Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

“Ye Shall Be Witnesses unto Me”


Scripture links are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
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Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog


Many reading this blog may be baptized members of the Church. Many may be considering or investigating the Church and the covenant of baptism. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are taught that baptism is a covenant we make with Jesus Christ. Through baptism, by an ordained priesthood holder holding the proper authority; we gain the remission of our sins and there by make promises to and for Him; one of those being to be a witness of the reality of Jesus Christ. In return for our baptism and covenant making He gives us, what I believe, is the greatest gift we can receive while living and enduring our daily life upon this earth, the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Today through our continued study in the New Testament and our reading of Acts 1-5 we are reminded of our responsibility to be witnesses of Jesus Christ and to see how the gift of the Holy Ghost helps us do so.


The Book of Acts:  The Acts of the Apostles forms an important bridge between the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the writings and labors of His Apostles. The book of Acts provides us with our principal view of the Church of Jesus Christ during its formative years. In it we see the members and leaders of the infant Church working to overcome the problems encountered when the teachings of Jesus Christ came in conflict with Jewish traditions and Gentile influences. Unlike the four Gospels, which share a large amount of similar content, the book of Acts stands relatively alone; without it, the only information we would have about the early history of the Church would be the small amount provided by the New Testament epistles. In addition, Acts provides valuable historical context for the epistles of Paul.

The book of Acts covers a period of about thirty years and is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke. It is a sequel to the Gospels and was written by Luke to tell what the leaders of the Church did after Jesus' ascension into heaven, especially in missionary work among the Gentiles. Luke was a Gentile and was the natural one to write about missionary work among the Gentiles because he was there when it all began.

Acts is a dramatic and moving story about how the early Church taught the gospel of Jesus Christ first to the Jews, next the Samaritans, and then to the Gentiles. Some casually think of the book of Acts as history and of the Epistles as doctrine, but this classification is too simplistic. All of the books are rich in both history and doctrine: there is much doctrine in Acts and much history in the Epistles. These writings demonstrate the diligent efforts of the Church leaders in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to both Jew and Gentile. The Brethren were determined and enthusiastic, alive with the spirit of missionary work and the testimony of Jesus. They knew they had the most important message in the world for their day, and they proceeded to give it.  (Robert J Mathews Gospel Scholars Series) 

Acts 1-5
Acts 1–5 contains truths that will help us more fully rely on the Holy Ghost and be faithful witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 1. Tells that after ministering among his disciples for 40 days, the resurrected Lord ascends into heaven. Matthias is chosen to fill the vacancy left by Judas in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

In Acts 2. on the day of Pentecost, the Apostles are filled with the Holy Ghost and speak in many languages. Many who hear them are converted.

Acts 3–4. Gives much insight into Peter and his feelings to the events that have happened.  As well he and John heal a lame man and testify that the man was healed by the power of Jesus Christ. The Apostles pray for and receive great power through the Holy Ghost.

Acts 5 . The Apostles continue to preach and heal with great power. They are arrested and jailed but are released from prison by an angel. They declare to the chief priests that they obey God rather than men. Gamaliel counsels the Pharisees not to kill the Apostles.

Part 1: Acts 1:1–8; 2:37–39; 4:1–16, 31–33 Jesus Christ directs His Church through the Holy Ghost.

After Jesus was resurrected, he stayed with his disciples for 40 days, “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” Acts 1:3

3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:


Just before he returned to his Father in Heaven, what did he promise his Apostles they would soon receive? Acts 1:4–5?   Although the Apostles had experienced manifestations of the Holy Ghost, they had not yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  They were instructed by the Lord that they would now receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  

4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Why did the Apostles need the Holy Ghost?  As recorded in Luke 24:49, the Savior instructed the Apostles that they were to begin their ministry only after they had been “endued with power from on high.”

What did Jesus tell the Apostles they were to do after they received the gift of the Holy Ghost? Acts 1:8
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Jud├Ža, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

How did the Apostles fulfill this responsibility in the time just after Jesus’ Resurrection? Acts 2–5.

How did the gift of the Holy Ghost help the Apostles in their responsibility to be witnesses of Jesus Christ? John 15:26–27; 1 Corinthians 12:3.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.


What is the role of the Holy Ghost in our efforts to teach the gospel?  2 Nephi 33:1; D&C 42:14.
1 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.

