Acts Chapter 5Acts 4:36-37
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
- Giving was, and is, voluntary, always-and private
- A particular person, who married someone like himself, as we shall see soon
- Again, they were not required by God to do this; it was purely voluntary
- Sure; true; undoubted; unquestionable; that cannot be denied; existing in fact and truth.
The dream is certain and the interpretation sure. Dan 2.
- Assured in mind; having no doubts; followed by of, before a noun.
However I with thee have fixed my lot,
Certain to undergo like doom of death,
Consort with thee.
To make her certain of the sad event.
- Unfailing; always producing the intended effect; as, we may have a certain remedy for a disease.
- Not doubtful or casual; really existing.
Virtue that directs our ways
Through certain dangers to uncertain praise.
- Stated; fixed; determinate; regular.
Ye shall gather a certain rate every day. Exodus 16.
There came a certain poor widow. Mark 12.
In the plural number, a particular part or number; some; an indefinite part, number, or quantity. Hanani came, he and certain men of Judah. I mourned certain days. Nehemiah 1:2. 6. In the latter sense, it is used as a noun; as, certain also of your own poets have said. Acts 17.
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.
- God looks on the heart, no matter what we do. It is our motives, not actions
- She was "privy to it".......Privately knowing; admitted to the participation of knowledge with another of a secret transaction.
- This is even so when we are not necessarily doing something we were asked to do. It is EVERYTHING we do
- There was nothing wrong with keeping back part of it at all, then and now
- They were told that there was nothing wrong with keeping back part of the price
- Private; pertaining to some person exclusively; assigned to private uses; not public; as the privy purse; the privy confer of a king.
- Secret; clandestine; not open or public; as a privy attempt to kill one.
- Private; appropriated to retirement; not shown; not open for the admission of company; as a privy chamber. Ezek 21.
- Privately knowing; admitted to the participation of knowledge with another of a secret transaction.
He would rather lose half of his kingdom than be privy to such a secret.
Myself am one made privy to the plot.
His wife also being privy to it. Acts 5.
- Admitted to secrets of state. The privy council of a king consists of a number of distinguished persons selected by him to advice him in the administration of the government. A privy verdict, is one given to the judge out of court, which is of no force unless afterward affirmed by a public verdict in court.
- A necessary house. Privy chamber, in Great Britain, the private apartment in a royal residence or mansion. Gentlemen of the privy chamber are servants of the king who are to wait and attend on him and the queen at court, in their diversions, _c. They are forty eight in number, under the lord chamberlain.
1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
In law, a partaker; a person having an interest in any action or thing; as a privy in blood. Privies are of four kinds; privies in blood, as the heir to his father; privies in representation, as executors and administrators to the deceased; privies in estate, as he in reversion and he in remainder; donor and donee; lessor and lessee; privy in tenure, as the lord in escheat.
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?
- This is an action inspired by the enemy
- This shows that the Holy Ghost is a person who can be lied to
- This is lying to God (next verse)
- It is not the keeping back, but as will be shown, it is the lying part
- As is shown when Sapphira is interrogated, they CLAIMED it was sold for less than it was
- Their actions were legit...their sin was the lie
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.
- Personal possession, using their own free will and discretion to say how much it was sold for, no pressure, voluntarily offered by them.
- "Whiles it remained, was it not thine own?" indicates that this was voluntarily, this action. No one had asked them to do this...
- However Peter knew, it was the Holy Ghost who would confirm this shortly
- (v.3)"to lie to the Holy Ghost,".........(v.4)"thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."
- They lied to God, the Holy Ghost
- Peter is saying, "You do not have to worry about us, Ananias, you can lie to us all you want to, we have no real consequences like you are about to see and feel"
And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
- There was no defense given, and none was needed
- The Death Penalty for lying to God........this is unique to this time
- God struck him dead, not man. God is sovereign, gives life and can take it when HE wants, without question
- If this happened today, most Christians would be dead by the end of the week
- God is simply trying to show that they need to carry themselves in a Christlike manner
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
- If not, someone else will carry them out
- No televangelist or charlatan, or snake oil salesman today would live for seconds
- Again, this is more proof that this time of the Acts of the Apostles was unique!
And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
- She was presumably away counting money, buying some more property, something like that
- The only reason to come back would be to get recognition for the donation, presumably
And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
- This is only a test. An integrity test.
"For the next five seconds this apostle will be conducting a test of the Emergency Fatal Decision System"
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.
- And she fails the test.......one question!
- In their lying, they tempted the Holy Spirit of God
- This is a true plot, conspiracy
- The same pallbearers, back from the burial, Round Two
- As was written earlier, few if any could ever pass such a test today, at all levels of the hierarchy in the Church
- This COULD be the sovereignty of God, knowing that this would spread to the Church, removing it like a cancer before it could fester
Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
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.
- At this time, it was at least less surprising that this would happen to her
- Now, this had to be saved people, because God allows the wicked to be wicked, but of the righteous He expects more
- Again, this is not doctrine happening, but history
- They "found her dead"...........wonder if everyone just left her there and walked away in disgust
- The church was so holy in its living then that a liar could not co-exist with them
- This is not the case today, as the entire Corporate Church today which is apostate
- This was a "sin unto death" for them
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
1 John 5:16
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN TO UNBELIEVERS LIKE THIS-THEIR CONSEQUENCES ARE FUTURE IN THEIR END
Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
PSALM 73 IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE "THEIR END"
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
- This of course was always God's reason for capital punishment
- It is certain that the word spread quickly about this throughout the church
Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
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.
- By the hands of the apostles...
