Acts + Letters Lesson 8 Day 2

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Acts 12:1–5


3. King Herod Agrippa—grandson of Herod the Great

King of Judea from 41 to 44 AD. The Jews like him because “his zeal, private and public, for Judaism is recorded by Josephus, Philo of Alexandria and the rabbis.” (Wikipedia)

After Passover in 44, Agrippa went to Caesarea, where he had games performed in honor of Claudius. In the midst of his speech to the public a cry went out that he was a god, and Agrippa did not publicly react. At this time he saw an owl perched over his head. During his imprisonment by Tiberius a similar omen had been interpreted as portending his speedy release and future kingship, with the warning that should he behold the same sight again, he would die. He was immediately smitten with violent pains, scolded his friends for flattering him and accepted his imminent death. He experienced heart pains and a pain in his abdomen, and died after five days. Josephus then relates how Agrippa’s brother, Herod of Chalcis, and Helcias sent Aristo to kill Silas. (Wikipedia based on the writings of Josephus, Antiquities)

4. King Herod caused great harm to the believers.

It’s likely King Herod chose to harass some from the church to please many of his citizens who didn’t like Christians. (Enduring Word)

The Voice of the Martyrs organization sponsors an international day of prayer for the persecuted church. It’s November 3, 2019.

I confess, I have not prioritized prayer for those who are persecuted.

Since I wasn’t sure how to pray specifically, I did a google search. Resources abound. shares current events. article—4 ways to pray for the persecuted church.

5. We are all one, so persecution of one part of the body affects us all.

Countries where Christians experience high levels of persecution—

  • North Korea
  • Afghanistan
  • Somalia
  • Libya
  • Pakistan

In the last year (2019 World Watch List reporting period, November 1, 2017–October 31, 2018)

  • Over 245 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution
  • 4305 Christians killed for their faith
  • 1847 churches and other Christian buildings attacked
  • 3150 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various [trials of any sort or] temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 WEB)

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My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 8 Day 2