Is Your Faith Based On Christ or On A Counterfeit?
by Dr. Timothy Hoflund
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Counterfeit or Genuine - - Which Is Your Christianity?
Jesus spoke prophetically of His Church warning all who participate that from the beginning days of the Church the devil would be successful at introducing counterfeit to all that is True of Christ.
Matthew 13:24-43 …
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
"Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Jesus not only warned that the world would be full of false religions but that there would be many counterfeit offers of “faith” … that His own kingdom would be rife with counterfeits (tares) and what’s more, that the counterfeit would grow simultaneously and with the same measure as the genuine – or the wheat!
We do not have the “job” of ripping out the counterfeit, lest we hurt the genuine as well. This tells us that when confronted with the counterfeit, we must use caution when dealing with it to not damage the actual genuine wheat (real saints) whose roots may have been entangled with those of the tares!
In other words, we cannot extricate the false from the genuine without potentially damaging those who do in fact belong to our Lord Jesus Christ!
However, we do have the responsibility to confront and expose the counterfeit in such a manner that others who are genuine, yet may have counterfeit entanglements, are not themselves ripped away from their place in His Kingdom but are able to extricate themselves from the entanglements of the counterfeit!
2 Timothy 2:24-26 …
"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
The Lord never intended for us to sit idly by and allow the genuine to be overtaken by the counterfeit, therefore we must recognize our actual responsibility to confront and expose the counterfeit in such a way – if possible – to allow those saints who are entangled by false teaching/doctrine/theology to recognize that it is false and to recover their own selves out of the counterfeit/deception!
Now, even at this moment, many are asking, just how do we do that? The answer is simple … present a comparison of the counterfeit and genuine to the wheat entangled by the tares! Expose the deception in the light of the Truth and allow the Holy Spirit to lead the wheat out of the tare’s entanglements!
I call them entanglements because this is the best description I can think of. For a genuine saint who has been seduced away from the Truth may not even realize that what he or she is supporting or endorsing or following is in fact a counterfeit! And until he or she sees for him/her self that what they have embraced or even taken hold of is in fact counterfeit, he/she will not be able to release themselves from the deception!
Remember this: “The deceptions of satan are mostly true!” In other words, he uses a lot of truth to disguise and even cover up his deceptions. Just like counterfeit money, the color may be “true”, the printing may be “true” the design may be “true” and the paper may even be “true” … but in all counterfeit money there is something that is either there that should not be there or something missing that should be present! And satan’s counterfeits include both kinds!
Let’s take one example of counterfeit belief and compare it to the genuine:
The counterfeit: Jesus had to suffer in hell, at the hands of satan, in order to redeem us from the penalty of our sins. This is one that some very well known celebrity T.V. ministers adhere to and are proponents of. If I told you their names, it might even surprise you!
- - This counterfeit does not deny that Christ suffered on the Cross, nor that He died, nor even that He was raised from the dead! This counterfeit includes all the Truth of the Gospel … but adds something that is false yet sounds plausible for those who do not read God’s Word as they ought to!
- - - Christ, just before releasing His spirit from His body, cried out “it is finished!”The phrase “it is finished” is translated from the Greek “teleō” which means from
- - - In other words … there is nothing left to accomplish for the forgiveness of our sins!
- - This counterfeit changes what Scripture actually says about why Jesus was in the grave and what He did during that time … it was NOT to suffer at the hands of satan nor to take away from satan the keys of death, hell and the grave!
- - - What did Jesus do during His time in the grave?
- - - 1 Peter 3:18-22 explains both Christ’s suffering on the cross and His time in the grave more fully …
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit:
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."
By this we plainly see that it was Christ’s death on the cross that produced the victory over sin, His activity in sheol (hell) was to preach the Gospel to the spirits there; His resurrection produced power over the grave and His authority comes not from some titanic wrestling match with satan but by His faithfulness to God’s plan which is more clearly evidenced by this Scripture:
- - Hebrews 12:2 … “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
What is the harm of this particular counterfeit? First of all, it is not what God’s Word says at all! That being the case, those who believe this have a flaw in their foundation of faith and that flaw will cause failure at the worst times in the life of the person!
