GOOD COUNSEL OF GAMALIEL?
In the last installment of the Communique, we
introduced the story of how the Apostles of Jesus Christ narrowly escaped Death
at the hands of the priestly council of the Jews – known as the Sanhedrin
– and they were preserved because of the urging of the Pharisee Gamaliel.
The account is set in the early days of the assembly of
the Christians, shortly after Jesus had ascended to our Father in
heaven. Peter and John had proven they had the
authority of the Lord by healing a lame man in the temple, and the uproar the
miracle caused caught the attention of the Sanhedrin. The priests had heard the
rumors that Jesus was risen from the dead, but they assumed the tales of the
Lord’s resurrection were untrue, and they surmised the disciples must
have stolen His body from the tomb.
Shortly after Jesus was not found in the tomb, the
soldiers which were assigned to guard it came to the priests to tell them the
great stone closing the tomb was miraculously removed, and the grave was empty.
“And when [the chief priests]
were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money to
the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away
while we slept” (Matthew 28: 12, 13).
Because Roman centurions would face harsh penalties for
falling asleep on the job, the priests said if there are repercussions for the
soldier’s false statements, in addition to the bribe they were offering,
they promised to defend them before the governor if it became an issue.
“If this comes to the
governor’s ear, we will persuade him, and secure you: So they took the
money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among
the Jews until this day” (Matthew 28:14, 15).
By the time the healing of the lame man by Peter
and John occurred, the Jewish leaders thought they had put the
claims of Christ behind them by arranging His execution, but now they were
again challenged by the actions of the followers of Jesus Christ. Worse yet,
the man that was healed was standing with the disciples, when they were hauled
before the Sanhedrin.
“They conferred among themselves,
Saying, what shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath
been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem, and we
cannot deny it. And beholding the man which was healed, [he was]
standing with them, [so] they could say nothing against it” (Acts
4:15, 16, 14).
The priests decided that they would simply release the
disciples, because if they were to prosecute them for wielding supernatural
power, it would bring too much attention to the fact that they had arranged the
crucifixion of Jesus, when He was innocent of any crime. Before releasing them,
they threatened them against further preaching in the name of Jesus.
“But that it spread no further among
the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man
in this name. And [they] commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in
the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:17, 18).
Needless to say, the disciples continued to tell people
about Jesus, and the assembly of the believers continued to rapidly grow. The
faith of the people was magnified, and as more and more people were healed, the
Sanhedrin realized the Christians were replacing them as Spiritual leaders in
the eyes of the people.
This is precisely the issue today, but now a stunning Role
Reversal has occurred, because it is the “Christians” who
malign and slander those who
recognize the true disciples of Jesus have been translated into the genuine
“Israel,” as the Lord has ordained it.
“Then the high priest rose up, and
all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees) and were
filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in
the common prison” (Acts 5:17, 18).
As we pointed out in last week’s installment of
the Christian Media Communique, it was at this point the priest’s
council had planned to hold a trial, and intending to kill the
Apostles, they invited the parliamentary body of the Jews to their
deliberations to provide a political cover for their malevolence.
“The high priest came, and they that
were with him [the Sadducees], and called the council together, and all the
senate of the children of Israel and sent to the prison to have them
brought…[because] they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay
them” (Acts 5:21, 33).
Then a popular member of the opposing party of the
Sanhedrin – the Pharisees – spoke to the assembled
priests, and cautioned them concerning their intentions, because he said God
might be with the Christians!
“Then stood up one in the council, a
Pharisee, named Gamaliel…and said unto them…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” (Acts 5:34, 39).
Most would agree that God Himself brought this about,
in order to preserve the early church – yet this perspective ignores the
Spiritual dimension concerning the way the factions were configured. It is
apparent the Disciples of Christ welcomed the persuasive oratory of Gamaliel,
who is also portrayed in a somewhat favorable light later in the New Testament.
The truth is, God rescued the Apostles that day, and
although Gamaliel was his instrument, Jesus had already sternly
warned the Disciples about the negative consequences inherent in the Spiritual
output of the Pharisees.
