Thursday, April 12, 2018

If this Enterprise is from God, you can never destroy it.

"So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself.  But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” They were persuaded by him."  (Acts 5: 38 - 39).

Every year after Easter, I look forward to this narrative from  Acts 5: 34 - 42.  It reinforces my faith.  I heard it at the beginning of my Journey of Faith and I relish to hear it again at this time in the Easter Season. You may call it the Gamaliel Principle text.  Gamaliel was a famous teacher in Israel at the time of the death of Jesus.  He was the teacher of St Paul and a member of the Sanhedrin.  He laid down a principle of discerning God's will in complex situations based on astute historical analysis. Divine action in history is predictable, he opined.

Members of the the Sanhedrin accepted Gamaliel's advice but went ahead to flog the Apostles in order to intimidate them.  You may call this state terrorism.  Read on to see if they succeeded.

"After recalling the apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them." (Acts 5: 40).

"So they [Apostles] left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name." (Acts 5: 41).

These men have tasted the Holy Spirit and were transformed by the experience.  Instead of quitting....

"All day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Messiah, Jesus."  (Acts 5: 42).

"What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"  (Acts 8: 31).

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]."  (Romans 8: 37 AMP).

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