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1-9 After five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders, with an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought charges to the governor against Paul. 2 After Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying to the governor, "Since we have through you attained much peace, and since by your providence reforms are being carried out for this nation, 3 we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. 4 "But, that I may not weary you any further, I beg you to grant us, by your kindness, a brief hearing. 5 "For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 "And he even tried to desecrate the temple; and then we arrested him. [We wanted to judge him according to our own Law. 7 "But Lysias the commander came along, and with much violence took him out of our hands, 8 ordering his accusers to come before you.] By examining him yourself concerning all these matters you will be able to ascertain the things of which we accuse him." 9 The Jews also joined in the attack, asserting that these things were so.


Act 24,1-9

(202a) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Man’s will over God >> Man is unwilling to walk in God’s grace – Paul’s actual reason for going to Jerusalem was not stated, for there was something happening there that needed to be corrected, and there was no way to spin it in a positive light. The elders, including Peter and the original apostles, were struggling to effectively communicate the gospel to the believing Jews living in Jerusalem. They were afraid of those who remained zealous for the Law of Moses (Act 21-20). Had the elders of Jerusalem tried to wean the believing Jews off the law, the very thing that was happening to Paul would not have happened to them. Paul went there with the attitude, ‘I don’t care if they kill me,’ because he knew the gravity of the situation. It was a death sentence for the apostles to tell the believing Jews in Jerusalem that they no longer use the Law of Moses to seek favor with God. Since the apostles were afraid to say this, the Church in Jerusalem was in big trouble, because it was only a matter of time when these beliefs would harden to stone and their doctrines would no longer be malleable, and the things they were believing would become the accepted belief system throughout the millennia. Something had to be done and Paul was just the man to do it. Throughout his epistles, he taught that the law and God's grace were like a set of railroad tracks that paralleled each other, but that we are called to walk the rail of grace and not the law. Not understanding this was a serious problem, for had the original apostles allowed the law to remain in effect in the new covenant, it would have nullified the grace of God. We will always need to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves, etc., yet fulfilling the law through the law ignores the fact that God sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts and expects us to follow Him, and doing this will inadvertently lead us to fulfill the law. The Ten Commandments will forever remain true, yet it is no longer in effect. This is why Paul needed to go to Jerusalem, not to celebrate Pentecost; that was just what he told people. As for these so-called believing Jews, most of them found the gospel unpalatable, and they ended up rejecting it and lost their place and their nation in AD 70. See also: Paul goes to Jerusalem; Act 19-21,22; 251a

Act 24,3-9

(75i) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Controlling people in the dark >> By hiding the facts

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Act 24,5-21

(1a) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people by respecting their authority

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes >> Accusing Paul without formal charges – These Jews from Asia were like groupies who follow certain rock bands around the world like the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones. Groupies do it because they love the band members and their music, whereas these Jews followed Paul for the opposite reason, because they hated him and wanted to stop his gospel from spreading any further. They didn’t want to be held for murder, so they waited for Paul to make a mistake or for an opportunity to accuse him of a crime that was punishable by death. When they found him in the temple, they automatically assumed he was doing something wrong, since he taught against the customs of Moses, hoping to finally rid him from the earth, but when they tried to put his crimes into words, Felix heard no substance to any of them. Throughout his missionary journeys everywhere he went disturbances would spontaneously erupt, but he wasn’t the one rioting; rather, his very accusers caused the unrest, but even this was irrelevant to the case they brought to Felix, since these things happened in the past in other places far from his jurisdiction. Paul committed no crime against the Romans or the Jews. When they saw him in the temple, they figured he didn’t belong there, but he was well in his rights as a Jew, having gone through the proper cleansing process. Their accusations revolved around the idea that he was a troublemaker and so their accusation reduced to whether he talked to anyone while he was in Jerusalem, as though that were a crime. They also accused him of bringing a gentile into the temple, which he did not do, and this was the accusation Paul was inviting them to prove. Felix was familiar with Jewish law, but that didn't make him anymore interested in judging these matters. See also: Evidence; Act 24,11-21; 42d

Act 24,5-9

(182i) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Being deceptive with people >> Distorted perception of others

Act 24-5

(17g) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Evaluating circumstances with a carnal mind – The Jews stirred up dissension everywhere Paul went. They were his enemies and appealed to the Roman judicial system, basing their complaints on the governor’s interests in regard to keeping peace in his province, which was not of particular concern to the high priest, but was the number one aspect in the governor’s mind, whose job was to promote peace by any means possible. Dissension, riots and the like were all things he tried to avoid, and so the high priest and his lawyer charged Paul with these accusations, though they were the guilty party. In reality, they were the pests stirring up trouble, and they were a thorn in Paul’ side. These were all things they could not see in themselves; they didn’t know they were describing themselves.

(65e) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Jesus brings division instead of peace – The governor who dealt with his case prior to this, Claudius Lysias, couldn’t care less about the religious issues of the Jews (Act 23-26), chasing them from the judgment seat, but Felix was a man who had arbitrated for the Jews on many occasions throughout the years and knew how important these issues were to them, that he couldn’t overestimate the volatility of the matter, or it would explode into a riot if not diffused.

