"That Isn't What It says"
THEME: Stay tuned……
OPEN: Good morning. Welcome to S.T.A.G. I’m Jack. I want to review some basic ideas in the Bible. I don’t blame the skeptics for dismissing those who claim the Bible if “the inerrant word of God.” It’s usually obvious that they are talking about some translation, and especially the KJV. But Paul, and Matthew and Mosses didn’t write the KJV. That leaves the declarer with no ground to base the claim of inerrancy. I had a local pastor tell me that not 10% of Christians owned a Strong’s Concordance, and less than that ever looked up the original words in the Bible. But first
DISC: The views your hear are mine,…
UW: The following hour of RCR……
The Box Labeled: That Isn’t What It Says
I was thinking about the idea of stuff falling Out Of The Sky and was reminded of a verse of Scripture that has been mutilated as a result of poor study and accepting someone else’s words without confirmation.
My thinking went like this? We know that all those things that we experience are allowed by God.
But every FOOTS isn’t Good. Getting broad sided in an intersection isn’t good.
Because that guy who ran the red light and broadsided you was allowed by God, that doesn’t make it good.
God only “sends” Good. He might allow the Bad, but He doesn’t send it.
God is not the author of fear, confusion, guilt, or any other kind of distress.
One qualification might be made. In the case of Pharaoh and some others, it seems that God did step in and do other than Good. But even then it can be argued that God didn’t initiate the process. Instead of turning Pharaoh’s heart around, God “helped” Pharaoh refuse the Israelite’s request to leave Egypt.” Hardened his heart,” says the Scripture.
But I heard someone argue that Rom 8:28 makes it look different. Paul says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Well, I immediately countered with, “That isn’t what it says.”
So, here’s the beginning of a list of important things that are commonly misquoted, mistranslated, and misinterpreted in the Bible.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”
What does that say to you? All things means every event doesn’t it. Everything that happens? What do all those things do? They all work for the good of believers. Everything that happens in the life of a believer works with all the other things for the good of the believer. What about that guy who shot your mother on the Subway? Was that working with other things in your life to bring you Good? If that’s true, then we’ve opened the door to Fatalistic Christianity.
“I love God, so He must be directing all this. So, if it’s from God, I’ll just have to take it in the hope that it’s for my ultimate Good. Isn’t everything that God has created Good?” I certainly don’t want to find myself in such a helpless state. But how can we deny what the Bible says? Easy. But first…..
Let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that the Devil hasn’t the power to influence people and events so as to bring harm to believers. The Devil has God-given parameters within which he has freedom to act. If we give the wrong sense to this verse, we can end up saying that God creates the bad things that occur or is directing the Devil in the acts that he does.
A perfect model for this is Job. The basic principles are laid out there by God. No matter how much the Devil wanted to get Job, he couldn’t. He told God there was a hedge around Job. After God removed that hedge, the Devil was allowed reduce Job to that guy who the dogs came around to lick his sores. Anything below taking Job’s life was OK. The devil could make him stub his toe on a rock. That was within the God-given parameters.
It might be interesting to see where you draw the line. Where does your God-given hedge start? How much influence is the Devil allowed to have on you? What do you think the Devil has to get permission from God to do to you? You know, if you’re pointed toward God, the devil has you in his sights. I can easily extend that out to say that there are times when the Devil is asking God if he can lower His hedge around you.
Did God tell the Devil to make Job stub his toe? Was the Devil given any specific orders, beside not taking Job’s life? God didn’t give any directions, just a limit. The devil had free rein within that limit.
The Devil has limits and the same thing applies to us. We have parameters within which we live our lives. We can do anything human. But we can’t be a tree. If there were no limits, we wouldn’t know about good and bad. There would be no good or bad. In order to have a bad, you have to corrupt some good so you’ll have a comparison. But without the bad, without some limit, everything is OK. So there would be no choice between good and bad. The Bible teaches that people didn’t know what sin was ’till God told them. They thought the things they were doing were OK. Free will for choosing right from wrong didn’t exist with them. Then God gave then the Ten Commandments. There is no free will when there is no choice. If we haven’t the ability to choose God, then we don’t have the free will to choose Him. I don’t think that this has to apply to ALL free will. It can co-exist with the free will to eat an apple rather than an orange.
