Misinterpreted Scriptures

By Don Koenig (www.thepropheticyears.com)

Misapplications of scriptures are common today because well-meaning and also some not so well-meaning people ignore the context. I will point out six common misapplications of scriptures here. I am sure readers can come up with others.

1. Who has not heard this misapplication of scripture claiming that God will heal America if Christians in America would repent for the nation.

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Sounds great, but the passage quoted is not directed at Christians. The context makes it clear that God is talking to Israel. You really have to rip the passage out of its context to apply it to Christians living in Gentile nations. Try selling the American application of this scripture to Christians being persecuted in China, North Korea, Iran, etc. Tell the believers in Haiti that God will heal their land, if the believers there just turn from their wicked ways. I think they would rightly take that suggestion as an insult. Yet, many in America want to believe the lie that if believers In America obey this passage, unbelievers in America then receive a free pass.

God never promised Christians lands at all. Christians are a spiritual people and our home is in Heaven. If a nation has many wicked people, the few Christians dwelling in it will not save the nation. There is no instruction in the Bible that tells Christians to repent for others doing the evil.

The Christian mission on earth is more like that of Jonah to the Nineveh’s of the world. When God spared Nineveh it was because the whole city repented not because Jonah repented. Likewise, if a nation becomes wicked, the nation needs to repent of its evil. If the nation was really full of God’s people, it would have no need to repent. God’s people generally are not partaking in the evils of the nations they occupy. In fact, the evil they see occurring continually grieves their spirit.

The real problem in America is that most who identify as Christians are not really Christians. These non-believers need to repent and be saved. The land will not be healed if the majority unbelievers just go on practicing their wickedness. Wickedness in a nation is a sure sign that most in the nation have a reprobate mind. They deny that God exists (Rom 1).

2. This is a favourite misapplication of scripture taught from the pulpits of America and the TV hucksters.

Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

If you read this verse in context of the passage, it is clearly talking to national Israel not Christians. Again, try telling Christians in Haiti that the way they will receive abundance is by tithing.

In context, God was telling Israel that the reason Israel was living under the curse was because they were not being obedient to His commands. Their disobedience was bringing about a curse under the covenant of blessings and curses that God uniquely made with Israel. This passage is not directed at Gentiles and it certainly is not directed at Christians. Christians covered by the blood of Christ are not going to be cursed by God.

Besides, there is not a word about tithing given to the New Testament Church. The NT only teaches free will giving. Those that freely give will abundantly receive, but they will not necessary receive material blessings. Teaching that tithing is a spiritual law and a requirement for Christians is a false teaching. Too often the motives for putting a tithe burden on Christians is self-serving legalism.

Further, Israel had three tithes, so just giving one tithe does not make Christians compliant with the law of tithing. By the way, those hucksters on TV that promise a hundred-fold blessing for what you send them are con artists that prey on biblically illiterate Christians. There is no such concept taught in the Bible. Don’t send any of them a wooden nickle.

3. The next misapplication of scripture is usually used with good intention, but the way most use this passage shows lack of understanding of the prophetic context. This misapplication of scripture puts Christians under self-condemnation and is sometime used to try to put Christians under legalistic bondage.

Mt:25,31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Many use this passage to imply that Christians not doing enough good works toward others are in danger of losing their salvation and could go to Hell. In correct context, Jesus is not talking to Christians at all in this passage. The passage is about the sheep and goat judgment at the end of the age. It is fulfilled after Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom in Israel. The brethren seen with Jesus are Israelis. More specifically they probably are the 144,000 Israelis that preached during the tribulation and now follow Jesus wherever He goes (Rev 14:4).

The people Jesus is talking to are the Gentiles who survived the tribulation. They will now either be allowed into the kingdom on earth or they will be cut off from the kingdom based on how they received the 144,000 preaching the gospel of the Lord’s coming kingdom.

Jesus is not directing what He said to any Christian in this passage. Christians are saved and are already married to Christ when He returns. For anyone to infer from this passage that Christians will be saved or condemned by their own works toward others are preaching a false salvation by works theology. They are claiming that you save yourself.

4. Another prophetic application that is often taken out of context to claim that salvation comes from self-efforts is the following.

Matt 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

This passage is not saying that Christians need to persevere to the end to be saved as many are claiming. True Christians are already saved. The context of the passage is for those believers living through the tribulation events that Jesus is speaking about. It is a passage of hope saying that believing Jews (saints) who live through the great tribulation will obtain the promised Kingdom. The doctrine of perseverance of Christian in order to be saved is salvation by your own performance theology. It is not taught in New Testament. Christians are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, not by their own perseverance.

5. The following are favourite misapplications of scripture used by control freak leaders to justify that anything they say or do should never be criticized.

1Ch 16:22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Ps 105:15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

In both cases God was telling kings in and around the land of Canaan that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were His prophets and these Gentile kings should do them no harm. In context, there simply is no way that these passages should be applied to today’s self-anointed leaders. Christians are told to check out leaders and their teachings according to scriptures properly applied.

6. What Christian in America has not been told the following, claiming that Jesus told Christians not to judge?

Mt 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Was Jesus really telling Christians not to judge what others are doing? That conflicts with other passages telling Christians to discern between good from evil. Paul tells us that Christians will judge all things, even the Angels, so we ought to be able to make judgments better than non-believers (1Co 6:3). Jesus was telling believers here that we should not be judging the motives and ministry of other believers if we know that we are falling short in our own spiritual walk with God. The works of each believer wither they be common or precious will be made clear to all at the judgment seat of Christ (1Co 3:12) .

Brannon Howse explains how This Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible is Destroying America. Below is his own summery from this article. I totally agree.

"If Americans don’t start to judge and punish evil instead of accepting all ideas and beliefs as equal, we will become a nation that welcomes same-sex marriage, polygamy, paedophilia, incest, euthanasia, and likely a host of moral aberrations so bizarre they’re still hidden in the darkest reaches of the Internet.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “you know we are not to judge people; even the Bible says ‘judge not lest you be judged’.” Americans had better start getting comfortable with politically in-correct, non-humanistic forms of making intelligent judgments on moral issues because even if we don’t make them, I’m concerned there is Someone very willing to hold our nation accountable for what we allow. And He doesn’t respond well to intimidation, name-calling, flawed logic, or being quoted out of context."

That article was written about 15 years ago. Since that time American Christians have not been judging between good and evil and all the evils that Brannon Howse mentioned are playing out in this nation. Many of our churches are even accommodating these evils, but who are we to judge the unbiblical positions of hirelings in the pulpits and biblically illiterate ignoramuses repeating everything they say?


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