Light on the Rock Blogs
Unlearning but replacing with truth
Most of you who come to Light on the Rock or other sabbath-keeping church groups, came out of a former church that probably was a Sunday-keeping church. Or maybe they taught that we are all in His rest now, and all days are sabbath rests in Christ. I don’t subscribe to that of course. Some of you came out of Judaism and Jewish synagogues. Or perhaps from Messianic groups and Hebrew Roots groups that focus heavily on the Old Testament and read the Torah every sabbath, as the Jews do. Some of you are former Pentecostals or Lutherans or Catholic. And some of you were born into sabbath keeping groups and that is all you were ever exposed to.
We are told to grow in the grace/favor and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). One of the things we have to learn to do when “getting it right” as far as knowledge goes, is being willing to unlearn what we believed before when clear scripture shows us correct doctrine or teaching. We all have to do this. I continue to learn more about God, Christ, the Bible – and continue to have to discard old ideas that I see now were just plain wrong. For example, perhaps some of us have had to learn that God really does love the people of the world, so much so that he sent his only son to die for us – and all of “them” too. And perhaps some of us had been too tough on the people of the world, for whom Christ died. So we unlearn thinking that taught us that God is always angry with people of the world. Yes, sometimes he IS, that’s for sure, but overall God is not willing that any should perish, so He sent His son to perish for them.
And how are we to know who among those not living totally righteously and obediently are ones God is starting to call and plans to have them in His First Fruits? When Paul first arrived at Corinth, God told him to relax a bit and not fear anything bad will happen to him there. Paul had just been stoned in Lystra and left for dead. He had in other places been attacked, mauled, beaten, scourged and ridiculed. But God’s reason to relax a bit: “For I HAVE many people here.” God was speaking of the ending from the beginning. And indeed, Corinth became a huge and energetic congregation.
Acts 18:9-11 “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I HAVE many people in this city." 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them”.
So we learn to unlearn some things – and replace them with what’s true. But fully unlearning is really hard sometimes. Sometimes you’ll be excited to understand Biblical truth. But other times it will challenge you, like making you wonder how you’ll tell your family that you can’t be part of their big family Christmas festivities anymore. Sometimes it’s our pride that gets in the way. We don’t want to admit we were wrong. Especially if you are a minister and have to tell your congregation now that you see some things very differently now.
Some people hate having to change or unlearn. But as God reveals himself and his word more to each of us, we will all have areas we have to let go of and replace with truth. We’re seeking “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), learning all the scriptures on a topic. And we learn how alive the Bible is. We keep learning deeper and newer information each time we study it.
Be aware that if you were an active Baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Catholic, Muslim or whatever you formerly were, that now you’re learning new understanding about our God Most High – God the Father – and his Son Jesus/Yeshua. And you’re learning more about God’s Spirit and how God lets HIS nature and his power, and really Himself, come into us with that extension of him, his Spirit. But it’s not separate from Him. See my Part 1 of “Who – or what – is God’s Holy Spirit?” Even in Revelation 1 we see that Christ is speaking to the seven churches of Rev 2 and 3, and yet it says, “Hear what the Spirit says to the seven churches”. But Revelation 1 clearly identifies “the Spirit” as Christ himself speaking.
Let me also hasten to add that we don’t need to fight over doctrinal differences, especially when it comes to things like prophecy. I like to ride loosely in the saddle when it comes to prophecy. Don’t be so dogmatic on prophecy unless an angel has explained things perfectly to you. I suspect most of us will have to admit how we got some of it so wrong, when we look back one day. And if a doctrinal matter doesn’t affect your salvation, we can each have an opinion on it and see in the end how it ends up when Christ returns. But we don’t divide over such matters.
For example, I believe we WILL go to heaven, but after we are resurrected, to be married to Christ, then return to rule with Christ on the earth (Revelation 5:10). Others do not believe this. They are against the idea of ever going to heaven ever, for any reason. Heaven is coming down to earth, they say. So I explain, the first 5-6 verses of Revelation 14 and 15 clearly speaks of 144,000 people, called “first fruits” who are “before the throne, before the 4 living creatures” or “on the sea of Glass” – and these are all descriptions of what are only in heaven. I believe we go to heaven to meet Abba, our dear father and to learn our upcoming assignments, be given our new names, and to marry and be part of the marriage supper of the Son of God (Revelation 19). How thrilling that will be! Others find that hard to accept. So be it. What we believe about that doesn’t affect your or my salvation. But be willing to really look into explanations different from yours and be willing to unlearn and be excited about the truth you’re learning. Be a Berean checking things out to prove what is being taught is true.
Unlearning and what you’re going through is not that different from what the early brethren experienced. Initially ALL of them were Jews who had been taught in their Synagogues about Torah and their Hebrew scriptures. And key: for several decades, all they had as “the word of God’ was what we now call the Old Testament. The Epistles and other books weren’t even written yet for decades!
They called their Hebrew Scriptures either the Miqra or the TANAKH, which stood for Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim – the Law, prophets and writings. For the first few decades, this is ALL the early church of God had as their “Bible”. They didn’t have the gospels, the epistles of Paul or any others, or the book of Acts and Revelation. ALL they had was what we now call the Old Testament.
And within the synagogues, there were the stricter Pharisees, forefathers of today’s Orthodox Jews – and the Sadducees, many of whom were priests. They had doctrinal differences. Pharisees believed in the resurrection and a spirit world but the Sadducees did not, for example. Sadducees were more interested in material things, power and wealth. But they also believed that we are to live by God’s written word, not the oral traditions that Pharisees loved so much. Karaite Jews may be descendants of the Sadducees. Then there were others like the Essenes, who kept mostly to themselves.
