How could you be right and everyone else wrong?
Someone asked Martin Luther, "Martin, how can you assume that you are the only one to understand the sense of Scripture? Would you put your judgment above that of so many famous men and claim that you know more than they all?"
Back then, had the "majority position" been maintained, we would all still be a part of the Roman Catholic Church, and many of the subsequent reforms even within the Church would not have come to pass. Most in the Christian community today would agree that Martin Luther was correct in his stand against the teachings and practices within the Church of his day. But Luther was part of the minority at the time! How could he be right and everybody else wrong?
I know that those who expose the corruption and false teachings within the local institutional church seem to be in the minority. But nevertheless, we do so to warn the masses and to bring reform to a Church today that clings to the traditions and teachings of mankind, just as the Church did in Luther's day. Whenever honest people explore the possibilities that what they are being taught by their church leaders may contain untruths, they run the risk of inciting their wrath. Many pastors and teachers in the church are fearful that they may lose control of the people, their livelihood, and/or their reputation. The most hated people are those who challenge the religious system and its teachings.
Who can find fault with the views of Martin Luther when he answered:
"Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason, I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other; my conscience is captive to the Word of God."
But just like the Church of Luther's day, the majority of church members today continue to just blindly accept the authority of councils, denominations, articles of religion, and the words of their pastors and teachers.
Consider this ... When in Scripture was the majority opinion correct? Were the Jewish leaders (the majority) correct, when God's prophets (the minority ... like Jeremiah) were proclaiming things that were "unorthodox" in their day?
Were the Pharisees (the majority) correct when Jesus and later His apostles were proclaiming things that were "unorthodox" in their day?
Were the majority of believers correct as they clung to legalism, as Paul spoke of things that were "unorthodox?"
In Jesus’ day, the elders and religious leaders didn’t even recognize the very Messiah which the prophets wrote about. The various heads and chief priests of Judaism couldn’t recognize their own Messiah. And those who did wanted to kill Him! Has it ever occurred to the reader that the very same thing is happening right now throughout the various denominations of Christianity and its leaders? The true Jesus is so different from what people are teaching about Him today that they wouldn’t recognize Him even if He visited their congregation in bodily form. He would look nothing like their "pastor;" He would act nothing like their "pastor;" would not dress like their pastor; would not teach like their pastor; would not pray like their pastor. Does that tell you something? It should. If it doesn’t, then you haven’t got a clue as to what you are actually doing there.
And even if they did recognize Him, they would want to throw Him out of their church because He would expose them for being the hypocrites that they are. His Church of today is so different from what we see how it was functioning and practiced in the New Testament, that there is virtually no resemblance at all. Why do we confess that the New Testament is a sufficient guide for the church's faith and practice, and yet function and practice in ways that contradict its patterns?
Make no mistake about it. The church that killed Christ two thousand years ago is the same local institutional church today that would without delay, kill Christ all over again if He were here teaching us:
“…YET IT WILL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant…”
As has been said before, we point out errors and evils in the local institutional church and of man's ways, not because we are self-righteous or “know-it-alls" but because we are charged by our Lord to bring the Truth to bear against non-truth. We admonish all of our readers to search the Scriptures whether these things are so.
If the Word shatters cherished beliefs, then are you willing to be shattered, no matter how painful it is? Isn’t God's Truth more important than personal belief, and loyalty to that Truth more important than loyalty to traditions, the commandments of men, or our local church?
Do you still cling to man’s words even AFTER they are discovered to be such or do you rely solely upon the Holy Spirit for wisdom and courage to change and to turn?
1Corinthians 1:27 "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty"
How is it that the people in Hezekiah's day could be so wrong when they refused to pull down the high places that were heathen abominations in the sight of God? For centuries the Israelites had sacrificed and burnt incense at them. Hezekiah's grandfather Jotham had been a righteous king and he had not pulled down the high places. Jotham's father Uzziah had been righteous and he had not pulled them down. In turn his father Amaziah had been righteous and he had not pulled them down. Neither had Jehoash before him. Could something accepted by four generations of godly kings really be wrong? Had not even Samuel the prophet sacrificed at a high place?
But, Hezekiah rose above tradition and the practices of men; even the traditions accepted by righteous men. He did not follow man, but God. If the high places were an abomination to God, then they must be pulled down. Must we be limited to what our fathers have done? Is what was good enough for them good enough for us? Or do we want to obey God and go further?
“That which is highly esteemed amongst men is abomination in the sight of God” Luke 16:15
What church do you attend?
I do not "GO TO" or “ATTEND” any type of church or man-made denominations. I am a member of the Scriptural "Church of the Living God," which was founded by Jesus Christ. It's a little church which is a spiritual organism that most people of the world know little about.
It’s a “church” (ecclesia) whose existence does not depend on forms, services, meetings, ceremonies, clergy, pulpits, pews, money, governments, or any act of favor whatsoever from the hand of man. It has lived on and continued when all these things have been taken from it. It’s been driven into the wilderness, into dens and caves of the earth, by those who ought to have been its friends. Its existence depends on nothing but the presence of Christ and His Spirit; and They being ever with it. It’s a “church” (ecclesia) that cannot die.
It’s a “church” of which no one member can perish. They are never cast away. Not one bone of Christ's mystical body shall ever be broken. Not one lamb of Christ's flock shall ever be plucked out of His hand.
Its members are not "devoted" to nor serve institutions, organizations, or men who love to label themselves as "duly authorized," but they serve their God and their fellow man through love.
“What church do I attend?” It is the Ecclesia which does the work of Christ upon earth. Our members are just a little flock, and few in number, compared with Christendom’s world of local institutional churches. One or two here, and two or three there; a few in this community and a few more in the next. We meet in homes, at the coffee shop, on the beach, in the library, in an office, a tent, a barn.
It’s a “church” that shakes the universe; that changes the fortunes of kingdoms by their prayers. It’s a “church” where all of its members are active workers for spreading the knowledge of pure religion and undefiled. These are the life-blood of a country, the shield, the defense, the stay, and the support of any nation in which they are passing through.
Why would anyone want to clutter that picture with institutions or organizations or 501c3’s?
“What church do I attend?” It’s a “church” that when wolves and other false teachers begin to enter into our midst and start to take control, like a Diotrephes, who loved to have the preeminence among them, as well as others, the people stand up and expose them. When the teaching of Balaam and the teaching of the Nicolaitans appear, the people stand up in like manner.
Why would we do that? Because it’s a “church” that remembers and abides by Jesus’ words: “NOT SO SHALL IT BE AMONG YOU.”
We remember and abide by His words: "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren."
We remember and abide by His words: “Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
We remember and abide by His words: “But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.”
“C-h-u-r-c-h” is not now and never was, a physical building to congregate in to worship God. Could all the hundreds of thousands of Israelites congregate inside the tiny little tabernacle in the wilderness? Could ALL JUDEA congregate in the tiny Temple in Jerusalem every Sabbath? The synagogues became corrupted and the churches today are even more corrupted. So where do you want to go? If you want fellowship, why not join a social club and keep the false religion out of your fellowship.
Isn't it interesting that in the Scriptures, you will not find one word or command from Jesus to "go to church" yet this is precisely the command you will hear from today's local institutional church leaders, ad nauseam.
Today’s ministerial strongmen would have us believe that unless you belong to some "local institutional church of man” that you are probably not even a true Christian and you will fall prey to Satan.
But as usually is the case with these false teachers and serial killers of the soul, the very opposite turns out to be true. And it is none other than Christ Himself who has promised us differently!
This is what Christ has promised us would happen. He has promised us that if we are faithful to Him and His teaching, we would be put out of their synagogues!
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever kills you will think that he is doing God service." John 16:2
Christ Himself was rejected by the religious rulers of His day, and we are to be "as He is... in this world."
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." 1John 4:17
Are you under any authority or accountability? Do you hate authority?
Again, as it has been said on this site, we do not hate authority or accountability. Some people assume that since we write about and expose the evils of spiritual abuse in the “church” as well as the abuse of authority, that we are not at all concerned with "authority"; that we are "anti-authority"; .....that we have an "undercurrent of rebellion of authority in our own hearts".
This is not true. We believe that what we do have is a rebellion against unbiblical authority! This is what we speak out against!
People say, " ...but we need the church to have spiritual authority and accountability over us..."
