raise the dead, as He specifically gave them power, doing these things without charging money for them, and to carry no money with them as they traveled.
[v7] And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.Not only did the lame man's legs receive the function of walking, but his muscles were instantly restored to those of a man who had walked all his life. Being lame from birth, he would have atrophy in his legs, meaning that the muscle tissue would have wasted away from lack of use, so even if he had the ability to walk, it would have taken months or years to build up the muscle needed to use his legs, but the Holy Spirit restored them new instantly.
[v8] And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.Which Peter did not forbid the formerly lame man to do, since these were signs meant for the Jews to see; to know the prophecy of God had been fulfilled in Christ.
[v9] And all the people saw him walking and praising God:His leaping in excitement reflects on the loud manner he would be praising God and talking to others about what had happened to him. Since this was a time of prayer, it is likely that it would typically be more quiet than other times of the day.
[v10] And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.Anyone would be filled with wonder and amazement, although sadly, most people today seem to be filled with wonder and amazement over fake "faith healers" doing parlor tricks and calling them "miracles," looking to turn a profit by taking advantage of the people, as the pagan sorcerers and soothsayers have always done.
(Read "Revivalism: The Devil's Design" here at creationliberty.com for more details on fake faith healers.)
[v11] And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
porch (u): a kind of vestibule [i.e. covered walking area] supported by columns at the entrance of temples, halls, churches or other buildings
(See 'porch', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved May 19, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
[v12] And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?Sadly, this is quite common, even among those born again in Christ, not that men are healed by miracles, but that when God presents Himself, either through a miracle, or through His wisdom that He grants to men, those men are almost always glorified first and foremost. This is one of the reasons I don't like personal compliments sent to me in letters, but would rather those Christians praise the Lord God for the knowledge He has granted by His grace to the weak and lowly for His glory that "no flesh should glory in his presence." (1Co 1:26-28)
When Peter points out they were marveling at what happened, it means they were surprised, or were overcome with a sense of wonderment, but it was directed towards Peter and John, rather than towards Christ.
[v13] The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.Peter redirects their glorifying to the Son of God, specifically pointing out that they had sentenced to death the very Christ who healed the formerly lame man.
[v14] But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;He also points out that they not only denied the Christ who healed the formerly lame man, but they preferred to have a murderer live among them. This shows the extreme hypocrisy, to marvel over the healing, but reject the Healer.
[v15] And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.Obviously, they wanted the healings to be done, otherwise they would not have followed Peter and John, but they killed the very Christ who is doing the healings. The evidence being presented to them is much more powerful than ever before, because after Christ healed and was killed, now His disciples, who alongside hundreds of others witnessed Him alive, also are doing the same healings and teaching the same things as Christ, or in other words, God is working miracles through the Christians now to give a sign to the Jews of the new dispensation.
[v16] And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.Soundness, meaning wholeness, or that the lame man was broken but now made whole, which was done through the faith in Jesus Christ.
[v17] And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
[v18] But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.Isaiah, by the knowledge of God, foretold that Christ would be despised and rejected, suffer grief and sorrow, and be wounded and whipped for our sins. (Isa 53:3-6)
[v19] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;Sadly, it is quite common for church buildings and leavened ministries today to leave out repentance. Notice that Peter did not say "Believe ye therefore," because even the devils believe and fear (Jms 2:19); not to say that belief is not vital, but that repentance is the first step, which is a humbling of the heart to godly sorrow and grief of wrongdoing. (2Co 7:10)
(Read "Is Repentance Part of Salvation?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
The time of refreshing will be when Christ will return to save His sanctified remnant, bringing the wheat into His barn, but throwing the tares into the fire. (Mat 13:30)
[v20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:Meaning that the prophets of the Old Testament, whom the Jews were quite familiar with, had already told them of Christ.
[v21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.The prophecy will be completed fulfilled in due time, and Christ will remain at the right hand of God the Father until the season is right for His return. (Luke 20:42-43)
And it is true that Christ was preached to mankind from the very beginning, at the fall of man through the sin of Adam and Eve. The Lord God prophesied that a seed of the woman would bruise the head of Satan (Gen 3:15), to buy back His creation that had fallen, and that seed is the Lord Jesus Christ.
