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After the Lockdown: Through Trials and Difficulties

Eric Walsh
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As the world comes out of a collective lockdown what have we learned? Why has God allowed all the difficulty and trials that we have collectively suffered? The answers to those questions are critical for the Christian.

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Eric Walsh

Pastor and Physician

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Recorded

  • May 16, 2020
    12:15 PM
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So let's pray Father God we thank you for this opportunity to study your word Lord I just pray that you make me just the nail upon the wall Lord and hang a portrait of Jesus Christ upon that new I don't want to be seen tonight instead Father God let all that is heard all that is seen be Jesus Christ is our prayer in Jesus is precious and holy name Amen when I go to a book of Acts the 12 chapter the message again as in title after the lockdown Acts Chapter 12 starting at verse one and this is really more of a Vesper thought in talking about what we do after this pandemic. And after the lockdowns Acts 12 in verse one says 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 because he saw it please the Jews he proceeded further to take Peter also those are the days of Unleavened Bread So what about the time of possible over Herod the king who when you read the Spirit of Prophecy this is not the same Herod who took the head of John the Baptist. This is a different Herod and he. Took over and he and the spirit of prophecy and history tells us that he was very diligent in keeping the laws of the Jews he pretended outwardly to be a very faithful Jew and in all of its center and all of the ceremonies and so he it's not clear whether or not he really hated the Christians or not especially not the Apostles but what is clear is that when the Jews when it what it whatever please the Jews he wanted their adoration he wanted their allegiance and so whatever made them happy and so he killed James the brother of John with the sword John was and sorry James was in prison and he sent an assassin into the prison and killed James and cold blood the Jews were actually angry Don't miss this the Jews were actually angry that it wasn't a more public execution. And so he grabbed Peter and he helped Peter so that after the Passover he could actually take Peter and do a more public person execution in order to really please the Jews verse 4 says that when he had apprehended him when he took Peter he put Peter in prison and delivered him to for attorney and of soldiers that's 16 soldiers were put in charge of watching Peter to keep him in tending after this as Easter this is what a few times in the Bible to the King James Version is a little off because that should say Passover. But intending after Passover to bring him forth to the people Peter therefore was kept in prison but I want you to see verse 5 while Peter is in prison the people are quarantined Heidi the Bible says but prayer was made without ceasing of the church and to God for him Lesson number one during the lockdown we should be praying without ceasing they were praying for Peter nonstop the church is praying praying Acts 2 overs 5 says praying constantly and I want to tell you that a lot of us are in trouble because we're not playing the way we ought to we're scared to pray we don't pray with fervor Jesus says you have not because you ask not we a lot of us pray scary prayers whimsical prayers I'm telling you to pray with power pray with details go on your knees and call on the name of God understanding that your father cares for you and not just by yourself as a church family as bodies of believers we have to come together in prayer and pray without ceasing for him they would not stop praying for him they were diligent and purposeful in praying for Peter James had been killed one of the one of the strong founding Apostles and now they were worried Peter would go the same way. So the church prayed I want I want I want you to know whatever it is you're going through tonight whether you've lost your job in this pandemic whether your marriage is suffering because it is pandemic whether your marriage or your job was in trouble before the pandemic I'm telling you that prayer changes things and I'm telling you that no matter how bad things get call on the name of the Lord and when you can't pray no more call your prayer warrior friends and have dent call on the name of God verse 6 and when Herod would have brought him forth the same night Peter was sleeping with tween 2 soldiers bound with 2 chains and the keepers before the door kept the prison I want you to see this I want you to visualize this what happens is Herod had heard about the apostles as Xscape before and so he did not he said 16 of the strongest finest most trained soldiers to guard just Peter to watch this the prison that they had him in was a carved out piece of stone iron was used to to to fasten into the ground the bars that kept Peter and there were but layers of bars or doors that he would have to get out of he was at the farthest point inside and in order to make sure that Peter would not escape what Harry did as he be chained he had a soldier's chained to the arms of Peter they handcuffed together the way would say today and I've read once that they left their dominant hand free so they were both right handed one soldier was chained left hand to Peter's right hand facing the same direction as Peter the other one was chained left hand to left hand of Peter the left hand of the so as to the left hand of Peter facing