“Book Burning”

There are many books that are only good for kindling to start a fire. Other books need to be burned because of their content and the danger they pose to the readers, young and old (Examples: Magic/sorcery – Acts 19:19; Doctrines of demons – 1 Timothy 4:1). Some books (medical, mathematical, scientific and others) provide valuable information for us that is not contained in the Scriptures. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter” [by using scientific methods] (Proverbs 25:2). However, when any book contradicts the clear teaching of God’s Word, the Bible is to be accepted and believed rather than the books of fallible men. What seems right, from the observations of men, may not be right (Proverbs 14:12). God’s Word is absolute truth (John 17:17) just as Jesus Himself is (John 14:6). What men call “scientific facts” sometimes change when added information is gathered. Uniformitarianism [1] is the belief that things in the past have been as they are today.

Gold. But there is one book that is worth more than its weight in gold (Psalm 19:10; 119:127). That Book is the Bible – the Holy Scriptures. It is made up of 66 smaller books/letters. “All Scripture is [God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

Capabilities. “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Interpretation. Like any other book, the Scriptures need to be interpreted normally, historically, and grammatically. When this method of interpretation is used, rather than an allegorical interpretation (that allows men to come up with all kinds of strange interpretations), a person can see that God has had different “Rules For Living” (Seven Dispensations) for people in different time periods throughout history. The three major ones are the “Mosaic Law,” “Grace,” and “Kingdom.” (See our “Dispensational Chart” for more helpful information. It could revolutionize your understanding of the Scriptures as it has mine.)

Belief/Practice. While all Scripture is to be believed, not all of it is to be believed and practiced. A man with the gift of a Pastor-teacher who desires to be a bishop (overseer) of God’s people, needs to be able to hold fast to the faithful word (Greek: “didache” that which is to be believed and practiced)…that he may be able, by sound doctrine (Greek: “didaskalia” truth that is to be believed but not practiced) to exhort and convict those who contradict (Titus 1:9). Today, a New Testament Christian has a different set of rules to regulate his life. We are under Grace, not Law (Romans 6:14; 1 Timothy 1:7).  We can eat anything if we can pay for it and give thanks for it (1 Timothy 4:4). The diet of the Jews was very restrictive (Leviticus 11:2ff). They also offered bloody sacrifices to God (Leviticus 9:18) whereas Christians offer spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16). Obviously, because the rules come from the same God, some of the rules are repeated in other dispensations. Example: Since the days of Noah, God has imposed the death penalty on those who murder others unjustly (Genesis 9;6; Exodus 21:14-17, 29; Deuteronomy 24:7; Romans 13:4).

Hatred. Those who hate God and His Word have tried to destroy it by cutting it up and/or burning it up (Jeremiah 36:23). Why? It exposes their wickedness. They love darkness rather than light and the pleasures of sin that only last for a moment (John 3:19; See Hebrews 11:25). They pervert that which is good when they engage in the works of the flesh – sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21). Because they refuse to acknowledge God, and give thanks to Him, He often gives them up to engage in all sorts of sinful (lawless) behavior (Romans 1:18-32). If you die without the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you will carry your old sin nature with you to the lake of fire and still have all your strong lustful desires, but you will never have your lusts (strong desires) satisfied (Mark 9:44-48; Revelation 22:11).

Perversions. In his commentary, William Barclay writes, “Without exception, every one of [the works of the flesh (i.e. man’s sin nature) – Galatians 5:19-21] is a perversion of something which is in itself good. Immorality, impurity, licentiousness are perversions of the sexual instinct which is in itself a lovely thing and part of love. Idolatry is a perversion of worship, and was begun as an aid to worship. Sorcery is a perversion of the use of healing drugs in medicine. Envy, jealousy, and strife are perversions of that noble ambition and desire to do well which can be a spur to greatness. Enmity and anger are a perversion of that righteous indignation without which the passion for goodness cannot exist. Dissension and the party spirit are a perversion of the devotion to principle which can produce the martyr.  Drunkenness and carousing are the perversion of the happy joy of social fellowship and of the things which men can happily and legitimately enjoy. Nowhere is there better illustrated the power of evil to take beauty and to twist it into ugliness, to take the finest things and to make them an avenue for sin. The awfulness of the power of sin lies precisely in its ability to take the raw material of potential goodness and turn it into the material of evil” (Flesh and Spirit by William Barclay, page 39).

Gideon Bible. If you’ve stayed in a motel, you’ve probably seen a Gideon Bible in the drawer. Have you noticed these words in it: “The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s charter. Here too, Heaven is opened and the gates of Hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”

Relentless. Until the devil and all his agents (spirit beings and human beings) are cast into the lake of fire to suffer forever (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10), they will keep on trying to oppose God, His Word, and those who believe in Him and His Word (John 16:2; 2 Timothy 3:12). Those on God’s side will win in the end. On whose side will you be?

Believe. There is only one condition for our salvation. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; See John 3:16, 18, 36; 16:8-11). We are not saved by our good works, or by faith plus our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Help. We’re here to help those would like to be saved or who need to have assurance of their salvation. Once saved, we’d like to help believers who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] Uniformitarianism http://www.gotquestions.org/uniformitarianism-vs-catastrophism.html