ACTS CHAPTER FIVE

OBSERVATION STAGE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic .which largely limits the observer to the content offered by the books of Luke and Acts. Other passages must have a relationship with the context at hand, such as a Scriptural quotation or reference in the passage at hand. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

****** EXCERPT FROM ACTS CHAPTER 4 ******

OR SKIP TO THE BEGINNING OF CHAPTER 5

(ACTS 4:29-37) THE BELIEVERS' PRAYER CONTINUED WITH A REQUEST FOR A BOLD RESPONSE IN THE FACE OF THREATS FROM THE JEWISH RULERS FOR GOD'S SERVANTS - THE APOSTLES; AND FOR HEALING, SIGNS AND WONDERS THROUGH THE NAME OF THE LORD'S HOLY SERVANT JESUS. WHEREUPON THE PLACE WHERE THEY WERE ASSEMBLED WAS SHAKEN AND THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, SPEAKING OUT THE WORD OF GOD WITH BOLDNESS. ALL OF THE THOUSANDS OF BELIEVERS WERE OF ONE HEART AND SOUL, WITH POSSESSIONS AND ALL THINGS IN COMMON. WITH GREAT POWER, THE APOSTLES GAVE WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD. GREAT GRACE WAS UPON THEM ALL. NO ONE LACKED, FOR THOSE WITH POSSESSIONS WERE SELLING THEM AND BRINGING THE PROCEEDS TO THE APOSTLES TO DISTRIBUTE AS THERE WAS NEED. JOSES, NAMED BARNABAS, SOLD HIS LAND AND LAID IT AT THE APOSTLES' FEET

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM ACTS CHAPTER 4 ******

I) [Acts 5:1-42]:

A) (Acts 5:1-11) AFTER WRITING OF BARNABAS' GENEROSITY AT THE END OF CHAPTER 4, AUTHOR LUKE WROTE OF TWO OTHER BELIEVERS: A MAN NAMED ANANIAS AND HIS WIFE SAPPHIRA WHO SOLD A POSSESSION BUT, UNLIKE BARNABAS, KEPT PART OF THE PROCEEDS AND LAID ONLY A PORTION OF IT AT THE APOSTLES' FEET AS IF THEY HAD DONATED IT ALL. THE CONSEQUENCES WERE DIRE, RESULTING IN BOTH THEIR EARLY PHYSICAL DEATHS. FOR THEY HAD LIED TO GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT AT A CRITICAL TIME IN GOD'S NEW ASSEMBLY OF BELIEVERS. THE REACTION OF ALL WHO WERE AROUND THE APOSTLES WAS A REVERANT FEAR OF GOD'S TEMPORAL JUDGMENT

B) (Acts 5:12-16) THE APOSTLES CONTINUED TO PERFORM MANY SIGNS AND WONDERS AMONG THE PEOPLE. THE ASSEMBLY OF BELIEVERS WERE ALL OF ONE ACCORD, CONTINUING TO MEET IN THE TEMPLE IN SOLOMON'S PORCH. IN VIEW OF GOD'S JUDGMENT UPON ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA, THOSE NOT PART OF THE ASSEMBLY DARED NOT TO JOIN IN FELLOWSHIP WITH THE APOSTLES FOR FEAR OF GOD'S TEMPORAL JUDGMENT. NEVERTHELESS, THE PEOPLE MAGNIFIED THE APOSTLES, MULTITUDES OF BELIEVERS WERE BEING ADDED TO THE LORD, MEN AND WOMEN. PEOPLE BROUGHT THE SICK AND DEMON POSSESSED OUT INTO THE STREETS TO BE HEALED FROM JERUSALEM AND SURROUNDING CITIES - AND THEY ALL WERE BEING HEALED

C) (Acts 5:17-21a) THE HIGH PRIEST AND THE REST OF THE SADDUCEES ROSE UP, FILLED WITH INDIGNATION, LAID HANDS UPON THE APOSTLES AND PUT THEM IN THE COMMON PRISON. DURING THAT NIGHT, AN ANGEL OF THE LORD OPENED THE PRISON DOORS, BROUGHT THEM OUT AND COMMANDED THEM TO GO BACK TO THE TEMPLE AND SPEAK TO THE PEOPLE ALL THE WORDS OF LIFE, IN THE SENSE OF PREACHING THAT A MOMENT OF REPENTANCE UNTO FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST WILL PROVIDE ETERNAL LIFE. AND THE APOSTLES DID THAT THE NEXT MORNING. THEIR CONTINUING FREEDOM TO PREACH IN THE NAME OF JESUS AND THEIR PERFORMANCE OF SIGNS AND WONDERS FURTHER INDICATED TO THE PEOPLE THAT GOD WAS WITH THE APOSTLES

D) (Acts 5:21b-27) THE MORNING AFTER THE APOSTLES WERE RELEASED FROM PRISON BY THE ANGEL OF THE LORD, THE HIGH PRIEST AND THOSE WITH HIM CALLED THE COUNCIL TO MEET WITH ALL THE ELDERS. AND THEY SENT OFFICERS TO THE PRISON TO HAVE THE APOSTLES BROUGHT BACK TO THE COUNCIL. THE OFFICERS FOUND THE PRISON SECURE BUT EMPTY. THE RULERS WERE PREPLEXED AND WORRIED AS TO WHAT MIGHT COME OF THIS MYSTERY WHICH HAD SUPERNATURAL IMPLICATIONS. THEN SOMEONE CAME TO THEM AND TOLD THEM THAT THE APOSTLES WERE STANDING IN THE TEMPLE TEACHING THE PEOPLE. WHEREUPON THE MAGISTRATE TOOK SOME OFFICERS WITH HIM, AND BROUGHT THE APOSTLES TO THE COUNCIL WITHOUT VIOLENCE FOR FEAR OF BEING STONED BY THE PEOPLE

