Acts 5:1-42 The Angel of the Lord by Night Opened the Prison Doors

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Acts 5:1-42 The Angel of the Lord by Night Opened the Prison Doors

[Study Aired January 8, 2023]

Act 5:1  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
Act 5:2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Act 5:3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Act 5:4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Act 5:5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
Act 5:6  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
Act 5:7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
Act 5:8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
Act 5:9  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
Act 5:10  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
Act 5:11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Act 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.
Act 5:13  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
Act 5:14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
Act 5:15  Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
Act 5:16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
Act 5:17  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,
Act 5:18  And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
Act 5:19  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
Act 5:20  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
Act 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.
Act 5:22  But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,
Act 5:23  Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
Act 5:24  Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
Act 5:25  Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
Act 5:26  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
Act 5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
Act 5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
Act 5:29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Act 5:30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Act 5:31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Act 5:32  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Act 5:33  When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
Act 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;
Act 5:35  And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
Act 5:36  For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
Act 5:37  After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
Act 5:38  And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
Act 5:39  But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
Act 5:40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
Act 5:41  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Act 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

We are not told how long it was between the time the apostles were commanded that they were not to preach or speak in the name of Jesus, and this, their second imprisonment, but we are given the story of the death of Ananias and his wife Sapphira for lying to the holy spirit and the affect the Lord’s judgment of that lying couple had upon the rest of the church:

Act 5:1  But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
Act 5:2  And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Act 5:3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Act 5:4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto menbut unto God.

Any time we lie we are “not lying to men but unto God”. Notice that Peter did not condemn Ananias for owning property. Neither did he deny that the proceeds from the sale of the property belonged to Ananias to do with as he saw fit. The only thing Ananias did that was wrong was that he was seeking to please and gain the recognition of men and not God, and he was willing to lie to the Lord to gain that recognition and approbation from the apostles and the people. Ananias and Sapphira had no fear of God at all. They only wanted to appear to want to please Him, just as any of us who do things only to be seen of men. If we really feared God, we would act accordingly and let the chips fall where the Lord has ordained.

Act 5:5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
Act 5:6  And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
Act 5:7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
Act 5:8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
Act 5:9  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
Act 5:10  Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

That is how the Lord doles out judgment and justice and punishment when it is needed. He simply eliminates the opposition by withdrawing the spirit giving the opposition life. It was needed at this time to establish His resurrection and His apostles as His spokesmen and to begin to build His church. We have no record of this scenario being repeated later in this book of Acts. This event with Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, dying for lying to the holy spirit, like all the signs and wonders we are reading about at that time, were essential for the founding of the church. Those outward miracles and healings are no longer taking place as they did at the beginning of the church era because as Christ told Thomas:

Joh 20:29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believedblessed are they that have not seen [outward physical miracles nor heard the audible voice of Christ], and yet have believed.

That blessing is not to be despised. It is to be respected for the recompense of its reward:

Heb 11:26  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the [physically invisible] reward.

There is a blessing for us if we are given the faith to believe in Christ as our Savior even though we did not personally witness His resurrection or any of His miracles.

Act 5:11  And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

Ananias and Sapphira were two hypocrites whose sudden deaths placed a healthy fear of the apostles and their doctrines “upon all the church”.

Act 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.

“They were all with one accord” refers to the apostles by whose hands many signs and wonders were wrought. It is not referring to the entire eight thousand one hundred and twenty people we are told had been added to the church so far. It was the twelve apostles who were all there in Solomon’s porch teaching the people about the resurrected Messiah, Christ. These “many signs and wonders [were] wrought among the [common] people “by the hands of the apostles.” The Jewish leaders had made it very clear that they did not appreciate being labeled as the murderers of the Messiah, and they despised the message of a risen Christ though they had no other explanation for what Christ was doing through His apostles. The death of Ananias and Sapphira caused “great fear to come upon all the church, and as many as heard these things.” This event not only deterred hypocrisy, but it elevated the apostles in the eyes of “all the church.” Add to the judgment of Ananias and Sapphira the fact that “by the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were wrought among the people,” and the foundation is set for the church to begin to grow. It was not yet time for universal persecution nor for the trying of the faith of these eight thousand new converts. The persecution by Saul of Tarsus is just around the corner, but for the moment the church is being shown “many signs and wonders,” and all their sick are being healed, and they are learning to “be persuaded by their leader and to defer to them”:

Heb 13:17 Be persuaded by your leaders, and be deferring to them, for they are vigilant for the sake of your souls, as having to render an account, that they may be doing this with joy, and not with groaning, for this is disadvantageous for you. (CLV)

The trial of their faith must come, but this is not yet the time for the Lord to try the faith of these spiritual “babes in Christ” (1Co 3:1-4).

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Solomon’s porch is the same place Jesus had walked and had taught the people. It was in Solomon’s porch where He was once confronted by the Jews. John includes Solomon’s porch as part of the temple complex:

Joh 10:22  And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
Joh 10:23  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
Joh 10:24  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

The phrase, “…in the temple in Solomon’s porch” does not mean that Christ was walking in the temple proper. Christ was of the tribe of Judah, and was not a son of Aaron, who was a Levite. Only the descendants of Aaron were allowed in the temple proper. Christ was rather walking in Solomon’s porch, which Josephus tells us was outside the temple.