But each one, unwittingly perhaps, brought some of their past and false doctrinal beliefs – or what I call “baggage” -- with them to this new body of believers. Some were ex-Pharisees, some were Ex-Priests from the Sadducees. Some were just sabbath keepers but not part of either sect. Not all of them hid behind their former beliefs, but some did.
Acts 6:7 “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
Many Pharisees also came to be believers (Acts 15:4).
The biggest and immediate new belief was that the man they knew as Yeshua from Nazareth of the Gentiles was truly the son of God, had died for their sins and was resurrected three days later and had gone back to heaven to be with His Father. For many, even the notion that there was a SON of God, the ONE God, was a big hurdle.
So they had to unlearn so much. They thought God is one being only. They believed the Messiah would be a warrior king as he conquered enemies before setting up his kingdom. But this Messiah, Jesus, had come, died, and left. And the hated Romans still remained. So there was a lot of unlearning to do. Could Messiah come twice? The first time as a suffering servant of Isaiah 53, and then return another time as conquering king of kings? And they had to learn that we’re mostly in the “spirit of the law” and in a brand New Covenant, not just a “Renewed Covenant” of the old. (I have sermons on this. Look up New Covenant).
One really big hurdle for many was that “the Chosen people” of God was now no longer limited to just the Jews or Israelites – but to whomever God called from ALL the nations. No more Jew, no more Gentile, but all one in Messiah.
ALL those who answered the call of God and received HIS Spirit, were the new “chosen”, whether Jew or Gentile. This was tough, very tough, for the Jews of Jesus’ day. But they all had to accept Jesus as their Savior, as the Son of God who died and was raised again for their sins and for their new lives in him. This was not easy to accept after millennia of being told they were the exclusive “chosen” and that all Gentiles were so inferior to them. Many Jews still struggle with this notion. SO much to unlearn. And you also will have areas of your belief to unlearn and replace with what Scripture really says.
Paul was a Pharisee of the Pharisees but he fought many ex-Pharisees’ understanding when he was in the Body of Christ. We are also told that some PRIESTS had become believers as well in the early days. The arguments over circumcision and whether they had to make Gentiles wear tassels (Tzit-zit) or not – keeping the letter of the Torah – became so heated they sent their leaders to Jerusalem to discuss it. It was a contentious meeting at first.
Acts 15:4-5 “And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. 5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who BELIEVED rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, AND to command them to keep the law of Moses."
So these Pharisees who were now part of the body of Christ were discussing TWO issues: circumcision of the Gentiles and keeping the Law of Moses (the Torah). This was a BIG DEAL back then.
One of the hardest things to do is to be willing to UNLEARN what you were once so convinced was solid truth. If all you had was the Old Testament, yes, it would seem clear that every male would have to be circumcised, until some began to realize there were also verses about circumcising the heart. Plus they had their experience with the household of Gentile Cornelius, and how God gave them the Holy Spirit without prior circumcision. To make things worse, Cornelius was a Roman centurion! An occupier. A soldier.
So the early church of believers in Christ was composed of brethren with differing ideas. My point is, we all bring with us what we had learned before and we have to be willing to UNLEARN many things to be in harmony with what the Bible really teaches – AND to be in harmony with one another.
Are you willing to UNLEARN when you’re shown clear scripture of what the Bible actually says? If so, you will start to see more and more of God’s truths from this site and from others too.
With this site you will learn the truth of what happens when you die. Or if God is trying to save the whole world right NOW (if so, He’s losing badly. MY God will never lose!). Was the sabbath day rest done away with? Were the 10 commandments done away with? If so, can I now go lie all I want, bring in an idol and commit all the sex sins I feel like doing? Of course not. It comes down to some groups rejecting the 7th Day Sabbath and God’s holydays. So they’re willing to discard the 4th commandment but pretty much everyone will agree the other nine are good to keep. That’s something you have to resolve.
What doctrines and beliefs will you have to unlearn and replace? What areas of baggage are you bringing in to the ekklesia (Greek translated “church” – but meaning “called out ones”. (The Latin version uses c’s – as in ecclesia. I prefer Greek).
The cure for this? Spend as much time in God’s word as you can and read it with an open mind. Scripture is your base, your starting point. Use this website to help you also. www.Lightontherock.org Use the Search bar to put in just 1-3 key words of what you’re wondering about and chances are high we have a study or sermon on it.
So be willing to check us out, with your open Bible, and prove for yourself if what I teach is true or not. Don’t believe me; believe the Bible. God bless you as you approach HIM with an open mind, willing to unlearn if and when necessary, and leave old baggage aside. I’d love to hear from you too. May our dear Father and Savior bless you. And I hope someday to meet you.
This is a very good one Philip. Unlearning but replacing with the truth is a way of growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and it is also an act of humility to those who are called and chosen. Truly, there is a lot to learn in this site. May God bless you abundantly for sharing what God has given you.
Bro.Ondigo Ochieng-Kehancha, Kenya.
This blog is a must read indeed. This world is religiously divided and religiously many have been confused. Due to widespread false teachings and doctrines of demons, those God is calling should have the grace to UNLEARN lies as they LEARN the truths of God. Let's re-examine ourselves if we are truly in the faith once delivered to the saints - it is the Most Holy faith and to embrace it fully, we must be committed to learning the truths of God and unlearning the lies of the Devil. This is an eye opening blog indeed! George Otieno Owato, Kenya Minister.