God does NOT inspire man’s imagination with scripture. It is the truth that is contained in the Bible that is inspired by God. This is why the apostle Peter warned, “...no prophecy of the scripture is of any PRIVATE interpretation,” (see 2 Peter 1:20). And while many freely quote this scripture; it seems strange that they openly break this commandment by interpreting scripture “privately” despite the warning. (See also 2 Peter 3:16)
“Private” interpretation of scripture means: Scripture is given meaning outside of the structure of government Jesus set in place to deliver truth in pure form to the Body of Christ. It means that people are seeking to know God’s plan without that measure of grace that God uses to oversee His truth.
God created us and set within us powers of curiosity and imagination. Because of the fall of Adam these powers work against us. We cannot find truth through following vain imaginations. The understanding of truth must be granted to mankind by God because it exists outside the common experience of mankind.
While we recognize that all scripture is inspired by God, we must state that NOT all interpretation of scripture is inspired by God. Believers try to set up some safeguards; things they feel would “protect” them from committing the sin of privately interpreting the scriptures. The first thing they do is pray, “Holy Spirit teach me.” The second thing they do is go through a check list to make sure that their interpretation conforms to an acceptable standard.
But we would have to be blind not to see that this system of determining truth from scripture is not working. Believers are all coming up with different ideas about what the plan of God is for man’s redemption, and different ways of believing in God based on what we have interpreted from the Bible despite these safeguards.
We know that the Holy Spirit is not confused; He is not teaching each Christian a different truth, so the error does not lie with the Holy Ghost. The error lies with the system we have chosen to reveal truth.
Those who privately interpret the scriptures are trying to claim a truth from scripture without possessing truth itself. They have forgotten that truth originates from Jesus Christ Himself and that He oversees a system or government through which He reveals that pattern of our contact with Him.
When speaking of a “system” or “government” we are speaking of the KINGDOM of God. Every kingdom has a system of government through which the king rules. Jesus is the King that rules in the kingdom of God through the government and system of His own choosing.
We see His system of government in His kingdom consistently in the book of Acts and throughout the epistles that the apostles wrote. For example we read in Ephesians 2:20, “And are built upon the foundation of the APOSTLES and PROPHETS, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.”
Ephesians 4:11, “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”
The kingdom of Jesus Christ, His system of government, begins with Himself. He then gives a measure of grace to the apostles to instruct the church. This is the message that the prophets confirm, the evangelists preach, the teachers teach, and the pastors oversee in the hearts of the saints.
Jesus will not deviate from this system of delivering TRUTH to His Church which is not brick and steeple but His living Body speaking with One voice from One perspective and One common experience. (Luke 11:34, Jude 1:3)
Acts 1:2 - We see that Jesus gave His apostles the commandments to give to the church.
Acts 2:42 - We see that the church continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine.
1 Corinthians 4:1 - We see that the apostles were called living stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Peter 3:2 - We are reminded to keep in memory the commandments of the apostles.
Ephesians 1:9 - We are told that the apostles received the knowledge of the mystery of God.
The Word of God is NOT paper and ink, and the Power of God is not made manifest through paper and ink.
Because of the lack of understanding concerning grace and the manifestation of the Spirit in the assembly, the Church became satisfied with applying scripture and biblical analysis to their problems. This is NOT working with the Spirit to overcome iniquity, but working with the flesh for the fulfillment of our own curiosity and desire to change. (James 1:5)
In reviewing Hebrews 11, we see that in order to please God one must be obedient to the grace of God. Grace precedes faith. These two elements of the gospel look like this: G + F = RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God and when faith is drawn by and a reflection of grace as issued by God from above, then faith meets the expectations of God perfectly.
Those who lack instruction by living apostles in the correct sequencing of the 12 elements of the gospel put faith before grace. They try to be obedient to God without first receiving the grace of God. This is because they thought the revelation of God centered on their needs and they could claim “by faith” what God had provided for their needs. But God has provided Jesus Christ for salvation and the revelation of God centers on God and His plan, not on our needs.
When the gospel centers on the needs of man then believers try to walk in the love of God without the grace of God; they try to walk in the truth of God without the grace of God.
Believers have been erroneously taught to put their faith into scripture; to go to the Bible for revelation and communication from God about their needs because God is now supposed to disclose His will and make Himself known through paper and ink. THIS IS NOT SO. Faith must be set in Christ who IS the living Word of God. The Word of God is the person of Christ, the scriptures testify of Him but are NOT Him. (John 5:37-40)
Those who do not understand the grace of God teach others to “act upon” what they have understood from scripture, thinking that God will empower this action upon scripture and will approve of it, calling this thing they do with scripture faith in Him. Grace is then misrepresented to be God's favor towards them because they have demonstrated their “faith” by acting on scripture.
This pattern is NOT in the covenant of Jesus Christ; this pattern is NOT taught by living apostles of Jesus Christ; this pattern will NOT bear forth fruit to Jesus Christ.
This pattern demonstrates hypocrisy (pretended obedience to God). Under the influence of this pattern the elements now read: F - G = HYPOCRISY (faith minus grace equals hypocrisy) instead of G + F = RIGHTEOUSNESS as we described earlier. Trying to walk by faith without grace means that we are allowing vain imaginations to set the standard for our obedience to God.
Jesus uses Himself as the pattern for change; Jesus uses Himself as the point of contact. The spirit of our mind is renewed by the knowledge we gain when we experience the Spirit of Christ transforming the old to become new as He creates His likeness in the inner man.
It must be clearly stated that the divine power for divine change does NOT come through reading the scriptures; it comes through our daily experience with the power and presence of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:3-4, John 14:21)
He is the LIVING WORD of God, the LIVING PATTERN, the living model, method, mold, design, impression that God uses to give a new inspiration to the spirit of our mind to follow. The "Word of God" is not paper and ink! (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1; Hebrews 4:12)
The Bible is NOT this living pattern, the Bible is scripture --- the written record of what the pattern looks like, to confirm what the salvation of God is, and how to work with it (which interpretation needs the oversight of God-called, living apostles who are ambassadors of His kingdom who function on behalf of His interests and not their own.)
The Body must come together in one mind concerning the work of the Spirit.
Free Only Study Materials: Apostles Today: http://www.s8wministries.org/course.php?id=10