Paul is now in custody. His freedom has been taken away from him and he awaits trial. His accusers? The church. His defenders and protectors? The civil, pagan government. How ironic. God’s heart must have been breaking. His Sabbath-keeping, tithe-paying church, looking for the Christ to come, was persecuting the Messiah through His servants. History is replete with God’s servants being persecuted, hunted and killed by those who claim to be “His Church”. Is it any wonder the “world” is not interested in the “church” way of living? How revolting “Christian churches” appear to the world. The churches claim “love” while all they do is hate. Lucifer has won in our churches.
“Jesus presented the condition of the Jewish leaders. Priests and scribes and rulers were fixed in a rut of ceremonies and traditions.” “The faith that works by love and purifies the soul could find no place for union with the religion of the Pharisees, made up of ceremonies and the injunctions of men.” “Until emptied of the old traditions, customs, and practices, (church) they had no place in mind or heart for the teachings of Christ. They clung to the dead forms, and turned away from the living truth and the power of God.” “A legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion.” DA 279.
The servants of Christ love as Jesus loved. That is how we know who the servants of God are and who are not. Love is of God. Those who have God have love. But the churches do not want the “love of God”. They want the “love of church”. As Jesus stated, Even tax collectors love their own. Church members love their own. Criminals love their own. But none of that is God’s love. It is all a selfish, satanic love of manipulation and “I love in order to get”. Jesus loved even when all He got back was hate.
Paul loved. He loved his church. He was willing to die for his church. His church was more than willing to accommodate him. Since he refused to love the church the way it wanted to be loved, they were willing and ready to kill him for the sake of “love for God”. How sad. Our churches today are no different. In the end, it will be the churches that will enact the death decree against the people of God. Why? Because the people of God love God and live in obedience to His truth, the Ten Commandments, as He commands. The churches have rejected God and His Ten Commandments. They refuse to bow before God and humble their pride and arrogance to live as Jesus lived. Therefore, they will hate those of us who live in obedience to Jesus. Balaam and Judas represent the attitudes of our churches today. And it doesn’t matter which day your church goes to church on, all have fallen.
“The fate of Balaam was similar to that of Judas, and their characters bear a marked resemblance to each other. Both these men tried to unite the service of God and mammon, and met with signal failure. Balaam acknowledged the true God, and professed to serve Him; Judas believed in Jesus as the Messiah, and united with His followers. But Balaam hoped to make the service of Jehovah the steppingstone to the acquirement of riches and worldly honor; and failing in this he stumbled and fell and was broken. Judas expected by his connection with Christ to secure wealth and promotion in that worldly kingdom which, as he believed, the Messiah was about to set up. The failure of his hopes drove him to apostasy and ruin. Both Balaam and Judas had received great light and enjoyed special privileges, but a single cherished sin poisoned the entire character and caused their destruction.
“It is a perilous thing to allow an unchristian trait to live in the heart. One cherished sin will, little by little, debase the character, bringing all its nobler powers into subjection to the evil desire. The removal of one safeguard from the conscience, the indulgence of one evil habit, one neglect of the high claims of duty, breaks down the defenses of the soul and opens the way for Satan to come in and lead us astray. The only safe course is to let our prayers go forth daily from a sincere heart, as did David, ‘Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.’ Psalm 17:5.” PP 452.
The church of Paul’s day had slipped. The churches of today have slipped. It is all about money, pride, ego, arrogance, worldly acclaim and control.
Acts 24:1 to Acts 26:32
Five days later, the high priest Ananias arrived with certain elders and Tertullus, an attorney, and they summarized their case against Paul before the governor.
The same is happening today. Churches take “independents” to civil court or to the court of public opinion because the independents are not falling in line with the churches. So, they gather up their elders and attorneys and go to court against God’s people.
When Paul had been summoned, Tertullus opened the prosecution by saying: “Your Excellency Felix, since we are enjoying lasting peace because of you, and since reforms for this nation are being brought about through your foresight, we always and everywhere acknowledge it with profound gratitude.
Flattery will get you everywhere. Churches are good at flattery. Those that have the most memberships use the greatest flattery. People love a good flattering. They want to be praised and commended and told they are “righteous” and “saved by grace” while living in their degrading sins. The only reason Israel as a nation was “enjoying lasting peace” was because they had surrendered to the world of sin instead of to Jesus. Of course, it was only a temporary “peace”. Soon, Jerusalem would be destroyed by the very ones she was flattering. Her probation was about to run out for rejecting the teachings of Jesus. Nothing “lasting” about it.
