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“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 The language of the Spirit of God rings differently in the ears of unbelievers than it does in the ears of believers. Those who have rejected God have an affinity towards things pertaining to the flesh. Any other message seems not to have any relevancy to them for their hearts are drawn in an opposite direction. When the Holy Spirit enters into one’s heart, He makes room for the truth. Only then can it become sensible and for passions to rise within him to embrace a level of teaching beyond what is commonly understood. What God has to say to us is uncommon to mankind therefore it requires more than mere common sense. In his natural state it is foolishness. But when the spirit of truth replaces the spirit of error, he will seek out teachers that will teach him things that he did not see because they cannot be seen without divine assistance.

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”  John 13:14 Jesus was acknowledged by His disciples as both Lord and Teacher. He both rules over them, therefore having the right to demand their servitude. And He is their teacher, one who instructs them in the ways of righteousness. This dual role is a very unique one because one role does not require any patience or sympathy. As their Lord, their wills must be totally submitted to His will. There is no room for arbitration or any form of questioning. He has the right to rule them or they would be subject to face the consequences of their rebellion. Yet He never rules without instructions. He goes before us in order to train us so that we are enabled to see an example of what we will become. Then He shows us exactly how He does it and empowers us with His Spirit in order for us to be properly equipped to do it. Finally He serves us rather than look to us to serve Him. As we are being served by Him, we are expected to serve others. Only…

“This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Galatians 3:2 It is the Holy Spirit that empowers the believer to become what God wills for him to become. Out of his becoming, he is enabled to do what God would have him to do. The reversed order is to do what one may thinks may be His will with the expectation of God’s approval. Receiving the Spirit initiates the believer into a life in the Spirit. But the Spirit is quenched if the recipient does not yield to who he has received. God’s intention is for our efforts to be a response to His initiative. God’s interpretation of deeper meaning of His truth is hidden within our simple obedience to what is understood. Hearing the word preached is more than an exercise in attempting to retain the information made known. It is also a matter of receiving the Spirit of the Word that becomes life within the hearer. Works alone is one attempt at self-justification but void of God’s approval. Hearing sets the standard for Spirit-life in the believer. He then would have…

”These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:13 All that is called wisdom may be lacking the potency to change one’s life for the better. There is practical wisdom that may assist in one coping or even managing what is already there. But for a permanent change to occur there has to be the instructions in wisdom that comes from above. Wisdom that comes from above has no earthly references. Nothing can be compared to the depth and wealth of spiritual things. These are the intangibles that affect all that is seen, heard, or experienced. The teacher is the Holy Spirit Himself. He instructs the heart so that it embraces what would otherwise be foolishness to those who think they already have the answers. He first must raise new questions and spiritual inquiries are made. Without the hunger and thirst for righteousness, God’s standard for living, even His Word will be reduced to what is manageable by man. Because the Holy Spirit has dealt deeply within the heart, there is the pursuit for wisdom that God will never ignore. He gives it…

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16 Doctrines have been the dividing line among many within the Church. The debate over doctrine has split brethren from fellowshipping with each other. And some who do not understand the importance of doctrine may either generalize all beliefs as being of equal value or dismiss all beliefs as being false. Doctrine or Didache is teaching or what is taught. Right teaching or instructions will produce righteous living. Paul was admonishing Timothy to pay attention to how his own character was being developed in relation to what was being taught. Is there an adherence to the Word of God bringing you into conformity to a godly standard? This can only take place when you continue in the original instructions which brought you to salvation, and build upon the foundation of those truths that which leads to spiritual maturity. Once you veer away to the left or to the right of the road rather than remaining on the path of truth, your capabilities to discern will be compromised.  The life of the instructor and the…

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.” 2 Timothy 4:3 Teachers are instructors that mold the character of those who subject themselves as students to learn. The world is being fashioned by teachers. There are men and women who take what they have come to know and feed others who are eager to learn. There is not a shortage of teachers. But the problem Paul was addressing was that there would be a number of people whose hearts remain unchanged. They will seek to be instructed in matters of choice rather than in truth. Their level of toleration of God’s Word would be on the decline.  Yet their appetites for instructions in how to fend off any doctrine that would equip them in the ways of God would increase. They will gather to themselves instructors who would help them build up defenses against what God would have them to know. An intellectual argument and one’s ability to defend his position often can become the callous over the soul. It is when the heart is tender that God’s…

“And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers.  Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Isa 30:20-21 The departure from the Way is the root cause of the adversity that comes from the Lord. There are challenges that come as result of obedience and challenges that are rooted in rebellion. The difference between the two is the adherence on the part of the challenged to hear the instructions that come from the Lord. He is available to deliver us from all of our trouble, but do we listen to His voice before us to lead or have we left what He has to say to us behind? Their teachers were sidelined and replaced with guides who misguided them. They listened to falsehoods as blind guides led them into pits. But God did not abandon them even though they had abandoned Him. From behind His voice could still be heard. From the rear, the places inhabited and celebrated was the voice of God speaking to them in order for them to…

A book, a letter, or a sermon is result of the deep meditation of the presenter. It is usually expressive of much of what has been read, prayed, and is birthed out of the relationship that person has with God and with others. Therefore, words may mean different things to different people. That is why I take pleasure in reading both the preface and the bibliography contained within books. I like to know what the person was thinking when he said what he was saying. Jesus spoke with the deepest of thought. Everything He said was expressive of the heart and mind of His Father. He was asked on one occasion a question. “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22.35-40) Such a simple yet profound answer to…

”These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:13 All that is called wisdom may be lacking the potency to change one’s life for the better. There is practical wisdom that may assist in one coping or even managing what is already there. But for a permanent change to occur there has to be the instructions in wisdom that comes from above. Wisdom that comes from above has no earthly references. Nothing can be compared to the depth and wealth of spiritual things. These are the intangibles that affect all that is seen, heard, or experienced. The teacher is the Holy Spirit Himself. He instructs the heart so that it embraces what would otherwise be foolishness to those who think they already have the answers. He first must raise new questions and spiritual inquiries are made. Without the hunger and thirst for righteousness, God’s standard for living, even His Word will be reduced to what is manageable by man. Because the Holy Spirit has dealt deeply within the heart, there is the pursuit for wisdom that God will never ignore. He gives it…

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” 1 Timothy 1:12 The challenges of ministry are constant. There are always important things to do and areas of significance in need of being addressed. It is too easy to take the path of least resistance and say what would be pleasing to the masses and tickling to the ear. But the call of God is a call to faithfulness and dedication to a cause that is greater than any man. It is that call to which we must be faithful. Our efforts are not to be carried out as others who would place professionalism over character. If we are to most effectively carry out the call that is upon our lives, we must first be faithful to the God who has called us. He is the Great Teacher who will make known both His Word and His ways. It requires the discipline of character so that we are able to listen to Him first before we speak. Then our lives become of message and we live a message and not just speak one. We do not merely choose…