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 of two.

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 place.

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 king's [country]. 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 acclamations.

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.