This is Chapter 15 of the book titled The Destiny of Israel and the Twilight of Christianity: In Quest of the Meaning and Significance of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, by John Saggio.








Table of Contents








The New Nation born on the eschatological Day of Pentecost has now been set in place by Yahweh’s Anointed One in order to confront in spiritual warfare the apostate nation. The goal of this New Nation is to conquer the covenantally corrupt and defiled forces of the enemies of Yahweh and His Anointed Son, those enemies operating in and reigning over Apostate Israel. These evil spiritual forces (Israel’s pseudo-shepherds) had years earlier been given over to the authority of The Adversary, Satan, “the chief of the jurisdiction of the air, the spirit now operating in the sons of stubbornness” (Eph. 2:2b CV). This has occurred because of the apostate nation’s defiling of the spirit of the righteousness of the Mosaic Law by her own traditions and commandments. These evil forces had taken captive the righteous people of Yahweh dwelling within the boundaries of the rule of these apostate shepherds.

The New Nation has been commissioned, with the authority of Yahweh’s anointed ones, to trumpet the announcement of Yahweh’s victory over the evil forces as a result of the obedience of His Only-Begotten Son. The decisive battle had been won (the cross and resurrection). The mopping up campaign had already begun on the day of Pentecost. The captives are being called to freedom, to salvation, to deliverance, to active participation among the ranks of the conquering army of the Mighty Davidic Warrior-King, Jesus the Messiah.

These captives, whose circumcised hearts belong to Yahweh, are being gathered into the freedom, the peace, the security, the safety, the promise of the newly restored Davidic Kingdom, the New Spiritual Israel of Yahweh. The Firstfruits of this gathering-in of captives (the Ecclesia of Firstfruits) is in the process of being prepared by Yahweh the Father as the Bride chosen for His Exceedingly Worthy Celestial Groom, His Beloved Only-Begotten Son, Jesus the Anointed One. This meant figuratively washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb, that is, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus the Messiah, sharing in the sufferings on behalf of the righteousness of the Kingdom, sharing in the sufferings which would contribute to the final deliverance of all those captives belonging to Yahweh and sharing in the final covenantal defeat and destruction of Apostate Israel.

Sharing in this suffering as a spiritual-warrior in the royal army of the New Davidic Warrior-King is made possible only by metaphoric identification with the Death and Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, that is, figurative baptism into His Sinatic/Mosaic Covenantal Death and Burial, and His Davidic Covenantal Resurrection (see Rom. 6:3-14). This is the meaning of Jesus’ following prophetic exhortations:

He who is fond of father or mother above Me is not worthy of Me. And he who is fond of son or daughter above Me is not worthy of Me. And he who is not taking his cross and following after Me is not worthy of Me. He who is finding his soul will be destroying it, and he who destroys his soul on My account will be finding it. (Matthew 10:37-39 CV)

If anyone is wanting to come after Me, let him renounce himself and pick up his cross and follow Me. For whosoever may be wanting to save his soul shall be destroying it. Yet whoever should be destroying his soul on My account shall be finding it. For what will a man be benefited, if he should ever be gaining the whole world [all the advantages of the political, economical, social, and religious world-order of Apostate Israel], yet be forfeiting his soul? Or what will a man be giving in exchange for his soul? For the Son of the Man is about to be coming in the glory of His Father, with His messengers, and then He will be paying each in accord with his practice. (Matthew 16:24‑27 CV)

Those in Apostate Israel still clinging to the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant after hearing and observing the testimony of the spirit will be choosing to save their souls (their biological, physical lives) by seeking the political, economical, social, and religious advantages of the world-order of Apostate Israel which is allied with the abominable world-order of Rome.

Those, however, after hearing and observing the testimony of the spirit, who choose to bow the knee to the New Davidic Warrior-King, repenting and submitting to baptism in the name of Jesus the Messiah, shall be destroying their souls by counting as refuse the advantages of the world-order of Apostate Israel, thereby sharing in the sufferings of Jesus the Messiah (“on My account”) at the hands of His enemies who are committed to the welfare and advantages of Apostate Israel. By renouncing the advantages of the world-order of Apostate Israel and those evil authorities and powers holding sway over this apostate nation, these authentic, spiritual Israelites will be in the process of finding their souls by seeking the advantages of the world-order of New Covenantal Israel, the Israel of Yahweh, possessing the promise of the Celestial Allotment. By willingly giving up their souls (suffering persecution on behalf of the righteousness of the kingdom and/or even undergoing death at the hands of the unrighteous), they gloriously regain their souls sevenfold at the Triumphant Parousia of Jesus the Messiah.

In the meantime, the Ecclesia of Firstfruits, holding all things in common, dedicates herself to the fulfilling of the righteousness of the spirit of the Mosaic Law. This New Nation, this Born-From-Above people of Yahweh, seeks the genuine political, juridical, economical, social, and spiritual welfare of each member of the newly generated corporate national body. Thus, she begins to function, to operate, to behave, to conduct herself, to execute her responsibilities as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” thereby fulfilling the elective purpose of Yahweh for His special people:

Now, if you shall hearken, yea hearken to My voice and observe My covenant then you will become Mine, a special possession, above all of the peoples, for Mine is all the earth. As for you, you shall become Mine, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:5-6a CV)

This becomes a reality as a result of the consecration of the New Davidic Covenant under which the spirit of Yahweh’s Anointed One writes Yahweh’s Law on the fleshy tablets of the hearts of the covenant members.

The Covenantal Significance of the Man
Lame From His Mother’s Womb

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Apostate Israel is then given another sign by the spirit: the terrestrial presence of the Celestial Davidic King. Peter and John, going up into the Temple at the hour of prayer, meet a man lame from his mother’s womb. The man had been placed at the door of the sanctuary as had been his custom from day to day. From this placement, he requests alms of Peter and John as they are about to enter into the Temple. Peter, looking at him intently, commands him,

Look at us! . . . Silver and gold I do not possess; yet what I have, this I am giving to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, walk! (Acts 3:4b-6 CV)

Peter, thereupon, seizes the man’s right hand, raising him up. Instantaneously, the man’s ankles are stabilized. Walking, leaping, and praising Yahweh, he enters together with Peter and John into the Temple. All the people in the vicinity of the Temple, perceiving the outcome, recognize the man as being he who had been lame from his mother’s womb. Overwhelmed with awe and amazement, all these people, running together, gather themselves before the healed man who is holding on to Peter and John in gratitude.

Peter addresses these people,

Men! Israelites! Why are you marveling at this? Or why at us are you looking so intently, as if by our own power or devoutness we had made him walk? The God [Elohim] of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorifies His Boy [His invigoratingly youthful Son recently roused from the dead with vivifying power] Jesus. (Acts 3:12b-13a CV)

The healing of the man born lame is attributed to the vigorous, youthful, vivifying power of Yahweh’s Son, Jesus, firstborn from among the dead. This youthful, new, resurrected Man is the same Jesus the Nazarene Whom they (representing their nation and identifying with their nation in accord with the confessional example of Daniel) gave up and disowned before Pilate. They, as a nation, had disowned the holy and just One of Yahweh, requesting, instead, a murderer. In actual fact, these people had not committed this deed. The deed had been committed by those clinging unrighteously to the instigation of the pseudo-shepherds of the nation, whose mindset and deeds were and remain evil in the eyes of Yahweh. In spite of this, all the members of the nation bear the guilt of this covenantal crime against Yahweh and His Anointed One. All will need to repent and turn back to Yahweh. Peter continues,

Yet the Inaugurator of Life you killed, Whom God [Yahweh Elohim] roused from among the dead, of which we are witnesses. And upon the faithfulness of His name [that faithfulness associated with the name Jesus the Messiah, identifying the Man obedient to Yahweh Elohim even unto death on behalf of His people], His name gives stability to this man whom you are beholding, with whom, also, you are acquainted, and the faithfulness which is through Him [Jesus], gives him this unimpaired soundness in front of you all. (Acts 3:15-16 my translation)

Peter, here, describes the new, invigorated, youthful, resurrected Jesus as “the Inaugurator of Life,” that is, He is the inaugurator of the new, immortal life of the New Covenant consecrated with His own shed blood. This is the significance of Luke’s use of the Greek word paida in Acts 3:13 to describe Jesus. This Greek word refers to a young or youthful boy. It is meant to convey the new vitality, the new youthful invigoration of the newly roused and resurrected Jesus incorporating within His resurrected body the vivifying essential power of Yahweh Elohim His Father. This roused and resurrected Jesus is the Second Adam, the New Man Who has passed through the soulish humanity of His terrestrial father, Adam, to the spiritual humanity of His celestial Father, Yahweh Elohim.

