Acts 4-5 give us an idea of how the enemies of Christ’s representatives operate. The following list is an excellent foil for the attributes of the apostles.
Acts 4-5: Qualities of Non-Disciples
- Grieved at the truth (4:2).
- Examines good deeds (4:9) in an effort to find fault with the apostles’ message.
- Sets at naught the things of God (4:11; 5:34-39; See also 1 Nephi 19:7). Compare “set at naught” vs. “come to naught.” Gamaliel’s advice to those opposing Peter is to leave him alone. If his message is untrue, it will be “brought to nought” (Acts 5:36). If it is true, “ye cannot overthrow it” (Acts 5:39).
- The believe knowledge comes only from worldly learning (4:13).
- Their “What shall we do?” is so they do not have to change their ways, but to eliminate the accuser (4:16).
- Threatens (4:17).
- Hearkens more unto men than unto God (4:19, 21).
- Attitudes toward consecration:
- Keeps back part (5:2).
- Builds bigger barns to hold their wealth (Luke 12:18).
- Boasts to be somebody (5:36; 8:9).
- Does not accept responsibility for their actions (5:28; Compare Matt 27:25; See also Mosiah 12:9-14).