(95a) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective >> False perspective in the world

(164i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is at enmity with God >> The world hates God


10 When the governor had nodded for him to speak, Paul responded: "Knowing that for many years you have been a judge to this nation, I cheerfully make my defense,


Act 24,10-27

(7d) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defend the word by preaching it 

Act 24,10-24

(85g) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Testify of God’s works

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Act 24,10-21

(42b) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Blameless before men – Having enemies of this magnitude required Paul to always be on his best behavior; even then it wasn't enough to deflect the accusations the Jews put against him. Had he done one thing wrong, they would have brought the charge to the governor and he would have swiftly prosecuted him in light of the pressure the Jews were placing on him to do something about Paul. We Christians need to work harder at being innocent of all evil and to avoid contradicting our faith, because if we are not careful, our audience will level charges against our own convictions. We need to work harder at setting a good example and maintaining a blameless reputation both before the brethren and before the heathen. When we listen to Paul’s message in the book of Acts, the thing that stands out is the message of the resurrection. If there were no resurrection, there would be no point in preaching the gospel. Most Christians believe in the resurrection, but many don’t believe it with a blameless conscience; instead, they believe it while coddling a host of sins. See also: 62g

(62g) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Maintaining a blameless reputation – Paul did his absolute best to maintain a blameless reputation among the Jews to the point that he didn’t feel the freedom to even carry on a conversation with anybody in the streets of Jerusalem for fear that an observer might say he was preaching the gospel, thus stirring up trouble. Had Paul uttered a single word to anybody, a riot may have ensued, being sufficient excuse to prosecute him, yet none of his accusers had anything against him, and that is why many of them were no-shows at his trial. The charges they brought before the governor were things they could not prove, and that which was provable was irrelevant, not even considered crimes by Jewish or roman standards. Throwing Paul in jail was not nearly enough for the Jews; they wanted him dead. Their complaints revolved around their religion, but this was a Roman court, which had no regard for Jewish tradition. Paul didn’t want the Jews pinning a riot on him, for many riots had occurred in various places in the past, though Paul incited none of them, for the governor was put in place mainly to keep the peace. See also: 42b

(89d) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Answers of wisdom

(122i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Boldness in adverse circumstances >> Speak the truth in the face of adversity – Going to Jerusalem was Paul’s idea, though he was rebutted by all the leaders and elders of the Church, for just about all of his enemies were in Jerusalem and had been wanting to get their hands on Him for years. Going there was a major risk that in hindsight was worth it in light of the fruit it produced, albeit inadvertent. The reason Paul was willing to take this risk was to demonstrate the boldness of God, to show that he was not afraid of his enemies, and to show his boundless love for them and his desire to see them saved. Another reason Paul went to the devil’s lair was to demonstrate to the Jews that he didn’t see anything wrong with temple worship, which was one of the many things the Jews had misconstrued about Paul and his gospel message. Part of his teaching was that Christ had abolished temple worship; it was no longer necessary after Christ fulfilled these things through the sacrifice of Himself, but that didn’t mean temple worship was wrong; it just was obsolete.

(128k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life >> It is a way of survival – God honored Paul’s decision to go to Jerusalem and worked with him to keep him safe and effectively produced fruit for the Kingdom at every link of the chain of events that landed him many years in prison, for it was there that he wrote many of his epistles.

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11-14 since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 "Neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city itself did they find me carrying on a discussion with anyone or causing a riot. 13 "Nor can they prove to you the charges of which they now accuse me. 14 "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;


Act 24,11-21

(42d) Judgment >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent >> No evidence against you in a court of law – Had Paul’s statement been untrue, the Jews would have jumped all over his testimony, but his accusers didn’t make a sound, which told Felix he was telling the truth. So the Jews inadvertently convinced Felix of Paul's innocence by their lack of vehemence. Since there were so many emotions involved in this case, Felix showed more concern for the reaction of the Jews than their response. For example, when Paul said, ‘I didn’t talk to anybody,’ and his accusers didn’t rise in a self-righteous frenzy, that spoke volumes to Felix. However, this also suggests that Felix kept Paul imprisoned for years knowing he was innocent after the first five minutes of meeting him. This is why he was lenient on Paul, giving him access to his friends, which opened the door for his letters to be circulated throughout all the Churches. Keeping Paul imprisoned, the authorities were trying to appease the Jews, and the fact that they weren’t able to draw up any formal charges against him made it impossible to prosecute him. See also: Evidence; Act 24,5-21; 18c

(103j) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> God purifies His church >> We go through Jesus’ purifying process

Act 24-13

(42c) Innocent (Key verse)

Act 24,14-16

(53i) Paradox >> Opposites >> Contradicting your own standards >> Making accusations against things you believe in

(149a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> The resurrection – Paul’s accusers were Pharisees, and they believed in the resurrection. It sounds funny to us when Paul claimed that these guys cherished a hope in God. We look at the Pharisees through Scripture and don’t see anything authentic about them, yet they believed in the Old Testament, and they too were waiting for the Kingdom of God. This is why Paul held out hope for them and tried to reach them. Others were downright evil and turned Israel’s religion into a business and exploited the people for personal gain without conscience. However, there were other Pharisees who had a more genuine faith than that. They had a hope in God, but they misinterpreted the Scriptures, being utterly lost, and Paul was desperately trying to show them the way.

