The Master or The Bible

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What I find concerning is the thought-pattern of those who proclaim they are followers of Christ that prompts them to use the expressions “The Bible says …” or “The Bible teaches …” rather than have the mindset to think and say along the lines of “Jesus says …” or “Jesus teaches …” Have they given this any thought? Do they really know what they are saying?

It is true that we find some of Jesus’ teachings within the book men gave the name “Bible” too. But that does not make a compilation of ancient writings men unearthed, sifted through, decided what was authentic, authorized and made holy – The Word of God.

Also, the implication is that Christ is dead and not risen and unable to teach us today. Thus, the need to consult a book that men made “The Word of God!”  How unfaithful is that to The Most High God and the one HE authorized as The Word of God.

It was NOT a book that the Most High God sent into the world of mankind. He sent a person – His Son – and to this person, The Most High God said we are to listen.

It is with reference to this Son of God, that what we read in these unearthed documents, is The Word of God. (John 1:1 and Rev 19:13).

A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him. (Luke 9:35)

We were not commanded to listen to a book!

The making of this book called “The Bible” is of man’s own doing, not Gods. Nowhere do we find in what is called “The Bible” anything that says that a compilation of 66 books is The Word of God.

And no, one cannot use what is written at 2 Tim 3:16-17 as justification that the Bible is Scripture or the Scripture being referred to. Why? Because at the time the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to Timothy – in or around 65 C.E. – there was no such thing as “The Bible” or a book containing 66 smaller books. It was human hands and thinking that arrogated itself to make a book they compiled, Scripture.

It is interesting that all that has occurred in this regard occurred when the Master of the Household was away. When the Master was present, he never spoke of the coming of a book called The Bible or the establishment of a religious entity called Christianity.

Men simply acted presumptuously and arrogantly and took matters into their own hands and what we see today is the result of that mentality.

While many claim themselves free from the influence of religious organization, they are still in captivity to them because they are squabbling over the different Bible translations rather than place focus on who IS The Word of God, Jesus [the]Christ and listening to that one. How do we listen to Jesus [the]Christ?

First, by believing that he lives, placing faith in him, and believing that he can still teach us (more on that in a moment).

Second, by prayer to The Most High God through this Son of God. What we receive from God through this Son of God is far far more superior in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding than what can be lifted from the pages of a book of some 1600 pages that people wish to equate with Jesus (The Word of God).

Yes, we can read from this book men gave the name “Bible” to, but it is important not to place it in a “holy” position where it does not belong. It does not belong alongside the one who is The Word of God. He is holy. Christ himself – not a book – is the way, the truth, and the life. He – not a book – is the only way to the Father.

If we elevate a book to the status of The Word of God – even what some call the Written Word of God – then we become idolaters. We place another Word of God next to the one who IS THE WORD OF GOD.

There is only ONE Word of God just as there is only one God!

While the Watch Tower organization correctly teaches that there is no trinity, it teaches a duality of God when it stands up a book – called the Bible – alongside the ONE TRUE WORD OF GOD.

As a former Jehovah’s Witness of more than 25 years, I know all too well that the organization hales the Bible as The Word of God is worthy of study (one being a student of). That organization also views the Bible as the Teacher. Why do I say that?

Because the expressions I mentioned at the beginning of this article “The Bible says …” and “The Bible teaches …” are used extensively.

Even on the official Watch Tower website, you will see on the menu that it is NOT Christ’s teachings that is there, it is “Bible Teachings.” Below is a screenshot of that menu.

Jehovah's Witnesses Official Website

Satan is subtle in his ways. He has an entire world of so-called believers viewing a book as their Teacher and they themselves its Students.

Jesus told his Disciples that they have only one Teacher and that he is that Teacher. Did he not say that? 

But YOU, do not YOU be called Rabbi, for one is YOUR teacher, whereas all YOU are brothers. Moreover, do not call anyone YOUR father on earth, for one is YOUR Father, the heavenly One. Neither be called ‘leaders,’ for YOUR Leader is one, the Christ. (Matthew 23:8-10)

Note: Many Bible translations mistranslate the Greek word for Teacher and translate it as Master. A Rabbi is not a Master, but a Teacher. Why do you suppose they did that? To support the notion that someone or something else can be a teacher.

