The Work Goes On
Acts 5:12 “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.”
To be of “one accord” is to be in complete subjection to Christ Jesus. The accord is with Him. We “agree” with what He wants for us.
This is what they all were here.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost was given to the believers gathered in Jerusalem, as Jesus had told them to do. Many were saved under Peter’s message of:
Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
But as soon as there was a church, there was also opposition. (Our Adversary, the devil, seeks to wreak anything of God.)
Acts 5:17-18 “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.
And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.”
Peter and John had been threatened before, and told by the religious rulers, not to preach in Jesus name.
(It is a Name at which every knee shall bow one day. Philippians 2:9-11)
But they continued to speak and preach in the Name of Jesus; for they told them “we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
So now they were put in prison.
Yet, The Lord sends His angel and delivers them.
Acts 5:19-20 “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”
A command was given them to go right back in the temple,…….right where these religious rulers would be able to find them,…..and preach “all the words of this life”.
What Jesus had taught, and how He had been crucified, and raised up the third day; to save all who would receive Him.
Acts 5:21-22, 25 “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 sent to the prison to have them brought.
But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison,…
Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.”
This was what the Lord wanted, both to encourage His disciples, and to awaken the religious rulers (if they would be awakened) to His Presence with His own, and the power of His Word.
When they were brought again from the temple to the council, the high priest asked them:
“Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?”
Now, under the Old Testament Law, they should have obeyed the high priest; But…
Acts 5:29 “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Then Peter begins to preach to them:
(How many times have they heard? Yet Jesus Christ is presented again…how long-suffering He is, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9)
Acts 5:30-32 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
(But you have to acknowledge you are a sinner)
And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.”
Hearing this, the council “was cut to the heart”—simply they knew absolutely within themselves, that Jesus was God’s Son, and they were being offered forgiveness and a way to come to Him….again.
But they refused this mercy: “When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.” (Acts 5:33)
Yet one man, Gamaliel, stood up. He knew the Law, and trusted in the God of that Law.
He spoke of how God brings to nothing those who say they are something, when they are not.
He gave some examples, and concluded:
“Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:35-39)
Very good advice….
Now I believe that each man knew they were fighting against God: had been and were.
So they agreed with Gamaliel, hoping to ease their guilty conscience.
What did they do? They could not kill them, or imprison them (if God wanted them out).
But they beat them, and threatened them again, not to speak in Jesus’s Name.
Acts 5:41-42 “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name.
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”
These religious rulers could not stop the spread of the gospel….for the disciples had more than a knowledge of the truth of these things….they had fervent love for Jesus Christ.
Joy and rejoicing should be our heart’s reward for obedience. Courage and strength also come to those who obey Him.
Today the work goes on, as well.
Are we entering into our part?