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Christian Fallacies
A CROSS-SECTION OF COMMON FALLACIES IN THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF MODERN CHRISTIANITY THROUGH LACK OF BIBLE TEACHING
 :: THESE ARE LISTED BELOW AS AN APPEAL FOR A MORE BIBLICAL / MORE AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY :: 
—  AND  PERHAPS  SHOULD  BE  COMPULSORY  READING  IN  EVERY  THEOLOGICAL  COLLEGE  —
He whom Jesus, with reason, called the – "Father of Lies" commonly uses truth to deceive, in what we would today call –
'half-truths'.
See: Satan's
Primary Tactic
The damage of a particular deception is most often not the deception itself
but what that deception hides, or distracts us from!
Bible
blue pinGod the Father is the Creator       Sunday is the Christian Sabbath   Nationalism is good
  There was no death before Adam sinned   Ten Commandments are a guide to living   One nation under God!
  Cain was unblessed for not bringing First-fruits   The Kingdom of God fulfils David's kingdom    
      David actually killed Goliath with that giant's sword   One-world-government is Satanic
  Before the Flood the earth had one climate   David's bloodied hands prevented him building the temple   Cash-less society is Satan's plan
  God set life expectancy at 120 years   Israel's 70-year exile began with destruction of the temple   Antichrist's followers have his mark
  God set life expectancy at 70 years   The Ten Tribes are the Anglo-Saxon-Nordic nations    
  Humans are made of three parts   Ten Tribes of Israel were lost in history   The Pope is the Antichrist
  Death is a law of God for humans       Antichrist must be a Jew
  God decides when you will die   The Holy Spirit restrains Antichrist    
  Suicide is an unforgivable sin   The Holy Spirit leaves earth at the Rapture   Christ's incarnation made earth sacred
    'Tongues' ended with the Founding Apostles    
  The Sabbath is a day of worship Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin   Social Reconciliation is a Gospel Task
  King Melchizedek was really Jesus Falling down under the Spirit's anointing is a blessing    
Job's suffering was caused by unbelief The Holy Spirit comes to us through the Sacraments     Allah is a false god
  Every Christian has a gift from the Holy Spirit   Halal is like food offered to idols
God punishes children for parents' sins Spirit Baptism is a second work of Grace   Islam is the enemy of Israel
We are all born unclean before God      
    "surrounded by a cloud of witnesses" watching   God is on Israel's side in conflicts  
Adultery and fornication are different   Any revelation must be confirmed by two or three   Supporting Israel brings blessings  
Christians must always forgive   "where two or three" is a promise of Christ's Presence   Israel today is 'a nation born in a day'  
Baptism enrols in the local church   Satan cannot understand speaking in 'tongues'   Founding of the State of Israel is a Sign  
Christian baptism saves you Satan specially attacks Christian marriages   Israel is converted before Christ returns  
  Indigenous religious curios are demonic      
Prayers help the Dead Jehovah and Yeshua are authentic   144,000 Jews will evangelise the world  
There is power in prayer A Christian cannot have a demon   'king of the north' is Germany  
Unity in prayer increases results Alternative medicine is demonic   Moses & Elijah both ran away  
There is power in the spoken word   Cremation is a pagan practice   Elijah must come back to die  
There is power in speaking The Word   Demons fear holy symbols      
    Satan lives in Hell   Israel's Ark has been found  
The Church canonized the Scriptures          
Mary is the Virgin Mother of God, etc.   Son of Man is a Messianic Title   Babylon city will be built again  
Eucharist is the receiving of Christ's flesh   Christ's ministry was the Ultimate      
I'm sickness-free for my body is His temple   The gospel is the story about Jesus   A 'day' in Bible prophecy means a year  
Healing is an Ordinance of the Church   Jesus came to bring Peace on Earth   A 'day' in the Bible means 1000 years Bible
Bible  Christians should 'plead the Blood' The 'Son of Man' in Daniel Seven is Jesus    
"sword" in the NT means Bible Jesus is 'Son of God' as part of the Holy Trinity   God has fixed the time of the End
It... is blessed... ! Jesus in compassion said "I don't condemn you"    
  The Sermon on the Mount is Christ's New Covenant   Christ may return at ANY moment
Saul changed his name to 'Paul' Abraham and Jacob's tithing means it is for us today    
The Church/Christians represent Christ The Gospel may be summarized as two commands   'Marriage' of the 'Lamb' is in Heaven
Each church must be under apostolic 'covering'   Christ suffered for sicknesses as He did for our sins    
Polygamy is not permitted in the Church   Christ's physical suffering is part of our Atonement   Christians live forever in New Jerusalem  
ALL incorrect / wrong / not true / incorrect / wrong / not true  — LET THE BIBLE RULE AMONG US —  wrong / not true / incorrect / wrong / not true / wrong / not true!
AND SO TO PASTORS –  "...you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."   (James 3:1).            
Myth 1.  GOD DECIDES WHEN YOU WILL DIE to top of page
This is a
half-truth that misleads. God gave us real choice. For instance, King Saul's suicide was not God's action. But, for those who walk with God – those who love Him in practice – and ONLY for them, God works all things together (including the exact time and manner of death) for their good; but only for them!
Outside of Christ, we really are victims of circumstance. Jesus said it – in response to why God had allowed the Galilean worshippers to be slaughtered as they worshipped in the Jerusalem temple (Luke 13:1-5).
God's grace alone (which requires a personal trust-response) lifts us above our environment/circumstances. Thus, for those who walk in His grace (only for them!) the sovereign management of God in all things is retroactive, anticipatory, absolute!
But 'fatalism', even when expressed in Christian terminology with Bible quotes, is not Christian.
Yet those who assert their belief in it still look before they cross the road. That is not honest!

 
Myth 2.  GOD SET LIFE-EXPECTANCY AT 120 YEARS to top of page
This is
Today some astronauts aboard the International Space Station line their sleep stations with bags of water, for H2O is an excellent protection from bombardment of high energy particles (ions, electrons and protons).
based on a misunderstanding of the 120-year warning period before the Flood of Noah. These 120-years were the special period from God's command to Noah to build the great Ark until the World Flood/Global Tsunami itself came (Genesis 6:3, which also collapsed earth's stratospheric water-vapour protection-layer in 40-days). During this warning-period Noah married and his sons were born.
This 120-year sentence expresses God's limit on His patience with that mutating generation – their terminus time.
NO-ONE in that following generation lived to only 120 years. So, if we believe the Bible to be true it can only mean the warning period of Noah's preaching and preparation of the ark.
"God's patience waited in the days of Noah"
1 Peter 3:20.


See:
Probable Cause

Myth 3.  GOD HAS SET LIFE-EXPECTANCY AT 70 YEARS to top of page
This idea
comes from the one and only psalm of Moses (Psalm 90:10) where our human frailty under God's rebuke is observed to be 70 years long, or 80 years if one is strong, at his time of writing.
But our 'strength' could not add even ten years to life if God had really set it at 70, let alone have Maysaloun Al-Amin (born 1890 northern Lebanon) hugging her great-great-great granddaughter at age 125.
Nowhere in God's Word does God ever decree life-expectancy.
The prayer of this Psalm is that God would teach us to number or value our days constructively so that we are able to present a heart of wisdom to God at life's end. Moses himself lived to 120 years and made his last 40 years mean more than his previous eighty years. (Thus God answered his prayer of Psalm 90:17, awesomely).

Maysaloun Al-Amin hugs her great-great-great granddaughter in Al-Dabbabiye, Lebanon, March 21, 2015. Born 1890, and except for a little hard of hearing, has no serious health issues.
See: Moses Depression
Myth 4.  TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL WERE LOST to top of page
Rather,
as one historian said, 'not lost, just melted.' It was after the Exile (from which the ten tribes are supposed to have never returned, according to this fallacy) that the priest Ezra led the returnees in sacrifice, on behalf of all Israel –
"12 bulls for all Israel" (Ezra 8:35).
Further, Jesus specially appointed 12 apostles for ministry to the 12 tribes of the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt.10:1-2,6). But the inspired description of the apostle Paul to king Agrippa in 60 AD is absolutely decisive against this error. He said –
"I stand here on trial for hope in the promise made by God to our fathers,
to which our Twelve Tribes hope to attain as they earnestly worship night and day."
(Acts 26:6-7).
What were the other claimants to Israel's identity doing at this time? Certainly not worshipping God day and night. Paul's identification applies only to the Jewish people. So, if ten of the 12 tribes were lost to some, it was certainly not to the witness of the apostle Paul or to the ministry of Jesus. In first century Palestine, Roman Judaea represented all 12 tribes of Israel no matter how far scattered individuals may have become.


See also:
God's promise that in judging Babylon He would reunite Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 50:4-5).
Myth 5.  ISRAEL's TEN TRIBES ARE THE ANGLOSAXON-NORDIC NATIONS to top of page
In spite
of a mountain of circumstantial 'evidences' heaped up by disciples of this theory, the Bible in just one verse destroys ALL possibility of ANY truth in this fiction. Hosea, a prophet to these ten tribes of Israel, prophesied (Hosea 3:4):
"the sons of Israel will remain for MANY days
"without king or prince – 
(NO political head or administration)
"without sacrifice or sacred pillar – 
(NO temple offering or pagan worship)
"and ephod or household idols" – 
(NO priestly service or domestic idolatry)
 
If one
understands the detail of this inspired statement accurately it is clear that there is – in all human history – NOT ONE nation, tribe, or people-group, that has simultaneously fulfilled this description, even briefly, let alone "for many days".
• The Jews and ONLY the Jews fulfil these conditions in their many years of being simultaneously
1.   without government,   2.   without pagan worship,
3.   without temple, and  4.   without priestly service.
and no one else! Every other people group has had one or more of these factors in every period of their existence. Hence, if the Ten Tribes exist, they are certainly Jewish!
 

Myth 6.  THE GOSPEL IS THE STORY ABOUT JESUS to top of page
When
Jesus described the mission of the church as "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached..." (Matthew 24:14), He had not as yet been crucified, or resurrected, nor had He ascended – three cardinal divine acts of our salvation. What then did He mean by "this gospel"? The essence of the gospel is what Jesus Himself preached!
• This is the revelation of the true nature of God and His "kingdom" rule. Christ expressed this in His works of compassion and in His parables such as that describing God as the 'father of the prodigal'.
• Thus the gospel is more than the biography of Jesus, descriptions of His death or His authority, or doctrinal definitions. The gospel is nothing less than the revelation of God's atoning mercy! The works of God in Christ's death, resurrection, ascension and His gift of the Spirit, all four of which wonderfully secured and expressed the fullness of "this gospel", but they cannot be truly "gospel" if they are expressed in any way that is less than Christ's original revelation of the character of God, that redeeming love demonstrated in Jesus' own Palestine ministry.

See:
The Whole Gospel


Myth 7.  BAPTISM SAVES YOU to top of page
From
the beginning of the Church, baptism was associated with repentance and faith, the heart-act of becoming a Christian. The development of institutional Christianity led to baptism becoming the act of conferring a Christian identity, before which a probationary period passed. But, by the early Middle Ages baptism had become sprinkling rather than dipping, and Christianity was an inherited religion from one's parents. This depreciation of choice as a pre-baptismal condition led to baptism being seen ever more firmly as the act of making a Christian. The rediscovery of the personal spiritual nature of the Church led back to personal choice (repentance and faith) as the precondition to baptism.
• However, in certain modern groups (e.g. the 'Church of Christ' group of churches) personal faith is deemed incomplete and therefore inadequate to save the soul until one is baptised. Much use is made of Peter's words – "baptism saves you" (1 Peter 3:21). But this is an abuse of Holy Scripture, for what Peter actually says is that "baptism saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" and not by His crucifixion.
• In other words, as the resurrection was an outward statement by God (not the saving instrument) of the efficacy of Christ's crucifixion to save, so also baptism is a believer's outward statement of faith in the efficacy of that crucifixion for our sin. No human act saves, other than personal surrender to the mercy of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.

 
Myth 8.  CHRIST SUFFERED FOR OUR SICKNESSES JUST AS HE DID FOR OUR SINS to top of page
God
is omnipotent and full of mercy, but to root God's healing grace in the Atonement from sin is to put healing from sickness at the same level as forgiveness of sin – mandatory. The Unforgiven are responsible for their state simply because forgiveness is available to them, as to us all – for the price of our guilt, all of it, has been paid! Hallelujah! However, to say the same of the Sick is to blame them for still being sick because healing is supposedly available to all, in the same way. This is patently not true!
• Christ's miracle of turning water to wine cannot be separated from His miracles of healing. As Christ's first miracle, it set-the-tone for all miracles that followed. The miracles are signs that God cares. Yet, I have not (yet) heard those who teach 'healing-in-the-atonement' also teach that, for those who believe, supernatural replenishment-of-groceries (eg. wine) is also in the Atonement.
• A book by Henry Wright, 'A More Excellent Way', symptomatic of this fallacy, twists Holy Scripture, violating its context, and uses God's Word to lie to God's people, saying –
'If we come to a Communion service, and partake of the cup and the bread, but we deny healing and deliverance as part of the atonement today, we eliminate the provision of God in our lives as a human being apart from salvation and eternal life in that day. ...For that reason many of us are filled with disease and insanity today because we have said in our heart that it passed away two thousand years ago yet we still participate in the sacrament of Communion which represents its reality for today.' (page 42, emphasis mine).
Likewise, to Wright: osteoporosis is caused by envy; liver cancer is caused by pornography; aneurysms, strokes, haemorrhoids, and varicose veins are caused by fear and anxiety; cancer of the right breast is caused by a woman's conflict with her mother-in-law; etc. and other such total nonsense.
• Yes, lifestyle, including moral behaviour, can cause illness, but using illness in return/reverse to read/diagnose moral behaviour is to apply physical methodology in the moral realm and thus a misleading deception.

Remember: misleading half-truths which stimulate faith in God may bring blessing for that reason, but will still lead us into error!






See:
'Why am I not healed?'



Myth 9.  GOD PUNISHES CHILDREN FOR THEIR PARENTS' SINS to top of page
The error
here is the word 'God'. If God warns about the consequences of an action, it does not mean that it is His personal threat of action, of what He Himself will do. God has set natural law in this world. His warnings to us are words of love not of threat! The only capacity in which God is in any way responsible for punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty is in His design of the natural cause and effect in relationships as the Creator of all that exists.
• This wrong idea comes from misunderstanding Exodus 20:5, where God said that He will place the "iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and fourth generation" of those who hate Him. This text itself carries the explanation. God Himself is not limited by how many generations ago our ancestor may have sinned. So what does this mean? Why the limit?
• The limit to "third and fourth" generation is a limit because, at that time, this was the usual extent of a person's direct influence over their family. In the Hebrew inclusive-counting, 'third' means to grandchildren, 'fourth' – to great grandchildren. Negative personal influence in-the-family is the channel by which any negative effect affects our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. This limit is confirmed contrastingly, for instance, in God's blessing on Job to his own fourth generation (Job.42:16). His example blessed them to the limit of his personal lifetime.
• A Jewish rabbinic explanation, which says that it means – 'God will not punish you for the sins of your parents if you live right so that your children will not be punished', implies in principle that the taking-of-hostages in a conflict situation is also acceptable. This is a terrorist-mentality that has no place among those who know God, especially in ascribing such an attitude to God! Rather, Israel's own Law from God directly contradicts this, saying –
"Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers.
Each one shall be put to death for his own sin."
(Deut.24:16)
• This rabbinic error is similar to the view rebuked by righteous Job and recorded as a lesson forever to Israel –
"You say, 'God stores up their iniquity for their children.' Let Him pay it out to them, that they may know it." (Job 21:19).
But to the foolish who say this, God said/says – "...you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has" (Job 42:8) and for this misrepresentation of God there will be accountability.

See also that God said:
"Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin."
(Deuteronomy 24:16)
Myth 10.  SUICIDE IS AN UNFORGIVABLE SIN to top of page
This false
reasoning means – killing yourself is a sin and death ends our opportunity to repent, therefore every suicide is 'damned forever'! This shallow thinking utterly forgets and dishonours God.
• No-one is damned for sin, not even suicide, for all sin was paid for when Christ became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). All deserve Hell. But, surrender to the ownership of Jesus Christ makes us part of His family with the resultant new nature from the Spirit of God. Forgiveness is not 'maintained' by our goodness, any more than it was initially earned by our goodness. It is wiser not to speculate on what God does to the one who falls into His hands, lest we grieve the God of grace! The only unforgivable sin is the rejection of His grace, and no other! It was specifically concerning this attitude in the Pharisees (Matt.12:31-32) that the Lord Jesus warned them about the unforgivable, the only unforgivable sin – the rejection of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit through which this grace of God comes to the individual.

See:
The Complete Gospel
Myth 11.  THERE IS POWER IN PRAYER to top of page
Unanswered
prayer is meaningless. The power of prayer lies in the answer of God, not the asking, not the human petition; no matter how many voices ask. Power comes from the Throne – from the throne of the Most High God alone, and not ever from the lips of the petitioner/s.
• Yet, God takes our words seriously when mixed with sincere faith in Him and a caring heart for others' a heart that agrees with His heart. In the merciful grace of God, all things are possible through believing prayer. Hallelujah!

 
Myth 12.  UNITY IN PRAYER WILL INCREASE ITS RESULTS to top of page
Numbers
do not impress God. Unity only affects the results of prayer when that unity expresses our obedience to God by sharing His caring for each other's welfare. And the more we care in prayer the more we can be trusted by God with results.
• The power-of-solidarity, on any issue, has absolutely no influence with God. It may affect human attitudes and behaviour, but it is God who is on the Throne, and answered prayer is the power of His throne and no other. There is no democracy in Heaven, so numbers do not affect the outcome of prayer unless they share the attitude of God.
• Lack of unity however, is a symptom of spiritual breakdown, and issues that hinder godly relationships must be dealt with, if God is to trust us with His works.

 
Myth 13.  PRAYERS HELP THE DEAD to top of page
The
practice of prayers for the Dead, in various forms, is widespread in Christianity (Requiem Masses, Prayers at the grave, and other personal pleas). To God however, as sincerely well-intentioned as they may be, they are nevertheless a direct personal insult!
• Beyond this life we are completely in God's hands alone. To pray to God or to anyone else for the welfare of the Dead implies some capacity-for-improvement in God's conduct towards the Dead. This is an insult to the Most Holy, the Most Gracious, from whose love-initiative our salvation has come. This erroneous view is born from unbelief (lack of trust toward God), helped by the spiritual arrogance of religious practitioners who aspire to an influence beyond the grave.
• These prayers may be well-intentioned and so sincere, but they are an insult to the care and competence of the most merciful God. When a life is out of our hands it is in God's hands, and there is no-one better to be in the hands of. Not to know or believe this is to not know God!

