|April 2014||A Publication of Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships||Vol 05 - Issue 02|
“Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth”
BRETHREN, we must realize that there are certain sound principles of reasoning and Bible study. If we step outside of these in our observation and reading of the books of either nature or Scripture, we will most certainly arrive at wrong conclusions.
I recently saw a picture on a website of a cluster of three stars that astronomers thought was a single star before being able to look at it closer with modern instruments. The author of the website said, “Here is another evidence that God is a trinity.” I had just purchased some bananas, and I was surprised to see that three of them were joined in a triplet banana. I thought to myself, “Does this too prove God is a trinity?” Shall we conclude that God has eagle's wings, because he says he bears us on eagle's wings, or that Jesus is a predator who preys upon his people, because He is spoken of as “the lion of the tribe of Judah”? Certainly not. God is simply showing us His protecting care, and the majesty of Jesus as King of kings. Let us not take God’s illustrations further than He intended, or imagine illustrations where no illustrations are intended. God does not use the stars, but mankind to illustrate the godhead, for he said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”
There is also the danger of our interpreting the Scriptures in a super-literal way, beyond the accepted rules of communication. The following Scripture is a perfect example:
“The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose” ? Ecclesiastes 1:5
It should be clear to all what Solomon meant, yet some might argue that we should interpret this to mean that it is the sun that actually rises and sets. Was God giving a scientific discourse, or was He simply speaking to us in the language we use and understand? Is it fair to impose upon God a rule which we never impose upon others? Do not we, who live in the “enlightenment” of 2014, also speak of the sun as rising and setting, even when we know scientifically that such is not the case, but rather the earth is rotating on its axis? Of course we do. Let us not be more literal than God.
There is altogether too little attention given to context. Just as we interpret the meaning of others' words by their context, so too we should weigh every passage according to its context. A good example of this type of error is the popular teaching of many evangelical religious groups who isolate the 70th week of the prophecy of Daniel 9 from the other 69 weeks, and place 2000 years between them. Thus making the final 70th week apply to the last days, while the rest of the prophecy is properly applied to Jesus’ first coming. There must always be clear and sufficient Scriptural grounds for whatever means we use to interpret the Bible.
In seeking to share the truth with others, let us not present Scripture in such a way as to make it appear as though it contradicts another Scripture. We must learn how to share truth using Jesus’ methods, not those of Satan. When Jesus was confronted by Satan with Scripture in the wilderness, rather than pitting another Scripture against that which Satan quoted, He instead revealed from Scripture the fallacy of his argument, and his misuse of Scripture.
Often in my experience I have seen people use Satan’s method to “oppose error”. They oppose Scripture with Scripture. It is this spirit which is the root of all the various false doctrines blowing about us, which seek to undermine our faith in inspiration.
I am amazed as I have witnessed many fall prey to diverse doctrines of Satan’s devising (such as the “Lunar Sabbath,” “no date-line theory,” “Sunday sacredness,” “the immortality of the soul,” etc.) which cause people to turn from the plain truths of the Bible (e.g. the Sabbath, the state of the dead, etc.), and thus fail to receive the seal of God in this sealing time. These “doctrines of devils” lead people to believe contrary to the word of God, and so in their efforts to uphold their “belief” they pit text against text. But, let us remember that inspiration does not contradict itself. Neither God, nor His Word are divided.
Let us therefore beware lest we seek to sustain some cherished opinion, and so fall into these errors of abusing God’s Word.
May we always remember the admonishment of Paul to Timothy to “rightly divide the word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
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Think on These Things - Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Brethren, we must realize that there are certain sound principles of reasoning and Bible study ...
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Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships is an association of Sabbath-keeping groups, which through web & tele-conferencing provides means for study, fellowship, and jointly organized missionary projects.
Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships:
P.O. Box 262, Laconia, NH 03246, U.S.A.
Phone: 530 708-2381
Chief Editor: David Sims
Assistant Editor: Thomas Akens
Proof-reader: Alice Fredrick
Layout: Thomas Akens