Making of a Doctrine
(Part 2 of 2)
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)
The story presented here represents an occurrence that takes place at least weekly in multiple thousands of churches throughout the world. And although there may be variations to one degree or another within the scenarios, we can be sure of one thing: None of the pastors, or whatever the religious leader may be called, will be tolerating a young subordinate such as William who desires to understand what he is instructed to believe rather than just blindly follow the dictates of the church. This young man would have been out of office before the day was through, and parishioners who question the Authorities of the church will be right behind him.
In spite of the fact that our young assistant pastor has been browbeat into compliance with the will of the church, he has expressed a very important point that must be considered. When the leaders of a church, or any other organization, are not in agreement, conflict can easily overcome the members of that organization. Small chinks in the armor of the leadership is what the enemy of any group is looking for. Consider our Presidential elections. A finer example of this process in action can be found nowhere.
Unity is important if an organization is to stand. Paul spent a great deal of time working toward this very end. But standing for the sake of organizational unity may not be what is best for the people of said organization, if the foundation of that organization, in this case a church, is weak or built on sand.
If the common view of the church turns out to be the correct one, that is that all a person has to do is take a bath and sign a piece of paper, then it matters not at all what church a person attends. And if it is faith in an organization that will save a person, then the followers of Heaven's Gate and the People's Temple (Jim Jones in Guyana) will have a much better seat on the Pearly Gate Express than most of us.
But, if it turns out that faith in the Truth, as it is laid out by God in His Word, that is important to Salvation, then the blind, uncaring followers of false doctrine are going to find themselves left on the dock of the train station along with the five foolish virgins.
However the chances are, since you have read this far into this monotonous story, you are looking for something beyond what you are presented with by your church. That is, of course, unless you are a very bored person with absolutely nothing to do, or if you are interested in tearing apart other people's attempt to correct the workings of the churches. Assuming the former, let us look into the Gap Theory a little closer.
In the fanciful tale above certain points were brought out that deserve a second look. One such point is when Reverend Jack instructed his young assistant pastor to set aside his rational mind in order that he might understand what God is saying in His Word. Is this true? Does God want His people to blindly follow the teachings of their church leaders in order to understand His Word?
Let's take a look:
15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. (2Tim 2:)
19And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 20An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. (Rom 2:)
14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Mat 15:)
15I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. (1Cor 10:15)
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)
8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (2Pet 1:9)
16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2Pet 1:)
15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1Pet 3:15)
Another point the good reverend made was that "Everyone believes this. Only the foolish and unlearned would disagree."
Is this true? Does everyone agree? Let's take a look at some examples of various church's beliefs and see if this is true. But before we look at what church leaders have to say, let's see what church leaders had to say about the teachings of Jesus:
46The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 47Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 48Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 49But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. (John 7:)
1There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (John 3:)
0Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) 51Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? 52They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. (John 7:)
14Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 15And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? 16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (John 7:)
57And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. (Mat 13:)
Do you agree with the Doctrine of Satan? Of course you do if that is what your church believes, because you are part of the "We Believe" that is contained in the Articles of Faith over the door of your church.
To believe something we must first investigate and experience that something. For instance, I believe I can ride a bicycle ten miles because I do it often. Had I not ridden a bike for years, I might think I could ride, I might hope I could ride, but as to believing, such a belief would be unfounded.
We say we believe in Jesus. Why? Because someone or a book says He is real? You are reading what I am writing. Do you believe in me? Why? I might be someone totally different than what you believe me to be, and very likely I am just that. Do you believe in your spouse and your family? Why? You believe in them because you have experienced them in various situations. And experience is the foundation of belief.
We think of faith and belief as being the same thing. It is not. Not in our modern way of thinking. For instance again, you might read what I write and approve of every word (highly unlikely), but there is no way that you can have faith in my ever doing what I say should be done, or that I even believe in what I say myself.
On the other hand, your family who you believe in, you may know very well. And it may just be that because of such knowledge of them you have absolutely no faith that they will carry out what they say they will do.
