Monday, February 18, 2008

Stuff False Doctrines Are Made Of

The prosperity gospel is no doubt a hot topic that has many Christians divided amongst themselves. I, based on years of studying, am totally and irrevocably against such preaching of health and wealth based upon misconstrued, out-of-context, man-made doctrine that so many of these prosperity teachers promote.

If there is one thing I've learned over my years of studying is this, NEVER read/take/use scripture out of context of it's original content, for such is the stuff man-made doctrines are created of.

One scripture I consistently hear being used in prosperity teaching is this:

"But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." -- Matthew. 13:23

The 13th chapter of Matthew is also known as "The Parable of the Sower". If you read this chapter in WHOLE you get a completely different outlook other than how it is being used by those to "prove" their theology of sowing your "seed" (money/faith). It's kind of ironic to me, because, if I'm correct in this statement, the Parable of the Sower is the only parable in where Christ clearly explains it's (parable) meaning.

"Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side." -- Matthew 13:18-19

The seed, as Christ explains, being sown here is not money, or even faith, but the Word of God. The soil in where the seed (word) is being sown is the heart of the hearer.

Verse 20:
"But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
When read within the context, verse 23, shifts from a position of money/faith being sown, to the truth...the WORD being sown in the HEART of man. This parable is a parable regarding the production/fruit of Faith as a result of the heart and NOT finances/wealth as a result of faith/money. PLEASE don't believe me, believe the Word, read it for yourself! Read the WHOLE chapter, verse by verse, compare it to the Gospel, the teaching of Christ Jesus elsewhere in the bible, it matches up. It is consistent! It is simple. It is not confusing. It is not misleading, and it does not lie!

The "fruit" grown as a result of the soil (heart) is Faith, not wealth. Faith is described as "evidence" in Hebrews 11:1 and action(doer) in James 2:17-20:

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

To which, Abraham's faith was used as an example in this chapter.

As a matter of fact just before the 23rd verse in the 13th chapter of Matthew. Christ says this:
Verse 22
"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."


If taken from the "prosperity" angle. It is extremely contradicting to their own teaching!

If that doesn't do for you, then how about this statement from the Lord himself??

"There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial." -- Matthew 26:7-12

Hmmmm....how strange, Christ does not mention any prosperity/faith combo doctrine. As a matter of fact the disciples were upset because the money could be used for the poor! (as opposed to asking them (the poor) to support their "ministry") Something (giving to the poor) they had been doing with Christ. Now if the prosperity gospel has a ring of truth to it, Christ and the disciples were certainly mum on it. In fact, Christ says "For ye have the poor always with you" and not something like "let them have faith in me and they will no longer be poor".

Let's go back to James 2:1-5:
"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?"

Let's read that once more....
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD, RICH IN FAITH, AND HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM which he hath promised to them that love him?"
and once more...
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD, RICH IN FAITH, AND HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM which he hath promised to them that love him?"


Interesting definition of those who love God... "poor of this world AND rich in faith" that would go hand in hand with Matthew 13:23 as faith as your fruit! Yes, I'm sure it's disappointing for those of you would prefer to be rewarded in other ways. It's all about WHERE your teasure is... for there your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21

Putting that aside, I absolutely need to draw attention to the Parker's Family blog and their moving, testimony about their encounter with prosperity teaching by Kenneth Copeland Ministries and the devastating effects it had on their family. Take a moment and visit their blog.

Additional links:
Hard Questions for "Prosperity Gospel" by CBS Evening News
Wittenburg Door
Read, weep and Pray post by Sicarii
Parable and the Sower post by Hannah
Parable and the Sower Addendum post by Hannah

Exiting scripture:

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:" Revelations 3:17 (Jesus speaks to the Church of the Laodiceans)


27 comments:

  1. Perhaps it is a little off-topic; but I am still compelled to say that so much would not be so misunderstand if it was better understood that the true "Word of God" is the Lord Jesus Christ: not the book that He had written about Himself. For our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible is truly a book full of spiritual truths that only the spiritually-minded can correctly discern; and it is because of us trying to teach what is contained in it with our own understanding that all false "Christian" doctrines are based.

    Oh no, this is not meant to diminish the significance of our Heavenly Father's Holy Scriptures. If anything: it is meant to greatly enhance them. For they were given to serve as written confirmation of what the true "Word of God" wants to personally reveal unto each and every one of us, on an individual basis and without exception, through the work of His Holy Spirit.

