Who are you following?

Who are you following?  Who are you listening to? Who do you go to for answers to spiritual questions?  Who are you trying to please? If you answer truthfully you will know who you are following.

I don’t want to offend anyone but Jesus Christ (Yeshua) is no longer on earth, and if you are taking directions from man you may wind up in the swamp. Christ was perfect ,no sin was found in Him, He is our example.   Where did we get the idea that as believers we needed man to guide us?  God has provided all the instruction required to live a godly life.  His Word and His Spirit.  The Word is a lamp unto your feet, ( Psalms 119:5) and His spirit will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).

The WCE reports there are over 30,000 different Protestant Dominations today.  This number is disputed by many for various reasons. However, anything over one is too many.  The World Christian Encyclopedia by Barrett,  defines “denomination” as:

An organized aggregate of worship centers or congregations of similar ecclesiastical tradition within a specific country … whose component congregations and members are called by the same denominational name in different areas, regarding themselves as one autonomous Christian church distinct from other denominations, churches, and traditions.

Scripture bears out the fact there is one body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith and one God. (Eph 4:4-6) So why are there so many different denominations?  Could it be because each denomination has been formed by and is lead by man, embracing doctrines derived from their personal interpretation of scripture? This is not to say all Christian leaders are in error.  There are faithful people in all denominations. However, do you want to base your spiritual life on the understanding of natural man? God does not accept excuses for ignorance of His word.  You are responsible for your walk with God based on the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of scripture to you personally.

I’m not saying that membership in local fellowships are wrong they can and should be very encouraging and supportive of one another.  It is when the individual believer lays aside the Bible and follows the instructions of the groups’ leaders alone that problems ensue.  You are an individual; God deals with you as an individual, only God can lead you in the path He created for you.

This article is intended for believers only – especially new believers.  The only access the unbeliever has to the Holy Spirit is when the Spirit convicts him of sin and his need of salvation.  When an unbeliever accepts the witness of the Holy Spirit and accepts the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus Christ on his behalf, the Spirit takes up residence in the body of that individual and will guide you into all truth. Who are you following?

I know I need to study scripture but it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

“Through a diligent study of God’s Word, under the guidance of His Spirit, you’ll drop a strong anchor that will hold in the storms of life.  You will know your God.  And when you know your God, not only will you be strong, but you will do great exploits for Him.”        Daniel 11:32           ~ Kay Arthur

Many times believers give up on studying their Bible citing an inability to comprehend the message of scripture.  This can lead to the belief that something is wrong with them spiritually.  This is not at all true.  Studding  scripture is a lifelong process. It’s not possible for the human mind to comprehend the truths of scripture all at once.  It’s a process and must take place over a period of time – precept upon precept.

“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”  Isaiah 28:10 (KJV)

While acquired knowledge of the Bible is an ongoing process, there are various study methods that have been developed to improve and enhance comprehension.  Years ago I visited the campus of Precepts International in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While there I learned the Inductive Bible Study method. Using the tools of Inductive study,  opened up the Word of God and completely changed the way I view scripture.

Inductive study doesn’t tell you what the Bible means or what you should believe.  Instead, it teaches you a method of studying that can be applied to any portion of Scripture at any time for the rest of your life.  It’s not difficult and can keep you out of the swamp.

If you long to know God and the truths of His Word, you must do more than merely read the Bible or accept what someone else has said about it.  You must interact with God’s Word personally, absorbing its message and letting God engrave His truth on your heart and mind and life.  That is the very heart of inductive study: seeing the truth for yourself, discerning what it means, and applying that truth to your life.

For more information on the Inductive study method get Kay Arthur’s Book on how to study your Bible. Available on Amazon through the link below.

How to Study Your Bible

I’m not a Jew so what’s with this ‘Holy Sabbath?’

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (NAS, Exodus 20:8-11)

There is much that has been said about the Sabbath.  It is the only one of the Ten Commandments not mentioned in the New Testament.  There are those of the opinion that the Sabbath should still be observed on Saturday in the same manner as it was in the Old Testament. However, most observe Sunday as their day of rest.

The Sabbath was a memorial to the Israelites concerning their identity as a people delivered from slavery. It also represented a covenant between God and the Israelites.

And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day. Deut 5:15

The Hebrew word for holy is ‘godesh’ and means ‘set apart’ The Sabbath is also a Hebrew word – its origin is uncertain but most likely is taken from the word sabot which means to stop or cease.  The theological meaning is linked to God’s rest on the 7th day of creation.  Six days he created the earth, and on the seventh, he rested (stopped).  During the weekly Sabbath, the people were to do no work.  It was to be a day of rest.

Seven is a number used in scripture very often.  Some have determined with God it stands for completion.  If you study the many places it has been used – I would be inclined to believe this also.  Seven days in the week, seven years of famine, seven days of unleavened bread, seven days for consecration, seven churches, seven candlesticks, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven feasts, just to mention a few.  Also, there have been six thousand years since creation. There will be a seventh (thousand) called the millennium reign during which the earth will rest from the curse.  After the thousand years are completed the world of today will be destroyed, and a new world created.   Given this interpretation, it would make sense that God set apart the seventh day of creation not only as a day of rest but also to celebrate its completion.

Another observation is that the Sabbath was to be a day of rest, it was not hallowed (set apart) as a day of worship.  Nowhere in scripture was there a certain day set apart only for the worship of God.

In conclusion, Sabbath is a word that implies ‘to cease.’    This day of rest was a sign between God and the Israelites that He, (God) had (sanctified) set them apart from the world.

Scriptures:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:   Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.  Colossians 2:16-17                                                            

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:   Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. Mark 2:27-28  

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!

What are you reading?

“Americans revere the Bible but by and large they don’t read it”       George Gallup and Jim Castelli

“Do you agree with Castelli and Gallup?”  In comparison to other discretionary behaviors, how much time do you spend in God’s Word.

Are you able to use the scriptures to substantiate the foundations of your faith? If not why?   Leave a comment concerning your views.

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!