The following is a set of principles that will assist any student or teacher in understanding scripture better. One of the core messages of Temple Builders is that everyone should learn to trust their relationship with the Holy Spirit as Teacher. Additionally, never allow any teacher to bully you with their interpretation. The Holy Spirit guides you gently into truth, and never force feeds you truth. If you are pressured by the teacher, it may be an indication that you should judge that message.
As you learn this set of principles, it will help you to discern better when you hear doctrinal controversies. The largest benefit I think you will notice is less confusion and more confidence to disagree with interpretations that do not bear witness, and that disregard God’s principles and ways.
We live in a day when teachers are circulating interpretations such as no literal hell/lake of fire, that the church is not the bride, the gifts of the Spirit and apostles and prophets are passed away, as well as countless other errors. I have seen so many teachers play twister with the scriptures that it is pointless to debate such issues. (debating almost never produces fruit). The good news for the student is that God gave us the Holy Spirit to lead us in God principles, enabling us to be priests instead of having to rely on others to give us understanding.
Instead of seeking others’ opinions on the scripture, it is time for the church to rise up as a nation of priests and rightly handle and divide God’s word. The reason many teachers do not teach that you are to interpret is that they do not trust the people with scripture. They think they know better. This is not too dissimilar to the Catholic church of the middle ages.
Context principle is any interpretation of any verse that is determined with consideration of its context, either verse, or passage, or testament context. For instance, I CORINTHIANS 1:10 sets a context of addressing divisions in the church where each person follows their favorite teacher, creating divisions. This context threads throughout 1 CORINTHIANS, so you must keep it in mind as you read through the whole book.
Here is something to noodle on, though. There are no absolutes for some context interpretations. If you look at how an OT scripture was referred to in the NT, you will scratch your head in how it was interpreted. All you have to do is look at scriptures in Isaiah prophesying about Jesus. But as a general rule, the context principle holds up. This is why the Spirit must be your Revealer!
First Mention Principle
The first time a specific word, concept, or topic is mentioned in scripture. Often, the first mention gives a truth in seed form. For example, if we want to understand the symbolism of thunder in the Book of Revelation, we would analyze the first time thunder is mentioned in the Old Testament. Sometimes, you have to lookup the original Hebrew word, not the translated word.
Another example: the first time a sacrifice was when God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve, clothing them. To get those skins, an animal was sacrified to cloth man’s nakedness. REDEMPTION STARTS HERE!
The first mention principle is also more relegated to how it is used more than a word itself. So the word “redemption” is not mentioned when God sacrificed and provided garments of skin, but it is the first mention principle of redemption. God responds to our sin and nakedness by sacrificing, and then by clothing us with that sacrifice. A seed truth such as this starts the thread that weaves throughout scripture. Without this thread, man is blinded to the meaning of scripture.
When interpreting, if you understand the principle of first mention, allowing the Spirit to guide you into truth, you will start seeing these obscure nuggets for yourself. The scripture I gave you above was revealed to me by the Spirit. I had never heard it taught. I saw it by understanding interpretation combined with the Spirit unveiling it to me. You may be the first person on this planet receiving by the Spirit a certain interpretation! Why, because the Spirit chooses the unveiling, not man. The Spirit also picks the season in which something may be disclosed. In the end times, the Spirit is unveiling mysteries in scripture that have been hidden since penned.
The comparative principle interprets by comparing scripture with other scripture. By itself, a scripture can be hard to understand, be taught in an imbalanced way, or interpreted incorrectly. For instance, if we focused only on scriptures about our salvation and God’s finished work on the cross, we would never understand Christian responsibility and God’s goal for us to ACT righteous. Surely, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, but we also have to progress to live it. We have to work out this salvation not just receive it.
A scripture verse never lives alone. Even a Book such as Revelation does not live alone. You must compare Revelation with hundreds of verses in the Old and New Testament, lest you stay confused.
Using tools such as the Englishman’s Concordance assists with this principle by understanding the usage of a very specific Greek or Hebrew word. You are comparing the use of a word in each instance it is used. For example, if we do a Englishman’s search of the KJV word Comforter, we see that it really is not the function of comforting that is defined, it is the function of the Spirit being our advocate, our mediator between us and God for the things of God. If you just searched the word comforter, you would miss this rich truth of the Spirit’s role of disclosing to you as the mediator of truth.
