A Modern Example of Deception to Avoid in the Church – Part 3

bait_and_switch1(Ver 1.2)  This is now “Part 3” in a Bible study series about Christians that follow other Christians blindly without confirming what is being taught in the church is really the truth that the Bible teaches.  These are examples that no real Christian should follow.   In fact these are examples for Christians to greatly avoid becoming.  If you have not read from the beginning of this series you may like to go read from “Part 1” first.  But know this Bible study is not dependent upon a previous lesson to be understood and applied.  Our subject in this lesson series concerns traps and tricks of deception that Satan uses to get Christians to not know or believe the truth.  These are examples that need to be understood so that we don’t fall for them.

We can all learn from positive or negative examples.  The Bible is full of both types of people.  God wrote the Bible this way to teach us that we are all humans that make mistakes.  But He also does this so that we can learn not to repeat their mistakes.  Perhaps you recall the classic quotation of Edmond Burke “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it”.  This is a wise saying because it is much wiser to learn from someone else’s mistake rather than to repeat it and reap the same consequences.  

INTRODUCTION

Hopefully you should know that I do not enjoy criticizing others and it is my goal to never name any names in what is written.  I have learned that there are no perfect people in the world and everyone including me, has made mistakes.  But today I want to give an example of a Christian that was living an example that all should avoid.   I want to address a stereotypical group of Christian people that are good examples of people doing very unbiblical things.  It seems within this Christian group a large portion of these people believe things and even do things blindly without any scriptural basis for their beliefs.  In other words they automatically believed in doing something that they were taught in their church without finding out if it is really true.  For too many it actually goes much further than that.  If they do accidently find out the truth about something in their Bible that disagrees with what they have been taught, they choose to ignore it and refuse to believe it.  In other words they put more faith in their deceived church teacher than they do their God and their Bible.  That just seems very dangerous to me.  How do you know that your church teacher is not another Jim Jones or a David Koresh leading you into a path of deception, destruction and death?  Some people want to trust and place all of their faith in a human teacher because of their admiration for their outward looks.  We having people in the U.S. voting for people to be president because they like the way they look.  Who cares what they stand for or if they are telling us the truth, he is just so good looking.  Wow what a deception that is taking place.  This is not what the Bible teaches us to do.  Read this verse and see what made these people more noble Christians:

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Here we have a story written by Luke where it describes Paul who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament preached to two groups of people.  The first group called “Bereans” were described to be more noble that the second group called “those in Thessalonica”.  I guess Paul named names and maybe I should also.  But the Bereans do not follow Paul’s teachings blindly.  The wise listeners to God’s teachers proved everything that was being taught by searching for them self in their own scriptures in order to prove if they were true or not.  That is what I ask you to do also.  Don’t believe anything that comes from me blindly.  Get your own Bible, your own computer, phone or tablet and search to prove if it is really what God is saying to you.  The Bereans were positive examples to follow after but let us move to a modern negative example to avoid.

 

A MODERN CHURCH EXAMPLE TO AVOID

As soon as I start describing this negative example church to avoid you will probably know who I am talking about.  So even though I am telling you who it is, it will probably be very obvious and I really don’t know how to avoid this.  In speaking with someone the other day they told me about a conversation that they had with their Christian friend.  The conversation was about a Bible subject that everyone should know of.  If you have been a Christian for long or you were raised in this church, you know exactly what we are about to learn.  Hopefully you have already abandoned this teaching and moved far from the deception that is still being taught. 

Blindness is defined as a person’s inability to see the light and this is true for physical or spiritual blindness.  Sometimes the light is too bright and it forces some people to close your eyes.  Many times our eyes have to adjust to different levels of light intensity before we can see things clearly.  But sometimes people see the bright light of what the Bible says and then they just choose to close their eyes to it.  They reject God’s bright truth for what they have chosen to believe called man’s traditional teachings.  Jesus warned us in Matthew 15:6 that our “traditions can nullify the commandments of God”.  To me that does not sound good.

People embrace traditions because of their trust in their teachers and their church.  This is just wrong deceived behavior.  And this type of behavior confirms the scripture that says “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not…” (1 Cor 4:4).  You can discover how successful Satan has been in blinding someone, by observing how they react to new Bible truth when you present it to them.

So here we go!  In a recent conversation with a friend someone told me that the subject of Mary the mother of Jesus came up.  It seems that this deceived person had been taught that Mary is still a virgin and that she was at the same level of importance as her Son, Jesus.  This would mean that Jesus didn’t have any brothers and sisters on the earth and that Joseph (her husband) never had sex with his wife.  I really do not understand the reasoning or logic behind this belief of the departure of common sense at all.  Not only is this a direct contradiction to what the Bible says, it would defy basic human needs created by God.  For example, a man not being able to touch his wife after marriage is not normal behavior.  We will soon learn that this also goes against what the Bible says about healthy marriage relationships. 

