One thing that is very critical in understanding the Bible is the fact that every Scripture is true and agrees with every other Scripture. So, if you understand something to be true, and then while reading the Bible you run across some other passage that does not agree with what you have held to be true, you need to adjust your understanding accordingly. Presumably, you had Scriptural reasons for your previous understanding, so you need to go back and reexamine your previous reasoning. There is only one truth.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (NIV)
You should read the above passage over, and over, and over until its meaning has fully permeated your being. This passage speaks of a fundamental law of God! Understanding this passage and applying it will save you from bad doctrine. Notice that Jesus is saying here that every part of the Bible remains relevant. I say this because many churchgoers think that the New Testament is more relevant than the Old Testament. Nowhere is this error more noticeable than the red letters found in red-letter editions of the Bible, where the words of Jesus are printed in red. The words of Jesus are not more relevant than any other passages of Scripture. All Scripture comes from God whether Jesus spoke the words or a prophet of God spoke them. If it is Scripture, then it is relevant.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
Which God-breathed Scripture do you imagine that Paul is referring too? He is talking about the same ‘Law’ and ‘Prophets’ that Jesus was talking about, and that is the Old Testament. I am not saying that the New Testament is not Scripture too. It is Scripture too. But, it does not supersede the Old Testament. The New Testament harmonizes with the Old Testament. The Old and the New are not really two sets of Holy Scripture, but rather they are One Scripture—the Holy Bible.
However, that doesn’t mean that the same ‘rules’ apply to everyone. The Jews were/are under the Law of Moses and the Christians are not, but the spiritual truths embodied in the Law are still true, and therefore every Christian is accountable to them, as are the Jews. This is all very subtle, but it is nonetheless true. Remember what Jesus said in [Matthew 5:17-19] above.
Every law in the Old Testament has within it a spiritual truth. For example: …
“ ‘Keep my decrees.
“ ‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.
“ ‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.
“ ‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. (NIV)
What is the spiritual truth behind these decrees? What truth is God teaching with these rules? God is teaching us that we must not mix pure with impure, holiness with unholiness, truth with untruth.
Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (NIV)
When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (NIV)
Here we see the symbolic word yeast used to mean teaching. In Luke Jesus tells us that that the kingdom of God works by putting God’s teaching into our hearts and letting God work it though us, but in Matthew, we are warned concerning the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. In this case, we can say that our hearts are a field and we are to put only one kind of seed into them, which is the Word-of-God-seed.
So, those under the Law of Moses said that we must not plant two kinds of literal-seed into their literal-fields, but the Christians who have the Spirit as a Teacher within them know what the spiritual meaning of [Leviticus 19:19] is, and that is that we are not to put into our hearts two kinds of teachings-truth and error. We Christians are to stick with the Spirit of the Lord and that means that for spiritual truth we must read the Bible only. So, if the Jew who obedient to God and literally obeys the Law, and the Christian that is obedient, stick only to the Bible then both are okay and the Scripture is fulfilled. The Christian is okay because he/she is eating only the pure Word of God and the Jew is okay because he is learning to keep everything about himself/herself pure.
What Jesus said in [Matthew 5:17-19] is so important because for the Jew every command is true and must be obeyed and for the Christian, the truth is that which agrees with every passage in the Bible. The Jews are being taught the truth and obedience, and the Christians are also being taught obedience and adherence to the truth.
With respect to the prophecies, the truth is that which agrees with each and every passage in the Bible. At the first advent of Christ, many rejected Jesus as the Christ because they were expecting the Christ to fulfill certain passages of the Bible, but they ignored other passages in the Bible. You cannot ignore any passages in the Bible. The fact that the Messiah would come more than one time had not occurred to them. Had a person held true each and every passage in the Bible as true, then they would have been able to see that he could and would come more than once.
It is my opinion that the biggest problem in the Church today is that so many people hold to some passages of the Bible while ignoring other (inconvenient) passages. The Truth is that which agrees with every passage in the Bible.