But so as not to detain you any further, I beg you to hear us briefly with your customary graciousness. For we have found this man a perfect pest and an agitator among all Jews throughout the world. He is a ringleader in the sect of the Nazarenes and even tried to profane the Temple, but we arrested him.
Yes, he was the “perfect pest”. After all, he was following in the footsteps of Jesus, the perfect Pest. Jesus commanded us to be perfect in all we do. Paul was. All true Christians are “perfect pests” in a world of sin. And yes, we are also agitators among the wicked. The wicked can’t stand our righteous lives. It makes them look sinful. How dare we do that! Our sinless lives bring agitation to the wicked. Churches can’t stand the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping people, after all, they “profane” the churches. Churches are not for the righteous, perfect and sinless since they love their sins way too much to get rid of them. And yes, we are to become a “ringleader” for Jesus. We are to gather all we can about Jesus. Are you living as the “perfect pest” being the “agitator” Jesus requires of you? Are you going to church to “profane” it by living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life? Are you living as a “ringleader” by bringing people to your home for Bible studies?
By examining him for yourself, you will be able to find out from him everything of which we accuse him.” The Jews supported his accusations by asserting that these things were true.
If people examined you, would they be able to find out for themselves? Oh yes, the accusations of the church were true as long as you looked at the evidence through church-colored glasses. As long as your perspective was through the lens of church, it was all true. It is amazing how one’s perspective colors his understanding of “evidence”. Of course, there was nothing there that had anything to do with civil law. It was all about ego, pride and church. They just weren’t happy with Paul taking people from their church. How rude and inconsiderate of him!
When the governor motioned for Paul to speak, he replied: “Since I know that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I am pleased to present my defense. You can verify for yourself that I went up to worship in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago. They never found me debating with anyone in the Temple or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or throughout the city, and they cannot prove to you the charges they are now bringing against me.
Church people today are full of “debating” and “stirring up a crowd”. They love it. The more “noise” they make the better to get their church recognized and in the spotlight. After all, when you go back into this story, it was the church that stirred up the crowed at the temple, not Paul. Churches do nothing Jesus taught or exampled. How antichrist.
However, I admit to you that in accordance with the Way, which they call a heresy, I worship the God of our ancestors and believe in everything written in the Law and the Prophets.
It is interesting how the churches today claim that Paul did away with the “law”. Here we have Paul, near the end of his life and mission, stating very clearly that he believes “in everything written in the Law and the Prophets.” And yet, the churches of today try so hard to do away with the “Law and the Prophets” claiming they were done away with at the cross. The churches claim Paul introduced and taught a “new” gospel. Evidently, Paul was not aware of that. Obviously, Paul was teaching from the same Old Testament that Jesus taught from. Obviously, Paul was living by the same Old Testament as Jesus lived. I wonder why the churches today are trying so hard to do away with the Old Testament? Could it be that it teaches us to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life? Who are you listening to? Get out of your churches now.
While the churches today try to make the God of the New Testament different from the God of the Old Testament, Paul was very plain that he worshiped the God of the Old Testament, the God of their ancestors. Must be the one and same God. I suppose you never heard these truths before from your church, have you?
I have the same hope in God that they themselves cherish—that there is to be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked.
How interesting, “there is to be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked”. So, let’s see, they haven’t yet been taken to Heaven or sent to hell at death, they are waiting in their graves for the resurrection. Again, the churches of today have no idea what truth is. Their “truth” comes from pagan sources because they have rejected the teachings of Jesus which came from the Old Testament. Paul accepted both the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus. He lived them, and he taught them.
Therefore, I always do my best to have a clear conscience before God and people.
Do you have a “clear conscience before God”? Are you living as Paul did, the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life? Are you living as Paul did, by the teachings of the Old Testament? Are you worshiping the God of the Old Testament as Paul did? Remember, there was no “New” Testament at the time of Paul. He hadn’t finished it yet. And it would be another 250 years before the “New Testament” was compiled and proclaimed as the “New Testament” by the Catholic Church. All Christians lived by the Old Testament. Why are you going to a church that does not teach the truth?
After many years I have come back to my people to bring gifts for the poor and to offer sacrifices.
