No society can develop without intelligence. The most advanced human communities are intelligence-based. Which makes one see the deep import in the mandate of Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply.” Genesis 1:28. The “be fruitful and multiply” mandate is impossible without intellectual capacity. It’s not just about procreation. It points to the organisation and development of human society. For man to develop into a self-sustaining community brains must be networked, knowledge must be mined. A nation that jokes with education is not going to develop. It’s an impossible dream. There can be no development of society without the development of the mind.
The first impression of God in scriptures is that of a brilliant mind – a scientist. Creation was science not magic. It’s why we can access nature through science. If creation was magic we will not be able to access it through science, we will be accessing it through mysticism. Yes, God is almighty. Yes, God is all powerful. But he chose a first impression of an intelligent being – a scientist. He’s mighty in Genesis based on his intellectual heft.
But the scriptures actually tell us the creator in Genesis was Jesus: “He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.” John 1:2-3 NLT. In other words, the first manifestation of Jesus in scriptures is that of a brilliant mind, a scientist. The first manifestation of Jesus in scriptures wasn’t Saviour. Salvation was a remedial programme that came about as a result of the Eden political crisis. Adam sold out. His generation needed political and constitutional rescue. Since the community of the first Adam was expected to develop through application of intelligence it is quite logical that the community of the Last Adam should also develop through intelligence. 1 Corinthians 15:45.
Development of the community of the Last Adam is one of the reasons God raised Paul. Paul was an intellectual. It’s why he was assigned two-thirds of the New Testament. Paul had base capacity the Holy Spirit could work with. Peter couldn’t do the work. He had intellectual limitation. Peter would go on to state that some of Paul’s writings were recondite. They were deep, arcane and difficult to understand. The ignorant (read people lacking intellectual sophistication) got Paul’s letters twisted up: “This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.” 2 Peter 3:15-16 NLT.
This passage – 2 Peter 3:15-16, clearly implies the rest of scriptures are elevated stuff, not simple stuff. Scriptures are of high intellectual content. So erudite was Paul that as he addressed Porcius Festus the Roman procurator on Christian faith, Festus interrupted with a shout and called him crazy: “Paul, you’re crazy! You’ve read too many books, spent too much time staring off into space! Get a grip on yourself, get back in the real world!” Acts 26:24 MSG. In ancient Rome a procurator was an officer entrusted with the management of the financial affairs of a province.
It was through Paul we learnt about typology in theology. Paul’s preferred expression was “shadows”: “So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17 MSG.
We learnt theological allegories through Paul. In Galatians 4 he interprets the story of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah. “Now these facts are about to be used by me as an allegory, for these women can represent two covenants; one covenant originated from Mount Sinai where the Law was given that bears children destined for slavery; she is Hagar… But the Jerusalem above that is, the way of faith, represented by Sarah is free; she is our mother.” Galatians 4:24-26 AMP.
It was Paul who came up with the administrative organogram of the Church, whilst also letting us in on Satan’s organogram. 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Timothy 3; Ephesians 6:12. Clearly the Holy Spirit is intellectual, or he couldn’t have inspired the writings of Paul.
Now, here’s an interesting fact seems to elude us as we read scriptures. Of the nine gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, six are intelligence-based. By intelligence is meant information gathering, information supply, information processing and channel capacitation. This includes capacity to discern counterintelligence operations. The nine gifts of the Spirit are:
- Ability to give wise advice
- Special knowledge
- Great faith
- Gift of healing
- Power to perform miracles
- Ability to prophesy
- Ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit
- Ability to speak in unknown languages
- Ability to interpret unknown languages
Ability to give wise advice, special knowledge, ability to prophesy, ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit, ability to speak in unknown language, ability to interpret unknown languages are all “intelligence-based.” Tongues is essentially encrypted messaging. Requires a code to break. The Bible says it’s a mystery. 1 Corinthians 14:2. The gifts of the Spirit says a lot about the personage of the Holy Spirit. He has all those intelligence capacities.
The disdain of intellectual capacity in certain Christian circles should therefore be worrisome. Without intellectual capacity we cannot properly interpret scriptures. Many things will elude us. The devil takes advantage of the ignorance of Christians. He’s heavily invested in counterintelligence. Ephesians 6:11 AMP tells us to put on God’s armour to be able to withstand the “schemes and the strategies” of the Devil.
It is intellectual sophistication that lets us know which commands in the Bible are culture referenced. Some are dispensational, some are historically relative and some are absolute. The command to love your neighbour is absolute, but rules of fashion are culture-referenced. Scarfs for example were symbols of matrimonial status. The command is culture referenced. That Jesus didn’t drive a car and never subscribed to Facebook doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. There’s historical relativism. God does not expect us to ride donkeys to work because Jesus rode a donkey.
Jesus is not called the Logos for nothing. He’s the mind of God. We have the mind of Christ, we have the capacitation of the Spirit. You need the intellectual resourcery of the Spirit to access scriptures. Scriptures are coded.
We cannot even read scriptures without literacy and numeracy capacity. Therefore, when God reduced scriptures into writing he was pointing to a modicum of development expected of human society. God wants society to be literate and intellectually developed.
There’s nothing in scriptures that says the gifts of the Spirit are limited to church service. The intelligence-based gifts of the Spirit are particularly useful to Christians in school, and in the business and professional worlds. There’s a reason the Spirit became distributed intelligence. The Holy Spirit went mobile to break the limitation of geography. We are carriers of God’s Spirit. To limit the gifts of the Spirit to twenty minutes during church service every week is a gross underutilisation of extreme capacity. The efficiency ratio is practically nil. It gets worse when you factor in the fact possibly 99% of the church do not exercise the gifts of the Spirit save speaking in tongues, and even that is limited. We rely on pastors. What a waste!
The gifts of the Spirit are as applicable to secular scenarios as they are to church scenarios. The Holy Spirit wants to help you in your business, wants to help you in school, and wants to help you in your professional calling. A lot depends on the kind of relationship you want to have with the Spirit. Daniel, Meshach, Shedrack and Abednego accessed God’s Spirit for political solutions.
The demonstration of the Spirit is not always or necessarily preceded by drama. And the Spirit is not particularly enamoured with the 17th century English we tend to prefer for prophecy. That’s us. We somehow believe 17th century English confers gravitas on prophecy. That probably comes from our infatuation with the King James Bible. Was published 1611. God is accommodative of lingual stylistics apparently.
Paul wrote about “the various ways God’s Spirit gets worked into our lives.” “This” he said, “is complex and often misunderstood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable… God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can.” 1 Corinthians 12:1-3 MSG. Intelligence matters.
An unthinking, unquestioning and unenquiring generation of Christians is a danger to the faith and a danger to their nation. A developed mind repudiates the drawing of wrong conclusions from scriptures in sermons. It spots logical errors. An intellectually developed laity holds pastors accountable to scholarship. An intellectually developed generation guarantees the future of their nation.
If you’ll like to receive Jesus into your life please pray this prayer: “Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Father please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.”
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org.There can be no development of society without the development of the mind. Click To Tweet