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FAQ - TEACHING
The Scriptures declare, "They shall be
all taught of God" (`John 6:45`). Does God teach each one of His children directly
through His Word?
<ANSWER>--God uses various instrumentalities for communicating His instructions. Thus the Lord Jesus Himself is called the Father's "Word"--the Message, the Logos (`John 1:1`; `Rev. 19:13`). St. Paul speaks of him saying, "God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son" (`Heb. 1:1,2`). This message has been repeated by the Apostles. We read that when our Lord "ascended up on high He--gave gifts unto men," and these gifts are still with us. He explains these gifts to be Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ, until we come unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (`Eph. 4:8;11-13'). So we see that the instructions of God may come through His disciples, teachers, evangelists, etc.; but they must all be recognized as emanating from the Father through the Son.
Is the doctrine of "survival of the fittest" true; and is it in
harmony with the teachings of the Scriptures? (Troglodyte.)
<ANSWER>--The combined testimony of the evidences in nature, aside from the inspired revelations of the Scriptures, is opposed to the theory of the best surviving the worst. In the realm of vegetation it is universally recognized that the finest flowers, fruits and vegetables, are produced only by the utmost care in training and cultivation. These fine varieties, if left to themselves, quickly deteriorate in quality, or else are entirely overcome by the weeds, thorns and briars. Does not this same principle hold in the animal kingdom? High-bred horses, dogs, and cattle, if left without the guiding hand of man, quickly degenerate into lower breeds, or else are entirely destroyed by inferior species of animals. This same principle is true with the races of men, as all history demonstrates, and as foretold in the Scriptures. Beginning with the Babylonian Empire, when it had reached to the very zenith of its glory, it fell in one night, yielding to the inferior kingdom of the Medes and Persians. These in turn yielded to the Greeks. Then Greece with all her learning succumbed to the inferior Latin races. And who is not familiar with the history of Rome which arose on the ruins of Greece? In the shattered remains of the Roman Empire, the modern nations of Europe and America, another mighty civilization, has reared its crest to a vast height, and is doomed to destruction. (See `Dan. 2:31-45`.) This present evil world, with its conditions of "the survival of the worst," is to pass away; and on its ruins will be established a new order of things, called "The world to come wherein dwelleth righteousness," in which "the survival of the fittest" will be absolutely true.--`2 Pet.3:13`.
Is it right to follow the teachings of any ONE MAN, or should we expect to be
individually taught through the study of the Bible?
<ANSWER>--The Scriptures answer, "One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren" (`Matt. 23:8`). We should not follow man, nor manmade creeds or systems. God exercised the supervising care over His consecrated people; as we read, "Now hath God set the members, every one of them, in the Body, as it hath pleased him" (`1 Cor. 12:18`); therefore He advises Christians to come together to assist in building each other up in the most holy faith (`Heb. 10:24,25`). He directs the church to select elders--not Lords, nor Masters, nor Reverends (`1 Tim. 3:3`; `Titus 1:5-9`). These are "overseers" to feed the flock of God (`Acts 21:28`; `1 Pet. 5:1-3`). St. Paul says, "Be ye followers of me, even as I am of Christ." The most faithful have been followers of the Apostle, who followed in the footsteps of Jesus. This is not following man, but following the Divine leadings through the Lord and the Apostles. Similarly today we note God's leadings through His servants. In this we are following Jesus Christ, not man. Individual study of the Bible seems indispensable to proper Christian development, and is commendable, just as individual study of Geology would be commendable; but one must not ignore the aids to Bible study which God has providentially furnished; to do so would be as unwise as for a pupil in astronomy to ignore the astronomical instruments and findings of others who have preceded him in the study of the same science. "Study to show thyself approved unto God (not unto men); rightly dividing the Word of truth" (`2 Tim. 2:15`).