Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Steve] What does guacamole have to do with religion? Well not much it seems, but something made a connection for me a while back. I had heard that if you didn't want your guacamole to turn brown, you should put the avocado pit right in the dip.Sounded right to me, seemed good. I think my mom even believed it; so I was pretty sure.But I didn't take the time to look into it. Leaving the pit in the dip had little effect! I was putting a pit into my guacamole for no reason, and I ended up looking silly until somebody pointed me in the right direction. Think of the guacamole I could have saved! I believed something, without looking into the truth of the matter.Now that's where religion comes in. Somebody lied to me about guacamole, which isn't very serious. But, when it comes to religion, it is serious. What if somebody lied to you and it prevented you from really knowing God? That would change everything!Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we ask, “Has Religion Lied to You?”[Announcer] Join our host, Steve Myers and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today ![Steve] I remember my first attempt to make a guacamole dip. Mixed it up, got it done, set it aside for what seemed like just a moment. And when I was ready with chip in hand, it looked disgusting - it had turned brown. There was no way I wanted to eat that.Then I heard about leaving the avocado pit right there in the dip to keep it from turning brown. Would it really keep the guacamole from spoiling or was it just an old wives' tale, a myth? I thought it just might work.Well, it didn't. It still turned brown but just a little slower. The pit did block the air from oxidizing the guacamole, but overall - it was a myth and it really prevented me from finding the real solution. My guac was still ruined and nobody told me that lemon or lime juice was the answer to preserving that guacamole!Now have you ever been in that kind of situation? You thought something was true. You may have even told others about it. But then you learned, you were wrong. Boy that makes you feel stupid, to realize that you got caught up believing something that's just not fact.Now it can be something silly like the pit in the dip or it can be something very serious. Now, are you sure you know the difference?There have been widely accepted practices that have hurt people and turned out to be myths. Could it also be true in religion? Now it is true: what you don't know can hurt you.We interviewed some people on the street and asked them about religion. So I asked, how do you determine what's right and wrong?> That's a good question. Everybody has their own thoughts and they're privileged to that. You know, it comes from inside. So, it's a spiritual thing.» The way I see it, there's really no wrong way to worship, it's just a matter of what you believe in, and what makes you feel good inside about being a better person and what's gonna help you get to the Holy Land.[Steve] Is there right and wrong? How do you decide what to believe? Is it good enough to choose for yourself? Or do you go to the Source?> I think that everybody has to weigh things in their own heart, when you hear things, and put them into your life and use them in your life. So what you think is right and wrong.» I don't know, you know. It's kind of difficult. It's just one of those things growing up that, you know, I kind of grew up to believe, and grew up to think.[Steve] If you've always believed something, do you assume that's good enough or should you find the truth of the matter?> We sort of, take those, the Bible as a guideline. So I don't, you know, there's really no right or wrong.[Steve] Really? There are so many ideas out there about what to believe and what's good for you. Whether we learned it from childhood or picked it up along the way. Some ideas are helpful and good for you and work, yet others are like the avocado pit in the guacamole dip - they're just a myth. They really don't work. Do you know the difference?The Bible tells of a time: “…when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;×, NLT).What do you want to hear? Without real understanding, a myth could sound good but you could be fooled. That's not much of a problem when it's a minor chip dip, but if you're not careful it could be something serious - deadly serious.Now imagine if you lived several thousand years ago. Do you know how you would have been treated for a headache? How about a fever? Well whether you were an Egyptian or a Greek, your doctor would administer the preferred treatment of choice. What was it? Bloodletting.The doctor would actually bleed you by opening a vein with a lance or a sharp piece of wood. The cut would cause your blood to flow, and he would drain several ounces of blood until you fainted.At one time, all the scholarly experts believed that illnesses were caused by an overabundance of blood. Even thousands of years later, physicians throughout the Roman Empire practiced bloodletting as a common remedy. Before long, it flourished in India and in the Arab world as well.Just think of the hundreds and hundreds of thousands in which bloodletting contributed to their death! Yet, all the experts believed in it, and practiced it.It even continued into the Middle Ages. And by that time, do you know who would cure you of your ills? Back in those days, it was your friendly neighborhood barber. They did much more than just cut your hair.That's right, the swirling red line on the barber pole - that represents the blood itself, the white - the tourniquet, and the pole represented the stick that patients would squeeze in their hand in order to dilate their veins so the blood would flow!Believe it or not, this practice continued right up to recent history. Bloodletting was also popular in early America! Even the Surgeon General in the Continental Army, one of those men who signed the Declaration of Independence, thought that arteries were the key to disease and recommended high levels of bloodletting.When George Washington, the United States' beloved first president, developed a throat infection, he called