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Posts Tagged ‘deception’

“…The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” Rom 10:8 NKJV

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Heb 11:1 NKJV

“…the just shall live by faith…”  Heb 9:38 NKJV

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the the word of God.”  Rom 10:17 NKJV

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What I am about to share comes as a product of having just taught a 13 week Sunday School class on, Investigating the Bible.

I am forever changed…

I was curious for certain. Bible history, nor history in general, is not my strength. But I was ignorant of how our Bible had come into its present form.  Seemed like a good thing to teach.

For the purpose of this writing, I can’t possibly compress 13 hours of teaching into one short blog post.  But I hope what I do share here you will further investigate … like a Berean. You can start with Chuck Missler’s videos on You Tube: How we go our Bible…

Let’s just jump in then, shall we…

I want to focus here on just the New Testament.  The Old Testament has arrived current day under the watchful eye of dedicated Scribes, then detailed servants called Masoretes, who were guardians of the Word and diligent copyists and brought it forward to roughly 1008 A.D. to the last codex written by the ben Asher scribes. Through the 12th C. these scribes of the ben Asher family line provided the only recognized form of the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus, from the Law being first given on Sinai, to the Pentateuch, to books being added through the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament), to the Rabbinic Bibles of the 1500’s and later to the 1937 3rd Edition Biblia Hebraica, The Old Testament has been a guarded, well-protected whole.

Not quite the same story for the New Testament.

First let me say, thank God there is more manuscript support for the New Testament than for any other body of ancient literature.

There are multitudes of New Testament source items (some fragments – not complete works) on Papyri and parchment, which tend to be fragile and do not stand wear and tear of handling and time. But we swim in a veritable ocean of papyri, collections, The Dead Sea Scrolls, and fragments all pertinent to the New Testament. Some of these are dated to within a lifetime of the events they describe.  There is great assurance now that the New Testament parchments themselves were all written before A.D. 80.

Thankfully we also have many many quotes from early church fathers as they quoted and discoursed over the word. That is a gift that has made such insights as I will share possible.

So for instance, for writings of those early church fathers you have the writings of Clement (who was a companion of Peter and Paul). You also have writings of Polycarp (who was a pupil of John and bishop of Smyrna). You have writings of Ignatius, (also  pupil of John and bishop of Antioch) who wrote Seven Epistles. You also have Justin Martyr and many others.

These Apostolic Fathers were writing and sharing during the period of the early church, roughly 91-160A.D.. Their discourses provide many lengthy quotations of the Apostles and their original writings, which provided a transmission of these works to others as instruction.

There were, however, three codices (manuscripts) that are from the 4th and 5th Century that are considered complete. These were the Alexandrian Codices, two of which (Vaticanus and Sinaiticus) figure heavily in the translation of our Bible today. They all come from Alexandria in Egypt, which was a major center of Greek thought and commerce.

So, this is the story concerning our New Testament and things you should know.

At the end of the 3rd C., Lucian of Antioch compiled the Greek text to create the primary standard throughout the Byzantine World (centered in Byzantium – not Rome).  Then from the 6th C. through the fourteenth centuries, the majority of the New Testament texts were produced in Byzantium and also in Greek.

Starting in the early 1500’s Desiderius Erasmus (a Dutchman) compiled a New Testament from these available Byzantine Greek New Testaments. His fifth edition text, in 1525, became the basis for the primary text of the Greek New Testament for translations like the 1611 King James Version. It was called the Textus Receptus (TR) or Received Text (RT).

The use of the Textus Receptus (the Erasmus New Testament) as the backbone and framework for the New Testament continued for the next three hundred years.

In the 19th century, with the release of the Alexandrian texts (Vaticanus and Sinaticus) to scholarly examination, there was a complete shift in veneration from the Textus Receptus to these older manuscripts. To wit, by 1881, we see the Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament being completed after 28 years of work.

What seems to be the problem you say?

While indeed “older manuscripts” the Alexandrian texts are considered riddled with omissions, copyist errors, but worse, they gave Westcott and Hort the inroad they desired to sway Christian doctrine away from themes they found offensive and difficult.

These two Anglican churchman, having been influenced by Gnostic heresies and New Age doctrines, had developed great contempt for the Textus Receptus and  wanted a way to downplay its doctrines of:

– Bible history concerning Creation, the Fall,

– the Resurrection and the Fall

– deity of Christ

– forgiveness of sins

– literal heaven and hell

and they decided this was a good time to offset these doctrines and shift them into Gnostic like heresies with New Age twists…

Westcott Horts’ defense was they were using the oldest complete manuscripts. Really, they were using corrupt manuscripts that gave them a license to skew doctrine. 

The proof is in the fact that early church father’s who had extensively quoted Scripture in their writings demonstrated the presence of Scripture that had been left out by Westcott Hort.  These Scriptures had been in earlier writings than the Alexandrian texts.

Just one example of this is Mark 16:9-20.  Justin Martyr refers to this passage in the middle of the 2nd century. In A.D. 180, Irenaeus quotes Mark 16:19 outright in a commentary… but it is likely your Bible copy says, “earlier manuscripts do not contain these passages.” Those earlier manuscripts would be referring to Alexandrian texts that Westcott and Hort used. But remember the Alexandrian texts dated back to the 4th and 5th centuries.  But there were in existence many sources quoting Scripture that themselves were dated prior to the 4th and 5th centuries.  These sources quoted Scripture passages like that in Mark 16:9-20, thus confirming they had been present before the Westcott Hort text was compiled, and eliminated them.

Thus, was born the age of one-thousand years of influence from Wescott and Hort to today!!!

You see… their Greek New Testament text completed in 1881, would become the standard for the work of the Anglo-American Revision Committee (1881-1885) and would become the basis for the 1901 American Standard Version.  This ASV text, would become the standard in American Seminaries across the nation… filling the hearts of hungry Bible students who would later fill America’s pulpits, and later preach the word to America’s heart (just not the whole council).

In the 1880’s we saw the industrial revolution, and Darwinism gain great influence, and the concept of evolution take hold in the seed bed of American thinking.

Who knows what might have been different for our Nation, had the corrupt influence of Westcott Hort not been allowed to flourish.

But here is the harsh reality. Every modern translation of the Bible since the 1900’s has been based on the Westcott Hort Greek Text!

My beloved Amplified Bible by Zondervan, the RSV, the NASB, The NIV, and the NLT all are based on the 1901 ASV.

Want to check your version? Look at the graphic below and if your version has been lined out in the same manner, it is not based on the Textus Receptus, but rather the Westcott Hort text.

Let’s not let the devil have the final say in America’s reading of the Word of God, but rather let us rise up and take hold of the full council of God that was originally given. If you want to make sure you have a Bible based on the Textus Receptus, you will need to secure a KJV, NKJV, a 1537 Matthew’s Bible (difficult to read because of the Olde English), 1539 Great Bible, 1560 Geneva Bible, 1833 Webster’s Bible, 1862 Young’s Literal Translation, or any Bible using the KJ or NKJ text.

But no matter what, read the footnotes and the bottom and find out what they mean. Get the whole council of God.

For faith comes by hearing… and hearing by the word of God!

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“To reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel),…” Gal 1:16

As Thanksgiving dawns on the horizon before us, and as the age of the church waxes into maturity – I perceive a threat that is so subtle and precarious I must call out a warning!

We are enveloped in a time where it appears appropriate, even savvy for believers to press in for “more of the Lord” in every way possible.

More experiences,

More depth,

More of Him,

More anointing,

More power!

We are in danger of being “more” aligned with the heart of Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:9-24) and the heart of Herod to witness a sign (Luke 23… than the heart of Christ.

We are forgetting our constant need for consecration … to be separated to God — not to show what miraculous things can be done, or what wonderful people God can make us, but so Jesus can be revealed in us and through us! (Gal 1:16)

This is the witness He calls us to be. We witness of Him not of ourselves!

Now in the current press and desire to “have more” of Jesus, there lurks this unrecognized danger.  The danger being that we have been led astray, moved into a spirit of error, and believe we are desiring more of Him, but secretly we are desiring more of ourselves.  Like Paul says, “our minds have been corrupted and seduced from whole-hearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ,” and instead we have been moved to a more insidious and secret devotion to self.

How smart and cunning is our adversary Satan, to take desire for more and turn it inwards upon our soul! He cannot preclude us from salvation, but in corruption he can make us polluted beyond recovery.

Like Jude 1:11 describes, “they have run riotously in the way of Cain, and have abandoned themselves for the sake of gain [it offers them, following] the error of Balaam, and have perished in rebellion [like that] of Korah!”

So my warning is this! Beware of your own soulish notions of “wanting more!” Do not trust they are pure!  But rather trust the Lord that as you continue to turn towards Him in pure devotion to Him alone, He will fulfill the desires of your heart.

