This is a Latin term you may have heard of called Sola Scriptura which means “by scripture alone.” Just to be clear this is not a defense or a discussion of the doctrine sola scriptura but a desire for the church to return to God’s word and to elevate God’s word once again to its rightful place of authority over all else. Sola Scriptura was supposed to be one of the key elements of the Reformation, yet the Reformation did not lead us back to the word of God but to the words of man. If you have read anything that I have written, you would have seen that I believe the Reformation has done massive damage to the church and not the good that most say it did as it was an explosion of other gospels. Instead of returning to the true Gospel, the church splintered off in many directions. Instead of turning away from the damage done by the Catholic church, that damage continued, except now had many new avenues to go out in. The church to this day continues to divide. Most churches today don’t even believe in the authoritative word of God, as they have many sources that they have equated with the bible which mostly have to do with man’s word instead of God’s. Some have rejected God’s word completely, yet still call themselves churches. The words sola scriptura are not in the bible, but there are different words that tell us the word of God is our only source of authority and none are equal to it. Matthew 28:18 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Scripture makes it abundantly clear we must follow God’s word as His words are our life. Jesus responded to satan and said Matthew 4:4 “‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” As John told us, the word became flesh and now we have His words written down. John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” John 6:68 “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” 

        The gospel message in the early church was first proclaimed this way. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” Colossians 4:16 “After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.” Revelations shows us they must not have read it. Revelation 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Then it became very clear early on in the first couple of hundred years that the books of the bible we have today, are the word of God and nothing elese would be added to it, even though the Catholica would disagree. These books did not just magically appear or come together by chance. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The bible is not just the writings of man as other books are. 2 Peter 1:16 “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” These words from the prophets and these letters to the church became the words we are to live by. Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” The true message of the gospel was the same wherever the disciples would go because it was guided by the Holy Spirit and was not supposed to be altered.
        Scripture is supposed to be our only source of authority and we have been warned to keep it that way. Deuteronomy 4:2 “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.” Deuteronomy 12:32 “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” If you look at the church, most have been proven to be liars. Look at the Catholic church, who claims to be “the church,” and all of its sins against the people they are supposed to be leading to eternal life, plus they have no power as described in scripture, other than manmade power. The same goes for the churches that started since the Reformation. They too are self-serving and like the Catholics, there is no power and much damage has been done to those seeking truth. The Eastern Orthodox could be included in this also.

        My description of today’s blog, I heard years ago when someone talked about the bible as their authoritative source and then talked about their massive library. What I mean by this is   the church has turned away from God’s word to other sources or place them as equal to scripture. This is not about not reading books, but the rejection of the bible by placing the teaching of man found in other books and placing equal to or above the word of God. If you have read my writing, you would have also heard me talk about how reason, tradition and experience should never be equated with the bible. Another term is called prima scriptura which places a strong emphasis on reason, experience and tradition and out of this thinking came something called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. Although I went to a so-called non-denominational seminary, (it wasn’t, it was a Methodist seminary), I am no longer a Methodist and I have renounced all denominations. This word quadrilateral stems from another Latin term quadri, meaning four sides. The problem here is that when you call this a quadrilateral, then you have sides that may or not be equal. If you have a square, all sides are equal. If you have a rectangle, then two sides are equal with another two sides and so on. So, when you say quadrilateral, the bible then is equal to reason, experience, and tradition or very close to it. In that description the bible does not stand on its own. Those three should be more like a triangle without scripture. Those three have done much to distort and reject God’s word. Since our understanding and knowledge of His word comes from God, then the bible can’t be in that box, as the bible should be on its own above experience, reason, tradition. These are all based on man. Paul tells us Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.  When God’s word is above everything else, God’s word changes our reasoning, changes our experiences and our traditions. That is a problem for many because they do not want to be told that their reasoning and experiences and traditions need to change. Like the Jews killed Jesus, the church will still reject those who tell them to change their traditions. The good news is the power of the true gospel makes that possible. Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Our experience, reasoning and traditions do not change God’s word, we change, yet the church has done this without remorse. Mark 7:6 “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” 