Act 24-14

(141j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> Old Testament is for our instruction >> It reflects the nature of man in the law – When Paul claimed to believe everything according to the law and the prophets, he wasn’t talking about the Ten Commandments; he was talking about the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, plus the writings of the prophets throughout the Old Testament. Paul was an expert in these things, and Felix knew this about him. Before the New Testament was written, all they had was the Old Testament, yet there were so many Old Testament prophecies foreseeing the new covenant that if they were combined, they would make a substantial book. So in that sense they did have a New Testament Bible in the Old Testament prophesies, which were just as important to them as the New Testament prophecies are to us, who are living in the last days as the world begins falling apart and we find ourselves witnessing the scriptures being fulfilled in our lifetime, just as the early church lived the prophecies fulfilled in their time. 

(150g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Confessing Jesus >> Confessing what Jesus has done

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15-21 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 "In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men. 17 "Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings; 18 in which they found me occupied in the temple, having been purified, without any crowd or uproar. But there were some Jews from Asia - 19 who ought to have been present before you and to make accusation, if they should have anything against me. 20 "Or else let these men themselves tell what misdeed they found when I stood before the Council, 21 other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them, 'For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.' "


Act 24-15,16

(45a) Judgment >> God judges us for not judging ourselves >> Preparing for believer’s judgment

(48c) Judgment >> God judges the world >> Eternal judgment of the resurrection

Act 24-15

(38k) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Resurrection of the righteous and the wicked – There are two resurrections coming, the resurrection of the righteous and of the resurrection of the wicked. Of course the hope is to be part of the First Resurrection, for the resurrection of the wicked will be a curse to them. It would be better for them if they had not been resurrected or even born.

Act 24-16

(4j) Responsibility >> The choices you make >> Accountable for your deeds

(99b) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Enduring the will of God >> Enduring the death of your flesh

(108f) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Balance >> Conscience is the balance between God and man

(155a) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> Having a good conscience >> Doing right to the best of our knowledge

Act 24-17

(63b) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Church deceive their enemies – Paul was being a little deceptive here. He didn’t come to Jerusalem to bring alms to his nation or to engage in temple worship; rather, he was told to do this (Act 21-23,24) to make it look like he was a follower of the law, for he was seeking the favor of the believing Jews. Paul’s presence in Jerusalem was extremely volatile, because the Jews had heard about him that he taught against the customs of Moses that Paul once believed, so worshipping in the temple was an attempt to appease the Jews. Paul may have felt that he was compromising his convictions, but it was necessary, that either he did this or he would surely be killed. Had he started preaching the gospel on the streets of Jerusalem, someone would have run him through with a sword or stoned him to death. As it was, they wouldn’t even let him worship God based on their laws, though he was a Jew.

22&23 But Felix, having a more exact knowledge about the Way, put them off, saying, "When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case." 23 Then he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him.


Act 24,22-25

(202g) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Running from God >> Running from the word of God >> Running from the gospel – Felix had a more excellent knowledge of the way, not that he understood the gospel. He was familiar with the Old Testament laws and customs, yet his heart was not in a position to believe in Jesus. His appetite for the truth was small and could hold only a comment or two about God before his cup overflowed. This is true of many people; they can take only shards of truth before they become overwhelmed and we lose our audience. So long as the topic stays on God's love, they can listen to a point, but when the discussion turns to spiritual responsibility and God's requirements, they get squeamish and run. Righteousness refers to the righteousness of faith; self-control is in relation to practicing good deeds in our fight against sin; and judgment to come refers to the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. Christ will pass judgment on us based on what we have said and done; this was far too much for Felix to handle; his cup was far too small. He may have accepted the things he said about the righteousness of faith, but when Paul turned the topic to self-control, his cup was suddenly filled to the brim, and when he mentioned judgment to come, it overflowed.

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Act 24,23-27

(201a) Denying Christ >> Whoever is not with Jesus is against him >> He is against Christ who does not receive Him >> Whoever does not receive God’s word is against Christ

Act 24-23

(29k) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> He knows how to supply our needs – God used Paul mightily while incarcerated to write many of his epistles, so everyone after him could read the way of salvation that the Jews were trying to stifle. While free he was a tremendous evangelist, relentless and fearless. He would go right into the lions’ den and pull out whomever needed saving right under the nose of the devil. People would growl at him and he wouldn’t flinch, because the will of God meant more to him than his own life, and so did the souls he was saving (you and me). Now that he was incarcerated God used him just as well if not more, especially during some of these more comfortable periods in his life when he had resources available to him. This is when he wrote many of the epistles of the New Testament, which over the centuries has influenced more people than he ever reached in his life. There is nothing anyone can do to stop someone from serving the Lord, for He will always find ways around obstacles people put in his path and fulfill every desire to please Him (2The 1-11,12). When Paul was free, he turned the world upside down for Jesus, and when they incarcerated him, he wrote the Bible and millions of people were saved as they read his work, perpetuating the Kingdom of God throughout the ages. No one can stop God from using a willing soul, who is at work in him to do His good pleasure (Phi 2-13).

