Sunday, January 11, 2009

If Scripture Fits, We Must Submit

By Ray Gano

With all that is going on in Israel and Gaza, I wrote an article last week titled “Israel Retaliates Against The Gaza

In this article I talk about applying proper hermeneutics and interpretation rules to scripture.

There has been much hubb bubb over a “NEW” theory which calls for Israel through the IDF to invade her surrounding enemies, win and rule the land. The author of the theories’ primary foundation is based upon Psalms 83.

The sad fact is that the author of the theory spins a great yarn, but I don’t see his theory as being plausible when one applies proper biblical hermeneutics or in common words, correct biblical interpretation.

The Rule of Authorial Intent

No reader has the right to impose his own ideas on the text. Scripture itself clearly teaches that the only meaning of a text is what the Holy Spirit intended when He inspired the human writer.

2 Peter1:20-21 (KJV) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

In other words, every text has only one correct interpretation. If two readers disagree on what it means, at least one of them is necessarily wrong. To go even further, we must consider that even both could be wrong.

But what is never wrong is the scripture itself.

How do we discover the one correct interpretation? We must consult the author Himself, that being the Holy Spirit. We must allow Him to teach us and not lean on our own understanding.

The sad thing is that we live in a time when the thinking of many people is “filtered” the idea that all truth is relative—that what is true for me may not be true for you and that there is no absolute truth.

So what happens is that if someone prefers to be doubtful of proper interpretation of Scripture, he or she will just go off and say "Everyone is entitled to his own interpretation," as if any interpretation is as good as another.

That is a major problem in today’s Christian world.

There is no absolute truth.

The only correct interpretation is the one faithful to the author, who is God and His intent.

Many mainline churches today are teaching that truth consists in the “experience” rather than in the facts.

The only truth that we have today is God’s Word. It is not what we experience, feel, think that matters.

All that matters is what God’s Word says and what His intent was when He said it.

Looking back at Christ’s time the teachers taught and quoted “THE LAW.” This consisted of both oral and written.

The written of course was scripture, God’s Holy Word.

The oral was the teachings of the rabbi’s down through the ages.

The problem is that more credence was given over the oral “law” vs. what God’s word says.

Why? There are many reasons, but one primary one is that many people did not have access to the written law, God’s Word. So the oral superseded the written many times.

In fact, we still see that today in Israel, many students don’t even know the written word, even though they have access to it. Instead they study the oral commentaries of the great rabbi’s like Rambam, Maimonides, Moshe Kordevero and others.

What is worse is that when they view the written law, it is through the lens of oral traditions vs. taking the scripture as the Word of God.

All that matters is the absolute truth found in God’s Written Word.

During the times of Christ, Jesus himself was very hard on the “teachers” who stood upon the “LAW” (the oral law… not written)

John 8:44-47 (KJV) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

In this Christ is condemned the rabbis because they stood upon the words of men and not the words of God. They went so far that they no longer even have the means to understand God’s Word due to the false oral blinders they have imposed upon themselves.

Their minds became hardened against God’s Word.

Because of this, they did not recognize Christ as God and refused to believe in Him.

The outcome is as Christ stated is that they served THEIR FATHER the Devil.

Christ told them the truth because He was and IS the truth. We forget at times that Jesus Christ is The Word of God because He is God.

John 1:1-5 (KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

What has happened is that the light of the scripture, bible prophecy clearly stated that Christ was and is God. That he would come to earth in the form of man born of a virgin in a town called Bethlehem. Scripture clearly teaches this and it is crystal clear to us when we read it.

The teachers of Christ’s time did not comprehend this because they have leaned upon their own understanding, the oral traditions, and Christ himself said that when they heard God’s Word and the truth, they did not “hear” and understand it because they were not of God.

Their pride within themselves and leaning upon their own understanding prevented them from seeing God the Son standing right before them.

We as Christians know for a fact that Christ did fulfill the prophecies given to the Prophets thought the written scripture.

Therefore we know and profess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God.

Fast forward to today and we have forgotten Paul’s words.

In Act 17:11 we read the following…

Act 17:11 (KJV) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

This is a well known praise in which Paul was praising the Bereans because they did not lean on the “oral traditions” of man and went to the true source of absolute truth, God’s Word.

Folks, I am deeply concerned. I fear that we have forgotten to be good bereans and because of that we are leaning upon our own understanding. We are becoming lazy and instead of being students of God’s Word, we are becoming students of teachers who are students of teachers.

I say all of this because we have been lazy as Christians and I lump myself into this pile as much as anyone else.

Like the days of old when Christ first came to man as a man, many did not see Him as God because they did not heed the written Word, but leaned upon the oral traditions.

We who are living now in the last days and are awaiting His second coming, and like the days of old, we are in the same situation.

My gift the Lord has given me is to be a watchman on the wall. To the warnings to what I see standing upon the wall and looking outwards.

I fear that many of us have leaned upon the oral traditions and are not taking the time to really dig into scripture to see what scripture actually says.

Instead we say “ Oh so-and-so’s book says this and he did all the research, so it must be true.”

But does it?

How good of a Berean are we?

Do we search the scripture daily or do we lean upon our own understanding, experience, feelings, and self centered thoughts.

Do we lean on the oral traditions?

Or something worse, do we lean upon the oral traditions and then call it God’s Word?

A good friend taught me a very valuable lesson and that is to always read what scripture says in and of itself.

Apply the proper Biblical rules of interpretation.

What was the author’s intent and what did God mean to say?

I leave you with the Golden Rule of Interpretation…

When the plain sense of Scripture males common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning, unless the fact of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.

Next week I hope to dig more into Psalms 83 and what it actually says. Many are asking and I feel a need to try to give a voice to the situation.

Get a jump on it now and read it as it is meant to be read and without the experience, emotions, feelings, and self centered thoughts.

About the Author:

Ray & Tracye Gano are the Executive Directors of Prophezine. Prophezine deals with Bible Prophecy and World Events from a Pre-trib, pre-millennial, dispensationalist stand point. They currently serve close to 70,000+ (and growing) people world wide with a weekly newsletters, daily news updates, community based website and Internet radio shows. Ray recently released his latest project “Escape The End Time Money Snare – The CD a multimedia CD co-authored with Wilfred Hahn focusing on how to escape the trappings of mammon and learning how to live simply in God’s abundance.

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