(Ver 2.2) Today I will teach on a Bible basic truth that every Christian should know. There is an interesting difference between being in the house of God and being the House of God that many preachers that I have heard must not clearly understand. I have been in numerous church services where either the pastor or the worship leader gets up behind the pulpit and says “It’s good to be in the house of the Lord”. I guess I know what they are trying to say, but technically speaking that is a very false statement and directly contradicts what the Bible says in so many aspects. That statement also portrays a false reality to unsaved people that is easily taken wrong or misunderstood. Those types of statements leave people with the impression that if they come to church, they have satisfied their religious obligation to God. However, the Bible says that the church building that you are meeting in is not the house of God! You see the Bible clearly says that God does not dwell in the buildings made by the hands of men anymore. We know this is what God use to do in the Old Testament when God told Moses to build Him a temple and the Ark of the Covenant. Jesus in Matthew taught that David entered into the house of God to eat the show bread. But, these were all natural symbolic representations for a much different spiritual reality that was to come. Here is one of my key verses for today’s lesson and I hope you can see what it says:
Act 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
So here we have a major problem with the statement that too many preachers make. God clearly tells us in the Bible that it is impossible for man to build or make anything that is worthy of God’s dwelling place. If you read the next verse and the context you will see what I am talking about. God does not dwell in your man made church building; so when you say He does you leave a very false image in the minds of your listeners. However, there is another reality that God may show up at your church service if you invite Him in and then choose to let Him come in. I’ve heard ministers describe the presence of God at their meetings appearing like a cloud that would roll in over the people and then amazing things would happen. However, some people saw the cloud and others did not see the cloud. There are many examples of this type of cloud in the Bible if you look for them (Exo 16:10, Exo 19:9, Exo 24:15). I gave you 3 instances found in Exodus but God appears as a spiritual cloud several other times in the Bible as well. Then there are also literally many church buildings around the world that God does not ever show up in, because He is not welcome. Oh, sure they pretend that they are doing the right things and singing the right songs and acting out the parts pretty well. However, they neither know God nor are known by God so they worship with their lips, but Jesus said their hearts are far, far away. Jesus warned some religious people like this in Matthew 23:27 calling them “whited sepulchers that are beautiful on the outside but inwardly were unclean and full of dead men’s bones”. So God is not interested in your external religion or your outward religious ideas of being righteous. Just as God did not show up in the Jewish temple anymore, God will not show up at your church if your heart is not right before Him. These are examples of how important it is to be precise in exactly what you believe and to know what the Bible says. So where is the house of the Lord now? Or maybe I should have asked who is the house of the Lord now? If you study your Bible you will find that it says the people in the church are now this house of God:
1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
As you search the Bible you find verses that read much differently than what some men preach and teach. Here is one of those examples. You of course can take this verse literally or figuratively. I believe that this temple is symbolic based upon the scriptures that I will show you in a minute. First, let me ask you what is the church of God or again I should say who is the church of God? Let me give you a few quick scriptures that hopefully will make my point that you can see for yourself:
Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
Here is God calling the people that meet in the house the church and not the building where they meet. This can get more complex than this, but this is the basics of the lesson today. You see the people that meet together in a building can be holding church services, but technically this is not the church. God clearly calls the people in the building the church and never is there any physical building called by this name or title in the Bible. This is really a very important difference to recognize.
1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Again we have the people living in the city of Corinth being called the church of God and not a building. It further qualifies that not everyone in the city is the church, but only those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus. So it is much more important to be in Christ than it is to be in a building with a name on the outside. This is the mistake that pastors are leaving people with when they tell them they are in the house of the Lord today. They should be saying it is good to be in Christ Jesus and be the house of God.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
This is the last verse that I will show you today that says the church are the people that Paul persecuted and Paul did not burn down buildings or deface a building. When Jesus appeared to Saul on the road and said “Saul why do you persecute me?” Jesus was telling him He took it personally because these people that he persecuted were the church and the body of Christ where God lives today:
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Here is the main reason that I wanted to get to today that clearly tells us where the Spirit of God is today. You can clearly see that God is not living in the buildings that are made by the hands of men anymore. God has designed and created our bodies to be His temple and dwelling place. So wherever we go God goes. Where ever we are the church is, if you are a true Christian. You see when you become a Christian the Spirit of God comes inside of your body to live and to bear witness with your spirit that you are now a child of God (Romans 8:16). This is exactly why when you tell people they are in the house of God a building made by man’s hands that it contributes to a lie. You can hold church in a hotel and God will be there if He is inside of you. You can hold church in a tent and God will be there if God is inside of you. God is not interested in your building projects, however God will help you build one if that is what you like. I have to say that it is much nicer meeting in nice churches with climate controlled environments than sweating or freezing outdoors. Just build your church building and don’t call it the house of God. I am the house of God and you are the house of God we are a spiritual building made of living stones being built up into an eternal spiritual city of the Most High God. Here is a Bible verse that says what I just tried to say:
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
The term “lively stones” literally means stones with life in them. This makes us complexly a very unique chosen building material for God’s house. You can clearly see that we are being “built up” to become a spiritual house for God. This is one of the key accomplished works of Jesus Christ. Why was it necessary for God to build a new spiritual house? I have taught on this before, but I’ll say it again for those who do not understand it yet. You see you only build a new house if you have something wrong with your old house. Heaven was the previous spiritual house of God where there were an enumerable number of angels dwelling. So what do you do when some of your angels have been found with sin in them? You should really think about that before you try to answer it. God is a just God and God is God who does not lie and break promises with those in His family. So God’s old spiritual house and family has a major problem occurring internally within it and this causes God to decide to build/create a new House through His Son Jesus Christ. I’ll talk and teach more on this subject soon, so please keep a look out for it, the Bible says some very important things on this subject for Christians who desire to understand.