 
Myth 14. 
THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO US THROUGH THE SACRAMENTS
to top of page
This error
arises from ignorance about the nature of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ! The Church of Jesus does not exist beyond the common faith of all those who personally submit to the ownership of Christ. To these – to all these therefore – and to none other than these – was the Holy Spirit given, as irrevocable gift on the Day of Pentecost by the ascended Christ Himself.
• For those who hold to an 'apostolic succession' teaching (conferring authority to minister the Spirit and forgive sins) which is based on the idea that only the Apostles (less Thomas and Judas Iscariot) were present when Jesus breathed on them and said 'receive the Holy Spirit' (in anticipation of Pentecost), Luke's Gospel specifically tells us that others (non-apostles) were also present on that occasion, such as Cleopas, his unnamed friend, etc. (Luke 24:33). Therefore the foundation apostles held no exclusivity or copyright on Spirit-anointed ministry in any way whatsoever.
• The Holy Spirit belongs to those who belong to Christ! But, events of faith, such as the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion /  Eucharist) and a believer's Baptism, simply raise our spiritual awareness, and thus help open up our relationships of love and service toward God and others. These, all these who came to Christ, are they through whom the 'living waters' of Holy Spirit flows out to others, as Jesus had prophesied (John.7:38-39).

 
Myth 15.  EVERY CHRISTIAN HAS A GIFT FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT to top of page
A gift of
the Spirit is not a natural ability, not even an inspired natural ability.
It is the Holy Spirit's ability shared with us. It is His supernatural equipment given among us to minister His personal care. The nine gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 are not the limit of this, they are only illustrative. There can be no limit on the Holy Spirit's equipping of a believer except by the choice of the Spirit Himself and the faith-filled obedience/submission of that believer.
• To say that every Christian has a supernatural gift of the Spirit is, however, misleading. It is only potentially true because every Christian has received the Spirit Himself who is infinite, and it is God's desire and command that in coming to Him in faith we become an extension of His ministry. This requires our obedient faith, rather than introspective analysis to identify a 'gift'.
• Most often, well-meaning but ignorant leaders persuade sincere believers to list abilities and interests in order to identify their gift or calling and in so doing at best simply identify the natural ability of the individual. This is really irrelevant.
Growing in love toward God to share His love for others allows Him to entrust a believer with a particular 'gift' of the Spirit as the Spirit may choose. Self-analysis has no application to this issue, but love/caring for others does have a very direct relevance.
• A Scripture sometimes quoted to support this myth is 1 Peter 4:10-11 which says –
"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies
– in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ."
However, the preceding verse indicates that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit are not in view – "Show hospitality to one another without grumbling" indicates that it is simply the natural opportunity of the human situation which is in view and not the supernatural abilities of the Holy Spirit in operation. Scripture is always to be understood in its own God-given context if we respect it as God's Word.
(In addition: we do not 'use' the supernatural gifts/abilities of the Holy Spirit. They are not detachable! Our responsibility is to be available, in-tune with Christ, soaked-in-His-love for others, so that the Spirit Himself may do through us whatever and whenever He alone chooses! Our choice is simply to be the channel of His love to others and whatever that implies.)

See: Gifts of the Spirit


Myth 16.  FALLING DOWN UNDER THE SPIRIT'S POWER IS A BLESSING to top of page
Yes, the
priests of Solomon's temple could not stand when the anointing of the Presence descended (2 Chronicles 5:14). But that experience simply expressed the power of the presence of God, not the condition of the priests. Where a person today falls under the power of God's Spirit, the event also says nothing about that person. As at Solomon's temple, it simply witnesses to the power of God's Spirit present and not to the state of the person who falls, such as murderous Saul prostrated in the street under the Spirit's anointing as Samuel and his disciples prophesied in mutual praise to God (1Samuel 19:20-24).
• The Quakers of Christian history quaked because they had special regard for God's presence and so He honoured them with it, not because they were the holiest Christians of that time. The rebellious also fall when God's power touches them. Injuries, and on rare occasions death, have resulted from God's power touching a person.
• Falling under the Spirit's anointing is as significant as a blown fuse is to an electrical power-surge. If genuine, it bears witness both to God's power and to human inadequacy. Falling under the Presence indicates natural human discomfort with the power of God's presence rather than spiritual harmony with that Presence. It is not a sign of spirituality! But hype associated with it has created the false impression that it is a sign of God's approval or blessing, and so the 'placebo-effect' kicks in and 'performances' occur.
• But, praise God for His presence to those who submit to Him. Ideally, the presence of God ought to flow through us, without our natural inadequacy to His anointing being any kind of distraction from His gracious purpose, either by trembling, jerking or falling.

See:
Jonathan Edwards'
comment in 1741 AD.


Myth 17.  EACH CONGREGATION SHOULD BE UNDER APOSTOLIC 'COVERING' to top of page
This idea
assumes a supervisory authority in apostles as the most senior rank of spiritual oversight hierachy. This is not a biblical view. The spiritual leadership gifts given at Pentecost (Ephesians 4:11) were enabling gifts of spiritual equipment, not ranks of relative authority in a hierarchy.
• There is only one supervisory rank recognized as such in Scripture – the eldership, all those who lead the church as shepherds of God's flock (not as a board of directors). Spiritual gifts of leadership affect the character and scope of such leadership but NOT its seniority or rank. (i.e. Its nature and scope or 'width', but not its 'height'). The hierarchical (pyramidal) view of Christian ministry is a secular influence that has infiltrated Christianity under spiritual guise. It is not of God! (This is also true of the unbiblical seniority of a so-called Diocesan Bishop).

See: Gifts of the Spirit
Myth 18.  CHRISTIANS WILL LIVE FOREVER IN THE NEW JERUSALEM to top of page
The metaphors
and symbols of the Revelation are much abused. The 'New Jerusalem' is God's redeemed people. They are historically built upon the eye-witness testimony of the Twelve Apostles, hence the personal names of the Twelve (neither title nor office) are in the foundation. Believers themselves are the new people of God in which He Himself dwells. This symbol-city is a 12 x 1000 stadia cube (equivalence in other measurement scales destroys the symbolic meaning), as the ultimate fulfilment of the Holy of Holies (10 cubit cube in the Tabernacle, 20 cubit CUBE in the Temple).
• The whole city is the final Holy of Holies of God's immediate presence fulfilled in His resurrected Church! The New Jerusalem is not Heaven. It comes down out of Heaven from God as God's Church in the completion of His redeeming work.

This was so well
understood in the
ancient world that
even the holy place
in Mecca to store Arab
idols on market days
was called the Kaaba
which mean Cube.
Myth 19.  THE 'MARRIAGE' OF THE 'LAMB' HAPPENS IN HEAVEN to top of page
The Holy
Spirit through Isaiah the prophet thought otherwise –
"And the LORD of Hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain" – Zion / Jerusalem (Isaiah 25:6).
This celebration is the climax of God's work of grace and the inauguration of His kingdom on earth. It contrasts with the judgment banquet on the armies that had gathered against Israel at the end time (See Revelation 19), and is a figure of speech for great celebration.
(Ellen White's SDA teaching of a political 'marriage' of Christ with His capital 'New Jerusalem' does not deserve comment here).

Myth 20.  144,000 JEWS WILL EVANGELIZE THE WORLD to top of page
The
12-tribes in the Revelation (7 & 14) which make up this number are not the same grouping or order that settled Palestine under Joshua. Dan is missing and Simeon and Levi whom God disinherited from a tribal portion are listed. The reason is that Israel here represents what Paul called the "Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). The 12x12 number represents the completed number of God's people from all times and from all places, for the number 12 in the ancient world (from 12-moons in an agricultural year) represented God's government of His creation (it's why we have 24-hours a day today: 12 for night and 12 for day from ancient Egyptian practice).
• There is simply no substitute for the obedience of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ to carry out His evangelistic commission to all the world as the precondition of His second coming (Matthew 24:14).
• Those who teach this Myth usually teach that it will occur after the Holy Spirit has been taken out of this world in an Escaptist Rapture of the Church. It is ludicrous, and an insult to the Spirit of God, to believe that 144,000 believing Jews will do more, in worse circumstances, without the Holy Spirit, than the whole Christian Church has done with the Holy Spirit! Yet some sincerely do.

Myth 21.  ISRAEL IS CONVERTED BEFORE CHRIST RETURNS to top of page
The Bible
expressly says in Zechariah 12:10 that Israel comes to spiritual repentance and faith at the moment of Christ's coming, when they see Him. This is not a previously converted Israel. This is a representative remnant of the nation that survives the future final holocaust, referred to in Zechariah 13:8-9;14:1-2, Revelation 12:15, and by Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:22.

 
Myth 22.  GOD IS ON ISRAEL'S SIDE IN MIDDLE EAST CONFLICTS to top of page
God has
never been on anyone's side! Those who walk with Him are on His side. To walk with Him means to be in tune with His character of holy love. Let state churches and national religions hear this!
• Christian Zionism is not a biblical position, except by twisting the Word of God out of its context in exploitation of Christian ignorance. Sincerity is not a substitute for truth.

Christian-Zionism
is not Christian!
See: The Israel Heresy
Myth 23.  SUPPORTING ISRAEL EARNS BLESSINGS FROM GOD to top of page
Charity to
the poor because they are poor may earn God's reward. Charity or political manoeuvring to earn God's goodness is as oil and water – they do not mix. Scripture quoted out of context, among Christian Zionists in particular, is an insult to the purposes of Jesus Christ, and will bring an appropriate consequence.
• The perverse and unbiblical perspectives of Christian organisations such as 'Christians United for Israel' blinds believers to God's purposes in the Middle East, hinders the Holy Spirit, and shall be dealt with by Him appropriately.
Do not put yourself at risk by any association with it!

See: The Hagee Heresy
Myth 24.  ANTICHRIST'S FOLLOWERS WILL HAVE HIS MARK ON/IN THEIR SKIN to top of page
The
idea is a metaphor first used by God in Exodus (13:9). It graphically expresses the controlling influence on all that is thought (upon the forehead) and all that is done (upon the right hand). This figure of speech is used concerning the followers of the Lord (Revelation 7:3) and also the followers of Satan (Revelation 13:16). If it is meant literally in the book of Revelation, then it must apply to both groups. I have yet to hear anyone teach that believers will have 777 or any other mark imprinted on their foreheads.

 
Myth 25.  ALLAH IS A FALSE GOD to top of page
See:
Islâm & God
 
The damaging fool commonly known as Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainsville, Florida, USA, is reported to be promoting the slanderous inflammatory film which insults Muslims (which was deceitfully made by convicted criminal Nakoula Basseley Nakoula under the fake name 'Sam Bacile'). The blood of lives lost as a consequence lies at his door.


Allah is the standard Arabic word for God – from pre-Islamic times, and is used by all Christian-Arabs today as well as Muslims. Allah derives from Ilãh, the North Arabian longer form of El, the same root as the Old Testament Hebrew term for God. This use is illustrated in a stone lintel recovered by archaeologists and dated to about 100 years before Mohammed which reads in Arabic "Blessed be Allah the father of our Lord Jesus Christ" – a quote from Ephesians 1:3. (reported by John Gilchrist).
• The stories circulated by some so-called Christian teachers that Allah was a pagan moon god which Mohammed promoted as only sovereign is a complete lie contradicted by the solid evidence of pre-Islamic Arabia. Some of Allah's attributes may be as misrepresented in Islam, just as they are frequently misrepresented in both Judaism and Christianity, but He is most certainly the One and the Only – the Most High God. Blessed be His holy name!
• Most Middle-Eastern Christians and Arabic-speaking Jewish Communities (including the Yemenite Jews, and some Sephardim) use Allah as the proper noun for 'God'. Allah is also found in all Arabic translations of the Bible and even in Indonesian translations. Therefore any Christian 'leader' today that asserts this myth, as some have ignorantly done, owes an apology to all Arabic-language Christians, to say the least. In addition, from Christian beginnings in Malta, God is called 'Alla' in the Maltese language.
• It would be wise for 'Pastor' Rod Parsley (Proverbs 18:2) of World Harvest Church, Columbus, Ohio, USA, to awake from his nationalist-religious myth which he so proudly totes in this regard, twisting the truth and energising Islam against the Christians in their midst. This would of course also included the stupidity of 'Pastor' Terry Jones and his public Qur'an burning. Satan does not need helpers!
•  It might help the naïve to note that our New Testament teaches by example concerning Paul's inspired address to the leaders of ancient Athens in which he quotes a well known pagan poem in honour of their supreme god Zeus as a reference to the one and only Most High God (Acts 17:28). But wisdom requires humility!

الله
See Islam


God the Father
الله الأب
God the Son
الله الابن
God the Holy Spirit
الله الروح القدس
Myth 26.  Halal IS LIKE FOOD OFFERED TO IDOLS to top of page
In Islam
halal means "something that is lawful and permitted". For most Muslims, the concept of halal, and its opposite haram, is about food ingredients and their sources. A halal item can even become haram (not permitted) if it has been acquired through illicit means. Apples are halal, but if a thief steals an apple, it will be haram for him and all those who know that it has been stolen.
• Concerning 'food offered', Muslim halal foods have not much more to do with religious offerings than every Christian mealtime prayer. But even if the accusation were true, it would have absolutely NO meaning for a Bible believing Christian. In the founding years of Christianity, its Jerusalem conference (Acts 15) sent a letter from James to all non-Jewish Christians instructing, among other, abstinence from offerings to idols and non-kosher slaughter (15:20). This, as the conference itself also, was for the sake of protecting spiritual unity between Jewish Christians and non-Jewish Christians. We know this for certain because the same Paul who propagated this Jerusalem letter to the non-Jewish churches (Ac.16:4) taught this himself in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13.
• So Arab Christians are not required to stop their halal diet, especially in an Islamic community. This, at the very least, would be a serious hindrance to the spread of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Islamic world, and Satan does not need help.

 
Myth 27.  ELIJAH MUST COME BACK TO DIE to top of page
This
idea comes from missing the point of the Two Witnesses in Rev.12. The name of neither is given but both their ministries remind us of supernatural events in the lives of Elijah and Moses. In addition, Jesus implied that Malachi's prophecy of the coming of Elijah was more than its fulfilment in John the Baptist and Elijah's appearance on the Mount of Transfiguration. Knowing this, those who concluded that Elijah is to physically reappear to preach in the time of Antichrist, had to find an explanation for the death of the Witnesses. So it was theorized that everyone must die and that therefore Elijah and Enoch  would reappear, witness and be killed as martyrs, because both had been removed from this world without natural death. 
• This muddled thinking ignores the fact that all Christians alive at Christ's return will be caught up out of this world without experiencing death. The Witnesses of Revelation 11 beautifully represent the climax of the testimony of Christ's Church – in all its authority and suffering; and they are 'two' for this is the minimum witness for a court of judgment, as the witness of the Church is toward Antichrist's realm in these 1260 days.

See Also:
Elijah –
Sign of the End


Myth 28.  ISRAEL's ARK OF THE COVENANT HAS BEEN FOUND to top of page
This story
comes from  Ron Wyatt's exploitive fraud of the sincere. He claims to have found Israel's Covenant Ark, on January 6th 1982, under rubble in a cave under Gordon's 'Calvary'. His lie, if it were true would have meant that while Jesus and His disciples honoured the Temple as the place representing God's presence, its most sacred symbol of that same presence gathered dust outside Jerusalem in a lost cave a few metres away from Jesus. Wyatt claimed it lay there waiting for the earthquake at Christ's death to allow the blood of Jesus from His cross on the hill above to drip onto it's atonement cover.
 
Modern Zionist
speculation that
the Ark is hidden
somewhere under
'Temple 'Mount'
is no less a
deception!
• Not only is this in contradiction of Jeremiah 3:16 (which confirms its destruction as stated in 2 Kings 24:13), it is a crude mockery of what the ark stood for. The haemoglobin of Christ's veins certainly did not save us. It was nothing less than Christ Himself who bore our sins in His separation from the Father – an absolute spiritual suffering that is only represented by His blood.
• In addition, Wyatt's bus-station crucifixion site is contradicted by all the facts that deserve to be called archaeological.
Wyatt even 'saw' the golden pot of manna with the Ark, whereas the Bible says that when Solomon brought the Ark into the Temple it contained only the two tablets of stone (1 Kings 8:9). I'd rather believe the Bible than Ron Wyatt!
• Yet, perhaps even more shocking is the lie (published by a Seventh-day Adventist UK website) that –
"Ron discovered that this same blood and water poured down through the earthquake crack and fell upon the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. ...The fascinating finding in this blood was that instead of 46 chromosomes, there were only 24. There were 22 autosomal chromosomes, one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. This evidences that the person to whom this blood belonged to had a mother but no human father, because the normal contribution of paternal chromosomes is missing."
Though more disturbing is the fact that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has irresponsibly tolerated this deceptive nonsense in contradiction of the Bible as long as it seemed to support their doctrines.

See Also:
Seventh-day Adventism


Myth 29.  THE POPE IS THE ANTICHRIST to top of page
Martin
Luther and many others thought so, but Antichrist is principally a political leader who, in confederation with ten rulers, destroys the seven-hilled city of "Babylon" – Rome in history, fake-church (prostitute) in Bible metaphor (Revelation 17:16).
• Some have argued against this fact because the word means 'mountains' not hills. But this misses the point of the double significance – that the seven are also a succession of seven rulers ('mountains').

 
Myth 30.  THE ANTICHRIST MUST BE A JEW to top of page
Jesus said
(Matt.24:15) that Daniel prophesied of Antichrist as a "little horn" speaking "great things" (Daniel 8:9), which was previewed in Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes as Antichrist prototype; as inspired John of the Revelation in a Roman prison also saw in Nero Caesar of Rome (hence the 666-code name) as prototype of this final world ruler, in disguising his name by its numeric value (666 from in Hebrew, and 616 in Greek, which is why some early manuscript copies of Revelation have '616' and the error was not picked up because it was then known to mean the same thing).
• So, as far as the true Messiah is concerned – Yes, He was Abraham's seed (Galatians 3:16). But, concerning Jewish adulterous allegiance toward the last world ruler of human history – no, decidedly not of Abraham!
• This myth, that Antichrist will be a Jew (of the tribe of Dan), can be traced back to the early 3rd century AD (Hippolytus of Rome), and was another sly lie of Satan to hinder the gospel of Jesus among Jews.
• 
In the English-speaking world this false idea of the final world ruler, the Antichrist, being a Jew, has also been reinforced by grammatical confusion, thinking that anti-Christ means in the 'place of' (but that would be ante-Christ). Antichrist simply means one who is against Christ.

See Also:
Antichrist and the Tribulation


Myth 31.  BABYLON CITY WILL BE BUILT AGAIN to top of page
God
said it would never be built again (Isaiah 13:19-22), and He does not make mistakes! This strange idea of its rebuilding comes from misunderstanding the symbolic meaning of "Babylon the Great" in John's Revelation in the New Testament – the 'Prostitute City' in contrast to the city described as the holy Bride of the Lamb.

