But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy, and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public custody.
But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out, and said,
"Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life."
When they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, and taught. But the high priest came, and those who were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
But the officers who came didn't find them in the prison. They returned and reported,
"We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!"
Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these words, they were very perplexed about them and what might become of this.
One came and told them, "Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple, standing and teaching the people."
Then the captain went with the officers, and brought them without violence, for they were afraid that the people might stone them.
When they had brought them, they set them before the council. The high priest questioned them,
saying, "Didn't we strictly charge you not to teach in this name? Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's blood on us."
But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you killed, hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.
We are His witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and determined to kill them.
But one stood up in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, honored by all the people, and commanded to put the apostles out for a little while.
He said to them, "You men of Israel, be careful concerning these men, what you are about to do.
For before these days Theudas rose up, making himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nothing.
After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the enrollment, and drew away some people after him. He also perished, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad.
Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown.
But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it, and you would be found even to be fighting against God!"
They agreed with him. Summoning the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for Jesus' name. Every day, in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and preaching Jesus, the Christ.
Insight- An angel of the Lord miraculously delivered the apostles who had be imprisoned by the high priest and told them to preach the words of eternal life in the temple. When they did so, they were questioned by the authorities. In reply they said that they must obey God rather than men. The apostles were beaten again and told not to speak again in the name of Jesus, but they never stopped teaching and preaching about Jesus Christ.
Question- Angels are at work today in the life of believers to protect and deliver them from evil spirits. Have you experienced angelic deliverance in your life lately?
Prayer- Dear Father in Heaven, send your angels to protect and deliver me from all evil. Grant me grace to proclaim the Gospel despite opposition. In Jesus name. Amen.
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