Listening to Bible teachers without really studying the passages being taught in my Christian infancy especially, I like perhaps many of you accepted without question what was being said. For me, it was not that the teacher was a media star or mega church pastor, it was my own ignorance and the acceptance church folk around me granted to what was being taught along with the authority figure--mostly a pastor--teaching it. This is how error is perpetuated even by those who know better as the apostle Paul showed in his letter “to the churches of Galatia;” rebuking Peter for his hypocrisy and exposing the active complicity of Barnabas in the process (Galatians 1:1-2, 2:11-13, NKJV).
As the Holy Spirit deepened my diligence as a Bible student, I began to be more intentional to compare what was being taught to me by whomever with what the Scriptures actually said. My purpose was not to be anyone’s critic, but to protect myself from being led into error and avoid teaching it to others knowing God is deadly serious about the consequences of doing so (James 3:1; 2 Peter 3:14-18). This does not mean I think myself infallible. But fearing God “the Word” who is, I seek to be as careful as possible to say only what Scripture says knowing He will not fault that nor the plain exposition of it after receiving His instruction (Psalm 119:97-104, 113-120; John 1:1, NKJV)!1
No one claiming to love God shown as Christ Himself teaches by obedience in first priority (John 14:15) not emotion (so prevalent in much of post-modern professing Christianity), can long purposely believe and teach error to His people who he is also supposed to love (John 21:15-17)! Yet, having been in biblical error myself, I painfully know how easy it is to unintentionally slip into it as Peter did among the Galatians; whose rebuke from Paul no doubt, snapped him back to spiritual sobriety leading to repentance.2 Or else, how do we have his two letters written after this unless the Lord had inspired and entrusted a forgiven Peter to write them (1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:1-2:3)?
Only by his compromising actions in error had Peter not been “straightforward about the truth of the gospel” causing other Jews watching him to follow suit and misleading the Gentile believers in their midst (Galatians 2:14-21, NKJV). What about the many unintended corruptions of God’s written Word that are taught and persist as tradition within professing Christianity today? Do they not have the same negative outcomes in our contemporary churches as they did among those back in Galatia? Yes, and it is worse since all of what the Lord specifically wills for us is written in the New Testament as settled instruction!3 Here briefly are just three well practiced unintended corruptions of Scripture.
First, there is the “Jesus walked out of the tomb” corruption spoken by many preachers waxing eloquent on Easter. This is not minor. The four Gospels are clear that the women followed by Peter and John did come to an empty tomb. However, if the Lord had to wait until someone rolled the stone away to walk out of the tomb, the supernatural character of His resurrection is removed; His death questionable. The stone rolled away or found so reveals the empty tomb and reality Christ was not only raised in power leaving His burial strips intact, but after neatly folding the cloth on His head, “vanished” as He also did later (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-31; John 20:1-10, NKJV)!
A second unintended corruption is repeated by many well known and meaning Bible teachers seeking to give assurance of salvation to believers. They quote only the first half of Romans 8:1 stressing “There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus” and leave the absolutely essential conditional second part “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” unspoken (NKJV). As the immediate context in chapter seven clearly shows, Paul is not attempting to give believers eternal security in Romans 8:1, but begins to triumphantly declare the superior experience we have serving God in the power of the Holy Spirit rather than through the flesh! Condemnation is the only outcome for those who attempt to please God in the flesh (Romans 8:2-17).
Last, Galatians 3:26-29 is unintentionally corrupted by some (others, intentionally) to literally remove all mortal distinctions of ethnicity, social condition or gender among Christians to the end primarily of giving what is called equality to women. It is fitting that we return to Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia where Jewish legalism was also undermining the Gospel to close out this post and call the guilty to repentance. For as the Lord has led me to write before,4 in context, Paul in this passage plainly intends to comfort believers from all backgrounds that we have an equal eternal spiritual standing as sons of God in Christ Jesus! Nevertheless, he recognizes and teaches mortal distinctions to include for example, gender roles (1 Corinthians 11:3). Men are God’s elect leaders!5
1 There is no greater “Exegete” of God’s Word than God Himself! For this reason, the very first principle of sound Bible interpretation and application is prayer. Learn more
sound principles of Bible interpretation in summary form by way of a free one sheet document the Lord led me to prepare to help those intent on “rightly dividing the word
of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV) you can download from the Strong Man Store. Understanding Scripture was never intended to be the exclusive domain of a relative few
educated elite, but all and the lowliest among us who will be teachable by God (Psalm 119:33-35; Luke 24:44-45; James 1:5-8).
