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Christian Fallacies
A CROSS-SECTION OF COMMON FALLACIES IN THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF MODERN CHRISTIANITY THROUGH LACK OF BIBLE TEACHING
 :: THESE ARE LISTED BELOW AS AN APPEAL FOR A MORE BIBLICAL / MORE AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY :: 
—  AND  PERHAPS  SHOULD  BE  COMPULSORY  READING  IN  EVERY  THEOLOGICAL  COLLEGE/SEMINARY  —
AND SO TO PASTORS –  "...you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."   (James 3:1).            
Bible
Myth 1.  EVOLUTION IS TOTALLY UNTRUE To Index
The
most successful deceptions are half-truths, and this is one of them. Unfortunately, by totally discounting any validity in it as a theory of human origins, certain precious truths are not recognised.
 
The
variety very evident in the human race in both face structure and skin pigmentation, etc, is a testimony to the validity of God's instruction, after the global tsunami of Noah, for his family to spread out.
 
Very understandably, after their 370-days of unprecedented trauma in the ark, their feelings of insecurity simply contradicted God's command and they decided rather to build a tower as a sign of the togetherness to be visible at a great distance in the flat plain of Mesopotamia/largely modern Iraq. Their action has often been misunderstood by imperfect translation, for the description should be better understood as meaning according to the heavens/sky, not 'to Heaven', so each layer represented a constellation in the zodiac and was not an attempt to build a staircase to Heaven.
See:
Noah's World Flood
The
dispersion of the human race as a result of God's intervention in the confusion of language caused the consequent migration, and the beautiful principle of survival of the fittest then came into play, to produce the wide variety that we have today, for those who were more suited to a particular situation tended to live longer, produce more offspring, and thus become the dominant group in that particular direction of migration.
This
refining principle of
Survival of the Fittest
is built into all nature.
For instance, human migration (at the pace that sheep walk, apart from camping to sleep) eastward from Babel toward East Asia naturally resulted in those with an epicanthic fold in the skin around their eye (giving the oriental eye the appearance of a slant, which helped protect their sight from the freezing wind), becoming the dominant group to survive in that particular direction (over the Himalayas, Siberian, and Mongolian plateaus). This principle of 'survival of the fittest', both psychologically as well as physically, thus became the prime cause for the beautiful and useful variety in the descendants that began with one man Adam –
praise God!

The epicanthic fold
is the skin fold
of the upper eyelid
covering the inner angle
of the eye
In this

connection, it is good to remember that God chooses our ancestors (not us), and that the Bible takes the trouble to mention that before the foundation of the world God knew those who would believe in Him (Ephesians 1:4). In other words, He has had us in-mind throughout all the long history of the formation of our particular ancestral DNA, which thus became His human equipment for us to handle whatever He alone knows is waiting ahead of us.
 

Myth 2.  "LET US MAKE..." REFERS TO THE TRINITY To Index
Judaism
explains this plural pronoun as God speaking to the angels, for they pre-existed humanity. Sadly, Christian churches on the other hand have tried to explain it as God speaking to Himself within the plurality of the divine Trinity. Both are completely wrong
for neither would have been so understood by the first recipients of this revelation, and God is a good communicator.
 
The
Six Days of Genesis One do not described the origin of the universe. On Day One the earth already exists. The Six days are the preparation of this planet and its environment for biological life, and the reference to God's decision to create human life refers to its purpose (the represent Him) and not to a particular 'aspect' of humanity (of 'conscience' or or 'spiritual awareness' as is sometimes erroneously taught.
 
 
So the statement quoted in not a private conversation within the Trinity! It is a statement made in the presence of what existed before humanity is created, namely the supreme judicial court of the universe to which everything is accountable, referred to in Isaiah 6:8.
 
The
picture the Bible gives of God's heaven is not of a royal palace but of a judicial court as being the moral centre of God's universe. This perspective is verified in the book of Revelation where the judicial throne of God (encircled by the covenant sign of the rainbow) has four senior angels (cherubim) present representing the four guaranteed categories of life (human, wild animals, domesticated animals, and bird-life) which God guaranteed to continue the existence of, in His covenant given to humanity through Noah.
 
The words
recorded in Genesis One are the words of God spoken in this court to which all moral life is accountable. We have a sampling of this in the call of Isaiah to his prophetic ministry in his vision of the Court of Heaven –
"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?'
Then I said, 'Here I am! Send me'.
"
This universe is ruled from the Court of Heaven, and therefore to this same Court all moral life is accountable!
Isaiah 6:8.


 
God's infinite plurality is eternal, but the self-humbling self-limitation of Jesus to become the Creator of the finite world by direct association with the finite is not (the term "son" refers to His messianic status and NOT to His rank in a hierarchical trinity), and He will at the end be again as He was before all things.
 
 

Myth 3.  GOD THE FATHER IS THE CREATOR To Index
This error
arose from seeing the Trinity of God as an eternal 'hierarchy'.
• In the night of His betrayal, Jesus taught His disciples in His prayer to the Father that He had shared the glory of the Father 'before the world was' (John 17:5), not before birth, but before Creation, for then it changed. That is – the act-of-creation was Christ's self-humbling (His step-down from Infinity), which the Bible repeatedly teaches was the personal and direct work of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16). Before this Creation event then, Jesus shared fully in all the glory that was with the Father. In order words, He was no second-person in any hierarchy.
• Thus, the One we today call God the Father only became the Father in His relation to Christ then and therefore to us now (and accordingly the Judicial head over all things) when the Infinite Jesus humbled Himself to finiteness in bringing the dimensions of time and place into existence, within which He created all that exists. This self-humbling began Christ's sonship in relation to His Father. Christ is directly the Creator through this self-humbling, as distinct from the rest of God's being. Thus the Father is only indirectly the Creator, through His Son who became Jesus in being invested into the womb of Mary by the Spirit of God.
• Hence, it is Christ who walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve, lunched with Abraham (John 8:56), and it was Christ who gave the Ten Commandments on Sinai (Exodus 19:20). And, when God's purpose in Creation is fulfilled, the Lord Jesus will become again as He was before all things, co-infinite and so beyond time or place. Hallelujah!
• Some have deceptively or unthinkingly quoted Proverbs 8 as though it spoke of Jesus before time helping God the Father create (such as Jehovah's Witnesses allege we teach). This is not true! It is simply Wisdom personified as a woman"then I [wisdom] was beside Him, like a master workman, and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always" (Proverbs 8:30). In Proverbs, Wisdom is thus personified as a good woman and Foolishness as a prostitute. This message, about the desirability of wisdom, in no way is meant to represent the internal life of the eternal infinite being of the Holy Trinity of God. Perish the thought!
See:
A Biblical
Structure of History
 

Myth 4.  ADAM WAS GOD'S SECOND CREATION To Index
This
fallacy was fairly popular in the early twentieth century in an attempt to reconcile apparent evolutionary evidences with the Bible. So the second sentence in Holy Scripture was thus interpreted as a re-creation after the first creation had fallen in Satan's rebellion against God, evidenced therefore by 'darkness on the face of the deep' –
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
"
This is sometimes referred to as the gap-theory, but it has no Biblical basis whatsoever!


Genesis 1:2
God
the Infinite could have created everything instantly. He does not need time to create. But instead, we are told that He did it in seven days because the detail is relevant to our understanding, and God was communicating in Holy Scripture in order to be understood.
Adam
and Eve's obedience-test in Eden was a necessary education of their faith, to trust God beyond their understanding! God does not learn from events. He knows all things from before the beginning, and therefore Christ our divine atonement is the Lamb of God slain for those whose names were written in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
Nothing takes God by surprise!
 

Myth 5.  BEFORE ADAM SINNED THERE WAS NO DEATH. To Index
This fallacy
arose from ignoring the Bible's teaching about the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24). Adam was given the Tree of Life before he sinned (because he needed it), and was only denied access after he sinned.
• Why was he denied access after he sinned? So that he would age and die just like the rest of the world of which he was part! In other words, our first parent's exemption-from-death lapsed when they disobeyed the One whom they had been formed to represent.
• Before Adam sinned he had access because he needed access – to negate the natural process of aging, death and decay; a count-down process design-built into every cell of the human body at chromosomal level, and a process which ultimately produces the fertile top soil of our world. God's design is beautiful, but Adam was exempted from this process of aging and death because he was to represent God (made 'in His image') and therefore to exercise control or 'dominion' over all on God's behalf.
• His failure to learn the lesson of self-control in the Garden resulted in guilt ('knowledge of good and evil') and in consequence he lost access to the Tree of Life, even though he became a believer after God's intervention and promise concerning the woman Adam had blamed (his faith named her 'mother of life' before she had become a mother).
• The general fallen state of nature (Gen.3:17-19) as today results from God's judgment being declared over Adam's field of responsibility (the earth and all its life forms) as a result/consequence of his sin, therefore all nature is now out-of-balance, even the physical body of every Spirit-filled Christian remains fallen, until Christ returns to end the dominion of Satan (Romans 8:19-23). This is not the origin of death except in humanity by loss of its exemption. Therefore this is represented by 'thorns and thistles' (Genesis 3:18), and 'pain' in natural processes such as child-birth (3:16). 'Death' as an indicator of sin's existence is only true concerning humanity.
Unfortunately, this error is mixed in with the good in the Creation Museum, and in Answers in Genesis and consequently tends to discredit the Bible with those who do not know better.
 

Myth 6.  "IN GOD'S IMAGE" MEANS MADE GOD-CONSCIOUS To Index
This

"image" refers to
representative relationship
in the idiom of that time and
not to a particular quality!
foolish interpretation of Genesis One verse 26 arises from trying to fit Holy Scripture into our modern mental paradigm. The concept of made in God's image is not about conscience or any form of moral or religious consciousness as has been speculated. It means just what it meant in the time in which it was written, and the sequence of its context should have given scholars a clue. God said –
"Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
The "dominion" referred to is the consequence of this special character of humanity being in "God's image".


Genesis 1:26.
(Isaiah 6:8 shows us
that the plural pronoun
refers to Heaven's Court
and not to the Trinity
or the angels of God)
One
of the most widespread cultures of the ancient world was the Hellenistic, and the worship of their supreme god Zeus was widespread. Each temple of Zeus held an image of him where offerings were received, but no one believed that he lived in that temple. It was believed that he lived at the top of mount Olympus, but his 'image' in the local temple 'represented' him. It is in this representative sense that humanity was made in the "image of God" and that in verse 28 they are described as being therefore required to "subdue" the earth and exercise "dominion".
If the
concept of 'image' is to be used today, it means that God's-image in humanity is not God-facing, but creation-facing! This perspective is critically important to understanding humanity and our relationship to God. When Jesus says "If you've seen Me you've seen the Father" (John 14:9) He was not referring to His eternal relationship within the Trinity of God. He was referring to His human identity which He fulfilled as "son of man" in order to to become our substitute before God in His unique atonement.
See:
The Atonement
  So, it means we were made to represent God's attitude and demonstrate His character in our behaviour.  
 

