The Gift of the Teacher
As I prepared to write this Sunrise, the Lord spoke to me plainly.
“To teach is to reveal the mind of God. It is to make one comprehend the mind of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The scripture is revealing that there are secrets in the heart of God that though He has declared them to the world, no man had comprehended or witnessed them. However, these things are very clear to God. He has already prepared them. However, take note of the following verse.
1 Corinthians 2:10
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
We are now in God and God is in us, therefore, we are exposed to those hidden things. Notice, here that it is the Holy Spirit who searches for those deep things that are in God’s heart and reveal them. Thus, the Holy Ghost is the first teacher. It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to present those hidden things to the mind of the saint.
1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
This is a crucial statement, first of all, it is the hidden mystery that is in the heart of God that the saint now speaks. The mouth of the saint is the mouth of the Holy Ghost, for they shall all be taught of God (Isaiah 54:13).
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
The teacher’s gift allows the Holy Spirit to use the mouth to render wisdom to the Body of Christ. Jesus gave us a good example of this.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Look at Jesus’ response in addressing Phillip’s lack of understanding. Phillip failed to perceive the mystery of Christ, which is the reality that God had been walking around in Jesus’ body this whole time. So, to teach this mystery, God used Jesus’ mouth, saying; “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?” Jesus then gave further clarification to the word of God, explaining that whoever has seen Him has seen the Father. Thus, the teacher’s gift operated to make Phillip comprehend the mind of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Herein we see a distinction between the focus of the evangelist’s gift and the teacher’s. The Holy Ghost uses the mouth of the teacher to render the hidden wisdom of God that only the saints of God can comprehend, but the evangelist carries God’s word to the lost, which is already comprehendible to them.
2 Corinthians 3:12-15
12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
Verse 12 is a perfect explanation of the teacher’s ministry. The first word, “seeing” is one of high importance. Let it be known that the teacher has no issue comprehending the mysteries of God. They are able to see it. In fact, their gift cannot operate unless they see it. It is an unholy life or plain old disobedience that will inhibit any gift from seeing the mystery of Christ, though it is taught to them. Thus, having perceived it, they are able to render it with great plainness of speech.
This is what those that do not have the Holy Ghost cannot do. Being a teacher in a school does not equate to being a teacher in Christ. Without the Holy Spirit, there will be a veil over the Word, which makes it incomprehensible. Thus, the natural teacher, will not be able to truly understand the depths of the Word, but the spiritual teacher can. Moreover, a natural teacher explains using carnal means, while the spiritual teacher’s mouth is being used by God.
Seeing that the teacher’s gift has the ability to comprehend the word, it is their responsibility to share what they have comprehended. Therefore, a teacher will be a scholar of the scriptures and will be able to find creative means to render the Word in simplicity.
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
THE PURPOSE OF TEACHING
The purpose of teaching is to bring enlightenment, and the purpose of enlightenment is to open the eyes of the people to God’s heart and mind. When the people’s eyes are opened to the heart and mind of God they will be more poised to walk in obedience and sonship. Thus, teaching is a form of caring for the flock. It is what keeps them within the boundaries of the faith.
THE TEACHER IN ORDER
If you notice, I did not make many references to the apostle’s gift above. The reason for this is because the apostle also is a teacher (2 Timothy 1:11). The apostle’s gift causes one to receive the revelation, but it is the teacher’s gift that gives the wisdom on how to administer the revelation. It is the teacher’s gift that causes the people to understand the revelation.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
The revelations of God are poured into the heart, but the apostle must operate in the teacher’s gift in order to bring the revelation from their heart to the heart of the people. Thus, the Word comes up from the heart of the apostle, through their mouth, and into the heart of the teacher. It is only by revelation that the teacher will be able to comprehend the apostle’s doctrine. Hence it the Holy Spirit that teaches the teacher His word. The teacher then follows suit and speaks to the people the Word that is currently in their heart.
The apostle’s gift receives the mystery of Christ as a deep revelation. It is this depth that the apostle speaks forth. Even though the apostle is a teacher, the depth of the word he teaches can often be hard to be understood.