REALLY? And where did you come up with that?
Accountability is good. I'm accountable to my employer; I'm accountable to my neighbor; I'm accountable to my kids; I'm accountable to my wife; I'm accountable to my friends; I'm accountable to Christ; I'm accountable to God. Why does somebody think that they have to belong to some local institutional church corporation to have some accountability? I'll tell you why. It's because of the carnal-minded, false teachings of men - men who NEED YOU there in order for them to control you, for without YOU there, they will crumble like the house of sand of which they are!
I'm already up to my neck in accountability, and I don't even "g-o t-o c-h-u-r-c-h" or belong to such! There IS authority in my life; real spiritual authority. Jesus Christ is my spiritual authority. But apparently, for some people, that's not good enough.
Dear brethren, be not deceived by the stories that you hear coming from the minds and mouths of your so-called "spiritual overseers" who constantly remind you, like urban legends told around a campfire, of the supposed “uncertain fate” of those that left and never returned, and the horrors of the many and “mysterious dangers” lurking beyond the institutional walls.
Many people are growing and absolutely thriving spiritually after they have abandoned the local institutional church system. Abandoning these man-made and man-controlled systems does not mean abandoning other people. Many who have left these systems still gather for discussions and fellowship. And many don’t (through no fault of their own)
It’s not the Bible or the Lord that is abandoned. What is done away with is the soul-destroying influence of a local institutional church that is more interested in preserving itself and its traditions and false teachings than it is in the Truth.
Why do you speak and write so harshly about the church and pastors?
How did Jesus speak to the chief priests, the elders, the religious leaders His day? Just a cursory reading of the gospels will provide you with the answer. Just go to one chapter, Matthew 23, to see how He dealt with; how He confronted; how He exposed and spoke to the religious leaders of His day.
-But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye enter not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter.
- they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, even while for a pretence you make long prayers: therefore you shall receive greater condemnation.
Woe unto you, blind guides; fools and blind; You fools and blind...…
Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! You… have omitted… judgement, mercy and faith…You blind guides which strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES… within they are full of extortion and excess.You BLIND PHARISEES…
woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! You are full of dead men's bones, and all uncleanness… and hypocrisy and iniquity…
WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES!… you are the children of them which KILLED the prophets. FILL YOU UP then the measure of your fathers.You SERPENTS, you GENERATION OF SNAKES… you KILL AND CRUCIFY… you SCOURGE in your synagogues… Behold your house is left unto you DESOLATE"!!
All of these words Jesus spoke to the religious leaders; the great theologians and scholars. He is exposing them for who they are - false teachers and control freaks driven by power, greed, and the lust for domination and authority. Jesus’ tactic was to go against these religious rulers, along with their teachings. He not only did NOT accept them, but He fought against them. He exposed them. He condemned them as evil. He openly declared war on them as publicly as He possibly could. He virtually had nothing nice to say about any of them.
Yet today, people condemn and question me for merely exposing the religious leaders and teachers . Positively no one in Christendom would ever sanction such a manner of speech from a minister in their denomination. There isn’t a denomination in all Christendom that would hire Jesus as their pastor if He were to return today. They would throw him out the door on His ear before He got ten minutes into His first sermon. Christians are offended that I would even point out these historical facts of Scripture. They really don’t want to believe Jesus spoke as He did, even though it’s all right there in their Bibles. Most of the followers of the Scribes and Pharisees thought them to be virtually perfect, just as today's pastors and teachers are thought by their followers to be perfect.
Would Jesus speak in the same manner to the pastors; the eldership; the spiritual overseers in the church today? Does Jesus change? NO. Has the Church changed in the past 2000 years? YES. It has gotten WORSE.
Do we believe in following Jesus? Do we approve of His actions? But, by their own admission, some people in the church don't approve of such talk, such teaching, such an example. If you didn't know that these are the words of Jesus Christ, there would be some who would take GREAT exception to these words of His. Of course they would.
Had you witnessed and heard these attacks on the religious leaders by Jesus, do you really think that you would have gone up to Jesus and asked Him: "Why do You speak so harshly against the religious leaders and the church?
No, it's time to speak loudly and clearly. It's time for the cultic mentality to be exposed. It is long overdue to help some badly beaten sheep and expose the awful tyranny and outrageous claims of papal power that has been concocted by those who "lord it over" those in the church. Just like Jesus did!
Why can’t you see how God is using the church and making it grow? Isn't this a clear indication that we are walking uprightly and are pleasing to God?
Again I answer.....Really? Just because something grows doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good. Did Jesus say that you shall know them by their growth? All kinds of questionable, or even out-right illegal activities grow and prosper each and every day!
They too increase in numbers; increase in zeal; increase in $$$$$. How come some Christians can clearly see these things and place no stock in it whatsoever, but when it comes to these same issues "in the church," well that's a different story.
In fact, the same could be easily seen and recognized in full-blown cults! They "grow" by the thousands, and sometimes more, claiming God as their source, and themselves as teaching the truth and pleasing to God.
No, the Scriptures tell us that it is the incessant wrangling's of men who are wholly corrupt in their mind and bereft of the truth who think that godliness is a means of gain. (1 Timothy 6) Though this might be in reference to money, the two go hand-in-hand. Anybody who thinks that "godliness" is a way to get financial gain, will also think that any type of gain, that is, your church growing; people being saved; God's apparent working in your midst; etc., is also a sign of godliness and that they are walking uprightly and are pleasing to God.
This whole "God is using us and blessing us" phrase is unhealthy, to say the least, and even deadly in some cases, especially when it comes from a local institutional type church setting. It does nothing but infect and puff up those that it touches. Many have been caught and corrupted by this lie and the corruption is sometimes almost instantaneous.
"But we feel God's presence."
"But our pastor is so wonderful and sincere."
“But God is working through our church and using us”
All to which I say, God used Balaam’s ass to speak through too! So what does that tell you?
No, it is not God's presence but emotion and the effect of seducing spirits. Wonderfulness and sincerity do not cut it with God. Neither does an impressive knowledge of the Scriptures, great oratory or great organizational skills.
Just because somebody is awakened by God and they begin to increase in faith is a demonstration of God and not to the false teachings and practices of men. Many so-called “pastors” will immediately jump on situations like that to some how prove that the church is being blessed and is evidence of the presence of God and His Spirit at work.
But the fact that God can work in a cesspool of a situation is no proof at all of God’s approval of that cesspool. It is because of ignorance and utter apathy for Truth, that professing Christians might view these things as some sort of spiritual endorsement.
Yet, we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to His purpose, not your purpose.
Is the common Christian church member no longer capable of rational thought? Do they need someone to tell them if they are being blessed, when they are blessed, how they are blessed, why they are blessed?
It should come as no surprise then when you see many churched believers, week after week, year after year, remaining in a seemingly perpetual comatose state; always dependent on "their leaders" to teach them, hear from God for them, do the work of evangelizing the lost for them, entertain them, and direct practically every single area of their lives.
This dependence on men is a natural byproduct the church system produces. Ironically, it's not just a byproduct... it's also the fuel that keeps it running. If it fails in this task, the system will crumble for lack of support. It needs these immature foster children as much as they think they need it.
"What about Ephesians 4:11ff where it talks about Christ giving gifts to the church?"
Ephesians 4:8 – “When He ascended up on high, He … gave gifts unto men.”
Ephesians 4:11ff - “...And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ; till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full-grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ..”
First of all, here is the only verse in the entire New Testament with the word "pastors." (the singular term "pastor" cannot be found in the King James New Testament – NOT EVEN ONCE) and the entire church world is fanatically obsessed with this term - "pastors."
Secondly, you must remember that this was an historic time; a place in the past when these gifts were given. The passage does not say that “he began to give gifts unto men.”
It was not an ongoing process. It was during the time covered by the book of Acts … “until.”
These gifts were in effect until “the unity of the faith” occurred (:13).
“Unity” is that which is complete, that which has all its parts.
What was the purpose of these gifts?
The purpose was “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12) – all in lieu of the fact that they did not yet have the full, complete revelation of God in written form.
All of these things – “the perfecting of the saints,” “the work of the ministry” and “the edifying of the body of Christ” – take place by the application of the full (i.e., complete), written Word of God.
No “gifts” are now needed. There are no divine-supernatural gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher today.
Some people may carry out certain aspects of these, such as evangelist or teacher, but they do so not by these special gifts, but by dedication to the written Word of God.
If a man will teach, for example, he must labor in the study of the Word, learning, adjusting, growing, so that he may teach others.
It is not a “gift” in any sense of these gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4.
This is why in the last letter written by Paul, which completed the Scriptures, he told Timothy,
But watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5).
Paul does not tell Timothy that he has the “gift” of “evangelist.” Nor does he say that he is “an evangelist.” He only tells him to do an evangelist’s work - “do the work of an evangelist.”
He could now do so, without the “divine gifts” because he had in his possession the full, complete Scripture which was able to enable him to “do the work of an evangelist,” thus making “full proof” of his ministry.
Notice what Paul wrote in his final letter, concerning the Word of God:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“Gifts” were no longer needed. The Scriptures themselves, now full and complete, were “profitable” for “doctrine [i.e., teaching],” etc. … “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Paul’s term “man of God” is in no way ministerial in nature.
It is in contrast to immaturity; in contrast to a “babe.”
There is a big difference between simply being a “child of God,” and becoming a “man of God.”
What is it that changes one from spiritual infancy to spiritual adulthood?
The Word of God.
Again it says, “that the man of God may be …” - what? - “perfect, thoroughly furnished.” That’s what the full, complete Scriptures can do!
For what purpose? “Unto all good works.”
This is why Paul tells Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist.”
Don’t trust religious traditions or ecclesiastical edicts. Avoid turning to “church counsels,” for they are “profane and vain babblings.”
Study the Bible diligently for yourself.
Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
(2 Timothy 2:15-16).
What schooling have you had and are you a pastor?
Wickedshepherds.com does not acknowledge any person, male or female, ordained by men, as a minister of God. God’s ministers don’t come from Bible schools, seminaries, or some type of ministerial academy. They don’t come from sectarian or denominational organizations, which are the works of men.
No, as Moses was prepared in the wilderness, as John the Baptist was prepared in the wilderness, as Paul was taken out of his denomination (Pharisees) into a “wilderness” and prepared as an apostle, so all men of God come from outside the structures and machinations of men.
As it was with Paul, who declared his ministry wasn’t from or by men, but directly by Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:1), so it is with all men called and sent forth of God to minister. Even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Pattern Son, wasn’t schooled in the institutions of His day. He wasn’t a product of men’s systems of ordination, whereby men presume control over the things of God and can boast of their accomplishment.
The chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” (Matthew 21:23) Even they didn’t know! Why didn’t they know? They couldn’t comprehend the authority of God, Who was nowhere to be found in their “authority-producing” institutions.
We are, for example, guilty when we call a theologically-educated brother "Pastor" or “Doctor” or “Reverend,” but call an educationally-deprived believer “brother.” “Brother,” of course, is at the bottom of the totem pole while “Doctor” or “Reverend” or “Pastor/Priest” are located at the top of the totem pole.
As always is the case, following the style and practices of the world; being impressed by the world’s standards; seeking the glory, praise, and adulation from men - pursuing this path seems to be the way to go for many professing Christians.
Some Christians today go so far as to not even listen to what an individual has to say concerning the Scriptures without first inquiring as to their “qualifications” and/or whether or not their particular theology matches their own. Many feel that this is a safe and biblical approach in keeping yourself from error.
But, is it really a safe and biblical approach? Or is it something that you have been taught to do; a clever approach implemented in order that you will not have to answer serious and difficult questions that go against your particular system of belief?
What if you lived back in Jesus' day. This is how many people would approach the subject with Him:
“…You know Jesus, it would be nice to know a little bit more about
where you’re coming from - your education; your background.
I’d personally like to know if you attended any seminary. Are you fluent in Hebrew and Greek? Do you have any degrees from Jerusalem Theological Seminary?
What was your major? The Whole Old Testament? The Major Prophets?
Who’s your family? By the way, where are they?
You see, I don’t know if you can be trusted or even listened to!
As you and your friends go about the country side with your message,
people are starting to ask questions. They are beginning to wonder if what they are being
told by their church leaders is really accurate! Because of you, some of them
are actually getting into the Scriptures for the first time and finding truths that they
have never seen before, and boy, the leaders are getting mad!
