Conversion Of A Bible Corrector
Sep 22, 2003 08:26 PDT
THE CONVERSION OF A BIBLE CORRECTOR
By Herb Evans
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an
offence unto me . . . -- Matt. 16:23
A double standard and imbalanced distinction exists in fundamentalism,
regarding the written word of God and the incarnate Word. The incarnate,
holy Word of life, which was "made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John
1:1,14), which John "heard," had "seen," had looked upon, and was "handled"
(1 John 1:1) is usually regarded as pure, true, without error, and holy.
The written word, which dwells among us, which has been heard, seen, looked
upon, and handled is regarded much differently. The written word is often
regarded as an impure, errant, and unholy thing.
Such distinctively different treatment, of the two living Words, is sin.
Consider how the incarnate word of God is correctly regarded as the same
yesterday, today, and for ever more. (Imagine someone referring to the
"original" Jesus, as opposed to the Jesus, who we have today). The written
word, although "settled" in heaven (Psalm 119:89), is not thought to be the
same yesterday, today, and forever more.
Other striking parallels may and should be found between the two living
Words. The incarnate Word is the Name above every name (Phil. 2:9), but God
has also magnified His written word above all His Name (Psalm 138:2).
Nevertheless, how does all this relate to Peter's offense, and what was
PETER LINKED TO THE GARDEN
. . . Get thee behind me, Satan . . . -- Matt 16:23
Bible students have found the link between modern Bible correcting and the
account of Satanic questioning, adding, subtracting, and blatant denial
that occurred in the garden of Eden. However, have they found the link
between that account and this New Testament Bible Corrector, who needed
converted from that sin? It is Satan, both in the garden and here, who is
behind both those denials of God's word and the so called "better
renderings" of God's Word. Peter was called "blessed" not more than five
verses ago. Here, he is called "Satan." Satan uses Bible Correctors,
whether saved or no! Whether blessed or no! They are an offence to Christ
and the brethren.
From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he
must . . . be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took
him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall
not be unto thee. -- Matt 16:21,22
When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him,
Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. --
. . .thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I
should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. -- Mark 14:30, 31
On no less than three occasions, Peter forcefully and aggressively in some
way gainsays the incarnate Word of God. He even "took" the Word and
"rebuked" the Word. Finally, he felt that he must militantly prove the
supposed truth of his contradiction by using carnal courage. Peter must
prove the Word wrong, so he cuts off Christ's would be captor's ear (John
18:10). Yet Christ had not instructed nor sanctioned him to take to the
sword and cut off the man's ear. In fact, Jesus rebukes, counteracts, and
corrects Peter's fleshly act.
No excuse can be found for Peter's actions. You do not question the "Word."
You do not rebuke the "Word." You do not correct the "Word." You do not
contradict the "Word." You do not disagree with the "Word." You do not deny
the "Word." You do not better render the "Word." There are no excuses and
not even good reasons, for such an offense. Why Do the Saved Correct the Word?
The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. --Ps. 119:85
The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy
testimonies. --Ps. 119:95
The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. --
. . .thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of
men. -- Matt. 16:21-23
Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you
as wheat: -- Luke 22:31
Can correctors of God's Word really be saved? Of course they can. Even
Bible believers deny God's word daily by their lives and testimonies, if
not with their mouths. Still, why and how can Bible correcting by believers
happen to such a great degree? Believers must be blind or ignorant or must
forget as did Peter, how true (Ps. 119:160), how pure (Ps. 119:140), and
how magnified the Word of God really is (Ps. 138:2). Peter also is blind or
forgets Satan's snares, which are set for those doing something for the
Lord or against Satan (Satan's hit list).
Peter allows worldly motives and appetites to take over. Peter seeks the
leeks, onions, and garlic (Egyptian soul food) rather than the heavenly
bread. Although he has tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Ps. 34:8), he
savors the things of men. Either one or both of two things are usually
involved, when saved folks correct the Word - a buck or prestige! The lust
of the eyes or the pride of life!
WAS PETER REALLY SAVED?
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art
converted, strengthen thy brethren. -- Luke 22:32
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; --
Yes! Peter erred, but he was saved! One, he had faith! Two, he had faith
that had not yet failed! Three, Satan desired to have Peter; he didn't have
him yet. Four, Jesus prayed for his faith. Five, The Lord said that he had
lost nothing that the Father had given Him (which excluded Judas - John
18:9). Six, he was not later rebaptized. Seven, he had saved "brethren."
