Monthly Archives: April 2012
Understanding Healing, Sickness and Disease! Erroneous Teaching in the Modern Church? Part 5
(Ver 1.3) Today’s lesson is Part 5 in the Bible study series about “Understanding the Subjects of Healing, Sickness and Disease”. In this series we have been exploring the Bible foundations to recognize God’s truth and perspective on the subject of where does physical healing, sickness and disease actually come from? I have already introduced you to a lot of information in this Bible lesson series that will not all be repeated exactly as stated before, therefore if you have not read every lesson from the beginning, I would strongly suggest that you go and start your reading with “Part 1”. I usually do not focus on the erroneous teachings of other men, but I think this is a valid approach to take since there are so many erroneous things about healing being taught by many churches. What I will attempt to do today is not to teach you the foundational basis for the error, but rather to teach you to see the counter truth to the inaccuracy using God’s Word. One of my chief goals in all of my Bible lessons is not to give you a fish but rather to teach you how to fish from God’s word for yourself. This concept of learning to see the truth for yourself will help you not to be deceived by anyone that will try to come to you and present something new that contradicts with what God wanted you to know. Therefore, we must counter the error with only the truth of God to help other people from falling into Satan’s traps of deception. So today will be a Bible lesson about many of the wrong teachings found in churches about healing, sickness and disease to help you. Obviously this will not cover every false teaching in the world on the subjects and it will not be a comprehensive level of detail on any one subject that could have been accomplished. It will however give you an overview of the vast problems associated with a few teachings that I know are in error.
BRIEF REVIEW OF WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED SO FAR
Since it has been a long time since I posted on this subject, I think it would be good to briefly mention a few of the things that we have learned in the series. We know from reading the Bible that when our world and the first man Adam were created by God, He looked at it all and said it was “Very Good” (Gen 1:31). Therefore according to God, no evil, like sickness existed prior to sin. If Adam was not created sick, where then did sickness come from? The first mention of the healing of human sickness actually occurs many years after creation in Genesis 20:17. From God’s timeline this has to be nearly two thousand years after Adam. I will also say that the book of Job is reported to be the oldest book in the Bible and it has mention of sickness and healing. However the exact timeframe of the book of Job is not known. The book of Job probably occurs sometimes after Noah and before Abraham. We may talk about Job in future lessons since this book is widely misapplied to accuse God with causing sickness by Satan to occur on Job. For now let’s concentrate on Genesis 20. In this verse Abraham prays to God for Abimelech and his wife and it is stated that God healed them because of the prayer. This is actually very important to note that the first recorded healing in Genesis is stated to have come from God through the vehicle of human prayer. I believe that is important to know.
We also know from Bible study that Adam’s sin was the main factor for man knowing evil according to Genesis 3:22. In this verse God states that evil entered into the world and man has now come to know something besides knowing only God’s goodness. Therefore I have concluded that sin was the root cause for all evil including sickness to enter into the world. However do not misunderstand what I said. Just because sin was the root cause for all sickness, this does not mean that it was necessarily your sin that caused your sickness. You see there was a transfer of death upon all men from the original sin of the one man Adam. Since sickness is nothing but a minor precursor to death we should know that Adam’s sin has now passed this curse to everyone else that has descended from him according to 1 Corinthians 15:22. There are such things as generational curses that are handed down from parent to child and from generation to generation. This is why doctors ask about family history of certain diseases. If your parent had it then you are more likely to also have it. Perhaps in a future lesson we will talk more about this generational curse factor revealed in the Bible.
I further showed you in lesson one that sickness was the curse for disobeying God’s law revealed to us in Deuteronomy 28. Any disobedience is called a sin of commission or omission and we are all guilty of this according to Romans 5:12. You may recall that I gave you one example of Jesus healing a paralytic man that couldn’t walk. In this story Jesus said to him first “Your sins are forgiven” and all of the Jews drew up in arms that Jesus could forgive sin. In this story found in Matthew 9 you will see that Jesus attributes a direct link between sickness and sin. Jesus was basically teaching us that the cause of sin resulted in the effect of sickness. When Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven Jesus was saying son you are healed. Are your sins forgiven by the shed blood of Jesus today? Well according to Jesus you should be healed also. The Greek word translated as “saved” is the word “sozo” and it means to be made whole. This was an all-inclusive work of God. God gave to men salvation which included spiritual health, mental health, physical health and financial health. In other words God relieved us from the curse and you can read that by finding it in Galatians 3:13.
I hope you also understood the concept that I presented about a house being divided will not stand. If God makes you sick and also heals you then His house is divided and by His own admission of law will not stand. Jesus revealed a basic truth that states any house or kingdom can be easily defeated if it is not strongly unified in a singleness of purpose. Therefore, evil and sickness must only come from the house of Satan that is evil and healing which is good can only come from the house of God that is consistently good! Finally I taught you one lesson on the Father’s heart revealed to us in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The father was not out to inflict the child for being stupid, the father’s heart was directed at only re-establishing the son to his place in the family because of his great love for his son. This is clearly a picture of God and His desire to bless you today. These were all just some of the basic important concepts already discussed. I pray that you took hold of them and accepted them as the truth. Now let’s explore some error.
THE ERROR OF AN OLD TESTAMENT DOMINATED THEOLOGY
There are literally too many unfounded erroneous teachings about healing, sickness and disease found in the modern church today. I will start this lesson with one that is very popular. I find this error in more of my comments on this website than almost any other mistake that people make. Reading the Old Testament in isolation is one of the most prevalent problems with modern theological teachings. There are literally many mistranslated verses found in the Old Testament that people use to establish their wrong beliefs. Because people do not know or understand how God wrote the Bible, they can easily be misguided by what they read in the Old Testament. We must begin by first asking “Is the truth plainly presented in the Old Testament”? If you feel like it is, then you are already deceived and lack understanding that is required by God. There is nothing of any spiritual value in the Old Testament that is clearly presented. I probably just lost a bunch of readers with that statement. However consider what Jesus said about the Old Testament before you turn me completely off:
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
This is one of the most important statements that Jesus taught us about all of the words written in the Old Testament. Jesus said that nothing you could read was self-evident concerning the truth about Him. In fact Jesus just literally said you must “search” to even find Him. That means He is not easily found. To search the Old Testament implies the hidden meaning that the words about Jesus were not placed upon the surface text for us to easily locate. Have you ever lost your car keys? Have you ever had to do a house room to room search to find them? That is exactly what Jesus is teaching you about you finding Him anywhere in the Old Testament. Jesus claimed it was going to take great effort of you looking for you to find Him on the pages. That is a very important concept for you to learn.
