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The Proper Method of Study, Part 2

The Proper Method of Study, Part 2

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For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isa 28:10

Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and understanding comes from the connecting of these facts one with the other. These processes begin in earliest childhood, when one is “weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast.” The methods urged here in Isaiah are those educators today generally agree upon. First, inform the student of a number of proven facts (“precepts“, i.e. truths) and then teach them the logical process of connecting these facts (“line [of reasoning] upon line [of reasoning]“).

In order to hold the pupil’s attention, a good teacher frequently changes the subject material, returning time and time again to each theme. Thus as we had stated before,

“Because God deals with us as a wise parent with his children, knowing that we need our food little by little, the lighter diet (milk) before the strong meat, therefore his truth is so arranged as to meet our necessities: a little of the truth upon one subject is placed here and a little more there; and as we take these little bits here and there and begin to put them together we gain strength and are able to appreciate the whole of it. As we deal with children, so God deals with us, giving us line upon line, and precept upon precept—the same truths repeated over and over from different standpoints, thus enforcing his teachings

Knowledge is basic to living. A person must be acquainted with literally thousands of facts to cope with day-to-day life. That is why a minimum of twelve years are recommended for just the basic schooling, not counting the specialized training for specific fields of endeavor.

Spiritually, knowledge is just as important, perhaps even more so. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hosea 4:6). Isaiah notes that “wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation.” Isa 33:6

The writers of the New Testament commend the ear that is open to instruction. “Despise not prophecies” (1 Thess 5:20); the brethren in Berea were commended for having “received the word with all readiness of mind” (Acts 17:11); Paul urges Timothy to “study to show thyself approved unto God.” This study, as Paul spoke of the Bereans, involved searching “the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.” Thus the Thessalonians were to “prove all things” and John admonished the church to “try the spirits” (1 John 4:1).

The Bible alone is the inspired word of God. It alone is guaranteed truth. But it is not an easy book to understand. Frequently the student finds, as Peter did of Paul, that in the Bible “are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).

The Holy Spirit is the teacher in the School of Christ. The method of its teaching is defined by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 2:13 viz. “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (“A little here a little there”)

This suggests a topical approach. One scripture needs to be compared with another scripture. Types need to be compared with realities. Prophecies need to be compared with fulfillments. The New Testament needs to be compared with the Old. Similar passages need to be diligently compared both for points of agreement and with dissimilarities. Translations need to be compared for accuracy and clarity. The English Bible needs to be compared with the original Greek and Hebrew. Thus it is that “precept” is added to “precept” and one “line” of reasoning is built upon another.

One of the principles in our theme text was that God taught “here a little, there a little.” It was in this vain that the writer of Hebrews opens his treatise with these words: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” (Heb 1:1). Rather than pour out all truth at one time and thus overloading man with knowledge, God saw fit to portion out truth in gradual revelations over some forty centuries. Nor did he always choose the same manner. At times he spoke through materialized angels, at times he used dreams and visions, and at other times he led a prophet to a given conclusion.

The prophet Isaiah uses the words of our theme text just three verses later with far different connotations: “But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken

If Isaiah’s listeners had heeded the Lord’s teachings they would have received the rest of mind promised in Verse 12. However, being unheeding, they studied mechanically, accumulating the precepts but not noting their purpose. The same teachings, which could have produced rest unto their souls, became a trap unto them.

This becomes very evident when looking at the reverence the Jewish leaders paid to the letter of the law in the days of Jesus, and their accompanying hypocrisy in not living up to it. It was this ensnarement in the letter of the law that prompted the stunning denunciation of these leaders in Matt 23:2, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”

To the Christian today there is also a similar snare. The study of the word of God can produce a sterile intellectualism, which robs the precepts (truths) of their real value. Always and ever the object of the Christian in his study must be to discern the will of God; and, observing, to do it, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).

Thus have we shown that this method “precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little” is indeed the chosen method in which the Lord teaches his people. Man acquires knowledge in one of three ways: education, observation, or experience, only God has perfect intuitive knowledge, He has both perfect deductive reasoning, “declaring the end from the beginning” (Isa 46:10), and perfect inductive reasoning, with the ability to reason backward from the desired end to those means which will produce that result.