Let’s get back to God’s new spiritual building project where you can clearly find in the Bible that Jesus is building this new house for God using us the church. We know in 1 Peter 2:5 that it says we are being “built up” a spiritual house. This implies a foundation and then subsequent building layers. Who is the spiritual foundation for this new spiritual house? Of course it is God Himself to some degree who is our foundation as well as a few other chosen individuals that are mentioned in this verse:
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Again we can clearly see that we the people of God in the church building are being built upon a foundation that consists of three spiritual entities. Jesus Christ is clearly called the most important stone in the new building and He is described as the “chief corner”. This was usually in ancient building projects the first stone that was laid and one that all other stones are aligned from. So the first thing that you should grasp is that Jesus Christ is also a stone in this new spiritual house. God became one of us so that we could be made again like one of Him. The next thing that you should observe in this verse is that the Apostles of Jesus and the prophets of God from the O.T. are also living stones that makeup the foundation for this new building. Do you understand this? This is very important that you see. Here is another verse that gives us an additional perspective on the subject:
Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
In this chapter of Revelation God describes another place or actually the same place that we have been discussing but in different terms. In this chapter God describes a spiritual city called “New Jerusalem” and “Holy Jerusalem”. Both of these are the names given to the new spiritual dwelling place of God. If you noticed in this verse that this city contains a foundation of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. That sounds very similar to what we just read in Ephesians 2:20. What we can see are some amazing parallels that are certainly not found here by chance or accident. Both Ephesians and 1 Peter spoke of a building project that is being created by God. We are called the temple of God in the letters written to the church, however in Revelation God speaks of us in terms of being a city. Both are structures with walls and foundations and are built with stones. Here is another verse that certainly applies to our subject today concerning this city found in Revelation 21:
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
This verse is pretty amazing. It speaks of us as being the tabernacle of God. Tabernacle is a term meaning God’s tent. Isn’t this what Moses built God in the Old Testament? Moses built a tent which clearly meant a temporary dwelling place. What Moses made was a temporary dwelling because it was made by men. Anything that a man makes will be temporary. However, we are now found to be an eternal dwelling place for our God made not with the hands of men. When we leave this planet we will be given eternal glorified bodies like the one that Jesus possessed after His resurrection. This will be a body that will never fail or fade. Therefore it will be a permanent dwelling place for the Spirit of God. God is saying in Revelation 21:3 that God’s new house will be “with” men. The term “with” in this verse means to be joined to Him in marriage and become one flesh with Him. What we see today is a small taste of what we will see in eternity. The Spirit of God being in us today is a pattern for what we will experience forever in eternity. Therefore, God’s New Jerusalem is a spiritual city of People in covenant with Him where He lives and dwells throughout eternity. We will be His people and He will be our God and according to the Bible no eye has seen nor have we even begun to imagine the great things that He has planned for us (1 Cor 2:9). I hope and pray that you enjoyed my short and basic Bible lesson on God’s spiritual building project and have learned that we are that project here today and right now. So the next time when you go to church remember you are not going to the house of God, YOU ARE THE HOUSE OF GOD who is going to a building to meet with the rest of God’s house for fellowship, praise and worship of Him who is In US! God Bless!
(Ver 1.3) This is now Part 3 in a series of advanced Bible studies concerning the erroneous doctrine of extreme “Predestination”. If you have not read from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 1“. It seems that there is not a shortage of ignorant people in the world or on the internet. Today I will address a very deep topic that I have addressed previously but I will do it today in a more detailed way for these people who refuse to believe the truth. There are so many levels of deception in the world. There are so many variations of the same lies that it is almost impossible to address them all. I had a reader write me a new variation of an old deception about “Predestination”. His claim was that everyone will be saved who wants to be saved, but God still predestined some people for hell because the Bible says Jesus chose Judas to betray Him. I guess according to this man’s reasoning Judas didn’t want to be saved and this was why Jesus chose him. I really do not know what people are thinking when they say some of the things that they do. Hopefully by writing this I can help someone in the world not to fall into this level of deception, for you see I do not believe that you can help people who do not want to be helped. It is very difficult and even impossible to help everyone. If you noticed while reading your Bible even Jesus could not help everyone. That statement might shock you, but you do realize that some of the Jews hung Him on the cross? Did Jesus not preach and teach the same words to these people as He did everyone else? How is it that some accepted and others rejected and the same words were spoken to each? I guess according to this guy it was because of God’s predestined purpose that everyone did what they did. After all God controls what every human on the planet does every minute of the day. We are all just God’s puppets and we only do His will. That is why there is so much good in the world and love towards each other. Heck, I haven’t seen enough love in the church, much less in the world. Why does the church bicker and fight within their own ranks so much? I guess it was all just God’s will and Jesus doesn’t get His prayers answered. Remember in John when Jesus prayed and asked His Father to “Make them one as we are one”? Has this ever happened in the last 2000 years? I think one of the few times that I saw it was in the Bible in Acts 2:1 when there were only 120 in the upper room and they were all in one accord. It seems to me that once the church grew beyond the 120 it became increasingly more difficult to remain in harmony. Why is that?
Today I’m going to speak about “Predestination” vs. “Freewill”. What is predestination? According to definitions that I have found it is the theology that states God has foreordained every event in the course of human history including the end result of salvation for every man, woman and child. This was a popular teaching that originated from “Calvin” I believe and it has continued in many ignorant and deceived churches to this day. This teaching has many problems and ignores many other Bible verses. It promotes a theology of “Limited Justification”, where only those selected by God have been atoned for by the Blood of Jesus. Therefore the Blood of Jesus is not all encompassing or powerful enough to save everyone. It further promotes the theology of “Once Saved Always Saved” where a God selected Christian can do nothing to lose their salvation. This philosophy is based upon the fact that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent and can do whatever He desires, so therefore they make the erroneous leap that God controls everything that happens to us in the world. Just because God can they think that God does. If it happens in the world then that is or was the plan of God in manifestation. This teaching comes from the minds of heavily deceived individuals who do not see or understand the Bible. Why do they not understand the Bible; primarily because they do not know the author of the Bible who is God! To understand the Bible you must first and above all else come to know Him (the Author) and allow His Holy Spirit to guide you into all of the truth (John 16:13). By knowing God you learn His character, His Integrity, His Nature, His Ways and His Personality. God’s integrity and character is the highest moral standard that exists above everyone else. For example, the Bible says it is impossible for God to lie. You can clearly see that makes His character way beyond mine. It is entirely possible for me to lie to you. It is entirely possible for any human on the earth to lie to you. In fact I do not know of another being natural or spiritual that exists that cannot lie. The existence of Satan proves that even angels can lie. That is why we MUST see what God says in His Word in order to find the truth.
