Chapter Twelve — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 12/26/2021Foundation Scriptures:
1. Angelic Intervention.
a. Acts 12:7 NKJV — Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.
b. How wonderful it is that angels are given to us—to serve us and help us—according to the will and plan of God.
c. Hebrews 1:14 AMPC — Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation?
d. Angels are not just standing around watching—they are actively working.
e. They are tasked with provision and protection—delivering and saving us from harm and danger.
f. Psalm 34:7 NKJV — The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
g. This is the second time an angel was sent to liberate Peter from prison (Acts 5:19).
h. Peter was sleeping, and it must have been a deep sleep, because the angel had to smack him on the side to wake him up!
i. When you know that you are in the center of God’s will, no matter what comes your way, you know you can trust Him to see you through.
j. And when you have cast all your cares upon Him, you can sleep in peace, knowing that He cares for you and is watching over you (1 Pet. 5:7).
2. Angelic Rescue.
a. Acts 12:8 NKJV — Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”
b. Angels are able to deliver us even if we do not see them.
c. We are not to pray to see angels—because the devil also tries to fool people by appearing as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14).
d. It is up to the Lord whether we see our angel or not.
e. The word, angel (Greek angelos), is translated “angel or “messenger.”
f. An angel is a messenger sent from Heaven, speaking a message from God.
g. So, when God does send His angel, it’s important that you obey what he tells you.
h. God can do extraordinary things when we obey Him in the ordinary things.
i. The angel told Peter to, “Get up quickly!” and when he did, his chains fell off.
j. Then he told him to, “Tighten your belt and bind on your sandals,” which he did.
k. Then his final command was, “Wrap your outer garment around you and follow me.”
l. Even though Peter did not know if it was really happening or if it was a vision, he obeyed the angel’s commands.
3. God Opens Prison Doors.
a. Acts 12:9 NKJV — So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
b. When you have a supernatural experience like Peter did, sometimes it is difficult to know if it is real life or a vision.
c. When Paul spoke of his experience of being caught up into Heaven, he referred to his experience as, “whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell” (2 Cor. 12:2).
d. Acts 12:10 NKJV— When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
e. God performed several miracles here.
f. Peter’s chains just fell off.
g. The guards did not see or hear anything.
h. Peter, following the angel, simply walked past the first and second guard posts and out of the main gate.
i. The gate opened automatically (Greek automatos)—of its own accord.
j. Nobody saw him leave.
a. Acts 12:11 NKJV — And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”
b. The angel delivered (Greek exaireō) Peter.
c. This is the same word Stephen used when he spoke of Israel’s deliverance (Exodus) from Egypt.
d. The Passover symbolized deliverance, and it was fitting that Peter should be delivered at this season as well.
e. He was delivered from the hand and power of Herod—and also from the expectation of the Jewish people, who would’ve been happy to see him executed.
f. Acts 12:12 NKJV — So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.
g. Once the angel left him alone—and he realized that it was real, and he was free—he had to make his own decisions on what to do next.
h. He decided that the best place to go was Mary’s house, where the Church was still busy praying for him.
i. She was the mother of John Mark, and one of six Marys mentioned in the New Testament.
j. John Mark was the author of the book of Mark.
k. He was one of Jesus’ disciples and a nephew to Barnabas (Col. 4:10).
l. Paul and Barnabas took him on their first missionary journey, but he left them prematurely to go back to Jerusalem (Acts 12:25; 13:5,13).
m. Paul and Barnabas disagreed over taking him on the second missionary journey, causing them to go their separate ways (Acts 15:33-39).
n. Later, he did work with Paul, who refers to him as a fellow-laborer, who was profitable (helpful) to him in the ministry (Col. 4:10-11; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phm. 1:24).