Paul before the Jewish Counsel
Acts 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
Acts 23:2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
Acts 23:3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
Paul had the right to speak, but the high priest had already judged him and held him in contempt.
1 Cor 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
The high priest had broken the law of Moses in having Paul punished before his trial to determine his guilt. They also broke the law in so many ways in their judgment upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteous son of God.
Deu 25:1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.
Deu 25:2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
Thou whited wall, he was outwardly high priest but inside was corruption. These words were similar to Jesus' rebuke to the religious leaders in Matthew 23.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Acts 23:4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
Acts 23:5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
Paul respected the title and authority, but not the man. Our Lord Jesus was treated similarly;
John 18:21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
John 18:22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
John 18:23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
Satan uses division to divide the people of God, here the Holy Spirit would use this division in the council to Paul's advantage; "of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question."
Acts 23:7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
Acts 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
Much as our own congress, the council was divided over their beliefs. The Pharisees believed in life after death, the miracles of God, the angels, and the Sadducees did not. They were the liberal humanists, glorying in themselves and not believing in God's promises.
Acts 23:9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
The Pharisees gave Paul the benefit of their approval of the things that he spoke of; "if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God." Anything is possible to those who believe. For those who don't believe, they fight God who made the laws that they were to uphold. As in our own country, there are those who uphold the law and those who want to make their own laws.
Acts 23:10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
By now the Roman soldiers had heard enough of these quarrelsome Jews. The first mob had tried to kill Paul because of Gentiles. Now the highest court has gone mad and angry over the word "resurrection."
The devil uses key words where Christians of various denominations are gathered together, to divide and anger the proud and carnal. Words such as; trinity, rapture, works vs grace, tongues, baptism, even Benny Hinn and his hair. One of the other dividers are those who are "gay and loving it, for Jesus." Can we love sin and the Lord, or shall we ignore scriptures as the Sadducees? When we judge right from wrong we are accused of judging, which means to condemn or to sentence. The devil knows how to divide.
1 Cor 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
God's word is true and we must not pick and choose scriptures that put a fence around us.The Jews would not hear Paul, because their walls of pride and predjudice were too high. Those who are in Christ are one Spirit and love flows between them. If hate and death are your fruit, then satan is controlling you.
1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1 Cor 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1 Cor 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1 Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1 Cor 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1 Cor 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1 Cor 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.