There are professional educators who teach others who are in the different levels within our public and private educational systems. Such teachers are subject to the qualifications and performance standards of their profession.
There are organizational instructors who provide basic, tactical, and ongoing training to recruits and in-serve personnel. Such instructors/teachers are held to the standards of organization that they serve.
There are pastor-teachers who teach the Word of God to born again believers to promote discipleship. There are Biblical standards that determine one’s qualification for ordination. Those who function in the capacity of a pastor teacher are held to the “stricter judgment” spoken of in James 3: 1 NASB.
Never-the-less, everyone, by word, deed, or example is a TEACHER in the Matt. 5: 19 sense of the word. We teach the ones we interact with, and especially the ones who look to us for inspiration and guidance (e.g. our children).
By what every born again believer thinks, says, and does, he/she casts either a glorious and edifying light into the devil's world of darkness, OR he/she contributes to the darkness. confusion, and the deception that is promoted by the devil's world.
As a result, each and every one of us becomes one of the two types of teachers spoken of in Matt. 5: 19.
“WHOEVER then ANNULS one of the least of THESE commandments, and so TEACHES others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but WHOEVER KEEPS and TEACHES them he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5: 19 NASB).
The phrase "in the kingdom " clarifies that it is the born again believer that the passage is referring to, as only born again believers will enter Heaven (John 3: 5, 7). The type of Matt. 5: 19 that any given born again believer becomes neither improves not does it diminish the integrity of the salvation that he/she has already received. It does however, determine the type of 1Cor. 3: 14 rewards and Rev. 2 & 3 privileges that he/she will receive (or forfeit) and (not) experience for all of eternity.
The type of teacher that one became will be evident to all at the evaluation of deeds event spoken of in 1Col. 3: 12-15. The GREAT type of Matt. 5: 19 teacher will receive a GREAT reward, whereas the LEAST type of teacher will receive a LEAST reward, if he/she receives any reward at all (1 Cor. 3: 15). One does not serve God with the motivation of being rewarded, but God has made it clear that He intends to reward in Heaven those who glorify Him on Earth.
Salvation is based on one's belief or on one's disbelief in the Gospel Message. If there is to be only one thing that you ever teach to others, let it be the Gospel Message.
If someone had,a sure-fire cure for some dreadful disease, but did not share it with others, we would say that he/she was committing a crime against humanity.
But what do you think God would think of someone who does have the cure (the Gospel Message) for spiritual death (separation from God), but does not share it with others?
Or what would God think about an advancing disciple who has knowledge of God's answers to a spiritual issue, but fails to share this knowledge with the ones in need when God gives him/her the opportunity to do so?
If such opportunities are not a part of one's ongoing walk with the Lord, there is clearly a need for a 2 Cor. 13: 5 self examination to find out why and to take the corrective action(s).
Everyone who has not been born again (John 3: 5, 7) is in need of being presented with the Gospel Message. Every born again believer is in need of accurate Bible Doctrine. Discipleship is initially for the edification of one self, but with the long term goal of participating in the Great Commission (Matt. 28: 19, 20). It is the function and duty of an advancing disciple to provide either one to those he/she interacts with on a daily basis when God gives him/her the opportunity to do so. I say an advancing disciple because like a runner in a torch relay race, one must take possession of the doctrines before he/she can pass it on to others.
The making of disciples (students and appliers of the Word of God) was/is the inside part of the Great Commission that defines the internal mission of the Church that God designed.
If the truth be known, the real reason is that so many born again believers do not participate in the Great Commission is the fear of the adversity that participating in the Great Commission will generate (Luke 14: 26). In this the devil is well pleased. The wise one will consider the consequences (Mark 8:38/Matt. 10: 32, 33/Luke 12:9) for such cowardly conduct here in the devil's world.
"For whoever is ashamed of (identifying with) Me and My words (e.g., Gospel Message/Bible Doctrine) in this (spiritually) adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels (Mark 8: 38 NASB italics mine)."
"Therefore everyone who confesses (acknowledges) Me before men (here on Earth), I will also confess (acknowledge as having been a disciple) him before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies (does not acknowledge) Me before men (while here on Earth), I will also deny (not acknowledge) him (as a disciple) who is in Heaven (Matt. 10 32, 33 NASB italics mine.)"
Throughout the course of human history, and especially in these latter days (1 Timothy 4: 1) of the prophesied apostasy, false teachings/practices have made their way into the thinking and practices of those who claim to be a part of the Christian Community at large. Such false teachers and their followers have and will continue to persecute the Matt. 5: 19 great teachers spoken of in Matt. 5: 19. Again, receiving reward is never to be the motivation for becoming a Matt. 5: 19 great teacher, but God has made it clear that the great teachers spoken of in Matt. 5: 19 will be among those who receive a great reward (Matt. 5: 12) for the persecution they receive (Matt. 5: 11, 12).
