Sugar-Coating The Word
For we are not as many, which corrupt [water down] the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. – II Corinthians 2: 17
Notice the two usages of the word ‘as’ in the verse. This verse contains a figure of speech known as a Simile. Figures of speech are the Holy Spirit’s markings of what is most important in His Word. This verse says more than most believers realize. What does it mean to ‘water down’ the Word of God? In place of ‘water down’, I decided to use the term ‘sugar-coat’ in the title. The intended purpose of both is the same.
The verse tells us clearly that many, not a few, water down the Word of God – they corrupt it. They add a word, delete a word – whatever they can do to attempt to support their religious beliefs and doctrines. This is a serious problem because it amounts to people who are guessing at the meaning of God’s Word which God calls “private interpretation”. If studied enough, a faithful believer will see that the Word of God interprets itself. God strictly forbids guesswork, but don’t take my word for it.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. – II Peter 1: 20
The word ‘private’ deserves some study. A closer look reveals that this word in its Greek form is the word ‘idios’ and it means ONE’S OWN. The Scriptures are not open to one’s own interpretation. We get our English word ‘idiot’ from this Greek word idios.
I would like to use some very simple, clear, and possibly unexpected examples of what it means to water down God’s Word. By watering down the Word, the adversary, the god of this present world, the devil, often makes an attempt to make himself appear less evil than he is in reality. My first example is so simple, it may appear harmless and, to some, even a bit humorous. But that is just what Satan wants you to think. Then he has you where he wants you and can subtly control your thinking, and in turn, your actions. Then he will do only what he can do and that is to steal, kill, or destroy. So let’s get it right because the rightly divided Word of God is the only thing that defeats the enemy and isn’t that what you want - to stop being defeated and to start being more than a conqueror like the Word of God says you should be? So don’t let the simplicity of any example make you believe the opposite of it’s true purpose. If you do, you will open your mind to the enemy’s destructive tricks and he is a master at trickery and deception.
I am going to quote one Scripture that illustrates how Satan waters down the Word of God and we will take a close look at this seemingly harmless example – with implications that can be deadly.
And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, -- Luke 8: 2
Now I am going to ask you to read the following Scriptures on your own: John 7: 20, I Timothy 4: 1, Luke 8: 27, Luke 4: 41, Matthew 9: 33, Luke 11: 14, 15, James 2: 19.
I gave you seven examples to look up. Did you read them? There are well over 100 examples like this where a certain word is used in every Scripture. Throughout these Scriptures, the Word of God is not watered down – it is not sugar-coated. Following are the specifics of this section of our teaching.
The repeated word in all of these Scriptures is the word or words devil or devil spirits. How do we water this down and make it sound less evil? Well, we do what the TV preachers do and what the television writers do and even what so-called ministers do. They sugar-coat the word DEVIL AND REFER TO IT AS DEMON. Sounds trivial? It’s a major device of Satan to make himself sound less harmful than he is in his true nature. Some people may say “Oh, so what”? Well, if that’s the case, then we do not have any of the true Word of God. If God meant for a devil spirit to be called a demon, He would have said so.
Now I am going to challenge you to find the word ‘demon’ used anywhere throughout the entire Bible. There is not one reference to the word demon – everywhere God refers to devils and devil spirits by what they really are – devils or devil spirits, NOT demons.
I cannot help but bring up an example that many of you can clearly identify with. I used to be a car buff at one time and I can’t help remember that a certain car company came out with a car called a Dodge Demon. Many of you can remember that. WHY didn’t the automaker call the car a Dodge Devil? It is because the car would not have sold very well. In most people’s minds that don’t know the Word of God, the word ‘devil’ is somewhat frightening to them. But the word ‘demon’ tones it down quite a bit – it sugar-coats the true meaning – that is the word ‘devil’. Unusual example? Not really. If you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. But it makes no sense when it comes to the Word.
Let’s go way back to Genesis and study how Eve sugar-coated God’s Word resulting in a major disaster. She watered down God’s Word by changing just one little word.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. – Genesis 2: 17
When God said that thou shalt surely die, what was He referring
to? It was the spiritual connection
that Eve had with God that would die.
People misinterpret this
Scripture most of the time and this causes no end of confusion. Obviously, Eve lived on after she disobeyed God, but she now did not have the Spirit of God to guide her. She became a body and soul person.
Now when Satan tempted her, she said something that sugar-coated or watered down the Word that God Almighty spoke to her in verse 2: 17. Let’s take a look at it.