Oh, Paul didn’t come back to make a big splash, get recognition or try to get a seat on the Board of Directors of the church. He didn’t come back to hobnob with the leaders or buy a fancy home. He came to bring gifts for the poor and offer sacrifices. Why are you going to church? Are there no “poor” to take your tithes and offerings to? I know a ministry that is very poor and is in need of all the tithes and offerings you can give. Since Paul knew that the sacrifice of Jesus replaced the “sacrifices”, what sacrifices did Paul bring? Well, since he knew his Old Testament, he brought the only sacrifice God required, “A broken and contrite heart” along with funds to help the poor. Psalms 51:17.
I doubt you could look around any church today and find one member sitting in church with a “broken and contrite heart”. I doubt any church member could show me that their church is living in obedience to Jesus and the Word of God. Why? Because, nowhere in the Bible will you find a command from Jesus or the Word of God to “go to church”. It isn’t there. But what Jesus and the Bible does teach the churches refuse to obey. How churchy.
They found me in the Temple doing these things just as I had completed the purification ceremony. No crowd or noisy mob was present. But some Jews from Asia were there, and they should be here before you to accuse me if they have anything against me.
Again, we must remember as we learned earlier, Paul was only going through these temple purification ceremonies on the advice of the “Messianic Jews”. The church was trying to put on a show and used Paul as the stunt man. He should not have been there at all. He should not have been involved in any of the church traditions, rituals or ceremonies. He should not have been involved with the “Messianic Jews”. The church put him at risk. That is all church does, it puts our lives at risk of losing our eternal life. Get out and go to Jesus. Leave all those rituals, ceremonies and traditions behind and go to Jesus. Live the practical Christian life He offers.
Otherwise, these men themselves should tell what wrong they found when I stood before the Council— unless it is for the one thing I shouted as I stood among them: ‘It is for the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’”
They didn’t want to hear the truth. Church never wants to hear the truth. Churches love their traditions, fables, ceremonies and rituals. Truth? Not in your life. Paul was not interested in “church” and their traditions, fables, ceremonies, rituals and feast days. No, he was interested in attaining to the “resurrection of the dead”. That was more important than anything the church had to offer. What are you working to attain to: church?
Felix was rather well informed about the Way, and so he adjourned the trial with the comment, “When Tribune Lysias arrives, I will decide your case.”
Well, at least there was one person in the room that was “well informed about the Way”. So sad that it was a pagan, civil ruler. Our churches have no idea what “The Way” is all about. They have been so subverted by Catholic teachings and infiltrated by Jesuits, they are not informed at all about God’s Way. God’s teachings are as foreign to the churches of today as Jesus was to the church of His day. If reading this makes you uneasy, now you know why. You must get out of your church and stop the brainwashing. Go home and sit at the feet of Jesus; learning from Him. He will speak to you just as willingly as He spoke to His people throughout history.
He ordered the centurion to guard Paul but to let him have some freedom and not to keep any of his friends from caring for his needs.
How about that, it was a pagan civil ruler who had concern for Paul. The church, which claimed to love God and be His representative of love on earth, was nothing but a church of hate, ceremonies, rituals and traditions. No different than our churches today. Church members do not understand that concept because they are sitting in church. If they would get out, go to Jesus, it would soon become obvious. “Caring for his needs”. How thoughtful of the pagan civil ruler. I don’t think the church cared for his needs. May each of us, those who “claim” to be Christian, care for the needs of those around us.
Some days later, Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him talk about faith in Jesus the Messiah. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became afraid and said, “For the present you may go. When I get a chance, I will send for you again.”
When you talk about Jesus, do those listening to you become “afraid” because of the coming judgment? How few of our churches, pastors and denominations talk about righteousness, self-control and the coming judgment any more. It is all about the “goody-goody religion” of church, “saved by grace” and the “unconditional love of God”. All a bunch of satanic fantasies.
At the same time he was hoping to receive a bribe from Paul, and so he would send for him frequently to talk with him.
Does it matter what the reason? We need to be ready to share the gospel with everyone who sends for us and asks us. Would to God more would open their homes and invite their families, children, friends and co-workers for Bible studies. Even if we have to “bribe” them with a meal.
After two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Since Felix wanted to do the Jews a favor, he left Paul in prison.
Favoring the church is easier than standing up for truth. Have you noticed that in your life?
Three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
First act, go get approval from the church! How politic. I don’t remember Jesus, when He started His ministry, going first to the church to get their approval. Do you? No, I think He attended a little family gathering at a wedding. Then, He brought joy to them by providing a refreshing drink.
The high priests and Jewish leaders informed him of their charges against Paul, urging and asking Festus to have Paul brought to Jerusalem as a favor. They were laying an ambush to kill him on the road.