See Also:
His Bride's Day


Myth 32. A 'DAY' IN THE BIBLE MEANS 1000 YEARS to top of page
This
idea comes from a misunderstanding of 2 Peter 3:8. Peter actually says that the eternal God does not work according to our sense of time. Sadly, abusers of Scripture (sincere and otherwise) have turned it into a formula to hold God accountable for the dates they then calculate – violating the very purpose of this truth! (This fallacy has been fed by the deception in the pseudo-epistle of Barnabas).
• Moses comforted himself with this truth in Psalm 90:4 –
"For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch [three hours] in the night."
This truth should be obvious to all except those whose prior allegiance is to a set of beliefs rather than to the Lord and His precious Word.

See Also:
Elijah – Sign of the End
and
The Core Concept


Myth 33. A 'DAY' IN THE BIBLE MEANS A YEAR to top of page
This
error is totally unknown in early Christianity. Walter Brute first suggested the year-day theory in the end of the fourteenth century, and it grew into a damaging fallacy in the early 19th century to interpret the 2300 'days' prophecy in Daniel 8:14, because at that time, political events in the Middle East had persuaded many that the end was near and so some tried to find in Daniel 8 a way to calculate their time as an end-date. Justification for this was sought in Ezekiel 4, who was performing a symbolic act and which has no bearing at all on the language of Daniel.
• This fallacy developed from ignorance of two factors:
1.  
The word translated 'days' in Daniel 8 in translations of the time and subsequently misunderstood as representing 'years' is the common phrase "evenings and mornings" ('erev and vô'ker) and simply means a twenty-four-hour period. This is reinforced in Scripture by the angel of God referring to this 2300-day prophecy as the vision of the "evenings and mornings" (Daniel 8:26).
2.
This prophecy had already been wonderfully fulfilled exactly to-the-day when Judas the Hasmonian cleansed the Jerusalem Sanctuary from Seleucid sacrileges. This event has been celebrated ever since every year in December by Jews around the world.
 This culpable ignorance was further exacerbated at the time by the sad ignorance in the Christian Church of the Hidden Time, referred to in our New Testament (Ephesians 3:6, 9-10; Colossians 1:26-27), which splits Daniel's seventieth 'week' prophecy (leaving 1260 days of witness under Antichrist still to be fulfilled), and which split had been hidden from all prophets and angels until revealed after the gift of the Spirit to God's people at Pentecost.
• This fallacy became a Satanic deception which gave rise to both the Seventh-day Adventist and the Jehovah Witnesses movements, and has continued to damage the Christian witness in this world by public misrepresentation of end-time Bible prophecy. (See: Chronology of Confusion).

See Also:
Hellenisation
and
'2300 Evenings
and Mornings'


Myth 34.  CHRIST MAY RETURN AT ANY MOMENT to top of page
NO!
He made His return contingent on the completion of the great task (Matthew 24:14), and how some squirm to get around that! Before then it cannot happen, but when this task is completed then, and only then, will His disciples see the Sign that the time of His return has come (24:15), for verse 14's "the whole world" cannot be made to mean all 'geographic regions'.
• For this reason the apostle Peter, who had asked Jesus about the time of His return as they sat on Olivet, later wrote that our obedience "hastens" that Day (2 Peter 3:12) of completed obedience and fulfilled testimony. (The spiritual maturity of Christ's Church, represented in its spiritual unity, is the prelude to His glorious visible return).
• This completion of obedience by Christ's Church is why Satan is then, as its malicious Prosecutor, cast out of Heaven's judicial court and he is angry because he knows his time is "short" (3½-years/42-months/1260-days, Revelation 12:12).
• This initiates the time of trouble in which the spiritual authority of Christ's Church is demonstrated to the full to exactly complete the prophecy of David in Psalm 110:1 concerning Christ's Ascension to represent us in that court (Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1) –
"The LORD says to my Lord: 'Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool'."
To say as some do, that this is to be fulfilled at Christ's second coming, by quoting other Scripture references which described the effect of His return, is to degrade this Scripture and take away the central meaning of this holy statement. The inspired word "until" remains!

 
Myth 35.  GOD HAS FIXED THE TIME OF THE END to top of page
NO.
Jesus said, concerning the End, that His Judean disciples must pray to influence at which season of the year and which day of the week the End begins (read Matthew 24:20).
• Thus, because the time is affected by human behaviour, it is not and cannot be fixed. Of course it is known to God (obviously) just as which ant will climb which blade of grass next, but it is certainly NOT fixed!
• Neither does God have a 'time-table' as Jack van Impe has claimed (a secret, or mysteriously interwoven in Holy Scripture for only 'professionals' like himself to disclose) for our time. See 33 above!

See:
Chronology of Confusion


Myth 36.  THE HOLY SPIRIT RESTRAINS ANTICHRIST to top of page
This
misunderstanding of 2 Thessalonians 2 has been possible because of Paul's concern not to mention in writing the identity of the restraint on Antichrist's lawless coming.
• He had told the Thessalonian Christians personally but did not wish to write it down, probably because it would be misinterpreted by Roman authorities and precipitate persecution of the Christians. (See Myth 36)

See:
'Apostasia' Sign

Myth 37.  THE HOLY SPIRIT LEAVES AT THE RAPTURE to top of page
He,
the Spirit, has not ever come to this world, therefore, He the omnipresent One, cannot ever leave! He came to the Church and only the Church, that is – into a non-spacial relationship which made Christ's disciples into one spiritual body.
• The idea that the Holy Spirit somehow "leaves" comes from misunderstanding Paul's deliberately vague statement concerning Antichrist's coming, that "he who restrains" will do so "until he is taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7). The Holy Spirit can NEVER be "taken out of the way" for He is Lord in the Church (2 Corinthians 3:17).
• It is that which has prevented lawlessness in this world which is taken away, namely stable government (as represented in the Caesar at that time, hence Paul's carefulness not to name).

See:
'Apostasia' Sign


Myth 38.  ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT IS SATANIC to top of page
This view
is a confused reaction to the Bible prophecies of Antichrist's world-wide tyranny. It ignores the important New Testament truth that Christ's first coming was when circumstances were ripe (Galatians 4:4). That unique situation in world history of the Pax Romana (the peace of the empire founded by Augustus) underlies the amazingly rapid spread of Christianity. The common language (Hellenistic Greek) and Roman law and order with its range of beneficial effects in travel and commerce, created a climate in which Christianity flourished in spite of opposition from Jewish communities and later from Roman authorities.
• It is likely therefore, that the wisdom of God will use similar means to brings to conclusion the Gospel task that began in such a marvellous manner. That Antichrist usurps this world wide authority, does not detract from the political fact that the prophet Daniel so emphasized – the Lord raises up and the Lord puts down politically, whomsoever HE will!

See:
European Union


The Apostasia Sign

Myth 39.  NATIONALISM IS GOOD to top of page
As part
of apocalyptic alarmism over a 'new world order' or one-world government (as the tool of Antichrist), nationalism has sometimes been presented, or implied in contrast, as the true God-given political order. But Nationalism of today is only an 18th century development!
 
Today, the
existence of Israel
as a Jewish state
rather than as a state of
its residential population
opens the door for the
abuse of national identity,
as God had sought to
guard against in the
founding of Israel at Sinai,
which covenant identity
does not continue today, no
matter what it may be called.
Sinai ended at Calvary!
(Hebrews 8:13)
Only the conditional
Abrahamic Covenant
continues today!

• For 15 centuries Christianity believed in the secular ideal of a universal world-state. It is only from the end of the 18th century that civilization was considered to be based on nationality or the nation-state. Previously nationalism, while helping to unite people for good or evil, had also helped disintegrate empires (Ottoman, Hapsburg, etc.), develop democratic freedoms, and even ruinously destabilize primitive patriarchal societies.
• But it bears NO divine mandate! Worse: when nationalism is combined with religion, such as religious Zionism, it easily becomes an instrument of cruel oppression, that has the potential to outdo Hitler in its marshalling of resources against competitor groups.
• The 'Pax Romana' of one-world government (from Caesar Augustus to Caesar Aurelius), under which New Testament Christianity spread with such amazing speed, was a God-given environment comprehended under the Bible's expression – "fullness of time" (Galatians 4:4). Today, with modern technology facilitating travel and communication, and international organizations striving for greater freedom in trade and travel, and the protection of human rights, our world is moving to an even larger fulfilment of this same 'fullness of time' – certainly for the completion of what Christ began in the 1st century. (Upon this hangs other end-time issues, and not vice versa).
• A clue as to how God thinks on nationalism is how He structured Israel: preventing the tribes from coalescing so that there was a built-in regional brake on the development of one central authority, which unchecked always leads to the exaggeration and abuse of national identity.
• Nationalism unchecked has proved to be a very poisonous root in human history, responsible for Hutu massacres in Rwanda, Serbian massacres in Bosnia, etc, for in contrast to the principle that a country belongs to those who live in it, nationalism tends to develop a racist base. For the Bible believing Christian, in Christ there is no Jew, Greek, or Scythian, or any other division of humanity!

See:
The Victim
Mentality Cycle
Myth 40.  A CASH-LESS SOCIETY IS SATAN'S PLAN to top of page
Distrust
toward anything new is common. Telephones were initially condemned as a possible threat to public order if bored housewives used them to spread gossip. Table forks for eating were initially condemned as a worldly invention for God had given us fingers, and are still avoided in Islam today. Similarly, a superstitious fear of a federal world-government will tend to see developments in world commerce as leading to an Antichrist system of control.
 
 
• In some circles, this attitude has caused a distrust toward metrication (from 10-fingers, 10-toes) as though imperial measurements were somehow more Biblical because 12 (pence in the pound; inches in a foot; 2x hours in a day) is associated with the twelve tribes of Israel, being completely ignorant that our number of hours in a day comes from ancient Egypt (before Israel existed) for in the ancient world 'twelve' was seen as representing government by the Most High God (hence Rome's Constitution of Twelve Tables, etc.) because God had divided the agricultural year into twelve moons/months. But neither fear of nor faith in conspiracy is in any way a Christian attitude. It smells of unbelief! God reigns!

It is a little easier
to count in tens
than in twelves!
Myth 41.  DEMONS FEAR HOLY SYMBOLS to top of page
Demons
ONLY fear what deserves to be feared – God Himself. They would like us to become bound by superstitious practice, and will therefore perform accordingly, to convince us of the 'power' in things. The power of God flows through FAITH, not through things religious or otherwise. Therefore, the acts of faith in God, that express God's gracious caring – terrify the enemy of our souls.

 
Myth 42.  SATAN CANNOT UNDERSTAND SPEAKING IN 'TONGUES' to top of page
The
effectiveness of praying in 'tongues' (1 Corinthians 14:5) does NOT lie in Satan's ignorance. 'Tongues' is simply prayer that is not limited by human understanding, that is – prayer prayed by the believer, but designed by the Holy Spirit. Of course Satan understands it! The Bible says that 'tongues' is simply the languages of men and of angels (1 Corinthians 13:1) and Satan is ignorant of neither.

 
Myth 43.  CHRISTIANS SHOULD 'PLEAD THE BLOOD' to top of page
The
'Blood' refers to the sacrifice of Christ for our sins. This is a completed sacrifice which cannot ever be repeated or added to, and should not be confused with the continuance of Christ's suffering in His church, that is – the cost of obeying God (Col.1:24).
• If to 'plead the Blood' means to come to God with faith in the merits of that Ultimate Offering, that is good. But, if it means repeating a spiritual formula against demonic influences, then it is as meaningless, deceptive and as silly as using the sign of the Cross to dispel evil, for Satan laughs at you unless he thinks pretending will deceive you further.

 
Myth 44.  ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IS DEMONIC to top of page
Superstition
and occult practice are commonly associated with people's needs, otherwise they would have less appeal to people. So their occurrence in 'healing arts' is to be expected. However, 'alternative' often simply describes what is not based on scientifically verified medicine. When Isaiah the prophet applied a herbal remedy to Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:21) it was certainly not a demonic practice. It was folk medicine.
• Even when superstition and occult ideas colour 'alternative' medical procedures it often simply exploits qualities and truths that are not yet understood, such as Jacob visually affecting the quality of sexual reproduction among the flocks of his father-in-law (Genesis 30:37-43).

 
Myth 45.  INDIGENOUS RELIGIOUS CURIOS CAN BE DEMONIC to top of page
Demons
have absolutely no interest in objects other than to impress and affect people. As much as an object may reflect the beliefs of its makers it may represent what is demonically inspired, or to another it may represent wonderful memories of a world tour. BUT the object itself has NO spiritual effect whatsoever other than its psychological association in the mind of its owner.
• The Bible is very clear that there is nothing that is unclean "in itself" but only because of the one who "thinks" it is unclean (Romans 14:14-18).

See:
Animist Deception in Christ's Church Today


Myth 46.  SATAN SPECIALLY ATTACKS CHRISTIAN MARRIAGES to top of page
It is
not marriage that is Satan's target, per se. It is relationships, whether these be legal, customary, or otherwise!
• For all its precious special character, marriage does not exist in God's sight other than as a relationship. The target of the enemy's attack is therefore simply on how we treat each other. Remember:
love is owed, but trust is not – it is earned!

See:
Man & Woman in Marriage


Myth 47.  VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, etc. to top of page
Eternal virgin? Born sinless? Heavenly intercessor?
'Mary, mother of God, pray for us ...' is a common call in church liturgies. This entrenched fallacy grew up from error in the churches of the Roman empire, into its fullest refinement in the Roman Catholic church today; with the Church of England (Episcopal/Anglican) and Orthodox churches trailing not far behind.
• The Bible however, knows no such thing! Instead, the Gospel of Matthew says of Joseph's sexual relationship to Mary, plainly and significantly – 
"he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son." (Matt.1:25).
Joseph's sexual abstinence had a time limit! That is what the Bible says! If the Word of God is not misleading, this means that after Christ's birth Joseph and Mary were truly husband and wife in the God-designed manner, that is sexually – she was no longer a virgin!
• The Bible says that the people of Jesus' home town (Nazareth) knew Mary as having four other sons and more than one daughter –
"Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers – James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
Aren't all his sisters with us?"
(Mat.13:55-56).
• But, Catholic obfuscation of the evidences teaches that Joseph was a widower with children from a previous marriage. This certainly does not fit the rest of what the Bible reports! For instance –
1.
If Joseph had brought children from a previous union into his marriage to Mary they would all have been older than Jesus, and by the time Jesus was around 30 years old they would certainly not have come to him to claim family support as the Bible reports they did! (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35).
2.
Mary herself described God as her Saviour! (Luke 1:47). She knew that she needed His salvation, in contrast to the twisted exaltation of her status in tradition (sinless and ascended).
Small wonder then that Mohammed thought, from his contact with Christianity (Syrian Orthodox in particular), that Mary was part of the Trinity, and therefore pronounced curses upon the idea that God had sex with Mary to produce Jesus as the Son of God. (Muhammad was not anti-Christian. He sincerely believed that he was thereby protecting the holiness of God among his followers).
Mary, like all faithful believers, rests today in the mercy of Christ her Saviour, with all her deceased fellow Christians.
• Christ alone is our intercessor! No one has more mercy than Jesus! No-one has access to God as Jesus has! Therefore to call upon Mary is to dishonour Christ!
• Remember, of Jesus the Holy Bible says –
"His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do." (John 2:5).

See:
Isaiah's 'Virgin' Prophecy


Myth 48.  MASS IS THE EATING OF CHRIST to top of page
This
error uses the Bread-of-Life words of Jesus, spoken to unbelievers, to mislead Christians:
namely –
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you..." (John 6:52-58).
The misinterpretation and misapplication of this passage has given the Roman Catholic church organization great power over its adherents. Excommunication has been presented as exclusion from the Mass and therefore from 'salvation', rather than simply exclusion from Christian fellowship.
Christ's words are however, self-explanatory! He statement above was followed by His explanation –
"As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father,
so whoever feeds on Me, he also will live because of Me."
(John 6:57).
The Bread of Life metaphor is demonstrated in Christ's own dependent behaviour toward His Father as the pattern of how we also should feed upon Him. This has nothing at all to do with the Mass other than its symbolic portrayal!
• It is a way-of-life that Jesus expresses in terminology that was deliberately designed to offend Jewish unbelievers (drinking blood, etc.) to whom it was spoken. Remember, the Christian Church has no absolute other than that which Christ the lord of His Church has spoken.

 
Myth 49.  SUNDAY IS THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH to top of page
God set
apart (the actual meaning of 'holy') the seventh day for rest (not religion) and this Genesis teaching for all humanity was incorporated into Israel's national covenant at Sinai, summarized in the Ten Commandments. Confusion of the Sabbath with Sunday received its impetus when Roman emperor Constantine set apart Sunday (Roman courts and other government functions closed) for two reasons –
1. 
He liked to think of his own glorious victory and beneficence as represented in the sun (hence 'Sun'-day); and,
2. 
To win support of the large number of Christians within his empire who met each first day of the week (Sunday) to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
• This Christian custom, of meeting on the 'Sunday' (a work day) to worship Jesus, arose from its Jewish background in both the Jewish religious festivals of 'First Fruits' (ביכורים, Bikkurim) and that of 'Weeks' (שבועות, Shavuot, Pentecost). Both these festivals were held on the first day of the week (Sunday) and both found spiritual fulfilment in the mission of Jesus: 'First Fruits' in the resurrection of Jesus (I Corinthians 15:4,20,23), and 'Weeks' in Christ's gift of the Holy Spirit to all His people.
• Prophetically, Psalm 118:22-24 calls on all believers to celebrate Messiah's resurrection:
"This is the day the Lord has made;
 let us rejoice and be glad in it."
[Jesus' resurrection day]
[this First day of the week]
Accordingly, early Christians met to worship their resurrected Lord on the first day of the week and to encourage each other (1 Corinthians 16:2).
• Sunday never was a day of rest in itself, but the necessary principle of one day of rest in seven remains even for us today as part of God's natural design, just as much as God's design of marriage (Genesis 2:24) remains for us today and neither are religious issues.

See:
Sabbath Observance


Myth 50.  THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE A GUIDE TO LIVING to top of page
Given as
the representative core of God's unique covenant with Israel (Exodus 20:2-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21), the Ten Commandments summarize a moral code with its roots in humanity's origins and are reflected to some degree in common moral awareness world-wide (Romans 2:14-15). But they add nothing to the character of the Christian life – absolutely nothing!
• For the Church ever to have fallen back on Israel's moral code for its own morality only reflects the desperate poverty of a church's spirituality.
• Christian character is drawn from Christ alone. Nothing less than this is Christian! The whole moral law of Israel, which is summarized under total love for God and love for others as much as for oneself, is fully superseded in Christ by the instruction to follow Christ's example in loving more than we love ourselves –
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another." (John 13:34)
"As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you; continue in My love." (John 15:9)
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
By this we have known the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." (1John 3:16).
It is this character, and nothing less than this, that has the persuasive power of authentic Christianity.
"By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another." (John 13:35).
And the apostle Paul explains the change from the old to this new ethic in contrast to the old as –
"But now we having been set free from the Law, having died to that in which we were held,
so that we serve in newness of spirit and not in oldness of the letter."
(Romans 7:6).
"...realizing that the Law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers..." (1 Timothy 1:9).

