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When Does God Allow People To Be Deceived?


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Okay, so I have no idea where this thread will go, but I wanted to bring up a topic that has caused me to ponder alot. I guess to begin with, I am fascinated in reading why people join and believe in a certain church or set of beliefs, often involving them leaving a previous church and set of beliefs. I guess the thing that I can't figure out is how so very many sincere people go so many different ways. I've heard and (seen) plenty examples of people who sincerely call out to God through prayer and scripture study often end up meeting with the missionaries and feeling like that was an answer to their prayers. I have also heard (and seen) people who feel leaving the church was an answer to their prayers. Furthermore, this is not confined to an LDS setting. For example I have read accounts by many people who after sincere scripture study and prayer leave a protestant church for Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy (and vice versa). I guess my question and concern is not everyone can be right, yet so many people do the same thing to come to such different conclusions.

I think what bothers me more is when the supernatural is involved. Often the experience to leave and join can be accompanied by a dream, vision, angelic visitation, or powerful experience with what the person perceives to be the holy spirit. This is often the result of sincere prayer and study, you know, giving your soul to god so to speak. The result is as varied as the first vision, fatima, and many other less well known experiences that go hither and thither all over the place. At what point are people given a serpent instead of a stone? I have been struggling with trying to find an answer to this because it makes me wonder why God would allow some to be deceived and others not so much. I ask this because I have been struggling to understand what truly is reality and what truly is love. What kind of love does God have for us when so many sincere people feel led in so many different ways and only one way is right? I feel this question is a huge burden on me, whic is a bit too big for a 27 year old who wants life to be more simple and less complex and intimidating :sad:

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See Alma 29. God gives all people all that he sees fit for them to have. Isaiah 55:11-12. He sees things from a much higher perspective, and knows where things will eventually go, how they will eventually turn out, and what fruit will eventually grow. The question, "Why are things the way they are?" is a good one, but tends to be narrowly focused on present dilemmas in the asking. Finding an answer requires understanding both how things were, and where things are going to end up. Understanding the whys of the present requires a broader perspective than present dilemmas can display.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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I have seen the very same exact event interpreted differently (and even exactly oppositely) by different people.

So interpretation is part of the difference.

I think part is how prepared someone is to deal with the experience -- think of the reaction of the apostles at the time of Christ or Paul or Joseph Smith.

I think part is based upon what someone is able to take in given their experiences to that point.

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I don't think Heavenly Father allows deception. I think people are deceived: Satan is capable of deceiving and usually by putting important lies among mostly truth. But so is group think, hysteria, an a lot of other emotional and physical wires getting crossed, and lack of discipline to rein in mortal desires and passions so we are vessels prepared to hear Him. But sometimes things that we think might be deceptive, might just be the way someone needs to work out their salvation.

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What kind of love does God have for us when so many sincere people feel led in so many different ways and only one way is right? I feel this question is a huge burden on me, whic is a bit too big for a 27 year old who wants life to be more simple and less complex and intimidating :sad:

He has a great deal of love for each person, and at the same time sees the big picture, which has the potential of making life very simple and unintimidating, both for Him and for us.

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See Alma 29. God gives all people all that he sees fit for them to have. Isaiah 55:11-12. He sees things from a much higher perspective, and knows where things will eventually go, how they will eventually turn out, and what fruit will eventually grow. The question, "Why are things the way they are?" is a good one, but tends to be narrowly focused on present dilemmas in the asking. Finding an answer requires understanding both how things were, and where things are going to end up. Understanding the whys of the present requires a broader perspective than present dilemmas can display.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

What he said. Very well said, Kevin.

I think of Isaiah 28:9-10 which reads: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.

We have what we need to obtain salvation, we are given what we can handle. God doesn't want us to fail. He loves us and wants for us to succeed. Just like all good parents feel for their kids. He is not trying to crush us beneath expectations.

~ Naomi

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I don't think Heavenly Father allows deception. I think people are deceived: Satan is capable of deceiving and usually by putting important lies among mostly truth. But so is group think, hysteria, an a lot of other emotional and physical wires getting crossed, and lack of discipline to rein in mortal desires and passions so we are vessels prepared to hear Him. But sometimes things that we think might be deceptive, might just be the way someone needs to work out their salvation.

