© 2017 - Overture and Doctrinal: Part 1 of 2.
Only recently it came to my attention that some churches of Christ appear to be in retrograde. The first agent of change is the use of monikers in substituting biblical designations. Well I for one don't see any reason for it; only to cause confusion. What's more, one has to wonder why anyone would even go so far as to alter one jot or tittle from any part of scripture - Matthew 5:1818. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.. In saying that, it's better to determine what the Bible has to say about this before jumping to conclusions. Mind you, it's worth investigating what Bible versions are being used by those that see fit to change what doesn't need to be changed. It's also worth noting the motives that propagate such a divergency. You know, ignorance and liberalism has a lot to answer for. There's no justification for being liberal minded with respect to the authority of scripture, let alone, altering any part of the inspired record. Wot? Are we suddenly short sighted to forget with whom scripture has its origin? Is it not God, lest we provoke? - 1 Corinthians 10:2222. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?. Are not the words of the Lord of glory blood sealed? Yes they are! The words of the Bible are sealed by the blood of Christ, the only begotten of the Father - John 1:1414. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.. You see, the Bible didn't come from man. It came from God. 40 men, over a period of some 1500 years. That's what it took to put the Bible together. A feat, so utterly impossible; that no man, or group of men could accomplish without the hand of God. The Bible is the perfect example of what is right and proper. Therefore, there is no question to whom it belongs.
You see, those who are responsible for tampering with God's word; have no intentions of following the pattern of the new testament. They want to change it; rather than follow it. Their unable to pattern themselves after the first principals of Christ because they don't want to. Their beloved, and sinful lifestyles work contrary to the scriptures. Change agents, that's all they are. Always seeking for something new regardless of the cost. Yet there is a cost. The cost of superfluity, in terms of the excess of going beyond - Proverbs 30:66. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.. Pentecostals, and charismatic Catholics, for example, put forth impromptu plans of salvation. In other words, they make it up as they go along. They claim to receive revelations, and visions, and the better felt than told. However, when it comes to proving those things; there's no tangible evidence. All you get is an unproven claim. If one is unable to prove what they say is true, then how can they prove what they claim is from God? The Bible is not an option because they deny it. They say they don't; but they do. Such individuals are spiritually dangerous; both to themselves, and to others. Now the same will argue the will of God by pretense. They use a system that is cunningly devised, and known amongst the religious as the new hermeneutic. Well that's what they call it. Such a system suits them right down to the ground. A hermeneutic is defined as a method or theory of interpretation. Even some of our own are known to use such methods. My friend, the new hermeneutic is nothing more than a digressive attempt to undermine scripture. I say scripture, referring to the King James Bible. What's more, in an effort to confront the gross inconsistency of antithetical doctrines within the church; we must set about at source: namely, exposing the shoddy, and unstable Bible versions that appear to be popular amongst the liberals of our own household. For example, to use such a turpitude as the New International Version (NIV), one would need to be a complete idiot. Those that use the NIV to teach the church certainly didn't put a lot of effort into researching how the texts came about. Shame on such men. Indeed, it would be sensible to inquire; as to whether there is some kind of ulterior motive behind the 300+ English versions we have today. That's a staggering amount of versions in one language. Any reasonable man will see that something is amiss. It's not that we needed another English version beyond the King James. If anything, it was an attempt to take the King James Bible out of the way. Keep the people ignorant. That's what the Catholic church did, when they verbalized their massMass is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is commonly called in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Eucharist, is a ceremony that supposedly commemorates the last supper. Catholic, Eucharist, and Mass are not biblical terms. in Latin. Not that it made much difference in terms of salvation, because no Catholic is saved. Moreover, the New King James Version (NKJV), is nothing more than a corrupted reproduction of the King James Bible. It certainly isn't a King James Bible; that's for sure. How do I know that? Because King James and his translators are long dead and gone. Four hundred years dead and gone. Needless to say, we know who's behind such crafty works of dissimulation. Sure, even Paul said, the mystery of iniquity was already at work in his day - 2 Thessalonians 2:77. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way..
I don't expect everyone will agree with what I'm saying; but what of that! I'm not here to have men's persons in admiration - Jude 1:1616. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.. I'm here to expose something that's not right. None of us should take evil good heartedly. Mind you, to have unity in the Lord's church demands the purging of the leaven of false doctrines from among us. Now as some of us know too well, there's no such thing as unity in diversity. It doesn't work. It never did, and never will. If anything, it's heresy. On the other hand, if unity in diversity did work; then why all the problems over doctrine? There shouldn't be issues with doctrine; only to teach it. What's more, it's no small matter when those without observe childish disputations over the fundamentals of salvation. Satan is certainly winning out on this one.
