Greetings, to one and all, in Jesus’s glorious name!
Introduction and Petition: Brethren, this long and strong message is going to challenge all of us, not because it is an attack on the Word of God (as the title might lead one to believe), but because it is a rebuttal against how we use the Word of God. The words in this post are mine, but the message is the Lord’s. Therefore, I urge you, brethren, that before reading further, you pray to the heavenly Father to prepare your hearts to receive His words and counsel, lest you become offended and bitter and pepper this post with angry comments. I am not just the messenger of this post but a recipient as well. And I perceive this message as the Lord’s rebuke, and so, as the bearer of this message, I’ve chosen to be the first to personally receive and wholeheartedly accept His rebuke. Now I bring you His message. But this task does not elevate me above you nor does it lower you beneath me, for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives.
Warning: If we skimp, skim-read, or speed-read this post, we might end up walking away with a radically different message than the one the Lord desires and intends for us. Therefore, it would be prudent to not do so but to read with care.
Followers of the Lord Jesus, have we not heard the quote in the title of this post or its variant (“God is not the author of confusion”) uttered about us for some time now?
This statement is taken from 1 Corinthians 14:33. And we hear this statement quoted quite often in prophetic circles, with the unsaid implication being that God does not cause confusion and therefore when people share words/visions/dreams that appear contradictory to or non-conciliatory with other prophetic words/visions/dreams or does not line up with our carnal understanding, that God is not the author of such words/visions/dreams.
This verse is one among many others that we tend to use flippantly, all the while claiming that we are judging prophecies or testing the spirits. No, brethren. What we are doing when we use this scripture or any other scripture in this fashion is operating in a form of judgment that Jesus sharply rebuked. Let’s read John 7:24 (HCSB).
Stop judging according to outward appearances; rather judge according to righteous judgment.
There is a right way to use Scripture and a wrong way to do so. While we are largely going to examine 1 Corinthians 14:33 in this post, we will also see that it is not one verse that is the problem but the attitude of our hearts. And this problematic kind of thinking and usage is widely prevalent in the body of Christ. And the Lord is very displeased about this!
First, let’s look at the context surrounding 1 Corinthians 14:33, beginning in verse 26. In order to not make this post longer than necessary, I will not reproduce the contextual verses here, but I encourage everybody to go ahead and read all eight verses from 26 to 33. I ask you to do this for your own benefit and edification, not mine.
If we read all eight verses and refrain from reading into the text, the honest conclusion we must necessarily arrive at is that this passage is not talking about confusion in doctrine or prophecies. Rather, it is talking about doing activities (singing a song/psalm, speaking in tongues, giving an interpretation, presenting a revelation/prophecy, evaluating it, giving a teaching, etc.) in an orderly fashion when we gather for fellowship, failing which the result will be disorder and disharmony.
With me so far? Good.
So when we make the assertion that “God is not a God of confusion,” based on this one verse, and according to our carnal understanding, not only are we guilty of ignoring the surrounding context of 1 Corinthians 14:33, but we are also guilty of ignoring the whole counsel of the Word of God and manipulating Scripture to back up our particular perspective. This is a problematic and dangerous attitude. It doesn’t matter whether the scripture in question is 1 Corinthians 14:33, Deuteronomy 18:22, Proverbs 11:14, or some other verse/passage. If we emphasize one single verse/passage out of its proper context, at the expense of the rest of the Word of God, we are inevitably, sooner or later, going to fall into a ditch.
Yet, can it be biblically asserted in an absolutist fashion that 1 Corinthians 14:33 is proof positive that God is not a God of confusion?
Turn with me now please to Genesis 11:1–9. Now read the whole passage, because I will not reproduce it here. Look at verses 6–7 (HCSB; emphasis, mine).
The Lord said, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
Yes, you read that correctly. The confusion in language at the tower of Babel was not authored by the devil, a false prophet or teacher, or a mischievous angel. No, brethren. That confusion was authored by YHWH Himself.
Maybe this is an exceptional circumstance. But is it?
Turn with me now please to Proverbs 26:4 (HCSB).
Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness
or you’ll be like him yourself.
And now, read verse 5.
Answer a fool according to his foolishness
or he’ll become wise in his own eyes.
Sorry, you read that correctly. Just what is happening here, brethren? Did we not supposedly read in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that God is not a God of confusion? Then why are two simultaneous verses in the same chapter of the same book of the Holy Bible contradicting each other? Is God trying to confuse us?
Let’s chew upon some other references now.
