Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures

English: Diagram of the Holy Trinity based on ...
Diagram of the Holy Trinity based on the Hebrew word רוח “air, wind, spirit” having feminine grammatical gender in the Hebrew language (though in fact in a significant minority of its occurrences in the Hebrew Bible, the word actually has masculine grammatical gender). Could be considered “non-orthodox” by the criteria of the traditional mainstream of Christian doctrine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Search the scriptures with the teachableness of a little child, and thy labour will not be in vain. Cast away to the owls and to the bats the traditions of men, and the prejudices indoctrinated into thy mind by their means; make a whole burnt offering of their creeds, confessions, catechisms, and articles of religion; and, after the example of the Ephesian disciples, hand over your books of curious theological arts, and burn them before all. These mountains of rubbish have served the purpose of a dark and barbarous age; the word, the word of the living God alone, can meet the necessities of the times.

Let the example of the noble-minded Bereans be ours. They searched the scriptures daily to see if the things taught by the apostles were worthy of belief; “therefore they believed”. If, then, not even the preaching of an apostle was credited unaccompanied by scriptural investigation, is it not infinitely more incumbent on us that we should bring to a like test the opinions and precepts of the uninspired and fallible professional theologists of our day? Let us believe nothing that comes from “the pulpit”, “the altar”, or the press, not demonstrated by the grammatical sense of the scriptures. Let us be contented with nothing less than a “thus it is written”, and a “thus saith the Lord”; for He has laid it down in His law, that no one is worthy of belief who does not speak after His rule.

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to THIS WORD, it is because there is no light in them.”

If then their light be darkness, how great is that darkness.

English: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus ...
Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (ca.245-313), Roman Emperor Diocletian. Marble bust, XVIIth century, Florence, Italy. On display at Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, France. Français : L’empereur Dioclétien (ca.245-313). Buste de marbre sculpté au XVII e siècle à Florence, en Italie, exposé dans le château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, en France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The scriptures can do everything for us in relation to the light. This is known, felt, and keenly appreciated by all interested in the support of error. Hence, in the days of Diocletian, one of the pagan predecessors of Constantine, a decree was issued commanding the surrender of all copies of the Holy Scriptures: for it was found that so long as they obtained circulation the Christian doctrine could never be suppressed. The Popes, as deadly, and more insidious, enemies of the truth than the pagan Roman emperors, followed the example of Diocletian. The Bible and popery are as mutually hostile as the light of the sun and the thick darkness of Egypt that might be felt. But it is not paganism and popery alone that are practically hostile to a free and untrammelled investigation of the word of God. The Protestant world, while it deludes itself with the conceit that “the Bible, the Bible alone, is the religion of Protestants”—while it spends its thousands for its circulation among the nations in their native tongues — is itself hostile to the belief and practice of what it proclaims. The “Bible alone” is not its religion; for if it were, why encumber its professors with the “Common Prayer”, Thirty-nine Articles, and all the other “notions” of a similar kind? To believe and practise the Bible alone would be a sufficient ground of exclusion from all “orthodox churches”. When Chillingworth uttered the sentiment, there was more truth in it than at this day; but now it is as far from the fact as that Protestantism is the religion of Christ.

To protest against an error, such as Romanism, and to affirm that every man has a right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, is a very different thing to believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and walking in all the institutions of the Lord blameless. To do this would unchristianize a man in the estimation of State churches and sectarian denominations; for the Bible religion requires a man to “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints”, which in these times cannot be done without upheaving the very foundations of the self-complacent, self-glorifying, and self-laudatory communions of the antipapal constitution of things. It is true that no man or power has a right to interfere between God and the conscience; but it is also true that no man has a right to worship God as he pleases. This is a Protestant fallacy. Man has a right to worship God only in the way God has Himself appointed.

“In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

This is the judgment pronounced by the wisdom of God upon all worship which He has not instituted. He declares it to be vain worship; concerning which the apostle to the Gentiles says:

“Let no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath; let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels. Be not subject to dogmatisms (δογματίζεσθε) after the commandments and traditions of men; which things have indeed a show of wisdom in WILL-WORSHIP and humility.”

These exhortations apply to all faith and worship, Papal and Protestant. If Popery judges men in meats, Protestantism doth the same in drinks, and in the Sabbath; they both judge men in holy-days and “movable feasts”; and though Protestantism repudiates the worshipping of angels, it proclaims in its “fasts”, “preparations”, “concerts”, etc. a voluntary humility, anti celebration of “saints and martyrs”, renowned in legendary tales for “the pride that apes humility”. Let the reader search the scriptures from beginning to end, and he will nowhere find such systems of faith and worship as those comprehended in the Papal and Protestant systems. The gospel of the Kingdom of God in the name of Jesus is not preached among them; they are communions which are uncircumcised of heart; theological dissertations on texts, called “sermons”, are substituted for “reasoning out of the scriptures”—for “expounding and testifying the Kingdom of God, and persuading men concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets”. Puseyism*, Swedenborgianism*, and all sorts of isms, to which in apostolic times the world was a total stranger, run riot among them; the lusts of the flesh, of the eye, and of the pride of life have extinguished even the energy and zeal of the antipapal rebellion out of which they have arisen; they are dead, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, and therefore the time is come to cut them off as a rotten branch from the good olive tree. Let therefore every man that would eschew the wrath which is begun, and who would become an heir of the kingdom of God, save himself from the unholy, lifeless, and effete denominations of these “Latter Days”. By remaining in them, a man partakes of their evil deeds, and subjects himself to their evil influences. The word of man has silenced the word of God in their midst; and religion has degenerated into a professional commodity sold for cash according to the taste which most prevails in the soul-makers of the world.