- The apostles only had the sign gifts like this
- They are still in Jerusalem
- There is no mention that only those with enough faith were healed. No mention of an offering taken, a special service for these healings; all were simply healed (v.16)
And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
- No one dared because of the fear of man.
- They also feared messing up and winding up like Ananias and Sapphira
And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
- The word "LORD" is used here, making it synonymous to the church, as in members being part of His Body, He being the Head
- Women are not usually numbered with the totals in biblical Jewish culture
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
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.
- Peter's shadow overshadowed them; it did not heal them. Multitudes and mobs do this, Peter was not a part of this (SUPERSTITIONS)
- Nevertheless, people believed they could heal, and wanted some of that action!
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 simply had the idea that seeing them, seeing their shadow, being touched by them would heal them
- Whatever the reason, this was signs and wonders of the LORD, not the apostles
- Today, NO ONE heals EVERYONE and empties a hospital, nor do they go to the morgue or cemetery or mausoleum to raise the dead. Ask them to!
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,
- Some people are filled with the Holy Spirit; these were filled with indignation
- The Sadducees did not believe in the spiritual realm in any way, including heaven, hell, the Holy Spirit, etc.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Acts 5:18
And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
- There is religion and truth. They are not compatible.
- Religion always wants to stifle truth. Nothing ever changes.
But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
- But God.....THE Angel of the LORD, JESUS
- Spiritually and physically, God still opens doors for the lost and the found
Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
- The purpose is always to Glorify Himself, through our witness
- "this life" is the life of Jesus Christ, and the life given to us from that life
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.
- As soon as the sun was up, people stirred, the Word went forth
- In God's timing, they would eventually flee the persecution and spread to "Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth", but until then, "to the Jew first"
- The enemy was not done with his persecution though ,and was bringing reinforcements this time. Going up the chain of command might prove a point in the world, but not with God........He is never impressed.
But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,
- First the empty tomb and now THIS!
- You can't keep a Good Man down and now, it seems, you can't even keep a Good Man's people in jail!
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.
- This is a conundrum, a catastrophe and possibly even a conspiracy!!
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.
- Knowing Peter and his "cohorts", they knew that they would tell the people (THEIR PEOPLE!) that God let them out.
- They further knew that the people would believe them, making themselves look bad for either trying to stop the plan of God or simply and stupidly allowing them to escape
- The most important things to them are both their reputation and stopping the bleeding of the spread of the Gospel
Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
- Their worst nightmare is now added.........they are back at it!
- This will show the people that they are fearless (true) and "disrespectful" (false)
Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
- Time to regain their power and influence back, albeit a little more carefully
- Fear of man is never a good thing
- The reason they came without violence is simply a lack of fear of man, because GOd has their back and they know it
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 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.
- Again, nearly all "councils of man" are against God and His Plan
- No city in America today is "filled with this doctrine"
- They have a Gospel doctrine, contrary to the Law of the Jews
- The council knows that they are responsible for Jesus's death, but do not want to take the heat for it
- No place in the Law does it say not to proclaim God's truth
The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
- They went through this earlier with the lame man from his birth being healed
- It is the same answer-
"Um, no. God sent us to do this, you have no way to stop it."
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.
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 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. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
- This again is a direct charge of murder, they themselves being the guilty party
- In the spiritual realm, it is all of our sin that caused the death of Jesus of Nazareth, but in the people realm, it was both the Jews and the Romans who directly caused it, with Judas.
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.
- Yeah, He died. Yeah, you killed Him. Nevertheless yeah, He willingly let you do that to pay for your sins
- It is your only collective way out of this world to Heaven
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
- Again, the Holy Ghost declared to be a person, not an "it".
- "To them that obey him".........is in believing in His Son the LORD Jesus Christ
- He is further indicating by this that they are NOT obeying God because they did not receive the Holy Ghost and, therefore, do not get it.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Acts 5:33
When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
- There goes the "counsel from the council" again
- Two reactions, same hearts, but really different hearts. Here it is utter rejection
- Either it is a question about what to do, or it is, "Let us figure out how to kill them right now!"
- There is "pricked in their hearts" or "cut to the heart" (sword)
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?
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And brought them out, and [the jailer] said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
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;
- If he were not a doctor of the law, he would have zero pull here
- If he also did not have a reputation, he also would be ignored, brushed aside and accused of being "with them" and "one of them".
- Mankind always loves to appeal man's authorities and majorities
- Gamaliel taught Paul
I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
- Once again, we see the audience is a purely Jewish one, "ye men of Israel"
- The only for this man to know their intentions is to be in counsel with them and have the same intentions, at least up to this point
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.
- False Christs, false apostles, false teachers-prevalent in Jesus's day, prevalent today
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
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.
- These men all died, claiming to be the Messiah, God Himself, and proved they were not
- When the false ones die, there is nothing left
- The very existence of the apostles in Jerusalem, together, bold, still shows their Messiah is real and living
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:
- Man's work will burn, perish, always and forever
But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
- A word of wisdom, to save their skin, their reputation, their venture
- They should have seen fighting against God did not work with the entire Old Testament, the Resurrection, the escape from prison of the apostles
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 got the message..........and beat the apostles anyways!!
- Speak in any name you want to, but not in the Name of Jesus. Exact same thing today. A generic god, one size fits all
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
- This is the opposite reaction we expect from beaten people
- Now think about our society today, how easy and convenient life is and all we do is complain
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
- After threats, after beatings, after warnings, after prison, knowing the dangers, counting the cost, putting God's direct commandments (Matthew 28:19-20 over man's laws, they plod on, fearlessly.
- This is why the church grew and why we ourselves heard the Gospel with our ears.
- Jesus Christ is the center of the Gospel and has always been so