A Long Time Ago When the Earth was Green…..
A long time ago when the earth was green and perfect, it was a beautiful planet with a beautiful garden inhabited by two beautiful people. The likes of the beautiful people who lived in that garden have not been seen before or since that era of peace and tranquility. They had no worries, no cares, no enemies, no work schedule, no taxes, and not one single care about tomorrow. So…. they invented something to worry about. They worried that God was not fair, that He was telling them lies, and that He didn’t have their best interests at heart. They were getting their false information from a very cunning creature who was telling them all about the lies of God and the wonderful life they would have if they turned from God and believed him instead. Instead of telling the snake to shut his lying face and get out of the garden, they listened to him. Instead of discussing it with God, and at least getting His side of the debate, they continued to listen to the snake. Eventually, the couple knew they were going to have to choose a side. The man was basically a coward. He sent his wife to the last discussion with the serpent. God had made him the woman from one of his ribs. So if God was telling the truth and she died when she ate the forbidden fruit he was pretty sure God would just make him another wife from another rib. He had plenty of ribs to spare. That way he would have the same number of ribs on both sides anyway. It was a win win situation from Adam’s view point. He would either be a god, or he would get a new wife.
Silly Eve listened to the snake call God a liar and never batted an eye. She probably said something like, ‘Oh REALLY! Now I get it. God is holding us back! Thanks for the update Mr. Serpent. By the way – when did you learn to talk?’
Now, Eve and Adam had met God in person! They had the truth from His own mouth, and yet they fell for the devil’s lies. We are no better than they are. Unlike Adam and Eve we do have Gods written word. It is called the Bible. The Bible in its original manuscript(s) is totally without error. You can be sure that God has preserved His word for us today. There are manuscripts from ages past that are mirror images of the Bible passages of today. Don’t doubt it. God, who spoke the world into existence and created everything that exists certainly is able to write and keep a book exactly as He wants it to be. And blessing upon blessing, that Book is available to us today. All we have to do is read the book and believe God. People are critical of Eve for falling for Satan’s lie (you can be a god) because she knew God Almighty personally. Yet people today – who have God’s written word – are always trying to twist or interpret God’s word to suit their own desires or social/political agenda. Don’t be guilty of such folly. The consequences are dire and unspeakably dreadful. There are versions of the Bible that have not been translated with the goal of preserving God’s word exactly as written. Rather they want to make it say something that matches a personal, political, or social agenda or belief. You must know enough about what the Bible actually says to be able to spot evil translations and error easily. The next paragraph may seem like I am switching subjects, but please give me a little leeway here..
Some years ago I saw a young woman on a TV new show complaining that she was being unfairly treated by cuts to her welfare money. She had two or three children, had never been married, and received no support from the children’s father(s). She was getting monthly government checks that covered day care for her children, tuition to college/vocational school, an apartment, health insurance, and spending money for groceries, clothes, and other things as well. She said it was unfair to cut her money because her children should not suffer for her mistakes. I have news for her - children ALWAYS suffer for the mistakes of the parents. The children of Adam and Eve have suffered for their mistakes since the big mistake. Most people can recall some personal suffering caused by the mistakes of their own parents. And, as hard as it is to admit, our own children have suffered from some mistakes we have made. There is no way around it. People aren’t perfect. Nobody gets perfect parents. Nobody makes a perfect parent. And parents don’t get perfect kids. It is an imperfect situation.
The point is that nobody is perfect. No generation gets perfect parents or perfect kids. That is why it is so important to constantly hold fast to the truth. And to hold fast to the truth we must know exactly what the absolute unchanging truth is according to Jesus Christ. The spoiler – the devil – is always there fighting just as hard to deceive as those who love the truth are fighting to teach the truth to others. Every individual of every generation needs to be on constant guard against the wiles of the devil! The core of the devil’s lies is the same lie. ‘You can be a god’. He has a lot of supporting lies, but that is the main lie. He attacks from every angle. One word for the lies Satan has woven into everything is called ‘Gnosticism’.Gnosticism is:
Blending of mystical teachings with scripture. This is like stirring sewage in with your scrambled eggs. It may still look like scrambled eggs but it certainly wouldn’t be something you wanted to actually eat. By the way – ‘esoteric’ claims to have secret or hidden knowledge. It isn’t available to everyone. That adds some mysticism to Gnosticism. It is true that some Bible teachings are harder to understand than other, but it is all there for anyone who wants to study it. There isn’t anything that is saved for only some people.
Wrapped up in Christian terminology. Gnosticism just loves to use Christian terminologyInescapable in society until the end of time.
Even present before the church – as in the Garden of Eden – promising Eve godhood through works (just eat the fruit – that’s all it takes)
‘Shape shifting’ – Just when you think you have the lie quarantined in one falsehood, Satan jumps tracks and starts twisting some other part of God’s word. He leaves enough truth to make it hard to separate truth from falsehood unless you are very well aware of what God actually has to say in the Bible.
The constant thread in Gnosticism is to blast scripture and undermine it at every turn – but it is often wrapped up in twisted Biblical terminology. If it attacks scripture, then Gnosticism is in there somewhere
Is a philosophy – a viewpoint that tries to mesh the God of the Bible with human ideas and values
This may sound like something that occurred in 100AD but Neo-Gnosticism is infiltrating the church today
Mystical. It takes something simple and makes it complicated. Gnosticism says the word of God is mystical instead of straight forward – so it needs a mystical interpretation.
Emotionalism trumps scripture – so why even bother to know scripture? It’s all about how you ‘feel’.
Revelation beyond scripture – or revelation that ‘clarifies’ scripture. Anyone can claim to be a prophet and there is no one with authority to deny the authenticity of their prophecies. Forget the Old Testament that said if they make any prophecies that fail to come to pass then they should be put to death. That policy would take care of all the Charismatic prophets in one fell swoop!
Human Reason - Attempts to reconcile what seems right or how things should be according to mankind to what IS right according to God and how things really are.
From Gnosticism comes apostasy
A Gnostic might be confused and believe that the truths of God can be mingled with the philosophy of this world and still be accepted by God
But in apostasy – people actually understand that there is no way to mix the things of God with the things of the world – and still have anything to do with God. I suppose Cain would be an apostate. First, he knew the truth of God, but obviously did not accept it. Second, he tried to mix his own ideology or philosophy with the things of God. Well, that didn’t work. God refused Cain’s offering. So Cain, instead of repenting of his own Gnostic philosophy, became an apostate. He knew the truth – and he rejected it. He chose his own way over the way of God.
The best way to stymie or thwart Gnosticism is to know sound doctrine. And the best thing an imperfect parent can do for an imperfect (though positively loved and adored) child is to personally learn Bible Doctrine and make teaching your child sound doctrine a priority as well. Then when you hear Gnostic ideas speak up and say you cannot mix the things of God with the things of the world.
Gnostic and apostate theology is taught in seminaries, Sunday schools, and straight from the pulpit. So, stay alert. A well known quote says, ‘the price of freedom is eternal vigilance’. Even more important the price of pure Bible doctrine acceptable to God is also eternal vigilance.
And – don’t grow weary in well doing – for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. A new heaven and a new earth filled with righteousness is coming.
Galatians 6:9 ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’
2 Thessalonians 3:13 ‘But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.’
2 Peter 3:13 ‘Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’
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