You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free
[Image on right: with acknowledgement to Dan Lietha]
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THE BIBLE IS INCORRUPTIBLE IF INTERPRETED CONTEXTUALLY!
Only the “entirety of God’s Word is Truth,” (Ps. 119:160.) This means the Bible should be read, interpreted, and understood according to the entire context of both the Old and the New Testaments, or Covenants. To surrender our minds to uncontextual, and thus to unscriptural teaching, is to surrender to manmade religion, not the truth of God’s Word. Such careless shortsightedness will cause us to “perish through a lack of knowledge” of God’s real Truth, or of Christ Himself, Who does not merely speak the Truth, but Is the Truth. Manmade doctrines will result in “having our understanding [of God’s Word, will, and the leading of the Holy Spirit] darkened,” which, in turn, “will alienate us from the life of God, because of the ignorance [in our minds] and the blindness of our hearts…” (Jn. 14:6; Eph. 4:17-24.)
Someone wisely said, “Searching Scripture is not a matter of knowledge, [‘higher or secret’ mind-knowledge, or atheist ‘gnosis,’] but of [true, eternal, spiritual] life!” The reason? Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Truth, The Light, The Life, and The Way, Who is God Himself, declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but [the truth of] My words will by no means pass away,” (Mark 13:31; Col. 2:9-10.)
Sadly, in our day, the truth of, and obedience to the full context of Biblical Scripture is progressively exchanged for “Rhema” or the spoken word: so-called “revelation knowledge,” which does not fit into the entire context of Biblical truth. Such extra-Scriptural ‘revelation’ usually comes from self-ordained ‘angelic’ apostles and ‘prophets’, where reliance on the True Word of Christ is replaced by the false authority of so-called ‘divine’ christ-men and women, who bind people to lukewarm religious comfort zones, false church systems, and false spiritual authority.
SALVATION, REDEMPTION AND BLESSING IN CHRIST IS OUR OWN PERSONAL CHOICE AND RESPONSIBILITY
In discerning between Scriptural truth and false teaching, thus allowing God to protect us against deception and false spiritual manifestations, we need to accept our personal responsibility to obey the full context of God’s Word, which commands us to ‘flee from immorality; flee from idolatry; flee from the love of money…’ flee from false teaching, false teachers, and false spiritual manifestations! (1 Ths. 5:21; 1 Jn. 1:1-4.)
God never commanded us to join falsehoods of any kind, or to try to change idolatrous church systems by becoming members of their organizations, (2 John v. 9-11; 1 Tim. 3-5; 11-12; Eph. 5:15-21; Col. 3:14-17.)
John explained in 2 Jn. 9-10, ‘Whoever… does not abide in the [full contextual truth of the Bible,] the [real Gospel] of Christ, does not have God. He who abides in the [entire truth of the Word] of Christ has both the Father and the Son.’ In 1 Jn. V. 10, John commanded, ‘If anyone comes to you and does not bring [the full truth of the Scriptures,] the [true teachings] of Christ, do not receive him [or her] into your house [as a fellow believer,] nor greet him [as a child of God,] for he who greets him [religiously,] shares in his evil deeds.’
THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, CAME TO “LEAD US INTO ALL TRUTH”
“All truth” always pertains to the entire contextual truth of God’s Word, as well as to the entire truth concerning our particular situations in this world.
Consequently, the Spirit will never lead us outside the protective, punitive Word or will of God, which can only be understood according to the truth of His entire Word.
Nevertheless, Christians claim to be ‘Bible believers,’ therefore, we need to understand what true, Scriptural faith, and real Scriptural obedience actually mean.
We can never separate the Spirit, or the works and gifts of the Spirit, from the truth of Scripture. Real understanding of Scripture, which results in true faith and Moral-Law obedience to God, (Jn. 13:34,) is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, not merely of the human mind – although our minds, (logic thoughts, free will and intelligence,) are never excluded in discerning truth from error, (Rom. 12:1-2.) Hence, Paul commanded not only to be “filled with the Holy Spirit,” [or to allow the indwelling Holy Spirit free reign over us,] but also to allow “the Word of God, (Who is Christ Himself,) to dwell [or live in us] richly in all wisdom…” (Col. 3:16.)
