Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word
Part 1

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
March 23, 2012

Last Updated :
March 6, 2022

My Personal Investment In Bill's Bible Basics Ministry, The Lord's Wonderful Provision, Not For Filthy Lucre, Our Great Commission, Humility In Our Understanding Of The Scriptures, Profundity Of God's Word, Difficulty Of Understanding Bible Prophecy And Related Events, Thousands Of Years And Unclear Incomplete Historical Records, Bias In And Manipulation Of Historical Records, Historical Revisionism, History Written By The Victor, Disagreement Amongst Historians And Scholars, Endeavoring To Understand With Honesty, We Don't Know It All, My Evolving Theology, We Each Possess Pieces Of The Puzzle, There Is No Monopoly On Scriptural Truth, Drawbacks Of Bible Colleges, Cookie Cutter Schools, Guided And Taught The Deep Things Of God By Revelation Of The Holy Spirit, Lifted Up By Pride And Vanity, Knowledge Puffeth Up, Humble Yourselves Before The Lord, Proud Boastful Wannabe Prophets On The Web, Church Websites Promoting Their Church's Doctrines Only, We Must Share And Discuss Together, Facebook And Social Networks, Negative Effect Of Misguided Interpretations, Doctrinal Unity

As some of my longtime readers will already know, over the past twenty-eight years or so, I have devoted a considerable amount of time and energy to the Bill's Bible Basics online ministry. I have likewise invested quite a large sum of money in it as well towards necessary hardware upgrades, software upgrades, annual domain name registrations, Internet access, the extra electricity that is used by my computers and other ministry-related expenses. Considering that except for a few faithful supporters who have come to my aid over the years, this has basically been -- and really continues to be -- a one-man operation. Honestly speaking, it truly is a miracle of God's wonderful provision that Bill's Bible Basics remains online after all these years. In fact, in late 2020, I was inspired to create its sister ministry, called the Christian Social Network, as well. Thank the Lord!

However, as I point out in a number of my articles -- such as "Money-Making Bible Hucksters and Mammon" -- I honestly don't care if I never earn any money from this ministry, because I am not trying to, and that is not what I am about whatsoever. In other words, I am not motivated by personal financial gain -- or filthy lucre, as the Bible refers to it -- and profit, as we are warned against in the following group of New Testament verses:

"Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous . . . Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;"
1 Timothy 3:3, 8, KJV

"For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre . . . Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
Titus 1:7, 11, KJV

"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;"
1 Peter 5:2, KJV

So for me personally, my primary interest is -- and always has been -- simply to share what I believe may be the truth regarding God's Word. My primary task as a Christian writer and online evangelist is to remain faithful to the Lord's command -- that is, the Great Commission -- as we find it revealed in Bible verses such as the following:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Matthew 24:14, KJV

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
Matthew 28:19, KJV

"And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
Luke 24:46-47, KJV

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."
John 6:29, KJV

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:16, KJV

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV

"And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house . . . Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
Acts 20:20, 31, KJV

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things . . . So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Romans 10:14-15, 17, KJV

"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"
1 Corinthians 9:16, KJV

"Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things."
Galatians 6:6, KJV

"Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:"
Colossians 1:4-6, KJV

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
2 Timothy 2:2, KJV

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
2 Timothy 4:2, KJV

If you are interested in learning a little more regarding the early history of the Bill's Bible Basics online ministry, let me suggest that you consider reading my two-part article "The Internet: Our Final Frontier; Your Last Chance?".

If there is one lesson which I have personally learned over the many years that I have studied the Holy Scriptures, and shared God's Word with others, it is that it is imperative that we all maintain a very healthy dose of humility in our understanding of the Bible. This is particularly true when we are discussing prophetic events. As I have said before, until something actually happens, we really don't know with absolute certainty, and for anyone to claim otherwise, and to boast that they have figured it all out, is really just foolishness.

Let's be honest here. Trying to properly understand where particular prophetic events should be placed in God's Divine Timeline is not an easy task. Even being an expert in human history -- which I am not -- sometimes does not suffice; the reason being that some portions of God's Word are just that cryptic, and that profound, and perhaps it is not time for us to understand them yet, despite the claims that are now being made by some people. I am reminded of the following verses:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV

"Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number."
Job 9:10, KJV

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
Romans 11:33, KJV

"Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Hebrews 5:11-14, KJV

"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which 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, KJV

Furthermore, aside from the fact that God's Word is just so profound, as I explain in other articles, such as "Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas?" and "The Psalm 83 War False Doctrine Exposed!", what complicates the interpretation of Biblical prophecy even more is the fact that approximately three thousand years have passed since some of these ancient prophecies were first written. We need to consider this point in conjunction with the fact that we simply do not possess a clear, accurate, historical record of every single event that has occurred since ancient times. While a lot of historical records -- such as clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, stelae, jars and wall inscriptions -- have been preserved, they are by no means complete. Thus, there are some serious gaps in our understanding, and how we view the ancient world.

There is another reason why the odds are stacked against us when it comes to fully and properly understanding some of the ancient prophecies. Not only are ancient historical records not complete in every case, but they are seriously biased as well. This has a lot to do with ancient politics whereby a certain conquering power would often strive to destroy all evidence of the people whom they had conquered. They would also manipulate the records of their own history, so that such records would be viewed in the most positive light by future generations.

Let us not be too quick to forget that history is quite often written by the victor. This means that what we accept as bona fide historical facts may very well be skewed, without any of us even realizing it. Needless-to-say, this very same kind of historical revisionism occurs in our modern day as well, and we are being psychologically manipulated every single day of our lives by politicians, by religionists, by teachers, etc.

Finally, historians are simply not perfect. Their words are not the Words of God, and they can be wrong. While a modern historian may be accurate with some of the dates which he proposes, just as easily, he could be way off the mark by as many as dozens or hundreds of years with other dates. If you conduct a lot of research -- as I do when I write some of my articles -- you will quickly discover that there is actually a considerable amount of disagreement amongst historians and scholars, and similar individuals, when it comes to names, dates, events, dynasties, etc. Add to this the fact that ancient rulers were known by different names in different languages by different cultures, and trying to sort it all out can be a real research nightmare.

Taking all of the aforementioned facts into consideration, I hope that you can now understand that it is no easy task to separate those prophecies which have already been fulfilled, from those which yet remain to be fulfilled. In other words, if we don't know the complete history of a particular culture -- every leader who has ever lived, every war which they may have fought, etc. -- how can any of us possibly affirm with one hundred per cent certitude and confidence whether or not a Biblical prophecy may have been fulfilled in them, by them or through them?

Please understand that my purpose in sharing this information with you is not to discourage you from studying eschatology -- that is, the study of prophetic events and the end of all things -- but rather to help you to simply be honest with yourself, and to realize that you simply don't know it all. I most certainly do not, and I for one am not afraid to admit it. I sometimes tell my readers that I embrace what I like to refer to as an "evolving theology". In other words, I am not so rigid in my beliefs -- particularly my opinions regarding Bible prophecy -- that I will refuse to change them, if and when the Lord clearly reveals to me that I have been mistaken regarding something. I am not afraid to change direction, and teach something different, if God's Word sheds new light on a particular issue. However, be advised that I must personally be convinced by His Word, and not by anyone or anything else.

To reiterate what I stated earlier, we all must be willing to demonstrate a bit of personal humility when it comes to the discussion of God's Word; particularly when it has to do with Bible prophecies; because in my view, prophecy -- and its accurate fulfillment -- is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things to understand in the Scriptures. If we fail to do this, if we don't adopt an attitude of humility in our understanding, we may possibly embarrass ourselves at some point in the future. I will be discussing this issue more at length in just a moment.

Now, I believe that we each possess different pieces of the Scriptural puzzle, and the prophetic puzzle as well. No one possesses the entire puzzle or knows it all; not me, not you, not any of us. Just because you are Jewish and happen to know Hebrew does not mean that you necessarily understand it all. In similar fashion, just because you are Greek and obviously know Greek -- although not necessarily Koine Greek, which is the common language of the New Testament -- doesn't guarantee that you understand it all either. The same rule applies to Roman Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Evangelicals and anyone else who has the audacity to assume that they possess a monopoly on Scriptural truth.

As I mention in "The Only Credentials You Need!", if someone approaches you from a famous Bible college -- or seminary -- please don't automatically assume that they know what they are talking about just because they try to impress you with their long list of credentials. As I explain in that article, going to a theological seminary could possibly be the worst decision that a person makes; because by the time they receive their diploma, they will be so heavily indoctrinated to believe and think a certain way, that they won't be able to understand or accept anything that is outside of that frame of reference. If they attended a Baptist seminary, for example, they will only be able to understand things from a Baptist point of view. It doesn't matter which church or denomination runs a seminary. Whichever one it is, that person will parrot their particular doctrines, and walk their walk, no matter what.

In other words, much like the public school system that turns out zombified students year after year who are all taught to act and think the same way, seminaries are likewise cookie cutter schools. A person is really paying that Bible college to mold their mind exactly the way that the people who run the school want them to think and believe. There is really no room for the leading of the Holy Spirit, who Jesus promised us would guide us into all truth, and reveal the deep things of God's Word to us, as we see by the following verses:

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Galatians 1:11-12, KJV

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,"
Ephesians 1:17-18, KJV

"If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power."
Ephesians 3:2-7, KJV

In contradiction to everything that I have just stated, if anyone honestly believes that they know it all and possesses every single piece of the Scriptural puzzle -- including the prophetic puzzle -- then in my view, not only are they just deceiving themselves, but they are also lifted up in their own pride and vanity. As we learn from the Scriptures, this problematic spirit and attitude existed two thousand years ago, and it continues to plague the modern Church today as well. Believe it or not, a person can have too much knowledge, so that it actually poisons his ego, and deceives his mind. Consider the following group of verses:

"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness . . . Therefore let no man glory in men"
1 Corinthians 3:18-19, 21, KJV

"And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
1 Corinthians 4:6-7, KJV

". . . we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."
1 Corinthians 8:1-2, KJV

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing . . . Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away."
1 Corinthians 13:2, 8, KJV

"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,"
Colossians 2:18, KJV

"From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."
1 Timothy 1:6-7, KJV

The Book of Proverbs offers us a stiff warning regarding those people who foolishly become puffed up in their own pride, as we see by this verse:

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
Proverbs 16:18, KJV

So exactly what is the solution to this problem? Well, it is exactly as I have been saying all along. We must display some honest humility, and humbly walk before the Lord, no matter how much we think we know, as we see by the following verses. Because if we don't, the Lord will surely take matters into His own hands:

"For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Luke 14:11, KJV

"Submit yourselves therefore to God . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
James 4:7, 10, KJV

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"
1 Peter 5:6, KJV

Maintaining the level of humility that the Lord requires of us is not always easy. After all, we are all human; and thus we are all born with a sinful nature. As a result, that old pride just loves to pop up whenever it can, just like one of those stubborn jack-in-the-boxes. Sadly, I have visited many websites where the author will boastfully exclaim, "Oh, I've got the truth! I have received a special, unique revelation from God! This is the very first time that this information is ever being revealed to the world! It has been hidden from us for literally centuries! I guarantee that you won't find this kind of information on any other website! I am unique! I am the one and only! I am God's prophet! Everyone else is wrong except me!"

Have you ever come across a site like that? If so, have you been smart enough to make a quick escape at the closest exit? Or have you foolishly allowed yourself to be drawn into their web of deception? I certainly hope that you didn't give them your money as well! In addition to the many self-proclaimed prophets, seers and psychics who have established themselves on the web, I hope you realize that some of those Christian mega-sites are affiliated with affluent churches or religious organizations which have piles of money at their disposal. Similar to the seminaries we discussed a moment ago, their primary interest is to promote the particular doctrines of their denomination, so please be very careful. Confirm that what you read is in agreement with God's Word, and reject the doctrines and traditions of men.

In contrast to the spirit of exclusivity which is common to many churches, religious organizations and cults, I believe that it is only in coming together and sharing what we have each learned from God's Word -- as many of us already do by way of the various social networks -- that we can all obtain a clearer understanding of the prophetic picture. Now, while it is obviously true that we are not always going to see eye-to-eye on every single Biblical point -- because we are all different and our backgrounds and life experiences will affect how we understand the Scriptures -- at least we are talking and discussing, and making our ideas available for each other's consideration, instead of merely hoarding what we have learned. Of course, even the social networks are not free of profiteers, false prophets and overbearing people, so please be very careful wherever you happen to engage in online fellowship, because wolves in sheep's clothing abound, and they will have you for lunch if you let them.

In my view, perhaps one of the most negative affects of this proud, know-it-all spirit and attitude, is how it can really harm the Lord's Work overall. As I explain in such articles as "The Misguided End of the World Predictions of Harold Camping", "Sorry . . . Jesus Is Not Coming at Any Moment", and "Comet Elenin, Hercolubus, Nibiru, and Planet X", it is precisely because certain preachers and teachers have been so foolish as to make specific date predictions which have failed to come to pass, that not only has our faith been mocked by the unbelieving world, but many of our Christian brethren have likewise become doctrinally confused by these "trumpets" which make an "uncertain sound", as the Apostle Paul tells us in the verses below:

"And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"
1 Corinthians 14:7-8, KJV

While Paul was writing specifically about the Gift of Tongues in those verses, and the need for interpreters, we can apply the same principle to our discussion concerning prophecy as well. There is such a plethora of interpretations today, not to mentioned the army of misguided, wannabe false prophets, that it is no wonder that so many of our Christian brethren are confused, and don't know what to believe. Oh that we could all live by verses such as the following:

". . . Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
Psalm 133:1, KJV

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, KJV

"And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are . . . That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
John 17:11, 21-23, KJV

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
John 10:16, KJV

"That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 15:6, KJV

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
1 Corinthians 1:10, KJV

"Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."
2 Corinthians 13:11, KJV

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace . . . That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Ephesians 4:1-3, 14-16, KJV

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"
Philippians 1:27, KJV

"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."
Philippians 2:2, KJV

Please go to part two for the conclusion of this article.

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