August 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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Who Do YOU Trust? 

A television game show was being broadcast, quite some time ago now, that went by the title above.

The show had a moderator and panel which questioned several (usually four) contestants about a topic one of the contestants was involved in or familiar with and the panel was asked at the end of questioning, "Who do you trust?"

A number of game shows have used that format very successfully also because it was an effective way of getting the television audience involved, whether they were actually in the audience or in the worldwide audience via the airwaves.

One of the contestants was required to tell the truth, the others could lie.

In today's societies, lying is a way of life. It is expected and tolerated.

Way back in the sixties there were more than 450 different and differing religions, churches, and cults and their beliefs were supposedly based upon the Holy Word of God, the Bible. Now, I suppose, there are MANY MORE than that with each having a different and differing doctrine or doctrines.

All of these CAN'T be correct!! That means that back in the sixties 449 of these religions were WRONG!! They were wrong about God, about Jesus, and about the Bible. They were wrong about HOW to LIVE and HOW to WORSHIP God. They were wrong about Satan and his demons. They were wrong about one another.

Therefore, the question becomes now, "Who do YOU Trust?" To whom do you look for leadership and guidance in the scriptures? Is it your pastor, preacher, priest, or guru? Have you ever ask yourself if what that man (or woman) is teaching is THE TRUTH? How often do you get into God's Word and really read it for yourself and truly see if your pastor/preacher/guru is telling the truth about what it says and what it has to tell you personally?

I dare say, not very often! I have asked that question of a number of people with varying answers and degrees of interest. Some would use the excuse "I'm too busy to read it for myself, I just go to church and listen to the preacher on Sunday morning to learn what it says." God has something to say about those people.

Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Do YOU let someone else tell you what to believe without checking to see if what you are being taught is true? Is that what you do? Are you too busy to give God some of your time? Do you have a show of piety but live like a pagan?

Many people truly believe they are Christian. Many believe they are worshipping God and Jesus, however they never read the Bible to see if what they are doing is TRUE WORSHIP or if they are worshipping IN SPIRIT.

Jesus had something to say about people who just give Him "Lip Service."

Mat. 7:
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 ∂ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Perhaps you excuse yourself with the statement, "I have tried, but I just can't understand the Bible, particularly that old book of Revelations!" For your information while I have this in mind, there is NO book of Revelations in the Bible! You don't believe me? Check it out for yourself! Just drag that old dusty Bible off the shelf, blow the dust off it and check me out! Or pick up that big old FAMILY Bible off the coffee table (Hey you have it in a prominent place in the house!), blow the dust off it and open to the book of REVELATION! Notice.... there is no S on the end of that word. Why is that? Because, just as it is written at the very beginning of the book, it is the REVELATION of Jesus Christ to His Apostle John.

With that aside, do YOU understand the book of Revelation? Or are you like the majority that excuse themselves with the statement "Hey, it's a mystery! I'm not supposed to understand it!"

Hmmm. Strange. It is titled REVELATION but wasn't meant to be understood?? It DEFINITELY is to be understood by those God is calling today. (John 6:44,65) That gets into some things that I won't discuss in this article but definitely will write about at a later date.

I do agree that it has some seemingly cryptic language that tends to scare many people away, but I have learned a TRUTH in my many years of study that I will pass along to you....for what it is worth.

THE BIBLE INTERPRETS ITSELF!

In fact, scripture tells us that the scriptures are of no private interpretation.

2 Peter 1:20 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."

By extension, that holds true for the rest of the Bible, too. Notice this scripture:

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Yes, we can be led away from God's Truth by our OWN understanding.... OR THE UNDERSTANDING OF OTHERS! If we are getting our "understanding" from a pastor, preacher, priest, or guru... it is certain there is error in his/her understanding!

Why do I say this? Because we are human and humans make mistakes (or tell outright lies to deceive). The thoughts and ways of human beings are MUCH lower than God's ways and thoughts as He states in Isaiah.

Isa 55:8 "For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD."
Isa 55:9 "For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Yes, it is no wonder we only know in part right now.

So I ask again, who do YOU trust?

