Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

The Testimony of Yeshua

Acts 19-28 (The Gabriel Bible)

Did You Receive the Kadosh Spirit?

Index

Acts 19: While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled thru the upper regions to Ephesus. He asked the disciples who he found there, 2 “Did you receive the kadosh spirit when you believed?” They replied, “We haven’t heard anything about a kadosh spirit.” 3 So he asked them, “Then what were you immersed into?” They replied, “John’s immersion.” 4 Paul told them, “John immersed people with an immersion for changing minds—he told them to believe in the One who was to come after him, namely, in Yeshua (Jesus) Messiah.” 5 After they heard this, they were immersed in the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah. 6 Paul laid his hand on them, and the kadosh spirit came on them, and they began speaking in different languages and prophesying. 7 There were twelve men in all.

8 Paul went into the synagogue, and vigorously debated [Gr. dialegomai] the Scriptures very persuasively for three months about the Kingdom of Yehovah. 9 Some of them were hardened, refusing to believe, and spoke evil of the Way of YHVH before the assembly. So Paul left them, and separated the disciples from them. He had daily discussions [Gr. dialegomai] with them in the school of a man named Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years until everyone who lived in Asia Minor, both Jews and Arameans, heard the Word of Aloha.

11 YHVH brought about extraordinary miracles by the hand of Paul. 12 Even scraps of his clothing, napkins and rags that had touched him were taken to the sick, and they recovered from their ailments, and demons also left them.

13 There were also some wandering Jewish exorcists who wanted to cast out unclean spirits in the name of our Master Yeshua, by saying, “We command you to come out in the name of Yeshua who Paul announces.” 14 There were seven sons of a Jewish leader of the priests named Sceva, who were doing this. 15 One evil demon said to them, “Yeshua I know well, and Paul I know, but who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil demon jumped on them and overpowered them, and threw them down. They fled out of the house naked and wounded.

17 When all the Jews and Arameans who lived in Ephesus found out about this they were terrified, and the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed came and acknowledged their sins and confessed everything they had done. 19 Many who practiced the magic arts gathered up their books, brought them together and burned them in front of everyone. They estimated the cost of the books at fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the faith of Aloha was gaining strength and spreading.

21 Afterward Paul was determined to make a circuit thru all of Macedonia and Achaia, and then go to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 He sent two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, into Macedonia while he stayed in Asia Minor for a while longer.

23 During this time there was a lot of commotion about the Way of YHVH.

Silver Shrines for Diana (Easter)

24 There was a silversmith there, named Demetrius, who made silver shrines for Diana, bringing the artisans of his trade large profits. 25 He called together all the artisans of his trade, and those of related trades, and told them, “Men, you know that our income depends on this business. 26 You’ve seen and heard how this Paul has persuaded and turned away, not only the citizens of Ephesus, but also many people thruout all of Asia Minor, by saying that the gods aren’t made by human hands. 27 Not only is our occupation being slandered and discredited, but the reputation of the temple of the great goddess Diana will be ruined, just as the goddess of all Asia Minor herself. The one all nations worship will be despised.”

28 When they heard this they were infuriated and they began shouting, “Great is the Ephesian Diana [Artemis].” 29 The whole city was in an uproar, and a mob formed and went into the theater. They grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, the Macedonians who were Paul’s coworkers, and dragged them along. 30 Paul wanted to go into the theater, but the disciples held him back. 31 Even some public officials who were friends of his sent messages to him urging that he not risk his life by going into the theater.

32 The mob in the theater was in great confusion, some yelled out one thing, and some another. Many of them didn’t even know why they were there. 33 The Jewish people who were there appointed one of their men, a Jew named Alexander. He got up and motioned with his hand for silence, because he wanted to make a defense to the crowd, 34 but they, knowing that he was a Jew, all started to shout in unison for about two hours, “Great is the Ephesian Diana.”

35 The mayor of the city appeased them, by saying, “Men of Ephesus, which of you men doesn’t know that the city of Ephesus is devoted to the worship of the great Diana, and her image that fell down from heaven? 36 So since no one can deny these things, you should quiet down and not do anything rash. 37 You’ve brought these men here when they haven’t robbed our churches [1] or blasphemed our goddess. 38 So if Demetrius and the men of his trade have a complaint with anyone, the courts in the city are open, and there are officers, they should bring charges against each other there. 39 And if you need anything else, it can be resolved in a lawful gathering [Gr. ekklesia]. 40 We are now in danger of being accused of attempted insurrection, since we don’t have a real reason for our gathering today. This commotion is totally inexcusable.” 41 After saying these things he dismissed the mob [Gr. ekklesia].

[1] Hierosulos means “robber of the churches”. This is the only place in the Testimony of Yeshua where the William Tyndale translation used the word “church”—a word that he knew means a pagan temple.

