Did God Forget Something?
Did God Forget Something?
The Case of the Missing Symbol
by Hughie Seaborn
Is not our God a God of details, taking into account even the most minute matter? Is not our God perfect in every way? Deuteronomy 32:3-4 reads,
"I will proclaim the Name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He."
Surely our God would not inadvertently overlook something important in His communications and His teachings to us through His Word, would He? Surely not! But there are some who are, by inference, through their teachings, suggesting that God would forget to inform us of something, some small detail so as to throw everything into confusion. Therefore, these same teachers presume that it is up to them, as wise and knowledgeable students of God's Word to fill in any gaps in the Bible where God has omitted some important detail. But God's Word is Truth and it distinctly teaches us that our God is not the author of confusion.
God has given us His Word as a lamp to shine before us and show us the way safely, both physically and spiritually, through this precarious and dangerous journey called life. The Word of God goes before us and lights the way so that we are able to place each of our steps surely and firmly upon the path that God has set before us.
In Jeremiah 23 we are told that God's people, the people in His house, have gone astray from His path by listening to wicked and profane priests and prophets. Verse 12 very graphically portrays to us that
"…their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness. They shall be driven on, and fall therein."
God's Word is a light shining in a dark place, and as the Apostle Peter advises us in 2 Peter 1:19,
"…you will do well to pay attention to it."
If God, who is perfect in every way and who is not subject to forgetfulness, should suggest to us, through Peter, that we would do well to pay attention to His Word, and then again, through Peter, in 2 Peter 1:3 where He informs us that, through our knowledge of Him, we have everything we need pertaining to life and godliness, then as mere mortals, we should take serious notice. We are but clay - He is the Potter.
Addition And Subtraction
The situation of God's implied forgetfulness comes about by men (and women), mere vessels of clay, not faithfully adhering to God's Word, but who subtly alter words here and there or change their intended meanings to satisfy their own aspirations, agendas or belief systems. God solemnly warns us in His Word of the grave consequences of not steadfastly abiding in what He has written, or changing what He has written in some way in order to convince ourselves that we have His approval to proceed along a particular path to fulfil some deluded desire of our own imagination. This not only causes confusion, but brings a curse upon the person who twists the meaning of God's Word, or changes it in some way, and upon anyone else who foolishly accepts the changed version of what God has so clearly warned we should not tamper with.
For instance, in the Book of Revelation, chapter 22, verses 18 and 19, there is a warning that goes like this;
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
That's a pretty serious warning, I think. In my simple understanding it seems to me that the warning concerns our eternal destiny. But there are those who have risen as 'teachers' within our midst who think nothing of a warning like that - a warning that John, at the insistence of Jesus, purposefully wrote down in Scripture for our instruction. If this warning was coming only from an insignificant man I would perhaps understand their behavior, but it is coming from the mouth of the glorified Jesus Himself, the words of whom these same group of people allege to love and obey with all of their hearts.
Some try to justify their neglect to heed this solemn warning by claiming that they don't understand the Book of Revelation anyway and besides, the warning only pertains to the prophecies therein. However, they fail to see that the same warning is not only at the end of the Bible, but also at the beginning in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 4, verses 1 to 4, where we read,
"Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you. You saw with your own eyes what the Lord did at Baal Peor. The Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, but all of you who held fast to the Lord your God are still alive today."
Just in case it didn't sink in or you were not paying attention in chapter 4, it is repeated again, in Deuteronomy 12:32 where we read,
"See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it."
From what we have just read it should be plainly obvious to even the most stiff necked and rebellious dissenter that the issue of adding to or taking away from what God has said in His Word must be important. I am not suggesting for even one moment that the rest of Scripture is not important, because it certainly is, but when God goes to the bother of repeating Himself, as He has here, it means that this subject is of extreme importance. In other words, we had better take serious notice.
But that's not all. There's more! If you keep reading through your Bible (upon which I might comment, most people don't), eventually you will find that God mentions the serious consequences of changing His Word not only at the beginning and the end of the Bible, but also in the middle. For we read in Proverbs 30:5-6 an interesting promise.
"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."
This Scripture is also seriously warning us that we are not to change the words of the Bible and it promises that if someone does tamper with God's Word, God Himself will reprove, or rebuke him and then He will expose the person as a liar in front of everyone, no doubt to the liar's embarrassment.
This is exactly what happens when people do not really believe what God has written in His Word to us, and so therefore omit, add to, or change the words and the original intent and meanings, to support what they want to promote. They will certainly be found out and exposed according to God's promise above.
