I received the following question:

Would you consider mentoring me, electronically?

Although I have been a Christian many years, I have been indoctrinated in the “traditions of men”. It is clear to me from your writings you have been able to escape.

What would say or have me do if I showed up at your door a bloody mess?

Wow, that’s a tall order to do electronically! I have been posting much of my teaching online on my website, and it looks like you have been reading it.

I think that first of all, salvation is key. How familiar are you with the book of John? I would suggest, perhaps to start with, that you read my series on John. I am also doing audios on John, so alternately you could listen, but I am not finished yet.

Secondly, I think that understanding right division is key. Much confusion surrounds the idea that the Bible teaches about the church. In fact, the word “church” has been used to translate “ekklesia,” but this word in Greek really has nothing to do with our modern-day churches. (A key to this is the fact that they have NOT translated the corresponding Hebrew word kahal as “church.”) The reality of Scripture is that it is not about a morality religion called Christianity, but about a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. This relationship is established based upon faith in Him, and is totally by His grace. Those who believe in Who the Lord Jesus is (Christ the Savior, and the Son of God or God in human form,) and what He did (His death on the cross, burial, and resurrection) are then placed by God “in Christ,” a position that has nothing to do with joining a church or religion. Besides reading my John series, my article on “Sonship” might help.

Another problem is a failure to recognize that the New Testament divides between the gospels and the Acts, and the books written afterwards. My series on “Dispensationalism” will help you with this. You could start at the beginning. Part 3 is important, “Two Major Turning Points in the New Testament.”

Finally, the Bible sets forth as the hope for mankind the fact that God is going to take control of the governments of the world someday and make them His Own. Then, He will govern the earth, and this world will at last be the way He wants it to be. Most in Christendom have ignored this completely, so caught up in wanting to fly away to heaven are they. A good series to help you on this is my series on “The Kingdom of God,” followed by “Bins for Bible Prophecies.” I would start with “The Theme of the Bible,” one of the oldest posts on my “Kingdom of God” category, and work up from there. The oldest two articles are good too, but not meant to be introductory.

Well, there are other key things that I haven’t gotten around to writing about yet, but those should be enough to get you started.

Finally, a word about how to really learn the truth. The Bible is the best teacher. My two articles on “Spirits in Genesis” and “Souls in Genesis” are a starting point. The method there, of finding out what the Bible teaches about an issue by looking up the relevant word in every occurrence, is very helpful. I have only started with Genesis, leaving the rest of the study up to the student.

Familiarity with the Bible is also key. Too many people spend all their time reading other authors, and not enough time reading their Bibles. Others, who decide they really want to serve God, think the only way to do that is to be a pastor or a missionary. They do not realize that God says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” III John 4. One can be serving God alone in a room with the Bible, and other study tools to help him understand it. To get to KNOW HIM is the ultimate goal, and since He is the Truth, that involves a search for the truth. Serving Him by serving other people is SECONDARY, though important, just like loving God is the first commandment, and loving your neighbor the second.

That would be my in a nutshell starting advice. Otherwise, I would need ideas as what exactly your “bloody mess” looks like.

I will be happy to help as much as I can. As you continue to study, I have other things I can point you to. Let me know how this stuff goes, however.