Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 23
Dear brothers and sisters,
In the Bible study on the 23th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:
- Paul before the Sanhedrin
- The plot to kill Paul
- Paul transferred to Caesarea
Paul before the Sanhedrin
This part of chapter 22 shows an amazing ability of God to put division in our enemies. Paul was put before the Sanhedrin for both Sadducees and Pharisees were joined together with the goal to judge (and eventually kill) Paul.
Paul opened the “trial” by stating that he had fulfilled his duty to God in all good conscience to this day, which was actually true. But this truth was not acceptable for the high priest, because they were not looking for the truth, but for a reason to kill Paul. So the high priest ordered his man to slap Paul the face. Paul told them that God would strike them, because they claim to defend the law, but they themselves were in violation of the law by striking him. And now the men claimed that Paul was insulting the high priest. How is it not insulting to hurt someone just for telling the truth?
Now we see how the Holy Spirit led Paul to bring confusion. The Holy Spirit let him now that amongst the men were both Sadducees and Pharisees. He told him that he himself was a Pharisee from Sadducee descent and was only on trial because he had hope for the resurrection of dead. Because Sadducees don’t believe that there is such a thing as resurrection a dispute between both the Pharisees and Sadducees broke loose and they forgot about Paul.
The Roman commander however was afraid (because the Holy Spirit sent him to protect the life of Paul) that Paul would be killed, he took him away barracks. That night God came to Paul and told him that he needed to testify the same way in Rome as he did in Jerusalem. See again how God continuously leads and protects us through the Holy Spirit Therefore it is vital that you are baptized in the Holy Spirit so that God can let Him work in your life.
The plot to kill Paul
I love the book of Acts so much, because it shows how the Holy Spirit continuously works in our life. People, of whom the hard has been so made full of hatred of God’s people (and knowingly of unknowingly also hate God) will not rest until they achieved their goal. But because we serve the Almighty God, He will always protect us.
Amongst Jews a conspiracy was formed to kill Paul. A total of 40 man took an oath not to drink nor eat, before they killed Paul. They discussed their plan with the chief priest and the elders and instead of stopping them from this devilish plan, they actually agreed to it. The plan was to ask the Roman commander to bring Paul to the Sanhedrin for some further questioning, and on the way there the 40 would ambush and kill them.
The Holy Spirit however made sure that the sister heard of this plan and she went to Paul and told him. Paul asked the commander to listen to her and God really touched his heart because he listened and urged her not to tell anyone about this.
Paul transferred to Caesarea
The Roman commander was immediately guided by the Holy Spirit (not specifically mentioned, but the only one that can guide a non-believer to protect a believer is God himself. He arranged for a big escort and ordered them to bring him at 9 in the evening to Caesarea to governor Felix together with a letter explaining that Paul was captured by the Jews for a dispute on the law for which he found no reason to kill him, still the Jews were trying to everything to do so.
Paul arrived safely and gave the letter. The governor took him in and protected him and allowed him to stay there and took it on himself to order the accusers to come to him to discuss the whole situation giving Paul a fair trial.
I pray that we trust fully on the Holy Spirit (and listen to His guidance) in everything. Never hear Him and decide not to listen. If God tells you something, then it is the only good thing!
Thanks you God for protecting and guiding us!