Act 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
Act 4:25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
Act 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Act 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
Act 4:30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
These disciples were full of faith; because they had once again seen the physical evidence of the risen Christ in the healing of the man over 40 years old, and knew that the same power that healed him, was there in their midst to answer their request for boldness to be a mighty witness for Christ even in the middle of such fierce persecution. This is what the body of Christ is dealing with today, on every corner of the planet. Unreasonable hatred, ridicule, cruel mocking, physical abuse, beheadings, barbaric acts of violence. These abuses aren’t just happening in third world countries, they are happening right here, in our own towns, and neighborhoods.
When we read the response of Peter and John before they prayed, we see they already had great boldness:
Act 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Act 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
But, they asked for more, and received it. God honors what honors Him.
The greatest weapons Satan uses in this country is intimidation, provoking, mocking, and ridicule. His objective is to cause the Christian to shrink into silence, from fear of being rejected by the “mob”, or the majority who congregate together, and use the same strategy of those who breathed out threatening to Peter and John. It didn’t work with them, because of their boldness, and that’s what we need also.
In Timothy Paul describes to us what it will be like in the last days before the Lord’s return; I believe we are living in those days now.
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2Ti 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The power of the Holy Spirit is given, in order to be the witnesses we need to be for the reality of the risen Christ, and proclaim His gospel in the face of such opposition. It’s my prayer that God’s people will get back into the bible, and study the gospels and the book of Acts until the Holy Spirit ignites their spirits with the reality of what the purpose of the Holy Spirit being given to us truly is, and pray as those disciples did, and for the same reason they did.
Great learning and intellectualism has it’s place, I know we have to be able to give an answer for the faith that is in us. But those disciples didn’t have great intellectualism, and still turned the world upside down. What could someone with a working knowledge of scripture, and the boldness of these disciples do today?
It was not to get rich, to promote themselves, or their ministries, it was to promote the living Christ, and His power to change any life, and proclaim the gospel, no matter what it cost them, with courage, and without compromise. This is what is needed in this hour.