By Now You Ought To Be Teachers

Posted by Jeffrey K Radt ("JRed") | Posted in , , , , , , , | Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2010

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Stuck on the couch battling the flu. Buffalo, NY received 2+ feet of snow in the past 24 hours that I can't do anything about. The kids are both home from school since it was closed due to the weather. So, what can a man in my position do while resting? Study God's Word!

That being said, I want to share an excellent Sermon by David Wilkerson based on the following verses from the Book of Hebrews (emphasis mine)...

Hebrews 5:11-14 (KJV) Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 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.

Here's Wilkerson's 40-minute message...

David Wilkerson: By Now You Ought To Be Teachers



He's right you know. By now, we should definitely be teachers ourselves.

Here's a sampling of some of the truths he shared that convicted me to my core (along with some of my own reactions and thoughts on what Wilkerson had to say about these important passages)...

> We are very fortunate to have access to the Word of God in a "free" nation. We are very fortunate to have access to the Sermons and commentaries from men of God from over the years. We are very fortunate to have access to men of God who are alive and with us today (like Wilkerson) who rightly divide the Word (2 Timothy 2:15). Yet, even after all of that, a majority of us Christians -- myself included -- are of "dull hearing" and seem to prefer the spiritual "milk" more than the spiritual "meat" because there's no evidence that we're maturing as we should be.

> The message is summed up like this: "By now, you have heard more than enough that you should be able to become teachers of the Gospel yourself! So, why are you severely stunted in your spiritual growth!?!" Harsh words from the writer of Hebrews, but spot on then and spot on today; applicable to all Christians who have ever lived since then.

> It's almost like the writer of Hebrews is giving us all a swift kick in the behind and telling us that by now we ought to be an example to others. He's saying that we should be an example to our family, our friends, our co-workers, and even complete strangers. Most importantly, we should be examples to others in the church. It doesn't mean we'll be standing at the pulpit, or even teaching Sunday School, but we should be teachers in the way we live our lives, and in the way we believe in and pursue our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We should be encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ (yes, even correcting them according to 2 Timothy 3:16) to the point where they're motivated to submit to the process of maturation in the faith by submitting to the process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit.

> Wilkerson asks, "How many Sermons must we hear? In other words, is it just an episodic faith?" His point in asking those questions is to get us to realize that there should come a time where we as Christians are expected to "take things to the next level" and "grow up" and mature in our faith. How do we do that? Well, immediately after presenting us with this key questions he proceeds to tell us that while it's expected and noble of us to turn to the religious teachers to guide us in understanding the Scriptures, there comes a point in time (or there should) when we mature to a place where we rely on studying the Word for ourselves. 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." This Scriptural command cannot be overstated because it will protect us from falling away into error. Remember the Bereans? There's a beautiful, simple verse in the Book of Acts that instructs us how we can not only mature in our faith, but how we can determine if a religious leader is preaching the true Gospel or a false gospel. Acts 17:11 (NIV) says, "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Amen!

> He reminds us that the Hebrew writer tells us that we should be partakers of suffering for Christ, and that we shouldn't be asking "Why?" anymore when afflictions come. It's like that quote I highlighted from Richard Wurmbrand the other day that stated, "A faith that can be destroyed by suffering is not faith."

> Wilkerson: "Well taught, full of Bible truths, veterans of the faith, teaching by example according to the writer." That statement should apply to each and every one of us by now! If it doesn't? Well, I suggest prayerfully considering the following verse from 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV), "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?"

> For the sake of crystal clarity, let's look at the NIV translation of this text that served as the basis for Wilkerson's whole Sermon as well as this entire post: "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

> A clear instruction for us on how to train ourselves to be able to mature in our faith by committing to a passionate study of His Word, and how to be able to distinguish "good" from "evil". I think we'd all agree that both are greatly needed within the Body of Christ today, and that each and every single one of us could be doing so much more to that end.

