Bible Basics: Perversions of Scriptures

By Earl E. Robertson

The Scripture is God-given and can be understood (Acts 8:30ff; Eph. 5:17). Though God has given us His will in such a way that we might understand it, there have always been some people who would mishandle it. To Adam and Eve the devil perverted God’s truth and sin entered into the world. To some Jesus said, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” (Matt. 22:29; Mk. 12:24). Sometimes people err because they do not know truth; yet, some err knowing the truth. Some believers have “erred from the faith” and some “have erred concerning the faith” (1 Tim. 6:10, 21). James shows us that if any do err from the truth he needs someone to convert him (James 5:19).

Peter says, “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 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 Peter 3:15, 16). Perverting or wresting the Scripture is not done with impunity! There are consequences for so handling the word of the living God. Peter says the consequence, partially, at least, is one’s own destruction. So, great care must be exercised in one’s use of Scripture. The “unlearned” or untaught or ignorant do wrest the scripture, says Peter. Some want to be teachers, but really should be taught themselves.

1 Corinthians 2:9-13 is often perverted. This is used as a funeral text by many preachers. They read Paul’s quotation from Isaiah 64:4, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him,” and immediately affirm that he is talking about heaven! They tell us how that we someday will see the beauties of heaven, but must wait until we die. I am not disposed to argue with one that we can now know all about heaven, but I am prepared to say that 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 has nothing whatsoever to do with this subject. This passage deals with revelation. What God had not revealed man could not see, hear, or receive. “But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit” (v. 10). We now have what the eye had not seen, but it is not heaven. It is revelation!

Guardian of Truth XXVII: 9, p. 266
May 5, 1983