Herod the king, instigated by Satan against the early Church, killed Apostle James, one of those in the frontlines of the New Testament move. “And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also,” intending to kill that one too, after the Jewish feast of Passover (Acts 12:3); but the Church prayed without ceasing and Peter was miraculously released, by angelic intervention.
*The Unwritten Epistles*
I have lately been pondering on what might have been the multiple implications of a single death, if Herod had succeeded in his plot to kill Peter. Had Peter then been killed, the two epistles that he later wrote would have been missing from the Bible. Could we then have had a complete Bible? Would we have ever known that there was a blank unfilled by the epistles of an apostle slain premature? Imagine a Bible without such precious passages as the following:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9).
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives (1 Peter 3:1).
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8).
Imagine a Bible without such “ _exceeding great and precious promises_ ” by which we should become “ _partakers of the divine nature_ ” (2 Peter 1:4) …if Peter had been slain…! What alternative scriptures might we have found to encourage all whom Peter by those epistles has strengthened over the centuries?
*The Dead Unraised…*
Had Peter been slain by Herod, who would have healed all the sick that he healed? All those folks would have lived the rest of their lives with their horrible infirmities; and some of them would have died shortly from those infirmities, even though they could have been healed to live and become princes and preachers! And if they should have been preachers, what would have happened to the congregations to whom they should have preached, who would have gone unreached because their ‘preacher’ had been unreached by Peter who had been hastily ‘reached’ by Herod!
Had Peter been slain by Herod, who would have raised the dead that Peter raised? How many would thus have gone to a premature grave! Imagine the astronomic oceans of avoidable tears from mourning families consequently unreached by Peter… if that apostle had been slain!
*Battles because of your Seed*
Sometimes the enemy comes furiously after you only because of the seed you carry: the epistles in your womb, the sick you should heal, the dead awaiting your appearance. Revelation 12 tells of the mystery pregnant Woman before whom a red dragon fiercely waited; he waited not for her sake but for the seed she carried: the man-child that should rule the world with a rod of iron. Notwithstanding that dragon’s malicious meticulousness, the child came forth and was immediately taken up beyond the dragon’s reach. When that happened, and the dragon could no more get at the child, he turned and fiercely “persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (Revelation 12:13). Her ‘sin’ was not in her name; it was in the seed she had carried. Sometimes it is not your face but what you carry that attracts the battles you face. This is no less true of individuals as of nations.
*They are Dead…*
Some death is not just the death of the one that dies; it is also the death of the many whose destinies had hung on that one. In one death, sometimes, are plural deaths, in a positive or negative respect, as we learn from the obituary of the bloody Herod as announced by the angel from Heaven.
19 But when Herod [one man] was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they [plural] are dead which sought the young child's life (Matthew 2:19-20).
Sometimes in one known death are a plural deaths unknown and unknowable, unless revealed by the all-knowing voice from Heaven. May God hear our voices again and send His angels to rescue our Peters from Herod’s abortions. That Peter is you. You shall not die. Amen.