The Bible: Conformed or Transformed? - Creative Focus Publishing

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The Bible: Conformed or Transformed?

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The Bible: Conformed or Transformed?

Summary

The Bible: Conformed or Transformed?
Summary
Today more than ever before, the Bible is under scrutiny, and many of  its truths are being ignored, challenged or misinterpreted.  When people  believe that the Bible is merely a book of history, or contains only  fictional stories, it is clearly evident that they have never  experienced the power to be found within its sacred pages, or indeed,  the author, God Himself.  If people believe that it is the only true and  authentic source to all that is needed to live a full and complete  life, leading to success, true meaning, and full confidence in a  promised future that goes even beyond the confines of this life, would  they be more inclined to read it and embrace it?  This book delves into  the deeper issue of the greatest challenge of every single human being –  to be transformed from the inside out, or to remain conformed to a  world system that dulls and deadens the spirit within.  Discover the  source to all that is good in life, and in the process, experience your  own transforming power through the unchanging truths offered in the  Bible.

Sample

Chapter 1 - Dispelling Myths

I could not even begin to write a book about the Bible, and how it transforms lives, if I hadn’t experienced it first-hand  myself. However like many people, at one time, I had no idea just how  powerful the Word of God is when it comes to changing people for the  better, from the inside-out. In fact, it goes beyond changing  people, it actually discards our old life, and creates a brand new one. I  would say that’s awesome and powerful. But I have to say at the  beginning, that although I’ve read the Bible since a child, and even  memorized many Scriptures, my life was not transformed and made new  until I discovered the God of the Bible. My real journey to becoming new  and transformed began with a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, and  this grew into a lifelong relationship with Him. He alone was able to  make the Word come alive in my heart and cause it to bear fruit in my  life. If you haven’t invited Jesus into your life and would like to do  so, please turn to the end of the book.

Now, when it comes to  dispelling the many myths about the Bible, it is imperative to  understand the source of where these myths originate. For one thing, a  very common myth is that the Bible is only for Jews and Christians. But  the truth is, the Bible is given to every single person born on this  earth for all time, regardless of religion, culture or race. It is not  for an “exclusive” club. But Satan has so blinded the minds of  unbelievers to try and keep the Word of God hidden because he knows how  powerful and life-changing it really is. If he can keep people  believing a lie about the Bible, he can keep them from ever knowing God  as He is, and the only way to know God is to know the Bible. Another  goal of Satan is to continue to make believers so busy that they will  scarcely take the time to pick up a Bible and read it.

But if our gospel be  hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath  blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the  glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto  them. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4


Notice in verse 4, that  Satan is referred to as the “god of this world.” Myths about the Bible  are a worldly thing, and originate from Satan. If you doubt the validity  of the Bible, and the many truths within its pages, then those thoughts  are not your own, they were planted there by the deceiver. He has been  doing this from the very beginning. He did it with Adam and Eve in the  Garden of Eden. He caused them to doubt God’s Word.
  

Now the serpent was more  subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he  said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree  of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the  fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is  in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it,  neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the  woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat  thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,  knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for  food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to  make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave  also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them  both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig  leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Genesis 3:1-7

    
In verse 1, Satan causes  the woman to question God, and in verse 3, he outright tries to make  her believe that God is a liar. He does exactly the same thing today by  twisting God’s Word ever so slightly and get us off track. One of the  ways I believe he does this is through the many watered-down  versions of the Bible. You wouldn’t even detect this unless you started  comparing the King James Version (arguably the closest translation to  the original Greek and Hebrew texts), to the other versions, which have  removed thousands, close to 65,000 in the NIV, of key words and entire  verses. I am thankful that a good friend, who had done a great deal of  research on the different versions of the Bible, pointed this out to me.  Otherwise I would have continued blindly on the path of reading other  versions that I now believe cannot be trusted.
     
We may not even think of  this, but many dangerous cults began when they took only a few verses  of the Bible out of context, left the church and started their own  religion. Other religions began when they wrote their own version of the  Bible and discarded the tried, tested and true Greek and Hebrew  versions of the texts we rely on today. And like I said earlier, some of  the modern translations have mis-translated the original Greek and  Hebrew texts, discarded pertinent verses and portions of Scripture,  and/or added words that have nothing to do with the original meaning of  the text.
     

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

     
What does it mean to  rightly divide the word of truth? It means that we must learn to study  the Bible in context. We must check several passages of Scripture to  make sure that the one verse agrees with other verses in the Bible. Why  do you think there are four different writers for the Gospels in the New  Testament—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Each of these books record the  ministry of Jesus, each written by a different man, and yet, if you  check each book, they will agree and harmonize with one another. And if  you check several books in the Old Testament beginning in Genesis, and  most notably in Isaiah, they prophesy the coming of the Lord Jesus  hundreds of years before His divine birth, death and resurrection. So  the Old Testament agrees with the New Testament to form one complete  Bible.
     
Another myth I’ve heard  is that the Bible is no longer relevant for today. People, unfamiliar  with the Bible, particularly pick on the King James Version and use of  “thee’s” and “thou’s.” Because they do not find the Bible an easy read,  they simply discard it thinking that because they don’t understand it,  then it has no use for them. Perhaps this explains why other versions  are so watered down, in order to reach people that claim ignorance when  it comes to reading and understanding the Word of God! Yet, nothing  could be further from the truth. Would God, who loves us and want us to  know Him, hand us a Bible about Himself that we couldn’t understand? The  only reason that we can’t understand the things of God as outlined in  His Word is that we have been blinded by the evil one. Once we know the  Lord, He opens up the Scripture to us, and we understand whatever the  Holy Spirit teaches us.
     

