Part I.

Feb. 12, 02

-- King James 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

-- American Standard 2 Timothy 3:16 Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.

-- New International Version 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. NIV

This is a teaching that will be coming out in at least two parts. The first one below, lays the ground work for some of the over-all concerns and areas that we need to be aware of. In Part II. I intend on continuing this with some areas spiritually that we as prophets need to be particularly aware of.

I find that there are many out there among us who teach and preach "certain" scriptures and areas of the Bible, and seem to avoid others. I believe that we are all guity of this in one way or another. I include myself in this as well. Sometimes it seems that a certain scripture is "elevated" above others, and is given predominance. We are told in 2 Tim. 2:15, that we are to do our best to present ourselves to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who "correctly handles the word of truth." How does one "correctly handle the word of truth?" Well, one way is by not taking a portion of scripture out of context. When we are reading we need to go back to the chapter we are reading, and see what the "entire chapter" is concerned about. Another thing that can very easily happen is that one may find themselves either just reading a certain portion of the Bible and excluding perhaps the Old Testament.

We have an example for us in Hebrews that outlines some of the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ. HEB 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, [2] instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. [3] And God permitting, we will do so.

What seems to happen is that someone can very easily "pull a portion of a text, like this, out of context." Our doctrines need to be focused upon Christ and not on other things. We should all have an understanding about what our faith in God is and is about, but in ONLY continuing to empahsize this, one falls short. Or as an other example, how we should baptise one another, or laying on of hands. These are but a few examples within this portion of scripture that have been either over-emphasized, or pulled out of context. God wants us to go beyond these teachings, and then onto maturity.

Remember that Israel polluted and misunderstood the law as it was given to them as well. We are in the same danger. An example of this is here:

DT 5:12 "Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. [13] Six days you shall labor and do all your work, [14] but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do.

Then we have Jesus come upon the scene and he is encountered by some of the Pharisees of the day:

MT 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. [2] When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

MT 12:3 He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? [4] He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. [5] Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? [6] I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. [7] If you had known what these words mean, `I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. [8] For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man. How easy it is for a certain law, a statue, to be carried to excess, and then misapplied.

Another area that oftentimes becomes distorted is in area of the "faith teachers." Here again, this is an excellent "portion" of scripture and one that is very valuable for us, but when this particular doctrine is elevated above all others than that is ALL one considers. Here as well is a part of scripture that is sometimes quoted: PS 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. A beautiful verse and a promise from God, BUT what about the first part of it? We must "delight ourselves in the Lord first," and then our desires will line up with His. From this type of teaching can easily come the "I name and claim it doctrine." Again, what starts out as an important area of scripture then ends up as distorted and is elevated beyond its original intent. Here is another one: MT 21:21 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. [22] If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Now of course Jesus is referring to the "mountains and areas of obstacles and problems in our lives and not actual mountains. " But I find that the last verse is where the real problem lies. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." So if we simply believe then we will receive whatever we ask for in prayer! Well, it seems that there would then be a lot of folks out there with a Mercedes and huge bank accounts. BUT what is the intent of this scripture? The intent I believe, is that when we spend time together in prayer with God, that through our times of fellowship with Him, that our desires again will be aligned with His desires, and we will then receive what we ask for in prayer. Will He meet our needs? Most certainly, but if we ask presumptously then we will not receive.

The desire for spiritual gifts is a good one and is outlined in I CO. 12--I CO. 14. We are told to "eagerly desire spiritual gifts, but when this is ALL we are seeking, then we have missed something. I believe that the same is true of the various ministries that are stated in Ephesians 4. [11] It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.....When we are concentrating or focusing on just what our duties are, we are missing the boat again. All of this, and EVERYTHING we study, should be pointing us back to the author and finisher of our faith---JESUS. We need to seek the mind of Christ. We need to seek the whole counsel of God. It is the ENTIRE WORD of God and not just a certain food group that will satisfy us and give us a healthy diet.

Finally, anyone who wants to have a healthy diet must partake of ALL of the basic food groups. If one is just eating meat and potatoes, then their diet is suffering. The same is true in the spiritual realm. If we are just partaking of the gospels of Christ, then we are unbalanced. To be sure, we will have grasped some important concepts and teachings of Christ that are pointed out within the parables that He taught. But we have neglected other areas, important areas of truth as seen in the Epistles, the psalms, the prophets, etc. We need each other. We need to be grounded in the entire word of God so that we will show ourselves approved by God. We need what the apostle can bring to us in this hour. We need their discernment and their area of expertise concerning doctrine, so that we are not carried away by the various winds and waves of strange teachings. But we are in danger there as well, when we JUST emphasize what they bring to the table. Seek the whole and entire counsel of God.

1CO 2:10 ...The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. [11] For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. [12] We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. [13] This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. [14] The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. [15] The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: 1CO 2:16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

Stephen Hanson