The great teacher which God has given to us by Jesus Christ is the Holy Ghost. As it is written, “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. … Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:1-13).
In this passage, the Apostle Paul revealed to us how to - and how not to - try to understand or to preach the things of God. “I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. … And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
The Holy Ghost orchestrated the writing of the Law of Moses in such a way that it would prophesy of the things which God was going to bring to pass under the Law of Faith. Paul demonstrated that truth time and again in the Epistle to the Hebrews. He compared the Old Testament Priesthood with the more excellent ministry of the New Testament; the old covenant with the new covenant; etc. In Heb. 8:1-6, Paul said, “Now of the things we have spoken this is the sum: If [Jesus] were on earth, He should not be a priest seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, … But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”
Saul of Tarsus had some great advantages in his life, not the least of which was that He was “brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers.” As a Pharisee and a persecutor of “the way,” Saul’s formal education was of great benefit to his career. But he testified that, “one day, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about him, and Jesus called him to be an apostle.” From that moment, alive in Christ Jesus, his life took a completely different direction.
Saul of Tarsus had a long way to go before he would be qualified to do the job which he was called to do, and to become “Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.” For one thing, he had to unlearn the worldly approach to the things of God which he had been taught, and become accustomed to the way the Holy Ghost teaches. In Phil. 3, we see that he managed to do just that. As Paul enumerated his advantages in the things pertaining to himself in the flesh, he said, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: … and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”
In some ways, Saul’s life uniquely qualified him for the work whereunto the Lord called him. It was necessary, however, that he put it in its proper perspective in relationship to the things of God, and of God’s way of doing things. It is therefore apparent that God does use men of advanced learning in many important offices in His “Church,” if they follow Paul’s example. However, there are some offices for which the same notable “qualifications” disqualify any minister. The offices of The Twelve in particular must be filled by men who are, as Peter and John were, “ignorant and unlearned men.”
Jesus ordained each of those twelve Apostles to an office for which the job description required that they “give themselves to the word of God and prayer,” and that they be responsible for searching out the doctrine of Christ for the guidance of the Church. As great as Paul was, he knew that those Twelve were more apt than he to “get it right.” That is why he told us, in Gal. 2:1,2, that fourteen years after his first consultation with those honorable men, “I went up again to Jerusalem. …And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.”
Jesus had deliberately chosen twelve uneducated men for those positions, because they were the New Testament “Altar.” In Exodus 20:25, God gave Jesus these instructions: “If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if you lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” That is apparently what Elijah did with natural stones in 1 Kings 18:30-35. We see, from Hebrews 13:10 and The Acts of The Apostles 5:1,2, that the Church of the New Testament had an altar, and that The Twelve Apostles were that altar. When Ananias and Sapphira, laid an unholy offering at the feet of The Apostles, they fell dead at the Apostles’ feet, because it is written, “Whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy” (Exodus 29:37).
Once again, and very soon, God will raise up The Church, with its apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, as Jesus said He would in John 6:39. In that statement, He was making direct reference to the “sign” which He had given the Apostles by the miracle of the loaves and fishes. When they took up the twelve baskets of the barley loaves, He said, “Gather up the fragments which remain that nothing be lost.” In the miracles of feeding the five thousand and the four thousand, Jesus showed that He will restore the offices of the Twelve and the Seven at this end of the age (See John 20:30; Matt. 15:32-39).
It still looks today as if what Jesus set up among the Jewish remnant of the New Testament has been lost. And, in a sense, it has: the Church is dead. However, we shall soon see the cry of the Apostle Paul responded to by a group of dedicated people of God, to whom he said, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph. 5:14-18; Isa. 51:9; Isa. 52:-8).
We are commanded in Joel 3:9, “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.”
“Now it is High time to awake out of sleep,” and turn our spiritual farming equipment into spiritual armaments in preparation for the coming battle with the Little Horn. It is even now preparing war against the Lamb and those faithful saints which are with Him. The Lamb will win, and we will be delivered out of the hand of “That Wicked.” AMEN!