Acts 5

Acts 5: Peter and John Teach of Christ

                Peter and John preach to the people and encourage them to sell their possessions and give them to the church, one man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira sell their possessions, but keep some of the proceeds for themselves. Peter asks Sapphira why she was holding back money that belonged to God, and why she was trying to lie about it, for she “…hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:4) After Peter was done rebuking them, they both fell to the ground dead. Peter and John continue to work mighty miracles and wondrous signs from God, and the people were amazed at their authority. The high priest has Peter and John put into prison again, but an angel frees him.

They are free for a short time, before they are again arrested once more, but Peter boldly stands as witness to the crucified and risen Christ. A Pharisee called Gamaliel advises the council to do nothing, he boldy declares; “…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 5:38-39) Essentially Gamaliel knows that if they really are frauds and do not possess the authority from God, their organization will eventually fail, because men are not perfect. But he warns that if it is of God, and their power and authority is real… the counsel has no power and would be wise to not fight against the Almighty God.

What Gamaliel said is very true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Book of Mormon and everything that Jesus had setup through His servant Joseph Smith is true, and no matter how hard people fight against it and say that it isn’t true… God did establish the church and it will stand throughout all time, until Jesus comes for a second time and reigns King on the earth!

Acts 4

Acts 4: Peter and John are Arrested

                As Peter and John were teaching the people from the previous chapter, the Sadducees came upon them and laid their hands on them, arresting them. The next day they were put before a tribunal court with Annas, the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander and many other leaders to question Peter and John, they asked; “…By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” (Acts 4:7)

Peter, being filled with the Holy Ghost, responded; “…Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole, Be it known to you all, and to all 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.” (Acts 3:8-10) Peter made it very clear that the power or authority, by which they used to heal the man, was from Jesus Christ.

Peter continues; “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

                Peter lays it down as clear as can be; Peter did not heal the man with his own power. No, he healed the man through the power that Jesus Christ had given him. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church and only through Him can someone be saved! The counsel marveled at the boldness presented by Peter and John, because they could see that both of them were very humble men that were “…unlearned and ignorant…” (Acts 4:13), yet they marveled that they could indeed speak with such boldness and authority. They wondered what they should do, even asking themselves; “…What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them…” (Acts 4:16)

                The counsel was concerned because some of the people who had seen the miracle believed on Jesus Christ, so instead the counsel threatens Peter and John to no longer talk; “…let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.” (Acts 4:17) But Peter quickly responds in a way that only an Apostle of the Lord would respond; “…Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20) After hearing these words and threatening them further the counsel had no choice to let them go, for they had no case and they feared a backlash from the believers.

After being released, Peter and John offer a prayer to God and ask Him to “…Grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” (Acts 4:29) After finishing their prayer the ground shook beneath them and the people there were touched by the Holy Ghost and were assembled as one heart and soul. The people departed of their worldly goods and set them at the feet of the Apostles to help those in need.

John 18

John 18: Jesus is arrested

After Jesus had prayed to the Father, He and His Apostles went to the Brook of Cedron, which was near the Garden of Gethsemane. There, Judas knew he could find Jesus and brought with him an army of men to come and arrest Jesus. A sort of stand off first occurs between the Apostles of Jesus and the men of Judas, they ask for Jesus and Jesus immediately says; “…I am he…” (John 18:5&8) They ask Him twice, and He responds twice that He is the one they are seeking, and asks the rest to be let go. Peter, who was with Jesus drew his sword and cut off the right ear of one of the men with Judas, named Malchus. Jesus immediately tells Peter to put his sword away; “…put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hat given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11) Again, Peter was too anxious to protect Jesus, without realizing what must come forth for Jesus.

Jesus is taken to see Caiaphas before a council, which was basically an illegal trial of death. Peter follows Jesus to this trial and is asked if he was one of the disciples of Jesus, and he denied Jesus and said he was not one of His Apostles.

The High Priest then asked Jesus of His disciples/Apostles and His doctrine. Jesus answers simply; “…I spake openly to the world; I never taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret I have said nothing. Why askest thou me? As them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.” (John 18:20-21) This answer must have made some angry, because immediately one of the officers which stood by Jesus struck Him with the palm of his hand saying; “…Answerest thou the high priest so?” (John 18:22) Jesus was upset, but kept His cool and said; “…If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? (John 18:23) This so called “trial” was a mockery of even ancient law.

Peter was still nearby when he was asked again, twice if he was an Apostle of Jesus Christ and he denied Jesus two more times. On the third time, the cock crew and he remembered what Jesus had said, that the he would deny him thrice before the cock crew. From here Jesus is taken to the Judgment Hall and brought before Pilate, where he asks Him; “…Art thou the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33) Jesus responds; “…Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? “(John 18:34) Pilate responds that His own nation brought Him to be judged; Pilate asks Jesus what he had done. Jesus responds; “…My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36) Pilate, out of curiosity and an attempt to understand the situation asks; “…Art thou a king then?” (John 18:37)

Jesus then answers and proclaims His divine mission as the Son of God; “…Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth, Every one that is of the truth heareth me voice.” (John 18:37)

Pilate then went out on the balcony and said to the group gathered below; “…I find not fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?” (John 18:38-39)  The crowd did not listen to reason and instead demanded that Barabbas, who was a thief, to be released. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, but did nothing. He let I happen, and let the people decide. What kind of trial was that? It certainly breaks laws today and certainly broke laws during the time of Jesus.