THE BIBLE: THE FINAL AUTHORITY
by James Daniel
A prerequisite to new testament teaching.
The following outline is well intended, and lends intself to teaching those who are drawn to Christ by God, to procure a better understanding of what it means to be a Christian according to the Bible - John 6:44John 6:44 [King James Bible]: 44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.. Only members of the church of Christ are true Christians. They are the one's that have been added to the church by the Lord - Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. Now notice in verse 47, added to the church by the Lord. What church? Well, the Bible answers that in - Romans 16:16Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.. Why anyone that genuinely claims to be a Christian will argue with that stumps me to no end. It's what the scriptures teach. Since the beginning, the church of Christ has always been the religious pariah of world religions. Indeed the pariah of the world. Even him, by whom the world was made, knew him not - John 1:10John 1:10 [King James Bible]: 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.. And by the same token, it upsets me in no small way to see the amount of false teaching that exists with regards to the religion of Jesus Christ. Very few are Bible literate these days. Many individuals have a tendency to push the evelope with regards to the doctrine. They either fall short or go beyond in terms of what is authorised. And to that end are utterly lost in their subjective approach to the first and secondary principals of the oracles of God. The church of Christ is an autocracy. Christ alone has absolute rule - Colossians 1:18Colossians 1:18 [King James Bible]: 18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.. That means, "Thus saith the Lord" is non-negotiable. Now fewer still seem to handle the word of God at all, and still call themselves Christian. That's arrogant. Mind you, others, and by the merit of their own lack claim to be Christian having never obeyed the gospel. Well that's not how it works with God.
Now it's not unreasonable to say that not everyone believes what the Bible teaches. Mind you, it's less unreasonable to say that the majority of Bible teachers are false teachers. Division exists because false teaching exists. False teaching exists because the Bible is not respected as the final authority in religion. Besides, the way men are taught the Bible today just doesn't line up with what the Bible teaches. That's not to mention all the confusing Bible versions we have, and especially in the English language. Absolutely no need for them, save for an ulterior motive. God used to overlook ignorance to some extent in the past; but he doesn't anymore - Acts 17:30Acts 17:30 [King James Bible]: 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:. In saying that, however, there is a sizeable minority who do take the word of God to heart. Yet there is an exception to that minority, not unlike myself, who do take it very serious what Bible they use to their ministering. Either way, they are the same that have heard, believed and obeyed the gospel. They are the church. The church of Christ - Romans 16:16Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you..
So what of all the other religions that claim to be Christian? Are they really Christian? Well the simple answer is no. The main reason such churches exist in the first place is because they don't respect the Bible as the final authority. Some display a remarkable defiance with regards to forsaking the commandments of almighty God. As deluded as that may sound, they still call themselves Christian. The absolute definition of a misnomer. Besides, the whole charade amounts to nothing more than an arrogant display of self-will. Christians follow the teachings of Christ. Christians are disciples of Christ. They learn of Christ and do what Christ has said to do. Fake Christians follow themselves and any other teaching they can find. Now here's a real testy. False and fake Christians usually deny the Lord's supper as a commandment. Some go so far as to say it's optional. Others, mind you, say it's only to remember him and therefore no big deal. Whilst the remainder observe something that resembles the Lord's supper once a year, or not at all. Now all that is just foolish talk and void of any substance. There's not one particle of truth to such blabber. Paul said if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins - Hebrews 10:26Hebrews 10:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,. What exactly was Paul saying? If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. Does that mean we can lose our salvation? If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. Does that answer it? We're also warned not to forsake the assembling of ourselves - Hebrews 10:25Hebrews 10:25 [King James Bible]: 25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.. The only day the scriptures mention that the church assembled to worship was on the first day of the week - Acts 20:7Acts 20:7 [King James Bible]: 7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.. No other day is mentioned. Therefore, no other day is authorised. That answers it. We also need to take into account what it means to rightly divide - 2 Timothy 2:152 Timothy 2:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.. To rightly divide is to understand the difference between applicapable and inapplicapable scripture. For example, the gifts of the Spirit which were relevant to the first century church. According to the scriptures, God established his word with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles - Hebrews 2:4Hebrews 2:4 [King James Bible]: 4. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?. That said, some have wrestled these things to their own destruction - 2 Peter 3:162 Peter 3:16 [King James Bible]: 16. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.. Are you one of them? Paul condemned false teaching - Galatians 1:8-9Galatians 1:8-9 [King James Bible]: 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.. False teaching has many forms, even that of personal beliefs. All such things make for a subjective faith, in the which, it is not the faith of Christ. With a subjective belief anything goes. Well that's not what the Bible teaches. If you want to save your soul from the torment of an eternal hell, then you need to do it God's way.