2 Besides the spiritual and biblical ignorance typical to newborn Christians along with the sin failures, flaws, faults and inconsistencies that have plagued me struggling to
grow into maturity, I have transparently written in various places including my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, about my initial fear of obedience driven
compromise in error to honor manmade tradition over what Scripture teaches on the role of women in His house. Rebuked by God, like Peter, I repented as anyone read-
ing this that is guilty should also do--unless, of course, you are greater than the apostle Peter! Read the September 20, 2020 post, What Will It Profit A Man?, under the
category, The Cause. You can pick up a copy of the book at your favorite internet book seller and in the Strong Man Store.
3 The completed written New Testament we have today became widely accepted in the fourth century A.D.
4 See the September 8, 2019 post, Confusing The Issue, under the category, Call To Repent.
5 Paul and Peter are in harmony on this enduring point of biblical doctrine where it plays out first in the home (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; Titus 2:1-5; 1 Peter 3:
1-7). In consistency, the apostle Paul also teaches how this doctrine is to be manifested and honored secondarily in the local churches (1 Corinthians 14:34-40; 1 Timo-
thy 2:11-15). Not by corrupting God’s Word, but speaking and doing all things in accord with His will in it are Christians “salt,” “light” and distinctive in a dying world dark-
ened in rebellion against Him (Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 5:8-14, NKJV)!
The great outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah’s grave sin came from at least four sources: God’s holiness, the holy angels, the physical creation and Abraham’s nephew, Lot, caring for his own soul, his family, unsuspecting strangers and those injured by the iniquity of the cities. All sin offends the holiness of God and demands His righteous and just action upon it. He, however, has very often borne with His holy offense and graciously suffered long with the sinner(s) as He did in Noah’s day and with Israel until there is “no remedy,” (Genesis 6:5-8; 2 Chronicles 36:15-16, NKJV). As earlier noted, God had already been gracious to the wicked cities, but there was no repentance!
The holy angels fully loyal to God are as advertised, holy; having no fellowship with or delight in sin! Myriads of them surround His throne to declare and guard God’s holiness (Isaiah 6:1-7). They watch the activity of fallen angels opposing God and engage with them in accord with His purposes and at His directive (Daniel 10:4-14). They also watch sinful men and carry out judgments upon them in line with God’s will as took place with the king of Babylon (Daniel 4:13-17). God’s holy angels most assuredly cried out to Him continually concerning the grave sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. As such, it is no surprise two angels accompanied the Lord to “see” their grave sin for Himself.
We know on a basic level that the earth is filled with life and living things. However, God’s Word would have us to understand that not only the earth, but “the whole creation” is alive to Him and now, even “groans” waiting for its promised restoration after that of His sons at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:18-23, NKJV). Operating with His firm laws of physics such as gravity, the physical creation retains the original moral order God created it with though, for now, it is under His temporary curse for man’s sin (Genesis 3:17-19). The physical creation is repulsed by the iniquity of mankind who are supposed to be its holy and righteous rulers (Genesis 1:26; Hebrews 2:5-8).3
Finally, the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah came as it turns out from the only righteous man that lived in Sodom, Lot. He was so morally offended by the wicked deeds of his fellow citizens, he sat in the city gate as one of the judges to intercept and if possible protect unaware travelers while his own righteous soul Scripture says was “oppressed” and daily “tormented” “by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds,” (Genesis 19:1-3; 2 Peter 2:7-8, NKJV).4 But even though His own holiness, the holy angels, the physical creation and righteous Lot truthfully, vehemently cried out to the Lord who is Omniscient and Omnipresent about the grave sin of the cities, He still came down for a Personal look.
This tells us how reluctant God in love, grace, mercy and longsuffering is to destroy even the most wicked of human beings. This becomes clear in His exchange with Abraham. From where the Lord stood before Abraham He saw as close as His holiness would allow that all that had been reported to Him in the great outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah was so (John 1:43-51) because the destroying angels started out on their mission while Abraham questioned Him as though the matter was settled. Concerned for his family (Lot) and the people he once went to war to rescue, Abraham wanted to know if God would “destroy the righteous with the wicked,” (Genesis 18:22-23, NKJV)?
