HOW TO FIND TRUTH IN THE BIBLE
certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master,
we would see a sign from thee.
Not everyone means the same thing when they say they desire to know the truth. They may mean they want to know where the truth can be found, or who preaches the true Words of God from the Bible, or what version of the Bible is most accurate, or what commentator knows the will of God.
I can answer these questions right off the bat: None of the above.
The best way to become lost in fantasy is to take as truth what a theologian, or a preacher, or a commentator says the Bible means.
Ok, so now what? Since there's no one to go to in order to learn the truth, what can we do?
11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 12Therefore many of them believed; (Acts 17:)
Paul praised the Bereans because they studied the Word regularly, and they checked the Word to make sure what he said fit with the Scriptures.
Keep in mind that these New Testament saints only had the Old Testament to study, there was no New Testament as it was still being formulated by the Apostles. These Gentiles had to study what we now discount as not for us today in order to learn the truth. What does that say for our concept that the Old Testament is no longer applicable to those in the Church?
14Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (2Tim 2:)
Vain and profane babblings is what we receive from the pulpit as well as in our commentaries. It's these babblings that cause us to go astray of the truth, and that cause those of us (like me and you, since you're reading what I have to say) to have doubts about the entire Christian faith. It's not the Bible that's in conflict with itself, as it appears to be by listening to those who are supposedly "in the know," it's the doctrines of those who teach us that's flawed. This we find to be the case with those in Jesus' time, and what He was trying to get the religious leaders to recognize and change.
32But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him. 33And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? (Mark 9:)
We read where Paul was glad that people questioned his words. He didn't expect, nor want his listeners to just accept his doctrine blindly as we see happening in the churches today.
In the passage above, and many other times as well, we see the twelve lacking understanding, and either being afraid to ask, or asking and finding their question to be foolish. But regardless of the validity of their question, asked and unasked, Jesus always answered their question. And aren't we glad He did? It's through their foolish questions we get to have our foolish questions answered.
We need to ask the Lord what He means when we read something in the Word that isn't clear to us or sounds like it doesn't belong. And if you don't talk to the Lord, or if you don't think He answers people (as I've heard said in my church, speaking of my saying I do hear from Him), then you have another problem that needs dealt with. And this problem I'm not equipped to help you with.
9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (Isaiah 28:)
The Bible is a self-explanatory instruction manual. It tells us how we're to interpret it, and how to avoid reading it wrongly. It also tells us the dangers of misinterpreting the Word of God.
When we were in school, it was the ones who gave much diligence to the study of the subject being taught who learned the most. Those who were just trying to slide by, to not fail, learned little, and soon forgot what they had learned. It's no different with the Bible. If we're looking for quick answers, or we're not dedicated to finding the truth of God's Word, we won't find it, but instead we'll settle for something that sounds pleasing, and cease to look any farther.
43I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:)
The churches are designed to be instruments of confusion, where everyone is of one mind, and that mind is not to be questioned. No one knows what they really believe, or why they think they believe it. They will point to some preacher, or some commentator, or some book, and they'll say "I believe it because he says it's true." This is not the belief God is looking for.
We need to go straight to God for our answers, not to our fellow man.
15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1Peter 3:)
I'm all too ready to give an answer. We'll, not really an answer, but an opinion. When we're not quoting the Bible, but rather trying to explain what the Bible means, then it's nothing more than an opinion. And this is where the preachers, the theologians, and the commentators fail: they insist that their opinion is fact, something from God. They consider themselves to be the spokesmen of God.
With that out of the way, on to the point of this blurb:
I've been asked what the Bible is really saying. Those who ask have discovered that what they learn from the pulpit has many and vast errors or conflicts. I write a lot about the Bible, and I study the Bible a great deal. And most of all, I'm saying something different than what they preach from the pulpits. Because of this difference, there's a possibility that I might know something that the preachers don't know.
And, of course I do....at least that's my opinion.
And my opinion is all I have to give, so here goes:
I've been putting together a collection of what I've had to say about truth, and how to find truth. I've discovered that most of my studies have been on this subject, to one degree or another. But I tried to refine the list to those most dedicated to this topic. I've re-read most of these stories to see what I've had to say, and I found that for the most part what I've said in each is much like what I said in the others, with perhaps an added element, or with a new twist. Some of the stories and studies are serious, and others are on a rather humorous vein. Below I've made a list of these stories, with a comment given for some:
Below are two rather short stories that in my opinion should be read first. They were the first written, and the stories that started me on a new way of thinking, as well as this web site as it stands today. The two stories are actually one story, broken into two parts for convenience sake. Start with the Rollercoaster, then read Hidden Truth:
This story is one that seems to cause the most controversy, even though in my mind it best demonstrates how the mind of the theologians and pastors can, and do, become corrupted in their purposes. It's loaded with facts, but it seems that fact is not what those in the churches are looking for:
FANTASIES - MAKING DOCTRINE - LUCIFER
The following story concerns the doctrines of the churches, and how they create a group-think mentality that prevents a member of a given church from seeking any farther into truth on their own.
WE BELIEVE - (ARTICLES OF FAITH)
The following stories and studies view the search for truth in various ways. For instance the DRAWING series are a collection of ways to study the Bible by relating the study to an art class. I think you might find this approach rather interesting, especially if you're interested in art at all.
LINE UPON LINE is a rather complete exposition of how I study the Bible. If you're interested in my approach, then this is the story you should read:
DRAWING - CONNECT THE DOTS
FANTASIES - LINE UPON LINE
OVERCOMERS AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
HIDDEN MESSAGES IN THE BIBLE
ROAD TO HELL
SEARCHING FOR TRUTH
LAMP AT MY FEET
The stories below are either quite short, or humorous, or in a lighter vein then the previous articles. They were written with the intent of creating a common experience that we all can relate to, thereby better understanding certain aspects of the churches:
ASK THE THEOLOGIAN - WHO HOLDS TRUTH?
PORTIA'S VIEW - DANGEROUS TRUTH
PORTIA'S VIEW - DANIEL'S QUEST
PORTIA'S VIEW - EXCUSES
PORTIA'S VIEW - LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
PORTIA'S VIEW - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
PORTIA'S VIEW - MURGATROYD - VISION QUEST
PORTIA'S VIEW - MURGATROYD - BIBLE STUDY - PERFECTION
PENELOPE POTTER - HIDING TRUTH
PENELOPE POTTER - TRUTH BY THE NUMBERS
CHECKERBOARD - TRUTH, RARE COMMODITY
OVERCOMERS AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
HIDDEN MESSAGES IN THE BIBLE
WALK THE LINE
WILL O' THE WISP
HEARING FROM GOD
FANTASIES - THE ANSWERS
I SAT WHERE HE SAT
CHRISTIANITY - SHORT FORMI have no doubt but that more stories will be added to this list as time goes on. But for now I'll close off the list and consider this a completed project.
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