away from Peter the opposite direction and he went and each of them had their strong and free in case Peter tried to escape they would be able to take a knife and stab Peter sword with their sword the other soldiers were put inside and outside of each gate. And that's the way it was set up so that there was no physical possible way Peter could escape you know it's been a problem he says this way to process man's extremity is God's opportunity in fact I would argue I think almost God enjoys liberating his people when they are in the most dire straits and Daniel in the lion's den with 3 boys in the furnace or Alija being chased by jets of well I could go on and on in the Scripture I mean say something if you are in a situation as you're listening to this message and you can't figure your way out of it if you have no idea how God is going to set things up I want you to understand the more difficult your circumstances the more able your god is had him chained up prisoners and guards at the door over 7 says and behold the angel of the Lord came upon him in a light shined in the prison and he smoked Peter on the side and raised them up saying Arise of quickly and his chains fell off from his hands Don't miss this 1st of all want to think that's that I like in this is that when when when the angel gets in there Peter is asleep Peter so so asleep that the angel has the top of us to actually touch Peter and wake him up with the bodies of the small Peter on the side and lifted him up and says listen get up quickly now here's what's interesting church when it seems as if Peter was most bounden he's told to get up and the change fall off all by themselves the angel said to him Gurr dice Elfenbein on Dice sandals and so he did he set on to him cast I garment about the and follow me Peter was fast asleep. Sleeping knowing that a public execution is what was next but here is how could Peter sleep so soundly between 2 soldiers when he was about to be put to death let me taste something church the sleep of the saints ought to be sweet as you get to trust in a Jesus that no matter how bad your situation is you ought not be disturbed in your rest yes the soldiers were there but the angels were also their Spirit of Prophecy tells us that the angels of God were watching over the church and over Peter particularly And so the angel steps into the room slaps Peter on the size get up put on your clothes Burgess else put on your sandals and the chains fell off the radio so carefully he even told him to put on a garment like put on a jacket as if to say it's chilly outside and verse 9 and he went out and followed him and wish not that it was true which was done body angel but thought he saw a vision Peter was in such sound sleep that even as he was moving out with the angel Peter thinks he's in this and he doesn't even realize he is getting liberated verse 10 says when they were past the 1st and the 2nd ward came on to the iron gate that leads on to the city every gate that they got to the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that there were soldiers on either side and miraculously the gates swung open silently making no noise. P. there are any angels walk through and behind them each gate locked silently the soldiers never saw them never heard them never saw anything they went to one gate like that they went to the 2nd gate like them and they came up to the iron gate that leads into the city which opened to them of its own accord and they went out and passed on onto one street and 4 with the angel depart from him when Peter was awoken in the cell it was dark and gloomy but when he woke up it was his bright heavenly light coming from the angel that light guided them the angel was able to light up the path as they walked out of the doors opened by themselves and closed by themselves and as Peter found himself in the streets the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that as the angel departed It was as if Peter was left in extreme darkness. Then his eyes adjusted and Peter realized he was in a familiar part of the city that he'd been in before in fact he had expected that when his time for new put to death he to pass that spot for love one last time in his life versa Levenson when Peter was come to himself he said Now I know of a surety the Lord has sent to Zengerle not delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews let me tell you some judge yes and folk that expect to do you harm some folk that expect to to set you back my Bible tells me that no weapon formed against me will prosper I challenge you tonight that if you're going to do something and during this lockdown all of the of the end of my city and an anger that others might have had toward you I want you to understand that if you stand on God's side that that just like Peter you'll be able to say that you have a skate all the expectations of your enemies. I don't know what you're going through and it's sad because sometimes our enemies are those who want to love us sometimes it's family members sometimes the spouses even children but I want you to know that if you are in Christ Jesus God can deliver you from the expectations of your enemies and as you are in his lockdown I want you to begin to read the scripture and understand that you cannot be bound the way the world wants to bind you on less you allow the world to hold you the angel of God still visits the houses of Christians it still sets us free not just from the chains that others would put on us but I want Don't miss this church but the angel of God and as especially I should say the Holy Spirit particularly still will set you free from even the chains we have put on ourselves so I challenge you in the darkness of your prison experience as we are in this lockdown I want you to begin to expect the liberation that comes from knowing God like Peter did verse to us as in when you consider the thing you came to the house of Mary the mother of John who surname was Mark where many were gathered together praying Peter finds his way to the house where. Were all of the disciples and all the rest some of the other believers were here these people are praying for him have been praying without ceasing Peter knocks on the door of the gate and a little girl hears him and runs the little girl's name is Rhoda she runs over and she when she knew it was Peter's voice she doesn't listen let me in Rhoda let me in she didn't open the gate she was so excited the Bible says in verse 14 she ran in and she told everyone that was praying for Peter's liberation she runs in and tells them who are praying for Peter's liberation Peter's outside verse 15 and they said unto her you crazy. Thou art mad is what the King James Version says but she constantly affirmed that it was even so then they said it is a joke they said listen it can't be Peter it is how crazy it is that what some of us pray some of us pray for God's blessing and when God sends the blessing we don't recognize that God is giving us what we pray for they were so busy praying for Peter's release they forgot to believe he could actually be released some of us are like that when you go into a problem you've been praying for a solution you know people pray for jobs in my office jobs and you know that jobs are not good enough for me you want to opportunity to start a business that's not good enough for me you pray for a spouse the person not good enough for you and you don't realize God essential exactly what you need in that moment they didn't realize God sent them what they had asked for but they were so busy praying next maybe they expected some crazy thing that happened and repeatedly expressed they didn't realize God could sneak into the prison leave everything intact and extract peter out of the prison without making a real any kind of ruckus so here they are praying for Peter but not accepting that Peter is at the door were sixteen's as well Peter continued knocking when it opened a door and saw him they were astonished Isn't it crazy you're praying for something when you see it you're shocked verse 17 but he beckoning on to them which that which then with the hand to hold their peace the clear to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison and he said Go show these things on to James and to the brother and and he departed and went into another place now soon as it was day so Peter is free he goes away and he tells it wasn't Go tell you tell the others and he went to another place and it seems that the story would end with a story just get started because I want you to know that while you've been in lockdown. And I don't just mean a lockdown of this pandemic I mean if you've been in a lockdown of sin if you've been in a lockdown of addiction the lockdown of sexual sin if you've been trapped by your vices I want you to know that the devil has been trying to trap you to purr people who've been trying to destroy you a God as God has something for them to look at verse 18 now as soon as it was day there was no small stir among the soldiers as to what was become of Peter can you imagine the next morning as the soldiers have been sleeping nothing a change of corn and have none of the gates have been open the 2 soldiers in that inner self probably slept the night away in peace when the sun comes up in the morning the soldiers are scrambling where is Peter because by giving charge to the soldiers their life is given in exchange for his verse 19 and when Herod had sought for him and found him not so he started to search and for him he examined the keepers the soldiers and he commanded that they should be put to death and he went down to Judea to Syria from Judea to Syria and there he abode look at verse 20 Herod was highly displeased with them of Tire and Sidon they came with one accord to him and having made blasters the king's Chamberlain their friend desired peace because their country was nursed by the king's country and upon a sad day here in Iraq a raid in royal apparel keep Harry comes out in the finest clothes sat upon his throne and made an oration and to them he gave the speech and I would imagine that Herod wasn't Incredibles public speaker I would imagine he had a cult of personality that he could influence people and when he started to speak verse 20 to the people the Jews gave a shout saying it is the voice of a god and not of a man Herod should have denounced this. But he accepted the worship of these men and I want you to know church that Babylon is fallen is fall in this fall and we talked a lot in our in the series on the pandemic of persecution about the little horn let me taste of the day will come to this for this little horn it has presented itself as if it is a god sitting in the place of God that one day it will pay its fee for what it has done in the world revelation $18.00 says that Babylon is fall and it is fall and it will fall and we are to get out before it does Herod is as almost like type to that he stands in his royal gowns and royal robes and and he shouts out it's a goddess not a man the spirit of prophecy tells us that the same angel that liberated Peter is a state and smote Peter on the side to wake him up and lift him up and get him out of prison is the same angel that slug that smites Herod but he says that this smite ing is a different kind of hit immediately the agent of the Lord smote him because he have gave not God the glory and the rest of the