2 Peter 3:16
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
The teacher must therefore be learned in the mystery of Christ, and must constantly feed from an apostle because they too will wrestle with the present truth the apostle is pouring out (1 Pet 1:12). If they do not understand it, they will preach lies and overturn the sheep. The teacher will be judged accordingly (Luke 12:47-48).
Thus, the teacher’s gift, having been trained in the mystery of Christ is able to perceive the Word and receives the methodology of how to administer it. It does so by breaking it up into smaller parts and rendering it to the people systematically. This is necessary for babes in Christ, but not limited to them; the teacher’s gift is needed for all forms of ministry.
In short, the teacher speaks forth the word given to them from the apostle, and the apostle speaks forth the word given to them of Christ.
Notice that in Matthew 10:27 the word “preach” is also used.
PREACH – To teach with passion
Thus, the teacher’s gift entails preaching too. Preaching is void if the people do not learn the heart and mind of God. There is a belief that if someone gets highly passionate in their ministry, that person has any gift but the teacher’s. However, this is a fallacy, the teacher has the ability to preach with great passion even as any other gift. However, their focus will always be to bring understanding. The focus of bringing understanding is of more importance to the teacher than anything else. Once the teacher is assured that understanding is being rendered, their passion is free to flow. If not, they will feel as if their ministry is coming up short, and will try other approaches to ensure understanding.
It is important to be said, that all ministry is founded on the teacher’s ministry. Without the teacher’s gift, there would be no comprehension of the gospel. The teacher’s ministry is the knee that holds the Body of Christ upright. It is what brings understanding to the mind of Christ, and all other gifts must operate in a measure of teaching (Rom 10:14).
PASTORS AND TEACHERS
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
1 Corinthians 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Do you notice that in both passages above the pastor and teacher are grouped together?
PASTOR – The appointed teacher and overseer of the house.
A pastor is a teacher who constantly and consistently preaches their knowledge in the mystery of Christ. They also have a shepherd’s heart and become responsible for the spiritual disposition of the flock.
The pastor is responsible for establishing the growth path of the people, and have the care to do so. They will have a vision for the spiritual potential of the individual. It is the apostle’s gift that defines what is effective in ministerial development, when this is rendered to the pastor, they will see how it is applied to each and every member, and set them on a path to their full potential in Christ. The pastor will then monitor that growth and ensure that nothing hinders their development. This is the pastor’s responsibility.
On the other hand, the teacher is the one who assists the pastor in carrying out this mission. They help to tend and care for the sheep, through edification, exhortation, instruction, discipleship, comfort, and reproof. Teachers do not only teach doctrine, but they teach how to walk in the message. In order to do this, the teacher too must have a heart for the people, and the ability to demonstrate the message.
For example, my mother is a teacher in the schooling system, however, she is also my parent. Nevertheless, I had to go to school and learn from other teachers, whether it was math or English. So though she was a teacher, I was also taught by other teachers. However, my mother, as my parent, oversaw the path I was on in the schooling system. So, my math teacher had to care for my educational growth, but my mother was held responsible for it. Moreover, when I went home I would get more schooling lessons as well as parenting. This is an analogy between the relationship between the pastor and the teacher.
The pastor is a teacher who is responsible for the spiritual oversight of the people. He will also establish the methodology in moving the people from point A to point B spiritually. However, the teacher is the one that accompanies the pastor in teaching what the people need to hear and learn so that the people can move to point B.
It is also an unspoken belief that the teacher has no true responsibility that they will be accountable for. However, take note of the following scripture.
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
The definition of the word “masters” here means teachers. There is a condemnation that the teacher will enter into if they are to teach incorrectly. The purpose of teaching is to enlighten the mind of the hearer to the mind of God. Therefore, a person cannot progress spiritually without teaching.
Moreover, it is the responsibility, of the teacher to hold the people accountable for what is taught. In the Body of Christ, it is presumed that the teacher can be apathetic towards the spiritual growth of the people. They simply focus on teaching. However, this is not the heart and mind of God. Teaching is for the purpose of moving the people spiritually. In order to do this, a teacher must monitor the spiritual growth of the people as well as the growth of their understanding. Having done this they will be able to render the word according to their spiritual level of comprehension. This is how the teacher renders their care for the people.
Apostle Kareem Flowers
Sunrise with Jesus