Assumptive Hermeneutics

Interpreting the Bible without Biblical Facts in Evidence


By Dr. Ken Matto


Nehemiah 8:8 (KJV)   So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.


Distinctly – To give instructions, to show, to declare


The Sense – Insight, understanding, wisdom


Abigail is described by this word – 1 Sam. 25:3 -1 Samuel 25:3 (KJV)   Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.


Caused to understand – To perceive, have intelligence, discern, prudent


Nehemiah 8:4-8 (KJV)   And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.  {5} And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:  {6} And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. {7} Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.  {8} So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.


In Nehemiah 8:4-8, we read of the time when many Jews went back to Jerusalem from Babylon and had repaired the walls of the city.  Here we have the scenario where Ezra the Scribe was now attending to the reading of the word of God which at that time was the Law of God.  Ezra was given a high wooden pulpit to begin the reading of the word of God to the people.  As we plainly see in verses 4 and 7, Ezra was not the only one who did the teaching.  In verse 7 it names 13 other teachers plus the Levites which caused the people to understand the law.  Verse 4 tells us that there were 13 others on the platform with Ezra but it is not known if they were temple workers or if they joined in and helped Ezra to teach the word of God to the people.  All in all Ezra had 26 people to help him in this task.


If you notice there was no division among them as the people stood and listened to the word of God being interpreted and proclaimed unto them by as many as 26 preachers or as little as 13.  It did not matter because they were all teaching the same message which affected all the people as many of them wept knowing they had broken God’s law. 


In our theme verse which is Nehemiah 8:8 we find the following three very important words. 


Nehemiah 8:8 (KJV)   So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.


The first word we will look at is the word “distinctly” which carries with it the meaning in the Hebrew of “to give instructions, to show, to declare.”  The first thing that Ezra and his entourage did was to read directly from the word of God, in other words, their first task was to declare the word of God to the people.  There was no fooling around with commentaries or spurious interpretations.  It was a direct reading from the word of God.


The second word we will look at is “the sense” in the Hebrew it is one word and carries with it the meaning of “Insight, understanding, wisdom.”  Not only did they read the word of God but they interpreted it in such a manner that the people received insight and understanding.  They understood the word of God and the meanings of the passages which were read to them.  You can tell that the people received the straight understanding of the Scriptures because it affected them to the point of weeping.  A neutralized interpretation would not do that to someone.


The third word we will look at is “caused…to understand” which is one word in the Hebrew and carries with it the meaning of “To perceive, have intelligence, discern, prudent.”  After you hear the straight word of God and are given the proper interpretation, which is what hermeneutics is supposed to supply, then you will have the discernment and intelligence of a good solid Christian who will now possess good understanding of the word of God.   This, of course, depends upon two important factors: 1) That you are hearing the true word of God and not a counterfeit; and, 2) that the hermeneutic you are being subjected to is not biased but based strictly on the word of God regardless of the fact that it may come up against established belief systems which are derived from Assumptive Hermeneutics.


What is Assumptive Hermeneutics?  Since I have not read the name then I will coin that phrase.  Assumptive Hermeneutics is the interpretation of the Bible based upon supposition rather than directly harmonizing links of Scripture to each other.   The 1913 Webster Bible states the following definition of assumption:


1. The act of assuming, or taking to or upon one's self; the act of taking up or adopting.

2. The act of taking for granted, or supposing a thing without proof; supposition; unwarrantable claim.


Number two fits perfectly as it is used in modern biblical hermeneutics today.  Let me give a definition of Hermeneutics before we go on.


In ancient Greece there was a mythological god named Hermes and he was the messenger of the gods.  The name Hermeneutics is derived from his name.  Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation of the Scriptures.  It concerns itself with exegesis, that is, extracting the true teachings from passages of Scripture and giving the meaning of those truths.  In other words, true hermeneutics is concerned with bringing the message of Scripture directly from Scripture without any buffers of bias such as theological systems or denominational peculiarities.  True hermeneutics is the only thing that stands between the Scriptures and a Christian’s understanding of them.


