Keith Hunt - Bible Story, NT - Chapter Forty-nine: Peter's Second Sermon   Restitution of All Things
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New Testament Bible
Story

Chapter Forty-nine:

Peter's Second Sermon


                      THE BOOK OF ACTS 
                             AND
                      RELATED EPISTLES

                   Chapter Three and Four


     It was the ninth hour, or about 3 p.m. as we reckon it, and
Peter and John went up into the Temple at Jerusalem. I was the
hour of prayer. This time of the day to pray in the Temple was a
Jewish tradition and has no support for being done from any Old
Testament Scriptures. 
     A man was at the gate of the Temple, called "Beautiful" - he
had been born lame and had to be carried there. He was there to
beg for money or food from those entering into the Temple. He saw
Peter and James about to go into the Temple and asked for money.
Peter turned and looked compassionately at the lame man, John
also, but it was Peter who spoke:

     "Look upon us lame man," and the man indeed did do so for he
     expected they would give him some money.  "Silver and gold
     we do not have, but that which we do have I will give to
     you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I want you to
     stand up and to walk."

     Peter reached out and took the man's right hand in his, and
lifted him to his feet, and at once the man's ankles and feet
received full strength. The man could feel the strength surging
into his ankles and feet, and with no hesitation he leaped up and
stood, and immediately walked also. He walked with Peter and John
into the Temple, not only walking but leaping around like a young
lamb. He was loudly praising God.

     What a great miracle this was. The man had never walked, he
was born lame. Yet in seconds he was walking and leaping. Think
how a small child must "learn" to walk, but this man had that
miracle given him also....walking and leaping in seconds. The
people who saw him and knew him for many years, were witnessing
to him now leaping around and to his praise to God. They knew
this man very well for they had seen him at the Temple gate each
day for many years. The people were filled with utter amazement
and wonder at what they were now witnessing as to the condition
of this man's feet and legs on that afternoon, in the Temple of
God (Acts 3:1-10)

PETER'S SECOND SERMON

     The man who had been healed of lameness was not letting
Peter and John out of his sight , he was at times holding on to
them, everyone so knew that it was they who had done this
miracle. As you can imagine hundreds soon gathered around the
three of them. They were in the area of the porch that is called
"Solomon's Porch" and the crowd was questioning and in transfixed
wonderment.
     It was a great opportunity for Peter to bring another sermon
on the recent truths of God at this time in history, he opened
his mouth and said:

     "You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this miracle, and
     why do you gave on us as if mesmerized? You may think that
     what you are seeing was done just by us. No, it was not our
     holiness or our power that made this man walk!
     The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of
     our fathers, who has glorified His Son Jesus; who you
     delivered up and denied Him in the presence of Pilate when
     he was about to let Him go free. Yes, but you denied the
     Holy One and the Just, and you desired a murderer to be
     granted life. And you wanted killed the Prince of Life, He
     whom God has raised from the dead to immortal like, as we
     His disciples are witness to.
     And it is through faith in His name that made this man
     strong and able to walk, and you have known this man for
     many years: yes, the faith which if from Him had given this
     man perfect soundness right in the presence of you all.
     I know it was through ignorance that you killed the Son of
     God, so also your rulers, they were ignorant also. But God
     had planned long ago, as testified by the mouth of the
     prophets, that Christ should suffer. Well it has all been
     fulfilled.
     You need to REPENT now, and you need to be changed in your
     heart and mind-set, so your sins can be blotted out, so that
     times of spiritual refreshing can come to you from the
     presence of the Lord. And He will send Jesus Christ to you
     through His spirit, which was before preached to you that
     this was God's purpose and plan.
     The heaven must for now keep this Jesus but only until the
     promised restitution of all things to come on earth, as the
     holy prophets spoke and wrote about from the very beginning
     of this creation on earth.
     Even Moses said unto the fathers, 'A prophet shall the Lord
     your God raise up unto you from your very own people, like
     as I am one of God's prophets. Him you will listen to in all
     the things that He shall say to you. And it shall come to
     pass eventually that every person who will not harken and
     obey that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people
     who do hear and obey. Yes, all the prophets from Samuel and
     all who came after him as prophets, as many as have spoken
     about these matters, did indeed foretell all that has taken
     place in these last number of days.
     You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant
     which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'In your
     ancestry shall all the peoples of the earth be blessed.'
     It is to you first that God, after raising up this Jesus,
     His Son, sent word to bless you, that in turning each of you
     away from your iniquities" (Acts 3:12-26)

PRIESTS AND SADDUCEES UPSET

     With such a large crowd around Peter and John and the man
healed of lameness, it was not long before the Temple Priests,
Temple guards and the Sadducees (who were in charge of the
working of the Temple) came a flying to see what was going on.
After hearing the words of Peter and realizing the resurrection
of the dead was being taught through this man called Jesus (the
Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection), they were
mightily grieved, and so upset were they that they told the
Temple guards to put them in the "hold" (type of jail) until the
morning because it was now evening time.
     Yet even with this show of disdain from the Sadducees, about
FIVE THOUSAND that heard the message of Peter DID believe all
that he taught (Acts 4:1-4)

PETER AND JOHN BEFORE JEWISH RULERS

     The next day many of the rulers, and elders, and scribes of
the Jewish people, came together with Annas the high priest and
those who were his close relatives. They all gathered in
Jerusalem. Peter and John and the man healed of lameness were
brought before them all and this question was asked them: "By
what power or by what name, have you done all that you did in the
Temple yesterday?"