I’ve heard some of your new teachings, and to be very honest with you,
many of them scare me to death. You shouldn’t be causing people to question
our great Scribes and Pharisees. Some of them went to the school of Tyrannus.
Some were trained at the feet of Gamaliel. Some graduated from the Antioch Ministerial Academy. They all have degrees to show for it.
Some of them are even great Professors with tremendous oratory and you really
shouldn’t be talking about them the way you do.
You know, calling them serpents, murderers, blind guides, things like that.
Don’t you know that God called them to be his mouthpiece; that they have been
ordained to the ministry and have been divinely installed into their office…?”
I think that this would be a pretty accurate account of what would have transpired.
But the question is, Is this kind of mindset and tactic important, or not?
The Pharisees seemed to think so. What does that tell you?
The first thing the Pharisees said regarding the ministry of Jesus Christ was:
"Where did he get such wisdom and these mighty works?” “Isn't he the carpenter's son?"
“Where did he get all this?" "And so they began to reject him."
"Well, are you also from out of Galilee?”
“And seeing the apostles, they were amazed to learn that they were unlettered and obscure men, and they began to marvel,”
Isn’t it just like the world, or perhaps should I be saying, isn’t it just like the church? As then, so now.
Many leaders in today’s churches will promptly and unashamedly present themselves as:
“Dr.” xxxxxx or “Rev.” xxxxx or “Pastor” XXXXX or even “Professor” XXXXX…..all of these, so designated by men’s "schools of higher learning.”
These degrees and/or titles may indeed impress men, but not God. All of God’s servants learn directly from Him, the Highest there is, without fanfare before men.
By calling yourself Pastor or Doctor or Reverend, leaders present themselves as some kind of an authority on God. And yes, MEN respect this claim, but here is the reality:
“That which is highly esteemed amongst men is abomination in the sight of God” Luke 16:15
The Lord Jesus Christ had no degrees in this world, and He confers none. He gives something infinitely better; Himself and His Nature, to those who believe, obey, and follow Him.
Paul left all of his religious training behind, calling it nothing but dung. Philippians 3:8
Paul was taught at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) and I'm sure that Gamaliel was a very fine Hebrew scholar, but what did that knowledge do for Paul? He became the worst (chief) sinner who ever lived! (1 Timothy 1:15)
There are men with theological degrees galore; possessing a whole string of titles and letters, one after the other, before and after their names, and yet at the same time, they also don’t have a clue as to what the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is or even who Jesus really is.
If you are looking for and are impressed with the worldly credentials and qualifications of men, you need look no further than today’s local institutional church. It is there where you will find them and it is there where you will be happy and satisfied.
Yet, to find the true servants of God; to find the description of true brothers and sisters who have forsaken all and are following Him, you need look no further than to the Scriptures themselves and see what fits them for service.
For should not THIS be our standard? HIM? What is the evidence for whom the Lord endorses? Who does the Lord call for service into His Kingdom?
This is where you will find no worldly credentials. It is here where you will find brethren who are but your fellow servants with like passions as yourself. It is here where you will find NO credentials, except for the Spirit of God!
The Spirit of God! Wow! How are those for credentials? NOT good enough for some people I suspect.
You see, God’s servants had credentials, but not the kind you see in today’s world of theological academies and local church institutions.
Peter, James, and John were all fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. Paul was a tentmaker. Jesus was a carpenter.
Do you think that the twelve apostles all had degrees from the Jerusalem Academy of Theology?
Do you want to know what the fundamental ingredients are for our calling? Do you want to see the credentials for our brothers and sisters who are called to serve and follow Him?
These are our credentials:
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh (THAT'S US), not many mighty (THAT'S US), not many noble (THAT'S US), are called:
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world (THAT'S US) that He may be disgracing the wise; and God has chosen the weak things (THAT'S US) of the world to disgrace the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised (THAT'S US), has God chosen, yea, and things which are not (THAT'S US), to bring to destruction things that are:
That no flesh (THAT'S US) at all should be boasting in God's sight. But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that is glorying (THAT'S US), let him glory in the Lord (THANK THE LORD, THAT’S US TOO). 1 Corinthians 1:26-31