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Default Day 319: Acts 22-24 - 10-24-2016, 02:00 AM

Acts 22
Paul’s Story

22 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.

Here Paul tells the crowd what happened to him back in the days he was called Saul. You can read Dr. White’s helpful annotations here.

Paul, persecuted Christians as much as he could. He practically made a sport of it (Acts 22:3-5).

6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.

On this particular road trip, Jesus spoke His voice but didn’t show His face. He is seated at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19), but his voice carries very far. He asked Paul, “What’s with the persecution?” Paul answered, “Who in the world is that? I can’t see you!” And Jesus replied, “I’m Jesus, you keep persecuting me.” The Paul and his men all saw a great light and were afraid, but no one heard any voices but Paul. Nevertheless they took Paul’s word for it and followed him to Damascus where Paul said the voices told him to go (Acts 22:7-11).

12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

Jesus blinded Paul out there on the road, but He kindly directed him to Ananias in Damascus, where Ananias restored Paul’s sight.

16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Paul find’s he has been specially chosen to know the will of God, and gets baptized (Acts 22:14-15).

17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;

In Paul’s trance, Jesus told him to leave quickly because the Jews won’t listen. Paul said, “Yeah, I know. I was there persecuting the Christians, remember? Telling them I’ve become one of them won’t go well for me.”

18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

Paul argued with Jesus a tiny bit, but he took his instructions and left (Acts 22:19-21).

Roman Citizen

22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.

At this point, the crowd got tired of this story and wanted desperately to kill Paul to shut him up. The chief captain had to bring him back in before the crowd turned into a mob and thought he could get some straight answers with some good old fashioned torture. Paul looked the chief captain in the eye and said, “You sure you want to do that to a Roman citizen?” To which the chief captain quickly released Paul before he lost his own head for treating a Roman citizen in such a way. Paul didn’t preach about the evils of torturing prisoners, instead he addressed the council (Acts 22:23-30).

Acts 23
Paul And The High Council

1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.

Paul got slapped on the mouth.

3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?

God is going to smite Ananias for bitch-slapping Paul (Acts 23:4-5).

6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

Paul knew the Pharisees and Sadducees could never get along, as there is no friendship among the wicked, so he decided to drive a further wedge between them by making them argue among themselves. He knew the Pharisees wouldn’t argue with him about the spiritual realm. You see, Sadducees have nothing to do with a resurrection or angels or even a spirit. If they can’t see it, they don’t believe it. You might say they are “sad, you see.” Pharisees, on the other hand, believed it all. With the Pharisees and Sadducees arguing among themselves, Paul was off the hook (Acts 23:7-9).

10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.

Paul is removed before the bickering Jews tear his head off in the scuffle.

Jews Plot Against Paul

11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
God visited Paul and cheered him right up. He said “You talked about me in Jerusalem, and so I’m sending you to Rome to do the same.”
12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

The Jews are so bitter they’d rather die than let Paul live (Acts 23:13-15).

16 And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.

Lucky for Paul, his nephew overheard these plots and came to tell Paul. Paul sent the nephew to the chief captain to tell on those ungrateful Jews (Acts 23:17-122).

23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;

The chief captain made arrangements for two hundreds of soldiers to protect Paul against 40 ungrateful, conniving Jews as he will be transferred to Felix the governor. Then the chief captain wrote a letter of introduction to the governor (Acts 23:24-31). The letter is written out, but it pretty much just recaps what you read in chapter 15.

35 I will hear thee, said he, when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.

Paul gets ready for trial.

Acts 24
Paul States His Defense

1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.

Paul waited five days before the high priest finally got around to coming to court. He brought with him Tertullus, a Jew lawyer who kissed the ass of the governor, then accused Paul of being a general rabble rouser (Acts 24:2-5).

6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.

The Jews would have taken care of the matter and not bothered the governor, but the chief captain got in the way and took Paul away, and so here we are (Acts 24:7-9).

10 Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:

Paul explains he’d only been in Jerusalem for 12 days, never caused any commotion, and wanted only to celebrate the holidays and pray in peace when the Jews from Ephesus hounded him and create the riot that brought him to court. (Acts 24:11-13).

14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Paul said that he’s a good and loyal man, devoted his whole life to God, but it’s true he does believe in the resurrection of the dead, both the just and unjust, and his conscience is clear with that (Acts 24:16).

17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.

Paul explained what a good guy he was in being devoted to God always, and he even brought donations to the community and temple, but those bitter, nasty, old Jews from Ephesus had it in for him and wanted nothing more than to persecute him. Furthermore, they didn’t even bother to come to stand and face him like a man. The only problem they really have with him is that he testified a Christian religion now, and thus began the war against Christians (Acts 24:18-21).

22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.

Felix is already familiar with the Christian gospel (what Paul called “the way”), and is just stalling for time. Some days later, Felix’ wife, Drusilla a Jewess comes, and they both listen to what Paul has to say (Acts 24:23-24).

25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

Felix stalled Paul for two years, wanting to placate the Jews, but mostly waiting for Paul to bribe him for freedom (Acts 24:26-27).
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