> Hebrews 5:11-14 is, in its simplest sense, a very clear warning against falling away. That's interesting because we read about another "falling away" (the "Apostasy") that is prophesied to occur in the last days (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

> Folks, it's not a coincidence that this keeps coming up lately in our studies here. I mean, I never studied the Book of Hebrews like I have lately and certainly haven't done a study on these particular verses. Praise the Lord for responding to my prayers for Him to shape me into the Christian He wants me to be!

> Wilkerson's contrast between this passage and what we read in Deuteronomy 11 is inspiring especially when I consider my own life to this point and what awaits me -- awaits each and every one of us -- in the near future. I think it begins around the 11-minute mark so please be sure to listen to that portion of his Sermon if you're not willing to sit through the whole thing today.

> On the heels of all the time spent on Richard Wurmbrand's Tortured For Christ, I was surprised (ok, just initially until I remind myself Who it is Who's behind all of this) to hear Wilkerson say: "Something common to those who are coming into an overcoming faith...is that they never limit God. And when I talk about limiting God it's in this manner, in this faith...They never limit God in how and when He's going to answer our prayers."

It's something that this came up today rather haphazardly in my Bible studies too. See, Tuesday night, I began the first of what I pray will be many fellowship opportunities with another brother in Christ.

You have to understand that I've been a "spiritual island" of sorts for far too long out here in my little neck of the woods. Not by choice either. Family and friends have basically shunned me because of my faith.

Ok, maybe that's a little too harsh, but I will say that I have never made plans to get together with family or friends for pure fellowship and/or Bible study because they're just not interested in that sort of thing. As a result, I've committed to studying it on my own as best as I can by the grace of God.

Plus, there's no community of believers from my local church that I can get together with either because right now my wife and I are looking for a home church to mature ourselves and raise our children in.

So, the mere fact that this was the very first time in my life (since first being saved and born again back in 2003) that I've formally planned and gotten together with another believer is huge for me! I loved every minute of it too!

I cannot begin to describe how powerful the experience was for me even despite some "disagreements" about doctrinal matters. Through it all, we were certainly graced with His presence and peace and were able to talk about "controversial" subjects (or lovingly go back-and-forth) with each other as...adults...men. Imagine that!

Nowadays, Christians can't engage in any kind of serious Bible study without one party always charging the other with being "a Pharisee", with being "too judgmental", or "too narrow-minded" even. My point is that it was a nice change of pace and a welcomed breath of fresh air.

I won't get into specifics, but it's clear to me even more so today that our getting together (including the things that came up during our time in fellowship) are a direct answer to both of our prayers. The content of today's entry is confirmation of this fact. Praise the Lord!

Anyway, this particular message today is for all of us. Why? Matthew Henry summed up the above verses from Hebrews this way...

The Christian Hebrews reproved for their little progress in the knowledge of the gospel. (11-14)

Dull hearers make the preaching of the gospel difficult, and even those who have some faith may be dull hearers, and slow to believe. Much is looked for from those to whom much is given. To be unskilful, denotes want of experience in the things of the gospel. Christian experience is a spiritual sense, taste, or relish of the goodness, sweetness, and excellence of the truths of the gospel. And no tongue can express the satisfaction which the soul receives, from a sense of Divine goodness, grace, and love to it in Christ.

But let's hone in on one verse specifically to emphasize all of what Henry wrote. The Forerunner Commentary noted the following...

In context, God tells us one of the purposes of His revelation to mankind. The writer of Hebrews scolds his audience for being "dull of hearing" (verse 11). Using an analogy of milk, the nourishment of children, against "strong meat" (KJV), the fare of those "who are of full age," he laments that he needs to "go back to the basics," the first principles of God's revelation. Not using that revelation to exercise their senses "to discern both good and evil" (verse 14), they had failed to grow up.

The purpose of God's revelation is to provide the nourishment, the food, by which we come "to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13). It is God's revelation, His oracles, which allow us to "go on to perfection" (Hebrews 6:1).

