Does Searching the Scripture ensure that I Won't be Deceived by Someone Teaching It.
If I sit and listen to you interpret the Bible, and then I check the scriptures to see if what was said lines up with scripture or not, and I conclude it is not, is it still possible that what you taught is the truth of God?
May I answer my own question...Yes it is. Why?
Because if I search the scripture from my preconceived viewpoint, to solidify my denominated belief and that belief is not correct, then even though I see the scripture as validating my belief I am wrong in that validation because I have twisted the scripture to line up with what I already believe rather than letting it formulate what I believe.
No matter how spiritual in-tune we may think we are in knowing the mind of God, we are never so in-tune that we will ALWAYS INTERPRET the scripture correctly. Why? Because we are human and our interpretation may be from simply a mental accent to prove my doctrine and not the Spirit's infusion of the truth, because of my preconceived idea as to what it means. However, the person sharing may have heard from the Spirit of Truth and what he shared was right, even though I considered it wrong because it did not line up with my perceived interpretation of the scriptures he dealt with. Can I be so arrogant as to believe that my orthodox denominated teaching by fallible men is correct, even if it doesn’t line up with the teachings of Jesus...I can be, but I sure hope not.
When we bury our head in the sand of orthodoxy and tradition...it then becomes frighteningly easy for us to fall into deception even though we think we can’t. The devastating thing is that we could be deluded in what we believe and completely unaware of it, therefore, when we search the scripture we are searching for something to back up the deception we believe to be truth. We are then in a greater danger of deception because we think it can’t happen to us because we are “spiritually” in-tune. Those who killed Jesus were appalled that their ancestors had killed God’s prophets. They were certain they would never do such a thing.
1 Corinthians 4:4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. We may boast of a clear conscience, but that does not make us right in what our conccience is clear on,,,why? Because we what we think is right, have acceptd as right, and believed it to be right and from man's delusional perspective is right, may not be right from God's perspective.
Let these Scriptures speak as to whether you can be deceived or not:
Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Matthew 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible.
Matthew 25:44,46 They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ . . . Then they will go away to eternal punishment
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. . . .
James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself . . .
If we are to truly hear from God, it is essential that we avoid the trap of blindly assuming that if it is contrary to our indoctrinated doctrines it is not of God.
We may have walked with God for a long time, but not long enough to sometimes mishear Him, because what the Lord was seeking to tell us was contrary to our denominated understanding of scripture. Scripture insists that as the sky soars way beyond our reach, so are God’s ways far beyond our own (Isaiah 55:8). Yet still we unconsciously develop presumptions about God’s ways that seriously distort what He is seeking to tell us.
No matter how sincere...our preconceptions if wrong, blind us to spiritul possibilities, without our realizing it. They have horrifying potential to send us spinning into delusion.
Mindsets, whether positive or negative, can dangerously cloud our perception of spiritual reality and of what our spiritual teachers are really saying. For example, there are people whose tragic pasts have convinced them that they are unlovable...yet, they are loved by the most loving and most important person in the entire universe...our Loving God...yet they still can’t accept it and, despite everything, they continue to feel utterly unloved because of the religious deception infusion thay have sat under such as one person said regarding my post yesterday, quoted here “I believe the same good news grace gospel that Paul preached. I am not one of those that rewrites the Bible to make God more loving than he actually is.” Italics mind. Does this person not believe that “God can be more is Lovinge”.
Read one person’s experience that is an example of how preconceptions distort our ability to hear from God.
“I had an abusive father who only sent me to church to get a free baby sitter. I often looked at God as similar to my father. I stopped attending church when I was 13. I tried to be a good Christian for a while, but before long I plunged from being a good kid to being a mean spirited, hateful person.
I tried numerous times to get back to God but each time I hit a wall of fear that was so unbearable that I felt compelled to turn away from God. I often told myself that this fear was God’s punishment for my gross sins and that it proved I was beyond forgiveness. I had a lot of bad thoughts about God that I had no control over. As a result, I often slipped into depression. I would then get on medication and return to my sinful lifestyle.
It seemed the only way I could function was to eliminate God from my life. I did fine for a while. I got married and had a son. I got off drugs and alcohol. I even started a business. For the first time in my life I was finally happy. I thought I had completely erased my past.
Then I began to think that all these good things were from God. I told myself, “It can’t be! There is no God!”
“Why do so many people love God?” I puzzled, “He wants only to send everyone to hell.” Wondering if I had overlooked something, I explored a number of websites and learned a lot about God. I asked myself, “Why do I despise God so much?” Within a couple of days I was once again overwhelmed by fear. I told myself, “This fear is surely God again; I remember this from years ago.” I immediately cried and began repenting. I vowed that I would face my fear of God. I turned my back on everything evil in my life.
I started reading the Bible but I was afraid that it would only confirm that I’m condemned. Before long, it felt like everything in the Bible somehow condemned me. My mother worried about my spiritual state and visited me a lot. I would often tell her, “Look, this verse right here proves I’m going to hell!” We would then go over it and discover its meaning was totally different. I couldn’t figure out why I could read something and get such a condemning message from it. I would often stop reading the Bible because oppressive fear would come over me.
I bought a book about spiritual warfare. All was fine for a while, then even that book seemed to be condemning me and in despair I put it down. Eventually, I forced myself to open the book again. I re-read the condemning sentence I had underlined. To my surprise, I couldn’t find anything in it that could lead me to feel condemned.
I began to notice that as I read, fear would sweep over me, causing me to throw the book down without finishing the sentence.
I eventually learned that the fear and condemnation were not from God, as I had always thought, but were from the enemy. This discovery changed everything. I looked back on all the things in my life that I had considered were from God and realized that they were not from him at all.” End quote.
This person’s experience might be far more extreme than ours but any preconception we have about God and His desire is just as capable of distorting what God wants to tell us, and like this person, wherever we look in the Bible to support our preconceived beliefs, we will find much to confirm our presumption...whether it is really there or not.
We “MUST” confuse neither wishful thinking, preconceived notions, denominated man-made doctrine, the fear-mongering of the fear-mongers, the threat of curses or the threat of hell, as ways to interpret the written word of God.