YOU HAVE SEEN AND HEARD, BUT IS IT SO?

Many readers as well as the writer have heard a number of Bible stories over the years. Most heard by the scribe were true; however, some were only partially accurate. Some of the stories told had one or more pictures to illustrate them. The stories, including the pictures, were likely told in all honesty. They were accepted as factual without thinking or properly studying them. Perhaps those who heard the stories taught them to others in all good faith and conscience. People have been misled by telling Bible stories without first checking them for accuracy. Please take time to consider four things you may have honestly been taught, though incorrectly from a child. Following these four stories, please ask yourself if you might have incorrectly been taught about other matters. In either case, you must now decide what is right and if you need to make changes.

First, consider the ark of Genesis 6. Generally, those who have drawn, painted, made models, or built an ark have it looking like present day sea-going vessels (see drawing on front of tract). Many put two or more doors and windows on the ark. Windows or portholes are frequently put in the side of the ark. However, read Genesis 6:14-16, and you will notice that the ark looked more like a box, rectangular in shape. The word ark in Hebrew (TEBAH) and Greek (KIBOTOS), means, “a box.” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, page 76). The ark of Genesis 6 was 300 cubits x 50 cubits x 30 cubits, or 450’ x 75’ x 45’, which can only be accurately drawn as a rectangular box. It had but one door in the side. It had only one window above, finished in a cubit.

Second, read Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:1-7. Most Bible teachers and students tell others that Adam and Eve ate an apple. The Bible says “the woman…took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6). All one knows about the tree and its fruit is that there was a tree which had fruit. One cannot be sure what the “fruit” was, except that it looked good and was edible.

Third, Matthew 2:1-13 describes wise (Greek, MAGOS, “a Magian, i.e. Oriental scientist…a magician:–sorcerer, wise man….” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, p. 1176) men coming from the east to Jerusalem to worship Jesus, bringing treasures to Him of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Generally, one sees and hears of three wise men, kings, riding on camels when this story is told. It ap-pears that those who tell of this event reason that there were three men since they brought three kinds of gifts. However, three gifts could have been brought by two. Two or more could have brought the same gift. All we know for sure is that there were wise “men”, demanding at least two. One simply does not know how many more may have come. They may also have come on donkeys, horses, surreys, or other means of transportation, rather than camels. They were not kings, but magi, scientists, astrologers, sorcerers, or such like.

Fourth, the writer saw a movie on TV years ago, wherein God’s people came out of Egyptian bondage, and walked in the midst of the Red Sea in muddy ankle deep water. However, the Bible says they went through the sea on dry (Exodus 14:16, 21, 22, 29) land (Nehemiah 9:11). The movie’s depiction of the event did not change the fact that the land was dry. The writer and producer of the film changed the word of God to their whims.

Why has attention been given to these four things? There are two reasons. First, to aid the reader to see that, like Saul of Tarsus (Acts 26:9-12; cf. also, Proverbs 14:12; 16:25), one may be honestly mistaken (Acts 23:1) in teaching and hearing Bible matters. Second, it is the writer’s wish that each reader and Bible student will search the scriptures (Acts 17:10, 11; John 5:39) to make sure your faith is based upon “sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13), “the faithful word…sound doctrine”, that you may have “Sound speech, that cannot be condemned,….” (Titus 2:8).

Considering that you may have been honestly taught and believed wrong about the four things just seen, get your Bible, and “examine” (2 Corinthians 13:5) or “prove”/test yourself (1 John 4:1-6) to see if you have been taught correctly. Do you believe God or man about other things. “Let God be true, but every man a liar;….” (Romans 3:4). Do not worship God in vain, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:7-9). Go with God, for He will always be true. Following are some things people say. Read and write what the Bible says beside the verse.

First, some say, “There is no God.” Daniel 2:28; Genesis 1.

Second, others say “the Big Bang started it all.” Genesis 1 and 2.

Third, a few teach that Jesus was not God (Deity), but a god-like one. John 1:1-3; Philippians 2:6.

Fourth, some disbelieve the inspiration of the scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 1 Peter 1:20, 21.

Fifth, some teach Universalism, that all will be saved. Hebrews 5:8, 9; John 3:14-17.

Sixth, some say salvation is by grace only. Ephesians 2:8-10; John 8:24; Luke 13:3, 5; Matthew 10:32, 33; John 3:1-5, 23.

Seventh, others say salvation is by faith only. James 2:14-26 and verses under Sixth.

Eighth, some say that water has never saved anyone. 1 Peter 3:20, 21; Acts 8:36-39.

Ninth, others teach that one cannot do works to be saved. Acts 2:40; Philippians 2:12; James 2:14-26; Luke 17:10.

Tenth, many deny that baptism is a part of salvation. 1 Peter 3:20, 21; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 10:48; Mark 16:16.

Eleventh, some say once saved, always saved; anyone lost was never truly saved. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Matthew 13:1-23; Acts 1:25; John 15:1ff.

Twelfth, many proclaim that it doesn’t make any difference what one believes. 1 Corinthians 1:10; John 17:20-23; Galatians 1:6-9.

Thirteenth, some pray to Mary. Matthew 6:9-11; Luke 11:1, 2; 1 Timothy 2:5.

Fourteenth, many use mechanical instruments of music in worship. Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11; Matthew 26:30; Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12; James 5:13.

Fifteenth, some think honesty and sincerity is all that is needed. Acts 26:9-11.

Sixteenth, some think good morals are enough to save. Acts 10:1-11:18.

Seventeenth, many rarely take the communion (Lord’s Supper). Acts 20:7; 2:42.

Eighteenth, many worship God infrequently. Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2.

Nineteenth, a number think immorality is all right. Titus 2:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:18-32; Galatians 5:19-21.

Twentieth, some think Christians should not try to convert others, especially if they are already religious. Acts 2; 6:7; 17:16-34.

Beloved, these are but a few things one might consider. Please! Please! Please! Always “speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11), doing all “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17), that is, because He said so. Worship with those who do the same. (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Do what the word of God says, whatever any other may say or do. Always go with God, and you will always be right. Do what God says, even if you have to “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,….” (2 Corinthians 6:17). “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” in the word of God, “for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with dark-ness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

“You have seen and heard, but is it so?”