Picture of Pastors Jim and Marie Watt
Pastors Jim and Marie Watt

Two Are Better Than One

TEACHER- diDASka-los, 58x, (from #1321, to teach, 97x) from Strong # 1320

This word means a teacherand in the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man. (1) one who is fitted to teach, or thinks himself so, Heb 5:12; Rom 2:20; (5) of those who in the religious assemblies of the Christians, undertook the work of teaching, with the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11; Acts 13:1; (6) of false teachersamong Christians, 2 Ti 4:3.

1. John 3:1-2 (1-15) TEACHERFROM GOD: HOW NICODEMUS RECOGNIZED JESUS. “Now there was a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus his name, a ruler of the Jews: 2 the same came unto him by night, and said to him, Rabbei, we know that you are a teachercome from God; for no one can do these :signs which you do, except :God be with him.” Jesus is the Master-Teacher! He is the teachersent from and approved by God, and in 3 times God vocally confirmed from Heaven His approval! He demonstrated the true role of a teacherin front of His 12 disciples whom Hechose to be apostles. (They did not make this choice themselves, nor did any other.) Jesus acknowledged that they called Him Teacher. He approved of this. It was Jesus' signs and wonders that confirmed to Nicodemus that He was sent from God as Teacher.

2. Acts 13:1 (1-3) TEACHERS: SHARED WITH PROPHETS IN PRESBYTERY. “Now in the church that was at Antioch were prophets and teachers, both :Barnabas and Symeon :called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” It was not too long - just following their first missionary journey - that Paul and Barnabas (in that order) returned as apostles. They formerly moved as Prophetic-teachers, just as Evangelists Stephen and Philip formerly functioned as deacons. It is good to ponder on the above.

3. 2 Peter 2:1 (1-22) FALSE TEACHERS: PETER WARNED AGAINST. “But false prophets arose also among the people, as among you also shall be false teachers, who shall privately bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” Notice that manyshall follow their lascivious ways! Do we not see a similar deception even in our day? Ministers with lives not cleansed from evil and sin and lasciviousness - their spirit will contaminate and corrupt their hearers. And do not allow such to lay hands upon you, for there is an impartation that can come to you this way as a “transference of spirits.” And - lay hands in approval and ordination suddenly upon no man - lest you also be partaker of his sins.

4. 1 COR 12:28 (12-31) TEACHERS: SET BY GOD IN THE CHURCH. “And God has setsome in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then powers, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues.” We need to well understand the significance of what God has done here. There is a fuller explanation of this in the Notebelow.

5. EPH 4:11 (1-16) TEACHERS: A GIFT OF CHRIST TO THE CHURCH. “And HE gave some as apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers.” This is quite parallel to the reference above. Yet it has differences we need to note. It is Christhere doing the giving, and it places the 5-fold offices in a unique position abovethe fuller list in 1 Cor 12:28. It is these 5 alonewho perform the “spiritual chiropractic adjustment” on the body of Christ - not the fuller list in 1 Cor 12. Here we find the “Presbytery” or Eldership that functions in a many-faceted manner.

6. HEB 5:12 (5:11-6:8) TEACHERS: MUST BE QUALIFIED. “For when by reasonofthe time you ought to be teachers, you have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the beginning of the oracles of :God; and become such as need milk, not solid food.” The teachersin these Messianic Jewish Congregations addressed in the book of Hebrews, had backslidden from their original sharpness. They had lost the “fire” of their first love. They were no longer capable of functioning capably in the teacherrole. They needed a “repeat” course on NT Foundations, the milk of the word, the beginningof the oracles of God. The last point of the 6 foundations of Heb 6:1-2 is “being borne unto perfection!”Don't repeat over and over again courses on Foundation Truths! - Go onto perfection!

7. 1 TIM 1:7 (3-11) TEACHERS OF LAW: OFTEN A FLESHLY OR CARNAL GOAL. “Some having swerved have turned aside unto vain talking;desiring to be teachers of law, though understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they confidently affirm.” There are manyin the office of teacher- indeed in allof the 5-fold ministries - who are neither qualified for this office, nor called to it! Only the Lord Jesus can call us to these offices, and it then must be confirmed by other mature members of the 5-fold ministries. No mancan take this honor unto himself. The average person called to this office seeks to get out of the call - just the opposite to the above.

NOTE: In the late 60's and 70's of the last century, there were many special teachersin the land. Some designated these as Apostolic teachers. In 1971 and 1972 through Father Dennis Bennett of St. Luke's of Seattle and Bob Mumford, a gathering of 30 of these teachersmet on these two successive years in Seattle. Some factiously called these meetings “Seattle I” and “Seattle II” after Vatican I and Vatican II.

For one week of each of these years, 30 plus 8 local pastors met morning and afternoon each day in closed session to discuss at least four subjects causing controversy between these 30 and their larger group of 50 teachers. Dennis Bennett chaired these closed sessions both years.

Then at night these 30 teachersvisited in succession 5 different churches in the SeaTac Metroplex, divided into 5 groups of 5-6. Those who attended one of these venues would in 5 nights hear all 30 of these “name” teachersfrom various denominations. It was like a panorama of “Who's Who!”

Through Derek Prince, these 30 teachersplus the 8 local pastor-teachers, signed a covenant that no longer would they speak against an absent brother either publicly or privately, without first contacting either this teacherfirst - or the leadership of the local church that gave him covering. This was much in line with the standards set for the 70,000 attending Wesley's “Class Meetings” of some 250 years ago. These pledges were kept on a high standard until the “Discipleship-Shepherding” controversy broke out, at which time the heatedness caused these fine standards to go by the board.

So in this decade or so of the Teachersin the last century, we saw God bringing to the forefront the restoration of understanding of this office that Christ gave to the church in the beginning. This decade was soon followed by one of the “Prophets,” and currently we are witnessing an emphasis on “Apostles.” The “Healing” decade that preceded these three, restored an understanding of the “Evangelist,” and how his ministry in the beginning was enhanced by the strong accompaniment of “signs and wonders,” just as Jesus and his early apostles also experienced.

Some say, “But all that ceased with the early church!” We can challenge such statements by asking, “And where in the Bible does it so state?” It doesn't. This conclusion is but man's theological premise, not based on the Word of God.

Greek is often called the “language of the Aorist.” It is worth repeating that “gave” in Eph 4:11 and “set” in 1 Cor 12:28 are in the Aorist tense. It is unique to Greek, and forthrightly asserts that these two verbs in the “Aorist” incontrovertibly set forth the offices and ministries of these two verses as being God's will to continue throughout the entire church age.

Back to “Teacher.” Consider again the 7 references above. Take a Strong's Concordance and look through the entire list of references to this from which these 7 have been selected. Jesus as the Master-Teacherlends great dignity to this office, as did also his 12 chosen apostolic-Teachers.

We need a yet clearer content for teachersfor these last days. We need the clarity, boldness and fruitfulness of a Paul's teachingonce again. His was a a combination of thorough understanding of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, plusthe balance of a most unusual revelation of the Spirit by the Lord Jesus in Paul's 3 years in the desert following his conversion (Gal 1:17-18). This our teachersof today also need to understand and walk in. Then the sheep of today will not be gullible with false teachers,and a mixture of signs and wonders, and lying signs and wonders(Mat. 24:24). Jim Watt