Considering the “real” author of the Bible, the book can be nothing other than perfect !!! Certainly, it was written by people chosen by God, but the words are the words of God and not of those that penned them on whatever medium they used. However, man has continually tried to introduce certain negative descriptions of the Bible and anytime this happens, we can be sure that Satan has his hand in the situation…The Bible is absolute and not to be interpreted, but is meant to be understood. Man has no right to change a single word within the book, but as we read, the Spirit will give us the understanding that may seem to be different than what has been written. An example of this is that the final battle most likely will not be fought in chariots and men on camels with swords. These types of understanding will be given to us, but we must not alter the Bible because we do not know, in fact, the last battle may actually be fought using chariots and camels, but it does not matter because it is the event that is important, not the method !!!
As we have examined before, the Bible has been called chauvinistic as well as many of demeaning things, all of which are impossible when we think about whose words are contained within it.But, none of this matters to the elect of God, however others are missing a very important point. We are given lessons and information for two aspects of our lives from the stories and doctrine that are described in this book. We are shown the nature of man and how to overcome evil in this world in order to achieve any sense of contentment; and we are given the way to achieve eternal salvation !!!
People who pick out certain verses to try to prove their personal point of view are missing an extremely important and vital point. It really does not matter what the story is or anything else that is used to give us a lesson, IT IS THE LESSON THAT IS IMPORTANT.
If we stay on the subject of chauvinism, it may be useful to look up the description of the word, and we would see that the Bible does not even closely approach the meaning of the word: “unreasonable devotion to one’s race, sex, etc., with contempt for other races, the opposite sex, etc., …” Obviously, chauvinism is not part of the Bible.
The use of this word is relatively new and became part of our daily conversational language at the time that women began to fight more vehemently for the rights to which they are entitled. And we also know that where there is controversy and conflict, there is Satan. And, we also know that if Satan can use any conflict to adversely affect the thoughts of people concerning God in a negative way, that is exactly what he will do. But, do not be convinced or influenced by Satan into believing anything about the Bible other then it is perfect.We do not disagree with anything that women can do in order to obtain their entitled justice, but the Bible was not written to diminish the equality of woman and if there are stories that indicate this, then they were written to give us the lesson that this is wrong… The stories are there to GIVE US A LESSON, do not miss those lessons because of the words used to illustrate some important aspects of our lives that will lead us to peace and contentment.
It is not uncommon to hear people describing the Bible as a chauvinistic book !!! This is a relatively new criticism but understandable considering the advances that women have made in their struggle for equality to which they are entitled. But, it is also true that people tend to look for things that support their point of view and sometimes this leads to missing certain things that actually agree with that view. Clearly the Bible was written from the masculine point of view, but that does not necessarily make it chauvinistic. It really is essential that we try to overcome any predetermined notions concerning the Bible in order to get the full benefit from the lessons that have been given to us…
If we examine the Laws and rules that concern women in the Old Testament, we would find that many, if not all of these Laws, protected women in some way or other. It is also true that in most cases, it was the woman who ran the household and handled the financial aspects of the family and had great power in her home. There were women that were Rulers of nations, and there were women that saved the Jews from being killed or imprisoned. If we read the Bible without a predisposed notion of gender, we will find that women were respected and were not treated as property as some believe…
When we get to the New Testament, we find that Jesus, in particular, treated women as equals and in some cases, He rebuked men from treating women badly. It was a woman that He chose to be the first person that He spoke with after He rose from the dead. And by His example, He showed that women were to be treated as equals.
The epistles begin to outline certain rules, which are more like suggestions, for Christian behavior. It is extremely important to remember that when we are reborn that our body becomes merely the container for our soul. Although there is a discussion concerning the way in which a woman should dress, this does not preclude men from the same suggestions. What Paul is telling us is that we should not pay attention to our outward appearance and put the way we look in front of the new purpose for our body. Spending time and money trying to make ourselves attractive is a waste of resources that could and should be used to help others. Jewelry, for example, has absolutely no use whatsoever except to demonstrate wealth and we are then committing the sin of pride… Lipstick is an interesting aspect, because in biblical days, the use of lipstick indicated that the woman would perform oral sex !!!
