SO PAUL IS STILL IN PRISON AND FELIX THE GOVERNOR IS WAITING FOR THE JEWS WHO ACCUSED HIM TO ARRIVE BEFORE HE HEARS THE WHOLE MATTER IN COURT.
1Five days later Ananias (the High Priest) went to the city of Caesarea and brought with him some of the Jewish Elders and a hired speaker named Tertullus (A HIGHLY TRAINED & TALENTED SOPHIST OF PHILOSOPHY & POETRY ETC). WITHIN THE ROMAN LEGAL SYSTEM HIS JOB WAS NOT TO PRESENT A FORMAL LEGAL CASE TO THE JUDGE (IN THIS CASE THE JUDGE WAS FELIX) IN THE PROPER PROTOCOL COMPLETE WITH LAVISH PRAISE HEAPED UPON THE JUDGE.
They went to Caesarea to make charges against Paul before the Governor. 2-3Paul was called into the meeting, and Tertullus began to make his accusations against Paul.
judge him by our own Law. 7But the officer Lysias came and used great force to take him from us. 8And Lysias ordered those who wanted to accuse Paul to come to you. So you can decide if all this is all true. Ask him some questions yourself.”
WHAT WOULD FELIX CARE ABOUT MUNDANE MATTERS OF JEWISH RELIGIOUS LAW? ESSENTIALLY THE FIRST COUPLE OF CHARGES ARE THAT PAUL CAUSES TROUBLE AND THWARTS EVERY SINCERE EFFORT OF THE SANHEDRIN AND THE ROMANS TO MAINTAIN THE PEACE. TERTULLUS THEN CLEVERLY TIES AN ALLEGATION
Tertullus said, “Most Honorable Felix, our people enjoy much peace because of you, and many wrong things in our country are being made right through your wise help. For this we all continue to be very thankful. 4But I don’t want to take any more of your time. So I will say only a few words. Please be patient. 5This man is a leader of the Natsarim Sect and a plague, causing trouble and arguments with the Jews everywhere in the world. 6-8Also, he was trying to make our Temple unclean, but we stopped him. We wanted to
TO PAUL ABOUT BEING A RINGLEADER (A TERM USED FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY) OF A REVOLUTIONARY SECT OF JEWS CALLED 'THE NATSARIM'. SO THE IMPLICATION AGAINST PAUL IS SIMILAR TO THE CHARGE LEVELLED AGAINST HIS MASTER, YAHUSHA: HE IS TRYING TO START A REBELLION TO OVERTHROW ROMAN RULE. FOR THE JEWISH HIGH PRIEST TO BRING THESE CHARGES OF ATTEMPTED SEDITION BY A FELLOW JEW TO A ROMAN OCCUPIER WAS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR . ESSENTIALLY THE HIGH PRIEST ANANIAS WAS PLAYING THE ROLE OF INFORMER TO THE ENEMY, ROME ...
AND WHILE THE TORAH DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING DIRECTLY TO SAY ABOUT SUCH AN ACTIVITY, ORAL LAW DOES. AND THE GENERAL ATTITUDE IS THAT A JEW WHO TURNS IN (OR SNITCHES ON) ANOTHER JEW TO FACE A GENTILE COURT ESSENTIALLY CAUSES JEWISH LAW TO BE MADE INFERIOR TO GENTILE LAW, AND SO THEY HAVE “REVILED, BLASPHEMED, AND REBELLED AGAINST THE LAWS OF MOSES”. AND IF CONVICTED THIS WOULD BRING ON THE DEATH PENALTY OF THE INFORMER (ORAL TRADITION OF COURSE).
THIS ENTIRE MATTER AGAINST PAUL HAD ALMOST NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS BELIEF THAT YAHUSHA WAS THE MESSIAH, OR THAT YAHUSHA WAS THE SON OF YAHUAH. IT’S NOT EVEN BROUGHT UP. RATHER THE HATRED AGAINST HIM WAS BECAUSE FIRSTLY PAUL WAS SPENDING SO MUCH TIME WITH GENTILES IN FOREIGN LANDS AND OFFERING THEM A FORM OF MEMBERSHIP (IF YOU WOULD) INTO A BELIEF AND A REIGN THAT (UNTIL RECENTLY) HAD BEEN A HEBREW ONE. AND (AS WELL AS THAT), PAUL WAS OFFERING THIS MEMBERSHIP WITHOUT A PERSON BEING CIRCUMCISED (CONVERTING TO BE COME A JEW).