Whether you realize it or not we have a significant problem within the Body of Christ, a major conflict, a battle of theologies between the “Predestination” Theology and the “Freewill” Theology. Many may have never heard of either of these teachings. Therefore they do not understand what they mean or know that there is a conflict being debated. If you do not understand these subjects then you need to learn quickly which one is the truth and which one is a fabrication. But, hopefully you will better understand them as I go through the rest of this lesson. What we have on the surface is the theology that God is in control of everything that happens vs. the theology that man has a freewill to choose his own destiny. This is the root of the battle.
So this reader of mine who ignored everything that I said in the last lesson on the subject of predestination (“Many Called and Few Chosen”), wrote me a long comment why I was so wrong giving me lots of his misunderstood Bible verses about how God prophesied every major event in the Bible before it ever happened in the world. Therefore according to his brilliant reasoning “Prophesy” proves “predestination” or a “predestined plan” that cannot be changed. I have written in other Bible lessons that God lives outside of the boundaries or constraints of time. Do you believe God is limited to time? If you think God is limited to the dimension of time where was God before the “beginning”? Scientists clearly understand that our known universe had a beginning, a clear starting point in time called the “big bang”. We must logically conclude that if God created time God existed before time. Can we agree upon this factual conclusion?
Jesus said “I am the beginning and the end” and this clearly tells us that God pre-existed in a self-existent perpetual state before and after either of these two points of reference in time. Let’s consider the nature of prophecy. The Bible clearly says that “I make known the end from the beginning” (Isa 46:10). Therefore God definitely knows the end before it happens. We are therefore at a crossroad point of decision to choose to believe one of two paths of opposing theology. The first path is the belief that just because God knows the end and everything in between that also means God orchestrated and caused it all to happen this way. This belief alleviates all other source or influences of freewill choices. Or the second path that we could take is that God did not cause it all to happen this way but rather only reports to us in the Bible what will happen based upon foreknowledge. This approach keeps the positive or negative influences of human freewill and other spiritual beings. Just because God knows what will happen does not mean God causes it to happen that way. Let me ask you this, do you believe that God is in control of everything that happens? Can you show me a Bible verse that says this? I simply do not know one and if you do then I would be happy to learn about it. However, you cannot take a prophecy and say God caused it to happen unless you see the words “God caused Judas to betray Jesus”. Otherwise your theology is based upon assumptions of human reasoning and that is a very dangerous place to put your confidence. The Bible says many things that will counter this theological theory that God controls everything and we must see these clearly to understand the real truth. I mean can you read? Here are some Bible verses that you should pay very close attention to:
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Jesus is teaching a parable that relates a spiritual truth about the Kingdom of God. The first thing that you need to note is the fact that God says He has an enemy. Not an evil puppet, an enemy. You can find this reality multiple times in the N.T. God says in Hebrews “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies thou footstool” (Heb 1:13). Do you know the definition of an enemy? According to God your enemy never does what you want them to do; if an enemy did what you desired then they would not be your enemy. We are fighting terrorism in the U.S., because why? Terrorists call the U.S. their enemy. Therefore, we are forced to defend our nation and to try to defeat them because they called us the enemy of their god Allah. Do you have a different definition for an enemy? You should go through the Bible and see the references to what God calls an enemy. An enemy is never one that under the control of those they are opposed to, unless they have been totally defeated. In this parable of God’s garden or farm, God is said to have sown wheat seeds and an enemy has come along in secret and sown “tares” in God’s garden. It doesn’t sound like God is in complete control of His own garden, does it? You cannot read a story like this and believe in “predestination” unless you twist it to believe that God’s enemy is just a part of God’s planned design. If you believe that, then you have to change the definition of what an enemy is. If Satan is doing exactly what God wants him to do, then he is a friend of God and not an enemy. You can clearly see this is true or it makes Jesus Christ out to be a liar. You see in John 15:14 Jesus said this to His disciples “You are my friends, if you do what I command you”. So if Satan is doing what God wants he would not be called an enemy he would have to be called a friend of God. I mean are you blind or can you read? Go through your Bible searching and tell me where it says that Satan is a friend of God? Knowing this fact alone blows extreme “Predestination” out of the water. There is no way to believe in predestination unless you change God’s definition of a friend and an enemy. By clear definition it is impossible for God to have enemies and be in total control of everything. You really need to study your Bible more before you make wild theological statements like God has predestined some to hell. Let’s see another new perspective that counters the theology of extreme “Predestination”.
Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
In the book of Genesis God is telling us of a time when man was morally corrupt. It is easy for me to understand that this is why America is in the dilemma that we are in today. Liberals want to remove God from our government and our schools and then expect things to get better. However, the Bible proves this is not what happens in our world without God’s involvement. Without churches, a Bible and God being intimately involved you can see what God says happened in the world. The rise of “wickedness” and “evil” in the thoughts and minds of humanity in our country has caused a generation of people who are not better than we use to be, but much worse. If you take God out of your schools you teach ignorance, children grow up without any moral character, standards and integrity. Therefore, they do what they want to do to who they want to do it and whenever they think they can get away with it. Take a look at this next verse in Genesis:
Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Ok, I’m going to ask you again, Can You READ? What does this verse say? It says “God was sorry that He made man because He saw the wickedness that was running rampant in the earth. I thought God caused all of this wickedness to occur by His designed plan? After all how would God use Noah to save humans if God had not caused the evil in the world to be present in the first place? So this is the reasoning of predestination theology that you have to say that God purposely caused the “Evil” so that He could implement a plan of “Salvation” for us all. That is what extreme “Predestination” is preaching. But, how can you cause something to happen and then regret that it happened? Does that make any logical sense to you? You see you cannot do this if you have any morality and integrity at all. You do not ever go to your car in the drive way and purposely break it just so you can fix it, that would be called insanity. You see this is a major problem for extreme “Predestination” theology. If God wanted something different than what was happening on the earth, God would have controlled it to make it occur differently. God would not have allowed “wickedness” if it was all up to God. You can see that, can’t you? These verses just don’t make any sense in the extreme “Predestination” world that God caused it to be this way so that God could regret that He created man to be evil. Wow, this is some very powerful stuff if you can accept it as the truth!
