What happens when you chop and change Scripture?

It is positively dangerous to tamper with the factual meaning of Scripture.

The Bible consists of 66 different ‘documents’ or ‘books.’  If they were inspired by the Holy Spirit they should show an order, logic and continuity.  If they don’t, why should we believe they had a common Author, the Holy Spirit?

#  Creation, an example of a repeated theme

Let’s test whether the creation account of Genesis 1 is a theme found consistently in Scripture.  These are a few examples of the many verses about creation:

  • Exodus 20:11, ‘For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them….’ 
  • Nehemiah 9:6, ’You alone are the Lord.  You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.  You give life to everything….’
  • Proverbs 3:19-20, ’By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place; by His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.’
  • Jeremiah 32:17, ’Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.’ 
  • John 1:3, ’Through Him [Jesus] all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.’ 
  • Colossians 1:16 and Hebrews 1:2 repeat that Jesus is the Creator.
  • Revelation 10:6, ’And he [an angel] swore by Him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it….’
  • A few other verses are in Psalm 33:6; Psalm146:6; Psalm 148:5; Ecclesiastes 11:5 Mark 13:19; Acts 17:24; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 11:3; 2 Peter 3:4 et cetera.

#  The pattern is clear throughout Scripture. 

God created.  If one denies God’s almighty power to create in six days, a big problem surfaces:

  • Isaiah 65:17 says, ’Behold I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered….’   It is a prophecy that points to Revelation 21:1, ‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.’  A new literal eternal heaven and earth is the hope of the followers of Jesus.
  • If someone changes Genesis 1, he/she has to change many other verses in the Bible that have to do with creation.  Where does it end?  If creation is not true, why is Jesus the Son of God, born of a virgin, resurrected from the dead, ascended to heaven?

Conclusion

God’s omnipotence is displayed in six days creation.  That same omnipotence guarantees the new heavens and earth for us.  It guarantees Jesus our Savior.  It is positively dangerous to tamper with the factual meaning of Scripture.

 

David, failure or man after God’s own heart

It is never too late! Don’t let people tag you. Allow God the last word over your life.

Sometimes we put a tag on a person.  For example we talk about one of Jesus’ disciples as ‘doubting Thomas’ because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection.1  Yet we forget that he was also brave and committed to His Master.  When the chief priests wanted to kill Jesus, on the occasion of going to raise Lazarus, Thomas said to the other disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with Him.’ 2  Why is he not recommended for his fearlessness?

#  We often treat King David the same way and give him a tag.

People remember him as an adulterer and murderer in the case of Bathsheba.  Turmoil in the family was a problem for David: one of his sons raped a sister and was killed by a brother.  That brother later tried to push his father from the throne and make himself king, but was killed.  Another son also tried to elevate himself to kingship and was killed.  Shouldn’t David be tagged ‘Failure?’

#  Did the omniscient God tag David ‘Failure?’

  • No!  The New Testament reports, “He [God] testified concerning him, ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'” 3
  • Look at what David did after all his mishaps (he confessed his sins 4).  He turned his attention to that which God held dear in His heart: His Temple.  That is where God would live in the midst of His people.
  • David, not allowed by God to build the temple, said, ‘My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations.  Therefore I will make preparations for it.’ 5

#  David’s exhaustive preparations

  • He brought the ark to Jerusalem. 6
  • He organized the Levites, priests, singers and gatekeepers. 7
  • He got the plans for the temple from the Holy Spirit. 8
  • He gathered immense amounts of gold, silver and bronze and got the leaders to contribute. 9

#  What is the moral of the story?

God was very pleased with David’s life work, done near the end of his career.  So when we think we blew it, God says it is not over yet.  If we confess our sins, God will reveal the next stage of His plan for each of us individually.  That might result in God giving us the wonderful tag, ‘A man (or woman) after my own heart who did what I wanted him or her to do.’

Conclusion

It is never too late!  Don’t let people tag you.  Allow God the last word over your life.

References

  1. John 20:24-29
  2. John 11:16
  3. Acts 13:22
  4. Psalm 32:1-5; Psalm 51
  5. 1 Chronicles 22:5
  6. 1 Chronicles 15-16
  7. 1Chronicles 23,24,25,26
  8. 1Chronicles 28
  9. 1 Chronicles 29

Can we shift the blame for our actions like Adam?

At the last judgment, when all people will appear before the Judgment Seat, no person will be able to shift the blame. Even if they appeal to God that the devil deceived them, they will still be responsible. Everyone will individually give an account to God for what they did while alive.

The most decisive event in the history of the world happened in the garden of Eden.  It shaped the world we live in.  The devil, that ancient serpent or Satan who leads the whole world astray,1 convinced Adam and Eve to disobey God.  When God confronted them, Adam shifted the blame to Eve and Eve to the serpent.

# How did God handle it?

He accepted Adam and Eve’s blame shifting, but held them responsible for their disobedience.  When it came to the serpent, God condemned him to slither on his belly and eat dust.  Yet He did not expressly address the personality behind the actions of the serpent, the devil.

#  Why did God flatly ignore him?  

The devil had already been judged.  He was in heaven as one of God’s created angels.  He saw God in His glory, served Him and yet rebelled.  The serpent is beyond salvation.  At the end of this age he will be thrown in hell and spend eternity there.

#  God gave His attention to Adam and Eve.  

They were made in His image.  People had the potential to become His children, part of His Kingdom and part of the Bride of His Son, Jesus.  Therefore God clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins, signifying their sins are forgiven.  It is humans who will again enter Eden when Jesus, the Lamb of God, opens the way.

#  What do we learn from Genesis 3?  

  • God holds people responsible even if they try to shift the blame.  We have a free will.  We can decide if we want to follow God, the King of the Kingdom of Light.  When we reject Him we remain in Satan’s kingdom of darkness.
  • At the last judgment, when all people will appear before the Judgment Seat, no person will be able to shift the blame.  Even if they appeal to God that the devil deceived them, they will still be responsible.  Everyone will individually give an account to God for what they did while alive.

Conclusion

The Holy Spirit prepares all people who chose to follow Jesus, for the glorious coming eternal life with God.  The devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour.  However, God equipped us with the necessary weapons and armor to withstand the devil’s wiles.  When we are in God’s glorious presence, the devil will be something of the past.

Note: Scripture says, ‘…man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment….’ 2 Does it mean followers of Jesus will be judged?  Weren’t our sins annulled?  I believe we will be at the judgement as a testimony to Jesus’ wonderful sacrificial death on our behalf; to demonstrate to unbelievers how the grace of Jesus transformed people’s lives.

Reference

  1. Revelation 9:12
  2. Hebrews 9:27