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Isaiah 50:4, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should
know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by
morning, he wakethen mine ear as the learned.”
God is explaining to us the tongue
of the learned is the one who is appropriate with his words with the example of
speaking a word in season to the weary. A preacher should not preach on Hell at
a funeral for he must be appropriate. The pastor should conduct the Wedding
ceremony appropriately.
The word “weary” can be defined as “those who
lag behind.” “The Lord GOD has given the tongue of the learned.” Why does he
have the tongue of the learned? Why is he a scholar? Why is he an educator? God
simply says so that they can know how to speak a word in season to him that is
lagging behind or someone who is weary.
I am known as a rock-ribbed right
wing fundamental independent Baptist preacher. Often a pastor around the
country will introduce me by saying, “You’d better buckle up cause the Texas
Tornado is about to preach!”
The truth is I love people and I
love deeply. Billy Sunday was right when he said, “You can’t love flowers
without hating the weeds.” If a preacher loves people he will prove it by being
a right wing fundamental preacher. Preaching against sin is not a sign of a
lack of love, but a sign of intense love. I often wish folks could see my
As of the writing of this post I have preached over 25,000 sermons,
preached in every state of the union but one, preached in seventeen foreign
countries, averaging leading a soul a day to Christ, and when my critics say I
don’t love that hurts. When my critics say that all I know to preach or teach
is soul winning I must admit it stings because it is not true. Any one who has
read any of my books knows that is a total fabrication by my enemies. I am not
an Einstein, but I’m not an imbecile either.
I wish folks knew of my love and
my depth of thought. 
Fundamentalists are often thought of as lacking love and not very
scholarly. If you are an honest person and you read my writings you will find
some depth of thought. If you follow me around you will find I love very
deeply. I regularly write poetry and I do think deeply.
May I ask a question? Why was it
a temptation for Jesus when he was tempted in Matthew chapter 4? Jesus’
temptation was to be able to show himself. He could have easily turned those
stones into bread, he would have like to have done so, and he was tempted to do
Hold it! This was hard for the
Saviour for he was not able to show exactly what he was. The hardest thing he
did was to appear simple. Here is the one who was the truth. He said, “I am the
way, the truth, and the life.”
Here is the one who is Omniscient for he was
everything, but he had to come down to the level of people and talk on their
He took the greatest truths known to mankind and he placed them into
simple stories such as a boy who ran off from home, like a lady who lost a
coin, like a shepherd who lost on of his sheep, like a man who was attacked on
a road, and like a man who planted a crop.
He who was truth took deity and
placed them on the level of man so that man could understand. Jesus had to
break the great truths down into small portions so that you and I could
understand them.
Here was Omniscience appearing
simple, Omnipotence appearing weak, wealth appearing poor, King of kings
washing the feet of the Disciples, the King of glory submitting to baptism by a
Baptist preacher, Omnipresence yielding to confinement, the creator of bread
becoming hungry, the living water becoming thirsty, perfection becoming sin,
and the judge of the universe being tried by mortal judges.
Here was he whose home was in
Heaven being reared in a carpenter’s house. Here is Jesus the Son of God being
in subjection to creatures that he created himself, here is total profundity
appearing in simplicity, here is the builder of Heaven living in a city of bad
repute named Nazareth, here was understanding being misunderstood, the all
powerful one yielding to arrest, here was the perfect one being considered a
criminal, here is God incarnate being considered the worst of mankind. Here is
Jesus being perfect yet was clothed in weakness and perfect love being
If I could wish people could see
my love how much more frustrating it must be for Jesus who is love. If I wish
people could see the depth of my thoughts how much more frustrating it must be
for Jesus.
Jesus came back from the heighth
of Omniscience to become simplicity
Herein lies one of the great
problems of leadership and Christianity today especially in our seminaries and
Bible colleges. Some how we learn and learn and learn and learn and learn and
then a scholar is born. Yet, the very purpose of going to the mountaintop is so
we can go back to the valley where the hurting people are living.  A lot of Bible knowledge does not help
if the people do not even know the books of the Bible.  Mercy always precedes truth in the Bible and many push truth without mercy and it does extreme damage.
