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Bible Study: Acts 27

Chapter 27: Acts 27: 1-44, Shipwrecked in Malta

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that we made it into the second last chapter of our journey. Thank You for giving us persistence, perseverance, insight, and understanding, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

This was the last leg of Paul’s journey to Rome. He was arrested in Jerusalem, tried before the Sanhedrin, before Felix, before Festus, before Herod Agrippa, pronounced innocent, and imprisoned in Caesarea. Paul appealed to Caesar Augustus and Festus approved his appeal.

VV 1-3, And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band.

2 And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us. 3 And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.

The plural pronouns “we” and “us” mean that Luke had rejoined Paul again. Paul was placed in a prison ship Adramyttium to Rome, under a centurion named Julius. Aristarchus, a disciple from Thessalonica accompanied Paul. The centurion Julius was very kind to Paul and gave him the freedom to be with friends. The ship sailed coast to coast and arrived at Sidon the next day.

A centurion was a soldier in charge of 100 soldiers. A regiment is a battalion of 6000 soldiers.

VV 4-8, And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5 And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6 And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. 7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; 8 And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.

They passed through Cyprus, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and arrived at Myra. Here, they disembarked and boarded an Alexandrian ship en route to Rome. They passed through Cnidus, Crete, Salmone, and with great difficulty, they arrived at fair havens. The sea was rough and the winds were blowing against them.

VV 9-12, 9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.

12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

After many days, the winds became even rougher and sailing became more dangerous by the day. The Jewish fast or Day of Atonement was already over. Paul announced to the crew that they were heading into a storm and advised the centurion to stop the journey. The centurion did not believe Paul and did not want to stop at fair havens. He hoped to reach Phoenix and disembark there.

VV 13-15, 13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. 15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

Initially, the wind was gentle, but as soon as they sailed past Crete, another typhoon-like storm called Euroclydon hit the ship causing it to toss and turn.

VV 16-20, 16 And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: 17 Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. 18 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; 19 And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

They sailed past at a small Island called Clauda. They used cables to stabilise the ship and lighten the ship by throwing the ship’s tackles overboard. The sky was gloomy with no sun by day and no stars by night for many days. The ship was sinking. Everyone gave up hope on survival.

VV 21-26, 21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. 22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

No one dared to not eat food because of fear. Paul took charged of the situation and addressed the frightened crews, sailors, prisoners, and passengers. He told them to cheer up and eat. An angel of God had appeared to him in a vision and said that he must appear before Caesar in Rome and God will save everyone onboard. However, a shipwreck was inevitable. The angel of God was Jesus Christ, whom he served and to whom he belonged. This was the 6th time that Christ had appeared to Paul.

VV 27-32, 27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; 28 And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. 29 Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. 30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. 32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

They had drifted in the Adriatic Sea for fourteen days. About midnight, the sailors sensed that they were approaching land. They took soundings and discovered that the sea was becoming shallower and shallower. Soundings are measuring ropes with weights attached to measure the depth of the sea bed. When the sea was quite shallow, the sailors dropped four anchors into the ocean floor to stabilise the ship and prayed for daylight. When Paul saw some sailors letting down a small boat to escape, he told the centurion to stop them otherwise no one could be saved. The centurion cut the rope of the boat and foiled their attempt.

VV 33-38, 33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. 35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. 36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. 37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea.

As daylight approached, Paul begged them to eat food. Paul took the bread, prayed, and said grace in front of everyone and started to eat. Paul said grace and prayed before non-believers as a testimony to them. They cheered up and started eating. There were 276 people on board the ship. They lightened the ship further by throwing the wheat into the sea.

VV 39-44, 39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. 40 And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. 41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. 42 And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. 43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: 44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.

At dawn, they spotted land and planned to run the ship aground. They took up the anchors and allowed the ship to run aground. The ship broke into two parts. The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners but the centurion stopped them from carrying out their wicked plans. Everyone reached the shore safely, some by swimming, and others by floating on parts of the ship.

They landed on the Island of Malta. In the 1960s divers discovered a Roman anchor off the coast of Malta. Whether this is one of the anchors from this ship remained to be proven but it is permanently on display in a maritime museum in Malta.

Application:

A storm is an inevitable fact of life. It is not if but when. You may have to throw things overboard in a storm. Do not jump ship. Pray and wait on the Lord. He had not forsaken you. He will reveal His glory and rescue you by creating a miracle just for you.

Paul said grace before a meal in the presence of non-believers. Did you say grace in the presence of non-Christians?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for refining us through storms. We pray for boldness, and strength to face the dark and stormy situation of the pandemic storm. We pray for anchors to stabilise our faith in the pandemic storm. We pray for protection and strength, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Bible Study: Acts 26

Chapter 26: Acts 26: 1-32, preaching gospel to a King

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, You are I AM, Yahweh, Jehovah, Adoni, Elohim, Melchizedek, and Messiah. Thank You for bringing us almost to the end of our journey in Acts. We pray for strength energy, and perseverance to complete this journey, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-3, Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: 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: 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.

