Idolatry breaks the First Commandment of God that we shall have no other gods before Him. In other words, we must worship, fear and serve our thrice holy God, and Him alone. This commandment is being broken within the visible church as men and their words are esteemed above God and His Word. We know that sin is the breaking of God’s commandments, so we observe many within the visible church embroiled in much grievous sin because they fear man rather than God. I would like to look at this terrible sin from different vantage points revealed to us in God’s Holy Word, so I will divide this into multiple parts to make it more manageable. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ build us up on our most holy faith as we believe and hold onto His truth for our edification and His glory.
And God spake all these words, saying, (2) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (3) Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Exodus 20:1-3
A Psalm of David. I will praise Thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto Thee. (2) 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. (3) In the day when I cried Thou answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul. Psalm 138:1-3
So what does God teach us from His Holy Word about man’s wisdom? There are verses throughout the New Testament that let us know He despises the wisdom of man, because it leads people away from the truth. Here are verses from Matthew and 1 Corinthians that reveal our Father’s attitude towards man’s wisdom.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (26) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight. (27) All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. (28) Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Matthew 11:25-30
But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. 1Corinthians 1:30-31
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. (18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (20) 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? (21) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (22) For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: (23) But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (24) But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (25) Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (26) For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (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; (28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: (29) That no flesh should glory in His presence. 1Corinthians 1:17-29
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. (2) For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. (4) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (5) That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (6) 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 naught: (7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (8) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1Corinthians 2:1-16
God the Father did not reveal the truth to the religious elites during Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, but rather to the religiously uninitiated. Jesus Christ thanked the Father for choosing to reveal the truth to babes, and then declared that only those to whom He revealed the Father could know the Father. After this sovereign declaration He gave the offer of salvation to those who were beleaguered and battered by the religious elites of Israel. The wisdom of man will always lead us away from God and enslave us with devilish designs as religious elites seek to usurp the genuine work of God in the heart of sinners.
God, through His apostle Paul, makes it clear that no one can know Him apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, and if anyone thinks they can know God through human wisdom they are sadly mistaken. First, God delights to confound the wise by calling to salvation those who are inferior to the powerful and “wise”. He delights to overthrow the wisdom of the wise through the foolishness of the cross. He reveals the truth to His children, and His children alone. None can deign to acquire this spiritual knowledge apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His revelation of the truth to those whom He calls His own. We see the contrast between the wisdom given by the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of man. Those taught by the Holy Spirit sit humbly at His feet and receive the truth from His Holy Word, while those who pursue the wisdom of man conceit themselves the idea that they can instruct God, or reveal Him by their intellectual prowess and efforts. Beloved brethren we must always be in fear and awe of God and never of any man no matter how many appellations associated with the name. Let us fear and glorify the only One Who deserves our praise. The Lord God Almighty, God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son, we worship through the intercession of the Holy Spirit. Amen!
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which works in me mightily. For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; (2) That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (3) In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (4) And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. Colossians 1:27- 2:1-4
Lord Jesus Christ, we must respect those whom You have placed over us, but we must never have a servile mindset towards those who have great titles after their names, especially, if they pretend to point to the truth, but instead lead many astray. You have, as You have seen fit, used men of great learning to promote and establish godly piety throughout the earth as they were submissive to You. Today, the visible church is filled with impostors who lie to and cheat Your saints of their rewards by their pretense of faith and twisting of the Word of God. These impostors have degrees and much human wisdom, but they lack the wisdom that comes from the only True God Who has given us His Son, You Jesus Christ, that we might have our sins forgiven and have eternal life with You, and know genuine godly wisdom. Please give to us all heavenly, Holy Spirit discernment so we may discriminate between the false and the true, and then give honor to those whom honor is due, and reject those who are deceitful destroyers doing the work of Satan. We ask these things in Your Holy name. Amen!