Friday, June 28, 2013

Lies We Believe: Answers to the Bible Quiz

or is it false?
I hope you had fun with this and maybe even did a little digging of your own to find the answers. If you didn’t, I have given the references after each answer. I hope you won’t just take my word for it, but read to discover the truth for yourself.

1.      False. We don’t know how many wise men showed up, but traditionally it has been assumed there were three because they brought three gifts. Matthew 2:1-12 tells us they visited the house in Bethlehem where Mary and Joseph were living.

2.      False. God compares himself to an eagle in Ex. 19:4; Deut. 32:11, and a mother hen in Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34, but man is compared to the ant in Prov. 6:6 and 30:25. Wings are also mentioned in Ruth 2:12; Psa. 17:8, 36:7, 57:1, 61:4, 63: 7, 91:4, but not what kind of bird.

3.      True. Read the story in Acts 20:7-12.

4.      False. Gen. 3:6 says, “She took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

5.      False. Only there were only two – Enoch in Gen. 5:24 and Elijah in 2 Ki. 2:11.

6.      D. Apparently this was something He did often, since they recognized the sound. When Adam and Eve didn’t come to join Him as usual, He asked what was up, Gen. 3.

7.      We don’t know what kind of work he did. All we know about Methuselah is that he had kids and lived 969 years, Gen. 5:21-27.

8.      C. Acts 7:23-34. Moses was 40 when he left Egypt and 80 when he returned.

9.      False. They were kicked out because Satan (Lucifer) wanted to be worshiped instead of God, Ezek. 28:12-17; Isa. 14:12-15. They not only believe; they know Jesus is the Son of God! Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28; James 2:18-19.

10.  False. Their names are Michael (Dan. 10:10-21, 12:1-4; Jude 1:9; Rev. 12:7-9) and Gabriel (Dan. 8:15-19, 9:20-23; Luke 1:11-19, 1:26-38).

11.  False. Personal peace with God, yes, but world peace is not possible until sin is vanquished. The references for this are too numerous to list, but here are a few: Isa. 48:18; Jer. 6:13-15; Ezek. 13:10; Matt. 10:16-39; Luke 2:8-14; John 14:27, 16:33.

12.  False. Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercede for us; we are not to pray to people, living or dead: Rom. 8:26-27, 34; Heb. 7:24-26.

13.  False. This is strictly forbidden. Deut. 18:9-13; 1 Chron. 10:13-14; Isa. 8:19.

14.  False. All of Cain’s descendants were killed in the flood so that makes every one of us descendants of Noah and we don’t know what color he was.

15.  False. Paul reminded the early believers how important this is, Heb. 10:24-25. Jesus himself prayed for a oneness among believers as a testimony to the world, John 17:20-26. We cannot be one, or serve each other, or learn how to get along, or any of the other teachings of the New Testament unless we spend time together.

16.  False. God created all vegetation on the third day and the sun on the fourth, Gen. 1:9-19. If there had been a thousand years in between all the plants would have died.

17.  True. Solomon knew love for her child would reveal the real mother’s identity, 1 Ki. 3:16-28.

18.  False. There are three kinds – archangels, 1 Thess. 4:16; cherubim, Gen. 3:24; 2 Ki. 19:15; Psa. 99:1; Ezek. 10; and seraphim, Isa. 6:2, 6. None of these, by the way, are chubby babies with wings!

19.  False. The donkey symbolized that He came not as a conquering king, but in peace, and a fulfillment of prophecy, Zech 9:9-10; Matt. 21:4-5.

20.  False. If God never gave us anything we couldn’t handle, why would we need Him? This false statement seems to be a blend of two verses, 1 Cor. 10:13, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear…” and Phil. 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” What God actually says is, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Cor. 12:8-10).

21.  False. I wish this was true, but Proverbs are not promises, but sayings of wisdom that when we do A, B is usually the result, whether good or bad. This quote from Proverbs 22:6, NKJV is not a guarantee, but a reassurance for parents. Usually, if we teach our children what is right, even if they stray from it for a time, they will know how to get back to God.

22.  False. Although love is extremely important for us both, what husbands need most from their wives is respect, and what wives needs most is love, Eph. 5:25-33. That is the way we’re built.

23.  False. As long as they are willing to stay together, the believer is not to seek divorce. There’s a chance that they might be won over to Christ. 1 Cor. 7:10-16 and 1 Pet. 3:1-4.

24.  B. Pilate knew Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong, and his wife’s dream unsettled him even further, but he still didn’t want to risk a riot so he gave in to what they wanted, Matt. 27:11-26.

25.  D. Strange as this may sound what she did was highly symbolic and Boaz immediately recognized it as a request to be provided for in marriage. Ruth 3:1-18.

Next post: Lies We Believe Because We Trust the Messenger…

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lies We Believe Series: Can You Spot the Lies in this Bible Quiz?

Just for fun, see how you score on the following quiz. Can you separate the truth from fiction? Answers will be in the next post.

1.      Three wise men visited Jesus in the stable the night He was born.

2.      God compares himself to an eagle, a chicken, and an ant in scripture.

3.      Paul prayed for a man to be raised from the dead because he went to sleep during his preaching and fell to his death.

4.      Adam was not with Eve when the serpent convinced her to eat the forbidden fruit.

5.      Three people in the Bible never died; God took them before they had to experience death.

6.      God came to walk in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day because:
a.       He didn’t know where Adam and Eve were
b.      He wanted a break from creating
c.       He was hot
d.      It was a regular habit

7.      Methuselah, the oldest man who ever lived, was the first one to herd sheep.

8.      When God called Moses to rescue the Israelites from Egypt he was:
a.       80 years old
b.      23 years old
c.       44 years old
d.      90 years old

9.      Satan and the demons were kicked out of heaven because they don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God.

10.  Only two angels are named in the Bible – Gabriel and Ezekiel.

11.  What God wants for us most in this life is world peace.

12.  In heaven, Jesus, Moses, and Mary pray for us constantly.

13.  We can talk to people who have died and receive wisdom about the future.

14.  The mark God put on Cain after he killed his brother Abel was to make him black and all black people are his descendants.

15.  Church isn’t for everybody; some people do best worshiping God on their own.

16.  The six days of creation could have actually been 1,000 years each, allowing for evolution to be true, because it says in 2 Peter 3:8 that a day is like a thousand years to God and a thousand years is like a day.

17.  King Solomon was considered wise when he offered to cut a baby in half because two women were fighting over who he belonged to.

18.  There are four kinds of angels mentioned in the Bible.

19.  Jesus rode a donkey into town on Palm Sunday because He was tired after walking so many miles to Jerusalem.

20.  Paul encourages believers to hang on with this assurance, “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.”

21.  God’s promise from Proverbs says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."

22.  The Bible tells husbands and wives to love each other because that is what each needs the most for a successful marriage.

23.  If a person becomes a Christian and their husband or wife is not, they should get divorced so they’re not distracted from their faith.

24.  Pilate washed his hands before sentencing Jesus to death because:
a.       They were dirty
b.      He knew Jesus didn’t deserve to die
c.       It was part of the ceremony
d.      Jesus asked him to

25.  Ruth got Boaz to marry her when:
a.       She told him she was pregnant
b.       She danced better than any of the other girls
c.       An angel told him she was the one God had chosen
d.      She snuck in where he was sleeping and curled up at his feet

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lies We Believe: Because We Don’t Know Better

When my now grown niece was about three years old, my sister told her a lie. Amy was watching her mom make her favorite muffins. She was interested in every detail, peppering her mom with questions. Just as Kathy measured out the poppy seeds, Amy asked, “What are those, Mom?”

My sister told me later with a laugh, “I don’t know what came over me, but before I even thought about what I was saying, I told Amy they were frog freckles.”

“Frog freckles? How do they get them off the frogs, Mom?” Being a tender, compassionate child, Amy was immediately concerned for their welfare. “They don’t kill them do they?”

“Oh no, “Kathy answered breezily, thinking on her feet. “They just round them up once a week and flick the off the freckles like this,” she said, flicking her thumb and middle finger. Then they release the frogs so they can grow new ones.” At that she spooned the mixture into muffin cups and popped them in the oven.

“Oh,” Amy answered, deep in thought. As Kathy rinsed the dishes and wiped the counters, they discussed how the factory workers swept the freckles into vats of water to wash them thoroughly before packaging them in bottles. “And then,” Kathy picked up the bottle of poppy seeds with a flourish, “we buy them at the store so I can make yummy muffins for our family.”

I’m not sure how long it was before Amy found out her mom was just pulling her leg, but for a while she believed that her favorite treat was Frog Freckle Muffins. It’s one of our favorite family stories. She believed the lie because she didn’t know any better.