Let me give you another verse of scripture that is directly opposed to the exreme philosophy of “Predestination”. You see according to “Predestination” theology God has foreordained that some people would go to hell and some people would be saved. If this is true, man would have no choice to ever make to obtain either one of these end results. So how do you deal with a verse that says something like this?
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
I have heard many opinions to what this verse means and most of them are wrong. There are those who claim this verse teaches that everyone will be saved because God always gets His will done both in heaven and on the earth. This is the theory of “Universal Salvation” and it is another lie from Satan. Then there are others who must ignore this verse to teach “Predestination” theories. This verse very clearly says God desires everyone to be saved. This verse countermands the philosophy of “Selective Atonement” that other deceived Christians want to buy into. In the “Selective Atonement” philosophy God only paid the price for the sins of those that were chosen. The others have their sins carried with them to hell forever. But, you can read and see that God is speaking in this verse about being patient towards us on the earth because His will is for “everyone” to be saved. If it is therefore possible for everyone to be saved by the shed Blood of Jesus then Jesus paid the price for ALL sin with His onetime blood sacrifice. Where many Christians get confused is in the fact that salvation is not totally up to God. The reality is found in the Bible that God saved everyone but this does not mean that everyone is saved. For those who want to leave salvation totally up to God is how they created the belief of extreme “Predestination”. For those who can see the truth, they know that man has a part to receive through faith everything that God has given to them by His grace. Can you help explain to me what God needs to have patience if He is controlling what is happening in the world? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Here is another popular verse that “Universal Salvation” teachers try to exalt to the total truth. Since everyone was condemned to die by Adam, we can now clearly see that by Christ everyone will live again. But, the problem with that is this is not what it says. This verse says only those “IN CHRIST” will be made alive and that is totally different. If you do not understand what it means to be “IN CHRIST” you should go and read my lessons on “Understanding Seeds”. What we have seen in these two last verses that I gave you is that the Bible says it is possible for everyone to be saved, but that it is not an automatic occurrence just because this is the will of God. So we are uniquely challenged by God to take every verse we can find in the Bible on a given subject and then to balance the information given to us in order to come up with the correct interpretations. One of the keys to doing this is by allowing God and His Word to interpret itself. This means getting God’s definitions for every word. This means reading God’s commentaries on the given subjects that we are learning. There are many factors to understanding the Bible and one of the greatest errors that men make is to take a single verse or two and try to make a single truth found in the Bible the complete truth and this is a major mistake.
Let’s go into another Bible verse that is often overlooked by “Predestination” teachers. In the Gospels the disciples of Jesus come to Him and ask “Lord teach us to pray as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1). If extreme predestination was really true, then Jesus’ response should have been “You don’t need to pray and ask God for anything because God’s will is always done”. However, this was not Jesus’ response was it? This was Jesus’ response to His disciples:
Luk 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Obviously Jesus thought praying to God was important enough to teach His disciples how to do it. This fact alone discredits “predestination” completely. Why do you pray to God? Do you pray to find out the will of God for your life and that is all? If you pray and have to ask for the will of God to be made known to you so you can do it then you are obviously not doing the will of God already. Do you understand that logic? In this verse Jesus is teaching His disciples to “pray” that the kingdom of God should come. Wow, that was a very heavy duty statement for God to make. If God’s will is always done on the earth then there is absolutely no need to pray for the Kingdom of God to come. Jesus then continues to pray that the “will” of God be done on the earth like it is performed already in heaven. Right there we have another MAJOR conflict to the extreme “Predestination” theology. Jesus who is God in the flesh is speaking to us and teaches us to pray and ask Him for God’s will to be done on the earth. This clearly means the will of God is NOT currently done on the earth if we have to pray for it to be done. Jesus says very clearly that in heaven the will of God is done, but on the earth we have a different situation occurring. Do you understand this? Is God stupid? Did God lie? Many must think that God is either confused or that He just wants people to believe that they are praying for something that is already going to be done on the earth to make them feel important. I tell you the deception occurring in the people who do not know how to read, seeing what it says and to those that try to explain verses like this away to hold on to their fantasy reality is just so incredible to me.
Let’s talk about foreknowledge next. Since God obviously did have a laid out plan for man, does that mean God must control everything to make it happen? Extreme predestination means that God is in control of everything that happens in the world and nothing happened unless it was part of God’s plan. This means Adolf Hitler was God’s plan. This means the terrorist who flew into the World Trade Center was part of God’s plan. This means the death of little children in the world was a part of God’s plan. The level of deception and ignorance to believe in something like that borders on insanity, if it does not cross well over that boundary line. If you believe that God is killing people in the world as a part of His divine plan for man you are a fool. You first off do not know the definition of what “LOVE” is. God who is LOVE (1 Jn 4:8) must demonstrate this highest level of LOVE as an example to us or we are following the wrong God. If God does not abide in LOVE then we are all in major trouble! If people want to redefine LOVE as it if it is permissible to kill people in mass, then we should all be taking up guns and doing exactly like God does. However the Bible says “Thou Shalt NOT Kill” (Exo 20:13). This Hebrew word translated as “kill” means to commit murder. So according to many ignorant theologians God is in clear violation of His own governing laws that He gave to man to follow. When Jesus Christ was born a man through a virgin named Mary (Gal 4:4), God placed Himself under the very laws that Theologians claim is Ok for God to violate. Completely foolish people think that God is some how separate from His Word. In other words God can say one thing and do something that is completely opposite to what He said and it is OK because God did it. Can you tell how much I dislike ignorance and stupidity?
I do not think I ever got to talk about the “foreknowledge” subject in the last paragraph. “Foreknowledge” is the specific knowledge of an event, planned outcome, or schedule before it happens. However, this is very different than man’s definition of “foreknowledge” and let me tell you why. Humans even have a variation of foreknowledge in limited degrees based upon planning. You see you might know that there is supposed to be a party tomorrow at 2:00 PM in the meeting room where you work. You know this because someone planned it and invited you to it. We can clearly see that just because this event is scheduled and planned that it does not necessarily have to occur, because in this world unexpected STUFF still Happens! The day the terrorists flew into the World Trade Center probably caused many parties to be canceled un-expectantly. We need to take this example and apply it to God, if we can. Extreme “Predestination Theology” wants us to believe that everything that occurs in the world is because it was “God’s Planned Event”. Then they have to further say that God does not allow anything else to interrupt His plans since He is in ultimate control of everything. Wow, these are really deep thoughts! What confuses many Christians is trying to determine the difference between foreknowledge and predestination. Just because God knows what will happen, when it will happen, to who it will happen and where it will happen does not mean that God caused it to happen or that someone cannot do something to change it from happening? What does the Bible teach about this?