Man however must learn, step by step, line by line, precept by precept, this method applies not only to growth in knowledge, but also in the graces of the Spirit, as the Apostle admonishes us, “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance patience, to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love.”


Excerpts taken from, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Sept/Oct 1996, “Precept upon Precept”, by Carl Hagensick

The Proper Method of Study, Part 1

The Proper Method of Study, Part 1

bible-study-1

“Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk, those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” Isa 28:9, 10

The italicized part of this text is likewise repeated once again in Verse 13 with the additional statement,

“… That they might go and fall backward, and be broken, snared, and taken.”

From this many have erroneously surmised that this method of study is the wrong way to study, that if the child of God be taught in such a manner, he would “fall backward, and be broken, snared, and taken”.

But is this true?

We believe not, why? Because it is our opinion that this it is indeed the Lords means of instructing his people, that the trouble here is merely due to a misunderstanding not only of the specific text itself, but likewise of whom specifically the Lord was addressing. From a thorough review of the chapter we determine that he is addressing two specific classes, 1)the drunkards of Ephraim” (Verse 1), i.e. The Church Nominal, Babylon, and 2) the “remnant of His people” (Verse 6), “those weaned from the milk”, the true children of God. The failure is in understanding how our subject text is applied to the two separate classes mentioned in this prophecy. In other words this same method of instruction, “precept upon precept, line upon line” is applied to both classes, but yields differing results.

The Lord points out in (Verse 9) that none may expect to understand His doctrine, the Truth, except those who will progress from the position of babes in Christ, that they may become strong men in Him; and that the course of procedure to attain this development is a feeding upon the Truth of the Divine Revelation.

Let us, dear friends, be of this class who are not satisfied with merely remaining babes in Christ, but who will go on to perfection and to a realization of the privileges that are ours, both in the present life and in that which is to come.

“The Lord proceeds to show how and why the Divine Revelation has been given in its present disconnected and broken form in the Scriptures. He informs us that He has a two-fold purpose in this: first, that His true people may the more particularly learn to depend upon Him and be strengthened through their search for the Truth, here a little and there a little, line upon line and precept upon precept, with stammering lips and in a foreign language, instead of plain statements in our native tongue. (That is to say sometimes statements are made, or words used, that are incoherent and difficult to grasp, without a deeper study and investigation, thus proving our love for the Lord and his Truth).

These difficult conditions are really helpful to those who are of the right attitude of heart in that they learn lessons which otherwise might escape them. And in the end the harmony of the fragments of Truth from Genesis to Revelation, often disconnectedly stated, becomes a demonstration and power to those who come to see their relationship, harmony and beauty. To such they have perhaps a greater strength, which would not come through a more plain and direct statement.

The Lord tells us that this arrangement which He had made is quite sufficient to cause all the weary to rest and to be refreshed. And all of the proper class, all of the Lord’s “little flock,” we may be sure, will rest in these promises and will be refreshed by them.

Secondly, the matter was stated in this fragmentary form, so that all others (“the drunkards of Ephraim”, the nominal professor), other than the Israelites indeed (John 1:47) might be confused, might fall away, might be stumbled, broken, ensnared, entrapped, just as the Lord stated in Verse 13. The Word of God contains a bountiful provision of milk of the Truth and of strong meat of the Truth, covering all the knowledge necessary to the man of God that he may be thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work. (2 Tim 3:16, 17)

But these things are not intended for all. As our Lord declared to the disciples, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear” (Matt 13:16); and again, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; but to others [outsiders] in parables; that seeing, they might not see, and hearing, they might not understand.” (Luke 8:10) But to outsiders, to all not Israelites indeed, the precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little, served not for their up-building, but for their ensnarement with error, that they “might go and fall backward and be snared and taken.” (SM110)

“For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; yet they would not hear. But the word of the Lord was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little,” That they might go and fall backward, and be broken, snared and caught.” Isa 28:11-13

Verses 10-12 show that it will take a great many more lessons to help those in Babylon who are not yet ready to be helped; for he will no longer speak to them through the old tongues–the intoxicated “priests and prophets,” mentioned in Verse 7 (the ministers and clergy of today) to whom they still look for leading. But rather “with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” He will raise up other teachers–teachers not ordained of men (of orthodoxy), but rather those ordained of God–whom therefore they will not be incline to recognize or heed; because they will not “prophesy smooth things,” saying, Peace! Peace! When there is no peace, nor will they “tickle their ears” preaching only what they wish to hear. And when these point out the true rest and refreshment of divine truth, they will not hear nor take heed.”