Progressive Revelation Principle
For example, once you understand the Feast of Passover, you can then go on to understand Pentecost and Tabernacle Feasts. God reveals scriptures progressively, building on a firm foundation and constantly building a temple of His wisdom and knowledge on top. Additionally, you must experience these feasts for yourself. If you have not experienced Passover, you cannot go on to Pentecost. If you do not experience Pentecost, you will not mature unto the Tabernacle harvest properly.
A personal example: When I finally understood that the Holy Spirit would ACTIVELY be my Teacher in relationship, I was able to progress to understand the many facets of the Person of Jesus. It was like going from single dimension to multidimensional. As well, when you understand the Old Testament types and symbols, you are enabled to understand the Book of Revelation. If you try to interpret Revelation without the Old Testament, you will end up with very goofy doctrines, which is why today most end time theology has little semblance to truth. But the Spirit is in the process of aligning the hungry with truth that resembles the mind of Christ.
One thing: we are building a temple that must start with good foundations. Let the Wise Architect and Builder direct you in the building activities. Let ministers be used to give you inputs, but the Great Architect must filter all those inputs as to what He wants built, where He wants the materials to be placed, and when He wants it built.
Complete Mention Principle
We have to consider ALL direct references to the topic or concept we are studying. By gathering together all the fragments and combining them, we will see a more complete picture of what God is teaching us.
In a message I wrote called the The 7 Thunders, I found every scripture relating to “thunder” and brought them together. What I discovered blew me away. I did this through a prompting of the Spirit and did not realize that there was a pattern that could only be establish once you brought all the mentions of thunder together.
This principle of interpretation shows that Jesus is the central Person of the Bible. He is the hub of the wheel of truth. All truth are spokes that relate to Him. The written word revolves around Him Who is the living Word. Scripture is a mere signpost that is not the destination. Jesus is the destination.
For example, the entire Tabernacle of Moses represents the Person of Jesus. Jesus is the brazen altar, yet also the sacrifice. He is the lampstand that is made of one piece of beaten gold that represents deity that would once day suffer a the hands of man, yet He is also the Light of the world. Jesus is the central theme of the Tabernacle. It is Christ-centric.
Ps 40:7 Then said I, Behold, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me; AMP …The Bible is not for scholars, it for for those who seek to know Jesus Christ and His ways.
Another example: you have to look at the Book of Revelation as “The revelation of Jesus”, not a book about end times. There is a difference. The book of Revelation is all about Him, and those in Him. Some try to interpret it event by event. They will never figure it out. When you unveil Jesus, you are disclosing His plans and purposes for His people, and then you are disclosing His final culmination of these plans.
If you read scriptures at surface value, you can miss truth God hides from the casual inquirer. You have to dig for God’s gems, and that is an important part of interpreting scriptures. If you assume that the full meaning can be scraped from the top, you will miss God’s detailed truth.
One of the things I invested in years ago and still use is the PC Study Bible. These types of tools accelerate our ability to mine information from a collection of different Bible versions, Bible dictionaries, and language tools. For instance, if I need to drill down on a specific Greek word, the Englishman’s Concordance can help me locate everywhere that Greek word is used. Or, I can use the Interlinear Bible version to see each English word ands its Greek/Hebrew counterpart. Then I can double click and see each definition in the original language.
Coincidences are not the way of God in scriptures. Numbers communicate what God is doing. For instance, 1=God/unity, 2=agreement / division, 3=Godhead / complete testimony, 5=God’s ability, such as grace, power, and gifts, 7=perfection / completion, etc.. Simply start observing numbers as you study.
One way to learn a number’s significance is by looking at how they are used in the Tabernacle of Moses and the Feasts of Israel. So, if we look at the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles week, and the following day of Solemn Assembly, the number 7 and 8 are significant days to God, as well as the 21st and 22nd day of the month. Figure out what occurs on those days and that helps you to define their importance throughout scripture.