Myth 7.  GOD 'IMPRINTED' HIS IMAGE ON ADAM To Index
There is


So "image" was not
a later added quality!
It was the reason/motive
for making humanity!
little excuse for this error – if one reads the Bible with appropriate attention and respect, for this idea directly contradicts Holy Scripture in that it shows that the "image of God" was not an addition 'after' the creation of Adam.
It was the reason for the creation of Adam!
The key verse, as above, states –
"Then [after creating all animals] God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock
and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth'.
"
The Bible is clear that the "image of God" was not an added feature but that it was the motivation for the existence of humanity!
Genesis 1:26.
This is
hugely important, for it points to the primary function of humanity "in God's image" as implemented in the "dominion" over all life which is mandated to humanity as a consequence of this.
In other words, this "image" is not an added feature, it is the essential founding purpose of human existence, namely to represent God to His creation: so it is the ambassadorial status of humanity alone which gives it its unique value!
 
This
is proven when, after the Flood of Noah, God transfers responsibility for justice to humanity and therefore says that murder now requires the maximum penalty by mankind, not because of the individual character of any particular victim, but because of originating general ambassadorial status of all humanity from its creation –
"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in His own image."
Genesis 9:6.
 

Myth 8.  ADAM WAS EXPELLED FROM EDEN BECAUSE HE SINNED To Index
This
misleading half-truth deviates us from understanding God's purpose in human history. God's expulsion of Adam and Eve was not simply punishment. The Bible makes it clear by explaining it in God's own words as –
"Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever"



Genesis 3:22 ESV.
 
True to the character of God, living forever in a biological body with its inherent limitations, was to now be replaced, through the faith in God beyond understanding which Adam had personally demonstrated in naming his wife 'Eve', meaning the "mother of all living" (3:20), before she had given birth to any child, because God's promise of this future spoken directly to the serpent in front of them was that the answer to their personal dilemma would come specifically through the woman's offspring/her seed:
"He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel".
Genesis 3:15.
Their expulsion
from Eden was thus to allow the natural process of aging and death to take place, which had been built into all biological life from the beginning to take its course (and was the very reason why Adam and Eve had needed to eat from the Tree of Life before they sinned) so that through their faith in God the biological might thus be replaced in the future by the resurrection body which is not limited to this planet but designed to share in the limitless government of Christ Himself over all. For this reason the Apostle Paul's perspective is shared with us in his letter to the Corinthian Christians concerning God's ultimate purpose –
"Do you not know that we are to judge angels?"
No one needs a resurrection to go to Heaven, and therefore that is not the final destiny of believers!
1 Corinthians 6:3.

The
Turning-the-tables
on a problem is the
characteristic of God!
eternal kingdom or rule of God over all is the final destination of Christians – to represent God fully to all His creation. So the failure of humanity in the sin of Adam and Eve is thus turned-on-its-head in God's fathomless wisdom and love to extend human destiny beyond any physical limits in ultimately sharing the resurrection of the One born of a Virgin!
Hallelujah!
 

Myth 9.  CAIN'S SACRIFICE WAS UN-ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BECAUSE IT WAS NOT HIS 'FIRSTFRUITS' To Index
This error
has been perversely employed to promote priority in financial-giving as being the key to God's blessing, promoting the additional error that the blessings of God are earned (deserved). But the Bible does not say so. The Bible teaches that it was the contrast with Abel's acceptance by God which exposed the inherent problem inside Cain, and this is not presented in Holy Scripture as anything to do with any act of giving to God, either as first-fruits, or because he did not bring a blood sacrifice as some also fancifully allege. The Bible itself points us to the fact that the problem of Cain's rejection and Abel's acceptance did not lie in their offerings but in the jealous/resentful attitude/state of heart of the worshipper toward his brother.
 
God's
discrimination between the offering of Cain and that of his younger brother simply exposed the existing problem, which is then shown by God to lie in first-born Cain's resentful attitude toward his younger brother.
 
God did
God said to Cain, in response to his depression ('why has your face fallen?'), –
"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.
Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."
(Genesis 4:7)
not expect Cain to remove it, but to simply bring it under control, or it would control him. That was the issue!
 
   
There is nothing in the text of Holy Scripture to even hint at a presumed failure to bring so-called 'first fruits'. The problem which caused God's non-acceptance of Cain's sacrifice was something that Cain needed to master, to control. As Adam's first-born, Cain was simply jealous of the place that his younger brother now held in their family. He must learn to 'rule over' this feeling of jealousy, God warns him. It is lurking at the door of his heart like a predator ready to pounce, and he must get control of it, or it would control him and so destroy him. He did not, and in a fit of jealousy killed his brother and so was exiled from his family.
 
   
Those who try to use this to teach priority-giving to the church miss the whole point that it was not God's discrimination between the offerings of these brothers that produced their conflict (that was simply it's symptom), but the unclean attitude of the elder-brother's heart toward his younger sibling about which God spoke, and which sadly eventually overcame him.
 
   
It is vitally important to treat Holy Scripture within its own context; otherwise the context of our own interests will subvert and twist its meaning, to our shame before God.
 
 

Myth 10.  BEFORE THE FLOOD THE EARTH HAD ONE CLIMATE To Index
But the
Bible says –
"And the LORD God planted a garden..., and there He put the man whom He had formed.
And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food..."

(Genesis 2:8-9).
For this first human couple, God had planted a special garden, a specially watered garden! Why?
• Because the whole earth was not a garden. It did not have an equitable climate. It was often hostile, from the beginning. Its life-forms would need to be subdued (Genesis 1) and brought under dominion by those who were made in the Creator's image to represent Him.
• Remember, in the way God has made our world, climate is the main determinator of vegetation. Therefore God's special action in Eden in contrast to the rest of the planet is a statement to be taken seriously concerning earth's original state.
See:
'Genesis Prologue'

 

Myth 11.  NOAH'S FLOOD WAS LOCAL WITH GLOBAL EFFECT To Index
Knowing
this to be not true is fairly simple for those that believe the Bible. A local flood does not need all bird-life being taken into rescue. Birds tend to fly!
 
The

See:
Noah's Flood
context & detail
Bible gives adequate information on the mechanism which caused the Flood of a 40-day deluge of rain and the "breaking-up" of the fountains of the deep, the ocean. The most scientifically accurate analysis of this data implies a close passing of a comet such as lost some of its substance to the planet Saturn to form its rings. The Bible says that before this flood there was a layer of water (vapour as we would call it today) above the atmosphere. The immediate halving of human longevity as a consequence of this flood should also be a clue as to its cause. Today, in the International Space Station, many astronauts line their sleeping quarters with plastic bottles of water for this is best to shield them from the micro particles of the cosmic wind. This is what Noah lost in those first 40-days.
See:
Probable Cause
In
addition to the birds: (1) the reference to oceanic disturbance (broken-up) probably indicates what would today be called a global tsunami, so the arguments against standing-water deep enough to strand the Ark on Mount Ararat fall away; and, (2) the length of the flood of more than a year would also be impossible for a local flood.
 
It is
understandable that many academics should be inclined to view Noah's flood as local event, for there have been many, with a global effect, to explain its repercussions and traditions in the early days of human migration, for then one does not need to believe the Bible's detail. In this regard some have looked to the Black Sea basin catastrophe (about 5,600 BC/BCE), which spread the Indo-European languages, as a possibility, but it does not fit the picture.
 
 
But this definition for any Christian is inexcusable.

 

Myth 12.  GOD SET LIFE-EXPECTANCY AT 120 YEARS To Index
This is
Today some astronauts aboard the International Space Station line their sleep stations with bags of water, for H2O is an excellent protection from bombardment of high energy particles (ions, electrons and protons).
based on a misunderstanding of the 120-year warning period before the Flood of Noah. These 120-years were the special period from God's command to Noah to build the great Ark until the World Flood/Global Tsunami itself came (Genesis 6:3, which also collapsed earth's stratospheric water-vapour protection-layer in 40-days). During this warning-period Noah married and his sons were born.
This 120-year sentence expresses God's limit on His patience with that mutating generation – their terminus time.
NO-ONE in that following generation lived to only 120 years. So, if we believe the Bible to be true it can only mean the warning period of Noah's preaching and preparation of the ark.
"God's patience waited in the days of Noah"
(1 Peter 3:20).

See:
Probable Cause

 

Myth 13.  GOD HAS SET LIFE-EXPECTANCY AT 70 YEARS To Index
This idea
comes from the one and only psalm of Moses (Psalm 90:10) where our human frailty under God's rebuke is observed to be 70 years long, or 80 years if one is strong, at his time of writing.
But our 'strength' could not add even ten years to life if God had really set it at 70, let alone have Maysaloun Al-Amin (born 1890 northern Lebanon) hugging her great-great-great granddaughter at the age of 125-years.
Nowhere in God's Word does God ever decree life-expectancy.
The prayer of this Psalm is that God would teach us to number or value our days constructively so that we are able to present a heart of wisdom to God at life's end. Moses himself lived to 120 years and made his last 40 years mean more than his previous eighty years. (Thus God answered his prayer of Psalm 90:17, awesomely).
• It is worth noting that in 1276 AD/CE life expectancy in Britain, as accurately reflected in the records of the British royal family (the best-off in that society, at that time) was only 35.28-years.
Maysaloun Al-Amin hugs her great-great-great granddaughter in Al-Dabbabiye, Lebanon, March 21, 2015. Born 1890, and except for a little hard of hearing, has no serious health issues.
See: Moses Depression
 

Myth 14.  "SONS OF GOD" MEANS UNFALLEN HUMANS To Index
This
idea developed as an explanation of what Genesis Six verse 2 could mean, about the "sons of God" taking the "daughters of man" as wives, because the Lord Jesus had said that angels do not have a gender (Matthew 22:30) so these "sons of God" could therefore not be angels, as this same term indicated in Job. But as sincere as this explanation may be, it does not do justice to the grammatical idiom of Holy Scripture. Some expositors side-step this by treating the term as descriptive of a spiritual 'family relationship' to God and therefore meaning 'believers', but this completely ignores the context of it being the condition (the 'last straw') which results in the termination of the whole human race, apart from the family of Noah
 
In this
pre-Flood age, the use of deliberate genetic manipulation to produce Nephilim referred to in this chapter, such as happened later again in the corrupting of Canaanite/Amorite civilization to produce giants such as Goliath (descended much later from refugees of the giants of Canaanite Hebron) during the Israelites 430-years in Egypt, such deliberate mutation therefore justified its complete Canaanite extermination in Israel's invasion of Canaan, as here before the Flood of Noah had also become necessary for the same reason, and is here simply being described in pre-scientific terms so as to be understood by the people in the ancient culture at the time of writing.
2 Samuel 21:18-22.