"Blessed (worthy to be praised) are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets (spokesmen for God) who were (on the Earth) before you (Matt. 5: 11, 12 NASB) italics mine."
Every born again believer is called to engage in the Great Commission by becoming a great "teacher" as spoken of in Matt. 5: 19. Unfortunately, many Church Age believers will be of the "least" variety. In this the devil is well pleased.
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Secular teachers and instructors can rise to a position of distinction within their fields of study and teaching. But these are not the type of teacher being spoken of in Matt. 5: 19. Secular teachers can educate the mind in the preparation of their students to engage in many different professions and occupations, but all the secular knowledge in the world can NOT save or spiritually edify a single soul. It is the secular teacher who is also a Matt. 5: 19 great type of teacher that fulfills God purpose for his/her being where he/she is and what he/she does in the midst of his/her professional functions. The same can be said of born again believers who engage in any profession or occupation. This is what gives spiritual meaning and significance to the work, job, labor, domestic functions, or profession of any variety.
There is no such thing as "just a (fill is one's occupation)" when one puts the label Christian in front of it. A stay home mother for example, is in one of the best places she can be if she functions in the capacity of a Matt. 5: 19 teacher. No matter where or what a born again believer does to volunteer or to make a living outside of the home, it is there that God desires him/her to function as a Matt. 5: 19 great teacher by all that he/she thinks, says, and does.
Discipleship is a 7/24 lifestyle. Therefore, a born again believer is called to be a 2Cor. 5: 20 ambassador no matter where he/she is or what he/she is otherwise doing. God gives each and every one of us 24 h rs. a day to glorify Him. No more and No less. Let's then take a look at the breakdown of how many of us will spend, invest, or waste (from a divine point of view) the total time that God gives each one of us every day for the primary purpose of bringing glory to Him.
Most of us sleep up to eight hours of our (24 hr) day away. That is 1/3 of our life, no matter how long or how short our individual life span here on Earth may be. It is during the hours when we sleep that our relatively distraction-free soul processes much of the good and evil information and experiences that we allowed to become a part of our soul structures during the preceding hours of consciousness. THIS is where and when much of the what we allowed to take up space in our soul structure comes into play. Therefore, it DOES matter what we choose to expose our souls to in the course of any given day.
If when we want to sleep is the only time that God can have the focus of our undivided attention, don't be surprised if it is then that God will bring to our conscious minds all the conflicts that we have repressed with the help of all the available distractions that our "busy" lives can generate. Resolving the conflicts of the soul BEFORE we go sleep is a good way to increase the odds of a good night's sleep (Eph. 4: 26). Before and after we are saved (born again), we will spend one third of the total time that God has given us asleep. To say that God is not interested in what takes place within our soul structure during 1/3 of our lives is to be both spiritually near and spiritually far sighted.
Unless one is brain dead, he takes in information every minute of every day from both internal and external sources. The devil's world bombards our souls with all kinds of evil information from many different sources throughout the course of any given day. To some degree, we cannot help but be exposed to many of the missiles that the devil will hurl at us as we interact with worldly minded individuals in situations (work, school, etc.) that require our attendance and/or participation. On the other hand, we do have control over the evil information that we expose ourselves to via the entertainment and activities that we voluntarily choose to embrace.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Developing a good filter that can prevent the garbage that we are exposed to from becoming a part of our soul structure can go a long way in maintaining the type of soul structure that glorifies God.
The smaller the hole we have in our spiritual filters, the less evil can flow through and enter our souls. Accurate Bible Doctrine and the application thereof is what reduces the diameter of the holes in our spiritual filters. The less doctrine we already have in our soul structures, the larger the hole and the more garbage will will allow to enter our souls. Whatever information, good or evil, that passes through our soul's filters is what becomes a part of our subconscious and conscious minds. When there is conflicting information in our soul structure, a battle within the soul is inevitable until one dominates and/or eliminates the other. Accurate Bible Doctrine and the alternatives that the devil's missiles will launch do NOT mix.
However a person thinks, inevitably determines what he/she is (Proverbs 23: 7). What goes on as we sleep determines much about what we think and the person we become during our hours of consciousness. Controlling what information goes into the soul during our conscious hours determines the work load that takes place during our sleep. Overloading the soul structure with excessive garbage can result in one experiencing a night of poor quality of sleep. This is especially true if the peace of our souls are disturbed just before we try to go to sleep.
In addition to the 8 hrs. or so that is consumed each 24hr. day through sleep, the hours we spend preparing for, traveling to, engaging in, and returning to home homeconsumes another 8-10 hours (or more) of our 24 hr daily allotment. Depending on the scope of one's domestic functions, the accumulated time consumed can exceed the hours spent by the ones working outside of the home. There IS some truth about the old saying that says that a man may work from sun to sun, but a mother's work is never done.