The bottom line is that anyone can take a Bible and teach whatever they want. It's estimated that there are over 41,000 so called Christian denominations in the world today. No doubt there are probably a lot more, but it gives us an idea of how large this apostate and unauthorised multitude has become. Given that most people are fairly ignorant of what the Bible teaches, it's no wonder that so many are fooled into believing the doctrines of men over the word of God. You'll notice one of the first things that false teachers try to do is argue about words or interpretation. Many of them try to debunk the King James Bible on this wise. Their contempt is on the grounds that the King James translators were uninspired men. That might well be the case, but the same could be said of any version or translation of the Bible. However, I disagree to a point. The same appear to overlook the fact of who is in control. Have they not heard of the providential hand of God in matters pertaining to men? I'd imagine even moreso concerning the things that pertain to God. I'm of the firm conviction that the foreknowledge of God had already determined certain events throughout the history of man and his kind. The English translation of the King James Bible being one of those events. Now it doesn't surprise me one bit to see religionists and false teachers trying to debunk the King James Bible. After all, the King James Bible will not allow for their apostate teaching. Apostasy is to turn one's back on core teaching, such as that of the Bible. Paul said not to strive about words - 2 Timothy 2:142 Timothy 2:14 [King James Bible]: 14. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.. It's certainly a testimony to the King James Bible having gone unchallenged for over four hundred (400) years. That's the English language King James Bible, and the same King James Bible that declares the gospel accounts as "according to." Since I'm making a few points here, I also wish to affirm that my King James Bible which is the same as the original 1611, introduces the book of Hebrews as from the apostle Paul. If the writer is unknown, which is claimed by the modern publishers, then they shouldn't put it there. It's somewhat foolhardy on their part to say such a thing in the first place. I suppose, in another sense, it compliments what they're already dishing out to the unsuspecting and ignorant. Moreover, the King James Bible had it's origins from earlier English, and today English is the most widely spoken language in the world. I'd say that speaks for itself.
Satan knows well that confusion is a prelude to discord. Indeed there's no shortage of that amidst the religious denominations. Discord is strife, disagreement, and hostility. Yet the Bible teaches one faith - Ephesians 4:5Ephesians 4:5 [King James Bible]: 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,. That doesn't sound like a very nice setting for the church we read about in the Bible. In all honesty it's the furthest thing. As for denominational churches opposed to the church of Christ, well, the one is taught after the precepts of men, and the other after the word of God. The one shall be saved (those who believe and do what the Bible teaches), and the other shall be lost (those who don't). The immediate emphasis is the lack of sound teaching that exists amongst wannabe Christians - Matthew 7:22-23Matthew 7:22-23 [King James Bible]: 22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.. Moreover, the scriptures warn us that only few will be saved. No doubt a large number in its own right. It's therefore in our best interest to understand why these things are happening and how we can best avoid them. One way to look at this is that we tolerate false teaching - 2 Corinthians 11:14-152 Corinthians 11:14-15 [King James Bible]: 14. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.. In saying that, there are many variables involved in answering these kind of questions; but invariably, it nearly always boils down to false teachers and false teaching going unchallanged and unrebuked.