One of the most important things that you can learn from me today is for you to never read the Old Testament without first reading the New Testament very closely and understanding it as completely as possible. Begin your every Bible Study by understanding this very basic Bible interpretation law. The Old Testament is the New Testament in a concealed format. The New Testament is the Old Testament hidden concepts being revealed to the church. Therefore we must use all of the New Testament revelations to understand anything that was written in the Old Testament. If you fail to do this you are in error. If your pastor is teaching you mostly from the Old Testament without using any of the New Testament to explain it, you need to find a new church very fast. We in the church are not under the law of the Old Covenant (Rom 6:15). Therefore we are not under that covenant. There is a major division within the Bible that occurs between Malachi and Matthew. The words written prior to Matthew are primarily directed to a natural people and the words written after Matthew are primarily written to a spiritual people. Of course this is much more complicated than I just stated.
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
This is another very important scripture to understand. Do you know what “revelation” is? God defines the word “revelation” as “a disclosure”. This Greek word translated as “revelation” literally comes from a root word that means to “take the cover off”. Revelation is the act of revealing what was once hidden from plain view. Therefore we must understand that the words written on the pages did not change but only the meaning they convey were adjusted so that we could see them like God could see them. As you can read in this verse, God revealed to us mysteries that were kept secret from the foundation of the world. How did God do this? God does this by writing in plain text code. I do not mean that He encrypted the text and made it unreadable; I just mean that He hid the spiritual meanings of the words being encapsulated within the natural word text making them easily overlooked by the carnal dominated mind of the reader. This is still what occurs today for most people reading the Old Testament and thinking they understand it without checking out what God explains and reveals about the subjects in the New Testament. Because people do not understand these concepts they are vastly confused about many subjects in the Bible. You cannot understand anything in the Old Testament without first finding God’s definitions, explanations and revelations in the New Testament. That could have been the most important thing that I teach you all day.
Here is an interesting fact about the New Testament. God quotes the Old Testament nearly 300 times in the New Testament. This fact means that every 1 in 22 N.T. verses is an Old Testament quoted verse. If you have a NASB translation of the Bible you will easily find the quotes since they are presented in ALL CAPS. This will greatly help you in your search for them. If one in every 22 verses is quoting the Old Testament then the other 22 verses are potential explanations of the revelation about what the O.T. verse meant. This means that you must read and study these N.T. verses to even come close to begin to know what the Old Testament verses were saying originally. Paul taught us plainly that what he taught the early church came as a direct revelation from Jesus (Gal 1:12). If Paul required extensive revelation to understand the Old Testament scriptures, then you also need the same kind of revelation to understand God’s O.T. words. However it is noteworthy that what they taught in the New Covenant was completely verifiable from what was written in the Old Testament:
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.
We can clearly see from this verse that the early noble church at Berea used the O.T. to verify everything that Paul was teaching to them. Notice however, that this was the exact same book that the Jews had read for 1500 years and they could not see what they were now seeing being revealed by Jesus. There were no new words added to the O.T. text. The only event that had occurred was that God had finally revealed what the words on the old scrolls meant and that changed everything. So what am I saying to you today? Are you learning anything? Do not read the Old Testament in isolation thinking that you understand what it means about any subject. Your carnal mind and human reasoning is too small to comprehend God’s vast hidden meanings and there is literally no way that you will understand them correctly without first learning to view them through the New Testament.
OLD TESTAMENT CONFLICTS WITH NEW TESTAMENT REVELATION
Because this is such an important topic to understanding the differences between New Testament revelations and Old Testament mysteries, I’m going to reemphasize it with some direct Bible examples about what I just taught in the last section. Let’s begin by defining the word “sick” from the Bible. This Hebrew word that is often translated as sick literally means to be rubbed or worn. It is the opposite term of being new or being without imperfections, faults or failures. Healthy is of course the opposite of being sick from our modern vocabulary. Therefore, God is basically saying to be sick is to be like a pair of jeans with worn holes in them. Sickness is a condition that demonstrates your human weakness and it shous us a condition that we were not in when originally designed and created by God. Therefore according to God to be sick is like having worn holes in you pants. I know many ignorant people today like their jeans with holes in them, but I’m not that stupid to pay extra money for a garment that is distressed and imperfect. Therefore, human sickness is a weakness to the fabric of life and health and a precursor to death which is the complete failure of the life and health fabric.
What is the definition of the Hebrew word that was translated as “heal”? To heal according to God is to repair or mend that which was broken or in need of fixing. Healing is defined to be a cure or a reversal for whatever made you sick. Therefore we must use these new definitions to figure out if our God broke us just so that He could come to the earth personally to fix us? That obviously does not make any logical sense to me but that is what many are teaching us today. I do not intentionally break my car just so I can fix it. I never break a china plate to try to glue it back together. That would be insanity and not creativity and the revealed nature of our God. Let’s go back to the Old Testament and see a verse:
Deu 7:15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
Here is a classic Old Testament verse about sickness being attributed to God’s purpose. We have a direct stated conflict in this verse that violates many of the New Testament scriptures that are impossible to believe while believing what this verse says as translated. If we take this verse literally as stated it means God is either good or evil depending upon some unknown or unstated factor. If God takes away sickness from Israel but also puts the same sicknesses on Egypt then that is an inconsistent God of indeterminate uncertainty. Clearly His house is divided if we take this verse literally and we do not know if we should pray and ask God for healing or stop and be humble and thank God for sending us the sickness to enjoy. That is an idiotic type of Christian thinking to interpret the Bible this way. You see you cannot find God making anyone sick in the Gospels. Jesus never walked up to anyone and said “I will bless you to be ill today”. Jesus consistently healed everyone and that was the revealed nature of my God. Therefore we cannot interpret anything differently from the Old Testament if it violates the revelation given to us from the New Testament.
Many people just do not understand that every English Bible translations contain flaws of human error and wrong human interpretation embedded in them; they will read these Old Testament verses and think that God has caused sickness to occur while ignoring the revealed God in the flesh in the New Testament. I can literally find many verses translated like this in the O.T. Bible. But that does not mean I must believe them over what God says to me in the Gospels and the letters written directly to the church. Whatever was written by God in the New Testament, now take precedence over everything that was written in the O.T. What is precedence? Precedence is technically a legal term that means those words have priority over the other stated words. This could be present for many reasons, but just remember that these New Testament words do not replace the Old Testament words, but that they certainly do explain them. The church should realize what covenant they are joined to and then make that one their priority as I was trying to teach you in the last section. Make this determination right now; if you are under the law of the O.T. then you should never attempt to read the N.T. However, if you are under the grace of the New Covenant then you should never read the O.T. without using the revealed light of God found in N.T. to understand what was written in the Old. This is just very basic spiritual reasoning that God taught me.
