Chapter Four — Part Five: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 04/18/2021

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 4:25-31

1. Powerful Prayers Continued.
a. After Peter and John were released by the Sanhedrin, they went back to their own company—their fellow believers—and they began to cry out to the Father, with one heart and mind.
b. This is one of the most powerful prayers in the Bible—and a good example for us to follow.
c. There was a sense of urgency in their prayer.
d. Those who are actively witnessing for the Lord, out in the world, are more likely to pray a fervent prayer than those who are not “in the trenches.”
e. But “comfortable” Christians pray relaxed and comfortable prayers—with no sense of urgency or passion.

2. Praying God’s Word.
a. They continued with their prayer (that began in verse 24), quoting from the Scriptures.
b. Just like King David, they were encouraging themselves in the Lord their God—reminding themselves of what God’s Word says (1 Sam. 30:6).
c. The devil will always challenge God’s Word—and will overcome you if you surrender to doubt and unbelief.
d. That is why it is so important for each one of us to have a solid scriptural foundation.
e. The more of God’s Word you have in your heart, the more power there is in your prayers and through your life.

3. God’s Will and Word Will Prevail.
a. Acts 4:25 KJV — Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
b. Vain things are things that are fruitless, and which will not succeed.
c. Acts 4:26 KJV — The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
d. They stood up against the Lord and His Christ—His Anointed—the Messiah.
e. This is clearly a reference to the Trinity—the Father and the Son (Who was anointed by the Holy Spirit).
f. Acts 4:27 KJV — For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together.
g. Those who stood against almighty God in crucifying Jesus were:
        - The rulers of Israel.
        - Kings—Pilate; Herod; Caesar.
        - The Jewish nation.
        - The heathen Gentiles.
h. In their prayer, they quoted a prophecy from the book of Psalms.
h. Psalm 2:1-4 KJV — Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
i. The enemy always tries to gang up on God and His people, but he will always lose!
j. Make sure you always remain on God’s side—it is the winning side.
k. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31b)
l. God sits in the heavens and laughs—they, and their plans, will come to nothing—and God always gets the last laugh!

4. God’s Determined Purpose.
a. Acts 4:28 AMPC — To carry out all that Your hand and Your will and purpose had predestined (predetermined) should occur.
b. God’s determined counsel (will or purpose) was that Jesus would pay the price and be sacrificed to redeem and save sinners.
c. Determined (proorízō): to limit in advance; predetermine; predestinate; determine before; ordain or foreordain; decide or appoint beforehand; to decree from eternity.
d. Romans 5:8 AMPC — But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.
e. Nothing and no one could prevent this from taking place.
f. Acts 2:23a AMPC — This Jesus, when delivered up according to the definite and fixed purpose and settled plan and foreknowledge of God…
g. Acts 3:18 AMPC — Thus has God fulfilled what He foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ (the Messiah) should undergo ill treatment and be afflicted and suffer.
h. God endowed man with a free will and the responsibility to make his own choices and decisions, but man will never be able to thwart or frustrate the plan of God.
i. The devil, and all these rebellious people, fell right into God’s “trap.”
j. Even in their rebellion and resistance to God’s will, they fulfilled His will by crucifying Jesus.
k. Ultimately, God knows all things and, through it all, His will, His plans, and His purposes will be accomplished.

5. Boldness.
a. Acts 4:29 KJV — And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.
b. Boldness (parrhesia): freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; openly, frankly, i.e without concealment; without ambiguity or circumlocution; without the use of figures and comparisons; free and fearless confidence; cheerful courage; boldness, assurance.
c. Acts 4:30 KJV — By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
d. They did not ask for protection or deliverance or even for God to destroy their enemies.
e. They asked for power from heaven to preach the Word and heal the sick.
f. And they wanted to bring glory to God and to His Son Jesus.
g. Because it is the Name of Jesus, that gives us the power and authority to boldly minister the Word and perform signs, wonders, and miracles.
h. Ultimately, everything we do (in submission and obedience to Him) should bring God all the glory.

6. Answer from Heaven.
a. Father God answered their prayer, and they went out and fulfilled their commitment.
b. Acts 4:31 AMPC — And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage.
c. God shook the place and filled them with fresh anointing and boldness.
d. They went out and continued to minister in power, seeing great results.