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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary
Acts 12

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-11

Herod Kills James

Acts 12:1-11

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

There had come a time of comparative peace after the persecution which arose about Stephen, had subsided. Not long, however, could Satan fold his hands with the work of the Lord Jesus going forward with leaps and bounds. An unabated and even a growing hatred toward the Church possessed the Jews; but they felt themselves unable to cope with the mighty manifestations of the Spirit of God. Every time they stretched forth their hands against the disciples, they were embarrassed by some overwhelming display of their own perfidy and of God's power.

Herod, the wicked and wily Tetrarch, was in the ascendency with authority over the Jews. His chief objective was to please them, and thus to gain prestige as their ruler. He quickly discerned the antagonism which welled up in the hearts of the Jews toward the Christians, and he, therefore, stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the Church.

I. HEROD VEXES THE CHURCH (Acts 12:1 )

This movement on the part of Herod need not cause surprise. The Lord gave warning to the disciples before He went away, saying, "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?" If they have hated Me, they will hate you. "If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." He taught His disciples that "The servant is not greater than his Lord." He gave them warning, "In the world ye shall have tribulation."

We who live in the twentieth century need not think that the days of persecution are forever passed. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, wrote, "Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." The truth is, that, if any man lives godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution. The persecution may not always be of the virulent type; but it is just as real, and just as marked.

II. HEROD KILLED JAMES (Acts 12:2 )

We are almost startled with the simple statement of verse two, "And he killed James the brother of John with the sword."

The fact that James was beheaded, thus suffering a death usually accorded religious fanatics, who had committed treason against the faith is in accord with the tyranny of Herod. James was the son of Zebedee, who, with his brother John was mending their nets, when the Lord called them, saying, "Follow Me." James was the elder of the two, and proved a faithful Apostle. We are not surprised that against such an one, who was numbered with the Twelve, Herod should lift up his hand. That which startles us is that so small a place in the record in Acts, should be given to his death by the Holy Spirit. However, we cannot but feel that there is a special significance in this very brevity.

Death, to the Christian, by no means suggested a cessation of existence. The Apostles had lived with their Lord, passing through the period of His death, and into the experience of viewing His resurrection. To them, death meant no more than the glorious entrance into a larger life. James was dead, to be sure; and he had been ignominiously killed, but he was with Christ.

In addition to this the disciples of that day lived under the momentary expectation of the Return of the Lord Jesus. They felt that, at any moment, the dead in Christ might come back with their Lord. For this cause they sorrowed not, even as others who had no hope.

The death of James did not cause the other Apostles to a cessation of services; they quickly filled up the ranks and pressed on their God-sent way.

We remember how Charles L. Helmick left Parsons, Kansas, in the days of our youth, to go to Africa. He labored faithfully for six or eight months, and then succumbed to the African fever. He went to be with the Lord. His friends in the West were greatly shocked that such a splendid man should have sacrificed his life, and seemingly wasted it, in behalf of the black men of a faraway clime. However, after Helmick was dead, they found written on one of the blank pages of his Bible these words; "Though every step be over the grave of a missionary, yet, the command of our Lord to preach the Gospel to every creature, must be obeyed."

It was so when John the Baptist died. The Lord did not withdraw from service, because Herod had beheaded John. He merely pressed on.

In the far-flung battlefield, when one falls, another takes his place. So it was with James. He died in the harness, and the brethren stopped not to mourn, and bewail his departure. They quickly filled in the ranks and pressed on, carrying the Glad Tidings of redemption with increased courage.

III. HEROD APPLAUDED BY THE JEWS (Acts 12:3 )

The Jews themselves were afraid to lay hold of the saints; they, however, were greatly pleased when Herod did so.

In the life and ministry of our Lord, we remember how they went about to kill Him. However, a certain fear held them back. They needed a leader. It was not until Judas came forward and offered to deliver the Lord, bargaining for thirty pieces of silver, that the Jews were ready to launch into their attack. They were vassals of an evil power, led on by the cries of another.

