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                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                Paul's Transfer To Caesarea (23:11-35)


1. After Paul's defense before the council...
   a. Once again his life is threatened - Ac 23:10
   b. Once again he is saved by the Roman soldiers - cf. Ac 21:30-36;

2. The following night the Lord appeared to Paul...
   a. Telling him, "Be of good cheer" (i.e., take courage) - Ac 23:11
   b. Promising him, "For as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so
      you must also bear witness at Rome." - ibid.

[With such an encouraging vision, Paul could take great comfort knowing
what the Lord promised.  But it would not happen soon.  It would take
at least two years, starting with...]


      1. A foolish plot - Ac 23:12-15
         a. Forty Jews bound themselves with an oath not to eat nor drink
            until they killed Paul
         b. They conspired with the chief priests and elders to have Paul
            brought before the council
         c. Planning to kill Paul before he arrived
      2. A failed plot - Ac 23:16-22
         a. Overheard by Paul's sister's son, who then told Paul
         b. Paul had a centurion take his nephew to the commander
         c. Informed of the plot, the commander sent Paul's nephew away 

      1. With a Roman guard - Ac 23:23-24,31-32
         a. Two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, two hundred spearmen
         b. Leaving Jerusalem at the third hour of the night (9pm)
         c. With the seventy horsemen escorting Paul beyond Antiparis
      2. With a Roman letter - Ac 23:25-30,33-35
         a. Written by Claudius Lysias (Roman commander) to Felix (Roman
         b. Read by Felix, who arranged another hearing for Paul and his

[Until the hearing, Paul was detained in Herod's Praetorium (Ac 23:35).
 We will read his defense before Felix in our next study. But for now...]


      1. We find in Paul's life an example of God's providence
      2. Similar to what we read of Joseph's life in the book of Genesis
         - cf. Gen 37-50
      3. In both cases, God made a promise - cf. Ac 23:11; Gen 37:5-11
      4. The promises were fulfilled, though it took years with 
         intervening challenges
      5. Similarly, God may answer our prayers, but it may not be when 
         and how we expect
      6. Like Paul and Joseph, we must place our trust in God that He
         will provide what we need

      1. Until he wrote the letter to Felix, the Roman commander was
         commendable in his actions
         a. He used his forces to protect Paul's life on several
         b. He made several efforts to learn the truth about who Paul
      2. But in writing to Felix, the Roman commander lied!
         a. He claimed to have rescued Paul knowing him to be a Roman
            - Ac 23:27
         b. He did not know Paul was a Roman until almost scourging him 
            - Ac 22:24-29
      3. He apparently was trying to protect himself, or trying to save
         a. Twisting the truth, making himself look good
         b. A common weakness and failing among men
      4. Compare that to the godly character described by David in his 
         a. Who speaks the truth in his heart - Ps 15:2
         b. Who swears to his own hurt and does not change - Ps 15:4
      5. Why we must put our trust in the Lord, not man! - Ps 146:3-7;
         Jer 17:5-6 


1. In who do you place your trust..?
   a. In man, who often lies to protect himself?
   b. Or in God, who cannot lie! - He 6:18; Tit 1:2

2. In trusting God, do you make allowances for His providential 
   a. Understanding that He does not always fulfill his promises in the
      way we expect?
   b. Remembering that as God, His ways and thoughts are not like our
      own? - Isa 55:8-9

Paul's life, like that of Joseph, is a reminder that while God keeps
His promises, it may involve much time and many experiences before they
are fully realized.  Even so...

   Seek the LORD while He may be found,
      Call upon Him while He is near.
   Let the wicked forsake his way,
      And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
   Let him return to the LORD,
      And He will have mercy on him;
   And to our God,
      For He will abundantly pardon.
                             - Isa 55:6-7
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