Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
April 9, 1998
Last Updated :
February 15, 2012
Are You Grounded In The Word Of God, Or In The Wisdom Of Men?
The Apostle Paul also clearly defines Jesus Christ as the Spiritual Rock; and as the only foundation upon which we should establish our faith and build the spiritual Temple of His Church:
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:1-4, KJV
"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:9-11, KJV
In fact, even Peter, whom many have confused as being the rock which Jesus was referring to in the Gospels, points out that Jesus was the chief cornerstone of His spiritual house:
"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded."
1 Peter 2:4-6, KJV
Obviously, the way we are supposed to establish and strengthen our Faith is not by spending years of our lives studying the wisdom and philosophies of misguided vain men contained in the countless volumes they have written over the centuries. King Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, after spending his own life doing just such a thing, summarized his feelings on this issue when he said:
"And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh."
Ecclesiastes 12:12, KJV
True Faith and Wisdom is not to be found in such voluminous works of men, many of whom did not even know or accept the Lord, but only in The Book of The One who saved us and established our faith to begin with. The Scriptures are very clear on this:
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Psalms 119:11, KJV
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Romans 10:17, KJV
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
1 Peter 2:2, KJV
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
Colossians 3:16, KJV
It is through earnestly reading and studying the Word of God with an open heart that our Faith and Wisdom is increased. How you personally choose to do this is really a decision which you alone can make. For the reasons I have already explained, I have never undertaken to study at any kind of seminary or theological school; and I am none the worse for it. In fact, I don't doubt that I am much better off because I didn't allow my mind to be filled with such useless worldly mental clutter. As children, we all receive enough anti-God knowledge as it is in the public schools system! Now that I am an adult and can choose for myself, instead of being forced-fed by the System, I much prefer to depend solely upon the Lord and His Holy Spirit as my one and only Teacher; and He has never failed me yet. King David likewise sought direct guidance from the Lord as he studied His Word:
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."
Psalms 119:18, KJV
King David wrote many inspiring psalms in which he exalted the Word of the Lord. One of my favorites is Psalm 119. I encourage you to read it. And why shouldn't David stress the importance of the Word? As he says in this next verse, the Lord has magnified His Word above His very Name!:
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Psalms 138:2, KJV
If the Lord exalts His Word above His Name, shouldn't we His children also exalt His Word above all in our lives as well? Or should we exalt the words of other philosophers and theologians and gurus? Notice how David equates the Word with Truth. Jesus did this very same thing throughout the Gospels. In fact, not only are we told that He is the Word Incarnate, but that He is also the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In other words, He shows us the Way to the Father by speaking the Father's Truth to us; and if we accept that Truth -- that Jesus came to die for our sins -- then we truly can inherit Everlasting Life:
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth . . . For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
John 1:14, 17, KJV
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6, KJV
Contrary to all of these Biblical Truths I have presented thus far, some people still insist that Wisdom and Truth can be gained through the study of the various teachings of all of these other "learned" sages, philosophers and theologians. These people suggest that since God is the Author of all Truth, in our search for Truth, we should not restrict ourselves to the Bible alone. In their eyes, the Bible is not the only source of Wisdom and Truth. How can anyone who claims to be a sincere dedicated Bible-believing Christian even say such a thing? I consider this to be nothing short of tragic, and a fatal error in judgment. As I explained earlier, these people have already been blinded to The Truth, and are in bondage to the forces of Darkness and don't even know it; but Jesus can still set them free if they will just turn to Him and His Word:
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:31-32, KJV
Not only can we be spiritually free in this life, but someday soon we will also be set free from the bondage of death into the glorious liberty of the Children of God when we finally receive our glorious incorruptible Resurrected Bodies:
"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
Romans 8:21-23, KJV
Over and over again Jesus said that He spoke The Truth for those who were willing to believe:
"But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham . . . And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not . . . Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?"
