It may surprise you, or maybe not at all, that a new Bible has been written. No, it’s not the one being written by artificial intelligence, though that is happening as well. It is being manufactured where most things are made these days, and that is in China. It’s a new Bible being distributed in China by the Communist Party government to its state authorized churches.
I’ll give you an example of one of the “minor changes” they have made. If we read John 8, we find the account of the woman caught in adultery who is brought before Jesus by the Pharisees. In our genuine Bible, starting in verse 9, we read,
“At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
In the new Chinese version this passage reads, “Jesus once said, He who is without sin among you cast the first stone. When his words came to their ears, they stopped moving forward. When everyone went out Jesus stoned the woman himself and said, “I am also a sinner.” So just a minor difference there between the forgiving sinless Jesus to the new murdering-sinner-Jesus.
In China, concerning Christianity, there are state approved Protestant churches allocated for acceptable worship in the governments eyes. And in at least one province of China they have instructed them to alter the ten commandments from those in the bible to some of Prime Minister Xi JinPing’s quotes. So for example, instead of “thou shalt have no other gods before me” from Exodus 20:3, the new bible reads: “Resolutely guard against the infiltration of Western ideology.”
Now it’s disturbing to think that people are being falsely taught these things as God breathed scripture in China, but it’s even more disturbing to think that in the near future it could spread and be taught outside of China as well. But this is what liars have done from the beginning…exchanging the truth for a lie to suit their own purposes.
In Genesis 3 we read about the first act of deception.
‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will NOT certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Jesus told his followers that the devil is “the father of lies” in John 8:42-44 and speaking to the Pharisees:
“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
On April 3, 1965 the famous radio host Paul Harvey gave a speech titled “If I Were the Devil”. This is what he said:
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would, of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square.” In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches. I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.
If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.”
The apologetics novel The Screwtape Letters by the famed christian author CS Lewis, which was first published in 1942, described a senior demon named Screwtape instructing a young demon named Wormwood on how to best tempt humans and capture souls for the devil. In one specific part of the book Screwtape calls over Wormwood and says he wants to tell him the 3 poisonous lies to best ensnare humans to eternal damnation.
- Tell them science has disproved God and the Bible cannot be backed up by evidence.
- Tell them that they are a good person and they do not need Jesus Christ to get into heaven.
- And lastly tell them that they have lots of time, all the time in the world to make a decision regarding faith and belief.
That’s why we are to focus on truth as God’s people, as Christians; we must be aware of our surroundings and the battlefield of spiritual warfare; as we read in Ephesians 6:10-13,
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
God has equipped us with freewill. We can accept and embrace the lies of Satan or shun them and draw nearer to Him, as we read in James 4:7,8,
“ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
But we have to be able to identify the truth before we can properly discern that which is not true.
Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi was:, “…that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
When the apostle Paul first presented the gospel of Jesus to the Jews in Berea, they took their time to investigate what he was saying. They came to be known for their honesty and love of the truth as established by scripture. So Luke wrote this about them in Acts 17:11: “Now the Bereans 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.”
Now we all intuitively know that there is something unnatural about lies. Our hearts and minds have been made in the image of God and are hard-wired for truth. An article in Psychology Today stated, “In addition to short-term stress and discomfort, living a dishonest life would seem to take a toll on health. According to a 2015 review article, constant lying is associated with an array of negative health outcomes including high blood pressure, increased heart rate, vaso-constriction, and elevated stress hormones in the blood.
Other studies suggest that long-term effects diminish since, unfortunately for our spiritual health, it appears that we get more comfortable with lying the more we do it. In other words, we develop an unsettling tolerance to being devious.
Brain imaging experiments conducted by Tali Sharot at University College London show that the brain adapts to dishonest behavior. Participants showed reduced activity in their limbic system as they told more lies, supporting the idea that each lie makes lying easier. In addition, the findings support the adage that small acts of dishonesty can escalate into larger ones.”
This is not a surprising discovery since that it was said by Jesus in Luke 16:10,11, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”
So then we need to immerse ourselves in the truth of Gods Word constantly to remain vigilant again the schemes of the devil. As we read in 1 Peter 5:8, “ Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
When we look at the world around us it can feel like everything is built upon a foundation of lies. From corporate greed to corrupt government, scandal is everywhere. There is little accountability for those who poison our land, our water and our food. Nor do those who deny the truth of God’s word seem any worse off.
It can all feel a lot like the words in Romans 3: 10-18,
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
The thing about those words is that they are a collection of verses from the Old Testament when God’s people were under the Old covenant, the Law of Moses. So if we continue in verse 21 it tells the condition of those under the New covenant,
“But now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
I still remember visiting New York City years ago with my parents. We were at the bottom tip of Manhattan and we went to take the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island which is about five miles away. They have a large terminal there and there are two ferries that go back and forth constantly all day and it’s actually free, there is no cost to ride. So we were at the terminal and my dad was looking around for a ticket booth or a machine to get a ticket and I told him; ‘no it’s free there’s no ticket.’ And he couldn’t believe it, “What? Really? No!” And it took him a couple minutes, and speaking to a security guard, for him to finally believe that it was free of charge.
That is in a way, what Christ has accomplished for us; he has bridged that gap, that huge gulf that we could never cross by ourselves, and He has done it at no cost to us. He suffered to pay that great price for us.
By His word, His crucifixion, His death and His resurrection, he has carried us over and eliminated that gulf between us and God. As we read in Romans 8: 31-34,
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
And to think that it all started with just one lie – at the very beginning.