[v22] For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
[v23] And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.Those who will not repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ shall not have the gift of eternal life. (1Jo 5:12) Please don't misunderstand this to think that all who will hear Christ's doctrine will be saved, but rather, it is those who hear AND understand (Mat 13:23), which the Bible tells us are few (Mat 7:14).
[v24] Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.The message of Christ and the final days is prophesied by every prophet in the Old Testament from Samuel onward, meaning that the Jews had no excuse for their ignorance that Christ was and is the Messiah sent to save mankind from their iniquity.
[v25] 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.God has not forsaken His people, otherwise, there would have been no reason for Him to send Christ unto them at all. In His infinite mercy, He sent His own Son (i.e. Himself) as the perfect Lamb to end all sacrifice for their sakes.
[v26] 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.Meaning that any man, Jew or Gentile, who repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ will receive His mercy and blessings. The turning away every one from iniquity is called sanctification, which Christ had prayed for in John 17:15-19, not that we would be taken out of the world, but set apart from it through repentance and fear of the Lord.
[v1] And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,Of course, the truth spoken by Peter and John would upset the authorities over the temple because the Gospel of Christ would destroy their prestigious positions. The captain of the temple was a soldier to protect the priests and keep order, who would have been commonly thought to protect the things of God in the temple, but they were now being used as brute muscle to enforce the will of the priests.
(The word 'prestige' is reputation or influence that is represented by worldly titles, ranks, achievements, or other such successes that society would show respect towards; this is the common modern usage of the word, although the Latin origin of it actually meant "to trick;" Read "Why Are Christians Respecting Persons? here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
[v2] Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.In this context, the grief they are feeling is a pain of the mind which upsets them because they feel their authority is being threatened. This same reaction can be experienced today when bringing in the truth of the Word of God, of sanctification and repentance, into the church buildings of our society; as they will react in a sort of grieving way when the authority of a leavened preacher is questioned because he is doing and teaching wrong.
[v3] And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.Peter and John were arrested and thrown in jail for simply helping a lame man to his feet, and telling the people who it was that healed him. Certainly, anyone can see this is beyond absurd, but this is the desperation by which priests/pastors/rulers will protect their prestigious positions; keeping the people from the truth so long as these wicked men maintain their money and status. Peter and John were not authorized by the priests to be preaching there, despite the fact they were teaching the truth, so the priests had them forcibly removed.
[v4] Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.It's no wonder they had them arrested when 5,000 men believed on the Lord Jesus Christ after what they saw and heard because, again, it was a threat to their positions.
[v5] And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,Everyone in a position of prestige and respect came forward to judge them; part of the reason for putting them in jail was because it was evening the previous day, which was too late to hold a meeting, so they handled the matter first thing in the morning.
[v6] And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.The high priest of this temple and his close relations, which would be his right and left hand priests, gathered in judgment of Peter and John.
[v7] And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?This is not to say that these men were so foolish as they did not hear, or hear about, the words Peter spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ, but that in an official trial, it needed to be spoken for the record in front of all the judges; similar to how a judge in courts today will ask a defendant to state his/her name, even though the judge has his/her name on a paper in front of them--it's stated for the record, not for inquiry.
[v8] Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,Once given an opportunity to speak freely to the people, being filled with the Holy Ghost, the Lord God gave Peter the words needed to be spoken.
[v9] If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
impotent (adj): weak, feeble, unable to perform an act
(See 'impotent', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved May 23, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
[v10] 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.The formerly lame man was standing at the trial as a testimony and witness to the good deed done by Peter and John, and once again, Peter points out that it was the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they had killed, that healed the man. As priests, they should have known immediately that such a miracle could not be performed by any of the false pagan gods, and that it could only have been by the power of the Almighty God of the Hebrews, but it was the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ which disturbed them because they knew it was clear evidence that Christ is God. For them to accept Christ to be God at this point, they would also have to accept that they killed the very God who they claimed to serve and worship at the temple.