    Please forgive me if this is upsetting unto you. For what you say about the so-called prosperity gospel is most correct; but there is more unto it than just that.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2007/12/bittersweets-words-of-word.html

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  2. Fishhawk,

    Thank you for your comment. I believe two Believers can dialogue about the Word peacefully and humbly and I'm not so superficial ( I hope :) that I will get upset at anyone disagreeing with me :) With that said, I must reiterate the purpose of this post.

    Matthew 13:23 is a scripture that many prosperity teachers use as a basis for their teachings. Reading the scripture in context within it's content clearly contradicts such teachings.

    Herein lies the problem that plagues the Christian society... we do not read the Bible within its context. We are more inclined to listen to others "explain" the Bible/Word to us rather than reading, fact-checking, if you will, for ourselves.

    My purpose/goal with this post is question those who believe the prosperity gospel based upon this scripture. My goal/purpose is to get the reader back into their Word if only to "prove" me wrong.

    Now you are right, The "Word of God" is the Lord Jesus Christ. If one is diligent enough for the truth they would understand that simply by reading John 1:1. Again, if one is reading the Bible for themselves and not dependent upon the "mouth of man", this, they would know... herein lies the problem.

    To make matters worse, Christ clearly explains what the parable is about in the 13th chapter of Matthew and once again if one is reading the Bible within its content, they would at least know enough to question what is being told to them.

    In a previous post that I wrote, "A Degree of Faith" I spoke about spiritual discernment. And yes, there is absolutely, without a doubt, more to it than what I'm posting here, I cannot do in one post, what God did in thousands of years.

    Every Believer/Christian must be accountable for their own salvation they simply cannot place their belief in what is being said when the LORD God and Christ our King has made His Word available in black and white AND in spirit to everyone truly seeking Him out.

    Far be it from me to teach spiritual truths that can only be revealed BY His spirit, I have no interest in being ANYONE's spiritual teacher. I have every interest in directing people "directly to the horse's mouth" so to speak, and I have every bit of Faith that if that person is so willing that God shall "make him stand" Romans 14:4

    There is enough "clear" content in the Bible to drive the "hearer" to God for further understanding of His Wisdom. If one is not focused on God as his/her source and is not inspired by the "mystery of gospel" Ephesians 6:19 then it becomes a question of one's heart and is between him/her and God.
    (Proverbs 2:1-6)
    With that said, I must respectfully disagree with your statement:

    "that the problem is because of us trying to teach what is contained in it with our own understanding that all false "Christian" doctrines are based."

    Matthew 13:23 within its own content very clearly contradicts the theology of the prosperity gospel. The problem is many deliberately misconstrue the Word for what WE want it to mean and is compounded by the great lack of accountability to read the Word (in clear black and white) for ourselves.

    I'm certainly not saying that the scriptures are not spiritually discerned...for they are. But God our provides "milk" for the babes that they may grow strong enough to handle meat.

    1Peter 2:2
    As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
    (Hebrews 5:13)

    I could go on, but I fear, I'm writing a "post" as opposed to a comment! Fishhawk, I encourage you to read my post "A Degree of Faith", so that you know where I stand on the issue of spiritual discernment. Also, my Statement of Faith (located on the sidebar) if you haven't done so.

    Rest assured that I am not threatened or upset by your comment. Believe you, me...I've had more "contentious" discussions regarding the Word than this! God bless you Fishhawk!


    http://confessionsofanunchurchedbeliever.blogspot.com/2007/07/degree-of-faith.html

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  3. Hannah,

    What an excellent, excellent post!!! And so full of truth!! Yay! :) You refuted this evil doctrine with scripture and that's how it's done!

    I like what you did at the bottom - you put up a section for additional links. Clever. I might have to do that also in the future.

    Thank you for putting this up. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!

    God bless you Hannah :)

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  4. I thought I had you on my blogroll but I didn't. I must have just joined your neighborhood and forgot to put your site up. I'm such a spacklehead sometimes!! I don't want to 'lose' this great site right after I found it! :)

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  5. Dear Hannah,

    You said it better than I could possibly could. I have been mulling over those verses the last day or so, along with one or two more instances in the Bible which are so clear and direct but many people take so wrongly.

    More should come to know the horrible things these false teachers are doing to the flock of our Lord! Thank you for passing on the link to the Parker family's blog.

    I hope more shall come to see the links and demand some action against these wolves.

    Shalom!

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  6. Thank you for kindly pointing out your previous post "A Certain Amount Of Faith". For one of things that I am called to shout from the rooftops is that far too many place their faith in the book instead of the Author; and your post has eased my mind that you are not amongst them.

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  7. Carol,

    Thank you for adding me to your blogroll! As for you being a "spacklehead" (funny term!) I must disagree :) Your most recent post says otherwise!