Acts 20: When the uproar subsided, Paul sent for the disciples, and comforted them and kissed them before leaving for Macedonia. 2 He traveled thru the region and spoke many words of encouragement before going to the country of Greece, 3 where he stayed for three months. The Jews planned to ambush him just as he was about to go to Syria, so he considered returning to Macedonia. 4 Sopater from the city Berea accompanied him as far as Asia Minor, as well as Aristarchus and Secundus who were from Thessalonica, and Gaius who was from the city of Derbe, and Timothy from Lystra, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia Minor. 5 They went ahead of us, and waited for us in Troas. 6 We sailed from the Macedonian city of Philippi during the days of Unleavened Bread and sailed to Troas in five days, where we remained for seven days.

First of the Sabbaths

7 Then on the first of the Sabbaths, when we were gathered together, Paul had dialog [Gr. dialegomai] with them, because he was going to leave the next day, and he continued his dialog until midnight. 8 There were many lamps burning in the upper room where we were assembled. 9 A young man named Eutychus was sitting in a window and listening during Paul’s dialog with them. He sank into a deep sleep, and as he slept he fell from the third floor. When they picked him up he was dead. 10 Paul went down and bent over him and embraced him and said, “Don’t be alarmed, he’s still alive.” 11 When he went back up, he broke bread and ‘ate’ and conversed until dawn. Then he left by land. 12 They took the young man home alive, and were very relieved.

13 ‘The rest of us’ boarded the ship and sailed to the port of Thesos, where we were going to pick up Paul as he had arranged, since he had planned to travel there by land. 14 But when he met us at Thesos, we took him on board the ship and went on to Mitylene. 15 The next day we sailed from there toward the island Chios. The following day we arrived in Samos, and stopped at Trogyllium, and on the day following that we arrived at Miletus. 16 Paul had decided to bypass Ephesus so that he wouldn’t be delayed there, because he was hurrying, if possible, to celebrate the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem.

17 From Miletus he sent messengers to Ephesus to convene the elders of the assembly in Ephesus. 18 When they arrived he told them, “You know that from the first day I entered Asia Minor I’ve been with you, 19 laboring for YHVH in great humility and with tears amid the trials that came to me by the plots of the Jews. 20 I never avoided announcing anything to you that would be advantageous to you spiritually, or avoided teaching you publicly and in houses, 21 declaring to both Jews and Arameans the importance of changing their minds and turning to YHVH, and having faith in our Master Yeshua Messiah.

22 Now I’m compelled by the spirit to go to Jerusalem, and I don’t know what will happen to me there, 23 except that the kadosh spirit assures me in every town that imprisonment and suffering awaits me. 24 Yet I don’t place any value on my life other than to finish my course, and the service [Gr. diakonia] that I have received from our Master Yeshua of telling others about the Good News of YHVH’s compassion.

25 I also know that none of you who have traveled with me heralding the Kingdom of YHVH will ever see me again. 26 So I declare to you today, for the record, that I’m innocent of the shed blood of any of you. 27 I have never failed to declare to you everything that YHVH wants you to know. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock that the kadosh spirit has made you ‘shepherds’ of. See that you feed the Messiah’s [1] assembly that He has preserved with His own blood. 29 I know that after I’m gone ferocious wolves will come in among you and they’ll have no mercy on the flock. 30 Also, some of your own men will rise up and oppose the true path in order to lure disciples into following them. 31 So be alert, and remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you, day and night, even with tears.

32 I’m now entrusting you to YHVH and His compassionate message. He is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance with all the kadosh people. 33 I never coveted anyone’s silver, gold or clothes. 34 You know that I worked with my own hands to provide for my own needs and for those who were with me. 35 In every way I showed you that it’s our duty to work, so that we can help the weak. We should remember the words of our Master Yeshua, because He said, “The giver is more blessed than the receiver.”

36 After he finished speaking, he fell to his knees and prayed, as did everyone with him. 37 Everyone was crying as they embraced him and kissed him. 38 They were especially sorrowful because he said that they would never see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.

[1] The Peshitto, an earlier but incomplete Aramaic Testimony, avoids a couple of later “corrections” made by Western Christianity in the Peshitta and in the Greek. It is only logical that this is referring to Yeshua’s blood, since Father has none.

Paul Warned About Jerusalem

Acts 21: After we parted ways with them, we set a straight course to the island of Cos. The next day we reached Rhodes, and from there Patara. 2 We found a ship there heading to Phoenicia, so we boarded and set sail. 3 After sighting Cyprus and passing it on our left, we sailed on to Syria, from there we landed at Tyre, since the ship was to unload her cargo there. 4 We located some disciples, so we stayed with them for seven days, and they, by the spirit, told Paul every day not to go to Jerusalem. 5 After a few days we started on our way, and they, their wives and their children all clung to us as they escorted us outside of the city. We all knelt down on the shore and prayed. 6 We kissed [1] each other and then boarded the ship and they went back home.

7 We sailed from Tyre and arrived at the city of Ptolemais. We visited the Friends there and stayed with them for one day. 8 The next day we left and came to Cesarea. We stayed in Philip the ‘assembly planter’s’ [2] house, who was one of the seven. 9 He had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.

