Jesus Is The ONLY Way: Setting Aside The Doctrines Of Men
Jesus told us we are to seek Knowledge of God:
"Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:5-6)
Why, then, do we seek God by joining churches whose doctrines result from the studies of other men? Did Jesus want other men to tell us about Him and the Father? Wasn't that the major problem the Pharisees had, interpreting God's Word for themselves and then lording that interpretation over other men to the point where they oppressed men rather than enlighted them?
None of today's Christian churches agree on doctrine. The Christian Encyclopedia says there are presentently over 33,000 different Christian denominations.
The Apostle Paul saw these schisms coming, and attempted to reason with believers regarding them:
"Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Corinthians 1:12-13)
People choose themselves to follow men. Men choose to lead people. This is a fundemental issue Jesus addressed in His teachings in order that we could discern our need for God at the end. Our preference for following men will be exposed by Jesus' own teachings which men have explained away and led His sheep from:
"And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:47-48)
Part of the purpose of Jesus' teachings and parables, as Jesus said Himself, was to divide us - to keep one man or one church from controlling all Knowledge of God available to men ever again. Read the article on The Twoedged Sword for more information on how and why this was done.
God's opinion of men teaching other men about Him is plainly spoken in the Bible. Jesus' sacrifice was intended to end such practices, as outlined in the Covenant of Promise:
this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of
Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their
inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God,
and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every
man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:
for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the
greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their
iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah
How the Foolishness of Preaching Spread the Gospel:
Jesus Himself said all men who try to shepherd His sheep are either hirelings, thiefs, or wolves:
"Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
"The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." (John 10:7-14)
Thus only the doctrine of Jesus as our Way to the Father and salvation is sure doctrine of the Spirit of God. All other doctrine preached by men is questionable! But it's important to note that preaching it has had the effect of spreading the Gospel around the world, as God intended it to because people love preaching and convenience:
"Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom" (1 Corinthians 1:20-22)
So how do we
find the Truth in the Bible that God has been waiting for us to
find? How do we shed the doctrines of men at last and seek Truth
about God and His Plan of Salvation for us by following only Jesus
Christ in these last days?
How To Follow The Good Shepherd:
Following Jesus to lead you to Knowledge of God in the Bible begins with the four Gospels. If you haven't read them for a while, try reading them again listening for what Jesus says to us today. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide enlighten you and make His words present rather than past.
To begin you need to set aside all doctrines you've learned from other men and religions.
To know who Jesus was and to understand His teachings, His acts, and His death, we have to ignore every man's opinion since Jesus walked the earth.
Jesus learned from the Pharisees and Priests. He learned from the OT scriptures. He called the Pharisees righteous, though it was Spiritless self-righteousness as becomes plain when He rebukes the effects of their elitism upon Israel.
To His followers about the Pharisees, Jesus said:
"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers." (Matthew 23:1-4)
In other words, the doctrine of the Pharisees - minus the leaven Jesus also warned about - was the doctrine that Jesus began His ministry within, and also worked within during His ministry.
So we can ask ourselves, did the Pharisees believe in a Triune God? Did the Pharisees believe in a literal hell or a purgatory? Whom did the Pharisees say the Messiah would be... a man or a God? If a God, why would they ask John the Baptist and Jesus if they were the Messiah?
The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ were lived and given in the context of the doctrines of Judaism at the time of His ministry.
Read the Gospels with this in mind, and listen to what Jesus says to you.
Now that you're once again familiar with His teachings and His parables and prophecies, you're equipped to read the rest of the Bible, using Jesus' Life Witness of God's Character to lead you to Light and away from the darkness recorded therein.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:27-28)
To hear His voice, 'listen' as you read. If Jesus would have taught or done whatever you sense the Bible saying to you, then what you're reading is of God. Otherwise, ignore it and investigate it later.
You will feel the darkness when you come upon it! Consider:
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23)
Knowing Jesus' Way, pay attention to what your eye sees in the Bible, and listen to your heart, because Jesus is in your heart if you have let Him in. Don't let any man or church or doctrine tell you otherwise!
Share what you learn, especially if you still go to church. You will be perecuted, but Jesus says:
"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." (Matthew 10:27)
Last of all, pray for His return, because He said:
"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:38-39)