September 23, 2020
If This Counsel Is Of Men
Acts 5:34-39 (KJB) Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
There is an important lesson to learn in these verses. The tempers flared between men inside this court. One man, a Pharisee, and a well-known lawyer and teacher of the law stood up to further address this situation by attempting to intervene in this heated exchange quietly.
This man’s name was Gamaliel, the man who taught Paul in his younger years and was familiar with the ins and outs of this complicated situation concerning the resurrection, involving the firmly held beliefs of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and lawyers involved in this “kangaroo-syle Court” fiasco.
It boiled down to the fact that each of these groups thought their motive and ideas was the correct position concerning the resurrection; none of the men were willing to listen to any other mindset for they each thought they held the truth in the mater.
However, Gamaliel’s advice was to consider this argument to be one of principle, and that each could determine their mindset and in the end, God would indeed determine the truth. His take on the situation seemed to remove the heat from the conversation and to affirm each could hold onto their personal belief, whether it be right or wrong in God’s view. This concession allowed these men the freedom to believe what they wanted to think and not answer to anyone but God.
Gamaliel found a way to quiet the argument and to appease the Pharisees, and the Sadducees troubled conscious. It is true that in the end, God sorts out things of this nature according to His truth.
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