The ONLY one we should absolutely trust is The Word of God, Jesus Christ!!

Here again, many people have told me, that IS who they trust! However, somewhere during the conversation a particular verse will be recited, and they will say, "Well, I don't know about that. I'll have to ask my pastor (or preacher/priest/guru)."

Yes, rather than praying about the question and getting into The Word of God (the physical word of Jesus Christ... the Bible) and searching for the answer themselves, they unconsciously defer to their "leader", the one who they think is so close to God that they wouldn't tell them a lie, knowingly or unknowingly!

Folks, people lie! Even those in some religious office. There is also the fact that Satan has ministers who "appear as angels of light" deceiving many.

2 Cor. 11:
12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Satan is described this way in the book of Revelation:

Rev. 12:9
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Whether you believe in Satan the Devil or not, he IS there and God's Word says he is a LIAR and the FATHER OF IT !!

Satan is REAL!! Demons (Satan's angels) are REAL! He EXISTS whether you believe it or not and he is out to DESTROY HUMAN BEINGS!! He is a LIAR and a DECEIVER! If you or a religious leader lie, then the scripture below describes YOU!

Joh 8:44 "Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Look people, humans make mistakes. Not only that, their understanding of the Bible is only as good as God allows for He is the ONE who gives understanding.

Scripture proves that in the book of Luke.

Lu 24:45 "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,"

It is through the power of God's Mind (The Holy Spirit) that He "gives us understanding" by placing that MIND (spirit) in us!! Furthermore, God and Jesus are the only beings who can do that! God has NOT given that power to ANY human being!!

God is NOT calling everyone in this particular age. He IS calling a "little flock" who will help Jesus when He returns to set up His Kingdom on the earth.

Re 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

I won't try to explain any more about that at this time but it is a very interesting bible study.

God deals with EACH INDIVIDUAL at the level He determines is necessary for the good of that person. That is why Phillipians says:

Php 2:12 ∂ "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Notice... it is to be done with FEAR AND TREMBLING. God wants us to FEAR to DISOBEY Him and to TREMBLE at His Word.

I ask again, WHO DO YOU TRUST?

Let me take a few scriptures that churches have made into doctrines and see what you think.

Joh 3:13 "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven."

Now that I have quoted that scripture DIRECTLY FROM GOD'S WORD, let me ask the question:

If you believe you are a Christian, where do you go when you die?

Almost everyone answers, "Heaven."

I then would have to ask, "Did you REALLY read AND BELIEVE the scripture John 3:13 that I quoted above? Read it again! Do you believe the scriptures? DO YOU? Who DO YOU TRUST?

It plainly states, "no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven." Then it tells us who came down from heaven!! YES, JESUS who was The Word and who was WITH GOD in the beginning!

Joh 1:1 ∂ "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Joh 1:2 "The same was in the beginning with God."
Joh 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Word was "made flesh" and dwelth among His people, the Jews! Whoops, I know some won't like that FACT, but it is inescapable!! Jesus was a Jew.

The next question I have is "do you have FAITH?" Everyone who professes to be a Christian answers yes.

My next question would be, "where did you get it? Did you work it up yourself? Did you get it by going to church and listening to a preacher? Is it something that a person can do on his own?

Faith DOES come by hearing the Word of God, but it is not something physical. Faith is one of the functions of the Spirit and it is GIVEN to a person BY GOD when they are given the Holy Spirit. Several scriptures come to mind about all this.

Rom 10:17 "So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Eph 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:"

Yes, there it is. Faith is a gift of God that is received whenever a person receives God's Spirit. I must also repeat in this article that God's Holy Spirit is ONLY GIVEN to THOSE WHO OBEY HIM!!

Acts 5:32 "And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit), whom God hath given to them that obey him."

Because of His marvelous Grace, God is willing and eager to grant repentance to all those whom He has called to Jesus. Yes, it is God who starts the sequence of steps to repentance and salvation as is mentioned in the book of John.

Joh 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
Joh 6:65 "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."

God DECIDES who He wants to call using His own criteria. If that person accepts the calling by repenting and being baptized, God then gives His Holy Spirit to that person. That Holy Spirit gives understanding, and saving faith as I have shown above!