The character of God and Abraham shines in their exchange (Genesis 18:24-33). The Lord displays His eternal mercy by being willing to spare Sodom if just ten righteous persons were found in it; Abraham, great humility and reverence for God referring to himself as “dust and ashes,” (Genesis 18:27, NKJV).5 The far gone wickedness of the men of Sodom was shortly confirmed (Genesis 19:4-11). Lot and his family would be delivered from God’s wrath if they were willing to heed and follow him (here again is shown the weight of male headship as God designed). Some were not willing and perished as did Lot’s wife after setting her affections on the city while fleeing it (Genesis 19:12-26).
Saints, take note Lot was moved out of the way of God’s wrath immediately before it fell (Genesis 19:27-29). We are still here now, and remain during all of His warning judgments (Joel 2:30; Revelation 8-11:14) that include allowing Satan to bring his “great wrath” upon our number in such persecution and tribulation by the hands of his emissaries that relatively few saints--a mortal remnant--are left on earth (Isaiah 57:1-2; Daniel 7:15-25; Matthew 24:15-22; Revelation 6:9-11, 7:9-17, 12:7-13:18, 14:9-13, NKJV). Persecutors should know that reducing our number hastens the one and only coming visible, audible Day of the Lord and evacuation of His righteous remnant just before He pours out His full wrath (Psalm 50:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Revelation 6:12-17, 15-16).6
Therefore, let all the guilty especially among professed Christians repent before the Lord now, since He will not grant peace through any means but Himself going forward until after His wrath is fulfilled (Ezekiel 33:10-11; John 14:27, 16:33; Romans 5:1-2). For no one will escape the judgment of disobedience to the call to repent in the Gospel at Christ’s return; judgment that is already underway in the “house of God,” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; 1 Peter 4:12-19, NKJV)!7 The wrath of the “Prince of Peace” is perfectly just because as He did at Sodom and Gomorrah, He came in Human form and had not only His Personal look at, but experience with the grave sin of this world when He suffered by our hands for us leading up to and on Calvary’s cross (Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-10, 53, 57:3-13, NKJV).
3 Those that may feel like the creation seems to be acting against mankind in recent years are on to something and it will get worse before it is all over! Truly, the polluting
physical activity of man such as burning fossil fuels is only an infinitesimally small contributor to the unusual weather patterns, storms, intensifying heat, droughts, sea
rise etc. compared to their flagrant transgression, sin and iniquity that defile the earth (Isaiah 24:4-6). Under His sovereign oversight and as warning judgments, God is
allowing the earth (including its wild animals) and soon the whole cosmos to register their displeasure to man’s defiling sin (Leviticus 18, 20; Jeremiah 23:18-20, 25:32-33,
30:23-24; Luke 21:25-26)! Surely, the proponents of global warning do not believe green house gases on earth directly impact the moon, sun or stars light years away, do
they? Rather than green new deals, let the children cry out for their guilty parents to repent!
4 See my Independence Day 2021 post, under the category, Biblical Worldview, where I liken my reaction to the wickedness of our times to that of Lot. Truly, any professed
Christians supposedly sanctified to God that are not disturbed in some measure by the blatant display of human depravity we see and hear everywhere in our day, plainly
show they are false or apostate!
5 O, that such were the case among the many of us professing to be Christians who supposedly in like faith and character are Abraham’s spiritual descendants! This being
so, there is no way that I continue to cry out for repentance at the Lord’s directive among you who claim to know Him. Humility is one of the common character traits of
the image of Christ the Father builds in genuine Christian men and women as I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and draw out in The Strong
Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study. These resources are available at your favorite internet book seller and in the
Strong Man Store.
6 Conversely, our large number on the earth forestalls the coming Day of the Lord’s wrath as He assured Abraham in their exchange about His destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah. And as the destroying angel instructed Lot, we saints are to know the full outpour of God’s wrath will not occur until we are out of the way (Genesis 19:22-24;
Luke 17:26-37; Revelation 16:17-21)!
7 Attend this Ministry’s 30 minute Strong Man Of God Online Rally at https://thestrongmanofGod.org/Webcast for a fresh, biblically grounded presentation of the Gospel of
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