(32f) Gift of God >> Father will honor you if you die to self >> In His service

(139a) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> Our brothers encourage us in our adversity

(228a) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Comforted >> God comforts you in times of adversity >> He comforts you in your suffering

24 But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.


Act 24,24-27

(55m) Paradox >> Lose by gaining >> Lose God’s will to gain your own will – Someone might ask, ‘I thought the grace of God gave us the power to live a godly life?’ Yes but, we still must walk in His grace, which requires faith and vision. Where does self-control enter the equation? Paul said, “Having done everything to stand firm, stand firm therefore” (Eph 6-13,14). That is, after receiving power to live a godly life, we must walk in His power, and God will anoint our self-control, so we can rise above our weaknesses. When God judges us, if we don’t burn up in the fire, there will be something left of us to present as our offering to Him. There is no greater travesty than for a person to be consumed in God’s fiery judgment. Outside of losing ones soul in hell, suffering total loss, yet saved as through fire (1Cor 3,12-15) is better, still we will spend the rest of eternity regretting we didn't fully dedicate our lives to Him that we might receive a full reward. What a disaster, yet this will be the case with many people, because they selfishly lived without any thought of God or others.

(166b) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Wisdom of the world >> Man’s wisdom excuses his sinful nature >> Man’s wisdom gives reason to reject God

(183ea) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Nursery for the spirit of error >> Selfish ambition >> Seeking to control the Church

(195a) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Serving two masters >> You can only love one at a time

(199d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus >> Frustrating the apostles

(199h) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Rejecting Christ >> The world rejects God >> Rejecting Christ to keep the world

(230j) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Mystery of godliness >> Mystery of the trinity >> Word of God is the mystery godliness

Act 24,24-26

(170d) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Greed and lust are the glory of man >> Earthly riches are the glory of man

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Act 24-24,25

(41h) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Seek His righteousness – "Righteousness" to which Paul is referring is not our righteousness but God's righteousness. Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit convicting the world of righteousness, saying in Jn 16-10, “…concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me.” This refers to faith; it is how we gain access to the righteousness of God, also according to Eph 2-8,9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” People who maintain their own righteousness might find this offensive, but those who recognize themselves as sinners do not have a problem with it, though they might have a problem with self-control.

(85m) Thy kingdom come >> Belief >> Treating the knowledge of God as fact >> Believing the Son by obeying the Father >> Obeying the old covenant through the new – When Christians try to lead people to the Lord, they always talk about believing in Jesus, but where is that in these three key messages of evangelism? Believing is not here. In fact, we can’t even extrapolate it from any one of these. What the Bible teaches about believing in Jesus more resembles obedience. Billy Graham taught believing as a willingness to sit on a chair if we believe it will hold our weight. Action is always involved in our beliefs; if we act on our beliefs, it proves we believe, but if we don’t act, it proves we don’t really believe, so whether we believe or not, our actions are related to self-control. Righteousness, then, is related to faith, which is something different from believing. Faith is something God gives us after we have made a lifelong commitment to follow Him (Eph 2-8,9). The direction of our lives is no longer based on what we want but what He wants; that is, We give Him the right to determine how we live. Salvation is based on this attitude and commitment when God imparts His faith in us. Once we make a commitment, we need His faith and with that faith comes His righteousness, defined as the indwelling Holy Spirit, and Jesus' cross made it all possible.

(89k) Thy kingdom come >> God convicts us of sin >> Conviction makes us conscious of sin

(97h) Thy kingdom come >> Attention >> Facing the direction of God’s will >> Focusing your attention on what matters to you

(149c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> Righteousness, judgment and self-control – There are three are key messages in evangelism: righteousness, judgment and self-control. There is also the subject of the resurrection and repentance, but these are included in the three, in that the resurrection is a type of judgment in both the righteousness and the wicked, and repentance is included in self-control. Are these key messages taught in evangelism today? Contemporary evangelism efforts are more like marketing strategies, but this is not how Paul presented the gospel. 2Cor 2-17 says, “We are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.” When it comes to evangelism, judgment to come is in reference to condemnation of the unbeliever. God has every intension of judging each person according to what he has done in the body. If we do not possess the Holy Spirit on the day of our death, our fate will be deferred to the White Throne Judgment, where no one goes to heaven, but those will receive the sentence of eternal damnation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. They will be thrown into the pit of hell, where they will spend eternity. The severity of each person’s judgment will be based on his works. We need to warn people about these things.

(208c) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Salvation verses >> The expectations of God >> God expects us to repent and be saved – The contemporary church teaches self-control as an option, but the first century church taught it as a central theme of the gospel. When we get saved, we will have to repent of our old lifestyle. Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached repentance. Self-control is an important aspect of the Christian life, producing godliness, which is the face of Christianity, being also the theme of both letters to Timothy and to Titus. Godliness is meant to garnish and adorn the gospel with a sense of holiness, as Heb 12-14 says, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification [holiness] without which no one will see the Lord.” Without a demonstration of our faith it is impossible to know if we believe God. Jesus talked about godliness as the fruit of our lives. Repentance is how we replace weeds in the garden of our hearts with vegetables of the kingdom that produce the fruit of it.

