Well, I must admit the above scripture grabs my attention! I hope it grabs yours as well. We locate this passage in James, Chapter three, and verse one. The key Greek word “didaskalos” in this passage literally translates instructor, or teacher. This is not, however just any teacher, but suggests someone who is dependent to be under the authority and guiding of The Holy Spirit. While this passage itself isn’t lengthy, the brevity of it is apparent. Why such a seemingly abrupt statement?
“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
James 3:1 (emphasis mine)
James clearly advises against presumptively undertaking the role of a teacher without spiritual discernment, or self examination. However, he does this for reasons that may not be apparent at first. If you stop and think about it, teachers have a profound influence on their listeners. Because of this influence, the bible’s IFALLABLE AUTHOR knows the agenda of all teachers. The Holy Spirit clearly sees the end from the beginning, and knows the hearts of all servants, both true and false.
Another critical teaching protocol that many overlook is revealed in the following passage:
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1Cor:2:14
While this seems pretty obvious, you might be surprised how many people are in some ‘work’ of ministry (not just teachers) who are totally relying on their own natural abilities with no enabling or influence of The Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, many are able through their charisma, personality, and natural talents and abilities to easily appear to be spiritual, while some are not even born again! This is one reason that the apostle Paul tells us to ‘know’ (spiritually) those who labor among you” 1st Thess: 5:12
Peter reveals a frightening indictment regarding the fate of certain false teachers. I emphasize these are not teachers who faithfully endeavor to accurately proclaim God’s word. None of us have a complete, perfect understanding of scripture. Paul said we “see” through a glass darkly! As we read the following words of scripture from Peter’s 2nd Epistle, the context suggests this is a malicious, willful distortion of the Word in order to misrepresent truth by means of destructive (intended) heresies. (false teaching)
“But there were also false prophets (teachers) among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign LORD who bought them ---bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2. Many will follow their shameful ways and bring the way of truth into disrepute.” II Peter 2:1, 2
These secret heresies as referenced above are NOT simply the product of faulty bible interpretation! These heresies are very cunningly crafted for the sole purpose of misleading people in order to deceive and to defraud. Verse 2 clearly states they will be highly successful. In plain terms, this means they (false teachers) will first question, and then begin to reject any scriptures they deem offensive. This is a major strategy sweeping through many types and denominations of churches across our country. Without doubt, some of this is occurring in tragic ignorance. Only our sovereign Lord and King will be able to judge His Church with perfect wisdom, and to discern the actual motives of all. All judgment is deferred to HIM and HIM only.
The apostle Paul also provides a sober reminder to us concerning the time just preceding Christ’s return:
“The Spirit clearly says that in the later times, some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” 1st Tim 4:1, 2
I’m astonished at the level of gullibility and seduction that spread such rampant apostasy today. Are we foolishly beginning the ground floor construction of the Church
of Laodicea? No you say? Okay, then how would we describe what a Laodicea Church
would look like??? In Rev 3: 14- 22, Jesus describes one very graphically! How many of the new enlightened teachers are ‘selling’ a soft serve, multi- flavored gospel that affords a clever detour around genuine faith in Jesus Christ only? This is an uncomfortable subject to confront, but the weight of its tragic impact will affect countless people.
The scriptures declare a time will come (and now is) when false teachers will change the truth with clever, subtle deception. (Actually, some of it is not so subtle!) Their expertise to ‘merchandise’ the gospel is finely tuned, and consistently produces extravagant wealth for some of the prosperity elite. Yes, they will each stand accountable to Christ at the Bema Seat (Judgment), as all believers will. Some, however, may tragically face HIM at a later terrifying judgment that will not include any believers whatsoever (White Throne). I do not write these words with a smug, self-righteous indifference. My heart breaks for both the false teachers and untold myriads of people blindly following them. Jesus will judge with full, perfect awareness. He will miss nothing! The weight of HIS judgment is eternal. I fear many people are attempting to exchange the God of the Bible for an alternative god they’ve fashioned themselves!
Today, we witness ever growing numbers of teachers who are neither chosen nor empowered by The Holy Spirit. These new ‘enlightened’ teachers have granted themselves a pretentious license to ignore any part of scripture that hinders their own agenda. Many have little or no hesitation to construct elaborate pretexts, hoaxes, or simply refute any Bible truth that conflicts with their own rational. In my estimation, this serves to undermine the Holy Spirit’s Work and superimposes human wisdom above our Sovereign Lord. Of course when confronted, they vehemently deny that’s what they are doing. However the bible warns that God can not be mocked (Deceived) Galatians 6:7 A Day is already appointed when the hidden intent of evil will be exposed by the Brightness of HIS coming!
Our appointment by The Holy Spirit to teach is a wonderful gift from our Lord Jesus. However, we all are charged with the warning from Paul not to devise or promote ‘another gospel’. Therefore, it behooves us to teach the Word of God with diligence, courage, and faithfulness. May all of us who teach examine ourselves, realizing we will be held to a higher level of accountability!
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