Belief is a start. Knowledge carries one to higher levels of belief, and higher levels of faith as well, if that person proves themself faith-worthy. Experience of that person confirms (or dismisses) the faith you have in them.
We are taught in the churches that a bath is all the evidence you need that you are a believer in Christ Jesus. That is interesting because three and a half years of following Jesus, themselves casting out demons and healing the sick in Jesus' name, and hearing His every Word, was not sufficient to cause the disciples to believe (Luke 24:41). And far from belief, they certainly had no faith in Jesus, as was proven at the crucifixion.
We are given the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9; Phil 1:19). Through this Holy Spirit we can, and certainly should, gain a Saving faith in Jesus. But just like the disciples, hearing and receiving is not enough: we have to follow Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, and by that following moment by moment we learn to believe in Jesus, and thereby have faith in Him (Mat 16:24-26; John 15:13).
I am digressing. Back to understanding the Why's and Wherefor's of false doctrine.
First, before trying to understand the Why's of such a flimsy and non-essential theory, let us check and see if anyone is believing this story. Here are some examples of the statements I have found so far:
ASSEMBLY OF GOD - "Satan and demons are fallen angels, evil spirits (Mat. 10:1). Satan rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12-15). Satan and his demons do everything in their power to oppose God and those who do God's will (1 Pet. 5:8; 2 Cor. 11:14-15)." (Source unknown)
ROMAN CATHOLIC - "Satan or the devil is a fallen angel. Satan, though powerful and evil, is limited by God's divine providence." (Catechism. - 2nd Edition )
BAPTIST - (From a Baptist Article of Faith) "We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man's great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions. Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matthew 4:1-3; 13:25; 25:41; 27:39; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 22:3-4; John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; 1 John 2:22; 3:8; 4:3; 2 John 7; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-10; 13:13-14; 19:11,16,20; 20:1-3,10 " (Source unknown)
ANGLICAN/EPISCOPALIAN - (Can't find)
LUTHERAN - "According to the Bible……and even Jesus Christ himself...there is a devil. Most people don't understand who the devil is or where he came from. At one time the devil was a good angel. Remember after God created he saw all that he had made and "it was very good". So what happened?……well according to 2 Peter and Jude some of the good angels rebelled against God. It seems that they wanted to be God. Sound familiar? That was the very temptation for Adam and Eve in the Garden." (Messiah Lutheran Church)
"He is a fallen angel and as such has powers that are far superior to our own as human beings. At the same time, he is only a fallen angel and no match for God." (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)
METHODIST - "Since the dawn of human history, men and women had been trapped -- even the very best of them -- by the heritage of suspicion and alienation towards God and fear of each other. They had been caught up in the great rebellion against God that began even before human history, the revolt of God's creatures against God out of pride and self-assertion. Satan, the fallen angel, stands as a sign of this primordial tragedy, showing that even the most highly endowed being can be corrupted by self-assertion. All of the intelligence and spiritual dignity belonging to the angels did not stop Lucifer from the ultimate madness of rejecting the God in whose presence he stood." (Methodist: Not from an official site)
PRESBYTERIAN - "(Isa 14:12-15). Satan's fall drew to himself many other fallen angels, and they are all condemned to Hell, and in the end they will be cast into the lake of fire (Matt 25:41; Rev 20:2-3)." (Brisbane Bible-Presbyterian Church Weekly)
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST - (Can't find)
LDS MORMON - "So we know how clear the Bible is in declaring Christ as the firstborn Son of God, but what does it really say about Lucifer? When I ask most Christians about Satan the first thing I hear is that he was a fallen angel. Mormons agree that this is the case with Lucifer, but who exactly are these angels? And what are they? We believe that these angels are all children of God just as you and I are. We believe that this is a clear doctrine in the Bible as well." (Mormon. Not an official website)
JEHOVAH'S WITNESS - "The word "devil" means someone who tells wicked lies about another person. "Satan" means an enemy or an opposer. These are terms given to God's chief enemy. At first, he was a perfect angel in heaven with God. However, he later thought too much of himself and wanted the worship that rightly belongs to God.----
Matthew 4:8-10." (Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site)
Although I have spent many hours on the web investigating the beliefs of the different denominations, I have been unable to locate any statements pro or con beyond what I have published above. It appears that even those websites dedicated to just such an investigation have been no more successful than I have been. It is my assumption that such information must be available somewhere, but it is difficult to find. It would seem to me that if we, the members of a particular church, are expected to place our confidence in certain doctrines, and so state by our signature, that what we are supposed to believe would be fairly evident to us.