Many times you may hear or read the following statement, “If the Plain Text Makes Perfect Sense, Seek No Other Sense.”  That statement is totally violated by the very ones who espouse it.  You will see that in this study when I give two examples of the plain text making sense but being ignored in favor of biased interpretation.


Assumptive Hermeneutics has literally supplanted true hermeneutics in our day.  How you ask?  When theologians write books, pastors preach, or any Christian who belongs to a certain belief system, they will read and write only within the confines of their chosen theology.  Let me give some examples:


1) A dispensationalist will only write according to their belief system.  They will interpret verses, correctly or incorrectly, according to dispensationalism.  They will train themselves so that everything they read will be filtered through dispensational belief.


2) A Preterist will see only eschatology as far as 70 A.D. believing that all prophetic events were fulfilled by that time and that nothing is future.  So when they look at eschatological passages, they only see verses understood within their system of beliefs.


3) A person who believes that Christ died for every person in the world will look at all passages of Scripture within that belief system.  They will eschew the idea that Christ only died for a certain group of people, namely His Elect.


4) A person who espouses a belief in free will believes that all a person has to do is just “accept Christ” and that person has the ability to receive salvation any time before he or she dies.  So when they read the Scriptures, whether Old or New Testament, they will read them with the understanding that God have given mankind free will.  This why when free will preachers preach, they will make incessant altar calls believing that a person can make that decision.


These four examples prove that the understanding and interpretation has become compartmentalized in our day and Christians only see through the glasses of their chosen belief systems.  The belief systems are no longer subject to the Bible but the Bible has become subject to biased belief systems, whether personal or denominational.


Assumptive Eschatology

Revelation 4:1 (KJV)   After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.


If you look at every prophecy book written by a dispensationalist, pre-tribulationalist, or Pre-millennial, you will read in every instance that Revelation 4:1 is pointing to a pre-tribulational rapture which supposedly comes 7 years before the Lord’s return.  Now here is where assumptive hermeneutics comes in.  There is no connecting verses which specifically point to this as the pre-trib rapture of the Saints.  Not one!  They just say it and it sounds good, so the Christian accepts it without any questions whatsoever.  Whether it is written in a book or given in a sermon, it is never challenged.  First, of all pre-tribulationalism is a total myth and is not found in the Bible.  Yet, millions of Christians adhere to it.  Why?  Simply because it is nothing but an escapist theology removing the command of the Lord to go forth into all the world with the gospel.  The majority of these are waiting for the rapture and have become nothing but spiritual couch potatoes.  Pre-millenialism is a created belief system and verses must be interpreted by force to fit into this system.  Another important question surfaces.  Look at the following verses:


Mark 16:15 (KJV)   And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.


Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  {20} Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


If you notice the Christian has a command from the Lord to take the Gospel to all the world and the Lord states that he will be with the Christian even unto the end of the world.  How then, can the gospel to every nation be completed if the Lord has taken the very vessel by which He is reaching the world to Heaven, that is, the church?  If the church is in Heaven, then how is worldwide evangelism going to be accomplished?  Why would the Lord state that he would be with them unto the end of the world if He has taken them to Heaven while the world is still going on and they are all now in His presence?  Do you see the questions that arise when assumptive hermeneutics is not challenged?


Now here is a clear hermeneutic on Revelation 4:1:


John was already given information on the things which were and the things which are and now he is going to be given the information on what is going to happen in the last days. The “last days” is the period from the cross to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In chapters two and three letters were sent to the existing churches on Earth but now the scene shifts to Heaven. This verse has been so misunderstood by the pre-tribulation crowd. They have taught for so long that it represents the rapture and they attempt to tie it in with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Revelation 4:1 has nothing whatsoever to do with the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture. This verse is teaching us that the scene now shifts from earth to Heaven. Just as Ezekiel had heavenly visions, John is now having them. (Ezek 1:1 KJV) Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

