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From Trials to Triumph

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    Paul, in Chains, Appeals to the Jews

    At Rome Julius delivered up his prisoners to the captain of the emperor's guard. The good account which he gave of Paul, with the letter from Festus, caused the apostle to be favorably regarded by the chief captain, and instead of being thrown into prison, he was permitted to live in his own hired house. Although still chained to a soldier, he was at liberty to receive his friends and to labor for the cause of Christ.TT 238.3

    Many of the Jews previously banished from Rome had been allowed to return. To these, first of all, Paul determined to present the facts concerning himself and his work, before his enemies should have opportunity to embitter them against him. Three days after his arrival he called together their leading men, and said:TT 238.4

    “I had done nothing against the people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar... . It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”TT 238.5

    He said nothing of the repeated plots to assassinate him. He was not seeking to win sympathy, but to defend the truth and to maintain the honor of the gospel.TT 239.1

    His hearers stated that none of the Jews who had come to Rome had accused him of any crime. They also expressed a strong desire to hear for themselves the reasons of his faith in Christ. Paul bade them set a day, and at the time appointed, many came together. “He expounded the matter to them from morning till evening, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets.” He related his own experience and presented arguments from the Old Testament Scriptures.TT 239.2

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