The apostate nation had killed this man Jesus, the Anointed One of Yahweh, but Yahweh Elohim had roused Him from among the dead, as Peter and John testify. As a result of this rousing, faithfully performed by Yahweh, it is upon the faithfulness of Jesus that this man lame from his mother’s womb is given this unimpaired soundness which all are seeing and perceiving. It is not the faith of Peter, John, or the lame man which brings about this healing, this salvation. It is the faithfulness associated with the name, Jesus Christ, the name identifying that Anointed Man of Yahweh Who was obedient to the command of His Father to lay down His soul unto death on behalf of His people. Jesus the Messiah’s faithfulness graciously, mercifully, compassionately imparted unimpaired soundness of health to this profoundly impaired-from-birth man.

Thus, this lame-from-birth man is a type of the Israel of Yahweh, the faithful remnant impaired spiritually, covenantally from their very inception in Egypt and at Sinai. This covenantal unsoundness had been caused by the pollution, the disease of those corrupt and rebellious, the spiritual, covenantal crippling sickness contracted from the sons of Cain, the stiff-necked and rebellious apostate nation (Cain wounding unto death Abel). The healing of this lame man is a sign to those Israelites whose hearts are circumcised, to those Israelites whose minds and hearts had been impaired. Their minds and hearts had been made unsound so as to veil from them the truth of Yahweh, the present Gospel of Yahweh, the Gospel of Messiah Jesus. Their covenantal blindness resulted in covenantal, scriptural ignorance. They are to be contrasted with the sons of Cain characterizing Apostate Israel, those whose hearts are uncircumcised and whose minds are willingly unsound, disapproved, rebellious so as to arrogantly do that which is evil in the eyes of Yahweh. These sons of Cain are not blind and ignorant. They willingly choose to ally themselves with the political, economical, social, and religious world-order of Rome. They represent those decadent ones who say in their hearts, “There is no Elohim who distinguishes between the righteous and the unrighteous” (Ps. 14:1 my translation). They arrogantly, presumptuously oppose Yahweh and His Anointed One.

As Jesus the Messiah has healed this man lame from his mother’s womb, restoring him to complete health, to an unimpaired soundness over and above the normal state of soulish humanity, so He had just invigorated with new, sound life, sound, spiritual, covenantal health, the firstfruits of the New Israel of Yahweh. So also would He restore, to new covenantal health, the final harvest of true Israelites, thus completing the New Covenant Israel of Yahweh. The healing of the lame man is a sign from the spirit given to those Israelites whose hearts are circumcised, though presently they remain blind and ignorant in regard to the recent work of Yahweh among them. This sign guarantees to this Israel the hope promised in the Law and the Prophets: the resurrection and full restoration of the Spiritual Israel of Yahweh during the course of their present generation.

Peter then declares to his brethren gathered around him that he is aware that they killed the Inaugurator of Life in ignorance. He even attributes ignorance to their rulers. And, in fact, their rulers were ignorant as to that which Yahweh was accomplishing through their rebellious, arrogant, and presumptuous act against His Anointed One:

Yet what God [Yahweh Elohim] announced before through the mouth of all the prophets—the suffering of His Anointed One—He thus fulfilled. (Acts 3:18 my translation)

The people, together with all their rulers, had not been aware that the Messiah, Yahweh’s Anointed Servant, must of necessity suffer the humiliation of rejection and crucifixion death. This had been concealed from them in the Hebrew Scriptures, but now was being revealed in the proclamation of the Gospel of Messiah Jesus by His Apostles and would soon be fully revealed by the spirit in the teaching and instruction of the Apostles and disciples of Jesus the Messiah, as well as recorded in the writings of the Greek Scriptures for the present generation and future generations.

This concealed suffering of the Messiah, the Savior of Israel, resulted in the salvation of Israel. Therefore, Peter exhorts his Jewish brethren to

Repent, then, and turn about for the erasure of your [Israel’s] sins, so that the seasons of refreshing should be coming from the face of the Lord, and He should dispatch the One fixed upon before for you [true, circumcised-in-heart Israelites], Christ Jesus, Whom heaven must indeed receive until the times of restoration of all which God [Yahweh Elohim] speaks through the mouth of His holy prophets who are from the eon. (Acts 3:19-21 CV)

Yahweh Elohim is presently calling upon His people to repent of their covenantal sins, including the sin against His Anointed One, Jesus His invigorated, vivifying Son. Yahweh had already begun to send seasons of refreshing (the seasons of Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Atonement) and would continue to send seasons of refreshing until the completion of the times of the restoration of all things which He had promised through the mouth of His holy prophets during the Mosaic Eon, that is, until the final ingathering of the final harvest of the New Covenantal Davidic Israel. The face of Yahweh their Elohim is once again shining upon His people (as it had just shined upon the man lame from his mother’s womb) in the face of Jesus the Messiah and His Ecclesia of Firstfruits. Jesus the Anointed Son of Yahweh would be returning in glory, majesty, and power to lead His faithful ones into their Celestial Allotment, while finalizing the triumphant conquest of His enemies.

Peter, then, quoting from Deuteronomy 18:18-19, claims that this resurrected Jesus the Nazarene is the Anointed Prophet of Yahweh spoken of by Moses. He warns his brethren that every Israelite refusing to obediently hear the words of this Prophet is to be “utterly exterminated from among the people” (Acts 3:23b CV). To be exterminated from among the people meant to be cut off from the promised Celestial Allotment and given over to the eonian judgment of Yahweh (executed in 70 a.d. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, signifying the end, the telos, of the Sinatic/Mosaic covenantal relationship between Yahweh and Israel).

Peter testifies that all the prophets from Samuel to John the Baptist had announced the coming of the present last days of the Mosaic Eon (Acts 3:24). His audience is reminded that they are the sons of these prophets of Israel and sons also of the covenant which Yahweh covenanted with Abraham, promising that in his seed would all the families of the earth be blessed. Note that Peter does not refer his audience to the Sinatic Covenant. The blessing coming through the seed of Abraham does not flow through the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant. Therefore Peter concludes,

To you [Israelites] first, God [Yahweh Elohim], having raised His youthful, invigorated, vivifying Son, commissions Him to bless you [Israelites] by turning away each of you from your [covenantally] malignant ways. (Acts 3:26 my translation)

The Gospel of Messiah Jesus is sent first to the circumcised seed of Abraham, Abraham’s faithful children circumcised both in flesh and in heart. These faithful Israelites are presently being called upon to repent, to turn away from the covenantally malignant ways of Apostate Israel, that rebellious and stiff-necked nation having aborted the righteousness of the Mosaic Covenant through her own distorted, disapproved traditions and commandments which had blinded the covenantal eyes of the remnant remaining faithful throughout the course of the Mosaic Eon. This malignant nation held this remnant ignorantly captive by means of the teaching and influence of her pseudo-shepherds, thereby polluting, contaminating these faithful ones with the nation’s malignant ways consisting of words and deeds evil in the eyes of Yahweh, the Covenantal Elohim of His elect nation.

At this stage of the revelational activity of the spirit, the Apostles and disciples understand that the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah is first sent to Israel in order to restore to Israel the promised Davidic Kingdom. Once Israel as a nation is restored to its covenantal place of authority over the nations, the blessings of this Gospel would then be extended by this restored Israel to the nations. Thus, the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah is proclaimed only as the Gospel of the Circumcision. Knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah as the Gospel of the Uncircumcision is unknown, remaining concealed in the Hebrew Scriptures.

This concealed secret would first be practically revealed by the guiding activity of the spirit, which shockingly surprises and puzzles the Apostles and disciples participating in the newly generated Israel of Yahweh, the New Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the Anointed One of Israel. This concealed secret would later be doctrinally revealed by the revelational activity of the spirit to and through the calling and commissioning of Saul of Tarsus by the resurrected, ascended, exalted, and glorified Messiah Jesus. This blind and ignorant enemy of Jesus the Messiah, held captive and having been deceived by his zealous commitment to the covenantally malignant traditions of the pseudo-shepherds, would be commissioned by Messiah Jesus as the Apostle to the nations.