But the Comforter, which  is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach  you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I  have said unto you. John 14:26

     
This is one of the  greatest miracles of the work of the Holy Spirit and how He not only  teaches us (believers) all things, but brings to remembrance what things  He has taught. We may forget many things, but the Word of God is  impossible to forget. How many books can do that?
     
Another very damaging  myth is that some people believe the written Word is not inspired by  God. Yet these verses say emphatically that it is:
     

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. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

     
Whatever is in the Bible  can be trusted because God said it. And it is intended to be used in a  way that is profitable and beneficial. When we read it, we will benefit  in growing in the truth, we will be reproved and saved by it, we will be  corrected from our evil and sinful ways, and we will be instructed on  which way to take. The fruits of it will result in good news, so we will  spread around the goodness and power of God’s Word. We need big doses  of the Word more than ever today as we see morality crumbling at every  turn, and violence on the rise.
     
Beware when someone says  that they have an “in” with God, and that God has shown them something  special and extra that He has not revealed to anyone else. This is how  cults start. This is essentially what the Gnostics thought, that they  had a special “in” with God that no one else was privy to.
     

Knowing this first, that  no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the  prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God  spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:20-21

          
The Word of God is meant to be read and studied both privately, prayerfully and collectively with a trusted group of born-again Bible-believing  Christians. Scripture must always agree with other Scripture, otherwise  we are not reading it by revelation of God, nor are we understanding it  with a spiritually renewed mind. People may disagree on doctrinal  issues, but, so often in these cases, the Word of God has not been  adequately studied, and people often accept what the minister says,  trusting his opinion, rather than checking out the Word of God for  themselves. This can be and is a very dangerous thing. I’ve seen entire  congregations suffer and even split because of errant doctrine being  taught and go unchallenged by fellow believers who knew something was  wrong.
     
Now I would like to  mention one last thing about myths when it comes to what we believe  about the Bible, and that has to do with broad-mindedness. Many years ago, I worked in various office jobs, and would always seem to meet someone who was either a new-age  believer, or someone who considered themselves to be enlightened and  embraced many different religions of the world (Unitarians, for  example). We would engage in some pretty heated and interesting  conversations. Of course, I would always defend the inerrancy of the  Bible, and would stress that without a belief in the truths of the  Bible, a person was lost and had no hope of getting into heaven. And  they would use the cliché, “All roads lead to God,” or “There are many  roads to heaven.” Many times, I would be scoffed at, laughed at, and  labelled a religious intolerant and narrow-minded. After awhile I got used to the name-calling  and it never bothered me because I knew that persecution is to be  expected when you stand up for what you know to be true. Jesus said that  we would be hated for His sake, and it is still so true today, perhaps  more so. Having come from the darkness of cult involvement myself, I  knew how easy it was to get drawn in by what sounded like the truth, but  in reality, Satan was up to his old tricks, whispering sweet lies that  would destroy you in the end. How easy it is to go along with popular  opinion so that you can avoid persecution and feel like you belong with a  group of people who are “like-minded.” I did that too. However I  never forgot one of the most significant couple of verses in the Bible  when it comes to holding onto the truths in the Bible:
     

Enter ye in at the  strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to  destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is  the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there  be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14

     
People may scoff at  these verses and say that in the end, we will all be saved, but it is  pretty difficult, not to mention foolish and unwise, to misinterpret  this passage just to suit what we want it to say. Even if we do  misinterpret it, would you want to take a chance that you are one of the  “many” that has been duped into believing you are not on the road that  leads to destruction? Just to insure we understand the gravity of this,  let’s take a look at the word “destruction.” In the Greek it is a word  that is a derivative of the word apollumi, which means to destroy fully.  When you are on the narrow road that Jesus talks about, you will know  it without question, because you will no longer be as popular as you  once were. People will label you, shun you, ostracize you, and so on.  You may even lose all your friends and even your job. However you will  go to bed at night with a clear conscience, and know that you stood on  the Word of God as it has been given and revealed to you.
           
Another passage that is difficult to argue with is the following:
           

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

     
When I have quoted this  verse many times over the years to people who rely on either their own  good works to get them into heaven, or God’s grace (without them ever  having to repent of their sin), no one has ever argued with this verse.  They have been annoyed, and quickly changed the subject, but they have  never been able to argue with it. I find that most interesting. Are they  many roads that lead to heaven, like people have said? Not according to  the Bible. One thing I noticed is that when people are broad-minded  and read all sorts of books having to do with religion, they get easily  confused. Because they don’t really stand for anything, when trials  come along, they have no one to turn to that can really pull them out of  their predicaments. They don’t have an anchor because they don’t have  the Savior, Jesus Christ. When they suffer loss, they suffer deeply, and  suffer without hope, because they don’t have the Lord to comfort them.  They may try to shut off the valve of pain by drinking or taking drugs,  or any other number of self-imposed vices, but the fact remains, you cannot change the truth of God’s Word. We are all lost and in need of a Savior.
     
The Word of God is His  greatest gift to us, meant to lead us to Himself and to life in  abundance, to life as it’s meant to be lived. Yes, we can believe  whatever we want, but life will never turn out as it was intended. Even  worse, our own beliefs about the Bible and about God will either lead us  to eternal life and heaven, or it will lead us to complete and utter  destruction with no hope of salvation after we die. That is a pretty  serious consequence to what we believe about the Bible. Today we are  blessed because we are still alive and we can change our mind about what  we believe. We can pick up a Bible and start reading in earnest, and  develop a hunger for righteousness that God will fulfill. When we do, we  will begin to discover the power of the Word of God to transform our  ordinary existence and turn it into something extraordinary.

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Currently this book is sold as an e-book only and there is currently no printed version.  Although this book is sold in multiple different countries, it is currently in English only.
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