That’s right. In Church. The place we should be able to go to for truth. But Satan has so successfully and slyly crept in, unnoticed.
I wonder how many lies we all believe. I’m sure a lot. I will probably never be able to identify all of them that I have fallen for. And yet I hope to search out as many as I can.
The ones that I tell you today are just a few that I’ve noticed. I did a similar post at Christmas time, 6 Christmas Myths. I hope that this helps you realize that we should be looking to the Bible alone and not even to the Church/other Christians for what we believe. While we should absolutely listen to what they have to say, they, too, are human and make mistakes. Only God’s word is flawless.
Lie 1: On day two of creation, God made sky & water.
I remember being taught this. Sometimes I was told He divided the clouds/sky from the oceans/rivers/lakes, etc, and sometimes I was told that He made the sky and water. Both are incorrect.
First of all, the water was already there. Genesis 1:1 & 2 say, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” God hadn’t even created light yet, and there was already water. Why are we taught things differently than how the Bible tells them? I find that frustrating.
There is already water when day two comes along. So what exactly did God do? Genesis 1:6-8 tell us, “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
The answer is, God made the firmament on day two. You might wonder what the firmament is? Well, I can’t tell you because I don’t know myself. However a simple look at some places it is referred to in the Bible does shed some light on what it might be. We just learned that it separates “waters above” from “waters below”. (Psalm 148:4 also supports the statement that there are waters above the heavens.) So whatever material it’s made out of has to be something that holds liquid. Genesis 1:14-17 say that God put lights (the sun, moon, and stars) in this firmament. Psalm 19:1 says the firmament shows His handiwork. It must be an amazing thing! Daniel 12:3 indicates that the firmament is bright and shining.
I personally think that this firmament is pretty close (maybe a few thousand miles up?) because we read in the account of the flood that God opened the “windows of heaven” and let down the waters above onto the earth. I know most people take that passage as being figurative of the clouds raining upon the earth. I think Genesis 8:2 distinguishes between the two too well, but I’m not necessarily challenging it, and for that reason I say this is my personal belief based on my own studies. I also think that if there is a firmament, the Tower of Babel makes a lot more sense. It appears that the builders were trying to reach this structure. (See also Genesis 7:11 and 11:4.)
However, that is all a different discussion. Let’s move on to lie two.
Lie 2: What hell is.
This one isn’t exactly a lie…it’s more of a misconception or wrong impression I was given, and I know other people have also. We all grow up with, well, this idea of a place where the souls of people who have not believed in Jesus Christ go after they die and burn. That is how we picture “hell”.
What nobody ever told me was that the word “hell” in the entire Old Testament is the Hebrew word sheol which simply means the underworld. In fact, the word is synonymous with the words grave and pit. Everyone’s body goes to the grave (in some form or another) after death. (In Genesis 37:35, Jacob himself says he will go there when he dies.) Therefore, you could technically say that in the wording of the Old Testament, we all go to hell.
Furthermore, God is said to be present there, for Psalm 139:7-8 says, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” That is that word sheol. Do a simple search of where sheol is used, and after reading the contexts, you’ll get the picture.
The New Testament is more complicated, as there are three different words used for “hell”. The first is hades which is basically the Greek word for sheol. The second word, tartaroo (tar-tar-o’-o), is “the deepest abyss of hades”. The word is only used once, in 2 Peter 2:4. “…God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment…”
The third word is geenna (pronounced geh’-en-nah), and is probably the word from which our ideas of hell originated. The valley of Hinnom (geenna being derived from that word) was a place outside Jerusalem where the trash was burned. There are several references to it in the Old Testament. The word was used to speak of the place (or state) of the punishment of the wicked. Besides one verse in the book of James, Jesus is the only one quoted as using this word.
There is a lot more we could say on this subject, but my purpose was simply to show that when the word hell is used in the Bible it is not always referring to a place of flames where the wicked burn. Death and hell will one day be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, but that is a wholly different thing. I think we have kind of made the two synonymous when they’re not. In the end, we use the word hell completely wrong.
Lie 3: Cain killed Abel with a rock.
This one is more obvious. I don’t know where it came from honestly. Why would anyone assume that Cain used a rock to kill Abel? I mean, maybe he did, but it’s not a fact, that’s for sure. And yet I’ve heard it said right from the pulpit.
The Bible isn’t specific when it comes to what method Cain used to slay his brother, but I highly doubt it was a rock. This assumption probably comes as a result of the fact that we have been told that early humans were primitive cave men, and not very smart, when in reality they were multiple times more intelligent than we are today. Anyways, if the account in the book of Jasher (a book mentioned in, but not part of, the Bible) is to be trusted, it says that Cain used the iron piece of a plow. Whether or not it’s true, I would probably believe that before I would believe that Cain used a rock.
What are your thought on the things I pointed out? I’m interested to hear your reasoning. Is there a point I didn’t make? How about something to add to the list? Leave a comment! 🙂