Those to whom the Lord chooses to speak his truth are chiefly the common people in the eyes of the world and therefore esteemed unqualified to speak (to preach); nevertheless it pleases the Lord to speak through such. Being that not many of these are great orator’s or public speakers such tend to stumble, “stammer” at times when addressing others, yet their words are nevertheless true, they come from the heart from a love for the Lord and for his truth. However the main reason why they are misunderstood by the world and the professing church is because they speak in “another tongue”, they speak a spiritual tongue, a tongue which only the spirit begotten can rightfully understand. (1 Cor 2:6-16)

Having we hope now a better understanding of the two specific classes addressed by the Lord in this prophecy let us look at it again from the perspective of the “drunkards of Ephraim” how do they view the words of the Lord as spoken in this prophecy specifically those spoken in Verses 9 and 10, viz. “Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk, those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.”

“Who then [asks the “drunkards of Ephraim”] is it whom he desires to learn understanding, and who can he make to give attention to his preaching?–Are we then recently weaned from the mother’s milk, recently taken from the mother’s breast?

For it is nagging upon nagging, nagging upon nagging, prating upon prating, prating upon prating, a little here, a little there [as if this class should say: ‘what does he take us for?–we are no babies either; it was not yesterday we discarded the old-fashioned theory of the fall and the redemption of man, etc.,–we are full-grown mature Higher Critics; and yet there are those who never let us alone, but are nagging at us ceaselessly, giving out tracts, papers and books, which represent us before the public as deceivers,’ etc.

Well, yes, through stammering lips and in a strange language shall he speak to this people, he who nevertheless has said unto them: ‘Here is the place of rest let the weary get rest; here is the place where refreshment is given,’ but such they would not hear. And thus the Lord’s Word shall be for them, ‘nagging upon nagging, nagging upon nagging, prating upon prating, prating upon prating, a little here, a little there, so that they, as they walk on, fall backward and are crushed, become ensnared and captured.”

Refusing to accept God’s grand plan for salvation, which would give them rest, they are annoyed by those who are pointing out its beauty, which to them is merely prating, and the result is that they fall completely into the snares of the adversary.” (R3531)

We will continue with this study in our next post.

A Sealed Book, Part 2

A Sealed Book, Part 2

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Isa 29:9-22 Continued.

Verses 13 and 14

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

Formality of worship and service has taken the place of heart service. When the service was from the heart, the Lord’s plans were searched for, as for hid treasure. His Word was studied that the mystery of God might be appreciated as fast as his ripening and unfolding plans would permit. It was a longing such as Daniel experienced when he searched and fasted and prayed for weeks, that he might know whatever of God’s plan he was pleased to reveal. It was the longing desire to comprehend with all saints the length and breadth and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, and be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:18, 19.)

But the worldly spirit soon cast out this thirst for truth and knowledge, as the heart became interested in worldly aims and plans. Though the forms of godliness have continued and increased, the real worship and submission to God has ceased, and interest is bent to man-made plans. While they draw nigh to God with their lips, saying, “Thy kingdom come,” and “Thy will be done,” they are endeavoring to have their own wills done, and to establish their own sectarian dominions in the world. Their fear of God and their unrest in view of his supposed decrees, is not the result of the study of his Word, but is taught by the precept of men. Alas, how pitiable this condition! Yet they are ignorant of it, and say, ‘We are rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing, and know not that they are poor and blind and miserable and naked’. (Rev. 3:17.)

