FHC HOME     Return to Pamphlet List








Man, Myths, and the Master

by

Earl & Diane Rodd








Plays, novels, and movies are a major part of western culture, and all have now become part of the educational process. Myths, fables, and allegories are an older form of a similar attempt to educate through entertainment. Are these literary devices equal in God's sight? Does the Bible reveal a literary device that is superior? Is the theory of fiction to literature what the theory of evolution is to science? In this booklet we attempt to look at literature from God's point of view to learn what is man, what is myth, and who is the Master!







Man, Myths, and the Master





Families Honoring Christ

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart
and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

Earl & Diane Rodd
6044 Pine Creek St. N.W. North Canton, OH 44720

Phone: (330) 305-9318

1st edition - April 1999

Permission is granted to copy this article for personal sharing
but not for sale or other commercial purposes.



FHC is an Ohio based ministry providing information, encouragement
and fellowship to Christian families, natural and spiritual.




Unless otherwise noted, All Scripture quotations are from the

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1988,

The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.



Additional copies of this booklet may be ordered from FHC by writing to the above address. The price is on the back cover of this booklet. Please add $1.50 for shipping regardless of the number of copies. A full listing of other books and booklets on related topics is also available from FHC at the above address.

Man, Myths, and the Master


Introduction

In our years of home education, we have been blessed with the excitement of seeking God and pressing on to discover how to conform our education to His plan. We have also suffered pain and disappointment when we have missed God's best in the lives of our children. Our goal is expressed in the Scripture:

Philippians 3:12
12. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
13. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
14. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

We are looking

Hebrews 11:10
10. ... looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

When we miss God's best we are grateful for the gift of repentance and the power of the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from our unbelief. However, we are grieved when we see ourselves and others falling into the temptation to compromise with the world and its culture. The dangers of doing so are most clearly stated in the Old Testament,

Joshua 23:12
12. "For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,
13. know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

This booklet is written as part of our journey in pressing on towards the mark. Its content is radical. We do not have generations, or even decades, of experience in walking in the most radical parts of the truth discussed. We write asking that you, the reader, seek God for His Word concerning how to walk in His ways.

The Biblical Standard of Truth

Philippians 4:8
8. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

Finally brethren whatever is

  1. true
  2. honorable
  3. right
  4. pure
  5. lovely
  6. of good repute
  7. excellent
  8. worthy of praise
Let your mind dwell on these things .

According to the Apostle Paul, we human beings are to bring our thoughts into a place of discipline where nothing evil can remain there.

II Corinthians 10:5
5. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Pure love, a good conscience and a sincere faith are to be the goal of all that we think, say and do.

I Timothy 1:5
5. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

To have a good conscience we must first focus our thoughts on "whatever is true."

If a husband and wife set "whatever is true" as the first standard of what they will allow into their own mind, hearts, and home, much of the deception that the enemy tries to use against their family will not work. If parents, who genuinely seek to honor Christ, receive the love of the truth that God has given to all men, then their children may desire to receive that love of the truth, and truth will radiate from all the members of that household. The warning from God's word is very plain:

II Thessalonians 2:10
10. and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

Those who perish do not have to perish.

II Peter 3:9
9. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

The reception of the love of the truth is a continual place of repentance as long as we listen to and obey the Holy Spirit. No weapon that satan tries to form against Christians can harm us because any weapon that the enemy tries to form is only a deception or a lie.

Luke 10:19
19. "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.

If we allow the Spirit of Truth to guide us into all truth, satan's weapons of lies and deception will have no effect on us because Jesus has disarmed him:

Colossians 2:15
15. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Now, how do we learn the truth?

John 16:13
13. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

The Holy Spirit has been on the earth for 2000 years to teach all men the truth that comes from heaven. Truth is also the first piece of armor that Paul told us to keep securely in place.

Ephesians 6:14
14. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

The army metaphor that Paul uses for a comparison is helpful, but its familiarity enables the spirit of distortion and the spirit of error to steer us on to the broad path that leads to destruction. Even though the metaphor refers to the belt or sash that was used by the military, it also refers to anyone who had to pull up his garment (clothing) to keep from tripping when running.

I Kings 18:46
46. Then the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to Jezreel.

A man's garment had to be fastened out of the way while he worked in the harvest, over the fishing nets or at the carpenter's bench. Focusing only on the military metaphor or on the other illustrations rather than on the phrase "gird up your loins" eclipses the meaning of the passage; thus the lies of satan aren't fully exposed.

When the Lord Himself spoke to Job out of the whirlwind, He used the same phrase, "now gird up your loins like a man."

Job 38:1
1. Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,
2. "Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
3. "Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!

At this point in Job's life, Job was not dressed in military clothing nor was he working at manual labor nor was he looking for a lamb lost in the mountains. Job, running the race of his faith, was dressed in sackcloth, sitting in the cold ashes of the burnt sacrifices of his past religious tradition and suffering excruciating pain and torment with the boils satan had placed on his body. Job may have been emaciated and exhausted during his time of testing, but he earnestly sought the Lord until he found Him and received a fresh revelation of who God really is: a rewarder of those who seek Him:

Hebrews 11:6
6. And without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

God spoke the same phrase to Job a second time.

Job 40:6
6. Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm, and said,
7. "Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me.

When the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm telling him to "gird up his loins", the true intention of the Lord with Job (and with us) is to bring a change to human thoughts. God asked Job questions so that the lie could be exposed and expelled, and the truth could be secured in Job's heart.

Thus, the Biblical definition, "girding up your loins," revealed by God Himself, refers to a personal dialogue with God so that the Holy Spirit can establish truth in the human heart. King David walked in this deep personal relationship with God. David also knew God's desire and God's purpose would come to pass in his life because David understood God's will for human beings is always a pure heart. David knew his sin with Bathsheba revealed a heart that refused to remain in the love of God.

Psalms 51:6
6. Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom.

Jesus further explained this when he said,

John 7:38
38. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"

The Path to Truth
The Shepherd of our souls has not changed. His perfect will for all, whether a king like David or a blameless man like Job or a saint living as the 21st century dawns, is truth in the innermost being , wisdom in the hidden part of a human personality. In our generation we rarely see the desire for truth and nothing but the truth in our culture or in Christendom. The question is, "Do we have this desire for the truth within ourselves?" Paul said, "Think on whatever is true." This implies that we must

  1. resist the false,
  2. refute the lie,
  3. refuse the half-truth,
  4. expose the white lie,
  5. exterminate the exaggeration,
  6. expel the myth,
  7. eliminate the fable and
  8. yes, even eradicate the fiction.

Most of the things the world has to offer true believers bears no resemblance to the truth. To live a simple lifestyle all a family needs to do is, "Think on whatever is true." According to the teachings of Jesus, truth is something that is to be practiced. Truth is not just a philosophical discussion!

John 3:21
21. "But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

Thus to walk in truth a person must have a vital relationship not only with Jesus who is the Truth but also must have a living relationship with the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Truth. The one who practices truth will not only be welcome in the presence of God but will also be very comfortable there. However, every one who loves and practices lying will not be found in God's dwelling places.

Revelation 22:15
15. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Thus we see that lying is not compatible with the Kingdom of God and is the foundation of the kingdom of darkness which God has assigned to be a place of eternal torment.

John 8:44
44. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

Lying in every form needs to be firmly resisted, and lies need to be eradicated in every area of life. John teaches that lying is not just something a human being does with the mouth. Hypocrisy, saying one thing and then doing another, is the lifestyle of a liar according to John. Truth within is God's emphasis; not the outward appearance.

I John 2:4
4. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

According to John, obedience to the commands of Jesus must be evidenced in the life of a person who says he knows Jesus. A liar proves he is a liar by his disobedience to the commands of Jesus. The outward behavior often reveals the inner problem. The disobedience can be observed, but the remedy lies within the heart.

Even though this is a hard word to contemplate, John does not leave us in the negative position of guilt and condemnation. He goes on to give us the contrast of obedience which proves our perfect love for God, who is truth, to ourselves and to the enemy of our souls.

John 14:23
23. Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.

