Usually if a ‘move of God’ is questioned or if someone with the gift of discernment raises concern about the spirits behind the move, ‘The Gamaliel Approach’ is often quoted: do not assess it or criticise it or take action about it, and if it is not of God it will die out by itself in time and fail. Do not ‘judge’, wait to see the results.
Is this biblical?? Lets look at where this occurs in scripture.
33 But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Does this councel line up with the rest of scripture?
- Notice that this councels to “judge” based on results instead of the word of God.
We as christians are commanded to test under the direction of the Holy Spirit using the word of God, the sword of the Spirit (1Jn 4:1;Acts 17:11;Eph 6:17).
The King’s sword, the word of God is a basic tool of discernment. (1 Ki 3:24; He 4:12)
- Also notice who Gamaliel was – a Pharisee => is his councel really directed by the Holy Spirit? Notice v4o – the disciples are ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus.