The Pursuit of God

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Imitating the Idolatry of NT Jews: All Scripture is God-Breathed

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Why do Christians today say that the entire Bible is God-breathed or Divinely inspired?  Where do we get that idea from?  We get it from the apostle Paul.  Paul once said to Timothy:

All Scripture is Divinely inspired and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. (2 Tim. 3:16)

Of course when Paul said this, he was only talking about the Old Testament, because that was the only “Scripture” that he knew.  But today when we quote Paul’s words, we pretend that he was referring to both the Old and New Testaments, even though the New Testament that you know today wasn’t compiled until long after Paul’s death.  It simply doesn’t matter to you that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Hebrews, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation were all written after Paul had died.  You still insist that when Paul said all Scripture was Divinely inspired, he was including documents that he’d never personally heard of.  Are you starting to get a feel for how ludicrous the modern day application of Paul’s words is?

Today Christians have deified a pile of paper and ink. We not only worship the Bible as a living deity, we often speak as if it is a god which outranks the real Gods.  When you say things like “God can’t go against the written Word,” you’re saying that the Bible trumps God.  You’re saying that in some mystical way, a collection of historical documents possesses the supernatural ability to limit God’s options. To hear Christians tell it, God might want to do something, but if He can’t find a verse in the Bible to support His idea, then He is rendered incapable of acting.  How well do you think our Bible idol games are sitting with the real Gods?  Do you think They’re pleased when you quote Scriptures at Them as a means of trying to make Them feel accountable to you?  “God, You promised!” we accuse as we quote a passage in which God wasn’t talking to us at all.  Such are the games we play with our Bible idol.

Today we’re acting like idolatrous idiots with the Scriptures.  We lie our faces off about what passages even mean, we blow off historical context, we totally discount the perspectives of the original authors, and then if anyone calls our baloney out for what it is, we become enraged and call them a blaspheming heretic.  The modern Christian’s definition of truth comes with a license to lie our faces off whenever we want to.  Sure, Paul was talking about books that weren’t even written yet when he spoke of certain documents being “Divinely inspired.”  We say that David was referring to Christ in the Psalms.  Never mind the fact that David had never heard of Christ. Never mind the fact that David knew nothing of Yahweh sending a Messiah to Israel, and never mind the fact that the Israel David knew didn’t seem to be in need of salvation.  Regardless of the fact that every so-called “Messianic” psalm can be easily interpreted within its original historical context and proven to have nothing to do with Christ, we still insist that the psalms are brimming with hints of a coming Messiah.  But why do we do this? Why do we feel such an intense need to have the Old Testament peppered with mentions of Christ?  Because today, Christ is important to us, and if it’s important to us, then we want our Bible idol to talk about it.  So we force prophecies to exist where they don’t, and we play games with the language to make it sound like people who weren’t even thinking of Christ were intentionally dropping hints about Him.  This is how it always works when humans invent false gods for themselves: they start imagining those gods are involved in the things that matter to them.  They imagine that they’re receiving prophecies and visions from beings who don’t even exist.  But should anyone point out what nimrods they’re being, tempers are quick to flare.

Today all you have to do to rile Christians up is to suggest that their idol is less than perfect.  And since the Bible is so riddled with foolishness—especially in the New Testament—this really isn’t hard to do.  And yet what is the value in talking about how messed up the Bible is?  Do we discuss these things just to irk people?  No.  The purpose of all of our material is to drive you closer to the real Gods by helping you understand who They are and how you can improve your treatment of Them.  Since the real Gods hate idolatry, if you are serious about pleasing Them, then you need to stop idolizing the Bible.  But you won’t realize how much you need to change until you recognize just how idolatrous you’re being, and to reach that aha moment, you need to give serious thought about how you have arrived at the conclusion that both the Old and New Testaments are “Divinely inspired.”  You didn’t get this idea from God, nor did you get it from Paul. You got it by totally mangling the meaning of one statement that Paul made.  Paul never claimed that all of your Scriptures were Divinely inspired.  He just said that all of his Scriptures were, and his stack of Scriptures was a lot smaller than yours.  So you’ve spent all of this time lying to yourself about what Paul meant, and the lies you’ve been clinging to are more than a little absurd.  Plus, they’ve led you to embrace soul attitudes which God detests—attitudes like idolatry.

