Do you take the Bible personally?  If not, why not?  Do you think the Bible should be taken personally?  I do not think there is any salvation for anyone without taking God’s written word personally.

Let us look at this subject AND SEE WHAT THE TRUTH REALLY IS.  Go to Phil. 2:12 and look at a verse screaming out at you and me.

Phi 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Is this personal or not?  This verse covers it all.  The result we want is salvation.  The instructions are clear: work it out yourself.  To do this means we have to put our minds to studying God’s Word, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, believing and doing what God’s Word says to us personally.

Look at another personal statement from God to you, to all humans, but primarily the church now in the end time.

Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Notice it says ye or you are to be perfect.  Is that not a direct statement to you individually?  It does not say you and your favorite minister are to become perfect as a team.  This verse puts the weight, the burden of responsibility, on our shoulders directly.  “Perfect” is Strong’s #5046 meaning “complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.)…”  This is personal from God to all humans, primarily the end time church now.  Do you think that God does not really mean this?  Do you think that no human can be complete?  You had better think at least one more time about that.  Read Job 1:1.

Job 1:1  There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

“Perfect” here is Strong’s #8535 meaning “complete; usually (morally) pious…”  Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids to the Old Testament says of this word “perfect,” “It means complete, whole, upright (always in a moral sense)…”  Some end time Christians will reach this stage of completeness quicker and stay there longer than others.  Some Christians will from time to time fall from this state of completeness after we attain it.  Here again, it will probably be that some Christians fall more than others do, but that is what repentance and forgiveness are all about.  I bet there is not one of us end-time Christians who do not take forgiveness personally.  Passover services are in many cases a group service, but it is definitely a one-on-one personal relationship with Christ.  Repentance and forgiveness have to be a personal one-on-one with God.  We all take the Passover as a personal matter, one-on-one with Christ and the Father.

Why would we have a hard time taking other instructions personally?  The power of Satan’s deception is the answer to that.  Christ and the Father are not playing games with humans.  Some stage of completeness determined by God has to be attained by each individual Christian.  Job did it, and so do we.   I doubt that any human can judge all the degrees of completeness correctly.  We should not try to do the judging.  Let the Father and Christ do that.  We can observe the fruits.

Is Philippians 2:5 a personal statement to you?

Phi 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Berry’s Greek to English Interlinear translates this about the same as the Kings James version.  Is it a suggestion or a command that we have the same mind as Christ?  It is not only a command, but it is imperative that we develop the same way of thinking that Christ uses.  If we are to be a son or daughter of God, we have to be like God.

Study Matthew 25:5.

Mat 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Does this include you or are you like the woman I was talking to about the year 2000 who made it plain to me that she was not asleep.  According to Strong’s Concordance, #3956, “all” means “all, any, every, the whole…”  I checked two Greek to English Lexicons, Berry’s and Green’s, and both translate this word as “all.”  That sure does not leave much wiggle room for a person to think that he or she is NOT included in this statement.

Even the Bible principle of safety in numbers cannot excuse us from taking the Bible as personal instruction from God to us.

Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

When we think of a one-on-one relationship with God with all the supporting Bible verses and principles, it soon becomes abundantly clear that this is the only way God and Christ would have it.  Even the instruction about financing the end-time work is one-on-one personal effort by individuals.  Consider the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25.

Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Mat 25:16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

Mat 25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

Mat 25:18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

Mat 25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

Mat 25:20  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Mat 25:22  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

Mat 25:23  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Mat 25:24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed:

Mat 25:25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

Mat 25:26  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed:

Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

Mat 25:29  For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

Mat 25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Talents” in the parables represent money. Strong’s #5007 means “a balance (as supporting weights), i.e. (by impl.) a certain weight (and thence a coin or rather sum of money)…”  It is called “money” in verse 27.  When God calls us, he gives us the knowledge about tithing.  This is how he gives us money to work with to do the end time work.  It is what we do with that knowledge that determines our judgment.  I suggest that you read the papers on tithing at the website of Solid Rock’s People.  When going through the parable of the talents, notice in verse 15 that this person received five talents.  In other words, he or she had a good income and had lots of tithe to work with.  The word “man” should be translated “each,” as is done in several other translations.  In verse 16, this person took God’s word personally and got busy with God’s money to produce 100% increase.  In verse 17, the person who received two talents also had 100% increase.  This person probably had a lower paying job with a smaller income, but took God’s word personally and produced fruit a hundred fold.

