KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018
Chapters: Acts 23-25
Message: Do Not Add or Take From My Word
Hello My Friend,
There is a story going around, and I watched it to confirm this, that the pope believes there is an error in the Bible of passage that we know as the Lord’s prayer. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” – Matthew 6:13. The pope makes that argument that since God would not lead us into temptation why would we ask Him to lead us into it. He wants to switch out the words that say, “Lead us not” to “Abandon us not”. In listening I discovered that these people who were agreeing with this have no clue what the Bible actually says, only what they think is says by someone else. I bring this up because this is what happens when people who are not saved, thinking they know better than God, start reading His Words and messing with them as though they know what He is saying. The religious crowd always believe they know everything there is to know about God, and speak through Him, but what they are really doing is making a mockery out of His Word, and they will answer to Him. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” – Revelation 22:18-19.
Let me tell you, as long as there are thousands of languages on the earth not every translation of the Bible will word everything exactly as it is written in the original languages, which were Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. And for that reason we are going to see things worded a little differently. This is not adding to or taking words out, it was so that we can comprehend it better I our own language. The Holy Spirit is our guide that teaches us how to interpret the Bible, and let me also tell you, God designed it in a way that every time you read it you get something new, rather, another perspective on what we are reading. So, here is Paul, being transferred from one court to another in an attempt to get someone to find some proof that he broke the law and deserved to die, the offended Jews even conspired against him, and vowed not to eat until he was executed. Paul stands before the religious council, pleading his case.
“And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest? Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle. And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” – Acts 23:1-7,10-11.
“And the night following the Lord stood by him,” We may not realize it, but Jesus stands beside us through every decision we make concerning Him. We may not always make the right decisions, but when God has a plan for us He will make it happen one way or another. Did you see this? “Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.” We may not like the laws we are given, even what God says, but we are not speak evil of them. I may not like what the pope says, and he certainly has to answer to God for messing with His Word, but I cannot speak evil of him. People have a right to their own opinion, but we need to respect each other as a person, and not speak evil of them, even if they speak evil of us and falsely accuse us. “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:20-21.
The Jews were determined to find someone who would testify against Paul so he could be sentenced to death, the interesting thing, no matter where they sent him they could not find anyone credible to bring proof that he did break the Law. Remember, this is the Law of Moses they are referring to, which none of them even followed themselves. Now, since the council could not legally find anything to accuse him of they sent him to the governor. Paul stands before Felix, this time knowing that Jesus was with him, pleading his case, wondering why they are taking so long.
“Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.” – Acts 24:11-16,24-26.
“to have always a conscience void of offence toward God,” Before we even speak in reference to God we need to make sure what we are saying is backed up with Scripture. And it does not matter where we are, or what we are doing, if we mention His name we need to be doing it with His Word in mind. We are the testimony that Jesus lives in us, and if He lives in us we will not be ashamed to say that He does, and we will not question His Word. Being a testimony means knowing who God is, growing closer to Him as we get in His Word, and living through the example of Christ, not being ashamed to proclaim Him, even if that meant it could cost us our lives. Now, Festus, the new governor is in office, preparations were being made for another hearing to figure out what to do with Paul. He pleases his case again.
“And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all. But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.” – Acts 25:7-12.
“I refuse not to die:” Paul is telling them if he had broken the law then he was worthy of death, but he is not so they have to cause to kill him. Since Festus really did not what to deal with it himself he was all too willing to send him to Caesar. Paul lived by the Scriptures, and it was by doing so that he knew the truth and also trusted Jesus to get him to Rome. The second we receive Christ as our Saviour we are exempt from the Law, God has no cause against us, we are free and clear of any crimes, even if we committed them. We are not the judge, God is, therefore, no man may deliver us to our accuser. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.” – James 4:8-11.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” – Acts 23:11.
Today’s Prayer: Jesus, It is sometimes hard to comprehend just what You did for us, and how easy it is for us to not only be saved from hell, but be one of Your own. As we grow closer to You we literally are transformed into something into the likeness of You. While we will never be perfect until we reach heaven or You return, we do have You to guide and keep us in the right direction. We are testimonies of what it is like to have the living God living inside of us, through Your Word we do not have to live in fear of what man can do to us, and be the example You need us to teach Your truths to others. In Your name Jesus, Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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