Since the Church has turned her back on God, she doesn’t give a flip about what offends Him, thus she’s encouraging you to embrace attitudes which He says He hates.  God’s hatred of idolatry is one of the most prominent themes in the Bible.  And yet while the Church is always on your case about not reading the Bible often enough, she would be swift to punish you if you were to ever get serious about applying what God actually teaches in the book which you claim to think so much of.  God hates idolatry, yet here you are worshiping a pile of paper and ink, and talking as if some utterly flawed collection of human writings is magical, perfect, powerful, and alive.  Well, God has no use for this “Living Word” business.  God Himself never taught you to view the Bible as living—you actually got that idea from the author of Hebrews, who once said:

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)

This comment was most likely written after Paul had been executed by Romans, but you pretend Paul was thinking of lines like this when he spoke of documents that were “Divinely inspired.”  Then you tell yourself that the author of Hebrews used the term “the word of God” the same way you do today—as a title for your modern, two testament Bible.  But no, like Paul, the author of Hebrews had never heard of your Bible.

Today when you talk about the Living Word, you’re talking about some book on your bookshelf that you like to use as a magic talisman to ward off demons.  Today the Church encourages you to view the Bible as being literally alive and filled with supernatural power.  The Church has turned against God, so it’s only natural that she’d encourage you to embrace mindsets which He says He hates.  And because you’re depending on the Church to guide you instead of depending on God, you never bother to ask Him if the Church is perhaps leading you in the wrong direction.  But she is, and if you try to turn around, you’ll quickly discover how much she wants to keep you in a state of rebellion.  The question now becomes: are you going to live for the approval of the Church or the approval of God?  You can’t side with both—the Church has seen to that by choosing to so adamantly oppose God.  If you want to keep pretending that the Church is not up to her neck in willful rebellion, well, what can we say?  Have fun in Hell.

If you think that last comment was harsh, read your Bible.  See what your little book god has to say about how the real Gods feel about souls who treat devotion to Them like some trivial detail.  When you exalt the blasphemous teachings of Paul and the author of Hebrews—both of whom make many slanderous comments about Christ and Yahweh—you are siding against the real Gods. When you praise the teachings of pompous fools like the apostle John—a man who completely rejected Yahweh’s moral code by claiming to be sinless—then you are siding against the real Gods.  You see, it’s quite intentional that you’ve been pinned into a corner where you can’t retain the approval of the Church if you get serious about pleasing God.  She will hate you if you fully devote yourself to Him, because in doing that, you’ll have to stop pretending that her willful defiance of Him is no big deal.  And once you lose the Church, you can forget about Christians buddying up to you or sharing all of their goods and services with you.  You’re going to be stuck on the fringes—the kind of person that no one wants to have come to their Bible studies because you won’t just bob your head and smile while God is being slandered in some fool’s idea of a good Bible lesson.

Do you know why so many Christians keep going along with the Church’s garbage today, despite the fact that they are being convicted to change?  Because they don’t want to be lonely.  They don’t want to be outcasts.  They don’t want to lose the status, acclaim, and glory that comes with being the worship leader or the deacon or the home group controller or the Sunday School teacher or the pastor.  So while they preach and teach on passages in which Jesus spoke of the high cost of following Him, they’re all refusing to pay that price.  Today we talk about devotion, but we choose rebellion.  We preach about obedience while we model defiance.  And then we do exactly what rebellious Jews in the Old Testament did with Yahweh: we pretend not to understand how God could possibly have a problem with the way we are treating Him.  When He accuses us of turning against Him, we insist that we are true blue.  When He says our utter lack of devotion to Him makes Him want to vomit, we act like He’s the unreasonable One.