Seeing it is thus, what shall the Lord do with them? Will he utterly cast them off? Will he leave them in their blindness? No. He says, “Therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” (Verse 14)

As this already becomes evident to many, what a marvelous thing it seems to those accustomed to look to the professed leaders and teachers of the nominal Church. As the light of truth begins to dawn upon many minds from other sources, how often we hear the remark, “How strange that we do not hear these things from our ministers!” But the Prophet makes answer: “The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” The heavenly wisdom is hidden from those who are wise and prudent after the world’s fashion, and revealed unto those who are babes in simplicity and meekness. (Matt. 11:25.)

God will not leave his erring children; he will attract their attention back to his plans, causing all their plans to wonderfully miscarry and fail. Thus they shall see the folly of attempting to lay plans for God; and when their plans fail, they will look up, and lo! the Lord’s plans, which in their “haste” (Isa. 28:16) they discarded, will, like the century plant, suddenly burst forth in glory and beauty and perfection.

Meantime, while the “marvelous work” (Verse 14) of overthrowing the present great systems of men (which, like the tower of Babel, is an attempt on the part of men to work their plans regardless of the Lord’s) is in progress, the Lord’s warning is,

Verse 15

Woe to them that seek deep to hide their counsel [schemes, plans,] from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who sees us, and who knows us?

It is possible to deceive fellow-men, and to convince them that certain plans are not different from, but in harmony with, the Lord’s plans. Yea, a man may also deceive even himself thus (2 Tim. 3:13); but he cannot deceive God. He knows that the controlling principles of sectarianism are earthly and selfish. He knows of the dark works and secret conspiracies in wrong, not only of the Jesuits, but also, in a less degree, of Protestants, who to accomplish their plans are willing to, and do resort, to many schemes and devices to raise money and to have their systems seem to flourish, which they would not care to have generally known among men, and which they seem to think God sees not. How often reports are doctored to make a good impression, how often subscription lists are headed with prominent names and large sums of money only for effect, and never expected to be paid. (This not infrequent custom was illustrated recently by the course of the officials of a prominent Brooklyn church, freely criticized by the public press.) All this is ostensibly to forward the Lord’s work, but really to accomplish their own plans.

“Who sees it? Who knows it?” The Lord sees in secret; in vain do they hide it, and tell him that they are laboring for him. Woe unto these, for their counsel shall come to naught; their cherished plans shall fail, and their pride will be humbled in the dust. The woe, distress and trouble coming upon the nominal Church will be in reality a blessing in disguise to the individuals that compose it; but it will be considered as calamity and trouble, until they are brought to understand and to come into harmony with God’s plans. But all this scheming will not succeed; for the Lord says,

Verse 16

Surely your turning of things upside down [perverting of the Lord’s plans and doctrines] shall be esteemed as the [effort of the] potter’s clay [to oppose the potter]. For shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He hath no understanding?

Surely the Church is God’s creation; it is “his workmanship” (Eph. 2:10), but the spirit of the nominal Church is to look to other framers. Some look to Peter, some to Luther, some to Calvin, Knox and Wesley. And indeed, as they at present stand, this is true, for while THE CHURCH is God’s workmanship, the division of that Church into fragments is the work of men, and may say to God, Thou hast not made me. And the fact that men to-day argue that the division (sectarianism) of the Church is an advantage, and to the advancement of the truth, is the equivalent of the thing framed saying to God, “Thou hast no understanding”; we know better how to frame and organize; you said that we all should be one, and that there should be no division among us (John 17:11, 22; 1 Cor. 12:25); but we have learned better –that divisions are a great blessing and advantage.

Verily the great Potter shall have the schemes of the clay in derision, and shall break in pieces their workmanship [the systems or organizations, not the people] as vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, and shall show forth in glory of kingdom power his vessels of more and of lessor honor. What if God, willing to show his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory? Surely the present overturning of the Lord’s arrangements shall be brought to naught.

Verse 17

Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field; and the fruitful field shall be esteemed a forest.”

Mount Lebanon, with its tall and stately cedar trees, will here represent the majesty and dignity of the nominal Church, and the reverential esteem with which its ministry is regarded. The fruitful field might well represent the humble and lowly saints. In “a very little while” things shall be reversed; that which is now proud and majestic shall be cut down and plowed, and become humble and fruitful, while that which is now humble will be exalted as Lebanon to heavenly conditions, majesty and power. This change, and this overthrow of the present systems, is at the time of the exaltation of the saints to spiritual glory and power, at the introduction of the Millennium. In harmony with this we read:

Verse 18

In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.”

