BEWARE OF , “ONE-VERSE CHARLIES”

If you take a Bible verse out of context, you can turn its intended meaning on its head.  I’ll give you a perfect example, and it serves as a warning that there are alleged pastors out there who are intentionally or unintentionally teaching false doctrine.  Either way, they are unfit to teach the Word of God.

There is a common false teaching that Christians do not need to follow the Dietary Laws after Jesus’ resurrection, and false teachers usually and predictably point to Acts 10:10 to 15 which reads:

Acts 10:10-15 (KJV)
10  And he (Peter) became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11  And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12  Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13  And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Okay, now doesn’t that sound like God is telling Peter he can now eat anything he wants because God has cleansed it?  There it is in plain language, right?  Case closed, right?

Wrong!!

To understand God’s message to Peter, you have to start this lesson where it begins at Chapter 10:1.  This Roman Centurion named Cornelius had heard rumors of the Gospel and wanted to know more, but up to that time, God had limited teaching of the Gospel to only Jews, and Cornelius was a Gentile.  Cornelius sent an emissary to Peter, asking that Cornelius be taught the Gospel.

Now we arrive at Acts 10:10-15 where Peter is getting a vision from God.  Now this was ten years after Jesus’ resurrection, and Peter is telling the vision Messenger (possibly God himself) that he won’t eat unclean foods and hasn’t ever done so — and that should be your first clue if you are paying attention.  If the resurrection of Jesus meant the Dietary Laws no longer need to be observed, how come Peter, who was one of Jesus’ disciples, is still following the Dietary Laws ten years after Jesus was resurrected?  Hmmm???

Okay, now I’m not going to do all your work for you, because you won’t remember or appreciate it if I do.  Continue reading and you will learn that the Messenger (or God himself) was telling Peter he was now allowing the Gentiles to be taught the Gospel, beginning with Cornelius.

You see, as a Gentile, Cornelius was considered Common, or unclean by Jews.  God is telling Peter not to call a Gentile common (or unclean) because he has now allowed the Gospel to be revealed to them — and cleanse them.  In fact, in later chapters you will read that Peter realized this and he explained it to his fellow disciples (now Christians) in very plain and easy to understand language. Peter did so because the others were against revealing the Gospel to any Gentile when Cornelius’ emissary contacted them.

This is just one rather perfect example of how self-proclaimed teachers of God’s Word use God’s Word to deceive and mislead.  Come to think of it, when Jesus was being tempted by Satan, Satan used very subtly twisted Old Testament Bible scripture to try to convince Jesus to put God to the test and throw himself off a cliff!  After all, Satan said, the angels would save him.  Satan is a VERY clever person, and he knows scripture very well, certainly more than most of our pastors.

So should we all still be following the Dietary Laws?  Peter certainly was, and it wasn’t because he was a Jew.  He was now a Christian Jew (like me), and he was still refusing to eat anything unclean ten years after Jesus’ resurrection.

Like most of you, I was told the fat lie that I could eat anything I wanted, and I did until age 35, when I discovered the benefits of following those Dietary Laws.  I realized they were a health guide for Humans, backed up by current medical research.  But hey, you won’t go to Hell just for not following the Dietary Laws, but you WILL get sick and die prematurely, so the sin is really against yourself — but isn’t all sin ultimately against yourself?  You bet it is!

Ignorant people think the Big Ten are to protect others from their evil acts.  No, the Big Ten are to be followed if you want your own life to be relatively problem free and fulfilling.  I follow God’s Laws because I’m selfish and want to avoid life’s pitfalls.  I learned early-on that If you ignore God’s Laws, your life will be filled with all kinds of turmoil, strife, avoidable problems and heartache.

I only wish I’d realized the benefits of following the Dietary Laws from birth.  I’m almost 71 years of age, and everybody thinks I’m barely 50-55.  My wife is absolutely gorgeous and just turned 66.  She looks like an extremely well-preserved 40 at most.  In addition, we are both very healthy, maintain a very healthy weight and are able to do hard, physical work very few people our age could match.  Yes, as with anything else God tells us to do, life is good if you follow his Word, his wisdom and his Commandments.

What a shock!

Carl F. Worden

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