It is because the Church’s attitude towards God is so very foul that you will see Him going out of His way to violently assault her during the end times.  He will choose methods that are clearly supernatural in origin—destructive miracles which no human has the capacity to pull off.  Of course the Church will blame Satan and exalt herself as an innocent victim.  Spiritual rebels are notorious for declaring their own innocence while they spit in God’s face.  But it is not our own assessment of ourselves which we are judged by—instead, we are judged by God.  If you don’t want to personally end up on the wrong side of His wrath, then you need to sincerely ask Him if He feels your devotion to Him needs to improve.  If He points out changes which He wants you to make, you need to make them.  You can either take the issue of pleasing God seriously now, or you can spend eternity dealing with His displeasure with you.  God really isn’t difficult to succeed with.  It’s when we don’t bother to even try that we end up in such a mess.

So now let’s get back to Paul—the man who viewed the entire Old Testament as “Divinely inspired.” Was he correct in making such a claim?  Not at all.  There’s a whole lot of slanderous guff being flung in the Old Testament.  The book of Psalms alone is loaded with sentiments which Yahweh finds quite displeasing (see Psalm 74: Asaph Flaunts His Contempt for Yahweh).  So since it’s not “Divinely inspired” to publicly insult God and boast of how you’re wallowing in carnality, then why did Paul make his ludicrous claim?  Because, like us today, Paul was personally steeped in an idolatrous view of Scripture.  He wasn’t at all alone in this view.  Just as you don’t have to look far to find another Christian who deifies the Bible today, in New Testament Israel, the worship of the Old Testament was all the rage, thanks to the popularity of the Pharisees.

Today the Christian Church has broken up into many bickering denominations, some of which are a lot more popular than others. Well, in the Israel that Jesus strolled around in, there were two main denominations: the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  These two groups had drastically different views of the Old Testament.  Both groups upheld the first five books of the Old Testament—the books that Moses wrote—as “Divinely inspired.”  But when it came to the rest—the historical books, the Psalms, and the prophetic books—opinions varied.  If Paul had been a Sadducee, then he would have said that the Torah—the books of Moses—were Divinely inspired, but he would have been much more reserved about the rest of the Old Testament.  It’s only because Paul had personally chosen to align himself with the Pharisee denomination that he viewed the entire Old Testament as Divinely inspired.  And once you slap that label onto all of the foolishness that we find in the psalms, suddenly you’re seeing prophecy everywhere.

Now today we pretend that Christ is being talked about throughout the Old Testament.  In Old Testament times, no one tried to pretend that prophets and psalmists were dropping constant hints about a coming Messiah. Certainly guys like Isaiah and Daniel spoke of a coming Messiah—but Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament are far fewer than you’re led to believe today.  So how did the number get so inflated? Well, it started with the Pharisees.

By New Testament times, Israel was in a major crisis.  She hated being the property of Rome and there was enormous tension between Jews and Romans, with both sides intentionally provoking each other.  So violence abounded, and many Jewish leaders were encouraging the commoners to take a very miserable view of their place in history.  It’s rather like in America today when black kids are taught from the cradle to feel hated by whites, or to be angry because their ancestors were once persecuted as slaves in this country.  Is slavery wrong? Absolutely.  Were many blacks grossly mistreated by whites back when slavery was accepted? Absolutely.  But what happens when we teach kids who will never pick cotton a day in their lives to embrace the mentality of an abused slave who is being treated like an object on a white man’s plantation?  The kids grow up hating whites, and looking for evidence of racism everywhere.  Well, when you decide that someone doesn’t like you just because their skin is lighter than yours, then when you interact with that person, you’re going to be reading hostility into everything they do.

