Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians
James - The Pillar of Working Faithful Lesson 7
The Faith of Teachers
It is a tough job being a Teacher of the Word of God. The Teacher exposes himself to a heavier judgment in the case he commits transgression in his teachings. A person should not even consider being a Teacher of the Word of God if he is not able to handle the Word perfectly, and able to control and restrain his natural and spiritual life. A Teacher of the Word of God is a dangerous profession and one that puts the Teacher at great risk of severe judgment if he does his job improperly. His focus of ministry must always be to turn a student's life around when his steering is being violently shaken by the conflicts of the spiritual nature of righteousness and the natural nature of sin, to encourage a strong and steady walk with Jesus Christ, as the Truth of the Word of God is handled perfectly in accordance with His Will.
“1 ¶ My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” (James 3:1-2 AV)72. It is a tough job being a Teacher of the Word of God. The Teacher exposes himself to a heavier judgment in the case he commits transgression in his teachings. A person should not even consider being a Teacher of the Word of God if he is not able to handle the Word perfectly, and able to control and restrain his natural and spiritual life. A Teacher of the Word of God is a dangerous profession and one that puts the Teacher at great risk of severe judgment.
“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.” (James 3:3 AV)73. A true Teacher of the Word of God leads a student like a horse with a bit in his mouth. He guides them, and they must obey him to learn the things God gives them to know, as he turns their whole life around.
“Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.” (James 3:4 AV)74. Even the greatest of ships that are driven by the strongest of winds are easily turned with a small rudder, whenever the steering is violently shaken. That is the job of a Teacher of the Word of God... to turn the sinner’s life around when his steering is being violently shaken by the conflicts of the spiritual nature of righteousness and the natural nature of sin, to encourage their walk with Jesus Christ.
It will probably come at no surprise that the topic of a Teacher of the Word of God is near and dear to my own heart. Every minute of every day, the responsibility that I am given by the LORD GOD to effect change in the students I teach is always on my mind.
“5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:5-6 AV)75. The tongue of a person defiles the whole body. It is a little member of the body, but boasts great things, and can make a matter great with just a little use.
76. The tongue is a fire filled with sin. It’s fire controls the course of nature and derives its fire from the wickedness of hell.
“7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:7-8 AV)77. Every beast, bird, serpent and thing of the sea is tamed by mankind, but the tongue of man cannot be tamed.
78. The tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
“9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” (James 3:9-10 AV)79. Out of the same mouth we bless God and curse man. This is not the way it should be.
“11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” (James 3:11-12 AV)80. A fountain can not have both sweet water and bitter. A fig tree cannot bear olive berries or a vine cannot bear figs. A fountain cannot yield both salt water and fresh...then how is it that a mouth can yield both blessings and curses?
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13 AV)81. A wise man with knowledge speaks good works in his teachings with the meekness of wisdom.
“14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:14-16 AV)82. If you have bitterness, envy and strife in your hearts don’t try to teach the Word of God or try to teach lies in contrary of the Word of God. Where envy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work coming from the sensual world. If you are trying to teach the Word of God in the midst of confusion and evil works, your effort will be in vain, and your spiritual and physical well being in jeopardy.
“17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (James 3:17-18 AV)83. The wisdom that comes from the LORD GOD is pure. This pureness of wisdom brings peace, is gentle, easily persuaded and obeyed, full of mercy and good results, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. This list of qualities of wisdom are the requirements that the LORD GOD has set forth to be a Teacher of His Word, as well as a good checklist for a student to compare to the one who teaches him, to verify the validity of his status.
84. A True Teacher of the Word of God gives the students teachings in peace, to only the students that make peace.
The chaos and wickedness of the world, embroiled in the envies and strife coming from the evil works, and making violence and anger a common environment, prevents the teaching of the things of God.
Becker Bible Studies Insert:
Test for False TeachersREMEMBER: ONE "YES" ANSWER TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS PROVES THAT THE TEACHER IS A FALSE TEACHER, AND HIS WORDS SHOULD BE DISREGARDED!!!
Teacher = A teacher is a person who teaches the Word of God through divine direction.
False Teacher = A person who does NOT teach the Word of God through divine direction.
Characteristics of False Teachers
1. Grace-perverters Gal 1:6-8
2. Money-lovers Luke 16:14
3. Christ-deniers 2 Pet 2:1
4. Truth-resistors 2 Tim 3:8
5. Fable-lovers 2 Tim 4:3,4
6. Destitute of truth 1 Tim 6:3-5
7. Bound by traditions Matt 15:9
8. Unstable 1 Tim 1:6,7
9. Deceitful Eph 4:14
10. Lustful 2 Pet 1:12-19
#1 Grace-perverters - Gal 1:6-81. Does the teacher say that God does not love you?
2. Does the teacher say that God’s love must be paid for by money or possessions?
3. Does the teacher say that God only loves you if you are deserving?
4. Does the teacher say that God is not compassionate toward man?
5. Does the teacher accuse or ridicule our God for a lack of tolerance or patience?
6. Does the teacher say that God has chosen him to control the direction of his follower’s lives?
#2 Money-lovers - Luke 16:147. Does the teacher pay closer attention to the ministry of ritual, rather than the ministry of love and mercy?