John now states that after the letters to the seven churches he looked and then he saw a door opened in heaven and the first voice was that of one which was as a trumpet.
(Rev 1:10 KJV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, John is repeating what he had previously saw. Remember the trumpet sounded a true sound and it was a call to battle. In the rest of the book of Revelation, we are going to see how the church is at constant war with the powers of evil. John is told to come up hither, that is, he is commanded to enter into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who is now going to show him the final chapter of the war between God and the powers of evil. This war continues until the last day when the Lord will destroy Satan and his entire host of demons. Notice John is told that these things “must take place.” That means, there is going to be persecution, both physical and spiritual, of the believer. Since these things must take place, the believer better stop looking for an easy escape such as the pre-tribulation rapture. It simply does not exist in Scripture. The true Christians are going to be on earth until the last day and we will suffer persecution until the last day. These are things which “must be hereafter.”


Now where do we find in Scripture the truth about the rapture?  In the book of John, we are told plainly 6 times that the believer is going to be raised on the last day and you do not even need to force fit any other verses.


John 6:39 (KJV)   And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.


John 6:40 (KJV)   And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.


John 6:44 (KJV)   No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.


John 6:54 (KJV)   Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.


John 11:24 (KJV)   Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.


John 12:48 (KJV)   He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.


And here is icing on the cake:


John 5:28-29 (KJV)   Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  {29} And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.


The pre-tribulationalists claim that the unbelievers will be raised 1,000 years after the rapture of the church when the believers who have physically died will also be raised.  That is not the teaching of John 5:28-29.  It plainly teaches that there is going to be one general resurrection, when both the unbelievers and the believers will be raised from the dead, not 1,000 years apart.  Now we can clearly see when the believers are going to be raised and it will not be at separate times.  Now did we have to create thousands of words to over-justify this plain teaching?  No we didn’t, we just had to read it and there it was, but you see, the plain teachings of Scripture do not sell books and make false prophecy preachers millions of dollars with their sensationalizing of the Scriptures.  Remember the statement about the plain teachings of Scripture?  Well here is a prime example of it being ignored!


One more point on this subject which the pre-tribber cannot answer.


John 11:24 (KJV)   Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.


Martha said to Jesus that Lazarus will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  If Lazarus, who was a believer in Jesus, according to pre-tribulationalism should be raised in the pre-trib rapture, but according to Martha, he will not be raised until the last day, which is supposedly 1,000 years after the believers.  Why then, if Lazarus is a believer, is he not being raised with all the other believers in the pre-trib rapture?  Ask a pre-tribber that and see if they have an answer.


So you see when we relied totally on the Scriptures without the bias of a system of beliefs, we have seen how easy it is to know when the end shall come and when the believers are going to be raptured.   We saw 6 times that the believer is going to be raised on the last day and we also saw in John that the rapture of the Saints and the resurrection of the unbelievers will be on one single day.  This is the reward of clear hermeneutics that we will always come to truth without over-justification by man.

Assumptive Soteriology

Another major assumption which Christians count on is in the area of Soteriology which is the doctrine of salvation.  You will hear free will preachers claim that all you need to do is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  This is true there are many verses which speak about believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.


John 1:12 (KJV)   But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:


Romans 10:9 (KJV)   That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.


Romans 10:13 (KJV)   For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


Here are three familiar verses which we normally hear connected with an invitation which is normally given at the end of a service.  Romans 10:13 speaks about calling upon the name of the Lord.  Romans 10:9 speaks about confessing verbally with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.  John 1:12 speaks about believing on the name of Jesus.  These three verses definitely look as if one only has to believe and they will be saved.  By the way, John 1:12 is never quoted with verse 13.  John 1:13 (KJV)   Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  Now a major question arises.  Do these three verses represent pre-salvation or post-salvation?  In other words, by assuming the contents while isolating these verses, do they lead to salvation or are they a result of salvation?  It is a serious question that needs to be answered and it is answered clearly according to the Scriptures.


When we preach a sermon or when we witness to someone, how do we view those that are hearing us?  Do we normally view the hearers as ones who have basic intelligence?  When we preach that those without Christ will be spending an eternity in Hell, do we believe the people listening can assess their spiritual condition properly and then turn their lives over to Christ to avoid the eternal penalty of Hell?  If you ask any free will Christian that question, they will answer in the affirmative because they automatically assume the hearer has the ability to make that decision simply because they did along with many others.  So they will use as their criteria, their own salvation and possibly referencing others.


