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Old 09-06-2008, 06:42 PM
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George George is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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Default Re: Brother Forrest's Inquiry

Originally Posted by Forrest View Post
Brother George, like Brother Chette, as I read your post I am humbled and deeply moved with the mercy, grace, and goodness of God which is given to me through Jesus Christ!

Your comments do raise a question. Since I've become a recipient of the New Covenant of promise, by believing and receiving Jesus Christ, how do the Holy Scriptures written in the Gospel of John (one of my favorite books) apply to me? Or do they? Can I apply them as a converted gentile?

Aloha brother Forrest,

Your question is most appropriate, and I will try to answer it to the best of my ability. First off, we are given a commandment to:
[2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.]
  • Study - "the word of Truth"
  • We Study - to seek God's "Approval"
  • Study = "Work" {i.e. "workman"}
  • We Study - so that we won't be "Ashamed"
  • When we do Study - we MUST rightly divide "the word of truth"
{I have checked out dozens of the "versions" in English and this command is absent in every single one that I have looked at.}

Please notice that God did NOT say: "rightly dividing" between the Old Testament & the New Testament; or "rightly dividing" between the Books of the Bible; or "rightly dividing" between the Chapters of a Book. He commanded that when we study God's word, we must work at - "rightly dividing the word of truth". Since the whole Bible equals the "word of truth" (i.e. Scripture = God's words), then we must "rightly divide" the words of God (wherever they are found) and place them in their proper context.

In contrast to Matthew, Mark, and Luke (which present the Lord Jesus Christ as Israel's King; God's Servant to Israel; and God's Man - all about His earthly ministry), the Gospel of John presents Him as God in the flesh, and as such there is much more that can be applied to the Christian than the previous three. However the "WHO" principle always applies to any verse and in any book of the Bible. If a verse can be applied to the Christian without violating a clear Biblical principle applicable to a Christian - by all means apply it. On the other hand, if in making an application to the Christian, it runs contrary to doctrine clearly applicable to a Christian - then don't make the application. {A study of how the Apostle Paul took Old Testament Scriptures and sometimes applied them to Christians and the church is very instructive in this matter).

There is no "magic formula"; or "methodology"; or "theological construct" that one can memorize or adopt in order to study in this manner. That is the "Achilles Heel" of Christian education. Christian educators (Primary, High School, & College) think that God's words, can be taught like any "secular" subject and so they (the educators) try to teach God's principles and precepts, using the same methodology ("Socratic" = Questioning & Doubting) as secular teachers, with the result that there are thousands of "graduates" from these schools who have Bible "knowledge" ("facts" & "data"), but they don't have a love of the Truth, nor do they trust in the Bible as their final Authority. And often times they are practically incapable of "spiritual discernment" because they either fail or refuse to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in "rightly dividing the word of truth", or are so thoroughly "indoctrinated" in whichever "Sect" or "Denomination" that they subscribe to, that all of their "understanding" is filtered through a pre-conceived denominational bias (that may, or may not be true).

God has given us an "outline" on how we are to go about - "rightly dividing the word of truth", and it is found in:

Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and therea little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

This kind of study is wholly dependent on a sincere heart motive to want to truly know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (regardless of the consequences); and the Holy Spirit leading and guiding the believer into the all truth (regardless of what a particular Sect or Denomination may believe).

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." [John 16:13]
1 John 2:20
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

God's Holy word must be studied according to God's commandment [2Timothy 2:15]; and "rightly dividing" must be done according to God's directions [Isaiah 28:10-13]; and then with the "anointing" and "unction" we have received from Him, the Holy Spirit can guide us into all Truth. [1Corinthians 2:1-16]. Does that mean that I know everything there is to know? Of course not! But it does mean that God can show the ordinary, unschooled, Christian (that's me! ) things that Ph d's from Bible Seminaries don't know.

Now that's not a reason to be PROUD, but it is a reason to praise God for his wonderful mercy and wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God 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;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are NOT, to bring to nought things that are:
{That's me! - Verses 26-28}

That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Do you see "our calling" brethren? That sure doesn't describe the average graduate of a "Bible" Seminary! We have confused "worldly wisdom" with the Wisdom of God. We have accepted "worldly standards" in place of God's. We have emulated the world to the point where real spiritual discernment, understanding, and wisdom is lacking in ordinary Christians and especially the so-called Christian "Celebrities" and church leaders.

Perhaps an example of a study I did for most of 2006 and part of 2007 may be of some help. I did a study on the "Biblical" heart - where I set out to learn all that I could about what God had to say about the "heart" that is so often talked about in Scripture (approximately 880 verses). I down-loaded all of the verses with the word heart in them (thanks to Swordsearcher) and ran through all 880 verses several times - collating, categorizing, compiling, and cataloging them. But, in the course of my studies, I discovered that I had to also search out what God had to say about the mind (108 verses), and the conscience (30 verses), all of which I downloaded and did the same as I did with the verses on the heart.

But that wasn't the end of it. In the course of my studies I discovered that the heart, mind, and conscience are all a part of man's "Faculties" - each having a separate purpose and function.

The HEART = our "Motivator"
The MIND = our "Facilitator"
The CONSCIENCE = our "Regulator"

But, that still wasn't the end of it! I then wondered: well what about the soul and spirit of man (since I already know as much about the body as I care to know ), I then searched out all of the verses in the Bible where the word soul showed up (498 verses) and again downloaded all of the verses and
collated, categorized, compiled, and cataloged them also. And finally I did the same with the word spirit (134 verses - separating out man's spirit, in contrast to an animal's spirit; evil spirits; and the Holy Spirit). And from that study I discovered that the three attributes of man (body-soul-spirit): that many Christians are aware of, are what constitutes our "Substance".

The BODY = our "Tabernacle" or "Temple"
The SOUL = our very "Essence"
The SPIRIT = our "Life"

And so, a study that I thought might take me a few weeks, ended up taking several months and literally hundreds of hours, and recently I have thought of some additional material to add to the 235 page study.

Basically I learned that man is a SPIRITUAL BEING {Unlike any other creature in God's creation}, who possess a HEART, a MIND, & a CONSCIENCE (Our "Faculties"); and a SOUL, & a SPIRIT (Our "Substance"); all of which reside within our BODY. And that of the six attributes of man - Five are "Spiritual" (they cannot be seen, heard, touched, tasted, smelled, or felt).

Because of that study I learned a great deal about the attributes of man (His "Substance" & his "Faculties") that has helped me understand myself and others more; and that study has also enabled me to be able to refute the perverse influence of Humanistic psychiatry and psychology that is "leavening" many churches today.

A student in a Bible College or Seminary cannot do this kind of study (He doesn't have the time & all of his studies are already chosen for him - predigested and all laid out in an orderly fashion). Is it any wonder when those of us who have not matriculated come along with something "different" from the "standard fare" that we are treated like pariah's and heretics by the modern day Scribes and Pharisees?

I don't know whether this "ramble" has been of any help at all - I hope it has.

Last edited by George; 09-06-2008 at 06:50 PM.