As I begin today, my Spirit is heavy with how to approach this subject. There are many Christians who may be offended by this blog. Here is why. There are preachers today who are preaching false doctrine. Instead of preaching the literal interpretation of the Bible, they continue to align themselves with false doctrines. The danger with this is that many "buy" what they are "selling." They love what they hear from these false prophets are teaching and they do not want to hear anybody speak against "God's annointed." Who said that they were "God's Annointed?" Jesus taught that there would be false prophets. (Matt 7:14, Matt 24:24, Mk 13:22; 2Peter 2: 1)
The Bible tells us that we are to test every Spirit. 1 John 4:1 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;" The only way to effectively test a Spirit is by knowing the person of the Holy Spirit and studying the Word of God. Because a "person" preaches in a large church or basketball sized stadium and has a large "following" does not mean that they are preaching the Gospel!! We should follow those who follow Christ and His teachings, not motivational speakers of false doctrine.
Read Mark 13 in its entirety and you will gain knowlege regarding what Jesus has to say about what to expect in the last days. In verses 21-23, He stated "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance." Christ knew that even well meaning Christians could be led astray by false prophets.
You might be wondering where am I going with all of this, so I will tell you. When I sensed God's calling to preach the Gospel, I knew that if I was going to stand before people and proclaim the Word, that I needed to have a better understanding of the Bible. Isn't interesting that preaching is the only "profession" where many believe that no training is necessary. I then asked several Ministers for advice as to what college I should attend. Several of them strongly advised me not to go schools that did not teach a literal interpretation of the Bible, eventhough some of them had attended and graduated from these colleges. Their reasoning for this advice was very interesting. Some of these Seminaries teach based on their religious affiliation (ex. Pentecostal, Presbytarian, Baptist etc.) which in some instances, are in contradiction to the literal meaning of the Scriptures. Luther Rice Seminary and University, that I chose to attend is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, but their Theology-(Study of God) is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, which at times did conflicted with some long-held Southern Baptist "doctrines/traditions". I will expound on these differences in another post. As a result of going to college I learned that prior to going, that I really had no clue about the real meaning of the Bible. I had never heard any preacher explain the everlasting covenant that God made with Israel. I learned that it does not create a problem for a Christian to understand God's plan for Israel, His covenant that came through Jesus Christ dying on the cross and His Promise for all of mankind. I gained knowledge in understanding the History of God which helps me to appreciate the present and His future plans. I also learned that as long as I live, I will never stop learning more about the Bible and The God of the Bible!!!
I can identify with the following Scripture. I knew the Lord, before going to Seminary, but I needed to know the Scriptures more accurately in order to preach it correctly.
Acts 18:24-28: 24 "Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; 26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."
Finally, I ask those of you who will read this to pray with me as I do what I am called to do. As you continue to read my blog please know that I want to help you too, to understand the Scriptures more accurately. Allow yourselves to be like the Bereans in Acts 18, as they searched the Scriptures to see if what they were hearing was lining up with Scripture--then they believed. It is after all what we are supposed to do.