I rarely use analogies or illustrations as I teach, but here is one I do use on a regular basis. Many people today think Satan wants us to become Satan worshippers. Although this is his ultimate goal, he is more interested in getting us just slightly off course. He didn’t try to get Eve to worship him in the garden. He introduced just enough error to accomplish his goal. Satan is not a roaring lion today. That preaches good but is just not what he is doing today. Satan today is corrupting doctrine. He is not trying to create mass conversions of people to join cults. He has worked to get the church to err just so slightly that over time Christianity has become way off track. If a plane strays 2 degrees off course, in a matter of a few hours it will be hundreds of miles away from its destination. Satan has masterfully introduced just enough doctrinal error into Christianity over the last 2000 years to leave us confused and way off course. Paul mentions that this corrupting influence had begun even while he was still writing scripture.
2Co 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
Where has this 2-degrees off left us? Thousands of denominations with differing opinions. Christians and pastors that don’t know their Bibles. Preaching full of fluff, stories and perfectly timed and presented heart tugging illustrations but no meat. We are left to face the fact that today when Christians are introduced to the literal interpretation of the Bible the typical response is; “I’ve never heard that before” The fact remains that when I teach the Bible literally as the Bible itself requires, that I will be called names. The tradition found in churches today is the result of hundreds and hundreds of years of Satan getting us just slightly off course. Now when I teach the Bible AS WRITTEN it is unrecognizable to even seasoned Christians that have sat under preaching and teaching their whole life. When I show the CLEAR instructions in the Bible that Jesus’ earthly ministry was NOT to us, people can’t believe I would say such a thing. When I show the CLEAR instructions in the Bible that our Apostle, spokesman, and example to follow in this age is Paul people are surprised and many times appalled. Paul gives us some clear instructions in 2 Timothy 2:7
Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
You could have understanding by considering the things your Apostle says. As a matter of fact, you will never understand the Bible properly without FIRST considering what Paul says. Because if you don’t study the Bible the way Paul instructs you to you will never understand it. You will never understand the Bible without a very clear understanding of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul. Paul’s information was a secret not known prior to him revealing it. (Col 1:25-27) Separating this information from prophecy or known information is the key to proper Bible study.
Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Learn the mystery and the Bible becomes clear and understandable. It is this simple.
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul