How can a young man who is very sincere find the truth Jesus talked about? John 8:32 I wanted to experience the truth, but first there were some very important issues which I felt I needed to comprehend so I could experience the truth.
It was my desire to live out what Jesus taught.
What did Jesus teach about God his heavenly Father? That must be important, for Jesus taught the disciples to pray, “Our Father who is in heaven”. Matthew 6:9 How could I experience the truth about Jesus the Son of God? Was that truth important to Jesus? Was enough truth revealed so I could feel comfortable with the idea of Jesus as God’s Son? Is there enough truth to experience in the words of Jesus and the Bible about heaven, hell, death and the soul? I didn’t know Hebrew or Greek. Should I have given up and awaited a time in the future when I would?
- Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. 32 Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you. John 8:31-32 (MSG)
At the time, there were other translations of the Bible but I did not know what they were or how much credence to give them were I to be able to afford them? My question was, “Is there enough simple truth revealed in the KJV of the Bible, which I studied, to help me fulfill the Paul’s admonition to trust truth that can save”?
- The Anarchist's coming is all Satan's work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, 10 evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. 11 And since they're so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it—gives them what they want. 12 Since they refuse to trust truth, they're banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions. 2 Thess 2:9-12 (MSG)
I came to understand the exceeding great and precious promises in God’s Word without knowing Hebrew or Greek. I began simply with a King James Version of the Bible. Let me begin by telling you that I was a young man of 11 or 12 years old with a million questions which I didn’t mind asking. When I read “remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth”, Eccl. 12:1, I thought that was meant for me. I can recall enthusiastic study and prayer as a young Christian. I would run out of fingers as they held various references while studying into the wee hours of the morning.
My Sunday school class at Calvary Advent Christian Church in Whitnel, North Carolina presented me with a Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, much like a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. I had been accustomed to using my concordance in the back of my Bible but this was awesome. I was fifteen when I received it. This is a story of my search for truth through study and prayers in the night, looking up into the stars as I talked with God. I am only sharing with you what happened in my life.
Following my conversion at age eleven, I honestly wanted to know truth and I had a number of questions.
- Will I go to heaven when I die?
- What if I go to hell—will I burn forever and ever?
- Where will God’s kingdom be?
- What is death?
- Is death a friend?
- What is a soul?
- Can a soul die?
- Do people who die know anything after death?
- Is the trinity truth or error?
- Does it really matter what I believe?
- Did Jesus pre-exist his existence????
- Was Jesus born or incarnated?
- Did Jesus live before he was born?
- Is Jesus God?
- Does the Bible teach the trinity?
- Is there one God or three?
- Did Jesus die or only appear to be dead?
- Is the Holy Spirit a person?
- What is the Holy Spirit?
- Does it matter what I believe so long as I am sincere?
- Is Jesus coming back to the earth and if so why?
- If we are naturally immortal why does there need to be a resurrection of the dead?
Yes, I sincerely and seriously pondered these questions as a very young man. This verse in James spoke to my question. I will give it to you in this version. I didn’t have it then, but I do now. I will also give you the KJV which is all I had then. I was only eleven or twelve years old at the first but I wanted to know!
- If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. James 1:5 (MSG)
I understood that to say, “If you don’t know what you are reading, just ask God for wisdom. He won’t scold you for not knowing, but he will scold you for not wanting to know the truth and trying to find it.” That’s what I got out of it. It made me study “and pray” with even more fervor. I want to share the search path that helped me to come to a knowledge of what I believe is the truth. Remember, I didn’t know Hebrew or Greek.
- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5 (KJV)
The questions I asked, I think were logical. They were not complex. They were simple questions and I wanted simple answers. When people I questioned said, “Well that’s a mystery which we cannot understand but must accept” I became very uncomfortable. The first time I heard it said that 1,000 souls could dance on the head of a pin, I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry because of such a stupid statement. I have since learned to temper my responses but at the time that is how I felt.
Having said all this, let me make it perfectly clear that I am so thankful to God for those of you who do know and do have a working knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. Like many others I have for years ridden your coattails. I commend them for having the time, the financial means, and the incentive to dig down into the original ideas in the Bible by discovering more about the language and helping all of us to be better Bereans who not only are truth seekers but are truth finders as well. I commend you for your work. I commend you one and all for your desire to know the truth; to be set free from the shackles of false doctrine, misinformation and just plain ignorance.
The KJV says that they searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so. In other words, if the Scriptures do not support the message, then the message must not be so. That might be too harsh for you. I feel it my responsibility to point it out. Some things just need to be said: let me rephrase that: some things need to be repeated. It has already been said; I’m just saying it again. It’s like Jesus said:
- They sent them to Berea, where they again met with the Jewish community. 11 They were treated a lot better there than in Thessalonica. The Jews received Paul's message with enthusiasm and met with him daily, examining the Scriptures to see if they supported what he said. Acts 17:10-11 (MSG)
- Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."40 But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!" Luke 19:39-40 (NASB)