You might recall that in the O.T. the prophet comes to the King and says get your house in order for God says that you shall surely die (2 Kings 20). Who said this and is it set in concrete? If understand the Bible you know the prophet was just a messenger for God and that God said it therefore God knew what was going to happen before it happened.. Is the king being told the set firm willed plan of God? Or is the King being told one possible outcome? Isaiah leaves the King and the King gets in prayer with God. God then sends Isaiah back and tells the King God has heard your prayer and you shall live another 15 years. So here is where people come up with more stupid interpretations. I have heard ignorant people claim that God has a secret will and God has a revealed will. So God’s secret will was for the King to live another 15 years because this is what happened. But, this is more crazy human reasoning trying to makeup explanations for spiritual things that they do not understand. I tell you stories like this just baffle me to how people can believe in the concepts of extreme “predestination”. Either God changed the predestination of the King or the King did something to change his outcome in life or God just lied. God said you are going to die and the King lived another 15 years after he prayed. So what is it?
Let’s continue to look at what else God says in His word and see if we can determine the truth. By the way “Freewill” theology is one that teaches that man has a freewill choice in their destiny of going to heaven or to hell. “Predestination” means God has already determined who goes to heaven and who goes to hell and therefore man has no clear choices to make. If “Predestination” was true why get up in the morning and do anything that day? Why preach the gospel to anyone? Why even eat food and live? What are we doing here? Let’s go back to the beginning in Genesis 2 and 3. In these two chapters God reveals the fall of man. The Bible says God has created a Garden called Eden and has placed His created man in this location. God tells the man that it is OK to eat from every tree. But, then God says “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you do, you shall surely die”. Right there is a major problem for predestination theorists. Why would God tell the man anything if man was already going to eat from the tree and fulfill the real plan of God? You see according to “Predestination” the man Adam has no choice in what he does, so obviously when Adam fell it was God’s plan all along. So the warning of God to Adam makes no logical sense and is incompatible with the doctrine of “predestination”. Why warn someone they are going to die if they eat this fruit, if this is what God wanted them to do anyway. So that is the basis of the major downfall in the theology of “Predestination”. Why does God write us this book called the Bible to every human that is full of warnings? If man has no choice in fulfilling their destiny, this makes no logical or theological sense? The existence for the entire book of the Bible makes no sense in the theology of “Predestination”. God does not have to speak to people who are already programmed to do what they were created to do? You see in order to believe in true absolute “Predestination” you have to believe in a “preprogrammed” humanity. If man has no choices to make then whatever they do in life is what they were designed by God to do, good, or bad or in different. This is just a real philosophy that is not found in the Bible:
Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Bible verses like this one have to be totally ignored by “Predestination” deceivers. God who writes this verse for us, says “I have set before two choices, one is Life and the other is Death, therefore choose life so that you can live”. Why would God give a choice to a man who had no choices to make in their eternal destiny or earthly existence? That is clearly very STUPID to think that man does not have a choice to make!
Pro 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Here we have another example of how ignorant people fail in our world and teach errors like “Predestination”. Because they “hated” knowledge and ignored the truth they have not chosen the fear of the Lord. Does God say we have a choice to make? Does God say we can choose to be ignorant? Does God put the ball in our court as being our decision to make? It sure looks like that to me.
Isa 56:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
Does God again say that these men had a choice in what they could do? Doesn’t it say that they could have done like others and not pleased God? “Predestination” says man has no choice to make. They are pre-designed to please God or to be thrown in hell. If this is the case why does God not believe this? Didn’t God know He just lied to us in the Bible? What is God stupid or are people stupid?
Php 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
I have blogged on this verse before. In this chapter Paul is in a quandary trying to decide to stay on the earth and continue his ministry to the people or to leave the earth and go and be with Christ which he called “FAR BETTER” for him. Paul says very clearly that this is his choice to make and that he does not know yet which way he will decide to go. Wow, there are hundreds of verses found in the Bible like this one that throws “Predestination” into a downward spiraling airplane that will soon crash and burn. If man has no choices then why does God say that we do in the Bible? No, you see the problem is that people want to take part of the truth of the Bible and exalt it to be the complete truth and this is just a huge mistake. Yes, God has a plan for man! Yes, God know the destiny of every man! No, God did not intend you to go to hell if that is where you end up. In my first blog on this subject I clearly showed you that God had written everyone’s name in the Lambs Book of Life and that the Bible says that God was forced to blot out those who would not receive His free gift of salvation. So if God had predestined you to hell already from the beginning, why would your name be recorded in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” and then be blotted out? Do you understand the problem in that question? Doesn’t God already know who makes it and who doesn’t? After all if God “Predestined” you for salvation then He would just have a book of names that He predestined to be saved and would not have to blot out anyone else’s name who was not predestined. Predestination and foreknowledge are very similar but yet totally different concepts. If I know that you are coming to my house tomorrow, that is different than me making you come to my house tomorrow without inviting you to come. So God can very easily get accused of doing things that He is not guilty of doing. Just because idiots want to teach “Predestination” does not mean it is the truth.
Then there is the difficulty of the fact of “prophecy” found in the Bible. Clearly, God has prophesied many things in the Bible that will happen even in future events to come. I can understand if God prophecies something that He is responsible for fulfilling. This only makes sense to me. God says I will do this and that in this time frame and then it happens. But, when God prophesied things concerning other people, places and things it makes you think that God is controlling these people, places and things to cause them to also occur. However, we have the factor of “foreknowledge” that is not being taken into account correctly. Because God knows how you will react to something, can mean that He can use this knowledge for something that He needs accomplished in the earth. You see a reader pointed out to me that Judas was “predestined” to betray Jesus and to die. In the “predestination” mentality they believe that God created Judas so that he could betray Jesus. Did you know you can’t find that statement in the Bible? If God does this then He is the master designer of a Heavenly Matrix system that puts every man into the specific role they are destined for. The necessary level of control is beyond our imagination for this to occur; God would have to use the power of suggestion, mind control and even mental and physical manipulation would not be off the table for predestination to occur. Is God capable of this, yes I believe that He is? However, is this the God that you know? It is not the God that I know and it is certainly not the God found in the Bible.
