Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4, John 14:12-14, John 8:12, John 11:25-26)

"Jesus promise to us"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

Life sure is strange.  This month I'm turning 55, it's the speed limit in the USA for driving.  So, I've reached the speed limit... Hmmm.  I was talking to my Aunt and she said she's 80, she's exceeded the speed limit!  Hahaha.  Age really doesn't matter.  What matters is that we live well, look out for the needs of others, trust Jesus and still have love and faith in our hearts.

Acts Chapter 4

After Pentacost and the amazing tongues of fire that appeared in Jerusalem Annas the senior ex-high priest, and his son-in-law, "Caiaphas" from 18-36 AD, became angry.  They thought killing Jesus would end all this Christian business.  But now after they received the Holy Spirit things were even worse.  Jesus wasn't the only one healing, they ALL were!  Can't you imagine the bulging eyes and blood veins on their necks when they realized Christians were multiplying?

1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
I believe after the crucifixion, the Sadducees thought the followers would go away.  But that wasn't God's plan at all.  Instead the followers increased and we are still increasing to this day!  Jesus promised:

12 “ Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
(John 14:12-14 NKJV)

5 And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?

Maybe they got so mad they studdered when they asked, "What power or Name did this?"  They had already celebrated the end of Jesus.  It was Peter who stood up and told them the truth.

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:  9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. ’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Words of Jesus(John 11:25-26 NKJV)

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 
If you notice in the verses 13-14, the Sadducees and Pharisees marveled because Peter and John were uneducated.  I'm not all that educated either.  I just read my Bible almost everyday.  I ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me through His Word.  You don't need a fancy degree, just faith and a willingness to listen to the still small voice.

15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
It's so sad to read 15-17.  The only reason they felt they needed to stop the disciples was because they wanted to control the Holy Spirit.  They just couldn't accept the truth before them.  People were healed!  Miracles were happening and they couldn't control it or take credit.  Everyone in Jerusalem knew about it.  They couldn't sweep it under a rug.

18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. 22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.
Yay!  The Pharisees and Sadducees gave up!  There were too many witnesses who saw what Peter and John really did.  They must've known they couldn't pretend or accuse anymore this man was over 40!  Good Lord, 40 isn't THAT old!  I'm sure Peter and John were so excited, full of joy and hope.  Oh just so you know I use highlighters in my Bible book, to mark passages that stand out to me.  For this blog I use different colored text and underlining.  Be sure to mess up your Bible.  The more you learn, the better it gets.  I wore out my first Bible : )  All the pages fell out.  I think God likes that.

So... Peter and John were set free.  They probably expected it to happen more often.  But it wasn't an easy road God called them to travel.  This would have been such a boost to their faith.
23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said:“Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:
‘Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?
26 The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the Lord and against His Christ. ’
27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Hallelujah!  I've heard of this happening in Churches but never experienced it honestly.  The only time I really shook was when I stood up to give my testimony the first time.  My knees knocked and I forgot my name.  I had to ask the Holy Spirit for words to say and He's been helping me ever since.  Don't forget God is with us wherever we go and as long as we are in His will, He will help us do the jobs He has for us.

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
The disciples grew very close along with the other believers.  They made sure to look after each other's needs.  So they shared their land and posessions.  It could be that they were expecting the return of Christ for His Saints at this time.  But God had more people in mind than they could imagine.  I'm one!  However, God never allowed the disciples to stay in one place.  He had assignments for all of them.  Barnabas was a great encourager and travelled with the disciples.  The disciples chose Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot.  But it's believed the Apostle Paul was the one God chose to take the place of Judas Iscariot, keeping the number at 12.  Jesus spoke to Paul directly on the Damascus Road.

36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
(Acts 4:1-37 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father, 
I lift up those in the middle east.  I pray You will protect those in harms way.  Defeat the enemy and bring peace to these lands. Let them see clearly what they have become. Bless those who are pesecuted Father and bring peace to Jerusalem.  I continue to pray for wisdom in electing the next president.  Please be close to those in Ukraine and Europe, protect and bless them.    I thank You for Your light that shines brightest in darkness.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen   

Matt Maher, Christ is Risen from the dead (link)


  1. I have worn out a few Bibles in my day too!
    I've had that knee shaking experience a few times as well...The Holy Spirit is the only reason I could remain standing...like you, I'm pretty shy around a lot of people.
    ~Amen to your prayer~ I am praying for all the persecuted people around the world...and for Israel especially~In Jesus~Amen!

  2. Hi Lisa : ) Yeah the Bible is soul food it keeps me going with hope and common sense. Can't believe how far these countries have had to struggle. God bless!