Of the remaining few hours, there is time demands placed on us by our personal relationships, property maintenance, marriage, family, social, health, entertainment, hobbies, and recreational activities.
By now I hope that I have made the point that if we are not walking with God as we engage in these daily activities, then we are not engaged in the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship. It is IN the midst of all these activities that born again believers are called to function as Christi's ambassador and be the great of Matt. 5: 19 teacher. In order to be an ambassador one must have at least a working knowledge of the policies (doctrines) of the kingdom that he/he represents. In order to be a great Matt. 5: 19 teacher, one must have a knowledge of the doctrines that he/she is to teach to others.
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The spiritual combat of the Church Age is between God and His people vs. the devil and his agents. The primary objective of each side is to take possession and/or control of the human souls here on Earth. At the heart of this combat is the Gospel; Message and Bible Doctrine that one side promotes, and the false/alternative gospels and doctrines that the opposing sides promote. What type of Matt. 5: 19 teacher that one becomes determines his/her level of usefulness to one side or the other.
The issue of possession is determined when each soul chooses to accept or to reject a presentation of the Gospel Message. Once saved, the saved soul is in the permanent possession of God (John 10: 29).
Although the spiritual battle for the possession of a soul is over with at the moment of salvation, the spiritual warfare for the control of the soul will continue on for as long as the born again believer remains here on Earth. With the free will that God has given to each one of us, we are free to choose who/what is going to control us, but we are NOT free from having to make this choice. This is an important principle for an advancing disciple to learn (2Pet. 3: 18) and for Matt. 5: 19 great teacher to teach to others.
The unsaved soul and the saved soul that is out of fellowship (2Cor. 13:" 14) with God is under the control of the fallen nature in Man. The Apsotle Paul, in his letter (Romans 7) to the local assemblies in Rome, spoke of his own experience with this internal and ongoing conflict nearly 30 years after he was born again and towards the end of his earthly ministry and walk with God.
With the fallen nature at the helm, the unsaved soul and/or the saved soul that is out of fellowship with God, can still choose to produce human good for a variety of reasons, but he/she will not be in the necessary frame of mind to be used by God to promote divine good. Leading the born again believer to equate human good with divine good is one of the deceptive schemes of the devil that a Matt. 5: 19 great teacher will be aware. The Matt. 5: 19 great teacher will teach this awareness to others.
The fellowship with God that a born again believer first experiences at the moment of salvation is suspended each time that he/she chooses to commit ANY (James 2: 10) type of sin. He/she remains out of the fellowship until the sin that caused the breach of fellowship is confessed (1John 1: 9). The then restored fellowship is maintained by then forsaking (John 8: 11) the same sin in the future. Confessing, but not then forsaking the sin is what results in the back-sliding believer to spend much of his post salvation spiritual life in and out of fellowship with God, and never moving forward in the plan of God.
The length of time periods that we spend out of fellowship with God is up to us. These periods can be as brief as the few seconds it takes to confess the sin, or as long as the rest of one's post (after) salvation spiritual life here on Earth. Going through the motions in other areas of the post salvation spiritual life and/or producing human good does NOT take the place of addressing the sin issue that caused the breach of fellowship. Doing extra good deeds is often an indication of a guilty conscience trying to work off his/her sin debt.
The saved soul has daily choices to make. The saved soul can choose to submit to the control of the fallen nature that remains in him (Romans 7) after he has been saved, or he can choose to submit to the teaching and the leading of God the Holy Spirit who now indwells his body (1Cor. 3:16).
The believer makes this choice each and every time by how he/she chooses to respond to spiritual challenges of each and every day. As a result of the many challenges that he/she is presented with, he/she chooses to obey and honor God or to disobey and respond by what the devil would have him/her think, say, or do. If such challenges are not the experience of a born again believer, it is either because he/she had not spiritually matured enough to detect them, or has been removed from battlefield by the forces of evil.
As we noted earlier, it is a part of the devil's schemes (Eph. 6: 11) to deceive those who are producing human good to believe that they are producing divine good. If an atheist or an unbeliever can do the same deed, then it is NOT divine good that is in view. What makes the deception so easy to accomplish is that human good can have great value here on Earth to both the one who produces it, and the ones who benefit by it. Never the less, human good will be worthless at the evaluation of deeds event that takes place in Heaven (1Cor. 3: 12-15). These principles are among the fundamental teachings that a disciple will learn (1Pet. 3: 18) and that a Matt. 5: 19 teacher will pass on to others.
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Both the good and the evil that we allow to become a part of our soul structure will manifest itself when it is most useful to the forces of good and evil that influence us for the better or for the worse each and every day. Just as God the Holy Spirit will bring to mind the appropriate passage or principle of Scripture (John 14: 26), the devil and/or those who do his bidding will bring to mind all the evil and negative information and thinking that we have chosen to become a part of our soul structure.
