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Drawn To The Light
Although Christianity often found itself to be a persecuted minority, the people of God ("church" means people, specifically, called out ones; see What Is The Church? and Church of God) had a powerful witness by means of the Holy Spirit within them (see also Spiritual Conception):
"5:12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. 5:13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 5:14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. 5:15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 5:16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one." (Acts 5:12-16 KJV)
"We ought to obey God rather than men"
The apostles' "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29 KJV) was a direct challenge to the spiritually-blinded religious leadership of that time - and for all time. The efforts to stifle the Gospel were unsuccessful, partly because too many people had become believers, but also because some of the council had the wisdom of Gamaliel: "5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God" (Acts 5:39 KJV).
"5:17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, which is the sect of the Sadducees, and were filled with indignation, 5:18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 5:19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 5:20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.