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How to see deceptions others accept as truth.

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 14, 2009


The first Passover was observed in Egypt the night before the Israelites were to leave Egypt. The first Passover was a promise of protection, ” the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” To gain this security, detailed instructions were given by God which were to be followed to the letter.

KJV Exodus 12:5-11

5. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover.

Now wait a second. Didn’t Jesus die on the Passover? “Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. 2. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.” KJV Luke 22:1-4. Didn’t Jesus wash the disciples’ feet on the Passover? Why did Jesus wash the feet of the disciples if the ceremony indicated the meal was to be eaten with their shoes on their feet and their staff in hand? This seems contrary to the details given in the book of Exodus.

This scene indicates this story is an acted parable. This is a general rule of interpretation seen throughout the Bible. Whenever an action appears out of the ordinary, it contains not only a literal lesson but a spiritual one.

Many sermons have been written about the last supper. Most often it will contain information describing the condition of the disciples feet, the dust and other debris that may have been picked up along the road. A common story often repeated depicts traditions that may or may not be true. These traditions are not substantiated by the Bible and other sources are never quoted. One of these stories states a tradition existed at the time of Jesus that required a servant wash the feet of the guests. When this story is told with overtones established by popular beliefs it is actually teaching that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples because this was an action tradition dictated. When you strip away tradition you can see the truth. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples not to keep a tradition created by men but because the deed of foot washing illustrated the mission Jesus came to earth to accomplish. When this scripture is examined in a spiritual manner it reveals this was an action meant to show a picture of God. A God that came to earth not only to save mankind but to serve mankind. This is a difficult concept to appreciate based on common knowledge of government practices in this world, hence this subject must be studied spiritually.

Jesus did not come to keep man’s traditions. Man made traditions caused the death of Jesus. Scripture records this fact. “Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.” KJV John 18:38-40. It is not Biblical to release a prisoner on Passover, this is a man made tradition.

Jesus came to this world to keep the word of God. Text shows us Jesus followed God’s word in detail.

KJV Deuteronomy 16:5

5. Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee:

KJV Mark 14:12-13

12. And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the Passover? 13. And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.

The book of Deuteronomy explains that the Passover must be sacrificed outside of the gates. We see in the book of Mark, the Passover was sacrificed and Jesus sent His disciples into the city. This is evidence Jesus knew the details concerning the word of God and followed them to the letter, even unto death. “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.” KJV John 19:17-18. The Passover lamb was to be killed outside the city gates as a sign meant to point His followers back to the scriptures.

Although this information is interesting and for the most part accurate, it is meant to illustrate a very important point. It is the job of each of us to question and check every detail we are given. The story you have just read has one major flaw. Were you able to catch the error? When revealed by scripture the flaw will be completely evident.

How do we check religious details others give us? We need to face the fact, the only way to evaluate the word of God is by the word of God. If we believe the Bible was written by God we must also believe the Bible is written without error. Now let me ask a question, if people really believe the Bible does not contain errors, why do so many consistently use other sources to prove the Bible? Is it easier to find other sources? Are other sources more reliable? Are other sources easier to understand? If other sources are easier to understand, there must be an explanation. The truth is, it is easier to spread deceptions using other sources. The Bible tells us, “they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” KJV 2 Timothy 4:4. Fables and false tales can easily be presented as fact. More often than not these facts are presented without sources or the sources are misquoted. We will see how easy it is to check facts using the Bible.

KJV Matthew 24:24

24. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Jesus tells us it is not possible to deceive the elect, those that choose to follow Him. Some people think once they become Christians they can never be deceived, while others live in constant fear, believing any unholy sight or sound may lead them down a path of destruction. The healthy Christian has a balance. The Bible does not contain text that tells us, once we become Christians we are given all the knowledge we will ever need. There is no miraculous event recorded that indicates Christ’s followers will be given all the wisdom ever needed, with little or no effort on their part.

KJV John 16:12-14

12. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The Bible tells us the Spirit of Truth will Guide us into truth. A guide leads a person to an intended destination. A guide does not do all the work required, there must be an effort on the part of the person being guided. For Christians that effort is study, prayer and service.

Bible study can be like building a wall from concrete blocks. In the beginning it seems like nothing but hard work with nothing exciting to show for the efforts. Apprentice craftsman are not trusted with elaborate materials until they have proven their skill and dedication. In the beginning you may only see the signs of a common gray wall. All the bricks appear to be the same size, shape and color. There seem to be no surprises, but the Spirit sees your careful attention to detail. Is your wall plumb, straight and true? Do you enter into your work with the humble attitude required to learn?

As you labor in your task you begin to recognize the progress. To your surprise, you suddenly find luminescent bricks of different colors and textures. The Spirit is now supplying you with building materials of higher interest and quality. At first, you see these new translucent bricks as a welcome gift. Your attention to detail is taken to a new level as you lay each piece in its appointed position. It takes a while before you learn to take a step back to gain a new perspective. Your mind can hardly believe what your eyes behold. You have gained a higher degree of appreciation for each individual jewel, from this new perspective you gain a realization of a much larger plan.

Suddenly, you are given new details; door, windows, arches and many other new shapes and forms. Your skill level quickly grows. You learn to keep every detail in perfect order. You never know what new element you will be given next as you gain a stronger bond with the Spirit, supplying you the building materials. As each new piece is put in place it reveals a pattern never anticipated and one you could never have planned on your own.

Studying is only one aspect of developing a relationship with God, which is the greater goal and achievement. Many people attempt to obtain a relationship with God through prayer, another important aspect. While some maintain a relationship with God through service to others. How do we determine which approach is correct? Or do we choose whatever method we feel is best for us?