verses and he was eaten of worms gave up the ghost the Bible says that Herod didn't give God glory and I want to I want to leave this with you as you as we all prepare to come out of lockdown when this is all over the world is going to say that it was great public health it was maybe some medical treatments maybe a vaccine you're not going to realize that if it wasn't for the 4 angels holding back the winds of strife that these pandemics could be a lot worse way to when after probation closes and the 7 last plagues fall on his world can you imagine the terror and the turmoil that is going to reach this world so the world is never going to give God the glory and fact they they they harp on evolution and and science falsely so-called In order to justify how they live and what they do. My Bible tells me as Heron is standing there and this is it isn't a worry about the enemies that we take care of you didn't have to worry about here it as you sit there and sat there and he accepted the worship as if he was a God My Bible tells me that worms began to come out of Peter's flesh and eat him and he died right there in front of all those can you imagine how aghast and horrified the crowd was that this beautiful Harriet as he was standing there in his kingly robes looking so dapper and making such a great oration Can you imagine he stands there brighter than any star in Hollywood having more followers on Twitter than anybody imagine Herod standing there in the worms begin to come from his flesh his breathing becomes difficult he begins to cry out and I get me he was just a minute earlier he was giving a great speech now he gives a great cry and in front of the crowd Harry drops dead and this is a way for God to tell the Jews that God that Peter served could take him from out of a prison under the watch of 16 incredible soldiers the God that Peter served was able to have him escape even when he was chained as 2 soldiers the God that Peter served was able to move him through that prison and out into the street without making a sound and Herod who wanted worship couldn't even save himself let me say some church they might turn their backs on God in this country and in his world one day they will have to pay one day they will have to answer Heritier drops dead a little over 20 forces in order to make the point where 24 of x. 12 says but the Word of God grew and multiplied the Word of God grew and multiplied Herod dropped down. The Word of God Grew let me take some church going to last days there are many people who think there's no way we're going to be able to finish this work there are parts of the world that you just can't get into that you'll never be able to preach in places like North Korea and other parts of the world let me tell you something when God is ready the last event will be rapid ones I talked about as an earlier part in a series about how the Soviet Union failed so quickly and I forgot to mention in that message that after the Soviet Union fell the gospel one poor thing into the former Soviet Union many came to know Jesus Christ just like that from atheism to many believers let me tell you something we watch that happen in the Soviet Union we have watched it happen in parts of the world where were other religion whether religious beliefs were what were the norm we have seen the Gospel go in and quickly go in and set up shop and when the seed is planted the Gospel blooms I've preached in communist countries and I've made appeals and I can tell you that many will come rushing to the front it is just to just take a moment and just as Herod went down just like that some of these regimes will go down just like that so it is time for the Gospel to preach because Matthew $24.00 tells us that this Gospel we preach that all the world as a witness and then shall the end come it will happen the Soviet Union is an. Example of how God can move quickly to change the world but guess what it's our job to prepare to go into India and into China and into North Korea it's our job to go into one day go into North Africa and the Middle East. To go into other parts of the world and even back into America Europe Australia parts of the world where secularism and humanism have become the theology and I'm telling you that the Word of God will grow and multiply again I hope that while you've been in there's a lot down you've been preparing as Peter and those the cycles were preparing to preach the gospel and finished away. Because my Bible tells me next to a verse 24 after Herod dropped the word of God group and it multiplied after the lockdown Let's get ready because we may only have a short time to tell the world about the Jesus who saves Let us pray Father God we thank you Lord for this opportunity to study a word but operated after the lockdown will be ready will be more spiritually key that we'll be in a better place spiritually to share your gospel but I pray for all of those around the world that are preaching the 3 angels messages that are telling of the love of Jesus the power of his blood the fact that we can gain victory over sin and that he will wash our sins away in his blood and you'll remember them no more Lord I ask for a Holy Ghost power that it be sent to every ministry every minister every missionary every layman and lame woman the working to finish spreading the gospel so we can all go home Father God move on his world the way you need to. So the Lord this work can be finished you said Lord for the election site Save for the alexy. This time we sure are ready though. As our prayer in Jesus verses. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leader visit w w w audio verse or.

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