Does the Holy Spirit ever contradict the Bible? Part 2

judgegavelIf you missed yesterday’s intro, please check it out here.

How does the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth?

Check it out: The Holy Spirit does guide us into all truth. How does he do that, so we can trust it? As you read the following proof texts, notice how interwoven the Spirit’s work is with the word of God. They go hand in hand. 

2 Peter 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

The Holy Spirit was key in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, as such, he will not contradict them.

1 Cor. 2:13, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

Don’t we prefer God’s wisdom over “Man’s wisdom” any day? We should. What does comparing “spiritual things with spiritual” mean? I believe it’s a direct insight into how to study the Bible with the Holy Spirit teaching…we are NOT to rely on man’s interpretation alone, rather we’re to use the Bible, letting it teach us by cross-referencing topics within the Bible. Get a concordance to make it easier and let the Bible define itself. We have learned how to do this in the past few years and there is no more rewarding study guide or commentary than the Bible itself. It is AWESOME! Watch it come alive to your whole family this way.  

1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”

Here’s the bit about there being counterfeit spirits and how to test whether you are hearing from the Holy Spirit or not. See the next verse.

Same passage, verse 6,

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

The Holy Spirit–the spirit of truth, is proven true or litmus tested by what those (Paul, John, other Bible authors) godly men wrote, and we hear His words that He spoke through them when we read the word. It’s pretty black and white–if you won’t heed the scriptures that they wrote…you are not of God. (Another litmus test, you could say, of the “believers” in your life, do they heed the Bible or are they constantly correcting it, doubting it, attacking it?)

John 8:47 is another profound statement of the above. If we do not heed God’s word, we do not belong to God. 

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” 

Paul emphasizes this more, with rejoicing, in 1 Thess. 2:13,

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”  (emphasis mine)

And these last ones found in John chapters 15, 16 & 17 are just icing on the cake as we wrap up this topic of the Holy Spirit’s guiding, truth, and God’s word: 

John 15:26, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

THREE Objectives of the Holy Spirit

Wow! Three of the Holy Spirit’s objectives are listed by Christ in John 16:7-8,

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (emphasis mine)

The Holy Spirit’s first function is to “reprove the world of sin”…He points out sin, he doesn’t overlook it, or tolerate it…because he is HOLY. He helps us see our need for repentance and for Jesus, and then He grows us in the Lord.

John 17:14-17, again, words of Christ,

“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  (emphasis mine)

What is the definition of truth? thy word is truth Jesus is talking to God the Father. “Thy” is referring to the Father’s truth, God’s word, which incidentally is another name for Jesus in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In another place, Jesus says he is the letters of the Greek alphabet themselves: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”

So we go back to John 16:13-14,

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

We know that the Bible defines “truth” as God’s word, and through it, we are sanctified as Holy Spirit led believers in Jesus Christ’s shed blood at the cross for our sins, that he rose again and is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us this very day.

We need to remember that Christians are not immune to deception, nor are we immune to being unknowingly used as tools by the evil one. We read the opposite when we see Jesus rebuke Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan!”, and in the example of Ananias and Sapphira when Peter tells Ananias that Satan has filled his heart to lie to the Holy Ghost. Even in the Old Testament there are examples for our learning, when God’s greatest leaders relied on their own perceptions of truth apart from and in direct defiance of God’s word to them, and were deceived resulting in lifelong and devastating consequences. Joshua and the Gibeonites, with their sob story and moldy bread, for one example (look it up!). We are even told that we aren’t to offer hospitality to false teachers (2 Jn 1:11-13)…not that we can’t share Christ’s gospel with them, but that we are “partakers in their evil deeds” if we invite them into our homes, sup with them, or even bid them godspeed! Obviously, the Lord directs us in scripture to take these things very seriously..so the next time you are praying for guidance, and you receive advice that doesn’t line up with scripture…

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Does the Holy Spirit ever contradict the Bible? Part 1

judgegavelHow many times has someone said to you, “The Holy Spirit told me so!” Was it really the Holy Spirit? Let’s explore this.

The idea that we can be Spirit-led even when the “spirit” is contradicting God’s word is embraced by many today, and along with it, the authority–much less the credibility–of the Bible is under attack. The danger here is in crafting a “god of our own imagination”…I guess it all boils down to: What is truth? People everywhere subscribe to a “version” of their own truth, but in a study of what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit’s purpose and working in a Christian’s life we see that it’s all very straight-forward. If you believe the Bible…

Recently some friends and I were discussing this. I said, “How do we know what is truth, if we do not have an authority to turn to? We can’t rely on the Holy Spirit alone, especially if it contradicts God’s own words.”