        For example, what has happened with homosexuality in the church is reason, experience and tradition all say yes, but the bible says no, it is an abomination, but it doesn’t stop there as the bible also says a person can be healed of this. We see this powerful verse that is not happening in the church because tradition, reason and experience says it isn’t necessary or can’t happen. This is rebellion against God but many have listened to satan saying did God really say that? Paul said, 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” So yes, God did say that and meant it but for that to happen the church must have the power and authority Jesus gives His disciples. As you see in most churches, reason, experience and tradition has taken over and rejected the word of God, and not just in the area of homosexuality. Even if everyone rejects God, all of mankind will be judged by the God they have rejected. 
        When I first started out in ministry, homosexuality was not on the forefront as it is today. It was around but now commercials, movies, even Hallmark are emphasizing homosexuality as a normal lifestyle. Everywhere you turn, this area has exploded now with initialisms. It is interesting how they use just these letters more than the words themselves. (I took this from a site.) “LGBTQ/LGBTQ2+/LGBTTTQQIAP*: Initialisms that represent the constellation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer, questioning, asexual, and pansexual identities. The asterisk or plus sign represents the inclusion of additional identities not represented in the initialism. ‘Sexual and gender minorities’ is synonymous and is often used as an umbrella category.” Since the church has rejected God’s word, even in the church this is acceptable, with very few standing firm on scripture. The problem for those who think they are standing firm and are speaking out against it, they are offering no solutions other than the manmade like conversion therapy or other therapies for healing what we read above. They expect people to just bury it, which does not work. As Paul said to the people “that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified” That means they were healed and demons cast out. Many who speak against homosexuality, do not believe that God’s power is available today. There is no sense speaking against it if you do not believe God’s healing power can make a different. It would make more sense to speak against yourself and seek the return of God’s power. What we read in Corinthians, isn’t happening as it did in scripture. Since this healing power is not happening, most churches have denied scripture and accepted these abominations because they went with reason, tradition and experience instead of simply believing what the bible actually states and refusing to repent and turn from their own wicked ways. 
        When I went to seminary, I was taught that I needed a strong library and lots of commentaries. I did start to gather books and I started to listen to the gurus, but I was drawn to scripture. It was during a very difficult period that I started to read the bible only and mark verses that stood out. Later those verses I marked would change my life. I would like to say for the better, and yes spiritually it was but I found the more I depended on God’s word, the more opposition I had. For anyone who chooses to follow Jesus, He told us, Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Jeremiah said Jeremiah 20:8 “Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. 9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” I heard someone say that a man was asked what he thought about commentaries, and he responded by saying the bible sure sheds a lot of light to them. What I did learn was that the bible is its own best commentary along with the Holy Spirit. Since God has turned His face from the church, we do not have a lot of illumination. I went to seminary because that was the process for ministry, though I would not recommend it these days. One class I had, I asked the question if the bible was written inspired, is it not read inspired? The teacher had the audacity to say, if you were stupid before you became a Christian, you are stupid after. He was considered to be very smart, but I am not sure if he was the stupid one. When I started to follow some of the church gurus, I felt God saying focus on me. At one time I thought Francis Chan was an interesting person to listen to. As I looked into him, wow was I wrong. Just because someone is a good speaker, doesn’t mean they are speaking the word of God. Actually, the opposite was true with Paul.  2 Corinthians 10:10 “For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” We are still supposed to listen to those letters. Someone even fell out a window and died as Paul spoke. But here is the difference. Acts 20:10 “Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Scripture said he was dead, while some will say he was just sleeping. Paul then kept preaching. Focusing on God’s word alone obviously makes sense since as we are told, Hebrews 12:1 “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” The sooner the church turns their eyes back to Jesus and away from man, the sooner the power of God will return to the church. Ever since I put God’s word above all else and depend on God’s word and obey, God has guided me on straight paths. I would not have been able to make it on my own that is for sure. 
        Following the letters of Paul, more and more continued to write and to this day books are written by the millions. Ecclesiastes 12:11 “The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Sermons, visions, ideas all became books and as time passed, the words of the gurus in the church became equal to scripture and highly sought after. People and other churches tried to be more like these men and women, than Jesus himself. I am not so naive to think that people are not going to read anything but the bible, but the more you read the bible, the less of everything else you will want to read. The more you read the bible, the more you will understand why you shouldn’t be reading what many have written or have spoken. When the internet changed everything, access to writing was easy. Now anyone could find someone they wanted to follow, and anyone could say basically whatever they wanted to say. Isaiah 59:15 “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey” Since the Reformation, the church has splintered off into so many groups it is hard to keep track of them all, let alone all the differing teaching. In Acts we see that because of persecution, God’s people moved. Acts 8:1 “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” What we saw since the Reformation is not that, as this splintering does not represent locations as we see in the bible. Colossians 1:2 “To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.” They all were supposed to believe the same message, and continue spreading the same message, not have radically differing views, doctrines and theology. Because the same message was not spread, there is no power. In the little town I live in, there are many groups that call themselves the church, yet they all believe something completely different, and truth be known, they all think the other is wrong. You can’t address God’s holy people in Strathroy, as every church is following a different Jesus and another gospel. As I said the other day, there is actually a church that calls themselves the Church in Strathroy. They say, “We are part of the Church in the city of Strathroy” and then go on to list their distinctive beliefs that makes them different than the other many churches in Strathroy.
        The bottom line here is to stop following man. Stop following doctrines of demons. How do you know what truth is? Seek God by reading your bible and praying that your eyes and eyes will be opened so that you will be saved from this severe famine. As we were told in Amos, there is a severe famine happening in the church. Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” The church must return and submit to God’s word. The Catholic and Orthodox church have destroyed millions of lives and since the Reformation, all those groups that started and the splintered groups that followed, have continued to destroy millions. There is only one option. Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” John 8:31 “Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” No bible - No Truth; Know your bible – know the truth.