This is one of the most significant reasons why people believe things in error today about healing. They will read an Old Testament verse about God making someone sick believing they understand it but when they finally explore the entire subject using the New Testament God has changed the definition of what they thought He said in the O.T. to reveal a new understanding of the subject for the saints. This is why in an earlier lesson that I mentioned that Acts 10:38 was a critical verse on the subject of healing, sickness and disease. You should recall that this verse attributed all healing to Jesus and all sickness to satanic oppression. This new information changes our old interpretations of every other verse in the Old Testament about sickness. Many times human translators would accuse God of doing something when it really should have been translated using the permissive verbiage. There is a major difference between a causative God of sickness and a permissive God of sickness. If God causes sickness in the O.T. this would directly conflict with Acts 10:38 and all of the Gospels where Jesus is only revealed to have healed and never made anyone sick. If you learn nothing else from me today you need to learn how to interpret the Bible using the New Testament explanations, definitions and revealed information and I know that is probably the third time that I said that. But you really need to get that into your study habits because there are things explained in the New Testament that you will never see directly mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament.
GOD USES SICKNESS TO CORRECT OR TEACH HIS PEOPLE
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Here is a very popular modern belief taught by many seminary graduates. Some in the modern church teach that our God the creator of heaven and earth sent us sickness as punishment, or correction, or as a teaching tool. Many have come to me and asked me how God corrects His children like Hebrews 12:6 says if not with sickness like my pastor says this means. What you need to do is to read and study your Bible and then just ignore everything that your pastor says that does not match with what you see that the Bible actually says. People can try to make the Bible say whatever they like, but that does not change what it actually says. You have eyes and a brain and the Spirit of God in you if you are saved. Ask God to show you what the Word says and then believe what He says. Here in this verse in Hebrews, it does not mention sickness not once and still people have tried to claim this is how God affects His children with correction. Just read the Bible and believe what it says and do not add to it what it does not say. That is one of the main rules of correct Bible interpretation. God tells us that no scripture of prophecy is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). God is basically saying I will tell you what it means, therefore, don’t invent your own meaning because it will be wrong.
So why is the belief that God afflicts Christians with sickness for correction a bad belief to believe in? First it will keep you from seeking divine healing that clearly comes from God (Exo 15:26, Psa 103:3). Second, it violates the laws of singleness of purpose given to us by Jesus in an undivided kingdom (Mat 12:25). Third, it would violate God’s word that says God does not ever change (Mal 3:6). Fourth, it would violate the character of God revealed in the Son of God Jesus in the Gospels. You cannot ever find Jesus making someone sick for any reason. Jesus was unified in the sole purpose of healing only and thus His kingdom will stand forever and not be divided. I just gave you four great reasons why God will not correct you using sickness. I hope and pray that you got them!
GOD’S SOVEREIGN CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE
There is another very popular belief being taught that because God is sovereign that He controls whatever happens to us good, bad or neutral. This is just another example of extremism; people taking one truth and trying to apply it as the only truth that is necessary for what we believe. This is a huge mistake in wrong Bible interpretation. I think I have shown you in this series that this was not what the Bible says and that sickness came as a result of man’s disobedience, his sinful choices and his independent actions that were implemented by his own freewill. Extremism on any subject is an unbalanced approach at understanding God and the Bible. It promotes an isolationism theology that ignores every other revealed truth on opposing subjects. Certainly I believe that God is sovereign and I do not disqualify His ability as the Omnipotent Being to control everything if He so desired. However for me to believe that He does this violates the definition of a God described to be Love (Agape) in 1 John 4:16. Then there is this verse; God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). This verse in John describes a major conflict with God sovereignly placing sickness on people. Why would the sovereign God come to save me and then tell me that I could be saved, if I only I believe? Did you see what I just asked you? Does that make any sense to you? Whose choice is it to believe mine or God’s? Obviously it is my sovereign choice to believe that causes me to begin to be saved. You didn’t know you were a sovereign being did you? A sovereign being is anyone that has the ability to make an independent decision without external control or influence. Did you decide to get out of bed this morning? If you did then you made a sovereign choice. Of course if you decided to stay in bed this morning you would have still made a sovereign choice in what you did. Nothing you do today can be placed upon anyone but you. You have been given responsibility and control of your destiny. Actually technically speaking you are not a completely independent agent as a human. After Satan entered the world and Adam lost his sovereignty over the earth, Satan became the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Before Satan entered into the world Adam was a completely independent sovereign being. We learned from Jesus’ law of singleness in purpose again that Satan has a kingdom (Mat 12:26). Therefore, we are either in the kingdom of light (Jesus) or the kingdom of darkness (Satan) (1 Th 5:5) and we will all choose which eternal kingdom to reside in by whether we believe and are saved or do not believe and are damned (Mk 16:16). Having the ability to choose what we believe in is a direct design feature of every man and woman. The pure ability of man to believe and choose makes God’s sovereign control inconceivable.
Let’s expand and continue to explore the notion that our loving Heavenly Father is still the author of all of the sickness today because of His sovereign control of the planet. This extreme sovereign control theology has great potential for harm because it relieves man of any human responsibility and future accountability. If God is in complete sovereign control then I have nothing to do today to be saved or lost. Is that what the Bible says? What about future accountability? Accountability is simply the responsibility to do something that you should have done. Is there coming a judgment upon every man? If God is in sovereign control of what happens to every man, what then is there to judge? Do you see any problem with that? You cannot ever judge what you caused to happen or you will be forced to judge yourself. Judgment is simply the responsibility of only the Judge to pass sentence for an independent violation for someone that is held accountable for doing something or not doing something. If I stole something from you then I could be found guilty of violating the laws against theft. If you caused me to steal something from you then you are now guilty for what I did and I am not responsibile for my actions. Therefore, I can only be judged fairly by a judge that was not involved in what I did and I must be held accountable and made responsible for not doing it right. Who is this Supreme independent fair Judge and who will He judge?
Act 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
According to the Bible God is the judge of the living and the dead. The living and the dead are two separate opposite categories of people. You cannot be the living dead nor can you be the dead living. You are either dead today or you are alive inside. Of course these are figurative language definitions for the status of salvation. Those that are alive are those spirits that are in the Kingdom of Light and have believed. Those that are dead spirits are those that have not believed and are in the kingdom of darkness. Both are eternal spirits, but classified in two individual sub-sets. This is really not rocket science but it proves God is not in sovereign control of what you or I do or what we decide to believe in. God is the supreme judge and the only ability for any fair judgment to occur in the future is for the Judge to be independent of the crime being judged. If God caused you to believe what you believe or not to believe then He should be judged by all of us for making us this way. Clearly that is a major problem with that line of thought.