[v11] This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.Jesus Christ is the stone which the builders rejected, which has become the head of the church and the salvation of mankind. (See Psa 118:21-22)
[v12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.After Christ had gone to the cross and was resurrected three days later, He was appointed by God to be the Savior of all men who would repent and believe on Him. Not even the Jews can be saved unless they believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; He is the only mediator between God and men. (1Ti 2:5)
[v13] Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.Under normal circumstances, an unlearned and ignorant man would be nervous and jittery to stand before a council of extremely educated men. This is why they were surprised to see them speaking so boldly, and acknowledged that they were among the few who had traveled with Christ; since there were none who could contend with Christ and His wisdom, it was possible some of those on the council were now a bit nervous to speak with Christís disciples.
[v14] And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.Obviously, they could say nothing. Who could speak against Moses when he brought forth the plagues of God? (Exd 7:19-21) Who could speak against Elijah when he brought forth the power of God to consume the altar with fire? (1Ki 18:30-39) Moses, Elijah, Peter, and John were all thorns in the sides of those who were in authority around them, but those authorities could not speak against the miracles performed in front of them.
[v15] But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,They donít know what to do, but they need a plan they can all agree on.
[v16] 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.They feared doing anything evil to these men at this time because 5,000 men outside now believed on Christ; which indicates that they were still not operating in the interest of the Lord God, as they claimed, but they feared men more than God. (Heb 13:6, Isa 51:7)
[v17] But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.This should be a testimony that, although many people think miracles are the way to get people to believe, miracles donít save those whose hearts are set against God. It is the condition of the heart, humble and lowly, that brings people to a point where they are ready to hear the doctrine of Christ, but those who are high and prideful, they refuse to understand.
[v18] And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.There are many false preachers out there, those who claim to be of God, but are not of God, who teach that all Christians should obey the government in all things no matter what is said or done. We ought to obey the government in all matters which are in line with the Word of God, and does not offend the Word of God in any way, but for those matters which directly contradict Godís Word, we need not obey the government on those specific matters because there is a higher authority than they; as demonstrated by Peter and John since they went forth to continue preaching Christ when they were commanded by the government not to do so. When we follow the commandments of Christ, living peacefully and charitably, in righteousness and truth, then we ought to be a great help to governments who are also doing what's right; there is only conflict when governments go bad, as was the case of this council.
(Read "False Doctrine: Unlimited Submission to Government" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
[v19] 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.I have had many people write me over the years and tell me that I should not teach on certain topics which I teach, and this is a great answer to them. If the Lord Jesus Christ is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice, and we live and speak according to His Word, then what men think about what we do should be irrelevant.
[v20] For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.Meaning that they are simply telling the truth. The truth does not care about the feelings and lusts of prestigious men, and the facts do not respect persons (i.e. sin - Jms 2:9).
[v21] So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.That is, all the men present; obviously not referring to all men across the world since the population of earth was obviously not present at this hearing. They could not find a way to punish Peter and John because this was a public hearing, and so they let them go for fear of the people because they did not fear God. These men know the Lord God would never have let Peter and John perform this miracle of healing if they were not filled with His Spirit, and so they are directly defying Him in their judgments.
[v22] For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.At forty years old, such injuries donít get better with time, they get worse; thus, it was obvious that the Spirit of God was with those who taught the doctrine of Christ.
[v23] And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.Those who knew Peter and John, but were not with them during the trial. The others needed to know that the government had threatened them with punishment if they taught Christ.
[v24] 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:Addressing the Lord God in His authority, as Christ taught them to pray (Mat 6:9), which is a quotation of His Word in Exd 20:11.
[v25] Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
[v26] The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
[v27] 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,In Psa 2:2, it mentions the "anointed" one of the Lord, which would be the Lord Jesus Christ, and these people all set themselves together against Christ; first with Herod as He sought to kill Him as soon as He had been born. Although some would argue Pilate had no part in it, his silence on the matter, allowing an innocent man to be punished and a wicked man to go free, condemned him along with everyone else who yelled and spat at Christ.
[v28] For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.God used these men to fulfill the prophecy of His Word and show that Jesus Christ is that anointed spoken of by the Old Testament prophets.
[v29] And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,Praying for the boldness to continue to preach Christ, despite the fact that they face suffering of imprisonment, torture, and death, at the hands of a wicked government, for teaching the truth.