His Disciples never called anything or anyone their Teacher other than their Master. They rightly called Jesus their Teacher. At John 13:13 Jesus said to his Disciples …

You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.

So what is the problem with so many today who insists on calling other things their Teacher? The problem is that they do not know who their Master is. For if they did, expressions such as “The Bible says …” or “The Bible teaches …” would never exit their lips. No one or no thing would stand in front of them as “their Teacher.” They would not allow it and would reject it.

Additionally, while they delude themselves with a false sense of security within the lofty organizations that they have amassed about them, they have completely missed the mark. To such one’s Jesus said at Matthew 7:21-23 …

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

So, does Jesus Christ still teach us today? Through a book? Through organizations of men? No, those things would be another way to the Father! There is only one way, Christ himself.

Jesus promised his Disciples that the Father would send them something in his (Jesus’) name that would teach them all things and remind them of everything he said to them. At John 14:26 Jesus says …

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Notice it would not be a book, but Holy Spirit. We read in The Book of Acts, Chapter Two the power of receiving Holy Spirit. There was no book sent.

My Master taught me that if I want to know something to ask for it from the Father in his name and I will receive it from the Father through the same channel that I asked. That channel? Jesus Christ.

Many today ask the Father for material things. These are selfish and wasted prayers. Why? Because fo what Jesus taught at Matthew 6:19-21 …

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Those material treasures are earthly and temporary and have no real value. But to ask for non-material things are much more beneficial and lasting. I ask the Father for His wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. These things are examples of storing up treasures in heaven. There is no doubt in my mind that my Father in heaven gives me these things via His Holy Spirit through His Son – my Master – from heaven. 

Many people do not understand me. I get it and I understand why? I have a different Teacher than they.

Prayer is the most underutilized and misused gift mankind has been given. It is selfishly used to ask God to bless nations, political candidates, and heads of State, for victory at sporting events, for victory in war. (Among many other things).

There is a pretense of being godly in the world and it is at pandemic proportions. For example, the current President of the United States claims that he is “a Christian” and has been seen visiting churches and listening to sermons (even though he did not appear to be comfortable among those in a Black congregation), I find it hard to believe that such a person – or any person for that matter – to make such a proclamation and yet insult and demean women, people of color, heads of State, bully and threaten those who do not agree with him, and court White Supremacists and racists.

It is not just this person, but this streak of insincerity and pretentiousness of godly devotion is rampant throughout the earth by those proclaiming to be godly and/or followers of Christ.

Many think because an act of kindness has been performed is by someone makes them good. Quite a few years ago my car broke down in the remote mountains of West Virginia. Yet, it was racists who towed me off the road and repaired my vehicle (I had to pay them $7000). There is a vast difference between an act of kindness and being good.

It is sometimes sickening to see people attempt to wear their “goodness” on their shoulder knowing full well that there is nothing good about them. They attend their respective religious organizations on designated days but during the other days – when they are at work or elsewhere – they are someone else! They are foul-mouthed, insulting, loud, hateful, contentious, etc. Is this what “Christianity” has taught them? Yes!

It is NOT what Christ teaches. That is the difference.

 

God is Spirit, says Jesus at John 4:24 and “and his worshipers MUST worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The Bible – a book men named, authorized, made holy and call the word of God exists on a physical level. God cannot be worshiped through a book or any religious organization. There is a much bigger world – a spiritual one – that makes the visible universe we see, taste, touch and smell pale by comparison. It is in that much much larger domain that The One True God MUST be worshiped.

Jesus’ wisdom did not come to him from reading Scriptures, it came down upon him – from his Father in heaven – a spiritual domain, on the day he emerged up from the Jordan River. And, when he needed to know something or had to talk to his Father in heaven, it was NOT via printed page, but by withdrawal to a private place to communicate by prayer to his Father within that Spiritual realm of heaven.