Extreme sovereign God philosophy teachers clearly do not understand the concept or the definition of what love is and that God is defined to be only love in 1 John 4:16 as I stated earlier. Does God love His spiritual children differently than I love my natural children? If you think so, then you do not know God. If I loved my natural child here on the earth, I would not want them to be sick no matter what they did and if I chose to make them sick on purpose after they have disobeyed me then I would now be guilty of being a child abuser in need of prison. Sovereign control is a modern philosophy taught in some churches that tries to convince people that no matter what we do as humans that we cannot change what God has given to us to endure or suffer through. People who believe this clearly have not read the Bible. This type of belief disqualifies prayer and the power of God to heal. I could probably say a lot more about this subject, but I’m just hitting some high points on every subject and not trying to do an in-depth teaching on every issue.
DID DIVINE HEALING CEASE WITH THE DEATH OF THE APOSTLES?
Still many others in the church teach that God did heal people in the Gospels and through the early church, but all of that ceased when the last apostles died. This teaching is very popular because it relieves them of accountability and responsibility. It is another twisted example of the extreme God Control Theology. This erroneous teaching denies that the apostles were in the same church as we are today. This teaching contradicts the verse that says Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). You see everyone in the church is clearly defined to be the complete one body of Christ (Rom 12:5). In other words there are not two bodies, three bodies or more bodies of Christ; there is just one unified body that exists. Since Peter, James and John were in the same body of Christ as us, then what they could do we can also potentially do because we are still the same body. Christ does not ever change according to Hebrews 13:8 and therefore if Christ healed anyone in Acts, Christ still heals today. Don’t make yourself independent from Christ or you are none of His.
What else is wrong with this teaching of treating apostles differently than disciples? Are you a disciple? Jesus said in John 13:35 that they will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another. Who was Jesus talking to? I believe that He was talking to me and you. Therefore everyone is a disciple even if you are not an apostle a prophet, an evangelist, pastor or a teacher. To attribute that only the apostles healed anyone is a clear misunderstanding of God and the scripture. For example, in Luke 10:1-18 Jesus sends out 70 disciples and not 12 apostles. How many more is 70 than 12? Even if the 70 included the 12 that leaves 58 that were not apostles of the Lamb. Why is this important? This is only important to see because Jesus told them all to heal the sick in verse 9. Clearly we can see in verse 18 that all of the 70 returned to tell Jesus that even the demons were subject to them. Uh oh, that means they healed the sick that were oppressed with devils (Acts 10:38). It is very obvious to me that healing was a disciple gift and instruction and not just an apostle gift and instruction. Don’t put God into your box to define what He can do or not do with His disciples in His Church. He is the Head of the Church and you are not.
Let’s talk about another scriptural conflict with why healing did not stop with the apostles. Is God a respecter of persons and does He show any favoritism to anyone? Can you find anyone getting healed in the Old Testament? I can find several. Can you find anyone getting healed in the Gospels? Again I can find many. Why then do you think that healing has ceased for today? This alone violates Hebrews 13:8 that says God never changes. Believing that only certain apostles can heal denies God to be the healer. This belief conflicts with verses like Acts 10:34 and 1 Peter 1:17 that proclaims God is no respecter of persons. If God only gave the healing power to the early disciples then that would be a denial of the power to me as a disciple of Christ. This would first mean that God has changed. Then it would mean that what He did for Peter, James, and John, He will not do for me and I believe that is a major problem to your theology based upon God being no respecter of person. That type of belief would mean that they were special, but I am not simply because I was born in another generation to come. That is clearly a false belief and the violation of the Word of God. We cannot allow scriptural conflicts to stand. We must use the Bible to understand the Bible. If healing ceased then the Word of God has ceased. My Bible says in the Old Testament that “He sent His word and healed them” (Ps 107:20). We know from New Testament revelation that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate (John 1:1-14) that came and healed us (1 Peter 2:24). So Jesus is the healer and not any apostle. Therefore, if Jesus is alive today and He is, healing has not ceased. Nowhere in the Bible can you find an apostle claiming to be the healer. Therefore do not allow men to teach you otherwise.
SHOULD WE SEEK GOD OR SHOULD WE SEEK DOCTORS TO GET HEALED?
There are also a few ignorant teachers who claim the healing power of God ceased with the death of the apostles that have justified in their minds that this is the reason why we have modern medicine, doctors and hospitals in existence today. This teaching is just another example or a variation of the extremism philosophy of the Divine Sovereign Control Theology. In other words, they believe that what God had done previously though His Spirit and His word has now shifted to a physical pill or the hand of a surgeon type of man called a doctor. They have in effect exalted a man into the previous position of God and that sounds like an anti-Christ type of teaching to me. This is one of the most ignorant backwards types of reasoning that I have ever heard conceived up. I would find it humorous if it were not so dangerous. These teachers claim in error that God has changed His healing methods and approach and that only a natural doctor is now God’s healing agents for all of humanity.
Therefore this teaching immediately violates Hebrews 13:8 and Malachi 3:6 that teach us that God never changes. Why is this false teaching so dangerous? This teaching shifts the focus off of God onto a man that we can see and that makes it a treacherous error. If your eyes are on a man then you are missing the God who is the healer. This teaching denies the need for a Christian to even pray to God and ask for healing or guidance. In fact it denies the human responsibility of being led by the Spirit of God to know what to do in the case of sickness. Being led by the Spirit of God is a requirement according to Romans 8:14 therefore to be led by a doctor to get healed you are not being led by the perfect God but by imperfect human doctors. According to them we should all just go to the doctor and they will handle it all now for God and what will occur will occur as the will of God. Clearly this is a very bad teaching that causes many people to die today since no doctor is God and knows everything. Let’s take a look at what the Bible actually says about doctors:
2Ch 16:12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
I do not think that it is entirely bad to seek a doctor’s advice, but what I do find troubling is not first seeking God’s advice. Clearly God speaks about the king in negative terms for his ignorance of only seeking for doctors to help him. Doctors being fellow ignorant humans are technically incapable of healing anyone. Most of the time doctors treat the symptoms but rarely do they fully implement cures of complete wholeness. If you read the very next verse you will see what occurred by only seeking doctors. The Bible says that Asa died and was buried with his fathers. Clearly this is a major conflict with the seek doctor only modern teaching and it ignores God. There is another greater example of seeking physicians found in Mark 5:26. In this story of the woman with the issue of blood she had sought a cure for her problem for 12 years with doctors and finally turned and sought to touch Jesus after hearing about Him. Clearly the doctors could not help her and only seeking God brought the answer. I learn several things from this example. First, seeking the doctor’s help did not keep her from being cured and made whole by God. But, I also learned that her answer came by her only seeking Jesus. Therefore I have concluded if you need a doctor’s help seek one. But in your seeking do not neglect the real healer and seek Him more diligently.
