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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

November 30, 2018

Pay attention to the original

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

My wife works as a substitute teacher for high school students who are learning English as a second language (i. e., their native tongue is not English). On occasion her students have to write an essay in class to show how well they are learning. When they do this, she is always in the classroom to make sure that the students write their own work.

When she grades those essays, she learns the way they express themselves because our words, whether spoken or written, reveal who we are. With the essays she also has a basis for comparison when they do homework assignments. If the writing on the homework assignments doesn't match the writing style of the essays, she knows that the students may have "borrowed" someone else's words.

When we read the Bible, we are reading God's classroom essays, so to speak, and by reading His words, we get to know Him. We learn who He is, what His character is and how He expresses Himself through the words that He inspired to be recorded in the Bible for us. Studying the scriptures – what God wrote (or had written) Himself – is the only way we can identify who God is. It is the basis for comparison with all claims made about God, with many of them being false.

God's enemy, Satan the devil, borrows God's words and uses them as His own. Satan knows scripture and he knows how to use it to further his purpose, which is opposing God in every way. Satan didn't "write the essay" himself, instead he did some homework and took the words from scripture and blends them with his writing style for his deception. Satan "transforms himself into an angel of light" and "his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

By borrowing God's words and mixing them with his own, Satan makes convincing arguments that actually contradict what God tells us in scripture. And he is quite successful in deceiving people. As Jesus said, many would be deceived by those claiming to represent Him. And one reason why people are deceived is because they pay attention to what is said about the Bible, rather than studying it for themselves.

God's word is truth, Jesus tells us (John 17:17), not what someone tells us about God's word. So to avoid deception, stick to the essay written by God Himself, rather than paying attention to Satan's homework.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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