See:
Ten Commandments Morality
Myth 51.  JOB's SUFFERING WAS CAUSED BY HIS UNBELIEF to top of page
This
idea is justified from Job's words –
"For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me" (Job 3:25).
Spawned in the Faith Movement, this twisting of Holy Scripture robs the believer of the whole message of the Book of Job. Blaming Job for his calamities is precisely his three 'miserable comforters' attitude – which God completely condemns.
"The LORD said ... 'My wrath is kindled against you and your two friends. For you have not spoken of Me what is right,
as My servant Job has.'"
(Job 42:7).
• The message of this book is that God's rule or kingdom on earth is not based on what people get from it, its benefits, in contrast to Satan's rule which is based on selfishness. God's people do not serve Him because they are bribed by His blessings (1:11;2:5). God demonstrates this by allowing Satan to strip Job of everything that made his life worth living – and still Job keeps his integrity before God.
• In the midst of his devastating calamities, Job says of God –
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him". (Job 13:15).
This is the man of whom God said, before he was put to the test –
"there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man,
one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?"
(Job 1:8).
This is the man of whom God said, in the midst of his suffering –
"there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man,
one that feareth God, and escheweth evil and still he holdeth fast his integrity,
although thou [Satan] movedst Me against him, to destroy him without cause."
(Job 2:3).
So 'without cause' means Job did not deserve what happened to him, for any cause!
• The powerful message of the Book of Job is that God's kingdom or rule is not based on selfishness – what benefits it brings to its citizens, as Satan's rule is. The moral foundation of God's rule over this universe is the real issue, not why good men suffer! The sad damage by the Faith Movement's misinterpretation of this Book is to rob God people of an understanding of the foundation of God's rule. God does not rule our universe because He made it and so it is simply a personal possession. God does not rule our universe because He is stronger or most clever or most organized, either in theological terms of omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent, or any other. The foundation of God's Throne – His right to rule – which is the heart of Satan' challenge, is righteousness and justice –
"Equity and justice are the foundation of Your throne." (Psalm 89:14; 97:2).
The Book of Job portrays the clash of kingdoms, Satan's and God's, at their ethical roots! A bigger canvas of reality there could not be.

 
Myth 52.  BEFORE THE FLOOD THE EARTH HAD ONE CLIMATE to top of page
But
the Bible says –
"And the LORD God planted a garden..., and there He put the man whom He had formed.
And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food..."
(Genesis 2:8-9).
For this first human couple, God had planted a special garden, a specially watered garden! Why?
• Because the whole earth was not a garden. It did not have an equitable climate. It was often hostile, from the beginning. Its life-forms would need to be subdued (Genesis 1) and brought under dominion by those who were made in the Creator's image to represent Him.
• Remember, in the way God has made our world, climate is the main determinator of vegetation. Therefore God's special action in Eden in contrast to the rest of the planet is a statement to be taken seriously concerning earth's original state.

See:
'Genesis Prologue'


Myth 53.  CHRIST'S INCARNATION MADE THE LAND/EARTH SACRED to top of page
This
myth came from the effort of Christianity in its first centuries to counteract the dualism between spirit and matter in Greek philosophical thought. As all spiritual misdirection does, it feeds on half-truths to gain credibility among believers.
• The curse of Gen.3:17-19 was not lifted at Christ's birth. Instead, God tells us that –
"the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." (Romans 8:20-22).
• This bondage state of the physical world is anticipatory of its deliverance at Christ's return, and only then. Our own bodies are in the same state, but the gift of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost has given us a foretaste of the future by making our physical bodies to be a temple of the Spirit, a physical place where our world can meet God, who dwells in the believer (1Corinthians 6:13-20; Hebrews 6:4-5).
• However, national churches which have historically aligned themselves with the culture of their mother-country have sometimes fallen into this error in foreign missions (in a sincere attempt to bridge the cultural bias inherent in their own church identity) by presenting Christ's incarnation as a bridge between God and the physical world to make the land sacred, in view of the sacralizing of nature in most pagan belief systems.
• It is nevertheless a form of syncretism which violates Holy Scripture and misleads the believer!



See:
Animism in Christ's Church
today



See:
The Foretaste
Myth 54.  THERE IS POWER IN SPEAKING THE WORD to top of page
Quoting
the Word of God asserts the truth, as Jesus did; and gearing our faith to that truth makes us an instrument of the Holy Spirit's authority. Praise God!
• But, the exaggeration of this to the level that the Faith Movement has now done, particularly in the USA, is a deception of no more value than a placebo effect at best, and at worst has opened the door to the kind of arrogant corruption in the example that follows.
• In evangelist Kenneth Copeland's public teaching (that Christ entered Hell after His death to conquer Satan as part of our Atonement, which is utter nonsense) he perversely claims inspiration for his twisted teaching, as follows –
“The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said,
    ‘Son, realize this. Now follow Me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.’ He said, ‘Think this way – a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.’
And I threw my Bible down...like that. I said, ‘What?’
    He said, ‘A born-again man defeated Satan, the Firstborn of many brethren defeated him.’
    He said, ‘You are the very image, the very copy of that One.’
I said, ‘Goodness, gracious sakes alive!’ And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said, ‘Well now you don’t mean, you couldn't dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?’
    He said, ‘Oh yeah, if you’d had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could have done the same thing, ‘cause you’re a reborn man too.”
(Tape #00-0202 “Substitution and Identification”, side 2, emphasis mine).
• This false teaching of Copeland's –
'you could have done the same thing' as Jesus 'if you had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did'
– makes a mockery of a central New Testament teaching that our spiritual authority is specifically and only in the Lord's name:
"whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17).
• Christ's defeat of Satan was because of His proven sinlessness, not from a special technique of using Scripture quotations! Jesus simply did not yield to temptation as Adam did and we have all done. Therefore, in Christ alone we are more than conquerors! And therefore also we are more than conquerors.
• Consequently this honour, this liberty, is unearned and open to every believer, even the most ignorant who have perhaps never even possessed a copy of God's precious written Word (as is likely in some parts of our world), let alone had an opportunity to memorize it. Hallelujah!

Also –
James 5:14;
2 Thess.3:6.



Myth 55.  CHRISTIANS MUST ALWAYS FORGIVE to top of page
Our act
of forgiving others is meant to reflect God, who does not forgive without repentance. The Bible clearly does not teach forgiveness without repentance, and confusion on this issue arises from a failure to understand God as our role-model.
• Apart from 'new age' sentiment, this mistaken idea derives from misunderstanding Christ's command to love our enemies; and the apparent only alternative to 'forgiveness' of otherwise carrying hate or resentment toward those who hurt us. Rick Warren, for all the good in his book 'The Purpose Driven Life', confuses forgiveness with letting-go-of-the-past (2002:143). Confusing resentment, a desire to retaliate, with the need to forgive the offender is understandable, but also unbiblical regardless of misleading quotes out of context.
• Sometimes even the words of the so-called Lord's Prayer are quoted "forgive us as we forgive others" as though this implied un-conditionality, but this statement assumes acquaintance with God and so inherently carries a prescribed repentance (turning away from the sin/offence) and is therefore decidedly not unconditional for we do not set the factors involved. To imply that is dangerously ignorant arrogance!
• No one loves more than God Himself loves. Christ demonstrated that. We are called to carry the Lord's own attitude toward all, and God Himself does not always forgive! In addition, for us to forgive on God's behalf while that person continues to sin is to defile the very concept of God's forgiveness.
• Forgiveness requires real repentance (not simply being sorrowful or regretful of the consequences). Repentance means an internal turning away from that which caused the offence. This essential precondition to giving forgiveness applies to every Christian as much as it applies to God Most High. Forgiveness that allows destructive behaviour to continue is not love and therefore is not of God!
• This does not mean that we carry anger, hurt, or resentment against a person, as Warren assumes, until that person repents. No! Turning the 'other cheek' means simply refusing to be their Judge. It means passing all judgment over to God, the only one worthy to judge, and so continuing to walk in God's wisdom and loving care toward that same person.
• Even among Christians, although, for the inadvertent and minor issues in others that offend us, we are to ask forgiveness of God on their behalf, there are other issues (issues which contradict Christian character) for which we are not to pray for forgiveness –
"If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask,
and God will give him life – to those who commit sins that do not lead to death.
There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray
[for forgiveness] for that."
Full repentance (which is a direction-change on the issue concerned) must precede forgiveness, just as the sinning Christian in 1 Corinthians 5:5 needed first to repent or physically die. Christian forgiveness, as representing the life of God in Jesus Christ, is never unconditional.

Rick Warren's Error!








1 John 5:16.






Myth 56.  ONE NATION UNDER GOD to top of page
This
is an evangelical call that seems so right! But, subtly implicit in this for many Christians is an assumption that people groups can adopt a Christian identity. To think of people in terms of their national or cultural group is natural, but this has no place whatsoever in Christian identity, no matter how traditional this thinking may have become.
• When the Word of God says –
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus"
(Gal.3:28),
it is saying no to any form of group distinction. Neither socio-cultural, economic, nor gender distinction has any place in the Christian identity, which God gives individually and in newness to all those who believe. This truth applies as much to racial, geographic and political groups as to any.
• In other words, our group or national identity simply cannot be Christianised as distinct from other groups! Our group or national identity may even be dominantly Christian but, unlike the religions of this world, it never 'owns' a Christian identity. It is for this reason that baptism can never be coerced, in spite of this kind of atrocious behaviour in European history. Nor can nationalism be augmented by Christianity, as various rulers have tried to do, and which Satan has then used to motivate other national-religions (Islam/Hinduism/Buddhism) to use political/military force to oppose Christianity.
• Human group-identity in various forms can be a powerful motivating factor, whether thought of as nationalism, patriotism, or racism, and it often damagingly blunts sensitivity to those of another group, but even more seriously, it allows the divisions or distinctions of this world to affect the relationships among God's precious multi-national people, and as such it is a corrupting influence.
• There can be no distinction of any kind among God's people under the name Christian, anywhere, ever! The Christian Church is by its nature multi-national.
• Note! America's national founders such as: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Wilson, and Hu Williamson were all personally Deists, not even Theists, let alone Christians.

See: America's Christian
Identity Myth

CURRENT
The disrespect with which many Americans speak of their leaders without correction by their Christian churches indicates that as-a-nation they are not "under" anything in regard to God. (Ex.22:28). This rebuke specifically includes the lies of self-promoting 'Dr' Jack Van Impe and his TV wife who prostitute Christianity for personal gain, with among their many misrepresentations, the character assassination of their President Obama and irresponsible lies about the essence of Islam!
Myth 57.  BEFORE ADAM SINNED THERE WAS NO DEATH. to top of page
This
fallacy arose from ignoring the Bible's teaching about the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24). Adam was given the Tree of Life before he sinned, and was only denied access after he sinned.
• Why was he denied access after he sinned? So that he would age and die just like the rest of the world of which he was part! In other words, our first parent's exemption-from-death lapsed when they disobeyed the One whom they had been formed to represent.
• Before Adam sinned he had access because he needed access – to negate the natural process of aging, death and decay; a count-down process design-built into every cell of the human body at chromosomal level, and a process which ultimately produces the fertile top soil of our world. God's design is beautiful, but Adam was exempted from this process of aging and death because he was to represent God (made 'in His image') and therefore to exercise control or 'dominion' over all on God's behalf.
• His failure to learn the lesson of self-control in the Garden resulted in guilt ('knowledge of good and evil') and in consequence he lost access to the Tree of Life, even though he became a believer after God's intervention and promise concerning the woman Adam had blamed (his faith named her 'mother of life' before she had become a mother).
• The general fallen state of nature (Gen.3:17-19) as today results from God's judgment being declared over Adam's field of responsibility (the earth and all its life forms) as a result/consequence of his sin, therefore all nature is now out-of-balance, even the physical body of every Spirit-filled Christian remains fallen, until Christ returns to end the dominion of Satan (Romans 8:19-23). This is not the origin of death except in humanity by loss of its exemption. Therefore this is represented by 'thorns and thistles' (Genesis 3:18), and 'pain' in natural processes such as child-birth (3:16). 'Death' as an indicator of sin's existence is only true concerning humanity.

Unfortunately, this error is mixed in with the good in the Creation Museum, and in Answers in Genesis and consequently tends to discredit the Bible with those who do not know better.
Myth 58.  GOD THE FATHER IS THE CREATOR to top of page
This error
arose from seeing the Trinity of God as an eternal 'hierarchy'.
• In the night of His betrayal, Jesus taught His disciples in His prayer to the Father that He had shared the glory of the Father 'before the world was' (John 17:5). That is – the act-of-creation was Christ's self-humbling step-down; which the Bible repeatedly teaches was the personal and direct work of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16). Before this Creation event then, Jesus shared fully in all the glory that was with the Father.
• Thus, the One we today call God the Father only became the Father in His relation to Christ and therefore to us (and accordingly the Judicial head over all things) when Infinite Jesus humbled Himself in bringing the dimensions of time and place into existence, within which He created all that exists. This self-humbling began Christ's sonship in relation to His Father. Christ is directly the Creator through this self-humbling, as distinct from the rest of God's being. Thus the Father is only indirectly the Creator, through His Son.
• Hence, it is Christ who walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve, lunched with Abraham (John 8:56), and it was Christ who gave the Ten Commandments on Sinai (Exodus 19:20). And, when God's purpose in Creation is fulfilled, the Lord Jesus will become again as He was before all things, co-infinite and so beyond time or place. Hallelujah!
• Some have deceptively or unthinkingly quoted Proverbs 8 as though it spoke of Jesus before time helping God the Father create (such as Jehovah's Witnesses allege we teach). This is not true! It is simply Wisdom personified as a woman"then I [wisdom] was beside Him, like a master workman, and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always" (Proverbs 8:30). In Proverbs, Wisdom is thus personified as a good woman and Foolishness as a prostitute. This message, about the desirability of wisdom, in no way is meant to represent the internal life of the eternal infinite being of the Holy Trinity of God. Perish the thought!

See:
A Biblical
Structure of History
Myth 59.  THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH REPRESENTS CHRIST TO THE WORLD to top of page
The
Christian Church is 'Christ' in this world. It does not represent Him, it represents the Father – the One upon the Throne, the One whom the Christ of God represented, for it is in His place!
• As the continuance of Christ's ministry in the world, the Christian Church represents that which Jesus represented – God the Father. Why this is very significant is that authority resides only in the One upon the Throne. Which is why Jesus taught us to pray to the Father and not to Himself.
• The Roman Centurion in Capernaum recognised this representative nature of Christ's authority and he therefore had more faith in Jesus than all Israel (Matthew 8:9-10, in spite of them having the Old Testament T'nach and the ministry of the prophets). In the same way also today, as Christ's spiritual Body the Christian Church represents the Most High, just as Jesus did – and on the same terms.
• Before the Throne, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ represents us collectively – so that His people (enabled by the same Holy Spirit as Jesus was enabled) may represent God the Father here on earth today.
• This distinction is very significant regarding the essential authority of Christ's Church in this present world. Hence the Centurion, in a representative military relationship himself, recognised the representative nature of Christ's own authority, and brought joy to the heart of Jesus.

See: The Church
Myth 60.  BAPTISM MAKES YOU A MEMBER OF THE LOCAL CHURCH to top of page
If it
were true, it would be true of the Ethiopian court official whom Philip baptised at the roadside in Gaza (Acts 8:39), but it is not. Baptism is part of the ministry of evangelism. It is linked directly to the conversion event itself.
• The history of Christianity, which confused baptism with infant dedication and turned it into a sacrament of the organised church, created a situation which, in the rediscovery of the Biblical significance of baptism, led to it becoming an act of the local church rather than a purely personal submission to the lordship of Christ under the hand of a fellow believer in identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
• As a sad consequence of seeing it as an act of membership, many unnecessary extras have been added, such as examination of personal life-conduct, preparation courses, etc, which undermine baptism's character of being part of the Christian conversion event!

See: Baptism
Myth 61.  CREMATION IS A PAGAN PRACTICE to top of page
Yes,
so is burial of the body. Both forms have a pagan history and associated pagan ritual. But the implication of the statement in Christian circles is that Christians should therefore not cremate their dead.
• That idea has no Biblical foundation. Instead, the Bible speaks positively of the valiant men who cremated ('burned') the bodies of King Saul (first king of Israel) and his sons at Jabesh (1 Samuel 31:12).
• In no sense whatsoever does the Bible condemn the practice of cremation. Christians burned at the stake for their faithfulness to God pose no problem to the Holy Spirit in turning scattered ash into resurrection glory at Christ's return!
• Unfortunately some Christians have been sincerely mislead by certain preachers who ludicrously teach that the cellular DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in your bones is destroyed by cremation and that therefore you will have no part in the coming resurrection at Christ's return, horribly twisting God's condemnation of Moab in Amos (2:1) for burning the bones of the king of Edom's corpse to humiliate that nation, as though it were somehow a condemnation of cremation. That is deceitful handling of Holy Scripture, and will be judged!
Perhaps Martin Luther was right when he said, what the Bible does not condemn, neither should we.

Myth 62.  'SON OF MAN' IS A MESSIANIC TITLE to top of page
Son
of Man is not and never has been a Messianic title! This myth began with scholars thinking they had found a Jewish pre-Christian document in the fraudulent Parables or Similitudes of the Ethiopic Book of Enoch. To thinking persons however, who knew and believed their Bible, it should have been clear from the beginning that the Lord Jesus Christ did not think it was a Messianic title when, using it frequently publicly to refer to Himself, we are told –
"He strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ [Messiah]" (Matthew 16:20).
This is the Jesus whose favourite way of referring to Himself was as 'son of man'. In the Jewish context of His coming, both in the Hebrew and in the Aramaic (common language of the people at that time) the term 'son of man' is simply a synonym for 'human person' and the Lord used it to emphasise His identification with the people, that is – His human nature; not His uniqueness!
• The fallacy of its messianic nature has robbed many Christians of an understanding of the authority of their restored humanity in Jesus Christ. For instance, Jesus said –
"The Sabbath was made for man [humanity],
not man
[humanity] for the Sabbath.
Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath
". (Mark 2:27-28)
If 'son of man' meant 'messiah' then the Bible verse – "God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind" (Deut.23:19), like a 'son of man', would then mean that the messiah is not to be trusted.
Curse the thought!
Remember, capital letters to designate a title are not in the original text. They are only the opinion of the translator/s.
By
making the term 'son of man' to be the title of a 'unique' person, the message of Christ's teaching in this statement is destroyed.
• Jesus is saying that because the Sabbath was designed for human benefit therefore He, Jesus, has authority over the use of the Sabbath. In other words, it is His human identity as God meant us all to be, and not His uniqueness, which in God's sight gave Him authority concerning the use of the Sabbath. And He spoke these words to the Jewish Pharisees, without their rebuttal, who were regarded as the local experts in Scripture interpretation and did not believe He was the Messiah.
   
