Isolating Scriptures - Another of Satan's Schemes
Aaaahhh! Freedom! We are so fortunate to live in the United States where we can follow the religious faith of our choice. A quick look at today's society and you could say that "everyone lives according to what is right in their own eyes." On the surface, such religious freedom may sound so good, but according to God's word, the Bible, it is a recipe for the disaster of countless souls. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." (Matt. 7:13) This "One way to get to Heaven" path is so very different then the popular theories of today where most people would say, "I'm glad that you believe as you do, but I'm happy with my beliefs"
There are many reasons why people have false beliefs. Paul often wrote in his letters about the spiritual dangers and deceptions that Satan can drum up against us. He tells us that Satan can masquerade as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:4). In Ephesians 6:11-17, Paul explains "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.... And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." So the disciple of Jesus, tries to warn us about Satan, but he also describes our walk as a genuine spiritual warfare and how to combat it - through the knowledge of Scriptures. Unfortunately, Satan seems to go one step further, as we see Matthew and Luke's Gospels, by the fact that Satan knew and used Scriptures too, for indeed as Peter puts it, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) Three times Satan attempted to mislead Jesus by misquoting Scriptures. Shouldn't we also expect Satan to use the same "schemes" against us? Let us look at just two examples in which a deceptive or incomplete usage of Scripture has many people following a false path today:
1) - John 20:23 - "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." Based upon this statement, along with the "binding and loosing" given in Matthew 18, we see the misconception among those who claim their priest or pastor is able to forgive those that come to him. However, using the complete Bible to let Scripture interpret itself, we find that only God can forgive sins, as even the Pharisees knew this (Mark 2:7). And our sins are or aren't forgiven based upon John 3:36 - "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." So the disciples, having spent three years learning from Jesus, they knew His ways, could now preach and teach to others. As other people heard and believed, they were saved (Ephesians 1:13,14). The disciples could tell if anyone was or wasn't a follower based upon what that individual beliefs were by what they did and said, "... for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. ..... For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:34-37). Thus, the disciples could inform others of whether or not their sins were forgiven based upon whether or not they were believers. One more point here to realize God is in control, not man. For man to have the power to forgive sins, then God would be under man's control.
2) - 1 John 5:16, 17 - "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.? All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. " There are many that would point to this verse as the "proof" to back up the classifying of sins into two different categories, some called "venial" (less serious) and some called "mortal" sins, which are the grave or serious sins. Again, one can only come up with this erroneous conclusion by ignoring the rest of Scriptures, preferring rather to listen to the "logic" of men. However, God's Word clearly says that, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23), and that "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10). Also, "... there shall in no wise enter into it (Heaven) any thing that defileth...." (Revelation 21:27). Therefore, as you can see, God hates all sin equally for He is a holy and perfect God. Satan's strategy is simply to lull a person into resting on a false sense of how righteous they are, as if they would deserve Heaven by not having committed the "grave" sins, and thus they fail to understand and glorify God for the "finished work of Calvary." What 1 John 5 was actually referring to was not meant as spiritual classifying of sins, but rather that sometimes God causes a physical death to occur as a result of sin, such as can be seen in Acts 5 (Ananias and Sapphira) or 1 Corinthians 11:29, 30 (For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.) Another example of this could be that as a result of a illicit sexual encounter, one might be infected with the AIDS virus. There are many, many more fallacies such as these in which people that are believing in these types of deceptions are in danger of an eternity of damnation simply because, as Jesus said in Matthew 22:29, "...Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. )"
In closing, Gospel Light Ministries encourages others to "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2). To learn Scriptures, "...precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" (Isaiah 28:10) so that, "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
Free from deceptions and free to serve God!