Angelic Conflict part 197: Human history (Sanhedrin) – Psa 145:13; Isa 9:7; Mal 3:16; Act 20:28-32; Joh 18:31; Ezr 7:6-10; Mat 23:6-12.
Title: Angelic Conflict part 197: Human history (Sanhedrin) – Psa 145:13; Isa 9:7; Mal 3:16; Act 20:28-32; Joh 18:31; Ezr 7:6-10; Mat 23:6-12.
So we have a Jewish people, in Judea, the prodigy of returned exiles who were faithful, who are ruled by the Roman Empire, but are able to administer their internal affairs, which satan has so postured to be full of arrogant and religious men who care nothing for God and everything for personal gain in prestige, power, and wealth. Does satan know the time of the Messiah? Did satan discern the year of His coming? Yes! All was ready and prepared for him to defeat this one who was promised to crush his head from the beginning in the Adamic Covenant. He had already tried to devour the woman who gave birth to Him 33 years ago, and as prophesied, there was enmity between him and the woman and he was unsuccessful. Now all Jerusalem are abuzz with the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth. The players are in place and the plan is hatched in order to make Him sin, quit, or as last solution, final solution - kill Him before He gets to Cavalry.
I have decided to end idolatry as I believe enough has been said about it. Today, idol worship has permeated all levels of society while the idols themselves have become more covert.
Unfortunately the early church soon became influenced by them, whether it was human leaders being worshipped or icons being prayed to.
And to Israel and Judah, idolatry would be there downfall.
No organization lasts the tests of time because they all involve fallen mankind, even when they begin in virtue. Only God's kingdom endures.
If an organization in involving man could stand the test of time then it may seem that man could organize in a way that would rival God's eternal kingdom. This is exactly what satan is convincing mankind of. From it stems the save the planet, environmentalism movement and the United Nations movement to a world organization that will ensure man's survival and ultimate utopian ideal. God's revelation is quite clear and in it only His kingdom endures.
Psa 145:8 The Lord is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
Psa 145:9 The Lord is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.
Psa 145:10 All Thy works shall give thanks to Thee, O Lord,
And Thy godly ones shall bless Thee.
Psa 145:11 They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom,
And talk of Thy power;
Psa 145:12 To make known to the sons of men Thy mighty acts,
And the glory of the majesty of Thy kingdom.
Psa 145:13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Thy dominion endures throughout all generations.
Isa 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
This means that the One born of a virgin has to be resurrected after His death. In resurrection is all the victory and the justification of all who are His, forever, eternally, in His kingdom that is without end.
'But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.'
Moses warned Israel before they crossed the Jordan to take possession of the land. The nation went through 400 years of the judges and then came into the monarchy. The kingdom split after Solomon and only in honor of David did the southern kingdom, Judah, survive until 586 BC. The northern kingdom was captured by the Assyrians in 721 BC and Nebuchadnezzar had taken Judah captive as was prophesied.
When Israel/Judah was allowed to return to Jerusalem after the predicted 70 years of captivity, they rebuilt the city and the temple, though the second temple was nothing compared to Solomon's. That is a moot point however, since God is interested in the heart of the believer and those who returned definitely had a heart for God.
Alexander the Great had thoroughly defeated the Persians at the battle of Issus in 333 BC and Palestine was under Greek control and therefore Greek influence. After Alexander died in 323 BC his kingdom was split up between four generals. Ptolemy possessed Egypt and he decided to conquer Syria. In 312 BC he encountered Jerusalem on his way north:
The post-exilic generations [500 BC - 200 BC] were faithful to the Law and so survived in relative peace.
It was this time that was preparing them for the arrival of their Savior, therefore a city and a temple had to exist, but also, and most importantly a ready heart in every Jew.
[From: A History of Israel, by Oesterley] Ptolemy thereupon pressed forward into Syria [312 BC] and conquered all the important cities, including Zidon. It is at this time that we get the account of Ptolemy’s presence in Jerusalem, given by Agatharchides [Ptolemy's counselor]; he says:
‘There are a people called Jews, and they dwell in a city which is the strongest of all cities, and which the inhabitants call Jerusalem. And they are accustomed to rest on every seventh day; at these times they do not take up arms, nor do they follow agricultural pursuits, nor do they occupy themselves with the affairs of (daily) life; but they lift up their hands in their holy places, and pray until the evening. Now it came to pass that when Ptolemy the son of Lagi entered into this city with his army, that these people, in observing their foolish custom, instead of guarding their city, suffered their country to submit to a cruel master; and their law was thus clearly proved to command a foolish practice.
The Greek Empire split between four generals after Alexander's death with Syria/Babylon going to Seleucus and Egypt going to Ptolemy. Both fought for control of Palestine.
The Jews were caught in the middle, but for the most part, no matter who their ruler was, they were allowed to be pretty much to themselves as long as they paid their taxes.
After a time the Syrian king Antiochus IV, Epiphanes came to the throne [175 BC] who was thoroughly Greek and wanted to Hellenize the Jews and there were many Jews who asked him to do it.