• This error has been amplified by a disrespectful use of Scripture in Daniel 7:13, where "one like a son of man" prefigures the character of the coming kingdom of God in contrast to the four animal-empires of history, from Daniel's time to the Messiah (Babylon to Rome).
• It is not a reference to Jesus Christ, as is so often ignorantly alleged by commentators who should know better. It is the Kingdom of God (7:18) symbolically contrasted with the four 'beast'-empires; just as the Daniel 2 parallel prophecy of the same history contrasts four 'metal'-empires to the 'rock mountain' of God's Kingdom which will fill the earth. Of course the Kingdom of God comes in Jesus Christ as the only human worthy! But the phrase 'son of man' is not and never has been uniquely attached to Him; rather the very opposite is true, by which He walked in our shoes. Hallelujah!

Myth 63.  ISLAM IS THE ENEMY OF ISRAEL to top of page
This
myth, fed by such respected Christian writers such as Hal Lindsay, confuses God's promise to Hagar concerning her son by Abraham (about the spread of Arab culture) with the modern religion of Islam. If one's view is determined by our Western media, this error is forgiveable, but not if one's claim to understanding is presented as based on the Bible.
"And the angel of the LORD said to her, 'Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael ['God hears'], because the LORD has listened to your affliction [Sarah's bullying]. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen'." (Gen.16:11-12).
This awesome prophecy describes the wild nomadic nature of the Arab tribes descended from Ishmael whose historic homeland would be in the deserts of the Middle East. What is conveniently left out of the picture by Hal Lindsay and others, which impedes this confusion of Arab with Islam, is God's precious later assurance to Abraham –
"As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly.
He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation."
(Gen.17:20).
Abraham understood God's meaning in these words of promise which is usually lost on our modern ears. The number twelve carried a special symbolic significance in Abraham's world and does not refer to Israel's future tribes.
It represents God's ordering or governing, just as the year was divided into twelve moons, or months as we call it today. The number twelve concerning Ishmael meant the same as the number twelve concerning Israel – God would supervise and govern the history of Ishmael's descendants, the Arabs under God's care – for Abraham's sake.
The largest Islamic nation today is Indonesia, who are not Arabs! One of the most vociferous Islamic nations today concerning the conflict between Israel and Palestine is Iran, who are not Arabs!
The deliberate blurring of this issue among modern Christian writers, in an attempt to explain Islam's general hostility toward the State of Israel, is a public shame upon the Christian Church in its mission to Muslim communities around the world and needs to be repented of!
For most of Christian history, Islam has been good news to Jews, as a refuge from 'Christian' persecutions. The hostility in modern Islam toward the State of Israel is a direct product of the treatment of Palestinian Arabs in the rise of Zionist nationalism. Zionism had been a belief in the restoration of Israel within its historic homeland under their Messiah – until it was contaminated by the racist nationalisms of Europe in the late nineteenth century to become a political movement. Historically, Jews received better treatment under Islamic regimes than under any 'Christian' rulers, from Byzantine Palestine to the Ottoman Empire.
• Organised terrorism against civilians in the Middle East, so associated today with extremist Islam, really began in August 1937 with Jewish Irgun attacks on Palestinian-Arab civilian buses in response to rioting and mob attacks against Jewish immigration (before the Holocaust), for the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, so hyped by the Zionist cause, had included – "it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine".
But God is still true to His word to Abraham and, although not part of God's *conditional promise to him concerning the land of Palestine, the people of Ishmael are respected by God for Abraham's sake (and so by all Bible-believing Christians).
Any modern Islamic extremism, or even any aspect of the religion of Islam which arose in Arabia about 2,679 years after the birth of Ishmael, has absolutely nothing to do with God's prophecy to Hagar which He faithfully fulfilled! Praise God!

See:
Jews under Islam & Christianity


See:
Zionist Hostilities



*Genesis 15:16;
Leviticus 25:1,23.




Myth 64.  HEALING IS AN ORDINANCE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH to top of page
This
error arises principally from the statement in James 5:14-16 taken out of its context which says –
"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed..."
 
   
This oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit's anointing of that person anointed. That is, the elders hereby are confessing their acceptance of the spiritual identity of the person they anoint, as being part of Christ. This procedure, in which the sick person initiates the request and the leaders of the congregation respond, is a reconciliation in relationship between the sick person and the congregation. The negative of this is the lack of reconciliation and unity among believers who did not practice this special regard for one another as Christ's Body, as it is expressed in 1 Corinthians 11:30 –
"That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died."
So, James is not teaching sin-confession to a priest or a church ritual for healing. He is teaching reconciliation by dealing with the prospect of disunity which commonly makes Christian believers vulnerable to disease and premature death by their hardness of heart toward one another. For that reason he says 'therefore confess your sins to one another' (to those you have offended) and 'pray for one another' (practicing caring for each other), to open the way for God's healing to restore the body given to you in which to serve God.

 
Myth 65.  POLYGAMY IS NOT PERMITTED IN CHRIST's CHURCH to top of page
This
myth has damaged the Christian mission in polygamous societies. Although marriage by divine design is always between one man and one woman for life, God makes it plain in Holy Scripture that polygamy is not regarded as immorality. The ideal remains however, and therefore spiritual leadership among God's people requires both monogamy as well as the obedience of a leader's children (1 Timothy 3:2-5), but this standard is not a gateway for admission to salvation in Christ, nor is it a requirement for baptism and fellowship in His Church, for the morality of God does not change from His Old Covenant revelation to the New.
 
   
In the history of Christian mission among both the Zulu (Kwazulu) and the Sotho (Lesotho) peoples in Southern Africa, kings of these respective peoples were rejected from Christian baptism by missionaries because they refused to abandon their many wives in favour of one, a requirement which the respective kings regarded as unethical.
 
   
In Lesotho for instance, two among the hundred wives of king George Moshweshwe (Moshesh) became Christians, but were then refused baptism unless they divorced their husband the king. To his credit the king of Lesotho granted these courageous wives a divorce out of respect for their desire to identify themselves as Christians. This sad foolishness of Christian missionaries resulted from Church traditions not being ruthlessly subjected directly to the text of Holy Scripture, and to Holy Scripture alone!

 
Myth 66.  A CHRISTIAN CANNOT HAVE A DEMON to top of page
  This
myth comes from the false idea of incompatibility-of-presence between the Holy Spirit and a demon. The Scripture usually quoted to support this is that the body of a Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit, therefore... This view exposes an ignorance both concerning the person of the Holy Spirit, and of the Bible and its context.
 
   
The Bible teaches us that the master of all demons, Satan himself, is the Accuser of God's people before the Throne of God in Heaven itself (Rev.12:10), and this is illustrated for us in chapters one and two of the book of Job. There is no holier place in all this universe than before the Throne of God, and Satan and his unclean spirits (demons) are required to regularly give account before that same Throne with all other angelic beings.
 
    "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside Him on His right hand and on His left; and the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?'
And one said one thing, and another said another.
Then a spirit
[demon] came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, 'I will entice him.'
And the LORD said to him, 'By what means?'
And he said, 'I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.'
And He said, 'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so'.
"
(1 Kings 22:20-22; 2 Chronicles 18:18-21)
See:
Demon Possession
   
The Christians of Corinth to whom the following 'temple of the Holy Spirit' statement was made did not think that the body of a believer 'contained' the omnipresent Spirit of God. Rather the opposite – that the Holy Spirit simply has rights of ownership over a Christian believer's physical body.
 
    "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
The statement by Jesus "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer" (Mark 9:29) refers to the spiritual unpreparedness of His own disciples to deal with a more senior demon (the word 'fasting' in Matthew is not part of its original) than they had previously experienced.
   
In their New Testament world, one Greek god such as Zeus may have many temples with a statue of him in each, but Zeus of course lived on 'Mount Olympus'. To these Corinthians then a 'temple' was simply a place which represented a god, it was not the home of a god, nor did it contain the deity. It was simply the appointed place of interaction with that god. It is In this cultural sense of the term that the physical body of every Christian is the place where God Most High is represented to our unbelieving world. Therefore every Christian is exhorted to be 'filled with the Spirit' which, in its context, means to be subject to the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit!
   
Demonic contamination of the body in its psychosomatic experience is far more common than is generally recognised, for the forte of the demonic is deception, at every level. The popular conception of diagnosing the presence of a demon by its bizarre trance-behaviour is simply not true. A demon will usually do all it can to pretend not to be in-house.
   
The presence of a demon is not the primary issue however. It is the moral factor/s which have authorised/allowed contamination by that unclean spirit. Once these are dealt with, the ownership rights of the Holy Spirit in the body of every believer requires the evacuation of that demon, and so the direct assertion of faith (as of a child) in Christ is enough to dislodge the worst, for that area to then be filled with God's desires and appropriate responses to Him.

Myth 67.  SOCIAL RECONCILIATION IS A GOSPEL TASK to top of page
This
seems so right! What could be wrong with seeing the Christian calling as including social reconciliation within a nation divided by colour, class, culture, and/or past injustices?
 
   
For an essential reason! The Church's message is demonstrated in its identity. The Church does not have a dual role of building national/social reconciliation as well as the redemption of individual souls. It has one message expressed practically in its identity or it is simply not Christian. This is not a narrow-minded approach, for to compromise on this central issue is to undermine the essential character of Christianity. This essential character is described as –
"For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ [as new identity]. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:27-28)
See:
The Sign of Identity
   
The temptation to respond to socially perceived needs and become an agent for social change is great for it seems to offer a platform for greater recognition and an increased opportunity for influence, an opportunity for social influence that seems to agree with the character of God's grace and His reconciliation in Jesus Christ. But it betrays the character of the Christian Church!
See:
'One Nation Under God'
   
The Bible makes the strongest statement possible in this regard. Even Christ's Jewishness is to be disregarded in the newness of God's reconciliation. There is no place for group identity of any kind within the Church of Jesus Christ!
 
   
"...we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh [as Jewish],
we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them,
and entrusting to us the message of
[this] reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:16-19).
 
   
The usurping of the Christian message by well-intentioned but ignorant agents of social and national reconciliation, is not an adjunct to the work of the Church. It undermines it, and helps obfuscate its character! Failure in this area has led to Christianity becoming nothing more than a religious aspect of society in many parts of our world and thereby tending to invalidate its existence before God.

 
Myth 68.  ADULTERY AND FORNICATION ARE DIFFERENT SINS to top of page
Christ's
own words are the answer to this traditional error –
"But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
(Matthew 5:28)
 
   
This general statement by Jesus does not assume that the woman is married, nor that it only applies to looking at married women, even though today many Christians apply 'adultery' only to a violation of marriage vows and any other sexual transgression as simply 'fornication'.
See:
The Essence of Marriage
   
Translated as 'fornication' in older versions of the Bible and as 'sexual immorality' in later versions, the word πορνεία (porneia) is simply a general term which includes adultery.
 
   
The word μοιχεύω (moicheuō) in our New Testament translated 'adultery' refers directly to illicit sexual intercourse with another person. All adultery therefore is fornication, though not all fornication is adultery if it does not include sexual intercourse.

 
Myth 69.  DAVID COULD NOT BUILD ISRAEL'S TEMPLE BECAUSE HE HAD BLOOD ON HIS HANDS to top of page
This
common error arises from not understanding why Jerusalem became special to God in the first place; in the time of King Melchizedek whom Abraham honoured (Genesis 14:18-20). It was then called Salem, meaning 'peace' because this was the characteristic product of his righteous rule in this small town on a hill in central Canaan. It was not on a trade route, nor was it a strategic control point at that time. Its geography simply does not explain its special significance.
 
   
Remember that Christ, Israel's Messiah, is appointed by God as a priest after the 'order of Melchizedek' (Psalm 110:4). In other words, Jesus is not High Priest according to Israel's Jewish 'order of Aaron' (by an inherited priesthood), but He is recognised by God on the same terms/basis as that of Melchizedek – an earned priesthood before God, recognised for his moral character.
 
Note:
even the reason for Christ's ascent to God from the Mount of Olives, and His future return to that same Mount at His second coming (Zechariah 14:4), is not incidental. This place is honoured for Melchizedek's sake, for the Bible tells us that, before David's Jerusalem, God was worshipped on that Mount (2 Samuel 15:32). Bible history indicates that this could only have been in the time of faithful Melchizedek. [Note from this therefore: God is faithful to the extent of His ability if we are faithful to the extent of our ability. Think on this! Hallelujah!]
 
   
Therefore, Jerusalem as a place, a geographic locality, will always be special to God. David understood this before he was old enough for his military service in Israel and therefore (even though he lived near Bethlehem) after his killing of Goliath he took the severed head of that giant to Jerusalem city long before that city ever came into Israel's possession (1 Samuel 17:54). It is the place that is special (not its use or who owns it) for Melchizedek's sake.
See:
For Melchizedek's Sake
   
King Solomon, who built Israel's temple, was not in any way more righteous than his father David, nor more acceptable to God in any way than his father. It was the state/condition of Jerusalem city that made the difference. God's reference to 'blood' (1 Chronicles 28:3) is not a reference to David's guilt as is commonly thought. It was simply the violence necessarily associated with war that prohibited David's rule at the time of building! Jerusalem was necessarily at war during the reign of David as he pacified the enemies of Israel.
 
   
Solomon inherited the benefits of his father's wars, as well as David's inspired temple design (1 Chronicles 28:19) and his accumulation of materials for building the temple (1 Chron.29:2-5). To truly/authentically represent God's name in His temple in Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Uru-Salem) had to necessarily become true to its name of Peace. (This also applies by analogy to the Christian Church).

 
Myth 70.  THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH CANONIZED/AUTHORIZED ITS HOLY SCRIPTURES to top of page
This
common fallacy points us to decisions of ancient ecumenical synods of the Christian Church as the basis for the authority of Holy Scripture today. These decisions did take place – to remove uncertainty and to rebut objections to certain books included in our Bible, but these decisions did not confer authority of any kind on Holy Scripture as the Bible itself tells us.
 
   
For instance, the Apostle Paul treats the writing of the Greek medical doctor Luke as equal in authority to the writing of Moses which is the basis of our Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Jewish Torah. No part of Holy Scripture has been regarded with more authority than the Law or Torah, so to put Luke's Gospel on the same level is a very significant statement –
"For the Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,' [Deuteronomy 25:4]
and, 'The laborer deserves his wages'.
[Luke 10:7]" (quoted by Paul in 1 Timothy 5:18).
 
   
Luke's ink was hardly dry on the parchment of his precious Gospel when the Apostle Paul wrote this instruction to Timothy, a leader in the Christian Church. In other words, it did not need time for authoritative Scripture to become authoritative Scripture.
 
   
This truth is further reinforced by the Apostle Peter who tells us that even the direct personal experience of a leading apostle of the Lord Jesus, such as himself, is not as certain and authoritative as Holy Scripture –
"...we ourselves heard this very Voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain.
And we have something more sure, the prophetic Word, to which you will do well to pay attention
as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation."
(2 Peter 1:18-20).
See:
How Do We Know?
   
Holy Scripture is given by the Spirit of God to address us with instruction, encouragement and correction as members of Christ's Church. It can therefore never be subject to the Christian Church either through its members or its clergy. This fallacious idea arose from a seriously wrong view of the nature of the Christian Church.

See:
Ultimate Authority
Myth 71.  SATAN LIVES IN HELL to top of page
Jesus
Christ referred to Satan, in His prophecy of end-time judgment, saying –
"Then He [Christ as king] will say to those on His left,
'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels."
(Matthew 25:41)
European Medieval Christianity, without access to the Bible in the language of the people, developed the idea that Satan rules in Hell as though he were a king, sending out his demons to torment and drag unrepentant sinners down to his lair. This is totally devoid of any truth whatsoever.
See:
Satan
   
The Bible teaches instead that Satan's activity is on this planet and that, apart from his management of his (corrupted) angels his most important activity is in Heaven before the judicial throne of God as the Accuser of God's people (Eph.6:12). This is portrayed for our understanding in the first two chapters of the book of Job; and Jesus referred to his ongoing prosecutorial activity when He said to Peter –
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded [before the Throne] to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
but I have prayed
[to the Father] for you that your faith may not fail.
And when you have turned again
[repented], strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-32).
 
   
Peter's tendency to presumptuous impetuosity gave Satan a case to use to obtain permission from God to exploit this weakness, and he did. Peter's denial of Christ in the Jewish High Priest's courtyard while Jesus was being interrogated so shamed him when he remembered Christ's warning that the Bible says he went out and wept bitterly at his failure to be faithful (Matthew 26:75; Mark 14:72).
 
   
At a yet future time, when God's people have come to spiritual maturity and the full completion of their world mission as the Bible indicates (Matthew 24:14; Ephesians 4:13; Psalm 110:1), then Satan's judicial right to appear before the Throne of God will end and he will be forcibly removed (Revelation 12:10,12). This precipitates the final time of our age when Satan's activity is confined to this earth and his anger at this produces the worst of all times, as Jesus described it, in all human history of 1260 days ((Matthew 24:21-22). (When a limited time is prophesied in Scripture it is to encourage those in that time to endure to its end).
 
   
Satan's angels (demons) do not drag people down to Hell. Hell (the Bible 'Gehenna') is under God's supervision and is only an end of days judgment. Only God's angels take the dead to their appropriate place, which, for the believer, is Christ's presence, and for the unbeliever Hades/the realm of the dead. God rules in all His universe. Satan has no jurisdiction anywhere except under special permission granted by God. Satan is only called the god/ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4) because this world listens to his misrepresentations/deceptions.

See:
The Core Concept
Myth 72.  KING MELCHIZEDEK WAS REALLY THE LORD JESUS to top of page
This
error comes from a shallow approach to the words of Holy Scripture. It arises from a misinterpretation of Hebrews 7. Yet this same chapter's quote of Psalm 110:4 should have prevented this misunderstanding for the careful reader. If this error were true it would mean 'Jesus is a priest forever after the Order of Jesus', which says nothing and is therefore nonsense. This Psalm 110 quote is really saying that in contrast to the inherited priesthood of the Order of Aaron, the priesthood of Israel's Messiah would be an earned priesthood before God, just as godly Jebusite-king Melchizedek was recognised by God as a priest on behalf of his people (Genesis 14:18).
See:
For Melchizedek's Sake
   
The passage in Hebrews 7 which gives rise to this error is not describing history. It is describing the text of Genesis! In that Genesis passage no genealogy or descendants of Melchizedek are listed, nor is his birth or origin, for that had no bearing on the character of his priesthood. This is then used, including his throne-name and city-name, as spiritual metaphors for Christ's priesthood.
 
   
It is true that the Lord Jesus visited our planet on special occasions before his incarnation into our humanity through Mary. It was Jesus and two angels that had a meal with Abraham, which Christ refers to in John.8:56 as described in Genesis 18. Jesus appeared to Joshua before he faced his first big leadership test outside Jericho as described in Joshua 5:13-15, and so on. But Melchizedek was king of the Jebusite city of Salem, with citizens who paid their taxes to him. This was certainly not a special appearance of the Holy Son of God from Heaven. The Bible needs to be treated with greater reverence for its own context, if its exposition is to be honest.

