Mysticism and Private Interpretations~

2Peter1v20_21There are some Christians who believe that the purpose of the Bible is to point them to Christ, and then once they know Christ then they have no more need for a Bible as Christ reveals Himself to them personally. Then there are those Christians who believe that only a personal revelation from Christ can help them to understand the real meaning of Scripture. The problem with this type of thinking is there is no way to establish if these “revelations” are real, imaginary, or inspired by an evil spirit who is impersonating Christ — A False Christ.

The truth is that Jesus is revealed in the Old Testament, and He always lived His life in accordance to the established truth of God’s word.

1. He is the ultimate revelation of God, and we know this because He points us back to the scriptures as proof of His divinity.

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:27, NIV).

2. The gospels were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for our benefit, and the teachings of Christ were recorded to keep us from being led astray.

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time” (Mark 13:22-23, NIV).

3. The function of the Holy Spirit is to remind us of of what Christ has already said as recorded in the New Testament Gospels.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26, NIV).

Jesus warned us not to believe anyone who claims to be Christ or who claims to have a revelation from Christ that contradicts the written word of God. The Holy Spirit speaks through the inspiration of the scriptures or in a way that is in complete harmony with what Jesus has already said.

Yes, people misuse the Bible to defend their own personal views of God. The Devil is a master theologian and has been twisting the words of God in a way that caused 1/3 of all the Holy Angels to fall from heaven. But The Holy Spirit who inspired the scriptures will help us to interpret the Bible and keep us from error. The Spirit is consistent and does not allow for private interpretations, or private revelations, that contradict the plain teachings of the inspired word of God.

Do we still need the Bible when we invite Jesus into our hearts? Yes! Jesus teaches us how to interpret the scriptures in a way that reveals who He is as the messiah. How do we guard against misinterpreting the scriptures? We must allow the plain teachings of scriptures to keep us focused on the truth about Jesus. How can we tell if we are being led by the REAL Jesus and not by our own imaginary or demonic Jesus? We must remember the words of Christ concerning Himself. Jesus warned us ahead of time to keep us from being led astray.

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22, NIV).

~Stephen Beagles

Can Christians Agree to Disagree?

agree-to-disagreeLately, I have been conversing with people from various Christian denominations who all claim to have a proper interpretation of scripture. But logic tells me that there is only one objective truth. If our interpretations contradict, only one of us (or none of us) has the correct answer to many of the puzzling questions of scripture.

This issue is troublesome for me, because if we all have the same Bible and the same Holy Spirit then why so many different interpretations? We claim the Bible is the sole authority over doctrines, but then we turn around and make our own interpretations the gospel truth. To make matters worse, we tend to demonize other Christians who hold different views as “false teachers” or “lesser-than” Christians.

How do we escape this problem? We all have to use our own human logic to interpret scriptures, so how do we avoid making our own logic the supreme rule of truth versus error? The only way out of this dilemma is to allow for disagreement on some of the more complex matters of biblical interpretation.

We must agree to disagree.

Saint Augustine said, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity.” The plain teachings of scripture are essential to the Christian faith, but the more complex teachings that require a significant amount of debate can be left open for interpretation as long as there is no conflict with the essential teachings of scripture.

Christians are still Christians even though they disagree on many things. Calvinists, Arminians, Preterists, Historicists, Futurists, Dispensationalists, Covenentialists, Amillinialists, Pre-millinialists, Post-millinialists, Orthodox, Reformed, Charismatic, Pentecostals are all part of the Kingdom. We all have our hope in the blood of Christ that was shed for our sins.

There is much value in debating the finer points of scripture, for there there is always more to learn. But let us discuss these issues in the spirit of love for one another. We can agree to disagree. Besides, there are some things we will never understand until we get to heaven.

~Stephen Beagles

Let Your Light Shine

1016719_211803928974444_1214461939_nIt is days like these that God reminds me that He taught me the truth of His word. I doubt I would still be a Christian if I hadn’t been willing to sit at the feet of Jesus and beg for His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. He revealed to me the mystery of the gospel, and He taught me to be a balanced person in a world full of extremes.

My ministry is dedicated to Jesus and the truths that He has spoken. We cannot be effective witnesses for Christ if we desire to be like everyone else. Instead, we need to stand out and be different. Let your light Shine!

~Stephen Beagles