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Acts 12: Political Resistance

June 6, 2015
Acts 12

Political Resistance 
[Act 12:1 ESV] About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.
[Act 12:2 ESV] He killed James the brother of John with the sword,
[Act 12:3 ESV] and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.

Which Herod is this?
A. Herod Agrippa I was the son of Aristobulus and Berenice, and grandson of Herod the Great. After various changes in fortune, he gained the favour of Caligula and Claudius to such a degree that he gradually obtained the government of all of Palestine, with the title of king. He died at Caesarea, A.D. 44, at the age of 54, in the seventh [or the 4th, reckoning from the extension of his dominions by Claudius] year of his reign, just after having ordered James the apostle, son of Zebedee, to be slain, and Peter to be cast into prison: Acts 12:21

Herod = "heroic"
The first Herod was the political leader when Jesus was born. 
The 2nd Herod was Herod “Antipas”
This Herod was Agrippa
His son was Herod Agrippa the II

[Act 12:4 ESV] And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.

The Angelic Rescue
[Act 12:5 ESV] So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
[Act 12:6 ESV] Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison.
[Act 12:7 ESV] And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his hands.
[Act 12:8 ESV] And the angel said to him, "Dress yourself and put on your sandals." And he did so. And he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me."
[Act 12:9 ESV] And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
[Act 12:10 ESV] When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him.
[Act 12:11 ESV] When Peter came to himself, he said, "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."

Go to His Local Church
[Act 12:12 ESV] When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
[Act 12:13 ESV] And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer.
[Act 12:14 ESV] Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate.
[Act 12:15 ESV] They said to her, "You are out of your mind." But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, "It is his angel!"
[Act 12:16 ESV] But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed.
[Act 12:17 ESV] But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Tell these things to James and to the brothers." Then he departed and went to another place.


Meanwhile back at the local Government 
[Act 12:18 ESV] Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter.

Herod’s Motive is not Justice. 
[Act 12:19 ESV] And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.

Government Intrigue; Herod offers peace, gives a speech and God strikes him dead. 
[Act 12:20 ESV] Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king's country for food.
[Act 12:21 ESV] On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them.
[Act 12:22 ESV] And the people were shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!"
[Act 12:23 ESV] Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.

If humanity in general is at war with God, 
of course the Governments of the world are also at war with God. 
[Psa 2:1 ESV] Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
[Psa 2:2 ESV] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
[Psa 2:3 ESV] "Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us."
[Psa 2:4 ESV] He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
[Psa 2:5 ESV] Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
[Psa 2:6 ESV] "As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill."
[Psa 2:7 ESV] I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you.
[Psa 2:8 ESV] Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
[Psa 2:9 ESV] You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
[Psa 2:10 ESV] Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
[Psa 2:11 ESV] Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
[Psa 2:12 ESV] Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

For Christians in America at the moment:  Political Incorrect,  
The New Tolerance; which means the only thing that is bad is saying that bad is bad.  
In which case everyone is allowed to say it’s bad. 
Biblical mortality is socially unacceptable. 

Government supported and promoted Child sacrifice
http://dailysignal.com/2015/01/03/planned-parenthood-performed-327653-abortions-2013-accepted-528-million-taxpayer-funds/

According to the statistics in the report, the 327,653 abortions comprised 94 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services, which also include prenatal care and adoption referrals.

During the fiscal year 2013-14, Planned Parenthood received more than $528 million in taxpayer funds; or about $1.4 million per day. Taxpayer funding accounts for 41 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue.
Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit, currently holds more than $1.4 billion in net assets.
37 babies an hour are sacrificed to demons and the president rejoices. 

Flashback to Acts 4, when Peter and John are arrested for healing and proclaiming Jesus. 
[Act 4:19 ESV] But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,
[Act 4:20 ESV] for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."
[Act 4:21 ESV] And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened.
[Act 4:22 ESV] For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
[Act 4:23 ESV] When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

The Church prayed from Psalms 2
[Act 4:24 ESV] And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
[Act 4:25 ESV] who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, "'Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?
[Act 4:26 ESV] The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed'--
[Act 4:27 ESV] for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
[Act 4:28 ESV] to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Look at their prayer request
[Act 4:29 ESV] And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
[Act 4:30 ESV] while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
[Act 4:31 ESV] And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

The Real Word of God increases. After Herod’s death.
[Act 12:24 ESV] But the word of God increased and multiplied.
[Act 12:25 ESV] And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.

Share the Gospel
[2Ti 4:1 ESV] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
[2Ti 4:2 ESV] preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
[2Ti 4:3 ESV] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
[2Ti 4:4 ESV] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Celebrate Communion
[1Co 11:23 ESV] For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,

[1Co 11:24 ESV] and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

[1Co 11:25 ESV] In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

[1Co 11:26 ESV] For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

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