Saturday, July 5, 2008

Error-Proofing Your Life - I

Two Essential Ingredients
(By William Cook)

And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? … Ye therefore do greatly err. (Mark 12:24, 27)

The Sadducees held that there was no resurrection. How could they believe something so absurd? What factors contributed to their deception? Jesus said, “… because ye know not …” Here we see that deception begins with not knowing certain things.

The Lord spoke through Hosea, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge …” (Hosea 4:6a) Clearly, knowledge is important. But what kind of knowledge? Baseball statistics? The weather report? Financial trends? God didn’t say, “My people are destroyed because they don’t know what the morning newspaper says.”

The first essential ingredient that protects us against error is knowledge of scripture. Jesus said, “… because ye know not the scriptures …” Paul wrote to Timothy, “… from a child thou has known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation ..." (2 Timothy 3:15) Paul also wrote, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) By implication, wrongly dividing the “word of truth” leads to shame and God’s disapproval.

One of my first Christian mentors, now an 83-year old "father in the faith," wrote to me recently:

"Years ago, we didn't have computers, videos or TV and we spent time in the Word. When I hold meetings and quote part of a scripture verse, most people can't complete it. In the 1940’s and 50’s almost everyone in our church could quote hundreds of scriptures. Oftentimes I deliberately misquote a scripture and no one catches it."

How sad. How dangerous! We need to be diligent in our study of scripture. A thorough, accurate knowledge of scripture is essential if we are to avoid the tsunami of deception that is coming on the earth in these last days.

By itself, knowledge of scripture is not enough. The second essential ingredient Jesus emphasized is knowing the power of God, “… because … ye know not … the power of God …” [from Greek, ‘dunamis’] Many people know the Bible very well but do not know or do not believe in the power of God. They can quote scriptures, but they are still in error because they deny the power of God.

Paul did not mince words; he wrote that the last days would be perilous, featuring men who display an external “form of godliness” but who are practical atheists with respect to the power of God.

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof … ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." [‘power’ from Greek, ‘dunamis’] (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

If we deny the power of God, then we do not believe Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." We will tend to adjust our theology to accommodate our lack of power and supernatural experience. This is why some Christians deny that spiritual gifts, healing and miracles still happen today. Imagine Jesus telling his disciples "greater works than these shall [ye] do," (John 14:12) then in the next breath, "but make the most of it because after you guys go home to be with the Lord, miracles will cease" or, "After the canon of scripture is complete, miracles won't be needed anymore." How foolish. How heretical! We need the power of God more now than ever!

Error-proofing our lives requires two essential ingredients – knowing the scriptures and knowing the power of God. If either of these is missing or lacking, we are susceptible to error.


Lord, create a deep hunger in me for your Word, for man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Show me Your power and glory.

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil (Last updated 05 July 2008)

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