Bible Truth, or Religious Doctrine: in which do you believe? - - We all want to answer "Bible truth," and we likely believe that is the appropriate answer for ourselves. Does such an answer really reflect our beliefs though, or does it rather reflect what we want to believe. Maybe even what we have been told by others to believe? Could we be deceived? Could we be deceiving ourselves? (Mt 7:22) It is an easy thing to examine: You need simply to verify that the organization you associate with teaches only what the Bible teaches. (Mr 12:24) It is in your best interest to make such an examination of your faith. (Ro 12:1-2) Prove everything your organization teaches comes from the Bible. (Ac 17:11) That is the purpose and benefit of the Bible: so we can all know what we are taught comes from God! Helping you verify that is the purpose of this website.
Don't be deceived by those whose real motive is in maintaining their authority over you, as was the case of the Jewish religious leaders in the days of Jesus's preaching: John 11:45-48 GW (45) Many Jews who had visited Mary and had seen what Jesus had done believed in him. (46) But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. (47) So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council. They asked, "What are we doing? This man is performing a lot of miracles. (48) If we let him continue what he's doing, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will take away our position and our nation."

There are some simple questions you can ask yourself to help avoid being misled: Does "your organization" discourage you from being noble minded by your making a comparison of every single one of it's teachings with the Bible? Do they rather demand you (become a Doeg by your submission to) accept what they teach without question? Do they expect you to just go along because they are "good guys", or because they do "good works"? Do they demand you trust them because they assert they are God's "true servants", His "anointed ones" and His only "true" organization? Do they suggest you are not wise enough to study the Bible on your own, but must rely on certain members their organization to "interpret" scripture for you? (Joh 7:49) Do they insist special individuals within their organization are infallible and above question? Do they imagine the books and magazines they produce (calling them Bible study aids) are spiritual food from God, the same as the Bible? (Gal 1:8) Do they equate your only hope for life with being an approved member of their sect? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are likely being misled. You should stop following them. You must turn to following Christ through your personal knowledge of what he taught us in the Bible. It is not hard. It requires only a little effort and it is such a joy!

For a good example of the danger we warn you about, we might consider the Jewish religious leaders of Jesus day. They were anxious to "interpret" the law for their sheep (for the people they sought to lord themselves over). Jesus and his followers exposed the hypocrisy of those self important religious leaders. (Ac 18:28 ; Mt 23:27-33) For any person of Jesus's day to gain "real truth," then, they had to recognize the hypocrisy in those religious leaders. They simply needed to seek/have knowledge of the Bible (Mr 12:24) and to understand what it meant by listening to Jesus. (Mr 9:7) They could see him raise the dead and heal the sick, so they had good reason to listen and believe. Reading the Bible record of Jesus's teachings is how we can follow that same pattern today. By reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we can still listen to Jesus. It is the next best thing to actually sitting at his feet. People might provide a little guidance, but Jesus is the only interpreter of the Bible you need. He is the only one you can trust! Explaining who God is and what He expects of us (interpreting the Bible for us) is one very important thing Jesus came to do. (Mt 11:27 ; Lu 10:22 ; 1 Jn 5:20 ; 1 Ti 3:16-4:3) Before Christ, when God spoke to men through their dreams, there sometimes needed to be an interpreter of those dreams. (Ge 40:8) God has completed the Bible record, however, so we no longer need to dream dreams or to have someone to interpret them. The completed Bible is the interpretation of life, and Christ Jesus came to explain it to us. Allowing others to interpret the Bible only leaves room for imperfect or wicked men to lead you along in their error. (2 Co 11:3 ; 2 Ti 3:13) The Bible is  a  the book for all people! (1 Ti 2:3-4 ; Ac 10:35) Knowing for your-own-self what the Bible teaches is the only way to verify who really are "the good guys", who really are the true followers of Christ. Christians are identified very simply: by their obedience to Jesus's teachings. (Mt 7:15 ; 1 Joh 4:1) It is foolish to entrust your faith to any (imperfect) man or group. (2 Co 5:10 ; Ga 1:8) If you follow some group and they are wrong, you become responsible. That is why God gave us the bible: so we can each define and know what truth is. (2 Co 4:2) In this way, everyone is responsible for their own faith, and no one is favored or has a leg-up.