The Harmony Of Scripture
When a person adds to, omits, or changes the words of Scripture, or twists them to suit their arguments, they will be exposed, as promised, in the following way. Changing even the smallest part of what has been written causes what has been changed to be out of harmony and context with the rest of Scripture. Somewhere, the rest of the Bible will contradict the erroneous teaching and disclose what has been changed. God has put His checks and balances into place for the purpose of confounding the false teachers and also to protect those who want to serve and obey Him according to the truth of His Word. Proverbs 22:12 tells us,
"The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor."
And again in Psalm 12:6-7 we are told,
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
God has assured us that the purity of His Word will be preserved, by Him, for ever, and so, the warning found in Proverbs 30:5-6, "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" comes to pass upon people who tamper with Scripture. The rest of Scripture proves their lies and embarrasses them in front of their friends whom they have tried to impress with their great knowledge.
Types And Symbols In Scripture
We now need to come back to my original question, "Did God forget something?"
According to the ridiculous theology of some of the most influential, so called 'Bible teachers' in the world today, 'teachers' who have accumulated vast wealth (which they ask their followers to give them as 'partners' in their ministries) from supposedly expounding the Scriptures, and who have access into the homes of literally millions of people worldwide via their multi-million dollar TV networks, God has forgotten to include something in His Word to us. Could this be possible? Amazingly, it appears so, according to their theology.
Let me explain. As an example to prove that these teachers are, by inference, accusing God of forgetting something we need to understand a little about Typology. Many of the things that took place in Old Testament times were looking forward symbolically, or in type, to New Testament times, the age in which we now live.
The study of Typology is a Biblical method of interpreting some parts of Scripture by seeing a pattern which an earlier event or object sets up and by which a later event or object is explained. Of course, this method of interpreting Scripture can be overdone, as so frequently has been the case, but never-the-less it is a valid and Scriptural method of understanding some puzzling passages in the Bible. Typology helps us to see the New Testament person, event, or institution as the fulfilment of that which was only alluded to in the Old Testament by symbolism.
For example, in the Old Testament we read about that marvelous event where God brought His people out of Egypt, out from the bondage and oppression of a cruel master, and brought them into their own land. It is a wonderful account of a God who protected His own people during a terrible night of judgement upon their oppressor, a God who then 'led them by the hand' through a wilderness, with full provision, and who eventually led them into their promised land.
To commemorate this major event in the history of mankind, God instituted the feast called the Passover which the Jewish people were commanded to observe each year as a memorial of the final plague upon the nation of Egypt when the firstborn of the Egyptians died and the Israelites were spared because of the blood smeared on their door posts. The Passover feast is a memorial of God's great act of redemption, protection and provision. In Exodus 12:14 we read,
"So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance."
All of the commands and instructions, regarding the feast, that were given to Moses by the Lord - the blood on the door posts, the time at which the Passover meal was to be eaten, the exclusion of the uncircumcised and hired servants, the requirement not to put leaven in the bread - all had symbolic meanings pointing forward to another event. The many other symbolic items used and actions performed during the actual feast were meticulously adhered to by the people each year.
The Passover Type Fulfilled In Christ
All of this was looking forward to another horrific, but phenomenal event that took place on a hill outside the city of Jerusalem. As Christians, we all know that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God was crucified for us, having His body broken and His blood shed upon the cross of Calvary on our behalf. In our unsaved and unredeemed state we were under the oppression of a cruel spiritual master who kept us in bondage, in the same way that Pharaoh did to the Hebrew slaves in Egypt prior to the Passover. We were slaves to sin and corruption and under bondage to Satan. But, by the terrible experience that Christ suffered on our behalf in the events leading up to, and during His crucifixion, we are redeemed to God and set free from the hold that our enemy had upon our lives. Christ, by His crucifixion, became our Passover Lamb.
To commemorate this major event that was about to take place in the history of mankind, Christ, on the night before His crucifixion, instituted the feast that we partake of called the Lord's Supper. Church groups celebrate the Lord's Supper regularly as a sign of the new covenant sealed by Christ's death and resurrection.
While the symbolic types portrayed in the first Passover feast were looking forward to the coming Saviour and His crucifixion, the Lord's Supper, instituted by Christ Himself, would look back as a symbolic reminder of His crucifixion in which He redeemed mankind, fulfilling the types, or symbols, represented in the Passover feast.
In Matthew 26:26-28 we read,
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
In 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Paul wrote to the Corinthian church,
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he comes."
