Monday, April 25, 2022

04-24-2022 Acts 5:17-32


17 The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, 20 “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!”

21 So at daybreak the apostles entered the Temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching.

When the high priest and his officials arrived, they convened the high council—the full assembly of the elders of Israel. Then they sent for the apostles to be brought from the jail for trial. 22 But when the Temple guards went to the jail, the men were gone. So, they returned to the council and reported, 23 “The jail was securely locked, with the guards standing outside, but when we opened the gates, no one was there!”

24 When the captain of the Temple guard and the leading priests heard this, they were perplexed, wondering where it would all end. 25 Then someone arrived with startling news: “The men you put in jail are standing in the Temple, teaching the people!”

26 The captain went with his Temple guards and arrested the apostles, but without violence, for they were afraid the people would stone them. 27 Then they brought the apostles before the high council, where the high priest confronted them. 28 “We gave you strict orders never again to teach in this Man’s Name!” he said. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about Him, and you want to make us responsible for His death!”

29 But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed Him by hanging Him on a cross. 31 Then God put Him in the place of honor at His Right Hand as Prince and Savior. He did this so the people of Israel would repent of their sins and be forgiven. 32 We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, Who is given by God to those who obey Him.”



Allow me to Ask,

“Do You Want to Know

And to Do God’s Will?”



Do You Understand,

To BE Of the Ones

Who Come to Jesus,


And Claim Him to Be Their Savior and Lord,

Through This - We ALL Join Jesus

In His Mission to Reconcile a Lost World?




To Desire

to BE a Faithful Servant.



Has far more in Store for Your Life

Then You Just Doing

Something for Him.


He Wants YOU To Experience

An Intimate LOVE Relationship

With Him

That is REAL and PERSONAL!


Jesus said:

“This is Eternal Life,

That they may know You,

The Only True God,

And Jesus Christ

Whom You Have Sent.”

(John 17:3)


The Very Heart of Eternal Life

Is For You to KNOW GOD

o And to KNOW Jesus Christ

§ Whom He Has Sent.


You See - Knowing God Does Not Come Through

A Program,

A Study,

Or A Method.


Knowing GOD

Comes Through a

HAVING A Relationship with GOD!



But How Does This Work?


It Is through this LOVING Relationship, Where:

God Reveals Himself,

His Purposes,

His Ways,

And He Invites You to Join Him

Where He Is Already at Work.


And Then - When you Obey,

God Accomplishes Through You

Something Which ONLY He Can Do.


That IS WHEN You come to KNOW GOD

In a More Intimate Way

By and Through Experiencing God

At Work Through You!


Do You See –

It Is In What We Do -

And Doing It –

Where God Is At Work -

That Is HOW –

We Grow In God.


This Is KEY

Within Our Own Lives

As We Reflect

Back Upon

The Lives of the Disciples.





(Acts 5:29)


That is the theme

Of our Scripture for Today

And, indeed,

Of this Whole Section of Acts,

Chapters 3-8.


But Indeed!

       It Should Be More Than Just That!


IF We Are of GOD -

Then - It HAS TO BE -

The Theme of Our Entire Lives!


Let’s Check It Out!



YOU SEE - After the Resurrection of Jesus,

The Holy Spirit

Was Sweeping through Jerusalem

Like a Whorl-Wind on Steroids!


God the Holy Spirit

Is Giving His Power Out

Permitting Peter, James, and John

And all the other followers of Jesus:

To Heal!

To Convert the Multitudes!

And To Speak Boldly of the Truth!


And As a Result

The Entire Jerusalem

Was in - an Uproar!


And It Was Because Of This Movement,

The Apostles were Repeatedly

Hauled before the Sanhedrin!

They Were Taken -

Before The High Court!

Brought In Front

Of The

Jewish Religious Leaders!

And the Political Council!


Now – Just as a Side Note:

The Council or The Sanhedrin

Were made up of:

Those Who - Just Happened to be in power

As the Leaders of the Community

At That Particular Moment.



And It Was During This Time:

When Their Members Consisted Of:

The High Priest,

And His Family Members,

Various Other Rulers,

The Elders,

The Scribes,

The Sadducees,

And The Pharisees.


They much acted like



The Duties of the Council were to:

Interpret and Guard

The Jewish Way of Life.

Their Customs.

And Their LAW.


You SEE It Was the Sanhedrin Council

Who Judged Jesus

And Delivered Him over to Pilate

(Matthew 26-27)

And it was the Sanhedrin Council Who:


And Punishes

The Followers of Jesus

For Their Teachings and Activities.


And it is here,

Within the Book of Acts,

We Find that this Council

Being Rather Busy.


