Acts 4


Is the bible simply a series of well written stories­­ or is it historical? This question surfaces because we, the church of bible believers keep reinforcing the facts of the bible as “stories.” In our study of the Book of Acts we do find archaeological and written records that verify its actuality; not someone’s misgiven perception.

The Book of Acts has three messages:

  1. The original church and its way of conducting worship and taking a stand for Jesus Christ plus the warning of those who wish traditional Judaism.
  2. The influence of Peter on the Jews and their Messianic or Judaism worship. NOTE: Messianic simply means “of or following the Messiah;” i.e. Jews for Jesus.
  3. The Apostle Paul and his missionary travels addressing both the Jew and the Gentile building assemblies of believers throughout the Near East.

In Acts chapter 4, we continue this study of the book of Acts and the original church body. Keep in mind that the Book of Acts is the book of the original church or believers. The body of believers is not a building. It is the believers that make up what Peter and Paul refer to as The Church. Just like the opening paragraph points out that we as believers must understand when one refers to the Bible Stories it is real events. However, the word “story” might suggest to the unbeliever “lie, fib, untruth, falsehood, tale, yarn, legend, fairy-tale, rumor, gossip, hearsay, unsupported or documented, one’s perception adjusted for inflation;”  all synonyms to the phrase we recklessly use as Bible story.” By the way, are we unequally yoked in church with religious non-believers?

storyThe Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Britannica, Americana, and American Collegiate dictionaries list more negative synonyms than positives in reference to the word “stories.”  Yet from childhood it is kids Bible Stories. No wonder they don’t have a strong faith as they get older. They don’t see the bible as historical fact so when they get older, what is there to help them understand that these stories are facts of history.

Archaeological inscriptions and other independent sources show that Acts contains accurate details of 1st century society, specifically with regard to titles of officials, administrative divisions, town assemblies, and rules of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. (Acts of the Apostles)

The Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia has not helped even though it is a popular research web site. They have continually “adjusted” their so-called facts by adding statements like: most theologians now believe, records seem to be in conflict with each other in the bible, however recent beliefs have changed… all adding doubt to the unrelenting accuracy of bible facts. What once was a fairly reliable research tool has become more like the fake news. They add undocumented comments which lead the learning researcher to conclude it may only be an unfounded story.

If you wish to read it for yourself and feel well founded in bible history, go to and read how slanted or the raising of doubt is being done in what was once a fairly unbiased web site account of history and the bible facts. I do NOT RECOMMEND anyone who is in doubt of the infallibility of the bible to go there. If one does not know the truth, how will s/he distinguish mining the facts or undermining them? (Rev. Dr. Jstark)

Acts 4:1-4

This portion of Acts shows the hatred of the Jewish establishment for those who were by now called “The Way.” These are followers of the resurrected Jesus. This is of particular concern per the Sadducees. Most Jewish Chief Priests were Sadducees. As opposed to the Pharisees, the Sadducees did not then and nor do they today believe in an afterlife or a resurrection. They fell upon Apostle Peter and John tossing them into jail.

JIV NOTE: Don’t confuse Acts chapter 2 where about 3,000 men accepted Christ as their Savior and future messiah with Acts 4 that now states 5,000. This is the accumulated total; not a new bunch of believers meaning 3,000 plus 5,000.

John and Peter are brought before the Jewish ruling court called the Sanhedrin. Accused of what; healing a life-long cripple? Talk about putting legs to the gospel! Shy Peter, the one who denied he was a follower of Jesus during Jesus trial before the courts, was now a bold speaker. He even accused, no, pointed out the fact that it was many of these very same Sanhedrin people who but a few years earlier had crucified Jesus Christ. The real question here is “who is actually on trial.” Is it Peter and John or the Sanhedrin?

The Sanhedrin demands to know “by what power have they healed this lame man and given the message of salvation/resurrection to the Jews.” This is an early example of what happens when one is “filled with the Holy Spirit.” Even the Sanhedrin realized that these Jesus witnesses were mere Galileans. They were mere fishermen. From where might come their eloquence of tongue? They even prophecy about a future yet to happen and accuse the Sanhedrin of crimes against God.

To find this answer we must turn to Mark 13:5-11… (Begin at verse 9)

“…You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, *or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.” It is by the power given to them through the Holy Spirit. This is the power through which healing, ministry, witness, and seeing scripture clearly from which understanding must come.

*JIV: Sadly, this is too often the approach thousands of ministers, youth leaders, bible studies leaders and Sunday school teachers use in delivering their weekly message or lesson to a given congregation, youth group or study group. This verse is NOT AN EXCUSE to be unprepared. Yes, these very same congregants and youth will, in their heart, cast a judgment upon you, but this verse in Mark is court time; not lesson time.

