"'The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord, ‘when I will send a famine through the land – not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.’" Amos 8:11.
The third step, Knowledge, of the Eight Steps, is the most important. Without knowledge - truth - it is impossible to be set free from sin and ideas that will lead us to sin. The following topics will come under the heading "Knowledge". Study them and put them to the test. Think about them and apply them to your life. God will bless you as He has blessed in my life. You can live the righteous, perfect life of Christ right now. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
TEACHINGS OF CHRIST!
One day a "Christian" elder of a church came up to me and stated, "We don’t have to believe what Jesus taught. What He taught was before the cross."
This amazed me. I was stunned. How could a "Christian" be so bold as to claim that the teachings of Christ were no longer valid, simply because of His death on the cross? But the more I thought about his statement, the more I realized that most of the "Christian" world agrees with that man’s statement. Everyone claims to believe in Jesus, but very few believe what Jesus taught.
A belief in the historical Christ will not save us. The only salvation we have is a saving faith that leads us to believe in the words of Jesus and put to work that belief. This lesson will show us the importance of believing and teaching only what Christ taught. “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teachings of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 9. I cannot stress profoundly enough the importance of believing and agreeing with the teachings of Christ: ALONE!
Do you think you know what Jesus taught?
Did you think your minister or church is teaching you the truth of Jesus?
when was the last time that you actually heard a teaching of Christ? I’m not talking about a scripture, or a message from Paul or a good moral sermon. I’m talking about a teaching straight from the mouth of Jesus. You see, this is the problem. It is too easy to move from Jesus to Paul, to your local minister and church. In the process there are a great many fundamental teachings of Christ that are getting perverted and lost.
Listen to what Peter has to say about this. "He (Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort as they do the other scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:16.
1) Paul is an inspired writer of God,
2) Paul said such and such and
3) Since he said such and such, he must mean such and such and
4) Since I believe he meant such and such, it must be of God and this belief of mine must be of God.
Now let’s look at it.
Just because Paul says something in his writings doesn’t mean he means what you or I think it means. Therein lies the problem. So, if we really want to know what is and what is not, let’s go back to Jesus and His teaching. Jesus and Jesus only is to be the interpreter of Paul. One of the reasons the "Christian" church gets so confused over Paul is that Paul is "speaking to men who know the law." Romans 7:1.
Very few ministers, teachers, preachers and denominations know the law. They have rejected the Old Testament, from which Paul and Jesus taught for salvation, and know nothing of what Paul is talking about. They take him out of context.
Jesus is the Rock; Paul is only a building material on that rock. If Paul said or did anything to disagree with the teaching of Jesus, we would have to remove Paul’s teachings from the Bible. Yet millions of people believe that Paul has the right to change the teachings of Jesus. He doesn’t! Nor has he ever changed them.
"As for the person who hears My words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of My own accord, but the Father who sent Me commanded Me what to say and how to say it. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So what I say is just what the Father has told Me to say." John 12:47-50. That is what Jesus said. Paul must gree with Jesus.
Approximately 28 times in the book of John alone, Jesus states, "I tell you the truth."
This is significant. I don’t think I have ever read where Paul states that he is "the truth".
But over and over again Jesus states that we must believe Him, and Him alone. "If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31, 32. I want you to understand that there is a big difference between “Bible Facts” and “Bible Truth”.
It is very important to understand that the Bible is the Word of God. But not everything in the Bible is "The Word of God". Big difference. Everything in the Bible is there because God wants it there for a reason. We learn from the examples that are given. But not all examples are truth and righteousness. Some are evil, bad and lies. So be careful of what text is being quoted.
An example of this is found in the Book of Job. Job is in the Bible. But not everything that is written in the Book of Job is true. If someone quoted to you Job 22:1-5, you might be inclined to agree, since it is in the Bible. But Eliphaz speaks this text. Listen to what Jesus says about that. "I am angry with you (Eliphaz) and your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." Job 42:7. A Bible fact: Eliphaz is in the Bible, but he did not speak a Bible truth. This is a very important concept that must be kept in mind when reading the Bible. Who is doing the speaking?
Just because it is in the Bible doesn’t mean it is true. Yes, the incident is true. It is true that it was said. But that is not the same as saying what was said was true. There are many false prophets and sinners in the Bible who said and did things we are not to say or do. In 2 Chronicles 18:5-11 we have recorded over 400 false prophets and their words. But they were false. So be careful. Remember 2 Peter 3:16.