Secondly, it detracts from the actual victory of Christ over satan … just after His forty day fast in the desert when satan tempted Christ Jesus!
Lastly, but of no less importance, when you become engaged in spiritual warfare, if you attempt to employ a falsehood to try to gain victory over the enemy, that very falsehood will be your downfall! Remember the seven sons of Sceva – read Acts 19:13-16!
Finally, what is it that makes us over-comers? It seems to me that if Christ overcame satan’s power in Hell that this would be the basis of our ability to overcome … but the Bible states otherwise!
- - Revelation 12:10-11
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
And where was the blood of the lamb deployed? AT THE CROSS OF HIS CRUCIFIXION! Not in hell!
This brings us back to the problem at hand … the counterfeit in among the genuine!
Not a small problem at all but one of epic proportions and prophetic implications! In these last days … whether we are at the beginning, middle or the last of the last days, we are warned that in these days that many will depart from the Truth; that many will depart from the (genuine) faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons! The supernatural replaces the spiritual; the psychic replaces the prophetic; the convenient replaces purpose; comfort replaces suffering; wealth replaces sacrifice; revelry replaces repentance and self replaces serving.
Counterfeit doctrines are more damaging that blatantly false doctrine for two reasons: People will more readily accept what is counterfeit because it is appealing to the carnal in the disguise of “looking” genuine … but more damaging is that the counterfeit ALWAYS acts as a bridge to the purely false!
The counterfeit becomes more and more false until what is acceptable is mostly/all false! This then brings us to the warning of Christ to us through Paul’s letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:3-4) “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Thus we are given precise command from our Lord in Ezekiel 3:17-21 …
"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul."
So then the question is, how do we warn those who have trusted in the counterfeit? How do we do so without being quarrelsome or condescending or condemning them for being seduced by the counterfeit? We must remember, the COUNTERFEITER (satan) is also a supreme con man and most often tricks people into believing that the counterfeit is acceptable!
Most people do not say “Oh, a counterfeit, I definitely want some of that!” Within the Church, most people are seduced into accepting the counterfeit by being presented “something new” or “more complete” than what they currently know and in most cases, what is presented appeals to not only the flesh but logic as well!
We must remember too that the objective of the counterfeiter (satan) is to direct our focus onto something else than God but tries to convince God’s people that the new focus is something that God wants for them to have/experience/enjoy or participate in … for their own benefit! What is always missing – or explained away – is how this “thing” will glorify God! Again, he (satan) uses logic to accomplish his con game!
To appeal to logic – the carnal mind – what the counterfeiter does first is to switch terms and definitions! For instance, he doesn’t use terms like genuine but speaks about what is “real” instead! Example: A counterfeit $20 bill IS REAL! You can touch it, smell it, taste it, and upon the unsuspecting you can spend it just like the genuine … so IT IS REAL!
Spiritually, the counterfeit is also REAL! It will produce results that are (at first) acceptable (pleasing to the flesh) … but acceptable only to the user – not to God! Using the above example further - - spend the counterfeit $20 and the user gets satisfaction even though his/her satisfaction is at the expense of the store proprietor, the bank and the entire economic system!
What the user of the counterfeit does not bargain for however is that he/she eventually becomes an outlaw! Not at first, not at the point of being an unsuspecting user of the counterfeit, but the victim becomes an outlaw when he/she is repeatedly (actually when first) informed that what they are using is counterfeit and their response is to insist that they are not wrong! Why do they do this? Because the first warnings usually come from some person that they do not respect as authority – a friend or family member, not realizing that the friend/family member’s warning is based on authority! It is not until a “person of authority” tells them that the $20 bills they have been using are counterfeit that they admit a problem!
So it is with the spiritual … being seduced into believing a deception or into accepting a counterfeit does not make one a spiritual outlaw. What makes one a spiritual outlaw is choosing the counterfeit over the genuine Truth!
