Seeing that this idea has come up in a comment thread, based on a common misunderstanding of 1 John 2:27 (that utterly ignores the immediately preceding verse and the seven verses before that one…which some might suggest is the context…), I thought I’d share a just one passage of scripture relevant to the idea so that the conversation can move to this thread and not clog up other posts. Read and consider the following:
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. – Acts 8:26-35
Interesting how the Holy Spirit directed Philip to go and teach the Ethiopian eunuch. I wonder why the Spirit didn’t simply go and do it himself? The guy was even reading the scriptures…hmm. Also, notice that this was still early in the book of Acts, even before Saul of Tarsus was converted to Christ (back when the Holy Spirit was regularly performing miraculous signs and prophecy was frequent)? If there would be a time that the Spirit was directly teaching people, wouldn’t this be it?
Just thought I’d share that as I was reading through Acts tonight and couldn’t get that passage out of my mind.
If the Holy Spirit thinks that some people need teachers (and personally directs folks to do the teaching), I’d think I’m on pretty safe ground recognizing that there are men who are mightier in the scriptures than myself that I can and should learn from. Call me crazy, but I just try to take the Bible at face value.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “Okay. Crazy it is!” Unger
P.S. – Remember:
P.P.S. – As for 1 John 2:27, here’s a quick walk through:
– vs. 18 – John warns that many antichrists have come and the antichrist is still coming (both of which mark the “last hour”).
– vs. 19 – Those “Antichrists” have left their fellowship because they were never believers.
– vs. 20-21 – John affirms that his readers have received the Holy Spirit and have complete knowledge of the truth.
– vs. 22-23 – Those who deny the incarnation are liars, but those who deny the incarnation and God the Father are the antichrists and are unbelievers.
– vs. 24-25 – John urges his audience to continue in the truth they have heard from their initial contact with him, for that truth about God the Father and God the Son will lead them unto eternal life.
– vs. 26 – John reiterates that he’s addressing those antichrists, who deny the Father and the Son and have left their fellowship.
– vs. 27 – But though they’ve left the fellowship, the Holy Spirit has not left John’s readers and the Holy Spirit is the teacher they need (as opposed to unregenerate teachers who’ve abandoned the fellowship). The Holy Spirit tells truths consistent with the gospel they’ve heard and teaches them to abide in the fellowship (in the church; Chris’s body).
So, the phrase “you have no need that anyone should teach you” comes in a passage where the specific topic is one of false teachers who have left the church. John urges his believers to persevere in what they’ve learned from him (and the other apostles/elders in their lives) and to refrain from being drawn away by following the teachings of men who are demonstrably unregenerate and lack the Holy Spirit; the one source that truth does come from.
This passage cannot possibly teach that “no Christian requires any human instruction” simply because it appears in a letter given for the instruction for the church, written by a human instructor who is trying to instruct Christians. If that is what it means, it would basically be John saying:
“Don’t read this letter! Toss it out now! Why are you listening to me?! Don’t quench the Spirit! STOP READING THIS!”
Utter self-refuting stupidity.
Just so nobody could say I left you hanging on 1 John 2:27…there you all go!