IN SOLOMON’S PORCH
Acts 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. 12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
Professing Christians have here been exposed actually as counterfeits, and have fallen dead at the rebuke of an Apostle revealing their crime as that of lying to the Holy Spirit! Is it any wonder that “great fear” not only fell upon all the church, but also upon as many as heard these things! It was well that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (1 Tim. 5:20).
And then we have that parenthesis making up the last half of verse twelve through verse fourteen. It not only reveals that the strength of godly fear was so powerfully experienced among the population of the city that none would dare join in with this company of professing believers in any frivolous fashion, but also where the true believers were comfortable in assembling themselves together. We must also take note that this strong display by the Holy Spirit of a reverential fear of God did not, however, hinder, but aided true conversions! For in this parenthesis we read in verse fourteen that even “multitudes both of men and women” were added to the Lord at this very time!
And just where was that place of assembly for the sheep of Christ to be gathered together? It was said in verse twelve that it was in Solomon’s porch! Let us attempt to see, by the Spirit’s help, if we can discern any edifying truths from this fact.
First of all we find that this was a place where the Lord Jesus once walked. John 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. And what greater place have those pilgrims and strangers except in following him who had no place to lay his head? For they, as true sheep, follow their Shepherd wherever he goes! Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
This is also reflected in the recorded communion between the Shepherdess and the Shepherd King in Solomon’s Song. Song 1:7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? 8 If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.
We should also take notice of the one Lamb on Solomon’s Porch as we see in John 10:23 (listed above), as compared to that multitude of physical lambs in 1 Kings who were sacrificed for the dedication of Solomon’s original temple. 1Kings 8:62 And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the LORD. 63 And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.
I cannot imagine the sacrificing of 120,000 sheep, much less 22,000 oxen! I have never ever seen 120,000 sheep! But our one Lamb – the Lamb of God (John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.), – did, by himself, that which all these lambs could never do! For their sacrifice never took away one single sin!
But listen at this! Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Holy Lamb, being offered one time did that which the sacrifices of the multitudes of physical lambs, often offered, could never do! He took away all sins of all the entire church for all eternity! And he also did that which no other priest could ever do! He sat down! They could never sit down as their job of sacrificing was never complete! But because he satisfied the Father and justified the entire elect of God, his work being completed, he sat down! Bless his holy name!
And this porch was a place originally prepared by God! 1 Chron. 28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, 12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
David, the father, gave to his son “the pattern of the porch,” just as God, the Father, prepared a place of sojourn and gathering for the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and all his spiritual sheep. For just as God informed David that He had chosen to be a father to Solomon, so the Eternal Son was chosen to be the only begotten of God! 1 Chron. 28:6 And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. And all the true church were elected in him before the foundation of the world! Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
For you see, dear reader, a greater than Solomon is to be had in Jesus of Nazareth! Matt. 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
For even Solomon’s knees, as well as every being’s, human or spiritual, shall bow to the Lord Jesus! Phil. 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; Make no mistake about it! It’s not a matter of “if” they shall bow! It is only a matter of “when” they shall bow!
At the beginning of this article we spoke of the great fear that came upon both the church and any of those outside the church who even heard about the deaths of those who had lied to the Holy Spirit. And this reverential fear of God is that which is sorely missing in our nation today! For one of the characteristics of those who have gone out of the way and become unprofitable is that There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:12, 18). And where there is no wholesome fear of God, sinful fears arrest the human soul!
For the only thing that will remove sinful fears from the heart and mind is the proper fear of the Lord! Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever:
Listen to this most specific instruction concerning healthy, spiritual fear. Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
The Prophet Isaiah was spoken to by the strong hand of the Lord concerning sinful fear. He was instructed that if these sinful fears are allowed to abide within the Christian community there will be a sinful coalition – a sinful confederacy – seeking safety in numbers, rather than in God. And when an association, or fellowship, or denomination, or human membership is sought to for comfort and safety rather than God, it can become a very destructive force to wholesome spirituality that only trusts in God by faith!
And what is that which the Lord instructs Isaiah that destroys sinful fear? It is an honoring of God by letting him be both one’s fear and dread. For the only weapon against sinful fear is the fear of God.
Solomon gave two results of seeking God’s wisdom and understanding. The first is that only as we receive the reverential fear of God could we possible come to truly know God! Proverbs 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. The second is that only in this way could one come to dwell in the proper understanding of the Holy Spirit! Proverbs 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
But just how can we say that Proverbs 2:9 has anything to do with the understanding of the Spirit? Just listen to the Lord’s words as he acquaints us with that which the Holy Spirit shall do: John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Solomon said that having a proper fear of the Lord would grant one understanding of “righteousness, and judgment, and equity. (That word, equity is the same Hebrew word, right things in Proverbs 8:6. It comes from the Hebrew word translated make…straight in Isaiah 40:3, where the including phrase is, “make the crooked places straight.”) And our Lord instructed us that these are the very matters of concern of which the Holy Spirit shall reprove and convict the world! – righteousness, judgment, and sin!
So the fear of God in our Acts five passage is the working of the Holy Spirit in regenerating grace in the church. And the sin of which he reproved them was that they had previously failed to believe on Christ as their Messiah. The righteousness of which the Holy Spirit reproved them was that Jesus was not a “malefactor” (evildoer), as they had proclaimed, but was not only just righteous, but the provider of righteousness to all who believe. (1 Corin. 1:30). For he was no less than very God, presently sitting on the right hand of the Majesty on High! And lastly, they were made aware of accountability! All would be judged, for Satan himself, the greatest evil doer, was judged and cast down at Calvary! (John 12:31).
Pastor Gene Breed