Under the circumstances, if you wish to find out what you "believe" about any given subject, you should ask your pastor or another high mucky-muck of your church.
(Note: Do not use any of the statements above for confirmation of anyone's beliefs. They are intended merely to show that the Doctrine of Lucifer is widespread, and I have no way of confirming the validity of what others have placed on the web.)
Keep in mind that there are many doctrines set forth by the churches that have no bearing on Salvation, nor for that matter are they of any consequence of any kind. Yet it's these minor opinions that separates the Body of Christ and causes one group to look down on another as either "Heretic," or even "Cultist."
Such as in the case of the study above, it is not the validity of the subject that is of any import, but the process that is used to establish any doctrine that Man sets forth that is at issue here. And, if you haven't guessed it as yet, it is the doctrines and the traditions of the churches that I am opposed to, in the same way that Jesus is opposed to them. Was cleaning of pots and pans going to send the Pharisees to hell? Of course not. Jesus didn't care if they spent all day at the sink scrubbing up. What Jesus was condemning the Pharisees for was nullifying the Truth of God's Word by placing emphasis on the rituals, doctrines and traditions rather than Godly obedience, mercy and caring for one another (Mat 15:2-9; 23:23; 13-33; Mark 7:5-13).
In their search for doctrine, it is not the Theologian's objective to look for Truth, but to seek verses, or parts of verses, or reinterpretations of words that support what they already wish to believe. And in the case of the story above, even a minor slant of a tittle that an entire universe can be slipped into can turn the devil into an angel of "Luminescence" (2Cor 11:11-15).
[note: Not all Theologians have the same goal. Some of course are sincere. But whether sincere or devious, when the same conclusion is drawn, the same result is forthcoming.]
There are a couple reasons a theologian might have for trying to prove a theory that runs contrary to what God has obviously laid out in His Word. One such reason is to support a view already established by the church denomination he or she belongs to, thereby gaining approval of their confederates. In the process of seeking such information, if a person did happen to discover a Truth (or have it revealed to him), he would run off with it, create a new denomination, and build a wall around it of false doctrines with which to control those who follow him.
Another reason for finding support for false doctrine is in effort to begin a new denomination having either slight variations from the former, or even very great differences. The groups with doctrines having strong differences are usually referred to as "Cults," and usually the manufacturer of those cults are (supposedly) intending to "restore" the church to what it was in the beginning: some going so far as to bypass Jesus and the Apostles and take their doctrine from Jewish tradition.
This process of deviating from, and adding to the Word of God is identical to what the Pharisees were doing in Jesus' day. The "Words" are still present in the interpretation of the doctrine, but the Life Blood has been withdrawn from it until God's purpose is no longer seen or followed, but has been redirected to Man's desires and lusts.
The Jews, as today, would not venture so far as to textually change the Word: after all, they were designated by God to be the keeper of His Word. What the Jewish leaders did was establish (I understand it to be) 650 Oral Traditions that explained the Word. Later they printed books such as the Mishna intended to keep the oral traditions from disappearing after the dispersion. As time went on, these oral traditions were not enough for the Jews, so they added Rabbinacle notes called the Jerusalem (and the Babylonian) Talmud. Still not content, they added more writings such as the Gemara (completed Talmud); the Midrash (comparative method of exegesis (hermeneutics); the Kabbalah (mystical aspect of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible); the Tosefta (secondary compilation of the Jewish oral law, that sometimes contradicts the Mishna); the minor tractates (such things as manners and behaviors, phylacteries, etc); and the list goes on, and growing.