Herod Agrippa was very friendly to Paul. He allowed Paul the freedom to say whatever he wanted to say. Paul was happy with this arrangement. Paul took this golden, God sent opportunity to share his testimony to King Herod Agrippa the 2nd. In Acts 9:15, the Lord said that he would share the gospel to King, Acts 9:15.

VV 4-8, 4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; 5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers: 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. 8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

Paul said that he was a Jew and a Pharisee. He believed in the promise of the Patriarchs and served God fervently day and night. The Jews falsely accused him of blasphemy against Judaism because he testified about the resurrection of Christ.

VV 9-11, 9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 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. 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.

Paul narrated his past life before he met Christ. He was once a persecutor of the Christians. He persecuted, harassed, beaten, arrested, imprisoned, and consented to the death of Christians with the blessings of the high priest in Jerusalem. He even went on a rampage to harass, beat, punish, and arrest Christians in foreign cities.

VV 12-14, 12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 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.

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.

Paul narrated how he met Christ on the Damascus Road. He was going to Damascus to arrest Christians. At noon, a bright dazzling light enveloped him and he fell. A voice from heaven spoke to Paul in Hebrews asking him to stop persecuting Him.

VV 15-18, 15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.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; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 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.

Paul asked the voice who He was and He said He was Jesus, whom he was persecuting. The Lord told Paul to get up because He had chosen him to be a witness to the Jews and the Gentiles, to turn them from Satan to God, from darkness to light, to forgive their sins of everyone who believe in Him.

VV 19-23, 19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: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. 21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.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: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.

Paul narrated what happened to him after he met Christ. He preached Christ to the Jews in Damascus, Jerusalem, Judea, to the Gentiles in other countries telling them to repent and turn to Christ. The Jews arrested him because of his faith in Christ. With God’s help and protection, he continued to preach Christ to everyone, small and great. Christ suffered and died under the hands of the Jews but God raised Him from the dead to be a light to the Jews and the Gentiles. The gospel is all about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

VV 24-27, 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. 25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. 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. 27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

At this stage, Festus interrupted Paul’s testimony alleging that Paul was out of his mind for making such claims. Paul said that he was speaking the truth and King Agrippa understood. There and then, Paul gave an altar call to King Agrippa to receive Christ.

VV 28-32, 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 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. 30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. 32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

Herod Agrippa heard the gospel but hardened his heart, and did not respond to Paul’s altar call. Herod Agrippa almost became a Christian but a miss is as good as a mile. He missed an opportunity that might not come to him again. Agrippa issued his verdict that Paul was not guilty. He could have released Paul if he had not appealed to Caesar. Paul had to go to Rome to fulfil his God-ordained destiny.

Application

Paul took the opportunity to share his testimony to Herod Agrippa. His testimony was in three parts, before he met Christ, how he met Christ, and after he met Christ. You should compose your testimony in three parts, before, how, and after. Learn to say your testimony in a few ways and share it out whenever an opportunity arise.

Agrippa hardened his heart. Today, if you hear the gospel, do not harden your heart, Hebrews 3:15.

Hebrews 3:15, “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for boldness to share our testimonies to non-believers without fear. We pray for wisdom to prepare our testimonies and the ability to share them out in several formats. We pray for opportunities to share our testimonies to glorify Your name, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Pastor Benjamin reviews 1 Corinthians

https://youtu.be/jtGtPjYN0oY

Reviews

The first question Dr. Koh asks of us when entering this Bible Study is “Do you want to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?” If your answer is yes then I think this is the study for you. I am not an authority on the study of the Bible but having read through this outline, I believe you will be on the path. 1 Corinthians is a Christ-centered, life-changing, Bible study guide and daily devotional guide for readers from all walks of life. Dr. Koh emphasizes that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and all are given for us to learn and grow. The study is well written, broken down into units for each participant to review and learn from the word of God. I received this novel from StoryOrigin. This review is my honest opinion, Pamela Anne Reinert, Goodreads, 5 out of 5

A Great Read

A very inspiring book on the teaching of Apostle Paul. A clear explanation of each chapter for a good Bible study. Apostle Paul did not mince words but was very direct in his words. His great love for God is shown in these teachings. There are inspiring prayers too in each chapter. I found this book very informative and better understand these teachings. I am on the ARC team. I leave an honest review. I also recommend this book to other readers, Sharmani Jeyaram, Amazon, 5 out of 5 stars

Foreword

Archbishop Ng Moon Hing, Anglican Archbishop of Southeast Asia

Many people, including Christians, are looking for a perfect church. Someone once said this aptly: ‘If you find a perfect church, please do not join it; because once you join it, it will become imperfect.’ Christians today are always very critical of their church and leadership. They seem to think that the grass is greener next door. They are unconsciously hoping for a ‘Garden of Eden’ within their church. Unfortunately, some Christians resolve to leave their church, which is imperfect, and journey to the next church, which they think is better.