Then during the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud, and threw them into confusion. (Exod. 14:24, HCSB; emphasis, mine)
The Lord will send against you curses, confusion, and rebuke in everything you do until you are destroyed and quickly perish, because of the wickedness of your actions in abandoning Me. (Deut. 28:20, HCSB; emphasis, mine)
The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel. He defeated them in a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them through the ascent of Beth-horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. (Josh. 10:10, HCSB; emphasis, mine)
The Lord threw Sisera, all his charioteers, and all his army into confusion with the sword before Barak. Sisera left his chariot and fled on foot. (Judg. 4:15, HCSB; emphasis, mine)
God does not cause confusion! First Corinthians 14:33 clearly says He doesn’t!
OK, let’s look at one NT verse also. But for this one, I’ll have to cite an OT reference first.
Therefore I say to the Israelites: None of you and no foreigner who lives among you may eat blood. (Lev. 17:12, HCSB; emphasis, mine)
Now let’s look at John 6:53 (HCSB; emphasis, mine).
So Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.”
No, no, no! God is not the author of confusion!
I am sorry, but that’s what these verses say. If God Himself told the Israelites, and they had it in their law, that they are not supposed to consume blood, then why is God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14), Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), the exact expression of His nature (Heb. 1:3), confusing these same Israelites by not just telling them but assuring them that they must consume His flesh and drink His blood, if they are to have life in themselves? Truly, in what sense is this not confusing to the natural mind?
- Sometimes, God ordains confusion in judgment but also to accomplish a larger purpose, like in Genesis 11, where as a result of the people’s language being confused, they had to stop building the city and tower and spread out over the face of the whole earth, in accordance with God’s command to Noah and his descendants in Genesis 9:7, but the Genesis 11 passage is not a prohibition against constructing cities or tall buildings.
- Sometimes, God sends confusion as a curse upon His people as a result of their unfaithfulness toward Him.
- Sometimes, God uses confusion as a weapon against His enemies or the enemies of His people.
- But sometimes, like in John 6:53, God uses “confusion” to expose what’s truly within us. He deliberately uses confusing, even offensive, language to determine who is really willing to stick it out with Him.
Look at John 6 again. When Jesus made the statement in verse 53, a crowd of people was following Him, and how many were left when Jesus finally explained what those words of His meant? And what did He really mean, by the way? Was He advocating that we must cannibalize His body to have life in ourselves? Let’s take a look at Matthew 26:26–28 (HCSB).
As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.
How many were there here? The answer is in verse 20 of the same chapter.
When evening came, He was reclining at the table with the Twelve.
Twelve! Out of an entire crowd of people, only 12 were left when Jesus, at His last meal with His disciples, just prior to His crucifixion, finally cleared up His confusing speech in John 6:53. And just who was it who left Jesus and no longer followed Him? Unbelievers? Pharisees? Sadducees? Let’s read John 6:66 (HCSB; emphasis, mine).
From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him.
Brethren, you see, if we do not learn to perceive rightly and judge correctly and simply adopt the attitude of “This is not of God, because God is not a God of confusion” or “That can’t be God, because God is not the author of confusion,” we are in a very real danger of missing out on God and will most certainly not be present with Him when He clears up the “confusion.”
By the way, isn’t it astonishing that even after the crowd had been filtered out, there still remained a devil in their midst?!
Coming back to our topic of interest, please read Acts 2:1–13. Familiar passage, right? Look at verse 13.
But some sneered and said, “They’re full of new wine!”
Let’s think about this now.
The Holy Spirit has been poured out. The 120 are speaking the magnificent acts of God, and the crowd that’s gathered is testifying that each of them is hearing these Galileans speaking in their own native language. And yet, what’s the conclusion some reached? They’re full of new wine! (In other words, these folks heard “confusion.”)
Let me present this from another angle. In Genesis 11, God divinely confuses the people who had a common language so that they could not understand one another’s speech. In Acts 2, God divinely clears up the confusion of Genesis 11 by enabling people with different native languages to understand one another’s speech. And yet what do some people hear?
You know, brethren, if we are seeing and hearing confusion, maybe that’s because our senses are not perceiving what the Spirit of the Lord is doing.
However, this is not to say that all confusion is of God. False prophets do cause confusion. And here is an example.
Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people. If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague.”
And I replied, “Oh no, Lord God! The prophets are telling them, ‘You won’t see sword or suffer famine. I will certainly give you true peace in this place.’”
But the Lord said to me, “These prophets are prophesying a lie in My name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceit of their own minds. (Jer. 14:11–14, HCSB)
But in order to avoid the confusion of false prophets and their false prophecies, can we take refuge in an isolated verse (e.g., 1 Cor. 14:33) as we are often prone to do? Does this make that particular verse a safe haven? Brethren, the Bible is not just one verse. We ought to take refuge in the whole counsel of the Word of God, not one or two cherry-picked verses.