Many believers do not have the actual experience of being loved by Jesus and the Father. We can say, "God loves you" a thousand times, but if the person is disobedient to the commands of Jesus, the Bible says the person is a liar, the truth is not in him/her. That person is not able to believe God loves them because his/her lifestyle is not bearing the witness of obedience to Jesus. A Christian lifestyle either bears a false witness or a true witness. That witness is internal first, and then it becomes external.

Thus it is the person who loves Jesus and obeys the words of Jesus, that has the internal experience of receiving not only the Father's love, but also of knowing that Jesus and the Father dwell within. The words translated "abode" in John 14 :23 is found in one other place.

John 14:2
2. "In My Father's house are many dwelling places ; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
3. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Jesus left heaven, came down to earth, went up on the cross, then down to hell, back up to earth, up to heaven, back to earth, then finally up to heaven so that He could send the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.

John 16:7
7. "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

The truth is loving Jesus and obeying Him so that the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father are comfortable living inside us. Those who love and obey the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will continually see Them and have revelation or more understanding of God. This internal witness of truth and life will also become an external witness to those who are around true believers, and it is the lifestyle of true believers that brings persecution.

II Timothy 3:12
12. And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Thus we are in Christ and Christ is in us. John said,

I John 2:5
5. but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
6. the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Thus a Christian has only one standard while living on this earth: Jesus' lifestyle of love and obedience to the Father. He is to be our only standard, for He was and is perfect. Jesus' words, His teachings, His methods, His motives, His actions, His behavior, His relationships, His emotions, His temptations, His victories, His loneliness, His betrayal, His triumph, His reputation, His willingness, His love, His warfare etc. -- all that Jesus was and is, He wants to live and do now through you and me. Jesus is love in us. The question is, "Am I a liar, a false witness? or Am I a true witness?"

Truth is a person - the whole fullness of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but truth is also revealed in a lifestyle of love and obedience. My lifestyle and yours can show others that I love God or I hate God. My lifestyle and yours can show others that I lie or I am truthful.

Paul teaches us:

I Corinthians 4:5
5. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.

This tells us that in this age on this earth, I may not judge a person's motives or what his or her eternal outcome will be. Even though Jesus told us to avoid hell at all costs, I must be very careful of condemning anyone in the past or in the present to hell. Only God knows the eternal destiny of His creatures. However, Jesus also said,

John 7:24
24. "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

If God Himself is Truth and He alone is the standard of truth, then I can measure by that standard; I can judge myself with righteous judgment. Truth is an eternal standard for the earth now and for the ages to come. However, a person cannot know the truth unless God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit reveal it to him or her. Thus it is a person's relationship with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, that enables that person to discern a spirit of truth and by contrast a spirit of error.

I John 4:6
6. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

TRUTH versus Fiction

The spirit of error is rampant in the world and in Christendom, and the purpose of this booklet is to issue a warning concerning a worldly literary device that is deceiving many families. This literary device is called fiction . In his 1828 Dictionary of the American Language, Noah Webster defined fiction as:

(1) The act of feigning, inventing or imagining; as by the mere fiction of the mind (2) That which is feigned, invented or imagined. The story is fiction.

Webster's definition for fictitious is even more revealing. It says,

(1)Feigned; imaginary; not real. (2) Counterfeit; false; not genuine.

The Biblical definition of truth has already been stated as the Christian's absolute standard, but Webster's definition of truth is very revealing. He says,

(1) Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been or shall be. (2) True of facts or things. (3) The conformity of words to thoughts, which is called moral truth. (4) Veracity; purity from falsehood; practice of speaking truth; habitual disposition to speak truth (5) correct opinion (6) fidelity; constancy (7) Honesty; virtue (8) exactness; conformity to rule (9) Real fact or just principle; real state of things (10) Sincerely (11) the truth of God (12) Jesus Christ is called the truth.

  1. In truth in reality; in fact.
  2. Of a truth in reality; certainty.
  3. To do a truth is to practice what God commands.

Webster's 1828 definition of truth agrees with the Biblical definition: Jesus Christ is truth. However, Webster's 1828 definition of a "lie" does not consistently agree with the Biblical definition. Webster defines "lie" as

A criminal falsehood; a falsehood uttered for the purpose of deception; an intentional violation of truth.

But then he declares fiction and fables to be true by saying they are not "lies."

Fiction, or a false statement or representation, not intended to deceive, mislead or injure, as in fables, parables and the like, is not a lie.

Webster classifies fiction, fables and parables as the same. By his juxtaposition of "parable" in the same sentence, he confuses the truth of Biblical parables with the lies of fables. Thus we must be very careful, even of "old", classical dictionaries, that do not match the teachings contained within the Bible.

If a person truly knows Jesus, who is the Truth, that person will do truth or practice truth by obeying Jesus. That means only truth will be spoken, written or practiced.

Jesus is our standard. We are to walk in the world as He walked.

I John 2:6
6. the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

If Jesus only spoke the truth, then He never lied. If Jesus only spoke reality, that which was, is and shall be, then Jesus never spoke fiction. If Jesus only spoke with exactness, then Jesus never spoke myths. If Jesus spoke with facts, then Jesus never spoke with fables. If Jesus spoke with purity, then Jesus never spoke the profane. John taught us to walk as Jesus walked. Paul said to imitate him as He imitated Christ.

Parables
When Jesus wanted to make a comparison, he used parables. Parables are not fiction, fables, or fantasy. Webster's 1828 dictionary definition of a parable states,

A parable :. .. (2) A fable or allegorical relation or representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction; such as the parable of the trees choosing a king, Judges 6; the parable of the poor man and his lambs, II Samuel 12; and the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25.

Noah Webster does not present an accurate definition of a parable. His scripture references are not accurate; none of the Biblical texts he cites mentions the word "parable", and he equates a fable, which is a lie, with a parable, which is the truth. However, Psalm 78 written by Asaph gives a Biblical definition of a parable. It says,

Psalms 78:1
1. (A Maskil of Asaph.) Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,
3. Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.
4. We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

Asaph's description of a parable is:

  1. it is a riddle; an enigmatic, perplexing saying or question (Hebrew "chidah" translated "dark saying" in Psalm 78 :2),
  2. it is a saying from an older time;
  3. it was heard from fathers;
  4. it was known by and told through fathers;
  5. it was not concealed from children;
  6. it was to be passed down from one generation to another;
  7. it is praises to the Lord;
  8. it describes the Lord's strength and His wondrous works.
To whom is Asaph referring? Is it only himself or is it also a prophetic description of someone in the future? There are two people in the Bible who are described explicitly as speaking in parables: Ezekiel in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

When Ezekiel' parables are examined, it can be noted that he received the command to do so directly from the Lord.

Ezekiel 17:1
1. Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
2. "Son of man, propound a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel...

The Lord then gave Ezekiel words describing two great eagles and their actions. If God can make a donkey speak like a man (Num 22 :28-30), then it is no problem for the Lord to command two eagles to do as is described in Ezekiel. The parable is literal because God cannot lie. "God is not a man that He should lie." If He Himself says "a great eagle" did these things, then it was an established fact at some point in earth's history.

Ezekiel did not create the parable himself. The parable was not out of Ezekiel's own mind. God gave the words to him to say.

Ezekiel 17:3
3. saying, 'Thus says the Lord God, "A great eagle with great wings, long pinions and a full plumage of many colors, came to Lebanon and took away the top of the cedar.
4. "He plucked off the topmost of its young twigs and brought it to a land of merchants; he set it in a city of traders.
5. "He also took some of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil. He placed it beside abundant waters; he set it like a willow.
6. "Then it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine with its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine, and yielded shoots and sent out branches.
7. "But there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage; and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and sent out its branches toward him from the beds where it was planted, that he might water it.
8. "It was planted in good soil beside abundant waters, that it might yield branches and bear fruit, and become a splendid vine." '
9. "Say, 'Thus says the Lord God," Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers-- so that all its sprouting leaves wither? And neither by great strength nor by many people can it be raised from its roots again.
10. "Behold, though it is planted, will it thrive? Will it not completely wither as soon as the east wind strikes it-- wither on the beds where it grew?" '"

This event occurred in nature at a certain time and is true. The explanation was then given by the Lord to impart more truth. The explanation revealed what was concealed. Thus the riddle or parable from the Lord did not remain a mystery.

