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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Saturday, September 5, 2020
The Gospels & Early History
II Chronicles 16-20
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at that gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of those who entered the temple.
Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms.
And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John, and said, "Look at us."
And he fixed his attention upon them, expecting to receive something from them.
But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.
And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God,
and recognized him as the one who sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon's, astounded.
And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, "Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?
The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
"And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled.
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.
Moses said, 'The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.'
And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came afterwards, also proclaimed these days.
You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God gave to your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your posterity shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness."
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sad'ducees came upon them,
annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
And they arrested them and put them in custody until the morrow, for it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
On the morrow their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem,
with Annas the high priest and Ca'iaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.
And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, "By what power or by what name did you do this?"
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders,
if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed,
be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well.
This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
But seeing the man that had been healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.
But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred with one another,
saying, "What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any one in this name."
So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge;
for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."
And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people; for all men praised God for what had happened.
For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
When they were released they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
who by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, didst say by the Holy Spirit, 'Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things?
The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed' --
for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place.
And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness,
while thou stretchest out thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus."
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.
Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common.
And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold
and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.
Thus Joseph who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas (which means, Son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,
sold a field which belonged to him, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
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