Here is what Josephus says about this porch:

The temple of Solomon had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, but this porch was in the same location as the one Solomon had built, and it bore his name. What is important here is that the apostles, in speaking to the people in Solomon’s porch, were disregarding the orders of the Sanhedrin which had “commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” (Act 4:18).

Act 5:13  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.

Verse 12 is speaking of the 12 apostles being “magnified” by the people who heard their preaching and saw all the healings and miracles they were performing in the name of Jesus. The phrase “and of the rest” in verse 13 is speaking of others like Ananias and Sapphira who were more interested in the praise and recognition of men than the praise and recognition of God. Such a person would not “join himself to [the apostles]” for fear of death. The point Luke is making is that the people “magnified [the apostles]” because of the work Christ was doing through them, and that the fate of Ananias had this affect upon “all the people.” No more hypocrites were willing to risk their lives by lying to the holy spirit or to the apostles of Christ.

Act 5:14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
Act 5:15  Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
Act 5:16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

The fact that “multitudes both of men and women… were… added” and ‘a multitude came out of the cities round about Jerusalem bringing sick folks… and they were healed every one’ indicates clearly that some time had passed since the apostles Peter and John had been arrested for healing the man who had been born lame. The Lord was truly building [His] church, and in the process He was rubbing the noses of the priests and captain of the temple in the fact that He was alive and well and had been raised up from the dead, and they were about to have their noses rubbed in their own rebellious ways again in a most humiliating and public way as a witness against them:

Act 5:17  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,

According to the apostle John, the high priest “that year” was Caiaphas, the same high priest who had presided over Christ’s trial, condemnation, and crucifixion just a couple of months earlier:

Joh 11:49  And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
Joh 11:50  Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
Joh 11:51  And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

Caiaphas typifies our own self-righteous old man who simply is not yet given the humility to acknowledge the Truth which is right there before his own eyes and proceeding from his own mouth:

Luk 19:22  And he saith unto himOut of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

“The pride of life” is the most insidious beast we must face and overcome, and only Christ within us is up to the task. Caiaphas grows weary of watching the growth of the early church upon the message that he and his company had slain their own Messiah. After all Peter and John had been ordered to refrain from speaking in the name of Jesus:

Act 5:18  And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
Act 5:19  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
Act 5:20  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

The Lord comes to us all “by night” while we are in our most helpless, vulnerable situation:

Eph 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Eph 2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

It is our “walk” that reveals who we are. That is why the Lord washed His disciples’ feet only. If our walk demonstrates that we tremble at the Lord’s words, then our “conversation”, our way of life, our conduct will also glorify Him.

This is the second visit to the prison for Peter and John. Their first imprisonment was for healing a forty-year-old man who was lame from his birth, and for telling the people that the risen Christ had healed this man. This time we are told the authorities who were “the higher power… laid hands on the apostles.” This time all twelve apostles were teaching the people in Solomon’s porch, and they were all apprehended and placed in prison. “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors and brought them forth and told them Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”

Act 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.

‘The priests, the great council’ – meaning the Sanhedrin – ‘and the senate’ – meaning the elders – of the children of Israel were as excited at the prospect of placing the apostles on trial as they were when they had tried and crucified Christ just a few weeks earlier. They had to condemn those who were exposing them as the murderers of the Messiah. All Jerusalem had witnessed the events surrounding Christ’s crucifixion just a couple of months earlier. Darkness had come over the earth for the entire three hours that Christ was on the cross. The veil of the temple had been “rent in the midst”, and an earthquake accompanied the tearing of the veil. Then soon after His resurrection, many of the saints came out of their graves and went into Jerusalem and “appeared unto many.” All of this had happened just a couple of months before the day of Pentecost:

Mat 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mat 27:47  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
Mat 27:48  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
Mat 27:49  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
Mat 27:50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
Mat 27:51  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
Mat 27:52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
Mat 27:53  And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Mat 27:54  Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

Christ, first and foremost, is demonstrating beyond any doubt that He has been resurrected from the dead. In doing so, He is revealing them to be the unrepentant murderers they are. After all the undeniable miraculous events surrounding the death and resurrection of Christ, we then have the miraculous events on the day of Pentecost. One hundred and twenty Galileans are all speaking the wonderful works of God in languages they had never spoken before that day. Then just a few days later Peter and John heal a man who is “above forty years of age” and who had been begging for decades at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. Everyone in Jerusalem who went up to the temple knew this man. The apostles Peter and John had credited his healing to the resurrected Christ. With this message they convinced five thousand people that day that Jesus was their Messiah. It had been the members of the Sanhedrin who had led the people to demand that Christ be crucified. These people were tired of being called murderers so they arrested Peter and John and the man who had been healed and kept them overnight, only to realize how hypocritical it was of them to do any harm to two men who had performed a miracle which they could not hide. So, they simply threatened them and ordered them not to speak a word in the name of Jesus.