The Bible does not tell us to dress out of fashion, but it suggests that we consider the purpose for the way that we dress and act in order to be good examples to others… It is unfortunate that many people think of the Bible as chauvinistic because the power of the lessons are lost to those people and they do not get the full benefit of the miraculous aspects of the Words of God. And, we must never underestimate the persuasive methods of Satan to create problems and doubts about God and His words. The Bible was written for all of us, both woman and men, and we should never let Satan convince any of us that it is otherwise… Overcoming the notion that the Bible is chauvinistic can also act as a test of your faith. So, who is going to win, Satan or our faith ???
There is very little that we do these days that does not require us to read the instruction manual in order to get the most from what we do. Of course, we can hire someone to do the work for us, but we run the risk that the person may not know what he is doing, or it is done without the options that may give us more enjoyment or whatever the thing is supposed to do. It is probably a good idea to read the manual even if we have someone else do the job for us so that we can become personally familiar with what we are doing. It is even possible that we may find that the person on which we relied had done it wrong…
The Bible is the instruction manual for Christian life. It tells us all that we need to know about how we are expected to behave as well as how to achieve salvation. And, it was written by God, so we can be certain that it is absolutely correct… Here we have the most important thing in our lives and it is amazing how few people read the instruction manual. Many rely on their pastor to give them the proper information, but so many changes have been made to the original Word of God that the teachings are incorrect. It is not the fault of the pastor because he was taught using an altered Bible and believes that what he is teaching is correct… The changes were made many years ago by people that wanted to suit their own agenda, yet, changes are still being made now also.
Now, we know that man can negotiate with God because the Bible gives us stories in which this was done. Abraham and Moses were just a couple of people, but there were others such as Lot, so we know that under certain circumstances, God is willing to negotiate. However, He has never been known to negotiate about His instructions to us concerning Christian life.We can be fairly certain that when we leave this earth that trying to explain to God that we did not keep to His words because we did not know the rules is not going to make much difference to Him. He probably is not going to tell us that it was alright that we did not assume our personal responsibility to read the instruction manual and open the door to paradise to us…
When Jesus asks us if we understood this or that lesson and we tell Him that we never knew about those lessons, He probably is not going to be very impressed with our commitment to Christianity. Thinking that we will achieve salvation by being a Sunday morning Christian is just a foolish notion that makes Satan very happy. The reality that the percentage of people learning the incorrect instructions is staggering will only become evident at the last judgment, but then it is too late. Jesus warns us many times about always being prepared because we will never know when the end will come for us. As long as we are still alive, then there is still time to examine what we have learned and see if it is in alignment with the true Words of God… And, if is not, and probably will not be, then we must alter our actions and beliefs to place them in alignment with correct biblical doctrine.
An example of how far away from the truth that we are is what is happening this very day. Today, an enormous number of “Christians” celebrate what is called Ash Wednesday. Where this ritual came from could probably be discovered but it certainly did not come from the Bible. And exactly what it is might even be is a very frightening aspect of satanic influence in certain groups. Palm branches are burned and turned into dust and then placed on the forehead of the members of the group. If we examine this ritual, a possible explanation can be very frightening. In the days of Jesus, the palm branches were a symbol of respect and were thrown in front of Jesus as He enter the city being given great respect and honor. A week later, these same people condone the execution of Jesus !!! So, on Ash Wednesday, this group burns or destroys the symbol of honor and places a mark on the forehead of the followers. This sounds very familiar with an activity that takes place as described in Revelations !!!
Now, we are not suggesting that these good people are doing this knowing that it could possibly be an evil ritual. They more than likely believe it is a way to honor God, but nothing even remotely close to this activity is mentioned or even suggested in the Bible, and these are the type of activities that should be examined so that when we come to God, we can say: “ Lord, I did it Your way…”
During a small gathering of friends one evening, a man is telling his friend that he is having a problem with someone who will not return something that he had loaned to him. So, his friend asked him what he had done to get the thing back and the man explained that he had tried asking for it and even sent the man a letter requesting that it be returned. But, all he got back were excuses or promises that it would be returned soon… Well, the friend suggested that the man just go to the man’s house and take it. But, the man explained that he could not get it that way and so he finally gave the problem to the Lord. His friend asked what that meant and the man explained that he had asked the Lord to resolve the problem and that was the end of it !!!
