ACQUIRING THE TONGUE OF THE LEARNED
Stacy R. Wood, Jr.
Our goal in these Bible Studies is to allow the Sovereign God to give each of us the tongue of the learned. That is, we need to learn the language or speech of the instructed. This is accomplished by becoming disciples of the spirited word of God. It is time to become trained in the word and understanding of the Lord. Paul said, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” (2Ti. 1:13) We need the Lord to equip us with the form or pattern of sound, healthy words, which the Holy Spirit speaks.
There Was No Open Vision
The third chapter of First Samuel contains a historic account that holds an admonishment, which is applicable to our time. It is in this passage that we find Samuel ministering to the Lord in the Tabernacle. He was just a young boy. Yet it should be remembered that it is out of the mouth of babes and sucklings that the Lord ordained strength and perfects praise. (Psa. 8:2; M’t. 21:16) Samuel had much to learn before his ministry could be counted worthy of a prominent position, such as Eli the high priest. He did not allow the pride or arrogance of his youth hinder him, but was content to take the position of a servant, becoming subservient to Eli in the house of the Lord.
Eli, which means lofty, was full of pride because he was an fully equipped, graduate of the recognized religious order of his day. Being full of confidence of his position, Eli was at rest in his office of leadership. However, his eyes began to grow dim with tradition and religious rhetoric. He was so well settled and versed in the dogma of his faith that he no longer sought the word of the Lord. Most of God’s people had no idea that God’s cause or goal had become lost in the tradition and ritual of the time. The principle of the Lord for which the priesthood had served with dedication and zeal was no longer found at the heart of the traditional order. In those days, even as now, the word of the Lord was so scarce that it was of great value. Moreover, there was no widespread vision among God’s people. What revelation existed, existed without any true manifestation, so it had become mere information. Eli was at ease in his religious ways, his vision had grown so dim that he could no longer see the true purpose of the Lord. It was during this time that the lamp or light of God went out in the Holy Place of the Lord’s tabernacle. The oil of the lamp stand had dwindled and the light no longer shined to enlighten the way. Even Samuel was asleep before the veil, at the alter of incense, where the ark of God is located and had not noticed that the light had gone out.
A Famine of Hearing The Words of The Lord
A similar thing has taken place in the Lord’s house at this time. The heart of God’s people have grown fat with religious tradition. The true working and anointing of the Holy Spirit has been replaced with the darkness of emotion, ritual, disorder and chaos. However, the primary purpose of the Holy Spirit as the Teacher and Revealer of truth is seldom heard of or sought after. (John 14:26; Eph. 1:17-18) The ears of God’s people have become dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts. Even as the prophet Amos said, “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Am. 8:11) This is not speaking of a lack of the bread or word of life. Moreover, the prophet is not saying that the Spirit would be lacking or unwilling to teach and refresh. The lack is with the people of God, for they are not intelligently hearing the words of the Lord. Even when the word of the Lord is conveyed to them certain data storage and processing capabilities have been rendered empty because of their traditions and dogmas. That is, their hearing is so dulled that they cannot rationally hear God’s word when it is declared. Hearing and seeing by the Spirit requires change and conversion within the life of those who see and hear. This would require that there be a turning from religious traditions. It would also mean that they no longer could blindly accept what they are told, but would need to “search the Scripture daily” to see if what they are hearing is true. Moreover, the believer would need to become earnest and endeavor to present themselves to God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, correctly dividing the word of truth. (M’t. 13:13-16; 2Ti. 2:15) This statement of Paul caused me to ask a question, “Why would one need to divide the word of truth?” Is not truth always truth? Is it not always applicable in every situation? Then the answers to my questions came to me. Yes, truth is always truth, but it is not always applicable in every situation. An example is, what may be true for an infant is not always true for an adult. Moreover, the truth of the law of gravity no longer applies when the higher law of aerodynamics is applied.
