Therefore," declares the Lord, "I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Jeremiah 23:30
The question of whom we follow is addressed here in this passage as men are generally followers of other men. Even those in Christ follow a man thought to be called by God to be an example to live their life by. Do you know the person you are following is following Christ or are both of us going with the flow? We may think we are following Christ when we listen to men called into the ministry by God but do their words agree with the inspired word of God?
Men and women called into the ministry are as fallible as I am. By that I mean I make serious mistakes when I interpret scriptures more so when I do not have a complete picture or understanding on the matter. On the other hand God is beyond our knowledge and understanding but not impossible to know how God thinks.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" Romans 11:33-34
I believe God had his reasons for demanding that we study and meditate on his word. In addition God gives us a major reason to study his word when he said we live by every word that proceeds from his mouth. Men are full of opinions they actually believe in - without complete or firsthand knowledge on the matter. However opinions are not substantiated with fact. Studying Godís word makes that firsthand knowledge available to us so we may know God and the way he conducts his affairs.
Get concerned when I hear a message coming directly out of the study aids lining the back wall of the pastorís office. All of us had heard that kind of message needless to say when I began to teach I used those study aids in preparing my lessons. However I have learned that study aids are the opinions of men but I have also learned that opinions of another person are changed into the opinions we believe and share even though they can be deceptive. In that process our opinions can alter what we understand as being true. So I have to ask how many times has those opinions been altered from the original thought and passed on to others.
Study aids give you shortcuts to the work God has commanded you to do. In other words, study Godís word rather than the outcome of another personís study. God wants a personal relationship with you based on truth. It is easy to develop a surrogate relationship when you listen and believe another personís effort to know God. When it is all said and done the surrogate speaker holds the office that takes the place and authority of God but people are known to follow a surrogate leader without testing what they have said.
When we listen to others and practice whatever they instruct we are participating in a surrogate relationship with God. However it becomes dangerous to not test all things as you are listening to an opinion. People tend to believe whatever knowledgeable people say. Until such knowledge is confirmed treat them as opinions. Make an effort to test those opinions against the word of God. The danger is that they do not have a complete understanding or may have changed something by adding what they believe or have left something important out.
Does your opinion compliment and approve the word of God. God said my thoughts and my ways are not yours. From a human standpoint it is easy to disapprove of things you donít believe will work but far easier to approve of things and ways that you use every day. Mostly we ask advice of people because we trust in their wisdom.
Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? Isaiah 2:22
Our nation placed the words ďIn God We TrustĒ on every type of currency in our land but we trust more in the potential of what our money has. We have double standards and are not aware of them. By the same token we believe our spiritual leaders without proven any part of their message. This when we are instructed by our heavenly father not to be hasty in making decisions for what will you do in the end if the outcome destroys your life?
Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
God says that his people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). The principle is what you donít know will lead to your downfall. Knowledge is a shelter a means to know how things work. When God tells us to test everything God is revealing a principle that leads to being prudent. The advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor (Ecclesiastes 7:12). Arrogance leads you to foolishness but knowledge leads to success because you make fewer mistakes. What you do know about God will keep you from intentional sin.
Opinions are never substantiated with known truth but facts are supported by actuality found in known truths. Utilizing biblical truth gives the man called by God credibility followed by believers. For example describe what a snute is. First of all snute is not found in a dictionary or may be misspelled. How are things described if they are not defined? If they are not defined do they exist?
On the other hand things may be defined but a mental picture of it associated with an event may not be described in the bible. Prophets can prophesy but if the event does not happen are they a true prophet sent by God? Because Godís word is truth there is always an actuality associated with the description.
Confidence comes with repetition Ė opinions seldom occur. Confident opinions are given by experts educated in a specialize field but their decisions are based on facts rather than wisdom or experience.
However commentaries are the most plagiarized books in the world, second to commentaries is the bible. The words of the bible were meant to instruct the values God has desiring mankind to learn. Commentaries were meant to help other people to understand what God is saying. However most messages given by anointed speakers never mention where their ideas originate for their sermons. Some messages come straight out of commentaries word for word and are passed off as being from God.
Lord knows how accurately these messages are when presented to the congregation. Has subject matter been added and do they add extra load of burdens on the Christian? Depending on the messenger the message could be rigid, aggressive, or open-minded. Therefore a mixture of opinions is readily available to the person presenting the gospel.
Proper interpretation comes from spending time to know the Lord and paying attention to what he says and does. God has an outstanding vocabulary that uses specific words to clearly express his thoughts. On the other hand the effort we make to understand the truth of Godís word changes how we think.
Studying Godís word gives you the opportunity to know God so you may distinguish the difference between truth and opinion. Through testing we gain what was unknown to knowledge of Godís perspective. While interpretation is putting Godís words into our understanding true interpreting includes a desire to recognize the meaning God intended it to express. Knowing Godís word with confidence gives you the ability to:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 December 2, 2015