Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Acts of The Apostles

Acts was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter Twelve

Vs. 1-11

This is the last chapter in which Peter is the central figure. From this point on the ministry of Peter is almost ignored, while Saul's (Paul) ministry becomes the object of discussion.

James is the second recorded "Christian" martyr. James is James Zebedee, the brother of John (Matt. 4:21, 10:2) to distinguish him from James the Lord's brother (Gal. 1:19; Acts 12:17, 15:13). This James (Zebedee) is the author of the epistle of James, contrary to the Roman Catholic belief. By ascribing James to James the Lord' brother (who is according to the Roman Catholic Church really Jesus' cousin), we can successfully move the date for the writing of James to a later time period loosing the dispensational significance of the Epistle. After all, should it not be James Zebedee for the three "favored" apostles would all have written a book in the New Testament (Matt. 17).

Vs. 3

Herod makes a political move and incarcerates Peter also. Peter is put into the custody of sixteen of Herod's crack soldiers (four quaternions).

Vs. 4

The word as it appears in the AV, "Easter", is often criticized by the Textual Critics. Easter was a Roman Holiday which-Herod, a pagan king, observed religiously. The Feast of the Passover matched this pagan feast on the calendar every few years. Since Herod was a Roman, the Holy Spirit has pointed out for you the Catholic feast that Rome celebrates in the place of the Passover. This was a doctrinal objection of the Eastern Catholic Churches before their split. Easter since that time, has been on Sunday every year to match the pagan day of celebration fixed for Ishtar, Astart and Ashtoreth although the Passover dates change from year to year.

The Passover is implied in (vs. 3) as the Holy Spirit tells us that these were the days of unleavened bread. Easter is a Roman designation Herod was-Roman. Easter is right - Passover is wrong.

The saints probably were praying for a number of reasons. Practically speaking Peter was in deep trouble, James has just been executed, and he was next. Certainly the saints prayed for the deliverance of Peter but yet and possibly more important, the possibility of Peter denying the Lord again was real, and they probably asked God to give him the strength to be faithful no matter what the consequences.

Peter was confident he was sound asleep the night before his execution; He was so sound asleep the angel had to smite him. Even when he arose he thought he was dreaming (vs. 9) and didn't fully realize what was happening until the escape was complete (vs. 11).

Illustration of salvation in Peter's escape:

[1]. The sinner is trapped by the Devil at his will (2 Tim. 2:26) and is in prison.

[2]. He is asleep to spiritual things (Eph. 5:14) and is bound (Prov. 5:22).

[3]. He is appointed to die (Heb. 2:15 Prov. 24:11).

[4]. He needs light and deliverance, (Isa. 42:6).

[5]. Instantaneous salvation is available (vs. 7).

[6]. He should then put on the armour of God and follow Jesus (vs. 7,8).

[7]. He should come to himself (Lk. 15:17) and see what God has done for him (vs. 11).

[8]. He should go and tell the Body of Christ about it (vs. 12).

Vs. 12-19

Another Mary is introduced in the scripture. This is Mary, the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:25; 13:13; 15:37-39).

The fact that when Peter shows up at the door and no one believes it, could be evidence that would lead one to believe that they were not praying for Peter's release for it seems that their prayers were answered with regularity, why be astonished? (vs. 16).

Vs. 17

James (the Lord's brother) seems to be a leader and very influential (Acts 15:13; 21:18).

Vs. 18

There was "no small stir". Herod had vexed certain of the church (vs. 1) and I'm sure he could effectively vex certain soldiers who let Herod's next victim escape! (vs. 19)

Vs. 19

Herod goes to Caesarea and stays for awhile, probably hoping that he might find the escaped Peter, for Peter was known in Caesarea and had spent some time there recently (Acts 10:23-48). Also there had been much church activity there (Acts 8:40; 9:30; 10:1-48).

Vs. 20-25

This Herod is Herod Agrippa I, the son of Aristobulus, the son of Herod the Great. He was King over Palestine from 42-44 A.D. which at this time included Judea and Galilee. Herod is displeased with the conduct of the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon towards his government.

Blastus, who is very close to Herod, is probably bribed in someway to set up a "set day" (vs. 21) when the people can put on a show of support so they won't have their food and industries taken away (vs. 20). Herod falls for the bait and puts on his best clothes to speak to a "seemingly" hostile crowd. Herod is impressed with himself when the crowd responds positively to him and figures that he spoke so-well held changed their minds on the spot, while they were just setting him up. Herod accepts the praise he is lavished with and takes the glory for himself. He is struck dead on the spot for his pride and blasphemy. Verse (23) seem to imply that the worms ate him right before the eyes of the citizens.

Herein is a direct reference to the Anti-Christ (Rev. 13:5) who is smitten by the Angel of the Lord as Sennacherib's hosts were in (2 Kings 19:35).

Vs. 24-25

The Word of God grows (it's living) and the church grows as the Word does .... no Word, no growth. Barnabas and Saul have returned from their mission of (Acts 11:30) and they bring John Mark along with them to Antioch.

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