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The Confrontation of Peter and John
Before the Rulers of Apostate

While Peter and John had been speaking to the people, standing by, listening, had been the priests, the captain of the Temple, and the Sadducees. Having become exasperated with this indoctrination of the people concerning the resurrection of Jesus from among the dead, these Temple officials arrest Peter and John. Being already dusk, they place them in custody to be judged the following day by the rulers of the nation. In spite of this evil seizure, the text, inspired by the spirit, testifies,

Now many of those having heard the word, believed, and the number of these men [acting faithfully] became about five thousand. (Acts 4:4 my translation)

Israel, again, responds to the call of her Elohim, hearing and obeying from the heart the voice of Yahweh’s Anointed One, Jesus the Messiah, the newly enthroned and reigning Davidic Warrior-King. Five thousand additional men are added to the three thousand believing the word of the Gospel and being baptized on the day of Pentecost. The newly generated nation continues to grow in impressive and significant numbers. The spiritual army of spiritual warriors loyal to the cause of the New Anointed Davidic Warrior-King is both increasing daily and on the move offensively against the retreating defensive maneuvers of the already essentially conquered apostate nation.

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Peter’s Testimony

Appearing before the rulers the following day, Peter, being filled with holy spirit, testifies,

If we today are being examined as to the benefaction to the infirm man, by what he has been saved, let it be known to you all and to the entire people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, Whom you crucified, Whom God [Yahweh] roused from among the dead, in this name, this man stands before you sound. (Acts 4:9-10 CV)

From Peter’s perspective, the man lame from his mother’s womb has been “saved,” delivered from his impairment as well as having been delivered, saved, from the sins of the nation and his own personal sins. The response of the lame man had confirmed what Yahweh had already known: his heart had been circumcised. In response to Yahweh’s healing compassion, he had leaped up praising Yahweh and clinging thankfully to Yahweh’s Apostles. Here was another Israelite after the heart of Yahweh.

The rulers, as well as the entire people of Israel, are to know assuredly that the healing of the lame man, as well as the salvation of all Israel, is founded upon the resurrected, ascended, and exalted authority and power associated with the name of Jesus Messiah, the Nazarene, the very man the apostate rulers had crucified, but Whom Yahweh had roused from among the dead. Peter, here, confirms the historical reality of Yahweh’s exalted Anointed Davidic King to Whom these rulers are obligated covenantally to subject themselves.

Soundness of covenantal health now comes from the New Davidic Covenant established by Jesus the Messiah, the very Stone provided by Yahweh as the cornerstone of the newly generated, Born-From-Above nation bearing His name, the very Stone being scorned by the decadent builders of Apostate Israel. For Israel there is salvation solely in one man and one name, the Man and the Name elected, commissioned, anointed, and exalted by Yahweh Himself:

And there is no salvation in any other one, for neither is there any other name, given under [the] heaven [of Israel] among men [Israelites], in which we [Israelites, the sons of the prophets, the sons of the Davidic Covenant, the sons of the covenant of circumcision made with Abraham] must be saved. (Acts 4:12 CV)

This “salvation” referred to by Peter is definitely understood to be exclusively Israel’s salvation spoken of by the prophets and recorded in the Law and the Prophets, the Hebrew Scriptures. The definite article the precedes the singular heaven, referring to the heaven above the land of Israel, thus, metaphorically limiting this salvation to Yahweh’s Elect, Holy Nation, Israel. Peter declares that there is salvation, there is healing, there is deliverance for Israel, for the sons of the prophets, for the sons of the covenant of circumcision made with Abraham (see Acts 3:25-26); for “we” Israelites, only in The Name of The One Man, Messiah Jesus, the Nazarene; the Man commissioned by Yahweh as The Prophet like unto Moses (Acts 3:22-23); the Man anointed by Yahweh as Davidic King (Acts 2:29-36) and High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek (yet to be revealed by the spirit); the Man crucified by the sons of Cain (Acts 4:10); the Man roused up from among the dead by Yahweh (Acts 4:10); the Man exalted to the Celestial Davidic Throne by Yahweh (Acts 2:32-36).

It is only in The Name associated with the power and authority of Yahweh’s Obedient, Suffering Servant, Yahweh’s Exalted and Glorified Faithful Son that Israel, that all Israelites circumcised in flesh and in heart, MUST be saved. Saved from what? Saved from the national sin at Sinai (the worship of the golden calf); saved from the national sins committed by both the apostate nation and the faithful remnant (corresponding to the annual Festival of Atonement); saved from individual sins (both presumptuous and unpresumptuous, Acts 2:38); saved from “this crooked generation” (Apostate Israel, Acts 2:40). All Israel MUST be saved or suffer the impending judgment of Yahweh: utter extermination from among the people of the Elect and Holy Nation of Yahweh (Acts 3:23). Thus, the current situation is one of either/or. Either one repents and is baptized in the name of Messiah Jesus, becoming a faithful member of the New Born-From-Above Israel of Yahweh, Or one refuses to repent, remaining a rebellious member of Apostate Israel.

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The Response of the Sanhedrin

The members of the Sanhedrin marvel at the boldness of Peter and John, both being unlettered men of common stock. These educated rulers of noble stock recognize that these two men speaking boldly had been taught by Jesus. They also acknowledge as undeniable the healing of the lame man. They are unable to refute the legitimacy of this miraculous healing:

For, indeed, that a known sign has occurred through them is apparent to all who are dwelling at Jerusalem, and we can not deny it. (Acts 4:16b CV)

They cannot deny the testimony of the activity of the spirit, yet they refuse to believe the voice and activity of Yahweh presently active among the men of Israel.

They charge the Apostles of Jesus not to be speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus, thus, at this point, placing themselves under the danger of the charge of Jesus,

And whosoever may be saying a word against the Son of the Man, it will be pardoned him, yet whoever may be saying aught against the holy spirit, it shall not be pardoned him, neither in this eon nor in that which is impending. (Matthew 12:32 CV)

Peter and John, faithful servants of Jesus the Messiah, having obediently heeded the revelational activity of the spirit (both in word and deed), testify that they must obey the charge of Yahweh rather than the charge of men. These two common, unofficially educated men charge these noble, officially educated rulers of the people of Yahweh to judge as to whom a faithful member of the covenant community should be heeding—Yahweh or men? These rulers, finding no legal covenantal grounds upon which to chasten these two Israelites, release them. These rulers also fear the people, “for all [people] glorified God [Yahweh] (Acts 4:21b CV) because of the healing of the lame man.

Luke, then, testifies to the significance of this unique healing sign, alluding to Israel’s forty years in the wilderness, during which Yahweh judged the unfaithful (destroying them in the wilderness) while at the same time miraculously providing for all the needs of the nation, thus healing the nation which had become impaired by the disobedience of the first generation coming out of Egypt. During those forty years, Yahweh had cleansed the nation of the pollution caused by the generation characterized as sons of Cain, characterized as a crooked and evil generation. That generation had failed to enter the Land of Promise. Thus, Luke records,

for the man [the man lame from his mother’s womb] was of more than forty years, on whom this sign of healing had occurred. (Acts 4:22 CV)

This healing is a sign reminding all Israelites of their dual heritage consisting of the following contrasts: Cainites/Abelites; unfaithful/faithful; apostate nation/righteous nation; Saulite kingdom/Davidic Kingdom; uncircumcised-in-heart people/circumcised-in-heart people; crooked-malignant generation/straight-righteous generation. Thus, the people show themselves to be responsive to the sign, while the rulers reveal themselves as hostile to the sign. The people, as well as the rulers, will no longer be allowed to sit on the fence. Each must choose either Yahweh and His Anointed Davidic King or the apostate rulers and their unanointed Roman Caesarian king. Only those repenting of personal sins and national sins (especially the national sin of Jesus’ crucifixion death) and being baptized in the name of Jesus Messiah (thereby saving themselves from the present crooked, malignant, doomed generation) will be entering into the promised Celestial Allotment of the faithfully righteous children of Abraham.