To be able to have the Holy Spirit and His Word live and work steadfastly in and through us, we must be continually renewed or transformed in our minds, (actually, our thoughts,) through studying and obeying the Scriptures soberly and prayerfully in the teaching and revelation of the Holy Spirit, (Rom. 12:1-3.)
The word “conformation” does not reflect this type of spiritual renewal and faith in Christ. ‘Conformation’ means to submit to, and to join the man-made doctrines of a particular church without ever understanding the deep, spiritual truth of God’s Real Word. In Rom. 12:1-2, Paul explicitly forbade “conformation to the [religious] world.”
It is foolish to believe that the Spirit will manifest Himself in ways that violate God’s contextual truth, our God-given free will and intellect, and our Holy-Spirit gift of discernment, (Rom. 12:1-3; 1 Cor. 14:32-33; 1 Pt. 1:13; Jam. 1:21-22; 1Pt. 5:8-9. ) The Holy Spirit of Truth will never lead us into false doctrine, disobedience to the contextual truth of Scripture, chaotic spiritual manifestations or, as found in traditional Catholicism and Protestantism, the lack of Scriptural manifestations (or the Gifts) of the Holy Spirit.
ABOUT ‘TESTING THE SPIRITS’ AS GOD COMMANDED
God commanded in 1 Jn. 4:1, and therefore our obedience to this vital protective commandment is not optional: “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, [according to the contextual Word of God,] to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets [and teachers] have gone out into the world.”
He also commanded in Mt. 24:4-5; 23-27; Lu. 17:20-24, “…Take heed [be on your guard] that no one deceives you. For many will come in My Name… and deceive many… If anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it… The kingdom of God does not come with observation… For indeed, the kingdom of God is [constantly] within you, [meaning in the sincerely born again disciples of Christ...] The days will come when you will desire to see one of the [miraculous] days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. [Not because true signs and miracles have ceased as traditional churches teach, but because the end of the end-times will be typified by deception and false signs and miracles!] And when they say to you ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ DO NOT go after them or follow them… ”
As soon as we accept teaching, prophecy, miracles, etcetera without asking who is speaking into our human spirits and souls (or minds,) and what are is actually said and done, we open ourselves to deception.
· Our only reliable measure in the spirit world where human eyes cannot see, (pertaining to Biblical teaching, all spiritual manifestations, and to every other area of life,) is the entire truth of Scripture; the “lamp unto our feet.”
· Mere feeling and human trust will surely deceive us. Therefore, ‘good feelings’ and human beings by themselves and according to manmade religious structures, cannot lead us into all truth. For instance, when Roman Catholics knowingly or unknowingly worship ‘Mother’ Mary as the Holy Spirit, most never ‘feel’ condemned. This proves that we cannot test the spirits through our feelings and/or by the insistence of church clergy to submit to church doctrines and ceremonial practices.
· Someone wrote that it would be foolish to test a spirit by asking God, “Father, if that strange manifestation is not of You, please do not allow me to laugh hysterically, be slain (or killed) in the spirit, etcetera, when they lay hands on me or pray over me.” Such a prayer for protection, whilst disobediently entering into danger and chaos, would be as foolish as to ask God ‘not to allow’ you to steal when presented with the opportunity, while the entire context of His Word forbids you to steal, because stealing, lying, etcetera, violate the commandments of the Moral Law of Christ, (Mt. 23:36-40.)
All manmade ideas and doctrines will lead us astray. However, if we truly follow Jesus, The Truth and The Light, we will never walk in darkness, just as Jesus had promised! (Jn. 8:12.) Paul taught in Eph. 4:8-17, “You were once in darkness, but now you are in the light of the Lord. Walk as children of light… And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them… See then that you walk circumspectly, [carefully,] not as fools but as wise… Therefore, understand what the will of the Lord is.”
THE TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE APPLIES TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
· Could the Bible be false “because mere humans wrote the Bible, and the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Reformers corrupted and compiled the Bible books according to their church beliefs?”