What a blessed prospect is this for those who at present are so stumbled by Babylon’s confusing traditions! Not only will it bring blessing to those whose vision is obscured, but also to those totally blind and deaf and utterly ignorant of the precious information of God’s Word.

Verse 19-21

The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel; for the terrible one [Satan] is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: that make a man an offender for a word [spoken contrary to them], and lay a snare for him that reproves in the gate [publicly], and turn aside the just [the righteous] for [or, as] a thing of naught.”

This is in that same “DAY” that fleshly Israel shall be restored to favor under the direction of glorified spiritual Israel, their holy one.

Verse 22-24

“Therefore, thus saith the Lord who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall not now [at that time] be ashamed, neither shall his face wax pale. But when he sees his children, the work of my hands [the Christ, the spiritual seed] in the midst of him, they [fleshly Israel] shall sanctify my name [Jehovah], and sanctify the holy one of Jacob [Christ], and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.”

A Sealed Book, Part 1

A Sealed Book, Part 1

 

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The following is a brief study of Isa 29:9-22 however we especially note Verses 9-14

Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. For the Lord has poured out on you The spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I am not literate.” Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

Verse 9

With a touch of irony the Lord here addresses nominal Zion (the professed church of God living today, the church nominal).

Stay but still and wonder (“Pause and wonder”); turn your eyes away (“blind yourselves”), and be blinded; they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.” (Leeser’s Translation)

“The unfolding’s of his truth at the time here referred to (the time in which we are presently living, the Day of the Lord) are so marked, forcible and clear to faithful students of the Word, and observers of its fulfillment, that the only ones who could be blinded, would be those who deliberately turn their eyes away from the truth, and determine to sit still, enveloped in the darkness of human tradition (blind). And in their darkness they wonder at what they conceive as the strange course of the Lord’s dealings.

Their staggering is the staggering of indistinct vision and weakness, the halting and vacillating of bewilderment and confusion. And yet they are not drunk with wine or with strong drink, but rather because, as shown in the preceding chapter (Verses 7 and 8), they have partaken of the intoxicating spirit and pleasures of this world.”

But they (the “drunkards of Ephraim,” Verse 1, the church nominal, Babylon) also have erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet (i.e. the blind guides of Christendom) have erred through intoxicating drink, they are swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment (The specific allegation here is to teachers, Ministers who, through imbibing wrong doctrine, have lost their way). For all tables are full of vomit and filth; No place is clean.” (Isa 28:7-8)

“What a picture of the present condition of things: Not only are the people of the Church (nominal) intoxicated with the spirit of the world, but the priests, the clergy also. And because of this intoxication they err in vision and are unable to discern neither the truth nor the sign of the times; they stumble over the plain statements and marked fulfillments of God’s Word (prophecy fulfilled or in the process of being fulfilled). This condition of things is true of the whole nominal church of every denomination, so that “All their tables are full of vomit and filthiness so that there is no place clean.” The tables, which should be laden with the bread of life, of truth, are instead, covered with a repulsive mass of mingled man-made traditions and abominable errors.” (R562)

“Those who are overcharged with spiritual “drunkenness” are intoxicated with worldly doctrines. Rev 17:2 tells us that the harlot got the nations drunk with the wine of her false doctrine, but in 2 Tim 4:3,4 the Apostle Paul prophetically warned those consecrated individuals who were living at the end of the age of the danger of unsound doctrine and of having itching ears and teachers with itching ears. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Paul was saying that the time would come when the hearers would prefer teachers of false doctrine (false love, for example). The relaxation of principle is the opposite of diligent watching.” (The Gospel of Luke, Page 133)

Verse 10

For the Lord hath poured out over you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: (over) the prophets, and your chiefs, the *seers, hath he cast a vail.”

