Just HOW did you come to believe as you do? Did you literally pour over the Scriptures day after day, examining, investigating, searching diligently often on your knees with weeping and crying out to God for enlightenment and revelation? Did you allow yourself to be admonished, taught and corrected by what you found there? Did you study ALL of the scriptures – the Hebrew scriptures as well as the Greek – or did you primarily study only one-fourth of God’s Word, that section commonly known as the New Testament?
We must not forget that ALL Jehovah’s Witnesses ministers are certain they have been called of God. The same is true of every Christian Scientist, every Baptist, every Roman Catholic priest, every Lutheran, every Mennonite minister, and I could go on and on. All are equally certain that upon seeing Jesus Christ face to face they will hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
But God, speaking many long centuries ago through His truly ordained prophet Jeremiah, assured His church – His people at large – “and I will give you pastors (teachers, spiritual guides, instructors) according to mine heart (they will see eye-to-eye with God in what they teach), WHICH SHALL FEED YOU WITH KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING” (Jeremiah 3:15). That is, God’s true spokesmen, are in agreement with themselves and God, possessing a keen and uncanny understanding and comprehension of ALL of Holy Writ – from Genesis to Revelation, after all God shares His own knowledge with them!! God swiftly brings them to this comprehension and understanding by giving them the appetite of a starving giant when it comes to God’s Word. They can’t get enough of it. They can’t read the writings of Zechariah, or Isaiah, or Paul too many times. Five, ten, fifteen and they are still not satisfied, although swiftly given deep understanding in the Word of God as they read it.
“For yours are a holy people to the Lord your God: the Lord; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6). The same can be said of God’s spokesmen. They are a special treasure to God above all the religious instructors on the face of the earth. They are few and far between and generally unrecognized by the world – even the religious world, and, yes, even the “Christian” world. And THIS is their cry:
“Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; nor are there any works like your works. ALL NATIONS whom you have made (and didn’t He make us ALL), shall come and worship before you, O Lord (with good reason), and shall glorify your name. For you are great, and do wondrous things. You alone are God” (Psalm 8;6:8-10). Notice, now, David – the writer of this particular Psalm, says ALL NATIONS shall someday come to worship before God! Yes, ALL NATIONS, both ancient and modern. That would include the long dead Babylonians and Assyrians, the Aztecs and the Incas – ALL NATIONS!
“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you” (Psalm 22:27). If God’s Word is true, and if words mean anything, then this verse of scripture absolutely necessitates a resurrection of ALL humanity. And they will remember the depravity and heartache of their former lives. God’s way of life will then be presented and offered to them FOR THE FIRST TIME. Given this chance, this opportunity, they will readily agree that God’s way is far superior to the way of the flesh and Satan’s deceptions! And, at last, Satan will be utterly defeated!
In order for someone steeped in an opposing viewpoint to really see God’s truth in a given matter, preconceived beliefs must be temporarily suspended as they will present a formidable mental block to one receiving the factualness of a different belief. Satan’s blinding POWER must also be considered in such matters.
Many fail to realize that God gives foundational truth in the Hebrew scriptures. If one is not well grounded in those scriptures and begins to formulate his doctrine from the Greek scriptures first or primarily, or, in some cases, entirely, then their coming to see the truth in a host of various doctrines is problematic. They probably will never see what God really has to say in His Word.
Also, the overriding idea that revered theologians of the present and past must indeed “have it together” concerning the doctrines they espouse and hold to be God’s truth, again erects another formidable mental block one must get around one way or another. The “Christian” Church denomination has Thomas and Alexander Campbell, the Methodists have John and Charles Wesley, the Baptists have J.R. Graves, R.A. Torrey, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, etc. The Mormons have Joseph Smith. The Christian Scientists have Mary Baker Eddy. The Seventh Day Adventists have Ellen G. White. And the list goes on and on. It never seems to dawn on the various pastors and preachers that they are leaning on the arm of flesh, looking to men or women to formulate their beliefs and religious practices. All of these men and women had some truth in what they taught and believed. Some had a great deal of truth. Many were eloquent and convincing speakers. And, when you have believers who fail to really “prove” all things, error can creep in sideways and never be seen as error. (Some of these “great” theologians also embraced great error).
There is another formidable mental block to the truth entering the human mind – continued sin! Paul writes, “Sin not…neither give place to the devil.” (See Ephesians 4:26-27). All too many prospective ministers and pastors of long standing still live unsanctified lives, allowing sin into their lives – often daily – never realizing they are giving place to the devil to deceive them and prevent truth from entering their minds when they do so. They study the Greek scriptures first, or almost entirely, again preventing God’s truth from entering their minds and protect them from embracing error. God’s true prophet Daniel spoke of how he knew he and his fellow Israelites would have to turn from their iniquities in order to understand God’s truth. (See Daniel 9:13).
Revelation and obedience are conjoined twins, but these are conjoined twins that cannot be separated. Do NOT seek divine revelation or illumination while practicing sin. The ONLY revelation you will receive can be summed up in one word: “REPENT!”
POSTSCRIPT: In Romans 15:3, the apostle Paul quotes directly from the 9th verse of the 69th Psalm. He then writes:”For whatsoever things were written aforetime (in the Hebrew scriptures) were written for our learning, that we (New Covenant believers) through patience (Greek, “endurance”) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (verse 4). This is one reason Satan works diligently to turn New Covenant believers away from the Hebrew scriptures – the message and exhortations therein help us endure and give us hope that our God will bring us through to victory! (Note: Paul quotes directly from the Hebrew scriptures FIFTY-SIX TIMES in the Book of Romans and alludes to the Hebrew scriptures EIGHTY-FIVE TIMES in the Book of Romans.)