- 3 courts in the Tabernacle of Moses
- 7 pieces of furniture in the Tabernacle of Moses
- 3 Feasts of Israel
- 7 events in the Feasts of Israel
- 3 days in the tomb and then Jesus’ resurrection
- 7 days in a week, with the 7th day as a sabbath
- 5 gifts of ministry in Ephesians
- 50th year is the year of jubilee (all debts erased)
- 8 is new beginnings
God uses one thing to represent another. Discerning and discovering links between a biblical symbol and the target thing God wants us to understand enables us to interpret many scriptures that are currently a puzzle to us.
For instance, the incense that is burned in the tabernacle or temple are symbols for the prayers and intercession of the saints of God. The thunder of God represents the voice of God. Something He is saying. Sometimes the thunder has great meaning but we it means nothing to those who do not have ears to hear the voice residing inside.
Most of us understand the symbol principle well because we use it even in our jobs. However, some things in scripture to not appear like they would be a symbol—but they are. For instance, the water in the Brazen Laver is a symbol for the washing of the water of God’s word. But, it is also a symbol for the word of grace that has ability to makes us walk as God’s priests. Some symbols can slip by you.
Prophetic foreshadowings of something to come. A type is an anticipative figure or prophetic symbol. For instance, the Feast of Passover was a type of the cross. The Feast of Tabernacles is directly linked to the Book of Revelation. If one sets to interpret Revelation and has not studied the Feast of Tabernacles, they are missing an entire type needed to rightly divide God’s word. Most end time theology books sitting on Christian bookstore shelves are written by authors who have never even read the Feast of Tabernacles, and many who have no clue that this Feast directly relates to understanding Revelation.
Recently, I heard a minister say the church is NOT the bride of Christ. When you destroy a type, you obscure God’s plan for the end days. As well, you remove God’s picture of intimacy of Jesus with His people. Once you destroy a type, it starts having a domino effect on how you interpret other scriptures.
Types can be an Old Testament person, place, event, function, nation, or a story. Sometimes there is a blending of a symbol and a type. A type is a symbol that prophesies. As well, symbols tend to be component of a compete typical truth that God is teaching. For instance, the Tabernacle of Moses has several symbols that speak of the prophetic cross. Even the encampment and furniture layout were symbols that, when combined, pictures the future cross of Jesus.
Types and symbols are also synonymous with analogies, metaphors, patterns, parables, figures, and other representations.
Plural Meaning Principle
This is an interpretation principle that will keep you sober in handling scripture. This principle I call the “plural meaning principle.” This simply means that God provides multiple interpretations for one scripture. It is wise to first interpret a scripture in its strictest sense first. Then the Holy Spirit may lead you to make that scripture applicable in your life NOW.
An example of interpreting a passage in the strictest sense would be when Paul discussed practices in church gathering that strictly relate to a certain situation, in a specific geographic region, in a definite point in time. We should understand what Paul was trying to say when he corrected or encouraged the church on a given matter. However, its application would cause error if we were to apply Paul’s admonishment literally in our own situation. Most of us know better. However, the Spirit still has a plural meaning that is applicable to you for this week’s dealings in the Lord. You must allow this principle to SPEAK.
Another good example of where we see errors is when someone interprets the Sermon on the Mount as being an old covenant sermon that is NOT applicable to new covenant Christians. The Sermon shows the futility of us being good enough to be righteous. However, there is still applicability for the Holy Spirit to instruct you in walking out righteousness. God does not want you to walk in law, but we need to understand what pleased Jesus then, which will also please Him now. The difference is that we rely on the enablement of the Spirit to please Him, not works or self-empowerment.
In other cases, a scripture may have been fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming yet has fulfillment left in the last days. In the Old Testament, we see a blending of a prophetic event that was fulfilled in the dark days around 70 a.d., when Israel was destroyed by sectarianism and division from within, where bands of robbers were held hostage most of Jerusalem, defiling the temple, raping the women, with famine that caused them to eat their own—literally. Many cried out that they would rather have the Romans destroy them then to bear those dark days any longer. However, you can really understand that these same scriptures are fulfilled in that ancient day yet also point to another dark day. (Matthew 24 can be very prophetic of that period in 70 ad, yet points also to the last day)
Another example is the wheat and the tares, which should be interpreted in its strictest sense as a an end day event. However, you can apply the scripture to your own heart that has a mixture of bitter and sweet water. Some teachers interpret in the strictest sense and miss a picture of the dealings of God within our heart. Most of us who have progressed have a duality in our lives of things that please Jesus, the wheat, and we have things that displease Jesus, the tares. When the Spirit deals with us, He is uprooting the tares, but many times He allows them to grow together and mature first. This is a way of the Lord that is beyond our understanding, but many who are mature in the Lord can testify of areas that they are very mature in, but also areas that seem to have gotten worse. Spiritual pride could certainly be something that is much worse now then when you were born again.
