If It Be Of God, Ye Cannot Overthrow It!


As recorded in the fifth Acts of the apostles, after the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, the apostle’s Peter and John went about preaching, testifying and healing the sick in the name of Jesus. Their influence and power was so electric that the multitudes brought forth the sick in hopes “that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them” (vs. 15) The Sadducees were filled with indignation and had them brought before the council. There they were subjected to questioning and accusations. Then, one of the Pharisees named Gamaliel, a doctor of law, said this:

“…Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 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” (vs. 35-39).

What Gamaliel was essentially saying was, “If their message is not of God, it will come to naught. But if it is of God, you don’t want to fight against it, because you won’t win”. Then he cited the examples of a man named Theudas and another named  Judas who had claimed some sort of “divine” calling. Both they and their followers had “perished”. As history has proven, Peter and John’s message of Christ and His mission has engulfed the world. I found the line of reasoning by the lawyer Gamaliel regarding Peter and John to be rather insightful when it comes to the message of the restored gospel given by Joseph Smith.

Have you ever heard of these men or their movements? Wycam Clark, Warren Parrish, William Law, Sidney Rigdon, James Strang, William McLellin, George Adams, Jason Briggs, Zenas Gurley, or Williams Marks. If you have done extensive reading on the history of the church some of the names might be familiar. If you haven’t, or you are not a member of our church, you probably have never heard of any of these man nor their religious movements. All fell away from the church and started religious movements of their own. All are forgotten and their movements have perished.

“He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni: that God had a work for me to do: and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people(Joseph Smith History 1:33).

The above statement was spoken by the Angel Moroni to an unknown farm boy in upper state New York in the year 1823. Today, just some 180 years later that prophesy has come true. Like Peter and John of old, the message that Joseph Smith brought forth is resounding across every continent of our world. He was a true messenger from God and the message of the restoration will not die. Just as the message lives on which Peter and John shared regarding the divinity of Jesus! And so those that mock and make fun of the Joseph Smith story should learn something from the message of Gamaliel. If it is not of God, it will eventually die, but “if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God”.




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