The correlation between this portion of the text from Hebrews and the prophecies contained in the Book of Revelation I'm sure are obvious...

Revelation 3:14-22 (KJV) And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Clarke's Commentary of the Bible says this about the above text...

Though thou hast been near to my heart, yet now I must pluck thee thence, because slothful, careless, and indolent; thou art not in earnest for thy soul.

It is thought that the Laodiceans were being criticized for their neutrality or lack of zeal (hence "lukewarm"). The words attributed to the Laodiceans obviously mark an ironic over-confidence in regard to spiritual wealth. Rich in material blessings -- abundant blessings -- they are unable to recognize their spiritual bankruptcy.

Incredibly appropriate I'd say given the direction that the Lord seems to be moving me (and this blog) in recent weeks.

And to think this post came about quite unexpectedly and, "off the cuff" as some would say (at least from my perspective), only adds to my belief, my faith, that it is all providential.

I pray that the Lord has used this Bible study today to impact your life for His glory, honor, and praise.

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Comments Posted (16)

jeff

you have now entered the solid food stage!!! I applaud you for that. and I thank JESUS CHRIST for allowing you to see and hear!

as far as the looking for a church,
whats wroung with your home? and whats wrong with you teaching your own children the truth of JESUS CHRIST and the solid meat doctrine of the HOLY SPIRIT???

do as you will, but as I have warned in the past! there is NO 501c3 church that teaches the TRUE DOCTRINE of GOD.

the whole loaf has become leavend by the doctrine of the pharasees.

GOD help jeff to make the right choice concerning YOUR WAYS, YOUR TRUTH AND YOUR LIFE!!!!!!! AMEN

john

Hey Jeff,
Hope you and the family start feeling better. We are still recovering and praise GOD HE gave us all the energy we needed to clean up our house! Yuck it is terrible how fast things can get out of order. So while I bang out some dishes, I am going to listen to Wilkerson and pray the FATHER has mercy on us all for good health!
Peace,
Deirdre

Jeff,
Funny how us Christians can be lead to the same passages. I just decided a few days ago to re read Revelations for the 100th time but to only read a little at a time and try to do a REAL study of the whole book as I believe that right now it is very important to have a deep understanding of it. I have come to the conclusion that the beginning of that book is aimed at all of us, in that these are some of the things that will be our biggest problems in the end times. For instance, it is so hard to be on fire for God in the workplace,(referring to the whole lukewarm thing) without causing problems. And churches, well we have given up. There are no non apostate churches any more. I say "home church" and if I did not have to work I would home school too. God Bless. Hope you are well soon.
Melanie G

Jeff, I'm praying for you and hope you get well soon. Home church sounds good. I'm pretty much home churched for I haven't gone to a church since the late 60s. I didn't care for the church my folks started going too so I just read and studied on my own. I've prayed a lot to lead me to a church for I did miss the fellowship. One time I was really missing fellowship and was praying about it. Soon He put me in contact with a couple who were praying for someone to help them with some mechanical work. My husband helped them with their repairs and I had some great fellowship for a few months.

I'm enjoying reading your posts and all the comments from everyone and really look forward to the fellowship every day. I really can't wait to meet many of the people here when Yahshua sets up his kingdom.

Yahweh bless us and keep us from the hour of temptation.
Love everyone of you, Susan

Dr. Wilkerson certainly seems to carry the "Spirit of Heaviness" during his messages that I have listened to. An inspiring message for us to continue on in this race of faith! Thank you for posting it.

Thanks for the prayers everyone. On the slow path to recovery as I type this.

You know, people think it was funny when I said that Wurmbrand's Tortured For Christ book changed my life, but let me give you a real world example related to just today.

As you know, Buffalo got hit with its first major snowstorm of the winter. My neighborhood received some 32 inches in 24 hours. Normally, I'd be out there right away shoveling. If I'm really sick like I have been these past few days, then I'd "sit this one out". However, I viewed this as a minor training field.

