The Gospel Cannot be Bound!

08 Nov

We discover in Acts 5:17 that the high priest and the Sadducees rose up against the Apostles (v.18). The officiating high priest at this time was Caiaphas, but Luke tells us in Acts 4:6 that he means Annas, because he calls him high priest, while placing Caiaphas as one of his family who was with him. In his Gospel Luke also names Annas as high priest together with the officiating Caiaphas (Luke 3:2). What this means is that, simply because Rome removed one man as the high priest and named another in his stead, did not remove that man from the office of high priest according to God. According to Scripture, the high priest was anointed for life. Aaron was Israel’s first high priest, and though his sons also officiated in that office (Numbers 3:3-4), he retained his office for life and was head over them (Numbers 33:38). Therefore, Annas retained all his power as high priest in the eyes of the Jews. His official title was Captain of the Temple (Acts 4:1).[1]

Luke tells us that all the power of the Jews, vested in their authorities and particularly in Annas the high priest and Captain of the Temple, was used against the Apostles, and they were arrested and placed overnight in the prison, to be charged and punished in the morning (Acts 5:18). Nevertheless, the Angel of the Lord (Jesus) came and released them (v.19), saying they must continue preaching “the words of life” (v.20). In Acts 7:38 Stephen speaks of it as the “living oracles, while Paul expresses it as the “word of salvation” in Acts 13:26. Peter was the first to recognize it as “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68), which Jesus said he had given his followers (John 17:8) and defined it as knowing the Father and Jesus, whom he had sent (John 17:3). The Apostle, John, further describes it as more than words, but Jesus himself, Life, manifest in flesh, whom he had both seen and heard (1John 1:1-3), meaning that eternal life is given to us, but this life is within Jesus (1John 5:11), so if we have Jesus, we have life, but if we don’t have Jesus, we cannot live forever (1John 5:12). This was what the Apostles were commanded to preach (Acts 5:20) and why they were released (v.19) by the authority of God.

The Apostles did as they were commanded (Acts 5:21a), and the result was an astonished ruling body (Acts 5:21b-25). The powers of this world are simply unable to contend with the authority of God. They cannot contain the will of God by seeking to silence those who are sent by God. Even if they succeed in killing those who preach the words of salvation (Acts 7:58-60), the will of God cannot be overpowered, because the authority and power of God, though vested in man, is not dependent upon any single person or group of people (Acts 8:1-4).

The apostles reply: “We ought to obey God rather than men” has echoed in the hearts of multitudes of believers throughout the centuries when any governing body would hazard a stand against the people of God, because, if God is for us. no power on earth is able to stand against us (Romans 8:31), for no power exists in heaven or on earth that is able to stay the power and authority of God (2Corinthians 13:8; cp. Romans 1:18). Thus, the zeal of men in authority (Acts 5:17) is powerless before words of Life.

[1] Josephus mentions that during the governorship of Ventidius  Cumanus (cir. 49- 52 CE) there arose a tumult between Samaria and the Jews of Galilee and Judea. In the end the governor of Syria sent Cumanus to Rome to answer to charges of bribery, and the leaders of Samaria and the Jews — high priest, Ananias (son of Nebedaius)  and the commander(captain) of the Temple, Ananus (Annus of the Gospels) to Rome to answer the charges of the tumult between them (cir. 52 CE) – [Antiquities of the Jews; 20.6.1-2].


Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Kingdom of God


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2 responses to “The Gospel Cannot be Bound!

  1. notsamson

    November 8, 2011 at 15:51

    Having read some of your interesting posts……May I humbly ask your opinion on this:

    Being a nigerian, I have noticed amongst our people the sudden awakening that being a true christian, one is not permitted to be financially challenged (broke) or have a serious illness, and therefore alot of pastors have now focused their attention on their new found ‘Revelation’, which by the way, i belive they have adopted from the americans, only, nigerians have taken it to another level, going from building empires to even schools that are not affordable by their own congregation. Is this the work of God?

    Pls share your views on this subject…
    you can also post any replies on our blog so our readers may benefit from your opinions and contributions…thank you :-)

    • Ed Bromfield

      November 8, 2011 at 17:47

      Hi, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I am having a difficult time addressing your comment, not knowing your situation. I can say this concerning the “doctrines” you describe. No one has the right to claim you or anyone else is not a Christian or question your worth to God as a Christian because you are poor. The “Prosperity Gospel”, as it is called in America, is opportunistic and very worldly. It is **NOT** Christian. It has absolutely no support in Scripture.

      Likewise, those who claim a person is not Christian or not a “good” Christian simply because he or she is ill or is physically handicapped in some way, are not preaching the truth. There is no compassion is such remarks, but Jesus was moved with compassion toward those whom he healed.

      I am not a fan of the mega-church movement. The more I read the Bible, the more I am convinced that we need to share what we have with those who are struggling to survive. When we focus on the size of the church building etc., we automatically remove available funds that can be given to those among us who need food, shelter and clothing. This is not to say that everyone must sell all they have and give to the poor. That is a personal choice, but we who have plenty need to sacrifice some of what we have so the needy have enough. Church building, schools etc. are a distant second in my book.

      The work of God, as Jesus describes it, is to believe on Jesus, the Son of God. This means we believe he is our Lord, and our Lord has given us two commandments–Love God with all our being, and secondly, love our brother as ourselves. We cannot show that we love God except to be obedient to the second commandment–loving our brother, and visiting him in his time of need. Anything more we can do is fine–God has not made any rules against building churches or schools, but these come only after that second commandment is satisfied.

      Lord bless you,



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