 
Myth 73.  THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT IS CHRIST'S NEW COVENANT STANDARD to top of page
In His
Sermon on the Mount, Christ corrected the traditional interpretation of Israel's Covenant. He introduced nothing more than God had always required of every Israelite since the founding of their nation at Sinai. Christ's New Covenant was only introduced after the Old was abolished in His death –
"...in His flesh... abolishing the Law of commandments ...so making peace [with God],
and might reconcile us both
[Jew & Gentile] to God in one body through the Cross..." (Ephesians 2:13-16)
 
   
Christ's Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew, corrected the traditional teachings of Israel's religious leaders at that time (Scribes and Pharisees), which are today reflected in the Jewish Talmud. This is why Jesus did not start each of His corrections of Old Covenant exposition with a contrastive 'it is written', as He did when quoting Holy Scripture (e.g. Matt.21:13), but rather with the words – 'you have heard it said'. Jesus was not improving on Holy Scripture under some superior covenant standard, as is sometimes foolishly asserted!
 
   
Jesus' correction of these Pharisaic interpretations of Scripture showed that the violation of God's commandments to Israel lay in the motive of the heart and not in the method of their behaviour in technicalities of conduct –
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But [in contrast] I say to you
that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
(Matthew 5:27)
Christ was neither contradicting nor adding to the so-called 'Old Covenant' that God had instituted with Israel under Moses at Sinai. He was publicly correcting the interpretation/exposition/exegesis thereof by the teachers of that Law. Christ Himself fulfilled all requirements of that Law to its fullest (Matthew 5:17), that He might become the Lamb of God on our behalf as a sacrifice for sin. This fulfilling of the Law in Christ is not a reference to fulfilling of prophecy or typology as Lamb of God in His sacrifice for sin, but in His demonstrably sinless life under that Old Covenant Law – as all Israelites ought to have done.
See:
Law Versus Grace
   
There is no law in the New Covenant but love, shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us; the very love of God Himself (Romans 5:5).

 
Myth 74.  WE ARE ALL BORN UNCLEAN BEFORE GOD to top of page
This
error has its origin in the old pagan dualism between spirit and matter in ancient Greek philosophy. It is not Christian. This idea has often used Scripture quotes, such as David's words of contrition over his sin with Bathsheba, in which he says –
"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalms 51:5)
This was not an accusation against his mother. This is simply how he felt in his self-abhorrence for his adultery and the murder of her husband when it was exposed by Nathan. It is not God saying it!
 
   
On the contrary, the New Testament speaks to us on this specific issue through the experience of the Apostle Paul. In showing the value of the Law to lead us to repentance but its incompetence to save from sin, he makes the point that before the Law came to him personally, that is before he was taught the commandments as a child (he was raised as a strict Pharisee by a Pharisee father, and so knew the Law from the earliest possible) he was spiritually alive before God.
"I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died." (Romans 7:9)
The illustrative commandment he refers to is "You shall not covet". And he describes that it was his own first awareness/understanding of this commandment that brought its guilt-verdict upon him. Without this knowledge (of right and wrong) he would have continued alive to God in his childhood. In other words, the selfish-nature of human instincts with which we are born cannot condemn us ("For apart from [knowledge of] the law, sin lies dead") until we become aware of responsibility to choose the good. We start off in innocence.
"For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me." (Romans 7:11)
In other words, he died spiritually when guilt touched him through knowing right and wrong (a knowledge that is learned, as presented to the Jewish children in the Law) and not before. Paul is not an exception. He holds himself up to us as an example of what he taught and preached, and here specifically uses his own experience to explain the value of the Law but its incompetence to redeem.
 
   
The uncleanness of guilt/sin cannot be inherited. We are no more born guilty, than we are born righteous. We are born innocent – until we are responsible for our actions. Paul explains that the instincts of our flesh naturally work against the way of God, but they have no spiritual effect until, as his Jewish context experienced it, the Law came to him in childhood as a young trainee Pharisee.
"The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me." (Romans 7:10)
 
   
Sadly however, Calvin following Augustine, tried to turn these words of Paul to mean that he was deluded into thinking he was 'alive' and, that 'died' under the effect of the Law, simply means that by the Law he woke-up to his guilt with which he was born. It is not wise to twist the words of Holy Scripture to fit church theology, no matter how logical that theology may sound.
See:
Calvin's Corruptions
   
So, in showing the inability of the Law of God to save the soul, Paul makes it clear that he was alive to God until he died under the guilt induced by knowing-better. Salvation from sin therefore lies only in Jesus Christ and not in the Law of God no matter how sincere one may be.

 
Myth 75.  CAIN'S SACRIFICE WAS UN-ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BECAUSE IT WAS NOT HIS 'FIRSTFRUITS' to top of page
This
error has been employed to promote priority in financial-giving as being the key to God's blessing. But the Bible does not say so. The Bible teaches that it was the contrast with Abel's acceptance by God which exposed the problem inside Cain, and this is not presented in Holy Scripture as anything to do with any act of giving to God, either as first-fruits, or because he did not bring a blood sacrifice as some also fancifully allege. The Bible itself points us to the fact that the problem of Cain's rejection and Abel's acceptance did not lie in their offerings but in the attitude/state of heart of the worshipper.
 
God's
discrimination between the offering of Cain and that of his younger brother simply exposed the existing problem, which is then shown by God to lie in Cain's attitude or feelings.
 
God did
God said to Cain, in response to his depression ('why has your face fallen?'), –
"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.
Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."
(Genesis 4:7)
not expect Cain to remove it, but to simply bring it under control, or it would control him. That was the issue!
 
   
There is nothing in the text of Holy Scripture to even hint at a presumed failure to bring so-called 'first fruits'. The problem which caused God's non-acceptance of Cain's sacrifice was something that Cain needed to master, to control. As Adam's first-born, Cain was simply jealous of the place that his younger brother now held in their family. He must learn to 'rule over' this feeling of jealousy, God warns him. It is lurking at the door of his heart like a predator ready to pounce, and he must get control of it, or it would control him and so destroy him. He did not, and in a fit of jealousy killed his brother and so was exiled from his family.
 
   
Those who try to use this to teach priority-giving to the church miss the whole point that it was not God's discrimination between the offerings of these brothers that produced their conflict (that was simply it's symptom), but the unclean attitude of the elder-brother's heart toward his younger sibling about which God spoke, and which sadly eventually overcame him.
 
   
It is vitally important to treat Holy Scripture within its own context; otherwise the context of our own interests will subvert and twist its meaning, to our shame before God.

 
Myth 76.  DEATH IS A 'LAW OF GOD' FOR HUMANITY to top of page
This
idea arose from misreading Hebrews 9:27 which says –
"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ..."
      where the reason for the death of Israel's Messiah is being explained.
Hebrews 9:27-
Our
understanding of any part of Holy Scripture must always be measured against the rest of Holy Scripture for God is consistent! He does not contradict Himself.
 
   
Unfortunately, this particular verse has been used to construct a theory to explain the apparent return of Elijah the prophet as an end-time witness and to speculate that Enoch is the second witness; neither as having died and so needing to come back to die. Both ideas are wrong, for the context of Revelation 11 teaches us otherwise.
 
The
Bible is very clear that all of God's faithful people who are alive at the time of Christ's return will be physically changed without dying first (1 Thessalonians 4:17). They will not die! This is true, apart from the fact that during His ministry to Israel the many whom the Lord Jesus raised from the dead are no longer with us today. That is, they died a second time.
 
   
This Scripture verse used/abused above is simply an observation dealing with the need for Christ-the-Messiah's death: an event that was totally unexpected in Jewish thinking (the people addressed in the letter to the Hebrews), and which is unrepeatable as a sacrifice for sin. Hallelujah!

 
Myth 77.  THE MINISTRY OF JESUS WAS THE ULTIMATE to top of page
This
myth developed from attempts to explain the words of the Lord Jesus –
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do;
and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father"
So, even though this verse itself gives the explanation ('because'), the myth generally propagated is that the word 'greater' simply means greater by 'multiplication' of the ministry of Jesus across the planet in the Christian Church rather than by any personal 'addition' increase to that level of ministry.
John 14:12 ESV.
The
key to understanding this verse is in the status of the Holy Spirit to Christ's disciples, which Jesus explains in this same passage (14:16). As Christ had been to His disciples (παράκλητος/paraklētos/'helper'/'advocate'/'comforter'), so after His departure the Holy Spirit would be to them in the same way (through Christ because of His atonement, as if they were Christ).
 
   
At this time, when Christ spoke these words, the disciples had been led by Jesus, but after His departure they were to be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus Himself had been led and empowered by the same Spirit.
 
   
There is no limit on the Holy Spirit's ministry, and never can be! So, what was done by Jesus was not the limit and therefore not the 'ultimate' – for, through our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit chooses as He considers wise at a particular time and place!
 
This
is directly demonstrated for us in the New Testament record:
•  Jesus killed a fig tree with a word (Matthew 21:19).  But 
Peter killed Ananias and Sapphira with a word (Acts 5:9), and Paul blinded Elymas with a word (Acts 13:11).
Jesus healed by a touch (Matthew 8:3,15)
But
Peter's shadow healed all the sick lying in the street (Acts 5:15-16).
• 
Jesus walked on water (Matthew 14:26).
But 
Philip flew in the Holy Spirit from Gaza to Azotus (c.34 miles; Acts 8:39-40).
There is no limit, and never can be!
The miracles of Jesus have nothing to do with His deity. They do not show His deity any more than they did in Elijah and Elisha. They are a product of the Holy Spirit!
The Bible
teaches us that the climax of this age is not the evacuation of the Christian Church in a rapture to Heaven but in the demonstration of the authority of Christ through His people –
"Sit at My right hand [in Heaven], UNTIL I make Your enemies Your footstool...
Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power"
Psalm 110:1,3 ESV.
So, on the contrary –
 Christ will remain at the right hand of the Father until His power is fully demonstrated in His people! 
This future climax which completes Daniel's 'seventy-weeks' prophecy is described in the Revelation in the metaphor of the Two Witnesses, in their defiant authority as His representatives before the face of Antichrist (Revelation 11) until baptised into Christ's suffering.

See: The Hidden Time
 
See: His Bride's Day!
Myth 78.  THE SABBATH IS A DAY OF WORSHIP to top of page
God's
own behaviour is presented in Genesis One and Two as our example – of six days work and a seventh of rest. God certainly did not worship on the seventh day. It was separated/made holy as a day dedicated to rest, complete rest.
Genesis 2:3.
   
The idea of the sabbath being used for worship developed in Jewish practice during Israel's exile in Babylonia, in which it became convenient as the day to gather for the public reading of the written Word of God.
Genesis 3:8.
   
But as it was in the beginning, the first humans probably met with God each day at the end of their day (the cool of the evening), which is first referred to after Adam's sin regarding his shame before God.
 
   
The New Testament exhortation to not neglect to "meet together" refers to public loyalty toward other believers and not simply church meeting attendance.
 
The
Bible's teaching regarding the sabbath day concerns human welfare, not religious observance.
Therefore the Lord Jesus said –
"The sabbath came into being for man's sake, not man for the sabbath's sake.
Therefore the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath also"
Mark 2:27-28.
   
For this reason the Lord Jesus often contradicted Jewish religious practice on the sabbath in the interest of people's welfare. This principle does not change.

 
Myth 79.  THE GOSPEL MAY BE SUMMARIZED AS: 'Love God & others', and 'Make disciples' to top of page
   
The Gospel is not a call to obey divine instructions; and at its essence can never contain any commandment!
 
The
Lord Jesus defined the Gospel as the content of His own ministry to Israel ("this gospel" Matthew 24:14), and made the completion of this Gospel message, spread to all the nations, as God's precondition for the End and His coming kingdom.
See:
The kingdom of God
   
Jesus was not preaching 'commandments' of any kind to Israel. They already had the 'love'-commandment from Moses' time at the founding of their nationhood, and the 'make disciples'-instruction was never preached to Israel. It is an instruction given only to those who have personally accepted the Gospel. So the idea that the Gospel of Jesus could be summarized as these two commands is simply silly. The Gospel is the 'good news'!
 
The
Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ was preached and demonstrated in His ministry, and, if it be summarized, it is the true revelation of God's character (as shown in Christ's words and miracles), which was being so misrepresented by Israel's religious leaders at that time.
 
   
For instance, the parable of the Prodigal Son illustrates the Gospel of Jesus (as its companying illustrations of lost sheep and lost coin): God is as a Parent waiting for the repentance/return of the Fallen. He requires no penitence, and rejoices in the return of the Lost! The Gospel is the revelation of God! He is the good news!

Luke 15:3-32.
Myth 80.  THERE IS POWER IN THE SPOKEN WORD to top of page
God's
creative words in Genesis One are often used as examples in this regard and Proverbs 18:21 is sometimes quoted "Death and life are in the power of the tongue", but this does not mean the spoken words contain in themselves anything supernatural.
 
   
The supernatural power which applied these spoken words of God in Genesis One is stated in that same passage to have been the Spirit of God! (Gen.1:2). Even though Jesus Christ was 'God in the flesh' not one of the miracles of His ministry derived from His spoken word, even though that word sometimes acted as a trigger in a particular situation, it did not contain the power.
 
Jesus
Himself said it – "if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom [rule/authority] of God has come upon you". For this reason the Christ of God necessarily received the anointing of the Holy Spirit at His baptism. There is no other supernatural power for believers.
Matthew 12:28.
   
If the words of the Lord Jesus Christ derived their effect/power only from the Holy Spirit of God, it remains so today, for at best we are His followers. To attribute a supernatural effect to anything else is a subtle form of animism which has often deceived the sincere.

See
Animist Deception in Christ's Church Today
Myth 81.  JESUS CAME TO BRING PEACE ON EARTH to top of page
This
myth was helped by the clumsy translation of the angel's words to the shepherds of Bethlehem of – 'peace on earth, goodwill toward men'; but the Bible really gives us –
"...on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!"
Luke 2:14. ESV
   
Jesus Himself expressly said –
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household."
Matthew 10:34.
The
fundamental contradiction between God's ways and human self-centred conduct means conflict, and those who turn to God's way of selfless-love will find themselves in conflict with the lifestyle of their society.
 
   
For this reason the Lord Jesus taught His followers to be as wise as serpents.
 

Myth 82.  THE KINGDOM OF GOD FULFILS DAVID'S KINGDOM to top of page
In
their search to explain the New Testament's frequent reference to the 'Kingdom of God' some scholars have rooted it in Israel's Davidic kingdom to be fulfilled by Israel's Messiah, for the Lord Jesus is presented in Matthew's Gospel as holding royal title as his legal descendant through Solomon and so Jesus is its messianic king, meaning that in terms of end-time expectations – the whole world will eventually be ruled from Israel's Jerusalem.
 
But sadly,
this presumptuous interpretation ignores the bigger picture which the Bible presents, and it consequently dismally fails to comprehend the basic biblical significance of this "kingdom of God".
 
If the
Bible is to be read as a whole and not selectively, it would be seen that –
1. 
The authority mandated to humanity in its very beginning to "subdue" and to exercise "dominion" as God's "image" is the ultimate calling of the whole of humanity; and,
2. 
Christ used the term 'kingdom' specifically in the sense of authority and not for the 'realm of rule':
"...if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you" (Matthew 12:28).


Genesis One
Israel,
as descendants of Abraham's faith, were called in their Sinai covenant to be a kingdom/nation of "priests" (Exodus 19:6) to usher the whole human race into the restoration of this founding mandate of God which was eventually directly demonstrated in Jesus as a "son of man" (Ps.8:4,6), but Israel's rejection of Jesus changed that; and so He announced to them –
"the kingdom of God will be taken away from you [Israel] and given to a people producing its fruits"
Matthew 21:43.
See:
The Kingdom of God
• Although this statement has been used to teach erroneously a so-called Replacement Theology (that Israel no longer exists in God's sight and that the Church is now in its place), it is actually simply taking the focus off this nation as the primary agent of God's program of restoration but the program itself continues...
 
To
Jesus the kingdom of God is higher than any national identity.
"Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith [as in the Roman centurion].
I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom
[its natural heirs] will be thrown into the outer darkness."
It is nothing less than the complete fulfilment of God's original design of humanity, even though in that process the presence of this kingdom and its appearance are now necessarily separated in what was described by the Lord Jesus as the mystery of the kingdom.
Matthew 8:10-12.

 
See:
Mystery of the Kingdom
However,

Typological significance
is true
this necessary correction does not negate the symbolic/typological significance of David's kingdom. King David, when at last the whole of his nation came into eventual full submission to his rule, moved his capital to Melchizedek's city (Jerusalem), so when all the people of Christ come into the unity of their spiritual maturity (as described in Ephesians 4:13) then the resurrection at the coming of Christ will establish the "New Jerusalem" (Christ's Church/Bride) as the capital of the boundless Kingdom of God forever.
See: Obedience
of the Church
as a Prelude
to the Parousia

Myth 83.  THE 'SON OF MAN' FIGURE IN DANIEL SEVEN IS MESSIAH/JESUS to top of page
This
is such a common fallacy (because it is so natural as much as it is wrong) from reading Daniel Chapter Seven with the New Testament Gospels in mind. It inevitably constructs a false context to this particular part of the sacred Word of God and thereby misleads.
The
"son of man" figure of Chapter Seven, who receives the kingdom from God, is, in its God-given context, no more an individual person than the four empires portrayed were each an individual person, even though these four 'animal'/predator empires (Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Hellenistic, Roman) are there personified as "four kings" (7:17). They are not individuals any more than that Medo-Persia was a person. Within its own context this is very clear, when it describes this decision of God's Court, which takes the rule over Israel away from the fourth empire (Roman) and gives it to this "son of man" image in the end time, by saying for our understanding –
"...judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom"
Daniel 7:22
'saints'(קדּישׁ)=holy ones
(not the 'canonized')
Yes,
In ancient Hebrew and Aramaic,
the phrase 'son of...'
changed its attached noun
into an adjective.
Jesus as perfect "son of man' (Semitic idiom for 'human', which Jesus used repeatedly to emphasis His identification with us) deserves the kingdom and therefore He is its rightful heir (Rev.5:5, and so its king). But this 'son of man' term is not a messianic title, never was, and also here it does not even point to an individual person, as has unfortunately been so commonly taught by those who do not take its God-given context seriously enough or understand the idiom of its language.
See:
'Son of Man' Myth
• Remember, this same revelation was given in Daniel Two, via Nebuchadnezzar's dream, in which the contrast was between four 'metals' and the 'rock' of God's kingdom, which is then here portrayed to Daniel again in the contrast of the four 'animals' to the 'human' of God's kingdom. This error, of seeing it as the person of Jesus, has exacerbated misunderstanding of Christ's use of the term for Himself in the New Testament (remember Jesus' home-language was Aramaic) as the true human and so has led to many other errors of understanding such as not recognising the human basis of Christ's authority over the Sabbath (Mk.2:28-28), etc. . .
See: Congruence


Myth 84.  A REVELATION RECEIVED MUST BE CONFIRMED BY TWO OR THREE WITNESSES to top of page
This error
arises from reading the statement of the Lord Jesus, reported in Matthew 18:16-20, in total disregard of it's God-given context concerning disciplinary process to preserve the spiritual unity of God's people –
- i -
"But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you,
that every statement may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the congregation.
And if he refuses to listen even to the congregation, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
- ii -
Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in Heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in Heaven.
- iii -
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask,
it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven.
For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them."