It is focusing on race that keeps racism alive.  Today we’ve got a bunch of blacks talking incessantly about how persecuted they are. And the more you hear yourself talking about how crummy your lot is, the more you believe it.  And of course the more you keep declaring that all whites are a bunch of hateful jerks, the more enemies you’ll make. No one likes being stereotyped.  No one likes being accused of stuff they haven’t even done yet.  But by the time we’ve got white parents teaching white kids to hate blacks, and black parents teaching black kids to hate whites, soon we have whole generations of kids passing on attitudes that they learned from adults.  Travel to parts of the country where no one cares what color your skin is, and you see people of multiple races getting along just fine.  But travel to parts of the country where people never stop talking about what color people are, and you see blacks and whites constantly glaring at each other and provoking each other into acting like jerks.  It’s not that there aren’t some whites and some blacks who are truly being obnoxious—but the problem is being greatly increased by a few angry people working hard to convince everyone else to be as immature as they are.  What’s more asinine than making a federal issue about the color of someone’s skin?  And yet when a kid wants to please his dad, and his dad rewards him for acting hatefully towards others, soon we’ve got another little racist being unleashed on society.

This is how it worked in New Testament Israel: there was a core of angry, immature Jews pressuring everyone else to join them in their immaturity.  Today “Black Lives Matter” is a group in America which aggressively encourages racial hatred under the guise of trying to stop racism.  Their mantra of “Black Lives Matter” is their way of saying that black lives matter more than all other lives.  Of course they don’t put it this way—according to them, they’re just trying to get everyone to appreciate a group that has been historically shunned.  And yet the more we talk about race, the more we encourage racism, so the very phrase “Black Lives Matter” only ends up making non-blacks feel shunned, thereby ensuring that the persecution of blacks will continue.  If you really want to stop racism, then you have to stop talking about race entirely, you have to drop the grudges you’re holding about things that happened to other people of your same race, and you need to realize what a dingdong you’re being to act like someone’s skin color is anything more than an expression of God’s fabulous artistry.  But this is the mature view, and humans have never been big fans of maturity. They prefer immaturity, which results in whining and incessantly griping about hardships—their own plus the hardships of people they didn’t even know.  It was the same with the Jews in the Bible: they were a very racist people who took pride in holding permanent grudges about the past.  By New Testament times, the common mentality was that “Jewish Lives Matter,” and anyone who didn’t treat ethnic Jews like God’s gift to the planet was viewed as a jerk.  Since the Romans had conquered the Jews, that automatically made the Romans dirt bags in the eyes of the Jews.  Jewish children were taught to despise anyone who didn’t look like them, little Jewish boys were taught to think they were better than little Jewish girls, and round and round we go until Israel is one big cesspool of hatred and frustration.

Now once you understand how negative the cultural mentality was for ethnic Jews, you can appreciate why they were so obsessed with the concept of Yahweh’s Messiah.  They believed that the Messiah would come and free Israel from all of her oppressors, then turn her into a world power.  When you’re a hateful little racist, the idea of getting to kick dirt in the faces of all those around you without any consequences coming back on you is a glorious dream.  Since the coming of the Messiah was intimately associated with getting major revenge on Rome, the Jews really wanted that Messiah to show up.  The more humans want something to happen, the harder they search for signs that it is getting close.  It was all of these psychological factors that drove Jewish leaders to scour the Old Testament for any verse that could be remotely related to the Messiah.  Since Pharisees were far more popular than Sadducees, and since Pharisees were promoting the absurd notion that the entire Old Testament was “God-breathed,” soon Jews were ripping verses out of context from all over the Old Testament and claiming that those verses had to do with the Messiah.