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Rev Ng Wah Lok reviews Memoirs of a Doctor

https://youtu.be/6hrHzici338

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Reviews

From Malaysia to other continents covering a period of almost fifty years, Koh shared his interesting and colorful memoir with us. I am drawn to stories that show how God guides someone through life’s unpredictable struggles and challenges. The narration in this book is easy to read, J R Wu-Wong, Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads, 5 stars  

I am truly fond of the genre of World Literature, memoirs, and biographies. There is so much we can learn. Dr. Koh’s ability to recount his adventures from childhood to the current day is incredible.  The book introduced me to visions of cultural life in countries I have not had the opportunity to explore. One scene surprised me of a woman doing her laundry in a river and being swallowed by a crocodile! All along the way, miracles, triumphs, and tragedy coupled with his belief in God; guided him through the best and worst times. The photos were enjoyable and enhanced the book. I could write pages about all the intricate insights and adventures in this engaging memoir….yet, that would rob you of gaining your own inspiration by reading this enlightening book. Bravo!, Elizabeth O Caroll, Amazon and Good Reads, 5 stars

Memoirs of a Doctor is an inspirational and heart-warming book about faithfulness to God. A book that reminds us to stay strong when the days are hard. Dr. Koh reveals moments of his life in a motivational, educational and engaging way. A book that you will keep in the back of your mind. Great and easy read, Valentina, Goodreads, 5 stars

An endearing read about a young boy who grew up poor in a village in Malaysia. Dr. Andrew C S Koh shares with the reader his truthful and insightful journey into the life of a doctor. He writes in an easy, engaging, interesting manner that will keep the reader engaged. Dr. Koh shares stories about his childhood, education, a career in different towns. He shares his marriage, family, loss of friends, an encounter with paralysis, Pamela Anne Reinert, Amazon, 5 stars

A beautiful life story of Dr.Andrew and his childhood memories. He had many hardships but he overcame all these troubles to become a cardiac doctor. His belief in Christ and his inspiration to testify is very heartwarming. An Inspiring book, Sharmani Jeyaram, Goodreads, 5 stars

Dr. Koh provided glimpses of his life in a short, loveable, and easy-to-read book. I enjoyed his reminiscing about the kind of life he lived in the cities and villages in Malaysia before the arrival of social media. His varied experiences as a government, private, and military physician were a novelty to read as well, Bob, Amazon, 4 stars

I loved reading this book as it took me back to the stories that my grandmother told me of the days when she was growing up. It is hard for some who have grown up with our modern-day computers and gadgets to think of a day when things were slower, harder, and communication even slower. Dr. Koh’s story is a great reminder of where we have come from and to not forget our origins, Rowan Creech, Goodreads., 4 stars

A concise memoir of the doctor’s path from freethinker to Christianity, as well as his feeling of God’s hand of provenance at key junctions in his life! Jan Paessler Amazon, 4 stars

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bible study

Bible Study: Acts 25

Chapter 25: Acts 25: 1-27, trial before Festus

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word, the Holy Spirit, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Help us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-5, Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, 3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him. 4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither. 5 Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.

When Festus came to Jerusalem, the high priest and elders approached him requesting him to send Paul to Jerusalem so that that they could assassinate him. Festus rejected their wicked demand and proceeded to Caesarea. He invited them to follow him to Caesarea to accuse Paul officially.

VV 6-8, 6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought. 7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. 8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Paul stood trial before Festus. The Jews from Jerusalem charged Paul with serious charges which they could not prove. Paul defended himself saying that he had not done anything against the Jews, the law, the temple, Caesar, or anyone.

VV 9-12, 9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? 10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. 11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

Wanting to please the Jews, Festus persuaded Paul to go to Jerusalem for another trial before him. Paul refused Festus’ request. He did not want to face so many trials since he was innocent. As a Roman citizen, he appealed to stand trial in Rome under Emperor Caesar Augustus and Festus granted his appeal.

VV 13-21, 13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. 14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix: 15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. 17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: 19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters. 21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.

After some time, King Herod Agrippa the 2nd and his wife Bernice came to Caesarea for an official visit. Festus told Agrippa about Paul, the prisoner that he had inherited from Felix, about the trial before the Jews, about his refusal to be tried in Jerusalem, about his appeal to Caesar., which he had granted. The charges concerned Jewish religious issues and a man called Jesus of Nazareth who had died whom Paul claimed to be alive.