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The Reaction of the New Nation

Upon reporting back to the recently generated new community (the new Israel of Yahweh), Peter and John inform the faithful ones of their encounter with the chief priests and elders. The new nation responds with one heart in offering up to Yahweh a prayer of praise and thankfulness. This prayer is probably voiced representatively by one or more of the members, exemplifying the unity in heart of the whole community. The prayer quotes Psalms 2:1-2 from the Greek Septuagint, accusing the nations, the peoples, the kings of the land of Israel, and the rulers of scheming together against Yahweh and His Anointed One.

The prayer accuses Herod (king of Judea), Pontius Pilate (Roman procurator) together with the nations surrounding Judea in the land of Palestine, and the peoples of Israel (both apostate, uncircumcised-in-heart Israelites and deceived, circumcised-in-heart Israelites) of delivering up to crucifixion death Jesus the Nazarene, the Anointed One of Yahweh (Acts 4:27). The praying community praises Yahweh for using this lawless scheme to bring about what His counsel had predetermined on behalf of His people—the salvation of Israel. As a result of continued oppositional threats, the members of the new nation request that Yahweh endow His faithful, loyal slaves with boldness of speech in their continual proclamation of His word, together with confirmational healings, signs, and miracles performed through the powerful, authoritative name of Jesus Messiah, Yahweh’s youthful, invigorated, vivifying Only-Begotten Son. This request is met by the filling of all the faithful ones with holy spirit. The text goes on to record the character of this new nation:

But the multitude of the faithful ones were of one heart and soul, and not even one said that any of his possessions was his own, but it was all theirs in common. (Acts 4:32 CV modified)

The letter and the spirit of the Mosaic Law had as their goal the welfare of the entire nation. Those experiencing good fortune were to responsibly contribute to the welfare of those experiencing misfortune. As Yahweh blessed Israel, she was to bless the less fortunate among the covenantal national community. Thus, the poor and needy would be provided with the necessities of life so as not to suffer for long the misfortune of poverty, widowhood, orphanhood, injury, sickness, or natural disaster. All Israelites were to be their brother’s keeper.

Thus, all faithful, righteous Israelites are Abelites, not Cainites. Cain had rejected this unwritten law (each is his brother’s keeper) of Yahweh Elohim, leading him to murder his innocent brother Abel. Israel as a nation had failed to obey this law which had been refracted throughout the numerous statutes, judgments, instructions, and testimonies of the Mosaic Law. This Cainish covetousness led Israel to abuse the poor, the needy, the widow, the orphan, the injured, the sick, the stranger, the righteous, abandoning them to their misfortune, social status, or to their righteous ways which resulted in the economic, moral, social, and political disadvantage of the misfortunate and the righteous ones committed to obeying what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.

Such abandonment of the misfortunate is exemplified in the man lame from his mother’s womb. This Israelite should have been compensated by the nation according to the statutes and judgments of the Mosaic Law. Instead, he had been placed by family or friends at the entrance into the Temple to beg for alms, a blatant blot on the character of the nation, a personal offense to Yahweh her Elohim, Who commanded concerning the needy,

You shall give, yea give to him [the needy], and your heart shall not feel bad at your giving to him. For owing to this matter Yahweh your Elohim shall bless you in all your work and in every undertaking of your hand. Since the needy shall not leave off from being within the land, therefore I am instructing you, saying: You shall open, yea open your hand to your brother, to your humble and to your needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:10-11 CV)

What was the purpose, the goal of this instruction?

only that there should be no needy among you, . . . (Deuteronomy 15:4a CV)

The needy were not to remain needy. There would always, during the Mosaic Eon, under the Sinatic Covenant, be the needy in Israel. However, the obedient nation as a whole would be blessed by Yahweh to such a great extent that she would be able to supply the needs of her needy by righteous redistribution, thus, delivering the needy from their needs. The needy would not remain needy:

you shall neither make your heart rigid nor shut your hand from your needy brother. (Deuteronomy 15:7b CV)

This same principle concerning the needy brother (you are your brother’s keeper) is refracted in the legally binding statute of the Day of Release (occurring at the beginning of every seventh year) and the legally binding statute of the Year of Jubilee (occurring at the beginning of every fiftieth year). The last days of the Mosaic Eon were to be the eschatological fulfillment of the Day of Release and the Year of Jubilee. The New Israel, her members having the law written upon the tablets of their hearts by the spirit, is in the process of fulfilling the spiritual essence of the Mosaic Law. These newly Born-From-Above Israelites are indeed their brother’s keeper. This faithful nation is and will continue to be to the end of the Mosaic Eon blessed by Yahweh.

The heart of this New Nation is to remain in Jerusalem. The Head remains in the Celestial Realm seated on the throne of David. The growth of this New Nation will continue to develop out from its geographical center, Jerusalem; out from the new Jerusalem, the heavenly Jerusalem, the Jerusalem from above,

the holy city, new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God [Yahweh], made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2 CV)

The Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah is this “holy city, new Jerusalem” which had already descended out of heaven from Yahweh on the day of Pentecost with the pouring out of the spirit. This Ecclesia, this new holy Jerusalem, this New Israel of Yahweh would continue to be characterized to the end of the Mosaic Eon as she is described in Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:33-35:

Now all the faithful ones also were in the same place and had all things in common. And they distributed their acquisitions and properties, and divided them among all, forasmuch as each would have need. (my translation)

And with great power the Apostles rendered testimony to the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, the Lord. Besides, great grace [favor] was on them all, for neither was there among them any that lacked. For as many as were possessors of lands or houses, selling these, they brought the price of that which was sold and placed it at the feet of the Apostles and distribution was made to each as each would come to have need. (my translation)

Into this New Jerusalem would come the faithful ones from among the nations, gentiles invoking the name of Jesus Messiah. These faithful gentiles would become “fellow-citizens of the saints [circumcised faithful ones](Eph. 2:19b CV), full-fledged members of the New Israel, the Israel of Yahweh. But at this time in the growth of the New Nation (Acts, chapter 4), this truth has not yet been revealed by the spirit, thus, no gentiles are participating in the Ecclesia of Jesus the Messiah.

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The Consoling Firstborn Priestly Office of the New Holy Nation

The text now exemplifies the character of the newly Born-From-Above Israelites by directing the reader’s attention to an Israelite named Joseph, but surnamed Barnabas (meaning “Son of Consolation”) by the Apostles. Barnabas is a native of Cyprus, but more important, he is a Levite. The Levites under the Mosaic Law were not given an allotment in the Land of Promise. They belonged to Yahweh. They shared in that which was offered to Yahweh by the other tribes.

Under the New Davidic Covenant, the Levites are no longer taken in place of the firstborn Israelites. In Christ, THE FIRSTBORN of Yahweh, all faithful ones are identified with Jesus the Messiah the firstborn, and, so, are a nation of firstborn ones, holy unto Yahweh. Jesus the Messiah has become the Passover Lamb. The blood of the Passover lamb secures only the life of the firstborn ones.

In Egypt, the messenger of death passes through putting to death all the firstborn males. The blood of the sacrificed Passover lamb placed on the doorposts of the houses of the children of Jacob/Israel protects (from the passing of the messenger of death) the life of all Israel’s firstborn males dwelling safely within the blood-sheltered homes. Yahweh, then, instructs Israel,

It will come to be when Yahweh your Elohim shall bring you into the land of the Canaanite just as He swore to you and to your fathers, that He will give it to you, then you will set apart [make holy] for Yahweh every male opening up the womb. (Exodus 13:11-12a CV)

These set apart (holy) firstborn ones now belong to Yahweh. They should have died as a result of the ministry of the messenger of death. Yet, Yahweh has caused the messenger of death to pass over these firstborn males because of the propitiatory-shelter of the blood of the Passover lamb. Therefore, the firstborn males are to be ransomed:

Yet every firstborn of a human among your sons shall you ransom. (Exodus 13:13b CV)

Later, when future generations would ask for the meaning of this ransoming, Israel is to answer,

With steadfastness of hand Yahweh brought us forth from Egypt, from the house of servants. When it came to be that Pharaoh was obstinate to dismiss us, then Yahweh killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of human unto the firstborn of beast. Therefore I am sacrificing to Yahweh all the males opening up the womb; yet I am ransoming every firstborn of my sons. (Exodus 13:14b-15 CV)