The Moral principle relates to interpreting scriptures to gain practical lessons or principles that you can apply to your life. Some scripture is practical by simply reading at face value, but others require that you are taught be the Spirit.
?1 Cor 2:10 Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God. AMP
Principle of Race
Some principles of interpretation are tougher than others. This principle has to do with God’s purpose in the nations, whether Hebrew, Gentile, or of God’s new covenant people. This was controversial in Paul’s day to the point where we have the letters of Romans and Galatians laboring to resolve it. Even today, we see verses that scholars assign to natural Israel ONLY, and other scholars assigning the same scripture to spiritual Israel ONLY.
If you recall the “plural meaning principle”, this principle allows room for a single scripture to refer to both natural Israel and spiritual Israel. There are no easy answers to solve this principle. you have to rely heavily on context principle. But, if a teacher is excluding you, who are the church, from a promise, it it likely that the scripture also includes spiritual Israel, which is another name for the church.
Even as Jesus has many names to describe His Person, the church also has many names to describe who she is, and what her destiny is.
Extra Biblical Sources
When forming doctrine, be careful in using extra-biblical material. One teacher recently quoted from the Talmud, a Jewish source, to describe Passover. He never told the people that it was from the Talmud, which led many to think that the Bible OT Law actually had these traditions. Use extra-biblical sources only when it aligns with scripture, and is more of a confirmation. And always tell people the source.
Also, dreams and visions fall under this category. Dreams and visions should not be a primary source of doctrine. That is not its purpose. I recall a fellow years ago who published a book about his experience of going to heaven. He described what the throne room looked like, what the plants looked like, etc.. Some formed doctrine of what heaven looks like, which is not the purpose of visions. God told you all you need to know about heaven in scripture. Do not seek answers for things that God is not disclosing to you through scripture. There is enough in scripture to speak volumes. More than any of us could handle in a lifetime. Seeking things like what is heaven like, what do angels look like, or what kind kind of life does God have in other parts of the Universe, is a rejection of the Spirit of Truth’s role and whose job it is to disclose truth through scripture. at least for those areas of understanding.
One good extra-biblical source, though, is Josephus’ War of the Jews. It is a detailed account of the time that Jesus prophesied about in 68-70 ad. After reading it, I was amazed at how dark those days were.
“And Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. But he answered and said unto them, ‘You see all of these things, do you not? Truly I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down’” (Matthew 24:1-2).
If you go through the “War of the Jews”, you will see all the events surrounding this, including temple defilement, the sects, and much worse.
If you made it this far, my thinking is that you are certainly hungry to understand the ways of God and are willing to digest some meat to get there. The following is extra meat for those who want more.
Handling False Doctrine
How do I handle when a minister teaches a doctrine such as “no literal hell?” The principles of interpretation can really help you here because you have to totally destroy a lot of principles to arrive at such conclusions such as these false teachers have. The “Complete Mention” and “Context” principles are the main ones being violated for this doctrine. For instance, you have to disregard the lake of fire in Revelation. That’s tough since the Lake of Fire can almost stand alone in interpreting a literal hell.
The one thing that is helpful in all of this is to determine what doctrines should be a point of separation with your brethren. If, lets say that your brethren does not believe in the gift of tongues, that is fine. If they believe that it is a gift from the devil, you now have an issue. If they get dogmatic and argumentative, that tends to be a place of separation, too. We just need to be careful that we are not the ones cause unneeded separation.
God speaks in similitudes: A person or thing that resembles its counterpart. E.g., Jesus the Priest, Who bears the likeness of Melchizedek.