Jesus thus showed the proper way to worship the Father in Spirit.

Religious organization is nothing but material and human-controlled prisons. Literal and virtual mental walls that hem in and physically contain within them captives who are indoctrinated to become used to the safety and security of the walls that surround them in a physical and mental sense. Their extensive and burdensome rules and regulations – and even rituals – are nothing but a reversion back to Law-Keeping; something Jesus taught his followers are no longer under. He fulfilled, ended, or brought to the finish, the Law. (Matthew 5:17; Romans 6:14; Romans 7:6)

Yet, many have allowed themselves to be recaptured – if they were ever indeed really free in the first place – by humans, human agency, and their religious organizations and their self-fashioned rules, regulations, and rituals. It is by these human generated laws that one is scrutinized and judged “worthy of life” by. 

Many forget that Jesus is the life and the determiner of who is worthy of continued life, not humans or angels. No human or human agency can rightly say that if one is not associated with them, they will lose their lives. But that is exactly what the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society does. Not only that, a plethora of rules and regulations (laws) must be agreed with and followed if one is to maintain a “good standing” as a faithful servant of God: Such as meeting attendance; the field service arrangement to include maintaining a minimum number of hours each month; associations; dress codes and grooming; not deviating from the prepared field service presentation; personal bible study which is really study of the many Watch Tower publications; medical issues such as blood; and having a non-questioning posture concerning what comes down to the congregations from the Governing Body. Obeisance is really to “an organization” and not to Jesus [the]Christ who is mankind’s only Head, Lord, Master, Teacher, and Director. (1 Cor 11:3)

The many who insist on focusing on The Bible as The Word of God (or some made up co-Word of God) remain in captivity and their eyes never really look upward and your ears become clogged and you do not hear or recognize the voice of your Master who is now himself in that spiritual realm of Heaven. They really are showing a lack of faith in him because they believe that it is via printed pages that God speaks to us. It is via His Son – who is The Word of God and The Truth – that The Most High speaks to us. Our minds were created to tune into our Heavenly Father to hear him and receive from him his wisdom and understanding when we ask for it in prayer. Since what God has to say will come to us via His Son, we listen to that Son. (Luke 9:35)

One removes themselves by a distance from the Father when they attempt to reach him through a book called “The Bible,” which is something physical. Worship of God MUST be with spirit and truth as He is Spirit and his Son is The Truth. The distance from the Father becomes so great, that ones perceptive powers – like antennas on a radio – are “out of range” and unable to receive the “signal.”

It is really simple and yet, profound: The Most High God is the source of all life, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. He is like a great and powerful transmitter. His Son, Jesus [the]Christ is the cable and channel that connects us up to this source. Jesus is also the receiver of God’s messages and the amplifier and explainer of them to us. That channel, receiver, and explainer of God’s utterances is not any human or human agency on earth. Neither is any book – by any name – these things either.

It is imperative that one draw close to God because that causes ones perceptive to grow stronger the closer one gets to Him. (James 4:8) One draws close to God by listening to His Son. Do not be fooled by organizations who claim to speak for God. They are not the way, not the truth, and neither are they the life. If they claim to be these things, then they have usurped a position that does not belong to them. They stand in an appointed placed not appointed to them. They have entered in to the Master’s house by another way – like a thief – and have taken control of his property: mankind.

It is our Master, Jesus [the]Christ who calls out of the enslaving walls of religious organization just as he called out his first  twelve disciples from it. In front of us should not be ‘bulk” religious organization dictating to us and directing us. In front of us and leading us should be our Master and Shepherd, Jesus [the]Christ. Do you see him? Do you hear and listen to his voice? Or, do see in front of you religious organization who claim to speak for the Master?

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”    (John 10:1-6)

R. Jerome Harris

A Disciple of Christ in the strictest sense. I belong to no religious organization. I view Christ as my only Head, Master, Teacher, Owner, and Lord. (John 8:31-32, 1Cor 11:3) His God is my God and I champion his teachings above anything issuing out of ANY religious organization.

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