for a doctor to bleed him. The result? He did not get better. Four hours later, the specialists were summoned again and removed another quart of blood. No improvement.Then the trained doctors bled President Washington for a third time that same morning. And as we'd expect, Washington continued to become weaker and weaker. Later that afternoon, he died.The famous president died from the treatment for a throat infection - after nine pints of blood were drained from him - that's about 35 percent of all the blood in his body.Now the amazing part is that Washington's doctors used medical practice, what they believed would save his life. I mean after all, bloodletting was taught in medical school. It was written about in important books. It was the respected treatment at the time. Everyone believed it. Washington himself believed in it - believed it in his heart, that it was right. But it wasn't and it cost him his life. As I said earlier, what you don't know can hurt you.Now there is a religious connection. There's something in mainstream Christianity that you don't know is hurting you.There is something that's taught in seminary schools, something that's written about in important books. It is a respected teaching of this time. Most Christians do believe it in their heart, but like the myths and false remedies - it doesn't make it right.In fact, the apostle Paul warned the young minister Timothy. He said: “…keep safe what God has trusted you with. Turn away from foolish talk. Do not argue with those who think they know so much. They know less than they think they do. Some people have gone after much learning. It has proved to be false and they have turned away from the faith…” (1 Timothy 6:20-21 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen. ×, NLV).Could it be that some Christians have turned away? Is it possible that your learning, your lifestyle, your religion has unknowingly led you away from God?Well here's a tough question: Do you really know God or could something be interfering with your relationship with your Creator?So many have a difficult time explaining and portraying God. There seems to be a common belief that God cannot be understood. This idea became evident when we interviewed people on the street.How would you describe God, if you had to tell, tell us what or who God is, how would you describe that?> He's incomprehensible; you can't comprehend Him. You can say He's like a vision of an eagle, or like a man or like this. But you cannot truly comprehend what God is and who He encompasses. We can try and grow and know Him more but we can't actually know who He is until we're finally with Him.[Steve] Now some have described God as three-in-one, how do you feel about that?» We'll I'm an Episcopalian. So of course I worship the three-in-one - I do worship the Trinity.[Steve] Can you describe how that works a little bit to me?» Well if I could, I'd be a priest and not going to work.> Well, that's just the mystery of the Trinity. You know, three people in one. I know it's kind of hard to, hard to comprehend or fathom how, you know, how that goes. But I think that's just part of the idea of faith.[Steve] Is it important to understand the nature of God? I mean who cares if God is three-in-one or not?Is misunderstanding our Creator as harmless as leaving the pit in the guacamole dip or could it be as damaging as drawing pints and pints of blood - draining the very life from President Washington.Let me tell you something important. It is damaging. Your eternal life is at stake. The fact is that you must know who and what God is.1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we to you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.×says, “…truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ… If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”It does affect your relationship with Him and will affect your salvation. Impossible? Too far fetched? Has religion told you the truth? It hasn't.Most Christians could not imagine that religion could teach wrong things. Most think that it doesn't make sense:Do you think it's possible that religion could have lied to people?> No, I don't think so.» No.> No, no.[Steve] Have you ever thought that religion might have lied to you?> No.» Umm, I don't know… I don't know about that.> I don't know, I really don't know about that.[Steve] It's interesting to see how people don't think religion has lied to them. Not one person I talked to on the street felt they had been lied to, yet most can't explain what they call the mystery of God. Now if you have been told you can't understand who God is, then you have been lied to.Christ predicted this would happen. He said people would be mislead. He said: “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.×).Remember the senseless remedy of bloodletting? The treatment was the height of scientific understanding. It made perfect sense that diseases could be cured if you balanced out the fluids of the body. The top medical minds logically came to the conclusion that draining blood from the body would somehow heal all diseases. Everyone knew it was right. There were studies, scholarly books written on the subject. It was taught in schools.But just because it sounded scientific, didn't mean it was true. The same can be said with your beliefs - just because it seems religious, doesn't make it true. Now, here's the fact:If you seriously look into your Bible and study with an open mind, you can truly understand God.Now some explain God as a three-in-one Trinity, but is that biblical? Now seminaries do teach it. Theologians believe it. Just about everybody thinks it's true, just like bloodletting. But let's look into it for a moment. The doctrine of the Trinity - it's a serious myth you need to examine.Let's consider something: If Christ didn't believe in three-in-one, should you?Luke 11 says that Christ was praying to the Father when one of His disciples asked Him: “Lord, teach us to pray…” So Jesus said, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven…” (Luke11:1-2)Did Jesus pray to Himself? Christ said that the Father was in heaven. Now if they are one and the same, how could the Father be in heaven and Jesus be on earth at the same time? That sounds like two distinctly different Beings.Now at the Crucifixion, just before He dies and right at the time of Jewish afternoon prayers “…Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying… 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'” (Matthew 27:46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?