At that time, at the foot of Mount Sinai, every firstborn male in Israel had to be ransomed either by the parents or the firstborn male. A ransom price of five silver shekels had originally been determined (Num. 18:15-16). This was to be paid to Yahweh. However, at Mount Sinai, Yahweh declares to Moses,

As for me, behold, I take the Levites from the midst of the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn male opening up the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites become Mine. (Numbers 3:12 CV)

Muster every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward and obtain the number of their names. You will take the Levites for Me (I am Yahweh) instead of every firstborn among the sons of Israel, . . . (Numbers 3:40-41a CV)

Thus, under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, the Levitical Priesthood takes the place of the firstborn males. The Levites, then, belong to Yahweh. They serve Yahweh and the Tabernacle. They are not allotted an allotment of land in Canaan. As Yahweh’s peculiar or special possession, their portion or allotment is to be Yahweh Himself:

At that time [the time of the golden calf rebellion, see Ex. 32:26-29] Yahweh separated the tribe of Levi to carry the coffer of the covenant of Yahweh [the Ark of the Covenant], to stand before Yahweh to minister to Him and to bless in His name . . . Therefore Levi came to have no portion or allotment with his brothers. Yahweh, He is his allotment, . . . (Deuteronomy 10:8-9a CV)

However, under the New Davidic Covenant, the Levitical Priesthood is replaced, superseded by the priesthood of the Firstborn Ones. This priesthood is according to the order of Melchizedek. This priesthood belongs to Jesus the Messiah, Yahweh’s “Firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29 CV). Jesus is also Firstborn from among the dead (Col. 1:18 CV), as well as Mary’s firstborn Son (Lk. 2:7). In Christ, all faithful ones participate in His Firstborn status and Priesthood. They become members in “the ecclesia of the firstborn ones” (Heb. 12:23 CV). Peter refers to those faithful ones clinging to the New Davidic Covenant of Jesus the Messiah, as a “royal priesthood,” a “holy nation,” a people for Yahweh’s own possession (see 1 Peter 2:9 NASB). Referring to himself and all other slaves of Jesus the Messiah, the writer of Revelation declares,

To Him Who is loving us and looses us from our sins by His blood [the blood of THE Passover Lamb] and makes us a kingdom and priests to His God and Father, . . . (Revelation 1:5b-6a CV)

Like the Levitical Priesthood, this New Davidic Covenant Priesthood of Firstborn Ones ministers to Yahweh and His Anointed Firstborn Son and blesses in His name, that name now being Jesus Christ.

Barnabas, therefore, is a type, a representative example, of the priesthood of the new nation. His name Joseph alludes to the character and function of Jacob’s son, Joseph, who became a consolation to Jacob his Father and to his brothers who had sold him into slavery. Joseph had been exalted to a prestigious and powerful position in Egypt from which he was able to bring blessing to both the nations and his own elect family. He became a consolation in a time of great famine.

So also has The Messiah Jesus and His Ecclesia been exalted over the nations and His own family, Israel, who had given Him up to crucifixion death. Messiah Jesus also has become the consolation of Israel (His brethren). In a time of great covenantal famine, Messiah Jesus has brought blessing to His people and would soon extend that blessing to the nations. Like Joseph, Barnabas would become an instrument by which Yahweh’s salvation through the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah would be extended to the nations.

Joseph/Barnabas/Israel is Yahweh’s new priesthood of exalted Firstborn Ones associated with Jesus the Messiah, Firstborn Son of Yahweh. This new nation of priests becomes the channel through which Yahweh is bringing covenantal blessing. But this covenantal blessing is not that of the Sinatic Covenant. The consolation of Israel, the salvation of Israel, the healing of crippled Israel is now to be found in the New Davidic King, the New Melchizedekian Priest of the New Davidic Covenant, Jesus the Messiah together with His Ecclesia of Firstborn Ones.

This priestly nation, this kingdom of priests, sells his holding and possessions, righteously distributing Yahweh’s blessing among the citizens of the New Holy Nation of Yahweh in order for that nation to perform his priestly responsibilities as Yahweh’s mediator of New Covenant blessing. This New Nation, this New Priesthood, this New Kingdom exalted metaphorically into the heavens over Apostate Israel and the nations is the exhortational medium of consolation to all Israelites. This New Priestly Nation has no other allotment than Yahweh and Yahweh’s Anointed Son. These priests share righteously all things in common. This would continue to be the character of this priestly nation in the holy land to the end of the Mosaic Eon, to the final glorious arrival of the Parousia of Jesus the Messiah. This New Priestly Nation would continue to proclaim exhortationally the consoling, the saving, the healing Gospel of the Messiah (the Gospel of Christ) confirmed by the working of signs, miracles, and healings testified to in the Prophets. Indeed, Yahweh is once again among His people working wonders and demonstrating His great salvational presence.

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Ananias and Sapphira
The Contaminating False Brethren Within the New Holy Nation

As Barnabas sold his field, placing the sale price at the feet of the Apostles for righteous distribution among the citizens of the new nation of priests, so also a fellow-member of the New Davidic Kingdom, Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, sells an acquisition. He, also, places money at the feet of the Apostles. However, unlike Barnabas, Ananias and Sapphira embezzle from the price. Pretending to turn over the full price of the sold acquisition, they withhold a portion of the sale-price.

This act, like Achan’s under the leadership of Joshua, is a sin against Yahweh, Jesus the Messiah, the holy spirit, and the new, holy, priestly nation, contaminating, polluting the whole nation. Under Joshua, the city of Jericho had been conquered and the nation had kept the injunction of Yahweh to devote to destruction all the combustible items captured and to consecrate to Yahweh all the metals seized—all except Achan of the tribe of Judah, whose covetousness led him to take and hide for himself an ornate garment, an ingot of gold, and two hundred shekels of silver.

As a result, when the nation sent an army against the city of Ai, the army of the holy nation fled before the men of Ai. Thirty-six Israelite warriors were slain. The holy nation had been humiliated in the presence of the enemy. Yahweh’s righteous anger had come down upon her. The nation had been contaminated. The contamination had to be cleansed in order to put an end to Yahweh’s anger.

The problem, at that time, under the Mosaic Covenant, was that the perpetrator of the crime had not been known in advance. Achan’s unfaithful defilement of himself and his nation had not been discovered until after the humiliating defeat at Ai. Joshua and the elders of the nation prostrate themselves before the Ark of Yahweh, rending their clothes and throwing dust upon their heads. Joshua prays,

O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! (Joshua 7:8 KJV)

Yahweh responds,

Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. (Joshua 7:10-11 KJV)

Yahweh declares that He will not be with Israel anymore until the nation destroys the devoted thing from among them.

In the morning the nation is sanctified, set apart by tribes, families, and households, for the drawing of lots to determine the guilty party. Achan is discovered. He and his entire household are stoned to death and then burned with fire. Achan had transgressed the covenant of Yahweh and had wrought folly in Israel (Josh. 7:15 KJV). He had troubled the nation, and Yahweh had troubled him and his household. The contamination had been cleansed by stoning to death the contaminating source of the social cancer and by the burning of those individuals who had become themselves devoted objects as a result of illicit contact with the devoted things taken from Jericho (see Joshua, chapters 6-7).

This judgment of Yahweh against this group of individuals is not to be understood in terms of their eternal destiny. Their judgment is their loss of allotment and life in the land under the blessings of the Mosaic Covenant. They also suffer an untimely, uncommon, literal, biological death, that is, they do not die the death common to all men (see Num. 16:29).

Achan’s sin is covenantally counted as Israel’s sin. His individual sin affects the whole nation. Thus, the nation is responsible for the sins of her individual members. The princes, priests, judges, rulers, and teachers of the nation are responsible for the welfare of the nation and must deal righteously with sins which socially, economically, politically, and religiously (culticly) contaminate the nation as a corporate body.

Achan’s transgression occurs during the initial process of Israel’s battle against the enemy who must repentantly submit to the reign of Yahweh or be destroyed, exterminated from the land. The sin of Ananias and Sapphira is covenantal sin occurring during the initial process of the New Israel’s battle against the enemy, Apostate Israel and her deceived, as well as oppressed, captives. The New Israel of Yahweh is conquering in the name of Jesus the Messiah. She offers peace, deliverance (salvation), security, freedom, and new covenantal life to those deceived, oppressed captives under the unrighteous, oppressive yolk of the contaminated Mosaic Covenant as placed around the neck of national Israel by the apostate pseudo-rulers and teachers (powers and authorities) of the unrighteous and oppressive Judaic system of rule.

