Paul’s calling, Teaching and commentary, chapter 10

To: “Churches of God” Called to be Spiritual Israelites & atOne with Jesus. 3/16/19, God’s 13th month 9th day of Adar 2, 5779 until sunset.

Proverbs 14:12; “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way that leads to death.” It’s the reason we have denominations, the reason Pharisees & Sadducees disagreed about resurrections and angels. So consider, “what makes a person trust their own intellect rather than God?” (When people showed hostility to Jesus’ teaching He said; “You don’t know Me or My Father. If you knew Me you’d know My Father too.” John 8:19) The bottom line? Trusting our rational - intellect is idolatry. No one knows God until He supernaturally reveals His deity and His truth. There’s one God, one truth & one Way, who’s spiritually led to believe IN that fact? Jesus said, “false messiahs - false prophets will appear; perform signs and wonders to deceive, ‘if possible, even the Elect.’” Choosing a religion that fits one’s rational, is idolatry. Happy Sabbath.

Paul’s Defense Before Felix, with similar grace. (Acts 24:10-21; “When the governor gestured for him to speak, Paul replied, “Because I know that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, I confidently make my defense. As you can verify for yourself, not more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. They did not find me arguing with anyone or stirring up a crowd in the temple courts or in the synagogues or throughout the city, nor can they prove to you the things they are accusing me of doing. (14) But I confess this to you, that I worship the God of our ancestors according to the Way (which they call a sect), believing everything that is according to the law and that is written in the prophets. I have a hope in God (a hope that these men themselves accept too) that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. This is the reason I do my best to always have a clear conscience toward God and toward people. (17) After several years I came to bring to my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings, which I was doing when they found me in the temple, ritually purified, without a crowd or a disturbance. But there are some Jews from the province of Asia who should be here before you and bring charges, if they have anything against me. Or these men here should tell what crime they found me guilty of when I stood before the council, other than this one thing, I shouted out while I stood before them: ‘I am on trial before you today concerning the resurrection of the dead.’”)

God’s truth is still referred to as a sect. A resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous is God’s truth. It’s clear in the above paragraph that Paul never taught the Catholic - Protestant heaven/hell doctrine. Paul believed all that’s written according to the law and the prophets. Why can’t our Christendom religions accept the same?

(Acts 24:22-23; “Then Felix, who understood the facts concerning The Way more accurately, adjourned their hearing, saying, “When Lysias the commanding officer comes down, I will decide your case.” He ordered the centurion to guard Paul, but to let him have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from meeting his needs.”)

(Acts 24:24-27; “Some days later, when Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. While Paul was discussing righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, I will send for you.” At the same time he was also hoping that Paul would give him money, and for this reason he sent for Paul as often as possible and talked with him. After two years had passed, Porcius Festus succeeded Felix, and because he wanted to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.”) Felix understood The Way more accurately, apparently refused to believe IN. Righteousness, self control practices and a coming judgment should disturb many.

(Acts 25:1-5; “Now three days after Festus, “the new governor” arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. So the chief priests and the most prominent men of the Jews brought formal charges against Paul to him. Requesting him to do them a favor against Paul, they urged Festus to summon him to Jerusalem, planning an ambush to kill him along the way. Then Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and he himself intended to go there shortly. “So,” he said, “let your leaders go down there with me, and if this man has done anything wrong, they may bring charges against him.”) During confinement times Paul was able to witness before rulers and write the gentile churches etc. Both rulers allowed Paul unusual privileges as Jesus continued witnessing through Paul.

Remember Jesus’ apostles were only gifted to believe IN Him and understand the holy scriptures after His resurrection and their minds supernaturally opened. Perhaps Felix and others who understood the Way more perfectly were called but couldn’t turn from the world. After Jesus’ resurrection He visited the apostles and others.

(John 20:21-23; “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And after He said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”) Until that point in their lives, Jesus’ apostles’ thinking was fleshly. Even afterward they were slow to grasp the work at hand. Saying to one another, “let’s go fishing.” After fishing all night and catching nothing He appeared again.

