Is there a way to trace the origin of erroneous faith, belief or teaching? Does the Bible – or more specifically, the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Helper – have something to say about this? It goes without saying; but how did it exactly begin or develop; and what is the basic character of the error in order for us to determine whether what we believe in or see in others falls within that category of “false teaching” or “fallacy”.
A fallacy is essentially a wrong idea, belief or concept that is founded on faulty, unsound, illogical or incomplete information. For instance, the woman, who cried by the well because she was shaken by the thought of her future son falling into it, was guilty of the fallacious conclusion that her worry, no matter how probable, would ever occur to her son. Some worries are valid; but this one sounds so farfetched.
There are so many forms of fallacies; however, all of them present false or mistaken beliefs because we have not fully thought out the premise of our argument before coming up with a solid and incontrovertible conclusion. Oftentimes, we come up with fallacies because of carelessness or sloppy thinking. Sometimes, however, fallacies are intentionally made to delude or make people follow a certain pattern of thinking or behaving and, ultimately, take advantage of them for some financial, political or psychological gain. Politics and religion are two of the most prolific boiling-pots for well-cooked fallacies that victimize many gullible people. Or to rephrase the saying, “A sucker is cooked every day.”
It only takes a good swindler, deceiver or liar to make many believe a fallacy or a false teaching. Although a fallacy may seem like an innocent mistake or a wild, facetious point of view, a false teaching is an intentional passing on or imposition of a belief for some hidden or predetermined agenda. “Fake news” is the new label for the same concoction.
We all know the original Deceiver – the Father of Lies. (John 8:44) He was never a real father or a lover of truth; yet, he sired so many liars, deceivers and many followers worldwide. Let us see how he plied his trade from the start.
Even before Satan tempted humans to rebel against God, he had led a host of angels to defy God. The most beautiful angel in Heaven fell into selfish pride and self-worship because he saw himself equal with God in beauty and splendor. Angels literally adored him because he had received abilities and authority to lead others in heavenly realms that one moment’s vision of gaining supremacy over God’s Creation led him to rally others in an uprising that led to an angelic battle in Heaven where he ended up being driven away and consigned into the depths of the Earth.
From that rather sketchy narrative that is familiar with us all, we can recognize the first and foundational fallacy that has generated so many other fallacies which retain the same seed of the first rebellion in Heaven: A created being can become equal with God by one’s own doing. It is the fallacy that bred the universal dogma that there is no limit to what one is capable of doing.
Let us investigate that notion so commonly propagated in science, in selling, in showbiz, in business, in politics and almost everywhere. It has driven people to build rockets to the planets, to put up gigantic malls in cities, to raise skyscrapers to the clouds and to establish seemingly-undying empires. But it is obvious to many by now who the father of that fallacy is. In spite of having made amazing and previously-inconceivable technology, human life has only managed to gain a slightly longer and more comfortable existence. The damages, pains, agonies and sorrows produced by plagues and diseases, as well as the inevitable and ultimate triumph of death, have remained constant reminders of our inability to overcome the “sting of death”. In fact, they have been utilized as effective tools by those who have appropriated for themselves the divine power to rule over nations by waging wars and conquering peoples through brutal political and economic domination.
Not that God has not given us enormous gifts, but He has set a limit to human will, freedom and potential, just as He did to angelic will, freedom and potential. And whereas angels had been given enormous powers not granted to humans, those angels were never given the ability to reproduce themselves the way we could. Neither were angels given the power to create the way God could create. They are spirit-beings who do share His likeness, beauty and glory but not in equal measure. For how can God create something or someone equal to Himself? In our Universe, that is an impossibility. Humans can reproduce themselves because God gave them the power.
Some answer that last question by saying that Christ was a “reproduction of the Father”, proving it by the human metaphor of father-and-son relation. It is obviously a fallacy caused by inverting the metaphor to apply to God when it is that metaphor from and by God that is being applied to humans. Moreover, some say Christ “reproduced” Himself through the Holy Spirit Whom He sent. But it is clear that Christ and the Spirit shared the same glory with the Father at the Creation. (John 17:1-5) We proved that in the previous article.
Rebelling against God was not the final offense by Satan and his host. They envied humans for their beauty and their ability to reproduce. That is why they mated with women and produced the Nephilim. Those hybrid beings (angelic-humans) were mighty giants on the Earth. Enoch chronicles their deeds and their evil wars. It was because God wanted to eradicate those Nephilim that He caused the Great Flood – to cleanse the world. (Gen. 6:1-8)
Since Satan could not rule Heaven, he tried to rule over the world. Not once but several times. The first was in the Garden. He manipulated the serpent to tempt Eve through his original fallacy: A created being can become equal with God by one’s own doing. Hence, the serpent told Eve: Did God say you will die if you eat the forbidden fruit? To which Eve assented. The serpent, in essence, then said: You will not die but you will become like God. Yes, by your own doing — by eating – you can be equal with God in wisdom. The same lie Satan had concocted in Heaven against God and which he had used to deceive angels, he also used on the serpent to tempt humans to sin.
