Acts 51 A man named Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold a field. He brought some of the money to the apostles. But he kept the rest of it. His wife knew what he had done. 3 Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart? Why do you lie to the Holy Spirit? You have kept some of the money which you got for the field. 4 As long as you had the field, it belonged to you. When you had the money, you could do what you wanted to do with it. Why then did you plan to do a thing like this? You have not lied to men, but to God.’ 5 As Ananias heard Peter’s words, he fell down and died. All who heard these things were very much afraid. 6 The young men came and wrapped him up. They carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later, his wife came in. She did not know what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, ‘Tell me, did you sell the field for so much money?’ and she answered, ‘Yes, that is how much it was.’ 9 Then Peter said to her, ‘Why did you two agree together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen, I hear the footsteps of the men who buried your husband. They are at the door. They will carry you out too.’ 10 And she fell down at Peter’s feet and died. The young men came in and saw that she was dead. They carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Then all the church people, and all the people who heard about this were very much afraid. 12 The apostles did many signs and wonderful things for the people who met together in the place called Solomon’s porch. 13 Other people feared to join them, but they spoke well of them. 14 Many more men and women believed and came to the Lord. 15 They brought sick people out into the streets and laid them on beds and mats. They hoped that at least Peter’s shadow would touch them as he passed by. 16 Many people also came from the cities around Jerusalem. They brought others who were sick and those who were controlled by bad spirits. Every one of them was healed. 17 Some Sadducees were with the high priest. They all became very jealous. 18 They caught the apostles and put them in prison. 19 But that night the angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out. 20 ‘Go,’ said the angel. ‘Stand in the temple and tell the people all about this new life.’ 21 When the apostles heard that, they went into the temple early in the morning and taught the people there. The high priest and his men came. They called a meeting of the court and all the leaders of the Jews. Then they sent men to the prison to bring the apostles out. 22 When the men came to the prison, they did not find the apostles there. Then they went back and told the high priest and those with him. 23 They said, ‘The prison was locked very well. And the police were guarding the doors. But when we opened the doors, no one was inside.’ 24 When the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard this, they did not know what to think. ‘We wonder what will come from all this,’ they thought. 25 Just then someone came and told them, ‘The men you put in prison are standing in the temple teaching the people.’ 26 Then the captain went with the men and brought the apostles quietly. They did not bring them by force because they were afraid the people would kill them with stones. 27 So they brought them in and put them before the court. The high priest asked them, ‘Did we not tell you that you must never teach again in this name? But here you are, teaching people all over Jerusalem in this name. You are trying to put on us the blame for this man’s death.’ 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered them, ‘We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, the one you killed by hanging on a dead tree. 31 God has made him great at his right side. He has made him leader and Saviour. He has done this so that the people of Israel may stop doing wrong things and be forgiven. 32 We know these things are true. So does the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’ 33 When the judges heard this, they were very, very angry and wanted to kill them. 34 Then a lawyer named Gamaliel stood up in the court. He was a Pharisee and all the people respected him. He asked that the apostles be taken out for a while. 35 Then he said, ‘Men of Israel, you had better take care what you plan to do to these men. 36 Before this time, there was a man named Theudas. He tried to make people believe that he was a great man. He had about four hundred followers. He was killed, and all of his followers were scattered, and the whole thing ended. 37 Then after that, at tax time, another man named Judas from Galilee made trouble. Many people followed him. He also was killed and all of his followers were scattered. 38, 38 So now, I say, do nothing to these men. Leave them alone. If this is the teaching or work of men, it will come to an end. But if it is of God, you cannot stop these men. You might even be fighting against God!’ 40 They agreed to do what he said. They called in the apostles and had them beaten. They told them not to speak in the name of Jesus. Then they let them go. 41 The apostles left the court. They were very glad to think that God let them be punished for the name of Jesus. 42 Every day, in the temple and in homes, they kept on teaching and talking about Jesus Christ.
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