Without entering into a great theological discussion on the meanings of reconciliation, redemption, or justification etc., I would ask you to take particular notice of one important detail in the above Scriptures. In instituting the Lord's Supper during the Passover feast with His disciples we see that Jesus took the bread, representing His body and then He took the cup, representing His blood. These two items symbolically represent the two components of our redemption. Christ's body and His blood. These are the two elements that we are taught by Christ Himself, and which are consequently confirmed by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, that represent what Christ offered on our behalf to God as the spotless Lamb of God. His body and His blood supersede the lamb of the Passover of the old covenant "…for Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed." (1 Corinthians 5:7)
Paul reiterates that the blood and the body of Christ are the two components required for our redemption in 1 Corinthians 10:15-16 where he asks,
"I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?"
Try to keep in mind the above Scripture as we proceed in this article. It is pertinent to the case that we are progressively building to refute a particularly dangerous teaching of the Word of Faith Movement that is becoming more accepted within Christendom.
A New Theology
In this day of increasing apostasy in the professing church, we find a new theology of the Redemption taking hold of unsuspecting and gullible church goers. It is being taught by some very influential 'teachers' (these same ones that I mentioned at the beginning of this article who are raking in enormous profits from their adoring followers), that Christ had to sacrifice His Spirit to secure our redemption. These self acclaimed and deluded 'teachers' are actually proclaiming that the blood of Christ and His broken body were insufficient to pay the price that God required for the sins of mankind.
In their gross ignorance of the doctrine which establishes the deity of Christ, they teach that if it was only required for a man to die on a cross to pay the price, then either of the two thieves or even Abel, who was a righteous man, could have done the job. One of these teachers even suggested that he could have paid the price of Redemption himself, had he been as clued up on the Scriptures as Jesus was.
Their teaching says that when Jesus died in His physical body on the cross He also had to die spiritually to secure our redemption. They teach that Satan and his demons actually defeated Christ on the cross and forcefully took His Spirit into Hell for three horrible days where they victoriously subjected Him to every evil and despicable act of torture imaginable, at the end of which He became the first 'born-again' man, thus securing our redemption. Our redemption was not secured upon the Cross of Calvary by the physical death of Christ, as the Bible clearly teaches, but by His spiritual death in the very depths of Hell! According to these misguided men and women who have taken it upon themselves to be teachers in Christendom, mankind was redeemed in Hell!!!
Pointing out that Jesus said to one of the thieves that He would be with the thief in Paradise that very same day seems to have no effect in damping the adoration and love that people have for these false teachers who contradict Scripture by saying that He went immediately to Hell.
Pointing out that Jesus, in His dying breath, said to God, "Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit." holds practically not even one ounce of weight in the debate of whether Jesus' Spirit went willingly to the Father in Paradise or forcefully to Satan in Hell. They hardly bat an eyelid.
Pointing out that no one had to force Jesus to do anything in His obedience to God as the Redeemer of all mankind seems not to worry them that something could be wrong in their support and promotion, both emotionally and financially, of these liars. They forget the verse in their Bible in John 10:17-18 where Jesus Himself proclaims,
"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."
Also pointing out that the Bible tells us that, on the Cross, Jesus was victorious over Satan and his demonic mob does not seem to cause the followers of these false teachers to waver in the least little bit. Colossians 2:15 says very plainly about the Cross that Jesus,
"…having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it (that is, the cross)."
God's Word Being Fulfilled
All of this just confirms that the Bible is perfectly accurate in its prophetic role of being able to show those, who truly love God and His Word, where we are in a particular point in history. It is obvious to those who have been enlightened by the Scriptures that the Great Apostasy is upon us (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
During the last days of the church age, the Bible warns us again and again that false teachers will come with fancy new theologies that will have not one scrap of relevance to the massage of the Gospel, as it was delivered to the saints (Matthew 7; Jude; 2 Timothy 4; etc.). There will be a multitude of deluded teachers who will want to set themselves up as authorities of the Word but who will not have even a basic understanding of the Scriptures (1 Timothy 1:7).
Never-the-less, these so called teachers will gain a multitude of excited and devoted followers who will willingly allow themselves to be fleeced of their life savings to support their financial empires. By covetousness they will exploit their willing victims with deceptive words and fancy sounding preaching (2 Peter 2:3).
The promise that God has made in Proverbs 30:6 concerning these false teachers, that He will rebuke them and prove them to be liars for adding to His word, is evident to the true Christians who want to walk in the Truth of the Scriptures despite whether God blesses them or not. The liars are now on public display to those Christians who are able to consider that they might previously have been wrong in their understanding of Scripture, because they foolishly listened to false teaching without even checking that, perhaps, their 'teacher' was promoting wrong doctrine.
