David Pawson - Why Read the Bible? Part 4

Thoughtful Thoughts 23 August 2019 - Why read the Bible - Part 4 

Catch up...Reading the Scriptures stops us being led up the garden path.

We need to read the Scriptures to avoid copying human error.

-In Part 1 we looked at alterations made by the Anglican Church to the original Jewish Scriptures when producing the Old Testament, showing why Jews rejected the church’s Bible.

-In Part 2 we saw that a Messianic Jew provided a correction to the alterations listed in Part 1, which the church had made to the Jewish Scriptures whilst producing the Old Testament. That correction was in the form of “The Complete Jewish Bible”, so that Gentiles now had the benefit of a copy of the original  Scriptures which the Jews had always had.

-In Part 3 we saw that the Anglican church added a clause to the constitution of the Bible Society, forbidding any translation of the Greek word “baptizo”, as it means to ‘immerse’. 

-Part 4 - Reading the Scriptures gets us to the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  

We need to read the Scriptures to see God’s own signpost directing us back to Him. 

Scripture is a reliable source to teach us about God, by His Holy Spirit. Timothy explains that if we seek wisdom, we just need to ask God. Scripture is God’s classroom. You can test the difference between reading the Bible for ourselves, and what the church teaches very simply, like this... 

How many of these teachings can you tick off the list, as being taught by your church?

- That giving “is no longer compulsory”; 2 Cor. 9:7.

- That giving is not for buildings or jobs, but was for church widows, the poor and orphans.

  James 6:1; 1Tim.5: 3,9,16; Acts 6:1; & 9:36; & 10:4+31; & 24:17; Rom.15:26; 2 Cor.9:9; Gal.2:10.

- That Gentile believers are branches on the Jewish “vine”, and God said He is going to bring Jews  

  back front and centre, by recognising who Jesus is; (Rom. 9 to 11).

- That Jesus said He will be removing some names from His Book of Life; Rev. 22:19.

- That Jesus said that the next time He comes back, He will be judging. Rev. 19:11.  

- That Jesus taught that His disciples will be dying throughout the troubles just prior to His return;

  Rev.7:14. 

- That repentance, (a “U Turn” towards God), followed by obeying Jesus, are requirements for those seeking forgiveness. Matt.22:11+13; Entry to the Kingdom is free, but obeying the King is required when we become citizens of His Kingdom, Matthew 8:12. Rom 12:1-2.

- That Baptism is for believers by immersion after repentance; Acts 2:38.

- That it is Jesus who will be bringing the world to an end, not man’s events; 1 Thess.4:16-18.

- That Jesus Himself taught that there is a hell; Matt.10:28.

- That Jesus taught about divorce and “remarriage”; Mk. 10:11-12; Lk.16:18; Matt.5:32, & 19:9

These examples show highlight why we need to read the Bible for ourselves. 

The church Jesus established…

-When Jesus coined the term ‘church’, he meant His disciples. 

The church Jesus set up, ate and prayed together daily, meeting each other’s needs, and had “no needs amongst themselves”; (Acts 4:34). It was a family community. Jesus said that we would have many more brothers and sisters in His church than any biological ones. The family idea was Jesus’ principle and the Apostles copied it. 

When the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, sought to do exactly that, he faced opposition from the Anglican Church for wanting to copy what Jesus taught. One creative excuse manufactured against him was an accusation that he “elevated women”. Well, to avoid problems with the Anglican Church, he didn’t include communion in his meetings and argued that he wasn’t a church. That freed him up to get on with what Jesus instructed, of giving to the widows, the poor and the orphans. 

After the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, the public were invited by a “Z” petrol station to vote for an organisation to  receive $1,000,000. The general public voted for the Salvation Army to get it. They are the only church I can think of, who can knock on a stranger’s door and get a positive response. 

William Booth wrote; “I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Spirit, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.” 150,000 people lined the streets at his funeral. 40,000 people attended the funeral itself, including Queen Mary.

It is critical we read the Bible for ourselves, or we end up following churches as William Booth predicted, without Christ. 

Compare that with what happens when man creates a church... it puts in a “helter skelter ride” in the heart of the church at two pounds a ride, (Norwich Cathedral). The Dean of the Cathedral, Jane Hedges, and her sidekick, Canon Andrew Bryan showed off what they thought was their great new idea in a TV interview. Well, I thought, now I’ve seen everything. Well, it turned out I hadn’t...

Liverpool Cathedral does Yoga classes and Rochester Cathedral has installed a mini-golf course inside the church. York Minster was used to appoint David Jenkins as Bishop, who didn’t believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus, or His miraculous birth, or His miracles, before lightning struck it, and a fire burned down that part of the Cathedral. Then there was the preacher who was reading Jesus words, (the Beatitudes), on the public area outside St Paul’s Cathedral. The Dean called the Police. The  Police asked the Dean “why” he was making a fuss about a Bible being read outside the church. The Dean replied the Bishop told him to! If you want to buy a closed church, just Google one.

The main thing to take from this message is the reason why we need to read the Bible for ourselves. The danger is that we end up following churches giving us skewed teaching, as William Booth predicted. Cliff Richard honours the Salvation Army with this song...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVkJsyNmtpY

I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.

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