We remember several years ago, in Salisbury, North Carolina, how the jail was stormed by a wild mob of white people, and four negroes were taken out, carried to the suburbs of the city, and hanged on a tree. From our back door, we saw the storming of the jail. We do not believe the crowd ever would have done what they did, had it not have been inflamed by a leader. A man who acted like a veritable maniac jumped up on a box and, waving his hands in the air, he cried to the assembling mob, "Come on; we must protect our white women." He was the one who led the way; the others followed after.

Herod was the one who vexed the Church, and killed James. The Jews were the ones who followed after.

Satan is back of every mad march against the Truth. It is he who cries, "On to the fray." In our travels, as a missionary, we have seen numerous onslaughts against the Christians; we have had our church building stormed; we have been surrounded by a mob, and in it all we noted that the mob always seemed to be driven by some power of evil.

Do we not remember when Peter said to Jesus, "Spare Thyself; pity Thyself; this shall not be unto Thee," that the Lord Jesus replied, "Get thee behind Me, Satan"?

Do we not remember when Ananias and Sapphira sold their possession, and kept back part of the price of the land that Peter said, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?"

Let those who sin against Christ and against the saints consider their leader. Let them also remember that he who rallies to a crook, and follows a crook, and aids a crook, is himself a crook. He who applauds sin, and is pleased at the ravages of sin, is himself sinful.

Looking at the scene for a moment from Herod's viewpoint, we see in him a "world-pleaser." He had nothing against James, but he was willing to sacrifice James that he might gain the plaudits of the people. God pity the man who will stoop to the unholy, to the unclean, and to the abominable, in order to feather his own nest. Alas, alas, there is many a man who climbs to social, or financial success, tramping down the welfare and even the lives of others. He heeds not their cries, nor does he care for their sorrows. He thinks only of his own advancement.

It was so with Absalom. Absalom stood in the gate and kissed the men who came to his father, the kind, for judgment. He said unto them, "Oh, that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!"

Thus it was that he did obeisance unto the populace, and thus it was that Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. What cared the much praised and beautiful Absalom for the King? He was willing to slay his father, that he, himself, might be enthroned. When Ahithophel advised Absalom to send an army to kill King David, we read, "And the saying pleased Absalom well."

It was the same spirit of pleasing the people and thereby strengthening his own hand, that caused Pilate, against his own personal convictions, to deliver Christ to the Jews to be crucified. Pilate had plainly said, "I find no fault in Him." Yea, he had gone so far as to wash his hands publicly, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person." And yet, because of the people, he set aside his convictions and yielded to the demands of the unjust.

It was this same spirit that led Herod, the one who preceded the Herod of today's study, to behead John. It was for his oath's sake, and because of those who sat at meat with him, that Herod ordered that John should be killed.

We come now to a solemn statement.

IV. HEROD A TYPE OF THE ANTICHRIST

There will soon arise upon this earth the greatest character born of women in the line of the first Adam, whom the world has ever known. He will come as a world monarch; he will cause every man that buys or sells to receive the mark of the beast, and the number of his name. He will lift himself up above God and above all that is worshiped.

This man of sin, this idol-shepherd, this antichrist, will be a leader. The whole world will wonder after him, and marvel of the genius of his power. They will follow in his wake and obey his voice.

One thing about this coming man of sin which the Bible notes is this same Herod trait. His effort will be to please the Jews. He will early make a league with them in order to secure the power of their wealth. He will please them and they will follow him.

The antichrist will follow the same tactics with the apostate church. In fact he will come into power as a scarlet-covered beast, full of the names of blasphemy; with the woman, the great whore, the apostate church, sitting upon him. She shall be arrayed in purple and scarlet colors, and she will be decked with gold, and stones, and pearls, as the antichrist carries her along with him, in his ravages against God.