Now when Jesus finally showed up in Israel, He turned out to be nothing like the Jews were expecting.  They wanted a Messiah who would conquer Rome, spit on Gentiles, exalt racism, and turn Israel into a world power.  What they got instead was a Messiah who constantly insulted Israel while He praised Romans and went out of His way to be nice to Gentiles.  Jesus hung out with society’s lowlifes.  He physically touched people who ethnic Jews refused to touch.  He entered Gentile homes which ethnic Jews wouldn’t want to be caught dead in, and He directed His hatred at the very popular Pharisees.  So Jesus was quite a troubling Figure for the Jews, and it was more than a little disappointing to realize that Yahweh’s long awaited Messiah was the Guy who was gasping His last on a cross.  But then Jesus came back from the dead, and that gave His followers quite a boost. When those who decided to accept Jesus as the Messiah sat down to write about Him, many of them started digging through the Old Testament with fresh eyes.  Before Jesus came, the Jews were already attaching all kinds of verses to Him which had nothing to do with Yahweh’s Messiah. But now that they’d watched Jesus in action for three years, they could really go fruit with the misapplications.  Suddenly Jews like the Gospel writer Matthew were seeing references to Christ popping out at them all over the place.  How about that famous Immanuel prophecy that Yahweh gave in Isaiah 7?  In the very next chapter we learn that the Immanuel child was a son of Isaiah, but who cares about context?  Forget about what Yahweh said and forget about Isaiah’s son—let’s just start slicing and dicing Scriptures to make it sound like everyone’s talking about Jesus when really hardly anyone is.

Today the only reason you associate Jesus with Immanuel is because the Gospel writer Matthew made that association for you.  And yet if you were to actually read the original Immanuel prophecy for yourself—which no one does—you’d realize how absurd Matthew is being to suggest that Immanuel had anything to do with Jesus (see The Real Immanuel).  But instead you just swallow all of the baloney Matthew throws at you, then when Christmas rolls around, you sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”—a hymn which grossly insults Yahweh while it promotes Matthew’s idiocy (see Hymns from Satan: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel).

You see, when we stop depending on God to guide us in life, we always end up insulting Him as we promote absurd deceptions as rock solid truth.  Back in New Testament times, the Pharisees were promoting an obnoxious idolization of the Old Testament.  Scores of Jewish commoners adopted this mindset in order to please their human spiritual leaders, and as a result, the Old Testament was being constantly mangled and misapplied to say whatever Jews wanted it to say.  Today the books of the New Testament are peppered with misapplications of the Old Testament, many of which are a result of the author trying to force an Old Testament passage to be about Christ.  In real life, Christ isn’t referred to anywhere in the book of Psalms, yet you’ll find guys like Peter, John, Paul and the author of Hebrews quoting from Psalms and suggesting that their quotations have something to do with Christ.  If you were to look up the original context of the lines they quote, you’d soon discover that the original authors weren’t speaking of Christ at all.  But we don’t look up original context very often, do we?  Why not?  Because we’ve become very attached to the idea of Christ being on “every page of the Old Testament” and we don’t want to let it go.  This is the human way: when we like a lie, we fight hard to defend it.

Today it’s very difficult to find Christians who can actually dialogue about errors in the Bible.  As soon as you suggest that errors exist, people will get mad and leap to the conclusion that no serious Christian would ever speak negatively about the book.  And yet if we really cared about God, why would we not speak negatively about passages in which He is being slandered?  If we’re serious about honoring Him, how can we exalt the writings of men who openly defy Him?  How can we praise passages in which followers of Yahweh are giving Him a bunch of snarky attitude, and why would we teach our children to be impressed with rebellious punks like Samson?  In the Church today, we’re calling good bad and bad good.  We rip passages like Malachi 3:10 completely out of context, then applaud ourselves for doing so.  We shamelessly compile long lists of Bible “promises” even though most of the passages we choose aren’t promises at all.  Then we sell these lying lists to our fellow Christians and make a nice profit off of deceiving each other.  Well, all of our antics are nothing new.  In New Testament times, Jews who claimed to be followers of Yahweh had invented countless ways to bilk each other while using “God breathed” Scriptures to justify their shady actions. And then Jesus showed up.  How did He respond to all of these shady games?

In the four Gospel books, we find two accounts of Jesus flying into a rage over some of the ways Jewish leaders were using the sacrificial system to financially gouge Jewish commoners.  These accounts of Jesus clearing out the Temple by shouting and cracking a whip at people are well-known today, and we often work one of them in to our movies about Jesus’ earthly ministry.  But physical violence was the exception for Jesus—far more often He chose to use words.  The Gospel records are filled with examples of Jesus firing off testy zingers and insulting parables which exposed and condemned many of the ways spiritual leaders were abusing others.  Sometimes He even comments on specific ways that leaders were abusing Old Testament Scriptures.