SECOND, PAUL WAS AT ONE TIME A TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE SANHEDRIN. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS A PHARISEE AND SO NOT PART OF THE RULING CLASS THAT THE HIGH PRIEST BELONGED TO (THE SADDUCEES) HE WAS NONETHELESS ENTHUSIASTIC AND DEDICATED AND SEEMED TO BE THE HIGH COURT’S WILLING POINT-MAN TO HUNT DOWN AND ARREST MEMBERS OF 'THE WAY' WHEREVER THEY COULD BE FOUND. BUT ON HIS WAY TO DAMASCUS TO ARREST SOME SUSPECTED YAHUSHA SYMPATHISERS, PAUL HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH YAHUSHA THAT TURNED HIM AGAINST THE SANHEDRIN - AND IT WENT SO FAR THAT HE BECOMES AN OUTSPOKEN LEADER OF THE VERY GROUP THAT THE HIGH COURT WANTED STAMPED OUT. THIS WAS A HUGE EMBARRASSMENT FOR THEM AND THE BEST SOLUTION TO END THE SHAME WAS TO ELIMINATE THE TRAITOR. AND FINALLY, AND PROBABLY MOST SIGNIFICANTLY, PAUL’S CREDENTIALS AS A JEW WERE BEING CHALLENGED. THAT IS, TO MANY JEWS PAUL WAS NOT BEHAVING “JEWISH” ENOUGH (OR AT LEAST THAT WAS WHAT WAS BEING RUMOURED ABOUT HIM), AND SO THEY THOUGHT HIM A TURNCOAT WHO HAD DECIDED TO EMBRACE GENTILES AND BEFRIEND THE JEWS’ ROMAN OCCUPIERS & OVERLORDS. SO THE ISSUES AGAINST PAUL WERE MOSTLY CULTURAL AND NATIONALISTIC AS OPPOSED TO BEING SCRIPTURALLY-BASED ... ALL POLITICS !!!
9The other Jews agreed and said this was all true. 10So the Governor signalled for Paul to speak. So Paul answered,
“Governor Felix, I know that you have been a judge over this nation for a long time. So I’m more than happy to defend myself before you.11I went up to worship in Jerusalem only twelve days ago, which you can prove for yourself. 12These Jews who are accusing me did not find me arguing with anyone at the Temple or making trouble with any of the people. And I was certainly not causing any disturbance or arguing in the Synagogues or any other place in the city either .13These men can't prove any of the things they're saying against me now!
NOTICE HOW PAUL MAKES SEPARATE MENTION OF THE TEMPLE AND OF THE SYNAGOGUE, AND THIS IS BECAUSE THEY ARE SEPARATE ISSUES. THEY OPERATED INDEPENDENTLY OF ONE ANOTHER, HAD NO OFFICIAL CONNECTION WITH ONE ANOTHER, AND THEIR LEADERSHIP WAS DIFFERENT AND SEPARATE IN EVERY IMAGINABLE WAY. AS REGARDS THE TEMPLE, IT IS THE HIGH PRIEST AND THE SADDUCEES WHO ARE PROTECTIVE OF THE TEMPLE AND ALL OF ITS RITUAL AND CEREMONIAL ACTIVITIES BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THEY ARE IN CHARGE OF.
EVEN BEFORE NEW BLOOD-COVENANT WRITING TIMES THE TEMPLE HAD BECOME A LUCRATIVE BUSINESS OPERATION IN REALITY, EVEN THOUGH IT MASQUERADED ITSELF AS YAHUAH’S AUTHORISED SPIRITUAL INSTITUTION ON EARTH AND THEREFORE ABOVE REPROACH. LET’S REMEMBER THAT ORIGINALLY AT MT. SINAI THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE WERE COMMANDED BY YAHUAH TO BE ESTABLISHED AND OPERATED SOLELY BY THE TRIBE OF LEVI.
SO THE TABERNACLE AND LATER THE TEMPLE WITH ITS PRIESTS WAS, ACCORDING TO THE TORAH OF MOSES, A LEGITIMATE AND YAHUAH-AUTHORISED INSTITUTION THAT WOULD BE, QUITE LITERALLY, THE BEATING HEART OF YAHUAH’S CHOSEN PEOPLE. THE TEMPLE WAS THE ONE AND ONLY LOCATION WHERE YAHUAH WOULD PLACE HIS NAME FOR THE PURPOSE OF WORSHIP, SACRIFICE, AND OBSERVANCE OF HIS 7 SCRIPTURAL FEASTS.
BUT THAT BEATING HEART WAS DESTROYED BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR JUST AFTER 600 B.C. THE PRIESTHOOD THAT SURVIVED THE DESTRUCTION BECAME MEANINGLESS WITHOUT IT AND THUS WENT DEFUNCT. THE REMAINING PRIESTS ALSO SEEM TO HAVE HAD LITTLE IF ANY ACTUAL INFLUENCE OR POWER OVER THE JEWISH PEOPLE IN THEIR EXILE AND THE PRIESTHOOD NEVER FULLY RECOVERED TO ITS ORIGINAL STATE EVEN AFTER EZRA AND NEHEMIAH MANAGED TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE AND GET IT FUNCTIONING AGAIN A FEW DECADES AFTER THE JEWS WERE RELEASED FROM THEIR BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY.