×).Now here's the issue: If Jesus is the same as God, then who was He praying to on the cross? Did He complain to Himself about why He had forsaken Himself? If one of them forsook the other, then aren't they two separate entities? The Father was God and separate from Jesus.So the problem of three-in-one, that's also seen when Jesus prays just before His arrest. He prays, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.×). So how many wills are shown here? This passage shows that they had two separate wills. Jesus submitted His will to the will of the Father. Now don't two wills have to point to two separate individuals?Christ said in John 14:28You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.×, “My Father is greater than I.” And Scripture records that “…the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him” (1 Corinthians 15:28And when all things shall be subdued to him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.×).Your Bible clearly shows Jesus is willingly subordinate to the Father. Now, how could co-equal Gods have one part that's greater than another? Jesus the Son is submissive, under the Father. That is not co-equal status and it points to two Beings with different authority.These issues, now they're just the tip of the iceberg. So how important is it to really know and worship in spirit and in truth? The apostle Paul said when Jesus returns: “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:×, NIV).In the past when we've asked “Is God a Trinity?” we've received confrontational emails, and we'll read some of those emails in just a minute. So many have wrongly assumed that somehow we're blaspheming God by simply asking that question.Now don't misunderstand: I believe the Bible clearly reveals God the Father to us, and it teaches that Jesus Christ is our divine, personal Savior. But there's more that you need to understand.Before you write me off, remember how serious this could be. I want you to find the truth and more importantly, God cares about you. He wants you to know the truth.We simply can't cover every single detail - the entire topic - today. It's a big issue. So call and get our free study aid: Is God a Trinity? Would you please look into it? Read our study aid with your Bible open right next to it.This helpful study aid, will help you learn the origins of the Trinity doctrine ; how God is One , what exactly is the Holy Spirit , and God's purpose for you . You'll appreciate being able to read your Bible with greater understanding. This is something you can't afford to take for granted.I'd also like to tell you about our magazine, The Good News . The Good News gives insight into your world and connects it to Bible teaching.You'll find all kinds of interesting articles including prophecy, godly worship, and Christian living that's designed to help you use Scripture as the guide to face the challenging issues of your everyday life.If you are not a subscriber then now's the time to you order your free subscription to The Good News magazine, and also get your copy of Is God a Trinity? Call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's, 1-888-886-8632.You can also visit us on the Web at BeyondToday.tv to read, download or order your free magazine subscription and the Bible study aid, Is God a Trinity? Remember, The Good News is also available as a free iPad app as well.And don't miss our video blog, BT Daily . In fact, there's more exciting news! Beyond Today television programs and BT Dailies can be viewed on-demand, anytime - day or night, on Roku , on YouTube and on Vimeo .It does matter what you believe and who you worship. We've posed the question today, “Has Religion Lied to You?” To discuss this further is fellow host of Beyond Today : Darris McNeely.Now anytime you bring up the topic of the Trinity, it can be a very emotional topic. In fact, we've received many emails regarding that, that have been pretty harsh sometimes.[Darris] It always touches a button.[Steve] It does touch a button. And, I thought it might be helpful just to rehearse a couple of those emails that we've gotten and talk about those things. One that came in from Steven says, you're incorrect in stating that God is not a Trinity. And then he points to the very word for God that's used back in Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.×.[Darris] The word, “Elohim.”[Steve] The word, “Elohim.” Well, what about that word?[Darris] That word is really a plural word, Steve, that is explaining what exactly is taking place there. It means more than one and it is explaining, as it says, “Let us make man in Our image…”[Steve] Now why isn't that a Trinity then? That's the point.[Darris] Because if you understand what that is by going to the New Testament, to John chapter one, that first chapter of John it very clearly shows that, it says the Word, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It later on says that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.×).What John is describing there is the fact that back in Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.×, there was in that pre-time, pre-Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.×, there were two Beings in that family: the Word and the One who later became revealed as the Father. The Word was the One who became Jesus Christ. So, from John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.×we go back to Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.×where it says “Let us make man in Our image.” Then we understand then by putting these two verses together that we're talking about two Beings that were in the act of creating the human family with the first man.[Steve] Now that's interesting because you've got the Father and the Son and those are family names.[Darris] Yes.[Steve] They are family names, and then our part is we are children of God.[Darris] God is building a family. Throughout the Bible this is the theme and is very clearly articulated…[Steve] Of course it'd be a terrible slight to the Holy Spirit if it was another third person, that it's not mentioned in John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.×.[Darris] Not mentioned there and Christ never did talk to the Holy Spirit in the way that He talked to the Father, prayed to the Father.[Steve] Another issue that is related to that, that comes up, is one that James wrote us about. He said, how do you explain that God is one? Because there are many passages that even Christ said that. So how does that make sense if Christ and God are one? How is that not part of the Trinity then?[Darris] It is a good question. It's important to understand because in Deuteronomy 6, there is the famous verse that says, behold Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one God. And that of course for the Jewish faith is only one God and it leads people to think there is just one. But the word that is describing God there, is a word that is also meaning one in terms of an entity but with many members; such as a family, for instance.I have a family, McNeely: Family McNeely. Yet there is a wife that is with me and I have two children, and grand-children as well within my immediate family. We speak of one - a team, as in a sports team. And yet there are many members of the team. That's how that word is referring to God. There is one God, a family but there are at this present time two members in that family: God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son, and God eventually will add to that family.[Steve] And it's fair to say the same is true with the Church isn't it? The Church - there's one Church.[Darris] One body, the New Testament describes as the Church being…[Steve] And yet..[Darris] …many members.[Steve] There's many members - 1 Corinthians 12:12For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.×.[Darris] When you understand the oneness of God in that way, then you have that perfect picture. I've got a bunch of pencils right here. You have one bunch of individual pencils, that's the point of understanding.[Steve] It's almost like we were saying - the Church. We've got one Church, one bundle…[Darris] One Church…[Steve] Many members…[Darris] Many members…[Steve] So then when Christ prayed to the Father that they would be one as the Father and Christ were one..[Darris] His followers would be…[Steve] He couldn't have meant that all of us are going to be one Being?[Darris] No. No, in that part He was talking about a unity which Christ and the Father have a unity of purpose, unity of intent, in mind and their plan. He was praying for that same type of unity to bring His followers together to represent the same type of perfect unity that the Father and Christ had at that moment and also have today.[Steve] Alright. Let's think about this Holy Spirit for just a moment. How do you describe then the Holy Spirit as not a part of the Trinity?[Darris] The Holy Spirit is never addressed by Christ. He never prays to the Spirit. In the epistles of Paul, he opens up by always addressing the Father and Jesus Christ. He's called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is never addressed in that sense.It is shown to be a power in Acts 2. It is shown to be a gift of God. It is in Timothy, Paul describes to Timothy, He says, we have been given the Holy Spirit which is a spirit of power, and of peace and of a sound mind. It is the force and the presence of God within us upon repentance and baptism that takes place. But, it is not at all shown through the Scriptures to clearly be some third person of the God-head that the Trinity doctrine or formula makes it out to be.[Steve] Of course when you start to delve into this topic, I mean we are…[Darris] It's a deep topic…[Steve] …We're just touching on things and there are so many aspects to the Trinity doctrine itself and it's something your really have to look into to really begin to grasp more thoroughly. So we hope that you'll remember our free offers. You'll want to order your copy of our study aid, Is God a Trinity? Now, get your free subscription also to The Good News magazine. Call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That's, 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read both The Good News and Is God a Trinity? online at BeyondToday.tv .It is God's will for you to understand Him and really to know Him. He says: “But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me”(Jeremiah 9:24But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, said the LORD.×).You can't afford to be wrong. It's time to be sure you are worshipping in spirit and in truth.I'll be right back after this:[Narrator] “You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for generations to come” (Exodus 31:13Speak you also to the children of Israel, saying, Truly my sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that does sanctify you.×).The Sabbath is a key to the Kingdom of God. The New Testament book of Hebrews says, “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.”Jesus and His followers kept the Sabbath and they still do today. God commands us to pause and reflect on His way of life. Take a break from the fast paced action of this world. Experience a rejuvenation of the mind and grow closer to Him. Join us as we explore the Sabbath and show how it is a key to the Kingdom of God.The United Church of God is hosting free Kingdom of God Bible Seminars held around the world. Go to KOGSeminars.org to find one near you. Kingdom of God Bible Seminars - giving the message of hope for tomorrow - beginning today![Steve] Thanks for joining us. Don't forget our free offers and be sure and tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week for another edition of Beyond Today and join us in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today I'm Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today's program, go online to BeyondToday.tv. Please join us again next week on Beyond Today!