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?
This reminds me of something which Jesus also said to the woman of Samaria in John chapter four:
"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews."
John 4:22, KJV
The reason Jesus may have said this to her is because many of the Samaritans were pagans and heathen who had moved into Samaria and northern Palestine during the Assyrian and Babylonian occupations. They worshipped other gods, and not the God of Israel. Some of the Samaritans were indeed flesh Jews, but they were looked down upon by their fellow Jewish brethren further to the south in Judea, just because of the place where they lived. This is why we are told that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans:
"Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans."
John 4:9, KJV
This is also one of the reasons why Jesus was despised. While He was born in Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem, He spent His boyhood and young adulthood in Galilee which was a region in the extreme north of Palestine beyond Samaria bordering Syria. It is probably because of this reason that Nathanael made the following comment to Philip when he first heard about Jesus:
"And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see."
John 1:46, KJV
Considering the overwhelming Scriptural evidence I have been presenting in this article, which clearly shows our Heavenly Father's, Jesus', the Apostle Paul's and others' disdain for earthly wisdom and philosophical knowledge, how can anyone still argue in favor of studying such things? It is for these very reasons that I personally prefer to receive my education directly from the Lord. Every sitting with Him is a new and tremendously inspiring experience. He is more than capable of teaching me all of The Truth that I need to know straight from His Word. Through many hours of study, He has led me to uncover many wonderful treasures in His precious goldmine which I have gladly shared with you, for I am a scribe of His Word:
"Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old."
Matthew 13:52, KJV
It is in a one-on-one relationship with Him, sitting at His feet, just as the Disciples and Mary did, that we all can truly learn of the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven:
"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42, KJV
In fact, this is exactly what the Apostle Paul did following his conversion on the road to Damascus. Some claim that he was a man of the world who studied the arts and philosophies of his time. In my article "A Biblical Cafeteria, Or the Whole Course?", I traced the life of Paul, and nowhere did I find him engaging in any of these activities. What we do know is that he was born in Tarsus of Cilicia, which was just north of Syria, and that at an early age he was taken to Jerusalem where he was trained to be a dedicated Pharisee under the tutelage of Gamaliel. Paul tells us these things in his own words in the Book of Acts:
"But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people."
Acts 21:39, KJV
"I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city [Jerusalem] at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day."
Acts 22:3, KJV
When Paul appeared before Ananias the High Priest and the Sanhedrin, he also said:
". . . Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question."
Acts 23:6b, KJV
While Paul studied under Gamaliel in Jerusalem, we really have no idea what his specific course of instruction included. Whether it may have included the arts and philosophies is not known; however, there are no hints of this whatsoever in either the Book of Acts, or in Paul's own epistles. Studying to be a Pharisee was primarily a religious matter, and not a worldly matter. Prior to his conversion, it seems likely that Paul, then called Saul, was a lackey of the High Priest and the Sanhedrin, the religious council of the Seventy Elders. Maybe he was career-minded and interested in moving up in the ranks. If he wasn't actually a member of the Sanhedrin, maybe he was a high-ranking Temple guard. After all, for the High Priest to grant him the authority to go after the Christians in Damascus, Saul must have had close ties with him. Saul was their chosen man for the hour. He was a typical man-pleaser who prided himself in observing the Torah. In speaking of his own actions and pharisaical zeal prior to his conversion, Paul writes:
"For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers."
Galatians 1:13-14, KJV
When he appeared before King Agrippa and Queen Bernice after several years of imprisonment in Caesarea, he told them:
"I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities."
Acts 26:9-11, KJV
In light of the testimony of his own words, it doesn't seem to me that Paul studied such worldly things. He was just deeply into his religion. And even if he did study them, which can't be proven, from all of his own words which I have presented in this article, we know that he definitely forsook them at the time of his conversion. In speaking of his own knowledge of the Lord after his conversion, Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Galatians that his primary source of information was the Lord Himself:
"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Galatians 1:11-12, KJV
Between his in-depth knowledge of the Torah, and his new relationship with the Lord following his amazing life transformation, Paul must have been a spiritual powerhouse. While he did hobnob with the educated class of his day, it wasn't to learn of their worldly wisdom; but rather to preach to them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We find a clear example of this during one of his journeys to Ephesus. While there, he had an extended opportunity to preach in one of the schools of philosophy called Tyrannus:
"And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks."