Literal Translation

(As God had
previously said in
Deuteronomy 19:15)
The "two or three" are simply part of this disciplinary enquiry leading to a united act to resolve the particular division within the fellowship.
To use it any other way is to seriously abuse and twist God's Word and grieve the Spirit of Grace by Whom we are born-again.
(But, sadly, this serious abuse is rampant across the Protestant and Evangelical churches of our generation).
Never did any prophet of Israel ever require a second opinion to confirm that his revelation was from the Spirit of God before he publicly announced it!
And the
Christian believer, every Christian believer, as part of a new life in Jesus Christ was given Christ's own human relationship to the Spirit of God at Pentecost in 30 AD/CE. Consequently the ordinary Christian has, in principle, a far closer relationship to the Spirit of God than was ever enjoyed by any prophet of ancient times.
See:
"I Believe
in the Holy Spirit"
   
So remember: Jesus said that spiritually "a tree is known by its fruit", not by its status (Matt.7:18).
And therefore,
whether the revelation of God comes to a person directly from the Holy Spirit Himself, from an angel of God, or in a dream, it's authenticity lies, not in the approval of others no matter who they are, but in its effect upon the lives of the people addressed by it (its 'fruit'); and because God is consistent (truthful) it will always agree to what the Spirit of God previously inspired for us in the Holy Bible.

Myth 85.  BLASPHEMING THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN to top of page
When
Jesus, knowing the critical thoughts of the Pharisees, said publicly –
"Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people,
but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
And whoever speaks a word
[slander] against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."
Jesus was not making a theological statement. He was speaking practically in response to the Jewish religious leaders at that time who were undermining His ministry to the needy.
Matthew 12:30-32.
This
statement does not mean that the Holy Spirit is holier than the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore a sin against the Spirit of God is more serious than a sin against the Son of God!
 
   
• Christ's ministry resulted from His anointing with the Holy Spirit, therefore He is called the 'Christ' [Anointed], so the rejection of His ministry, such as by the Pharisees, was a rejection of the direct outreach of God's mercy to them.
 
In other words,
practically, to reject God's hand of forgiving mercy extended to the individual through the Holy Spirit is to reject that forgiveness, and there is no other way to God other than through His forgiveness.
 
Christ's
reference to the 'age to come' does not mean that God holds a grudge. The Lord is simply saying within the context of that situation that slandering Him could be forgiven, but their rejection of God's extended grace closed the door on them and the coming future messianic age which they were hoping for would not change that if they did not change.
 
   
God's mercy is not rationed. His grace is not less than His infinity. But nothing changes unless the hearing heart turns to God.
 

Myth 86.  JESUS IS 'SON OF GOD' AS PART OF THE HOLY TRINITY to top of page
This confusion in Christian history has often misled Islamic understanding of Christianity
See: Islâm & God
 
See:
The Trinity of God
The
Biblical term/title "Son of God" has nothing at all to do with the deity of the Lord Jesus! This title derives from Psalm 2:7 –
"You are My Son; today I have begotten you"
concerning Israel's prophesied Messiah, and so likewise these words concerning Jesus "today I have begotten You" also do not mean in any way that Jesus had a beginning, but are simply the declaration of Christ's messianic status, as was later demonstrated by His resurrection! (Ac.13:33; Heb.1:3; 5:5). Within its original context it is simply an idiomatic statement of messianic appointment, as had been stated in its previous verse – "I have set My King on Zion, My holy hill" (Ps.2:6).
"son of..." implies
secondary, and in
the Eternal Infinity
no part of God
is secondary to
the rest of God!
There is no eternal
hierarchy in God


See:
A Biblical
Structure
of History
The
phrase/title 'Son of God' is a Semitic idiom for a specially favoured relationship that Israel's royal Messiah (Anointed) would enjoy with God, and that is all. The ancient Egyptians thought similarly of their royal pharaoh's favoured relationship to the Most High. The subsequent pollution of Christian thought in the early centuries, by being mixed with pagan Greek concepts of deity, corrupted much understanding of this Biblical phrase. It does not imply deity!
  Christ,
before the creation of all things, was part of the eternal infinite plurality of God without beginning, and which is referred to in Christian teaching and tradition as the 'Holy Trinity'.
But, just
as Christ's divine 'sonship' as royal Messiah/'Son of God' had a beginning (Ps.2:7) – so it will also have an end
to no longer be Son of God when His historical role/function as Messiah is completed.
(According to 1 Corinthians 15:24 and 28 which describe the same event).

Myth 87.  CHRIST's PHYSICAL SUFFERING IS PART OF OUR ATONEMENT to top of page
  This
is only true as much as the frame around a painting is part of the painting itself. Our Atonement as an act of God's mercy in placing the blame/guilt for all sin, sin as understood by the Holy One, upon the perfect man Jesus began at 12 noon and lasted 'til 3pm when Jesus cried out "It is finished/completed" (Jn.19:30), even though He had been nailed to His cross at 9am that morning. Our Atonement was a judicial act of God. It was not a contest between Jesus and Satan! Satan had no part whatsoever in that act of God's mercy in Jesus.
 
  The
blood of His cross represents the price paid in the infinite cost of the loss of His relationship to God in that time. The coming horror of that experience took Christ by surprise in Gethsemane during the Passover night vigil of the Jews, which accounts for it's dramatic effect on Him at that time. But when the time came and it happened, even the knowledge of what was happening, which could have given Him courage, was also taken from Him. He was absolutely and totally cut off from God in every sense.
 
  The
haemoglobin that dripped from His pain-filled body no more paid for our sin than it had done when he was circumcised as an infant on the eighth day after His birth.
 
  Our
Atonement in Jesus Christ, anticipated before all things (Rev.13:8), was an act of God in Christ, by which we have been given
an undeserved intimate unrestricted relationship to the Most High which makes us forever the heirs of the future.
 

Myth 88.  IT... IS BLESSED... ! to top of page
It is
sadly common in Christianity to hear of Christian leaders 'conferring' blessing – upon a home, a person, or a substance, such as anointing oil, holy water, or a crucifix. Yes, bringing a new home to God in prayer to ask for His blessing upon it is good, but the blessings of God cannot be 'conferred' by anyone ever, nor can they become attached to any object of any kind. This magical superstitious thinking is an abominable twisting of the holy, and is part of the widespread deception of animism.
See:
Animist Deception
For instance:
• When Jesus blessed (in thanksgiving) the five loaves and two fishes, which then fed more than five thousand people, the food did not multiply when He blessed it, but only when He broke it by faith. The Bible says that He fed the whole multitude with two fish. In other words, the fish did not become more fish when 'blessed', but the broken pieces multiplied in His faith-act of breaking, not in the preceding 'blessing' (Mark 6:41).
 
  The
Enemy of God will always take the good, the precious, and twist his lie around it! That is his nature!
 
   
All the blessing of God resides in His relationship to us, not in things.
 
   
• What we call 'blessing' is a consequence of this, but the link is never 'via' any object. God loves directly, and His relationship to us is the true foundation of our relationship to Him!.
 
Social
manipulation by religious teachers/leaders, promising God's blessing in association with certain acts and/or objects, is a deception
an affront to the direct and immediate intimacy of the Holy Spirit to all of God's people everywhere.
See:
Release of Faith

Myth 89.  ISRAEL's 70-YEAR EXILE BEGAN WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR TEMPLE to top of page
Jeremiah's
70-year-exile prophecy (29:10) was written to those, and only to those, who had previously been taken into Exile in Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar when he took king Jeconiah captive (March 15/16, 597 BC/BCE) and had then installed Zedekiah as the king of the Jews in Jerusalem.
Israel's temple was
destroyed 586 BC/BCE
  This
correction is significant because many Rabbis incorrectly calculate Daniel's 70-weeks/7s prophecy (9:24) to included these seventy years and then often date this from the 586 BC/BCE destruction of Jerusalem and so take it to the destruction of the second temple (in contradiction of Daniel).
 
  If
correctly calculated, it would show that the Lord Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey in fulfilment of Zechariah (9:9) because it was the exact time of Daniel's prophecy fulfilment (9:26) concerning the coming of Messiah who would be cut off (His atonement) which would thereby end all temple atonement sacrifice before God forever! For this reason, when the Jewish Pharisees complained about the crowd's loud praising Him as Messiah, Jesus said –
"I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out"
For it was the God appointed time as had been given to Daniel.
(It also does not mean that nature will rebel if you don't praise God, as I have heard some foolishly preach!)
Luke 19:40.

Myth 90.  "For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them" IS A PROMISE OF CHRIST's PRESENCE to top of page
This widely
abused quote from Holy Scripture has nothing at all to do with church attendance or with Christian meetings of any kind!
 
The Lord Jesus
spoke these significant words concerning the practical application of individual discipline in His Church, in that those who give evidence (the "two or three" minimum) concerning the wrong-doing of the guilty are doing what Christ Himself would do. Read attentively in its own literary context and understanding its Jewish historical context, it can have no other meaning –
"If your [spiritual] brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have gained your brother
[mutually reconciled].
But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you,
that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the congregation.
And if he refuses to listen even to the congregation,
let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector
[completely disassociated].
Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven [agreed by God],
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven
['binding' and 'loosing' being legal terminology of the time].
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask
[in mutual reconciliation],
it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven.
For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them."
Matthew 18:15-20.

Myth 91.  IN THE NEW TESTAMENT "SWORD" MEANS 'BIBLE' to top of page
This
widespread error of New Testament interpretation indicates a lack of appropriate respect for the literary and historical context of holy Scripture. This is especially true of the following two passages which use the word "sword".
 
1. The
Lord Jesus said on the way to Gethsemane to His remaining disciples that, as much as when He had sent them out preaching previously and had told them not to take a money purse (for their needs would be provided by those that benefited from their ministry), so now in contrast they must take their money purse with them and that if they do not have a sword they must sell their cloak and buy one. Two disciples were carrying swords at the time, and so, when that is stated, the response of Jesus ("it is enough") is then often interpreted as simply His 'irritation' that they had misunderstood His 'symbolic' speech of meaning a 'Bible', even though that interpretation violates its own context.
It is possibly
a pacifist presumption
that may have encouraged
this false interpretation.
Meaning
a physical weapon!
"But now let the one who has a money-bag take it, and likewise a knapsack.
And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one."
Christ is making a clear distinction between, on the one hand –
(1) being vulnerable in one's obedient faith as when they had gone out preaching; and on the other,
(2) simply by circumstance becoming a victim of public disorder or criminal intent; and so –

Luke 22:36.
He
sought to protect them from the latter. In other words, His statement to them "It is enough" does not mean 'enough said' (indicating His unwillingness to explain further), as is so often alleged by commentators, but simply that the two swords which they carried at that time were "enough" deterrent for their present need. These men had lived and travelled with the Christ of God for more than three years and if He had had any reserve about what they carried with them it certainly would have been addressed by Him before His last night with them. Christ was neither impatient with their understanding, nor negligent in His management of their travel luggage.
In many countries
the police force cannot
be relied upon to provide public safety and so
this wisdom of Christ
is applicable today!
2. Here
Meaning a particular
inspired statement!
the Apostle Paul, encouraging the believers by using the symbolism of Christ's own ministry from Isaiah's prophecy (Isa.59:17), writes in his circular letter to all the churches/congregations of the region via the Ephesus congregation –
"...take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (ῥῆμα/rhēma/utterance) of God".
Such as in Antioch, when the Holy Spirit had said, through someone then present –
"Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them" (Acts 13:2)
– which cut them free of their local leadership responsibility to go and do what God had already said to them.
Ephesians 6:17.
Bibles did not
begin to be printed until medieval times when moveable type was invented, many hundreds of years later than the first century, so personally owning a hand-copied manuscript of the Bible, before even paper had been invented, was an absolute impossibility!
Even Jesus did not have a personal Bible. All went to the synagogue to hear it publicly read.
 
So, the idea that the possession of a Bible is here an instruction of holy Scripture is sadly disparaging to the real meaning of both these precious quotes above.

Myth 92.  DAVID KILLED GOLIATH WITH THAT GIANT'S SWORD to top of page
Lack of
sufficient respect for the Bible has resulted in some humanistic presentations of this key moment in David's life and so denied us an appropriate understanding of this historical reality.
1. 
Goliath did not have a pituitary gland malfunction to account for his height (more than 9-feet tall; not the ISV's 6½-feet taken from the Septuagint text). He, his brother, and others of that family (one had 6-fingers on each hand and 6-toes on each foot, 1 Chronicles 20:4-8) were descended from the mutant sons of Anak of Hebron who had later settled among the Philistines after Caleb conquered that city.
2. 
David's stone from his sling killed Goliath (without a sword in his hand, 1 Samuel 17:50), and he then used the giant's own sword to decapitate him to take the head to what had been Melchizedek's city in Abraham's time (Jerusalem, 1 Samuel 17:54). That huge sword was stored at Israel's Tabernacle in Shiloh as a symbol of this God-given supernatural victory (1 Samuel 21:9).
The Bible uses the same terms for these mutants (nephilim) as for those resulting from demonic genetic manipulation before the Flood (Genesis 6:4).
It is also
worthy of note to read Psalm 8 in this respect, for the example given to us in the Biblical psalm-structure of Habbakuk's psalm (3:1-19) shows that the phrase, usually printed in translations as a 'heading' to Psalm 9, is rightfully the ending of Psalm 8. This ("according to Muth-labben"), depending on its Hebrew vowel-pointing could be translated as 'on the death of Labben', or 'according to death to the son' or 'death to the man between the camps', but it is actually a pointer to us of the experience of David from which this psalm of adoration arose rather than its orchestral performance, namely the public killing of the Philistine hero Goliath between the two armies facing each other.
So, when David writes in verse two –
"Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
You have established strength because of Your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger"
he is here directly referring to himself – for that is just how he felt, as a teen between the two armies, in silencing Goliath's public blasphemy of God.
 

Myth 93.  "SURROUNDED BY SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES" WATCHING US! to top of page
This
fallacy is from a twisted interpretation of Hebrews 12:1 –
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..."
This is a direct reference to the preceding verses of Chapter Eleven (the original text was not divided into chapters) in which those in the past whose lives are described in Holy Scripture, as living by faith in God, are listed as an example, a witness TO us (not 'of us')!
Twisting the meaning of anyone's words is bad
but twisting God's Word is the worst of the worst!
 
There is NO grandstand full of either angels or ancestral spirits 'watching' our human obedience, as some lazy preachers have said, and some spiritists have tried to use this verse to justify their own perverse teachings!
 
The
"witnesses" here referred to, as its introductory word "therefore" indicates to us, are the like of Abraham and "Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets" in Chapter 11:32, in addition to the many nameless martyrs – as examples to us of living by faith in God beyond understanding.
 

Myth 94.  THE STATE OF ISRAEL IS "a nation born in a day" IN 1948, FULFILLING BIBLE PROPHECY to top of page
This
myth has seriously skewed Christian understanding of Bible prophecy. When Isaiah gave that prophetic promise to the faithful in Israel of his time, it was coupled to the Lord establishing His kingdom
"The sound of an uproar from the city! A sound from the temple!
The sound of the LORD, rendering recompense to His enemies!
Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son.
Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children."
(Isaiah 66:6-8)
This will happen when God destroys all Israel's enemies as Christ returns to a repenting Israel
"For thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream'..."
(Isaiah 66:12).
It has not yet happened and God does not lie!
See:
The Grotesque
Zionist Public Lie
The political sleight-of-hand!
David Ben Gurion's unilateral declaration of statehood at 4PM on Friday, 14 May 1948, on behalf of Palestine's 400,000 Jews, in total disregard of the majority of the country's population (resident in Palestine for more than 1,200-years) – eight hours before the British Mandate in Palestine expired –
simply does not fit (violates) the context of Holy Scripture quoted above!
The many
opportunistic preachers who have, either ignorantly or arrogantly, or both, fallen into this trap, have dishonoured God!
It is bad to use someone's words to say what they do not mean, but to do that with God's Word is blasphemous.
To quote
Jewish Professor Ilan Pappé (אילן פפה‎), who was born in Israel –
The State of "Israel was founded on injustice and built by deception".

Mike Bickle and his associated 'prophets' propagate this
lying deception!
 
This is certainly NOT the scenario promised by God to the faithful descendants of Abraham.
This is the Zionist
fake State of Israel, which is the reason why in Boston and London every year Orthodox Jews
hold a public burning of the Israeli flag on the Jewish feast of Purim.

Myth 95.  JESUS WAS JUST BEING COMPASSIONATE WHEN HE SAID 'NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU' to top of page
This error,
concerning Christ's response to the woman caught in the act of adultery whom the Jewish Pharisees brought to Him to test His conformity to the Mosaic Code to stone her to death, arises often sincerely, from an ignorance of that Mosaic Law concerning which the Pharisees had specially set up the situation to challenge Jesus. His compassion for the despised was well known, and so they thought that they could trap Him in this way into contradicting God's Word given through Moses. As usual, a knowledge of the Old Testament is essential to fully understanding the New Testament.
 
The
law which God had given to Israel through Moses required that, for any crime that resulted in a death sentence, the witnesses for the prosecution had to themselves act as the executioners to carry out the sentence caused by their testimony. Jesus has scribbled in the dust immediately prior to His response (possibly because these so-called court 'witnesses' were her clients).
 
So,
In the Mosaic Law this
was designed so that
the witnesses responsible
for the conviction should
feel be directly aware of the
consequence of their action.
when Jesus said –
"Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her"
and then continued to write on the ground, He was simply applying the Law of Moses
to the situation which they had specially created, and of which their Mosaic Law said –
"The hand of the [prosecution] witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death,
and afterward the hand of all the people."
John 8:7


Deuteronomy 17:7.
This
manipulative attempt of the Jewish religious leaders at the time to publicly trap Jesus backfired! We don't know what Jesus wrote in the dust before He invited the guiltless to begin her execution, but when he did so – they were all gone, possible because of the unrecorded words He had written!
 
 
So after the last prosecution witness had left, Jesus turns to the woman, and in the absence of the departed witnesses, states –
"Neither do I condemn you;  go, and from now on sin no more"
This is not a statement of sentiment or of empathy!
This is a legally valid statement in terms of the Law of Moses, with an added encouragement for her to change her ways.
John 8:11.