However, ignorance of spiritual truths is dangerous, especially when we’ve been Christians long enough to know better. Amy discovered the truth about poppy seeds because she was hungry for knowledge, constantly asking questions about everything, and daily growing in maturity. That is what we should be doing in our spiritual lives as well. Yet, too often, people get comfortable as baby Christians and stop yearning to know more about God. They leave Bible knowledge to pastors and theologians and are content to get a few drops of milk in their bottle or sippy cup when they go to church.

The unidentified author of Hebrews blasts believers in his letter for this same thing: “Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:12-14, emphasis added).

How can we know if someone’s telling us a lie unless we’re reading the Bible for ourselves and maturing in our knowledge and faith? Doctor Luke praised the Jews in Berea for educating themselves before gulping down every new thing they heard about God: “The Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men” (Acts 17:11-12). They did believe that what Paul was preaching was true, but not before checking their facts.

How about you? If you’ve been a believer for more than a year, are you making good headway through the book of truth you claim you base your life on? Or are you relying on sermons, devotionals, or TV preachers to tell you what it says? Perhaps you believe the Bible on your coffee or bedside table is fueling your mind by osmosis. However, if that’s not happening, how will you know what to believe? You can be sure the enemy is making his lies readily available without any effort on your part.

They say the best way to recognize counterfeit money is not by studying it, but by handling the real thing so often that the feel, smell, and look of it becomes second nature. (That’s a theory I’d like to test.) So rather than focusing on the lies foisted on us, we must zero in on a daily diet of God’s Word.

I hope that if you’ve been lax in this spiritual discipline that you don’t give up. Today is the day to start. Don’t worry about gulping down huge passages each day just to check it off your list. It’s better to read a little, stopping occasionally to digest, meditate, ask for understanding or forgiveness, or simply to revel in God’s love. He wrote this amazing book for you! And if you find it difficult to understand, ask Him for help. What author wouldn’t be thrilled to discuss His work with a reader? Especially when the reader’s life and well-being depend on knowing the truth it contains.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lies We Believe Series

We live in a world full of lies. There are bold-faced lies, lies of omission and exaggeration, half-truths, white lies, information out of context, twisting the truth, and many more versions of the same perversion. So many of these lies sound so reasonable too! How can we know what to believe and not believe? How can we keep from becoming another victim of the enemy?

Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32). That sounds easy enough, until we remember we have an enemy whose main objective is to deceive us and pull us away from our relationship with God and living victoriously in Him.  And he’s very good at it, because he’s been at it since the beginning of time. Lies are his native tongue. Just check out the partial truths and seeds of doubt he planted in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-5).

I really want to know and seek the truth; I hope you do too. To do that, we need to recognize false information when it comes our way, and ask God to weed out any lies that have already taken root in our hearts. In order to do those things, it helps to know why we believe lies in the first place. The Bible tells us three reasons why we do:

·         because we don’t know any better
·         because we believe the messenger, and
·         because we want to

Over the next few posts I want to expose some of these lies and encourage you to watch out for the dangers lurking behind them. Otherwise they can destroy our view of God and who we are in Him, our relationships, our finances, our health, and most importantly, our eternal destiny.  I hope you will join me.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Spiritual Battle With Depression

It’s time for the last installment of this series and I’m excited to share how we can battle against depression in our heart. Our heart is the third part of our being, the spiritual center that relates to God. Not all depression has spiritual roots, but it’s an option we dare not leave out. God examines our heart through His Word, Bible, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul (our mind, will, and emotions) and spirit (the heart), joints and marrow (the body); it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (the spirit)” (Heb. 4:12, parentheses added).

Depression can attack our heart from within or without. If you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who gave His life for the sins of the world; if you have asked God to forgive you of your sins; and if you have invited Jesus to reign in your heart as Lord, you are a Christian. Satan cannot dwell in (or possess) the same place where Jesus is Master, but he can oppress us from the outside with a constant barrage of attacks in order to crack our defenses. If we give him access, Satan can divide our heart and prevent us from enjoying the full benefits God desires for all believers.

Depression can be a symptom of a divided heart – one committed to God, yet holding back one or more areas for self. Beth Moore says this in Breaking Free, “Only the places we allow the love of God to fully penetrate will be satisfied and, therefore, liberated.” I encourage you to get alone with God and ask Him to show you if there is a heart issue contributing to your depression.

This means being naked and vulnerable before the Lord. Robb Thompson shares some interesting facts about eagles in this regard: “When these majestic birds molt, they shed all of their feathers, causing them to become extremely vulnerable. Without feathers, they are unable to fly away from danger. To protect themselves, they soar to the highest rock they can find before their feathers fall out. All by themselves, huddled on the towering rock, they lie in the sun and wait…eagles fly to a safe place…trust[ing] they will fly again.” God is our safe place; He is our Rock.

This is not a complete list, but here are a few ways Satan can divide our heart:

·         Anger
·         Unforgiveness/ Bitterness
·         Doubt
·         Pride/Insecurity (believe it or not insecurity is a form of pride, believing our inadequacies are too big for God to handle!)
·         Addictions
·         Failure to bow to God’s supreme authority
·         Legalism
·         Seeking satisfaction from anything/anyone other than God

Over the past several months, God has done an incredible work in my heart, revealing areas where I had allowed Satan’s lies to creep in – mostly in the arena of self-esteem and control. My physical and emotional difficulties added fuel to these “heart problems” and God took me to a safe place for a complete makeover. And what a blessing it has been! Dark – yes; embarrassing – yes, convenient – no, but life-changing.

Once I resolved to “stay in camp” until I was healed, God was able to speak to me in ways I hadn’t heard when I was busily seeking perfection in my own power (not very successfully may I add). The more I searched through scripture and let it search me, the more I was able to release my grip on the things that troubled me. Each time, His Spirit flooded those hungry places of my heart, filling me with a new sense of satisfaction and joy.

Kay Warren’s definition of JOY is: “The settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright; and the determined choice to praise God in all things.” This takes knowing God, trusting Him, and choosing to praise Him even when I don’t get what He’s up to at the moment.

This process to wholeness is a lifelong deal. God saves us in a moment, but continually fills and refills us with His Holy Spirit throughout our lives as we walk with Him. If you are battling depression, be kind to yourself and let God do the work to heal you body, soul, and spirit. At the same time, relentlessly pursue God and let Him fill the gnawing hunger you feel.

I pray for you, my fellow traveler, that you will trust God to care for your every need along the way. He is good and His will for us is good. May He bring you back into the sunshine once again.

Books That Have Been Helpful to Me:
As I’ve sought God’s healing in these dark months, the Bible has been my main textbook. He has also used others who’ve been this way before to help me in the journey. I recommend the following books:


Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, Kay Warren

So Long Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us, Beth Moore

Get Out of That Pit: Straight Talk about God’s Deliverance, Beth Moore

Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter, Janet Thompson

Rooms, James L. Rubart (a powerful fictional account of our heart - Christ’s home)

Child of Divorce; Child of God: A Journey of Hope and Healing, Kristine Steakley

Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life (Bible study workbook), Beth Moore

Solitary Refinement: The Hidden Power of Being Alone, Robb Thompson

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bonus Info on St. John’s Wort and Depression

I talked for almost an hour the other day with the Naturopath I’ve been seeing for about ten years. She is a born again believer. She combines her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ with her training in Naturopathic medicine to help people learn how to live healthier lives. A very rare combination! The information she shared with me was so helpful, I wanted to pass it on.

I expressed my concerns to her about how tired I’m feeling since I started taking St. John’s Wort. The depression has lifted, but I feel sluggish and sleepy; I’m not used to having to rest all the time. I’m used to being on the move.

Karen explained, “St. John’s Wort isn’t what’s making you tired, Beth. It’s actually an amazing supplement that has many uses. It is working to build up your depleted system.” I had already found out from my research that it can be helpful for depression, for fighting viral and bacterial infections, in the treatment of PMS and fibromyalgia, for chronic pain, and sometimes weight loss.

Karen continued, “One of the best things it does is feed overworked nerves. If you’ve been under prolonged stress from grief, pain, anxiety, or whatever, your nerves eventually get to the point where they can’t let down. You’re feeling tired because you are tired. The St. John’s Wort is helping your body let down so you can rest and heal.”

Hmm, so the answer was not to take less so I can do more, but to rest when I feel tired and let God do His healing work. An amazing concept.

I’m not out to sell St. John’s Wort or any other product, but if you’re seeking a natural solution for depression and thought you might try it, this is information that could be very helpful. Make sure you do not take St. John’s Wort if you’re already taking another antidepressant.

In our western culture, we’re used to taking medicine so we can feel better, in order to keep right on doing what we want to do. But I’m learning that sometimes it’s better to feel worse for a while in order to treat the source of the problem and not just the symptoms. I hope this is helpful information.

Next time, I will address some of the spiritual causes for depression and how we can allow God to heal us in this area.