Ezekiel 17:12
12. "Say now to the rebellious house, 'Do you not know what these things mean?' Say, 'Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and princes, and brought them to him in Babylon.
13. 'And he took one of the royal family and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land,
14. that the kingdom might be in subjection, not exalting itself, but keeping his covenant, that it might continue.
15. 'But he rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt that they might give him horses and many troops. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Can he indeed break the covenant and escape?
16. 'As I live,' declares the Lord God, 'Surely in the country of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, in Babylon he shall die.
17. 'And Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build siege walls to cut off many lives.
18. 'Now he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, and behold, he pledged his allegiance, yet did all these things; he shall not escape.' "
19. Therefore, thus says the Lord God, "As I live, surely My oath which he despised and My covenant which he broke, I will inflict on his head.
20. "And I will spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. Then I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there regarding the unfaithful act which he has committed against Me.
21. "And all the choice men in all his troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to every wind; and you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken."

The Lord fully explained it all to Ezekiel. The dark saying of old was revealed and has been passed on from one generation to another. From this chapter in Ezekiel the pattern of truth that Jesus exemplified is revealed. The creation of God is used as a comparison to explain the Kingdom of God. The truth is given as a parable and those who hear understand. However, understanding doesn't mean immediate acceptance and repentance. Ezekiel's hearers dismissed the Lord's parable which Ezekiel delivered exactly as the Lord spoke it to him.

Ezekiel 20:49
49. Then I said, "Ah Lord God! They are saying of me, 'Is he not just speaking parables?'"

When Ezekiel spoke the clear word of the Lord, neither his prophecies nor his parables were from his own imagination. This is also true of Jesus Christ.

John 8:28
28. Jesus therefore said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

John 12:49
49. "For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.
50. "And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me."

John 14:10
10. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

Thus everything that Jesus spoke originated with the Father. Jesus' parables and stories did not come from his own imagination; they came from the Father. Modern "Christian" fiction writers today do not understand this kind of self-discipline and self-control that only obeys the perfect will of the Father. The parables of Jesus and Ezekial were used to reveal the truth. They were not used to entertain. It is the literary standard of Jesus that Christian home educators need to seek and attain.

We will return to a more thorough discussion of parables later in this booklet. First, we want to describe other literary forms which we believe are inferior because man's literacy forms come from the vain imaginations of human beings. God's parables come from the Father.

Parables versus Fables
When Jesus told a story or a parable, it was not fiction. Every story of Jesus had to be based in past truth, present truth or future truth or it would be a lie. The example of Jesus' method of education in the Bible is not in the use of fiction but is always based on truth. The truth may have been hiding in Jesus' parable, but His parables never were a lie, a falsehood, a fable or a fantasy of His own imagination. Also, in Jesus' parables, the story and people, described simply but efficiently, are sufficient to teach the lesson. The objective is not to create a fantasy world that leads away from the truth of God, but to reveal truth so that the Kingdom of God is understood.

John 12:49
49. "For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.
50. "And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me."

Jesus never quoted an Aesop fable or used them to explain the Kingdom of God.

The first known collection of the fables ascribed to Aesop was produced by Demetrius Phalareus in the 4th century BC...(Encyclopedia Brittanica, Vol. 1., p 123, 1985 edition).

Many scholars place the birth of Jesus Christ around 4 BC, so the literary device called a fable predates the adult life of Jesus. Thus Jesus could have used an ancient Greek fable to explain God's truth to those who followed Him, but we never find this to be so. M.H. Abrams in "A Glossary of Literary Terms" defines the fable as,

a story, exemplifying a moral thesis, in which animals talk and act like human beings (p. 2, Holt, Rinhehart, Winston, 1965).

Aesop is the most famous. Fables occur in 17th century France, then in England and then in America by Joel Chandler Harris in his Uncle Remus stories (1880). Walt Disney brought the fable, the lie of animals talking and acting like human beings, from the written form to the visual ("Steamboat Willy", 1928). A year later "The Skeleton Dance", Disney's second work, may be viewed three ways by a discerning Christian. It appears to be (1) a satire of Ezekiels' dry bones coming to life (Ezekiel 37), (2) a mockery of bodily resurrection of the first fruits i.e. Jesus Christ and Old Testament saints (Matthew 27 :51-53), or (3) a scorning of the resurrection of all mankind (John 5 :28-29).

Disney's popularity during the Great Depression and today is rooted in deception rather than reality.

The growing popularity of Micky Mouse and his girl friend Minnie... attested to the public's taste for the fantasy of the little creatures with speech, skills and personality traits of human beings. (Encyclopedia Brittanica, Vol. 4., p 124, 1985 edition).

Many today boycott Disney because the company he founded no longer promotes Christian family values. Walt Disney never promoted family values. His inspiration concerning laughter was not based on the truth of the Bible.

Psalms 16:11
11. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Walt Disney's goal was to make people laugh and forget their troubles. The following proverb describes Disneys' misguided attempt to replace the joy of the Lord with human folly.

Proverbs 14:13
13. Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief.

Walt Disney and other cartoonists may make the face smile, but after the movie, after the show, the truth of the Word of God is painfully obvious. Only a heart touched by Jesus has deep joy in the midst of trouble.

Proverbs 15:15
15. All the days of the afflicted are bad, But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

Disney's elevation of animals to be equal with human beings comes from pagan Greek thought i.e. a lie of the devil given through Aesop's Fables. It is a worship of the creature rather than the Creator and as such, Disney's work is filled with distortion. From its beginning Disney has used animated fables, fiction, and fantasy to present a gradual descent into debauchery. The progression of deception as found in Romans is an obvious description of the Disney corporation today. It may take over 50 years for bad seed to produce evil fruit, but when evil finally blossoms with full fruit, the evil root is openly exposed. John the Baptist told us,

Matthew 3:10
10. "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul begins with the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul was not ashamed to preach the gospel to the Jew, to the Greek, to the Roman, or to the barbarian. He then explains to them and us how the suppression of the God-given truth within an individual leads to the worship of the creature (human, animal or plant) rather than worship of the Creator. The worship of the creature eventually leads to sexual perversion and bodily malfunctions i.e. disease. Chapter one of Romans is quoted in its entirety to reveal the regressive lifestyle of believing a lie.

Romans 1:1
1. Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
2. which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
3. concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
4. who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
5. through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name's sake,
6. among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7. to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
9. For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,
10. always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.
11. For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;
12. that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine.
13. And I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented thus far) in order that I might obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.
14. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
15. Thus, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
17. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith."
18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19. because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
20. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
21. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22. Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23. and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.
25. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
27. and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

The short outline below is given to help understand the development of debauchery beginning with verse 16.

  1. Not ashamed of the gospel.
  2. Only the gospel brings salvation.
  3. Salvation comes by belief in the gospel.
  4. The righteous live by faith.
  5. Truth within man is suppressed in unrighteousness.
  6. God Himself makes truth known within man.
  7. Creation and its creatures (man himself) reveal and explain God's invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature.
  8. No one has an excuse for suppressing the truth.
  9. Futility in speculations and the self-imposed darkening of the heart come from suppressing the personal knowledge of God within.
  10. The refusal to honor God as God and give Him thanks for creating life and existence causes man to speculate.
  11. As man professes to be wise, he makes up his own ideas!
  12. Man becomes a fool.
  13. Man exchanges his own image made in the likeness of an incorruptible God.
  14. The exchange replaces man with a lower form of creation.
  15. Man focuses his thoughts, ideas, etc. on man, birds, animals, and crawling creatures.
  16. When this happens, lust and impurity affects the physical body.
  17. The exchange of the truth of God for a lie is seen as worship.
  18. This downward spiral eventually leads to the perverted sexual relationship known as homosexuality.

An example of the pattern described in Romans chapter one is the evil fruit of the Greek fable which has fully blossomed in our generation. The perversion of Disney is now an open fact. Fifty years ago the seeds of deception were sown, but very few were aware of the error. The cartoon characters seemed harmless. Even though the perversion of Disney is now obvious, many Christians still financially support its offerings of videos, books, toys, house wares, and clothing.

