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Thoughts and ministry set forth here about the Bible and Christian life. Questions are welcome to Biblecounsel.net. All letters are held confidential. One can use initals or a nickname if they wish. Readers should also see ministry on other pages of the Bible Counsel site. Send e-mail to R. DeWitt at email@example.com.
- Bible Counsel - Feature Page 3
For those undecided ones who wonder, wander, and worry….
When a religious soul turns from the Bible or changes it to suit self, he/she forms a personal religion;
When one forms a personal religion he/she changes God's ways to man's ways;
When one changes God's ways he/she serves self and pleases Satan;
When one serves self and pleases Satan he/she falls into a trap;
Don't fall into Satan's trap ---hold to the Bible and learn God's ways. - RLD
BIBLE STUDY METHOD
1. WAY TO STUDY THE BIBLE: In the first place, if we don't study we will likely end up following after many voices to our loss and confusion. If one is a true "born again" believer in Jesus, the Christ of God (as shown in John 1; John 3; John 14; etc.), then that one needs to know the mind and ways of God. A good way to study the Bible is to have a system.
2. CULTIVATE A DESIRE TO HEAR GOD SPEAKING TO YOU, and desire to know His message for your life. This comes from "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27), not just interpretations of a few verses. There are no contradictions in the Bible. One needs to see the harmony of Scripture, and the Holy Spirit will apply the truth of it. Do you really want to know what God thinks? Begin by prayer asking God to teach you by His Word as well as circumstances.
3. SET A TIME DAILY OR WEEKLY; otherwise study won't likely happen (Satan will see to that). Decide on the method and course, and prepare. Without a sound method, one will wander and misapply Scripture ---the venerable Authorized King James Bible version is recommended by Bible scholars as being much depended on over 300-400 years; ask Bible Truth Publishers at Addison, IL --USA for help and a catalog (see at the Internet site: Bibletruthpublishers.com):
a) A progressive study of the several aspects of the Bible: BIBLE GENERAL, which encompasses such as overview showing the differences in the 66 books ---as Old Testament and New Testament; and deity; creation; God dealing with mankind; the covenant with Israel; early history; etc. REDEMPTION WAY ---the coming of Israel's Messiah (which has been mostly rejected by them); the birth of the Savior in Jesus, the Christ of God for all mankind, and His ministry for eternal life and blessings in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) ---and without this, one will have no relationship with our eternal Creator-God; CHURCH TRUTH ---as that which shows the scriptural path for the saints (sanctified ones) as in the Epistles (church letters); "unity of the faith" world-wide; the collective testimony of the redeemed souls; sharing in Bible studies; the collective Lord's Supper and His Table; fellowship universal as Bible-Only expressing the "one body in Christ"; and finally the end times prophecy, judgments and eternal destiny as Revelation shows; SPIRITUAL LIFE ---concerning our walk and conversation to honor and obey God; keep His Word; witness to all mankind in love, with prayer and communion with our Savior ---the Lord Jesus.
b) A study of topics or subjects that are essential to the believer's pathway---e.g. holiness, worship, devotion, service, trials, marriage & practical choices, etc. Choose a subject of special interest and learn about it, rather than just reason over it. Good ministry is available from the sources shown herein.
c) A study of each Book and chapter in a progressive way through the Bible: One can read a chapter, pray over it, and then read some sound ministry on it from reliable sources. Some suggest a chapter a day with much prayer. One has said: We ought to do as a cow --"eat, then pause and chew on it awhile". It is important to see that there are no contradictions in the Word of God, and verses ought to be understood first in their context.
4. Have a concordance available, and a good Bible dictionary. The Concise Bible Dictionary is an excellent aide (available at Bible Truth Publishers); also, have paper to take notes for questions and further inquiry. -RLD.
