1 Corinthian 4:20 – ” 8 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
As we continue with our series on the importance of Spirit and Truth leaders, we have been presenting a dual dilemma in this generation of upcoming leaders regarding a true depth of what biblical literacy is and the purpose of theology, as well as the need for exploring and redigging a well of supernatural signs, wonders, and miracles for this generation. We shared how POWER and PRECEPTS manifests the total personhood of Christ as the “WISDOM of God and the POWER of God”. This verse, continues to show us that WORDS OF GOD without the WORKS OF GOD do not effectively represent the the fullness of the Kingdom of God. Look at this prominent commentator’s response to the implication of this verse.
Barnes Notes on the Bible (Commentary) says this…
“For the kingdom of God – The reign of God in the church (see the note at Matthew 3:2refer to the manner in which the church had been established. “It has not been set up by empty boasting; by pompous pretensions; by confident assertions. Such empty boasts would do little in the great work of founding, governing, and preserving the church and unless people have some higher powers than this they are not qualified to be religious teachers and guides.IN POWER SPEAKS OF THREE UNDERSTANDINGS:
(1) In the miraculous power by which the church was established – the power of the Saviour and of the apostles (believers) in working miracles.
(2) in the power of the Holy Spirit in the gift of tongues, and in his influence on the heart in converting people; see the note at 1 Corinthians 1:18.
(3) in the continual power which is needful to protect, defend, and govern the church. Unless teachers showed that they had such power, they were not qualified for their office
THE ATTITUDE OF THE BELIEVER: “SCHOLAR” OR “SKEPTIC” OF THE SUPERNATURAL?
As we shared in our last post, it is sad that to have a scholarly mind or to be educated in religious studies means one is a natural critic and skeptical of the supernatural side of the kingdom of God. To be called a “theologian” means many would not even “attempt” to honestly develop any interest to get to know this side of our magnificent God. I believe there are many out there who do desire this. Yet mostly, due to pride and man pleasing, and scholarly dignity, some REFUSE to step out for fear of potentially being criticized by the educated aristocracy. I call these “spiritual fashion pharisee’s” policing every iota of supernaturality expressed today in christendom claiming an “expertise” in matters where in reality they carry no “experience”.
Just as in Jesus day, today we have two factions (like Pharisee’s and sadducees) shouting across denominational lines. ONE RELIGIOUS WING IN JESUS DAY BELIEVED IN THE RESURRECTION (SUPERNATURAL) AND ONE DIDNT (THE SKEPTICAL). WE SEE THE SAME PROBLEM TODAY. YET BOTH MISSED IT..BECAUSE “MIRACLES” AND THE “MESSAGE” SHOULD BE OUR “METHOD” BUT NOT OUR ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE…BUT TO POINT TO “THE MAN” JESUS CHRIST. TOday in our day and time, One group says -” you have a “distorted theology”, and worship MONEY and POWER. Another says you have a “powerless knowledge” and worship INTELLECT and EDUCATION. However let us remember, no one man or organization corners the market on revelation concerning God’s fullness, nor holds a “monopoly” of understanding regarding the mind of God for every manifestation, miracle, motive, for every move of God past, present…or future.
HOWEVER TODAY, THIS “LATTER ATTITUDE” SEEMS TO BE MORE PREVALENT. TO BE “INTELLECTUAL” SHOULD NOT EQUAL “INCREDULITY”. MEANING, INTELLECT SHOULD NOT BE AN EXCUSE FOR UNBELIEF! THIS ATTITUDE IS JUST AS DANGEROUS AS THE FORMER. JUST AS ENTERTAINING “ANY AND EVERY” SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY OR PHENOMENA APART FROM SCRIPTURE IS DANGEROUS, ALSO, THE ATTITUDE OF “DOUBT AND UNBELIEF” REGARDING THE SUPERNATURAL ABILITIES OF GOD HAS RECEIVED SOME OF THE HARSHEST REBUKES AND CONDEMNATION IN SCRIPTURE. FROM OUR LORD JESUS’S RUBUKE WITH THOMAS, TO PAUL EVEN CALLING “UNBELIEF” ARISING FROM AN “EVIL” HEART (HEB 3). BELOVED, WE MUST EMBRACE A MORE SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, AS WELL AS A KINGDOM CULTURE OF SUPERNATURAL DEMONSTRATION. A SEVERELY SKEPTICAL ATTITUDE IS WHAT CAUSED THE “THEOLOGICALLY ASTUTE” RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF JESUS DAY TO MISS THE KINGDOM.
TWO KEYS OF CHRIST LIKE MINISTRY: “YE KNOW NOT SCRIPTURE NOR THE POWER OF GOD”
Matthew 22:23 -32 –“That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: 24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’[b] 25 Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. 26 But the second brother also died, and the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. 27 Last of all, the woman also died. 28 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.”29 Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. 30 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven.31 “But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead—haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said,[c] 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[d] So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”33 When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching.
NOTICE JESUS MENTIONS THE IMPORTANCE OF TWO AREA’S THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO NOT FALL INTO ERROR. THE SCRIPTURES (THEOLOGY) AND THE POWER OF GOD ( SUPERNATURAL DEMONSTRATIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT). IT WAS NOT ONLY CHRIST’S “MESSAGE” THAT INFURIATED THEM…IT WAS ALSO HIS “MIRACLES”. THEY WERE TOP NOTCH “THEOLOGIANS”..AND STILL MISSED IT! SO IF MERE “KNOWLEDGE” OPENED ONE’S EYES, THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD THE BEST VISION. IT WAS NOT A “KNOWLEDGE” PROBLEM..IT WAS THAT THEY “DEIFIED” THERE INTELLECT AND THEY WERE “DEVOID” OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! SO FOR ALL THEIR “EXEGETICAL AND HERMENEUTIC ABILITY” IN TORAH, JESUS CALLED THEM “BLIND GUIDES” (MT 23) YOU SEE, THEY KNEW THE SCRIPTURE BY HEART…BUT WERE BLIND TO THE HEART OF SCRIPTURE.
This new generation of leaders, if they don’t begin to challenge themselves in these area’s, will also becoming guilty of reproducing the same dysfunctional DYSLEXIA of twisting God’s intent for scripture as a WEAPON we use SLAY each other, instead of a TOOL we use to TRAIN each other. IF BOTH THE PHARISEE’S AND SADDUCEE’S HAD “COME TOGETHER” IN HONEST OPEN DISCUSSION REGARDING JESUS AS MESSIAH HELPING ONE ANOTHER SEE THE TRUTH OF HIS “MESSAGE” AND HIS “MIRACLES” IMAGINE THE REVIVAL THAT COULD HAVE OCCURRED IN ISREAL!. but instead as Stephen rightly said:
Acts 7:51 (NLT) – “”You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you!
We as leaders in today’s day and time would be arrogant on both sides of the table to not see by our amount of persecution, sexual scandals and intellectual powerlessness that we are doing just what Stephen said…”resisting the Holy Spirit”.