In a previous installment the devil was seen seeking to deceive people about God and His way, hoping to keep them from obeying God to become Christians or serve Him faithfully.
This second segment takes a look at the wiley one seeking to change the doctrine of Christ. In the first tract, the devil was seen foolishly seeking to convince all that there is no God. The LIAR (John 8: 44) denies the Deity of Jesus, seeking to portray Jesus as no more than a man. A number of so called Christians also deny the Deity of Jesus. Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus was only “a god” or “a god-like one.” (New World Translation of the Scriptures”, John 1:1; “Truth”, pages 23, 24). Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, and a number of others admit the existence of Jesus, but they claim that He was just a good man. Jesus was a man, even calling Himself “the Son of man.” (Matthew 9:6). However, Jesus was more than a man; He was “God… manifest in the flesh.” (1 Timothy 3:16). Jesus was even called “the Son of God” by the devil himself (Matthew 4:3), and by others. (Matthew 14:33; 16:16; Mark 1:1). He must be confessed as such to be saved. (Acts 8:37). Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth shows Him to be Deity (God). Cf. Matthew 1:16-25 and Luke 1:26-56.
“The devil and his angels” seek to diminish Jesus, denying His Virgin Birth. Some translations have even replaced the word “virgin” with the words “young woman” (RSV), “maiden” (NWT), etc. What kind of sign would that be? Are any old women like Sarah having babies? The Hebrew word, ALMAH, in Isaiah 7:14 may be translated damsel, maid, or virgin, indicating a young unmarried female. However, the Greek word, PARTHENOS, used in Matthew 1:23, can only be translated, “virgin.” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, p. 1099), showing what was meant in Isaiah 7:14. Rebekah was called a virgin, whom no man had known. (Genesis 24:16, 43). If Jesus were not born of a virgin, He was not the Son of God, and He could not be called a good man, because He would have made false claims. He made no false claims. Satan is the LIAR.
The devouring adversary has no respect for the word of God either in spoken or written form. He challenged the spoken word of God when he “beguiled Eve through his subtilty” (2 Corinthians 11:3) in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:1ff). He asked her if God had forbidden the eating of every tree of the garden. When Eve told Satan that God had told them that they would die if they ate of the tree which was in the midst of the garden (Verses 2, 3), Satan said, “Ye shall not surely die….” (Verses 4, 5). He, therefore, challenged God’s spoken word, which has since been recorded. Matthew 4:1-11 shows that Satan knows and can recite scripture. (Verse 6; Cf. Psalm 91:10-12). BUT, the LIAR does not mind making a pretext out of the written word, that is, covering it with a cloak to make it say what he wants it to say. One lady years ago did the same, attempting to minimize baptism. She misquoted 1 Peter 3:21, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us not.” She erroneously misplaced the word not to “prove” her point. Dear reader, do not be guilty of such. Paul said “rightly dividing the scripture.” (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV). The ASV has, “handling aright the word of truth.” Job said, “I have esteemed the word of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12). David proclaimed, “Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.” (Psalm 119:6). Tell Satan to get behind you. Cf. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
The devil and his followers want you to believe that it doesn’t make any difference what you believe, that one faith is as good as another, as long as you are honest and sincere. Really?! What saith the scriptures? 2 John 9 speaks of “the doctrine of Christ.” Those who do not abide in (1) “the” (2) “doctrine” (3) “of Christ” have not God. John did not say, “a” doctrine of Christ. Neither did he say “doctrines” of Christ. He was specific, using singular words, rather than the plural. John’s statement is in harmony with Paul’s statements in Ephesians 4:1-6, “one faith.” Please observe that there is only ONE body, ONE Spirit, ONE hope, ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, and ONE God. Each person must believe the same thing about each of these. (1 Corinthians 1:10). Paul also speaks of “the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 1:16). He did not speak of “a” or “some” gospel or gospels, but “the” “gospel.” “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ” (Verse 1), exhorted the sanctified (Verse 1) to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Verse 3). Jude did not tell them to struggle for “a” faith or faiths, but “the” “faith.” (Singular). There would have been no need for the book of Jude if one’s faith does not matter! If it does not matter what one believes, (1) Why did a great company of the priests become obedient to the faith? (Acts 6:7); (2) Why did one who had lived in all good conscience before God leave what he was doing to be obedient to Jesus? (Acts 23:1; 26:4, 5, 9, 19); (3) Why did twelve Jews who had received John’s baptism, submit to the baptism of Jesus? (Acts 19:1-7); and so many more.
Please do not miss Luke’s proclamation in Luke 1:1-4. Luke “set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us.” (Verse 1). That does not sound like one may believe anything he/she feels. Luke also wrote of the things most surely believed among us as things that had been delivered. (Verse 2). Did each group receive a different set of faiths? Surely not! Notice also that the things they were to believe had been delivered to them. Were different doctrines delivered and received? Was the certainty of the things delivered, received and believed really not certain? Could each have interpreted what was received as he/she desired? The old song that said one could take the high road, while the other took the low road, and each would get to heaven at the very same time may have sounded good. However, the thought did not originate in the word of God. Read Matthew 7:13, 14.
The “churches of Galatia” (Galatians 1:1, 2) were certainly not told that one faith was as good as another. Paul, inspired of God (1 Corinthians 2; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21) told the churches of Galatia that they had been “called into the grace of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6). However, he also told them that they had been “so soon removed from him…unto another gospel, which is not another.” (Verse 6). Notice, the other gospel they had espoused was “not another.” Some had troubled them, perverting the gospel, preaching a different gospel, bringing the curse of God against them. (Verses 6-9). Galatians 3:1 brings this point home. Paul asked them, “O FOOLISH Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Serious Bible student, read and study the word of God. Do not allow anyone to bewitch, deceive you by false representations. This certainly does not sound like we should let our conscience be our guide, or that we can and should teach and/or believe whatever we desire with the blessing of the Almighty.
The book of Revelation, chapters 1-3, paints a picture of the seven churches of Asia. These churches were told that they should conform to the doctrine of Christ, the truth, or they would cease to exist, that is, the candlestick, church, would be removed. Evidently, these churches failed to follow the word of God, for each of these churches ceased to exist.
“Let God be true, but every man a liar.” (Romans 3:4). Be as the Bereans, who “were more noble that those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Acts 17:10-12). Beloved, check every statement and reference in anything you read or hear from this writer. Do the same with regard to any other person whom you hear or whose writings you read. Two good things to ask, are, (1) Is this the truth; and (2) Is this the complete truth, that is, has all the truth on this subject been given? Call or write those who gave you this tract or the person whose name is on it for further study.