How Men Have Come Between "Christians" and Their God.

In other words, it would appear that the Christian faith has been hijacked, by men under the influence of Satan.

Instead of concentrating on the most important part of our short human life - growing in the character of God, as Jesus did (and thereby showing God that we do indeed want to become part of His spiritual family) - we have been given a false hope to follow, by the truth of the original Bible becoming contaminated with lies.

To put it another way, most Christians have been taught a mixture of truth and lies, and instead of knowing exactly why God has given "life" to men, they have been diverted into the "broad" way that misses the main point.

Mat 7:13 NET.  "Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.

What is a Christian?

First up, let us look at the definitions of two words from WordWeb.

Christianity - "A monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior"

Christian - "Following the teachings or manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus Christ".

As we read these definitions, I think that all Christians would agree that they are well expressed  definitions.

However, as you look around the world in this twenty first century,  there are many, many, groups who each claim to be following the Bible, and there are many different understandings of what it means to be "Christ-like".

In other words, there is no unity in the Christian faith at this point in time.

This leaves us with a very broad definition of a "Christian" - basically anyone who feels somewhat attached to a Christian church or group.

How did this "watered down" definition of a "Christian" come about?

The answer includes a number of points.

However, before we get into the specific points that I feel have contributed to the problem of Christianity losing its way, we need to keep in mind the overview.

Who is presently in control?

While nothing happens on earth without God's knowledge and consent ,

(Mat 10:29 NET  Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.)

 that does not mean that God approves of all that is done.

God has "backed off" from "forcing" things to happen in ways to suit Him.

Act 14:16 NLT  In the past He permitted all the nations to go their own ways,

In other words, men, under the sway of Satan, have the "freedom" to try to sort out the problems caused by human nature, using their own ideas.  In other words, following the model set by Adam and Eve.

God has told us that obeying His Ten Commandments will bring an abundant and happy life for all. (Deut 28:1-9).  Mankind in general, has rejected that plan, and is trying to come up with a way men can sin (break God's Laws - 1 John 3:4) yet avoid the penalty that those broken Laws incur.  A law that is not upheld by penalties, is no longer a law - it is just a suggestion.

This situation - of men trying to change God's Commandments to just suggestions - suits Satan,  because he knows that by men moving away from obeying God, it will stop them from becoming part of God's spiritual family (Mat 19:16,17) . Satan is the "adversary" because he is against what God wants to do. Also, Satan wants people to worship him  (Mat 4:9, Rev 13:4)  so anything that moves people's loyalties away from God, is a positive to him.

At this present time, God and Christ have not taken up the reins of power (Rev 11:17), so the "control" of the earth has been left to the influence of Satan (Eph 2:1-3), and men using their human reasoning (a deadly cocktail that is sure to bring down the wrath of God in the end).  That said, God still has overall control, and will intervene when the time is right, and certainly does intervene in our personal lives if we invite Him to.

We have been warned to be on the look-out for false teachers.

In the Themes List - "Watch out for false teachers" - there are around 40 verses (from both the OT and NT) that warn us that false teachers (teaching a mixture of truth and error) are going to be active.

How has Christianity been hijacked?

Point one - a faulty source document.

By and large, men have taken every verse of our English Bibles as directly inspired by God (because of an inaccurate translation of 2 Tim 3:16), when the reality is that today's English Bibles are a mixture of truth (all the words of God) and error (some of the words of men).

The lies men have inserted into the Bible have, to a large extent, been put there by men to suit men. The following generations of men are drawn to these lies like bees to a honey pot. Then, to further compound the problem, men give more weight to one corrupt verse than dozens of verses that contain conflicting truth.

For example: Men use around 20 verses to "prove" that there are more than one "God" - and there are around 150 verses that prove - or support the concept - that there was, and is, only one God. See the article "One or Two Gods?".

Our understanding of what it means to be a "Christian" would be much better if we had access to Bibles with all the errors either corrected or removed.  That said, the Bible in its present form, presents us with a test.  Do we look for the verses that show us God's will, or do we look for verses that water down God's instructions?

Point two - faulty church government.

The Bishops of 1611 must have felt empowered with the support of King James, and started to "insert" thoughts and ideas that they felt should be in the Bible, rather than just giving the world a correct translation. We must remember that the Christian religion in England - up to this time - had been greatly influenced by the Latin Vulgate and the Roman Catholic Church. Men were drawn to the "power" the hierarchy structure that the church gave to the priests.  As I understand it, the hierarchy system wanted by the Bishops of 1611 was based on the Roman Catholic Church which was in turn based on the Roman Empire method of government, and has little to do with original Biblical instructions.

Jesus certainly did not endorse the hierarchy/bureaucracy form of government that existed in His day.

Mar 10:42-44 NET.  Jesus called them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them.  (43)  But it is not this way among you. Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant,  (44)  and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all.

The  Apostle Peter also confirmed this.

1Pe 5:3 NET.  And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock.

To better understand how this "altering" of the original Scriptures took place to bring in the "hierarchy/bureaucracy" form of government, see the article "The Great Deception".

As I read the Bible, it allows for some structure within groups, but NOT for the purpose of controlling people. If a group of believers is large enough, they can elect a deacon to take care of the physical details (hall setup, and so on), and an Overseer to look after organizing the spiritual details (speaking schedule, and so on). The positions are not "for life", and the arrangement can be changed by either party as conditions change.

