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  • 00:00:06,050 --> 00:00:08,660 Welcome to Expound, a verse-by-verse study

  • of God's word.

  • Our goal is to expand your knowledge of the truth of God

  • by explaining the word of God in a way that is interactive,

  • enjoyable, and congregational.

  • 00:00:24,630 --> 00:00:27,240 Father, we just now calm our hearts.

  • We just push everything aside, making ourselves aware

  • that, not only do we have open Bibles,

  • but that all things are naked and open before the One

  • with whom we have to do.

  • As the writer of Hebrews reminds us that,

  • every thought and every action is under Your clear purview.

  • And so as we sit and we open our Bibles,

  • we also open our hearts.

  • Because it would seem that there is always

  • a need, some kind of a need that we have,

  • whether we are aware of it on the surface or not, it's there.

  • A need to be readjusted, realigned with your will,

  • reminded of something, encouraged with some thing

  • or some one's example.

  • But, Father, we are leaving that all to you.

  • And we know that, in as much as you dispense truth

  • through the Word of God to encourage,

  • to build up, to challenge, at the same time,

  • it depends on us.

  • And it depends a bit on our hearts,

  • for we remember the Lord Jesus said, "whoever has

  • ears to hear, let him hear."

  • So would you just make us sensitive to be

  • able to hear, in Jesus' name.

  • Amen.

  • Well, we've had some great times so far in the Book of Acts.

  • We've seen some incredible individuals.

  • In chapter 9, we saw a rabbi who fought God, and was converted.

  • His name was Saul of Tarsus.

  • He fought against God's plan for his life,

  • was trying to fight against the spread

  • of the church from Jerusalem northward into Syria, Damascus.

  • So he fought God and he was converted.

  • In chapter 10, we read about a soldier named Cornelius.

  • A centurion who followed God and he was converted.

  • He had a belief in God.

  • He went through some of the Jewish rituals, had

  • a basic system of belief, and Peter

  • came-- was dispatched to his house, shared with them

  • the truth.

  • And he received it.

  • So we have a rabbi who fought God, and was converted.

  • A soldier who followed God and was converted.

  • Now, in chapter 12, we read about a King

  • who fought God and was killed.

  • 00:03:21,590 --> 00:03:25,760 Interesting, Saul fought God and he was saved.

  • Herod fights God and he is slain.

  • And why is that?

  • Well, easy answer, he really ticks God off.

  • And you'll see why by the end of this chapter.

  • There is not a modicum of repentance in his hardened

  • heart.

  • He exalts himself like Satan did, like the Antichrist will,

  • and he will end his days on the earth

  • by the end of this chapter.

  • Now there is a theme that we have

  • noted throughout the Bible, and in particular

  • in the Book of Acts.

  • And that is the theme that we serve a sovereign God.

  • He is large and in charge.

  • He rules the world, and he over-rules

  • in the kingdom of men.

  • And there was a King who even came to that understanding

  • himself while he was ruling on the earth, named

  • Nebuchadnezzar, who paraded himself

  • around the city of Babylon.

  • And looked around and he said, is this not the great Babylon

  • that I have built?

  • And God didn't take kindly to that earthly King usurping

  • authority over God's power and sovereignty.

  • And so he let Nebuchadnezzar go insane for a period of time.

  • And when he finally came to, Nebuchadnezzar said, I now

  • know that God rules in the kingdom of men

  • and gives it to whoever he chooses.

  • So a King, then, an earthly ruler,

  • is also a steward in governmental work

  • over a people, over a city, over a nation, and one of them

  • is on display in chapter 12 named Herod.

  • Now Jesus did say that He would build His church, right?

  • He said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell

  • will not prevail against."

  • So we are watching Jesus build his church,

  • just like he said he would.

  • He builds it in Jerusalem.

  • It grows strong, even under persecution.

  • People try to put it out, doesn't work.

  • It grows.

  • It grows northward toward Damascus,

  • as we have already seen.

  • Saul try to put out that fire.

  • Didn't work.

  • Philip has taken the gospel into Sumeria

  • and shared with an Ethiopian eunuch, who takes it down

  • into Africa.

  • We also saw that the gospel is spread also into Syria

  • toward Turkey in Antioch.

  • Saul, we'll go back to Tarsus, or has

  • been in Tarsus before Barnabas gets him,

  • so it's spreading around.

  • "I will build my church and the gates of hell

  • will not prevail against it."

  • 00:06:33,460 --> 00:06:36,729 At the same time, one of the things

  • we wonder about or struggle with is,

  • in the sovereign plan and purposes of God,

  • what role does prayer play?

  • Does it matter if I pray or not?

  • I mean, if God is sovereign and does whatever He wants, then,

  • who cares if He hears from me or not,

  • or if I ask him for something?

  • If we live in an evil world, and even bad things

  • happen to good people, even God's people,

  • what role does prayer play?

  • Now, you're going to see some of all of these things,

  • kind of, converging as we get into chapter 12.

  • In verse one of chapter 12 it says, "now about that time,

  • Herod the King stretched out his hand

  • to harass some of the church."

  • If you know your New Testament at all,

  • you have come into grips with the name Herod

  • on many occasions.