The “new covenant” understanding shows the people of God, or the church, as the house of God. Moreover, we comprehend that God’s people are the light of the world. (M’t. 5:14; 1Co. 3:16, 6:19-20; 2Co. 6:16-18; 1Pe. 2:5; Rev. 1:20) Now, the light of the church, or body of Christ, is the vision. If the vision be clear, single and uncorrupted the whole church community will be full of light. However, if the vision becomes hurtful and mixed with condemnation, the whole body of believers will be full of darkness or ignorance. Now, if the enlightenment that is in the church be darkness, how great is that darkness! (M’t. 6:22-23) It is at just such times of darkened ignorance that God chooses to do a “new” thing among his people.
The Lord called Samuel out from the darkness of this passive and indifferent religious state of being. Although, Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him. In a similar way the Lord also called Saul, who became the apostle Paul. (Acts 9:1-9) Paul was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent person. Yet, he obtained mercy because he did it ignorantly in unbelief. (1Ti. 1:13) Samuel, like Paul, served the Lord ignorantly in the religious order of their day. It was in this dark and silent time that the Lord’s voice was heard. Samuel heard a voice calling, “Samuel!” In response he ran to Eli saying, “Here I am, for you called me.” Eli said, “I did not call.” This took place three times during the night and first two times Eli told Samuel that he had not called him. However, the third time Samuel arose and went to Eli, saying, “Here I am, for you did call me.” This time even Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if the Lord calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place and the Lord came, stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” This time Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
There is a Samuel company who is being awakened by the Lord in this very hour. Although, they have been asleep and unaware that the light has gone out in the Lord’s house. They are ready to hear with their spiritual ear what the Lord is doing in the earth. Everyone who hears the call of the Lord in this hour will find a great shaking going on, not only in their earthen lives, but also in the heavens of their spirit. In Isaiah, the Lord says, “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool.” (Isa. 66:1) This signifies that heaven represents the seat of God’s decree and earth is the where his decree is walked out or administrated. In the time of the writing of the Book of Hebrews the Law of Moses represented the heavens and its earthy administration was the Levitical priesthood. Today the heavens speak of the Judaical-Christian, which is a mixture of Law and grace. While the earth speaks of the religious administration of Judaical-Christian mixed with Babylonian Papal authority. In the writing addressed to the Hebrews we learn that the present truth of God’s declaration will bring about a shaking, not only of the earth, but of the heavens also. This shaking signifies the removing of all that is shaken. The shakable things speak of the former declaration of God, human tradition and religious dogma. However, those things which cannot be shaken are God’s present order and will remain. Through this process of separation and removal we receive a kingdom which cannot be moved. Therefore, let us have grace, whereby we may acceptably serve God with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12:27-29) Isaiah declared, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field will honor me, the dragons and the owls, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people I have formed for myself; they shall declare My praise.” (Isa. 43:21) Praise the Lord! For the house of Eli, the lofty religious order, is coming to an end.
Where There Is No Vision
This brings us to the subject of our first lesson in this series of Bible studies. It is simple. A fresh vision is needed in the Lord’s house. Proverbs tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Pr. 29:18) That is, a fresh mental insight of God’s purpose and calling is needed among God’s people. It is time for a fresh dream, revelation, or even an oracle of God.