You can call it "stupidity" if you want (my dear wife and also my mother both did! HA), but despite how sick I am I suited up and spent 1.5 hours this morning trying to dig us out. Only half the driveway is cleared and our only car is still buried.

For whatever reason, I just kept thinking, "Boy, if I can't suck it up and put up with a a few aches and pains now and work under difficult conditions, then what will I do should I ever have to face worse kinds of trials and tribulation? I mean, this is NOTHING compared to Wurmbrand's ordeal!"

Now, I get that it might've been a little "extreme" for me to take my circumstances and try to relate them to those of our persecuted brethren. But that's not what it was about for me. I just wanted to point out how I've been praying for the Lord to mold me into the Christian he wants me to be, and the first thing He does is prompt me to read that book. I follow His lead and then He leads me to study the Book of Hebrews. I oblige, and then when this situation presented itself it was almost like I wanted to test myself, my own mental/physical limits while in communion with God in prayer while shoveling and feeling completely crummy, as a sort of gauge for what I can and can't take right now given where I am in my faith.

I hope that makes some sense. If not, perhaps you can all cut me some slack b/c, after all, I could be delirious from a fever! HA

In Christ,
Jeff ("JRed")

One more thing...

It's funny b/c when I wrote "home church" that was just my label for a church that me and my family would attend regularly.

We've been contemplating visiting several different churches in our local area to see which one might be a good fit.

However, after reading all of your comments here it might be wise for me to prayerfully consider the other alternative -- a true blue home church, or weekly meeting of believers in a person's home.

All I know is that the Lord did intend for their to be regular fellowship amongst His body of believers and that's what we're craving right now no matter what form that fellowship takes.

In Christ,
Jeff ("JRed")

For your children it would be real nice to establish some bible reading and discussions. That way you know they are taken care of and haven't left it to someone else's care.

Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Thinking about the days ahead it would be timely to teach how faith pulled the saints through very vigorous trials. As a child I loved the stories of David, Daniel and many others.

I still hold many of my youthful images of Yahshua as our Shepherd and I as a lamb on His chest, as a tiny chick under his cloak, as a child sitting on His lap as he speaks in parables.

There is not a greater thing to you can do than share your love of Yahshua with your children.

Lord, your Word says that you took upon you all the sin, sickness and death of the world thereby defeating your enemy satan. He is attempting to rob our brother Jeffrey of his health and so I command that the sickness that Jeffrey has been overcome by to leave his body immediately in the name of Jesus Christ. The name of above all names and against which nothing can prevail. The name that is victorious against ALL sickness, ALL sin and satan. Praise God and thank you for that which you completed on the cross, our complete physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. We pray that upon the writing of the name Jesus that Jeff's sickness will completely and totally be gone in total agreement with the Word of God.

Amen

jeff

I know exactly what you are talking about! I to recieved over 3feet of snow, and have spent two days trying to clear my driveway.

and the funny thing is as I was doing it the same thought poped into my mind, this is nothing compared to what others will go thru. also this is trivial compared to how bad the tribultion will be!!!
so I completly looked at it as a thoughening up, that GOD was getting me ready for way harder times to come. once I excepeted this whole snow thing in that train of thought, it became a much more easy task. then I was thinking bring it on, I can take another foot or so!!!
thankfully JESUS figured we had enough for now!!!

any way I have a snow blower and a trailer, if you need a hand please call.

thank you LORD JESUS for putting us thru these trials and tribs, our suffering is nothing compared to yours!!! amen

john

I've made the decision recently to stop going to church, and have been given a hard time from my family.

It's true, all the churches are run by an evil spirit, apostasy. I was listening to a message by one of the mega churches in my city, and at the end, when he did the alter call and said a prayer for people he didn't even mention

1) That Jesus died for our sins
2) That we're sinners
3) Why we need Jesus.