If there is little Bible doctrine in our soul structure, there is little that can be brought to mind. If there is little evil in our thinking, there is little evil that can be brought to mind. On the other hand, if there is much Bible Doctrine in our souls, there is much Bible Doctrine that can be brought to mind. If there is much evil, there is much evil that can be brought to mind.
Ever notice that when an issue or a person with whom we have unresolved issues takes center stage, that all the negativity and the hostility that we have harbored in our souls comes to the surface?
It is on the basis of what we have chosen to make a part of our soul structure that we will teach others by the way we think, what we say, and what we do. This is what contributes to the type of Matt. 5: 19 teacher that we become.
If you think you can take in all the trash that the world has to offer on a regular basis and NOT have it impact what you think, say, and do, you have been greatly deceived.
By exposing our souls to the same type of garbage day after day, we become desensitized to it. Before you know it, what at one time we clearly and rightly perceived to be sin, is redefined allowing us to develop a "who cares" attitude towards it. The answer to the "Who cares?" question is God.
Trainers of military and police personnel can tell you that a person is most likely do what he has been TAUGHT and TRAINED to do. This is especially true during incidents when there is no time to think and consider the pros and cons of engaging in the response we take.
The soldier/officer must be TAUGHT and TRAINED to know what to expect and what it is that is expected of him.
The onset of a crisis is not the time to be going around looking for the right answers. One of the reasons that God allows sudden storms in our life is to demonstrate to us that we have not been preparing ourselves (Matt. 7: 24-27).
Born again believers must be TAUGHT what he/she is to do and how (John 15: 5) to do it BEFORE (Matt. 7: 24-27) the need arises.
God the Holy Spirit arranges opportunities for the advancing disciple to apply the doctrine that he/she is learning. How we learn to handle the little things along the way is what trains and prepares us to handle the greater challenges that the advancing disciple IS going to face.
This TEACHING and TRAINING is what builds the necessary confidence that provides the soul under attack with the relatively calm presence of mind to recall and apply the right doctrine needed to succeed in the spiritual combat taking place.
Spiritually mature believers are often misinterpreted as being emotionless or fanatical when they seem to handle the most challenging circumstances with no overt signs of stress.
The initial impact that such things as pending or actual death, injury, illness, loss, rejection, etc., that life can bring to any one of us is just as deeply felt by the spiritually mature believer as anyone else. The difference is the speed through which they handle, recover, and then so move on with even more determination and conviction.
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Spiritual combat (Eph. 6) is in view every time that one has a choice to make in which the glory of God hangs in the balance. God is glorified (or is denied the glory) every time that a human soul chooses to either obey or disobey any of the commands of God. These commands include the ones we comprise or reject, as well as the ones we are in agreement.
We cannot make up for one area of sin by engaging in more activity of the things that we think pleases God. John 15: 5 teach that apart from God, we can do nothing in the spiritual realm. When out of fellowship with God, we remain saved but are apart from Him functionally. Sitting "in Church" when out of fellowship with God is like riding on bus on the side of a total stranger. Both of you are there, but there is no intimacy or meaningful interaction. It is the primary reason that so many "Christians" get nothing out of it.
It may seem that many of the choices we make each day is "no big deal," but there is no such thing as a "little" thing if that "little" thing dishonors God and takes us out of fellowship with Him.
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all (James 2: 10 NASB)."
Pointing to what we (not God - James 2: 10) sees as being a more serious sin being committed by others is no excuse or justification for the sins we commit.
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Not every conflict within the soul is destructive, nor is the resulting restlessness always coming from the devil. I have had some of my most fruitful "go arounds" with the Lord between 2 am and 4 am.
Sometimes the conflicting information that we are presented with is for our spiritual edification so that we can reinforce the accurate doctrines we possess. At other times, it is for us to identify and remove any false doctrines and concepts that we have erroneously allowed to become a part of our soul structures and have unwittingly "taught" to others.
While pastor teachers are required to learn and to apply a vast amount of doctrine in order to be ordained, this does not mean that there is still not more work to be done. I have not met ONE pastor yet, including the one I face in the mirror, that knows all and that is not capable of error in what he thinks, says, and does from time to time while in the pulpit. Like a doctor who fails to properly diagnose a patient's medical issues, the nightmare that all pastor teachers have is to find out that something that they have taught or promoted was in error or misunderstood in in light of the stricter judgement spoken of in James 3: 1. As in the case of medicine, there are times when research will come up with information that will cause the responsible teacher to rethink his position. A man, let alone a pastor teacher, who can not or will not acknowledge when he is/was wrong is weak and not committed to learning, applying, and teaching the truth.