This was Peter’s and John’s response:

Act 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.
Act 4:20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Act 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.
Act 4:22  For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.

The Sanhedrin with the priests and the captain of the temple are all doing the same thing again. Multitudes are being healed, and here they are again arresting the apostles for healing people. However, this time they have arrested all the apostles, and have convened all the Sanhedrin and ‘the senate of the people,’ and they are now ready for the trial to begin:

Act 5:22  But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,
Act 5:23  Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.
Act 5:24  Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow.
Act 5:25  Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.
Act 5:26  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
Act 5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
Act 5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
Act 5:29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Act 5:30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Act 5:31  Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Act 5:32  And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

This is the same Caiaphas and the same Sanhedrin which had Christ crucified just a few months earlier. They knew that every word “Peter and the other apostles” spoke was true, and they knew that it was they who should be on trial and not the disciples of the man they had crucified. What were they to do in such a miserable guilt-ridden position???

Act 5:33  When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

The beast within us is a two-phased beast. In the first phase of that beast, we are in our natural, carnal mind. The second phase of the beast we are a self-righteous, religious beast which causes us to worship the first beast and give him and his ‘free will’ the power and the glory for our supposed salvation through our own faith. This is the beast that comes up out of the earth having two horns like a lamb but speaking as a dragon, espousing all the false doctrine of the great red dragon.

Rev 13:11  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Rev 13:12  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

This second self-righteous beast is a hypocrite who is loath to have his hypocrisy made known to all men as Christ did to them repeatedly:

Mat 6:2  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Mat 6:5  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Mat 6:16  Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

This beast thinks very little of murdering anyone who is so foolish as to make his hypocrisy known to the public with words like “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree” (Act 5:30). This is the beast in this Sanhedrin which is taking counsel to slay all the apostles of Christ.

Act 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;

The Lord prepared Gamaliel for this very moment. This is the same ‘Gamaliel’ at whose feet Saul of Tarsus was brought up.  We will meet Saul of Tarsus, who later becomes Paul the apostle, in chapters 7 and 9 presiding over the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr, in chapter 7, and his conversion on the road to Damascus in chapter 9. Gamaliel gave this Sanhedrin some very wise counsel which must have been missed by Saul of Tarsus while at the feet of Gamaliel.

Act 5:35  And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
Act 5:36  For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
Act 5:37  After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
Act 5:38  And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
Act 5:39  But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

All who come up against Christ will soon enough be “brought to nought” and will in time bow down to the Lord and His Christ, just as Joseph’s brothers bowed down to him. It may be years before it comes to pass, but it will happen at the appointed time:

Gen 43:26  And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.

Christ, the man who brought them by night out of the prison, wants us to know and believe these words:

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Greek: petros, a small stone], and upon this rock [Greek: petra, a massive immovable stone] I will build my church; and the gates of hell [Greek: hades, the grave] shall not prevail against it.

Act 5:40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

The law of Moses limited a beating to “forty stripes”:

Deu 25:2  And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
Deu 25:3  Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.

The apostle Paul tells us he was beaten five times:

2Co 11:24  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

There is no reason to believe the Sanhedrin would give the twelve apostles any less of a beating than the apostle Paul. The holy spirit through the words of Gamaliel saved their lives and the words of Christ were fulfilled:

Mat 10:17  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

The established church in the time of Christ typifies the established church in every generation since Christ. The church had apostatized before the death of the apostles, and the established church in every generation since Christ has indeed delivered up those who have been faithful to the doctrine of Christ to their counsels and have scourged and murdered those who resisted their false doctrines of a triune God who will torment His creatures in eternal flames of literal fire for all eternity.

2Ti 1:15  This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

The apostasy of the church was so well established that the apostates were casting the followers of the apostles out of the very churches the apostles had established:

3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
3Jn 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

Catholics did not “love their enemies” – the Protestants. They persecuted and murdered them by the tens of thousands. Protestants did the same to those who opposed them. It all brings these words of Christ to mind:

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Luk 6:47  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
Luk 6:48  He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock [G4073: ‘petra’, Christ, not ‘petros’, Peter]: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
Luk 6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

All the established churches which do not do the things Christ says to do, and instead teach their parishioners to hate their enemies and go forth and fight for God and country, have one and all built their houses on sinking, shifting sand. Their spiritual house will fall ‘immediately when the storms and streams of life beat vehemently against their house, and the ruin of that house will be great’, as we have all witnessed when our own Babylonian house was destroyed by the brightness of the coming of Christ into His temple, “which temple [we] are”:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Just as the apostles were all beaten and scourged by the church of their day, we, too, are spiritually beaten and scourged by the established churches of today for our convictions and for our faith in the words of our Lord.

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

The “disciples indeed”, those who “continue in His Words” in the face of the persecutions of the established churches, will not cease to speak in His name at every opportunity to be His witnesses of these things.

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on himIf ye continue in my wordthen are ye my disciples indeed;

Act 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

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