[v30] By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.That the signs would be continuously shown to the Jews boldly, that all that could be saved, would be saved, for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
[v31] 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.A similar experience to that which came on the Day of Pentecost; the Holy Spirit came down to give them the words to speak and give them the confidence (i.e. faith) they needed to go forward despite the threatenings of the high and lofty priests and rulers.
[v32] And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.This is not to say that none of them had any private property, nor any personal ownership of their property, which God had ordained that men should do in the Old Testament and gave specific instructions to the Jews of the year of Jubilee, which allowed families to always keep the inheritance of their private property. (Lev 25:13-17) Rather, anyone who had need, and would ask of others for what they needed, they would not deny it for reasons of personal possession (i.e. "This is mine and you canít have it."), but would give it willingly and gladly to one another, being of one mind and one accord in Christ. (2Co 9:7)
[v33] And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.The Lord Jesus Christ gave grace to all those of His flock, through repentance and faith, but He did not give great power unto all of them; meaning that they did not all receive the power to raise the dead and heal the sick. The great fallacy that persists today in many false churches is that all Christians receive miraculous gifts, but God never promised that to all Christians, and chose the few in that day to deliver these miracles to the Jews as a sign of the new dispensation.
[v34] 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,Not to say that all Christians need to sell everything they own, but because of the great power of the Holy Spirit that had come upon them, and knowing that Jesus Christ was directing His church through them, they sold their possessions to provide for what was needed; knowing that the apostles had little, since they were commanded to take no money with them. (Mat 10:10)
[v35] And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.They sold everything they could and gave it for the growth of the ministry; for the saving of souls and the glory of the Lord.
[v36] 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,Barnabas was a Jew, being a Leviate, but was raised in Cyprus, a pagan island nation northwest of Israel. His name was Joses, but the apostles gave him the nickname Barnabas.
consolation (n): comfort, alleviation of misery or distress, refreshment of mind or spirit; that which comforts
(See 'consolation', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved May 20, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
[v37] Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.Iím not certain why he was specifically mentioned doing this, since many did it, but it could have been because God had given him the spirit of a cheerful giver. It's possible that he did this first and set an example for the others who did the same. It's also not certain what land he sold; it could have been a family inheritance from Cyprus, which would make sense why his country was mentioned, but nonetheless, he sold it and brought the apostles the money to provide for anything they could possibly need since they would be facing great distress in the coming days.
[v1] But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,This was a man and his wife who were numbered among the church at that time, which could have been of the 5,000 who believed after the formerly lame man was healed by Peter and John.
[v2] And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.They decided to sell the land they owned, just as Barnabas did, and bring the money to the apostles. They told everyone they sold it for a fraction of the cost they actually sold it for, which means they lied. I warn my Christian brethren to be cautious of people who falsely teach from Acts 5, because many wicked preachers have used these verses to extort money out of gullible church-goers by telling them that God punishes those who don't give enough, but as we'll see, God punished them for lying.
[v3] But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?Had Ananias and Sapphira sold the property for the full amount as they did, gave part of the money, and then had been honest with everyone about what they gave and what they kept, there would have been no conflict; however, they claimed they sold it for only that fraction of the full price; hiding the fact they sold it for much more, which would make them appear to be as charitable as Barnabas.
[v4] Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.Peter is questioning their reasoning because, as aforementioned, they could have simply given it and kept part, if they had been honest about it. Peter points out to them that they lied to the Holy Spirit (i.e. Almighty God), just as David, when he had a man killed and stole that man's wife, said to God, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight," (Psa 51:4) which is recognizing the foundation of the offense; and God later told David that He needed not deceive anyone, that He would have given her to David if he had only asked. Thus, it was not that they kept part of the price that was the problem, but that they lied to the Holy Spirit, and offended God by their deception, which He would not suffer to happen to His church in its infant stages, so he judged them as an example to others. (1Ti 5:20)
[v5] And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.Only by the grace of God, and His longsuffering towards us (2Pe 3:9), has He not continued this practice. He chose to judge Ananias as an example to the rest of the church. The Lord God has told His people that He hates lies above all things (Pro 6:16-17), and He wants the church of Christ to understand the seriousness of such an offense.
