Act 12:1 ¶ Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth
[his] hands to vex certain of the church.
COMMENT: Once again the story of what was
supernaturally taking place after the Ascension of Christ
has its spot light on a different charactor while the work of
of God is going on in all those places
with all of those super hero's and villians you have already read of.
Now we are about to hear about wicked
King Herod Agrippa who sent out soldiers to vex
specific individuals who
believed in Christ, certain men who had a name among the people
and power with God.
King Herod Agrippa was the grandson of Herod the Great who established
the dynasty. Herod the Great was the wicked fellow who attempted
to kill the Christ child by slaughtering children under the age
Act 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
COMMENT: King Herod's wicked soldiers
carried out his will in killing Saint James the Apostle.
They were his stretched forth hands.
Act 12:3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded
further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
COMMENT: Naturally the religious leaders were
greatly pleased to have Herod as an ally in their war to eradicate
belief in Christ in this world.
Act 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put [him]
in prison, and delivered [him] to four quaternions of
soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him
forth to the people.
COMMENT: A quaternion consisted of four soldiers,
and there were four groups of four quaternions to provide
four man guards
every six hours daily to make sure Peter did not escape. Such
a short shift of six hours guaranteed each group of four soldiers
would be fresh every day.
Act 12:5 ¶ Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer
was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
COMMENT: In nearly three decades of ministry,
I have never seen God's people praying around the clock as we
find them doing here in the book of Acts.
Act 12:6 And when Herod would have brought him forth,
the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers,
bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door
kept the prison.
COMMENT: Herod was taking every precaution
that the supernatural man would not escape from prison. Easter
was over now and the wicked King was ready to bring him forth
to the people the next day.
Act 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon [him],
and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the
side, and raised him up, saying, "Arise up quickly." And his
chains fell off from [his] hands.
COMMENT: Jesus came in the glory of God to
rescue Peter from the prison. Train your mind to recognize Jesus
as the angel of the Lord and your comprehension of him will
expand as it ought to.
Act 12:8/9 And the angel said unto him, "Gird thyself, and
bind on thy sandals." And so he did. And he saith unto him,
"Cast thy garment about you, and follow me."
And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it
was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
Act 12:10 When they were past the first and the second ward,
they came unto the iron gate that leads unto the city; which
opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and
passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel
departed from him.
COMMENT: The iron gate that leads unto the city
opened to them of his the angel's own accord. Though it appeared to
open on its own accord.
Act 12:11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said,
Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel,
and has delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and [from]
all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
COMMENT: By now the Israeli people had thought
Peter's fate was sealed.
Act 12:12 And when he had considered [the thing], he came to the
house of Mary the Mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where
many were gathered together praying.
And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a
damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
COMMENT: Many were gathered together praying
around the clock. Amazing! And the LORD God sent them the answer
to their prayers, but he didn't stay.
Act 12:14/15 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened
not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter
stood before the gate. And they said unto her, You are mad. But
she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they,
It is his angel.
COMMENT: These were not "fully sanctified"
believers so their faith was not yet perfect. It was difficult for
them to believe her when she said Peter was at the door, so they
would not go to the door at first.
Act 12:16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they
had opened [the door], and saw him, they were astonished.
COMMENT: You see they did not have the faith
to believe the Lord would free Peter according to their prayers,
but he did; and their faith would be stronger for their next test.
Act 12:17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold
their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him
out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James,
and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
COMMENT: Peter the consummate preacher delivered
a message to them right there at the door with them crowding to
hear him, then after giving them a command, he departed into another
Act 12:18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir
among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.
COMMENT: Their lives were at stake if they
could not produce the prisoner. Herod would most likely execute them
and they knew it.
Act 12:19/20 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him
not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that [they] should
be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and
[there] abode. And Herod was highly displeased with them
of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and,
having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend,
desired peace; because their country was nourished by the
COMMENT: Tyre and Sidon are two seaports
there on the Mediterrean Sea.
Act 12:21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal
apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
COMMENT: This was a pompous occasion where
King Herod was exalting himself. Josephus tells us that his
royal costume was of a shining material perhaps with the intent of
making himself appear to be angelic.
Act 12:22 And the people gave a shout, [saying, It is]
the voice of a god, and not of a man.
COMMENT: Herod apparently accepted their
Act 12:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him,
because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms,
and gave up the Ghost.
COMMENT: Josephus tells us in his histories
of the Jews that Herod suffered terribly for a few days in an
attempt to save his life before he was eaten of worms. This is the
wicked man who would have murdered Peter to gain political influence
with the Jewish religious leaders.
Act 12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
COMMENT: The Word of God multiplies in this way.
When a believer feeds on the Word of God obediently doing what he
sees there, his understanding of the Word of God expands; and in that
respect it multiplies to him and he is able to multiply it to others.
Act 12:25 ¶ And Barnabas and Saul returned from
Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled [their] ministry, and
took with them John, whose surname was Mark.
COMMENT: So you see in all of the excitement
of these great events taking place Saul and Barnabas are still
working, the Prophet Agabus is still working, Philip the Evangelist
is still working, the Samaritans are still working,
the other Apostles are still working, the hundred
and twenty are still working, the three thousand devout Jews won on
Pentecost are still working, the five thousand Hebrews won in the
temple are still working, the lame man who received the creative
miracle in his legs was still working, the Jewish and Gentile
preachers scattered outside of Jerusalem were still working,
Tabitha was still working, and so on. There was a holy
Revolution going on and the book of Acts is the sacred record of it.