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Up Way Publications 35th Anniversary
Volume 02  Number 05                                                                                                                 April 14, 1990
Are You A Pontius Pilate?

Pontius Pilate knew better. He realized that the Jewish religious leaders were jealous of Jesus and wanted Him out of the way but was unwilling to go against public opinion, no matter how wrong it was, because if the Jews staged an uprising against Rome because he, Pilate, did not go along with their religious leaders,  it would endanger his job. Caesar did not take kindly to governors who could not maintain tranquility and smash any uprising or threat of uprising before it got any degree of popular support.

Pilate knew that the Jews were prone to uprising and had done so before. He likely had had warning from Caesar even at the time he was appointed to be governor that he had better not permit any rebellion to ever get started.

So now here was this Jesus fellow. He seemed harmless enough, though perhaps a little over self-confident and maybe a trace of smart-alecky in the way He refused to answer and then often answered questions with questions of His own. He said that He was a King, but that His Kingdom was "not of this world," whatever that meant. Could He really have designs on Rome or causing a Jewish uprising after all?  Then Pilate's wife sent word that he should "Have nothing to do with this just man," because she had had a dream about Him. 

But for all that, Pilate still listened to the crowd yelling out, "Crucify Him!" "Crucify Him!" It wouldn't take much to get this bunch to turn violent and Rome and Caesar would not like that. Not like it as bit!! Compromise! That's the idea! 

"Hey, you guys. You know I usually release one prisoner to you at this time of year. Who should I release? The murdering robber Barabbas or Jesus?" Surely they would want Barabbas to remain in Roman custody. they wouldn't want him running loose again. But the High Priest, Caiaphas, hardly missed a heartbeat before he was screaming, "Release Barabbas" at the top of his voice and inciting the crowd to do the same. Pilate would doubtless have liked to arrest Caiaphas,  because he knew that he was a man who really might cause trouble, mor than this Jesus guy,  but, as High Priest in the Jewish religion, he was a recognized Jewish authority figure and he, Pilate, more or less had to go along with what Caiaphas wanted if he wanted to keep the peace.  So Pilate did what many in the Gospel Ministry today do.

Many ministers know that the power of the Holy Spirit and the evidence of speaking in tongues is real and true for today, but because their denomination or their local church leadership reject it, they will not preach it from their pulpits.  These are modern day Pontius Pilates.  They would rather compromise and end up doing what they know is not right rather than risk their jobs or prestige. Actually, like Pilate, if they truly believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that what He, Jesus, said, in the context in which He said it, they would stand for truth rather than staying with doctrinal error. Where do you, Sir, stand? Are you a Pontius Pilate?

Maybe, my dear minister friend, you have seen that from the very first believers who believed a Holy Spirit inspired sermon and as a result of that belief, felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and asked how to be saved. The examples throughout the Book of Acts of baptism in Jesus name show that that is really the correct Bible doctrine, but you still refuse to preach or teach it because your congregation might be offended and you might lose your job.  Another Pontius Pilate!

Pilate's Wife -Matthew 27:19
Barabbas  Matthew 27:16,17;  Mark 15:6-10;  Luke 23:16-23; John 18:39,40
Caiaphas  Matthew 26:3, 57; 27:20; Mark 15:11 - 15; Luke 3:2; 23:23; John 11:49; 18:13,14, 24,28
Belief may = Holy Spirit conviction: Acts 2: 36,37 Obedience examples: Acts 2:38,41; 8:12-16, 36-39; 9:18; 10:47,48; 11:16; 16:14, 15,33; 18:8; 19:1-6; 22:16; Romans 6:3,4; 1 Corinthians 1:14-16; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12
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