1 Now a man called Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold some property.
2 He kept back some of the money he received for himself, and brought the rest to present to the apostles. His wife knew what he was doing.
3 Then Peter asked him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan convince you to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back some of the money from the land you sold?
4 While you had the land, didn't it belong to you? And after you sold it, didn't you still have control over what you did with the money? Why did you decide to do this? You haven't lied to human beings, but to God!”
5 Hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. Everyone who heard what happened was terrified.
6 Some of the young men got up and wrapped him in a shroud. Then they carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife arrived, not knowing what had happened.
8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, did you sell the land for this price?”
“Yes, that was the price,” she replied.
9 Then Peter told her, “How could you agree together to swindle the Spirit of the Lord? Look, those who buried your husband are just returning, and they'll carry you out too!”
10 Immediately she fell down dead at his feet. The young men came back in and found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
11 Great fear spread through the whole church, as well as among everyone who heard what had happened.
12 Many miraculous signs were performed among the people by the apostles. All the believers used to meet together in Solomon's porch.
13 Nobody else dared to join them even though they were greatly respected.
14 However, many men and women came to believe in the Lord.
15 As a result, people brought those who were sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that as Peter passed by his shadow might fall on them.
16 Crowds from the towns around Jerusalem brought their sick and those afflicted by evil spirits. They were all healed.
17 However, the high priest and those with him (who were Sadducees) became very jealous and decided to intervene.
18 They arrested the apostles and threw them in the public jail.
19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and led them out.
20 “Go to the Temple and tell the people everything about this new way of life!” he told them.
21 They did as they were told and went into the Temple at around dawn and began teaching.
Then the high priest and his followers called a council meeting with all the leaders of Israel. He sent for the apostles to be brought from prison.
22 But when the officials went to the prison they couldn't find the apostles so they went back and told the council,
23 “We found the prison all locked up, with guards at the doors. But when we had them open up, we couldn't find anyone inside.”
24 Now when the captain of the Temple guards and the chief priests heard this they were totally baffled, and wondered what was going on.
25 Then someone came in and said, “Look, the men you put in prison are right there in the Temple teaching people!”
26 So the captain went with his guards and brought them in, but did not use force because they were afraid that the people would stone them.
27 The apostles were brought in and made to stand in front of the council.
28 “Didn't we order you not to teach in this name?” the high priest demanded to know. “Now look—you've filled the whole of Jerusalem with your teaching, and you're trying to blame us for his death!”
29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We have to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our forefathers raised Jesus from the dead—the one you killed by hanging him on a cross.
31 God exalted him to a position of honor at his right hand as Prince and Savior, as a way to bring repentance to Israel, and for the forgiveness of sins.
32 We are witnesses of what happened, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33 When the council heard this they were furious and wanted to kill them.
34 But then one of the council members stood up to speak. He was Gamaliel, a Pharisee and a doctor of law who was respected by everyone. He ordered the apostles sent out for a short while.
35 Gamaliel addressed the council: “Leaders of Israel, be careful what you plan to do to these men.
36 Some time ago Theudas tried to make a name for himself, and about four hundred men joined him. He was killed and all who followed him were scattered and it came to nothing.
37 Then after him Judas of Galilee came along at the time of the census, and he attracted some followers. He also died, and those who listened to him were dispersed.
38 So in the current case I recommend that you leave these men alone, and just let them go. If what they are planning or what they are doing comes from their own human thinking, then it will be defeated.
39 But if it comes from God, you won't be able to defeat them. You could even find yourselves fighting against God!”
40 They were convinced by what he said. So they called the apostles back in, had them whipped, and ordered them not to say anything in the name of Jesus. Then they let them go.
41 The apostles left the council, happy to be considered worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus.
42 Every day they continued to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, in the Temple and from house to house.