Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Spring 1985
The Consecration of the Mind

Although the Levitical offerings speak primarily of the redemptive work of Christ, there is also a secondary application for us in that we are to follow Christ in His consecration unto God, surrendering ourselves to Him as a burnt offering. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice . . .” (Romans 12:1). When the children of Israel brought a voluntary offering to the Lord they were to lay the head upon the alter (Leviticus 1:8). This speaks to us of the consecration of the mind.

In the second chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he contrasts two kinds of minds, the natural mind and the spiritual mind. The natural mind is a darkened mind in regard to spiritual things, however brilliant it might be in its own natural sphere. It is possible to have become a child of God, and yet be largely dominated by the laws of the mind of the old life. The great need of a spirit-enlightened mind is emphasized by Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened that ye may know . . .” (Ephesians 1:17, 18). The knowledge of spiritual things does not come by mere intellectual effort, but by revelation. Simple minded and humble people receive things which are hid from the wise and prudent (Matthew 11:25).

God complained in Hosea’s day, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). He was not speaking of the lack of secular knowledge, but of the lack of the knowledge of God. It is one thing to know about God, yet quite another thing to know God, just as it is one thing to know about a historical personage, and quite another thing to know that person. Men may store up theological facts in their minds while the God of their theological facts is all too often little more than a subject matter. Not yielding their minds to the illumination by the Holy Spirit, they fail to experience the transformation of their manner of thinking through the renewing of their minds without which they are incapable of proving . . . “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). The thoughts and ways of God are diametrically opposed to what we call “common sense.” “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

The natural mind can be a trouble maker, especially in the realm of the spiritual. It intrudes into a sphere in which it is not a part and asserts the authority of its own logic in a realm from which it is disqualified. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14). Or, as the Revised Version has it, “The unspiritual man does not receive . . . and he is not able to understand. . .” The unspiritual mind of the ‘unspiritual man’ has done and is still dong incalculable damage to the cause of God in our own Pentecostal movement. For instance, not satisfied with the undeniable necessary scriptural regulation of what are commonly called the “gifts of the Spirit.” The man with the unspiritual mind makes his own judgment and preference over the authoritative criterion of the working of the Holy Spirit until he ‘regulates’ the ‘gifts of the Spirit’ out of the church. Having become wise in his own conceit, he eventually substitutes and finally denies the very things which made both him and the movement of which his is “nominally” a part. He will substitute feasting for fasting, ritual for life, pleasure for sacrifice, books for the Book, entertainment for revival, works for prayer meetings, popularity for the cross, compromise for courage, and human psychology for spiritual discernment. He will present Christianity as the sugar instead of the salt and solicit the praise of men instead of the honor of God. The unspiritual mind is one of the greatest internal dangers today.

Searching the Word of God for the knowledge of His ways, in contrast to those of our own, we find that:

1. GOD DOES NOT LIMIT HIMSELF TO MAN’S CHOICE. In the employment of an instrument, God is not restricted to the choice of human judgment – based upon a consideration of observable qualification or the appeal to the human eye as in the case of Eliab (I Samuel 16:6). God in His superior wisdom and knowledge may by-pass the most likely choice of man and instead reach out for an instrument which man would reject.

In the selection of Israel’s first king, God regarded neither experience, rank or seniority rights. He chose the youngest instead of the eldest, a stripling with a heart for God in preference to a man with an attractive countenance and an impressive stature. Samuel’s judgment might have been as good as could have been expected in the natural, but being natural, it was not good enough, “for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Appearances are deceitful and our own understanding is inadequate. Wherefore we are admonished to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

In I Samuel 17:28, God gives us a glimpse into some of the reasons for His rejection of Eliab. There he is exposed as a man of great unfairness and emotional instability with a heart full of rancor and jealousy. All this escaped human observation at the time of Eliab’s ‘candidacy.’ A more correct appraisal of his fitness than was possible at the time awaited the right situation to bring his true character into the open. Under the circumstances this would have come too late. Israel was spared an unqualified king because God did not restrict Himself to man’s choice. God only knows how many ‘candidates’ are out of their proper places because they were elected on the basis of merely human considerations. Has the Lord spoken? God does not limit Himself to man’s choices.

2. GOD DOES NOT LIMIT HIMSELF TO MAN’S METHODS. This principle is dramatically set forth in the taking of Jericho (Joshua 6). Being a walled city, it defied any natural means at the disposal of the Israelites. The instructions which Joshua received for its conquest were utterly unorthodox, to say the least. God did not send him to the equivalent of the Library of Congress for the latest textbooks on military science. Instead, he gave Joshua instructions which were ridiculous in the extreme from a natural point of view. The Israelites were to compass the city once a day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day, concluding with shouting and the blowing of trumpets. Textbooks would have called for a certain number of rams, slinger, scaling ladders and the like. God’s method called for an obedient faith, regardless of the outrageous affront to the common sense reasoning of the natural mind.

In these days of accreditation consciousness and academic endeavor, it is not out of place to sound a note of caution concerning the dangers of mere textbook theology. Times of developing education trends in the theological field are at the same time accompanied by an ever increasing tendency to rely on books instead of THE BOOK, and on man instead of on God. Both books and men have their valuable place, but they must remain subservient to, and not allowed to become a substitute of God and His Word. To this we must hold, not merely in theory to which all do subscribe, but also in practice which all do not follow. Any attempt to circumscribe the methods of divine activity to the limits of theological catalogues and the opinions of men is to incite failure and even disaster. He whose throne is heaven and whose footstool is the earth cannot be reduced to the dimensions of the textbook any more than He can be made to fit into denominational boundaries. God does not limit Himself to man’s methods.

3. GOD DOES NOT LIMIT HIMSELF TO MAN’S MEANS. The inadequacy of man’s own means in distinction from those of God is taught throughout the Bible; it is indelibly written on the pages of the history of the church and constantly demonstrated in experience. Yet man prefers the glitter and polish of his own equipment to the humble simplicity of God’s provision. It is so easy to forget that the Lord’s battles are not won by the might of numbers nor by the power of human means, but by the Spirit of the Lord.

An outstanding New Testament example of the employment of humble means by God is the Bible School of which a lowly Nazarene was its principal. He was unknown and came from an unpopular district. His father was but an ordinary carpenter. He Himself had neither theological nor academic training. In selecting Him, God bypassed all the graduates of the rabbinical schools of the day. This God-appointed academically unqualified principal told skeptical inquirers repeatedly that He could do nothing of Himself and that He was dependent upon His father for all He did and taught.

The school of which He was principal and instructor, Master and servant, and at times cook and director of outstation work, had an enrollment of twelve students. They had no prior religious training or experience. Some were but crude fishermen. One of the twelve failed. He was a thief and committed suicide before graduation. Another cursed and swore in his senior year. It was an open air Bible School, so life was hard. Meals were uncertain and irregular. Occasionally when they returned from an outstation assignment dusty and weary, classes were called to order. Sometimes they were held on the grassy ground, sometimes on a beach, or even on the stormy sea.

No sensible person would suggest that we should follow the same primitive standards. But their consideration serves to show the lowly means which God used to bring about events profoundly affecting the eternal destiny of countless multitudes and the entire course of the world history. It further shows that factors other than those inherent in the means themselves were responsible for these results. It is certain that no person seeking the same accomplishments would have selected the same means. None of us, had we lived in those days, would have believed that such a primitive Bible School with such a small and crude student body with inexperienced and academically untrained leadership could possibly accomplish such phenomenal results. Most assuredly, God did not use man’s means. Most assuredly, that school was a non-accredited school from every angle. In fact, it was a discredited school. Its principal was the object of hatred by the ecclesiastical sectarianists and the subject of controversy by the multitudes. He was arrested by the authorities on false accusation and finally put to death as a criminal. The graduates of this school were persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and executed. All things natural were against this school and its graduates. Yet, in the words of their own enemies, they turned the world upside down, although they could have said, “Right side up.” Far from having their works and words neutralized and their name obliterated from the memory of man, their works and words are covering the face of the globe in more volumes and languages than any other book, and their names are revered by more people than those of any other person in history. God used the humblest to accomplish the greatest end and “hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence” (I Corinthians 1:27-29). God does not limit Himself to man’s means.

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