Summary: The Evidence for Christ
Acts 4:1-6, “1While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the leading priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees came over to them. 2They were very disturbed that Peter and John were claiming, on the authority of Jesus, that there is a resurrection of the dead. 3They arrested them and, since it was already evening, jailed them until morning. 4But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so that the number of believers totaled about five thousand men, not counting women and children. 5The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest.”
According to Jewish custom they could not convene a meeting of the Sanhedrin at evening time although they did with Jesus. What really is the issue here is of power, greed verses grace, a false theology verses a true theology, a denial of the resurrection, ignorance and stubbornness to the Law of God. The Apostles could not have a greater audience than the one in which they had presently. All of the nations leaders the Sadducees who denied the resurrection The Sadducees were mostly aristocratic, wealthy, landowners. To protect their power and position and wealth, the firmly opposed any overt opposition to wealth (John 11:47-48), but it is significant to note; however, is that the religion of the Sadducees was mainly based upon social custom. They believed only in the written law not the oral tradition so vital to the Pharisees. In contrast to the Pharisees, they denied the existence of angels and the spirit world (Acts 23:8). Finally they rejected predestination and the sovereignty of God, believing man to be the master of his own destiny. These theological liberals were the first to persecute the church for greed not grace was the primary motivation behind this, power not love was the motivation behind giving the Apostles a hard time.
Mark 11:9-11,” 9But when these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the courts and beaten in the synagogues. You will be accused before governors and kings of being my followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 10And the Good News must first be preached to every nation. 11But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry about what to say in your defense. Just say what God tells you to. Then it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus had here promised the disciples of Christ not just these disciples in this situation but all those for all time who would stand before there persecutors the strength and the mercy to carry on, and so here the first real conflict between the truth of the claim of Christ and the claims of the Law keepers or Gate keepers occurs. Those who hold the keys in church leadership must here awaken and hear and heed the Word of God. Power is fleeting for God humbles the powerful and gives to the weak. He uses the willing not the powerful those who are childlike and real before God shall be used by Him the greatest. If we desire so much to be used by God so much then in turn we will not seek of the power of the things of which ministries are built upon but of the power that will built the ministry to its fullest tilt, that is the power of the Holy Spirit found through a church that prays, fellowship and preaches the whole entire Word of God historically and theologically to its congregation.
You see the Council here mentioned above while important missed the whole entire point and nature of the Law, for they figured the Law to be kept by them, when in fact the Law was meant to point them as a teacher towards the One who would come to redeem them. Yet it was upon this premise that they somehow missed even being experts in the law they failed, even being the most educated in the day they failed. Why they failed was because of pride. They failed to realize that Satan fell because of pride, and we fall when we are prideful and not humble. Yet the reality is that the power struggle was because the established leadership wanted to keep the power, so then the reasoning was because of greed verses the good news of God’s grace, but it went deeper much deeper into a false understanding or a false theology of God of Israel from a true understanding and theology of the God of Israel. How the Sadducees viewed God strictly denied any possibility of redemption or salvation for them, in fact it showed that they only wanted the power not the God of Israel. Really though what it boils down too is the fact that the established church much like today is bound upon traditions. They want traditions and make laws to keep those traditions, yet in the same way are like the Sanhedrin that crucified our Lord. There are those Pastors in the Body that oppose unity, in fact one of them told me one time, “David you have to be able to convince me of your theological stances.” Yet the reality is that if we are purely all about the theological studies and argumentation then we will miss out on what is most important to our churches, not arguments or divisions among churches, but love amongst our brothers and sisters. Our flock see our example and look up to us as leaders in His Body for guidance. Let us ever be vigilant on our knees before God. There is no need for power struggles between churches, for there is only one true church and that is the Body of Christ of whom all members of His Body are part of. The rest is just silliness and man made, for God’s church is not built within the confines of a building but within the hearts of those who believe in Yeshua (Christ).