More than this, however, she also generously offers the terms of peace and salvation (repentant submission to baptism in the name of Jesus the Messiah and to the reign of the New Davidic King, Jesus the Anointed Warrior-King of Yahweh) to the apostate rulers and teachers themselves, many of whom will, after serious deliberation, accept the offer, realizing their own captivity to their own distortion of Yahweh and His Word. Many others would later, after being enlightened by the manifestation of the glory of Jesus the Messiah in His Ecclesia, rejoicingly bow their hearts in grateful humiliation at the feet of Jesus the Messiah (the conquering Davidic King appointed by the One and Only Living Elohim, Yahweh Elohim of Glorified Israel) during Jesus’ glorious Approach/Arrival (His Parousia). The only alternative to repentant submission is eschatological destruction, that is, extermination from the people of the New Covenant, loss of the promised Celestial Allotment, covenantal death, and, for many, the biological, uncommon death of ungrateful, decadent men, children of Cain, openly opposed to Yahweh and His Way.

According to Peter, the sin of Ananias and Sapphira is lying to Yahweh Elohim:

Ananias, wherefore does Satan [The Adversary under whose shadow-of-darkness-rule Apostate Israel remains captive] fill your heart for you to falsify [lie] to the holy spirit and to embezzle from the price of the freehold? Did it not, while remaining, remain yours? And, being disposed of, it belonged to you by right. Why is it that you placed this matter in your heart? You do not lie to men, but to God [Yahweh Elohim]. (Acts 5:3-4 CV)

Unlike Joshua and the elders under the Mosaic Covenant, Peter, under the New Davidic Covenant, knows immediately by the revelational guidance of the spirit the contaminating sin of Ananias and Sapphira. Peter, functioning as an enthroned judge over the affairs of the New Israel of Yahweh (see Lk. 22:30), wastes no time in judging this national threat committed by a couple already possessing the gift of the spirit.

Having the law written on the tablet of their hearts, they presumptuously choose to deny its validity in relation to their own deeds. Like the decadent one of Psalm 14, they say in their heart that Yahweh Elohim will not observe their unrighteousness, their unfaithful deed. They conclude that such a minor discrepancy will not be noticed by men or Yahweh; it is harmless.

In reality, their deed manifests their character. They, like Cain, have heard the voice and have understood the words of Yahweh written in their hearts by the spirit of Yahweh and His Anointed Son. They know the truth, but blatantly, arrogantly, presumptuously act in opposition to it, thereby defiling themselves and potentially defiling the entire people of the New Holy Nation. They exemplify concretely the reality of the eschatological warning of the writer of Hebrews:

For it is impossible for those once enlightened, besides tasting the celestial gratuity and becoming partakers of holy spirit, and tasting the ideal declaration of God, besides the powerful deeds of the impending eon, and falling aside, to be renewing them again to repentance while crucifying for themselves the Son of God again and holding Him up to infamy. (Hebrews 6:4-6 CV)

Peter, covenantally understanding the implication of this decadent and contaminating deception, confronting Ananias with his lie, exposes his decadent, uncircumcised heart, thereby authorizing the sentence of death executed by the spirit of Yahweh and Jesus the Messiah. Ananias’ personal defilement brings upon himself a death uncommon to men. He had been entrusted with the spirit and had been given entrance into the New Covenant Community of Saints, but had forfeited his biological life, his covenantal life, and his participation in the Celestial Allotment of the faithful children of Abraham. He had not, however, forfeited his eternal destiny secured solely by the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah as the Last (eschatos) Adam and the Second (deuteros) Man (see 1 Cor. 15:45-49 CV, NEGINT; Rom. 5:12, 18).

By immediate and righteous execution of judgment, contamination of the New Holy Nation is averted. As quickly as Ananias was judged and executed, so also is Sapphira, his wife and partner in covenantal crime, judged and executed. The text then concludes,

And great fear came upon the whole ecclesia and upon all those hearing these things. (Acts 5:11 my translation)

The covenantal purity of the new nation is maintained. The members of the Ecclesia (those called out from Apostate Israel by Yahweh and His Anointed Son to enter into the New Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the Messiah) respectfully realize the responsibility and accountability of serving Yahweh and His Anointed Davidic Warrior-King. Faithfulness to the end is vital and is expected. Elective advantage requires Elective responsibility. Covenantal promise necessitates Covenantal faithfulness. Covenantal life demands Covenantal suffering. Having the law written on one’s heart means willful commitment to maintaining a pure heart continually in the process of producing the just requirement of The Law of Christ (see Rom. 8:1‑3).

Finally, the testimony of the priestly nation is enhanced as those hearing of this righteous and fearful judging are reminded to fear Yahweh and His Anointed King and to take heed to His Word, His Presence, and His Deeds taking place in the heart of the land: Jerusalem and the Temple. Yahweh is definitely in the midst of His land visiting His people. He has generated a New Nation and continues to bless her growth, her increase in members, as well as her words and deeds. His Word is not returning to Him void. His Word is accomplishing His purpose. The kingdom of His Anointed Son is conquering triumphantly.

The Apostles continue to produce among the people many signs and miracles through the laying on of their hands. The people of the New Kingdom of Israel continue to gather together in the portico of Solomon, that is, the Temple associated with Solomon who had been appointed by Yahweh to build the Temple, the house made with hands, wherein Yahweh’s presence would dwell. This house built with hands under the Mosaic Covenant is contrasted with and opposed to the Temple being built by Yahweh and His Anointed King, a Temple not built with hands, but by the power of the spirit under the New Davidic Covenant and with the living stones of living human beings. The hands that built the Solomonic Temple are also contrasted with the hands of the Apostles producing signs and miracles by the spiritual power of the spirit of Yahweh and His Anointed Son, Jesus the Messiah.

The area of Jerusalem and the Temple is the central battleground upon which the two nations and two kingdoms are waging spiritual warfare. Jerusalem and the Temple represent the heart of the political and religious operations of Apostate Israel, a political nation and religious kingdom empty of Yahweh’s presence and without His authorization. The newly generated nation and kingdom of the Israel of Yahweh, possessing both Yahweh’s presence and authority, is energetically and strategically opposing the apostate nation and kingdom in the center of her power and authority, exposing the vulnerability of her pseudo power and authority.

The strategy had been mapped out by Jesus Himself: Jerusalem is to be conquered first, after which the warfare would be extended into all Judea, while the main troop (the Apostles, elders, and terrestrial regent James) would remain in control of the Jerusalem and the Temple of the apostate nation and kingdom, the Jerusalem below and the Temple made with hands. From Judea, other skirmishes would extend into the territory of Samaria, overpowering the defense of the spiritual enemy, freeing the captives and disabling the ruling powers and authorities, thereupon offering peace or destruction. Maintaining control over these conquered territories, the war would be carried forward into the territory of Damascus and Antioch of Syria, the northern boundary of the land of Israel. Concurrently, there would be minor skirmishes carried out by various faithful ones returning to their homes outside the land after being added to the new nation and kingdom at Pentecost. These would prepare the outlying territories of Diaspora Judaism for the officially commissioned evangelists and teachers sent out under the authority of the Jerusalem Above, the New Jerusalem having metaphorically descended from heaven at Pentecost, centrally located geographically in the conquered territory of the Jerusalem below and the Temple made with hands.

Thus, it was the practice of the new nation to gather together in the vicinity of the portico of Solomon. Other Jews traversing in and through this vicinity became very cautious about joining this community due to its fearful standard of holiness exemplified in the judgment of Ananias and Sapphira. In spite of this, these Jews and the rest of the Jewish population of Judea continued to hold the faithful members of the New Israel of Yahweh in great honor, magnifying their testimony and deeds performed in the sight of all the people in Jerusalem and the surrounding territory of Judea.

