by John and Ruth Greene
“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” – Acts 5:17, WoY
Why were these ‘important people’ upset? They felt that the active word being proclaimed by the disciples was being thrown up in their face, challenging their authority. They felt shamed and intimidated, rather than feeling empowered. They had the apostles arrested and put in prison.
“But the angel of Yahweh by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, ‘Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.'”– Acts 5:19-20, WoY
What a beautiful statement! A messenger of YHWH opened the prison door and urged to them to continue in ministry! When a disciple of Messiah is doing what has been commanded while rightly-dividing the Word of YHWH, words of life are spoken! That is why all disciples of Messiah need to grow to spiritual maturity and through discernment of the complete gospel as we have it, as our Master Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah gave the Word to us. This is the very arrangement of our Heavenly Father and the sanctified commission of every disciple of the Messiah. What did the apostles do?
“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. But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 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. Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they much perplexed because of them wondering what this would come to.” – Acts 5:21-24, WoY
The apostles did as they were told with boldness. After all, this is exactly the commission that they had, with authority given to them by Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah and Master. Meanwhile, the wheels of earthly authority turned based on what the view of reality was the previous day. The authorities believed that they had control, but YHWH had other ideas, circumventing their immediate plans and creating a shadow over the authority of the councils of man. After all, these particular religious authorities were operating in earthly authority apart from the One that they professed to serve. How shocked they were when they received the news:
“Then came one and told them, saying, ‘Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.'” – Acts 5:25, WoY
This created a great deal of hesitation for those ‘officers of the court’ executing the judgment. Even the Roman soldiers could see the hand of the Most High, creating no small amount of uncertainty. Perhaps the soldiers believed that the people somehow released the apostles. Either way, the uncertainty humbled them.
“Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, ‘Did not we strictly 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.’” – Acts 5:26-28, WoY
The members of the Sanhedrin were in fear. They believed that the disciples were calling down the blood of Yahshua [Jesus] on them, pronouncing their guilt in the matter. Because the disciples were active in the city, they served to remind the people of the decisions that the Jewish leaders had made. The knowledge of the resurrected Son of Elohim by the people served as a remembrance, a thorn in the side of the leadership of the Jews. The apostles were simply speaking the truth and knew the Source of their authority. (“The Bible & Higher Authority“; “Spiritual Authority & Satan’s Wheels of Destruction“; “The Real Meaning of Romans 13“: “The Spiritual Authority of Christian Women“)
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey Yahweh rather than men. The Elohim of our fathers raised up Yahshua, whom ye killed and hanged on a tree. Him hath Elohim exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom Elohim hath given to them that obey him.'” – Acts 5:29-32, WoY
The same is true today. The active trust of genuine disciples that lift up the genuine cause of Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah above all, more often than not, threatens or intimidates the authority of worldly leaders. Why? Genuine disciples of Yahshua [Jesus] obey YHWH rather than men, a frightening prospect to many leaders and judges that demand that their authority be respected first. (Daniel 3:1-23) In this age, the importance and role of a Christian has been “dumbed down” to that of the world, even making them the same as the world. This is because both multitudes of Christians have forgotten the proper operation of authority, while misplacing the real meaning of YHWH’s grace in operation through Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah. (Romans 12:1-3) The authors of this article must make the truth clear right now – the role of a genuine disciple is not to do as the world does. A disciple of Messiah that has increased spiritual maturity and discernment recognizes the proper role of authority in life right now. How that involves you is your personal choice, but we hope that you choose to obey Elohim [YHWH] rather than men, including walking away from prized traditions and laws that violate or attempt to skirt around the precepts of the Most High. Think about it. How does this apply to you? (“Trust YHWH, Not World Leaders“; “Sin & the Law of Liberty“; “Healing: What YHWH Wants for You!“)
Despite religious and political leaders that have fought against the Word of YHWH, making ‘faith’ a mere tradition of man, those that seek the truth of YHWH, their Heavenly Father do not relent. Through the ages, the sacrifices that have been made, coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit, have managed to bring the reality of the Bible into this age despite the odds. The only way that the Bible can be denied is through false teaching and distortion of Bible truth! The reality is that YHWH’s Word and the truth of Yahshua [Jesus] your Savior cannot be denied. (Acts 5:33-37)
“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 fail: But if it be of Elohim, ye cannot overthrow it; lest perhaps ye be found even to fight against Elohim. 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 Yahshua, and let them go.'” – Acts 5:38-40, WoY
Certainly, everything didn’t go perfectly for the apostles, but a great witness was given, even to the authorities that were grounded in fear. (Revelation 2:10; Psalm 34:14) Only pride and stubborn hearts would testify otherwise. For those that obediently take on the role of ‘apostle’ and ‘prophet’ to the world, a great testimony is able to take place. Where His people are concerned, our Heavenly Father takes the things of the world and makes them work for His purpose. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29) Those that fight against YHWH should fear, for they have already received their reward. (Matthew 6:1-2, 16; Luke 6:22-24, 14:10-14; 1 Peter 3:10-12; Revelation 22:12)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love Elohim, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28, WoY (2 Peter 1:10-11; Hebrews 10:34)
“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Yahshua the Messiah.”– Acts 5:41-42, WoY
Through your persistence in the Will of YHWH through His Divine Commission in this age and your personal obedience, His work will be done and you will receive your just reward. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) Through a renewed heart and mind, you become an agent of YHWH, a disciple of Messiah. When your heart is with Elohim, you abide in Him with great joy. YHWH actively works for the good of those that love Him. This relationship is not about reward, but love. (Philippians 2:1-11) What you do is entirely up to you. Your decision involves your participation in the kingdom of your choice. (“Spiritual Fruit & Renewing Your Mind“; “The Unpardonable Sin“; “Understanding Sin“)
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