I disagree. God and godly men act deceptively constantly. This is different than breaking a promise. I wrote a lengthy paper (uses lots of Hebrew, so not sure how well it would post) about it. The Ten Commandments do not preclude deception, only bearing a false witness under oath (a court setting). God deceives false prophets, he misleads people as needed in the big picture to accomplish his goals. Deception is sanctioned in events such as telling a Nazi "No sir, I am not hiding any Jews here" when in fact you are. I would use all manner of deception to trick Hitler into going in person to a battle I knew he would die in. The Old Testament has accounts of a spirit petitioning God to deceive two kings by being a lying spirit in the mouth of their false prophets, thus leading to the death of the kings. I am 100% completely and totally okay with it. What is wrong under one circumstance may be right, and indeed necessary, under another.

I have also heard from several apostles that, roughly speaking, "The Church is for everyone... but not right now". Moroni's promise indicates it may not be in God's wisdom for everyone to read and gain a witness right now of the Book of Mormon. It may be that certain people can best bring peace and the spirit of Christ to mankind outside of the church. There is a lot of stigma with being Mormon, and many doors are closed. I am grateful God does not limit his inspiration and guidance to only those in the church.

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I wonder how Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda can convince people that having 666 tattooed on their right arm

is a sign of wisdom instead of being viewed as something evil? This man (believed by some to be infused with

the resurrected Christ) believes a great transformation is coming on June 30 (http://www.cegenglish.com)

Have any of you come across his followers in your missionary travels?

Thanks,

Jim

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Dear 27 year old with shoulders that are overburdened, it sounds like the beginning of a Dear Abbey response. Your perspective is one which encompasses the whole human race and you want a single answer at a specific point in time. I would counsel you to refocus on a perspective that is closer to home. Here is my two cents: God leads and guides every person on the earth and he has a plan that he has been striving for since the creation of humanity. At the beginning of each of our lives we make choices about what type of person we will be and we gravitate toward a doctrine, a philosophy, or Way that strengthens us in that view. As we move along, some of us become ever more insistent upon growing in truth and becoming more like God whether consciously or not.

I have met a few Catholics who were once LDS and I honestly believe their choice to worship with the Catholic Church was pleasing before the Lord. In my opinion there was something they needed to learn or some other thing they needed to do in order to accomplish God's will. I think these kinds of things happen in the lives of some people while others latch on to a specific path and it grows with them; they continuously find opportunities of challenge and spiritual enlightenment.

I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the ordinances of his Kingdom are indispensable in the eternities. I also believe that God has created a path that all will obtain those ordinances and will have the choice to accept them or reject them. If this is so, then what really matters is how much we individually become like our Master. This existence is about us individually and how we will become like him. Don't get too wrapped up in the position or progress of others. Focus on your path and your relationship with your Father in Heaven and let Him take care of everyone else. Love, your faithful friend, Abbey

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We are only deceived by our own limited vision. I have held views with great passion only to read something, or experience something and change direction. God wants us to come to the knowledge on our own when we are ready and willing to receive it. I have never worried too much about peoples views; I worry more when they are do dogmatic that they condemn others that disagree with them. we all have something to learn, the problem is we often take a lifetime to figure out our own lesson yet feel justified in telling others what they must do.

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God lets us fall prey to our own misconceptions. We have this foolish notion that if someone doesn't give you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, then that person is a liar. God doesn't see it that way.

I am put in mind of the account wherein Abram was told by God to ask Sarai to tell Pharaoh that she was his sister.

Sarai did so. Naturally, Pharaoh made a pass at her, thinking she was solely Abram's sister. And Pharaoh was plagued therefore.

Likewise, consider John 6, wherein Jesus told the people that to see life they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. When questioned, he did not give them any other way than literally to understand him, and reemphasized it and repeated it. The people and many of his disciples grew offended and apostatized at that point. Clearly Jesus was crazy. He did not call them back. He did not explain further. He turned to the Twelve and asked "Will ye also go away?"

