Be Careful That You Don’t Put A Teacher Above Jesus

But as for you, do not be called Rabbi; for only One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters.

Matthew 23:8 NASB

Can Christians have a favorite teacher who builds up their knowledge in God? Many Christians, especially in Seminary cling to some teachers from the past like John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon and C.S. Lewis to name a few and others not as popular as the men I mentioned, who are building their theology on their teachings.

What did Jesus mean by saying to His disciples, “do not be called Rabbi” He wanted His disciples to make sure in the future after His departure to encourage people to go to Jesus for their spiritual guidance and not rely on His disciples for that.

Jesus knows full well that men will always want to follow someone that will seem to be knowledgeable in the things of God. He created us to be sheep (a follower), for the purpose of following and depending on the Lord. What we have to understand is that the moment we start to intake Biblical teachings from someone, we can become lazy to go to our true teacher of Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and end up following a person instead of Jesus Christ.

Teachers and I include myself, are for helping the body of Christ to push them to go to Jesus Christ for Biblical understanding. For example, if I say something that touches you on one of my posts, it should motivate you to open up the Bible and seek Jesus, digging deeper on your own for further understanding and to hear from the Lord. I’m not on WordPress to take Jesus’ place, but I’m here to push you toward Jesus and to encourage you to do your own Bible study.

If you get to the point where you just quote John Calvin or any other dead or alive theologian, you are replacing Jesus for that teacher without you being aware of it. Paul tackled that same issue that arose in his time.

11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brothers and sisters, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” or “I am with Cephas,” or “I am with Christ.” -1 Corinthians 1:11-12

The church in Corinth were fighting over their favorite teachers. Doesn’t that sound like us today? Calvinism vs Arminianism and there are others I’m sure who fight over their favorite preachers alive today. The passages are very clear that if you esteem a teacher over another, you substitute Christ for that teacher. Paul said to them who put him in a pedestal in verse 13 “Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” Paul makes it clear that those who follow other men of theology are making them their Jesus instead of the real Jesus.

Friends, stop reading John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon and C.S. Lewis. Read the Scriptures and learn from the Holy Spirit. You will never understand the Scriptures apart from the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter how many books you read from these men. God is the only one who can make your mind understand the Scriptures.

44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things that are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, -Luke 24:44-45

Worship only Jesus Christ and not men. You can learn from teachers but don’t depend on them for your spiritual knowledge and walk. Let them be a push for you to do your own study.

3 I also was with you in weakness and fear, and in great trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of mankind, but on the power of God. -1 Corinthians 2:3-4

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. -1 Corinthians 2:10

Further study on John Calvin click on these two links:

And for further study on C.S. Lewis click on these two links:

Ravi Zacharias: The Holy man Who Never Was

The sins of some people are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after.

1 Timothy 5:24 NASB

The context is referring to believers who are the elders and leaders of their church community who are responsible for how they live before God and people. When a Christian leader slips into sin and for whatever reason continues in that lifestyle, God will bring swift judgment which can result in death.

Others, after their departure (death), their sins will surface. This brings me to a man well known to Christians and many intellectuals named Ravi Zacharias. This man deceived countless of Christians as being a godly man even though he lived a double life. Ravi raped, sexually assaulted and manipulated many women for his depraved mind. There is a 12-page report about Ravi Zacharias’ sexual misconduct living a double life here: Report of Independent Investigation into Sexual Misconduct of Ravi Zacharias

I at one time looked up to the man as he said that he wouldn’t even turn on the TV in the hotel to avoid looking at pornography, not knowing that it was all a lie.

Was Ravi Zacharias a Christian? By the standard of the Scriptures, no. Why? Because the Scripture promises that you will be worked on by the Holy Spirit to be more like Christ, not more like the world.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:6

In the Book of 1 John, it describes what a true Christian looks like from a false one.

No one who remains in Him sins continually; no one who sins continually has seen Him or knows Him. -1 John 3:6

The Scripture makes it crystal clear that a true believer in Jesus will not live a life as he did before he knew Christ. There will be clear evidence of a changed man by way of his behavior, his way of thinking and his new goals. He will look more and more like Jesus as time passes by.

Every Christian sins, there is no argument against that, but a Christian will never stay at a place that God disapproves of. For example: If a believer suffers from drugs, you will see a battle take place where he will try to stay away from it but at times he will fall. Eventually, God will make him victorious where he won’t be its victim anymore. There is a process of overcoming sin. Some sins, God takes it away immediately and others, it takes time to defeat.

7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. -1 John 3:7-8

Don’t let anyone deceive you. Examine those who you see on television, computer, or in your church. See what type of life they live and what type of gospel they preach. Ask yourself, do they live in a sinful lifestyle and do they preach what Scripture says? In verses 7 & 8, it tells you that someone’s lifestyle will suggest if they have been converted or not.

No one who has been born of God practices sin, because His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin continually, because he has been born of God. -1 John 3:9

In verse 9, it makes it apparently clear that a person with the Holy Spirit (seed) cannot live in sin without any remorse and change. The reason why some people who call themselves Christians continue to live in sin is because they have not been changed from within. They mirror the world and its value instead of Christ and His Word. This type of evidence shows you who belongs to Jesus and who belongs to the devil.

To what we know, it seems that Ravi Zacharias died never confessing his sins or changing his behavior. He had 200 pictures of women who were not his wife and some of them were without clothes. He had physical encounters with more than one woman. He preached and defended the gospel then he would go and live like the devil. Friend, when you finish preaching the gospel, you continue to live the gospel. That is what makes you a Christian.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “but I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Paul made sure that after he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people that he wouldn’t afterwards live a life of sin, but fought his sinful nature of the flesh not to fall into its traps. That is a picture of a true genuine Christian. We have to fight the flesh, the devil and the world with its devices that can cause Christians to fall.

Our goal is to be more and more like Jesus and less and less like us. John the Baptist put it best…“He must increase, but I must decrease.” -John 3:30

Two Methods Of Interpreting Scripture

[A professing believer stated this] “Even prior to the 2020 election, I’ve heard pastors and bishops quote and even misinterpret 2 Chronicles 7:14.”

“This passage focused on the Lord appearing to Solomon and saying that He has chosen Jerusalem as “this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice” in verse 12. In chapter 7, the “Chronicler” of this chapter focuses on the sacrifices given to the Lord and the celebrations of the Feasts of Tabernacle.”

If we are to go by what is said in the statement above, so then, how can we live by it? God’s Word is what transforms us into the image of Christ. If we don’t apply them, we will continue to stay stagnant in our faith. When interpreting Old Testament passages, we must understand that it has two methods of interpretation.

The Two Methods Of Interpretation

  • The Scriptures are to be interpreted literally unless otherwise noted in the passage that it’s using figurative language. The meaning of symbols are either found in the context or through cross-reference [Scripture interprets Scripture].
  • All passages, regardless if it has to do with Israel or with how Christians ought to live, have life application. In the Old Testament, application is applied through principle. Principle is the message conveyed, which shows God’s standard. Since God’s righteous standards doesn’t change, we can see its application for us today.

When following these two methods, you can see that the whole Bible contains life application. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, you can live out God’s Word.

Let’s use the passage in question, for example [2 Chronicles 7:14].

and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

-2 Chronicles 7:14, NASB 2020

In the passage above, God is talking to His people that if they repent and seek His face, He will respond in their favor. The application here is that if you commit to the Lord Jesus Christ and live a life of repentance when you fall short of God’s standard, reading the Scripture through prayer, the Lord will forgive your trespasses. He will heal you and provide for your basic needs. 

The same concept is found in Matthew 6:33, which says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.” 

Jesus is saying in Matthew 6:33 that if you seek His interest first (the kingdom and His righteousness), He will take care of all your wants that you need as mentioned in verse 31, which says, “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’

In the New Testament, it sheds some light on the subject of life application. In 1 Corinthians 10, it talks about what happened in the Old Testament with the children of Israel. The passage tells us that we as believers need to apply the principle of obedience to God’s Word, as it is warning us not to imitate the evil practices of the disobedient. See below.

6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they indeed craved them. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND TO DRINK, AND ROSE UP TO PLAY.” 8 Nor are we to commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

-1 Corinthians 10:6-8, NASB 2020

Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

The Old and New Testament contain instructions for us to follow. The word “instruction” just means Godly rules that we ought to apply to our lives as it will direct and benefit us.

1 Timothy 4:16-17 amplifies how the Scriptures are supposed to be used in a believer’s life. Not only does it tell you how to use it, but it puts the believer at the level that he needs to be in: fully equipped to accomplish the will of God.

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.

-1 Timothy 4:16-17, NASB 2020

The Scriptures were written so that we may live according to them. They are not filled with nice slogans that we read, enjoy, and then simply move on without putting them into practice. The Word of God is full of promises for all who have believed in Jesus Christ for the building up of the faith. Jesus in Matthew 4:4 said to the devil, “But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’” 

We are to live out the Scriptures through life application. When you read the Bible, ask yourself, “How can I apply these passages to my life?”

Jesus also said in Matthew 7:24-25 24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”

Be a wise man and read His Word with the aid of the Holy Spirit (prayer), applying them so that you may stand your ground in the day of battle with the strength that the Lord provides.