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The Error of Presumption

Updated on August 18, 2014

Presumption is the belief in something that is considered to be reasonable or very likely to happen, but not proven to be true and has yet to be fulfilled. The Holy Bible has examples of people who were presumptuous in their belief and actions to be from God that later turned out to be a false belief. Their presumption may end up in either a minor inconvenience or a major disaster, depending on the gravity of their mistake.


The Presumption of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39-45)

39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. 41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him."


A Lesson to be Learned from Joseph and Mary's Presumption

If the earthly parents of the Lord Jesus Christ can make the mistake of presumption that He was walking with them when in reality He was not, is it any wonder that today many Christians can also make that same mistake of presumption of the Lord's presence when in fact He is not there with them?

Who are the Christians that are walking with the Lord Jesus Christ?

These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God. (Rev. 14:4-5)

In the Bible the “virgin” is the symbol of a true Christian who is faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ alone (2 Cor. 11:2).

The Children of Israel's Presumption that God was with Them

The Children of Israel wanted to go up the mountain to fight against the Amelekites and Canaanites. Moses warned them not to do so.

Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the Lord is not among you. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the Lord, the Lord will not be with you. But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop; nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah.” (Num. 14:42-45)

The children of Israel did not heed Moses' warning therefore Moses did not participate in their battle against the Amelekites and Canaanites. The Bible states the Children of Israel “presumed” God was with them, so they were confident they would win the battle.

The Children of Israel comprised the majority. Moses was only one person and has only one voice, so they must have reasoned how can one man's view be right and the views of a whole nation comprising of about two million people be wrong. A church congegation can have the similar presumptuous attitude of the children of Israel when they ignore the warnings of a minister not to carry on with a dubious and highly problematic building project.

Go to:Professional Integrity and the While Elephant Building Project

Paradigm Shift for a White Elephant Building Project

The Presumption of Jesus' Disciples

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.(Mt. 17:1-8)

Peter, James and John were close disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. They had presumed that making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah would be pleasing to God. God responded by saying: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"

In the New Testament time God does not require us to erect monumental church buildings for Him. He only wants us to listen to His Son Jesus Christ. However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:'Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, Or what is the place of My rest? Has My hand not made all these things?' (Acts 7:48-50)

Not listening to the voice of Jesus but to a false prophet is deadly

The One True God says: I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?'-- when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deut. 18:18-22)

A prophet is a person who speaks in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to a church congregation. If a prophetic word is uttered in church it must come to pass; if not, that person has spoken presumptuusly, and we should not be afraid of that false prophet.

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