How does the Holy Ghost help you in your callings? For me I can do nothing without the Holy Ghost. I can't write this blog nor teach the class as gospel doctrine teacher. The Holy Ghost leads to me to scriptures, commentary, and resources that give me an understanding I have prayed for as well I hope that others have prayed for too...

How does Jesus Christ direct His Church in our day through the Holy Ghost?  Acts 1:1–8; 2:37–39; 4:1–16, 31–33  

What are some things you do to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost in your responsibility as a witness of Jesus Christ?

Part 2: Acts 1:15–26 The Apostles of Jesus Christ are called by God through revelation.
After the Lord’s Ascension, a new Apostle was chosen to fill the vacancy in the Quorum left by Judas. 

15 ¶ And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Anciently, casting lots was a means of making a decision. Among the Jews it was generally believed that the hand of God would direct the outcome Proverbs 16:33. Though the exact method of casting lots in this instance is not known, one ancient method involved each voter writing a name on a broken piece of pottery and then putting it forth to be read or counted.

How was Matthias chosen as the new Apostle?  Acts 1:21–26.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostle

New members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the ancient Church were called by revelation, just as they are today. President Gordon B. Hinckley shared the following insights about the process of calling a new Apostle: “The procedure is peculiar to the Lord’s church. There is no seeking for office, no jockeying for position, no campaigning to promote one’s virtues. Contrast the Lord’s way with the way of the world. The Lord’s way is quiet, it is a way of peace, it is without fanfare or monetary costs. It is without egotism or vanity or ambition. Under the Lord’s plan, those who have responsibility to select officers are governed by one overriding question: ‘Whom would the Lord have?’ There is quiet and thoughtful deliberation. And there is much of prayer to receive the confirmation of the Holy Spirit that the choice is correct” (“God Is at the Helm,” Ensign, May 1994, 53).

How are Apostles and other Church leaders chosen today?  Articles of Faith 1:5.
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

When choosing a replacement for Judas Iscariot in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the remaining Apostles understood the importance of the man being a witness, with the others, of Jesus’s ministry, from His baptism through His Resurrection (see Acts 1:22). The importance of this eyewitness testimony is a major theme in the early Church and the early chapters of Acts (see Acts 2:32; 3:15; 4:20; 5:32).  The Apostles sought to know whom the Lord had chosen (see Acts 1:24). A similar process is followed in the modern Church. .  (New Testament Student Manual) 

How does this knowledge affect our faith in the leaders the Lord has called? 

How have you gained your witness of modern apostles and prophets?


Part 3:  Acts 2:22–47; 3:13–26; 4:5–12  We receive the blessings of the Atonement as we live the first principles and ordinances of the gospel.

How can we find meaning in the simple truths Peter and John taught which are; (faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end)? One way might be to explore the importance of these principles and ordinances, sometimes referred to as the doctrine of Christ. 

The following are aspects of the doctrine of Christ: 

Faith in Jesus Christ: Faith is confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that lead a person to obey Him. Faith must be centered in Jesus Christ in order for it to lead a person to salvation. Latter-day Saints also have faith in God the Father, the Holy Ghost, priesthood power, and other important aspects of the restored gospel. Faith includes a hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11:1; Alma 32:21; Ether 12:6). Faith is kindled by hearing the gospel taught by authorized administrators sent by God (Rom. 10:14–17). Miracles do not produce faith, but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, faith comes by righteousness (Alma 32:40–43; Ether 12:4, 6, 12; D&C 63:9–12). True faith brings miracles, visions, dreams, healings, and all the gifts of God that He gives to His Saints. By faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually is able to dwell in God’s presence. A lack of faith leads one to despair, which comes because of iniquity (Moro. 10:22).  (Guide to the Scriptures) 

Repentance: A change of mind and heart that brings a fresh attitude toward God, oneself, and life in general. Repentance implies that a person turns away from evil and turns his heart and will to God, submitting to God’s commandments and desires and forsaking sin. True repentance comes from a love for God and a sincere desire to obey His commandments. All accountable persons have sinned and must repent in order to progress toward salvation. Only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can our repentance become effective and accepted by God. (Guide to the Scriptures) 