So we have covered a lot of different angles found in the Bible that to me clearly dispute the philosophy of predestination. I have given many verses that states man was given choices to make in life. You must therefore decide which way you want to believe. You cannot believe both ways like some would think. You must either choose to believe in the fantasy of predestination and ignore all of the verses that I gave you today or open your eyes to what I have tried to clearly teach from the Bible.
If you want to continue to read the follow-up to this lesson series on Predestination you can go to “Understanding Sheep“.
You can also go and read “Part 4” of the lesson series to study this subject further.
(ver 1.9) This is Part 2 of a series of Bible lessons on the subject of deception. If you have not read “Part 1” I would suggest that you go there to begin your study. Let’s read one of the series foundational Bible verses to get us started:
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Today will be a different type of Bible lesson for me. As you can see from our Key Bible verse above, Satan is called the deceiver that is trying to deceive the whole world. That means, Christians and non-Christians alike. Satan is an equal opportunity deceiver and he shows no favoritism. He is interested in causing us to be deceived from believing and knowing the Truth of God by any means that he can. So I’m going to introduce you to some new things to think about that God has taught me personally. You will hopefully see that these few things that I present you to think about could be a very effective tool of our enemy Satan. I do hope that you understand that God’s enemies are Christian enemies also. If Satan is an enemy of God, then he is our enemy here and now on the earth. Satan’s greatest weapon on the earth has always been the subtly of deception. But, Jesus told us that if we continued in His word we would be His disciples and that we would know the truth and that the truth would set us free (John 8:31-32). That sounds like our freedom is dependent upon us continuing in the word, recognizing the truth, knowing the truth and then using this knowledge of God’s truth to set us free. If Satan can keep you from knowing the truth you will be forever bound by his deception. That is why he is trying diligently to do everything in his power to distract you and to keep you from knowing more about the Bible. In fact deception is one of his only weapons that he has to defeat you. If he can get you to think and believe wrong, he has accomplished his plan of deception and you are now a party working in conjunction with him to deceive others in the world. There are false prophets, false teachers and false apostles in the world everywhere we look. The numbers of these false distributors of lies are so many today that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to recognize all of the ways that Satan uses to deceive people. I will discuss just a couple of the ways that God has taught me over the years that Satan uses and I pray that you can see them also.
I am going to start with one method of deception which I feel is critical for all Christians to understand. This method of deception is to take a small but critical piece of the truth in the Bible and then to possess it or claim it is something that it is not. False teachers take bits of information out of context and then teach it in a false religion with new imbedded lies attached to it. For example, we can find the “Golden Rule” of the Bible found in almost every religion of the world in some alternative form. Because all of these other religions have attached themselves to this verse in the Bible, they have in essence diluted the true meaning as having come from God and they change it to fit what they prefer it to say. Most Christians just automatically discredit the teachings of Satanism and Cultic organizations. But, where did these false religious organizations get their information and why is it so important for them to claim it all as their own original ideas? Think about this a long time, where did all knowledge come from? Was it not our Almighty God who holds all knowledge? I think I should stop here and tell you that what I am saying I am saying to only mature Christians who have been in Christ for many years. I do not want you to think that it is OK to explore Satanism, or to go and study other religions looking for the truth. That would be very foolish to go to a source of predominately lies and try to determine which words are true and which ones are false. That is exactly what Satan wants you to do. What I am saying is study the Bible and ONLY the Bible and find the truth and then do not reject it because Satan has tried to pervert it. Do the sayings of Jesus from John 8:31-32. Continue in the Word was the first step of the command. That means you do not search history books, you do not search text books, you do not search other religions and you only stay with the BIBLE for your total and complete source of the truth!
I am not convinced that Satan has ever had a completely original idea in anything that he does or says on the earth. It would appear to me that Satan takes what God does and perverts into something useful for his purpose of deception. You must realize that Satan is a highly intelligent being that can run spiritual circles around what you know right now. Satan has been in the presence of God and seen what He does first hand, have you ever stood before the throne of God? I doubt seriously if you have. Satan has been deceiving man for the last 6000 years, how old are you? Does your experiences match Satan’s experiences? I say Satan has had a lot more practice at deceiving people than you have had at resisting him. What Satan likes to do is take little key principles from the Word of God and to pervert them so that many Christians will automatically reject them because they are taught as a part of a cult lesson. Do you understand how powerful this is? By taking a truth and by discrediting it, he can now cause many people to more easily reject that truth and be deceived into believing a lie. This is a common political tactic used in our political system. A candidate for office simply discredits his opponent with some perverted mixture of truth with lies. By discrediting them they make themselves to be a more positive answer for the people. I usually do not like to name names but I will give you an example of this type of behavior of Satan. I was told by a reader that a small part of what I teach is a concept that is embraced by the Mormons and used to promote evolution. Since the Mormon religion is a false cultic teaching, does that make everything that they teach a lie? If I do not teach evolution using this same concept does that make what I say a lie? No, what I say is not a lie, but it has been discredited by a cult taking it and perverting into their lies. Does what they teach discredit everything that I say using the Bible? Again, I am not telling you to go read the Book of Mormon and try to figure out what is true and what is false. That is clearly a ploy of the enemy. The book of Mormon is promoted as ANOTHER Testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ given to a false prophet and written down so that you will not read the REAL Testimony of Jesus Christ. Jesus actually warned us not to read things that people ADD to the bible. Jesus clearly told us not to take away any words or to add any words to those that have been written in the Bible (Rev 22:19). The enemy has produced this book of Mormon simply as a tool to get you to not read the TRUE Word of God and His Holy Book of Truth. As long as Satan can distract you with the false you are never going to recognize the Truth. But, if the Mormons try to teach something that is a part of the truth just to discredit the truth; that does not mean the truth is not present in the Bible.