People who are able to see that they have been under the influence of wrong teaching and who come to God, in repentance, with a contrite heart, asking forgiveness for being slack in their vigilance in the past, are having their eyes opened to discern what is actually happening in the spiritual realm. God is revealing who the liars are and those who have a love for the Truth are taking appropriate Biblical action to come back in line with the teachings of Scripture.
However, those who in their pride consider that they could not be wrong, or who consider themselves above being influenced by deception, are being given over to increasing blindness, foolishness and apostasy. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11). They will believe this new theology of Christ's spiritual death and our redemption being secured in Hell because they love the false preachers more than they love the truth of the Word of God. They defend the preachers of obvious heresy rather than obey the voice of the Lord who calls them to separate from their company and expose their evil deeds - so God, true to His Word, progressively gives them over to delusion.
The Case Of The Missing Symbol
At the beginning of this article, I pointed out that when a person tampers with the Word of God by adding to, or by taking away from, or by twisting the meaning in some way, then that tampering will become obvious somewhere up ahead during their future study of the Bible. To be able to persist in their original understanding they now have to either ignore the new evidence that challenges their belief or else twist the meaning once again to accommodate their theological system. However, the Bible does not contradict itself. If there is a contradiction in the particular version of the Bible that you read, then rest assured, it will be because someone has tampered with the intended meaning that has been faithfully written down and preserved in the original languages.
With regard to Jesus having to die spiritually to redeem mankind, we have seen that the Bible clearly shows that it is a lot of nonsense and, under normal circumstances, it should not even be considered for debate. However, in these last, dark days we are not enjoying normal circumstances and we do have to debate this issue, because more and more lazy Christians are coming under the influence of this teaching simply because they listen to every new 'revelation' that comes out of the mouths of their false teachers who continually boast that the Lord told them "this", or the Lord told them "that". Because they love and trust their false teachers so much, they don't even bother to study the Scriptures for themselves to check that the interpretation given is correct. When they do read the Scriptures it is with the understanding that they have learned from their false teachers. And they suppose that their 'teachers' couldn't possibly be wrong.
As we read above, Christ instituted the Lord's Supper and Paul taught the Corinthian church exactly what Jesus told his disciples when he said,
"…that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he comes."
We also read above that God is a God of detail and that He sometimes reveals certain truths by introducing symbols that represents those truths. We then read about the introduction of the Passover feast, which was rich in symbolism, being celebrated in remembrance of what happened back in Egypt. Then we saw the introduction of the Lord's Supper that superseded the old covenant offering of a lamb each year at Passover and Jesus becoming the substitute for the Passover Lamb on our behalf. Again, symbols have been introduced to represent the elements that were sacrificed to God namely the bread, representing His body, and the cup, representing His blood, that we are to partake of, whenever we come together, in remembrance of what Christ accomplished on our behalf.
Also, 1 Corinthians 10:15-16 asks us,
"...Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?"
If we believe that God is not a God of forgetfulness, and we also believe that He has covered every detail in His establishing of the Lord's Supper and the symbols that represent the elements offered to Him in Christ's sacrifice then there is something most horribly wrong with the theology that teaches of our redemption being accomplished, not only by Christ's physical death on a cross and the shedding of His blood, but by His spiritual death in Hell as well. The lie becomes obvious and God, true to His Word, reproves and rebukes these false teachers and proves them as liars to all who would love His Word and seek after Truth.
Where Is The Symbol?
You see, each time we come together as the Body of Christ and partake of the Lord's Supper or Communion, in remembrance of what Christ has done, the implication, according to the 'Christ Died Spiritually' heretics, is that there is a missing symbol.
Scripture informs us that there are only two symbols that we give thanks for. Obviously, if we believe the theology of the false teachers, there should be three. We take the bread and give thanks, and we eat. We then take the cup and give thanks, and we drink. But there is no symbol that we take and give thanks for, by which to commemorate the sacrifice of His Spirit at the hands of Satan and his demons in Hell.
Are we to suppose that God must have forgotten to mention the third symbol in His Word to us and, consequently, we are giving thanks for only two thirds of our redemption?
Of course God didn't forget anything. The question is preposterous. Christ did not offer His Spirit as a sacrifice, nor was His Spirit forcefully dragged into Hell. His Spirit was not part of the price of our redemption. The Word clearly informs us that His Spirit was committed into the hands of The Father.
"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." (1 Peter 3:18).
Some Key Promoters of the Heresy that Jesus Redeemed Us in Hell
and numerous other high profile televangilists in the Word of Faith Movement.
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." Acts 20:28-31
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