Now instead of using assumptive hermeneutics, we now engage in clear hermeneutics to see if the above conclusion is correct.  The first question which is totally disregarded, must be asked and answered, and that is, what is the spiritual condition of people before salvation?  The simple answer to that is that they are spiritually dead!  So let us now attend to what the Scriptures teach.


Ephesians 2:1-5 (KJV) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; {2} Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: {3} Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. {4} But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

The starting point that free will proponents completely ignore is the fact that before salvation a person is spiritually dead. In Ephesians 2:1 & 5, the word for “dead” is the Greek word “nekrous” which means “lifeless, useless, or dead.” A person who is spiritually dead is one who cannot do anything toward their salvation. Just as a physically dead person cannot do anything to make themselves alive, the spiritually dead person is incapable of anything except being dead. Now is this borne out in other places in the Scriptures? The answer is a resounding yes.

Nekrous - Lifeless, Useless, or Dead
Ephesians 5:14-15 (KJV) Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. {15} See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Matthew 8:22 (KJV) But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Luke 15:32 (KJV) It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

John 5:21 (KJV) For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

Colossians 2:13 (KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Thnesko - Be Dead or Die
1 Timothy 5:6 (KJV) But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

Thanatos - Death
1 John 3:14 (KJV) We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

Here we have just looked at seven verses where God uses three different words to describe the condition of those who are not saved. The Bible teaches us here that the only condition that the unbeliever is in is a state of spiritual death. This applies to every person who has ever lived and goes back as far as the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 2:16-17 (KJV) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: {17} But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The Hebrew word for “die” is "mooth" which means “to die.” So we see that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they entered into a state of spiritual death. It was not physical death at that moment because they had lived quite a number of years after their sin but because of their disobedience to God, they instantly went into a state of spiritual death. This spiritual death has been passed on to every human being down to the present.  Physical death came at a later date.

Since the Bible covers this subject thoroughly, we cannot understand these verses to mean anything else but that the whole human race was plunged into spiritual death and remains there until a person becomes saved. Now that we know that people are spiritually dead, and reading the words for dead and death in the text, how can we come to any other conclusion than the fact that unsaved man is spiritually dead?

Now that we know that unsaved man is spiritually dead, then the question remains how could one believe by themselves or generate faith when they are dead? When Lazarus was in the tomb, did he have the ability to actually raise himself from the dead? The answer is a resounding no because he was physically dead plus his sister Martha stated that by now, a time of four days, he would stink because of decomposition. John 11:39 (KJV) Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  The reality is that when dealing with the subject of salvation, to reject the starting point of spiritual death is to literally bypass a cardinal truth of the Scriptures. Free willers do not like to think of themselves as spiritually dead. They think that because you can put on a blue tie or buy a steak for lunch that is somehow exercising free will and they erroneously equate that type of choice with the ability to “accept Christ.” Nothing could be farther from the truth and more heretical because we have plainly seen from the Bible that a person, before salvation, is spiritually dead or lifeless which means at that point they are incapable of making any spiritual decisions from the state of being spiritually dead. You cannot even will the common cold from your body and you think you can will yourself into Heaven?


So now we see the Bible is teaching clearly that the state of mankind before salvation is that they are spiritually dead and the only thing dead people can be is dead.  So then the next question is, if a person is spiritually dead, then how is it possible for them to become saved? Several things must happen first but not by us, by the hand of God alone.  This next point is the moment the person really becomes saved.


When one is physically dead, the only way to make them alive again is through resurrection. The same principle applies to the spiritually dead. The soul must be resurrected from the dead but since the dead person does not have the ability to resurrect themselves, it must be done from the outside inward.