“And Jesus said unto them, Take
heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and
of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6)
As we’ve repeatedly noted, the Pharisees
were known for their compromises and their hypocrisy, in that they had agreed
to share religious power with the Sadducees – even though the Sadducees
taught there is no resurrection, no such things as angels, and they were
willing to kill to preserve their political power.
The Pharisees willingly agreed to share power with the
apostate Sadducees, even though they sharply disagreed with them in a religious
sense. In this regard, they acted as hosts for the Spiritual powers of the Triuniverse
that the New Testament reveals.
In what we’ve dubbed the Perdition Engine,
the primary “powers of the heavens” (Matthew 24:29) have
been unmasked through the Word of God. The two Spiritual entities of Death
and Hell – which are identified in the Bible through their
characteristics – are the two forces that form this
mystical iniquity machine.
“And I looked, and behold a pale
horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell
followed with him” (Revelation 6:8).
When the Spiritual configuration that emerged as the
vessels of Life – hosted by the Apostles of Jesus Christ
– were added to the triune equation, it is evident the Sadducees
were inhabited by Death and the Pharisees
manifested the Spirit of Hell.
Furthermore, because Gamaliel was used by
God to preserve the Disciples at one specific point in time does not vitiate
His sinful nature before the Lord, and Jesus said as much.
“He that is not with me is against
me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew
According to this Scripture, in the Triuniverse, there
is no neutral standing, yet that is precisely the position taken by those
moving in the Spirit of Hell. , manifested by the Pharisees. In
fact, Christ says He would rather you were actually against Him, rather than
seeking to straddle the middle ground that Gamaliel occupied.
“I know thy works, that thou art
neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or
hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15, 16).
In fact, Gamaliel has the greater guilt
because he was exposed to the magnificent works of God, and there is no
indication that he ever heeded the call to salvation. For example, we learn
that the Apostle Paul studied the laws of Moses under Gamaliel,
but when he invited Jesus Christ to be His Lord and Saviour, he considered
the knowledge he had gained as a Pharisee to be worthless.
Known as Saul of Tarsus before he was translated
into Paul the Apostle, he freely confessed his former flesh and blood
behavior, as well as his tutelage as a Pharisee, was of no
“[I was] circumcised the
eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the
Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee…brought up in this
city at the feet of Gamaliel…But what things were gain for
me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Philippians 3:6, Acts 22:3,
Paul indicated that his faith as a Pharisee could not
save him, and those who rely on the Old Testament law for righteousness before
God have made a tragic error.
“I count all things but loss for the
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered
the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win
Christ” (Philippians 3:8).
In our studies on the Perdition Engine,
we’ve learned that the Spirit of Hell leads to Death,
and these characteristics are found in numerous euphemisms for Death
and Hell. Perhaps the most misunderstood alias is in the two
beasts of Revelation – commonly called Antichrist and False
Prophet. The first “beast” –- Antichrist --
may be identified as the opposite of Christ, who is clearly Life.
“And after three days and an half the
Spirit of Life from God entered into them, and they stood on their
feet” (Revelation 11:11).
Since Christ is Life, Antichrist
would obviously be the opposite of Life, which is Death, which
leaves the figure of the False Prophet to be inhabited by the entity
identified as Hell. Moreover, the imagery associated with the
“False Prophet” leads the Flesh and Blood inhabitants of the earth
to embrace Antichrist/Death by rejecting the Life in JESUS
“And he [the Spirit associated
with the “False Prophet”] causeth the earth and them which
dwell therein to worship the [Spirit of Death nested in Antichrist]”
Thus, in the triune Spiritual configuration of
creation, along with all the other Pharisees, Gamaliel was acting
in accord with Hell, making the Death driven
Sadducees more appealing to the people who were ruled by the two-part formation
of the Sanhedrin.
“Wherefore hear the word of the Lord,
ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem…ye have
said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at
agreement…Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion
for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone”