Posted by: John Edwards | March 4, 2009



We have all heard the expression “location, location, location” when starting a business. It does matter where you open, just the location can make or break a business no matter how good the service or product.

In reading and understanding the Word of God, the catch phrase is: “context, context, context” and how true it is. Context is the most important tool of interpretation. Taking the Word of God out of context has led to many false teachings, heresies and bad theology.

I have learned that you can make the Bible say just about anything that you want to by taking a verse here and stitching it up with one from over there. You can even do this with Greek and Hebrew words. Most any preacher can form and teach any doctrine for any motive by taking scripture out of context.

The traditional, orthodox theologians use the “X” Factor when studying the Bible. EXEGESIS. It is from a Greek word that means to “lead out” with the picture of getting the true meaning and intent of a particular passage of scripture.
Sadly, I was a Bible teacher for 14 years and had never even heard of this word! I merely interpreted the Bible the way that I had been taught it from various ministers that I looked up to. In turn, I taught error and misrepresented the Word of God to thousands of people, simply by not using proper exegesis in studying.

Sometimes is was a matter of just wanting the Bible to say what I wanted it to say.

I will give you a good example, that will probably upset a good many preachers:

Tithing. Tithing is commanded only in the Old Testament, and many believe that it only applied to farmers and shepherds. It was meant for the Nation of Israel to supply the priest with groceries. The Levites were unable to work, so the others were required to bring ten percent of their increase to the Levites. The tithe was about food, not money. There is no directive in the New Testament for the Church to tithe. We have to go back to the Mosaic Law to enforce the tithe. But the New Testament does direct the Church to give liberally. The New Testament gives specific guidelines on giving, but it does not require the tithe. Sometimes God wants us to give it all. The guys in the Early Church often gave everything. God demands that we be givers.

But many preachers on television today teach about the tithe as a way to get rich, but Malachi 3:10-11 is talking about food and not economic wealth. They did have a money system in those days, but the tithe was for eating. Now we have teaching in the Body of Christ that all of your blessings are based on the tithe. Many of the top television preachers insist that the tithe is connected to your health, protection and peace with God. That is incorrect. The tithe was so that the priest could eat, not so you could get healed or own your own jet.

Ministers today have twisted scriptures to teach pet doctrines, especially in the area of prosperity. They also use out of context passages about the King of Israel such as “touch not my anointed” to evade criticisms of their teaching. Be careful of preachers that pull Old Testament passages out of their intended context to promote themselves and their doctrines. “Do my prophets no harm” is another favorite scripture to twist and strike fear into the Church. These passages are often hollered by televangelist when their doctrine is questioned to be false.

If you read and study your New Testament with integrity, you will not find the prosperity message that is being proclaimed today. The New Testament proclaims a spiritual prosperity, not worldly wealth. It is a new covenant, based on better promises. The Old Testament promised you donkeys and cattle for serving God. The New Testament promises eternal life, forgiveness and a personal relationship with God by grace! It is indeed a better covenant!


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