Wednesday, July 21, 2010
My experience and observation has shown me that many people lack a real understanding of the atonement, of how grace works in their lives, and of many other important gospel issues. I feel that the lack of agreement and seeming confusion, if I can call it that, is the result of many false traditions which were established hundreds of years ago, fostering erroneous concepts concerning the nature of God and of His gospel. Hopefully, this book can help resolve any misunderstanding concerning such issues.
I know that staying totally objective is almost impossible to do by any writer, regardless of what they claim. Nevertheless, my purpose is not to just present personal opinion—but truth. It is to help the reader develop a personal faith-filled relationship with their Creator, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” (Eph. 4:13-15.)
What is presented in this book is not part of an effort to establish any new religion, nor is it sponsored by or devised to promote any specific religion. The work is only presented in hopes that it will bring to the reader a deeper meaning of the Holy Word, and help them develop a fuller and more meaningful relationship with their Savior, Jesus Christ, that they might look forward, with loving anticipation, to His glorious return.
Over many years, I have participated in a lot of discussions and considered the teachings of various Christian denominations in search of God’s truth. Realizing that there is much fervor and division among good people, I have paid much attention to what has been going on in the Christian community, particularly when it comes to gospel doctrine and the answers to life’s greatest questions. Consequently, I feel that most are in spiritual darkness when it comes to understanding who they are, where they come from, why they are here upon this earth, and what their true destiny can be after this mortal existence. As I have studied various subjects, I have come to some very firm conclusions which many mainline Christians have a rather difficult time grasping.
One of those conclusions is that I believe that the church-going public today, as a whole, does not believe the Bible. They only desire to believe what they are told to believe and have little, if any, inclination to study out truth for themselves. God encourages us through the Prophet Isaiah, saying, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:...” (Isa.1:18.) Using the Holy Spirit as our guide, the Creator wants us to know the answers to life’s greatest questions. He wants us to analyze and reason things out on our own instead of just accepting someone else’s opinions and conclusions—be they true or false.
The Holy Spirit witnesses the truth of all things, especially to those who diligently seek Him; and those not relying upon that spirit will ultimately become deceived. Although it is written, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:9), this does not mean that God doesn’t deal in logic, or that we are not to understand Him. On the contrary, everything has its place, and all things are in order with Him. Just look at the universe and nature itself to see the order and rationale of our Creator. In like manner, we can use our reasoning faculties, with which God has endowed mankind to help us intelligently think as facts are presented. But first and foremost, the whisperings of the Holy Spirit is to supercede logic in our quest for truth.
In saying that, we must understand that there is a difference between the whisperings of the Holy Spirit and that of our personal emotions. When we hear, read, see, or experience something that is contrary to our way of thinking, believing, or personal preference, such things can stir within us various negative and uncomfortable feelings. When we hear what we want to hear, see what we enjoy seeing, or experience what we like to experience, the emotion received can be very comfortable, exciting, and can even bring one to tears. However, the problem here is that the emotion involved is often confused with receiving the Spirit.
Another problem is that many people claim that God has called them to their supposed exalted spiritual status, so they try and exercise unrighteous authority and influence over the minds of those they wish to influence with their own personal opinions instead of God's will.
The real question is, then, are we to follow the traditions of man and accept what man has always believed, even when using the King James Bible, or are we to use our God-given intellect, touched by the Holy Spirit, to seek truth, regardless of how comfortable or uncomfortable that truth may be? It simply boils down to truth verses tradition.
As you consider that which follows, you could find biblical concepts that may seem extreme. Still, don’t be startled by them. I realize that some of what follows might be rather different than the reader is accustomed. However, you have the option of not accepting all that is presented. That’s okay, for God gave you the right of free choice. And even if you end up disagreeing with most of what is presented, you might pick up a couple of very useful nuggets of truth. Real truth, though, as previously stated, can make some people quite uncomfortable, especially if that truth collides with previously held ideas.
Many people understand that false beliefs have gotten a hold of all of us at one time or another—this author being no exception. The adversary is very clever, and he has had thousands of years experience at being sly and deceptive. As I study and discover what the Spirit would have me understand, I often find it uncomfortable, even painful. To make the changes in life as prompted by the Spirit goes against established norms and traditions of family, friends, and society at large. Nevertheless, truth is truth no matter where it is found and regardless of how comfortable or uncomfortable it makes me feel.
So, as you start reading that which follows, I ask that you read all of it and try to do so from another perspective. Don’t just take for granted what you have been told most of your life, or what the Christian community has been teaching for hundreds of years. It’s good to do a little personal research. Why should you leave the answers to important questions up to someone else’s interpretation, regardless of who that person might be?
With these thoughts in mind, I felt it meaningful to rework and expand my previously published book, “Come Unto Me”, and offer it a new title—Truth Eternal. In this book, it will be noted that the selecting, editing and arrangement of works cited herein are of my choosing, and all emphasis, such as bolding, italics or capitalization (other than in original quotes) are totally my responsibility.
Also, the reader can rest assured that the views expressed are derived from my own personal study of God’s word. Along with biblical references, and in support of concepts presented, I took the liberty of offering outside testimony and examples. Further, I have only tried to present that which I felt impressed by the Spirit to present; nevertheless, being human, I know that I am not always in tune with that Spirit as I would like. Consequently, I do not claim infallibility in anything I do, for I am only a man and still fall into some of those pits dug by the adversary. In addition to that, the reader is to take note that my sir-name does not indicate any extraordinary prowess in literary proficiency. Therefore, I beg forgiveness of any noted weakness contained herein.
While leafing through these pages, readers are invited to use their scriptures (the Authorized King James Version) to follow the biblical references cited, and petition the Father for a full understanding of that which is presented. There is a maxim that says, scripturae non in legendo sed in intelligendo, meaning, scripture is not just reading words but understanding their meaning. So, letting go of preconceived philosophies which have been, for the most part, received through tradition, let’s “reason together,” with the Spirit of God, and see what the Bible is really trying to say.
Joseph Warren Grammer