When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven 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 take their stand and the rulers gather 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 miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement),
sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.
With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.
Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.
Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price."
Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade.
No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.
Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.
Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.
They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.
"Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life."
At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin--the full assembly of the elders of Israel--and sent to the jail for the apostles.
But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported,
"We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside."
On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.
Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people."
At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.
"We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!
The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead--whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.