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Archive for February, 2011

WHICH INTERPRETATION IS RIGHT
In other words, who’s teachings can we trust our eternal destiny with. Some say the average person must rely on the professionals, they include a list of those who they declare reliable.
In looking at teachers there are some things to note. Do they explain the scriptures clearly and easy to understand or do they give complicated explanations. Do they add words or change the meaning of plain statements of Scripture. The Gospel of salvation is plain and simple as given in the Scriptures. God has provided the way of salvation, available to all, through the blood of Jesus on the cross and wants all men to receive His offered gift (2 Peter 3:9)
Anyone who complicates or changes that should not be followed but avoided like the plague. There are some secondary doctrines that good godly men have differences with, but never on Jesus, God and salvation. The bottom line is simple, we must each determine where we stand personally on each doctrine and practice. We may find that we differ on some things with men we hold in high esteem. We must remember two things: first we will each give account to God for ourselves, second the Holy Spirit has promised to be our teacher(1 John 2:27). It rest on each of us to be students of the Bible, the Word of God and not just students of what other men teach. Our goal is to know what the Bible itself says (2 Tim 2:15).
Finally its personal, remember the true God of the Bible, who loves us does not make the important things difficult. The professionals, the religious leaders were the ones who rejected Jesus when He came.

Some guidelines for study:

Read the passage five times
Note repeated words or thoughts
Outline the passage
Determine a title for the passage
Choose the main verse
What is the main thought
What questions do you have from the passage
What if any action are suggested for you to take.

Suggested books:
Webster’s dictionary
Bible Concordance
Whole Bible commentary

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Trusting the Bible

Let’s just trust the Bible as written.
Want to share the following article I came across last night while going through some of my files, it was written twenty three years ago.

THE LETTER An Allegory
Chris was lying on his bunk with his head propped up on a pillow, reading a textbook, when his roommate, Ernest, came in with the mail. “Here, Chris,” he said, “this is for you.” “Thanks, Ernie,” Chris said as he took the letter, opened it, and carefully read it to himself.
Dear Christopher,
Your mother and I are very pleased that you decided to go to college and complete your education. We have agreed to give you complete financial support so you will not have to spend time
Perplexed, Chris folded the letter, returned it to the envelope, and started for the door.
“Where are you going?” Ernest asked.
“I’m going to see my professors about the meaning of my father’s letter.”
“But, if it’s from your father, why. . . ?”
The door slammed and Chris was gone.
“Well, Christopher,” his history prof said, studying the letter, “your father seems to want you to improve yourself. But I have to have a little more information about your family background to interpret the letter properly. When he says “improve yourself is he referring to your educational opportunity, or is he perhaps concerned about your social standing or your financial security? If you could just provide me with some more environmental information, I’m sure I could help you decipher the letter.”
Chris stared at the man and shrugged. “Thanks anyway, Professor,” Chris said, and left the office. His next stop was his philosophy professor’s study.
“Will you help me interpret this letter?”
“Be glad to,” the Ph.D. said. “Let’s see. ‘Many students waste their time.’ That’s an interesting concept. What is time? Today was tomorrow yesterday, and tomorrow will be today tomorrow. So you see time is constantly changing. As for wasting it, how is it possible to waste something that is always with us, and is constantly changing? You see, your father is simply stating an opinion that he wants to share with you. It is interesting reading, but don’t draw any definite conclusions until you have read a lot of other concepts. You need a broader base of information for your full development.”
“Well, yeah . . . thanks,” Chris said, a bit bewildered, as he left the teacher’s study.
Next stop, the theology department.
As the theologian slowly read through the letter, he frowned.
“My, my!” he exclaimed. “I’m sure your father didn’t mean to frighten you, but he does have some serious inconsistencies in his letter. He closes his epistle, ‘With all our love,’ and yet he also says, ‘We will stop sending you money.’ Certainly he can’t mean that. He can’t love you and also withhold anything from you. He also says to stay clear of other students. Yet he wants you to go to all your classes. How can you do that if there are other students attending the classes?
“Come to think of it, I don’t think your father
wrote this letter. Statistics show that the majority of letters written to students are written by mothers to their sons. I think the clue is in the first sentence, ‘Your mother and I are very pleased.’ It appears that your mother wrote the letter and honestly and sincerely signed your father’s name to give it an element of authority. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but you should be made aware of it. I hope that this will be of some help to you.”
“Yes . . . thanks,” Chris replied.
It’s funny, it sure looks like my father’s handwriting, Chris mused as he slouched on his bunk.
Ernest, looking up from the desk, eyed his roommate carefully. “You look confused, Chris.”
“I am,” he answered. “I didn’t know there were so many different ways to interpret a letter.”
“Can I read it?” Ernest asked.
“Sure. Here, take it.”
Ernest carefully read the letter. “Hey, that’s great!” he said. “Your folks are going to pay all your tuition and give you spending money too. You won’t have to scrounge for a job. And your father says that when he retires you’ll inherit his business. Aren’t you excited?”
“Is that what it means?”
“That’s what it says, doesn’t it?”
“Boy, you’re sure smart, Ernie,” he said at last.
Ernest went back to his writing, smiling to himself. He knew he wasn’t all that smart.
—Russell J. Asvitt

28 Discipleship Journal ISSUE FORTY-THREE 1988

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