Least Among You – BT5
Being taught by men or by God?
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In the previous BLOG Topics we have seen that God had a better plan for the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant than a top-down hierarchy of authoritative teachers that essentially favors “the greatest” or educated “wise and understanding” people but leave “the least among you” uneducated, mentally and physically handicapped, little children, and those without money or access to education out! However, we have seen “hints” on how God will reach even the “lasts” and actually make them “firsts,” whereas He destroys the “wisdom and understanding” of the educated “firsts” and makes them “lasts.” Now we will see more about how God accomplishes this.
In John 6:45 Jesus cites Isaiah 54:13, “It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will ALL be taught/instructed by Yahweh [and great shall be the peace of Your children.]’ Everyone who has akouo heard/listened to understand/know and/coupled manthano learned (a) from the Father comes to Me.” Paul cites this same passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:9, “Now concerning brotherly love, you have absolutely in fact no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are actually, presently/ongoing taught by God to unconditionally-love one another.” This New Covenant method of direct teaching by God “to test you to prove what is genuine” and so that “the awesome reverential-awe of Him may be upon/in/by/with you so that you may not sin” is actually a restoration of God’s original intent for Israel at Mt. Sinai in Exodos 20:18-21 recounted in Hebrews 12:19. There the people rejected God’s “plan A,” but instead appointed Moses to do the akouo listening and eido ‘seeing’ to understand/know, and thus was the birth of the old covenant religion and indirect communication through gramma sacred writings, just as with every other religion in the world! “While the people stood far off,” Moses was the only one who “drew near” to God “into the thick darkness where God was,” and only Moses was directly changed by God, with his face shining like the sun! Religion has to do with writings but relationship has to do with listening and seeing. <Notes> a) manthano: learning key facts through experience, much like yada/ginosko knowing, with the reflection implied leading to realization. This is the process of being a disciple mathetes.
Again, in Jeremiah 31:33-34 cited in Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16, The Lord says: “I will make a New (a) Covenant . . . absolutely not in fact or in possibility (b) like the covenant that I had made . . . My [previous] covenant they (c) broke. . . . I shall actually put My torah/nomos law/instruction within them and/coupled I will write it on their hearts . . . and/coupled absolutely no longer in fact shall every person teach his neighbor or [even] his family members to experientially, relationally ginosko know Yahweh, for My people shall actually ALL eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know Me – from the least of them (d) to the greatest (e).” I keep bringing this up because the NT does – it’s the basis of the entire NT – but it’s rare to hear pastors bring it up! <Notes> a) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely-different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior, b) this rare ou me is the strongest possible negative, c) the Jews led out of Egypt, d) qatan, micros: small or little in size, stature, rank, influence, or age but especially of children or youth; weak, insignificant or unimportant people, e) gadowl, megas: great or large in magnitude or extent, number, degree or intensity, sound/voice, space, importance; of distinguished, eminent, important, exalted, notable, majestic people or God, of age or might.
This is a radical deviation from Proverbs 7:3 that tells the Jews concerning God’s “commandments to keep and live; keep My instruction as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; you-all write them on the tablet of your heart.” So the Jews created fashion apparel to do this! Crazy! However, Paul explains that now Christians are an “epistle letter [of gramma writings] of Christ . . . eggrapho written/inscribed (a) absolutely in fact not with ink but instead by the means of [the] Spirit of the living God, absolutely in fact not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (b) – see Logos Word of God – BT20. Paul is directly attacking the entire OT scripture as the communication of God NOW, even using the phrase “tablets of human hearts” THEN from Proverbs 7:3! THEN you were responsible to write, but NOW the Spirit is! The “Everlasting Covenant” is a completely NEW direction for God as Ezekiel 11:19 and Ezekiel 36:26 say: “I will give them a completely-different-in-kind New Spirit that I will put within them . . . that they may walk in My statutes and keep My rules and obey them . . . and I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.” This sounds just like Exodus 20:20 above – God taking control of disciple-making and obedience! Are you going to live in the OLD THEN or the NEW NOW? <Notes> a) Graphe scriptures is the product of eggrapho writing of gramma letters, b) 2 Corinthians 3:3.
NOW God takes full control of the teaching process, eliminating all the middlemen who “exercise authority over others,” which Jesus repeatedly warned against (a), and all the manuscript-copying errors (b), the “lost in translation” problems from one language to another, and the fact that although we have many manuscripts we are still a long way from the originals with new discoveries always revising previous “authorized versions” – see Bible Info. The real biggie is that God’s restored plan of communication bypasses favoring the “wise and understanding” and gives complete equal and impartial access to the uneducated “the least among you.” In fact, He actually gives them more access to the “un-hidden or revealed secrets of the kingdom” because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the lowly” (c). <Notes> a) Matthew 20:25; Mark 10:42; Luke 22:25, b) especially in the Greek texts, c) James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5 citing Proverbs 3:34 and Isaiah 54:7.