This develops over time (some faster than others) after basing much of their faith system on what is counterfeit, then rejecting the truth about the counterfeit insisting that the counterfeit is just as “real” as the genuine - - or worse, condemning the genuine as being in error - - the victim becomes guilty of the sin that was at first perpetrated upon them! They then become guilty of becoming perpetrators themselves!
This occurs quite often by the counterfeit users defending themselves by employing the very same tactics that were used on them -- explaining and demonstrating that what they have is “real”! To further defend their position they then insist upon embracing the counterfeit as correct and acceptable rather than acknowledging that the counterfeit is wrong and unacceptable! This then is the point at which the victim-user becomes an outlaw user!
Thus Scripture tells us that “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” in 2 Peter 2:19. In other words, they have been brought into bondage of what once they thought brought them liberty … but most of them don’t even see that this is their condition!
These are the things we must bear in mind when attempting to set them free from their bondage to the counterfeit. Most of them are indeed in a trap but one that they do not readily recognize.
Helping them gain freedom is a two part work – our part and their part. Our part is to warn them by reproving or exposing the deception – but to do so without condemning them; THEIR part is to repent and recover themselves out of the hand of the enemy! And this they are fully able to do or else God’s Word would not have said that they could do so in 2 Timothy 2!
How do we warn them that they have believed in the counterfeit? There is only one way: The Word of God! Not our opinion. Not our estimation. Not our judgment … God’s Word and only God’s Word!
Using the earlier example of counterfeit doctrine/teaching about Christ in hell … you can ask the one who so believes this to find any place in God’s Word where this is clearly and plainly taught! Then go through all Scripture that does explain what Christ did while His body was in the tomb! Then ask the one who has believed the false to decide which one is True?
By the way, “True” is another term that is avoided by the “counterfeiters”! In its place they may use “legitimate” or “right” to try to convince you that the deception they are selling is acceptable for use. “Spiritual principle” or “spiritual law” are other phrases that the counterfeiter may use in place of “Truth” by saying that there are “spiritual principles” that apply or that Scripture contains “spiritual laws” … which is a statement that does have application at times – but only when dealing with Truth, all other times it is used as a smokescreen!
Does God’s Word contain spiritual principles? Absolutely! But when a person is passing a counterfeit idea, he/she is prone to use the phrase “spiritual principle” because they cannot clearly point to Truth which validates the counterfeit that they are attempting to perpetrate or they are misapplying such spiritual principles/laws for self-satisfying uses!
Another tactic that the counterfeiter employs is to sensationalize what they teach! Why? Sensationalism attracts attention! Sensationalism attracts an audience! Sensationalism attracts followers! Sensationalism is also great camouflage for deception! And deception is the foundation for counterfeiting.
I once heard a so-called Bible teacher state that the Apostle John suffered immeasurably when he was cast into boiling oil and that the miracle as that he survived although writhing in pain! The entire monologue was much longer and he gave a great dramatic, sensational narrative of what John “suffered” yet did not die because Jesus had said to Peter regarding the disciple whom Jesus loved - - “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me” in John 21:22.
However, according to the secular historical writings regarding what happened to John, when he was cast into the vat of boiling oil, he was miraculously delivered from any injury! Yet, this so-called teacher ignored all of that and gave this sensationalized false teaching to appeal to the sensational (sensual) using this to perpetrate an even greater falsehood!
So what does this have to do with the subject of this article? Simple, to illustrate that to believe a lie is to believe a lie and the lie, even though it may have a basis in truth, is still a lie and a lie is always of the devil! On this matter Jesus declared: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44
So it is with false doctrine/teaching/faith/theology - - it may be based on something that is true/genuine, it may have true elements but the intent of it is to direct a person away from what is Truth! And only Truth brings genuine freedom! And the Truth that brings freedom comes only from God’s Word: “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32
When it comes to our freedom, God intends that we be REALLY FREE! “"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed!” John 8:36
Freedom producing Truth does not come from what people can make of God’s Word; nor from what people can concoct by using God’s Word; it is not from what men can manufacturer on some basis from God’s Word; it is not from what principles can be implied from God’s Word.