It must be pointed out for those who wish to believe that upon Peter the rock was the church to be built (Matthew 16:18). It is plainly stated in Acts 4:11 that JESUS is the corner stone that the builders (Jews) rejected. In a sense this is what the Catholic Church has done. They have rejected Jesus as the chief cornerstone and substituted Peter in its stead. Be aware, gain knowledge, then seek understanding (2 Timothy 3:7).

So what about the end results per chapter 4 of Acts? The Sanhedrin realized according to verses 13-22 that these men were uneducated yet spoke with such power. Besides this, the man who had been a cripple from birth was standing next to them praising the resurrected Jesus. When the elephant in the room is too obvious to dismiss, they could only warn these Apostle to knock it off and stop with this preaching stuff. It undermined the authority of the Jewish leadership.

cropped-minijim1Rev. Dr. Jstark (August 2018)

PS: Acts 4:23-31 is the only prayer the bible states was recited in unison.

Mt. Sinai

The Bible often mentions earthquakes. If they are so, they are also a matter of secular records making these Bible records the same history as found in secular records. This series is designed to explore secular history, archeological digs [discoveries] and scriptural records of Biblical Earthquakes. This series will end with an article or two  on End-Time earthquakes. This is article number three in the series.

Was Mount Sinai a Volcano – but first…?
Secularists Views Fail the test of validity and often, reliability..Earthquake
To begin this article on earthquakes and volcanoes mentioned in the Bible and verified by secular geologist, volcano researchers, archeologists, and seismologists, the reader should note that much of the following information comes from articles and research written by people that do NOT buy into the Moses-Wilderness or any other story as reported in Bible history. In fact, one of the secular researchers studied for the writing of this article begins his paper by stating, “The legend of Moses.” Note the use of THE LEGEND: a myth, fable, fairy tale, etc. Some secular researchers of earth and human existence describe a volcano as “screaming or having a loud voice; perhaps loud like a trumpet”. Such statements are intended to cast questionable validity on Biblical records of similar sounds, voices, trumpets, and darkness on earth.One author and researcher goes so far as to state as a fact, “a volcanic eruption at night could easily be mistaken as a ‘pillar of light’ such as Biblical records indicate while in the 38 years of wilderness wandering the Israelites followed by night with a pillar of smoke by day.”With this article, I intend to briefly use some their own words against their conclusions; in the words of Gene Whittum in his fascinating articles on Ecclesiastes. :poke holes in their canopy under which they hide.”. We will also question their timelines and dating processes. 

To support questionable “dating” of artifacts we immediately remind our reader of another article in this website where in Texas human footprints have been discovered alongside and in some cases within the foot prints of dinosaurs. This is not an isolated discovery. (see Paluxy River, near Glen Rose Texas; Mary Leakey’s famous Laoetoli Track in Tanzania; 1995 study of quasi-human ichnofossils (supposed human tracks) found with tracks of dinosaurs in strata near Tuba City, Arizona.)Journalist Alexander Bushev reported in the 31 January 1995 edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda (one of the most popular newspapers of the former USSR) that he had journeyed to the plateau near the village of Khodga-Pil in Turkmenistan. Here he found fossilized prints of dinosaurs and humans together. We shold remember that secular science “CLAIMS” that dinosaurs vanished long before humans existed. Their justification for this co-existence discovery of human and dinosaur: “If we could prove that they do belong to a humanoid, then it would create a revolution in the science of man. Humanity would ‘grow older’ thirty-fold and its history would be at least 150 million years long?” [emphasis mine] (Professor Kurban Amanniyazov, head of the expedition that discovered these footprints).Keep in mind these same people had no problem putting a dinosaur label on the large footprints but question the foot print with a human-like heel, five toes, and similar in size to homo-sapiens [humans] of today. Note also that rather than bring the dinosaur into more contemporary history, they want to move human existence backward 150 million years, even though no discoveries have been made to support or justify such a conclusion.

The article in the English version of Moscow News in 1983 (No. 24, p. 10) goes on to explain away the “coincidence” of both footprints in the same fossilized clay, Professor Kurban Amanniyazov states: “However, at present we don’t have enough grounds to say this. We’ve imprints resembling human footprints, but to date have failed to determine, with any scientific veracity, [to] whom [species] they belong to, after all.” *In other words, the human prints may look like human footprints, be similar in size and shape to modern day human footprints, and were recognized as human footprints upon their discovery alongside and sometimes within dinosaur prints there is no scientific evidence to prove the “human prints” come from humans. Yes, you read this correctly!!!