10 After we had been there for several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 He came to us and took Paul’s belt and tied his own feet and hands and said, “The kadosh spirit says, ‘This is how the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man who owns this belt, and they’ll hand him over to the heathens [Gr. ethnos].”

12 When we heard this, we and the local people begged him not to go to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul asked, “Why are you crying and crushing me emotionally? I’m not only ready to be tied up, but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah.” 14 When we couldn’t persuade him, we said, “May the will of YHVH be done.”

15 A few days later we packed up and went up to Jerusalem. 16 Some disciples from Caesarea came with us along with a Friend, one of the early disciples named Mnason, who was from Cyprus. We were guests in his house.

17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the Friends gladly welcomed us. 18 The next day when all the elders were present we went in with Paul to visit James. 19 After we greeted them, Paul related everything to them that YHVH had done among the nations thru his ministry.

20 When they heard about it they praised YHVH. They told him, “Friend, you see how many tens of thousands there are in Judea who have believed, and all of them are zealous for the Torah.” 21 But they had heard that you are teaching all the Jews who are scattered among the nations to abandon Moses, by telling them not to circumcise their children and not to ‘live by’ the requirements of the Torah. 22 Now because they’ve heard that you have come, 23 do what we tell you. We have four men who have vowed to purify themselves. 24 Take them and go and purify yourself with them and pay the expenses to shave their heads, so that everyone will know that what they heard about you isn’t true, and that you live in obedience to the Torah. 25 As for those of other ethnicities [Gr. ethnos] who have believed, we have written that they must abstain from offering ze’bakim [sacrifices] to idols and from sexual infidelity and from strangled animals and from blood [3].

Paul Arrested

26 So Paul took the men the next day and was purified along with them. Then he went into the Temple with them, signifying to them the completion of the days of the purification, until offering a ze’bak [sacrifice] each of them.

27 When the seventh day arrived, the Jews from Asia Minor saw him in the Temple, and they stirred up the people against ‘Paul’ and grabbed him, 28 and shouted, “Men of Israel, help. This is the man who teaches against our people everywhere and against the Torah and against this place, and he has also brought heathens into the Temple and has made this Kadosh Place Levitically unclean.” 29 They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they assumed that he had gone into the Temple with Paul.

30 The whole city was in chaos, and everyone gathered together, grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the Temple and they immediately closed the gates. 31 While the crowd was trying to kill him, it was reported to the high commander of the Tribunal that the whole city was in an uproar. 32 Immediately he took a centurion and many soldiers and they rushed them. When they saw the commander and the soldiers they quit beating Paul.

33 The high commander came up to him and grabbed him and ordered him to be secured with two chains. Then he asked him who he was and what he had done. 34 People from the mob shouted various accusations against him. Due to the uproar he couldn’t determine what the truth was, so he ordered that he be taken to the fortress. 35 When Paul reached the stairs, the soldiers had to carry him because of the violence of the mob. 36 The mob followed behind shouting, “Do away with him!”

Can You Speak Greek?

37 When he was about to be taken into the fortress, Paul asked the high commander, “Will you allow me to speak with you?” He asked him, “Can you speak Greek? 38 Aren’t you the Egyptian who recently caused a rebellion and lead four thousand cutthroats out into the desert?” 39 Paul replied, “I’m a Jew from Tarsus, a native of the well known city of Tarsus in Cilicia. Please allow me to speak to the people.” 40 So with his permission, Paul stood on the stairs, and gestured with his hand for them to be quiet, then he said to them in Hebrew:

[1] The Greek says “saluted” instead of “kissed”. [2] “Euaggelistes”: This is one of three places where this form of the word “Evangel” (Good News) appears in the Greek. Religious jargon calls them Evangelists. They were “assembly planters” (or “Church planters” as described in Pagan Christianity), carrying the Good News to places where it was previously unknown. Philip appears to have traveled from city to city heralding the teachings (Acts 8:4,40 & 21:8). Judging from the case of Philip, assembly planters didn’t have the authority of envoys or the gift of prophecy or the responsibility of elders. (See also Ephestians 4:11, 2 Timothy 4:5). [3] Consider the footnotes and links back in Acts 15:

Acts 22: Countrymen and fathers, listen to the defense I’m presenting to you. 2 When they heard him addressing them in Hebrew [1] they were even quieter, so he continued, 3 “I’m a Jew, born in Tarsus Cilicia, and brought up in this city. I was educated at the feet of Gamaliel with exactness in the Torah of our ancestors, being zealous for YHVH in the same way that you are. 4 I persecuted this Way to death. I chained up both men and women, throwing them into prison. 5 The high priest and all the elders can attest to this. I received letters from them to take to our Pharisee brothers in Damascus authorizing me to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to receive capital punishment.

