In Acts 5:33-39, the apostles were brought before a court/council. They were accused of preaching about Jesus. The court was furious and decided to kill them. But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, stood up and ordered that the men be sent outside the council chamber for a while. Then he said to his colleagues,
“Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be sent by God. He had many followers, but he was killed, and all his followers went their various ways. The whole movement came to nothing. After him, at the time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He also claimed to be a Man of God, but he was killed, too, and all his followers were scattered. “So my advice is”, he continued, “leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, without the living God in heaven, they will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!”, concluded Gamalieli.
Similarly nowadays, It not uncommon to come across debate whether a prophet, pastor, bishop, reverend etc is a true man of God or not.
This debate has been there for some time. Even, in times of Jesus, it was there. Coming from one of their assignments, the disciples reported to Jesus “We met some people who were casting out demons in your name and we stopped them because there were not amongst us”. Surprisingly to them, Jesus responded, “Do not stop them, for whoever is not against us is for us”
I’m therefore, cautious at judging whether one is a Man of God or gold. Although all the pointers are conclusive that he or she might be a servant of the devil, I’m hesitant to judge. For I know it is written, he (God) shall fight for us, and not that I shall fight on his behalf. I also know God has fought fake prophets before.
Whenever I’m in the midst of a conversation on whether one is a Man of God or not, I always borrow the words of Gamaliele. leave these men alone. Pray. If they are in their ministry serving gold, without the living God, they will soon be overthrown and their followers will be scattered.
Article by: Blessings Chapweteka
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not those of Kelvin Sulugwe, but of the author whose name appears at the end of the article with an embedded link to their social media profile.