I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. It often seems to me if any finger pointed started, it would just go in a circle until it came right back to the first finger pointer. I’ll simply make a general statement that I think is hard to refute. Religious leaders are sometimes wrong. Those we look up to as being the most anointed, may not be anointed at all. Those who write all the books and create their own personal study Bible may have some things wrong. I don’t think there’s any single person on earth who has all the answers. Everybody has something wrong.
In the fourth chapter of the Book of Acts, the religious leaders had Peter and John arrested for healing a man who was lame from birth. Not much of a crime. But they were proclaiming Godly power. The religious leaders didn’t like that.
“So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it.” Acts 4:15-16 (NIV)
The religious leaders decided the solution to the problem was to tell Peter and John to stop healing people in the name of Jesus. Unfortunately, Peter and John were directed by God and thought it was rather absurd to even consider following the orders of the religious leaders.
A couple of thousand years later, we are left here in this world to figure out for ourselves what is from God and what is a message from religious leaders trying to protect their own power. Peter and John were much better connected to God than we are today. Their knowledge of His will came directly to them through the Holy Spirit. Of course, we are told that all believers have the Holy Spirit living inside of them, and I believe that, but I don’t think it’s the same as the experience Peter and John had – at least not for me. What we do have to check is that the proclamations of the religious leaders, are the Word of God. If we follow religious leaders without checking their words against our own personal study of the Bible, we are turning our back on God.
Peter and John didn’t listen to the religious leaders. They went back to preaching the gospel and continued healing in the name of Jesus. And their numbers grew enormously into a beautiful loving family of believers – not by following the rules of the religious leaders, but by following the direction provided by God.
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” Acts 4:32 (NIV)
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