By Jim Huskins
The Hebrew word “aqash” means “to make crooked” or “to distort.” Isaiah Chapter 59 addresses people who have separated themselves from God by committing intentional sin. Verse 8 uses “aqash” to say, “The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.” Proverbs 28:18 says, “Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.” I thought of “aqash” while I recently watched a video clip from one of the well-known prosperity preachers.
Through a dazzling smile that reminds me of the grille of a 1953 Buick, this preacher assured me that God is not focused on all my failures. Instead, He has mercy for my every mistake. God wants me to stop feeling condemned and unworthy. Apparently, I have wasted my life striving for Godly righteousness. I foolishly thought that sin is such a big deal that it could only be resolved through the death of God’s Own Son. Mr. Buick Smile says that I do not have the “right image” of God. I suspect that Smiley is “making crooked” plain words of Scripture.
The practice of twisting God’s Word began long ago with a question: Did God really say? These days, the Bible is twisted to justify everything that God labels “abomination.” One strange twist is the claim that Jesus broke the Sabbath. Bible software makes it easy for every believer to read every verse that mentions “Sabbath” or “Sabbaths.” This simple word search does not take long, and it reveals two glaring realities.
First, Sabbath is near and dear to God’s heart. Sabbath has its own spot in the Big Ten. According to Exodus 20:8-11, it’s number Four. Exodus 31:13 says, “Above all you shall keep My Sabbaths.”
The second fruit of reading every Biblical reference to Sabbath is learning that not a single verse of Scripture claims that Sabbath has been altered, cancelled, or moved. God never changed His mind about the significance of His Sabbath.
Some believers insist that Jesus arose on the First Day of the week and, thereby, cancelled God’s Seventh Day Sabbath. They ignore the fact that the Bible makes no such claim. If Jesus did away with the Seventh Day Sabbath, then why did Paul keep Sabbath for his entire life? Why did James the Elder say in Acts 15:21 that Gentile converts should be in Synagogue every Sabbath to learn what Moses taught about how to follow Messiah. If Jesus cancelled Sabbath, why did He say in Matthew 24:20 that His followers should pray that the “abomination of desolation” not begin on a Sabbath. He obviously expected His followers to be keeping Sabbath when end time events begin.
Some who claim that Sabbath has been revoked say that Jesus had so little regard for Sabbath that He broke the Fourth Commandment. They cite Matthew 12:1 which says that Jesus’ disciples picked grain and ate it during a Sabbath walk. They also reference a number of healings which Jesus performed on Sabbath. “Aha,” they screech. “There is Jesus breaking the Sabbath.”
If those “word twisters” had not chosen willful ignorance of most of the Bible, they would know that pulling grain to satisfy one’s hunger is not a violation of Sabbath. Neither is healing. Those actions only run afoul of man-made traditions. People who read the entire Bible know that if Jesus had broken a single commandment, He would not qualify as the Perfect Sacrifice for sin. In that case, we would be hopelessly lost. Praise God that Jesus kept and taught every commandment perfectly—including Sabbath.
The art of twisting scripture is called eisegesis. This is a process of interpretation intended to support one’s convictions. It’s the opposite of exegesis. The latter is an attempt to determine God’s perspective based on what He says in His Word. Eisegesis is nothing more or less than an attempt to justify lies.
One of the most prevalent lies in Christian doctrine is that people who try to adhere to God’s instructions for living are attempting to “earn” salvation. Scripture is clear on this topic. No one is saved through merit. Salvation is a free gift by grace through faith in Jesus. The problem is the lie that “salvation” includes license to sin with impunity. Mr. Buick Smile tells me that God has mercy for my every mistake and that I have no responsibility to live according to Godly standards.
No one was ever saved by keeping the Law, and yet Jesus says that the Law will be in full effect for as long as heaven and earth remain. It will not be diminished by the smallest pen stroke. (Matthew 5:18) If the Law has no role in salvation, then why did Jesus tell His followers to not even think that He came to abolish it? The answer is that the Law still serves the function for which it was given: it shows God’s people how He wants us to live. 1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever says he abides in (Jesus) ought to walk in the same way in which (Jesus) walked.” Jesus never walked an “aqash” path. His path was always straight because it was the way of perfect obedience.
Many Christians insist that attempting to walk as Jesus walked is a bad thing. They bemoan “dead works” and “legalism.” Other believers are so grateful for their free salvation that they want to follow Jesus’ example as perfectly as they can. They joyfully affirm verses like 1 John 2:3-4, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” These radically divergent perspectives cannot both be correct. Jesus requires us to decide which path is twisted.
Obedient Heart Fellowship meets each Sabbath (Seventh Day) at 2460 US 221 Business N. Marion, NC. 10:00 A.M. 828-460-7913
Jim & Beverly Huskins are members of Obedient Heart Fellowship in McDowell County. Beginning July 2, 2022 Obedient Heart Fellowship will meet at 10:00 Each Sabbath (Seventh Day) in space graciously shared by New Covenant Church in Christ. 2460 US 221 Business N. In Marion, NC. Call for info. 828-460-7913. You can read more good Christian news from Jim HERE.