Acts 24:1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
4 Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
7 But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
8 Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.
9 And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.
We notice here in verse 1 that the Jews from Jerusalem took 5 days to arrive in Caesarea. They certainly were not in a big hurry to bring this case to an end. You notice as well that they needed an “orator” to come with them and speak on their behalf. An “orator” is “a forensic advocate”. The word “forensic” means “the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime”. In our text the orator used tactics that would be typical of a “spin-doctor”. As we look at the words of this orator by the name of Tertullus, we see a man that was well versed in flattery and lies. Flattery is a common tactic of someone who has no real case but is trying to gain someone else’s favour or trying to break down the guard of someone. In this case, these false teachers wanted to do both. They wanted to break down the guard of Felix and they wanted to use that to gain a favour from him.
After wasting words and time, this orator began to make his case in verse 5. He did so by smearing the apostle Paul. No facts have been presented yet. They needed to paint a picture that they hoped would be bought by the governor. They were hoping that the governor was a gullible man who was also vain. Sadly, many people that enter politics are quite vain. This orator assumed that Felix was a vain man.
As we have noted, God is able to use ungodly people to accomplish His purposes. We know that His purpose is to see people saved. We also know that He is showing the world a sample of what is ahead for the wicked. The time of the antichrist will be a terrible time for those who are alive at that time. The Bible tells us that when the “man of sin” comes on the scene, God will give the people that enter the Tribulation time strong delusion, that they might believe a lie. We are currently seeing an increasing lack of interest in the “election” process in this country. The province of Ontario just had their election and around 43% of the eligible people turned out to vote. Of that minority, the PC’s gained a majority. Enough people who voted cared nothing about the defiance of the PC’s against the God of Creation. They decided to keep that corrupt system in place.
Psalm 2 reminds us that God sits in Heaven and laughs at those who are foolish enough to defy Him. He knows they are worse than a child who stands in defiance against his parents. Godly parents do not put up with that defiance. God certainly does not put up with the defiance taking place. The evidence of that fact is screaming out at us.
In verse 5 of our text, Tertullus called Paul a pestilent fellow. The word translated as “pestilent” means: “a pest, a plague, a disease”. This man was trying hard to make Paul look very bad in the eyes of Felix. Felix had not yet spoken with Paul. He read the letter from the chief captain, but he had waited for this group to arrive. They wasted no time in making sure that they would do all they could to try to form the opinion they wanted in Felix’s mind.
Those 5 days that it took for this entourage to get to Caesarea gave Felix an opportunity to observe the apostle Paul. The soldiers that would have been guarding him would also witness what kind of a man he was. He certainly did not fit the description painted by Tertullus.
Tertullus went on to describe Paul as a mover of sedition. There is no doubt that what Paul was preaching was controversial. It was controversial because the Pharisees and Sadducees and the false priests had tried their best to brain wash the people with their false teachings for several hundred years. They opposed Jesus as much as they could. They were the human vehicle that caused Pilate to sign Jesus’ death warrant.
However, Jesus and the apostle Paul were not the problem. Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth and the life”. Jesus Christ knew that there was no way to know God’s peace apart from knowing Him as Lord and Saviour. Paul had come to understand and accept this truth as well. He loved the people and wanted them to know God’s peace and forgiveness. The problem was with Tertullus and with the religious false teachers. They were opposing the truth.
The Bible makes it clear that the truth must be proclaimed. True Christians are commanded to preach the Word in season and out of season. Tertullus made it clear that he and those he represented did not want to hear the truth. What they were doing here was wetting the appetite for Felix to hear the apostle Paul.
Tertullus further showed his contempt for the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was sometimes identified as a Nazarene because He grew up there. Tertullus did not want to mention His name and thus tried to belittle Jesus Christ and called Paul the ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
The fourth charge brought against Paul was that he profaned the Temple. That was an outright lie and Tertullus knew it. Of the four charges brought against Paul, only one would have been of some interest to Felix. That was the accusation that Paul was a mover of sedition. The Roman government would not want anyone stirring up unrest against the government. As we will see, none of these charges could be substantiated and Tertullus was a typical orator/lawyer. He had the gift of the gab, but he had nothing worthwhile to say.
The Jews wasted their money on hiring him. Paul certainly had nothing to fear from listening to this man’s babbling. It is important for God’s people to be grounded in God’s Word. We have seen over the past two years that most professing Christians are not well grounded in God’s Word. Too many have given in to the shots. They have ruined their lives by accepting these experimental drugs. The evidence is very clear on that. A recent report stated that life insurance companies have reported a 40% increase in death claims in the past year. The government officials will never admit this is from the shots, but the evidence speaks otherwise. They are trying to hide the evidence, but the drug companies are being forced to release their data. The reports are not encouraging. There is a reason why the drug companies insisted that they be protected from lawsuits before they even released the experimental drugs. The warning signs were there, but most people just ignored them.
In verse 6 Tertullus admitted that they were ready to lynch Paul without a trial. In verse 7 he admitted that Lysias came and rescued Paul with great force. He did not understand that God was the Saviour here. God kept these criminals from shutting down this man of God.
In verse 9 we see that the Jews dutifully agreed with their high paid orator. They had no backbone and they had no case and they were relying on this “educated” man to be able to break down Felix in their favour. We see a picture of a sad system of government that these Jews were hoping to have rule on this matter. What hope is there when flattery and lies are how you want to get your way?
That is where we are at as a country. It is not a good report, but unless we face reality, we will be duped by it. God can intervene. God is still not willing that any should perish. God still wants all to be saved. We need to pray for our governments and our police forces. We are not in good shape. For those who are saved, this should be reminding us that our hope is in God, not in man. We have been silent for far too long.
Jesus spoke publicly and He exposed the false teachers often. The apostle Paul spoke publicly as did the other apostles. Paul exposed the false teachers often as well. The false teachers are still around. They are not going away. However Paul, who was in the minority, was used of God to prick people’s consciences. He was given opportunity to speak to kings and governors as well as to false teachers and the common people. The false teachers did not like what they were hearing and seeing. However, the Bible tells us there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.
Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Let us pray and let us be bold in the name of our God. He has not changed.