Watch Live Now

Chapter Twenty-Two — Part Three: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 01/29/2023

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 22:22-30

1. Throwing Dust.
a. Acts 22:22-23 AMPC — Up to the moment that Paul made this last statement, the people listened to him; but now they raised their voices and shouted, Away with such a fellow from the earth! He is not fit to live! 23 And as they were shouting and tossing and waving their garments and throwing dust into the air,
b. They interrupted him, shouting and yelling to cause confusion and to drown out Paul’s voice and message.
c. They ripped off their outer garments, waving them around and throwing dust up in the air.
d. In their culture, this was the way they expressed their rage, contempt, and malice toward others.
e. 2 Samuel 16:13 AMPC — So David and his men went by the road, and Shimei went along on the hillside opposite David and cursed as he went and threw stones and dust at him.
f. They were infuriated that the commander would not release him to them.
g. They demanded Paul’s execution, declaring that he was not fit to live.
h. For his ministry, on behalf of the Kingdom, Paul was worthy of the highest honors, and yet they declared him a burden and a plague to their generation.
i. They were prepared to stone him, then and there.

2. Spirit of Enmity.
a. A provoked conscience lashes out at the slightest touch.
b. Those who have chosen to not hear reason, will purposefully close their ears to it.
c. Romans 8:7 KJV — Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
d. There is a spirit of enmity that always opposes the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
e. It manifests itself by doing everything it can to shut the mouths and silence the voice of its messengers.
f. The Israelites were rebuked by God for refusing His Word through His prophets, through the ages.
g. Isaiah 30:9-10 NKJV — That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the Lord; 10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.

3. Confession.
a. Acts 22:24 AMPC — The commandant ordered that Paul be brought into the barracks, and that he be examined by scourging in order that [the commandant] might learn why the people cried out thus against him.
b. The commander protected Paul from the mob by bringing him inside the barracks.
c. The commander did not understand what Paul did to provoke the crowd and get them so riled up, but he figured it must be something terrible.
d. If he had asked, Paul would have explained the situation to him, but he did not care to find out.
e. Instead, he impatiently ordered that Paul be scourged with whips to beat a confession out of him.
f. In those days, they would try to torture confessions out of people by scourging them with whips.

4. Citizenship.
a. Acts 22:25 AMPC — But when they had stretched him out with the thongs (leather straps), Paul asked the centurion who was standing by, Is it legal for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned [without a trial]?
b. They tied him up, stretched out, preparing to scourge him.
c. Knowing it was unlawful to bind, confine, imprison, beat, or punish a Roman citizen, without a fair trial, Paul pleaded his Roman citizenship.
d. Those who did not follow this law (called lex Sempronia) were liable to be punished or executed themselves.
e. Binding a citizen was a criminal offense and beating them was a capital offense.
f. Acts 22:26 AMPC — When the centurion heard that, he went to the commandant and said to him, What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen!
g. Knowing that they all were now in violation of the law, the centurion went straight to his commander.
h. Acts 22:27 AMPC — So the commandant came and said to [Paul], Tell me, are you a Roman citizen? And he said, Yes [indeed]!
i. It came as a great surprise to these Roman soldiers, that this supposed troublemaker was in fact a Roman citizen.
j. Tarsus was a free city, and all its inhabitants were considered Roman citizens, and entitled to all the freedom, protections, and privileges thereof.
k. The freedom of citizenship was counted as a great privilege and a valuable right.
l. By merely mentioning Rome, you could procure your freedom from imprisonment or punishment.
m. Acts 22:28 AMPC — The commandant replied, I purchased this citizenship [as a capital investment] for a big price. Paul said, But I was born [Roman]!
n. Paul was born a free man, but the commander had paid a large sum of money to procure his freedom.
o. By his freebirth, Paul had a higher status, and was in a more privileged position than the commander.
p. Acts 22:29 AMPC — Instantly those who were about to examine and flog him withdrew from him; and the commandant also was frightened, for he realized that [Paul] was a Roman citizen and he had put him in chains.
q. The commander was frightened, and his soldiers quickly scurried away.
r. Still, the commander did not question Paul, himself, as to the reasons why the crowd would be so enraged against him, and chose rather to consult the Jewish Council.
s. Acts 22:30 AMPC — But the next day, desiring to know the real cause for which the Jews accused him, he unbound him and ordered the chief priests and all the council (Sanhedrin) to assemble; and he brought Paul down and placed him before them.
t. For whatever reason, and even though Paul was a Roman citizen, the commander kept him bound until he was brought before the Sanhedrin.