The net results of this type of church teaching was the deification of a human woman.  Mary now becomes a spiritual being that we are to pray to and can ask to talk to God for you.  Mary has been exalted beyond human creation and now becomes the path way to God and equal with God.  Now people can say instead of Jesus being the only path to God they have been deceived into believing their are other ways to reach Him.  You see I’ll tell it to you very straight, if you are praying to Mary, Mary IS NOT LISTENING.   Mary is NOT GOD!  Mary can’t hear you.  Mary does not appear to people in the world today.  Mary could very well be in heaven and could be in the presence of God right now, but there is no way that she is in control of anything or can do anything to affect your outcome or situation here on the earth.  This is a deception from Satan and a way that he uses to distract people from the truth of praying to God correctly to get an answer.

I can be very blunt at times and I’m sorry.  Sometimes I think you have to shock people in order to get their attention.  I guess it is also possible that people don’t realize that the Bible contains God’s words spoken directly to you and I and we need to learn what He says and not a theory being taught to us in a church.  If Christians do learn the truth to know and understand it,  and still reject it, then they need to know that they are also rejecting the True God Himself.  So let’s go through the Bible and see what God said on the subject of Mary:

Mat 1:20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

We know from several verses found in the Bible that Mary was a virgin girl and that the Spirit of God came upon her and she conceived a child.  Mary was a normal human female when she was visited by the angel with God’s message.  But she was special in that she qualified to be in the right place at the right time with the right genealogy to be used by God.  It was important that Jesus be born of a virgin, since He was the Only Begotten Son of God.  I really do not want to attempt to explain all of the theological reasons for the virgin birth in this lesson.  If you do not understand these I would strongly suggest you find the lessons on this website about the virgin birth and study them in depth.  Continuing to read in Matthew the 1st chapter we see that the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream also and tells him it is still God’s plan for him to marry this woman named “Mary”.  He is informed that this child is from God and not from another man and then we are told this statement:

Mat 1:25  And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

You see in this verse there is a specific reference to sex.  This verse tells us directly that Joseph did not have sex with Mary “UNTIL” after she gave birth to Jesus.  That means she remained a virgin woman “until” after the birth of her firstborn son that they named “Jesus”.  But this statement also means Joseph had sex with her (aka knew her) sometime after Jesus was born.  If you want to ignore the Bible for your personal beliefs, then go right ahead and abide in your ignorance.  The term “knew” her is a sexual reference.  In Genesis 4:1 Adam “knew” his wife and they had a son.  This sexual relationship between a husband and a wife is a normal part of the system that God created.  To “Know” is a term that means to have carnal knowledge of, to be intimately physically connected with them and literally means sexual intercourse.  It clearly means that Joseph was intentionally permitted to have sex with his wife Mary after Jesus was born, but not before.  Why was this?  Once a woman is pregnant you can’t get pregnant again?  I guess I won’t attempt to elaborate on the why, for now.  We can clearly see in other verses in the Bible that Joseph did have sex with his wife because it names some of their children.  Here is a verse that speaks about Jesus and His earthly family. 

Mat 13:55  Is not this the carpenter’s son (Joseph)? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

We can see that these people clearly think that Jesus was Joseph’s son.  They did not know that Jesus was not his son, they just assumed it based upon how they lived as a family unit together in a traditional household.  Joseph is called the carpenter so Joseph was a normal man that had a normal occupation.  As far as we can tell Joseph being a normal male would have had normal male sexual desires.  So far we see all the aspects of a normal earthly family.  Then we are given the names of 4 other males that are called Jesus’ brothers.  These four are called James, Joses, Simon, Judas. 

Now here is another plan of Satan deception where people are used to try to explain away what we can all read in the Bible.  Satan uses our desires for our traditions to establish our beliefs of truth.  This deceptive reasoning is that there were no Greek or Hebrew words for cousins, so they conclude that these brothers were actually Jesus’ cousins.  Using this perverted logic they can preserve the virginity of Mary and continue to exalt her to a god.  That is another example of ignorance gone to seed and growing into multiplied tricks of the devil.  Truth always builds upon Truth and lies must be built upon other lies and the cycles usually never cross paths.  

Just because the Bible does not have a word for cousin does not mean there are other ways of stating the truth if it was His cousins.  If God wanted us to believe that these named men were Jesus’ cousins he could have said His mother’s brother’s sons or He could have used the Greek word G4773.  This word was used by the Holy Spirit in Luke 1:36 to describe Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. There are certainly more than one way in the Greek and Hebrew words to describe relatives in the correct terms if God wanted to say something besides “brothers”.  God used the Greek word G80 and this word means a “brother”.   No you see people want to make Mary their god so they invent reasons to dispel what the Bible teaches for what they want to believe.  If we continue on to the next verse we also discover more information about this family of Joseph:

Mat 13:56  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

In Matthew 13:56 we are not only told that Jesus had 4 half brothers, we are also told that he had sisters.  We are not told how many, just that there were more than one.  So apparently Joseph had a lot of sex with his wife over the years.  We can clearly see that Jesus had at minimum 6 half brothers and sisters.  If we think logically we can calculate that Jesus was approximately 30 years old when this verse was written.  That means Joseph and Mary were potentially a husband and wife for 30 years.  During this time period if they only had 6 children that would be pretty amazing in a era of no birth control or abortion.  However, we do not know what happened to Joseph, he  becomes obscure and hidden from mention after Jesus’ twelfth birthday.  So even in a 12 year period to only have 6 children would be amazing.  That would be one new brother or sister almost every other year.

