Tuesday, October 10, 2017
“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).
Despite the persecution, the Word of God will be proclaimed, it will grow, it will multiply, and it will prevail!
In chapter 3, Apostles Peter and John heal the lame man who has sat at the Temple gate for many years. Peter begins to deliver his second sermon in Jerusalem, urging apostate Israel to repent and prepare for (resurrected) Jesus Christ’s return. As chapter 4 opens, the nation’s religious leaders are very displeased to hear about the Lord Jesus. They imprison Peter and John, releasing them after threatening them and telling them not to preach at all in Jesus’ name. Today’s Scripture is believing Israel’s prayer to God that they might speak His Word with confidence in the midst of mistreatment.
We read in Acts 6:7, several months later: “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Once chapter 12 begins, King Herod kills the Apostle James brother of John. He is trying to silence God’s message by slaying God’s messenger. As prideful Herod gives a speech, “immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten with worms, and gave up the ghost” (verse 23). In contrast to its now-deceased opponent, “But the word of God grew and multiplied” (verse 24). Describing the Apostle Paul’s Gentile ministry out in modern Turkey, far from Jerusalem, Acts 19:20 says: “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” These pagans gave up their witchcraft and other occult practices, and they embraced sound Bible doctrine!
While Satan throughout the Book of Acts tried his absolute best to stamp out God’s Word, to prevent it from spreading, he failed. It “prevailed.” However, he is active today, 20 centuries later, still tirelessly opposing it via governmental oppression and corrupting it through religious tradition. As Acts demonstrates, however, he is fighting a losing battle! Praise the Lord! Like before, “so mightily grew the word of God and prevailed!”