Unless you are the first person since Christ to have full and complete and accurate knowledge of Scripture (1Cor. 2: 16), there will always be the o-n-g-o-i-n-g need to refine, adjust, and sometimes dismiss the existing doctrines of our soul structure as we become more and more spiritually mature. Note that the last time that such an adjustment took place, it was the last time that you made any forward progress in the post salvation spiritual life. In the beginning of one's discipleship, there can be major U turns to be made, but as one becomes more and more spiritually mature, it will involve more a like making a minor adjustment from time to time.
Spiritual maturity is not an attitude of self-righteousness. Spiritual maturity is measured by the amount of accurate Bible doctrine that one applies (James 1: 22) to his/her daily thoughts and actions.
Religious people are often ignorant, arrogant, judging, violent, self-righteous, and annoying individuals that one can have the displeasure of ever meeting.
Spiritually mature people are humble. At the end of the day and at the end of life, they are and will be the first to concede that they are/were just sinners that have been saved by the grace of God. This is quite different from those in the "holier than thou" crowd who think/thought that they had it altogether.
Many are quick to point to the false doctrines and practices taking place in other areas of the Christian Community at large, but are spiritually blind when it comes to perceiving the extent that Man-made religion has perverted their own.
If there ever were a pastor, denomination, local assembly that had it " all " together, then God the Holy Spirit could take a vacation and leave the spiritual edification of the Church in his/their hands.
History has shown us that the more "input" and time Man has to work with, the more errors Man will make.
When such erroneous "religious" traditions of men are taught and practiced long enough, they (in the minds of those that have been deceived) become accepted as the doctrines of God with disastrous results (Matt. 15: 9).
There are some denominations that have led their followers to believe that they are the one that has it all together, but their track record clearly shows otherwise.
Much of the religious activity that is now taught and promoted as necessities in order to obtain or retain salvation did not even exist until Man brought such teachings and practices into the Christian Community under the flag of Man-made religion.
As long as we are here on Earth in these mortal bodies, the devil (1Pet. 5: 8) and those who do his bidding (Eph. 6: 12) are not done with us. Spiritual combat (Eph. 6) takes place every day rather we realize or not. Preventing born again believers from becoming Matt. 5: 19 great teachers is clearly one of the objectives of the forces of evil.
Spiritual combat is manifested by the pressure that is placed on the soul to submit to one of two opposing forces in the spiritual realm. The "equipment" that a soldier of the cross needs to have to succeed in the realm of spiritual combaat is outlined in Ephesians 6. But like power tools in the secular realm, the use must be taught by word or example how to make best use of the equipment if the desired results are going to be achieved. A power tool that is not connected to the right power source (John 15: 5) will not function.
Until one is born again (John 3: 5, 7), the devil wants you to remain as spiritually dead as you were on the day you came into this world. Once one is born again, the devil wants you to remain spiritually ignorant, as well. Other than the concept of eternity (Eccl. 3:11) and the inherent knowledge of the existence of God (Roman 1: 20), e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g we now hold to be true concerning God and the things of God, has been taught to us by someone else. Here we see the importance of accuracy that one must develop and maintain if he/she is to become a Matt. 5: 19 teacher.
The devil promotes the alternative route of Man-made religion, as he knows what the end result will be (Matt.15: 9/Rev. 20: 15).
If we are not detecting any beeps on the radar screen of our soul structures on a daily basis, there is a good chance that we have decided that we don't need to monitor the incoming missiles (Eph. 6: 16) that the devil hurls at us each and every day.
These missiles consist of all the false and/or alternative concepts that the world throws at us every day from all directions, including those that are unwittingly launched by well intending false pulpits. The devil has no reason to launch any missiles at a soul structure that he has already deceived and is contributing to his cause.
Some of these missiles that he launches at the soul structure of an advancing disciple are designed to be loud enough to rattle his cages, whereas others are no louder than a soft whisper. The whistle of an incoming missile and the loud explosions that make are apart of the psychological impact they make on the enemy. Yet, a biological weapon of mass destruction that is activated in complete silence can be more destructive. False doctrines in the spiritual realm cab be like cancer in the natural realm. Early detection is critical. Better to address the lit match before it becomes a raging forest fire. It is much easier to make a slight adjustment of the steering wheel than it is to pull off a u-turn in heavy traffic.
Our individual radar system is only as good and reliable as its ability to spot incoming false, deceptive, or destructive information.
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In the secular world, personnel that work with currency are not trained so much by keeping up with the latest forms of counterfeiting, but by being able to readily identify the real thing.
The real thing in the spiritual realm is what can be substantiated by a correct interpretation and application of Scripture. Once one learns what the Word of God actually does say, it is easy to spot a counterfeit or alternative.
Accordingly, at least as far as spirituality is concerned, there is an ongoing need to conduct self-examinations (2Cor. 13: 5) and to take corrective (1John 1:9/John 8: 11) actions if we are to stay on course (Matt. 7: 14).
Being taught and teaching others what the objectives are of the divine and evil forces around us are, will greatly improve how we handle the spiritual combat that takes place all around us each and every day.