The Truth that produces freedom comes only from what is plainly stated by His Word to us and that is plainly confirmed by His Word for what we may receive by inspiration - - true inspiration will always be confirmed by His written Word. And by the way, Rhema (Divine spoken word from God through His Holy Spirit) is based upon Scripture and will always be confirmed and further explained by more Scripture (in correct context, not finding a verse or two that we can make fit)!
Therefore, the only way to confront what is counterfeit in a person’s belief system is to show him/her what God’s Word plainly says!
By the way, wisdom directs that we routinely examine our own belief systems by comparing them to God's Word to determine if any faulty belief or false principle has gained entrance to our personal theology.
Here is a true story as an example:
A Godly couple began to have difficulty in the area of spiritual leadership. The wife had begun to consistently challenge her husband's decisions every time there was a decision that she didn't immediately agree with.
It had gotten to the point that she was on the precipice of rebellion even though she never intended or desired to be in rebellion! At some point a celebrity teacher had introduced the idea that a husband should rely on the counsel of his wife.
She then took that truth (for a husband should rely on the counsel of his wife) to an entirely new level teaching that a wife's counsel was equal to a husband's leadership decisions.
This led the wife to become stubborn against the husband and when the husband couldn't fully explain and persuade the wife at times when he was being prompted by the Holy Spirit in a matter, when he couldn't even explain it fully to himself but he knew that the Holy Spirit had so led him in a certain direction.
This situation then degraded further to the point that more often than not, when the wife wanted her own way in a matter, she would hit the husband with "God says that the husband is to heed to the counsel of the wife"! The wife had gotten to the point that she believed that her opinion should override the husband’s decisions! Finally, realizing that a real problem had developed, the couple went to Scripture to verify the truth of the matter and guess what?
No such mandate exists in God's Word! In fact, just the opposite! The wife repented as did the husband - - for the more the wife tried to supplant his spirit led decisions, the more dictator-like he became! Both spouses had fallen into carnal thinking because of this one false principle which led to each becoming resentful towards the other and this deteriorated the unity of their marriage!
Additionally, when examining for Truth we must be careful to use the most accurate translation/version of the Bible! While many modern versions of the Bible are useful for study and clarity, there has been a great undertaking to make wholesale changes in God’s Word that are now clearly evident in many modern versions of Scripture!
To illustrate let’s use Romans 8:1.
Many modern translations read: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” These often include a footnote that reads something like: “Some manuscripts include ‘who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.”
King James and New King James read: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Do you see at least three issues?
First, the modern footnotes gender questions about what is Truth!
Second, by leaving out the last part of the original verse, people are given only partial truth and so spend their lives dealing with condemnation because they are not taught to follow after or walk according to the Spirit!
Third, how long before the footnotes disappear altogether and there is not even a mention of this requirement to be free of condemnation? Well guess what! Many of the modern translations I have recently read DO leave out the references/foot notes altogether so people are given the promise without the requirement!
-- So what do you think happens in the heart and mind of a person who sees this (or any) promise without the attached requirement? As they expect the fulfillment of the promise which never comes or comes to a limited degree, the person continues to battle condemnation and will eventually become discouraged which grows into distrust and potentially a major defeat!
Now before you start to argue with me about how today’s versions are based on “better” documentation than the King James Version was, I have just one question: Ever hear of Westcott and Hort? In the 1800’s they undertook to develop an “improved” translation of Scripture and are generally regarded as the “fathers” of modern bible translations. Without going into the whole debate here, let me just point out a few historical facts about these gentlemen:
1. Both were non-Christian Anglican ministers. (I am not saying that Anglicans are not Christians, but these two admitted their unbelief)
2. Both of their careers were spent mostly in academic positions rather than pastorates.
3. They were both fully steeped in the Alexandrian philosophy that "there is no perfect Bible",
4. They both had a vicious distaste for the King James Version.
5. Both believed that Heaven existed only in the mind of man.
6. Both believed it possible to communicate with the dead and made many attempts to do just that through a society which they organized and entitled "The Ghostly Guild."
