Thursday, 18 April 2019

How Not to Misquote Scripture

I wrote earlier how naive I was as a new believer and how I craved mentoring. Doubtless pastors dream of having congregants like I was in their churches. In fact, I was so ignorant of the scriptures that I thought, "God helps those who help themselves," was in the Bible. It's actually a saying by Benjamin Franklin.

This is one of many reasons we must study, not just read, God's word.  As Moses said in Deuteronomy 32:2 (BBE), "My teaching is dropping like rain, coming down like dew on the fields; like rain on the young grass and showers on the garden plants:" We know that his doctrine came from God, not his own mind.

But we also know that Satan is the master of scripture twisting. While trying to tempt Christ, he caught on to the fact that Jesus quoted verses for his answers. So Satan misappropriated Psalms 91:12 (BBE) which says,"In their hands they will keep you up, so that your foot may not be crushed against a stone."

But Christ was wise enough to come back with a correctly-applied verse. Instead of taking the Devil's dare to throw himself off the temple, he answered in Matthew 4:7 (BBE), "Jesus said to him, Again 'it is in the Writings, You may not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

And as I've pointed out before, knowing the scriptures helps us answer any accusation or question non Christians have. Knowing our Bibles also prevents us from falling for Satan's scripture twisters. As 2 Peter 3:16 (BBE) says of the Apostle Paul's  admonitions,  "And as he said in all his letters, which had to do with these things; in which are some hard sayings, so that, like the rest of the holy Writings, they are twisted by those who are uncertain and without knowledge, to the destruction of their souls."

Satan is always perverting God's sayings. The Pharisees received Christ's harshest condemnation for their lies and hypocrisy, as we see in John 8:44 (BBE). "You are the children of your father the Evil One and it is your pleasure to do his desires. From the first he was a taker of life; and he did not go in the true way because there is no true thing in him. When he says what is false, it is natural to him, for he is false and the father of what is false."

Properly quoting and understanding God's Word is my motivation for writing my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Unless we use precision to discern and apply the truth, we'll be as misled as the Pharisees and those trapped in Christian cults.

On Saturday, I'll post about the Resurrection. This is no mere fable but the very core of our hope. This too is what Satan attacks and minimizes.

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