The friend then asked if the problem was solved and did he get the thing back, and the man said, “not yet”… The friend laughed and said, “well, that worked out well for you”. By this time, a few others had become involved in the conversation and another friend suggested another remedy and then someone else suggested yet another solution but, the man explained that he had given it to the Lord. Then, someone said, “God helps those who help themselves, it says so in the Bible, everyone knows that”. The man tried to explain that it does not say that, but many were convinced that the Bible does actually say that and the conversation began to get a little heated !!! Finally, yet another opinion is offered and that was for the man to go get the thing and then ask God for forgiveness for not waiting for the Lord to take care of the problem…
By this time, there was a pretty heated discussion going on and people were “quoting” biblical verses to prove their positions and everyone was telling everyone else that the others were wrong but, the general consensus of opinions was that since God was not doing anything that it was obvious that God wanted the man to do something to help himself. The man tried to explain that he was doing something, he was waiting for the Lord !!!
The only person that was right in this situation was the man who gave it to the Lord and then waited… But, almost all the others had a “better” solution and that was to do it yourself and do it in any way in order to get it done.
We often find ourselves in similar situations and most of the time we do whatever it takes to get it done. But, when we finally get smart and ask the Lord to take care of our problem, then we must do what the man was doing and that is to wait… Waiting is not easy for most of us especially in this world of microseconds and immediate gratification. Asking the Lord to help us is similar to giving a vow to God. If we give a vow or we ask for help, then we had better keep our word and stay out of the way of God. Why the Lord makes us wait for what seems so trivial only He knows, but it sometimes happens and we have no choice but to wait. We must always keep in mind that everything that God does for us is always in our best interest. And, we should never listen to the unwitting workers of Satan who are thinking that they are just trying to help us. However, if these people were good Christians then they would all agree with the man and their suggestions would all be the same, just wait !!! God does help those who help themselves and they help themselves by giving their problems to Him…
Many people claiming Christianity go through life with very little conflict or trouble and believe it is because they are a child of God and He is giving them their perfect life. If this is the case, these people are in for a big surprise on judgment day. They pray for many things, mostly material, and are always answered and given whatever they have requested. It is true that God tells us to cast all of our cares upon Him, but it is also true that Jesus tells us to do it in private. There is a reason that we should only pray within our minds, because Satan is always listening in on our requests to God. God is the only One who knows what is in our best interest and will not give us anything that will ultimately hurt us. But, Satan hears our requests and may very well answer our prayer and we think that it was given to us by God. We must remember that Satan can transform himself into an angel of light and so it is easy for us to think that God is answering our prayers. Satan cannot read our minds, but he can hear all that we say openly and when our request is given to us by him and it works out badly, he has succeeded in creating doubt, which is his favorite activity… It is not that God wants us to be poor, but He knows how wealth can and does corrupt almost all that achieve financial success…
The life of a true believer is not usually very easy. We are filled with feelings of shame and guilt because we cannot stop sinning. Certainly, there are people that enjoy the fact that all of their sins have been forgiven, and there are some that take advantage of this incredible gift. Satan is always there creating doubt about all sorts of aspects of Christian life and influencing some to alter the words of God for any number of reasons. And, he has been very successful in this endeavor. He has caused many misunderstandings of the lessons given to us and have sent many down the wrong road… It would be nice to think that all we need to do is say a few words and we are given our ticket to heaven, but it just is not that easy… However, Satan is telling us this and there are many that think that it is true. It is true that the gift is free, but there are also things that we must do to finally get our ticket. Most are not difficult and some are very easy…
There is one thing however, that every saved and true Christian will have to do at some point during the process of salvation. Each of us will be tested to see the extent of our faith. And, this trial will not be easy, in fact, it may be the most difficult thing that we will ever have to experience. We can look at Job from the Old Testament to get some idea as to the degree of the trial that we will face. Peter tells us of this testing 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” Peter is not saying that this trial may happen, he is saying that it will happen, and the word “fiery” tells us the extent of this testing. It will be very difficult !!! Earlier, Peter mentions the purpose of this trial 1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, ….” We see once again the use of the word “fire”. Being caught and burned in fire is, perhaps, the most painful thing a human can experience. This will not be pleasant and we do not know when or for how long our trial will take place, but we do know that it will happen !!!
However, there is a side to this trial that is very exciting to the ones that know that it is going to happen and because it means that we have been considered worthy to be tested… And, we also know that God will never put us through anything that we cannot handle; although, at the time, we think that we cannot take any more and there are some that do fall by the wayside. We are tested many times during our walk towards salvation and sometimes it seems that these tests are pretty tough. But, when the fiery trail begins, we will know it and it will not be enjoyable… Remember the words of Peter when he tells us that we will think some strange thing has happened to us, but also remember that the trial of our faith will, and must come….