It was not until the Last Supper when Jesus gave them the key to this mystery, as well as his flesh and blood to consume.

If we felt inclined to view it tendentiously, in fine philosophical question-begging fashion, we could say God "deceives" with partial information. We may say God "deceives" us with evidence. In fact, he tells you the truth, and lets you decide whether you will believe his word, or the philosophies of men mingled with data, and he lets you reap the reward of your lack of faith.

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So you can learn to use your mind and personal revelation to make choices. Not much growth and advancement to having someone else make all your decisions for you. Not much accountability either.

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So you can learn to use your mind and personal revelation to make choices. Not much growth and advancement to having someone else make all your decisions for you. Not much accountability either.

I was thinking about this last night in terms of different sincere people asserting that particular spiritual experiences have led them into holding onto different, even opposing, testimonies and belief systems. Assuming a sincere person recognizes a spiritual aspect to his life:

1. The Light of Christ is given to all people, they exercise the agency they possess, and this may play out in different ways religiously, especially under circumstances where the Restored Gospel has not been introduced.

2. People are generally very creative with their subjective experiences and some are more religiously inclined and influential than others. This does not always mean that God is working through them or that they are using what they have received from the Light of Christ very well.

3. Focusing on sincere people who make decisions about accepting or rejecting the Restored Gospel, we have the added involvement of the Gift (for members) and/or power (available to all, according to God’s will) of the Holy Ghost, and again people exercise the agency they possess with varying degrees of effectiveness in receiving, understanding, accepting, and acting on His influence.

4. Some sincere people may be subject to or favor influences, both spiritual and temporal, other than that of the Light of Christ or the Holy Ghost.

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I don't think Heavenly Father allows deception. I think people are deceived: Satan is capable of deceiving and usually by putting important lies among mostly truth.

Not only does God allow deception, he causes it.

Exekiel 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

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I guess the thing that I can't figure out is how so very many sincere people go so many different ways.

I've heard and (seen) plenty examples of people who sincerely call out to God through prayer and scripture study often end up meeting with the missionaries and feeling like that was an answer to their prayers. I have also heard (and seen) people who feel leaving the church was an answer to their prayers.

I guess my question and concern is not everyone can be right, yet so many people do the same thing to come to such different conclusions.

I think what bothers me more is when the supernatural is involved. Often the experience to leave and join can be accompanied by a dream, vision, angelic visitation, or powerful experience with what the person perceives to be the holy spirit.

In responding to your question, I would like to do so by going through a response to Aliwe’s post. You asked for something simple…I’m not sure this qualifies but it is nonetheless also a lesson in understanding and that if one is really looking for understanding there is some work involved in the process. Really, I do not think you need to ask others such a question but you might consider learning how to dig answers out of scripture for your pressing needs. How to study is for some a difficult process. So I thought to expound on techniques I use as an example. It may appear to be complex but that is only from the length of the response.

Not only does God allow deception, he causes it.

Exekiel 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

This illustrates one of my prime issues with how people use scripture. Sure I can read what the verse says and yes it may seem to be applicable after the fashion in which it is being used above. However, when trying to truly understand a scriptural perspective one cannot simply pluck one verse out of the topical guide without attempting to marry the verse with the entirety of the concept and related principles as represented in all of scripture and prophetic utterance.

If I were genuinely interested in this concept and your expectations of its meaning I would take all references that seem to speak to the issue and other relative resources and try to come up with a comprehensive understanding, instead of what I view as prevocational misuse that if pursued can only lead to contention and misunderstanding.

When I run into something like this, the first thing I do is what Joseph Smith commented on in the King Follet Discourse:

I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life that are given to me, you taste them, and I know you believe them. You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life; I know it is good. And when I tell you of these things that were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and I rejoice more and more. (
)

There is a subtle sense to truth, one can literally perceive it in such a way as to describe it as taste. In tasting the texture of the obvious appearance of the Ezekiel 14 verse as Aliwe puts it,it tastes bad – it does not work and therefore I conclude that I do not understand enough about the implications of the verse – I need to take it to the next level.