In a later sermon, we will have more to say about Herod and the antichrist. Just now, the type is incomplete, but we could not refrain from suggesting that which our Scripture for today has begun to reveal.

V. HEROD APPREHENDS PETER (Acts 12:4-5 )

When Herod saw that killing James pleased the Jews he went a step further, and placed Peter, the outstanding Apostle among the Twelve, into jail.

It is quite likely that James had been killed suddenly, for there is no word about prayer having been made for him; nor is there a word about his lingering in jail. In the case of Peter, it was different. The days of unleavened bread were on, and while Herod cared nothing for this feast of the Jews, he well knew that he would not dare to kill Peter during that period.

In passing, may we remark that it is most striking how pious some people become during the self-same Passion week. They live as they list during the year, but when the time draws near for their remembrance of those days when a wicked world slew their Lord, and when their own sins nailed Him there, they suddenly become good, and cease all violence, "until after Easter." They imagine that it would be the height of folly to sin while they are going, daily, to church to celebrate the death of the Saviour, whom their sins slew.

Thus it was that the Jews slew Christ, and kept the feast of unleavened bread, which commemorated His death at their hands.

In the arrest of Peter, therefore, Herod was compelled to deliver him to prison until after Easter. Then he intended to bring him forth to the people. That Herod expected to kill Peter, there is no doubt; but, he wanted to kill him in the way that would give him the greatest glory. He desired first to parade him before the people as the enemy of their religion, and then to do away with him.

In the apprehension of Peter, Herod had to take special precautions. Herod had heard that this mighty man had been in prison before. He knew how the angel of the Lord had come by night and opened the prison doors and brought him forth. For this cause, Peter was safeguarded between four quaternions of soldiers. He was also bound with two chains between two soldiers. In addition to this, the keepers were before the door of the prison. Herod took no chances against the powers of the great God. He, however, satisfied himself that he had Peter where even God couldn't release him.

How often does man, in the sin of his heart, thus thrust himself against the Great I Am. Wicked men, today, throughout the whole world are lifting up their voices against Christ, and blaspheming the God of Heaven.

It was Pharaoh of old who said, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go." Thus did Pharaoh harden his heart and stiffen his neck against the Lord.

It was Belshazzar, who brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the House of God which was at Jerusalem. It was Belshazzar, who, with his princes, his wives and his concubines, drank in them and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. Then it was that God wrote Belshazzar's doom upon the wall of the king's palace, and Daniel said unto Belshazzar, "Thou hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of Heaven: * * and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified."

It was this same spirit of defying God that brought the wrath of God against a world sunken in sin and in shame. They did not like to retain God in their knowledge; they glorified Him not as God; they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. "Wherefore God also gave them up."

In Herod placing Peter chained between two soldiers, in his ordering four quarternions of soldiers to safeguard Peter, and in his placing special guards before the prison gates; in all of this, Herod was setting himself up against God. He was contemning God; he was placing the strength of iron chains, and of iron gates, and of men, against the strength of God.

May God save this age from a like spirit, which seems ready to grasp it. People of today are humanizing God they are dragging Him down from the glory of His Deity, and making Him man, on the one hand; while, on the other, they are exalting man to the place of Deity. They are lifting man from his knees, as a worshiper of God. They are casting from man the yoke of willing servitude to the Almighty, and saying to man, "Thou art God!"

The spirit that exalts man equal to God proves fatal. The spirit of modernism, which seeks to dominate Protestantism is the spirit which debases God, denies the authority of His Word, and exalts man to headship.

VI. THE GREAT DELIVERANCE (Acts 12:6-17 )

How our hearts are stirred as we behold God unsheathing His sword and stretching forth His arm, not only in behalf of Peter, but in behalf of the sanctity and power of His own great Name.

Two objectives come before us, as we see God stepping on the scene; First, the deliverance of Peter; and second, the debasement of Herod.