Up until the days of Jesus, the Bible was read and memorized by every Jew. Commentaries were not a part of the services. Today, in the churches (especially the Protestant churches) the Bible is read piecemeal, and then an hour or so of "explanation" of those sparse and varied verses is given. In other words, the Bible is only read in order to support Doctrine, not the other way around.
In some churches (where the Bible is read at all), a piece of paper is handed to the congregation with a sprinkling of verses that are to be read in unison, and then they are "explained" to the (assumed) ignorant congregation. Every effort is made to insure, as was the case with the Jews, that the Holy Spirit has no room within which to contradict the doctrine of the churches.
Some doctrines, such as this one concerning Lucifer, have become "Sacred Cows" (sacrosanct) because if they are disturbed, all the rest of their house of card doctrines come tumbling down with it. This, again, is what Jesus had to contend with as the Pharisees condemned Him for not ceremoniously washing His hands before He ate, sat with sinners, and healed the sick on the Sabbath.
The Doctrine of Satan as a beautiful angel and an opponent of God is one of those foundational doctrines that corrupts the churches. Although this doctrine is a trivial matter in and of itself, this, and other such doctrines are like the want of a horseshoe nail that sidelined the messenger and caused the loss of a war. False doctrine, no matter how small, closes the door on God's message to us, and opens another door to vast disturbing discrepancies in what church members ultimately believe. They are the gentle puff of wind that causes the arrow to miss its mark. Sin, as we know, is not just for those bound for prison bars, but also for those merely missing the mark. Adam was not ejected from the Garden and given the death penalty because he committed murder, but because of what we might see as a minor disobedience of God's Word (James 2:8-13).
We must keep in mind also, that if such great effort is made in order to establish such a ridiculous and impossible doctrine as the one presented here, what other doctrines have passed through the nets of reason that may very well be detrimental to your Eternal life? If something this far out of the way could be sold to the mighty church fathers who wield so much power and who dictate the beliefs of untold millions; then how many such doctrines have passed that are just small enough to cause believers to "Miss the Mark"?
Also, let's consider the source of such a doctrine. We know that Satan disguises himself as a minister of light, just as does his servants (2Cor 11:15). This being the case, let's look at the above scenario from Satan's point of view. If you were Satan; which view would you most prefer Christians take: (1) That you were a demon out to get the Christian and drag them to hell, therefore someone to watch out for and avoid as much as possible? Or (2) that you were once a beautiful angel, the choir leader of Heaven, a buddy to our Lord Jesus, and because of a simple thing like disagreeing with God, for wanting to be like God (which would be a stupid thing for any created being to even contemplate to begin with) you were sentenced to be a devil, then ultimately to hell forever. A creature to be pitied rather than shunned?
How and Why?
Why would such a doctrine as this, the exaltation of Satan, be propagated in the first place? How did it begin? And why?
Let us first look at the "Why" part of this explanation.
First, keep in mind that Christianity is a religion in every sense of the word. In fact, Christianity is perhaps the least of all the religions in that in most cases it requires less to be a Christian and meet its final goal than any other so-called religion. All that is required to be a "good Christian" and receive one's wings is to take a bath and say a few words. In some churches a little more is required such as not eating certain food, good church attendance, tithing properly, and other such regulations. Then there are the "Works" churches, such as the traditional Catholics, who believe that certain procedures have to be maintained in order to remain "Saved". But even these churches allow for an out for those constituents who fail to live up to standards by way of Purgatory. Most other religions have strict guidelines to follow, and some require several lifetimes to acquire their ultimate goal.
Christianity has become the milch toast of all the religions. It is no wonder the World has lost respect for Christians. Christians are supposed to be the Body of Christ, perfect as He is perfect. When the World sees us, they are to see Christ in the flesh. We are ambassadors of Christ.
Yet, what the World sees when they look upon the church is a bunch of people striving to satisfy their own lusts (even more so than most of the World they are condemning), condemning one another and everyone else in the process, and holding thousands upon thousands of differing versions of the same, identical Book that each affirms to be written by the very God they claim to serve.
Keeping in mind that the churches have redirected the Word of God to themselves, the explanation of "Why" false doctrines are being contrived becomes easier to understand.