God will not let be altered His larger plan, but He allows free will and does not enter into ALL things first. If that were the case, then He would be having daily meetings with Satan to tell him what to do that day; who to possess, who to tempt, in what way, who to kill.
If the Devil whispered in the ear of that traffic offender, even though it was allowed by God,
God didn’t originate the idea. I believe that the Devil is just as deluded as his minions. He probably doesn’t accept that God can know what he’s thinking.
If God didn’t want that jerk to broadside you, He would have prevented it. Think about the timing. In order to prevent the “accident”, God would have to know it was going to happen. Given that the Devil didn’t talk out loud to that driver, only influenced him by planting thoughts in his mind, or distracting his focus, then God must’ve “heard” those thoughts and countered them somehow. Maybe He gave the guy a flat tire in the middle of the block and he never got to the intersection in time to hit you or maybe God tweaked your brain so you slowed down, “for some unknown reason”, and the guy shot through the intersection before you were quite there.
You’d think that after many failures of his plans, the Devil would figure out that God had intell on the event and quashed his plan.
God allows the suffering that goes on in the world. We have trouble with that. Let’s look at a different side of God. What is God’s objective for each Believer? How is that objective accomplished?
The main message of the New Testament is that we’re saved by faith. That “saving” is extant when we have God’s Spirit inside our bodies. We get the Spirit in our bodies when we do some act, trusting God to help us accomplish it. God is teaching us to Trust Him. His objective for each of us is to reach a point where 100% of our acts will be in trust of Him. That translates to, “doing the act the way we know God would have it done.”
If building our Trust in God is our main activity, then we should be able to find a place to put our dislike for the suffering we see, especially in our own lives. “Why is this happening to me!?” “What have I done!?”
God didn’t create your Jam, but He’s allowed it. It must fit into His objective for you. It must have been allowed so that you can learn to trust God a little more than you did before the Jam showed up. If you had already “learned” the faith lesson of this Jam, God probably wouldn’t have allowed it. He would have given that guy a flat.
Let’s take a look at what the scholars have to say. They wrote books on the subject. I got out seven commentaries.
Wesley just amplifies the KJV. He uses the argument that everything of God’s creation is Good, so even the bad stuff is good.
Matthew Henry seems to contradict himself. He does OK when he says: “The concurrence of all providences for the good of those that are Christ's, Rom_8:28. It might be objected that, notwithstanding all these privileges, we see believers compassed about with manifold afflictions; though the Spirit makes intercession for them, yet their troubles are continued. It is very true; but in this the Spirit's intercession is always effectual, that, however it goes with them, all this is working together for their good.”
But then he states both sides of the issue in the same paragraph. “The privilege of the saints, that all things work together for good to them, that is, all the providences of God that concern them. All that God performs he performs for them,”
First he said that ALL things work together. No they don’t. But then he seems to be trying to justify that statement by saying the ALLGod sends is for our good. These are two separate things. ALL things includes what the Devil sends.
No less a scholar than D.G. Barnhouse says, “ Our lives are not the haphazard result of the moving of blind chance. ALL that comes to pass in our lives is according to the eternal plan of the all-wise, all-powerful and all-loving Father. Does that sound like predestination to you? What happened to free will. Did God plan to have me make that bad decision to rob a bank? Did God plan for the guy to hit my car? When did we lose the ability to choose? In the margin of this commentary I wrote, “God told the Devil to do it.”
W.H. Thomas just goes along with the English. He interprets: “We do know by personal experience, and by God’s dealing with others, that all things in the universe are continually working together for good to those what love God.” God created everything. If God created it it must be for our good. God created the car and the bad driver, and the red light and the cop on the corner. They all worked together to put you in the hospital. That was good?
Edward Bosworth also says it both ways. To them that love God, all things work together. Better, with them that love God, he works in all ways. For good. Can you see the difference there?
M.B. Riddle gives priority to “all things working together”, but adds that ancient manuscripts insert the word God, “giving the sense: ‘God works all things together,’ etc.”
