Son Of Thunder i come from a land down under, due south at the bottom of your work globes
| " Torturing The Scriptures" ...|
Greetings to all the brethren here @ SI and to all the saints world wide and across the globe who are blood washed, blood bought, blood purchased ... sanctified in the truth! For Thy word is truth O'Lord! (Amen)
As i approached this subject today i was amazed both to learn and to hear that so many other broadcasters and ministries were also addressing the same theme as the one you are about to read. And that this issue of truth and contending for the faith and the integrity of scripture is something we must never compromise (or) watered down. Amen!
Never, ever, never, CAN we compromise the truth and the faith of Christ ... we can dispute the non essentials all we want until we are blue in the face, but when it come to the absolutes of truth and scripture ... the reply must be and unequivocally so - NO COMPROMISE!
But Where do i begin? In tackling this vast topic! Is it possible that we can handle the scriptures in such a way they can be literally tortured? Well by men yes! And By those who handle the word-Of-God as it were ... unscrupulously ... again the answer is - Yes
If knowing the truth and abiding in it indeed sets a man free! then surely error or false doctrine conversely must bind, afflict and bring into bondage. (true or false) ?
A Rhetorical question: I would say, beloved
Now Over in John's account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we read this that once the scripture is given ...(it cannot be broken) ... it cannot be revoked or reversed - but stands and abides forever. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away, said Jesus ! His word is forever settled in heaven! These three things agree also: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. When God speaks it is set in concrete and cannot be annulled or made obsolete by man or by men! (that is us meagre mortals). Its like a covenant that is sealed, immutable and totally unbreakable! and when its contractually signed by the almighty it is forever settled in heaven
Lately ive been impressed to say Become a conformist: And by that i mean a conformist to his word (but not in the letter only, but in spirit also) indeed drink not only from the fountain of knowledge, but also the fountain of life and the tree of life (who is Christ) This is the only good kind of conforming i recommend ! as all other conforming and peer pressures gender toward bondage. For Do we yet please men or God: Judge ye yourselves? Are you a man pleaser? do you you seek the honour of man, more than the honour of God? or the honour that comes from God Only? for if i yet please men, i should Not be the servant of Christ. which category do we fall into today???
Over the last few decades i have observed many things! And I may not have a lot of knowledge compared to others per se however i dont measure myself by that of others, but i measure myself according to the standard of the word of God - and according to Jesus his Son.
Ive seen movements (probably like you) come and ministeries rise up and ministries also be put down. Some who are stood down for whatever reasons often like king Saul continue to preach as (Itinerant preachers) until they find a new pastorate to oversee and watch. Ive also witnessed this doctrine and that doctrine blow through the body of Christ both sparatically and spasmodically from time to time! Ive seen christians get tossed to and fro because of these winds of doctine that enter in! Everything from Purpose driven, market and consumer driven, word-of-faith, shepherdship and covering, hyper-eldering, name it and claim it prosperity - to the message of "felt needs" and the "feel good" message! to the introduction of so- called light entertainment! and of course not to forget "the seeker-sensitive" so-called model. And now the emerging church that is apperently still emerging even as we speak. Ive witnessed the effects of the liberalization of the church and them - given to (harsh legalism)
But the point remains: There has been a calling back to truth and to the all-suffiency of the scriptures. And to rightly dividing up the word of God. This should be the desire of every disciple and mature believer out there in yonder christendom. To get back to basics in one sense-of-the-word, to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The full Gospel and whole counsel of God.
Although few would admit to any kind of the mis-handling of the scriptures! and those who are decieved dont know they are decieved - otherwise they wouldnt be decieved. No great revelation here, but nevertheless - true!
But here's the thing: we can either honour the scriptures by how we embrace them and by how we live accordingly or we can torture them! and we can frustrate the grace of God in our lives as detailed by paul in Galations. But We need to strive for the former and not the latter bringing forth much fruit and thereby honoring of the scriptures and Jesus as saviour and Lord. It is true we can torture the scriptures, upon which i will set out to prove. Yes we can torture, butcher, hack, mangulate, strangulate, wrest, twist , corrupt, mishandle, pervert. Etc (you get the point) by now - im sure
You can embellish the scriptures, you can be be given to exaggeration, you can read too much into the text - you can misquote them! and You can corrupt the word-Of-God as do the Many ... as paul outlined @ Corinth. But that being said and having said that: We should also point out because someone is off centre or perhaps of balance or has a % of error we should not be quick to write them off as being false or as decievers (as such) I mean hang loose and hold fire on that one! because some are sincere and just need to make a few adjustments like that of apollos (of olden) time when priscilla and aquilla took aside and showed him (the more perfect way) upon which he immediately made the necessary adjustment. Likewise the disciples in the book of acts chapter 19 upon being straightened out by paul on a issue regarding baptism - they then made the adjustment and continued on in the faith of Jesus. Peter likewise and some Jews @ Galatia also were reproved by paul for not walking uprightly according to the truth of Christ. But eventually and (in time) they made the changes and realigned themselves accordingly. But Moreover they came back into sound doctrine, and to the grace of God!!
