One of the most noteworthy statements that a non-Christian ever made came from the lips of a man by the name of Gamaliel. He was a member of the Sanhedrin Council, a Pharisee, a doctor of the Law of Moses.
This man turned the tide in a plot that was underway to kill Peter and John. They were on trial for preaching Christ and the resurrection. They had been put in prison, but a miraculous thing happened. The angel of the Lord, by night, opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” (Acts 5:20).
Their strange release from prison caused quite a reaction among the people. When they were later found teaching in the temple, the captain with the officers brought them out. They were then brought before the Council and asked this question: “Did we not strictly command you that ye should not teach in this name?” (v. 28) The Bible says, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’” (V. 29)
What courage these men had! Because of their loyalty to the word of God, they were now in danger of being put to death. This would, no doubt, have been done had it not been for a speech given by Gamaliel. He said to the Council, “Take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. . .. Refrain from these men and let them alone for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest haply ye be found even to FIGHT AGAINST GOD.” (Acts 5:35, 38-39) What reasoning and logic this man Gamaliel had! How sensible was his analysis! What a great truth he spoke!
Gamaliel was fair-minded enough to suggest that they put this thing to a test. He believed that time would tell whether the work or counsel of Peter and John was of God or of men. Gamaliel didn’t say that this work was of God, but he said, “If it be of God.” The Bible clearly says that not all that claim to be of God are of God” (I John 4:1). Some things, therefore, are definitely of God and some are not of God. Gamaliel warned the members of his Council to proceed with caution, lest they engage in a battle against God.
To fight against some work of God that the Left is engaged in today (such as homosexuality, transgenderism, pedophilia, lying, stealing, supporting a one world government with the goal of destroying Christianity, the home and the church) is to fight against God Himself! Gamaliel knew that one could not do this and win. In spite of the infinite love and awesome power of God, there are millions today in our society who are fighting against God.
In view of the fact that we shall all stand before the Lord in judgment, “So then each of us shall give account of himself unto God” (Rom. 14:12), it would be wisdom on our part to ensure we have obeyed Him. It is utter folly and utter recklessness to bypass the words of Christ, for He has promised to judge us by these words (John 12:48).
We ought to have extreme reverence toward the one who could slay 185,000 of the enemy in one night (II Kings 19) or defeat 135,000 Midianites with only 300 men (Judges 7:2). There is absolutely no future for those who advocate killing babies, promoting sin and persecuting Christians with a flippant attitude toward God.
Gamaliel gave some very sensible advice, “If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.” This simply means you cannot shake it off, cause it to fail, pervert it or dissolve it. May we not in any way be found fighting against God (Matthew 10:28; Romans 3:4).