    BTW, this post was the first time I put a section for links at the bottom... don't know why I did it... just made sense to me..

    Anyhoo, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. It is SUCH a blessing to see those holding on to "sound doctrine"!

    God Bless you Carol!

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  8. Sicarii,
    Amen! That is exactly what I'm hoping for and I'm hoping to "open the eyes" of one deceived by these doctrines, by the sword.

    I have to mention this, when I wrote the posts Parable of the Sower last year for some odd reason after that, I was hearing and seeing "sow a seed" and Matthew 13:23 as a basis everywhere I turned, of course based on my studying I knew they were deliberately twisting the scripture to support their own theories. I had every intention to post about that, but I never did. Until your posts. :)

    The Lord is amazing in His moving and shaking! His timing is perfect and just and I LOVE when He shows up and out. I was fully prepared to write about Matthew 13:23 and all Glory goes to Him.

    From one fellow laborer for Christ, to another, may you bear fruit and "bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

    Shalom!

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  9. Fishhawk, I must say I am confused as to what you mean by "place their faith in the book instead of the Author"

    Or what it matters if I do place my faith in the book that WAS written by the Author, are they not one and the same?

    If the Word was at first spoken (John 1:1) and then written, by those true faithful (Abraham, Moses, prophets of old etc.) as commanded by the same LORD we all come to serve and love.

    Where is the difference between the Spirit of God and the written Word OF God?

    Or should I ask, HOW do you define the difference between the two???

    Personally speaking... strictly for myself and no one else,I KNOW ALL things come from GOD and in THAT I trust in HIS SPIRIT for discernment. I also trust the written WORD of God as well.

    I cannot be quick to dismiss the physical written Word of the Holy God simply because evil/man has misused God's glory and twisted it's meaning to prevent us from praising Him, His consistency, His truth. Yes, there is a GLUT of translations today, that has deceived and misled many. To dismiss the physical book containing His Word as less important or not equal to the Spirit of our Lord is to hand the devil victory. For they are one and the same. What we must do is be DILIGENT in discernment in reading fully trusting Him for guidance and understanding. Please read my personal testimony "Translation vs. Paraphrase".

    Let me explain to you why I feel this way...Jesus being tempted of the devil, being fully man and fully God, answered the devil's challenges starting with "...it is written..." (Matthew 4:4,7,10)

    Jesus used the written SPOKEN Word of God to rebuke the Pharisee (John 10:34)

    He used the written SPOKEN Word of God to prove the fulfilment of prophecy (John 12:14)

    Paul used what was written in his time (not the bible we have now, but the prophecy of the prophets and the law of Moses) to support his teaching by the Spirit.

    If we are to "not place our faith" in the physical book, by what evidence do we rebuke false doctrine/teachers/evil/the devil himself?

    By what evidence do we as Believers come to unity unto? By what evidence do we find what "is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"? 2 Tim. 3:16

    Let me be clear, I am not a babe in Christ, neither do I claim to "know it all". But there are babes who do need the written Word for fellowship with the spirit/understanding and growth in faith. Can we judge these babes who are not fully mature to spiritual discern the scriptures, dependent upon the written Word of God? No, that is God's business, I believe if one is so willing the LORD God can "make him stand". For I once was a babe, and needed the milk of the Word and was dependent upon the physical book for understand, sound doctrine.

    It is not my place or duty to determine where one's faith lies. As I mentioned in my earlier comment, I've no desire to be any one's "spiritual teacher" or even a "bible teacher". Jesus sacrificed His life so we AlL may have equal access to the Father IF WE CHOOSE.

    Hence the focus of my blog...I promote PERSONAL accountability to study, read, pray etc etc. for one's self. In this society we have become too engrossed with the current mindset of "It's not my fault/responsibility" when the Lord God has given us EVERY resource, in Spirit and in truth, that we are ALL without excuse for not knowing Him.

    So please take a moment and clarify what you mean by your last comment not just for my sake but for others visiting this blog.

    In no way am I upset, I simply desire further clarification on your part as well as expounding on my own position, based upon the Word.

    For my personal testimony please read, if you desire, Translation vs. Paraphrase

    Grace and Peace be mulitiplied!

    http://confessionsofanunchurchedbeliever.blogspot.com/2007/08/translation-vs-paraphrase.html

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  10. Fishhawk, I must say I am confused as to what you mean by "place their faith in the book instead of the Author"

    Or what it matters if I do place my faith in the book that WAS written by the Author, are they not one and the same?

