The Devil Has a Bible

Justin Johnson

Plymouth Brethren C.H. Mackintosh said in his commentary of Leviticus 16:

“The devil is never more diabolical than when he appears with the Bible in his hand.”

In a similar vein of thought, mid-Acts dispensationalist Terence McLean has said:

“It is not enough to be Biblical, one must of necessity be dispensational.”

Both statements speak to the idea that the Bible can be terribly misused.

The Devil has a Bible

It is easy to think, “Well, a little Bible is better than nothing.” But if the “little” is taken out of context then it can cause extreme spiritual harm.

The Devil has a Bible and uses it.

The Devil quoted scripture to the Lord Jesus Christ leaving out important details, ignoring the context, and not letting God be true (Matt 4:6).

The same teachings found in Leviticus are said to be doctrines of devils in Paul’s letter to Timothy (1 Tim 4:1-3).

It was true in Deuteronomy 6:25 that righteousness could come by the law, but it was false in Galatians 2:21 and Romans 3:20.

While it was right to consider the raven and not work for daily bread in the context of God providing manna for Israel in the wilderness, it would be wrong teaching today where we are taught “if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thess 3:10).

The word of God is compared to bread, and a little bread is better than none. But the Bible is also compared to a sword, and if not used properly you can cut off a limb. What is bread in one place is doctrinal poison in another.

The Need to Rightly Divide

To battle the enemy you must learn to be a swordsman: clashing Bible against Bible. This is why its not enough to be Biblical, so is the enemy. You must be right; you must rightly divide.

To discern which scripture is right today requires a division of scripture: right division. Wrongly divided, or not divided at all, the Bible can be used to teach error, promote evil, and justify wrong.

If you need to drive somewhere you must drive a vehicle, but you better make sure you learn how to drive first. Otherwise, you will end up in the side of a ditch somewhere. We should take just as much caution when people use the Bible.

If you are going to grow spiritually you must use a Bible. Yes, but you must first learn how to use it, or you will end up in a spiritual ditch.

Knowing that the Devil has the Bible, too, should change your perspective when you see or hear someone using it. Be ready to discern.

Do not trust what someone says simply because they have a Bible verse to support a teaching. You may find out that you are following the Devil with a Bible in his hand.

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Published: July 2, 2016
Last Modified: September 1, 2018
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