Acts 19:8-10, KJV
Notice that it says twice that he was "disputing" with them. He wasn't just calmly accepting their vain wisdom and philosophies of men; he was telling them that they were dead WRONG, and that they needed to forsake it and accept the Lord and His Word! Like Paul, we too have absolutely NO NEED for the wisdom or philosophies of men. Even if there is any worldly wisdom and truth to be found in the writings or teachings of these other philosophers, sages, doctors, New Age gurus, theologians, psychologists, or whatever name or title they may go by, as Bible-believing Christians, why do we even need it? Just like the First Disciples, or Mary, or Paul, and like many others, we too can sit at the feet of Jesus and have daily fellowship and communion with Him! We can sit at the very feet of the Son of God, the Creator of the Universe who knows ALL things! What need is there to go snooping around in the Devil's territory? Do you think you are going to find something better there? Do you think maybe God is holding out on you? We are told that our Lord is a jealous God and that He will have no other gods before him! To seek after the wisdom of these other worldly men after having known Jesus and His Word, is to slap God in the face! It is for this very reason that He tells us:
"For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?"
1 Corinthians 1:19-20, KJV
If you honestly hunger for The Truth in this life, God has promised in His Word that He will reveal it to you, if you earnestly seek His Face and just ask Him to:
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8, KJV
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Matthew 21:22, KJV
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
1 John 5:14-15, KJV
"I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it."
Psalms 81:10, KJV
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Malachi 3:10, KJV
In conclusion, allow me to ask you: When you do ask the Lord to show you The Truth and to fill you with His Wisdom, where do you think He is going to lead you? To the philosophical writings of mind-wondering worldly men? To some demon-filled Eastern yogi or maharaja? To some dead dry secular humanist? To some deceptive New Age guru? To the questionable quatrains of Nostradamus? To Mohammed and his quagmire of the Qur'an? To some comprising spiritless theologian? To phony philosophers and off-the-track teachers like Plato, or Aristotle, or Cicero, Or Socrates, or Buddha, or Pliny, Or Confucius, or Maimonides?
Of course not! When you ask the Lord to lead you to the source of all Truth and Wisdom, He is going to take you directly to His Book which He authored Himself through His real Prophets and Holy Men who feared His Name, and who were filled with His real Spirit of Truth! That is exactly where He is going to lead you; and nowhere else! Jesus made His feelings very clear regarding all of these false mind-benders who came before Him, and who would also come after Him. It is made plain as day in the following two verses. Do you believe them?:
"All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them."
John 10:8, KJV
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Matthew 24:24, KJV
If you are being led to any of these false philosophers who are clearly condemned in the Bible, then perhaps you need to check your "hotline". Perhaps there is some static in there. If you are feeling depressed or confused or negative or uncertain about the things you are reading, then perhaps it is not of God. Remember, God is not the Author of Confusion!:
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
1 Corinthians 14:33, KJV
God's Word will bring peace and joy into your life, and not doubts, confusion and depression. Neither will it fill you with false pride and vanity, or with a feeling of superiority. Most of all, reading God's Truth will not cause
you to look down to yourself for the answer, or to the world and its so-called "wise" men, or to the North, South, East or West; it will only cause you to look in one direction; and that is straight up to Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of your faith!:
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2, KJV
And that, my friends, is the Word of God with the bark on it! I truly hope this article has shaken some of you up, and opened your eyes to the deceptive faith-stealing path of seeking out worldly wisdom. If you are on this path, I hope you will now be willing to forsake the ways of Darkness, and get back on the Right Way and the Right Path, following none other than Jesus Christ and His Word found in His Book!:
"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
"But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
Proverbs 4:18, KJV
May the Lord bless you as you continue to obey and trust only in Him walking along The Path which truly leads to the Perfect Day; the day of the Lord's Coming! The longer you stay on that Path, the brighter it gets; because you are getting closer and closer to Jesus, and He is getting closer and closer to you! Not only that, you will shine brighter and brighter for Him as one of His stars, as a Child of God, as your rewards continue to increase in Heaven!