Beware of the Counsel of Gamaliel

By Peter Masters - Posted at Herald of Grace:

From The Sword & Trowel 2016,
issue 1 by Dr Peter Masters

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 5.38-39).

Some people seem to think that Gamaliel was the only wise man in the whole of the Bible! Whenever wisdom is needed to assess the latest strange idea or movement to penetrate the churches, we hear the famous ‘counsel of Gamaliel’ quoted. We heard it often, for example, in connection with the ‘Toronto blessing’.

We hear it especially when there is no scriptural support for something. When the rest of the Bible seems to say ‘No!’ – then the counsel of Gamaliel comes to the rescue.

Gamaliel is often preferred above Paul. If the apostle clearly condemns something, his word is pushed aside in favour of Gamaliel’s. But Paul is not alone in this. Gamaliel is even wiser than the Lord Jesus Christ, in the estimation of some. Where Christ says, ‘Beware of false prophets,’ Gamaliel says, ‘Leave them be; just watch and wait. Say and do nothing. And if they survive and flourish, they will prove to be from God.’


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