Now, stories are not at the level of the Word of God, but they are a powerful way to illuminate it. And so I will present one here to graphically illustrate why when a prophetic word/vision/dream appears contradictory to or non-conciliatory with other prophetic words/visions/dreams or does not line up with our understanding, it is unwise to regard such prophecies as always worthy of the dart of 1 Corinthians 14:33. Here we go:
In a remote village in Africa lived a man by the name of Solomon, his wife, and their three boys. This was a devout Christian family, and both parents knew that their boys had a prophetic anointing upon their lives, because God would often speak to them in dreams and visions.
Solomon worked hard as a supervisor in a factory in the town nearest his village, which was still quite some distance away. One day his boss told him that there was an opportunity for him to travel to America because he had been recommended for specialized training, and his boss had kindly arranged for his whole family to travel with him.
Solomon had only heard stories of America. He had never in his wildest dreams imagined going there. He was understandably very excited, and that day when he returned home, he enthusiastically shared the news with his wife and three boys.
The three boys’ faces lit up with joy, and Solomon’s wife could only beam at her husband with pride. The boys then began to spend all their time reading up on whatever little material Solomon was able to procure about America: the history, the attractions, the lifestyle, the food, and so on. They insisted that Daddy should take them for a small vacation once they were in America. So Solomon decided to give his boys an assignment. “Listen, my boys. America is a very big country, much, much bigger than our little village or even the town where I go to work. This is an opportunity that God has surely arranged for us. So why don’t you three ask God where we should go on vacation? We can go to the place the Lord shows you three.”
The boys agreed, and that night they asked the Lord to pick a place for them. The Lord, in reply, gave each of them a dream. Next morning the boys woke up excitedly and went to Solomon and said, “Daddy, God answered our prayer, and we saw the place in a dream. All three of us saw it.”
“Really?” asked their father somewhat incredulously.
“Yes, the place we saw is a massive mountain. A really big mountain!”
“That’s it?” Solomon asked, a bit annoyed.
“Oh no, Daddy! This was a special mountain. The mountain had a face like a man!”
“What?” snapped Solomon. He had never heard of such a thing, but then he wondered if it might be a sculpture or a natural rock carving. So he asked inquisitively, “Whose face was on it?”
“We don’t know, Daddy,” replied the boys in unison.
“Well, I am going to work. When I come back in the evening, if you find out, you can tell me.” With that, Solomon left for work, and the boys began to wonder how to figure out whose face they had seen on the mountain.
Later in the day, as one of the brothers was looking through the little material on America that their father had brought for them, he exclaimed, “I found it! I found the place!”
“Really?” yelled the other two as they came running to see what their brother had discovered.
“Look!” said the first brother. “This is the man I saw in my dream whose face was on the mountain. His name is given here as Abraham Lincoln. Now once we are in America, we just need to go to the mountain that has this man’s face on it.” He beamed at his siblings. The other two brothers suddenly did not share his excitement. “What’s happened to you two?” he inquired with them. “Are you not excited that I found the place?”
The second brother said, “That is not the man I saw.” He pointed to another photo. “This is whom I saw. His name is mentioned as George Washington.”
And the third brother then piped up, “That’s not possible.” He pointed to another photo. “You two must not have seen clearly. I am most certain that this is the man whose face was on the mountain. His name is written here as Thomas Jefferson.”
So an argument broke out among the three of them, each one claiming that he had correctly heard from God and that the other two had not perceived correctly. Their mother tried to intervene, but they kept on with their arguments. So she thought it best to let their father resolve this and let them be. Thus, this debate among them went on until their father returned in the evening.
The first brother then said, “Let’s ask Daddy to decide. Instead of arguing among ourselves, let Daddy judge. Surely he knows better than us.” The other two agreed. So they narrated the whole story to their father.
When Solomon heard their narrative, he sharply rebuked them, “My boys, be quiet! When are you going to get some discernment? Did we not, as a family, read 1 Corinthians 14 yesterday? And have you already forgotten what you read? Boys, God is not a God of confusion! He did not tell you anything. You are just overexcited, and this is simply your imagination running wild!”
Here ends the story.
We have with us and in us someone greater and wiser than Solomon. And yet when the limited understanding of our carnal minds is confronted, we are no better than Solomon, for almost immediately this is what flows out of our mouths: “God is not the author of confusion!” Now, Americans, you do know which mountain the Lord was showing the three boys, don’t you?
What are you saying here, Sujit? Are you making fun of me and my country, poking holes in the Bible, in my theology?