Baptism: 
The word used in the original Greek text means to “dip” or “immerse.” Baptism by immersion in water by one having authority is the introductory ordinance of the gospel and is necessary to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is preceded by faith in Jesus Christ and by repentance. It must be followed by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost in order to be complete (2 Ne. 31:13–14). Baptism by water and the Spirit is necessary before a person can enter the celestial kingdom. Adam was the first to be baptized (Moses 6:64–65). Jesus also was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and to show the way for all mankind (Matt. 3:13–17; 2 Ne. 31:5–12). Because all on the earth do not have the opportunity to accept the gospel during mortality, the Lord has authorized baptisms performed by proxy for the dead. Therefore, those who accept the gospel in the spirit world may qualify for entrance into God’s kingdom.  (Guide to the Scriptures) 

Gift of the Holy Ghost:  The third member of the Godhead (1 Jn. 5:7; D&C 20:28). He is a personage of Spirit, not having a body of flesh and bones (D&C 130:22). The Holy Ghost is often referred to as the Spirit, or the Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost performs several vital roles in the plan of salvation. (1) He bears witness of the Father and the Son (1 Cor. 12:3; 3 Ne. 28:11; Ether 12:41). (2) He reveals the truth of all things (John 14:26; 16:13; Moro. 10:5; D&C 39:6). (3) He sanctifies those who have repented and become baptized (John 3:5; 3 Ne. 27:20; Moses 6:64–68). (4) He is the Holy Spirit of Promise (D&C 76:50–53; 132:7, 18–19, 26). The power of the Holy Ghost can come upon a person before baptism and witness that the gospel is true. But the right to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, whenever one is worthy, is a gift that can be received only by the laying on of hands by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder after authorized baptism into the true Church of Jesus Christ.  Jesus taught that all sins could be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matt. 12:31–32; Mark 3:28–29; Luke 12:10; Heb. 6:4–8; D&C 76:34–35).  (Guide to the Scriptures) 

Endure to the End:  To remain firm in a commitment to be true to the commandments of God despite temptation, opposition, and adversity. He that endureth to the end shall be saved, Matt. 10:22 (Mark 13:13).  (Guide to the Scriptures) 

How do these principles and ordinances of the gospel help us obtain the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement? 

What roles do these principles and ordinances play in Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation?

Why is the doctrine of Christ the main message of our missionaries? 

How does someone who has already been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost continue to apply the doctrine of Christ?


Part 4:  Acts 2:37–47  The Holy Ghost inspires us to act on what we learn.  

37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 ¶ Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

How did Peter’s testimony affect those who heard it? Acts 2:37.
37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

What did Peter teach the people who believed his testimony?  Acts 2:38.
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Compare Acts 2:38 to the fourth article of faith and 3 Nephi 27:19–20.  Notice that the basic principles and ordinances of the gospel are the same in all dispensations. For this time in the scriptures about 3,000 people believed Peter’s words and were baptized.

How did these people demonstrate that they had been converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Acts 2:41–47.
41 ¶ Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

In what ways have you acted on inspiration from your study of the word of God? 

“What shall we do?”  The crowd of people who heard Peter were “pricked in their heart” (Acts 2:37), meaning that Peter’s words had “pierced” them, bringing grief and remorse. As the people came to the terrible realization that they had crucified their Messiah, they may have feared that they had lost hope of salvation. Thus, they cried out to the Apostles in anguish, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Calling the Apostles their “brethren” implies that they were already persuaded in their hearts of their need to repent and have faith in the Savior.  

For us then what shall we do?  Are we pricked in our hearts?  How can we continue to act on what we learn?

Part 5: Acts 3; 4:1–21; 5:12–42 As we are filled with the Holy Ghost, we can share the gospel with boldness.

The account of Peter and John boldly testifying of Jesus can inspire us to not fear what others think as we share our witness of the gospel.

In Acts 3:1–26; 4:5–12 Peter used a miracle as an opportunity to testify of Jesus Christ  

1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

12 ¶ And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19 ¶ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

What impresses you about the boldness of Peter and John in Acts 3; 4:1–21; and 5:12–42

What is the relationship between receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and our ability to testify boldly?

What opportunities do we have to testify of Christ? 

How have you been blessed as you have been a witness (or have heard others be witnesses) of Jesus Christ? 


How did the priests and Sadducees respond to Peter’s sermon? Acts 4:1–3. 
1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.

Peter and John had been arrested after Peter’s inspired preaching about Jesus Christ, and the two Apostles were brought before a council of Jewish leaders and questioned about the healing of the lame man. In response, Peter alluded to the prophecy found in Psalm 118:22 and proclaimed that the healing of the lame man was done in “the name of Jesus Christ” and that “there is none other name under heaven” that brings salvation.  Yet despite being arrested and beaten, Peter boldly preached the gospel.