     Peter...was silent for a few seconds, then looking
steadfastly at them all, and being filled with the powerful
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said:

     "You rulers of the people, and you elders (older men who
     were looked upon as having much wisdom) of Israel. If we are
     being examined for the good deed and work we have done
     towards this man who was lame and who is now walking and
     dancing, then let it be known to you, and to all the people
     of Israel, that by the NAME of JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth,
     whom you decided to crucify, whom God in His power RAISED up
     from the dead, even by HIM does this man stand here
     before you all being healed. 
     This Jesus is the stone which was set at nought, as
     worthless by you builders, and which had become the HEAD of
     the corner, the most important stone of the
     building.
     Neither is there SALVATION IN ANY OTHER, for there is NO
     other name under heaven given among mankind through which we
     must be saved" (Acts 4:5-12).

RULERS TRY TO STOP THE APOSTLES PREACHING

     At these words the rulers were shocked and yet also
marvelled, for they knew the men before them were not from among
the noble, high-class, well educated, people of the nation, but
in their eyes looked upon as "country-bumpkins" or "prairie
cowboys" or "back-woods-men" as we might put it in our modern
phrases. But they did realize and took note that these men had
been with Jesus. 
     The lame man was standing right in their sight, no longer
lame, but strong in his legs and feet, and they could not deny
it, so they were wise enough to keep their mouths shut, they said
nothing against what was obviously a miracle standing before
them.
     They told the three men to go to one side out of the council
chambers, and they scrummed down as the football players do
before their next move on the opposition. One said, "What on
earth are we going to do with these men? For a great and noble
miracle has been done in the sight of all in Jerusalem, and we
cannot deny it, it's impossible to deny it." Another then
answered, "Yes, that is correct, what you have said. But we must
try and contain the matter that it spread no further than this
city. So let us tell these three men that they are forbidden to
speak about this miracle through this Jesus Christ man
to any other person."
     
     The Jewish rulers thought they had a pretty good plan with
this idea, so they called Peter, John, and the man healed from
lameness, and commanded them to not speak or teach in the name of
Jesus.

     Peter and John looked at each other for a split second and
then without hesitation replied, "Is it right in the sight of God
to harken to your commands or to God's commands? Now you judge
that! Because we CANNOT but speak the things which we have SEEN
and HEARD while with Jesus.

     Now the rulers grew angry, shouting, and spitting, red in
the face, and screamed out other threats to them. But because
they could find no real fault with them, so not able to punish
them in any physical way, and because the people in Jerusalem
were glorifying God for this miracle, they could simply once more
just restore to emotional threats, and had to let them go. 
     The man on whom this mighty miracle was performed was about
40 years old. He had been a long long time sitting lame at the
Temple gate, more than one generation of people knew him and had
witnessed the great power of God's Holy Spirit through the
name and authority of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:13-22)

THE CHURCH IN PRAYER

     Peter and John went to their own company of disciples and
told them all that the Jewish rulers had said and done. On
hearing this news the disciples lifted up their voices as one and
said:

     "Lord, you are God, which made the heavens and the earth,
     and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of
     your servant David has said, 'Why did the heathen rage, and
     the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood
     up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord,
     and against His Christ' (Ps.2:1). For it is true that
     against your holy child Jesus, whom you have anointed,
     both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the
     people of Israel, were gathered together; for to do what
     your mind and plan had determined to be done,
     from a very long time before. 
     And now Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto your
     servants that with BOLDNESS they may SPEAK your words. And
     by and through your outstretched hand and power to heal,
     that signs and wonders may be dome by the name of your holy
     child Jesus."

     And when they had finished praying this prayer, the place
where they were assembled together was SHAKEN, and they were all
filled with more of the Holy Spirit, and they indeed did speak
the WORD of God with BOLDNESS! (Acts 4:23-31).

SHARING OF POSSESSIONS

     It was a time in the Church of God that all things were of
one heart and one mind. This has hardly ever been seen since
those early days as the rest of Acts and the New Testament
clearly show, must strife and division was to come into the
Church of God, but at this time there was full unity and oneness
among all the disciples of the Lord Jesus.

     They had great POWER from the Holy Spirit, and that power
was used for the glory of the spreading of the word of God and
the way of salvation through Jesus Christ.  It was with power
that they gave witness to the resurrection to glory of Jesus the
Christ. At this time God's grace was upon them all and they were
protected from all evil and all the evil deeds that some would
have liked to have done to them, because they taught Jesus and
Him crucified and raised again to life eternal.

     Many of the new converts, thousands by now, were still
staying on in Jerusalem, still not wanting to leave but to
fellowship with all the saints and to learn more about Jesus and
the truths of the word of God. It was still a time for many who
had stayed on to be physically helped with food, clothes,
lodging, etc. It is written by Luke that there was not one who
did not share with the others in whatever way they could give and
share. Some were blessed with house, or land, and were able to
sell those things and so the money was brought to the twelve
apostles, given to them, and hence money was distributed to those
who needed it, and as they needed it. 
     Again, no communism mind-set here. Money was given AS
needed, in the amount each needed for his or her physical needs.

     A man who was called by the apostles Barnabas (meaning "son
of consolation"), a Levite from the country of Cyprus, he had
some land which he sold, and gave the money to the apostles to be
given in service to help those in need at this time.

     We shall see in Acts 5 that the money people received from
selling their houses and land was ALWAYS theirs, they having the
authority over it at all times, and they could do with it
whatever they chose. They could give it all to the "church" to
help others, or part of it, any part of it. There was NO
obligation that demanded it was all to be given to the "church." 
This serving and helping others at this period in the Christian
church with physical possession or money was a voluntary, from
the heart work, a giving as the Spirit of God led. Some gave
more, some gave less, some gave all, and those who could not
give RECEIVED.

     It must truly have been a blessed time for all the followers
of Jesus (Acts 4:32-37).

             ...................................

TO BE CONTINUED


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