We do not cease to give thanks for you, praying for you continually: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full and accurate recognition of Him. Moreover, we pray that the eyes of your understanding become enlightened; so you may perceive what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. (Eph. 1:16-19) The Spirit of wisdom and revelation is need so we can let our light shine before men. In this enlightenment the creation will see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. (M’t. 5:16; Ro. 15:6) Our purpose and goal is to glorify our Father. Without this godly insight the Lord’s people become scattered and disillusioned. We do not need a vision of larger cathedrals, or television outreaches, nor do we need a vision of larger memberships. All the attempts to create more massive ministries have missed the mark of God’s goal for creation. Moreover, cause related Christian activities have served only to blind the eyes and bind the hands of God’s children. Even the restoration ancient religious rituals serves only to enslave and weaken Lord’s chosen. The whole creation waits on tiptoes with their necks outstretched earnest expecting the unveiling of the sons of God. (Ro. 8:19) That is the creation waits with eagerness for the sons of God to wake up and come out from behind the fleshly veil of religion. This is because the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the placement as a son, the redemption of our body.” (Ro. 8:18-23)
Now, those who learn to guard; protect, and attend to the precepts, directions and instructions of the Spirit of the Lord will advance and go forward in the life of the Lord. We need to learn how to find and enter into the “flow of the Spirit.” That is, we must discover the Spirit of the word that flows like water and drops as the dew upon the earth. True happiness is found in the teaching that flows from the apostolic and prophetic function of the Christ. This life giving expression is needed to cause the crooked way to be made straight again. (Eph. 2:19-22, 3:4-5)
That You May Be Established
Paul wrote to the church in Rome saying, “I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” (Ro.1:11-12) Like Paul, we have this intense craving to share what the Lord has so freely given to us through this Bible study. (M’t. 10:8) That is we want to impart or give over what the Lord has entrusted in us, to faithful sons. This is done so that what you hear, the same you will commit to trustworthy brethren, who will be capable of teaching others also. (2Ti. 2:2) Again, we do this for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, so that you are enabled to build up the body of Christ. We will continue until we all come to the unity of the faith, even to the full recognition of the Son of God, to a maturity humanity, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. This is so we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into him who is the head; Christ; from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part doing its share, causing the growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Eph. 4:11-16) This impartation or sharing of the supernatural grace of God will confirm to you, your place in God’s plan and establish you. This establishment is accomplished by our becoming encouraged together through our mutual or corporate faith. (Ro. 1:9-12)
Be Ready Always to Give an Answer
`The apostle Peter wrote to the church in his day saying, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1Pe. 3:13-17)
We must regard the Lord God in our hearts with respect, reverence, and heartfelt honor. Let us be adjusted in our thinking and learn to always be prepared to give a thoughtful defense of the faith, when someone asks or requires a logical reason for the expectation and confidence that is within us. Remember. This is a key to becoming an effective witness of the Lord. Never answer a question that has not been asked. When a person thinks you are trying to force something upon them they automatically put up a defense against it. However, when they begin to crave an answer to life’s perplexities and you are capable of giving a thoughtful and logical discourse on the subject at hand, they will respond with an open heart to your confidence. For too long the church has tried to shove their beliefs and traditional Hebraic ways upon a groaning creation. Often telling them that they need to “stop sinning and come to Jesus” to find the answer to their dilemma. The problem with this reason is that they cannot stop sinning in their own strength. The truth is “sin conscientiousness” has never set anyone free. The reality is most believers today are so focused on their own “sinful” condition that they are continually putting the Lord to open shame. By their continual confession of sin they declare that the cross was not sufficient to solve their sinful condition. If the follower of Jesus still wrestles with condemnation and guilt, how can he expect to set creation free?
The Tongue of the Learned
The prophet Isaiah said, “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning, he awakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened my ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.” (Is. 50:4-5) This is what our goal in these Bible Studies is to be. We are asking that the Sovereign God will give to each of us the tongue of the learned. That is, we need to learn the language or speech of the instructed. This we will accomplish by becoming disciples of the word of God. It is time to become trained in the word and understanding of the Lord. Paul taught Timothy saying, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” (2Ti. 1:13) The thought contained in “hold fast” is that of echoing or reverberating the uncorrupted words that the Holy Spirit chose to use and that are true in the original teachings. The original writers and authentic manuscripts of the Bible recorded a pattern of healthy words. These words were given to the early saints by the Holy Spirit and we need to regain them for the understanding of this pattern of healthy words in our day. The doctrines and traditions of men have made the word of God ineffective and we need to search out and return to the truth. So much of the emphasis of religion today points to humanity and misses the mark that is Truth. It is time for a people to regain the vision of the Lord. The time has come for sons to step out from behind the veil of fleshly religion and set creation free from corruption. In doing this they will also liberate themselves. (Ro. 8:18-23)
The reason we need this training is so we can learn how to perceive and see the needs of others. As we recognize the true heart of the Father we will discern by our experience how to recognize and acknowledge the need of others. This will enable us to skillfully set creation free. That is, we will learn to succor, or give assistance to in time of true need, difficulty, or distress. Better yet, we will learn how to raise a question in the hearts of those who have a need, so they can find the answer and become established. There is a great need for God’s people to know how to speak a word in a due season. “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in a due season, how good it is!” (Pr. 15:23)