Heb 7:14-15 For it is obvious that our Lord sprang from the tribe of Judah, and Moses mentioned nothing about priests in connection with that tribe. And this becomes more plainly evident when another Priest arises Who bears the likeness of Melchizedek, [Ps 110:4.] AMP
Melchizedek represents an eternal priesthood. So, if the saints are a nation of priests, are they a priesthood out of Melchizedek or Levi?
God speaks in figures: The form or shape that represents something. E.g., water baptism is a figure of Noah being saved by water.
1 Peter 3:20-21 …building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water. And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you…
Also notice that 8 were saved in the ark. We had said earlier that 8 represents new beginnings.
God speaks in types: A thing that represents the characteristics of something else. Adam was a type of Jesus, but in reverse. one death; One life.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. NASU
The passage continues to contrast the power of iniquity and its death that Adam spread compared to the gift, grace, and justification that Jesus brings, producing life. This is a good example of a “type”. The characteristics of what Adam brought compared to what Jesus brought.
In ISAIAH 62 it says “For the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married…and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.” So, this is an example where a bride is a TYPE of God’s people.
Some eliminate the Old Testament for comparing scripture with scripture. However, if you do that, you will be missing a ton of types that are needed to properly interpret most of Revelation and end time prophecy, as well as understanding who you are in Christ. If Isaiah indicates that you are as a bride and that Jesus rejoices over you, you can attach faith to that scripture.
When you establish a type, it is not always categorical. A type can be one or many characteristics, not all characteristics. The Isaiah scripture about a “bride” is a characteristic of the pleasure that Jesus takes with His people. In the New Testament, 2 COR establishes a different characteristic of the bride: “I have espoused you to one Husband.” Paul forms in our mind a type of us as a chaste virgin bride being espoused to Jesus. So now we have 2 characteristics of us as a type of a bride, as well as an action of betrothal in marriage.
John the Baptist establishes the Bridegroom and bride relationship. “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the groomsman who stands by and listens to him rejoices greatly and heartily on account of the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my pleasure and joy, and it is now complete. AMP” We learn a couple of things here: The Bridegroom HAS the bride–she belongs to Him, and that John is as a groomsman that introduces these two parties. Again, this builds on us being a type of a bride.
Using TYPES we can form a doctrine. In the example we have been using, we formed a doctrine through interpreting scripture of Jesus as a Bridegroom and Husband, and the church as His bride and wife. When we add to the doctrine Ephesians chapter 5, we have the characteristic of how natural husbands should love their wives like Jesus loves us. Again, we have strengthened the doctrine through a TYPE of one thing representing another thing.
If you can now see that scripture teaches that you are as a bride, you can now start applying other scriptures to build on the foundation. For instance, Isaac’s bride Rebekah is a journey of a bride. If you read the story as Rebekah as a TYPE of the bride, and Isaac as the Bridegroom, it will change the whole way you look at the story. You will see it in a new light of revelation. Then go to all the other pictures of brides in scripture such as Ruth and Boaz, and now you even see an end day picture of a people who are not just a body, but also possessing characteristics of a bride and wife joined to her Head, the Bridegroom. As well, Ruth was a gentile bride, which is a picture of the gentile church being included as the bride.
God speaks in shadows: a faint representation. E.g., Col 2…festival or…Sabbath day, things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. NASU
Shadows are usually prophetic of something.
Something can be a symbol AND a shadow, a faint representation that does not have the substance. The Tabernacle of Moses was a type of Jesus, but also prophesied. Every time the priest slaughtered a lamb, it prophesiedof the coming Lamb of God. Every time the blood of the Lamb dripped to the earth, it prophesied of a day when Jesus would redeem a people from the cursed ground, who were destined for dust but given an inheritance instead.
Heb 10:1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things NASU
God speaks in patterns: A blueprint or model to be imitated; a model that is original and the first of its kind for the purpose of being copied.
Heb 8:2-6 A minister in the…true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “SEE,” He says, “THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN.” NASU
1 Chron 28:19 “All this,” said David, “the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern.” NASU
Building the tabernacle according to the details of the pattern or blueprint was very important to God. To build improperly was to misalign the type and shadows that pointed to Jesus. For those who think that doctrine is not important, it is the difference between building according to the pattern, or building from another blueprint.
EZEKIEL 43:10–11 Thou son of man, show the house (temple) to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. If they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the house, its structure, its exits, its entrances, all its designs…And write it in their sight, so that they may observe its whole design and all its statutes and do them.