(For 1-6 See: www.chick.com/reading/books/158/158_44.asp)
7. Westcott denied the bodily resurrection of Christ (www.amazon.com/Bishop-Brooke-Westcotts-Clever-Resurrection/dp/1568480024)
Based on just this evidence alone – and there is much more – do you think that they really had pure motives to improve the understandability of Scriptures?
Take the issue of necromancy alone which God absolutely detests and clearly prohibits His children from participating in such activities … do you think that these men who practiced necromancy really had the interests and concerns of God and His children in mind?
Now what better way to successfully perpetrate spiritual counterfeits en-masse than to change the standard by which the genuine is measured? Flaw the standard and it becomes immeasurably easier to introduce the false as valid, the counterfeit as acceptable!
What better way to keep the lost blinded to the truth than to change the presentation of the truth? What is better than redefining the meanings and definitions of words and phrases? To eliminate them altogether!
And you don’t even need to make wholesale changes! Just make changes in critical phrases in key areas of spiritual principles and the foundation is weakened. Make enough changes in enough critical areas and the foundation will fail!
If you wanted to keep someone under condemnation remove part of the instruction! For example: Leave “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” but remove “who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”! In other words, leave the promised experience intact but remove the requirement! Thereby people will have expectations that simply cannot be fulfilled because they are not meeting the requirements to gain that experience!
-- I use this particular example because over the last couple of decades I have ministered in counseling a good number of saints who have complained of being under continued condemnation and have pointed out Romans 8:1 and asking me since they are in Christ Jesus why are they still battling condemnation?
When I point out what the "obsolete" King James version (or NKJV) includes the requirement of "... who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit"! In many cases I have watched the light go on almost immediately without the need for me to say anything else they know why they are trapped in condemnation!
Here is another example: How can you tell if a person is truly born again, if they truly become a saint of God by faith in Christ? Jesus tells us that we are able to distinguish the true from the false by their fruits or the results that manifest in their lives – Matthew 7:16-20.
With this in mind let’s look at Mark 16. In the King James Version (and the NKJ) contains Mark 16:9-20 which states:
"Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. 12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. 14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen."
However, the NASB and many other modern translations, while including these verses do so in italics (or parenthetically or in brackets) with a note that says either “Some manuscripts (or later mss) ADD vv 9-20”! WOW! Talk about manufacturing doubt in God’s Word!
Some modern versions go even further to produce doubt by comparing versions of the Bible by saying something to the effect of “the KJV (or codes for the KJV such as M-text meaning “majority text” meaning KJV) says …”
TWO POINTS …
Point One is simply this: What better way to generate acceptance and even cause people to embrace the counterfeit than to produce doubts about the genuine itself! If I can generate enough disputes about the correctness of the genuine article, then logic begins to dictate in your mind “what makes one better than the other?” which will ultimately lead you to THINK that you are the best authority to determine what is “true for you”!
Get the point?
POINT TWO is that there are, in reality, only two “versions” of God’s Word:
1. HIS PRESERVED WORD
2. The devil’s PERVERTED scriptures
Recently I received a phone call from a young minister under our mentoring who was quite agitated because of something she had just discovered about Bible “version” she was using.
This particular version was a fairly recent “translation” and one that had gained wide popularity thus far. Now we had not yet done a comparative study of the so-called Bible translations but I had only mentioned this issue. So she had discovered entirely on her own that this bible had totally left out the fact of the virgin birth of Christ; totally left out the temptation of Christ in the desert and several other important facts of Christ’s life and teachings! And she was really distressed at what she had just found!
She was so upset that someone would remove these things and she questioned how could anyone gain an accurate view of Jesus when someone was relying upon these types of bibles? Had she not been diligent to read and study the Bible on her own prior to this, using several versions, she would have been exposed to the seed bed of deception that the devil places in people’s lives by deceptive “versions” of the Bible!
This is what she herself had realized and we will close this study these words on this matter …
Of all the works of satan against the faith of the Saints; of all the counter-measures that the devil has taken to destroy the power of God’s Word in the earth, the ultimate weapon is to produce a variety of flawed translations of God’s Message (the Bible) to us using the very flaws themselves to cast doubt and misunderstanding upon God’s Word!