E) (Acts 5:27-28) THE CHIEF PRIEST QUESTIONED THE APOSTLES: "DID NOT WE STRICTLY COMMAND YOU NOT TO TEACH IN THIS NAME, AND LOOK, YOU HAVE FILLED JERUSALEM WITH YOUR TEACHING, [IMPLYING HOW WIDESPREAD THE APOSTLES' TEACHING HAD BECOME]; AND YOU INTEND TO BRING UPON US THE BLOOD OF THIS MAN," (TWICE AVOIDING SPEAKING THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST). FOR THE RULERS, IT WAS ALL ABOUT PRESERVING THEIR POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY PERMITTED THEM BY THE ROMANS - A FOCUS ON THE TEMPORAL LIFE AT THE COST OF ETERNAL LIFE

F) (Acts 5:29-32) PETER'S RESPONSE WAS AS IN THE FIRST TRIAL: "TO OBEY GOD WE MUST, RATHER THAN MEN." WHEREUPON HE ACCUSED THE RULERS ONCE MORE OF MURDERING JESUS CHRIST. BUT THEN HE SAID THAT GOD HAD EXALTED JESUS TO HIS RIGHT HAND TO BE PRINCE (RULER) AND SAVIOR, TO GIVE REPENTANCE TO ISRAEL UNTO FAITH IN JESUS FOR FORGIVENESS OF SINS. PETER FURTHER DECLARED, "WE [THE APOSTLES] ARE HIS [GOD'S] WITNESSES TO THESE THINGS," I.E., CHRIST'S CRUCIFIXION, RESURRECTION, AND ASCENSION TO HEAVEN - ALL TESTIFYING TO THE WORLD THAT A MOMENT OF REPENTANCE UNTO FAITH IN CHRIST WILL RESULT IN FORGIVENESS OF SINS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE."AND PETER WENT ON TO SAY, "AND SO ALSO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT" [A WITNESS VIA HIS PERFORMING OF MIRACULOUS SIGNS AND WONDERS THROUGH THE APOSTLES TO CORROBORATE THE APOSTLES' TESTIMONY] "WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIM," IN THE SENSE THAT THOSE WHO OBEY THE COMMAND TO REPENT UNTO BELIEVING IN JESUS FOR FORGIVENESS OF SINS WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

G) (Acts 5:33-39) HAVING HEARD PETER'S RESPONSE, THE RULERS WERE FURIOUS AND PLOTTED TO KILL THE APOSTLES. THEN ONE IN THE COUNCIL STOOD UP, A PHARISEE NAME GAMALIEL, A TEACHER OF THE LAW HELD IN RESPECT BY ALL THE PEOPLE AND AN AUTHORITY AMONGST THE MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL: FOR HE COMMANDED THAT THE APOSTLES BE PUT OUTSIDE FOR A LITTLE WHILE. THEN HE SAID TO THE COUNCIL, "MEN OF ISRAEL TAKE HEED TO YOURSELVES WHAT YOU INTEND TO DO REGARDING THESE MEN." WHEREPON HE GAVE TWO EXAMPLES OF MEN WHO HAD STARTED MOVEMENTS IN THE PAST: (1) A MAN NAMED THEUDAS WHO CLAIMED TO BE SOMEBODY AND ABOUT 400 JOINED HIM. HE WAS SLAIN AND HIS FOLLOWERS SCATTERED AND (2) A MAN NAMED JUDAS OF GALILEE WHO DREW AWAY MANY PEOPLE, BUT ALSO PERISHED, AND HIS FOLLOWING DISPERSED. SO GAMALIEL'S ADVICE WAS TO STAY AWAY FROM THE APOSTLES, CONCLUDING THAT IF THE MOVEMENT WAS OF MEN, IT WOULD COME TO NOTHING; BUT IF IT WAS OF GOD, THE RULERS COULD NOT OVERTHROW IT

H) (Acts 5:40-42) THE RULERS AGREED WITH GAMALIEL'S ADVICE TO NOT KILL THE APOSTLES, BUT TO SET THEM FREE. SO THEY CALLED FOR THE APOSTLES' RETURN TO THEM FROM OUTSIDE, HAD THEM BEATEN, COMMANDED THEM ONCE MORE NOT TO SPEAK IN THE NAME OF JESUS, AND THEN LET THEM GO. AS THE APOSTLES WERE DEPARTING FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE SANHEDRIN, THEY WERE REJOICING THAT THEY WERE COUNTED WORTHY TO SUFFER SHAME FOR JESUS' NAME. AND DAILY IN THE TEMPLE, AND IN EVERY HOUSE, THEY DID NOT CEASE TEACHING AND PREACHING THE GOSPEL - JESUS AS THE CHRIST, IN THE SENSE THAT HE WAS THE MESSIAH / SAVIOR WHO HAD COME TO BE AN ATONING SACRIFICE FOR THE SINS OF ALL MANKIND, THAT THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH IN HIM WOULD COME SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

Acts chapter 6