I’ve been bringing tours to Israel for a decade now. On these tours, I have had the privilege to get to know various Tour Guides who are incredibly knowledgeable about Israel, her history, and even the Bible. One of the guides that I have become very close to is Isaac. Isaac is an amazing Tour Guide who knows his job very well, giving excellent explanations in the different sites we visit, which really bring the Bible to life.
One of the phrases that Isaac says over and over again is, “The Bible says…” Now, Isaac knows the Bible fairly well, but in order to illustrate a point, I sometimes raise the following question to the tour participants, “How do you know that when Isaac says ‘The Bible says…’ that he is telling the truth?”
My point is that there are many well meaning people, with a strong faith in the LORD, who are being deceived simply because they are not students of the Word; they do not take time to read and digest the Word of God, so they don’t know if what they hear is truly what the Bible says or simply what man says that the Bible says.
My brothers and sisters, I cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to become students of the Word of God. While yes, whoever teaches us will have to face God and give a serious account on Judgment Day, so will we! None of us will be able to say, “But this is what I was told…” – each one of us will give an account of himself and no one else. It is our individual responsibility to know God, and His Word, and to prayerfully consider all teachings that come our way.
A few years ago, a non-believing friend of mine, “M”, was encouraged by his religious (Orthodox) friend to cut all ties with me because of my faith. “M” told his religious friend that he would first like to start a Bible study with both of us, and that if he (the Orthodox man) would be able to convince me that I am wrong, he would in turn become Orthodox; but, if the opposite would happen, he would start to believe that Yeshua is indeed the promised Messiah. We all agreed and started to meet once a week. Another close friend of mine, who also believes that Yeshua is the Messiah, also joined the meetings and so we had our weekly study.
From the second meeting, we started to notice an interesting pattern; the religious man would come with some very interesting questions from his Rabbi in order to challenge our faith. We could always answer these questions with Scripture from the Tanakh (the Hebrew Scriptures). It was a few weeks later that we had to stop our meetings simply because his Rabbi told him not to meet with us because we “knew too much”.
I do not tell this story with pride, but rather sadness. My dear brothers and sisters, let us not judge this Orthodox man because the sad reality is that he represents so many Jewish people who rely more on what their Rabbis say than what is written in the Scriptures. Because he was not willing to seek the truth for himself, he remained blind to the reality of Yeshua as our promised Messiah.
But this is not unique to Jewish people! How many followers of the LORD rely only on what their Pastor or Congregational Leader says? How many of us are serious students of the Word?
In the next few blog entries, we will learn some very foundational yet crucial tenets of our faith, which, unless we agree upon them, we cannot fully understand the importance of God’s Word in our lives.
Let me encourage you to start today to seek a firm foundation in the Word; without it, you could be led astray by false doctrines.
Share this Post
Here in the Philippines, we have the same problem when sharing the Gospel or ministering to people. They often rely on tradition or what the priests say and not what the Word of God says. The bible says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,..” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV).
Thank you for this wonderful explanation of the importance of studying the scriptures so that we will always have
an answer to those question our faith in Messiah Yeshua.. In the last few years that I have been studying the Torah
and the other scriptures, I have been so blessed and desire that all my friends would take this opportunity to know
God better each day. Praying for those who are ministering for Yeshua in Israel these serious days!
Amen! So very foundational to one’s belief in Messiah, yet one of the most neglected disciplines in a believer’s life. It is extremely dangerous to avoid being in the Word. Lest anyone forget, the enemy knows the Word very well and is able to cleverly and deceitfully use it against believers. We need to be proficient in the Word. Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17
I agree Moran. We should be able to say Isaac, “You are correct”, or “no that’s not what it says at all”. Mind you sometimes we may have the wrong translation and need to read it in a text that really reflects what HaShem is trying to convey. So far I have found that Isaac is pretty spot on, with his history
Amen! We need to encourage each other to stay in God’s word regularly. There is no substitute for seeking a firm foundation in God’s word. This is precisely why we have a Biblical literacy crisis in the USA today. False doctrines abound everywhere and unless you stay in God’s word regularly, it’s likely you will be led astray by these false doctrines.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
Moran – it’s amazing how well what you said here fits with what was preached at Hope Chapel this weekend. Elder Bruce Bailey preached on Matthew 7:15-23 where Jesus (sorry, Yeshua) warns us, not only about false prophets and teachers, but about our own self-deception in making a god in our own image. I’m sure I speak for many Christians when I say that Matthew 7:21-23 is one of the scariest passages in all of Scripture!
What I tell people all the time now is that the more you read your Bible, the more you will realize that it’s not about us. The Bible teaches us first and foremost – who God is! Secondly, it tells us how much He loved us (sent His Son to die for us) so that we could be redeemed. I’ve been mulling over 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 this past week as well, which basically tells us that we are to carry on the ministry of reconciliation, as we have been reconciled to God by His grace and sacrifice.
The point is that what you are saying is absolutely essential to the Christian life, that you must STUDY the Word of God in order to know it and understand it. You must read it and meditate on it and talk about it all the time! Once you start doing that, you realize there really isn’t much else out there worth doing really. And I tell unbelievers all the time that I enjoy sharing Jesus and the Bible with them, even if they don’t listen, it helps me, and I am being obedient to God and fulfilling my mission. And occasionally, pretty seldom actually, people’s hearts will be opened and they will hear the truth of God’s love and His offer of salvation. It’s a process of planting seeds though, eh?