The doctrine of Satan once having been a perfect angel is held, as far as I can tell, by the greater part of Christendom.
According to Isaiah he (Lucifer) was perfect in all his ways. Yet this perfect angel, none better, perhaps even being equal to Jesus according to some, was unable to resist the sin of envy, and was cast out of Heaven.
Quite a story. But what benefit would believing such a story as this one be to us? Consider this scenario: "But Lord, how can you condemn me to hell for disobedience? Look at Satan over there, he was perfect for thousands of years living right there with you, and he couldn't live up to your standards. So how could you possibly expect poor little ol' earthbound me to live up to them?"
This has been one reason for us wanting to believe such a story. Another reason for our desire to believe the unbelievable is that we like spice in our stories. We watch the most exciting of the adventure stories. We like science fiction for its out-of-this-world excitement. We watch and listen to programs and songs with emotional themes that get our blood pumping. The stories in the Bible, although exciting at first reading, lose their spice when they are expected to be read over and over, and especially when we are expected to believe what they are telling us.
The angel concept of Satan puts us in the category of the Science Fiction enthusiasts, the Witchcraft followers, and the Soap Opera (true life adventures and "Reality" programs now so popular) advocates. In other words, we can be a Christian, and still be part of this World at the same time.
Being part of this World leads to the third reason for wanting to believe in Lucifer as Satan. And, at the same time, this reason is the same reason theologians and preachers cling to such a doctrine:
Jesus said that it is the objective of the Christian to be separate, and distinctly different from the World. And to make it perfectly clear just what He meant, He and His Apostles lived just such a life (John 15:18-19; 1Pet 4:1-6).
Being different than the rest of the World is not a comfortable thing for us. We do not like to be seen as a "Jesus Freak," or a "Fanatic" (even though all the World tries to be a fanatic about some thing). The Bible says that the way to determine if a person is a true Believer is that he or she does not conform with the World (1Pet 1:13-16; 4:3-4).
An unpopular position to hold. And if a church is too much different than the World, how in the world are the churches supposed to get the World into the churches? And isn't that the mission of the churches: to evangelize the whole World and get them to be Christians?
Some time ago, long before any of us were born, the world of science came up with a discovery that "proved" the world has to be many millions of years old. They found dinosaur bones, evidence of men on earth (more like monkeys than men they somehow figured out), and geological changes that had to have taken many moons to accomplish. In other words, it became evident to continue believing in Creation as it is described in the Bible was ludicrous and idiotic. And who wants to be seen as ludicrous and idiotic? Certainly not highly educated and intelligent people who have deemed themselves Theologians.
Add to this problem the fact that many of those who "believed" in Creation were Scientists. And so were many teachers of the sciences Christians. Now how, I ask you, can supposedly intelligent people working in the science labs and in the schools spread such a far-fetched idea as a six day Creation when every scientific fact proved just the opposite? Why, only a fool would believe such a thing. And certainly there was no room for fools in the science labs and in the schools.
The only people who would continue believing in a six day Creation against such overwhelming evidence would be people with a whole lot of ......faith!
But there is no room for faith in the science lab, or in the schools. So something had to be changed. Six day creationism was definitely out, except for the diehard Christians who obviously did not belong to the World.
In comes the first compromise. Christian scientists who wished to hold any form of prestige in their chosen field had to find an answer to the discrepancy between scientific findings and the Bible. And one was found. Of course there was no evidence for such a scientific view, but when it comes to religion, who needs such trivial things as evidence?
Did God create the earth in six days? Why sure He did. Only the days in those days were not like the days of today. Those days were tens of thousands, maybe even millions of years each. Voilà, science and religion have engaged. And of course, so has the church and the World.
Not content with merely changing the length of the days, a certain Divinity professor in Scotland came up with another theory, the Gap Creationism concept that allowed for not only more time to be inserted into creation, but another creation to be added besides. And if a new (or older) creation is added, why not throw in some real interesting stuff that will really wow the unbelieving scientists and teachers and make them wish they were "believing" Christians also?