Most every organized religion will assert their organizational doctrine, and the truth of the Bible, are one and the same thing. Do not be misled, they are very different! We are all imperfect, meaning we all make mistakes. To keep the mistakes in the thinking of men from corrupting the truth is why the Bible writers were led (or driven) along by holy spirit. (2 Pe 1:21) When Jesus taught people, he often quoted from the Hebrew scriptures (old testament) to prove and give credibility to what even he taught. (Mr 7:6 ; Lu 2:23 ; Mr 1:2) In addition, Jesus performed miracles to prove he was the son of God and had authority to teach from, and even to expand upon, what had already been written in those (old testament) scriptures. Jesus was led by the holy spirit and he proved it! (Joh 5:30) Those miracles Jesus performed left no doubt his teachings came from his Father, (Joh 7:16-17 ; Joh 8:38) and that he was the Messiah who had been promised by God. (Joh 4:25-26) Christ was the hope looked forward to by faithful men and women since Adam's sin. (Ge 3:15 ; Tit 1:1-2) The record of his life and teachings is what Jesus left for us in the Christian Greek scriptures (the new testament). That Bible canon was closed many years ago, and those sealed teachings of Christ Jesus provide the only acceptable doctrine for our day. Men must not go beyond those Bible teachings. (1 Co 4:6) Any Bible instructors who are sincere, and who have your best interest at heart, will agree with that and will encourage you to verify everything you learn using the Bible. Whether other men approve your study or not, however, you have the task of verifying for yourself what Jesus taught, using the Bible. (Joh 8:32) Don't let men convince you that is too hard, or you are too stupid to do it!

