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Go And Stand

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by SueJLove, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. Friday, August 29, 2014, 12:30 p.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “He Gives Purpose.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Acts 5 (quoting selected verses in the NIV). I will summarize some passages due to the length of the chapter.

    Signs and Wonders

    The Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Jesus Christ at Pentecost, and many people came to salvation that day through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was the beginning of the church. And, the people were united in heart and mind. Not only that, but they shared everything they had with one another. There were no needy people among them. The early believers were very generous with their possessions, sometimes by selling their land and houses and giving the proceeds to the apostles to distribute to people as they had need. Wouldn’t this be wonderful if Christians were like this today across the globe?

    Yet, not everyone had such purity of heart and motive in helping the needy as did most of these early Christians. A married couple by the names of Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of property, yet they kept back some of the proceeds for themselves, which was in their right to do so. No one was forcing them to do this. The problem was that they lied and said they had given it all when they didn’t. They lied not only to humans, but to God. We can only speculate why they did this. Perhaps they were trying to gain a reputation for themselves and they wanted people to think how sacrificial they were when that was not the truth at all. I believe Christians can be guilty of this today when they give the appearance of righteous living when they know they are still living sinful lifestyles, yet hidden from sight.

    Peter confronted both husband and wife with their lies against humankind and against God. Both husband and wife, upon hearing Peter’s words, fell down and died on the spot. “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

    The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. ~ vv. 12-16​

    Filled with Jealousy

    The high priest and all his associates were filled with jealousy. Once again the apostles were arrested and put in jail for preaching and healing in the name of Jesus Christ. Yet, the Lord Jesus sent an angel to rescue the apostles. He told them to go and stand in the temple courts and tell the people all about this new life. Amen! They obeyed, went, and did what the angel had instructed them to do, knowing full well that they could be thrown into jail again or worse. At daybreak they once again began to teach the people.

    The captain of the temple guard, on learning the apostles were no longer in jail, and that they were back teaching in the temple courts, brought the apostles to appear before the Sanhedrin (the ruling council) to be questioned by the high priest. At the root of the religious leaders’ dispute with the apostles was not only jealousy, it appears, but there was also pride, resentment, anger, rage and bitterness of spirit, because the apostles had reminded them more than once that they were guilty of putting the giver of life to death.

    Before the Sanhedrin

    The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

    Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” ~ vv. 27-32​

    Persecution did not stop the apostles. They had to obey God rather than humans, they told the rulers of the people. Again they reminded these leaders of the people that they had killed Jesus Christ – their Messiah, Prince and Savior – but that God the Father had raised him from the dead, and had exalted him to his own right hand. How that must have infuriated them! Yet, they also told them that the purpose of this all was so that Israel might be brought to repentance and forgiveness of sins. They were bold and courageous in their confession of Christ and of his gospel of salvation, even in the face of such severe opposition. What did they have to lose? They knew if they died they were going to be with Jesus. And, they knew that the people of Israel needed to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, so they put the lives of others above their own lives, and spoke boldly in Jesus’ name.

    Counted Worthy

    “When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people,” came to their defense. “His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

    “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”

    Amen! What an encouragement to our hearts!

    Oh, that we would desire of God to have this kind of boldness and determination in sharing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of this world, so that many might be saved from their sins. Lord Jesus, give us hearts that are burdened for the lost people of this world, and that are burdened, as well, for the slothful and adulterous people of your own family throughout the world who are not living holy and separate lives from the world and unto you. Give us courage and perseverance to spread your gospel throughout the world, even in the face of much severe persecution and the threat of rejection and/or death.

    He Gives Purpose / An Original Work / June 9, 2012

    “Listen to Me when I’m calling to you.
    Obey freely My word.
    Follow Me in all of My ways.
    Do all that I say.
    Hear Me gently whisper to you
    My will for your life and future.
    Give all of your life and heart to
    Follow Me always.”

    Repent of your sins and worship Jesus.
    He’s your Lord and Master.
    He died for your sins so you could
    Live with Him today.
    He has a plan for your life and
    He gives purpose and direction.
    He gives meaning to your life,
    So follow Him today.

    “I love you so much I gave My life for
    You to walk in My ways,
    Living for Me each day as you
    Bow to Me and pray.
    Witness for Me of your love for Me and
    Of My grace and mercy,
    How I died to save you of your
    Sins now and always.”

    CCW95A likes this.
  2. Does it not seem like the most opposition against the truth is not from the world, but those in the Church?
    The traditions taught by and through man has built a fortress that seems impregnable to the truth in the minds of man.
    It reminds me of when the Lord told Moses to take possession of the promised land, but they did not because there were cities with high walls and giants in the land. These walled cities and giants are the things we are to tear down by the power of Christ.....

    2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
    2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
    2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    Strongholds are "castles, and walled cities" These cities and strongholds are built within the mind of man that prevents him from acknowledging the truth to set him free to enter the promised land, and possess it. :)
    SueJLove likes this.
  3. Yes, I believe so.

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