Do You Know Truth from Almost Truth?

I recently went to a class at church that my son was attending about supernatural beings. (Based on the book Supernatural:What the Bible Teaches about the Supernatural and Why It Matters by Michael S. Heiser.)
My son had questions that were disturbing. 

The teacher began the class by saying, “Just because you can treat a fever, doesn’t make you a physician; just because you can change the oil in your car, doesn’t make you a mechanic.”
The implication was very clear, just because you can read the Bible, doesn’t mean you can accurately understand the Bible.
Is he right?

He minimizes the power of the Holy Spirit residing in every believer. 
The Holy Spirit becomes every child of God’s personal instructor of His written words.
The Holy Spirit, like no other teacher, resides within in, prompting conviction, confession, and instruction in ways no other teacher can.
Especially since the Bible’s His own Words!
Even a child can know God.
In fact, Jesus said, we had to become like children to know Him.

So that teacher’s premise, that we had to be theologians to understand the Bible, falls short of truth when we apply it to the Bible.

He later brought up the author’s credentials, as a well-known and respected theologian.
This should mean that his words are wise and should be accepted.
But should we?

Many seminary graduates can pronounce every Greek word correctly and explain those “hidden” meanings but have left God back in seminary. 
Graduating from seminary and becoming well known does not validate any person’s ability to know God.
Their credentials don’t guarantee they are listening to The Spirit.
As teachers they experience greater judgment.
​Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. James 3:1.

D.L. Moody quit school at 5th grade.
Spurgeon became a Christian at 16 and a pastor at 17, with no theological training.
These men were used mightily—not because they were taught by men, but they listened and obeyed the Holy Spirit.

The Bible clearly says, become like a child to know God.
Not go to school.

Nor am I saying school is evil and one should not go.
But an education does not mean a person is listening to the Holy Spirit's teachings and staying true to His Word.

Heiser has researched the Bible extensively for supernatural beings.
For instance, Genesis 1:26 says, ​Then God said, "Let US make man in Our image, according to Our likeness....
Because it is plural and the custom of the time would not recognize the Trinity, the author equates that supernatural beings or little “gods” helped create.
These beings were like the council that went before God in Job 1:6-12

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them....

What is wrong with that idea?
Although not commonly taught (except in Mormonism) as how God created, couldn't it have happened that way?

Colossians  says
He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. ...Colossians 1:15-20.

Colossians is pretty clear that Christ alone created it all.
Can supernatural beings create?
That's an attribute God alone has, according to Colossians, along with John 1:1-3, for that matter.

The teacher further stated the custom of the day dictates how the Bible should be interpreted. 
Because the Jews knew God is only one God, they would not understand the plural use of the US to represent the trinity.
So instead, he explains God had a counsel of gods (or beings) that helped God to create.

I do understand that one must consider the context and culture of when and why a passage was written to gain better understanding, but is that conclusion right?
Does culture dictate what the Bible says?

When I asked how prophets who wrote about things they did not understand—like the virgin birth or about the End Times—the instructor did not answer my question, but repeated his statement that the culture dictated how they wrote, because they wrote for their understanding.
He is making an assumption, without supporting it.

I would say,

Read that again.

My God is beyond my understanding!!!
That’s what makes Him so worthy of our praise and worship! 

He said that Scriptures were interpreted by the phrase, “The simple interpretation is taken.”
I agree. 
We don't make the Scriptures complicated.
We read what it says, not what it doesn't say.
(Not to say we can readily understand all passages.)
Yet to interject supernatural beings into these places takes away the simple view.
The entire Bible points us to God—the Creator.
There are many incidents of supernatural beings in the Bible.
In Daniel 10, Daniel prays for an answer from God.
When he received it, the messenger (or angel) told he was sent immediately, but for 21 days was detained by the kings of Persia.
Michael, one of the chief princes,  came to help him.
Those were supernatural beings fighting to give Daniel God's answer.

A spirit world parallels our physical world.
Satan is very busy hindering us from giving God His glory.
The Bible tells us about them.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12.

But we are not to elevate them to God’s level, nor give them credit for doing things God did.

What about this one?
In Genesis 3, where Eve was tempted by the serpent. 
The teacher explained that it wasn’t a serpent, only Satan. 
Satan has been represented as a serpent, adversary, roaring lion—but wasn't really those things. 
Supernatural beings can take various forms but he made it clear this was not the case.
It was just a picture of a serpent for us to understand. 
It was not a serpent but just Satan.
Would that be acceptable to you?

My Bible says in Genesis 3, “Now the serpent.”
Of course, I don't know the Greek like he does.
I acknowledge that Satan spoke through the serpent.
But that was not what he wanted us to believe.

He could not explain when asked, why God cursed the serpent to crawl on his belly, if it was only a supernatural being and not really a serpent.

When God says, "serpent" He doesn't mean something else.
When God says Satan is like a roaring lion, He is making a comparison, not making the lion into Satan. 

The class disturbed me greatly.
I do understand the need to stretch my thinking and consider things that may be difficult to grasp.
But I don't believe we should believe anything anyone teaches.
God tells us to examine the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Acts 17:11.

The Spirit tells our hearts when truth isn't quite right.
He wants His truth pure and unchanged.
He was telling me a lot during this class.

I understand the book’s desire to make the supernatural beings more “acceptable.”
So people will know there is a hidden spiritual world that battles us.
But there are passages that clearly address that world, without distracting people from seeing the God in the Bible as He is.
But to create a doctrine, no matter how minor, that takes our eyes off God and His glory, is not acceptable.

My son won’t be attending any more of these classes.

Be discerning—everywhere. 
Test the spirits to see if they are of God.
Know the truth, so those not-so-true statements will be obvious.
Wolves in sheep’s clothing roam—especially in church.

Displaying 1 comment

Satan has not changed his tactic one bit. Sprinkle some truth in with a lie and people will believe it if it makes sense. And these men are very good at it! Aren't you glad you went to that class to see what it was about. I feel the wrong church and the wrong "Christian" school are more dangerous than the secular world. One just must be very very careful. Thanks for sharing,

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