verses for this week: Joshua 14:11 As yet I am
as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my
strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go
out, and to come in.
Introduction: In Chapter 23, we saw Paul in danger of his life by
a plot of many Jews to put him to death.
The captain sent Paul under guard to Felix in Caesarea. The governor read the letter that the captain had sent, and
after questioning Paul, agrees to hear him when his accusers came
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.
see that it was five days after Paul arrived in Caesarea before the
high priest comes down to make his accusation.
We see that both he and the elders came along, as well as a
great spokesman, Tertullus.
They were very organized and intended to see that they made a
case against Paul.
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,
We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix,
with all thankfulness.
see quite a contrast in speeches here between Tertullus and Paul.
Tertullus was an orator, a man trained in speaking and very
effective in choosing his words. He starts out the accusation by throwing a great deal of
praise towards the governor Felix.
None of this had anything to do with the accusations against
Paul, but it was a psychological ploy to get Felix on his side.
He truly was playing up all the good and doing his best to
butter up Felix. While
this shows Tertullus’ great skills as a lawyer, we find that most
of the things he has to say are not true.
He gives credit to Felix for bringing peace to their nation.
The nation was in great upheaval during his rule.
According to historians, Tacitus and Josephus, this man’s
deeds were infamous. He
says in verse 3 that they have accepted his deeds with all
thankfulness, when in reality they didn’t accept anything that he
did. He was truly a
hated man by the Jews.
Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I
pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
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:
makes his accusation against Paul.
He first says he is a mover of sedition among all the Jews
throughout the world. He
accuses him of sedition that was against Roman law.
According to him, this caused much trouble and disturbance to
the Jews. He also
accuses Paul of heresy which is against the Jewish law by being a
ringleader of a sect of Nazarenes.
A person labeled a Nazarene would of course be from Nazareth.
We know that Jesus dwelt in a city of Nazareth and was called
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it
might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be
called a Nazarene.
find the people of Israel had a bad opinion of the Nazarites.
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come
out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took,
and would have judged according to our law.
But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great
violence took him away out of our hands,
Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of
whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we
an excellent lawyer and speaker, Tertullus now says that the Jews,
under the Roman law, had a right to try a man for offences against
the Jewish law. Paul
was such an offender, and he declares that they had arrested him and
were proceeding to give him a trial when Captain Lysias came with
violence and took him away.
We know that Paul’s life was in jeopardy, and the captain
did this to try and protect him from being killed by the mob. The captain had been the one that had sent Paul to
Felix to be tried. It
sounded really good, but if we look back at the facts, we find that
the Jews were not trying him according to the Jewish law.
And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which
were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the
people, and laid hands on him,
Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that
teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and
this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and
hath polluted this holy place.
(For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an
Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and
they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the
doors were shut.
And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the
chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down
unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers,
they left beating of Paul.
the mob was about to put Paul to death by beating him.
That is when the chief captain proceeded in and took Paul.
As we can see, there was no trial at all, much less one that
was done according to the law.
What Tertullus was shooting for was to have Felix send Paul
back to Jerusalem where they could try Paul outside of the Roman
in conclusion, their position was that Paul was a mover of sedition,
a leader of a rebellious sect, and he had profaned the temple.
And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.
see the religious leaders all agree that this is the way it was.
Paul’s Defense before Felix
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.
tells Felix that he is very happy to speak in his own defense.
He mentions how that Felix had been a judge for the Jewish
nation for several years, which of course was true.
Paul wants Felix to hear the truth concerning the people that
have come to accuse him.
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:
Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
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:
tells Felix that he was not found disputing with any man in the
synagogues nor in the city, and all the accusations they were making
were unfounded and could not be proved..
Paul wants Felix to know that he understands both the Jews
and most of all the Christian religion.
Paul begins by pointing out that he had only been in the city
for 12 days , and Felix could find out that was true if he checked
it out. Paul’s
reason for coming to Jerusalem was to worship the Lord, not to cause
And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow,
that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience
void of offence toward God, and toward men.
Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and
tells Felix that he loves God’s word and believes all that is
written in it. He also
declares that his hope rests in God which was the same hope that
each of them had expressed in the resurrection of the dead.
Paul said he had a good conscience, and had served God and
lived properly towards all men.
Henry said this about Paul’s good conscience.
“Paul was conscious to himself that he had not yet attained
perfection, yet he was innocent from any great transgression. Sins of infirmity are uneasy to conscience, but they do not
wound it, and wast it, as presumptuous sins do.
Paul says he has a good conscience both to God and all men.
His conscientious care extended itself to the whole of his
duty, and he was afraid of breaking the law of love either to God or
his neighbor. We should
all be very cautious that we do not think, or speak, or do anything
amiss to either God or man.”
goes on to explain how that he had been on a mission of mercy and
kindness to bring funds to Jerusalem that had been collected for the
poor saints who lived there. Each
of us need to be known as a Christian who loves others.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another;
as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye
have love one to another.
Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the
temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they
had ought against me.
declares that the Jews in Asia
had seen him in the temple and apparently were the ones who
had accused him. And
he makes a good point. If
they had accusations, why did they not come in person and make those
against him to Felix.
Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil
doing in me, while I stood before the council,
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.
asks anyone who had seen him do evil before the council to speak
out. The only
thing they can accuse him of that was true was his stand about the
resurrection of the dead that he had made there in Jerusalem, a
belief that many of the Jews acknowledged as truth.
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
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.
record says that Felix had a more perfect knowledge of that way.
He deferred them, making us believe that Felix had learned
from Phillip and possibly Paul about the Christian faith.
And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and
came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the
evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.
realized that the Jews had made an accusation against Captain Lysias
and he would send for him to hear the full account of all that went
on. By deferring
the case, this left it unsettled, and he perhaps hoped that Paul
would pay him some money.
Perhaps he had heard of the large sum of money Paul had
brought to the saints there in Jerusalem, and thought that some of
Paul’s friends would bring money to him to pay Felix to let him
Felix Before Paul
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.
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.
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.
bible says that Felix had Paul come before he and his wife Drusilla
to hear him concerning his faith in Jesus Christ.
This was not a trial, but Paul effectively made it into one
by reasoning with Felix about righteousness, temperance, and
judgment to come. All
during the trial, not once did Paul shake or tremble, but was
confident and trusting in God.
Felix was not so, but rather trembled when he say his true
position before God. Felix
was under conviction of sin, and instead of repenting and turning to
Christ, he says for Paul to go his way, and he will call for him at
a more convenient season. This
is the major trick of Satan to keep a lost man or woman from
obtaining salvation. Just
put it off another day, and tomorrow there will be a better time to
be saved. The truth is
that the bible says “Today is the day of salvation.”
When we are drawn of the Spirit, we should repent and come to
God at our first opportunity. We may never have a second opportunity.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that
believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in
the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the
world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither
cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds
may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
24:27 But after two
years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to
show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.
see that Paul stays here bound in prison for two full years.
We have no record that Felix ever found that “convenient
time”, and probably died without ever knowing Jesus as his
Personal Savior. What a
tragedy, and we know so many today that are just like Felix.
Good intentions of being saved “some day”, but some day
may never come except for the Grace of God.
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Random Acts of Kindness. Each
act spreads, and many will be blessed.