IS IT THE WILL OF GOD TO HEAL TODAY?
Here is another major problem taught in many churches today by words and actions. Certain preachers do not know if it is the will of God for healing to occur so they do not understand how to pray and ask God for healing or they fail to do it completely. Many times these preachers will constantly pray and ask for healing “If it by thy will”. There is a major lesson taught to all lawyers and attorneys. You never ask a question to anyone on the witness stand that you already do not know the answer they will give to you. This same principle works for healing and all Christian prayer. If you do not already know that God’s answer is yes for what you are asking then you are asking in error and praying in the dark. That is a major revelation to understanding why many are not healed today. Do you remember the story of the leprous man that comes to Jesus for healing?
Mat 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Here is a man that desperately needs help and divine healing but he does not know if it is Jesus’ will to help him. Any time there is a question mark present there is a hindrance to receiving healing from God. The man clearly knows that Jesus has the ability and the power to heal him but does not know if it is the will of God to heal him personally. He must have learned about the power by the observation of what happened to others touched by Jesus. But what happens to others is no guarantee for what might happen to you. You can never base your faith upon what others possess or fail to possess. You must answer all of the questions in your own mind and then you will have the ability to receive for your situation.
Mat 8:3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Here was Jesus’ response to the leprous man. Jesus told him “I will” and that is a universal statement of truth for you also. This statement reveals God will for all healing. It is God’s will for you to be saved, healed and delivered from everything that the enemy had you trapped under. We know since we have read repeatedly in the Bible that Jesus is never changing as revealed in Hebrews 13:8, that Jesus will still say “I will” today. Therefore God’s will was to heal in Matthew 8:3 and God’s will is still to heal in today’s modern time. Knowing this information now you do not have to pray to ask God if it be your will and you can just ask and receive knowing it was His will to begin with.
I think I have covered enough for one lesson. I know there are many other false teachings that promote coonfusion and division in the church. If you know of other false teachings surrounding the subject of healing I would be glad to learn about them from you. If you are not sure what your preacher is teaching is right or worong, then you may also ask me that if you desire. Hopefully you will have learned that you can find the answers also if you search your Bible for them. Finally always remember my main point about reading the Old Testament. If you are not looking at the Old Testament through eyes corrected with the New Testament glasses, then you are blindly reading a hidden message from God. Thanks for reading and we will do another lesson in this series later. God Bless.
Why Do People Believe What They Say They Believe? Part 1
(Ver 1.3) This is going to be Part 1 in a series on the basic Bible foundational subject of where do human beliefs come from? I am going to revert back to the fundamental basics of Christianity today in this lesson. Recently I started out writing about another Bible subject and this topic came up and suddenly expanded so large that it became a separate new Bible study that just kept growing and growing. This subject of “belief” is an integral part of Christianity found in the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Technically beliefs are an integral part of any religion, a basic characteristic found in every human and in human life in general. We all have beliefs, but they certainly vary in such wide degrees that it is easily understandable that every human belief is not the truth. Let’s first start by defining the word “belief”. A belief is a noun and one online dictionary defined it as “something one accepts to be true or real; a firmly held conviction or opinion”. Notice that word “opinion” in that definition because that is one of the key ingredients to my main subject today. A belief is a concept of recognition for something that you have no concrete evidence or proof that exists. If you can see the chair in front of you, you don’t have to believe in its existence, for example. Since you cannot see God you are now required to believe in God wihtout proof. There is a major difference in those two examples.
The entire perception of human belief is subjective, abstract, mental, intellectual and even theoretical. In other words people cannot see human beliefs since they are a spiritual internal reality. Beliefs are neither measurable nor quantifiable in human terms. The strength or numbers of your beliefs cannot even be counted. However, we can see the resulting actions or hear the words from that person that are based upon their unseen beliefs, but yet we still do not fully know why they believe what they say they believe from those alone. I also like my diagram that I found to include at the top of this discussion. There are two set realms in this diagram. One realm is God’s knowledge and the other ser realm is man’s beliefs in what they think is truth. This diagram teaches us three basic things. The first thing to note is that only what God says is the set of truth. The second thing to note is you don’t know or understand everything that God has said so your knowledge is severely limited compared to God’s. Finally we need to note that many of our current beliefs today are not founded within God’s set of truths. To me the ulitimate goal is for me to reduce my beliefs that are outside of the realm of God’s truth and this can only be accomplished by me increasing my knowledge of God’s set of truths. Is that you also? Let me introduce a Bible verse on the subject of belief to begin:
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
Here is Paul giving God thanks for those that were saved. Paul attributes one of the major factors for their salvation to be their individual belief of the truth. Paul by the law of antithesis gives us an unstated truth that those who do not believe are those that are not saved and that actually agrees with what Jesus told us in Mark 16:16. This statement introduces to us many new questions on the subject of belief. How did these saved people hear the truth? What was this truth that helped to save them? Why did they accept the truth and others did not? Was it only the truth that saved them, only their human belief or the combination of the two working together? What I see from this discussion so far is that it matters greatly what we believe. I see it being stated that every belief is not a valid entrance into the Kingdom of God and His salvation. It appears that it is only our beliefs in the truth that will actually do us any good. But what is truth and what is it based upon. So many relevant questions need to be answered if we want to begin to explain this subject to anyone else.
I have seen a major problem on the internet occurring so frequently that it has bothered me tremendously. In many internet Christian forums and groups, I have tried to engage in several intelligent conversations on subjects found in the Bible with other people who also claim to be Christians. I believe this is a Godly principle based upon Isaiah 1:18 where God says to us to come and reason with Him. Consistently in every recent conversation I have observed a pattern that would repeat with great reliability. In my every statement I would always endeavor to include the specific Bible verses to go along with what I was saying to help establish the fact that what I said was not my independent opinion but was rather based upon actual scripture. Repeatedly I would get other people to respond but they would almost always ignore my Bible verses and my statement and tell me what they believed on the subject being independent from the scripture. To ignore scriptures and to give no scriptural basis for your reasons is a very dangerous approach for human beliefs.
