Acts, Chapter 5
© Copyright 2007 Darroll Evans, all rights reserved
The last two verses of Chapter 4 belong at the first of this chapter.
Acts 4:36-37---Acts 5:1-11
36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
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.
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?
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.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
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.
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.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Barnabas was a Levite native
26 And when Saul had come to
27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at
Later both Barnabas would be
Acts 11:22 Then
news of these things came to the ears of the church in
Soon we find Paul and Barnabas in a co-ministry.
Acts 11:30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. (NKJV)
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. (NKJV)
Many think of Barnabas as a Teacher, and he did teach. However, in this context, he too was “sent” (Gr. apelusan-apelusan). That is a compound Greek word meaning “sent/released.” From that commission we understand that Paul was now an official Apostle. But, for some reason we almost never include Barnabas in that apostolic commission. It is my understanding that the same commission that pronounced Paul to be an Apostle, also pronounced Barnabas to be an Apostle.
Later, a division would occur. That division did not concern theology. It concerned the continuation of Mark within their company.
37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark.
38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work.
39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; (NKJV)
Barnabas was from
Back to Acts 4-5, Joses/Barnabas, a Levite from
The biblically ignorant attempt to make this story part of an appeal to return to the age of the law, and in doing that they reject God’s grace. They say that God’s blessings of life are contingent upon the payment of the tithe.
You will notice that the tithe is never mentioned in this biblical account of the early Church. This story concerns spiritual fraud, as is the case when it is used to condemn God’s saints in a demonic attempt to squeeze another few dollars out of them.
To use this part of the Bible to teach tithing is spiritual and Scriptural fraud!
Peter asked Ananias, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Wasn’t the land yours? And, after it was sold, wasn’t the profit yours? So, why have you conjure up this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.”
This matter does not involve
a tithe or ten. The Apostles did not
demand this act. (Many preachers of profit today demand a tithe!) The problem
was that the husband and wife sought to deceive God’s people.
Great fear came upon all who that heard about Ananias’ death.
The young men of the Church
Peter asked her, “Did you sell your land for a certain amount of money?”
She replied that they had.
Upon hearing her response, Peter said asked, “How is it that you have agreed with your husband to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, those that buried your husband are here and they shall carry you out.”
Immediately, she fell at Peter’s feet, and died. The same young men came in, found her dead, and carried her out to be buried her by her husband. All that caused great fear to come on the church, and on those who heard of it.
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.
13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
Following that many other signs and wonders were produced among the people. The Apostles and many others were all with one accord on Solomon's porch. None of the rest (non-believers) dared to join them. However, the people greatly respected them.
In today’s weakened Church many have become “members” without a second thought to becoming followers of Christ. There is no fear in the land! False, self-declaration is now the norm and is acceptable in many Churches.
14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
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.
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.
Many believers were the more (Gr. mallon-mallon), more willingly added to the Lord. There was a large assembly of men and women.
They brought in the sick from the streets, and laid them on beds and couches. They did that so that part the Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them, and as a result they might be healed. However, this section does not say that any were healed as a result of Peter’s shadow falling on them. All biblical healings are spoken of as explicit. That is missing from verse 15!
The sick from cities round
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,
18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
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
22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told,
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.
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.
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.
26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28 Saying, Did not we straitly
command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled
In Those days, the High Priest and his entourage were filled with indignation and jealousy. They arrested the apostles, and put them in prison. However, the angel of the Lord came during the night, opened the prison doors, and brought them out.
The angel said, “Go, stand in
When they heard that, they
The next day, the High Priest and his entourage called the council, the lesser Sanhedrin, and the greater Sanhedrin together so that they would bring the Apostles out of jail for trail. Unbeknownst to them the Apostles were already out of prison.
The lesser Sanhedrin was
“lesser” only because it had fewer members, probably 23, but it represented the
When the officers went to the Prison, they found that the Apostles were not there. They returned, and told the officials, “The prison was locked up with all safety, and the prison keepers were standing outside by the doors, but when the doors were opened, we found not one of the Apostles inside.”
When the High Priest, the
captain of the
About that time, another man
came and told them, “The men you put in prison are now in the
At that, the captain and some officers went and took them back into custody without any conflict. But, the captain and officers were afraid of the people. They thought that they might be stoned for re-arresting the Apostles.
After bring them back, they
took them before the council. And the High Priest demanded, “Didn’t we command
you not teach in that name? And now, you have filled
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a
Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to
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.
33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
Peter and the other apostles responded, “We ought to obey God rather than men!”
That was a powerful proclamation of spiritual fact!
Peter continued, “The God of
our fathers raised Jesus to life. You killed (Gr. diecheirisasthe-dieceirisasqe) Him through
crucifixion. God has exalted Him to His right hand to be Prince (Gr. archeegon-achgon), Author and Savior (Gr. Sooteera-Swthra), to give repentance
Christ Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2)! He is the Savior of the world (1 John 14:4)!
Then Peter said, “And, we are His witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.”
When they heard that they were cut to the heart and conspired to murder the Apostles.
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;
35 And said unto them, Ye men of
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.
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.
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:
39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
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.
41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Then, a Pharisee named Gamaliel who was a member of the Sanhedrin, a Teacher of the law who had a good reputation stood to address the assembly.
He said, “You men of
God may use whomever He wishes to carry His message!
They all agreed. And, when they called the apostles back in, and had beaten them, they commanded that they should stop speaking in the name of Jesus. Then, they let them go. And, the Apostles departed. They left rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus’ name.
How would you have reacted?
Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
However, they did not stop
teaching and preaching. They did it in