There is a flaw in man that is evil. Evil enough that they would try to hinder the plans of GOD. But who can stand against this great GOD that we serve? NO ONE! For GOD knows how to protect HIS from the evil plots of man. Even when these plots conjure up by men that operate within HIS own house – the House of GOD.
As I read Acts chapters 22 and 23 this morning, I see the ways of GOD. How HE intervenes on behalf of HIS servants to rescue them from the plots and evil plans of men who try to steal, kill, and destroy HIS people. (Compare to John 10:10). We can see this in the way GOD throttle the plans of the Jews who plotted to kill Paul.
the plans of man
If we go back to Acts chapter 21, starting at verse 27. While Paul was in the temple in Jerusalem, we read that some Jews begin to stir up trouble among the crowd against Paul. Saying “… Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who preaches against our people everywhere and tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws. He speaks against the Temple—and even defiles this holy place by bringing in Gentiles” (Acts 21:28). As a result, the entire town became disrupted and turned against Paul at the word of these devices Jews. In fact, they seized Paul, dragged him out of the temple, and sort an opportunity to kill him. (See Acts 21:30-31). Umm, the evil plans of envious men. (Compare to Galatians 5:18-21).
These men wanted to halt how the Living GOD was moving and operating in Paul. They were blinded by their own self-interest; their own position and evaluation. Their pride. So much so, they could not see that it was GOD who was causing Paul to do and say what he was doing. They could not see the man of GOD and the direction GOD was moving. Instead, they judged Paul based on how they felt. For Paul was not acting in the direction they wanted to go. How they really did not want to see any changes in how they were doing things. They desired for things to remain the same.
But Paul had come on behalf of the LORD to disrupt their plans as usual. To create waves. So that the Jewish community could properly align themselves with the plans of GOD and not the direction, the actions, and the self-made laws and practices of men who wanted to keep things as they were. Therefore, they turned against Paul. GOD’s chosen vessel, who came with instructions from the LORD according to what GOD wanted. But these men had already decided in their hearts what GOD should do and how GOD should not intervene in their plans and way of life – the way they prefer to do things. So, they had become gods unto themselves by turning against the one, Paul, whom GOD had sent.
when god steps in
But GOD! HE was not having it. That is the plan of man. In fact, a Pharisee, Gamaliel, said it best. He said.
But men like these Jews who stand before Paul on this day had forgotten the wise counsel of Gamaliel. And so, they rose against Paul – GOD’s chosen vessel. These men plotted not only to seize Paul. But it was their desire also to have him killed. They wanted to put an end to Paul and his ministry. What these men did not understand was that they were not just coming up against Paul in an attempt to destroy one man. But unknowing to them, they were attempting to cease the plans of the LORD. They did not realize that GOD was standing between them and Paul. Ready to judge and act if they did not change their course of action – their plans against Paul.
This leads us to Acts chapters 22 and 23, where these men deviously thought that their plot will be successful against Paul. In verses 32 through 36 of chapter 21, this mob of Jews that came up against Paul, plans were quickly interrupted when the situation got to the commander of the garrison who showed up in the middle of their witch hunt to mess up their destructive plans against Paul.
As Paul stood before these evil men (as in divisiveness) – that is the Sadducees and Pharisees. A division arose among them in the Sanhedrin – a Jewish court where the official Jewish council resided. Some were for Paul, while others were not. In fact, the Pharisees rose and protested concerning Paul.
For the second time, these Jewish men, men who are supposed to be representative of GOD, were warned about coming against GOD’s chosen vessels. (See Acts 5:34-39; 23:9).
Did they listen? Did they heed the counsel of GOD through men? No, they did not. They were so caught up in their own self-interest and progress – that they missed the move of GOD and what GOD was doing. As a result, they turned against the very man GOD sent to them.
we are no different today
There are men, brothers and sisters of the faith that are currently doing the same things as these Pharisees and Sadducees. They are sitting in their man-made courts, sitting on their religious self-made thrones, and judging the men and women that God has sent to them to get their houses in order for HIS return. So that they can rightfully align themselves AWAY FROM THE PLANS OF MAN TO the plans of GOD.
But far too many are blind and allowing themselves to be held captive by the fear of man. So instead, they bow down and align themselves with men and women who are blind guides and do know not the plans of GOD. Resulting in them forming alliances with men and women that GOD did not call, whom HE has not sent. Causing many to come up against individuals that GOD has hand-picked to lead and direct them according to the plans of GOD.
But what is occurring instead is that these men and women – these blinded guides are stirring up members in the Body of Christ to gather themselves together to band with them in order to plot against GOD’s chosen vessels in order that these ones are bound and their ministry and souls are destroyed. Oh, the wickedness that is occurring in GOD’s houses among a crooked generation. It is their desire that their houses of GOD do not make the needed shift in this hour so that GOD’s houses may properly align themselves with the plans of GOD. Instead, these men and women want and are working hard to prevent the move of GOD so that they can remain in power and their spirit of influence stay intact.
We see this in verses 20 through 21 in Acts chapter 23. Paul's nephew secretly informs the commander of the Roman army.
Today, there are men of GOD that are plotting against you as well as me. Waiting for that right opportunity to steal, destroy, and kill your very soul. They are gathering the trust of men and women in GOD’s house to place your blood on their hands in order to halt your forward progress.
But GOD will intervene on your behalf. HE will rescue you from the hands of man and expose their evil plans before the eyes of the public. HE will not only uncover their plot. But HE will send men after HIS own heart to guide and protect you. Just as HE did for Paul.
In the case of Paul as these self-righteous men plot to have him killed. GOD used the Roman army – 200 hundred fighting and strongmen to circle around Paul and remove Paul at an hour these zealous and wicked Jews did not expect. (See Acts 23:23-24). Then GOD used the high officer of that army to send a letter of approval to the governor concerning Paul (Acts 23:24-30). Upon the governor receiving this letter, the governor required these evil men – the Jews who plotted against Paul to appear before his court of law to explain before this man of power the questionable charges they had against Paul. The commander of the Roman army wrote to Felix the governor.
So, today, may GOD put on trial every man and woman who is coming against you. May their plans, hearts, and motive be exposed. May the GOD of the heavens and over the earth judge them accordingly to their destructive hearts and act against those who stand alongside them – IN JESUS NAME.
The word of the lord
When the LORD God gives a word, it is for the sole purpose to teach, reproof, correct, or train His servants - His Body, so that every member within the Body of Christ may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). For the LORD has given the Body of Christ apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the Saints for the work of service, to encourage one another, and to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).