Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2014 Acts 5:39

Acts 5:39.      But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
 
Oh Friends, please give this glorious Saturday morning a resounding welcome, as it heralds the first day of summer in the memorable year of 2014! And let’s hope and pray that it treats us much better than the last winter season did. But please don’t hold your breath, because I believe that once the summer truly gets going, it will be a scorcher. (smile)
 
But as I keep reminding us, once we’re hanging out with Jesus, we will be able to handle the crazy summer and whatever else comes against us. And all God’s people mouthed a loud and grateful ‘Thank You Jesus!’
 
Yes Friends, we do indeed have a lot to be thankful to Jesus for; things like redemption, reconciliation, salvation and eternal life. ! Now how could we not be eternally grateful for all that wonderful stuff eh? Oh… and please don’t forget that most practical gift of His Holy Spirit, which indwells every believer and gives us the wherewithal to come up over all our problems, be they large or small.
 
And Friends, today just might be your lucky day, for we might just be finished with the messages on the Holy Spirit today. And I can hear some sighs of relief in the background. But don’t jump for joy too soon, because there’s no guarantee of that, (smile) for we have to go and move as the Spirit dictates. Just like how we saw the apostles’ move yesterday, through the Spirit’s leading, telling the Jewish council to their hypocritical faces where to get off. (Acts 5:29-32)  
 
Today we’ll look at what happened after that dressing down by the fired up apostles. ‘When they (the council) heard that, they were cut to the heart (furious), and took council to slay them. Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor (teacher) of the law, had in reputation among (held in respect by) all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space (for a little while);
 
And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching (regarding) these men. 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 (followed) him, were scattered, and brought to nought (nothing).
 
After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing (census), and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 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: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.’ (Acts 5:33-39)
 
Oh Friends, what wise advice from Gamaliel! Now here are some notes from the scholars: ‘5:34. Gamaliel was a respected Pharisee, a prominent teacher at Jerusalem, a member of the Jewish high council (the Sanhedrin), and the teacher of Paul.
 
Jewish tradition states that Gamaliel’s grandfather was Hillel, the prominent rabbi who represented the liberal wing of the Pharisees in opposition to the more rigid, and conservative wing led by Shammai. When the lives of the apostles were in jeopardy before the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel quieted them with his persuasive and pragmatic speech. Gamaliel is mentioned only twice in Scripture: Acts 5:34 and 22:3.’
 
Yeh mih people, Bruh Paul was a student of Gamaliel, so you can see where he got some of his persuasiveness, some of his lawyer’s skills from. And some more notes from the scholars: ‘5:36-39. Many false messiahs have arisen through the ages, as Christ Himself predicted (Matt.24:5). These have all died and have amounted to nothing. Gamaliel cites two such cases from his lifetime to discourage any rash actions against the Twelve.
 
God in His providence uses this to protect His servants. Gamaliel’s advice must not be regarded however, as biblical precept. False teachers do not inherently cease with the passing of time. Paul, one of Gamaliel’s own students (22:3), did not follow or teach this principle. We are to note, rebuke, and oppose false teachings (cf. Rom.16:17; 2 Thess.3:6; Jude 3).’
 
Now there’s no doubt about that Friends! We ought to expose and clarify false teachings as soon as we become aware of them.
 
And how did the rest of the Jewish council respond to Gamaliel’s suggestion eh? ‘And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.’ (Acts 5:40-41)
 
Oh my brethren, are we willing to suffer such pain and shame for Jesus’ sake? We ought to, although that’s easier said than done.
 
But listen to this last verse: ‘And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus (as the) Christ.’ (Acts 5:42)
 
Oh praise the Lord and the power of His Holy Spirit! Why?  Because it was the mighty power of God’s Spirit that enabled the apostles to withstand the brutal physical punishment, then go right back out and do what they were commanded not to do.
 
Ah mih people, how I wish that many, many more of us would thumb our noses at the evil, ungodly leaders of today, and just keep on doing God’s work, whenever the law of the world contradicts God’s Word. So please, let’s all try and do better in that aspect of our faith walk nuh. Much LOVE!
 
…remember, it is always better to obey God rather than man…and He will help us to stand the consequences…

 

 

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