This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 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. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Acts 4:18-20.
The promise of the Holy Spirit was the brightest hope and the strongest consolation that Christ could leave His disciples when He ascended to heaven. The truths of God’s Word had been buried beneath the rubbish of misinterpretation; the maxims of men, the sayings of finite beings, had been exalted above the Word of the living God. Under the enlightening power of the Holy Spirit, the apostles separated truth from false theories, and gave to the people the word of life.
The Holy Spirit is often rejected because it comes in unexpected ways. Evidence upon evidence that the apostles were speaking and acting under divine inspiration had been given to the Jewish priests and rulers, but still they firmly resisted the message of truth. Christ had not come in the way they expected, and though at times they were convinced that He was the Son of God, yet they stifled conviction, and thus became blinder and more hardened than before. They crucified Christ, yet Christ in His mercy gave them additional evidence in the works wrought by the disciples. He sent His servants to tell them what they had done, and even in the terrible charge that they had killed the Prince of life, He gave them another call to repentance. But, feeling secure in their own righteousness, the Jewish teachers were not prepared to admit that the men who had reproved them for crucifying Christ were speaking by the direction of the Holy Spirit….
The wrath of God is not declared against men merely because of the sin they have committed, but because they choose to continue in a state of resistance, because they repeat the sins of the past in spite of the light and evidence given them. If the Jewish leaders had submitted, they would have been pardoned; but they were determined not to yield. In the same way, the sinner, by continued resistance, places himself where he knows nothing but resistance.—The Signs of the Times, September 27, 1899.