8. Does the teacher base his teaching on or place excessive worth on money?
9. Does the teacher encourage students to be superior to others?
10. Does the teacher sneer, ridicule or condemn followers of Jesus?
#3 Christ-deniers - 2Pet 2:1; 1 Tim 4:1-5; James 3:1711. Does the teacher act secretive with his knowledge and teach that events or happenings will occur at specific times that only he knows?
12. Does the teacher deny or reject Jesus or His gift of salvation?
13. Does the teacher speak of things that are not sanctified by the Word of God or your prayers?
14. Does the teacher focus on the earthly, natural, demonic life and exclude the wisdom that comes from Christ?
15. Are the teacher’s teachings impure, chaotic, harsh, unreasonable, merciless, unstable, or hypocritical?
#4 Truth-resistors - 1 Tim 6:5; 2 Tim 3:8; Ex 7:11; Rom 1:2816. Does the teacher appear evil, depraved, unprincipled or wicked?
17. Is the teacher immoral or cause his followers to be immoral?
18. Is the teacher rejected by God and beyond salvation?
19. Does the teacher use trickery, sorcery, magic or enchantment to sway his students?
20. Does the teacher challenge God to prove his authority and power?
21. Does the teacher lead his students into mental error or false judgment?
#5 Fable-lovers - 2 Tim 4:3,4; 1 Tim 1:422. Does the teacher speculate rather than confirm?
23. Does the teacher focus on genealogies by tracing family descent?
24. Does the teacher’s teachings involve supernatural or imaginary persons, embodying popular ideas on natural or social phenomenon?
25. Does the teacher instruct on widely held, but false notions?
26. Does the teacher "tickle the ears" by telling his students what they want to hear?
27. Does the teacher use popular media, special effects or flair to entertain rather than teach the gospel?
28. Does the teacher use music, TV, movies or computers to snare his students?
#6 Destitute of Truth - 1 Tim 6:3-529. Does the teacher distort the truth by disagreeing with a known fact or a known reality?
30. Does the teacher fail to teach the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ?
31. Is the teacher unrighteous, unlawful or immoral?
32. Does the teacher’s knowledge conflict with his behavior?
33. Does the teacher’s beliefs and actions appear to be without a "good sense" basis?
34. Does the teacher’s teachings lead to wickedness or evil?
35. Is the teacher proud, showing a high opinion of his own dignity, importance or superiority?
36. Does the teacher appear to "know nothing"?
37. Is the teacher excessively fond of questions, to show off his intelligence rather than God’s glory?
38. Does the teacher vigorously focus on the words of his answers rather than the truth?
39. Does the teacher cause envy or jealousy among his students?
40. Does the teacher create bitter conflict or strife among his students?
41. Does the teacher create an air of evil suspiciousness around his students?
42. Does the teacher argue with other teachers, attempting to persuade with evil teachings?
43. Does the teacher think that numbers of students indicates the godliness and rightness of his teachings?
44. Does the teacher treat the students meanly, worthlessly, disgracefully or dishonorably?
#7 Bound by Traditions - Matt 15:9; Is 29:13; 2 Tim 4:4,5; Titus 1:10-1245. Does the teacher worship God in vain (without real significance, value or importance)?
46. Does the teacher rely on tradition and rote, rather than the moving of the Holy Spirit?
47. Is the teacher bound by traditions claiming divine authority without documentary evidence?
48. Is the teacher’s instruction based on myths and commandments of men rather than the truth?
49. Is the teacher an unruly, a vain talker or a deceiver?
50. Is the teacher unable to digest new knowledge because of laziness?
51. Does the teacher instruct for the sake of sordid gain?
52. Does the teacher attempt to undermine the teachings of the student’s family?
53. Does the teacher demand isolation from family and friends?
#8 Unstable - 1 Tim 1:6-754. Does the teacher use idle talk and stray from sound doctrine?
55. Is the teacher unable to provide confirmation of his belief?
#9 Deceitful - Eph 4:1456. Does the teacher educate using different types of doctrine?
57. Does the teacher use trickery, the practice of deception, shrewdness or fraud to gain students?
58. Does the teacher use forms of dishonesty, underhandedness, misleading or false scheming to instruct the students?
#10 Lustful - 2 Pet 2:12-19; Phil 3:19; Jude 1:12; Rom 6:1659. Does the teacher speak evil of the things he doesn’t understand?
60. Is the teacher prone to corruption, bribery, swindling or dishonest dealings?
61. Does the teacher partake in carousing, drunkenness, sexual promiscuity or sensuality?
62. Is the teacher’s character full of spots, stains and blemishes that he has tried to hide from others?
63. Does the teacher entice unstable souls?
64. Does the teacher follow the way of false gods?
65. Does the teacher have the presence but no message?
66. Does the teacher’s message change often?
67. Does the teacher manipulate, falsely flatter or entice lusts of the flesh?
68. Has the teacher been given knowledge of Jesus Christ, then turned his back on Him?
REMEMBER: ONE "YES" ANSWER TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS PROVES THAT THE TEACHER IS A FALSE TEACHER, AND HIS INSTRUCTION SHOULD BE DISREGARDED
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About the Author
Kathy L. McFarland is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She has received her Bachelor of Science degree in Religious Studies from Liberty University, and is currently seeking her Master of Divinity (Professional Ministries Track) degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary & Graduate School. Kathy is a noted expert on Old Testament exegesis, Christian apologetics, and Bible typology and mysteries.