By injecting omissions and obvious changes coupled with “authoritative notes” declaring that “better” manuscripts or “more recently discovered” but “actually older” manuscripts had actually been used and that what had existed for centuries prior were based on “newer” or “more recent” or “more complete” manuscripts which either included what the counterfeits omitted or were worded differently which changed the meanings of the messages - - satan has been able to deceive millions - MILLIONS of souls into believing wrong things about God!
How does this defeat the faith of MILLIONS of souls? How does this turn away people from even beginning to trust God?
This should be obvious! Let’s begin with the last one first: You and I have all heard people say that it is impossible to know what God’s Word actually, originally said because of these very different “translations” of Scripture! If a person doesn’t know what to trust, they won’t trust any of the choices before them! This has certainly been accomplished!
But the greater, far more dastardly satanic scheme is to use God’s own people (or those who claim to be His children) to convince the world that God really cannot be trusted and that in fact it is God Who is at fault for man’s woes! Do you see what I just said? Using God’s own people to accomplish this demonic objective!
For if a child of God places confidence in a “different” bible, and they believe something that God never said; or if they see a different meaning than what God actually meant in what He said; their faith is flawed! And what does it take to flaw one’s faith? Not much!
With most “modern” bible versions perhaps more than 95% of the text is actually correct! But the 5% or so that is wrong is in key, critical issues that are effective enough to change the course of a person’s faith!
Again, if a person becomes born again yet because of the “modern” Romans 8:1 translation he or she remains trapped in condemnation; if a person publically believes that God will “reimburse” with a financial 100 fold increase for what they “invest” yet they default on their obligations; if a person experiences only hope deferred because their hope is incorrect so that it appears that God never makes good on certain promises … to the saint that has been deceived by these counterfeits and to the world that looks on at the witness of that same saint, what is seen is failure!
They see broken trust and disappointments that can even be catastrophic! The effect of that little 5% corruption is enough to produce 100% failure! And people will not follow that which is shown to be a failure! Thus satan, by successfully establishing as little as a 5% change in man’s understanding of God’s Word, is able to effect massive failure within the Church and by that massive rejection of Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life!
Thus we find indeed that in these last days, the love of many does grow cold; many are and will all the more, turn away from the Truth!
What are the solutions to these issues?
First, obey God’s Word and prove all things! (For a basis to prove modern translations of bibles visit http://fillthevoid.org/Versions/Differences-1.html )
Is the “bible version” you rely on the PRESERVED Word of God or THE PERVERTED scriptures?
Second, obey God’s Word and CONTEND for your faith and insure that your belief is based on THE PRESERVED Word of God!
Third, obey God’s Word and BE A WATCHMAN! Ezekiel 3
Warn others of the counterfeits that you discover and the perversions that God exposes to you!
We need not become “fault finders” but as a wise man once helped me to understand …
You need not look for what is wrong, just be intent on what is right (correct and true), and what is wrong, what is false will become glaringly evident!
In fact, I am told that the Secret Service is trained to recognize counterfeits by learning the genuine so well that when they encounter a counterfeit, they immediately recognize it because of what does not match the genuine!
Let us learn God’s PRESERVED Word so well that when confronted by satanic frauds they are simply glaringly evident and we are able to effectively expose the false and perverted scriptures to our brothers and sisters in Christ! If we discover that we ourselves have been defrauded by a counterfeit to God’s Truth, let us recover ourselves and draw near to God in Spirit and in Truth - - His Truth!
When a brother or sister in Christ has “misbelieved” God because of perverted scriptures, show them God’s Preserved Word and help them to recover themselves out of the snare of the enemy who would otherwise keep them captive to deception as Paul so instructed in 2 Timothy 2:24-26.
Finally lest you think that this is much ado about nothing really, just remember two warnings from God’s Word …
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:14-15
Our Lord is not worried that He may be defeated for He is triumphant already!
Our Lord is concerned for our sakes that we are not defeated but that we share in His triumph!
Yet we are only assured of experiencing His triumph in our lives as we follow His Truth and not what is counterfeited to overthrow our faith.
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