The big question is: Is there a standard in the religion of Jesus Christ? Yet there is, and it's not the standard of men! The divine standard is the Bible, however, that really depends on what version of the Bible is in use. You cannot have a standard when things are set to naught, or at variance. Most, if not all modern Bible versions are at variance with each other, not to mention, the the King James Bible. That alone speaks for itself. In John 10:11-1611. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd., Jesus referred to himself as the "good shepherd," and in - 1 Peter 5:44. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away., he is referred to as the "chief Shepherd." That's all fine and well until men start changing things. I've searched for the office of Shepherd in the King James Bible; but was unsuccessful. Yet some local churches are changing the title of "Elder" to "Shepherd." That's not a standard. It's synthetic. So where do we draw the line in terms of standard? What's happened to the simplicity that's in Christ? - 2 Corinthians 11:33. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.. I suppose, no better place to start than - 1 Peter 5:1-51. The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.. Peter referred to the elders, as elders. So why change that? There's no justification for altering any part of the epithets of inspiration. Yes, Christ is referred to as the "chief Shepherd" in scripture; but there's no mention of any man being called Shepherd. Yes, you will find the use of the term "shepherd" in the corrupted versions of the Bible; but not in the King James. Moreover, an elder depicts an older man; whereas shepherd does not. Now I'm not arguing the role of elders, that's for sure; only the changeling attitudes of some within the church. I cannot comprehend the reason for chopping and changing all the time. All it does is cause confusion. Altering any part of God's word is how apostasy begins. Are we ignorant of the nature of leaven, even the leaven of false doctrine? Why not just call Bible things by their proper Bible names? You know, the Bible teaches that God is not the author of confusion - 1 Corinthians 14:3333. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.. In saying that, it's better to keep with what the Bible teaches; than what we think it teaches. When men feel the need to change any part of the Bible, you have to wonder what version of the Bible their reading from, that is, if they read the Bible at all. God ceased revealing his will to mankind with John on the island of Patmos. So why does the Bible still appear to be evolving? I say evolving, in terms of addition. You see, there's no such thing as scriptural evolution; only devilution. It's double minded men that evolve, and their modern Bible versions to boot. Frankly, I'm convinced that the King James Bible was made the standard some four hundred years ago. It certainly has proven to be reliable, not to mention, having stood the test of time.
You know, it's no small matter when men tamper with any part of the inspired doctrine. Jude said, What was once delivered, was once delivered - Jude 1:33. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.. What does that tell you? Paul said, he had not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God - Acts 20:2727. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God., cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1010. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.. Whole means complete. Nothing left out. You see, for some that's just too much. It doesn't tally with what they want to believe. So they take it upon themselves to change things at will. Like unreasoning animals they strive headlong without thinking. What they forget is that we must give account on the day of judgement - 2 Corinthians 5:1010. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.. That's a sobering thought, my friend. Any man that thinks he will get away with changing any part of God's word, for any reason; is on a fool's errand. Men have tried, and failed. Look at the "NIV" for example. If that's not a dog's breakfast, then what? It certainly isn't the word of God, that's for sure. Now here's a real interesting one. They call it Sunday schooling. Now teaching children the Bible is no bad thing. However, when the congregation is divided on the Lord's day; then you have a problem. There's absolutely no example of this found anywhere in scripture. Paul said, "...all things are not expedient: all things edify not." - 1 Corinthians 10:2323. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.. Jesus said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 19:1414. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.. A divided congregation is a disobedient congregation. There's no other way to put it. Surely you read, do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee? - Deuteronomy 6:1818. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers.. Well, I'm sure the opposite is also true. Then you have those that say it's alright to partake of the Lord's supper with non-Christians, and those of other religious persuasions. They say it's not good to offend, and may well hinder the progress of the gospel if anything is said. Sounds reasonable until you discover the Bible teaches no such thing. Actually, what they say is polar opposite to scripture. Paul said, "What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" - 2 Corinthians 6:1515. And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?. An infidel is a person who doesn't believe in religion, or observes a religion other than one's own. To fellowship non-believers is as blasphemous as having the Lord's supper on a day except the Lord's day. A deserter of the faith once said to me: that the Bible doesn't teach to observe the Lord's day every week. He obviously doesn't read the Bible too often - Acts 20:77. 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., cf. Acts 2:4242. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.. In verse 42, it's said that they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine. Now the apostles met on the first day of the week to break bread. Well that's what the scriptures teach. Steadfastly means, in an unwavering and patterned manner. Therefore they patterned themselves according to the first day of each week. What's wrong with that? I just don't understand those that try to argue against worshiping God on the first day of each week. What are they expecting to happen in heaven?