Now when we see God directly confronting rebellion, we tend to like it—as long as we’re not the ones He’s spanking.  But what few people realize is how often God chooses to play along with rebellion instead of confronting it head on.  Let’s use a human example to appreciate how effective it can be to encourage someone to cling to lies.  Suppose Christy finds out that Beth has been spreading slander about Christy to others.  Christy is furious when she finds out, and she decides to get revenge on Beth.  Instead of confronting Beth directly, Christy starts laying the compliments on thick.  She pretends to really admire Beth, and her flattery is so well executed, that Beth is completely duped.  Beth ends up genuinely liking Christy, and as the friendship grows, Beth starts trusting Christy.  One day she shares an embarrassing secret with Christy, and this is just what Christy has been waiting for.  Beneath Christy’s friendly smile, she has never stopped hating Beth.  So when Beth shares her secret, Christy uses that information to utterly destroy Beth’s public reputation.  Beth is so humiliated that she loses her job and has to move away.  Christy is delighted by all of this.  By intentionally deceiving Beth and telling Beth all kinds of pleasing things, Christy brought utter misery down on Beth’s head.  This strategy of luring people into terrible traps by filling their heads with wonderful lies is not just a strategy humans use on each other—it’s also a strategy that our Creators use on us, only They are much better at it.  In the Bible, we find many examples of both Yahweh and Jesus telling people pretty lies as a means of luring them towards epic misery.  Such passages are quite chilling, yet we never hear them discussed in church.  Instead, we’re all taught to believe that God would never lie—a claim which is as ludicrous as saying the Immanuel prophecy had anything to do with Christ.  By clinging to the lie that God would never lie, we only end up walking into another kind of trap.

So then, does God use deception as a means of punishing people who are defying Him?  Absolutely.  Does He tell us what we want to hear just to stick it to us later on because we’re refusing to seek His wisdom in life?  Yes, this is an extremely common strategy with God and He’s doing it all over the place in this world today.  But deceiving to destroy is not the only reason God lies.  He also uses a ton of deception in the way that He educates us.  Let’s use another human example to see how this works.  Wendy is teaching little Sara how to read in English.  When they get to the letter h, Wendy teaches Sara how to sound out the letter by introducing Sara to the words home, hand, and her. “This is how h always sounds,” Wendy says and little Sara files that sound in her brain.  But is it really true that the letter h always makes the same sound in English words?  Not at all.  In words like honor, school, and ghost, we don’t pronounce the h at all.  In fact, we wonder why it’s even there because we’re totally ignoring it.  So when Wendy tells Sara how to pronounce h, she’s intentionally not telling Sara the whole story.  And when she sees that little Sara is feeling overwhelmed by all the new information, and Sara asks if h has other sounds, Wendy lies and says, “This is the only sound for h,” in order to keep Sara’s stress levels down.  So here we have Wendy using two kinds of deception: omitting information and boldfaced lying—in order to benefit little Sara.  Do the real Gods use this same kind of strategy with humans?  They certainly do.

The truth is that our Creators lie to us far more often than we realize.  They lie to us in many different ways for many different reasons.  In the Bible, we find a ton of lying going on.  Yahweh cranks out the lies in the Old Testament (see Practicing Discernment: Yahweh Lies), Jesus dishes out more lies in the Gospels (see Practicing Discernment: Jesus Lies), and then we come to Revelation: a book that is so full of deceptions that we can barely keep up (see Applying Revelation 20: Millennial Madness).  Given how much lying is going on in the Bible, how far do you think we’re going to get with the real Gods by clinging to the mantra that “God never lies”?  Not far at all.  You see, we don’t get to choose how our Gods will relate to us.  We don’t get to set limits on Their behavior.  If They like using deception with us—which They do—we need to face this and ask Them to help us deal with it in positive ways.  Sticking our heads in the sand won’t change anything.

