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Acts 24

Paul before Felix
And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus; and these gave evidence to the governor against Paul. 2 And when he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: Seeing that by you we enjoy much peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight, 3 we accept it in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness. 4 But, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us. 5 For we have found this man to be a plague, and a mover of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes, 6 who moreover tried to profane the temple. We laid hold on him, and we would have judged him according to our law. 7 But the chief captain Lysias came and with great violence took him out of our hands, 8 commanding his accusers to come before you.  You will be able, by examining him yourself, to gain knowledge of all these things of which we accuse him. 9 And the Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that these things were so.
   10 And when the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul answered: Inasmuch as I do know you have been for many years a judge to this nation, I cheerfully make my defence. 11 You can verify that it was no more than twelve days ago that I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 And neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city did they find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd. 13 Neither can they prove to you the things of which they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets; 15 having hope toward God, which these people also look for, that there shall be a resurrection, both of the just and unjust. 16 Herein I also exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always.
   17 Now after some years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation. 18 Whilst doing this, they found me purified in the temple, with no crowd, nor with uproar; but there were certain Jews from Asia, 19 who should have been here before you and to make the accusation, if they had something against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council, 21 except it be for one statement that I cried standing among them: Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am called in question before you this day.
   22 But Felix, having more accurate knowledge concerning the Way, adjourned the proceedings, saying: When Lysias the chief captain shall come, I will decide your case. 23 Then he gave orders to the centurion, that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty; and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.
   24 But after some days, Felix came with Drusilla his wife, who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and listened to him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 And as he reasoned about righteousness, self control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid, and answered: Go away for now. When I have a convenient time I will call for you. 26 He hoped meanwhile that money would be given to him by Paul. Therefore, he sent for him more often and conversed with him. 27 But after two years, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and desiring to gain favour with the Jews, Felix left Paul in prison.


24:5 The true church of God was called a “sect”, they were [falsely] accused of being divisive just because they followed Christ rather than existing human tradition (28:22). The same happens today.

24:15 The unjust will be resurrected, judged, and then die again and remain dead for ever- “the second death” (Rev. 2:11; 20:6,14). The punishment for sinners will be at the resurrection- not immediately after death. For death is unconsciousness; and there is no such thing as an ‘immortal soul’ which must go somewhere, either good or bad, immediately after death.

24:16 We need to realize keenly the self-discipline and self-sacrifice which following the man Jesus requires of us. Paul ‘exercised’ himself in his spiritual life, the Greek word asko being the source of the English word ascetic.

24:25 The very fact of judgment to come is in itself a demand for righteousness and temperance. Felix realized this and trembled, in anticipation of rejection at the judgment. As the Lord had explained in Jn. 5, when a man hears the word of the Gospel, he hears the call to go to judgment. And if he rejects it, he rejects himself from the Lord's presence in the future. Likewise Acts 17:31 reasons that the very existence of the future judgment seat and the Lord ordained as judge of living and dead is a command to repent.