New Testament & Psalms 2019

Acts 4 – Persecution begins….

This chapter ends with powerful examples of how the early church both supported the preaching of the word and the taking care of the body of Christ…which was growing exponentially.

Acts 1:15  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

Acts 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 4:4  Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

At the same time persecution begins.

1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.

And Peter continues to preach boldly:

Acts 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Act 3:13  The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14  But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15  And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

Act 2:36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 7  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Ordered to be silent Peter makes this confession:

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 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 that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And 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 unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 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 nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

In the face of the growth of the church and the coming persecution that the church be so supportive. BTW….many good articles on why the Bible doesn’t advocate communism, and even in this chapter and the next one it is wrong to try to advocate that political system…but it does support generous and open giving to support the ministry of the word and the church body as God leads.

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