William Barclay got it right. In his reading of the verse, he says, “we know that God intermingles all things for good, for those who love Him. If the Devil starts a ruckus, God is going to intermingle a bunch of other stuff to make it OK for us. Doesn’t that line up? It doesn’t allow us the wiggle room to blame things on God. “I know God’s behind this broken back, so I’ll just have to accept it.” That person doesn’t understand and will soon abandon his pursuit of God. Who wants a God that’s always giving you a kick in the slats?
How can we resolve this controversy? Maybe we can find something out by going to the original language and not just take the word of someone who wrote a 200 page book on Romans 8.
We have 13 words to see. You’ll have to unwrap your brain from English grammar, because Greek, like German says some things backward from what we’re used to hearing. Remember, “Throw Mama from the train, a kiss?”
I’m looking at the Westcott and Hort revision of the original Greek.
I won’t give you the Greek words, just the transliterated words or phrases.
We have known - but - that - to the (ones) - loving - the - God, - all(things) - is working together - the - God - into - good……..
When we turn the phrase in question around into English we have the God is working together all things for good.
This is exactly what the Byzantine Greek New Testament says.
Tischendorf notes that both the Codex Vaticanus and the Alexandirnus say,
”God causes all things to work together for good”
Same drill for the Textus Receptus.
Three excellent sources to find out what was really said, and yet 4 out of 7commentators got it wrong. Two beat around the bush and hinted, while only one hit the nail on the head. You come over to my place and do this same research and you’ll go away thinking the everything that happens to you is for your good. That’s what a majority of the commentators said. But I say, That isn’t what it says.
John 3:16 could be called the most deceptive verse in the Bible. Millions of folks for centuries have believed what they saw and heard preached from John 3:16. It’s been used to found the notion of once saved, always saved.
The reader has to conclude that his belief in God has saved him. That’s what is says, doesn’t it? “…that whosoever believeth in him shall…. have everlasting life.”
That’s what it says in English. But what did John write? What he wrote was transmitted to us in Greek and the Greek word that is translated “believe” is pisteuo. The euo is an add-on. The root of the word is the pist. But the pist comes out of pistis. This is the word that’s always translated “faith.” If we stop there we’ll say that faith and belief are pretty much the same. And that’s what we’ll read when we see those words in the Bible. But that’s not what it says. We can’t stop at pistis, because pistis come directly from another word, peitho. And while both faith and belief sound mostly like a noun, peitho is a primary verb. That fact takes “belief” and “faith” out our heads and puts it in our feet. Both belief and faith are verbs. Even when they are used in the sense of a noun, they contain the idea of action.
Belief isn’t enough. The devil knows that. He believes in God, but he’s not going to make it.
John really said, those who act on the belief in God will have…… that’s what it really says.
Galatians 6 is another place that’s been twisted out of shape in a couple ways. First, and most often abused is the famous saying in verse seven. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked,” here it is, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
I know it’s true that our mis-deeds have a way of coming back on us, but this verse isn’t talking about things in general. It’s talking about the verse that leads directly into it, verse 6. But how can we understand verse 6 without going to the original? The verse says in English, that we are to communicate with those who teach us about God. Communicate. That isn’t what it says.
I'm sure you're aware that the giving of money to the Church/Pastor/Teacher is a very sensitive area. I have many concerns about my money. Number one, “I have the right to keep my giving private. Don't be looking over my shoulder while I write out a check! Number two, we're not talking about a sheet of T.P., here. Money is valuable stuff. Have a little respect for what it takes to have money. And while I'm at it, number three, I worked damn hard for that money, my money.” You've heard that guy talk.
That mindset comes from poor teaching on giving. From fearful preachers who are afraid of not getting enough in the collection; unless there's some special demand or project. Giving with NO strings attached is very hard to foster. As a result, the devil has been very effective in covering God's tracks. So much so that we'll easily take the word "communicate" from verse 6, and think of it as writing letters, or maybe prayer or "Good job, Pastor!". Once we've made that leap of non-faith, it's easy to say that the preacher is preaching about all good things, which roll up into our being saved. Well it just ain't so.