It went like this (word for word)

"Father in Jesus name, I give you my life!
Please come into my heart
From today and on I am going to serve you, with purpose.
Help me to change everyday, for the rest of my life, with your power.
I pray this in Jesus name, amen
Welcome to the family of God, yeah that's how easy that is"

I am quoting exactly what he said.

The church is in a sad state of affairs and the pastors are leading people astray!

Thank goodness for people on LUF and Jeff, and the real leaders that care about the sheep.

Jeff and John,
Weird! The kids and I are slowly recovering from something (sickness) that really put us behind in the clean house dept. But what it did do was something magnificant in one of my kids. She gets it now that we have to maintain order. We were also discussing doing some 'dry runs" like washing dishes and laundry outside by hand in buckets-to get a feel for being off the grid.
Hmmmm....
Also Amen Kim I agree!!
Deirdre

PS totally unrelated: My little girl has had the worst cough for days, worse at night. My friend suggested rubbing Vicks vapor rub on her feet and whala, it stopped her from coughing!
Deirdre

Dierde, so happy you have found a way to help your little one. I've heard that garlic on your soles will eventually taste in the mouth.

My Mom used to smear Vick's on our chest and pin on a clean cloth so as not to stain anything. I remember the love but really don't remember if it worked. Though to this day I love the smell of eucalyptus.

Samson's great strength came from Yahweh. When tough times comes we must not rely on our own fleshy power but on the power that comes from Yahweh.

Praying that we all stay well and we all grow in the love of Yahshua.

Remembered this commentary from The Berean on this passage, which is succinct and powerful...

These congregations were not equipped to feed themselves -- to discern sacred or spiritual from profane or carnal. If we are in a dependent state, it would be to our advantage to learn how we can wean ourselves spiritually from the bottle. Some of us over the years have seemingly lost our appetite for solid, spiritual food and need to be fed intravenously.
All of us need to become less dependent on spiritual milk and instead become more capable of profiting from solid food. For those who are losing the capacity to enjoy solid food, there is a way to revitalize our spiritual appetite for the weightier matters.
Most of us would agree that the state of spiritual dependency described by the apostle Paul in Hebrews and Corinthians seemed lamentable and disgusting. Yet, how many of us during the last ten, twenty, or thirty years in the church became conditioned to wait for the minister to prepare our weekly formula of Enfamil rather than ravenously devour God's Word every day?

Perhaps we have developed "baby-bird syndrome" in which we, in a helpless "take care of me" posture, open our beaks to get our weekly or bi-weekly worm. If weekly church services were the only times we were spiritually fed, we would eventually starve to death.
Sometimes late in life, after leading a full life, people for no apparent reason lose their will to live and must be fed intravenously. Actually, when we all think about it, without an overriding purpose for our existence, we have no reason to eat or sustain our life. After the belief system was altered in our prior fellowship, people indeed started to lose the vision of their purpose for existence and eventually lost their capacity to endure solid food. Hopefully, most of us have passed the stage of the milk bottle, or God forbid, the need for intravenous feeding.

In Christ,
Jeff ("JRed")

That's a terrible picture Jeff has painted on the 12/5 post, sitting on a pew every week being like a spiritual zombie.

Totally the Laodicean church, neither here nor there. People have let social conditioning take charge of their lives. They have no spiritual battles that strengthen because there's nothing there to battle against. They've lost their passion for Christ. Sadly they're not even aware of their pitiful condition.

Too easy just to sit in a pew and think your spiritual life is taken care of. Or pick up a religious book and read someone's ready made opinion.

It's easy to get comfortable, get caught up in the daily grind and drift along without a rudder.
What are they going to do when they're caught up in rapids and you don't have a rudder to help them safely to shore?

Lord, help them. They are babes but still our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ and it grieves me to think of them in this position.

I pray in Yahshua's name that these formula fed ones will wake up and become aware of their sad spiritual condition.