Again, WHO DO YOU TRUST?

Are you trusting YOUR SALVATION to the understanding (or lack of understanding) of someone else? Or do you get on your knees, asking God to give you the understanding of His Holy Scriptures so that you PERSONALLY can understand THE WAY of life you are supposed to live in order to be IN that FIRST RESURRECTION?

Friends I have been taught many things, by many people, that I have found to be in error!! How did I find them to be in error? I did as I suggested you do. I got on my knees and asked Our Father to OPEN MY UNDERSTANDING so that I could OBEY Him in Spirit and in Truth!! AND I opened MY BIBLE to see what God wanted me to see!!

I was listening to a taped sermon by one very well-known minister when he made a statement that didn't fit my understanding very well and I had to check it out.

He made the statement that John the Baptist never had God's Holy Spirit! That was a shock and I immediately went to my Bible and concordance to find out, as the Bereans would have done, if this thing was true!

That minister's words and God's Holy Word DIFFERED!

I found in the book of Luke this scripture. See if you think what the minister said was true.

Luke 1:15 "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit), even from his motherís womb."

Let us suppose you are in that minister's congregation and heard that statement. Would you have brought it to his attention? Would you be afraid you would be "kicked out" of the church?

It should be a thought-provoking question! However, God has made provision for this in His Word.

Rom 3:4 "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."

The first thing anyone should do is go onto their knees before God and ask for more understanding and for guidance in how to approach this subject, if indeed it should be approached at all.

Any relationship one has with a fellowship of people is a precious thing. It should be preserved but NOT AT ALL COSTS! If this hinders your faith in God, certainly you should get on your knees often and talk to God about it.

If it does not, perhaps the best way to approach this would be to realize GOD IS IN CHARGE and everything that happens to His Children is for their good.

Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

It could be, and probably is, a test God is sending you to see whether you believe God rather than man. Perhaps He is trying to find out exactly where you stand in relationship to Him. Are you going to accept what some man says is truth or will you accept God's Truth?

If you accept what a man says is truth, and if it is different from what God says, then you have placed that MAN before God in your worship!!! That makes that man your IDOL!!

Are you required to show that man where he is wrong? NO. That is God's job (if that man is a true minister of God)! HOWEVER, if your relationship with that minister is close enough, you might bring up the fact that his statement did not square with God's scriptures, and then see where it leads. Be advised ... you had better KNOW your scriptures!!

We ALL need to realize that God has ALL POWER! (Luke 1:37) He is ABLE to do what He wants to do! Jesus Christ is the HEAD OF THE CHURCH (Eph. 5:23) and IS able to guide and direct body and spirit in the right way if He so chooses!!

What am I saying about all this? The same thing the Apostle Peter said.

Acts 5:29 "Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."

If it comes down to obeying God or man, we ought to obey God rather than man every time!!

Do we have to believe everything some minister preaches? NO. Believe God! If you believe God, you will order your steps in this life and live THE WAY of life God wants you to live! Do we have to leave the fellowship where we have friends and loved ones because of this difference of belief? NO.

However, if what is being taught begins to VEX you, certainly leaving should be taken into consideration. That move demands a lot of prayer and fasting to be sure God wants you to leave. Pray for God's will in your life and then BELIEVE WHAT GOD SHOWS YOU.

Where ever you are... in that congregation or fellowship or in some other group ... God expects you to TRUST HIM AND JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR. He wants your attitude to be one of submission and humility, to them in love, with God and the brethren.

God DOESN'T NEED someone to PROTECT Him or His Word. He is quite capable of doing that Himself. What He DOES need is obedience to His Law and Will in order for Him to bless you and teach you the salvational principles of His Word.

If all the other steps which include repentance and baptism, have been taken, and if you continue to live THAT WAY of life until your death or until the resurrection, YOU WILL BE IN THAT RESURRECTION!

What is YOUR attitude about all this?

Do you love God and Jesus above all? Do you deeply desire to be with Him in His Kingdom?

You know... you ought to obey God rather than man!

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