How, though, do so many seemingly well meaning religious groups go so wrong? Usually, they start with noble aspirations to define Bible knowledge for themselves. Next, they want to form an organization to support their effort. Once they establish that organization, they start to write down rules of conduct for themselves, and for others of "like faith." As they start to generate rules, in their effort to protect their newly formed organization, rendering judgment over their "sheep" from those rules becomes more important than continuing as Bible students. Trying to form an organization, then, proves to be their error and undoing. What they all fail to grasp is the true Christian organization has already been formed, and it's roll is being kept in heaven. (Luke 10:20) We are individually made Christian by our faith, or we are kept from being part of God's organization by our lack of faith. (Jn 1:12 ; Lu 5:20 ; Mt 21:21-22 ; Mr 1:15) It's no more complicated than that! If you have let men convince you of your need for them, in addition to your personal faith in Christ Jesus, you are most surely in trouble. When groups start judging people from their organizational writings, they have forgotten the "Bible rule" not to go beyond the things written. (1 Co 4:6) They go beyond the teachings of the Christ when their own rules become their new religious doctrine. (Ga 1:8-9) Soon, they start to measure people as righteous or wicked based on that doctrine. The hypocritical Jews of Jesus day were famous for their traditions (or doctrine) from which they freely judged other men, including Christ Jesus himself. (Mr 7:1-8) It seems all (or most) modern day organized religion is guilty of that same sin. Remember always: Jesus established the Christian congregation [or organization]. Wise persons will try to join themselves to what Jesus started. Only the Bible explains how to do that! Basically, becoming a Christian means first becoming familiar with Jesus's teachings as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Then, you must make adjustments in your life as that knowledge gives you ability to show love toward others. Demonstrating love for others is the real proof you truly believe in the Bible. (Joh 8:32 ; Joh 17:17) If you wish to join others as an aid in learning what the Bible teaches, you must be careful they are sincere Bible students, attempting to be footstep followers of Christ Jesus. As we progress in Christian maturity, we want to be able to make a defense of the hope created in us by the Bible knowledge we gain. (1 Pe 3:15) We will all come in contact with people who want to assert this or that diverse religious doctrine as Bible truth, and then claim their group is the only "true" religion. Such groups will also be anxious to judge other people based on that person's agreement with their doctrine. To become mature and noble minded Christians, we must have (or gain) enough Bible knowledge to either refute such doctrine or to accept it as being in harmony with Bible teaching. That is the process by which we grow to spiritual maturity as Christians. (1 Co 3:1-3 ; Heb 5:13-14) We can freely listen to what people say about the Bible. Then, we can encourage them by making clear we know what they say does indeed come from the Bible. Or, we can help them by telling them what the Bible really does say, if we believe they are in error. (Ga 2:11) We don't have to dispute with them. Simply show them what the Bible teaches. What individuals choose to do with knowledge of Bible truth is between them and the Creator of us all. Sometimes, we may not have enough scriptural knowledge to know if what someone puts forth as truth is supported by the Bible. It is OK not to know (assuming we have not yet had an opportunity to learn). (Ro 3:19 & 20) We should not, however, join with anyone by going along with what we do not personally know the Bible says, nor do we need to condemn them. A sincere "I don't know," along with an expressed hope in God through faith in Christ Jesus is always an acceptable answer. (Joh 17:3 ; Pr 30:4) We can take comfort in knowing they are responsible for the assertions they make in Christ's name! (Ac 5:1-10 ; Ac 12:21-23) Of course, as we gain knowledge of God's word, it does bring responsibility to be obedient to what we learn, and then to share that truth. (Lu 11:52 ; 1 Joh 5:3) If we truly love God, we do so because we have first come to know him. We then love him because he is good and everything he does is perfect. (Heb 11:6) Christian maturity takes years of time. Don't let anyone rush you to join in something you don't know about. (Proverbs 20:25) Sincere persons who want to teach in Jesus's name should always have scriptural support for their teachings. If they don't, there is no reason to believe them! If they provide what appears to be scriptural support, but you are aware of scriptures that seem to contradict their teaching, it is wise not to accept their doctrine. The Bible is never lacking, nor is it ever contradictory. If it seems there is a scriptural conflict, it simply indicates we have not learned all the Bible says about the matter in question. Never feel compelled to rush to make assertions about matters you are not clear the Bible teaches. (Pr 20:25) Learning Bible truth is a life long process that will likely continue right on into everlasting life. Certainly we will never find out all the works of our Creator. (Ec 3:11) The Bible says there will be new scrolls opened, (Re 20:12) but it is unknown how long we may continue to learn from the Bible as well. (When those new scrolls are opened, Jehovah will likely provide miraculous indicators so we can know to put faith in them, just as He did with the Bible. (Jesus and Moses [responsible for much of the Bible] both performed miracles to prove they were speaking for God.) God will never leave us needing to trust blindly in imperfect men. The Bible clearly warns against our doing so. Until such time as those new scrolls are opened, the Bible provides us everything we need. The Bible is the one and only reliable source of spiritual food.)

False religions are not hard to identify. At first glance they seem different and diverse. A closer examination reveals two things all false religions share in common. First, they all have a doctrine: They have declared a set of rules for what they believe, asserting those rules are based on the scriptures. Their doctrine may be built on a few scriptures, or it may be built on several. In all cases, however, they have some part of their doctrine which you must blindly accept based on faith in their group. If you don't see how their teaching is tied to the Bible, they believe you must accept it anyway, so as to go along with the group and be "approved." The second thing they share is they all believe they are the lone caretakers of truth in the earth: that their group comprises all the faithful among mankind. The result is, all such groups deny you the right to have any personal Bible study outside the scope of their directives (doctrine). Any serious consideration of the Bible, apart from their approved understanding, will define you an enemy of their organization. They won't explain that when you join. They believe (and tell everyone who will listen) their judgment against you, for questioning their teachings, defines you an enemy of God. If you realize you are in association with a group who renders such judgment over others, you have been misled. If you are a member of a group who claim they have produced literature that is an extension of the Bible, or that their writings are also spiritual food, you are being misled. Those new scrolls the Bible speaks about will not be the uninspired writings of imperfect men, nor will they contain errors. If some group holds up some imperfect man (or group of them) as infallible and above question, you have been misled! Anyone who wants to embolden himself to add to (or expand upon) the teachings of Jesus, should also be raising the dead back to life. They should be performing the other miracles Jesus displayed when he presented himself as God's mouthpiece (as God's word - Re 19:13). When men abandon their search for the truth contained in the Bible, and start to protect, upbuild, and worship their organization and it's teachings, they have gone astray. If your organization has established doctrine from which they judge others, and that doctrine doesn't tie directly to the Bible, they are most surely wrong. Some organizations create special terms for their dogma (or doctrine), often trying to represent ideas they can't explain or even understand. Such terms are often not even be found in the Bible. Even so, their members will freely judge as wicked any who do not join them in their blind faith in that doctrine. A faith in something which can not be explained scripturally is blind faith! Jesus explained the truth very clearly. (Mt 18:2-4) If your organization has doctrine using words not found in the Bible, you should be in fear of their teachings. Those men and women who are faithful Christians are simply those who try to follow after Jesus, just as faithful Christians have been doing since Jesus's first appearance as a man on earth. (1 Co 15:21-22) Faithful Christians try to learn what Jesus taught, and then to apply those Bible teachings in their lives. That is what defines a Christian, not the blessing of any man or group. Really, who do such "splendid" (super-fine in their own mind - 2 Co 11:5) individuals imagine they are: to boldly assert themselves as judges over others? In our day, true Christians live by faith (Ro 1:17) in the teachings of the Christ, not by obedience to the doctrine of men. Continue learning what the Bible teaches, and you will be set free from slavery to those who want to present themselves as your salvation. (Ro 6:16) Bible knowledge protects against being deceived. (Mr 12:24)

All this can be summed up very simply: Every person should find great joy in the fear of Jehovah. (Ps 112:1-2) Praise Jah, you people! Happy is the man in fear of Jehovah, In whose commandments he has taken very much delight. 2 Mighty in the earth his offspring will become. As for the generation of the upright ones, it will be blessed. Wisdom is actually born from the fear of (displeasing) Jehovah. Such fear should never be imagined as a bad thing. It is wonderful! (Ps 111:10) The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom. All those doing them have a good insight. His praise is standing forever. Put another way: What every person should be in fear of is doing harm to themselves or to others. Each person who will have eternal life must realize: All God's ways are perfect! (Deuteronomy 32:3-4) Having knowledge everything He does is perfect, and that He always has our best interest at heart, (Isa 48:17) in turn defines disobeying God as doing harm to someone. That wonderful and loving fear of displeasing Jehovah, so as to avoid doing harm, is what all these groups are trying to rob away from their "flock." By demanding obedience to their doctrine, all false religious organizations turn their flock away from the fear of Jehovah. They train members to be in fear of their organization's judgment over their righteousness. Jehovah is watching every second of every day. (2 Ch 16:9) Displeasing Jehovah is what their sheep need to be in dread of. (Ps 32:8) The leaders of all these groups are afraid their "sheep" will realize: Organizational judgments against individuals, or their approval of them, have no merit or meaning. Seeking such approval is a waste of time at best. Usually, it is far worse than a waste of time. When people seek the approval of organizations of men, (Jn_5:44) what they are really doing is bowing down to that group as their God. They are actually led to believe if they have the blessing of the organization, they are also acceptable to God... How silly! It is faith in Bible truth, understood through and based upon each individual's personal knowledge of the scriptures, that is what will provide them faith for life. (Joh 17:3) No membership among men can do that! It is the knowledge of the need to be in fear of Jehovah and his Christ (Isa 11:2-4 ; Joh 1:32-34) which is being stolen away from those governed by religious doctrine. It is simple to understand, but it is hard to see for those individuals who have made the sad choice to worship men. (2 Co 4:3-6)

