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October 20 - Evening

"Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, 'My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.'
 At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.
 Then Paul said to him, 'God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!'
Those who were standing near Paul said, 'How dare you insult God’s high priest!'
Paul replied, 'Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: "Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people." '
Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, 'My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.' 
When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. 'We find nothing wrong with this man,' they said. 'What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?' "

- Acts 23:1-7; 9

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

When brought before the Sanhedrin and accused of blaspheme, the Apostle Paul redirects the attention from himself to a theological issue. By doing so Paul takes control of the courtroom and begins to testify to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, instead of getting into a winless debate with the high priest and the Sanhedrin.
Since Paul is trained in the law and is capable as a lawyer, he appears before the Sanhedrin as his own legal defense. When Paul claims to have “fulfilled” his “duty to God in all good conscience”, the high priest orders that Paul be struck on the mouth. Paul’s response to the high priest is justified since the high priest was responsible for the enforcement of the Law, but actual breaks the Law by ordering a man be punished for simply presenting his legal defense. Realize that Paul’s crime has not been clearly identified yet and no charges have been established, yet the high priest is punishing a man for presenting his argument, a man, who has not been tried or convicted. The Jewish Law clearly taught a man was treated as innocent until proven guilty in a legal setting.
The high priest was Ananias at this time (not the Annas who was deposed in 15 and controlled the priesthood from behind the scenes until his death in 40 AD) This Ananias so of Nedebaios was high priest from 47-52. He was ordered to Rome for being accused of acts of terror and violence. He was found innocent by Claudius and returned to Jerusalem by 57 AD after high priest Jonathan’s service had ended. Paul may not have known who the high priest was at that time since Jonathan’s term had just ended and Ananias had just returned from Rome. Some other options could explain why Paul would say, “I did not realize that he was the high priest,” when clearly Paul knows the high priest would preside over the trial and Paul knows what garments distinguish the high priest from the rest of the priest. One, Paul may not have saw who said, “Strike him.” Two, Paul may have said it sarcastically, meaning, a high priest would know the law and not break the law while he pretends to obey the Law. Ultimately this Ananias would b drug from an aqueduct he was hiding in when the Jewish war broke out in 66 AD and was executed by the Jewish rebels.
Like Paul, Jesus had also rebuked the high priest for being struck illegally during a court hearing in John 18:21-23. Paul’s apology may not have been for rebuking the illegal action, but for calling the high priest a whitewashed wall, since Exodus 22:27-28 commands Israel not to revile a ruler.
Paul used his knowledge of the theological bias of the two political groups in the Sanhedrin (Pharisees and Sadducees) to redirect the issue and split the court by bring up the issue of resurrection. The Pharisees believed in resurrection of the dead, but the Sadducees did not.
Harmageddon (Gr) -  Armageddon (Eng) - the Greek word harmageddon is made from two words. One, har meaning “hill” or “mountain.” The second word, Megiddo, is the name of a city on the south side of the Plain of Jezreel near Galilee. Thus, “the hill of Megiddo,” or harmageddon, is the hill the city of Megiddo was built on. Archaeologists have excavated the tel of Megiddo.
Do I have time and money for my own interests, but yet not the time to help others?
Am I too busy to take time to listen or assist someone?
I will take time to spend some of my attention and my resources to on someone else.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


For Joy


Spiritual understanding
Separation of Church and State
Saudi Arabia - Saudis converted to Christ face death. Executions occur

Hezekiah's Pool in the northwest corner of Jerusalem in the Christian Quarter with the two grey domes of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the top left and the gold top of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in the top right corner.
Though it is called "Hezekiah's Pool" it is thought to be a reservoir from the time of Herod that received water from aqueducts that are still visible outside the Jaffa Gate. It also may have been a quarry outside the city where stones were cut for an Old Testament wall to the east of here. Some consider this to be the pool mentioned in Isaiah 36:2 and 2 Kings 18:17 where Sennacherib's field commander met Hezekiah's men "at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman's Field." This photo is viewed from the Petra Hotel which is just inside the Jaffa Gate across from the Citadel. At one time the courtyard around the reservoir was encircled with inns and rest stops for travels and royal couriers. Today these buildings are workshops and up until recently the pool was used as a trash dump.
(click on image for larger size)
Above the Umayyad Arch (built in the 600's AD by the Muslims) are four trapezoidal stones which form the arch of Herod's New Testament Temple Mount entrance. Below the trapezoidal stones is a large horizontal stone with a wide margin and boss carved into it. This is the lintel for the Herodian Double Gate. To the left behind the Crusader wall, the rest of the gate can be seen.
(click on image for larger size)

Someone to Quote

"When you are reading a book in a dark room, and come to a difficult part, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bibles to Christ." - Robert Murray M'Cheyne

Something to Ponder

In 1384 John Wycliffe translated the Latin Bible into English and was denounced as a heretic by the church.

Here’s a Fact

There is an account of the trial and 'hanging' of 'Yeshu', dating from the Tannaitic period (70 - 200 AD), found in the Babylonian Talmud saying:
"It has been taught:
On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went out, in front of him, for forty days (saying): 'He is going to be stoned, because he practised sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf.' But, not having found anything in his favour, they hanged him on the eve of Passover."


"If a man curses his father or mother, his lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness." - Proverbs 20:20

Coach’s Corner

Remember these words of Jesus: “Ask and it will be given to you.” Have you asked about your problem, concern or need? Have you been seeking the answer and knocking on the door?

James 4
New International Version (NIV)
Submit Yourselves to God
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud     but shows favor to the humble.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
Boasting About Tomorrow
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Luke 9:18-27
New International Version (NIV)
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

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