January 29, 2019

BIBLE READING: ACTS 5

34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel……….
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.

After all the miracles that God was using the disciples to perform, the religious leaders and Pharisees obviously became really nervous. This chapter tells us that at one point the people were literally lining the streets with sick people on beds and cots just waiting and hoping that maybe Peter would walk by and just his shadow would touch them. That is the kind of power that God had given His disciples. Knowing all these people were being healed caused the people to begin to rally behind the disciples. This made the religious leaders even madder. They were plotting to kill the disciples.

Then a man named Gamaliel stood up and said his mind. He reminded them that there were other men that claimed to be religious saviors of some sort, but as they one by one were killed, their followers disbursed never to be heard of again. His advice was to let the disciples live and see how things turned out. What he said, although with mixed agenda and motives, could not be truer. He said if the works that these men have displayed are simply worked up by the men themselves, then it would not last. How true that is. Anything that is created by the flesh, no matter how impressive it is, will not continue long. I have seen it over the years as I am sure you have also. So many people are impressed by certain individuals and organizations, only to see the fading fruits of the flesh instead of the stable stirring of the Spirit. The flesh produces immediate, quick, but temporary results.

Then he said this, “if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it”. If it is centered on man it will die on its own, but if this is coming from God, you will never be able to stop it. What a lesson for us to remember today. We can either go out and do things on the resource of our own flesh and we will produce nothing but the illusion of substance. Or we can rely upon the Lord, follow His guidance, depend on His power, and watch God accomplish things that would be impossible for us. Gamaliel then says that if you fight against God’s work, it’s like trying to fight against God Himself. Don’t fight against God today. Don’t try to accomplish anything without God today. If you do God’s work, in God’s way, it is impossible for Satan to stop it.