We should be careful not to shoot the messenger down whom we percieve as having errors or we believe to have false doctrine. They could be sincere and need to make some adjustments and to realign! If they have a teachable Spirit then they can be brought back and recover. The other thing is and i ask this question of us all? did "you" or "we" "others" or "I" ever get it wrong in the past? or became off centre ever be it so slightly? and can i ask the question ... would you like it if you were shot down in flames and written off as some supposed heretic? I believe the early church and namely that of paul were accused of teaching heresy. We can all err ... and no one is immune to deception. If you think you are ... then you are very high minded to say the very least!!
Certainly no one is excusing error or condoning it per se
However the counsels of the heart and the intents of heart can be a difficult thing to judge and discern and so benefit of the doubt should be given and applied... or at least ... until you doubt those benefits. Ive tried to live by that principle and also by the precept command of "love thinketh no evil". Ecet Ecet Ive given people a 2nd and 3rd chance before. Why Even a heretic is allowed two admonitions! but after that -yes- reject!
But we are nevertheless talking about scripture twisting today so without further digression or any further rabbit chasing i'd like to now attempt by God's help to take a look at ways in which we can TORTURE THE SCRIPTURES!!!!!
No1. Scripture quoted out of context: Now there is nothing new under the sun here! however this is one of the ways upon when scripture if handled incorrectly by men can torture the scriptures (that is from man's point of view, not God's ) But just briefly as touching on this first issue - as you know these things already beloved and are established in the present truth! But how does one avoid NOT QUOTING THE BIBLE OUT OF CONTEXT? WELL WE NEED TO BE WELL READ ON THE TEXT and to give consideration to the background in which (it was said) and the historic implications THEREOF and THE setting of the time. For you see Isolating texts and single quotations of texts although not necessarily constituting error - CAN AT THE SAME TIME - BE THE TRIGGER OR THE CATALYST ... For them
No2. THE PROBLEMS AND PERILS ASSOCIATED WITH PROOF TEXTING: Oh boy here we go: I know im walking a spiritual tigh rope and precipus here and may encounter some resistance! But perhaps also some advocates too! So lets see where the chips fall and what happens. I guess ive never been one to shy away from speaking out...so why stop now? I know im a glutton for punishment but lets pursue it and see what happens (The proof texter) is what i call the most miserable of them all in regarding to (Scripture Torturing) you say - How so? A proof texter can quote any passage of the bible and make you look bad, fooloish or appear to be in error. I will now outline some case examples.
Case example no 1. Jesus said "destroy this temple and in three days i raise it up again" the proof texters however accused Jesus of "blasphemy" we heard this man say he would destroy the temple which took forty six years to build. Incidently these words by were again used against Jesus at his trial before the priests and elders of the people. But of course Jesus knew what he meant in making that statement ... he obviously meant the temple of the body which would ultimately become "the temple of the holy Ghost" for us all.