By this time there were many Jews who desired the Hellenization, even to the point of un-circumcising themselves, and Antiochus appointed his own high priest, a man who bribed him and was not of the priestly family. However, the orthodox Jews refused to recognize this high priest and drove him out. The Hellenistic Jews encouraged Antiochus to stamp out Judaism and this led to a main orthodox family, the Macabees to lead a revolt against Antiochus and the Hellenistic Jews.
Once Antiochus did begin his Hellenizing project with many of the Jews.
Hellenize - to convert a people to Greek culture and religion and philosophy.
He carried out his undertaking with fanatical zeal: all Jewish sacrifices were forbidden, sabbaths and feasts were not to be observed, and the rite of circumcision was no longer to be practiced. On the other hand, heathen altars were to be set up and shrines built for idols, swine’s flesh and unclean animals were to be sacrificed. By this means it was intended that the Jews should be made to forget their Law and its ordinances. Disobedience was to be punished with death. To crown all, an altar to the Olympian Zeus was placed upon the altar of the Temple.’ Among the Samaritans, too, something similar was done; the Temple on Mount Gerizim was dedicated to Zeus Xenios, ‘Zeus the Protector of strangers.’ Special mention is also made of the destruction of the Scriptures, the possession of which entailed the death penalty.
Satan again attempted to stamp out all remnants of Judaism through Antiochus Epiphanes in 170 BC with the help of many Jews.
The effect of this was the submission of many Jews; but a greater number resisted, and men, women, and children were put to death.
The resistance was at first passive; but very soon active aggression developed.
The Maccabeus family, a priestly family, resisted Hellenization and revolted against Syria and the Hellenistic Jews [166 BC - 142 BC].
The father of the family, a priest living northwest of Jerusalem by the name of Mattathias, was ordered by the emissaries from the king of Syria to offer a sacrifice on a heathen altar. He refused, and when one of the kings men came forward to offer the sacrifice Mattathias killed him and then killed the kings officer. Then Mattathias left all his possessions and fled with his five sons and anyone who would rally to the call of revolt, into the mountains where the rebellion was organized.
That was the beginning [166 BC]. Very soon the loyal Jews flocked to Mattathias in his mountain stronghold.
This opposition to authority could, of course, not be ignored by the dominant party, trivial as it no doubt appeared to them. The first contact between the king’s forces and the orthodox Jews was disastrous for the Jews as their zealousness robbed them of their common sense, yet it did illustrate their fanatical adherence to the Law. A part of the rebel group was brought to bay by a detachment of royal troops, but since it was a Sabbath day they refused to fight or to even defend their women and children and they were slaughtered.
It at once became clear to the loyalist Jews that this well-meant but mistaken action would defeat the end they had in view, since if all those true to the Law were to lay down their lives in this way, there would be nobody left to champion the Law. It was, therefore, decided that, if attacked on the Sabbath, they would retaliate.
And so we get to the reason that I'm relating this to you. About this time, joining the rebels of orthodox Jews who are fighting for the Law and for the removal of Hellenism from their people, was a people called the Hasidim.
After a short time a group called the Hasidim, pious defenders of the Mosaic Law, joined the rebel orthodox Jews. This group would later evolve into the Pharisees.
Hasidim means pious. They were a group dedicated to being pious defenders of the Mosaic Law.
Mattathias died and the leadership of the revolt went to his son Judas Maccabeus, who defeated the Syrians and cleansed the Temple, which event is celebrated as Hanukkah.
This occurred on 25 Chislev or the 14th of December in 164 BC.
Judas' brother Simon would soon rule as high priest and pseudo king of the now independent Jewish state and it would remain in this family, with a lot of turmoil and in-fighting until 63 BC when the in-fighting became enough for the Roman Empire and the Roman general Pompey entered Jerusalem in 63 B.C. and set up Roman rule.
At the return of the exiles from Babylon, the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah set in motion strict observance and study of the Scriptures, Mal 3:16.
Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name.
Of course, this was a good thing. Evidence within the OT itself indicates a growing trend toward biblical exposition by qualified teachers and an emphasis on correct interpretation and application of the law (Ezr 7:11; 8:16; Neh 8:7-9; 1Ch 25:8; 27:32).
The reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah provided the primary spiritual-religious impulse of the Hasidians, who, after the victory of the Maccabees soon developed into the Pharisees.
Simon Maccabeus' son Hyrcanus was the next high priest and he was affiliated with the Pharisees and then switched favor to the Sadducees.
He switched because a leading Pharisee insulted him. This shows that by now there are children in control of the Jewish people.
Although evidence is scant, it is probable that, as part of the aftermath of the Maccabean revolt, the party of the Sadducees developed around the hereditary high priesthood established by Judas Maccabeus, while the Pharisees remained popular with the people.
The Sadducees were mainly wealthy priests that developed around the support of high priests established by the Maccabeus family.
Each group fought for control of their small independent land, but its independence was in theory only as Hyrcanus had to make a deal with Rome in order to maintain whatever sovereignty he had. Eventually, the infighting between the sons of the Maccabeus family [Hasmonian dynasty] with their affiliations from the Pharisees and Sadducees caused enough commotion that Pompey had to conquer it and make it a Roman vassal state.
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.
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.
"For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"