John 8:40, 45-46, KJV
While many worldly sages and philosophers seek to elevate themselves by promoting their own human wisdom and their particular version of The Truth outside of the Bible, consider how the real Spirit of Truth operates:
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV
Isn't this true even in our modern day? There are so many vain men who spout off their worldly wisdom and seek to draw crowds to themselves that they might receive the praises of men. They are found all over the world; but beware; for as I said in my series "Lying Wonders of the Endtime", these people are false prophets who only seek to poison the flocks of God with their deceptive lies! A True Prophet and Sage of the Lord will point you only to God and His Holy Word, and not to himself or to some vain philosophy of men! As Jesus clearly indicated, the only Word of Truth, is the Word of His Father:
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
John 17:17-19, KJV
If these so-called "enlightened" ones are not speaking the Words of the Father, then they are liars and deceivers and walking in Darkness, and they will lead you into Darkness too unless you wise up! These folks call their Darkness, Light, when it is the exact opposite!:
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
Isaiah 5:20, KJV
What everyone needs to realize is that the Real Truth from the Lord, His spiritual Wisdom and Divine Guidance, is freely available to anyone who wishes to ask for it with an open sincere heart:
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
Luke 11:13, KJV
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
James 1:5, KJV
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,"
Ephesians 1:17-18, KJV
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;"
Colossians 1:9, KJV
Thus, it should be recognized that there is a clear distinction between the Divine Wisdom which comes down from above, and the carnal satanic misleading wisdom which originates within the vain hearts and minds of evil rebellious men who don't even acknowledge the Lord in their lives. Even John the Baptist, a man without any Earthly credentials or theological training, recognized the Wisdom found in the Words of Jesus Christ when he said:
"He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all."
John 3:31, KJV
Jesus further emphasized this difference between Himself and the vain theologies practiced by the Jews when He told them:
"And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world."
John 8:23, KJV
Plainly, the Wisdom we should desire is the Heavenly which comes from God alone, and not the fleshly Earthly theologies and philosophies of corrupt misguided men:
"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:"
1 Corinthians 2:7, KJV
"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;"
1 Corinthians 12:8, KJV
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
James 1:17, KJV
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."
James 3:17, KJV
Just as Paul told us many times which Wisdom we should seek after, he also told us which one we should avoid, as well as why we should avoid it:
"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God."
1 Corinthians 2:1, KJV
These first two verses are rather interesting. Notice Paul's usage of the words "not with wisdom of words" and "not with excellency of speech or of wisdom". What does he mean by these phrases? From my own observations and experiences with the various newsgroups, message conferences and mailing lists that I participate in, I believe I understand exactly what he is talking about. Notice that he also says that employing this method of witnessing makes the Cross of Christ of none effect. Do you know why? It is all really quite simple; and I have seen this happen many times. There are some preachers of the Gospel, who because of their own pride and vanity, feel that they have to impress those to whom they are witnessing. So they try to use a whole lot of big fancy words to sound well-versed and educated. This is totally contrary to Jesus' own method of witnessing, as well as against what Paul advises us in his epistles. We must adhere to the simplicity of the Gospel in our witness:
"For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward."
2 Corinthians 1:12, KJV
"Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."
Romans 12:8, KJV
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV
You see, that is one of Satan's tricks; to try to complicate things and make it all confusing; because he is the author of confusion. We must remember that the message of Salvation can be simplified into one basic fact: We are all sinners in need of a Saviour; and that Saviour is Jesus Christ. That is all people need to know and understand. They don't need to hear some long theological argument from you which will only leave them confused, and leave you lifted up in your pride. They just need the basic facts so they can make a decision. A lot of them are too simple-minded or ignorant of the Bible to understand most of it anyway. Remember what Paul also said in his letter to the Hebrews:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Hebrews 5:12-14, KJV
Once a person has accepted the Lord, then you can begin to teach them whatever else you feel they need to know. Now, I can understand that perhaps through some of these long eloquent conversations, some of these Christians are just honestly trying to follow Paul's advice of becoming all things to all men that they might win some:
"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you."
1 Corinthians 9:19-23, KJV
If this is their true motivation, then I applaud them for their patience and perseverance. On the other hand, there is such a thing as taking this too far. I have personally witnessed certain Christians who will be earnestly involved in a conversation with someone whom they are trying to win to the cause of Christ, who in my view don't appear to be much different from the person they are witnessing to. What happens is that the person doing the witnessing, either because he wants to impress the other person by appearing to be on the same level scholastically or theologically, or because he is afraid to offend the other person by quoting too many Bible Scriptures, or possibly because he simply doesn't know enough, will end up being involved in a long drawn-out dry spiritless conversation which has devolved into nothing more than a battle of wits and human pride. They are fruitless empty conversations going nowhere fast.