Though many dared not join this people out of cautious fear, the text again records,

there were added of those believing the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, . . . (Acts 5:14 CV)

As a result of the powerful signs and miracles performed by the Apostles and the testimony and deeds of the faithful disciples of Jesus the Messiah, the Anointed Davidic King of Yahweh, many Israelites believed into Jesus the Messiah, no longer believing into Moses for covenantal life, even as Moses himself prophesied of this time of transformation. Other Jews in Jerusalem, making up a multitude, carried their sick and infirm into the streets hoping that the passing shadow of Peter would overshadow these sick and infirm people, thus healing them. Multitudes brought their infirm and their demon possessed to the Apostles and faithful disciples of Jesus the Messiah for healing. Luke testifies that “all . . . were cured” (Acts 5:16b CV).

The New Nation continues to grow and prosper. This is not a hit and miss ministry. Every single person, without exception, seeking healing and receiving the ministering hands of the Apostles and disciples is healed. The New Kingdom continues to free the captives, who are glorifying and praising Yahweh and Jesus the Messiah. The people of this kingdom continue to manifest the righteousness of Yahweh and to display His great powerful words and deeds. The army of the King of Kings continues to march forward triumphantly.

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The Confrontation of Peter and the Apostles
Before the Rulers of Apostate

This successful campaign of the Apostles and disciples of the new nation and kingdom causes the Chief Priest and the Sadducees to be “filled with jealousy” (Acts 5:17b CV). Their defensive response is to seize the Apostles and place them in public custody. However, Jesus the Messiah, the Warrior-Davidic-King, commissions one of His celestial messengers to open the doors of the jail during the night, freeing the Apostles. This messenger delivers to them their Lord’s instructions:

Go, and, standing in the sanctuary [the Temple], speak to the people all the declarations of this life [the new life of the New Davidic Covenant of Jesus the Messiah in contrast to the old life of the old Mosaic Covenant mediated by Moses]. (Acts 5:20 CV)

When the Chief Priest calls together “the Sanhedrin and the entire senate of the sons of Israel(Acts 5:21b CV), he sends his messengers to deliver the Apostles before the council. The messengers return reporting that they had found the prison door locked, the security guards positioned dutifully before the doors of the prison cells, yet opening the doors, they found no one within the cells. Again, the defensive strategy and maneuvers of the apostate rulers are countered successfully by the New Davidic King of the invading nation. The officer of the Temple and the chief priests are bewildered, fearing the consequences of this amazing escape. The power and authority of the invading Warrior-King is overwhelming. While pondering the situation, it is reported that the escaped prisoners are in the Temple standing boldly and confidently teaching the people.

The officer of the Temple, together with his deputies, is ordered to again seize and arrest these men, delivering them before the council. Obeying this order, the Apostles are arrested once again, but this time with great caution, the officer and deputies fearing the possibility of being stoned by the people. All the Israelites dwelling in Jerusalem and the surrounding cities magnify the Israelites belonging to the New Davidic Kingdom, showing them great favor. These people are not opposed to the invading people proclaiming peace and salvation in the name of their resurrected, Anointed Davidic King. Thus, the Apostles are peacefully escorted into the presence of the anxiously waiting Sanhedrin.

The Apostles are accused of disobeying the previous charge of the Supreme Court of the nation to refrain from teaching in this Name, Jesus Christ. These apostate shepherds exasperatingly reproach these socially unsophisticated men for filling Jerusalem with teaching dangerous to the welfare of the nation. They angrily accuse the Apostles of intending to bring the blood of this man Jesus upon the very rulers of the nation who are most concerned with the welfare of the people, conveniently forgetting their own words before Pilate:

Away with this one! . . . Crucify, crucify him! (Luke 23:18, 21 CV)

His blood be on us and our children! (Matthew 27:25 CV)

Unless these apostate rulers repent and submit themselves to baptism in the name of this very man, Jesus the Messiah, the blood of this man Jesus will be on them and their Cainite children. For this same man has been resurrected from among the dead and has invaded as conquering Davidic King. His power and authority cannot be resisted successfully. One must sue for peace or be destroyed. In the name of this great King and Savior, the captives are being offered freedom.

Peter confronts boldly these jealous, self-righteous judges of Apostate Israel, declaring that the righteous Israelite must obey Yahweh rather than the judgment of men opposed to the voice and deeds of Yahweh spoken and performed by Yahweh’s Anointed Davidic King, Jesus the Messiah. Peter, then, as emissary of the conquering Davidic Warrior-King bearing the gracious terms of peace, proclaims,

Now the God [Yahweh Elohim] of our [Israel’s] fathers roused Jesus, on Whom you [the apostate powers and authorities of Apostate Israel] laid hands, hanging Him on a pole. This Inaugurator and Saviour, God exalted to His right hand, to give repentance to Israel and the pardon of sins. We [the Apostles of Messiah Jesus] are witnesses to these declarations [of peace], as well as the holy spirit which God gives to those yielding [submitting in peace] to Him. (Acts 5:30-32 CV modified)

The terms of peace are clear and concise. To resist is to resist the very words and deeds of the holy spirit of Yahweh and His Anointed King. To resist this spirit is to commit the unpardonable sin. To resist this spirit is to reject the only means for pardon of sins. To resist this spirit is to reject the only person and only name authorized to administer salvation to the captives of Apostate Israel, a nation already condemned and in the process of being conquered by the invading Savior-King of Yahweh. To resist this spirit is to reject the only terms of peace being offered by Yahweh through His Anointed Son and Warrior-King, Jesus the Messiah.

Hearing this ultimatum coming from the mouth of one considered inferior socially and religiously, these sons of Cain, each conceiving hatred in the womb of his heart, are about to give birth to this hatred, the act of treacherously murdering their innocent, righteous brothers. Yet, once again, the enemy’s evil intent is thwarted by the power and authority of the guiding spirit of Yahweh and His Anointed King. The time to suffer death for the righteousness of the kingdom had not yet come. It would come, but for the time being, they would be allowed to share only in the sufferings of the Messiah short of death. These sufferings are necessary to the spiritual preparation of the Bride of the Lamb for covenantal presentation to the Groom, Jesus the Messiah, the Lion of the House of Judah.

The apostate rulers intend to assassinate these twelve dangerous, insubordinate common men. But Yahweh raises up a wise prophet from among the judges of Apostate Israel, indicating that even among these rulers there are those whose hearts are circumcised, and thus, attuned to the voice of Yahweh and impressed by the powerful deeds being performed by these common Israelites. Gamaliel, being a Pharisaic member of the Sanhedrin and a teacher of the law who is greatly honored by the entire people, standing up in the midst of the council, advises,

Men! Israelites! Take heed to yourselves, as to these men, what you are about to be committing. . . . Withdraw from these men and let them be, for if this counsel or this work should be of men, it will be demolished; yet if it is of God [Yahweh Elohim], you will not be able to demolish them—lest at some time you may be found fighters against God also. (Acts 5:35, 39 CV)

This respected and revered Rabbi points out that other rebels had appeared among the people and for a short time gained a following. But all these rebels came to nothing; all perished and their followers scattered. Thus, these rebels were not sent by Yahweh. They were false prophets and failed to succeed in Israel.

However, Gamaliel realizes the twelve men standing before the council and their followers are not to be placed in the same category. Their words and works manifest the great operation of Yahweh. These men and their followers respect and honor the Law of Moses. Their healings, signs, and miracles cannot be denied or refuted as being deceptive trickery.

Gamaliel observes these facts humbly, recognizing the irrefutable hand of Yahweh. He is not cut to the heart; he is not infuriated as are the apostate sons of Cain; he does not harbor hate in his heart toward these men. He sincerely considers their message as coming from Yahweh. He cautiously evaluates the events taking place, attempting honestly to determine whether these events are of Yahweh or of men. His advice indicates that he is impressed with the legitimacy of the words and deeds of these disciples of Jesus proclaiming Him as Messiah and the long-awaited Davidic King. He knows these men must be taken seriously. If they are of Yahweh, opposition to them means eschatological destruction. This Rabbi is on his way to bowing his heart and knee to Jesus the Anointed Davidic Warrior-King of Yahweh.

Gamaliel’s advice is a solemn warning to these apostate shepherds whose hearts are prematurely, and most likely unwarrantedly, infuriated Cainishly against these innocent men. He advises the council to withdraw its opposition to these men; do not persecute such men whose only offense is in performing deeds resulting in good for multitudes of Israelites. Their powerful deeds should caution the righteous ruler from acting too hastily against what may very well be the operation of Yahweh, the visitation of Yahweh, Israel’s Elohim. For, if these works (miracles, signs, and healings) are the works of Yahweh’s mighty strong right arm, opposition to them will mean their own demolishment. You cannot fight against Yahweh Elohim and succeed.

Thus, Gamaliel warns the rulers, judges, and teachers of Israel to take heed of their unjustified, unlawful treatment of these men. He advises them to reconsider their motives, examine their hearts, observe patiently the words and works of these men and righteously judge whether their words and works are right in the eyes of Yahweh. Thus, Yahweh, through Gamaliel, is graciously, lovingly, seeking to warn, to counsel these apostate sons of Cain to examine the motive of their intense infuriation, as He had done with Cain himself:

Why do you continue burning hot, and why is your face so dejected? Should you be doing well I will lift up your face and remove your unwarranted dejection. At the opening of the womb of your heart is sin, which is crouching, preparing to leap forth, pouncing on your brother with the intent to murder. Control your evil desire. Lock it up. Abort its birth. Repent and turn back to Me and My ways. (Genesis 4:6-7 my amplified translation)

These rulers are free to choose Yahweh and His ways. There is no necessity forcing them, compelling them, to follow the way of Cain. They are sons of Cain only because they choose presumptuously, arrogantly, blatantly, to oppose the Way of Yahweh Elohim, choosing what is right in their own eyes, rather than what is right in the eyes of Yahweh. They, also, are being called to repentance. They, also, can receive the pardon of sins, the spirit of Yahweh and Jesus the Messiah, the new life of the New Davidic Covenant, and, thus, the Celestial Allotment promised to the forefathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They do not have to be cut off from the people, come under the destruction of the Second Death, for

when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right [in the eyes of Yahweh], he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:27‑28 KJV)

Under the Sinatic/Mosaic Covenant, they had been exhorted to

Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. (Ezekiel 18:31-32 KJV)

However, under the New Davidic Covenant, having repented of their transgressions against Yahweh and His law, Yahweh promises HE will give them a new heart and a new spirit:

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 KJV)

This Yahweh began to do on the Day of Pentecost, at which time He began to pour out His spirit on submissive and repentant Israelites whose hearts had been circumcised. An apostate son of Cain, hearing the voice of Yahweh in the words of the Apostles and perceiving the hand of Yahweh in the works of the Apostles, repenting would be circumcising his heart, thereupon submitting to baptism in the name of Jesus the Messiah, thereby receiving the forgiveness of sins/transgressions and the spirit. Thus, upon his circumcised heart, Yahweh would write His law by means of the gift of His spirit, thereby producing a new heart and a new spirit, divinely enabling one to keep His statutes and judgments, that is, to walk in His Way, fulfilling the just requirement of His laws as expounded and exemplified by Jesus the Messiah.

The Apostles and disciples had been appointed Yahweh’s new watchmen over Israel. According to Ezekiel, Yahweh had declared,

When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts [from among them], and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. . . . But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. (Ezekiel 33:2b-5 KJV)

The first watchman sent to that present crooked generation of Israelites was John the Baptist. He had blown the trumpet, warning of the impending judgment. Many of the people, hearing the sound of his trumpet, took heed, but few from among the rulers, judges, and teachers of the nation took heed. The second watchman sent to this nation was Jesus the Nazarene. He, also, blew the trumpet announcing impending judgment. The response had been the same (see Matt. 11:11-24).

The final watchmen sent to this present crooked generation of Israelites are the Apostles and disciples. They blow the trumpet of impending judgment and the trumpet of present and impending salvation. Many of the people are responding. A new nation has been born and continues to grow. But the apostate rulers, judges, and teachers of the old, crooked nation have, so far, refused to take heed to the trumpets. Gamaliel is reminding them to take heed to the trumpets. For to disregard the sound of warning is to put in jeopardy one’s own soul. Gamaliel advises them to reconsider the authenticity of the sound of the trumpets being blown by the Apostles and disciples of Jesus the Nazarene. For if these trumpets sound the warning of Yahweh, their blood will be on their own heads when the judgment is executed.

However, the difficulty of the situation comes from the fact that these apostate sons of Cain had for centuries appointed themselves as the watchmen of Israel. They had been the blowers of the trumpet of warning. But they had failed to perceive the signs of Yahweh’s coming judgment, having failed to hear and obey Yahweh’s voice in His revealed word, the holy Hebrew Scriptures. Thus, perceiving themselves as the legitimate watchmen, they instinctively set themselves against what they perceive as illegitimate watchmen.

Their hearts are not right with Yahweh. They are uncircumcised in mind and heart. Their fury against the recently appointed watchmen of Yahweh places them in the crucial danger recorded by Ezekiel,

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. (Ezekiel 33:6 KJV)

The apostate rulers, judges, and teachers, denying the legitimacy of the trumpets blown by John the Baptist, Jesus, and His Apostles, turn the people away from the warning of Yahweh by attacking these false (from their perspective) watchmen and blowing their own trumpet call of warning against what they perceive as the false alarm of these national traitors.

Having blown their own false trumpet of warning, they proceed to blow the trumpet signaling the people into battle against the new, invading nation. In doing so, they pit themselves and their people against Yahweh Himself. Figuratively, they set Israel nationally in military array, awaiting the trumpet call to attack the invading national army of Jesus the Messiah, the New Davidic Warrior-King. Gamaliel’s advice to this national council is to consider seriously the consequences of a battle before blowing the trumpet of all-out warfare.

The Apostles, realizing the serious responsibility of the watchman, boldly announce to the council the necessity of faithfully obeying their appointment by Yahweh as watchmen on behalf of the welfare of His and their people, “It is necessary to obey Yahweh rather than you men [who command us to refrain] (Acts 5:29 my translation). The council, temporarily, yields to the wise counsel of Gamaliel the Pharisaic Rabbi.

Few of these elite Israelites would heed the trumpet warning of the Apostles or the counsel of Gamaliel. Few would repent of the evil in their hearts. Many would, like Cain, allow the hatred in their hearts to leap forth from the womb of their hearts in an attempt to assassinate their innocent, righteous brothers. Many would be allowed (by Yahweh and His Anointed One) to succeed in their murderous quest, even as Cain was allowed to murder Abel. But the blood of these witnesses would be mixed with the blood of Jesus the Messiah, speaking better things than the blood of Abel. The blood of Jesus the Messiah and His brethren would victoriously wash clean the covenantal contamination of Israel, resulting in the salvation of all those counted as the Israel of Yahweh (see Rom. 9:6-8).

The council, having beaten the Apostles, “charged them not to be speaking in the name of Jesus” (Acts 5:40b CV), then, acting partially on the advice of Gamaliel, released them. This compromise (inflicting an unlawful, unjustified beating) must have fallen short of Gamaliel’s hope. It would foreshadow the impatient infuriation of the heart of this Cainite nation that would soon unleash a furious persecution against the righteous nation of Yahweh. Nevertheless, the Apostles left the presence of the nation’s Supreme Court,

rejoicing that they were deemed worthy to be dishonored for the sake of the Name. (Acts 5:41b CV)

They had looked defiantly into the face of their brother Cain, boldly, confidently, delivering the offer of peace from their exalted Lord and conquering Davidic Warrior-King and testifying to His power and authority.

Consequently, they began to share in the sufferings of their Lord and Savior, the sufferings on behalf of the righteousness of the Gospel, the righteousness of the New Davidic Kingdom of Jesus the Messiah, the exalted Son and Heir of David, the necessary sufferings of the telos, the death, of the old Sinatic Covenant, even as their Lord had suffered that same death on the cross. For out of this suffering the old Sinatic Covenant was in the process of being discarded in exchange for the New Davidic Covenant. The old death tunic of the Sinatic Covenant compulsorily worn by the members of the old Israel was being cast off and replaced by the New Life Royal Robe graciously worn by the members of the New Israel.

Triumphantly, the Apostles continue every day in the Temple and from house to house unceasingly teaching and proclaiming the Gospel of Messiah Jesus, the Anointed Jesus of Yahweh, Israel's Elohim. The new nation of spiritual warriors continues to conquer in the name of Jesus the Messiah, releasing many Israelites held captive by their Cainite national tyrants.