6 Then as I was approaching Damascus, at noon, a sudden blaze of light from Heaven shone around me. 7 I fell to the ground and I heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 8 I asked, “Who are you Master?” And He said to me, “I’m Yeshua the Nazarene who you are persecuting.” 9 The men who were with me saw the light, but couldn’t hear the voice that spoke to me. 10 I said, “Master, what should I do?” The Master said, “Get up and go to Damascus, and there you’ll be told everything that you’ll be commanded to do.” 11 Since I couldn’t see anything because of the brilliance of the light, the men who were with me took me by the hand and led me into Damascus.

12 A man named Ananias came to me, a righteous man, obedient to the Torah, and highly regarded by all the Jews living there. 13 He said, “Saul, my Friend, open yours eyes.” Instantly my eyes were opened and I could see him. 14 He said, “The Aloha of our fathers has chosen you to understand His will, and to see the Righteous One and to hear His own voice. 15 You’ll be a witness for Him to all of humanity about everything that you have seen and heard. 16 So what are you waiting for? Get up and be immersed, and be cleansed from your sins as you call on His name.”

17 So when I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and went into an ecstatic state of wakefulness [Gr. ekstasis]. 18 I saw Him and He told me, “Hurry out of Jerusalem, because they won’t accept your testimony about Me.” 19 I said, “Master, they are well aware of how active I was in the synagogues imprisoning and beating those who believed in You. 20 And when they were shedding the blood of Your martyr Stephen, I was standing there doing what his killers asked, by guarding the coats of the people who were stoning him.” 21 But He told me, “Leave, I’m sending you far away to herald to the other nations.”

22 They listened to Paul until he said this, but then they began to shout, “Get rid of this guy, he shouldn’t be allowed to live on earth!”

23 As they were yelling, they threw aside their clothing and threw dust into the air. 24 The high commander gave orders to bring him into the fortress, and he ordered that he should be interrogated by scourging so that he could find out why the people were yelling at him like that. 25 As they were stretching him out with leather straps, Paul asked the centurion who was standing there, “Is it legal for you to scourge a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been tried?”

This Man is a Roman!

26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the high commander and asked him, “What are you doing? This man is a Roman.”

27 The high commander came to him and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” He answered, “Yes”. 28 The high commander replied, “I acquired Roman citizenship at a considerable cost.” Paul replied, “I was born into it.”

29 Immediately those who were intending to scourge him quickly let him go. The high commander was afraid when he learned that he was a Roman, because he had stretched him out for scourging.

30 The next day he wanted to know exactly what the accusation was that the Jews brought against him, and he ordered his chains to be removed and ordered the high priests and the entire Sanhedrin to convene. He brought Paul down and had him stand in front of them.

[1] The Greek would apparently indicate that this is one of ten places that should say “Aramaic” instead of “Hebrew”.

Acts 23: Then Paul looked straight out at the Sanhedrin and said, “Brothers, I have lived with a clear conscience before YHVH to this very day.” 2 Ananias, the priest, ordered the men who stood near him to strike Paul on the mouth. 3 Paul said to him, “YHVH will hit you later, you whitewashed wall! How can you sit there and judge me by the Torah, while violating the Torah by ordering me to be struck?”

4 Those standing by asked, “You dare vilify the high priest of YHVH?” 5 Paul told them, “Brothers, I wasn’t aware that he was the high priest, because it’s written, ‘You’ll not curse the ruler of your people.’”

6 Because Paul knew that some of the people in the Sanhedrin were Sadducees and some were Pharisees, he called out, “Men, my brothers, I’m a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee, and I’m on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.” 7 After he said this, an angry quarrel between the Pharisees and Sadducees broke out and the assembly was divided. 8 (The Sadducees contend that there is no resurrection or spirit messengers or spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge all of these.)

9 There was a great uproar. Some Torah teachers of the party of the Pharisees got up and fiercely argued with them saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man. If a spirit or a Messenger conversed with him, what’s wrong with that?” 10 When the situation started becoming violent, the high commander was afraid that they might tear Paul to pieces, so he sent Romans to take him away from them by force and bring him into the fortress.

11 The following night our Master appeared to Paul and told him, “Be strong because just as you have been witnessing for Me in Jerusalem, you must be My witness in Rome.”

The Plot to Kill Paul

12 The next morning several of the Jews gathered together and swore that they wouldn’t eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty people had sworn this oath. 14 They went to the priests and elders and said, “We have sworn with a solemn oath that we won’t eat anything until we have killed Paul.” 15 So you and the Sanhedrin should ask the high commander to bring him to you on the pretext that you honestly want to investigate his conduct. We are prepared to kill him before gets here.

16 But Paul’s sister’s son heard of this plot, so he went into the fortress and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and told him, “Take this youth to the high commander because he has something to tell him.” 18 So the centurion took the young man and introduced him to the high commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked that I bring this youth to you because he has something to tell you.”

19 The high commander took the young man by the hand and took him aside and asked him, “What do you have to tell me?” 20 The young man said, “The Jews are about to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Sanhedrin, pretending that they want to learn something more about him. 21 Don’t believe them because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him, and have taken an oath that they won’t eat or drink until they’ve killed him, and yes, they are ready and waiting for your consent.”

