God has never tied His hands to any set counsel of men, but has always had the privilege of choosing whom and how He desires. God has always used independent ministries. And yet there is sinful independence today also, as there always has been.
If it had been left to the “church” two thousand years ago, it would have torn Jesus to bits! There is indeed a future fulfillment of this scene and the players represented at the trial of Christ will all be in their places to act out their parts.
By rending his garment he cut himself off from being a representative character. He was no longer accepted by God as an officiating priest. This course of action, as exhibited by Caiaphas, showed human passion, human imperfection.
“… We hear that the voice of the Conference is the voice of God, but IT IS NOT, because some in connection with it are not men of faith and prayer, they are not men of elevated principle.” (Manuscript Release # 365).
Now please don’t get this mixed up with some who would have you believe that because God’s love is unconditional, His promises are unconditional. This would be a fatal mistake! NONE OF GOD’S PROMISES ARE UNCONDITIONAL. ALL PROMISES ARE CONDITIONAL BASED UPON OBEDIENCE.
Now we know that those who stoned Stephen were Conference Leaders. And we know that Stephen was an Independent Preacher who was being murdered by the Conference Leaders for preaching for the cause of Jesus.