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Ruthe's Secret Roses - by Ruth Marlene Friesen
Ruthe's Secret Roses
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Jail-Breaking Angels

In Acts there are two recorded instances of an angel helping the disciples to break out of jail. It is quite possible they did this on other occasions as well in that era, and I believe many stories could be told of other Christians in the centuries since, who have walked out of locked cells. (I recently read a book by a Chinese believer alive today, who did this!)

Let's see what we can learn from the first instance recorded in Acts 5:19-42.

After the believers had experienced Pentecost, the arrival of the Holy Spirit to dwell in each of them to give them power and wisdom for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, the apostles performed many miracles and grew so popular that the public brought their sick and demon-possessed to the streets so that Peter's shadow could fall on them. Even in that they were healed.

All the believers met regularly in Solomon's Colonnade in the Temple, and they were not bothered there. Until, that is, the high priest and his associates got so jealous they put them in jail.

But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. "Go stand in the temple courts," the angel said, "Tell the people the full message of this new life."

At daybreak they entered the temple courts and began to teach the people as they arrived.

When the high priest and his rulers gathered for their court case to try the apostles, they sent for their prisoners. Their officers soon reported that they'd found the jail locked, and the guards on duty, but no prisoners inside!

Someone else came running to say, "The men you put in jail are in the temple courts, teaching the people!"

They were quickly brought before the Sanhedrin to be questioned.

Peter, the spokesman, replied, "We must obey God rather than men!" and he launched into a sermon on the spot, in which he charged these rulers with killing Jesus, but how God had raised him and exalted Him to His own right hand, to be a Saviour for the whole world.

At this the Sanhedrin was furious, but an older, wiser teacher of the law, Gamaliel, stood and reasoned that if this was of God they could not fight it, and if it was not the whole thing would die out soon. His speech persuaded them, and after strict warnings not to speak in the name of Jesus, they released the apostles.

These bold men headed right back to their preaching and sharing the good news from house to house, wherever they got invited.

So if you're busy spreading the Good News, and someone tries to hush you up - legally, don't be surprised if a jail break angel comes to walk you out again. Not just to escape, but so you can get back sharing the gospel. That's the priority!

Of course, sometimes troubles are meant to scatter us away to new places, just as with the Believers in Jerusalem, so our good news can reach untold others.


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