There are also individuals who believe everyone determined to pattern their life after the Bible is being brainwashed. They are absolutely right! We must remember, however, none of us are Creators. We are all a part of Creation. We have a Creator. Since we are not Creators, whether we are wise enough to realize it or not, we are all following after some pattern of thinking. (Ec 1:9-10) Some listen to drug users who assert taking drugs is just the most wonderful thing in life. Some listen to great thinkers who say philosophy or science is just the greatest thing in life. We all listen to parents, friends, teachers, clergymen, and to so many others... All those people are trying to influence us: to brainwash us. (Ec 12:11-12) Most of us would like to imagine we are free thinkers, and are above being influenced by others. The truth is, we are all, each and every one of us, being impacted by the things people say to us. Some are trying to influence us toward things that are truth and are helpful, and some are not. We are all, however, being brainwashed. All any of us can really do is choose who we will be influenced by. Choosing to place faith in the Bible may seem to be just one choice among many. We believe an examination will reveal the Bible to be the excellent choice... It is, in reality, the only sensible choice and is only one of two: faith in truth, or faith in lies. It is God's wondrous gift of free moral choice which allows you to choose to build faith in truth. (De 30:19-20 ; Jos 24:14-15) The Bible is truth! (Joh 17:17) If you don't believe the Bible, then you have believed a lie. You have believed the lie that the Bible is not truth. (Ge 3:4) In that case, you really have been brainwashed! While it may appear there are many choices, there are really only two. You either believe God is our good Creator, and He has our best interest at heart, (Heb 11:6) in which case you believe in the Bible (or you will believe in it). Or, among what appear to be the many other choices you can make, there is only the one second choice: you do not believe God is good, in which case you have been influenced to believe the first lie of record, that God is a liar. If you don't correct yourself, you will receive the same fate as the woman who believed that first lie: she positively did die! (Ge 3:2-4)

We might view the Bible as a user and maintenance manual from our Creator, in a similar sense that the engineers who built your new car provide instruction manuals for it. The Bible affords knowledge of truth, which gives direction and purpose to life. It is the only thing that can do so. Those who choose to worship the animals of creation, for example, will find it difficult making sense of life. Those who choose to worship wealth, or power, or (illicit) sex, or drugs and alcohol, will all find disappointment. They will all be unable to make sense of life. They are all rendered impotent by their lack of faith in truth. If you put gasoline in the engine crankcase of your car, and water in your transmission, it will be destroyed. It is similar for those who disregard the Bible. Knowledge of what your Bible teaches can set you free of being lost to the confusion and bad directions rampant in this world. (Joh 8:31 ; Ec 12:11-12)

The stated purpose of this website should become the purpose of your life: to learn and build faith in what the Bible teaches. Compare what is here presented with the Bible. Learn what you can from this site, but always prove every single thing you learn comes from the Bible. Then, put in practice what the Bible teaches. Doing so is a wonderful and upbuilding effort: It is the most valuable process of life. Being concerned for truth is what makes one happy. Jesus said so! (Mt 5:3) Gaining happiness by means of fulfilling our spiritual need is a spiritual law, just as surely as gravity is a physical law. You can not deny God's truth any more than you can defy gravity. Learning Bible truth is a happy prospect, and while we never want to diminish that happiness, you do need to be warned to guard against those who desire to become (or remain) lords over your faith. Guard against those who demand to define your faith for you. (2 Pe 3:14-18 ; Mt 10:16-20) At the root of our being able to have peace is our learning the difference between what the Bible teaches and what men say it teaches, and then doing our best to build our lives around what we learn from the Bible. Those who love God and his Word manifest it in showing love for others. (Lu 10:25-28) If you sincerely draw to God through knowledge of His Word, you will receive protection. (Joh 14:27) That is one of the ways the Bible is alive and exerts power: Knowledge of what it teaches can give us peace. (Heb 4:12) It can give YOU peace!

God's peace and protection to all through their personal faith in his son Christ Jesus. (Lu 10:5-6 ; Ro 1:1-7 ; Joh 5:15-47)

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