How did the multitude respond to the sermon? Acts 4:4.
4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.

Why do you think these two groups responded so differently to the same sermon? 

What does our response to the words of Church leaders reveal about the condition of our hearts?

With the healed man standing by, the priests and Sadducees could not deny that a miracle had occurred Acts 4:13–14, 16
13 ¶ Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
16 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.

Since they had no reason to imprison Peter and John, what did they do instead?  Acts 4:15–18. The Jewish religious leaders had hoped that Jesus and his teachings would be forgotten after the Crucifixion. When the Apostles continued to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Jewish leaders tried to stop them. 

How did Peter and John respond to the priests’ and Sadducees’ demand that they stop teaching the gospel?  Acts 4:19–20.
19 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.
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Prior to their calling as Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, Peter and John were fishermen, not scribes or rabbis, and were thus considered unlearned by the Jewish leaders. After they were fully empowered by receiving the Holy Ghost Acts 4:8, Peter and John spoke with such authority that the Jewish leaders “marvelled” at their words Acts 4:13. These “unlearned” fishermen are examples showing that “by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls” Alma 37:7 and that “God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27; see also D&C 35:13).

What are some circumstances in your life that might require similar courage in being a witness for Jesus Christ?

After Peter and John were released, they returned to the members of the Church and prayed with them Acts 4:23–30.
23 ¶ And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
24 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:
25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
27 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,
28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

What did they ask for in the prayer?  Acts 4:29–30.
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

What happened as a result of this prayer and the Apostles’ subsequent actions?  Acts 4:31–35; 5:12–16.
31 ¶ 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.
32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.


When the Apostles continued to preach and work miracles, the priests and Sadducees cast them into prison Acts 5:17–18.
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,
18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.

How were they released from prison? Acts 5:19–20.
19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

What did they do after they were released?  Acts 5:21, 25.
21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.


Why did the Apostles continue to preach the gospel even after being imprisoned?  Acts 5:29–32.
 29 ¶ Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

What counsel did Gamaliel give to the Jewish leaders who wanted to kill the Apostles?  Acts 5:33–39.
33 ¶ When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Gamaliel was the grandson of the famous rabbi Hillel. He was a member of the Sanhedrin and a distinguished scholar of Jewish law. Paul was tutored by this famous master of the law (see Acts 22:3). Gamaliel had a reputation for being tolerant and kind, relaxing the standards of the Sabbath observance so they were not so rigorous and encouraging more humane treatment of women in divorce laws. His wise counsel likely saved the lives of the Apostles, who had been brought again before the Jewish council after being released from prison by an angel.

In his speech before the Jewish leaders, Gamaliel referred to two historical situations that showed how a movement would fail if the Lord was not with it. The first was a Jewish uprising against the Romans that was led by a man called Theudas, who had gained about 400 followers before he was slain and his followers were scattered. The second occurred in about A.D. 6, when Judas of Galilee and a band of followers revolted against Roman taxation; in the ensuing violence, Judas died and his followers were dispersed.

In effect, Gamaliel’s counsel was, “Let nature take its course. If this movement of Jesus’s followers is of men, it will fail, as did the uprisings of Theudas and Judas. But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it” (see Acts 5:35–39). 
(New Testament Student Manual) 

What experiences have shown you the truth of Gamaliel’s words?

What change did the gift of the Holy Ghost bring about in the Apostles? 

Compare Matthew 26:47–56, 69–75 with Acts 4:5–21; 5:17–18, 26–42. How can the Apostles’ examples inspire us to be witnesses of the truth?


Conclusion
After the Apostles received the gift of the Holy Ghost, they became powerful witnesses of Jesus Christ. While Apostles have a special calling to be witnesses of Christ, each member of the Church also has the responsibility to bear witness of him.  The Holy Ghost can help us know when and how to testify of Christ. As we follow the Spirit’s promptings, our faith will increase, our sensitivity to the Spirit will grow, and we will become more effective witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Resources
New Testament Student Manual
Guide to the Scriptures
Robert J Mathews Gospel Scholars Series
Ensign
Conference Reports
Book of Mormon
Doctrine and Covenants

The Fall of Adam and Eve

  Scriptures are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end...