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Interpretation vs. Assumption

Interpreting the bible is a method of seeking a relationship of facts, but an assumption is an opinion taken for granted and accepted as true without proof. While you can make assumptions, every effort should be made to prove the assumptions to be true or false. It is written that the heart of man is deceptive and beyond cure, however, making every effort to know the truth of God's word is the only prescription advocated by God. Prudent decisions require you to take certain precautions to ensure proper conclusions to make good decisions.  Deriving any conclusion  through assuming is totally opposite to the kind of decisions that our Father in Heaven wants his children to make. The reason is simple, our decisions have a domino effect affecting the lives of other people.

Someone once said that the truth hurts, but in most cases the truth only hurts when you are wrong. God wants his children to walk in the truth to be in right standing with him. God wants your life to be light unto the world that glorifies and represents the majesty of his person.

Truth always agrees with reality because truth conforms to fact. Truth can support and strengthen an argument, but assuming the unknown distorts the facts becomes deceiving. The world suppresses the truth by their wickedness that covers their deeds with lies and deceptive practices. Those living according to the practices of the world see the world as their reality and to them truth is what actually happens. Therefore, the gospel does not reflect the way the world should operate to its inhabitants.

My pastor said that anything said once can still be true.  However, dictionaries define the truth as an agreement of fact and anything said once may be opposed by what is true.  Therefore, the statement that is truth said once can still be true is a deceptive statement.  Again Something said only once does not carry the same assurance as the agreement of things related in different ways or several times. When looking for the truth, people want facts that agree. For example the Genesis and Exodus account of Jacob moving his family to Egypt numbered seventy family members. The written account is as follows,

With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob's family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all. Genesis 46:27

These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt. Exodus 1:1,5

Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky. Deuteronomy 10:22

As Stephen stood up before the Sanhedrin in defense of the gospel he told how God had worked with the patriots of the Hebrew nation. When he spoke of Jacob moving his family because the famine affected his livelihood where he lived, Stephen gave a different account.

After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. Acts 7:14

Moses wrote three accounts of this event and Peter recorded Stephenís defense statement accurately. Within the evidence of the four verses, one verse disagrees with the other three. On the other hand three of the verses are in harmony and give you an assurance of the truth. How do we explain the verse that was different? Was my pastor right when he said that truth can be said once and still be true? Truth is an principle with an absolute nature. Anything said is either true or false, but the truth will agree or be in harmony with everything said about the matter. False statements has an alarm that tells you something is wrong and rotten in Demark.

God established a means of justice that derived the truth when people were accused of wrong doing within the Israeli camp. The accused would be brought before the elders and evidence pertaining to the charge would be heard.  God gave this command,

One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. Deuteronomy 19:15

How does one confirm the truth when there is no proof to confirm the eyewitness statement.

If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. Deuteronomy 19:16-20

It was the responsibility of the elders to make a careful and thorough investigation into the matter. The sentence was death by stoning if the charge was verified. Two or three witnesses provided certain truth in the matter and therefore the elders were less likely to be deceived.

Interpreting the scriptures is the beginning stages of handling the word of truth. Most people interpret the scriptures to have a solid foundation from which to base their life upon and even those who preach the gospel use the scriptures to prove their points. The interpreted scriptures have more than one use.  The scriptures are used to determine the purposes of God, but you can also use the scriptures to see if the doctrines taught were correctly handled. God is a God of truth and demands that those who worship him worship in spirit and in truth. Therefore, it makes sense to ascertain the truth in order to mature in God and in truth.

Interpreting the scriptures accurately becomes a moral issue as there is no sin found by living in the truth. The knowledge you gain from handling the word of truth properly determines how to live and worship God. However, in relating your beliefs, what you say affects the lives of others and they can be deceived by what you say.

