When I read passages such as Isaiah 55:7-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
How are we to understand the Potter if we are mere clay? How does He expect us to understand, apply and live His Word in this light? Why would He hold us accountable if His ways are completely unlike our ways? I believe that God has given us EVERY resource available for spiritual salvation and comprehension. It is up to us to accept the RESOURCE that He has given.
Only the Spirit of God can discern things of the spirit. Without the Spirit of God, we are left in our own limited five senses, in which the things of the Spirit seems to be "foolishness" to us.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. - 1 Corinthians 2:11
But 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. - 1 Corinthians 2:14
Christ emphasized the expediency of his ascension, that the Comforter may come, which is the Spirit of Truth. John 16:7 When we accept this Heavenly resource through faith in Jesus Christ. This is what we have; the power of the Holy Spirit of the Living God dwelling upon us.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. - 1 Corinthians 2:12-13
Every Believer has access to that "degree", the degree is only manifested first by faith, and then upon submission of one's self to it. This "degree" is given freely by God to all those who believe, not just pastors, preachers, bishops, bible scholars etc. etc. The myth that only men/women of God can only understand the Word and/or are qualified to read it is erroneous in the fact that the Word clearly states that the Spirit is freely given to us of God!
We all very well know through common sense and our reading of Scripture that there are "false prophets" aplenty this day and age. Only God, His Spirit knows who His people really are, if we choose to walk after the Spirit, we too can discern the true from the false. Romans 8:1; 1 John 4:1-2
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God - Romans 8:14
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. -1Corinthians 12:3
Is it wrong to learn the Word of God through pastors and ministers. Absolutely not! But it is the responsibility of every Believer to seek out the Word through the Spirit PRIMARILY. In doing so, you will:
- Develop an intimate relationship with the Lord through the fellowship of His Son (I simply cannot stress enough importance on this) - 1 Corinthians 1:9
- Be able to discern spiritually, the false from true - 1 John 4:1-2
- Hold pastors, leaders of the church, accountable for what they preach from the pulpit.
- Very possibly save the soul of a "teacher" of God's Word (who has gone astray) from judgement Matthew 18:6
Growing in a relationship with Him is a process. It's a process that requires faith and consistent reading of the Word. James 1:5-6 All of these things manifests itself in due time. James 1:3-4
All italics and caps are mine.