Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Witnesses to Me

To The End of the Earth!

- A Study In Acts -

Chapter Five – First Church Discipline, 2nd Arrest

ACTS 5:22-32:

Once again, the Apostles of our Lord will find themselves arrested for preaching Jesus as the Christ and His resurrection. Not only did the subject (Jesus as the Christ and His resurrection) anger the Sadducees and High Priest, but they have continued to preach Jesus as the Christ, even after an edict from the court that has forbidden it. This will categorically infuriate them! However, in our last lesson, an angel of the Lord freed the Apostles by Divine power and instructed them to go out and continue to teach.

In this lesson, we will now witness the events leading up to the Apostles re-appearing before the council and begin to look into the body of that exchange.


Acts 5:22-25 “But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23 saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24 Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. 25 So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”

In this brief portion of our text, Luke records the discovery that the arrested Apostles are no longer in prison. Luke records the words of the officers, finding the prison secure, which demonstrates that the Apostles did not break out.

As the chief priests wondered concerning these events; they were told that these men were in fact, in the temple doing what the angel said they should do, and the council had forbidden them to do; “Teaching the People!”

Text #2:

Acts 5:26-28 “Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”” 

Without Violence: Luke records a very different method used to bring them before the counsel, than that which was used to put them in prison the previous day; “Laid their hands on the Apostles and put them in the common prison” Vs. 18. Here there is a demonstrated concern for the people’s esteem of the Apostles and the miraculous works they had been performing along with the word they preached.  

Your Doctrine: The Apostles being brought now before the counsel are reminded by the high priest that they had been warned “not to teach in this name”. The high priest would go on to state that their doctrine, which Jerusalem was now filled with, was meant to put Jesus’ blood on them.

There is every reason to know that although these rulers of the people were probably not among those listening to the words of the Apostles; reports of others had come to the ears of these rulers (and they obviously understood the message). Such teaching as; “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” – Acts 2:23; “But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.” – Acts 3:14-15.

Doctrine: This word is used in many places in the instruction of the New Testament. It is translated from two different Greek words “Didache”, and “Didaskalia”. In both cases, the words describe ‘teaching’. In both cases the words can be used in the passive – what is taught; or the active – that act of teaching.

The leaders of the people point out for us that the Apostles (your) doctrine was something that they did not consider legitimate – which was recognized by Peter the first time he faced the counsel, note:

Acts 4:11 “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’”

The Apostles; however, did not water down the commanded teaching they were sent because it found disfavor with the rulers, but in the face of civil punishment stood fast and taught the truth of the Gospel of Jesus as the Christ!

An important lesson for today, wouldn’t you agree?

Text #3:

Acts 5:29 “But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

For the sake of comparison, here is the first response of Peter and John to the counsel:

Acts 4:19 “But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.”

Once again, we are given a demonstration of the words of Paul, note:

Romans 13:3 “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.”

They are not a terror to good works, because our labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58); however, it does not mean that we may not face civil punishment. The Apostles, with the courage they have been given and demonstrating their willingness to stand for the truth, will be beaten (vs.40). Yet, they would rejoice for being counted worthy to suffer shame for His name! They did what was right regardless of environment!

Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel”

Philippians 2:12-16 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

What is our civil duty, you may ask? Live and teach the truth even in the face of governments that may not allow it; always!

Text #4:

Acts 5:30-32 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.””

As Peter and the Apostles spoke to the counsel, they gave an abbreviated version of the message they had been preaching in the temple. Some points of interest are:

Next: “The Counsels Rage and Gamaliel’s Advice!”