Oh, how “godly” of the church. May we all go to church more often and learn how to be terrorists, killers and haters. Many church people do lay in ambush for this ministry. Many do try to lead it to destruction. They just hate the truth.
Festus replied that Paul was being kept in custody at Caesarea and that he himself would be going there soon. “Therefore,” he said, “have your authorities come down with me and present their charges against him there, if there is anything wrong with the man.”
Again, it took a pagan civil ruler to talk about doing what was right. Too bad the church had no idea about what was right or wrong.
Festus stayed with them no more than eight or ten days and then went down to Caesarea. The next day he sat on the judge’s seat and ordered Paul brought in. When Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem surrounded him and began bringing a number of serious charges against him that they couldn’t prove.
That happens all the time to this ministry. People bringing charges they can’t prove. They just love to spout their own opinions and theories, but they have no proof to back up their beliefs. They just don’t want to accept truth. It is very inconvenient to live the truth in a world of sin.
Paul said in his defense, “I have done nothing wrong against the Law of the Jews, or of the Temple, or of the emperor.”
I really don’t think our churches are reading their Bibles. They just sit around mimicking and repeating what someone else has said. They talk about Paul doing away with the law and refuse to hear him state, “I have done nothing wrong against the Law of the Jews, or of the Temple, or of the emperor”. I guess not, since Paul taught that we are not only to obey the civil authorities, but that we are to be obedient to the Law of God. I keep wondering when our church members will wake up and do their own reading of the Bible. All of it.
Then Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem to be tried there before me on these charges?” But Paul said, “I am standing before the emperor’s judgment seat where I ought to be tried. I haven’t done anything wrong to the Jews, as you know very well. If I am guilty and have done something that deserves death, I am willing to die. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can hand me over to them as a favor. I appeal to the emperor!”
Paul was a sane and honorable man. He was willing to take responsibility for his actions. If he had done anything wrong, he was willing to take the punishment. But all he had done was teach the truth. Truth the church was not willing to accept. He was wise not to stand before the church. No church is of God and therefore cannot be impartial. All churches are “antichrist” and are leading people away from Christ and His teachings. Appealing to the civil authority was far more prudent than appealing to the fallen church.
Festus talked it over with the council and then answered, “To the emperor you have appealed; to the emperor you will go!”
When Jesus died on the cross, it was to His Father He appealed. He tried appealing to the church that claimed to be of God, but they put Him on the cross. We need to get out of our churches and go to Jesus and learn how to live as He lived: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping. In your life, stop appealing to the church and go to Jesus.
After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to welcome Festus. Since they were staying there for several days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king. He said, “There is a man here who was left in prison by Felix. When I went to Jerusalem, the high priests and the Jewish elders informed me about him and asked me to condemn him.
Of course they did. Churches are filled with condemnation, hate, finger pointing and gossip. The reason church members don’t see it in their own church is the fact that people sit in the church which accepts their sins. Since they are all agreed in the same sins, they have no “sin” to point fingers at. They all get along. That is why God never commanded anyone to build a church or go to church. It becomes biased, opinionated and controlled by man. God is left out. That is why we are to go to Jesus and Jesus only. He is the only One who is to have our heart, soul and mind.
I answered them that it was not the Roman custom to sentence a man to be punished until the accused met his accusers face to face and had an opportunity to defend himself against the charge.
Praise God for the pagan civil “custom” of “innocent until proven guilty”. For churches it is guilty by innuendo, gossip and finger pointing.
“So they came here with me, and the next day without any delay I sat down in the judge’s seat and ordered the man to be brought in. When his accusers stood up, they didn’t accuse him of any of the crimes I was expecting.
No, they did not. They couldn’t win in a real court of law. Their accusations were about not belonging to their church, not obeying their church and refusing to accept their church. While they lived in obedience to their church, they were refusing to live as God said to live: in obedience to His Ten Commandments.
Instead, they had several arguments with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but whom Paul kept claiming was alive.
Yes, He is very much alive. The church killed Him and how dare this upstart continue to remind the world of their dastardly deed? They had to silence Paul before people realized how satanic the church system really was. Same today. Our churches are crucifying Jesus all week long. They hate Him. They surely don’t want you telling the world how fallen they are.
I was puzzled how I should investigate such matters, so I asked if he would like to go to Jerusalem and be tried there for these things. But Paul appealed his case and asked to be held in prison until the decision of his Majesty. So I ordered him to be held in custody until I could send him to the emperor.”
Thank God for civil governments!