Proverbs 30:8-9 contains great wisdom for us all:

Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, Lest I be full and deny You and say, Who is the Lord?…”

Here is an important fact… John the Baptist never performed a single sign or miracle, but everything he said about Jesus was true… (Jn 10:41)

We are rapidly making our Christian walk about us, and how we are used of the Lord and our experiences (which is all self-centered), rather than what the Lord desires.

The Apostle Paul made an insightful comment about this attitude and focus of the heart when he revealed in Philippians 3:12 that he was pressing on to lay ahold and make his own that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of him!

He wasn’t laying hold of more of the Lord, or more of the promises, nor more anointing! But rather for the Lord’s purpose to be accomplished in his life!

While he did desire to know the Lord in the power of His resurrection, in the fellowship of suffering, and in obedience unto death, these came after the consecration in Phillippians 3:7-8. This is consecration as a protection against rampant self indulgence!

Now, this is my own understanding that I relate here… 

In each of our hearts lie ideas, concepts, perceptions, hopes etc… some known but some secret, hidden in darkness even to ourselves. It is in continually consecrating ourselves to God and before God that unholy desires and notions are purged. 

Proverbs 16:6 says that by mercy, love, truth, and fidelity [to God and man—not by sacrificial offering], iniquity is purged out of the heart….

My brothers and sisters, it is this kind of purging that each of us needs, especially as the age winds down and the deceptions of the enemy attempt to snag us from devotion to Christ.

Matthew 6:21-23 discuss the issue of treasure (what captivates our heart), and the light of our soul.  I believe with all my heart that the quantity and quality of light in our soul and heart is directly attributable to a giving over of self and devotion to God.  So when it refers to the body being full of light, it is really saying the body can only project the light in our hearts and soul born of complete devotion to the Lord.  Where our hearts are mixed (desiring the Lord but the things of self as well) light is dimmed.  And where the light of devotion is sorely compromised towards self, the light becomes darkness! How great will that darkness then be!

I pray this season for a heart of light for the Body of Christ! Eyes that are sound and not evil, and for a whole-hearted devotion to Christ unhindered by self, or the deceptions of the enemy!

May the dominion of the Lord in His Body be full!

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Day Seventy-Five
Exposing Another Gospel
(It’s a Different Apple)

“For [you seem readily to endure it] if a man comes and preaches another Jesus than the One we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the [Spirit] you [once] received or a different gospel from the one you [then] received and welcomed; you tolerate [all that] well enough! 2Cor 11:4 Amp

 

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Would you recognize another gospel, if you heard one? Would you register a note of discord with what you know from the Scriptures? Think about it…
I recently encountered a post on Facebook that stopped me cold. It sounded very savvy, very wise, even soothing to a Christian populous hungry for more. This is what it recommended:
“You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.”
On the surface this seems un-offensive, even sounds like sage advice. But I want to show you how to quickly recognize something when it is actually adversarial to the word of God and the gospel at large. We do this by plugging this vague guidance into a Bible reality to see if it agrees.
This above quote focuses you on the importance of your destiny, and the people who can get you there. So let’s look at a great man of Bible destiny, Joseph, son of Jacob. As you know, Joseph went on to literally save the world from famine and death. He became to the Egyptians, Zephenath-paneah, savior of the world (that’s quite a destiny for us to consider).
The quote is also urging you to carefully choose people of influence in your life – people that make you better. It says people that don’t add to your growth are wasting your time. So in Joseph’s case, let’s take a quick rundown of the people who impacted him. His brothers threw him down a well, plotted to kill him, but ended up selling him to traders bound for Egypt. He is sold as a slave to Potiphar’s house (a prominent officer of Pharaoh). In refusing seduction by Potiphar’s wife, he is imprisoned for rape – wrongly. He languishes in prison only to watch the possibility for restoration and release pass him by through the forgetfulness of Pharaoh’s butler and baker. It is only when Pharaoh himself is plagued with dreams that need interpretation that Joseph is remembered and brought before Pharaoh.