[v6] And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.Like the old phrase, "Thereís no need to cry over spilt milk," there was no need to sit around marveling when a man is dead and rotting in the house; it's best to get him out and bury him as soon as possible. Touching a dead body in Jewish society also meant that the person who came in contact was unclean, and although we Christians are not under Jewish law, those present at the time were residing in Jewish society, which means they would have to abide by the laws of the land, and be unclean for seven days (Num 19:11), which is why Peter didnít do the work to carry the body out himself, so he could continue preaching freely without restriction.
[v7] And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.She did not know that God had judged her husband and he was buried, and entered into the building where the church was gathered. Some false preachers have taught that this verse means she didn't know about the price of the land, but this is not the case, as evidenced by verse 9.
[v8] And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.Peter was asking her if they had sold the land for the partial price, and she lied the same as her husband did. If she had told the truth and confessed, God may have had mercy on her, but she continued the facade. This is an example to show that wives ought to follow and obey their husbands in all things, unless he has her say and do things that contradict the Word of God, because, as Peter points out later in verse 29, we ought to obey God rather than men.
[v9] Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.Meaning that she would die on the spot and have to be buried the same as her husband for the lies she told to the Holy Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira still had the pagan mindset of false gods in their heart because they were tempting God, or in other words, they were testing to see if the Christian God was all-knowing and omnipresent; to see if He would overlook their deception, or fail to see it at all, which is the fool-hearted thinking of the heathen nations.
[v10] Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.The same men would have repeated this process, so no one else would have to remain unclean for seven days.
[v11] And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.Rightfully so, since the word would spread that the Lord God would not suffer anyone to lie to those who kept the faith in His Son, and it is only by His great grace and longsuffering that many people do not drop dead on the spot for doing the same things; though there are some who fall sick and die from other offenses. (1Co 11:30)
[v12] And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.The lame continued to be healed, which, as rumors of these healings spread, would cause people to travel from all around to see and hear. Despite the threats of the local governing rulers, they continued to heal the sick and teach Christ on the very porch where Peter and John were arrested.
[v13] And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.When it says "they were all with one accord" in verse 12, it is not saying every man present, but only among those who believed, because the rest durst (or dared) not join themselves to those who preached Christ because they were afraid. Nonetheless, they were magnified (or made of great importance and significance) by the people because of the miracles of healing and the wisdom of their doctrine.
[v14] And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.As people traveled and came to see and hear, of those who would hear and understand, repenting and believing on Christ, they were added to the church.
[v15] Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.The Spirit of God was working so wondrously through Peter, that the people believed that simply being near Peter's presence might heal the sick.
[v16] There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.People were traveling from cities around Jerusalem because word had traveled so quickly, and they were all being healed by the Spirit of God.
[v17] Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,After reading the Old Testament prophets and the Gospels of Christ, it should be obvious to most readers that this was bound to happen; meaning that it was just a matter of time before someone in charge got offended and angry because his prestigious position was being threatened by the good works and truth of God being brought to the people. Sadly, the typical church buildings today are filled with such "elders" and "deacons" and "pastors" who will remove the one rebuking them, rather than suffer to be rebuked for their sinful deeds and false doctrines.
[v18] And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.They cannot shut them up with threats, and they fear the wrath of the people, so they must whisk them away to a secret place while they try to to reestablish their ruling authority.
[v19] But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,The Lord God would not suffer these wicked, hypocritical, unbelieving men to have their self-serving way.
[v20] Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.The angel opened the doors of the prison, and they were commanded by God to go back to Solomon's porch and continue their work.
[v21] And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.This should show us how little the high and lofty men cared about the poor and needy, since they began their morning without even checking on those who were sick and lame outside, the ones who had traveled from cities all around to be healed.
[v22] But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,The guards of the temple cared not for the poor and needy either; also being ignorant that the men they arrested were standing outside healing and teaching the people.
[v23] Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.The Lord God had blinded the eyes of the men standing guard, so they would not detect the apostles leaving the prison.
[v24] Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.They were thinking that if these men could just walk out of prison, by what means could they bind them and keep the order of their authority over the people? They were unsure of whether or not imprisoning anyone who believed would be meaningless (i.e. they would just walk out), and if so, they struggled to find another solution.
[v25] Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.Finally, they figured out what was going on.
