Acts 12

Acts 12: Peter Flees from Prison

                King Herod [Nephew of Antipas] persecuted the church, killing the Apostle James with a sword. During the Passover, Peter is arrested. However the Christians throughout the land pray fervently to God for the release of Peter. God sends an angel who breaks into the Prison and causes Peter’s chains to fall from his hands. The Angel helps him get out of the Prison and into the city, and then he departs his own way. From here, Peter goes to the house of Mary, mother of John. A girl named Rhoda tells the apostles Peter has come, but she wasn’t believed until they see Peter for themselves. Finally the Apostles open the door and are astonished to see Peter, but Peter tells them to keep it quiet and to tell James… he then departs.

When Herod finds that Peter has escaped, he orders that the prison guards are put to death. Herod makes an oration to the people of Tyre and Sidon, and is praised by them as a god rather than a man. Because he was being praised as a god and not a man, an angel strikes him dead.

Acts 11

Acts 11: Church and Revelations

                When Peter returned to Jerusalem, after having converted many of the Gentiles, the Jews were quick to contend with him for having associated with the Gentiles. In his defense, Peter recounts the vision of the sheet, with the unclean and clean animals on it. (See Acts 10)

He explained that God had commanded him to preach unto those people, he goes on to state; “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift [Gift of the Holy Ghost] as he did unto us who believed on the Lord Jeus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” (Acts 11:17) Many of the people, after having heard this testimony of Peter, rejoiced!

The church in Antioch grows as Gentiles turn to the Lord. We learn that Barnabas ministered in Antioch. Saul works with Barnabas in Antioch where “…the disciples were called Christians first…” (Acts 11:29) Agabus prophesies famine, so the disciples send relief to their brethren throughout Judea.