W.O.T.S. BIBLE STUDY
Introduction here to the free W.O.T.S. Bible study, and if a seeker is interested it can be sent in parts. Any questions will be responded to as soon as possible. It is hoped the reader will benefit from these papers, which are not just some general ideas, but verified ministry from "all the counsel of God" and "rightly dividing the Word of Truth", as God has stated. Please feel free to respond to this ministry with any questions or thoughts to this writer to be of help. Seekers should read their Bible with much prayer to God as to each thought expressed, and it is hoped it will prove profitable. Further Bible ministry can be studied monthly at the Internet site: www.biblecounsel.homestead.com. Please advise if the seeker would like to have this free WORD OF TRUTH STUDY sent. Keep looking up, for God cares always! - By R. DeWitt: GB40; 2005; add 4/2020
VIEWING REALITY OF BELIEF
Many professing Christians use verses of Scripture and speak of God and belief, but then are soon found to be only PROFESSORS and not POSSESSORS, of Christ, and thus ignorant of basic 'redemption' truth as our Creator-God has given in His holy "Word of Truth"; and also some visitors to the fellowship of a Scriptural Assembly who are truly "born again" saints, are in disagreement with very fundamental Bible truths held by the gathered Bible-only saints, so this can cause discord or teaching of false doctrine. A scriptural Bible-only Assembly must discern such differences that all may be of "one accord" as God enjoins us. This, of course, is not considered important in most denominated sects of man's design.
Christians who are known to be true to God and showing strong evidence of being devoted to our Savior: the Lord Jesus Christ, and value "all the counsel of God", is essential and profitable. This all suggests the need of a clear recognition of what a true, obedient and faithful Christian believer is ---not speaking here of perfection. I believe certain criteria must be held to honor God, and the local assembly must not just accommodate and include a professor of Christianity, and allow them to go on as though all is well because they say they 'believe' ---Devils also 'believe and tremble' God says. Certainly a visitor should be most welcome to come and learn, but not to be gathered at the Lord's Table to participate until well-known as "born again" (John 3) and faithful in valuing "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27), as we are told --noted also in 1 Corinthians 11:26-29 (so local Elders should discern this). The Lord's supper and all ministry speaks of holiness, and the assembly of saints need to preserve that. - R. L. DeWitt
As to our previous discussion about this one who comes to church meetings occasionally, and has been asking to be a member, allow me to just share some thoughts for your consideration. I don't want to conclude anything, but wonder about him in a number of ways. I will not speak about all personal things he has expressed that I know of in contacts, but want to compare with what you are seeing and your concerns.
He speaks of the Lord some, but it is mostly about a divine Being far away. I would like to hear thoughts about his personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, and some devotion. Does he know the Lord Jesus as God's Son, or only can give intellectual assent to Him as a Teacher, as I have observed in him?
He seems to love his wife and family who are faithful and gathered in the assembly there, and surely would like to be a part of what they enjoy and esteem, but it seems he may be only intellectualizing belief and faith, and the heart may not be involved ---yet he says he is a Christian. He may also be honest but blind to real faith. I wonder about this because I seem to not see the "fruit" the Lord says should be evident (Matt. 7:20); and he continues to speak mostly of the world and foolish things rather than the Word and thoughts of the Savior. I would like to see him let go of reasoning and begin communion with the Lord from an honest heart, before he is embraced as a saint of God. I agree he is a seeker, but he seems to need some faithful counsel before partaking of holy things for his own good and others.
I think some saints there with you might well ask him how he knows he is saved, and then what does the Lord Jesus mean to him, rather than ask 'yes and no questions'. I wonder what he would say to these. I don't think I should ask such questions since I am too far away to see what his immediate response would be, apart from meditating on the answer awhile. If this one is truly "born again", then he at least seems to be quite carnal and not appreciating what we have in Christ; otherwise, I wonder if there is really a new life there. He is very worldly and speaks more of philosophy, I have observed! Christians need to see reality in one and not just some statements!
I have spoken to this dear man about assembly expectations at times in our correspondence, and our heart for the Lord, but instead of a clear response he usually says: "I agree", then sends me more worldly thoughts and comical pictures. I don't know, but I do suppose the best one can do is keep before him the thought that the saints are waiting to see the reality (fruit) of a new life, and not give him a recipe to follow for conformity to the appearance of Christianity. In time he may realize this matter is for him to resolve, and not the assembly. God says: "ye must be born again" (John 3:7).
I pray for you all, and am so thankful for your good and sound testimony there in accord with our holy "Word of Truth". Look up always! - Your brother by grace forever, RLD: GL23; 08/2010; add 04/2021.