(232f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> Procrastination This statement Felix made, “Go away for the present, and when if find time I will summon you,” classifies procrastination as putting off the remedy of the human soul until a better time, but the only time God has given us to get right with Him is “now”. Paul spoke with dignitaries of high command, some being familiar with the finer points of Judaism while others were not as well versed in the Jewish religion. One of the rulers who understood the gospel that Paul explained to him was King Agrippa, because of his background in the Old Testament, indicating that it can help us understand the New Testament. Felix did not know much about the Old Testament, but he did seem to understand the concepts of righteousness, self-control and judgment. Some people follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and choose to become believers in Jesus, while others choose by their own authority not to believe. God gives us a free will, but choosing against Him is such a poor decision that only a fool would do it. Once we come to the realization that God has given us a way to please Him, we must take that route. Felix put off making this decision, because he knew it would affect his entire life in ways that would be deleterious to his current trajectory. He began counting the cost and thinking about aspects of his life that would change in ways that would not please him; i.e. what would his friends think of him becoming a Christian? He would be snubbed and ultimately prohibited from advancing in his career, and possibly demoted or even jailed to potentially share a cell with Paul. Compare that with the poor who are ready to respond to the gospel with none of these issues in their way. Had Felix become a Christian he would start ruling in favor of the Christians, and that would not make him popular, and so the life he presently enjoyed would fundamentally change in virtually every imaginable way, and he knew this and he wasn’t ready for it. Rich or poor, popular or a complete unknown, it is not easy for anyone to make the decision to follow Jesus, but for seasoned Christians it is their second nature to follow Christ, who is their new identity. We tend to forget how much our lives have changed because of our faith in Jesus, and we have forgotten some of the sacrifices we made to obtain the life we are now living, but God has not forgotten (Heb 6-10). We tend to forget because we do not regret our decision. God is just as interested in this life as he is in the one to come; although He commands us to sacrifice this life, yet it doesn’t mean it is less important.

25-27 But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, "Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you." 26 At the same time too, he was hoping that money would be given him by Paul; therefore he also used to send for him quite often and converse with him. 27 But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned.


Act 24,25-27

(16j) Sin >> Continuing in sin to avoid the light >> Having hidden motives – God expects us to have right motives and a good conscience when we seek Him, or else we won’t find Him, like Felix. He didn’t want to do any favors for Paul, because Paul was in no position to reciprocate, whereas if he made decisions in favor of Paul's enemies the Jews, they might return the favor some day. This is an example of endlessly planning and scheming opportunities for future circumstances to turn in their favor, instead of judging righteously. Felix felt in no way obligated to Paul, even though he knew he was an innocent man imprisoned. Not even a manipulative conman like Felix could see Paul as a criminal, based on the abject lack of evidence, especially after the Jews from Asia, the so-called witnesses against Paul, never bothered to appear at his hearing to press charges. Still Felix felt no obligation toward Paul. Had Felix showed a little compassion, it may have gone a long way to soften his heart to receive the gospel leading to salvation. He knew the Old Testament, yet it did him no good, because his heart was not right. What did Jesus say? “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (Jn 13-17).

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Act 24-25

(157a) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Rejecting God >> Rejecting the truth

(175f) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Dodging the issue (willful ignorance) >> Evading the word of God

(200f) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Excuses for rejecting Christ >> Selfish ambition >> Having more important things to do

Act 24-26,27

(249f) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> True perception of wealth >> Do not trust the carnal perception of wealth >> Wealth influences your motives

Act 24-26

(76c) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Seeking authority for security >> Motives based on greed – Felix had ulterior motives; he held Paul in prison hoping to get bail money or bribe money; what incentive is that to release him? Bail in our modern world is ubiquitous among nearly every nation. Bail money is a legal bribe of the judicial system to set the defendant free until his day in court. Paul was not about to give him a red cent, because no one wanted to invest in Felix, for their hope was in God, who was in control and didn’t want to give any of that control to a worldly governor. Besides, the Church essentially had no money, since it consisted mostly of poor people, being that the poor have the greatest motive to receive God’s offer of eternal life, for God is the only Person who ever cared for them.

Act 24-27

(17f) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Seeking the glory of man – Unfortunately, it is a very common occurrence for people to make decisions that negatively impact other people but don't affect themselves. This is a great evil that is often perpetrated to sway public opinion for selfish interests. This describes Felix, who apparently got a promotion; and entering his new position, he was setting up the circumstances in his favor. Although this may have benefited him in this life, his poor judgment would work against him when he met Christ at the White Throne Judgment.

(169i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God >> Coveting the favor of men – Felix left Paul in prison, so down the road he could ask the Jews a favor when he needed one. He went about networking connections with those he would govern, ignoring the time Paul had already spent in prison for undefined crimes that he never committed. All he knew was that the Jews vehemently complained against him; they didn’t want Paul free to would continue his ministry of evangelism, preaching, teaching and making more converts and establishing more churches. This was not the will of the Jews, because this new religion sought to terminate their old covenant inaugurated through Moses, replacing all their laws and customs with faith in Jesus Christ. The Jews didn’t understand this, figuring that if the old covenant should be replaced, God Himself would have make a personal appearance, which He did, but the Jews didn’t recognize Him. They complained to Felix and got him on their side to silence Paul, and so he stayed in prison and wrote letters to the churches, many of which we read today, which has done more to reach the world with the gospel than his missionary journeys. Festus was unconcerned with the issues of the Jews, but did them a favor for his own interests. The Jews were relentless in their appeal, probably giving him money as incentive, and then later it says that he was hoping for money from Paul to let him go, so Felix was probably playing both sides against each other, for he would do nothing without a bribe. In today’s politics this kind of underhanded behavior is called Lobbying. Supposedly it is a legal form of bribery, and of course the rich have the most money to pay congressmen and senators to pass certain laws that would benefit their corporations, and so the world turns.

(240e) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Natural disadvantage >> Beware when all men speak well of you >> Natural disadvantage of seeking popularity






Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.



KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

1-8 Festus then, having arrived in the province, three days later went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 And the chief priests and the leading men of the Jews brought charges against Paul, and they were urging him, 3 requesting a concession against Paul, that he might have him brought to Jerusalem (at the same time, setting an ambush to kill him on the way). 4 Festus then answered that Paul was being kept in custody at Caesarea and that he himself was about to leave shortly. 5 "Therefore," he said, "let the influential men among you go there with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them prosecute him." 6 After he had spent not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, and on the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 After Paul arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him which they could not prove, 8 while Paul said in his own defense, "I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar."


Act 25,1-3

(169e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Darkness has a blinding effect -- These verses go with verse 7. This was the second effort of the Jews to set an ambush to kill Paul instead of trusting the judicial system (the first effort is recorded in Act 23,12-22). They didn’t think the legal system would give them what they wanted, doubting they would understand their complaint, and they were right, because Paul had committed no crime against Rome nor violated the Jewish temple. The Jews wanted Paul back in Jerusalem, fearing that Paul would go to Rome and influence Caesar to become a Christian; then Christianity would become known throughout the whole world by the emperor’s command. That would have had disastrous affects on Judaism, because the Jews viewed Christianity as not only conflicting with their religion but diametrically opposing it. On the contrary, Christianity worked hand in glove with the old covenant, maybe not with Judaism, but Judaism was never the official religion of the Jews, rather they contrived it as a byproduct of the Old Testament. They didn’t see the seamless transition from the old to the new because sin had blinded their eyes, not just to their own sins, but extending throughout the generations far back as Moses, accumulating like a cloud that blocked their view of the gospel, blinding them to the fact that the new covenant precisely fulfilled the law and perfectly correlated with the prophets.

Act 25-2,3

(25c) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Murder >> Persecution to the death >> prestige

(75m) Thy kingdom come >> Having ulterior (hidden) motives

(182h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Being deceptive with people >> Lying to others

Act 25,4-7

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes >> Accusing Paul without formal charges -- This verse goes with verses 18-20. The Jews wanted to try Paul in Jerusalem so they might organize an ambush and kill him along the way (v3), but Festus informed them that he was going to Caesarea, and he invited those who would witness against Paul to come with him, and during this time he would discuss the case with them. When the time had come, Festus commenced the hearing, and the Jews stated serious charges which they could not prove, being completely overblown and had nothing to do with the laws of Rome, and they also raised points regarding their own law that were irrelevant to a Roman tribunal. If the accusers cannot prove their charges, they are dropped. Moreover, it is unethical to fraternize with the prosecution prior to the hearing, but Festus invited the Jews on a week-long excursion where they could discuss the case in depth and potentially make up his mind before hearing the defendant. Paul attended several hearings, and each time his case never advanced to trial; sometimes his accusers never even showed their faces. Festus gave the Jews every opportunity to convince him that Paul should be prosecuted and sentenced to death, but they couldn’t even convince him that his case should go to trial.

Act 25,7-11

(42b) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Blameless before men -- These verses go with verse 25

Act 25-7

(42d) Judgment >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent >> No evidence against you in a court of law -- This verse goes with verses 18-20

(75i) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Controlling people in the dark >> Hiding the facts

(142g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Reputation exposed to slander >> Your reputation under attack

(163f) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Used by Satan to destroy the word of God >> Used to destroy the mouthpiece of God -- This verse goes with verses 18&19. Those who have kept the law and sought God with all their hearts, when the gospel comes, they understand it and believe it for eternal life. In contrast, the Jews who contradicted Paul saw the gospel as incongruent with their Old Testament, because they didn't follow the law and therefore never understood its intent, that it was supposed to prepare them to receive their Messiah when He came. They raised up Moses as an idol of worship, but never lived according to His law, otherwise they would not have sought to kill Paul. Had they believed in the God of Moses, they would have integrated His laws into their hearts. Instead, they loved the world, and turned the Law of Moses into what Isaiah 29-13 says, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught" (Mat 15,7-9). Had they lived in the days of Moses, he would have had them stoned to death. They would have plunged into the depths of the earth with the family of Korah in a cataclysmic display of wrath against their insolent pride in the presence of a holy God. Their forefathers quickly drifted from the commandments after David and Solomon died, because they never bothered to plant the law in their hearts, and now their descendents had become the enemies of Paul. If he were alive today, those in the Church would fight just as hard to rid themselves of him, making up excuses and fabricating crimes and asserting him to be deserving of death. This is precisely what Christian leaders have done to the gospel throughout the new covenant, stripping the Holy Spirit, emasculating its power, humanizing it and turning it into just another religion of the world.

(169e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Darkness has a blinding effect -- This verse goes with verses 1-3. Leading a lifestyle of sin and debauchery has a blinding affect that keeps the sinner from seeing the light of the gospel. The Jews wanted to destroy Paul to silence him. They hated the gospel because it indicted them as crucifying their own Messiah. The people who were hotly in pursuit of Paul may not have had anything to do with shedding the blood of Christ, but being Jews the entire nation of Israel had His blood on their hands. For centuries they were waiting for their Messiah; waiting all those centuries and then having missed Him was unbearable. He promised to return at the end of this age, and when he does, He will return in the very capacity that the Jews expected Him 2000 years ago, when Jesus came as the Lamb of God.

Act 25-8

(1a) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people by respecting their authority

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

9-17 But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me on these charges?" 10 But Paul said, "I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also very well know. 11 "If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar." 12 Then when Festus had conferred with his council, he answered, "You have appealed to Caesar, to Caesar you shall go." 13 Now when several days had elapsed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. 14 While they were spending many days there, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a man who was left as a prisoner by Felix; 15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16 "I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man before the accused meets his accusers face to face and has an opportunity to make his defense against the charges. 17 "So after they had assembled here, I did not delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought before me.


Act 25,9-12

(7f) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defending the truth – Paul was not required to stand before Caesar, he requested to see him of his own accord with the few rights he had as a prisoner. His ultimate goal was to give the gospel an opportunity to influence top government officials in hope that they would spread Christianity throughout their provinces. Over a period of time, Paul’s dreams were realized and Christianity grew firm roots in the world, but only after many Christians had been slain for their faith.

(62f) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Being clever >> Lure in your prey Festus was ready to release Paul, except that he appealed to Caesar, in order to get a free trip to Rome and influence some of the dignitaries and possibly Caesar himself with the gospel. His hope was not so much to get them saved or to influence them to establish a Christian nation, but as an appeal to refrain from persecuting Christians. There was no record of Paul standing before Caesar, for once he arrived at Rome, they learned that no charges were ever filed against him. This appeal to Caesar goes back to what the Lord said to Paul in Act 23-11, that as he witnessed at Jerusalem, so he must also witness at Rome. God gave Him a heads-up that he was going to Rome, so all Paul had to do was make a simple request, which locked his destiny into place with the great city.

(63b) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Church deceive their enemies – Paul received a mandate from his Lord that he was going to Rome, so when he appealed to Caesar, he wasn't appealing for his own interest, but for the interest of Christ. Festus wanted to do the Jews a favor; instead he made plans to send Paul to Rome, which was the opposite desire of the Jews. They didn’t want him going to Rome and influencing this empire that could disseminate the gospel to every known country of the world, for then what would come of them? Throughout the age of grace the Jews were persecuted from city to city and from country to country, just like they did to Paul, until the gentiles built death camps for them in attempt to exterminate them from the earth. The lesson to be learned here is: don't mess with the gospel of Christ.

(148j) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Obligation to preach the gospel >> Preach even if it hurts

(228m) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God causes all things to work together

Act 25-9

(240e) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Hindering the kingdom >> Natural disadvantage >> Beware when all men speak well of you >> Natural disadvantage of seeking popularity

Act 25-10

(155d) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> An evil conscience keeps us from believing God >> Knowledge of evil testifies against our deeds – Paul said that Festus very well knew he had committed no crimes against the Jews, and Festus knew this based on the Jews’ own reaction to Paul. Had he been lying, the Jews would have screamed bloody murder, but they had nothing to say about Paul’s confession of innocence. God kept Paul safe, not locked in a filthy dungeon, but he had good accommodations and had access to his friends, which created a positive environment for him to write his letters to the Churches, which are now part of the New Testament. If we follow in the footsteps that God has designated for us, there are no promises of happiness, but God will personally take care of us, and that far outweighs any of our hopes of a fulfilled life (Rom 8-28). 

Act 25,13-22

(90c) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Law is our tutor >> It prepares your heart to receive Christ – Paul had convinced many common people about the gospel, the poor having a greater motivation to believe, though the father from Israel he went, the less people knew about the Jews and their Old Testament and thus the harder to convert them to Christianity. Eventually spiritual darkness enveloped the land and Paul went to some of these places and shined the light of Jesus on them, and with difficulty he converted some of them. He struggled against their lack of knowledge, being pagans, which was incompatible with the teachings of Scripture. Paul would have to create an entire knowledge base about God before he could convert large numbers, but those around Jerusalem who already knew the Scriptures were readily converted. This follows the principle in Jn 6-45, " Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me." The communities surrounding Jerusalem and Israel is where thousands of people were immediately saved after Peter’s sermon at Pentecost. If we intend to evangelize people who are ignorant of the Scriptures, we will have to create a knowledge base in them before we can hope to convince them to believe in Jesus, and this takes time and effort. Jewish converts are some of the most profound Christians in the world, because of their knowledge base, and because of their greater motive to believe the gospel, giving all their centuries of suffering a reason.

Act 25,15-23

(248l) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Values >> The Highest Values >> The life to come is more important than this one – Most people’s perspective revolves around this life that if the gospel does not promise to enhance their circumstances, then they don’t care about it, as though they were shopping for a new shirt. We tell them that believing in the gospel will save them from their sins and the sentence of hell, and they will have the hope of eternal life with God in paradise, and it seems they can’t even hear us. Although the gospel pertains to this life in many ways, yet its main focus is on the life to come, and for this reason people are not interested, because they're fixated on this life and don’t believe life continues after death, but it does, and if they die without Christ, they will find themselves in a place where the influence of Christ does not exist, and it will be hell.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

18-27 "When the accusers stood up, they began bringing charges against him not of such crimes as I was expecting, 19 but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 "Being at a loss how to investigate such matters, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these matters. 21 "But when Paul appealed to be held in custody for the Emperor's decision, I ordered him to be kept in custody until I send him to Caesar." 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I also would like to hear the man myself." "Tomorrow," he said, "you shall hear him." 23 So, on the next day when Agrippa came together with Bernice amid great pomp, and entered the auditorium accompanied by the commanders and the prominent men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here present with us, you see this man about whom all the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring that he ought not to live any longer. 25 "But I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death; and since he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him. 26 "Yet I have nothing definite about him to write to my lord. Therefore I have brought him before you all and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the investigation has taken place, I may have something to write. 27 "For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him."


Act 25,18-20

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes >> Accusing Paul without formal charges -- These verses go with verses 24-27. The Jews wanted Paul murdered in total disregard of justice and reason, asking Festus to impose on him a sentence of condemnation, though he hadn't committed a crime recognized by Roman law. The Jews weren’t very sneaky, for everything they did failed without any chance of success. All the cards were stacked against them after they had riled themselves into a frenzy. Judaism is a religion the Jews developed to spite their Old Testament writings, consisting of the Law of Moses and the prophets. It is a religion they used to expel their God of the old covenant, and God knew that if He sent His Son to them while they were free, they would have immediately murdered Him and His apostles, and so He waited and sent His Son at a time when they were enslaved by the Romans, so they could pass judgment only through their authority, and this prohibited them from murdering Paul. This suggests that when Jesus returns, He will come when all the circumstances are in place.

(42d) Judgment >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent >> No evidence against you in a court of law -- These verses go with verses 25-27

(176i) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Zeal without knowledge (Spirit w/o the word) >> Passion without principles

Act 25-18,19

(163f) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Used by Satan to destroy the word of God >> Used to destroy the mouthpiece of God -- These verses go with verses 24&25. Paul was getting closer to Rome, but there was no indication in the Scriptures or in religious history that Paul ever stood before Caesar, yet the gospel came to Rome in the form of Catholicism, having become the center of Christianity for twelve hundred years, which was a morbid substitute for the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The way it came about was through Constantine, who claimed to have seen a vision of a cross before going into battle with his enemy on October 27, 312 A.D., and because he won that battle, he credited his victory to the vision, and then made Christianity the official religion of Rome. People are interested in the gospel only if it can help them get ahead in this life. If it helps them win battles to believe in Jesus, then they suddenly become “Christians”, but eternal life and forgiveness of sin is irrelevant to this kind of “believers”.

Act 25-19

(39c) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Preaching the resurrection – Festus trivialized the resurrection of Christ, making it sound like mere opinion: the Jews thought he was dead while Paul believed he was alive. Paul admitted he had died but that God raised him from the dead, which was nothing Festus was ready to believe. Actually, the resurrection was a brand-new concept to the world; no one had realistically envisioned such a thing before this. There was never a doctrine in place to accommodate the resurrection until Jesus first spoke about it and then was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father.

Act 25,24-27

(1a) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God and people by respecting their authority

(18c) Sin >> False Judgment lacks evidence >> Charges not defined as crimes >> Accusing Paul without formal charges -- These verses go with verses 4-7. Festus was at a loss as to what he should write as Paul’s charges. His purpose for putting Paul before King Agrippa was to see if he could make sense of this case. The fact that he was going to Caesar with no charges against him was absurd. He could not accept the Jews’ complaints because they were not able to say what he did wrong! After their vehement loud voices and spit, they essentially said nothing that the Roman court could seriously include in their report, meaning their allegations were contained in their anger and not the words themselves. In most cases, the authorities comprehended the crime before they apprehended the criminal, but in this case they had the guy but couldn’t locate the crime. This suggests that the new covenant is not opposed to the old as the Jews asserted; rather, it was the Jews who were opposed to their own covenant. They may have believed it well enough, but they didn’t live according to it, and for this reason they saw the new covenant as incongruent to their old belief system. This means that if we don't live what we believe, then we don't believe it, nor do we know the truth.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Act 25-24,25

(163f) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Used by Satan to destroy the word of God >> Used to destroy the mouthpiece of God -- These verses go with verse 7

Act 25,25-27

(42d) Judgment >> Be like Jesus >> Innocent >> No evidence against you in a court of law -- These verses go with verse 7

Act 25-25

(42b) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> Blameless before men -- This verse goes with verses 7-11

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