Humans were designed to be very fragile creatures and we are easily overwhelmed by too much information.  When it comes to learning new things, we need the new information to be presented to us in manageable bites, otherwise we become discouraged and we shut down.  When it comes to changing our beliefs, we often need to move at an even slower pace.  It greatly upsets us to realize we’ve been clinging to some lie for decades without even understanding how wrong we were.  Of course we can’t help this. Until God opens our eyes, we’re incapable of seeing truth that’s right in front of us.  But our pride struggles to accept just what ignorant dopes we are, so we end up going through a kind of identity crisis whenever God drops some shocking new revelation on us.  To help us survive the learning process, God paces the whole thing out.  Instead of pointing out every error in our thinking all at once and completely discouraging us, He keeps affirming a lot of our wrong thinking while He corrects one thing at a time.  This is what we see Jesus doing a lot in the Gospels: while He introduces new ideas, He keeps affirming old ideas, even though those older ideas are dead wrong.  For example, Satan does not rule this world.  But by New Testament times, the Jews had become obsessed with angelic beings and they were exalting the power of Satan much like we do today.  In fact much of what we do today is just an imitation of New Testament foolishness.  Our spiritual armor, our guff about spiritual strongholds and being spiritual “warriors”—we get these ideas from New Testament Jews.  Like them, we think way too much of our own abilities to duke it out with evil spirits, and we imagine those spirits as having far more power than they actually do (see Spiritual Warfare in the Church: Delusions vs. Truth).

Well, in the Gospels, we find Jesus making comments about Satan ruling the world.  Satan doesn’t rule the world.  Satan doesn’t rule anything, and Jesus knows this.  But Jesus also knows that the Jews He’s speaking to all think that Satan does rule their world.  Rather than correct this false belief, Jesus affirms it and then uses it to get across a point that He feels is more important at the time.  A fabulous example of this is Jesus’ famous temptation story, in which He claimed that Satan offered to give Jesus the world.  Satan doesn’t own the world, so he can’t give it to anyone, but this isn’t how the Jews saw it.  By playing on false Jewish beliefs about Satan, Jesus ended up greatly exalting Himself (see Impressing the Devil: Jesus’ Self-Exalting Temptation Story).  We find Yahweh doing this same kind of thing all throughout the Old Testament.  For example, gods that other nations worshiped didn’t really exist—they were just delusions.  In the Old Testament, we find Yahweh alternating between mocking the whole notion of other gods, and talking as if those other gods are quite real.  When Yahweh speaks of other gods being real, it’s usually in a context of Him saying how He’s going to conquer those other gods.

Playing on false beliefs is a very effective way of driving people towards truth.  Take Jesus’ shocking claim to be Israel’s long awaited Messiah.  No Jew wanted to accept that idea, because Jesus was so different from who they were hoping for.  The Pharisees were especially threatened by Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah, so they were always trying to trip Him up in arguments. But Jesus knew all about how the Jews had deified Scriptures, and He knew how they were making up a bunch of phony Messianic passages.  He also knew how the Pharisees were teaching everyone that the entire book of Psalms was “Divinely inspired.”  In Psalm 110, David is talking about himself, not Christ, and he’s not quoting God, he’s just venting his own emotions. But by New Testament times, the Pharisees were insisting that David’s writings were all inspired by God.  No, they really weren’t, but Jesus enjoyed playing on this false belief in order to exalt Himself.  Jesus was claiming to be a Supernatural Being, not just a mere mortal. In New Testament times, Jewish pastors were strict monotheists, and they said believing in multiple Gods was blasphemy.  If the Messiah can’t be a God, He must be just a regular human—that’s what the Jewish leaders were saying.  And yet Jesus is not just a human, He’s a second Almighty God.  Watch how Jesus uses the false belief that all Scriptures are God breathed in order to promote Himself as more than just a human:

So Jesus asked this question as He taught in the Temple complex, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the Son of David? David himself says by the Holy Spirit:

“Yahweh declared to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet.’