Revelation 20:6 (KJV) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

In Revelation 20:6, we read about a resurrection on which the second death has no power. The second death is to be sentenced to an eternity in Hell but because a person is resurrected from a state of spiritual death, the second death has no effect on that person. Why? Because they have now become saved eternally and the threat of Hell is now removed forever. This is not speaking of a future physical resurrection because of the language in the rest of the verse. It states that those who are partakers in the first resurrection will be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Christ a thousand years. Revelation 1:6 (KJV)   And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  The thousand years is symbolic of the time period between the first and second coming which means during that time period as millions of Christians are called by God, they shall all reign with Christ.

Romans 6:4 (KJV) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

One of the most open verses about a person becoming born again from the dead is Romans 6:4 where it speaks about Christ being raised from the dead by God the Father, it goes on to state that we, being raised, like Christ should walk in newness of life. The words “even so” in the Greek text carries with it the meaning of “in this way or after this manner.” Now that we have been resurrected from the dead, we now take on a new life and new purpose and in Christ we are to walk in that manner.


Now that a person has been spiritually resurrected what is the next event that happens in the new believer’s life?


John 14:17 (KJV) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Now that a person has been resurrected from spiritual death, where there was once a void in their soul is now filled with the Holy Spirit. He is called the Spirit of truth in John 14:17 and He now indwells the believer. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that allows the Christian to function in the spiritual realm. It is through His power that the Christian will be able to perform the duties of Christianity and to perform their assigned ministry, which every Christian has. Let us now attend to what the Holy Spirit brings the Christian in the way of primary abilities. He doesn’t indwell us in dormancy but gives the Christian their spiritual abilities.


Before a person is saved, they are spiritually dead and that makes it impossible for them to generate believing faith. The free willers always talk about exercising faith to believe in Christ yet not one of them has ever stated where the faith comes from. It cannot come from one who is spiritually dead just as physical life cannot be generated out of one who is physically dead such as Lazarus or the son of the widow of Nain. Luke 7:12 (KJV) Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

So then the question remains, if the faith a person needs to believe is not generated from the person, where does it come from? The answer is simple and found in Scripture.

Galatians 5:22 (KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and one can only have faith if they are already indwelled with the Holy Spirit, which means one can only have faith after they have become saved and not before. The spiritually dead person does not have the Holy Spirit indwelling them which means that only the one that the Holy Spirit indwells will have the fruits of the Spirit. Now that a Christian has faith as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, he or she is able to do something else which the spiritually dead person cannot do.

Now that one has a bedrock of faith given to them by the Holy Spirit, they may now believe the things of God. The word “believe” in the Greek text is “pisteuo” which is a verb denoting a work. If a person could believe in Christ without having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, it would mean they have performed a work and that would mean they have worked for their salvation which is totally against what the Bible teaches in many places. Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So then the question might be raised, if after the moment of salvation, we do a work, does that count against us as if we are trying to work for salvation? A group of people had asked Jesus what they could do to work the works of God and His response was very simple.

John 6:28-29 (KJV) Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? {29} Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

So we see in this verse that the work of God is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Now this is not the same as one who tries to believe without being regenerated. A person can believe because they now have the faith which can be exercised to believe. Why is this? Simply because they now believe by building on the faith they have been given from the Holy Spirit who indwells them when their souls were resurrected to newness of life from being spiritually dead. In other words, the Bible is teaching us that we cannot believe the things of God unless we have already become saved.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us plainly that the natural or unsaved man cannot receive or understand the things of God because they are spiritually dead and this means that a person cannot believe from a state of spiritual death. They must be indwelled by the Holy Spirit as a result of salvation.

Romans 10:9 (KJV) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Let us look at one of our key verses from above.  Romans 10:9 is a verse which teaches us that we must believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead and that we must confess it with our mouths. The word for “confess” in the Greek text is the word “homologeo” which literally means “to say the same thing.” In other words our testimony must be in line with the Word of God. That principle is found back in Amos. Amos 3:3 (KJV) Can two walk together, except they be agreed? To be agreed is to agree with the Word of God. Before salvation, the Bible was a book we were unable to understand and our lives were in opposition to the Bible but once we became saved, we are in agreement with the Scriptures.

