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#2. HOW TO OBTAIN THE TRUTH FROM THE WORD OF GOD

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Introduction 2

When we look at the many hundreds of Christian denominations, all reading some version of the same bible, and yet all teaching and believing different things, we have to ask ourselves, "Who is right?" In order to understand this situation, we need to take note of the words of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived before Jesus:

(Proverbs 12:15) "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes:"
(Proverbs 14:12) "There is a way that seems right to a man; but the end of it are the ways of death."
(Proverbs 16:2) "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes;"
(Proverbs 16:25) "There is a way that seems right to a man; but the end of it are the ways of death."
(Proverbs 21:2) "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes:"

Almost everyone thinks that they are right because they have an "inward knowing" that they are right. Hundreds of religions and Christian denominations, are all believing and teaching that they have the truth, and everyone else is wrong. But who has the truth? Who is right? First we need to recognize that when a man is deceived, he does not usually know that he is: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes:" (Proverbs 12:15). Then we need to ask, "Why should we be right and everyone else wrong when they are going by the same inward "knowing" that we are relying on?" There is only one way that you can be sure that you are right, and that is when what you know agrees with what God says in his word, because Jesus said to the Father, "your word is truth." (John 17:17). Here again we have the same problem, because many will say that they believe the bible , and that is where they get their beliefs from. So where do we go from here? The answer lies in the way that the word of God is studied. Many have not even considered that when it comes to studying God's word, God himself has told us how to do that in his word. When we do not do things the way that God tells us to do them it invariably leads to disaster. Look at some examples:

(1) Adam and Eve were forbidden one simple thing by God, "of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it:" (Genesis 2:17), and they disobeyed (Genesis 3:6). Just eating one piece of forbidden fruit each, brought an unimaginable catastrophe of sin, death, and suffering on all mankind (Romans 5:12). They would have been much better off living in the Garden of Eden the way God told them to, without the knowledge of good and evil.

(2) When Lot and his family escaped from Sodom, they were told, "do not look behind you," (Genesis 19:17), but when Lot's wife looked back, she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). She would have been much better off obeying God's instructions.

(3) Nadab an Abihu "offered strange fire before the LORD, which he did not command them. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD." (Leviticus 10:1-2). They would have been far better obeying God's instructions, and taking the fire off the altar (Leviticus 16:12), because then it would have been holy fire (Exodus 29:37).

(4) God forbade any work to be done on the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:10), and when a man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath, he was put to death by stoning (Numbers 15:32-36). He would have been better off keeping the Sabbath the way that God told them to keep it (Exodus 35:2-3).

(5) When the children of Israel spoke against Moses and Aaron in the desert of Zin, asking for water (Numbers 20:1-5), God commanded Moses, "speak you to the rock" (Numbers 20:8), and Moses "smote the rock twice:" (Numbers 20:11). As a punishment for this disobedience, God deprived both Moses and Aaron entrance into the promised land (Numbers 20:12; 20:22-29; Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34:1-6). Moses would have been far better off doing it the way God told him to do it.

(6) God instructed Saul to destroy Amalek, all their people, and all their livestock (1 Samuel 15:2-3), but Saul feared the people (1 Samuel 15:24), so he spared the king, and permitted them to save the best of the livestock to sacrifice to God (1 Samuel 15:8-9, 15:15, 15:21). For this disobedience Saul was rejected from being king (1 Samuel 15:23, 15:28). Saul would have been much better off keeping God's instructions properly.

(7) When God gave instructions for transporting the ark of the testimony, he instructed it to be carried by the priests (Joshua 3:6; 1 Chronicles 15:2), with staves through the golden rings on the ark (Exodus 25:12-15), and also said, "they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die." (Numbers 4:15). However, when David transported the ark back to Jerusalem, the wrong way, on an ox cart (2 Samuel 6:1-9 and 1 Chronicles 13:1-12), Uzzah touched the ark to prevent it from falling, and died for his error (2 Samuel 6:6-7; 1 Chronicles 13:9-10). They would have been much better off transporting the ark the way that God had told them to do it.

Therefore this bible study examines how God has instructed us to study his word, and how he we can avoid the deception that many people seems to be in.

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