Don't ask me why those King James translators chose to use the word "communicate" for the word that Paul used only once, koinoneo, to share in common with. When "share" is substituted , we immediately see the meaning of "all good things." We're supposed to share all our good things with our Teacher. Not send him Christmas cards.
How high a value must those good things have? The Old Testament outlines the three tithes, plus some mandatory offerings, like first fruits. If you do the research and math, you'll find that your portion to give back to God will be up near twenty-five percent. Now that's a lot of sharing. But we're promised in verse eight eternal life through the Spirit for faithing our money to our teacher of God.
And that brings us to the true context of that other verse that's so often used to beat us sinners over the head. [He stood to his full height , virtually towering over the congregation, sucked in an enormous volume of air, and held it just long enough to make his face turn crimson. Then, shaking his whole arm at the petrified people in the pews, he shouted, "Gawwd, is not mockkk't." Whats'ever ye sow, that shall ye (here he pauses for effect), surely reeeeep!"] But he wasn't taking about giving. He was on his usual fornication kick.
These three verses tell us that we are to support the teaching of the gospel with our valuables, and gain eternal life.
Same game for the book of Hebrews. There are many volumes to be said in verifying the meaning of the word communicate as used in verse sixteen of the thirteenth chapter.
“But to do good and communicate, forget not.”
The word being translated is koinonia. The words being used to define koinonia are, partnership, i.e. (lit) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction. Through derivation the word "backs down" to koinos, common, i.e. shared by all, and touches koinonos, a sharer. It’s all about sharing your stuff with the teacher.
Paul is not telling the Hebrews to talk or write letters. If we take Paul's statement to the Galatians ( Gal 6:6) as context, we'll see that this communication is sharing material things with your teacher. Paul makes this sharing with your God-teacher very clear in I Timothy 5:17-18 where he says the elders should receive from the congregation things that are equal to the corn that the ox gets to eat when he works.
Same goes for Romans 16:20, 1 Corinthians 9:13-14, and especially Philippians 4:13-19. This is where Paul outlines all the benefits promised by God to those who koinonia, share their good stuff with their teacher.
And lastly, here’s the exception that proves the rule. Galatians 2:2 Paul tells about his trip to Jerusalem. One of his objectives was to “communicate” what he had been doing with the Gospel. The KJV translated the Greek word “communicated. That makes a total of five uses by Paul. This is the exception because it’s a different Greek word than the other four. This is not koinonia. it’s ana-tith’-emai. A wholly different word. Anatithemai is defined as “to set forth, and propound. In other words, state your case. This is told to us by the suffix. The mai indicates the middle voice. The middle voice in Greek says that the action being performed is for the actor, for himself. Paul was telling his story for himself. It has nothing to do with sharing things in common. Paul didn’t go to Jerusalem to share his material things with the Brethren. He came to straighten them out about the Gospel.
Communicate? That isn’t what it says.
I’ve already touched on the word “faith.” We know it’s a verb, an action. But what most people have been taught as the definition of faith completely obscures the true definition. Scads of folks can parrot Hebrews 11:1 when asked to define “faith.”
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
That first verse of Hebrews 11:1 has been used almost exclusively by many ignorant people to define faith. Indeed, this statement by Paul seems eminently appropriate, the way we think of faith in English.
BUT! ! ! This verse doesn't define faith. It only describes the effect or position of faith, and it's implications! ! !
Let's stop here for a second and analyze this verse. We'll re-state the verse in a modern context.
"A car insurance policy is the foundation of things hoped for, and evidences the existence of a 'Power of Protection' that can't be seen." We don't want to get hit with some overwhelming expense due to an accident. We're hoping our car will get fixed. Our auto policy tells the world that we are entitled to that repair. Our policy, further attests to some group of people that can make the repair happen. I think that's an accurate description of the effects and implications of an auto insurance policy. But does the statement define the policy?
DEFINITION: "An auto insurance policy is a paper contract between two entities that......"
Does the policy accomplish the repair? No. Does the policy create the Power/Company? No. Is the policy the repair? or the Group? No. It's just a piece of paper. And yet, it founds our hope of repair and indicates some "power" that can accomplish the repair. Let's read our sample sentence again.
