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Acts Chapter 4

Acts 4:1
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
  • And then there are the religionists
  • They were still in the process of bringing them to Christ
  • Sadducees would be today's aristocratic secular scholars, ecumenical, mainstream "pastors", evolutionists, agnostics, self-proclaimed atheistic "scholars" who do not believe in angels, the supernatural, the Resurrection from the dead, etc.
  • Josepheus records that "the captains of the temple" were chosen from among the Levites and that they were captains over bands of twenty-four courses, an hour apiece", meaning a line of succession and lots of formal training
  • They did not saunter, mosey over to them casually, they "came upon them", as in they came quickly and surrounded them
Acts 4:2
Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
  • As someone once said, “They were guilty of bringing Jesus Christ out of the temple and scattering Him all over the community.”
  • Because of pride, even today, too many religious leaders do not want anyone but themselves teaching anyone anything spiritual, the idea being that no one is qualified to teach the people but they themselves, because of "formal training", and Peter here is a mere fisherman
  • The Sadducees did not believe in the Resurrection, angels, devils, the afterlife, anything non-material-like today's evolutionists
  • Leaders of organized religion never want "the people" to hear or see the truth, so they suppress it by threatening those who carry it. This has been true for 2,000 years of church history
  • The resurrection from the dead comes only through Jesus Christ
  • The preaching itself is via the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ
  • Acts 3:1 is the start, that was now two hours ago, and now this is a two hour sermon!!!
Matthew 22:23
The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,

Mark 12:18
Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,

1 Corinthians 15:12
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

Acts 4:3
And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
  • You are under arrest for preaching Jesus Christ.
  • Coming to a location near you soon.
Acts 4:4
Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
  • Perhaps there were woman and children
  • The culture of the day was to count men only, often
  • An instantaneous 5,000 member, local body of Christ
  • No speaking in tongues, not even a baptism right now
  • Doing our math, the number of 3,000 is now 5,000, adding 2,000 more men
Matthew 14:21
And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Acts 4:5
And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
  • The Trial starts now........
  • First we had scribes and Pharisees, now rulers, elders and scribes
  • So then we now have both the political and religious leaders, plus keepers of the Word of God
Acts 4:6
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.
  • They have now brought in the big guns
  • This is a huge "problem" to them, obviously. The Christians have overturned their apple cart
  • Caiaphas earlier prophesied that the Messiah should die for the people (John 11:50-51)
  • It must be mentioned that these same exact men heard and/or saw people raised from the dead, leprosy healed, lame people walk, demons cast out, Jesus turning water into wine, raising the dead, healing leprosy and walking on water, etc.
  • The miracles were unquestioned and unquestionable-it was the "AUTHORITY" that was the issue now


John 11:49-51 [CAIAPHAS]
And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

Luke 3:2
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

John 18:13
And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

John 18:24
Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.

Matthew 26:3
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

Matthew 26:57
And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

Luke 3:2
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

John 11:49
And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

John 18:13
And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

John 18:14
Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

John 18:28
Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover.

Acts 4:7
And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
  • This is a purely earthly question, regarding the laws
  • They are really getting at the AUTHORITY issue, in another way
  • Previously, with elders, rulers, scribes, Pharisees and the High Priest show up, it is about authority
  • Truth always trumps higher education, even from fishermen
  • As can be plainly seen, they could care less about the lame man being healed!
  • These men have personally observed or heard about blind men seeing, people rising from the dead, leprosy being healed, lame walking, devils being cast out, water being turned into wine, thousands being fed from five loaves and a few fishes, and yet are concerned only about one thing: "BY WHAT AUTHORITY?"
  • Did they even bother to tell the lame man they were happy he was now finally able to walk?
  • Today we say, "What seminary did you attend?" or "Who ordained you?" or "Where did you get your degree?" and "Are they an accredited school?" or "What kind of a degree is it?" or "What is your degree in, anyways? Theology?" or "Do you have a badge?" or "What denomination are you" or "How many books have YOU written on this subject?" or "How come most mainstream people do not believe that?"