KJV Jeremiah 10:23

23. O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

If we looked at a relationship with God in terms of a marriage relationship we can begin to understand the type of relationship God has intended. God has often used the symbol of a marriage to illustrate the relationship He wants to develop with us. The first marriage on earth was performed before the first Sabbath was observed. What will happen to a marriage if the relationship relies on only a single method of communication? How long will a marriage last if it relies on communication in only one direction? “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” KJV Matthew 6:6. Prayer is an example of one way communication. How often do you hear an answer to your prayers? If God does not speak to us in prayers, how does God communicate with us? There are two ways God speaks to us. Like many human relationships God communicates through His word, the Bible. Another method of communication God uses is seen in the rewards we receive through service to others.

A relationship will not last long if one partner does not read the messages written by the other. Many human relationships rely on the written word. Do you remember receiving the first note, letter or e-mail from a loved one? That first message in writing comes with special feelings that linger for some time. Those first written words are often cherished and preserved for years to come. How do you think God feels when He has spent thousands of years writing you a letter and you are always too busy to read it? “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” KJV 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Reading God’s word should not be work, but a labor of love.

KJV John 14:12-14

12. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Will a relationship fully develop if it contains no physical activities? Spending time together in activities is important to a relationship. Going out to dinner, the museum, shopping and other activities aid in developing a lasting relationship in addition to spending time and learning about one another. Spending time with God can be through serving others. God has promised to give us whatever we need to accomplish the task of helping others. The Bible is filled with examples of Jesus sending out His disciples to continue the work He began. “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” KJV Luke 9:1-2

A balance of each of these elements is essential in developing a lasting relationship with God. Each element will work together to enhance the others. The closer the relationship with God the more you will receive from His word. You will notice words you never knew existed. You will also notice when certain words are not in a verse or parable. You will see truth in a light you have never imagined and in a form no person will ever be able to explain to you, no matter how much they may try. You will know when you are on the right path when you see lessons revealed personally to you that which you find difficult to explain to others. “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.” KJV Psalms 12:6-7

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” KJV Proverbs 3:5-6 When a proper relationship is developed with God you will see life in a whole new light. Your studies will be easier and much deeper. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” KJV Psalms 119:11 Your prayers will develop a life of their own. Your relationship with others through service will become a blessing you had never imagined.

KJV Romans 8:24-28

24. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Having a relationship with God should be like taking a walk in a crowded place with your father. You stay very close, taking no chance of being separated. You want to hold his hand as tightly as you can. There is security in the closeness. You only need to ask and your questions are answered. You never know what to expect, but when there is something to see you know he will lift you up on his shoulders to view the scenes of special importance. Like your father, God does not want you to miss one important detail. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” KJV 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

Parents take pride in teaching their children in the hopes of watching them achieve their goals. Every parent is filled with the vision and hope their child will be successful. God looks at His children in the same manner. When a proper relationship is developed with the Spirit, study, prayer and service will become an integral part of life. They will become as natural as eating or breathing. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” KJV Romans 12:2, Colossians 1:9-11, 1 Corinthians 14:12

How do we prove what is good? In other words, how do we spot a deception? Were you able to spot the deception in the story at the beginning of this study? If you didn’t you may want to take notice of the following steps that will help you to spot a deception.

Judging everything by the Bible is an overused term. It has been used so often it has become nothing more than a cliché. More people use that statement than can explain it. Here are a few easy steps that should help you detect deceptions.

List the main topics. In the story above there were three main topics.

Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.

Jesus did not come to earth to fulfill man’s traditions.

The Passover was to be sacrificed outside the city gates.

Check to see if text was provided to prove each statement.

Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.

Exodus 12:11. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover.

Jesus did not come to earth to fulfill man’s traditions.

KJV John 18:38-40 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

The Passover was to be sacrificed outside the city gates.

KJV Deuteronomy 16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee:

As a rule doctrine needs to be proved using multiple text. God will repeat every point He considers important. If multiple text is not given the point should be considered suspect. If only one proof text is given search for additional text using a key word.

Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.

Key words to search may include, shoes, feet and Passover

Eating the Passover with shoes on is only mentioned in the Bible once. The book of Numbers lists other instructions to be observed during the Passover. Numbers 28 was also used as proof text. A completed reading of the text will show this. Reading all the text containing the word Passover will give you a complete understanding of the service.

Jesus did not come to earth to fulfill man’s traditions.

Key words, tradition, custom, Passover.

The release of a prisoner during the Passover is mentioned as a custom in only one verse, John 18. The scene is also described in Matthew 27, Mark 15 and Luke 23. Each of these text makes it clear the order to release Barabbas was given by Pilate. It would be unlikely Pilate would be following Jewish ceremonies, although he did agree to this one custom. It is less likely God would design a ceremony allowing a Roman governor to officiate a ceremony. This should raise questions.

The Passover was to be sacrificed outside the city gates.

Deuteronomy 16 is the only verse in the Old Testament indicating the Passover is to be sacrificed outside of the city gates. Supporting text can be found in Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22, John 19:17 and Luke 23:33 describing the location of Jesus’ crucifixion.

The three points we are considering give us two examples to follow when questioning information we receive. The first example shows that text exists to support an interpretation, but only one text. This establishes grounds to question the statements given. The second example shows the key point is mentioned in scripture only once but other text clearly support the statements.

How do we investigate the question of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples during the Passover? If the first Bible study cannot prove the statement either right or wrong it will remain a question. The Bible has a way of revealing facts when you least expect it. A close study of the word PASSOVER in the New Testament will shed extra light on the subject.

KJV John 13:1-5

1. Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; 3. Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4. He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

John clearly explains Jesus washed the disciples feet before the Passover. A simple explanation easily found in the Bible.

KJV 2 Peter 1:16

16. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

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