Portion 18 – Acts 23:1-11

Submitted by: Minister Lonnita Deadwyler

Related Scriptures: Exodus 21-24:18 & Jeremiah 34:8-22; 33:25-26

Conscience is defined as being an inner feeling or voice, viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior; it consist of the heart, mind and will. To have our hearts governed by the Holy Spirit means that he is able to exercise His Sovereign authority in us; it means that He is in control of our actions and behaviors. It means that we have surrendered to Him and are following His lead at every given moment. In other words, If He says do then we do, if he says don’t then we don’t if he says say then we say and if he says go then we go. If we are not yielded to the Holy Spirit then we are being self-led and misled.

Although the Sanhedrin followed the Torah (outwardly), they could not claim such a bold statement as Paul did (that their conscience was good before the L-rd) because they were missing an important element: their hearts were not totally yielded to YHVH; therefore their adherence to Torah was based on their own perception of it. That’s why it was so easy for them to think that they were upholding it, but was actually violating it. Their self-led conscience prevented them from seeing or hearing YHVH’s truth. The same applies to us today. Paul’s statement was based on the fact that he had been broken before G-d and he gave up his perception of  good and right and he lived for what was actually good and right, namely Yeshua.

Can we stand before the Searcher of our hearts and claim that we live in good conscience? It’s ok if we can’t because the L-rd is given us an opportunity, just as he gave the Sanhedrin, to do so, but we must first acknowledge that we have been self- led and repent. DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY. 

In verse 1. The KJ translation reads ‘I have lived’ in all good conscience. The translation is po-le-tyu-o-mi which is the same word that is used for citizenship and conduct /conversation in Phil 1:27

If you notice Paul was very careful with His words as not to bring an offense to YHVH’s character, but to give true testimony of it. And this Truth divided the camp. We too should be careful of our words and conversations they are an indication to whom and where we belong.

We may never find ourselves being arrested and sent to minister the Good News of the Kingdom, but can we begin to understand that in our interactions, the L-rd is desiring to reveal himself, so the situation at hand is not what’s important?

When our perception and focus changes then the Adversary will become confused because we will be serving Adonai our G-d with all of our heart, no longer being led by our flesh but by His Spirit which will cause truth to proceed from our lips nothing more and nothing less.

The L-rd had already prepared Paul to take the message of the Good News to Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-14), Paul was standing before them not because they had arrested him but because G-d sent him to witness of His Truth, Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness.

Instead of viewing our current situation (as well as our future ones) selfishly, let’s live and think like citizens of Heaven seizing the opportunity to give witness of YHVH’s great love, obeying his Word and allowing his Spirit to govern our conscience as we trust him.

Three Summary Points

In order to be a true servant of YHVH we must obey Torah and allow the Ruach HaKodesh to govern our conscience: (Roman 9:1)

When we live as citizens of Heaven it will confuse the enemy: (Phil 3:20; Deut 23:25a, 27)

Trust YHVH! He knows what He is doing

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