    No, they are not one and the same: be assured. For one is the Lord Jesus Christ; and the other is the book that He had written about Himself.

    "One" comes to us. Whereas: the other we must go to.

    Tragically: this is not a comforting thought unto far too many. For if the "Word of God" is a book: they can take Him or leave Him at their leisure. Whereas: if the "Word of God" is actually a real person (even in the form of His Holy Spirit) they are completely at His mercy.

    Perhaps it would be helpful to think of it in terms of intimacy. For cards and letters are things to cherish between family members; but do they serve as a sufficient substitute for those they are from?

    Yes, our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible would have to be sufficient if it was indeed true that this is all that we have of Him in this world at this time; but it is not: is it??? For we also have His Holy Spirit, who is not dependent upon words written upon a page in order to communicate with us.

    Please, do not think that I am advocating the acceptance of other sources of revelation. For our Heavenly Father's Holy Spirit will not deviate from what has been already written in His Holy Bible. For it does indeed contain the sum-total of His Holy Scriptures; but it is still just a book without the active participation of its Author in our daily lives.

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  11. Fishhawk,
    I don't know if I'm misunderstanding you or not, but John 1:1 states "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Wouldn't this mean that the Word and God are One and the Same? It clearly states so in this verse. They are not separate from one another. If I am misunderstanding your statements, please forgive me. Hannah, please also forgive me, if I have addressed his comment when you had a response for him that you would have rather used. I do agree with what you said, wholeheartedly. The Word of God (written) is the same as God(Holy Spirit), and both useful for teaching, rebuking and correcting. Blessings to you both.

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  12. My dear Shalene: Yes, the "Word" truly is One and the Same with God; but that verse is referring unto the Lord Jesus Christ: be assured. In fact: this is the way it is whenever the "Word of God" is mentioned in our Heavenly Father's Holy Scriptures; and I would think that we would all want to believe that this is indeed true. For instead of "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." {Psalm 119:105} being about receiving instructions from a book: it would actually be about having the Lord Jesus Christ living within our hearts.

    No, this is not about diminishing the significance of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible; but it is about perspective. For there is a big difference between basing faith upon the Author and basing it SOLELY upon His book.

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  13. Hello Shalene! So good to "see" you!

    I knew that other readers of my blog would have questions for Fishhawk which is why I asked Him for further clarification. Everyone is welcome to participate in this discussion.

    Fishhawk,
    I cannot say that I can fully accept what you say as true unless you can show me principles written by HIS WORD that shows/support what you mean.

    While I DO understand that a physical book containing HIS Word is not physically the same as GOD Himself. I cannot accept that the WORD WRITTEN is not the same or equal to THE SPIRIT of GOD.

    Because they both originate from the same SOURCE...GOD Himself.

    Is that NOT how the trinity is defined?

    Let me give you an example of what I mean....

    If I wrote a list of rules for my children to follow in my absence. I expect them to follow it as a command directly from me. For what I wrote to them (authored) would be the exact same as if I spoke it unto them. It is one and the same because it originates from one source...me.

    If that is in fact not true, why would Jesus who IS the Word of God use the written (SPOKEN) Word to rebuke the Devil?

    Not only that, Why, if it is not equal, or less than God Himself, would it have ANY power over the devil?

    The only discomfort I'm experiencing with your sentiments is that it seems to stand in conflict of the Word. If you can show me which principles with scripture, I would stand corrected.

    However, I must point out that if we view the Bible as you suggest, then there is really no place we can meet upon unity and correction.

    If your sentiments indeed is a "perspective" as you mentioned in your comment to Shalene. Then maybe it should be labeled as such as that... a perspective. I'm in no means diminishing what the Spirit may have spoken unto you, but we, as spiritual discerned Believers, need to exercise caution in conveying what is meant for our own personal edification as opposed to "shouting from the rooftops" something you cannot accurately support from scripture.

    There are just too many false prophets and teachings nowadays for anyone to speak outside of scriptural support. But If we do not agree that the WRITTEN WORD is the same as GOD Himself (Spirit) then comes division, and there is no unity of Spirit.

    I personally know a tragic story, where a very new babe in Christ, took the words of a self-professed prophetess to be from God himself. He now "teaches" the "Word" of God to a small following of people. His teachings are so contradicting and unbiblical that it is truly a travesty.

    I hope you do not take my comment as a personal attack on you. I myself had to overcome false doctrine and at that point the WRITTEN Word was all I had for truth. Am I any less faithful for having started out that way? I sincerely hope not! For if it is true, then the last 13 years of my life have been in vain! I KNOW the relationship I have with Him. And I KNOW the testimonies I have of His grace and mercy. I don't necessarily care if anyone else finds my relationship with Him invalid, only that HE, my LORD and STRENGTH would find MY heart valid before Him as only HE can...
    God Speed...

