This is a short follow-up to my last post, "How Do You Know God Leads Your Understanding of the Bible?", dated January 4, 2015, link:
In that post I say that if we are to understand God's truth and know that we understand the Bible correctly, we need to confirm what we believe by getting all the scriptures on a particular subject and letting the Bible interpret the Bible, using clear passages of scripture to interpret difficult ones. This is how we are to understand God's will, by the Bible.
While the Holy Spirit helps us understand the Bible, we are not to believe every thought that comes into our minds and attribute that thought to the Holy Spirit just because we have been baptized.
Moreover, if we are to keep the truth we have and avoid Satan's deceptions, we must use the truth we have responsibly, and that means preaching the gospel to the world and the Ezekiel warning to Israel to share the truth we have been given with others who need it. God will give us the fruits of our doings, good or bad, and if we refuse to obey God by preaching the gospel God can take from us the understanding we have and allow Satan to deceive us. For we only have that understanding because others before us have sacrificed to preach the gospel to us and to our fathers, and if we refuse to practice the way of life that gave us that truth, God would be just to take His truth from us.
Since I published that post, Church of God, a Family Community (COGFC), publisher of "The Father's Call" website ( http://thefatherscall.org ), has published a new update in their series of regular updates in their site. This one is dated January 10, 2015 and is written by Brian Orchard. Here is a link:
If you have read my last post, and if you like to keep up with events and directions in COGFC, I encourage you to read this short article by Mr. Orchard. It shows clearly the COGFC direction in regards to the matters I discussed in my last post.
The COGFC article points out the importance of doing God's will, then asks, how can we know God's will? The rest of the article explains what Mr. Orchard thinks is the way to know God's will.
The word "Bible" is not in the article. Neither are the phrases, "God's word" or "Word of God". Yet, this is an article about how to know God's will.
Does it seem unusual or inappropriate to anyone but me for a Church of God article on how to know God's will not to include any mention of the Bible?
I can't think of a clearer contrast between what COGFC teaches as a way to know the truth and God's will and what I teach than the comparison between my last post and their last update.
This issue is important. There is a lot at stake.
God teaches us lessons not only by instruction but by experience. All mankind is being taught a lesson, for 6,000 years, that Satan's way of life does not work. In the millennium soon to come, mankind will learn that God's way does work.
Even in the Church of God and in our individual lives, God lets us learn lessons from experience. He also lets us see and learn from the experiences of others. Some people become good examples for us to follow and some become object lessons to teach us to avoid their mistakes.
Mr. Brian Orchard, one of the two main leaders of COGFC (the other being Steve Andrews), has articulated the direction COGFC takes in seeking to know God's will. It is a clear, concise statement that describes what has already become apparent in COGFC's actions and teachings over the last year.
In effect, he is telling COGFC members to submit to the thoughts the Holy Spirit puts into their minds, but he does not warn them to make sure those thoughts are true according to the Bible. As I pointed out in my last post, it is by the Bible that we can test our thoughts to know if they are from the Holy Spirit or some other source.
If a man teaches that we should let the Holy Spirit guide us, but does not also teach that we must use the Bible to test thoughts and ideas to see if they are inspired by the Holy Spirit or some other source, I think there is a danger that such a man may be inviting a different spirit to guide us. He himself may not even realize the danger of what he is saying. But I think the danger is real, and it is potentially deadly.
Members of traditional, mainstream religions and churches often think that the Holy Spirit is guiding them, guiding their church, guiding their leaders, and has guided their traditions for centuries. They may very easily submit to whatever spiritual influences come into their minds. But without testing those influences with God's word, there is no guarentee those influences are truthful and right.
The only difference between the historical origins of Church of God doctrines and the doctrines of mainstream religion is that our doctrines have been taught to us by a man who believed what the Bible actually says, while mainstream traditions come from teachers who have not believed what the Bible actually says. We members of the Church of God must also believe what the Bible actually says.
As I have proved in posts in this blog since COGFC began to form, they are not following the Bible in the major matter of preaching the gospel to the world. They also do not follow the Bible on government. Perhaps they do not follow the Bible in these matters because they are submitting to thoughts and ideas in their minds, thoughts they attribute to the Holy Spirit, that are not consistant with Bible teaching.
Mr. Orchard seems to be teaching members to submit to what they think is the Holy Spirit, but without checking in the Bible to know what is true. And if this is what he teaches members, it is probably what he believes and practices himself.
This seems to be part of the foundation of COGFC thinking, and the fruits of that thinking are bound to manifest themselves in that organization in the future. We will see the long-term results. That organization may become an object lesson for us to learn from.