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.
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