THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE
READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS
(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)
Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.
Reading assignment: __Acts 11:1 through Acts 12:24
Focal verse(s): Acts 12:1: “It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.”
It didn’t take long for the news to get back to Judea that Peter had preached to the Gentiles and they had been saved. When Peter returned to Jerusalem he was immediately challenged by the Jewish Christians for eating with Gentiles. Peter shared with them his vision from God, how the angel had appeared to Cornelius and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles in Caesarea at Cornelius’ home. After hearing Peter’s testimony, the Jewish Christians realized this was from God and they welcomed the Gentiles into the faith. Suddenly Herod decided to persecute the Christians in order to please the Jews, so he had John’s brother James killed. James had been with Peter and John on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. The Jews seemed so pleased by the execution of James that Herod decided to also have Peter killed, but he had to wait because of the religious holiday called the Days of Unleavened Bread, so he had Peter jailed until he could be executed. He assigned a squad of 16 soldiers to guard Peter and even had him chained to 2 of the soldiers for extra security. The Jerusalem church immediately began a prayer vigil for Peter. The night before Herod planned to have Peter executed he was sound asleep between two of the guards. An angel appeared and woke him up and ordered him to get up quickly and when he did, the chains fell off! Peter got dressed and followed the angel past several stations of guards and through an iron gate, which opened like it was electronically controled! Once outside, the angel disappeared and Peter went to the home of Mary where he knew the believers were praying. When he knocked at the gate a girl named Rhoda came and when she saw Peter she got so excited that she ran back to tell the others and forgot to open the gate! The believers thought it was an angel rather than Peter. They had been praying for Peter’s release and then were surprised when he showed up! When they finally opened the gate, Peter told them all that had happened and then left. The next morning the soldiers awoke in the prison to find Peter gone. Herod had them all 16 men executed for allowing him to escape, then Herod left for Caesarea. Later Herod was struck dead by an angel of God for letting the people worship him as a god. Herod executed the disciple James but then reaped what he sowed by being killed by God and spending an eternity in hell!