Not only is the church and the World engaged now, but their ties are bound tighter than Aunt Maggie's corset. The difference between the "believing" Christian and the unbelieving World is now an undefinable line drawn with invisible ink.
Now we have not only the church and the field of science wed, but also the World and the Bible schools firmly entrenched in a common doctrine that both can fully accept. There stands just one thing in the way. How can we get God to agree with our wonderful discovery? I mean, after all, the Bible does say God created the world in six days, doesn't it? And we can't change the Bible, can we?
Well, we can't change the Words of the Bible, but we can change the meaning of the Words of the Bible.
In comes C. I. Scofield.
In 1917 C. I. Scofield wrote a very influential book called the Bible. Oh, I know, you thought the Apostles, Moses and some prophets wrote the Bible. Not so. Not any more. Not since ol' Cyrus published his Scofield Reference Bible.
You see? The Words that God wrote are not the words that tell what God meant. It used to be that this was so, but not any more. To learn what God meant in His Word, you read the notes at the bottom of the page. And to further understand God's Word, you follow the links from one verse to another. And, my, do those links take you to some wonderful places. There is no way in the world you would have ever connected those dots had Cyrus not pointed them out.
What would we do if it were not for the theologians pointing the way through the Word of God? Now, with these "commentaries," we no longer need the Holy Spirit to point the way and to explain Gods' Word. And it is obvious that the Holy Spirit is not in any of the commentaries that have now taken the lead.
If you are in doubt of this statement, read the story above.
In the churches it is still in vogue for the preachers and the laity to condemn the schools and the World for teaching and believing in 'Evolution." But, in fact, since the Gap Theory, and Theistic Evolution (looooong six days), there is really no difference between the teachings.
This lack of difference is also true in many other ways. Go in any Christian home, and the chances are you will find exactly the same attitudes, paraphernalia, and entertainment as you will in the home of the most Worldly of the "heathen."
And this lack of difference is not the greatest tragedy that has befallen the churches; not by a long shot. The greatest disaster that has overcome the churches is that the churches now, again by the use of commentaries, justifies this attitude and lack of Spirituality, saying that it is ok for the Christian to be Worldly, it is only the World who is not allowed to be Worldly. Whereas the World will be condemned to hell at the Judgement for their lack of belief (not their lack of Works), the "Christians" will be rewarded with Eternal Bliss for their "Belief" (not their lack of Works, which is identical to the Works of the Worldly).
The World has not only infiltrated the churches, but has made the churches a part of its own.
As a concluding thought, I would like to ask some questions regarding the Bible. These questions have nothing to do with pinholes in the Word of God, or prehistoric monkeys. They have to do with the concept that Satan is at war with God, and out of God's control.
Here are the questions:
If Satan rebelled against God in Heaven and was cast down to earth: Why didn't God cast him down to some other planet where there are no people for him to influence? Or better yet, why didn't God cast Satan into the pit he is going to end up in anyway?
Satan is at war with God. Is that right? Then: Why did God do to Job as He did (God said He did it to Job (Job 1:11-12; 2:3,5-6; ), and why didn't God grab Satan and haul him into the pit at that time he stood before God? And what was Satan doing in Heaven with the "Sons of God" if he had been cast down to walk this planet as a condemned creature?
Why did Jesus, fully aware that Judas was a "devil," allow him to betray Him, and even allow Satan to enter Judas. Wasn't Jesus the one who cast out Satan and demons from others? (John 13:27)
Satan is at war with God and the Church? Then why does Paul tell the Church to turn over unrepentant Christians to Satan for purification? (1Cor 5:5-6, 9-15; 1Tim 1:20)
Why, since Christians can't be touched by Satan, does Paul say he was given (by God Himself) a "Messenger (same word as angel) to buffet (to hit with the fist)" him?
Why does God know thousands of years beforehand that he is going to have Satan in a pit, and then turn him loose again? Why is He going to turn him loose? (Rev 20:7-10)
Jesus told Peter that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat. Jesus said: "After you are converted...." (Luke 22:31-32). It's apparent to me that Jesus (and God the Father) was allowing the temptation of Peter, just as He did Job, and as He did Jesus in the wilderness after His baptism. Why didn't Jesus just keep Satan from having Peter?