Not a single truth of Jesus’ Word will ever perish, as He had promised, despite the fact that Old Testament, as well as New Testament priests and scribes have tampered with God’s Word. Hence, Jesus said to the Old Covenant Pharisees, “[You] make the Word of God of no effect through your tradition, which you have handed down. And many such things you do,” (Mark 7:13; Mt. 15:6-9; Col. 2:8.)
Many people do not realize that God did not use any of the Bible writers as computers or secretaries. The Holy Spirit inspired God’s authors to write the Scriptures on paper; He did not dictate every word to them. So, early Bible writers certainly interpreted God’s inspired Word and the historic events of, (for instance,) Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection in the light of their Hebraic views. In addition, it is a reality that some ‘discrepancies’ can be found in both Old and New Testament Scripture because Roman Catholic and Protestant church clergy also manipulated the Scriptures to justify their doctrines, just as pastors and ministers of all sorts are still doing today.
As a result, the Bible, as any other book, cannot be interpreted verse-by-verse. It would be futile to seek the truth of Scripture (or anything else) by focusing on certain verses from the Bible without considering the “entirety” of Biblical truth — while that is exactly what all Christian denominations do.
Such ‘inconsistencies’ actually prove the validity of the Scriptures because overall, (or studied in the context or entirety of Biblical Scripture,) the truth and accuracy of God’s Word remained completely untainted, just as Jesus promised it would be, (Mark 13:31; Ps. 119:160.)
Nevertheless, it is shockingly true that everything the mother of all Christian churches, the Roman Catholic Church, touched, (referring to Christian doctrine, church forms, norms, unscriptural sacraments or ‘salvation’ through church rituals, etcetera,) were tainted by, and derived from the Vatican’s ‘Christianization’ of barefaced paganism.
Sadly, Protestants such as Luther and John Calvin did not repent from Roman Catholic witchcraft, but simply “reformed” the most important doctrines of Roman Catholicism to suit their taste. Thus, the Reformers’ doctrines, churches, and hierarchies mimic Roman Catholicism to this day. In the process of ‘reforming’ from Roman Catholicism, Protestant leaders also changed, added, twisted, and omitted many verses from the original Scriptures to match their false doctrines, as evidenced in comparison between old and new translations of the Bible.
· In studying the Scriptures, we need to ask continually, How does a particular Bible verse, chapter, epistle, or book fit into the rest of Scripture? For instance, was it written for Old, or New Testament believers, or can a particular verse or passage relate to both the Old and New Testament dispensations, or Covenants?
Confusing the two separate Testaments or Covenants of the Bible with each other led to almost all false doctrine, and caused denominationalism (or divisions) in the Christendom. When studying the Bible, we must remember that the Old and New Testaments are two completely different and separate Covenants. In the Old Testament, everything pertained to the physical nation of God, the Old Hebrews; the physical Hebrew temple with its physical, hierarchical priesthood, ritual and sacramental laws and sacrifices, etcetera. In the New Testament, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Law, (both the Ceremonial and Moral Law,) in its entirety for all those who would sincerely believe in Him, accept Him personally, and follow Him obediently, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5; Gal. 4:6.) Thus, through the New Testament Covenant, Jesus replaced and spiritualized everything that was physical under the Old Testament Covenant. For instance, Jesus bought with His blood-atonement a newborn, spiritual nation and priesthood from every tribe, tongue, and nation in the world. The New Testament/Covenant temple of God the Holy Spirit now resides in the innermost, born again hearts or spirits of all sincere believers everywhere, and so forth.
· To understand the context of a particular passage or verse from the Bible, it is also vital to ask, What were the writer’s historical/traditional background and his human mindset at the time it was written? How is it relevant to the overall picture of the Scriptures today?
For instance, it is ridiculous to believe that the traditional dress-code, patriarchal and other traditions, customs, and conventional beliefs of Old Testament Hebrews, or even 1st century Hebrews and Gentiles, can be forced upon the 21st century body of Christ, (1 Tim. 2:15; 1 Cor. 11:5.) So, replacing the traditional wearing of a veil with the wearing of a hat is silly, to say the least. Salvation in Christ under the New Testament Covenant has nothing to do with outward things such as ceremonial veils, hats, and clothes, (1 Cor. 11:10-16.)