"A car insurance policy is the foundation of things hoped for, and evidences the existance of a 'Power of Protection' that can't be seen." The Policy isn't being defined here, just the effects and implications of the policy. The same goes for Hebrews 11:1 We still are left with the question, "What exactly is 'faith'?"
Just to beat this to death, let me substitute another word for 'faith.' "Now reading is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Can you see the inherent question in that statement? Is it a magazine, a comic, a newspaper, or a book? Is it Any old book, a book authored by a woman, a statesman, a psychic? If something as important as our livelihood depends on the answer, maybe we'd better know exactly what to read. We'll still have to define 'reading'. Let's repeat.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
The first verse of Hebrews 11:1 has been used almost exclusively to define faith. Indeed, this statement by Paul seems eminently appropriate, the way we think of faith in English..
While it's true that a believing attitude, and even a sure understanding of God's reality are the ground for faith, they are not verbs. A belief or knowledge is something held, not done. Faith is a verb, it's something that we do, not think.
To those who argue that thinking is doing I ask, "Is the digestive process the same as eating a meal?" Thinking and digestion are bodily activities, not actions. We don't direct the activity, only the input. We only "tell" our Thinker what to think about. Thinking is not a verb. "Faith" IS a verb.
This verb is based on a conviction or a belief, and is carried out to the verb's end by the confidence that the belief is valid.
A proper paraphrase of the verse would be: An act of conviction is the essential, grounding claim to our expectations, and evidentially exposes invisible practices.
Let's go the Strong's Concordance for the definitions of the crucial words in Hebrews 11:1.
- faith Gk4102 (from a primary verb 3982, to convince) persuasion. i.e. credence; moral conviction; reliance on Christ.
- substance Gk 5287 (from 5259=under, 2476=to stand) a setting under (support); i.e. figuratively, concrete=essence; abstract=assurance
- things Gk4229 (from 4238 verb=to practice) a deed; an affair; an object
- hoped Gk1679 (from 1680=to anticipate; expectation) to expect or confide
- evidence 1650 [unique usage] (from 1651=confute, admonish) proof, conviction
- seen Gk991[primary verb used once by Paul] to look at, (lit. or fig.)
Now let's do what I call trans-substitution. We will substitute the Strong's definitions for our key words.
- Now action is the essence of an expected object, the proof of deeds/practice that can't be looked at.
- Now action (what action?) is the grounding, title deed of the expected, (and action is) the proof of repeated deeds that can't be looked at.
- Some action gives us claim to (some) expectations, and proves invisible deeds.
- An act of conviction is the essential, grounding claim to our expectations, and evidentially exposes invisible practices.
- Acting in trust of God's word is our claim to His unseen process of salvation.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.???" That isn’t what it says.
I talked about “rest” not too long ago, but it falls into this context too well not to be included again.
Now we have to clear up the word “rest” in Hebrews chapter 4. This word rest is one of the pivotal words in the Bible for Christians. It helps answer the long-debated question regarding keeping of the Sabbath. This has been one of the most controversial issues of Christianity for many centuries. It has caused schisms in the Church, and spawned whole new denominations. Many folks cling to the legalistic view that we must keep the Saturday Sabbath. It was commanded by God on Mt. Sinai. Paul breaks that old Bond by explaining rest, and then telling us that our rest now is faithing.
It must be considered that the word rest used by Paul in the whole book of Hebrews, save one, are what we would normally understand. The one is a totally different word. Ten of the eleven listings in Strong's are from either Gk2663, katapausis, which derives directly from 2664, katapauo. You can readily see that these words are virtually the same. Katapauo, Gk2664 is from 2596 kata, which means finality, uttermost, and 3973 pauo, a primary verb which means to stop. Katapauo is the final and ultimate stopping; the uttermost finish. There is nothing left to do. Hence, “rest.” Katapausis narrows the focus of katapauo, final stopping, to a final rest.
Given the context of Paul's constant argument for faith(ing) over Works, he's telling us in Hebrews 3 and 4 that we can obtain a position of No Works, final rest by faithing. But he adds to that repeated argument the factor of Sabbath keeping.