Satan must have promised the serpent it could become a human if it helped him accomplish his dastardly work. That probably explains the so-called Reptilian Race we hear of often – a race of hybrid humans with reptilian features and who have incorporated themselves into human societies by appearing as ordinary human. In fact, tribes and nations, whose affinity to dragons and other reptiles is well-documented, could have been influenced by this race in the underworld who serve the cause of Satan. Remember what God did to the seducing serpent? He took away its legs and caused it to crawl on the ground. Yet, Satan, perhaps in return for the serpent’s services, rewarded some serpents with human features and abilities in order to continue waging war against God. Many do not realize the serpent talked to humans – and to God — in the Garden. (Gen. 3:1-15) Today, many also reject the idea that they could be talking to reptilian beings – or listening to them over the various media outlets. For if Satan can lead a serpent to serve his purposes; how hard is it for him to use hybrid-humans to do likewise? And do you still think the Garden Story is myth that is totally unconnected to what is happening to the entire world? Or to own your life? (Isa. 27:1;14:29; Matt. 3:7)
It had been Satan’s plan to tempt humans all along in order to reproduce himself through humans who had the capability to reproduce themselves. Having angelic-humans or animistic-humans as warriors to enslave Adam’s descendants, he could have built a Universe populated by beings subservient to him. Not just on Earth but in all the galaxies. What will God end up ruling if Satan succeeded? First the Earth, and then the Universe!
Having been foiled in his plans at every step, Satan then turned his eyes on Christ whom he tempted in the wilderness. First, he asked Him to turn stone to bread so He can eat, for He had been fasting for 40 days. This was Satan’s way of dealing initially with Christ through His humanity. Hunger was a powerful human need he had learned to manipulate in the Garden. Eve and Adam ate. Christ did not. The SIN vs. the VICTORY OVER SIN. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luke 4:4) That actually applied to Adam and Eve as well. More precisely, it can be reworded to suit our first parents: Man shall die by a fruit as it had been uttered by the mouth of God.
But Satan might not have stopped there had Christ succumbed. In order to complete his victory, he would have asked Christ to turn the air into water to quench His thirst as well. For why stop at only one victory over the “human frailties” of Christ? Satan would have reinforced his ability to rule over humans by a double-win over their “Savior”. And finally, he might have asked Christ to use His power to turn the dust in the desert into a human body as He had done to Adam before. What for? With 3 wins over Him, Satan would have then manipulated Christ to allow him to dwell in that human body and become the “New Adam” and the “Savior” instead of Christ. With Christ’s power and his own power, Satan would have succeeded in wresting Creation from God that moment.
Are you not overjoyed Christ overcame the first temptation? Wait, yes, there were two more!
Next, Satan tempted Christ by offering Him all the kingdoms he ruled in the Earth if He would kneel before him. It was an appeal to Christ’s true and rightful position as equal with the Father – His Being God, Lord and King above all. Satan would have had an effective stab to wrest full control over Earth and maybe a big part of Heaven again. Yes, he had always had his eyes on Heaven. That is how evil and scheming Satan is! Yet, many of us think he is a patsy or a figment of their imagination they can easily manipulate or disregard.
Christ answered thus: You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve. (Luke 4:8) Yet how many worship other gods or things and not God today? Which kingdom of Satan do we rule over, with him sitting beside us? Or which kingdom reigns over us, using us and enslaving us to do his bidding and to accomplish despicable and devious things to promote that worldly kingdom?
An earthly kingdom is a spiritual word describing a spiritual truth or reality where people submit themselves to a human leader or an angelic being under the power of Satan – the Great Deceiver! He continues to live by his fallacy that by his own machinations and strategies he can finally win against God by winning over more and more humans. And he certainly is making great progress. Look at all the kingdoms he rules today and how they have destroyed nations, cultures, beliefs, lands, lives, creatures, seas, valleys, mountains and skies in the past 4 or 5 millennia. Satan rules as king over the Earth because he has worked diligently and cleverly to entice millions to see his way, act his way, believe his way, eat his way and teach his way. All in opposition to The Way.
Third and final try: Satan then appealed to Christ’s divinity and authority by tempting Him to jump from the pinnacle. If He had jumped, Christ would have been obligated to call upon the Father to send the angels to save Him. And, He could have easily done that and the angels would have rescued Him. But it would have only proven to Satan and to us that He was indeed the Son of God. (We said Jews sought signs – so did Satan!) But Christ had come as the Son of Adam, humbling Himself even before humans, His father, His mother, His sisters, His brothers and His fellow humans. But not to Satan! Showing His authority to wicked angels by giving in to the temptation would have forfeited His position as a humble servant and as a throne-less, crown-less human on Earth. (Phil. 2:5-8) It was Satan’s clever way to impose his fallacy again: As a human, You are the Son of God and You can call on the Father for help. You can be equal to Him even now that You have humbled Yourself as a human. What’s to prevent You, Christ? Just a small sign will help You prove to the world You have authority over angels.