Agrippa told Festus, “I would like to hear the man.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you will hear him.” The next day Agrippa and Bernice arrived with much fanfare and went into the auditorium along with the tribunes and the leading men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. Then Festus said, “King Agrippa and all you men who are present with us! You see this man about whom the whole Jewish nation petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.
How sad. The people God delivered from Egyptian bondage, from being mistreated, enslaved and cruelly oppressed, were now treating Christians the same way. Church is a wicked thing. That is why God commands us to come out of all churches and go to Jesus for our salvation.
I find that he has not done anything deserving of death. But since he has appealed to his Majesty, I have decided to send him.
At least he was honest. Too bad it was a pagan civil ruler and not the church. Martin Luther, when he stood before the emperor, had the same problem. The church was using the civil government to destroy him. And so it has been throughout the ages. It is happening again today. It will only get worse. Get out now and learn to depend on Jesus and Jesus only.
I have nothing reliable to write our Sovereign about him, so I have brought him to all of you, and especially to you, King Agrippa, so that I will have something to write after he is cross-examined. For it seems to me absurd to send a prisoner without specifying the charges against him.”
Yes it would. But, the church was very powerful in its wickedness. The local civil government could only protect Paul for so long. It was very willing to pass the problem on to Rome. Jesus, the One who created the universe and gives man his breath, loved to the point of giving His last breath. The church hates to the point of taking your life. And of course, church members see nothing wrong with getting rid of the scumbags for not belonging to their church. They see it as their duty in their “love” for God.
Then Agrippa told Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” So Paul stretched out his hand and began his defense. “I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, that I can defend myself today against all the accusations of the Jews, since you are especially familiar with all the Jewish customs and controversies. I beg you, therefore, to listen patiently to me. All the Jews know how I lived from the earliest days of my youth with my own people and in Jerusalem. They have known for a long time, if they would but testify to it, that I lived as a Pharisee, adhering to the standards of our strictest religious party.
Oh yes, they knew all too well. That was part of the problem. To have one of their own teaching truth instead of “church” was not acceptable. Church standards, customs and strict religious organization was more important than truth.
But Paul was converted from the church and became a Christian. He realized that their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, worshiped something far greater than church organization, rituals, ceremonies and customs. They did not worship God in any church. They proved their worship of God by living in obedience to the Laws of God.
“And now I stand here on trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our ancestors. Our twelve tribes, worshiping day and night with intense devotion, hope to attain it. It is because of this hope, O King, that I am accused by the Jews.
Paul no longer had hope in a church. Paul had hope in the resurrection of the righteous. Paul saw the futility of church organizations and gave his life to the organization of God: The Ten Commandments in the heart. “Our ancestors”, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never went to church, never belonged to a church and never built a church. But they were the ones who talked and walked with God. There is something horribly wrong with “church” today.
Why is it thought incredible by all of you that God should raise the dead?
Jesus told the rich young ruler that all he needed to get his eternal life was to live in obedience to the Ten Commandments. No amount of church organization, ceremonies, traditions, rituals or feast days could get him eternal life. However, the rich young ruler believed in his wealth and church more than in the ability of God to raise the dead.
Indeed, I myself thought it my duty to take extreme measures against the name of Jesus from Nazareth.
Yes he did. As a good, upstanding churchman, he did all he could to wipe out the name of Jesus from Nazareth. He was a great advocate for the church. He would defend his church to the death from those who believed in Jesus.
That is what I did in Jerusalem. I received authority from the high priests and locked many of the saints in prison. And when I cast my vote against them, they were put to death.
So many church members are dragged before church committees to be “put to death” and cast out of the church “family”. How Christian! As you can see, it was the saints who were in prison. Those in church were the criminals. Criminals love to sit in church thinking they are saints. Where are you sitting?
I would even punish them frequently in every synagogue and try to make them blaspheme. Raging furiously against them, I would hunt them down even in distant cities. “That is how I happened to be traveling to Damascus with authority based on a commission from the high priests.
How true. Church members will travel over land and sea to convert people to their church or denomination. They will hunt the enemy of their church down and treat them satanically because, “we are of God”. Many are “Raging furiously” at this ministry. But how few are willing to share the truth of Jesus with their families and friends. It is all about church, church, church and more church.
On the road at noon, O King, I saw a light from heaven that was brighter than the sun. It flashed around me and those who were traveling with me. “All of us fell to the ground, and I heard a voice asking me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me? It is hurting you to keep on kicking against the cattle prods.’ “I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “The Lord answered, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for the very purpose of appointing you to be my servant and witness of what you have seen and of what I will show you. I will continue to rescue you from your people and from the gentiles to whom I am sending you.
