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                         "ACTS OF THE APOSTLES"

                             Chapter Twelve

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER

1) To note the martyrdom of James, and the miraculous release of Peter
   from prison

2) To review the untimely death of Herod, and the continued success of
   the word of God

SUMMARY

This chapter records the efforts by King Herod to harass the church in
Jerusalem.  This Herod was Agrippa I, son of Herod Antipas (who beheaded
John the Baptist, Mt 14:1-12), and grandson of Herod the Great (who slew
the infants at Bethlehem, Mt 2:1-16).  Successfully killing James the
brother of John with the sword, Herod had Peter arrested and imprisoned,
intending to bring Peter before the people after the Passover.  Herod's
plans were thwarted when an angel of the Lord freed Peter from prison.
After meeting with brethren at the home of Mary, mother of John Mark,
Peter sent word to James and the brethren of his miraculous release.
When Peter was not found in the prison, Herod had the guards examined
and executed.  Herod then went down to Caesarea (1-19).

While at Caesarea, the people of Tyre and Sidon came to Herod to appeal
for peace.  When he gave them an oration, the people praised his speech
as "the voice of a god and not of a man."  Failing to give glory to God,
an angel of the Lord struck Herod and he died.  The word of God,
however, grew and multiplied.  Barnabas and Saul, having completed their
ministry to the saints in Judea (cf. 11:29-30), returned from Jerusalem
to Antioch accompanied by John Mark.  At this point in Luke's narrative
of the history of the church, the focus turns from the ministry of Peter
to the ministry of Paul (20-24).

OUTLINE

I. THE PERSECUTION BY HEROD THE KING (1-19)

   A. JAMES KILLED WITH THE SWORD (1-2)
      1. Herod begins to harass some from the church
      2. He killed James the brother the John

   B. PETER ARRESTED, FREED BY AN ANGEL (3-19)
      1. Peter seized during the days of Unleavened Bread
         a. Since Herod saw that it pleased the Jews
         b. Intending to bring Peter before the people after Passover
      2. Peter released by an angel
         a. Constant prayer was being offered by the church
         b. Though bound with chains between two guards, with more
            before the door
         c. An angel stands before Peter, along with a shining light
         d. The angel strikes Peter on the side, and raises him; chains
            fell off
         e. Told to gird himself, tie his sandals, put on his garments,
            and follow
         f. Thinking it was a vision, Peter follows the angel past the
            guards and into the city
      3. Peter rejoined with his brethren
         a. He realizes that the angel has delivered him from Herod
         b. He comes to the house of Mary, mother of John Mark, where
            many are praying
         c. He is first left standing at the door by Rhoda, then
            astonishes the brethren when they come to the door
         d. He relates what happened, sends word to James and the
            brethren, and departs
      4. Peter's release causes a stir
         a. Herod is unable to find Peter
         b. Herod examines the soldiers and has them put to death
         c. Herod leaves Judea and goes to Caesarea

II. THE DEATH OF HEROD THE KING (20-25)

   A. HIS LAST ORATION (20-22)
      1. The people of Tyre and Sidon appeal for peace to Herod through
         Blastus, the king's aide
      2. On a set day, in royal apparel and on his throne, Herod gives
         them an oration
      3. The people praise him as having the voice of a god and not of a
         man

   B. STRUCK DOWN BY AN ANGEL (23)
      1. An angel of the Lord strikes him immediately because he did not
         give glory to God
      2. He is eaten of worms and dies

   C. WORD OF GOD CONTINUES (24-25)
      1. The word of God grows and multiplies
      2. Barnabas and Saul return from Jerusalem with John Mark,
         fulfilling their ministry

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER

1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The persecution by Herod the King (1-19)
   - The death of Herod the King (20-25)

2) How did Herod begin to harass the church? (1-3)
   - By having James the brother of John killed with the sword
   - By having Peter put in prison

3) When was Peter imprisoned?  When did Herod intend to present him to
   the people? (3-4)
   - During the Days of Unleavened Bread
   - After Passover

4) How did the church respond to Peter's imprisonment? (5)
   - They offered constant prayer to God in his behalf

5) How was Peter bound, the night before Herod intended to bring him
   before the people? (6)
   - With two chains between two soldiers, and guards before the door of
     the prison

6) As the angel freed Peter and led him out of the prison, what was
   Peter thinking? (7-9)
   - That he was seeing a vision

7) After the angel led Peter into the city and then left, what did Peter
   come to realize? (10-11)
   - The Lord had sent His angel to deliver him from Herod and the
     expectation of the people

8) Where did Peter first go?  What were the people there doing? (12)
   - The house of Mary, mother of John Mark
   - Praying

9) Who answered the door?  How did she react? (13-14)
   - A girl named Rhoda
   - She recognized Peter, but in her excitement left him standing at
     the door

10) What did the people think she had seen at the door? (15)
   - Peter's angel

11) After they finally went to the door and let him in, what
    instructions did Peter give? (16-17)
   - To tell what happened to James and the brethren

12) When Peter was not found in the prison on the next day, what
    happened? (18-19)
   - There was a big stir among the soldiers
   - Herod had the guards examined, then executed

13) Where did Herod then go?  Who came with an appeal for peace? (19-20)
   - From Judea down to Caesarea
   - The people of Tyre and Sidon

14) When Herod gave them an oration, what did the people say? (21-22)
   - "The voice of a god and not of man!"

15) What happened to Herod?  Why? (23)
   - An angel of the Lord struck him, so that he was eaten by worms and
     died
   - Because he did not give glory to God

16) Despite Herod's effort to harass the church, what was the result?
    (24)
   - The word of God grew and multiplied

17) Who returned from Jerusalem, and whom did they bring with them? (25)
   - Barnabas and Saul, having fulfilled their ministry
   - John Mark
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