King Herod Agrippa the 2nd was the son of Herod Agrippa the 1st, grandson of Herod Antipas, and great-grandson of King Herod the Great. Herod was in an illicit relationship with his own sister Bernice.

VV 22-23, 22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him. 23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus’ commandment Paul was brought forth.

Herod Agrippa wanted to meet Paul. He entered the auditorium with a great show of splendour and colourful attires, accompanied by commanders and VIPs of the city. Festus commanded Paul to be brought in.

VV 24-27, 24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him. 26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. 27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.

Festus introduced Paul to King Herod Agrippa the 2nd, explaining his background and narrating all the events that had transpired since his arrival to Caesarea. He explained that Paul had appealed to Caesar Augustus but he did not know how to write his letter to Augustus Caesar since the charges were so vague. He requested King Herod Agrippa to cross-examine Paul in the case of “Paul versus the Jewish religious leaders”. King Herod Agrippa agreed to cross-examine Paul.

Application:

Here we see providence at work. Paul wanted to visit Rome after Jerusalem but he was arrested and sent to Caesarea. Now his appeal was successful. He would be going to Rome soon! God had protected Paul. His destiny was to go to Rome, to preach to Jews, Gentiles, and Kings, Acts 9:15.

God had a destiny for every Christian, Romans 8:28.

Acts 9:15, “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel”.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your providence in our lives. We claim the promise of Romans 8:28, that all things will work for her for good, for us, who loved you and are called by Your name, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Bible Study: Acts 24

Chapter 24: Acts 24: 1-27, trial before Felix

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Thank You for speaking to us through the inspired, inerrant, and infallible words of scripture. Thank You for conviction, confrontation, correction, teaching, and training in righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-9, 1 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. 2 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, 3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. 4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. 5 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: 6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law. 7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,

8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him. 9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.

Five days later, the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem Camry to Caesarea. They took with them an orator called Tertullus. Tertullus pleaded their case with governor Felix. He started by praising and thanking Felix for maintaining peace and prosperity for the nation of Israel. Tertullus accused Paul of sedition, for being a ring leader and trouble maker of the Nazarene sect, meaning Christians, and for not respecting the temple. They wanted to judge him by their law bit commander Lysias had snatched him away to Caesarea secretly by night. The Jewish leaders concurred with the charges.

VV 10-14, 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: 11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. 12 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: 13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. 14 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:

Felix permitted Paul to speak up to defend himself. Paul had arrived in Jerusalem for only 12 days. He was not disrespectful in the temple, in the synagogue, and in the city. The Jews could not prove their accusations and charges. Paul was a believer of the Way, worshiped God, and believed that all things written in the law and the prophets are true. The law and the prophets mean the bible i.e. the Old Testament. The New Testament had not been written yet.

VV 15-21, 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men. 17 Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. 18 Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult. 19 Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me. 20 Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, 21 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.

Paul hoped in God and the resurrection of the dead, the just to salvation, the unjust to condemnation. Paul’s conscience was clear, he had not offended God and men. After many years, he came to Jerusalem to bring an offering to his nation. When he was purifying himself in the temple, some Jews from Asia Minor falsely accused him of bringing a Gentile into the temple. This charge was baseless. They attacked him for no reason and started a riot in the temple. These Jews did not come to testify against him in Caesarea. Paul was incarcerated just because he had testified to the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, which they could not accept.

VV 22-23, 22 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 matter. 23 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.

Felix had heard about the Christian movement. He adjourned the case refusing to give any verdict. He commanded the centurion to keep Paul under house arrest. Paul was free to move around the prison complex and receive friends and visitors. Felix in Greek means happy.

V 24, 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.

Felix’s wife, Drusilla was the daughter of King Herod Agrippa the 1st, the great-granddaughter of King Herod the Great. Felix and Drusilla sent for Paul to share his faith in Christ with them.

VV 25-27, 25 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. 26 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. 27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

When Paul spoke to Felix on righteousness, self-control, and future judgment, he trembled and dismissed Paul. He wanted Paul to bribe him in exchange for release and called for him more frequently to talk. 2 years later, Porcius Festus took over the position of Felix as governor of Caesarea and took over the custody of Paul’s case.

Application:

In verse 14, Paul said that he believed that all the things written in the law and the prophets are true. Paul believed in the Bible. Do you believe in the Bible? Do you read, study, and believe it?

Paul shared the gospel to Felix and Drusilla but they did not believe because they hardened their hearts. Felix heard the gospel for 2 years but still did not believe. Today, if you hear the word do not harden your heart, Hebrews 3:15.

Hebrews 3:15, “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for telling the story of Paul’s trial under Felix and his house arrest in Caesarea. We pray for soft, obedient, teachable, faithful, and believing hearts. We pray that You will soften our hearts to believe in You and surrender our lives totally to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.