Then we are to believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead but with the old heart we were at enmity with God. However, when God saves us and resurrects our souls, He also gives us a new heart which would be able to ingest the things of God. Ezekiel 36:26 (KJV) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Now Romans 10:9 tells us to confess and believe. If we did these things from a state of spiritual death, it would be an attempted work for salvation but because God has already saved us and then given us spiritual abilities, they would be considered exercising the faith that we have and it would not be a work for salvation but a work in salvation which is what the believer is to be engaged in.

Ephesians 2:10 (KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We have plainly seen, without any verse manipulation, that before a person is saved they are spiritually dead and dead means dead. They do not have the ability to generate faith, to believe, or will themselves into salvation. We have also seen that a person must be saved prior, and it could be just a few seconds, to believing by means of faith which is given as a fruit of the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer and then gives them the ability to believe the things of God, simply because regeneration has already taken place. So let me just list the order of effectual salvation it is from Spiritual death to Spiritual resurrection to receiving the Holy Spirit to be given faith as a fruit to be able to believe the things of God. No unsaved person can will themselves into spiritual resurrection. It must be performed by God or the person stays spiritually dead. It is that simple.  We did not have to assume anything but in our investigation of the doctrine of salvation, we found in the Scriptures, by means of a clear hermeneutic that before one can believe, God must perform a resurrection on our souls and that all takes place simultaneously.  So when a person responds to a gospel call and is truly saved, that means God has resurrected that soul and because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, they now know their need for a Savior whereas before they became saved, they didn’t even care about the things of God being in a state of spiritual death. 


We have looked at two examples of assumptive hermeneutics whereby two teachings are prevalent and they are both without biblical foundation.  Christians cannot continue to interpret the Bible in the way that we want God to write or the way we want the Scriptures to mean.  If the church is ever going to get back to a place of strength, it must begin to look at the Scriptures from the way God wrote them and not the way we want to read them.  The majority of Christianity has become very man-centered in that we view the Bible in a way that placates man instead of the way God wrote them.  The fact that man sinned against a thrice holy God means that the way back to God is not one of ease because it cost the life of the Son of God to pay for the sins of His people.  Matthew 1:21 (KJV)   And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Living the Christian life does not wholly consist of jumping up and down in church on Sunday or hearing some false preacher pacify his audience in a mega-church with all kind of sweet platitudes while completely ignoring the reality of sin.  The true Christian will search the Scriptures diligently before accepting any teachings to ascertain whether they have heard the Scriptures being interpreted according to assumptive hermeneutics or through clear, harmonious hermeneutics which connect the teachings of Scripture without over-justification with many words.


Christians assume that everything they hear, especially from a well-known preacher, is correct according to the Scriptures and that is just not true.  In fact, the more famous a preacher is, normally the sloppier they are with the Scriptures but because they are famous, everything they teach is accepted willy-nilly.  For example, go to John MacArthur’s church and say he is wrong about Mark 16:9-20.  You will be escorted out the door.  Go to Joel Osteen’s church and say he is a false teacher.  You will be escorted out the door. 


This is why the Christian must spend time searching and researching the Scriptures to either confirm or reject what they heard.  We looked at two popular teachings which are taught thousands of times each day and yet neither of those teachings have any biblical foundation but they are accepted as is without any question.


God gave us the Bible for wisdom and understanding, neither of these can be obtained if we refuse to research the Scriptures and accept everything we are told.  The reality is that when we hear a popular preacher speak, we automatically go into assumptive mode, that is, based upon who is speaking we assume they are correct.  This is very dangerous territory and is the reason that Christianity has so many confused Christians.  There are a great number of teachings which are taught from the pulpits that are just not true and the reason that Christians become confused is because these teachings do not create a harmonious hermeneutic and if they clash with one another, it creates confusion and results in weak Christians and churches.  This is why Christians can no longer rely on what we hear preached or what we read without confirming the teaching in Scripture.  If the findings go against a popular preacher then so be it.  This is why it is important for Christians to know whether they heard a teaching through assumptive hermeneutics or through real hermeneutics.   If they pass on a false teaching, then they have become a false teacher themselves and no true Christians wants that moniker attached to them.  Brethren, let us get serious!