God speaks in allegories: A comparison given through many details. A symbolic narrative presenting an abstract or spiritual meaning.
Gal 4:22-27 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. NASU
Paul takes a story in Genesis and interprets it in a way never thought of before. He uses the narrative story as an allegory, and then he applies types and shadows to it. This illustrates for us the difference between law and grace.
Using the context principle we discussed earlier, you also understand that Paul is speaking to Christians who were deserting him for another gospel–the gospel of law. Paul uses this allegory to show Christians that they are acting like Hagar, when in fact they are the free woman.
God speaks in riddles: Ezek 17:1-2 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, propound a riddle and speak a parable to the house of Israel”
Ezekiel describes the riddle in the following verses in chapter 17. It is very possible that this riddle follows the principle of multiple meanings: one that relates to Nebuchadnezzar, and another that is prophetic.
God speaks in mysteries: Truth that can only be know through revelation by the Spirit. It is truth that is hid, to be revealed to those with eyes to see.
1 Cor 2:7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom NASU
Eph 1:8-9 In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will NASU
Eph 5:31-33 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. NASU
To see His mysteries, we must spiritually discern them. We must see the Son! These mysteries, these secrets, are hid in Christ. Every mystery the Father reveals is simply an unveiling of Jesus to us in a personal relationship. All the plans of the Father are in the Son.
Some folks look at reading the word and praying as 2 separate activities. The are not. You need to be very prayerful as you read the word. Prayerfully read! Let the Spirit guide what topic you read. I have even flipped through the Bible until I landed on a page that I felt the Holy Spirit stirring. In those times, I end up seeing things in scripture that I had no clue what they meant.
In the past week we have cover many of the principles and examples of interpreting scripture. In the Old Testament, interpreting scriptures was an activity for scribes. Even in the church age, many priests and ministers set themselves as the interpreter of scriptures to the people. I think if we are truly transparent, many of us will admit even today we do this. How many of us have to consult a commentary, or buy the newest book by a famous, trusted author, or trust that our pastor is handling the word of truth correctly?
My career is in business intelligence and consulting, yet that does not diminish my ability to have faith in the Holy Spirit as my Teacher, or to learn the principles of interpretation, or to sit down and read, study, tear apart, and analyze scripture. As well, the Holy Spirit is more than capable of accomplishing more in 1 hour as our Teacher, in the word, than us reading several books written by men. If we have to trust men for our manna, we will limit ourselves from reaching our highest call in Him.
God gave ministry gifts to equip. That means you are helped by ministry to get the manna for yourself, to receive fresh revelation and oil for yourself, and figure out truth about any doctrine with confidence, receiving God’s stamp of approval.
Many ministers teach only what they have heard from someone else. Many times we are receiving stale truth because of this. Sometimes, we have been passed a wrong interpretation from generation to generation, and we just sit in a pew and accept it. We don’t challenge it. We don’t analyze the doctrine. We do not use common sense that the Spirit provides us for discernment. We just sit and agree.
I challenge the church to rise up to a boldness to be a nation of priests. To approach God’s word with freshness, as if you have never read it. To integrate prayer and meditating on the word as one activity. To not accept the status quo of doctrine and apologetics.
Maybe God is only revealing things that are relevant in your immediate life. That is great. Maybe you start off with God enabling you to sort out the mess of confusion and conflicting doctrines. That is a huge milestone if that is the case. But, lets do all that we can to go through scripture, allowing God to reveal the mysteries that we have never seen. Let’s trust God to give us eyes to see and ears to hear, operating in both His wisdom and understanding. Let’s decode by the Spirit scriptures that are a puzzle, a riddle.
Heresies have always been among us. They will continue, some minor, but some that divide the body. In all, they spread confusion, and many stop serving God because of them. If you rise up to this challenge, you will be the deep well in the barren desert. You will be the long arm of salvation able to reach down and save others from falling. You will be the one that sets free those in bondage, even torment, from deceivers abroad.
The question is: are we willing to pay the price to be God’s interpreter of truth in this day?
John Robert Lucas: http://johnrobertlucas.com
Temple Builders Ministry: http://templebuildersministry.com
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