Paul’s Calling, Teaching and commantary, chapter 9

To: “Churches of God” Called to be Spiritual Israelites & atOne with Jesus. 3/15/19, God’s 13th month 8th day of Adar 2, 5779 until sunset. Paul and companions are wanting to be in Jerusalem by Pentecost.

(Acts 21:15-21; “After these days we got ready and started up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea came along with us too, and brought us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple from the earliest times, with whom we were to stay. When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. (18) The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were there. When Paul had greeted them, he began to explain in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers of the law. (21) They have been informed about you – that you teach all the Jews now living among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.”) The friction was not that believing Jews were ardent law observers, but that some were attempted to put law keeping on gentiles as a must for salvation.

(Acts 21:22-25; “What then should we do? They will no doubt hear that you have come. So do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow; take them and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with the law. But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided that they should avoid meat that has been sacrificed to idols and blood and what has been strangled and sexual immorality.”) James and Jesus’ apostles lived in conformity with the law and taught gentiles to do the same. However newly converted gentiles were to demonstrate particular changes due to their long term life styles prior to believing IN Jesus. Followers of Jesus are founded on the prophets, apostles, with Jesus the Corner Stone.

(Acts 21:26-31; “Then Paul took the men the next day, and after he had purified himself along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice of the completion of the days of purification, when the sacrifice would be offered for each of them. When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from the province of Asia who had seen him in the temple area stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this sanctuary! Furthermore he has brought Greeks into the inner courts of the temple and made this holy place ritually unclean!” (For they had seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him previously, and they assumed Paul had brought him into the inner temple courts.) The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple courts, and immediately the doors were shut. (31) While they were trying to kill him, a report was sent up to the commanding officer of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.“) Remember all Judean territory was under Roman authority. Israelites were never told they had to abandon the law in order to have faith in Jesus’ shed blood for the remission of sin, but faith in Jesus causing a Belief IN Him produced a love of God’s Way: thus not under the law. Likewise, non-Israelites were never told they had to start keeping the whole law in order to show their belief IN and acceptance, that Jesus died for the remission of their sins.

(Acts 21:32-40; “He, ’the commander’ immediately took soldiers and centurions and ran down to the crowd. When they saw the commanding officer and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. Then the commanding officer came up and arrested him and ordered him to be tied up with two chains; he then asked who he was and what he had done. But some in the crowd shouted one thing, and others something else, and when the commanding officer was unable to find out the truth because of the disturbance, he ordered Paul to be brought into the barracks. (35) When he came to the steps, Paul had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob, for a crowd of people followed them, screaming, “Away with him!” As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commanding officer, “May I say something to you?” The officer replied, “Do you know Greek? (38) Then you’re not that Egyptian who started a rebellion and led the four thousand men of the ‘Assassins’ into the wilderness some time ago?” Paul answered, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. Please allow me to speak to the people. When the commanding officer had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and gestured to the people with his hand. When they had become silent, he addressed them in Aramaic,”)

Paul spoke Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew and possibly other languages. Jesus used Paul’s talents and his being a Roman citizen for natural advantages. All these things were preplanned, “having Paul witnessing before rulers.” Some time before Jesus’ personal ministry and long after His ministry through His apostles, the Judean area was under Rome’s control. Jews were allowed their Synagogues practices throughout. Recall, Jesus had some He healed present themselves to the Synagogue Priest according to the law. Jesus nor His apostles ever suggest a departure from the law’s spiritual intent. But, that no one can be saved through or by law keeping.

(Matt 5:17-20; “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”)

Radical Jews, strict Pharisees wanted Paul killed because of assumptions, misunderstandings regarding his teachings. A Roman commander saved him from them. Now Paul goes before the Sanhedrin

Acts 23:1- “Paul looked directly at the council and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God to this day.” At that the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit there judging me according to the law and in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” (4) Those standing near him said, “Do you dare insult God’s high priest?” Paul replied, “I did not realize, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’” quote from Exodus 22:28.) Now Paul uses the Sadducee, Pharisee divide for his benefit.

Acts 23:6-10; “Then when Paul noticed that part of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, he shouted out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead!” When he said this, an argument began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the assembly was divided. (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) There was a great commotion, and some experts in the law from the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” When the argument became so great the commanding officer feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, he ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.”) It’s good that we followers of Jesus know the divisions in religions, when we’re persecuted.

Acts 23:11-12; “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Have courage, for just as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”) Plot to Kill Paul continues.

(Acts 23:12-15; “When morning came, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty of them who formed this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves with a solemn oath not to partake of anything until we have killed Paul. So now you and the council request the commanding officer to bring him down to you, as if you were going to determine his case by conducting a more thorough inquiry. We are ready to kill him before he comes near this place.” (Acts 23:16-25; “But when the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commanding officer, for he has something to report to him.” So the centurion took him and brought him to the commanding officer and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.” The commanding officer took him by the hand, withdrew privately and asked, “What is it that you want to report to me?” (20) He replied “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as if they were going to inquire more thoroughly about him. So do not let them persuade you to do this, because more than forty of them are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink anything until they have killed him, and now they are ready, waiting for you to agree to their request.” Then the commanding officer sent the young man away, directing him, “Tell no one that you have reported these things to me.” Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea along with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen by nine o’clock tonight, and provide mounts for Paul to ride so that he may be brought safely to Felix the governor.” He wrote a letter that went like this:

(Acts 23:26-30; “Claudius Lysias to His Excellency Governor Felix, greetings. This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, when I came up with the detachment and rescued him, because I had learned that he was a Roman citizen. Since I wanted to know what charge they were accusing him of, I brought him down to their council. I found he was accused with reference to controversial questions about their law, but no charge against him deserved death or imprisonment. When I was informed there would be a plot against this man, I sent him to you at once, also ordering his accusers to state their charges against him before you.”)

(Acts 23:31-35; “So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him to Antipatris during the night. The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, and they returned to the barracks. When the horsemen came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. When the governor had read the letter, he asked what province he was from. When he learned that he was from Cilicia, he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive too.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.”)

(Acts 24:1-9; “After five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought formal charges against Paul to the governor. When Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “We have experienced a lengthy time of peace through your rule, and reforms are being made in this nation through your foresight. (3) Most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this everywhere and in every way with all gratitude. But so that I may not delay you any further, I beg you to hear us briefly with your customary graciousness. For we have found this man to be a troublemaker, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to desecrate the temple, so we arrested him. When you examine him yourself, you will be able to learn from him about all these things we are accusing him of doing.” The Jews also joined in the verbal attack, claiming that these things were true.”) Note the nature and verbiage of attorneys never seem to change.

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