But you say, "He was prophesied to be converted." Yes, he needed to be and
was converted . . . but not to salvation. We know that from Matthew
16:16,17. He needed converted from his questioning, correcting,
contradicting, disagreeing, denying, and rebuking the Word. Peter was in
the process of weakening the brethren, by "erring from the truth." Still,
when converted, Peter would strengthen the brethren as we shall soon see.
THE WAY BACK, PETER'S CONVERSION
Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock
crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. --
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word
of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt
deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. -- Luke 22:61, 62
Oh! Anything but that "look!" That was too much for Peter. It caused him to
remember the "Word of God," the Word that he had questioned, contradicted,
corrected, disagreed with, rebuked, and finally Denied Him three times.
Lord! I'm coming home! Peter remembered the Word. You have to do that
first; that is the way back. Then Peter wept bitterly. He sorrowed to
repentance. Peter realized that he had sinned.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas,
lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest
that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again
the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him,
Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?
Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me?
And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I
love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. -- John 21:15-17
Well, Peter went back to fishing, although he had repented of his sin. The
devil, somehow, convinced him that after what he did, he could not and
would not ever be used again. But, Oh, the love and grace of God! Jesus
knew of Peter's bitter tears but still needed to impress on Peter the
seriousness of the job that He was about to give Peter, the ministry of
pastoring or shepherding or feeding the sheep of the First Baptist church
of Jerusalem. Still, no room, in the ministry for correcting the Word of God!
Now, it is Christ's turn to question Peter. Lovest thou me? Three times!
Instead of trying to make something of history, scholarship, or of the
Greek, i.e., "AGAPE" love versus "PHILEO" love, one should try to make
something of Bible English instead of Greek stylistic variance. (Sam Gipp
has an interesting little test for smarty pants, who think they must find
significance in AGAPE versus PHILEO in this passage.) Listen to what a
Presbyterian professor and linguist, no friend to KJVO's nor the King James
Bible, admits in this regard:
"Some schools also use outdated materials in teaching Greek, many of these
dependent on 19th century "static" views of language. Pastors also often
depend on older commentaries, some of them very nice theologically
(depending on one's point of view), but often using arguments from the
original languages based on these sorts of linguistic theories, which they
then pass on. A very popular book in some circles here in the States is
Kenneth Wuest's *The Practical Use of the Greek NT* (Moody Press), which,
on page 77 supports the fallacy on the difference between *agapao* and
*phileo* (that's the earliest I've seen it actually in print, though the
argument is probably older). Interesting enough, the ancient church
fathers, many of whom spoke Greek like we speak English, never mention the
supposed distinction between the two verbs in their commentaries." --
Professor Barry Hofstetter
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my
meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy
precepts. -- Ps. 119:99-100
Peter knew that the significance was not with AGAPE nor PHILEO but with the
three times that the Lord asks him the same thing, thus paralleling Peter's
three fold denial and even his three fold correction, of the Word. That is
why Peter was grieved. The point was well taken. Peter responds, now, with,
"Lord, thou knowest ALL things." You are right, Lord. What you say is true,
despite how hard or how personal it is. The Word, as always, was quick and
powerful and sharper than any two edged sword and discerned Peter's heart
AFTER PETER'S CONVERSION
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are
some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and
unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own
destruction. -- 2 Pet. 3:16
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the
word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. -- 1 Pet. 1:23
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in
the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do
well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until
the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 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 Pet. 1:18-21
Never again will Peter question, correct, disagree with, rebuke, or deny
the Word. Even when caught playing the hypocrite, Peter would not go
against the Word. In fact, he praises the Word from the one who caught him
in hypocrisy. Peter puts Paul's epistles, whether originals, copies, or
translations in the same category with the "other Scriptures." He
strengthens the brethren in the very same area (threefold) that he once
weakened them. No longer is Peter an offence and a denier. Now, he feeds
and strengthens the faith of the sheep the Word. What about you . . .
Bible Corrector? What are you doing?
Bible Believer's Bulletin - April 1992, p. 3
Flaming Torch - July - September 2001, p. 21 (as Fool's Gold)