“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27)
God has not given us His Word so that we can extract from it formulaic principles that we use for our own ends. In His Word we find His whole counsel, by which He desires us to know Him and His ways. Unscrupulous men handle God’s Word deceitfully; posing as those who have somehow “cracked the code” and can teach others how to access power, prosperity, and blessing by knowing what they know.
What does the Lord want people to be after? More than all He can give us, God wants us first and foremost, to want Him. He Himself is the Fountain of Living Waters. To know Him is life eternal. In the days of Jeremiah, God lamented: “The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit” (Jer. 2:8). What does it profit us if we gain every good thing this world has to offer, and avoid every bad thing possible, if we only know how to manipulate God’s Word like a magician, and don’t really know God Himself?
Paul was aware that many in his day were corrupting the Word of God, teaching that gain was godliness. They did so through manipulating scripture to suit their purpose and itch ears. He wrote of his ministry: “But (we) have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:2). The father in the faith understood that ALL of scripture was profitable and necessary to raise children in the faith into mature men and women of God (2 Tim. 3:16,17). He refused to hold back any part of God’s Word that was profitable for them. “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:20,21)
Don’t remain a child in the faith, feeding on the doctrines and traditions of men, who lie in wait to deceive. Open yourself up to the whole counsel of God. Be a diligent student of the Word with one end in mind – that you might intimately know its Author.