Far back in the Scriptures, we read how God dealt with His servant Job. Satan had cast out a challenge against Job, and in so doing had challenged God. In the experiences of Job's testings, and of his final deliverance and enlargement, God vindicated both the faith of Job, and the faithfulness of Himself.

Now, as Peter lay in prison God moved to deliver him, and in the deliverance He moved to defend the might and the power of His own holy Name.

In the death of James, Herod had thought himself a victor over God. God had permitted Herod's rashness to prevail, but now, God seemed to be saying, "Thus far hast thou gone, but thou shalt proceed no further."

1. There was the angel. He was sent from the Lord, and he came upon Peter, as an ambassage from Heaven. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

2. There was the great light which shined in the prison. When Satan works, he works under cover of darkness; God works in the light. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. Men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil, and because they are vassals of Satan.

3. There was the smiting. The angel smote Peter on the side, and raised him up. Peter was sleeping, and he needed to be awakened. Peter was lying down, and he needed to stand up. When the hand of God smites us, it smites in order to raise us that we may serve the better.

4. There were the falling chains. How quickly did they fall from Peter's hands! There was no toil; no filing; no juggling with keys. The angel merely spoke the word, and the chains fell off. When God stretches forth His hand who can hold it back?

5. There was the girding. The angel said unto Peter, "Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. * * Cast thy garment about thee." We who follow the Lord Jesus must stand girded, shod, and clothed ready to do His will.

6. There was Peter's following. As the angel went out, Peter followed. We must be ready at any moment, by day or by night, to walk hard after the Lord. Our obedience must be prompt and complete. We must not seek to tarry behind or to stay when God speaks.

7. There was the thrown-back gate. As the angel, followed by Peter, came to the iron gate that led into the city, the gate opened unto them of its own accord, and they went out. God seemed to be saying to Herod "Thou art nothing at all to stand against the power of a Living God." Without the lifting of a finger, or the speaking of a word, thy prowess and strength proves but nought.

We are constrained to add a word to the unsaved: If you are bound with the chains of sin, the Lord Jesus says to you, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to * * proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound."

Just one further word to troubled saints, "Fear not, Our God doth deliver."

O Jesus, Lord, the way is drear,

My heart is chill and filled with fear;

The tempter seeks my soul to slay;

All dark and gloomy is my way.

O Lord, I weep the whole night through,

My sky has lost its azure blue;

Where may I go for peace and rest?

In whom may I be fully blest?

O Lord, I turn to Thee away,

In sin I will no longer stay;

I plead Thy mercies and Thy grace,

I seek in Thee, my hiding place.

O soul, look up, for help is nigh,

Put far away thy mournful sigh?

The precious Lord has heard thy voice,

He comes to make thy heart rejoice.


Verses 18-25

Herod's Duplicity and Death

Acts 12:18-25

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

We come now to our final message concerning Peter's third imprisonment. We are about to present the other side of the message. We have seen Peter's side, and the Lord's side; now, we must follow the effect of Peter's deliverance upon the part of the enemy.

I. THE STARTLED SOLDIERS (Acts 12:18 )

Acts 12:18 says, "Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter." The soldiers realized that it would have been humanly impossible for Peter to have unchained himself without arousing the two soldiers to whom he was fastened. They knew that it was humanly impossible for Peter to have evaded the four quarternions of soldiers who had been stationed to keep him. They knew further that Peter unaided could never have opened the iron gate. However, the impossible had happened, and Peter was gone. They knew not how it happened, nor did they know where he had gone, but it was evident that he was not there.

We need not marvel that there was no small stir among the soldiers, because in Rome, in those days, the soldiers were held responsible for the prisoners. That was the chief reason that the jailer at Philippi, when Paul was delivered, would have killed himself, supposing that all the prisoners had fled.

God had intervened; He had wrought a wonderful deliverance, and the soldiers were startled.

We remember how at the resurrection of Christ the men, who guarded the sepulcher, were startled when the stone was rolled away. The Bible says, "The keepers did shake, and became as dead men."

When Peter had been released on a former occasion, the officers came and found them not in the prison. Then they reported, saying, "The prison truly found we shut with all safety and the keepers standing, without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within."

How wonderfully doth God work! But how fruitlessly do men contend against Him! We have read in the Psalms how the kings of the earth will set themselves, and the rulers will take council together against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying, "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." Will this antagonism make impossible the Lord's setting of His King upon His holy hill of Zion? Not at all. We read, "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure."

The antichrist may open his mouth to speak great and blasphemous things against the saints who dwell in the heavens; he may even exalt himself as God, and he may gather his armies together to contend against the Lord at Armageddon's great onslaught; however, he that sitteth in the heavens will descend. His arrows will be hot in the heart of the king's enemy; whereby the people will fall under him. With the breath of His lips and with the brightness of His coming, He will destroy the man of sin.

No hand that is lifted against God can prosper.

II. HEROD'S FRUITLESS SEARCH (Acts 12:19 )

When the report of the soldiers reached Herod, his anger knew no bounds. A man in his position did not like to have anyone rise up against his will. He wanted nothing to frustrate his purposes and his plans; even God, who ruleth, he utterly contemned, Herod at once inaugurated a search for Peter. He found him not. There is one place where we can safely hide from Satan. That place is the brightness of God's presence. David spoke of hiding in the light of His countenance. This may seem parodoxical. Men hide in darkness; saints hide in the light. The reason of the security of the saints when they are hid with Christ in God is that none can approach into the glory of God's presence.

The Lord Jesus said, "I give unto them (My sheep) eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand."

"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,

I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I'll never, no never, no never forsake."

Peter could not be found, because the Lord had hid him. We, too, have a hiding place from the storm, for Jesus Christ is our covert. In the Rock of Ages we will hide from the wrath of man, and from the snares of Satan.

III. HEROD'S HEARTLESS COMMAND (Acts 12:19 , l.c.)

When Herod found that his plans were foiled, and that Peter had escaped him, he commanded that the keepers should be put to death. Herod knew well enough that these men were not guilty: he knew that God had delivered His servant out of his hand, and yet, Herod, unable to wreak his vengeance against God, let it fall upon the soldiers, and jailers, who had been stationed to guard Peter.

Sin knows no pity! Sin wrecks homes, breaks hearts, steals from man everything that is worth the while, and then laughs at the wreckage. Sin turns a quiet home, where peace and prosperity reigns, into a slaughter house, strewn with blood and carnage.

Sin turns a garden of Eden into a howling wilderness; it drives people made happy with the smiles of Heaven, into a veritable inferno where there is no light and no love.

Satan is the father of sin. He tempted man, thus sowing the seed of sin through which death entered into the world. What a weary, sad, crushed world this is! Its history is the history of disappointment, despair and death. Its story is a story of wickedness and of wreckage.

Once more Herod stands before us as a type of the antichrist, under the regime of the coming man of sin. No mercy will be shown to saints. They who refuse the mark of the beast, and the number of his name, can neither buy nor sell in the marts of trade. The Jew who refuses obeisance to this false shepherd shall be hounded to the death. The beast will cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman. The dragon will be wroth with the woman (the Children of Israel) and will make war with the remnant of his seed which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Christ.

Herod was heartless in his slaughter of James, and in his attempted slaughter of Peter. He was also heartless against the men who had failed to work his will. Thus, the antichrist will rule with an iron hand, and seek to please only himself, and to establish no kingdom but his own.

IV. HEROD'S FINAL END (Acts 12:21-23 )

Following the scenes just described, Herod received an ambassage from Tyre and Sidon, with whom he had been displeased. By means of their friends, Blastus, the king's chamberlain, make proffers for peace, because their country was nourished by the king's country. Acts 12:21 tells us, that, "upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them." And, as Herod spoke, "the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man."

