When we first come to the LORD our heart is soft and open, truth has no problem finding its way to our heart and Christian living, but as we go on in the LORD there seems to be a spirit that begins to grow in us and if not careful it can move us out of God.  Now it is strange that this spirit gets its origin from the hearing of the word of God. Truth not applied correctly leads to misunderstanding which leads to misapplication which can lead someone out of God quickly unless they become teachable.  I have seen this in many Christians over my many years and personally I have seen it in my life at times.  This is a very dangerous area in the LORD to get over in.  And yes it is more dangerous than presumption; presuming you know the truth, but in reality you are wrong. There is a big difference here: when one is unteachable they know the truth (they get it), but they do not apply the truth correctly in their understanding and the misapplication causes them to be in error and as time goes on to err – to wilfully to lead someone astray (have it be family, friends, or church) in their daily walk with the LORD and man. Paul gave Timothy some great advice we all must take heed to, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16) But sadly early on in church history Nicolaus of Antioch (Acts 6:5) who gave his name to a group in the early church who sought to work out a compromise with paganism to enable Christians to take part without embarrassment in some of the social and religious activities of the close-knit society in which they found themselves. It is possible that the term Nicolaitan is a Graecized form of Hebrew for Balaam, and therefore allegorical, the policy of the sect being likened to that of the Old Testament corrupter of Israel (Numbers 22). In that case the Nicolaitans are to be identified with groups attacked by Peter (2 Pet. 2:15), Jude (11), and John (Rev. 2:6, 15 and possibly 2:20-23) for their advocacy within the church of pagan sexual laxity. Early Christian references in Irenaeus, Clement, and Tertullian suggest that the group hardened into a Gnostics, a term derived from the Greek word “gnoµsis” which means knowledge. Until modern times it was applied exclusively to a body of heretical teachings denounced by the church Fathers in the early Christian centuries.  In other words these folks started their own religion and their own teachings the words delivered by Paul and the disciples were not good enough for them.  And why?  They were unteachable.  The words, means, and methods of God changes NOT, but what changes is the thinking of man.  The Nicolaitans were seemingly a class of professing Christians who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness abusing Paul’s doctrine of grace.  God’s view (we should always be concerned what God’s view is) of the Nicolaitans was, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”  (Revelation 2:14-15)  In 2 Peter we really get a good look at God’s dislike for the Nicolaitans,  “which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.” (2 Peter 2:15-18) God hates the doctrine and He hates unteachable (read the Bible) people they are ungrateful, selfish, and self-righteous caring only for themselves. Yes, God desires none to be lost (2 Peter 3:9), but at the same time the Bible says Hell expands (Isaiah 5:14) its border daily.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article the unteachable Christians gets their origin from the word of God and believe it or not there is a heart condition progression that one follows from a soft heart, to a know-it-all heart, to an unteachable heart, ending with a hard heart and out of God if not careful.  Surprisingly enough it is the word of God that is the beginning point of the drifting away from the truth and the misapplication that ends in a hard hearted Christian.  There is a process you can track, sadly I have seen it sadly I see it today.  When we all come to the LORD He gives us a new heart for Him and His ways it is a soft, pliable, and workable heart that God can get some truth into.  The soft heart is the “good ground” for the planting of the word of God and the more our hearts stay soft, humble, and contrite before God and man the more of God’s truth and revelation He can get into us.  The softer our heart is toward God and man the less likely we will become unteachable, but strange as it may seem the longer we go with God and the more we start understanding spiritual things the more we think we know something.  I have found the longer I go with God the less I know.  The things I thought I knew (things I would fight to the death for) now I am not sure about. Did you know truth is progressive?  It is not I never learned them, but now God has opened up a new wrinkle to the existing truth to me. The truth has not changed I have changed and now I can handle a deeper understanding to the truth that was once delivered to me.  Unlike the Nicolaitans and unteachable Christians I have not started another sect, started a new church (classic sign of someone in rebellion from a church split), or perverted the truth to family and friends, but allowed my spirit to flow with what God is saying to me.

As we move along in our walk with the LORD we start gathering many things to us and one of those things is knowledge, now knowledge unto its self is good:  to have an understanding of history, timelines, Bible stories, facts, etc. is important to the teaching of the word of God, but they never replace the time spent in knowing God.  Here our character comes into play.  Many people just have (as a character flaw) a know-it-all attitude.  Remember when Jesus saves us from our sins He does not save our character oh no our character flaws must be dealt with by God if we are going to be the minister of the Gospel God intends us to be.  I have a good friend who is a great Bible teacher, but has character flaws (as we all do) and when I was asked by him about one by him I told him the truth and now he does not talk with me.  Take heed to measure your words when telling the truth to Christians. If we are a know-it-all before we are saved then we will be a know-it-all after we are saved.  Here begins the process that if not dealt with by God can lead us out of God. We start gaining knowledge of the Bible and at the same time the LORD begins to share some truths with us well our flesh says, look at me look what I know. Look at me look and what I know is another way of saying look what I know that you do not know.  A know-it-all heart condition is self-centered and selfish seeking more knowledge to puff itself up, they know everything and no one can tell them better, they are usually arrogant and self-serving. When we started our adult Sunday school class in Germany we looked for a teacher who was the opposite of a know-it-all and found Augustine.  God really does not care what you know, but He wants to know how much your care. After some time Augustine went back to Nigeria and another Nigerian Ostia became our adult Sunday school teacher, well from the start things went well, but over time and being put in a position of authority his real character was exposed, well he was a know-it-all no one could suggest anything (not even me) to him without him getting offended and going high and to the right.  After much division in the church I had to remove him from this position and he did the typical thing by causing more strife and tried splitting the church, finally I asked him to the just leave the church and the last we heard he was living with some Italian lady so he could get papers to stay visa free in Germany.  Know-it-all Christians are unstable.  James tells us, “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:” (James 1:7-9) A know-it-all Christian is NOT a “brother of low degree” they are “unstable in all (now the Bible means all here) their ways.” Their unstableness is what presses them into being unteachable the next stop on their way out of God.  An unteachable Christian (any person for that matter) is a know-it-all on steroids. They just seemly refuse to receive sound doctrine, sound advice, sound counsel, anything that is contrary to what they believe.  They too are selfish and self-centered on steroids.  No matter what they will not consider another point of view.  Now in the natural some would say we must not compromise the truth of the word of God, well this is true, but with the unteachable Christian they leave the things of God (assembling with like believers, etc.) for their own beliefs. They stop going to church and start listening to Christian tapes or worse watching Christian TV.  Many sink themselves in to religious studies learning languages, more facts and more information to cover their lack of spiritual contact with God and other Christians.  When we started our Men’s Fellowship at the church we selected a Nigerian named Tony to lead the fellowship, well at first everything was great he did a great job but I noticed he hung around Ostia a lot and soon became a know-it-all.  Bad company does corrupt good morals as the Bible says.  Well as time went on his attitude toward me changed, he stopped coming to church and started watching Christian TV.  He started beating his wife and stopped working.  His heart towards me, our church leadership, and God became hard hearted.  God sent me three times to his home to talk with him about coming back into fellowship with his family (who we had to rescue), his Christian brothers and sisters, and God, but he refused. The last we heard of Tony was he took his own life and the German authorities cremated his body.

My friend it a dangerous thing to walk this know-it-all and unteachable path, it is not God’s intention for us.  God desires we walk with Him with a soft heart, humble, and contrite (will we always no we will not), but we must take heed to ourselves not to get over into an unteachable spirit that leads to a hard heart and out of God faster than sin. I am speaking from experience.