Matthew 21:23-24, 27
And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things....(27)And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Mark 11:28-29
And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

Mark 11:33
And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Luke 20:2
And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?

Luke 20:8
And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Acts 4:8
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
  • Filled...meaning controlled, and yet Peter speaks to them in their own language, not in tongues
  • The people and Israel-all Jews still.
Acts 4:9
If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
  • You want to check us out?
  • He also tells them about the "authoritative good deed" they are complaining about
Acts 4:10
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
  • "Whom ye crucified"....This is a direct charge of murder, to their collective faces, again, but this time to the leadership
  • "We did not heal the man, Jesus Christ did; we take no credit."
Acts 4:11
This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
  • Peter is paraphrasing, using part of a verse very familiar to them, quoting Scripture in response, in his defense of their behavior
  • This is the exact same verse Jesus quoted to them, the man they killed!
  • Peter even quoted this later in his first epistle
Psalms 118:22-23
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

Matthew 21:42
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Mark 12:10-11
And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Luke 20:17
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

1 Peter 2:7
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,


"The reference here is to Psalm 118:22, which in turn was referring to the tradition that, when Solomon’s temple was being built, the odd-shaped stone which seemed not to fit anywhere turned out to be the chief cornerstone, designed for the very apex of the temple. The stones had all been precisely cut deep in the quarry, so that no noise of construction could be heard while the temple was growing (see I Kings 5:17; 6:7). In analogous fashion, each believer is being laid quietly as a living stone in the great spiritual temple. But the unique stone of the pinnacle corner is Christ Himself, who is also the temple’s foundation. He is both underneath all, upholding us, and above all, crowning us as our glorious Head."

Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
  • To materialists, any unbelievers, there are many problems with saying this because it is too narrow
  • There is a denial of an actual salvation, a denial of heaven, a denial of Jesus Name having any authority (the very issue at hand), a denial of a need for salvation in the first place
  • Narrowness is never a basis for truth


(Matthew 7:13-14)
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Acts 4:13
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
  • These men had no seminary training, no Greek or Hebrew concordances, no bookshelves of Christian commentaries, charged no speakers fees, did not go on book signing tours, made merchandise of no man.
  • These fishermen, through Jesus Christ, who had been with Jesus, however, "turned the world upside down" with their doctrine, much more than anyone since.
  • They saw the boldness, not the clothing, the polish, the finish, the sheepskin on the wall, the love for each other, not their smile, not their suit and tie, not their knowledge of the "original Greek and Hebrew", not that they went to Bible college, not their fancy programs or their Sunday school rooms, or their nice clean sanctuary or even their worship team
  • The boldness came after the resurrection, and they would have seen or heard before the resurrection that they were utter cowards, so they saw the result of the eyewitness to the resurrection
Acts 4:14
And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
  • In the end, the result is indisputable. Like it or not, they knew this was a genuine miracle in Jesus Name.
  • It is an "infallible proof" (ch. 1)
  • It is further harder to deny because it is so public, so blatantly obvious because everyone there knew the man did not walk just hours before!
Acts 17:6
And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

  • A little talk in the corner to decide how to quell the outbreak of faith
  • The council...nearly always opposed to what is right (Matthew 10:17, 26:59; Mark 13:9, 14:55; Luke 22:66; Acts 4:15, 5:21, 27, 34, 6:12, 22:30, 23:1, etc.)
  • They were forewarned of the councils, but were told what happened would-the Holy Spirit would take over (v.8)
  • These same councils did the same thing to Jesus
  • This counsel appears more in Acts than any other word in Scripture, and they nearly always opposed the work of the believers
Matthew 10:17-20
But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Mark 13:9
But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

Mark 14:55
And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.

Matthew 12:14
Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Matthew 26:59
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

Mark 15:1
And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.

Luke 22:66-67
And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:

THE COUNCIL, IN ACTS (Fifteen times)

Acts 4:15
But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,

Acts 5:21
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.

Acts 5:27
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,

Acts 5:34
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;

Acts 5:41
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 6:12
And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

Acts 6:15
And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Acts 22:30
On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.

Acts 23:1
And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Acts 23:6
But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

Acts 23:15
Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would enquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him.

