Brothers and sisters in Christ,
The call to the ministry is a divine call. That does not depend on man.
“For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends”.
2 Corinthians 10:18
Indeed, all the spiritual gifts come directly from God Himself:
« It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
No school of theology can produce these gifts or prepare its pupil to have these gifts. It’s God who supremely gives them to whom He wants.
Your formation, your diplomas (degrees) obtained in the biblical Schools move you away more from the knowledge of God. That seems paradoxical but it’s the truth. One needs a revelation, a divine call before understanding the quintessence of the Word of God and serving Him.
For example, Nicodemus was a Doctor of the law but he did not even know what the new birth means:
“How can this be? Nicodemus asked. You are Israel's teacher, said Jesus, and do you not understand these things?”
I insist to say that one can seize the things of God only by revelation. One can not study God in a school created by man.
“For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 2:11-16
In addition, the author of the question which we are trying to answer is right saying this: “i say that because there are no more dumb folk in the church and i feel that it is a sad day for the preacher if he has somebody in the congregation that knows more about the bible than the preacher. Also i feel that if the pulpit is dumb then the pews are dumb.”
I would like to tell him that he speaks thus about the pastors manufactured by man in the schools of theology. These do not know enough things about the Word of God. They are not elected by God Himself. Then they trail gaps. They do nothing but recite what they learned at school. When they encounter difficulties, they do not refer to God but to their trainers.
The bible declares that some people have zeal for God but they do not have intelligence according to God:
“Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.”
Wisdom comes from God. Whoever wants to serve God should ask God and need not move towards theological laboratories (no matter how prestigious they seem).
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
Our God calls to the ministry who He wants, either a scholar or an illiterate. The level of studies and the stock of general knowledge of the people called do not count for God. When He calls a person, He also gives Him the necessary means to achieve the mission He entrusts to Him.
For example God provided an interpreter when Moses announced to Him that he was not eloquent.
“Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue. The LORD said to him, who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say. But Moses said, O Lord, please send someone else to do it. Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."
Please, tell me, did God ask Moses to go to be educated in a pastoral school in order to acquire the art of the speech?
No! He found Himself the solution of the failure of His own servant that He had called and commissioned.
One does not become a servant of God but one is born servant of God. The spiritual gifts are innate. This is not imitation but it is a question of predestination:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
The Apostle Paul says that God himself entrusts His Gospel to whom He finds worthy:
“For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts”.
1 Thessalonians 2: 3-4
Let us see how Jeremiah was called:
“The word of the LORD came to me, saying, before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1: 4-5
Let us see how Paul was called:
“But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.”
Let us see how Samson was called:
“Because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”
Let us see how John the Baptist was called
“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.”
The True servants of God are devoted by Him before their birth. Those need not to be trained in a school of theology.
If the Bible is really your absolute, say “Amen” to that!
Let us meditate the conversation engaged between God and Jeremiah:”
"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child. But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."
Please tell me, did God advise Jeremiah to go to improve his ministry or his talent in a biblical institute before achieving His work?
No! The Eternal God always puts His Word in the mouth of the one who He calls and sends. He is very sufficient to take care of His Word with a view to achieve His work:
“The LORD said to me, you have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled."
Before using a man God works or models him according to His will and He empties him from all his human acquired knowledge. Then God communicates His own thought and his own vision to him.
For example, Moses was educated in the house of the Pharaoh. He was physically strong and well educated. But before being used by God, he was no more the same person as he was in the Pharaoh’s palace. He had to flee in Midian where he was transformed. Then he went to deliver Israel not with his Egyptian theology but with the Spirit and power of God, holding a small stick
Paul as for him received instruction at the feet of a Doctor of the Jewish law called Gamaliel:
“Then Paul said: I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.”
Acts 22: 3
Paul was undoubtedly registered in the School of theology of Gamaliel (the Pharisees’ biblical institute), of course!
But when he truly met Jesus-Christ on the road of Damascus he was made blind as for the theology, or the acquired human knowledge. God, to use him had to get him rid of his theological knowledge received in the pastoral school of Gamaliel.
Simply because God has nothing to do with the foreign doctrines and traditions. God is strictly related to His Word. All that theologists add to the Gospel (however beautiful it is) is a poison:
"Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread." Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Matthew 16: 6-12
Please point out that "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."
But When Annanias prayed for Saul, he received the Holy Spirit and his eyes were open as for the celestial things. He could from now on understand the quintessence of the Word of God. That was not possible in the past in spite of his stock of general knowledge and his theological knowledge:
“Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.”
Acts 9: 18
What do those scales represent? They represent Saul’s theological programs, his old state of mind. He was born again. This stage is essential for any servant of God. One needs the baptism of the Holy Spirit before preaching the Gospel. It’s not a question of theological degree but it’s question of receiving the Holy Spirit that God gives to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32)
If the Bible is really your absolute, say Amen to that!
Since this time the name of Saul was changed. Not only his name, but his thought and his way of speaking changed. Then he could say this:
“I want you to know, brothers that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”
Paul was called by God. Amen!
According to you with what his theological knowledge received in the past were useful? With nothing!
Now I ask you a question, you theologists! Have you made experiments that Paul did make?
If yes, what is the key role of your pastoral schools, your biblical institutes and seminars?
If no, I do invite you to make experiment of the Holy Spirit baptism before preaching the Gospel.
Unfortunately, all that arrived at the time of the Prophet Jeremiah still arrives today. There is confusion in the Christendom today by the irruption of false pastors, false prophets, and false doctors. This is why God always sends authentic Prophets for the restoration of His Word:
“The priests did not ask where the LORD is? Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. Therefore I bring charges against you again, declares the LORD. And I will bring charges against your children's children. Cross over to the coasts of Kittim and look, send to Kedar and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this: Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror, declares the LORD. My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."
Yes, your biblical institutes, your pastoral schools and your seminaries are broken cisterns that cannot hold water!
Please recognize your day and its message. Leave your broken cisterns, leave your theological programs and your religious systems and go to Jesus-Christ who is the spring of living water.
O Laodicean church! “You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
You follow your personal religious programs and not that of God, so that Jesus-Christ has been put outside. He is now at the door and He knocks:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Open to him your hearts!!!
Finally let us meditate the biblical verses below:
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
“For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
1 Corinthians 3:9-15
I still ask you this question: IS THE HOLY BIBLE YOUR ABSOLUTE?