Rescued by Angels
Last week we talked about being delivered from violence through miracles. Today’s story includes a miracle of supernatural transportation. It is an event that happened last year in a very dangerous part of the world. I got permission from my friends to share the story. For the continuing safety of the believers involved, some details are omitted. The events I am about to share have been confirmed by many witnesses, and we have every reason to believe that they are true. Scripture shares more than one story of Christians being removed from prison by angels.
Acts 5:17-21 ((NRSV) Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.” When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.
Acts 12:6-19 (NRSV) The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists.
The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
As soon as he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many had gathered and were praying. When he knocked at the outer gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. On recognizing Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the gate, she ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It is his angel.” Meanwhile Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the gate, they saw him and were amazed. He motioned to them with his hand to be silent, and described for them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he added, “Tell this to James and to the believers.” Then he left and went to another place.
When morning came, there was no small commotion among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. When Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he examined the guards and ordered them to be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.
Later in Acts, we read the story of Paul and Silas being freed from prison. As they were praying and singing hymns to God, there was suddenly an earthquake that was so violent is shook the foundations of the prison, all the doors opened, and all the chains fell off. Perhaps Paul and Silas remembered what had happened to the guards when Peter was rescued from prison, when they had mercy on the jailer instead of just getting out of there while they could! (Acts 16:16-34)
Kidnapped By Extremists!
This happened in a country where believers are often severely persecuted and some other Christians had already been killed. Two Christians were kidnapped by an extremist group after helping another Christian family to escape death. The extremists beat them, handcuffed their hands and feet, and imprisoned them in a cave. They had until early the next morning to disclose the location of a person whom they had helped to rescue, or their heads would be cut off.
Several hundred believers began to pray and fast for the brothers who were kidnapped. Someone prayed that the Lord would send his angel to rescue them, as Peter, Paul, and Silas were delivered from prison.
At about one o’clock in the morning, the two Christian brothers, with their hands and feet shackled, began to pray and ask Jesus for deliverance. The mountain shook several times as they were praying, and they continued.
“I Have Been Sent From Jesus To Help You”
Suddenly, a bright light shone in the cave and blinded the twenty men who were guarding them. A shining man stood before them and said “My name is Michael. I have been sent from Jesus in to help you. Take hold of my hands and close your eyes. Let’s go!”
As they reached out their hands to hold the angel’s hands, the handcuffs on their hands and feet fell off. They closed their eyes, felt a wind blowing on their faces for a moment, and found themselves standing on the street of their hometown. Michael disappeared.
They were dumbfounded and stood in shock for 20 minuets, trying to understand what had just happened! Then they found a Christian who took them to another town. Everyone was amazed to see them alive!
These two Christian who were rescued from death thought that the cave had collapsed onto their captors when they were rescued by the angel, but they were not sure. Not long after that, the word began to spread that a cave made out of solid rock had collapsed and killed about 25 people. The rest of the extremist group thought that these two Christians had been killed along with the men guarding them, so they stopped hunting them down. They didn’t know that the believers had been rescued by an angel and supernatural transportation!
Pray And Believe!
May this story (as well as the other stories I share) encourage you to take seriously the promises of scripture about believing prayer. May you be encouraged by the reminded that the Lord sends angels as ministering spirits to help us when we ask for help and when we speak God’s word. I pray that your eyes be opened all the more to the spiritual reality that is around, and to the possibilities that are yours in Christ, far more than you could ever ask or imagine! This story is a good reminded to pray for Christians who are facing severe persecution.
Hebrews 13:3 (NRSV) Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.
As I write, I remember a story that I once heard of another believer who was imprisoned in the former Soviet Union. (I’m don’t remember anymore where I heard this.) He was naked in a cold cell, freezing. He was desperate and began to cry out to God. He didn’t know it, but other Christians were praying for him. The Lord sent an angel to keep him warm in prison.
For more about “the prayer of faith” and signs that the Lord gave my family as we prayed, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of “Supernatural Rain In My House”. Next week, I will have a guest blog post. Stay tuned to hear how the Lord delivered Brian Hogan when he was kidnapped as a child!