Next , I apply the rule of opposition in all things. Sometimes the quickest way to understand a verse is to examine possibilities of what it is not. I look for its opposite somewhere in scripture. This Ezekiel verse does indeed have an opposite found in James 1.

James 1:12-16

12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

I have underlined the portion that is in opposition to the Ezekiel verse and I have kept enough of the verses around it to have captured the context of the verse to make sure that all around my choice is sufficient context to validate I am staying true to the concept.

Now I do what I call creating a spectrum. I place the one verse on one side of a page and then I place the opposite approach on the other side of a page. I actually use PowerPoint for this as it lets me group things in a way that I can examine them together. However, whatever works is great…the point is only that it is decidedly inappropriate to fail to diligently seek out the meaning of something before ones starts tossing out incendiary perspectives that usually wind up being just as inaccurate as they appeared on the surface.

I also, as I build my spectrum, put the contrary verse in context as well to make sure I understand the nuances that surround it to make sure I have a grasp of the circumstances of the message. So here is the context of the Ezekiel verse:

Ezekiel 14: 1-11

1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me
.

2 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

3 Son of man
, these men have set up their idols in their heart
, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face:
should I be enquired of at all by them?

4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet
; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

7
For every one
of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel,
which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself:

8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb,
and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

9 And
if the prophet be deceived
{enticed, persuaded} when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived {enticed, persuaded} that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God.

Now already there is a flavor of this story that is already shifting my perceptions of its implications.

Part 2 to follow...................

Edited by SamIam
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Part 2

I guess the thing that I can't figure out is how so very many sincere people go so many different ways.

Not only does God allow deception, he causes it.

Next I will start examining the roots of the words that are the most unclear to me. In this case it is the word “deceived”. For this section “And if the prophet be deceived” the word translated deceived is יְפֻתֶּה֙ - yə·p̄ut·the and it is strongs 6601, I look at the second usage from “ I the Lord have deceived that prophet” פִּתֵּ֔יתִי - pit·tê·ṯî,. What I don’t like about Strong’s is it doesn’t do as good a job of nuance of meaning but it is wonderful for giving you a list of places where the exact word is used in scripture.

I collect a listing of various ways the same word was translated in different verses: be spacious, wide, open ( as the mouth to speak silly words), be persuaded, be deceived, entice,

I read them all looking for the nuance of the various usages of the word. I won’t go through all of the possibilities for the time constraints of writing everything down that I am learning as I review this post. However, as I am going through these verses, I look for other verses to put between the two ends I have identified on my spectrum I am building.

I look through different translations sometimes to see what nuances can be found. I check the Joseph Smith Translation first. )( I don’t have that with me at the moment). I look it up in my Tanach (Stone Edition) and I am particularly fond of the NIV for this part of the process. However, I like Tyndale and a Greek / Hebrew version I have etc.

All the while, I appeal to the spirit and let it guide the directions I go. Frequently, I will find quotes and such that do not even use the words I am looking for but they embrace the principles under consideration. I add those to my spectrum.

When we place blame for our actions on others or circumstances that we find ourselves in, we can never gain the strength to change.
Some have a tendency to rationalize their behavior or to make excuses. These approaches are deceptive devices that are used to relieve guilt and gain temporary escape from the feelings of failure to make proper choices in life. They weaken our character and prolong our suffering and stress. (L. Lionel Kendrick, “Strength During Struggles,” Ensign, Oct. 2001, 24)

Here’s another that seems to add a little more from a slightly different tangent that might apply to the verses in question:

One of the great myths in life is when men think they are invincible. Too many think that they are men of steel, strong enough to withstand any temptation. They delude themselves into thinking, “It cannot happen to me
.” Borrowing a thought from Bertrand Russell,
“We are all like the turkey who wakes up [Thanksgiving] morning expecting lunch as usual. Things can go wrong at any time.”
1 Brethren, it can happen to any of us at any time. So much of our course in life is influenced by forces we only partly perceive. (“It Can’t Happen to Me,” President James E. Faust Second Counselor in the First Presidency)

This verse would definitely go on the list between the two points:

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I might consider this anecdote from Job:

Job 1:6-11)

6 ¶Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

I have a several Jewish books on halacha or the Law and other tools in the Mishnah and Chumush and the Targums. I also use the online Jewish Encyclopedia. I always look to find how it was understood by the Jews:

Among the three cardinal sins for which the penalty was death, idolatry stood first (Pes. 25a and parallels). "Dust of idolatry" is a technical expression for the prohibition of anything related to idol-worship ("'abodah zarah").(
)

Mosiah 2:27

27 Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God, even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together,
that I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me, when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you.