"Do not go beyond what is written." 1 Corinthians 4:6

Do not go beyond what is written is equivalent to do not add nor take from the scriptures. There is no need to tear pages out of the Bible even if you donít agree with them. Going beyond the scriptures does two things, it makes mountains out of molehills and it makes simple tasks into rules and obstacles to stumble over. Do not go beyond what is written means stick to the basic facts.

Christians study the Bible for a number of reasons, but the primary reason is that they want to know God and the truth. The Bible is one tool of the Christian arsenal used to seek Godís face while learning the value of truth and the security that the truth and Godís word gives. One thing is certain you can study Godís word an entire lifetime and never uncover every fact contained in the Bible.

Everyone takes pride in being right because everything they do has to be done in a precise way to have the outcome they want. Those who live by what they see as right in their own eyes achieves some things but never everything they want. The wise man wants to know is right in Godís eyes so he can make an informed effort to please God.  However, when we assume things we often judge things on the appearance of things rather than how the facts of the matter relate to each other. God has made every Christian an ambassador to the Kingdom of God, but he requires that you make a determined effort to understand and present his message in harmony with his word. The Bible tells us

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

 We first must be able to prove Godís good and perfect will in our own lives. It is tough to show other people how to live and survive in a hostile world unless you first demonstrate the reality of Godís word. When you give your testimony or present Godís message you can backup what you are saying by pointing to the place where God said exactly what you are saying. The outcome of working with God and your personal experience gives your testimony the convincing enthusiasm needed to persuade the lost.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is ó his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

This is especially true when the Christian lives in a world that has trampled the truth into the ground because it is hostile to the ways of God.  God considers it a spiritual act of worship to test and approve of his good and perfect will. It is obvious that the world doesnít practice truth in their daily lives, but by the grace of God, the world manages to survive and prosper. Still the method the world uses makes people experts in hiding failure while taking shortcuts for temporal success.

Making assumptions is partly to blame for the way the world works. Most of the time decisions are made without considering how decisions affects the people directly involved. It's the dominoe effect that adversely affects people down the line and often people that you don't know. For example, some executive decisions are made without considering how those decisions affect the worker who has to carry out his orders. Assumptions seldom consider both sides of the story, but always favors the person that making the decision. They are like those who think they have been good enough to be accepted  in heaven when they die, only to find out that God can say no. I never knew you.  Away from me, you evil doers.

 

Assumption can be defined as follows.

1. The act of taking to or upon oneself.

There are a number of tasks in life that do not get done unless you do them yourself, or so you think. There are people who do not take the initiative to do the work other that what been assigned to them. Sometimes you have to do the things not directly assigned to you to ensure the job gets done. By doing the tasks assigned to another person you take on their responsibility of doing the jobs by your own authority.

2. The act of taking over.

When you assume control it is often similar to ambitious tyrants assuming the reigns of Government by deposing its current leader. The act of taking over in this case is forcibly assuming the responsibility of the current leadership but not by his permission.   

3. The act of taking for granted.

When vital information is missing, the missing information is often assumed. Taking anything for granted is always seen from your viewpoint and the available information that you have. Taking things for granted does not mean you have the truth or the proof to base your arguments. However anything taken for granted is a way to assume certain things to be true without proof.

4.Something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof - a supposition.  

An assumption is a matter taken to be true before the argument has been fully explored and developed. It is a matter presumed to be true before carefully considering the entire scope of the matter and leads to a decision made in haste.   

5. Presumption

A presumption is accepted on the reasonable evidence believed to be true. It is not a human judgment derived from an education or skill, but from basic guesswork. Presumption is the ability to accurately predict the outcome without any experience or suitable knowledge and having a belief that you are correct with your assumption.  

Interpretation of scripture requires that you consider a single passage within the entire scope of God's word. God wants you to correctly handle his word in a prudent manner to be right with him.  God doesn't want his children to misunderstand him and tell everyone things he did not express in word or deed.  For example.

