Thoughts and Tips
This is a list of things I learned or figured out. I don't claim they are without error. Review them and decide for yourself, basing your thoughts on the Bible and your own logic, whether it is doctrinal and reasonable.
The newest thoughts are on top. Some thoughts build on others, so if you begin at the bottom and read up, you might have more consistency in understanding what I'm saying.
January 5, 2018
Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.
Hebrew (in Masoretic text): yasar, to discipline, chasten, admonish
Greek (in Septuagint): paideuo, teach, instruct, train, educate
In our English language and American Culture, we often think of "discipline" as synonymous with "punishment." When a father takes a switch to his errant son, we say he is "disciplining" his son, rather than "punishing" his son. Yet, the words are different, with different meanings, just as "lake" does not mean "ocean".
Think of "discipline" as "disciple-ing", making a disciple. When a young tree, a sapling, grows crooked and the farmer wants an upright tree, he ties it to a stake for many days, until the tree itself has grown strong and straight. The farmer "disciplined" the sapling. He was careful not to break it in the first place by rough handling. He, instead, strenghtened and supported it, so that it may grow tall, strong and fruitful.
God is disciple-ing us.
It is for (because of) discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
November 1, 2017
I think perhaps the biggest threat to understanding God's Will, God's Way and God's Word is church doctrine.
I know church doctrine was intended to explain, clarify and illuminate God's Word to help spiritually growing people, but too often it becomes more of a hinderance than a help. Good doctrine was formed by some human's thinking after extensive research and prayer. Even with all that, it is still human-created and prone to error. While dwelling in someone's mind, it could still be corrected and expanded, but once out and established within the church, doctrine is solidified and is no longer possible to manage.
Once a thought becomes church doctrine, it is thereafter regarded as God's Word itself. People rely on it rather than reading the Bible on their own, praying on their own, and seeking God on their own. Instead, they play lazy and depend on someone else to form the vital link of fellowship and learning between man and God.
Nobody is Always Right
October 22, 2017
Nobody is always right in everything, but everybody thinks he is right in everything. Nobody thinks he is making a mistake in his doctrine. If he thought it was a mistake, it wouldn't be his doctrine. But mistakes are made, by everyone.
Everyone uses the Bible to justify and prove his doctrine, yet some church's doctrines directly contradict other church's doctrines. Each claims the Bible is their source of proof and say, "The Bible says this...", and then they give their own doctrine.
God, in his grace, gives us the ability to see where other people are making a mistake. That's because we cannot see our own mistakes; we are blind to our own faults. I can see the mistakes that Catholics and Orthodox are making, and they can see the doctrinal errors I am making. But neither can see his own mistake.
This great Gift of Insight is not intended to be used to point out other people's errors and faults. This Gift of Insight is given to us so we can inspect ourselves, our own thoughts and doctrines, and weed out in us that which is untrue and dishonoring to God.
Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.