Now as they were speaking to the people, the priests, the commander of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them,
because they were provoked that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in the person of Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
So they seized them and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000.
The next day, their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem
with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander, and all the members of the high-priestly family.
After they had Peter and John stand before them, they asked the question: "By what power or in what name have you done this?"
Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man-- by what means he was healed--
let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene-- whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead-- by Him this man is standing here before you healthy.
This [Jesus] is The stone despised by you builders, who has become the cornerstone.
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved."
When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and knew that they had been with Jesus.
And since they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in response.
After they had ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, they conferred among themselves,
saying, "What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign, evident to all who live in Jerusalem, has been done through them, and we cannot deny it!
But so this does not spread any further among the people, let's threaten them against speaking to anyone in this name again."
So they called for them and ordered them not to preach or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it's right in the sight of God [for us] to listen to you rather than to God, you decide;
for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."
After threatening them further, they released them. They found no way to punish them, because the people were all giving glory to God over what had been done;
for the man was over 40 years old on whom this sign of healing had been performed.
After they were released, they went to their own fellowship and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
When they heard this, they raised their voices to God unanimously and said, "Master, You are the One who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and everything in them.
You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David Your servant: Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot futile things?
The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers assembled together against the Lord and against His Messiah.
"For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, assembled together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed,
to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place.
And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness,
while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus."
When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God's message with boldness.
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common.
And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on all of them.
For there was not a needy person among them, because all those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,
and laid them at the apostles' feet. This was then distributed to each person as anyone had a need.
Joseph, a Levite and a Cypriot by birth, whom the apostles named Barnabas, which is translated Son of Encouragement,
sold a field he owned, brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
But a man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property.
However, he kept back part of the proceeds with his wife's knowledge, and brought a portion of it and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Then Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field?
Wasn't it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn't it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!"
When he heard these words, Ananias dropped dead, and a great fear came on all who heard.
The young men got up, wrapped [his body], carried him out, and buried him.
There was an interval of about three hours; then his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
"Tell me," Peter asked her, "did you sell the field for this price?" "Yes," she said, "for that price."
Then Peter said to her, "Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!"
Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in, they found her dead, carried her out, and buried her beside her husband.
Then great fear came on the whole church and on all who heard these things.
Many signs and wonders were being done among the people through the hands of the apostles. By common consent they would all meet in Solomon's Colonnade.
None of the rest dared to join them, but the people praised them highly.
Believers were added to the Lord in increasing numbers-- crowds of both men and women.
As a result, they would carry the sick out into the streets and lay them on beds and pallets so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them.
In addition, a multitude came together from the towns surrounding Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Then the high priest took action. He and all his colleagues, those who belonged to the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.
So they arrested the apostles and put them in the city jail.
But an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail during the night, brought them out, and said,
"Go and stand in the temple complex, and tell the people all about this life."
In obedience to this, they entered the temple complex at daybreak and began to teach. When the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they convened the Sanhedrin-- the full Senate of the sons of Israel-- and sent [orders] to the jail to have them brought.
But when the temple police got there, they did not find them in the jail, so they returned and reported,
"We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing in front of the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!"
As the captain of the temple police and the chief priests heard these things, they were baffled about them, as to what could come of this.
Someone came and reported to them, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple complex and teaching the people."
Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them in without force, because they were afraid the people might stone them.
When they had brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin, and the high priest asked,
"Didn't we strictly order you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to bring this man's blood on us!"
But Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree.
God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."
When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered the men to be taken outside for a little while.
He said to them, "Men of Israel, be careful about what you're going to do to these men.
Not long ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about 400 men rallied to him. He was killed, and all his partisans were dispersed and came to nothing.
After this man, Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and attracted a following. That man also perished, and all his partisans were scattered.
And now, I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or this work is of men, it will be overthrown;
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against God." So they were persuaded by him.
After they called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them.
Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be dishonored on behalf of the name.
Every day in the temple complex, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that the Messiah is Jesus.
In those days, as the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution.
Then the Twelve summoned the whole company of the disciples and said, "It would not be right for us to give up preaching about God to wait on tables.
Therefore, brothers, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we can appoint to this duty.
But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry."
The proposal pleased the whole company. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte from Antioch.
They had them stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
So the preaching about God flourished, the number of the disciples in Jerusalem multiplied greatly, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.
Then some from what is called the Freedmen's Synagogue, composed of both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and disputed with Stephen.
But they were unable to stand up against the wisdom and the Spirit by whom he spoke.
Then they induced men to say, "We heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God!"
They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; so they came up, dragged him off, and took him to the Sanhedrin.
They also presented false witnesses who said, "This man does not stop speaking blasphemous words against this holy place and the law.
For we heard him say that Jesus, this Nazarene, will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us."
And all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.