We should go to the Scriptures to study the men of God whom He has called to be His servants on this earth so that we can avoid this pervasive sin of scholarolatry. To rebuke the church’s dependence upon prestige and learning, let’s look at Moses, God’s servant, supremely equipped by God for the task that He gave him. Moses was educated at the Institute of the Lord, and not at the seminary of man. First, it is important to remember that Moses was trained in all the skill of the Egyptians, but that made him a self-willed, violent man. The education which Moses received from the Lord made him the meekest man of the face of the earth, the herald type of Jesus Christ.
In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: 21) And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. (22) And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. (23) And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. (24) And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: (25) For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. (26) And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? (27) But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? (28) Wilt thou kill me, as thou did the Egyptian yesterday? Acts 7:20-28
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Numbers 12:3
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (16) According to all that thou desired of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. (17) And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. (18) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. (19) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. Deuteronomy 18:15-19
While in Midian, Moses married and had two sons. He became a shepherd on the back side of the mountain. He spent forty years working for his father-in-law as a shepherd, until God appeared to him at the burning bush.
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an Angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. (31) When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, (32) Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. (33) Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou stand is holy ground. (34) I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. Acts 7:30-34
Moses was reluctant to go, making as an excuse that he was not eloquent of tongue. The Lord sent his brother Aaron to be the mouthpiece for Moses. The difference that forty years in learning the Lord’s ways as compared to being learned in all the wisdom of Egypt is astounding. The brash murderer, sure of his call, was reduced to the humble mumbler completely convinced of his inadequacy for the work that God had called him to. That brothers and sisters is the attitude that God uses for His purposes. His godly servants know that are unable in themselves to do God’s holy work, but He promises to equip us just as He did His servant Moses.
And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. (11) And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? (12) Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. (13) And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. (14) And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he sees thee, he will be glad in his heart. Exodus 4:10-14
The apostle Paul, another humble servant of Jesus Christ, was used mightily by the Lord for the furtherance of the gospel and for the writing down of God’s Holy inspired, inerrant, infallible Word. Paul, while a practicing Pharisee, was a hot-tempered violent, insolent man who persecuted and attacked Jesus Christ’s church. He was a man well-equipped by the religious education of his day and it made him a self-willed violent man. After Paul met Jesus Christ, he spent time being educated by Christ in His Holy Institute, and Paul was also transformed into a humble meek man, loving the Lord Jesus Christ and serving His body, the church of Jesus Christ with heart-felt ardor.
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, (2) And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. Acts 9:1-2
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: (5) Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; (6) Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. Philippians 3:4-6
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; (13) Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (14) And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 1Timothy 1:12-14
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead;) Galatians 1:1
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (12) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (13) 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: (14) And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. (15) But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, (16) To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (17) Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. (18) Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. Galatians 1:11-18
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 1Corinthians 15:9
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; (9) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: Ephesians 3:8-9
Here are two holy servants of God by which we can measure the stature of those who minister to us through print, the pulpit, and popular media. Are they humble? Have they been educated at God’s Institute of Higher Learning? Are they well versed in the truth of God through the incessant study of God’s Holy Word the Bible? Have they been called of God and therefore equipped by God through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit? Are they spending time, much time, in the presence of God as they worship, praise and thank Him, while the make intercession for their ministries and those to whom they minister? Those are the types of credentials that we should be impressed with, for they are the marks of a man or woman called of God to minister to His saints. The letters that follow their names will be found in this saying: “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Master”.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. (5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. (6) If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (7) If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (8) Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. John 15:4-8
Lord Jesus Christ Your shepherds are men called and equipped by You through Your Indwelling Holy Spirit and the implantation of the truth of Your Holy Word the Bible within their hearts and minds. May we seek and support such servants for Your praise and glory and our edification. May we turn away from all who do not exhibit these godly manifestations of Your call upon their lives. We desire to please and serve You. Amen!