So let me give you another example of something that I may teach that is perverted by a satanic symbol. A common satanic symbol is a five pointed star with a symbol of a male goat with horns on it. Why did Satan choose this symbol to pervert it? What is the significance of this symbol and the meaning of this symbol? Why did Satan pick a goat to pervert it? Now anything in the Bible that God uses for the symbol of the goat is tainted with this perverted image. Because the goat and the 5 pointed star symbols are used for a direct reference to Satan, anything that the Bible now attempts to use them for are more easily rejected by Christians. If someone suddenly came to you with a new revelation of what God said a “star” represents; you will more than likely retract from it. Now, if anyone comes to you with a revelation of what a goat is a symbol of in the Bible, you will automatically throw it aside. This is typical human nature to throw away even the good because someone used it for evil. It is an automatic death sentence for any symbolic object that Satan has used to describe himself. This death occurs by the simple association of any truth by associating with the lies or symbols for Satan. All Satan has to do is to get someone in the world to take a Bible symbol and to pervert it into a symbol for Satan and every Christian will automatically run very fast away from it.
The Bible informs us that Satan presents himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). Why would Satan then try to present himself with strong demonic images of himself being a very evil being with a pitch fork, horns and a pointed tail? It is because when he shows up looking like a glorious spectacular supernatural being or even as a normal looking person, he will be able to trick you into believing his lies. After all you are looking for an evil ugly being and not a handsome good looking fellow. It is the classic bait and switch approach to advertising; you present one image and then you switch out another new image that is completely different and try to get people to be a sucker for something they didn’t expect to get. This is a very prominent ploy used in deception. Make people think this is true and then present them with a set of lies that are believable. Satan used people like David Koresh and Jim Jones to deceive people. They looked normal, they sounded normal and presented some very subtle words of deception. As a result many people died because these men decided it was time to die. Understanding how your enemy Satan operates may save your life someday.
I’ll end this blog with one more example of deception. If you did not know it, the Ram is a Bible symbol for God the Father. However Satan uses this symbol for himself. Satan is attempting to exalt his throne to the equivalency of that of God’s throne. Satan is trying to deceive people into believing that he is god. When the anti-Christ comes in Revelation he will be setting himself up to be this most high god. So where is God a Ram in the Bible? We can find this several places in the Bible but we will start with Genesis 22:
Gen 22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
When Isaac asked his father Abraham “Where is the animal for the sacrifice?” Abraham replied “God will provide Himself as the lamb”. Jesus is repeatedly called the Lamb of God in the N.T. This is a symbolic name for Jesus Christ our sacrifice Lamb. Who is the father of a Lamb? A Ram is the father of a Lamb! As you can see in this verse in Genesis 22, instead of Abraham sacrificing Isaac God provided a Ram. This Ram was a symbol of Himself being the sacrifice. Abraham sacrifices the Ram a symbol of God coming to the earth in the flesh to pay the price for the sins of all mankind with His blood. So God’s symbol is that of a Ram and Satan now produces this symbol to represent himself. What is Satan trying to do? He is trying to discredit the truth of the Bible. He is taking a real symbol found in the Bible and trying to present you a false symbol. This is a classic ploy of deception. Take the real and pervert it.
So this blog was different, I know! It was an attempt to challenge you to think. Use your brain for something more than a place holder of useless information. Take the real and reject the fakes, the false, and the lies of the enemy. God Bless you to know the difference!
If you would like to continue reading about deception you can continue to “Part 3“.
If you want to know how to get saved and know that you are with confidence you can go to: How do I get saved?
(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.
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.
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.
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“.
(Ver 2.1) Today’s Bible lesson is Part 1 in a series of lessons on understanding truth in the Bible. This of course is a very difficult and tricky question to answer correctly. How do you approach this subject without offending someone? Too many people approach the Bible like every word came from the mouth of God and therefore the entire book is completely true from cover to cover. I am forced to disagree with that assumption but before you write me off, you should hear why. You see, I do know that God is the author of the Bible and every word it contains was inspired by Him for us. But is everything in the Bible the truth? That would be like asking is everything you watch on the ABC World News the truth? I don’t mean to say that the national news correspondent is intentionally trying to mislead us or lie to us. That is not what I’m saying at all. You see, if you’ve ever watched the news, you probably know what I’m going to say. You may remember when we had a president get up on the news and say ‘I did not have sex with that intern’. So was that the truth? Did it make it true because it was on national TV or reported by a popular news anchor on a respected news program? You see the problem, don’t you? The Bible has many quotes from similarly unethical and ignorant people and just because it is in the Bible doesn’t mean it is the truth.
This is in fact a very important and a key element to correct Bible interpretation, first determine who is speaking and then determine what their character and moral background is before you embrace what they say to be the truth. If they are the words directly from God, like it says” Thus saith the LORD”; or if they are the words in red ink in the New Testament from Jesus, or the words of one of God’s chosen prophets or apostles then it can be easily confirmed to be the truth. If however, Moses, David, Paul, John or Luke or whoever, quotes what somebody else said like Ananias or Sapphira in Acts 5, then it is very possible that what is said is not the truth. Again it depends upon the speaker. If the speaker is Satan for example, whatever is said could be a partial truth, the complete truth or a complete fabricated lie. So it definitely matters who is speaking before you can judge whether it is a truth or not.
In the book of Job, in the Old Testament it contains a lot of words from Job, Job’s wife and Job’s friends. Now while there are many valuable lessons in the book of Job, not every word spoken is the truth. You see here is Job’s problem, he didn’t have any Bible. He couldn’t understand most of the things of God. He couldn’t really know or understand what he was saying, after all what would it have been based upon? There is not any established basis for the thoughts of Job. For example, Job said “God has given and God has taken away.” I’ve heard preachers in church and at funerals stand up and quote this like it was God speaking. However that is not the truth. It is true Job said it, it is true it is in the Bible, it is true that God inspired someone to record what he said, but it is not a statement of truth. I’m sure I’m going to get a lot people upset at me for saying this, but this is the way the Bible was written. If you read later in the book of Job 38:2, you will see that God asks Job a simple but direct question and it says this “Who is this that darkens counsel with words without knowledge?” It is very clear to me that God is saying that at least some of Job’s words are baseless ramblings from an ignoarant man. Yes, Job believed they were true and was not intentionally deceiving anyone, but according to God they were just the words of an ignornat man. So you must judge what Job says by what God says about Job’s words and then and only then will we better understand the Bible. According to 2 Timothy 2:15 there is a right way to divide the Word of Truth and by reverse/antithesis implied truths there are also potentially many wrong ways to divide this exact same Words of Truth. You have to make a determination how you want to do it. You can do it your way or you can do it God’s way. The Bible is much more complex than you can imagine and there are specific rules and guidelines which God has given to us to follow and if you learn them and follow them you will not fall into error very often.