A prophet is held accountable for the sins of the people if he does not teach them correctly.

2 Nephi 27:32

31 For assuredly as the Lord liveth they shall see that the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and
all that watch for iniquity are cut off
;

32 And they that make a man an offender for a word,
and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate
, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught.

God greatly disapproves of people who try to catch others doing something wrong by trickery or deception.

Also, since there is a decree of punishment declared in the Ezekiel 14:9 verse, I need to understand when that is implemented. In 1 Nephi, reference is made to the House of Israel as a nation and describes a principle of “ripe” for destruction.

1 Nephi 17:35

35 Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God.
But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them;
and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining power over it.

Next I summarize the various components of the things I have discovered and create a summary of what I think is happening in the concept in question using the principles I have discovered.

End of part 2

Edited by SamIam
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Part 3

I guess the thing that I can't figure out is how so very many sincere people go so many different ways.

Not only does God allow deception, he causes it.

Exekiel 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

First, I evaluate my sources as they are building and I place them in an order of preciseness. I take the clarity of James as superior council on the general rule of God tempting man. I also have a secondary perspective from the 2 Nephi 27 verses that the Lord deplores laying a snare to trap someone, or trying to trick them into making a mistake. I accept that the Ezekiel verse may be implying something but in a hierarchy of explanation it is subject to the James verse and influenced by the 2 Nephi verse. Ezekiel is absolutely not implying that God tempted the prophet to do evil. It simply has not, does not, nor ever will it be that God tempts man to sin. However, after men have exercise dtheir agency and chosen sin they are now under the judgements of God. He may choose to work with them longer to educate their future choices or he may choose to destroy them if he feels they a "ripe for destruction".

I the Ezekiel verse 9 - while the prophet thinks he is answering the question of the people He really is answering God as if God had asked the question of him and the people. Verse 3 indicates that frankly this issue of asking God from an idolatrous perspective is absurd because it is all too clearly spelled out and should only require the already spoken word of God in the matter. Therefore anybody that comes to the prophet hoping for a way around the “stumbling block” of their skewed perspective since the commandment is clear already, will be, verse 8, cut off.

Verse 9 again if when the prophet answers the question of those that come before him if he does not speak according to the law – he is deceived in the manner of Job, wherein the Lord has permitted Satan to attempt the prophets temptation. That he was deceived implies that he gave a different answer than verse 6, “Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.”

Thus the prophet, like a turkey who wakes up in the morning thinking this day is like any other day, was unaware that he was not answering the people’s question but instead was answering the Lord who had already stated; “I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols.” Thus in Verse 9 where the Lord states he has deceived that prophet, it is simply that the Lord has challenged the prophets normal paradigm. The prophet is of the opinion that today is like any other and I (the prophet) am not at risk of final judgment than I have been in days prior to this one. Therein is the deception, in that today, the Lord will hold him accountable for today and all previous acts of his failure to teach the people according to his calling and commandment. This is one of those situations which under scores the edict that the Lord will not allow the prophet to lead his children astray. This is a very signficant point in this scenario. I am comfortable that the Lord knows as was pointed out in the Kendrick quote that certain patterns can become established and that prophet that has become comfortable not giving correct answers according to the will of the Lord is in difficult straights to correct the behavior.

I also recognize from the Job perspective that as men advance in the gospel the Lord will allow them to be tempted of Satan in the exercise of their agency. As well, from the Corinthians quote I know that temptation, the precursor to sin and not a point of judgment, is not without the Lord’s mitigating help to enable one to avoid the sin. I have determined from the Halachic material (and scripture) that the Lord has put strong penalties in place for idolatry – death.