Satan is very tricky.  His methods of deception are very subtle.  Most of the time Satan does not come at us with direct and obvious lies, but he likes to introduce little nuances to the truth to get us to focus on something else other than what God says.  The Jewish leadership was tremendously guilty of doing this.  They would take the laws of God and add to them.  The Jewish leadership would write their own rules, thinking that if they followed all of these added rules, there would be no way that they would break God’s laws.  Jesus called this the leaven of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1).   This would represent a combination of untruths together with some truths.  Satan likes to intermix some of the truth with some subtle lies in order to dilute the pure and render it ineffective.  This is still one of the greatest deception techniques of the enemy today and everyone in the church is faced with these same issues. 

There are so many churches that teach a watered down version of the Bible.  There are way too many preachers and teachers that interject their opinions instead of just teaching the Words of God.  If you go to a church that teaches something that the Bible doesn’t say, you are subtly being deceived and totally distracted from knowing the truth.  Jesus taught us that it only takes a little bit of leaven to corrupt the whole loaf of bread.   I have heard this truth taught and I agree with it whole heartedly.   If you want to poison a dog you don’t throw them pure arsenic.  You wrap the arsenic up in a steak so that they do not realize they are being poisoned.  This is the trap of the enemy and a standard ploy of effective deception.  Give the listener a bunch of what they want to hear and then mix in the lies a little bit at a time so that they are hard to recognize.  People fall for this more than you think.  It is all over the internet, it is all over some church pulpits. 

You see this friend that believed Mary was good to pray to, would probably not read a book like Dan’s Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” because it is a totally opposite approach at deception.  The Da Vinci Code is a totally fictitious book of lies with just a little bit of truth mixed with it.  So while my friend was smart enough not to read that kind of material, they were easily deceived when someone just mixed in just a little fiction with a bunch of truth.  I think there are many Christians who need to learn these lessons.  Stay away from the Harry Potter CRAP!   The Twilight Saga is another good example of material to avoid like the plague.  If you are allowing your children to participate in these dangerous forms of entertainment you are making a huge mistake.

CONCLUSION

So this is a lesson about our next type of deceived Christian to avoid becoming.  Learn how Satan is working to deceive others and implement safeguards to not repeat examples of failed behaviors.  Read your Bible for your self.  Study to show your self approved a workman that needs not to be ashamed.   Prove everything that is heard in church with your own scripture research.  Look for at least 2 or 3 verses that prove what was sad is actually what is true in God’s Word.  Then go and search for verses that could contradict what was said.  Study, study and study the Bible!  And Pray, Pray and Pray!  That is the only way that anyone will not be deceived.

Let us all pray for my friend and for friends you may know.  Maybe you know some Mormon people.  They are some of the nicest deceived people that I have ever met in my life.  Whoops I named a name of a cult church.  But this is important to know.  These people have disregarded the Bible for a book called the “Book of Mormon” that they say came by special Revelation from Joseph Smith in 1830.  Mormons call people who only read the Bible deceived but I say people who add to the Bible their own books to take away from reading the real are the ones that are deceived.  So let us learn to avoid other books that try to take us away from the Bible also.  Anything that distracts you from the Bible is a lie and trick of deception.  Let us pray for these people. 

LORD, we come boldly to the throne of Grace to ask for your mercy for ________ (add name).  I pray that you will open their spiritual eyes of their understanding to have the ability to see and know the truth (Eph 1:17).  Satan I bind you from blinding their minds and command you to release your hand deception from their life and mind (Mat 16:19).  I repent for every sin that can be used to hold them in deception and ask that it be covered by the blood of Jesus to  cleanse them from all unrighteousness in their heavenly record (1 Jn 5:16).  I ask you LORD to send forth a laborer across their pathway as you commanded us to pray in Matthew 9:38 so that they may hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly to receive the truth.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with us and we are blessed to hear from you and everything the Lord is doing in your life.  God Bless you until the next lesson.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION

LORD, I thank you because I have the mind of Christ.  The Spirit of the Living God abides in me.  He is my great Shepherd and I hear and know His voice.  I am led by the Spirit of God only and the voice of a stranger I will not follow.  Thank you for keeping far from deception by granting me the ability to spiritually discern the difference between right and wrong, truth and lies and good from evil.  If there is any time when someone is attempting to distract me with an untruth, bring to my remembrance a Bible verse that will clear any confusion.  Thank you for saving me and filling me with your precious Holy Spirit and I love you because you first loved me.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

If you would like to continue to read in this series about avoiding deception, please go to “Part 4“.

About agapegeek

Using the Bible to understand the Bible! Advanced Bible study for mature Chrisitians who want to grow.

Posted on January 9, 2010, in deception, Satan and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. So True! I see so many people eating the poison disguised as truth and I try to warn them but they don’t want to hear it. I pray they open their eyes soon.

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