“Since they have turned their eyes away from the truth, God permits them to sit in darkness and to be overcome with sleep. Who cannot see the spirit of lethargy and drowsiness regarding spiritual things which pervades nominal Zion? “

This is very much a fact they are completely blind to the times in which they resided, they know nothing of the present work, the harvest, nor that “There stands one among them (within their midst) whom they know not.” (John 1:26). And so like the nominal fleshly house, (Israel after the flesh), the nominal spiritual house stumbles over the same stone, totally obvious of “the day of their visitation”.

“They are however not asleep on temporal or worldly affairs; They are very much awake to worldly ambitions–to the rivalry of numbers, of pulpit oratory, church music, imposing edifices, etc. — but to the teachings of God’s Word they are asleep. Over the teachings of the Prophets, and of Jesus and the Apostles, a vail is cast.”

Verse 11

And the vision of everything [the revelation of God’s truth through these] is become unto you [nominal Zion] as the words of a book that is SEALED.”

“This they themselves fully admit, and therefore seldom attempt to expound the Scriptures (to discuss troubling or hard to understand doctrines, prophecy and etc.), but instead merely take an isolated passage, and from it draw some moral or social lesson pertinent to the time. Nominal Zion has discarded the teachings of the true Prophets and Seers of the church, and has taken instead the decrees of human councils and synods, while the decrees of the real Head and teachers of the church are neglected. Hence they know not what to think of the present time, and are still more confused when they think of the future.

They are at a loss as to what is transpiring about them, why it is that a nation such as ours supposedly founded upon Christian values and principles is slowly dissolving and degrading into chaos and turmoil, and when they look to the future they realize that if things remain on course things will only get worse. The clouds are gathering and men’s hearts are beginning to fail for fear of the approaching storm, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written (things which they have disregarded) may be fulfilled…Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.”

Verse 11 cont.

Which [book–the Bible] men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed.

Verse 12

And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned.”

“The prophecies of the Old and New Testaments are sealed against their learning, for they have studied only at the feet of science and sectarianism, and have neglected the school of Christ and the study of its text-book, the Bible; hence their learned ones lack the true wisdom, and the true spirit, which alone will enable any to appreciate the deep things of God. (Compare 1 Cor. 2:5-14.) The unlearned, accustomed to look to earthly learning for instruction in heavenly things, and not to the testimony of Prophets and Apostles, will not even attempt to understand.”


*Seers: “Several of the apostles were seers in the sense that they were granted knowledge of things to come, but all were prophets in the sense that all were public expounders or orators—especially Peter and Paul.” The Apostle John is especially noted as a seer.

Continued with next post.

Whom will he teach knowledge?

Whom will he teach knowledge?

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“The system of belief, Our Most Holy Faith, which we call “The Truth,” is made up of little things, of small fragments of information scattered throughout the Bible. The wonderful Divine Plan of the Ages is not found in the Bible as a consecutively connected narrative. If it were, it would be understood by everyone instead of being a profound mystery to all but the church.”

This fact is well described in Isaiah: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”–Isaiah 28:10

Now in the study of the Word of God, specifically in regards to the overall Divine Plan itself, the Lord has determined that it is not prudent to teach every particular lesson at the same time, all at once (for instance a study of the ransom, this particular study should be one of the very first studies undertaken by the student of the Lord’s Word as every other doctrine studied stands or falls in conjunction with its harmonizing with this the very center and foundation principle of all true Christian doctrine, the “binding cord of truth”). Now the Lord’s method of teaching is not the same as we might imagine or typically follow, but even so it is written,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. ” Isa 55:8

No, the Lord has his own way, he chooses rather to build ones faith up gradually, doctrine upon doctrine (that is one subject upon another), with a kind of repetition, which helps the student better to see how each doctrine (or subject) completely harmonizes with next, leaving no doubt as to its truthfulness. In essence, “Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.” (Isa 28:10)

“Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and understanding comes from the connecting of these facts one with the other. This process begins in earliest childhood, when one is “weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast.”

The very method employed by the Lord is the same, which educators today generally agree upon. First, inform the student of a number of proven facts (“precepts“) and then teach them the logical process of connecting these facts (“line [of reasoning] upon line [of reasoning]“). Likewise in order to properly hold the pupil’s attention, a good teacher frequently changes the subject material, returning time and time again to each theme.”