22 The high commander dismissed the young man after cautioning him, “Don’t let anyone know that you told me this.”

23 Then he called two centurions and told them, “Get two hundred Romans ready to go to Caesarea, as well as seventy cavalry and two hundred spear men, and have them ready to leave at the third hour [9:00] tonight. 24 Also provide a pack animal for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Governor Felix.”

25 He wrote a letter and gave it to them that said: 26 “From Claudius Lysias, to his Excellency Governor Felix. Greetings! 27 The Jews seized this man and were about to kill him, but I came with Romans and rescued him. Then I learned that he was a Roman. 28 I wanted to ascertain the charge that they accused him of, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin. 29 I found that their accusations had to do with questions about their Torah, and that there was no charge against him worthy of bonds or of death. 30 When I learned of a secret plot by the Jews against him, I immediately sent him to you. I have directed his accusers to bring their charges against him to you. Goodbye.”

31 Then the Romans, as ordered, took Paul during the night and brought him to the city of Antipatris. 32 The next day the cavalry dismissed the infantry, their associates, so that they could return to the fortress. 33 They brought him to Caesarea, and they delivered the letter to the Governor and handed Paul over to him. 34 After he read the letter, he asked him which province he was from. When he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he told him, “I’ll hear what you have to say when your accusers arrive.” And he ordered him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.

Ringleader of the Nazarenes

Acts 24: Five days later, Ananias the high priest came down with some elders and with an attorney named Tertullus and brought charges to the Governor against Paul. 2 When he had been called in, Tertullus preceded his accusation by saying, “For many years have we lived in peace because of you, and many reforms are being made for this nation under your administration, 3 and we all acknowledge it with profound gratitude, your Excellency Felix. 4 But so as not to detain you any further, I beg you to grant us a brief hearing.

5 We have found this man to be an assassin [Gr. “a pest”] who stirs up sedition among all the Jews thruout the Empire, he is a ringleader of the sect [1] of the Nazarenes. 6 He even wanted to defile our Temple, but we arrested him. We wanted to judge him according to the Torah, 7 but Lysias the high commander came and violently took him away, out of our hands, 8 He ordered his accusers to come before you. If you’ll interrogate him, you’ll be able to find out from him everything we accuse him of.”

9 The Jews supported his accusations, claiming that these things were true.

10 Then the Governor motioned to Paul, indicating that he should speak. Paul replied, “I know you to have been a judge over this nation for many years, so I’ll gladly present my defense. 11 You can ‘easily verify’ that it has only been twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 They didn’t so much as find me debating with anyone in the Temple, and certainly not gathering a ‘mob’ in their synagogues or in the city. 13 They are unable prove any of these accusations against me. 14 Yet I certainly acknowledge that in accordance with the Way that they refer to as a sect, I do serve the Aloha of my ancestors and believe everything written in the Torah and in the Prophets. 15 I have a hope in YHVH, as do they, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the righteous and the wicked. 16 That’s why I always try to have a clear conscience in relation to YHVH and humanity.

17 After many years I returned to the people of my own nation to distribute alms and to present an offering. 18 After I had ceremonially purified myself, these men found me in the Temple without any crowd or rioting, tho some Jews from Asia Minor raised an uproar. [2] 19 They should be standing here with me before you making whatever accusations they want. 20 Or else the men here should explain what wrong they found when I stood before the Sanhedrin [Gr. sunedrion]. 21 They could accuse me of one statement. As I stood among them I shouted, “I’m on trial today because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.”

22 Then Felix, because he was very familiar with the Way, postponed their meeting by saying, “When the high commander comes, I’ll give your case a hearing.” 23 He ordered a centurion to keep Paul in custody, but to see that none of his Friends were prevented from caring for his needs.

24 After a few days Felix and Drusilla, his Jewish wife, sent for Paul, and they listened to what he had to say about faith in the Messiah. 25 Their dialog concerned righteousness and self control and the future Judgment Day. Felix became alarmed and said, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity I’ll summon you.” 26 He really hoped that Paul would offer him a bribe. So he sent for him often and conversed with him.

27 After two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix had wanted to do the Jews a favor, he left Paul in prison.

[1] “Sect” and “heresy” are the same word in Greek. [2] The Greek omits that the “Jews from Asia” raised an uproar.

Paul Appeals to Caesar

Acts 25: Festus arrived in Caesarea, and after three days he went to Jerusalem, 2 where the high priests and the Jewish leaders presented their accusations against Paul. 3 They were asking ‘Festus’ as a favor to summon him to Jerusalem, because they were plotting an ambush to kill him along the way. 4 But Festus replied, “Paul is in custody in Caesarea, and I’ll be going there soon myself. 5 So those of you who are able should come with us and make your accusations against the man.”

6 When he had been there eight to ten days, he went down to Caesarea. The next day he sat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought in. 7 When ‘Paul’ arrived, the Jews who had come from Jerusalem surrounded him and began bringing a number of serious charges against him, but none they could prove.