"Nephilim" were not aliens.
The Jewish Septuagint
was not mistaken in translating it as gigantes (giants) for in that pre-technological age physical strength was a
vital military factor.


Job 38:4-7.
Translators

Acts 4:36
have unfortunately often not adequately understood this grammatical practice in ancient Semitic languages such as in the paleo-Hebrew and Aramaic, of how the "son of" phrase changes its attached noun into an adjective (demonstrated in the Aramaic-speaking early church in Jerusalem in Joseph being called Bar-nabas). For this reason the angels witnessing God's act of physical creation are described in the paleo-Hebrew of Job as "sons of God", meaning 'divine beings', what we today call angels. God had challenged Job's understanding of this with –
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.
...On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
so that his faith in God would go beyond understanding, as is portrayed for us in the life of Abraham.
 
Some have also foolishly tried to explain this term "sons of God" as being the sons of Seth and that therefore intermarriage with the daughters of Cain brought God's judgement of the Flood, but this does not fit Holy Scripture, even though this explanation has been used in the past to justify social segregation. But 'marriage' was not the sin that brought the terminating global flood.
See:
Probable Cause
of the Flood
The Bible
indicates that the descendants of Seth (whom God gave to Adam after Abel was murdered by Cain's jealousy), eventually also went the selfish way of all flesh and, after their level of corruption had opened the door to demonic genetic mutation, the terminus-time of 120-years to the end was announced, and only Noah's family was chosen by God to begin human history again.
 

Myth 15.  'SON OF THE GODS' IN THE OLD TESTAMENT MEANS A BELIEVER To Index
This
error would not occur if the Bible's own context was treated with more respect. The term "son of the gods" in the mouth of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar –
"But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt;
and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods
" (ESV)
describing the appearance of the fourth man in the fiery furnace execution of the three Hebrews, certain did not mean 'believer' of any kind. It was simply the cultural term for an angelic being, meaning that which is of the divine/supernatural.
Daniel 3:25.
 

Myth 16.  HUMANS ARE MADE OF THREE PARTS To Index
This error
arose from misunderstanding the term translated as 'soul', which is nephesh (נֶפֶשׁ) in the Old Testament and psuchē (ψυχή) in the New Testament. Soul has often, from its colloquial use, been seen as an entity in itself, almost as a synonym for 'spirit' which it is not in its Biblical context for it actually simply means 'life'. This can be clearly seen in a statement in Revelation 16:3 with reference to fishes in the ocean –
"καὶ πᾶσα ψυχὴ ζῶσα ἀπέθανεν ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ"
"and every living thing died that was in the sea"
It does not mean that fishes have souls, as the term 'soul' is commonly used today. No fish, animal or bird has a life after death, even though Peter Stone mistakenly teaches there are animals in Heaven.
The confusion on this
has been made worse
by the teaching that
human are three-in-one
as God is three-in-one.
But
in His "image" means
to represent Him,
not made in 3-parts!
What
has exacerbated this confusion is misunderstanding a statement of the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 –
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely,
and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
This verse is not a reference to three pieces that make up a human being, although some church leaders, such a Peter Stone in the US, say that these two (soul and spirit) enter the body at conception and the same two then leave it at death, and Stone describes the 'soul' as its life-force. But the above verse is simply calling on the Christians in Thessalonica to have their whole human experience open to the cleansing merit of Jesus so as to be blameless before Him at His return.
 
Linguistically the Greek in which Paul wrote tended toward an analytic approach to description, in contrast to the Hebrew of Paul's own background which tended toward a synthetic approach of overlapping description. And this latter is true here, for the human experience of life (soul) is of both body and of spirit.
 
 
The human soul and spirit are not two independent entities which come into the body from anywhere at conception!
In the beginning, God only breathed into Adam (after his body was formed) and Adam became a living soul, but when Adam, after identifying the animals (naming them) so that he knew he was so unique and alone, God then formed Eve from him, but God did not breathe into her as He had done into Adam, for her cellular origin from Adam was also source of her spirit and life. God is not issuing new spirits from Heaven whenever mothers conceive. Humans do not have a pre-incarnation life somewhere else!
 
Perhaps
the human experience of soul and spirit is best explained by the Bible's statement in Hebrews 4:12 –
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
The "joints" and "marrow' are both of one thing – the bones of the same body. Likewise, the human spirit and human life are essentially one and the same thing. In common language use 'soul' and 'spirit' are frequently a reference to the same thing and are not separate entities. So, at death the body returns to the earth and the spirit returns to God which gave it (through Adam).
"...the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. "
Soul/life does not have a separate existence from the human spirit. Two and only two entities make up a human being!
Ecclesiastes 12:7.

 

Myth 17.  VEGETARIANISM IS OF GOD To Index
Seventh-day
Adventists (SDA) have long been known as advocates of a vegetarian diet. The primary voice promoting vegetarianism in the SDA was the 'Prophetess' Ellen White, who claimed to have received a vision from God on this subject in 1863, but vegetarian Adolf Hitler was certainly not a member of the SDA.
See:
Seventh Day Adventism
This
fallacy derives from looking to the Edenic state of humanity in the beginning as being the pattern to perpetuate, but this ignores the rest of Holy Scripture. The reason for the distinction between 2 each of "unclean" animals and 7 each of "clean" animals before the Flood of Noah was between edible and non-edible animals. And the Bible tells us that when the Lord Jesus visited Abraham with two angels, Abraham served Him mutton (Genesis 18:8, and John 8:56).

Genesis 7:2.
 
The garden of Eden was a unique environment. If that state is to be practiced by believers today then equally public nudity is to be practiced today, which is ridiculous!
When
God entered into covenant with the nation Israel at mount Sinai, part of their worship of Him at both the tabernacle and later at the temple was to eat their share of an animal sacrifice offered to God, virtually as a fellowship meal with God.
 

Myth 18.  DEATH IS A 'LAW OF GOD' FOR HUMANITY To Index
This false idea
arose from misreading Hebrews 9:27 which says –
"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ..."
      where the reason for the death of Israel's Messiah is being explained.
Hebrews 9:27-
Our
understanding of any part of Holy Scripture must always be measured against the rest of Holy Scripture for God is consistent! He does not contradict Himself.
 
   
Unfortunately, this particular verse has been used to construct a theory to explain the apparent return of Elijah the prophet as an end-time witness and to speculate that Enoch is the second witness; neither as having died and so needing to come back to die. Both ideas are wrong, for the context of Revelation 11 teaches us otherwise.
 
The
Bible is very clear that all of God's faithful people who are alive at the time of Christ's return will be physically changed without dying first (1 Thessalonians 4:17). They will not die! This is true, apart from the fact that during His ministry to Israel the many whom the Lord Jesus raised from the dead are no longer with us today. That is, they died a second time.
 
   
This Scripture verse used/abused above is simply an observation dealing with the need for Christ-the-Messiah's death: an event that was totally unexpected in Jewish thinking (the people addressed in the letter to the Hebrews), and which is unrepeatable as a sacrifice for sin. Hallelujah!
 
 

Myth 19.  GOD DECIDES WHEN YOU WILL DIE To Index
This is a
half-truth which misleads. God gave us real choice. For instance, King Saul's suicide was not God's action. But, for those who walk with God – those who love Him in practice – and ONLY for them, God works all things together (including the exact time and manner of death) for their good; but only for them!
Outside of Christ, we really are victims of circumstance. Jesus said it – in response to why God had allowed the Galilean worshippers to be slaughtered as they worshipped in the Jerusalem temple (Luke 13:1-5).
God's grace alone (which requires a personal trust-response) lifts us above our environment/circumstances. Thus, for those who walk in His grace (only for them!) the sovereign management of God in all things is retroactive, anticipatory, absolute!
But 'fatalism', even when expressed in Christian terminology with Bible quotes, is not Christian.
Yet those who assert their belief in it still look before they cross the road. That is not honest!
 
 

Myth 20.  SUICIDE IS AN UNFORGIVABLE SIN To Index
This false
reasoning means – killing yourself is a sin and death ends our opportunity to repent, therefore every suicide is 'damned forever'! This foolishly shallow thinking utterly forgets and dishonours God.
• No-one is damned for sin, not even suicide, for all sin was paid for when Christ became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). All deserve Hell. But, surrender to the ownership of Jesus Christ makes us part of His family with the resultant new nature from the Spirit of God. Forgiveness is not 'maintained' by our goodness, any more than it was initially earned by our goodness. It is wiser not to speculate on what God does to the one who falls into His hands, lest we grieve the God of grace! The only unforgivable sin is the rejection of His grace, and no other! It was specifically concerning this attitude in the Pharisees (Matt.12:31-32) that the Lord Jesus warned them about the unforgivable, the only unforgivable sin – the rejection of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit through which this grace of God comes to the individual.
See:
The Complete Gospel


 

Myth 21.  HEBREW IS THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE To Index
This
false view has no basis either in logic, the Bible, or in human history. It grossly under-estimates the wisdom of God is His communication. It is often presented in Jewish-Christian circles, for ts seems to give precedence to the Jewish culture. But God always communicates to be understood, therefore He communicates in the language and in the idiom of those addressed at that time, and this applies to every aspect of the inspired Word of God.
See:
Alphabet
Origin
&
Alphabet
Family Tree
The
solid historical evidence indicates that the Hebrew language itself is not original but was derived from the Canaanite language. Abraham, migrating from Ur in Chaldea spoke the Akaddian language, with which he had grown up, and learned the Canaanite language after his arrival in the Canaan region.
 
The timing of Abraham's arrival in Canaan is very significant, for it was after the Canaanites had invented the alphabet, thereby putting words, rather than ideas into writing (as the pictographic writing of the Nile valley and Mesopotamian civilisations had done)..
 
