Herod’s Persecution of the Christians

August 01, 2014

Herod’s Persecution of the Christians

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 12, 1 – 19:

About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. It was the feast of Unleavened Bread. He had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the church was fervently being made to God on his behalf.
On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter recovered his senses and said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.” When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who is called Mark, where there were many people gathered in prayer. When he knocked on the gateway door, a maid name Rhoda came to answer it. She was so overjoyed when she recognized Peter’s voice that, instead of opening the gate, she rain in and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. They told her, “You are out of your mind,” but she insisted that it was so. But they kept saying, “It is an angel.” But Peter continued to knock, and when they opened it, they saw him and were astounded. He motioned to them with his hand to be quiet and explained to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison, and said, “Report this to James and the brothers.” Then he left and went to another place. At daybreak there was no small commotion among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. Herod, after instituting a search but not finding him, ordered the guards tried and executed. Then he left to spend some time in Caesarea.

One day the parents of a boy of about five years of age came to visit me. They had brought the boy because he was sick and needed healing. So I prayed with the boy and asked the Lord to heal him of his sickness. The next day the mother phoned me that her son got up in the morning and he fell very well. The sickness was completely gone. I thank the Lord once more for all the wonderful acts of healing He has done.

Below you will find the message of Our Lord and Savior given to Father Melvin. Jesus spoke to him these words,

“I loved Saint Peter with all My heart and I love you too My brother Melvin and all My brothers and sister who believe in Me and pray every day. I protected Saint Peter many times especially while he was in Jerusalem. One day King Herod had Saint Peter arrested and put in prison with the intention to kill him after the Passover. However, the night before the Passover, Saint Peter was rescued by an angel of God. The angel came and awakened him and told him to get ready and to follow him. Saint Peter followed him and everything was opened even the gate of the prison. After he was on the street, the angel left him. He was able to go to a house where many Christians were praying to let them know that he was freed and then went to another house. It was not time for Saint Peter to die for he still had many actions to do in other countries and in Rome.
Be people of prayer and I will be there to help you. I will protect you and make sure that you have something to eat and a place to sleep. I bless you all.”

Father Melvin

P.S. It rained a bit this morning Thursday but the sun came out in the afternoon and we had a fine evening. The Lord is good.

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