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October 22 - Morning

" I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”
Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”
Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” - Acts 26:25-32

Paul Before Agrippa, Bernice and Festus


After Paul had been held in the Caesarea prison for two years (59 AD), the Roman procurator Felix was removed from his position for incompetence and was replaced with Festus. During his first few days in office King Agrippa II and Bernice traveled to Caesarea to welcome Festus and “to pay their respects to Festus” (Acts 25:13), since they would be working alongside him to assist Rome in its rule of the land.

King Herod Agrippa II had succeeded Agrippa I’s (his father) reign in 44 AD when Agrippa I was eaten by worms and died (Acts 12:21-23). Since Agrippa was only 17 years old at the time, Rome appointed a series of procurators to rule for the young Agrippa. By 52 AD portions of his territory were gradually being transferred to Agrippa.  Eventually, Agrippa II would rule all of Israel which included land north of Galilee, Galilee, Samaria, Perea, Judea. When the Jewish wars began in 66 AD Agrippa II sided with Rome. King Herod Agrippa II was the great grandson of Herod the great, he lived until around 100 AD. With his death, the line of Herod ceased.

Bernice, was Herod Agrippa I’s daughter, and a year younger than her brother Agrippa II. She had a tasteless life beginning when she was 13 when she married her uncle, Herod of Chalcis (and, had two sons). When Chalcis died, Bernice moved in with her brother Agrippa II. According to Josephus and the Roman poet, Juvenal, Bernice lived in an incestuous relationship with her brother Agrippa II. Later Bernice became the lover of Titus, the Roman General who would destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD and would eventually become the emperor. When Titus died in 81 AD Bernice dropped out of the historical record.
While Agrippa and Bernice were visiting Festus in Caesarea in 59 AD, Paul’s court case came up as a topic of conversation and Agrippa said he would like to hear Paul present his defense. In 48 AD, Agrippa II had been given a portion of land north of Galilee to rule, but he also was given the responsibility to superintend the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and appoint the high priest. So, it would be clear that Agrippa II would like to hear Paul’s case since it involved a violation on the Temple Mount. Luke, who was in the audience, records the great pomp and fanfare that occurred in the courtroom when Agrippa and Bernice entered (Acts 25:23). And, then, Paul was brought in. Agrippa gave Paul permission to speak, and for the third time in the book of Acts, Luke records Paul’s testimony of his experience on the road to Damascus. Festus, Agrippa and Bernice listen to Paul until Paul says:

“I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen – that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” – Acts 26:22-23
At that point Festus interrupts Paul and shouts:
“You are out of your mind, Paul! Your great leaning is driving you insane.”

Paul then claims before Festus that his presentation is “true and reasonable.” And, Paul calls on King Agrippa to defend the truth of what Paul had just spoken, saying:
                “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

King Agrippa realizes that he has just been invited by Paul to make a confession of faith, and rejects the invitation to become a believer, but Agrippa does make a ruling in regard to the Jews case against Paul. Since Agrippa II had been given the right of jurisdiction on the Temple Mount he declares that Paul is innocent and could be set free, except for the fact that Paul had already appealed his case to Nero in Rome to avoid being ambushed or tried before the Jews in Jerusalem:
                “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
Toledot (Hb) - genealogical records (Eng) - the Hebrew toledot means "genealogies" or "genealogical records" or " "ancestral narrative." It is translated in the NIV as "the account of" and is the word used in the familiar toledot formula in the book of Genesis:
- 2:4, "The account of the heavens and the earth when they were created."
-5:1, "This is the written account of Adam's line"
-6:9, "This is the account of Noah"
-11:10, "This is the account of Shem"
-11:27, "This is the account of Terah"
-25:19, "This is the account of Isaac"
-37:2, "This is the account of Jacob"
Are my friends a positve influence for me?
Am I a positve influence for my friends, my family and my co-workers?
I will seek to spend time with people I want to be like, and seek to be a godly model for others.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Complete Text




Personal

Efficient at work

Church

Experience God's presence
Military and National defense
Senegal - 25% of population in Dakar, strategic outreach there



The bottom two courses are ashlar stones set in place around 160 BC during the days of the Hasmoneans. Today this building is on the campus of JUC (Jerusalem University College) on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
(click on image for larger size)
A Hebrew inscription was engraved under the springer stones that supported an arch that supported a road into the Temple Mount on the SW corner. It was accessed by a stairway. Today this is called Robinson's arch. The Hebrew inscription was engraved around 900 AD to commemorate the Jewish graves found in the rubble under the arch from that same time period. The inscription is from Isaiah 66:14 and reads: "You shall see and your heart shall rejoice. Their bones shall flourish like grass."
(click on image for larger size)





Someone to Quote

“Lord, give us faith that right makes might.” – Abraham Lincoln

Something to Ponder

At the church’s Council of Nicea in 325 AD Arius from Alexandria had led many to believe that Jesus was a created being, but Athanasius saved the day by convincing the council, which included the presence of Emperor Constantine, that Jesus was eternal God. Athanasius used the term "homoousious" or "consubstantial" meaning "of one substance” to say the Jesus was ‘from the substance of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, very God from very God, begotten not made, of the same substance as the Father...” The supporters of Arius (called Arians) countered with the chant, “There was a time when the Son was not.” Fortunately truth and logic won that day instead of the emotional and illogical chant that is today embraced by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Here’s a Fact

Both the Old Testament and ancient Mesopotamian documents preserve the knowledge of a universally recalled Flood and the world before the Flood. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an account of the Flood from the view of a polytheistic society, yet it parallels the text of the Hebrew account of Noah’s Flood. Details.

Proverb

"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared." - Proverbs 22:24

Coach’s Corner

Image is important. This includes our self-image, the way we present ourselves to others and, most importantly, understanding how the Lord views us. 

Matthew 3-4:11
New International Version (NIV)
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,     make straight paths for him.’”
John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,     and they will lift you up in their hands,     so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
1 Thessalonians 1
New International Version (NIV)
Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians’ Faith
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Luke 9:28-62
New International Version (NIV)
The Transfiguration
28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time
While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Samaritan Opposition
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.
The Cost of Following Jesus
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”


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