In verse nine of chapter four Paul says an amazing thing; if the original word he uses be known. My King James version says "rest," same as all the others, but it's a totally different word. The word being translated "rest" is sabbatismos. Doesn't sound anything like katapausis. I know that you can see the word "sabbath" hiding behind the Greek spelling.
This word sabbatismos is number Gk4520, and is attached to Christianity. Strong's says, "a 'sabbatism;, i.e. (fig) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven): --rest.' This "rest", the stoppage of the works of the Law, replaces the keeping of the Sabbath. The only thing to determine now is, the action required for the entrance into this "sabbathing rest." Paul is kind enough to tell us in verse four. After setting the context of the wilderness trek, and the people's disobedience, he says that they missed entering into God's rest (the Holy Land) because, although they heard the word of promise, they still didn't act in trust: "not mixed with faith(believing action) in them that heard it." Taking into consideration Paul's repeated teaching that we are justified, sanctified, and saved by faith, we can conclude that the thing that accesses God's "rest" is faith(ing). Those folks in the wilderness wouldn't act on the word of God that He would help them secure the Promised Land; in spite of the high walls, large population, and giants. They wouldn't faithe.
Keeping the Sabbath was in the same class with keeping all the other Laws. One of the reasons God had the Israelites living by those Laws and not Grace, like us, is that he was teaching them to trust Him. He forced them, thru the Law, to trust Him. Trust that He would forgive their sins when they sacrificed. Trust that He would provide enough in the sixth year to last over the seventh, when the ground was to be left to rest. To not work one day a week and trust that God would make up for the lack of output. God was always trying to give them ways to trust Him. Still is.
The main way we trust Him is faithing. ANY act, as long as He's in on it is a trusting act like not working on Saturday. Neither act is more important than the other. "Faith is no respecter of acts." :-) A faith act is a faith act is a faith act.
Finally said, "Faithing has now replaced keeping God's Sabbath."
You may see the word “rest” on the page, but that isn’t what it says.
AUTHOR AND FINISHER
There’s one last item in the Box. Is Christ necessary to get your faith act started and to finish it? Hebrews 12:2 sounds that way. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
This is another grossly misunderstood verse. Over the years I have repeatedly heard that Jesus is the author of my faith. This is just not so. The Greek transliteration in my interlinear Diaglot reads this way: "looking away - to - the - of the faith - leader - and - perfecter - Jesus, ..." There is nothing in the Greek manuscript which refers to anyone other than Jesus. How much scholarship does it take to know that ALL the italicized words in the Bible indicate that they were added by the translators? Our faith? That isn’t what it says. You and I are simply not in that verse; as much as we'd like to give the responsibility for our faith over to someone else. The word translated faith in this case is the noun form of the word, which names the process of acting in trust of God. Just like we can say "bath" and convey the meaning of the action of bathing.
Jesus, this verse is saying, is the first Faither under the New Covenant, and has forever finished the establishment of this process for salvation; there's nothing left for us to do, no work. While it's true that a proper study of Jesus' life will give one the confidence to act on God's word, we are the authors of our faithing. This is one of the founding principles of faithing: That we must make the first move.
Jesus doesn’t jump start my faith. That isn’t what it says.
While we're in chapter twelve, let's take note of the word "chasteneth" in verse six. I've come to understand chasten as synonymous with "punishment." That isn’t what is says. This word is Gk3811, and means simply, training, teaching, discipline. It's telling us that part of God's plan is to train us; to work for Him, and not ourselves. Training is part of the trip, so don't think you won't run into obstacles, and hard situations.
Like that guy who ran into your car.
WRAP: The second most important book in a Believer’s library should be a Strong’s Concordance. How else can we be sure that what we read is what was written?
2-The things we looked at are fundamental to our Walk. And yet, they are poorly understood by most Christians.
3-Wanna look up some Bible words? STAG is a comfortable place to do that. We’re at 88 Briceland road in Redway. The number there is 707 923 ALLY(2559) and on the web at STAG.ws. don’t forget the radio archive up there, too.
4-I’ll be back on the 5th of May. I trust you’ll be able to make it too.
5-In the meantime, walk as though God is real and keeps His promises. You can’t go wrong, because it’s true.
This is Jack, Bye.
I love mail.