The events of the first two chapters are one after the other, as it is with the next two chapters. Words like while, the next day, when, and then time them in together. Here is the sequence of eventes:
1.) Peter and John went to the temple at 3 p.m., a.k.a., prayer time. (Acts 3:1)
2.) A crippled beggar asks Peter and John for money. (Acts 3:3)
3.) A miracle is performed. (Acts 3:6-7)
4.) The beggar, Peter, and John enter the temple courts. (Acts 3:8)
5.) Peter speaks to the crowd that has gathered in Solomon’s Collonade. (Acts 3:11-12)
6.) During the speech, the priests, captain of the temple guard, and the Saducees come up to Peter and John. (Acts 4:1)
7.) They seized Peter and John and put them in jail for the night. (Acts 4:3)
8.) The next day, the elders, leaders, and the teachers of the law meet in Jerusalem. (Acts 4:5)
9.) They had peter and John brought before them and questioned them. (Acts 4:7)
10.) Peter answers them. (Acts 4:8)
11.) The Sanhedrin deliverated, eventually deciding to let them go. (Acts 4:15,18, and 21)
Which brings us to:
12.) Recently released, Peter and John went home and told everybody what had transpired.(Acts 4:23)
Acts 4:23-31, “23On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
” ‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the Lord
and against his Anointed One.’ 27Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
So what do you do when two leaders of The Way return with news that they had just been released after spending the night in jail and the morning being questioned by the Sanhedrin? You pray, at least, that’s what the believers here did. It must have been quite a prayer as afterwards there was a bit of an earthquake and all of the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 4:32-37, “32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
36Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
The Acts 2 Church was about three thousands believers. The Acts 4 Church exploded to five thousand believers. They got along in a way that puts the churches to day, all of them, to shame. It takes the Holy Spirit to plant a church, put people in it, and help them along. Sure, it could be done without the Holy Spirit, but not with the same marvelous results.