Why did the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by Satan? (Mat 4:1)
And finally, why does God say:
16Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster [destroyer, waster] to destroy. [pervert, bind, offend] (Isaiah 54:)
6b I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil [calamity, adversity, trouble]: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:)
(Note: I made a quick check of the commentaries regarding these last two verses. Strangely they were skipped over. I wonder why?)
The churches (so many of them) teach that God does not allow Satan to touch the Christian. That is not the picture I receive from Scripture, nor from my own life.
The Word of God has been covered over with the message of the World, and there are few to even try and see below that cover which is so appealing to our flesh. But peel it away we must, if we are going to see the Lord.
Belief of itself will not save you. Watch what you believe.
Isa 66:4 4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isa 66:4)
It has been my experience as I examine church doctrines that the more churches and commentators who agree on a subject, the more likely it is to be wrong. This doctrine of Lucifer and the Gap Theory are the most ludicrous and obviously false of all the doctrines I have come across. And, wouldn't you know, I have yet to find a single denomination or cult or commentator of note who does not believe and support this doctrine.
The Bible can be used to prove anything we want it to prove. People with deviant lifestyles, instead of claiming the Bible (and Christianity that opposes it), is hogwash: desires to be a part of that institution, and uses the very same Bible to prove that God ok's the practice they choose to live.
The churches that preach from the Book that says women are to be quiet, hires women to preach.
The church that says ministers are to remain single in order to stay pure, justifies pedophiles.
There are churches who use the book that demands perfection, and that says God hates sin and will not even listen to a sinner; to prove that God is going to take everyone into Heaven for Eternity, the good and the bad (and they have reams of pages to prove it). And just a step above these "All Saved" are the churches that say God is Love, and loves everybody, but is only going to take those who dip in water with certain words, or believe in certain doctrines or rituals, and the rest of the world is going to burn in hell for eternity.
If God is the Tree of Life; then the churches have made Him a splintered log.
I have one last question I would like to ask you: If a used car salesman told you that a particular car that you were interested in buying was in excellent condition, a car that you could trust with your life: and you saw one bald tire: Would you believe him about the rest of the car?
4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. (1Tim 1:)
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (Rom 1:)
1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)
7But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. (1Tim 4:)
9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (Titus 1:)
16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2Pet 1:)
1Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:)
7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (Mark 7:)
8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Col 2:)
6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (2Thes 3:)
17Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 20O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, AVOIDING PROFANE AND VAIN BABBLINGS, AND OPPOSITIONS OF SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED: 21WHICH SOME PROFESSING HAVE ERRED CONCERNING THE FAITH. Grace be with thee. (1Tim 6:)
14Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17And their word will eat as doth a canker: (2Tim 2:)
6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 8But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 9Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. (Isaiah 64:)
13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and TAKEN. (Isa 28:13)
4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isa 66:4)
9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:4-15)
9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Heb 3:)
1Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. ["miss the mark".] 2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (Heb 4:)
14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. (Mark 16:)
14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. 17For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (Rom 9:)
7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev 20:)
3For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for SATAN HIMSELF IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2Cor 11:)
8If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. (James 2:8-13)
27And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. (John 13:)
9I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1Cor 5:)
20Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1Tim 1:)
7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2Cor 12:)
5To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (1Cor 5:)
16Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. (Isaiah 54:)
13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. (John 15:)
24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mat 16:24-26)
8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom 8:)
19For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, (Phil 1:)
2Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ............. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:)
13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16Woe unto you, ye blind guides, ........ 23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Mat 23:)
5Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. ...... 13Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (Mark 7:)
40And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? (Luke 24:)
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him (John 14:)
18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:)
1Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1Peter 4:)
13Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [overturn, return, behavior]; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1Pet 1:)
1And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. 5And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. 6And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, 7Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
8Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 9For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree. (Zech 3:)
6b I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 8Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. 9Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
11Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. 12I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. 13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts. 14Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God. 15Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. 16They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. 17But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. 18For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. 19I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
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