A young person enrolls in Bible
College and takes New Testament Survey along with more Bible courses. He
becomes a Systematic Theologian. He delves into Ecclesiology. He keeps on
burying himself in theological studies until he receives a degree. He then
enrolls in Seminary earning a Doctor’s degree. He is so intellectually equipped
that he feels he is better than the common layman or his mentors who have socks older than them.
The man is not a scholar who
knows a lot. The man is a scholar who knows a lot yet he goes back to those
common laymen and teaches them on their level what he knows. Meekness is like
approaching an elevator entering the elevator with the ability to choose to go
up or to go down. When a man can go up or down intellectually he is a meek man.
Your knowledge is not given to impress people but to equip people.  Your disrespect for the aged mentors just proves how spiritually immature you have become with all of your education.
Profundity gives a person the
right to use simplicity. College students are not being taught so they can
store up knowledge and then to build bigger barns for their collective
knowledge. They are being taught so they can go back and help those who are not
as privileged. Simplicity should be a choice. Learn all you can from your mentors and then teach
A math major that knows calculus
yet teaches addition and subtraction in school knows the purpose of his or her
education. The theologian who knows Systematic Theology and yet teaches New
Testament Survey to freshman knows the purpose of his education.  
The author who teaches composition, the
English major who teaches spelling to first graders, the All-American football
player who coaches a high-school football team, the PHD teaching freshmen, the
scholar teaching the educable slow, the concert pianist teaching beginning
piano students, the opera singer teaching voice lessons to a beginning voice
student, the decorated war veteran as an instructor in boot camp teaching the
raw recruit, the financier teaching a young person how to balance a checking
account, a pro ball player playing catch with a little boy, a hall of famer
coaching in the little league.
God wants leaders to learn all
that they can, but that is not the purpose of it all. Many of you know the
Bible, but never teach anybody. Veteran Christians ought to take a little
Beginners Sunday school class or Primary Sunday school class or a Junior Sunday
school class and teach that you have been taught.
God calls us fools who store up
what we have learned in the barns of our minds. The purpose of knowledge is to
teach those who do not have that knowledge. Many leaders have bought a one-way
ticket to knowledge and information, but the truth is they should have bought a
round trip ticket. Leaders should be on their way back to the uninformed. They
should be on their way back to the unknowing.  This is where the arrogant young leaders are all knowing and yet never coming to knowing for their refusal to be warned or learn from mentors who are attempting to help those young leaders who lag behind.
Learn all you can, but do not
forget to come back to those who have not had the privilege of learning yet.
There are people who are now where you were at one time. You have a
responsibility to go back to where they are and you were and help them get to
where you are.
I do not care for intellectual
snobs. I do not care for theological snobs. In a question and answer session in
South Carolina on a Tuesday with Dr. Jack Hyles a professorial type preacher
was dominating the Q & A and it was irritating every one there. This
seeming intellectual asked Dr. Hyles, “Of all the things you have done what
would you change?” Dr. Hyles replied, “My underwear!” It was hilarious!
Ladies and gentlemen God intended
for leaders to learn, grow, attain knowledge, and gather information, but God
also intended for you to teach what you learn, garnered, and gathered. This is
the responsibility of all those who lead to equip everyone with knowledge for
the warfare of life. The Bible is our weapon and if you know it teach it. If
you read it teach it. If you meditate on it teach it. If you learn it teach it.
If you love it teach it. If you have been corrected accept it and pass it on.
It is time for leadership to make
the round trip and go back where you started and teach those just starting.
Every deacon ought to be teaching a Sunday school class. Deacon’s wives ought
to be teaching Sunday school classes. Staff members ought to be teaching Sunday
school classes. Staff members’ wives ought to be teaching Sunday school
There are people who have stored
and stored and stored knowledge and yet never shared and shared and shared that
knowledge. It is time to return to where you started and teach.
