Bible Verses Used to Defend Deception.

Dear reader,

According to the Scriptures, God made people in his image and gave us a conscience (Rom. 2:15, Job 27:6). The Apostle Paul, one of the greatest missionaries of all times, wrote that his methods were blameless and tried to do everything with a clear conscience (Ac. 24:15-17, I Cor. 4:4, 2 Cor. 1:12).

One lady who studied with Shinchonji admitted that she struggled with her conscience.  She was instructed to be secretive, elusive, or deceitful to other Christians regarding Shincheonji.

When confronted about this point, one Shinchonji instructor tried to justify deception using the Bible.  He wrote that God's ways are different from ours (Is. 55:8,9).  Abraham lied about his wife and was considered righteous.  Jacob deceived his family and was honored by God. Moses killed an Egyptian and was chosen by God, and Paul became everything to win everyone (I Cor. 9:19). They also cited Mt. 9:30, Mt. 10:27, Mt. 12:15-16, Mt. 17:9, and 2 Cor. 6:8.

When the Scriptures are taken as a whole, we see that deception is not a godly method.  On the contrary, God instructs believers to put off falsehood (Eph. 4:25) and get rid of all deception (1 Pet. 2:1).  Further, when we study the passages and examples cited, they are being used out of context.

1) Isaiah 55:8,9 does not mean that God allows people to be deceitful (i.e. about Shinchonji's Bible studies). God's point is that his ways are higher, not lower, than ours. God's standard of holiness and righteousness is much higher. Heb. 6:18 teaches us that it is impossible for God to lie.

2) Abraham's deception about his wife (Gen. 12, 20) was not approved by God (Is. 43:27). He lied about Sarah because he was acting cowardly and lacked trust in God's protection, which is why people often lie - to get out of a sticky situation instead of trusting in God. Galatians 3 and Romans 4 show that Abraham was declared righteous because of his faith against all odds, not because of his deception.

3) In the same way, Jacob was not honored by God because of his cunning actions. On the contrary, at a critical moment in his life, he was personally confronted by God (Gen. 32).  This encounter forced him to come to terms with his dishonesty by answering a question about his name.  Jacob had to be broken.  In return, God declared that Jacob's name would be changed to Israel.

4) Moses was a murderer, but the Scriptures do not praise Moses for this action. The point is that God used people throughout the Old Testament not because of their sinful actions but in spite of them. God's grace redeems even the worst of sinners and sinful situations and turns them around for his glory. This shows how God's purposes can overcome our weaknesses and failures.

5) As the Messiah, Jesus was discerning enough to withhold information from his audience, but this is different than lying to the religious leaders. Christ confessed before the high priest that he had spoken openly about his teachings in the synagogues (Jn. 18:20). Jesus had no ¨deceit in his mouth¨ (I Pet. 2:21,22).

6) Does the Apostle Paul's phrase in I Cor. 9.19 of becoming ¨a slave¨ to everyone justify trickery?  Paul was referring to working within the customs of these groups to win them. His conduct was much like missionaries today. They adapt and work within a different culture as a way to win people.  Paul also testified that he never used trickery or deceit (2 Cor. 4:2) and his conduct was pure and blameless (1 Thes. 2:3-10).

When we reflect on the way Jesus exemplified morality, honesty, and love, it is easy to discern that his voice would not promote lies, trickery, or deception to spread truths about Revelation and his return.