TEMPLE WAS LEVELLED AND SO THEY FOUND THEMSELVES SPIRITUALLY ADRIFT IN A FOREIGN LAND. THEIR CAPTORS’ INTENTIONS WERE FOR THE JEWS TO BECOME SIMPLY ANOTHER PEOPLE THEY MASTERED OVER, AND ASSUMED THAT IN TIME THE JEWS WOULD ACCEPT THE BABYLONIAN DEITIES AND SYSTEM. SO WHILE THE SYNAGOGUE WAS NEITHER YAHUAH-AUTHORISED NOR WAS IT NECESSARILY MEANT TO BE A REPLACEMENT FOR THE TEMPLE, IT DID SERVE A PRACTICAL PURPOSE.
THE SYNOGOGUE WAS(AND STILL IS TODAY) THE CONSEQUENCE OF YAHUAH INTENTIONALLY PUNISHING HIS PEOPLE BY TAKING AWAY WHAT HE HAD MUCH EARLIER GIVEN TO THEM: THE TEMPLE AND THE PRIESTHOOD ALONG WITH ALL OF ITS BENEFITS : HIS PRESENCE AND BLESSING AMONG THEM. IN A CERTAIN SENSE THE SYNAGOGUE, AT LEAST AT ITS INCEPTION, WAS MANKIND TRYING TO FIND A WAY AROUND YAHUAH (A JEWISH TOWER OF BABEL IF YOU WILL)
PART OF THE REASON THAT IT WAS NEVER QUITE THE SAME AGAIN WAS THAT THEIR AUTHORITY AND THEIR DUTIES HAD BECOME DILUTED DUE TO THE BIRTH OF A SECOND JEWISH RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION; AN INSTITUTION CREATED BY THE JEWS DURING THE BABYLONIAN EXILE: THE SYNAGOGUE, WHICH WAS CREATED NOT AS A YAHUAH-AUTHORISED VESSEL OF HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY ON EARTH BUT RATHER OUT OF UNPLEASANT CIRCUMSTANCE AND HUMAN DESIRE. BECAUSE THE TEMPLE HAD BEEN DESTROYED, THE JEWISH PEOPLE LIVING IN EXILE IN BABYLON HAD NO WAY TO PURIFY THEMSELVES FROM UNCLEANNESS, NO WAY TO ATONE FOR SINS, AND NO DIRECTION OR AUTHORITY STRUCTURE TO ENFORCE YAHUAH’S LAWS UPON THEM. THE CORE OF THEIR JEWISH IDENTITY WAS WIPED OUT WHEN THE
THE SYNAGOGUE BECAME THE NEW SYMBOL OF JEWISHNESS. AND ONCE THE SYNAGOGUE WAS CREATED AND AN AUTHORITY STRUCTURE SET UP, A LITURGY OF SERVICE WAS ESTABLISHED, TRADITIONS WERE CREATED, AND SOME TIME PASSED, THE GENIE WAS OUT OF THE BOTTLE AND THERE WAS NO PUTTING IT BACK. THE COMMON JEW NOW CENTRED HIS OR HER DAILY BELIEF AND SPIRITUAL ACTIVITIES IN THE SYNAGOGUE INSTITUTION. WE MUST ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT THE SYNAGOGUE IS A MAN-MADE INVENTION; A CREATION OF HUMAN THOUGHT.
SO WHILE THE TEMPLE WAS ORIGINALLY YAHUAH-AUTHORISED AND DIRECTED TO BE MAINTAINED BY A SPECIFICALLY NAMED LINE OF LEVITE PRIESTS, BY FIRST CENTURY TIMES THE TEMPLE WAS RUN BY THE SOCIAL/RELIGIOUS PARTY OF THE SADDUCEES (A CLASS OF WEALTHY ARISTOCRATIC JEWS). THE SYNAGOGUE WAS PURELY MAN-MADE AND WAS RUN MOSTLY BY THE SOCIAL/RELIGIOUS PARTY OF THE PHARISEES (ALTHOUGH NOT IN ANY OFFICIAL CAPACITY).
PAUL CONTINUES :
14“But I will tell you this: I do worship YAHUAH, the Alahim of our fathers as a follower of 'the Way', which these Jews call `a sect’, stating it’s not the right way! And I believe everything that is taught in the Law of Moses and all that is written in the books of the prophets. 15I have the same expectation in Alahim that these Jews have - the hope that all people, obedient and disobedient, will be resurrected from the dead. 16This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before YAHUSHA and before everyone.
