This third brief study of Satan changing things in the word of God should be read and studied after reading the first two. The old Devil wants anything God’s word says to be changed to the exact opposite. Unfortunately, there are many today who are doing the same. Some of these may be honest seekers of truth, and may have been deceived by others. Perhaps some of these may simply be only in it for what they may get out of it. Jesus (Matthew 4:23; 7:28) said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15). Paul (Acts 20:16) told the “elders of the church” at Ephesus (Verse 17) that following his departure “grievous wolves” would “enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” (Verse 29). He further warned the elders, saying, “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Verse 30). In view of these wrongful actions, the elders were told to “watch.” (Verse 31).
Many sermons could be preached showing that some did what Paul said they would do. Space limits this study to a few just here. Romans 1:21-23 said of some, “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image….” Cf. verses 25-32. From the God-ordained call to unity (1 Corinthians 1:10), some became contentious, dividing the church. ( Verses 11ff; 3:1-6). The churches of Galatia (Galatians 1:2) had been troubled and the gospel of Christ perverted by some. (Verses 6, 7). Paul made it clear beyond doubt that neither “we” (apostles) nor heavenly angels could change the gospel without being accursed. (Verses 8, 9). Consider what Paul did to Hymenaeus and Alexander for their blasphemous deeds. (1 Timothy 1:18-20). Look at Hymenaeus and Philetus who taught error and overthrew the faith of some. (2 Timothy 2:16-18). Cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-9; Revelation 2 and 3.
Please take the time to study a few Biblical things people have changed. First, write the name of the church of which you are a member. Now, begin at Matthew 1:1 and read thru Revelation 22:21 to see if that name is found. Write the things the church is called on sheet. Speaking as the oracles of God, what should you be calling yourself? By the way, Baptist, from “John the Baptist” (Matthew 3:1), was not the name of a church of the first century. It was a description of what John was doing, that is, baptizing. John the immerser or baptizer would be a better rendering. Check some of the Bible dictionaries, concordances, lexicons, etc.
The organization of the Church of the New Testament was as follows. Elders (plural) over a Church (singular) under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus, was the pattern. (Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Hebrews 13:7, 17). These elders were assisted by deacons. (1 Timothy 3:8-13; Acts 6:1-7). The Philippian letter speaks of “the bishops and deacons.” (Philippians 1:1). There were preachers (Acts 8:5; Romans 10:14), called evangelists. (Acts 21:8; 2 Timothy 4:5). Jesus was also “a teacher come from God.” (John 3:2). Elders are to be “apt to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2), as are Christians. (2 Timothy 2:2, 24; Titus 2:4; Acts 13:1; Hebrews 5:1ff). Where does one read of a pastor over a church or churches? One may read of pastors, called elders, bishops, overseers, shepherds, presbyters, (all plural) over a flock (singular). Where does one read of the system of a pope, archbishops, bishops, priests, etc.? One can find a plurality of elders over a single church. Cf. Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11.
Some have corrupted the music of the church. Amos 6:5 spoke of some who chanted “to the sound of the viol, and invent unto themselves instruments of music, like David.” The Lord denounced this, saying, “Woe to them….” (Verse 1). How then, one asks, do we harmonize this denunciation with clear statements like, “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet…the psaltery and harp…timbrel and dance; praise him with stringed instruments and organs…upon the loud cymbals…high sounding cymbals….” (Psalm 150:3-5). Acts 17:30 says, “And the time of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” God’s law concerning marriage was for husbands and wives to remain together for life, except for death and fornication (Matthew 19:4-9; Romans 7:1-4). However, Jesus said “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matthew 19:7, 8). It appears that God allowed some things under the Old Testament. However, if God commanded the use of mechanical instruments under the first covenant, that law was “to be done away” (2 Corinthians 3:7), “is done away” (Verse 11), “is abolished.” (Verse 13). Those who live under the letter, Old Testament, including the ten commandment law (Verse 7) are blinded. (Verses 13-15). The vail or blindness “is done away in Christ.” (Verses 14—17). “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster.” (Galatians 3:24, 25). Thus, we are told, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1). Verse 4 says “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
Rather than running to the Old Testament for authority to use mechanical instruments of music, one must come to the New Testament. The New Testament authorizes singing (Matthew 26:30, sung; Acts 16:25, singing; Romans 15:9, sing; 1 Corinthians 14:15, sing; Ephesians 5:19, singing; Colossians 3:16, singing; Hebrews 2:12, sing; James 5:16, sing). The only mention of instruments is in the book of Revelation, none of which have anything to do with our worship. In Revelation 1:10, a great voice, not a trumpet, was heard; it was loud like a trumpet. In Revelation 14:2, “a voice” was heard. The voice was LIKE “many waters…great thunder…harpers harping with their harp. The voice was powerful, loud, and yet, it was soothing. If the book of Revelation proved that mechanical instruments would be used, what would one eliminate in worship today that is in heaven??? More in other works by the same author, and others.
Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper to be observed with Him in His kingdom (Matthew 26:26-29) on the first day of each week. (Acts 20:27; 1 Corinthians 11:17ff). Most religious people have changed this weekly observance to whenever they desire to observe this memorial feast. (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25; Luke 22:19). Some observe the supper only once per year, deciding themselves when to do so, usually at Easter, since they have more people there. Others do so bi-annually, while some decide to do so quarterly or monthly. Question: When did the church at Troas come together to break bread? Does the first day of the week mean every week, or now and then? If you observe the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week, will that be rejected at the judgment? Can you have that same assurance if you partake of the Lord’s Supper occasionally?
Most churches minimize baptism in their teaching, even teaching that baptism is unnecessary to salvation. Some have said that baptism does not save anyone. Please circle either T (True) or F (False) after each of the following statements. (1) John 3:5: T F “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (2) T F The water of John 3:23 identifies the water of verse 5. (3) Mark 16:16: T F “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;….” (4) Matthew 28:18-20: T F Jesus did not tell His apostles to baptize those in all nations. (5) Acts 2:38: T F Those on Pentecost were told to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,….” (6) Acts 10:6, 48: T F Peter, in telling Cornelius “what thou oughtest to do…commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” (7) Acts 16:14, 15: T F When Lydia heard, her heart was opened, and she was baptized. (8) Acts 22:16: T F Saul was told to “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (9) 1 Peter 3:21: T F “Baptism doth also now save us.” (10) Galatians 3:27: T F “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (11) 1 Corinthians 12:13: T F “For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body,….” (12) T F “We are buried with him by baptism.”
We must come to obey God, rather than man, telling false teachers, “Get thee behind me.”