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  14. Let me give you an example of what I mean....

    If I wrote a list of rules for my children to follow in my absence. I expect them to follow it as a command directly from me. For what I wrote to them (authored) would be the exact same as if I spoke it unto them. It is one and the same because it originates from one source...me.
    ***********************************

    The whole point revolves around whether the Lord Jesus Christ is actually absent or not. For if He is: then all we would have would be His Holy Bible; but if He truly is just as much in this world as this time as He has always been (in the form of His Holy Spirit): then we would have Him to teach us all that He wants us to know and understand about Himself and the righteousness of all of most awesome ways with His Holy Bible serving as written confirmation of that.

    Yes, the devil and his demons are also allowed to whisper sweet nothings into our ears; and this is another reason for why becoming as familiar with what is contained in our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible would be in the best interest of all concerned. For His Holy Spirit will not contradict His Holy Scriptures.

    Now, as far as providing "Biblical" proof of what I have been given to say about this: please check-out an earlier post that was made on Crackerhead. The url was provided in the first comment (I don't know how to provide "links" in comments); and here it is again: http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2007/12/bittersweets-words-of-word.html

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  15. Fishhawk,

    Let me begin by saying, that I'm making a true effort to understand your perspective by reading your post thoroughly and clearly as to emphathize your position. However, my primary goal is the truth, which I verify by two sources, His Spirit and the written Word.

    I cannot say in full confidence that I FULLY accept your perspective and must admit I still have the same questions I posed to you in my previous comments. I hope, you can receive my comments not as criticism but as someone who is relying the Spirit for truth and clarification.

    Let me start by saying, I believe you and I are in agreement that the Spirit of God is our primary teacher, in which ALL Godly wisdom, knowledge, discernment etc. orginates.1 John 2:27 (John 1:1) We believe that JESUS IS the WORD as He has been since the beginning. In whom we place our FAITH unto salvation.

    We seem to differ on the EQUALITY of the written Word to the Word (Jesus/Spirit of God) itself. In other words, having faith in one is not the same as placing our faith in the other.

    From this angle is where I am in resolute disagreement in, for the written Word, IS TRUTH, the SAME TRUTH that originates from the SAME SOURCE as CHRIST himself...God the Father.

    Now... when I use the term written, I mean just that... His spoken Word that has been written down. While, it may immediately conjure up images of a black bible, my focus is not on a bible, as we have come to know it, but HIS WORD... as it comes from HIM...

    (does that make sense?)

    His Word, as He authored and authorized happens to be written in a book, which we have called the Bible.

    I simply do not believe that the WRITTEN WORD of God, which was FIRST SPOKEN of Him, is any less valid simply because it had been written down on a page. If one is to read the written Word, receive as truth that Jesus is the Son of God and declares their faith in Him because of it...is their faith less valid, because they did not "hear" it directly from Him( by His Spirit)?

    If the reasoning for your perspective is based upon the vast confusion and division that exists today and the mass GLUT of translations that speak of their own teachings and doctrine.

    I absolutely must place responsibility where it belongs, not solely on the inability of some people to correctly interpret/discern scripture, but the HEART of people and the evilness of the devil to twist and deliberately confuse those seeking. I cannot dismiss the written Word as "less important" as the Spirit based on this reasoning.

    Yes, NOT everyone has an "ear to hear."

    The Written Word of God is not for those who have not ears to hear, as Christ CALLS for those with "ears to HEAR". In the hands and hearts of those with "ears to hear" the written Word becomes alive and manifests itself as truth proving the LORD God, Christ His Son and the Spirit right by HIS WORD (written and in Spirit).

    I know sound repetitive, and the reason I am repeating what I asked in my previous comment(s) is because I am seeking a direct answer.

    Why would Christ who is the WORD (As you and I both agree), in FULL presence of the devil, use the written Word to rebuke the devil, if in fact the written Word is not the same as, or should I say originates from the same source, as Christ Himself???

    Don't get me wrong here, The Jesus I believe has all the power, all the glory all the majesty and might to rebuke the devil of His own accord (Matthew 8:29-33)

    But he doesn't with the devil, he uses the written Word of God..."as it is written.."

    In this light I find your perspective contradictory...

    I'm beginning to think I need to write a post on this subject as the Spirit brings forth scriptures to the forefront of my mind. However, I have no interest in "calling you out". I just may do so for added space as I am running out :)

    In any event, I wish peace and blessings upon you and yours...

