Biblical Myths - Part 1

Biblical Myths - Part 1

Scripture: John 14:6, John 13:14-17, Hebrews 9:16-17
We often think children listen to fables and falsehoods easily, but many adults cling to the traditions of men even if they violate the clear truth of Scripture.

Search for Certainty Study Guides by Mark Finley

Search for Certainty Study Guides by Mark Finley
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.


Have you ever considered the wonderful power of falsehood to perpetuate itself? Did you know that many people actually prefer to believe a lie rather than the truth? It is hard to understand, but it is the tragic situation we see all around us in the world today. Too many times tradition has been drummed into the mind since childhood, and later in life these people would prefer not to be bothered with the facts. Their minds are made up, and they simply screen out any information that would disturb their settled ideas. And this is especially true in the realm of religion. Nowhere else do we find such dogmatic, unbending, arbitrary stubborness in giving up a position, even after the position has been demolished by biblical evidence.

What I am trying to say, friends, is that there are scores of religious myths in the world today that have become very popular with a lot of religious people. And these myths have been repeated so often and believed for so long that they are regarded as sacred, inviolate truth, even though there is not a shadow of evidence for them in the Bible.

Today I am going to introduce a series of broadcasts that is designed to shatter some of these cherished myths. Now, friends, you may as well brace yourselves for a few shocks as we get into this series. The truth is always painful, it hurts. And if you are just looking to be comforted with smooth, easy things, you probably stopped listening to this program long ago, anyway. I have actually met people who would not attend my public crusades nor listen to my broadcast, and do you know why they wouldn't listen? Because it was something different than what they had been taught. In other words, these people had apparently settled it in their own minds that they had all the truth that could ever be known, so they wouldn't listen to anything that had not been taught previously. I feel more sorry for folks like that than anybody I meet. They have closed minds, and they will forever remain in that static position regarding truth. They fail to realize that truth is progressive, and there is a growing in knowledge as well as grace.

Then there is another class who deserve a lot of pity, at least I feel sorry for them. And that is the group who will test everything by the opinion of their pastor. Now, friends, I have got nothing against preachers, and they should be questioned and consulted. But truth must be tested and measured by what the Bible says. Even the most godly man can misguide you in matters of truth, and they may be very sincere in doing it, also. Sincerity is not enough, because you can be sincerely wrong. There is only one acid test of truth and that is God's word. It doesn't matter what you were taught as a child; it doesn't matter what the majority of people believe; it doesn't matter what your emotional feelings lead you to think or believe. The only thing that matters is what the Bible says. We have no other way of knowing what is right or wrong, truth or error.

So again, I say prepare yourself for a little pain if you continue listening to Amazing Facts, because the truth hurts. I will give it as simply as I know how and as painlessly as I can, but it is still going to hurt. If you want your ears tickled, you will have to find another teacher. And believe me, there are plenty of soothing, ear-tickling teachers around who will be glad to lull you to sleep.

I submit to you today that Jesus is the only true and perfect pattern for any of us to imitate. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." John 14:6 And if we follow the example of Christ in what we teach and practice, we cannot go wrong. Yet, consider how many Christians today rationalize away some of the strongest commandments Christ gave to the church. It is simply amazing how His laws are ignored if they don't happen to meet the convenience of the people. I am thinking right now of something Jesus commanded three times. Now listen, Christ didn't speak in some mysterious symbolic language when He gave these three commandments. It was so direct and unmistakable that no one can plead ignorance. I am going to read the three commandments of Jesus now and I want you to ask yourself why you do not obey them, if it so happens that you aren't practicing what He commands.

Here they are in John 13:14, 15 and 17, "If I then your Lord and Master have washed your feet ye also ought to wash one another's feet." Now, there is the first commandment Christ gave concerning this beautiful ordinance of foot washing. He used the word "ought" which denotes obligation. In other words He said. "You are obliged to wash one another's feet." But He didn't stop with that. Some people might rationalize those words to mean something else so Christ repeated the commandment in even stronger language in verse 15, "For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done unto you." Now there can be no doubt about the meaning of these words. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the Life." But now He also says, "For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done unto you." And what has He done, friends? What was He talking about? The washing of His disciples feet. Then, lest someone should still quibble and rationalize, Jesus repeated the commandment a third time. He said, "If ye know those things happy are ye if ye do them."

Now, here is my question again, friends. Are you obeying these three commandments of our Lord? If not, why not? And please don't answer and say, "Well, my church doesn't follow this practice and that is why I have never done it." I would have to answer you something like this, "Then your church is wrong and you are wrong in following your church rather than the commandments of Christ." Over and over again I have met this on the part of church members. They asked their pastor and he lightly brushed it aside by saying, "We don't have to follow that practice today." And with no further inquiry into the matter, some have blindly gone on their way, violating the words of Christ just because of the words of man.