Satan was not tempting Christ alone but also the Father. Thus, Christ said: You shall not tempt the Lord your God! (Luke 4:12) But being Lord and God as well, Christ was also referring to Himself at that time; for the Father and the Son are One. They do not act individually but as one. Satan knew that but wanted precisely to try to separate one from the other. It was His next attempt to gain authority over Christ and Creation. So many people think they are so clever they reject the existence of God and the devil, not knowing their very rejection proves Satan’s rule over them: Go ahead, deny evil and hell, as long as you deny God! It is all the same to the clever Deceiver. For Satan used Scriptures to tempt Christ, Who in turn rebuked Satan through Scriptures. Those who know neither Scriptures nor Satan’s Fallacy do not stand a chance against either righteous judgment or hell’s torments.
Christ gave us a powerful example on how to behave before the Father as we undergo great temptation to deny His authority by rejecting His clear guidelines. Our entitlement to God’s power to save us or to forgive us can sometimes lead us to sideline Him by our selfish desire to prove our own worth before others. Some religions have even instituted practices that precisely take away God’s role from the lives of people. (The next part will prove this point.)
Even at His birth, Christ had become the target of Satan’s diabolical schemes, seeking to discredit Him, to disempower Him and to kill Him. We cannot appreciate or say enough how evil Satan is unless we all see his works in the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
The first time Christ introduced the Holy Spirit’s work to the apostles, He summarized His role in 3 main functions, namely:
1. Convict the world of sin
To convict means to “convince with solid, compelling evidence, especially to expose (prove wrong)”; hence, to accuse or to be found guilty of violating a law — in short, of sin. It was not a conviction of Adam and Eve alone but of the whole world. It was, however, necessary first for Christ to die on the cross to lay down the final and greatest offense upon which the whole world would be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit – the crucifixion of the Son of God. Without that death, the resurrection and ascension to Heaven by Christ would not have happened; for only then will He send down the Spirit to help humans avail of the redemption Christ worked out.
Conviction merely refers to an accusation, not the punishment. Those who believe will receive pardon; those who do not will suffer judgment. The Key of Truth that the apostles taught allowed humans to understand the Organic Faith preached by Christ. This Key is our way of escape from the punishments of sin.
2. Convict the world of righteousness
To convict also means to “convince with solid, compelling evidence”; hence, to lead a person to believe or to be found worthy, as opposed to being guilty, of a good deed or quality. In this case, of righteousness. One who is righteous walks and lives the right way in the sight of God. And that can only happen when that person knows the True Way or the Truth. Christ showed us the Truth and the Right Way. One who fails to follow His righteousness, then, either has not been convicted of righteousness by the Holy Spirit or refuses to be convicted by Him. Either way, that person will never reap the rewards due to the righteous.
Christ has the power to reward the righteous because He is with the Father. (John 16:25-31) As He received back His life and His glory in Heaven, He can also give life and salvation to those who believe Him.
3. Convict the world of judgment
On the other side of the picture, those who refuse to believe will suffer judgment along with the ruler of this world. The Key of Truth is the measure by which we know if we have the conviction (moral worthiness) or conviction (being adjudged guilty) of the Holy Spirit. Here is where a lot of people have failed to appreciate the work of Christ — and the Holy Spirit, in particular. Convictions (beliefs or moral choices) based on invented religious or pious notions do not fall within this vital work of the Holy Spirit. With all candor, they are part and parcel of the Great Deceiver’s work of wresting divine rule over this world by putting his minions on pedestals and making them act as his demi-gods who rule over the lives of people in his myriad kingdoms, dispensing his lavish gifts, false hopes and empty promises while reaping their souls along with their other harvested souls at the end of their lives.
On Judgment Day, Hell will be full to the brim once God has finally finished His righteous judgment. For now, the Holy Spirit diligently works to convict us of what Christ had done and left for us to consider through the preaching of His Word. Remember: The Holy Spirit convicts in order to call a person to do the right thing or to call out a person for doing the wrong thing. It is Christ Who will render the final judgment. God is just and can justify according to our faith in Him; but He is just and will apply His justice accordingly to those who refuse to believe.
We have only laid down the singular foundation of all fallacies ever introduced to this world. Next time, we will look at some of them in detail.
(Notes: Referenced citations and text are linked to www.biblegateway.com and www.biblehub.com, respectively. Background painting of “The Last Judgment” at Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo Buonarroti.)