    Hannah

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  16. Put it this way, my dear Hannah: you obviously have an enormous amount of spiritual knowledge and understanding; but from where did it come??? Was it from hour after arduous hour of devoted study of His Holy Scriptures or was it given unto you as a gift from a loving Father unto His beloved child???

    More importantly: which way do you want it to be. For the absolute truth of the matter truly is that the truth is what is truly is (naturally-speaking, of course): regardless of whether we want to accept it as being as such or not; but of what value is it unto those who do not want to believe it???

    Alas, has not all of this back and forth "discussion" sharpened the point of: "It is because of us trying to teach what is contained in it (our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible) with our own understanding that all false "Christian" doctrines are based"??? For you just repeated the point about placing our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible in the proper perspective when you said: "I'm beginning to think I need to write a post on this subject as the Spirit brings forth scriptures to the forefront of my mind"; and yet: you keep trying to insist that the cart needs to be placed before the horse (so to speak). For His Holy Spirit is One and the Same with the true Word of God; and His Holy Scriptures provide written confirmation of what He Himself wants to personally reveal in and through you!!!

    Yes, it could be argued that you want the horse and the cart to be side-by-side; but does this really change anything??? For at best: this would only result in going in circles.

    Please forgive me for this sounding so harsh; but He would not allow me to tone it down any. For this is a really serious matter that He wants addressed. For millions upon millions still want to cling unto the notion that their salvation can be found in His Holy Scriptures while refusing to truly come unto Him so that they can be saved {John 5:39-40}!!!

    Be assured that I know where they are coming from. For I was raised in a church that did not deny the existence of our Heavenly Father's Holy Spirit; but as far as Him having anything to directly do with us: nothing was ever taught. Subsequently: everything was focused upon the notion that faith comes from hearing the Bible being preached (with "in spirit and truth" thrown-in for good measure at times) instead it being the result of hearing the true Word of God speaking unto our hearts {Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 12:3}.

    Yes, this points unto can upon can of theological worms; and I hope that you will want to see what they contain. For the end-result will ultimately be unto our Heavenly Father's glory: regardless of which side of what issue we may want to stand.

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  17. Fishhawk,

    Let's get something straight. I'm not trying to "teach" you anything.

    Let's get another thing straight. YOU brought up this subject.

    With those two facts out in the clear. Let's move on to the next point.

    I'm trying to understand your PERSPECTIVE based upon a scriptural standpoint, which you have NOT supported.

    Next point: I made it VERY clear that the Spirit of God is our primary teacher as stated in 1 John 2:27.

    So all of your sentiments about the "cart before the horse" doesn't apply

    What I DO NOT CONCUR WITH YOU IS THAT THE WRITTEN WORD IS LESS VALID BECAUSE IT COMES FROM THE SAME SOURCE!!!!!

    I do not believe a spoken decree from the living God become "less than", or "less truthful" because it is written down. If it was powerful enough for Christ in all of His OWN power, being fully God in the flesh (The WORD, in FULL presence of the devil), then I must conclude that the written WORD is NOT less than the WORD Himself BECAUSE it comes directly from the SAME SOURCE.

    YOU want to focus on mankind/satan's deliberate attempt to abuse the Word as an excuse to declare it "less than" I simply don't understand why you cannot rely upon the Spirit, that you declare "greater than" to guide you from the pitfalls of these deceptions?

    That's exactly what the Spirit had done for me. I'm not going to view the truth of His SPOKEN, WRITTEN Word tainted because of the filthiness of man.

    I'm certainly not going to become anymore convinced of your perception because the Spirit, as you say "would not allow you to tone it down" When you have very clearly sidestepped my questions to a subject YOU BROUGHT UP!

    To further explain WHY I cannot accept you perception as true:

    Not only did you use scripture out of context, your sentiments directly contradicted scripture.

    For example, you quote John 5:39-40. But reading on through John 5:47 it says "But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

    You quote 2 Timothy 3:16-17. But then you say:
    "For our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible was never meant to be employed as a book of instruction—certainly not in the same way as an educational textbook on science, mathematics, nor even history normally would be."

    Without any further clarification on your part.

    Yet, you are led to be "harsh" with me and YOU have failed in your responsibility to answer valid questions, clear up confusing statements to a subject YOU brought up.... and I am supposed, "be assured" as you insist I be?

    I'm sorry but that is dishonorable.

    With that, I'm ending this "discussion" with an "agree to disagree" exit.