The most grievous research of the fable is its use in "Christian" children's literature. The stories of the Old and New Testament and the words of Jesus have all been depicted in cartoon form and with the use of animals with human characteristics. This short booklet cannot examine the history of Christian children's literature, but it will look at the newest fable deceiving Christendom: parents now use vegetables to teach morals. These vegetables talk and act like human beings which must make those who pray to trees and hug them squeal with delight. While tribes in pagan societies are being set free from worshipping trees and sacrificing to stones, many "Christians" in the US have begun to take delight in giving money and time to a devotion to vegetables. Their cuteness has pulled many children into animism, the attribution of conscious life to nature or natural objects. Talking vegetables acting like human beings is a direct lie against the truth of God's order of creation. The use of the fable has been used for thousands of years beginning with Aesop to deceive and to distort the truth of God's word. Jesus did not use the fable to teach, and Paul warned against its use.

I Timothy 4:7
7. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

If Christians use the deceptions of satan, lies which began in the Garden of Eden, to educate and train children, parents will only reap evil fruit. We would do well to discover and emulate Jesus' methods of education and repent of our foolishness to be like the world.

Parable versus Allegory
Many parents, who have seen the error of Disney and modern media, have resorted to another literary genre called the allegory . The allegory found its zenith in Puritan literature in 1678 when John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim's Progress .

An allegory undertakes to make a doctrine or thesis interesting and persuasive by converting it into a narrative in which the agents and sometimes the settings as well represent general concepts, moral qualities, or other abstractions (p7. M.H. Abrams).

Pilgrim's Progress was not Bunyan's first literary work. When he was imprisoned in 1661 for holding a church service that was not sanctioned by the Church of England, Bunyan had the time, like the Apostle Paul, to meditate and write. In 1666 his autobiography, Grace Abounding , was published.

In the effort to recall the state of his soul with accuracy and honesty he achieved a remarkable prose instrument for subjective analysis. He describes his inner life in a style rich in powerful physical imagery;(Ency. Brit. Vol. 2, p. 637, 1985 edition).

When looking for the best English standard of autobiography , John Bunyan has given Christians excellence beyond anything the world has to offer. An autobiography like his fits the Biblical definition of a testimony and should be considered more valuable than other works which are called the "Great Books."

Revelation 12:11
11. "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.

Even though John Bunyan claimed that Pilgrim's Progress came to him in the form of a vision or a dream, and thus may seem similar to John's vision contained in Revelation and may appear to be similar to that referred to by the prophet Joel (Joel 2 :28-32), they should not be confused. Allegory is not the same as Biblical revelation. Even though allegory attempts to take events and characters from common every day life and use those events to teach abstract doctrine, the people are not actual human beings who experienced the events in our world of time and space. John Bunyan is a man who wrote his testimony of God's saving grace in his life. John Bunyan is a man who lived in the world and experienced specific circumstances or events in his lifetime. His autobiography reveals those truths about himself. However, his allegory, which contains Christian, Hopeful, Faithful and the Giant of Despair etc., is not based on true events with actual people. Allegory is fiction literature at its best, but it is still fiction. Thus we have to be very cautious that Bunyan's dream/vision/allegory doesn't replace or distort the truth contained in the Bible. We should also recall Bunyan's reason for using allegory, to speak truth in a hostile political situation - not to entertain.

Jesus lived in just as hostile environment as John Bunyan, but Jesus never resorted to allegory to make his teaching interesting or His doctrine persuasive. When John the Baptist questioned Jesus' claim as the Messiah, Jesus responded not with more words, but with a reminder of the power of changed human beings: the blind saw; the lame walked; the lepers were cleansed; the deaf heard; the dead were raised; and the poor had the gospel preached to them.

Bunyan's allegory is better than a fable because it keeps the Biblical distinction between man, animals and inanimate objects, but it is still a compilation of people, situations, and events that never happened in actual time. Even though the scenarios, the temptations, and the triumphant victories are common to all men, it is still a story that never occurred in reality. Thus it is allegorical fiction. Because Pilgrim's Progress is fiction, it can never be truth.

Christendom did not mimic the world's fiction literature for more than two hundred years. Through the standard set during the Reformation, the Wesley revivals, the Finny revivals, and the Welsh revivals etc. each succeeding generation was reminded to stay away from worldly entertainment. The temptation existed for Christians to go to the world for entertainment, but entertainment was not brought into the church. Thus Bunyan's allegory held the church to a very high standard even though it fell short of the literary standard of God's glory set by Jesus.

The book was instantly popular with all classes, though it was perhaps the last great expression of the folk tradition of the common people before the divisive effects of modern enlightenment began to be felt (Ency. Brit. Vol. 2, p 637, 1985 edition).

Bunyan himself attempted another allegorical work of fiction entitled, The Holy War (1682). Many readers do not find it as powerful as Pilgrim's Progress . We believe this shows the downward spiral away from the standard of truth revealed by Jesus. Even though Bunyon kept the Kingdom of God central for his readers, the elements of his allegories that make them fiction did prepare the way eventually for the onslaught of "Christian" fiction that floods Christendom today.

Parables versus Novels

Also in 1880 another major shift in literature occurred: the life and character of Jesus Christ would be relegated to the fantasy world of historical fiction. The following quote is taken from the introduction to Joel, a Boy of Galilee, the first Christian children's novel about the life of Jesus written by Annie Fellows Johnston. In the introduction to this novel Rosalie Slater states,

Around the same period that saw the beginnings of Biblical Archeology, a new field was launched in literature which made it possible for readers to travel with the mind's eye and imagination to the Bible Lands.

Up to 1880 no novel had been written with Jesus Christ as the central figure. But in 1880 an American author published what was to be the greatest Christian novel of all time - Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. Up to that time the American public would have considered it blasphemy. But Ben Hur became a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ.

Ben Hur became a standard for all future writers of adult and children's novels.

Even though this quote by Rosalie Slater portrays the novel of Ben Hur as a testimony of Jesus Christ, the book is not the truth. The book of Revelation reveals that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. True prophecy does not come from the imagination of a novelist. The title of Ben Hur says it is a "tale." The events, the characters, the setting, the plot etc. are all a creation of a fellow human being's mind. The people described and even loved within the pages of the book or viewed as a play or a movie (1927, 1959), are not human beings created in the image of God. These people were not formed by the seed of a human father in the womb of a flesh and blood mother. God did not create these fictional characters in His image. Fiction, even "Christian" fiction, whether in the form of a novel, a play, a movie or a video, is not the truth. It is a lie. Jesus told us, "Do not bear a false witness" (Matt 19 :18). A.W. Tozer wrote this about religious movies (i.e.The Ten Commandments),

From God's revealed plan we depart at our peril. Every departure has two consequences, the immediate and the remote. The immediate touches the individual and those close to him; the remote extends into the future to unknown times, and may expand so far as to influence for evil the whole Church of God on earth ("The Menace of the Religious Movie", p2, Rapids Christian Press).

Even though A.W. Tozer revealed the deception behind the religious movie in his booklet, he did not go back to the evil root of religious fiction which predates and spawned the religious movie. When Ben Hur became the literary standard for Christians rather than the parables of Jesus Christ, the church failed to be the pillar and support of the truth (I Timothy 3 :15).

Thus in the same year (1880), American authors found their place in satan's world of lies. The fables of Uncle Remus and historical fiction concerning Jesus Christ deceptively catapulted American literature into the debauchery that had plagued European and British culture for hundreds of years.

Fiction is a lie, and a lie can never become the truth. Thus the modern trend of "Christian" fiction or the Christian novel, which began with Ben Hur , is the work of the spirit of anti-Christ, i.e. satan. It is a scheme or strategy designed by the one who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning to deceive, if possible, even the elect. The Bible is the only piece of literature which reveals the truth concerning Jesus. Even though the Holy Spirit may use a work of fiction to draw someone to Jesus Christ, it is only the Christ of the Bible that can transform and conform that person into the image of Christ, which is Father God's primary goal for His children.