Acts 23:20
And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.

Acts 23:28
And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:

Acts 24:20
Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,

Acts 25:12
Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

Acts 4:16
Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
  • "We won't believe in Jesus, even though we know this miracle was done in His Name, so then.......?"
  • They had no precedent, and no law against these men, so they would have to act fast and invent one
Acts 4:17
But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
  • To the people: "Since we're not gonna believe, YOU'RE not gonna be allowed to, either!"
  • Persecution makes Christianity spread, and they will unknowingly, unintentionally and quite accidentally help the process along
Acts 4:18
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
  • Apparently, when they asked, "By what authority?" they were upset that it was not their authority. That said, they now wanted to exercise theirs
  • Certainly not under the authority and name of Jesus!!
Acts 4:19
But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
  • The apostles were only worried about "in the sight of God"............the direct opposite of the Sadducees, Pharisees, elders, priests
Acts 4:20
For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
  • "You cannot force us to be false eyewitnesses"
Acts 4:21
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.
  • This is the "In the sight of men" side of the coin. Had the people not been there, the reaction and punishment would have been much, much worse.
  • They had a fear of man
Psalms 56:11
In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

Acts 4:22
For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
  • There were forty years times every eye that saw this man was lame, so no excuse to deny a miracle, which they did not do.
  • Being forty two, it had to be only a miracle. PERIOD.
Acts 4:23-24
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 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:
  • Fellowship and people to share in their sufferings. IF not today............soon
Acts 4:25
Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
  • This is the beginning of Psalm 2
  • The Psalm itself says, "Why DO the heathen rage", so this may point to a particular event
Acts 4:26
The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
  • Fighting against God Himself...the ultimate foolishness.
  • This includes God's people, Jews and Christians, Old and New Testament
  • This will happen twice in Revelation, with the enemy and the inhabitants of the earth!

(Revelation 17:14)
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

(Revelation 16:14)
For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

(Revelation 19:19)
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

(Revelation 20:7-9)
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Acts 4:27
For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
  • Herod (the Romans) and these leaders in Israel (Jews) both failed in killing the Christ child
  • Pilate washed his hands, thinking he was innocent of the Blood of Christ, not understanding it all
  • Peter said, "GUILTY!"
Matthew 2:16-18
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Acts 4:28
For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
  • This was all pre-ordained, from Genesis on.
(Genesis 3:15)
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Acts 4:29
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
  • Did they pray to stop the persecutions?
  • They prayed that it would glorify God Himself, that they would still speak loudly the truth of the Gospel
Acts 4:30
By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
  • It is God's Hand that heals-not ours
  • It is Jesus's Name that heals-not us
  • They even acknowledged this then, so how much more so now, 2,000 years later?
Acts 4:31
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
  • In this tongues
  • Today, we pray, the house is not shaken-but we had better be filled by the Holy Ghost if we want to do God's work!
Acts 4:32
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
  • Again, this was not necessarily ordained and we do not practice this sort of shared living today
  • This is a transitional period, a unique time in world history, the time of the Acts of the Apostles
  • If the sign gifts are for today, why does the church not live like this?
Acts 4:33
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
  • Because they were filled with the Holy Ghost, they had power-not their own power
  • Again, the result was witnessing, not signs, wonders, tongues
Acts 4:34
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
  • Once again, this is not how the church was ordained to operate by any commandment
  • It is a good attitude, perhaps, but not something God asked of them


Hebrews 11:10
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 11:13
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

1 Peter 2:11, 13
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; evertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Acts 4:35
And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
  • Again, this does work, to a certain extent, that extent being the honesty of the Church members
  • This was not only not ordained, it did not work for long, nice and generous as it was not long before the collection upon for Jerusalem was called for again by Paul
1 Corinthians 16:1-3
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

Acts 4:36-37
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
  • This man would be the opposite of the son of perdition, Judas, whose things, whose money only belonged to himself
  • The opposite of greed is charity=love.........
John 13:29
For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

Matthew 27:5-10
And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.

Acts 1:18-19 Now this man (Judas) purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 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.


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