4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about 5 000.
...there was a large influx of Jewish believers (Acts 2:41; 4:4), including many priests (Acts 6:7), and of Pharisees (Acts 15:5); the latter two groups showing later their zealousness for the Law (Acts 15:1, 2, 5, 24, 28; 21:20-21; In. 12:42,43).
The author noted that the effects of the ecclesial circumstances of the first century were similar to those that surrounded Israel in the wilderness (chs. 4:1-2; 10:32-34; 12:5,12,15).
There was the splendour of the sanctuary and temple that drew the admiration of the Jewish believers, as is demonstrated in the attitude of the apostles prior to the offering of the Messiah (Mark 13: 1). This burning patriotic zeal of fanatical countrymen willing to revolt was soon evident in the community of the Jews, and tested the disciples as they experienced persecution and excommunication by their fellowcountrymen.
The Jews manifested a love of the outward ceremonial religion of their fathers, and a fervent rejection of the Truth as proclaimed by the apostles.
Bro GE Mansfield
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
This name was the Father, whom no man hath seen, nor can see, by His power manifested in the flesh, crucified, and afterwards justified or perfected. - Eureka 13.19.
"I will proclaim the NAME of Yahweh before thee .. ."Yahweh, Yahweh Elohim, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth."
Beside character and purpose, Name imports many things, as:
AUTHORITY- "My Name is in him" (Ex. 23:21). "By what Name hast thou done this?"
RELATIONSHIP- "Let us be called by Thy Name" (Isa. 4:1).
HONOUR, RENOWN, ACHIEVEMENT- "Make us a Name."
REPUTATION- "A Name that thou livest" (Rev. 3:1). "A good Name is rather to be chosen than great riches."
RECOGNITION, ACCEPTANCE, INTIMACY- "I know thee by Name" (Ex. 33:12). (Compare Jesus' words, "I know you not")
ALLEGIANCE - "Confess His Name" . . . "Love His Name" . . ."Hold fast My Name."
FAITHFULNESS - "Believe on the Name." "For His Name's sake."
REPRESENTATION - "I come in my Father's Name" (Jn. 5:43).
PROTECTION - "The Name of the Lord is a strong tower."
DELIVERANCE-"Save me, Ο God, by Thy Name" (Psa.54:l).
MANIFESTATION-"I have manifested Thy Name" (Jn. 17:6). "The Name of the Lord cometh from afar" (Isa. 30:27).
REMEMBRANCE-"Blot out his Name" (Rev. 3:5).
LIFE, EXISTENCE-"I will give them an everlasting Name."
IDENTIFICATION- "Everyone that is called by My Name.
CITIZENSHIP-"/ will write on him the Name oj the City of my God" (Rev. 3:12).
In its fullest application, Name imports an individual's history, nature and destiny - the sum-total of his existence.
When Jesus promises that he will write upon those whom he accepts his New Name and his Father's Name, he is promising immortality and the Divine Nature-everlasting membership in the family of God.
To be baptized "into the Name," and to be "in the Name," constitutes a complete union and unity with the bearer of the Name, a sharing in all that has been accomplished through this Name.
Names are important in worldly matters-a family name, a company name, a national name-all are matters of great value, and power and pride. In spiritual things, a sound and clear union and allegiance and faithfulness to THE NAME is infinitely more important. THE NAME is the banner, the ensign, the rallying-point, the fortress of assembly.
"God hath given him a Name which is above every name" (Phil. 2:9).
"There is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
It is clear that the Name is the touchstone-the deciding factor of life or death. To have the Name, to comprehend the Name, to be in the Name, is life eternal.
Bro Growcott - 144 000 on Mount Zion
The systems of human wisdom around us that would reduce Christ to a moral reformer, however eminent - the urger and exemplar of excellent principles of action for men - would give us a Christ that is not the Christ that Paul preached. He was all and ten times more than moral philosophy could ever ascribe to him. He was "the way, the truth, and life" in the sense defined in Paul's preaching.
"We," said Paul, "preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:24): "by him, all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses" (Acts 13:39).
In this conception of Christ as the "One mediator between God and man," we see also how essentially God is the root of the whole scheme of the gospel, for where could mediatorship arise, either as a valuable or a conceivable institution if it were not for the eternal God, the Creator of all things, who appointed the ministry of reconciliation, "to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them?" (2 Cor. 5:19).
"By whom (our Lord Jesus Christ), also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand."
By Christ, and in no other way.
"No man cometh unto the Father but by me" so Christ declared.
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" so the Father demanded.
"There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved" so the apostles testified.
And this is what we Christadelphians offend our neighbours by re-echoing and earnestly contending for, as against the easing and pleasing thoughts of our day and generation, which more and more tend in the direction of making everybody right and everybody safe-Mohammedans, Brahmins, Confucians - and none in such danger as those who maintain "the narrow way (proclaimed by Christ and the apostles) that leadeth into life."
Bro Roberts - the inside of the Truth
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Peter was given the 2 keys to the door of the Kingdom...firstly to the Jews, then to the gentiles.
When the strangers of Rome returned from Jerusalem, they would unquestionably speak more about Peter than the rest, because he was chief speaker.
From this fact, he would acquire the title "Prince of the Apostles" and Holder of the Keys: and though there is no reliable evidence that he ever was in Rome (and, if he ever had been there, the account of it would hardly have been omitted from the Acts), the part he enacted was so conspicuous, that his relation to Rome in the introduction of the gospel there, would seem almost like his personal presence.
In process of time, this would be affirmed, like many other imaginary things, to be a fact; and then, when popes came into fashion, they would seek to sanctify the imposition by styling Peter "the first pope!"
It is one of the strongest evidences of the Messiahship of Jesus that in connection with his word, illiterate men performed that which was impossible for them to do unless supernaturally assisted, which they were. The Spirit was sent upon them and produced results which caused the Jews to marvel.
What is the explanation? They had something besides their illiterateness. What was it? God worked with them, confirming their words with signs following. The promise of Christ was fulfilled, that the Spirit of truth should come to them and bring all things to their remembrance #, whatsoever he had spoken to them.
Bro Roberts - Was Jesus of Nazareth The Messiah?
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
That they had seen and heard them is evident from the fact that they submitted to persecution, and ultimately surrendered their lives for declaring that they had so seen and heard Jesus of Nazareth for forty days after he had been put to death.
That fact is evidence to us that what they said was true. Men never go in the face of disadvantage and opposition, without a motive. The motive in this case was a conviction that certain facts were true. It was not, as in the case of the persecuted Puritans, a persuasion of certain doctrines. The boldness of the apostles, on the one hand, and the antagonism of the Jewish rulers on the other, turned upon a question of fact, viz., whether the crucified Jesus had risen. Upon the fact, doubtless, the apostles founded a doctrine, but it was the fact and not the doctrine, that was the cause of the dispute that cost them their lives. Hence their firmness is evidence of the fact, which they asserted, and the basis of our faith.
Their subsequent proceedings and writings show too much sanity and discrimination to admit the suggestion that though sincere, they were hallucinated.
Bro Roberts - Exhort No 4