No longer a ‘what if’ Pharisee

11 Jun

‘what if, …’ Acts 23

Pharisees day that it is possible that there are angels and a spirit. But not Paul. He is no longer a Pharisee. He knows His Lord Hod is near and real. Paul hears him.

Paul is, can be, many things, but one thing he is not: Paul is Not a ‘what if’ person. Specific and definitive; decisive, strategic and knowledgable, Paul does not live in a counter/factual, a ‘what if’ world. Paul talks, acts and looks straight. A straight shooter- ,

Acts 23 ‘Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” 2 At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3 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!”

4 Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”

5 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.”

6 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.” 7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)

9 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?” 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”’

The Pharisees are led by Paul’s statements to a counter factual, a ‘what if’ world. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” (9)

Existing there, the Pharisees and Sadducees fight so over Paul, he is removed from there presences, but not from God’s.

For that night the Lord stands near to Paul.

When we move in heart and mind directly towards God, we find that He stands near, stands for us. And He speaks words, confirming and comforting, about our choices.

He is so near He can whisper and we hear him as clearly as a truly felt emotion.

He loves us, and there are no ‘what ifs’ about His love.

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