Let us then “cease from men, whose breath is in their nostrils; for wherein are they to be accounted of?” “They be blind leaders of the blind”, in whom is no light, because they speak not according to the law and the testimony of God. Let us repudiate their dogmatisms; let us renounce their mysteries; and let us declare our independence of all human authority in matters of faith and practice outside the word of God. The scriptures are able to make us wise, which the traditions of “divines” are not. Let us then come to these scriptures, for we have the assurance that he who seeks shall find. But we must seek by the fight of scripture, and not permit that fight to be obscured by high thoughts and vain imaginations which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Great is the consolation that “the wise shall understand”, and “shall shine as the brightness of the firmament”. Be this then our happiness, to understand, believe, and do, that we may be blessed in our deed, and attain to the glorious liberty and manifestation of the sons of God.

To the Bible then let us turn, as to “a light shining in a dark place”, and, with humility, teachableness, and independence of mind, let us diligently inquire into the things which it reveals for the obedience and confirmation of faith. The object before us then will be, to present such a connected view of this truthful and wonderful book as will open the reader’s eyes, and enable him to understand it, and expound it to others, that he may become “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”; and be able intelligently to “contend for the faith”; and by “turning many to righteousness, to shine as the stars for ever and ever”.
In effecting this purpose, we must proceed as we would with any other book, or in teaching any of the arts and sciences; namely, begin at the beginning, or with the elements of things. This was the method adopted by the spirit of God in the instruction of the Israelites by Moses. He began His revelations by giving them, and us through them, an account of the creation of the heavens and the earth; of animals; and of man. This then would seem to be the proper place for us to start from; and as we have the system completely revealed, which they had not, we may extend our enquiries into the reason, or philosophy of things farther than they. Be this, then, our commencement; and may the Lord himself prosper our endeavours to decipher and understand His word, and to disentangle it from the crude traditions and dogmatisms of contemporary theologies, useful in their beginnings as “oppositions” to the Mystery of Iniquity, but now “waxed old and ready to vanish away” with the thing they have antagonized; but which, though consumptive of the civil and ecclesiastical tyranny of the Image of the Beast, have by their glosses in effect taken from the people “the Key of Knowledge”, and thus shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men. Our endeavour will be to restore this “Key”, that they may understand “the mysteries of the kingdom”, and “have right, to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city”. And this we will do if God permit.

– #13 + 14: Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 3–9). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

*

Editorial Notes:

1: Puseyism or tractarianism from the first stage of the Oxford movement, with the English clergyman and scholar Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882) fellow of Oriel College (1823) and canon of Christ Church. Late in 1833 Pusey gravitated toward the Oxford Movement. He wrote tracts on the advantages of fasting (1834) and on baptism (1836) in the series Tracts for the Times. From 1836, Pusey was editor of the influential Library of Fathers and contributed several studies of patristic works. When Newman withdrew from the Oxford movement in 1841, Pusey became its leader. His influence in the High Church party was widened when he was suspended from preaching for two years because of the ideas expressed in his sermon, “The Holy Eucharist, a Comfort to the Penitent” (1843). He advocated the doctrine of the Real Presence, which holds that the body and blood of Christ are actually (and not symbolically or figuratively) present in the sacrament. From the standpoint of public prestige, his adhesion to the Oxford Movement, Newman said, supplied it with “a position and a name.” Pusey fought a rearguard action to prevent others following and his supporters, dedicated to restrained and respectable high churchmanship, became known as ‘Puseyites’. He refused to be drawn into the ritualism which for many was the natural consequence of the Oxford movement, but supported the revival of Anglican monastic life, particularly for women. He was unique in England in his deep knowledge of contemporary German theology and was also a prodigious scholar of Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew.

