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Acts 12

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 1 Now about this time Herod the king stretched out his hand to afflict some of the church.

 2 He had James, the brother of John, executed [beheaded] with a sword.

 3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to arrest Peter also. This occurred during the Days of Unleavened Bread [during Passover].

 4 And when Herod had apprehended Peter, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaterions of soldiers [sixteen total] to guard him; intending after Passover to bring him before the people [for trial].

 5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but the church prayed to God for him without ceasing.

 6 Now on the night before Herod planned to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and guards kept watch at the door to the prison.

 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the prison; and he touched Peter's side, and awakened him, saying, "Arise quickly." And his chains fell from his hands.

 8 And the angel said to him, "Get dressed and fasten your sandals." And so he did. And he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me."

 9 So he went out and followed him; but he was not sure that what was being done by the angel was actually happening; thinking he was watching a vision.

 10 And when they were past the first and the second guards, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city; which opened to them of its own accord. They went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel departed from him.

 11 Now when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the LORD has sent his angel and has delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all the plans of the Jewish people."

 12 After he had realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; many were gathered there praying together.

 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer the door.

 14 When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so happy that she failed to open the gate; instead she ran inside to announce how Peter was standing at the gate.

 15 And they said to her, "You are mad." But she kept insisting that it was true. Then said they, "It must be his angel [spirit]."

 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

 17 But he, beckoning to them with his hand to hold their peace, described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Go tell these things to James [the natural brother of Jesus] and to the brothers." And he departed, and went to another place.

 18 Now as soon as it was day, there was a great disturbance among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.

 19 And when Herod had sent for him, and he could not be found, he examined the guards and ordered them to be put to death. Then he traveled from Judea to Caesarea and remained there.

 20 Now Herod was highly displeased with the people of Tyre and Sidon, but they came with one accord to him; and, having made a friend of Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for peace; because their country depended on food from the king's country.

 21 And upon a scheduled day, Herod sat upon his throne, arrayed in royal apparel, and delivered a speech to them.

 22 And the people shouted, "It is the voice of a god, and not of a man."

 23 And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down because he had not given God the glory; and he was eaten of worms, and died.

 24 But the Word of God grew and multiplied.1 [Scripture did not grow and multiply; what did grow and multiply was the speaking of the word of God: the word from God's mouth that He put in the mouths of an increasing number of believers to speak.]

 25 When Barnabas and Saul had completed their ministry, they returned from Jerusalem bringing with them John, whose surname was Mark.

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1 A sentence bearing examination: the Word of God grew and multiplied. As each believer repented to Life, that believer's heart became controlled by the Word of God within; this believer then preached the word of God from his heart, which convinced more believers, who matured and preached similarly — thus multiplying the Word of God, the resurrected Christ, who is the Word of God, supplied the words in his believers' hearts and mouths.; so that they all preached with one mouth.


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