    I am not one to burn bridges (unless necessary). If you feel you no longer want associate with me and my blog, it's completely your call. As I mentioned before I wish you no ill will, I'm simply trying to understand a perspective that YOU brought to my attention.

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  18. In what way have I ever asserted that our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible is anything less than what it truly is??? For it does indeed contain the sum-total of His Holy Sciptures, which consist of His very own words!!!

    Yes, of course Christ Jesus would often quote Scripture. For He was just repeating what He had already had placed into written form; and this is what He is doing for you when His Holy Spirit brings Scriptures unto the forefront of your mind.

    Please forgive me for getting you so upset. For the whole point of this is to encourage as many who can accept it that the true Word of God really is much nearer than what most have been led to believe; and that He wants to have a very close and personal relationship with us all.

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  19. "In what way have I ever asserted that our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible is anything less than what it truly is??? For it does indeed contain the sum-total of His Holy Sciptures, which consist of His very own words!!!"

    THAT was what I've been trying to clarify with you Fishhawk! You never directly clarified that point when I presented it to you,in my previous statement:

    "Or what it matters if I do place my faith in the book that WAS written by the Author, are they not one and the same?"

    To which you respond:

    No, they are not one and the same: be assured. For one is the Lord Jesus Christ; and the other is the book that He had written about Himself.

    "One" comes to us. Whereas: the other we must go to."

    In my following comment I ask:

    "While I DO understand that a physical book containing HIS Word is not physically the same as GOD Himself. I cannot accept that the WORD WRITTEN is not the same or equal to THE SPIRIT of GOD.

    Because they both originate from the same SOURCE...GOD Himself.

    Is that NOT how the trinity is defined?

    Not only do you not address that question, you zero in on the example I use right after that and respond to my example as this...

    "The whole point revolves around whether the Lord Jesus Christ is actually absent or not."
    *********************************

    What conclusions am I SUPPOSE to come to? I had an inkling while we were "dialoguing" but it's now obvious you haven't read my comments throughly and that you have focused in on what directly contradicts your perspective.

    Let me be clear: I have had many a discussion regarding the Word, I know not everyone accepts what I have to say, that is something I don't take personally.

    But WHAT I DO take personally is when you don't take the time to read my comments carefully AND then say you are "led" to speak harshly "as He would not allow (me) you to tone it down"

    NOW THAT is something I find highly offensive.

    One, too many times, I have encountered persons who claim to have a special connection with the Spirit as only they have, hiding behind the Name of the Holy Spirit to speak things that pertain to their own fleshly desires and not those of the truth.

    NOW I'm NOT calling you false in anyway, but I DO caution you to be CAREFUL of how you CONVEY the Spirit when speaking directly about a person TO that person.

    For you and I have already established that the Spirit speaks directly to each and every one of those who is called of Him. Equal access to God's Spirit by courtesy of Christ Jesus our King.

    Now with that said, I do believe you and I are in agreement for the MOST part.

    However, I must state that I DO believe that one CAN have genuine faith in His Written Word FOR it originates from the SAME SOURCE, that same written Word leads to God, thereby His Spirit.

    It all comes down to a perspective as you state, we don't necessarily have to be in agreement with a perspective, but we SHOULD be in agreement with the Truth, where we can find in His Spirit and His written Word.

    God speed...

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  20. The reason for mentioning anything about harshness was in anticipation of you taking great offense unto the "cart before the horse" observations. For they were not meant to be harsh; but one could certainly consider them to be harsh if they wanted to.

    Again: I am so very sorry for upsetting you. For this is a part that I abhor; and I hope that you will forgive me any pain that "I" have been caused you.

    Nonetheless: I am compelled to ask something that could be considered as being rather harsh again. For in what way is considering the Word of God's written words as being One and the Same with Himself not making an idol out of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible???

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  21. Sigh... I can see this is going to get silly..

    I find your response VERY convenient... attributing your lack of responsibility to fully read my comments thoroughly, to the "spirit".

    And your "anticipation" nothing more than your basic assumptions (human) of my reaction.

    You don't know me Fishhawk, don't pretend you do. While you plead for me not to "be offended", you seem to lack confidence in the fact that I do not accept your perception, as YOU, yourself, have labeled it, for truth.

    No, Fishhawk, I'm not offended...simply unimpressed.

    Let me throw at you a scripture YOU used in YOUR post to support YOUR perception:

    John 5:39-47

    Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

    And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

    41I receive not honour from men.

    42But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

    43I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

    44How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

    45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

    46For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; FOR HE WROTE OF ME.

    47BUT IF YE NOT BELIEVE HIS WRITINGS, HOW SHALL YE BELIEVE MY WORDS?