[v26] Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.They went unto the apostles gently, making requests, and guiding them inside, without the use of weapons or threats, because the people being healed and believing it was the power of God would have stoned the soldiers to death because they did not fear any reprisal for defending the prophets of God, and because the people far outnumbered the guards.
[v27] And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,The council had sent for them anyway, so ignoring the delay, they continued with their inquiry as normal.
[v28] Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.Meaning that they taught the people that the chief priests and rulers had shed the blood of Christ, and were responsible for killing the Lamb of God sent to be their Messiah. Their doctrine was not isolated to the temple grounds, as many would have left and talked about the deeds done and doctrine preached, whether they believed in it or not.
[v29] Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.I once had a pastor in conversation with me try to push false doctrine about Romans 13, and claiming that we had to submit to government commandment in all matters, also saying we would be defying God by defying their authority. Knowing that he was a man strongly against abortion, I asked him if the government makes a decree, as they have done in China, where you're only allowed to have one child, and if the woman gets pregnant with a second child, you would have to get an abortion; would you follow that decree? He said no. I asked on what basis? He answered with Acts 5:29. This is why I tell people to be careful about people who falsely teach that we are to be in submission to government in all matters; we are to be in submission to the government, until they do something that contradicts the commandments of God.
(Read "False Doctrine: Unlimited Submission to Government" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
[v30] The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.The apostles pointed out the one thing they were most threatened by: the accusation that they were responsible for killing the very God they claimed to serve. If that were true (which it is), it would mean they would be judged by the people, losing their pay, their positions, and possibly their lives; not to say that Christians would kill them, because Christ has taught us to have mercy and grace on the repentant, but these men feared the people and what the mob might do to them.
[v31] Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.This is the same repentance that was taught by all the prophets who their fathers tortured and slew. This is why Jesus Christ so accurately called them "whited sepulchres" (Mat 23:27) because they polished and shined the tombs of the prophets their fathers killed; appearing beautiful outward, but inward, being full of death.
[v32] And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.Those who ran and hid after Christ was executed are now standing boldly and professing the truth of Christ before all. This would have been evidence enough on its own, because it would only have made sense for them to risk their lives if they had seen Christ alive, but the fact that the Holy Spirit worked healing miracles through them was undeniable by any man.
[v33] When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.In Acts 2:37, on the Day of Pentecost, the people were cut to their hearts when they heard the apostles teach the same message, and they repented; however, these men have the pride of their prestigious positions lodged deep in their hearts, and so they would rather silence the message than to confess the truth with their mouths and be saved. (Rom 10:10)
[v34] Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;Gamaliel was Paul's teacher (Acts 22:3), although he did not speak because of Paul since Paul was not yet numbered among the apostles. Gamaliel used his position of respect to try and bring a little wisdom and peace to the situation.
[v35] And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.Or in other words, don't do anything foolish without thinking. Because the men on the council were pricked in the hearts, they were reacting emotionally instead of rationally.
[v36] For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.As is common today, so too back then were there false teachers who raised up cults. This cultist, Theudas, had a cult that was 400 people in number, but he was killed and everyone involved left, so the cult died out.
[v37] After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.Another man named Judas started up a cult of his own, having something to do with taxation, likely a rebellion on taxation concerning his religious view, which is why Gamaliel refers to "the days of the taxing."
[v38] And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:He's telling the other men of the council that if they were truly of God, and the apostles not of God, then it would die out on its own. This is not to say that cults never flourish, because many have, but in their Jewish society, with the Torah (first five books of the Bible) and the Old Testament prophets so well established, if it was not of God's Word, it would not last long in Israel.
[v39] But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.As was already demonstrated by their inability to imprison the apostles; the council could not overthrow them. Though it does not appear that Gamaliel believed in Christ, he had enough tact and influence to give a more peaceful solution to appease the priests, which the council heavily desired, since they still feared the people.
[v40] And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.They taught in the temple with the permission of the priests, so the council felt the need to make an example of them by beating them, else their authority would be undermined.
[v41] And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.As Christ told them they are blessed when men revile and persecute them (Mat 5:11-12, Luke 6:22-23), and the Bible tells us that all who will live godly in Jesus Christ shall suffer similar persecution. (2Ti 3:12)
[v42] And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.When they departed from that temple, they continued to other synagogues, and taught from house to house, to all those who would hear.