Brothers and Sisters:
There are many of us who would speak on some authority as regards our triune Father. And where have we secured this authority? It is said we are more apt to listen to those who have earned degrees at universities, or to those who have accumulated years serving in a field close to the church. Is this their entitlement?
Did the Christ come to us with a litany of credentials? Did He ever boast a great knowledge of the sum of man because it was with years earned or education acquired? Who can say that He did? No one. Because He did not, nor would have presumed to live on the authority of mortals.
What say we, then, to the intellectual elite, whose words we have devoured as though they were from God Himself? We say, as I have heard: “What is the truth? Tell us, so that we may know! You are men of great learning; you have amassed a wealth of experience. Share with us – you are the masters!” Damnation! I ask you: are the answer these people provide satisfying? Do they heal our hearts and bring our souls to God? If it is so, it is not according to the false authorities of this world, but of the good gifts and graces of the Divine. And if it is not, then surely we have been corrupted.
Who is expert among us? Who shall claim knowledge sufficient for understanding? Let it be no one: for there is not a human soul alive that possesses the true satisfaction of God. And again: it is the Lord God who grants authority! It comes not from institutions, nor from experience, but from the Creator. For this reason, we are in no way permitted to judge the destitute as ignorant, nor the learned as masters. There is only one master, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember, too, my brothers and sisters, that this false authority is not a charge of blame only against those who preach; it is for every listener and observer to take note. Whosoever speaks in the name of that which perishes, that which is according to human law and not derived from God is a false prophet. But he who speaks humbly, and with wisdom, never seeking his own glory, is a messenger of God. It is this one who has true authority from above.
I caution you: do not think this world is composed of simple fools and wise preachers. For are there not some who will put on the guise of humility and speak accordingly? Will not their words sound as truth sounds? And yet their words are lies and they speak with no blessing from on high. So it is, there are those who have earned this world’s credentials and have secured a blameless reputation among men, but who have likewise come to know true authority from its counter-veil. These are the ones who will say things that confound sinful desires – money, power, security, and fame. For there is no power in men, and there is no fame, save the love which is given for all of God’s beloved children.
Be conscious, then, brothers and sisters, of what is all around you: soothsayers and liars, pretenders of truth and the messengers of it. These all exist. Listen to your heart and be true to the conscience within you; these alone will reveal who has been granted authority from the Almighty Father and those who pretend for despicable ends.
I charge you with this caution for your own benefit. Be true to the Word, as it is in you, and will come to be the salvation of the world.
Forever your servant in the Lord Jesus Christ; friend of the faithful,