We need to be clear concerning what the Bible says about God's will for all men to be saved - 1 Timothy 2:41 Timothy 2:4 [King James Bible]: 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.. It's not saying that all men will be saved. The Bible teaches no such thing. If the truth be known, the Bible teaches only few will be saved - Luke 13:23-24Luke 13:23-24 [King James Bible]: 23. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.. So why is that? Well, men are stubborn by nature. Men live subjectively. Some are hard to teach. Others just won't listen. Men are an eclectic mix of diversity and complexity. Yet man is responsible for his own doing. Say for example, those who come out of religious denominations. They have to be untaught and then taught again, lest they should obtain in error. In some cases the ignorant and the barbarian are easier to teach. It might well be the case that they are less inebriated with the ideological notions of men. Whatever the case may be, the reality is that few appreciate the gospel, let alone to obey it. In such case, Christians are under no obligation to veg out with anyone who refuses to be taught - Matthew 10:14Matthew 10:14 [King James Bible]: 14. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.. The religion of Jesus Christ is a taught religion. It's something we all need to learn. There's no such thing as an ignorant faith with God. One learns and one does - James 1:22James 1:22 [King James Bible]: 22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.. It seems that most people are wilfully ignorant that man is a composite being. Made of body and spirit. James said that the body without the spirit is dead - James 2:26James 2:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.. Therefore at some point one shall depart the other. The question is what happens then? Now some scoff at the thought of living on into eternity. Others deny the judgement to come and the existence of an eternal fiery hell. The Bible doesn't - Matthew 13:40-42Matthew 13:40-42 [King James Bible]: 40. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.. Yet no man has ever refuted the authenticity of the scriptures at any time, though many have tried. That in itself is a testimony to itself. For even God himself could swear by no greater - Hebrews 6:13Hebrews 6:13 [King James Bible]: 13. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,. It seems they forget who the author is. In any case, the Bible teaches that no man lives to himself, and no man dies to himself - Romans 14:7Romans 14:7 [King James Bible]: 7. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.. At the end of the day, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation whether men want to hear that or not - Romans 1:16Romans 1:16 [King James Bible]: 16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek..
In fact, a considerable number of the population worldwide are subservient to the dominant religions of our day. For example, it's estimated that at least 2.2 billion call themselves Christian. Calling oneself a Christian doesn't make one a Christian. Despite the vociferations of evangelical preachers and those that claim to be Christian, is that, what they say, and what God said, are simply not the same thing. It's not that they don't preach the Bible, it's how they preach it. The Devil used scripture several times; but that didn't make him a proclaimer of the truth. Just because men quote the Bible now and then doesn't make it preaching after a godly sort. If they preached the truth in the first place they wouldn't be where they are. You see, most people prefer a religion that they are comfortable with. Others of course, make it up as they go along. Well that's not the way it works with God. It seems that a sizeable number of wannabe Christians just don't get it. Maybe they don't want to get it. Who knows? Either way, they'll be hard-pressed if they think their going to heaven, that's for sure. You either do it God's way, or no way. There's no two ways about it - 2 Thessalonians 2:10-122 Thessalonians 2:10-12 [King James Bible]: 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness..
We hear a lot about church denominations and various church councils and what have you? The world looks to such churches as if they are some kind of religious authority in the things that pertain to God. In fact, they have no authority, well, not in the things that pertain to God, that's for sure. As for the church of Christ, she has what is called deligated authority. That authority comes in the form of oversight. Indeed, there is no authority beyond that in the Lord's church. Denominational churches ignore Bible authority almost on all fronts, and to that end are utterly in bondage to Satan. They have their own structures apart from what the Bible teaches. Foolish men think they can violate the commandments of almighty God and get away with it. Not so. Paul said that if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins - Hebrews 10:26Hebrews 10:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,. Christian or no Christian, if anyone teaches false doctrine they sin against the word of God. All sin is condemnable; but to speak as "thus saith the Lord" when he said no such thing? That is to tempt the Lord - 1 Corinthians 10:91 Corinthians 10:9 [King James Bible]: 9. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.. It's estimated that at least 151,600 people die per day. That's a lot of people and should serve to warn us that longevity is not forever. The Bible, and in particular the new testament; is the only authority in all things that pertain to the church and the doctrine. God has one church inasmuch as there is one God. The reality is that the faith of Jesus Christ is standalone. Your either in or your out.