This was interpreted as me saying that the Bible trumps the Holy Spirit. That the Spirit is incapable of guiding us into all truth and that the only way to stay out of hell was a literal reading of the Bible…

I should have clarified that the Holy Spirit will NEVER contradict the Bible, God’s words. Yes, the Holy Spirit is capable of guiding us into all truth–that is scriptural! So, hell aside, what did I mean exactly?

I meant that people get into trouble when they dismiss the relevance of the Bible, and rely on what they sincerely think is the Holy Spirit. Maybe they are being led of the Spirit..but the Bible tells us that there are “spirits of truth and spirits of error”…without knowledge of the Bible and how the Holy Spirit works in a believer’s life, we are ripe for deception by “other spirits”.

This is KEY: Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Paul is so serious  here, that he repeats this strong statement in verse 9, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Equally strong warning is found in 2 Cor. 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

A few years ago, this was a new concept to me…that there could be “another Jesus”…a counterfeit of the REAL Jesus. Not only a counterfeit Jesus, but a counterfeit gospel, presented as if it was the gospel of Christ. Along with this warning, we find many many others in the New Testament, in John, 2 Peter, Jude, 1-3 John, and in most of the Pauline epistles. So let’s take it to heart. There are many deceptions out there masquerading as the REAL deal. There is safety in no man, not even in seminaries or Bible scholars, or your beloved pastor, only in God and outlined clearly in his words to us–the Bible. In the end, WE are held accountable, and thank God for pastors and teachers–we’re sure blessed by many, but even the most godly of men can be sincerely wrong, so know the Book–it will reveal truth about our God and Savior,  and cover all the bases.

Tomorrow we will delve DEEP into scripture to see how exactly the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth!

 

The Great Science Debate

KJV_BibleLast Tuesday we popped up some kettle corn and gathered round the computer for what’s being called “The Debate of the Century”. It was 2 hours and 45 minutes of Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis, and Bill Nye the Science Guy tackling the question, Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins in Today’s Modern Scientific Era?

The disappointing thing about the debate was that they didn’t get very far on the topic specified, but still, we were euphoric by the end, because Ken Ham did a fantastic job of presenting the validity of the Young Earth Creationist viewpoint and how scientists have been using the Bible for centuries to make valid predictions in the field. He had an impressive line-up of video presentations, including live interview clips by Creation scientists (such as Dr. Raymond Damadian who revolutionized modern medical technology with the invention of the MRI scanner) to back up his data. Most of all, we were impressed with Ken’s humble, gracious attitude and his heart for truth. He unashamedly admitted many times that he takes the Creation account literally, and presented the gospel at least 3 times during the debate…with scripture.

Ken Ham also pointed out the two kinds of science, a differentiation widely ignored by mainstream science. That is, that there is a big difference between historical science dealing with origins, and observable or operational science. Mainstream science wants to claim that there is no difference, hence their claim that an evolutionary worldview is essential to proper scientific understanding and procedure…which is not true at all.

Our children are ages 16, 13 and 9, and we figured there would be some evidence from Bill Nye’s argument for evolution that we’d have to research and debunk. On the contrary…I can’t tell you how many times the kids hit the pause button and spouted off the real science behind the manipulated facts Nye presented as solid evidence. I guess all of those creation seminar dvds and Apologia textbooks have been worth the hours spent studying! If you watched the debate and have questions, the Answers in Genesis website put together an “Answers” page, that provides answers for everything Bill Nye brought up during the debate. We were also disappointed that Nye didn’t seem to take this discussion very seriously, nor did he address the questions Ken Ham had for him. He kept saying that if Creationists gave one piece of evidence for an out of place fossil (using the secularists’ own dating methods), he’d be so grateful, science would be so grateful.  Ken Ham gave him that evidence, and even a picture of it in his slideshow–45,000-year-old wood in 45-million-year-old rock! Bill Nye willingly ignored it. Now he is calling for Ken Ham to build an exact replica of Noah’s ark and see if it is seaworthy for over a year. The interesting thing about the ark, is how it affected early Naval architecture. I’ve linked to more info, if you are interested.

