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Imprisoned but There is Power in God   63


 

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus,

WOW! What a glorious day to be serving Our Heavenly Father. Well Glory! And yes, Iím really charged up this morning because the is power in God and itís activated thru the prayers of His childrenÖ

Today Iíd like to talk a little while concerning the power of God. It seems in this day and time folks seem to forget the awesome power of the one they worship. And so with your permission Iíd like to just take a peek at just one instance of God showing His power and might. Weíll look at Acts, Chapter 25 and try to break it down by verses. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide us today.

Before we start; Iíd like to break Acts 25 in this manner.
The martyrdom of James, and the imprisonment of Peter. (Verse 1-5.)
He is delivered from prison by an angel. (Verse 6-11.)
Peter departs, Herod's rage. (Verse 12-19.)
The death of Herod. (Verse 20-25.)

If you have your KJV Bible Iíll ask that you read along with me.

Acts Chapter 12: 1, 24

1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

 We notice right off the bat that Herod doesnít like the church and has the authority to bring havoc and even kills James. And if this isnít bad enough we find that these mistreatments please the Jews.

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.

And we see that Peter would have been killed also but time was in his favor and so Peter was put into prison with 16 soldiers to make sure Peter didnít go anywhere.  

5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

 We see that there are some very devout folks in the church who are praying and praying and praying. But believing that their prayers are being heard or even being considered by God to be answered, Iím afraid this church is like so many today and somewhat weak in faith. Letís see!

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.

 Well, here it is in the middle of the night and Peter is in the 3rd ward chained to them and soldiers everywhere guarding him. And believe me these soldiers know the wrath of Herod if they should let this Peter escape as we shall see in a minute.

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.
8 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 thee, and follow me.
9 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.

 Now isnít it funny how Peter thought he was dreaming? But then were I in his position I might believed I was dreaming too. Especially with the bright lights shining, getting smacked and picked up, chains just falling off of you. But then Peter did have to dress himself and that is the way with us as well. God does that which we arenít able to do but Then God expects us to do our part or what we are able to. 

10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth 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.

 And modern day folks think we have come so far. Big fancy homes with driveways and gates down in front which can be opened by the push of a button. Well the gate here opened all by itself and now that the angel had done his job, he left. And finally Peter realizes what has taken placeÖ

11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the LORD hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

When God will work salvation for his people, all difficulties in their way will be overcome, even gates of iron are made to open of their own accord. This deliverance of Peter represents our redemption by Christ, which not only proclaims liberty to the captives, but brings them out of the prison-house. Folks, Are you a prisoner of Satan this morning: Condemned and sentenced to eternal death in that lake of fire and brimstone? Are those chains of sin binding your wrist; holding your thoughts and mind of the depravity of this world and what it has to offer? Well, if you are, then listen closely as we see there are angels waiting to break those chains.. As we read in our lesson; Peter, when he recollected himself, perceived what great things God had done for him.

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.
13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
14 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.
15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

 Well these few verses do depict quite a picture. Peter knocks on the door where everyone inside is praying for him. Rhoda, a young girl recognizes Peterís voice but still doesnít let him in. Everyone inside thinks Rhoda has lost her mind because they just know that Peter couldnít have escaped those chains, the 16 soldier guards, besides the big iron gate. Now consider they were praying but without faith that God would answer and when God does answer their prayer; they are astonishedÖ I guess we are the same today. We claim to believe that God can answer prayer but lack the needed faith that He would do that for us. 

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 shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.

 Well Iíll bet there was no small stir. I bet there was an all out hunt for this man called Peter which had vanished before their very eyes without them even being aware. There is no way that could have happened, is there? At any rate it cost them their lives as we see in the next verse. Yes sir, there is no mercy in king Herodís eyes. 

19 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.
20 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.
21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
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.

 Herod give not God the glory and because of his self pride; Oleí Herod wasnít so uppity after the angel smote him and the worms had their feast, was he? But such men as Herod, when puffed with pride and vanity, are ripening fast for a warning sign of vengeance. God is very jealous for his own honour, and will be glorified upon those whom he is not glorified by.

24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

 Listen folks; God is still in the prayer answering business and there are still many who have the faith and power in their prayers as we witness and see God answering those prayers. But there is one thing we must remember and take into consideration. And that is when you and I pray it isnít always our will but Godís will when it comes to the answer.

For it is Godís will which must be done. In Peterís case it was Godís will that he should be released, for as we read concerning Peter, his work wasnít completed here on earth and God had more for him yet to do. And if we keep this in mind when we pray our prayers and, as they are answered, your prayers and mine will be in the accordance with Godís will and He will show His power and might even in this day and time.

 This was a simple example of Godís power and might which we have read and even today applies as to Godís word left to us. But you and I must have faith and ask Godís will be done. Sometimes God doesnít answer the way we feel He should but remember that God is looking at the overall picture and you and I are only looking at one frame at a time. But if we are faithful and believe in all Godís word then we shall be as this church in our lesson and see many great feats of God taking place and we shall, as did this church, grow and multiply in word. Well Glory!

 And for those of you bound in the chains of sin? Well there is an escape for you; If you are sorry for your sins and repent of your sins, believing in the virgin birth, the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It is then you may call of Jesus to save your soul from hellís fury; and be born again.
But this salvation comes only by faith and believing. Have you ask Jesus to come into your heart today and save your soul. I pray that you have.

 Well folks, The time has slipped away so fast so let me say; Thank you for coming today and I'll look forward to seeing you again as we come together to praise God and Worship Him. Well Glory!


And so; Until we meet again;
May the angels watch over you and may you bask in the love of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus

I Pray this message has blessed you today.

       

                Bro. Jim Keeling

 


 

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