The churches/groups that use a hierarchy//bureaucracy for church government, become "locked in" to any errors they might have. Usually people who want to "address" errors (false teachings) are belittled or forced to leave. Plus, people lower down the hierarchy will usually not object to the behaviour of those above them (because that may stop their upward movement in the organization).

Point three - not looking for the most important words.

One badly translated verse in our current English Bibles, has done a lot of damage.

2Ti 3:16 NET.  Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

People are quick to jump on this verse, as it allows them to claim that the lies and bad translations inserted by men, are still "inspired by God".

Then others go even further, and use this verse and it's incorrect concept, to say that every individual verse carries equal weight. Therefore, if they find just one or two verses that say what they want (proof texts), then they can ignore all the other verses that might say something different.

A correct translation does not allow for either thought. The original Greek uses the expression "God breathed". Since we can not speak without breathing, it points to the words coming from deep-down inside. As I understand it, 2 Tim 3:16 should say something like -

Every word spoken by God is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

When corrected, this verse is telling us to put more weight on the words spoken by God, than the words of men just recording history, or giving their current understanding of events. I have no doubt that the Apostle Paul had Deut 8:3 in mind when he wrote v16 - and Jesus confirmed (in Mat 4:4) that the words spoken by God are the important ones.

This puts the first five books of the Bible - the Law - above the rest, because they contain the most words directly spoken by God. The Prophets (passing on God's instructions) are next (Jesus was a Prophet) followed by the Apostles (taught by the prophet Jesus, and sent out as a witness), and then, the words of wise men, and last, men in general..

Point four - not understanding our need for immortality.

Every week during the evening news, you hear of someone dying, and then they are spoken of as "twinkling stars" or "looking down from heaven" or some other phase that implys they did not really die - they just changed location.

In other words, the majority of Christians believe that they are already immortal.

The truth of the Bible is that we are not.

Eze 18:20 NET  The person who sins is the one who will die.[the rest of the verse shows that death at judgment time is what is being talked about = spiritual/permanent death]  A son will not suffer for his father's iniquity, and a father will not suffer for his son's iniquity; the righteous person will be judged according to his righteousness, and the wicked person according to his wickedness.

One of the major reasons that God gives us physical life - is that we need to come to the conclusion that we NEED immortality - because we don't have it. God can give it, but why would He "waste" such a special gift on someone who doesn't want it.

False teachers, who teach that man is already immortal, destroy man's understanding of the plan of God - the "logos".  People should be making an all out effort to show God that they really do want to keep all His laws. God will not give the gift of immortality to someone who rejects His laws as a way of life.

Num 15:30-31 NET  " 'But the person who acts defiantly, whether native-born or a resident foreigner, insults the LORD. That person must be cut off from among his people.  (31)  Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken his commandment, that person must be completely cut off. His iniquity will be on him.' "

People and groups who are trying to water-down or do away with God's laws, or turn God's Commandments into suggestions, are in effect saying that they would rather have a short mortal life, and then die forever, than put in the effort to be able to receive immortality as a gift from God.

Point five - not understanding the Sabbath and God's Holy Days.

The weekly Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, and annual Holy Days (Lev 23) are important anchors of the Christian faith.

The Sabbath (if correctly kept) causes us to step aside from our worldly pursuits for a day, and refocus our minds on God, what He expects from us, and the people He is working with.

By keeping the annual Holy Days, we step through the seven major parts of God's plan each year, and the process required to turn "mortal clay" into "immortal spirit" -  the reason He has created humanity.

True Christianity swapped for a counterfeit Christianity.

Mat 19:17 NET " ...  if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

By rejecting God's clear statements (the Ten Commandments must be observed), and inserting lies into the Bible that are designed to support man's ideas, men have successfully hijacked the Christian cause.

The fate of those who reject God's instructions.

In the Bible, God has prophesied and then brought to pass, the destruction of many nations and empires, that have rejected His instructions on how to live (in obedience to His Laws). For example, the Canaanites, Egypt, Tyre, Israel (twice), Ammorites, Sodom,  the Roman Empire (six times), the Persian Empire, Sodom and Gomorrah, and so on.

Today, the majority of people on earth are not keeping God's Commandments the way He intended us to do (see "The Big Ten"). For those who don't repent and change, they can look forward to experiencing the heavy hand of God on them and the world.

Mat 24:21-22 NET.  For then there will be great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen.  (22)  And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Men have set up counterfeit systems in every part of our society, and even a counterfeit Christianity.

These counterfeit systems are going to be destroyed, and the people who should have been setting the standard for the rest of the world to follow (the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel), will go into captivity - which will give them time to think about returning to God the Father.

Much more to the story.

This article is just an overview, and there is a lot more information available about each point raised.

Some of the points are covered in other articles on this site, others will require you to research them to get the answers.

However, the bottom line is - because religious leaders have rejected true Christianity (obeying all God's Laws as Christ did), and instead have taught people a counterfeit "Christianity" (one with truth and error mixed), they have to bear their responsibility for the death and destruction that is coming on the world.

God gives the world - and people - time to repent, change, and obey.

If we do - fine.

If we don't - then we must look forward to God's correction.

He will use all the forces of nature (for example:- earthquakes, famine, wild animals, upsets in the weather) and also the forces of men (for example:- war, atomic bombs, torture and slavery) to bring about that correction. (Mat 24, Rev 6:12-17).

Bob Orchard Oct 2011

While this information is made freely available (Mat 10:8b), and can be copied, it is done with the understanding that there will only be fair and honest use of the material, and that it will be copied in full with no alterations.

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