Until one is born again, the primary objective of the devil is to steer the spiritually dead soul away from a presentation of the Gospel Message. Once born again, the primary objective of thevdevil is to steer the saved soul away from edifying Bible Doctrine and to bombard him/her with all of his alteratives to the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship.
It doesn't matter (to the devil) if this is accomplished through adversity (2Tim. 3: 12), distractions (Mark 8: 36), or "blessings" (Luke 4: 6), as long as his primary objectives are secured.
It is the Matt. 5:19 great teachers that stand in the gap between truth and error. It is the one in the gap who will draw the attention and response of the enemy.
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Most folks who claim to be Christians are familiar with the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, but how many have been taught and how many apply the more than 300 Commandments of the New Testament to his/her daily thoughts and actions?
In this regard, most of us will concur that we have a lot of work to do if we are going to be the great type of teacher being spoken of in Matt. 5: 19. We can not "teach" others, by word or example, what we do not first have and/or practice ourselves.
Keep in mind if we are are not learning and teaching others about God and the things of God, there is a very good chance that we have are unwittingly teaching others one or more of the devil's alternatives. Our intentions may have been good, but a bullet fired in ignorance can be just as lethal as one that is fired with malicious intent.
Matt. 7: 13, 14 teach that it is only the "few" (minority) who will find and walk the narrow way that leads to life, and that the "many" (the majority) are on the road that leads to destruction. Others can not follow us down the road that leads to life if we are not on it ourselves.
Rather or not we are a part of the minority on the road that leads to life, or a part of the majority that are on an alternate route that leads to destruction, there are others who will follow our lead.
Most born again believers are content to know that they are Heaven bound and are interested in the adversity that is associated with the life of post (after) salvation discipleship. If one is not progressing, then he/she is regressing.
If the majority of people you interact with on daily basis are in agreement with the doctrinal positions you hold, there is a good chance that you are on the wrong road. You may have become a blind teacher leading the blind (Matt. 15: 14/Matt. 23: 24).
It is not until one engages in discipleship (the study and application of the Word of God) that one begins to be aware of many of these 300+ Commandments. These are NOT suggestions, but are commands for which every born again believer will give an account of before God (Romans 14: 10).
There is no eternal condemnation (being sent to Hell) for a born again believer (Romans 8: 1), but there is divine discipline (Heb. 12: 6) here on Earth and an evaluation of one's deeds in Heaven (1Cor. 3: 12-15).
Q. : If born again believers are already saved (which they are), what is the point of learning and applying all these 300+ commandments?
A. : The purpose of the post (after) salvation spirital life is to glorify (honor) and to represent God while living here in the devil's world (Luke 4: 6) in the midst of an ongoing battle between the forces of good and evil. Here in the Church Age, the first time that a soul glorifies God is if and when he/she is born again (John 3: 5, 7) by choosing to believe (place his/her trust and confidence) in a presentation of the Gospel Message. Once born again, then the born again believer has the daily opportunity to continue to glorify God by learning (2Pet. 3: 18) and applying (James 1: 22) the principles of the Word of God to all of his/he thoughts and actions. One can not apply what one does not first obtain.
Aside from the concept of eternity that God places in the heart of every soul He creates (Eccl. 3: 11) and the common sense to know right from wrong (Romans 1: 19, 20 ), Fallen Man comes into this world ignorant of God and/or the things of God. The Eccl. 3: 11 information speaks of eternity, but does not (in of itself) teach what one must do in order to spend eternity with the God of the Bible.
Rejection of this Eccl. 3: 11) knowledge of eternity is what causes one to inevitably embrace atheism. The majority of the human race do believe there is "a" god(s), but disagree over the identity of the one true God of the universe, and what one must do or not do to establish and maintain a relationship with Him.
All the alternatives to the God of the Bible are what the Psalms 96:5 "religions" of the world are all about. There is a void in the soul structure of a human soul that has not been born again. It is the desire of all human souls to fill this void with something. One can try to fill this void with atheism or with what many of the Psalms 96 religions have to offer. When this void is not filled by the God of the Bible, it creates a vacuum that can easily suck in one or more of these alternative.
There are false teachings that promote the idea that we all worship the same God, but refer to Him by different names. What all false religions have in common, is the idea that one makes and keeps him/herself right with the God/god of his/her own choosing by engaging in the various rituals that the various religions require. Christian religion (as opposed to Christianity) is no exception.
What distinguishes religion (including Christian religion) from Christianity is that all of the Man made religion consists of what Man attempts to do to try to make himself right in the eyes of the one that their followers believe to be the one true god/God. Christianity. on the other hand, is all about believing (placing one's trust and confidence) in all that God has done, God is doing, and what God will do to and through the people of faith. Here in the Church Age, the people of faith consists of every born again believer.