Now most of what we read today about the church of Christ is either fundamentally wrong, or just plain old dubious excoriation. The following informative, however, is biblically correct. The church of Christ is not a denomination as some try to claim. The church of Christ is the original church as declared in the scriptures. Moreover, the faithful church of Christ have no such thing as a council of churches, let alone, any kind of general oversight or central administration; save that of heaven. Yet there are wicked churches of Christ, so called, who have formed to themselves councils of oversight far beyond what the Bible will allow for. They are the exceptions. They are known as apostate churches. The same have forsaken the fundamental principals of Bible doctrine - 2 John 10-112 John 10-11 [King James Bible]: 10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. cf. 1 John 2:191 John 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.. Such things should serve to warn men and women that not all churches of Christ adhere to Bible doctrine. Mind you, John said that they went out from us because they were not of us - 1 John 2:191 John 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.. So these things are to be expected. That's bad enough until compared with all those other churches that claim to be Christian and have no part or say in the matter. When men and women refuse the Bible as the final authority they refuse salvation. The truth is that the vast majority of professing Christians are on their way to hell. It's also worth noting, that without the Bible we would lack the necessary knowledge of what it means to be a Christian, let alone, the church. Therefore, the Bible is the final authority in all things to the Christian and the church. The fact is, there is nothing beyond the Bible that will direct men to heaven. That is why the church of Christ is the only church the Bible teaches.
Knowledge, and proper understanding of knowledge is two different things. We live in an era of fake news and fake religions. In fact, most things are not what they appear to be. However, Bible knowledge is the most important of all knowledge, and is certainly something we need to understand in its proper context. As mentioned earlier, the King James Bible calls it "rightly dividing." If the Holy Spirit considered it important enough to mention - 2 Timothy 2:152 Timothy 2:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. cf. 2 Peter 3:162 Peter 3:16 [King James Bible]: 16. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.; then we need to take that very seriously. Take for example, Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, and Apollos of Alexandria - Acts 8:30-31Acts 8:30-31 [King James Bible]: 30. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31. And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him., Acts 18:26Acts 18:26 [King James Bible]: 26. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.. Both of them were taught a more excelent way. Now most of us have the ability to learn; but that doesn't guarantee that we all understand what we learn, nor indeed share the same understanding of what we learn. When men disagree it's usually because their thoughts and opinions are subjective, self-governing and imperious. Each has, in his own opinion, the upper hand in terms of who knows best. When it comes to Bible doctrine, however, that's another matter entirely. God is the author of the doctrine - 2 Timothy 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17 [King James Bible]: 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. cf. 1 Corinthians 14:331 Corinthians 14:33 [King James Bible]: 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.. So how do we apply the word of God that all understand alike? If men would properly comprehend that the object of the faith we read about in the New Testament is Jesus Christ, then we might have less issue with false doctrine. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" - John 14:15John 14:15 [King James Bible]: 15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.. That's the measure by which we can know if one is truly in the faith. Samuel said that obeying the voice of the Lord was better than sacrifice - 1 Samuel 15:221 Samuel 15:22 [King James Bible]: 22. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.. Moreover, John said that the New Testament would be the measure by which we shall be judged in the last day - John 12:48John 12:48 [King James Bible]: 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.. If that doesn't get the point across then nothing will.
Finally, the terms church and churches of Christ are interchangeable terms, in that, they mean the same thing. The churches, referring to the plural form of what makes up the church as a whole, such as, that of the synecdoche principal, which is a part for the whole and a whole for the part, is the church we read about in the New Testament. The individual churches that make up the church of Christ are entirely independent of each other in terms of accountability to the Lord. They're also independent of general oversight, that is, apart from the Lord of course. Yet they observe and teach the same doctrine because the Bible is the only doctrine that is authorised to be taught in the Lord's church, hence, the church of Christ - Galatians 1:8Galatians 1:8 [King James Bible]: 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed., cf. 1 Timothy 6:3-51 Timothy 6:3-5 [King James Bible]: 3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.. The church of Christ is unlike all other churches, in that, becoming a member depends entirely on one's obedience to the gospel - Acts 2:38Acts 2:38 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost., cf. Romans 6:17Romans 6:17 [King James Bible]: 17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.. Faith, including confession of faith in Christ, repentance, and water baptism; are of the first principals of the oracles of God. After all, the Lord is the one who does the adding to that number, which is the church - Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. Moreover, the record is kept in heaven - Hebrews 12:23Hebrews 12:23 [King James Bible]: 23. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,. That settles the matter.