“To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:” Proverbs 1:2-3 & 5. I’ve read many books both fiction and non-fiction written by various Christian authors over the past 15 years or so, and have enjoyed most of them. I’m sure many of my readers have done the same. There’s just something stirring about getting someone else’s prospective on scriptures. But, and this is the rub, I don’t use any of the books written by Christian authors as a final explanation of God’s word. God’s word is irreproachable, inerrant, and true. Therefore the opinions of others, concerning God’s Word, although useful, should only be used as a springboard as we search the scriptures for ourselves. I’ve read numerous authors with varying opinions of what the scriptures say. We know the Holy Spirit doesn’t work that way. Obviously, when confronted by varying interpretations there remains just one source to search. When it comes to understanding and discerning the truth about the scriptures we always want to go straight to the Bible itself.
There are many Bible teachers these days who’ve placed quite a bit of their biblical knowledge in books and on DVD’s, and have made these products readily available to the diligent Bible student who’s looking to obtain a better grasp of the Word of God. But if a Bible teacher is worth his salt he’ll tell his students from the beginning to search the scriptures for themselves, to do their own research concerning God’s word. We aren’t to blindly follow any Bible teacher, after all they’re only men, thus they are fallible. God is our ultimate teacher – He should be our definitive source when we search for inerrant truth. Although He has given many of His followers the ability to teach from His Word, He holds all Bible teachers to the same standard. When teaching His word we must teach using His whole counsel. We must not deviate from His word as many have done by promoting their own selfish agendas.
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5. In God’s Word we’re given clear instructions on teaching and holding teachers accountable. There’s absolutely no room for varying doctrines; when confronted with different interpretations of God’s word, clearly someone is wrong. That someone can’t be led by the Spirit of Truth. Paul says withdraw thyself from such as these.
I’m an avid reader. Books, especially those written by Christians, are my favorite apart from the Bible. Both fiction and non-fiction entertain me and I read all books out loud to my wife. Then we discuss them. One thing I’ve found to be true is that some Christian writers gets off base from time to time in their non-fictional account of God’s word. When this happens something clicks inside me, and as a Berean I will not hesitate to compare the author’s words to that of God’s. Even if the author is in error, I will usually finish reading the book. There may just be some little tidbit or nugget there that would be worthwhile. Having diligently studied the Bible for many years and having been given the discernment that can come only from God concerning His word, I have grasped that added dimension concerning God’s word that many Christians simply don’t realize is available to them. “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you:” 1 John 2:27.
The Holy Spirit resides in every born again believer in Christ, therefore we all have Christ’s anointing. The Apostle John tells us that we aren’t in need of a man to teach us since the Holy Spirit abides in us “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.”1 John 2:20. And He will teach and is teaching us all things. Does this mean we don’t need Bible teachers to help us during our search of the scriptures? Not at all. John is teaching us is he not? Obviously there’s a place for teachers but they are not to have the last word when it comes to the scriptures, or in our personal learning. That domain belongs exclusively to God.
I just can’t get past delving into the subject of just how many Christian pastors have resorted to teaching their congregations from extra-biblical source materials. Why? Is it that they just don’t understand the Word of God themselves, thus they resort to functioning as a quasi-leader utilizing some mere man’s materials instead of focusing on the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to be their guide through the scriptures? It’s been assumed that today in this post-modern world we live in we must change the way we present the Gospel. We must enlighten the masses in a manner never before utilized. The word of God is dated material, thus we must add some nuances of higher dimensionality regarding the teaching and spreading of God’s word. Our new post-modern society demands to be seen as enlightened. Why not just resort to using trickery while dazzling them with chicanery? (Wouldn’t that be tickling their ears?) With these new teaching concepts in place our poor misguided and misunderstood crowd of post-modern humanists will surely be returning every Sunday to receive more “ear tickling”. But here’s the rub, whenever we replace God’s inerrant word with man’s fallible word then we’ve replaced God as sovereign. If we aren’t going to teach the Gospel of Christ in our Christian Churches, then please, stop referring to them as Christian Churches.
