IF THEY WERE DOING IT THEN, WHAT ABOUT NOW?
E.R. Hall, Jr.
“For we are not as many, which CORRUPT THE WORD OF GOD: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:17). “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor HANDLING THE WORD OF GOD DECEITFULLY; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2).(Emphasis Mine, ERH)
If God’s Word was being corrupted and handled deceitfully nearly 2000 years ago, what about today? Yet you would think not. To hear people talk, everything that is taught in religion is OK. “You believe it your way and I believe it mine” are the replies often heard. One preacher preaches this way about a matter and another preacher preaches entirely different but “that’s your interpretation” is the excuse given. “Join the church of your choice.” “Attend church somewhere, today.” “One church is as good as another.” “We’re all going to Heaven. We’re just traveling different roads.”
While people might not ACCEPT EVERYTHING they hear religiously, they are willing to TOLERATE EVERYTHING that is taught religiously. While they do not accept every church and its teaching, they are willing to tolerate every church and its teaching. The question that really needs answering is: WHAT DOES GOD TOLERATE? Can we know what God tolerates?
The God who created us and the universe also gave us His inspired Word to reveal His will. Yet, we have “another revelation of Jesus Christ”. Does God tolerate anything but His word or is this “another revelation” one of our modern day corruptions? “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. 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.” (Galatians 1:6-10). There is but one gospel and it was revealed by Christ and His apostles. Any other gospel is perverted. Would we do well to believe and practice a perverted gospel?
In Matthew 24:35 Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” If “another revelation” of Jesus Christ was discovered by Joseph Smith in the late 1800’s, what about all those generations from Paul and the apostles until Joseph Smith? They were without the complete revelation of God’s will! We must believe Jesus over the claims of Joseph Smith or any other “latter day” prophet. Jesus revealed ALL TRUTH to the apostles as He promised in John 16:13 and not to someone else 1800 years later. All such claims are only a corruption of God’s word.
“Another revelation” is not the only way to corrupt the Word of God. Much of the corrupting and deceitful handling occurs from those who claim to believe in the Bible. God’s Word must be “rightly divided” (1 Timothy 2:15). It is possible to think of men above that which is written. “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” (1 Corinthians 4:6). When this happens, doctrines and commandments begin to be taught that have originated with man and not God. The result: they corrupt the word of God and are handling the word of God deceitfully.
“Accept Christ as your personal Saviour”. “Faith only.” “One church is as good as another.” “Everyone’s entitled to their own interpretation in religion.” “There’s nothing in a name.” “Baptism has nothing to do with saving you.” These are examples of doctrines and commandments of men. Why? There is no scripture that teaches these statements. These are statements that can only be found in the written and spoken creeds of man.
Corrupting and deceitfully handling God’s Word is not without consequences; grave consequences. “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2). “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18,19).
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