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Matthew Bauer
 

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The TRUE Teacher

Classroom“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 John 2:27)

Now, before I begin, let me state clearly my belief and full agreement with Paul’s writing to Timothy, in which he says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) I am eternally grateful for the testimony of Scripture. I believe it to be true. I rely on it daily.

However, let me point out that even Paul was not referring to his own writing (or any of the New Testament writings, for that matter) as Scripture. And let me also point out that the Scriptures are meaningless to the natural man, but require the Holy Spirit’s interpretation for our proper understanding and application…

“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-11)

And even Paul did not claim in His letters to write or teach anything that was not revealed by the Holy Spirit. That is why, just two verses later, he says…

“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)

The fact is, Paul could not rely on anyone else’s interpretation or testimony of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Yes, he spent a brief amount of time with Christ’s first disciples, but he had no other testimony than of his own personal experience with God. It is true that Paul knew his Scripture well (the Old Testament, as we know it, or at least very close), but the things he wrote of were of something new, of something that had never happened before.

The same was true for Matthew and Mark, John and Peter, and all the other apostles who penned their names to scripture. Luke had nothing to go by when he wrote the testimony of Jesus’ life, except for his own personal experience and relationship. He had no other reference to the intimate and powerful baptism of the Holy Spirit that he wrote of in the book of Acts, or of the workings of the Church, except that he lived it and walked among it day after day, breathing in the new thing God was doing, perhaps with some understanding, or perhaps just watching in amazement as God’s plans unfolded before his very eyes.

Go back with me further. For whom did Isaiah use as a model when writing his book of prophecy? Whom did David use to model the Psalms? What Scripture was there for Moses or Abraham or Noah?

Our Scriptures, in fact, are full of testimonies from men and women who experienced God moving in a new way and didn’t have any Scripture to guide them through. All they had was their own personal relationship with God, a powerful faith, some raw honesty, and the wide-eyed perspective of someone riding in the front seat of an extreme roller coaster ride.

Now we can learn a lot from the testimonies of these folks. We can learn from their successes and from their mistakes. We can learn how to deal with the ups and downs of the ride. We can let their heroism inspire our faith. We can learn from their character, their questions, God’s power, His responses and His faithfulness in their lives. We can test what we see and hear to make sure it lines up with the account of God’s character and Word throughout history.

We can come to know God in greater ways through the Scripture, and we can learn much about ourselves, too. It is, after all, “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) But again, unless the Holy Spirit reveals these things to us, the things of God are mere “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 2:13-14).

God has said (and I’ve head hundreds of pastors, teachers, and prophets all echo these same words in this very age), “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19) He doing a new thing in this hour – right now in this very moment - and nothing can quite prepare us for it, except for the Holy Spirit and the testimony of our own relationship with Him.

We find ourselves in a day and hour, just like all the men and women before us (Paul, Luke, Isaiah, David, Moses, Abraham, Noah, …), and sometimes, as I’m sure it was for them, it feels like we’re flying by the seat of our pants. But God has sent us His Spirit to give show us the way. He has given us the anointing of His direct teaching, and it is so powerful that John says we don’t need any other teacher (1 John 2:27).

If we are to be prepared for the mighty call of God on our lives, to do “greater things” than Jesus (John 14:12 - and those are new things, indeed), and to be ready for the second coming of Christ, we must let that anointing which abides in us (1 John 2:27 – that is, the Holy Spirit) prepare us and teach us according to His will.

But be forewarned, many false prophets will come. Jesus and the first apostles warned us of false teachers and prophets and of those claiming to be Messiah who would lead many people away from God’s truth. And not only are there physical voices vying for our attention, but there are spiritual voices as well, whispering lies all around us, trying to turn our heads to the left or the right to get us off track from where we’re supposed to be.

That’s why John says we must test the spirits. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit,” he says (1 John 4:1-3), “but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”

This, of course, is the best way to test the words we hear, but we can also use Scripture to align what we hear with the story that God is continuing to unfold. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), so we can look to the Scripture to see if something lines up with the word and character of God throughout time. God may be doing a new work, but He’s going to do it consistently with the way He’s always done things. You can use the Scripture to confirm what the Spirit is teaching you, and likewise, the Spirit will teach you through the Scripture.

The real point of what I’m trying to say here is the story didn’t end with canonized scripture. It didn’t end just because some guys in a room (and thank God for them) said “that’s all He wrote!” The story continues with you and me. God continues to unfold His story through us, and He said even greater things are to come! Those in the church who view the Bible as God’s complete work are sorely mistaken! It is a great disappointment, I believe, when the Church refuses to move or to grow because it thinks the work is finished. Yes, Jesus paid the final price for our sins, but He gave us a mission after that. And He sent the Holy Spirit to continue His teaching and His working among us – to equip us to go even farther in ministry than He did.

We cannot miss this, Church! God is not done with us yet!!

Several years ago, God showed me a picture. He showed me a book, containing all of my life up to that point. And then He turned the page. There was a new chapter; a new page, with nothing written on it. In God’s hand, He held a pen, and He told me, “You only know what you’ve experienced until now. You only understand life according to things that have already been written. But behold, I do a new thing!

Be ready for the new things of God. Use the Scriptures; read them; study them; know them; but most of all pursue that intimate, one-on-one relationship with God through the Holy Spirit that will allow Him to teach you and guide you and lead you where no one has ever dared to go before. Let Him take you on an adventure into the unknown, and follow Him as one of His true disciples. Watch, wait, listen, and pray. See where He will lead you. Do what He does and say what He says. For He is your true teacher.

ADDENDUM:

I want to be very clear about this message. It does NOT mean that we should not submit to our leaders, or that we should not have teachers and mentors and pastors in this world. On the contrary, God said these are good. In fact, He gave US the task of making disciples, which means we have to both teach and be taught by other people. It is a true gift and blessing to learn from others – that, in fact, is what the Scriptures are about. The testimonies and teaching of others who walked with God fills up every page of the Good Book.

I believe that using others is one of the most powerful ways the Holy Spirit works. For Jesus prayed that we would be one, and said that the Spirit would unify us. Do not use what I’ve said in this teaching as an excuse to shut others out, to rebel against your leaders, to fill yourself with pride, or to stop reading the Word or listening to other anointed teachers. But know that the Lord comes first. His word prevails, and none of those other sources will mean anything without a personal relationship with the Spirit, who reveals the deep things of God’s heart.

Posted: 9/30/2014 3:51:50 PM by Matthew Bauer | with 0 comments
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