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The Truth Cannot Be Silenced

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter [see Peter's Ministry] and John [see The Apostle John], and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the Name of Jesus." (Acts 4:13-18 KJV)

"Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word"

It was, in part, a great irony. The office of high priest was instituted by God as a foreshadow of the Christ (see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?), but when He came at last, the high priest not only failed to recognize Who He was, he actually had Him killed. That part is not entirely ironic - the high priest was to be responsible for the Passover lamb (see Christ's Passover) and the blood on the Day of Atonement (see Christ's Day Of Atonement). Nevertheless, the high priest was supposed to be a servant of The Lord, not an unbeliever in Jesus Christ. He also ordered the "unlearned and ignorant" apostles to stop preaching the Gospel, as quoted in the verses above. But what did Peter and John do? Their answer:

Olive Trees and Lamp Stands

"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. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed." (Acts 4:19-22 KJV)

Peter and John managed to get out of the situation with their lives, but it's obvious that they would have died then and there rather than be voluntarily silenced. They realized however that they would need The Lord's protection. If they hadn't already asked for it, it seems that they decided that it was time that they did, "Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word."

"And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 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: Who by the mouth of Thy servant David [see King David] hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod [see The Herods] and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word, By stretching forth Thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of Thy holy child Jesus." (Acts 4:23-30 KJV)

Their prayer was answered.

"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." (Acts 4:31 KJV)

Fact Finder: The apostle Peter was regarded as "unlearned and ignorant" while the apostle Paul, the Pharisee, was a man of great education. What made them equals as servants of God?
See Peter and Paul

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