HUMAN TEACHERS UNNECESSARY (?)
"You have an anointing from the Holy one; you all know it." (Rendering of Sinaitic and Vatican MSS.) "The anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you, but the same anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true." (1 John 2:20,27. Diaglott.)
Some have gathered from this, that among those who are fully consecrated to the Lord and have received the anointing (that is the mind, will or spirit of God--the same mind which was also in Christ Jesus our Lord) no teachers are to be recognized and that none are needed, as all shall be taught of God. To this we object, that God hath set in the Church apostles, teachers, &c., for the edifying of the body. We suggest that if the teachers be of divine appointment, those taught are divinely taught. See (Eph. 4:11-16; 2 Tim. 4:2-5; John 13:20.) We believe that John does not contradict other Scriptures which show that God had appointed teachers in the church. We believe the proper understanding of his language may be found from its connections.
John tells the church that there are some of the nominal church who have become Anti-christ--i.e., opposers of Christ. He urges them not to be in any way connected with such, nor led away by them. (1 Jno. 2:18,19.) He concludes his argument by assuring them that he has confidence in them, and that as they have the Spirit --mind of Christ, they will be competent to judge between these sophisms of men, and the truth. Having themselves the anointing, or mind of the Lord, they can easily discern a different spirit under whatever form or guise it may present itself, even without any special teacher to point out the doctrinal flaws of their arguments. He says: "I have written these things to you concerning those who (would) deceive you. But the anointing which you received from him, abides in you and you have no need that any one should teach you; but the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true." (vss. 26,27 Diaglott.)
We have often remarked how some, almost intuitively, discern truth or error. It is because the Spirit of Christ (the spirit of truth) abides in them, that truth has an attracting, and error a repelling influence. We would not be understood as favoring a following of impressions and a neglect of the appointed means of instruction. No, but we believe that in addition to the Word and its God appointed expounders, it is essential that we have also the mind of Christ, the spirit of consecration and sacrifice, which is also the spirit of truth, else we might be deceived into a misconstruction of the plainest statements of God's word. But if we keep close to Jesus as his followers, drinking more into his spirit of sacrifice and love, and searching the Word to know the Father's will, then we may be proof against all the attacks of error.
Note the principle in operation in the nominal churches. Having lost the spirit of sacrifice--the spirit of Christ, and having contracted a spirit of ease and pleasure loving--the spirit of the world, she soon convinced herself that the sufferings were past, and the reign of glory and conquest begun. Papacy thus developed, accordingly bent her energies to the obtaining of power and the persecuting of all opposers. The various Protestant sects sprung up with a measure of the spirit of self sacrifice and crucifixion-- deadness to the world, but these soon began to covet a joint reign with the kingdoms of earth. They sought power, influence, and wealth. They too gradually received of the spirit of the world as they lost the Christ spirit of sacrifice. Thus losing the anointing, it is no wonder that as sects they drifted into error. As a consequence of having lost the spirit of truth, they find it easy to satisfy their minds relative to the Word of God, and laying it aside, they teach for doctrines, the traditions of men; claiming of course that it has Scriptural support.
One of the natural results of such looking at spiritual things with the spirit of the world, is to get God's dealings and plans distorted and confused. So much is this the case, that intelligent people of the world see its weaknesses and cannot honestly support that which involves so many and glaring absurdities. Intelligent Christians can only accept of church theories and creeds, by shutting their eyes and ears and determining not to think on religious things. Thus the loss of the spirit of truth, caused the loss of the truth itself, and turning the truth of God into an apparent lie, it has become the chief cause of the wonderful growth of Infidelity both in and out of the church.
Let us see to it that we receive the truth in the love of it--and drink into its spirit, as the sure preventive of all the assaults of error.
N.B.--Read in connection with "Human Teachers Necessary," in June issue.