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Thursday, June 23 2016

Acts 22: Why Didn't The Romans Torture The Apostle Paul?

"The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?"

The Roman presence in Jerusalem in the first century wasn't intended merely as an invasion, for a political or military purpose, and thereafter to withdraw, but rather as a permanent annexation ("The formal act of acquiring something, especially territory, by conquest or occupation) of the land of Israel to the Roman Empire (see also The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). As such, the Romans (like many imperial powers ever since) found themselves making Roman citizens out of people who were not Romans and had no desire to be so. In Rome's case, it included people from Israel to Britain - as shown in the map below.

Roman Empire

The Messiah was born in Roman-occupied Judea (see the Fact Finder question below about the Messiah's "birth certificate"). As such, the Messiah was a Roman citizen, with "rights." It was illegal for the Roman military and police forces to torture a Roman citizen, while they were free to detain and torture anyone from other nations without trial or legal defense (again, a practice by militarily-aggressive nations that is still very evident today).

After He was seized by the religious lynch mob on the night before He was crucified (see The Night Of The Messiah And The Lynch Mob), the Messiah was tortured through the night by the High Priest's Temple guards - the religion police.

"26:67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands" (Matthew 26:67 KJV).

It was only after the Messiah was turned over to the Romans and "convicted" (even though Pontius Pilate fully-knew that the Messiah was innocent of any wrongdoing; see Why Did They Want A Murderer Released Instead Of Jesus?) that He became a "condemned" man - and so subject to the same savage torture that the Romans could smugly and hypocritically inflict on people of other nations at any time. The Messiah had legal rights, until He was convicted by Pilate's crooked court. Then, and only then, the Roman torture began.

"27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. 27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 27:30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 27:31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him." (Matthew 27:24:31 KJV)

As we will read, when the apostle Paul returned from his third missionary journey (see The Prophecy Of Paul's Arrest), he was subjected to violent abuse from the non-Christian religious "leaders" in Jerusalem. They went off into a frenzy because of the Truth that Paul spoke to them.

Paul

"22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.

22:2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. 22:5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord?

And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

22:14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 22:15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; 22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

22:19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: 22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.

22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles." (Acts 22:1-21 KJV)

The Romans then took over because they were in charge of the country. They assumed that Paul was "just a foreigner," so they started to torture him, not only because they were sadistic thugs, but "that he should be examined by scourging" i.e. to "make him talk." It was stopped only because Paul declared that he was a Roman citizen, born in Roman-occupied Turkey - who moreover had not been convicted of any crime: "And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?"

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

22:23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, 22:24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. 22:25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?

22:26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.

22:27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman?

He said, Yea.

22:28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom.

And Paul said, But I was free born.

22:29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him." (Acts 22:22-29 KJV)

So it was then that the Roman system of "justice" summoned Paul's religious accusers for a trial, by words and facts, rather than by torture.

"22:30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them." (Acts 22:30 KJV)

Fact Finder: Could the Messiah's "birth certificate" still exist today? What would it say?
See Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate?


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This Day In History, June 23

79: Titus succeeded his father Vespasian as Roman Emperor. It was Titus who was in command of the Roman military forces that destroyed Jerusalem in 70, exactly as prophesied by the Messiah forty years before (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones? and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Zealots).

Titus 1180: The Genpei War in Japan began with the First Battle of Uji.

1298: Albert I, a Hapsburg, son of Rudolf I, became the new king of the "Holy Roman Empire" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) after deposing German king Adolf of Nassau.

1305: The Treaty of Athis-sur-Orge between King Philip IV of France and Robert de Bethune, count of Flanders, was signed. Strongly opposed by the Flemings (Flanders today composes the northern area of Belgium), the treaty involved the French for 20 years in military attempts to enforce it. Signed after Philip's victory over the Flemings at Mons-en-Pevele in 1304.

1314: The 2-day battle of Bannockburn began. A decisive battle in Scottish history; under the leadership of Robert I the Bruce, the Scots defeated the English under Edward II (1282-1327), regained their independence, and established Bruce on his throne. The battle was fought for possession of Stirling Castle, then the last stronghold of the English in Scotland. The Scots regard the battle as the culmination of their Wars of Independence, while the English regard it as a lamentable defeat. In 1964, on the 650th anniversary of the battle, an equestrian statue of Robert I the Bruce was unveiled on the site by Queen Elizabeth II.

1501: Pedro Cabral returned to Portugal after a voyage during which he claimed Brazil for Portugal.

1532: Henry VIII and Francois I signed a treaty of alliance against Emperor Charles V.

1565: Turgut Reis, commander of the Ottoman navy, was killed during the Siege of Malta (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1611: During his fourth voyage, English explorer Henry Hudson was set adrift in Hudson Bay (as it was later named after him) by mutineers on his ship Discovery. He was never seen again.

1683: English pioneer William Penn signed a friendship treaty with the native people in Pennsylvania (named after William Penn).

1700: Russia gave up its Black Sea fleet as part of a truce with the Ottoman Empire.

1713: Amidst an impending war with France, the French residents of Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine) were given an ultimatum to declare allegiance to Britain or leave. Some left, to various locations, including the French territory of Louisiana (named after King Louis of France) where they became known as "Cajuns" (a southern pronunciation of Acadian; the term "Dixie" originated from dix, the French word for ten).

1757: The Battle of Plassey. 3,000 British troops under the command of Robert Clive defeated a 50,000 man India army under Siraj Ud Daulah.

1758: During the Seven Years War, British and Hanoverian armies defeated the French at Krefeld in Germany.

1794: Empress Catherine II of Russia granted Jews permission to settle in Kiev.

1848: Workers in Paris rose in an insurrection known as the "June Days."

1868: Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for the "typewriter."

1887: The Canadian Rocky Mountains Park Act created the nation's first national park, Banff National Park.

Banff National Park

1914: During the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa captured Zacatecas from Victoriano Huerta.

1940: Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) made a victory visit to Paris after his invasion armies conquered France to bring about "regime change" for the French people.

1967: Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, reaffirming the Church of Rome's law on celibacy (listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

1972: During the Watergate criminal investigation, U.S. President Richard Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman were recorded (by Nixon's own Oval Office recording system) discussing how to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI investigation of the White House.

1985: 329 people died when Air India flight 182, a Boeing 747, was brought down by an on-board bomb off the Irish coast.





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