The contrast is obvious.

John 8:44
44. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
45. "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.

The truth spoken in humility without the hype of Hollywood is too good to believe.

Matthew 24:24
24. "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead , if possible, even the elect.

Mark 13:22
22. for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray .

Because the devil convinces Christians that the standards of the world are more excellent than the standards of the Bible, we attempt to emulate that which we see and hear in the world of lies and deception.

James 4:4
4. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?

The false portrayal of Christ which began with Ben Hur has been satanically inspired to lead God's people away from pure devotion to Christ.

Galatians 3:1
1. You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
2. This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
3. Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

The Holy Spirit has been given to us so that we can receive Spiritual communication and share God's thoughts and words on earth.

I Corinthians 2:12
12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13. which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
15. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

Hosea teaches us how this deception to walk away from the Spirit of Truth occurs.

Hosea 4:12
12. My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner's wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.

A young brother once shared with us that idols made of wood today are in the form of wood pulp that is used to make paper for magazines and books. Fiction (a lie) which comes in the form of a book is known as a novel. In 1828 Noah Webster defined a novel as:

... (2) A fictitious tale or narrative in prose, intended to exhibit the operation of the passions and particularly of love.

We now have "romantic" "Christian" novels that are appealing to and exciting the "passions" of younger and younger girls to lure and lead them astray from a passionate love for Jesus Christ, who is the truth. Jesus' true words and His true stories are not the standard in these "Christian" romance novels because the people, the events, the circumstances are not true. They are an author's deceived vain imaginations, and we must exert our free will now to ignore them. No one forces a novel upon a person; but it is a choice millions of people make everyday. Fiction is preferred by many Christians over a personal relationship with the Living God who is Truth.

The novel, the fiction, the lie is the "wooden idol" made of pulp. It is not the truth; it never was the truth and never will be the truth. This spirit of harlotry is now using "Christians" to deceive other Christians.

These novels are an attempt to be like the world who has had trash romantic and pornographic novels for hundreds of years. The first novel, Don Quixote , written in 1605 by Cervantes, was a satire mocking the culture of chivalry. It was not written to glorify God. It was not given from heaven by the Father to reveal His Kingdom.

Fiction has always been more palatable than the truth because the serpent of old has designed it that way. Eve choose the lie spoken by a serpent, a created animal, over the truth spoken by God Himself, the Creator of all. Eve is described as deceived.

I Timothy 2:14
14. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.

Adam choose the fiction over the fact and is described as the transgressor.

Hosea 6:7
7. But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

However, Jesus (the Way, the Truth and the Life) came to free us from the power of the lie, and the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth) has come to dwell inside us so that we can freely choose life rather than death. Life is found in the words of Jesus.

John 6:63
63. "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

John 6:68
68. Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.

This booklet can not go into all the evil fruit of the lies since the deception of Eve and the fall of Adam that satan has perpetrated upon the human race through literature, the arts, and now the electronic media. The Enclyclopedia Britannica, available in any library, has a more complete description of the history of entertainment for those who have the "ears to hear what the Spirit is saying".

Classic Fiction versus Eternity

Many "Christian" curriculum peddlers offer "literary" classics as a necessary part of a home educator's course of study. Because Daniel Defoe is considered by the world as "the father of the English novel and of modern journalism" (Encyclopedia Britannic, Vol. 3, p 958, 1985 edition) many English speaking Christian home educators consider Robinson Crusoe to be acceptable literature to be read, studied, emulated and copied.

However, the life of Daniel Defoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe in 1719-1722, shows how easily the devil can deceive - even the elect. The following is taken from the 1985 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, (Vol 3, pp.957-958, 1985 edition):

As a Nonconformist, or Dissenter, James Foe (Daniel's father) could not send his son to Oxford or Cambridge; he sent him instead to the excellent academy at Newington Green kept by the Rev. Charles Morton. There Defoe received an education in many ways better, and certainly broader, than any he would have had at an English university. Morton was an admirable teacher, later becoming first vice president of Harvard College; and the clarity, simplicity, and ease of his style of writing -- together with the Bible, the works of John Bunyan, and the pulpit oratory of the day -- may have helped to form Defoe's own literary style.

This quote, even from a non-Christian source, shows clearly that Defoe's expertise as a writer came from his minister/mentor and from the Bible. Thus it was the church, not the British academic culture, that gave Defoe the training he needed to enhance the gifts which God had already placed within him. However, the next quote reveals that Defoe did not use his God-given talents or educational opportunities to further the Kingdom of God.

Although intended for the Presbyterian ministry, Defoe decided against this and by 1683 had set up as a merchant. He called trade his "beloved subject," and it was one of the abiding interests of his life....In 1692, after prospering for awhile, Defoe went bankrupt.

Defoe describes his backslidden condition in his own words,

...as one of those tradesmen who had "done things which their own principles condemned, which they are not ashamed to blush for."

His own choice of words to describe himself and the mention of "trade" as his point of weakness can be found in Ezekiel where the "covering cherub" who became satan is described in the same terms.

Ezekiel 28:15
15. "You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.
16. "By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Ezekiel 28:18
18. "By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade, you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; it has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the eyes of all who see you.

Jesus Himself teaches us the danger of seeking riches.

Matthew 6:24
24. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Even though those who maintain that Defoe's Robinson Crusoe is classic children's fiction at its best and even though the unabridged edition refers to the Bible, it does not fit the standard which Paul gave to the church in Philippians 4 :8. The characters, the setting, and the plot are all products of Defoe's imagination. Fiction is always in the realm of "imagination." God's himself connects the human imagination with false prophets.

Jeremiah 23:16
16. Thus says the Lord of hosts, "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the Lord.

Fiction always places the false before its reader. Nothing in fiction comes from the mouth of the Lord. Robinson Crusoe is a novel. The people and the events never occurred in time and space on this earth. It is not a diary, an autobiography or even a biography. Even though a diary may be false, an autobiography may be partial and a biography cannot be trusted, these types of literature are not as deceptive as fiction. Diaries, autobiographies and biographies are about people who actually exist. They are human beings created in the image of God; eternal beings whom we may see in the next age. However, the characters, settings, plots etc. of fictitious novels all come out of the mind of a fellow human being. The characters of fiction are not created in the image of God. They are not real. They are fantasy. We will not see these people in the next age for they do not exist. Fiction is a deception that Christians have lovingly enjoyed for centuries. Purchasing, reading, and studying fiction disobeys Paul's admonition to the church.

Colossians 2:8
8. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
9. For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

It also fits this admonition from the Lord in the Old Testament,

Isaiah 55:2
2. "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.

End Time Fiction versus Revelation

The 1990's have seen a proliferation of "Christian" fictitious novels concerning the end times, which spend page after page describing or revealing events concerning the future which bear no resemblance to the truth of Christ. The verse in Hosea talks about the "diviner's" wand.

Hosea 4:12
12. My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner's wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.

Furthermore, the Bible specifically warns us about end-time fiction when it says:

Revelation 22:18
18. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;

Webster's 1828 defines a diviner as,

(1) One who professes divination; one who pretends to predict events, or to reveal occult things, by the aid of superior beings, or of supernatural means. (2) One who guesses; a conjecturer.

Webster's definition accurately describes the new genre of "Christian" literary fiction that is saturating the Christian market because it sells well. These novels are full of conjecture, speculation and guesses because lies sell better than truth.

I Timothy 6:9
9. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.

There are true prophets and there are false prophets. True prophets speak the truth,

Revelation 19:10
10. Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

False prophets speak fables, myths, and fiction. The word of God has much to say about the false.

Proverbs 6:12
12. A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a false mouth,

A person who doesn't speak the truth according to the words and standard of Jesus is described as one who is practicing deceit.

Proverbs 12:17
17. He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit.

A person who is seeking the Kingdom of God and the righteousness of that Kingdom will not allow fiction or fantasy to replace fact.

Proverbs 14:5
5. A faithful witness will not lie, But a false witness speaks lies.

Fantasy and vain imaginations about future events was not the standard Jesus set for the church He is building. Those who are being deceived by fiction, classic or modern; by myth, past or present; or by fantasy , old or new, are being deceived by wolves in sheep's clothing. A lie cannot be the truth, and the truth cannot be a lie. The two are not compatible.

