We are living in perilous times for Christians and Conservatives. What we must remember is this is not new and it isn’t just now beginning. Those fomenting violent, vicious attacks and lies have a long history of such behavior. This element engineered the election of their presidential candidate Joe Biden who says he will “unite the nation.”
The radical left, the lying media and the treasonous “deep state” joined to oppose a sitting president, to assure his defeat and departure from office. Biden is already speaking about silencing and eliminating the National Rifle Association, approves silencing Trump and supporters on Social Media; and falsely charges the president with leading an insurrection. Is that “uniting the nation?”
My opinion is that Biden and his supporters are not able to unite the nation, neither is anyone else. There are valid reasons why we are divided and disgusted with the existing situation — callous lies and accusations about the president’s successes contradicting the former president’s view of America’s weakness and failure. Good cannot unite with evil.
Right cannot unite with wrong. This goes back many years, even before the Nazi German era when many who opposed Hitler lost their homes, lives or freedom for speaking up or for being the “deplorables” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Neimoller, the Jews, the Gypsies and millions of others.
We should never unite with criminal parties—including Democrats and many Republicans. Evil exists and it is powered by forces greater than humans. We must understand such evil forces are not greater than God. God is good and right. He will deal with evil and wrong. How do we know this?
Read the New Testament book of Acts, particularly chapter 12. This is not just a history book, it is a glimpse into the working of evil power, both human and demonic, and God’s power, both angelic and human. This presents the supernatural power of God facing the demonic dictatorial power bent on control, destruction and death. The facts in Acts 12 are accurate and true.
I’ve taught history now for many years. I still hear many devalue its study. They question history’s usefulness. What is the value of history? Does history repeat itself? Is it possible to study the past and learn something, even forecast or prophesy what might happen today or tomorrow? Acts 12 can help us prepare for what is unfolding for Christians and Conservatives.
Indeed there are many in other lands right now living with situations like that presented in this chapter. For many years there has been almost no persecution in America, but there has been in other parts of the world dominated by Communists/Socialists and Islamists—Russia, Korea, China, Cuba, India and parts of Africa, Europe and South America. Consider this dramatic story and its revelation for our day.
There are two groups and two leaders in this story. There is the arrogant enemy in Herod and his colluding crowd and Peter and a weak group of Christians. Note how this story begins, “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread)” (Acts 12:1-3).
Herod and those who supported him represents the enemy of good and God, Christians and Conservatives. Herod is a good picture of the leaders who hate the church and God. It has been true all through history. Tyrants still stretch forth their hands against God and His people. There is a fiendish, devilish, demonic power that acts among humans in every age. There is no originality to sin and hate. Consider these factors in Herod.
Herod is arrogant, bombastic, prideful. He “stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the church.” Herod’s whole demeanor and attitude was one of pride and arrogance. Later in this chapter he dresses in gorgeous apparel, delivering a speech to an approving, admiring crowd, who cry out in stupidity and ignorance, “It’s the voice of a god, and not a man.”
We’ve seen and heard similar language describing arrogant and prideful politicians by news media today.
Then note he killed James. He saw this pleased the Jews and decided to take Peter in hand also. He had the power. He had no respect for human rights or good people. His lust for power drove him. He had a desire to possess what belonged to others in his anti-God spirit. He set himself up as God. Yet he was sensitive to public applause and approval.
Those who set themselves up as God become dependent on man for support and approval, yet they are slaves to lust, vanity and pride.
So Peter was arrested, but he wasn’t killed. Why? Luke the author tells us, “Then were the days of unleavened bread.” Because of Jewish law Herod couldn’t kill him, but he could later.
Why was James killed and Peter put in jail? There is only one explanation. They and their followers gave ultimate and absolute allegiance only to God. This challenges dictatorial, totalitarian demands of the state. Such a state hates God and any who believe Him and give their allegiance only to God. What did the church do at that time?
James is dead, Peter is in jail. Now “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for Peter” (Acts 12:5). This seemed to be a hopeless, tragic situation. Prayer was made without ceasing unto God. God is listening. God is on the side of His people. He answers prayer.
Two things to conclude. Peter is taken out of jail by an angel, miraculously delivered from death. If God wills one’s deliverance it will be done no matter what. Herod later murders those jailers who kept Peter and went to Caesarea to abide. There he arrogantly spoke “as a god” and God’s angel struck him and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost (Acts 12:23). God judged Herod with death. Those now fomenting violence and attacks on Christian and Conservatives should pay attention to history. There is a God!