The Ethiopian Eunuch of Acts 8 was far more honest than a lot of us today. Phillip heard him read Isaiah 53 and asked him: “Do you understand what you are reading?”. He replied “How can I except A MAN guide me?”. Bear in mind that it was the Holy Spirit who directed Phillip to help him. The Holy Spirit could have explained to him Himself but he didn’t. Why? The reason is simple – God has ordained that men hear about Him from other men.
If you will learn to interpret the bible, you must be taught by other people who can. The idea of learning from the Holy Spirit for yourself has been the ruin of many ministries and source of many heresies. If you do not know the written word, how can you judge what you heard from ‘God’?
Friends, seek first to know the written word…to be taught to interpret it. The bible insists on this over and over again; “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” – Ephesians 4:11-12.
So you see, Jesus didn’t ordain your Spiritual growth to come from Him teaching you directly. He has given you ‘men’ to help you grow.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also”. – 2 Timothy 2:2
“And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly”.
Acts 18: 24-26
Apollos was taught. There are popular bible texts that have been quoted out of context to insinuate that you do not need a bible teacher. One of them is;
“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him”. – 1 John 2:27
Again here, context is key. The Apostle was speaking about the Anti Christ, and warning his audience about them. The simple point of this text is that no one who has the Holy Spirit can turn around to say that Jesus is not the Christ.
Paul put it this way elsewhere: “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” 1 Cor 12:3. We have become so acquainted with the Spirit of God, tasting the power of the age to come, that we know for a certain that Jesus is Lord. So ‘All things’ here is clearly talking about all conviction needed to be convinced about Jesus Christ and His Lordship. It clearly doesn’t mean that they no longer need teachers, but that they no longer need to be convinced that Jesus is Lord, as the anti-Christ is trying to make you disbelief the fact.
Notice also, that the Holy Spirit was not the source of the information, but a confirmation of it. John still makes reference to the teaching they received from the beginning, not from the Holy Spirit but from him saying: “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” 1 John 2: 24.
I believe that the Holy Spirit helps our understanding of the things of God. However, we must receive information first, or at least, but taught to systematically read and understand the bible.
Every Pastor MUST have either formal or informal training on how to understand the bible.
Christians who will never surrender their body to quack doctors for treatment have surrendered their souls to quacks for growth! I believe that ‘ability to teach’ should be the major thing to look out for when choosing a Pastor. The bible says so! (1 Timothy 3:2, 2 Timothy 2:24).
It’s a blessed day!
Pastor Emmanuel Iren
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Pastor Iren Emmanuel is the lead pastor of Celebration Church International, a church which envisions a people whose lives are in Christ, for Christ with Joy. The church presently has 3 branches; Silverbird Cinema, Ikeja. Temperance hall, Bells University, Ota and Benin City. Reach him on Facebook: Iren Emmanuel