More importantly, the traditional but unscriptural belief that ‘women are saved through childbearing,’ (1 Tim. 3:15,) does not fit anywhere in the contextual truth of the Gospel, which proclaims that every human on earth must be saved through personal faith in, and obedience to the contextual, New Testament Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Jn. 1:12-13; Mt. 7:7-27.)
· Every believer must know that all sincere believers in Christ are children of God through their personal and sincere faith in, and acceptance of Jesus. Paul also wrote, “There is neither Hebrew/Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are ALL one in Christ Jesus.” (Jn. 1:11-13; Gal. 4:6.)
· Contrary to common teaching, in the context of the New Testament Covenant, it is completely unscriptural to believe that women should submit to all men unreservedly; that God does not call women as pastors, teachers, etcetera, and that the “church” is the “house of God,” (Acts 7:47; 17:24.)
· Should we believe that New Testament believers are blessed by paying tithes to a physical replica of the outdated, Old Testament temple? (Heb. 8:13; Chapters 7-10.) Or should one simply accept the truth of God’s contextual, New Testament Word, which teaches that Jesus “became a curse” on the cross to atone for our state or position of cursedness without God, (Deut. 28:2-14,) so that we, (as born again children of God,) could freely “inherit” His entire position or state of blessedness, (Deut. 28:15-68,) and so, “inherit,” through our personal faith in Christ, “all the blessings of the believing Old Abraham?” (Gal. 3:10-14.)
September 2016 Facebook Post on the following statement, "Bible writers did not know times would change so much. Thus, the Bible was not written for today."
This is was the topic of a discussion between church leaders on the radio yesterday. It cantered on the "FULL RIGHTS OF GAYS IN THE CHURCH," among other sinful things that have become saintly in our 'modern' world.
However, Jesus Himself declared in Prov. 30:5, "Every [contextual] word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him."
And in Mt. 24:35, " Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My [true] words shall not pass away." 2 Tim. 3:16, "[All Truth, or the entire Bible in context] is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in godliness."
Concerning the proliferation of evil in these last days, Jesus prophesied clearly, "When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in [Lot and] Noah's day" (Mt. 24:37.) Lu. 18:8, "[because of all the countless false teachings and lukewarm acceptance of sin,] when the Son of Man returns, will He find [true] faith on earth?" In fact, we need nothing more in life and in the whole world, than the truth of Go’s entire Word, Who is Jesus Christ, God Himself. Of course, teachers from the Promise Keepers Movement, such as Angus Buchan, etc., sing the same deceptive song as ministers from traditional churches, but in a different way.
Rodney Howard Brown actually states, "Not everything God does in the Bible." And to lure people away from God's truth, they teach, "Don't read the Bible, BE the Bible." However, the truth of all this is that God is the Creator of His entire universe, and He is not bound to human time or false philosophies. The Word which He gave to be our light, can never make US into the light, (although they also say they are christs and gods,) We were called to shine God's light as temples of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Being in Christ does not make “us” christs and gods; true believers wonderfully have the God of all gods IN them. Therefore, we can never BE the Word, as the Word is Jesus Christ Himself, and only in Him, every word is true while they are all liars.
We should not believe and do what is not in God's Word; we should believe and do everything the is true in the full context of God’s Word. The deceptions they are teaching seem to have no end. And all this happens because Christians do not want to take responsibility for their own spiritual lives, and study the Bible for themselves to see if what they are hearing and receiving, is really from God. There is no such thing as a 'little' lie and a 'big' lie, because all lies stem directly from the father of all liars. The following commandments of Jesus in Lu. 11:9, to ask, seek, knock [throughout our whole lives here on earth] to receive from God are VERBS. This means, these are words that show action needs to take place; we have to DO something to achieve or to get something. And Jesus underwrote these commandments with the following promises, "For everyone who asks, receives. He who seeks, finds. And to him who knocks, it will be opened."
Interpreting the Bible or Forcing the Bible to speak?