Case example no 2: Stephen is before the council accused on a charge of blasphemy and in which case he is accused falsely: We heard him say: that he (Jesus) would destroy this place and change the customs of Moses and we heard him blaspheme against this holy place and the law: all These charges were leveled at stephen. And the high priest looks at stephen and says: are these things so? The Proof texters believed they heard him make these statements. But no doubt They had selective hearing based on what they wanted to beieve as true, and so stephen was (proof texted) and put to death by the same people who said they loved and honoured God in there ownlives! with Saul who is named paul actually consented to stephens death - being present
Case example no 3: You can make the comment in jest preachers tend to be long winded and have a lot to say - But the proof texter is waiting for you and quotes from james "if a man doesnt bridle his tongue then this man's religion is in vain" and so the proof texter has subverted the preachers comment and made him to look foolish. This is what proof texters do. They can find an opposing verse or passage that contradcts everything you say. Cold Case no 4: Paul said to the corinthians i had rather speak five words by my understanding, that by it i might teach others than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. But a proof texter will come right behind you and re quote you "i would that ye all spake in tongues" Proof texters can debunk everything. They will contradict and find contradictions. That they percieve as wrong and unscriptural! They are what i call though (the most miserable of torturers) in this whole thing of (scripture torturing) PROOF TEXTERS CAN FIND FAULT WITH ANYTHING YOU SAY, PREACH, OR TEACH. If he believes he gainsay you, then he will! and to be quite frank based on my experience they seem to be perpetually variant individuals who do this thing repeatedly over and over. Paul told titus to rebuke them sharply ... in the hope ... one day ...they might... be sound ...in the faith. ( we can only hope ) Sounds almost harsh of paul to give permission to rebuke sharply, but he did. But that MIGHT be the only thing that works and stops there mouths. ( we can only hope )
No3. THOSE THAT ADD TO - OR TAKE AWAY - FROM THE SCRIPTURES:
No need to go into this one in great detail either only to say that there are at least three cautions that i am aware of in the bible that warn not to dimiinish or add to the holy texts. I believe you will find them in Dueteronomy, proverbs and of that of the book of revelation. This is probably the most serious of them all and comes with the gravest of gravest warnings! With a promise of having your name blotted out of the book of life. And God will also add to your plagues and your judgments if we in any wise are guilty of altering the holy texts! and if we tamper with them and change there context - severely so. A very severe judgment will fall on those guilty of such things. Nothing more needs to be said on this matter other than yet another way MAN tortures and rips apart scripture. It is Scary though to meddle with this one thing: To tempt God as it were or to trifle in such matters. But to those that do it - then obviously they dont fear God - and thats why they probably do it
No4. The over spiritualizing of the scriptures: yet another way in which scripture is TORTURED - is if we spiritualize everything! And that which is meant to be literal is spiritualized! we can get spiritually spookie or we may be given to types, shadows and allegories (ad-nauseam) But beloved this frustrates the original intent in which it was written. Why did david pick up 5 stones before Goliath? how did philip know that the eunuch was reading from Isaiah? And Joseph, moses and Joshua and david are all types of Christ! take your pick as to which one best represents a "type" of Christ - as ive heard them all - as being the best type. Im not being facious or beligerant here im just saying you can over shadow everything in the bible if you look hard enough! but the point is i would not want anything to lose its literal meaning in the process of shadowing. But That said in its proper place Pauls allegory in galations is a classic allegory - to boot ! In moderation types are a very effective tool of communicating the word !!!
NO5. Avoiding unlearned questions: As these will increase unto more and more ungodliness per se!
Why get into areas of the Bible you either are (a) have no knowledge in or secondly cant answer the very questions you yourself have canvassed. To me this is a no brainer! why not discuss and teach on things (you do know) And things contained in the bible you are familiar! rather then doting on questions and raising questions you yourself are unlearned in. Paul issued this advice to young timothy and i for one second the motion. As ive personally witnessed how these things degenerate unto more debates, conflicts, arguments with seemingly nobody winning and all leaving bruised, battered, weary, and wounded.
No6. majoring on minors and minoring on majors: This is the cousin of the previous point mentioned and this one is torturous insomuch as the emphasis is in all the wrong places. For example you can emphasize holiness (from without) and not from that which is (comes from within)! A clean heart and a pure mind is the key to longevity in a walk of holiness with God - and not just the chopping out of external things. And then when the heart is pure (the without) will come into line with what which is already a reality - from the heart! (for it is the things which come forth and proceed out of the heart of man - that defile him) we can also emphasise the building and not the earthen vessels within the building! and we can be more concerned about the carpet and the fine furniture instead of the human vessels that enter into the building. We can swallow camels and strain at knats and omit the weightier things of the word. We can pursue hobby horses or pet doctrines and forget the whole counsel of God in the process. We can be given to picking and choosing which parts of the bible we want speak TO obey! for example I could preach from Jeremiah how that the thoughts of the Lord towards me are thoughts of peace and not of evil, but if one reads further in the book - the prophet goes on to warn if they fail to heed the warnings and come bACK to God and out of idolatry and to the serving of other gods. Then they will be all go into captivity. But i could if i wanted too choose to omit these things and preach a more smoother message. But then Jermemiah and others would have had blood on there hands. But contrast that with pauls statement of saying he was free from the blood of all men - as he did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God! Mmmm.