We must see God as the “One Teacher,” just as Jesus warned in Matthew 23:8 (see Teach One Another – BT10) “You are not to be called ‘rabbi’ (teacher), for you have One Teacher and you are ALL brethren.” John warns in 1 John 2:20, 26-27 of the deception brought about by human teachers: “But you have been anointed by The Holy One and/so you ALL eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know (exactly as Jeremiah 31:34 promises) . . . I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. However, the anointing that you have already received from Him abides/lives in you and/thus you have absolutely in fact no need that anyone should teach you. But just as His anointing teaches you about everything and is trustworthy and no lie – just as it has already taught you, abide/continue in Him.”
Yet, we still see a few verses in the NT about teaching one another, like Colossians 3:16 “Let the logos [gospel] message of Christ dwell in you-all richly in/by/with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another by the means of psalms, hymns, and Spirit-kind-of odes.” We have to be careful not to think of “teaching” as an office or title though. In the Greek of Ephesians 4:11 “teachers” is coupled to “shepherds” as 1 described group, not 2, and these are simply “grace-gifts given to men” (v. 8), one of many given to the Body-of-Christ that simply differ in praxis practicing-function per Romans 12:4-8. The noun “teacher” is actually just a verbal-noun and thus a shorter, easier way of saying “the shepherding person who also has the grace-gift praxis practicing-function of teaching.” We have many instances of 1 person with a practicing-function in different grace-gifts depending on the situation. No office or titles were ever intended but actually explicitly prohibited in Matthew 23:8-10 – see Teach One Another – BT10. And certainly no “exercising authority over others,” despite warnings in Matthew 20:25; Mark 10:42; Luke 22:25.
What we see is a transferring of teaching responsibility within the Godhead. Jesus said that the Father had to have taught people first to even come to Jesus (a), but then Jesus said, “You call me Teacher and Lord and you are right for so I am” (b). Yet right before His departure, He comforts His disciples by saying: “Let not your hearts be troubled . . . I will ask the Father and He will give you ANOTHER Parakletos Helper to be with you FOREVER, that is the Spirit of The Truth . . . You already know Him for He dwells WITH you (as Jesus) and will be IN you. I will not leave you as orphans . . . In that day you will know that I am in My Father and you in Me and I in you. . . these things I have spoken to you while I am still with you, but the Parakletos Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you ALL things” (c) and “When the Spirit of The Truth comes, He will guide you into ALL The Truth” (d). <Notes> a) John 6:45, b) John 13:13, c) John 14:1-26, d) John 16:13.
The NT makes it clear that the Holy Spirit of Christ and of the Father is NOW our “One Teacher!” The Parakletos is our ‘close-beside’ caller, summoner, or inviter; helper, succorer, or assistant; encouraging teacher, counselor, comforter, or consoler; defense-attorney, judicial-advocate, or court-intercessor. Unlike every other rabbi who traveled with a scribe to write down everything they said, Jesus never asked for any of His rhema words or logos messages to be recorded. I really don’t think He wanted another set of scriptures as there is no hint of this, or even using the old set of scriptures for that matter! Also, you never see any more talk about people assigned to teach God’s people but plenty about God teaching His people directly within them by His Spirit! What you do see is “ministers/servants of a completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, absolutely not of the gramma letter but of the [Holy] Spirit, for the gramma letter kills, but the [Holy] Spirit gives zoe genuine-life” (a).” What kind of ministry do you have? <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 3:6.
As Christian musicians, are we going to continue to teach and promote a reliance upon sacred gramma writings to “know God” that rely on “wise and understanding” human teachers to relay the meaning of these writings, despite the fact that the scholars are in constant debate? Or are we just ignorant of that fact? Is our job to “dumb it down” to even “the least among us?” Many think so and are carrying out the old covenant plan to the T! Or do we trust God when He says that He has assumed complete responsibility and control of the entire process to get His perfect results, especially to “the least among us?” After all, this was God’s original “Plan A” on Mt. Sinai but the people opted out in exchange for a religion of human teachers instead of simply “One Teacher!” Shouldn’t we now obey and simply say “Yes, I will akouo listen and eido ‘see” in order to understand/know You, Lord!” Do we heed Christ’s warnings to “Call NO MAN teacher for you have only One Teacher?” Are we going to believe Paul that Christians are now the sacred writings of God because the indwelling Holy Spirit is now our “One Teacher,” our “Wonderful Counselor” who is “writing God’s torah/nomos instruction directly into our hearts, guiding us into ALL truth and teaching us ALL things” since He is “the Spirit of The Truth,” so that as John said, “You have absolutely in fact no need that ANY MAN teach you because you have the anointing of the Holy One, Christ?” Will we believe all the other OT prophecies that promised this? Will we see that “teaching” in the NT is simply a grace-gift or praxis practicing-function of the different members of the Body-of-Christ that we all can share in as the Spirit moves us, and in no way is an office or title – that these are but a fabrication of the Catholic Church still unreformed in the Protestant Church?