8 Meanwhile, Paul replied, “I haven’t ‘broken any laws’ in regard to the Torah of the Jews or regarding the Temple or regarding Caesar.”

9 But Festus, because he wanted to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me on these charges?” 10 Paul replied, “I’m standing before Caesar’s tribunal where I should be tried. I haven’t committed any offenses against the Jews, as you are well aware. 11 If I had committed a crime or done anything worthy of death, I wouldn’t beg to be pardoned from death. But if none of the things that they accuse me of are true, no one should offer me as a ze’bak [sacrifice] for entertainment. I appeal to Caesar.”

12 Then, after conferring with the council, Festus said, “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go.”

13 After several days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice came down to Caesarea for a social visit with Festus. 14 When they had been with him a few days, Festus told the king about Paul’s case. He said, “There is a man here who Felix left as a prisoner. 15 When I was in Jerusalem, the high priests and the Jewish elders told me about him, and asked me to condemn him as a favor.

16 I told them, “It isn’t the custom of the Romans to sentence a person gratuitously to be killed. His accuser must appear and accuse him to his face, so he has an opportunity of defending himself against the accusation that has been brought against him.” 17 So when I got here, I took my seat on the tribunal the very next day, and summoned the man to be brought in. 18 His accusers stood up with him, but they weren’t able to substantiate any criminal charge against him—just as I had expected. 19 They were debating with him about things pertaining to their ‘religion’, and about Yeshua, who died, but who Paul says is alive. 20 Because I wasn’t well established regarding these questions, I asked Paul if he was willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges. 21 But he appealed to be held in custody for trial before Caesar, so I ordered that he be held in custody until I could send him to Caesar.

22 Agrippa said, “I would like to hear the man.” Festus said, “Tomorrow you’ll hear him”. 23 And the next day Agrippa and Bernice arrived with much fanfare and went into the courthouse, accompanied by military officers and the leading men of the city. Festus gave the order, and Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said, “King Agrippa, and everyone present with us, you see here the man who all the Jews in Jerusalem, as well as here, appealed to me about, shouting that he should die. 25 Yet upon investigation, I found that he has done nothing deserving of death. But because he requested to remain in custody for a hearing before Caesar, I have ordered that he be sent to Rome. 26 I have nothing definite to write to Caesar about him, so I wanted to bring him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that when his case has been heard, I’ll have something to write. 27 It would be absurd to send a prisoner without specifying any charges against him.”

Saul before He Was Paul

Acts 26: Agrippa told Paul, “You have permission to speak on your own behalf.” So Paul, motioned with his hand, and began presenting his defense: 2 “I consider myself fortunate that you are the one hearing my defense against all the accusations of the Jews today, king Agrippa, 3 especially since you are familiar with all of the controversies and customs [Gr. ethos] of the Jews. So I ask that you listen to me patiently.

4 The Jews know, if they would admit it, the kind of life I lived from ‘birth’ in my own nation and in Jerusalem. 5 They’ve known for a long time, if they would admit it, that I lived according to the ‘strictest’ doctrinal paradigm of the Pharisees. 6 I now stand on trial for believing the promise that YHVH made to our ancestors. 7 This is the promise that our twelve tribes expect to see fulfilled, praying for it diligently day and night. It is because of this very hope, king Agrippa, that the Jews are accusing me. 8 What do you think? Shouldn’t we believe that YHVH will raise the dead?

9 At first, I was convinced that I should do everything I could to oppose the name of Yeshua the Nazarene. 10 I was doing this in Jerusalem. And by the authority I received from the high priests, I threw many of the kadishea [saints into prison and when they were being condemned to death, I cast my vote to condemned them. 11 I viciously tortured them in every synagogue, and I tried to force them to blaspheme the name of Yeshua. In my furious rage against them I also went to cities other than Jerusalem to persecute them.

12 While on one of these missions to Damascus, with authorization and a commission from the high priests, 13 at midday, ‘my’ king, while on the road I saw a light brighter than the sun, beaming from the sky onto me and on everyone with me. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice asking me in Hebrew, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting Me? It will be difficult for you to kick against he cattle prods.”

15 Then I asked, “Who are you Master?” Then our Master told me, “I’m Yeshua the Nazarene who you are persecuting.” 16 He told me, “Stand on your feet because I have appeared to you for the very purpose of appointing you to be a servant and a witness of your seeing Me now, and of your seeing Me in the future. 17 I’ll protect you from the Jewish people and from the other people who I’m sending you to, 18 to open their eyes so that they can turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to Aloha, and receive complete forgiveness from their sins, and an inheritance with the kadosh believers thru faith in Me.”