 

Myth 22.  SEX IS NOT MARRIAGE To Index
This half-truth
has merit in meaning that casual sex is wrong, but it is not a Biblical perspective and is misleading, for in the Biblical perspective there is no such thing as casual sex for sex is a relationship.
Sex
was designed by God, in forming humanity, as a bonding-act (for much more than making babies) which strengthens the unconditional relationship between a man and a woman which we today call marriage. But in the garden of Eden there was no marriage-registry office or wedding-ceremony held. The sexual union of Adam and Eve was itself the act of of marriage, and so to treat sex as anything less than this is damaging at a deeply unconscious level to all the persons involved.
See:
God's Mind
on Marriage
In the
time of Jesus, Roman citizens had their marriage registered with the Roman authority for it affected inheritance-rights, but most people did not have this citizenship so most marriages were not registered with any secular or religious authority. Synagogues did not conduct wedding ceremonies, and a marriage simply began with a wedding-feast of friends and relatives (such as at Cana of Galilee where Jesus did His first miracle) before the couple moved into a common abode, which began their marriage.
In
Jewish history, the age of Alexander the Great's Hellenistic empire is regarded as the age of contracts, for it is during this time that contracts of marriage began to be drawn up in the Jewish communities between the relevant families at the time of engagement of the couple to marry, which is why Joseph on discovering the unexpected pregnancy of his fiancé Mary, and thinking her unfaithful, planned to have their legal contract between their families annulled privately (Matthew 1:19). Other than today, wedding feasts then preceded the marriage event.
In the
history of church architecture, the front porch of church buildings, in Europe, only began to be built when it became a common custom for the wedding couple, walking with friends and family from the wedding-feast toward their new abode, which would begin their marriage, to stop at the local church to ask the church priest to blessing them.
It was not allowed before the altar at that stage as a wedding liturgy had not yet been approved by the Pope
so Europe's weather motivated a place that was not inside the church for the wedding blessing to take place.
 

Myth 23.  MOSES WROTE THE PENTATEUCH To Index
This
error was to be expected because of the prominence and status of Moses in the founding of Israel, but this error hides a truth which should encourage a greater confidence in the written Word of God. The information given in Holy Scripture concerning Moses himself does not match with the textual evidence of Genesis itself concerning its scribe/writer.
 
See:
Moses' Depression
• Moses was raised as Egyptian royalty and therefore written documents would have always been on a papyrus scroll (made from the Nile river reeds), but the text of Genesis repeatedly uses a word (תולדות/toledoth/these are the generations of...) which was used in ancient Canaan as the connection phrase between clay tablets, for they were more limiting in length due to their weight, etc. so one narrative would sometimes require several tablets with a continuity link/phrase at the beginning of each follow-on.
 
The dominant
culture in Canaan (which culture invented the alphabet, which was spread by the Phoenician branch of the Canaanites, adopted and modified in turn by Greece, and then by Rome) and which would have been the general culture of priest Jethro of Midian (southern Jordan region) was of writing on clay tablets. Among other, a clue of this is given to us in the Genesis text itself (50:10) where, in describing Joseph burying his father Jacob, the threshing floor of Atad in southern Canaan is described as being "beyond the Jordan". In other words, the writer was at that time to the East of Jordan when writing this Genesis record, so Jethro, priest of Midian, with whom Moses spent forty-years as a shepherd, is a possibility but unlikely.
See:
Genesis Text
Restored
 
40-years
with Jethro
The
theory that Moses could have written it, when toward the end of Israel's migration they passed through the territories of Midian and Ammon, is also not plausible, for this Genesis Fifty passage is a living description from when Joseph was alive, several centuries before the birth of Moses and Israel's exodus from Egypt.
But

The authority of Holy Scripture
does not derive from the writer!
we do not need to know its writer to trust God's Word. We do not know who wrote the books of Esther or Job, and that does not affect our confidence in their accuracy and their authority. For instance, the original Hebrew of the book of Job (the Hebrew language was derived from the Canaanite) is the oldest in the Old Testament and from its content appears to have been written long before Israel migrated from Egypt to Canaan, so it was not a product of Israel and probably came to Moses through the godly Jethro who was priest of God and actually lived in the general area of Job.
"...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man,
but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
"
Those who have the Holy Spirit have, from the very beginning, recognised that the writer/scribe is not the author,
which is why we today know the the Bible is complete and needs no addition.



2 Peter 1:20-21.
 

Myth 24.  RESPECT IS ALWAYS EARNED To Index
This
widespread fallacy seems so right, but it is in direct contradiction of the basic teaching of Holy Scripture. The worst person in the first century, who is used, in the Hebrew coding of his name (666) as a prototype of the end-time Antichrist, Roman emperor Nero, is the emperor to which the Apostle Peter is referring in his instruction –
"honour all, love the brotherhood, fear God, honour the king [Caesar]." (Literal translation)
Honour simply means to treat with respect – to treat that person as having value, not because of their behaviour but as expressing God's attitude of unconditional respect. This is clearly portrayed in Holy Scripture directly after the annihilating flood of Noah, when God gives us an instruction as part of His present covenant with the human race that –
"Whoever sheds man's blood, his blood shall be shed by man.  For He made man in the image of God."
See: 666

1 Peter 2:17.




Genesis 9:6.
In
other words, the unique value of a human being is not in the individual behaviour of that person but in God's original design of all humanity as His representative toward His creation, over which all humanity was therefore given dominion.
 
So,
just as Jesus taught us in John 2:23-25 that even among believers, trust must be earned, in contrast to this respect is unconditionally owed to all, even to the Roman prototype of Antichrist (who raped and murdered his own mother Agrippina, according to Suetonius in 'The Twelve Caesars').
See: 666
 

Myth 25.  THE SABBATH IS A DAY OF WORSHIP To Index
God's own
behaviour is presented in Genesis One and Two as our example – of six days work and a seventh of rest. God certainly did not 'worship' on the seventh day. It was simply separated/made holy as a day dedicated to rest, complete rest.
Genesis 2:3.
   
The idea of the Sabbath being used for worship developed in Jewish practice during Israel's exile in Babylonia, in which it became convenient as the day to gather for the public reading of the written Word of God, hence the development of the synagogue.
Genesis 3:8.
   
But, as it was in the beginning, the first humans probably met with God each day at the end of their day (the cool of the evening), which is first referred to after Adam's sin regarding his shame before God.
 
   
The New Testament exhortation to not neglect to "meet together" refers to public loyalty toward other believers and not simply church meeting attendance.
 
The
Bible's teaching regarding the Sabbath day concerns human welfare, not religious observance.
Therefore the Lord Jesus said –
"The sabbath came into being for man's sake, not man for the sabbath's sake.
Therefore the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath also"
Mark 2:27-28.
   
For this reason the Lord Jesus often contradicted Jewish religious practice on the Sabbath in the interest of people's welfare. This principle does not change.
 
 

Myth 26.  KING MELCHIZEDEK WAS REALLY THE LORD JESUS To Index
This error
comes from a shallow approach to the words of Holy Scripture. It arises from a misinterpretation of Hebrews Seven. Yet this same chapter's quote of Psalm 110:4 should have prevented this misunderstanding for the careful reader. If this error were true it would mean 'Jesus is a priest forever after the Order of Jesus', which says nothing and is therefore nonsense. This Psalm 110 quote is really saying that in contrast to the inherited priesthood of the Order of Aaron, the priesthood of Israel's Messiah would be an earned priesthood before God, just as godly Jebusite-king Melchizedek was recognised by God as a priest to God on behalf of his people (Genesis 14:18).
See:
For Melchizedek's Sake
   
The passage in Hebrews 7 which gives rise to this error is not describing history. It is describing the text of Genesis! In that Genesis passage no genealogy or descendants of Melchizedek are listed, nor is his birth or origin, for that had no bearing on the character of his priesthood. This is then used, including his throne-name and city-name, as spiritual metaphors for Christ's priesthood.
 
   
It is true that the Lord Jesus visited our planet on special occasions before his incarnation into our humanity through Mary. It was Jesus and two angels that had a meal with Abraham, which Christ refers to in John.8:56 as described in Genesis 18. Jesus appeared to Joshua before he faced his first big leadership test outside Jericho as described in Joshua 5:13-15, and so on. But Melchizedek was king of the Jebusite city of Salem, with citizens who paid their taxes to him. This was certainly not a special appearance of the Holy Son of God from Heaven. The Bible needs to be treated with greater reverence for its own context, if its exposition is to be honest.
 
 

Myth 27.  JOB's SUFFERING WAS CAUSED BY HIS UNBELIEF To Index
This false idea
is 'justified' from Job's words –
"For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me" (Job 3:25).
Spawned in the Faith Movement, this twisting of Holy Scripture robs the believer of the whole message of the Book of Job. Blaming Job for his calamities is precisely his three 'miserable comforters' attitude – which God completely condemns.
"The LORD said ... 'My wrath is kindled against you and your two friends. For you have not spoken of Me what is right,
as My servant Job has.'"
(Job 42:7).
• The message of this book is that God's rule or kingdom on earth is not based on what people get from it, its benefits, in contrast to Satan's rule which is based on selfishness. God's people do not serve Him because they are bribed by His blessings (1:11;2:5). God demonstrates this by allowing Satan to strip Job of everything that made his life worth living – and still Job keeps his integrity before God.
• In the midst of his devastating calamities, Job says of God –
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him". (Job 13:15).
This is the man of whom God said, before he was put to the test –
"there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man,
one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?"
(Job 1:8).
This is the man of whom God said, in the midst of his suffering –
"there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man,
one that feareth God, and escheweth evil and still he holdeth fast his integrity,
although thou
[Satan] movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause." (Job 2:3).
 
So 'without cause' means Job did not deserve what happened to him, for any cause!
• The powerful message of the Book of Job is that God's kingdom, or rule, is not based on selfishness – what benefits it brings to its citizens, as Satan's rule-by-bribery is. The moral foundation of God's rule over this universe is the real issue, not why good men suffer!
 
The
sad damage by the Faith Movement's misinterpretation of this Book is to rob God's people of an understanding of the foundation of God's rule. God does not rule our universe because He made it, and so it is simply a personal possession. God does not rule our universe because He is stronger or most clever or most organized, either in theological terms of omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent, or any other. The foundation of God's Throne – His right to rule – which is the heart of Satan' challenge, is His righteousness and justice, His moral charcater –
"Equity and justice are the foundation of Your throne." (Psalm 89:14; 97:2).
The Book of Job portrays the clash of kingdoms, Satan's and God's, at their ethical roots!
A bigger canvas of reality there could not be.
 