Tractarians insisted on the church’s authority to teach catholic truth to the English as the divinely commissioned agent of Christ and his apostles, and their exploration of this authority began a movement which decisively affected English Christianity’s understanding of sanctity, worship, and religious practice. The furore provoked by Newman‘s Tract 90, on the Thirty-Nine Articles, ended the series and his reception into the Roman catholic church closed the tractarian phase, but their influence set the Anglican pace for the rest of the century. {Clyde Binfield, The Oxford Companion to British History | 2002}

2: Swedenborgianism blended Christianity with pantheism and theosophy after the teachings of the Swedish scientist, philosopher, and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). In his writings, he predicted that God would replace the traditional Christian Church, establishing a ‘New Church’, which would worship God in one person: Jesus Christ. The movement was founded on the belief that God explained the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures to Swedenborg as a means of revealing the truth of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Swedenborg claimed divine inspiration for his writings and followers believe that Swedenborg witnessed the Last Judgment in the spiritual world, along with the inauguration of the New Church. {Doc. II, page 404}

Researcher D. Michael Quinn suggests that Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism, was influenced by the writings of Swedenborg. {Early Mormonism and the Magic World View}

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Preceding articles:

Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man

Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things

Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures

Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God

Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction

Necessity of a revelation of creation 13 Getting wisdom

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Additional reading:

  1. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  2. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  3. Why can’t Bible scholars agree on how to interpret the Bible?
  4. Communion and day of worship
  5. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  6. Blind leading the blind
  7. Problems correspondents have with the Trinity Doctrine
  8. People are turning their back on Christianity
  9. Christianity without the Trinity

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Further reading on other websites:

  1. God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Free Will
  2. Inquest Into Identifying Irreverent Inequality
  3. Why Prioritize the Pursuit of God’s Wisdom?
  4. #975 Wisdom – God’s Strategy
  5. The ‘Residual Income’ from Having God’s Wisdom
  6. June; Proverbs 6
  7. June; Proverbs 27
  8. June; Proverbs 30
  9. Eastern Lightning]|God’s word “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”
  10. True Wisdom
  11. Romans 11:33-36: The Mystery of God
  12. A Word to the Wise

Necessity of a revelation of creation 13 Getting wisdom

To the Bible, then, all must come at last if they would be truly wise in spiritual things. This is a great truth which few of the sons of men have learned to appreciate according to its importance. A man may be a theologian profoundly skilled in all questions of “divinity”; he may be well versed in the mythology of the heathen world; be able to speak all languages of the nations; compute the distances of orb from orb, and weigh them in the scales of rigid calculation; he may know all science and be able to solve all mysteries, — but if, with all this, he be ignorant of “the things of the spirit”; if he know not the true meaning of the Bible; he seemeth only to be wise, while he is, in fact, a fool. Therefore, the apostle saith,

“let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men”.

If our contemporaries could only attain to the adoption of this great precept,

“let no man glory in men”,

they would have overleaped a barrier which as a fatal obstacle prevents myriads from understanding and obeying the truth.
But while God lightly esteems the wisdom of the reputed wise, there is a wisdom which He invites all men to embrace. This is styled “the wisdom of God in a mystery”; it is also termed

“the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world which none of the princes of this world knew”.

It is said to be hidden in a mystery, because until the apostolic age, it was not clearly made known. This will appear from the following texts:

“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to the revelation of THE MYSTERY, which was kept secret (χρόνοις αἰωνίοις) in the times of the ages, but now (in the time, or age, of the apostles) is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”

“By revelation God made known unto me, Paul, THE MYSTERY, which in other ages (former ages under the law of Moses) was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto the holy apostles and prophets by the spirit, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

English: Wisdom of God interior Basilica-like ...
Wisdom of God interior Basilica-like interior. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is “the knowledge of God”, in which are contained “exceeding great and precious promises”, the understanding of which is able to make a man wise, and “a partaker of the divine nature”. Now, although these hidden things have been clearly made known, they still continued to be styled the mystery; not because of their unintelligibility, but became they were once secret. Hence, the things preached unto the Gentiles, and by them believed, are styled by Paul, “the mystery of the faith”, and “the mystery of godliness”, some of the items of which he enumerates; such as,

“God manifest in the flesh, justified by the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory”.

Thus an intelligible mystery characterizes the once hidden wisdom of God, and becomes the subject matter of an enlightened faith. This, however, is not the case with regard to religious systems which are not of the truth. Unintelligible mystery is the ultima ratio for all difficulties which are insoluble by the symbols of ecclesiastical communities, whose text of universal application is, that

“secret things belong to God, but the things which are revealed, to us and to our children”.

This is true; but, then, these things which were secret in the days of Moses, have been revealed by God to the apostles and prophets for our information.
No one has any right to set up his own ignorance as the limit of what God hath revealed. A thing may be unknown to such a man, but it doth not therefore follow that it is either absolutely unintelligible or a secret. He may not know of it, or, if explained to him, he may not have intellect enough to comprehend it, or his prejudices, or sectarian bias may darken his understanding—this by no means makes the thing unintelligible or mysterious to other people. All that such persons have a right to say is,

“We do not know anything about it”.