Herod, himself, received this approval and this deification of himself with evident pleasure, and gave not God the glory. The result was that the angel of the Lord smote him immediately, and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. He who had smitten others was himself smitten. He who had slain, was himself slain.

In all of this we are taught that what a man soweth, that shall he also reap. We are reminded how God spoke concerning Babylon, saying, "Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much of torment and sorrow give her."

God's unerring rule is both to saints and to sinners, to reward them according to their works. If saints give, it shall be given unto them good measure, heaped down and running over. If they withhold, God will also withhold them, allowing no rain to fall upon their crops nor blessings to come to their hands.

If men of the world mete unto others that which is evil and cruel so will God also mete to them. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword."

Herod in his final end once more stands forth as the type of the antichrist. As Herod was proclaimed god, he was smitten of God. There is a little verse in Isaiah which says, "I am the Lord: that is My Name; and My glory will I not give to another." The moment of Herod's death, was the moment when he accepted human deification, refusing to give glory to God. We believe that the moment of Christ's Coming and of the destruction of the antichrist will be that moment when he "opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." When this occurs, the Lord will no longer forbear.

Let us follow for a moment the story of Herod's final end:

1. There was Herod robed in regal fashion.

2. There was Herod seated on a throne.

3. There was Herod acclaimed as God.

4. There was Herod slain by an angel.

5. There was Herod eaten by worms.

The five steps we have just noted perfectly dovetail with the Bible story of the antichrist's final end.

Let us tabulate a like vision of Satan and of the man of sin, as set forth in Ezekiel twenty-eight:

1. Robed in regal fashion. "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardis, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold."

2. Seated on a throne. "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so."

3. Acclaimed as God. "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness."

4. Slain by an angel. "I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. * * I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee."

5. Eaten by worms. I will "bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee."

While the analogy we have just given is not perfect, it is most suggestive, and the story follows along the same line.

There is a similar vision of the overthrow of Satan and the Man of sin in Isaiah 14:1-32 . Let me read a portion of it, "How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: * * I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." This is the spirit that marked the Herod of today's message.

Isaiah continues telling how Satan and his man of sin shall "be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. "They that see thee, shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?"

Here is the end of the man of sin.

V. THE WORKINGS OF THE WORD OF GOD (Acts 12:24-25 )

After the death of Herod we read, "But the Word of God grew and multiplied." This is an expression with varied applications, We wish to apply it today more particularly to that blessed period commonly called the Millennium which follows hard upon the destruction of the antichrist and the Coming of the Saviour, It was when Herod was slain that the Word of God grew and multiplied. It will be when Satan is chained and the antichrist is put down that the whole world will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. The Prophet, Isaiah, in anticipating the overthrow of Israel's arch-enemy and the Return of the Lord writes in the Spirit, "Arise, shine; for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. * * The Gentiles shall come to thy Light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."

In the day of Israel's return when the Word of God runs and has free course, and is glorified, then the righteousness of Jerusalem, God's Zion, will go forth as brightness and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. Then God has said, "The Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory." How wonderful will be the world-wide sweep and sway of the Word of God as the Lord sits in Zion, when Satan shall have been chained and placed in the pit of the abyss, and when the antichrist and the false prophet shall have been cast into the Lake of fire!

In those days, thousands of "Apostle Pauls" from among Israel; men who were saved by the forth-shining of God's great light and by the revelation of the Son of God whom they had persecuted, shall go forth as evangelists carrying the Gospel of redemptive grace to the ends of the earth.

May God hasten that happy day!

The Lord will sit on David's throne,

He'll gather to Himself His own,

The Jews will come from east and west,

Forgiven cleansed, they'll be at rest.

The Gentiles of His grace will hear,

They'll come and worship year by year,

Jerusalem will glory bear;

Jehovah-Shaminah, Christ is there.

 


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Acts 12:4". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/acts-12.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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