Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. ~ Colossians 2:8 KJV
What does “rudiments of the world” mean? According to the online dictionary rudiments means the first principles of a subject. The basics of something. In the scripture it is referring to the world. What does the world teach us? It teaches us a lot of ways that are contrary to the Bible for one.
We know that man’s ways are not God’s way. He wants you to thank Him before you ever have whatever it is you are asking for in your hands. Man will only thank when it’s already present or has been accomplished. God wants us to call those things that are not as though they were or as though they existed already.
The first part of the scripture says to beware any man spoil you, or in other words, corrupt you, through philosophy. Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Why do we exist? Why would there be a god? This type of study in philosophy could lead you to a path of incredibility because there is no faith needed in that direction. Through faith we know God created everything into existence through his words. God is a God of miracles and the supernatural. You cannot explain those things from a natural perspective. Your mind could not connect the two paths.
So what do we do? We need to allow God to teach us about walking in faith and not going by what are senses are telling us. Taste, smell, hearing, seeing and feeling. We cannot use those to access the kingdom of God. So we must be careful not to let someone bring natural teachings into a world of supernatural occurrences. In other words Paul was saying don’t be ruined by those kinds of teachings. Be careful!