 

Myth 28.  GOD PUNISHES CHILDREN FOR THEIR PARENTS' SINS To Index
The error
here is the word 'God'. If God warns about the consequences of an action, it does not mean that it is His personal threat of action, of what He Himself will do. God has set natural law in this world. His warnings to us are words of love not of threat! The only capacity in which God is in any way responsible for punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty is in His design of the natural cause and effect in relationships as the Creator of all that exists.
• This wrong idea comes from misunderstanding Exodus 20:5, where God said that He will place the "iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and fourth generation" of those who hate Him. This text itself carries the explanation. God Himself is not limited by how many generations ago our ancestor may have sinned. So what does this mean? Why the limit?
• The limit to "third and fourth" generation is a limit because, at that time, this was the usual extent of a person's direct influence over their family. In the Hebrew inclusive-counting, 'third' means to grandchildren, 'fourth' – to great grandchildren. Negative personal influence in-the-family is the channel by which any negative effect affects our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. This limit is confirmed contrastingly, for instance, in God's blessing on Job to his own fourth generation (Job.42:16). His example blessed them to the limit of his personal lifetime.
• A Jewish rabbinic explanation, which says that it means – 'God will not punish you for the sins of your parents if you live right so that your children will not be punished', implies in principle that the taking-of-hostages in a conflict situation is also acceptable. This is a terrorist-mentality that has no place among those who know God, especially in ascribing such an attitude to God! Rather, Israel's own Law from God directly contradicts this, saying –
"Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers.
Each one shall be put to death for his own sin."
(Deut.24:16)
• This rabbinic error is similar to the view rebuked by righteous Job and recorded as a lesson forever to Israel –
"You say, 'God stores up their iniquity for their children.' Let Him pay it out to them, that they may know it." (Job 21:19).
But to the foolish who say this, God said/says – "...you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has" (Job 42:8) and for this misrepresentation of God there will be accountability.
See also that God said:
"Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin."
(Deuteronomy 24:16)
 

Myth 29.  WE ARE ALL BORN UNCLEAN BEFORE GOD To Index
This
error has its origin in the old pagan dualism between spirit and matter in ancient Greek philosophy. It is not Christian. This idea has often used Scripture quotes, such as David's words of contrition over his sin with Bathsheba, in which he says –
"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalms 51:5)
This was not an accusation against his mother. This is simply how he felt in his self-abhorrence for his adultery and the murder of her husband when it was exposed by Nathan. It is not God saying it!
 
   
On the contrary, the New Testament speaks to us on this specific issue through the experience of the Apostle Paul. In showing the value of the Law to lead us to repentance but its incompetence to save from sin, he makes the point that before the Law came to him personally, that is before he was taught the commandments as a child (he was raised as a strict Pharisee by a Pharisee father, and so knew the Law from the earliest possible) he was spiritually alive before God.
"I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died." (Romans 7:9)
 
The
illustrative commandment he refers to is "You shall not covet". And he describes that it was his own first awareness/understanding of this commandment that brought its guilt-verdict upon him. Without this knowledge (of right and wrong) he would have continued alive to God in his childhood. In other words, the selfish-nature of human instincts with which we are born cannot condemn us ("For apart from [knowledge of] the law, sin lies dead") until we become aware of responsibility to choose the good. We start off in innocence.
"For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me." (Romans 7:11)
In other words, he died spiritually when guilt touched him through knowing right and wrong (a knowledge that is learned, as presented to the Jewish children in the Law) and not before. Paul is not an exception. He holds himself up to us as an example of what he taught and preached, and here specifically uses his own experience to explain the value of the Law but its incompetence to redeem.
 
 
The uncleanness of guilt/sin cannot be inherited. We are no more born guilty, than we are born righteous.
 
We
are born innocent – until we are responsible for our actions. Paul explains that the selfish instincts of our flesh (designed originally as survival-instincts) naturally work against the way of God, but they have no spiritual effect until, as his Jewish context experienced it, the Law came to him in his childhood as a young trainee Pharisee.
"The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me." (Romans 7:10)
 
   
Sadly however, Calvin following Augustine, tried to turn these words of Paul to mean that he was deluded into thinking he was 'alive' and, that 'died' under the effect of the Law, simply means that by the Law he woke-up to his guilt with which he was born.
See:
Calvin's Corruptions
 
It is not wise to twist the words of Holy Scripture to fit church theology, no matter how logical that theology may sound.
 
    So, in showing the inability of the Law of God to save the soul, Paul makes it clear that he was alive to God until he died under the guilt induced by knowing-better.  
 
Salvation from sin therefore lies only in Jesus Christ and not in the Law of God, no matter how sincere one may be.
 
 

Myth 30.  MARRYING YOUR RAPIST IS BIBLICAL To Index
This idea,
which has found place in the legal system of some Muslim countries, such as the Kingdom of Jordan, misinterprets the instruction in Holy Scripture which was designed in Israel's Law to protect the victim from social exclusion in the culture of that time and not justify the criminal. God's command to Israel was —
"Suppose a man is caught raping a young woman who is not engaged.
He is to pay her father the bride price of fifty pieces of silver,
and she is to become his wife, because he forced her to have intercourse with him.
He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
"
This measure was to protect the victim whose prospect of marriage in the culture of that time had been ruined by having been raped. It did not in any sense make a rape equivalent to marriage.
Deuteronomy 22:28-29.
 
 

Myth 31.  THE BIBLE CONDEMNS SMOKING To Index
This idea
is mistakenly derived from a statement by God to Ezekiel in his vision –
"...they put the branch to their nose."
God is referring to Israel's mockery, in addition to their disobedience and rebellion, becoming so bad that they put the thumb to the nose and waggle the fingers in a gesture of mockery. Tobacco was completely unknown at this time in the Middle East and this mocking gesture has nothing to do with smoking of any kind.

Ezekiel 8:17
   
However, smoking cannabis/marijuana/hashish/dagga was well known in the Middle East, and it gave us the English word assassin from the Arabic hashashin for cannabis, for professional killers used it as it shut down the brain's empathy area and meant one could then easily cut a throat without loosing a smile.
See:
Marijuana Made Me
 
It cannot be emphasised enough that the Bible deserves to be read in its own context!
 
 
Bending it to fit our modern experience is a blasphemous violation of God's Word no matter how sincere the intent may be!
 
 

Myth 32.  ADULTERY AND FORNICATION ARE DIFFERENT SINS To Index
Christ's
own words are the answer to this traditional error –
"But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Matthew 5:28
   
This general statement by Jesus does not assume that the woman is married, nor that it only applies to looking at 'married women', even though today many Christians apply 'adultery' only to a violation of marriage vows and any other sexual transgression as simply 'fornication'.
See:
The Essence
of Marriage
   
Translated as 'fornication' in older versions of the Bible and as 'sexual immorality' in later versions, the word πορνεία (porneia) is simply a general term which includes adultery.
 
   
The word μοιχεύω (moicheuō) in our New Testament translated 'adultery' refers directly to illicit sexual intercourse with another person. All adultery therefore is fornication, though not all fornication is adultery if it does not include sexual intercourse.
 
 

Myth 33.  CHRISTIANS MUST ALWAYS FORGIVE To Index
Our act
of forgiving others is meant to reflect God, who does not forgive without repentance. The Bible clearly does not teach forgiveness without repentance, and confusion on this issue arises from a failure to understand God as our role-model.
• Apart from 'new age' sentiment, this mistaken idea derives from misunderstanding Christ's command to love our enemies; and the apparent only alternative to 'forgiveness' of otherwise carrying hate or resentment toward those who hurt us. Rick Warren, for all the good in his book 'The Purpose Driven Life', confuses forgiveness with letting-go-of-the-past (2002:143). Confusing resentment, a desire to retaliate, with the need to forgive the offender is understandable, but also un-Biblical regardless of misleading quotes out of context.
• Sometimes even the words of the so-called Lord's Prayer are quoted "forgive us as we forgive others" as though this implied un-conditionality, but this statement assumes acquaintance with God and so inherently carries a prescribed repentance (turning away from the sin/offence) and is therefore decidedly not unconditional for we do not set the factors involved. To imply that is dangerously ignorant arrogance!
• No one loves more than God Himself loves. Christ demonstrated that. We are called to carry the Lord's own attitude toward all, and God Himself does not always forgive! In addition, for us to forgive on God's behalf while that person continues to sin is to defile the very concept of God's forgiveness.
• Forgiveness requires real repentance (not simply being sorrowful or regretful of the consequences). Repentance means an internal turning away from that which caused the offence. This essential precondition to giving forgiveness applies to every Christian as much as it applies to God Most High. Forgiveness that allows destructive behaviour to continue is not love and therefore is not of God!
• This does not mean that we carry anger, hurt, or resentment against a person, as Warren assumes, until that person repents. No! Turning the 'other cheek' means simply refusing to be their Judge. It means passing all judgment over to God, the only one worthy to judge, and so continuing to walk in God's wisdom and loving care toward that same person.
• Even among Christians, although, for the inadvertent and minor issues in others that offend us, we are to ask forgiveness of God on their behalf, there are other issues (issues which contradict Christian character) for which we are not to pray for forgiveness –
"If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask,
and God will give him life – to those who commit sins that do not lead to death.
There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray
[for forgiveness] for that."
Full repentance (which is a direction-change on the issue concerned) must precede forgiveness, just as the sinning Christian in 1 Corinthians 5:5 needed first to repent or physically die. Christian forgiveness, as representing the life of God in Jesus Christ, is never unconditional.
Rick Warren's Error!











1 John 5:16.




 

Myth 34.  THE CHURCH IS THE PEOPLE To Index
While this
is technically true, in that the word translated 'church' (ἐκκλησία/ekklēsia) in our New Testament simply means an assembly of people, but in the Bible's use of this term it is a misleading half-truth, for Christ's Church is in essence much more than this!.
The
Christian Church is a grouping of those people whose individual spirit's have been born-again/regenerated and are therefore connected to each other within the matrix of the Holy Spirit of God. It is upon this spiritual commonality that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is based: not on the individual person, no matter how personally gifted, but upon their function as part of the Body of Christ to which the ministry gifts of the Spirit were given. This is why Biblically Holy Communion/Eucharist/Lord's Table always begins with the shared breaking of bread as a declaration that through Christ, they being many are one bread in Him.
"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?
The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
"
1 Corinthians 10:16-17.
 
So each local Christian Church is more than a gathering of people who worship together and listen to a sermon.
It is
a living spiritual organism through which the Spirit of God continues the ministry of Jesus. So the ministry of the Body of Christ does not reside on the platform of approved persons but within the living spiritual organism of the Christian Church.
 
Where home prayer-groups/life-groups become simply reinforcement events for Sunday sermons, the whole value of the nature of the Church has been lost.
 