They may confess their own ignorance, and resolve to look into the matter, or not; but they are presumptuously overstepping the bounds of propriety to venture to do more. Those who have no secondary interests to subserve apart from the truth only desire to know that they may believe and do. But where to know more would jeopardize the “vested interests” of a sect, and extort the confessions of its leaders and members that they were in error and knew not the truth, investigation is discouraged, and the things proscribed as too speculative and mysterious for comprehension, or, if understood, of no practical utility. In this way mankind infold themselves as in the mantle of their self-esteem. They repress all progress, and glorify their own ignorance by detracting from things which they fear to look into, or apprehend are far above their reach.
Beside glorying in men, this unfortunate peculiarity of the human mind has developed the organization of a system of things impiously hostile to the institutions and wisdom of Jehovah. It is a system of many subordinate parts. It is animated by one spirit which, under various modifications, pervades and actuates the whole. It is an evil spirit, and may be detected wherever the dogma of unintelligible mystery is at work. The name of this system is “MYSTERY”. Its baneful effects began to be visible in the apostolic age. It was then styled, “the Mystery of iniquity”, which, as was predicted, has, like a cancer, eaten out the truth, and submitted in place thereof a civil and ecclesiastical constitution, styled “Harlots and the Abominations of the Earth”, such as we behold on every side.

“Wisdom”,

say the scriptures,

“is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”

If thou wouldst, O reader, get this wisdom, happy art thou if thou findest it.

“For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is A TREE OF LIFE to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that retaineth her.”

Before the Son of God sent forth his apostles to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom in his name,

“He opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures”.

If thou wouldst gain the knowledge of the wisdom of God which is so inestimable, and which is contained in the word they preached, thou must also be the subject of the same illumination. This is indispensable; for there is no obtaining of this commodity except through the scriptures of truth. These

“are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. For all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”.

What more dost thou want than perfection, and a crown of life and glory in the age to come?

– #13 + 14: Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 3–9). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Preceding articles:

Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man

Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things

Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures

Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God

Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction

To be continued: Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures

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Additional reading:

  1. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  2. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  3. Looking for Answers
  4. Sharing the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge
  5. God’s forgotten Word 1 Introduction
  6. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  7. God’s forgotten Word 4 Lost Lawbook 3 Early digressions and Constantinic revolution
  8. Raising digression
  9. Hellenistic influences
  10. Politics and power first priority #2
  11. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  12. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  13. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  14. Words in the world
  15. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  16. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  17. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  18. Determined To Stick With Truth
  19. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  20. A rebellious movement founded on a fake?

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Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God

Image of the Dutch Reformation iconoclasm (Bee...
Image of the Dutch Reformation iconoclasm (Beeldenstorm) Image from: De eerste jaren der Nederlandsche Revolutie (1555-1568), Elsevier, Rotterdam 1882 Reproduction in: Het beleg van Haarlem; Haarlem’s heldenstrijd in beeld en woord 1572-1572, F. De Witt Huberts, Oceanus, 1944 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many in this world hate instruction from the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and throw God’s Words behind them, refusing correction and rejecting His commands (Psalm 50:17). Many rebelled and disobeyed God’s laws. Some even killed God’s prophets, who warned them to turn back to God, and they cursed God’s Holy Name. There were those who like king David guarded God His misvoth (or commandments) and walked after Him with all their heart, to work only, straight in God His Eyes. But many others liked men’s words and and vilified to work above all who are at their face and went and worked other elohim and molten to vex the Most High Elohim and to bow down in front of graven images in front of beings they called ‘god‘.

Neh 9:26-27 NHEBJE  “Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against you, and cast your law behind their back, and killed your prophets that testified against them to turn them again to you, and they committed awful blasphemies.  (27)  Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their adversaries, who distressed them. In the time of their trouble, when they cried to you, you heard from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviors who saved them out of the hand of their adversaries.

1Ki 14:9 NHEBJE  but have done evil above all who were before you, and have gone and made you other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and have cast me behind your back:

Today even in Christendom we can find many people bowing down in front of crucifixes or statues of Jesus or other persons. Those people call themselves also Christians but they seem to forget what God, the Adonai who brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, Himself said about such a worshipping with bowing down in front of graven images.

Exo 20:2-7 NHEBJE  “I am Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  (3)  You shall have no other gods before me.  (4)  “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  (5)  you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Jehovah your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,  (6)  and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.  (7)  “You shall not take the name of Jehovah your God in vain, for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

This God Who created the heavens and the earth demanded to follow His instructions.

Pro 4:13 NHEBJE  Take firm hold of instruction. Do not let her go. Keep her, for she is your life.

Receive God His instruction rather than silver; God’s knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies. All the things that may be desired can’t be compared to it. (Proverbs 8:10-11)

Pro 13:13 NHEBJE  Whoever despises instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command will be rewarded.

The law of truth should be found in followers of Christ but throughout history we can see that there were many who preferred to follow teachings by men who called themselves theologians. already at the time of the apostles false prophets came unto the scene and a few centuries later the ‘church’ sold her soul to the Roman Empire fulfilling the wishes of Caesar Constantine instead of keeping faithful to God’s commandments of honouring only One God Who is One.