So what about the brother who walks disorderly? There's certainly no shortage of them, my friend. Paul said, to withdraw from every brother that walks disorderly - 2 Thessalonians 3:6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.. Now for some that's just too legalistic, and others just turn a deaf ear. Now they'll only turn a deaf ear until the day of judgement, that is! Yet the same accuse men that uphold God's truth as "Bible thumpers." All those false accusations amount to nothing more than ignorant slurs. If the egotistical bigmouths would spend more time reading the Bible than trying to read people; they might have less to say. Actually, that reminds me of a chap I recently had a conversation with. He told me the reason he speaks so fast is because he had all his teeth pulled out several years ago. I wonder can the same be said of those that need to learn to control their tongues? James said, the tongue was a deadly poison - James 3:8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.. You see then, how our words can influence others, not to mention, condemn us. So what about brother do little? The Bible says to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin - James 4:17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.. The Devil has a field day with brethren like that. There's no excuse for being a slothful Christian. If anything, it's worse than just being slothful in general. A lazy Christian dishonours Christ. Solomon said, "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand..." - Proverbs 10:4He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.. Then there's brother "BIG" to contend with. There's nothing worse than a brother lording it over his brethren. You know, brother "BIG" is only as big as his mouth will allow him to be. There was such a man in the early church known as Diotrephes. He loved to have the preeminence. Speaking malicious words, and casting men out of the church - 3 John 1:9-10I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.. The thing is, no man has that kind of authority over God's heritage - 1 Peter 5:3Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.. Any man that assumes that position in the church: assumes equality with God. That's not advisable, my friend. Look what happened to Herod - Acts 12:21-2321. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. 22. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. 23. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost..
My friend, a strange spirit moves throughout the church in these last days. It seems that for some; the Bible has less influence in terms of authority. The faith that was once delivered is put on the back burner - Jude 1:3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.. Others of course, are not overly concerned about the Bible versions they use. I have to say, that's a really big no no! The doctrine of "all-inclusiveness" is to go with the crowd. How would you like to have been with the crowd in Noah's day? Probably not! Mind you, steadfastness in the doctrine of Christ is no longer the accepted fundamental of the Christian faith it seems - 2 John 1:9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.. For some, it appears that anything goes. Well that may well be for them; but there's no such thing as anything goes with God. You get that wrong, and you get everything else wrong. Its as simple as that. As for the liberal minded brother; those characteristics go hand in hand. Now that brings us to a leaven that's often overlooked with regards to new converts. Have they been taught correctly, let alone, converted? You've heard the idiom: Give an inch and take a mile. Well that's what the Devil does. He's often used the partially converted to stir up contentions within the church. I suppose in a sense, like those that took for themselves foreign wives, in - Deuteronomy 7:3-4Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.. Again that brings us back to the brother that walks disorderly. Men that are unwilling to follow the proven pattern of scripture are a liability to the church, let alone, the Lord. How can you teach others what you don't know yourself? Listen to it, my friend. Men are to learn the will of the Lord - Ephesians 5:17Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.. This can only be done by studying God's word - 2 Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.. Now I know that's just asking too much of some people; but what of that! Isn't it better to learn God's word and obey it; than to go to hell? As Jesus said, "It's hard to kick against the pricks." - Acts 26:14And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.. Now that doesn't stop them from having plenty to say when it comes to offering their opinions; especially religious ones. They seem to excel in speaking blah! blah! instead of quoting scripture. That's a sure sign of someone that has little regard for the truth. Like I say to Catholics: A man was not born with religion; he learned it. Well, the same goes for those in Christ. What I'm trying to say, is that, only a complete simpleton will ignore his responsibility to learn God's word. What use is any man that bides on milk alone? What can he do for the Lord?
You know, a Baptist preacher once accused me of being over zealous because I preached as the oracles of God - 1 Peter 4:11If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. Yet Paul said, "It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing." - Galatians 4:18But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.. The Baptist preacher maintained that one could be saved apart from obeying the gospel. I suppose that speaks for itself. How any man can teach salvation without baptism is certainly one for the books. The Bible is very clear concerning the role of baptism in salvation. Such men would do well to read - Acts 2:38Then 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., Acts 22:16And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord., Mark 16:16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned., and so on. Now notice in Mark 16:16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned., "He that believeth not shall be damned." What that's saying, is just don't believe, and that will sort that. However, the first part of verse 16 states: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. You see, one is not baptized properly if he doesn't believe. Nor indeed can one believe properly if he's not taught properly. My friend, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God - Romans 10:17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.. Paul said, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." - Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.. It's like this. If you don't believe that baptism is essential to salvation; then you have no business being baptized. All it amounts to is a refusal to obey God. The irony is that they call themselves Baptists, and deny baptism. What do you make of that?