Conflict Resolution

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It may not be clear to you the path I am taking in laying the groundwork for the progress of the Bible Study. As stated, the purpose of the Bible Study is to study 'Present Truth'. I define 'Present Truth' as the answer to the current issues and conflicts over God's Word.

God is always guiding us forward into a greater depth and understanding of truth. He is restoring an understanding of the truth which existed among His people at the time of the First Coming as exemplified by His disciples at the Pentecost sealing.

Satan is constantly at work spreading lies and deceptions against God's truth. Therefore, we have the 'Great Controversy'. Controversy produces conflicts in the understanding of truth. The work God has given me is to resolve these conflicts. First, I had to resolve these conflicts in my own understanding. Second, I am working to help others. This is an ongoing process.

In order to resolve these conflicts we need tools to assist us in this process. The first tool we need is knowledge. We need to know what the conflict is. We need to have a deep understanding of the issues involved in the dispute. The Bible describes the guidance we receive from God on the importance of knowledge.

6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Hosea 4:6

The way to increase our knowledge is to study the truth. Our focus is on studying the truth and not the error. We need to study the error only enough to see where it diverges from truth. The Bible encourages us in our study and its purpose to divide truth from error.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

The Bible is our most important tool and our most valuable resource for knowledge. Careful study of the Bible provides the guidance we need to discern truth. We must study the entire Bible and not just certain verses which can be used to mislead. We need to carefully compare verses in the Bible to build our understanding piece by piece. We must move beyond the milk of the gospel being spoon-fed by the teachers and leaders.

9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Isaiah 28:9-10

The Holy Spirit is our teacher and a valuable ally to guide us to an understanding of all truth.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 14:26
We need to be in constant prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will lead us to all truth.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
John 16:13
We can look to others to assist us in our study but we must be wary of those who may lead us astray and trust in the Holy Spirit to seal the truth.
15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
Isaiah 8:15-16
God commands us to gather together in a holy convocation to worship and study His Word together. This protects us from becoming extreme or confused in our isolation.
3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Leviticus 23:3
This proverb expresses the benefit of mutual counsel as found in clear, well-defined thoughts. Two minds, acting on each other, when guided by the Holy Spirit, become more acute. This is a “sharpening” process.
17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17
This also expresses the pleasure and the advantage of conversation. One man is limited because poring over a book in a corner alone will not be of full benefit without interaction with others. Wise and profitable discourse sharpens men's wits; and those that have ever so much knowledge may by interaction have something added to them. However, we must beware to never trust completely in man.
5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Jeremiah 17:5
Good men's graces are sharpened by converse with those that are good, but bad men's lusts and passions can also be sharpened by converse with those that are bad. We must evaluate the integrity of our teachers and study partners by examining their actions in the light of God's Word.
20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Isaiah 8:20
It is wise to keep disagreements and investigations small to avoid exciting undue interest and conflict.
"There are questions about which it is far better to have as little notoriety given as possible, in either case,--for, or against. And our brethren would be wise in not bringing questions of this character to the front, to obtain decisions from the Conference in regard to them. They can be understood and adjusted in a more private way. There are many things that should be conducted in a silent, unobserved way, which would have altogether a better influence upon all minds." {1888 471.2}
It is important to be careful to spend time on issues which really matter and do not be distracted by issues of small value.
"Let not side issues take the mind and the affections. We want to make the most of our present opportunities. We want to work while it is day for the night cometh when no man can work. There are many men of influence who are to have a knowledge of the truth, and we must be sure not to hedge up the way. The knowledge of truth is ever increasing. It is not a new truth that opens to the mind; it is not a new principle but a new discovery or a forcible application or revival of that which existed before. The Lord is prepared to present His light to our minds as fast as we will receive it. Open the door and let Jesus in." {1888 497.2}

Are you working to resolve conflicts in the understanding of truth?

I pray we may all continue to seek love, peace, and unity in truth preparing for the soon coming of Iaushuo (ee-ah-oo-shoo-oh) Messiah, the Son of God.

Next: In the Beginning God

Revised 2011-03-25