Angelic Conflict part 198: Human history (Sanhedrin) – Phi 2:1-11; Act 20:28-32; Joh 18:31; Ezr 7:6-10; Mat 23:6-12.

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Title: Angelic Conflict part 198: Human history (Sanhedrin) - PHI 2:1-11; ACT 20:28-32; JOH 18:31; EZR 7:6-10; MAT 23:6-12.



When the Jews returned from captivity they created under the guidance of Nehemiah and Ezra a governing body, a sort of senate that came to be known as the Sanhedrin (a place to sit).


Hundreds of years later when the king of Syria and many in Judea as well as the king of Syria, who controlled Jerusalem at the time, decided to remove all semblances of Judaism from Jerusalem, the Maccabean revolution overcame this Hellenizing influence. A group of Law abiding Jews joined this revolution and they were known as the Hasidians. These Hasidians came to be known as the Pharisees, pious defenders of the Law.


One of the Maccabeus sons who was high priest changed his affiliation with the Pharisees over to the Sadducees. This group was comprised of mostly wealthy priests who backed the Maccabeus high priesthood.


It would seem that the Pharisees and the Sadducees began with virtuous intentions, but the conflict between them is evidence of the fingerprints of satan. There is only one Law after all and it is not bendable. If both groups were following the letter of the Law then it would seem that they would have no other recourse but to be unified in the same mind, goal, and purpose.


PHI 2:1 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,


The answer to these questions are all yes and all come from one source and from nowhere else, therefore the royal family should be in unity of mind.


PHI 2:2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.


PHI 2:3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;


Did the eventual infighting amongst the Pharisees and Sadducees and Scribes follow this simple instruction in truth with the recognition that no man is even close to the level of importance that God sustains easily.


The important point to take from this is that these three groups were not Baal worshipers, but began as orthodox keepers of the Law and instructors of others of the same, and now they had become legalistic through the Law believing that the Law could make man righteous and their inflamed arrogance came from their study of the very scriptures that were designed to make them humble.


PHI 2:4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.


PHI 2:5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,


PHI 2:6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,


PHI 2:7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.


PHI 2:8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


PHI 2:9Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,


PHI 2:10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,


PHI 2:11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Satan became successful in destroying the wonderful reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah by causing arrogant men to induce division in the ranks of the teachers of scripture. Ezra was a scribe and priest and he was the impetus behind the fervor in Jerusalem to interpret and learn the scriptures and after him, those whom he had commissioned as teachers became arrogant and satan used that arrogance as he always does - to cause division and infighting amongst those who are responsible to teach the people.  


What was once a beautiful revival of scriptural study begun by Ezra and Nehemiah turned into a turf war over non -essential, legalistic matters that resulted in Roman domination.


The wolves moved in amongst the sheep and because the sheep fell asleep, the wolves devoured them and gained control of the spiritual aspect of the people.


ACT 20:28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.


ACT 20:29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;


ACT 20:30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.


ACT 20:31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.


ACT 20:32 "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


This has happened to every client nation in the dispensation of the church as well. The pulpits in those nations get liberal or legalistic and this opens the door for false doctrine which takes on a snowball effect if it is not squashed immediately.


When the Pharisees first appear in Josephus's narrative they are the opponents of the Sadducees - satan causes division.


1CO 12:25

that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.


Strict interpretation of the law as it is written would reveal its rigidity and therefore it would not be miscible with any other humanistic, legalistic, liberal, false theology.


After the exile, the Jews governed themselves through a type of senate that would come to be called the Sanhedrin initially consisting of elders and nobles.


After their return from Babylon the Jews, though under the indirect rule of the Persian Empire, were allowed to rule themselves, but without a king, and so elders and nobles made up a sort of senate for deciding rulership matters. When the Greeks conquered the area the same situation went on, just with a different indirect ruler. This senate would evolve into the Sanhedrin ("place of those who sit together; council") first mentioned around 200 BC. As the Pharisees and Sadducees developed as influential parties the wealthy priests, nobles, scholars of any importance and noble birth would affiliate themselves with one or the other and soon, the senate, council, or Sanhedrin would be full of various numbers of both groups as well as scribes, much like our own senate has varying numbers of democrats and republicans.


Satan got to work to change the 71 member Sanhedrin into a ruling body full of arrogant, religious, windbags.


With the addition of the scribes, the religious leaders began to become more powerful than the nobility, and as happens in these cases, became the nobility so that the Jews were pretty much governed by a religious body comprised of scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, who often fought with one another.  


However, with the rule of Herod the Great and subsequent partition of his kingdom among his sons the Sanhedrin found itself also in subject to Roman authorities, but were allowed to decide only on internal affairs.


JOH 18:28 They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium in order that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.


JOH 18:29 Pilate therefore went out to them, and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?"


JOH 18:30 They answered and said to him, "If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you."


JOH 18:31 Pilate therefore said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law." The Jews said to him, "We are not permitted to put anyone to death,"


JOH 18:32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.


If the power of the Sanhedrin had remained unchanged by the Roman Empire then they would have retained the authority to stone a man to death, but Jesus had to die on a cross. Jesus Christ controls human history.


satan moves one chess piece - stack the Sanhedrin with arrogant, religious, greed men who will decide to stone Jesus to death, and then God moves another chess piece - move in the Roman Empire to remove the authority of the Sanhedrin to put people to death. satan must be so completely frustrated.


John 5:18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.


John 7:1 After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.


John 7:2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near.


John 7:3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, "Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing.


John 7:4 "For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world."


John 7:5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.

John 11:47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, "What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs.


John 11:48 "If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

John 11:49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,


John 11:50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish."

John 11:51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,

John 11:52 and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.     


John 11:53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.






ISA 14:27

"For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"