"Christians" who use fiction and fantasy in the form of novels, short stories, movies, videos, etc. do not seem to recognize the danger of this compromise. The truth needs to be chosen, spoken and practiced by the church, in the church, for the church and for the world.

Proverbs 21:28
28. A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

The prophet Jeremiah did not encounter "Christian" fiction (romantic, historical or futuristic), but he revealed the Lord's description of the false prophet which fits that of a late 20th century Christian author of fiction.

Jeremiah 14:14
14. Then the Lord said to me, "The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.

Many of today's "Christian" authors have said the Lord told them to write their historic novels, their romantic stories, their fantasy excursions into the future. How can the Lord, who is the TRUTH, tell someone to write something that is not true? How can the Holy Spirit of Truth inspire events that never happened and events that may never occur? How can lies produce a desire for truth in the innermost being? How can Christians "think on things that are true" if they are reading about people, events, dates, and circumstances that never happened in history and may never happen in the future? The idolatrous characters portrayed in these novels are not human beings truly created in the image of God but are in reality false, fictitious characters invented in the imagination of some author. It is idolatry of the most subtle form. There is a difference between reading Abraham Lincoln's diary and reading a fictitious novel about a non-existent couple who met and fell in love at the Ford theatre on the night Mr. Lincoln was shot. The mixture of the fantasy of some one's mind and the truth of history is a web of deceit that the spirit of the world has used for six millennia to defile God's people, and it is not fostering a love of the Father. The fruit gets more rotten as time goes by.

I Timothy 4:1
1. But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
2. by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,

The Lord told Jeremiah,

Jeremiah 23:32
32. "Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams," declares the Lord, "and related them, and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit," declares the Lord.

Only the truth can benefit. The truth wrapped in fiction is a lie spoken by the demons who inspire it.

Zechariah 10:2
2. For the teraphim speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.

Jesus never deceived anyone even though both he and Paul were accused of being deceivers. Jesus came as the True Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, and He only spoke the truth. When He wanted to make an illustration to emphasize His teaching, he told a story about a real person who existed. Every story is true; we may not understand how it is true, but it cannot be fictitious because fiction is not fact; fiction is a lie. Jesus could never utter one word that was false or inaccurate. Jesus told stories that were true - true in the past, true in the present and true in the future. His words must be our standard when assessing any type of literature, past or present, and His teaching methods need to come forth from His people. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19 :10).

Parables versus Historical Fiction
Historical fiction or futuristic fantasy are not parables from the Lord because their basis comes from the mind of a man. Imaginative? Yes. Intriguing? Yes. From God? No. Demonically inspired? Yes. Lies and falsehood do not come from God, for God cannot lie.

Numbers 23:19
19. "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

The irony of this verse of scripture is that it was spoken out of the mouth of a man, who became a false prophet; a man who ignored the speech of a donkey and the resistance of the angel of the Lord. This man, whose words came to pass, was deceived by the glint of man's glory and the god of gold. Balaam is now known in the New Testament as an example of a false prophet who exhibits the work of a spirit of harlotry rather than the spirit of holiness.

Peter's description of false prophets fits the work of "Christians" who delve into historical romantic fiction and futuristic fantasy:

II Peter 2:15
15. forsaking the right way they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness,

When an author presents fiction, fables, and fantasy rather than seeking the Lord for true parables, that false prophet is leading the bond-servants astray.

Revelation 2:20
20. 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

Their gifts and talents, given by God to further Christ's Kingdom, are not under the control and authority of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.

John 16:13
13. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

There is a place for the true Biblical prophetic revelation of events that are yet to come, but "Christian" authors are dulling the hearts and minds of their readers to the true prophetic by bombarding them with flights of fantasy, false information, and foolishness. It doesn't matter if the characters portrayed sometimes speak the word of God, the characters themselves are not true. They are a lie, a myth, a fable, and the whole business is a mockery of the Living God.

Paul told us this would happen.

II Timothy 4:1
1. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2. preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;
4. and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.

Parables versus Myths
The Greek word for "myth" is muthos (3454) which means speech, story or fable. Many of the "Christian" historical novels fit the definition of myth, meaning a story. They are nice stories, but they do not fit the definition of the truth. Paul told Timothy in his first letter to instruct certain men who were teaching strange doctrines to stop doing it.

I Timothy 1:3
3. As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,
4. nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

Many of the authors of historical "Christian" novels get the reader involved in complex characterization and "genealogies" of grandparents and great grandparents. One book then leads to another, and we have trilogies and series based on the false creation of a human mind crowding the book shelves of "Christian" bookstores. Paul specifically instructed Timothy to teach the believers in Ephesus, which was a city dedicated to the idol Diana (Roman) / Artemis (Greek), to come out of the study of mythology and genealogy that was not representing the truth of the faith and was leading people astray into strange doctrines. This booklet is our attempt to "flee" the idolatry that is rampant in our own culture.

Isaiah 55:2
2. "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.
3. "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David.


Note: As is always true in the Christian life, discernment is required because techniques are mixed together and each author has his own Christian strengths and weaknesses. For example, biography sometimes fills out the story with dialogue which may not come from actual diaries or other sources but is intended to reflect the thoughts and speech of a real person. Also, in biographies, dialogue may be added for the purpose of describing the historical context. We must ask the Lord for wisdom to discern the spirit behind all books. In this case, we believe that the motive for adding to the biographical material is not to create a fantasy world of fiction, but to further the instruction of the history. We have read biographies in which the author leaves his story momentarily to tell us historical background or his own opinions about people or events.

The use of "Christian" fantasy in the preceding generation which continues in popularity today dulls its readers to the truth of Jesus Christ as a person and substitutes a fantasy world of creatures and beings that counterfeit the creation and the Creator. As one book leads to another in the imaginary series, the truth contained in the Bible seems harder and harder to grasp. The deception is devilish and demonic and disastrous. The Bible is laid aside for fiction, fantasy, and folly (James 3 :13-18).

Paul had a similar problem with myths which he mentioned in his letter to Titus.

Titus 1:10
10. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
11. who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.
12. One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
13. This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith,
14. not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.
15. To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
16. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.

Much "Christian" historical fiction and "Christian" futuristic fiction is the work of a spirit of harlotry that leads the bond-servants of Christ astray to place their thoughts or minds upon that which is false rather than upon that which is true.

Revelation 2:20
20. 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21. 'And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
22. 'Behold, I will cast her upon a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

Thus, we wish to reveal the evil spirits that are behind literary works. The purpose of this booklet is to expose the deeds of darkness.

Ephesians 5:11
11. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

Parables in the New Testament

Jesus never taught myths, fables or fictional stories. He never mentioned the false demonic stories of Roman or Greek idolatry. Even when He taught with parables, which we have seen are God's legitimate literary device, the parable is explained. Even though the disciples may have been the only ones who received the full explanations at the time the parables were first spoken by Jesus, all those parables have been explained now for anyone who reads the Bible and asks the Holy Spirit to be The Teacher.

II Timothy 2:7
7. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Parable in the Greek language is parabole (3850b) which means a "placing beside, a comparison." It is translated in the Bible with 4 different English words. It is found thirty-one times as "parables"; sixteen times as "parable"; once as "proverb", once as "symbol" and once as "type".

Jesus referred to a proverb in Luke 4 :23 which was very early in His ministry.

Luke 4:23
23. And He said to them, "No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your home town as well.'"

The phrase, "Physician, heal yourself." isn't found in the Book of Proverbs, but a similar phrase was spoken when Jesus was hanging on the cross.

Matthew 27:42
42. "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him.

When this Greek word (parable) is used as "symbol", it is referring to the Jewish temple.

Hebrews 9:8
8. The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing,
9. which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience,

The Lord allowed the Jewish temple to remain standing as a comparison or as a visual teaching symbol until that comparison was no longer needed, and the prophesy concerning the temple was fulfilled. Thus a building and all that the building represents can be used by God as a proverb or as a parable.

When parabole is translated as "type", it is referring to a person and a specific event.