So if the Bible contains specific historical information such as names of cities, countries, dates, times, and people can we count on them to be accurate? Absolutely, the Bible is not a book of mythology, fables, fairy tales or man made legends like Paul Bunyan, Atlas or Methuselah. The Bible contains actual historical events, places and people. You can count on every one of them to be more accurate than any text book or history book you had in school. God knows exactly what happened when and where.
If the Bible has an account of some miraculous event transpiring in a supernatural story, like the parting of the Red Sea, can we rely on that as being a true fact within human history. Absolutely, people who don’t believe in God will of course try to convince you that this is fiction, but I know better. God who is capable of creating the world and everything we can see, is certainly capable of doing something on a much smaller scale that is still very spectacular.
Knowing how to read and study the Bible will greatly increase your understanding of God’s Word. Understanding that not every word in the Bible is the Truth will help you figure out what is the truth. You do realize that if everything in the Bible was the truth, it would not be necessary to “divide the truth”. What is a division? A division is a separation of one thing from another thing. To divide something entails effort, work, tools, study and understanding. If you were a doctor about to do surgery on someone you are about to cut them open or divide their flesh to look inside. If you don’t know what you are doing your patient is in trouble. Well dividing the word of God is somewhat similar, if you don’t know what you are doing, you are the patient that is in trouble.
If you would like to continue reading about Understanding Truth in the Bible please go to “Part 2“.
(Ver 1.2) Today is Part 1 in a Bible study series focused upon how Satan can even deceive people who say they are Christians. Jesus speaking to the disciples in Matthew 24:4 warned them “take heed that no man deceive you”. There are preachers today that believe true and real saved Christians cannot be deceived to fall or turn away from Jesus. It is unfortunate that Jesus did not understand this belief or he would not have warned us that we could be deceived. This Bible study series will focus upon how we can find examples of deception taking place in the world today within the lives of people that say they are Christians. So let us get started with the first example.
I really do not enjoy criticizing other Christians and I plan to never name their names. I realize there are no perfect people in the world including me. But occasionally someone just stands out above the rest as the most incredibly deceived person that calls themselves a Christian that I’ve ever heard of. Yesterday while watching the evening news a story came across the network about a pastor who was going to battle Satan by holding a book burning on Halloween. At first glance this probably does not sound like a bad idea to many Christians, but I was floored when the news anchor started naming the list of materials that he was planning on burning. At first I thought the preacher was going to share about burning Heavy Metal songs, Punk, Rap lyrics, Cult Materials, Porn or other types of similar literature. However, the shocker came when they interviewed the preacher and he said he was going to burn Bibles. Obviously this is what got him on a major news network for public TV consumption. I really thought this man was joking at first. But I gathered from hearing this plan of this preacher that it was true and that he was dead serious on carrying it out.
According to this preacher and I use that term very loosely, only the King James version of the Bible was divinely inspired and came from God and all of the other versions of the Bible were works of Satan. I really don’t understand how dumb or blinded someone can become and still be called a Christian. How did this man arrive at such a foolish opinion. What would cause someone to think any Bible could not be used by God. That seems to be putting God in a box of severe limitation.
You know what I have discovered about people? It seems that the people who know the least amount of truth are many times the most vocal and opinionated against God. It sounds to be that this preacher has his head buried so deep that he doesn’t recognize the difference between good and evil. The Bible actually warns us in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good and good, evil”. To burn any translations of the Bible and call it the works of Satan is an incredibly deceived action.
Satan is not in the business of helping people to read and understand the Bible. If Satan had his way there would be absolutely no Bibles available to anyone and obviously he has convinced at least one preacher to help him get rid of them. How many of you realize that there are no perfect translations of the Bible available in print? Did you know that every translation of the Bible has some slanted perspective and/or opinion of the translator mixed with it? The King James Bible while it is the one that I use predominately, I have found many problems with the translation. Obviously by me making that statement of truth, I just got on someone’s heretic and false teacher list. But we must all know that only the original Hebrew and Greek text contains the inspired (God Breathed) words from God’s mouth without errors. We should all just learn Hebrew and Greek and fix this problem shouldn’t we? I guess not, what we should do is just study to show our self approved a workmen unto God who rightly divides the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).
My guess is this man is also one of those preachers who claims “tongues” is of the devil. It is sad how Christian people have been so easily deceived into believing such untrue things. I’ve watched movies, I’ve seen fights, I’ve seen people in bars drunk, I’ve witnessed acts of violence and terror and not one time have any of these people in any of these places or acts have I ever seen standing up speaking in tongues with their hands raised in praise. I have also never seen or heard of anyone in a bar reading the NIV, NASB, NKJV, or other Bible while they were getting drunk. Isn’t that just a little bit troubling to you?
Every decent Bible translation can be used by the Holy Spirit to reach someone to get them saved. The Holy Spirit is NOT limited to reaching only people who can speak “King James English” of “thee”, “thou”, “thus”, “saith”, etc. When someone first becomes a Christian it is good to get a translation of the Bible that is on their level. Easy to read English words are much more easy to understand than the KJV Bible. Later as the Christian becomes more mature and spiritually aware, other Bible translations of literal translation can be used by God also to help that individual learn.
So here was an example of one deceived man, a preacher who calls a good book called the Bible as an evil work of Satan and obviously doesn’t know the difference.. Let us not take the same bait of Satan to fall into the same trap of deception. Let us avoid following this man as our example. Please join me in praying for this man. Let us pray that God will bless this man with a spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowing Christ Jesus, Amen.
A PERSONAL APPLICATION
LORD, I pray that you will help me to not be deceived. Lead me far away from anyone that is not proclaiming what you said in your Word and are saying today by your Holy Spirit. Help me to turn from following anyone that is not being led by your Spirit. Open my spiritual eyes to be able to understand your Word as I read and hear it and to discern between right and wrong, truth and lies, and good and evil. Thank LORD for your presence in me and your faithfulness to me in Jesus Name, I pray. Amen.
If you would like to continue reading in this series, please click “Part 2“.