Let’s just take a quick look

And See

What is Going On.



Who Was Beside the Beautiful Gate in Jerusalem.

And it Was Well Know

That This Man had been lamed from birth.

And – At This Moment of Healing,

This Man was 40 years old.


And Then as A Result of this Healing

Peter and John had to

Explain to the Council

As Well As To the Onlookers

Of What POWER they had Used

To Do This Healing. (Acts 3-4).


And as a Result of Peter’s Reply,

The Council Gave Them Strict Orders:

"To not speak

Nor teach - at all -

in the name of Jesus Christ"

(Acts 4:17)

But – What Did the Apostles Do?

They Went Out

And Preached Openly!


And It Says That They Did This



Giving "Their testimony to the

Resurrection of the Lord Jesus"

(Acts 4:33).


And What Was the Results of Doing This?


There Were Crowds of People

Who Came

And held the Disciples

In High Esteem!

Within Great Reverence!

And In Total Admiration!


There were Multitudes Added

To the followers of Jesus.


And Jerusalem was Flooded

With Sick People,

All of them, wanting to be Healed.


There were so many that the streets

Were crowded with the beds

And of pallets

Of the Lame and Diseased

(Acts 5:12-16)


But This Time,

They Have Just Gone Too Far!!!


The Sanhedrin Blows Their Top

And They Do Not Hesitate!


They Throw the Apostles into Prison!


But that is not the End of This Story!


An angel of the Lord -

Opens the prison doors -

And sets them free.


BUT – There Is More!

The Angel Delivers a Message to them.


He Gives Them A Command

To Go And Stand In The Temple

And Speak to the People,


(vv. 17-20)


AND - Once again,

The apostles are brought before the council,

And that Brings Us

To our Text for this morning.


The High Priest

Questions the Christians,

Just as he questioned Jesus.


The Apostles were Strictly Charged

(Meaning Strictly Told or Commanded)

That They Were NOT To

Teach in Christ's Name,



The High Priest Says,

‘And Now –

You Have Not Only Brought

In The Crowds to Jerusalem,


But You Have Now

Accused The Council

Of Killing Jesus!


But - Rather than making excuses,

Peter and the other Apostles

Gave Testimony of Supporting That Claim!


Peter Went on and Exclaimed -

That God has Exalted Jesus

To the Position of Power

On His Right Hand as Leader and Savior,

Giving Forgiveness to Israel.


Now I don’t know about you

If you have ever had the opportunity

To Stand Up and Admit what you have done

Knowing that it Will Lead to Punishment,

Or to Lie and Try to Get Out of It.




But With Peter and the others

Not Only Doing what they were Accused of,

And Not Only - Openly Admitting It,



Peter’s Actions

Enrages the Sanhedrin!


They Want Blood!!!

‘Sentence the Apostles to Death!!!’


But - Fortunately,

There Was a Faithful Pharisee There

Who Interfered

And Saved the Apostles

From Being Killed.


However - They DID NOT Escape Punishment Entirely.


They are Beaten

And-Then - They Were Released.

But To Only Go on

Right Back to Preaching And Teaching.

(vv. 33-42)


The Apostles Said:

"We must obey God rather than men."

And Within That,

Nothing Can or Will Stop Them

From Witnessing For The Lord.


But What About Us?

What About You?

I Am Totally Convinced

That When We Leave This World,

We Will Stand Before the Christ Almighty

And He Will Ask Us, that is Me and You:


“What have you done for Me

with using the gifts that I have given you

and the time which I have given you?


With you following Me

and through Us working together,

how many others have come to Me?”



It is not about our sins.

Our Sins are Forgiven

Within Our True Remorse

And Through True Forgiving of all Others.


That is a given.


The Closer We Get to The Lord,

The More We Will Refrain from Sinning

Simply Because Of Our Desire

To Be with Him.


So, It Has Nothing to Do with Our Sins.


And It Is Only in This World Where



So – How are you using yours?


On a Grade of 10,

10 Being the Highest,

And 1 Being the Lowest,




10?  8?  5?  0?


IF Your Score is Below 8,

Then Please, Ask Yourself,



Matthew 25:19-30

25:19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’


21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’


22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’


23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’


24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’


26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’


28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’


Our Scripture for Today,

Gives Us Much To think About.



It Is Quite Clear

That Religious Administrators

And the Direction Which they are Leading,

Yes – It May Be the Wrong Way.

They Too – Can Get It Wrong.


The Church Receives So Many Directions

To Follow from The "Higher Ups,"

And These Directions May Be Wise,

Or They May Be Unwise.


The Question becomes:

How Do We Judge Them?