Hebrews 11:19
19. He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type.

Thus Abraham's willingness to obey the Lord to the point of sacrificing Isaac was used by God as a comparison or a teaching device that would point out for eternity the kind of faith a human being could place in God. A true series of events can be used by God as a parable.

Proverb - an Old Testament Parable

Ezekiel is the main person in the Old Testament with whom a parable is associated. As was mentioned before, the Lord Himself explains the parable. In this verse, the translators choose "proverb" which we feel is accurate because it is referring to man's proverb - not God's parable.

Ezekiel 12:21
21. Then the word of the Lord came to me saying,
22. "Son of man, what is this proverb you people have concerning the land of Israel, saying, 'The days are long and every vision fails'?

This statement, "The days are long and every vision fails," by itself doesn't appear to have a comparison, a symbol or a type. However, when the rest of God's statement is read, the understanding of the comparison is not only important for Israel's treatment of God at that time in history, but God's word to Ezekiel also makes it clear that He does not like false visions or flattering divination to replace His pure word. This is the central point of this booklet: futuristic fiction about tomorrow, romantic historical novels about the past, and mythical fantasies about counterfeit kingdoms lead God's people astray in our generation and need to be seen as the work of a spirit of harlotry and as such should be avoided and eliminated from our homes.

Ezekiel 12:23
23. "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God," I will make this proverb cease so that they will no longer use it as a proverb in Israel. "But tell them," The days draw near as well as the fulfillment of every vision.
24. "For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.
25. "For I the Lord shall speak, and whatever word I speak will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious house, I shall speak the word and perform it," declares the Lord God. '"
26. Furthermore, the word of the Lord came to me saying,
27. "Son of man, behold, the house of Israel is saying, 'The vision that he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies of times far off.'
28. "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God," None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be performed, "'"declares the Lord God.

We should resolve to speak and write that which God has ordained and which He intends to bring to pass on the earth. Because the Creator of the human race has chosen to use dreams, visions, and prophecy to speak to His people, we need to be very careful that we do obey the scripture concerning those ways of God.

Acts 2:17
17. 'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams;
18. Even upon My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy.
19. 'And I will grant wonders in the sky above, And signs on the earth beneath, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
20. 'The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
21. 'And it shall be, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

The use of fiction dulls the reader to the truth of God's word. When a person chooses to read a futuristic novel of fantasy rather than studying the actual words of Jesus concerning the future, a spirit of harlotry leads that person away from the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus was and is a perfect prophet concerning end-time events. When a person chooses to read a false account of spiritual warfare in a city which doesn't exist, with people who do not exist and events that never happened, a spirit of harlotry is teaching its doctrine. This false imagination leads that person away from true spiritual discernment in his own life and city. Rather than obeying Jesus and Peter's instructions to submit to God so that the devil and the demons of darkness in his own home and locality may be resisted and displaced, an entertaining novel gently lulls the reader into deception, disobedience and danger.

Why do false prophets and false teachers who resort to fiction, fantasy, fables, folly, and flattery not see the parallel between their works and the work of satan? Why do Christians resort to the literary devices of the world rather than seeking the face of God, hearing His voice and writing what He says? It is the deceptive work of a spirit of harlotry and a spirit of divination working together to defile, deceive and destroy the people of God.

Ephesians 6:12
12. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

God Himself says the words and sayings that are not from Him will be destroyed, but He also issues a strong warning concerning this kind of spiritual adultery and idolatry.

Ezekiel 14:7
7. "For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I the Lord will be brought to answer him in My own person.
8. "And I shall set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I shall cut him off from among My people. So you will know that I am the Lord.

In this quote two things can be seen:

  1. God doesn't like the mixture of the profane false prophesy combined with the pure prophetic word.
  2. A false, rebellious idolatrous man can be a sign and proverb to explain evil just as Abraham is a sign and a proverb to demonstrate a righteous man who loved God and lived by faith.

Proverbs in History
Proverbs as a teaching form seems to predate Solomon. David quoted a proverb (parable) to Saul when Saul sought to kill David.

I Samuel 24:13
13. "As the proverb of the ancients says, 'Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness'; but my hand shall not be against you.

When Saul was walking with God, his behavior became a proverb (parable) among the people

I Samuel 10:12
12. And a man there answered and said, "Now, who is their father?" Therefore it became a proverb: "Is Saul also among the prophets?"

Not only can an individual person be a proverb (parable) for comparison and teaching but also a whole nation can be used by God to reveal His truth.

Deuteronomy 28:37
37. "And you shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the Lord will drive you.

Nation of Israel

Thus the nation of Israel is a proverb to all other nations of the dire consequences of disobedience, harlotry and idolatry.

I Kings 9:6
6. "But if you or your sons shall indeed turn away from following Me, and shall not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you and shall go and serve other gods and worship them,
7. then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

The nation of Israel is also a proverb to all other nations concerning God's merciful sovereignty.

Jeremiah 46:27
27. "But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear, Nor be dismayed, O Israel! For, see, I am going to save you from afar, And your descendants from the land of their captivity; And Jacob will return and be undisturbed And secure, with no one making him tremble.

Solomon's Temple

The desecration and destruction of Solomon's temple were also God's sign or proverb (parable) to His people that prayer, not sacrifice, was His utmost concern. We can read what the people were to do in the temple,

II Chronicles 7:12
12. Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
13. "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,
14. and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Jesus made the Father's will clear when He cleansed Herod's temple. Three of the gospels record this incident.

Matthew 21:12
12. And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves.
13. And He *said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you are making it a robbers' den."

Mark 11:17
17. And He began to teach and say to them, "Is it not written, ' My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a robbers' den."
18. And the chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for all the multitude was astonished at His teaching.

Luke 19:43
43. "For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side,
44. and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation. "
45. And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were selling,
46. saying to them, "It is written, 'And My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you have made it a robbers' den."

Now we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 3:16
16. Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Our bodies are for the purpose of prayer.

Colossians 4:2
2. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;

The destruction of the second temple in 70AD is a symbol or proverb to us that God's will concerning prayer is of utmost importance to Him. We need to repent if fiction and fantasy is making the Lord's present day temple a robber's den rather than a habitation of continual prayer (I Thess 5 :17).

The words of Jesus are very clear. God's work is not to be accomplished through the business/entertainment customs of the world. The word of God is our standard and our warning. False visions, prophesies and literature will be destroyed by God Himself. Whether in the written form (novels, stories) or in the spoken or visual form (plays, movies, videos); that which comes from the Destroyer to defile, despoil, and destroy God's people will be destroyed by God Himself.

This booklet is proposing that the spirit of harlotry has used fiction, fantasy, fables, and myths to dull the minds of Christians and to replace the truth of God's pure word with deception and distortion. Thus many "Christians" read false teaching in the form of "Christian" novels and willingly expose themselves to a spirit of error through false prophets who see false visions that do not come from God. This is serious because we are now the temple of God, the Holy Spirit of truth, We are to be devoted to prayer, godly prophecy, dreams and visions.

Acts 2:17
17. 'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams;
18. Even upon My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy.

I Corinthians 14:1
1. Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

I Corinthians 14:3
3. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

Jesus is our true pattern, and the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, longs to express God's truth inside us so that we can then share that truth with others. We, the temple of the Holy Spirit, do not have to rely upon the literary devices of the pagan world (ancient classical Greece or modern apostate America) to convey God's truth. The spirit of harlotry is leading God's people astray through these "Christian" attempts to be like the world. The spirit of error is infiltrating Christian minds when half truth is wrapped in a package of lies and deceit. "Christian" entertainment can never replace true Christian edification.

We need to repent of this harlotry and this idolatry and seek the Father as Jesus did so that we can convey God's perfect will as purely and as perfectly as He did. We are to walk as He walked.

I John 2:6
6. the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Even though Jesus quoted proverbs, and we have seen that it is a valid Biblical method of instruction, Jesus instituted a new literary genre that the church has never fully understood and thus has never fully used for God's glory and that is the parable. Even though the word for proverb and parable are the same, Jesus' use of the parable seems much more effective than the proverb.

