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"Before Governors And Kings For My Sake"

A prophecy by Jesus Christ about what surely awaited those who would be sent out into the world to preach the Gospel of Truth:

"10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves [see also Christian Doves].

10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew 10:16-20 KJV)

"And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles"

Upon his return to Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey (see the Fact Finder question below), the apostle Paul faced lethal persecution from the very same people that Paul himself had, before his conversion, been a Christ-hating member (see Was Paul Among Them?). But Paul's eyes had been opened to the Truth (see Paul's Blindness Lesson) that he once tried to destroy - with the result that Paul was arrested in exactly the same way that he previously had other followers of Christ confined, precisely as Christ prophesied would happen to His servants (see also Peter's Prophecy).

The Roman Empire The religious authorities were however still under Roman political and military control (i.e. they had been given the gift of Roman "freedom" - domination by invading hypocrites who would not tolerate being ruled by foreigners in their own homeland; see Ancient Empires - Rome) so they had to involve the Romans just as they had done with Christ. Paul was brought before Felix, the Roman procurator of Judea at that time.

"24:1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. 24:2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, 24:3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. 24:4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.

24:5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: 24:6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law. 24:7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, 24:8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.

24:9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so." (Acts 24:1-9 KJV)

Paul then presented his defense to the false accusations. Governor Felix seemed unusually tolerant and patient, perhaps because his wife Drusilla was a "Jewess."

"24:10 Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: 24:11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. 24:12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: 24:13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers [see 'The God Of The Old Testament' and 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'], believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead [see When Will You Be Judged?], both of the just and unjust. 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

24:17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. 24:18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult. 24:19 Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me. 24:20 Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, 24:21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.

24:22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter. 24:23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.

24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. 24:26 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.

24:27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound." (Acts 24:10-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: Where did Paul go on his major missionary journeys before he was taken prisoner in Jerusalem?
See Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey


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