The Art of Deception

Look Closely - image from pixabay.com
Look Closely – image from pixabay.com

People Deceiving Each Other is Part of Life

It would seem that there are cases when one person or a group deceiving another person or a group is an acceptable or even good thing but, is it? Strictly by GOD’s standard it is a sin (Is it not?):

Deception is part of life - image from pixabay.com
Deception is part of life – image from pixabay.com

Exodus 20:16 ESV

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.  . . .”

Most people interpret this verse to forbid lying.  So why did a number of instances in the Bible convey a situation when a form of lying seems to produce a positive result?

David feigned madness

1 Samuel 21:13-15 ESV 

So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

 

Rehab hides the spies

Joshua 2:3-4 ESV

. . . Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them.  . . .

 

Gideon deceives the enemy

Judges 7:19-21 ESV

 

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran.

Bat Car - image from pixabay.com
Bat Car – image from pixabay.com

The Explanation?

I could say context, purpose or justification but, the real explanation is simpler than that in my opinion: “We are living in a sinful world ruled by Satan.”  In this era deception may be the only way that the righteous can out wit the schemes of the great deceiver Satan.

 

Ephesians 6:12 ESV / 90 helpful votes

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Facades nypl-digitalcollections-510d47e3-ca55-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99-001-v
Facades nypl-digitalcollections-510d47e3-ca55-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99-001-v

Some Bible Verses:

Proverbs 19:5 ESV

A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

Proverbs 21:6 ESV

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.

Leviticus 19:11 ESV

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.

AMEN

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Our Brain: Life Long Modification

Brain - image from pixabay.com
Brain – image from pixabay.com

Do you realize our human brain never stops adapting, self-correcting and learning?

Once it was thought that the human brain was pretty much set to what it would be for life by the time a person approached the thirty year old mark but, that is probably too simplistic a view.  Changes continue past this age and while not as rapid or dramatic as when developing from childhood to adult hood, nevertheless a life long process.

Family - image from pixabay.com
Family – image from pixabay.com

Science seems to validate Biblical guidance for us

Bible Study - image from pixabay.com
Bible Study – image from pixabay.com

Some scientists think the brain starts out with more neuron connections and discards unused ones instead of creating new ones establishing the lion’s share by about twenty-six years old. This may explain observed individual traits such as linguistic accents, harder to acquire certain skills such as playing a violin

Skills - image from pixabay.com
Skills – image from pixabay.com

as we age or the difficulty adults can have altering their destructive behavior.  So what do I gather from reading about current neuron science? I am convinced what GOD teaches us in the Bible is being verified by science in this era.

 

Instructions and wisdom in The Word of GOD taught how to develop and maintain a well-balanced person long before scientist explained how our brain develops and works.

 

First: what milieu we are immersed as we go though childhood

New Things - image from pixabay.com
New Things – image from pixabay.com

has a great effect upon who we become; change can come later in life but it requires a greater effort to experience improvement than if we developed it earlier in life.  Next: The brain can be rewired and respond to rehabilitation after a stroke or, overcome physical damage or disease with proper rehabilitation.  Some studies seem to even suggest that a person with a brain under attack from diseases that are manifested in older people actually can “rewire” itself around areas that have been damaged. What to I believe about all this information?

Improvement - image from pixabay.com
Improvement – image from pixabay.com

I believe guidance for a healthy brain is found in The Holy Bible: 1) Children nurtured, loved and taught  right from wrong have a better chance to become good people within their society; 2) An adult trying to overcome a negative start in life must work hard to undo the negative affects but he or she can do it; 3) Learning what is right and good is a life long process for the human brain: it never stops requiring input, adaptation, integrating new information, assimilating new experiences and updated self meaning.

Here are some Bible quotes that reinforce my belief: 

Proverbs 1:5 ESV 

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

Proverbs 1:7 ESV

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Proverbs 22:6 ESV

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

1 John 4:1-3 ESV 

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV 

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

AMEN

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Truth in Business

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Shipping Specie To The Interior : Testing The Bags By Weight." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 9, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-cd8f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Shipping Specie To The Interior : Testing The Bags By Weight.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 9, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-cd8f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Some people attribute some questionable business practices as just part of reality.

A Christian brother who was the leader of a discipleship group explained how a Christian business person could be easily be distinguished from a “worldly” business person: “The Christian business person set his or her price as fairly as possible openly so a Christian brother or sister should not expect a discount (granted favoritism); the “worldly” business person may offer ‘special’ deals to ‘certain’ customers because of the way he or she sets their prices.  A business is a business and being such it must make a profit in order to stay in business.  The amount charged for goods or services must cover expenses and provide a living for its proprietor. Cost for premises, utilities, goods, shipping and so on must be paid before the business person earns enough for themselves (enough to raise a family as well in most cases).

It is buyer beware in the world - image from pixabay.com
It is buyer beware in the world – image from pixabay.com

I expect a good quality product or service from a Christian business person as well as from a non-Christian business person.

To expect “more for less” just because you and the proprietor are Christians is not fair to them.  The Bible does address a number of issues pertaining to doing business according to GOD’s standards:

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "A Chinese Vegetable Peddler, San Francisco, Calif." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 9, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a38c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “A Chinese Vegetable Peddler, San Francisco, Calif.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 9, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a38c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Excerpts from GOD’S Word:

Leviticus 19:11 ESV

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.

Lying image from pixabay.com
Lying image from pixabay.com

Proverbs 11:1 ESV

A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.

Scale image from pixabay.com
Scale image from pixabay.com
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "A character portrait. Alexander H. Stephen, M.C. from Georgia, the new chairman of the Committee on Weights and Measures." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 9, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c0cf23fd-1b66-fa46-e040-e00a18065ef0
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “A character portrait. Alexander H. Stephen, M.C. from Georgia, the new chairman of the Committee on Weights and Measures.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 9, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c0cf23fd-1b66-fa46-e040-e00a18065ef0

Mark 8:36 ESV

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

 Romans 12:2 ESV 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

AMEN

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Can GOD’s Mind Change?

Prayer - image from pixabay.com
Prayer – image from pixabay.com

Have you wondered why we pray?

This post will discuss a topic that has the potential to be controversial: GOD is omniscient; GOD knows all aspects of eternity; Consequences for violation of GOD’s standards are inevitable. Could the things humans experience and execute within the realm of human existence under free will make a difference in an outcome when we pray?  At this point I will let GOD’s WORD offer clues about whether the mind of GOD can be changed.

Arrows - image from pixabay.com
Arrows – image from pixabay.com

Examples from scripture that reveals clues as to whether the mind of GOD can be altered:

Genesis 18:16-33 (ESV)

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Lot and His Family Fleeing from Sodom" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ad2b8500-2efe-0133-5d45-58d385a7b928
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Lot and His Family Fleeing from Sodom” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ad2b8500-2efe-0133-5d45-58d385a7b928

26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam and Eve suffered consequences

When humans violate a command of GOD they can expect to suffer consequences for their action.  That does not mean we cannot be saved for eternity because even the worst offenses are forgiven when we accept the accomplishment of Jesus Christ who took our place taking our punishment for our sin nature and leading us to eternal life in the presence of GOD>

 

Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Full-page miniature of Adam and Eve questioned by God." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e6b0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature of Adam and Eve questioned by God.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e6b0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Genesis 3:17-19 (ESV)

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

GOD grants a reprieve

Isaiah 38:5 (ESV)

“Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.

Consider this . . . 

Exodus 32:14 (ESV)

14 And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

AMEN

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