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Tuesday: Safeguarded by the Word — 11 Comments

  1. I remember watching a video of David Koresh (Vernon Wayne Howell) many years ago when he visited Avondale College (now Avondale University). He had not been invited, but he had gathered a group of students together for a Bible study. It was very intense and David had his well-worn Bible in his hand and quoted scripture after scripture supporting his apocalyptic view of the world. I viewed this after the events that occurred in Waco, Texas and it was only then that I heard of his visit to Avondale and saw the video. I mention this because something was wrong with his "Safeguarded by the Word".

    It is very easy to make the Bible say what you want it to say. And there are plenty of people who have made up their minds the way it should be interpreted and view the Bible through that filter. One of the subtle deceptions of evil is to let you think that you are your own best interpreter.

    We need to think very carefully about what we mean when we say the Bible is the "Word of God" so that we guard against extremes of interpretation by those who think they have got it right. I have a couple of suggestions that may help.

    • Read the Bible for yourself - any translation - even they tough bits. Carmel and I are reading Exodus at the moment - not just the Ten Commandments. It makes a big difference to our understanding when we read the context.
    • Discuss the Bible with your fellow Christians. That is the way the Holy Spirit works - interaction with others.
    • Pray with your spiritual eyes open. You are not reading the Bible to gain brownie points in heavenly status
    • Interact with real people - even the ones you don't like.
  2. I was reading Jesus’ story of the 10 bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom, and this quote from Christ Object Lessons by Ellen White really matches our lesson today….. of how God’s Word of Truth must change our characters.

    In the parable, all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ's second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ's near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,” many are unready. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit. (408.2)

    Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word is of no avail. The theory of truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart. One may be familiar with the commands and promises of the Bible; but unless the Spirit of God sets the truth home, the character will not be transformed. Without the enlightenment of the Spirit, men will not be able to distinguish truth from error, and they will fall under the masterful temptations of Satan. (408.3)

    The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit's working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up. This class are represented also by the stony-ground hearers. They receive the word with readiness, but they fail of assimilating its principles. Its influence is not abiding. The Spirit works upon man's heart, according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature; but the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. Their service to God degenerates into a form. “They come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.” Ezekiel 33:31. The apostle Paul points out that this will be the special characteristic of those who live just before Christ's second coming. He says, “In the last days perilous times shall come: for men shall be lovers of their own selves; ... lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. (411.1)

    Praying for the power of God’s Word to continue to transform me/us. 🙏🏻

  3. Getting baptised without repentance, is the making of a foolish virgin.

    Therefore Repentance and the forgiveness of sin, must precede baptism,

  4. The Bible represents a safe port while things around are so messy. The world has gone mad, and time isn't helping. Everything is changing too fast. But as the Love of our Creator, His Word does not change - that's His character: a safe port in times of troubled waters.

  5. We are told to fight against any and all attempts to undermine the authority or inspiration of the Bible. I am sure we don't go out and physically destroy those who do, that is against God's will for us. Rather we are to fight our tendencies to fall into these deceptions on a personal basis and stand steadfast in our belief that as we study the Bible the Holy Spirit will lead us to truth. Take a look at 2 Peter 1: 5-7. Which is faith's ladder to virtue. The 2nd rung of the ladder is knowledge. I am sure Peter was talking about studying the Scriptures daily that we may have communion with God, and that we may give an account of our belief. 1 Peter 3:15.

  6. This is a quote from my devotional reading this morning:

    During the] hours of the night, while others are sleeping, I am praying that the responsible work committed to my trust may be so unselfishly and faithfully done that God will approve. The anxiety is not with me what others may think or what others may do, but What shall I do to glorify God? and Will my work bear the inspection of God? Is every high look removed from me? Is my heart in harmony with Jesus, the humble Man of Calvary? I am weeping and praying and working, trying my motives and feelings in the light of eternity, and if I am saved at last, it will be through the matchless love of my Redeemer. (part of a letter Ellen White wrote to her husband)

    Should this not be the prayer for each of us daily.

  7. Thank you Maurice. I always appreciate your input. We need to guard ourselves now, more than ever and not rely on man’s interpretation.

    • Maurice Ashton I'm interested in knowing how this preacher got it wrong on "safeguarded by the word" kindly share more.

      • David Koresh was a cult leader who gained traction with folk who wanted to know more about the Bible and end-time events. He abused people's trust in the Bible and his conspiracy based interpretation of it to form and maintain his cult. Sadly it ended with bun battle and fire in Waco, Texas with, from memory, some 40 deaths. The fact that the cult grew out of and preyed on Seventh-day Adventists is a reminder that sometimes religous fervour can obscure the very truths of the Bible.

        The take-away lesson is that we should never become spiritually dependent on a charismatic leader.

        There is a lot more that I could say about cultism but that is a topic for another time.

  8. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Darkness, spiritual slavery and death are what he desires for us.

    Light (Ps 119:105, 130), liberty (Ps 119:133) and life (Ps 119:116) are three gifts that God gives us through His Word.

    Praise God!


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