If I be lifted up from the earth……………..
John 12:32 NIV84 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
In the above verse Jesus laid the ground work for evangelism. The apostle Paul got this when he speaks to the church at Corinth where he told them, For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 NIV842 If there was anyone who could have used his knowledge to impress and wow people it was Paul. Paul further states in the same chapter , My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power ,1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NIV844, . Again Paul says , 1 Corinthians 1:17 NIV8417 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power,1 Corinthians 1:17 NIV8417. Look at what Paul says about all his knowledge he obtained at the feet of Gamaliel, Israel’s foremost rabbinical scholar of that time.
though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith Philippians 3:4-9 NIV84.
Can you imagine going to college, amassing a wealth of knowledge, being regarded as a brilliant scholar by your peers and others only to get knocked off your high horse as Paul was and get such a revelation of the risen Christ that you would count all your training and education as rubbish?
Let’s look at another example from the book of Acts when Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin for healing a lame man and preaching about Jesus. When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13. Here lies the credentials for ministry, if people can tell that you have been with Jesus, that is worth more than all the theological degrees one could possibly amass in a lifetime in fact you can had all the degrees you want but if you don’t have the “heat” of the Holy Spirit they don’t amount to much. With that said, I want to share 2 visions that the Lord gave me.
A Vision of Preachers and the Cross of Christ
I had a very tragic vision on 07/25/2010. In the vision I could see many preachers, their pulpits
were lined up next to each other,they were very learned men, some were in suits and some were in robes,and they were preaching to a
very large …congregation . The eyes of everyone in the congregation and their attention were on these preachers. In back of these preachers I could see Jesus on the cross. Not one of the preachers ever mentioned the cross in his preaching and no one in the congregation ever looked at the cross, their eyes were on the preachers and they were attentive to the “wisdom” that was being taught by them.
People tend to worship and be attracted to man’s wisdom. I am not by any means saying that pursing knowledge is a bad thing. However, when knowledge takes the place of the cross of Christ, then it becomes another god because it is detracting away from Jesus. In fact, the word, “Antichrist”, literally an opposer of Christ or one who usurps the place of Christ. How many Christians go to hear a preacher because of his wisdom, his charisma, the size of his following, the worship band, the church programs, and maybe lastly because he’s been with Jesus.