Another common misconception about the practice of foot washing is that Jesus was merely honoring a social custom and that it had no spiritual significance. Friends, that is the most tragic excuse that anyone could give because it ignores the deep spiritual meaning of what the Master did and what He said. Notice verse 10, "Jesus saith, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit and ye are clean, but not all, for He knew who should betray him; therefore said He, ye are not all clean." Of course, He was referring to Judas as the one who was not clean. But friends, was He talking about physical cleanness or spiritual cleanness? The answer is obvious. Judas' feet were just as clean as any of the other disciples, but his heart was not. He had already bargained to betray Christ. So this washing of the feet symbolized a spiritual cleansing. It was not just a physical act, and if we miss that we miss the whole point of the story.

Jesus told them that they were clean, all but one. They had been washed in the waters of regeneration or baptism. But since that washing, they had picked up envy toward each other, and had contended for the highest position in the kingdom. Jesus likened that envy to the dust one picks up on his feet when walking away from the bath. He said "He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet." In other words, they did not need to be baptized again because of those wrong feelings. But the washing of the feet symbolized the spiritual cleansing away of those wrongs. This represented a little baptism that prepared them for the deep spiritual service of the Lord's Supper that followed immediately. Those who see only a casual, physical custom in this would have to be almost blind, friends, because Jesus clearly indicated that Judas' problem was not physical but spiritual.

So there it is. A command that has been totally ignored by most churches in these modernistic days of theological confusion. No doubt pride has led to some of the neglect, and convenience also figured in. It is no more convenient to supply pans of water and towels than to provide a baptistry large enough for immersion. Because of inconvenience, churches abandoned the true Bible baptism of immersion. And because of inconvenience, they have rejected three direct and incontestable commandments of the Lord Jesus to practice foot washing in the church.

It is interesting to notice that some of the churches which disobey these laws of Christ claim to be New Testament churches. They manage to evade laws like the ten commandments by classifying them with the Old Covenant or the Old Dispensation, whatever that is. But no such convenient loophole appears to evade the foot washing commandment. It is strictly New Testament. It is strictly Christ centered and strictly New Covenant. Right here we probably should take note of something that will help us see why Jesus instituted the foot washing and Lord's Supper on the Thursday night before He was crucified.

The New Covenant was ratified or confirmed by the death of Jesus on the cross. As the Testator of the New Testament or New Covenant, Christ sealed that last will of His by shedding His blood. Now the Bible plainly teaches that the New Covenant could not go into effect until after the death of Christ. We read that in Hebrews 9:16, 17. "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." I am sure you realize that the word testament and covenant is one and the same thing. It is like a final will or testament. One other fact about the New Covenant is clearly laid down in Galatians 3:15, "Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth or addeth thereto."

Isn't that beautiful, friends? Christ's covenant would be ratified or confirmed by His death, and therefore would not go into effect until after His death. But once it had been ratified by His blood nothing could ever be added or taken away from it. Now we can understand why Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper the night before he died. He actually spoke of His broken body before it was broken just so that beautiful observance could be included in His New Covenant. This is why He said in Luke 22:20, "This cup is the new testament in my blood." And just before the communion commandment, Jesus gave His three commandments about the washing of feet. There is fully as much divine authority from the Lord Jesus for practicing foot washing as there is for observing the Lord's Supper. Both were commanded by the same Master just before He ratified the New Covenant by dying on the cross. So any church which claims to follow New Testament command and example should observe the Lord's Supper and practice foot washing.

And that leads to another myth that we will only have time to mention briefly on today's broadcast, and it ties in also with the ratifying of the New Covenant. Millions of Christians observe Sunday, the first day of the week and feel honestly that there is some biblical command for their worship. But friends, painful as it may be to accept, this is only another myth based upon tradition. Sunday keeping was added hundreds of years after Christ lived and died. It could never be a part of the New Covenant that was sealed and ratified by the death of Jesus on the cross. No claims have ever been, as far as I know, that the keeping of Sunday was known before Christ died. The seventh day Sabbath was observed by Christ just as it had been observed by all God's faithful people through the ages. Luke 4:16 says of Jesus, "And as his custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up for to read.

Now what Sabbath day is this referring to which Jesus kept as a matter of custom? The only day in all the Bible which is called the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week or Saturday. It is the Sabbath which was written into the heart of the great moral ten commandment law by the finger of God. And I am talking about the ten commandments which most adult Christians memorized when they were children. Practically every Protestant church affirms that they are basic to historic Christianity, and yet those same churches contradict themselves by teaching the observance of the first day of the week in violation of the fourth commandment. Surely there is no more confusing or mystifying thing in all the realm of religion than this blind spot in Protestant theology. Preachers have no answer for it, they have to admit that it is not biblical. And the members simply do it because they were taught to do so as children. Few have studied the Bible truth on this subject at all, and not many of those few had the courage and faith to break with tradition. Especially when it involved an inconvenience and an unpopular practice. Keeping the true Bible Sabbath today often involves sacrifice and ridicule and sometimes even severe persecution. It still costs something to follow Jesus Christ all the way. Many will follow Him until it gets hard, then they rationalize away the word of God.

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question