No7. The wresting of the scriptures themselves: 2Peter3:16
NOW NO DISCUSSION ON TORTURING THE SCRIPTURES WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT ENDING ON THIS NOTE - AND I FINISH! But please dont hold me to that promise of finishing! That is a good cue right there to proof text me to exhort about bridling my tongue! lets hope not! But in all seriousness. Peter speaking of his ally in mortal spiritual combat (paul) says of pauls writings they are at the best of times hard to be understood! which those who are unlearned and/or unstable WREST, as they do - as they do - to there own destruction.
Pauls writings in his epistles require careful examination, study, and illumiation by the holy Ghost! In order to arrive at the proper context. However many run too early or push the envelope too hard. And the net result is one of rruin and all to often the ruin of other lives. There are no short cuts. Probably one of the best examples in the word of scripture wresting is that of elymas a false prophet and sorceror to boot (who did not cease to pervert the right ways of God) and was divinely diciplined By God ...through - pauls words. Being smiiten with blindness for a season.
There you have it then brethren: 7 things or 7 ways in which the scriptures can be tormented from the incorrect usage of them! and by men as paul warned who would be the many that corrupt the word of God. God in many ways if not all his ways is his OWN interpretor though and no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. Ive tried to model myself on (letting scripture interpret scripture) as many of the issues paul raised - he also in the same breath answered further down on the page. Also with The holy spirits help i allow him to guide me into all truth ( John chapters 14-16 ) I also listen to men but recognize i dont need men to bring me into truth (as such)But the anointing you have abides in you, and you have no need that any man teacheth you! Yes he uses anointed vessels to preach (i concur) but we are not wholly and solely reliant on that ... as though without teachers we cant understand the bible! or come into truth (without them) Also a line upon line approach is one that i have sought to employ with a sentence upon sentence and paragraph upon paraagraph application to study! With God's help i also endeavour to rightly divide up and rightly apportion scripture - to be approved of God, and not of men. And i have also sought over time (to give attendance to doctrine) with the writing of numerous journals and by the saving of many things to file on the computer for furure reference. I also seek to hold to the essential doctrines of the faith and to teach the doctrine of Christ as prescribed to us in John's 2nd epistle. This in brief is (not a formula) but my own principles that i seek to incorporate into my life and studies . Amen
| 2010/11/13 23:53||Profile|
| Re: " Torturing The Scriptures" ...|
Wow... this is pretty powerful. Thank you for sharing this.
| 2010/11/14 9:38|
| Re: |
Brother, this reminds me of a devotion I wrote a few years ago. There's a lot of similarity! Here it is:
"...in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction" (II Peter 3:16)
One day, while reading this bit of scripture, I suddenly felt impressed to look up the original Greek for "wrest". As I looked more deeply into the Greek, I soon found that the word "wrest" was translated from a term related to "torture by twisting", as, by example, the rack (see Strong's 4761).
The rack was a medieval torture device used, traditionally, to extract information. It was associated with confession. If a King, for example, suspected an enemy was witholding valuable information; that is, information "hard to be understood" (verse 3:16), the king would first question the prisoner, and if a satisfactorial reply was not obtained, the next step would be torture. The same treatment of the Word of God can be wrought by men who are "unlearned" (to wit: reading Holy Writ without the illumination of the Holy Spirit) and who are also "unstable" (v.16) like the paranoid king who will stop at nothing to hear what he wants to hear.
Of course we know that such wavering and unstable persons should not think to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:7).
These are suspicious men, like the masterminds of cults, who attempt to extrapolate information from God's Word that is both convenient and accomodating to their already pre-held convictions and pet suspicions. Since the Holy Spirit will not confess to that which is a lie, interrogation by torture (i.e. wresting) is now in order.
God's word goes on the rack to be "wrested". The aim of this act is to induce the Holy Spirit to confess to something He never intended to say. Innocent people under torture and duress have often crumbled and confessed to many a fallacious charge, if only to stop the horrific pain. The Holy Spirit, however, will never do this. God, in his inestimable wisdom, instead allows men to believe a lie (II Thes. 2:11), a false confession, even as they distort and pervert Scripture to neatly satisfy their pet erroneous suspicions.
On earth, the torture victim is mercifully killed after finally "divulging the secret", and the satisfied king can sleep peacefully; in the spirit realm, however, when wicked men finally receive the coveted confession, the result is always that they are the ones who are killed, as by entering unto "their own destruction" (II Peter 3:16b).
Paul Frederick West
| 2010/11/14 10:02||Profile|
| Re: |
a China man said, after visiting the USA, "it's amazing what the Americans can accomplish without God."
| 2010/11/14 10:21||Profile|