For example, I had one conversation recently with some people about a supposedly prophesied temple scripture found in 2 Thessalonians 2:4. This verse informs us that there is a direct connection between the coming man of sin and a temple. However, this verse does not declare what the temple is, what it is made out of, where the temple is or how it is connected to being God’s temple. Theefore, to assume anything this verse does not declare would make our belief a human opinion outside the scope of God’s Word. Do you see any problem with that? This verse only says that the man of sin will sit in the temple of God informing us that he is God. The majority of my internet conversation on this temple subject was me trying to show people that nowhere after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the “temple of God” ever called or described to be a manmade building of stone like the one built by Solomon in the O.T. In the New Testament the exact phrase “temple of God” is consistently used in conjunction to describe the human body of those that have accepted and received Christ’s Spirit inside of them. So I listed at least 4 scriptures that taught us this fact and I even showed them verses in Acts 7:48 where God tells us that He does not live anymore in a temple made by the hands of men. Along with that fact I showed when Jesus died on the cross, the old man-made temple veil was torn from top to bottom by God (Mat 27:51) indicating to us all that God had moved out of the manmade temple and was gone forever. I felt that I had given overwhelming evidence to what God says to us in the New Testament, but I was shut down and ignored and they continued to just tell me about Israel’s planned rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and how that will be the actual fulfillment of 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Wow, do you understand how frustrating it is when people ignore God’s word for their own beliefs? I’m not going to fully discuss this subject in this lesson I just wanted to point out how easily Christians can differ when discussing specific things in the Bible. Clearly I believed one thing and they believed something opposite. We were both supposed to be looking at all of the same scriptures but I saw something they did not see or the reverse had occurred and they saw something that I had not seen. Who was right? We both cannot be right? I hope that you can see that my beliefs were based upon what my New Testament stated to me.
So what were these other Christian’s beliefs based upon? I asked them for any specific scriptures that said what they believed and they gave me none at first. So I eventually went to one friend and asked them privately for any scriptures and finally got some to review. I honestly thought that I was missing something for a short time being outnumbered in the conversation. Everyone else in the conversation said it was so obvious and self-evident that you can’t miss it, yet no one tried to explain how this was possible using their few scriptures from Daniel, Matthew and Mark all (Old Testament). Like I said, I’m not going to discuss this subject in this lesson in any detail, so I won’t get into why I do believe that it will not matter if the natural nation of Israel rebuilds a natural stone temple. I have another series of lessons on the subject of “Understanding the Coming Anti-Christ” and I touch on this briefly in those lessons giving more detail if you are interested.
I certainly believe these other Christians were Christians. I also believe that they believed strongly in what they believed was correct because that is what they were taught to believe. Also because there was more than one person with this belief in agreement, that strengthened them to hold fast to their beliefs as being steadfast. When I presented scriptures that contradicted with that line of interpretation, my scriptures were ignored and that is clearly a major problem in the eyes of God. You see your beliefs never override the truth of God. You cannot ignore any part of the Bible that disagrees with what you believe just so that you can believe another part of the Bible that you think you understand. So rather than attempting to resolve the conflict scripturally, many Christians ignore the conflicting verses thinking they are not relevant. However I am a firm believer that if God says anything that I don’t believe in then I need to change to conform to His beliefs. It will never be the other way around. God never changes and He knows everything so that only leaves you and me as the responsible change agents to adapt to His understanding of the subject. Let’s talk briefly about why people believe what they believe.
WHERE DID MY BELIEFS COME FROM?
There are only a limited number of reasons for why people actually believe what they do on any given subject. Probably you have never given significant thought to that or even asked yourself why do I believe what I believe today? Was it because of where I was born, how I was raised, where I went to school, what I have learned or observed or some other factor that caused my beliefs to form as they have? I mean why do people in Southeast Asia lean towards the belief in Buddha? Why do many others in the Middle East lean towards the belief in Islam and Mohammed? There is a basic law of physics that states there is the existence of a cause for every resulting observable effect. That is exactly what I am asking you today, what caused your beliefs? Are they regionalized? I know you have beliefs just as I have beliefs. There is literally no one on the planet that is not living their life based upon what they believe to be true. If you can figure out where your beliefs came from then you will learn if you are on the right path to knowing the truth or not. I’ll give you a quick list of some of the potential reasons for beliefs and then talk about them briefly.
- All beliefs are based upon human ignorance (limited knowledge) of the subject under discussion.
- Many beliefs originate from the teachings from parents, schools, churches, religions, governments, friends, books or other influences.
- Many beliefs are based upon rumors or speculation overheard, yet un-provable.
- Many beliefs are from personal life experiences without knowing all of the facts.
- Other beliefs come from the observed life experiences of others in our culture and our world also without understanding all of the facts.
- Beliefs can be influenced by a thought of our mind, originating from either our own spirit or from an influential spirit either demonic or angelic.
- Finally our beliefs can come from hearing from the Spirit of God in our spirit.
I just gave you seven possible reasons for why you believe something today. I might go and give you a few Bible examples of each of these as I continue this series. Also notice that I gave you 5 natural reasons and 2 spiritual or supernatural reasons for human beliefs. Most unsaved people do not comprehend the existence of the spiritual dimension influences and only a select group of Christians have a firm grasp on this area. There is a major difference between natural and spiritual and they both occur in the Bible. Can you think of any other dominant reasons for why people believe either right or wrong what they say they believe? We know by the sheer numbers of the different kinds of beliefs in the world that it is literally impossible for them all to be the truth. The dramatic contradictions between the beliefs cause us to know many are wrong. Go back and review my list of the belief sources and see if you can assign which ones are possible sources for truth and which ones are potential causes for deception. I guess I should briefly describe the subject of deception. I actually have a Bible series on this subject called “Deception the Greatest Weapon of Satan”. Do you understand that no one that is deceived knows they have been deceived? If I knew I was deceived then I’m no longer deceived. Take the story of Tamar and Judah in the Genesis 38. Tamar uses a form of righteous deception to achieve a greater good. Judah has sex with Tamar thinking she was a prostitute. Therefore, Judah was clearly deceived and what he believed was true was not entirely the truth. You just Judah’s perspective was different than Tamar’s perspective because she knew what was going on more completely. Later Judah finds out that his daughter-in-law Tamar is pregnant and suddenly the deception unravels and Judah is suddenly no longer deceived. What changed in this story of Judah to convert him from his set of deception beliefs to kowing the truth? Only Judah’s knowledge changed and only this caused his beliefs to change. Judah’s original beliefs were first based upon observation and experience. Because Tamar looked like a prostitute Judah believed her to be one. Uh oh? How many people are still doing that type of reasoning today? I just described to you a classic Bible example of human beliefs formed by natural experience from my list of belief sournces numbers 4 and 5.