This is the changing point for Joseph, but to put it into perspective think of this: Joseph was 17 when his brothers sold him. He is roughly 30 when he is restored with them (13 years after they sell him), and during the second year of the famine he is roughly 39.
Our reality check with this quote then begs the question, how does the quote’s philosophy of choosing people to make you better — work for Joseph? The people who end up contributing to his destiny are betrayers, liars, cheats… ultimately they are seeking his destruction. They are the very people the quote guidance would encourage him to dump all along – yet he really didn’t have the chance. He became captive – not to their agenda, but to God’s. Out of Joseph’s own mouth he later says to his brothers: “As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many should be kept alive, as they are this day.” Gen 50:20
The point in this discussion is: like Joseph we don’t know our full destiny. We can’t choose a path of people to include or exclude that can help us to achieve our destiny. We don’t have the wisdom or the intel to do so. God’s destiny for us includes an inner work that only He can inspire in us and draw out of us. No amount of selective saturation or posturing with people who I think can make me better can affect that inner change – God has a plan which I am not privy to!
I want to propose the entire tone of this quote is completely opposite of the Gospel message. Here are just a few Scriptures that clarify that claim:
– Rom 12:16 “… do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.”
– 1Jn2:6 “Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.”
– Phil 2:8 “And after He appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!”
The quote under examination carries no attitude of humility or sacrifice, obedience, nor love of others. It instead carries a distinct aroma of self-love and self-focus that puts itself and its perceived destiny before all other things. This has no affiliation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. It has no reliance on the Lord for the fulfillment of His destiny in us. Instead it strokes the ears and hunger of those who want to believe it, and comforts them in their pursuits and posturings as being in agreement with light – when the attitude of the heart in this quote is instead aligned with darkness.

Today more than ever it is time for believers to become savvy of the wiles of the enemy and his intention to distract, deceive, and waylay us on a route not consistent with Bible Truth. It’s time to part company with arguments, and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and to lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), — especially every Facebook thought and offering found there… (or anywhere else for that matter).
Shalom

 

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Day Ten

Heed the Call to Simplicity

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”  NKJV 2Cor 11:3

In the Garden of Eden, Satan baited Eve to doubt and disbelieve God’s intentions by posing questions to her.  Watchman Nee describes with great detail this attack in The Spiritual Man, and how this tactic was used to cause Eve to employ her mind to answer his questions.  Though we may not see it, the attack was a malicious and deliberate attempt to get Eve to stir up her soul (specifically her mind), so her soul would expand in its efforts of thinking and depart from under the rule of the spirit within her.  The spirit was the part of her, and Adam, that could commune with God.  To destroy the rule of their spirits was to destroy this fellowship with God.

Now, here, the Apostle Paul presents a warning so that a similar evil will be averted today by believers who possess a regenerated spirit in Christ.  He is warning that our minds may lead us into the very same corruption as Eve experienced, a corruption characterized by fleshly thinking and doing, and a dependence on our soul vice the spirit as it is moved and led by Christ.

If you are a believer in Christ you actually have two minds.  You have your natural mind that you were born with.  But through your regenerated spirit you also have the mind of Christ.  Romans chapter eight discusses this duality, especially verses 1-18.  May you study them and receive revelation!  But in very simple terms, imagine you are a dog-sled and that there are two different dogs that like to lead you (the sled).  One dog is the flesh dog, one is the spirit dog.  Depending on which dog is allowed to lead – that is the nature of the things he pursues.  The flesh dog pursues the things of the flesh and seeks to gratify those desires.  The spirit dog seeks those things of the spirit and seeks to gratify the desires of the spirit.

So essentially Paul is warning us to let the spirit dog always be the lead dog, and let the flesh dog die of boredom and non-use!  The importance of this is not to be minimized!  Your flesh dog – can never please God (Rom 8:8), and it will always lead you astray.  The profoundness of this notion is underscored by the meaning of “simplicity” in 2Cor 11:3.

This word simplicity is haplotes (#572) in the Strong’s Greek.  It means singleness, without dissimilation or self-seeking.  The word is also derived from (#573) haplous, which adds the aspect of a particle of union, and being folded together.

Our flesh is “self-seeking.”  Our spirit is Christ-seeking.  Paul’s admonition to pursue simplicity in effect means never be self-seeking, thus never flesh-led!  Further, to have union in Christ – to be folded together implies we seek the same things, have similar perspective, and have the same goal as Christ Jesus – thus be spirit-led, following the dictates of the spirit.  This is having the simplicity in Christ Jesus!  It is singular devotion that is pure and of one substance with Him.  It is uncorrupted.

The point is – once the enemy finds a strategy that works, he generally keeps running with it.  Getting Eve to rely on her mind (flesh) rather than remain dependent on the spirit worked in the Garden – so he sees no reason to change his playbook.  He believes it will cause you also to fall.  But for you – hear the words of Paul and do not allow the enemy’s tactics to succeed again!  Let the flesh dog die – surrender and renounce the use of your flesh.  Reckon yourselves as being dead to sin but alive to Him.  And yield/offer “yourselves” (all of your faculties and members – all of your soul) to Him as instruments of righteousness (Rom 6:13).  Be-loved …

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