For example we may at one moment be studying the ransom and then at another the restitution or possibly the resurrection or etc., however as we study and return over and over again to a previous theme we begin to see the connection between the various subjects and if we have gleamed a proper understanding how they harmonize with one another.

“Because God deals with us as a wise parent with his children, knowing that we need our food little by little, and the lighter diet before the strong meat, therefore his truth is so arranged as to meet our necessities: a little of the truth upon one subject is placed here and a little more there; and as we take these little bits and put them together we gain strength and are able to appreciate the whole of it. As we deal with children, so God deals with us, giving us line upon line, and precept upon precept—the same truths repeated over and over from different standpoints, thus enforcing his teachings” (R563).

This method was employed with the release of the volumes (The “Studies in the Scriptures” series), which were purposely written and released at a specific time and in a specific order, over several years, so that each lesson could be fully absorbed by the student of the Word, before the next step was taken, step by step, the same method that will be used in the education of mankind in the next age.

Each volume was given as a stepping-stone in knowledge, one following another, “line upon line, and precept upon precept”. Beginning with the first volume we were presented with an overview of the Divine Plan of the Ages, which in every way exemplified the divine character this in order to establish a foundation upon which to build upon, and likewise to establish ones trust and faith that this was indeed the Lord’s plan and not the clever designs of a man.

With a correct study of the volumes one will quickly note how the Pastor follows the divine method linking one doctrine to another showing that God’s plan is indeed one harmonious whole, without contradictions.

However if one chooses not to follow the volumes in their correct order but rather to skip randomly through the various volumes, chapters and etc., then it is most likely that they will miss the binding cord of truth, which links each precept and each line one to another, and thus they will be unable to grasps the true plan of God.

What say the scriptures in regards to this? Note the following as taken from Isaiah Chapter 28 beginning at Verse 9

VERSE 9

Whom will he teach knowledge, whom will he make to understand the message (as presented in the plan [or chart] of the ages, Hab 2: 2, 3)? Those just weaned from milk, those just drawn from the breast?

Those who will be ready for the message must first be weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. So long as the Lord’s people are babes to the extent that is here indicated, they will be dependent upon the systems and sects and false doctrines with which the Adversary has so much to do in developing. Those who are the Lord’s true people in these various sects must get strong enough to be weaned from them before they can be in the proper attitude of mind to receive the Lord’s instructions from another quarter (the true channel). To all who are thus weaned from Churchianity the Lord will very graciously grant precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, and there a little, that they may grow thereby, that they may become strong in the Lord and able to partake eventually of the strong meat which he so abundantly supplies to those of His table–His Word. R3456

VERSE 10

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little there a little.”

VERSE 11

For with stammering lips (those whom the Lord chooses to speak his truths are chiefly the common people, in the eyes of the world not qualified to speak (not being ordained by orthodoxy), not many are gifted with the ability of a speaker or orator, but nevertheless with stammering lips the message is being told, little by little, line upon line) and [with] another tongue (that is the message of truth is given in a foreign language [a spiritual language], instead of plain statements in our native [or natural] tongue, 1 Cor 2:13) [thus] he will speak to this people.”

VERSE 12

To whom he said, This is the rest (the Harvest Message, the Divine Plan of the Ages) with which you may cause the weary to rest, this is the refreshing, (It is indeed to those who can receive it a message of rest and refreshment), yet they would not hear (that is the world and the mere professing Christian, the nominal Christian, they are too caught up in their own plans to have time to listen to God’s).”

VERSE 13

And so the word of the Lord was to them, ‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little there a little (Entrapped by error they are unwilling to consider the plan of the ages as it has been presented by God through his faithful servant, and thus any efforts on the part of the Lord’s true people to point them to the plan as contained in the Volumes is met with resistance, to them when the volumes are mentioned it is nothing more than nagging upon nagging, prating upon prating,’) [but even so it should be] that they might go and fall backward, and be broken and snared and caught (not possessing sufficient faith in the Divine Plan as presented by the Lord’s faithful, they studied merely mechanically, accumulating the precepts but not noting their true purpose, thus the same teachings which could have produced rest unto their souls became a trap unto them).”