Deception is literally a great trick of Satan and is very dominant in the world today. Tell a little lie to someone and if they believe it they are now deceived. By the earlier definition of “belief” we learned that whenever a person believes something, they have an affirmation that the information given or presented is the truth. This of course does not make their belief the truth simply because it is present; rather presence only confirms the existence of a stated belief right or wrong. From my example of Judah and Tamar we should be able to see that potential truth or deception can come from any of the first 6 stated sources of our beliefs. Because Judah’s experience and knowledge changed, his beliefs changed and eventually conformed to God’s truth.
Let me stop here and say that I believe these 7 sources are the main reasons for individual beliefs today based upon my own personal observations. Did you see what I just did? I am basing what I believe to be true upon what I have seen or learned around me. That is actually a very normal method for forming our beliefs, but it can also be a very dangerous approach to take if we do not recognize the truthfulness of our sources correctly or understand all of the facts that occurred with what we observed. I think my example of Judah and Tamar exhibited this principle very well. If you go and reread the story closely you might also agree.
Let me try to teach you briefly why our beliefs can be founded in error so easily. Since I believe in God, I believe that He created us and is the source for all knowledge and truth. If you do not believe in God then you have no formation for the basis of any truth and thus your beliefs are relative to your ignorance and your inconsistent human reasoning. For me, since I believe in God, I believe also in the Bible being the inspired Word of God given to man to teach us (2 Tim 3:16). Both of these beliefs provide me with an unfailing foundation that is not based upon me, my opinion, my ability to reason or the opinions of others. However my belief is still subjective in the eyes of many other people who do not believe in a God as they have been deceived in choosing to believe in no God, or Allah as God, Jupiter as God or whoever. This is why you need to know your God. If you speak to your God and He does not answer you back, that God is probably the wrong God to follow and believe in. I learned a long time ago that my God speaks to me and I know His voice and I will only follow Him.
I believe that every Christian better have a strong relationship with the one that they believe in. So my God speaks to me and I listen but, unless we definitely know that what we believe was something that we heard from the God that knows everything we have no actual basis for knowing anything that we believe. You see we all learn and believe things from what men teach us and if they have not heard from God either then you are now basing your ignorant beliefs on the further ignorant beliefs of that man. Not everything that professors teach you in universities is the truth. Just because someone believes it is the truth that does not make it the actual truth. All human information and knowledge is relative and based upon the current limited known facts built further upon their very limited understanding of the entire subject. Take the human knowledge of the recently discovered DNA of man. This very intelligent design characteristic could have only been created by our God that knows everything. Man is still trying to unravel the mystery of the complex DNA properties and what they all mean. This DNA example demonstrates man’s lack of specific knowledge is exactly why universities teach a lot of unsubstantiated theories. Fifty years ago there was no subjects taught about genetic engineering or research and they have only now emerged because of our discovery of them. What changed? Of course it was our knowledge of the subject that change; the subject DNA always existed as truth as long as man existed. The fact that they do not know everything in colleges and universities proves they are ignorant. A manmade theory is any teaching that is based upon the ignorance of the subject under discussion. However this is not the way of God or His Word. God does not present to us any theories in His Word. However, what we understand of the Word is still widely theoretical, based upon our lack of complete understanding of it just like our knowledge of DNA.
Even hearing directly from God is much more complicated than us just listening to a few of His words and thinking we have it all figured out. His intelligence level is so far superior to ours, that He can say certain simple things to Him and they could infinitely surpass our current ability to comprehend them fully. We must base our every belief from God on the basic supposition that we even understood what we heard correctly and that we fully understand what God said, why He said it and that there are no other dependent subjects required to understand it more fully. My basic beliefs in God’s word have never changed dramatically in the last ten to fifteen years. In other words if I heard from God correctly what I believe from that information is usually only enhanced to a greater level of understanding as I learn and hear more from God. No one is ever going to learn something new tomorrow from God that will disqualify what they learned yesterday from God or what they learned yesterday was not the truth at all from God. Truth never changes and God’s word will never contradict itself and thus in the true interpretation and understanding any new information from God just helps us to grow with increased wisdom to know how to apply the information that we have already acquired. The only time that I have had to ever abandon a belief was when my belief did not come from God or His Word but rather it came from my own human reasoning or another of the stated sources of information other than God, His written word, His angel, His prophet or His representative.
Therefore the accuracy of what you believe today is relatively based upon the unintended ignorance of yourself along with the source of the selected limited information that you are listening to and believing in. Also notice no human source of information is perfect. Even men of God teach out of their ignorance of the subject being taught. When we are all born into this world we enter the natural realm with a zero level of intelligence, knowledge, and understanding. Therefore we are all void of any beliefs at initial birth. How then do we acquire any actual real knowledge of the truth as we grow up and mature? That is where we are all challenged by God to go and find the truth as children being trained up into the correct ways of learning. This is also why Satan wants every school in the world to be void of the Bible. Remove the basic source for all truth and people will more easily accept the lies to be deceived. God informed us of a basic law that he who seeks will find (Mat 7:7). Therefore finding truth begins with first seeking truth in the right places. The Bible is the only valid source of truth and what you believe needs to be firmly grounded upon only the facts within the Bible. So from my list of seven potential truth or belief sources where are you seeking to find your truth? If you are looking to God and to His Word, then I believe you are on the right narrow path, but if you are on another wider path then you are probably doomed for failure.
IS WHAT THE MAJORITY BELIEVES, ALWAYS RIGHT AND THE TRUTH?
I alluded to this question earlier. People many times feel like there is increased safety in numbers. In some situations this is true, but in others it just gives a false sense of security. People think that if I can get enough people to agree with me, then I know we are all right and we know the truth. This is a very popular method to achieve acceptance, self-assurance and confidence in the accuracy of our beliefs. If we can get the majority of the people to believe in a subject, many think that this fact alone will change our belief to a truth. However this is also a great way to be deceived, die and go to hell. Let me give you an example in the Bible of a majority that failed to receive what God had given to them. The children of Israel sent out 12 spies into their land that God had said I have given to you in Numbers 13. The spies came back with a majority negative report based upon what they saw with their own physival eyes. Again we see numbers 4 and 5 in my list as being the dominant factor setting for their beliefs. Only two of the spies ignored what they saw and based their beliefs upon a higher degree of faith in the words of their God. For the other 10, their personal observations of the land and its inhabitants kept them from living in this land that God had said was theirs already. The 10 spies influenced the rest of the nation with their negative report (numbers 2 and 3 in my list) and thus that generation died not possessing the truth. Whose truth and beliefs were actually right? Were the majority 10 spies of the children of Israel right or was the minority Joshua, Caleb and God right? Obviously God was right and Joshua and Caleb were right with Him because they did get to live in their land eventually. Therefore this story would appear to reaffirm that what we base our beliefs upon will matter tremendously. Learn right now that what God says is what you need to believe going forward regardless of what the circumstances of life or anyone else around you is actually telling you. Believing the words of the ten spies caused over a million people to die in the wilderness. Their listening to wrong sources and their agreement with the wrong beliefs of others was the only factor that kept them from God’s Promised Land. Also, learn the fact that the majority beliefs were clearly overruled by what God says if we choose to believe it. Never base your beliefs upon what the majority says alone, they may just be helping you die in your wilderness with them.
