Paul Said: “I Appeal To Caesar!” — So Also We MUST Appeal To JESUS!
Every combat, every contest in The WORD of GOD is an express instruction for our warfare — how to “wage The Good Warfare“, yes, “FIGHT The Good Fight of Faith, lay hold of Eternal Life,” (1 Timothy 1:18;6:12).
After many years of the most AMAZINGLY commendable missionary work in foreign lands, preaching The LORD Jesus Christ to both Jew and Gentile, Paul was returning home to Jerusalem, as he said subsequently during a trial, “I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation,” (Acts 24:17).
(This delivery of alms and offerings is different from the previous ones he did with Barnabas and other teams on various occasions).
And so, in Acts 20, he preached movingly POWERFUL valedictory messages at Troas and Miletus, including raising brother Eutychus from the dead at Troas.
Paul had been preaching long into the night, and Eutychus, a young man, “sinking into a deep sleep…was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.” (Acts 20:9).
(Please read my previous Word: “Don’t Slumber From The Word: Remember Eutychus!“).
From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of The Church. And when they had come to him, he said many great things to them, and at the end of which he uttered the tear-jerking words,
“And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching The Kingdom of GOD, will see my face no more.” Acts 20:25.
“Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.” Acts 20:37-38.
All along the journey The Holy Spirit testified repeatedly expressly in every city, saying that chains and tribulations awaited him (Paul) in Jerusalem.
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from THE LORD JESUS, to testify to The Gospel of The Grace of GOD.” Acts 20:24.
The most dramatic prophetic spectacle occurred during the journey after Paul and his companions came to Caesarea, and were staying some days with Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven (chosen in Acts 6).
While there, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. He took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said,
“Thus says The Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” Acts 21:8-11.
Paul’s response on this occasion too revealed his unflinching commitment to The LORD:
“…I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for The Name of THE LORD JESUS,” Acts 21:13.
In short order, it all started playing out.
Within days after arriving in Jerusalem, this was what happened when Paul went to The Temple to worship:
“The Jews from Asia, seeing him in The Temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him…….
……. And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of The Temple; and immediately the doors were shut. Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done.” Acts 21:27,30-33.
From thence, for more than two years, Paul was repeatedly denied justice by two successive Roman governors (Felix and Festus) during their respective duty tours, being corrupt.
In fact, The Holy Spirit noted that Felix,
“……. hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. T herefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him. But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.” Acts 24:26-27.
Trial before Festus at Caesarea
Appearing before Festus,
“….the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood about and laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove,” Acts 25:7.
Opening his defence before Festus (who was sitting as a judge), Paul answered for himself:
“Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against The Temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”
But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged before me concerning these things?”
So Paul said, “I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you very well know. For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.”
Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar? To Caesar you shall go!” Acts 25:8-12.
In other words, NO ONE can deny me justice any longer!
Appeal To JESUS!
For years, until he appealed to Caesar, Paul suffered grave injustice from Jews and the two Roman governors who were also judges representing the Roman sovereign, Caesar.
Paul was sent to Rome to get justice that he sought as of right. Church history has it that, on that occasion, he was set free indeed — uncondemned.
Brethren, Paul appealed to Caesar, the Roman sovereign and got justice. We must likewise vehemently appeal to JESUS, “The Blessed and ONLY Sovereign“! (1 Timothy 6:15).
As He Himself has said,
“And shall GOD not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when THE SON OF MAN comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:7-8.
I appeal to JESUS!
Many many sweet victories I have had this way. I always appeal to JESUS, more so, at this time.
Please appeal to JESUS for your justice and settlement right now — being, “the times of restoration of all things.” (Acts 3:21).
“I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until The Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of The Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess The Kingdom.” Daniel 7:21-22.
“The LORD Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:22.
“Farewell” Acts 15:29.
~ Jacob Awagah
Jacob, an apostle of Jesus Christ by The Will of God, according to The Promise of Life which is in Christ Jesus, (2 Timothy 1:1).
As John was, Jacob is the disciple whom JESUS loves, (John 13:23;19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20). And like Paul, Jacob is “the prisoner of CHRIST JESUS” (Ephesians 3:1) for His Purpose forever: to obey Him always.
“And having been perfected, He became The Author of Eternal Salvation to all who obey Him,” Hebrews 5:9.