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Monday, June 27 2016

Acts 26: Why Was Paul Sent To Rome?

"This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar"

The apostle Paul's arrest after his return to Jerusalem from his third major missionary journey was not unexpected. It was prophesied before Paul arrived there (see The Prophecy Of Paul's Arrest), in accordance to the LORD's will that Paul take the true Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God to the very heart of imperial Rome (see The Messiah's Appearances To Paul Before And After The Crucifixion).

After over two years of being subjected to corrupt Roman "justice" (see The Court Of Felix - Where Politics Trumps Truth and Porky's Court), Paul appeared before the highest Roman official in the occupied land of Judea to appeal his arrest, as was his right as a "like it or not" Roman citizen (see Why Didn't The Romans Torture The Apostle Paul?).


"26:1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself.

Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: 26:2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 26:3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.

26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 26:7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 26:8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

26:9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 26:10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities." (Acts 26:1-11 KJV)

Paul also explained how his conversion, from a Christian hunter, to a hunted Christian, happened on the road to Damascus (see Paul's Conversion In Syria and The Rising Of Tabitha). It's also very interesting to note that when the Messiah spoke to Paul ("I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue"), it was actually Aramaic, as was originally written. Aramaic was the Messiah's first and primary language in Galilee - and He even continued to speak it after His ascension to heaven (see The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus).

"26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord?

And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." (Acts 26:12-18 KJV)

Then, according to the declared will of the LORD, Paul received his ticket to Rome: "Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar."

"26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. 26:21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

26:24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.

26:25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. 26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

26:29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

26:30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 26:31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.

26:32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar." (Acts 26:19-32 KJV)

Fact Finder: What happened as a result of Paul's work in Rome?
See The Church Of God At Rome and Romans: In The Heart Of The Beast

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This Day In History, June 27

1358: The Republic of Dubrovnik was founded.

1709: Peter the Great defeated Charles XII at the Battle of Poltava.

1743: King George II of Britain defeated the French at Dettingen in the War of the Austrian Succession. He was the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle.

Plains of Abraham

1759: British General James Wolfe landed his army near Quebec City and blocked the St. Lawrence River to French shipping. After a siege that lasted 75 days, the 33 year-old Wolfe led his troops up the cliff behind Quebec City to the Plains of Abraham (September 13) where they defeated Montcalm's garrison and captured the city - a key battle that set the political future of Canada. Both commanders died in battle.

1787: Edward Gibbon wrote the last lines of his classic "The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (see also The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

Edward Gibbon 1801: British forces defeated the French and took control of Cairo, Egypt (see also Children Of Ham - The Origin Of Egypt And Iraq).

1806: British forces capture Buenos Aires during the first British entry of the Rio de la Plata.

1844: Joseph Smith, the cult leader who became the founder of the Mormon Church, and his brother Hyrum Smith, were murdered by a mob in an Illinois jail.

1893: A major stock market plunge began in the U.S.A., leading to an economic depression in which 600 banks and 74 railroads went out of business by the end of the year.

1898: The first solo circumnavigation of the Earth was completed by Joshua Slocum of Briar Island, Nova Scotia.

1905: Mutinous Russian soldiers seized the battleship Potemkin in the Black Sea, throwing the commander and several other officers overboard.

1918: Two German pilots became the first to be saved by parachutes.

1941: During the Second World War (1939-1945), Romanian military forces, as allies of Nazi Germany, began one of the most fierce pogroms in Jewish history in the city of Iasi, (Romania). Over 13,000 Jews - men, women and children - were murdered.

1954: The world's first nuclear power station began operation, in Obninsk, Russia.

1957: Hurricane Audrey struck near the Texas-Louisiana border. Over 400 people were killed.

1967: The world's first ATM went into service, in London, England.

1976: Members of the Baader-Meinhof gang, a German terrorist organization inspired by Soviet anti-Semitic propaganda, hijacked an Air France airliner flying from Paris to Tel Aviv and forced it to land in Idi Amin's Uganda. They then set apart the 83 Israelis to be murdered if Israel did not release 53 Palestinian terrorists being held in Israel. The hostages were rescued by Israeli commandos in the "Entebbe Raid" 6 days later.

1977: France granted independence to the African nation of Djibouti.

1991: After declaring independence a few days earlier, Slovenia was invaded by Yugoslav military forces, beginning the Ten-Day War.

2007: Tony Blair resigned as British Prime Minister, after 10 years in office.


Copyright © Wayne Blank