and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|March 14, 2007||
Volume 6 Number 6
Paul wrote to Timothy about the "perilous times" that would come in the "last days" when people would be:
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. -2 Timothy 3
Many of us read books, watch videos, and listen to scholars, teachers, and preachers as they teach us about the Word of God, rather than teaching the Word of God itself. We then learn about the truth, rather than learning the truth.
The cycle of deceiving and being deceived continues through those who teach us what they have been taught by others. By teaching the teachings of man instead of the Word of God they convince us of that which they have already been taught by others. Paul cautions about this cycle of deception:
13 But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. -2 Timothy 3
While many of us are tempted to believe whatever we are taught, there are some who are like the Bereans. After receiving the teaching, they search the Scriptures to confirm that which they have been taught:
10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night to Berea: who coming there went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. -Acts 17
Paul confirmed that the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us "wise unto salvation" through our faith in Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), are given to us by the inspiration of God:
14 But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;
15 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in the Messiah Yahshua.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works. -2 Timothy 3
Because the Scriptures come from God, Paul reminds us that we need to study them:
15 Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -2 Timothy 2
Rather than casually reading the "word of truth," we need to study it carefully. By doing so, we can avoid worthless discussions based on teachings from man rather than from God:
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as does a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. -2 Timothy 2
Therefore, when we come to a Scripture that is considered by many to be important to the foundation of faith, we should be sure it is solidly built upon the Word of God. We must, therefore, diligently search and study the Scriptures to be sure that the foundational Scripture means what we think it means.
One such passage of the Bible has been the subject of much discussion. It is an exchange between Yahshua and Simon Peter concerning the foundation of His congregation.* Yahshua said He would build His congregation (church) upon a "rock," which He called "this rock:"
15 He said to them, But whom say you that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
17 And Yahshua answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my congregation; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. -Matthew 16
Since we only have the written words, we cannot see the gestures, such as pointing, that may have been used in the discussion. Therefore, there have been many different interpretations of the meaning of the Scripture. For example, some interpret "this rock" as being Peter. Others interpret it as being the revelation that was given to Peter. Others interpret it as meaning the Messiah, from whom the living waters of salvation flow.
Let us search the Scriptures, without interpretation, to learn what they say about the Rock:
2 Yahweh is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
3 I will call upon Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies. -Psalms 18
31 For who is God save Yahweh? or who is a rock save our God? -Psalms 18
46 Yahweh lives; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. -Psalms 18
2 And he said, Yahweh is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.
4 I will call on Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies. -2 Samuel 22
3 Because I will publish the name of Yahweh: ascribe you greatness unto our God.
4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. -Deuteronomy 32
1 Truly my soul waits upon God: from him comes my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. -Psalms 62
3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. -2 Samuel 23
6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.
7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. -Psalms 62
26 He shall cry unto me, You are my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. -Psalms 89
15 To show that Yahweh is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. -Psalms 92
22 But Yahweh is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge. -Psalms 94
1 O come, let us sing unto Yahweh: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. -Psalms 95
6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of Yahweh appeared to them.
7 And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
8 Take the rod, and gather you the assembly together, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak you to the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock: so you shall give the congregation and their beasts drink. -Numbers 20
18 Of the Rock that begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten God that formed you. -Deuteronomy 32
13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. -Jeremiah 2
13 O Yahweh, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Yahweh, the fountain of living waters. -Jeremiah 17
13 Yahshua answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. -John 4
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yahshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirsts, let him come to me, and drink.
38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. -John 7
1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual food;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was the Messiah. -1 Corinthians 10
*The Greek word ekklhsia (ekklesia) means those who are "called out." Where "ekklesia" is used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Hebrew manuscript is often translated into English as the "congregation of Yahweh," which may or may not be assembled together. The word "ekklesia" is also often translated as "church" in the New Testament.
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