(John 21:4-11; “When it was already very early morning, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, “Children, you don’t have any fish, do you?” They replied, “No.” He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they threw the net, and were not able to pull it in because of the large number of fish.” John spoke up saying, “it is the Lord.” So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, tucked in his outer garment (for he had nothing on underneath it), and plunged into the sea. Meanwhile the other disciples came with the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, only about a hundred yards. Jesus had started a charcoal fire, had fish and bread ready.

(John 21:12-14 “Come, have breakfast,” Jesus said. But none of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.”) Each apostle became believers IN and began their mission of being, “fishers of men.” In each age since, people attempt to believe IN, through their fleshly intellect. It is against our nature to realize, “we must be called, our minds supernaturally opened and the desire gifted, in order to believe IN. The apostle Paul was called, personally taught by Jesus and fulfilled Jesus words to Ananias. Review Acts 9:10-22. (It was Paul’s called destiny to witness in Rome and before that journey he was kept under guard in Herod’s home, able to witness to governors Felix and Festus.

(Acts 25:6-7; “After Festus had stayed not more than eight or ten days among them, he went down to Caesarea, and the next day he sat on the judgment seat and ordered Paul to be brought. When he arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many serious charges that they were not able to prove. (8-12; Paul said in his defense, “I have committed no offense against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.” But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried before me there on these charges?” Paul replied, “I am standing before Caesar’s judgment seat, where I should be tried. I have done nothing wrong to the Jews, as you also know very well. If then I am in the wrong and have done anything that deserves death, I am not trying to escape dying, but if not one of their charges against me is true, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” Then, after conferring with his council, Festus replied, “You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you will go!”) Remember, Paul had been a Pharisee, was a Jew and a Roman citizen.

Governor Festus Asks King Agrippa for Advice (Acts 25:13-22; “After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus. While they were staying there many days, Festus explained Paul’s case to the king to get his opinion, saying, “There is a man left here as a prisoner by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me about him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. (16-19; I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone before the accused had met his accusers face to face and had been given an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. So after they came back here with me, I did not postpone the case, but the next day I sat on the judgment seat and ordered the man to be brought. When his accusers stood up, they did not charge him with any of the evil deeds I had suspected. Rather they had several points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a man named Jesus who was dead, whom Paul claimed to be alive. (20-22; Because I was at a loss how I could investigate these matters, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried there on these charges. But when Paul appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of His Majesty the Emperor, I ordered him to be kept under guard until I could send him to Caesar.” Agrippa said to Festus, “I would also like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he replied, “you will hear him.”)

King Agrippa & wife hear Paul’s witness. (Acts 25:23-27; “So the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp and entered the audience hall, along with the senior military officers and the prominent men of the city. When Festus gave the order, Paul was brought in. Then Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all you who are present here with us, you see this man about whom the entire Jewish populace petitioned me both in Jerusalem and here, shouting loudly that he ought not to live any longer. (25) But I found that he had done nothing that deserved death, and when he appealed to His Majesty the Emperor, I decided to send him. But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after this preliminary hearing I may have something to write. For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner without clearly indicating the charges against him.” (Acts 26:1-32; “So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul held out his hand and began his defense:

“Regarding all the things I have been accused of by the Jews, King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate that I am about to make my defense before you today, because you are especially familiar with all the customs and controversial issues of the Jews. Therefore I ask you to listen to me patiently. (4) Now all the Jews know the way I lived from my youth, spending my life from the beginning among my own people and in Jerusalem. They know, because they have known me from time past, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain as they earnestly serve God night and day. Concerning this hope the Jews are accusing me, Your Majesty! (8) Why do you people think it is unbelievable that God raises the dead? Of course, I myself was convinced that it was necessary to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus the Nazarene. And that is what I did in Jerusalem: Not only did I lock up many of the Saints in prisons by the authority I received from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote against them when they were sentenced to death. I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to force them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged at them, I went to persecute them even in foreign cities.” (Acts 26:12-18) “While doing this very thing, as I was going to Damascus with authority and complete power from the chief priests, about noon along the road, Your Majesty, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining everywhere around me and those traveling with me. When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? You are hurting yourself by kicking against the goads.’ (15) So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’)“Believers that,” those who aren’t gifted to “Believers IN Jesus” want forgiveness and to be set aside by faith in Jesus. Remember, “each will resurrected in their own order.” See 1Corinthians 15:23.

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