When centuries later some rebellious priests found that the Bible alone (sola Scriptura) should have everything to say and to instruct and condemned the Roman Catholic Church, soon they too went the same way as that church making their own doctrines. A 2014 survey on American Evangelical beliefs found that most American evangelicals hold views condemned as heretical by some of the most important councils of the early church. Many came to understand that their personal (“alone”) interpretation of Scripture would be authoritative instead of taking the words like they are written in the Bible (Old and New testament) for what they really express.

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

G. K. Chesterton remind us that it is arrogant to ignore the teachings of our forefathers in the faith, but we should be weary to find who was in the faith. They faced many of the same theological questions we do today, and their answers have stood the test of time, but that does not mean yet that their answers are the right ones. When we look at the previous theologians their writings we must remember that bishops and councils, after all, can err. We all should also remember that politics played a big part in it as well. That’s how the Nicene Creed came to be.

To protest against an error, such as Romanism, and to affirm that every man has a right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, is a very different thing to believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and walking in all the institutions of the Lord blameless. To do this would unchristianize a man in the estimation of State churches and sectarian denominations; for the Bible religion requires a man to “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints”, which in these times cannot be done without upheaving the very foundations of the self-complacent, self-glorifying, and self-laudatory communions of the antipapal constitution of things. It is true that no man or power has a right to interfere between God and the conscience; but it is also true that no man has a right to worship God as he pleases. This is a Protestant fallacy. Man has a right to worship God only in the way God has Himself appointed. “In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” This is the judgment pronounced by the wisdom of God upon all worship which He has not instituted. He declares it to be vain worship; concerning which the apostle to the Gentiles says: “Let no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath; let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels. Be not subject to dogmatisms (δογματίζεσθε) after the commandments and traditions of men; which things have indeed a show of wisdom in WILL-WORSHIP and humility.”
These exhortations apply to all faith and worship, Papal and Protestant. If Popery judges men in meats, Protestantism doth the same in drinks, and in the Sabbath; they both judge men in holy-days and “movable feasts”; and though Protestantism repudiates the worshipping of angels, it proclaims in its “fasts”, “preparations”, “concerts”, etc. a voluntary humility, anti celebration of “saints and martyrs”, renowned in legendary tales for “the pride that apes humility”. Let the reader search the scriptures from beginning to end, and he will nowhere find such systems of faith and worship as those comprehended in the Papal and Protestant systems. The gospel of the Kingdom of God in the name of Jesus is not preached among them; they are communions which are uncircumcised of heart; theological dissertations on texts, called “sermons”, are substituted for “reasoning out of the scriptures”—for “expounding and testifying the Kingdom of God, and persuading men concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets”. Puseyism, Swedenborgianism, and all sorts of isms, to which in apostolic times the world was a total stranger, run riot among them; the lusts of the flesh, of the eye, and of the pride of life have extinguished even the energy and zeal of the antipapal rebellion out of which they have arisen; they are dead, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, and therefore the time is come to cut them off as a rotten branch from the good olive tree. Let therefore every man that would eschew the wrath which is begun, and who would become an heir of the kingdom of God, save himself from the unholy, lifeless, and effete denominations of these “Latter Days”. By remaining in them, a man partakes of their evil deeds, and subjects himself to their evil influences. The word of man has silenced the word of God in their midst; and religion has degenerated into a professional commodity sold for cash according to the taste which most prevails in the soul-makers of the world.so
Let us then “cease from men, whose breath is in their nostrils; for wherein are they to be accounted of?” “They be blind leaders of the blind”, in whom is no light, because they speak not according to the law and the testimony of God. Let us repudiate their dogmatisms; let us renounce their mysteries; and let us declare our independence of all human authority in matters of faith and practice outside the word of God. The scriptures are able to make us wise, which the traditions of “divines” are not. Let us then come to these scriptures, for we have the assurance that he who seeks shall find. But we must seek by the fight of scripture, and not permit that fight to be obscured by high thoughts and vain imaginations which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Great is the consolation that “the wise shall understand”, and “shall shine as the brightness of the firmament”. Be this then our happiness, to understand, believe, and do, that we may be blessed in our deed, and attain to the glorious liberty and manifestation of the sons of God.
To the Bible then let us turn, as to “a light shining in a dark place”, and, with humility, teachableness, and independence of mind, let us diligently inquire into the things which it reveals for the obedience and confirmation of faith. The object before us then will be, to present such a connected view of this truthful and wonderful book as will open the reader’s eyes, and enable him to understand it, and expound it to others, that he may become “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”; and be able intelligently to “contend for the faith”; and by “turning many to righteousness, to shine as the stars for ever and ever”.
In effecting this purpose, we must proceed as we would with any other book, or in teaching any of the arts and sciences; namely, begin at the beginning, or with the elements of things. This was the method adopted by the spirit of God in the instruction of the Israelites by Moses. He began His revelations by giving them, and us through them, an account of the creation of the heavens and the earth; of animals; and of man. This then would seem to be the proper place for us to start from; and as we have the system completely revealed, which they had not, we may extend our enquiries into the reason, or philosophy of things farther than they. Be this, then, our commencement; and may the Lord himself prosper our endeavours to decipher and understand His word, and to disentangle it from the crude traditions and dogmatisms of contemporary theologies, useful in their beginnings as “oppositions” to the Mystery of Iniquity, but now “waxed old and ready to vanish away” with the thing they have antagonized; but which, though consumptive of the civil and ecclesiastical tyranny of the Image of the Beast, have by their glosses in effect taken from the people “the Key of Knowledge”, and thus shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men. Our endeavour will be to restore this “Key”, that they may understand “the mysteries of the kingdom”, and “have right, to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city”. And this we will do if God permit.

Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 6–9). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Preceding articles:

Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1

Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2

Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3

Necessity of a revelation of creation 6 Getting understanding by Word of God 4

Necessity of a revelation of creation 7 Getting understanding by Word of God 5

Necessity of a revelation of creation 8 By no means unintelligible or mysterious to people

Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures

Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  2. People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms
  3. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  4. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  5. All things written aforetime for our instruction
  6. Hearing words to accept
  7. Bible Word from God
  8. God’s Blog recorded in a Book
  9. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  10. God’s forgotten Word 4 Lost Lawbook 3 Early digressions and Constantinic revolution
  11. Bible in the first place #3/3
  12. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  13. An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible
  14. The holy spirit will bring back to your minds all the things told
  15. Colour-blindness and road code
  16. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  17. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  18. At the end of your life
  19. Position and power
  20. Icons and crucifixes
  21. Hellenistic influences
  22. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  23. Politics and power first priority #1
  24. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  25. History of Christianity
  26. A rebellious movement founded on a fake?
  27. Simplicius Against the Monophysites
  28. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  29. Christianity without the Trinity
  30. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  31. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  32. Part 2) God is not a Trinity
  33. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  34. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity
  35. Trinity: The Truth about Matthew 28:19 & 1 John 5:7
  36. Anyone Who Goes Too Far and Does Not Abide in the Teaching of Christ, Does Not Have God
  37. Is Jesus God?

Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures

When we go looking for the truth,trying to get to know the Divine Creator, His Plan and the one He send to the earth to bring salvation, we should study the Word which God has given Himself to the world.

Let the example of the noble-minded Bereans be ours. They searched the scriptures daily to see if the things taught by the apostles were worthy of belief; “therefore they believed”. If, then, not even the preaching of an apostle was credited unaccompanied by scriptural investigation, is it not infinitely more incumbent on us that we should bring to a like test the opinions and precepts of the uninspired and fallible professional theologists of our day?

Otto Günther, Disputatious Theologians [Disputierende Theologen] (1876)
Otto Günther, Disputatious Theologians [Disputierende Theologen] (1876)
Today we do find too many people who are more interested in what theologians have to say than what the Bible has to say. Lots of people also prefer the words of those theologians instead of taking the words of the Bible like they are written. They prefer to read only parts or some verses of the book with the dogmatic teachings as background and as foundation for their study.

Though such triplex plates are useless and are nothing compared to the concrete piles of the Biblical teachings in the Book of books, a Best-seller of all times. It is wholesome to read regularly and have the words come into your heart as spiritual food, beneficial for your mind and making you to grow in knowledge. Smart people let the knowledge of God come to them in the first place. They do not prefer to say

“it came from the pulpit, therefore I like it”

Everything that they hear coming from the pulpit they want to check with what is written in the Bible.

Let us believe nothing that comes from “the pulpit”, “the altar”, or the press, not demonstrated by the grammatical sense of the scriptures. Let us be contented with nothing less than a “thus it is written”, and a “thus saith the Lord”; for He has laid it down in His law, that no one is worthy of belief who does not speak after His rule. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to THIS WORD, it is because there is no light in them.” If then their light be darkness, how great is that darkness.

Today the world is in a stage of darkness with lots of people who do not want to pay attention to what Jehovah God says. There are not many who are willing to keep the way of Jehovah to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.

Many say

Where is the word of Jehovah? let it come now.

and forget it is there for everybody to read in the language they prefer. The world has seen many Bible translations and in a way in the Western world nobody can have an excuse for not being able to get an eye on it.

English: Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition Bible
Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world does not love those who are willing to learn more about God’s Word and about the Messiah. Many may mock those searchers but they should know that Jehovah is stronger than us. Many may also cry that they have cried out, cried violence and spoil; because the word of God was made a reproach unto them, and a derision, daily. Therefore they ask why that Messiah did not come back and ask for let him make speed, and hurry his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, that we may know it!