If you would like to watch the debate, I am not sure how much longer they will leave it up for public viewing, but the Answers in Genesis YouTube Channel still has the debate available, as well as the Post-Debate Commentary, which we also highly recommend watching.

Estimates are that at least 5 million people from 190 countries were tuned in at one point or another to this debate…that is amazing coverage. And the debate is bleeding over into conversation all over the internet. My take-away from that? This topic of creation vs evolution has been silent due to secular censorship for far too long—and people want to discuss it!

One last important note. There are many Christians that believe God created the world via the big bang or that evolution can be explained into the creation story. To this, Ken Ham asks…how could millions of years of animal death, disease, predation, extinction and other natural evils such earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis, as evidenced in the fossil record, come before man’s sinful fall in the garden and God’s subsequent curse? There really is nothing about evolutionary origins that is compatible with the Biblical account.

And that’s my .02 cents about the big debate!

Overcoming emotional hurts with Christ’s help

I often get letters, behind scenes, expressing great anguish and crippling turmoil over familial hurts that seem insurmountable and are accompanied by pleas for help. I just wanted to answer this one publicly and with virtual hugs. It’s okay. Jesus understands. And you are not alone. Here’s my story.

First, I want to tell you, I understand. I understand the being overwhelmed, the agony, the injustice, the “no one can understand and possibly everyone things I’m over-reacting”. The not being able, much less willing, to put yourself out as a target when those “archers” responsible are in the same vicinity! I felt the same emotional turmoil for years, whenever I was around a certain someone. Those were hard but growing years. I’m so thankful for a godly mother’s counsel, and her strong shoulder on which I cried many times.

Like you, survival meant keeping a distance and meantime in the civil distance, with much prayer and a lot of maturity in both the other person and myself, I have been able to put the hurtful things that happened behind me. I NEVER thought I’d be able to be around that person with my guard down, but happily I am. I pray that over time and with God’s healing between you and this other person, total renewal (love, forgiveness, trust) will be gained. Until then, you are wise to listen to your loving heavenly Father and protect your fragility, build yourself up in the confidence and strength that comes from the Lord.

1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

Our heavenly Father will equip you. Perfect love casts out fear! Pray that Jesus will give you an overwhelming love–unconditional with no past recriminations hovering–for this person. A love that will cover their human failings toward you.If you are like me, you will have many kneeling-before-the-throne sessions, weeping, praying for the burden to leave. But the joy isn’t in the burden leaving, as much as it is in surviving it by God’s grace and coming out on the other side scathed, but healed, and enabled to help spread the message of hope that you’ve experienced firsthand.

The Lord gave me that for my situation. I wanted to bawl for joy when he crushed that last wall I’d built for my sanity and protection, and let me just feel love and compassion for the one that had hurt me so, with no history tainting it WHATSOEVER. I even cleared the air with them, and apologized for my part in the problem, not hinting at anything they might have done. It is so over–and I am free and so incredibly thankful to have that horrible, crippling angst of a burden rolled off my heart. To be able to be around them with no hurts between us any more is a MIRACLE! He is faithful so just keep hounding the Lord for peace and healing on this–even if your loved one never changes–I believe you will get to the point of having a Jesus-love for him or her that can see past their faults and sins and even let this unfair treatment of you and hurtful words roll off of you because you are SO bathed in Jesus’ affirmation and love, blood-covered and GRACED out, that you’ll hurt more for this other person than yourself when those darts hit their mark.

Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

But, in the meantime, do keep your distance so you can focus on healing and commit to pray hard for this perfect work. I can’t explain how all my hurts, anger, insecurities, jealousies over the injustice of it all (false rumors, etc.) were completely vanquished and it wasn’t overnight…but it definitely happened and it was all Jesus. I think of this person now with so much love, sometimes with tears as I pray for their precious family. What a blessing!

Having read all of that, I hope you get a message of HOPE and can see that I’m not judging, because I’ve been there. Perhaps I didn’t have as much to forgive in my situation, as you do in yours, but Jesus can handle it.

Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Psalm 27:1, “The  LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

The blessing of total forgiveness is that forgiveness will come much easier for you down the road when others hurt you. The more like Christ we become, the more dead we become to self, and “dead people” don’t get offended or hold bitterness or grudges. I would much rather be dead to “self” and alive to Christ. For more on this, you may want to read my Dying to Self series. For now I’ll leave you with Galatians 2:20,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

God bless you and heal you as you seek His ways in all you do…