Myth 35.  BAPTISM MAKES YOU A MEMBER OF THE LOCAL CHURCH To Index
If it
were true, it would be true of the Ethiopian court official whom Philip baptised at the roadside in Gaza (Acts 8:39), but it is not.
Baptism is part of the ministry of evangelism. It is linked directly to the conversion event itself.
• The history of Christianity, which confused baptism with infant dedication and turned it into a sacrament of the organised church, created a situation which, in the rediscovery of the Biblical significance of baptism, led to it becoming an act of the local church rather than a purely personal submission to the Lordship of Christ under the hand of a fellow believer in identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
• As a sad consequence of seeing it as an act of membership, many unnecessary extras have been added, such as examination of personal life-conduct, preparation courses, etc, which undermine baptism's character of being part of the Christian conversion event!
See: Baptism
 

Myth 36.  BAPTISM SAVES YOU To Index
From
the beginning of the Church, baptism was associated with repentance and faith, the heart-act of becoming a Christian. The development of institutional Christianity led to baptism becoming the act of conferring a Christian identity, before which a probationary period passed. But, by the early Middle Ages baptism had become sprinkling rather than dipping, and Christianity was an inherited religion from one's parents. This depreciation of choice as a pre-baptismal condition led to baptism being seen ever more firmly as the act of making a Christian. The rediscovery of the personal spiritual nature of the Church led back to personal choice (repentance and faith) as the precondition to baptism.
• However, in certain modern groups (e.g. the 'Church of Christ' group of churches) personal faith is deemed incomplete and therefore inadequate to save the soul until one is baptised. Much use is made of Peter's words – "baptism saves you" (1 Peter 3:21). But this is an abuse of Holy Scripture, for what Peter actually says is that "baptism saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" and not by His crucifixion.
• In other words, as the resurrection was an outward statement by God (not the saving instrument) of the efficacy of Christ's crucifixion to save, so also baptism is a believer's outward statement of faith in the efficacy of that crucifixion for our sin. No human act saves, other than personal surrender to the mercy of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
 

Myth 37.  PRAYERS HELP THE DEAD To Index
The
practice of prayers for the Dead, in various forms, is widespread in Christianity (Requiem Masses, Prayers at the grave, and other personal pleas). To God however, as sincerely well-intentioned as they may be, they are nevertheless a direct personal insult!
• Beyond this life we are completely in God's hands alone. To pray to God or to anyone else for the welfare of the Dead implies some capacity-for-improvement in God's conduct towards the Dead. This is an insult to the Most Holy, the Most Gracious, from whose love-initiative our salvation has come. This erroneous view is born from unbelief (lack of trust toward God), helped by the spiritual arrogance of religious practitioners who aspire to an influence beyond the grave.
• These prayers may be well-intentioned and so sincere, but they are an insult to the care and competence of the most merciful God. When a life is out of our hands it is in God's hands, and there is no-one better to be in the hands of. Not to know or believe this is to not know God!
 

Myth 38.  THERE IS POWER IN PRAYER To Index
Unanswered
prayer is meaningless. The power of prayer lies in the answer of God, not the asking, not the human petition; no matter how many voices ask. Power comes from the Throne – from the throne of the Most High God alone, and not ever from the lips of the petitioner/s.
• Yet, God takes our words seriously when mixed with sincere faith in Him and a caring heart for others' a heart that agrees with His heart. In the merciful grace of God, all things are possible through believing prayer. Hallelujah!
 

Myth 39.  UNITY IN PRAYER WILL INCREASE ITS RESULTS To Index
Numbers
do not impress God. Unity only affects the results of prayer when that unity expresses our obedience to God by sharing His caring for each other's welfare. And the more we care in prayer the more we can be trusted by God with results.
• The power-of-solidarity, on any issue, has absolutely no influence with God. It may affect human attitudes and behaviour, but it is God who is on the Throne, and answered prayer is the power of His throne and no other. There is no democracy in Heaven, so numbers do not affect the outcome of prayer unless they share the attitude of God.
• Lack of unity however, is a symptom of spiritual breakdown, and issues that hinder godly relationships must be dealt with, if God is to trust us with His works.
 

Myth 40. 
THERE IS POWER IN THE SPOKEN WORD
To Index
God's
creative words in Genesis One are often used as examples in this regard and Proverbs 18:21 is sometimes quoted "Death and life are in the power of the tongue", but this does not mean the spoken words contain in themselves anything supernatural.
 
   
The supernatural power which applied these spoken words of God in Genesis One is stated in that same passage to have been the Spirit of God! (Gen.1:2). Even though Jesus Christ was 'God in the flesh' not one of the miracles of His ministry derived from His spoken word, even though that word sometimes acted as a trigger in a particular situation, it did not contain the power.
 
Jesus
Himself said it – "if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom [rule/authority] of God has come upon you". For this reason the Christ of God necessarily received the anointing of the Holy Spirit at His baptism. There is no other supernatural power for believers.
Matthew 12:28.
   
If the words of the Lord Jesus Christ derived their effect/power only from the Holy Spirit of God, it remains so today, for at best we are His followers. To attribute a supernatural effect to anything else is a subtle form of animism which has often deceived the sincere.
See
Animist Deception
in Christ's Church
Today
 

Myth 41.  THERE IS POWER IN SPEAKING THE WORD To Index
Quoting
the Word of God asserts the truth, as Jesus did; and gearing our faith to that truth makes us an instrument of the Holy Spirit's authority. Praise God!
• But, the exaggeration of this to the level that the Faith Movement has now done, particularly in the USA, is a deception of no more value than a placebo effect at best, and at worst has opened the door to the kind of arrogant corruption in the example that follows.
• In evangelist Kenneth Copeland's public teaching (that Christ entered Hell after His death to conquer Satan as part of our Atonement, which is utter nonsense) he perversely claims inspiration for his twisted teaching, as follows –
“The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said,
    ‘Son, realize this. Now follow Me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.’ He said, ‘Think this way – a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.’
And I threw my Bible down...like that. I said, ‘What?’
    He said, ‘A born-again man defeated Satan, the Firstborn of many brethren defeated him.’
    He said, ‘You are the very image, the very copy of that One.’
I said, ‘Goodness, gracious sakes alive!’ And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said, ‘Well now you don’t mean, you couldn't dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?’
    He said, ‘Oh yeah, if you’d had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could have done the same thing, ‘cause you’re a reborn man too.”
(Tape #00-0202 “Substitution and Identification”, side 2, emphasis mine).
• This false teaching of Copeland's –
'you could have done the same thing' as Jesus 'if you had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did'
– makes a mockery of a central New Testament teaching that our spiritual authority is specifically and only in the Lord's name:
"whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17).
• Christ's defeat of Satan was because of His proven sinlessness, not from a special technique of using Scripture quotations! Jesus simply did not yield to temptation as Adam did and we have all done. Therefore, in Christ alone we are more than conquerors! And therefore also we are more than conquerors.
• Consequently this honour, this liberty, is unearned and open to every believer, even the most ignorant who have perhaps never even possessed a copy of God's precious written Word (as is likely in some parts of our world), let alone had an opportunity to memorize it. Hallelujah!
Also –
James 5:14;
2 Thessalonians 3:6.



 

Myth 42.  THE BIBLE SAYS... To Index
Yes, the
Bible does ... – but no book in all human history is more abused than this book in the way that its statements are used/quoted.
The Bible is NOT a rule book!  ...It is NOT a collection of spiritual formulae – for this life, or the next!
 
The purpose
for the existence of the Bible was not as a record of the past of humanity, or to set Israel within its own religious context, until superseded by some higher ethic in the 'New Testament'.
The Bible exists for one, and only one, all-encompassing purpose
to reveal God*, as reflected in His historical behaviour toward a wide range of situations.
To be a
mirror of God
to us
 
In the beginning, that which God had made as the Creator of all, was in its design a testimony to His nature and character.
"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived,
ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
* To help us trust Him
beyond understanding
as Abraham
who had no Bible.
Romans 1:19-20.
  But as the human race became increasingly confused and nature itself became abused as a focus of superstition, it became necessary, in the compassion of God, to go 'the extra mile' and so He set aside a people group, from the descendants of one who had trusted Him beyond human understanding (Abraham), to become the recipients and the agents for the transmission of a corrective clarification of the revelation of Himself.
"Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?
Much in every way. To begin with
[firstly], the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.
What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?"
Romans 3:1-3.

Yet
the Bible is nevertheless not a product of any religious organisation, Jewish or Christian, although various organisations have contributed significantly to its copying and preservation. The Bible is a product only of individual persons, in-tune with God, who were personally moved by the Spirit of God, the direct presence of God, to record what and how they recorded, what was given to them from various sources.
"For no prophecy [God inspired utterance/record] was ever produced by the will of man,
but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
2 Peter 1:21.
To
the Lord Jesus, the Christ of God, what had been written in Holy Scripture, no matter how far back it had come into being, it nevertheless directly addressed the present generation. For instance, He said to the religious leaders of His time –
"...have YOU not READ what GOD spoke to YOU..."
(even though it had been recorded many centuries before they were born).
Matthew 22:31.
 

Myth 43.  THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH CANONIZED/AUTHORIZED ITS HOLY SCRIPTURES To Index
This
common fallacy points us to decisions of ancient ecumenical synods of the Christian Church as the basis for the authority of Holy Scripture today. These decisions did take place – to remove uncertainty and to rebut objections to certain books included in our Bible, but these decisions did not confer authority of any kind on Holy Scripture as the Bible itself tells us.
 
   
For instance, the Apostle Paul treats the writing of the Greek medical doctor Luke as equal in authority to the writing of Moses which is the basis of our Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Jewish Torah. No part of Holy Scripture has been regarded with more authority than the Law or Torah, so to put Luke's Gospel on the same level is a very significant statement –
"For the Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,' [Deuteronomy 25:4]
and, 'The laborer deserves his wages'.
[Luke 10:7]" (quoted by Paul in 1 Timothy 5:18).
 
   
Luke's ink was hardly dry on the parchment of his precious Gospel when the Apostle Paul wrote this instruction to Timothy, a leader in the Christian Church. In other words, it did not need time for authoritative Scripture to become authoritative Scripture.
 
   
This truth is further reinforced by the Apostle Peter who tells us that even the direct personal experience of a leading apostle of the Lord Jesus, such as himself, is not as certain and authoritative as Holy Scripture –
"...we ourselves heard this very Voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain.
And we have something more sure, the prophetic Word, to which you will do well to pay attention
as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation."
(2 Peter 1:18-20).
See:
How Do We Know?
   