If a person who claims Christianity does not experience this trial, then two more things will most likely happen to them. One is that after the Rapture, that person will still be here on Earth; and the other is that when the door is closed, that person will be told to depart from Me, I never knew you !!!
Many times, parents tell their children that we have guardian angels that are always with us to protect us. This is a comforting thought to the children and quite a number of people believe this is to be true, but nowhere in the Bible does it actually tell us that we are given angels to be with us at all times after we become a child of God. We do know that there are angels and that there are classifications of angels and the Old Testament speaks of angels many times. God outwardly used His angels to do certain tasks in Old Testament times much more often than He did during and after Jesus began His ministry.
We see that an angel took Peter out of prison and after the resurrection of Jesus, there were angels at the tomb and a few other instances where an angel or angels had a part to play in the event taking place. In Hebrews, we are told that angels are ministering spirits sent by God to help His children. Also in Hebrews, we are told to be not forgetful to entertain strangers for some have entertained angels without knowing it. The key words are “be not forgetful” which indicates that this will happen at various times in the future as well as at that time.
But, this does not answer the question of whether we are gifted with our own angel or angels to guard and look out for us… The Old Testament is filled with angelic activity, but after Christ, we see less of this type of action. One may conclude that as a child of God that we do not need protection because we are under the umbrella of the power of God and this is certainly sufficient for anything. But, we are not told this directly either, so we still do not know.
However, there is one small statement that should give us all incredible comfort and maybe answer this question. When Lazarus the beggar died, Luke 16:22 “….that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man died, and was buried:” As a child of God we find here that we are brought to heaven by the angels. Guardian or not, it makes no difference. They are always there and be not forgetful to entertain strangers also…
Every person that claims to be a Christian believes that they are saved and will reach paradise upon their death. This is a comforting thought, but certainly not true !!! It is true that if you are saved that you will reach paradise, but claiming this belief does not get us there. The only thing that gets us there is being a Christian and not just claiming to be one. Jesus speaks about a person must be like a little child to be acceptable and Paul talks about being fed with milk like a child because we are not prepared to eat adult foods. So, what does this mean and how does it affect our relationship with God and salvation ???
A child is totally dependent upon his or her parents, especially the mother, for everything. In fact, without them, the child would probably die, just as we would die a spiritual death without our Lord. The child learns everything from the parents in the beginning of his or her life and how that life turns out is established by how the child is raised. It is no different when we ask our Father to become one of His children. We must come to Him as a child and humble ourselves and submit ourselves totally to His will for us. Some people do this, but, very few… Most people just say the words and feel pretty good and then go on with their lives just as they had done before.
A committed Christian understands that God is now in control of our lives. He always was, but we did not know or even believe this, however now we willingly submit our lives to Him. We do not make a decision and then go to Him and ask for His blessings for our plan, all that is doing is hoping that He will accept our own plan for aspects of our lives. A Christian comes to our Father, through Jesus, and asks what should we do in every circumstance as it happens and then listen and do what He tells us to do… So, how do we get these answers ??? It is simple, we just go to the Bible and the answer will be there. But, there are times when the answers come in some pretty unusual ways also. But the Spirit will let us know.
There is not any human experience that is not described in some fashion that is not discussed in the Bible. And, most of the time a few answers are given, a right decision and many wrong decisions are usually described. We have examined the Old Testament before and understand that the nature of man is an essential and important aspect of this part of the Bible. Most of the answers as to what we should do and not do in different situations are addressed in the Old Testament and this is why it is so important to study these words almost as diligently as the New Testament…
Now, what do we get when we truly give ourselves to God as a true Christian ??? Not much except for a life without any worries or concerns for our future. We get correct and proper answers to every question that we have. We get the Spirit to guide and lead us down the proper paths. We get all of our needs and even some of our desires. And, we get to spend eternity in the presence of God… If we think back when we were children, we can recall that, in reality, we had no worries or concerns because we knew our parents were there to take care of all things for us. Well, it is exactly the same when we become a true Christian and that is a pretty good deal considering that we have to do almost nothing in order to gain this amazing gift. All we have to do is be honest with our commitment and not just be a Sunday morning Christian. Christianity is a way of life not just a particular way of believing in God. We do become a new person and all the old things are washed away, but only if we are true to that commitment. Only a few will reach Heaven and empty gestures and words will not be enough to be one of the few. We all need to constantly examine our actions and decisions to make certain that they are the will of God and not our own notions of what is the right thing for us to do in every situation… God never makes a mistake !!!