If acknowledging the existence of "a" god (Psalms 96: 5), or even the existence of the one true God of the Bible were enough to get one into (or back into) Heaven, the devil, the fallen angels, and the demons would qualify! The initial question that evangelists should pose is NOT rather or not one believes in the existence of God, as God means different things to different people. . The first question that one should pose is rather or not one has been born again. It is only by being born again that one establishes an eternally secure relationship with the one true God who does exist. Having then set the stage, the evangelist can then go on to explain that one is born again by hearing and then believing in a presentation of the Gospel Message . The true Gospel Message identifies who the one true God is, and how one is to establish an eternal relationship with Him.
Some say that this is being very narrow-minded. The one and only way to God IS narrow.
"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."
Fallen Man is not only spiritually ignorant, but has an inherent hostility (Romans 8: 7) towards God and the things of God. This hostility can become overt when an unsaved soul is approached that has not first been prepared to receive the Gospel Message. This type of response is what Matt. 7: 6 is making reference to when it speaks of casting one's pearls before the swine. This same hostility can become overt when a saved soul that is out of fellowship is presented with an edifying principle of Bible Doctrine. The advancing disciple will learn soon enough that IF he/she is living the post salvation spiritual life him/herself, he/she won't have to go around forcing either the Gospel Message or Bible Doctrine on anyone. God the Holy Spirit will lead them to him/her and make their own inquiries. It is the job of the advancing disciple or ambassador to "be prepared" to respond to such inquiries when asked (1 Pet. 3: 15).
Fallen Man has an inherent inability (1Cor. 2: 14) to understand such things without the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit. Yes, even the ability to understand a presentation of the Gospel Message is the Work of God the Holy Spirit. Enabling a saved soul to understandBible doctrine is a part of the post salvation teaching (John 14: 26) ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
Here in the Church Age, God the Holy Spirit primarily teaches through the born again believers that He selects (1Cor. 12 11, 18) to be trained and ordained to function in the capacity of a pastor-teacher. One does NOT have to be in or go to what most consider to be a Church in order to be saved. A person can be saved at any time and in any place or circumstances that God chooses to present him/her with the Gospel Message. Once saved, connecting with a qualified pastor-teacher of the Church Age is a part of the plan that God has put in place for the Church Age. This is God's way of promoting the necessary teaching for the development of discipleship. Developing disciples is the primary "inside" mission that God gave to the Church (Matt. 28: 19, 20). When Hebrews 10: 25 was written, the only way that one could gather together for the teaching of the Word of God was by physically attending a local assembly. These local assemblies consisted of many types of inside and outside locations and structures. Here in our period of the Church Age, there are many means of remote communications that allows the family of God to gather together to fulfill the "inside" mission of the Great Commission. Many of these means of communication are open 7/24. See Why an Internet pulpit ? presentation for one such means of communication.
After being properly instructed (Luke 6: 40), those who the pastor teachers have taught well are then in a position to become the great teachers spoken of it Matt. 5: 19. Most will not be called by God to become pastor teachers themselves, but will function as ambassadors among the souls they interact with in the course of their individual lives.
The pastor-teacher that we should choose (or in some cases are chosen for us) will have a tremendous impact, be it good or bad, on the type of Matt. 5: 19 teacher that the members of the congregation will become. This is an important choice that we make, or that others make for us. Being on a "search committee" is a serious responsibility.
In these days of apostasy (1Tim. 4: 1), many pastors and/or local assemblies are chosen for all the wrong reasons. The bottom line for connecting with a pastor teacher is the quantity and the accuracy of the Bible Doctrine he teaches and promotes.
No pastor-teacher (or any other believer) can be used of God to teach and to lead others any further along the road to spiritual maturity than where he is himself. If the one behind the pulpit is not teaching by word and/or leading by example, there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Your wouldn't stay with a doctor that does your body no good, why would you stay with a pastor that does edify your soul. Our society is almost obsessed with monitoring the quantity and the quality of the food we feed our bodies, but often adopt a "good enough" attitude about the quantify and quality of the food that we feed our souls.
"A pupil (disciple) is not above his (pastor) teacher, but everyone, after he (the disciple) has has been fully trained, will be like his teacher (Luke 6: 40 NASB italics mine)." When considering a pastor teacher, ask yourself if what you see is what you or your family would want to become in the course of one's post salvation spiritual life.
Once born again, spiritual ignorance is a choice that we make. God cannot command (as He does in 2 Pet. 3: 18) Church Age believers to grow in His knowledge and then not provide the means for anyone who so desires to obey to do so.
If deceived by a false teacher, one can unwittingly becomes a “teacher” of evil by what one says and does on a regular basis. Our actions speak much louder than our words. In fact, unless our actions are consistent with our words, no one with half a brain will listen to our words for very long. This not only applies to pastors, but to each and every believer in his/her capacity of an ambassador.