The Bible is not a math book. The
Bible is a love story from the lover of my soul. Go as far as you can, but do
not forget to go back as far as you came. Do all you can, but do not forget to
go back to where you started doing. Go as high as you can, but do not forget to
come back down to where you started. Accomplish all you can, but do not forget
to come back to your first accomplishment.
It is on the way back that you
become a scholar. The trip to knowledge does not make you a scholar. You are
not a scholar because you have accumulated knowledge. You are a scholar because
you spread knowledge. Tis the spreading of what you know not the gathering of
what you know that makes you knowledgeable.
If you are so smart that you know
Greek and the Hebrew languages, but do not teach the Bible you are not a
scholar. Paul in Hebrews said, “For when
for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again…”

(Hebrews 5:12)
How much Bible have you taught
lately? How much truth have you taught lately? Do you have a Sunday school bus
route of people who depend on your teaching? It is the trip back that shows you
are a real scholar. The trip forward gives you the scholarship credentials
while it is the trip back that gives you the scholarship credibility.
How do you handle correction from the hoary heads? You have not arrived and certainly should be receptive to those who love you. Contemporaries will not tell you the truth always because they do not want to lose you; yet mentors will tell you the truth because they fear the lose of a cause more than your admiration.
A College professor who teaches
above the student’s is a scholar to himself, but the one who teaches at the
student’s level is a scholar to them. Teaching more theologians to be more
theologians is not what God had in mind. When you learn so much that you do not
want to lower yourself to keep someone out of Hell you have learned too much.
Intellectual snobbery is ruining our nation.
When you are too good to put your
arms around a little bus rider or have them seat with you in church you are a
spiritual snob. If you are too good to drive a Sunday school bus, work a bus
route, win a bus child to Christ, too good to preach at a rescue mission, too
good to reach the homeless for Christ, too good to go soul winning, too good to
feed the hungry, too good to clothe cold bodies, and too good to bring food for
the food pantry then you my friend are a spiritual pharisaical snob.
The whole purpose of the trip
forward is so you have something to bring back to those who are right now where
you were when you started your trip forward. You become intellectual when you
go back to where you started to reach those who are starting. You do not become
intellectual when you gather you knowledge rather you become intellectual when
you distribute your knowledge.
Your success in life depends on
whether you come back to where you started for others who are starting. It is
not the distance away from your beginning that gives you the right to be called
a success, but it is the distance you travel back to help others make the same
trip that gives you the right to be called a success.
A one-way ticket to knowledge is
useless. A round trip ticket to knowledge and back is useful. The one ticket is
a one-way ticket to being a Pharisee, Sadducee, a snob, untouchable, and a
failure. Greatness is found in the one who comes back from where he was to help
others get to where he is.
Intellectualism is teaching what
one has learned so they can teach what they have learned. We want to reproduce
reproducers. Scholarship can have credentials without credibility. Real
education is in coming back to help others to go forward so they can come back.
Higher degrees without lower depth are a fake degree. Higher training without
lower teaching is deceptiveness. Education without educating is a man without
substance. Years of training without years of teaching produces an unbalanced
intellectual life.
What good does the tongue of the
learned if it does not help the one who has fallen behind? What good is Bible
knowledge if it does not help the Sunday school bus rider, the homeless, the
mission man, the poor, the sinner, the fallen Christian, the educable slow, the
forsaken wife, forsaken husband, orphan, and the widow who has fallen behind? What good is a mentor if he does not warn of pending pitfalls? 
Knowledge that is gained not
worth using is not worth knowing. Dr. John R. Rice could quote Shakespeare,
write poetry, write music, and write books yet play hopscotch with little
children on the streets of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Tom Malone had a massive library
filled with Shakespeare and other famous authors. He earned several Masters
Degrees yet he put the jelly on the bottom shelf. Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. Lee
Roberson, and yes even Evangelist Lester Roloff were intellectual giants, but
they returned back to where they were to lead from there to here the followers.

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