Holy Scripture is given by the Spirit of God to address us with instruction, encouragement and correction as members of Christ's Church. It can therefore never be subject to the Christian Church either through its members or its clergy. This fallacious idea arose from a seriously wrong view of the nature of the Christian Church.
See:
Ultimate Authority
 

Myth 44.  VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, etc. To Index
Eternal virgin? Born sinless? Heavenly intercessor?
'Mary, mother of God, pray for us ...' is a common call in church liturgies. This entrenched fallacy grew up from error in the churches of the Roman empire, into its fullest refinement in the Roman Catholic church today; with the Church of England (Episcopal/Anglican) and Orthodox churches trailing not far behind.
• The Bible however, knows no such thing! Instead, the Gospel of Matthew says of Joseph's sexual relationship to Mary, plainly and significantly – 
"he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son." (Matt.1:25).
Joseph's sexual abstinence had a time limit! That is what the Bible says! If the Word of God is not misleading, this means that after Christ's birth Joseph and Mary were truly husband and wife in the God-designed manner, that is sexually – she was no longer a virgin!
• The Bible says that the people of Jesus' home town (Nazareth) knew Mary as having four other sons and more than one daughter –
"Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers – James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
Aren't all his sisters with us?"
(Mat.13:55-56).
• But, Catholic obfuscation of the evidences teaches that Joseph was a widower with children from a previous marriage. This certainly does not fit the rest of what the Bible reports! For instance –
1.
If Joseph had brought children from a previous union into his marriage to Mary they would all have been older than Jesus, and by the time Jesus was around 30 years old they would certainly not have come to him to claim family support as the Bible reports they did! (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35).
2.
Mary herself described God as her Saviour! (Luke 1:47). She knew that she needed His salvation, in contrast to the twisted exaltation of her status in tradition (sinless and ascended).
Small wonder then that Mohammed thought, from his contact with Christianity (Syrian Orthodox in particular), that Mary was part of the Trinity, and therefore pronounced curses upon the idea that God had sex with Mary to produce Jesus as the Son of God. (Muhammad was not anti-Christian. He sincerely believed that he was thereby protecting the holiness of God among his followers).
Mary, like all faithful believers, rests today in the mercy of Christ her Saviour, with all her deceased fellow Christians.
• Christ alone is our intercessor! No one has more mercy than Jesus! No-one has access to God as Jesus has! Therefore to call upon Mary is to dishonour Christ!
• Remember, of Jesus the Holy Bible says –
"His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do." (John 2:5).
See:
Isaiah's 'Virgin' Prophecy


 

Myth 45.  MASS/EUCHARIST IS THE EATING OF CHRIST To Index
This
error uses the Bread-of-Life words of Jesus, spoken to unbelievers, to mislead Christians:
namely –
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you..." (John 6:52-58).
The misinterpretation and misapplication of this passage has given the Roman Catholic church organization great power over its adherents. Excommunication has been presented as exclusion from the Mass and therefore from 'salvation', rather than simply exclusion from Christian fellowship.
Christ's words are however, self-explanatory! He statement above was followed by His explanation –
"As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father,
so whoever feeds on Me, he also will live because of Me."
(John 6:57).
The Bread of Life metaphor is demonstrated in Christ's own dependent behaviour toward His Father as the pattern of how we also should feed upon Him. This has nothing at all to do with the Mass other than its symbolic portrayal!
• It is a way-of-life that Jesus expresses in terminology that was deliberately designed to offend Jewish unbelievers (drinking blood, etc.) to whom it was spoken. Remember, the Christian Church has no absolute other than that which Christ the lord of His Church has spoken.
 

Myth 46.  I'M MEANT TO BE SICKNESS-FREE BECAUSE MY BODY IS HIS TEMPLE To Index
It has
been preached by some well meaning teachers that because the Bible says that the physical body of a Christian is the "temple" of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) this means therefore that 'no sickness or illness' should ever be in the body of a Christian. Of course the explanation as to why a Christian may become ill is then simply blamed on that person's lack of faith.
This is not what the Bible teaches!
Any supernatural
healing now is only
a foretaste of the
"powers of
the age to come"

(Hebrews 6:5)
when all nature
will be restored.
In its
God-given context, this statement in the Bible is teaching, not that the body 'contains' the Holy Spirit, but that the physical body of every Christian is meant/intended to be the place where the world encounters the presence of God. This is an evangelical statement concern the Christian mission which therefore requires a sin-free lifestyle ("Flee from sexual immorality" 6:18). It does not mean any organic distinction between the body of a Christian and the body of a non-Christian.
As
before the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, believers went to the Jerusalem temple to find God's presence, now every Christian represents that presence of God directly for every Christian, world-wide, is part of the one Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, and is therefore is directly an instrument of His grace to others!
 

Myth 47.  HEALING IS AN ORDINANCE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH To Index
This
error arises principally from the statement in James 5:14-16 taken out of its context which says –
"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed..."
 
 
This oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit's anointing of that person anointed. That is, the elders hereby are confessing their acceptance of the spiritual identity of the person they anoint, as being part of Christ. This procedure, in which the sick person initiates the request and the leaders of the congregation respond, is a reconciliation in relationship between the sick person and the congregation. The negative of this is the lack of reconciliation and unity among believers who did not practice this special regard for one another as Christ's Body, as it is expressed in 1 Corinthians 11:30 –
"That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died."
So, James is not teaching sin-confession to a priest or a church ritual for healing. He is teaching reconciliation by dealing with the prospect of disunity which commonly makes Christian believers vulnerable to disease and premature death by their hardness of heart toward one another. For that reason he says 'therefore confess your sins to one another' (to those you have offended) and 'pray for one another' (practicing caring for each other), to open the way for God's healing to restore the body given to you in which to serve God.
 
 

Myth 48. 
PRAY TO JESUS
To Index
This
half-truth error hides an important perspective. Jesus said with good reason –
"In that day you will ask nothing of Me [after His resurrection].
Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He will give it to you
."
The Lord spoke this instructive word at the Last Supper on the night of His arrest, and He referred to the completion of His atonement the following day and His coming resurrection ("you have sorrow now, but I will see you again", 16:22).

John 16:23.
When Jesus used
"truly, truly" it was
to emphasize
its importance!

   
The deity of either Jesus or the Holy Spirit does not make it right to direct prayer to them.
God the Father, and only God the Father is on the Throne of Heaven's court! Therefore prayer is to be direct to Him alone.
God is His awesome mercy hears us if we trust Him even when we stumble on this point. But, it does not take away from its error which hides the fact that the Father reigns! Jesus is our advocate at His right hand, but Christ does not sit on Heaven's Throne!  
What this
subtle error cheats us of, is the important understanding that when we pray, as Jesus said "in His name". we are praying to the Father as if we were Jesus Himself. "In My name" means on His behalf, so praying to the One in whose shoes we stand is a spiritual anomaly which makes no sense! This is why Satan uses half-truths to cheat us out of important factors in our perspective!
 
 

Myth 49.  CHRISTIANS SHOULD 'PLEAD THE BLOOD' To Index
The
'Blood' refers to the sacrifice of Christ for our sins. This is a completed sacrifice which cannot ever be repeated or added to, and should not be confused with the continuance of Christ's suffering in His church, that is – the cost of obeying God (Colossians 1:24).
 
 
• If to 'plead the Blood' means to come to God with faith in the merits of that Ultimate Offering, that is good. But, if it means repeating a spiritual formula against demonic influences, then it is as meaningless, deceptive and as silly as using the sign of the Cross to dispel evil, for Satan laughs at you, unless he thinks pretending will deceive you further.
 
 

Myth 50.  IN THE NEW TESTAMENT "SWORD" MEANS 'BIBLE' To Index
Nowhere
in the Bible is it ever described as a "sword". The idea originated from a weak/misleading translation of the instruction to Christians in Ephesians 6:17. This widespread error of New Testament interpretation also indicates a lack of appropriate respect for the literary and historical context of Holy Scripture. This is especially true of the following two passages which use the term "sword".
 
1. The
Lord Jesus said on the way to Gethsemane to His remaining disciples that, as much as when He had sent them out preaching previously and had told them not to take a money purse (for their needs would be provided by those that benefited from their ministry), so now in contrast they must take their money purse with them and that if they do not have a sword they must sell their cloak and buy one. Two disciples were carrying swords at the time, and so, when that is stated, the response of Jesus ("it is enough") is then often interpreted as simply His 'irritation' that they had misunderstood His 'symbolic' speech of meaning a 'Bible', even though that interpretation violates its own context.
It is possibly
a pacifist presumption
that may have encouraged
this false interpretation.
Meaning
a physical weapon!
"But now let the one who has a money-bag take it, and likewise a knapsack.
And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one."
Christ is making a clear distinction between, on the one hand –
(1) being vulnerable in one's obedient faith as when they had gone out preaching; and on the other,
(2) simply by circumstance becoming a victim of public disorder or criminal intent; and so –

Luke 22:36.
He
sought to protect them from the latter. In other words, His statement to them "It is enough" does not mean 'enough said' (indicating His unwillingness to explain further), as is so often alleged by commentators, but simply that the two swords which they carried at that time were "enough" deterrent for their present need. These men had lived and travelled with the Christ of God for more than three years and if He had had any reserve about what they carried with them it certainly would have been addressed by Him before His last night with them. Christ was neither impatient with their understanding, nor negligent in His management of their travel luggage.
In many countries
the police force cannot
be relied upon to provide public safety and so
this wisdom of Christ
is applicable today!
2. Here
Meaning a particular
inspired statement!
the Apostle Paul, encouraging the believers by using the symbolism of Christ's own ministry from Isaiah's prophecy (Isaiah 59:17), writes in his circular letter to all the churches/congregations of the region via the Ephesus congregation –
"...take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (ῥῆμα/rhēma/utterance) of God".
Such as in Antioch, when the Holy Spirit had said, through someone then present –
"Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them" (Acts 13:2)
– which cut them free of their local leadership responsibility to go and do what God had already said to them.
Ephesians 6:17.
Bibles did not
begin to be printed until medieval times when moveable type was invented, many hundreds of years later than the first century, so personally owning a hand-copied manuscript of the Bible, before even paper had been invented, was an absolute impossibility!
Even Jesus did not have a personal Bible. All went to the synagogue to hear it publicly read.
 
So, the idea that the possession of a Bible is here an instruction of holy Scripture is sadly disparaging to the real meaning of both these precious quotes above.
 