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Let's take a closer look at a few of the key words found in Matt. 5: 19, keeping in mind that Bibles that most of us have do not contain the actual Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words that God inspired the human authors of Scripture to use.
The ENGLISH (or any other language) at best, represent varying degrees of accuracy in the translation of the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic languages that God selected. In my study of the Word, I have compared the translations offered by the many different translations and revisions that are out there today. In my experience, I have found the NASB to be the most accurate to date.
The ambiguous nature and the inherent limitations of the English language has resulted in many of the misinterpretations and misapplications of the Word of God here in the Church Age. These errors can be detected an corrected by taking a look at the same passages in the original languages. In most cases, it is not that the translations were wrong, but that some of the words that were chosen by the various translators opened the door for misunderstanding and multiple interpretations. In some case the translators were/are handicapped by the limitations that the English language impose when trying to transliterate each word.
In the case of Matt. 5: 19, it was the Greek language that God inspired (2Tim. 3 16, 17) the human author, in this case Matthew, to use.
"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5: 19 NASB)."
Whoever is an English translation of the original Greek word h-o-s. Hos is a pronoun that in this case refers to born again believers wittingly or unwittingly functioning in the capacity of one or the other type of teacher spoken of in Matt. 5: 19.
Annuls is an English translation of the original word l-u-s-e that means to untie, loosen, break apart, or destroy. One "annuls" the Word of God by rejecting or perverting what it has to say in teaching or in practice.
Least is an English translation of the original Greek word e-l-a-c-h-i-s-t-o-s that refers to something being small or unimportant. It this case, it is referring to the "least" type of Matt. 5: 19 that a born again believer can become.
Great is an English translation of the original Greek word m-e-g-a-s that refers to something being big or great. In this case it is referring to the great Matt. 5:19 ype of teacher that a born again believer can become.
Commandments is an English translation of the original Greek word e-n-t-o-l-on. An entolon is a decree or law that has been issued by a sovereign authority. In this case, the sovereign authority is God. Each one of God's commandments remain in force (Matt. 5: 18) until its divine purpose has been fulfilled (Matt. 5: 17). The failure on the part of religious authority and their followers to distinguish the difference between the Old Testament commandments that have already been fulfilled (Matt. 5: 17), and the Old Testament commands that are still in force, has resulted in bringing many Old Testament items (holy structures/ sacrificing priests, tangible altars, etc.) and practices forward into the Church Age dispensation in which they have no part.
While being held in high esteem by Man, some of these things and the activity that Christian religion promotes boils down to an insulting attack on the integrity of the Person and on the Work that the Lord Jesus Christ finished (John 19: 30) on the cross.
Failure on the part of born again believers to learn (2 Pet. 3: 18) and to apply (James 1: 22) the applicable and relevant commands of the Old Testament and the 300+ commands of the New Testament is what promotes the false teaching and concept that the grace of God is a license to sin. The commandments of God are not suggestions. They are divine decrees that each one of us will stand before God and give an account (Romans 14: 12).
Keeps is an English translation of the original Greek word p-o-i-e-s-e. Poiese means to apply and to out into practice. If the sign says NO PARKING, one keeps the law by not parking there. One keeps the commandments of God by doing what it says.
Shall teach is an English phrase translating the original Greek word d-i-d-a-x-e that means to instruct, educate, or to demonstrate someone else how to do something.
Kingdom of Heaven is an English phrase consisting of the words b-a-s-i-l-e-i-a and o-u-r-a-n-o-n. A basileia is the realm or domain of a royal authority and /or power. O-u-r-a-n-o-n refers the kingdom (basileia) of God.
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Born again believers ARE accountable for the daily opportunities that God gives them to learn, obey, and to teach others the applicable commands of God by what we think, say, and do. Such opportunities include but are not limited to the ones we are given while interacting with our children, family members, extended family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. etc. etc.
This does not mean that mean that born again believers are always going to get through to everyone that he/she desires to TEACH. The spokesmen of God will generally NOT be accepted in environments where he is known on a personal basis (Matt. 6: 4). In fact, Scripture teach that one's greatest (spiritual) enemies will be the members of his/her own household (Matt. 10: 36).
Regardless of the individual outcomes, born again believers, advancing disciples, ambassadors , and especially the father/husband in his capacity of God's appointed family spiritual leader, are ALL responsible to TEACH family members about God and the things of God. The "teacher" is NOT responsible for the responses that different family members choose to make. The rather ominous words of Luke 12: 52 teach that within a group as small as a family unit, there will be some that will be saved, whereas others will not. This is true even though in more cases than not, they all went through or were put through the same traditional rituals of their chosen religion.
In conclusion, all Christian become one type of a Matt. 5: 19 or another. Each one will teach others in the course of any given day by all that he/she says and does. To be a great Matt. 5: 19 teacher, one must first learn the truth and then teach it to others. In this way, we individually answer the question posed in the title of this presentation. That is, what type of a teacher are you?