17-18 I was away from Jerusalem for many years. I went back there to take money to help my people. I also had some gifts to offer at the Temple. I was doing this when some Jews saw me there. I had finished the cleansing ceremony. I had not made any trouble, and no one was gathering around me. 19But some Jews from Asia were there. They’re the ones that should be standing trial here today, not me. If I have really done something wrong, they are the ones who should accuse me. For they were there! 20Ask these men here if they found any wrong in me when I stood before the high council meeting in Jerusalem. 21I did say one thing when I stood before them and shouted, ‘You are judging me today because I believe that people will be resurrected from the dead!’”
SO PAUL IS SAYING THAT HE BELIEVES, OR AGREES, WITH EVERYTHING WRITTEN IN THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS. AND WHEN THE TWO TERMS LAW AND PROPHETS ARE USED TOGETHER, TIED TOGETHER, IT HAS A SPECIFIC MEANING; IT IS SPEAKING DIRECTLY OF ALL SET-APART SCRIPTURE. THE LAW (THE TORAH) AND THE PROPHETS ARE 2 OF THE 3 NAMED SECTIONS (TORAH, PROPHETS, AND WRITINGS) OF THE SET-APART SCRIPTURE AS DEFINED BY THE JEWS.
22Felix already understood a lot about `the Way’. So he stopped the trial and said, “When Commander Lysias comes here, I will decide what to do with you.” 23Felix told the army officer to keep Paul guarded but to give him some freedom and to let his friends bring whatever he needed. 24After a few days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jew. Felix asked for Paul to be brought to him. He listened to Paul talk about his belief in Messiah YAHUSHA. 25But Felix became afraid when Paul
26But Felix had another reason for talking with Paul. He hoped Paul would pay him a bribe of silver to get our of prison, so he sent for Paul often and talked with him.
spoke about obedient behaviour, self-control, and the judgment that will come in the future. And he said, “Go away for now, and when I have more time, I’ll call for you.”
But after two years, Porcius Festus succeeded Felix as the Governor, but he still left Paul in prison to please the Jews.
WHEN LEAVING HIS OFFICE FELIX HAD THE AUTHORITY TO LET PAUL GO - BUT HE DIDN’T. IT IS CLEAR THAT FELIX HAD NEVER FOUND A SINGLE CAUSE TO CONVICT PAUL. INSTEAD HE APPARENTLY WANTED TO LEAVE HIS OFFICE WITH THE JUDEANS AND THE SANHEDRIN SEEING HIM IN A FAVOURABLE LIGHT, SO HE LET PAUL LANGUISH IN PRISON AS A FAVOUR TO THEM.
IT SEEMS THAT PAUL SPENT MUCH TIME IN PRISONS BUT HE DIDN’T LET THE TIME PASS BY IN IDLENESS. MANY OF HIS LETTERS THAT FORM A MAJOR PART OF THE NEW BLOOD-COVENANT WRITINGS ARE ASCRIBED TO HIS TIME BEHIND BARS: COLOSSIANS, PHILIPPIANS, TIMOTHY, AND PHILEMON AMONG THEM.
IT SEEMS THAT PAUL SPENT MUCH TIME IN PRISONS BUT HE DIDN’T LET THE TIME PASS BY IN IDLENESS. MANY OF HIS LETTERS THAT FORM A MAJOR PART OF THE NEW BLOOD-COVENANT WRITINGS ARE ASCRIBED TO HIS TIME BEHIND BARS: COLOSSIANS, PHILIPPIANS, TIMOTHY, AND PHILEMON AMONG THEM. SO IT IS CLEAR THAT HE WAS GIVEN THE MATERIALS AND GREAT LATITUDE FOR THE MOST PART SO THAT HE COULD WRITE THESE LETTERS, OFTEN WITH A SCRIBE DOING THE ACTUAL WRITING AS PAUL DICTATED. AND THEN THOSE LETTERS WERE ALLOWED TO GO OUT OF THE PRISON AND INTO CIRCULATION.
THE JEWS SET UP THEIR OWN SYNAGOGUE (TOWER OF BABEL), A FALSE SYSTEM OF RELIGIOUS PROTOCOL AND LIFESTYLE IN ORDER TO IGNORE YAHUSHA'S VOICE AND INSTEAD GO ON WITH THEIR OWN UNREPENTANT IDOLATRY AS THOUGH NOTHING HAD HAPPENED. YAHUAH'S PRESENCE LEAVING THEM AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR TEMPLE MEANT SO LITTLE TO THEM.
DO WE BEHAVE LIKE THIS IN OUR DAY WHEN WE DISCOVER THAT YAHUSHA ISN'T INVOLVED WITH WHAT WE'RE DOING ?? OR DO WE REPENT AND PASSIONATELY SEEK HIM (ZEALOUSLY) WANTING TO HEAR HIM AND COMPLY ??
DO YOU WANT YAHUSHA IN YOU ALL DAY FOR REAL?