We should know that there shall none of God His Words be prolonged and all the words which God has spoken shall be done. Man is best to prepare himself for the Day of God, because it could well be that such day would be one of darkness, and not light. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying,

Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3:4

In case they would have studied the Word of God, they would have had more insight. To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive instruction in wise dealing and wise behaviour, in righteousness and justice and equity; we best look into that Book of books provided by the Divine Creator. With awe we best value highly His Words and His advice.

Pro 1:7 NHEBJE The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

Pro 4:7-9 NHEBJE Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding. (8) Esteem her, and she will exalt you. She will bring you to honor, when you embrace her. (9) She will give to your head a garland of grace. She will deliver a crown of splendor to you.”

Pro 21:30 NHEBJE There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against Jehovah.

Pro 19:21 NHEBJE There are many plans in a man’s heart, but Jehovah’s counsel will prevail.

God shall know when we seriously want to look for truth and want to come to know Him. He shall listen to our call and see what is in our heart. Light and understanding shall come to those who seriously read and study the bible.

The scriptures can do everything for us in relation to the light. This is known, felt, and keenly appreciated by all interested in the support of error. Hence, in the days of Diocletian, one of the pagan predecessors of Constantine, a decree was issued commanding the surrender of all copies of the Holy Scriptures: for it was found that so long as they obtained circulation the Christian doctrine could never be suppressed. The Popes, as deadly, and more insidious, enemies of the truth than the pagan Roman emperors, followed the example of Diocletian. The Bible and popery are as mutually hostile as the light of the sun and the thick darkness of Egypt that might be felt. But it is not paganism and popery alone that are practically hostile to a free and untrammelled investigation of the word of God.
The Protestant world, while it deludes itself with the conceit that “the Bible, the Bible alone, is the religion of Protestants”—while it spends its thousands for its circulation among the nations in their native tongues—is itself hostile to the belief and practice of what it proclaims. The “Bible alone” is not its religion; for if it were, why encumber its professors with the “Common Prayer”, Thirty-nine Articles, and all the other “notions” of a similar kind? To believe and practise the Bible alone would be a sufficient ground of exclusion from all “orthodox churches”. When Chillingworth uttered the sentiment, there was more truth in it than at this day; but now it is as far from the fact as that Protestantism is the religion of Christ.

Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., p. 6). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

Theologians -Pier_Francesco_Sacchi_-_Dottori_della_Chiesa_-_ca._1516-Modified
Theologians or learned in Theology, the knowledge of the Theos, the Godhead, who as members or masters of the theological schools which came into existence after the patristic era, taught and handed down Catholic doctrine on strictly scientific lines of their time, in obedience to and under the supervision of the bishops. – By Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D. (based on Rev. Matthias Scheeben’s “Dogmatik”)

 

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Preceding articles:

Background to look at things

Gone astray, away from God

Necessity of a revelation of creation 6 Getting understanding by Word of God 4

Necessity of a revelation of creation 7 Getting understanding by Word of God 5

Necessity of a revelation of creation 8 By no means unintelligible or mysterious to people

To be continued:

Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom

Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God

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Additional reading:

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  3. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  4. You shall howl in your latter end
  5. All things written aforetime for our instruction
  6. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  7. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  8. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  9. Eternal Word that tells everything
  10. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  11. Bible in the first place #3/3
  12. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  13. Colour-blindness and road code
  14. Hearing words to accept
  15. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  16. Fools despise wisdom and instruction
  17. Determined To Stick With Truth
  18. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  19. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  20. Wisdom not hard to find nor hiding in remote places
  21. Wisdom lies deep
  22. Increased in wisdom in favour with God
  23. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  24. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  25. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  26. Book of Common Prayer short form BCP: The book used for public worship by Anglican Christians for over 400 years, and regarded as authoritative for doctrine.