In the 10th chapter of I Corinthians, Paul relates the account of how “that spiritual Rock that followed (the fleshly Israelites) that Rock was Christ, (who put to death) in one day three and twenty thousand (disobedient Israelites)!” (see verses 4 and 8). He then pleads with these carnal Corinthians, “Neither let us tempt Christ (to destroy us), as some of them also tempted (Him), and were destroyed of serpents” (verse 9). Paul says “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted” (verse 6). And he concludes, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples, and they are written FOR OUR ADMONITION upon whom the ends of the world (age) are come” (verse 11). This is another reason Satan wants to keep believers away from reading and meditating upon the messages contained in the Hebrew scriptures. He doesn’t want New Covenant believers to really know the God with whom we have to do, that He WILL move dramatically against flagrant sin in the body of Christ, even putting to death unrepentant violators. (Ananias and Sapphira learned that truth the hard way. So did some of the Corinthians. See Acts 5:1-11 and I Corinthians 11:29-32. MANY Corinthian believers fell ill and MANY died because of unforsaken sin in their lives!)
A true New Testament church uses the entire Bible as their authority and the source of their doctrines and practices. Any group of “Christians” calling themselves a New Testament church and stating they do not get their doctrine out of the Hebrew scriptures are following that “other Jesus” Paul warns about in 2 Corinthians 11:4. Never forget that Satan is a super-intelligent spirit being who has deceptive powers so great as to deceive the wisest man who ever lived! Read I Kings Chapter 11 slowly and carefully. It is the story of King Solomon’s final days. And may God grant you the wisdom to know the enemy and use the entirety of God’s inspired Word as your guide, instruction and comfort. God help you to understand.
“For as in Adam all die (every human descendant of Adam), even so in Christ shall ALL (that same ALL who were descended from Adam) shall all be made alive (resurrected -every atheist, every Hindu priest) in his own order…” (See I Corinthians 15:22-23). God has a time-table for bringing all nations, every individual to the truth. And He is in no hurry to get this done. Death is no obstacle to Him, as He proclaims, “I kill, AND I MAKE ALIVE!” (See Deuteronomy 32:39). “(God) will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (His Word – “Thy Word is truth”)…Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom FOR ALL (no exceptions), to be testified (to ALL) in due time (according to God’s great time-table)” (See I Timothy 2:4-6).
Biblically ignorant religious types think God is trying desperately to get the world saved right now with most of the world lost to atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, false Christianity, etc. By their calculation God is losing the fight for men’s souls big time. Satan is more powerful by far at this game of saving or damning to hell. God can’t even begin to hold a candle to Satan in that department. Or so the commonly accepted “Christian” teachings in these matters would lead one to believe.
“Well,” they argue, “the Bible does say, “Narrow is the way which leads unto life, and FEW there be that find it” (See Matthew 7:14). They fail to realize that few find it NOW – in this age of Satan’s rule – because God is not calling most NOW: “For ye see your calling (to salvation), brethren, how that NOT MANY…ARE CALLED” (See I Corinthians 1:26). Jesus emphatically stated, “ALL that the Father gives me (all that the Father CALLS) shall come to me…(See John 6:37). He also said, “No man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my Father” (See John 6:65). But, when God’s great master plan of salvation has run its course, the number inheriting eternal life will not be few. Instead, we read: “After this I beheld, and, lo, A GREAT MULTITUDE, which no man could number (not even a genius mathematician like Einstein), of ALL nations (Babylon and ancient Persia, Assyria and Saudi Arabia), and kindreds (Apaches and Inca, Hittites and Jebusites), and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb (their Savior), clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, and cried with a loud voice, saying ‘Salvation to OUR GOD which sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.’” (See Revelation 7:9-10). NOTE: All comments inside parentheses are those of the author of this study.
One cannot even begin to piece together God’s great plan of the ages without first obtaining a good overview of ALL the Bible. One must become as familiar with the writings of Zephaniah and Hosea as he, or she, is with the four gospel accounts and the New Testament epistles. For ALL the Word of God is inspired and profitable for doctrine (See 2 Timothy 3:16). One must be willing to let go of preconceived ideas and beliefs, especially when the Word of God reveals such doctrinal beliefs to be erroneous and without support of scripture! One must be ready to be corrected by God’s Word. Few can meet these absolutely vital and rigid qualifications. Hence, few know the truth in such matters.
The “elect” have been predestined from before the foundation of the world to be called to salvation and eternal life NOW, in this age; to have our minds opened to the way back to God during this present human existence. Our CHOICE is not predetermined, only the TIME of our call, our invitation to join the great universe-ruling family of God. Looking down the corridor of time, God saw some few of earth’s many billions living at a time and in a place where the Word of God could and would reach them, where understanding could be given them, and where they could be nurtured in order to grow spiritually. From that number He selected, or elected, some to be called – that is, after being reached by the Word of God, to be convicted of sin and their need of a Savior, to be illuminated to Christ’s atoning work, and, further, to be illuminated to WHY they are called now – not later. We are being groomed, as it were, by our Creator to serve under Him in the glorious new age to come when ALL will be granted a full and fair opportunity to join the great eternal universe-ruling family of God! Praise be to God.