Isn’t it ironic that Jesus must “rescue you” from His own church people? How terribly sad. How far our churches have fallen!
You will help them understand and turn them from darkness to light and from Satan’s control to God, so that their sins will be forgiven and they will receive a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
But will they “understand and turn” from darkness to light? Will church members get out of their churches, out “from Satan’s control”, and turn to God? That is the only way their sins can be forgiven and to “receive a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me”. Do you want to be sanctified and live eternally with Jesus? Then get out “from Satan’s control” by leaving your church and fleeing to Jesus, falling at His feet in humble submission. Do not be disobedient to the calling of God.
“And so, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Instead, I first told the people in Damascus and Jerusalem, then all the people in Judea—and after that the gentiles—to repent, turn to God, and perform deeds that are consistent with such repentance.
We must repent from our churches, our sins and this world by turning to God and “perform deeds that are consistent with such repentance”. And what are those deeds we are to perform? Jesus told us. He said, Be perfect, Stop sinning and Keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life. Not one text in all the Bible commands you to build a church or go to church. Jesus invites all to come to Him and Him alone.
For this reason the Jews grabbed me in the Temple and kept trying to kill me.
Church members have grabbed me and thrown me out of their churches. They hate the truth and refuse to live in obedience to Jesus. They do not want anyone upsetting their nice, comfortable church club.
I have had help from God to this day, and so I stand here to testify to both the powerful and the lowly alike, stating only what the prophets and Moses said would happen— that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead and would bring light both to our people and to the gentiles.”
It is amazing how people get so confused listening to their churches. There are those who teach that Jesus only came for the Jews and the teachings of Jesus have nothing to do with us Gentiles. There are those who claim that Jesus brought a “new” teaching for the world. And yet, a simple reading of the Bible shows that Paul understood Jesus came to bring the light of truth to both the Jews (who had forgotten it) and the Gentiles. It is the same truth taught from Genesis to Malachi. Since it was lost during 500 years of Jewish “church”, Jesus had to revive the same old truth. Nothing has changed except for the symbols that pointed to the Messiah. Exactly what Paul said. The New Testament simply tells the same truth. But the church did not want to hear the truth. Not back then, not today. Going to church is much easier than changing the heart.
As he continued his defense, Festus shouted, “You’re out of your mind, Paul! Too much education is driving you crazy!”
And yes, people do shout at me that I am out of my mind for teaching the truth. People do think I am crazy for teaching the teachings of Jesus. But, I am only “reporting what is absolutely true”. Will you accept it?
But Paul said, “I’m not out of my mind, Your Excellency Festus. I’m reporting what is absolutely true. Indeed, the king knows about these things, and I can speak to him freely. For I am certain that none of these things has escaped his notice, since this wasn’t done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you believe them!”
Paul is asking a pagan king if he believed the prophets and the Old Testament. I wonder if you do? The churches don’t. The Catholic system has, for all practical purposes, eradicated the Old Testament and the truth of God from all churches. Get out before it is too late. Go back to the Old Testament and learn what God requires for your eternal life.
Agrippa asked Paul, “Can you so quickly persuade me to become a Christian?”
And yes, I do expect you to become a Christian now. Leave your church and go to Jesus and become a Christian. Claiming to be a Christian is not what Jesus asked you to do. Going to church is not what Jesus asked you to do. Living the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life is what Jesus has commanded you to do. And by the way, did you catch the significance of that last? Paul was expecting the king to become a Christian based solely on the Old Testament.
Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I wish to God that not only you but everyone listening to me today would become what I am—except for these chains!”
If you are reading or listening to this, “I wish to God that not only you but everyone . . . would become what I am”. God is waiting. Will you turn your heart away from your church and turn to the living God? Seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him.
Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and those who were sitting with him got up. As they were leaving, they began to say to each other, “This man hasn’t been doing anything to deserve death or imprisonment.”
What the good and true Christian does will be admired. But because a Christian’s goodness is from God, he will be despised. Man wants to be the master of his own fate. He doesn’t want to give his life and will to Another. Watching true Christians live in obedience to Jesus is a condemnation of the life the church and world lives. They cannot stand it. It makes them look guilty of the crimes they are guilty of: high treason against the government of God. Churches are “Antichrist”.
Agrippa told Festus, “This man could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to the emperor.”
Could have, would have, but he wasn’t. They didn’t have the moral courage to go against the church. Fence sitters and church sitters, trying to please both sides, will soon be toppled.