Since as King Benjamin points out a prophet is obligated for the sins of the people if he does not teach them correct principals, in this case the prophet, whether he has any idols or not has taken upon him the burden of the sins of the people he has misled. Now he is subject to the same penalty for the Halachic requirement of idolatry which is death.

So, in case it is not apparent, I cannot find the first use of the scripture by Aliwe palatable, it tastes very, very bitter. However, while, I will not say this is perfectly correct for I will need to work on it much longer, it is clear to me that this process of diggin out the appropriate meaning of the verses intent is a sweeter perspective - it simply feels more correct to my understanding of things.

Learning to study and really understand the scriptures is an art form. It cannot be taken lightly and one certainly has to be very careful or they wind up coming away the wrong ideas, impressions and understandings concerning God’s meaning.

I have long had a policy of letting scripture define scripture as a priority, and not letting me define scripture without study.

1 Timothy 3:15-17

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures,
which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The reasoning for this is found in 2 Timothy, as I don’t want to intentionally misrepresent God as I do not like being ashamed and being led to further ungodliness by expanding upon a mistaken interpretation.

2 Timothy 2:15-16

15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God
, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth
.

16 But
shun profane and vain babblings
: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

More than anything my effort here is to somewhat illustrate the work that is required to be knowledgeable in the scriptures and to suggest the need to diligently seek correct understanding. One may not grasp all of the various ways the pieces incorporated to my final analysis and frankly there are a thousands ways to analyze the process. But with the spirit each will come to a more correct understanding. Bottom line I do not think these Ezekial verses are a valuable contribution in answering your quesiton because you are not referring to a situation that is a final judgement. Also the use of the word decieved in the verses has to be vetted out to glean its proper implications and in this case it only fits your scenario in the fact that there will be temptations of Satan that will lead to destruction.

Your question more accurately speaks to choices made in a probabationary period of existance. A period in which we are learning how to identify the voice of the Lord and at times may err in judgement. God allows for this and will provide a means for us to learn from our errors if we are so inclined to exercise our agency in that fashion.

Now more directly putting all of this in perspective for boblloyd91- Zillions of times in our lives we will be tested. The Lord will allow Satan to deceive us, but he will always provide an escape. Sometimes we may feel a certain direction is wrong though the Lord permits those kinds of decisions. Sometimes for an unseen good.

In 2nd Chronicles 11:1 Rehoboam, son of Solomon wants to attack the 10 tribes, who have united under Jeroboam of the lineage of Ephraim. The 10 tribes have separated themselves out and have become idolatrous and evil and Rehoboam wants to put them back in line. Rehoboam is no saint and his real intent is suspect but it seems an honorable effort. Still the Lord sends a prophet to tell him to leave the ten tribes alone because the Lord stated:

2 Chron. 11:4

…. Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house:
for this thing is done of me.
And they obeyed the words of the Lord, and returned from going against Jeroboam.

In other words, the Lord is going to use the evil choices of the 10 tribes to accomplish a great work and the work was that by letting the ten tribes split off they would be lost in the earth but would partially fulfill the promise made to Abraham that through his seed the nations of the world would be blessed. They carried the blood of Abraham throughout the world and now we are gathering these tribes back.

My daughter married a non- member. He was an atheist. However, because of her childhood foundation she was supportive of a religious perspective. She persuaded him and after awhile she completely left the church and THEY become Baptist. She will follow him until the end, since that is the nature of her personality, but she is a very good person and a wonderfully supportive wife and mother. Interesting thing is that in her teens she could never grasp the concept of Christ and commandments and such. She lived for social approval and that was where the vlue of her existance was found.

However, now, she is an extremely diligent Christian and to boot he is going to a Christian College and both have very strong testimonies of Jesus Christ. They are therefore both better off where they are even though it is outside the church for their commitment to Christ has become very real to them. It is my hope of course that they will continue to follow this new found light until one day they examine the opportunities found in the LDS church.