    For some reason you are insistent on focusing on the Bible in physical terms. This is a very narrow-minded view, for the POWER of the Written Word of God cannot be confined to a physical book. IF by it, if one believes in his heart and confesses with their mouth the LORD Jesus Christ, then by THEIR FAITH they shall receive SALVATION. Romans 10:8-11 (Another scripture you use out of context in your post)

    I'm talking about FAITH ON HIS WORDS whether they are spoken by Moses the Prophet, Paul, Peter or a God-fearing soul with Jesus in their heart... or... dare I say it... WRITTEN down on a page. If someone comes to ACCEPTANCE by God through HIS WORDS in any capacity and GOD cannot be limited in ANY capacity. Who are you to judge another's faith if God has so accepted him???

    If your faith is so threatened by a book, then YOU need to so some self-examination.

    The Word of the living God lives forever.

    If this does not make it any clearer to you, then I must end all dialogue with you here and now. I will not be publishing any more comments from you regarding this subject if you persist in my acceptance of your perception as truth.

    In the end, God will judge as he is a discerner of hearts.

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  22. Well, I don't think I followed all that, but it almost sounded as if you were both saying the same thing--just from different perspectives. In this passage of Isaiah, the "word" and "Christ" (pre-incarnation, since this is Old Testament) mean the same thing. Both are spiritually recognized. No one who cannot discern the truth of the Bible can discern the truth of Jesus--and vice versa. "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11
    =================
    However, that's not the real reason I came to the bottom of the posts. I wanted to tell you, Hannah, how much I appreciated what you said, not only about taking scripture out of context, but about the whole "Prosperity Doctrine" in general. It makes me crazy to hear those preachers on TV talking about how you will be blessed just by having the "right" kind of faith. It's downright cruel to the many faithful prayer warriors who endure trials where they are anything but prosperous.

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  23. Thank you so much for mentioning my post. :)

    I find myself in the same position I was prior when I was motivated to type this post in light of another debate that ensued on another blog, so that the truth may be refocused.

    While it may sound as if we're saying the same thing. We clearly are not, for if that were true we would have come to terms of understanding a long time ago. For there is no disunity of Spirit by His Spirit.

    I must truly apologize to the readers of this blog, as I'm sure the dialogue on this thread IS confusing, and God is not the Author of confusion. 1 Cor. 14:33

    My only reason in allowing it to go this far is to give another a fair chance to be heard, however, I cannot accept perceptions and perspectives as truth if they are not biblical supported within it's context.

    In any event, Matthew 13:23 is used by so many false teachers nowadays that I felt it was necessary to bring to light how it (scripture) differs from what "they" say IN context of His Word.

    Thank you SoulandSubstance for refocusing the point of this post, I continue pray that those deceived by these teachers will at least question what is being told to them by these wolves upon reading this post.

    May Grace be mulitplied and Peace in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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  24. This is now off both topics of this post, but I would be interested in your starting a discussion of the issues associated in being part of a physical church family (as opposed to the spiritual family of God). Is that something you would consider discussing?

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  25. Oh absolutely! I can share my own personal testimony with you if you desire.

    But I would like to say, that my decision not to attend church is a personal one and not something I promote as a necessity to faith, righteousness etc. etc. Let me encourage you to read my statement of faith, which can be found on the sidebar and also, my post titled, "The Integrity of Fellowship and Accountability" which can be found at the following link:

    http://confessionsofanunchurchedbeliever.blogspot.com/2007/06/integrity-of-fellowship-and.html

    Thank you for visiting my blog!

    Hannah

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  26. I had already read your statement of faith, but I still wasn't totally sure of how you felt about the issue. I have been having a discussion about this with a friend of mine, so it is a topic I have been thinking about lately. I'll read that post you mentioned and I look forward to your post on this new topic.

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  27. I'm back, having read and commented upon that post you referred me to. I see that we are essentially of like mind on the issue. I would be honored if you would share your testimony with me. I will leave my e-mail address for you on your Blog Catalog Shout Box.
    ---------
    Back to the other topic (about the Bible, the Word of God and the leading of the Spirit), here are a few verses to ponder (and I am not intending to pass judgement on either opinion):
    Romans 14:1-3 (NKJV)--1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him,
    1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)--All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
    2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NKJV)--14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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Please note the changes to this blog. ONLY respectful comments and questions are accepted. Special note to other Christians: This blog no longer caters to debate and or arguments about the Bible. If you have a comment in SUPPORT of clear and concise understanding of the saving power of Christ Jesus, you are welcome to leave comments on this blog.