Chapter Seven — Part Five: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 08/08/2021Foundation Scriptures:
1. This Very Moses.
a. Acts 7:37 AMPC — It was this [very] Moses who said to the children of Israel, God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as He raised me up.
b. Deut. 18:15,18.
c. Moses testified of Jesus Christ!
d. This very same Moses the Jews now claimed to respect, preached of the coming Messiah, Whom they now rejected.
e. As Jesus told them: “Put out of your minds the thought and do not suppose [as some of you are supposing] that I will accuse you before the Father. There is one who accuses you — it is Moses, the very one on whom you have built your hopes [in whom you trust]. 46 For if you believed and relied on Moses, you would believe and rely on Me, for he wrote about Me [personally].” (John 5:45-46 AMPC)
f. If they really believed Moses and had respect for the Word of the Lord through him, they would now also believe and receive Jesus.
g. A person could memorize the Scriptures yet not have any understanding of them because they are not believed nor obeyed.
h. You can be a religious leader, and still not make Heaven, because of your wicked heart.
i. Jesus said: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (John 3:19-20 NKJV)
j. By their pride and stubbornness, they showed themselves to be sinners, loving the darkness and refusing to come to the light, because their deeds were evil.
k. Matthew 23:27-28 NKJV — Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
2. The Church and the Word.
a. Acts 7:38a AMPC — This is he who in the assembly in the wilderness (desert) was the go-between for the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and our forefathers…
b. Exodus 19.
c. The assembly—the ekklesia; the Church—is not a building or a temple; it is the people!
d. The people of God—the Body of Christ.
e. WE are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
f. Acts 7:38b AMPC — … and he received living oracles (words that still live) to be handed down to us.
g. Living, or lively, oracles (Greek: logia and zonta)—living doctrines that produce life when they are received and obeyed.
h. God’s Word is quick (alive, living) and powerful (Heb. 4:12)!
i. Once it is spoken out, it continues to work and to produce life in the hearts and lives of all who hear it and receive it for themselves.
j. Isaiah 55:11 KJV — So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
k. God’s Word is Truth—you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free (John 8:32-36)!
l. Proverbs 16:6 KJV — By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
a. The Lord saw the Israelites’ oppression, heard their crying—and in His kindness and mercy, answered their prayers and delivered them from slavery and bondage.
b. Acts 7:39 AMPC — [And yet] our forefathers determined not to be subject to him [refusing to listen to or obey him]; but thrusting him aside they rejected him, and in their hearts yearned for and turned back to Egypt.
c. Numbers 14:3-4.
d. Instead of appreciating Him and rejoicing in all His goodness toward them in delivering them, they were ungrateful; longing rather for the foods—the leeks and the onions—they had in bondage in Egypt.
e. Isn’t it amazing that many people are still the same way?
f. They would rather be under the control of another person or entity (like government)—as long as their basic needs are met—rather than being free and taking responsibility for themselves.
g. Fear—and laziness—makes people choose the illusion of “secure” bondage over uncertain freedom!
h. The Israelites were now free to serve God—but it would require something from them—submission, faith, and obedience.
i. Rather than trusting God’s Word to them and humbly obeying, they disobeyed and rebelled.
j. They chose sin, lust, and the works of the flesh over obedience to God, because their god was their belly (Philippians 3:18-19).
k. They would not let go of the past.
l. As the saying goes, "You can take the people out of Egypt, but you have to get Egypt out of the people!"
m. And now, in Jesus’ day, the Jews could not let go of the Old Covenant to embrace the New Covenant.
n. Even though it was of no use to them because they could not or would not keep its commands.
o. Romans 8:7 AMPC — [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.
p. The Israelites thought that a self-made idol would be a leader, a guide, and a provider to them!
q. Acts 7:40 AMPC — And they said to Aaron, Make us gods who shall [be our leaders and] go before us; as for this Moses who led us forth from the land of Egypt — we have no knowledge of what has happened to him.
r. Exodus 32:1,23.
s. When they used the phrase, “as for this Moses,” they were showing their contempt for him and for the Lord God.
t. It is a sign and a wonder that God DID NOT squash them like a bug!
u. It is a testimony to His goodness mercy, and patience that He was so faithful to them, despite their unfaithfulness to Him!
v. The Jews of Jesus day made idols of religious traditions, but their hearts were far from God.