Should The Directions of the Church Executives

Be Followed,

Or Should They Be Ignored?


This Question Becomes Even More Pressing,

When We Consider

How Many Religious Movements

There Are Today in Our Society.


The Multitude of Sects and Religious Groups

Within This Country Now

Numbers In the Thousands!


And Most of Them

Have A Very Charismatic Leader Of Some Sort

Who Is Saying,

"Follow Me."




Some Of The Groups Seem To Be Very Fine.

However, Some Are Very Scary!


And Each Time There Is

A Moral Failure within a church.

Each Time a Religious Group

Is Exposed as being Fraud.

Each Time a Religion Hits the News

As Being Misleading.


Each Time this Happens,

It Just Continues to Grow

And Builds Doubt

And Uncertainty

Even within the Faithful Churches.

And As a Result,

It Promotes Confusion

And Hatred

For All True Religions.


Over The Years,

Many Parents Have Agonized

Over The Thought of Their Son or Daughter

Joining Some Type of Cult or Sect.



And Some Have Gone to the Extreme Measures

Of Trying to Free Their Children

From The Effects of Such Groups.


Some Have Even Hired Others to De-Program

Their Loved Ones

And To Bring Him or Her

Back Into the Normal Way of Life.


Maybe There Were Some Family Members

Who Tried Equally Hard

To De-Program Their Relatives

From The Early Christian Movement.


After All,

It Is In Acts Where It Tell Us That

The Christians in Jerusalem

Lived Together in A Commune.


And They All Shared Their Goods in Common

Or They Sold Them

And Then Distributed the Proceeds

To Anyone Who Were in Need.

(Acts 2:44-45)

There Were Undoubtedly Jews

Who Thought The Christians' Lifestyle

Was Nothing Short than Just Being Crazy.


And We Have Witness

Within Our Reading for Today,

The Religious Authorities

Tried Everything to Prevent

The Spread of The Gospel

And To Warn Others

To Stay Away From

These Crazy Jesus' Followers.


So, How Do We Judge Between Legitimate Religious Groups and Illegitimate?


AND - When Should We Listen to Those

Religious "Higher-Ups"

Who Desire Us to Follow A ‘NEW WAY?’

There Are Probably

2 Good Benchmarks

To Use as ‘Judgment’ Within Your Discission.


1st, What Is this Leader of The Group –

Claiming For Him- Or Herself?


Are They Claiming Absolute Authority?

Or Are they Acting Within

Humility And Selflessness?


Are They Directing Our Commitment to -


Or Is It Directed To GOD?



Is To Have Absolute Authority

Over Another in The Christian Faith.


The Kingdom

and The Power

And The Glory

Belong To God Alone!

And Any Leader

Who Seeks to Rule,

And Honor for Him- Or Herself,

Is Flat-Out,

Not Serving the Lord.


2nd, Which God Does the

‘Message Of the Group’ Proclaim?


The Human Imagination Is Very Fertile,

And People Can Dream Up

All Sorts of Deities These Days.


But Is the God Being Proclaimed,

Is It the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ?

Is He the God Who Raised Jesus Christ from The Dead?


You May Snicker at this,

BUT - It Is So Easy to Get Misled.


Even Though the Early Christians

Who were in Jerusalem,

They Just Seem to Have It All,

With Them Experiencing

The Risen Christ Firsthand.


They Had Talked to Him.

They Had Eaten with Him,

And They Also Knew That Only the True God

Could Ever Raise Jesus Christ

From The Grave

And Make Him Lord at the Right Hand.


But Even These, 1st Hand Witnesses,

Even They Were Being Misled

In So Many Different Directions.


So, Take the Time And Check It Out.

Ask the Right and Full Questions.

Are You Following and Worshiping?

The God the Father Who Raised Jesus Christ from the Dead?

The God the Son, Jesus Christ, Your Lord and Savior?

And God the Holy Spirit Who Lives within You?


Is Your God - All Three Gods –

Independent of Each Other,

But Also As One?

Is That the God Whom Your Religion Proclaims and Follows

Or Do You Worship and Follow Another?

The Scriptures Give Us

2 Basic Identifications of God.

In the Old Testament,

God Is the One Who Delivered Israel

Out Of Egypt,

And Out Of the House of Bondage.


And In the New Testament,

The Same God Is the One

Who Raised Jesus Christ

From The Dead.


Only The God Who Has Done

Those Acts Is Truly Lord.


And He Commands Us,

"You Shall Have No Other Gods Besides Me"

(Exodus 20:3).


If We Hold on To That Command

And Those Identifying Acts,

And Worship and Serve That Lord,

We Shall Not Be Led Astray

By False Prophets.