Chapter Four — Part One: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 03/21/2021
1. See Him, Hear Him, Receive Him.
a. In Acts 3, a man born lame is healed and people are amazed.
b. Peter preaches Jesus to the multitude (of Jews) who gather to see it.
c. He calls them to recognize/acknowledge their Messiah.
d. To repent of their sin, to hear Him, and to receive Him.
e. As Jews, they are the first in line to receive salvation—if they want it.
a. Acts 4:1-3 NKJV — Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.
b. The priests were the chief enemies of Jesus, from the beginning.
c. And the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection (Acts 23:8).
d. A religious spirit is a terrible thing.
e. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes about this attitude when He said: You pretenders (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: 8 These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. 9 Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men (Matt. 15:7-9 AMPC).
f. The Sadducees were angry and offended, because unqualified men (in their eyes) were intruding into their exclusive domain and daring to teach the people in the temple.
g. They were even more furious because they taught the resurrection from the dead.
h. They physically manhandled them and locked them up till morning.
3. The Church Grows.
a. Acts 4:4 NKJV — However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
b. On the day of Pentecost, 3000 were saved.
c. On this day, approximately 5000 men were saved.
d. Within a few days, the Church had grown to well over 8000 people!
e. This is the power of the Gospel; if people will open their hearts to believe.
4. The Power and Authority.
a. Acts 4:5-7 NKJV — And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, 6 as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
b. All the leadership—everybody, who was anybody—gathered to interrogate Peter and John.
c. They asked the perfect question: By what power, or by what name, have you done this?
d. Peter was more than happy to give them the answer.
e. Many times, people unintentionally ask the right question, affording you the opportunity to preach the Truth to them.
f. It is important to study, and put the Word into your heart, so that you have an answer for them that will bring them life and will set them free.
g. By what POWER (dunamis)?
h. They already knew that some kind of power caused this miracle to happen.
i. But were unwilling to acknowledge that it was the power of Almighty God!
j. They did not ask this question because they wanted to know the real answer.
k. They were stubborn and hardhearted and were trying to find fault.
l. This was more of a “who do you think you are” question.
m. By what/whose NAME?
n. This was a question about AUTHORITY.
o. “Who gave you the right to do this miracle?”
5. The Holy Spirit’s Help.
a. Acts 4:8a NKJV — Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…
b. It should not have been a surprise to Peter and John, to be brought in front of the leadership.
c. Because Jesus told them that this would happen.
d. And He told them what they needed to do in that situation.
e. He told them that, in that moment, He would help them and give them the words to say.
f. Matthew 10:18-20 AMPC
g. Vs 18: And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a witness to bear testimony before them and to the Gentiles (the nations).
h. Vs 19: But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given you in that very hour and moment,
i. Vs 20: For it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
j. He also said in Luke 21:15 AMPC — For I [Myself] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute.
6. That Name.
a. Acts 4:8-10 AMPC
b. Vs 8: Then Peter, [because he was] filled with [and controlled by] the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and members of the council (the Sanhedrin),
c. Vs 9: If we are being put on trial [here] today and examined concerning a good deed done to benefit a feeble (helpless) cripple, by what means this man has been restored to health,
d. Vs 10: Let it be known and understood by all of you, and by the whole house of Israel, that in the name and through the power and authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified, [but] Whom God raised from the dead, in Him and by means of Him this man is standing here before you well and sound in body.
e. It was a good deed—that benefitted the man!
f. The man was made whole—and Peter and John performed the miracle.
g. IN the NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES: JESUS (Philippians 2:9-11).
h. And BY the POWER and AUTHORITY of Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
i. That Name is given to us—and WE have the right to use it today, to do the works of Jesus!