The Parable: God's LIterary Device

M.H. Abrams writes,

A parable also enforces a moral or other kind of doctrine, but not, like allegory, by the actions of abstract personifications, nor, like fable, by a narrative in which animals are the agents. Instead, a parable is a short narrative, presented so as to bring out the analogy, or parallel, between its elements and a lesson that the speaker is trying to bring home to us. The parable was one of Christ's favorite literary devices;(p.2-3, Glossary of Literary Terms).

In secular literature books which are honest enough to acknowledge Jesus Christ as a person who lived in history, He alone is honored with the literary device of the parable. Jesus came in the fullness of time and by so doing, He is the ultimate expression of man's perfection. It is not the allegory, not the fable, not the fantasy, not the fiction, not the lie, but the parable that Christ came to reveal as the perfect literary device to convey truth.

Matthew 13:34
34. All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable.
35. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world."
36. Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."

The purpose of this section of this booklet is not to explain the individual parables but to explain the teaching device of the parable. Our hope is that the Holy Spirit will find willing vessels who will yield to Him so that the church and the world can learn from the pure parables of God rather than from the folly of human fantasy and fictitious imagination.

Jesus' Parables

The parable of The Seed and The Sower

In Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8, some major devices that a Biblical parable should contain are revealed.

  1. It involves a progressive revelation.
    1. It is to be written or spoken for the multitudes, for everyone.
    2. Then it is further explained or revealed to those who desperately wish to know the meaning and the application.
  2. It involves a direct comparison from the normal life of the hearers:
    1. The simple observation of creation;
    2. A common occurrence or event;
    3. A common relationship between people.
  3. The comparisons are given in entirety before they are explained.
  4. Explanations are to reveal the truth of the unseen realm.

Parable of the Mouth

In Matthew 15 interchange between Jesus and Peter reveals the teaching method of the parable.

Matthew 15:15
15. And Peter answered and said to Him, "Explain the parable to us."
16. And He said, "Are you still lacking in understanding also?

Here Jesus' method of teaching reveals the two steps.

  1. He states the parable which may be one short sentence.
  2. He waits for the learner to ask for the understanding.
The truth is spoken to all. No one is excluded from hearing the truth, but the explanation of the truth is only given to those who come to Jesus for the explanation. A Christian teacher, author or speaker, should strive for this excellent method. Many do not wait for the Holy Spirit of Truth to motivate the hearer to come to Jesus personally to understand what a man or woman of God has shared. The truth is to be expounded by God's servant, but only God Himself can give the clarity, insight, and understanding that brings radical repentance and change that transforms the individual more into the image of Christ. Jesus trusted the Holy Spirit to give Him the right words and then to bring forth the questions in the hearers.

Mark 7 :14-23 reveals the desire of Jesus for all to understand and shows the way to understand.

  1. Learning to listen to Jesus is a pre-requisite to understanding.
  2. Asking questions is necessary for understanding.

Parable of the Vineyard

In Matthew 21 :33-46 another characteristic and use of the Biblical parable is revealed.

  1. It sounds or looks like a story, but it is describing a real person, persons, or events
  2. It is used to rebuke, correct or warn those who are listening.
  3. Those listening will understand.
Thus not all parables may need to be explained, but it must be noted that a parable from God is designed for a specific audience.

Mark 12 :1-12 reveals the following about a Biblical parable.

  1. Understanding doesn't automatically bring repentance.
  2. The story is true. The events happened to real people created in the image of God.
  3. Scripture is explained by the story.

Parable of New and Old

Luke 5 :36-39 reveals the following about a Biblical parable:

  1. It uses inclusive language, "No one", so that all are included.
  2. It uses more than one experience in the natural realm.
  3. It is designed to teach a spiritual truth.

Parable of the Fig Tree

Matthew 24 :32-33 reveals another teaching method contained within the use of the parable.

  1. The purpose of the parable is to help the hearer learn about something else.
  2. The parable itself is a tool or a device used to teach another concept.
  3. The parable must describe something known and understood by the hearer.
  4. The parable is a vehicle that carries the hearer into a new realm of understanding in a different area.
  5. The parable can be much more subtle than a metaphor, an implied comparison.

Mark 13 :28-32 reveals the ability of Jesus to:

  1. Use common observation that all people experience.
  2. Apply common experiences to explain a future unknown experience.

Parable of the Rich Man

Luke 12 :16-21 reveals the construction of a Biblical parable.

  1. The person and the events actually occurred.
  2. The person's name or identity isn't revealed.
  3. Words and actions of the person are true and accurate.
  4. The spiritual application is direct, clear, and pointed.
  5. It leads into direct corrective teaching, warning, instruction and commands.
Parable of the Shrewd Steward

The parables of Jesus usually reveal a theme or specific subject. Luke 16 :1-13 reveals God's ultimate purpose in a parable:

  1. The specific choice of words to expose the true conditions of a human heart;
  2. The true illustration to bring the hearer to repentance.

When the parable exposes the heart, the hearer has the choice to repent and submit to God or continue to harden his/her own heart by listening to the scoffer.

Parable of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and Lost Son

Luke 15 :1-32 reveals another way Jesus constructs a parable. One parable may include more than one illustration.

  1. A progression is used to show true value in God's Kingdom.
    1. Animals
    2. Money
    3. Person
    4. Family Relationship
    5. Eternal Joy
  2. More than one true event is portrayed to reveal the progression.
  3. The last event described is the most significant.

This booklet has examined only some of the specific places where the word "parable" is used in the Bible. Jesus did most of his teaching in the form of parables, but the actual word "parable" isn't always mentioned in the text. We believe that a study of literature begins and ends with the Bible because God is the Creator of words and He is the perfect author. Why examine and exalt the fallible works of man when we haven't yet understood the true literary device that Jesus revealed to the world? Contrary to definitions found in modern dictionaries, the parable is not a short fictitious story that Jesus invented. The parable is a factual representation of truth spoken by Jesus to reveal the dynamics of His kingdom.

The theory of literature, like the theory of evolution, assumes mankind is evolving from the simple to the complex. Thus false literature like false science has totally strayed away from God's true intentions for men. The theory of literature has taken humanity away from the Creator rather than revealing Him.

From this study, we see that it is the Biblical parable that is God's perfect pattern concerning language. It is revealed through Jesus Christ who is our human standard for perfect communication whether it be written or oral. May God find those who will seek His face earnestly for modern parables from heaven that bring repentance to our generation on earth.

The world is waiting for new parables from heaven for our generation to use to explain the pure way of God's kingdom and His righteousness and His Son. The world is waiting for the truth to be spoken as Christ spoke it so that questions and further understanding can have the ability to bring someone face to face with the risen Christ Himself. May Christians seek the perfect and provide an alternative in literature that pleases the Father because it comes from Him.

John 4:23
23. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
24. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Modern Examples of a Parable

Below we include two parables that follow the Biblical pattern set by Jesus.

Parable of the Gold Cross

There was a certain little girl who desired the gold cross necklace of a woman. The woman cherished her gold cross because it was a gift from loving friends. When the woman saw that she loved the gold cross more than the little girl, she was grieved; but she was able to give her cross to the little girl. For eighteen years the woman missed her gold cross and often wondered if she had been foolish in giving such an extravagant gift to a little girl. Could she appreciate the financial and emotional value of what she had been given? But in one year the woman received two gold crosses from the hand of her Heavenly Father. The first cross was plain gold just like the one she had given away but much larger. The second cross was also gold but was encrusted with sparkling diamonds! This is like the kingdom of God: what you give away in obedience to the King you receive back from the Father more than double. Blessed are those who give away what the Father has given.

Parable of the Open Ears

There was a certain young man who went to a physician to get his ears opened. They were full of dirt and wax. It took more than a flow of water to unblock his ear. It took a specific tool in the hand of the physician to wrench that blockage out of the blocked ear canal.

So the Lord of glory will do for you when you realize you aren't able to hear His voice clearly and distinctly. He will awaken your ear to listen as a disciple. He Himself will use His specific tool to open your ear so that you will not disobey. You will not backslide. You will not turn away. Blessed are those whose ears have been opened by the Lord of glory.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd