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Saturday, June 25 2016

Acts 24: The Court Of Felix - Where Politics Trumps Truth

"Felix ... hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him ... and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound"

Marcus Antonius Felix, known to Bible history simply as Felix, was the Roman procurator (governor) of Judea in the years 52-58 AD (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Roman Judea). His mention in the Bible record happened in Caesarea, where the apostle Paul was brought before him for trial after his false arrest in Jerusalem (see The Prophecy Of Paul's Arrest and Why Didn't The Romans Torture The Apostle Paul?; also The Messiah's Appearances To Paul Before And After The Crucifixion.

Occasionally seated with Felix during the course of the "trial" was Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa (there were a number of Herods; see Peter's Escape From Prison and The Death Of Herod Agrippa), who had accepted an invitation from Felix to leave her husband, the king of Emesa, to become his adulterous wife (a practice of the ancient Romans, and of many present-day politicians, that had gotten John the Baptist murdered; see Lethal Lust).

Paul was arrested at the behest of the same religious "authorities" that had falsely-accused the Messiah at His "trial" - which ironically included Paul himself before his conversion (see Paul's Conversion In Syria and The Rising Of Tabitha and Paul's Blindness Lesson). The charges were practically the same: "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" (verse 5 below).

The Apostle Paul

"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's defense, like the Messiah, was to respond with factual Truth from which "Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me." His address was based upon the history and prophecy that was recorded long before: "But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets" (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour).

"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, 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, 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." (Acts 24:10-21 KJV)

Felix, like Pontius Pilate, then realized that an innocent man had been brought before him (see Innocent Blood), but, as also with the Messiah, politics trumped Truth (see Why Did They Want A Murderer Released Instead Of Jesus?).

Felix then held Paul in custody for no other reason than extortion - waiting for a bribe to the governor to set an innocent man free: "He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him." Paul didn't pay, so he remained in jail for two years, until Felix was replaced by Festus - who began the farce all over again.

"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 shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound." (Acts 24:22-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: How did Julius Caesar turn the Roman republic into a malignant empire?
See The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars

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This Day In History, June 25

253: Pope Cornelius was beheaded at Centumcellae (the Church of Rome was actually created by the Roman Emperor Constantine; see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

Sioux Warrior 524: The Franks defeated the Burgundians at the Battle of Vezeronce.

841: Forces under the command of Charles the Bald and Louis the German defeated the armies of Lothair I of Italy and Pepin II of Aquitaine at the Battle of Fontenay-en-Puisaye (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1080: A council of bishops at Brixen declared Pope Gregory to be deposed and Archbishop Guibert as antipope Clement III (see Antipopes).

1530: The Augsburg Confession, the official Lutheran statement of faith, written by Melanchthon and endorsed by Luther, was presented.

1580: The Book of Concord, a collection of doctrinal standards of the Lutheran Church, was first published.

1741: Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned Queen of Hungary.

1870: Queen Isabella of Spain abdicated in favor of Alfonso XII.

1876: The Battle of the Little Big Horn (known to the Sioux as the Battle of the Greasy Grass) near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory. Sioux warriors led by Crazy Horse (contrary to legend, Sitting Bull was not present at the battle, but was in the area) annihilated the U.S. 7th Cavalry led by Lt. Colonel George Custer. Custer died along with his company of 264 men in what was known as "Custer's Last Stand."

1945: The Charter of the United Nations was unanimously adopted.

1948: After Soviet forces in East Germany cut off overland access to West Berlin, U.S. and British planes began the "Berlin Airlift" which lasted until September 30 1949.

1950: North Korea invaded South Korea, beginning the Korean War.

1975: Mozambique became independent after 477 years of Portuguese rule.

1991: Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993: Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada. She lost the Federal Election a few months later, so Canada is yet to have its first elected female Prime Minister.

1997: An unmanned cargo ship crashed into the Russian space station Mir, causing extensive damage to the station but causing no injury to the 2 Russian cosmonauts and 1 U.S. astronaut aboard.

1997: Jacques-Yves Cousteau died at age 87. The French oceanographer was the co-inventor of SCUBA (an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving tanks and the producer of many popular books and television productions.



Copyright © Wayne Blank