19 So, King Agrippa, I didn’t disobey the Heavenly vision, 20 but I proclaimed this starting in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and in all the villages of Judea, and after that to other nations so that they too could have a change of mind and turn to YHVH, and do works consistent with changed minds. 21 This is why the Jews grabbed me in the Temple and tried to kill me. 22 YHVH has helped me to this very day, and now I stand testifying to both rich and poor, yet saying nothing beyond what the Prophets and Moses said—the very things that they said would happen— 23 namely, that the Messiah would suffer and become the first to be resurrected from the dead and that He would proclaim light to the Israelite people and to every other ethnicity.

24 When Paul was making his defense, Festus shouted loudly, “Paul, you are out of your mind. Too much study has caused you to go mad.”

25 Paul replied, “I’m not mad, Your Excellency Festus, I’m speaking words of truth and righteousness. 26 King Agrippa, you are well acquainted with these things. That’s why I’m speaking so freely to you, because I’m convinced that not one of these things has escaped your notice since they weren’t done in secret. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you believe.”

Agrippa, Almost a Christian

28 King Agrippa said, “Within this short time you’ve almost persuaded me to become a Christian!” 29 Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I ‘pray’ to YHVH that not only you, but everyone listening to me today were as I am, except for these chains.”

30 The king stood up and the Governor and Bernice, and the people who were sitting with them. 31 After they left, they discussed it together and agreed, “This man has done nothing worthy of death or imprisonment.” 32 Agrippa told Festus, “The man could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.”

Paul Sets Sail For Rome

Acts 27: Festus ordered that he be sent to Caesar in Italy. So he handed Paul and some other prisoners over to a centurion named Julius, from the Augustan Regiment. 2 We set sail on a ship from the city of Adramyttium, heading toward the ports along the coast of Asia Minor. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from the city of Thessalonica boarded the ship and went with us. 3 The next day we arrived at Sidon, and ‘Julius’ treated Paul with kindness, and allowed him to visit his friends so that they could provide for his needs. 4 We put out to sea, sailing on the sheltered side of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5 We sailed across the open sea off Cilicia and Pamphylia, and landed in Myra, a city in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy, and put us on board. 7 It was difficult sailing, but after many days, just as we made it down from the isle of Cnidos, the wind wouldn’t allow us to continue on a straight course, so we sailed on the sheltered side of Crete, off Cape Salmone. 8 Sailing past it was quite difficult. We finally arrived in a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lassa.

9 We lost so much time that it had become too dangerous for sailing, and the Day of the Fast [1] was already over, so Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that during our voyage there is going to be danger and considerable loss, not only for the cargo and the ship, but our lives are in danger as well. 11 But the centurion gave more credence to the pilot and the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12 Since that harbor wasn’t fit to winter in, the majority favored setting sail, hoping to reach a southern harbor in Crete called Phoenix and spend the winter there.

Typhoon

13 When the southern breeze began to blow, they thought they could ‘safely make it’ to Phoenix, so we began to sail around Crete. 14 But before long a typhoon called the Typhonic Euroclydon swept down against us. 15 The ship was whirled around by the storm and we couldn’t sail into the wind, so we gave up and let her drift. 16 Even as we drifted under the shelter of a small island called Cauda, we were barely able to control the skiff [Gr. skaphe]. 17 After hoisting it on board, we undergirded the ship with cables to strengthen it. But because we were afraid of running aground we lowered the sail and continued to drift. 18 The next day we took such a violent battering from the storm that we threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. 19 On the third day, they even grabbed the ship’s tackle and threw it overboard. 20 For several days neither the sun or the stars were visible as the storm continued to rage, and all hope of being saved had vanished.

21 After going without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “If you’d listened to me men, we wouldn’t have sailed from Crete, and this loss and danger would have been avoided. 22 But now I urge you not to panic, because not one person will die. Only the ship will be destroyed. 23 A Messenger of YHVH, who I belong to and who I serve, appeared to me last night. 24 And he said to me, “Don’t fear Paul, because you are yet to stand before Caesar, and now YHVH has granted you the lives of everyone sailing with you.” 25 So have courage men, because I believe YHVH, and it will be exactly as I was told. 26 But we will run aground on an island.

27 After fourteen days we were still drifting through the Adriatic sea. At midnight the sailors suspected that we were approaching land. 28 They let down the sounding lead to a depth of twenty fathoms. A little later it was fifteen fathoms. 29 Fearing that we’d be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for morning. 30 Attempting to abandon the ship, the sailors lowered the skiff into the sea, under the pretense of laying out anchors from the bow. 31 But when Paul saw them, he told the centurion and the soldiers, “If they don’t stay in the ship, you won’t be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut the ropes that held the skiff to the ship and set it adrift.

33 Even before dawn, Paul was urging them all to eat. He said, “Because of the danger it has been fourteenth days since you’ve eaten. 34 So I strongly encourage you to eat something to help you survive, since not one of you will lose a single hair on your head. 35 After saying that, he took some bread and thanked YHVH in front of everyone, and he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and they began to eat as well. 37 There were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten what they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat overboard.