Now, consider the results of taking God’s word personally in verses 20-23.  “I have gained five talents more.”  “I have gained two talents more.”  It does not say “I and some corporate group or minister.”  The only attitude God will accept is one-on-one with Him.   The man who received one talent refused to go one on one with God and lost his chance at eternal life.  Notice that he did not steal the tithe.  He just refused to work with it.  He was spiritually lazy.   Nothing short of the one on one personal relationship with God will get eternal life for us.  The parable of the pounds shows us how a group effort works.  A congregation or a few people combine their efforts to do God’s work.  Study my tithing articles for a complete explanation of the parable of the pounds.  A group effort is a combination of individual efforts.  If you are a part of a group effort, all the consideration of an individual effort has to be applied.

God’s way for his church is that every person has to put forth individual effort to obtain salvation.  Each person has to have the same kind of relationship with God that they did with parents.  That is true if they come from a LOVING, not a dysfunctional home.  A loving home for a child to grow up in is a good start toward eternal life for that same child.  This individual effort is true even if it is a group project.

Let us look at a few verse that stress individual effort.

Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt THOU dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Psa 37:4  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give THEE the desires of thine heart.

Psa 37:5  Commit THY way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Psa 84:11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from THEM that walk uprightly.

The phrase “delight thyself” is Strong’s #6026 meaning primarily “to be soft or pliable…”   notice the personal pronouns in these verses, THOU, THINE, THY, THYSELF, THEE.

Go to Matthew 5.

Mat 5:33  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

Mat 5:34  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

Mat 5:35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Mat 5:36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Mat 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Mat 5:38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

Mat 5:39  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mat 5:40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

Mat 5:41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Mat 5:46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Mat 5:47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

There is no group statement here.  Everything is direct instructions from God to his people individually. There are more than 20 personal pronouns in these verses.  Think about the instruction from God to you.  Look at a few of them. Verse 39, “that YE resist not evil.”  Verse 42, “Give to him that ask THEE.”  Verse 43, “THOU halt love THY neighbor.”  Verse 44, “I say unto YOU, love YOUR enemies.”  Study this set of verses carefully.  They are full of personal instruction to us from God.

Look at more personal instruction in James 5:14.

Jam 5:14  Is any sick among you? let HIM call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over HIM, anointing HIM with oil in the name of the Lord:

“Is any sick among you” equals the group. The individual who is sick has to contact the elders somehow to ask to be anointed.  See, that is one on one with God.  Notice the word “elders” is plural and then implies more than one, so the actual anointing would be done by a small group or at least two if possible, but the pronouns “him” make it individual with that person and God.

Look at Rev. 21:7-8.

Rev 21:7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Rev 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Verse 7 is an individual effort.  “He that overcometh” shall get their reward.  That is a guaranteed promise.  Verse 8 has its promise also.  These are groups of people and they get a guaranteed one-way trip to the lake of fire.

What about our judgment?

Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Rev 20:13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

It is a large group that is resurrected, but it is a one on one personal judgment.  “They were judged every man according to their works.”   There is no escaping the fact that every Christian has to go one-on-one with God.  We are judged individually and we are rewarded individually.  We have to have a personal relationship with God and take His word personally.

Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Insert your personal name in this verse to understand exactly whom Christ is talking to here, and not just in this verse alone.  Anytime there are general instructions, GOD IS TALKING DIRECTLY TO YOU.

Published August, 2002

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA