Proof of God Denied

In Acts chapters 3 and 4, we are presented with a complete demonstration of the power of God in the new covenant age – the power of the name, Yeshua Messiah. Peter and John commanded healing to a man born lame, who was now over forty years old. This miracle of healing was beyond dispute as everyone knew the man and his history, there was no medical treatment and it happened publicly. 

Peter observed the astonishment of the people at the jumping rejoicing man who was miraculously restored. In a bold unashamed fashion Peter lays out the facts without tact or excuse. “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.” (Acts 3:12-15) He continued to encourage the people to repent and follow Abraham, Moses, Samuel and the prophets who foretold these days of Yeshua, Messiah. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus….When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”  (Acts 3:19-20, 26) 

This glorious moment was interrupted by Priests and Captain of the temple guard. “They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. (Acts 4:2-3) The next day they had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: ‘By what power or what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.” Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’ ” (Acts 4:7-12) 

This message from the Holy Spirit was lost on the leaders although they took note that Peter and John had been with Jesus; the man healed was standing there with them. They conferred together saying, “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it… Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:16,18) “Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’ After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.” (Acts 4:19-21) 

“On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” ‘ ” (Acts 4:23-30)

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