Court Transcript - Paul, the Apostle
Some of the most accepted or maybe important writings of our day for legal use of established facts are court transcripts.
I have wondered from time to time what would the church world be like today if Paul had not been in prison? If he had not written the letters that he did? If he had not been so overwhelmed by the attacks of certain Jews on his ministry?
My mind had just brought Paul's circumstances up to date.
I do not read a lot of news. Really I do not read or listen to any news. The news that I get comes from the very rare occasion that, because of the modern operating systems and their design to control the mind, I will see clips that I allow to catch my attention. Generally I then investigate it through any other means than the general news media, if I can.
Having said that, I was interested in the report of a man, who escaped to Russia, that had exposed, what he considered, government activity that was lacking integrity.
All the details are not an issue for my illustration, but what is, is the knowledge that this individual had of the consequences he faced for exposing what he considered to be an evil use of power. He knew that his government would do everything in their power to discredit him and if possible to eliminate him.
Was it any different in the time of Christ and the Apostle Paul? No, I think not, according to the written evidence. The Jewish authorities paid the guards at the tomb off, to spread a lie, about why the grave was empty.
Paul was lied about to the authorities and on at least one occasion, made official charges in order to accomplish an ambush that would allow them to murder him.
Paul escaping their murder plots, was hounded Jews and those within the believers that he called Judaizers, that attempted to discredit his gospel message and negate his ministry.
If you evaluate most of Paul's letters you will see how their influence upon Paul was the major subject of his letters. He was pressured into defending the faith. Paul being from the legal arm of the Jewish nation made his defense in legal concepts to counter the deception; but in doing that I believe that he opened the door for millions of people to misunderstand the Truth.
Peter mentions this in one of his letters, "He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."
Why have I mentioned all of this? It is because I have just recently been reminded of a portion of the Bible that is what could be considered court transcripts of Paul, before a court of law trying him for his beliefs, stating what he believed.
Here is what Paul, in court before the ruler, judge, Felix, had to say about what he believed.
"... 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.
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." Act 24:14-18
Act 24:24-25 "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."
If Paul would have been sharing the "faith in Christ Jesus" that is taught in the churches of America today, do you believe that Felix would have become "frightened"? My answer is a definite 'NO'!
Today God is all about a 'redefined' twisted concept of love, freedom, grace, and what really happened when Jesus was crucified. Today we are to come without fear because He is the one that covers up who we really are, so that God does not see the 'truth'! We can 'live and let live' without any fear, in total 'freedom' by 'grace'! Join with other sinners and worship the God who is looking at the Jesus you confess, with out seeing your deep secrets and pet addictions. You will not be judged in the most modern progressive assembles as all are considered 'covered'.
What did Paul have to say about judging within the body of Christ?
"I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world.
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you." 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
Is that the modern understanding of the 'love' of God? ...don't judge me yet? ... I am trying (but not too hard) assembly of 'believers'?
What do we accept as Truth?
Do we really understand, Truth?
What is Truth?
"If you love me, you will obey my commandments!"
"Be holy because I am holy!"
"So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church — he himself being the savior of the body.
But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, so that he may present the church to himself as glorious — not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:22-27
"And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15