Myth 96.  ABRAHAM AND JACOB's TITHING MEANS IT US FOR US TODAY TO ALSO SO DO to top of page
This
misrepresentation, fuelled by church's need for funding, is a gross twisting of Holy Scripture, often used because it predates the giving of the Sinai Covenant through Moses and therefore the assumption is that it thus did not end when that covenant ended in Christ's atonement.
 Firstly, Abraham's tithe to king Melchizedec, in terms of Abraham's Mesopotamian background, was a tax in acknowledgement of his rule in that territory, and nothing more! That Hebrews uses Melchizedec as an analogy of Jesus, does not change the actual history of their situation. For those who see it as a worship act of spiritual significance it also needs to be remembered that the 10% was given from looted goods, recovered by Abraham, but which did not belong to him.
See:
Giving to God
 
 The promise of Jacob to God was to offer as burnt sacrifice a tenth of all he gained in the future, which in its historical context is simply an acknowledgement of God as his king with its expected benefits.
 
To
use either of these historical acts in disregard of their historical context, to try and validate adding a sense obligation/compulsion to financial giving to the local church, is a horrible abuse of Holy Scripture, no matter how sincere and well-meaning that may be.
 

Myth 97.  MOSES AND ELIJAH BOTH RAN AWAY to top of page
Neither
of these two heroes of the faith ever 'ran away' – ever!
• Moses put himself into voluntary exile, after he knew (from his disloyal Hebrew brethren) that Pharaoh would have been told of his killing of the violent Egyptian foreman in defending a Hebrew, because although effectively as a member of the Egyptian royal family he had nothing to fear IF he disavowed any loyalty to these Hebrew foreigners, which he would not do. So his loyalty to the covenant people of Abraham (because he believed) cost him his prosperous lifestyle (Hebrews 11:24-27). It's best to believe the Bible's view!
"By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible"
Exhausted, Elijah after restoring the rain to Israel, went south from Carmel (called Baal Rosh / Head of Baal, at that time) to meet with God at the very place where God had initiated His Sinai Covenant with Israel which it had been violating, because the subsequent action of its pagan queen indicated that the Baal-worship he had destroyed would be restored. He completes the journey, after being fed by God's angel, and on arrival at Sinai is promoted to an international ministry, to appoint the next king of Syria.



See:
Moses' Depression
More!
His life, in the 3½-years (James 5:17) of his unique confrontational ministry and his rapture from outside the Covenant Land, sets him before us as an analogy of the (3½-year/42-month/1260-day) final phase of the witness of the Christian Church which culminates in the Rapture of all believers.
 
Nothing
in the Bible record casts any negative aspersion on either of these two examples of faith presented in God's Word. It is sad that some preachers read it and then interpret it within their own field of experience rather than within the perspective given to us in Holy Scripture.
 

Myth 98.  THE FOUNDING OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL IS A SIGN to top of page
Sadly again


See:
Chronology
of Confusion
here, Holy Scripture is abused and twisted to create this impression, namely in Christ's analogy of the fig tree sprouting –
"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves,
you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, at the very gates.
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place."
The story that was then told is that the fig tree is 'Israel' and that its budding is its 'political awakening as a State'. At one stage 'this generation' (which simply means 'this people') was interpreted to mean a time period of 40-years after the declaration of Israel's statehood (so Jesus would return in 1988. being 1948+40=1988), then the period was lengthened to 70-years when that did not happen (1948+70=2018) which is also just as completely false, and just made a fool of Christianity in the eyes of a watching world.
Matthew 24:32-34.
But those who
believe the 'fig tree' represents Israel
just don't see that
of course when Jesus
curses the fig tree
(Matthew 21:19).
And so
Scripture twisted to
support 20th century
imminence ideology
inasmuch as putting out its leaves meant 'political awakening', the fuller version of Christ's teaching in Luke was then used/abused/twisted to mean the 'rising nationalisms' during this time in the decolonisation of Africa –
"Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near."
Luke 21:29-31
In

Misleading
leaders
need to be
held accountable
for their deceptions
no matter how sincere
they may have been!
(James 3:1)
its own context, Christ's use of the leaf-budding metaphor is actually a reference to the terrible times of destruction ahead which He had mentioned earlier, namely –
"there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads,
because your redemption is drawing near."
– which signs, rather than causing discouragement among believers, are to be responded to with courage and expectant faith. The calamities described are themselves the signs, and so, just as budding-leaves indicate summer is coming, believers are to respond positively in the face of such international calamities, that naturally lead to "people fainting with fear and with foreboding"!
Luke 21:25-28.
This world's
political agendas, at any level, do not set any time-frame for God's action, ever – either in the decolonisation process in Africa after the Second World War, or by Ben Gurion's declaration of political independence of Zionist Israel in Palestine –
in any sense whatsoever..!
 

Myth 99.  THE 'KING OF THE NORTH' IN DANIEL ELEVEN IS – GERMANY to top of page
Many

See:
SDA 'Sanctuary' doctrine
of Daniel's prophecy
totally rebutted
*Daniel's prototype
of the Antichrist
'Hellenistic' = Greek
sincerely misguided Christians (in the United States in particular) have tried to incorporate the formation of the European Union (EU) into their End Times view of history (being ignorant that the End does not begin until Christ's Church has completed its given mission, as He Himself said in Matthew 24:14), and so Germany's past in its two World Wars and its current economic leadership in the EU, lead them to misread and think that Daniel's prophecy of Israel's conflict in Chapter Eleven with the "king of the North" is to be so interpreted as Germany.
Current
Affairs
are not a clue
to the End Times.

Only the Bible
and the work of
the Holy Spirit
are such!
It is imperative that Holy Scripture be understood in its own context and Daniel's prophecy was awesomely fulfilled before Christ came, in the split of Alexander the Great's Hellenistic empire into its four parts after his death and subsequent Seleucid conflict of Antiochus IV* (of Hellenistic Syria) with Israel (about 168 BC/BCE) and the subsequent rise of Israel's Maccabee kings during the Inter-testamental period (between the end of the Old and the beginning of the New Testament times). Likewise, the "king of the South" referred to in the same chapter is of Hellenistic Egypt.
When
physical directions are given in Holy Scripture they are always given in terms of the people being addressed, and so "North" in Daniel Eleven, as relevant to Israel/Palestine, refers to Syria – and not to Germany or to any other European nation.

Myth 100.  SAUL OF TARSUS CHANGED HIS NAME TO 'PAUL' to top of page
Not
true! The Bible tells us that he was born a Roman citizen, which required name registration, as is mentioned for our understanding in his recorded dialogue with the Roman military Tribune after the Roman soldiers had rescued him from a Jewish mob riot and he was about to be flagellated by the Romans for causing a public disturbance in the temple in Jerusalem –
"The [Roman] tribune answered, 'I bought this citizenship for a large sum.' Paul said, 'But I am a [Roman] citizen by birth.'"
Acts 22:28
Paul/Saul held
dual citizenship
But when Paul had become a student at the Pharisee academy under Gamaliel In Jerusalem, he was understandably enrolled under his Jewish name of 'Saul' and was then later so known in the beginning of his Christian life – until God moved him into his apostolic ministry to the Gentiles, where it made sense in the territory of the Roman empire to be known by his legal Roman name – Paul.
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel
according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day."
Acts 22:3
The
idea of name-change in the Bible is sometimes associated with a change in the person, such as Peter's birth-name 'Simon' was changed to 'Peter' ('rock', Cephas in the Aramaic Jesus spoke; Petros, in international Greek of the time).
 
 
However, the name-change of 'Barnabas' from Joseph does not reflect that, as it was simply Joseph's nickname of 'Bar-Nabas' (the 'Encourager' in Aramaic) which he had earned by his positive behaviour, such as was demonstrated in introducing newly-converted persecutor-of-Christians Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Peter, when most Christian were afraid to meet him because they did not believe his conversion .
Acts 9:26-27;
Galatians 2:9.
But, the
change in Paul's use of 'Saul' to 'Paul' was not a reflection of either a change in his person as with Peter, or a popular characterisation of himself as with Barnabas. It simply, directly and only reflected his inherited background, and its use emphasised the direction of his ministry to others at a particular time. His use of his registered Roman citizenship name of 'Paul' (Paulus) does coincide with the increase in the scope of his public ministry and also the timing of its spiritual enhancement by the gift of apostle after his striking the advisor of the Roman governor of Cyprus with blindness (prior to this, he was recognised as having the spiritual gift of teacher, as reflected in the gramatical structure of Acts 13:1).
See:
Gifts of the
Holy Spirit

Myth 101.  JEHOVAH AND YESHUA ARE AUTHENTIC to top of page
Both
of these terms are non-existent in the holy Word of God! The first, Jehovah, was the result of ignorance on the part of the translators of the 1611 AD/CE King James version of the Bible, also known as the Authorized Version. The second, Yeshua, is a product of deliberate deception by the Jewish Pharisees as is also reflected in their Talmud which carries their deceptive perspective.
See:
The Israel Heresy
With
JEHOVAH : In order to avoid pronouncing the name of God and so 'breaking' the command to not take His name in vain (which is not what that commandment meant), it became a custom in medieval Judaism's synagogue-readings to substitute the Hebrew word for 'lord' (adonai) in the place of 'YHWH'. Thus in Scripture copies the vowel pointing of adonai was placed above the consonants of YHWH. Not knowing this, the translators of the so-called Authorized Version mixed the vowels of adonai with the consonants of YHWH and so produced the non-existent term of 'Jehovah'.
See:
YaHWeH
With
YESHUA : The name of 'Jesus' (chosen by God for Him, Matthew 1:21) is exactly same as 'Joshua'/יְהוֹשׁוּעַ/Yehôshûa‛, which means 'the LORD is Salvation'. But sadly, as reflected in the later Jewish Talmud, the Pharisees deeply resented the idea of the term 'salvation' even being in His name and so abbreviated it to the false-Hebrew term Yeshua from the Aramaic version. This was a deliberate anti-Christian act, and so it is extremely foolish for any Christians anywhere to ever use that term for Jesus the Christ of God and Saviour of the world.
See:
Yeshua
Respect
for God's written Word leans upon the Lord God Almighty and not upon any special terms. In Psalms for instance, 'praising the name of the Lord', dos not mean praising a word. In Semitic usage of that time a 'name' simply described the attributes of a person or animal, hence Adam's naming of the animals to then discover that there were none like himself. So it verges on pagan superstition to ascribe an special spiritual quality/power to a word!
 

Myth 102.  I'M MEANT TO BE SICKNESS-FREE BECAUSE MY BODY IS HIS TEMPLE to top of page
It has
been preached by some well meaning teachers that because the Bible says that the physical body of a Christian is the "temple" of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) that this means therefore that no sickness or illness should ever be in the body of a Christian. Of course the explanation as to why a Christian may become ill is then simply blamed on that person's lack of faith.
This is not what the Bible teaches!

Any supernatural
healing now is
a foretaste of the
"powers of
the age to come"

(Hebrews 6:5) when all nature will be restored.

In its
God-given context, this statement in the Bible is teaching, not that the body 'contains' the Holy Spirit, but that the physical body of every Christian is meant/intended to be the place where the world encounters the presence of God. This is an evangelical statement concern the Christian mission which therefore requires a sin-free lifestyle ("Flee from sexual immorality" 6:18). It does not mean any organic distinction between the body of a Christian and a non-Christian.
As
before the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost, believers went to the Jerusalem temple to find God's presence, now every Christian represents the presence of God for every Christian world-wide is part of the one Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit and therefore is directly an instrument of His grace to others!
 

Myth 103.  HUMANS ARE MADE OF THREE PARTS to top of page
This
error arose from misunderstanding the term translated as 'soul', which is nephesh (נֶפֶשׁ) in the Old Testament and psuchē (ψυχή) in the New Testament. Soul has often, from colloquial use, been seen as an entity in itself, although it actually simply means 'life'. This can be seen in a statement in Revelation 16:3 with reference to fishes in the ocean –
"καὶ πᾶσα ψυχὴ ζῶσα ἀπέθανεν ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ"
"and every living thing died that was in the sea"
It does not mean that fishes have souls, as the term 'soul' is commonly used today. No fish, animal or bird has a life after death.
The confusion on this
has been made worse
by the teaching that
human are three-in-one
as God is three-in-one.
But
in His "image" means
to represent Him,
not made in 3-parts!
 
What has exacerbated this confusion is misunderstanding a statement of the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 –
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely,
and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
This verse is not a reference to three pieces that make up a human being, although some church leaders, such a Peter Stone in the US, say that these two (soul and spirit) enter the body at conception and the same two then leave it at death, and Stone describes the 'soul' as its life-force. But the above verse is simply calling on the Christians in Thessalonica to have their whole human experience open to the cleansing merit of Jesus so as to be blameless before Him at His return.
 
Linguistically the Greek language in which Paul wrote tended toward an analytic approach to description, but the Hebrew of Paul's own background tended toward a synthetic approach of overlapping description. And this latter is true here, for the human experience of life (soul) is of both body and of spirit.
 
 
The human soul and spirit are not two independent entities which come into the body from anywhere at conception!
In the beginning, God only breathed into Adam (after his body was formed) and Adam became a living soul, but when Adam, after identifying the animals (naming them) so that he knew he was so unique and alone, God then formed Eve from him, but God did not breathe into her as He had done into Adam, for her cellular origin from Adam was also source of her spirit and life. God is not issuing new spirits from Heaven whenever mothers conceive. Humans do not have a pre-incarnation life somewhere else!
 
Perhaps
the human experience of soul and spirit is best explained by the Bible's statement in Hebrews 4:12 –
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
The "joints" and "marrow' are both of one thing – the bones of the same body. Likewise, the human spirit and human life are essentially one and the same thing. In common language use 'soul' and 'spirit' are frequently a reference to the same thing and are not separate entities. So, at death the body returns to the earth and the spirit returns to God which gave it (through Adam).
"...the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. "
Soul/life does not have a separate existence from the human spirit. Two and only two entities make up a human being!
Ecclesiastes 12:7.


Myth 104.  'TONGUES' ENDED WITH THE FOUNDING APOSTLES to top of page
This
idea that praying in 'tongues' (sometimes referred to from its New Testament term as 'glossolalia') arose as an explanation of its absence in the life of the Christian Church although its practice had been encouraged by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:5 –
"Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy."
The international spread of the Pentecostal and later Charismatic movement in the 19th and 20th centuries provoked the explanation among some that it was a Satanic counterfeit, It being ignored of course that the existence of any counterfeit on any issue is evidence in itself for the continued existence of the authentic, or else the counterfeit would not exist.
See:
Speaking in Tongues
Sadly,
the inspired statement of Paul (1 Corinthians 13:10), in prioritizing godly motivation (love) above all method, that when the "perfect" comes that which is partial will be done away, is sometimes perversely misapplied to the 'completion' of the New Testament, whereas in its own context is is referring to nothing other than Christ's personal return, for then –
"then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known"
The Holy Spirit was given in His personal relationship to every Christian believer to enable the completion of Christ's commission to preach His gospel to all the world, and that then the end would come (Matthew 24:14), for then, and only then, our human incompleteness will be swallowed up in the resurrection glory of Christ's kingdom.
1 Corinthians 13:12.
Adding
to the confusion on this issue is the lack of understanding of the Bible's distinction between devotional 'tongues', or tongues-prayer (a necessarily private practice), and the gift of tongues as an inspired ministry toward others and therefore requiring its associated gift of inspired interpretation.
See:
Gift of Tongues
That
which God gave to all in Christ at the Christian Church's first Pentecost, from the Ascended Christ at His right hand, intrinsically continues unchanging by the same Holy Spirit until the same Christ returns to bring His Church into His resurrection-rule over all.
See:
Baptism in the Spirit

Myth 105.  SPIRIT BAPTISM IS A SECOND WORK OF GRACE to top of page
This
false idea, which implies there is something that God needs to add to a Christian after their spiritual rebirth, arose from the Anglican background of the Methodist revival in England. Because it was then assumed that conversion/Christian identity was initiated by infant sprinkling/baptism, the marked change in the Methodist converts was seen as a second work of God's grace and interpreted as an act of sanctification. From this second work of Grace perspective the spiritual revivals which produced the Pentecostal movement also found their theological explanation as a second work of Grace, termed the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, from a misunderstanding of its use in the Acts of the Apostles.
 
The
term 'baptized' in the Holy Spirit as used by the Lord Jesus (Acts 1:5) refers to the initiation of their ministry as His own public ministry had been initiated by a baptism of water by John the Baptist. But what happened to those 120-disciples gathered in prayer in the upper room that Pentecost morning in Jerusalem was an act of God that went further than those present, for the Apostle Paul explains for us that it was a result of the Ascension of Jesus and was given to equip His disciples for ministry to fulfil the mission that He had given to them, and so applies today.
"Therefore it says, 'When He ascended on high [His Ascension] He led a host of captives [believers who had died previously], and He gave gifts to men.' (In saying, 'He ascended,' what does it mean but that He had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? [to take them up with Him from Sheol/Hades] He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints [believers] for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ, until we all..."


Ephesians 4:8-13.
The Lord
Jesus was not mistaken, nor did the Apostle John make an error, when He described Jesus as breathing on His disciples and saying "Receive the Holy Spirit" on the day of His resurrection. At that moment they shared in His new life (hence the breathing metaphor) or regeneration as we call it today, which Jesus had earlier referred to a being 'born again' (John 3:6), born of the Spirit.
John 20:22.
So,
to those disciples then it was a second spiritual experience after their regeneration/re-birth (described by Luke as the opening of their minds to the Scriptures, Luke 24:45), for they needed to wait until Christ had ascended to be their Advocate at the Throne, and also to fulfil the spiritual symbolism of the Jewish feast of Pentecost, before they could themselves receive the Spirit as their Lord in His humanity had received Him at His baptism by John.
 
 
The time distinction in these first disciples of the Christ between their spiritual rebirth and their receiving the Holy Spirit is no more applicable today than their distinction between believing during His preaching ministry and their spiritual rebirth after His resurrection, for these first disciples are unique in that they lived in the overlap between the Old and the New Covenants of God.
Therefore, the Apostle Paul could later say for our understanding (Romans 8:9) that
anyone who does not have the Holy Spirit does not belong to God!
See:
The Four
Jerusalem
Works of Jesus
It is absolutely essential to treat God's Word as it is given to us (His congregation) within its own context and not selectively.
The whole picture presented on a particular issue is necessary or even the sincere may become guilty of twisting the holy word of God Most High.
The Bible deserves the utmost respect in the way we treat and use its words. Less than this is to disrespect its Author – GOD!
See: Understanding the Bible
So – to illustrate the importance of –  C O N T E X T !  For if one ignores its context, the Bible actually says: "there is no God",
but in its own context it really says —"The fool says in his heart 'there is no God'." (Psalm 14:1)

darby's division equality before God when will Jesus come? the core concept
Bible codes virgin prophecy a biblical structure of history elijah – sign of the end
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