The Bible of the Church (Part 7)

Bible Misconceptions

      As though ignoring and violating biblical doctrine were not enough, many basic misconceptions of actual Bible content exist in mainstream Bible-based religion.   This may seem trivial in the light of the importance of other church contradictions, but they are no less held as truisms and often shape the thoughts and behavior of the membership.   

Money is the root of all evil.
      Close, but off the mark, is the best way to describe this misquote.  The Bible says the love of money is the culprit, not the object itself, with the word love being properly translated as avarice. The actual verse is:
♦  1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Spare the rod, spoil the child.
      This one seems to imply, don’t discipline your children and you are showering them with gifts, hardly a way to raise a well-balanced child.  What the Bible does say is that consistent discipline is the key.
♦  Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Cleanliness is next to godliness.
      This is not in the Bible and no similar verses or concepts are found in the Bible. God does not seem to rate hygiene as a high priority.  The origin is John Wesley, from a sermon he gave called “On Dress”.

God works in mysterious ways.
      Though not found in the Bible, it is one of the rare misquotes that can be supported by scriptural concept.  William Cowper actually created this one in the poem “On The Loss of the Royal George”.

God helps those that help themselves.
      Not only is this not in the Bible, it contradicts the biblical principle of dependence on God.

All sin is equal in God’s sight.
      This may seem a logical concept, but the wide variation in severity of punishments for different crimes certainly contradicts it.

Jesus was crucified on Friday afternoon, and resurrected on Sunday morning. 
      The simple problem here is the fact that the Crucifixion happened the day before the Sabbath and the resurrection happened on Sunday morning.  It is the ignorance of the fact that there are not one, but two kinds of Sabbaths, Saturday and all the high holy celebrations of the nation of Israel.  The Sabbath that Jesus was crucified on was a high Sabbath and there is no indication that Jesus actually rose from the grave Sunday morning, only that the body was discovered missing. 
      If he was crucified on Friday and arose Sunday it would have negated the prophecies that he would be dead three days and nights.  A Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection would mean only one day and two nights.
Three Days and Three Nights
♦  Matthew 12: 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
♦  Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.      The Sabbath following the Crucifixion was an annual high Sabbath, not specifically a Saturday.
Preparation for a High Holy Day
♦  Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.♦  Luke 23:52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.  54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.♦  John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
No One Visited the Grave on Saturday 
They Rested on Saturday
♦  Luke 23:56 
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
      The body of Jesus was already gone by the dawn on Sunday morning. 
♦  Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.♦  Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.               
      To fulfill the prophecy, the earliest in the week the crucifixion could have taken place was Wednesday, which would mean the body was in the sepulchre Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday day. 

The Non-Biblical Nature of the Modern Church 

      Though claiming piety and biblical authority, the reality of modern church conduct is sadly lacking in scriptural foundation, and often runs contrary to biblical principle.  Finding any resemblance to the first church is a futile pursuit.  Here are but a few of the discrepancies:
·  All the High Sabbaths, or festivals, outlined in the Bible are ignored and are replaced with ancient pagan holidays such as Easter, Christmas, and Halloween.  
·  Money is solicited, and often demanded, to allegedly support the work of the church, which has little, if anything, to do with the original commission of the church. Such practice is not authorized in biblical law and may possibly be a gross violation if extracted as a tithe.
·  Meetings are held on Sunday without biblical authority and setting aside the last day of the week for rest is ignored.  There is no biblical command to meet in any building, on any day of the week, in force.  The fact that the first day of the week is a day set aside by pagan religions to worship an assortment of sun gods only increases the violation.  In the year 321, Constantine the Great ruled that the first day of the week, ‘the venerable day of the sun’, should be a day of rest.  The personal pronouncements of a mere mortal do not negate the rules of God. 
·  Ministers and deacons in churches do not fulfill duties outlined in biblical text for these positions.
·  Socialism, the core principle, and well-documented practice, of the first church, is condemned by its pretender.
·  Miracles and abnormal powers in people are condemned as witchcraft without regard to the reality that such were common phenomenon in the first church.  
·  Churches openly support political issues that contradict biblical principle and use church resources for these activities.
·  Churches openly support war and nationalism and use church resources for these activities.
·  Churches demand adherence to an old divine contract made with the twelve tribes of Israel by persons who are not members of the nation of Israel.  
·  Churches ignore the new contract made with the entire world.
·  Churches exhibit an extreme level of hypocrisy by following only those laws it chooses and ignoring those it violates, while claiming total obedience to all biblical law.
·  Church buildings, officers, staff, customs, public and private practices, finances, celebrations, rules, solicitations, associations, appearances, and stated missions are without biblical foundation.
·  Feeding, clothing, and housing the poor, a basic biblical principle, and the core teaching of Jesus, is seldom practiced and then with only a token effort and a minute percentage of the church funding and resources.  In most cases of such rare exhibitions of charity, religious indoctrination is exacted as the cost for these services.  
·  Bigotry, with respect to race, gender, political belief, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, financial status, social conduct, and philosophy is commonly practiced or tolerated in either overt or covert manifestations. 
·  Mind control and dogmatic conditioning is encouraged, blind acceptance is expected, obedience is demanded, and all dissension and inquiry are condemned.   Biblical demands for proof of doctrine are ignored.  Loving your fellow man is restricted to those the church approves. 

Church Members

       As can be seen from the above verses the modern church bears no resemblance to the first church.  A study of the principles Jesus taught would, of course, mean the church was engaged in helping the poor and indigent, as well as the healing by those possessed with this gift.  The roles that the members of the church played were quite different from the members of today’s pew fillers and plate passers:
♦  1 Corinthians 12: 1.  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  2.  Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.  3.  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.  4.  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  5.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  6.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  7.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  8.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  9.  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  10.  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
♦  1 Corinthians 12:27.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28.  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29.  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30.  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  31.  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The Power of the Church Members
♦ Acts 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 
♦ Acts 5:12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 
♦  Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 
♦  Acts 8:6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 
♦  Acts 8:3 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. 
♦  Acts 14:3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 
♦  Acts 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. 
♦  Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 
♦  Romans 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 
♦  I Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
♦  I Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 
♦  2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 
♦  Galations 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 
♦  Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

A Serious Question
      Do we see this kind of supernatural activity in the modern mainstream church? If not, why not?

 Is the Modern Church the True Church?
      It is clear that not all supernatural phenomena are evil.  The words miracle and miracles appear 36 times in the Bible, 33 times they refer to good miracles.  Three times they refer to miracles being performed by one man, the Anti-Christ.   The word wonder appears 55 times; 51 times they refer to good wonders, 2 times to the Anti-Christ, 2 times to false christs and prophets.  It would seem that the good supernatural phenomenon far outweighs the bad by a hefty margin.  
      So why is this generally given the label of evil by the church, even though it was totally accepted by the first church?  Could it be that the modern church rejects the reality of the Church Jesus inspired as they do the communal nature of that same church?  Branding all super natural events as evil is no different than branding the socialistic lifestyle of the early church as communist atheism.  Both were embraced by the first church, both are condemned by the modern church.  Add to this the differences in the law, church structure, prejudice, finances and the very purpose for existence, and the validity of the modern church comes up very short.  One begins to wonder, considering the glaring opposites, what forces brought the modern church into being?

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