WHAT DO WE DO WHEN A CHRISTIAN TELLS US SOMETHING IS TRUE?
Let’s talk about another potential source for truth today in more detail. Number two in my list is a very common and prevalent human source of belief influence. We all encounter new people every day that can influence our beliefs. Do you automatically trust or believe what I say to you just because I said it? Do you automatically accept what your pastor says to you just because he is a really nice person? Do you accept what a TV preacher says just because millions of other people love him? I tell you if you do that you are in major trouble and probably already deceived. Never believe anything that I say or anyone else says no matter who they are, or what kind of degree they have, or any other criteria or factor of man’s satisfaction that helps you to accept what they say as truth. This is the greatest problem with our current President. People accept his words as truth and clearly I can see through them for what they are by his actions. Actions always speak louder than your words. If you say you are a Christian just to get Christians to vote for you and then do not live like Christ that is a major problem and a great deception. A person with no spiritual fruit cannot pretend to create it for those that know how to look for it. I hope someone is listening.
No man has ever seen God (Jo 1:18) yet God is the only source for us knowing any actual truth (Jo 14:6). Since man is flesh dominated from birth, hearing and listening spiritually to God is only possible by acquired spiritual knowledge and growth. Therefore since man has such great difficulty in hearing from Him directly God places pastors, teachers and others in the church to help people learn about spiritual things to cause them to grow up spiritually.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Did you see what these verses said? Many people like to think that when they get saved that the Holy Spirit in them will now teach them everything that they need to know and they therefore, have no need to go to a church to learn. However, that is not exactly what God just said, is it? The perfecting of the saints is God’s ultimate goal, and He causes this to happen by giving the church teachers and all the other five fold ministry gifts. Did you notice that not everyone in the Body of Christ is an apostle? I think that is a factor that you need to fully embrace. Start by asking yourself, “am I an apostle”? If you are not an apostle, then you need the gifts of the apostle to grow and to be edified. No Christian is an island unto God that is independent from other Christians. Every Christian needs the others in the body to survive. We are called the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) and like it says the hand cannot say I do not need the feet or another part of the body (1 Cor 12:21).
Why do people often believe wrong? I need to go through a list of reasons for wrong beliefs but I’ll touch on just one today. One reason for wrong beliefs is clearly because people refuse to believe that God has sent certain people to teach them through one of the fivefold ministry gifts. Rejecting God’s apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers will keep you in your bondage of wrong beliefs. Notice the fact in the N.T. that God gave only Paul certain revelation that He gave no other man. Notice that God gave John certain revelation that He gave to no other man. Peter is the same, Luke was the same, therefore none of these teachings from God could have been omitted or ignored byr the people in the early church or they will remain in their state of great ignorance. So when Peter came to town to preach to the people, they were expected to listen and hear him. When Paul came to town later to preach to the same people, they were again expected to listen and to learn from Paul. What was true in the early church is still true today. Jesus still appears to certain people in the church to give them revelation that is to be taught to the others in the body. God will not attempt to go to every church member and teach them what was already given to a teacher like Paul.
HOW DO WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REAL MINISTER AND A FAKE?
Now we are getting into the most critical part of today’s subject of how to determine if your beliefs are based upon any truth from God. Because God directly warns us of the existence of many false teachers, false prophets and other types of deceivers in the Bible we can understand that not everyone that is preaching in our churches are actually called by God and gifted by God to give us any truth. Therefore we must require God to either give to us strong spiritual discernment or another basis of verification for what is being spoken. Since my subject is not about spiritual discernment I will not attempt to address that part of the subject today. Just notice that because someone says they can discern the truth does not prove or mean that they actually can. Spiritual discernment is a spiritual gift from a spiritual God and not everyone has every gift as I have previously stated. Gifts are handed out by God alone and not because a person wants them. You do not call yourself into the ministry nor do you tell God what He needs to give you. Understand your order in the spiritual food chain and be a good listener and a good student first. God will continue to teach you everything that you need to know eventually as you continue to grow being led by His Spirit. How then do we as Christians need to discern the truth? What is the basis for all of our knowledge? Here is the key:
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.
This is actually one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It holds awesome information and instruction for everyone in the church. There is a given comparison of two types of Christians being presented. One group of Bereans were stated to more noble than the group at Thessalonica. What made the Bereans more noble? Two main factors were found present in the Bereans, first they were open to change and second they proved everything that they heard preached to them by searching the Bible daily. I am a Berean type of Christian; what kind of Christian are you? I search the scriptures daily to see whatever is taught to me is the truth. I never accept anything from a teacher without confimration from God. Therefore if you are not open to change you are not a noble wise type of a Berean. If you are an open minded type of Berean, then after you have heard what I said, then you need to go and prove it. This means you do not jump into automatic agreement. Go to your Bible and search it diligently. Searching the scriptures for the truth is NOT just reading the words on the page. Sure that is where it starts, but it does not end there. Searching involves much more extensive effort called study. This is where we look up all of the original language words of text and find out what they all mean and how they are used. We also go and find all the other verses that use those same words to see what else God says on the subjects and then we combine all of this information to confirm what was said was the truth. If you think this is easy then you are clearly confused or deceived. The only way this type of study is technically possible is with a modern computer and Bible search software. Because Christians do not know how to study the Bible they are very vulnerable to deception. Perhaps I will get into a deeper lesson series on correct Bible study someday. If you have read all of my Bible studies you should have learned many study techniques by my application. I have also tried to post specific guidelines and rules for correct Bible interpretation on my site but not too many people understand the importance and ignore them.
This was my first lesson on the sources of Christian and human beliefs and how they work. We covered a lot of interesting topics and I gave you several Bible examples of how human beliefs were formed using the examples of Tamar and Judah, the 12 spies of Israel and the Bereans and the Thessalonians. If you have constructive questions or comments on this subject I would be interested in hearing them. Thank you for your time and effort in studying the Bible and I pray that you will become a Berean type of Christian also today. God Bless!