Receive the Word with All Eagerness: Study Like a Berean!

In my recent Bible study time, I’ve been focusing on learning the scriptures of prophecy; Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah, etc.  As this is really all new to me, I’ve also been incorporating commentaries and other writings on the subject.  I came across a free lengthy (60+ pgs) pdf on understanding Biblical prophecy that I had just saved to my desktop to read later.  Well later finally arrived and I’d forgotten where I stumbled across this article in the first place, but I started reading through it.

A couple of days ago I came to the end of this article only to find that they had some very different beliefs.  The bulk of the article was pretty consistent with my understanding of God’s word.  It wasn’t until the final two pages that the true colors of the author were revealed.  So then I really became interested in finding the source of this article.  After doing some research I found that this organization has some questionable practices and beliefs.  I should have started by doing my research!  It would have saved me a few days of reading.  Lesson learned.

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:10-11 ESV)

Whenever we are studying God’s word and seek outside supplication for our understanding, it is very important that we follow the example of the Bereans.  Test everything against the word of God and see if what they are saying is true.  The problem with prophecy is that God’s word only reveals so much.  Much of what is to come is still very much hidden.  And our tendency as humans is to fill in the blanks for Him.  We can logically think things through, but my experience with God is that the logical path isn’t always the one He takes!

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12 ESV)

I am so guilty in this.  We must rely on God’s Holy Spirit to help us discern the interpretation of His Word correctly.  I pray that God will always right my course should I stumble off into false teaching!

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. (1 John 4:1-5 ESV)

Father God, help me as I am studying Your Holy Word to understand it rightly and not to try to know the unknowable.  I, like Daniel, desire to know exactly what things mean.  Help me to watch for the signs of the season so that I am not caught unaware.  Let Your truth change my mind and my heart so that I can quickly identify falsehoods.  Thank You Jesus for revealing the falseness in the article I was reading!  Help me to test everything against Your Word with the help of Your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Beloved, we are not of the world.  We have been sealed by God’s Holy Spirit.  We are His and no one can snatch us out of His hand.  Do not listen to those who speak falsely about God’s Word.  Know the truth for yourself.  Don’t fill in the blanks for God.  He will reveal those things to us at the proper time.  Ask Him to show you what you need to know and be content with that.  He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Keep studying His word.  He has more to reveal to you.  Be encouraged.  Press on.

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