However, though this still could go either way you can see the difficulty of us looking at a decision as either good or bad. When she married this person – it seemed very bad to me, but now I wonder that if, because of this detour, there is hope that we will see the return of her and her husband and their 4 children in the Lords time. Was the supernatural involved, I believe it was. Was that clear to me at first – absolutely not. Is it going to end just the way I hope – I don’t know but I appreciate the opportunity to exercise my faith that it might be so. If in the end it does not work out will I be destroyed in my testimony? No because, I have studied the scriptures many, many years and with great effort and I understand that they have their agency and I respect the powerful mandate that is. And point of fact they are still in a better place now than they were before and I will continue to pray that someday in our future they will be gathered back into our family.

Edited by SamIam
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Not only does God allow deception, he causes it.

What Aliwe? No response? You have set a world record for posts in the first 24 hours -69- and I can't even get a nibble on your misrepresentation of scripture?

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Not only does God allow deception, he causes it.

Exekiel 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

What about all the passages in the Bible, the book of Mormon , and the Doctrine and Covenants that say that God doesn't lie?

...God cannot (Titus 1:2.)

...impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18.)

...God canst not lie (Ether 3:12.)

...cannot lie. (Doctrine and Covenants 62:6.)

Are you saying scripture contradicts itself?

Don't you see any way of interpreting Ezekiel 14:9 that doesn't contradict the rest of these passages?

Edited by inquiringmind
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What about all the passages in the Bible, the book of Mormon , and the Doctrine and Covenants that say that God doesn't lie?

...God cannot (Titus 1:2.)

...impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18.)

...God canst not lie (Ether 3:12.)

...cannot lie. (Doctrine and Covenants 62:6.)

Are you saying scripture contradicts itself?

Don't you see any way of interpreting Ezekiel 14:9 that doesn't contradict the rest of these passages?

Scripture contradicts itself all over the loving place.......what's such a surprise about that? It's written by men with fallible minds. When God speaks to them, it is STILL written by men and women with fallible minds and a limited perception of reality. EVERYTHING is interpretation from a limited cultural view, therefore, scripture does contradict itself.........

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Scripture contradicts itself all over the loving place.......what's such a surprise about that? It's written by men with fallible minds. When God speaks to them, it is STILL written by men and women with fallible minds and a limited perception of reality. EVERYTHING is interpretation from a limited cultural view, therefore, scripture does contradict itself.........

My missionaries say that if there seem to be any contradictions, the problem is in our interpretation of scripture.

I know they would disagree with you (and I think my bishop would too.)

BTW: If you believe Ezekiel 14:9 flat out contradicts Ether 3:12 (to name just one of the other passages), which passage do you personally believe is true?

Do you believe God lies, or do you believe He doesn't?.

Edited by inquiringmind
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Verse 9 again if when the prophet answers the question of those that come before him if he does not speak according to the law – he is deceived in the manner of Job, wherein the Lord has permitted Satan to attempt the prophets temptation.

I think I understand what you're saying here, but I'm not totally sure

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Why not allow that god may have revealed, after much prayer and fasting, that a family should leave to the lds church and go to another church. perhaps that's just what he wanted them to do.

Perhaps we are deceived in think gods process of talking with us will always end up in church membership.

God is concerned with teaching us what we need to get to the celestial kingdom in the next life - not just be Mormon in this life. Perhaps for some that is a different path here and conversion in te melenium, who knows.

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Why not allow that god may have revealed, after much prayer and fasting, that a family should leave to the lds church and go to another church. perhaps that's just what he wanted them to do.

Perhaps we are deceived in think gods process of talking with us will always end up in church membership.

God is concerned with teaching us what we need to get to the celestial kingdom in the next life - not just be Mormon in this life. Perhaps for some that is a different path here and conversion in te melenium, who knows.

O'kay, but that wouldn't resolve the aparent contradiction between Ezekiel 14:9 and Titus 1:2 (Ether 3:12, Heb. 6:18, and D&C 62:6) would it?

Is the contradiction real, or is there some legitimate way of interpreting these passages so that there's no flat out contradiction between them?

Edited by inquiringmind
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