Friday, March 20, 2015

Angel opens prison doors : ) (Acts Chapter 5:17-42, Psalm 122:6-9, Zechariah 4:6)

I don't know if anyone else feels this way but I am very impressed with Benjamin Netanyahu.  He would do anything to protect his nation.  I hope our next president is as committed and loyal.  Maybe I'm missing something but it sounds like the White House wants to take Israeli land and give it to the people who keep bombing them.  Sorta like helping terrorists. The Palestinians today are a product of Arafat's imagination. Fox News did a real good documentary on Israel.

I often think of Israel as having Samson and Moses running around.  But the truth is Roman soldiers, Pharisees, Sadducees all sorts of people wanted to destroy Jesus.  God has blessed Israel it's full of plants and water now.  They were diligent and built roads, jobs and an airport.  Bad guys like free stuff, not hard work.  The Jews are still chosen by God.

As Christians, we accept Jesus as our Savior (the trinity- Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  A lot of us have a soft spot for Israel. The New Jerusalem that God has prepared for us will be permanent.  No terrorists in the neighborhood!  I believe we should still respect and pray for Israel.  Revelation clearly states there will be more bad days to come.  America has been a nation for 239 years.  Israel since the beginning of time.  European nations have stuff dating back to the time of Christ and before.   It's amazing how far the USA has come in such a short time.   I'll continue to pray for wisdom in selecting our next President and for peace in Jerusalem.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.
(Psalms 122:6-9 NIV)

Back to the Book of Acts-

17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

Wow an angel came and told the disciples what to do.  We really don't know if we see angels.  Tradition has them glowing with golden light.  How exciting.

22 But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23 saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24 Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. 25 So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
Don't you wish you could've seen this?  First the wow of an Angel, then the look on the guard's faces hahaha.

26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!”
I can hear the disciples thinking, "Well yeah actually we did : ) "  I'm pretty sure at this point the disciples would be more concerned about people getting saved.  They saw Jesus in the Upper Room and listened to His words (Acts 1:13).

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said:“We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Many Jews have come to Christ since this time period.  There is a group called, "Jews for Jesus" now.  It's exciting to me to know how much has been accomplished over the years in Jesus name. My main tools are the Bible and prayer but there's something fascinating about real Jewish Christians.

This is also interesting.  If you remember Gamaliel was the top teacher of Jewish Law in the time of Christ.  The Apostle Paul learned from him.  This guy was so smart he could tell you exactly how many inches a proper scroll should be.

Gamaliel's Advice
33 When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. 34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them:“Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men.
  • 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing
  • 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed
38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
So Gamaliel turned out to be a REALLY good teacher didn't he?  I have no idea how many Christians there are in the world now.  I never really paid attention to this story before.  

40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 
Unfortunately the High Priest of the temple didn't seem to have any regard for Gamaliel's words.  The High Priest had pressure from the Romans, Pharisees, Sadducees all sorts of people.  Sounds like he was so caught up in law he didn't have a heart for God.  This seems to happen to people in our time too sometimes.  Very sad.

6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty."
(Zechariah 4:6 NIV)
How would you like to have the name, "Zerubbabel"?

41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Wow they left rejoicing of being counted worthy to suffer shame in His name.  Personally I'm a whimp.  This doesn't sound fun at all.  I tend to believe God will provide the strength we need when the time comes though.

(Acts 5:17-42 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father, 
I pray for peace in Jerusalem.  I know that many things have been prophesied in Revelation.  And it is a bit frightening to see things happen.  I pray for wisdom for our leaders in the USA.  I am grateful for our country.  Please help us improve the school systems.  Grant us wisdom as we seek to elect a new President.  Thank You for Jesus, faith and the hope secured in our hearts like an anchor. 

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen   

Jason Gray, Good to be Alive, (link) 


  1. "they left rejoicing of being counted worthy to suffer shame in His name. Personally I'm a wimp. This doesn't sound fun at all." Thank you for an excellent post! I too am a wimp. Yet I know there are countless Christians suffering for their faith in Jesus at this moment. I agree with you that when the time comes I too believe "God will provide the strength we need when the time comes." .

  2. Hi Kathleen thanks for the comment. It really is humbling to hear what is going on now. I believe the best I can do is pray and continue serving the Lord. So many have given so much in Jesus' name and He promises to reward us. God bless!