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  • A Dialogue with Derek Flood: Is the Bible Infallible? (reknew.org)
    I noted in my review of Disarming Scripture, the primary reason I feel compelled to affirm biblical infallibility is because I’m convinced this was the view of Jesus, and I have good reason to believe he is the Son of God. Yes, Jesus placed his authority over Scripture and thus declared some Scripture to be rendered obsolete with his coming (e.g. Mt 5:38-9, 43-5). And yes, Jesus rejected the legalistic and harmful way some of his contemporaries interpreted and applied Scripture. But while Derek often says Jesus and/or Paul rejected harmful interpretations of Scripture, he also often claims that Jesus and/or Paul rejected passages of Scripture that they deemed harmful (e.g. 42-4, 69) and that we should do the same.[2] I grant the former, but cannot grant the latter.
  • Do you search the scriptures? (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    Some people say they want to get ‘closer’ to God and to achieve this they subject themselves to extreme levels of fasting, self-flagellation and other penances but they still feel they are lacking in something.
  • “Heart knowledge” of Scripture’s Self-Attesting Evidences Persuades of Its Divine Inspiration and Authority (capthk.com)
    this word brings along with it such light, such authority, and such sanctifying and comforting power, that there is no shutting our eyes nor hardening our hearts against it; no possibility of continuing stupid and concerned under it: but the whole faculties of our soul are necessarily affected with it, as indeed marked with divine evidence, and attended with almighty power
  • How to Read the Bible and Love It (aprilyamasaki.com)
    How could I keep reading and rereading the Bible even when I didn’t feel like it? How could I keep reading and rereading the Bible, and love it?
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    Make your Bible reading active. Underline or highlight key words. Keep a journal to record your own thoughts, feelings, questions, and prayers. If you’re reading a psalm, write your own poem in the form of a psalm. If you’re reading a Gospel story, draw a picture. If you’re musical, write a song based on your Scripture reading.
  • Idols (Elements of Existence) #AtoZChallenge (psalmsunday.blogspot.com)
    Have we made ourselves stronger by taking the law out of God’s hands and placing it into the hands of men and government bodies? Instead we may be weakening our position as a nation of strength and opening ourselves up to Godless chaos.
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    Already we have become overly focused on money and material possessions. We often revere celebrities, politicians, and leaders to a point of near idolization. In modern culture we admire those whom we consider to be idols and may even long to become idols ourselves. Even the heads of the religious bodies are placed on thrones that at times seem to put them on an equal footing with God. Instead of actually placing our trust in the Supreme Creator we have relegated the concept to slogans like “In God We Trust” while debating whether it is time to eliminate those slogans in fairness to others.
  • Conversation with God (societyinchrist.com)
    For the Lord speaks, I must obey. The Lord speaks I must listen. As the Lord Speaks I desire only to do as the Lord directs. I must no do as the world shows.
  • Two excellent Notre Dame profs are teaching a free online course this summer….. (edx.org)
    The Bible says that Jesus was identified as God’s beloved son at his baptism. The same identification was made about Israel in the Old Testament and the disciples of Christ at their baptism.
  • Jesus Went to Hell: The Christian History Churches Would Rather Not Acknowledge (gunnygbb2.wordpress.com)
    This is one phrase that Christians, whether mainline or evangelical, Catholic or Protestant, will likely not hear from the pulpit this week. And yet the story of Christ’s descent to the underworld has deep roots in tradition.
  • Romans 15:5-6 – May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    remember that God wants to give us a spirit of unity, that is, a sensitivity to our brothers and sisters that will cause us to encourage them and call them to stay faithful to the call of God on their lives
  • April 8 – sinful (cohdailyprayer2014.wordpress.com)
    The biggest secret a lot of Jesus followers have is not that they are looking at porn or secretly hate their mother or they never give any offering — it is that they are having a terrible time being saved. They mock the work of Jesus because they will not be forgiven, not really.
  • Second Sunday of Easter (emmanuelchatham.typepad.com)
    Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith
  • The Expansion of Christendom: Crusading in Northern Europe, 1147 – 1415 (medievalists.net)
    On the sixth day, the Germans asked: ‘Do you still resist and refuse to acknowledge our creator?’To this they replied: ‘We acknowledge your God to be greater than our gods. By overcoming us, He has inclined our hearts to worship Him. We beg, therefore, that you spare us and mercifully impose the yoke of Christianity upon us.’ ~ The Estonians, Siege of Fellin, 1210
  • In with the New (joyfullnuggets.wordpress.com)
    Change is coming into the hearts of God’s people. Some of these changes are intense and will lead us into paths we never thought possible. Others are smaller, but they will still produce some type of change in our lives.
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    Your Promise Land is just ahead. It might be something major or a dying to self, but the outcome will spring forth. He has promised it and He always keeps His promises. Yep, change is on the way. Get ready for it.
  • Psalm 89 (embodiedtorah.wordpress.com)
  • 4/23 (bernicium.wordpress.com)
  • Another word not to use carelessly (blcasey.wordpress.com)
    We learn from ancient history — from Moses, Uzzah, and others — that God is not to be treated carelessly. Most of my readers would affirm this idea today, and it surely seems unlikely that God in more contemporary times would suddenly come to appreciate flippancy.
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    One could needlessly argue about the supposed list of “names” for God, i.e., whether we need to treat the word “yhvhGod” as carefully as the word “Elohim” or “Yahweh” (or “Jireh” or “Nissi,” for that matter — and these are less “names” than descriptions). One could further argue about euphemisms such as “gee” and “gosh.” We can all grow in terms of treating God both intentionally and reverently. The primary point to be made is that God deserves all the reverence we can summon, and more.
  • I’m So Grateful To Be Living My Life In This Place (brandinicolejm.wordpress.com)
    Here is described in what assurance he liveth, that putteth his whole trust in God, and commiteth himself wholly to his protection in all temptations. A promise of God to those that love him, know him, and trust in him to deliver them, and give them immortal glory.
  • For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. (1956msbess.wordpress.com)
    To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
  • Sermon: God Works through Man, Second Samuel 5 – 6 (grantspasschurchofchrist.com)
    How can I know that God is guiding me in a certain direction?
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    God Works through Man