Frankly, when I see such conversations occurring, where not a single Bible verse is quoted in post after post after post, I must truly wonder about the person doing the witnessing. As those of you who have seen me in action know, my approach is entirely different. I believe in exalting the Word of God, whether people like it or not. I like to cut to the chase and get down to the facts. Time is too short for us to be wasting our time with reprobates who don't have the slightest interest in our witness; and who in fact totally despise it and mock us to our face over and over again. We need to always remember to balance Scripture with Scripture. While Jesus did tell us to bring forth fruit with patience and perseverance, He also told us to not cast our pearls before swine or give that which is holy -- meaning the Word of God -- to dogs:
"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
Matthew 7:6, KJV
In like manner, He also told us to shake off the dust from our feet when people fail to receive us or our witness:
"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet."
Matthew 10:14, KJV
Some Christians are just so namby-pamby that they are afraid to offend anybody. We all need to learn to have spiritual discernment and know when to bleat like a lamb with the sheep; and when to roar like a lion with the reprobates. We also need to ask the Lord to give us some wisdom so we don't waste our time with the unworthy. So the main point from these first two verses is that when witnessing, we are not to try to impress people with our own wisdom and knowledge, as it will be totally ineffective, just as Paul has said. You will find a perfect example of this very thing with the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are one proud, pushy, bullheaded, argumentative group of people. They are not the least bit interested in what a person has to say. All they want to do is prove that they are right and that you the listener are wrong; and try to get you to read their literature. It is truly sad and has turned many people against them.
Here are a few more verses which tell us that we must not resort to carnal, Earthly human wisdom in our preaching, but rather rely solely upon the Wisdom, Truth and Power of God's Holy Spirit; for it is in this way that He truly receives all of the Glory which belongs to Him alone:
"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. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:"
1 Corinthians 2:4-7, KJV
"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 Corinthians 2:13, KJV
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."
1 Corinthians 3:19, KJV
"Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist."
Luke 21:14-15, KJV
"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
Acts 4:13, KJV
"And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake."
Acts 6:10, KJV
In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul issued a prophetic warning of the future when men would also be enticed by the pursuit of worldly wisdom and knowledge, and would seek out teachers to instruct them in the things which are not of the Lord:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
2 Timothy 4:3, KJV
Surely, this situation exists in our very day as man has become hopelessly lifted up in his own pride and in the vanity of his own mind. Through what he mistakenly believes is his own wisdom and knowledge, he has created a world of scientific and technological wonders. At the same time, he has replaced The Truth of the Bible with things like EVILution and other lies straight from the bowels of Hell! Likewise, he has hired himself teachers to pollute the minds of our children in the classroom, and we are basically powerless to do anything about it! In addition, the works of the ancient philosophers are again in vogue as man seeks to inflate his ego and glorify his own mind even further; while at the same time denying The Truths of the Gospel.
The above prophecy may have been inspired in part by Paul's own encounters and experiences during his missionary journeys throughout Syria, Cilicia, Asia Minor, Greece, etc. Many times he encountered "educated" Jews and Gentiles who were so bored with their intellectual lives that all they longed for was to hear something new to tickle their ears. They weren't the least bit interested in The Truth and Wisdom of God. Consider the following example of Paul's encounter with the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. The Stoics had been around since about 300 B.C. with their fatalist philosophy of indifference:
"Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)"
Acts 17:18-21, KJV
Well, Paul obliged them and stood up on Mars' Hill there in Athens and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom to them. As you can see, the results were far different from the thousands which we see being won in Jerusalem in the first few chapters of the Book of Acts. Far away from the original happenings of the Gospels, these heathen were still involved in their pagan beliefs:
"And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them."
Acts 17:32-34, KJV
Mars' Hill was a popular place for orators, so it's possible that there may have been hundreds, if not thousands, who heard him preach the Gospel that day. In spite of this, only a small handful accepted his words with gladness. Because of their satisfaction with their own worldly wisdom, they were unable to accept the Wisdom and Salvation which comes from above. What is ironic about this, is that these very people who claimed to be so wise, didn't even know what they believed in! Consider how Paul started out his speech to them:
"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."
Acts 17:22-23, KJV
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
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