Myth 51.  IT... IS BLESSED... ! To Index
It is
sadly common in Christianity to hear of Christian leaders 'conferring' blessing – upon a home, a person, or a substance, such as anointing oil, holy water, or a crucifix. Yes, bringing a new home to God in prayer to ask for His blessing upon it is good, but the blessings of God cannot be 'conferred' by anyone ever, nor can they become attached to any object of any kind. This magical superstitious thinking is an abominable twisting of the holy, and is part of the widespread deception of animism.
See:
Animist Deception
For instance:
• When Jesus blessed (in thanksgiving) the five loaves and two fishes, which then fed more than five thousand people, the food did not multiply when He blessed it, but only when He broke it by faith. The Bible says that He fed the whole multitude with two fish. In other words, the fish did not become more fish when 'blessed', but the broken pieces multiplied in His faith-act of breaking, not in the preceding 'blessing' (Mark 6:41).
 
  The
Enemy of God will always take the good, the precious, and twist his lie around it! That is his nature!
 
   
All the blessing of God resides in His relationship to us, not in things.
 
   
• What we call 'blessing' is a consequence of this, but the link is never 'via' any object. God loves directly, and His relationship to us is the true foundation of our relationship to Him!.
 
Social
manipulation by religious teachers/leaders, promising God's blessing in association with certain acts and/or objects, is a deception
an affront to the direct and immediate intimacy of the Holy Spirit to all of God's people everywhere.
See:
Release of Faith
 

Myth 52.  SAUL OF TARSUS CHANGED HIS NAME TO 'PAUL' To Index
Not
true! The Bible tells us that he was born a Roman citizen, which required name registration, as is mentioned for our understanding in his recorded dialogue with the Roman military Tribune after the Roman soldiers had rescued him from a Jewish mob riot and he was about to be flagellated by the Romans for causing a public disturbance in the temple in Jerusalem –
"The [Roman] tribune answered, 'I bought this citizenship for a large sum.' Paul said, 'But I am a [Roman] citizen by birth.'"
Acts 22:28
Paul/Saul held
dual citizenship
But when Paul had become a student at the Pharisee academy under Gamaliel In Jerusalem, he was understandably enrolled under his Jewish name of 'Saul' and was then later so known in the beginning of his Christian life – until God moved him into his apostolic ministry to the Gentiles, where it made sense in the territory of the Roman empire to be known by his legal Roman name – Paul.
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel
according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day."
Acts 22:3
The
idea of name-change in the Bible is sometimes associated with a change in the person, such as Peter's birth-name 'Simon' was changed to 'Peter' ('rock', Cephas in the Aramaic Jesus spoke; Petros, in international Greek of the time).
 
 
However, the name-change of 'Barnabas' from Joseph does not reflect that, as it was simply Joseph's nickname of 'Bar-Nabas' (the 'Encourager' in Aramaic) which he had earned by his positive behaviour, such as was demonstrated in introducing newly-converted persecutor-of-Christians Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Peter, when most Christian were afraid to meet him because they did not believe his conversion .
Acts 9:26-27;
Galatians 2:9.
But, the
change in Paul's use of 'Saul' to 'Paul' was not a reflection of either a change in his person as with Peter, or a popular characterisation of himself as with Barnabas. It simply, directly and only reflected his inherited background, and its use emphasised the direction of his ministry to others at a particular time. His use of his registered Roman citizenship name of 'Paul' (Paulus) does coincide with the increase in the scope of his public ministry and also the timing of its spiritual enhancement by the gift of apostle after his striking the advisor of the Roman governor of Cyprus with blindness
(prior to this, he was recognised as having the spiritual gift of teacher, as reflected in the grammatical structure of Acts 13:1).
See:
Gifts of the
Holy Spirit
 

Myth 53.  COMMON FACTOR → SOURCE To Index
This error is quite widespread in academic circles and is really simply lazy thinking.
The
fact that a particular factor found in the Bible is also found in Babylonian tradition does not therefore mean the Bible writer got it from Babylon because the Babylonian was probably older/earlier. Scientifically, it could just as likely indicate a common source of both, but that then requires further research, so the easier way is often taken to simply teach the earlier as being the 'source'.
 
This misleading conduct has robbed our understanding of much. For instance, when the Biblical data indicates that the length of a year in Genesis before the Flood of Noah was 360-days, rather than 365¼-days approximately of today, it is simply assumed that the Babylonian tradition is therefore the 'source' of the Biblical data.
This has blinded the eyes of those who teach to significant perspectives.
As

See:
Probable Cause
an example, the change in year-length, together with other Biblical statements in Genesis of the 40-days of continuing rain and the "fountains of the deep" (ocean) being being "broken up" points to the gravitational effect of a close passing comet also triggering a continuing tsunami ('tidal wave') which would also have affected the rate of rotation of earth, slowing it by 5¼-days per year. This is also confirmed by the fact that the word ידון (yadon) in Genesis Six verse three, frequently mistranslated as 'strive' or 'abide', actually means to "protect" which therefore logically indicates a natural cause for the Flood of Noah, and the only natural element in our universe that could cause such an effect is a close-passing comet.
Such as the
ESV, GNB, ISV, JPS,
JUB, KJV, LITV, etc.
For
instance, in 1997 the rotation of our earth changed from a long term slow-down (an extra second in a little less than a year, due to a gradual increase in the moon's orbit) to a short term acceleration, most probably from the descent of a large mass in the molten interior of our planet.
 
So, it is important that a common element is not simply treated therefore as being the source.
 

Myth 54.  THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH REPRESENTS CHRIST TO THE WORLD To Index
The
Christian Church is 'Christ' in this world. It does not represent Him, it represents the Father – the One upon the Throne, the One whom the Christ of God represented, for it is in His place!
• As the continuance of Christ's ministry in the world, the Christian Church represents that which Jesus represented – God the Father. Why this is very significant is that authority resides only in the One upon the Throne. Which is why Jesus taught us to pray to the Father and not to Himself.
• The Roman Centurion in Capernaum recognised this representative nature of Christ's authority and he therefore had more faith in Jesus than all Israel (Matthew 8:9-10, in spite of them having the Old Testament T'nach and the ministry of the prophets). In the same way also today, as Christ's spiritual Body the Christian Church represents the Most High, just as Jesus did – and on the same terms.
• Before the Throne, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ represents us collectively – so that His people (enabled by the same Holy Spirit as Jesus was enabled) may represent God the Father here on earth today.
• This distinction is very significant regarding the essential authority of Christ's Church in this present world. Hence the Centurion, in a representative military relationship himself, recognised the representative nature of Christ's own authority, and brought joy to the heart of Jesus.
See: The Church
 

Myth 55.  "FREELY YOU RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE" MEANS BE GENEROUS To Index
This
Holy Scripture has been widely used to encourage people to give more to their local church, under the often sincere delusion that Jesus is talking about being 'generous' in giving. In the time of Jesus, the Jewish Rabbis often charge their disciples for the tuition they gave from the Torah (Pentateuch). Jesus had not charged, and He is simply saying that they must follow His example is not charging for their teaching or preaching ministry.
 
 
This holy Scripture has been sadly so abused, sometimes sincerely, by those looking for a Scripture to encourage people to give financial support to Christian ministry, and have thus serious perverted its meaning, and so hidden its true and important message.
 
Jesus
was here instructing His disciples how to conduct their public preaching/teaching ministry, before He sent them out in twos ahead of Himself. This King James version translation is better represented in its English Standard version which gives the same sentence as:
"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.
You received without paying; give without pay."
Matthew 10:8.
The
Lord is simply saying that their ministry must be free-of-charge to the public. Jesus had trained His preachers/apostles without costing them anything but their surrender to God.
So He therefore states that likewise they are also to conduct their ministry to the public without charging any fee.
 
 

Myth 56.  EACH CONGREGATION SHOULD BE UNDER APOSTOLIC 'COVERING' To Index
This idea
assumes a supervisory authority in apostles as the most senior rank of spiritual oversight hierarchy. This is not a biblical view. The spiritual leadership gifts given at Pentecost (Ephesians 4:11) were enabling gifts of spiritual equipment, not ranks of relative authority in a hierarchy.
 
 
• There is only one supervisory rank recognized as such in Scripture – the eldership, which is all those who lead the church as shepherds of God's flock (not as a board of directors), its pastors, even if they carry a different title.
 
Spiritual
gifts of leadership affect the character and scope of such leadership but NOT its seniority or rank. (i.e. Its nature and scope or 'width', but not its 'height'). The hierarchical (pyramidal) view of Christian leadership ministry is an ungodly secular influence that has infiltrated Christianity under spiritual guise.
It is not of God! (This is also true of the unbiblical seniority of a so-called Diocesan Bishop).
See:
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
 

Myth 57.  POLYGAMY IS NOT PERMITTED IN CHRIST's CHURCH To Index
This
myth has damaged the Christian mission in polygamous societies. Although marriage by divine design is always between one man and one woman for life, God makes it plain in Holy Scripture that polygamy is not regarded as immorality. The ideal remains however, and therefore spiritual leadership among God's people requires both monogamy as well as the obedience of a leader's children (1 Timothy 3:2-5), but this standard is not a gateway for admission to salvation in Christ, nor is it a requirement for baptism and fellowship in His Church, for the morality of God does not change from His Old Covenant revelation to the New.
 
   
In the history of Christian mission among both the Zulu (Kwazulu) and the Sotho (Lesotho) peoples in Southern Africa, kings of these respective peoples were rejected from Christian baptism by missionaries because they refused to abandon their many wives in favour of one, a requirement which the respective kings regarded as unethical.
 
   
In Lesotho for instance, two among the hundred wives of king George Moshweshwe (Moshesh) became Christians, but were then refused baptism unless they divorced their husband the king. To his credit the king of Lesotho granted these courageous wives a divorce out of respect for their desire to identify themselves as Christians. This sad foolishness of Christian missionaries resulted from Church traditions not being ruthlessly subjected directly to the text of Holy Scripture, and to Holy Scripture alone!

 
 
It is absolutely essential to treat God's Word as it is given to us (His congregation) within its own context and not selectively.
The whole picture presented on a particular issue is necessary or even the sincere may become guilty of twisting the holy word of God Most High.
The Bible deserves the utmost respect in the way we treat and use its words. Less than this is to disrespect its Author – GOD!
See: Understanding the Bible
So – to illustrate the importance of –  C O N T E X T !  For, if one ignores its context, the Bible actually says: "there is no God",
but in its own context it really says —"The fool says in his heart 'there is no God'." (Psalm 14:1)

darby's division equality before God when will Jesus come? the core concept
Bible codes virgin prophecy a biblical structure of history elijah – sign of the end
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