As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Mark 1:10-11

There are some who dearly love the Lord that understand that the father is speaking about his son that is coming out of the water and see the Holy Spirit descending on Christ as valid proof for the trinity. In this interpretation the words God expressed are totally neglected and yet the words spoken by God drives the point he wanted to make. Some say  that God is providing a picture of the triune nature of God, but it is a classic example of not considering the point that God is making.

In the context of this passage Mark is relating what he saw ocurring in a vision. In his vision he saw a dove descending onto our Lord and Savior, but according to conext of Mark, this vision happened before he was called to be a disciple of Christ. He may not of known Jesus Christ from other men, but the descending dove pointed out one person from everyone else in the water.  When the dove was perched on Jesus a voice of a proud father in heaven said,  "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." The God of creation had introduced his Son to the disciples and everyone who saw the same vision.  

"Do not go beyond what is written." 1 Corinthians 4:6

There are a number of assumptions have been made in formulating of the trinity doctrine. The doctrine assumes that the name of the Holy Spirit is a solid attribute that fully demonstrates the Holy Spirit is a person. After a thorough investigation of Godís word you will find that God addresses the attributes of the Holy Spirit as a promise, a gift, an anointing, his seal of ownership, his Spirit, a deposit guaranteeing what is to come.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

These attributes do not describe the existence of what we consider the qualities a living being. Letís also consider that the appearance of the Holy Spirit has not been described nor has the Holy Spirit claimed to be God. The appearance of the Holy Spirit is important, as without some sort of appearance there is no means to associate a name with the appearance. Every person looks different but we associate the appearance of a person with a name. Letís consider the God given sensory perception of sight that gives a means to associate an object with a name.   Ultimately if you couldnít specifically see the person, place, thing, quality, or function, you wouldnít bother to assign a name to identify it.

The upper room event created a ruckus that drew Jerusalem to the upper room and upon seeing the actions of the disciples the crowd assumed they were drunk. While they appeared to be inebriated, they were not drunk from wine.  After getting the attention of the crowd Peter began to preach. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit he was reminded of the prophecy which was given to Joel by God.

"'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. Acts 2:17-18

Peter quoted an Old Testament promise that God would pour out his spirit on his people. Let's consider the importance of why God used the pronouns I and my. Being singular pronouns I and my indicate that one person of the divine made the promise, however, God could have spoke in unison.  The bible tells us that Jesus Christ would baptize us in the Holy Spirit and Peter tells us how was it accomplished.

Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. Acts 2:33

The sights and sounds that drew the people to the upper room, got the spectators interest, but they only saw one side of the story. From their perspective the actions of the disciples appeared to be the men who had too much to drink. Peter said donít presume that we are drunk for what you have seen is the promise of God being fulfilled. In the power of the Spirit, Peter preached a sermon that led 3,000 people to Jesus Christ.

It has become evident that Jesus Christ poured out the promised Holy Spirit on the elect, but who and what is meant by the personal pronouns of ďI and MyĒ. If we are to clearly understand Godís unity we have to have a clear picture that we can justify. Whom did God say he was united with?  Letís look at what said from personal knowledge and experience.

Is it possible that God's word says one thing and the theology of men says another thing?  The question is whom do we listen to, the  theology of men or to Jesus Christ?  We have a clear picture of God from the first hand witness of Christ making the request of God that the church may be one as they are one. However, Christians knows more about theology than they know the expressed word of God

Ask any Christian to define the trinity and they will respond by saying there is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They will point to Matthew 28:19 and the fact of baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  This may sound like three persons but turns out to be a command that the disciples did not practice.

The attributes that could establish the Holy Spirit the third person of God's nature are not in God's word. All things are possible with God but are we being prudent to determine a proper description of God's nature from the information God has given to mankind?  Every unanswered question seen in verifying the trinity is answered when you understand the nature of God that he presented. Since your relationship with God is personal, you must let God present his side of the story. Ultimately you are the Judge that determines whether the doctrine of the Trinity is correct.

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