Apostles Peter and John have stirred up a spiritual firestorm by affecting the healing of a well-known man who had been crippled from birth. Word traveled fast and soon the “rulers”–the grand council of the Sanhedrin–and others within the religious hierarchy of the Jews arrived on the scene, Caiaphas being among them. All being in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, they were quick to respond to the commotion stirred up by the Lord’s miracle. In spite of Satan’s power over them, they did recognize that the apostles themselves could not have healed the man. For this reason they asked Peter and John:
“By what power and by what name have you done this?” (vs 7).
Verses eight through 12: Peter rose to the challenge put forth by those who had the power of life and death over him. Speaking Truth to that power, he told them that the very One they had fed to the Roman death machine was the One God had sent to be the Savior of Israel. Note the change that had come over the apostle.
Peter was not the same man that had been cowed by those around him the first time he stood in the court of Caiaphas and denied three times that he knew who Jesus was (Mat. 26:69-75). Now he boldly accused Caiaphas and his cohorts of killing the Son of God–the Stone Whom He had sent to be the cornerstone of the church (Isa. 8:14/Rom. 9:33/1 Pet. 2:8). Ignoring the danger, Peter told the assembly that salvation was possible ONLY through the Stone they had rejected and put to death, that it was only through the name of that same Stone that both salvation and physical healing were possible. These men, along with Jewish masses, believed that salvation was guaranteed them because they were sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Peter was destroying the very foundation of their religious lives.
Peter spoke with a boldness he had not known before. When last in the court of Caiaphas he was merely a disciple–a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. But since that time he had been truly converted; his old man had been put to death, a new man had replaced it. And being truly converted, he had received the power of the Lord in the form of the Holy Spirit. It was in that power, ignited by the name of Jesus of Nazareth, that he addressed the assembly. Peter’s boldness and words stunned and frightened his and John’s accusers who knew that they would be allowed to maintain their positions within the religious community only if they pleased the Romans, who held absolute power over them.
The Romans recognized only one god–Caesar. This man Jesus of Nazareth had claimed to be the Son of God. The problem was that a growing number of Jews were hailing the dead itinerant preacher as their God. Recognizing any god other than Caesar was a capital offense.
Concerning verse 12, there is coming a time when speaking what Peter spoke will be a federal offense. this will take place when liberals regain the U.S. presidency, Senate and House of Representatives. At that time, maintaining that there is salvation only through Jesus Christ will result in arrest, conviction and punishment to the fullest extent of the federal, as well as international law. Only those ministers who publically refute Peter’s verse 12 statement will be allowed to preach. This is now the norm in the U.S. armed forces where prayers and sermons must be approved by governmental editors who disallow the name of Jesus to be spoken or written. This is done so as not to offend non-Christians. The fact that it offends God has no significance. This Religious Correctness will saturate the entire society in the future due to the Hate Crimes Law which, already on the books, will be enforced by the administration so as to gain the approval of liberal, mainly foreign (Muslim), voters. The vast majority of “Christian” pastors, evangelists, etc. will toe the governmental line by eliminating all references to the Biblical Godhead. “In God We Trust” will be removed from U.S. currency. All references to the Godhead will be removed from all governmental buildings on the federal, state and local level. True saints will be as hated as communists once were by the people of the United States. This is why Jesus warns church people to “count the cost” of embracing Him. As is the case today, most church people will choose to remain within the comfortable, secure, non-threatening confines of Catholicism/Protestantism due to fear of offending significant others. God calls this being “fearful.” Note the company spiritual cowards keep: “But the fearful (cowards), unbelieving, abominable, murders, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and liars all will be cast into the Lake of Fire.” This was spoken by Jesus Christ in Revelation 21:8. It is time for a spiritual spine check. L.J.