  • And sometimes you read about Herod

  • and you'll scratch your head, because you read about Herod

  • somewhere else, and it's like, well, he died,

  • but then there he is again.

  • And then he's dead, but there he is again.

  • And he shows up in different places.

  • So we get confused.

  • Now let me just say, when you see the word, Herod,

  • it's a bit like seeing the word Caesar.

  • Because there's more than one Herod, unfortunately.

  • Because Herod-- the Herods, the Herodian Dynasty

  • was like a whole bunch of really bad dudes.

  • In fact, if I were to categorize the Herod family,

  • it's a messed up family, it's the family

  • who fought against God.

  • And you will see one here fighting against God.

  • So when we read about Herod, we're

  • not reading about the Herod that we

  • saw at the beginning of Jesus' life

  • when he was a baby in Bethlehem.

  • There was a Herod then.

  • So let me just give you a little thumbnail about how confusing

  • the Herodian family is.

  • Maybe I'll clarify it, maybe I'll make it worse.

  • But my point is-- my hope is to clarify it.

  • So let's begin with Herod the Great.

  • That's the one we read about at the beginning of the New

  • Testament.

  • Herod the Great was an Idumean.

  • That is, if you were to look at a map of Israel

  • and go east and south on the area

  • east of the Dead Sea and south, that's the ancient area

  • Nabataean area of the Idumeans.

  • So the Idumeans came from a guy named Esau.

  • So remember Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.

  • Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob.

  • Esau was the father, the progenitor,

  • of the Idumean Kingdom.

  • So he is related--

  • Herod, then is related to the Jewish people.

  • But he is not Jewish.

  • But he is in that Semitic family, from way back,

  • from Esau.

  • So his dad, Herod the Great's dad was called Antipater.

  • And Antipater was Idumean.

  • He had a conversion to Judaism, it is said.

  • Then little Herod was born, Herod the Great.

  • He wasn't so great till he called himself that.

  • But he was the guy who met with the Magi

  • when they were looking for the King of the Jews,

  • asked the Magi to find out who it was,

  • because he wanted to come and worship him.

  • And it was that Herod, Herod the Great,

  • who killed all the babies in Bethlehem.

  • Now Herod the Great was a great builder.

  • He was not a great person, but he was a great builder.

  • If you go to Israel today, you will

  • see things that were built by Herod the Great.

  • Even the retaining walls of the ancient temple

  • have Herodian stones.

  • There's things that he built like Masada,

  • and many fortresses around.

  • He just was this incredible builder.

  • But he was a horrible character, a horrible person.

  • He married 10 times.

  • So he had 10 wives.

  • He killed several of them.

  • He killed several of his children, his own sons.

  • In fact, back in Rome, there was a saying

  • that it's safer to be Herod's pig than it is his son.

  • 00:11:27,530 --> 00:11:30,410 Now one of the wives that Herod the great married

  • that he killed was a gal by the name of Mariamne.

  • She was Jewish.

  • She was Hasmonean.

  • Have you heard that term, Hasmonean?

  • She related to the Maccabees that

  • revolted against the Syrians.

  • And it was that Maccabean revolt that

  • birthed the festival of Hanukkah every year, the rekindling

  • of the temple sacrifices.

  • Well, he married her.

  • Now, unfortunately, he was in a bad mood and he killed her.

  • And he felt really bad about that.

  • But, of course, he couldn't do anything, because she was dead.

  • But he was Herod, so it didn't matter.

  • He was kind of above the law.

  • And one of her sons he also killed, named Aristabulis.

  • Am I confusing you yet?

  • We're just on the first one, Herod the Great.

  • So, anyway, that's how bad he was.

  • He killed wives, killed sons.

  • And, by the way, when he was close to death,

  • Herod the Great ordered all of the most notable citizens

  • of Jerusalem to be imprisoned, and upon his death,

  • to be executed.

  • Because he knew that when he died, there would be no tears

  • shed for him, but he wanted to make sure that when he died,

  • there would be mourning in Jerusalem.

  • That's how whacked he was.

  • 00:12:54,700 --> 00:13:01,740 One of Herod's sons was a guy named Herod Phillip the First.

  • Herod Philip the First was the husband of a gal

  • named Herodius.

  • So it's bad that there's Herods, but there are also Herodius.

  • Herodius was the gal responsible for the death

  • of John the Baptist, but not while she

  • was married to Herod Philip.

  • 00:13:21,770 --> 00:13:25,760 After Herod Phillip was another son named Herod Antipas.

  • Herod Antipas ruled up north in the Galilee region.

  • Jesus will stand briefly in one of his trials

  • before Herod Antipas.

  • It was that Herod, Antipas, that lured

  • Herodius away from Philip to marry him.

  • That's why John the Baptist denounced

  • that Herod, Herod Antipas, and her, Herodius.

  • And it was while she was married to Antipas that she made sure

  • that John the Baptist was killed.

  • 00:14:01,280 --> 00:14:08,209 Now after that, there was a guy named Herod Archelaus, who

  • was the ruler of a few territories like Judah,

  • Samaria, Iturea, sort of in the central-northern parts.

  • He was a bad egg, evil king, he got deposed.

  • And in his place, yet another Herod, named Herod Philip II.

  • Now, he shows