If David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; then how can the Messiah be David’s Son?” And the large crowd was listening to Jesus with delight. (Mk. 12:35-37)

Here Jesus is playing on two lies.  The first lie is that Psalm 110 was Divinely inspired.  The second lie is that David was referring to Christ in that psalm (see Debunking Messianic Psalms: The Real Meaning of Psalm 110).  Jesus uses these two lies to drive the Jews towards accepting the radical concept that Jesus is a Supernatural Being—that He’s not just a human.  This is a very clever use of the lie that the entire Old Testament was Divinely inspired.

In the Gospel books, we find Jesus intentionally misapplying Scriptures in order to promote Himself as the Messiah.  Other times, He accurately applies Scriptures to demonstrate how rebellious the Jews were being.  When we find Jesus misapplying Scriptures and making other remarks that simply aren’t true, we need to realize that He is working within the very flawed theological framework of His immediate audience.  Rather than try to get people to understand the absolute truth on any subject, Jesus uses a wide variety of means to keep nudging them in the right direction.  The problem was that the Jews didn’t want to be nudged.  Like Christians today, Old Covenant believers were comfortable with the lies they were clinging to and they didn’t want to be talked out of them.  It was this unteachable attitude which caused Jesus to so frequently criticize His disciples for their lack of faith.  It was also this unteachable attitude which resulted in so much baloney being taught in the New Testament.

What we find in the book of Acts is the early apostles making a bunch of speeches about Jesus in which they try to use Old Testament Scriptures to prove that Jesus perfectly fulfilled a wide range of Messianic prophecies.  The problem is that many of the prophecies guys like Peter and Paul refer to weren’t prophecies at all, nor did Jesus have anything to do with them.  The early apostles just made stuff up in order to gain credibility with other Jews who shared their idolatrous view of the Old Testament.  Today, Christian leaders are playing the same shady games.  When they want you to believe something, they just rip a verse out of context.  They know you’ll be too lazy to look it up for yourself, and since you worship the book as God’s equal, once someone makes you think a verse has a particular meaning, you just accept it.

Today scores of Christians are tithing just because they actually think Malachi 3:10 says that if Christians tithe, God will materially bless them.  In reality, Malachi 3 has nothing to do with Christians, but because Christians are worshiping the Bible and clinging to the lie that God could never break a promise in the Word, once they think Malachi 3:10 is a promise, they get out their wallets and make their leaders rich.

What we believe greatly impacts our behavior.  If we believe lies, we end up in a mess. But why should God bother to teach us truth if we’re not respecting Him enough to ask Him for guidance?  He won’t.  When we ignore God, He piles more lies onto the ones we are already believing and He turns our brains into mush.  Soon we’re calling wrong right and lies truth.  We’re revering demons and Bibles more than we do the real Gods.  We’re hanging on the words of foolish humans and dead apostles while we blow off the convictions God gives us.  Is it a mess?  Yes, and the only way out is to stop fluffing off the concept of being devoted to God.  We need to ask Him what His idea of loyalty looks like, and how He wants us to express our loyalty to Him.  We need to stop elevating created things over the Creators.  We need to ask God to break us out of any foolishness that we’re currently clinging to, and we need to realize that gaining the approval of our Creators is the only thing that’s worth giving up everything for.  Chucking Them aside so that we can bask in the worship of others is an epic mistake which will only result in eternal misery.  So choose wisely, and ask Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to make you all that They want you to be.

FURTHER READING:
Change the Bible, Go to Hell: Debunking Christian Superstitions
Creating a Different God: How the Bible is Being Changed to Lead You Astray
How We Got the Bible: A Reality Check for Christians
Understanding Idolatry: The Problem & the Cure
Serving a God Who Lies
It’s Biblical: God Talks to People Without Using the Bible
Jesus vs. the NT Jews: What it Means to Please God
How the NT Epistles Define Christ: Not God, Just Another Flawed Human

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