*Aha moments: Mr. Amanniyazov is basically saying… if it looks like a duck, quakes like a duck, swims and flies like a duck, and has webbed feet and duck feathers, one must find scientific proof to validate it is a duck. And secularist and atheists say Christian faith is crazy?

To continue this somewhat satirical or sardonic look at secular science and conclusions, we must include a Barnes and Noble ad with a web review of a book written by Barbara J. Silvertsen; The Parting of the Red Sea. Barbara Sivertsen [attempts to demonstrate; emphasis mine] demonstrates that the Exodus record found in scripture was in fact two separate exoduses both triggered by volcanic eruptions—and provides scientific explanations for the ten plagues including the parting of the Red Sea. She concludes that over time Israelite oral tradition combined these events into the one Exodus narrative known today.

The Publishers Weekly tries to show the Silvertsen research and conclusion as somehow challenging Biblical records of the exodus and the ten plagues. In their review of her work they state: ‘Siversten locates an eruption in 1450 B.C. [a] submarine explosion of the island of Bali of south-east Indonesia just north of Australia, which would have caused the tsunami that inundated the Egyptians [army] in the “Sea of Reeds.”‘ If this is so, according to secularists, the tsunami would have had to wash over a myth, fable, fairy tale and over the heel of Africa before reaching the Sea of Reeds then eventually Egypt. However, they fail to point out any evidence that at the Sea of Reeds the tsunami somehow wiped out the Egyptian army but never reached the Egyptian mainland on the other side of “the Sea of Reeds”.

Even if she meant to say the Island of Yali in the Agean Sea, her Tsunami theory still can’t “hold water” (pun intended). The Tsunami flood would also have had to wipe out Egypt itself,a myth, fable, fairy tale and several other locations within the reach of this 1450 B.C. Tsunami.

Is this a bit odd or simply a sacrificial conclusion of truth? She also forgets to mention that the direction the supposed tsunami of 1450 B.C. moved was an east to west direction. This means the Israelites who were safely on the EASTERN side of the Sea of Reeds (Red Sea) would have been directly in the wake of this same Tsunami flood that destroyed the Egyptian army to the WEST of them. Somehow this tsunami traveled over land masses uninterrupted, skipped over the heads of 2 million fleeing Israelis, then drowned the Egyptian army on the other side. Even if the tsunaumi came from the other direction, the massive flood the wiped out the Egyptian army would not have suddenly halted at the Sea of Reeds leaving the Israelis on the other side unscathed. 

Huh? Where is there any record of such a flood wiping out Saudi Arabia, India and the heel of Africa? The fact is such evidence simply doesn’t exist.

It even gets better. To quote the Barnes and Noble review of her book, they state that Silvertsen (attempts to) shows with secular research just how the first exodus followed a 1628 B.C.E Minoan eruption that produced the first nine plagues. The second exodus [in 1450 B.C.] followed an eruption of a volcano off the Aegean island of Yali (or Indian Ocean Island of Bali) almost two centuries later, creating the tenth plague of darkness.

Something is wrong with their review of her research. The Bible clearly states that the 10th plague was the death of the eldest son (including livestock). From where did the “DARKNESS” plague come; albeit the 10th plague? Even testier is the fact that she is concluding the first nine plagues happened 200 years (1628 B.C.) BEFORE the tenth plague (1450 B.C.). It was 200 years later the exodus from Egypt occurred. 

Deuteronamy 34:5-7 “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD, and He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-pe’or but no man knows the place of his burial to this day. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died; …”

Moses died at the age of 120. How does that fit with her dates, events and numbers of over 200 years between the 9th and 10th plague on Egypt prior to the the exodus? Simple third grade math, it doesn’t!

One who can read between the lines should note that their very review of Silvertsen’s book is a confession of the exodus, the plagues, the drowning of the Egyptian army, and the Israelite exodus from forced labor in Egypt. I quote a passage from, Exodus 11:1 begins with God speaking to Moses about the next prophesy to announce the tenth plague, and verses 1 through 3 are in parentheses for a reason. Verse 2 begins with ‘Speak now in the ears of the People…’ and continues through verse 3 with instructions in preparation for leaving Egypt. For clearer understanding of the place and time of this address and the continuation in verse 4, students should note the last two verses of chapter 10.”

”And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die” Exodus 10:28 (KJV).

“And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more”; Exodus 10:29 (KJV). 

PS: This incident in the history of the exodus is the basis of Hebrew celebration of Passover.
Mt Sinai? We haven’t forgotten our title to this article but wanted to poke holes in the canopy that secularist hide under. It would be so simple to poke many more holes but the point is made. They can’t even agree with each other and every new discovery changes their explanations of their previous discovery.

“And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” (Exodus. 19:18) 

“The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.” (Psalms 68:8)jStark3