All literature not contained within the canon of Scripture falls under the extra-biblical category. Extra-biblical is defined as; “outside the Bible” or “beyond the Bible.” It is important for believers to understand that extra-Biblical theology is an open door to deception for Christians.
Some spiritual literature is written with a focus on deceiving. We find ourselves in an age where we devalue truth under the banner of personal prejudice and bias. This includes areas of religion and theology, and feelings now establish the truth.
However, feelings are unreliable and often void of reality. Feelings are just that — feelings. Half the spouses in the world would be dead if we followed every impulse from our feelings. Feelings and emotions can play a part in validating truth but can never be the standard by which we measure truth.
Mark Clark said, “the highest priority for us as a culture and a generation is the individual and their autonomous identity and fulfillment. Over a few hundred years, western civilization has moved away from theology and philosophy as the main filter to explore one’s identity to psychology. These days, it’s all about us as individuals. How I feel, and what I think as the deciding factor of my reality and thus the reality around me.”
Doctrine from the Bible was once considered the king of all truth. But doctrine is now subject to false religions and false facts. On the world front, objectivity and spirituality may be a thing of the past, and subjective truth has replaced objective truth as the primary way people access and process the truth.
Back in the day, the Bible or other sacred/religious texts (depending on which culture) set the standard on ethics, how people behaved, and what they valued. That’s been replaced by experiences, desires, preferences, and feelings. Mark Clark, Bayside Church
America loves justice, morality, and equality without religion. Most Americans want a good life while making any choice they feel.
Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Very few of us can deal with too much truth, so we rarely inquire too deeply into the justifications of our beliefs.”
We have clouded truth under the prejudice and bias of the human heart. Trusting your solo judgment is the most untrustworthy choice you can make
The Bible claims to be the truth.
Your law is the truth. (Psalm 119:142, NKJV)
All your commandments are truth. (Psalm 119:151, NKJV)
So what is the standard of truth? Feelings? Circumstances? God? The Pope? If God is not the standard of truth, what is the standard? How can we know the truth if truth has no plumb line?
Steps to determine truth have taken a step backward in the last two decades. So we find ourselves in solitary confinement, defining reality from error. Even the Bible warns against such practices.
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (II Peter 1:20–21, NKJV)
The Bible says that matters are established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (II Corinthians 13:1 BSB). Because heavenly truth is established through consensus and not by anyone person. We cannot foolishly say whatever we think is true when it has no merit or reality. The earth is not flat, even if you believe that foolishness. The same law applies to extra-biblical revelation.
So, any extra-biblical revelation that does not correspond to the Scripture by actual interpretation, application, or historical proof opens the door to deception.
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. (Hebrews 13:9, NKJV)
Extra-biblical sources have some degrees of reliability. However, the Scripture is authoritative. Interpretations, ideas, or doctrines that evolve from extra-biblical sources are subject to the authority of biblical interpretation and judgment from the apostles and prophets. This is one reason why extra-biblical sources should be seen as an open door to deception for Christians.
If private revelations agree with Scripture, they are needless; if they disagree, they are false.
So, the question is, will society believe the truth if proven it corresponds with that which is real? Often, they will not. We live in times where most folk only believe what they believe already.
C.K. Chesterton said, “when we stop believing in God, we often believe in nothing and begin to believe in anything.” We are here.
Here are some things to avoid.
Cherry-pick the Scripture
The definition of cherry-picking is to choose the portion of scripture you like and throw out the parts you dislike.
Usually, the “cherry-picker” has a predetermined plan or position and uses portions of scripture to support that position.
We live in times where the scriptures are twisted, and the truth is neglected. We also call evil good and good evil. If you do not believe that abortion is good, then you are the evil one — it is worse to be pro-life than to have an actual abortion. (I am not here to judge anyone who has had an abortion, but the point is valid).
Extra-biblical revelations are never considered equal to the authority of the scripture.
Question the authority of God’s Word
The Westminster Confession of Faith helpfully states, “The Authority of the Holy Scripture, for which has ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received because it is the word of God.”
We have no freedom to break the speed limit just because we feel like going fast, and the law establishes the authority. Feelings do not set rights or wrongs, and emotions are extra-biblical when the sense clashes with God’s laws or ways.
Our speedometer or feelings do not determine our right to violate the law, and Christians are to obey the law of the land. Likewise, we don’t look to humanity or creation to determine the authority of God’s divine Word; we look to the Creator — God the Father.
Final authority belongs to God and Him alone.
Twist the scripture
Do you think twisting the scripture is new? Nope. Satan twisted the Scripture in Genesis 1 when talking to Eve. The same old devil and same old trick.
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 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.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:2–5, NIV)
Is Satan the only one that twists the scripture? Absolutely not.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (II Corinthians 11:13–15, ESV)
The antidote is to know the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot see or understand the Kingdom of God.
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:3–5, ESV)
When you become born again, you receive the Holy Spirit. Once you receive the Holy Spirit, you accept the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit leads and guides us into all truth.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak; He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13, NKJV)
Without the Spirit of truth, we will give feelings permission to be our reality.
And that opens the door to all deception.
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