Absolutely not! I am encouraging us to open our eyes and ears, hearts and minds to the whole counsel of the Word of God and stop basing our assessments and judgments on a couple of Scripture verses/passages, usually taken out of context. This a very serious problem and one that Brother Thomas Harry recently pointed out in his post: https://z3news.com/w/urgent-can-you-bear-jesus-revelations/. We must go back to it and read it in full, and do so over and over again, until the message sinks in. I quote him here:
This is a generation where believers will quote a scripture to reinforce their particular perspective. This is regardless of whether or not the view that is being reinforced is actually true. Few believers have really meditated on the fact that the devil quoted scripture. Even more so that he quoted scripture to the Living Word Himself—Jesus. That is really worth contemplating. The devil thought he could manipulate the Word made flesh, for his own gain. Therefore, simply quoting a scripture is not sufficient, particularly in this generation. If the devil can quote scripture, then anyone can; that is worth pondering.
Brethren, has not Brother Thomas correctly perceived and accurately prophesied about our condition? He shared this word with us, here on Z3 News, on August 13, 2020. And we, what did we do with it?
We marveled at the wisdom God has evidently blessed Brother Thomas with, sent a few congratulatory comments his way, profusely thanked him and blessed him for sending such awesome spiritual manna our way, praised God for the word, read it, enjoyed it, and then just as quickly forgot about it! Did James have us in mind when he penned his epistle?
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:22–24, HCSB)
Sujit, surely this does not describe us!
Really? Let’s at least be honest with ourselves, brethren.
You are just being unnecessarily harsh and rude now.
Absolutely not! This is who we are. Have we, the body of Christ, not discoursed as below among ourselves or witnessed such exchanges among brethren?
“This cannot be from God!”
Why do you say so?
“Because God is not a God of confusion!”
“She is a false prophet!”
Why do you say so?
“Because she prophesied in the name of the Lord, and it did not come to pass!”
“He has fallen from grace!”
Why do you say so?
“Because he esteemeth the Sabbath and has therefore gone back under the law!”
“This is a false prophecy!”
Why do you say so?
“Because God is not a man who lies or a son of man who changes His mind!”
“She does not love Jesus!”
Why do you say so?
“Because she esteemeth not the Sabbath, and Jesus said that if we loved Him, we would keep His commandments!”
“They are weak in faith!”
Why do you say so?
“Because they are vegetarians!”
“He does not have any faith!”
Why do you say so?
“Because for fear of COVID-19, he weareth a mask. So where is his faith?”
“She does not love her neighbor as herself!”
Why do you say so?
“Because she weareth not a mask and is therefore unconcerned if her neighbor contracts COVID-19!”
This callous attitude of flippantly throwing one-line scriptures like darts at everything and everyone without wisdom and forethought just because things do not line up per our understanding and expectations is not only faulty and unwise but also spiritually dangerous, because we then become predisposed to be a potential progenitor of heresies.
What??? Heresies! Really?!
Yes, and I will demonstrate it to you.
Isaiah 9:6 (HCSB) says this:
For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
This is clearly a Messianic OT passage. But in John 14:26, it is the Holy Spirit who is called the Counselor, and here in the above passage, this child is also called Eternal Father. So what is the heretical conclusion some people draw from these two verses (i.e., Isa. 9:6 and John 14:26)?
Jesus is the Father; Jesus is the Son; Jesus is the Holy Spirit.
Yes, very, very seriously.
Brethren, we did not receive the full counsel of the Word of God so that we may only pick a few punchy verses from it and compile our own Bibles to preach our own doctrines. Neither did we receive the Holy Spirit from our heavenly Father so that we may shun his leading and teaching and grow up into heretics. Rather, it is our heavenly Father’s desire that we grow up into Christ in all things (Eph. 4:15). He does not want His children in confusion. But for this to happen, His children must abandon carnal, fleshly ways of thinking and learn to think like Him. We must learn to perceive what it is that our heavenly Father is truly doing and saying. If we fail to do this, all we see and hear may very well end up being simply “confusion.”
So let us all exercise care in how we walk.
In conclusion, therefore, I solemnly declare, All who steadfastly and unrepentantly insist on continuing down this road, refusing to accept the Holy Spirit’s correction and ignoring the full counsel of the Word of God, are going to fall into a ditch, and it may very well be a fall from which no recovery shall be possible.
Author: Sujit Thomas
Sujit was working in Chennai in late 2015 when the Lord began to nudge him to draw closer to Him. That was the beginning of a major spiritual transformation in his life, and he has not looked back since. As someone who has experienced God’s undeserving love, grace, and mercy personally, Sujit would like people to know that the Lord has no pleasure in the death of the unrighteous, but would rather see them repent and live.
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