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest [maybe] ye die. – Genesis 3: 3
What did God say in verse 17 about the consequences of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? God clearly said that if you do this, THOU SHALT SURELY DIE. But Eve said in Genesis 3: 3, that if she ate of it, LEST YE DIE. She changed God’s Word and sugar-coated it. She made it appear to have much less impact than the rightly divided Word really had when God spoke it. She even went so far as to add the phrase “neither shall ye touch it”. God never even mentioned this. And what happened when she ate of the fruit of the tree of good and evil? Calamity resulted that still affects us today in this, the second heaven and earth. She lost her spiritual connection with God along with Adam and they were driven out of the garden of Eden as body and soul people.
When we are born into this world today, we still share this original sin. That is why it is so important to be born again of God’s Spirit. We are born as body and soul people. When we become born again, we become body, soul and spirit. To acquire eternal life we must confess Jesus Christ as Lord in our life and believe that God hath raised him from the dead.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. -- Romans 10: 9, 10
How do you not water down the Word of God? The answer to this question is very simple as is everything with the true God. You must be familiar with it which means you must study it diligently.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -- Timothy 2: 15 [emphasis added]
Those words ‘rightly dividing’ are used together in the Bible only once. Simply speaking, you can have a pie to cut and you want to cut exactly six (6) pieces that are very close to the exact same size. How do you do this? Well, you must practice. It takes time and that is how it is with the Word of God.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth [practices] the will of God abideth for ever. – I John 2: 17
Many Christians think that all they need to do is to read the Word of God. But it must be PRACTICED. You must work at it and actually it is very exciting. Think of it as a treasure hunt. The deeper you dig, the greater the treasure. The more you renew your mind, the greater power you have in your spiritual walk.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12: 1, 2
You must renew your mind to walk with the power of God.
Let’s go over two more examples of watering down the Word of God and that should get the point across effectively so that you never forget this subtle deception of the god of this world.
There is one main Scripture that stresses a major principle regarding evil and its origin. And time and time again, you will hear people misinterpret this principle by omitting only one word. And this is just what the enemy wants you to do – omit, add or change a word of what’s written in the Bible. Then you no longer have the Word of God, but you have what is referred to as private interpretation – guesswork.
Although we went over this verse before, it is a fact that we learn by repetition, so let’s read it again.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [idios -- one's own] interpretation. – II Peter 1: 20
People always talk about money being the root of all evil. This is not a correct statement according to the Word of God and its accuracy. This is how the enemy sugar-coats the Word. Actually, there is nothing wrong with money unless a certain emotion is attached to this subject. That emotion is love. Let us go to the Word of God and see what is says about the subject of money.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. – I Timothy 6: 10
It IS NOT money that is the root of all evil, but the LOVE OF MONEY that is the root of all evil. That’s a big difference from the first erroneous statement. Satan sugar-coats the Word and makes everyone feel that if they have money, they are subject to evil in some form. But that is not true. It is God’s Will for you to prosper and enjoy life.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. – III John 2
Another sugar-coat is in another major area of God’s Word. You will hear this taught in many religious circles and it is just what the enemy wants you to believe. Belief in this error gives you a license to sin which will eventually lead to your destruction.
I have heard it taught, based on private interpretation, that once a person becomes born again of God’s Spirit, he can no longer sin! How can this be if you study I John Chapter One which talks about broken fellowship – WHICH IS SIN?! Let’s study the Scripture that people use to back up this corruption, in their minds, of the Word of God. Remember that many Christians do not truly study the Scriptures and that’s why the following misinterpretation and mistranslation occurs.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. – I John 3: 9
First of all, you have to get the pronouns correct. When the above verse says “for his seed”, it is talking about God’s seed which is perfect. The word ‘his’ relates to the closest noun which is God.
Also the phrase “Whosoever is born of God” is referring to the spirit part of a man. Remember that once born again, we are body, soul, and spirit.
And the last part of the verse says “and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Where? IN THE SPIRIT. And the Spirit of God within a born again believer is perfect – it cannot sin. This is what the verse is saying – that the Spirit part of man cannot sin, but we can surely sin in the body and soul parts of man. This is how major misinterpretations occur and then when practiced long enough, they can become doctrine.
So remember, if you are too busy to study God’s Word, you are too busy. God will reward you greatly for the efforts when you dig for His treasures. Then you will not corrupt the Word of God and you will eventually see that the Word of God interprets itself – in the verse, in the context or where it was used before. People sugar-coat fattening foods that have no nutritional value. Let God strengthen you and keep you strong spiritually with the rightly divided Word of God which will bring you the more than abundant life.
I [Jesus Christ] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. – John 10: 10b