Know the Truth 4-Part Series: – Author’s Preface
I begin this discourse with the words of the Apostle Paul as he gave a strong and serious caution to the elders of the Church of Ephesus:
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
—Acts 20: 29–31
Every word of Paul’s caution mirrors the state of Christians today as many have departed from biblical truth, drawn away by seducing, man-made doctrines. This book is written to help Christians recover from the damage incurred by not guarding against Paul’s prophetic warning, damage which has led to the decline of the Christian faith. This decline, if not reversed, could derail the Church, causing it to miss its calling, its purpose and its destiny, and the world would be left in spiritual darkness that would cause even greater social and moral depravity.
God has established His Word for man to live by and when man rejects God’s Word and embraces anything else, he opens himself to error, deception, and ungodliness.
. . . It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
God’s Word is truth and the absence of truth has given rise to erroneous thinking. It is an established fact that if we think wrong, we would believe wrong, and we would act wrong and end up being a victim of Satan’s plan to destroy mankind.
My goal in this series is to present what God has to say regarding four fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith—the doctrines on Saints, Communion, The Church and Prayer. It is my intention to examine what has been propagated as truth for centuries regarding these doctrines, using the Word of God as my benchmark and as the ultimate authority on truth.
Any and every religious teaching and belief which is not based entirely on the Word of God, and in its proper context, is error. This series attempts to open the reader’s spiritual eyes to see more clearly this critical issue of truth versus error.
Before we examine the specific topic of each study, it is therefore imperative for us to first understand what constitutes godly doctrine.
First of all, for doctrine to be sound it must have its basis in God’s Word, the Bible.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
—2 Timothy 3:16
Furthermore, God did not leave it up to fallen man to decide how His doctrines should be interpreted. God’s Word would be correctly interpreted only as we utilize the formula that He has given us in His Word.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
—Isaiah 28:9–10 (emphasis added)
God directs us to search the entire Bible to compare one precept with another and to examine one line against another. When we do so, we find that God’s Word does not contradict itself (as many of the unlearned in the Word of God claim); and that, in fact, one scripture builds upon the other so that we come into the full understanding of a truth and a doctrine. It is against God’s Word alone that we determine if a doctrine is of God or of man, or in proper context.
With this understanding of where we find truth and of how to determine godly doctrine, I invite you to examine God’s Word in its proper context in my books: Saints, Communion, The Church, and Praying versus Saying Prayers.
Austin J. de Bourg