Books, both secular and Christian, are so very plentiful a simple perusal through a Barnes and Nobel will attest to that (I do enjoy a good book store). A variety of books pertaining to everything from prophecy to angels and demons can indeed catch my eye. I like to do research on upcoming societal changes as well as extra-ordinary changes that have occurred over a seemingly short period of time; therefore I read books. For example, there are so many changes happening in our culture today that quite frankly would have been unheard of, and certainly completely unacceptable, just thirty years ago. Something I’ve been studying quite extensively is this thing called transhumanism. What is it? What’s it all about? Why all the hubbub? With experimentations designed to change humans into part human and part animal someone has finally sat up and taken notice. What are the ramifications of such experiments which are being billed as an enhancement of the human genome? The scientists who are involved in these experiments are convinced that to save the human race from its own extinction we must evolve to the next higher plane, one that will change the human being into a part human part animal or even part computer. I challenge all of you to put “transhumanism” into a search engine and see what comes up. Frankenstein’s monster is not science fiction any more.
There are a huge number of new scientific breakthroughs all being promoted as an enhancement to human beings so we can live forever. Reading books written by those who’ve been on the cutting edge of this new phenomenon can be enlightening as well as somewhat frightening for anyone who hasn’t studied what God has to say about all this evil. This is just another challenge for those who are watchmen on the wall. Transhumanism needs to be revealed to the Christian public; we all need to be aware of the evil that is now fully entrenched in our science labs. Reading books helps, and like I said, this phenomenon is spoken about quite clearly in our Bibles.
We can begin by reading and studying our God breathed literature beginning with the book of Genesis chapter 6. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose… There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”Genesis 6:1-2, 4-5. Ask yourself what was so bad on planet earth that God would destroy all the inhabitants including the land animals, save eight human souls as well as a few animals? Now take it a step further and ask yourself what’s the difference between then and now? To make it simple, there occurred through some kind of an evil process a corruption of the gene pool between fallen angels and human women. There are man-devised, error filled interpretations of this passage, but a straight forward, proper interpretation of these Scriptures makes it clear that God is telling us about something horrible that occurred concerning the corruption of humanity with fallen angels, and this corruption even involved the animals.
Now let’s skip forward in time and as we read the words of Jesus Himself as He tells us about what’s coming on this planet in the last days. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39. What Jesus is alluding to that will occur in the last days is exactly what occurred prior to the flood of Noah (fallen angels, humans, and animals – transhumanism) which caused God’s wrath to be poured out on an unrepentant world. This evil is now being established in our modern laboratories around the globe, and just as Jesus says it will be fully established just prior to His return. Once again God will pour out His wrath on an unrepentant humanity. God’s wrath will once again be poured out on planet earth, this time instead of a flood He’ll destroy the earth with fire. Reading books can give us a very real perspective on current events. But God’s word should always be our final authority.
There are some Christian authors who I have trusted over the years to be completely in line with the word of God. These authors are true Bereans as am I, thus their books reflect the truth of God’s word. There are others who I know are off base by a point or two which doesn’t stop me from purchasing their books, but I instinctively know that there will be a few red flags raised during my reading of their work.
The point is, we can learn something from most Christian authors even if it’s just a little nugget, other times we might just pick up a priceless gem. But everything we read concerning the Word of God from extra-biblical sources must always be viewed through the lens of the Bible. Go to the true source for accuracy. There is no substitute for His truth.
I’m determined to keep God’s word, to believe He says what He means and means what He says, and to stand firm while being bombarded by the ramblings of the skeptics. Amongst translation errors and downright lies infiltrating our English Bibles these days there will always be a way to obtain the truth. God will keep His Word pure in regards to the original Hebrew and Greek languages. As time progresses our English translations will become more politically correct as the translators do their part by removing or changing scriptures they determine to be burdensome on a society. After all, no one wants to be reminded of those old tired and obscure verses that have no place in our lives today, Especially those that point out God’s distain for sexual immorality. I suggest you all keep your Bible (preferably the King James Version) easily accessible; all kinds of nonsense regarding the word of God is headed our way.
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed