MEMORY VERSE: Acts 5:39 "But if God be for it, ye cannot over throw it..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Recite all 39 books of the Old Testament from memory. Next time we will begin the book of the New Testament.
PRAYER: Thank God that we can live peacefully and still worship God. We must obey God rather than man just like the apostles. If a time ever came that we would need to suffer for Christ, pray that we would be strong and boldly obey God. God is greater than man!
SPECIAL SONG: The B-I-B-L-E (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see below)
- As the apostles performed many miracles, proving they were from God, more and more people were believing and the church was growing. People would bring their sick family members out into the streets, laying them on beds or on couches. They were hoping that Peter would walk down their street and his shadow would fall upon the sick person and heal them! Crowds came from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing their sick people with them and every one of them was healed.
- But there was trouble! The high priest and the Sadducees were filled with indignation or anger! They did not like the apostles healing people in Jesus' name, so they arrested the apostles and put them in a common prison where they were all together. But at night, an angel of the Lord opened up the prison doors and brought the apostles out of the prison! The angel told the apostles to stand in the temple and speak all the words of life to the people. And that's what they did. When it was morning, the apostles were teaching and preaching to the people in the temple again!
- Later that morning, the high priest and Sadducees called the Jewish council and the senate together, sending soldiers to bring the apostles from the prison to them. Then they waited. And waited. The soldiers had gone to the prison to bring the apostles, but the apostles weren't there! The soldiers hurried back to the high priest and all those who were waiting and said that the prison had been securely locked, everything was shut, the keepers of the prison were standing outside the doors, but when the doors were opened, there was no one there!
- As the high priest and his group of people heard what had happened, they were confused and wondered where this was going to lead. Right then, someone came in and told the high priest that the men who he had put in prison were standing in the temple and teaching the people! The captain and his soldiers went to straight to the temple and brought the apostles back to the high priest, but they brought them back in a peaceful manner because the soldiers were afraid of the people. The apostles were healing the sick people and the people knew that only someone from God could do the things that apostles were doing. The soldiers were afraid that the people would throw stones at them, so they did not harm the apostles in the temple.
- When the apostles were brought in to the high priest and the Jewish council, the high priest asked them, "Didn't we tell you NOT to teach in this man's name? Now, just look! You have filled all of Jerusalem with your doctrine and teachings and intend to bring this man's blood upon us!" Then Peter and the other apostles answered the high priest, "We ought to obey God rather than men," and talked about how those Jews in the room had crucified Jesus.
- When the council heard Peter's words, they were convicted in their hearts because they knew what the apostles said was true. The council was talking about killing the apostles when a smart Jewish lawyer named Gamaliel, who was also a Pharisee, spoke up and said that there had been other men in the past who pretended to be someone important, but they had died and their followers had scattered. He said that if the things that the apostles were doing were from God, then they could not overthrow it, otherwise they might find themselves fighting against God. His advice was to leave the apostles alone. The council heard and considered Gamaliel's words and finally agreed with him.
- So, after the soldiers had beaten the apostles and commanded them not to speak anymore in the name of Jesus, they let them go. Now, we would think that being beaten and hurt was a terrible thing and it is, but do you know how the apostles felt about what had happened to them? The apostles were happy and rejoicing because they were considered worthy to suffer shame in the name of Jesus. Did they stop teaching and preaching in the name of Jesus? No, they did not. In fact, they did just the opposite! They went to the temple and in every house every day and did not stop teaching and preaching about Jesus!! They obeyed God rather than man!
- We live in a peaceful country right now, but think about a future time where we might find ourselves persecuted like the apostles were in this lesson. Will we be brave? Will we be bold? Will we keep teaching about Jesus no matter what the cost might be? Do we believe that Jesus was and is the Son of God? One day, we might need to confess Jesus as the Son of God. Will we confess Him or deny Him? Will we obey God or obey men? Discuss.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" tan construction paper, 4" x 7" piece of tan, light brown, or white paper, three 2.5" x 4" pieces of construction paper (any light colored paper), marker, crayons, glue, tape, scissors.
- Hand out tan paper.
- Fold paper, so that the two ends meet in the middle.
- Draw black lines down both sides of tan paper to resemble wood, making a rectangle for a "lock" on the door which stretches on both sides of doors in the middle of the paper.
- Hand out a piece of 4" x 7" of tan, white, or light brown paper.
- Draw a prison keeper. Color. Cut out.
- Glue prison keeper only on one side of the doors.
- Open paper.
- Draw the floor of the prison by drawing a line from the left corner to the first fold line; from that point straight across to the other fold line; then from that point angled down to right corner of paper.
- From top of inside of paper, draw two lines on the fold lines, meeting the floor lines. (See picture.)
- On 4" x 4" scrap of light colored paper, write, "But when the officers came, and found them NOT in the prison, they returned and told..." and "Acts 5:22".
- Refold on same fold lines.. closing doors.
- Using a 1" strip of tape, close doors.
- Turn paper over to the backside.
- Hand out three 2.5" x 4" scraps of paper.
- Fold back one edge of each small paper.
- Put glue on edges of paper only.
- Place three small papers on back of paper. Papers should open and close.
- On the outside of one paper, write "How did the apostles get out of prison?"
- Under the question written on paper, write the answer: "...the angel of the Lord opened the prison doors at night..." and "Acts 5:19, 20."
- On the second paper, write, "Where did the apostles go?"
- Under the second question, write the answer, "Go, stand, and speak in the temple..." and "Acts 5:19, 20."
- On the third paper, write "What did Peter tell the high priest?"
- Under the third question, write the answer, "We must obey God rather than man." and "Acts 5:29."