39 In the morning, the sailors didn’t recognize the coast, but they saw an inlet on the beach where they hoped to run the ship aground. 40 They cut the anchors and left them in the sea. Then they untied the ropes that held the steering oars and hoisted a foresail to the breeze and headed for the beach. 41 The ship struck a sandbar between two deep channels of the sea and ran aground too soon. The bow was stuck and couldn’t be moved, while the stern was shattered by the force of the waves.

42 The soldiers would have killed the prisoners to keep them from swimming ashore and escaping, 43 but the centurion kept them from doing it because he wanted Paul to escape. So he ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and swim ashore. 44 He ordered the rest to follow on planks and on other timbers from the ship. So everyone escaped to shore safely.

[1] The public fast is specified in Leviticus 23:27 and celebrated yearly on the Day of Atonements, on the tenth of the month of Tisri (September/October). That time of year sailing was usually dangerous due to storms.

Paul on Malta

Acts 28: Later we learned [1] that the island was called Malta. 2 The barbarians who inhabited it showed us remarkable kindness and lit a fire and invited us all to warm ourselves due to the relentless rain and cold at the time. 3 As Paul gathered a bundle of dry sticks and laid them on the fire, a poisonous snake driven by the heat came out of it and bit his hand. 4 When the barbarians saw it hanging from his hand they said, “Undoubtedly this man is a murderer. Tho he was rescued from the sea, justice won’t allow him to live.” 5 But Paul shook his hand and the snake fell off into the fire and he wasn’t harmed. 6 The barbarians expected him to suddenly swell up or drop dead on the ground. But after they watched him for a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their ‘minds’ and said that he was a god.

7 There were properties there belonging to a man named Publius, who was the governor of the island. He cheerfully welcomed us into his house for three days. 8 Publius’ father was suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went to him and prayed and laid his hand on him and healed him. 9 After this, everyone else on the island who was sick came to him and was healed. 10 They honored us in many ways, and when we were ready to sail, they gave us supplies.

Arrival in Italy

11 Three months passed before we set sail in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered on the island. It had the Twin gods [Castor and Pollux] as its figurehead. 12 We stopped at the city of Syracuse and stayed there for three days. 13 From there we circled around and reached the city of Rhegium. The next day a favorable south wind began to blow, and in two days we arrived at Puteoli, a city in Italy. 14 We found some Friends there and they invited us to stay with them. We stayed for seven days, and then we headed for Rome. 15 When the Friends from Rome heard of our arrival, they came out to greet us from as far as the village of Appii Forum and from as far as the Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked YHVH and was encouraged. 16 When we arrived in Rome, the centurion allowed Paul to live wherever he wanted, with a soldier who guarded him.

17 Three days later, Paul invited the Jewish leaders to meet with him. When they gathered, he told them, “Men and brothers, altho I had in no way done anything against our people, or the laws of our ancestors, I was arrested and chained in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 After they questioned me, they wanted to let me go because there was no reason for putting me to death. 19 But when the Jews objected, I had to appeal to Caesar, but not because I had any accusations against my people. 20 That’s why I invited you here, so that I could see you and explain these things to you, since I’m wearing this chain for the hope of Israel [the awaited Messiah].”

21 They replied, “We haven’t received any letters from Judea about you, and none of our brothers who have come from Jerusalem have said anything critical about you. 22 But we would like to hear what your views are, because we know that people everywhere are speaking out against this doctrine” [2].

23 They set a date to meet him, and a large number of people gathered where he was staying. From morning till evening he expounded to them about the Kingdom of YHVH, persuasively explaining to them about Yeshua from the Torah of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 Some of them were convinced by what he said, while others refused to believe. 25 They left him, disagreeing among themselves after Paul told them, “The kadosh spirit was precisely right in speaking about your ancestors thru the prophet Isaiah: 26 “Go to these people and tell them, ‘You’ll hear but you won’t understand, and you’ll see but you won’t comprehend, 27 because these people are feeble minded, and hearing is burdesome for them. They’ve closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their minds and turn to Me and I would forgive them.’” 28 But understand that every other nation will be offered the hope of a ransom payment [redemption], and they’ll listen. 29 [A] 30 Paul rented a house at his own expense and lived in it for two years. He welcomed anyone who came to see him. 31 He continued heralding the Kingdom of YHVH and courageously taught about our Master Yeshua Messiah without being hindered.

[1] The Greek says “after they had escaped”. [2] The Greek translates this as either sect or heresy. Lamsa completely warped this verse. I only spot checked Lamsa. [A] “Verse 29”, “After he said this, the Jews left, and there were great discussions among them” isn’t in the MSS, or in any of the earlier editions (or the early Greek copies), and the later editions place it in the margin.

Completion of the Act[ion]s of the envoys, that is the history.

Next, see what JAMES had to say to the 12 tribes in the Diaspora.

Compare the Testimony of Yeshua’s Version of Acts with the 1851 Murdock Translation of Acts, or compare it with the 1849 Etheridge Version of “The Testimony of Yeshua” (New Testament).

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The Testimony of Yeshua was tweaked January 6, 2012